Aides

Senate screens Lauretta Onochie, others for INEC position

The Senate on Thursday started the screening of nominees for appointment as National Commissioners for the Independent National Electoral Commission. The nominees, including one of the aides of President Muhammadu Buhari, Lauretta Onochie, are already in the Senate for the exercise. Onochie arrived at the Senate wing of the National Assembly about 11 am; accompanied by the Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Babajide Omoworare. She was immediately ushered into the office of the Chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, Senator Kabri Gaya. Onochie is currently waiting for her turn to be screened by the Senate panel. The nomination of Onochie, who currently serves as Senior Special Assistant on New Media to President Buhari, has provoked serious public outcry with ...

President Buhari holds emergency security meeting

President Muhammadu Buhari is this Tuesday holding an emergency National Security Meeting at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja. The meeting is expected to review the current state of insecurity across the country. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN); Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari and National Security Adviser (NSA), Major-General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), are in attendance. Also in attendance are: Ministers of Defence, Major-General Bashir Magashi (Rtd) and Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyema. Also in the meeting are the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Amoo; and the new Chief of Army Staff, M...

James Ibori loot: Delta asks federal government to return recovered fund to state

Delta State Government on Tuesday reacted to receipt by the Nigerian government of the £4.2 million first tranche of the Ibori loot from the goverment of the United Kingdom. The state government restated its earlier stand that since the returned money was illegally taken out of Delta’s Treasury, it should appropriately be returned to Delta State. This is coming on the dissolution, on Tuesday, of the Delta State Executive Council (EXCO) with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa asking the Secretary to State Government (SSG), all civil commissioners and the governor’s aides to surrender all vital government documents and property to their respective permanent secretaries in the ministries, departments and agencies. The outgoing state commissioner for information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, reiterated the positio...

NASU: Decision to reduce civil servants salaries ’provocative’

File Photo The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) says plan by the Federal Government to slash salaries of Federal civil servants is “provocative’’. NASU made this known in a statement by its General Secretary, Mr Peters Adeyemi on Sunday in Abuja. It will be recalled that Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, had given the hint on May 4, at the National Policy Dialogue on Corruption and Cost of Governance in Nigeria, organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in Abuja. Ahmed said during the dialogue that the review of salaries of civil servants and some federal agencies were part of measures to reduce cost of governance. She said the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) had bee...

National Assembly legislative aides protest non-payment of arrears

The National Assembly Legislative Aides Forum on Tuesday in Abuja protested the non-payment of their 20 months’ salary arrears. Zebis Prince, who spoke on behalf of the protesting Aides, said that since the inauguration of the 9th Assembly, their salary arrears were withheld by the management. He said that the matter was referred to the House Services Committee with the mandate to among other things investigate the irregularities in the payment of legislative Aides. He however said that the Clerk of the National Assembly (CNA) insisted on getting directives from the chairman of National Assembly Service Commission before payment of the arrears. “We are disturbed that despite an express legislative resolution mandating the CNA to ensure payment three weeks after, the Chief Accounting Office...

Senator Dickson: Why I am staying off Bayelsa government events

File Photo A former Governor of Bayelsa, Seriake Dickson, says he has no rift with his predecessor, Douye Diri, who took over from him on February 14, 2020. Dickson said his noticeable absence from government functions was deliberate and in consonance with his values and principles of non interference. In a statement issued on Thursday, Dickson, who is now a senator representing Bayelsa West Senatorial District of the state, said he remained supportive of Diri’s administration. He said he had no hand in the media attacks against Diri’s administration by some of his former aides. Dickson’s explanation came on the heels of claims by John Idumange, a former general manager of the Bayelsa Broadcasting Corporation, alleging diversion of N3 billion agricultural loan obtained by Dickson’s adminis...

Ugandan presidential candidate Bobi Wine says military raided his home

Ugandan opposition presidential candidate Bobi Wine said soldiers raided his home on Tuesday and arrested his security guards, two days before an election. “The army has this morning raided my home, arrested all my security guards and anyone they could see around my premises,” Wine, who is the opposition frontrunner, said on Twitter. “No reason for the arrest was given,” he said. Spokesmen for the military and the police did not respond to phone calls seeking comment. Ugandans vote on Thursday in elections pitting long-time leader Yoweri Museveni against 10 candidates including Wine, a singer-turned-lawmaker whose star power has rattled the ruling party. Wine also said in a separate post on Twitter that soldiers raided the home of one of his aides overnight and took the man to an unknown d...

Olisa Metuh leaves Kuje prison

Former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, has been released from Kuje prisons following the court judgment that upturned his conviction. Newsmen gathered that Metuh left the prison about 4.46pm. on Thursday. Metuh was joyful, according to one his close aides who spoke with newsmen after he left the correctional faciility at Kuje where he had been held since February 25, 2020. “Yes, Oga has just left about two minutes ago,” one of Metuh’s aides told newsmen. He was seen off by the FCT Comptroller of Correctional Facilities and the head of Kuje Correctional Facility. Metuh was sentenced by Justice Okon Abang to seven-year imprisonment on the allegation of money laundering on February 25, 2020. However, the Court of Appeal penultimate Wednesd...

California hospitals overrun even as vaccine is rolled out

Even as high profile figures like U.S. Vice President Mike Pence rolled up their sleeves for COVID-19 vaccinations, patients already ill with the disease crowded emergency rooms and overran intensive care units in California, now a worldwide epicenter. Another 41,000 people tested positive in the most populous U.S. state on Thursday, and 300 died, state public health officials said. In a state with 40 million residents, only about 1,200 intensive care beds remained available by Friday – just 2.1% of the total, the California Department of Public Health said. “We anticipated a surge, but I’m not sure if anyone imagined it would be as bad as it has been,” said Adam Blackstone, a spokesman for the Hospital Association of Southern California. Hospitals are strained under the press of patients,...

U.S. sanctions Turkey over purchase of Russian defense system

The United States imposed long-anticipated sanctions on Turkey on Monday over Ankara’s acquisition of the Russian S-400 air defense systems, further complicating already strained ties between the two NATO allies. Turkey condemned the sanctions as a “grave mistake” and urged Washington to revise its “unjust decision.” Senior U.S. officials said in a call with reporters that Ankara’s purchase of the S-400s and its refusal to reverse its decision left the United States with no other choice. The sanctions, first reported by Reuters last week, target Turkey’s top defence procurement and development body Presidency of Defence Industries, its chairman Ismail Demir and three other employees. While limited to one company, they are still likely to weigh on the Turkish economy, analysts said, at a ti...

Lagos governor goes into isolation after close aide tests positive for coronavirus

After one of his closest aides tested positive for COVID-19, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has gone into self-isolation immediately. Professor Akin Abayomi, the state’s Commissioner for Health, in a statement Friday, said: “Mr. Governor and other members of his team will be tested by the Lagos State biobank today but will remain in isolation until the results of the tests are available. “We are seeing slightly increasing number of COVID-19 positive cases in clusters in Lagos and all Lagosians should adhere to the prescribed advisories of safe distancing, good hand and respiratory hygiene and avoidance of unnecessary gatherings.” He stressed that “this is not the first time Mr. Governor is having the COVID-19 test. He has had at least three since May when he announced that 1...

Joe Biden urges Americans to be safe during holiday, fight coronavirus pandemic

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday pleaded with Americans to take steps to remain safe as COVID-19 cases surge on the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday and pledged again to make combating the pandemic a top priority when he takes office in January. “I believe you always deserve to hear the truth from your president. We have to slow the growth of this virus. We owe it to the doctors and the nurses and the frontline workers … We owe it to our fellow citizens,” Biden said. He urged people to forgo big family gatherings, wear protective masks and maintain social distancing. “I know we can and we will beat this virus,” Biden added, acknowledging that Americans are feeling pandemic fatigue. “Life is going to return to normal. I promise you. This will happen. This will not last forever.” T...

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