UK Deports 40 Nigerians

The United Kingdom and Australia have on Wednesday deported 40 Nigerians for various immigration offences.

The first batch of 36 deportees comprising 29 males and seven females arrived at the hajj camp area of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport at 7:25am on chartered aircraft with registration number ZTA -4741 while an Air Seychelles aircraft with registration number SND-1 brought four males into the country for similar immigration offences.

LG Forecasts Technology Advancement In Nigeria

LG Electronics has pre­dicted upward techno­logical trends in the city of the future. The consumer electronics and home appli­ances giants described the city of the future as an explorative and predictive exercise pay­ing attention to the areas that are likely to impact the cities such as technology, econom­ics, climate, culture and demo­graphics.

According to the forecasts, there is a tremendous need for innovations and products that will help consumers ex­perience an elevated standard of living.

Leading electronics manu­facturing companies are now devoting a large aspect of their research and development to churning out products that make for intelligent urbanism.

One of such companies is LG Electronics with its for­ward-thinking and revolu­tionary products. LG Elec­tronics is x-raying the likely areas with a city-centric lens. The city of the future con­cept focuses on particular ar­eas that will likely affect how people experience and move throughout cities for years to come.

Speaking in Lagos, the Head of Corporate Market­ing, LG Electronics West Af­rica operations, Rajesh Agni­hotri said: “We care about our consumers and their well-be­ing that is why we are commit­ted to producing cutting-edge technologies that will not only shape their lifestyles but also solve their problems.”

“The appliances that is likely to dominate the future will boast of features such as doors that can automatically open when you approach, easy to understand control panels in accessible areas, and pan­els that become translucent to touch. The future appliance will be more efficient and qui­eter; all of these features can be found in the LG signature. With this in place, the ideal fu­ture home and the future city will not only look good, but it will change ways and man­ners consumers interface with these devices.

Wi-Pay To Participate In The Forthcoming Digital Africa Conference

Wi-Pay Technologies has said it would be participating in the forthcoming Digital Afri­ca conference and exhibition holding in Abuja from June 1st to 3rd 2016.

The three day event is ex­pected to connect manufac­turers with buyers and con­sumers by introducing new innovations into the consum­er technology market. It will also provide media support to ensure global visibility for dis­played products and services.

The company will also be participating in the CardExpo Africa exhibition organised by Intermarc Consulting Limited in conjunction with the Cen­tral Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from June 14th to 16th 2016 in Lagos.

According to a statement, the exhibition will focus on the future of retail payment and e-commerce and how innova­tion will drive the process as well as service delivery strategy that will define the future of re­tail payments and e-commerce in the country. The company is also being nominated for an award in the Payment Innova­tion of the Year category, tak­ing place during the event.

“These platforms will serve as unique opportunities to es­tablish a strong presence of our business and meet new customers,” according to the Head of Corporate Services of the company, Mrs. Helen Oko­cha.

The broad range of prod­ucts and services targeted to the Business-to-Consumer (B2C) market includes the Wi-Pay Mobile App (Wi-App) and online payment portal.


Airtel, Ericsson Roll Out Radio System

In its efforts to meet the growing demand and in­crease access to affordable mobile broadband inter­net service, Airtel Nigeria and Ericsson have agreed to roll out the ‘Ericsson radio sys­tem’ in sites across the country.

The Ericsson radio sys­tem’s multi-standard platform would enable Airtel Nigeria to leverage the reach, maturi­ty and increase affordability of 3G technologies, while laying the foundation for its 4G and 5G evolution.

The Chief Commercial Of­ficer, Airtel Nigeria, Ahmed Mokhles said that mobile broadband access is really a prerequisite to achieving the key objective of enriching the lives and empowering the peo­ple of Nigeria to benefit both consumers and the industry.

He stressed that Ericsson radio system provides the performance and efficiency to support this objective while also ensuring a future-proof evolution as Nigeria contin­ues to establish itself as a pro­gressive and innovative ICT-driven country.

He said: “By 2021, it is fore­cast that more than 90 per cent of the world´s population will be covered by mobile broad­band networks and cost points for entry-level cellular devic­es reduced by 85 per cent over the last 10 years.

“This increasing device af­fordability addresses the major barrier to entry and is achieved through the global economies of scale enabled by cellular standards.”

In his comments, the Head of Business Unit Radio, Erics­son, Arun Bansal, said: “Air­tel Nigeria and their custom­ers are directly benefitting from the performance and ef­ficiency innovations designed into the Ericsson Radio Sys­tem – network-wise, its future-proof multi-standard platform ensures a smooth evolution, while its compact, modular design reduces operating costs enabling Airtel Nigeria to offer more affordable mobile broad­band access today.

“Ericsson Radio System has already won both the Global Mobile Award for Best Mobile Infrastructure and the Red Dot Award for Product Design, but it is the recognition of our key customers like Airtel Nigeria that matters the most.”

“Ericsson Radio System was launched at MWC 2015, and started shipping to cus­tomers in Q3 2015. Its inno­vative rail system enables the Ericsson Radio System to adapt to any site, with zero floor footprint and easy one-bolt installation while its mod­ular, compact and energy ef­ficient radios reduce both operating and capital expens­es, delivering three times the capacity density with 50 per­cent improvement in energy efficiency.


National Prosecution Coordination C’ttee To Be Inaugurated

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo is ex­pected to inaugurate the National Prosecution Coor­dination Committee (NPCC) which is primarily charged with handling high profile cases that have public interest elements in Nigeria.

The formation of the Com­mittee, which will be inau­gurated on Friday, 27th May, 2016 at the Presidential Villa, according to its spokesman, Comrade Salihu Othman Isah is pursuant to the powers vest­ed on the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) as the nation’s Chief Law Officer as contained in Section 174(1) of the 1999 Constitu­tion.

“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under Section 174(1) vested the powers on the Attorney-General of the Federation to in­stitute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court of law in Nige­ria, other than a Court Martial, in respect of any offence cre­ated by or under any Act of the National Assembly.

The HAGF is also to take over and continue any such criminal proceedings that may have been instituted by any other authority or person. He is equally charged to discontinue at any stage before judgment is delivered any such criminal proceedings instituted or un­dertaken by him or any other authority or person. This is the position of the Constitution.”

Comrade Isah, who doubles as the Media Adviser to the Attorney-General of the Fed­eration and Minister of Justice, revealed in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, that the 19-man Committee is charged with the efficient, effective and result oriented prosecution of high profile criminal cases in the country.

According to him, the Com­mittee is also to guarantee prompt contact and synergy between investigators and the prosecutors of high profile criminal cases, manage infor­mation to the public on such cases as well as to ensure strict compliance to the Administra­tion of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015.

Big Mistake By Re­-lying Solely On Oil Revenue – Buhari

President Muham­madu Buhari has said that Nigeria made a big mistake by re­lying solely on oil revenue.

He, therefore, reaf­firmed his commitment to achieving rapid diversi­fication of Nigeria’s econ­omy and self-sufficiency in otherwise imported items as soon as possible.

At a farewell audience with the outgoing Iranian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Saeed Koozechi, the President said he was convinced that greater diligence, hard work and patriotic determination could help Nigeria locally substitute most of its im­ported items.

He said, “We made a terrible mistake by be­coming a mono-product economy hinged on oil and we are now in a vola­tile situation due to the crash in oil prices.

“We have seen the benefits of diversification which helped Iran to sur­vive many years of sanc­tions and still come out strong.

“We are now fully com­mitted to economic di­versification. Most of the things on our import bills can be produced here. And we are determined to achieve that self-depen­dency.”

At a separate audience with the outgoing Chi­nese Ambassador, Mr Gu Xiaojie, President Buhari gave an assurance that the Federal Government will continue to do its best to meet its obligations under bilateral agreements with China for the develop­ment of critical infrastruc­ture in Nigeria.

Leicester renews £23m bid for Musa

It has been confirmed that English Premier League Champions, Leicester City have made an offer of £23m for Nigeria international, Ahmed Musa.

The Foxes were linked with a move for the CSKA Moscow striker in January but a bid did not materialise.

But Now, CSKA of Moscow manager, Leonid Slutskiy, has revealed that Leicester have made a firm offer.

The 23-year old scored 18 goals for the Russian champions in all competitions this season, including four in the Champions League.

“The British club offered a bit less than €30m (£22.86m),” he said.

Leicester are believed to have not been willing to meet the club’s £18m asking price in January.

Musa is currently on duty with the Super Eagles for the international friendlies against Mali and Luxembourg in France.

NASS: Finance Minister, CBN Gov Summoned To Save Economy

Citing the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report that the : economy is now in bad shape than in 2015, the Sen­ate on Wednesday summoned the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, to brief it on the Executive arm of govern­ment’s plans to save the economy from total collapse.

The Upper Chamber’s action followed its resolution on a mo­tion entitled “An Urgent Need to Address the Present Econom­ic State of the Nation”, sponsored by Senator Bassey Akpan (PDP, Akwa Ibom North-East).

Before the debate on the mo­tion, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who briefly presided over the session, cleverly went straight to the sole prayer in the motion thereby depriving his colleagues from contributing to the motion.

Saraki’s action is linked to his fears that the opposition Senators may use the sitting to take a swipe at the economic policies of Presi­dent Muhammadu Buhari.

In his lead debate, Senator Akpan noted that his fears were heightened by the NBS’ econom­ic scorecard for the first quarter of 2016, the Gross Domestic Prod­uct (GDP), inflation and unem­ployment which was made pub­lic last week.

He lamented the worrisome signals portrayed in the report, stressing that the NBS’ analysis of the economy indicated that it had been plunged into recession with a decline of 0.36 percent year-on-year in real terms, which was a drastic drop from 2.11 percent in the last quarter of 2015 in GDP.

The lawmaker observed that from the report, unemployment rate had risen to 12.1percent in the first quarter of 2016 from 10.4 percent of the last quarter of 2015, noting that underem­ployment also increased to 19.1 percent from 18.7 percent in the same period while the inflation rate rose from 9.6 percent in Jan­uary 2016 to 13.8 percent in April 2016, with the attendant increase in prices food commodities and services in the country.

Akpan said that the persis­tent economic decadence being experienced, particularly the de­clining GDP, showed that the eco­nomic policies of the Buhari-led government were not achieving the desired impact and required an urgent review to avoid further economic nosedive.

The lawmaker told the Senate that the current economic con­traction was the first major dras­tic slump since June, 2004.

He recalled that the CBN had in March, 2016 deployed a con­tracting monetary policy increas­ing benchmark interest rate from 11 percent to 12 percent and cash reserve ratio from 20 percent to 22.5 percent, querying why this administration opted for con­tracting monetary policy instead of expansionary monetary policy of boosting economic activities in this critical time.

The Akwa Ibom politician also cautioned that if nothing was done to check the current nega­tive economic trend, the situation would deteriorate and the econo­my would slump into full blown recession.

Akpan expressed concern that, with the present state of the economy, meeting the key budg­etary revenue projections of the 2016 Budget would be practically impossible, stressing the need for the government to have a rethink to avoid deepening budget deficit or poor budget implementation.

Seconding the motion, the Senate Deputy Minority Whip, Mrs. Biodun Olujimi, lamented that the present administration has no visible economic policy in Nigeria.

She said that the CBN Gov­ernor and the Finance Minister should come with an econom­ic blueprint and mode of imple­menting palliatives in view of the new price of petrol.

Her position was accepted and the Senate urged the affected officials to appear before it.

“We Disown New Igbo Vigilante Group”- Ohaneze

A day after Ohaneze Youth Council (OYC) announced the formation of the Igbo Vigilante Group to provide security in all Igbo-speaking states, the parent body, Ohaneze Ndigbo, has disowned the outfit.

The pan Igbo body cautioned the youth wing and other affiliate groups under the parent body of the organisation, to henceforth desist from making public state­ments that seem to be ridiculing the image of the institution.

The President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Prof. Enwo Ig­ariwey and the Secretary-Gen­eral, Dr. Joe Nwarogu, told The AUTHORITY in Enugu that the existence of the security outfit was unknown to them.

Their position was informed by the claim of the Chairman of the Ebonyi State youth wing of Ohaneze, Mazi Alex Okemiri, that the group has established a secu­rity outfit named Igbo Vigilante Group (IVG) to protect Ndigbo in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enu­gu, Imo, Rivers and Delta states from further attacks by Fulani herdsmen.

Okemiri had told The AU­THORITY on Tuesday that the youth wing of Ohaneze Ndigbo had accorded the position of Best Governor of the South East on the Abia State Governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ikpeazu, after an assessment of the performance of the South East governors in many key sectors.

Prof. Igariwey said that the Ohaneze leadership has distanced itself from the said publication, stating that it is not the stand of the organisation.

He said that there was never a time the leadership of Ohaneze mandated the youth wing or any other affiliate body to conduct an assessment of the performances of the South East governors on behalf of the parent body.

Dr. Nwaogu said: “Ohaneze Ndigbo distances itself from such write-up, coming from someone not authorised to speak on behalf of the Ohaneze Ndigbo. Ohaneze Ndigbo leadership has also not mandated its youth wing to setup a vigilante group nor authorised any group to conduct an assess­ment on performance of the South East governors. The said publica­tion is not the stand of Ohaneze Ndigbo. We expect all the South East governors to continue work­ing for the interest of the Ndigbo.

FG Appoints DGs For NBC, NTA, MAN, Others

Six Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of media outfits and agencies under the Ministry of Information and Culture have been named by the Federal Gov­ernment.

They are: Ishaq Modibo Kawu- Director-General, Nige­rian Broadcasting Commission (NBC); Mansur Liman- Direc­tor-General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN); Mr. Yakubu Mohammed, the Di­rector-General of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Mr. Garba Abari- Director-Gener­al, National Orientation Agency (NOA); Bayo Onanuga, Manag­ing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), and Mr. Osita Okechukwu, the Director-Gener­al of the Voice of Nigeria (VON).

The former occupants of the agencies, who were appointed by former President Goodluck Jon­athan, were sacked on February 15, 2016.

The appointment of the new DGs was announced on Wednes­day in Abuja by the Minister of In­formation and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

Mohammed, in a statement, said their appointments are with immediate effect.

Until his appointment, Kawu, a renowned columnist from Kwara State, was the chief exec­utive officer of Word, Sound and Vision Multimedia Limited, based in Abuja.

He has a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Mas­ters’ degree in Political Science and reported for Radio Nigeria, Radio France International, Ra­dio Netherlands and BBC World Service.

Kawu was at various times an employee of Radio Kwara, pi­oneer general manager of Kwara State Television Authority and ed­itor of the Daily Trust Newspaper. He later became the chairman of the Daily Trust Editorial Board.

For Onanuga, 59, an ac­claimed journalist, he hails from Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. He attend­ed Ijebu Muslim College, Ijebu-Ode, Federal Government Col­lege, Odogbolu and read Mass Communications at the Univer­sity of Lagos.

He worked at The Guardian Newspaper as a Subeditor, the de­funct National Concord as senior features writer and later defunct African Concord magazine pub­lished by the late business mogul, Chief MKO Abiola.

Onanuga was the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of The News Magazine until the lat­est appointment.

Liman is known to have worked at the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Service, (BBC) while 61-year-old Abari, the new NOA boss hails from Potiskum, Yobe State.

He schooled at Central Pri­mary School, Potiskum and Fika Government Secondary School, Potiskum.

Liman holds a PhD in Political Science and served as a lecturer at the College pf Basic Studies, Mai­duguri, Borno State and Usman Dan Fodio University, Maiduguri.

The VON boss, Okechukwu hails from Eke community in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State. He is a product of the Uni­versity of Nigeria (UNN) and until his appointment, the spokesman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South East.

Sixty-six-year-old Moham­med (NTA DG) hails from Deki­na Local Government Area of Kogi State. He attended St. Joseph Primary School, Anyigba and Government Secondary School, Okene.

Mohammed holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Com­munication from the University of Lagos (UNILAG).

Kanu’s Appeal Lacked Merit – Appeal Court

The Court in Abu­ja has dismissed the appeal filed before it by the detained leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Appeal Division of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

In its judgment yester­day, the three-man panel of justices of the Appellate Court headed by Justice Abdul Aboki, unanimous­ly held that Kanu’s appeal lacked merit.

The court also refused to order the release of the de­fendants on bail, saying the allegations against them are “grievous and serious”.

Justice Aboki, who read the lead judgement, said it was not in doubt that the 1st defendant, Kanu, has dual citizenship, adding that his possession of both Nigeri­an and British passports in­creases the likelihood that he could jump bail if re­leased from detention.

On the procedure adopted by the trial court, the Appeal Court maintained that Justice John Tsoho had the discretion to decide how the proceedings should be conducted.

“The lower court has the power to exercise its discre­tion on the matter and the exercise of such discretion by the trial judge did not amount to denial of fair hearing to the defendants.

“The issues are resolved against the appellants and the ruling of the trial court is hereby upheld”, the Appellate Court held.

Kanu and two oth­er pro-Biafra agitators, Da­vid Nwawusi and Benjamin Madubugwu, had gone to the Appellate Court to chal­lenge the ruling of the Fed­eral High Court, Abuja that denied them bail and also held that the Federal Gov­ernment’s witnesses should be shielded.

Kanu and his co-accused are being tried on a six-count treason charge preferred against them by the Federal Government.

They had alleged bias in their consolidated appeal against Justice Tsoho, who not only declined to grant them bail, but also permit­ted the prosecution to shield the identity of eight witnesses billed to testify in the matter.

Justice Tsoho had equally rejected the application pray­ing him to discharge and ac­quit the three defendants in line with Section 351(1) of the Administration of Crim­inal Justice Act, 2015.

Kanu and his co-de­fendants, through their law­yer, Chief Chuks Muoma (SAN), argued before the ap­pellate court that Justice Tso­ho erred in law “when having refused the application for the witnesses of the prosecu­tion to testify behind screens, or masked” on February 19, 2016, “suddenly varied the or­der in the ruling delivered on March 7, 2016 on a mere oral application by the respond­ent.”

They maintained that the variation order was made on the basis of a mere oral ap­plication by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mohammed Diri, who had informed the trial court that witnesses scheduled to tes­tify against the defendants said they would not appear unless they were allowed to wear masks or their identi­ties shielded from both law­yers and people observing the proceeding.

Justice Tsoho gave an or­der permitting the witness­es to testify behind a screen, stressing that the decision did not amount to a variation of a previous ruling that prohibit­ed the witnesses from appear­ing in mask.

The defendants had earli­er opposed Federal Govern­ment’s’ application for secret trial, even as they queried the propriety of the court allow­ing “masquerades” to testify against them.