Abuja on Friday as a 29-year-old pharmacist, Solomon Akuma, refused to take a plea in the amended charge filed by the Nigeria Police on the bogus counts bordering on treasonable felony and terrorism.

There was lots of surprises at the Federal High Court, Abuja on Friday as a 29-year-old pharmacist, Solomon Akuma, refused to take a plea in the amended charge filed by the Nigeria Police on the bogus counts bordering on treasonable felony and terrorism.

Mr. Solomon is being prosecuted after his arrest on April 2, 2020, in Abia, Abia State in his tweet, he said, that he will pay any Russian sniper that may be able to eliminate President Muhammadu Buhari and Late Abba Kyari (former Buhari’s Chief of Staff) in response to a Twitter post asking if $1m hits your account, what can’t you do?

Abuja Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo had on November 22, 2021, while delivering her judgement on the matter, struck out the case on the ground that it was defective.

The court said there was no valid charge before the court and that the matter was not diligently prosecuted.

She said the case file would be returned to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the office of the Attorney General of Federation (AGF) for further action.

The matter was scheduled for Friday, December 17 for the hearing of the application for the discharge of the defendant from the Nigerian Correctional Service.

It was filed by Mr Akuma Solomon’s lawyer, Barr Emmanuel Ukaegbu since the case had been struck out.

But surprisingly, the judge allowed the application of the amended charge and vacation of the judgement filed by the prosecution counsel to take prominence as she asked the defendant to take his plea, adding that there was an amended charge before the court.

But trouble started when the court registrar proceeded to read the amended charge and asked Mr Solomon Akuma (defendant) whether he was guilty or not. But the defendant kept mute.

The defence counsel, while raising an objection to the amended charge, said his client would not take the plea on the ground that he had not seen the amended charge.

The lawyer said it would not be proper for him to take a plea without going through the charge.

He insisted that his client must see the charge preferred against him before taking his plea.

At this point, the trial judge gave the defence counsel 10 minutes to advise and consult with the defendant, who was in the dock and convince him to take his plea.

But Ukaegbu remained adamant as he insisted that even the entire day would not be enough for him and his client to go through the amended charge.

Suddenly the judge became infuriated as she interrupted Ukaegbu and asked him to sit down. She threatened to charge the lawyer for contempt of court for remaining standing while she was talking.

After the drama, the defence counsel asked the court for an adjournment.

The application was granted and the matter was adjourned to February 1, 2022, for the arraignment of the defendant in the event he decides to take his plea.

She also ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison custody.

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Aghughu Adolphus, in the audit noted that over N8.5 billion from the funds released to the National Assembly.

The office of the Auditor-General for the Federation (AuGF) in its 2019 Annual Audit Report has indicted the management of the National Assembly over how the spending of funds running into billions of naira.

The AuGF, Aghughu Adolphus, in the audit noted that over N8.5 billion from the funds released to the National Assembly were expended within the period under review without evidence, Daily Trust reports.

The report said the monies under scrutiny were not backed by vouchers and retirement documents. 

The report, submitted to the Clerk to the National Assembly in August this year, uncovered various infractions by the Senate, House of Representatives, and the National Assembly Service Commission. The audit report is usually submitted to the National Assembly Public Accounts committees for investigation.

The Auditor General’s report raised seven queries against the Senate’s financial records on issues bordering on unaudited payment vouchers, non-remittance of Value-Added Tax (VAT) and withholding tax (WHT) and non-remittance of recovered vehicle loans, among others.

The alleged financial infraction, according to the report, amounted to over N3 billion. 

It said the sum of N219.6 million and N123.3 million as housing and vehicle loans, respectively, were deducted from senators’ salary arrears between July and December 2019.

In another query, the audit report said N176.2 million was deducted as Pay As You Earn (PAYE) from staff salaries; Value Added Tax (VAT) of N39.7 million from payment for services and withholding Tax (WHT) of N237.6 million from payment for services.

It, however, said there was no evidence to show that these amounts were remitted to the treasury and relevant tax authorities as required by law.

The report also said the sum of N1.7 billion was paid between February and December 2019 for the supply of vehicles and other office equipment through 17 payment vouchers but none of them was made available for audit examination.

It also said the sum of N657.7 million was paid for the supply of motor vehicles, motorcycles and other office equipment through 16 payment vouchers between July and December 2019.

None of the payment vouchers, it said, was cleared by the Internal Audit before pay as required by extant regulations.

The sum of N423 million was paid for the supply of utility vehicles and production of the National Assembly logo between August and November 2019 from the capital account, the audit report showed.

It added that no relevant supporting documents were attached to the payment vouchers to facilitate the validation of the payment.

Regarding the House of Representatives, the Auditor-General uncovered how members spent over N5.5 billion at a different point in time which could not be accounted for.

According to the report, the expenditures ranged from running costs of some lawmakers to repairs and maintenance. 

The report equally revealed that payments were made from salary accounts of the House of Representatives without payment vouchers as required by law.

The Auditor-General issued five queries to the Clerk to the National Assembly on infractions bordering on the utilisation of funds running into billions of naira.

In issue 1, the audit report observed the sum of N2,550,000,000 was granted to members as running costs between July and December 2019, but that there was no evidence to show what the funds were used for as there were no retirement documents despite requests.

According to the report, the said payments were made on a regional basis thus; North East – N187 million, South-South – N272 million and South East – N442 million.

Others are North Central – N391 million, South West – N629 million and North West – N629 million.

There was no evidence to show what the funds were used for and there were no retirement documents despite requests.

The above anomalies could be attributed to weaknesses in the internal control system at the Federal House of Representatives of the National Assembly,” the report read.

The audit report directed the Clerk to the National Assembly to give reasons why running costs granted to members were not retired.

In the second issue, the report queried the Clerk over the non-retirement of N258 million, which was granted as advances to 59 staff members in the lower chamber of the National Assembly.

It also said that additional advances were granted to officers when they had not retired the previous ones.

The Auditor-General in the third issue queried cash advances amounting to N107.9 million granted for repairs and maintenance of unspecified quarters beyond the statutory limit.

It queried the granting of advances in excesses of N200,000 stipulated by extant laws and directed the Clerk to justify the action.

The report in its issue 4, queried the remittance of N1.5 billion without acknowledgement as required by extant laws.

The audit report also revealed that another N1.01 billion was discovered to have been paid from a salary account. The payments were made without the preparation of payment vouchers as required by extant regulations.
According to the report, this violates Paragraph 601 of the Financial Regulations, which says “All payment entries in the cash book/ account shall be vouched for on one of the prescribed treasury forms.

Similarly, the audit report queried the National Assembly Service Commission on issues related to unretired cash advances and non-remittance of 1% stamp duty on contracts, to the tune of N33.6 million.

It said the sum of N31.9 million was granted as personal cash advances to fifty-nine (59) staff and that there was no evidence of the retirement of the advances.

It also observed that N276.7 million from 12 payment vouchers was made to contractors and service providers from the project account of the Commission. It, however, said N2.7 million representing 1% Stamp Duties was not deducted.

Reacting, spokesman of the Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA), Austen Adesoro, told Daily Trust that the report was based on 2019 findings and that most of the issues had been taken care of.

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Residents of communities in the Orsu Local Government Area of Imo State have fled their homes following an invasion of the area by a joint security task force on Friday.

According to information reaching us, Residents of communities in the Orsu Local Government Area of Imo State have fled their homes following an invasion of the area by a joint security task force on Friday.

The military operation was in continuation of last Monday’s clampdown on alleged hoodlums.

Nigeria military in action.

However, it was a difficult mission for the security operatives as the hoodlums blocked the roads with fallen palm trees.

They also dug gullies on the roads to hamper security vehicles from gaining access to their camps.

According to the Nation, the military vehicles were held up for more than 30 minutes as the security operatives had to use shovels to cover the gullies and saws to cut the fallen palm trees to clear the road.

The villagers are said to be co-existing with the hoodlums.

Security operatives have been on a running battle with suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its militia wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN).

Early in the year, there was tension in communities in Orsu following the decision of soldiers to indiscriminately fire gunshots to stop alleged attacks by ESN operatives in the area.

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So sad: Soldiers have been allegedly kill a police officer Son who ran to them for protection against kidnapers.

Recently, according to report, Soldiers attached to the railway checkpoint in Igbanke, Edo State have been accused of killing a boy, Christian Konor Ehime, who escaped from kidnappers. 

Ehima Mercy, who is a police officer in Agbo, Delta State, and the mother of the murdered boy, told Foundation for Investigative Journalism.

Mercy said she met Konor in a terrible state after the soldiers had allegedly assaulted and left him to die on a dusty road. He eventually died in a hospital.

On December 10, Konor left the house of one of his cousins, who was to get married the following day, for his mother’s house. It was meant to be a 35-minute journey. But on getting to the bus stop at 5 pm, there was hardly any bus.

Mercy called around 7:30 pm to ask his son why he had yet to get home, but the voice she heard on the phone was not his.

I asked them, ‘Who are you?’ And they claimed to be soldiers stationed at the railway checkpoint between Igbanke and Epon. I introduced myself as a police officer and I asked them where my son was, she said.

The soldiers did not say they had beaten him but claimed my son had dragged their guns with them (to struggle to take possession). I began to plead with the soldiers not to touch him. Then they asked me to come and see them.

When Mercy got to the soldiers, she thanked them and collected Konor’s phone from them. After delaying her for a while, they showed her where her son was.

When I saw my son, dust was all over him. So one may not recognise him. He was only in his boxers. They did not give me his trousers; I knew it was because they wanted to tell a different story to the police, she said.

According to FIJ, the soldiers made videos of her when she went to see her son and said he displayed signs of lunacy. Konor struggled to meet his mother on hearing her voice, but he couldn’t stand upright. His legs had been broken and he had sustained heavy injuries to his spine due to the soldiers’ beating.

Seeing how my son was, I pleaded with them to use their van to take him to a nearby hospital, but they refused because I am a police officer. I immediately called my family doctor, who then took another hour before he got to Igbanke,” she said.

“I looked at my son and every part of his body was covered with clay. He was half-conscious and his eyes were dim. He was heavy. I then pleaded again with the soldiers to lend us their van.”

When they got to the hospital, Konor woke up after he had received two bags of drip. He asked his mother for food but the doctor stopped her from giving him, saying he was bleeding internally.

Konor told his mother how he escaped being killed by kidnappers. He had boarded a bus that he thought was a commercial vehicle.

Konor said when he found out he was in a kidnapper’s bus, he jumped out of the moving vehicle and hid in a bush. He texted ‘I love you mummy’ at this point, but I didn’t get it because I was cooking. When he saw a snake, he ran out of the bush and saw some soldiers, she said.

He said he ran to the soldiers, but on seeing him, they cocked their guns. He attempted to explain, but he was asked to shut his mouth up and lie on the ground.

The soldiers later ordered him to stand up. As he did, one of them kicked his legs and he fell. Later, they began to stomp his laps until he could not walk again.

“After he said this, he died. The time was 2:47 am on Saturday,” Mercy said. 

She reported the incident to Igbanke Police Station and the soldiers were summoned. While they could not exactly exonerate themselves, they claimed Konor was a lunatic.

“One of them said I knew my son was crazy, and that was why I brought milk to the checkpoint. Another soldier said I knew he was a lunatic because I asked my family doctor if he came to the checkpoint with injections,” Mercy said.

I thought the injections would make him stronger and the milk would give him strength, but the soldiers used it against me because he was no more alive.

Konor’s body is lying in a mortuary in Edo State, while his mother is trying to get justice for her son. “Worst thing is, these soldiers are still at this checkpoint, said Mercy.

According to her, Philip Aliyu Ogbadu, the Edo State Commissioner of Police, has written to the army about the incident.

When FIJ contacted Onyema Nwachukwu, the army’s spokesperson, he said Konor’s mother should write to the military police in Edo State.

Let her write to the military police in the state, he told FIJ. The fact that she is a police officer has solved half of the issue. The army does not support bad behaviour; it is punished.

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Reno Omokri react to President Buhari travel to Turkey.

Our news report reveals that Reno Omokri was on his social media platforms this morning to talk about president Muhammadu Buhari and his visit to Turkey and UAE.

In his social media post, Reno Omokri said that president Buhari has travelled to Turkey and United Arab Emirates in two weeks, but did not travel to Sokoto state in Nigeria, were bandits robbed, killed and burnt 42 Nigerians, including children. Reno Omokri also noted that the president also did not visit Niger state were almost 30 people have been killed. In conclusion, Reno Omokri said yet Ahmed Lawan, the Senate president, said that president Buhari is the best thing to happen to Nigeria.

The president did not go on a trip to Turkey and United Arab Emirates to play, he was there because of Nigeria, so people should stop making the president’s visit to other countries look as if the president is not concerned about his own country and people.

Below is his tweet, about president Buhari and his visit to two countries below.

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Emir of Wase: Muhammad Haruna cries out that bandits have taken over Wase land.

Emir of Wase, Muhammad Haruna has said Plateau State and, by extension, Nigeria, risk being faced with food crisis as insecurity has driven many farmers from their respective farms into the city where they remain idle.

The Emir raised the alarm that terrorists have taken over 50 per cent of the landmass in Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State and the people cannot go to the farm and even those that manage to farm; about 70 per cent of their produce is sold out before the next farming season.

The First-class monarch disclosed this yesterday in Jos at the colloquium and fundraising organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Plateau State Council with the theme “Tackling Food Crisis in Nigeria Through Robust Research for Sustainable Development,” lamented that the inhabitants of Wase are now living in fears as terrorists have overrun half of the town in the ancient city of Wase.

According to him: I am a farmer, and the majority of the people in my domain are farmers. As a result of insecurity, a lot of us leave the villages for the city to look for greener pastures because we cannot afford to go to our farms.

The second, about 70 per cent of food that is produced in Plateau State is sold out before next planting season. Some people have taken responsibility, they will give you fertiliser and everything you require to farm but the disadvantage is that they take 70 per cent of what you produce.

We are in December; maize in Wase is N28, 000 per bag. Imagine by April, how much it will cost.  The one considered the rich man’s food, rice is N26, 000 or N27, 000. The kinds of problems we are likely to have in Plateau and by extension, Nigeria, if people are hungry during the harvest period, imagine the situation that will be the next few months.

The Guest Speaker at the event, Prof. Dakas Dakas (SAN), a former Attorney-General who spoke on the theme maintained that academicians, governments and industries must work in synergy in order to tackle challenges associated with food insecurity for sustainable development and emphasised that research must be undertaken consciously to tackle food insecurity.

Research must drive development. If your research does not attract development, it has not achieved the aim of the research which is proffering solutions to problems and research must be taken seriously if food security is to be achieved.”

Dakas explained that food insecurity can be tackled if young people are given the tools, skills and opportunities to showcase their potential.

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VP Osibanjo react as twitter removes his tweet over copy write violation.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had shared the tweet on March 8, in commemoration of international women’s day.

A tweet by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has been removed from Twitter,

The social media giant said the post was removed for copyright violation of Beyonce’s song. 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had shared a tweet on March 8, in commemoration of international women’s day. The theme song used for the video was Beyone’s “Run the World”. 

A Twitter user notified the social media giant about the tweet, alleging that Osinbajo has “never done his job properly” and is allegedly using the American music star’s song “without permission”. 

The tweet was taken down by Twitter afterwards.

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Breaking: US places trade sanction on China.

It was learnt that The United States of America has unleashed a volley of actions to censure China’s treatment of Uyghur minority, with lawmakers voting to curb trade and new sanctions slapped on the world’s top consumer drone maker.

Meanwhile, the United States has ramped up pressure on China, with President Joe Biden’s administration a day earlier targeting producers of painkillers that contributed to America’s addiction crisis.

The US Senate unanimously voted to make the United States the first country to ban virtually all imports from China’s Xinjiang region over forced labour concerns.

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President Milos Zeman swore in a new coalition republic on Friday.

Accordin to a report A new coalition government took office in the Czech Republic on Friday, with the coronavirus pandemic and soaring inflation presenting immediate policy challenges. President Milos Zeman swore in the Cabinet at the presidential chateaux in Lany, west of Prague, ending the government of his ally, populist billionaire Andrej Babis, as prime minister.

The Two political coalitions that together collected a majority of parliament seats in the country’s Oct. 8-9 election signed a power-sharing deal to rule together.

The new partnership holds 108 seats in the 200-seat lower house, relegating Babis and his centrist ANO (YES) movement to the opposition. ANO narrowly lost the election with 27.1% of the vote.

hree-party, liberal-conservative coalition known as Together, composed of the Civic Democratic Party, the Christian Democrats and the TOP 09 party, came in first with 27.8% of the vote.

Together has formed a government with a centre-left liberal coalition made up of the Pirate Party and STAN – a group of mayors and independent candidates – which placed third.

Despite their differences on many issues, including climate change, same-sex marriage and the adoption of the euro, the coalition parties all support the Czech Republic’s membership in the European Union and NATO membership.

The five-party coalition is led by Prime Minister Petr Fiala, who was sworn in on Nov 28.

Fiala, 57, who has led the conservative Civic Democratic Party since 2014, is a political science professor. He served as education minister between 2012-13.

We don’t start at an easy situation, Fiala said. Our country and its citizens face huge problems.

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