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NEWS SUMMARY: FEW THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

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…Cpt. Hashim Abdullahi
1. PIPELINE VANDALISM: FG TO ESTABLISH SPECIAL PARAMILITARY FORCE.
The Federal Government is to establish a specialised paramilitary force in the petroleum industry next year in a bid to ensure zero vandalism of pipelines and put an end to similar acts of sabotage of oil installations, particularly in the Niger Delta region. According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the force will comprise of coastal patrol teams, Niger Delta subsidiary police and other paramilitary agencies, as the government strives to increase the production of crude oil. The NNPC, in its latest monthly financial and operations report obtained by our correspondent on Monday, said although the negotiations between the Federal Government and citizens from the Niger Delta were yielding results, some militants were still trying to thwart the reconciliation exercise. It said, “The Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate attacked the NPDC 32-inch pipeline crude oil delivery line at Effurun-Otor Ughelli South Council Area of Delta State to thwart the ongoing reconciliation between the Federal Government and the Niger Delta community. “The Federal Government is planning to establish a specialised petroleum force, comprising of coastal patrol teams, Niger Delta subsidiary police, and other paramilitary set-ups to ensure zero vandalism in 2017.”
2. POLICE RECRUITMENT: BAYELSA REJECTS LIST, SAYS EXERCISE LOPSIDED.
The Bayelsa State Government has condemned in strong terms the manner and mode of the recent recruitment into the Nigeria Police. A Government House statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Jonathan Obuebite, described the process as not only lopsided, but a fraud against the people of the state. The state government noted that a situation where names of non-Bayelsans were used to fill the positions meant for Bayelsa people, was unacceptable and totally against the principles of federal character and due process. The statement noted that while each local government area across the country was meant to produce 10 candidates that of Bayelsa were filled with fictitious names of persons, who were not from the particular local government areas. It emphasised that Bayelsa, made up of eight local government areas, was entitled to 80 candidates, but the lopsided manner in which the exercise was conducted, had further depleted the state’s quota. The government called on the Independent Corrupt Practices and related offences Commission, the Police Service Commission and the Federal Character Commissions as well as other related agencies of the government to urgently investigate, correct the anomaly and equally bring the perpetrators of the fraud to book.
3. FAMILY OF SLAIN SERGEANT DEMANDS JUSTICE IN BAYELSA.
Members of the family of Sgt. Salvation Adaka, who was allegedly shot dead by his colleagues over N20,000 ‘largesse’ have called on the police authorities to prosecute the culprits. Adaka was allegedly shot dead on Nov. 7 by three of his colleagues with whom he was on a patrol duty. NAN gathered that the team, which was from Agudama-Ekpetiama Police Division, was given N20,000 by people organising a funeral in the area. NAN learnt that an argument ensued over how the money would be shared, and that Adaka, the most senior member of the team, was allegedly shot dead during the scuffle by his colleagues. Prince Joseph Yabefa, a representative of Adaka’s family told NAN on Monday in Yenagoa that the family had received an autopsy report which confirmed that Adaka died of gunshots. He said that the pathologist, who conducted the autopsy, found pieces of bullets in the spinal cord of the deceased. Yabefa, who expressed satisfaction with the steps so far taken by the Bayelsa Police Command on the incident, said that the family was demanding prosecution of the suspects.
4. SHIITE LEADER BLAMES POLITICIANS FOR INCITING PEOPLE AGAINST MEMBERS.
The leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) popularly known as Shiite sect in Sokoto State, Sheikh Qasimu Omar, yesterday blamed politicians for inciting  residents against their members, saying the group had no plans whatsoever to organise a procession or Joint African General Meeting in Sokoto state. Speaking with journalists in his residence in Sokoto at the weekend, Umar said the Shiite sect was not planning to conduct procession in commemoration of the Maulud (birthday of Prophet Mohammed) in the state. He described the wicked rumour as the antics of selfish politicians who were bent on creating disaffecting among the citizens of the state. Umar lamented that unscrupulous politicians were bent on inciting the people against the Shiite sect in order to achieve their sinister motives. “We believe this is a plot by politicians to create disaffection in the polity and give license to people to attack and even kill our members. “The Commissioner of Police visited me two weeks ago and I told him that we have no plan to organise any Joint African General Meeting in Sokoto and that we have the right as citizens to worship the way we want in line with our doctrine.
5. POLICE NAB ONE OF THE MASTERMINDS BEHIND KIDNAP OF CBN GOVERNOR’S WIFE.
The Nigeria Police monday said they had finally arrested the last of the 10-man gang believed to have been involved in the kidnapping of the wife of the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mrs. Margaret Emiefele, at Ugoneki village, along the Benin-Agbor Expressway last September. The police had in October paraded nine of the suspected gang members who confessed their involvement in the kidnapping, with large sums of money and ammunition recovered from them. The Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Don Awunah, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, while giving the latest suspect’s identity as Umar Abubakar, aka Kiriwa, in a statement said Abubakar was arrested in Minna, Niger State last Thursday.
6. WHY CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF IS RETIRING – PRESIDENCY
The Presidency has denied plans to replace two of its service chiefs, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Gabriel Olonisakin and Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice-Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas. In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday, Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President said although the CDS is due for retirement next week, “he has yet to be replaced.” “It is necessary to respond to a fictive story published in today’s (yesterday) edition of a national newspaper to the effect that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the replacement of Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, as service chiefs. “The newspaper, rather than rush to print an unsubstantiated story, would have done better to confirm the information at its disposal, from many available military and government information channels. “It then would have avoided the self-inflicted wound of publishing a one-legged story that is not completely true, and damaging its brand in the process,” Adesina said. “Gen. Olonisakin is due to retire from the Army next week, having satisfied the official number of years in service. He has yet to be replaced. “But the Chief of Naval Staff has a short while more, and President Buhari could, therefore, not have approved his replacement yet,’’ the statement added.  According to Adesina, President Buhari-led administration has repeatedly pledged commitment to transparency and accountability, and one of the hallmarks of that is making information available to the media.
7. CCB WARNS MINISTERS, SERVICE CHIEFS, OTHERS ON ASSETS DECLARATION
The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) has directed ministers, service chiefs, government officials and civil servants to declare their assets, in compliance with paragraph 11 of part 1 of the 5th schedule to the 1999 Constitution (as amended) or risk prosecution at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT). CCB chairman, Sam Saba, commended civil servants who declared their assets within the time frame set by the bureau but reiterated that the bureau will go round the country to verify assets already declared by public officials. “Pursuant to paragraph 11 of part 1 of the fifth schedule to the 1999 Constitution (as amended), every public officer is required to submit to the CCB a written declaration of all his properties, assets and liabilities and those of his/her spouse (if not a public officer) and his unmarried children under the age of 18 years,” he said in a statement. “Any statement in such declaration that is found to be false by any authority or person authorised in that behalf to verify it shall be deemed to be a breach of this code. “To this end, the Bureau has commenced its 2016 fourth Quarter Cycle of conference and field verifications of assets of top public officers. “Accordingly, letters of invitation have been dispatched to ministers of, service chiefs and other top public officers. “This exercise is ongoing and is being carried out concurrently at the federal, state and local government levels. “At a satisfactory completion of the exercise, public officers are issued with certificate of assets conference verification/field verification as the case maybe.
8. POLICE CONFIRMS 3 DEAD AT SYNAGOGUE STAMPEDE
The Lagos State Police Command has confirmed that three people were killed at the weekend during a stampede at the Synagogue Church of all Nations, Ikotun, Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria. Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Dolapo Badmos told PM News on Monday that three people were actually confirmed dead in the stampede, describing the incident as unpleasant and avoidable. Badmos warned churches to put proper crowd control mechanism in place whenever they were having programme to avoid tragic incidence like the one that occurred at Synagogue at the weekend. She added that the police were still investigating the matter, but that no arrest had been made yet. On Saturday, three people were reportedly killed during a stampede as the crowd surged forward to see the church’s General Overseer, Prophet Temitope Joshua, during a special healing service. A police source said the corpses were taken in an ambulance to the mortuary.
9. SUSPECTED ASSASSINS KILL ARMY SCHOOL COMMANDANT.
It was a gory sight yesterday as members of staff and students of Command Secondary School, Ibadan, Oyo State woke up to find the dead body of the Commandant, Col. Anthony Okeyim, in his apartment within the school premises. Okeyim, who was recently promoted, was alleged to have been strangled by suspected assassins. Already, the police spokesperson in the state, Adekunle Ajisebutu has confirmed the incident, saying the matter is being treated as a suspected case of murder. Some of those who were close to the deceased said suspected assassins strangled him to death after he was attacked in front of his official quarters. An unconfirmed report also claimed that Col. Okeyim’s throat was slit open by his killers. The school is located in the secluded Bode Igbo area of Ibadan, which is close to the border territory between Oyo and Ogun states. Although the large property is fenced, the school is largely surrounded by thick forests and there have been reports of encroachment on the land by some people in the past. Confirming the murder, the Oyo State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Adekunle Ajisebutu, told newsmen that the police was treating it as a suspected case of murder. “I can confirm to you that the deceased was found dead in front of his apartment around 6.30a.m. on Monday. We are treating it as a case of suspected murder. The State Commissioner of Police, Samuel Adegbuyi, visited the school immediately the case was reported. A friend of the late army officer, who preferred anonymity, said Col. Okeyim was promoted three weeks ago and that he was waiting to be fully decorated with his new rank.
10. ARMY DENIES KILLINGS, MASS ARRESTS OF VOTERS.
The Nigerian Army yesterday denied reports of alleged killings and mass arrests during Saturday’s legislative re-run election in Rivers State. Maj-Gen. Kasimu Abdulkarim, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 6 Division, Port Harcourt, denied the reports in a statement issued in Port Harcourt. Abdulkarim also denied claims that the army connived with some politicians to influence the outcome of the just concluded legislative elections in the state. “The allegation that soldiers carried out killings and mass arrests in Tai and Gokana Local Government Areas during the legislative rerun election is false. “In addition, the allegations made by some respected politicians regarding deep involvement of soldiers during the elections were aimed at tarnishing the positive image of the army. “These people (politicians) allegedly accused soldiers of snatching ballot boxes, illegal escort of some politicians and arrest and detention of voters during the elections which is totally untrue. “Members of the public should consider these weighty accusations that present soldiers in a negative manner as mere farce to garner public sympathy,” he said. Abdulkarim said that soldiers only provided security at the outer perimeters of designated collation centres and polling booths without getting directly involved with the elections. He also said that soldiers only took positions at checkpoints and flash points to avert possible attacks by hoodlums to disrupt the elections.

Credits: Armed Forces Radio


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