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Start Preparing Handover Notes, Ize-Iyamu Tells Obaseki

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The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has advised Governor Godwin Obaseki to stop campaigning, and instead focus on writing his handover notes, saying never again will Edo people elevate a man like Obaseki with all his irremediable flaws to the exalted office of governor of Edo State.

In a statement by the Media Unit of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu Campaign Council yesterday, the APC candidate accused his major opponent of being bereft of any other fresh campaign lines, wondering why Governor Godwin Obaseki has, through his “overwhelmed media aide’’, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, continued to sing the tired lines that his disagreement with Adams Oshiomhole is because he refused to be a ‘’godson’’ to a godfather.

“Unfortunately, Governor Obaseki never tells anyone when this realisation dawned on him. Is it when he went all out to support the election of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as Chairman of the APC in the hotly contested National Convention of June 2018 which saw the emergence of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as APC National Chairman. Or when Oshiomhole refused to use the office to willy nilly impose Obaseki on the APC in Edo State as the candidate of the party in the 2020 governorship election without a contest?’’.

Ize-Iyamu added that Obaseki is frustrated that against better judgments and common sense, he had to jump ship to be with strange bedfellows in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after he was exposed as unfit to secure the nomination ticket of the APC once again, following the monumental revelations of discrepancies in his academic records.

“Governor Obaseki knows that the ticket of the APC which he so desperately desired would have guaranteed him an unearned return to Edo State Government House, Osadebey Drive come Nov. 12, 2020, but for his personal failures and his unforgivable hubris.

“For how can it be that a governor who claims to have served back in 1980 (40 years ago!) under the National Youth Service Scheme is only just now making futile effort to regularize his credentials, including his NYSC Certificate, after being exposed as unfit?

“Or how can one reconcile the strangeness in the fact that a governor cannot still tell us when he graduated from the school he claimed to have attended? One day, he says he graduated in 1976, another in 1979, and as at today, he totally fails to tell us which date’’, the statement added.

The statement also wondered how anybody can possibly not question the integrity of a governor who submits a degree certificate to INEC that’s undated and fundamentally different from the one he previously submitted in 2016 in violation of the electoral laws of the land.

The APC said all of these troubles are sufficient to weigh on the minds of Governor Obaseki for him to resort to desperate language, knowing that the consequence of his irreconcilable records is a resounding defeat come September 19.

The APC added that Obaseki already knows that his ‘’Obubuyaya’’ or the mirage which has defined his “MoU government’’ in the last four years, underscored by his failure to complete any major road project in the Benin metropolis and beyond, or deal with the perennial flood problem in the entire Benin City and environs.

Politics

Breaking: UAE lifts visa ban on Nigerians

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Tinubu and Uae ambassador

In a significant development, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has officially lifted the visa restrictions that were previously imposed on Nigerian travelers. This announcement came from the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, following a Federal Executive Council meeting chaired by President Bola Tinubu.

“I can tell you that the agreement has been reached and effective from today, Nigerian passport holders intending to travel to the UAE are able to do so,” Idris confirmed.

The lifting of these restrictions marks the end of a prolonged diplomatic dispute between the two nations. The UAE initially imposed the visa ban due to several unresolved issues, including financial disputes. Notably, Dubai’s Emirates airline had suspended flight operations to Nigeria over the Central Bank of Nigeria’s inability to remit an estimated $85 million in revenue to the UAE.

In June, after extensive negotiations, the Nigerian government reassured its citizens that the visa ban would soon be lifted. The government also announced that it had paid 98% of the $850 million owed to the UAE, paving the way for this positive outcome.

Further details on the agreement will be provided later today, as mentioned by Minister Idris. This development is expected to strengthen bilateral relations and promote travel and trade between Nigeria and the UAE.

Stay tuned for more updates as the full details of the agreement are released. For now, Nigerian travelers can start planning their trips to the UAE, free from previous travel restrictions.

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Politics

I’m leaving PDP for APC – Gov Umahi of Ebonyi State

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The Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, told the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party in Abuja on Tuesday that he was leaving the party.

He said he would join the ruling All Progressives Congress which he claimed would protect the interest of the South-East in the 2023 elections.

Our correspondent gathered that Umahi told the members of the National Working Committee of the PDP that his decision to join  the APC was irrevocable.

The members of the PDP NWC, who were led to the meeting by its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, were said to have tried in vain to convince the governor not to abandon the party.

Apart from Secondus, among those that were at the meeting at the Ebonyi Governor’s Lodge in Abuja were Deputy National Secretary, Agbo Emmanuel; National Organising Secretary, Austin Akobondu; Financial Secretary, Abdullahi  Maibasira;  National Women Leader, Mariya Waziri  and Senator Sulieman Nazif.

The governor was said to be friendly when he received the PDP delegation, but stuck to his decision to leave the PDP when the issue came up.

It was gathered that the PDP delegation impressed it upon the governor that there was no need leaving the PDP for the APC, which they argued had become unpopular.

Sources at the meeting, however, said the governor was not convinced, insisting that  the APC was planning to zone the 2023 Presidency to the South-East.

He was said to have promised to stay in the PDP if the party could make a pronouncement that it would zone the Presidency to the same zone.

One of the sources said, “I think his (governor’s) mind was made up. We told him there was no need for him to abandon the party that had made him a deputy governor, state chairman of the party, two-time governor and all that. But he refused.

 “He wanted us to unilaterally zone the office of the Presidency to his area. We cannot do that. Parties are not run that way. He told us he was leaving. That is what we got from him.’’

When contacted, Secondus confirmed that the party’s leadership met with Umahi.

 He, however, refused to declared the details of the meeting, insisting that the meeting was on ‘‘national issues.’’

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Crime

We Spent ₦2.2 Billion On Prayers Against Boko Haram – Adariko

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An Economic and Financial Crimes Commission investigating officer, Adariko Michael, on Tuesday, alleged that N2.2 billion was spent on prayers in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia to win the war against Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria.
Mr. Michael was giving evidence as the first prosecution witness (PW1) in the trial of Sambo Dasuki, former National Security Adviser (ONSA) to President Goodluck Jonathan, in the alleged two billion dollars arms deal fraud.

Others charged with Mr. Dasuki, a retired colonel, are a former General Manager with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Aminu Baba-kusa, Acacia Holdings Limited, and Reliance Referral Hospital Limited.

The EFCC charged them with 32 counts bordering on misappropriation, criminal breach of trust, dishonest release and receiving various sums of money before Husseini Baba-Yusuf.

Led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, Mr Micheal said N750 million was allegedly transferred from the ONSA special account to Reliance Referral Hospital Limited’s account with First Bank.

He added that N650 million was also transferred to Acacia Holding Limited’s account with EcoBank, while another N600 million and N200 million were transferred to the company’s account with UBA.

“Between September 27, 2013, and April 16, 2015, N50 million was credited to Reliance Referral Hospital’s account.

“Based on responses from the banks involved, as investigating officer, we found out that money was transferred to several individuals and companies.

“When we went through the account statement, we asked the second defendant (Aminu Babakusa) the reason for this.

“He informed us that the money was used to hire clerics to pray for the nation as regards Boko Haram crisis.

“When we asked him to provide the names, contacts and phone numbers of the clerics he hired to pray for the nation, he mentioned only two,” he said.

Mr Dasuki spent four years in detention, following his arrest in 2015 over alleged misappropriation of N2.2 billion meant for arms purchase during his time as National Security Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan

After the Federal Government had consistently failed to honor court orders granting him bail, including an ECOWAS court judgment in 2016, he was finally released on December 24, 2019

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