Showing posts with label Features. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Features. Show all posts

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

NEWS:Akeredolu laments rising cases of kidnapping

Rotimi Akeredolu


Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Wednesday decried the rising cases of kidnapping across the country, urging security agencies to address this.

Akeredolu spoke in Akure when the General Officer Commanding, 2 Division, Nigerian Army, Ibadan, Maj.- Gen. Chukwunedum Abraham, paid him a courtesy call.

According to the governor, kidnapping remains one of the greatest problems confronting Ondo State and other parts of the country.

“There is insecurity in Nigeria and total breakdown of law and order. People are being kidnapped here and there, causing panic.

“It is getting alarming and I am not too sure it’s something within the powers of the police.

“ It’s totally out of their hands and if we don’t get the military to assist, then we will all be at the mercy of kidnappers.

“This is an opportunity to re-emphasise this key issue as an area of concern to us all, an area we believe you have to deploy more men to give us security in the state,” he said.

Akeredolu further suggested an increase in the regularity of changing military posts in the state as a solution to the problem.

“ We cannot just allow these hoodlums to operate at will. We want more effective military roadblocks,” he said.

Responding, the GOC commended Akeredolu for the assistance to the army in the state.

“We are here for the Warrant Officer and Sergeant competition.

“ We chose 32 Brigade, Akure, as host, to use the opportunity to visit the governor personally and appreciate him for his show of love to us,” he said

He said the competition was to train the warrant officers and sergeants on weapon handling, map reading, physical fitness and also to create an atmosphere for espirit-de-corps among officers in the division.

Abraham said the GOC of 2 Division, comprising Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti, Osun, Kwara and Edo, was saddled with the responsibility of protecting Nigerians.





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NEWS:Osinbajo to inaugurate $1.5bn fertilizer plant in Port Harcourt

Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo


Acting President Yemi Osinbajo will on Thursday, inaugurate a new world-class fertilizer plant built by Indorama Eleme Fertilizer and Chemicals Limited in Port Harcourt.

Mr Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Publicity, made the announcement in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday.

According to the presidential aide, the plant with production capacity of 1.5 million metric tons of Urea fertilizer is considered the world’s largest single-train Urea plant.

Eleme Petrochemicals Company Ltd, now Indorama Eleme Fertilizer and Chemicals Limited, was privatised in 2006 after the sale of Federal Government’s 75 per cent shares to a core investor through competitive bidding process.

The statement said that the plant, with production capacity of 4,000 metric tons of nitrogenous fertilizer per day, was built with .5 billion dollars.

It said that the construction of the plant would lead to green revolution in the agriculture sector in Nigeria other parts of Africa and beyond, in line with the economic diversification policy of the Buhari administration.

The statement said that besides making fertilizer available to farmers nationwide at affordable cost, the plant will boost crop yield for farmers and help in minimizing food grain deficit in Nigeria.





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NEWS:Troops rescue NNPC kidnapped Staff, recover corpses

Nigerian Army spokesman Brigadier-General Sani Usman


The Army said it had rescued all the NNPC staff kidnapped by suspected Boko Haram terrorists in Borno on Tuesday.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, who disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday, also said that the corpses of an officer, eight soldiers and a civilian, who died in the incident had been recovered.

Usman said the corpses had been evacuated to 7 Division Medical Services and Hospital.

“Suspected Boko Haram terrorists ambushed the escort and team of Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) staff returning from oil exploration at Barno Yasu, Magumeri Local Government Area of Borno on Tuesday.

“On receipt of the information, the Brigade mobilised and sent reinforcement, search and rescue party that included the Armed Forces Special Forces and guides that worked and pursued the terrorists throughout the night.

“So far, they have rescued all the NNPC staff and recovered the corpses of the Officer, 8 soldiers and a civilian who have been evacuated to 7 Division Medical Services and Hospital.

“The team recovered 4 vehicles one of which include a gun truck mounted with an Anti-Aircraft Gun,two white Hilux taken away from NNPC staff and one blue Hilux belonging to CJTF.

“The team also recovered large quantities of arms and ammunition, several spare tyres, many jerry cans containing Petroleum, Oil and Lubricant, assorted drugs, Improvised Explosive Device (IED) making materials, reflective jackets and a Motorola handheld radio, among others.

“The team also neutralised many of the terrorists,” the army spokesman said.

According to him, the troops are not relenting in the pursuit, search and rescue effort.

A source told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that suspected Boko Haram insurgents attacked a convoy of oil workers at a village along Gubio and Magumeri local government areas on Tuesday.

It said the attackers ambushed the oil workers, who were staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), who were traveling in a convoy of about 10 vehicles.

It said the oil workers were engaged in oil exploration in the Lake Chad Basin.

According to the source, some staff of the University of Maiduguri were also part of the team.

It added that nine soldiers and some members of a Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), who were also part of the team, were killed during the attack.





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NEWS:NCC says intervening in Etisalat issue to attract $2bn from UAE

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says resolving the Etisalat debt issue is an incentive to attract the two billion dollars Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) expected from Mubadala of United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC said this in a statement by Mr Tony Ojobo, the Director, Public Affairs of the commission in Abuja on Wednesday.

The EVC was speaking when he received, Mr Boye Olusanya, the Chief Executive and the Vice-President, Regulatory Affairs, Mr Ibrahim Dikko of 9Mobile in his office in Abuja.

“Resolving the issue was partly to forestall any form of disincentive to the FDI from UAE hanging,’’ he said.

He said that if the company had gone under, this would have created a social problem, especially with the job of over 2,000 Nigerians on the line.

“About 20 million subscribers would have been affected if we did not intervene in the matter with a view to finding an amicable resolution,” he said.

Danbatta said that the situation was capable of creating security challenges for the country.

He said that it took the interest of investors, subscribers and employees of Etisalat, now 9Mobile into consideration before intervening in its crisis.

“We consider the interest of stakeholders of Etisalat (now 9Mobile) before we resolved to align with the CBN to resolve the issue along with the consortium of 13 banks.

Danbatta said that NCC collaborated with CBN to avert a looming economic disaster.

“We therefore want to see a viable and thriving 9Mobile and we want to cooperate with you so that things can move seamlessly and be successful.”

Danbatta assured the 9mobile team of the commission’s cooperation to grow its network.

Earlier, the Chief Executive of 9Mobile, Olusanya, thanked the EVC and the NCC management for the cooperation that led to a seamless change.

He asked for concessions, especially in the area of spectrum assignment, revisit of data floor price, review of interconnect rates to asymmetric platform, concessional foreign exchange access.

“National roaming and others in order for 9Mobile to shore up its revenue and meet its financial obligations accordingly,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Etisalat Nigeria Ltd., Nigeria’s fourth largest telecommunication firm, had been facing some financial crisis since Mubadala Development Company of UAE, the company’s largest shareholder pulled out its investment from the country.

Mubadala, an Abu Dhabi government-owned investment and development company, controls about 70 per cent of the shares in Etisalat along with Etisalat UAE mobile.

The Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services (EMTS), promoted by Hakeem Bello-Osagie, owns the remaining 30 per cent.





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NEWS:National petroleum policy will increase investments in oil, gas sector – Kachikwu

The Minister of State for Pretroleum Resources Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu PHOTO: TWITTER/NNPC

The Ministry of Petroleum Resources says the new National Petroleum Policy will ultimately remove barriers affecting investment and development of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.
A statement in Abuja on Wednesday by the Director of Press in the ministry, Mr Idang Alibi, said that the policy articulated the vision of the Federal Government for improving the petroleum sector.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had on July 19, approved the policy.
The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, had explained that the 100-page document was very comprehensive on all aspects of the oil industry.
Kachikwu had also reiterated that the ministry was pushing for a refining processing environment to move away from exporting to refining petroleum products, given the volatility in crude oil price regime.

Alibi said that the set goals and strategies inherent in the new policy would promote a level-playing field between state owned-enterprises and the private operators in the sector.
“The policy defines the strategy of the Federal Government on Nigeria’s oil resources.
“It establishes the medium to long-term targets for oil reserves growth, utilisation and strategies to be pursued to ensure the successful implementation of the policy in accordance with Nigeria’s national socio-economic development priorities.”

He said that the policy also proposed for a fundamental reforms to improve the operational efficiency and performance of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
He said that the document proposed the long-needed overhaul and modernisation of the existing petroleum industry legislation.

According to him, the policy will be reviewed and updated periodically to ensure consistency in government policy objectives at all times.

He listed the main components of the policy to include governance, comprising legal and regulatory framework; industry structure, with proposal for establishment of a new National Oil Company of Nigeria (NOCN) and restructuring of NNPC into autonomous business units.

Other components of the policy included strategies to develop resources in the upstream sub-sector, development of the midstream operations, and downstream subsectors of the industry.
He said the policy also proposed measures to develop the national human resources, the sector with emphasis on local content and export skills development.

“The policy also highlights internal and external communications strategies and roadmap for its implementation,” he said.





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SPORT: Lemar Is Not For Sale! Monaco Tells Arsenal


Monaco vice-president, Vadim Vasilyev, has told Arsenal that midfielder Thomas Lemar is not for sale.


The Gunners have been chasing the player all summer, but the Ligue 1 champions have made it clear he will not leave before the end of the summer transfer window.

“I will address speculation relating to the case of Thomas Lemar. He is staying with us,” Vasilyev said.

“He is an immense talent and is essential for the team.

“We have kept all of the key players that we intended to keep.”

Vasilyev also addressed speculation regarding the future of Fabinho, who had been linked with Manchester United earlier in the transfer window.

“Fabinho stays, he is an essential player in the midfield,” he said.





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NEWS:NAPTIP rescues 4,724 victims of human trafficking in 4 years

PHOTO:AFP

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Person (NAPTIP) said it had rescued 4,724 victims of human trafficking from 2013 to June 2017.

Mrs Rosemary Okoro, an Assistant Director, Research and Planning Department of the agency, disclosed this at the 22nd National Stakeholders Consultative Forum on Wednesday in Abuja.

Okoro explained that the victims comprised 1,549 males and 3,175 females, adding that they were rehabilitated at the agency’s various shelters across the country.

She said that Edo had the highest figure of trafficked persons with 923, followed by Delta, 395 and Kano State, 328.

The official also listed Sokoto State as having a high number of trafficked persons with 239 while the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) recorded the lowest with four victims within the period under review.

The assistant director further disclosed that the agency received 2,648 cases of human trafficking and investigated 1,108 cases within the period under review.

She said 161 suspected traffickers were prosecuted and convicted in various courts of law across the country.

Okoro said that Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, foreign police and NGOs were among organisations that helped in the rescue of victims.

The NAPTIP official said that some Nigerian embassies in foreign countries also contributed immensely to the rescue of victims who had been trafficked and exploited by their traffickers.





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METRO: Jealous husband slits wife, own throats (PHOTO)

A resident of Makata, Nakisunga Sub-county, Mukono District Ugandan, identified as Musa kisakye has attacked his wife, Mrs Olivia Nangonzi after she informed him that her parents have enrolled her for a nursing course in the United States.
Kisakye allegedly attacked his wife with a knife and left a deep cut on her neck.
According to the police District commander, Mr Rogers Seguya, after committing the crime, Kisakye who thought he had accomplished his mission, used the same knife to slice his neck.
The mother of one said “He thought he had killed me. Actually I was too weak and I could not scream. That was when he also cut his neck.”
She said, “I was preparing to set off to America this very week. Unfortunately, my husband wanted to kill me, claiming that he wanted me to stay at home without upgrading my skills.”

Mr Seguya has said that if Kisakye recovers, he will be charged with attempted murder.




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METRO: Police arrests Cross River monarch over alleged cult activities

A team of the State Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force from Force Headquarters, Abuja, have arrested the Paramount Ruler of Yakurr local government area and the Obol Lopon of Ugep, Obol Ofem Ubana.

It was gathered that SARS team stormed the palace of the Obol Lopon on Tuesday at about 12 noon and arrested Obol Ofem Ubana. This led to a temporary face-off between the youths and the Policemen who had attempted to stop the arrest.
The suspect was consequently taken to Abuja, but a source from the Police Headquarters, Diamond Hill, Calabar denied that the Monarch was taken to Abuja but was taken to the Police Headquarters Diamond Calabar.
“He is being kept at the Police Headquarters, Diamond Hill Calabar, Cross River State,” the source told DAILY POST in Calabar. The Obol Lopon’s arrest and questioning, our investigations revealed were not unconnected with the recent gangster activities in the community.
It would be recalled that the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on prosecution, Barrister Okoi Obono-Obla had petitioned the Inspector General of Police and other relevant authorities over the killing of his nephew, Jude Iroegbu in a cult war in the area. The suspect who killed Ireoegbu was alleged to have been arrested on Monday in Akwa Ibom state.
One of the youths who pleaded that his name should not be mentioned said that Police came to invite Obol Lopon to Abuja for investigation over the death of Barrister Okoi Obono-Obla’s nephew who died as a Viking cult member.
“Ojor of Ijom ward that shot Obono-Obla’s nephew was arrested yesterday in a bank in Akwa Ibom. So what does he still want from our Obol Lopon? We must not allow them to arrest our Obol Lopon.
“They should have stopped their brother from being a cult member when he was alive. All we need now is peace in our dear Ugep land, our new yam festival is at hand,” he said.
It was be recalled that Ugep started boiling earlier in the year when the Black Axe confraternity accused the Vikings confraternity of killing its member.
The Vikings later claimed to have visited a voodoo priest who said that the Black Axe had killed and hidden the corpse of their member during an initiation but upon reaching the gate of the palace of the Obol Lopon to tell him their findings, they were engaged in a melee with Obol Lopon’s bodyguards whom they accused of been members of the black Axe confraternity.
The melee degenerated into a gangster war which led to the killing of Mr. Jude with Mr. Obla listing the names of suspected gangsters who killed and are accomplices to the murder of his nephew, Mr. Jude.
The Obol’s cabinet were unhappy with Mr. Obla’s activities and asked him to apologise, but he refused. Obol Ofem had earlier in the year declared war on gangstars and said that his leadership will not condone any form of gangstarism.
When DAILY POST contacted the Police Public Relations Officer, Ms Irene Ugbo, she confirmed the arrest of the Paramount Ruler and Obol Lopon of Ugep, Obol Ofem Ubana, explaining that the Monarch was arrested in connection with cult activities in Ugep, in Yakurr local government area of the state.
She said the suspect was still in Calabar as investigations continues, “If any matter is going to Abuja, it must pass through the state headquarters of the Nigeria Police and if there is any need to take it to Abuja we shall look into it in that perspective but for now the suspect is with us.”

Speaking further, she said that the suspect was alleged to have been engineering cult practices in Ugep axis of Yakurr local government area of the state. He was said to have given arms and ammunition to youths to embarked on cult activities. However, she noted that investigations was on going and shortly, he will be charge to court on conclusion of investigations, “but for now, he is with us,” she stated.




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NEWS:EFCC says it recovers N328.9bn from Conoil, Oando, others

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has recovered a total of N328.9 billion from nine major oil marketers in one year.

Spokesman of the commission, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

Uwujaren identified the marketers as Conoil Plc, Total Plc, OVH Energy Plc, Oando Plc, Forte Oil and Gas Plc, Mobil Plc, MRS Oil Plc, and NIPCO Oil Plc. He said the recovery was made by the Kano office of the commission between July 2016 and July 2017.

According to him, the recovery followed a petition against the management of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsidiary, Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC).

He said the petition alleged that N40 billion had been diverted by the major oil marketers in connivance with the leadership of the NNPC and PPMC.

“The EFCC, in a swift reaction, referred the petition to a special task force which swung into action by conducting a discrete investigation.

“Findings by the operatives of the EFCC revealed that the oil marketers were actually indebted to the Federal Government of Nigeria to the tune of N91.5 billion between 2010 and 2016.

“Further investigation into the allegation also revealed that the oil marketers had continued to obtain petroleum products from the government without proper payment, in violation of the NNPC/PPMC credit facility regulations.

“A probe of which further led to the discovery of N258.9 billion.’’

Uwujaren explained that the total amount of debt stood at N349.8 billion following the latter discovery.

He further said that upon conclusion of the preliminary investigation, officials of NNPC/PPMC and all the managing directors of the companies concerned were invited to the Kano zonal office of the commission.

There, he added, their statements were recorded following which the recovery process began.

“So far, a sum of N328.9 billion has been recovered from the major oil marketers. The outstanding debt now stands at N20.7 billion,’’ he said.





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SPORT: Ross Barkley certain to leave Everton, says Koeman

PHOTO:AFP

Everton manager Ronald Koeman sparked a transfer chase for Ross Barkley on Wednesday by revealing he is "100 percent" certain the England midfielder will leave Goodison Park.

Barkley is in the final year of his Everton contract and last season he was told by Koeman he would be sold if he didn't sign the Premier League club's offer of a lucrative new deal.

Koeman claims Barkley has made it clear he wants to leave and the Dutch coach expects the 23-year-old to eventually get his wish, with Arsenal and Tottenham both keen on signing the Everton youth team product.

Asked if he was 100 percent sure, Barkley would go, Koeman told reporters: "Yeah. Ross told me at the end of the season he wanted another challenge.

"His personal situation is really not so difficult: we made a good offer to him to sign a new contract, he declined that contract and told me that he is looking for a new challenge.

"It is his decision, I need to respect that and then we will see what happens but what I heard from the board is there is not really an offer on the table for Ross.

"My priority is not Ross, with respect, it is his decision. I look more to other players. I knew this at the end of the season.

"Everyone knows what the situation is and that's enough, I don't talk any more about this."

Barkley is currently injured, having had surgery on a minor groin problem, and will be out for up to four weeks.

Koeman has already brought in Davy Klaassen from Ajax to replace Barkley and is eyeing a move for Swansea playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson.

But when Barkley returns to fitness, Koeman has no plans to remove him from the squad until a transfer is sealed.

"He had his groin surgery last week and normally it takes three to four weeks before he is back," Koeman said.

"He has one more year of contract and we work with respect for people and if he is back after his surgery, after the injury, and back for training he will be part of first team sessions."





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METRO: Man impregnates 11-year-old girl, says she probably raped him while he slept


A man accused of raping and getting an 11-year-old girl pregnant claims she may have sexually assaulted him by having sex with him when he was asleep.


Justin Armstrong is accused of abusing the girl for 18 months before she eventually confided in one of her mother’s friends.

The 38-year-old man was arrested Friday, two weeks after tests showed the youngster was four months pregnant.

Prosecutors at Springfield District Court said Armstrong repeatedly told the victim he would be arrested if she told anyone, but she finally broke down and told of the alleged abuse.

The pregnancy was aborted five days later and a DNA examination was carried out on the foetal tissue, but testing has not been completed.

Defense lawyer, Anna-Marie Puryear, said the case hinges on the outcome of the DNA test results.

When the defendant was told the youngster was pregnant, he claimed she may have ‘raped’ him while he slept, Assistant District Attorney Jill O’Connor said.

Armstrong, of Springfield, Massachusetts, USA, denied having sex with the girl and told police she claimed a younger relative had been sexually abusing her for years, according to the Republican newspaper.

The defedndant has voluntarily submitted a DNA sample and is cooperating with police, his lawyer, Anna-Marie Puryear, told the court.

Judge Robert Murphy set bail at $50,000.

Armstrong is due to appear in court again on August 24.




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SPORT: No Mbappe deal with Real Madrid - Monaco


Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev has denied suggestions a deal has been agreed with Real Madrid or any side for Kylian Mbappe.


The 18-year-old striker is in hot demand following his stunning breakthrough season in France.

Arsenal, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain have all been linked with Mbappe.

But Madrid has appeared his most likely destination should he leave Monaco this summer.

Bernardo Silva and Tiemoue Bakayoko have already left for City and Chelsea respectively, and Benjamin Mendy has also departed for the Etihad.

However, Monaco are holding firm on their other stars.

Reports in Spain this week claimed Madrid had agreed a £161million deal for Mbappe.

And Pep Guardiola has refused to rule out City's interest in signing the teenager.

But Vasilyev says contract talks are now underway as they look to tie down Mbappe and stave off interest.

"I will answer only one question," Vasilyev said.

"I read stuff in the press. I assure you that today we have no agreement with Real Madrid or any other club.

"We remain on the same objective.

"We are discussing an extension, which must be in the economic model of our club. I hope we can get there.

"This is an important decision, especially for Kylian. Do not rush. If he does not prolong, must he go? No.

"He is a player that everyone wants, but if he stays next season, everyone will still be interested. There is no link."




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NEWS:NCC says active lines in June is 142. 6m

The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) says the number of active lines have decreased from about 144.9 million in May to 142. 6 million in June.

This is made this known in NCC’s monthly Subscriber/Operator Data made available on its Website.

NCC said that the figure showed a decrease by 2.289 million subscribers in June.

The Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) had 217,566 users in June same with the result in May.

NCC report said that the Fixed Wire Less for June was 142,316 and 142,496, also recording a decrease of 180.

According to the report, Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) for June was 49,870, while in May it was 46,348 recording an increase of 3,522.

Teledensity for May was 102.19 and June 103.82 recording a decrease in teledensity .

Teledensity is the number of telephone connections for every hundred individuals living within an area. It varies widely across the nations.

NCC said that the number of connected lines in June was 236.8 million and for June it was 238. 7 million, showing a decrease of 1. 8 million.

The Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) had 3.5 million in June same with the result May

The number of fixed wire/wireless for June was 342,011as against 341,574 in May recording an increase of 437.

According to NCC, Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) for June was 177,406 while that of May was 164,861 with an increase 1,254.5.





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NEWS:EFCC seals multi-billion naira Enugu Mall

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday sealed the multi-billion naira Enugu Mall occupied by SPAR, a multinational retail outlet.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that EFCC officers stormed the building in the early hours of the day and dispersed all the workers.

Mr Chris Oluka, the Head of Public Affairs of EFCC, confirmed the incident, saying that the managers of the building flouted the directive of EFCC on the construction of the building.

Oluka said that the officers from Abuja raided the mall and dispersed workers who were recently recruited preparatory to official opening of business on Friday.

“Yes, our men went there to disperse them because they flouted our instructions.

“We had sealed the premises and wrote ‘under EFCC investigation’, but they covered the write-up with paint,” he said.

It would be recalled that the commission had earlier in the year sealed the mall, located beside the Enugu State House of Assembly, by writing the inscription ‘Under EFCC Investigation’.

However, construction work continued at the site.

Mr Johnson Babalola, the Zonal Head of Operations in EFCC South East, had during an earlier interaction with newsmen, said it was not against any known law for the owners to go ahead with construction work.

Babalola said that since the property was not yet under permanent forfeiture to the government, “construction work can still go on while investigations continue”.

On the new development, Oluka, however, said that allowing the business to operate in the building could jeopardise investigations.

“I do not have much to say about this because the officers that dispersed the workers this morning came from Abuja,” Oluka said.

On the invitation of the managee of the mall to the zonal office of the commission after the workers were dispersed, Oluka said it should not be misconstrued as an arrest.

“They were invited to come and explain why they did what we told them not to do,” Oluka said.

Some workers at the mall, however, expressed displeasure over the incident, describing it as anti-labour.

Some of the newly recruited workers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they were worried because EFCC officials swooped on the mall just two days to the official opening.

One of the workers said: “we are surprised this can happen at a time the government is preaching job creation.

“Over 250 of us were employed by this company and we are not certain what will happen next.

“We are appealing to the authorities concerned to look into it urgently and save us from continued hardship.”

Efforts to reach the managers failed as they were all at the EFCC office for interrogation as at the time of this report.





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SPORT: Five reasons why Barcelona must not let go of Neymar

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JULY 22: Mario Lemina #18 and Stefano Sturaro #27 of Juventus stop Neymar #11 of Barcelona as he tries to score in the first half during the International Champions Cup 2017 on July 22, 2017, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.PHOTO: AFP/ELSA / GETTY IMAGES

This has been one crazy transfer window and we’re not even half way through it. English clubs have been going all out in the market and splashing the cash, reminding everyone out there that they have the most lucrative league in the world. However, one potential transfer that has got everyone’s attention has been the dance between Barcelona, PSG and Neymar. The French club are making an audacious attempt to prise the Brazilian away from Barcelona and the story is getting a lot of traction. I’m going to list out five reasons why Barcelona cannot afford to lose Neymar.

Global superstar
Football has been dominated by two players for the last decade: Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi. These players have been at the pinnacle of world football for the last ten years sharing the Ballon d'or between themselves in that period. Neymar is the most legitimate heir apparent to those two and he might even break their dominance and snag the title of the best player in the world in the nearest future. Barcelona will not want to let go of a player that will become their most prized asset in a couple of years and who is already a global superstar. The Blaugrana pride themselves as a prestigious entity, more than a club, as they love to say and they have always possessed the one of the top two players in the world in their ranks at any given time, the likes of Johan Cryuff, Diego Maradona, Romario, Luis Figo, Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Leo Messi currently, have kept that tradition going. Neymar is the one to continue that tradition.

Pivotal pitch figure
The Brazilian has to be made the pivotal figure at the club on the pitch and commercially. I'm not opining that he has to become the go-to player on the pitch or that Messi should be ignored to allow him shine, I’m simply saying that the dependence on the mercurial Argentine should be lessened and that responsibility should be shared by both players. We saw an example of that in last season's amazing 6-1 victory over PSG in the UCL, where Neymar showed that he was ready to take on that responsibility. He basically took over the game and dragged Barcelona over the line that night in a three-minute spell that will forever be memorable to football fans everywhere. His superbly struck free-kick at the beginning of stoppage time put his team back into contention and he followed that up with an exquisite and accurately chipped back pass, into the penalty area, to set up Sergi Roberto’s winner in the last few seconds. He showed calmness under pressure, not letting the moment get to him, despite the frenetic nature of the game at that point. Barca cannot afford to lose such a player, who's beginning to grow into his own.

Marketability
It can be argued that if he had been at any other club than Barca or Madrid, he would have been their best player and by far their most marketable attraction. Just take a minute, close your eyes and imagine him in the red of Manchester United, do you now understand what I’m talking about? Sponsors will go absolutely wild given the size of the market in Brazil and South America. This is one major attraction why PSG are ready to splash the cash to get him. Neymar is one of football’s biggest stars and it would be a huge coup for the French team that has seen their ambitious project to be one of the top five clubs on the continent lose some sort of steam over the past 12 months with the exit of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, if they get him. Acquiring Neymar will give them a massive boost on and off the pitch and boost his chances of winning the Ballon d’Or as the team will be built around him in Paris. Barca are currently third on the rich list behind Real Madrid and Manchester United and losing Neymar might see them slide further down the Forbes list and affect their finances.

Age
Neymar seems like he's been around forever and it makes us forget the fact that he's just 25 years old and approaching his prime. Barca cannot afford to lose him at this point of his career. It is scary to say that his best years are still ahead of him and that he has a whole lot of brilliant football in front of him. We have seen how he shouldered the responsibility and pressure at the Olympic games in Rio 2016, leading the Brazilian team to their first ever title at the games after the disappointment of the World Cup they hosted two years earlier (it could be argued that his pre-mature exit from that tournament with an injury contributed to Brazil's ouster in that tournament). He has shown that he is comfortable of leading a team and taking up responsibilities at this age, which will only make him grow into a better player as he matures fully and hits his prime.

Vulnerability
There is no sugar coating it, if Barcelona lose Neymar, it will show a vulnerability that could be exploited by other big teams. Rarely have we seen one of the top five teams on the continent being bullied into losing one of its most prized assets solely based on the financial power of the buying club and that is what we will be witnessing if PSG pull off this transfer. It's a different case if the player is bent on leaving and demands to be let go (even at that, Spurs' Daniel Levy will hardly budge), but when the pressure comes from the financial muscle of the buying club, then it calls for concern if a club of Barca's stature are brow beaten into selling. The Brazilian’s buy-out clause is £197 million fee and if Barcelona do not agree to a deal equivalent to that amount, PSG will pay no tax on the buy-out clause. It is also unlikely that Barca Los can offer Neymar yet another new deal with an increased salary to match that on offer in France after just giving him a contract extension at the beginning of last season. The only thing Los Cules can do is to try and persuade him to stay.





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SPORT: Djokovic out for season with elbow injury

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic delivers a press conference in Belgrade on July 26, 2017. Twelve-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic will miss the rest of the season with an elbow injury, he announced on July 26. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC

Twelve-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic will miss the rest of the season with an elbow injury, he announced on Wednesday.

The Serbian was forced to retire from his Wimbledon quarter-final against Tomas Berdych earlier this month because of the problem, and will now sit out of next month's US Open.

In a live Facebook video post from Belgrade, the former world number one said that after suffering from the injury for a year-and-a-half, "I have made a decision to not play any competition, any tournaments" for the rest of 2017.

"Unfortunately this is the decision that had to be made at this moment. Wimbledon was probably the toughest tournament for me in terms of feeling the pain that has escalated," he said.

Between mid-January 2015 and June 2016, Djokovic won 17 of his 22 finals played in 24 tournaments. It seemed nothing could interrupt his dominance of world tennis.

But since winning the French Open last year to complete his Career Grand Slam, he has failed to claim another major title.

He crashed out of the Australian Open in the second round and the French Open in the quarter-finals.





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NEWS:Osinbajo swears in Ocheni, Hassan as ministers

Acting president Yemi Osinbajo swearing in the two new ministers

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday in Abuja swore-in two new ministers, Stephen Ocheni from Kogi state and Suleiman Hassan from Gombe state as members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

Speaking at the event, Osinbajo challenged the new ministers to actively participate in the task of turning around the nation’s economy and making life better for all Nigerians.

He stated that the Federal Executive Council was committed to implementing its far-reaching reform programmes as contained in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan and other such documents.

“We have focused our intention on key areas of that economic reform programme and those key areas have become really what we believed need to be done to make a difference in the Nigerian economy and in the life and livelihoods of Nigerians

“So, we expect that our new ministers will also join in this Herculean task of turning around the Nigerian economy and making life better for the citizens of this country.

“You know aside from economy we have two major areas which of course as you know were highlighted by the president during the course of the campaign and after and have become the centrepieces of our administration’s programmes.

“Security and anti-corruption being the other two aside from the economy and we expect of course members of the Executive Council to focus on these key areas as well,’’ he said.

The acting president noted that the administration had recorded appreciable progress in the area of security in spite of minor security challenges in some parts of the country.

He, however, assured that the security challenges were being tackled “on a day-by-day basis’’.

Osinbajo also enjoined the new ministers to join the anti-corruption crusade.

“And also our conducts should be exemplary so that we are able to show by practice not just by words that we are determined to ensure that this country is where there is good governance and where there is honesty and integrity in service to the people.’’

It would be recalled that Ocheni and Hassan were confirmed by the Senate in May.

Ocheni replaces the late Minister of State for Labour, Mr James Ocholi, who died in a ghastly auto-crash along Kaduna-Abuja highway in 2016, while Hassan takes the place of Amina Mohammed.

Mohammed resigned as Minister of Environment to take up the job of Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.





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SPORT: Thomas Lemar vs Ivan Perisic: Who is the better winger?

AS Monaco's Thomas Lemar and Internazionale Milan's Ivan Perisic are two players being courted by English Premier League clubs. Rumours have it that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is ready to shell out cool £50 million for 21-year old Lemar and Inter have also come to terms to losing their impressive winger to resurgent Manchester United.

While these two players were outstanding for their respective clubs last season, we take a look at who is better and what they will add to the big English clubs willing to secure their services. And as usual, we present the relevant stats.

Thomas Lemar, 21 | Wanted by Arsenal

Monaco's French midfielder Thomas Lemar celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match Monaco (ASM) vs Lorient (FCL) on September 20, 2015 at the Louis II Stadium in Monaco. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE

Robert Pires on Lemar
"He is a young player with good technique, a good left foot, he can do a good cross and score good goals.
“For me, he has a very good profile to play for Arsenal."

Chris Wheatly of Goal on the winger.
Arsenal’s interest in Lemar has been sparked for a number of reasons. His astute technical ability has caught the eye of various club scouts and 14 assists in all competitions last season provides a clear demonstration of just how successfully he links up with his team-mates.
However, a willingness to improve is usually an indicator of how far a player can go at the highest level and it is Lemar’s character which has drawn Wenger to the player.

Ivan Perisic, 28 | Wanted by Manchester United

Ivan Perisic PHOTO: MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images

Former Manchester United coach, Rene Meulensteen on Perisic
 “Perisic has good experience and pace and could come in and create things. Meulensteen told 888Sport.
“He is comfortable on the ball, can beat a man and has a fantastic pass.“It’s important that United have a man who can open up defences with one pass and he has that.“He can offer them another level of a goal threat.”

Davor Sucker on Perisic:
Perisic is incredible; he has strength, talent and a knack of scoring. In modern football, players who can make the difference are extremely valuable. He confronts the opponent one-on-one, then beats him. He's got technical quality that gives a tremendous advantage to his team. Perisic can dribble past three players in one motion.

                       



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SPORT: Ancelotti says decision on Sanches after pre-season

Bayern Munich's midfielder Renato Sanches reacts as he misses a goal during the penalty shootout during the International Champions Cup football match between Bayern Munich and Arsenal in Shanghai July 19, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Johannes EISELE

Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti said Wednesday he would not be rushed into a decision about Renato Sanches's future and they would sit down together after the pre-season.

It came after the Portuguese midfielder reportedly conceded Tuesday he was unhappy at Bayern and expressed an interest in AC Milan.

The 19-year-old, who has had a poor first season at the German champions, told German media that he was not satisfied as he was not playing enough at Bayern.

Both AC Milan and Manchester United have been rumoured to be chasing him.

Speaking in Singapore where Bayern have been playing a series of pre-season games, Ancelotti said that "Renato is with us.

"We said that after the pre-season together, we can make a decision. Yesterday Renato played very well and I hope he can continue to improve."

Bayern beat Chelsea 3-2 in a competitive pre-season match in the city-state Tuesday. The Bundesliga season begins on August 18.

Ancelotti admitted earlier this week that there was a "possibility" that Sanches could leave his side.

AC Milan have been heavily investing in new players following the sale of the club by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to a Chinese consortium in April.





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