News Highlights

News Today; Supreme Court Confirms Joshua Dariye’s Conviction, Daredevil Gunmen Kidnap Female Students From Kaduna College Of Forestry

Breaking : – Supreme Court Confirms Joshua Dariye’s Conviction And Jail Sentence

Locked down – Dariye fails to get conviction upturned

Any hopes of former governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye, getting reprieve from the courts on his jail sentence for corruption has hit the rocks following this Friday morning verdict.

Attempts by former Plateau State governor and senator, Joshua Dariye (1999-2007) to appeal his conviction and 10-year jail sentence at the Supreme Court has failed.

Reading the court’s judgment, Justice Helen Ogunwumiju, confirmed Dariye’s conviction on the charges of criminal breach of trust which attracts a 10-year jail term. Hopes of using his privileged position as a former governor and senator has fallen flat (rightfully so) on its face.

The court, however, dismissed the charges bordering on misappropriation of funds which attracts a two-year jail term.

Dariye’s troubles began in 2007 when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged him to court for diverting N1.126 billion from Plateau State’s ecological fund. He’s fought tooth and nail to avoid prosecution and the case spent a decade in court.

In spite of the corruption charges hanging over his head, in April 2011, Dariye was elected Senator for Plateau Central Senatorial District on the Labour Party platform. He was reelected in March 2015. If he was doing all this to secure an iron-clad protection from prosecution, the EFFC was very determined to see Dariye’s case to a logical end.

The long-drawn out legal battle over his prosecution came to a logical end in June 2018 when Dariye was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment by a High Court in Gudu FCT Abuja. He was found guilty on 15 out the 23 counts preferred against him by the EFCC.

The law has rightfully prevailed and it feels good seeing the convicted powerful spending time behind bars for their crimes. Let the rich also cry if they’re found guilty of their crimes. Hope it serves as a lesson to the rest across the length and breadth of Nigeria.

(Image Credit – vanguard.ng)

Daredevil Gunmen Kidnap Female Students From Kaduna College Of Forestry

Concerned parents and guardians at Federal College of Forestry after bandit attack

Armed bandits have struck at a Kaduna school on Thursday night in obvious defiance of government’s threat not to dialogue with criminals.

Daredevil gunmen have kidnapped an unconfirmed number of female students when they attacked the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization in Mando, Kaduna on Thursday night.

According to information reaching the press on Friday morning, the gunmen announced their deadly arrival at the school with several gunshots into the air around 11pm.

Gunshot drills aren’t particularly strange to the Federal College of Forestry and Agric Mechanization, Mando, because it is said to close to the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA).

But when the shots got too close to comfort, the jittery students of the school reportedly scampered in different directions. The bandits capitalized on the ensuing commotion and began taking only female students into the recesses of the dark night.

An unconfirmed number of female students of the college have gone missing, while concerned parents and guardians beseiged the school gate, trying to pick up their wards.

Kaduna State Commissioner of Internal Security, Samuel Aruwan and the Kaduna Police Spokesperson, Mohammed Jalige confirmed the shocking kidnapping at the college.

The remaining students of the embattled college have been reportedly moved to 1 Division Garrison Command of the Nigerian Army in Ribadu Cantonment, for security reasons. The Kaduna state government has reportedly called for calm while the officials conduct a head count and ascertain the number of students missing in the attack.

That this attack came off the back of Federal Government’s statement about tackling banditry head-on, instead of using dialogue, looks like a challenge from the brazen bandits to the government.

Kaduna State has been besieged by banditry more than most states in Nigeria in recent months. One is hoping for the security forces to restore peace to the state, and Nigeria generally, as soon as possible.

(Image Credit – dailytrust.com)

Akwa United Team Bus Involved In Accident Along Enugu Expressway To Honour Away Fixture

The Akwa United team bus involved in head-on collision on Friday morning

Fans of Akwa United Football Club should be thankful for the lives of their favourite football stars who just survived a ghastly accident on Friday morning.

According to news filtering in on social media, Akwa United Football Club team bus was involved in a crash on their way to honouring their Matchday 15 away fixture against Jigawa United in Kaduna.

The accident which reportedly took place along the Enugu-Mile Expressway recorded some injuries to players and club officials but thankfully with no fatalities.

The team bus (with “Super Eagles” emblazoned in front of it) ran into what looked like a multiple vehicle crash involving a petrol tanker and another heavy-duty vehicle. The front of the football club’s bus, particular the driver’s side, was smashed, with the windscreen totally fallen off in the head-on collision with the other vehicles.

A tweet from the club’s Twitter handle, @akwaunited_fc, says ;

“We have been involved in an accident along Ezionye Express road in Enugu on our way to Kaduna for our NPFL Match-day 15 game against Jigawa Golden Stars. Players and officials have sustained injuries. One player and two officials have been taken to the hospital…”

There was no confirmation if the team could continue the journey to play the away fixture scheduled for 4pm on Sunday 14th March, 2021.

NPFL teams are increasingly becoming involved in vehicular accidents while traveling to honour their away games this season. Adawama United had their driver kidnapped 2 weeks ago on their way to Lagos while another football team bus was robbed last week.

It is hoped the footall authorities would look into better ways to making it easier and safer for our football clubs.

(Image Credit – twitter@akwaunited_fc)

NNPC Denies Fuel Price Hike As PPPRA Deletes Template Behind Rumoured Increase

The rumours of fuel price hike which took over social media earlier on Friday has been denied by the custodians of Nigeria’s petroleum products, the NNPC.

No price hike – says NNPC

Panic buying and fuel queues made a brief return to Filling Stations across the nation on Friday following a Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) template which stated new price of petrol has reached N212.6 per litre.

The PPPRA pricing template, which was released on midnight on Friday, had stated petrol was expected to sell between N209.61 and N212.61 per liter. The template further stated the ex-depot price of petrol as N206.42, while the landing cost was N189.61.

By morning, some fuel marketers had shut down their petrol pumps in anticipation of an official confirmation, sparking panic buying and return of fuel queues across several Nigerian cities. The situation was further escalated by the press, with most newspapers running to town with screaming headlines, announcing the PPPRA had increased petrol prices to N212.61 per liter.

The price hike rumour was so rampant it was trending on social media (#FuelPriceHike), further fueling speculations that the government had reneged on its promise not to increase prices in the month of March.

However, by noon, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) stepped into the combustible situation and doused the fuel price increment rumour, saying there was no arbitrary increase in petrol prices in the pipeline for March 2021. The NNPC tweeted from its official Twitter handle (@NNPCgroup),

“#NNPC Insists No Increase in Ex-Depot Price of PMS in March”

Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the Corporation, Dr Kennie Obateru, confirmed the corporation’s stand to the press in Abuja, saying,

“NNPC stands by that statement that we issued on March 1 that we are not increasing the Ex-depot price in the month of March and that is what it is. There is no need for panicking and I can tell you from our own point of view that we will not increase the pump price of petrol and we are still standing by that March 1 decision.”

The PPPRA had deleted the contentious template behind the rumoured fuel price increase from its website by midday.

(Image Credit – google.com)

Developing Story: Nigerian Troops Rescue 180 Kidnapped From Kaduna College of Forestry

Some of the students kidnapped from the Thursday night abduction at the College of Forestry Mechanization in Kaduna State have been rescued by men of the Nigerian troops.

About 180 persons kidnapped in the night-time attack by bandits at the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Igabi local govt area of Kaduna State, have been rescued.

The rescue was carried out by men of the Nigerian Army and Airforce, who gave hot chase to the daring bandits who got into the college by breaking and crawling through a section of the school’s perimeter fence.

Contrary to earlier reports that the bandits took only female students, they kidnapped far more people than earlier anticipated in the deadly nocturnal mission.

The rescue effort was initiated following the distress call from the Kaduna State Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs to the 1 Division Nigerian Army and the Air Training Command of the Nigerian Air Force.

Kaduna State Commissioner, Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, stated that 42 female students, 130 male students and eight staff were rescued by the troops in the swift recovery operation. Some of the kidnapped students were injured and have been received medical attention for their wounds.

The troops are still on the trail of the bandits in efforts to rescue about 30 male and female students yet to be accounted for so far.

(Image Credit – Twitter@InsideKaduna_)

The Weekend Threatens To Boycott The Grammys Following 2021 Nomination Snub

The Weekend left with bloody nosed by the 2021 Grammys Academy

Guess who’s boycotting the music’s biggest awards because he didn’t get any nominations? Starboy…No! Not our Starboy — their own, The Weekend.

“Save Your Tear” crooner, Abel Makkonen Tesfaye aka The Weekend has threatened not to be part of the Grammys anymore following the zero nominations he got for this year’s edition of the awards.

The Canadian Starboy (sorry for whoever doesn’t know Wizkid is the original Starboy in these parts) said he won’t be submitting his music to the Record Academy for consideration because he felt there’s no justification for leaving out his chart-topping album “After Hours”.

It’s not the first time The Weekend will be clashing heads with the Grammys. He once accused the organizers of the awards of being opaque and corrupt in November 2020.

The Canadian joins a long list of superstars who have boycotted the award show like Jay-Z, Kanye West, 50 Cent, Frank Ocean and Tyler The Creator. Hope he won’t get burned if his music starts getting boycotted in return, these powerful people can pull strings and cast long shadows.

The 63rd annual Grammy Awards will be televised on Sunday (March 13) on CBS at 8 p.m. (Eastern Time) in the USA.

(Image Credit – highsnobiety.com)

Africa’s 9th Richest Patrice Motsepe Elected CAF President

Patrice Motsepe to bring breath of fresh air into African football as he’s elected CAF President

African football has a new chief and he’s one of the continent’s most established persons. In fact, he’s Africa’s 9th richest person.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has elected South African mining magnate, Patrice Motsepe, as its president in Rabat, Morroco, on Friday.

The 59-year-old billionaire who cut his professional teeth as a lawyer, is the founder and executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, a company into precious metals like gold, ferrous metals, base metals and platinum. He’s reportedly worth $2.9bn.

The South African businessman also doubles as the owner of 2016 CAF Champions, Mamelodi Sundowns. He was elected unopposed at at the 43rd CAF General Assembly in the sunny Moroccan capital.

Motsepe is replacing the disgraced Malagasy, Ahmad Ahmad, who is serving a two-year FIFA ban for unwholesome financial practices. Ahmad was expected to clear up the mess left behind by erstwhile CAF boss, Isa Hayatou, but ended up funking the place up even more with his own stink.

Augustin Senghor from Senegal, Jacques Anouma of Cote d’Ivoire, and Ahmed Yaya of Mauritania, all withdrew for Motsepe to assume the CAF presidency.

Nigeria’s Football Association boss, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, has been elected into the FIFA council, at the same CAF assembly, after defeating incumbent, Malawi’s Walter Nyamilandu by 43 to 8 votes. The FIFA Council is the highest decision-making organ in world football.

Here’s hoping for brighter days for African Football. It’s been too many years mired in needless controversy and official corruption. There may be light at the end of the tunnel after this election.

(Image Credit – news24.com)

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