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NAIJA NEWSPAPERS: TODAY'S THE PUNCH NEWSPAPER HEADLINES [16 DECEMBER, 2017].


Below are the headlines found on The Punch Online Newspaper for today, Saturday, 16 December, 2017.

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
The Peoples Democratic Party has said it is wrong for President Muhammadu Buhari to say he wants to spend $1bn (N365bn) to fight insurgency when another general election is approaching.

The main opposition party insisted that it would not support the plan while calling on Nigerians to demand its reversal by the government.


 
The National Economic Council, had on Thursday, asked the Federal Government to withdraw $1bn from the $2.3bn currently in the Excess Crude Account and use it to fight insurgency in the North-East.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the council presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The council chaired by the Vice-President has all state governors as members.

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, disclosed the decision of NEC to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.

Obaseki said council members expected that the money would be spent on the purchase of security equipment, procurement of intelligence and logistics, among others.

The spokesperson for the PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, stated this in an interview with one of our correspondents in Abuja on Friday.

“How can you justify that? Do you want to spend N365bn on insurgency you claimed you have defeated? No, that is not acceptable,” Ologbondiyan said.

It will be recalled that the governors under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum had, after their meeting in Abuja on Thursday, said they had given the Federal Government the authority to withdraw the said amount from the Excess Crude Account.


 
Chairman of the forum, who is also the Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, announced the decision of the governors.

But Ologbodiyan insisted that governors elected on the platform of the party were not on the same page with other governors on the issue.

He said the Chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum, who is also the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, had dissociated himself from the NGF’s decision.

Ologbondiyan said, “No, it is wrong to say we are on the same page on this issue. One of our governors had dissociated himself from the governors that took the decision.”

Meanwhile, in a statement he issued later, Ologbondiyan said the PDP was alarmed by the manipulative plot by the All Progressives Congress administration to secure approvals without recourse to due process, and for purposes of fighting the same insurgents, it claimed to have since defeated.
Sat, 16 Dec 2017
A Nigerian Army’s General Court Martial sitting in Maiduguri, Borno State, has sentenced a soldier serving in the Operation Lafiya Dole, Lance Corporal John Godwin, to death and jailed three other soldiers for killing six civilians among other human rights abuses.

Godwin, who was found guilty of killing five rescued civilians in the Yamteke area of Borno State during the time the persons were being transferred for investigation in November 2015, was charged with murder, which is an offence punishable under Section 106 (a) of Armed Forces Acts (Cap A20) in the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.


 
Apart from Godwin, other soldiers standing trial before the General Court Martial bagged jail sentences for various offences, ranging from manslaughter to illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

A soldier,  Sergeant Innocent Ototo, was sentenced to life imprisonment for torturing and killing a 13-year-old boy, Yakubu Isa, whom Ototo alleged to have stolen his phone. The incident happened at Zamanbari area of Maiduguri.

A Lance Corporal, Benjamin Osage, was also charged along with Ototo for committing the same offence and was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, while Private Sunday Awe, who was attached to the 112 Task Force Battalion, Mafa in Borno State, was also sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for unlawful procession of 1, 339 rounds of ammunition.

In his judgement, the President of the Court Martial, Brig.-Gen. Gbenga Adesina, said the offences contravened Nigerian Laws, Geneva Conventions, to which Nigeria is a signatory, and the Nigerian Army’s terms of engagement.

He said Godwin had admitted the killing of the rescued persons and that he used three rounds of ammunition on each of the deceased. He gave the names of the victims as Saleh Bello, Ibrahim Bello, Abba Ali, Abubakar Musa and Isa Garba, all aged between 17 and 22. 
Sat, 16 Dec 2017

Governor Rochas Okorocha has denied running a ‘family’ government as claimed by some elites in the state, saying those behind that claim missed the point.

He said more than 4,000 children had gone to University through Rochas Foundation and more than 15,000 of such children were also in the various colleges of the Foundation.


 
Okorocha spoke when more than 5,000 members of the Rochas Mandate Movement held solidarity rally for him in Owerri, on Friday December 15, 2017. He stated that those who never offered the people of the state leadership when they held sway but only shared the people’s resources would never come back to power in the state.

He said, “Uche Nwosu who is from Nkwerre Local Government Area and Prince Eze Madumere, from Mbaitoli LGA are all counted today as members of my family because they have grown to prominence but when they took those steps of faith, no one counted them as members of my family.”

Okorocha also reiterated that he would neither run for Senate nor for the President in 2019, but would be keen in who succeeds him and who can sustain the tempo of the achievements recorded by his administration.


Sat, 16 Dec 2017

A former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Friday became one of the pioneer students of the National Open University to bag a PhD in Christian Theology.

A six-man external panel pronounced him worthy of the award.


 
The panel expressed satisfaction with the about 250-page thesis of the former President, spanning about an hour and 30 minutes of defence.

It was reportedly held inside the auditorium of the Abeokuta Study Centre of the institution along IBB Boulevard, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja The Federal Government said it had released N3bn to the contractors handling the East-West Road dualisation project in Niger Delta to enable them return to the project sites and continue with their job. It also denied media reports allegedly credited to the Minister of Niger Delta, Mr. Uguru Usani, that names of [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Olaleye Aluko, Abuja The Nigerian Defence Academy said it had launched a full-scale investigation to unravel some cadets allegedly sneaking out from the camp and giving their uniforms and boots to Fulani herdsmen. The NDA Public Relations Officer, Major Musa Yahaya, stated this, noting that any cadet discovered to be absent from the academy for [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Femi Makinde, Osogbo The Osun State House of Assembly has announced the revocation of the warrant for the arrest of the immediate past Commissioner for Lands, Physical Planning and Urban Development in the state, Mr. Muyiwa Ige, over his alleged refusal to appear before the lawmakers. The state legislators had reportedly summoned Ige, a son [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Justin Tyopuusu, Jalingo At least one person was confirmed dead while six others sustained bullet wounds during a clash between police and illegal miners in Sardauna Local Government Area of Taraba State. The incident, which occurred on Thursday, also led to the disappearance of a policeman, who has yet to be found. According to the [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Adeniyi Olugbemi, Sokoto The Nigeria Police Force has arrested a woman, Doris Ossai, with 187 bags of substance suspected to be Indian hemp in Masaka, Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. Spokesperson for the NPF, Jimoh Moshood, disclosed this while addressing journalists in Abuja, the countrys capital, on Friday. According to him, the arrest [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Adeniyi Olugbemi, Sokoto The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar III, on Friday revealed plans to train no fewer than 200 children orphaned by the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East. Making the disclosure in Sokoto during the opening of the 28th National Conference of the Muslim Sisters Organisation of Nigeria, the Sultan said, There [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Umar Muhammed, Lafia The Nasarawa State House of Assembly has approved the amendment of some laws in the 1999 Constitution. The approval comes after extensive deliberations by the lawmakers following the adoption of the National Assembly bill on the 15 amended acts. Speaker of the House, Mr. Ibrahim Balarabe-Abdullahi, who made the statement during a [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday expressed the hope that the authorities of Guinea-Bissau would accept a constitutional way of resolving the crisis in the West African country. Buhari said this was because Nigeria needed back at home its troops on a peacekeeping mission in the country. According to a statement by his [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and the National Airspace Management Agency have started computing data on the number of flights cancelled and passengers who were affected by the recent adverse weather condition witnessed by air travellers and airlines across the country. It was gathered that a committee [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Leke Baiyewu, Abuja Following the criticisms by the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy, the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has said that the N10bn voted for the Rural Electrification Access Programme in Federal Universities, in its proposed 2018 budget, was not for solar-powered streetlights alone, but for the electrification of 37 [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Samuel Awoyinfa, Abeokuta The Executive Secretary, National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-formal Education, Alhaji Abba Haladu, says about 60 million Nigerians are illiterate. He said this at the 2017 International Literacy Day Celebration held at Yewa College, Ilaro, Yewa South Local Government Area of Ogun State. He said the situation called for an [] 


Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Ade Adesomoju, Abuja The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, has said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, have been collaborating with him in the Federal Governments anti-corruption campaign. This is contrary to the public perception that there is [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
The Osun State Government says it is committed to making workers salary its top priority. It added that it would continue to be sensitive to their welfare. According to a statement by the states Commissioner for Information, Adelani Baderinwa, on Friday, the support of critical stakeholders, particularly the labour unions and wide consultations made by [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Eric Dumo Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Friday inaugurated the newly upgraded Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa, Ikeja, the state capital. The governor, who was represented at the ceremony by the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Rotimi Ogunleye, urged journalists to always display objectivity and utmost professionalism while carrying out their [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Tunde Ajaja A don at the University of Lagos, Prof. Lai Olurode, has asked leaders at all levels of government to always place governance before politics. Speaking recently at a remembrance lecture commemorating the fifth year transition of the late Lam Adesina, who was the governor of Oyo State between 1999 and 2003, Olurode lamented [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja The payment of the balance of 50 per cent of the Paris Club refund may not be released before the end of this year, investigations have revealed. Our correspondent gathered from sources in government that a suit instituted by the consultant over the non-payment of the commission agreed with the Nigeria Governors [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja Security agencies in conjunction with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporations monitoring team that was set up to end the supply gaps in the distribution of petroleum products across the country have discovered 144 tankers that were not streamed by some marketers in Kano. According to the NNPCs Group General Manager, Group Public [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Adelani Adepegba, Gbenro Adeoye, Jesusegun Alagbe and Tunde Ajaja Security experts have warned that Nigeria is sitting on a time bomb as the African Union alerted recently that over 6,000 Africans who fought for the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq could soon be returning to the continent. According to the experts, the returning fighters [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Jesusegun Alagbe The Joint Health Sector Union/Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations has written an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, complaining about the marginalisation of some health professionals in his administration. Also lamenting about poor welfare of health workers, the group said it had passed a vote of no confidence in the Minister of Health, [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Friday Olokor, Jos Priests under the Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria and Justice Development and Peace Commission, have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency on kidnapping, adding that it is the best way to tackle the problem. The clergymen, who made the call in Abuja during a stakeholders meeting, said [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Although having many political parties to choose from is good for the electorate, political pundits are of the opinion that excessive proliferation of political parties could be counterproductive for the country's nascent democracy, writes JESUSEGUN ALAGBE As the 2019 general elections approach, the Independent National Electoral Commission recently said it had received over 120 applications [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Gbenga Odogun, Lokoja The Kogi State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party and the running mate to the late Abubakar Audu in the 2015 governorship election in the state, Mr. James Faleke, have called for the resignation of the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, following his indictment by a panel of the Independent National Electoral [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Olusola Fabiyi and Olufemi Atoyebi The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party's Post-National Convention Reconciliation Committee, who is also the Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Seriake Dickson, has said that the committee has achieved its mission in the South-West. The governor said that the top leaders of the party in the region, who were visited [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Gbenro Adeoye The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has advocated the adoption of a six-year single tenure for President, governors, National Assembly, and state assembly members to stop the problems that arise from the quest for second term by politicians. Ekweremadu made the call in Nsukka on Friday at the 3rd Adada Lecture, [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Femi Asu Nigeria's external reserves rose by $1.91bn in the first two weeks of this month, a Central Bank of Nigeria's report indicated on Friday. The foreign exchange reserves stood at $36.86bn as of December 14, up from $34.95 as of November 30, the latest data obtained from the CBN showed on Friday. The analysts [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Anna Okon The Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, has said that developing the Cross River State cocoa value chain for export will enhance economic growth. Awolowo spoke through the Deputy Director, National Export Office, NEPC, Mrs. Veronica Oriare, during the Cross River State Cocoa Stakeholders' Forum and mini exhibition [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Stanley Opara Oando Plc says it has taken no action that is capable of undermining the authority of the apex regulator of Nigeria's capital market, Securities and Exchange Commission. But the oil major noted that its actions were meant to protect the company and its shareholders against the actions taken under the leadership of Mounir [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja The Federal Government has approved the purchase of patrol vessels to enhance security on Nigerian waterways. It said the vessels, which were specifically approved for the Federal Department of Fisheries, would be used to curb illegal fishing on Nigeria's territorial waters. Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the purchase [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Stanley Opara with agency report Duties on car imports aimed at boosting local production have reduced the number of vehicles brought into the country this year by a quarter, fuelling smuggling from neighbouring Benin, the Nigerian Ports Authority has said. Car imports fell to 70,453 units in the first 10 months of this year, a [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Chukwuneta Oby A lady reached out to me sometime back relaying her experience with a man (that she was considering a future with), who was rather (suspiciously) shielding his TOOL from her. He would neither let her look at/nor touch it even when they are in the bedroom! Although they had just met and he [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Tony Okafor, Awka There was a mild drama at Ekwulobia prisons in Anambra State on Friday when an inmate, Tobias Mbaekwe, who was granted amnesty by Chief Judge of Anambra State, Justice Peter Umeadi, on health grounds, declined the pardon. Mbaekwe, from Ozubulu in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of the state, was among 13 others [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Ogbonnaya Ikokwu, Umuahia A 35-year-old woman was on Thursday mobbed for allegedly stealing an undisclosed amount of money from a co-passenger in a tricycle in Umuahia, the Abia State capital. The incident, which occurred on Enugu/Abiriba Road in the state capital, attracted the attention of other road users, who gave the suspect the beating of [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Council of Chiefs from Koniju Town in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State has threatened to drag the All Progressives Congress in the state to court for allegedly insulting their monarch, His Royal Majesty, King Ateke Tom. The chiefs demanded an apology from the state APC and its agents for purportedly denigrating and defaming [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Peter Dada, Akure The monarch of Igbokoda, in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, Oba Afolabi Odidiomo,narrowly escaped death on Wednesday, as thugs from the communities attacked him with machetes. Our correspondent learnt that the traditional ruler sustained several machete cuts on his head. He was said to have been left in a pool [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Peter Dada, Akure Four Chinese nationals have been rescued by the officers and men of the 32 Artillery Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Akure and the Nigerian Naval Forward Operating Base, Igbokoda from kidnappers in Ogooluwayo community in the Ilaje Local Government of Ondo State. The Assistant Director of Army Public Relations of the brigade, [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Kunle Falayi The Rapid Response Squad of the Lagos State Police Command has arrested eight utility cable thieves in Lagos. But when the suspects were questioned, it turned out that they were led by a 29-year-old security guard, Henry Akpan, who had previously arrested and handed over the former leader of the gang, known as [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Kunle Falayi and agency report An Ikeja High Court on Friday discharged and acquitted a fashion designer, Ifeanyi Igwe, who has spent four years in jail while the case of conspiracy and attempted robbery against him lasted. According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Igwe breathed the air of freedom, after Justice Raliatu Adebiyi, found [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Samuel Awoyinfa, Abeokuta The Ogun State Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, says it has seized 500 used cars smuggled into the country from the neighbouring Republic of Benin through Idiroko border and its axis, between January and November 2017. The controller of the area command, SaniMadugu, told journalists on Wednesday during a briefing [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Kunle Falayi Aggrieved subscribers of a National Association of Women Journalists housing project, have petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, alleging misappropriation of their contributions by the associations President, Mrs.Ifeyinwa Omowole. Saturday PUNCH had reported on October 28, 2017 and subsequently, how the contributions of over 700 subscribers running into almost N100m had allegedly [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Nonye Ben-Nwankwo and Ademola Olonilua All is set for the ninth edition of the Best of Nollywood awards which will be held at the Rock City, Abeokuta. Apart from the expectant nominees straddling different categories, the trio of Omotola Jalade-Ekehinde, Ali Nuhu, and filmmaker, Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen, are the recipients of the Best of Nollywood [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Nonye Ben-Nwankwo and Ademola Olonilua Close to two months after he was allegedly assaulted by a fellow colleague, Burna Boy, Mr. 2kay made his first public appearance in Lagos at the recently held Future Awards. In a chat with Saturday Beats, the singer said that he was happy to be out again after his close [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Nonye Ben-Nwankwo and Ademola Olonilua On Friday, popular singer, Damini Ogulu popularly known as Burna Boy, finally submitted himself to the Lagos State Police Command after being declared wanted for almost a month. The singer was declared wanted by the Lagos Police Command in connection with the robbery attack on another popular musician, Mr. 2kay [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Nonye Ben-Nwankwo and Ademola Olonilua Sultry Nigerian singer, Seyi Shay, broke the Internet when a picture of her dressed in a transparent outfit surfaced on the web. It was obvious the singer wasnt wearing panties under the dress. The picture caused so much ruckus even amongst fellow celebs who were aghast that the singer could [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Nonye Ben-Nwankwo and Ademola Olonilua Even as the likes of Lil Kesh and Adekunle Gold have left YBNL, Olamide, the owner of the record label says he still sees them as his brothers. Lil Kesh and Adekunle Gold were relatively unknown until they met the self-acclaimed king of the streets, Olamide, who not only put [] 

Sat, 16 Dec 2017
Tana Aiyejina Former Nigeria centre-back Taribo West says the Super Eagles will be a force to reckon with at the Russia 2018 World Cup if the national team coach Gernot Rohr involves some of the experienced ex-internationals in his plans. Also, the Atlanta 96 Olympic Games medallist kicked against a recall for Obafemi Martins to []