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NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS: TODAY'S THE DAILY SUN NEWSPAPER HEADLINES [10 FEBRUARY, 2018].


Below are the headlines found on The Daily Sun Online Newspaper for today, Saturday, 10 February, 2018.

Sat, 10 Feb 2018
He was in love with the military and, indeed, had a promising career in the Nigerian Army after being granted a Direct Short Service Commission in the rank of Second Lieutenant on October 4, 1989. Later, he converted to Direct Regular Commission and was deployed to the Nigerian Army Finance Corps (NAFC).

For several years, Lt. Col Paul Awusa successfully navigated and had a smooth sail through the murky waters of military politics until June 26, 2006, when he was nominated Deputy Defence Adviser (DDA) Finance, London, at the Nigerian High Commission, United Kingdom. He was selected among three army officers nominated by Major General Paul Toun (retd), then a Brigadier General and Director of Army Finance and Administration (DAFA), for approval by the Chief of Army Staff.

Can of worms

Eight years after, an obviously aggrieved Awusa who has been forced out of the Army is down and out. He did not mince words when he narrated to Saturday Sun how the Nigerian Defence Mission in UK has been turned into a money laundering mission. He admitted being used by military chiefs to launder over five million pounds of defence fund domiciled in London back to Nigeria for sharing. The money when converted at its current open market exchange rate of N500 to a pound sterling comes to about N2.5 billion. He said his nomination for the post of Deputy Defence Adviser, Finance, London, by General Paul Toun, and approval by General Andrew Azazi, who was then the Chief of Army Staff, and later, Chief of Defence Staff, availed him access to the inner workings of the cabal, which like a wounded lion, battled to yank him off the system for fear of expose of their sleazy deals.

In an exclusive interview with Saturday Sun, Awusa alleged that the Defence Intelligence Agency was a centre of corruption, from where defence funds meant for mission areas were laundered back to the country and shared among members of the cabal. He revealed that he had on several occasions, been asked to illegally repatriate such funds up to 5million Pounds in one instance, in 2008. Among the beneficiaries of the laundered funds, he said, were key military officers, government functionaries and some top flight traditional rulers.

Awusa, who alleged that he was marked for elimination but narrowly escaped with the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua, said he was accused of leaking vital documents concerning the illicit funds to General Azazi, who he described as his brother, while he held sway as the Chief of Defence Staff. He pointed fingers at the cabal for the sudden demise of Azazi, who died when a military helicopter conveying him from a funeral ceremony crashed midway to its destination. Aboard, was the governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Yakowa, who also perished.

His words: “My case has two dimensions. There is the political undertone, the issue of godfather. In this case, the godfathers who were at play were General Sarki Muktar, as NSA coordinating all the groups. General Agwai was there as CDS, and General Yusuf, who was Chief of Army Staff after General Azazi. General Azazi as Chief of Army Staff nominated and approved my movement to the UK.  But since these people had problem with him at that point in time, they felt I was a boy to him. When those powers were at play and they saw me as General Azazi’s boy, they wanted to eliminate me at all cost.


 
“They accused me of revealing official secret to General Azazi from the UK. And what was it? It was because of monies they released for renovation of mission areas when President Olusegun Obasanjo was leaving office. As the Deputy Defence Adviser Finance, in London, I was like Director of Finance in charge of defence at the mission, and UK was the most sensitive of all the missions, more sensitive than the one in Washington. Funds were not used for the purposes they were meant for, it was just laundering business. We were just cashing the money and returning back home, while peanuts were just used for the purposes they were meant for.

“Some of the funds were meant to buy houses, but the houses would not be bought; some for renovation, but the houses were not renovated. They could say they want to buy machinery for the mission area, but the money would be cashed and sent back home for them to share. I was asked to do several of such laundering of illicit funds and I have my documents in the UK. At a point, the DA at that time, General Aminu, raided my house and took some of those documents. But once I lay hands on those things, peoples’ handwritings are there; the documents are there, there is no hiding place for anybody. It’s quite large sums of money, but it comes piecemeal; sometimes 2.5million Pounds, or more. The ones that passed through me, it was not more than 5million Pounds at that time, but it was a very short period.

“When President Umaru Yar’Adua came in, there were a lot of funds that were coming in for different kind of things and then the money was laundered back to the country. Because they were not comfortable with me and wanted me out, they sent one Roland Ochei, then a Lt. Col but by far my junior, to take over from me with a Visiting Passport, and it was an illegal thing they were doing. You cannot function in a mission area as a diplomat with a Visiting Passport; it is after they have approved your diplomatic passport, when the mission has accepted you as a diplomat that you can function as a diplomat. I was the signatory to the defence account, but they forced me to handover to Ochei. Again, I had applied for a UK driver’s licence with my diplomatic passport, and once you apply with a diplomatic passport, instead of them to return it to you directly, they will return it to the mission area, that is, the Nigeria House. From there, they will call whosoever is concerned to collect his or her passport. Instead of them to give me my passport, they went and hid it just to frustrate me. So, I was stranded there, with no money. And back home, they said I had deserted. When I applied for a standard Nigerian passport to enable me come home, they also refused me. They were doing all these because they didn’t want anything from me to filter to General Azazi. And it all has to do with the mission area funds which were coming through me at that time.

“Some of us have been lucky to be alive up to this moment; it was because of the same factors that General Azazi was killed. But God has been giving us coverage; they’ve not seen any form of threat from anywhere that will force them to take those actions, and since then, I’ve been lying low. When I was arrested and detained, the intention was to eliminate me, but when President Yar’Adua died, that was the saving grace because the NSA was removed at that time. So, the idea of eliminating me quietly wasn’t possible, that was why I was sent to a court martial. And since then, I had not been talking; that was the fear they expressed about General Azazi. That he was talking, and releasing official documents. That is what they told him; that was one of the threats, the accusations, even as NSA. I was with him once over my issue and he asked, Paul, what can I do for you? You know they are also after my life. I have been very silent; this is eight years since I came back from London. Because I was not talking, and I know some of those things, now that I am talking, they can go the extra mile to eliminate me. I have never talked like this before. Now that I am talking, they will come after me”.

His many troubles

Signs that he was headed for a rough path emerged even before he jetted out of the country to London to take his new position. While he was to resume duties September 2006 when the tenure of his predecessor expired, according to a memo addressed to the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) dated July 14, 2006 and signed by General Toun, Awusa did not receive handover notes until January 9, 2007, even though he had reported more than four months earlier. But he was not shocked by the development, as some forces were said to have worked to scuttle his nomination for the foreign mission.

Notwithstanding, Awusa was optimistic that the thick cloud of uncertainty on his tour of duty abroad would evaporate in no distant time, more so, with a confirmation letter issued him by the Office of the Defence Adviser, Nigeria High Commission, London, soliciting cooperation and assistance of relevant organizations including schools, for registration of his children to enable them continue their education, having relocated his family to UK as required of diplomats. The letter dated December 1, 2006, was signed by MA Oladeji, then a Colonel, for the Defence Adviser.

Sat, 10 Feb 2018
Former governor of Osun State and a leader of the Coalition for Nigeria Movement, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, has opened up on why people of like minds, came together to challenge Nigeria’s current leadership structure headed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

In this exclusive interview with Saturday Sun, Oyinlola said the launch of the coalition, initiated recently by former President Olusegun Obasanjo has revealed that Nigerians deserve a new democratic political direction in the country.

The former Military Administrator of Lagos State and Prince of Okuku said: “We are serious minded people working for Nigeria and in the interest of all. We want to see a Nigeria where everyone has a stake and the young ones have work to do. We want a Nigeria where there will be no shedding of the blood of the innocent again.”

Too many ugly things, Oyinlola noted, “are happening across the country that cannot make any normal human being happy. The need to change that narrative is what has informed what we are doing,” the retired Army Colonel declared. He spoke on this and other issues surrounding the movement, including the role of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in this exchange with AIDOGHIE PAULINUS.

Having launched the Coalition for Nigeria Movement, what kind of feeling do you have at the moment?

With the positive response we have been receiving across the country since we launched the movement last week, we feel convinced that truly, Nigeria deserves a new democratic political direction.

The launch of the coalition came immediately after the letter written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to President Muhammadu Buhari. Does it mean that the plan had been in the pipeline?

Not really. You know when Baba Obasanjo released his statement and he suggested a national movement of patriots across all divides to reset our politics and the way we do things in this country, some of us saw it as a challenge which we took. And you know a rat that has a path won’t miss its way. Some of us have been around for some time, enough to network with like-minds across the country. What you saw on the day of the launch was put together within a week.

Is there any correlation between your movement and the Red Card Movement of former Education Minister, Dr Oby Ezekwesili?

No. The two are different.  We are studying them and their objectives. If the development of the country is also their goal and there are sincere moves to work with us, we won’t mind to. They are all great men and women of nationalist ideas. They are patriots.

What informed your decision to be part of the Coalition for Nigeria Movement?

I have said so that I will always be part of any genuine effort to make Nigeria work. The country has progressed and is progressing, but we feel it can be better with the right energy channelled to the right objectives.  I see the CNM as a fresh breath which Nigeria needs.

With you in the movement, are you still a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)?

Oh! Yes, I am.

If the focus of the movement is to redirect the leadership of the country from older generation to younger generation, does that not contradict the position of your party to give it to President Buhari?

Has the president said he is re-contesting? Has he?

You are holding events here and there and that has some financial implication. So, how is the movement being funded?

Each member bears his costs. No sacrifice is too much for us to make in the service of the country.


 
What is the position of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the movement? Is he the founder, leader or financier?

He is an ordinary member like you if you decide to join us. The entire members of the movement at each level will decide who leads it. Those of us you see are just midwifing the movement.  The midwife is not the owner of the child. He is just a helper in the labour room.

Sat, 10 Feb 2018
This weekend marks the commencement of continental football baptism for Nigeria clubs.

Domestic league champions, Plateau United, are hopeful of a good outing  as they kick-start  their continental cup campaign against Eding Sport of Cameroon in one of this weekend’s Total CAF Champions League preliminary round-first leg fixtures.           

Previously known as Nigeria Standard FC, the Jos-based club in North Central Nigeria had not won the league title since its formation in 1975 and the closest they got was second behind Iwuayanwu Nationale (now Heartland FC) at the birth of Nigeria Professional League in 1990. 

But last September, Plateau United, finally won their Holy Grail under the guidance  of former Nigerian international,  Kennedy Boboye; that gave them a return to the continent since 2000 when they were narrowly edged out on the away-goal rule by Etoile du Congo in the first round of the defunct CAF Cup Winners’ Cup. 

The 44-year-old Boboye, who masterminded Plateau’s title success in only his first season, said the club has acquired much experience coupled with strength in depth, and are desirous of making a great impact on the continent. 

“We won the league last year by dint of hard work, and the players played to instructions,” Boboye told CAFOnline.com 

“This year, we have been working hard and it is also good that the season started early enough which has given us good match practice ahead of our Total CAF Champions League match against Eding Sport.” 

Speaking further, Boboye said Plateau is well-armed to face Eding Sport following his recent espionage on the Cameroonian champions. “I went to watch Eding Sport and I know they are a very good side that play compact football but we shall be ready for them.

“We are not worried about playing the first leg at home; the most important thing is to be able to showcase ourselves whether at home or away. We just need to play well and score some goals before going to Cameroon for the second leg. 

“Last season, nobody gave Plateau United a chance in the league, but we were able to carry ourselves as a team; only few people are giving us the chance to do well in the Total CAF Champions League but I’m satisfied with the quality of players we have and we are going to give a good account of ourselves. 

“As a coach, I want to win laurels and at the same time, I want my team to play good football. Of  course, you can’t win it all; there are some days you win, draw or lose but mine is to play good football anytime, any day,” added Boboye. 

Elsewhere, Nigeria’s other representative in the premier continental club championship; Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) FC are equally upbeat despite travelling to Bamako as guest of AS Real.

The ‘Olukoya’ Boys as the team is fondly refereed to, remarkably claimed second spot behind Plateau but Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu believes they are well equipped on their debut at the continental level.    

“I believe we are going to do our best in the Total CAF Champions League as we usually do in all that concerns us and we hope God crowns our little effort with his unconditional favour and love for our team,” stated Ilechukwu. 

Formed five years ago, the Lagos-based side is owned by a Pentecostal Christian Organization, Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries and Ilechukwu said they would gird their loins against their Malian hosts.

Sat, 10 Feb 2018
Prof Adedibu, eldest son of late strongman of Ibadan politics The death of Chief Lamidi Ariyibi Adedibu 

Sat, 10 Feb 2018
Team Nigeria continued her impressive performance at the 2018 African Wrestling Championships in Port 

Sat, 10 Feb 2018
The government of Delta State is planning big towards creating a 'super interesting atmosphere' in 

Sat, 10 Feb 2018
Gololo, leader of Benue herdsmen Herdsmen in Benue have provided fresh insight into the recent killings 

Sat, 10 Feb 2018
Elder statesman, and a chieftain of the defunct National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Chief Ralph Obioha 

Sat, 10 Feb 2018
Joe Apu Secretary General of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Babatunde Popoola and President, FIBA Africa 

Sat, 10 Feb 2018
The trio are named on the player list for the Miami Open starting on 19 March ' a week after the BNP 

Sat, 10 Feb 2018
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Sat, 10 Feb 2018
Action returns to the Premier League this weekend, with many marquee football games on show from today 

Sat, 10 Feb 2018
Lawrence Ukaegbu aka Dajuma of the Chile'87 Flying Eagles squad invokes memories of a team that was 

Sat, 10 Feb 2018
Judex Okoro, Calabar Palpable tension has gripped the business community in Cross River as five businessmen 

Sat, 10 Feb 2018
Gyang Bere, Jos The All Progressives Congress (APC) Elders Advisory Council, Plateau State, has reaffirmed 

Sat, 10 Feb 2018
Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has decried the support of the leadership 

Sat, 10 Feb 2018
David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi There appears to be fresh trouble for Mr Innocent Chukwuma, alias Innoson, the 

Sat, 10 Feb 2018
It's a tale of two African giants'one a giant of enterprise, the other a giant of jazz, Africa's 

Sat, 10 Feb 2018
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Sat, 10 Feb 2018
Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari, has approved the compulsory retirement of Justice 

Sat, 10 Feb 2018
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Sat, 10 Feb 2018
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Sat, 10 Feb 2018
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