Newspapers Review




Ohaneze Ndigbo





Below are the headlines found on The Daily Sun Online Newspaper for today, Tuesday, 6th February, 2018.

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has said that the agency recovered a total of N473,065,195,977.50; $98,258,124.97 and €7,247,363.75 in 2017.

He said other funds recovered from “corrupt” persons and organisations by the EFCC last year included GBP 294,851.82; Dirham 443,400.00 and South African Rand 70,500.00.

Magu made the disclosure yesterday, when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes to defend the 2018 budget estimates of his agency. He explained that, as part of the assets recovery drive of the anti-graft agency, the commission secured a final fortfeiture of N32 billion and $5 million recovered from former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to the Federal Government’s coffers.

The EFCC boss added that the commission also secured the final forfeiture of N449 million and over $43 million discovered at Legico Plaza in Victoria Island, Lagos, and Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, respectively.

According to him, other recoveries by the EFCC in 2017 were N329 billion from petroleum marketers by its Kano office; withholding tax of over N27.7 billion from different banks; €6.6 million from Nigerian Ports Authority; about N1.1 billion recovered on behalf of Assets Management Company of Nigeria and over N4 billion from subsidy fraud.

The EFCC chairman added that “in the course of the outgoing financial year, the NFIU was granted self accounting status by both the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Budget Office. Effective date of implementation is 1st January, 2018.”

However, Magu noted that the delay in the release of funds for the anti-corruption agency was hampering its operations.

“Delayed and irregular release of the overhead component of the recurrent vote affected the commission’s investigation and prosecution activities especially in the zones,” he said.

While responding to questions on the whistle-blower policy of the federal government, the EFCC boss said government has been paying the promised incentives to the whistle-blowers.
Meanwhile, the House Committee on Public Accounts, yesterday, directed the Nigerian Educational Research Council to give account of N56 million remittances it made to Federal Inland Revenue Services in 2013. 

The committee gave the directive at an investigative hearing on queries raised by the Office of the Auditor-General to the Federation in 2014.

The committee queried why tax payment for 2013 were reflected in the agency’s financial records for 2014.

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
While freedom of expression is not absolute in any society, including the leading democracies, freedom of the press and freedom of expression remain two of the fundamental human rights recognised by the United Nations. Press freedom has been defined as the right that the media have to hold governments to account. It also includes the right of citizens to be informed by the media on public interest matters so citizens can perform their role in society. Katrin Voltmer (2010) stated that, if citizens are ill-informed about political matters, if citizens do not make efforts to express their views, if they detest their political representatives and have little regard for democratic values, the future of democracy would be endangered.

Why should we be concerned about freedom of the press and freedom of expression in Nigeria? A free press is generally regarded as a symbol of a free society. Press freedom and freedom of expression are the hallmarks of democracy but they are also viewed as the barometer for measuring the political health of a country. Press freedom is also important because the press is a major institution that scrutinises government in order to prevent abuse of power.

Respect for press freedom, free speech and civil rights is taken seriously by member countries of the Commonwealth, including Nigeria. Violations of these rights attract immediate suspension from the Commonwealth. Fiji was thrown out of the Commonwealth in 1987 after two military coups. The country was recalled and reintegrated 10 years later after the return of democracy. In 2000, Fiji was again cast away for 18 months. Nigeria was suspended from the Commonwealth in 1995 following the execution of civil rights leader, Ken Saro-Wiwa, by the military government. Nigeria was readmitted into the Commonwealth in 1999.

Even before the formation of the Commonwealth, press freedom was recognised and enshrined in the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 19 of the Declaration states that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, including the right to hold opinions without interference and to strive for, obtain and communicate information and ideas through any media without constraints.

In a rapidly changing world, including national security considerations that impact on media freedom and free speech, violations of press freedom and free speech are growing. The development must be checked.

It is not only in non-Western (developing) countries that press freedom and free speech are repressed. Even in Western countries, press freedom is regularly contested when governments roll out laws that seek to restrict journalists’ freedom to investigate and report on various forms of abuses and human rights violations. One example is the United States in which concerns are growing about President Donald Trump’s directives that seek to restrict free speech and freedom of movement of citizens and foreigners.

It is against this background that I was stunned to read a news report published in Daily Sun newspaper of Friday,  February 2, 2018, in which the Presidency, represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, accused Daily Sun and other news media of disseminating “hate speech.”

When he addressed State House correspondents last week, Shehu said, among other things: “The growing lack of respect for journalism ethics and press laws in the Nigerian media, especially regarding the clashes in Benue State, is very unfortunate. The frequent expressions of hate speech published by newspapers, in news stories, and especially in columns, is indeed a source of concern to all. We want to state emphatically that a segment of the Nigerian media is sinking deeper and deeper into the mesh of hate speech in spite of repeated appeals…”

The reference to “hate speech” is puzzling. What is hate speech? Hate speech is defined as “speech that attacks, threatens, or insults a person or group on the basis of national origin, ethnicity, colour, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.” It is unfortunate that the Presidency has appropriated this term and uses it to cover any criticism of the government. Indeed, hate speech is used haphazardly by the Presidency as a barricade to restrain journalists and other citizens from reporting critically on the catastrophic performance of the government. 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
The Nigeria Police Force have declared former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida’s spokesman, Prince Kassim Afegbua, wanted.

Afegbua was declared wanted after the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, ordered his arrest on Sunday night, following a statement he released on behalf of Babangida, which asked President Muhammadu Buhari not to seek re-election in 2019.

Another statement denounced the one released by Afegbua and insisted that the second statement was the authentic statement from the general’s camp. 

Later that day, Babangida insisted he authorised release of Afegbua’s statement.

Before then, the police had declared Afegbua wanted for spreading false news, among other offences.

Force Public Relations Officer, Moshood Jimoh, told Daily Sun that Afegbua has been declared wanted after he failed to show up at the police headquarters in Abuja, yesterday.

He also said Afegbua was declared wanted after the expiration of the 24-hour deadline given to him to report to the police.

Jimoh confirmed that the IGP actually ordered Afegbua’s arrest and added that he is wanted for spreading false news.

“Yes, the IGP ordered his arrest, for making false statement, spreading falsehood, defamation of character and act capable of inciting public disturbance. We have declared him wanted and he should report to the police for giving false statement…

Back in Minna, an atmosphere of disquiet pervaded Babangida’s uphill home, yesterday, after  two conflicting statements emanated from his media department.

The usual beehive of activities around General Babangida’s home, with a constant stream of visitors, was, however, at its lowest ebb, with only domestic staff busy with their normal routine.

The only notable visitor in the house, yesterday, was former director of Military Intelligence, during Babangida’s regime, Brigadier General Halilu Akilu (retd) and his friends.

Daily Sun gathered that Akilu’s visit had nothing to do with the two statements from Babangida’s media aides.

All attempts by Minna-based journalists to seek audience with Babangida, to get clarifications on the two statements were unsuccessful.

But, a source close to the uphill residence, however, told Daily Sun that Afegbua, who released the first statement “has been declared persona non grata because oga was not happy with the embarrassment caused him by that statement.

“Actually, he (Babangida) did not sign the second statement, personally. We did it to douse tension. People, especially IBB associates, were calling; to know the true position of things,” the source, who declined to be named, said.

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Boko Haram fighters stormed a village in Borno State and killed two people, a local resident and a security source, yesterday, just as the military and the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazzau, maintained the insurgents have been completely defeated.

The attack happened on Sunday evening at Alau-Kofa village, some 12 kilometres from Maiduguri.

“Boko Haram came to our village last night (Sunday), at about 8:00pm, firing guns and RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades). Two people were burnt alive and the whole village was burnt, along with our food,” Bulama Bukar, who lives in Alau-Kofa, told AFP.

Bukar, whose father was shot in the leg during the attack, said the insurgents “specifically came to steal our cattle” but were forced to abandon the herd when soldiers arrived. Last Wednesday they attacked the village, killed three people and took away 50 cattle. And now, they came back,” he added.

Meanwhile, at least 30,000 hostages kidnapped by Boko Haram have been freed by soldiers, DefenceMminister, Mansur Dan-Ali, has said.

Dan-Ali stated this in Maiduguri at a Special Town Hall meeting organised for the military and security agencies, yesterday, in company with his Information and Culture and Interior counterparts, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Dambazzau, respectively.

The retired brigadier general also reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to promoting the welfare of soldiers battling insurgency.

On his part, Dambazzau, said Boko Haram has been completely decimated, its structure degraded and its leadership dismantled.

Earlier, Mohammed, said the resumption of flights, bubbling nightlife, and football matches in Maiduguri are signs that normalcy has returned to the Borno capital.

‘‘No airline was flying this route at the height of the insurgency. In any case, the airport was not even open for such flights due to safety and security concerns.

‘‘The mere fact that we are gathered here for this meeting is a testimony to the success that has been recorded in fighting the insurgency.

‘‘In the heat of the insurgency, this would have been impossible,’’ Mohammed said.

The minister said his Special Assistants, who flew into Maiduguri last Saturday, told him of how they were pleasantly surprised to see a city in sharp contrast to what was being painted out there.

In his address at the town hall meeting, Mohammed, stated that the meeting was convened to let the world appreciate efforts of federal and state governments in returning normalcy to the region. He said following the current progress made in counter terrorism, the level of attacks, even in Abuja, had been reduced drastically. 

“We have come a long way from those days, when Boko Haram could strike at a place and time of their own choosing, when Boko Haram conquered and administered territories. That time, not even Abuja, the heartland of the nation, was safe from the insurgents’ attacks. Today, Boko Haram is no longer capable of carrying out coordinated attacks anywhere. All they do now is to engage in cowardly attacks on soft targets. That, in itself, is a sign of weakness. 

“Let’s be clear, we didn’t get to where we are today by accident. Our gallant men and women in uniform have made all the sacrifices, including the supreme sacrifice, to bring us here. Our political and military leaders have shown leadership in getting us here, unlike in the past when, in the words of Mr. President, official bungling, negligence, complacency or collusion made Boko Haram a terrifying force. The ordinary folks have also shown great resilience and support to bring us here. We are eternally grateful to all”

Meanwhile, Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima has explained why there were renewed attacks by the Boko Haram insurgents in the North East.

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Gabriel Dike Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi and Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech) all have several things in common among which is the non-appointment of new rectors for the institutions. The most outstanding issue the three federal polytechnics have in common is that they are waiting for President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint substantive... 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
From Chuks Onuoha, Umuahia. Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has sworn in Justice Arisa Onuoha 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Lawrence Enyoghasu Dr. Femi Adedina is the Deputy Provost of the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Ijaniki, Lagos State. As he celebrated his 60 years and 42 years in the classroom, he spoke with The Education Report in his usual candor and forthrightness. Why is College of Education not attractive to candidates seeking... 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Dickson Okafor Abumchukuwu Okoye, a lawyer, in this interview described as mere threat the letter to 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Okwe Obi, Abuja The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), has said it will embark on 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Jet Stanley Madu Statistics from the International Labour Organization (ILO) gave the number of working children under the age of 14 in Nigeria at 15 million. Many of these children are engaged in tedious jobs. And such jobs are executed in dangerous circumstances. This practice has particularly remained worrisome to many stakeholders in education sector.... 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Stops issuance of visa to foreigners with skills available in Nigeria Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Nasarawa State may not have measured up to her slogan of being the home of solid minerals. But Governor 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Zika Bobby A report from the DQ Institute has shown that, on the average, 54 percent of eight to 12 years 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Joe Apu The FIBA fact finding delegation to Nigeria has been told in clear terms that there is no crisis in the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF. Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung made the remark during a meeting with the delegation led by FIBA Executive Director, Alphonse Bile in Abuja on Monday. He... 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Follow these recommendations and you'll increase your company's chances of hooking a 'whale'We're 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Rafael Nadal expects to be back playing competitive tennis by the end of the month, the world No 1 revealed on Monday. The 31-year-old was forced to pull out of his Australian Open quarter-final against Marin Cilic in the fifth set two weeks ago due to a thigh injury. 'It's a small injury that needs... 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Gyang Bere, Jos Former member of House of Representatives and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
In its desire to ensure the availability of forex and also meet customers' requests in various segments 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Waheed Odusile, has described the position of the 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Uche Usim, Abuja The Federal Government says it is working to increase insurance coverage for Nigerian 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Adetutu Folasade-Koyi; Paul Osuyi, Asaba The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has declared its platform 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah's sublime form has seen him surpass a valuation of 100m, according to Phil Babb. Salah scored twice against Tottenham on Sunday with his second looking to have secured a win at Anfield, but his rival to the Golden Boot Harry Kane converted a last-gasp penalty to clinch a draw. Former Liverpool... 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
The Home-Based Super Eagles will arrive the shores of Nigeriaon Tuesdayafter their exploits at the 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Moshood Adebayo Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has urged the newly-inauguratedfive members 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Trains 150 employees in refining, petrochemicals Adewale Sanyaolu To grow the midstream sector of 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
His Majesty King Mohammed VI sent on Sunday a congratulatory message to members of the national football 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Ignatius Arinze THE public letter written by former president Olusegun Obasanjo, on January 23, 2018, 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
It does appear that a constellation of forces, expected and unexpected, has compelled the ruling party, 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
The Algeria boss has jumped onto the 'support Mahrez' bandwagon after his recent comments, which will most likely end up receiving widespread criticism from the Leicester faithful. While Madjer has maintained his sympathetic tone for Riyad Mahrez, he doesn't, however, want his star player to keep missing the training and has advised him to return... 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Louis Ibah Managing Director/CEO of Air Peace, Mr. Allen Onyema, has announced the establishment of a 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Ibrahim Mohammed 'A truly public-spirited person should accept public office not for what he can get 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
NAN | A former Director-General of the defunct National Sports Commission (NSC), Gbenga Elegbeleye, on 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Raphael Ede, Enugu Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu has pledged that members of the National Assembly 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Omodele Adigun Despite reflecting slowed growth in both manufacturing and non-manufacturing segments, 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Nigeria coach, Salisu Yusuf reflected on his side's 4-0 defeat to Morocco in the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) final at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca on Sunday. 'We lost today because we had to manage due to many injuries, Morocco played well,' Salisu told the media. The home-based Super Eagles were without some... 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
George Onyejiuwa; Stanley Uzoaru Imo Governor, Rochas Okorocha has said he will not support the aspiration 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Reuters/NAN | A new World Cup event, featuring eight of top athletics nations is to take place in London 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Mukaila Sanusi The question that comes to mind as Africa's model mega city contends with waste dumped 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Hon. Fateema Mohammed was the campaign manager to Lagos State governorship aspirant, Jimi Agbaje, during 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Isaac Anumihe The Nigerian banking community is now in panic mode following threat by Egmont Group to 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Hundreds of Don Waney's fighters have finally surrendered their arms after they rejected government's 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Abdulkadir Manu Following in his trail-blazing anti-open grazing law which was first condemned before 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Reuters/NAN | U.S. reality TV star Kylie Jenner announced on Sunday the birth of her child with rapper 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
Godwin Tsa; Fred Ezeh, Abuja Former publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa 

Tue, 06 Feb 2018
The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) last week threatened to commence a strike today, February 

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