Below are the headlines found on The Guardian Online Newspaper for today, Thursday, 2 November, 2017.

Thu, 02 Nov 2017
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoSF), Winifred Oyo-Ita, yesterday confronted the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting inside the council chambers of the Presidential Villa.

It was not clear what had transpired between the duo. But the HoSF was sighted confronting the chief of staff in a manner that suggested she did not like his utterances. The situation would have degenerated, but for the timely intervention of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

This happened while council members were already seated and waiting for the weekly meeting where the 2018 Nigerian Armed Forces Remembrance emblem and fund raising programme were launched.

The chief of staff who was already seated before Oyo-Ita entered the chambers, was seen pointing accusing ‎finders at the HoSF as she approached, apparently warning her over an issue which may not be unconnected to the recently leaked memo from her office over the reinstatement and promotion of the embattled former chairman of the Presidential Pension Reform Task Team (PPRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina.

Maina resumed at the Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau-led Ministry of Interior as deputy director recently, several months after he had been dismissed by the Federal Government and declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the International Police (INTERPOL).

President Buhari had last week directed the immediate disengagement of Maina and ordered the HoSF to submit a comprehensive report to his chief of staff, stating clearly the circumstances surrounding the reinstatement and promotion of the PPRTT former boss.

Mrs. Oyo-Ita was given up till the close of work on October 23rd to submit the report.

Sighting Kyari in the apparent disagreement with the HoSF, Osinbajo intervened and called the two officers to his seat.

Before they were reconciled by the vice president, Oyo-Ita was over-heard telling Kyari that “I have reached the peak of my career, I am not an elected officer.”

Osinbajo put the embarrassing situation under control just few minutes before President Buhari arrived at the council ‎chambers.

And when the meeting took off, President Buhari urged Nigerians to refrain from actions that could lead the country into another civil war.

Launching the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Emblem and Appeal Fund, the president said Nigerians should cast their minds back at the events that led to the tragic civil war and resolve that never again shall they allow the nation, by their actions or inactions, to experience another war.

Thu, 02 Nov 2017
Former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki, yesterday declined to testify at the trial of former National Publicity Secretary, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Oliseh Metuh.

Dasuki, who has been in the detention facility of the Department of State Service (DSS), was brought to court through a subpoena , to serve as the eighth defence witness in charges of corruption levelled against Metuh by the Federal Government.

Metuh had earlier told the court that the N400million, for which he is being prosecuted, was given to him through the office of the NSA on the instruction of former President Goodluck Jonathan, towards media campaign for PDP in the 2015 presidential election.

However, when Dasuki was called to the witness box by the defence counsel, Emeka Etiaba (SAN), he told the court that it would be difficult for him to answer any question, considering that he had been in detention since 2015, and thus, not being able to consult his records with regard to any transactions with the defendant.

When asked if he recalled the functions of his previous office, he said: “I know the functions of the office of NSA. It is essentially a principal staff officer in the office of the president.”

On the reason he was brought to court, he answered: “I am here to answer to a subpoena issued by this court, even though I have not benefitted from other court rulings.”

And when Etiaba (SAN) asked if he could tell the court about the transaction he had with Metuh, which formed the basis for the charge against the defendant, Dasuki answered in the negative.

“It will be very difficult for me to give any details on money given to Metuh and the second defendant (Destra Investment Limited) without reference to my records. Three years is a long time even for those of us who believe we are still young.”

“In other words, it is not possible for you to answer questions without consulting your records”, Etiaba said.   “Yes. It will be difficult for me”, Dasuki responded.

Dasuki was subsequently asked the length of time he considered appropriate to return to the court and give evidence. At this point, he told the court that he had been in detention, and that he could only give evidence when he is granted bail based on four different bail orders and the ECOWAS court.

“I have stated earlier that I have been in custody. So long as the authority decides to obey the four bail orders and one ECOWAS court ruling, and release me, from that moment, I will go through my records. That is when I would be able to give a time line.  But as long as I am in detention, the answer is ‘I don’t know’. 

Thu, 02 Nov 2017
The Federal Government yesterday authorised the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to endorse an agreement between Nigeria and Switzerland to facilitate the repatriation of ‎$321 million Abacha loot at the forthcoming global forum on asset recovery in the United States (U.S.) next month.

Malami, who disclosed this yesterday while briefing State House Correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, said that efforts to recover stolen assets by the administration had started yielding results.

The AGF said the agreement would empower him to recover the fund on behalf of Nigeria.

He said that representatives of both countries would sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the repatriation of the fund.

Meanwhile, the FEC has celebrated Tuesday’s ranking of Nigeria moving 24 places up from its last ranking on ease of doing business by the World Bank Doing Business report.

Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, who also briefed newsmen, said the World Bank ranking was significant because it exceeded the target of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), which only sought to move Nigeria 20 places up.

Enelamah said the ranking showed that the government was moving in the right direction.

Besides, Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, said the FEC had approved N40.2 billion for the completion of an irrigation dam in Kotangora in Niger State.

Also, Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, said massive smuggling of rice into Nigeria through land borders remained a great challenge.

Thu, 02 Nov 2017
There were strong indications yesterday that former Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme, may have suffered stroke, as doctors battled to stabilise him before treatment abroad.

However the family last night said the octogenarian was suffering from a chest infection.

A statement by his brother and the traditional ruler of Oko community in Ekwulobia Local Council of Anambra State, Prof. Laz Ekwueme, said the erstwhile vice president was infected in the chest.

It reads:” Dr. Alex I. Ekwueme, GCON, the former Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, was on Sunday, October 29, 2017, admitted into hospital for a chest infection.

“It will be recalled that he had a quiet celebration of his 85th birthday on October 21, 2017 in the company of his family members and he remained in high spirits up till his recent health challenges.

“His doctors confirm that he is stable, but he will remain under close medical attention in the mean time.”

Ekwueme was said to have collapsed in his residence on Sunday night and rushed to the intensive care unit of Memfys International Hospital, Enugu.

A source at the medical facility told The Guardian yesterday that “he suffered stroke and we have so far battled to stabilise him. You know he is an old man, that is why it appears that he is critical ill.”

The source stated that plans were ongoing to fly him abroad for further treatment, adding: “ It is being delayed because the family is still running around and we need to ensure that he is stable. Otherwise, they would have to fly him by air ambulance.”

Thu, 02 Nov 2017
Liberia’s Supreme Court has stayed the Nov. 7 presidential run-off election until it considers a challenge to first round results by a losing candidate who has alleged fraud.

Third-place finisher Charles Brumskine’s Liberty Party challenged the results of the October vote, which set up a Nov. 7 run-off between former soccer star George Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai.

The election is meant to usher in Liberia’s first democratic transition since 1944 after long periods of military rule and a civil war that ended in 2003.

In a writ issued late on Tuesday, the court instructed Liberty Party and the National Elections Commission to file briefs by Thursday at the latest.

It was unclear if the court would rule before Nov. 7.

“This is a big step in the right direction,” Liberty Party Chairman Benjamin Sanvee said in a statement.

“Thankfully, the Court recognizes the gravity of the issues, and has taken action in defense of the law and democracy.”

On Monday, Boakai’s ruling Unity Party announced it was backing the legal challenge.

It accused President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, one of its own members, of interfering in the Oct. 10 vote by holding private meetings with election magistrates before the Oct. 10 poll.

Johnson-Sirleaf denied the meeting were inappropriate and international observers like the European Union and the Carter Centre have said that they saw no major problems with the first round vote.

Weah, a former soccer star in Europe, won the first round with 38.4 per cent of the vote to Boakai’s 28.8 per cent and picked up an important endorsement on Friday from former warlord Prince Johnson, who won eight per cent of the first-round vote.

Morluba Morlu, a senior official from Weah’s CDC party, said on Wednesday that he still expected the run-off to go ahead.

“It is sad for a ruling party that has been in power for 12 years (to) be crying,” he said of Unity Party’s support for the legal challenge.

“We don’t want any mockery of this election.”

Thu, 02 Nov 2017
While one of the embattled registrars, Mr. Habu Danladi, was appointed by the out-going registrar, Mr. Labani Joseph, the Acting Rector, Mr. Ali Gabu, appointed Mr. Ibrahim Usman as the second acting registrar. 

Thu, 02 Nov 2017
The French and Japanese Embassies in Nigeria and the Institut franais du Nigria, have concluded arrangements to organise the third edition of a film festival for both countries. 

Thu, 02 Nov 2017
The Executive Director, Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), Daniel Asapokhai, has bemoaned the dearth of accounting professionals, noting that the Council is currently working in collaboration with other academia to... 

Thu, 02 Nov 2017
Dokpesi said: 'I thought I made a clear cut statement at the occasion that Chief Bode George is our leader and he is eminently qualified and capable of providing leadership to the PDP. 

Thu, 02 Nov 2017
The Customs Area Comptroller, Mohammed Uba Garba, who disclosed this in Lagos, said the cars were suspected to have entered the country without proper documentations. 

Thu, 02 Nov 2017
Godwin Obaseki, has challenged financial institutions across the world to design products that will appeal to the millions of the world's unbanked population to boost liquidity in the banks, and safeguard the future of savings account holders. 

Thu, 02 Nov 2017
Members of staff of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria PLC, makers of Peak and Three Crowns milk have raised funds to help 100 families and 100 school children affected by the recent flood disaster in Benue State. 

Thu, 02 Nov 2017
For the third quarter ended September 30, 2017, Conoil Plc has posted a turnover of N70.23 billion, higher than N63.95 billion recorded in the corresponding period in 2016. 

Thu, 02 Nov 2017
Nigeria BuildExpo, an international construction and building materials exhibition, holds November 2 to 4, 2017 in Lagos. Well known companies from all over the world will come together under one roof at the event. 

Thu, 02 Nov 2017
It said in a statement by its Chairman, Sule Kwasau and Secretary, James Pam, that there was the need for regional affiliation and collaboration with the southern governors to bring development to the Middle Belt. 
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