NAIJA NEWSPAPERS: TODAY'S THE PUNCH NEWSPAPER HEADLINES [25 DECEMBER, 2017].


Below are the headlines found on The Punch Online Newspaper for today, Monday, 25 December, 2017.

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says the sum of N27bn, which formed part of the proceeds of the sale of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, was shared among top government functionaries in 2014.

The EFCC disclosed this in a court paper filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja on December 5, 2017.


 
The total sum of N27,188,232,208.20, allegedly looted by the named officials was said to be meant for the settlement of the insurance premiums for disengaged members of staff of PHCN.

Among the top government officials, named in the alleged scam, were the then Chief of Staff to the then President Goodluck Jonathan, Brig. Gen. Jones Arogbofa (retd.); the then Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Jonah Otunla; and the then Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Dr. Godknows Igali.

Others also named in the scam are a cousin to Jonathan, Robert Azibaola; a former Director-General, Bureau for Public Enterprises, Mr. Benjamin Dikki; and a former Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil.

A supporting affidavit, filed alongside the EFCC’s ex parte application, stated how the money was shared.

The commission alleged that through proxies, Arogbofa got N150m; Dikki N1bn; Igali, N475m; Otunla N3.6bn; Jonathan’s cousin, Azibaola, N2.5bn; and Wakil, N118m.

The application alleged that of the total sum of N27,188,232,208, allegedly misappropriated by the government officials, the sums of N6,584,785, US$222,000, and N2,028,800,000 worth of shares of Aso Savings Limited had been recovered from the suspects.

The document, obtained by The PUNCH on Sunday, stated that the recovered money was being kept in the EFCC’s Recovered Funds Account domiciled at the Central Bank of Nigeria.

It added that apart from the monetary recovery, 12 houses as well as two pieces of land, located in Lagos, Ibadan and Abuja, and which were allegedly bought with proceeds of the loot, had also been recovered.


 
The seized properties include two units of four-bedroom detached duplex (Houses 12 & 14) at Alexander Miller Estate, Lekki-Lagos; one unit four-bedroom semi-detached terrace duplex (block C11, Unit 7) at Lekki Garden Estate Paradise 3, Lekki, Lagos; one unit of four-bedroom semi-detached(House 4b) at Olive Court, Agodi, GRA, Ibadan, Oyo State; and two units of three-bedroom flat with one room boys quarters at 6a & b Ogedengbe Street, Apapa, Lagos.

Others include one unit four-bedroom terrace duplex with one one-bedroom flat boys quarters (House 23, Flat 6) at Plot 100/101Gudu District, Isa Mohammed Street, Cadastral Zone, B01, FCT, Abuja; and one unit bedroom detached (House No. D1077) at House No. D1077 at Brains & Hammers Estate, Apo, Dutse, Abuja.

They also include one unit six-bedroom detached (House No.D1069) at house No.D1069 at Brains & Hammers Estate, Apo Dutse, Abuja; one unit three-bedroom flat (Flat 4A Hyde Tower) at 16a Akin Olugbade Street, Victoria Island, Lagos; a five-bedroom (detached) and three-bedroom bungalow both at Plot 145, Tarkwa Close, Wuse II, Abuja.
Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Many Nigerians on Sunday shelved their planned trips to different parts of the country for Christmas, as the current scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit pushed up transportation costs, with black market operators selling the product to desperate motorists for as much as N400 per litre.

After more than a year of relief from fuel scarcity in the country, fuel queues returned to filling stations across the country in the first week of December and has worsened since then.

In Lagos, many filling stations were shut while the few that sold the product had long queues of desperate motorists and other petrol seekers, with the attendants having a field day as they charged between N200 and N500 extra before selling to buyers in jerry cans.


 
In Kano, many motorists spent at least five hours in queues at filling stations, a development a motorist, Mallam Wada Inuwa, described as “energy-sapping and agonising.”

Inuwa, who wondered why fuel scarcity had become a tradition, particularly during the Christmas and New Year celebrations, appealed to the appropriate authorities to take proactive measures to address the ugly trend.

Lots of Nigerians, especially traders from the South-East, who had planned to travel to their respective home states from Kano for the Yuletide, had to shelve the trips.

Transporters increased the fare for the Kano-to-Lagos route from N7,500 to between N10,500 and N11,000, with only a few buses willing to undertake the trip.

“I wanted to get 30 litres at the black market and I was told to pay N12,000. At some filling stations in Maryland, Lagos, petrol attendants were collecting N500 extra to sell in kegs,” Mr. David Okoko told one of our correspondents.

Mr. Femi Likolo said he refused to buy five litres for N2,000 at the black market somewhere in Mile 12 and had to queue at a station for over three hours.

A motorist, Mr. Julius Opawale, said the scarcity had had a cascading effect on transportation and food prices, among others.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Mr. ‘Laoye Jaiyeola, said, “As long as you are importing fuel, you will be subject to the vagaries of foreign exchange control. As long as you are doing regulated pricing, uniform pricing, it can’t work. We need to allow appropriate pricing.


 
“So long as we are importing, we are going to pay the price. But when we do it locally and we have our pipes laid and can transport the products to every part of the country, we will solve the problem. So, let’s hope that all the refineries locally that are being worked on will come to fruition soon.”

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday broke his silence on the lingering fuel scarcity in the country, saying he had directed the regulators to end hoarding of the product and price inflation.

He said he had also been assured by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation that the situation would improve significantly in the next few days.

Buhari stated this in a statement he personally signed and posted on his verified Twitter handle, @MBuhari.
Mon, 25 Dec 2017
The Lions Club International through it Lions Quest Nigeria has concluded the training of 145 secondary school teachers in Lagos and Ogun states on how to inculcate life skills in adolescents. Country Coordinator of Lions Quest, Kola Oyekanmi, in a statement on Sunday, explained that over 3, 000 students in more than 20 schools across [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Chukwudi Akasike, Port Harcourt Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party have said that they supported the emergence of Prince Uche Secondus as the party's National Chairman because of his strength, character and honesty. Also, the PDP National Chairman, Secondus boasted that the new National Working Committee would take the party to [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
THE National Assemblys failure to approve the N135.6 billion virement, which the Executive submitted to the lawmakers on July 20, to improve funding for critical national infrastructure, is baffling. Lawmakers from the two legislative chambers revealed recently that the request had become irrelevant. The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, read the virement letter in the plenary [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
As the year, 2017, winds down, it is imperative to assess the contributions of the Eighth Senate of Nigeria against the backdrop of this aphorism by Poet Mary Oliver: To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work. We have a very good habit in these parts by focusing on the negatives in a [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Oludayo Tade Food no dey, brother water no dey and our country no good o, everyday for thief one day for owner eee. Poor man wey thief Maggi, dem go show him face for Crime Fighter, rich man wey steal money we no dey see their face for Crime Fighter, tell me wetin I no [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Olaide Oyelude, Katsina A housewife, Dausiya Abdulmuminu, 15, arrested by the Katsina Police Command for allegedly poisoning her husband, Samilu Usman, said she put rat poison in the 27-year-old husbands food because she never loved him. The husband died alongside an eight-year-old, Mohammed Abdulmumini. The teenage wife, who was paraded by the police on Saturday, [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Adeniyi Olugbemi, Sokoto A burglar, Abubakar Mohammed, who broke into the Sokoto residence of a Special Adviser to the Vice-President, Dr. Balkisu Saidu, has been sentenced to two years imprisonment. The judgment was delivered by a Sokoto State Magistrates Court presided over by Shuaibu Ahmed. Ahmed sentenced the convict to 12 months imprisonment each for [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Adelani Adepegba, Abuja Revenue collectors and tax consultants engaged by the Area Councils in the Federal Capital Territory have continued to harass motorists for money in disobedience to a directive by the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, ordering them to vacate the roads. The tax collectors were often seen demanding levies and other taxes from [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Olaide Oyelude, Katsina A 21-year-old woman, Aisha Dikko, is presently recuperating at the General Hospital, Kurfi, Katsina State after she was attacked and left for the dead by her boyfriend. Dikko was said to have been tricked into a bush at Tamawa village in the Kurfi Local Government Area of the state by her boyfriend [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Enyioha Opara, Minna THE Deputy Comptroller of Prison in charge of Minna Medium Prison, Garba Abubakar, on Sunday disclosed that 21 condemned criminals are awaiting execution while 10 others are serving life sentences. Abubakar made the disclosure when the International Federation of Women Lawyers, Niger State Chapter, visited the prison in Minna. It was learnt [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Friday Olokor and Godwin Isenyo The Arewa Consultative Forum and the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union on Sunday described as wicked and barbaric the Friday night killing of four persons in Nimdem village of Godogodo Chiefdom in Jemaah Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The attack by an unknown gunman while the villagers were singing the [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that the goodwill he has been enjoying from the masses remains the major factor that keeps him in politics. The President spoke in a documentary, The Human Side of President Buhari, put together my his media team and was aired on the Nigerian Television Authority on Sunday. [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Success Nwogu, Ilorin Members of the Kwara South Unity Forum in Kwara State have initiated a recall process against the senator representing the Kwara South Senatorial District, Dr. Rafiu Ibrahim. According to a photocopy of the acknowledged copy of the petition, made available to journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, on Sunday, the petition [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Olaleye Aluko, Abuja The Nigerian Air Force said on Sunday that its fighter aircraft had located and bombed a large gathering of the Boko Haram terrorists in the Tumbum Rago area along the Nigeria-Chad border in Borno State. The air force said the air interdiction, which was reportedly carried out by the Alpha Jet and [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has charged automobile firm, Innoson, its Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Innocent Chukwuma, and his brother, Charles, for alleged theft and fraud. The EFCC, which slammed four charges against the accused persons, said they allegedly forged documents which they used to clear goods including motorcycle spare parts, [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Guatemala is to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, President Jimmy Morales said Sunday, becoming the first leader to back US President Donald Trumps controversial change of stance on the holy city. After speaking with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Morales wrote to Guatemalans on his Facebook page that one of the most important [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja The Presidency, on Sunday, said there was no truth in the claim that President Muhammadu Buhari was behind the removal of the erstwhile Kano State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Umar Doguwa. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, made the clarification in a statement [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Gboyega Odogun, Lokoja The Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has warned local government the administrators and political office holders against diversion of agricultural equipment for personal use. Bello, who gave the warning in Lokoja on Sunday while inaugurating agricultural equipment worth several millions of naira and unveiling the Confluence Rice, said the procurement of [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Peter Dada, Akure A member of the Federal House Representatives and member of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Mayowa Akinfolarin, has dumped the PDP to join the All Progressives Congress on Saturday. The lawmaker, representing Ileoluji-Okeigbo/Odigbo Federal constituency, defected to the APC with hundreds of his supporters. At the event held in Ore, in the [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Kamarudeen Ogundele, Ado Ekiti The Peoples Democratic Party has won in all the 16 Local Government Areas and 177 wards in the Saturdays Local Government Elections. Five political parties: the Action Democratic Party, National Democratic Liberty Party, Peoples Democratic Party, Peoples Party of Nigeria and the Social Democratic Party contested in the elections. The All [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Oladimeji Ramon The Diocesan Bishop of Lagos, Dr. Adebola Ademowo, has enjoined Nigerians to embrace the virtues of love and peaceful co-existence that the season symbolises. He also urged the government to do more to ensure the security of lives and property in the country. Ademowo, in a Christmas goodwill message on Sunday, called for [] 


Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Friday Olokor, Jos As the world marks Christmas today, the Christian Association of Nigeria has called on Nigerians not to allow the difficulties in the country to deter them from celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. The association also called on the nations leaders to live up to their responsibilities by tackling the nations woes [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Oladimeji Ramon and Samuel Awoyinfa A national leader of All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has called for support for President Muhammadu Buhari to enable the country to overcome its challenges. He urged Nigerians to learn from the example of Jesus Christ who faced and overcame the greatest evil by uniting to overcome the nations [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Samuel Awoyinfa, Peter Dada, Olufemi Atoyebi, John Charles, Kayode Idowu and Umar Muhammed State governors from different parts of the country have sent greetings to Nigerians, especially Christians, as the world celebrates Christmas today. The Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, in his message, urged the Christian faithful and Nigerians to pursue peace, love and [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Leke Baiyewu and John Ameh President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki; Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; and former Senate President, Senator David Mark, on Sunday, sent messages of felicitation to the Christian faithful as they celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on Monday (today). Saraki, in a statement in Abuja by his Special [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
John Ameh, Abuja The House of Representatives has proposed penalties ranging from a fine of N500,000 to N50m or a prison term of up to 10 years for electoral offences. A convicted offender may also pay both fine and be sentenced to a prison term. Offenders will be tried not in conventional courts but by [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
John Alechenu, Abuja Stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress under the aegis of the All Progressives Women Leaders have decried the marginalisation of women in the political appointments so far made by the APC-led administration. This was made public in an open letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Sunday. The women expressed [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Sesan Olufowobi The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, and the Senator representing the Lagos East District in the Senate, Gbenga Ashafa, on Sunday urged Nigerians to see Christmas as an opportunity to express acts of love and kindness to one another, as to well [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Femi Makinde, Osogbo The Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, said on Sunday that the state collected the sum of N121.6bn as statutory allocation and other earnings including the two tranches of the Paris Club loan refund between July 2015 and November 2017. According to a statement on Sunday, Aregbesola said this on Friday while appealing [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Afeez Hanafi The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, says there is the need for mutual cooperation between the government and workers to ensure effective service delivery in the state. Ambode, at the Retreat for Trade Union leaders in Epe on Saturday, stated that stakeholders must realise that good industrial relations involved striking a balance of [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
The U.S. government, through its embassy in Monrovia, has warned of possible violence before or after Tuesday's presidential run-off elections in Liberia. In a statement on Sunday, the embassy warned American citizens resident in or travelling to Liberia that criminal elements could take advantage of a large political or social gathering to attack participants or [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Nimi Akinkugbe It's that time again: Christmas trees and decorations are up, families are planning to come together for sumptuous meals and Christmas carols waft through the air as people shop till they drop. In a sense, the season has become all about money, and amidst it all, it is so easy to lose sight [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja Many customers of Deposit Money Banks on Sunday expressed dissatisfaction with the poor quality of service of the various Automated Teller Machines managed by banks in the Federal Capital Territory. Our correspondent, who visited many of the ATM points, observed long queues and disruption of service by the service providers. Some of [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Anna Okon The Standards Organisation of Nigeria has warned against the sale of substandard products as the offence will henceforth attract a penalty of N1m. The Director-General, SON, Mr. Osita Aboloma, who stated this, noted that it was part of the provisions of the SON Act. Aboloma, who spoke in Kano at a stakeholders' forum [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Stanley Opara Vetiva Research has presented its full-year 2018 outlook report on the Nigerian economy, key sectors and capital markets, projecting further gains for the equities market next year. It, however, expected the usual heightened uncertainty ahead of election years. Vetiva Research expects equities to hold the upper hand in comparison to the fixed income [] 


Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Stanley Opara Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, Dangote Cement Plc and Aiico Insurance Plc emerged as the top three equities for the past week (volume-wise) after accounting for 1.335 billion shares worth N125.907bn in 888 deals. They contributed 59.52 per cent and 90.07 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value, respectively. The [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has presented cheques of N49.5m to 216 Community Development Associations in the state as grants-in-aid to compliment their self-help projects. The governor, while presenting the cheques in Abeokuta, described the associations as a veritable tool in nation building. 'Today's disbursement of N49.5m as grants-in-aid and subventions to our various CDAs [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi The Lagos State Government says increased advocacy and public enlightenment will eradicate or reduce to the barest minimum incidences of real estate fraud in the state. The Commissioner for Housing, Gbolahan Lawal, stated this at the 2017 stakeholders' forum of the Lagos State Real Estate Transaction Department. He said the government had set [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja The Transmission Company of Nigeria on Sunday announced that it had cleared 454 power equipment containers that were abandoned by contractors at various seaports across the country. It also said in a statement issued in Abuja that the country recorded peak generation of 5,222.3 megawatts of electricity, effectively transmitted through the national [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, on Sunday denied claims that her ministry and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation had failed to adhere to the Fiscal Responsibility Act. The minister, in a statement issued by her Media Adviser, Mr. Oluyinka Akintunde, also said it was untrue that [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Oyetunji Abioye The Central Bank of Nigeria and the Committee of E-Business Industry Heads, the umbrella body of heads of e-banking in commercial banks, need to collaborate with stakeholders in the electronic payment industry to promote financial inclusion in the country. The Chairman of Secure ID Limited, Mr. Adedotun Sulaiman, made this call in a [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Stanley Opara The Convention on Business Integrity and the Nigerian Stock Exchange have moved to develop corporate governance in Nigeria by introducing the Corporate Governance Rating System for companies in the country. The steering board of the CGRS, was inaugurated on December 12, 2017. The Steering Board is the governing body of the CGRS, which [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Peter Dada, Akure The Ondo State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, has stated that a sum of N15bn has been earmarked for the rehabilitation and construction of roads across the 18 local government area of the state in 2018. The governor said out of the sum, the government would spend N3bn on the reconstruction of roads [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Lafarge Africa Plc has unveiled its 2030 Plan, with which it intends to tackle the world's biggest issues for the next decade, set new standards and be the leading example of sustainability. According to the company, the 2030 plan with the theme, 'Building for tomorrow', is supportive of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi The Minister of Environment, Ibrahim Jubril, has called for the enactment and implementation of a national policy to ensure the phase out of mercury in products in the country. Jubril made the call at one-day national dissemination workshop on mercury products' project in Nigeria by the Sustainable Research and Action for Environmental Development, [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Internet banking has always been an important part of our daily lives. Being an easy alternative to card payments and e-wallets, Internet banking makes online transactions really easy. At present, Internet banking is the best and safest online payment option available, according to www.trak.in/tags/business.com With the rapid growth of Internet banking, the cybercrimes have seen [] 

Mon, 25 Dec 2017
Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi The Nigerian Institute of Architects has advised the government to invest in affordable housing to revitalise the ailing economy. The new President of the NIA, Mr. Festus Njoku, said at the 57th Annual General Assembly and Conference of the institute that the Federal Government should collaborate with professionals in the built environment to [] 
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