Below are the headlines found on The Guardian Online Newspaper for today, Wednesday, 28 March, 2018.

Wed, 28 Mar 2018
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday declared as unconstitutional the recent decision by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to extend the tenure of the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun-led National Working Committee (NWC).

The president’s position took the NWC and the 36 state chairmen of the party, who were beneficiaries of the controversial decision, by surprise at the start of the NEC meeting yesterday at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja.

Also in attendance were the 24 state governors of the party and select national assembly members. But the Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara were conspicuously absent from the meeting which started around 10:40 a.m.

Chieftains of the party who felt shortchanged due to the tenure elongation had taken the Odigie-Oyegun-led NWC to court, seeking the quashing of the decision.

President Buhari said notwithstanding the fact that the decision to extend the tenure got the endorsement of the NEC at its meeting held on the 27th of February this year, it could not stand since it was against the provisions of Article 17 (1) (2) of the APC constitution as well as section 223 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

He argued that allowing such an illegality to stand would not only deepen the crises plaguing the party, it could provide an enabling environment for members of the opposition to wrestle power from APC in the 2019 general elections.

Buhari, who reiterated the need to ensure internal democracy in the APC, enjoined the NEC to duly elect executive members of the party at national and state levels in accordance with the timetable of the party.

The president disclosed that his position was based on wise counsel of persons knowledgeable in law among the ranks of the party, including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) and the Abubakar Malami-led Federal Ministry of Justice.

He said: “I have taken time to review and seek advice on the resolution and what I found is that it contravenes both our party’s constitution and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“While the APC constitution in article 17(1) and 13.2 (b) limits the tenure of elected officers to four years, renewable once by another election, the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) in section 223 also prescribes periodic election for party executives at regular intervals which must not exceed four years.

“Furthermore, Article 31 of our great party’s constitution provides that any principal officer wishing to re-contest, or contest for another post, must resign from his current post at least one month before the election.

“In this circumstance, what is expected of us, is to conduct fresh elections once the tenure of the current executives approaches its end.

“A caretaker committee cannot remedy this situation and cannot validly act in place of elected officers. I think if we deviate from the constitution and provisions, we might be endangering the fortunes of our party.”

According to Buhari, “If the tenure of our party executive can be legally faulted, then, it means any nomination and primary election that they will conduct can also be faulted.

“This is not to talk of differences that will arise and they are already arising within the party when some of our members are feeling that they are being denied the rights to aspire to executive positions or internal democracy is not at play within the party.

“I am therefore of the firm belief that it is better to follow strictly the dictates of our party and national constitutions rather than put the APC and its activities at grave risks. Fortunately, we have approved a timetable for the order of congresses and the elections. This should be allowed to go forward and all efforts should now be geared towards making them a great success.”

The Spokesman of the party, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, who briefed reporters on the outcome of the meeting disclosed that a technical committee comprising experts would be constituted to reconsider the legal implications of the decision to extend the tenure of the party executive officers.

He said if the committee which was mandated to turn in its report today, endorsed Buhari ‘s position, it would take another round of NEC meeting to ratify the reversal of the tenure elongation.

He said it was resolved at the NEC that two separate committees be constituted to harmonise the inputs of members on the amendment of the party constitution and the Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai committee’s position on the restructuring of the country.

Wed, 28 Mar 2018
Though the Federal Government pegged the exchange rate at N305.25 to a dollar, the American Consulate in Nigeria exchanged N400 to a dollar in visa application fees for one fiscal year, until yesterday.

This was deduced from the visa fees and exchange rate published on the website of the American Consulate:

Consequently, at the exchange rate of N400 to a dollar, a Nigerian applying for the non-immigrant U.S. visa at $160 fee was made to pay N64, 000 instead of N48, 840. The N400-to-a dollar exchange rate allowed the U.S. Consulate to cream off excess gain of N15, 200 per applicant. Even at the black market rate of N370 to a dollar, which was sustained for months, the consulate made an excess gain of N8, 400 on each visa granted Nigerians.

According to the U.S. Department of State, more than 163,000 immigrant and non-immigrant visas were issued to Nigerians between March 2017 and January 2018.

The number of applicants denied visa in 2017 were over 130,000, representing 44 per cent of the visas granted in the fiscal year.

Therefore, at the exchange rate of N400 to a dollar, the consulate made nearly N19 billion in 11 months instead of N14.5 billion it would have made at N305.25 to a dollar. The difference of N4.5 billion represents 23 per cent excess gain.

Considering that other visa types such as H, L, O, P, Q, R, K and E attract higher fees, ranging between $190 and $265, the embassy’s gross earnings increased by a significant amount.

For instance, a religious worker travelling to the U.S. had paid N76, 000 for P-type visa instead of N58, 000; the same for athletes, artists and entertainers.

Adam Alqali, a reporter with an online newspaper, African News Page, said he felt cheated when he realised he paid $160 at N400 to a dollar rate, more so, when he was eventually denied a visa.

Alqali was offered a fellowship to attend Federation of Science Conference in San Francisco in October 2017, all expenses paid by his sponsor.
“Despite the fact that all my papers were valid, I was still denied a visa. That was how I missed an opportunity to attend the fellowship,” he said.

A visa applicant, Kayode Bello, described the exchange rate as “extortion.”

Wed, 28 Mar 2018
Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr has hinted that Deportivo de La Coruña starlet, Francis Uzoho, will be his first-choice goalkeeper at the 2018 World Cup. He pointed out that he has not conceded a goal since making his international debut.

Uzoho and African based pair Chippa United’s Daniel Akpeyi and Enyimba’s Ikechukwu Ezenwa are vying for a starting spot, but it appears the youngest of the trio is ahead in Rohr’s pecking order of goalkeepers.

‘’I think you should be more impressed than me because I know him already. So I saw also that the 40,000 people in the stadium in Poland were impressed,’’ Rohr told when asked if Uzoho will be the first-choice in Russia.

‘’He is 19 years old, we already had the youngest team before he came and now we are even younger.

‘’We are the youngest team in the world with Germany as No 2 and this goalkeeper, has just played 2 games, the last 45 minutes against Argentina, he had a clean sheet, now he has recorded another clean sheet against Poland.

‘’It’s good for his confidence.’’

Francis Uzoho started his second consecutive game for the Super Eagles against Serbia at the Hive Stadium yesterday.

Meanwhile, Croatia manager Zlatko Dalić has made it crystal clear that their main focus is on Nigeria. He spoke ahead of their pre-World Cup friendly against Mexico at the AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas).

Croatia spy Ognjen Vukojević presumably watched the Eagles 1-0 win against Poland last Friday and was one of the spectators at the Hive Stadium yesterday.

‘’We are very respectful of Mexico, they are a fantastic team, especially in the good atmosphere this time will be at the stadium, but it will not be easy, but I expect Croatia to play a good match, for my players to have a good game,’’ Dalic told the Croatian Football Federation official webpage.

‘’It’s my style because we will use it in the World Cup too. Argentina, I think, is one of the main favorites for the title in Russia, but we are primarily focused on Nigeria, the first opponents in the group.’’

Wed, 28 Mar 2018
Multiple accidents on the Ijebu Ode-Ore expressway, Ogun State yesterday claimed three lives and injured 10 others. The accident, which occurred at about 11:00a.m. 

Wed, 28 Mar 2018
The Medical Director of Best Medical Centre in Ketu-Ijanikin, Dr. Martins Udobi, is seeking justice over what he called 'unfair treatment' by CCECC, a Chinese construction firm. 

Wed, 28 Mar 2018
Footwear Academy, a footwear training firm, has won the maiden edition of the Proudly Made in Aba Hackathon Challenge, designed to proffer solution to challenges currently faced... 

Wed, 28 Mar 2018
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. introduces the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, the smartphones that reimagine the way people communicate, share and experience the world. 

Wed, 28 Mar 2018
In line with its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative towards enhancing human capacity development, a leading marine and waterway solutions provider in Nigeria... 

Wed, 28 Mar 2018
Trojan Battery Company Limited, manufacturer of deep-cycle batteries, with its Nigerian partners and Master Distributor ' Eauxwell Nigeria Limited, introduced a new range of Deep-Cycle Solar batteries into the Nigerian market. 

Wed, 28 Mar 2018
Crude oil output from independent and sole risks producers have increased by over 100 per cent from 2.388 million barrels recorded in May 2017 to 7.487 million barrels in June... 
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