NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS: TODAY'S THE PUNCH NEWSPAPER HEADLINES [22 MARCH, 2018].


Below are the headlines found on The Punch Online Newspaper for today, Thursday, 22 March, 2018.

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Dapchi village in Yobe State has been filled with excitement since some abducted pupils at the Government Girls Science and Technical College in the village regained their freedom.

They were released in the early hours of Wednesday.

One hundred and ten pupils were abducted from the school on February 19, 2018, by Boko Haram insurgents, while efforts to locate them by security agencies failed until they were released by their captors.

As of 8.50pm on Wednesday, the Federal Government had confirmed the release of 105 schoolgirls and a boy, making a total of 106 released persons.

Earlier, the Federal Government in a statement by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had said 76 of the girls had been freed.

Later in an interview with State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Mohammed said 91 girls and a boy were freed by the terrorists.

However, in another statement, the minister said the number had increased to 101 with the documentation of more freed girls by security agencies.

The Minister of Information and Culture, in a late afternoon interview with journalists at the Air Force Base in Maiduguri, Bornu State, said the number had increased to 105.

The minister attributed the earlier changing figures released by the government to the fact that the “the girls went to their homes after they were released in Dapchi. What we have now is 105 girls and a boy; that makes it 106 persons released today (Wednesday).”


 
One of our correspondents that visited Dapchi gathered that the insurgents brought their captives back to the village and set them free on Wednesday.

It was further gathered that five of the schoolgirls had died due to suffocation.

It was also learnt that a pupil, a Christian, was still being held by the insurgents because she refused to be converted to Islam.

Soldiers, who were deployed in the town, were said to have made “tactical withdrawal” to allow the terrorists to have access to the village.

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
The Federal Government on Wednesday applied to the Federal High Court in Abuja to temporarily seize some properties belonging to the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, because he allegedly failed to declare the assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau.

Nine of the targeted properties are said to be in Abuja, two of them in London, the United Kingdom, eight in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates and three in Florida, the United States.

The Okoi Obono-Obla Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property said in an ex parte application filed on behalf of the Federal Government before the court that Ekweremadu failed to declare of the said properties in its assets declaration forms dated June 1, 2007 and June 1, 2015.

The presidential panel through a private lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), engaged to institute the legal action, prayed the court in its application to make an order of interim forfeiture pending the conclusion of the investigation of the Deputy Senate President.

Keyamo stated in the application that Ekweremadu was being investigated by the Obono-Obla committee for alleged breach of a breach of Code of Conduct for Public Officers.

The application accompanied by an affidavit of urgency, seeking an urgent hearing of the motion, was anchored on four grounds.

The grounds of the ex parte application are, “That the properties listed in Schedule A hereunder were the properties declared by the respondent in his assets declaration form at the Code of Conduct Bureau.

“That ongoing investigation/inquiries have revealed that the properties listed in Schedule B also belong to the respondent and so belonged to him when he declared his assets in Schedule A.

“That the properties listed in Schedule B were not declared in the assets declaration form of the respondent.

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
The N200m copyright infringement suit filed by a popular Nigerian musician, Paul I.K. Dairo, alias Paul Play, against a telecommunications company, Etisalat (now 9mobile) held on Monday with the court admitting an additional exhibit.

The exhibit, a Deed of Assignment between Paul Play and the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria, was admitted by the court as Exhibit 9.


 
Paul Play’s lawyer, Mr. Romeo Michael, tendered the Deed of Assignment through the Director General of MCSN, Mr. Mayowa Ayilara, who appeared in court on Monday as a subpoenaed witness.

Justice Muslim Hassan adjourned further proceedings in the case till May 24, 2018.

 Paul Play, a multiple award-winning artiste, is seeking an order of the court compelling Etisalat and others to pay him N200m for allegedly making use of his 2009 hit track, “Mosorire” without his authorisation.

Paul Play claimed that Etisalat used “Mosorire” in its popular television reality show, tagged, “Nigerian Idol” for two consecutive years without paying him.

Joined with Etisalat in the suit marked FHC/CS/581/2014 is Optima Media Group, which is the organiser of Nigerian Idol.

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Twelve soldiers were feared  killed on Tuesday night when bandits attacked them at Kampanin Doka Village in Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The soldiers were said to part of a special force deployed in the area to protect expatriates and people working on a new road linking the state via Dansadau-Dangulbi and  Birnin-Gwari  to neighbouring Zamfara State.


 
Our correspondent learnt that an expatriate  engineer working at the site was last year kidnapped by unknown gunmen but was later released. Following that  incident, workers, including expatriates  deserted the site but were later mobilised back on the conditions that they would be provided with adequate security.

A source, who pleaded anonymity, said the attackers, numbering about 120 and all riding motor bikes stormed the soldiers’ camp between 9pm and 10 pm, killing three of the soldiers who were in trenches and another nine in the camp.

Our correspondent also learnt that before the attack, the bandits carried out two separate attacks at Doka and Maganda.

It also was gathered that when the bandits attacked Maganda village they shot indiscriminately and injured about nine persons who are currently receiving treatment at the hospital.

Our correspondent also learnt that the soldiers were taken unawares by the bandits who were said to be armed to the teeth for that operation.

“We gathered that the soldiers caught a thief in a village called Maganda in the area and were taking him back to their camp when some policemen asked them to hand over the thief to them but the soldiers allegedly refused.

“The policemen followed the soldiers to their camp in Kampanin Doka and again asked them to hand over the thief to them, but the soldiers still refused. Around 8pm on Tuesday, bandits attacked the soldiers and killed three of them in a hole and nine others in a tent in the camp,” said the source.

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, on Wednesday disclosed that the Federal Government had so far recovered about N9.12bn through its whistle-blowing policy introduced to reward informants. She gave a breakdown of the recoveries as N7.8bn, $368m, and 27,800. Adeosun disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents of the outcome of [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says the recently sacked Special Adviser to the President and Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig.Gen. Paul Boroh (retd.), is still in its custody as investigations of fraud levelled against him continue. The spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed this to our correspondent [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Ade Adesomoju, Abuja The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal on Wednesday quashed the sentence of two years imprisonment with option of N750,000 fine imposed by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on a former official of the Police Pension Office, Yakubu Yusuf, for stealing N24bn pension funds. A three-man panel [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Armstrong Bakam, Bauchi Five students of the College of Education, Kangere in Bauchi State have reportedly died following the outbreak of cholera in the institution. Our correspondent learnt from sources in the college that the outbreak of the disease, which was said to have been caused by the dirty environment of the institution, caused panic [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Afeez Hanafi Seven exceptional students from universities across Nigeria have emerged awardees of the 23rd Stephen Oluwole Awokoya Foundation for Science Education Postgraduate Scholarship. The awardees were selected from 151 nominees comprising 91 graduates with First Class or Distinction, 54 with Second Class Division Honour (Upper Division), as well as six students and graduates of [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, says some politicians responsible for the current societal decay are now posing as saviours ahead of the 2019 general elections. Soyinka therefore warned that such politicians should not be allowed to join the Nigerian Intervention Movement. The playwright said this at the grand national summit of the [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday congratulated the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu, on his 55th birthday holding on Thursday (today). The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists. Adesina said the President joined the United Bank [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Sesan Olufowobi The Lagos State Government on Wednesday said President Muhammadu Buhari was expected to chair the 10th Bola Tinubu Colloquium to commemorate the 66th birthday of a national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu. A statement by the Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, said the theme of the [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Kamarudeen Ogundele, Ado Ekiti The Founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Aare Afe Babalola, SAN, has called on Nigerians to join him in his crusade to entrench quality and functional education, industry, service and character as well as discipline to make the society better than they met it. He stated this at the opening of [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Punch Editorial Board After groping in the dark for nearly two decades, state assemblies have acquiesced to the clamour for their autonomy. They are set to liberate themselves from being appendages of the governors, a move that will place their funding in the first line charge. Epileptic funding of the assemblies has been used by [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Oladimeji Ramon A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Rickey Tarfa, who was charged with the offence of offering gratification to judges to allegedly pervert the course of justice, opened his defence on Wednesday, calling three witnesses. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is prosecuting Tarfa before the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere. In the [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Tony Okafor, Awka The Minister of Transport, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, has said the Igbo cannot become the president of Nigeria without the support for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019. He said the best thing the Igbo would do was to rally round Buhari's re-election bid to facilitate the Igbo presidency. He called on the Igbo [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
YouTube said Wednesday it is making a movie in-house to be released in theaters, in a development being seen as a step towards the model of new-media innovator Amazon. Vulture Club, which is in post-production, stars Oscar winner Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking, Thelma and Louise) as an emergency room nurse whose son is been [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
John Ameh, Abuja The House of Representatives on Wednesday reintroduced the controversial Electoral Act (amendment) Bill, 2018 for first reading. This is in keeping with its decision to delete some portions of the bill, pass it again and return it to President Muhammadu Buhari a second time for his assent. Should Buhari withhold his assent [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg vowed Wednesday to step up to fix problems at the social media giant, as it fights a snowballing scandal over the hijacking of personal data from millions of its users. We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we cant then we dont deserve to serve you, Zuckerberg said, [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Gbenga Odogun, Lokoja The Independent National Electoral Commission in Kogi State on Wednesday announced dates for the commencement of the recall process of the embattled Senator representing Kogi West in the National Assembly, Dino Melaye. The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Prof. James Apam, said following the appeal court ruling that INEC could commence [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Yes, it is high time Nigeria had a sex offender registry because we now have a high rate of rape, sexual violence and assaults in the society. It should be a gender centre where both men and women can report such cases. We have a lot of cases of sexual harassment at work and in [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
The ongoing dispute between the National Assembly and President Muhammadu Buhari over the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 evokes the memory of a similar battle between the then President Goodluck Jonathan and the legislature over constitution amendment in 2015, ADE ADESOMOJU reports The substances of the proposed amendments to the Electoral Act in 2018 may [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja The Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda GatesFoundation, Mr. Bill Gates; and the Chairman of the Dangote Foundation, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, are among those scheduled to speak at a special session of the National Economic Councilon Thursday. The council chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has all the 36 state governors, relevant ministers [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Anna Okon The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to forget the proposed hike in the excise duty on alcohol and tobacco products, saying if it goes ahead to implement the proposal, the firms producing the products will shut down and increase job losses. The President, MAN, Dr. Frank Jacobs, made [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Sesan Olufowobi The Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission says it has trained its ad hoc personnel, adding that the bye-elections scheduled for Saturday, March 24, 2018, will be free and fair. The Chairman of LASIEC, Justice Ayotunde Phillips (retd.), on Wednesday stated that the training was to make the personnel familiar with the roles they [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Ade Adesomoju, Abuja The acting Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission Mrs. Oti Ovrawah, has said the report of the commission's project tagged, 'End Electoral Impunity' will soon be made public. According to a statement released by the NHRC's Head Media Relations, Mrs. Fatimah Mohammed, on Wednesday, the report will likely be released [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
John Ameh, Abuja The Senate and the House of Representatives have taken a decision to pass the 2018 budget on April 24. Ahead of the date, the joint Committees on Appropriations will lay the report on the budget in the two chambers on April 19. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
The Nigerian Army on Wednesday handed 106 released girls from Boko Haram captivity to Federal Government. The Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj.-Gen. Rogers Nicholas, presented the released girls to the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at the 105 Air Force Composite Command, Maiduguri. Nicholas explained that 104 girls were part of the 110 [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Femi Asu Meter asset providers are expected to supply and install meters within 10 working days of payment on the premises of electricity customers who choose the option of paying for the meters. The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission stated this in the newly released Meter Asset Providers Regulation 2018, which seeks to bridge the metering [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja Through the deployment of Information and Communications Technology, the Federal Inland Revenue Service has been able to raise tax revenue by over N700bn in the last two years. The Executive Chairman, FIRS, Mr. Babatunde Fowler, said this in Abuja on Thursday at the opening session of the 13th General Assembly of the [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Everest Amaefule, Abuja The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission has warned the Federal Government against the proposed sale of national assets, especially the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas. In a statement signed by the Head, Public Relations, RMAFC, Ibrahim Mohammed, the commission said that it was not wise for the government to sell an entity [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja Between 2007 and 2017, the Federal Government was able to save the sum of N288bn in personnel costs through the implementation of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System. The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, gave the figure in a presentation entitled: 'Status update on the implementation of the Federal Executive [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Oyetunji Abioye Protecting your personal banking information can help reduce your risk of identity theft. According to www.consumer.ftc.go, there are four main ways to do it: know who you share information with; store and dispose of your personal information securely, especially your Bank Verification Number; ask questions before deciding to share your personal information; and [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Oladimeji Ramon A professor of Energy Law, Mrs. Yinka Omorogbe, has said control of energy ought to be on the concurrent legislative list rather than the exclusive legislative in order to ensure efficient power supply in the country. Omorogbe, who is the Edo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, argued that the idea of [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Femi Asu Energy law experts have said the Lagos State Electric Power Sector Reform Law will encourage more investment in embedded power generation in the state. Last month, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode assented to the law, with the state's Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Olawale Oluwo, saying the law would allow the government to [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Femi Asu The challenge of gas supply in the nation's power sector left nearly 2,000 megawatts capacity idle at 12 power plants on Wednesday. The nation's unutilised electricity generation capacity due to gas constraints stood at to 1,987.5MW as of 6am on Wednesday, down from 2,482MW on Tuesday, data obtained from the Federal Ministry of [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority is to invest the sum of $20m (N6.1bn based on N305 per dollar official exchange rate of the Central Bank of Nigeria) in three medical facilities in the country. The amount will be invested through the NSIA Healthcare Development and Investment Company in collaboration with Federal Ministry [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Femi Asu The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Energia Limited, Mr. Felix Amieye-Ofori, said funding constraint slowed down the establishment of a modular refinery in Kwale, Delta State. He said the company started with a design of 10,000 barrels per day refinery to produce products including petrol, diesel and kerosene. He said, 'At some point, due [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi The management of Med-View Airline Plc has announced that a 42 per cent increase in revenue in 2017. The Executive Director, Finance and Accounts, Med-View Airline, Mr. Adedayo Olaniyan, stated at a pre-Annual General Meeting get-together with shareholders on Wednesday that the airline's total revenue rose from N26.04bn in 2016 to N36.9bn last [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Nike Popoola Henceforth, the government and private sector employers will pay increased premium for the compulsory Group Life Insurance Policy of their workers, investigation has revealed. Our correspondent gathered that in a recent circular on rates for compulsory insurance that was recently released by the National Insurance Commission, the new premium rates were raised by [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja Chevron Nigeria Limited and its partners have invested $25m in various health development programmes across the country. Speaking on behalf of the CNL and other Chevron companies in Nigeria and their partners at a conference on sustainable financing to end tuberculosis in Abuja, a representative of the firms, Dr. Femi Pitan, said [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Femi Asu The Council of Mining Engineers and Geoscientists has concluded the monitoring and evaluation of water well drilling in Ibadan. The Technical Director, Geocardinal Engineering Services Limited, the consultant on the project, Titilope Adeyemo, said more than 50 copies of questionnaires were distributed to respondents across the eight local governments in the city including [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Femi Asu Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company has said the 33KV lines to Lalupon town and its environs are under rehabilitation. The IBEDC said in a statement on Wednesday that contractors were working assiduously to ensure that power supply would improve up to the tail end of Lalupon feeder by the end of March 2018. The [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Olalekan Adetayo and Oyetunji Abioye African leaders agreed on Wednesday to form a $3tn continental free-trade zone encompassing 1.2 billion people, but its two biggest economies, Nigeria and South Africa, did not sign up, diminishing its impact. The African Union started talks in 2015 to establish a 55-nation bloc that would be the biggest in [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Stanley Opara Cadbury Nigeria Plc says it has embarked on a move to reposition its operations for improved efficiency. In this light, the company, in a statement, said its revenue increased from N29.979bn in 2016 to N33.079bn in 2017, representing a 10 per cent growth while profit after tax also rose from N296m loss in [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Femi Asu with agency report Sahara Group Limited, a Nigerian energy conglomerate, said it had revived plans for a share sale as it looks to increase oil production fourfold to 100,000 barrels per day. In 2015, Sahara was pursuing a dual listing on the London and Lagos stock exchanges in an effort to raise more [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Stanley Opara Positive sentiment was dominant in the Treasury bonds space on Wednesday as the average bond yield declined by 0.03 per cent to settle at 13.51 per cent. The yields on 12 tenors declined while that of the May-2018 instrument advanced by 0.10 per cent to close at 14.22 per cent. The average money [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Abimbola Adelakun If Vice President Yemi Osinbajo expected a public outrage at his latest revelation that the whopping sums of N100 billion and $289 million were embezzled by the Goodluck Jonathan administration weeks to the 2015 elections, he must be disappointed by now. Up till now, nobody is exactly asking for Jonathans head on a [] 

Thu, 22 Mar 2018
Nigerias parliamentary arm has seemingly remained a drain pipe that impedes economic growth in the country since the ongoing democratic experiment commenced in 1999. Comparatively, a Nigerian senator or member of the House of the Representatives earns several times more than their counterparts across the world. Still, corruption sways in the chambers. In fact, during [] 
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