NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS: Today's Thisday Newspaper Headlines [24 March, 2018].

Below are the headlines found on Thisday Online Newspaper for today, Saturday, 24 March, 2018.

Sat, 24 Mar 2018
More curious details about how the Dapchi schoolgirls were returned to their town by Boko Haram on Wednesday morning have emerged, with one of the girls telling a British newspaper, The Guardian, that they were flown in planes, and taken over rivers in boat by the terrorists.

Hafsat Abdullahi phoned the British newspaper on Wednesday afternoon to say her 16-year-old sister Fatima, who had been taken, had been dropped off in Dapchi. She puts her sister on the phone.

“It took us three days to get back to Dapchi,” said Fatima. “We were divided into three groups and flown in planes, and taken over rivers in boats.”

Waving the black and white flag used by the Islamic State and wearing balaclavas, military fatigues and ammunition belts, members of the group released most of the girls they had abducted in Dapchi, Yobe State, early on Wednesdaymorning.

Witnesses said the militants pulled up near Dapchi police station on Wednesday and shouted that parents should pick up their daughters. Initially, villagers ran away fearing another attack. But when they realised what was happening, they began to cheer and wave at the militants, chasing after their pickup trucks, some recording videos on their phones.

“Dapchi is full of joy,” said Mohammed Mdada, who saw the girls being whipped as they were driven away a month previously. He said the militants apologised to some of the girls’ parents in their language, Kanuri, and shook their hands before driving off.

“They said that if they knew they were Muslim girls they wouldn’t have abducted them,” Mdada said. “They warned the girls that they should stay away from school and swore that if they came back and found any girl in school, they’d abduct them again and never give them back.”

Sat, 24 Mar 2018
Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court Abuja yesterday discharged a serving Supreme Court Justice, Sylvester Ngwuta, from the corruption charges preferred against him by the federal government.

Also yesterday, the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by the Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, challenging the mode of service of court processes on him in a pre-election matter filed by Olusegun Abraham, an All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant in the state.

Ngwuta was among the seven judges whose homes were invaded in a sting operation by security agents in 2016.

Following his arrest, he was then arraigned before the Federal High Court on a 13-count criminal charge bordering on money laundering and unlawful possession of multiple International passports.

But in a ruling yesterday, trial judge, Justice John Tsoho struck out all the charges filed against the Supreme Court Justice for lack of jurisdiction.

Ngwuta had through an application brought by his counsel, Godwin Agabi (SAN), challenged the jurisdiction of the court to try him when the National Judicial Council (NJC) had not found him culpable of any misconduct or recommended him for trial.

The court held that the prosecution did not fulfill “the condition precedent in filing the charge against judicial officers,” adding that there was no dispute to the fact that Justice Sylvester Ngwuta is a serving Supreme Court Justice.

The court further agreed with Agabi, who relied on the judgment of Court of Appeal in justice Nganjiwa case. 

Tsoho noted that both the prosecution and defendant counsels are in agreement that the Court of Appeal’s decision in Justice Nganjiwa applied to this case, “except that the prosecution made an exception and listed theft, arson and murder as cases where judicial officers may be arrested and prosecuted without recourse to the National Judicial Council.”

“In my humble view, separation of power between the three arms of government is entrenched in the constitution. The National Judicial Council (NJC) is given power to discipline erring judicial officers.

 “By strict adherence, the power is constitutionally vested on the NJC to discipline judicial officers and that power cannot be taken away in a democracy.

Sat, 24 Mar 2018
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja warned security agencies to ensure that the untoward development of abduction does not repeat itself in the country again, threatening that security forces would henceforth be held responsible for any further repeat of such incident.

The President who issued the threat while receiving 105 students of Government Girls Science and Technical College, kidnapped on February 19 in Dapchi, Yobe State along with two others freed by Boko Haram on Wednesday, in the Presidential Villa, also said the government would not hesitate to thoroughly deal with anyone who opts to politicise security.

Buhari said he had directed the security agencies to ensure that adequate security is beefed up around schools in the violence-ridden North-eastern Nigeria and simultaneously ensure the safety of both students and their teachers.

The President who said the country had suffered enough degree of hostilities, admonished Nigerians to embrace peace, pledging that further efforts were being made for the release of all who are still in captivity.

He assured parents of Chibok girls still in captivity not to lose hope, saying his government is more determined than ever before, to ensure that the remaining Chibok girls are rescued.

The President also pledged that the government was ready to accept and reintegrate into the society any repentant member of Boko Haram who unconditionally lays down his arms as he narrated how he had earlier given assurance of unconditional release of the girls when he visited Yobe State on March 14.

Disclosing that he had earlier instructed security agencies to ensure that the girls returned unhurt, he said the directive paid off with the release of the girls as he thanked international partners and all who collaborated with Nigeria during the negotiation process. 

Buhari who said the release of the girls was unconditional, stated that the government opted to enter into negotiations with the abductors with a view to ensuring the safety of the girls, adding that the freed girls would henceforth be free to pursue their education without any fear of violence.

In his presentation, the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura, who put the number of the released girls at 105, noted that two other school pupils who had earlier been abducted by the terrorists brought the number of freed abductees received yesterday to 107.

Sat, 24 Mar 2018
Former President, Goodluck Jonathan arrived Freetown on yesterday as leader of a team of observers to Sierra Leone’s presidential run-off polls scheduled to take place on 27th March, 2018.

Jonathan who is leading the Election Observation Mission of the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) is carrying out the assignment in support of the effort for a peaceful and transparent election in Sierra Leone. 

A statement by the ex-President’s spokesman Mr. Ikechukwu Eze said Jonathan also led EISA to the first round of the elections on March 7, 2018, where none of the candidates polled 55% of votes required to win a first round ballot.

It will be recalled that after observing the first round of the elections, Jonathan-led EISA had declared the process peaceful and credible, adding that they were “conducted substantially in line with sub-regional, continental and international standards.” In its interim report presented to the media on 9th March, EISA 2018 also observed that voter turnout was impressive while the conduct of polling personnel was professional. Jonathan who presented the report also appealed to the people of Sierra Leone and all stakeholders to remain calm until the final electoral processes were concluded. 

The report said: “The EISA Election Observation Mission commends the people of Sierra Leone for turning out in large numbers to register their will on 7 March 2018. In the absence of an incumbent in the presidential race, the presidential election seems to be one of the most keenly contested in the post-civil war period. 

“The EISA EOM notes the efforts of the different institutions to guarantee the integrity of the elections. On election day, voter turnout was impressive and the conduct of polling personnel was professional. There were technical glitches that necessitated the postponement of elections in 18 polling stations. Election day proceeded in a largely peaceful manner albeit with isolated incidents that were immediately addressed. 

“The EISA EOM is of the view that the process up until the end of the first day of tallying has so far been conducted substantially in line with sub-regional, continental and international standards although there is room for improvement especially in the legal framework to further level the playing field. 

Other observer groups which returned similar verdicts in their earlier presentations included Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), African Union (AU), The Commonwealth, Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA), European Union (EU), and The Carter Center (TCC).

Sat, 24 Mar 2018
By Obinna Chima The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday sustained its intervention in the foreign exchange (forex) market by injecting the sum of $339.89 million in the Retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS). The Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, who disclosed this in a statement, noted that the continued interventions were [] 

Sat, 24 Mar 2018
By Seriki Adinoyiin Jos In spite of the imposition of dusk-to-dawn curfew in Bassa local government area, and in Dong of Jos North local government area, by the Plateau State government, gunmen, in a fresh attackon Thursdaynight killed three persons and burnt over 15 houses. This is even as some residents who narrowly escaped from [] 

Sat, 24 Mar 2018
By Rebecca Ejifoma The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) last night, received another 149 Nigerians who voluntarily returned home from Libya. The returnees, who were received on arrival by the South West Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Mr. Yakubu Suleiman, comprised of 107 male adults, 37 female adults including a medical case, four female children and [] 

Sat, 24 Mar 2018
A Non-Governmental organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned the Enugu State Command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for causing the death of seven passengers following an ill-fated chase of a bus driver in Enugu. In a media statement by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the [] 

Sat, 24 Mar 2018
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday extended his heartfelt condolences to the Abebe family as well as the government and people of Edo State on the death of Dr. Christopher Abebe, aged 99. In a statement, his media adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina, said Buhari also commiserated with the in-laws, friends, the organised private sector and the Iruekpen [] 

Sat, 24 Mar 2018
Visionscape Sanitation Solutions said yesterday there was no reason to be afraid after a resolution of the Lagos State House of Assembly to summon some commissioners and other members of the executive arm to explain the state of waste management in the state. Visionscape said while the Assembly was performing its statutory function, the company [] 

Sat, 24 Mar 2018
Multinational oil company, Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) has disclosed that it has with its business partners in the Agbami oil field, invested N2.2 billion in the development of infrastructure and supply of medical equipment in different hospitals across Nigeria to fight the menace of Tuberculosis (TB) and other communicable diseases across the country. It said [] 

Sat, 24 Mar 2018
A consultant pediatrician at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Dr. Immaculata Tunde-Oremodu, yesterday said Nigeria had the highest number of malaria cases all over the world. Tunde-Oremodu who spoke at a one-day sensitisation and capacity building workshop for media practitioners on key malaria messages, in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, also stated that most common cases of [] 

Sat, 24 Mar 2018
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has signed an agreement with a civil society organisation (CSO) in the legal industry Justice Research Institute (JRI), to improve the level of representation for indigent Nigerians in law courts at minimal or no costs to them. The agreement which was consummatedon Fridayin Abuja between the President of NBA, [] 
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