Below are the headlines found on The Guardian Online Newspaper for today, Friday, 13  April, 2018.

Fri, 13 Apr 2018
There was uproar in the Senate yesterday over President Muhammadu Buhari’s claim that the herdsmen, who have killed hundreds of Nigerians, particularly since the inception of his administration, were trained and armed by the late Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi.
In his response to comments by the Archbishop of Canterbury, His Grace Justin Welby, on the killings in Nigeria, when the cleric visited him in London, the United Kingdom on Wednesday, Buhari said: “The problem is even older than us.

It has always been there, but now made worse by the influx of armed gunmen from the Sahel region into different parts of the West African sub-region.

“These gunmen were trained and armed by Muammar Gadaffi of Libya. When he was killed, the gunmen escaped with their arms. We encountered some of them fighting with Boko Haram.

“Herdsmen that we used to know carried only sticks and maybe a cutlass to clear the way, but these ones now carry sophisticated weapons.

The problem is not religious, but sociological and economic. But we are working on solutions.”

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South) had, upon the commencement of the Senate session yesterday, drawn the attention of his colleagues to the president’s comments and submitted that such comments amounted to incompetence on his part.

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“Yesterday (Wednesday) in London, the commander-in-chief and president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari said that these killings were a result of the people who were trained by Muammar Gaddafi, implying that these people who are perpetrating the killings in Nigeria are invaders from outside of Nigeria.

If so, it validates my last point that when a commander-in-chief says he cannot take care of invaders, why is he still a commander-in-chief?

“Why do we still continue to indulge this president that goes along to tell everybody outside this country that he is totally incompetent?” Abaribe queried.

His comments elicited serious opposition from the Senate Majority Leader, Ahmed Lawan, along with a few other All Progressives Congress (APC) senators.

“The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the leader of this country and deserves the respect and courtesy of this chamber and those of us in it.

I was once a member of the opposition and I do not recall ever calling the then president names or insult him. This is our institution.

If we do not conduct ourselves with respect, nobody will. I want to ask my colleague to immediately withdraw his statement and apologise to this chamber,” Lawan said.

Amid the uproar that ensued, Senate President Bukola Saraki attempted to restore order by asking Abaribe to make his point without using offensive words.

But Abaribe declared that there was no other word with which to convey his message regarding the meaning of what President Buhari had done.

“There are words that have no alternatives. What I did was to interpret the words by Mr. President in London. If any word I used is misunderstood by anyone, I apologise. What I am saying is simple. The heads of security agencies in Nigeria made several explanations for the killings of our people. It shows that there is a disconnect,” the Abia senator said.

Fri, 13 Apr 2018
Ten years ago, President Muhammadu Buhari, who served as the Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) under the late former military Head of State, Gen. Sanni Abacha denied that his former boss looted the treasury, but his government on Tuesday confirmed the repatriation of Abacha loot.
The Ministry of Finance has announced that $322.5 million was returned to Nigeria by the Swiss Government as part of funds looted by the late Abacha.

In June 2008, Buhari who had just lost election as presidential candidate of the All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP) gave Abacha a clean bill of health in Kano after the remembrance prayers marking 10 years of his death.

He said there was no basis for accusing Abacha of corruption.

“Ten years without the late Abacha, the said allegations remain silent because there are no facts. All the allegations levelled against the personality of the late Gen Sanni Abacha will remain allegations.

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It is 10 years now, things should be over by now,” Buhari said then according to newspaper reports.

He added that rather than maligning Abacha, the late ruler deserved to be praised for initiating developmental ideas that moved the country forward.

Buhari alongside his successors, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar made this claim barely a week after Abacha’s widow, Mrs. Maryam said there was no basis for accusing her husband of corruption. Buhari has not recounted his claim since then.

But Abacha has been accused of stealing nearly £5 billion while in office, out of which over $1 billion has reportedly been recovered from various sources around the world.

On Tuesday, the Federal government through the office of the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, confirmed the release of $322.5 million in a statement issued by her Media Adviser, Oluyinka Akintunde.

The minister said the money was paid to the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria on December 18, 2017. 

Fri, 13 Apr 2018
Nigeria imposed the highest number of death sentences in the sub-Saharan Africa region in 2017 with 621 people put to death, Amnesty International has said.
The country bucked the trend seen elsewhere in the region, as Sub-Saharan Africa made great strides in the global fight to abolish the death penalty with a significant decrease in death sentences being imposed.

Guinea became the 20th state in sub-Saharan Africa to abolish the death penalty for all crimes, while Kenya abolished the mandatory death penalty for murder. Burkina Faso and Chad also took steps to repeal this punishment with new or proposed laws.

“The progress in sub-Saharan Africa reinforced its position as a beacon of hope for abolition.

The leadership of countries in this region gives fresh hope that the abolition of the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment is within reach.

Unfortunately, some states in Nigeria continue to expand the scope of death sentences,” said Amnesty International’s Secretary General Salil Shetty in the organisation’s 2017 global review of the death penalty.

There are a total of 2,285 people on death row in Nigeria, which is also the highest in the region, though no executions were carried out in 2017.

Death sentences in the country have spiked massively over the past two years. In 2015, 171 death sentences were handed down, while in 2016 there were 527.

Amnesty International recorded a drop in the number of executing countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, from five in 2016 to two in 2017, with only South Sudan and Somalia known to have carried out executions. However, with reports that Botswana and Sudan resumed executions in 2018, the organisation highlighted that this must not overshadow the positive steps being taken by other countries across the region.    

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Elsewhere in Africa, The Gambia signed an international treaty committing the country not to carry out executions and moving to abolish the death penalty. The Gambian President Adama Barrow established an official moratorium (temporary ban) on executions in February 2018.

Developments across Sub-Saharan Africa in 2017 exemplified the positive trend recorded globally, with Amnesty International’s research pointing to a further decrease in the global use of the death penalty in 2017.

Amnesty International recorded at least 993 executions in 23 countries in 2017, down by 4% from 2016 (1,032 executions) and 39% from 2015 (when the organisation reported 1,634 executions, the highest number since 1989).

Fri, 13 Apr 2018
The House of Representatives yesterday resolved to investigate on-going moves to pay the sum of $17 million (approximately N6 billion), to lawyers allegedly on the orders of the Justice Minister and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami over the recovery of Abacha loot.
The House at the plenary presided by Speaker Yakubu Dogara resolved to set up an Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the circumstances surrounding the engagement of Nigerian lawyers, Oladipo Okpeseyi, (SAN), and Temitope Adebayo, for a fee of $16.9 million (about N6 billion) even when the actual work had been concluded by Mr. Enrico Monfrini, and was paid by the Nigerian government for the recovery of the sum of $321 million part of the Abacha loot in Luxembourg.

The committee is to also ascertain whether due process was followed and to report back within six weeks for further legislative action.

The House further urged President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend the payment of the said fee or any part thereof pending the outcome of investigation on the matter.

Sponsor of the motion, Mr. Mark Terseer Gbillah (Benue: APC) claimed he was aware that Mr. Enrico Monfrini, a Swiss Lawyer was engaged by the Nigerian government since 1999 to work on recovering the Abacha loot for which the sum of $321 million was a part and had finished the Luxembourg leg of the job since 2014 when Mohammed Bello Adoke was the Attorney-General of the Federation.

He further claimed that he was aware that Mofrini had since been paid by the Federal Government for his legal services for the recovery of the money which was then domiciled with the Attorney-General of Switzerland pending the signing of an MoU with Nigeria to avoid the issues of accountability around previous recoveries.

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He maintained that all that was left on the issue was the signing of the MoU, which is a government-to- government communication for the money to be repatriated to Nigeria.

He said he was taken aback when Malami curiously engaged the services of the aforementioned lawyers in 2016 for a fee of $16.9 million (about N6 billion), without due process.

Gbillah particularly alleged that both Lawyers had worked for President Muhammadu Buhari’s Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), a legacy party of the All Progressive Congress (APC) when Malami was the legal adviser of CPC, in spite the fact that the terms of the agreement reached with Mofrini for the recovery clearly spelt out that no other lawyer would be engaged for the return of the money to Nigeria.

Fri, 13 Apr 2018
There was joy in Team Nigeria's camp yesterday when female boxer, Ayisat Oriyomi, who was rushed to hospital after being battered by Northern Ireland's Carly McNaul in a quarterfinal bout at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, returned to the Games Village. 

Fri, 13 Apr 2018
The House of Representatives yesterday resolved to investigate on-going moves to pay the sum of $17 million (approximately N6 billion), to lawyers allegedly on the orders of the Justice Minister and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami over the recovery of Abacha loot. The House at the plenary presided by Speaker Yakubu Dogara [] 

Fri, 13 Apr 2018
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of 'shrouding his private visit to London as official.' In a statement signed by the PDP spokesman,Kola Ologbondiyan, the opposition party described as astonishing the fact that President Buhari did not transmit a letter to the National Assembly, indicating that he was going on a [] 

Fri, 13 Apr 2018
Students of Kogi State University live in hostels where toilets are unhygienic and the institution administrators are unconcerned. KINGSLEY JEREMIAH reports Sarah Ojotule's (not real name) admission into Kogi State University about four years ago was a dream-come 'true. She saw the offer as one of the best things that could ever happened to her [] 

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Fri, 13 Apr 2018
A Yoruba socio-cultural group, Agbekoya, yesterday in Ibadan, threatened to stop governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states if the Federal Government fails to restructure the country. The group at a Yoruba summit held in Ibadan, expressed displeasure at the alleged lackluster action of President Muhammadu Buhari to initiate the process of constitution review that [] 

Fri, 13 Apr 2018
Lawmakers yesterday at senate plenary alleged that the undue meddlesomeness of the Federal Government on the operations of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Department of State Services (DSS) and National Intelligence Agency (NIA), was the cause of their periodic clashes that result in security lapses in the country. This allegation was made as [] 

Fri, 13 Apr 2018
Nigerians are a proud people. For us, there is no greater source of pride, aside personal achievement, than pointing out our connection to someone else's success story. That explains to some degree quite why Sunday Oliseh is such a polarising figure today. Equal parts hero and villain; and even, for some, both strands run parallel [] 

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Fri, 13 Apr 2018
I just finished reading a syndicated story in some online news portals of April 9, 2018 with the headline: Abacha Loot: Adeosun blocks $17 million dubious payment to Malami's lawyers. From the headline, the objective of the report was clear: to assert that the payment of $17 million to the lawyers that the Attorney General [] 

Fri, 13 Apr 2018
Whatever has a beginning must surely have an end, so, it is in human Life. The only exception to the rule is the eternity of the Universe; world without end. Before I eventually decided to write on Mrs. Winifred Madikizela Madela who recently translated, to the Great Beyond, one question repeatedly exercised my mind: 'Is [] 

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