Today’s Punch Newspaper Headlines, Tuesday 18th December 2018

Today’s Leadership Newspaper Headlines, Tuesday 18th December 2018

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76th birthday: Give me more time, Buhari begs Nigerians
Tue, 18 Dec 2018

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President Muhammadu Buhari clocked 76 years on Monday, and with just 60 days to the 2019 presidential poll, he asked for more time and prayers to fix Nigeria.

The President was 73 years old when he assumed office in 2015.
Buhari spoke at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, shortly after the 203-member Guards Brigade held a special parade to honour him.

The parade performance and rendition of birthday songs were adjudged the first elaborate birthday ceremony held for the President since 2015.

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The event took place at the Fore Court of the Presidential Villa. Speaking with State House correspondents after he cut his birthday cake and the ceremony was rounded off, the President said he was impressed with his aides, who put the event together.

“Well, I am impressed with it, they ( aides) have put a lot of time behind it, I thank and appreciate them very much,” he said.

Looking ahead, Buhari said he would keep reminding Nigerians about the state he met the country in 2015 and where he had now taken it.

He explained, “We will keep reminding Nigerians about what we have done, how we met the country, what we have been able to do for the time we came in to now with the resources available to us.”

Buhari specifically appealed to Nigerians to give him more time and to pray for him.
“Nigerians should continue to pray for me and understand my intentions and give me time,” he said, as he switched to Hausa language.

On his part, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, expressed happiness that Buhari had remained healthy and strong.

The SGF said the President was ready to give more to Nigerians in terms of deliverables by his administration.

He added, “It is such an exciting time for us to share in this very glorious ceremony of the celebration of the 76th birthday of our dear President and our dear leader in a typical simplistic manner.

“It is just a simple military parade and the cutting of the cake because he has got work to do. He has just returned to the office to continue with the day’s proceedings; he came out of an event (the 2018 National Migration Dialogue), and then straight into this (birthday).

“But it is such a joyous and beautiful day to see him strong, healthy and hearty.

“Considering the health challenges he went through in the last two years, we cannot wish him any other thing but bountiful health and wisdom to take this country out of the present situation which we find ourselves, a trajectory of prosperity and progress.”

He described Buhari as a man with renewed spirit to work, adding that Nigerians should expect more from him.

“They (Nigerians) should expect a lot. The President is renewed in his spirit, strength and in his resolve and determination to put this country back on the part of greatness.

“That is his ultimate desire; that every Nigerian, young, old, generation unborn, should be able to press whatever desire they want to achieve in the nation that is so endowed with a lot of wealth, a lot of goodness, but have not been able to live up to expectations.

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Tinubu wants three million votes for Buhari in Lagos
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Mudiaga Affe The national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Monday urged party members in Lagos State to deliver three million votes for President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 presidential election. Tinubu, who said APC must maintain strong outing in the state, told party members to also vote overwhelmingly for the
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Fayose wasted N18bn Paris Club loan refund, says Fayemi
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Abiodun Nejo, Ado Ekiti The Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has accused his predecessor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, of wasting the N18bn Paris Club loan refund given to the state by the Federal Government. The governor, who spoke in Ado Ekiti on Sunday during the December edition of the monthly Meet your Governor programme, dismissed
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Giving back to society is worthy cause Sanwo-Olu
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Patrick Odey, Uyo Over 1,000 Akwa Ibom youths drawn from the 31 local government areas of the state have been trained in various vocational skills ranging from catering to interior and outdoor decoration. They were also trained in production of soap, toiletries, paint, beads, hats, and hairdressing. The free training was sponsored by the governorship
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Youths get free training in AIbom
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Patrick Odey, Uyo Over 1,000 Akwa Ibom youths drawn from the 31 local government areas of the state have been trained in various vocational skills ranging from catering to interior and outdoor decoration. They were also trained in production of soap, toiletries, paint, beads, hats, and hairdressing. The free training was sponsored by the governorship
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Christmas: NEMA sets up emergency response centre in Imo
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Gibson Achonu, Owerri The National Emergency Management Agency has set up an Emergency Response Centre in Imo State to enable the agency and other disaster stakeholders to respond quickly to any emergency situation. This was as the agency advised the Imo State Government to fund and equip its State Emergency Management Agency with modern facilities
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Yuletide: Ortom directs payment of December salaries
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
John Charles Makurdi The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Monday directed the state Ministry of Finance to begin the payment of workers December 2018 salaries on Wednesday. The governor further directed that officers who prepare payment vouchers should put in extra effort, even if it means working all night, to see that workers receive
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Pay N125,000, get C-of-O
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Ademola Babalola, Ibadan THE Home Owners Charter Certificate of Occupancy has been pegged at N125,000 in Oyo State. Governor Abiola Ajimobi stated this on Monday in Ibadan during the official presentation of the Cs-of-O to some beneficiaries at the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Survey. He said, Members of the public have been avoiding the
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Ayade grants amnesty to Bakassi militants
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Ada Wodu, Calabar Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade has granted amnesty to hundreds of militants in Bakassi Local government Area of the state. The governor extended the gesture to the militants known as the Bakassi Strike Force led by Benjamin Ene, who is popularly called G1, after they surrendered their weapons and embraced peace.
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Nigeria to export unutilised power to West African countries
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja Nigeria is to export the excess quantum of electricity that is unutilised in the country to other West African countries. The Transmission Company of Nigeria said the export would raise the quantum of electricity exported from Nigeria to the West African region. Speaking at the meeting of the joint technical working group
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LCCI decries low Nigeria/Dubai trade volume
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Anna Okon The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry wants the trade volume between Nigeria and Dubai improved. The President, LCCI, Mr Babatunde Ruwase, said despite both countries having similar economies, the trade volume was still low. Ruwase, who was represented by the Director General, LCCI, Mr Muda Yusuf, at a meeting with the Dubai
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Shells Bonga produces 800 million barrels of oil
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Femi Asu Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company said on Monday that its Bonga vessel has produced over 800 million barrels of crude oil in 13 years of deep-water exploration. SNEPCo said in a statement that the feat confirmed it as a pacesetter in offshore oil and gas production in the Gulf of Guinea. In
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FRC tackles NERC, FAAN, others over non-payment of operating surplus
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Everest Amaefule, Abuja The Fiscal Responsibility Commission has accused a number of agencies including the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission and the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria of failing to remit their operating surpluses to the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Government. Other agencies that are failing to remit their operating surpluses, according to FRC,
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Customs seize 238,094 bags of rice in 11 months
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
generate N1.1tn by November Anna Okon The Nigeria Customs Service has said that it seized 238,094(50kg) bags of rice across Nigeria from January to November. Other items seized were arms and ammunitions, dangerous drugs as well as vehicles. The Public Relations Officer, NCS, Joseph Attah, disclosed this in Lagos on Monday, during the end of
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Shell, Eni aware of corrupt Malabu payments to Nigerians Italian judge
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Femi Asu with agency report An Italian judge said on Monday that Royal Dutch Shell and Eni were fully aware that their 2011 purchase of a Nigerian oilfield would result in corrupt payments to Nigerian politicians and officials. The two oil majors are embroiled in a long-running corruption case revolving around the purchase of Oil
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NCAA probes Air Peace Lagos-Enugu flight incident
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority says that in line with standards and international best practices, it has commenced an investigation into the Air Peaces oxygen mask incident in the airlines Lagos-Enugu service on Friday. An Air Peace Enugu-bound flight had on Friday lost cabin pressure mid-air, necessitating the release of oxygen masks for
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Diamond, Access Bank to conclude merger mid-2019
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Nike Popoola and Ifeanyi Onuba The Board of Diamond Bank Plc has said that it expects to conclude the transaction of its proposed merger with Access Bank Plc in the first half of 2019. Diamond Bank expects the transaction to complete in the first half of 2019, it said in a statement on Monday. The
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Equities market opens lower as sell pressures persist
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
The nations equities market opened the week on a bearish note as sell pressures in different sectors dominated the market. The market capitalisation of equities listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange declined by N23.27bn to settle at N11.180tn, while the year-to-date loss weakened to -20 per cent. The All Share Index shed 21 basis points
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SAHCO IPO: SEC approves offer period extension
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Feyisayo Popoola The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved an extension of the offer period of Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plcs Initial Public Offering. In a statement signed by the Head, Listings Regulation Department, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Godstime Iwenekhai, the offer for sale of 406,074,000 ordinary shares of 50kobo each at N4.65 per share of
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Merger: Diamond, Access Bank share prices rise as investors react
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Feyisayo Popoola The share prices of Diamond Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc increased by 9.47 per cent and 9.40 per cent, respectively, as they confirmed their proposed merger in the early hours of Monday. Diamond Bank emerged the top gainer at the end of trading on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange on
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Fear of ICC made Jonathan to concede defeat Falana
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Oladimeji Ramon Human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), said the real reason former President Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat in 2015 was because of the arrest and prosecution warning issued by the International Criminal Court ahead of the elections. He said prior to the elections, ICC had warned that should there be any violence and
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Amosun and the politics of attrition
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Niyi Akinnaso It will be unkind to conclude, even to insinuate, that Governor Ibikunle Amosun set out to diminish the fortunes of his party, the All Progressives Congress, in the 2019 elections, by throwing tantrums over the partys rejection of his preferred candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, as the governorship candidate. However, given his confession that he
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Senatorial candidate unveils plan for Anambra South
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja The Anambra South senatorial candidate of the United Patriots, Chukwudi Ezeobika, has promised that his primary responsibility at the Senate, if elected, will be to immediately preoccupy himself with the task of meeting his peoples needs. Ezeobika made the promise in a copy of his manifesto made available to our correspondent in
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Fidelity Bank rewards customers in promo
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Fidelity Bank Plc has rewarded depositors of the bank with cash prizes in its second monthly/first bi-monthly draw on its Get Alert In Millions Promo season 3. During an event organised to announce some of the winners in Lagos, the Managing Director, Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, said the promo was the eight edition being conducted
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Lagos plans health insurance for retirees, others
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Nike Popoola The Director-General, Lagos State Pension Commission, Mrs Folashade Onanuga, has said that retirees in the state will be included in the health insurance scheme of the state. She spoke during the 15th retirement benefit documentation seminar for employees in the Lagos State Public Service due to retire between January and June, 2019, in
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NEXIM Bank to disburse $1bn to Nigerian exporters, others
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja The Nigerian Export-Import Bank has entered into a $1bn trade facilitation pact with the African Export-Import Bank for Nigeria and other West African countries. The signing of the Memoradum of Understanding was one of the high points of events during the inaugural Intra-African Trade Fair in Cairo, Egypt. A statement from NEXIM
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NaijaLottery signs Quanta as new investor
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Nike Popoola International Lottery and Gaming Limited, with the trade name NaijaLottery, has signed contracts to introduce Quanta, the worlds first licensed blockchain lottery as new investor, and concluded the deal which is a synergy of traditional and blockchain lottery. According to a statement, ILGL is one of the largest gaming companies in Nigeria, and
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Include us in merger process, shareholders tell Diamond Bank
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Diamond Bank Plc shareholders on Monday expressed mixed reactions to the news of its merger with Access Bank Plc. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the board of Diamond Bank finally confirmed its merger with Access Bank Plc which is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019. Both banks recently denied
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Parents, teachers panic as lunatic, hoodlums take over Ekiti school
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Abiodun Nejo, Ado Ekiti The occupation of AUD Primary School, Irona Ado Ekiti, by a madman and hoodlums has sparked anxiety among teachers and parents over the safety of the pupils. Apart from the lunatic, who occupies about 10 classrooms, suspected rapists, burglars and Indian hemp smokers are said to have made the school their
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FG has failed to use recovered loot to fight poverty Falana
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Adelani Adepegba, Abuja Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has criticised the Federal Government for failing to address the increasing poverty in the country. He noted that the government did not deploy the looted trillions of naira it recovered through the whistleblower policy, Treasury Single Account and Bank Verification Number, to address the deprivation in
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My youth minister wont be up to 30 Atiku
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Success Nwogu and Dayo Ojerinde The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, on Monday said his focus would be on education, job creation, and youth empowerment if elected. The former vice president spoke at a town hall meeting he had with youths in Lagos. He promised that 40 per cent of the
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Skye Banks ex-chair, Ayeni, arraigned for money laundering, granted N50m bail
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Ade Adesomoju, Abuja The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday arraigned a former Chairman of the defunct Skye Bank Plc (now Polaris Bank), Mr Tunde Ayeni, before the Federal High Court in Abuja on money laundering charges involving the sums of N4.75bn and $5m. Ayeni was arraigned alongside a former Managing Director and Chief
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Beware! Even governors misuse severally
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Akeem Lasisi Some expressions are so tricky that they can beat anyone hands down. An example of such is the adverb, severally. It is a word so widely misused that even a professor of English may not escape the grammatical scourge. The problem, as we have pointed out several times (not severally) in this class,
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Bribery: ACourt upholds SANs acquittal
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Ade Adesomoju, Abuja The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Monday affirmed the acquittal of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Joe Agi, in respect of the charges that he bribed a retired judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, while in service with N30m and a car worth N8.5m. The Justice Stephen
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EFCC chair: New judge takes over 13 suits on Magu after Justice Nyakos withdrawal
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Ade Adesomoju, Abuja A new judge has taken over the 13 suits filed last year in respect of the validity or otherwise of Mr Ibrahim Magu remaining in office as the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. While some of the suits pray the court to order Magus removal from office on
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Herdsmen killings: AI blames FG for 3,641 deaths
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Olaleye Aluko and Jesusegun Alagbe Amnesty International has blamed the Federal Government for the killing of 3,641 persons during the clashes between herdsmen and farmers from 2016 to 2018. In its investigative report on the clashes in parts of the country released on Monday, AI said the Federal Government beyond issuing statements to condemn the
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Ngige unveils 5,000 jobs for Anambra youths, women
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Tony Okafor, Awka The Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige on Monday unveiled 5,000 jobs for Anambra youths and women. However, he said they would get the jobs through the National Directorate of Employment. He said under the scheme the beneficiaries would access loans through the NDE at the Central Bank of Nigeria. Addressing
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Striking workers cut off power, water to NAssembly
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Leke Baiyewu, Abuja Workers, under the auspices of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, began their four-day warning strike on Monday, crippling legislative and business activities at the National Assembly. They blocked entrances to the complex and cut off power and water supplies to the building. It was learnt that the National Assembly Service Commission
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Mogajis back CCII on Ajimobis successor
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Ademola Babalola, Ibadan Ibadan Mogajis have backed the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes invitation of the candidates for the Oyo State governorship election next year to appear before it and unveil their agenda for the development of Ibadan. However, the Mogajis said apart from unveiling their agenda for Ibadan, Governor Abiola Ajimobis successor must show
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2019 polls: I wont cheat like I was cheated, says Buhari
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
John Ameh, Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari said on Monday that he would guarantee free and fair polls in 2019 by ensuring a level-playing field. He alleged that in past elections when he contested before he won eventually in 2015, votes were awarded to the winners to deny him victory. Buhari spoke at the Presidential Villa
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IPAC, KOWA want Ogun APC gov candidate probed
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Tunji Bosun, Abeokuta The Ogun State chapters of the Inter- Party Advisory Council and the KOWA Party have called on security agencies to investigate the allegation of evasion of the National Youth Service Corps leveled against the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the state, Dapo Abiodun. IPAC and KOWA Party, at separate
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LASAA warns against indiscriminate pasting of posters
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Oluwatobi Akindele The Lagos State Signage and Advertising Agency has warned against indiscriminate pasting of posters by politicians. The LASAA Managing Director, Mobolaji Sanusi, in a statement on Monday, added that anyone seeking office should respect the law and play by the rules. Sanusi said, In recent times, the agency has been battling the menace
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Sex-for-mark professor jailed for two years
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Bola Bamigbola, Osogbo A former lecturer in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Prof. Richard Iyiola Akindele, dragged to court for demanding sex to pass one of his students, Monica Osagie, was on Monday jailed for two years. Justice Maureen Onyetenu, who had to stand down the case two times before finally giving her judgment, said
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APC defectors lack identity, says ex-commissioner
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
A former commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lagos State, Lateef Ibirogba, has condemned the recent defection of some aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress in the Alimosho area of Lagos, alleging that they lacked identity. Ibirogba spoke in an interview with journalists at the opening of his new office in Lagos, according to a
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groups demand Ondo CPs redeployment
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Peter Dada, Akure Following the rising cases of kidnapping in Ondo State, some groups in the state have called on the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, to redeploy the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Gbenga Adeyanju. The Sunshine Liberation Front and Ondo Youths for Good Governance said the police had failed in their duty
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Again, Bayelsa gets new police commissioner
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Samuel Nkemakolem, Yenagoa A new commissioner of police was on Monday redeployed to Bayelsa State barely a month after his predecessor took over. The new commissioner, Aminu Pai Saleh, who took over from Joseph Mukan, was redeployed to the state from Lagos. Aminu becomes the eight commissioner of police posted and reposted to Bayelsa state
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Credit Direct boss recognised for N150bn loan disbursement
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Nike Popoola International Lottery and Gaming Limited, with the trade name NaijaLottery, has signed contracts to introduce Quanta, the worlds first licensed blockchain lottery as new investor, and concluded the deal which is a synergy of traditional and blockchain lottery. According to a statement, ILGL is one of the largest gaming companies in Nigeria, and
read more…

Kidnappers free Ondo poly lecturer, demand N100m for others
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Peter Dada, Akure A lecturer at the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Ondo State, Mr Michael Olopete, who was kidnapped by some hoodlums, has been released. However, the gang members, who also kidnapped a senior local government worker, Mr Bunmi Falodun, and his wife on Saturday, have contacted the couples family, demanding N100m ransom. Falodun and
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Two Congolese troops killed by rebels
Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Two Congolese soldiers were killed in clashes with Rwandan pro-Hutu rebels after two of their leaders were arrested in an eastern frontier region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a military spokesman said Monday. The Congolese army has battled militants from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) since Sunday at the foot
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