by Oge Okonkwo
Jonathan says there will be no rest until peace is restored in the North
President Goodluck Jonathan said on Wednesday that he, as Commander-in-Chief along with the new service chiefs, would work unceasingly to ensure peace in the North-East region.
The President made the declaration at the decoration ceremony of the newly appointed service chiefs at the State House in Abuja.
Jonathan gave the new military top brass a heads up to prepare for the difficult task ahead.
He charged them to work in harmony to win the war against terror. “I do not know whether I will congratulate you or I will sympathise with you because of the circumstances of the moment.
“That reminds me, when I was in secondary school, I read one article written by late Dr Tai Solarin and there is one clause he said ‘I wish you what I wish myself every year; May you have a hard time this year.
“So, I think I will wish you what I will wish myself every year; may we have a hard time this period.
“This is because, none of us will sleep until the Nigerians in Borno State can sleep.”That is why I say today is not a moment for making statements.
“We will be having talks from time to time but definitely Nigerians will tell you what they expect from us.
“We must not fail this country and I believe this team will work together to be assisted by other intelligence services because the war against terror must be won in this country,” he said.
The President congratulated the new service chiefs and their spouses and charged them not to betray the confidence reposed in them.
The high point of the ceremony was the decoration of the officers with their new ranks by the President, Vice President Namadi Sambo and their respective spouses.
Those decorated were the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Marshall Alex Badeh, Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah, Chief of Naval Staff, Rear-Adm. Usman Jibrin and Chief of Air Staff, AVM Adesola Amosu.
Badeh, who responded on behalf of others, thanked the president and said they were aware that their appointment was a call to greater service.
He commended the president for respecting statutory provision by sending their names to the National Assembly for confirmation.
Badeh attested to the fact that the military had never had it better as in the civilian regime and pledged subordination to the constitution and elected government officials.
The CDS said they would work in harmony to fight the scourge of terrorism, kidnapping and oil bunkering in the country.
Badeh also pledged that the military would continue to defend the nation’s territorial integrity and ensure security and peace in the country.
“Security challenges are inimical to development because security means development and without development there can also not be security.
“When a nation’s military is at war, the whole nation is at war, therefore every Nigerian must sacrifice,” he said.
NAN reports that until his appointment as CDS on Jan. 16, Badeh, who was born in 1957 in Adamawa State, was the 18th Chief of Air Staff.
Minimah the new Chief of Army Staff was born in Rivers State in 1959; Jibrin, the new Chief of Naval Staff was also born in 1959 in Kogi State while Amosu, the new Chief of Air Staff was born in Lagos in 1958.
Atiku, Nyako obtain APC membership cards
Governor of Adamawa state, Murtala Nyako and erstwhile Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday, formally registered and obtained the All Progressives Congress (APC) membership cards.
Reports say, Nyako and Abubakar registered at their respective wards in Mayo-Belwa and Jada local government areas of Adamawa.
The duo urged other party supporters to that they participate in the registration exercise.
The APC chieftains who were registered by the National Registration Officer of the party in Adamawa, Alhaji Musa Umar, described the exercise as a giant step in the move by the party to consolidate its rising popularity in the country.
Atiku said “today, I have registered with APC as the party that will salvage the nation.
“I call on party members and my supporters in other political parties to go and register with APC.’’
On his part, Nyako said “I want to call on all Nigerians to join us in this great movement because with this development, PDP is dead in Adamawa.’’
Meanwhile, many APC supporters who trooped out to register were disappointed because of the continuous delay in arrival of materials.
Alhaji Salihu-Baba-Ahmed, the Publicity Secretary of the State Interim Committee, attributed the delay to Monday’s grand rally organised by the party in Yola.
He said the rally took too much of members’ time as they concentrated on its success.
Ojikutu, ex-Lagos dep gov arrested over N130m fraud
The former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Sinatu Ojikutu has been arrested by the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police after she was declared wanted for fraud.
According to the unit, Alhaja Ojikutu was declared wanted since June last year in connection with the case of obtaining N130 million from a complainant, one Cajethan Okekearu.
According to the Public Relations Officer of the unit, Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP, Ngozi Isintume-Agu, she was arrested yesterday at her Lagos Island residence.
According to Isintume-Agu,”Alhaja Sinatu Aderoju Ojikutu, a former Deputy Governor of Lagos State is a 67-year-old retiree from Lagos Island.
“She allegedly connived with her son, one Samson Adebisi Ojikutu Jnr, who is currently in USA to commit the fraud. The suspect and her son were alleged to be parties to the sale of the land and both signed the agreement given to the complainant and obtained N130 million from him.
“She admitted to the crime but claimed that it was a genuine mistake of plot identification. She refunded N50 million to the complainant and promised to refund the balance as soon as she disposed her two property she put up for sale.
“She also confessed that she had injected the complainant’s money in her business. She equally made an undertaking and payment plan which was drawn from September 2012 and was to terminate by November 2012, but she defaulted due to lack of fund.
“The whole illicit deal got blown open when the complainant commenced development on the land and was on the verge of completion when the bona-fide owner of the land surfaced and indeed it was discovered that the land that the suspect sold does not belong to her. She actually sold Plot 23 Block 4 while Plot 24 Block 4 already has a property on it.
“Investigation revealed that the land she sold did not belong to her, the land belonged to one Mr. Afolabi. It was also discovered that the Plot 24 Block 4, which actually belonged to late Samson Adebisi Ojikutu Snr, the suspect’s husband who died in 2008 was sold by him in 1995 and the suspect was a life witness and appended her signature to the sale of the land.
“A financial institution (name withheld) which was in possession of the C of O after payment was fully made also tendered the original C of O which the former Deputy Governor of Lagos State had earlier declared missing and even sworn an affidavit to.”
The suspect, Alhaja Sinatu Aderoju Ojikutu sued the Inspector-General of Police, the Commissioner of Police SFU and the complainants in the state High Court holden at Igbosere, Lagos with Suit No. M/581/2013 praying the court to restrain the Police from further investigation into the matter and violation of fundamental human right.
The ruling by Justice Obadina on December 17, 2013, dismissed the suit for lack of merit, that the Nigeria Police have the power to prosecute the Applicants, Alhaja Sinatu Aderoju Ojikutu and her son, Sampson Adebisi Ojikutu (Jnr) since the Police investigation revealed that there is prima-facie case of obtaining by false pretences against them and added that the court will not interfere or restrain the Police in carrying out their statutory function.
The Nigeria Police, Special Fraud Unit had made concerted effort to arrest her after Justice Obadina (Mrs) gave the ruling during the suit filed by Alhaja Sinatu Aderoju Ojikutu to restrain the Police from further investigation into the matter.
She will be arraigned at the Federal High Court, Lagos, today.
No automatic ticket, Mu’azu tells PDP members again
The National Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Adamu Mu’azu, said this on Wednesday in Abuja when Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta led a delegation of the party`s stakeholders in the state on a courtesy call on him.
Mu’azu decried a situation where some politicians claimed to be on ground because of their closeness to some persons in the party’s headquarters without getting acquainted with those at the grassroots.
“It will not work; the people are looking at you. Those of you, who will sit on the governor’s lap, or on my lap, will not succeed.
“You have to campaign, you have to tell the people what our party is doing,’’ Mu`azu said.
“We know our party has lost some grounds, we must assess ourselves, we must mark ourselves and we must be truthful to ourselves.
`We must be sincere to ourselves nationwide and find out what is wrong,’’ he said.
Mu`azu, however, maintained that with the absolute cooperation, collaboration and prayers of party members, PDP would regain its lost ground in record time.
He promised that the party, under his leadership would continue to strengthen and deepen democracy and the rule of law in the party.
Earlier, Chief Edwin Clarke, a PDP chieftain, described the defection of some PDP members to the opposition as an uneventful exercise.
He expressed hope that those who recently defected to the opposition would return to the party`s fold soon.
“I know that where they have gone to, when the fire becomes hot there, they will come back to you to say can we come back. When they do, admit them,’’ Clarke said.
Uduaghan said the visit was to congratulate Mu`azu on his emergence as the national chairman of the party, and to pledge the loyalty and support of the people of Delta to him.
He said the people of Delta would give total support to President Goodluck Jonathan, adding that PDP in Delta was “united, in charge and on ground’’.
This, he said, was so because the people of the state had seen reason to embrace the party.
The governor said that though the party had challenges in the past, the emergence of Mu`azu as its national chairman had made great impact on its rebuilding.
He also said that Delta was solidly behind President Goodluck Jonathan, and called on all Nigerians to continue to support him in spite of the challenges facing the country.
Uduaghan added that the state government had made impact with its three-point agenda in all aspects of the state economy.
He said that though the state was an oil producing state, it was looking beyond oil as major sustenance of its economy.
The state government, he said, had commenced diversification of its resources to other areas such as agriculture to realise its objective.
“We have adopted a programme called “Delta Beyond Oil’’. What this means is that we are using the little money we are getting from oil to develop all areas of the economy.
“This is so, so that even if the oil is not there tomorrow, the economy will still be bombing. We are concentrating on agriculture, culture and tourism and even solid minerals.’’
The governor also said that because most of the projects being embarked upon by the state government were long term project, the government concentrated on microcredit scheme to deal with immediate needs.
Uduaghan was accompanied on the visit by the state PDP stakeholders, House of Representatives members, local government chairmen and commissioners.