Two Nigerians, Miss Zainab Aliyu and Ibrahim Abubakar, who were implicated for alleged drug trafficking but freed by Saudi Arabian authorities have returned home.
The duo arrived at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport aboard the same flight at 10 am, two weeks after regaining freedom after diplomatic intervention by the Federal Government.
Miss Aliyu, a final-year student of the Maitama Sule University, Kano, was overwhelmed with joy as she was received by her father at the airport.
“I thank God; I thank God,” was all she could say. Her father was also speechless. “I thank God,” he told reporters.
In the company of excited family members and friends, Zainab boarded a waiting vehicle and headed for her Kundila residence in Tarauni Local Government Area of the state.
They were received by neighbours, who anxiously awaited them.
Miss Aliyu and Abubakar were arrested and detained for four months by the Saudi Arabian Anti-drug Trafficking Agency, over alleged drug trafficking, but released after Nigerian and Saudi authorities established their innocence.
Miss Aliyu was arrested on December 26, 2018, a day after her arrival in Saudi Arabia to perform the Lesser Hajj.
A Senior Programme Officer at the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), Malam Isah Garba, has called on operatives of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to beef up security at the nation’s airports for real drug pushers to be apprehended and brought to book.
Addressing newsmen in Kano yesterday, Garba said the issue of Miss Aliyu, who was detained in connection with a luggage containing a banned substance drugs had left much to be desired in terms of apprehending the real owners of the luggage for prosecution.
According to him, the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) must intensify their search and surveillance on passengers’ luggage as well as the surrounding environment during boarding to ensure that no luggage escaped the screening process.
He said the airliners on their part, should ensure adequate protection for passengers luggage under their custody.
Ogun Gov installs 75 Obas
Governor Ibikunle Amosun yesterday promoted 75 village chiefs, otherwise known as Baale, to Coronet Obas. Amosun formally presented letters of appointment to the newly promoted monarchs during their installation held at Obas’ Complex Hall, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
Until yesterday’s upgrade of the monarchs, the state has a total of 245 traditional rulers. The governor said his decision was part of efforts to enhance grassroots development and sustainability of the developmental strides being witnessed in the state.
He added that the appointment was a means of showing appreciation to the traditional institutions for being a part of his success story.
Amosun, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa, said the promotion exercise fulfilled the requirements for upgrade of traditional rulers, as stipulated in Section 25 (1) and (2) of Chiefs Laws of Ogun State. He added that all the appointments and promotions followed due process and recommendations from their prescribed authorities. According to him, the state has witnessed tremendous growth and development in the last eight years and traditional institutions played prominent roles in achieving it by ensuring that peace and stability reigns in their domains.
He said, “Our administration recognizes the importance of traditional rulers, as they have contributed immensely to the success of our tenure. No doubt, today’s promotion exercise was carried out to compensate our Baales by upgrading them to Coronet Obas. “It is of note that our new Kabiyesis are responsible people and to whom much is given, much is expected. The responsibilities at hand are enormous; so Kabiyesis, you must live up to these expectations.”
Okorocha hands over state hospitals to Churches, security agencies
The Imo Government on Monday handed over state-owned general hospitals to some security agencies, the Anglican and The Lord’s Chosen churches to be operated under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative of the state government.
The event took place at the Imo Government House, Owerri with the signing of the Memoranda of Understanding with the beneficiaries.
Speaking at the event, Gov. Rochas Okorocha said the initiative was part of the efforts to expand the scope of government.
Okorocha said that history had shown that the private sector was better equipped to run establishments than the government.
He urged the beneficiaries to respect the terms of the MOU and hand the facilities back to the government at the expiration of the lease period.
The governor said that the hospitals had not been sold to them.
He directed that the beneficiaries of the facilities should pay N100,000 every month to the state government, while government would be entitled to 10 per cent stake.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that three hospitals were leased to the Anglican Church for a period of five years with an 18-month moratorium, while the Claretian and Lord’s Chosen Universities secured 99-year leases, also with an 18-month moratorium each.
NAN reports that benefiting security agencies included the Nigerian Army (Owerri West General Hospital), Nigerian Navy (Ngor Okpala Hospital), Nigerian Airforce (Owerri North General Hospital) and Police (Ideator South General Hospital).
Bayelsa: INEC schedules governorship election from November 2nd to 16th
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday granted the wish of Bayelsa state to have the governorship election shifted from November 2nd to 16th this year.
The Commission also disclosed that the Kogi guber poll will hold on the same date of November 16th.
In a statement signed by the National Commissioner in Charge of Information and Voter Education, Mr. Festus Okoye said other activities will also be adjusted to align with the new date.
The statement reads: “It will be recalled that on 9th April 2019, the Independent National Electoral Commission (lNEC) released the timetable and schedule of activities for the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections. The Commission fixed 2nd November for the elections to hold in both States.
“However, the Commission has received several appeals from the Government, State Assembly, Elders, Religious leaders, Traditional rulers and other critical stakeholders in Bayelsa state that the election date coincides with the State’s Annual Thanksgiving Day which is backed by the Bayelsa State Thanksgiving Day Law 2012.
“After a careful consideration of the appeals the Commission at its regular weekly meeting held Thursday 16th May decided to shift the govemorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States to Saturday 16th November 2019.
“The timelines for all other activities leading to the elections have also been adjusted to align with the new date. The amended timetable and schedule of activities for the elections is attached to this press release.”
Regina Daniels’ husband receives certificate of return as senator
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has withdrawn a certificate of return issued to Peter Nwaoboshi. Ned Nwoko is the new senator.
The electoral umpire gave the document to Ned Nwoko following a court ruling that recognised Mr Nwoko as the genuine candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Delta North Senatorial District elections held on February 23.
Mr Nwoko received the certificate on Friday. INEC’s action came a month after the Federal High Court ruled that Mr Nwoko was cheated during the PDP primaries for the senatorial district.
Ahmed Muhammed, the presiding judge, held that Mr Nwoko scored 453 votes to beat Mr Nwaoboshi, who came second with 405 votes.
Mr Nwaoboshi, who was first elected to the Senate in 2015, immediately appealed the ruling. The electoral commission, however, decided to comply with the subsisting judgement of the Federal High Court and returned Mr Nwoko elected.
Mr Nwoko, 59, was a member of the House of Representatives between 1999 and 2003. He recently took Nigeria’s social media by storm when he announced his marriage to Nollywood actress, Regina Daniels.