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18 Aug 2019

Ekweremadu Helped Secure Nnamdi Kanu’s Bail - Abaribe Blasts IPOB Members

Minority leader of the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe, has condemned the attack on former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, by members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, in Nuremberg, Germany, on Saturday.

Ekweremadu was to give a keynote address at the Second Igbo Annual Cultural Festival and Convention organised by Ndi-Igbo Germany in that city when a mob, which identified itself as members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), invaded the venue to attack him.
In a statement personally signed by the Senate Minority Leader on Sunday, Abaribe said Ekweremadu does not deserve such disgraceful treatment from IPOB members as he deployed means to bail Nnamdi Kanu.

Abaribe described the incident as utterly sacrilegious and not an agitation in any way.

The statement read: “Obviously this is not how to repay a man, an outstanding leader of men, an unpretentious Igbo leader.

“He has given his all even going as far as deploying his means to arrange for the bail of Nnamdi Kanu, not minding the repercussions to his political career.

“It is unfortunate. The perpetrators of the attack should know that as Igbo, we respect elders and reverence our leaders.

“The unwarranted attack is not the character of the Igbo.

“It is most worrisome and even inconceivable that the attackers will choose an auspicious occasion where our people are celebrating and showcasing our rich culture to exhibit such unbecoming and condemnable conduct in the name of agitation.

“No, that was not agitation, no right thinking human will identify with such behaviour.

“Yes, Nigeria is going through a horrendous phase, which is a fault line that her leaders, particularly we the Igbo leaders are engaging others to find a lasting solution to.

“Resorting to mob mentality and venting the spleen on our leaders rather creates a vacuum that will leave our people helpless and confused in the circumstance.”

DPR Seals Nine Petrol Stations In Bayelsa

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has sealed nine petrol stations in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
The action follows a surveillance exercise to check the standard of filling stations to ascertain if the stations are compiling with standard mode of operation by DPR.

According to the Head of Operations of the agency, Ibinabo Jack, some petrol stations including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the capital were discovered to have been under dispensing their products to unsuspecting customers.

Others were accused of operating with expired licenses and faulty equipment, a situation that didn’t go down well with the agency.

Jack believes that the sealing up of the petrol stations will serve as a deterrent to others petrol vendors from defrauding their customers and flouting laid down procedures.

63 People Confirmed Dead As Suicide Bomber Attacks Wedding Yesterday

Joy and celebration turned into horror and carnage when a suicide bomber targeted a packed Afghan wedding hall, killing at least 63 people in the deadliest attack to rock Kabul in months, officials and witnesses said Sunday.

The blast, which took place late Saturday in west Kabul, came as Washington and the Taliban finalise a deal to reduce the US military presence in Afghanistan and hopefully build a roadmap to a ceasefire.
The groom, who only gave his name as Mirwais, recalled greeting smiling guests in the afternoon, before seeing their bodies being carried out hours later.

The attack “changed my happiness to sorrow”, Mirwais told local TV station Tolo News.

“My family, my bride are in shock, they cannot even speak. My bride keeps fainting,” he said.

“I lost my brother, I lost my friends, I lost my relatives. I will never see happiness in my life again.”

Interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said at least 63 people had been killed and 182 injured. “Among the wounded are women and children,” Rahimi said. Earlier he stated that the blast was caused by a suicide bomber.

Afghan weddings are epic and vibrant affairs, with hundreds or often thousands of guests celebrating for hours inside industrial-scale wedding halls where the men are usually segregated from the women and children.

“The wedding guests were dancing and celebrating the party when the blast happened,” recounted Munir Ahmad, 23, who was seriously injured and whose cousin was among the dead.

“Following the explosion, there was total chaos. Everyone was screaming and crying for their loved ones,” he told AFP from his bed in a local hospital, where he is being treated for shrapnel wounds.

In the aftermath, images from inside the hall showed blood-stained bodies on the ground along with pieces of flesh and torn clothes, hats, sandals and bottles of mineral water.

The wedding was believed to be a Shia gathering. Shia Muslims are frequently targeted in Sunni-majority Afghanistan, particularly by the so-called Islamic State group, which is also active in Kabul but did not immediately issue any claim of responsibility.

Wedding guest Mohammad Farhag told AFP he was in the women’s section when he heard a huge blast in the men’s area.

“Everyone ran outside shouting and crying,” he said.

“For about 20 minutes the hall was full of smoke. Almost everyone in the men’s section is either dead or wounded.”

One guest who spoke to Tolo said some 1,200 people had been invited.

The attack sent a wave of grief through a city grimly accustomed to atrocities. President Ashraf Ghani called the incident a “barbaric attack”, while Afghanistan’s chief executive Abdullah Abdullah described it as a “crime against humanity”.


– Withdrawal deal expected –

The attack underscores both the inadequacy of Afghanistan’s security forces and the scale of the problem they face. While the police and army claim they prevent most bombings from ever happening, the fact remains that insurgents pull off horrific attacks with chilling regularity.

On July 28, at least 20 people were killed when attackers targeted Ghani’s running mate Amrullah Saleh on the first official day of campaigning for presidential elections.

The incident showed how even amid tight security and known threats, insurgents can conduct brazen attacks.

The issue also goes to the heart of a prospective deal between the US and the Taliban that would see America begin to draw down its troop presence.

The deal relies on the Taliban providing guarantees they will stop jihadist groups such as Al-Qaeda and IS from using Afghanistan as a safe haven. Saturday’s attack suggests any such promise would be tough to keep.

The “Taliban cannot absolve themselves of blame, for they provide platform for terrorists,” Ghani said.

Expectations are rising for a deal in which the US would start pulling its approximately 14,000 soldiers from Afghanistan, but few believe it will bring quick peace to Afghanistan.

Many Afghans fear the Taliban could return to some form of power, eroding hard-won rights for women in particular and leading to a spiralling civil war.

Insurgents have periodically struck Afghan weddings, which are seen as easy targets because they typically lack security precautions.

Nigerian Senate Blow Hot, Make Demands From Germany On Attack Against Ekweremadu

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has asked the German authorities to identify those that attacked Senator Ike Ekweremadu at an event in Nuremberg, Germany.

Lawan in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Ola Awoniyi, condemned the ‘shameful’ attack on the former Senate President.
He explained that Senator Ekweremadu was to give a keynote address at the Second Igbo Annual Cultural Festival and Convention organised by Ndi-Igbo Germany in that city when a mob, which identified itself as members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), invaded the venue to attack an illustrious son of Ndigbo who in his political career has consistently identified with and defended the cause of his people.

“It is incredibly absurd for anybody to blame the distinguished Senator for the violent criminal activities in his home base, the purported reason cited by the mob for the bewildering attack.

“Senator Ekweremadu, like all his distinguished colleagues in the Ninth Assembly of the Senate, is concerned about the insecurity and other challenges in that area and other parts of Nigeria. Senator Ekweremadu has also been at the forefront of the patriotic efforts to find lasting solutions to the challenges.

“The barbaric attack on Senator Ekweremadu at a forum to which he was invited to contribute to charting a course for the progress and happiness of Ndigbo debase our values as civilised people. It is most reprehensible and should be condemned by all right-thinking Nigerians,” Lawan said.

He called on the German authorities to identify those involved in the despicable act so that the law can take its course against them.

Lawan urges Nigerians to always reflect deeply and broadly before embarking on a course of action and advises the youth to ventilate whatever grievances they have along lines prescribed by the law and recommended by reason and democratic ethos.

The Senate President appealed to Senator Ekweremadu not to be deterred by the incident from his path of service to his people and Nigerians in general, but to take it as part of the sacrifice of leadership.

Bloody Sunday: Two Corps Members Die In Lone Accident

Two serving corps members in Katsina State, on Sunday morning, died in a ghastly lone road accident that occurred at Gobirawa village in Kankara local government area of the state.

The corps members are a lady from Akwa Ibom State and a male from Anambra.
Details of their identities were yet to be provided by the National Youths Service Corps in Katsina by Press time.

Eyewitnesses disclosed that the late corps members were travelling along with other colleagues in a vehicle with inscription ‘CORPERS FOR CHRIST’ to attend a wedding at a Catholic Church in Funtua when the accident happened.

The green metallic colour vehicle has a registration number MAN 45 AA.

Governor Aminu Masari, who was travelling to Danja when he got to the accident spot, directed that his pilot vehicle be used to convey the corpses of the late corps members and their other colleagues back to Katsina.

The Governor was on his way to Danja to attend the burial rites of Alhaji Saleh Danja who had also died in a ghastly road accident on Saturday at Tsanni in Batagarawa local government area of the state.

Late Alhaji Danja, aka, Saleh, was one of the close people to Governor Masari .

A corps member who survived the Sunday accident told Governor Masari that they were on their way to attend a mass wedding at a Catholic Church in Funtua.

He further revealed that heavy rains made the road slippery, adding that the accident occurred when the driver tried to apply brakes.

He said the wet road made the vehicle to swerve and hit a nearby tree.

The Katsina NYSC spokesman, Mr. Alex Oboameta, was yet to react to enquiries on the incident by Press time.

Britain Facing Food, Fuel And Drugs Shortages Over No-Deal Brexit

Britain will face shortages of fuel, food and medicine if it leaves the European Union without a transition deal, jamming ports and requiring a hard border in Ireland, official government documents leaked to the Sunday Times show.
The Times said the forecasts compiled by the Cabinet Office set out the most likely aftershocks of a no-deal Brexit rather than the worst-case scenarios.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office said it did not comment on leaked documents.

The newspaper said up to 85 per cent of trucks, using the main channel crossings, “may not be ready” for French customs, meaning disruption at ports would potentially last up to three months before the flow of traffic improves.

The government also believes a hard border between the British province of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, an EU member, will be likely as current plans to avoid widespread checks will prove unsustainable, the Times said.

“Compiled this month by the Cabinet Office under the codename Operation Yellowhammer, the dossier offers a rare glimpse into the covert planning being carried out by the government to avert a catastrophic collapse in the nation’s infrastructure,’’ the Times reported.

“The file, marked “official-sensitive” — requiring security clearance on a “need to know” basis — is remarkable because it gives the most comprehensive assessment of the UK’s readiness for a no-deal Brexit.’’

Asked about the Yellowhammer documents, energy minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, told Sky News: “I think there’s a lot of scaremongering around, and a lot of people are playing into ‘Project Fear’ … We’ve got to prepare for no deal.’’

“We will be fully prepared to leave without a deal on Oct. 31.’’

The United Kingdom is heading toward a constitutional crisis at home and a showdown with the EU as Johnson has repeatedly vowed to leave the bloc on Oct. 31 without a deal unless it agrees to renegotiate the Brexit divorce.

After more than three years of Brexit dominating EU affairs, the bloc has repeatedly refused to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement, which includes an Irish border insurance policy that Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, agreed in November.

Brexit Minister, Stephen Barclay, said on Twitter he had signed a piece of legislation, which set in stone the repeal of the 1972 European Communities act – the laws which made Britain a member of the organisation now known as the EU.

Though his move was largely procedural, in line with previously approved laws, Barclay said in a statement: “This is a clear signal to the people of this country that there is no turning back from Brexit’’.

A group of more than 100 lawmakers wrote to Johnson, calling for an emergency recall of parliament to discuss the situation.

“We face a national emergency and parliament must now be recalled in August and sit permanently until Oct. 31 so that the voices of the people can be heard, and that there can be proper scrutiny of your government,’’ the letter said.

Johnson will this week tell French President, Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the Westminster parliament cannot stop Brexit and a new deal must be agreed if Britain is to avoid leaving the EU without one.

The prime minister is coming under pressure from politicians across the political spectrum to prevent a disorderly departure, with opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, vowing this week to bring down Johnson’s government in early September to delay Brexit.

It is, however, unclear if lawmakers have the unity or power to use the British parliament to prevent a no-deal departure – likely to be the United Kingdom’s most significant move since World War Two.

Opponents of no-deal say it would be a disaster for what was once one of the West’s most stable democracies.

A disorderly divorce, they say, would hurt global growth, send shockwaves through financial markets and weaken London’s claim to be the world’s preeminent financial centre.

Brexit supporters say there may be short-term disruption from a no-deal exit but that the economy will thrive if cut free from what they cast as a doomed experiment in integration that has led to Europe falling behind China and the U.S.

(Reuters/NAN)

BREAKING NEWS: Obaseki Dies In Edo

A former Nigeria Professional Football League chairman, Oyuki Obaseki, is dead.
Obaseki died at the age of 75 after a protracted illness in Benin City, Edo State on Sunday.

The PUNCH gathered that Obaseki had been sick for over three years until his death.

He was the second vice-chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation from 2007 to 2009.

Obaseki is survived by his wife, children and grand children.

Nnamdi Kanu Finally Breaks Silence As IPOB Members Attack Ekweremadu In Germany

Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, on Sunday described the attack on the former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, in Nuremberg Germany as a ‘courageous act’.
247NNU had reported that Senator Ekweremadu, who was attending the 2nd Annual Igbo Cultural Festival as a Speaker and special guest of honour at an event organised by the Ndi-Igbo Germany community, was beaten up and publicly humiliated by suspected IPOB members in a viral video.

Reacting in his official Twitter page, he said the attack is a polite warning.

He tweeted, “the courageous act by IPOB at Nürnberg Germany is a polite warning to those engaged in selling our collective interest to Fulani caliphate. Nwodo, Igbo governors are warned.”

Meanwhile, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, said the attack serves as a warning to Nnia Nwodo, Dave Umahi, Okezie Ikpeazu, Willie Obiano and others to stay away from any public event abroad unless they want to be humiliated.

BBNaija: Esther Finally Breaks Silence On Frodd Forcing Himself On Her Last Night

Big Brother Naija housemate, Esther, has opened up on Frodd’s attempt to touch her against her will on Saturday night.

247NNU had earlier reported that Frodd after the Saturday night party was seen on Esther’s bed without underwear, while trying to touch and caress Esther’s body.
Esther hesitated and warned Frodd to wear his boxers back on several times but he refused.

This attracted Biggie’s attention as he called Frodd to an emergency diary session.

After the diary session, Frodd who was earlier on Esther’s bed, returned suddenly to his own bed.

It is not sure what Biggie told him at the diary session as it was not aired to the BBNaija fans but there is the possibility that Frodd may be issued a strike or be disqualified for harassment.

But speaking to Frodd on Sunday, Esther while apologizing to him said that he did nothing wrong.

According to her, she was not in the mood to play that was why she acted that way.

She said, “ Did biggy say you should come to your bed? You didn’t do anything wrong. I was just pissed yesterday and you weren’t listening.”

Frodd, however, added that he didn’t sleep after the incident.

See What Invictus Obi Did After News Of FBI Arrest Broke The Net

Obinwanne Okeke, Invictus Group CEO who is popularly known as Invictus Obi, has erased all traces of his social media existence.

Save for his personal blog, (http://www.obinwanne.com) and bios on his company’s platforms, Okeke’s social media pages have been deleted since he found himself in troubled waters.
But how did it all start?

On Friday, many Nigerians took to social media to express their views on reports that the 31-year-old entrepreneur was linked to an $11 million internet scam in the US.

In June 2018, Unatrac Holding Limited, a company which deals in sales of heavy industrial and farm equipment, was said to have approached the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) over a breach in the email account of its chief financial officer where a fraudulent transfer of funds was done.

The intruder was said to have sent phishing emails containing a web link, purportedly to the login page of the CFO’s online email account hosted by Microsoft Office 365.

Believing the link to be genuine, the CFO was said to have imputed his username and password from where the intruder got full access to the account and sent a fraudulent wire transfer request to the company’s internal financial team.

Acting under the impression that the email emanated from the CFO, the finance staff processed approximately 15 payments between April 11 to 19, 2018, totalling $11 million.

After months of a forensic investigation into the phoney transaction and activities of the intruder, the FBI followed the suspect’s online trail which led them to social media accounts with username @invictusobi allegedly owned by Okeke.

The federal agents were able to merge the intruder’s identity with the owner of the social media accounts.

When TheCable checked the accounts on Twitter and Instagram, they were no longer available, although there were mentions of the username on social media feeds.

On August 2, the FBI reportedly issued an arrest warrant for Okeke, who was said to be in the US at the time.

According to details of the arrest warrant, the FBI was alleged to have also connected Okeke to a series of other internet frauds.

WHO IS OBINWANNE OKEKE?

Obinwanne came to the limelight at the age of 28 when Forbes magazine, an international publication, featured him in its June 2016 cover as one of Africa’s 30 entrepreneurs under 30.

“This is the most important list of the year for Forbes Africa. If one young African reads it and is inspired enough to start a business, it has done its job. Entrepreneurs like Obinwanne are proof that there is hope for Africa,” Chris Bishop, managing editor of Forbes Africa, was quoted to have said in the publication.

Findings show that he was nominated for Africa’s most innovative investment company award at the African Brand Leadership Merit Awards and has spoken in international economic panels, including the London School of Economics (LSE) African summit.

According to Okeke’s profile, he was born on November 9, 1987, and started his company, Invictus Group, in 2009.

The firm’s website says it deals in construction, investments, oil and gas and agricultural development. It also runs the Invictus Foundation which engages in charity.

Okeke was said to have obtained a bachelor’s degree in forensic criminology and a master’s degree in international relations and counter-terrorism, both from Monash University, Australia.

Okeke’s favourite quote

One of Okeke’s favourite quotes obtained online reads: “Mindset is everything, be it in entrepreneurship or daily life. It is what sets you apart from others. If your mindset is not in the right place, you won’t succeed. So, you must have the right mindset.”
 
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