By Kunle Olasanmi and Andrew Essien, Abuja A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has given the court bailiff a five-day ultimatum to serve former President Goodluck Jonathan the court summon to appear before him as a witness in the trial of a former national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh. The court headed by Justice Okon Abang also ordered the prosecution counsel, Mr. Sylvanus Tahir, to persuade his client to explore administrative means of ensuring that the Department of State Service (DSS) produce former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), in court on the next adjourned date. It was gathered yesterday that Jonathan was yet to be served with the subpoena by the court bailiff. Justice Abang said the court might not be able to make any progress in the case without the two summoned witnesses appearing before it. The judge also noted that Jonathan should not...

Kanu: Abaribe, Others In Trouble

by Kunle Olasanmi, Abuja A Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday ordered Senator Enyinaya Abaribe and two others standing as sureties for the leader of the proscribed indigenous people of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, to explain the whereabouts of the IPOB leader. The court headed by Justice Binta Nyako had granted bail to Kanu on April 24, 2017 under certain stringent conditions, but the IPOB leader has at various times flouted some of his bail conditions. Kanu was absent from the court yesterday when his trial resumed, while prison officials produced his three co-defendants in court. During yesterday’s proceedings in court, Kanu’s lawyer, Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, told the judge that Kanu had been missing after soldiers allegedly invaded the IPOB leader’s home‎ on September 14, 2017, adding that the Nigerian Army was in the best position to produce the defendant. A lawyer, Mr. Ogechi Ogunna, who appeared for Abaribe informed the judge ‎that his client...

Germany: Merkel Wins Fourth Term

By Juliana Agbo with agency report - Angela Merkel is set for a fourth term as Germany’s Chancellor after her centre right CDU/CSU won a projected 33% of the votes in federal elections, making it the largest party in the Bundestag with an estimated 218 seats. The Christian Democrats’ score, sharply down on the 41% of the vote it collected in the previous 2013 elections, was widely seen as disappointing and is likely to leave Merkel diminished on the domestic political stage. Her main rivals and outgoing coalition partners, Martin Schulz’s Social Democrat SPD, crashed to just over 20% and a projected 138 seats. Within an hour of the first exit poll, Schulz confirmed statements by other senior party figures that the SPD would not renew its “grand coalition” with the CDU but head into opposition. The far-right, anti-immigration AfD made a historic breakthrough, winning 13.5% of the vote and a projected 87 seats...
By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah, Abuja - The federal government has saved about N55billion ($150million) from the production of locally-blended fertilizer this year. The said amount is the whopping sum hitherto spent on foreign exchange from the N60 billion in budgetary provisions for fertilizer subsidy. According to the presidency, the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) will deliver 4 million bags of 50kg Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium (NPK) fertilizer to farmers at an affordable price before the end of the year. Senior Special Assistant to the president on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, disclosed this at the weekend on Hannu Ya Dawa, an audience participation programme on FRCN Kaduna. LEADERSHIP recalls that the objective of the PFI, which was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari in December 2016, is to procure the four constituent raw materials for Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium (NPK) fertilizer – locally-sourced Urea, locally-sourced Limestone granules (LSG), Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) imported from Morocco and...
By Bayo Amodu, Abuja and Kayode Tokede, Lagos - The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) hinted yesterday that the nation’s external reserves have risen to a 31-month high of $32 billion as at September 22, 2017. The external reserves continued to improve in 2017 on the heels of increase in global oil prices Although the apex bank did not mention any reason for increased external reserves, the growth tend to come from increased global oil prices and inflow from international money transfer operations. The price of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) basket of 14 crudes countries stood at $54.59 per barrel last week. Hitting $32 billion, the highest in 2017, the external reserves have gained $6.3billion or 24 per cent from $25.8 billion it opened this year and it has gained 1.05 per cent as at September 21, 2017. Between January and August, the foreign exchange buffer of CBN appreciated by estimated $5.97 billion...
By Tunde Oguntola, Abuja - The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has urged Nigerians to disregard the fake news being circulated via a Twitter account and an old NTA news video that President Muhammadu Buhari is travelling or has travelled to the US. In a statement he issued yesterday and made available to LEADERSHIP, the Minister said one of the numerous parody Twitter accounts in his name, @MohammedLai, was used to disseminate the fake and ludicrous news that claims that President Buhari is due to leave Nigeria for the United States of America on today ‘’to condole with President Trump over the floods in Houston’’. He said an old NTA News video being circulated on the social media claimed that President Buhari has already left for the UN General Assembly in New York. ‘’This is a 2015 NTA News video that was repackaged to look current, and to give the...
By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah  President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the immediate disengagement from service of Mr Abdullahi Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms. According to a statement by his Special Adviser media, Femi Adesina, in a memo to the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, the President equally demanded a full report of the circumstances of Maina's recall and posting to the Ministry of Interior. Adesina said the report is to be submitted to the office of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, before the end of work yesterday , Monday, October 23, 2017. There was an uproar recently when stories filtered in that Maina had been secretly re-instated and promoted to the rank of director in the ministry. LEADERSHIP recalls that Maina was appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan as Chairman of the task force in 2010 to check the corruption...
By BAYO AMODU, Abuja - The presidential committee on flood relief and rehabilitation chaired by chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has provided N250 million as relief assistance to victims of the devastating flood in Benue State. Also, in response to the request by the Benue State government, the committee has approved the release of one IDP Hostel already completed in Benue State to provide temporary shelter for some of the displaced persons. More than 110,000 persons in 24 communities, including Makurdi, have been displaced by the flood in Benue State. The executive secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr. Boniface Ortese, who disclosed this recently said over 2,769 households were also affected. He explained that places affected included Achusa, Idye, Wurukum Market, Genabe, Industrial Layout, Demekpe, Wadata Market, Katungu, behind the Civil Service Commission, Agboughul-Wadata among others in Makurdi. “In Achusa, 200 houses were affected with 5,125 persons displaced. In Idye,...
By FESTUS OKOROMADU, Abuja - The exploration and production (E&P) arm of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), said it was set to grow its equity production from the current 180,000 barrels per day to 500,000 bpd in the next three years. The plan according to a statement from NNPC said the scheme would involve a gradual production rise from the current level 180,000 barrels per day to 300,000 bpd by 2018 and by 2019 and 2020 its production is expected to hit 400,000 bpd and 500,000 bpd, respectively. According to the statement issued by the spokesperson of the corporation, Ndu Ughamadu, the managing director of NPDC, Mr. Yusuf Matashi, made the disclosure  in Benin, stressing that the planned increase in the company’s equity production was due to the ongoing transformation in NNPC. Matashi was also quoted to have said that NPDC has attained the position of...
By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah, Abuja - Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said yesterday that Nigeria is still suffering from the consequences of the lack of transparency in the award of OPL 245 to Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd in 1998. Osinbajo spoke in Jakarta, Indonesia, yesterday at a conference on beneficial ownership organised by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). LEADERSHIP recalls that the Malabu oil scam, which had been making the headlines for years, is one of the biggest corruption scandals ever witnessed in the global oil industry. The controversial $1.3 billion deal revolves around “OPL 245”, which is believed to be the most valuable oil field in West Africa. The scam is being investigated in Nigeria, Italy and Netherlands due to the involvement of oil giants Shell and ENI. The oil block, which is said to have about 9 billion barrels of crude oil, was sold to Shell and ENI for $1.3 billion in...