Top Headlines This Morning (Newspaper Roundup)

By on May 19, 2014

Late submission of budget now an impeachable offence – Confab Okonjo-Iweala-budget

THE National Conference Committee on Politics and Governance has recommended late submission of budget by the executive as an impeachable offence just as it pegged deadline of budget presentation before the legislature at September 30th of every.If this recommendation sails through at the plenary billed to resume today and is subsequently captured in the constitution, any president who approaches the legislature with yearly budget beyond September 30th stands the risk of being impeached from office for breach of the constitution.

- Vanguard

#BringBackOurGirls: Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Gibson, others held up signsBanderas

After a fun-filled morning of riding tanks and cracking jokes, the cast of “The Expendables 3″ took a far more serious tone on the red carpet when they brandished signs sporting #BringBackOurGirls.Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Gibson, Banderas, Ford and others held up the signs to the cameras, joining global calls to free 223 schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamist militants in Nigeria last month.Mexican star Salma Hayek and French actress Julie Gayet did the same thing on Saturday’s red carpet, publicly taking a stand for the schoolgirls using the now world-famous hashtag on Twitter also promoted by US First Lady Michelle Obama.

- Vanguard

Car built by Nigerian students passes international evaluation

Nigeria has recorded a major feat in automotive technology innovation with a car called “Tuke-Tuke’`, produced by students of the University of Benin.The car has passed international technical evaluation in Rotterdam, Netherlands, a statement said.The statement was signed by the Media Manager of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), Mr Precious Okolobo on Thursday in Abuja. It said that the car was now qualified to race at the 2014 Eco Marathon in Netherlands with cars from 25 countries, mostly advanced countries. 

- Vanguard

CHIBOK GIRLS: Boko Haram soft-pedals, drops demand for releaseBringBackOurGirls9 

The Telegraph of London, in an exclusive report, quoted sources close to the militant Islamist group as saying that the sect has abandoned its demands for its top commanders to be released that could see “gradual” release of the schoolgirls as early as next week.In a significant concession, the group was said to have abandoned demands for its top commanders to be released, seemingly aware that this would be politically impossible for the Federal Government.The Telegraph first reported details of Boko Haram’s offer of an imminent prisoners exchange last Tuesday, when sources close to some of the militants’ families said that a senior Islamic cleric from the northern part of the country would be appointed to mediate on its behalf with the government.According to the Telegraph, the cleric has since been joined by a former aide to one of the group’s founders. No man has been named, possibly for their safety.

While the Federal Government has insisted that it is not willing to enter prisoners swap negotiations, the source claimed that dialogue had already been going on in secret for several days.“Contrary to the public rejection of any swap deal by the Nigerian government, there are some on-the-ground talks taking place,” the Telegraph quoted its source as saying adding that “an agreement was reached about two or three days ago in principle to start releasing some prisoners.”

He said that among the prisoners that the group wanted released would be wives and families of Boko Haram fighters, some of whom have been taken into custody by the Federal Government in order to exert emotional pressure on the fighters. “The group also has a list of lower-level fighters that it wants released as well, but they are not high-profile ones,” the source added.He said that in exchange, Boko Haram was willing to start a “gradual” release of around 100 of the girls – possibly beginning as early as the coming week. “Depending on how the other side responds, the girls will be released in small groups. They will be left at a certain safe location, and the authorities will then be told as to where they can pick them up from.”

- Vanguard

Scores feared dead in Kano explosionScene-of-a-bomb-blast-360x225

A blast hit Kano on Sunday, in a street with many bars and night spots.Scores were feared dead in the explosion which witnesses quoted by the AFP news agency said was caused by a suspected car bomb.

The blast took place in an area mostly inhabited by Christians from southern Nigeria, the Reuters news agency reports.The militant Islamist group Boko Haram has carried out attacks in Kano State.

Witnesses quoted by AFP said that the blast could be heard from several miles away and happened on a busy road lined with bars in the predominantly Christian area of Sabon Gari.The blast comes as the Nigerian authorities continue the search for more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram.

Kano police spokesman, Musa Majiya, said it was too early to say if the blast in the Sabon Gari or “foreign quarter” of the North’s biggest city had caused any casualties.But witness Abdul Dafar, who lives a block away, told Reuters he saw at least four dead bodies after the explosion.

“I heard a loud blast. And there was a lot of smoke. Soldiers came in to cordon off the place and ambulances were rushing people to hospital,” he said.

- Punch


EFCC arrests Buhari’s son for N20m scamEFCC-Chairman-Ibrahim-Lamorde-360x225

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have arrested Mr. Mohammed Buhari, an adopted son of a former Head of State, Gen. Mohammadu Buhari, for an alleged N20m scam.

A source at the EFCC said that the young Buhari obtained the said N20m from one Mrs. Nwokocha Florence to invest in an oil and gas business with a promise to make mouthwatering returns to the lady.

It was gathered that the adopted son of the former Head of State and presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change in the 2011 elections also promised to pay the lady 30 per cent annual interest on the N20m.

It was gathered that the relationship between the two turned sour when Buhari reneged on the agreement to pay the 30 per cent annual interest on the N20m to the investor said to have been introduced to him by his accounts officer at ECO Bank.

It was leant that once the money was transferred, Buhari cleaned out the account but never paid any interest to the woman.

- Punch

Unemployed graduates to earn corps members’ allowance


Succour may soon come to unemployed graduates in Nigeria if the recommendation of one of the committees at the ongoing National Conference is accepted at the plenary and by the Federal Government.

Our correspondent learnt that the conference’s Committee on Law, Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Reform had recommended that each unemployed graduate should be paid a monthly allowance equivalent to the allowance of members of the National Youth Service Corps.

Presently, the Federal Government pays each corps member a monthly allowance of N19,800

A member of the committee said the recommendation was one of the ways the committee members felt that crime could be reduced in the country.

- Punch

British spy plane joins search for girls


A Sentinel reconnaissance aircraft left RAF Waddington yesterday morning bound for the Ghanian capital of Accra, west of Nigeria and close to where Islamist terror group Boko Haram are believed to be holding the Chibok girls.

The high-tech surveillance jet will assist US aircraft in attempting to find the schoolgirls, who were abducted in their school on April 15.

British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: “The kidnap of these girls is a reprehensible act which has drawn international condemnation.

“I am pleased that Britain’s armed forces have been able to support the international search operation and provide the specialist skills which could help the Nigerians locate their missing children.”

The plane is fitted with radar which can locate moving targets and provide detailed pictures of activity on the ground.

- The Nation

2015: LP Will Support Jonathan – Mimiko


Mimiko, who spoke in Abeokuta, Ogun State at the inauguration of a new secretariat of the party and the newly elected State Executive Committee, also urged Nigerians to continue praying for the President, say­ing that he was undergoing turbulent period in the history of governance in the country. This position was also echoed by the erstwhile governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel and the National Chairman of the LP, Dan Nwanyanwu, who appealed to members of the party to support Jonathan’s re-election. Mimiko, while addressing hundreds of party members, recalled that LP backed Jonathan in 2011, and would sustain its support for him in next year’s election.