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The number of delegates representing Nigeria in the ongoing twenty-eighth Conference of Parties (COP28) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) increased by more than four folds when compared to the country’s COP27 delegates in Egypt last year, a PREMIUM TIMES analysis has shown.

Nigeria’s official delegation (i.e. ‘party’ badge holders) to COP27 last year was 120 persons, increasing from 87 in COP26 two years ago in Glasgow.

This year’s delegation of 590 persons under President Bola Tinubu, who removed subsidies on petroleum products and asked Nigerians to endure the attendant hardship resulting from the hike in the cost of living, is eliciting public outrage in the country.

Mr Tinubu, who has repeatedly told Nigerians that the government’s purse is lean, has been criticised by Nigerians for controversial expenditure embarked upon by his government including the funding for the large delegation to COP28.

In response to public criticisms, the government said it only funded 422 persons of the 590-person list that includes the president’s son, Seyi Tinubu, and other individuals believed to have no significant roles in the climate conference.

The 422 people funded by the federal government under Mr Tinubu are, however, more than triple the total number of official government delegations to COP27 last year (120) and COP26 in 2021 (87).

A review of the figures also shows that the number of government-funded delegates increased by over 250 per cent between COP27 in 2022 and COP28 even if all 120 official delegates at COP27 were government funded.

The 422 persons funded by the Nigerian government also suggests that the Nigerian government funded more delegates to COP28 than the UK and the US combined (even if both countries used government funds for all their party delegates – 234).

The US has 159 delegates with ‘party’ badges, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has 75.

How Nigeria’s COP delegates increased over the years
How Nigeria’s COP delegates increased over the years

‘COP attendance becoming too big’

It is not only Nigerians that are concerned about the bloated attendance at COP28 with a UN official saying the attendance is “getting too big.” Almost 100,000 participants from 195 countries. are attending COP28 compared to about 49,704 participants who attended COP27 last year.


“These conferences have become too big,’’ Achim Steiner, head of the UN Development Programme, said in an interview on the sidelines of the conference on Monday.

Mr Steiner said while he does not want to tell anyone not to take part, the over-bloated attendance should not become a model for the future in terms of attendance.

Understandably, the host country, the UAE, has the highest number of delegates (participants). Brazil, which has had one of the largest delegates in the past two years, has over 3,000 delegates in total.

China and Nigeria have a total number of 1,482 and 1,411 delegates, respectively, currently in the UAE.

How Party delegates increased from COP19 to COP28
How Party delegates increased from COP19 to COP28

Total Participants Vs ‘Party’ Delegates

Meanwhile, less than 30 per cent of this year’s participants are official negotiators at the conference. There are 195 countries party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which make up the decision-making body for COP. Together, the parties were represented by 24,488 ‘party’ delegates.


The remaining 70,000+ persons attending the conference are observers from United Nations organisations, Intergovernmental Organisations, Regional Organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Civil Society Organisations, the business community and the Media.

China, for instance, is in third place when ranked by the total number of participants. But will only take the 34th place when ranked by the number of persons representing it at COP28. Only 219 persons carry its ‘party’ badge.


These persons representing each country are accredited or given badges under the ‘Party’ category. Other attendees – including members of the business community, civil society and media – carry the ‘Overflow’ or ‘Party Overflow’ badges.

Others such as United Nations organisations, Inter-governmental Organisations, and Regional Organisations, are admitted as ‘Observers’.

There are, however, insinuations that some countries allocate some of their ‘party badges’ to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), which can artificially inflate the size of their official delegation, according to Carbon Brief, a UK-based publication specialising in the science and policy of climate change.

COP 28 ‘Party’ delegates Vs ‘ Party Overflows’ of selected countries
COP 28 ‘Party’ delegates Vs ‘ Party Overflows’ of selected countries

Also, while the UAE has the highest number of participants, Brazil has the highest number of persons representing a country (or carrying the party badge). Brazil has 1,337 ‘party participants’ at the conference.

It is followed by India with 725 representatives and the UAE with 620 representatives.

Nigeria and the Russian Federation are tied in fourth position with 590 persons carrying the ‘party’ badge from both countries. The total number of participants from Nigeria is 1,411 including the 821 ‘Party Overflows’.

The Nigerian government said it only funded 422 persons. It did not provide details about the remaining 168 persons carrying its ‘party’ badge but the government’s position suggests that such persons were funded by others such as development partners.

The 422 people funded by the Nigerian government are also more than triple the total number of official delegates from Pakistan (80), a country with a similar population as Nigeria.

The Republic of Moldova, Eritrea, Liechtenstein, Nicaragua and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea each have less than 10 delegates with ‘party’ badges.

Fifteen countries with the highest number of ‘Party delegates’
Fifteen countries with the highest number of ‘Party delegates’

Delegates for COP 27, 26

The total number of ‘party’ participants increased from 9,749 in COP26 held in Glasgow in 2021, to 11,969 during last year’s COP27 in Egypt, and more than doubled to 24,488 in the ongoing COP28 in the UAE.

For the past two years, Brazil has held one of the highest number of ‘party’ badge holders in the conference. The country had 406 party badge holders in COP26 and 470 in COP27.


During COP 26, India had 135 ‘party’ badge holders and 61 last year during COP27 in Egypt.

China, meanwhile, had 56 and 63 ‘party’ badge-carrying participants in COP26 and 27 respectively.

At the ongoing COP, Nigeria’s delegates have hinted that the country’s priority is to secure more finances from investors to achieve its Energy Transition Plan (ETP) and other relevant climate actions in the country.

Nigeria expects to spend $1.9 trillion between 2022 and 2060 to meet the targets of the ETP across five sectors. At several meetings at the summit, PREMIUM TIMES observed that core Nigerian Party delegates are pushing to attract investment into the country.

[Premium Times]

AS Ndigbo and other residents of South East region prepare to return home for Christmas and New Year celebrations, they are sure to face nightmare of passing through uncountable checkpoints, which actually are extortion points by security operatives. No route to the region is free of excessive extortion checkpoints.

Put together, from Lagos to Onitsha, Abuja to Enugu and the numerous ones dotting the roads in the region, no less than 4000 checkpoints constitute embarrassing barriers the people  are subjected to. At each checkpoint, motorists are openly extorted amounts ranging between N200 to N1000. This cuts across checkpoints  manned by  military and police.

Most embarrassing is that in some of these checkpoints, passengers are forced to disembark from their vehicles to walk across before boarding their vehicles again. Painfully, this is done irrespective of the weather or the health condition of the occupants in  such vehicles.

While brazenly engaging in the extortion spree, motorists and their passengers are also inhumanly treated like a conquered people. Annoyingly, in some cases the security operatives are not interested in carrying out routine security checks but to just extort and humiliate the commuters. They behave and act as if they are for different mission in the region other than to provide security to the people. Surprisingly, despite all the hues and cries from the people about this ugly trend in the South East, the military and police high command are yet to take any visible serious actions to stop it.

Military, police high command must end the extortion — Nwagbara 

Condemning the high rate of extortion of motorists on the South East roads, particularly by police and soldiers, Chief Executive Officer of Youth and Students Advocates for Development Initiatives, YSAD, Obinna Nwagbara, urged the police and military high commands to take drastic measures against their men involved in the evil act. He insisted that the leadership of the security agencies must do more than giving out orders and threats which are hardly taken serious.

“We wish to call the attention of the leadership of these security agencies to take  more than a passing interest in the evil activities of their men and officers against Nigerians. It is unfortunate that the issue of extortion  on our roads continues to multiply with reckless abandon, with perpetrators unashamedly going about their ugly activities in the full glare of the public, including innocent children.


“From Aba to Umuahia, Enugu to Nsukka, Okigwe to Owerri, Owerri to Port Harcourt,  from Port Harcourt to Aba, Umuikaa Junction to Owerri, Aba to Ikot-Ekpene and across several major roads in the South East, huge  man hours are lost daily on account of multiple checkpoints where motorists are intimidated and extorted. As we approach the yuletide, more checkpoints with gun-wielding officials are daily taking over the highways in the South East. It is now an open bazaar on South East roads.

They are openly extorting from motorists, even giving change for those who so demand.“Seeing all of these, we are forced to ask; at what point did Nigerian roads become commercial banks and security and law enforcement agents’ cashiers? The IGP and the CPs, the military high command must do more than just barking out threats and orders against their men on the highways”, Nwagbara lamented.

Nothing will change until S/East Govs rise to say it is enough — INC 

The National President of Igbo National Congress, INC, Comrade Chilos Godsent, said the governors of South East should rise to say  enough is enough. He said the humiliation has lasted because the South East governors have allowed it.“

He stated: “The INC strongly condemns such humiliation and torture of the residents of South East. It is happening because the governors gave their consent to it. I have always insisted that the security chiefs in the South East must have mentioned it to the governors during security meetings and the governors approved of that.

“The governors should rise and stop it. The people of South East should not be treated with such disdain.”Yes, there had been cases of criminals attacking security agents at checkpoints, but this shouldn’t warrant such measure. It is capable of generating hatred in the minds of residents, thereby making them not to volunteer necessary intelligence needed to ensure effective security of the zone”.“


Checkpoints in the South East are  officially organized extortion,  intimation points– Prof Igwe 

A renowned Professor of Political Science, Obasi Igwe said, “the checkpoints across South East region are officially set for extortion, intimidation, humiliation against Ndigbo”.

He also alleged that the checkpoints are very often used for evils, in some cases kidnappings take place near and around some checkpoints, and wondered how such things happen near security operatives.

“Nigeria’s checkpoints in the South and Middle Belt are official organized extortion, humiliation, intimidation of Ndigbo. Huge sums of money is extorted from the Igbo at gunpoint at checkpoints, including those by another terrible group called Road Safety Corps, the topmost nemesis of travelers, whose own assignment is how to make bad things worse.

“Igbo youths with laptops, attractive handsets, reverse caps, sagging trousers, backpacks, especially those in flashy cars are instantly arrested for being “Yahoo boys” and, once taken or dragged behind a nearby building, they are never seen again by their families. The intimidation must stop”, Igwe said.

 Roadblocks, now tollgates, they should be dismantled — COSEYL

Igbo youths under the aegis of Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, COSEYL, condemned this embarrassing practice by security operatives deployed to the South East region and called for the immediate removal of roadblocks unless they are ready to genuinely serve as security checkpoints, not extortion points as they presently constitute. The President General of COSEYL, Comrade Goodluck Ibem said soldiers and policemen deployed to the South East should stop treating the residents of the region as slaves and conquered people. 

“The federal government should clear the roadblocks. They are already causing logjam and inflicting pains on the people how much more during Christmas period when more vehicles will be on the roads. In their bid to extort money from motorists, they create long hold-ups, increasing pains and hardship.

“Security is about intelligence gathering. Before now, we used to have security patrols. Roadblocks are not the only way to tackle criminality. Let the security operatives do more of patrol instead of staying at a particular point which the bad guys know how to avoid.

“In fact, multiple roadblocks cause  insecurity. When busy extorting money from motorists, they lose concentration and the bad boys could seize the moment to attack them. Extortion exposes them to needless attacks by these bad boys”.

The Chairman Board of Trustees, BoT, Igbo Leaders of Thought, Prof. Madubuike Ezeibe, believes that checkpoints can serve good purposes if the security operatives decide to focus and do their duty professionally. He noted that although some of them had converted the checkpoints to extortion points, the relevance of their presence on the roads could not be underestimated.

“They do good work and also bad work. If you tell them to stay, what about the bad work they are doing? So, it is a very difficult situation. Their presence is  important because of the activities of these bad boys. If you send them to chase the evil boys out of the roads, they go and do their own evil. But the police and military hierarchies have a way of controlling them. I don’t think it will be proper to ask them to leave the roads because if they do, these bad boys will deal with the people.

“The presence of security agencies on the roads is important but their leaders have to find a way to control them so that they don’t do that which they are not sent to do”, Ezeife said.

Why are there checkpoints — Security agent

Defending the presence of the numerous checkpoints in the region, a security personnel, who spoke on grounds of anonymity said: “The killings that have been going on and are  the unprecedented savagery that attend these killings, keeps one wondering whether Igbo land is now populated by extreme brutes and savages.

“We have, on a number of times, seen ugly videos of decapitated human beings. It is not within the prospect of belief that a human being can severe the head of another and proudly  displays it with an equal sense of accomplishment.

“Similarly, we have also recorded a spate of kidnapping for ransom. The act has sadly become a very well organized and highly flourishing business. From the turn of events, it now looks like a sin of sort, to build a decent house or buy a car after many years of diligent toil and labour, because that is now an open invitation to those who like to fish from the boat, instead of the river.

“The Nigerian nation appears injured and helpless at this unfortunate new normal, as these killings, kidnappings, arson and decapitations no longer make news to most people.

“With time, the growing level of insecurity in the land gradually moved to the nation’s highways. This necessitated the posting of policemen on the highways. Apparently in a bid to stem the tide of these serious crimes, the  police high command decided to mount security checkpoints on the highways. We have since noticed that instead of achieving the aims for establishing them, they have turned out to be point of sales, PoS, and toll gates”, he regretted.

Lamenting on what he passes through on the roads, a commercial bus driver, Sunny Duru Onyegecha said: “The presence of armed security personnel on the roads, ought to enhance the safety of travelers. This has turned out to be a ruse. All manner of contrabands, illicit drugs, arms, ammunition and even kidnap victims pass through these checkpoints, so long as the drivers are prepared to part with money.

“Before, we shared our daily takings with the police men on the road, at every checkpoint. Today, soldiers on checkpoints have also joined their police counterparts in fleecing us of our money. Soldiers collect these illegal tolls either themselves or engage young boys to collect the money from motorists.

“The fact remains that any commercial driver that fails, refuses or unwilling to part his, will be forced to park his vehicle until he pays. These people no longer collect N50. The toll now is from N100 and above. These security personnel brazenly collect these tolls, stuff the pockets of their uniforms to bulging points and openly return the balance to the drivers”.

Another motorist, George Okoro said he will find it extremely difficult to believe that the superiors of these men at the checkpoints do not know about their unprofessional acts.

His words: “Will their superiors claim that they do not know what their men are doing on the road? Where does the money they collect, go to?

“We have severally heard about how hoodlums attack and kill policemen on roadblocks. Why won’t the criminals take them unawares, when their major interest is the money they collect from drivers”.


The Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, has presented two more witnesses, against Mark Obisesan, Olumide Mcintouch, Bolaji Bakare, and Goodluck Bazunu, who are being prosecuted for an alleged purchase of forged United States Dollar Travellers Cheque.

The witnesses presented by the EFCC comprises of a Foreign Service National Investigator with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI and one other witness while closing its case

The defendants were re-arraigned on February 16, 2023 before Justice I.O. Ijelu of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja on amended 11-count charges bordering on an alleged purchase of forged bank notes and pleaded “not guilty” to the charges read to them.

One of the counts reads: “Mark Obisesan, Olumide Mcintouch, Bolaji Bakare, Goodluck Bazunu, and Josiah Ntekume (at large), sometime in 2018 at Lagos, within the Ikeja Judicial Division, received and have in your possession forged United States dollar Travellers Cheque number GA908-981-564.”

Another count reads: “Mark Obisesan, Olumide Mcintouch, Bolaji Bakare, Goodluck Bazunu, and Josiah Ntekume (at large), sometime in 2018 at Lagos, within the Ikeja Judicial Division, conspired to purchase, receive and have in your possession forged United States travellers cheques.”

However, during Thursday’s proceedings, prosecution counsel, N.K. Ukoha, led in evidence two more witnesses, Ayotunde Solademi, a Foreign Service National Investigator with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, and Bamaiyi Mairiga, a forensic expert with the EFCC’s Forensic Department.

They both testified against the defendants. Solademi testified as the second prosecution witness, PW2. He narrated the role the FBI played in the investigation of the alleged fraud.

He said: “On the 6th of January, 2020, the EFCC wrote a letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, through the office of the Legal Attache in the US Consulate, Lagos to assist it to confirm the genuineness or otherwise of eleven traveller’s cheques.

“The copies of the traveller’s cheques were attached to the letter and the numbers on the cheques were also included in the letter.”

Solademi narrated that the team assigned to the task immediately swung into action and wrote a letter to the American Express Traveller’s Cheque Authentication Centre, including the attached copies of the cheques in question sent by the EFCC.

He said: “They also sent us features to look out for in a genuine American Express Traveller’s Cheque. All these were packaged in a letter and the response was sent back to the EFCC in January, 2020.”

The witness also identified exhibits P2 and P3, which were already before the court, as the letter of investigation activities from the EFCC and the response of the FBI to same.

Under cross-examination by the counsel for the first defendant, Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, he noted that he was not a forensic analyst and what they did with the request of the EFCC was to forward same to American Express Traveller’s Cheque Authentication Centre and the reply was subsequently forwarded to the EFCC.

Solademi, under cross-examination by counsel for the second, third and fourth defendants, Bilikisu Afe, N.T. Adebago and Ndubuisi Oraenyen, maintained that it was the American Express Traveller’s Cheque Authentication Centre that analysed the said cheques and the response forwarded to the EFCC, as requested.

Mairiga who testified as the third prosecution counsel, PW3, informed the court about the forensic analysis carried out on the said documents.

He explained that the Lagos Zonal Command of the Commission in 2020, sent a request for forensic analysis of ten American Express Traveller’s cheques and one Mastercard $100Cheque.

He said: “They were analysed for security features and the ten were found to be counterfeits and only the MasterCard $100 Traveller’s Cheque was genuine.”

He then identified the letter of request from the Lagos Zonal Command of the EFCC, which was already before the court, as Exhibit P1.

He also identified the response from the Forensic Laboratory to the request dated 7th February 2020 and maintained that there was a universal process of forensically analysing documents.

Ukoha informed the court that the prosecution was closing its case. “This is the case of the prosecution,” he said and Justice Ijelu adjourned the case till January 18, 2024.

Controversial Nigerian singer, Portable has finally reacted to his sudden exclusion from a Celestial Church praise night.

DAILY POST reports that a Lagos-based church recently stirred up controversies after unveiling popular Fuji musician, Pasuma and Portable as guest artistes for its upcoming programme.

Condemning the development, Celestial Church leader, Olatosho Oshoffa, in a Facebook post, announced that he had stopped Portable and Pasuma from performing at the praise night.

However, reacting to this in a trending video, Portable expressed his determination to grace the church with his performance.

He said: “Celestial church we must do the show o, you have already paid me N5 million. Pasuma will perform, I will also perform and we must do it.

“The children of God are coming. Land of Goshen Cathedral please in God’s name, consider us as children of God, don’t judge me by my appearance.”

Two suspects identified as Hassan Ismaila and Mohammed Sani, have been nabbed by the Nasarawa State Police Command for allegedly starving their 35-year-old cousin to death, over allegations that he practised witchcraft.

In a statement released by the command, that suspects were said to have tied the hands and legs of one Sani over his alleged involvement in witchcraft. He was held captive in a room for a long period until he died.

Shettima Mohammed, the state acting Commissioner of Police, revealed this at the command’s headquarters in Lafia on Monday, noting that the family hurriedly buried the remains of Sani.

Also, he said the two suspects denied their involvement and claimed that they only participated in the burial after discovering the decomposing body of the deceased.

Mohammed stated, “On November 30, 2023 around 1930hrs, based on credible information, one Mohammed Sani ‘M’ of Agyaragu Tofa was tied on both hands and legs and locked up in a room where he starved to death and was hurriedly buried by his family members on the allegation of witchcraft”.

“Police operatives attached to ‘A’ Division, Lafia swung into action and got the duo of Hassan Ismail and Mohammed Sani all males of Agyaragu Tofa arrested”.

“Efforts are ongoing to arrest all individuals involved in the dastardly act.”

In another development, the acting CP equally paraded 18 other suspects arrested for committing various crimes across the 13 Local Government Areas of the state.

Similarly, a suspect identified as Habu Yusuf was also paraded for allegedly defiling a five-year-old girl in the Nasarawa Eggon Local Government Area of the state.

He mentioned that the suspect is not a first time offender, noting that he had previously raped two other young girls, while adding that officers made frantic efforts to capture the suspect.

He said, “Recently, a complaint was lodged at Nasarawa Eggon Division by one Justina Samuel that she returned from the market and found out that her five-year-old daughter was walking abnormally.”

“Upon enquiry, she revealed that she was sexually molested by one Habu Yusuf, 21 years old of Egbukumu Area, Nasarawa Eggon. Upon receipt of the complaint, the suspect was trailed and arrested.”

“Preliminary investigation revealed that Habu Yusuf had also sexually molested two of his elder brother’s children between the ages of eight and 10 before nemesis caught up with him. He has confessed to the commission of the crime and investigation is ongoing.”

Conclusively, he appreciated the collaboration of the other sister security agencies and that of the citizens with the police, in the fight against crime in Nasarawa State, while urging them to continue the support.

Mrs Tinuola Aina, the elder sister of Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has died at the age of 90, even as the family announced her funeral rites.

According to a statement from the family, Mrs. Tinuola Aina (nee Soyinka) passed on November 7, 2023.

The funeral rites will commence at 5pm on Thursday, December 7 with a Service of Songs in Lagos.

According to a public statement by the family, the two-day rites would end on Friday December 8 with a private interment in Lagos.

PM NEWS reports that ‘Tinuola Aduke’ was born April 29, 1933, she was the first of seven children of a school teacher, Mr. Samuel Ayodele Soyinka, and trader-homemaker, Mrs. Grace Eniola Soyinka (neé Harrison) at Ake Vicarage, Abeokuta.

Though born to a strict disciplinarian and deep Christian family, “Tinu,” as she was known in family circles, enjoyed a healthy, robust happy childhood along with her two immediate junior brothers, Wole and Femi. As time passed Yeside, Kayode, and Folabo expanded the family.

Tinu started her education at the St Peter’s Primary School in the Vicarage, and later at Abeokuta Grammar School (AGS), Igbein.

After her secondary education at AGS, Tinu left for England to pursue her life-long ambition to be a nurse. She soon obtained her SRN, SEN and Queens Nurse at South Shield, and worked for a while in England before returning to Nigeria in 1959. She joined the then Western Region at the Psychiatrist Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta.

A couple of years later, she obtained her first and second degrees in Community Nursing respectively at McGill University Canada, and North Carolina University, USA. She continued working for the Western Region, first in Abeokuta, and later at Akure General Hospital.

In 1963, she got married to Dr. Kola Aina, and the couple was blessed with two children, Oluyomi and Adebiyi.

Mrs. T.A. Aina later joined the Federal Government service, working at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).

She rose through the ranks and became the Principal of the Nursing and Midwifery School at LUTH in 1986, a position he held until her retirement in 1993.

Her stellar record bore witness to her commitment to the medical profession and her delight in training new generations of nurses. Mrs. Aina retired into a new phase of professional life and community involvement.

Shortly after retirement, she took the initiative to start an Advisory Clinic at her church, The Christ King’s Church, which she ran with two other retired nurses and church members, Mrs. Ajetumobi, and Mrs. Olubi; both preceded her in death.

Although located on the church premises, the Clinic is open to all members of the community irrespective of faith or creed and is completely free. Even though becoming frail, she regularly attended the clinic until early this year.

Aina also developed new interests such as adire (tie–dye), and beading, past times she taught any interested youngster.

She loved having the neighbourhood children around, instilling in them the values of education and the discipline with which she grew up.

She encouraged them to learn a trade and was a passionate advocate of financial independence for girls. She sponsored a number of neighbourhood children through primary school, and vocational training. Mrs. Aina was the beloved Grandma of Gbagada.

Matriach of the Soyinka and Kuti families, “Tinu” was a caring, loving and devoted mother, sister, aunt and cousin.

She kept the family united and left behind a strong, happy legacy

The Police in Rivers State have arrested suspects who allegedly abducted and buried their victim alive after collecting ransom.

The victim, Praise Daakian, is a former chairperson of the Community Development Committee in Kereken-Boue, Khana Local Government Area of the state.

The suspects identified as Baridapdo Igia, 33, and Elvis Gordon, 26 allegedly buried alive the victim after collecting N200, 000 from his wife as part payment for ransom.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Olatunji Disu stated this on Monday in Port Harcourt, during his maiden news briefing after assuming duties in the state, Punch newspaper reported.

Mr Disu did not state whether the victim had died or was rescued.

The suspects, Mr Disu said, were arrested on 15 November in separate operations by officers of the Anti-Cultism Unit in Kereken-Boue community of Khana Local Government Area.

“On the day of resumption, I had before me a security deficit in many areas of Rivers State. One of those areas was Khana Local Government, and we immediately deployed tactical units to quell the situation.”

“After a series of interrogations, the duo confessed to being leaders of Iceland and Degbam cult groups in Khana Local Government Area, and have been terrorising Khana Local Government Area for the past three years.

“These cult groups have been known to have endless clashes in the community. During interrogations, they also admitted to kidnapping and burying alive Mr Daakian.

The police said they have also arrested three suspected armed robbers and cultists in the Trans-Amadi area of the state.

The police commissioner identified the three suspects as Elsharawy Joseph, 27, Thankgod Achese, 23, and Ibrahim Ishaq, 25, and said they were intercepted in a tricycle and arrested on 19 November by the police while on patrol along Danjuma Drive.

“Upon a thorough search, one locally made pistol and a dagger were recovered, alongside the tricycle which is suspected to be stolen. The suspects confessed to the crime of robbery using the ‘one chance’ model and have robbed and stole phones and valuables from unsuspecting victims.

“They use their tricycle (Keke) along Odili Road and Abuloma areas to search for passengers to rob and push the passengers out after forcibly taking their valuables. They owned up to using a dagger and a locally made pistol to scare their victims. They obtained the pistol from one Nkpogeto, who is still at large.”

Mr Disu urged members of the public to furnish the police with necessary information to enable them to fight crimes in the state.

No fewer than 500 private legal practitioners have volunteered to defend Alhaji Nasir Gawuna, the Kano governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the Supreme Court.

This was made public on Tuesday, in Abuja.


Joseph Onwudiwe, Spokesperson for the lawyers, under the aegis of the Guardians of Democracy and Rule of Law, announced the development at a news conference.


Onwudiwe explained that the gesture was to enhance the country’s democracy.


He said: “Nigerians have observed keenly the situation unfolding in Kano State regarding the March 18 governorship election.


“As a group saddled with the onerous responsibility of safeguarding our democratic ethos and values, we are no longer comfortable with the unwarranted attacks on the judiciary.


“And certain moves to blackmail the Court into giving backing to wanton electoral malfeasance and vote heist.

“We will no longer fold our arms as lawyers and watch the judiciary be continuously harangued and the temple of justice desecrated by a group of people who failed to perfect an electoral heist”.

Onwudiwe applauded the sound reasoning that resonated in the judgments of the Tribunal and the Court of Appeal.

He said that the judgments aligned with the yearnings and aspirations of the majority of Kano people as expressed in the valid number of votes cast in the March 18 Kano Governorship election.

He said the group was not surprised that Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano State and his agents had become insistent in selling propaganda in the name of a contradiction in the CTC of the Appeal Court Judgment.

“Nigerians will have nothing but pity for a party in a suit who finds no premise upon which to launch a successful appeal against a judgement backed by law and fact.

“May we repeat here that the judgement of the Court of Appeal on this case was a very straightforward one which rightly dismissed the appeal of Abba Yusuf and upheld his sack by the tribunal,” he said.

He said that the courts envisaged clerical errors in judgement and therefore embedded in their handbook and rules, enactments that empowered it to vary its judgement to reflect original intentions.

Onwudiwe urged Nigerians not to be misled by the narrative being pushed by the agents of Governor Yusuf who were grasping at the clerical error on page 67 of the CTC of the Court of Appeal judgement.

This, he said, was geared to bring the honourable justices who delivered the sound judgement to public disrepute.

He stressed that the importance of the judiciary in keeping the country’s democracy alive and thriving could never be overemphasised.

“We are with the judiciary and we assure them of our unflinching support as they move to save Nigeria’s democracy from vote riggers and election fraudsters.

“We must sanitise our electoral system now and build a strong democratic wall against vote inflation and other electoral malfeasance,” Onwudiwe said.

He called on peace-loving Nigerians to rise in defence of the country’s democracy.


Popular Yoruba actress, Bisola Badmus, has opened up on her battle with a brain disease called, Encephalopathy.

Encephalopathy is a brain disease that alters the mental state, leaving one confused and not acting like they usually do.

This was made known in a post on the actress’s Instagram page, during her birthday celebration.

Badmus disclosed that she had been battling the brain  disease for over one year.
“Over a year now I have been battling with health issues (Encephalopathy). I cannot even wish my enemy such illness.

It was a tough one indeed that made me stay away from social media.

” In between, I lost my precious mother.

Unquestionable God, I thank you for everything particularly for me to witness yet another birthday.

“I will be an ungrateful soul if I fail to appreciate my family and friends, colleagues in the industry, business associates and the brands I represent for standing by me during the challenging period. Thank you all.”


Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, on Tuesday, presented a budget of N434.2 billion for 2024 to the State House of Assembly for consideration and approval.

According to Makinde, the budget is made up of N222.3 billion for capital expenditure, and N211.8 billion for recurrent expenditure.

Presenting the budget tagged: “Budget of Economic Recovery”, the governor said the capital expenditure is 2.4 per cent higher than the recurrent expenditure.

He added that the 2024 budget was estimating an increased Internally Generated Revenue of N72 billion with an average of N6 billion monthly.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that education gets the highest share of the budget with N90.6 billion or 20.8 per cent of the budget, followed by Infrastructure which gets N74.3 billion or 17.1 per cent of the appropriation bill.

The health sector takes the third position with N40. 9 billion, that is 9.4 per cent and Agriculture has N15. 8 billion, that is 3.6 per cent of the total budget proposal.


He promised that the 2024 budget would cover projects, policies and actions “which when implemented will cushion the effect of the hardship the people are facing as a result of fuel subsidy removal.”

Makinde further said that his administration would continue to use technology to block loopholes, saying his government has no plan of increasing tax.

He urged the House of Assembly to see to the speedy passage of the budget proposal for the state economic growth and benefit of the people of Oyo State.

Responding after the presentation, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr ‘Debo Ogundoyin (PDP Ibarapa East) assured the governor of speedy consideration of the Appropriation Bill.


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