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Benue: Gov. Ortom orders immediate payment of December salary to workers, gives reasons

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The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has directed the State Ministry of Finance to ensure that payment of workers’ salaries for the month of December 2018, commencing from Wednesday.

Ortom said the directive was to enable the workers to celebrate Christmas, as he earlier promised them.

In a statement forwarded to Veloxnews by his Chief Press Secretary, Tever Akase, Ortom further directed officers in charge of “payment vouchers” to put in “extra effort, even if it means working all night, to see that workers receive their wages with effect from Wednesday this week.”

The Governor also cautioned that any officer who flouts the directive will be sanctioned, reaffirming his commitment to the monthly payment of salaries as he has done since the beginning of the year.

He reassured workers of the state that the arrears of their salaries will be paid as soon as his administration was able to access the required funds.

Ortom deeply appreciated the workers’ understanding and cooperation while wishing them Merry Christmas in advance.

EPL: What De Gea said after Man United’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool

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Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho has disclosed that goalkeeper, David De Gea was furious with forward, Xherdan Shaqiri’s two deflected goals in Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over Red Devils in the Premier League on Sunday.

Goals from Sadio Mane (1), Xherdan Shaqiri (2) gave Jurgen Klopp’s men all three points against United.

However, Jesse Lingard did score for Mourinho’s men at Anfield.

Mourinho said De Gea was claiming in the dressing room that he would have easily saved both of Shaqiri’s shots if they had not been deflected.

“Liverpool are the strong team, but it’s hard to concede two goals in the moment we conceded and the way the goals happened,” Mourinho told Sky Sports after the match.

“Our difficult moment was the first 20 minutes. We couldn’t cope with their fantastic intensity and pressing, but then we were quite calm and it was controlled.

“They became really frustrated when their centre-backs came forwards and fired shots into the stands – that was the period when it was more in control.

“We felt we could win, even a little bit undeservedly.

“David is saying in the dressing room two easy balls for him, and because of the rebounds [deflections] he had no chance. ‘If you want to speak about fortunate you speak their second and third goals.”

De Gea will hope to lead United to victory when they tackle Cardiff City in their next Premier League fixture on Saturday.

Osinbajo sends message to Buhari at 76

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The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has joined Nigerians in hailing President Muhammadu Buhari as he turned 76 on Monday.

Osinbajo, who is in Vienna, Austria to participate in the Africa-Europe High Level Forum with other African and European Heads of States or Government, described Buhari as a man who genuinely loves Nigeria.

Osinbajo in a goodwill message on Twitter wrote alongside a painted sketch of Buhari wrote, “To a man, who has been exemplary in life and his commitment to Nigeria.

“To a man who has a great sense of humour.

“To a man who genuinely loves the Nigerian people and to a man I am privileged to call Boss, Happy 76th Birthday!” Osinbajo wrote.

Buhari was born in Daura on 17 December 1942 and after his early education in both Daura and Katsina, he joined the army in 1961 one year ahead of Babangida, who joined in 1962.

After initial training at the Nigerian Military Training College (NMTC) now known as Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Buhari went for cadet training at from 1962 to 1963 at Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot, England.

He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant at the age of 20, and appointed Platoon Commander of the Second Infantry Battalion in Abeokuta.

From then on, his military career blossomed. At the head of several commands, before, during and after the civil war, Buhari in 1973 attended the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, India.

After the 1975 coup that brought Murtala Muhammed to power, Buhari was appointed governor of the North Eastern state, where he is now leading, as civilian president and commander-in-chief, a charge of Nigerian troops against Boko Haram insurgency, since 2015.

In 2003, Buhari had his first shot at the presidency. He did not win. He tried again in 2007 and 2011 and again failed to win. On his fourth attempt in 2015 alongside Prof Osinbajo, he made the record as the first challenger to defeat an incumbent in the presidential election in Nigeria.

2019: Kwankwaso speaks on dumping PDP

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A former presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Rabiu Kwankwaso on Monday reacted to report of him defecting from the party.

Reports making the rounds had claimed that the former Kano State governor had dumped the PDP.

However, Kwankwaso described the report as false, saying he’s still a member of the main opposition party.

In a tweet, the Senator from Kano State wrote: “A fake news is being circulated on the social media that I am leaving the PDP.

“I wish to debunk these lies and once again state that I am still a member of the PDP and have no intention of leaving my party the PDP; not now and certainly not anytime in the future. Power to the People”.

Champions League round of 16 draw released [See full fixtures]

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The draw for the Champions league round of 16 has been released.

The draw, which was streamed on the UEFA website, was released on Monday in Nyon, Switzerland.

The round of sixteen games will be played on February 12 and 13 or February 19 and 20.

The second leg will be played on March 5 and 6 or 12 and 13.

Below is the Champions League round of 16 draw in full:

Schalke 04 vs Manchester City

Atlético Madrid vs Juventus

Manchester United vs Paris St-Germain

Tottenham Hotspur vs Borussia Dortmund

Lyon vs Barcelona

Roma vs Porto

Ajax vs Real Madrid

Liverpool vs Bayern.

Three men in court over FG’s ‘Trade Moni’ loan

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The Nigeria police on Monday arraigned three unemployed men before a Yaba Magistrates’ Court in Lagos, for allegedly defrauding 26 traders of N5,200 over the Federal Government’s “Trader Moni” loan scheme.

The accused Henry Okafor, 40; Sanni Mufutauwu, 40; and Oyindamola Okunaiya, 45, who reside in Yaba area of Lagos, are facing a three-count charge of conspiracy, intent to defraud and stealing.

The Prosecutor, ASP Roman Unuigbe, told the court that the accused committed the offences on Dec. 11 at 4:00pm at David Street in Abule Oja area of Lagos, NAN reports.

According to him, the accused fraudulently collected N200 from 26 “market people” totalling N5,200, under the guise of registering them for the federal government’s “Trader Moni” loan.

Unigbe told the court that one of the victims, Mr Rasheed Babatunde, discovered that the men were not registered agents of the scheme and drew the attention of the police to the scam.

“One of their accomplices ran away with the money before the police could arrest them.

“My Lord, the 26 people we know of, are the people that agreed to come forward; some people refused to, saying it was just N200 that was collected from them.

“We are still conducting an investigation to find out exactly how many market people were scammed by them,” he said.

The prosecutor said the offences contravened Sections 287, 314 and 411 of the Criminal Code Laws of Lagos State 2015 (Revised).

Section 314 stipulates 15 years imprisonment for the offence of intent to defraud.

The accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Chief Magistrate, Peter Ojo, granted the accused bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum.

He said the sureties must be gainfully employed and also show evidence of three years tax payments to the Lagos State Government.

The case was adjourned until Jan. 21 for trial.

“Trader moni” is a federal government’s Social Investment Programme designed to assist petty traders to expand their businesses through the provision of collateral and interest-free loans of N10,000 to N20,000.

2019 presidency: What’ll happen to Nigerian youth if they don’t vote Buhari – Amaechi

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The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Monday called on Nigerian youths to vote President Muhammadu Buhari in for a second term to ensure a better future for them.

Amaechi, who was a guest at an event in Lagos, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the future of the youth was at stake if they failed to support the incumbent administration.

He warned that voting for candidates who had no good intention for the growing population of young Nigerians would be tantamount to a plunge into a bleak future.

“I only have a simple but candid advice to Nigerian youths and that is: come 2018 elections, they should vote for Buhari because their future is at stake.

“I became Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly at the age of 34, I became the governor at the age of 42 and I became a minister of the Federal Republic at 50.

“We cannot afford to truncate our future for a piece of meat; we should be watchful because those people who stole our money and commonwealth are regrouping to come back to perpetrate their act.

“These people want to continue from where they were stopped from looting the treasury, when oil was sold at between 110 and 120 U.S. dollars,’’ he said.

The minister said that some of those parading themselves as political aspirants had “corruption cases hanging on their necks’’, adding that the youths must be wary of such candidates.

“If those that have stolen our money are yet to be jailed, it is because there is a process we have to follow and that is the rule of law; most of them have cases in court.

“The court will deliver judgment on them, as we cannot be the judge and prosecutor in the cases. The important thing is that they are being prosecuted.

“We are building a legacy for the youth and that is what we want to continue, I have gone through elections as a young citizen and I know what this means to the youth.

“The economy is growing steadily and by the end of the year, we would have achieved a two-per-cent growth and by next year, we hope to arrive at six per cent,” he said.

NHRC raises alarm over increase in child labour

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The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in Gombe State, has decried the increase in the cases of child labour in the state.

Mohammed Abari, the Assistant Chief Investigative Officer, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe on Monday that the 2018 statistics on cases of human rights being collated so far showed that child labour was still rampant in the state.

He said skill acquisition for children should be secondary to education, adding that energy demanding tasks for a child who ought to be in school were an abuse of that child’s right.

The NHRC official condemned lack of documentation of the child right act in Gombe, adding that when such law is put in place, it would reduce the number of cases the commission would be handling.

Abari, therefore, appealed to the state government to quicken the passage of the bill. He said the domestication of such would show that the government was ready to protect the right of children.

According to him, the commission has done a lot in sensitising parents, religious, and traditional institutions, noting that every child must be allowed to get education, which is a veritable tool for nation-building.

“When a child is supposed to be in school and you find such child learning one strenuous job or the other in the name of skill acquisition, it is a violation of the child’s right.

“Every child has the right to go to school and any skill acquisition can be done when the child is back from school. We have said this to religious and traditional institutions.

“Why will children not be allowed to access their education right, if the federal and state governments have made these public schools free?Whatever tasks that must be given to our children must be secondary to education.

“In collaboration with the police, we have been able to rescue children from tasks that make them bread winners of the family, which is not ideal in any way.

“When there is law in that regard, everyone will be careful not to violate it for fear of being arrested or charged to court. This consciousness towards the Nigerian child is necessary.

“Once the law is in place and awareness made in that sense, people will be more conscious not to use a child to do heavy duty jobs when such a child should ordinarily be in school.

“Every child is born with gifts and talents and it is education that will help to bring out that talent in them,” Abari said.

Sex for mark: ‘I’m guilty’ – Ex-OAU lecturer, Akindele tells court

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A former lecturer with the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile Ife, Prof. Richard Iyiola Akindele, has pleaded guilty to sexual harassment charge against him.

Iyiola was dragged to court for demanding sex to award marks to one of his students, Monica Osagie.

The lecturer changed his plea from ‘not guilty’ to ‘guilty,’ on Monday.

The prosecutor, Shogunle Adenekan told the court that all parties involved in the matter have reached plea bargain.

He then asked the court for a suspended sentence for the lecturer.

Ajulo faults facts bandied during VP debate, calls for investigation

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Former National Secretary of the Labour Party (LP), Dr Kayode Ajulo, on Monday called for investigation into facts bandied by vice presidential candidates during Friday’s election debate.

He also called on the organisers of presidential candidates’ debate in Nigeria to reduce the number of audience members at the events to ensure decorum.

The LP chieftain spoke against the backdrop of Vice Presidential debate which had candidates of five political parties and the upcoming presidential debate scheduled for January 19.

Veloxnews reports that the debate was organised by the Nigeria Election Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON).

Ajulo, while commending the organisers of the debate, told NAN that the presence of supporters of candidates at the venue was not necessary.

“The debate is a live TV event, the number of audience should be limited and in proportion with the debaters to ensure decorum and a situation where supporters of one candidate would not be able to out clap that of another candidate.

“It is also important that a panel is put in place to debunk and or confirm the veracity of facts being made by the debaters.”

Ajulo, while faulting some facts made by candidates at the debate, urged the organisers to make public false allegations made in order not to deceive Nigerians.

A candidate was said to have mentioned in two instances that Turkey and Indonesia are members of BRICS nations yet no one there was able to correct him, rather, the semi-literate audience kept clapping.

“As it should be noted, the vice-presidential candidates during the debate, made several allegations that ought to be pointed out in order not to mislead viewers.

“Meanwhile BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

“The candidate also submitted that Iran and Afghanistan are two countries with terror incidents above Nigeria. This is also wrong. Not to mention the fake statistics that Nigeria has a meagre two million vehicles which is utterly wrong.

“As at 2017, the NBC reported 12 million cars in Nigeria. Does it mean that 10 million of those cars got bombed by Boko Haram or probably got condemned in an accident within or after one year?

“The debate which is widely watched and given premium attention must not be turned to spinning competition,” Ajulo added.

He further suggested that the audience should be experts and technocrats that should assist the moderator rather than party supporters.