Daily Archives: December 22, 2007

Osamor, Ex-minister Of Police, Dies After Visiting Ibori

Professor Emmanuel Osamor, who was Nigeria’s minister of police affairs in the Second Republic, died yesterday after paying a solidarity visit to the former Delta State governor, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, at Kaduna Prison.

Former governor Ibori is presently remanded at Kaduna Prison over allegations of corruption and money laundering.

It was learnt that Osamor’s health started failing shortly after he left the prison premises. It was further learnt that the late scholar complained of a slight headache and general body pains soon after he left the prison’s premises.

Sources said the former minister was rushed to an undisclosed hospital, where he slumped and gave up the ghost.

Before his death, the professor of law was leader of one of the several associations that metamorphosed into the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The late Osamor was also among the few politicians who worked tirelessly to ensure victory for Ibori and the PDP in Delta State, both in 1999 and 2003.

The late professor was a close associate of former minister of transport Umaru Dikko, Alhaji Ishaku Ibrahim and many other political big-wigs in the country. He was both a scholar and advocate of true federalism, not only in Delta, but Nigeria at large.

– Leadership

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Fayose Faces Murder Charge From Jail!

A Nigerian court has ordered a former state governor, already facing graft charges, to appear before it to face charges of murdering a political rival in 2005, the Nigerian press reported on Saturday.

On Friday a top court of southwest Ekiti state ordered Ayodele Fayose, who has being in prison since Monday, to appear on Jan. 9 to face charges over the murder of Tunde Omolaja.

Fayose was charged with corruption on Monday, three days after he turned himself in to the anti-corruption Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). He had spent more than a year on the run and pleaded not guilty to 51 criminal charges.

The ex-governor is accused of committing the murder along with 10 of his former aides, nine of who are already in detention.

“You are hereby commanded to produce the said prisoner before court … on the 9th day of January,” the court said in the warrant for the arrest of Fayose and another accused.

There were a series political assassinations in Ekiti while Fayose was governor, including that of Ayo Daramola, a rival for the governorship, who was stabbed and shot in his house on Aug. 14 2006.

The ex-governor went into hiding in October 2006 after the state house of assembly impeached him over alleged corruption, stripping him of constitutional immunity from prosecution.

Fayose is the seventh ex-governor to be charged with corruption since President Umaru Yar’Adua and a new crop of state governors took office after April elections.

The former Ekiti governor is accused of stealing 1.4 billion naira ($12 million) meant for a state government poultry farm, and of money laundering. The EFCC says the crimes were committed in 2004.

Nigeria’s 36 state governors have discretionary powers over of public funds and enjoy immunity from prosecution while in office.

Ekiti got a new governor after elections in April although his victory is being challenged at an electoral tribunal by rival candidates who allege widespread vilence and fraud — a pattern all over Africa’s most populous country. Yar’Adua’s victory in the presidential vote is also being contested in court over alleged vote-rigging.

 – Reuters

Yar’Adua Meets Security Chiefs On Niger Delta

Nigeria’s President Umaru Yar’Adua Friday presided over a high-level security meeting at the Presidential Villa in the capital city of Abuja to deliberate on the deteriorating situation in the restive, oil-producing Niger Delta.

Attacks on oil facilities and kidnappings have recently been on the rise in the oil region, despite a peace accord signed between the federal government and some militant groups.

The Abuja meeting was attended by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Andrew Owoye Azazi; Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Luka Yusuf; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ganiyu Adekeye; Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshall Paul Dike and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro.

Others present at the meeting included the National Security Adviser, Director General of the State Security Services (SSS), heads of other security agencies and some top government functionaries.

The Governors of the oil states of Rivers and Bayelsa, where most of the recent violence and abductions have taken place, were also present.

PANA learnt that the meeting reviewed the security situation in the Niger Delta region, especially in Bayelsa where the fathers of two prominent government officials were recently kidnapped.

”There is no way any responsible government will just fold its arms and watch these events continue. No group, no matter the level of their anger should hold the country or any part of it to ransom. Whichever way it is going to be done, the current deteriorating situation must have to stop,” a source at the meeting said.

– PANA

Nigerian Rebels offer Christmas Ceasefire!

Nigeria’s main rebel faction, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has announced a unilateral ceasefire in the “spirit of Christmas.” A statement signed by rebel leader Jomo Gbomo said.

 “Effective 12 midnight, December 25, 2007, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) will observe a 24 Hour ceasefire in the spirit of Christmas. Cessation of hostilities and kidnapping of oil expatriates can be guaranteed during this time frame.” The one-paragraph statement emailed to The Times of Nigeria said.