Gabon’s Military Releases Deposed President Ali Bongo From House Arrest

Gabon’s deposed president, Ali Bongo Ondimba, has been released from house arrest and is free to leave the country for medical treatment, the military which removed him from power last month has said.

He was overthrown on August 30, shortly after being declared the winner of much-criticised elections that would have seen him extend his 14-year rule as president.

“Given his state of health, the former President of the Republic Ali Bongo Ondimba is free to move about. He may, if he wishes, travel abroad for medical checkups,” Gabon’s military spokesman Colonel Ulrich Manfoumbi said in a statement read on national television on Wednesday evening.

The statement announcing Bongo’s release from house arrest was signed by General Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema, who was sworn in as Gabon’s new head of state on Monday.

Gabon’s new transitional president: Army general sworn in to replace Ali Bongo
Oligui is a cousin of Bongo, had served as a bodyguard to Bongo’s late father and also headed the country’s republican guard, an elite military unit.

Bongo suffered a stroke five years ago and has not had access to his own doctors, Haque said.

According to the country’s new ruler Nguema,the former leader and his family will have to face justice as they have been accused of stealing money from state purse.

After taking an oath of office in the presidential palace on Monday, Nguema said the military had seized control of the country without violence and would return power to the people by organising credible and free elections.

The coup has been welcomed by members of the public in Gabon but has drawn condemnation from the African Union and the international community.

FAAN Begins Airlines Relocation to New  Int’l Terminal

Mohammed Shosanya

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has redirected processing of passengers through the New International Terminal,immediately.

The immediate relocation to the new international terminal at Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) was deemed necessary due to the unfortunate fire incident that occurred at the International Terminal 1 on Wednesday,the agency said in a statement on Thursday.

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festusv Keyamo during his maiden visit to Lagos airport had directed FAAN to relocate airlines to the New International Terminal for the shutdown of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Terminal 1 by 1st October, 2023 with a view to improving passenger experience and for total overhaul of the terminal.

The statement by Abdullahi Yakubu-Funtua,Director, Public Affairs & Consumer Protection,said:”We intend to make this movement as seamless as possible but appeal to all travellers to please be at the airport early enough to complete their check-in formalities on time in order not to miss their flight.”

We’ll Protect FCT Residents-Police Commissioner

Mohammed Shosanya

The Commissioner of Police (CP), Federal Capital Territory Command, CP Haruna Garba has assured residents of the Command’s unwavering commitment to the protection of life and property of FCT residents.

He disclosed this on Thursday, at the Command Headquarters during a press briefing where several armed robbers, kidnappers, vandals were paraded

He hinted that,operatives of the Command arrested one Kennedy Esezobor, aged 26 years of Tudun wada village, Lugbe Abuja over his involvement in cultism.

He said: “On the 26th June, 2023, at about 2350hrs, Police operatives attached to Lugbe division acting on actionable intelligence arrested one Kennedy Esezobor ‘m’ 26yrs old, of Tudun wada village, Lugbe Abuja, a notorious criminal and cultist with one fabricated single barrel gun.

“The suspect confessed to being part of the criminal elements terrorising Lugbe and environs. However in the course investigation two locally fabricated AK-47 rifle were recovered. Suspects will be charged to court at the conclusion of investigation.”

He added:”On the 8th August, 2023 at about 1730hrs, the police operatives attached to Byazhin Division, working in close collaboration with the vigilante arrested Five suspects namely Bernard Francis ‘m’, Felix Benjami ‘m’, Peter Benjamin, Helen Sylvester ‘f’ 40 yrs and Hamza Haruna ‘m’ 20 yrs for alleged involvement in kidnapping of a minor in the area.

“In the course of investigation, the suspects confessed their involvement in the kidnapping of a 5 year old Umar Iliya ‘m’ on 07/08/2023 at about 2300hrs from Guita village, Kuchiko, Kubwa. The suspects led the police operatives to the residence of one Helen Sylvester ‘f’ a widow and a co-conspirator at Giko, a Village located at about 13km away from Guita village where the victim was kept for three days.

“The young victim was subsequently rescued and has since been reunited with the parents. The suspects will soon be arraigned in court.”

According to him,the operatives of Anti-kidnapping unit of the Command acting on actionable intelligence, stormed Kabin Mongoro Forest and arrested one Mohammed Hamza ‘m’ of Gaube Village kuje Area Council while on his way to bandits camp bordering Nasarawa State.

“The suspect confessed to be an informant, a drug and food supplier to one Dogo surname unknown, who is a notorious Kidnapping Kingpin on the Command wanted list. He will soon be arraigned in court.

“On 21/08/2023 at about 1900hrs, a patriotic Nigerian alerted the DPO Maitama that manholes were being removed on the street along Federal Housing, Maitama.

“The DPO responded swiftly but met the suspect later identified as Mustapha Kyari ‘m’ 38years from Maiduguri, Borno State lying on the ground having been mobbed by irate youths.

“He was subsequently arrested and three (3) manholes recovered from him. He however confessed to the crime and that his accomplice by name Abba surname unknown escaped in the course of being mobbed. Effort is being made to arrest the fleeing suspect.

“The State Police Command in a swift operation has between 30th – 31stof August, 2023 impounded six vehicles bearing both foreign and local plate numbers or with foreign number plates at the back and Nigeria number plate in front of the vehicle.

“The modus operandi of these drivers is that they use the vehicle to convey unsuspecting passengers and midway to their destination, they disposed them of their handsets and other valuables. The moment they carry out this criminal act and to avoid been traced or link to the crime, they quickly remove the Nigeria Plate number. The suspects will be charge to Court at the conclusion of investigation.”

He said the FCT Police Command is committed to working with residents of the FCT in ensuring security of life and properties.

Army Court Martials 14 Officers, 9 Soldiers Over Alleged Breaches

The Commander, Army Headquarters Garrison (AHQ Gar), Maj.-Gen Koko Isoni, on Thursday inaugurated a General Court Martial to try 14 officers and nine soldiers alleged to have breached different provisions of the Armed Forces Act.

The court martial was convened at the Scorpion Officer’ Mess, Asokoro Abuja, pursuant to the powers conferred on him by Section 131 (2) (d) of the Armed Forces Act CAP A20 LFN, 2004 for the trial of Nigerian Army personnel alleged to have committed different offences.

The Garrison Commander in his inaugural speech assured the accused persons that justice would be done to all parties concerned by members of the court.

Isoni said that members of the court are men of integrity and high standing character who would bring to bear, their years of experience and service knowledge.

He named the Court President as Brig.-Gen. MO Eteng; while the udge Advocate is Maj. AD Roberts, adding that the duration of the sitting is 60 days

He urged them to eschew technicalities and do substantial justice to all.

He also advised all those appearing before the court to shun unnecessary delays that could prolong their trials, saying that justice delayed is not only justice denied, but not justice at all.

The commander said that the court is independent of his and challenged the court to carry out its responsibilities without fear or favour to anyone. (NAN)

Gov. Akeredolu Returns

Ondo State Governor,Oluwarotimi Akeredolu may have arrived the country after few months of medicare abroad.

His wife,Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, had on Thursday afternoon posted on social media a picture of her husband on board an aircraft with the footnote, ‘Homebound.’

His Chief Press Secretary,Richard Olatunde, also later in the day issued a congratulatory message addressed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his deputy, Kashim Shettima, on their victory at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT).

The statement was the first Richard would issue on behalf of the governor since he embarked on medical leave on June 13, 2023 having transmitted power to his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, through the state House of Assembly.

Akeredolu later applied for extension of his medical leave on July 10, 2023 after he was said to have travelled to Germany for medical attention and subsequently recuperating.

The rumour was rife in the state that the governor’s flight landed in Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.

Besides,it was rumoured that he would visit President Tinubu at the Aso Villa before heading for Ibadan, probably, on Friday.

There have been no official statements from the state government confirming or denying the arrival of the governor in the country.

But,some officials in the protocol of the governor, who had been on holidays, have been recalled to duty.

We’ve Nothing Against Sale Of Agip’s Assets To Oando

Mohammed Shosanya
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited,says it has no opposition to the sales of Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited to Oando Plc.

Spokesman of the company,Mallam Garba Deen Muhammad,conveyed this in a statement on Thursday.

He clarified that the purported letter written by the company concerning the sale of the assets was nothing but a routine communication in the form of a letter written by NNPC E&P Limited (NEPL) to its JV Partner, Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited (NAOC).

He said: “It has come to our notice that a routine communication in the form of a letter written by NNPC E&P Limited (NEPL) to its JV Partner, Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited (NAOC) is being interpreted to suggest that NNPC Ltd. is opposed to the sale of NAOC shares to Oando PLC. This is not correct.

“NNPC Ltd. wishes to state that the letter was sent by NEPL, an NNPC Ltd. subsidiary. However, nowhere was opposition or objection to the transaction mentioned in the letter. NEPL is only drawing attention to certain important clauses in the Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) between it, NAOC and OOL; which might have been overlooked in error. Adherence to those clauses will protect the transaction, now and in the future”,.

NNPCL had through the letter with reference no E and P /MD/0623 dated 4th of September, titled “Purported Divestment of Eni Shares to Oando Oil Limited” and addressed to the managing director of Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), drew the attention of the company to the fact that Clause 19.11 of the JOA provides that “no party may assign or transfer any interest or any part therefore without prior written consent of the other parties, which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld”

The letter was signed on behalf of NNPC EandP Limited by Ali Muhammed Zarah, its managing director. The Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPCL, Executive Vice President of Upstream and the Chief Operating Officer of Oando Oil Limited were copied.

Eni’s Nigerian Agip Oil Company Ltd (NAOC) holds operating interests in four Nigerian onshore blocks (OML 60, 61, 62, 63), the Okpai 1 and 2 power plants with a total nameplate capacity of 960 MW, and two onshore exploration leases. Operating as part of the NAOC JV in partnership with the state’s NNPC, and Oando, the deal will see Oando double its stake in NAOC JV to 40%. The assets include 24 producing fields, 40 identified exploration prospects and leads, 12 production stations, 1,490 km of pipelines, three gas processing plants, and the Brass River oil terminal, Oando said.

Troops Kill 814 Terrorists

Mohammed Shosanya

The Director, Defence Media Operation (DMO), Major General Edward Buba,says troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) have killed 814 terrorists and arrested 1326 suspected criminals and 42 kidnap suspects.

General Buba stated this on Thursday, at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja during the Defence Quarterly briefing on AFN counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations across the country in the last three months.

Troops would defeat terrorists and other violent extremist groups including those who support and finance them,he said.

During the period in view,Buba disclosed that offensive operations and air strikes were conducted to hit these groups and the terrorists where it hurts them most.

He added: “Our operations across the six geopolitical zones from June to August 2023 reveals that our Troops have neutralized 814 terrorists and arrested 1,326 criminals.

“We also arrested 42 kidnappers, 231 collaborators, 33 armed robbers, 80 cattle rustlers, 325 militias, 27 rails vandals, 73 gunrunners, 191 suspected oil thieves and rescued 721 kidnapped hostages.Additionally, 4,560 terrorists and their families surrendered to troops.”

He also revealed that troops recovered a total number of 501 weapons, 3,577 livestock, 3,269 assorted kinds of ammunition and 674 other equipment.

“The breakdown of these arms and ammunition is as follows; 117 AK47 rifle, one AK49 rifle, 5 revolver, 28 fabricated rifles, 11 fabricated pistols, 57 dane guns, 23 pistols, 24 pump action guns, 3 FN rifles, 3 GPMGs, one double barrel gun, one barreta pistol, one G3 rifle, 2 HK21 rifles one IED, 123 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 2,008 rounds of 7.62mm special, 30 rounds of 7.62mm x 39mm, 512 rounds of 7.62mm x 54mm, 190 rounds of 5.5mm, 39 rounds of 9mm, 29 rounds of PKM, and 19 cartridges.

“Troops equally recovered one RPG tube, 3 hand grenades, one locally made hand grenade, one locally made bomb, 2 rifle butts, one AK47 barrel, one GMPG barrel, 2 MG links, 98 AK47 magazines, 2 G3 magazines, 2 FN magazines, 2 PKT magazines, 2 LMG magazines, 2 tear gas launchers, one bullet proof vest, 49 vehicles, 213 motorcycles, 48 bicycles, 69 mobile phones, 5 boafeng radios, 4 woodland camouflages, 2 boots, 74 knives, 71 handsets, 11 laptops, 13 steering rods and pumps, 45 machetes and 25 jack knives.

“Troops also recovered 213 motorcycle, 69 mobile phones, one bicycle, 10 machete and a pair of camouflage.”

In the South South geopolitical zone,Veneral Buba disclosed that toops operation resulted in the arrest of 6,652,250 litres of stolen crude oil, 3,558,325 litres of illegally refined AGO, 288,650 litres of DPK and 65,600 PMS.

This amounted to an estimated sum of N4 billion denied to the oil thieves.

He assured that AFN will continue to apply strong military pressure on groups undermining the national security of the country.

He said: “It is clear that, the terrorist and their cohorts cannot win in the face of ongoing military pressure against them.

“Accordingly, the terrorists and their cohorts are encouraged to drop their arms and rejoin society to provide a better life for themselves and their children. They risk annihilation if they fail to do so.

“Nigerians need to know that, we are in this together. The military is with you. The military will work tirelessly to ensure your safety and security.

“Importantly, the trust and cooperation from supportive groups being witnessed today is unprecedented. The inputs from these groups is making a difference in our operations, said.”

Asake Plans  Collabo  With Kanye West

Nigerian superstar Asake,says he would love to collaborate with multi-award-winning musical genius Kanye West.

He is among the artists showcasing Afrobeats’ different exciting elements through his brilliant fusion of Fuji, Hip Hop, and Afrobeats for a spectacular sound that has won high, international acclaim.

Asake,who recently sold out the 20,000-capacity O2 Arena in a landmark Concert revealed in a recent interview,said he thinks he would love to collaborate with is 24-time Grammy winner Kanye West.

“I have been saying this thing and I don’t know. Let’s see maybe God will do it. It’s Kanye,” Asake says about his desire to one day collaborate with Kanye West.

He recalled the funny story of his trousers getting ripped midway into a performance in the US when he attempted to the drop kick part of Nigeria’s famous leg work dance routine.

He also spoke about how he put in the effort to outdo himself on his sophomore album ‘Work Of Art’ which he released on June 15. 2023.

Group Strengthens Women Empowerment In  Oil,Gas Sector With Business Directory

Mohammed Shosanya

The Women in Energy Oil and Gas (WEOG), Lagos Chapter,has launched an exclusive business directory.

This initiative is a response to some of the pronounced challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in Nigeria, especially within this male-dominated sector,it said in a statement.

The group said its investigation uncovered substantial financial difficulties primarily attributed to the volatile nature of the Nigerian economy. These challenges are more profound for women-owned businesses, often finding themselves at the mercy of an unpredictable market.

It added that there’s a noticeable gap in financial management skills among a considerable number of these business owners.

Recognizing this alarming trend, WEOG Lagos is determined to rewrite the narrative. The organization, known for its persistent advocacy for equal opportunities in the sector, has identified capacity gaps and hurdles that these businesses confront in their day-to-day operations. By understanding these challenges, WEOG Lagos aims to provide tailored solutions and resources, enabling women to not only survive but thrive.

According to the statement,one of the salient features of this directory is its comprehensive nature.

It also provides resources, training, and networking opportunities. It’s designed as a one-stop solution for women entrepreneurs seeking guidance, mentorship, or collaborations.

“The directory aims to be more than just a listing. It’s a tool, a resource, and a community,” said Joan Faluyi, the Managing Director of Offshore Dimensions and Chapter Director of WEOG Lagos. “We understand the unique challenges faced by women in this industry, and through this directory, we want to provide them with every possible advantage.”

The announcement of the business directory has been met with immense enthusiasm, with many seeing it as a step in the right direction. “It’s high time initiatives like these were introduced. For too long, women-owned businesses in the energy, oil, and gas sector have been marginalized. This directory could be a game-changer,” remarked Adejumoke Oyedun, MD/CEO, ACME Multitech Services Limited and Deputy Chapter Director, WEOG Lagos.

“WEOG’s effort is not just about leveling the playing field” commented Nnenna Maduabum, MD, Numad Energy Integrated Services Limited and External Relationships Director, WEOG Lagos.

“It’s about redefining it”. With initiatives such as the business directory, Lucy Okeke, Head Environment Community and Sustainability, NMDPRA and Chapter Secretary, WEOG Lagos also said the future looks promising for women-owned businesses in the energy, oil, and gas sector”

Osimhen, Oshoala Get 2023 Ballon D’Or Nomination

Nigerian duo Victor Osimhen and Asisat Oshoala have been shortlisted for the 2023 Ballon d’Or award in the men’s and women’s categories.

The award ceremony will take place in Paris on October 30.

Osimhen is the leading scorer in the African Cup of Nations qualifying series with seven goals, becomes the first male Nigerian footballer to be shortlisted for the award in 24 years.

He made history as the first African to be crowned Capocannoniere last season in the Serie A and the Napoli striker is the first player from the continent to achieve the feat winning the Scudetto after scoring 26 Serie A goals (31 goals in 39 games across all competitions).

Oshoala earned her consecutive nomination after a successful campaign with Barcelona Femeni where she won the Women’s Champions League.

She became the first African to be nominated for the Women’s Ballon d’Or and this time, she is the only African player listed in the women’s category.

She was the top scorer for Barcelona Femeni last season after she notched 26 goals (21 league goals and five in the Women’s Champions League) in all competitions.

She was also instrumental in Barcelona Femeni winning the league title and the Women’s Champions League last season.