Muhammadu Buhari
The Presidency on Thursday called on Nigerians to pray for President Muhammadu Buhari as he left Nigeria for medical vacation in the United Kingdom on Thursday.

His Special Adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, said lYou know that God did work of creation for six days and on the seventh day he rested. So, if God needed to rest, how much more human being.

“So, the President is just going to rest and the statement we have released is straightforward. He will go on this leave and during the leave, he will do routine medical checkups.”

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On whether there is anything to worry about Buhari’s health, he said: “Nothing, absolutely nothing.

“We need to show good will towards our leaders particularly President Muhammadu Buhari who is working to give Nigeria a new footing, a new orientation.

“Nothing absolutely to worry about but a lot of good will, a lot prayers are necessary at all times.”

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gabriel Olonishakin, said that the meeting at the airport with the President was to give him update on operations within and outside the country.

On the Gambia situation, the CDS said “The operational mandate in Gambia is in line with the decision of the ECOWAS heads of states and government, that the ECOWAS standby force be put in place to ensure that the decision of the people of The Gambia is respected.”

On directives the president gave, he responded: “Those were the things we talked about, as the head of the military, to ensure that everything is in order and to make sure that the situation is handled appropriately.”

Dapo Olorunyomi
 Premium Times' Publisher, Mr Dapo Olorunyomi
The Publisher of Online Newspaper, Premium Times, Mr Dapo Olorunyomi, as well as the judiciary correspondent of the paper Evelyn Okakwu were on Thursday arrested by police officers over allegations of defamation of character and libellous story published against the Chief Of Army Staff (COAS) Lt Gen TY Buratai.

The Police, it was gathered acted on a warrant of arrest issued against the Newspaper by a Wuse 2 Magistrate Court Thursday evening as to enable the police carry out a thorough investigation into the matter.

The arrest is coming on the heels of a petition written by Osuagwu Ugochukwu Esq, attorney to Lt Gen TY Buratai, to the FCT police commissioner, decrying a "false and malicious story" written by Premium Times against his client and the refusal of the Newspaper to retract the story




Our reporter gathered that the Court order for the arrest was issued at the FCT Chief Magistrate Court Wuse Zone 2, Abuja earlier Thursday afternoon.

It would also be recalled that the Nigerian Army had also written to Premium Times, urging the Newspaper to withdraw a report where it Lt Gen Buratai is being investigated by Code of Conduct Bureau, a story which was later confirmed to be false but the media outfit refused to do so.
In the petition, Buratai's attorney had complained that the PREMIUM TIMES informed the public that his Client, Lt Gen Buratai is being investigated by Code of Conduct Bureau.

According to him, this story received wide publication and readership, adding that it created bad image for his Client and caused Military men on the field to get worried about their Boss even when the said story was false and fabricated.
Read full text of petition:
January 18 2017

The COMMISSIONER of POLICE FCT
FCT POLICE COMMAND
AREA 10 GARKI
ABUJA

Dear SIR

PETITION AGAINST EVELYN OKAKWU AND EDITORS OF PREMIUM TIMES ONLINE NEWSPAPERS OVER INJURIOUS FALSEHOOD AND CRIMINAL DEFAMATION ON THE PERSON OF LT.GENERAL T.Y.BURATAI( CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF)

We are Solicitors to LT.GEN. T.Y.BURATAI, CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF and write you as per his instructions.

By a December 12 2016 publication by PREMIUMTIMES penned by EVELYN OKAKWU with the title "Bureau to investigate Army Chief Buratai for alleged false asset declaration" the PREMIUM TIMES informed the public that Our Client is being investigated by Code of Conduct Bureau. This story received wide publication and readership. In fact it created bad image for Our Client and caused Military men on the field to get worried about their Boss even when the said story was false and fabricated.

It may interest you to know that the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) had since absolved the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai of any infraction of the laws over the declaration of Dubai Flat.

The CCB through a letter dated July 11, 2016 with Reference CCB/HQ/671/G/1/6 and signed by Mrs. Ijeanuli Arinze Ofor on behalf of the CCB chairman emphatically stated that LT.Gen.T.Y.BURATAI never contravened the CCB Act.

Also by a letter dated 29TH SEPTEMBER, 2016 signed by the Chairman of CCB LT.Gen.T.Y.Buratai and Fourteen other public officers had submitted themselves for verification of assets and were found to be clean. The CCB thus ended investigation on assets of these officers and that of LT.Gen.T.Y.Buratai on September 29 2016 and issued them certificates of completion.
This Firm had on December 13 2016 reached out to the management of CCB and they have denied ever contradicting themselves on the assets issue of Our Client and that they stand on their September 29 2016 letter.

Sir, it is clear that the PREMIUM TIMES publication of December 12 2016 was done to incite the public against Our Client, tarnish his reputation and subject him to public ridicule. This is a case of injurious Falsehood and Criminal Defamation.

We urge you to invoke the relevant sections of the PENAL CODE to apprehend the said EVELYN OKAKWU and MANAGEMENT OF PREMIUMTIMES SERVICES LTD with a view to prosecuting them before the Abuja Courts.
Awaiting your kind prompt action Sir.

Regards,
OSUAGWU Ugochukwu ESQ
Principal Attorney and Human Rights ADVOCATE

Muhammadu Buhari
247Ureports - The embattled Senator from Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso is reported to have concluded plans to join the fray for the battle for the presidential ticket under the All Progressive Congress [APC] with the mindset of wrestling the party structure away from the president against the 2019 presidential polls. Information available to 247ureports.com reveal that the embattled Senator has set up committees located across the geo-political zones geared towards preparing for a potential showdown within the APC for the presidential ticket. According to available information, the committees have begun work and have received the necessary financing from the Senator.

It is against the readiness to battle the President for the APC ticket that the Senator organized street-youths to accompany him to the funeral ceremony of the former Niger State governor, Kure. While at the funeral grounds, the embattled Senator and his street-youths began chatting war-like songs in Hausa language demeaning the President of Nigeria and calling for his replacement with Kwankwaso. The street-youths rained praise songs on Kwankwaso as they followed him around. A source who was present at the grounds indicated that the “thugs were intimidating and very disrespectful“.


The source recalled that Senator Kwankwaso had repeated similar behavior in Kano when the present Governor of Kano State was burying a loved one. The embattled Senator arrived the event and rudely turned the event into campaign grounds for the kwankwasiyya group. He was accompanied by street youths who were chatting war-like songs demeaning the President and calling for his replacement with Kwankwaso. Sources who witnessed the display by the Senator and his street boys described the actions of the embattled Senator as childish and in bad taste. “He was rebuked by many“.

Close political associates of the embattled Senator indicate the Senator’s desperation levels has reached a high point. “He has relaunched a detailed investigation into the educational background of the President” with the aim to uncover if the President had actually attended the secondary school that he claimed he graduated from.  A committee has been set up to that effect. Another committee is set up to dig into the financial dealings of the President and his close family associates including his wife, children and others. The committee was tasked to uncover the mode of payment of school fees and housing cost for his children while they were schooling in London.

Beyond the investigative exercise, Senator Kwankwaso is reported to have employed the services of the spiritual underworld from far east in India to help him with spiritual magic and/or prayers against the 2019 primaries within the APC. Our source reveal that his signature red cap comes from his association with Indian spiritualists and cultists. The red cap is a mark of his membership in the spiritual cult. This is according our source who also serves as a political ally to him.  “We know him for his spiritual prowess. He is feared”.

Presently, the embattled Senator finds himself battling for survival at the hands of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] over financial dealings while at the realm of affairs in Kano State as the Governor of the State for four years. The EFCC had placed him under house arrest following the magnitude of corrupt activities uncovered during his watch as the Governor. The case remains ongoing.

Lestina Marie Smith
Lestina Marie Smith
Photo Credit: Punch Newspaper
Lestina Marie Smith, a 17-year-old girl from Michigan accused of rape at knifepoint may be sentenced to life in prison if found guilty.

Marie was said to have pinned down a 19-year-old man at knifepoint and forced him to engage in oral and vaginal sex with her.

The incident happened on Jan. 11 in Saginaw Township.

She was arraigned on Tuesday morning, Jan. 17, on two felony counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Each charge carries a maximum punishment of life in prison, according to M.Live.com.


Smith was denied bond and is being held in the Saginaw County Jail.

She’ll would appear in court on Feb. 3  for a preliminary examination to determine probable cause.

Yahaya Jammeh
The whereabouts of the outgoing President of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh was unknown as at Thursday, report by Daily Post suggests

This was just as last-minute attempts by Mauritanian President, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, to convince Jammeh to give up the presidency, failed.

There are indications he may have gone into hiding in a bid to escape being further persuaded into conceding defeat after he earlier devised a means of extending his stay, by declaring a 90-day State of Emergency.


”He has probably gone into hiding to stop further negotiation,” A Gambian journalist who pleaded his identity be protected confided in our source

Recall that the embattled president’s tenure ended Wednesday midnight, although, he has insisted he won’t step down,  despite losing the December 1 election.

But President-elect, Adama Barrow, had vowed to go ahead with his inauguration on Thursday, and ECOWAS, the regional bloc, had vowed to use military force if necessary to remove resolute Jammeh.

Troops from Senegal, Nigeria and Ghana on Thursday remained in position in Senegal in case a military intervention becomes necessary.

An ECOMOG military Commander, Maiga Mboro told AP, “All the troops are already in place and some not far from the Gambian border.

“Already 11 pilots, 11 crew members and 80 supporting troops have been deployed close to the Gambian border.”

Meanwhile, the president-elect, who is awaiting his swearing-in today, affirmed that Jammeh’s tenure was “officially over”.

Group holds one million man march in support of Buhari's administration
Nigerians from all works of life yesterday converged on Abuja to hold a one million man march in support of President Muhammadu Buhari's administration.

The march that took off at the popular wuse market took the protesters through the Popular berger roundabout to the wuse 2 district and thereafter terminated at the Ascon filling station in wuse 2.

The Ascon filling station which used to be known as the occupy nigeria ground during the Goodluck Jonathan Adminustration is now renamed after President Buhari as the prosperity ground where Nigerians are expected to gather to appraise the performance of the government from time to time.


The Chairman, Movement of the people, Comrade Okpokwu ogenyi who lead the protest alongside with other leaders spoke glowingly about the excellent performance of the present government.

Okpokwu said, "let me thank you for taking time off your busy schedule to attend this rally in support of our dear President Muhammadu Buhari today. Your willingness and sacrifice to enable you come here today speaks to the positive impact Mr President's government has had on our lives. 

"But it is a sacrifice we must make. It is important that we come here to let President Buhari know that he is doing a good work while we also point out areas that can be better. This is because of a new trend where people try to make political gains out of the ongoing economic recession. 

"A lot of them have been grumbling in the wings. They lament how they are no longer able to jet off to Dubai  for shopping or London to attend orgies. They cry over their inability to gift cars like toys to their mistresses. They panic for not being able to continue be medical tourists. Imported goods are no longer available for them to buy. Private jets have become burdens. Impunity is becoming history. People now consider every naira before spending. They have an array of many other complaints about how things are no longer business as usual. 

"They dare not show their faces to tell Nigerians, who are the true victims of the economic depression precipitated by their past administrations, about these things. So what did they do? They got consultants under the United Action for Democracy (UAD) and added other from smaller firms to stage protests that there is suffering in the land. 
It is a fact there is economic recession. When UAD and its partners take to the streets to sing about the recession we should ask them what they contributed to creating the present situation. They should mention what they did to stop previous governments from plunging us into this mess. When top shots speak about not having money we should be bold to ask them what they do for their living – we must differentiate hangers-on that no longer have access to government patronage from long suffering Nigerians that were denied gainful employment by administrations that refused to diversify the economy. 

"This is not denying the fact that there is economic resetting going on. It entails citizens no longer having access to slush funds.It entails hard work paying before cronyism. It entails people being ingenious in their thinking and becoming entrepreneurs as opposed to jingoist jobbers that were earlier promoted above competence. 

"While UAD and the rest are crying hunger, Mr President has already commenced a Conditional Cash Transfer programme that is catering in part to the needs of the very poor through a monthly N5000 grant to each family. If these people are as hungry as they said they can sign up in the next batch of the programme, it is open to all indigent Nigerians. 

"They do not have to insist their children stay on in private schools. If the parents have decided to keep chasing life of luxury they can at least enroll their children in public schools where they are guaranteed a quality meal each day of school under the Homegrown School Feeding scheme. No one has to pay for that and if they have the requisite they can bid to become suppliers of food either as farmers or as bulk suppliers. These are opportunities that Mr President has created. 

"By now these protesters should be wondering why they struggled to find hungry youths to populate their protests. In case they do not know, it is because Mr President's N-Power programme is fixing young graduates with employers. They  are also getting monthly stipend of N30,000 while getting work experience that will shape a better future for them. 

"The money going into these projects would have been stolen in the past with the chant that government has no business being welfarists. What they will not tell you is that the funds for these project were formerly pocketed by them. So it is okay for Nigeria to be welfarist when they are beneficiary but wrong when the masses benefit. 

"They are also unhappy that the portion their friends and family stole are being diligently pursued for recovery under the anti-graft war in which Mr President has done excellently well. He has similarly done well with caging Boko Haram, which is why Nigerians are again able to congregate in large numbers whether for carnivals, this rally or the UAD protest without the fear of being blown up by terrorists – the exception of course being the northeast where our gallant troops are mopping up the terrorist escaping from the capture of Sambisa Forest. 

Because we see things in the light of what benefits have come to the masses we dare to ask you to "Believe Baba". Believe in Mr President even when scare mongers see doom. Instead of joining their ranks we suggest Nigerians should rather think in terms of tangibles – like designing self help projects and pressuring the government into counterpart funding them. Instead of protesting we should have clear requests on which we can hold the government accountable. 

"As Nigerians we should not allow the toxic lies of unhappy yesterday men make us lose sight of the great things happening around us. Where they see hardship let us see opportunities that are up for grabs.

Another speaker during the March, Solomon adodo who is the executive secretary of the empowerment for unemployed youths initiative eulogized the federal government on the payment of 5000 stipends to poor Nigerians 

He advised the government to continue to embark on ventures that will improve the lives of Nigerians.
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