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FG replies Saraki for saying Buhari presented “hopeless budget”

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The Federal Government has replied Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who on Thursday, described the 2019 Appropriation Bill, as hopeless, asking Nigerians not to expect much from it.

On Friday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, told State House Correspondents after presenting a portrait of President Muhammadu Buhari in five native attires: Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, Efik and one in suit, that the government tried the best it could to plan with the available resources.

When asked to react to Saraki’s comment, Mohammed said: “It is not the practice of the executive to be exchanging words with the legislative arm of government.

“They are independent, we are independent, but to the best of our knowledge, we presented a budget given the circumstances of our resources this year; we feel that is the best we can.

“It is left for the National Assembly to consider it.”

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Crime

BREAKING: Scores feared dead, many injured as PDP, APC supporters clash in Bayelsa

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There was pandemonium on Wednesday in Ogbolomabiri community in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State following exchange of gunfire between supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) during a governorship rally organised by the ruling party.

A staff of the Bayelsa State-owned radio broadcasting corporation, Radio Bayelsa and driver of the outside broadcasting van identified as Simon Onu was hit by flying bullet and died on the spot while trying to maneuver his vehicle from the troubled spot.

Five others identified as supporters of the PDP mobilised from Yenagoa, the capital city were reported killed in the bloody shooting. A policeman was reportedly shot in the leg, while another mobile police was also shot in the stomach.

The governorship campaign rally of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which was slated to hold in the area was disrupted and party faithfuls chased out of the area.

DAILY POST Bayelsa State’¢ correspondent with other journalists who attended the event were held hostage in the Nembe forest for several hours until the military came to their rescue.

Governor Seriake Dickson, who was billed to attend the rally in company of the candidate of the party, Senator Douye Diri, however, condemned the bloody attack.

DAILY POST learnt that trouble started when some supporters of one of the political parties started defacing posters and flags of the rival political party at the King Koko Square venue of the rally.

Serious shooting by armed men reportedly rocked the King Koko Square venue of the campaign as party supporters waiting for the dignitaries to arrive took to their heels.

The attackers, it was also learned opened fire on the protocol bus of the Bayelsa State Government House along the junction between Bassambiri and Ogbolomabiri communities.

Some journalists, including James Akam of the DAILY POST and Mike Taiyese of the Daily Asset Newspapers, covering the rally were also caught in the cross fire as many others sustained different degree of injuries.

Confirming the shootings, the incident, spokesperson of the Nembe Chiefs Council, Chief Nengi James, said there was a clash between rival supporters of the PDP and APC in Nembe resulting in injuries.

He said: “I can confirm that supporters of the PDP and APC clashed in Nembe with some persons sustaining various degree of injuries, but however, no death has been recorded.”

Also, a prominent indigene of the area and former senator representing Bayelsa East senatorial district, Senator Nimi Barigha-Amangi, has condemned in its entirety the act of provocation and violence released on the community by supporters of the People Democratic Party (PDP).

In his statement Chief Senator Nimi Barigha-Amangi noted that the approved venue for the PDP rally was King Koko Square and instead of going about their normal business of the day, went about chanting war songs around the community terrorising and molesting passers by.

Chief Barigha-Amange said that this was uncalled for, because other patties did use the same venue for their rallies which was very peaceful and rancour free.

He, however, warned that no individual should hide under any political platform to breach the already existing peace and harmonious relationship amongst the people in Nembe.

He called on the various security agencies in the area to redouble their efforts in stopping troublemakers from further terrorising the peace-loving people of Nembe in name of politics as no group would be allowed to over run the Nembe community.

The Police Public Relations officer, Asinim Bustwart, was yet to respond as at press time.

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Nigeria vs Benin Republic: Super Eagles begin 2021 AFCON qualifier with win

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Nigeria began their quest to be at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, with a narrow 2-1 win over Benin Republic on Wednesday.

The Super Eagles had to fight from a goal down, as the Squirrels opened scoring at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo.

Stephane Sessegnon latched on a defensive error to make it 1-0.

Victor Osimhen made it 1-1 from the penalty spot, shortly before half time.

Samuel Kalu grabbed the winner, with a fine solo goal.

Nigeria will now take on Lesotho on Sunday in their next Sunday.

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Law

Nyako vs EFCC: What happened in court on Wednesday

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Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, Counsel to the 3rd defendant in a suit filed by EFCC against Murtala Nyako, former Adamawa State Governor, and others; has appealed to the Federal High Court, Abuja, to order the EFCC to produce three of its witnesses for cross-examination.

Maikyau made the oral application, on Wednesday, before Justice Okon Abang.

Nyako is the 1st defendant, his son, Sen. Abdulaziz Nyako, is the 2nd defendant while Zulkifik Abba is the 3rd defendant in the case.

The EFCC had charged the former governor, along with others, with N40 billion fraud.

They were arraigned on a 37-count charge bordering on money laundering allegedly perpetrated while Nyako was Adamawa governor.

Also arraigned along with them was Abubakar Aliyu and firms allegedly used to perpetrate the fraud which were joined as the 5th to the 9th defendants were Blue Opal Ltd, Pagoda Fortunes Ltd, Tower Assets Management Ltd and Crust Energy Ltd.

At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, Counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, had indicated his interest to close his case, having taken the evidence of Kobis Arithimni, who was Secretary to Adamawa State Government during Nyako’s administration, via video link in the last sitting.

DAILY POST reports that Justice Abang had, on Oct. 30, granted EFCC’s prayer to take Arithimni via video link.

Arithimni, who presently resides in the United Kingdom (UK), gave his testimony on Nov. 5.

However, Maikyau, who opposed to the closure of the case, on Wednesday, told the court that since the prosecution was unable to call all its witnesses on its list, the prosecution is under obligation, upon request by the defendant, to present such witnesses for purpose of cross examination by the defence.

“I stand to make the application on behalf of the 3rd defendant that the prosecution be directed by this honourable court to make available witnesses number 12, 26 and 27,” NAN quoted him as saying.

The lawyer, who noted that these witnesses were yet to be called by the EFCC, said the call became necessary in the spirit of fair hearing.

He acknowledged that though the prosecution is not bound to call all the witnesses listed by it, Maikyau said the 3rd defendant wanted to take advantage of the principle of law that has been made available to the defence which is only consistent to the principle of fair hearing.

Counsel to the EFCC, Mr Jacobs, who opposed the oral application, sought for more time to respond to the prayer and the earlier request by the 2nd defendant, Abdulaziz Nyako, to travel abroad.

Justice Abang adjourned until Nov. 19 to hear the prosecution’s reply.

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