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Osun Rerun: US, EU, UK Allege Voters’ Intimidation, Harassment

Gbemileke Ajayi

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In their appraisal of the Osun State rerun governorship election, the missions of the United States, European Union and the United Kingdom, who were on the ground to monitor the exercise, said there were incidents of harassment and intimidation of voters.

Reading the missions’ joint report, the US Consul General, Mr John F. Bray, said, “The missions of the United States, European Union and the United Kingdom observed voting at polling stations in Osun today (Thursday). We witnessed what appeared to be incidents of interference and intimidation of voters and have reports of harassment of party monitors, journalists and domestic observers.

“We are very concerned by these reports and we will be checking with stakeholders to determine the facts. We call on all stakeholders to remain calm.”

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DSS Gave Me $500,000 To Set-Up Lawan — Femi Otedola

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The trial of former Rep. Farouk Lawan resumed in Abuja on Monday with Mr Femi Otedola, testifying that the $500,000 offered to the accused was from Department of State Service (DSS).

Business magnate Otedola appeared before before Justice Angela Otaluka of the FCT High Court, Apo as a prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of Lawan.

He said the money was given to him by the DSS to set a trap for Lawan after he wrote a petition against him.

He accused Lawan of demanding 3 million dollars as bribe from him to exonerate his oil company, Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd, from the alleged subsidy scam in 2012.

He further told the court that the 500,000 dollars was part payment of the 3 million dollars being demanded by Lawan, which was eventually given to him under the supervision of the DSS.

Otedola said he petitioned the DSS immediately Lawan demanded for the bribe.

“Lawan said he was going to exonerate my company after giving him the money, security cameras were mounted in my living room to capture the exchange of money between me and the defendant.

“The video is with the DSS, the money was given to him in two tranches $250,000 each,” he said.

When reminded by Chief Ozekhome, that the best time “to catch a thief is when the operation is ongoing,” Otedola said he did not know why DSS failed to arrest Lawan at that moment.

The Judge, however, adjourned the matter till March 8 for continuation of cross examination of the prosecution witness.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Lawan is being prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) for allegedly collecting 500,000 dollars out of 3 million dollars bribe.

The money was said to have been requested to remove Otedola’s company’s name from the list of firms indicted by the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy in 2012.

(NAN)

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Minimum Wage: Nationwide Protest Begins Tuesday — NLC

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There will be a nationwide protest on Tuesday by Nigerian workers to press for a higher minimum wage, the Nigeria Labour Congress said today.

However, the union’s general secretary, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson clarified that the action is not a strike.

The umbrella labour union, along with the Trade Union Congress, wants minimum wage jacked from N18,000 to N30,000.

“It has come to our attention that some sections of the news media have largely misrepresented our action plan in reaction to the delay in transmitting the recommendations of the Tripartite Committee on a new national minimum wage to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“It should be recalled that the National Executive Council of the NLC met on December 17 last year and directed that we hold nationwide mobilisation of workers and our allies if, by December 31, 2018, the bill on the national minimum wage has yet to be sent to the National Assembly to be passed as an Act of Parliament.

“We immediately announced then that on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, there will be a nationwide mass mobilisation and protests simultaneously across all states in Nigeria. This does not translate to a strike.” (NAN)

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BREAKING: Shehu Shagari Dies At 93

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Nigerian’s Second Republic President, Alhaji Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari, GCFR, is dead.

Shagari reportedly died at the National Hospital Abuja on Friday after a brief illness.

He died at the age of 93.

His demise was announced on twitter by his grandson, Bello Shagari.

Bello wrote, ”I regret announcing the death of my grandfather, H.E Alhaji Shehu Shagari, who died right now after brief illness at the National hospital, Abuja.”

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