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Yoruba-Hausa Clash: Sarki Not Dead, Says Ogun Govt

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Ogun State Police PRO, Abimbola Oyeyemi

Ogun State Government last night debunked the rumour that the Sarkin Hausawa of Abeokuta, Ibrahim Hassan Hassan, is dead.

There was tension on Monday at the popular Lafenwa market in Abeokuta when some Yoruba and Hausa settlers clashed, which left many injured and shops burnt. The Sarki was injured in the clash.

Our correspondent reports that no fewer than 15 suspects have been arrested in connection with the clash.

However, normalcy has returned to the area as traders from both sides are counting their loss.

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 Daily Trust learnt that there was panic around 7:30pm Wednesday around Lafenwa and Sabo areas as the rumour of the death of the Sarki circulated. Traders out of fear locked their shops.

Mahmmud Alhasan Tama, who is one of the people looking after the Sarki at the Federal Medical Center, Abeokuta where he was admitted also confirmed to Daily Trust that he is alive.

He said, “There is no loss of life; he was presumed dead but did not die. The Ogun State Government has taken the responsibility of the hospital bills of all the victims.

“The Ogun State Government led by the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Salis Shuaib, visited the victims and assured them of the government’s support on their treatment alongside strong assurance to maintain peaceful coexistence in Ogun State,” Tama added.

Also the Special Assistant to Ogun State Governor on Inter ethnic affairs, Malam Hadi Sani reaffirmed the commitment of Governor Dapo Abiodun towards strengthening peaceful coexistence in the state.

Daily Trust

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NAF Fighter Jet Kills Banditry Kingpin, Followers In Katsina

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A notorious banditry kingpin, Abdulkareem Lawal alias Faca-faca, and many of his followers have been killed in airstrikes by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets on some bandits’ enclaves in Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State.

Our correspondent learnt that the raids were carried out in the evening.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Gambo Isah, confirmed on Sunday that eight suspected bandits including Faca-faca were killed during the raid.

 He also said the police Saturday night raided a terrorists’ hideout at Unguwar Dako, Tandama village in Danja Local Government Area of the state where they rescued six kidnapped victims. 

Isah gave the names of the rescued victims as Alhaji Garba DanMallam, 52; Rabiu Idris, 45; and Abba Samaila, 38, who are all residents of Unguwar Nuhu. 

Others are Yunusa Sani, 54; Ishaq Yakub, 40; and Danjuma Samaila, 45, all residents of Layin Sani village, Kafur. 

Meanwhile, bandits have killed two members of a local vigilante group and abducted a newlywed couple and other residents of Shola Quarters in the Katsina metropolis. 

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Residents said the bandits invaded the area around 1:25am and operated for over an hour. 

One of the sources said, “It was the vigilante members that even confronted the bandits but in the process, two of them were killed and two others wounded.” 

He explained that the vigilante members had to retreat for their safety when the bandits overpowered them. 

He said it was later that one body was retrieved while one of the injured persons rushed to the hospital died. 

Explaining how the newlywed couple was kidnapped, a relative, Usman Masanawa, said the husband, Yusuf Bishir, called to inform him of the attack but there was nothing he could do.

“We went there this morning; the bandits did not even enter the house through the entrance gate but they smashed the wall and got access into the house,” Masanawa said. 

He added that the number of residents abducted could not be ascertained but other residents said some houses were attacked and people abducted. 

When contacted, the PPRO who responded via WhatsApp message, said officers were on an operation (on the matter) and would communicate details later. 

In another attack, bandits abducted 13 people from Natsinta village, in Jibia Local Government Area, which is a few hundred metres from the army barracks in Katsina. 

A resident, whose uncle and two of his children were abducted, said the bandits had earlier abducted 26 people but when they got to where they parked their motorcycles, they took 13 with them and left the others.

DAILY TRUST

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Shock, Mixed Feelings As UAE Tightens Visa Rules For Nigerians

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UAE Visa

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has released stiffer visa regulations for Nigerians. The new regulations which came after a public disturbance purportedly by some Nigerians have generated concerns among Nigerian travellers while it has created uneasy calm in the travel industry. This report sheds light on the new visa regime and its implications for Nigerians. 

When a video emerged last week of some Africans causing a public disturbance in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it was clear the government of the Middle East country would react appropriately in a bid to protect the country and its citizens from any form of harm.

In the video, youths were seen fighting in a Dubai community and destroying public property. An unconfirmed report claimed that a Dubai Police officer was killed by the hoodlums.

The Nigerian Community in Dubai under the umbrella of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), United Arab Emirates (UAE) chapter, swiftly condemned the development while particularly commending the swift intervention of the Dubai Police who got the hoodlums, about seven of them, arrested.

After arresting them, the police said a criminal case has been registered against the suspects and they will be referred to the public prosecution for further action.

The Dubai Police warned against such unacceptable behaviour and urged the community members to report such behaviour through ‘Police Eye Service’ on Dubai Police app or by calling the emergency hotline 999. The Force also warned the public of publishing or forwarding clips to avoid legal accountability according to article 52 of the UAE Federal Law No. 34 of 2021 on countering Rumours and Cybercrimes.

The law stated that whoever uses the information network to announce, disseminate, re-disseminate, circulate, or recirculate news or data, or broadcasts any provocative news that would incite or provoke public opinion, disturb the public peace, spread terror among people, or cause harm to the public interest, the national economy, the public order, or the public health shall be punished with at least one year of imprisonment and a fine of not less than Dh100,000.

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For the Nigerian community in Dubai, that singular incident was a signal to what would happen in days to come. The incident sent jitters down the spine of Nigerian immigrants in the Arab country and this was coming at a time Nigerians have issues securing jobs in the country.

In a statement, the NIDO UAE Group, while commending the Dubai authorities for swiftly bringing the matter under control, clarified that the illicit act does not represent what the country stands for.

“We the Nigerians In Diaspora Organization (NIDO) United Arab Emirates group which represents the interest of law abiding Nigerians in the UAE wish to express our profound gratitude and appreciation to the Dubai Police for their swift action in clamping down on the perpetrators of the disturbing video in the last 96 hours.

“We commend the Authority and we wish to state categorically that such illicit acts do not in any way define or represent us. We are good ambassadors, law abiding citizens and therefore, we distance ourselves from those miscreants. We assure the security agencies of our full support and cooperation if the need arises.”

Not satisfied with the clarification of the Nigerian community and as a further belt tightening measure to screen those coming into the country, Dubai has updated its visa requirements by including three new conditions. 

There was an initial rumour about the suspension of visa application to Nigerians which was denied by the Nigerian community. It was gathered that the visa was showing pending on the visa status portal which indicates it was neither approved, nor rejected.

But the fear of the Nigerian community was confirmed when the Dubai authorities imposed fresh visa requirements for applicants.

As seen from the updated visa portal, there are three new Nigerian requirements mandatory for all visa applicants to provide.

These requirements are to be scanned and uploaded in the visa portal as provided to enable the applicant complete and submit visa application online.

The three updated requirements are Hotel reservation/place of stay in UAE, six-month Bank Statement and return flight ticket. While the UAE did not state any reason for the new requirement, it is believed the decision was taken to control the influx of individuals with criminal intent into the country.

Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that the development is already causing uneasy calm in the travel industry as many travellers scramble to meet the new requirements. This may ultimately reduce visitors to the country for those who are unable to meet the new requirements. 

The new requirements have been greeted with mixed feelings from stakeholders with the majority saying the development was a lesson to Nigerians to imbibe the habit of doing the right thing in accordance with the laws of their host countries. 

Our correspondent reports that Dubai is one of the most frequently visited countries for business and tourism by Nigerians. About 200,000 Nigerians averagely visit the country annually either for business or tourism.

Before now, many Nigerians enjoyed the privilege of travelling to Dubai with very relaxed requirements until some Nigerians began to abuse the near free entry status granted to them, according to analysts. 

This, they noted, would further hurt some Nigerians with legitimate reasons for going to Dubai. Among those to be affected are Nigerians in search of jobs in the Arab country.

“This development is good and also will prevent some fraudulent people coming in. But the point now is, they should allow us that have a visa inside the country work before it expires, please, so that we can pay our taxes and live peacefully. Please beg on our behalf,” said a Nigerian in search of jobs in Dubai.

According to the Director of Research and Strategy, Zenith Travels, Mr  Olumide Ohunayo, the UAE as a country can impose any requirement it deems necessary in the interest of her country and the citizens. 

He said, “Every country has the right to introduce some consular requirements to protect their country and ensure that eligible tourists, visitors or business men are those who come into their country.

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“The UAE has been very relaxed with their visa. It is the most relaxed of the Middle East countries. Unfortunately, we have not behaved well. We have abused it. At a time, they stopped single ladies from coming except you are 40 and above. 

“I have no objection to it. It is their country. They need to do what they need to do to safeguard other tourists apart from Nigerians and ensure that their country is protected.”

Our hands are tied – Travel agents 

Speaking with our correspondent, the President of NANTA, Mrs Susan Akporiaye, also blamed Nigerians for the new requirements imposed by Dubai, saying the UAE authorities must have changed its entry rules due to abuse of the visa process. 

She said while the travel agents are not happy with the development, everybody must learn to live by it. 

She said, “They must have their reason. It’s a diplomatic thing. There is nothing anybody can do about it. We don’t know why they did that. Maybe they are not comfortable with what many Nigerians are doing. Maybe they did it due to an increase in crimes by Nigerians.

“Before then, we learnt that there was a situation where a policeman was killed. I don’t think it’s just that one incident. Maybe it is a compilation of different incidents that have been going on and probably from their investigation (I have not confirmed that), it seems to always be the Nigerian community perpetrating it, according to them. We have not confirmed this though. Everything is according to them. They have not officially released any report to the Nigeria Police to say that this is the percentage of Nigerians committing crimes.

“But then again, it is a diplomatic thing. Every country has a right to do whatever they want to do and we cannot question them. Are we happy about it? No. We are not but there is nothing we can do about it. It is their country; they determine how people come into their country.

“Sad enough. It is a lesson to us too that when people give us easy access, we should not abuse it. If you abuse the easy access, it will be taken away from you and you cannot fault them. You cannot go to another man’s house and determine how the man should operate in his own house.

“It’s a lesson for all of us. And enough of even going to another man’s country. Why don’t we all sit down here and see how to make things better for ourselves? Running away to other people’s country and doing business or for holidays are two different things. I am not saying people should not travel to do business neither am I saying people should not travel for holidays. Because if it’s just business and holiday, we won’t be where we are now. Because if it’s business, you will come back. If it is a holiday, you will come back and there’s absolutely no reason why UAE would change their rules.”

Mrs Akporiaye advised Nigerians visiting Dubai to do the right thing to avoid a situation where the UAE would further tighten the requirements, saying for those with legitimate businesses to carry out in Dubai, submitting their six-month bank statement shouldn’t be a problem.

She said, “The problem is those that go in the name of business and holiday and they don’t come back. It is not only UAE but every other country.

“So, there’s really nothing much to say than to just respect their decision. It’s not going to be easy; everybody has to adjust. And for those that have legitimate things to go and do, it shouldn’t be a problem.”

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US, Bagudu’s brother move to resolve Kebbi gov money laundering case

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Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Bagudu

The United States is close to reaching an agreement with the brother of  Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Bagudu, to resolve a court case over more than $140 million that it said was laundered by the governor.

Bloomberg disclosed that the Justice Department had been trying to seize four investment portfolios held in trust for Bagudu and his family since 2013.
The US alleged that Bagudu, 60, was part of a network controlled by former dictator Sani Abacha that misappropriated billions of dollars from state coffers in the 1990s.

However, Governor Bagudu has always maintained his innocence of the alleged crime.
The US and Bagudu’s brother, Ibrahim, applied on August 3, to suspend the case that is ongoing in a federal court in Washington, DC.
They “agreed upon the principal terms of a settlement” on July 19 and “believe a brief stay will allow the parties to reach a final agreement resolving the litigation,” it quoted their joint motion to have stated.

The judge, who accepted the request, ordered the parties to provide an update on their negotiations by November 2. The motion didn’t provide any details about the contents of the potential settlement.

Bagudu is the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress Governors’ Forum, an influential body of governors and recently oversaw the party’s selection of Bola Tinubu as its presidential candidate for next February’s general elections.

Ibrahim Bagudu, who is entitled to an annuity from the assets, had challenged the forfeiture efforts.

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A UK court froze the investment portfolios in 2014 after a request from the US.
The government of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari had said it was unable to assist the US because it’s bound by a settlement Abubakar Bagudu reached with a previous administration in 2003.

That arrangement allowed Bagudu to return $163 million to the Nigerian authorities, which in exchange dropped all outstanding civil and criminal claims against him, according to court filings.

Buhari’s government and Bagudu concluded a new agreement in 2018, that would see ownership of the investment portfolios worth €141 million ($144 million) in late 2019 — transferred to the Nigerian state, which would then pay €98.5 million to Bagudu and his affiliates, according to US court documents.
Buhari’s administration had applied to the UK court to unfreeze the assets.

While the US and Ibrahim Bagudu obtained an initial stay in early 2020 to explore an out-of-court resolution, they said in March that those talks had reached an “impasse” and the case should restart. Discussions continued following the resumption of the litigation five months ago.

The US Department of Justice declined to comment. Spokesmen for Nigerian Attorney General Abubakar Malami, as well as lawyers for the Bagudu brothers, didn’t respond to requests for comment, according to Bloomberg.

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