PLUS NG: Daily Media Summary, Tuesday 16 July, 2019

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Value Of Electronic Payment Transactions Rise In H1’19 – Vanguard, Page 19

The volume and value of electronic payment transactions rose in the first half of 2019 (H1’19) as Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) Instant Payment (NIP) recorded the highest transactions with N7.9 trillion during the period. Vanguard analysis of NIBSS’ e-payment transaction data for June 2019 showed that year-on-year (YoY),  the volume of NIP transactions rose by 51 percent to 87.9 million in H1’19 from 57.9 million in H1’18 while the value of NIP transactions rose by 23 per cent to N7.87 trillion from N6.4 trillion in H1’18. Quater-on-Quarter (QoQ), the volume of NIP transactions dropped by 0.59 percent to 87.9 million in Q2’19 from 87.42 million in Q1’19 while the value of NIP transactions fell by 8.3 percent to N7.87 trillion from N8.58 trillion in Q1’19. The volume of PoS transactions rose by 51 percent to 35.09 million in H1’19 from 23.3 million in H1’18 while the value of PoS transactions rose by 35 percent to N245.9 billion in H1’19 from N181.83 billion in H1’18. QoQ, the volume of PoS transactions rose by 18 percent in Q2’19 to 35.09 million from 29. 82 million in Q1’19, while the value of PoS transactions increased by 13 percent to N245.9 billion from N217.5 billion in Q1’19. YoY, the volume of e-bills transactions rose by 10 percent to 85.71  in H1’19 from 78.13 million in H1’18 while the value of e-bills transactions rose by 1.4 percent to N42.8 billion in H1’19 from N42.2 billion in H1’18.

Currency-In-Circulation Rises Marginally To N2.159trn – Thisday, Page 23

At N2.159 trillion, currency-in-circulation, on month-on-month basis, rose by 0.3 per cent at the end of April 2019, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revealed in its economic report for May 2019. This was in contrast to the respective decline of 3.9 per cent and four per cent at the end of the preceding month and the end of the corresponding period of 2018. The development relative to the preceding month, according to the central bank, reflected the increase in demand deposit component. The report showed that deposits of the federal government, banks and the private sector with the CBN, on month-on-month basis, rose, relative to the level at the end of the preceding month. Overall, aggregate deposit at the CBN increased by 12.8 per cent to N15.746 trillion at the end of April 2019, the report showed. Of the total deposits at the CBN, the shares of the federal government, banks and the private sector were 42.4 per cent, 36.8 per cent and 20.8 per cent, it added.

CBN Takes Sensitisation Programme To Ilorin – Thisday, Page 24

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended its sensitisation programme on its various policies and initiatives to assist small and medium scale businesses in the country. Speaking at the 2-day sensitisation outreach programmes tagged, “CBN Fair,” for small and business owners in Ilorin, Kwara State, recently, the Director, Corporate Communications Department of CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor said, “many Nigerians are/unable to access loans from commercial banks because they cannot/distinguish between working and fixed capital.” The theme of the fair was, “promoting sustainable economic development in the country.” He also said many Nigerians cannot access its many financial initiatives as they don’t have bank accounts.

Okorafor, revealed that many bank customers did not know their rights, adding that, “some of the commercial banks allegedly make illegal deductions from their accounts.” Represented by the Assistant Director in the Department and National Coordinator of the fair, Mr. Samuel Okegbue, Okorafor added that the CBN had returned billions of naira to customers from illegal deductions by commercial banks.

NBS, Experts Disagree Over Falling Consumer Prices In June – Guardian, Page 3

Economists yesterday faulted the report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that that consumer prices fell last month. The experts, who spoke in Abuja, contended that Nigeria at the moment had not got an economy or a direction from where the result would have emanated from. According to the NBS, the consumer price index, (CPI) which measures inflation increased by 11.22 percent (year-on-year) in June. This is 0.18 percent points lower than the 11.40 percent recorded the previous month. The document also revealed that increases were recorded in all the Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICO) divisions that yielded the headline inflation index. However, a Development Economist and National Coordinator, Research and Technical, Coalition of Scholars for Alternative Development Agenda for Nigeria (COSADAN), Dr. Emmanuel Anoliefo, declared that because the country does not have an economy in the strict sense of the word, it was illogical for the NBS or the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to continue reeling out data from a rather non-existing country. He said: “ I do not believe those data because Nigeria does not have an economy. What we have in Nigeria is a market for industrialsed nations of the world. So can you be generating data out of nothing?” Anoliefo further explained that the nation’s investment climate was over-exposed to foreign investors and as such, the country cannot be boasting of having an economy.

Stock Market Investors Lose N366bn In Three Days – Punch, Page 33

Equity investors in the Nigerian Stock Exchange lost a total of N366bn in the last three consecutive trading days. Last week, investors and other stakeholders welcomed the listing of Airtel Africa Plc’s shares on the NSE. The listing, which took place on Tuesday, added N1.36tn to the total market capitalisation of the Exchange. Investors had hoped that the listing of Airtel Africa would change the fortunes of the equities market, which had seen about four consecutive weeks of losses. The market recorded slight gains on the day of the listing but suffered declines in the subsequent trading days. Airtel Africa, despite gaining 10 per cent on the first day of its listing on the NSE, has lost 18.98 per cent since then as its share price closed at N323.50 on Friday, compared to its listing price of N363. MTN Nigeria Communications Plc gained 50 basis points, while Dangote Cement Plc and Nestlé Nigeria Plc shed 226bps and 892bps, respectively last week. Tier-1 banking stocks continued to remain the most actively traded stocks on the Exchange as Guaranty Trust Bank Plc gained 313bps while Zenith Bank Plc shed 181bps last week. The market continued to trade below its 30,000bps mark, with sentiment remaining bearish as investors continued to await ministerial appointments by President Muhammadu Buhari. The All Share Index lost 241 basis points last week, with the consumer goods and the oil and gas sectors being the worst-performing sectors.

BDC Rates – BusinessDay Newspaper 1

USD              360

GBP              462

EUR              406

Stock Market Report – July 15

ALL SHARE INDEX           28,340.98

DEALS                            3,111.00

VOLUME                          175,168,001.00

VALUE                             N2,144,876,186.58

EQUITY CAP                    N13,811,995,064,082.20

BOND CAP                       N12,199,110,440,656.00

ETF CAP                          N5,943,753,443.99

UBA Marketplace: 120 SMEs To Display Goods, 20,000 Visitors Expected – Vanguard, Page 19

The United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc is set to host over 20,000 visitors, 120 small and medium enterprises and leading private and public sector players from across Africa, at the continent’s biggest entrepreneurial fair tagged #theUBAmarketplace2019 in Abuja, Nigeria. The event, which will be held on July 26th and 27th 2019, on the sideline of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Forum, the largest gathering of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Africa, will host businesses and business owners in various industries including food, fashion, beauty, home/interior and gadgets. The event will offer plenary sessions and discussions on the small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) sector and the relevance of financing.

Access Bank Partners She Leads Africa – Thisday, Page 30

Access Bank Plc in partnership with She Leads Africa, recently concluded the first phase of #SheMeansBusiness, a Facebook programme aimed at empowering female SMEs on how to leverage digital platforms to drive growth in their businesses. The training, aimed at scaling up the skills of small business owners to take advantage of the captive market on social media platforms in Nigeria and beyond, kicked off in June and has held in Abuja, Lagos, Enugu and Ibadan, with over 500 female business owners in attendance. A statement from the bank quoted the Executive Director, Retail banking, Access Bank Plc, Victor Etuokwu, while speaking in Abuja, to have said: “As one of the fastest growing retail banks in the country, Access Bank is always at the forefront of leveraging technology to drive emerging businesses. The idea behind this partnership and empowerment programme is to give our SME customers an opportunity to expand their access to market and increase their visibility to potential customers.

Flour Mills Proposes 20% Increase In Dividend – Punch, Page 33

Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc says it is proposing a 20 per cent increase in its dividend for the 2018 financial year. The company said in a statement on Friday that its audited financial results showed a 30 per cent decrease in its financing cost and a strengthened balance sheet, which it said would enable the group to increase its dividend by 20 per cent. It added that its total net debt reduced by N21.2bn while finance cost dropped by N9.8bn. According to the statement, the company is proposing a dividend of N1.20 for the 2018 financial year, subject to shareholders’ approval at the annual general meeting. It said, “Continuous growth is envisaged in key segments such as food and agro-allied, as targeted strategies deliver improved margins and operational efficiencies. “The continuous implementation of turnaround initiatives in the agro-allied business, accelerated expansion in the business-to-consumer segment, optimal operation of our supply chain and further balance sheet management is expected to result in higher profitability.”

Ponzi Scheme: SEC Begins Verification Of 4,160 Investors’ Claims – Punch, Page 33

The Securities and Exchange Commission has started verifying claims of 4,160 unpaid investors of the illegal investment scheme organised by Dantata Success and Profitable Company. SEC had in February sealed off the premises of Dantata Success and Profitable Company in Kano for engaging in illegal capital market activities, saying its investment operations fell within fund management without registration with the commission. It said the company was not registered and that it was using a strategy to solicit funds from unsuspecting members of the public by enticing them with returns of monthly interest on investment of between 25 to 50 per cent, depending on the nature and type of the investment. The company sold forms to prospective investors according to their investment plans ranging from N1,000 to N3,000, with the minimum amount investable being N50,000 and a maximum amount of N5m. SEC had first indicated its plans to commence a verification exercise for people who invested with the company in May.

In New Letter To Buhari: Obasanjo Warns Of Rwanda-Like Genocide, Urges National Confab – Punch, Page 2

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday wrote another letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, warning that a Rwanda-like genocide was looming in Nigeria. Obasanjo, in the four-page letter released by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, said President Buhari must open up the public space for debates and dialogues, the outcome of which he stated should form the basis for a national conference. The ex-President stated that Buhari must be seen to be addressing killings by herdsmen and other issues “with utmost seriousness and with maximum dispatch and getting all hands on deck to help.” According to him, the President will be held responsible for his failure to address the issues, which he warned could lead to a pogrom similar to the one that occurred in Rwanda. During the Rwandan civil war, there was a mass slaughter of Tutsi ethnic group and moderate Hutu between April 7 and July 15, 1994. In his letter, Obasanjo recalled that prominent Nigerians and groups, including a Nigerian merit laureate, Prof. Anya O. Anya, the Niger-Delta leaders, South-East leaders, Middle-Belt leaders and Northern Elders’ Forum had called for measures to address killings by herdsmen and other forms of insecurity in the country. The ex-President quoted Anya to have said, “We can no longer say with certainty that we have a nation.” Obasanjo warned that the calls by groups and individuals could only be ignored at the expense of Nigeria’s unity, if not its continued existence.’

Olakunri : Be Mindful Of Your Utterances, Presidency Warns Leaders – Vanguard, Page 10

…Says This Not Time To Play Politics With The Dead

The Presidency last night warned Nigerian leaders to be mindful of the consequences of their utterances on the death of the daughter of the leader of the pan Yoruba socio-cultural organization, Afenifere, PA Reuben Fasoranti before they set the country on fire. The Presidency said it was not time to play politics with the dead, rather, it was time to sympathize with the bereaved family. A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in Abuja described Mrs Funke Olakunri’s death as a tragedy. The statement read “The Presidency has noted public concerns on the unfortunate attack leading to the death of daughter of the Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti. “The President has already issued a statement expressing his heartfelt condolences to the family of Mrs Funke Olakunri and followed up with a telephone call. “The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has in addition, paid a visit to the grieving family in Akure, “Her death is a tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family. “It is incumbent on all leaders across the country to consider their language and its potential consequences. “Insecurity is an issue that Nigeria must face together as one nation – united. “Times of tragedy like these are not the time for politics. It reveals only disrespect for the departed and her family. And we hope that those who stand in positions of influence recognise and understand this.” Olakunrin was killed by suspected gunmen on the Benin- Ore Road on Friday.

Presidency: We Haven’t Given Up On Leah Sharibu, Chibok Girls – Thisday, Page 9

The presidency last night reacted to the conclusion drawn by CNN journalist, Isha Sesay, in her book that the Federal Government of Nigeria had abandoned Leah Sharibu and the remaining Chibok girls in captivity to their fate, saying it is untrue. The presidency was reacting to Sesay’s submission in her new book, “Beneath The Tamarind Tree,” written about the 270 Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram on April 14, 2019. Dissatisfied by Sesay’s conclusion in the book, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement, said Nigeria’s government determination to rescue the girls along with Leah, the lone Dapchi schoolgirl, held back by Boko Haram when it released her peers on March 21, 2018 over her refusal to deny her Christian faith, remains strong. He acknowledged that the book would be useful in dissecting what it described as crimes against humanity, and added that it would also assist in rallying international support for the young captive girls.

NASS Members Receive, Decry N12.3bn Welcome Package – Punch, Page 12

Members of the National Assembly have been paid their welcome package, including accommodation and furniture allowances, The PUNCH has learnt. It was also gathered that some of the lawmakers were not happy because the allowances fell below their expectations. A credible source in the National Assembly management told our correspondent on Sunday that lawmakers started receiving their allowances and running costs in batches from July 5. The official disclosed that senators were paid over N30m each while Reps received over N25m each. “The lawmakers have been paid. They were paid on Friday. Members of the House got over N25m each and those in the Senate got over N30m. They were also paid their monthly running costs,” he said. The Senate and House of Representatives have 109 and 360 members, respectively. At “over N30m” each, senators have received a total of about N3.3bn while members of the House have pocketed over N9bn, totalling N12.3bn.

Tribunal Admits Atiku’s Video Evidence In Petition Against Buhari – Thisday, Page 6

President Muhammadu Buhari, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday failed in their bids to stop the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, from tendering video compact discs (VCDs) as evidence to prove their petition that the president did not lawfully win the February 23, 2019 presidential election. The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Abuja, dismissed their objections and admitted as exhibits 48 VCDs tendered by the petitioners. The five-man panel, led by Justice Mohammed Garba, in admitting the documents, dismissed the objections raised by all the respondents on the grounds that the documents sought to be tendered were in line with the agreement reached by the parties and adopted by the tribunal. Buhari, INEC and APC counsel, in their submissions, had objected to the admissibility of the video evidence on the grounds that the documents were not front loaded, not part of the documents agreed and they were taken by surprise by the petitioners. Atiku and his party, the PDP, are alleging that the February 23 presidential poll was marred by widespread rigging, violence and substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act.

We Will No Longer Condone Xenophobic Attacks On Nigerians, Says Lawan – Guardian, Page 4

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has condemned the continuous killings of Nigerians in South Africa, warning that the government will no longer tolerate further attacks on its citizens. He expressed concern that no fewer than 118 Nigerians have so far been killed in xenophobic attacks over the years, of which the South African Police perpetrated 13. Lawan made the assertions when he hosted the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Bobby Moroe yesterday in Abuja. Moroe and his delegation visited the Senate leadership on his government’s investigations to unravel the causes of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and steps being taken to stop it. The Senate President disclosed that the meeting became pertinent considering the incessant attacks on Nigerians residing in South Africa, adding: “We in the Parliament must speak up to prevent any further killings. “The killings must stop. This is the era of social media where the corpse of a victim may spark violence that may go beyond the government’s control.”

Makinde Declares N48bn Firms, Other Assets – Punch, Page 19

The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Monday made good his campaign promise to publicly declare his assets. The governor, who visited the Oyo State office of the Code of Conduct Bureau in Ibadan to receive a copy of the asset declaration form, said his decision to make the assets public was in fulfillment of his electoral promise. Details of the assets as contained in the CCB 1 with the name Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde, was declared at the High Court of Oyo State, on May 28, 2019. The assets declaration form, marked OYSE/2019/001 contained details of cash at hand, in the bank, landed properties (developed and undeveloped), household items, share and bonds owned by the governor and his wife, Omini Makinde, as well as his companies. According to a statement containing the details of the asset form made public by the Chief Press Secretary to Makinde, Mr Taiwo Adisa, the governor of Oyo State has cash at hand and in the bank worth N234, 742,296.01, as of May 28, 2019. In dollar terms, the governor had $30,056.99 as of the same date. The statement added that properties and household items indicated on the asset forms showed that the governor was worth N2, 624,800,500. In dollars, the governor declared properties and household items worth $4,400,000. In South African Rands, the governor declared buildings and household items worth R4,400,057,550,04

Inflation Rate Drops To 11.22% In June – Punch, Page 30

The National Bureau of Statistics on Monday released the consumer price index, which measures inflation with the index dropping year on year from 11.40 per cent in May to 11.22 per cent in June.  The bureau in the report said the June inflation rate of 11.22 per cent represented a decrease of 0.18 percentage points over the rate recorded in May.  On a month-on-month basis, it said the index increased by 1.07 per cent in June, noting that this was 0.04 per cent rate lower than the 1.11 per cent recorded in May.  The report reads in part, “The Consumer Price Index which measures inflation increased by 11.22 percent year-on-year in June.   “This is 0.18 per cent points lower than the 11.4 per cent rate recorded in May. The report stated that urban inflation  rate  increased  by  11.61 per cent  year-on-year in  June from  the 11.76  per cent recorded  in  May. On the other hand, the NBS report stated that  rural  inflation  rate  increased  by  10.87  per cent  in  June   from  11.08 per cent in May.”

NNPC Awards Oil Swap Contracts To 34 Firms – Thisday, Page 1

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday issued award letters to oil firms for the highly sought-after contracts to exchange crude oil for imported fuel.

Under the new contract that will take effect this month, a total of 15 groupings, with at least 34 companies in total, received award letters, four sources with knowledge of the deals said. The winning groups include: BP/Aym Shafa; Vitol/Varo; Trafigura/AA Rano; MRS; Oando/Cepsa; Bono/Akleen/Amazon/Eterna; Eyrie/Masters/Cassiva/Asean Group; Mercuria/Barbedos/Petrogas/Rainoil; UTM/Levene/Matrix/Petra Atlantic; TOTSA; Duke Oil; Sahara; Gunvor/Maikifi; Litasco /Brittania-U; and Mocoh/Mocoh Nigeria. NNPC’s crude swap deals, which were previously referred to as offshore crude oil processing agreements (OPAs) and crude-for-products exchange arrangements, are now known as Direct Sale-Direct Purchase Agreements (DSDP). Under the deals, the NNPC supplies crude oil to selected local and international oil traders and refineries in exchange for petrol and diesel. NNPC had in May 2017, signed the deals with local and international traders to exchange about 330,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil for imported petrol and diesel, as part of measures to sustain the supply of petroleum products across the country.

OAU To Generate Own Electricity, Exit National Grid, VC Says – Guardian, Page 2

The Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, has said the institution will complete its power generating plant in October and generate its own 24-hour electricity. Ogunbodede made this known yesterday at the biennial conference of the African Institute for Science Policy and Innovation held at OAU. The vice-chancellor said the project, which started in 2017, would be ready by the end of October. He added that the institution was working with a rural electrification agency that would provide a gas-powered turbine which would generate 8.0 megawatts of electricity for the institution. ”Because of the fast pace of the work, the project will be delivered by October end. We are now very sure that by October end, the university will be generating its own electricity and what that means is that we will be off the national grid,” he said.

Final Year Electrical Engineering Student Hacked To Death At CRUTECH – Vanguard, Page 6

A 500-Level student of Electrical Engineering of Cross River University of Technology, CRUTECH, identified as James was shot dead The incident, which has caused fear on campus, occurred at the Old Engineering Block, CRUTECH, Calabar Campus. An eyewitness, who pleaded anonymity, told Vanguard that James was shot three times, but as he did not give up the ghost immediately, his assailants hacked him with an axe to ensure he died on the spot. The source said: “After hearing gunshots and being alerted that a student had been shot dead at the Electrical Engineering Department, some lecturers in the Civil Engineering Department made a mild announcement in the exam halls, where Civil Engineering 500-Level students were writing their final paper. “They told all cult members to either leave the hall quietly or bear the security risk themselves, as there was no security presence at the time of the incident. “They got up, submitted empty sheets and left. Some even forcefully collected exam sheets from their colleagues in order to leave in groups.” Vanguard also learned that some cultists, wearing black vests, later invaded the school looking for members of the rival gang that perpetrated the act, in a possible reprisal. Contacted, Cross River State  Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Irene Ugbo, confirmed the incident, saying the Divisional Police Officer, Efut Division, had deposited the corpse in the mortuary.

Typographical Error Kept Man In Prison For 14 Years After Pardon – Punch, Page 4

A 48-year-old man, Derrick Addai, has been released from prison in Ogun State after spending 14 years in custody due to an alleged typographical error on the list of pardoned inmates.

Our correspondent gathered that it took the intervention of the Osile of Oke-Ona, Oba Adedapo Tejuoso, and the Director-General of the Prison Rehabilitation Mission International, Bishop Kayode Williams, before he was let off the hook. It was learnt that Addai was convicted of drug peddling in Thailand, but was repatriated to Nigeria in 2005 following the intervention of the then President Olusegun Obasanjo. Thirty convicts, who were later pardoned by the Federal Government, had spent five years and six months in Thai prison before Obasanjo intervened. Addai was, however, unlucky as a typographical error led to the omission of his name from the list of pardoned inmates approved by the Presidency. Our correspondent gathered that the name of one of the inmates appeared twice on the list and that was responsible for the omission of Addai’s name. Narrating his ordeal, Addai, a native of Cross River State, said he thought that the error would be corrected within a few days, but it eventually took 14 years for relief to come his way.

Graduate Jailed For Impersonating American Nurse – Punch, Page 4

A graduate of Insurance from The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Olabode Oyaremi, was on Monday convicted of impersonating an America nurse, Angelina Kimberly, and sentenced to four months in prison. Oyaremi was found guilty of the one count amended charge filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibadan zonal office, by Justice Patricia Ajoku of the Federal High Court, Ibadan Judicial Division. The 24-year-old was arrested on March 23, 2019, at the Kolapo Ishola Estate, Akobo, Ibadan, Oyo State, for Internet-related offences. His action, according to the EFCC, contravened Section 22 (2) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015, and punishable under Section 22 (2)(b)(iv) of the same Act. Oyaremi was said to have fraudulently represented himself as Angelina Kimberly, an American nurse, via an e-mail angelinakimberly126@gmail.com.  In line with the terms of the plea bargain agreement he entered into with the EFCC, Oyaremi pleaded guilty to the amended charge. As a result of the guilty plea, the prosecuting counsel, Sanusi Galadanchi, prayed the court to convict him in accordance with the plea bargain agreement.

Tension As SARS Operatives Allegedly Kill Cleaner In Lagos – Punch, Page 4-5

Operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Lagos State Police Command, on Monday, allegedly shot dead a cleaner, Francis Eni, 39, around 8am on Ajisegiri Street, Ilupeju, Lagos. It was gathered that two primary school pupils had engaged in a scuffle and Francis, who mediated in the fight, was on his way to attend to a customer when police personnel allegedly shot him after mistaking him for one of those they were looking for. Ajisegiri Street, where Francis was shot, is separated from the Kosibetel Primary School, by a fence. Residents said the pupils were lucky that bullets from the policemen’s guns did not hit them. A resident, Aba Bailey, told our correspondent that the policemen, after killing Francis, raided many homes in the area and caused commotion. She added that the SARS operatives went into a house, slapped a woman and disconnected the drip being administered to her 10-year-old son. Bailey added that the policemen arrested not less than 50 innocent people in the area. “Even though I was not there when Francis was shot, I was one of the first set of persons to see him after he was shot dead by the SARS operatives, who were in a silver Toyota Corolla car with number plate YAB 725 AP, which had tinted glasses.”

Uniben Final Year Student Commits Suicide – Thisday, Page 41

A final year student of the University of Benin has reported to have committed suicide by jumping down from the second floor of a hostel building in the school. The incident, it was learnt, occurred last Sunday evening at the Faculty of Arts. The deceased was said to be a student of the Department of Actuarial Science in the Faculty of Management Sciences. As at the time of filing this report, it was not clear if the deceased left a suicide note. It was however gathered that the victim who was supposed to have graduated before now, had a carry over. Effort to get confirmation from the Public Relations Officer of the university, Mr. Michael Osasuyi, failed as calls made to his mobile phone failed to connect. Four weeks ago, a 21-year-old student of the university, Christabel Buoro, also committed suicide over alleged failed love affair.

Passengers Injured, Seven Cows Die As Bus Rams Into Cattle – Punch, Page 5

No fewer than four occupants of a Mazda commercial bus that rammed into a herd of cattle on the Efon Alaaye-Esa Oke Road were, on Monday. Sources said seven of the about 1,000 cows, which were moving on the road, were killed in the crash. One of the sources, who said the accident occurred on a steep part of the road close to the border between Ekiti and Osun states, said the bus, which was on high speed, somersaulted and landed in the ditch due to the impact of the crash. The source said, “Human deaths could have been recorded but for the men of the Federal Road Safety Corps from Ita Ore in Efon Alaaye, Ekiti State, who quickly rose to the occasion. “The FRSC men took the four injured persons to hospital for treatment.” The Public Relations Officer, Ekiti State Command, FRSC, Mr Mohammed Olowo, confirmed the accident, but said only one passenger was injured.”

No Plan To Sack Super Eagles’ Coach, Says Pinnick – Guardian Back Page

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has revealed that it has not thought of sacking Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr contrary to reports that the Franco/German might be sent packing following the team’s 1-2 defeat by Algeria in the semifinal of the on-going African Cup of Nations. Shortly after the match, which took place at the Cairo International Stadium on Sunday night, news filtered out from the team’s camp that NFF had concluded plans to relieve Rohr of his appointment as head coach of the Super Eagles. But NFF President, Amaju Pinnick dismissed such claims yesterday, describing it as a baseless and mere wish of some individuals, who don’t want Nigerian football to progress. “We don’t have such plans to sack Rohr, Pinnick told The Guardian in a telephone chat yesterday. “Anybody saying so does not have the support of the NFF.” There were insinuations here that a decision to sack Rohr was reached immediately after the Super Eagles were eliminated by Algeria in the semifinal match on Sunday. The NFF was said to have expressed disappointment with Rohr’s substitutions, which many have claimed killed the rhythm of the team and rendered the Eagles ineffective after Villarreal FC striker, Samuel Chukwueze was removed for Henry Onyekuru.

Siasia’s Mother Kidnapped Again By Gunmen In Bayelsa – Thisday, Page 46

Former Super Eagles Head Coach, Samson Siasia is very disappointed that he is being put through the agony of his mother in the captivity of kidnappers for the second. Gunmen in the early hours of Monday abducted the mother of the former Nigerian footballer and coach, Mrs Beauty Ogere Siasia, 80, from her home in Sagbama in Bayelsa State. She had earlier been kidnapped in 2015 and held for 13 days before a ransom was exchange for her safe passage back home. Siasia was in The Gambia preparing Nigeria’s Under-23 team for the African Under-23 Championship in Senegal. Thereafter, he led Dream Team to the men’s football event of Rio 2016 Olympics. He returned to Nigeria with the only bronze medal Nigeria won at the Olympiad in Brazil. Speaking with THISDAY yesterday, Siasia said he wonders why the focus is on his mother. “I am not a government official and do not even earn salary right now. I feel very sad being put through this trauma right now. “Please those who have kidnapped my mother now should spare her and allow her return home safe and sound,” observed the former Super Eagles head coach who is now pre-occupied with grooming his Sia-One Academy to represent Nigeria at the Dana Cup in Denmark later this month.

Senate President, Pinnick, Others Encourage Eagles To Go For Bronze – Thisday, Page 46

Head of the Federal Government delegation to the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan who also doubles as the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic has given the Super Eagles a pat on the back for their outing against Algeria on Sunday, while charging them to go all out against Tunisia on Wednesday to win the bronze medals. The Senate President was at the Eagles’ dressing room at the Cairo International Stadium after the 2-1 defeat by the Desert Foxes of Algeria, which sent the North Africans into Friday’s final and Nigeria into Wednesday’s third place game. “The Government of Nigeria is proud of you and how far you have been able to go in this competition. You worked very hard and showed the desire to win, but this is football and these things happen. “The third place match is there and you have to forget the result of this match and prepare very well to win the bronze medals.” The Senate President’s delegation also included the President of Nigeria Olympic Committee and Nigeria’s Member of the International Olympic Committee, Habu Ahmed Gumel; a former Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung; Senators Sani Musa, Bello Mandiya and Gabriel Suswam; Umar Saidu Gajo and; Ocheme Okopi. Similarly, President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, alongside his 2nd Vice President, Shehu Dikko and General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi were on Monday at the Le Meridien Cairo Airport hotel camp of the Super Eagles to ginger the players ahead of Wednesday’s third place match against Tunisia.

Abaribote, Other Abuja Zone Champions Vow To Excel At National Final – Guardian, Page 61

Winner of the Abuja leg of this year’s African Freestyle Football Championship, Austin Abaribote has pledged to train harder and rehearse his tricks properly ahead of the final of the event billed for Lagos on September 14 and 16. Abaribote, who expressed happiness for winning the Abuja leg of the event, thanked the chairman of Feet and Tricks International Limited, Valentine Ozigbo for them the opportunity to showcase their talents. “I am going into full training sessions with my coach in preparation for the grand final in Lagos. This is not the first time I will get to this stage. I was once the second-best at a national event and I will ensure I come out a winner this time around in Lagos,” Abaribote said. The dark-skinned player defeated Jubril Abdulrazak with a unanimous decision from the three judges that included Nigeria Soccer Ambassador, John Fashanu. He received a cash award of N100,000 for his effort while Abdulrazak smiled home with a cash prize of N75,000. The third-placed winner Henry Osaze pocketed the sum of N50, 000 for his efforts.

ICPC Begins Investigation Into Missing IAAF $135,000 – Punch, Page 47

The Independent Corrupt Practices Commission has begun investigation into the missing $135,000 IAAF fund mistakenly paid into the account of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria. Spokesperson of the ICPC, Rasheedat Okoduwa, confirmed this to our correspondent on the telephone on Monday. While assuring that the anti-corruption agency would do a thorough job, Okoduwa said, “I can confirm to you that investigation has begun on the missing $135,000 IAAF fund.” She, however, failed to give further details on the investigation. While the world athletics body IAAF was supposed to pay the AFN $15,000, it mistakenly paid $150,000 as grant and had asked for a refund when the whereabouts of the excess could not be easily traced. The missing $135, 000, which has continued to raise controversy among stakeholders of the AFN, was later claimed to have been used to purchase kits for athletes and settle part of the payment of athletes’ allowances for Asaba Championship.

I Wish There Can be a Replay of Algerian Free Kick, Says Akpeyi – thisday, page 46

Super Eagles goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi, has said that he wished for a replay of the free kick by Algerian Riyad Mahrez which halted Nigeria’s dream of a fourth Africa Cup of Nations title in Egypt on Sunday. Speaking with Nigerian journalists covering the tournament in Egypt shortly after the 1-2 loss to Algeria, the Kaizer Chief goalkeeper said now he knows what to in similar situation in future. “I wish there can be a replay but it’s over now and we have to look up to the third-place game,” he noted without any regret. Akpeyi defended his teammates from criticism. The Super Eagles looked to be in with a great chance of beating Djamel Belmadi’s men to reach the competition’s final after dismissing South Africa in the quarter-final. However, a Mahrez last-minute free-kick sent Gernot Rohr’s men crashing after Odion Ighalo had erased Willam Troost-Ekong’s own goal. Rohr’s team faced the wrath of fans for offering precious little in Cairo, but Akpeyi believes otherwise. “It’s very tough and very sad that we have to lose in that manner, to have conceded through that kind of free-kick,” Akpeyi stressed. “So far, it doesn’t matter whatever anyone would say about the team. These players have actually tried.

Zenith Bank Commends Eagles, Urges Team To Go For Bronze – Guardian, Page 62

One of the major sponsors of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Zenith Bank has hailed the performance of the Super Eagles at the on-going Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, despite the failure of the country to qualify for the final of the competition. Nigeria lost their semifinal clash against Algeria 0-1 and will now play in the third-place game. Despite coming from a goal down in the game against Algeria, the Eagles succumbed to a last-minute freekick by Riyad Mahrez to lose 2-1 to the Dessert Foxes. Zenith Bank had urged the team to go for the win before the game but said the players showed a lot of resilience in the match by coming from a goal down to get the equaliser and almost taking the game to extra time. Speaking on the competition, the Group Managing Director of the bank, Ebenezer Onyeagwu commended the fighting spirit of the Eagles, adding that they have displayed the quality of champions, despite the defeat. “Although we wanted them to come back with the trophy, getting to the last four is a good achievement for the team,” he said. “With host country, Egypt, defending champions, Cameroun and some other top teams failing to get to the last four, I will say they have made Nigeria proud.”

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