June 30, 2022

[GIST] I Have Nothing Personal Against Peter Obi, Candidates Critique Their Opponents All Over The World— Sowore, AAC Presidential Candidate

[GIST] I Have Nothing Personal Against Peter Obi, Candidates Critique Their Opponents All Over The World— Sowore, AAC Presidential Candidate

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Human rights activist and presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) has debunked claims on social media that he holds a grudge against Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party.
 
Sowore, some weeks ago, called on the former Anambra Governor to join the AAC in order to enjoy victory in the election.

Sowore, during the Democracy Day live broadcast, said Obi could not clinch the number one position if he remained under the Labour Party which had no structure.
 
According to Sowore, during the 2019 presidential election, the AAC secured 33,000 votes while the Labour Party had just 5,000 votes.
 
The activist further queried Obi if when he was governor of Anambra State, he built standard hospitals and schools. He also asked if Obi ensured the construction of quality roads in the state.
 
But some of Obi’s supporters took Sowore’s critique of the former Anambra governor's social media hype to mean he had a personal grudge against the Labour Party presidential candidate.
 
In a recent interview with Atlantic TV's Spotlight programme, Sowore said he had nothing personal against Obi as it is expected of him to constructively criticise opponents.
 
Sowore expressed surprise over the allegation, noting that he has been at the forefront of speaking on issues that affect him directly and otherwise.
 
He also stated that there had been instances where candidates were presented as credible and unquestionable in Nigeria, which is playing out again, hence his reason for speaking out.
 
“That is completely incorrect. In election seasons, you sell your manifestos, you sell your ideas, you sell your personality and you also critique your opponents; that's how it is done the world over,” Sowore said.

He noted that if he wins the presidential election, “I will preside over those who agree with me and those who disagree and those who might criticise me”.
 
“I find it a bit awkward, that people who know who I am; I've criticised military and civilian leaders, I have criticised people in the public sector and private sector, would think that I will keep quiet over any issue.

“I talk about issues that affect me I talk about issues that don't affect me. It's within my rights but most importantly we're talking about Nigeria here and we have had experiences in the past where candidates are packaged and made to look like people who should not be questioned and this time around you see that happening, you have a duty to raise your voice.

“I have spent my entire life promoting freedom of speech. But coming to the youth, I don't know where the poll or polling was done to say that anybody has the support of the youth because there are 18 political candidates and all of them have their supporters.
 
“In fact, if you want to talk about who has more support, you want to talk about the big parties APC and PDP because when you see their rallies on TV, you see youths there, plenty of them but I understand that we're at a stage where people are also learning. They're learning and getting used to how politics is conducted.”

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[GIST] I Have Nothing Personal Against Peter Obi, Candidates Critique Their Opponents All Over The World— Sowore, AAC Presidential Candidate

[GIST] I Have Nothing Personal Against Peter Obi, Candidates Critique Their Opponents All Over The World— Sowore, AAC Presidential Candidate

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Human rights activist and presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) has debunked claims on social media that he holds a grudge against Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party. 

Sowore, some weeks ago, called on the former Anambra Governor to join the AAC in order to enjoy victory in the election.

Sowore, during the Democracy Day live broadcast, said Obi could not clinch the number one position if he remained under the Labour Party which had no structure.

According to Sowore, during the 2019 presidential election, the AAC secured 33,000 votes while the Labour Party had just 5,000 votes.

The activist further queried Obi if when he was governor of Anambra State, he built standard hospitals and schools. He also asked if Obi ensured the construction of quality roads in the state.

But some of Obi’s supporters took Sowore’s critique of the former Anambra governor's social media hype to mean he had a personal grudge against the Labour Party presidential candidate.In a recent interview with Atlantic TV's Spotlight programme, Sowore said he had nothing personal against Obi as it is expected of him to constructively criticise opponents. 

Sowore expressed surprise over the allegation, noting that he has been at the forefront of speaking on issues that affect him directly and otherwise. 

He also stated that there had been instances where candidates were presented as credible and unquestionable in Nigeria, which is playing out again, hence his reason for speaking out.

“That is completely incorrect. In election seasons, you sell your manifestos, you sell your ideas, you sell your personality and you also critique your opponents; that's how it is done the world over,” Sowore said.

He noted that if he wins the presidential election, “I will preside over those who agree with me and those who disagree and those who might criticise me”.

“I find it a bit awkward, that people who know who I am; I've criticised military and civilian leaders, I have criticised people in the public sector and private sector, would think that I will keep quiet over any issue.

“I talk about issues that affect me I talk about issues that don't affect me. It's within my rights but most importantly we're talking about Nigeria here and we have had experiences in the past where candidates are packaged and made to look like people who should not be questioned and this time around you see that happening, you have a duty to raise your voice. 

“I have spent my entire life promoting freedom of speech. But coming to the youth, I don't know where the poll or polling was done to say that anybody has the support of the youth because there are 18 political candidates and all of them have their supporters.
“In fact, if you want to talk about who has more support, you want to talk about the big parties APC and PDP because when you see their rallies on TV, you see youths there, plenty of them but I understand that we're at a stage where people are also learning. They're learning and getting used to how politics is conducted.”

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[GIST] UK Parliamentary Committee To Investigate Prime Minister Johnson

[GIST] UK Parliamentary Committee To Investigate Prime Minister Johnson

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A UK parliamentary committee has set out the details of how it will investigate whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson misled parliament over COVID-19 lockdown breaking events at his Downing Street offices and residence.

The Privileges Committee is said to look into whether Johnson, who earlier this month just survived a confidence vote brought by his Conservative lawmakers, misled parliament with his various comments on so-called partygate.

Boris Johnson

According to Reuters, if the committee finds he knowingly did mislead parliament, convention dictates he should offer his resignation.

"Following its first meeting to consider the matter referred to it, the Committee is calling for evidence submissions and accounts from those with knowledge of events related to the inquiry," a House of Commons statement said.

Veteran opposition Labour Party lawmaker Harriet Harman would chair the committee during its inquiry. Those who wish to submit evidence would have until July 29 to do so, the committee said.

The oral evidence sessions would begin in the autumn, and it would also be willing to take oral or written evidence from people who wish to remain anonymous, the committee said.

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[GIST] After Realising Akpabio Forged Primaries Result, APC Chairman, Adamu Pulls Out Of Suit To Compel Electoral Body, INEC To Publish Akwa Ibom Ex-Governor's Name As Senatorial Candidate

[GIST] After Realising Akpabio Forged Primaries Result, APC Chairman, Adamu Pulls Out Of Suit To Compel Electoral Body, INEC To Publish Akwa Ibom Ex-Governor's Name As Senatorial Candidate

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The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adamu Abdullahi has withdrawn from a suit filed against the Independent National Electoral Commission over the exclusion of former Senate Minority leader, Godswill Akpabio as the party’s candidate in Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District.
 
SaharaReporters learnt that Akpabio had filed a case at a Federal High Court, Abuja, against INEC for excluding his name from the list of candidates for the 2023 general elections.

Adamu who was said to be a party in the case withdrew on Monday after he realised documents allegedly presented by the former Minister were forged.
 
"Trouble started when words got to Senator Adamu Abdullahi that the documents filed in court were forged and that the Chairman was in for an embarrassment of monumental proportion that will expose both the National Chairman and the party to ridicule.
 
"The moment the APC National Chairman was drawn to the fact that Akpabio has once more approached the court with forged documents in his so-called Enforcement Suit, the party had to withdraw from the suit file on Friday last week.
“I can tell you authoritatively that Akpabio is on his own with the suit. He has caused more than enough damage to the APC in Akwa Ibom State and we can't aid him to wreak more havoc than he has already done,” a source in the party alleged.
 
Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in Akwa Ibom State, Mr Mike Igini earlier said the commission would not recognise Akpabio as the party’s candidate for the senatorial district.
 
Speaking on "The Morning Show", an Arise TV news and current affairs breakfast programme on Monday, Igini said it is the height of irresponsibility for the former Minister to fraudulently claim he emerged through a rerun election “conducted by himself for himself in which he won.”
 
According to him, it is shameful that Akpabio can parade himself as a Senatorial candidate in an election that was successfully conducted and concluded on May 27, 2022, where one Udom Ekpoudom emerged.
Igini accused the former Senate Minority Leader of taking his impunity a step further by tagging his illegality a rerun.
 
"Look, we are election managers, we know the meaning of rerun. A rerun election presupposes a previous election. And in a rerun election, the Supreme Court is very clear, it can only take place among those who were a part of the first exercise and Akpabio was never part of the exercise but at all material time a presidential aspirant,” he stated
 
He also clarified that in spite of Akpabio's boasting that he has INEC in Abuja in his pockets and can therefore unilaterally substitute candidates as he pleases, the commission recognises only candidates who emerged from primaries it monitored.
 
On the crisis engulfing the state chapter of the APC which has resulted in the emergence of two factions, Igini said that based on the outcome of the APC State Congress held on October 16, 2021, INEC recognises Austin Ekanem as the authentic Chairman of the party who won with 1,278 votes while the candidate backed by the former Minister scored 006.
 
He alleged that Akpabio forged the original result and altered the result so that the candidate who scored 006 later scored 1,006 while that of Ekanem was falsified to read 278 instead of 1,278, and with the forged document, the criminality was taken to court where they fraudulently got a judgement that Ntukekpo won the election.
 
The INEC boss noted that though the process of conducting the primary or congress of political parties is the exclusive right of the parties, its duty is only to monitor and write a report, but that the report of the commission has consequences if due process was not followed.
 
"Our report can be very decisive. It cannot be ignored," he warned.
 
The INEC REC noted with dismay that despite that a Court of Appeal ordered a stay of execution, the APC National Chairman went ahead to swear in Ntukekpo as State Chairman in flagrant disregard of the court order.
 
He declared that as far as INEC is concerned, the APC did not conduct any governorship primary in Akwa Ibom and to date, neither Akpabio nor his faction has been able to name the Abuja INEC officials who monitored the illegal midnight primary that allegedly produced Akan Okon as Akwa Ibom APC candidate.

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[GIST] BREAKING: R&B Star, R Kelly Sentenced To 30 years For Sexual Abuse, Sex Trafficking Charges

[GIST] BREAKING: R&B Star, R Kelly Sentenced To 30 years For Sexual Abuse, Sex Trafficking Charges

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American R&B star, R Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for sexually abusing women, girls and boys, more than 20 years after first facing allegations.
 
Kelly’s conviction on Wednesday has been seen as a victory for survivors of sexual violence, particularly those who may hesitate to speak out against abusers, for fear of retribution, The Guardian reports.

Last September, a jury in New York City found Kelly guilty of sex trafficking and racketeering, on all nine counts against him.
 
On Wednesday, US district judge Ann Donnelly imposed the sentence at the federal court in Brooklyn after hearing from several survivors who attested to how Kelly’s exploitation reverberated across their lives.
 
At the trial, victims had described how Kelly, real name Robert Sylvester Kelly, subjected them to perverse and sadistic whims when they were underage.
Several victims said he would demand that they strictly obey rules such as needing his permission to eat or go to the bathroom and writing “apology letters” that purported to absolve him of wrongdoing.
 
Ahead of sentencing on Wednesday, some of the victims made statements, including “Angela”, who said, “with every addition of a new victim you grew in wickedness”. On this day of sentencing “we reclaim our names”, she said. “We are no longer the preyed-upon individuals we once were.”
 
In her victim statement, Lizette Martinez said: “Robert, you destroyed so many people’s lives.”
 
Another, unnamed victim who directly addressed Kelly as he kept his hands folded and his eyes downcast, said: “You made me do things that broke my spirit. I literally wished I would die because of how low you made me feel. Do you remember that?”

Kelly, however, did not address the court.

Kelly’s case attracted attention in light of the #MeToo movement, during which powerful men have been held to account for sexual misconduct and sexual assault. Kelly follows Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and other prominent abusers in being sentenced to time behind bars, although Cosby was acquitted on appeal.
 
The singer, whose hits include ‘Ignition’ and ‘I Believe I Can Fly’, was represented by Jennifer Bonjean, a lawyer who represented Cosby.
 
Kelly’s sentencing came years after sexual misconduct allegations were first made against him. Accusers included his former wife, Andrea Kelly, who said she feared Kelly might kill her.
 
He was charged with 21 counts of making child sexual abuse videos involving various sexual acts in June 2002 but was acquitted on all counts following a trial in 2008.
 
In 2017, an article in Buzzfeed brought fresh allegations that Kelly had trapped six women in a sex “cult” having taken advantage of them after they approached him for help with their musical careers.
 
Then in January 2019, a six-part documentary titled Surviving R Kelly, detailing the allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct against the singer aired on US TV network Lifetime. In the film, accusers wondered if their stories were previously ignored because they were Black women.
 
Asked about some allegations during a CBS interview in 2019, Kelly memorably shouted at his interviewer, Gayle King, and denied any wrongdoing.
He was later arrested in July 2019 and charged with sex trafficking offences including child abuse images and obstruction of justice.
 
A sentencing memorandum filed by the federal prosecutors in the eastern district of New York, said, in part: “With the aid of his inner circle and over a period of decades, the defendant preyed upon children and young women for his own sexual gratification.
 
“In order to carry out his many crimes, the defendant relied upon his fame, money and popularity as an R&B recording star and used the large network of people his status afforded him – including his business managers, security guards and bouncers, runners, lawyers, accountants, and assistants – to both carry out and conceal his crimes.”
 
While prosecutors sought a minimum 25-year term, Kelly’s defence pushed for a sentence of 10 years or less. They argued in court papers he should get a break in part because he “experienced a traumatic childhood involving severe, prolonged childhood sexual abuse, poverty, and violence”.
 
The singer has been detained at the Metropolitan detention centre in Brooklyn since the verdict last September.
 
Kelly faces further legal trouble. In federal court in Chicago, he is charged with enticement of a minor, possession of child abuse images and obstruction of justice. That trial is set to be held in August.

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[GIST] Nigerian Army Set To Recall Retired Soldiers To Fight Terrorists, Bandits

[GIST] Nigerian Army Set To Recall Retired Soldiers To Fight Terrorists, Bandits

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The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya has disclosed that the Nigerian Army will engage the services of its retired personnel in tackling insecurity in the country,
Daily Trust reports that The General said this on Tuesday night at a “Regimented Dinner” organised for the 2021 set of retired officers from its 3 Division, Rukuba, near Jos.
The COAS, who was represented by Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim Ali, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the division and Commander, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), appreciated the retired personnel for their service to the nation's security.

File photo used to illustrate story.

He asserted that the expertise of the retired personnel would always be needed in supporting the Nigerian army in its bid to fight insecurity in the country
"There are ongoing efforts to engage the services of the retired professionals with the wealth of experiences gathered over the years.
"These experiences are necessary toward tackling all forms of insecurity in our nation,” he said.
He further added that the dinner was organised to appreciate the retired personnel and their spouses for their meritorious service to the nation.
The COAS urged the personnel still serving to put in their best in securing the territorial integrity of the nation and promised to make their welfare top of his priorities.
About 329 top personnel retired from the Nigerian Military earlier this year.
In May, SaharaReporters reported that The Nigerian Army was planning to re-engage the services of some qualified disengaged personnel to fight insecurity as the country battles banditry, terrorists and separatist agitation that are threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya, disclosed this in Enugu State during a valedictory buffet organised in honour of 2021 disengaged soldiers within the 82 Division Area of Responsibility.
Yahaya, however, appealed to the newly disengaged soldiers to fulfil their commitment to defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria as espoused in their oath of allegiance
Represented at the occasion by General Officer Commanding (GOC) 82 Division Nigerian Army, Maj Gen Taoreed Lagbaja, the army chief, said his administration was committed to enhancing the welfare of discharged personnel within the power of his office.
He assured them of the availability of army health facilities and other welfare institutions across the nation to support both serving and ex-personnel.

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June 29, 2022

[GIST] EXCLUSIVE: Forgotten Heroes: How Nigerian Football Club, Kwara United Turned Ex-Players, Staff To Beggars Amid Neglect, Unpaid Entitlements, Ruined Careers

[GIST] EXCLUSIVE: Forgotten Heroes: How Nigerian Football Club, Kwara United Turned Ex-Players, Staff To Beggars Amid Neglect, Unpaid Entitlements, Ruined Careers

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When Abubakar Yusuf, popularly known as Sylas, signed for Kwara United Football Club from Abubakar Bukola Saraki FC in the 2013/2014 season, he dreamt of a more prosperous life where he could meet the needs of his family as a young player. 

SaharaReporters gathered that the club agreed to pay him N250,000 monthly as salary and N2 million as his annual signing-on fee, a contract which lasted for a period of four football sessions. 

Francis' career as Kwara United Player

The player had it all planned like many others; make some money, make a good name that would attract better offers from clubs abroad. But, despite using his sweat to serve Kwara United for four years, Abubakar has yet to live the life of his dream. 

"For the past four years that Kwara United has terminated my contract, I have had my career stuck. All my efforts to play for another club were not successful. 

"It is like my football career has ended," Abubakar said, in a voice laden with grief and hopelessness. 

Abubakar Yusuf while playing for Kwara United   Abubakar Yusuf while playing for Kwara United

He continued: "To take care of my family is now something very difficult. Even if I cannot continue my career as a footballer, Kwara United should pay me my entitlements. The money they owe me is enough (if paid) to start a new life."

Abubakar was right. Kwara United still owes him over N4 million from his signing-on fees during his stay at the club. 

A signing-on fee is a payment the player gets for signing for a club. This may vary from league to league. The idea is that if the player is at the club for the time set out in his contract, he will receive a set amount.

Francis Onyegbula is another player whose football career was ruined by Kwara United. He was signed from Dakkada FC in the 2015/16 football season as a central defender. 

In his contract details, the club agreed to pay him N2.5 million as his signing-on fee and N1,000,000 clearance fee for every year. 

Francis was a regular player with the team. He had an average performance of 80 percent throughout his 3 years' stay at the club. 


"I played three seasons with the team before they terminated my contract in June 2018 due to an injury I sustained while playing for the club," Francis told SaharaReporters. 

When Francis got injured while playing against MFM FC

 

It was gathered that Francis with jersey number 31 sustained an injury against MFM FC on 19  January 2018 at Agege Stadium, Lagos. While still nursing this injury, the team injected him to play against Kano Pillars because the club considered him as an important player who must feature in the match. 

"My wound was still there but they called one man to give me an injection because the team needed the match against Kano Pillars so badly. 

Francis' career as Kwara United Player

"It was during that match with Pillars in April 2018 that I got another injury on the same wound. That was how a promising career ended."

Due to the injury, Kwara United subsequently dropped Francis from their squad and despite his pathetic condition, the team neither released his entitlements nor bothered about how to nurse his injury and get him back on the field again. 

Hence, on Friday, June 10, 2022, Francis held Kwara United players and staff members hostage in Aba when the team went to honour NPFL 2022 matchday 33 against Enyimba. He prevented the team from going out of their hotel for a training session ahead of their Saturday clash. 

"The team owed me N5 million signing-on fee, N3 million as my clearance fee. I have also spent N2.5 million to take care of the injury whereas the club must take care of my injury because I sustained it while playing for them. 

"They killed my career and left me here suffering. I could not secure a contract with another club again due to this injury. I have been nursing it since 2018,"  he said. 

 

'Kwara United Turned Us To Beggars'

Abubakar and Francis are not alone in this hopeless situation. The pain of being hard up was evident in the voice of Hakeem Onigbari. Onigbari was the team captain during his stay with the club. He was dropped from the team at the end of 2018/2019 after spending more than four years with the club. 

It was gathered that the club agreed to pay him N70,000 monthly salary and N3,000,000 annual signing-on fee. 

"The club did pay our salaries but they still owe us our signing-on fees. I was only paid 70 percent of the agreed sum at my first session with the team and since then, the club has not shown serious commitment to pay me my entitlements. They still owe me over N6,000,000. 

"The club has turned most of us to beggars. As a family man, it is very hard to take care of people depending on me. 

"We have appealed to all those concerned, and written to the government and the League Management Company about our plight but nobody really cares about us. 

"We have staged many protests and we won't stop until we get our money," he declared. 

The story is just like that of David Ayeni.  He was signed from Sokoto United and played for two and a half seasons. He was entitled to N7,500,000 signing-off fee for his service at the club but the club still owes him over N5,000,000.

"Due to nonpayment of this money, life has been difficult. This is the money I worked for," he said. 

 

Even The Dead Are Not Spared 

SaharaReporters gathered that Kwara United Football Club does not only owe their ex-players who are alive, those who died while playing for the club were also being denied their entitlements.

The remains of Abdulazeez Saka after he died

 

The most notable one was Abdulazeez Saka who slumped and died on Friday, May 26, 2017 during the club's training session. 

It was reported that Saka slumped, unchallenged during their training session on a Friday morning and attempts to revive him were not unsuccessful.

But five years after his death, the club has yet to release his signing-on fee for the 2016/17  season he signed with the club to his family, a source close to his family confirmed to SaharaReporters. 

Abdulazeez Saka

 

Ismaila Shagari is also being owed his entitlements by Kwara United even in death. 

The former Team Manager, Agboola Basambo and ex-Chief Security Officer of the club, Mr Buki are dead but their ghosts are probably restless, thinking of when their entitlements would be paid by the club they dedicated years of service to. Their relatives are still hoping the team would release their signing-on fees one day. 

Agboola Basambo

 

'I Became Bankrupt Because Of Kwara United Contract' 

Mr Majin Mohammed was an assistant coach with Kwara United for a period of 2 years (2015-2017). The club promised to pay N5,000,000 for every season he spent with them. 

Majin Mohammed

 

"Due to this promise, I approached a bank to get a loan with the belief that I would get paid as and when due.

"I was only paid N2,250,000 during my first season. And the club failed to pay the balance.

"I became bankrupt due to this contract. I was forced to sell my belongings to repay the loan," Mr Muhammad told SaharaReporters. 

Another former employee of Kwara United who narrated his ordeal to SaharaReoorters is Coach John Obuh. Obuh was appointed as manager of the club on January 16, 2016 and left his position in March 2018 by mutual consent.

Despite Obuh' achievements with Kwara United FC, he is being owed outstanding signing-on fees estimated at N23,250,000 (Twenty-Three Million, Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira), January 2018 outstanding salary of N500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira), match bonuses estimated at N280,000 (Two Hundred and Eighty Thousand Naira), and feeding allowances estimated at about N125,000,000 (One Hundred and Twenty Five Thousand Naira), bringing the total outstanding sum to N24,155,000 (Twenty-Four Million, One Hundred and Fifty - Five Thousand Naira).

However, according to a document obtained by SaharaReporters in which the club responded to a letter of complaint filed by the LMC to demand the payment of Obuh's entitlements, the club claimed that N13,450,000.00 was Obuh's entitlements with the club. 

"Despite miraculously changing the terms of the contract, they still failed to clear my debt, they only gave me N3,000,000.00," he said. 

 

Impunity 

According to the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) NPFL Framework And Rules: 

9.45 The terms of a contract between a Club and a Player shall be strictly adhered to and where a club fails to pay remuneration or entitlements due to players for more than sixty (60) days, such Club shall be liable to a deduction of a maximum of six (6) points and a further deduction of three (3) points for every further thirty (30) days for which the remuneration or entitlement remains unpaid.

Despite the incessant breach of this provision by Kwara United, no action was taken by the League Management Company (LMC) against the club. 

According to an official of the LMC, who spoke to SaharaReporters on condition of anonymity, the club kept promising to clear the debt anytime they were queried by the LMC. 

"But anytime they came to register for a new season, they would still be allowed to register without showing LMC a clear proof that would tell if they have actually fulfilled their promise. 

"The problem is those at the top, once you can buy your way, the law is just there as a formality," the source told SaharaReporters. 

 

Document Shows Kwara United Owes Ex-Players, Staff N250 Million 

According to a letter written by the Club Secretary, Olowo S. Hamidu, to the State Governor, through; the Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Sports and Youths Development, and obtained by SaharaReporters, the debt owed by the club (as at October 24, 2019) was Two Hundred and Fifty Million, Four Hundred and Thirty-Five Thousand, Nine Hundred and Twenty Five Naira (N250,435,925.00).

The letter read in part: "Your Excellency may wish to be informed that the immediate past Administration in agreement with the National Association of Professional Footballers (NANPF) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) approved the sum of Two Hundred and Seventy-Eight Million, Seven Hundred and Forty-Six Thousand, Five Hundred Naira (N278,746,500.00) only as Sign-On Fees for 2013/2014 30% Balance, 2014/2015 100% and 2015/2016 100% for Players and Officials. The said amount was to be released in ten (10) months instalment of Twenty-Seven Million, Eight Hundred and Seventy Four Thousand, Six Hundred and Fifty Naira (N27,874,650.00) monthly from March-December, 2017. 

"The past Administration has so far paid 55% of the money, totalling One Hundred and Fifty-Three Million, Three Hundred and Ten Thousand, Five Hundred and Seventy-Five Naira (N153,310,575.00) Naira only leaving the total sum balance of One Hundred and Twenty-Five Million, Four Hundred and Thirty-Five Thousand, Nine Hundred and Twenty-Five Naira (N125,435,925.00) only yet to be released. In addition, the sum of One Hundred and Twenty-Five Million Naira (N125,000,000.00) only was required to pay for 2016/2017 Season 100% Sign-on Fees." 

SaharaReporters independently discovered that the state government released a total sum of N20,000,000.00 to clear part of this debt early 2021. But about 95% of this debt has yet to be cleared by the club. 

 

Club Chairman Blames Past Administration 

When SaharaReporters contacted Kunbi Titiloye, the Chairman of Kwara United, to get his reaction to our findings, he said, "The club is owing some of its ex-players and officials and that was from the past administration." 

"I have tabled the matter to the government and they are currently looking into the matter. A budget will be reviewed to clear this debt," he assured. 

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[GIST] I’ve Lost My Primary School, Teachers’ College Certificates, Tinubu’s 'Placeholder', Masari Tells Electoral Commission, INEC

[GIST] I’ve Lost My Primary School, Teachers’ College Certificates, Tinubu’s 'Placeholder', Masari Tells Electoral Commission, INEC

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Mr Kabir Ibrahim Masari, the running mate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu has informed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that his school certificates are missing.

This comes amid the controversy surrounding the supposed loss of Tinubu’s credentials.

SaharaReporters had reported how the late legal luminary, Gani Fawehinmi sued Tinubu for lying under oath that he attended Government College, Ibadan and the University of Chicago.

It reported that Tinubu had made the claim of loss of certificates in his filings with INEC in 1999 and 2003 when he ran for governor of Lagos State.

Amidst this controversy, his running mate Mr Masari also filed a sworn affidavit for the loss of some original documents to the nation's electoral body.

Peoples Gazette reported that the affidavit the APC vice-presidential candidate submitted to INEC showed that he misplaced vital documents including the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) of one plot KT 17522 in Katsina state, his Grade II certificate from Katsina Teachers College and his primary school certificate. See Also Sahara Reporters FLASHBACK: How Late Gani Fawehinmi Sued Tinubu For Lying Under Oath He Attended Government College Ibadan, University Of Chicago

An affidavit sworn by Masari at the Supreme Court and submitted to INEC on July 17, 2022, read partly, “That sometimes (sic) in January 2021, while on transit within Wuse Area, FCT-Abuja, I discovered that my original Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) of Plot, No KT 17522, GRA Katsina, Katsina State; Certificate of Kaduna State Development Centre from 1994 – 1995; Grade II Certificate from Katsina Teachers’ College (KTC) from 1978 – 1983 and First Leaving School Certificate issued by Masari Primary, Katsina State, from 1972 – 1978, got lost.”

“That all efforts made to trace the documents proved abortive hence this affidavit,” the affidavit added.

The electoral law mandates candidates to submit their personal credentials that will be published for public scrutiny ahead of elections. See Also Sahara Reporters I Was Admitted Into Secondary School But Dropped Out Due To Poverty –Tinubu Once Admitted Not Attending Government College Ibadan

The APC had submitted Masari's name as Tinubu's running mate for the 2023 presidential election to meet the June 17 deadline given by INEC for its submission. Tinubu, however, later stated that he was still looking for a running mate, confirming reports that Masari's name was submitted as a placeholder, pending when the party would find a running mate for Tinubu. 

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[GIST] Commuters Stranded As Commercial Tricycle Riders Protest Extortion, Multiple Taxation In Adamawa

[GIST] Commuters Stranded As Commercial Tricycle Riders Protest Extortion, Multiple Taxation In Adamawa

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Commercial activities were disrupted in Yola, the capital city of Adamawa State, as commercial tricycle riders blocked major roads to protest against extortion and multiple taxation.

SaharaReporters learnt that the protesters who later turned violent disrupted traffic flow by burning used tyres on Mohammed Mustapha Way, connecting the Jimeta modern market and the popular Mubi roundabout in the heart of the metropolis.

Business owners and shop owners around the area hurriedly closed for the day and fled to safe places before the police arrived at the scene.

One of the leaders of the protesters, Mohammed Galadima, said, "We are protesting because of the charges we are being subjected to pay every day.”

"We pay N100 in the morning and by noon, they ask you to pay another N100. More worrisome is that if you ride into Yola South from Yola North, you pay another money even when you can hardly differentiate between the two local government areas," he added.

"Apart from these amounts, we also pay N6,500 every year to the state government through the Ministry of Transportation," another rider said.

They also accused the Jimeta Marshall, a traffic control agency in Yola North Local Government Area of extortion. "They'll charge you for nothing and collect money without issuing receipts," a tricycle rider said.

When contacted, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Asiyale Ananze, said, "The ministry introduced a digitalised registration of all tricycle owners and riders in the state to reduce security challenges involving commercial tricycles, popularly known as Keke Napep.

"We asked them to buy a form for N1,000 and another N3,000 which was paid to the Board of Internal Revenue. The N3,000 is an annual fee for all tricycles in the state, it is not true that we collected N6,500.

"Since we introduced the digitalised registration of tricycles, we have been able to trace and recover items stolen from commuters who were dispossessed of them.”

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[GIST] International Press Centre Condemns Detention, Harassment Of Wikki Times Journalists Over Report On Deceased APC Local Council Chairman

[GIST] International Press Centre Condemns Detention, Harassment Of Wikki Times Journalists Over Report On Deceased APC Local Council Chairman

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The International Press Centre (IPC) has condemned the detention, harassment and molestation of Haruna Mohammed, the publisher of WikkiTimes online newspaper and one of its reporters, Idris Kamal, by the Bauchi state police command.

The IPC on Tuesday condemned the action of the state police command in a statement signed by the Executive Director of IPC, Lanre Arogundade, and obtained by SaharaReporters.

Arogundade noted that the ordeal of the two journalists began on Monday, June 27, 2022, when they honoured an invitation from the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID) following a petition by one Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi, a member of the House of Representatives, representing Bauchi Federal Constituency.

He noted that the invitation concerns a Wikki Times report of May 18, 2022, on the sudden death of the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Bauchi Local Government Area of the state.

He said, "The journalists arrived at the station about 10:00 am on Monday but after making a statement, they were clamped into a cell where they alleged that they were physically assaulted.

“Despite the presence of their lawyer at the police station, they were not set free until about 10 hours later and asked to report back on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, for further interrogation. The two journalists again reported at the SCIID Bauchi on Tuesday as directed but were promptly taken before a Bauchi Magistrates Court where they were charged with criminal conspiracy, defamation of character and cyber stalking.

"The court ruled that they should be held in custody until tomorrow, Wednesday, June 29, 2022. IPC is worried about this trend of events and calls on the police command in Bauchi to avoid being used as tools of harassment against the journalists. Since the petitioner alleged defamation, the police should have in the first instance advised him to seek legal redress instead of illegally detaining the journalists for 10 hours on Monday, June 27, 2022, and subjecting them to physical and mental harassment in the process.”

"It now behoves the police authorities in the state to ensure the safety of Mohammed and Kamal. Journalists should not continue to be treated as endangered species in Nigeria. In all circumstances the security agencies must always strive to toe the path of the rule of law in handling complaints or petitions against journalists and other media professionals, just as they should normally do for all citizens," Arogundade added.

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