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Yoruba Nation Now, “Oduduwa Nation now, No going back-Lagos rally.

Despite the heavy presence of armed policemen and soldiers, the agitators numbering over 100 who besieged the surroundings of the park, chanted solidarity songs, waved ‘Oduduwa nation’ flags and banners.

Security operatives had very early in the day cordoned off parts of Lagos including Ikorodu, Ojota, Ajah, Abule Egba, Lekki, Agege, Ikeja, Maryland, Berger, Obalende, Yaba, Oshodi, Ogba and Lagos Island among other locations, leading to heavy traffic on major roads, but the agitators were undeterred.

Self-proclaimed activist and one of the vanguards of the Yoruba Nation agitation, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as ‘Sunday Igboho’ was not on hand to lead the protesters, but as time ticked by, the number of agitators who had been hanging around the Gani Fawehinmi Park in Ojota grew. They sang unity songs as they huddled together.

“No going back,” “We want Oodua Nation,” were among the songs chanted repeatedly, as the protesters asked the Federal Government to stop “persecuting” Sunday ‘Igboho.’ Some fliers displayed were captioned, ‘Leave Igboho alone,’ ‘Igboho is not the problem, arrest terrorists and bandits.’ The proponents, who also had banners, t-shirts, face caps and other promotional items bearing inscriptions demanding Southwest’s exit, said they were tired of Nigeria and urged authorities to approve the exit of the Yoruba.

It added: “An injury to one, is an injury to all and by similitude, an injury to our hero, is an injury to us all. Ibarapa Youths unite with Igboho to declare that we are now, more than ever before, resolutely committed to the worthy resolution of enthroning an era of self-redefinition, ethnic equality, justice and Fairplay by resisting all the enslavement agenda and ruthless acts of bigotry being openly enforced by the government of the day on those it figures as second and third-class citizens of this country.”

The agitators also expressed their displeasure over the activities of killer herders in southwest. They also displayed placards like “Yoruba Nation Now”, “Oduduwa Nation now, No going back”.

The Nation had previously reported there was tension at the surroundings of Gani Fawehinmi Park, Ojota when the Pro-Yoruba Nation agitators stormed the venue.

The police had earlier sealed off the park, before the 9:00a.m. scheduled starting time for the rally.

Following the tension that ensued at the Ojota venue of the Yoruba Nation rally, security operatives on Saturday afternoon restored normalcy to the area.

They also demanded an independent state for the southwest region.

The police action came shortly after the Lagos Commissioner of Police Hakeem Odumosu addressed journalists at the park saying the security operatives were there to ensure there was no “security breach” in the state.

He said the Yoruba nation letter about the protest received by the command was “open-ended.”

“We are not saying you should not protests, we want you to send a detailed letter to the police stating the number and identities of the protesters. Also, the location should be in the letter,” he said.

The Ilana Omo Oodua, IOO, on Saturday, slammed the Nigeria Police, Lagos Command, over the death of a yet-to-be identified Soft Drinks Seller at the venue of the Yoruba Nation’s Rally held at Ojota, in Lagos, insisting that it will not back down in its struggle.


The group, however, hailed thousands of the Yoruba people who defied the Police Intimidation and harrasment to show solidarity with the agitation for Self-Determination, saying “the struggle continues.”


The group is headed by a Renowned Historian and Second Republic Member of the Nigerian Senate, Emeritus Professor Banji Akintoye.

The crowd, led by some women and the General-Secretary and Legal Adviser of the Group, Messrs. George Akinola and Olasupo Ojo respectively, were dispersed by security agencies including the Nigerian Police, Army, DSS and Civil Defense Corps with teargas and live bullets despite being peaceful and orderly.


The IOO’s Media Communications Secretary, Mr. Maxwell Adeleye, in a statement said: “That the rally took place with thousands of participants despite Police Harrasment symbolises that the Yoruba People are not cowards.

We want to inform the whole world that a stray bullet fired by Officers of the Nigerian Police killed a yet-to-be identified Soft Drinks Seller at Ojota, the venue of the Yoruba Nation Rally held today Saturday July 3rd, 2021.

Aside from traders, youths, and women, traditionalists, dressed in white wrappers and costumes, also joined the protesters in the demand for a sovereign Yoruba state.

The Police, however, sprayed water cannon and fired teargas on the protesters to disperse them. This was as some of the protesters were arrested and kept in waiting for Black Maria till they were moved to the command headquarters.

MEANWHILE, a 14-year-old girl named Jumoke, who was recently employed as a salesgirl in a makeshift shop close to the rally venue, was allegedly killed by a stray bullet while preparing for the day. 

When The Guardian visited the scene, blood was still fresh at the scene and covers of yoghourt bottles littered the floor. 

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A man in his 50s, who does not want his name in print, said: “Jumoke was loading yoghourt inside the freezer before she was hit by the bullet on the rib. She started working here two weeks ago. Her body was moved away by the police when this place became crowded. 

We learnt that the police claimed she died two days ago, but see the blood on the floor still fresh. Jumoke was killed by the police.”

Some other residents claimed a stray bullet from some police officers chasing some protesters hit the girl.

The Lagos State Police Command has, however, debunked involvement in the killing of the girl.

A statement by the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Olumuyiwa Adejobi said the Command did not fire a live bullets at the Ojota rally and that the corpse of the girl was found wrapped and abandoned at a distance, far from Ojota venue of the rally, behind MRS Filling Station, inward Maryland with dried blood stains suggesting that the corpse is not fresh.

After a close look at the corpse, a wound suspected sustained from a sharp object was seen on it. The Command hereby wishes to debunk the rumour and state categorically that it is a calculated attempt to create confusion and fears in the minds of good people of Lagos State and the country at large.”

He added that the news was false and mischievous, urging the public to disregard the news and go about daily activities while investigation to unravel the incident will commence immediately.

He said that the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, therefore commiserates with the family of the deceased and assured that a thorough investigation will be carried out.

REACTING to a police show of force, Ilana Omo Oodua (IOO), a group headed by renowned Historian and senator in the Second Republic, Emeritus Professor Banji Akintoye said it salutes Yoruba women who led the rally from the front, adding that, “the struggle continues.”

The group’s Media Communications Secretary, Maxwell Adeleye, said given that the rally took place with thousands of participants despite police harassment symbolises that the Yoruba People are not cowards.

“IOO salutes to the women who led the rally from the front and appreciates the gentlemen of the media who trooped out to cover the rally despite all inconveniences. We have held our rally, notwithstanding the attempts to ensure we do not come to Lagos. That the people came out in thousands is an indication that the Yoruba People are not cowards.

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Comedienne helen Paul opens up on divorce, scandals and losing her pregnancy.

Helen Paul, who is now a lecturer in the United States of America has said that divorce and other scandals were part of what a particular celebrity management personnel asked her to entangle herself into, to be able to get followers on Instagram.

The happily married mother of three said this in a recent Instagram live session.

Read her words below

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“I once told someone that I really loved his work and that I would like to work with him. I had seen him manage two female artistes successfully.

However, his response was, “Helen, if I am going to work with you, you may not like my pattern. We may have to create one or two scandals for you so that the crowd can ‘follow’ you’. I then asked him what type of scandals he meant. He told me to check up on people that had about 10 million followers (on social media). He also stated that the scandal could be a divorce or any other controversial issue. He said that when I did that, I would get (more) followers. Healso stated that after some time, I should begin doing charitable acts that would cover up any unpleasant thing I had done. He felt that the most important thing was to have many followers. There is a lot of manipulation out there and some times, one cold be tempted to consider doing those things. Sometimes, I am tempted to post (on social media) some of the materials possessions I have acquired. But, I am blessed to have people that call me to order. So, I am not able to show off, and that could be painful too.”

The actress also revealed that she once lost a two-month pregnancy while on a motorcycle. She said, “I am comfortable working with guys, I have a problem working with ladies. I had more than five commercial motorcycle riders on standby. In case there was traffic, they would pick me up from any location. One day, I was going for a show and I was two months pregnant. I was with a friend named Frank and it was on that bike I lost my pregnancy. I told Frank that something was wrong with my stomach and that I was stained with blood. He checked my clothes and said I was stained with the blood of my menstrual cycle. I told him then that I had lost my pregnancy. At my instruction, I was taken to a hospital in Ikeja, Lagos State. The hospital cleaned me up but sadly, I could not attend the show I was rushing to.”

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US spinster Sha’Carri Richardson Suspended for one month after positive test for marijuana.

US track and field star Sha’Carri Richardson has been suspended for one month from the Olympic team after testing positive for THC, a chemical found in marijuana, the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced on Friday

“The rules are clear, but this is heartbreaking on many levels; hopefully, her acceptance of responsibility and apology will be an important example to us all that we can successfully overcome our regrettable decisions, despite the costly consequences of this one to her,” said USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart in a press release.

Richardson had booked her spot at the Tokyo Olympics with a runaway victory in the women’s 100m at the US Olympic track and field trials in Eugene, Oregon last month. Due to the positive test, her Olympic trials results were automatically disqualified and she will not be allowed to participate in her signature 100m race at the Tokyo Olympics later this month.

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Travis T. Tygart Statement reads:

“Richardson’s competitive results obtained on June 19, 2021, including her Olympic qualifying results at the Team Trials, have been disqualified, and she forfeits any medals, points, and prizes. Beyond the one-month sanction, athlete eligibility for the Tokyo Games is determined by the USOPC and/or USA Track & Field eligibility rules.”

“Sha’Carri Richardson’s situation is incredibly unfortunate and devastating for everyone involved,” USA Track and Field said in a statement. “Athlete health and well-being continue to be one of USATF’s most critical priorities and we will work with Sha’Carri to ensure she has ample resources to overcome any mental health challenges now and in the future.” 

It’s unclear whether Richardson will miss the Games altogether. She may still be eligible to compete in another event besides the 100m, such as the 4x100m relay.

Richardson appeared on NBC’s TODAY show on Friday morning and said: “I just want to take responsibility for my actions, I know what I did, I know what I’m supposed to do, I’m allowed not to do and I still made that decision. I’m not making an excuse or looking for any empathy in my case.”

Richardson cited finding out from a reporter that her biological mother had passed away as part of the reason she consumed marijuana, saying: “I was just thinking it would be a normal interview and then on the interview to hear that information come from a complete stranger, it was definitely triggering, it was nerve shocking because it’s like who are you to tell me that?

“From there just blinded by emotions, blinded by bad news, blinded by just hiding hurt, honestly for the fact that I can’t hide myself, so at least in some type of way, I was trying to hide my pain.”

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the USADA label cannabis as a banned substance as it “poses a health risk to athletes, has the potential to enhance performance and violates the spirit of sport.”

“Everything I do comes from me naturally. No steroid(s). No anything. This incident was about marijuana. After my sanctions are up, I’ll be back and able to compete and every single time I step on the track I’ll be ready to compete for whatever anti-doping agency to come and get what it is that they need,” Richardson concluded.

Meanwhile the presence of marijuana on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned substance list has long been controversial. Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati was originally stripped of his 1998 Olympic gold medal after testing positive for THC but that decision was overturned since it wasn’t on the banned substance list at the time. USADA singles out three reasons why cannabinoids are banned: athletes could endanger themselves and others because of slower reaction times and poor executive function and decision making, marijuana can be “performance enhancing for some athletes and sports disciplines,” and the use of “illicit drugs that are harmful to health” is “not consistent with the athlete as a role model for young people around the world”.

As for the moral high-horse bit: can anyone reasonably argue, in this day and age, that an athlete using marijuana deserves a boot from the Olympics because such behavior is “not consistent with the athlete as a role model for young people around the world?” In a world where momentum for legalization is growing (it’s legal in Oregon, where Richardson competed at Trials)? In a situation where someone may have turned to a legal substance to cope with grief? Come on.

None of these reasons seem to apply in Richardson’s case. She endangered no one at the track: quite the opposite, she distanced herself from the competition. The performance-enhancing benefits of marijuana are, if not specious, at least very much up for debate. A 2018 literature review published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, for example, said that “although cannabis use is more prevalent in some athletes engaged in high-risk sports, there is no direct evidence of performance-enhancing effects in athletes.” Even USADA’s statement on Richardson’s suspension acknowledges “her use of cannabis occurred out of competition and was unrelated to sport performance.”

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Sunday Igboho Should have Joined Amotekun says DSS.

We have Amotekun. Why is Sunday not operating with Amotekun? This is a question that should be asked but he is operating a separate thing different from Amotekun and of course, having all kinds of weapons

The spokesperson of DSS, Peter Afunaya, who confirmed the raid in a press conference in Abuja said a total of seven AK 47 rifles were recovered, alongside pump action guns and 5,000 rounds of ammunition including other weapons.

He noted that nine of Igboho’s boys attacked security operatives, adding that they were overpowered, leading to the death of two persons.

Many Nigerians and major groups in the Southwest region of the country have reacted to the admittance by the State Security Service (SSS) that its operatives invaded the home of a leader of a group clamouring for a Yoruba nation, Sunday Adeyemo (also known as Sunday Igboho), in a bid to effect his arrest.

The SSS also admitted that two of Igboho’s men were killed in the process while a security agent was shot on the right hand and is currently responding to treatment.

“He might have attacked security operatives as his strength carried him. But this will be the end of his shenanigans. Soon, he will not have a hiding place. His strength will sure fail him,” Afunaya added.

He said security operatives recovered the weapons after a “hot gun duel between them and Igboho’s guards”.

This development has, however, triggered reactions from major groups and individuals in the Southwest. A Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, said the invasion of Mr Igboho’s house “is a sad indicator that we are fast returning to the era of the late Sani Abacha when anyone who expressed opinions contrary to the government’s position would be fatally attacked.”

The group, in a statement by its spokesperson, Jare Ajayi, said it found no wrong in canvassing for self-determination so long as such agitation is devoid of violence.

Mr Igboho’s house, located in Soka, Ibadan, capital of Oyo State was invaded around 1:00 a.m. on Thursday

His vehicles, including his G-wagon, Prado Jeep, and some valuable properties including furniture, and windows were reportedly destroyed.

The attack occurred barely 72 hours before the planned rally in Lagos by Mr Igboho and others to further canvas a Yoruba nation.

The constitution the country is running guarantees the right of every Nigerian to express an opinion and even carry out rallies as long as such is done without violence. To the best of our knowledge, none of the rallies that Sunday Igboho has led in his campaign for the Yoruba nation could be said to be violent nor was he implicated in illegal activities. Why then should he be subjected to the kind of treatment his household received on Thursday morning?”

Another body of Yoruba self-determination groups, Ilana Omo Oodua (IOO), in a statement by its leader, Banji Akintoye, said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has “declared war against the peace-loving people of Yoruba Land.

“We have been peaceful from the inception of this struggle. We have adhered with both the Nigerian and International Laws guiding the agitation for Self-Determination. All our agitations have been peaceful, orderly, and lawfully executed. We have commended the officers of the Nigerian Police many times for being professional in their modus of operations in relating to our protests and rallies for Self-Determination in Yoruba cities.

Therefore, I say on behalf of the Yoruba people that this attack on Chief Ighoho’s house was unnecessary, unfortunate, wicked, callous, cruel, irresponsible, illegal, and atrocious. We are holding the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration responsible for this barbaric attack. This is a declaration of war against peace-loving people.”

Mr Akintoye said that despite the warning from the Yoruba nation rally would hold on Saturday.

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“The action of the DSS is preemptive and it is also a warning to all those who have been stockpiling arms in different parts of the country,” he said in reaction to a raid carried out by DSS operatives on Igboho’s house in Ibadan on Thursday

With all those loaded magazines, that means he is ready for war and I don’t think that is the way to go. If people are going for self-determination, there are peaceful ways of going about it.”

The secret service explained the long arm of the law will still reach Igboho, urging the agitator to turn himself in or be tracked down.

Igboho rose to prominence earlier in the year after he issued a quit notice to herders in Oyo State accused of crimes.

The raid comes less than a week after the arrest of prominent pro-Biafran independence leader Nnamdi Kanu.

The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) group, which supports the secession of the south-east of Nigeria, Kanu was arrested abroad after four years on the run and brought to Nigeria, where he will go on trial for “terrorism” this month.

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Sunday Igboho turned into cat to escape arrest says DSS.

Sunday Igboho said that while they were planning to come for rally somebody was preparing plan B against the rally. He also likened the recent invasion of his principal’s residence in Soka, Oyo State on Thursday by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) to an “assassination” attempt.

Somebody was not happy we are planning to come to Lagos for rally says Igboho.

In a live broadcast monitored by The Nation early friday, Koiki, said: “DSS released false allegations against him (Igboho) just to silence him and not to speak up again.

The DSS said a joint team of security operatives raided Igboho’s residence based on an intelligence report.

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The plan was that they knew that nobody would stop Sunday Igboho from attending that peaceful rally that we have done in every state,

“So somebody sent a message to DSS, to get to Ibadan and bring Sunday Igboho’s body to Abuja.

The target was to kill him Igboho before the Lagos mega rally, they came heavily well prepared.

“They came 72 hours before the mega rally, if you read the DSS statement, you’ll know they were prepared to kill him or label him as a criminal.”

Koiki also alleged that DSS officials took away a cat when they raided the house

According to him, operatives thought Igboho turned into the cat to escape arrest.

He said: “Sunday Igboho escaped not because he was stronger but God rescued him. How will they say that they saw one dollar?

“They can label anyone but we will not back down. They want Igboho dead. The target was to kill him but they failed.

They took one of his cats away, thinking he transformed into a cat during the attack to escape. All the allegations against Igboho should be for terrorists killing people in the country.”

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DSS declares Sunday Igboho wanted; after 7 AK-47 rifles, 5000 rounds of ammunition was found in his house (video)

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Click on the link below to watch video

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Toyin Lawani flaunts her baby bump in sexy new photo

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Fashion designer, Toyin Lawani, who recently tied the knot with her man, Segun Wealth, shared this sexy maternity photo on her Instagram page.



She is expecting her third child.

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Baba Ijesha: “I am ashamed of you”- Princess blasts Iya Rainbow.

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Comedienne, Princess, has come out to blast veteran actress, Iya Rainbow, over her recent interview with BBC Yoruba.

Iya Rainbow in her interview said she reached out to Princess to drop the case against Baba Ijesha but she refused. In her interview, Iya Rainbow said affter everything, Baba Ijesha has now been released on bail.

Princess saw the interview and has now reacted. Describing Iya Rainbow as an irresponsible mother, a visibly angry Princess said she is ashamed of the veteran actress for her comment.

”Mama Rainbow, I am ashamed of you. You are not a good mother. I regret I ever respected you. I regret that I ever saw you as a mother and grandmother. 

You said you called for four days and that I did not answer you and that now they have released him.

For your information, you called me just once, telling me that I should go and release him. You were instructing me and I never disrespected you. I even took my time to explain to you. You told me that Baba Ijesha called you to help him beg me that he has offended me. I then asked you if he told you what he did and you said no he didn’t.

I then explained to you that this is what he did and you were shaking on the phone in shock. You pleaded with me to send my house address to you. On the third day, you called me saying what I disclosed to you really hurt you and that you could tell I wasn’t okay, that I was crying and I wasn’t myself. You now asked for my house address so you would come and see me. I sent you the address, you never came. You didn’t come because it didn’t affect you. You felt like I wasn’t your child. You gave birth to your own children, Mama Rainbow! When your child had issues with his Instagram page, I saw how you came out to plead. That was your child. You know how to take care of your own child but because I am another person’s child, you called me and was telling to go and release a person who was in police custody for a crime. 

I was crying that day. I wasn’t happy. I explained everything to you. You were now pretending like you were a good mother. Have you come to see me since then? Have you called me since them to even check up on me? You are now saying while in court I was looking for a way to sneak out? You are an elder. What your eyes did not see you are not supposed to say it.

You can just imagine. Mama Rainbow that I held in high esteem. If I was your child or the victim was your child, would you have done that? 

I did not expect this from you at all. You came and you were so insensitive to say you called me and were pleading for the case not to be escalated.

How can you say such a thing. Don’t ever! Anything that concerns me please just stay away from it because I used to respect you up until this evening. It is a shame.

If I was your child, would you come to me and say I should go and release somebody that is in police custody for a crime they are investigating? and then you go online to start saying I wanted to sneak out(of the court). Were you there? Were you with me when I was in court? 

Who are you Mama Rainbow? You are supposed to be a role model, a grandmother, a strong christian?  I am ashamed of you that you can come for me in that way at your age. Are you praying for this to happen to your children or your children’s children?  If this happened to you, would you handle it this way? Must you talk Mama Rainbow.

How can you? You are an elderly woman. You should know better.You collected my home address. For what? To be sharing it among people. To be gossiping behind my back. I never said a word. Then you went online  to go and say it again. Do you think I am afraid of you? Mama Rainbow! You are not worthy of the respect I gave to you. I Princess Oluwadamilola will stand for my child till the end. I will stand for all the other victims. I will stand for any body that has been molested or defiled. You Mama Rainbow, what do you stand for? ” she said angrily .

Click on the link below to watch the video

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Ekiti prophet has been sentenced to life imprisonment for death of woman seeking spiritual help.

An Ekiti State High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti on Thursday, July 1, sentenced a cleric, prophet Olakanye Oni, to life imprisonment over the death of a woman. 

Oni of Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Palace of Mercy, Olokuta, Ado-Ekiti, was accused of killing one Mrs Gbadamosi Omowale, who came to his church to seek help over her inability to conceive after seven years of marriage.

Mrs Omowale took ill and her health deteriorated after the cleric carried out a “spiritual cleansing” on her. On December 13, 2017, she died. 

The Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Adeyemo Adejugbe and his council of chiefs banished the cleric following the death of the woman. According to the prosecution team led by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ministry of Justice, Julius Ajibare, the convicted cleric committed the offence in March 2017, when, “he invited the deceased from Lagos to Ado Ekiti on the pretence that he has a solution to her barrenness.



“On getting to his Church at Palace of Mercy, Mathew Street, Odo Ado Area, Ado Ekiti, the convict hypnotised the victim and lured her into his room. He thereafter spread a white cloth on her and raped her.



“The convict used a white handkerchief to clean the victim’s private part and inserted a substance believed to be potash into her vagina. He also collected a sum of Fifty Two Thousand Naira from the victim.

The victim’s private part got decayed as a result of the substance inserted into it by the convict and this resulted in the victim’s eventual death.”

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The prosecution called six witnesses to prove the case while the defence counsel, Chris Omokhafe, called one person as a witness. 

In his judgement, Justice Abiodun Adesodun held that the prosecution proved the offence of manslaughter beyond reasonable doubt against the cleric and sentenced him to life imprisonment. 

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BREAKING NEWS: Drama as Senate passes Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) for third reading.

The Senate on Thursday passed the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) with a provision that granted the use of 30 per cent of oil and gas profits of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited to fund oil exploration activities in frontier basins.

But this was not without drama at plenary on what percentage of operating expenditure of oil companies should constitute funds earmarked for host communities’ development in the Bill.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan said the passage of the historic bill marks a watershed for the 9th Assembly, saying: “PIB demons have been defeated.”

The passage of the Bill followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Joint Committee on Downstream Petroleum Sector; Petroleum Resources (Upstream); and Gas on a “Bill for an Act to provide Legal, Governance, Regulatory and Fiscal Framework for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry, the development of Host Communities and for related matters, 2021,” popularly called the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

The lead Chairman of the Joint Committee, Senator Sabo Mohammed Nakudu presented the report.

The Senate, after due consideration, approved that host communities would henceforth enjoy 3 per cent ($502.8million) of annual operating expenditure of oil firms to be contributed into the host community development trust fund.

However, Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, in his contribution, pleaded with the Senate to increase the 5 per cent proposed for the development of host communities in the Bill.

Nakudu said: “The Joint Committee’s recommendation recognises the need for the country to urgently and aggressively explore and develop the country’s Frontier Basins to take advantage of the foreseeable threats to the funding of fossil fuel projects across the world due to speedy shift from fossil fuel-to other alternative energy sources.

To this end, the Committee recommends funding mechanism of thirty percent (30%) of NNPC Limited’s profit oil and profit gas as in the production sharing, profit sharing, and risk service contracts to fund exploration of frontier basins.”

On funding for host communities, the joint Committee had earmarked five per cent but the Senate slashed it to three per cent operating expenditure of oil firms.

Nakudu said: “This chapter highlights the effective and efficient administration of the Host Community Trust Fund which is to be anchored by the settlor, i.e. the oil and gas companies operating in the host communities.

“The various recommended provisions when passed into law, will ensure a peaceful operating environment that will have a positive direct impact on the cost of oil and gas production which has been the bane of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

After extensive engagements with various stakeholders and on-the-spot assessment visits to host communities across the country, the Joint Committee recommended strengthening measures and saddled the host communities with responsibilities with a view to reducing or completely eradicating interferences and tampering in the country’s oil and gas production assets.

“Furthermore, to ensure adequate development of the host communities and reduction in the cost of production, the Joint Committee recommends five per cent (5%) of the actual annual operating expenditure of the preceding financial year in the upstream petroleum operations affecting the host communities for funding of the Host Communities Trust Fund.”

Earlier, Omo-Agege said even though the 5 per cent provision for host community development in the Bill was arrived at after due consultation, he called for a slight increase to assuage the feelings and pains of oil bearing communities.

He noted that while the Niger Delta people want a deal, “a no deal is better than a bad deal.”

Omo-Agege said: “Today I speak not as the deputy Senate President but I speak as the senator representing Delta Central Senatoria District

For us in the Niger Delta there are three areas that are of much interest to us. I’m sure my other colleagues will speak to it.

“On the whole, the major thrust, the rationale for pushing for this Bill which has eluded this country for so many years is for us to get a law in place that will create an enabling environment for foreign investors coming with their money to invest in the sector before as we were told, our oil will go out of fashion.

“Some of us have this belief that no matter the thinking of the investment community, oil will always be relevant. Some of them have made the case that in the next 10 to 15 years, there will be no use for oil.

Mr. President, this may be acceptable to a lot of people in this country but in my Senatorial District and indeed in most of Niger Delta, they are prepared to let this oil remain on the ground until may be another 40 to 50 years when there may be need for oil again.

“What does that mean? Mr. President, they want a deal but they want a good deal. Sometimes Mr. President, no deal could be better than a bad deal.

“Mr. President, when we raise these issues, I want to thank you most especially. I want to thank the Senate Leader and the leadership for the leadership role you played in arranging for our colleagues to meet and engage and come with some sort of accommodation.

“And Mr. President, this Bill as originally conceived provided only 2.5 per cent contribution by sector companies to the host communities trust fund. This is not the first experiment or first attempt.

Mr. President, I will still make a case if possible that we go a little more than the five per cent already agreed.

“I understand we cannot meet the 10 per cent. But that is the clamour at home. I need to plead that if there is a chance we can go a little more than the five per cent, we will be grateful.”

Co-Chairman of the Joint Committee, Senator Bassey Albert Akpan, noted that the 5 per cent provided for host communities in the Bill connotes that property and equipment of oil companies will be secured by host communities or part of the trust fund would be used to remedy any damage or theft.

However, it was learnt that the Senate decided to reduce the five per cent earmarked for host community trust fund to three per cent following the closed door briefing of lawmakers by the Minister for State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva and Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari.

However, efforts by Omo-Agege, Senators George Sekibo and James Manager to get a better deal for the development of host communities failed.

During the clause by clause consideration of the Bill, Senator Ahmad Babba Kaita (Katsina North), proposed an amendment to the effect that if the contribution to host communities trust fund is pegged at three per cent, government will ensure security of oil firms’ equipment but if it is five per cent, communities would be responsible for securing production equipment in their domain. When it was put to voice vote, the 3 per cent sailed through.

Apparently, peeved by the development, Sekibo called for a division of the Senate citing order 73 of the Senate Standing Orders.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, prevailed on Sekibo to withdraw his motion in view of the “existing unity in the Senate.”

Sekibo withdrew his motion and pleaded that the three per cent be increased by retaking the vote on the amendment earlier proposed by Kaita.

Lawan thanked Sekibo for his statesmanship in withdrawing his motion but declined to call for a fresh vote on Kaita’s motion.

“We have already ruled and it is against the provisions of the Standing Orders of this chamber to revisit a matter already ruled upon by the Presiding Officer,” Lawan said.

Senator Manager in his remarks described the three per cent of operating expenditure of oil firms earmarked for the host communities’ development trust fund as a “bitter pill to swallow.”

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Senator Nakudu later told Senate Correspondents that the three per cent provision is “a lot of money”.

He said the three per cent translates to over a half a billion dollars annually.

He said the percentage was reduced from five to three to encourage investors.

He added that the three per cent was in addition to other statutory funding arrangements already accruing to the Niger Delta region.

Spokesman of the Senate, Senator Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru, said the three per cent amounted to $502.8million annually.