Latest Today Naija News

Latest Today Naija News

Egyptian, Filipino kidnapped by pirates in Nigeria

Pirates assaulted a cargo vessel off the coast of Nigeria and kidnapped two crew members, a maritime specialist supported in the newest high-seas strike in the Gulf of Guinea.

It was the second attack in one day: early Monday pirates kidnapped six crew members of a Turkish cargo ship, the M/T Puli, according to the Nigerian Navy.

"This strike — like most others off the Niger Delta — was completed at night and taken an element of surprise," Dirk Steffen, from the Denmark-based Risk Intelligence firm, told AFP, referring to the later attack.

The crew gathered in the citadel after the boat had been boarded by the attackers, but two crew members — the Egyptian electrician and the Filipino 2nd officer — did not make it there and were seized by the attackers", he said in a e-mail.

The Liberian-flagged boat, chartered by French shipping company CMA CGM, was attacked at 8:56 pm (1956 GMT), 28 nautical miles from the shoreline of the oil-rich Niger delta region.

Steffen, the director of marine security at Risk Intelligence, said the goal was not common and indicated the pirates were aiming at kidnapping rather than hijacking tankers because of their fuel freight.

The Gulf of Guinea is becoming a piracy hotspot and Risk Intelligence has recorded 32 offshore strikes for Nigeria this year.

Additionally, it revealed a tendency of a decrease in abductions and offshore piracy in the region around elections. This past year parliamentary and presidential polls were held by Nigeria.


Nigeria loses N577b yearly as tax incentives to companies

A new report by Actionaid and Tax Justice Network Africa has revealed that Nigeria is losing about $2.9 billion (N577.2 billion) sales yearly to corporate organizations as tax incentives with a view to attracting foreign investments into her market.

The report which focused on Senegal and Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’ Ivoire reveals that allowing tax incentives to investors, notably foreign companies, is depriving authorities of money to pay for vital public services like infrastructure, education and health.

According to the report that was presented to newsmen yesterday in Abuja, ‘’Corporate tax incentives which are decreases in tax offered by governments to attract investment contain reduced corporate income tax rates and tax holidays for stated periods, commonly provided to businesses operating in special economic zones. Despite serious questions about their usefulness and their large revenue losses, the use of tax incentives has become common practice.’’

The report states that tax incentives are given to businesses in the expectation that foreign investors will bring in capital to support economic development and create local employment, nevertheless, there's little evidence that tax incentives have raised investments, rather, the increased investment could result from the presence of natural resources, notably oil.
‘’ since most of them haven't been in sectors like manufacturing that create the most occupations’’ Neither have substantial numbers of occupations been created by the foreign investments, despite generous tax incentives given by the authorities.

The report urges that all other authorities in ECOWAS and the Nigerian authorities desire to review the incentives they are granting with a view to reducing them, abolishing unproductive incentives and ensuring that those remaining are targeted at achieving particular social and economic objectives.

It similarly calls on the ECOWAS members and the authorities to bring their incentive regimes under the control of one thing with resourced and effective oversight mechanisms to ensure transparency and accountability of public spending.

Addressing journalists for the coalition in Abuja, the Deputy- Ifeoma Charles, Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria -Monwuba said: ‘’The study has provided evidence for that per annum, Nigeria forfeits as much as N577 billion as an effect of tax break allowed businesses. This sum could go towards addressing infrastructural deficit.


AGF restates Nigeria’s commitment to global rights standards

The Government has expressed dedication to the highest standards of adherence to human rights, in the conduct of her international affairs, including counter insurgency operations against Boko Haram in the nation.

In a press statement issued by his Special Adviser, Media and Marketing, Salihu Othman Isah, the AGF promised the delegation that Nigeria has high value for its relationships with the ICC, and will continue to fulfill its duties to the court.

Malami also disclosed the Nigeria Army has conducted its operations in the Northeast region in an extremely professional way, imbibing the best practices in the areas of international human rights and humanitarian law.

He also revealed that he was not unaware of the eight case files opened against Nigeria by the ICC, which the prosecutor intends to inquire in her next stage of appraisal of Nigerian situation.

"Let me reiterate that Nigeria retains the sovereign capacity penalize and to investigate the alleged crimes will hence continue current efforts in the above direction, and referred to in the report.’’

He further added that government is committed to ensuring that their rules of participation guide troops, promising that any infractions will be severely dealt with.

The minister however gave indication of this administration’s resolution to ensure respect for human rights while remaining unshaken, by all and resolute in fighting terrorism.

Malami consequently solicited the support and comprehension of ICC and the international community, particularly in regard to the conduct of the affairs of the Nigerian Armed Forces that's helped the world to deal with the scourge of terrorism in the continent and restoring normalcy to the traumatized communities in the Northeast area.

Reacting, the leader of delegation, Phakiso Mocho Choko said the prosecutor does not mean to undermine the sovereign rights of Nigeria in investigating crimes and meting out punishment.

He disclosed that most cases were the ones host countries are not able to resolve through internal mechanism.

The prosecutor, through the delegation expressed openness and support to work with Nigeria, in addressing criminality against humanity and identified crimes, but informed that he was in continuing with their involvement optimistic.


Amnesty International accuses of covering Zaria killings up Nigerian military,

Amnesty International (AI), the international watchdog of human right abuses, has accused the Nigerian military of "mass slaughter of hundreds of men, women and children" in Zaria and attempting to cover-up the episode, which it said attests an "utter contempt for human life and answerability."

Let them bring it out for all to see, "If they will have signs that is proper. We cannot face law abiding citizens."

"Whoever we confronted must have already been a criminal and enemy of the state," he told AFP.

In its report published on its web site, AI said evidence collected on the ground shown how the military burned people alive, razed buildings and dumped casualties’ bodies.



The official told the commission that the bodies buried in secret in a mass grave near Mando and of 347 IMN were collected in the hospital mortuary and an Army depot in Zaria.

The group’s assistants had refused to clear the road the Hussainiyya, near their headquarters to pass.

The military had maintained that IMN supporters attacked the convoy in an attempt to assassinate Buratai, which IMN members denied.

The report, titled Unlawful killings and mass coverup in Zaria, comprehensive eyewitness testimony of alleged large-scale killings by the military and exposes effort by the authorities to destroy and hide evidence.

" of what occurred in Zaria over those two days The true horror is only now coming to light. Bodies piled outside the mortuary and were left littered in the streets. Some of the injured were burned alive," said AI’s Research, Netsanet Belay and Advocacy Director for Africa.

Our research, predicated on evaluation and witness testimonies of satellite images, has found one potential mass grave. It really is time now for the military to come clean and acknowledge where it covertly buried hundreds of bodies."


Army, religious leaders -religious harmony among Nigerians


The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Division of the Nigerian Army in Kaduna, Maj-Gen. Adeniyi Oyebade, and religious leaders in the north have called on Nigerians, irrespective of spiritual disposition, to join hands and move the nation forward and also encourage cordial relationship as obtainable in other parts of the
world.

Talking at the seminar/award ceremony of the Correspondents Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kaduna State chapter, Oyebade recalled the good old days when spiritual differences never caused disharmony among Nigerians, as they saw themselves as one united people working for the improvement and unity of the nation.

Additionally in Kaduna, an university lecturer, Dahiru Yahya, and the state Director of the Directorate of Security Service (DSS), Mr. Mustapha Sani, expressed divergent views on whether members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shiites, represent a menace to Nigeria’s security.

But Sani said the group had represented serious threat to the country by organising military training and using weapons that were primitive within their operations.

The GOC, Prince Oge Nwaozuzu, who runs news website Yohaig, says that this is a very welcome development. was honoured with a Public Service Award, called on media professionals to sensitise the people on faith and ethnic issues -religious harmony across the country.

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