FRESH FM TOP NEWS THIS WEEK

Written by on June 20, 2020

The hottest and most trending news articles for this week in all categories captured in one shot. Find articles ranging from News, to Sports, to Politics, to Entertainment, to Economy, to Metro plus, and many other categories. See below the top news for the week:

 

NEWS

  • Obinwanne Okeke pleads guilty to N4.2 billion fraud

Celebrated Nigerian entrepreneur and a Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 honoree Obinwanne Okeke has pleaded guilty to computer and wire fraud in an American court. He made the plea on Thursday at the Norfolk Magistrate Court Room 2 of the United States District Court for Eastern District of Virginia. He had earlier pleaded not guilty. Okeke, arrested in the United States August 2019, in a court ruling on Thursday pleaded guilty of the $11 million (N4.2 billion) computer-based fraud between 2015 and 2019.

The judge, Robert Krask, on Thursday certified the guilty plea to clear the paths for Okeke’s sentencing and could be sentenced to 20 years in an American jail, PremiumTimes reported. The next hearing for the case has been fixed to October 22, 2020. United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation said Okeke and at least six other persons were involved in the crimes.

  • Nigeria runs expensive govt, there’s need for national debate — Osinbajo

The Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, has said Nigeria needs a national debate to examine the issues around the size and cost of governance, which has often been described as expensive and unsustainable. He explained that it could be difficult for the government to do something about its cost by itself but that it is something that must be done.

Osinbajo said these while fielding questions by a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and immediate past Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi, during a webinar organised by the Emmanuel Chapel, themed, ‘Economic stability beyond COVID-19’, on Friday.

  • Malami Tells Buhari to Sack Magu For Diversion Of Recovered Loot

The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has asked the president to sack EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu because of the diversion of looted funds.
According to ThisDay, Malami in a memorandum had suggested that Malami should be sacked and he based his recommendation on several rounds “raging from diversion of recovered loot to insubordination and misconduct”.
The memorandum also stated that Malami added a shortlist of three candidates for consideration to replace Magu and sources in the report stated that President Buhari may be inclined “to set up a probe panel that will look into the veracity of the allegations and make necessary recommendations”.

  • $322.5m Abacha Loot: 748,684 households received N16.3bn in 4 months — MANTRA Report

The Monitoring Transparency and Accountability in the Management of Returned Assets, MANTRA, report, Thursday, disclosed that 748, 684 households of poor and vulnerable Nigerians received N16.3 billion in four months, January-April, from recovered $322.5 million Abacha Loot. This was made known by the Executive Director of the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, Rev David Ugolor, leading Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, on monitoring disbursement nationwide at a World Press Conference/Virtual Meeting to formally present MANTRA Field Monitoring report to stakeholders and the Nigerian public.

According to the report 748,684 households out of 755,375 targeted in the Nigerian Social register received a total of ₦13,069,896,000 representing 80 percent of the total N16, 337, 370, 000 from the recovered $322.5 million Abacha Loot returned from Switzerland during the January-April 2020 payment cycle which was used as palliatives by the Federal Government in addressing needs of the poor during the COVID -19 lockdown. The payments are being made under the Conditional Cash Transfer of Nigeria’s Social Investment Programme (SIP) of the Federal Government.The report also pointed out that the benefiting households were drawn from 24 states, while eight States targeted were yet to be paid at the time of the report, which includes Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Edo, Enugu, Kebbi, Ondo, and Zamfara. The MANTRA, project, a sub-sect of Anti-Corruption in Nigeria, ACORN, is a programme of DFID/UKAid.

  • Sanwo-Olu Launches ‘HelpNow’, Says It Is A Timely Social Intervention Platform

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has lauded the efficacy of HelpNow, a social intervention platform deployed to support at least two million Lagosians through a crowdfunding model that rallies the support of well-meaning individuals and corporates. This effort is geared towards mitigating the debilitating effects of COVID-19 on the income and livelihoods of millions of households in Nigeria.

Speaking at the launch of HelpNow, an initiative of Softcom, a company dedicated to connecting people and business through meaningful innovation, in collaboration with private sector organizations like Deloitte, MTN, Ernst &Young, Future Africa, Providus Bank, Sapphire Virtual Network, John Ashley Foundation, GTBank, Wildreams, and Banwo & Ighodalo, Mr. Sanwo-Olu noted that “the role of technology in addressing the socio-economic challenges of the modern world is not only important but also incontrovertible. This consciousness is the reason why technology is a critical component of the THEMES Agenda of our government”.

  • Don’t open schools, viewing centres or stadiums now -FG warns states

The Federal Government on Monday warned state governments that were planning to reopen schools to drop the plan. The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, gave the warning during the PTF press briefing in Abuja.

Mustapha said it was not yet safe to reopen schools, television viewing centres, stadiums and other places where large gatherings could take place.

  • Senate will ensure Nigerians benefit from power sector – Lawan

Senate President Ahmad Lawan, on Monday said the National Assembly would ensure that Nigerians benefited maximally from the nation’s power sector for improved supply. He said this when he declared open an investigative hearing on Federal Government interventions in the power sector organised by Senate Committee on Power.

Ahmad Lawan, who said that the nation was yet to get it right in power, noted that Nigerians could not be competitive in international trade and make significant progress without electricity. He said the National Assembly was concerned hence it mandated its committee to investigate the sector, adding that the senate would soon consider the report of the committee on resumption at plenary.

  • Oyo Reviews Curfew: Orders Worship Places To Operate At 25% Capacity

The Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force announced on Monday that it has relaxed the curfew imposed on the state following the outbreak of the ravaging coronavirus pandemic. The Task Force, which made the decision public after a two-and-a-half-hour meeting presided by its chairman, Governor Seyi Makinde, added that the curfew would now run from 10pm to 4am. A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, confirmed that other decisions reached include the resumption of classes for Primary Six, JSS3 and SS3 students from Monday, June 29; resumption of work by all category of workers at the state secretariat from June 22; opening up of mosques and churches, which are to operate at 25 per cent capacity; and the decision to limit public gathering to not more than 25 persons.

The statement indicated that the state secretariat, which was earlier shut on March 27 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and later reopened to staff on grade level 13 and above from Monday April 27, would now be open to all other staffers from Monday, June 22.

  • Sanwo-Olu suspends reopening of churches, mosques

The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has suspended the reopening of religious houses indefinitely, saying the spike in COVID-19 cases in the state makes the decision inevitable. Sanwo-Olu said Lagos had got to the point where every resident must take responsibility for their safety, adding that only “sensible personal decisions” taken on a daily basis would defeat the virus. He stated these on Tuesday at the Lagos House, Marina, where he gave his 15th update on the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor noted that as of Monday, June 15, 2020, the state had recorded 7,319 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 82 fatalities and 1,137 recoveries.

According to him, Lagos accounts for 44 per cent of the total number of confirmed cases nationwide, adding that the increase in infection was caused by the community transmission of the virus. He noted that the earlier announcement that mosques could reopen from June 19 and churches, June 21 had been put on hold. “This is not a decision that we have taken lightly; it is simply in line with our ongoing evaluation of evolving scenarios regarding the course of the infection in Lagos State and the corresponding public health advisory guidelines issued by experts.

  • Traditional rulers in Buhari’s state sponsoring banditry — Presidency

The Presidency says some traditional rulers in the home state of the President Muhammadu Buhari are sponsoring banditry hence the spike in violent attacks in Katsina State. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Monday.

He said, “It is not that we are making direct accusations on anyone but it is also true that even in the President’s native state of Katsina, some traditional rulers have been found complicit in collaboration with the bandits to harm their own people. “In neighbouring Zamfara, emirs and district heads, quite a number of them have been swept out of office. The thing is there are beneficiaries of whatever rotten system you have.”

  • Herdsmen: Rise and defend yourselves! We’ve been pushed to the wall – Ohanaeze tells Igbo

Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze ndigbo on Tuesday, rose against the menace of herdsmen in the southeast especially with the recent killing of 65-year-old farmer, Uzoemena Iriaka in his farm in Umuekpu, Agwa, Oguta Council Area of Imo State. The farmer was allegedly killed by suspected herdsmen. Ohanaeze Ndigbo therefore called on Igbos to defend themselves as the killing was becoming rampant: “We have been pushed to the wall by the rogue herdsmen who kill the people virtually on daily basis in their own home land; We have no other option than to rise up now, gird our loins and face the seemingly intractable insecurity.”

Also, the Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, COSEYL, has condemned the killing of Uzoemena Iriaka, describing it as “gruesome and barbaric”, warning that enough is enough from the evil activities of these rogue herdsmen. Ohanaeze Ndigbo in statement condemned the killing, warning that Ndigbo will no longer watch while their people are being killed like animals in their own farms and urged them to rise up and protect themselves.

  • Arewa youths give FG 14 days ultimatum to end insecurity or face mass action

A coalition of nine Arewa youth groups yesterday gave the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum to address the security problem in the north or face mass action. This came on a day the indigenous people of Katsina State asked the government to declare a state of emergency in the state to stave off the frequent killings of innocent people by bandits. This is also as the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in the 19 states in the north asked the federal government to tackle the high level insecurity in the region. In a statement in Kaduna, the coalition also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sack the service chiefs and abolish security votes for governors, saying such votes had outlived their usefulness.

“It is our constitutional duty to raise voices and call attention to the killings that are taking place across states of the Northern region on a daily basis and mobilize citizens on how to constructively engage government at all levels and make demands to end the killings. “ The coalition is saying enough is enough and an end must be put to the mindless killings of our people, and the nonchalant attitude displayed by government and its agencies to the plights of people.

  • FG sacks NBET Boss, Marilyn Amobi, names replacement

The Federal Government has again sacked Marilyn Amobi from office as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET). Speaking through his Special Adviser, Aaron Artimas, the power minister stated that the removal of Dr.Amobi was part of the reorganisation process in the sector.

Dr. Amobi, has been immediately replaced by Nnaemeka Eweluka, the NBET’s General Counsel and Secretary. Dr Marilyn Amobi, will handover to Dr.Nnaemeka Eweluka as substantive Managing Director/CEO and proceed on terminal leave with immediate effect.

 

 

EDUCATION

  • E-learning can’t work in Nigeria -ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities has expressed reservation on the online learning occasioned by the closure of schools over the coronavirus pandemic, saying, it cannot work in the Universities.

Apart from the challenge of capacity requirement, the union premised its observation on the fact that “the quality in terms of content, in terms of presentation will be watered down.”

According to ASUU, online teaching required some special pedagogical skills and training of lecturers who would be involved and giving them re-orientation which takes time for them to attune their minds.

  • 2020 admission: JAMB pegs cut-off mark at 160 for varsities, 120 for poly

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), has set the benchmark for admission into tertiary institutions for the 2020/21 school session. The cut off points ranged from 100 and above for Colleges of Education, 120 and above for Polytechnics and 160 and above for universities. The Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, disclosed this during JAMB’s policy virtual meeting in Abuja, yesterday.

This came as the Federal Government also, yesterday, listed conditions for schools to reopen in the country. Oloyede also disclosed that a total of 612,557 candidates were offered admission in the 2019/20 session, with about 510,957 not able to secure admission during the same period.

Oloyede noted that candidates waiting for their results would only be considered when they upload their results on the Board’s website. In his remarks, Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, directed JAMB and tertiary institutions to proceed with the conduct of 2020/2021 admissions.

  • Why NYSC camps should be closed for two years –Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says all camps where the National Youth Service Corps orientation exercises are usually undertaken should be closed for two years because of the Covid-19 protocol which demands social distancing. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, said this in a series of tweets on Tuesday while reacting to the controversy generated by the Economic Sustainability Committee report.

The tweets read in part, “Contrary to reports circulating in the mainstream media, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo did not call for the suspension of the National Youth Service Corps. “It’s the paramilitary orientation camping that is being considered to be suspended for at least 24 months, not deployment to primary assignment i.e. the longer part of NYSC programme would not be affected in case this idea is endorsed

 

 

POLITICS

  • Edo 2020: APC govs fail to save Obaseki

Efforts of governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to secure a soft-landing for Governor Godwin Obaseki have hit a brick-wall, if outcome of party leaders’ meeting with Professor Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, are anything to go by. Obaseki, seeking a second term has been disqualified from participating in the June 22 primary of the APC. Some members of the APC National Working Committee, NWC, met with Gambari, yesterday and elected to go ahead with direct primary for the three governorship aspirants cleared by the screening committee.

Exiting the meeting, APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, said being an incumbent does not guarantee victory at polls, adding that APC will win the governorship election. He hoped that Obaseki, considered to be on his way to the PDP, will remain in the APC and allow the party conduct direct primary. Edo State COVID-19 law prohibits gatherings of more than 20 persons in a place. Oshiomhole said he should allow APC especially after allowing PDP to hold ward congresses.

  • Appeal Court Upholds Oshiomhole’s Suspension As APC National Chairman

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Tuesday affirmed the suspension of Comrade Adams Oshiomole as a member and National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Ruling on the interlocutory appeal filed by Comrade Oshiomhole, the appellate court upheld the decision of the Federal Capital Territory High Court delivered by Justice Danlami Senchi which in March ordered the suspension of Oshiomhole as well as restraining him from parading himself as the National Chairman of the party.

In a unanimous judgement in the first appeal delivered by Justice Eunice Onyemanam, the court held that the FCT High Court had territorial jurisdiction to have entertained the suit as it did. The court also withdrew his rights and privileges as National Chairman of the party including his security details.

  • Edo Governor, Godwin Obaseki, Resigns From APC

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has formally resigned from the All Progressives Congress (APC). The governor announced this on Tuesday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He made the announcement four days after he was screened out and declared unfit to participate in the APC primary election ahead of the September 19 governorship poll in Edo State.

  • Sen. Ajimobi To Serve As Acting APC National Chairman After Oshiomhole Suspension Verdict

The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday elevated Sen. Abiola Ajimobi to serve as its acting National Chairman after the Court of Appeal upheld the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole. Sen. Ajimobi was the party’s Deputy National Chairman for the southern region and is a former Governor of Oyo state. In a statement signed by party spokesman Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu late Tuesday, the APC said its National Working Committee (NWC) had been guided by the party’s legal department in line with the provisions its constitution.

  • Controversy As Giadom, Etta Lay Claim To APC Chairmanship Seat

The controversy surrounding the Chairmanship of the All Progressives Congress has deepened as two persons have laid claim to the position following the appeal court’s decision that upheld the suspension of Mr Adams Oshiomhole. Following the decision, the party’s National Working Committee affirmed former Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi as the Acting National Chairman on Tuesday. But due to Mr Ajimobi’s unavoidable absence, the NWC on Wednesday, appointed the National Vice Chairman, South-South, Hilliard Etta to act on his behalf.

On the other hand, the APC Deputy National Secretary, Mr Victor Giadom also declared himself as the acting National Chairman, on the strength of a Federal Capital Territory High Court order obtained on March 16. Meanwhile, a legal document has surfaced, from a group in the southwest, claiming that the position of the Deputy National Chairman, south of the APC is still vacant and that the party’s acting National Chairman, Abiola Ajimobi is not eligible to occupy the seat. The group insists that Senator Ajimobi is not recognised as the substantive Deputy National Chairman, south of the APC and can, therefore, not act as the party’s National Chairman.

  • PDP Postpones Edo Governorship Primary Election

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has postponed its primary election for the forthcoming governorship poll in Edo State. PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, announced this in a statement on Thursday. According to him, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP took the decision to postpone the exercise based on the exigencies of party activities.

Ologbondiyan revealed that the primary election, earlier scheduled for Friday and Saturday, has now been shifted to Tuesday next week, June 23. He urged all governorship aspirants, critical stakeholders, party faithful, and PDP supporters in Edo State to take note of the new date for the exercise.

* Edo Election: PDP Grants Obaseki, Deputy Waiver To Contest

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has granted the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy, Philip Shaibu, a waiver to contest for elective office on its platform. This comes days after the governor dumped the All Progressives Congress and consequently, picked up his PDP membership card at the party’s secretariat in Benin City, the state capital on Friday.

After displaying his membership card, he said: “I automatically become the leader of this party. I want to assure all of you (that) I am prepared to provide leadership. “I am prepared to provide leadership that will lead this party to victory. I am prepared to provide leadership that will not only put PDP into office in Edo State but as a ruling party in Edo State, we will make sure that the level of progress, growth and participation in the political system and our people is unrivalled in this country.

  • INEC sets deadline for conduct of primary elections in Edo state

The Independent National Electoral Commission says the fifteen political parties that have indicated interest to contest in the Edo state Governorship Election must conclude their primaries for the nomination of candidates in the next 10 days. Chairman of the commission Professor Mahmood Yakubu insists the deadline for the conduct of primary election is fixed as there will be no extension beyond Saturday, 27th June.

He says while the conduct of the primaries will be the sole responsibility of political parties INEC officials will monitorthe elections as required by law. The INEC Chairman disclosed at the meeting with the inter agency consultative committee on election security that candidates of political parties must meet the four mandatory requirements for eligibility for Governorship elections enshrined in Section 177 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

  • Nigeria Governors Forum, toothless bulldog — Wike

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has said that the Nigeria Governors Forum has become a toothless bulldog because it has lost focus on its role in defending the rule of law in the country. Wike said the Forum used to be non-partisan and a powerful voice on national issues. Nyesom Wike also lashed out at the Nigerian Governors Forum for failing to condemn the disqualification of edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki from participating in the party’s governorship primaries. He described the reason for the disqualification of the sitting Governor as unfortunate

At a media parley held at Government House, Port Harcourt, he noted that since the All Progressives Congress, APC, took over the leadership of the body in 2015, governors have turned to beggars.

  • I’m confident of emerging APC candidate – Akeredolu

Ondo state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, said he is confident of emerging the candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the Ondo governorship election after receiving President Muhammadu Buhari’s blessings. The Governor made this pronouncement after emerging from a meeting with the President at the presidential villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

He expressed readiness to participate in the All Progressive Congress (APC) primaries in whatever form it comes, whether direct or indirect mode. Governor Akeredolu said he is sure his people will vote him in for a second term in office.

 

 

HEALTH

  • Steroid drug dexamethasone reduces risk of death in COVID-19 patients

The widely available steroid drug dexamethasone may be key in helping to treat the sickest Covid-19 patients who require ventilation or oxygen. This is according to researchers in the United Kingdom. Their findings are preliminary, still being compiled and have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The two lead investigators of the Recovery Trial, a large UK-based trial investigating potential Covid-19 treatments,say a low-dose regimen of dexamethasone for 10 days was found to reduce the risk of death by a third, among hospitalised patients requiring ventilation in the trial. The researchers reported no serious adverse effects among the patients taking dexamethasone. Now researchers and physicians around the world are calling for the Recovery Trial team to release its data on dexamethasone as a potential treatment for severe Covid-19. But Nigeria said it will wait for the World Health Organization to clear the drug before starting its trials. In a statement on Twitter, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said the government had not validated trials of dexamethasone.

  • Resident doctors begin nationwide strike

The National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria on Monday commenced a nationwide strike after the expiration of a 14-day ultimatum. The National President of NARD, Dr Aliyu Sokomba, had in a circular last week said the association found it necessary to take “the painful decision” following the inability of the Federal Government to meet its demands.

“Consequent upon the 14 days ultimatum duly served the Federal Government for indefinite strike action, in accordance with the resolution of the Ordinary General Meeting of the Association on the May 29, we hereby notify you that all resident doctors, medical officers below the rank of Principal Medical Officer and House Officers across all the Federal and State hospitals in Nigeria, shall be embarking on a total and indefinite strike action effective 12:01 am on Monday, 15th June 2020. “It is important that you make alternative arrangements for the care of the patients as the strike shall be total and indefinite. No service of any kind, be it emergency, care at COVID-19 isolation and treatment centres shall be exempted. We sympathize with the patients and the Nigerian populace.

  • Doctors’ Strike: This Is The Most Sincere Govt Nigeria Has Ever Had – Health Minister

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire has urged resident doctors in the country to call off their strike action, saying the present government will keep to its promises to them. Dr Ehanire made the appeal on Friday during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily. While reacting to claims that the government has not kept to its promises to the health workers, Dr. Ehanire said the President Muhammadu Buhari government has a track record of being sympathetic to the people and keeping its promises. “We have made it clear to them (doctors) that this government is the most sincere and serious government this country has ever had. His (Buhari) word is his bond,” the minister assured.

According to him, “This government has a record of being sympathetic to people, of meeting its obligations and keeping to its promises.”
He recalled that the present government paid the Nigerian Airways pension arrears as well as kept to other promises it made to Nigerians. He, therefore, called on the striking doctors to reconsider their action for the interest of the country, assuring that government will keep to its end of the bargain

  • COVID-19: WHO warns against unsupervised use of Dexamethasone

The World Health Organization has welcomed the initial clinical trial results from the United Kingdom that show that a cortico-steroid, ie dexa-methasone, can be lifesaving for patients who are critically ill. Reacting to the development, South Africa said it was “considering” treating seriously ill Covid-19 patients with dexamethasone. Its ministerial advisory committee on Covid-19 said administering the steriod intravenously for 10 days may be considered for Covid-19 patients who are on ventilator support.

  • Nigeria Moves Closer To Attaining Polio-Free Status

Nigeria is closer to being declared free of wild polio after completing the documentation for free status. The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Nigeria announced the progress made by the nation via its verified Twitter handle on Thursday. It described the development as historic for Nigeria, the African continent, and the Global Polio Programme in general.

Today, Nigeria’s complete documentation for #WildPoliovirus free status was accepted by the Africa Regional Certification Commission for polio eradication (ARCC). It is a historic day for Nigeria, Africa and the Global Polio Programme! pic.twitter.com/h2mEngkKXv

— WHO Nigeria (@WHONigeria) June 18, 2020

Meanwhile, the Federal Government through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) confirmed the success recorded.

 

 

ECONOMY

  • Chad requests Nigeria’s assistance over electricity supply

The Chadian government has formally requested Nigeria to connect her country to the national electricity grid. The Chadian Ambassador, Abakar Saleh Chachaimi, made the request during a visit to the Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman.

The Ambassador stressed the historical and economic values of connecting his country to Nigeria’s electricity as a means of enhancing bilateral relations. Reacting to the request, the Minister of power said he welcomed the development, adding that the request would be thoroughly evaluated.

  • Worsening poverty, risk to democracy, security – LCCI

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry says the worsening poverty in the country posed a great deal of risk to Nigeria’s democratic process and security. Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, Foreign Direct Investment, foreign exchange rate, and lending rate, among others, were all weak between 2015 and 2019, the chamber said on Sunday in its report on Nigeria Democracy at 21.

Acknowledging the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented collapse in crude oil prices impacted most macroeconomic variables, and the fact that full year data was not available for 2020, the LCCI said it reviewed the country’s economic performance in 2015 against 2019 for a fair assessment and comparative analysis. The chamber, which had its sources as the Central Bank of Nigeria, the National Bureau of Statistics, the Debt Management Office,and the Nigerian Stock Exchange, among others, said the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals were largely weak, and the situation remained the same till date.

  • Covid-19: NLC, TUC, NECA sign MoU on job protection

The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) and the two central labour organisations, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at protecting jobs, boost productivity and enhance workers’ occupational health and safety.

At the brief signing ceremony in Abuja, NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said the MoU is with a view to halting the indiscriminate sack and salary cut of workers as a result of COVID-19. He called on the government to bring in measures that will assist businesses and organisations in forging ahead, in view of the debilitating effects of the pandemic on the nation’s economy.

  • Nigeria on brink of insolvency — Atiku

Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has again flayed President Muhammadu Buhari’s government for the nation’s debt stock, saying the future looks bleak for the country and its citizens. In a statement entitled “Nigeria in Financial Crisis: Robbing our children to pay for our greed,” Atiku, yesterday, decried the nation’s debt-to-revenue ratio, adding that unless savings were prioritised, Nigeria would find it difficult to make genuine progress as a result.

He said: “Nothing has shocked me in my entire life in public service as the revelation from Nigeria’s first quarter 2020 financial reports in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, which shows, alarmingly, that whereas Nigeria spent a total sum of N 943.12 billion in debt servicing, the Federal Government’s retained revenue for the same period was only N950.56 billion. This means that Nigeria’s debt to revenue ratio is now 99 per cent. “No one should be deceived. This is a crisis! Debt servicing does not equate to debt repayment. The reality is that Nigeria is paying only the minimum payment to cover our interest charges. The principal remains untouched and is possibly growing.

  • Inflation rate rises to 12.40% in May 2020- NBS

National Bureau of Statistics Inflation rate rose by 12.40 percent in May 2020, up by 0.06 percent points higher than the 12.34 percent recorded in April 2020. The consumer price index, (CPI) which measures inflation, released Wednesday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), showed that price increases were recorded in all divisions that yielded the headline index. “The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve months period ending May 2020 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve months period was 11.79 percent, showing 0.08 percent point from 11.71 percent recorded in April 2020.

Analysis showed that the composite food index rose by 15.04 percent year on year in May 2020 compared to 15.03 percent in April 2020. “This rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of Bread and cereals, Potatoes, Yam and other tubers, Oils and fats, Fruits, Fish and Meat”, NBS explained. ”The highest increases were recorded in prices of pharmaceutical products, medical services, repair of furniture, hospital services, passenger transport by road, motor car, bicycles, maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment, passenger transport by sea and inland waterways, paramedical services, motorcycles and hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishment,” NBS stated.

 

 

WORLD

  • WHO hails life-saving coronavirus drug, dexamethasone

The World Health Organization on Tuesday hailed a “breakthrough” steroid treatment for the coronavirus, boosting hopes that pandemic deaths can be reduced, but a growing new cluster in China sparked fears of a second wave of infections. Surging death tolls in the Americas and South Asia, plus a new cluster of cases in Beijing, have raised fresh doubts about how soon the world can bring COVID-19 under control.

In the latest sign of the economic toll, US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned that the world’s biggest economy is unlikely to recover as long as there is “significant uncertainty” about the pandemic. But news of the first proven effective treatment for COVID-19, a widely available steroid, gave cause for fresh hope. “This is great news and I congratulate the Government of the UK, the University of Oxford, and the many hospitals and patients in the UK who have contributed to this lifesaving scientific breakthrough,” said the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

  • Thousands of protesters call for resignation of Mali president

Thousands of protesters in Mali gathered on Friday in the capital, Bamako, calling for the president to resign. Led by conservative imam Mahmoud Dicko, a coalition of opposition groups is demanding political and economic reform.

They are seeking the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta because of escalating jihadist and inter-communal violence. The president had pledged to form a new government with opposition members. But despite negotiations between the two sides earlier this week, the protest went on as planned. In recent days, the president has been pushed to make concessions to opposition groups, like raising the salaries of public teachers following a pay dispute.

A delegation from the West African regional bloc Ecowas is also mediating between the two sides. But protesters say not enough is being done to curb corruption or fix the failing economy.

  • Rayshard Brooks’ fatal shooting

The killing of Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man, late on Friday outside a fast food restaurant in the US city of Atlanta has triggered protests and forced the city’s police chief to resign.
Police were called to the Wendy’s restaurant after a complaint that Brooks had fallen asleep in his car while waiting in line outside the restaurant, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), which has opened an inquiry into the shooting, said on Saturday. The GBI said Brooks failed a sobriety test and police attempted to take him into custody. A struggle between Brooks and the officers over a police taser followed.

It later said that a review of CCTV footage showed that Brooks “obtained one of the officer’s tasers and began to flee from the scene”. “Officers pursued Brooks on foot and during the chase, Brooks turned and pointed the taser at the officer. The officer fired his weapon, striking Brooks.” Brooks was transported to a local hospital where he died after surgery, the GBI said. One officer was treated for an injury sustained during the incident.

  • Africa Urges UN Probe Of US ‘Systemic Racism’, Police Violence

African countries are pushing for the UN’s top rights body to launch a high-level investigation into “systemic racism” and police violence in the United States and beyond, according to a draft resolution seen on Tuesday by AFP. The text was being circulated to diplomats for consultations ahead of a so-called urgent debate on the topic at the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council on Wednesday. The debate was called for following unrest in the United States and elsewhere over George Floyd’s death in police custody.

In the draft resolution, the African group strongly condemns “continuing racial discriminatory and violent practices perpetrated by law enforcement agencies against Africans and people of African descent and structural racism endemic to the criminal justice system, in the United States of America and other parts of the world recently affected.” The draft resolution, which could still be revised before it is tabled later Tuesday, calls for the establishment of an independent international commission of inquiry (COI) — one of the UN’s highest-level probes, generally reserved for major crises like the Syrian conflict.

  • U.S: Trump threatens to stop watching NFL if soccer players kneel during Anthem

United States President Donald Trump has said he will not watch National Football League (NFL) or U.S. football team matches if players do not stand for the national anthem. Last week,the U.S. football Federation said it had dropped its requirement that players stand during the anthem. They said the policy was wrong and detracted from the Black Lives Matter movement.

The policy was adopted in 2017 after U.S. women’s national team member Megan Rapinoe took a knee during the anthem before a game, in solidarity with NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who knelt to call attention to racial injustice. Meanwhile, National football league commissioner ,Roger Goodell says he stands with NFL players who have part of the black lives matter protest. Trump has been a vocal critic of players kneeling during the anthem, previously tweeting that NFL players who did so were “disrespecting our Country & our Flag.”

  • Maria Ressa found guilty in blow to Philippines’ press freedom

Ressa, who runs Rappler, sentenced to at least six months in jail for ‘cyber libel’, will appeal controversial ruling. A court in the Philippines has found journalist Maria Ressa and former Rappler reporter Reynaldo Santos Jr guilty of “cyber libel”, in a controversial case seen as a major test of press freedom under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

In a decision issued on Monday, the court sentenced Ressa, the executive editor of the news website Rappler, and Santos Jr to a minimum of six months and one day to a maximum of six years in jail. It allowed them to post bail, pending an appeal. They are the first two journalists in the Philippines to be convicted for cyber libel. Judge Rainelda Estacio-Montesa also ordered the payment equivalent to $8,000 for moral and exemplary damages to the businessman who lodged the complaint.

 

 

SPORTS

  • Eagles Star Simon Moses Signs Four-Year Deal With French Side Nantes

Super Eagles star, Simon Moses, has signed a new four-year permanent deal with French side, Nantes, valued at €6.5 million. The Nigerian, who had been on a season-long loan to the French side from Levantes since last summer, will now stay with the Yellow and Green until the 1st of July, 2024.

“FC Nantes has exercised the option to purchase from the Spanish Levante Unión Deportiva (La Liga) club for the definitive transfer of Moses Simon (24) to FC Nantes,” the club said in a statement. The club described the player as instrumental to the team’s outing this season where he bagged nine goals and eight assists in all competitions.

  • Awoniyi now in stable condition after concussion – Manager

Nigerian International, Taiwo Awoniyi is back on his feet after suffering concussion during his club’s defeat to Augsburg in a German Bundesliga game on Sunday. Awoniyi who is on loan at Mainz 05 from Liverpool, had a nasty clash of heads with Augsburg defender Felix Uduo-khai in the first half and was left briefly motionless after landing awkwardly.

The Striker was taken off with a brace around his neck after he received medical attention on the pitch. The Club in a statement said Awoniyi is responding to treatment after spending the night at an Hospital.

  • Abiola stadium repair to cost $1.5m – Dare

Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, says it will cost about $1.5m to renovate the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.

The minister, who stated this during a recent inspection tour of the facility, added that the funds for the stadium’s repair would be sourced privately.

  • Mourinho Meets Familiar Foes Man Utd As Liverpool Resume Title Quest

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho is hoping to exact revenge on former employers Manchester United, while Liverpool aim to move within one win of the title as the Premier League’s return kicks up a gear across a four-day weekend of action. The English top flight got its first taste of empty stands and strict hygiene protocols on Wednesday as Aston Villa’s goalless draw with Sheffield United and Manchester City’s 3-0 victory over Arsenal restarted the campaign.

Despite the muted atmosphere, there remains plenty to play for at both ends of the table with the clash between Tottenham and United pivotal in the battle for Champions League qualification. Both sit outside the top four with nine games remaining. However, United’s position in fifth could be good enough to secure a return to the Champions League if Manchester City’s appeal against a two-season ban from European competition is unsuccessful. Spurs could prove to be the biggest winners of the three-month lockdown.

  • German forward, Leroy Sane rejects contract offer from Man City

German forward, Leroy Sane has rejected a new contract offer from Manchester City and may leave the club this summer. City have given up hope of negotiating a new contract with Mr Sane after nearly two years of talks with the player.

Bayern Munich have made Leroy Sane their Number 1 target this summer and have already held talks with City, who are demanding 62 million pounds for the winger. City manager, Pep Guardiola is resigned to losing Sane, but has not ruled out the 24-year-old staying at the club until his contract expires.

  • Man City’s Eric Garcia out of hospital after head collision with team mate

Manchester City’s Eric Garcia has been released from hospital after suffering a head injury in his club’s 3 nil win against Arsenal in the Premier League on Wednesday night.

The 19-year-old was left unconcious after colliding with goalkeeper, Ederson Moraes in the closing stages of the game and was rushed to the Manchester Royal Infirmary Hospital.

Garcia who was released on Thursday has returned to the Club’s Football Academy, where he will be monitored by the club ahead of a return to training and competitive action.

 

 

ENTERTAINMENT

  • Popular radio personality, Dan Foster dies of covid-19

Popular award-winning broadcaster, Dan Foster has been reported dead. The versatile radio veteran was said to have died of the novel Covid-19 virus. His wife, Lovina is reportedly at the Yaba Isolation center, Lagos, on treatment.

He is also survived by three children.

Daniel ‘Dan’ Foster – popularly known as The Big Dawg and Top Dawg was an an Idol series judge and held a similar position with the Got Talent franchise. Foster worked with numerous radio stations in the United States of America, and Virgin Island, before moving to Nigeria in 2000.

  • Rape: D’Banj demands N100m compensation from accuser

Oladapo Oyebanjo aka D’Banj, has demanded N100m from Miss Seyitan Babatayo who accused him of raping her in a hotel room on December 30, 2018. In a pre-litigation letter signed by his lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), the musician asked his accuser to make a payment of N100m within 48 hours or face legal action.

In the letter, which was addressed to Miss Babatayo’s lawyer, Ojoge, Omileye and Partners, dated June 15, 2020, D’Banj also demanded that an apology be published in at least four national dailies.

  • Rape: Thousands sign petition to strip D’Banj of UN appointment

Almost 15,000 people have signed an online petition calling on the United Nations to strip Oladapo Oyebanjo aka D’Banj of his appointment as United Nations Ambassador for Peace. They also called the attention of brands such as Heritage Bank Africa, One Africa, CSA Global, and other establishments associated with D’Banj to end their commercial relationship with him and stand in support of victims of sexual violence. The petition which was started by one E.Pooola 20 hours ago on Change.Org had hit 14, 310 as of 11.10 am on Friday.

It read in part, “We call on the United Nations, and United Nations Women Africa organisations to remove Nigerian artiste Mr Dapo Oyebanjo as a youth ambassador and distance themselves from his actions following the sponsored kidnap of Seyitan who accused D’Banj of rape and sexual assault which happened in 2018. “Women in Nigeria are increasingly at risk of sexual violence and the United Nations and United Nations Women Africa as an entity committed to the empowerment of women should not be seen to associate themselves with alleged rapists, abusers, and kidnappers. “We ask the United Nations and United Nations Women Africa to support and lend their influence in helping Seyitan get justice for the abuse she endured in 2018 and the harassment and bullying in the past weeks.”

  • FCTA shuts down Abuja mall over Naira Marley’s show

A live concert scheduled for Saturday and Sunday was hosted by controversial singer Naira Marley, in Abuja last week . This event has prompted the authorities of the Federal Capital Territory to shut down the popular Jabi Lake Mall.

Residents also requested that all attendees should be isolated in line with the covid-19 safety guidelines. The flier advertising the show fixed for Saturday and Sunday indicated it was to be a drive-through, but ended up being a live concert with many fans in attendance.

The parking lot of the mall was used and deliberately hidden from the view of passersby. The gathered crowd threw all caution to the wind recklessly disregarding safety measures against COVID-19. Clear absence of social distancing and the mandatory use of face masks were ignored.

  • Naira Marley: We thought our passenger was Fashola, we didn’t know they were a bunch of useless people – Airline owner

Executive Jets Services Limited, an airline suspended by the Federal Government for flying Musician, Azeez Fashola aka Naira Marley, to Abuja to attend a concert, has written a letter of apology to the government over what it described as a “mix-up”.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had announced the suspension of the airline during a Presidential Task Force briefing in Abuja on Monday. Sirika said: “The person on that flight conducted a concert. We approved a flight, certainly not for a musician. The flight was approved to convey Honourable Justice Adefope Okogie from Lagos to Abuja and then back to Lagos for an official assignment.The operation is a clear violation of our approval which we take very seriously”.

However, in a letter dated June 15, 2020, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the airline, Sam Iwuajoku, said he gave the approval for the flight thinking the passenger was the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola. He explained that he did not know the said passengers were “a bunch of useless people”.

 

 

METRO PLUS

  • Man remanded for raping 6-year-old girl twice

A 28-year-old commercial motorcycle operator (also known as Okada rider), Terver Awuha, of Idye community in Makurdi town has been remanded by a Chief Magistrate Court for allegedly raping 6-year-old Bella Omachi, twice. Arraigning the suspect, the Police Prosecuting Officer, Sergeant Friday Kanshio told the court that the mother of the victim, Mr. Deborah Omachi had on June 5, reported the matter at the ‘B’ Division Police Station in Makurdi.

She reported that “on June 3, at about 7:30 pm, she sent her daughter to buy noddles from a neighborhood shop, and while on her way the accused allegedly stopped her and dragged her into his room and forcefully sexually abused her. “Again on June 5, at about 2 pm, the said Terver Awuha also took Bella Omachi into his room and had sex with her and gave her N100.” He said during Police investigation the ‘Okada rider’ was arrested for committing the rape offence, “which is contrary to section 284 of the penal code law of Benue State 2004.”

  • Woman sets up friend for eight-man rape gang

Adamawa State Police Command has arrested a 30-year-old woman, Zainab Jafaru, said to be a member of a nine-man rape gang that violated her 33-year-old friend in Yola, the state capital. Zainab allegedly deceived the victim into the rapists’ den.

“The incident happened on June 12, 2020 when the fifth suspect, Zainab Jafaru, deceived the complainant to accompany her to a certain place to meet her boyfriend.The police said they have arrested five members of the gang, while four others are on the run.



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