FRESH FM TOP NEWS THIS WEEK
Written by MaryGift Sunday on June 27, 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:
- Ex-Oyo gov Ajimobi is dead
The immediate past Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, has died at age 70 after battling coronavirus-related symptoms for a month. Ajimobi, who was governor from 2011 to 2019, was named the Deputy National Chairman (South) of the ruling All Progressives Congress last month but never resumed. The former governor was hospitalised at First Cardiologist and Cardiovascular Consultants Hospital, Lagos on June 2, 2020. Ajimobi’s wife, Florence, had earlier been hospitalised with her husband. She was, however, discharged.
He was said to have been confirmed positive earlier and was managing the situation at home before the illness worsened and he had to go to a hospital. Like other VIPs, he was said to have opted for private treatment rather than a public facility after his condition worsened. A source close to the family said the former governor had diabetes and other ailments.
- Ajimobi Died From Failure Of Multiple Organs – Lagos Govt
The former governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, died from multiple organs failure following complications from coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. The Commissioner for Health in Lagos State, Professor Akin Abayomi, confirmed this via his verified Twitter handle on Friday.
He revealed that Senator Ajimobi died on Thursday at a private facility in Lagos approved by the state government to offer COVID-19 treatment. Professor Abayomi condoled with the family of the late former governor and the people of Oyo State. Senator Ajimobi, who died aged 70, was a two-term governor of Oyo State – the first person to occupy the seat twice and in succession.
- Abiola Ajimobi: Ex-governor who wanted to die at 96 but never saw it
Death is the end of all aspirations, and for Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi, life beyond 70 can only be in next life after the former governor of Oyo state lost the battle to complications from coronavirus on Thursday, June 25. If anything could describe Senator Abiola Ajimobi, it would definitely be his bold ideas, rub-hitting speeches and his dauntless courage – the reason he was adorned with a pseudonym “Constituted Authority” following his viral daredevil response to the protest of students of Ladoke Akintola University (LAUTECH) in 2018.
Gentle and outspoken, in 2019 when he clocked the age of 70, the former governor made stunning disclosures about his family and how no male child from his paternal side reached that milestone including his father.
Ajimobi, who earlier said he would like to die at 70, said as a male child from his paternal side, it is a grace to hit that milestone considering the life span of those before him. Ajimobi hoped to live longer but destiny said no. Just as Shakespeare said Who are we in the hands of gods who kill us for their sports?
- Nigeria’s image dented by Hushpuppi’s arrest –Abike Dabiri-Erewa
The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has stated that the arrest of Instagram celebrity, Raymond Abass aka Hushpuppi has dented the image of Nigeria. Dabiri-Erewa who reacted to the arrest of Hushpuppi on Twitter on Thursday night said that the arrest of the Instagram celebrity and his gang for allegedly defrauding over 1.9 million victims was damaging to Nigeria but insisted that fraud does not reflect the citizens.
She wrote thus on Twitter: “Committing crime and still having the audacity to show off”. “Ramoni Igbalode aka Hushpuppi… This is really denting to our image as a people, but like I always say, fraud does not represent who we are as Nigerians. Hardworking, dedicated, committed. “Whether your name is Ramoni Igbalode or Invictus Obi, Crime is crime. The law must take its full course!! To those countries, another Nigerian arrested, is what they will say.” Her comments came after a video detailing the arrest of Hushpuppi circulated on the social media space.
- FBI Seeks Help To Arrest Six Nigerians Over N2.4bn Internet Fraud
The United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) on Saturday said it was seeking assistance in finding six Nigerians wanted for their involvement in fraudulent activities worth over N2.3bn ($6m). “Help the #FBI find six Nigerian nationals wanted for their involvement in business email compromise (BEC) schemes resulting in over $6 million in losses,” the US agency said on its verified Twitter handle.
Help the #FBI find six Nigerian nationals wanted for their involvement in business email compromise (BEC) schemes resulting in over $6 million in losses. The FBI-indicted Nigerians include Richard Izuchukwu Uzuh, Alex Afolabi Ogunshakin, Felix Osilama Okpoh, Abiola Ayorinde Kayode, and Nnamdi Orson Benson. The FBI said all six are “believed to currently reside in Nigeria. According to the FBI, the six were part of an operation that “allegedly sent spoofed emails to thousands of businesses in the United States requesting fraudulent wire transfers.”
- Coronavirus: Obasanjo mocks Buhari’s palliatives, lists areas govt must focus
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has mocked the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for its “initial politicized and badly handled palliative measures”. He identified six areas Nigeria must give attention in order to recover from the COVID-19. He gave the suggestions on Friday at the 2020 Sobo Sowemimo Annual Lecture held at Abeokuta Club, Ogun State. Obasanjo told the government to urgently start the process of getting the economy back on track.
He said these areas should be focused on by the govt: “The first is food availability and security. Second is employment and job security. Third is change in the pattern and style of living including travelling. Fourth is innovation, science, technology, digitalization and Artificial Intelligence. Fifth is local content, raw materials and substitutes. Sixth is diversification of the economy and enhancement of export commodities.” He further said with good leadership, right policy, public and private sectors working together, and the civil society joining hands, all the six areas can be achieved.
- Malami recommends CP, retired DIG, AIG as replacement for Magu
The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami(SAN) has recommended three persons for President Muhammadu Buhari to pick a replacement for Ibrahim Magu, acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. The three names Malami sent to Buhari in a memo, according to THEWILL, are Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Sani Usman (retd); the FCT Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bala Ciroma, who was EFCC Head of Operations, and a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG, from Kebbi State.
Recall that the Minister wrote the President last week, recommending Ibrahim Magu’s immediate sack as head of the anti-graft agency over alleged multiple serious crimes. In the said memo, Malami premised his recommendation for Magu’s removal on sundry ills “ranging from the diversion of recovered loot to insubordination and misconduct.”
Malami also alleged “accounting gaps or discrepancies of figures concerning recovered assets,” stressing that the EFCC boss is not transparent in the management of recovered loot.”
- Nigeria needs more soldiers to defeat Boko Haram- Zulum
Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum, said Nigeria will require more soldiers to win the decade-long war against Boko Haram. Mr Zulum spoke while hosting a visiting delegation from the Senate on a sympathy visit to the state over the recent attacks in Borno state. A high powered committee on Monday were at the Government House to commiserate with the governor over the recent upsurge in attacks by Boko Haram in his state.
- Alleged Discrimination: Nigerians Attack Nigerian Embassy In Indonesia
Some Nigerians in Indonesia on Thursday attacked the Nigerian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia over alleged discrimination and infringement of their rights by Indonesian immigration officials. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, confirmed the attack in a tweet on his official handle, saying there is no justification for the attack. While lamenting the development, he said efforts are being made to identify those behind the “disgraceful” incident and punish them accordingly.
“Absolutely deplorable and disgraceful criminal behaviour by Nigerian hooligans who without justification attacked the Nigerian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia today,” the minister said. “Every effort will be made to identify them and see they are severely punished. Totally unacceptable behaviour.” In videos trending online, some Nigerians were seen attacking the Embassy and chanting, “Nigeria is not helping us in this country. We don’t have an Embassy. We no go ‘gree.”
- FG deploys firefighting trucks to Oyo to combat fire outbreaks
The Federal Government on Wednesday, deployed two states of the art firefighting trucks to the Oyo State Government, in a bid to combat recurring fire outbreaks in the state. The trucks which were received by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Rauf Olaniyan on behalf of Governor Seyi Makinde are to complement the efforts of the state government in view of the recent spate of fire outbreaks in the state.
While presenting the firefighting trucks during a courtesy call which held earlier, the Controller General, Federal Fire Service, Dr. Liman Ibrahim lamented the spate of fire outbreaks in different parts of the states which had left property worth millions wasted. He said the Federal Government through the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola in the effort saw fire fighting as a responsibility of all, hence the need for a robust collaboration between the Federal and state government.
- Court Restrains Ogun Govt From Sacking 75 Coronet Obas
An Ogun State High Court sitting in Abeokuta, the state capital has restrained the state government from sacking 75 Coronet Obas from their communities. Justice A. Akinyemi gave the interlocutory injunction on Tuesday in a ruling on the suit filed by the traditional rulers. He also ruled that the state government and the Coronet Obas should maintain the status quo, pending the determination of the substantive case initiated by the claimants.
The judge, thereafter, adjourned the case until July 7 for further hearing. The monarchs had approached the court to challenge and restrain the state government from deposing them. They were deposed on February 6, 2020, as the state government described the processes of their appointment and upgrade as illegal.
- President Buhari dissolves APC NWC
President Muhammadu Buhari has dissolved the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress. The decision was taken at the ongoing NEC meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The President said a Caretaker Committee shall be constituted to take charge of affairs of the Party.
President Muhammadu Buhari also called for the immediate suspension of all pending litigations involving the APC and its members. The National Executive Committee also ratified the primary elections conducted in edo state. These were among recommendations the President made in his opening remarks to the virtual National Executive Committee meeting of the All Progressives. President Buhari who expressed dissatisfaction at the discord in the Party, stressed that there was need to enforce party discipline.
- Obaseki Wins PDP Governorship Primary In Edo
Governor Godwin Obaseki has emerged as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s flag bearer for the Edo State governorship election taking place on September 19th, 2020. Mr Obaseki was announced as winner after the delegates cast their votes at the party’s primary held at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, the state capital. The coast had earlier been cleared for governor Obaseki’s win after other aspirants running against him stepped down.
Obaseki joined the PDP on Friday, June 19, 2020 after quitting the APC and had picked up his PDP membership card at the party’s secretariat in Benin City. While addressing party officials, the governor said he automatically becomes the PDP leader in the state following his defection. Obaseki also reiterated his commitment to providing what he described as quality leadership, adding that he is ready to lead the party to victory in the governorship election. He noted that “the energy I see in this party is the kind of energy I require to take Edo to the level we should go to next.”
- APC Crisis: Buhari moves to break the ranks of stubborn NWC members
After his controversial dissolution of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari is making moves to break the ranks of the sacked NWC members who have rejected the president’s action. At the National Executive Committee meeting where the decision was taken to dissolve the NWC, the Hilliard Eta-led 18 members of the NWC, in a statement said the decision violated the APC constitution.
The statement was signed by Mr Eta and the party’s acting national secretary, Waziri Bulama. They said they were “studying the unfolding drama” and would be “consulting with stakeholders and a team of lawyers on the next line of action”. Reporters gathered that Mr Buhari has reached out to governors of the states where the NWC members hail from, requesting the governors to put pressure on the intransigent party officials not to seek redress in court or take further action on the issue.
- Ize-Iyamu Emerges Winner Of Edo APC Primary Election
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has emerged the winner of the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary election in Edo State. Chairman of the APC Primary Election Committee and Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma disclosed this on Monday in Benin City, the state capital.
Uzodinma said the election was a formality in accordance with the guidelines of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the other aspirants had already stepped down before the polls.
- Rivers APC suspends Victor Giadom
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers has suspended the party’s Deputy National Secretary, Victor Giadom, over alleged acts of gross infractions of the party’s Constitution.The Media Adviser to the Acting Chairman of APC in Rivers, Igo Aguma, Livingstone Wechie disclosed this in a statementon Sunday. According to him, the suspension was following report of a fact-finding committee set up by the party.
- Ondo Deputy Governor, Ajayi Resigns From APC
Ondo State Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi has resigned his membership from the All Progressives Congress (APC). Ajayi resigned his membership of the APC on Sunday at his country home in Kiribo, Ward 2, Apoi, in Ese-Odo Local Government Area of the state. The resignation of the deputy governor from APC puts an end to speculations that have been on concerning his planned defection. Ajayi also used the opportunity to immediately pick his membership card of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at his ward.
- Ondo traditional rulers endorse Akeredolu for second term
Traditional Rulers across the eighteen Local Government Areas of Ondo State have endorsed the second term aspiration of Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu. The Royal Fathers says they have recorded sterling performances of Governor Akeredolu across all critical sectors of the state’s development.
They say with lean resources, Governor Akeredolu is bringing development to the doorsteps of the people at a fast pace. The rulers made their position known at a meeting to discuss the upcoming gubernatorial election in the state, in Akure.
- Wike Pulls Out Of Edo PDP Reconciliation Efforts
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has pulled out of the reconciliation efforts of the Peoples Democratic Party in Edo. He disclosed this to journalists on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, the state capital. According to Wike, some members of the National Working Committee(NWC) of the PDP are sycophants and tax collectors who will never tell the truth. The governor alleged that instead of the NWC to carry everybody along in Edo, they resorted to using the media to blackmail him.
Speaking further, Governor Wike said he has instructed his lawyers to write a major newspaper over an allegation levelled against him in their Tuesday, June 23 publication. “As a result of this senseless accusation, I have pulled out of Edo State settlement. My integrity matters. I have also directed my lawyer to write ThisDay Newspaper on the publication they made against me in their Tuesday, 23rd June 2020 edition,” he said. He also accused some members of his party’s NWAC of conniving with the media house, stressing that he will come out with more fact if challenged.
- Conflicting Court Orders Leave Us In An Impossible Position – INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has raised an alarm over the conflicting court orders arising from the disputes among members of the same party. INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said this in a statement on Thursday.
“The Commission is worried about the spate and rapidity of conflicting court orders mostly obtained ex-parte involving substantially the same parties, on the same or similar grounds and from courts of coordinate jurisdiction on issues and challenges around the administration of political parties and conduct of party primaries,” he said. He added, “The Commission is committed to obeying all court orders, but the speed, frequency, and conflicting nature of the Orders leave it in an awkward and impossible position.” Okoye, therefore, called on the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to impress on senior members of the Bar to put the country’s interest and the judiciary above every other interest. He urged the NBA to tell its members not to allow personal considerations to outweigh their commitment to the profession, the rule of law and due process.
- Reopening of schools in Oyo insensitive – FG
The Federal Government on Monday kicked against the reopening of schools in Oyo State amidst COVID-19 pandemic, describing such as “insensitive” to the health of the people. Minister of State for Education, Mr Emeka Uwajiuba, said this at the Presidential Task Force briefing on COVID-19 daily news conference in Abuja. Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State had earlier ordered the reopening of schools across the state.
According to the minister, it is expedient to recognise the fact that Oyo State is a government operating under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a Federating unit. He noted that though the governor had the right to reopen the schools as he deemed fit, but added that the primary purpose of governance remained the security of its people. He, however, urged parents to, as a matter of urgency, keep their children and wards under lock and key, to forestall contacting the COVID-19 pandemic. The minister appealed to parents and guardians, whose children and wards would be writing the West African Examinations Council to bear with the government, pending when the necessary arrangements would be made.
- Alleged SUBEB Fraud: NUT suspends Kwara chairman, secretary, others
The Nigeria Union of Teachers NUT, National Headquarters has indefinitely suspended the state Chairman, Secretary, and account clerk of the Kwara State wing of the union over alleged financial fraud. The suspended state leadership are Comrade Saliu Toyin, Kwara NUT Chairman, Com. Idris Jamiu Ola state Secretary and Com. Tijani Lateef account clerk while Com. Chief Olu Adewara has been appointed as acting state chairman and Com. Aremu Rasheed Mayaki will now act as Acting state Secretary.
It would be recalled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, last week paraded a permanent secretary in the state Universal Basic Education Board, a director of SUBEB including the state chairman and account clerk of the union where millions of naira was traced to the trios accounts. Speaking with newsmen in Ilorin on Wednesday the National President of the Union, Comrade Dr Nasir Idris said the union would not condone corruption, impunity, and connivance of any individuals to deny the teachers their right no matter how highly placed.
- FG sets stringent conditions for school reopening
The stringent conditions for the reopening of schools contained in the guidelines submitted to the National Assembly by the Federal Ministry of Education, may force some schools to close down their operations. According to the document, each school is required to create temporary isolation space and fully equipped clinics before reopening. They are also to establish a referral system, including protocols and procedures to take if learners, teachers, administrators and other education personnel become unwell while in school.
Apart from that, the Federal Government in the document, mandated any state wishing to reopen schools to hold adequate consultations with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the parents. The guidelines also require school proprietors to construct additional structures and employ more teachers to ensure that they accommodate their pupils by adhering to the two-metre spacing system in classrooms. Proprietors of schools have also been asked to seek grants to procure soap and buckets, ensure regular safe water supply, ensure constant supply of learning and instructional materials and pay salaries on time.
- Undertaker announces retirement from wrestling
After over three decades, the legendary professional wrestling career of Mark Calaway, better known as WWE superstar The Undertaker has officially come to an end. In the final episode of his WWE Network docuseries Undertaker: The Last Ride, the multi-time champion explained that he feels it’s time to walk away from the ring, saying he has nothing left to accomplish and that for the time being, his Boneyard Match against AJ Styles at this past WrestleMania should be seen as his final match.
“It’s time this cowboy really rides away,” Undertaker said. “There’s nothing left for me to conquer or accomplish… The game has changed. It’s time for new guys to come up. The time just seems right.” The Phenom confessed: “This documentary has helped me discover that and opened my eyes to the bigger picture and not judge myself as harshly these last few years. “I can do more good outside the ring than I can inside. I’m finally at a place where I can accept that.” The Undertaker is happy with how his career has gone and believes the match against Styles was the perfect ending.
- FG to evict illegal occupants, structures from National Stadium
The Sports ministry has set up a committee to identify and verify occupants and illegal structures around the National stadium in Lagos, of rehabilitation works. The Task Force is headed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Gabriel Aduda.
The Minister who blamed many of the illegal occupants for the poor state of the facility,wants sanity restored to the edifice ahead of its planned concession. Illegal occupants around National Stadiums in Lagos And Abuja have been given a 25-day ultimatum to vacate the premises.
- Solskjaer Congratulates Liverpool On Premier League Title
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Friday congratulated bitter rivals Liverpool on their long-awaited Premier League triumph but said watching other sides lifting the trophy “hurt”. Liverpool were crowned English champions for the first time in 30 years without kicking a ball on Thursday when Chelsea beat Manchester City at Stamford Bridge. Liverpool’s 19th title triumph, which sparked wild celebrations around their Anfield home ground, left them one behind United’s record haul.
“First of all, any team that wins the championship and a Premier League deserves it and they deserve credit,” United boss Solskjaer, who won six league titles as a player at Old Trafford, told reporters. “It’s a hard league to win, so well done to Jurgen (Klopp) and his players. “For me, every time you see anyone else lift the trophy it hurts. I reckon that’s the feeling everyone associated with Man United — all players, staff, and supporters. Of course, we want to get back to winning ways and that’s our challenge.”
- Arsenal beat Southampton to record first post lockdown victory
Arsenal got off the mark with their first post-lock down victory as goals from Eddie Nketiah and Joseph Willock earned the Gunners a 2-0 win at Southampton. Nketiah forced an error from Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy midway through the first half, before converting his fourth Arsenal goal of the season into the unguarded net.
The Saints’ hopes of a comeback were dashed by last-man Jack Stephens’ late red card for a foul on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Arsenal substitute Willock added the second goal from the subsequent passage of play three minutes the final whistle. The victory was Mikel Arteta’s first away league win since taking charge.
- World Bank approves $750m for power sector
The World Bank has approved $750 million in International Development Association (IDA) credit for Nigeria’s Power Sector Recovery Operation (PSRO). The World Bank Board of Directors gave the approval “to improve the reliability of electricity supply, achieve financial and fiscal sustainability, and enhance accountability in the power sector in Nigeria.” According to the World Bank, about 47% of Nigerians do not have access to grid electricity and those who have access face regular power cuts.”
In addition, the bank noted: “The economic cost of power shortages in Nigeria is estimated at around $28 billion – equivalent to 2% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).” The World Bank lamented that “getting access to electricity ranks as one of the major constraints for the private sector according to the 2020 Doing Business report.” “Improving power sector performance, particularly in the non-oil sectors of manufacturing and services, the bank said “will be central to unlocking economic growth post COVID-19.”
- Nigeria faces worst recession in four decades — World Bank
A combination of collapse in oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to plunge the country’s economy into a severe recession, the worst since the 1980s, according to the latest World Bank Nigeria Development Update. The World Bank in statement, titled “Nigeria In Times of COVID-19: Laying Foundations for a Strong Recovery,’’ estimated that Nigeria’s economy would likely contract by 3.2% in 2020. The International Monetary Fund had on Wednesday projected a -5.4 percent growth for Nigeria in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The report showed that the human cost of COVID-19 could be high and that beyond the loss of lives, the COVID-19 shock alone was projected to push about five million more Nigerians into poverty in 2020. “The pandemic is likely to disproportionately affect the poorest and most vulnerable, in particular women. School closures have reduced the food intake of almost seven million children who are enrolled in the national school feeding program.
- No State In Nigeria Is COVID-19 Free – NCDC DG
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says no state in the country is free from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). NCDC Director-General, Chikwe Ihekweazu disclosed this on Monday during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
“No state, no single state in Nigeria is COVID-19 free, not one,” Mr. Ihekweazu said. “No country in the world is COVID-19 free. Even New Zealand, that is an island state is still having new cases after a period of not having any.” He continued: “We can’t separate ourselves from the rest of the country. We live in a context, viruses spread, it’s the nature of them, so right now no state is COVID-19 free. That’s why we have to keep doing this work that we are doing, testing people, finding out if they have it.”
- FG contemplates another lockdown
The Federal Government yesterday condemned the serial violations of COVID-19 safety protocols by politicians preparing for the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states, saying this was the time to declare a lockdown. Chairman of the Presidential Task Force, PTF, on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha, stated this Thursday in Abuja during the daily briefing of the Task Force.
He said if he had his way, he would declare another round of lockdown on the country, urging politicians to devise ingenuous ways of reaching the electorate without breaching physical distancing measures and the rule on wearing facemask. Meanwhile, as the increasing number of COVID-19 cases continues to take its toll on the nation’s health care system, particularly as it relates to the number of bed spaces, the government said it has established Community Support Centres in high burden local government areas. It also frowned on the use of face shields as a replacement for face masks, advising that shields should only be used in addition to wearing masks and not as a replacement.
- SERAP sues Health Ministry, NCDC over Covid-19 funds
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has filed a lawsuit against Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, and Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, over “their failure to account for public funds and other resources so far spent and used to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.” SERAP said the suit was necessary after its Freedom of Information (FoI) requests dated March 27, 2020 to the Minister of Health and the NCDC were not responded to. In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/616/2020 filed last week at the Federal High Court, Abuja, SERAP sought “an order for leave to apply for judicial review and an order of mandamus to direct and compel the Minister of Health and the NCDC to publish details of the funds and resources from federal and state governments, and the private sector, as well as details of how the funds and resources have so far been spent and used to combat COVID-19.”
The group urged the court to mandate the respondents to “disclose the details of exact funds and other resources allocated by the Nigerian authorities and private sector donations to the respondents to improve Nigeria’s health facilities to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria; details of spending and planned spending of any such funds, other resources and donations to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.”
- Governors To Interface With Health Ministries Over Doctors’ Demands
Members of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) have agreed to interface with the Federal and State Ministries of Health to address the concerns of resident doctors in the country. This formed part of the resolutions of the governors at the 11th NGF COVID-19 teleconference held on Wednesday. In a bid to review the concerns of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), the governors promised to ensure that backlog of salaries was settled where such exist, and reintegrate residency training in state hospitals where they have been suspended.
They also resolved to ensure the ministries provide protective equipment and ensure sustainable pathways to uphold the welfare of doctors in an effective and efficient manner. During the meeting, NARD President, Dr Sokomba Aliyu, had conveyed the concerns of resident doctors to the governors. He decried the non-implementation of residency training in most states of the federation, non-payment of salaries, and the use of inappropriate salary structures in some states.
- Tramadol fuels insurgency in North-East, says NDLEA boss
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Muhammad Abdallah, says tramadol is a major catalyst for insurgency in the North-East. He noted that drug abuse increased during the lockdown occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic, adding that it is the country’s ‘real pandemic’.
Abdallah stated this on Thursday while featuring on Channels Television ahead of this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking scheduled for June 26 with the theme, ‘Better Knowledge for Better Care’. Abdallah regretted that “the whole average of drug abuse in nations in 5%. In Nigeria, it is getting to 15%, that is not a data or a statistic we should be happy with.”
He said there was the need for collaborative efforts by all including parents to stem the tide of drug abuse in the country, saying, “I know we are going through a pandemic universally but the real pandemic to us is the drug pandemic.”
- Kano Task Force intercepts illicit drugs worth over N1bn ― Ganduje
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State on Friday said the state task force set up to curtail drug Abuse has intercepted and destroyed illicit drugs worth over N1 billion. The Governor also said plans are underway to establish state drug administration agency to ensure compulsory drug test for political appointees, admission seekers, and civil servants among others.
The Governor made this known in a statement by his Commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba to commemorate the 2020 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in the state. He called on the society to help drug addicts and abusers to give up addiction by initiating aggressive public education, more define laws and fostering greater cooperation to counter the menace. According to the statement, “Ganduje urges aggressive mainstream and social media campaign against drug abuse in order to bring to fore the impact of the threat that is endangering not only lives but the economies of some countries.
- Adopting Eco Currency Should Be In Unison, Buhari Tells ECOWAS Leaders
President Muhammadu Buhari has cautioned that the ambition for the Eco currency could be in ‘serious jeopardy,’ unless member-states complied with agreed processes of reaching the collective goal. He was also concerned about the decision of francophone countries that form the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) to replace the CFA Franc with Eco ahead of the rest of the member-states.
The President delivered Nigeria’s position on the new regional currency on Tuesday at a virtual extraordinary meeting of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ). The meeting discussed the implementation of the ECOWAS Monetary Cooperation Programme (EMCP) and the ECOWAS Single Currency Agenda.
- Trump To Extend US Work Visa Freeze To Year-End: White House
US President Donald Trump will prolong a ban on US employment permits to year-end and broaden it to include H-1B visas used widely in the tech industry, the White House said Monday. A senior administration official told journalists the move would affect 525,000 jobs in the US, which is currently reeling from a high unemployment rate caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The executive order, signed Monday afternoon, will extend and widen the 60-day freeze Trump placed on new work permits for non-US citizens two months ago.
The official also stressed the H-1B visa freeze was temporary while the program is restructured, shifting from an annual lottery that feeds coders and other specialists to Silicon Valley to a system that gives priority to those foreign workers with the most value. Trump “is going to prioritize those workers who are offered the highest wages,” as an indicator that they can add more value to the US economy, the official said. “It will eliminate competition with Americans… in these industries at the entry level, and will do more to get the best and the brightest.”
- US Poll: Obama Helps In Raising $11m For Biden Campaign
Barack Obama helped raise $11 million for White House hopeful Joe Biden during a Tuesday virtual fundraiser where the former president said a “great awakening” among Americans could help defeat Donald Trump in November’s election. The two-term Democrat proved a major draw, bringing in a substantial audience and raising over $11 million in total, making it the most successful finance event of the entire campaign, according to Biden press secretary TJ Ducklo.
Some $7.6 million of that came from 175,000 grassroots donors “who continue to power this campaign every single day,” Ducklo tweeted. Obama’s split-screen appearance with the Democratic presidential candidate was his first with Biden since he endorsed his former vice president in mid-April. “I am here to say the help is on the way if we do the work, because there’s nobody I trust more to be able to heal this country and get back on track than my dear friend Joe Biden,” said Obama.
- Orly Airport Paris Reopens After 3-Month Virus Closure
Paris’s Orly airport reopened on Friday for the first time in nearly three months after air travel collapsed during the coronavirus pandemic, but flights will be a fraction of the usual rate. A plane operated by low-cost carrier Transavia took off for the Portuguese port city of Porto, the first commercial flight since the airport south of Paris came to a halt on March 31. Two firetrucks on either side of the plane shot a festive arc “water salute” over the stationary aircraft, with the passengers inside waiting to taxi to the runway.
Airlines including Transavia, Air France, EasyJet, Vueling, and Air Caraibes account for most of the traffic at Orly, flying to the Caribbean, Reunion Island, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Iceland, and Croatia, among others. On Friday, officials expect around 8,000 passengers, less than 10 percent of the daily pre-virus average of around 90,000. They will be on more than 70 flights compared to the normal run of 600 a day. Traffic is due to increase to 200 flights daily in July but it will depend much on whether Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia reopen their borders as well as on whether the virus remains under control.
- New York City To Remove Roosevelt Statue Over Racism Concerns
New York City announced Sunday it would remove a statue of former US President Theodore Roosevelt long criticized as a racist and colonialist symbol, but the move drew criticism from Donald Trump. The decision comes with the United States gripped by widespread protests against racial inequality — sparked by the killing in police custody of George Floyd, an unarmed black man — with demonstrators toppling a number of statues of figures with racist legacies.
The bronze sculpture of Roosevelt, which has been at the entrance of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) for 80 years, depicts the former leader on horseback towering over a black man and a Native American man — who are both on foot. Citing the ongoing movement for racial justice, the museum said: “We also have watched as the attention of the world and the country has increasingly turned to statues and monuments as powerful and hurtful symbols of systemic racism.” The Roosevelt statue, it added, “has long been controversial because of the hierarchical composition that places one figure on horseback and the others walking alongside, and many of us find its depictions of the Native American and African figures and their placement in the monument racist.”
- Trump Administration Asks US Supreme Court To End Obamacare
US President Donald Trump’s administration asked the Supreme Court Thursday to strike down Obamacare, which has provided health insurance to tens of millions of Americans. The third challenge to the landmark law, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, comes as the United States records some of its highest coronavirus infection rates since the contagion hit the country.
Under Obamacare, millions of Americans are required to buy health insurance or face a tax penalty. But in 2017 Congress eliminated the fine for people who failed to sign up — known as the individual mandate — removing a key part of former President Barack Obama’s policy. The Department of Justice (DoJ) argues “the individual mandate is not severable from the rest of the Act.”
- Google Now Auto-Deleting Data For New Users In Bid To Tighten Privacy Settings
Google has begun auto-deleting new users’ search data and location history on a rolling 18-month basis, CEO Sundar Pichai announced, as the tech giant moves to tighten privacy settings. The tweak was introduced Wednesday and is the latest attempt by a big online firm to boost public trust after hefty fines were levied against Facebook and Google for privacy violations in recent years. “We believe that products should keep your information for only as long as it’s useful and helpful to you,” Pichai said in a blog post, adding that the changes were designed to “keep less data by default.”
When creating a new Google account, “your activity data will be automatically and continuously deleted after 18 months, rather than kept until you choose to delete it,” he explained. Current users can already opt in to auto-delete their data every three or 18 months — a setting that has not changed, although existing users will be reminded of the option to do so.
- China Launches Final Satellite To Complete Rival To GPS
China on Tuesday launched the final satellite in its homegrown geolocation system, completing a network designed to rival American GPS as it jostles for market share in the lucrative sector. Footage broadcast live on television showed a rocket blasting off with the satellite from a mountainous region of southwest China, which state media hailed as another milestone in the country’s space programme.
The Beidou system — named after the Chinese term for the Big Dipper constellation –- works on a network of about 30 satellites and competes with the US’s Global Positioning System (GPS), Russia’s GLONASS and the European Union’s Galileo. “I think the Beidou-3 system being operational is a big event,” Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said. “This is a big investment from China and makes China independent of US and European systems.”
- UNHCR appoints ‘2Baba’ as 1st Nigerian Goodwill Ambassador
Nigeria Artiste, Innocent Idibia, also known as 2baba, has been appointed a regional goodwill ambassador of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). UNHCR is an agency targeted at protecting refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people by assisting their voluntary repatriation, local integration, or resettlement to a third country.
According to a statement by the agency, Innocent Idibia becomes the first Nigerian to be appointed as a UNHCR goodwill ambassador. The award-winning singer also took to his Instagram page to break the good news, stating that it would deepen his commitment to supporting the efforts of all UNHCR personnel.
- Nigerian kids ‘Ikorodu Bois’ get Hollywood invite after recreating movie trailer
The Nigerian kids famous for remaking multimillion-dollar music videos and movie trailers with household items may be heading to Hollywood. Members of Ikorodu Bois got the opportunity Wednesday after the group shared on social media their homemade remake of the trailer for the Netflix movie, “Extraction.” Undaunted by high-end productions, the Sanni brothers, Muiz, 15, and Malik,10 (with video-editing help from older brother, Babatunde), and their cousin, Fawas Aina, 13, filmed the trailer in their neighborhood in Ikorodu, a suburb in Lagos, using their ingenuity, the ever-present wheelbarrow, and some upcycled items.
Once uploaded, they told their followers to share and tag lead actor Chris Hemsworth and Netflix to get their attention. Produced by the American duo, the Russo Brothers, “Extraction” features Hemsworth as Tyler Rake, a mercenary tasked with rescuing the teenage son of a jailed drug lord who is abducted by a rival boss. A couple of hours later, Netflix retweeted their post, saying, “LOVE THIS.” The video also caught the attention of Hemsworth, who retweeted the video, commenting, “EPIC.” “This is awesome! We would love to have you guys at the #Extraction 2 premiere…DM us and we’ll get you there!” they said in a tweet.
- ‘I bought my dream house at 35’ – Toke Makinwa says as she pens down open letter to women
Toke Makinwa has penned down an open letter to women advising them not to give up on their dreams.
In the letter, the media personality revealed that she got her dream home at the age of 35. According to her, every woman can achieve any dream or goal they so desire no matter the time it takes.The media personality made this known via her Instagram page on Monday, June 22, 2020.
“I am super proud of all the women out there steady building. I bought my dream home at 35 (Not my first property) while there are certainly no age cap, seeing young ladies doing it in their 20s is such an inspiration, I love you all, keep doing you,” she wrote. ‘No pressure!!!! Everyone’s goal/timing is different, 20s, 30s, 40s, or even 50s. Be hella proud of yourself. Be proud of those things you think are little, be proud of your journey, celebrate you.”
- Veteran Nollywood actress, Bose ‘Madam Tinubu’ Adewoyin, is dead
A veteran Nollywood actress, Bose Adewoyin, is dead. This thespian passed on Tuesday morning. She was buried at about 4p.m. the same day. Late Adewoyin is famous for her role as Madam Tinubu in ‘EFUNROYE TINUBU’, written by Professor Akinwumi Isola and directed by Gbenga Adewusi in 1989. EFUNROYE TINUBU was later adapted for television and was a screen hit all through 1989/1990. The play toured Nigeria before finally being staged in the USA in 1986.
Aunty Bose as she was fondly called, was a quintessential actress, dancer and costumier. She was on the contingent of the Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture that performed Funmi Odusolu’s famous dance musical, ‘ORÍ’ (Destiny).
- Alleged rape: Lawyers knock police for shielding D’Banj
A civil rights organisation under the aegis of the Coalition of Public Interest Lawyers and Advocates on Wednesday faulted the arrest and harassment of Ms. Seyitan Babatayo after she had accused ace musician, Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo (aka D’Banj) of allegedly raping her. The organisation said after monitoring the development since the allegations of rape and related sexual offences came to public domain, it observed that D’Banj was enjoying preferential treatment, while the police had “muddled up and complicated the process for truth and justice in this matter.” The Director (Human Rights and Gender) in COPA, Patrick Odey, in a statement in Abuja, therefore demanded the immediate arrest of D’Banj without further delay.
Odey, however, commended the Inspector General of Police, who ordered a comprehensive investigation into this matter, describing it as timely, necessary and expedient. COPA said, “We refuse to concede that any person, regardless of social status, influence and standing in life, is empowered to enjoy preferential treatment over any other especially within the sector of crime detection and justice delivery in our dear nation. “We find it odd that the first line of action of the Nigeria Police Force in a matter such as the present case is to arrest and detain the victim in an allegation, while failing to invite the accused before it for interrogation.”
- Herdsmen destroy 10 farmlands in Anambra communities
Residents of 10 communities in Awka North local government area of Anambra State have lamented the destruction of their farmlands by suspected herdsmen. The affected people say the destruction had become a daily occurrence for sometime. Former chairman of Awka North local government area, Chief Shedrack Anakwue said that the herdsmen’s menace in the area was becoming increasingly worrisome, adding that the action had led to astronomical rise in the prices of agricultural produce which is the main source of income for the people of the area.
According to him, the herdsmen had left many families in pitiable situation as their source of livelihood, which is their farmlands, had been totally destroyed. Anakwue accused the leadership of one of the communities of allegedly striking a ‘deal’ with the herdsmen, thereby allowing them to operate unhindered in the community. He said: “When you confront the herdsmen, they tell you that they have settled the leaders of the community.”
- How 10-yr-old twin girls became my sex partners with N200 — House help
A 26-year-old male house help, Chinedu Obi stunned detectives at the Gender Unit of Lagos State Police Command, Ikeja, last week when he confessed that he had been sleeping with his employer’s 10-year-old twin girls since 2019 after offering them N200. He stated boldly that he dedicated his whole life to his job without having an opportunity to befriend other girls and that was why he pounced on the primary five twins.
The Imo state born house help was arrested on June 16, 2020 after the mother of the twins suspected foul play when she returned from the market and overheard the twins fighting over how to share the N200 he gave them after sex. She told the police that after much pressure, her daughters confessed to her that the suspect who was her sales boy had sex with them on different occasions. She lamented that she treated the suspect as part of the family which was why he became close to her children. Lagos state police command spokesman, DSP Bala Elkana who confirmed the incident said the suspect would soon be charged to court.
- Drug use behind Nigeria’s high suicide rate
Drug trafficking and substance abuse have reached an alarming level all over the world. In Nigeria, substance abuse has become a threat to public health, national stability, peace, and security, as well as an embarrassing scourge afflicting both individuals and the society at large. Global prevalence of drug use is 5.6% but in Nigeria, it is 14.4% (14.3 million people). One in seven persons in Nigeria between the ages of 15 and 64 years use at least one psychoactive substance as against the global average of one in 20 persons, according to a report. Reports recently ranked Nigeria as 5th in the world with the highest suicide rate of an average of six suicides per month. Substance use has been attributed as a major factor that leads people to commit suicide.
In its bid to discharge its constitutional responsibility of eradicating illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA disclosed that 9,444 persons were arrested for drug related offences in the year ending 2019.In order to collectively fight this scourge, June 26, was set aside as International Drug Day, by the United Nations, to highlight to the global community the dangers associated with drug trafficking and abuse. It is also a day when nations of the world are required to assess their performances in drug control and are expected to re-invigorate their efforts at curtailing the drug menace.