FRESH FM TOP NEWS THIS WEEK

Written by on August 15, 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

  • Kano court sentences singer Yahaya Aminu Sharif to death for blasphemy

An Upper Shari’a Court sitting at Hausawa Quarters in Kano has sentenced a 22-year old singer Yahaya Aminu Sharif to death by hanging for blasphemy against Prophet of Muhammad. In his ruling on Monday, the Shari’a court Khadi, Aliyu Muhammad Kani, found Sharif guilty of the one-count charge bordering on derogatory comment contained in one of his songs. Sharif, a resident of Sharifai quarters in Kano municipal, was accused of committing blasphemy against the prophet in a song he circulated via WhatsApp in March 2020.

Sharif’s action came to public knowledge on 4th of March, 2020, when hundreds of angry youths stormed the Kano Hisbah board headquarters in protest against what they considered an uncomplimentary assault on prophet Muhammad. The youths accused government and security agencies of undue protection and failure to act appropriately against Sharif. The irate youths had earlier razed down the family house of the singer after his disappearance when they invaded the resident

  • Outrage greets death sentence on Kano musician for blasphemy

Human rights groups and activists on Tuesday reacted angrily to the decision of an Upper Sharia Court in Kano State, which sentenced a musician, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, to death for blaspheming Prophet Mohammed. The organisations, in separate interviews with newsmen, described the penalty as anti-poor and wondered how many corrupt politicians had been convicted by Sharia courts in the country. But the Kano State Hisbah Board told newsmen that it supported the death penalty for Sharif-Aminu.

Sharif-Aminu, aged 22, was on Monday sentenced to death for committing blasphemy against Prophet Mohammed in a song he circulated via WhatsApp. He was accused of committing the offence in March 2020 after which protesters burnt down his family house.
The Corps Commander General of the state Hisbah Board, Dr Sani Ibn-Sina, in an interview with newsmen on Tuesday, said, “As an organisation charged with the responsibility of enforcing Sharia, we are in support of the court verdict because anybody who does what he did deserves to be killed. That is what the law says.”

  • Ganduje under pressure to sign Sharif’s death warrant

Satisfied with the death sentence passed on Yahaya Aminu Sharif who was convicted of blasphemy by an upper Shari’a Court, the council of Imams in Kano, on Friday, challenged the state Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, to sign the execution warrant of the convict to serve as a deterrent. Sharif, a 22-year-old Muslim and Kano native was last Monday found guilty of blasphemy against the prophet of Islam, a capital offence under Shari’a jurisprudence and was sentenced to death by hanging. Although the convict has 30 days to appeal the judgment, chairman of the council, Sheikh Muhammad Nasir Adam, said the government should be courageous enough to adhere to the court judgment regardless of political sentiments. Chief Imam of Shiekh Mohammad Ja’far Adam Central Mosque, Sabuwar Gandu quarters, Shiekh Abdullahi Gargamawa, further urged Ganduje to endorse the execution of Sharif without further delay.

In his reaction, the state Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Adeolu Samuel Adeyemo, said blasphemy in Christianity is an unforgivable sin no responsible faithful should attempt and encouraged residents irrespective of religious affiliation not to violate the rules and tenets of the Holy Scriptures. Although the CAN chairman said the recent Shari’a court judgment was strictly an Islamic affair, he posited that religious tolerance should be upheld for a harmonious atmosphere to reign in the society.

Also reacting, the Civil Society Forum in Kano challenged those opposing the judgment of the Shari’a court to explore the appropriate legal means rather than toeing the path of lamentations and threats. Legal adviser of the forum, Mustapha Idris, said the Nigerian constitution was clear about every court ruling and judgment, adding that the Shari’a court judgment could be challenged at a higher court.

  • NBC N5m Fine, ‘A Naked Attempt To Gag The Media’ – Atiku

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has condemned the fined of N5 million imposed on a Lagos-based radio state – 99.3 FM Nigeria Info by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC). In a statement he personally signed on Thursday, he asked the NBC to drop the penalty against the station, describing the reason given for its action as an attempt to gag the media in the country. The former vice president disagreed with the nation’s broadcasting regulatory agency with its argument that the interview that the station had with a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr Obadiah Mailafia, constituted any infringement and exposed the media outfit to trading in hate speech.

He argued that whether or not, what Mailafia during the programme aired on the radio station was a false claim, it was not the responsibility of the NBC to impose a sanction for a comment made by an individual. Atiku stressed that the former CBN deputy governor had been quizzed and released by law enforcement agents, adding that they were at liberty to prosecute him in court if they were not satisfied with his explanations. He insisted that it was wrong to make a scapegoat of the media platform which provides opportunities for citizens to ventilate their views. The former vice president also called on the NBC to review the hate speech prohibition code, saying the interpretation of same was offensive to the notion of free speech

  • Insecurity: Defend yourselves, Catholic bishops tell Nigerians

Catholic Bishops have asked Nigerians to rise and defend themselves against attacks by bandits, herdsmen, kidnappers and other violent criminals across the country. The bishops spoke as North-East governors yesterday, for the second time in four days, told President Muhammadu Buhari that there was the need to address the root causes of Boko Haram insurgency in the zone. This came as the Special Task Force, Operation Safe Haven, OPSH, maintaining peace in Plateau and parts of Southern Kaduna and Bauchi states, has arrested eight suspects in connection with recent killings in Southern Kaduna. Rising from the second plenary meeting of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province at Bishop’s House, Okigwe, the Catholic Bishops in a communique issued at the end of the meeting, expressed concern over growing insecurity in the country and asked Nigerians to be vigilant and be ready to defend themselves.

In the communiqué, signed by the Chairman and Secretary, Archbishop Anthony J.V. Obinna and Most Rev. Augustine T. Ukwuoma, respectively, the Bishops said: “Bearing in mind that no economic or educational endeavour can thrive in a volatile and unsafe environment, the security and safety of the nation at large and Igboland in particular, deserve special attention. “Kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery, incessant killings, which have continued unabated, cast serious doubts on the willingness and capability of our security outfits to rise up to their constitutional responsibilities. “Rise up in prayer to God in vigilance and in legitimate self-defence, for the right to life, to our homes and to our lands that is God-given.”

  • N11.5b smuggled into NDDC’s proposed 2020 budget, says IMC

The Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Sunday alleged that N11.5bn worth of contracts were smuggled into the agency’s budget. It said the “non-essential contracts” were for the supply of desks and chairs to schools in the Niger Delta. The NDDC has also petitioned Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, over the non- supply of 4,800 benches and desks by seven contractors. The jobs are valued at N1.623 billion. The IMC has been at loggerheads with the National Assembly over the probe of alleged financial reckless and maladministration in the NDDC.

Acting Managing Director of the agency Kemebradikumo Pondei, and Director of Projects Cairo Ojuogboh accused Senate committee chairman Senator Peter Nwaoboshi and Huse of Representatives Chairman Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo,of being direct beneficiaries of agency’s contracts, but have both denounced the allegations. On Sunday, Ojuogboh according to a statement by NDDC Corporate Affairs Director, Charles Odili, queried the rationale behind the “N11.5bn non-essential contracts” for the 4,800 chairs and desks, wondering where they would be deployed in.

  • FRSC impounds 3 articulated vehicles as ” Operation Scorpion II” begins in Oyo

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Oyo State has commenced Operation Scorpion II targeted at trucks with unlatched containers. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the execise became imperative to prevent accidents as a result of falling containers. Addressing newsmen on Monday on the Lagos-Ibadan express way during the exercise, the FRSC Sector Commander in the state, Chukwurah Uche, said that the operation would end on Aug. 16. He added that the exercise would ensure that all trucks carrying containers were latched.

Uche said that unlatched trucks were causing accidents on the road, adding that any unlatched trucks would be impounded and the driver fined N50,000. “This Operation Scorpion II is about enforcing the law that says all trucks carrying containers are latched before plying the road. “We are all aware of what happened on July 26 in Lagos where a young lady lost her life as a result of unlatched container falling on a vehicle from a truck. So any unlatched vehicle arrested will be booked for dangerous driving and fined N50,000.

  • Malami Writes Buhari, Denies Corruption Allegations

The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has written to President Muhammadu Buhari, denying the allegations of corruption levelled against him. This follows a call from a coalition of Civil Society Organisations asking President Buhari to probe the AGF over 14 high-profile corruption cases and calling for his resignation. The allegations levelled against Malami, by the CSOs include “financial fraud” and “influence peddling”, as well as “illegally” auctioning sea vessels holding crude oil seized by the Federal Government. But the minister wrote to the presidency, insisting that he had declared all his assets and statements of accounts upon his assumption of office.

Also in the letter, the Minister said he has also decided to seek redress in court. The Minister has been accused of being behind the ordeals of the former Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, after criticising some of his actions.

  • Ondo Govt Inaugurates Amotekun Corps

Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has inaugurated the pioneer officers of Ondo State Security network Agency Amotekun Corps. Akeredolu while inaugurating the corps in Akure, the state capital expressed delight with the performance of the pioneer Amotekun Corps officers who just completed their training. He urged them to put into good use all they were taught during training to ensure the security of life and property in the state.

While soliciting for more funding from the Federal Government to equip the police, governor Akeredolu said that the Amotekun Corps is designed to support the existing security framework in the state. The Governor stressed that with a workable synergy among the leadership of the security agencies and that of Amotekun, a water-tight strategy capable of arresting crimes even before they occur would be deployed. Governor Akeredolu also used the occasion to flag off some vehicles, motorcycles, and other communication gadgets to ensure the officers discharge their duties effectively.

  • Ex-U.S. ambassador Carrington dies at 90

Former United States (U.S.) Ambassador to Nigeria Walter C. Carrington is dead. He died on Tuesday at his home in Newton, Massachusetts, with his wife, Arese, and family members at his bedside. The late envoy turned 90 on July 24 and he was celebrated in Nigeria.

His wife, who announced the death in an email on Wednesday, wrote: “It is with a heavy and broken heart, but with gratitude to God for his life of selfless humanity, that I announce the passing of my beloved husband Walter Carrington, former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria and Senegal. “He passed away peacefully, surrounded by loved ones at the age of 90 years on Tuesday, August 11th, 2020.

 

 

 

 

EDUCATION

  • Unilag council divided on sack of Vice Chancellor

The crisis rocking the University of Lagos (UNILAG) climaxed on wednesday with the purported sack of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe. In another twist, however, the embattled Ogundipe insisted he remained the vice chancellor of the institution. The institution had announced the sack of Ogundipe during a meeting of the council, which held yesterday at the headquarters of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Abuja. In attendance at the meeting, presided over by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Dr Wale Babalakin (SAN), were 11 council members, including Ogundipe, where the decision to remove him was put to vote. The vice chancellor, who has been having a running battle with Babalakin over allegations of financial impropriety and gross misconduct, was removed by a simple majority of seven members at the meeting.

In a letter entitled: ‘Notice to the General Public on the removal of the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos,’ signed by the Registrar and Secretary to Council, Oladejo Azeez, the university said: “The general public is hereby notified that at an emergency meeting held on Wednesday, August 12, and in accordance with the statutory powers vested in it by law, the governing council of the university has removed Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe from office with immediate effect. “This decision was based on council’s investigation of serious acts of wrongdoing, gross misconduct, financial recklessness and abuse of office against Prof Ogundipe,” Azeez added. But Ogundipe debunked the report that the council had sacked him. In a statement personally signed by him, Ogundipe urged the public to disregard the notice of termination signed by the registrar.

  • UNILAG Alumni Asks Governing Council To Revert To Status Quo, Follow Due Process

The Alumni Association of the University of Lagos has advised the school’s Governing Council to revert to the status quo and follow due process in respect of the sack of Vice-Chancellor Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe. “Without prejudice to the general powers of the University Governing Council to appoint and remove a Vice Chancellor under the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Act 2003 (No. 1 2007), and without apportioning any blame to either the Governing Council or the Vice Chancellor, the University of Lagos Alumni is of the view that before the Council can exercise such powers, it must follow due process, particularly as mandatorily provided under section 3(8), (9) and (10) of the Act in the removal of the Vice Chancellor and Section 3(13) in the appointment of an acting Vice Chancellor,” the Alumni Association said in a statement.

“Therefore, the Alumni counsels the Governing Council that the status quo ante the Council meeting of Wednesday, 12th August, 2020, be restored while the Alumni continues with its efforts at ensuring that lasting peace and harmony reign on the Campus as between the Council and the University Management in particular, and all sections of the University community in general, including the Senate, students, staff, all Associations, particularly ASUU, NASU, SSANU, NAAT, etc.” The Alumni Association added that it will not “relent in its efforts” to help differing parties within the University reach an amicable resolution.

  • JAMB announces date for polytechnics, university post-UTME

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says the post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (post-UTME) screening for the 2020 admission processes will now begin not earlier than 7 September, 2020 in universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in the country. The board said the shift in the date of the admission process from the earlier announced 21 August, is to accommodate candidates who will be taking part in this year’s school-based Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE). Registrar of JAMB, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, made this known on Monday after a consultative virtual meeting with vice chancellors, rectors, and provosts of tertiary education institutions.

The JAMB boss said institutions whose post-UTME screening is mandatory for candidates would have to spread such exercise in two phases. The JAMB’s registrar also revealed that the Board has withheld results of candidates that sat for this year’s UTME at Correctional Service centres (prisons) over suspected infractions.

  • NECO Releases 2020 Timetable

The National Examinations Council (NECO) has unveiled the timetable and guidelines for the conduct of its 2020 examinations for Senior Secondary 3 students. NECO Registrar/Chief Executive Officer, Professor Godswill Obioma disclosed this on Tuesday during a press conference at the Council’s Headquarters in Minna, the Niger State capital. He noted that the body has outlined guidelines to enable schools prepare for conduct of the exams.

The guidelines include preparing examination centres and schools in compliance with COVID-19 protocols; decontamination of examination centres and schools; maintaining prescribed physical and social distancing protocols by candidates and examination officials. Others include the provision of water and hand washing facilities, sanitizers and face masks by school proprietors, managers, parents and guardians as the case may be; as well as use of water, hand washing facilities, sanitizers and face masks by school proprietors, managers, parents/guardians, examination officials candidates and security officials. On the number of candidates expected to write the examination, Professor Obioma said so far, only 169,144 students have registered for the Senior School Certificate Examination.

 

 

 

 

 

POLITICS

  • I’ve done what Mimiko couldn’t do in eight years – Akeredolu

The Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, has said he is committed to the welfare of the people of the state. He stated that many projects abandoned by his predecessor had been completed during his administration. Akeredolu stated this on Monday while speaking at the flag off of distribution palliatives items donated by a Non-Governmental Organisation, the Coalition Against COVID-19 also known as CA-COVID-19 in Akure, the state capital. Some of the items distributed included rice, sugar, noodles, marcaroni, spaghetti, garri among others. The governor said the commodities donated to the state would be able to take care of at least 50,000 households across the nook and cranny of the state.

He said, “Part of our mitigation strategies is the provision of food items as palliatives to our people. Our administration, has again, within the available resources gone the extra-mile to make this a reality. “If previous government had shown concern, we would have had a seaport. Agagu started it but we had a government that abandoned it. That government abandoned OAUSTEC. Come on Saturday and see the wonderful work we are doing there.”

  • Politicians exploit insecurity for personal gains – Matawalle

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, says politicians are responsible for the insecurity challenges bedeviling the country. The governor stated this on Tuesday when he spoke at the Special Army Super Camp 4 in Faskari town.Matawalle said, “We, the politicians, are to be blamed for the intractable security challenges bedeviling our communities. It is evident that some politicians exploit insecurity for political gains. These unscrupulous politicians would hardly commend the military for their successes at the battlefronts.

“However, they would be eager to rush to the media to report attacks by bandits or other miscreants”. “For these crop of politicians, politics is not about genuine commitment to the wellbeing of the people; it is all about power and nothing more.” He however, maintained that safeguarding and ensuring security is not just the responsibility of President Muhammadu Buhari, the governors, the service chiefs but that of every patriotic citizen.

  • Sanwo-Olu Heads APC Campaign Council For Akeredolu’s Re-Election

The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday approved the appointment of Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu as Chairman of the party’s high-level National Campaign Council for the Ondo State Governorship Election. The announcement was contained in a statement signed by the party’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena.

“The Chairman of the Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Governor Mai Mala Buni has approved the appointment of the Governor of Lagos State, H.E. Babajide Sanwoolu to chair the Party’s high-level National Campaign Council for the Ondo State Governorship Election,” the statement said. APC’s Rotimi Akeredolu is set to take on other candidates on October 10 for a second term in office.

  • Mailafia’s Boko Haram allegation heavy, must be probed — Northern governors

Following the allegation that a serving northern governor is a commander of Boko Haram, the Northern Governors’ Forum has called for a thorough investigation as such allegation is too weighty to be ignored. Expressing concern over the allegation, the umbrella body of the 19 northern governors noted that as a body, they have been working hard to see the end of banditry and terrorism and for one of them to be alleged to be a leading member of Boko Haram calls for thorough probe. Former Central of Nigeria, CBN, Deputy Governor, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, made the claim in an interview on an Abuja-based radio station, on Monday, claimed that a governor from the north is a commander of Boko Haram and that insurgents would soon start urban killings and attacking southern parts of the country.

Mailafia said: ‘’During the lock-down, the insurgents were moving and distributing arms and ammunition across the country. We have met with some of their repentant high commanders, they have sat down with us not once, not twice. “They told us that a prominent elected politician in the North is the commander of Boko Haram in Nigeria. Boko Haram and the bandits are one and the same. During this lock-down their planes were moving up and down as if there was no lock-down.” Reacting on a day that the Director of State Service, DSS in Jos invited Dr. Mailafia for questioning over the allegations, Chairman of the Norther Governors’ Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, said the allegation is weighty and must be investigated. In a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Makut Macham, the Plateau governor urged Dr. Mailafia who made the allegation and indeed all citizens with useful information on the activities of criminals and terrorist groups to assist security agencies and governments at all levels with such intelligence for proper action. He said: “The Northern Governors Forum has called on security agencies to investigate the allegation by a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia in which he alleged that “…one of the Northern Governors is the Commander of Boko Haram in Nigeria. The Forum is concerned about the weighty allegation made by Dr. Mailafia which must be thoroughly investigated.

 

 

 

 

 

ECONOMY

  • Unpaid Salaries: NUPENG, PENGASSAN Protest, Threaten Nationwide Strike

The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have threatened to embark on a nationwide strike. The unions threatened to go on strike with effect on Sunday if the Federal Government fails to pay their three months salary arrears. Expressing their displeasure with the development, the protesting members went to the headquarters of the Petroleum Trust Development Funds (PTF) claiming that the Federal Government is withholding their salaries since May 2020 for failing to migrate to the Integrated Payroll System.

The unions insisted that they are not against the Integrated Payroll System but needed the clarification of grey areas before the implementation of the new scheme. The protesters who were dressed in red attire carried placards written, “No To Forceful Enrollment into IPPIS”, “Release Our Salaries Now”, “We Are Not Against IPPIS but Create Another Platform That Addresses Our Peculiarities,” “We have families and dependents pay our salaries, pay Nigerian workers, pay our three months’ salaries” among others.

  • Fund BDC to stabilise naira – Sanusi tells CBN

Former CBN Governor and one-time Emir of Kano Muhammad Sanusi II has said, to protect the naira, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) must fund Bureau De Change (BDC) segment of the foreign exchange .
This action he said, will bridge the gaps between official and parallel market rates of the naira. The apex bank in March suspended dollar sales to BDCs. But the policy has not affected dollar transactions in the Investors & Exporters (I&E) forex window.

Sanusi, who spoke in a live webinar organised by AZA, a cross-border payments platforms and forex trading firm, on the theme: United States of Naira: What Price for Unification?, said there has been huge gaps between the official rate, the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Rate Fixing (NAFEX) and the BDC rates since 2016. He said: “I think what the bank is trying to do is bridge that gap and I think moves have been made in general in July that have brought the CBN rate and the NAFEX rates closer. But, the BDC rates remain an outlier. It is a small percentage of the market, but it does have an impact on speculation, which is why it is important to fund that market”. According to him, the huge gap between NAFEX and BDC is a reflection of funding being taken out of the market because of shortage of foreign exchange.

  • Court orders restrain sale of Shoprite

A Nigerian firm, AIC Limited, has warned potential investors against taking over the Nigerian subsidiary of Africa’s biggest supermarket chain, South African-owned Shoprite. Shoprite said it was looking at selling all “or a majority stake” in its operations in Nigeria after 15 years. Shoprite said lockdown restrictions because of coronavirus had affected its operations in 14 African countries, with sales declining by 1.4% in those markets. The retailer has also been battling currency-induced inflation surges – especially in Nigeria, where it has been hit hardest, saying it has been approached by potential investors willing to take over its Nigerian operations.

However, AIC Limited in a public notice published on Thursday called the attention of “unsuspecting” potentials about the litigation and Mareva injunction on Shoprite.According to the notice, Justice Liman sitting at Federal High Court in Lagos on 23 July, 2020 granted Mareva injunction against Shoprite in “order to prevent Shoprite from hurriedly carting away its intangible assets, intellectual property and receivables from Nigeria in a manner which may render the judgment of the Lagos State High Court and Court of Appeal, nugatory.” This means Shoprite lacks the capacity to transfer, assign, charge, dispose of its interest under the Administration and Technical Services agreement which it has with Retail Supermarkets Ltd. without the consent and involvement of AIC Limited.” “The Mareva orders also prohibits the Registrar of Trademarks forthwith, from recognizing any sale or assignment of any trademarks, franchise or whatever kind reflecting any transaction by either Shoprite or Retail Supermarkets that would alter the corporate existence of either Shoprite or Retail Supermarkets,” it added.

 

 

 

 

HEALTH

  • US hands over 200 ventilators to FG

The United States handed over 200 ventilators to the Federal Government on Tuesday. This was done in fulfillment of the promise made by the US President Donald Trump during a telephone conversation with his Nigerian counterpart, President Muhammadu Buhari on April 28 2020. The medical equipments were handed over to the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard, at a ceremony in Abuja this morning.

  • Inadequate melanin in iris responsible for blue eyes –Ophthalmologist

A Consultant Ophthalmologist at The Eye Doctors, Lagos, Dr. Abiola Oyeleye, says lack of melanin in the iris is usually the reason for blue eyes. The ophthalmologist – Dr. Oyeleye, who spoke in an interview with newsmen, said the colour of the iris is determined by the amount of melanin within the iris. Melanin is a dark brown to black pigment occurring in the hair, skin, and iris of the eye in people and animals. It is responsible for tanning of skin exposed to sunlight. According to Oyeleye, “If there is little or no melanin in the iris, the person will have a blue iris. If there is a lot of melanin, the person will have a brown iris, in-between brown and blue. You have hazel or green-coloured eyes based on the amount of melanin within the iris.” While noting that there is no treatment for the eye condition, Oyeleleye said that a black person with blue eyes is rare. The condition, he said, is common among the whites.

An Ilorin-based woman, Risikat Azeez, was abandoned by her husband, Abdul-Wasiu Omo-Dada, for having blue-eyes. Newsmen had reported that Omo-Dada rejected his wife and two daughters because of the colour of their eyes. Risikat, who said she sees clearly with her eyes regardless of the colour, lamented that her husband, who married her that way, changed when she gave birth to two kids with the same eye colour. Explaining further, Oyeleye, who is also the Vice-President, Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria, said blue eyes could be hereditary or caused by genetic mutation and medical syndromes. “Both parents could have blue eyes so they pass on their genes to the children. Both parents could have recessive blue iris genes and the baby develops blue eyes.

 

 

 

WORLD

  • Beirut explosion: Lebanon’s PM Diab Announces Resignation Of Government

Lebanon’s government has resigned amid mounting anger over the the deadly Beirut port blast on Tuesday that devastated parts of Beirut and left more than 200 people dead. The announcement was made in a national TV address by Prime Minister Hassan Diab on Monday evening. Lebanon’s premier Hassan Diab blamed the devastation on the incompetence and corruption of a decades-old ruling class. Many people have accused the country’s leaders of culpability through their alleged negligence and corruption. The massive blast was caused by the detonation of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely at the port for years.

Mr Diab, who was appointed prime minister in January after months of deadlock, said his government had “gone to great lengths to lay out a road map to save the country”. But corruption in Lebanon was “bigger than the state” itself, and “a very thick and thorny wall separates us from change; a wall fortified by a class that is resorting to all dirty methods in order to resist and preserve its gains”, he said. “They knew that we pose a threat to them, and that the success of this government means a real change in this long-ruling class whose corruption has asphyxiated the country,” he added. “Today we follow the will of the people in their demand to hold accountable those responsible for the disaster that has been in hiding for seven years, and their desire for real change,” Mr Diab said. The prime minister presented himself in the speech as a reforming leader blocked by endemic corruption dating back years.

  • Indonesia starts human trials of China-made corona vaccine

Indonesia on Tuesday launched human trials of a Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine with some 1,600 volunteers slated to take part in the six-month study. The vaccine candidate, produced by Sinovac Biotech, is among just a few in the world to enter Phase 3 clinical trials, or large-scale testing on humans — the last step before regulatory approval. The treatment, known as CoronaVac, is already being tested on 9,000 health workers in Brazil, the second-hardest-hit country in the coronavirus pandemic after the United States.

Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, has been struggling to contain its mounting virus cases, with more than 127,000 confirmed infections and over 5,700 deaths. But the true scale of the public health crisis is believed to be much bigger, given the Southeast Asian nation’s low testing rates.

  • Russia Dubs New Coronavirus Vaccine ‘Sputnik’ After Soviet Satellite

Moscow has dubbed its new coronavirus vaccine “Sputnik V” after the Soviet satellite, the head of the country’s sovereign wealth fund said Tuesday, after Russia declared itself the first country to develop a vaccine. Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund which finances the vaccine project, said Phase 3 trials would start on Wednesday, industrial production was expected from September and that 20 countries had pre-ordered more than a billion doses.

  • WHO To Review Russian Vaccine Safety Data

The World Health Organization said any WHO stamp of approval on a COVID-19 vaccine candidate would require a rigorous safety data review, after Russia announced Tuesday it had approved a vaccine. President Vladimir Putin said Russia had become the first country to approve a vaccine offering “sustainable immunity” against the new coronavirus. “We are in close contact with the Russian health authorities and discussions are ongoing with respect to possible WHO pre-qualification of the vaccine,” the United Nations health agency’s spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told reporters in Geneva at an online press briefing.

“Pre-qualification of any vaccine includes the rigorous review and assessment of all the required safety and efficacy data.” Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine has been developed by the Gamaleya research institute in coordination with the country’s defence ministry. A total of 165 candidate vaccines are being worked on around the world, according to the latest WHO overview produced on July 31.

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Is Tested And Safe, Says Russian Military

The Russian defence ministry said on Wednesday it had developed a “safe” coronavirus vaccine following clinical trials on a group of volunteers. The ministry said 18 people had participated in the research and were discharged without “serious adverse events, health complaints, complications or side effects”. The results of the trials “allow us to speak with confidence about the safety and good tolerability of the vaccine”, it said in a statement.

The defence ministry did not say whether the vaccine was in fact effective but a doctor working on the trials said the volunteers were now protected against the coronavirus. “Their immunity is working well, antibodies are being created, they are protected against the coronavirus,” researcher Svetlana Volchikhina said in a video released by the defence ministry.

 

 

 

SPORTS

  • NFF begins second phase distribution of FIFA, CAF palliatives

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) yesterday disclosed that all its affiliates would benefit from a $2 million it received from world football governing body, FIFA, and Africa’s apex soccer body, CAF, as well as two of its sponsors as part of efforts to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on their activities. Rising from its executive committee meeting held via video conference on Monday, the NFF in a communiqué, disclosed the sharing formula for the palliatives, explaining that it decided to distribute the money after due consultations with the sports ministry. It said the $2 million would be “shared across the various clubs and governing bodies of the various leagues, including Nigeria Professional Football League, Nigeria National League, Nigeria Women Football League and the Nigeria Nationwide League, as a booster for their preparation ahead of the 2020/2021 League Season.

“The total sum is made up of $1,000,000 (being FIFA’s support for restarting the football season); $500,0000 (being FIFA’s dedicated support for women’s football); $300,000 (CAF’s support to its member associations); and $200,000 (NFF’s support from Sponsors’ Funds).” Apart from the distribution of palliatives, the NFF also disclosed that it has instructed its technical and development committee to liaise with the integrity office to, within a week, submit a shortlist of candidates for the positions of technical director, head coaches of the U20 and U17 national women teams, the U15 boys national team, as well as candidates for the position of consultant on coaches training and development.

 

  • Serena Falls To 116th-Ranked Rogers At US Open Tuneup

Serena Williams suffered her first loss since 2012 to a rival outside the WTA’s top 100, falling to fellow American Shelby Rogers in a Friday quarter-final at the Top Seed Open. Rogers, ranked 116th, outlasted ninth-ranked Williams 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) after two hours and seven minutes, finishing the 23-time Grand Slam champion with a service winner.

“It’s every kid’s dream growing up to be able to do something like that,” Rogers said. “Weird circumstances. Weird surroundings. But a win is a win.” The US Open hardcourt tuneup event at Lexington, Kentucky, is being staged in a quarantine bubble due to the COVID-19 pandemic that had kept Williams idle since a February Fed Cup appearance.

  • Nesiama talks tough – Lagos National Stadium ‘restoration’ begins

About 16 years after it was abandoned, the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos is set to come alive again, as the Ministerial Implementation Committee on restoration of the complex is set to begin work next week. The last major football tournament held at the National Stadium, Lagos was the Four-Nation LG Cup in 2004. Senegal won the tournament, beating Nigeria 1-0. Since then, the stadium has changed from a monument of national pride to a symbol of ‘official neglect and mismanagement,’ with the hallowed turf in a terrible state, while the seats and tartan tracks cry for replacement. The media centre of the stadium complex is an eyesore.

However, in an effort to bring the stadium back to life, Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, appointed former AFN Technical Director, Retired Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama, as co-chairman alongside the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr. Gabriel Aduda, to head the Ministerial Committee to implement the recommendations of the Task Force earlier set up on June 9, 2020. The committee, which has its membership drawn from the ministry, private sector, stakeholders and the security services, was inaugurated on Monday. Nesiama told newsmen on Thursday that the ‘restoration’ work would begin immediately.

 

 

 

 

ENTERTAINMENT

  • Burna Boy Releases New Album ‘Twice As Tall’

Nigerian Grammy-nominated, Damini Ogulu on Thursday released a fresh album, “Twice As Tall, ” a follow-up to his 2019 album, “African Giant.” The 15-track album features Senegalese artist, Youssou N’Dour, O.G, Chris Martin, U.K. rapper Stormzy, afro-pop band Sauti Sol among others. Burna Boy noted that the “Twice As Tall” album is “a journey through a bunch of emotions and energies at different points in time. It has now morphed into something bigger than me. It serves as a bridge for mankind to show that we’re all different but still very much the same.”

In a post on his Instagram page following the release of the new album, he lauded those who played a part in the success of the project, saying he is grateful for the “unreal talents” that went into the production. “I’m grateful for the unreal talents that came together from ALL over the world to pull this off,” he said. “Shout out to the OG @diddy for coming on board and sprinkling his own unique spice on this! I hope I’m able to spark something in you when you listen.” Burna’s new album was produced by Diddy, Bose Ogulu and the afro-pop fusion singer himself.

  • N-TYZE Entertainment Files N10m Suit Against Humblesmith

The Managing Director of a record label, N-TYZE Entertainment, Ovie Williams has filed an N10m suit against Afropop singer, Ekenedilichukwu Ijemba popularly known as Humblesmith. In the suit filed in the High Court of Ogun, Abeokuta Division, Ovie accused the “Osinachi crooner” of contract breach, assault and intimidation over a passport “theft” claim. According to the suit filed by Mega Solicitors, counsel to Ovie, Humblesmith allegedly sent some police officers attached to the Zone 2 Police Command, Onikan, Lagos to harass and intimidate him over the “theft” of the passport which he described as a “purely civil” matter.

The MD of N-TYZE Entertainment, is, therefore, demanding a claim of N10m as damages following the alleged harassment and intimidation meted out to him by the officers contracted by the singer. Counsel to the record label’s MD said as the artist’s manager, Ovie is by contract mandated to keep the singer’s passport, asking the court to declare the action of the police officers as illegal and unconstitutional.

 

 

 

 

 

METRO PLUS

  • Prophet Arrested For Impregnating Sisters, Defrauding Mother Of N2m

The police have arrested a man said to be the founder and general overseer of the Church of the Lord at Olomore in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. In a statement on Sunday, the police explained that the suspect, Prophet Ebenezer Ajigbotoluwa, was apprehended by men of the Ogun State Command for defiling and impregnating two underage sisters. His arrest followed a report by the mother of the victims who reported at the police station Lafenwa that she fell sick sometimes in 2018 and was taken to the suspect’s church for spiritual healing. The victims’ mother said the pastor took advantage of her sickness and asked her entire family of six to move into the church premises to avoid being afflicted with the same sickness. The prophet was said to be having sex with the girls who were 16 and 13 years, unknown to their mother.

“The pastor impregnated the two underage girls and went on to procure abortion for them in a private clinic. “Aside from this, the prophet also defrauded the family of N2 million cash which he took for what he called spiritual cleansing,” said the statement signed by the command’s spokesman, Abimbola Oyeyemi. On interrogation, the suspect confessed to have committed most of the allegations levelled against him, the police said. Following his arrest, the Commissioner of Police in Ogun, Edward Ajogun, directed that the suspect be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for discreet investigation.

  • Murder: Court Martial Sentences Soldier To 55 Years Imprisonment

A General Court Martial (GCM) sitting in the nation’s capital, Abuja has sentenced a soldier serving with the Nigerian Army to 55 years in prison for culpable homicide, theft and housebreaking. The soldier, Lance Corporal Babangida Ibrahim was accused of robbing and killing one Bello Abdullahi Aliyu in Gidan Darib, Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara State on August 11, 2014. He pleaded guilty to the four-count charge preferred against him and was sentenced in line with the provisions of the Armed Forces Act.

Delivering the judgement, the President of the Court, Major General Priye Fakrougha advocated the need for members of the Armed Forces to adhere strictly to rules and regulations guiding the conduct of military personnel in and out of uniform. While reiterating the determination of the Army under the command of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, to discharge its constitutional responsibility in a professional manner, Fakrougha warned that defaulters will be made to take responsibility of their actions

  • Gunmen Kill School Proprietor In Taraba

Gunmen suspected to be bandits have shot dead a school proprietor in Taraba State. Newsmen learned that the victim, Danlami Shamaki was returning from Abuja on Sunday where he went for a meeting before being ambushed alongside his driver and aide. He was the proprietor of New Edition Nursery and primary school as well as Winners Comprehensive High School in Jalingo, the state capital.

A family source who preferred anonymity disclosed that the incident occurred at Dan-Anacha community, a suburb of Gassol Local Government Area. The source explained that when they were returning from Abuja and got to Dan-Anacha the hoodlums used a water truck to block the road, which forced his driver to maneuver past it.

  • Father charged for chaining son cruelly

Aliyu Umaru, who chained his 12-year-old son, Jibrin, for two years in Kebbi has been charged for cruelty. Kebbi Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO), DSP Nafiu Abubakar, disclosed this in a statement: “The Kebbi State Police Command wishes to inform members of the general public that on the 09/08/2020 at about 1440hrs, information revealed that, one Jibrin Aliyu,male, aged,12 years of Badariya area, Birnin Kebbi was tied with a rope alongside with animals and chickens for a period of two years after demise of his biological mother without treatment and feeding in their residence. “On the receipt of the report, detectives attached to the Divisional Police Headquarters, Birnin Kebbi, swiftly rushed to the scene, rescued the victim and took him to Sir Yahyah Memorial Hospital, Birnin Kebbi for medical attention.

In the course of investigation, it was discovered that the victim, Jibrin Aliyu is a patient of Down Syndrome and his father, Aliyu Umaru has admitted to have tied him with a rope because he had taken him to various native doctors for medication up to the extent of selling some of his properties but all in vein. “Instead of his father to continue with his medication, he decided to subject him to such inhumane and degrading treatment in order to prevent him from roaming about in the town, stoning peoples’ vehicles as well as injuring himself which could lead to his death. “In the light of the above Aliyu Umaru was found culpable of being cruel to his son and has been charged to Court accordingly”.



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