FRESH FM TOP NEWS THIS WEEK

Written by on October 17, 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

  • IGP Dissolves SARS After Widespread Protests

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has dissolved the infamous subunit of the force, the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS). “The Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigerian Police, otherwise known as SARS, is hereby dissolved across all formations, the 36 state police command and the Federal Capital Territory where they currently exist,” the IGP said on Sunday. “All officers and men currently serving in the unit are to be redeployed with immediate effect.” The police authorities will be announcing new policing arrangements to address the offences of armed robbery and other violent crimes that fall within the mandate of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad later. Adamu’s announcement followed days of widespread protests by Nigerians demanding scrapping of the unit which had gained notoriety for brutality and human rights violations.

Beyond scrapping the unit, he acknowledged reports of extortion and brutality, announcing a plan for an investigation. “To deal with the reports of crimes committed against citizens an investigation team will be constituted which will include civil society organisations for transparency and the culprits will be punished,” he said. The IGP did not give details of the time range the investigation will cover and whether it would include the harassment, threats and violence protesters suffered during the #EndSARS protest, including the killing of a young Nigerian Jimoh Isiaq in Ogbomoso on Saturday. Witnesses said Isiaq was shot by the police. In contrast with the action of the police including the use of tear gas on protesters and the shooting witnessed, the IGP described the protests “as a manifestation of the natural desires of citizens to participate in matters concerning policing and internal security in the nation”. To better relations between the public and the police, the IGP also announced “a citizens and strategic (stake)holders forum will be formed to regularly interface with the leadership of the police at all levels and advice on police activities”.

  • #EndSARS campaigners demand executive order disbanding squad

After days of public outcry and nationwide protests, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Sunday, bowed to pressure and disbanded the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad. He said a new policing arrangement to address armed robbery and other violent crimes that fall within the mandate of the dissolved tactical unit would be presented in due course. Announcing the decision at the Force headquarters, Abuja on Sunday, Adamu acknowledged the inalienable rights of citizens to freedom of association and expression. But the #EndSARS campaigners said they would not back down, insisting that the street rallies would continue until the President Muhammadu Buhari issued an Executive Order scrapping the police tactical unit. A leader of the protesters, Raphael Adebayo, in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents, said the IG was being “clever by half” with his announcement that the SARS had been dissolved, noting that the #EndSARS campaigners were not convinced by his statement. The activist, who is a Co-convener of the Centre for Liberty, Abuja, advocated a total overhaul and reform of the Nigeria Police Force. “We are not going to be fooled by the IG’s announcement. The President should either address Nigerians by announcing through an executive order, that he is disbanding the terrorist unit in the Nigeria Police Force or more protest would happen and it would continue to grow until the President takes responsibility. “At the end of the day, this is deeper than ending SARS; this is about getting justice for all the people killed by SARS and the IG’s statement did not address that.”

Also, the Convener, #RevolutionNow Movement, Omoyele Sowore, said the protesters did not believe that the scrapping of SARS was real, noting that some policemen still harassed protesters in Abuja on Sunday, shortly after the IG’s statement. “As I’m speaking with you, there is an ongoing protest in Abuja and it is massive. They are heading to the Force headquarters because they are not convinced that the dissolution of SARS is real. People are very sceptical, cynical about the announcement,” the former presidential candidate said. Sowore stressed that the #EndSARS campaign was also a demand for compensation for victims of police brutality and rights violations, adding that they also wanted the errant operatives to be publicly prosecuted.But the convener, #EndSARS Lagos, Olorunrinu Oduala, said her team would halt their protest, having decided to give the police and the government the benefit of the doubt on the announced SARS dissolution.

  • IGP Orders All Disbanded SARS Officials To Report For Psychological Examination

Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered all personnel of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to report to the force headquarters in Abuja for debriefing, psychological and medical examination. Force Spokesperson, Frank Mba, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday. While the time-frame for the medical evaluation has not been disclosed, the IGP was quoted to have said that the officers are expected to undergo the process as a prelude to further training and reorientation before being redeployed into mainstream policing duties. The medical examination will be carried out by a newly set-up Police Counselling and Support Unit (PCSU), a unit which the Force says will, henceforth, engage in psychological management, reorientation and training of the officers of the force deployed for tactical operations and other duties.

“The unit, which is domiciled with the Force Medical Department and coordinated by the Force Medical Officer, has its membership drawn from among psychiatrists, psychologists, medics, pastors, and imams, public relations practitioners, civil society and other human rights groups with relevant qualification and expertise,” the statement read in part. The latest development comes 48 hours after the IGP dissolved SARS following nationwide protests. In addition to the reforms being carried out since the disbandment on Sunday, the Force Spokesman said the IGP has also set up a new unit called the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), to replace the SARS. Prospective members of this new team are also expected to undergo a psychological and medical examination to ascertain their fitness and eligibility for the new assignment.

  • No SARS official should be seen in public – IGP orders commissioners

The Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu has ordered all state commissioners of police to ensure no officer and other insignia of the Special Anti-robbery squad is seen in public. In the “police wireless message” dated October 12, 2020, seen by The Guardian, the state commissioners of police are to ensure “strict compliance” of the directive. The directive came days after Adamu ordered the dissolution of the controversial unit. The new directive also confirms allegations that the SARS officers despite been disbanded are still on the streets harassing and brutalising Nigerians. It is still unclear how soon the accused unit will be off the streets despite this new order.

Protesters, who clamored for the dissolution of the unit, have continued to protest noting the government’s ineffectual promises of police reforms and investigations in the past. Just hours after Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday tried to assuage protesters by promising “extensive” reforms to stop the rising crisis of police brutality, another civilian was shot and killed by police during a protest in Surulere, Lagos State. Since the protest began last Wednesday, the Nigerian branch of Amnesty International, in a tweet on Monday night, reported that 10 protesters have been killed, while others were severely injured, beaten, or arrested by police. Investigation and prosecution of erring officers are the latest demands of the protesters with the standing demand that police brutality in the country must end. The protests against the police have largely been organized on social media, fuelled by personal accounts of police abuses and videos of brutal incidents, including the beating of civilians and the firing of live ammunition at protesters.

  • Human Rights Commission To Investigate Violations By SARS Operatives

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) says it will set up an independent investigation panel to probe human rights violations by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and other segments of the Nigerian Police within the next one week. The decision was taken on 12th October 2020 at a Multi-Stakeholders’ Forum (MSF) in Abuja organised by the Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Tony Ojukwu Esq. and the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu as a follow-up to the recent disbandment of SARS by the IGP. Mr Ojukwu said that “An open call for Memoranda from members of the public whose rights have been violated by the defunct SARS and other segments of the Police will be released by the Commission within a week. The NHRC Chief Executive Officer disclosed that the Forum “recommends the psychological evaluation, training and retraining of disbanded SARS officials prior to re-deployment.

There was also an agreement by the forum that the Inspector General of Police should order all State Police Commands to halt the use of force against protesters and to release arrested protesters and citizens unconditionally. The Forum, according to him, resolved to set up the following Technical Committees, to be supported by the NHRC and other Civil Society Organisations to design the roadmap and a work plan for the implementation of the White Paper of the Presidential Panel on the Reform of SARS:

– Training, Capacity and Re-Orientation

– Logistics: Infrastructure, Communications and Technology

– Arrest, Detention and Investigations

– Regulations, Oversight and Accountability

– Finance and Partnerships

The Forum noted that the proposed reforms should be anchored under the basis of the White Paper on the Report of the Presidential Panel on the Reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad which was jointly authored by the National Human Rights Commission, the Federal Ministry of Justice, and the Nigeria Police Force.

  • IGP Sets Up New Unit, SWAT To Replace SARS

Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has set up a new unit called the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team, to replace the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Unit (SARS). Force Spokesperson, Frank Mba, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday. According to the statement, prospective members of the new team are expected to undergo a psychological and medical examination to ascertain their fitness and eligibility for the new assignment. The latest development comes 48 hours after the IGP dissolved SARS following nationwide protests. Beyond that, the IGP has also ordered all personnel of the disbanded SARS to report to the Force headquarters in Abuja for debriefing, psychological and medical examination.

  • #EndSARS: FCTA bans protests in Abuja

The Federal Capital Territory Security Committee has banned #EndSARS protests in Abuja, the nation’s capital, for alleged violation of the COVID-19 protocols. The FCT Administration said it was concerned that despite the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad by the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, last Sunday, the demonstrations had continued, causing inconveniences to law-abiding citizens. The resolutions of the meeting were contained in a statement on Wednesday titled,’COVID-19: FCT Security Committee prohibits street demonstrations,’ signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the FCT minister, Mr Anthony Ogunleye.

The statement read, “While the committee recognizes the rights of citizens as regards freedom of association and movement as enshrined in the constitution, it has observed that the unruly conduct of the crowd and manner of demonstrations are in complete violation of the COVID-19 safety protocols which were put in place to safeguard the lives of citizens. “These violations endanger the lives of not just the demonstrators, but also other citizens going about their legitimate concerns. “For the avoidance of doubt, the COVID-19 guidelines regulating public gatherings recommend physical distancing, temperature checks, the use of facial coverings, amongst others. “Clearly, all these guidelines were flouted by the protesters. Consequently, the committee directs that due to the dangers posed by COVID-19, all street demonstrations, protests and processions will not be allowed anywhere within the FCT.”

  • Protests Continue As Nigerians Demand #EndSWAT

Protests against police brutality and extra-judicial killings continue on Wednesday with a new hashtag #EndSWAT. The protest follows the decision of the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to set up a new unit called the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team, to replace the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Unit (SARS). According to the protesters, the agitation continues because the decision to immediately replace SARS operatives with SWAT is hasty and unpremeditated. “All hashtags remain valid towards the struggle. Be vigilant. This is about all of us. We are all in pains right now but don’t let those we have lost die in vain. I saw the SWAT thing. Hasty. But will address,” #EndSARS convener, Segun Awosanya, popularly known as Segalinks tweeted on Tuesday morning.

At the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, some of the protesters can be seen chanting songs of solidarity and demonstrating despite the early morning rain. See tweets below:

“@Tomi_Aina: Lekki toll gate!

Rain can’t stop us ⚡️⚡️⚡️#EndSARS#EndSWAT #SARSMUSTEND #EndBadGovernanceinNIGERIA pic.twitter.com/yT5pRDefS7

— GIDITRAFFIC (@Gidi_Traffic) October 14, 2020

Happening NOW at Lekki Toll Gate. Rain isn’t dampening our spirits!! We remain focused on the GOAL. #ENDSARSNOW #ENDSWAT pic.twitter.com/1K8rkOFeGy

— A Cup of Khafi ☕️💪🏾 #SARSMUSTEND (@KhafiKareem) October 14, 2020

We what? We meeeeeeeeuuuve!#EndSWAT 😂 pic.twitter.com/Y92NL54pFj

It affects us all!
Too late! Egungun don enter express!
Government must listen! #EndPoliceBrutality #EndSwat #PoliceReform #FixTheSytem #5for5 #EndSarsNow #EndSars pic.twitter.com/EuNAIoh0I1

— Omoni Oboli (@Omonioboli) October 14, 2020

  • #EndSARS protesters defy Wike’s ban, lament killings

Youths on Tuesday continued their protest against police brutality and extortion in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. This is despite the ban on protests throughout the state by Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, on Monday. But the protesters lamented that youths cannot continue to be killed without them protesting. Newsmen learnt that they converged opposite Pleasure Park, Port Harcourt, around 8.45 am to resume the protest.

While some of the protesters were seen with placards, others chanted “EndSARS”, “We are tired of dying”, and “Protest is our right” among others. “We are protesting against people that are killing us and you are asking us to stay at home, how come? We are harassed and treated like criminals every day,” one of the protesters said. A policeman at the scene of the protest appealed to the youths to be peaceful. Earlier, Wike in a statement by Rivers Commissioner for Information, Paulinus Nsirim, said, “All proposed protests under #EndSars Campaign are hereby prohibited. “Government took this decision because the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had already scrapped the Special Anti-Robbery Squad. “Therefore, there is no need for any form of protest against a Unit of the Police Force that no longer exists.”

  • Buhari Reacts To Public Outcry, Promises ‘Extensive Reform’ Of Nigeria Police

President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to the outcry on the reform of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) promising to extensively reform the Force. The President declared that the disbanding of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is the first step to extensive police reforms by his administration. He disclosed this while delivering a speech at the launch of the presidential youth empowerment scheme at the State House in Abuja.

“I will like to use this opportunity to say a word on the recent genuine concerns and agitations by Nigerians about the excessive use of force and in some cases extra-judicial killings and wrongful conduct of the men of the Nigerian Police Force. “The disbanding of SARS is only the first step in our commitment to extensive police reforms in order to ensure that the primary duty of the police and other law enforcement agencies remains the protection of lives and livelihood of our people,” President Buhari said.
He also promised to ensure that all those who are responsible for the misconduct or wrongful acts are brought to justice.

  • Some people made billions from #EndSARS negotiations -Sowore

Activist, Omoyele Sowore, says some individuals have made billions of naira from the negotiations to put an end to the nationwide protests.
Sowore, who is the Publisher of Sahara Reporters, said this in a tweet on Wednesday while reacting to reports that business leaders and some social media influencers had entered into negotiations. He tweeted, “I will not be part of any negotiations regarding #ENDSARS, many have entered into these negotiations and come out of the other side becoming billionaires, to them it is a game! The only negotiation I will ever engage in is that of the surrender of our oppressors! #RevolutionNow.” Activist, Aisha Yesufu, had on Tuesday admitted that some business leaders, including the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, held a Zoom meeting with some youth influencers, asking them to put an end to the protests.

She, however, said she told the CBN governor to ask President Muhammadu Buhari to meet the demands of the protesters instead. Reports had it that media entrepreneur, Debola Williams, prevailed on the youth leaders to end the protests, an allegation he denied. However, on Wednesday, the Convener of the #EndSARS movement, Segun Awosanya aka Segalink, complained that the protests had been hijacked. Thousands of youths across the country have in the last one week been protesting against the harassment and extrajudicial killings perpetrated mainly by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the police. The police authorities have since disbanded the unit and renamed it Special Weapons and Tactics unit. However, the protests have continued with many demanding for more reforms.

  • #ENDSARS: Allow Other Security Agencies To Secure Protesters, Take Back Seat – Makinde To Police

Oyo state governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde has said that he has agreed with Heads of security agencies in the state that the Nigerian Police Force should take back seat and allow other security operatives to take front line in securing the lives of protesters in the ongoing #ENDSARS protest across the state. Makinde made this known on Monday, during a special broadcast on the protest against police harassment, brutality and activities of Special Anti robbery Squard, SARS across the country. Recall that Jimoh Isiaq was killed in Ogbomoso on Saturday during the protest. As I stated clearly in my earlier statement, peaceful protests are a legitimate way for citizens to make their grievances known to the government, and it is totally unacceptable for anyone to be hurt during such protests. pic.twitter.com/lgYPwaKLLl

— Seyi Makinde (@seyiamakinde) October 12, 2020

Governor Makinde made the declarations in a state broadcast aired by the network service of the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS), Monday afternoon. According to the governor, security agencies excluding the Nigerian Police, have been deployed by the state government to take the frontline in securing the #ENDSARS protesters and to maintain the peace. A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that Governor Makinde equally assured the state that he will do everything within his powers to ensure “no further lives are lost.” He further stated that while peaceful protesters must not be hurt in the process, protesters must also remain peaceful as they make their legitimate grievances known to government. The governor stated that as of Sunday, operatives of the state-backed security outfit, Operation Burst, had been deployed to Ogbomoso to keep the peace and ensure that protesters will neither be harassed nor brutalised. He urged residents of the state to go about their businesses without fear. “I want to reassure the good people of Oyo State, that I am doing everything within my power, to ensure that no further lives are lost. “I urge all residents of Oyo State to go about their activities without fear. “To the protesters, I say, you can please continue to protest peacefully.

  • Lagos governor Sanwo-Olu at #EndSARS protest

Youths on Tuesday continued their protests at the Lagos State House of Assembly over police brutality and extortion. After about one hour, the Governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, arrived at the venue of the protest in Alausa. Despite his pleas, the protesters insisted that their demands must be met before they can stop the protests.

The protest held simultaneously at the Lekki and Gbagada areas of the state. Tweeting on his official page on Twitter, Sanwo-Olu stated that the safety of everyone involved in peaceful protests across Lagos is important and he will be communicating with Lagos Commissioner of Police to see to that.

  • Sanwo-Olu Sets Up Judicial Panel, Reveals Identity Of Officers Who Shot At Surulere Protesters

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday, raised a seven-man Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution to investigate cases of brutality and human rights violations committed by operatives of the dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in the State. The move is part of the steps being taken by the Lagos Government to address the five-point demands of the youths demonstrating against SARS brutality.
Sanwo-Olu made the announcement during a live address held at the State House, Marina. The panel, which is being headed by retired Justice Doris Okuwobi, will sit for six months and is mandated to thoroughly investigate all verifiable claims of abuses and fatalities arising from SARS engagement in the State, with the objective to bring erring officers to justice and get compensation for the victims. The panel members have three individuals representing Civil Society, one person representing a security agency, and one person representing the Government. Human Rights Commission and protesters are also expected to nominate their representatives before the panel commences sitting next week. The Governor also set aside N200 million Trust Fund for the compensation of victims and families of those who died in the course of SARS’ activities.

Sanwo-Olu disclosed all the four erring police officers who fired live ammunition at peaceful protesters in Area C Police Command in Surulere had been identified and currently facing an orderly room trial that is being monitored by the Government. He gave the names of the erring officers to include: Inspector Bagou Michael, Inspector Ekpoudom Etop, Sergeant Nnamdi Majura, and Sergeant Akinyemi Benson. While making reference to the Thursday skirmish at the protest ground in Alausa, the Governor sent a strong warning to hoodlums who may want to harass the protesters to desist from the act. He stressed that the full wrath of the law would be brought on anyone apprehended for such an act.

  • Police Must Act To Identify, Punish SARS Operatives Involved In Rights Abuse, Murder – Gbajabiamila

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, has called on the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to ensure officers of the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) who are involved in human rights abuses are punished. “The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) must act to identify and punish those operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) involved in the most severe cases of abuse of rights, brutality, and murder of Nigerian citizens,” the Speaker was quoted as saying in a statement by his spokesman, Lanre Lasisi on Sunday. “These steps are necessary to assure the Nigerian people that the announced dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is sincere and well-intentioned, and not merely meant to quell the ongoing protests across the country”.

Gbajabiamila made the call a few hours after the IGP announced that the infamous police unit had been dissolved, in reaction to widespread protests by Nigerians who called for him to do just that. The Speaker considers the dissolution of SARS a “necessary response” by the government and he commended the IGP and President Muhammadu Buhari for heeding the people’s demand about the unit, which has gained notoriety over the years for extortion, brutality, and other forms of human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings. He also believes that the development and the broader, ongoing reforms of the police that will follow, are a testament to the passion and resilience of a generation of Nigerians who determined not to accept or tolerate injustice in whatever form it takes.

  • #EndSARS: This Movement Is Also For You, Ooni Of Ife Tells Police Officers

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi believes the recent waves of #EndSARS protests in Nigeria will equally be beneficial to officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). “To the men and women of the Nigerian police force,” he tweeted on Monday via his official handle, “be assured that this movement is also for you, we know you are humans also and your reality is as a result of your environment.” This movements demands better on your behalf, and is aimed at pushing the government to do better for you and elevate your standard of living. Do not persecute your advocates. God bless Nigerian youths and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria. #ENDPOLICEBRUTALITY

— Ooni Enitan Ogunwusi (@OoniAdimulaIfe) October 12, 2020

While condemning reports of brutality and abuse by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Oba Adeyeye hailed Nigerian youths for agitating for an end to the ugly incidents. He expressed joy over the #EndSARS protests and concluded that “Finally, the youths are awake, with one voice and a common goal.” Although he described the recent waves of protests across the country as “the beginning of greater things to come in Nigeria,” the Ooni pleaded with the protesters to carry out their agitations in a peaceful manner.

  • #EndSARS: Atiku Asks FG To Reform Police, Make It More Civil

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has asked the Federal Government to reform the Nigeria Police Force by making it more civil. He made this call in Minna on Monday after meeting with former military President, Ibrahim Babangida. “There is a need for them to reform the Police, actually to make it more civil,” Atiku said while condemning police brutality in the country. Atiku noted that it’s wrong for police personnel to face unarmed civilians in a democratic setting with guns.
“I had issued a statement supporting the reform of Police and of course also the disbandment of the SARS.

“I was trained by the Police and I know the kind of work they doing now is not the type of work they are trained to do actually. “You cannot face unarmed civilians in a democracy with guns in any of the world. It is only in this country. So, it is totally unacceptable,” the ex-president said. Atiku’s comment comes a day after the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu dissolved the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in the country.
Adamu’s announcement followed days of widespread protests by Nigerians demanding to scrap of the unit which had gained notoriety for brutality and human rights violations.

  • #EndSARS group receives over N77m in one week

Feminist Coalition, a not-for-profit organisation and one of the leading supporters of the #EndSARS campaign, says it has received over N77m cash donations in favour of the ongoing protests against police brutality and extrajudicial killings by men of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force. The group, whose objectives include “fighting injustice through peaceful protests, fundraising, and social media organisation” disclosed this in a statement on Thursday titled, ‘Progress Report – October 15th, 2020’. It said the funds were raised “through the generosity of well-meaning people and concerned Nigerians who want their voices to be heard and their demands to be met.” The statement partly read, “Over the past week, there has been a peaceful uprising by the Nigerian youth, demanding for the disbandment of the notorious SARS unit, and the end to police brutality and an unjust judicial system.

“Like everyone else, we decided to play our part and help fight the injustice through fundraising in order to sustain the peaceful protests and ensure the safety of Nigerians exercising their civic rights – by providing food, water and other refreshments, masks, medical aid, and legal aid for protesters. “We have raised a total sum of: NGN 62,643,663.05; USD 11,474.34 (N4.3m), CAD 5,595.89 (N1.6m), GBP 5,733.49 (N2.8m), EUR 875.42 (N390,225), GHS 1,256.70 (N81,823), KES 53,016.60 (183,656) and BTC 1.28827988 (N5.5m). With these funds, we have supported 100 peaceful protests in 25 states, paid NGN 759,080 in medical bills for injured protesters, donated NGN 400,000 to the families of victims murdered by police officers while protesting peacefully, paid NGN 500,000 in legal aid and spent N 11,367,500 on supplies including food, water, mask among other things for the peaceful protesters.” Newsmen had earlier reported that the founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, expressed support for the #EndSARS protests when he shared a tweet by @Feministcoalition which had how to make donations to the campaign. Youths have been protesting against police brutality and killings for over one week, grounding economic activities in major parts of the country.

  • #EndSARS: Presidential panel approves protesters’ demands

The Presidency on Tuesday said the Presidential Panel on the Reform of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad has approved the five-point demands put forward by youths that have been protesting across the country. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘Presidential panel on police reforms swings into action, plays 5-point demand of protesters.’ Adesina said following directives by the President Muhammadu Buhari on the dissolution of SARS, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, convened a meeting with stakeholders, agreeing to meet demands. He said the demands acceded to included halting use of force against protesters and unconditional release of arrested citizens.
According to the presidential spokesman, the meeting, organised by the Office of the Inspector General of Police and National Human Rights Commission, was a multi-stakeholders’ forum attended by leaders and representatives of civil society organisations in Nigeria, activists from the entertainment industry and the #EndSARS movement and development partners. He said the Ministry of Police Affairs and Police Service Commission were also present at the meeting that affirmed that the five-point demands of the protesters and the #EndSARS movement are genuine concerns and will be addressed by the government.

He quoted a communiqué of the meeting signed by the IGP and Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Tony Ojukwu, as, “Following the public protests regarding various forms of human rights violations by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and the consequent disbandment of the unit by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, there arose the need for stakeholder engagement to build trust and restore public confidence in law enforcement. “The agitations also brought to the fore, the need to implement the recommendations of the Presidential Panel on the Reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad. “The Forum was addressed by the Inspector General of Police and the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission. “The Forum collectively: welcomed the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; reaffirmed the constitutional rights of Nigerians to peaceful assembly and protest; further affirmed the sanctity of life of every Nigerian and the role of the Police in protecting this right; affirms that the five-point demands of the protesters and the ENDSARS movement are genuine concerns and will be addressed by the government.’’

  • #EndSARS: Presidential Panel Recommends Dismissal Of 37 SARS Operatives

The Presidential Panel on Reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) has recommended that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) dismisses 37 police officers. They were found wanting following an investigation into allegations of human rights violations and abuse of office against SARS.
This was disclosed on Friday at a meeting between the Police Service Commission (PSC) and the National Human Rights Commission(NHRC). Executive Secretary, Tony Ojukwu led the NHRC team to formally present the 2018 Report of the Presidential Panel and to solicit the PSC support in the implementation of the aspects of the Report covered by PSC constitutional mandate. “We have come to see a PSC determined to play a leading role in the reform of the Nigeria Police Force”, he said.

Ojukwu said the reform is the most topical issue in the country today, adding that a lot is expected from the PSC. He noted that the Presidential Panel called for and received 113 complaints on alleged human rights violations from across the country and 22 memoranda on suggestions on how to reform and restructure SARS and the Nigeria Police in general. At the end of the public hearing, the panel recommended 37 Police Officers for dismissal, and 24 were recommended for prosecution.
“The Panel also directed the Inspector General of Police to unravel the identity of 22 officers involved in the violation of the human rights of innocent citizens,” Ojukwu stated.

  • NEC To Govs: Take Charge Of Police Tactical Units

Rising from its monthly meeting the National Economic Council has directed the immediate establishment of State-based Judicial Panels of Inquiry across the country to receive and investigate complaints of Police brutality or related extrajudicial killings with a view to delivering justice for all victims of the dissolved SARS and other police units. The Council specifically resolved that State Governors and the FCT Minister should take charge of interface and contact with the protesters in their respective domains. At a meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, and attended by State Governors, the Judicial Panels which would be set up in all the States would include representatives of Youths, Students, Civil Society Organizations and would be chaired by a respected retired State High Court Judge. The Council also directed that State Governors should immediately establish a State-based Special Security and Human Rights Committee to be chaired by the Governors in their States, to supervise the newly formed police tactical units and all other security agencies located in the State.

The idea of the Special Security and Human Rights Committee in all States of the Federation and the FCT is to ensure that police formation and other security agencies in the State consistently protect the Human Rights of citizens. Members of the Special Committee would also include Representatives of Youths, and Civil Society. The head of Police tactical units in each of the State. Regarding the Judicial Panel of Inquiry, each State Government is to set up the Panel, chaired by a retired High Court Judge, with other members selected by the State Governor as follows:

*Two representatives of Civil Society groups

*One Retired Police Officer of high repute

*One Youth Representative

*One Student Representative

* One Representative of the State Attorney-General Ministry and a representative from the National Human Rights Commission.

The terms of reference for the Judicial Panel is to –

*receive and investigate complaints of Police brutality or related extrajudicial killings;

*evaluate the evidence presented/other surrounding circumstances, and draw conclusions as to the validity of the complaints; and

*recommend compensation and other remedial measures, where appropriate.

The Panel’s assignment should be concluded within a maximum of six (6) months unless it shows convincing reasons why the State Governor should allow an extension.

  • Anonymous Hacks NBC Twitter Handle, Vows To ‘Play’ With Other Govt Websites

A hacker group, Anonymous, has hacked the Twitter handle of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC). The group in the early hours of Thursday, tweeted using the NBC official handle, supporting the #EndSARS movement.
“We #Anonymous have taken over all the NG Official Twitter’s Account to support #ENDPOLICEBRUTALITY,” the group said in one of the tweets on the NBC handle. “WE’RE TOGETHER WITH NIGERIANS. EXPECT UNEXPECTED.”

It also called on Nigerians to suggest other government websites for hacking. It equally vowed to expose the Nigerian government.

We #Anonymous have taken over all the NG Official Twitter’s Account to support #ENDPOLICEBRUTALITY.

WE’RE TOGETHER WITH NIGERIANS.

EXPECT UNEXPECTED#OpNigeria#Hacked @thecableng @4eyedmonk @MBuhari pic.twitter.com/8a28G49fFh

— nbcgovng (@nbcgovng) October 16, 2020

  • ‘We Are Sorry’: Osinbajo Apologises To Nigerians As Protests Against Police Brutality Continue

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has apologized to Nigerians and admits the Federal Government could have “moved faster” in addressing the demands of #EndSARS protesters. “Dear Nigerians, I know that many of you are angry, and understandably so. We could’ve moved faster and for this we are sorry,” he said in a series of tweets on his handle late Friday. “I fully understand how many young people feel. Many feel that we have been too silent and have simply not done enough. These feelings of frustration are justified.”

According to him, “There are far too many people who have been brutalized at the hands of the police and this is unacceptable. “We must take responsibility for protecting young people, even sometimes from those who are paid to protect them.” He also believes the protests rocking the country goes beyond agitations about the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). “They’re deep and systemic and we’re undertaking comprehensive measures that will revamp the police by addressing issues of welfare, service conditions, and training,” he explained.

  • Oyo Governor’s Mother, Abigail Makinde dies at 81

The news was contained in a release signed by Barr. (Chief) Muyiwa Makinde, the Jagun Olubadan, on behalf of the family on Thursday, in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital. It reads: “With total submission to the will of the Almighty God, we announce the passing to the great beyond of our mother, Mrs. Abigail Makinde, who departed this world in the early hours of today, Thursday, October 15, 2020.
Though Mama gave no indication of any sickness, she slept peacefully in the Lord at the age of 81, in the early hours of the day at her Ibadan home, 7B, Oyeleke Street, Ikolaba, Ibadan.

“While we appreciate the Almighty for sparing her life thus far, we must confess that we will sorely miss her counsel, motherly role and impact on the lives of her children and the grandchildren. “We will equally miss her impactful role as a stabilizing force in the family, her community and especially Oyo State, which is currently being governed by her son and our brother, Engineer Seyi Makinde. “We sincerely appreciate the prayers and condolences of our numerous well-wishers. “May Mama’s soul rest peacefully with her maker.”

  • Aso Rock budgets N10.2bn for electrical maintenance, renovation

The Presidential Villa has budgeted N4.85bn for the maintenance of mechanical and electrical installations and N5.3bn for the rehabilitation of office and residential buildings. This is contained in the 2021 budget proposal presented to the National Assembly by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), last Thursday. The item listed under the State House budget reads in part, “ERGP 7102245 annual routine maintenance of mechanical/electrical installations of the Villa ongoing N4,854,381,299.

“23030101 rehabilitation/repairs of residential buildings N153,693,262
23030121 rehabilitation/repairs of office buildings N5,244,027,241.”
About N5.2m was set aside for the maintenance of generators while N45m was budgeted to fuel generators. The President also budgeted N274m for the payment of electricity charges while N67.1m was earmarked for Internet charges. Buhari had last week warned that Nigeria was heading for another recession and complained about the dwindling resources.

  • World Bank to support Nigeria’s health and education sectors

World Bank Group has said it will work with the Nigerian government to strengthen the health and education sectors. The President, World Bank Group, David Malpass, said this during a press briefing at the 2020 annual general meeting on Thursday. He said: “For Nigeria, the vital steps are to strengthen the health system and the education system, and we try to work in those areas. “Also, the governance system and transparency are vital in order to reduce the corruption within the system.

“I compliment Nigeria for tackling the problem of subsidies in the hydrocarbon area. “By reducing those subsidies and allowing gasoline prices to rise – it is very hard for governments to do that — there are substantial benefits. “It means that there are fiscal savings. “It also means there are environmental benefits that are large, and it also allows markets to work better and to allocate resources better. “So, I think progress is being made in that area and it is valuable.”

 

 

 

 

POLITICS

  • Don’t let Buhari destroy our democracy – pro-democracy group writes US, UK

A pro-democracy group, Concerned Nigerians, has condemned the nomination of the Presidential Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, as an Independent National Electoral Commission Commissioner by President Muhammadu Buhari. The group has also asked the United States, United Kingdom, and other development partners not to allow the President to destroy the nation’s democracy and the INEC’s independence by his parochial appointment. In a letter to the US and UK Missions dated October 14, 2020, signed by the Convener, Concerned Nigerians, Deji Adeyanju, the group described Onochie’s appointment as unconstitutional, and unacceptable to the generality of the Nigerian people. It said Onochie is “an openly partisan, card-carrying member of the All Progressives Congress, Nigeria’s ruling party, who constantly attacks and denigrates critics of the ruling party.”

The letter titled, ‘Nomination of Lauretta Onochie: Prevail on President Buhari not to destroy the independence of INEC,’ read in part, “President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of his Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, as INEC Commissioner from Delta State is a reprehensible attempt to destroy the integrity and independence of Nigeria’s electoral commission. “Lauretta Onochie is an openly partisan, card-carrying member of the All Progressives Congress, Nigeria’s ruling party, who constantly attacks and denigrates critics of the ruling party. “Her appointment is in violation of Paragraph 14 of Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution as amended by Section 30, Act No 1 of 2010, which stipulates that a member of the Independent National Electoral Commission shall be non-partisan”. Adeyanju submitted that the constitutional provision prohibits a card-carrying member of a registered political party or a well-known supporter of a particular political party from being appointed as a member of the INEC. “We appeal to you to pressure President Buhari to rescind this appoint as it is capable of reversing the gains made in our electoral processes,” he stated.

  • CAN faults Onochie’s INEC nomination, describes it as executive recklessness

The Christian Association of Nigeria has faulted the nomination of a presidential aide, Lauretta Onochie, as a national commissioner of the South-South in the Independent National Electoral Commission, describing it as “an executive recklessness, a dirty slap on the populace, and a gross violation of the 1999 constitution (as Amended).” A statement by the President of CAN, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, therefore called on the Senate to reject her nomination. Ayokunle said, “As far as CAN is concerned, Onochie suffers objectivity, justice and fairness that are mandatory for every member of INEC as a result of her partisan membership of a political party and by being an appointee of the ruling party. “We are equally opposed to her nomination because of her unguarded remarks, public insults on credible individuals and the use of vulgar language and unprintable words against people who express their displeasure to some actions and policies of the government of the day, especially, her principal.

Meanwhile, opposition to the nomination of a presidential aide, Lauretta Onochie, as the South-South National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission thickened on Thursday with about 20 civil society organisations heading for court to stop her confirmation. The CSOs have also petitioned the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege; Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi; and the Chairman of the National Peace Committee and former Head of State, Gen. Abubakar Abdulsalami.

  • Onochie: Your members are INEC commissioners, APC replies PDP

The All Progressives Congress has tackled the Peoples Democratic Party for faulting the nomination of a presidential aide, Lauretta Onochie, as a commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission. President Muhammadu Buhari had nominated Onochie along with three others as National Commissioners of INEC on Tuesday. Onochie was announced as a nominee to represent Delta State, while Profesor Mohammed Sani, Professor Kunle Ajayi, and Seidu Ahmed, will represent Katsina, Ekiti, and Jigawa states, respectively. The ruling party alleged that “some members and brazen apologists” of the PDP are also commissioners of INEC. This was contained in a statement by the Yekini Nabena, APC deputy spokesman, on Friday.

APC claimed that Johnson Alalibo was a card-carrying member of PDP before being appointed Edo State Resident Electoral Commissioner. It also noted that the current INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, was a Federal Government appointee before his emergence as the electoral boss. Part of the statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of Lauretta Onochie as a National Electoral Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission has been subject to rash, subjective, misplaced, and selective criticism by the Peoples Democratic Party and some interest groups,” Nabena said. “Perhaps the PDP needs to be reminded that one of its card-carrying members, Dr. Johnson Alalibo is the current Edo State Resident Electoral Commissioner. “Alalibo who was also a former Deputy Whip in the Bayelsa state house of assembly has been an electoral asset to the PDP but that is an issue to be addressed another day. “Since public service now equates ‘partisanship’ we invite the Peoples Democratic Party to equally fault appointment of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the current INEC Chairman who was the immediate-past Executive Secretary of the government’s Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) as well as the earlier stated Dr. Johnson Alalibo.”

  • INEC fixes date for 2023 presidential election

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, on Thursday, said Nigeria is 855 days away from the 2023 general elections. Yakubu, at the inauguration of the House of Representatives Committee on Constitution Review, urged the National Assembly to work fast on the exercise, ahead of the polls. He said the 2023 presidential election is scheduled to hold on February 18, 2023.

  • Akeredolu Defeats Jegede Again, Re-Elected As Governor

Mr Rotimi Akeredolu has been re-elected as Governor of Ondo State on the back of a campaign in which he promised to provide composed and focused leadership marked by economic growth and improved security for people in the state. The incumbent governor, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, swept to victory by winning 15 of the 18 local governments.
Governor Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress got 292,830 votes, while Mr Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party and Mr Agboola Ajayi of the Zenith Labour Party came second and third in the election with 195,791 and 69,127 votes, respectively.

“Having satisfied the requirement of the law and scored the highest number of votes, I hereby declare Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu of the APC as the winner, and he is hereby returned elected,” Chief Returning Officer for the election, Professor Olayinka said. Professor Olayinka, who is the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, announced the winner on Sunday at the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in Akure, which doubles as the final collation centre. It is the second time the governor is defeating the PDP candidate. In 2016, Akeredolu, with Ajayi as his running mate, defeated Jegede to win his first term as governor. Ajayi fell out with Akeredolu and chose to go against his boss this time around.

  • Akeredolu, Deputy get Certificates of Return

The Independent National Electoral Commission has presented certificates of return to Ondo Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and Deputy Governor-elect, Lucky Ayedatiwa. Ondo Resident Electoral Commissioner, Ambassador Rufus Akeju, who presented the certificate of return to Akeredolu and Aiyedatiwa, urged the Governor to continue to provide basic services, basic amenities and infrastructure for the masses. Akeredolu pledged to provide more infrastructural development across the state.

  • Ajayi should resign if he has honour – Akeredolu

Ondo state Governor – Rotimi Akeredolu has advised his Deputy and opponent in last Saturday’s governorship election, Agboola Ajayi, to resign. Akeredolu spoke to State House Correspondents after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari in company of other Governors of the party in the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday. The Governor also said he would be willing to forgive his Deputy of his ‘sins’ if he realised his wrongs and comes back to apologise. Ajayi dumped the All Progressive Congress (APC) under which he was elected with Akeredolu and contested the governorship under the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) without resigning his post.

He said even if Ajayi does not resign, his days are numbered as a new administration will soon be sworn in. The Governor also described declaration of some prominent Ondo indigenes as his enemies for life as a political statement, saying having won he has no need to keep enemies.The Governor also noted that his victory had come to show that the ruling party, the APC, is a strong force in the country, adding that it further proved that Ondo State is different from Edo State.

  • Court Adjourns Corruption Trial of Ize-Iyamu, Four Others to January 14, 2021

The money laundering case brought against Pastor Osagie Ize -Iyamu, PDP governorship candidate in Edo State in the 2016 election and four others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, was on Thursday October 15, 2020 adjourned till January 14, 2021, by a Federal High Court sitting in Benin City, Edo State. The other four defendants are Lucky Imasuen, former deputy governor of Edo State; Chief Dan Orbih, former PDP chairman in Edo State; Tony Aziegbemi and Efe Erimuoghae. At Thursday’s sitting, counsel to the first defendant, Charles Edosomwan, SAN, informed the court that he has filed a motion challenging its jurisdiction on the grounds that the charge filed against the defendants is based on election matters. According to him, the appropriate court to try electoral matter was the Magistrate Court or High Court of the state. The same argument was canvassed by the counsel to the other defendants.

However, the prosecuting counsel, Francis A.Jirbo countered the argument with the submission that the information before the court is a money laundering charge for which the Federal High Court has exclusive jurisdiction. After listening to both counsel, Justice M. G. Umar adjourned the case to January 20, 2021, for the ruling. Pastor Ize-Iyamu and other defendants were first arraigned before Justice P. I. Ajoku on an eight-count charge bordering on money laundering on May 24, 2018. The defendants were alleged to have sometime in March 2015 in Benin City directly taken possession of the sum of seven hundred million ( N700, 000,000) without any contract award which sum was allegedly part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: fraud and corruption.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ECONOMY

  • FG suspends new electricity tariff by another 1 week

The Federal Government has extended the suspension of the new electricity tariff by one week. Prof. James Momoh, Chairman, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) said this when the ad hoc Technical Committee on Electricity Tariff submitted its interim report at a reconvene bilateral meeting between Federal Government and Organised Labour on Monday in Abuja. The new tariff was earlier suspended for two weeks and ended at midnight on Oct. 11, when the organised labour suspended the planned industrial action over agitation on the hike in electricity tariff on Sept. 28. It would also be recalled that the the committee which was Chaired by Mr Festus Keyamo, Minister of State for Labour is to examine the justifications for the new policy in view of the need for the validation of the basis for the new cost reflective tariff.

It was also agreed that while the committee carries the justification that electricity tariff should be reduced for two weeks. Momoh while speaking, said the one week extension new tariff said was to enable the committee to review and work out modalities for the implementation of the agreement reached on the electricity tariffs structure. Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, while reading a resolution reached between the Federal Government, Organised Labour and the Ad Hoc Technical Committee on Electricity Tariff said that adoption of the work plan for effecting the resolutions has been reached. Ngige said the resolutions adopted would be implemented by all stakeholders within the week by Sunday, Oct. 18.

  • Electricity Tariff: FG Agrees To Provide Relief Of N10.20k/kW For Three Months

The discussions between the Federal Government and organised labour over the recent electricity tariff increase seems to be yielding a positive result. This comes after the Federal Government on Sunday agreed to provide a tariff relief of 10 naira 20 kobo per kilowatt of electricity for Nigerians for the next three months and also massively distribute free meters to electricity consumers. The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo announced this in a communique posted on his twitter handle, following the expiration of the 2-week suspension of the increased electricity tariff yesterday. 1. Labour & Govt have adopted these Resolutions of the Adhoc Committee I chaired. Highlights include using VAT proceeds to temporarily subsidize tariffs whilst my Committee will work for two more months to resolve other issues that may substantially affect tariff adjustments.

He said the Federal Government will use VAT proceeds to temporarily subsidize tariffs while the Adhoc committee will work for two more months to resolve other issues regarding tariff adjustments. According to the Minister, “other immediate reliefs include the provision of six million free meters to Nigerians, salary protection for electricity workers, a mandatory refund for any overbilling during system transition by the discos, monthly publication by NERC of allowed billing of unmetered customers, etc.” Mr. Keyamo added that the Adhoc committee set up by the Federal Government and organised labour last month agreed to adopt a two-phase approach to proffer solutions to resolve issues in the sector on a medium-term basis.

  • FAAC Shares N639.9bn September 2020 Revenue To FG, States And LGs

The Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) has shared a total of N639.901 billion September 2020 federation account revenue to the Federal, States, and Local Government Councils and agencies. This was announced after the physical meeting of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) for the month of October held at the Federal Ministry of Finance headquarters, Abuja. The meeting was chaired by Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Alhaji Aliyu Ahmed. The total distributable revenue of N639.901billion comprised statutory revenue of N341.501 billion; Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N141.858 billion; N39.542 billion from Forex Equalisation; N45 billion from Non-oil Excess Revenue and N72 billion Federal Government Intervention Revenue. The gross statutory revenue of N341.501 billion available for the month of September 2020 was lower than the N531.830 billion received in the previous month by N190.329 billion.

The gross revenue of N141.858 billion available from the Value Added Tax (VAT) was also lower than the N150.230 billion available in the previous month by N8.372 billion. A communiqué issued by the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) indicated that from the total distributable revenue of N639.901 billion; the Federal Government received N255.748 billion, the State Governments received N185.645 billion and the Local Government Councils received N138.444 billion. The relevant States received N36.188 billion as 13% mineral revenue, while the cost of collection and transfers had allocation of N23.876 billion.

  • ‘New tree species, import substitution can revive paper industry’

By investing in certain tree species that have a shorter gestation period of six months and developing a backward integration plan for the paper and pulp industry, Nigeria may be able to revive ailing paper manufacturing firms and conserve foreign exchange.
Stakeholders in the industry have stated that unavailability of raw materials is one of the major reasons why investors are shying away from the nation’s multi-billion dollar paper industry. They noted that there is an urgent need to partner the South-western States in the country to engage in mass production of raw materials to achieve a virile paper industry. According to stakeholders in the industry as well as members of printing and publishing group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Nigeria can address insufficiency in supplies of long fibre pulp by investing in new tree species.

Chairperson of the LCCI Group, Princess Layo Okeowo, during a webinar by the Group tagged “Revitalizing the paper industry: Challenges and opportunities in South-western Nigeria”, noted that while the option of sourcing foreign exchange to import the pulp in the immediate was considered as an interim solution, designing a programme that would see Nigeria grow plantations of suitable trees as a long-term solution was equally proffered, but the latter option was never pushed for implementation. “However, the good news is, research has shown that tree species needed for manufacturing woodfree bond paper can be grown in Nigeria with a gestation period of 6months and not 12years or more as formerly believed. This means that paper production in Nigeria is doable and we only need to share the knowledge across board. “Nigeria paper industry needs clusters of smart investors who can tap into the potential of raw material availability in the country. The major area of investment will be the aspect of machinery as the raw materials needed will be readily available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

EDUCATION

  • FG agrees to pay ASUU N30bn earned allowance, others

The Federal Government has agreed to release N30bn earned academic allowance to the university lecturers. The money will be paid in tranches between May 2021 and February 2022. Newsmen gathered that the FG also promised to spend N20bn on the revitalisation of the education sector as part of concessions meant to end the seven-month strike declared by the Academic Staff Union of Universities. These were part of the agreements reached during the ongoing meeting between the FG and ASUU leadership on Thursday.

Speaking earlier before going into a closed-door session, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said students were being recruited into the #EndSARS protests following the closure of universities occasioned by the ASUU strike. He expressed the hope that ASUU would call off the strike soon, noting that the government had been finding ways to end the seven-month strike. The government team was led by Ngige, his minister of state, Festus Keyamo (SAN), and others, while the ASUU delegation was led by its President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi. Ngige said, “For the past one week, we have all been on our toes; we have been meeting and we pray that this meeting will yield some good fruits.

  • NYSC reopens camps November 10

The Minister of Youth and Sports Sunday Dare has announced the reopening of National Youth Service Corps(NYSC) camps from November 10. He disclosed this on his Twitter handle. “Orientation Camp of the NYSC Orientation Camp for prospective Youth Corpers has been approved and opens on November 10th, 2020. Full COVID-19 Protocols will be enforced,” Dare posted on his official Twitter handle.

  • Renowned poet JP Clark is dead

Renowned poet and Emeritus Professor of Literature, John Pepper Clark, has died. The professor’s death was announced in a statement signed by Prof. C. C. Clark for the family and Ilaye Clark, for the children. He died on Tuesday. “The Clark-Fuludu Bekederemo family of Kiagbodo Town, Delta State, wishes to announce that Emeritus Professor of Literature and Renowned Writer, Prof. John Pepper Clark, has finally dropped his pen in the early hours of today, Tuesday, 13 October, 2020.

John pepper Clark Bekederemo, born on April 6, 1935, was one of Nigeria’s foremost anglophone dramatists and poets. Clark, born of Ijaw parents, received his early education at the Native Administration School and the Government College in Ugheli. He got his Bachelors’ degree in English at the University of Ibadan, where Wole Soyinka also studied. In 1960 Clark wrote his first dramatic work, Song of a Goat, which was staged in Ibadan the following year. After graduation, Clark worked as a journalist, editor, and feature writer in Lagos for Express newspapers. His success as a journalist resulted in his being awarded a fellowship to study at Princeton University in the United States.

  • Nigerian named finalist for $1m Global Teacher Prize

A Nigerian teacher, Olasunkanmi Opeifa, has been named a top 10 finalist for the Global Teacher Prize 2020. Now in its sixth year, the US$1 million award was established by the Varkey Foundation in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. English comedian, Stephen Fry, announced Opeifa as a top ten finalist in a special video message, saying, “Today I am delighted to announce that Olasunkanmi Opeifa from Nigeria is a top ten finalist for the Global Teacher Prize 2020. “Olasunkanmi, you have inspired your students by using edutainment- fun-based learning to teach English language concepts, with essay writing linked to popular dance steps, and phonology and grammar demonstrated by rapping and hip-hop songs. “You also published a book on learning English in order to reach more students beyond your community, and introduced free weekend tutorials in order to cover the syllabus with them. With this approach, examination results have vastly improved and many of your students now meet the benchmark for admission to university. Congratulations Olasunkanmi and thank you for everything you do.”

Also, Assistant Director-General for Education at UNESCO, Stefania Giannini, said, “Congratulations to Olasunkanmi Opeifa for being selected as a top ten finalist from such a huge number of talented and dedicated teachers. I hope his story will inspire those looking to enter the teaching profession and also highlight the incredible work teachers do all over Nigeria and throughout the world every day.” Founder of the Global Teacher Prize, Sunny Varkey, said, “The Global Teacher Prize was set up to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society…Teachers everywhere should be applauded for their creativity, compassion and resolve to fulfil every child’s right to a good education.” Opeifa, an English teacher from Government Day Secondary School, Karu, Abuja, Nigeria, was shortlisted for the Global Teacher Prize 2020, after being selected from over 12,000 nominations and applications from over 140 countries around the world.

  • FG blackmailing varsity workers into enrolling on IPPIS –ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities has described the directive stopping the salaries of university employees, who have not enrolled on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, as blackmail to weaken workers and make them enroll on the platform. The Chairman of the University of Port Harcourt Branch of ASUU, Dr Austen Sado, who spoke on Sunday, explained that though some of his colleagues had not been paid salaries since February, the union would not be cowed into enrolling on IPPIS. Sado, who spoke on the telephone, said, “It (directive to stop salaries) clearly shows that there is something the Federal Government is not telling the people. They are not paying us (some lecturers). So, why are they saying by November?

“What they are doing now is just blackmail and threat to see how they would weaken our members to go and enroll (on IPPIS). People who have not enrolled are not being paid; some people for eight months, some for three, going to four months. I have not been paid salary since July, while some people have not been paid since February. “They have not paid us because of IPPIS. A few of the people that registered with IPPIS are being paid. But when they pay them, they don’t even get the full complement of their salaries; some of them claim that they get like N50,000, N60,000, and we are talking about senior lecturers and above.
“A professor told me that what he is getting is N100,000 (as monthly salary) and yet they want to put more people into that. But we have resolved that we will not succumb to this blackmail.”

  • FCT teachers chase out pupils from classrooms

Hopes of parents to have their children return to schools in the Federal Capital Territory FCT after a seven-month COVID-19 break were on Monday dashed following the decision of teachers to chase their pupils home. The teachers under the aegis of the FCT Council of the Nigeria Union of Teachers NUT said Area Council Chairmen in the territory have refused to implement the national minimum wage as well as payment of arrears. When reporters visited the LEA Primary School Kubwa which also houses the Junior Secondary School, Kubwa, the pupils had been chased out of their classrooms from as early as 8am. Only students of the junior secondary school were allowed in, as secondary school teachers had been paid by the FCT Administration.

Earlier in September, Chairman of the Union, Stephen Knabayi had directed members not to resume work whenever schools were reopened. He said while the Federal Capital Territory Administration FCTA has commenced the payment of the new minimum wage, the six Area Councils in the territory who are saddled with the payment of primary school teachers have refused to budge. The FCTA had on October 8 slated the reopening of schools in the territory for Monday, October 12, announcing the cancellation of Third Term and equally warning private schools against demanding fees for the cancelled term. FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello who gave the directives at stakeholders meeting in Abuja, however, added that all boarding schools would be reopened a day earlier.

  • Edo recruits teachers for rural communities

The Edo State Government has commenced the recruitment of teachers for rural and remote communities under the Edo Supporting Teachers to Achieve Results (EdoSTAR) Teaching Fellowship Programme across the state’s three senatorial districts. The EdoSTAR Teaching Fellowship Programme is a three-year intensive training and field experience employment programme for teachers and aspiring teachers who will be transited into the Edo State Civil Service upon satisfactory job performance. In a statement, the Executive Chairman, Edo State Universal Basic Education Board, Dr Joan Osa Oviawe, noted that the EdoSTAR Teaching Fellowship Programme was open to those with and without teaching credentials. She said, “Those who have not received their teaching qualifications will be required to attain their PGDE or PDE through the Edo State College of Education during the first two years of the programme.” “The EdoSTAR Teaching Fellowship Programme comes with salary and performance-based incentives and bonuses,” she added.

Oviawe disclosed that the purpose of the programme is to hire teachers to teach solely in their communities, adding that “the minimum qualifications are NCE, HND, B.ED and B.Sc.” To apply, the Executive Chairman urged applicants to complete the application form by visiting the Edo SUBEB Website. “Indigenes of these communities are encouraged to apply. Also, note that candidate selection will be on a rolling basis.

  • The Polytechnic Ibadan Postpones Examination As Students Protest

The School Registrar, Mrs. Modupe Fawale and the Public Relations Officer, Alh. Soladoye Adewole came after students of the institution laid barricades on all the school entrances protesting against the accessibility of faulty student portals and inability to complete their registration. Mrs. Fawale maintained that the great citadel of learning made this move “to enable students who were unable to meet registration and payment of tuition deadline to do so.” According to the statement, the examination will however commence on Monday, 19th October, 2020 with the HND II students in the Faculty of Business and Communication Studies and their counterparts in the Faculty of Environmental Studies following the order earlier scheduled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HEALTH

  • NCDC accredits two new private laboratories

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control says it has included two new private diagnostic centres to the exclusive list of fee-paying laboratories in the country. The accreditation of the two laboratories, which are based in Abuja, has increased the number of NCDC accredited official diagnostic centres to 21. NCDC Director-General, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu disclosed this in a post on the agency’s official Twitter handle on Thursday. The post read, “2 new labs have been accredited for inclusion into private fee-paying labs for #COVID19 testing.”. Ihekweazu identified the two private fee-paying laboratories as E-clinic Diagnostics and Everight Diagnostics, both based in the Federal Capital Territory.

  • Nigeria resumes Yellow fever vaccination – WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says Nigeria has resumed Yellow fever vaccination with safety measures for the COVID-19 in context. WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, said this in a statement posted on its website. The UN health agency said while combatting multiple public health challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Nigeria with support of WHO and other partners had re-lauched mass vaccination campaigns. “WHO, Centre for Disease Control (CDC), and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance will safely re-launch an accelerated series of mass preventive vaccination campaigns to protect Nigerians against yellow fever. “To enable safe implementation in the COVID-19 context, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and enhanced infection prevention control measures have been assured by some partners. “They have been assured by a collaborative initiative and agile support of the State Ministries of Health, CDC, and WHO Health Emergencies Programme, and funding from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

“The accelerated yellow fever campaigns phase four will target more than 30 million people in seven states (Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Delta, Osun, Ondo, and Oyo) and complete the pending 2019 phase 3 Yellow Fever (YF) campaign in Anambra. “This will be followed by further YF vaccination efforts between 2021-2022 which will target more than 95 million persons as part of the push to eliminate yellow fever epidemics.’’ “These campaigns are to be implemented in accordance with the WHO guidelines for the implementation of mass campaigns in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of PPEs and infection prevention control strategies as recommended. “The accelerated yellow fever campaigns phase four will target more than 30 million people in seven states (Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Delta, Osun, Ondo, and Oyo) and complete the pending 2019 phase 3 Yellow Fever (YF) campaign in Anambra.

 

 

 

 

 

WORLD

  • Trump, Biden to hold rival TV town halls instead of debate

President Donald Trump will feature in a televised town hall Thursday on NBC News, the network said, setting up a direct scheduling clash with rival Joe Biden who had already planned his own version. The two were originally meant to have been meeting for their second debate on Thursday evening. Instead, they will be simultaneously, but separately, talking to voters in TV studios — NBC for Trump and ABC for Biden. Trump will be in Miami, the network said, while Biden, who had already booked his appearance last week, will be in Philadelphia. Their scheduled debate had also been designed as a town hall where the two candidates would have fielded questions from voters, but this was upended after Trump contracted the coronavirus.

Debate organizers said they wanted to switch the format to a virtual appearance, for safety reasons, and Trump refused, forcing the cancellation of the event. NBC News said Wednesday it had received a statement from the clinical director at the National Institutes of Health and lead infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci that they had “a high degree of confidence” that Trump is now “not shedding infectious virus.”
Trump and the NBC host will be socially distanced at the outdoor venue and the audience will wear safety masks, NBC said. Biden has been frequently testing for coronavirus and reporting negative results since Trump’s illness.

  • Remdesivir Has ‘Little Or No Effect’ On COVID-19 Mortality: WHO Study

The antiviral drug remdesivir, considered one of the most promising COVID-19 treatments, turns out to do little to prevent deaths from the disease, according to a WHO-backed study. Remdesivir, which was part of the experimental cocktail given to US President Donald Trump when he caught the new coronavirus last month, was one of several reviewed in a large study of more than 11,000 people across 30 countries. The drug “appeared to have little or no effect on hospitalised COVID-19, as indicated by overall mortality, initiation of ventilation, and duration of hospital stay,” said the study posted online late Thursday.

The data, which has yet to be peer-reviewed or published in a scientific journal, seems to contradict at least two major US studies that have shown that remdesivir can reduce the duration of hospital stays for COVID-19 patients. Washington authorised the emergency use of the medicine, made by US pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences and originally intended as a treatment for Ebola — on May 1, followed by a range of other countries and the European Union.

  • Trump Insists Pandemic Almost Over, Biden Says He Did ‘Nothing’

President Donald Trump delivered a combative defense on Thursday of his COVID-19 response while election challenger Joe Biden — offering a glaring contrast in style in a rival town hall — accused him of doing “nothing” to end the pandemic. The dueling appearances, scheduled at the same time on rival television networks, showed Biden giving unflashy, empathetic, often in-depth answers to voters in the audience, while Trump delivered a fiery, sometimes agitated defense of his presidency. Trump, who trails in the polls ahead of the November 3 election, was especially under pressure about the coronavirus that has killed over 217,000 Americans and inflicted deep economic damage. “We’re rounding the corner,” Trump insisted with his usual optimism, even as swaths of the United States see sharply rising caseloads. But pressed by the host of the NBC town hall in Miami, he became quickly frustrated, especially when asked about his previous lukewarm denunciations of extremist rightwing groups in the country. He notably refused to denounce QAnon, a conspiracy theory movement that claims Trump is waging a secret war against a global liberal cult of Satan-worshipping pedophiles. “I know nothing about QAnon,” Trump said, and then continued to praise the shadowy group’s position being “very much against pedophilia.”

By contrast, Biden’s appearance on rival network ABC mirrored his steady and generally low-key campaign, with promises of bipartisan healing in divided Washington and aiming steady fire on Trump’s coronavirus record.
“We’re in a situation where we have 210,000 plus people dead and what’s he doing? Nothing. He’s still not wearing masks,” Biden said of Trump at the event in Philadelphia. His standout comments at a time of profound political conflict in the country were when he vowed to improve the atmosphere, saying “grudges don’t work.” “We’ve got to change the nature of the way we deal with one another,” Biden said. “If I’m elected president, the first thing — and not a joke… I’m going to pick up the phone and call them and say, ‘Let’s get together.’” Biden repeatedly came back to the theme of unity, saying he would be president to all Americans including those who voted against him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ENTERTAINMENT

  • #EndSARS: Falz tells Buhari to reconstitute NHRC governing council

Popular singer, Folarin Falana, popularly called Falz, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to reconstitute the governing council of the National Human Rights Commission. This comes in the wake of protests against police brutality which has seen a series of attacks on unarmed #EndSARS/EndSWAT protesters by unknown armed hired thugs in Lagos and Abuja. Falz’s demand was contained in an open letter addressed to the president via his verified social media account, titled “Request for reconstitution of the governing council of the national human rights commission for the discharge of its functions with respect to cases of human rights violations in Nigeria.”

According to the Falz who is also a Lawyer, the Human Rights Commission as stated by the body’s constitution has the right to “receive complaints and investigate all alleged cases of human rights violations in Nigeria and make appropriate recommendations to the President.” As such, Falz stated that the “commission need not set up another panel for the exercise of its functions,” thereby negating the creation of an independent panel as earlier stated by the president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina. He added that human rights abuse has aggravated in the country because the “National Human Rights Commission has remained without the Governing Council since 2015.”

  • Davido slams FCTA for banning #EndSARS protests in Abuja

Award-winning singer, David Adeleke aka Davido, has lambasted the Federal Capital Territory Administration for imposing a ban on #EndSARS protests in Abuja, the nation’s capital. Newsmen had earlier reported that the FCT Security Committee on Thursday attributed its decision to the alleged violation of COVID-19 protocol by the protesters. The Committee said it was concerned that despite the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad by the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, last Sunday, the demonstrations had continued, causing inconveniences to law-abiding citizens.

However, the singer, who is one of the leading voices of the #EndSARS campaign and who had read the protesters’ demands to the IGP in his Abuja office earlier in the week, faulted the decision of the FCTA. He noted that the Federal Government allowed electioneering and rallies to hold in Ondo and Edo States where cases of violation of COVID-19 protocol were recorded but was against protests in the same country. Davido made this known on Twitter shortly after the announcement by the FCTA. He wrote, “Can’t protest but y’all just had campaign rallies and conducted 2 elections recently !!! Do they think ?? Wtf I’m ANGRY !!”

  • Femi Kuti Joins #SARSMUSTEND Protest

Music Legend Femi Kuti has joined other Nigerians in the ongoing protest calling for an end to police brutality by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad. The protesters are calling for an end to SARS, reforms in the police, the release of some of the protesters who were arrested by the police during last week’s protests, prosecution of the officers that killed these victims, and compensation for the families of the deceased.
They are also calling for an end to police brutality, insisting that President Muhammadu Buhari should make the pronouncement disbanding SARS by way of an executive order.

Meanwhile, President Buhari has reacted to the outcry on the reform of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) promising to extensively reform the Force.
The President declared that the disbanding of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is the first step to extensive police reforms by his administration. “I will like to use this opportunity to say a word on the recent genuine concerns and agitations by Nigerians about the excessive use of force and in some cases extra-judicial killings and wrongful conduct of the men of the Nigerian Police Force. “The disbanding of SARS is only the first step in our commitment to extensive police reforms in order to ensure that the primary duty of the police and other law enforcement agencies remains the protection of lives and livelihood of our people,” President Buhari said.

  • #EndSARS: Answer Nigerians’ cries – Kanye West urges FG

US rapper and presidential candidate, Kanye West, has appealed to the Federal Government to yield to the demands of youths protesting against police brutality and extortion in the country. He said this in a tweet on Tuesday. The singer said he stands with Nigerians, urging that police brutality should end in Nigeria. “I stand with my Nigerian brothers and sisters to end police brutality, the government must answer to the peoples’ cries #EndPoliceBrutalityinNigeria,” he tweeted.

I stand with my Nigerian brothers and sisters to end police brutality, the government must answer to the peoples cries #EndPoliceBrutalityinNigeria

— ye (@kanyewest) October 12, 2020

Nigerians on Monday continued their protests to pressure the Federal Government to follow through on disbanding the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

  • #EndSARS: Davido Reads Protesters’ Demands To IGP

Singer, David Adeleke, popularly called Davido on Monday presented the demands of the #EndSARS protesters to the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The demands, according to him include the release of the protesters, justice for all victims of police brutality, among others. “Our five demands include the immediate release of all arrested protesters. We thank God everybody was released in Abuja yesterday, there are still some people arrested in Lagos. “Secondly, they want justice for all deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensation for their families. Out of everything, this is the most important because if there is reform, you cannot change a life that has been lost. “Setting up an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reports of police misconducts within 10 days. It is impossible to do anything within 10 days, but it is something that should be looked at,” he said.

Davido equally for a psychological evaluation of all officers of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) before redeployment, stressing that the training and retraining of police personnel are important. On his part, the IGP thanked Davido for the visit, explaining that reports of brutality and infringement of human rights by SARS operatives issue date back to 2017. According to him, the step taken by the police authorities was to reform the unit to make it more responsive to tackling security challenges. Adamu explained that this is the first time the squad will be disbanded following numerous outcry from Nigerians, notable youths. “The activities of SARS have been an issue since 2017. All that the police authorities did was to reform the unit so that it will be more responsive to the society,” he said. “Changes came up and we still have challenges. This is the first time that a decisive decision. We have never done this before, it has always been reform.”

  • Falz, others back out of town hall meeting with FG over police brutality

As the agitation against police brutality, extortion, harassment and extrajudicial killing of Nigerians continues, hip-hop rapper Folarin Falana known as Falz and public policy expert Dr Joe Abah has backed out of a town hall meeting set up by the government. The town hall meeting, organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, was to discuss and recommend solutions to the country’s policy system and a reform of the Nigeria Police Force. “I will not be on this panel,” Falz tweeted on Friday. “I was given false information. Plus there is no need for all this, please!! The agenda is clear #5for5 #SARSMUSTEND.” Abah announced his withdrawal from the visual event after Falz said he would no longer participate. “Following Falz’s withdrawal from this event and the absence of more youth voices, I will regrettably no longer be moderating this event,” Abah tweeted. He explained that he “was only ever meant to be the moderator. Nothing else. I suggest that the format for the event be changed to hear more youth voices. “Engagement is important. The Town Hall meeting provides an opportunity for the youth to speak directly with the IGP and the Minister of Youth. I would encourage as many people as can make it to take the opportunity.”

The inspector general of police Mohammed Adamu, Falz, Segun Awosanya and Ife Durosimi-Etti were scheduled as panellists while Dr Abah was expected to moderate the online meeting. Durosimi-Etti later announced her withdrawal from the town hall meeting. “Please note that while I was honoured to receive this invite, I will not be part of this panel. The demands of the Nigerian youth are clear and remain consistent,” Durosimi-Etti said. The town hall meeting is not the first by the government since the nationwide protest broke out last week. The inspector general of police Adamu already met with Afropop artistes Davido and Naira Marley over the demonstrations. It is unknown if the meeting will go as scheduled by the government as they aim to persuade thousands of protesters in different parts of Nigeria to leave the streets. Although the government promised to act on demands of the protesters but they say they will continue with the protests until they begin to see actions.

  • Judge To Set New R. Kelly Trial Date After Virus Delays

The singer R. Kelly should learn when he will stand trial on sexual assault charges before the end of the year after delays caused by Covid-19, a judge said Tuesday. Kelly’s trial had been originally due to begin on Tuesday in Chicago but was postponed when several witnesses reported problems travelling to the Midwestern city from out of state. At a hearing at a federal court, District Judge Harry Leinenweber said he expects to set a new trial date for Kelly on December 16. Kelly did not appear at the hearing, which was held by phone Tuesday. While Kelly’s attorney and prosecutors agreed to wait until December for the trial to be set, Vadim Glozman, an attorney for Darrell McDavid, Kelly’s former manager who is charged with child pornography and obstruction of justice, asked Leinenweber to set a trial date immediately.

The judge denied Glozman’s request, saying the court needs more time to find an open courtroom for the trial. “Because of the pandemic and a lot of cases that were backed up, it’s been hard to schedule courtrooms,” Leinenweber said. Also on Tuesday, Kelly’s attorney Michael Leonard said he will be filing motions seeking bail for the seventh time and for an evidentiary hearing regarding an attack on Kelly in August by another inmate at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, where Kelly has been held since July 2019. Kelly is facing federal charges in Chicago and Brooklyn, New York, and local charges in Cook County, Illinois, and Hennepin County, Minnesota. The federal case in Chicago alleges child pornography and obstruction of justice, while the feds in Brooklyn have alleged racketeering. No date for either case has been set.

  • #EndSars: Rapper Ikechukwu pens emotional letter to Nigerians on his birthday

The rapper who once held Nigerian music lovers spellbound with his style of rap some years ago, chose on Wednesday to join the #EndSars protest instead of celebrating his birthday today. Posting on Instagram, the ‘my name is Ikechukwu’ crooner wrote: It may be my birthday today but it really doesn’t feel like anything needs to be celebrated. Men lost their lives yesterday. Our cries continue to fall on deaf ears. They keep thinking they can scam us with words. Sars is not dissolved; they have just reassigned the officers to other units and departments. The only thing I am thankful now is the youth have woken up and realised this is their country. Just because you are older doesn’t mean you can lead.

Since childhood, they have been shouting leaders of tomorrow. Tomorrow has come. Can we lead please? Ah! #ENDSARS #SARSMUSTEND. Finish! We will celebrate next year’s birthday. This one get as e be.” With the way the supposed peaceful anti-Sars protest is getting violent, Ikechukwu Onunaku, known professionally as Ikechukwu and Killz, is not the only celebrity to show such concerns, as other celebrities have recently called on the Buhari led government to avoid more bloodshed, by granting the protest members of the people what they really desire, which is to end SARS permanently.

 

 

 

 

 

SPORTS

  • Osimhen celebrates first Serie A goal with #EndSARS shirt

Super Eagles striker, Victor Osimhen, has scored his first goal in Serie A as a Napoli player. Osimhen scored his first Napoli goal with a superb finish against Atalanta in the 43rd minutes. After scoring, Osimhen held up a shirt saying “End Police Brutality”. Napoli paid French club Lille a club record fee of up to 80 million euros ($94.6 million) to bring Nigeria forward to southern Italy on a five-year deal. The total fee is almost double Napoli’s previous club record of around 40 million euros paid for Gonzalo Higuain in 2013 and Hirving Lozano last year.

Osimhen scored 18 times last season and was one of the revelations of France’s curtailed campaign with 13 Ligue 1 goals as Lille finished fourth. Napoli finished seventh in Serie A and qualified for the Europa League after winning the Italian Cup, their first trophy in six years.
Gennaro Gattuso’s Napoli are hoping to get back on track after their aborted trip to Juventus before the international break.

  • Akpeyi nominated for PSL best keeper award

Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi, has been nominated for the goalkeeper of the season in the Premier Soccer League in South Africa.
Akpeyi, 34, is up against Dennis Onyango of Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSports’ Ronnwen Williams for the award. The Nigeria international kept 10 clean sheets and conceded 26 goals in 27 appearances last season for Kaizer Chiefs. Onyango, 35, conceded 32 goals and kept 16 clean sheets in 39 appearances for Sundowns. Williams, on his part, made 37 appearances and conceded 30 goals and kept 16 clean sheets.

Meanwhile, Akpeyi will miss Sunday’s opening game of the season – an MTN8 quarter-final clash with Maritzburg United. That’s because of an administrative blunder, according to new coach Hunt. “Daniel (Akpeyi) is not available on Sunday, his passport is expired, and it’s a bit of an admin problem. I think Khune might just make the team!” Khune was left out of the side for much of last season by Ernst Middendorp, who was sacked after Amakhosi failed to win the Absa Premiership title on the final day of the campaign. The former Bafana captain, now 33, however, did return to the side for the last two games of the season after Akpeyi picked up a concussion against Bidvest Wits.

  • Cristiano Ronaldo tests positive for coronavirus

Portuguese and Juventus winger Cristiano Ronaldo has tested positive for Covid-19, the Portuguese FA said on Tuesday.

 

 

 

 

 

METRO PLUS

  • Another JSS 3 student gang-raped in Lagos

Another Junior Secondary School 3 student has been ganged-raped in Egan, Igando area of Lagos, over the weekend. This occurred barely one week after an 11-year-old girl, who was sent on an errand was gang-raped to death in Ejigbo area of Lagos, with her assailants still on the run. At press time, the JSS 3 student, as gathered, has had her virginal stitched at an undisclosed private hospital due to tear she sustained, which resulted in bleeding. Reporters gathered that she was lured from her parents’ house on Oremeji Street, off Isuti Road, by one of the suspects identified as Toheeb Mustapha, to The Cool Tervan Hotel, three buildings away from her house. She was said to have been sneaked into one of the hotel rooms, where Toheeb, popularly known as Sir Small and his fleeing partner, took turns to have her until she started bleeding profusely.

However, while taking her back to her parents’ house, some curious residents who saw the girl bleeding, concluded the strangers could have used her for money rituals, thereby raising the alarm which alerted residents. Toheeb was apprehended by residents while his partner managed to escape. He was on the verge of being lynched when policemen from Igando division stormed the area and rescued him. Some of the residents who accused the suspects of engaging in the act for long , said the fleeing suspect whose identity was given simply as Sunkanmi alias G33, had booked the room since last Monday, waiting for the convenient time to carry out the sinister motive. One of the residents, Kafaru Mukaila, who spoke with Vanguard, said “when we apprehended the suspect, he said he was an auto mechanic and that he knew girl at Russel Grammar school, in year 2018 , where he graduated from. He said he collected the victim’s phone number from her class mate and had been charting with her on facebook, clarifying however, that it was not done for ritual purpose “.

  • ATBU Ex-Director, Two Others Killed In Bauchi Attacks

A Former Director at the Department of Works, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) Bauchi, Hassan Sabo has been killed by some yet to be identified gunmen. Sabo was killed in his house located at Tudum Salmanu in Bauchi around 10:00 p.m on Sunday. According to eyewitnesses, the attackers struck when Sabo stepped out to open the gate of his house. He was stabbed several times by the attackers who eventually carted away his vehicle, a Honda Accord with the registration number EKY 388 CP. The Police spokesperson in Bauchi, Ahmed Wakili confirmed the incident to newsmen.

According to him, the police rushed immediately to the scene after receiving a distress call and they took the victim to the Abubakar Tafawa University Teaching hospital where he was confirmed dead. Similarly, the police also confirmed the murder of two other persons by unknown assailants at Gudum Siyawa Community, a suburb of Bauchi. They were attacked on Saturday in two separate incidents while returning from their farm. One, Aminu Ibrahim, (41 years old) was reported to have been killed by five masked men while Alti Danyoro, a 55-year-old female was attacked alongside three other women who escaped but she was unlucky and got killed.

  • FG begins probe of UI’s 300-Level student’s death

The Federal Government has inaugurated a commission of inquiry to investigate the death of Richard Gbadebo, the 300-level student of the University of Ibadan who died in the course of duty at a factory in Ibadan on July 28. A copy of the letter on the inquiry, dated October 5 and received by the Managing Partner, Abope Chambers in Abuja, was made available to journalist in Ibadan, on Saturday. Femi Aborisade, Managing Partner, Abope Chambers, acting on behalf of the family of late Richard Gbadebo; the Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond in Oyo State; and the International Lawyers Assisting Workers Network, had on August 24, written the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr, Chris Ngige, to call for the inauguration of a commission of inquiry into circumstances surrounding Gbadebo’s death in the course of carrying out his duty at Henkel Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Expand Global Industries Limited.
The Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, in a letter titled, ‘Re: Accident investigation into the death of late Richard Gbadebo in the course of working on the Premises of Expand Global Industries Limited (Henkel), Ibadan, Oyo State’, said the Federal Government had set up the commission.

The letter, signed by the Director, Occupational Safety and Health in the ministry, Mrs. Nneka Adogu, on behalf of the Minister read in part, “Sequel to your request for a commission of inquiry into the death of late Richard Gbadebo in a fatal accident that occurred at the above named factory on 28th July and investigation of the accident by Occupational Safety and Health Department of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ibadan, a panel of inquiry to investigate into the fatality has been approved and set up by the Minister of Labour and Employment.
“Please, be informed that sequel to the directives of the minister, more vigorous and robust investigation into the death of the victim will be carried out on the factory premises by the panel. The date for the visit of the panel members will be communicated in due course.” Reacting, Aborisade said, “It is a step forward in the struggle for a safe working environment in Nigeria. The setting up of the commission of inquiry may indeed be the first of its kind in the history of industrial relations in Nigeria.”



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