FRESH FM TOP NEWS THIS WEEK

Written by on November 14, 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

  • CBN action: #EndSARS promoters must face the law, says presidency

The Presidency has said those who allowed the recent #EndSARS protests to degenerate into the destruction of lives and properties in the country must account for their actions. Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, made this known on Sunday while featuring on Channels Television’s programme, Sunday Politics. It had earlier been reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria froze the accounts of 20 #EndSARS champions while another promoter of the movement, Modupe Odele, was prevented from travelling last week and had her passport seized by the Nigeria Immigration Service.

When asked whether his principal was aware of the development, Shehu said the buck stops at the table of the President, noting that the protesters must face the law. He said, “This country has only one president and has only one constitution. President Muhammadu Buhari is responsible for his government. The buck stops on his table. “We are a country governed by law. There is a constitution —under section 33— that clearly defines the rights of citizens to freely protest in a peaceful way but where a peaceful protest turns into riot, violence and looting, there is a law and order duty to be performed. “Now, the laws of the country must be allowed to decide, to rule on wrongdoing on the part of anybody.

  • #EndSARS: AGF Declines Comment On Legality Of Freezing Protesters Accounts

The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, gave no response on Monday when he was questioned by journalists on the legality of freezing bank accounts owned by #EndSARS protesters and promoters. AGF kept quiet, smiled, and walked away when he was accosted by journalists who asked about the legality of the action by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). It had earlier been reported that the CBN received an order granted by Justice Ahmed Mohammed to freeze the account of 20 individuals and an organisation linked to #EndSARS campaign.

Meanwhile, Chairman Senate Committee on Judiciary, Legal and Human Rights, Opeyemi Bamidele speaking with journalists on the sideline of budget defence session on Monday, said the committee has no details yet on the issue. He said the information came to them as news. “It came to us as news. We are also interested in what actually is going on in this regards and what the stakeholders in charge are trying to achieve with it.” The freezing of the bank accounts of #EndSARS promoters and protesters has sparked outrage across the country and has been condemned by lawyers, activists, and civil groups.

  • #EndSARS: It’s unfair CBN froze my account, says Lagos panel member

One of the arrowheads of the #EndSARS protests, Oluwarinu Oduala, has described the recent clampdown by the Federal Government on #EndSARS campaigners as an unfair practice in a democracy. Oduala, who is a member of the Lagos State Panel of Judicial Inquiry probing cases of police brutality and the alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki toll gate, said the recent action of the Central Bank of Nigeria was a betrayal of the supposed peace-making efforts of the government.
It had had earlier been reported that the apex bank obtained a court order to freeze Oduala’s account and those of 19 others till January 2021. Tweeting on Monday night, the youth activist said though the government agreed that it was important to reform the Nigeria Police Force, it has refused to honour its promises and now targets the people who spoke up. She wrote, “How do you expect me as a part of the future of this country to still believe in a country who thinks they can through CBN freeze my account for no just cause? This is not fair.

Oduala said the funds in the frozen account included her personal money as well as donations from people who believed in the #EndSARS movement.
“The funds in question here also includes some of my personal hard-earned money of over N200,000 naira. These funds were earmarked for disbursement towards the medical bills of injured protesters,” she explained. Oduala and her colleague, Temitope Majekodunmi, had boycotted the Saturday sitting of the panel in protest against the CBN action. The chairman of the panel, retired Justice Doris Okuwobi, had suspended the sitting as it could not form a quorum in the absence of the two youth representatives.

  • Challenge CBN action in court, Lagos AG urges #EndSARS campaigners

The Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), has urged #EndSARS campaigners whose bank accounts were frozen by the Central Bank of Nigeria to approach a competent court of law to upturn the apex bank’s action. Onigbanjo said the Lagos State government had no hand in the recent CBN action, adding that only the Federal Government could provide answers as to why it took the action against the youths. The AG, who spoke on Monday while featuring on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme, appealed to the two youth representatives in the Panel of Judicial Inquiry probing the alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki toll gate to return to the panel so as to enable victims of police brutality and the Lekki shootings get justice. It had been reported that the sitting of the panel was frustrated on Saturday due to the absence of the two youth members of the panel, Oluwarinu Oduala, and Temitope Majekodunmi. The chairman of the panel, retired Justice Doris Okuwobi, had said the panel had no other option but to suspend the sitting as it could not form a quorum in the absence of the two youths.

“All those affected cannot get their compensation for no fault of theirs because the panel members have some legal issues with the CBN. “This problem is not the state’s making; the state has no control over the CBN. The state is interested in ensuring that people who suffered abuses in Lagos State ventilate and get the compensation which the panel will award to them. “I would be urging the affected panel member and the other youth representative to resume their seats at the panel.

  • NBA president, group chide FG over clampdown on #EndSARS promoters

The President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Olumide Akpata, has expressed displeasure at the clampdown by government on the leaders of the #EndSARS protesters. The NBA president, in a post said the actions of the government were contrary to its earlier disposition. Akpata wrote, “With all that’s going on in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests, lawyers are definitely not smiling! @djswitch_ has gone into hiding after receiving threatening phone calls, Moe Odele’s passport was seized and she has been prevented from travelling outside the country and Rinu Oduala and many others have had their accounts frozen by the CBN…this was not the deal.” In the same vein, advocacy group – Access to Justice, condemned the freezing of the bank accounts of 20 of the protest leaders by the Central Bank of Nigeria. Access to Justice, in a statement on Sunday by its Convener, Joseph Otteh, described the freezing of the accounts of the #EndSARS protest leaders without a court order as an illegality. “The CBN is transforming into a partisan political organ of the government and putting its vast regulatory powers into illicit partisan political uses for the purpose of suppressing the legitimate exercise of constitutional rights of freedom of speech and expression. This is appalling for a Central Bank for many reasons,” A2Justice said.

Meanwhile, a lawyer and former immigration officer, Daniel Makolo; and the Centre for Liberty have condemned the intimidation of #EndSARS protesters by the Federal Government, noting that security agencies have no right to hound the citizens for expressing their constitutionally-guaranteed rights. Speaking with newsmen, Makolo said it was wrong for the government to be the accuser and the judge in the case against the campaigners. He said, “To restrict any citizen’s movement is guided by law; it cannot be by the whims and caprices of the government.” Makolo said the NIS did not have powers to seize a citizen’s passport without regards for the rule of law and a court order.

  • NYSC Mobilises 66,000 Graduates, Says Corp Members To Take COVID-19 Test

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has mobilised 66,000 eligible graduates to participate in the 2020 Batch B service year. The prospective corps members and course officials are however mandated to undergo the COVID-19 test before admission into the orientation camps set to reopen on Tuesday, November 10, 2020. This was disclosed on Monday by the NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim at a briefing held in Abuja, the nation’s capital. The event was held in preparation for the 2020 Batch B Orientation Course with compliance with COVID-19 guidelines.

The Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu also at the event appealed to prospective corps members and officials to take personal responsibility, shun complacency, saying the second wave of the virus is not inevitable but can be prevented. Dr Ihekweazu had earlier stated that prevention, detection and prompt response are germane to the safe reopening of the 37 NYSC Orientation Camps nationwide. The NCDC boss said the centre is prepared to collaborate with the NYSC and ensure that all the prospective Corps Members and Camp Officials undergoes the COVID-19 test. This according to him is to ascertain their health status. He adds that in case a prospective Corps Member tests positive, Corps Members should not panic, as adequate measures have been put in place in all the NYSC camps to manage such case.

  • Yakubu Hands Over INEC Leadership, Awaits Senate Confirmation For Reappointment

Professor Mahmood Yakubu has handed over his duties as chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He passed on the leadership mantle to an INEC National Commissioner, Air Vice Marshal Ahmed Muazu (rtd), on Monday at an event held at the headquarters of the electoral umpire in Abuja, the nation’s capital. Ahmed will act in that capacity pending when the Senate confirms the reappointment of Professor Yakubu as INEC chairman by President Muhammadu Buhari. In his remarks, Professor Yakubu informed those present at the event that the current INEC was inaugurated in three batches, in which he was sworn-in along with five national commissioners on November 9, 2015. He noted that six more national commissioners were inaugurated on December 7, 2016, and another one on July 21, 2018. The outgoing INEC chief described the commission as a constitutional body whose members were appointed for five years, and which may be renewed for a second and final term.

Professor Yakubu added, “As you are already aware, the renewal of my tenure as chairman of the commission has been announced, subject to confirmation by the Senate. Our work as election managers requires us to enforce the law, regulations and guidelines. “In doing so, we must demonstrate strict respect for, and compliance with, the constitution of Nigeria and subsidiary laws. Consequently, it will be inappropriate for me to remain in office beyond today, 9th November 2020, without confirmation by the Senate and swearing to another oath of office as provided by law.” The outgoing described INEC boss stated that pending the conclusion of the statutory process, the remaining national commissioners resolved that Muazu would oversee the affairs of the electoral body. “It is therefore my pleasure to hand over to him in the interim. We have worked as a team for the last four years. Therefore, there is nothing new to any one of them,” he said.

  • Another protest looms if unemployment persists – Lawan

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Monday warned political office holders and policymakers against paying lip service to youth unemployment. He challenged his colleagues in positions of authorities to factor youth employment and empowerment into the 2021 budget so as to escape another round of #EndSARS protests. Lawan gave the warning when the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Sabo Nanono, led top officials of his ministry to defend its 2021 budget before the Senate Committee on Agriculture. The Senate President said, “Recently, we had protests by some of our youths. Some of them, very genuine, were seeking the attention of leaders and they got the attention. “So, our budget, especially for 2021, should be mindful of what we do to provide employment opportunities for these youths. “They demonstrated, they protested because they could do so. There are so many other people who may not be youthful but are also in the same need. They didn’t protest. “Let us meet them where they are, we don’t want to wait until they also start to grumble or protest we should be proactive.”

Meanwhile President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday told Nigerian youths who have been protesting under the auspices of #EndSARS that it was in their interest to keep the peace. The President was quoted to have sad, “Our own generation is on the last lap, we are exiting. It is in the interest of the youth to keep the peace. They want jobs, infrastructure and development. “I have sent a team led by the Chief of Staff (Prof. Ibrahim Gambari) to go round the country, talk to traditional rulers, who will then talk to the youth. The views of the youth have been heard.” Buhari also lamented that COVID-19 had shrunk the global economy.

  • Sanwo-Olu to abolish pension for ex-govs, deputies

Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday announced his intention to repeal the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension Law 2007), which provides for payment of pension and other entitlements to former Governors and their Deputies. He made this known while presenting the 2021 budget to the Lagos State House of Assembly. Sanwoolu said the bill would be sent to the Lagos Assembly for legislative approval.
According to Sanwo-Olu, the abolition of pension for former governors and deputies will reduce the cost of governance.

He said, “Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members of the House, in light of keeping the costs of governance low and to signal selflessness in public service, we will be sending a draft executive bill to the House imminently for the repeal of the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension Law 2007), which provides for payment of pension and other entitlements to former Governors and their Deputies.”

  • Kwara governor moves to revoke pension for Saraki, Ahmed, others

Kwara State governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq on Friday announced plans to revoke the payment of pension to former governors and their deputies in the state. “In line with our campaign mantra and the yearnings of our people, next week I will be sending a bill to the State House of Assembly to revoke the law awarding pension packages to former governors and former deputy governors in Kwara State,” Abdulrazaq tweeted. “Our state needs all the resources it can get to improve our human capital development.” The governor said he believes that Kwara State’s limited resources are better spent on tackling the question of poverty and youth unemployment.

Revoking the pension payment will bring a stop to benefits given to former Senate president Bukola Saraki, Abdulfatah Ahmed and other persons that served as governors and deputy governors in the state. The governor said he “listened to voices of the majority of the citizens opposing the pension law for former governors and deputy governors.”
Adbulrazaq’s decision came days after Lagos State governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said he will repeal the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension Law 2007), which provides for payment of pension and other entitlements to former governors and their deputies.

  • Cost of governance cut should start with the executive – Reps

The National Assembly has said for Nigeria to reduce the cost of governance, more attention should be paid to the executive arm of the Federal Government which takes the significant majority of the nation’s budget annually. The House of Representatives specifically stated that cuts should be applied to the executive and not the legislature that gets less than one per cent of the allocations in the national budget.

A spokesperson for the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, stated this in Abuja on Thursday, while answering questions from journalists during his weekly media briefing. The National Assembly had a budget of N139.5bn in 2018, N125bn in 2019 and is currently spending N128bn for 2020, while N125bn had been proposed for it in the N13.08tn 2021 Appropriation Bill currently before the parliament.

 

 

 

 

ECONOMY

  • NNPC raises petrol depot price, marketers to sell at N168-N170/litre

The Petroleum Products Marketing Company, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, has increased the ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol, to N155.17 per litre from N147.67 per litre. The PPMC disclosed this in an internal memo with reference number PPMC/C/MK/003, dated November 11, 2020, and signed by Tijjani Ali. In its PMS price proposal for November, the PPMC put the landing cost of petrol at N128.89 per litre, up from N119.77 per litre in September/October. It said the estimated minimum pump price of the product would increase to N161.36 per litre from N153.86 per litre.

The National Operation Controller, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr Mike Osatuyi, in a telephone interview with newsmen, said the over N7 increase in ex-depot price would translate into an increase in pump prices. “Crude oil price is going up,” he said, noting that the Federal Government has fully deregulated petrol prices.

  • Sanwo-Olu Presents N1,155trn 2021 Budget To Lagos Assembly

The Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has presented a 2021 budget proposal of N1,155,022,413,005.82 to members of the State House of Assembly. He made the presentation on Tuesday at the legislative chamber of the Assembly complex in Alausa. Ikeja. Governor Sanwo-Olu is confident that the proposal, tagged Budget of Rekindled Hope, will provide employment for youths, improve the healthcare system, and provide better security for residents of the state. He believes a progressive vision for 2021 remains clear and appeals to every resident to come onboard and work with him to take Lagos to the next level.

The governor also highlighted the efforts of the state government in rebuilding Lagos following the recent violence in the state. He gave a breakdown of the figures of the budget estimates, as well as the achievement of the government in health, education, and other sectors of the economy. In his remarks, the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, assured the governor that the Assembly would perform its constitutional role in ensuring the passage of the budget. He also appealed to residents to desist from destroying public properties and emphasise the need for community policing.

  • FG On Course To Have Budget Passed Before 2021 – DG Budget Office

The Federal Government is on course to ensure that the 2021 Appropriation Bill currently before the National Assembly is passed before the end of the year. Mr Ben Akabueze, the Director-General of the Budget Office, stated this during an interview on Thursday. He noted that the budget defence by various Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) before the lawmakers has been going on smoothly so far.

President Muhammadu Buhari had presented the proposed 2021 Budget of N13 trillion to the National Assembly on October 8. He is confident that the bill, termed Budget Of Economic Recovery and Resilience, will address key economic issues as the country tries to recover from the impact of the coronavirus and the oil price drop. The President stated that his administration was determined to accelerate Nigeria’s economic recovery process amid the revenue generation challenges.

  • COVID-19: FG Seeks $750m Loan From World Bank

As part of efforts to mitigate the effect of COVID-19, the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, says the Federal Government, is in the process of acquiring a 750 million dollar loan, from the world bank to help states. This loan according to her is to stimulate the local economy and support vulnerable household consumption. Mrs. Ahmed disclosed this at the inauguration of the Federal Steering Committees of the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (N-CARES) program, in the nation’s capital. The minister noted that the federal government has created windows of intervention, as captured in the economic sustainability plan inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari, in March 2020.

She stressed that in going to borrow the money the federal government is considering the cause and consequences of civil unrest and COVID-19 in the country. According to her, in a bid to ensure that the implementation of the N-CARES is in line with the federal government priorities as outlined in the ESP, the Federal Steering Committee made up of ministers and permanent secretaries as well as a Technical Committee, made up of directors of key ministries, department, and agencies (MDAs). She stated that the government has carefully selected the “members of the Federal Steering and Technical Committees because of the important role MDAs play in the recovery of the Nigerian economy as well as the fulfillment of lifting 100 million people out of poverty”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POLITICS

  • Obaseki, Deputy Sworn-In For Second Term

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, have been sworn in for a second term in office. The inauguration event was held on Thursday at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, the state capital. Dignitaries in attendance include governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Duoye Diri of Bayelsa State, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State; among others.

PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus was also present at the event with some other leaders of the party. Governor Obaseki was returned elected after polling the highest number of votes in the keenly-contested poll conducted on Saturday, September 20. The governor secured 307,955 of the total votes, 84,336 more votes than his closest rival Ize-Iyamu, who got 223, 619 votes.

  • Yoruba tell Buhari – return Nigeria to true federalism

Yoruba leaders,on Sunday told President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently make practical moves to return the country to true federalism to avert resurgence of the mayhem that characterised the recent #EndSARS protests and save the nation from disintegration. At a meeting held in Lagos at the instance of President Buhari over the protests that started in Lagos and spread to other parts of the country, the Yoruba leaders also suggested ways the country can overcome some of the current challenges threatening its corporate existence. Traditional rulers who attended the meeting include the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi; Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; Olugbo of Ugboland, Oba Frederick Akinrutan; Oba of Lagos Riwanu Akiolu; Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle and Alawe of Ilawe-Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi. Also in attendance were the ministers and governors from the south west zone. The federal delegation comprised of the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari (leader); Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu; Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the Director General, Department of State Services (DSS), Alhaji Yusuf Magaji Bichi.

The monarchs also said the Federal Government must devolve more powers to the states, especially in the areas of security and economy, else the country would continue to sit on a keg of gunpowder with the possibility of another mayhem worse than what was witnessed in Lagos during the protests. The meeting was coordinated by the Chairman, Southwest Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State hosted it. Also present were Governors Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Dapo Abiodun (Ogun). In the 13-points communiqué signed by Akeredolu and Ooni of Ife after the deliberations, the stakeholders stressed the need to adjust and overhaul the security architecture of the country to adequately address the threats and realities of insecurity. “There should be more police presence in communities in the Southwest states,” the leaders demanded. They also emphasised the need for the Federal Government to review reports of the various constitutional conferences, including the 2014 National Conference and implement some of the recommendations, especially with reference to security, economy and equal treatment for citizens all over the country.

  • S’West Governors, Traditional Rulers Demand Special Protection For Region’s Assets

Governors of the South-West and traditional rulers are calling for special protection of economic assets in the region. The Governors and traditional rulers made the call during a meeting held on Sunday in Lagos State. “Before our very eyes, what started as a peaceful demonstration turned to different thing that became a threat to all of us, who are regarded as elite,” the Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, and Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, said in the meeting attended by the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari. “What we witnessed in the violence showed that something needs to be done to address the underlying issues and come out with solutions. We must be able to sustain the peace in our region at all cost.” During the meeting meant to address the destructions that greeted the recent destructions in the country, particularly in Lagos, the Ondo Governor noted that the violence sparked by the EndSARS protest shook the Southwest to its foundation. According to him, the dimension of violence especially in Lagos was worrying, admitting that the peace of the South-West was fragile in the aftermath of the violence.

President Muhammadu Buhari who was represented by Professor Gambari, said the #EndSARS protests showed the frustrations of the youths who had been sidelined for a long time. According to him, the political class must go beyond rhetorics and equip young people to make them competitive in the labour market. “Our Government’s effort are emerging from multiple level. The Vice President and Governors are designing an engagement framework through the National Economic Council that will be rolled out across States of the Federation,” the chief of Staff to the President was quoted as saying in the meeting. “Chief among them is police reform across all its dimensions. Community policing as an additional layer that can resolve some of our security issues.” Other persons who attended the meeting included all serving members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) from the region, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Muhammed Adamu and traditional rulers from the South-West.

  • PDP congratulates U.S. President-Elect, Joe Biden

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has congratulated the United States President-elect, Joe Biden, on his successful election as the 46th President of the United States. The party congratulated Biden in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja on Sunday. Ologbondiyan urged the president-elect to use his new office to promote world unity, peace, global economic, political, and international trade collaborations with a focus on Africa as well as the developing world. “Our party recalls that the United States and Nigeria have a long history of robust diplomatic relationship based on mutual respect and cooperation in critical sectors with many enduring cultural, political, economic, and social affinities. “This should be strengthened for more global development. “The PDP wishes President-elect, Biden, a successful tenure.

“We urge Nigerians to use the US election as a catalyst and preparatory template to consolidate on our democratic processes ahead of subsequent general elections in the country,” Ologbondiyan said. Ologbondiyan said that the election was a lesson to leaders that power resides with the people and that there is a limit to how any individual could hold a people to ransom. “Our party holds that the US Presidential election presents lessons to our emerging electoral system, particularly on the independence of the electoral body. “It is also a lesson in showing respect for the rights of the citizens to democratically choose their leaders, irrespective of preferences or predilections of incumbents.

  • We are not job seekers, Buni tells aggrieved APC members

The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Mai Mala Buni, on Tuesday, told members of the party who have been accusing him of planning to extend the committee’s tenure that he and other members are not seeking jobs. This is just as a member of the committee who is also the Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, said the party’s National Executive Committee meeting that constituted the caretaker committee did not give it a timeline. They spoke with State House correspondents after a meeting they had with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Buni, who is also the Yobe State governor, had earlier said the President approved the planned nationwide registration of party members.
He also said the committee would continue with its ongoing reconciliation efforts.

But when asked about some party members who have been calling for the holding of the party’s convention and kicking against tenure elongation for the committee, Buni said, “You are all aware that have three sitting governors in the committee. You should know that none of the governors is seeking a job. “Already, we have a job. But we have to sacrifice to ensure that we reposition the party. “So, anybody who is thinking that maybe we are job seekers is wrong. We are not job seekers. We are here to reposition and reunite our party so that we have a party we can all be proud of. “This is our mandate and we are ready to discharge our mandate. That (tenure elongation) is left for NEC of the party to decide. It is not me or the caretaker committee to decide. “We are operating within the limit of our assignment because NEC of the party said we must rebuild the party bottom-up. So, it is not for us to say that we are extending our tenure.”

  • Yakubu hands over to Mu’azu, national commissioner resigns

The Independent National Electoral Commission, on Monday confirmed the resignation of a National Commissioner, Abubakar Nahuche. His resignation was announced a few minutes after the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, handed over to Air Vice Marshal Ahmed Mu’azu (retd), to oversee the affairs of the commission. Yakubu is standing down for Senate screening and possible confirmation for a second five-year term.
INEC National Commissioner and chairman (Information and Voter Education Committee), Festus Okoye, confirmed Nahuche’s resignation in a short text message. Five National Commissioners also retired from service during the brief handover ceremony held at the Conference Room at INEC Headquarters, Abuja. The retirees are Hajiya Amina Zakari, Prof. Antonia Taiye Okoosi-Simbine, Alhaji Baba Arfo, Dr Mohammed Lecky and Prince Adedeji Solomon Soyebi. A new Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Chukwuemeka Chukwu, representing Abia State, assumed office during the event. Until his appointment, the REC now deployed to Ebonyi State, was a lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

In an address to mark the end of his first term in office, Yakubu expressed gratitude to his colleagues for their support. He said, “As you are already aware, the renewal of my tenure as Chairman of the commission has been announced, subject to confirmation by the Senate. Our work as election managers requires us to enforce the law, regulations and guidelines. “In doing so, we must demonstrate strict respect for, and compliance with, the Constitution of Nigeria and subsidiary laws. Consequently, it will be inappropriate for me to remain in office beyond today (Monday) November 9 2020, without confirmation by the Senate and swearing to another oath of office as provided by law. “Pending the conclusion of the statutory process, the remaining National Commissioners have resolved that AVM Ahmed Mu’azu (retd) will oversee the affairs of the commission.”

  • Discuss with IPOB, avert more trouble, Orji tells Buhari

The Senator representing Abia Central, Theodore Orji, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to hold dialogue with the leadership of the Indigenous People of Biafra to avoid further trouble. Orji said this, in an interview with journalists, in Abuja, on Sunday, as part of activities to mark his 70th birthday celebration. The Senator, who was a two-term governor of Abia State, turned 70 on Monday. He said, “If there are dissenting voices, the president should call them and discuss with them. He should find out the cause of their agitation and work out ways to address their grievances.

“He should see how he can bring them in and fully integrate them into the system. That is what will solve the problem of the country. Call the dissident voices to a conference. “There is nothing bad in discussing IPOB. If you don’t discuss with them, they will continue to give you trouble. “We can’t be happy when other regions have six states and we have five. It shows that we are marginalised and cheated. That is what is causing the agitation in the region. “Some groups are agitating that the zone should be a country on its own. Others are demanding restructuring because it is glaring that the South-East is being marginalised.”

 

 

 

 

EDUCATION

  • ASUU urges FG to take out IPPIS as condition to call off strike

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) urged the Federal Government to leave the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS) as a condition to call off its ongoing strike in the country.
Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU President said this in a statement made available on Sunday in Abuja that the ongoing strike may still linger if the government failed to meet its demand. Ogunyemi said: “Nigerians should bear with us. ASUU is doing their battle”. “Our Union is struggling to ensure that the children of the poor, who cannot afford the prohibitive cost paid in private universities or do not have opportunities to study outside Nigeria, get quality education which is not priced beyond their reach. “This will only happen when the government adequately funds public universities and addresses the rot and decay in them.

ASUU president, therefore, noted that what had stalled meaningful dialogue was the government’s insistence that payment of the withheld salaries and other entitlements of its members would only be affected through the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
He added that the government was punishing university teachers because they rejected IPPIS, which was imposed on the universities against the provisions of the law on autonomy and universal practices. He, however, said that ASUU was at the final stage of the integrity test of the Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). UTAS was developed locally by ASUU members, unlike IPPIS which was engineered by the World Bank.

  • Strike: NANS threatens protest, gives FG, ASUU 14-day ultimatum

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has resolved to organise a nationwide mass protest for the immediate reopening of all universities across the country. This resolution was reached in a communiqué issued on Wednesday in Enugu after NANS Students’ Leaders Emergency Virtual Meeting held on Nov. 9. The students’ leaders lamented that the continued strike was an organized crime against students’ career and educational pursuits. NANS issued a 14-day Ultimatum for both parties (ASUU and FG) to resolve their impasse for campuses to re-open or risk Mass Protest. The Union warned that #EndASUUStrike protest will have economic shut down as the major target.

The communiqué reads in part:” NANS declares the necessity of minimum of two academic session school fees waiver for Nigerian students in both state and federal institutions in the spirit of COVID-19 palliative to ameliorate the economic effects of the lockdown occasioned by the global pandemic. “This is to avert mass drop out of students which may increase crime and criminality among youths in Nigeria.”

  • FG Reinstates Suspended UNILAG VC, Prof Ogundipe

The Federal Government has reinstated Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG). This was disclosed on Wednesday in a statement by the Federal Ministry of Education’s Director Press and Public Relations, Ben-Bem Goong. The statement titled, “Re: Report Of The Special Visitation Panel To University Of Lagos,” was made available to Channels Television. It explains that the decision was taken by President Muhammadu Buhari who approved the report of the Special Visitation Panel set up by the Federal Government to investigate the management crisis rocking the institution. The report approved by President Buhari states that the removal of Professor Ogundipe did not follow due process. It adds that “The Vice-Chancellor was not granted an opportunity to defend himself on the allegations upon which his removal was based. He should accordingly be re-instated.

“All allegations made against the Vice-Chancellor and the management of the University before and after the Constitution of the Special Visitation Panel should be referred to regular Visitation Panel for a thorough investigation and necessary recommendations. “The process adopted by the Council in the appointment of Professor Omololu Soyombo as Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University was inconsistent with the provisions of the Law relating to the appointment of an Acting Vice-Chancellor. “The Governing Council should be dissolved.” The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu earlier in September received the report of the visitation panel on behalf of the Federal Government. He assured that the recommendations of the panel will be thoroughly scrutinised with the aim of full implementation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HEALTH

  • Getting COVID-19 Vaccine A Matter Of Utmost Concern – Osinbajo

One of Nigeria’s main priorities now is getting the COVID-19 vaccine and this is a matter of utmost concern to the Buhari administration, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN. He stated this on Thursday at the opening session of the virtual edition of the Paris Peace Forum which featured presentations by some Heads of State & government alongside international organizations, on a collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stating what Nigeria’s priorities in its COVID-19 response are, the Vice President said “the priorities of Nigeria in the post-COVID-19 era include improved healthcare and the economy. First, we need to keep the virus under control. While our guards are still firmly in place, getting the COVID-19 vaccine is a matter of utmost concern.”

  • Ekiti seals off five private hospitals for ‘substandard practice’

Ekiti State Government says it has shut down five private health facilities in the area for alleged substandard practices and use of unqualified medical personnel. The affected health facilities include Odunayo Medical Centre, Aye Ekiti; City Medical Laboratory, Ado Ekiti; Masterpiece Diagnostic Care, Ado Ekiti; Abundant Grace Hospital, Ado Ekiti and Good Heritage Hospital, Ado Ekiti. The state Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr. Oyebanji Filani, sealed off the hospitals during an unscheduled visit to health facilities in parts of the state.
He expressed regrets over the continued existence of such facilities in the state, despite regular monitoring and persistent warnings.

Represented by the Director of Hospital Services and Training in the ministry, Dr. Olusanya Adetoye, the commissioner particularly frowned at the way affected facilities operated with incompetent staff in filthy environment. He described the situation as “inimical to the health of the people.” The commissioner said the government had met with proprietors of private health facilities in the state and had warned them against the use of trainee nurses or auxiliary doctors in their operations at the risk of members of the public. According to him, the government will not hesitate henceforth to arrest and prosecute any auxiliary doctor and trainee nurses found to be working under the guise of being qualified professionals, whose activities pose danger to the life of people.

  • Second wave COVID-19 lockdown imminent – Radiologists

Association of Radiologists in Nigeria has said that the second wave of COVID-19 lockdown is imminent because of rising figures in COVID-19 cases in the past weeks. Dr. Ohikhoakhai Wellington, Federal Capital Territory Chairman, stated this on Wednesday in Abuja at an event to mark the 2020 International Day of Radiology. The day had the theme: “The Radiologists and Radiographers; Supporting Patients During COVID-19 Pandemic. He noted that contrary to the belief that confirmed cases of COVID-19 were going down, there had been a spike in the rise of the pandemic in the last few weeks. “This is as a result of the relaxation of the lockdown, especially in the airspace.

“The borders here are free, people are now coming freely into our country from all over the world, but we hope that at the borders, we will be strong enough to strictly check people coming in,” he said.
Wellington said those coming into the country from abroad should be made to go into isolation before getting access into the society. This, the chairman said, was critical to prevent the second phase of lockdown. According to him, 2020 has been termed a year of the pandemic because of COVID-19 and its devastating effects in communities, economy and humanity.

  • Poverty, bad foods increase risk of rheumatoid arthritis -Rheumatologist

A Consultant Rheumatologist at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Dr. Hakeem Olaosebikan, says certain factors increase the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. He said such factors are: genetics, age, female sex, cigarette smoking, sex hormones, and obesity.
Other factors include infections, stressful or traumatic events, poor socio-economic background, inflammatory diets and exposure to asbestos/silica. He further noted that rheumatoid arthritis affects women more than men. According to Dr. Olaosebikan, about 75 percent of patients with rheumatoid arthritis are women and, one to three percent of women may get the disease in their lifetime. Speaking at a zoom meeting, the rheumatologist said rheumatoid arthritis is the most common form of autoimmune arthritis. “The World Health Organisation estimates showed that more than 23 million people live with rheumatoid arthritis. He said, though, the specific cause of the disease is unknown, it is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly sends inflammation to normal, healthy tissue.

“This damage typically cannot be reversed once it occurs,” he said. The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are “fever, tiredness, weight loss, joint pain/swelling that is worse early in the morning, at night and during rest but improved with activity. Olaosebikan said if the disease is not treated, it could lead to osteoporosis, heart problems, and lung disease. According to him, there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis but the goal of treatment is to improve joint pain, swelling and to improve ability to perform day-to-day activities. “Starting drugs as soon as possible helps prevent joints from having lasting or possibly permanent damage. He added that early diagnosis and treatment prevent joint damage, joint deformity and disability. “Effective treatment are available, that can reverse joint pain and swelling and prevent complications.

  • We’ve Made Progress With COVID-19 Public Health Response – NCDC

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said that progress has been made in responding to the public health on the COVID-19 pandemic.
NCDC Director-General, Chikwe Ihekweazu, disclosed this on Thursday while presenting the agency’s 2021 proposal to the Senate Committee on presented Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases. “We’ve made progress with our #COVID19 public health response & need substantial & stable funding for sustainable health security capacity,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WORLD

  • ‘No evidence’ of lost or changed votes: US election officials

Senior US federal and state election officials said Thursday that there was “no evidence” that votes were lost or changed, or voting systems corrupted, in the presidential election. The officials, responsible for election security across the country, rejected claims made by President Donald Trump and Republicans that fraud and lost ballots led to his loss to Democrat Joe Biden in last week’s election. “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history,” they said in a statement. “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” they said. “While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too.”

The statement was issued by the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council, a public-private umbrella group under the primary federal election security body, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). It was signed by the heads of the National Association of State Election Directors and the National Association of Secretaries of State — the officials who manage elections at the state level — and by the chairman of the US Election Assistance Commission. It came hours after Trump retweeted a baseless claim that an election equipment maker “deleted” 2.7 million votes for him nationwide and switched hundreds of thousand from him to Biden in Pennsylvania and other states.

  • Asia Markets Take Fresh Hit As COVID-19 Cases Surge

A spike in coronavirus infections across the United States and Europe hit Asian markets again Friday as traders fear another wave of lockdown measures will throw an already shaky economic recovery off course. The rally fuelled by excitement over a possible vaccine before 2021 and relief at Joe Biden’s US election win has given way to the reality that while there is light at the end of the tunnel, the killer disease remains rampant. Several European economies including England and France have already been all but shut down to contain a fresh eruption, but they continue to record frighteningly high numbers of new cases — raising the possibility the measures could be extended. And major US cities including New York and Chicago are being forced to act as leaders worry that the northern hemisphere winter will be more deadly than spring.

This all means economies that had started to see signs of life after a searingly bad first half of the year could stumble again, with some observers indicating the world will see a so-called W-shaped recovery.
Top US health adviser Anthony Fauci said while he was confident vaccines would bring an end to the pandemic, it was crucial that people “hang on and continue to double down on the public health measures”. All three main indexes on Wall Street finished in the red, though the Nasdaq fared slightly better as tech firms benefit from bets on people using gadgets while stuck at home. Those losses seeped into Asia, where profit-taking also played a role after a week-long rally.

  • Ex-Ghana President, Jerry Rawlings, Dies At 73

Former President Jerry Rawlings of Ghana has died of coronavirus-related complications at the age of 73, according to multiple reports from Ghanaian media. Rawlings, who is one of the most respected African leaders, was a military leader in Ghana and later became a politician who ruled the country from 1981 to 2001. Rawlings initially rose to power in Ghana as a flight lieutenant in the Ghana Air Force, following a coup détat in 1979. Rawlings left office in 2000 after exhausting Ghana’s constitutional term-limit of eight years for Presidents. He was until his death, the African Union envoy to Somalia.

Rawlings as leader of Ghana launched a massive anti-corruption campaign that purged the nation of corrupt political elements. A former Nigerian Presidential candidate and media mogul, Dele Momodu, who has close links to the Ghanaian Presidency, confirmed the development on Twitter. “The saddest news of this year. My God. Former President Jerry John Rawlings of Ghana has passed on. I’m completely devastated. Good night, an African hero.”

  • Peru’s President Vizcarra Ousted In Congress Impeachment Vote

Peru’s Congress voted Monday to impeach and oust President Martin Vizcarra over allegations he took kickbacks from developers while serving as a regional governor in 2014. After an impeachment trial that lasted nearly eight hours, the motion to remove the popular president was approved by 105 votes to 19, with four abstentions — far exceeding the 87 votes needed to impeach. “The resolution declaring the vacancy of the presidency of the republic has been approved,” declared Congress leader Manuel Merino, who under the constitution will take over the presidential functions until the end of the current term in July 2021.
Vizcarra declared he was leaving office with his head “held high,” and ruled out taking legal action to resist Congress’s decision. “I leave the government palace as I entered two years, eight months ago: with my head held high,” he said, surrounded by his ministers on the patio of the government house, adding he would leave immediately for his private home. “I’m leaving with a clear conscience and with my duty fulfilled,” said Vizcarra.

Vizcarra’s tumultuous presidency ended in a similar fashion to that of the man he replaced, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a former Wall Street banker who was forced to resign under threat of imminent impeachment over corruption allegations in 2018. “Peru comes out weaker institutionally. Peru will hold general and presidential elections in April 2021. Merino, 59, will be sworn in at a special session of Congress on Tuesday, becoming Peru’s third president since 2016, reflecting the institutional fragility which has characterized the South American country since independence from Spain in 1821.

  • US election: Justice chief authorises probes into Trump’s claims

US Attorney General William Barr gave federal prosecutors blanket authorization Monday to open investigations into voting irregularities, as President Donald Trump repeated unfounded claims he lost the presidential election due to fraud. Barr, long a close defender of Trump, stressed that his letter to US attorneys around the country was not an indication that the Justice Department had evidence yet of genuine cases of fraud in the election won by Democratic challenger Joe Biden. But he unleashed the prosecutors from former restrictions on such probes, just as Republicans levelled claims of illegal voting and vote counting in several states, claims that still await solid evidence.
“Given that voting in our current elections has now concluded, I authorize you to pursue substantial allegations of voting and vote tabulation irregularities prior to the certification of elections in your jurisdictions in certain cases,” Barr said in the letter.

US media reported that the head of the Justice Department’s Election Crimes Branch, which oversees investigations into voter fraud, resigned following Barr’s order. The branch director, Richard Pilger, reportedly handed in his resignation within hours of Barr’s authorization. In an email to colleagues about Barr’s order, Pilger said, “Having familiarized myself with the new policy and its ramifications… I must regretfully resign from my role,” The New York Times reported. Barr’s order came as Trump battles to reverse Biden’s narrow wins in several key states — Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia and Arizona — that gave Barack Obama’s former vice president enough electoral votes to win the overall presidential election.

  • Donald Trump fires Defence Secretary, Mark Esper

Donald Trump has fired his defence secretary, Mark Esper, in the latest sign that the transition to a new Biden administration in January is going to be turbulent on both domestic and foreign fronts. Esper was fired by tweet on Monday afternoon, with the president declaring he was “pleased to announce that Christopher C Miller, the highly respected director of the National Counterterrorism Center (unanimously confirmed by the Senate), will be acting secretary of defense, effective immediately. “Chris will do a GREAT job! Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service.”

Esper had been at odds with Trump on a number of issues, most importantly his insistence at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer that there were no legal grounds to deploy active-service troops on the streets of US cities. He was also working with Congress on legislation to rename US army bases named after Confederate generals. In a final interview Esper predicted that he would be followed by a “yes man”, adding “And then God help us.” In a coolly worded final letter to the president, Esper wrote: “I serve the country in deference to the Constitution, so I accept your decision to replace me.” He left the Pentagon quietly on Monday without the “clap-out” from staff traditionally accorded to a departing secretary.

  • Brazil halts trials of Chinese Covid-19 vaccine

Brazil’s health regulator said Monday it had suspended clinical trials of a Chinese-developed Covid-19 vaccine after an “adverse incident” involving a volunteer recipient, a blow for one of the most advanced vaccine candidates. The setback for CoronaVac, developed by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac Biotech, came on the same day US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said its own vaccine candidate had shown 90 percent effectiveness, sending global markets soaring and raising hopes of an end to the pandemic. The Brazilian regulator, Anvisa, said in a statement it had “ruled to interrupt the clinical study of the CoronaVac vaccine after a serious adverse incident” on October 29. It said it could not give details on what happened because of privacy regulations, but that such incidents included death, potentially fatal side effects, serious disability, hospitalization, birth defects and other “clinically significant events.”

However, the public health center coordinating the trials of the vaccine in Brazil, the Butantan Institute, said it was “surprised” by the decision. The institute “is investigating in detail what happened,” and “is at the Brazilian regulatory agency’s disposal to provide any clarification necessary on any adverse incident the clinical trials may have presented,” it said. It said it would hold a press conference on Tuesday at 11:00 am (1400 GMT). CoronaVac has been caught up in a messy political battle in Brazil, where its most visible backer has been Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria, a top opponent of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. The Sao Paulo state government said in a statement it “regrets that it learned of the decision from the press, instead of directly from Anvisa,” and was waiting along with the Butantan Institute for more information on “the real reasons for the suspension.”

  • Mali ex-president Amadou Toumani Toure dies at 72

Mali’s former president Amadou Toumani Toure, who led the Sahel nation for a decade before being ousted in a coup, has died in Turkey aged 72, a family member and a doctor said on Tuesday. “Amadou Toumani Toure died during the night of Monday to Tuesday in Turkey,” where he had been taken for health reasons, his nephew Oumar Toure told AFP. A hospital doctor in Bamako said the former leader had recently undergone heart surgery. Although “everything seemed to be going well”, the doctor said he was later transferred to Turkey for medical reasons.

Toure, a former soldier, first took charge of the country for a year in 1991, helping to overthrow the previous regime and install democracy.
He won presidential elections in 2002 and 2007 but was overthrown in 2012 by mutinous soldiers who accused him of failing to support their battle against both Tuareg rebels and jihadist insurgents. Mali has suffered from chronic instability and repeated coups, the latest coming earlier this year.

  • AfDB develops plan for revenue generation in extractive industry

The African Development Bank has developed a three-year project in response to demands by member countries for technical assistance to monitor revenues generated from their extractive industries. The AfDB made this known during a virtual inception workshop for the Financial Modelling Project in the Extractive Sector organised by the African Natural Resources Centre of the bank in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. According to the project report, FIMES will be implemented in eight transitional countries – Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Madagascar, Niger, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Zimbabwe from 2020 to 2022. The project, which is the first of its kind for the bank, is aimed at enhancing the abilities of the focal countries to improve domestic resource mobilisation from the extractive sectors.

Presenting the background information on the FIMES project, Mrs Vanessa Ushie, Division Manager, Policy Analysis, said the project was aimed at the overall economic resilience of the continent. Ushie said, “Twenty government officials in each beneficiary member country will participate in the training, learning and knowledge activities as national beneficiaries, that is, 180 officials in the eight countries. “Set criteria for selection of beneficiaries in the national cohort include relevance to primary job function on extractive revenue management, knowledge of extractive sector fiscal issues’ potential multiplier effects (trainer-of-trainers approach) and IT proficiency. “The project commits to at least 40 per cent of beneficiaries in the eight countries to be women.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ENTERTAINMENT

  • I have become role model for marriage- Charly Boy

Veteran entertainer, Charles Chukwuemeka Oputa, popularly called Charly Boy, has said that he has become a role model for the institution of marriage. The statement comes after the 70-year-old songwriter, fondly called Area Fada, went viral for proposing to his wife of about 45-years, Diane Oputa, in front of a crowd in a mall located in Lagos. In a chat with newsmen, the love-struck septuagenarian who has proposed to his partner four times said he was ‘inspired by their friendship.’

“I did this to inspire people that there are still good and meaningful relationships, and relationship is not just about who has money or who is bringing money. It’s about genuine friendship because marriage is a difficult institution and if you find your partner that is more or less your friend and you have mutual respect, then those are the qualities that can endure longevity in a marriage.” When asked why he proposed for the fourth time, Charly Boy said, “If it’s not four or ten times, it wouldn’t be Charly Boy. In our industry, there’s this saying that if music nice, you play it twice or four times, if you like but it’s not like you’re living on La La Land; like everything rosy. We have our moments but the friendship and mutual respect help us to jump whatever.

  • Connery’s original James Bond handgun set for $200,000 auction

The late Sean Connery’s Walther PP pistol used in the first-ever James Bond movie will go up for auction next month in Los Angeles — and is estimated to fetch $150,000 to $200,000. Scottish acting great Connery, who passed away last month at the age of 90 at his home in the Bahamas, wielded the gun in 1962’s “Dr. No.” “The silhouette of 007 holding this gun would go on to become the James Bond franchise’s most iconic image and one of the most recognizable pop culture references of all time,” said Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien’s Auctions. In “Dr. No,” Bond is ordered by his British Secret Service bosses to reluctantly trade in his old, misfiring Beretta gun for the Walther, which has “a delivery like a brick through a plate glass window.” “The American CIA swear by them,” Bond is informed. Versions of the Walther remain 007’s signature firearm, some 25 films later. The deactivated handgun prop, one of two used in Connery’s debut film, was owned by the original movie’s armourer until it was sold off in a 2006 auction. It will be one of more than 500 items in the “Icons & Idols TRILOGY: Hollywood” auction held in Beverly Hills and online on December 3.

  • Taribo West under fire for prophesying Trump’s victory

A prophecy by a former Super Eagles defender, Taribo West, that United States President, Donald Trump, would defeat Joe Biden by a slim margin, has sparked a debate on social media with many mocking the ex-defender.
The video of the prophecy was posted on social media before the American election but only went viral after the poll had ended. West, who is also a pastor, said he rightly predicted the victory of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki; and his Ondo State counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, but his prophecy did not go viral on social media. He subsequently prophesied that Trump would defeat Biden by a slim margin and asked his supporters to ensure that his prophecy goes viral.

The ex-football star said, “Before the election in Edo, I said Obaseki would win. Is that true? Did he win? Nobody said it anywhere. Nobody quoted me anywhere. I also said in the Ondo election that Akeredolu would win. Is that true? Did he win? He won. “Now, I want you to put this out the way I want it. Donald Trump will win the election by a slight split edge over Joe Biden. So, quote me and I want it to be out before time.” However, Biden went on to win the election which is now being challenged in court by Trump. West’s prophecy, however, became a huge subject of debate on social media on Tuesday with many describing him by certain names. @M4micheal tweeted, “He predicted and made it look like God was speaking through him. If Trump had won, his prediction would’ve been right and he would’ve told his congregation that God did it, but God isn’t an author of confusion.”

  • Scooby-Doo co-creator, Ken Spears, dies at 82

The co-creator of the popular cartoon, Scooby-Doo, Ken Spears has died at 82. His death comes less than three months after his animation partner, Joe Ruby, also passed away. Spears and Ruby supervised CBS’ Saturday morning cartoons line-up in the early 1970s. They were tasked with the same role at ABC. The duo created their own production company and produced a slew of animated series such as “Superman” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks” among others. Spears reportedly died on Friday after complications related to dementia, TMZ reports. His son, Kevin noted that Ken will forever be remembered for his wit, story-telling, loyalty to family, and strong work ethics. Kevin said, “Ken has not only made a lasting impression on his family, but he has touched the lives of many as the co-creator of ‘Scooby-Doo.’ Ken has been a role model for us throughout his life and he will continue to live on in our hearts.”

Spears’ animation partner, Joe Ruby, died of natural causes in August.
Spears and Ruby, both of whom worked for the famed Hanna-Barbera Productions, also created the popular series “Dynomutt” and “Jabberjaw.” But, undoubtedly they were most famously known for creating ‘Scooby.’
The popular animated series first aired on CBS in 1969 with Ruby and Spears writing the first five episodes then editing and supervising the rest of that inaugural series. Scooby aired until 1976, but there have been a lot of spin-offs, reboots and movies. Spears wasn’t limited to just cartoons either. He was also a story consultant for the 1974 TV series, “Planet of the Apes.” Spears is survived by his two sons, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPORTS

  • 2020 World Wrestling Championships Cancelled Over COVID-19 Restrictions

The World Wrestling Championships earlier scheduled to take place in Belgrade, Serbia from 12 – 20 December, has been cancelled by the global governing body – the United World Wrestling (UWW). The UWW said in a statement on Thursday that the ‘criteria defined’ for the tournament to hold had not been achieved, adding that “with many nations reinstating travel restrictions in response to COVID-19, the participation hurdles were not met”.

A substitute event, the ‘Individual World Cup’, is expected to take place in Belgrade instead, with confirmation of dates for the new competition to be announced in the coming days, UWW informed. However, Team Nigeria won’t participate at the ‘Individual World Cup’. In a related development, President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation Hon. Daniel Igali will have to wait till next year to achieve his dream of becoming a member of the UWW Bureau, following the postponement of the Ordinary Congress and elections to 2021. No date has been fixed yet for the elections next year.

  • English FA Chairman, Clarke, Resigns After Racist Remarks

Greg Clarke resigned as chairman of the English Football Association on Tuesday after making a series of controversial statements to lawmakers that provoked outrage. Clarke was earlier forced to apologise after he used the word “coloured” when referencing black players as he addressed the Digital, Culture, Media, Sport Committee about diversity issues. The 63-year-old, who is a vice-president of world governing body FIFA, also attracted criticism for suggesting the lack of professional players in England from a South Asian background was due to “different career interests”, comparing the situation to the IT department at the FA. Clarke also described being gay as a “life choice” when quizzed over the lack of openly gay male players in England and said that young girls were often put off playing the game because they did not want to be hit hard by footballs.

“We can confirm that Greg Clarke has stepped down from his role as our chairman,” the FA said in a statement. “We would like to reaffirm that, as an organisation, we are absolutely committed to doing everything we can to promote diversity, address inequality and tackle all forms of discrimination in the game.” Clarke admitted his statements were unacceptable as the FA aims to become a more diverse organisation.
“My unacceptable words in front of Parliament were a disservice to our game and to those who watch, play, referee and administer it. This has crystallised my resolve to move on,” Clarke said in a statement. “I am deeply saddened that I have offended those diverse communities in football that I and others worked so hard to include.”

  • Barcelona’s Fati Out For Four Months

Barcelona expect Ansu Fati to be out for four months after the club confirmed the 18-year-old underwent surgery on his knee injury on Monday. Fati had the operation after tearing the internal meniscus of his left knee during Barca’s 5-2 win over Real Betis on Saturday. He will miss the majority of the rest of the season but could return for the run-in and will hope to be fit again in time to play for Spain in next summer’s European Championship.

Barca’s chances in La Liga and the Champions League have been dealt a blow by Fati’s injury, given the forward had emerged as one of Ronald Koeman’s most exciting players. Fati has already scored five goals and provided two assists in his 10 appearances this term. “Ansu Fati has been operated on successfully by Dr. Ramon Cugat for the injury to the internal meniscus of his left knee under the supervision of the Club’s medical staff. The player will be out for approximately four months,” Barcelona said in a statement.

  • Celta Vigo Sack Garcia After Miserable Start To Season

Celta Vigo have sacked Oscar Garcia as coach, the club confirmed on Monday after a poor start to the season. Celta drew 1-1 away at newly-promoted Elche on Friday to make it seven matches in a row without a victory. They have won only once in La Liga since the start of the season and sit 17th, a point above the bottom three.

Garcia was appointed in November last year but failed to pull the team away from a relegation scrap, even if survival was secured on the final day. “Oscar Garcia and his coaching staff will no longer be in charge of Celta,” the club said in a statement.

  • Premier League ‘Can’t Give Blank Cheque’ To Lower-League Clubs: CEO

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said on Tuesday there could be no “blank cheque” to bail out the English Football League (EFL) despite the financial crisis engulfing clubs. The top-flight is in negotiations with the EFL over a financial package to ensure no sides go out of business due to the coronavirus pandemic, though an agreement has yet to be reached. England’s lower-league clubs, forced to play their matches behind closed doors, last month rejected an offer from the top-flight of a £50 million ($66 million) rescue package. EFL chiefs said the bailout, which would have covered clubs in third-tier League One and fourth-tier League Two was insufficient and insisted outfits in the second-tier Championship should also be included in any offer.

“The Premier League has engaged and wants to seek resolution but there can’t be a blank cheque or an underwriting of losses,” Masters told lawmakers on the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee. “We believe our proposal is appropriate and goes to the heart of the problem and is in line with government policy on how it deals with other sectors. “We believe we are stepping up and helping the pyramid of football. We have yet to reach an agreement with Rick (EFL chairman Rick Parry) but I am confident we can do that.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

METRO-PLUS

  • Teacher Arrested For Kidnapping Former Pupil In Ogun

Police have arrested a teacher for kidnapping his eight-year-old former pupil in the Akute area of Ogun State. The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday, saying the suspect – Odugbesan Ayodele, 29 – was apprehended on Wednesday last week. He explained that the arrest followed a complaint lodged at Ajuwon Police Divisional Headquarters by the mother of the victim, Fatimat Akeeb, that her son went to school at the Arifanla area of Akute but had yet to return at about 6pm.

According to Oyeyemi, the victim’s mother received a phone call from an unknown person who asked her to be ready to pay N200,000 if she wishes to see her son alive. “Upon the report, the DPO Ajuwon Division, SP Andrew Akinseye, directed his detectives to embark on a technical and intelligence-based investigation which led to the discovery of the suspect’s hideout. In his reaction, the Commissioner of Police in Ogun, Edward Ajogun, ordered the immediate transfer of the suspect to the Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for further investigation and prosecution.

  • Nigerian Army Kicks-Off Fresh Manhunt For Boko Haram Leader Shekau, Others

The Nigerian Army has kicked off a manhunt for the fourth batch of wanted Boko Haram terrorists. A banner showing photographs of the wanted terrorists was unveiled by the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum and the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, on Wednesday at the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) Super Camp Chabal, close to the capital, Maiduguri. “We request your full cooperation. The public as well as the Civilian JTF, you will have a copy each, so you’ll follow up,” Buratai said during the ceremony. “Some of them may be behind your yard or parading themselves somewhere in the market-place and so on. They must be fished out and those in the forest, if you encounter them, make sure you deal with them decisively if they cannot be arrested or captured. “It is on this note, we will also like the press to give us their full support to ensure that we have gotten the right solution to ending this menace of the Boko Haram terrorist in our state, in our country, as well as for humanity”.

The Force also announced the inclusion of more CJTF members into its operations. This according to the governor will provide more support for the army as the CJTF is expected to play a supplementary role. The governor noted that both events are very important because there have been agitations for the establishment of such for a long time. In addition to efforts to continue to support the operations of the military, the governor made a donation of 100 motorcycles. “The 100 motorcycles will be given to you immediately in order to complement this your gigantic action,” he said.

  • Many policemen still missing, unaccounted for – Police panel

Weeks after many police stations were destroyed, the Inspector-General of Police Committee on EndSARS Protest Damage Assessment has said that many police officers in Lagos State are still missing and unaccounted for. The committee, which was in Lagos to assess the extent of damage to police assets on Saturday, disclosed that the level of destruction suffered by the force would affect the quality of policing and security in the state. The chairman of the 10-man committee, Yaro Abutu, a Commissioner of Police, told newsmen that many policemen had no stations to resume to, while other cops no longer had uniforms. He explained that his committee, which was heading for Ogun State in continuation of its assessment, had yet to quantify the losses suffered by the Lagos State Police Command.

The CP explained that police officers whose stations were razed were severely limited by the lack of offices from where they could carry out their operations. “They (policemen) are hanging around their stations like IDPs (internally displaced persons). Not only were the stations burnt, their uniforms were also burnt. Because of the cosmopolitan and congested nature of Lagos, most policemen keep their uniforms in their offices. A good number of them hardly go back home until the weekend.”
Abutu appealed to those with stolen police firearms to return them.

  • Command arrests 13 suspected cultists in Lagos

No fewer than 13 suspected cult members have been arrested by men of the Lagos State Police Command. Newsmen gathered that the suspects were arrested during separate operations in the Mushin and Ikorodu areas of the state. The state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, on Tuesday, said the arrests followed an order by the state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, to police officers to round up miscreants and cultists in the state. “In compliance with the order, police operatives attached to the Mushin division of the command arrested some suspected cultists who were on the rampage on Moroluke/Wey Street, Mushin, on November 8, 2020 around 10pm. The suspects arrested included Daniel Adome, 18; Popoola Michael, 20; Kayode Thomson, 18; and Taiwo Okiki, 18. They are members of the Omo Kasari Confraternity.

“Similarly, due to the recent cult-related crises in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State, on November 9, 2020, around 12.15pm, a special team that was dispatched by the CP, led by the DPO in Ipakodo, arrested some members of the Aiye Confraternity fomenting trouble in the area. “The suspects included Opeyemi Oderinde, 19; Otubu Samson, 17, Otako Jeremiah, 16; Kayode Agoro, 17; Agbelusi Sunday, 20; Kazeem Ishola, 20; Olasojo Gbolahan, 18; Ayodele Olasunkanmi, 18; and Segun James, 21. Items recovered from them included locally-made guns, live cartridges, axes, cutlasses, charms and other weapons,” he added.

  • Three sentenced to death for armed robbery in Ogun, Ekiti

An Ekiti State High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti has sentenced two men to death for conspiracy and armed robbery. The court found the accused – Oke Olanrewaju (39) and Olanbiwonnu Kazeem (27) – guilty of the charge of armed robbery preferred against them by the police. Justice Lekan Ogunmoye, in his ruling, said, “The court found both men guilty of the offence of armed robbery. You are hereby sentenced to death by hanging. May God have mercy on your souls.” During the trial, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Julius Ajibare, told the court that the two men, “on or about July 20, 2016, at No. 2, Ameen Close 4, Federal Housing Estate, Oke-Ila, Ado-Ekiti, conspired to commit felony, to wit: armed robbery.” Ajibare also said the two convicts, on the same day “robbed one Alhaji Ameen Rasheed of his belongings, including phones”. The DPP added that the two men dispossessed one Olaoti Abiodun of his phones and money. The offences, according to the DPP, are contrary to sections 516 and 402(2) of the Criminal Code Law, Cap. C16, Laws of Ekiti State, 2012.

In a related development, an Abeokuta High Court in Ogun State on Monday sentenced a 36-year-old man, Jelili Agemo, to death by hanging for armed robbery and unlawful possession of firearms. Agemo was convicted on three counts of conspiracy, armed robbery and unlawful possession of firearms. Justice Abiodun Akinyemi, in his judgement, said the court was convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the convict was guilty as charged. Akinyemi submitted that the evidence presented by the prosecution was tenable, adding that the punishment for the offence was death.

  • Kidnappers abduct Edo deputy gov’s brother

A younger brother of the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Frederick Shaibu, has been kidnapped by gunmen. Although the incident happened on Monday, newsmen learnt that the kidnappers had yet to make contact with the family. A family source said, “It happened in Aruogba area, Irhiri around 7am when he was driving his children to school. The children were left by the gunmen. “It is believed that the kidnappers came through the Ogba River because people who witnessed the incident said they went through the bush that leads to the riverside. Security agencies have been informed and they are doing everything possible to ensure that he is released unhurt. The Edo State Commissioner of Police, Babatunde Kokumo, said he was not aware of the case wondering how reporters got wind of the situation.
“There is nothing I can tell you for now,” the CP added.

  • 31 Vehicles Forfeited To Lagos Govt, 43 Motorists Fined For Traffic Offences

Thirty-one vehicles have been forfeited to the Lagos State government for moving against the traffic on one-way roads. The Lagos State Mobile Court which ordered the forfeiture ruled that the vehicles contravened the State Traffic Law. Mr Adebayo Taofiq, who is the Head of Public Affairs Unit at the Lagos State Task Force, disclosed this in a statement obtained by newsmen on Thursday. The order of forfeiture was pronounced after the 31 defendants (drivers) pleaded ‘guilty’ to the ‘one-way’ traffic offence charged against them. “These arraigned 31 drivers were charged for driving in the direction prohibited by law (one-way) punishable under Part (III) item 27 of the ‘Lagos State Transport Sector Reformed Law of 2018 and have been penalised accordingly,” the court held. However, 43 other drivers arraigned for plying the BRT corridors and causing road obstructions were ordered to pay fines to the government, in accordance with the law and severity of their offence.

Reacting to the ruling, the Chairman of the Lagos State Environment and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit (Task Force), Olayinka Egbeyemi, confirmed 160 traffic offenders were billed to be arraigned before the court. He noted that only 74 had so far appeared before the court and urged the remaining 86 offenders to do the same immediately. Egbeyemi explained that the agency acted in response to a series of complaints from residents, particularly motorists that activities of one-way drivers were causing serious traffic on daily basis since the #EndSARS protest. “It is painful that with a high level of enlightenment campaigns and several warnings by the government, motorists including private car owners are still driving against traffic, knowing fully well that the penalty for such offence is outright forfeiture of the said vehicle to the government,” he said.

 



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