FRESH FM TOP NEWS THIS WEEK
Written by MaryGift Sunday on November 21, 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:
- Lai Mohammed Says CNN Report On #EndSARS One-Dimensional, Insists Military Fired Blank Bullets Into The Air
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed on Thursday reacted to an investigative report on the October 20 Lekki shootings published by US-based media giant, CNN. Mohammed described the report as one-dimensional and lacking in balance. He also validated a report done by the BBC, which he claimed was based more on facts. The Minister added that CNN should be sanctioned for misinformation and irresponsible reporting.
He referred to previous reports done by CNN which lacked balance while insisting that the military fired blank bullets into the air and not at the crowd. He urged that persons who have alleged massacres, as well as relatives with missing family members, report at the judicial panel to lay official complaints. He also said the CNN report conveniently excluded the looting, violence by citizens, 269 private facilities burnt and looted, 243 govt facilities vandalized. Security agents, he said, deserve commendation and not condemnation.
- #EndSARS: Lekki Incident A ‘Massacre Without Bodies’, Says Lai Mohammed
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed on Thursday said the October 20 Lekki shootings were a “massacre without bodies”, reiterating the federal government’s position that military men did not shoot at protesters, despite damning evidence to the contrary. The Minister made the remark at a press conference in Abuja. His comments come a day after US-based media, CNN, published a report which, using cellphone videos obtained from witnesses, showed Nigerian soldiers shooting at unarmed protesters at the Lekki toll-gate.
Mr. Mohammed tagged the CNN report as promoting a baseless and preconceived narrative. He said that the mainstream media should confirm the veracity of footage used before airing. He also added that the government will work with stakeholders to curb fake news on social media.
- #EndSARS: Trillion naira rebuilding of Lagos begins
The N1 trillion rebuilding of Lagos – devasted by the destruction that accompanied the #EndSARS protests – has started. The Federal Government is leading the support team for Lagos State government, supported by the National Assembly and boosted by business leaders spearheaded by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu was Chief host, supported by Deputy Governor Obafemi Hamzat and Speaker Mudashiru Obasa.Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was at the inauguration of the Board of Trustees of the Rebuilding Lagos Trust Fund attended by House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila and Emefiele. Osinbajo said the Federal Government would come out with details of its commitment to rebuilding Lagos and other states that suffered similar fate after President Muhammadu receives a full report of the ongoing investigation.
Emefiele said the Bankers Council was working with CA-COVID to rehabilitate and rebuild Lagos. He said funds will be provided for rebuilding of burnt police stations and provision of damaged facilities to assist those whose businesses were damaged. Emefiele also assured that they will take measures to complement government effort at creating jobs and enhance the security apartments. He appealed to members of the organised private sector to join in the rebuilding project.
- Lagos warns religious leaders against second COVID-19 wave
The Lagos State Government has warned religious leaders in the state against a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, urging them to intensify safety protocols to avert the spread of the virus. The state Commissioner for Home Affairs, Anofiu Elegushi, spoke on Monday in Lagos at the 2020 International Day for Tolerance.
While appealing to operators of worship centres to comply with the guidelines of the Nigeria Centre of Disease Control, Elegushi said the state government might be forced to sanction any religious house that failed to comply with regulations. The commissioner stressed that this was no time to play with the safety of worshipers and residents.
- #FreeEromz: Court Grants N1m Bail To Eromosele
A Magistrate court in Yaba, Lagos State, has granted bail to the embattled #EndSARS protester, Peter Eronmosele Adene, in the sum of one million naira. The court granted the bail on Tuesday after it rejected a request by the police for an order to detain him for another 30 days, to enable them conclude investigations into the allegations against the defendant.
The embattled youth was arrested on November 7 by the police, for his involvement in the #EndSARS protest. He was subsequently whisked to Abuja, the nation’s capital, days later, quickly sparking the trend, #FreeEromz.
- My Action Is Guided By Law, Malami Defends Setting Up Of Asset Recovery Committee
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has defended the setting up of the Assets Recovery Committee on looted funds. In a statement issued on Tuesday by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, the Minister said his action was guided by the extant laws while recently inaugurating the Inter-Ministerial Asset Disposal Committee.
The statement partly read: “Section 31(1-4) and Sections 43 of the EFFC establishment Act 2004 will not only justify the action of the Minister but also clear doubts on the misconceived and shallow legal analysis in the public space on the legality or otherwise of the committee.” Malami noted that “lack of understanding of the law was imminent in the wrong impression being created which was fueled by the faulty assumption that only the EFCC is engaged in asset recovery and forfeiture proceedings. Hence the challenge to the setting-up and mandate of the Committee.”
- Buhari Will Do Whatever It Takes To Prevent Repeat Of #EndSARS Protest – Minister
President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to ensure that there will be no repeat of the #EndSARS protests in the country, culminating in lootings and destruction of lives and properties. The Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammad Dingyiadi, disclosed this to journalists on Tuesday after the President presided over the National Security Council (NSC) meeting at the State House.
“Mr President assured that all stakeholders will be involved in the process of maintaining peace in the country, particularly the youth, community leaders, traditional rulers, politicians, public servants, religious leaders, etc. “The Federal Government will continue to maintain its democratic, humane and just postures in handling security matters in the country. “What we are saying is that government will continue to dialogue, listen and carry all stakeholders along in ensuring that there is no repeat of what happened that led to the destruction of both public and private properties”.
- #EndSARS: Be careful on clampdown, seizures, PDP Reps urge FG
The Peoples Democratic Party Caucus in the House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to handle issues arising from the recent #EndSARS protests with utmost caution and show respect for the youth. The caucus stated that the government must follow all democratic principles in dealing with those arrested due to their involvement in the protests, stressing that the rule of law must be observed in whatever measures it is willing to take against them. Chinda said the caucus noted “with trepidation” that in the last few weeks, the media had been inundated with news reports of actions taken by the government against #EndSARS protesters and alleged supporters.
“When a government persists on the path of unreasonable and irrational actions, the tension that ensues between it and the citizens can only grow into civil resistance of citizens who consider it as an enemy and not partners in nation-building. “We do hope that the government retraces its steps and engages our youths as partners and not dissidents that must be treated with scorn and discredited for voicing their opinions on the many unfortunate happenstances in our country. The PDP lawmakers further warned the government against muddling up the genuine agitation of the protesters with the subsequent hijacking of the protests by hoodlums.
- Governors kick as Presidency aborts South-South stakeholders’ summit
Governors and leaders of the South-South region have demanded an unreserved apology from the Presidency for abruptly aborting a crucial stakeholders’ meeting scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt on Tuesday. The Presidency had fixed a meeting for Tuesday with the governors and other leaders of the region to discuss burning national issues affecting the region and the aftermath of the EndSARS protests. Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, and Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, were all conspicuously absent at the meeting, while the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio walked in when the meeting had ended.
Addressing South-South leaders at the Banquet Hall of the Government House, Port Harcourt, the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, who presided over the session, decried the botched meeting, which was called at the instance of the Presidency. The Delta State governor said he felt really disappointed that the region could be treated with such disdain and maintained that the people of the region were embarrassed, disgraced and disrespected.
- Ooni of Ife welcomes son with wife
The Ooni of Ile-Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi has welcomed a son with his wife, Olori Moronke Naomi Silekunola. The monarch took to his official Instagram account to break the good news and also stated that both mother and child are well. He said, “To God be the glory great things he has done. Hearty congratulations to the entire House of Oduduwa and Olori Silekunola who today birthed a Prince to the Royal throne of Oduduwa. Mother and child are doing well to the glory of God Almighty.”
- Makinde inaugurates Amotekun, confident on state police
Governor Seyi Makinde on Tuesday inaugurated the Oyo State Security Network Agency codenamed Amotekun, warning them against harassment, extortion and other vices. Speaking at the passing-out parade of the corps in Oyo town, the governor, who said the Amotekun corps would work with the Nigeria Police Force, added that the security outfit established to fight kidnappers, cultists and those destroying the means of livelihoods of others.
The governor expressed the hope that someday, there would be support at the federal level for the review of the constitution needed for the establishment of state police. He said the first batch of 1,500 Amotekun corps would be deployed in all the wards in the state so that residents at every nook and cranny of the state would feel their impact.
- Gbajabiamila Confirms Death Of Vendor Shot By His Security Aide, Suspends Officer
The Speaker of the House of Representative, Femi Gbajabiamila has confirmed the death of a newspaper vendor shot by one of his security aides on Thursday. Gbajabiamila who, in a series of tweets on his official handle in the early hours of Friday, narrated how the incident took place, explained that the vendor was hit by a stray bullet meant to disperse a crowd when he went to greet newspaper vendors while leaving the National Assembly. “A horrible incident has taken place. This evening as I left the national assembly, I stopped, as usual, to exchange pleasantries with the newspaper vendors at the corner,” he explained. “Many of them have known me since I first moved to Abuja and it was a friendly exchange. Unfortunately, after the convoy set out in continuation of movement, unidentified men obstructed the convoy which got the attention of security men in the convoy who shot into the air to disperse them.”
The Lagos lawmaker narrated that some hours after they got to their destination, he was informed that the victim, identified as Ifeanyi had been hit by a stray bullet. “In the meantime; the officer who fired the fatal shot has been suspended from the convoy pending the conclusion of the investigation.” While sending his condolences to the family of the deceased, the Speaker expressed distraught about the incident.
- Newspaper Vendors Protest Killing Of Colleague By Gbajabiamila’s Aide
Newspaper vendors in Abuja have taken to streets to protest the killing of one of their colleagues, Ifeanyi Okereke Elechi. Elechi was hit by a stray bullet by a security aide to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, on Thursday evening. The Speaker confirmed the incident in a statement released in the early hours of Friday. According to him, Elechi was shot by the stray bullet, which was only intended to disperse a crowd while he was exchanging pleasantries with the newspaper vendors on his was out of the National Assembly.
“In the meantime; the officer who fired the fatal shot has been suspended from the convoy pending the conclusion of the investigation.”
While sending his condolences to the family of the deceased, the Speaker expressed distraught about the incident.
- I Want Nigeria To Be Counted Among Countries That Don’t Tolerate But Fight Corruption – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has said his desire is to make Nigeria a country that has no tolerance for corruption, but one where the menace is vigorously battled. He said this on Friday, while receiving the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry on the Investigation of Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), headed by Justice Ayo Salami (Rtd), at State House, Abuja.
“Corruption is present in all countries. Some governments treat it with levity. Some fight it all the time. I want Nigeria to be counted among those countries that do not tolerate but fight corruption,” the president was quoted to have said in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media & Publicity, Femi Adesina. Pledging that the fight is one that must be done without fear or favour, President Buhari thanked members of the Commission for their dedication and commitment.
- 2023: PDP, APC bicker over defections
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday engaged in a fresh war of words over reports of impending defections by their members ahead of the 2023 general elections. While the PDP alleged that some disgruntled APC members were trying to woo its members to form “a third force,” the ruling party said that its membership was “is intact.” PDP spokesman Kola Ologbodiyan had while featuring on Arise TV morning talk show, also said his party was not bothered about the part of the country the APC would want to zone its ticket for the presidential election.
But, APC’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena in a statement dismissed the PDP “Third Force” theory. Nabena said while APC was intact, the PDP was battling to stop defections by its members.
His terse statement reads: “As the PDP runs from pillar to post to stop the current gale of defections by its members, it is already hallucinating on a political ‘third force’ ahead of the 2023 general elections. Pitiful!
- Kashamu PDP faction’s crisis deepens, chairman, others suspended
The crisis rocking the Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, has taken a new twist as a faction loyal to the late Senator Buruji Kashamu, has split over the alleged suspension of its Chairman, Samson Bamgbose, and other party officials for alleged “anti – party activities.” They were reportedly suspended by a faction within the State Executive Committee of the party loyal to Kashamu at an extra-ordinary meeting held on November 9. Boladale Sanni from the Yewa North Local Government Area was subsequently appointed as the acting chairman of the party.
The faction said, Bamgbose, has been referred to the party’s National Executive Committee for further disciplinary action. The other suspended exco members are to appear before a seven-man disciplinary committee headed by Dr. Remilekun Bakare. However, Bamgbose countered the group, dismissing the suspensions as a “nullity and unbelievable.” The embattled chairman said he had nine out of 14-man State Working Committee of the PDP on his side, noting that the mastermind of suspension lacked powers to do so.
- Fayose killed Ekiti LCDAs with politics – Fayemi
Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, on Monday accused his predecessor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, of placing politics above the interests of Ekiti people. This, he said, was responsible for Fayose’s decision to abandon the Local Council Development Areas which his administration created in 2014.
Fayemi, who noted that the agitation for creation of LCDAs was always topmost among the people’s demands, said, his administration’s response to it was a “demonstration of commitment to justice, fair-play and response to the yearning of the people for increase and adequate representation at all levels of governance.” The governor spoke in Ado Ekiti, while inaugurating a 13-member LCDA creation committee headed by Mr. Segun Oluwole, to kickstart the process of creating new LCDAs from the 16 existing council areas of the state.
- Akeredolu slams Jegede over allegation of threat to life
The Akeredolu Campaign Organisation has condemned a recent statement credited to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the last governorship election, Mr Eyitayo Jegede, saying some people were after his life . Jegede in a statement by his campaign organization, alleged that some people were being threatened by his petition challenging Akeredolu’s victory at the Election Petition Tribunal and that these people had hatched a plan to get rid of him .
However, in a statement, titled “Akeredolu to Jegede: Face your petition, stop seeking attention,” issued on Monday, by the spokesperson of Akeredolu Campaign Organization, Mr. Richard Olatunde, the Akeredolu campaign team said, “It is clear that while the resounding victory of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu against Jegede’s expectation is no longer news, the PDP candidate perhaps still lives in an unfortunate illusion.
“Without prejudice to the tribunal, we make bold to say that the alarm raised by Jegede over what he termed ‘threat to life’ is an evasive strategy to further hoodwink his unsuspecting followers into believing in his legal voyage which has held them spellbound.
- Ebonyi Governor, David Umahi, Defects From PDP To APC
Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, has defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC). The governor’s defection comes after weeks of speculation that he had taken the decision to dump the opposition party for the ruling party.
One of the reasons given by the governor for his defection is that the South East region has suffered what he describes as injustice in the PDP. Umahi contested for the office of the governor in Ebonyi State in 2015, on the platform of the PDP and won. Upon concluding his first term, the governor won the bid to extend his stay in office in the 2019 general elections, again as the PDP candidate.
- Umahi’s Defection: Wike, Eight More PDP Governors To Join APC, Says Yahaya Bello
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, believes more governors from the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will join the All Progressives Congress (APC). Following the defection of the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, from the PDP to the APC, Governor Bello stated that the ruling party would welcome nine more governors from the opposition.“I think probably, I can just give you an expo,” he said, “The expo I am going to give to you is that Governor Wike might be the last to join this party – the All Progressives Congress, others are lining up. They will soon be here.”
He commended the decision of the Ebonyi State governor to leave his former party for the APC, saying the defection was a testimony of the progress in the ruling party. According to Governor Bello, APC is a party that believes in fairness, equity, and justice, with a strong belief in the unity and oneness of the country. He also believes the party has carried out people-oriented programmes and policies, saying that would encourage more opposition governors to join.
- Nigeria enters into second recession in five years
Official Figures published on Saturday by the National Bureau of Statistics indicates that Nigeria has entered its second recession in five years. The figures further reveal that the economy shrank again in the third quarter of this year. It was gathered that this year’s recession, occasioned by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, is worse than that of 2016.
The NBS, in its Gross Domestic Product report for Q3, said the GDP, the broadest measure of economic prosperity, fell by 3.62 in the three months to September. The NBS had said in August that the economic decline in Q2 was largely attributable to significantly lower levels of both domestic and international economic activity resulting from nationwide shutdown efforts aimed at containing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The economy, which emerged from its first recession in 25 years in Q2 2017 when it posted a 0.7 per cent growth, had continued its slow recovery since then but the COVID-19 crisis made things worse.
- We’re not part of FG’s plan to sell national assets – Senate
The Senate has said it was not carried along in the planned arrangement by the Federal Government, through its Bureau of Public Enterprises, to either sell or concession some national assets in order to fund part of the 2021 budget. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Privatisation, Senator Theodore Orji, said this in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Tuesday. The Federal Government had concluded plans to sell the nation’s Integrated Power Plants in Geregu, Omotosho and Calabar at N434bn in 2021. It had also concluded arrangements for the concession of National Art Theatre, Tafawa Balewa Square and all the River Basin Development Authorities at N836m. Necessary plans had been concluded for the concession of the National Stadium in Lagos, the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja, and two others for N100m.
Information on the planned sales and concession of the national assest was contained in a document presented by the Bureau of Public Enterprises obtained by newsmen on Sunday. The Director General of BPE, Alex Okoh, presented the documents to the Senate Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation during the 2021 budget defence sessions. But Orji denied knowledge of the entire plan while speaking with journalists on Tuesday. He added that there should be a synergy between the Senate or its committee on privatisation and the BPE.
- Food production suffers, prices balloon as flood devastate farmlands
For most farmers, the year 2020 has not just been devastating but a difficult period to scale through in the business of agriculture in Nigeria. Many farmers across the country are lamenting the huge financial losses running into several billions of naira so far incurred this year. According them, although various factors contributed to this monumental agricultural loss, the major contributors were the devastating floods of 2020 and the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The agricultural losses this year are colossal; the devastating floods and the coronavirus disease worsened our situation as farmers the more,” the National President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Kabir Ibrahim, told newsmen. In its latest Selected Food Prices Watch report for September 2020, the National Bureau of Statistics confirmed the hike in food prices across the country. “Selected food price watch data for September 2020 reflected that the average price of one dozen of agric eggs medium size increased year-on-year by 5.24 per cent and month-on month by 0.37 per cent to N480.76 in September 2020.
- Group seeks partnership on agric policies
A group, Good News Development Association (GNDA), is seeking partnership with the Federal Government towards sustained investment in agriculture; food security and nutrition to reduce poverty and hunger. The GNDA as a group seeks to promote transformation of small-holder agriculture into farming as a business that thrives. Speaking at the unveiling of the GNDA’s cooperative society in conjunction with the Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority (LSADA), tagged: ‘Potential in agriculture,’ the Chairman, Mr. Barnabas Anyanwu, said that government’s continued investment in agriculture would improve small scale farmers’ productivity and income through value chain development and encouragement of farmers’ cooperative groups.
Anyanwu further said: “We call on Nigerians to embrace agriculture because it has helped the country in the time past and that’s where this nation would go back again. Also, government needs to help in the provision of facilities to prevent food wastage in the country.
Sometimes on transit, the agriculture produce get spoilt before getting to the destination. Government should come up with good policy that would help Nigerian farmers guarantee food security, so they would continue to invest in the sector. We hear fantastic plans of government for agriculture but the reality is that, it has not gotten to the farmers,” he further said. Anyanwu noted that the group has acquired 31 acres of land for farming, processing and packaging of their agriculture produce. According to him, the plan is to have all enterprises in agriculture included in the process.
- Nigeria’s wheat production may rise to 450,000MT
Nigeria wheat farmers have increased the forecast for the country’s wheat harvest for 2020/2021 by seven per cent on the back of availability of improved seeds. Wheat is now projected to yield 450,000 metric tonnes, up from 420,000 metric tonnes produced by farmers in the last season, the President, Wheat Growers Association of Nigeria, Salim Muhammad, confirmed this to newsmen on Tuesday. Under the Anchor Borrowers Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Muhammad said, about 100,000 farmers would be given the necessary incentives to improve wheat production. After harvesting the wheat, he said the grains would be purchased by flour millers based on a Memorandum of Understanding already signed with them.
Muhammad said the Central Bank of Nigeria’s intervention through the Seed Multiplication Programme planned to support farmers in the cultivation of 80,000 hectares of farmland in order to make seed available for wheat cultivation. According to him, the apex bank has procured improved wheat seeds from other countries for this purpose. Every year, Nigeria makes up for the production deficit by importing the product from other countries.
- ‘There’s A Limit To What Nigerians Can Tolerate,’ NLC Rejects Petrol Price Hike
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has demanded the immediate reversal of the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol. In a statement on Monday by the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, the union took a swipe at the government and condemned the increase in the price of the product. It stated that the recent hike in petrol pump price has worsened the level of pain and anguish in the country. According to the NLC, it is worrisome to make Nigerians continue to suffer for the failures of successive governments to properly manage the nation’s refineries. It added that the development has questioned the explanations made by the government on the payment of subsidy.
It warned that Nigerians have a limit to tolerate the continued increase in the price of refined petroleum products and other essential goods and services. On the way forward, the NLC asked the government to fix the nation’s refineries, stressing that several options were available to tackle the trend of high prices of refined petroleum products. The Federal Government had announced a new pump price band for petroleum products, raising the ex-depot price of petrol to N155.17, making marketers sell between N165 and N173 per litre to consumers.
- FG Links Recent Petrol Price Hike To Pfizer’s COVID-19 Breakthrough
Mr Timipre Sylva, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, said the hike is as a result of the announcement by an American pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, on its recent breakthrough in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. He told State House correspondents on Monday in Abuja that the announcement of a COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer triggered a slight increase in the price of crude oil in the global market.
According to Sylva, the pump price of petrol is directly determined by the price of crude oil in the global market. He stated that it was not the first time the government would give the same explanation whenever the pump price of petrol changed in the country. The minister explained that the government took the decision to deregulate the sector in order to ensure its optimum performance.
- Bread Tax Is Evil, We Are Investigating Those Behind It – Yahaya Bello
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has vowed to investigate and punish those behind the imposition of bread tax in the northcentral state, describing the development as evil. While briefing the press after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja on Tuesday, the governor said: “The particular incident of bread tax is being looked into as I speak, we are investigating those that are behind this. “It is evil and it is unaccepted, to say the least. I have ordered the Head of Service to issue queries to those that are responsible and they will face the law accordingly.”
He also credited his grassroots leadership style for restricting lootings in the Confluence State in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests. “The locals exactly know who they are, they know the criminals among them. They know the strangers and intruders among them and they immediately swing into action by ensuring law enforcement agencies swing into action and the issues were contained amicably.”
- There Will Be No Increase In Tax, Minister Says As FEC Approves Finance Bill 2020
The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, has assured Nigerians that the incremental changes to Nigeria’s tax laws do not mean that there will be an increase in taxes. She gave the assurance on Wednesday, while addressing State House correspondents after the council approved the Finance Bill 2020.
The minister explained that the bill will ensure improvements in tax laws while reducing some taxes for small and medium enterprises. She told journalists that the 2019 Finance Bill actually reduced taxes from 30% to 20% for businesses with a turnover of between N25 million and N100 million.
- Naira sinks to 620 against pound, euro rises
The naira tumbled to 620 against the British pound sterling at the parallel market on Thursday, even as the euro rose to N565. The naira fell by 2.1 per cent against the pound from 607 on Wednesday, and by 1.4 per cent against the euro from 560. The local currency was, however, stable against the dollar at the parallel market as it traded at 478/$1. It dropped from 475/$1 on Tuesday to 478/$1 on Wednesday.
The Central Bank of Nigeria has kept the official exchange rate at N379/$1 since August, when the naira was devalued for the second time this year from 360 per dollar. It was first devalued to 360 in March from 306. The nation’s forex reserves stood at $35.54bn as of November 17, down from $35.69bn on October 28, according to the CBN.
- FG Releases National Common Entrance Examination Results
The Federal Government through the National Examinations Council (NECO) has released the 2020/2021 National Common Entrance Examination Results, pegging the national cut off marks at 142. Announcing the results as presented by the Registrar of NECO at a news conference in Abuja, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said a total of 70,580 candidates sat for the examination nationwide, out of which 24,416 candidates passed with a minimum score of 66.
Three students who recorded the highest scores are, Umeonyiagu Chinua Crucifixio (Anambra State) who scored 199 out of 200 marks followed by Onwuamanam Udochukwu (Enugu State) with a score of 198 and Salaam Mariam Aderemilekun (Lagos State) who scored 197 marks. Although 16,713 candidates were said to be absent from the examination due to the EndSARS protests that rocked the country recently, the Minister of Education ordered a comprehensive investigation on the absence of such a huge number of students.
- ASUU strike: Governors seek shift of positions
Worried by the shutdown of the nation’s universities for about eight months, governors have asked the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to shift grounds. They are pleading with the Federal Government to create a temporary salary payment window pending the outcome of the ongoing testing of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), recommended by ASUU. The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA is already subjecting UTAS to test.
It was learnt that the governors have met with some past leaders of ASUU on how to end the strike on mutual terms. According to investigation, the governors are disturbed by the consequences of the continued closure of the universities on the future of younger generation. The governors felt the deadlock in talks between ASUU and the Federal Government was amenable. It was also gathered that the governors felt they could fill in the gaps between the two parties without bruising any side.
- Govt, ASUU talks raise hope of end to strike
An end to the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) may be in sight. The Federal Government on Thursday promised to “bend backwards” to meet ASUU’s demands “half-way”.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, faulted comments by ASUU zonal coordinators, saying they should not be speaking for the union. To him, the zonal coordinators were becoming a “nuisance”. He further said: “The government will bend backwards to see how we can accommodate their demands in areas that have almost been completed.”
- FG Offers N65bn To ASUU For Earned Allowances, Revitalisation Fund
The Federal Government has offered a cumulative sum of N65 billion to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to address earned academic allowances and revitalisation of universities. Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, made the proposal on behalf of the government to the striking lecturers when they met on Friday in Abuja. Briefing reporters at the end of the meeting, he described the negotiation as fruitful as the government has decided to shift grounds on the lingering issues that have kept students out of the classroom for several months.
Ngige noted that in its bid to resolve the impasse with ASUU, the sum of N15 billion from the amount offered by the government would be for more funds to revitalise the universities. He also spoke about the payment system, as the union had rejected the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) of the government. He stated that the Ministry of Labour and Employment, as well as the Ministry of Education, would use the previous payment platform of the government before it introduced IPPIS to pay the withheld salaries of the lecturers under strict monitoring.
- Buhari emphasises need to improve healthcare spending
President Muhammadu Buhari has cited the emergence of new diseases as the reason why Nigeria, like most other nations of the world, would need to improve and prioritise spending on means and materials to survive the period. He stated this on Thursday during the virtual inauguration of capital projects executed at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) in Maiduguri, Borno State. The President also directed the Head of Service of the Federation and the Budget Office to consider an increase in the personnel and overhead allocation of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH). He further noted that the increase in personnel and allocation at UMTH would optimise services provided by the activation of the new projects.
Among landmark projects commissioned by the President are a newly constructed and fully equipped 150-bed Trauma Centre, a new General Outpatient Department, a complex for National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), a multipurpose Auditorium and Conference Centre constructed and furnished by Prof. Babagana Zulum, the Governor of Borno State. President Buhari also commissioned a new hostel for the UMTH School of Nursing, constructed by the Federal government.
- Yellow fever outbreak spreads to three Enugu LGAs
There was palpable tension in Enugu State on Monday following the report of a suspected Yellow Fever outbreak in three more local government areas of the state. The State had been battling to contain the outbreak of the disease in two communities of Ette Uno and Umuopu in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of the state, which reportedly claimed 52 lives between late October when the outbreak was first reported and November 2020. The state government has also confirmed it had received reports of strange deaths within communities in Nsukka, Isi-Uzo, and Igbo-Etiti LGAs.
A statement by the Commissioner of Health, Prof Ikechukwu Obi, released on Sunday night, disclosed that the ministry’s Rapid Response Team, LGA Rapid Response Teams in collaboration with International and National Partners had visited the communities to investigate the reports and had taken samples for testing. While the Health Commissioner condoled with families that lost their loved ones in the unfortunate development, reminded residents of the state that “Yellow Fever is transmitted through mosquito bites”.He, therefore, advised that people should keep their environment clean and remove mosquito breeding sites around their homes.
- Nigeria highest in drug use prevalence, says UNO
The National Programme Officer of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Mrs Folusho Adelekan, said on Tuesday that Nigeria has been ranked as the highest in drug use prevalence rate in the world. She said the nation accounted for 14.3 per cent as against 5.3 per cent of the entire global community. Mrs Adelekan stated this in Abuja at a sensitisation workshop on Drug Abuse and Rape organised by Christabels Initiatives and facilitated by the National Assembly Joint Committee on Drugs and Narcotics. She said available statistics showed that there were 14.4m drug users in Nigeria at 14.3 per cent prevalence rate. “Apart from the lack of well funded operational plan, there aren’t enough treatment or rehabilitation centres in the country for drug addicts.”
A Deputy Director with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Dr Yinka Falola-Anoemuah, said the seriousness of actions applied in tackling the scourge of HIV/AIDS in the country, should be used in confronting the menace of drug abuse and rape in Nigeria. Also, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, who was represented by the House Leader, Hassan Doguwa, said most of the drug addicts in the country lacked the required discipline and decent upbringing at the home front. He added, “This is the very reason curricular at the primary and secondary school levels need to be reviewed for the inclusion of subjects against drug abuse and violence against women, particularly rape.”
- COVID-19 Vaccine 94.5% Effective, Says Moderna
US biotech firm Moderna on Monday announced its experimental vaccine against Covid-19 was 94.5 per cent effective, marking a second major breakthrough in the vaccine hunt. Moderna released early results from a clinical trial with more than 30,000 participants, after US pharmaceutical company Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech last week said their vaccine was 90 per cent effective. Both vaccine frontrunners are based on a new platform called messenger RNA, which is faster to produce than traditional vaccines and effectively turn human cells into vaccine factories.
“This positive interim analysis from our Phase 3 study has given us the first clinical validation that our vaccine can prevent COVID-19 disease, including severe disease,” said Stephane Bancel, Moderna’s CEO. The company plans to submit applications for emergency approval in the US and around the world within weeks and says it expects to have approximately 20 million doses ready to ship in the US by the end of the year. “This news from Moderna is tremendously exciting and considerably boosts optimism that we will have a choice of good vaccines in the next few months,” said Peter Openshaw, a professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London.
- WHO launches strategy to eliminate cervical cancer
The World Health Organisation on Tuesday launched a strategy to rid the world of cervical cancer, stressing that broad use of vaccines, new tests and treatments could save five million lives by 2050. “Eliminating any cancer would have once seemed an impossible dream, but we now have the cost-effective, evidence-based tools to make that dream a reality,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.
More than half a million new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed around the world each year, hundreds of thousands of women die from the disease, and the WHO warns will rise significantly in the years to come without action. The good news is that cervical cancer, which is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) — a common sexually transmitted infection — is preventable with reliable and safe vaccines, and also curable if caught early and adequately treated. “This is a huge milestone,” WHO Assistant Director-General Princess Nothemba Simelela told a virtual press briefing. While most high-income countries have introduced wide-spread vaccination, testing and treatment, access has remained far more difficult elsewhere, in part due to the high cost of vaccine doses. “If we can improve access for low and middle-income countries we really can be on the road to elimination,” she said.
- Trump Fires Top US Election Security Official
Donald Trump on Tuesday fired the government’s top election security official, who had rejected the president’s unsubstantiated claims of “massive” fraud in the vote he lost to Joe Biden. Trump announced on Twitter the termination “effective immediately” of Chris Krebs, who leads the agency that jointly declared “the November 3rd election was the most secure in American history.” Trump, who refuses to acknowledge that he lost his bid for reelection to Democrat Biden, has repeatedly claimed without evidence that the voting and count were replete with fraud. “The recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election was highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud,” Trump wrote in a tweet. “Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.”
Krebs, who reportedly told friends last week he expected to be removed, appeared to confirm it in a tweet on his personal account. “Honored to serve. We did it right. Defend Today, Secure Tomorrow,” he wrote.
Krebs was in charge of fending off possible foreign and domestic hacker intrusions into myriad voting machines, sorting and counting machines, databases and other systems that states and localities rely on to tally ballots.
- UK to ban petrol, diesel cars from 2030 in green ‘revolution’
Britain will ban petrol and diesel vehicle sales from 2030 as part of a 10-point plan for a “green industrial revolution” to be unveiled Wednesday by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The British premier has earmarked £12 billion (13.4 billion euros, $15.9 billion) for the wide-ranging plans, which he hopes will secure up to 250,000 jobs and help meet a target for the UK to become carbon neutral by 2050. The proposals include quadrupling offshore wind power within a decade while scaling up hydrogen production capacity for industry, transport, power and homes.
Investment will also be made in zero-emission public transport, alongside research into zero-emission planes and ships, and in making cycling and walking “more attractive”. The plans contain broader aims to make Britain a “world-leader” in carbon capture technology and the City of London a “global centre of green finance”. The government will also spend £525 million on developing large and smaller-scale nuclear plants, and new advanced modular reactors, in a move likely to anger environmentalists. Johnson is hoping the ambitious proposals can help deliver on pledges to reduce Britain’s stark regional inequality and repair some of the economic damage done by the pandemic.
- WHO advises against remdesivir for coronavirus treatment
The anti-viral drug remdesivir should not be used to treat Covid-19 patients no matter how severe their illness as it has “no important effect” on survival chances, the World Health Organization said Friday. Denting hopes in one of the few treatments that had shown some initial promise in severe patients, a WHO Guideline Development Group (GDG) of international experts said there was “no evidence based on currently available data that it does improve patient-important outcomes”.
Friday’s WHO recommendation was based on four international randomised trials among more than 7,000 patients hospitalised with the virus. Publishing updated treatment guidance in the BMJ medical journal, the panel acknowledged that their recommendation does not mean that remdesivir has no benefit for patients. But based on the latest figures, costs and delivery methods, it advised “against administering remdesivir in addition to usual care for the treatment of patients hospitalised with Covid-19, regardless of disease severity”. The panel recommended that remdesivir trials continued, however, adding that their advice didn’t constitute proof that the treatment couldn’t work in Covid-19 cases.
- #EndSARS: Seun Kuti Revives Fela’s Movement Of The People, Calls For Better Governance
Nigerian Musician, Seun Kuti who is also the youngest son of the late famous afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, has revived a political movement of his father, the Movement of the People, as part of his drive to call for better governance in the country, as well as an end to police brutality.
Kuti while addressing the press on Tuesday at the Kalakuta Museum in the Ikeja area of Lagos, said the days in which members of his family were being harassed by security operatives appear to have returned. He vowed to mobilise citizens to rise and defend their rights under the aegis of the revived movement.
- House gift to my mom also belongs to my dad —Emanuella
Popular comedienne, Emanuella Samuel, says the early Christmas house gift to her mother also belongs to her father. Social media has been abuzz since the 10-year-old comedienne announced last week that she built her mother a house. “I built this for you mom. For all the prayers; all the encouragement and support. Mummy, I know you said you want a portable house and this is it. But forgive me because I must complete your mansion for you next year. Don’t worry, it won’t make us go to hell; my super Christmas mummy. I love you,” Emanuella had captioned photos of the house in a post on her Instagram account.
There have been comments from some social media users who were of the opinion that the young actress should also build a house for her father. However, speaking on Monday in an interview, Emanuella said the house gift also belonged to her father. Emanuella’s producer, Mark Angel, also said in the exclusive interview that the young actress could afford to build the house.
- Rapper Lil Wayne faces gun charge in Florida
US rapper Lil Wayne was charged Tuesday in Florida with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon over an incident dating back to last year — a federal offense that could see him sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. The 38-year-old artist, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr, was found to be carrying a gun and bullets when police searched a private plane in Miami in December last year.
The Miami Herald reported that Lil Wayne — who has a home in south Florida — admitted the gold-plated pistol found in his luggage was his. He told police the weapon had been given to him as a Father’s Day gift.
Police also found what was believed to be cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, heroin, painkillers and more than $25,000 in cash, the newspaper said.
But the sole federal weapons charge filed in federal court in Miami stems from the fact that Lil Wayne was convicted more than a decade ago on a separate firearms charge. The five-time Grammy winner — who recently made headlines for meeting with and voicing support for President Donald Trump — is next due in court on December 11.
- Tory Lanez pleads not guilty to shooting Megan Thee Stallion
Tory Lanez pleaded not guilty to charges related to the shooting of rapper Megan Thee Stallion, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced in a statement via Twitter. Lanez, 28, was arraigned Wednesday in Los Angeles. The Canadian rapper and singer is alleged to have shot his former friend during an incident in the Hollywood Hills on July 12, CNN reports.
Megan Thee Stallion publicly accused him in August of shooting at her feet after she exited the vehicle they had been riding in following an argument. Lanez was arrested and charged at the time of the shooting with possession of a concealed weapon. Lanez is due back in court on January 20, 2021. The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department, Hollywood Division.
- Bobby Brown’s son dies at 28
Popular American singer, Bobby Brown is currently mourning the death of his son, Bobby Jr. who died at 28. TMZ reports that Bobby Jr. was found dead on Wednesday in his home in the L.A. area. However, police are still at the house, but at this point, they do not believe there was foul play involved. Sadly, this is another tragedy for the singer and his family to endure. Bobby Jr.’s half-sister, Bobbi Kristina, died when she was just 22 years old. She was found lifeless in the bathtub of her Georgia home. She was on life support for several months before she passed in July 2015. The coroner determined Bobbi Kristina’s cause of death was drowning in the tub while she had toxic levels of cocaine and alcohol in her system.
It was an eerily similar death to her mother, Whitney Houston, who had died three years earlier from an accidental overdose while in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Bobby Jr. is one of Bobby’s seven children. He was 13 when he, along with Bobbi Kristina, appeared on the family’s short-lived Bravo reality show, “Being Bobby Brown.” His mother is Kim Ward, who Bobby dated off and on for 11 years before he got engaged to Whitney.
- It took months to accept my daughter is homosexual — Charly Boy
Musician, Charles Oputa, aka Charly Boy, says it took several months to come to terms with the fact that his daughter is a homosexual. Charly Boy said this in a post on his social media handles on Friday. He said months before his daughter revealed her sexual orientation to him, he had openly supported LGBT campaigns. He, however, said when his daughter revealed that she was a lesbian in 2016, it wasn’t as easy for him to accept. The musician wrote, “I am close with my children and I love them to bits. They are my friends. But I wasn’t really ready for the ‘breaking news’ my Princess Dewy had for me. When my child told me she is gay, a lesbian, I experienced a range of emotions, during that phone conversation.
“So many things went through my mind, one of them included self-blame (did I do something wrong?) (the child I thought I knew and loved no longer exists.), worry (will my child be discriminated against?) religious confusion (is my child damned to spend eternity in hell?), and stigma (what will people think of my child? of me?).” Charly Boy, who is the son of respected jurist, Chukwudifu Oputa, said he tried not to overreact when his daughter spoke about her sexuality because he didn’t want to strain their relationship. The musician said he was determined to win this new challenge that life had thrown at him.
- Charly Boy, daughter in social media war
Charly Boy Oputa and his lesbian daughter, Dewy, were locked in a war of words on the social media on Friday after the entertainer said he was in total support of the LGBTQ community and he had Dewy Oputa to thank for the experience of being a father to one. Expressing love to Dewy, who lives in Atlanta, United States of America, Charly Boy said: “All I want is my Princess’ love, happiness, and success in her life. Anything else is secondary. I told myself that I will get through this, and many months later I did.”
It did not take long for Dewy to respond to her father’s ‘expression of love’. Writing on her Twitter account @DEWYOPUTA, she said:” Gaslighting at its finest. It’s quite unfortunate that my life is nothing but content. I just can’t wrap my head around the hypocrisy. All this for a drop of clout, attention and praise from strangers just to feed your ego. I was going to just free this situation because I’m used to this toxicity and mentally I’m tired. But after seeing this, I can’t stomach this pretentious behaviour anymore, because on a normal level, this man no Dey even pick my call. ”2017 I got kicked out of the house and was damn near homeless, and if not for my friend, I wouldn’t have even had food or shelter!
- Super Eagles Performance To Be Reviewed – Sports Minister
The entire Nigerian Super Eagles team will undergo a performance review, according to the Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare.
Dare disclosed this in Minna the Niger state capital after he was hosted at a get-together ahead of the All Progressives Congress Youth Leaders Interactive Forum billed to hold on Thursday. According to the minister the review had become necessary in view of the performance of the team in recent times which he said fell short of the expectations of football-loving Nigerians.
According to him, the review would cover the entire team including the players, the technical adviser, Gernot Rohr’s performance, and those involved in football administration in the country. Asked if he was concerned about the allegations that he was interfering in the activities of the football team, Mr. Dare said the review was in the interest of the entire Nigerians.
- NFF appoints Amina Daura women football head
The Nigeria Football Federation on Friday confirmed the appointment of Amina Daura as its new Head of Women’s Football, replacing Ruth David, a statement signed by Ademola Olajire, head of NFF’s Communications Department, has said. According to the statement, the appointment followed the recommendation of Phillips Consulting, a recruitment firm employed by the NFF to shortlist the best candidate for the position.
The new coach has over 15 years experience in women football and last worked for Helping Hands Foundation for Child Education, an NGO.
Daura, who is also a UNICEF ambassador, is expected to oversee the development of women’s football across the nation, as well as provide technical support to Super Falcons’ Head Coach, Randy Waldrum.
- Guardiola Signs New Contract To Stay At Manchester City Until 2023
Pep Guardiola has ended speculation over his Manchester City future after signing a new two-year contract extension on Thursday. Guardiola was due to be out of contract at the end of this season and it had been suggested the Spaniard might be ready to leave City.
But the 49-year-old has now agreed to stay at the Etihad Stadium until at least 2023. “Manchester City are pleased to announce that Pep Guardiola has signed a new two-year deal with the club,” a statement on City’s website said.
- Crown FC player slumps, dies during friendly match in Ogun
A player with Crown Football Club, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Usman Yusuf, died after slumping during a friendly match in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Newsmen gathered that Yusuf played the first half in a friendly for Gateway United FC, where he was on trial, against Sliema Wanderers. It was gathered that the incident happened on Sunday afternoon at Muda Lawal Stadium, Asero, Abeokuta.
The deceased reportedly slumped during the match, but he was resuscitated after the medics attended to him. He was later taken to the State Hospital, Ijaye where he reportedly passed on. The Media officer of the Gateway FC, Moses Ojewumi, confirmed the incident on Monday in Abeokuta. He said, “Usman Yusuf who came on trial played the first half in a friendly for Gateway United FC against Sliema Wanderers on Sunday afternoon, during half-time he showed bad signs and Gateway United team doctor attended to him. “It was later in the night, a call came in from camp that he had suffered a relapse, swiftly he was taken to State Hospital, Ijaiye where he gave up the ghost.”
- France to host 2021 Six Nations matches behind closed doors
France will play their two home matches in the 2021 Six Nations behind closed doors because of the coronavirus pandemic, the president of the French Rugby Federation announced on Tuesday. “We must play four matches behind closed doors this fall, plus two more during the Six Nations tournament, in February and March,” said Bernard Laporte.
France are due to host Scotland on February 28 and Wales on March 20 at the 80,000-seat Stade de France in Paris. “The shortfall, just for the French Rugby Federation, will be 34 million euros ($40 million),” said Laporte. “It is a third of our budget. I remind you that we have 300 employees. It is often said that we are an association but we are a company.” Last week France had to cancel an Autumn Nations Cup match against Fiji in Vannes because of positive Covid-19 tests among the Fijian players.
- Benin Republic to host WAFU B U-20 tournament
The WAFU B U-20 tournament earlier scheduled to take place in the Republic of Togo from November 18 to December 2 will now hold in Benin Republic from December 5 to 20. The Flying Eagles have been drawn in Group B alongside Ghana and Ivory Coast. “The WAFU B U-20 qualifiers earlier scheduled to start on 18th November 2020 in Togo will now take place from December 5 to 20 and will be hosted by Benin Republic,” the media officer of the U-20 team, Andrew Randa tweeted.
Nigeria, seven-time winners of the competition are currently in camp in Abuja, and the coach of the team Ladan Bosso has expressed confidence in his team’s ability to qualify for the tournament in Mauritania despite their short preparation. We are confident that we will qualify from this group and move to the next group. “The most important thing is to get prepared and get the mindset of the players very positive, and forget it.”
- Paris Marathon to hold October 2021, says organisers
The next Paris Marathon will be held on October 17, 2021, organisers announced on Tuesday, after the coronavirus pandemic forced this year’s edition to be cancelled. The half-marathon will go ahead on September 5 next year, added Amaury Sport Organisation.
Runners who signed up to take part in the 2020 event will be given the option to compete in 2021 or request a refund. The marathon draws around 50,000 participants each year and winds around famous Paris monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre and Notre Dame cathedral, starting and finishing at the Arc de Triomphe.
- Spain’s 6-0 Win Inflicts Worst Defeat On Germany In 89 Years
Ferran Torres grabbed a hat-trick as Spain condemned Germany to their worst defeat in 89 years on Tuesday, winning 6-0 in Seville to qualify for the UEFA Nations League finals and join France, who came from behind to beat Sweden 4-2. Manchester City forward Torres was the star for Spain, who were as brilliant as Germany were bad. The result raises further questions about Germany coach Joachim Loew, who was already under pressure coming into this game. “This has been a black day for us,” admitted Loew after Germany’s heaviest defeat since losing 6-0 to Austria in 1931. They came into their final game in League A, Group 4 on top, a point clear of Spain, and so only needed a draw at an empty La Cartuja to qualify for the finals in October next year.
Germany’s defence was posted missing as Jose Gaya burst through and squared for Torres to get the fourth on 55 minutes, and Fabian Ruiz teed up the 20-year-old Torres to complete his hat-trick. “It was one of the best and most complete matches of the Spanish national team,” said Spain coach Luis Enrique. Germany now have several months to reflect on this loss before the start of 2022 World Cup qualifying in March and then the delayed Euro 2020 in June and July. Spain, meanwhile, become the second side to qualify for the Nations League finals after France clinched their place by beating Portugal at the weekend.
- FCC director jailed 14 years for defrauding jobseekers of N7m
A serving Deputy Director of the Federal Character Commission, Alhaji Ahmad Balarabe, has been sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment by the High Court 3 sitting in Gusau, Zamfara State, for defrauding jobseekers of N7m. Balarabe had earlier been dragged before Justice Bello Shinkafi by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission.
While delivering the judgment, Justice Shinkafi said the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and that the action of the convict was “despicable and unbecoming of a public servant.”
According to a statement on Tuesday by the ICPC spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, titled, ‘ICPC secures conviction of deputy director over N7m fraud,’ the court, however, gave the convict an option of N500,000 fine.
“The judge also ruled that the convict should pay back N7m to the victims of the crime in line with Section 11 of the Advance Fee Fraud Act and Section 321 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.”
- Gunmen kidnap 12 police officers in Zamfara
There have been renewed attacks by bandits on major roads in Zamfara State in the last two weeks. The most recent was the attack on 12 police officers of the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police, who were said to have been sent to Zamfara from Borno State on a special assignment. BBC Hausa Service reported on Tuesday that the 12 officers were coming to Gusau for a special assignment on security matters when they were kidnapped between Katsina and Zamfara states by bandits seven days ago. The BBC quoted the wife of one of the policemen as saying she got a phone call from her husband, who asked her to raise ransom money by selling their home.
According to the report, the woman said her husband told her that if she failed to raise at least N1m, “there will be trouble.” Similarly, the state Commissioner for Security, Alhaji Abubakar Dauran, escaped death last week while returning to the state from Katsina State on an official assignment. Speaking to newsmen, The Force Headquarters did not respond to enquiries on efforts being made to rescue the abducted police officers. The Force spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, had yet to respond to calls and text messages sent to his mobile telephone as of the time of filing this report.
- Bandits demand N100m for six ASPs in Katsina kidnappers’ den
The bandits holding six Assistant Superintendents of Police captive in Katsina State for over one week are demanding N100m ransom for their release. Newsmen gathered that the ASPs were among the nine who were just promoted to their current rank. They were attached to the Mobile Police Squadron 6, Maiduguri, Borno State.
Findings on Wednesday indicated that they were demobilised from the riot unit and eight of them were on their way to the Zamfara State Police Command on transfer when they were ambushed in the Dogondaji area of Katsina State and taken into the forest.
- 40-year-old Benue man sets self, lover ablaze over rejected marriage proposal
Facts emerged on Sunday that a middle-aged man, Nicodemus Nomyange, who set himself and his girlfriend, Shininenge Pam, ablaze did so over the latter’s refusal to marry him. Nomyange had on Saturday evening visited his girlfriend’s house on Inikpi Street, in the High-Level area of Makurdi, with a gallon of fuel, which he used to set the apartment on fire. The two lovers died in the inferno. It was gathered that Nomyange, who was in his 40s, had been going out with the woman for some time.
Pam’s neighbor, who identified herself as Dorry, said, “Nomyange was married with children. But he proposed to the young lady, whom he claimed to have invested in. “But the lady, having sought advice from her friends, told him that he was too old for her and that she preferred to marry a younger man and not a man already with wife and children.”
The lady’s decision, according to the neighbor, infuriated Nomyange. It was the man who rented this apartment for her and furnished it to taste. At the time firefighters visited the place, the two lovers were reported to have died in the inferno.
- Mother, children jailed 38 years for human trafficking, exploitation
A Benin High Court, Edo State, on Monday sentenced a woman and her children to 38 years’ imprisonment for trafficking a 19-year-old girl to Russia for sexual exploitation. The two siblings, Mr Endurance Ehiozee, 37, and Miss Vivian Ehiozee, 31, were sentenced to 14 years’ each without option of fine, while their mother, Mrs Helen Ehioze, was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment.
The presiding judge, Justice Geraldine Imadegbelo, sentenced the convicts after finding them guilty of the offences which contravened sections 15 and 16 of the Trafficking in Person Prohibition Law, Enforcement and Administration Act 2003 as amended in 2005. It was gathered that the teenager (name withheld) was trafficked to Russia in 2012 when she was 19, but the case in court started in 2017. The victim is now 27. Counsel for the convicts, Mr. J. Omigie, had pleaded with the court for a lenient sentence, saying the convicts were first offenders and had no prior criminal record.
- Schoolteacher who lost two-month pregnancy to SARS’ torture is Evans’ sister – Police
The police on Tuesday said they arrested a schoolteacher, Ndubuisi Obiechina, in 2017 because her phone number and that of her husband were allegedly used by the notorious alleged kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans, to make contact with the family of a kidnap victim to collect $1m ransom. The schoolteacher and her husband, Ogechukwu, had first appeared on October 31 before the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing cases of rights violations by men of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
Obiechina had narrated to the retired Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel how she was arrested by SARS, detained, and tortured over a period of 22 days till she lost her two-month pregnancy. She said she suffered a second miscarriage later in October 2017 when her husband was re-arrested. At the Tuesday proceeding, a police legal officer, Nosa Uhumwangho, told the panel that the couple was arrested because their phone numbers surfaced during the investigation to arrest Evans. However, the panel pointed out that the issue brought before it by the couple was the failure of the police to comply with a N2m judgment which they secured against the police for the violation of their rights. The panel later adjourned the case till December 8 for the adoption of summons.
- SARS collected N400,000 to feed my son after killing him – Grieving father
A school proprietor, Mr Emma Adimachukwu, on Tuesday told the Anambra State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality, Extral Judicial Killings and other Related Matters that the disbanded Special-Anti Robbery Squad charged him N400,000 to feed his son in their custody.
Adimachukwu said his son Obinna Sandy, a businessman, was killed in 2014. He said, “My son graduated from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University; because he read business administration, I opened a shop for him at Mount Olive shopping plaza, Onitsha. “He travelled to India to buy clothes. On March 14, 2014, he went to Nnewi and collected $10,000 owed him by a friend and proceeded to Onitsha to take delivery of his goods that just arrived.
“It was while waiting for the goods that some SARS men arrived and started shooting. They arrested him and his friend. They searched him and saw $10,000 on him and concluded he was an armed robber. “My son refused to let them take the money, he fought them. So, when they got to Awkuzu SARS, they killed him. “When I went to see him after his friend who was smuggled out told me of it, James Nwafor (SARS boss) told his men to lock me up that I was a father to an armed robber. Some prominent people intervened and they released me. They later told me to drop money so they can be feeding my son, and they collected N400,000 from me, knowing full well that they had killed my son,” Adimachukwu said.