FRESH FM TOP NEWS THIS WEEK

Written by on July 31, 2021

The hottest and most trending news articles for this week in all categories are 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

  • Hushpuppi: IGP Orders Review Of Allegations Against Abba Kyari

The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, has ordered an “internal review of the allegations” against a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, by a United States Court. Force spokesman, Frank Mba made this known in a statement on Thursday. Earlier, the United States District Court for the Central District of California said alleged international fraudster, Ramon Abbas aka Hushpuppi used Kyari to arrest and jail a co-conspirator, Chibuzo Vincent.

According to a communique from the court, the arrest was made after Vincent threatened to expose a $1m fraud committed against a Qatari businessman. Reaffirming the Force’s commitment to the pursuit of justice and the strengthening of its professional relationship with the FBI and other international partners, the IGP said further developments on the case will be communicated to members of the public accordingly.

  • $1.1m loot: I Never Demanded Bribe From Hushpuppi – DCP Kyari

Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari, on Thursday denied demanding or receiving a bribe from alleged internet fraudster Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, alias Hushpuppi, from a $1.1million loot. In a post on his Facebook page, Kyari said those celebrating the allegations against him would be disappointed. Hushpuppi was arrested in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in June 2020 alongside 11 of his associates on hacking, impersonation, scamming, banking fraud, and identity theft allegations.

He has pleaded guilty in the United States and, according to court documents, narrated how he bribed Kyari following the decorated policeman’s alleged role in arresting and jailing – at Hushpuppi’s request – his fraud rival Kelly Chibuzor Vincent after both were locked in a dispute. According to the US Department of Justice, a criminal complaint initiated the prosecution of Hushpuppi in February as court documents showed that Abbas, 37, pleaded guilty on April 20.

Officials said in court filings that Abbas disclosed during interrogation that he paid bribes to Kyari, to have one of his rivals arrested and jailed in Nigeria following a dispute over a $1.1million duped from a Qatari businessperson. Abbas had asked Kyari to arrest and jail Vincent after both were locked in a dispute presumably over how to share the $1.1million loot received from the Qatari businessperson.

  • Senate names Jonathan, Sambo in N665.8bn diversion, demands refund

The Senate has demanded a refund of funds totalling N665.8bn which were allegedly diverted by the Office of Accountant General of the Federation from the Solid Mineral Development Fund and Stabilisation Fund to ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government.

The beneficiaries, according to the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation, included Independent National Electoral Commission, Ministry of Power, Nigerian Army, as well as former President Goodluck Jonathan and ex-Vice President Namadi Sambo, among others. The Senate, after consideration and adoption of its Committees on Public Accounts, ordered the Accountant General of the Federation to ensure refund within 60 days.

  • Shi’ite Leader El-Zakzaky, Wife Set Free

Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) leader Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat got freedom on Wednesday. Justice Gideon Kurada of the Kaduna State High Court discharged and acquitted them of culpable homicide, and unlawful assembly, among other criminal charges for which they have been standing trial since December 2018.

The IMN (also known as Shi’ite) leader was arrested following a clash between his followers and the convoy of the immediate-past Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai in Zaria in December 2015. Neither El-Zakzaky, nor his spouse could be reached on Wednesday. But, in a statement, the IMN said the ruling has proven that the organisation and its leader “are only victims of ‘impunity and mischievous plots’ by both the federal and Kaduna governments.

  • Money Laundering: Hushpuppi Pleads Guilty, Risks 20 Years’ Imprisonment

An alleged international fraudster, Ramon Abbas who is popularly known as Hushpuppi, has pleaded guilty to multi-million dollar fraud charges filed against him by the United States government. In a plea agreement document, Hushpuppi agreed to plead guilty as charged. The document was signed by Hushpuppi; his lawyer, Loius Shapiro; acting United States attorney, Tracy Wilkison, amongst others.

His plea agreement stated further that he will now be pleading guilty to Count Two which is “Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering,” an offence that attracts a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment among other punishments including full restitution. The document partly read, “defendant (Hushpuppi) admits that defendant is, in fact, guilty of the offence to which defendant is agreeing to plead guilty.

Arrested in Dubai, the United Arab Emirate (UAE) in June 2020, and subsequently extradited to the U.S. where most of the victims of his alleged fraudulent activities are based, Mr Abass has spent the last one year in custody maintaining his innocence. A date is to be fixed for him to change his previous “not guilty” plea to “guilty” and will be followed by a sentencing hearing for the judge to determine how long he will spend in jail.

  • WTO Working To Boost Vaccine Production In Africa – Okonjo-Iweala

The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has said talks are in motion to persuade vaccine companies to invest more in Africa. She made the comment while speaking virtually at the annual National Diaspora Day celebration in Abuja on Sunday.

According to the WTO chief, the manufacture of vaccines on the continent will reduce vaccination inequality, made starker by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite rising cases in Africa, many countries have struggled to secure vaccines for their population. According to the World Health Organisation, only about 1.5% of the population on the continent is fully vaccinated. In countries like the US, the number is well over 50 percent.

  • FG Again Extends NIN-SIM Linkage Deadline By 3 Months

The Federal Government has extended the deadline for the linkage of the National Identity Number (NIN) – Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) card verification exercise by another three months. While some industry stakeholders applauded the extension, others queried the rationale behind earlier deadlines. A statement signed by the Director of Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ike Adinde and Head of Corporate Communications, NIMC, Kayode Adegoke, said the Federal Government has shifted the deadline from its earlier date of July 26 to October 31.

The statement claimed that the decision to extend the deadline was made following a request by stakeholders to accommodate registration in hard-to-reach remote areas, diaspora, foreigners and diplomatic missions, and address low enrolments in schools and hospitals, as evidenced by enrolment figures.
According to the statement, this is as a result of a review of the progress of the exercise, which indicated significant progress, hence, the need to consolidate the gains of the enrolment and NIN-SIM verification process across the country.FG Again Extends NIN-SIM Linkange Deadline By 3 Months

The Federal Government has extended the deadline for the linkage of the National Identity Number (NIN) – Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) card verification exercise by another three months. While some industry stakeholders applauded the extension, others queried the rationale behind earlier deadlines. A statement signed by the Director of Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ike Adinde and Head of Corporate Communications, NIMC, Kayode Adegoke, said the Federal Government has shifted the deadline from its earlier date of July 26 to October 31.

The statement claimed that the decision to extend the deadline was made following a request by stakeholders to accommodate registration in hard-to-reach remote areas, diaspora, foreigners and diplomatic missions, and address low enrolments in schools and hospitals, as evidenced by enrolment figures.
According to the statement, this is as a result of a review of the progress of the exercise, which indicated significant progress, hence, the need to consolidate the gains of the enrolment and NIN-SIM verification process across the country.

  • SERAP Sues Buhari Over Gag Order On Reporting Of Terrorist Attacks

The Socio-Economic Rights and AccountabilityProject (SERAP) and the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development have filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, over the order stopping journalists and broadcast stations from reporting details of terrorist attacks and victims.

In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/725/2021 filed last Friday, SERAP and PTCIJ are seeking: “an order of perpetual injunction restraining the government of President Buhari, the NBC, and Mr Lai Muhammed or any other persons from imposing fines or other sanctions on broadcast stations for carrying out their constitutional duties of reporting details of terrorist attacks and victims during daily newspaper reviews.”

They are also seeking “an order to compel and direct the NBC and Mr Lai Muhammed to withdraw the directive asking journalists and broadcast stations to stop reporting details on terrorist attacks and victims, as the directive is unlawful and inconsistent with the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended], and the country’s international human rights obligations.

  • NIMC captures more than 60 million Nigerians

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) on Thursday announced it has registered more than 60 million Nigerians for the unique National Identification Number (NIN) records in the National Identity Database (NIDB). The Commission said the feat could not have been possible without the cooperation of all stakeholders, including the general public.

Its Head of Corporate Communications, Mr Kayode Adegoke noted in a statement “the transformational value of a robust and inclusive foundational Identification system in today’s world cannot be overstated.” Adegoke who commended Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami for his leadership in driving the programmes of the commission, emphasised that NIN remains “the Primary Identification for all citizens and legal residents”.

 

 

 

 

POLITICS

  • 2023: Nigerians Can’t Wait To Have PDP Back In Power – Atiku

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Thursday said Nigerians are eager to have the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) back in power in 2023. He said Nigerians are tired of the failed administration of President Muhammadu and the All Progressives Congress (APC). According to him, the APC has failed Nigerians in almost every index.

Atiku said Nigerians cannot wait to bid the APC farewell at the next general elections. The former Vice President, however, did not state the basis of his assumption or conclusion that a majority of Nigerians want the PDP, a party that was rejected at the polls in 2015 and 2019, back. Atiku met with Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, in Port Harcourt, to reconcile their differences ahead of the 2023 general election.

  • More PDP governors to defect, says Presidency

The Presidency took a swipe at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for saying that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has turned the Presidential Villa into its headquarters. At their meeting in Bauchi on Monday, PDP governors accused the APC of “parading” coerced PDP members who defected into the ruling party. But, Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina chided the governors for belly-aching over the misfortune of their party.

Speaking from the United Kingdom (UK) in a television interview, Adesina claimed some of them (PDP governors) come to the Villa at night unannounced. According to him, some PDP governors have been talking with the APC leadership on plans to defect, saying that many of them will dump their party next year when President Buhari begins to inaugurate projects.

The presidential spokesman said: “There will be a massive unveiling of infrastructure come 2022; these massive projects will make a lot of PDP governors to join the APC.” He described the PDP as a beleaguered party in total confusion. On President Buhari’s trip to the UK, Adesina said that the countries battling with out-of-school children will be discussing on how to tackle the issue.

  • Akintola to Makinde: Name Opposition Leaders Sponsoring Violence In Oyo

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN) has challenged Governor Seyi Makinde to name opposition leaders he claimed are sponsoring violence in the State. Akintola gave the challenge while featuring on Southwest Political Circuit, an interview program on Ibadan-based Fresh FM 1005.9 at the weekend.

Makinde has consistently blamed opposition leaders for pockets of violence in the State. He said they were being orchestrated by opposition leaders to discredit his administration. Despite the repeated assurance of revealing the identity of the said opposition leaders, Makinde is yet to make good his promise.

When asked about the chances of the APC in the 2023 governorship election, the legal icon said APC is better positioned to win more than ever because Makinde has demonstrated incapacity to move the state forward. Though he acknowledged that the Governor has scored some good points, including taking sole ownership of LAUTECH, he said he has however failed in the areas of security and infrastructural development.

  • PDP governors insist on electronic transmission of election results, reject direct primary

Governors elected on the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, insisted that the National Assembly must approve electronic transmission of election results, which had earlier been rejected by the lawmakers during a plenary on the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill.

Rising from a six-hour meeting, which deliberated on the state of the nation in Bauchi State, the opposition governors not only threw their weight behind the electronic transmission of election results in the Electoral Amendment Act but also urged the National Assembly, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), National Communication Commission (NCC) and other relevant agencies to facilitate the process before the 2023 general elections.

  • I will make Soludo my successor, Obiano vows

Anambra Governor Willie Obiano has vowed to make former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Prof Charles Soludo his successor. He spoke on Wednesday at the Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport at Umueri after his three-week vacation abroad.

Obiano landed with a private jet at the airport exactly by 11.45am and was received by Anambra lawmakers led by Speaker Uche Okafor. Addressing the crowd that came to welcome him, Obiano said Soludo would be the next Governor. He left the State immediately after the primary conducted by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) at the Dora Akunyili Women’s Development Centre, Awka that produced Soludo as candidate.

  • Corrupt PDP Chiefs Joining APC – Aminu Tambuwal

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum Chairman, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal on Monday said only corrupt party chieftains have defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). He also said the defectors left for APC to avoid likely prosecution for corruption.

The PDP governors, who converged on Bauchi to deliberate on the state of the nation, condemned what they described as “the use of underhand tactics to arm-twist PDP governors to join the APC.” They reiterated their commitment to the electronic transmission of election results, urging the National Assembly to amend the Electoral Act to reflect the critical electoral reform.

The governors urged the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) and telecommunication service providers to improve access to network service for Nigerians ahead of the 2023 general elections. They said President Muhammadu Buhari should tackle insecurity and unemployment.

  • Jegede Congratulates Akeredolu On Supreme Court Victory

The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the last governorship election in Ondo State, Mr Eyitayo Jegede, has accepted the judgement of the Supreme Court which upheld the victory of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressive Congress. Jegede, who also congratulated the APC candidate on the victory, however, said his loss at the Apex court had not reduced his respect for the judiciary.

This was contained in a statement he personally issued after the judgement on Wednesday. The statement was titled ‘Ondo State, it is time to give glory to GOD’. The statement read, “Now that we have explored the grievance procedure permitted by the constitution and the law, it is time to give glory to God. We thank specially our legal team, under the leadership of Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, for their commitment, industry and dedication to our cause. Over and above all, we thank them for their sacrifice.

  • Plateau PDP Sues Electoral Body Over Exclusion

The Plateau State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has dragged the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC) to the High Court for alleged exclusion of the party from the forthcoming local government elections slated for October 2021. The PDP is also challenging the state electoral umpire over the outrageous amount it charges for the purchase of nomination forms for the counsellor and chairmanship positions respectively.

The case was, however, adjourned to August 5, for hearing on the originating summon and the preliminary objection filed by PDP. Counsel to PDP, Edward Pwajok (SAN), said his client is in court to challenge PLASIEC for organising election for chairman and counsellor in Plateau State by excluding PDP for participating in the election.

 

 

 

 

ECONOMY

  • E-Naira Will Make Transactions Cheaper – CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that transactions will be cheaper to conduct with Nigeria’s digital currency, e-naira. The Governor, Godwin Emefiele, spoke in Abuja at the end of the bi-monthly Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting. He said the economy is going digital and “cash cannot play in that space,” adding that “e-naira which will represent the digital equivalent of cash will be used as fiat currency for transactions”.

On how the e-naira will work, Emefiele said: “If you choose to convert some of the naira in your account to e-wallet or digital currency, we will support that.
He noted that “the use of cash is declining all over the world,” noting that “with the advent of digital currency, more and more people are adopting the use of electronic money to facilitate little commerce”.

  • Buhari Signs N982.72bn Supplementary Budget For Security, COVID-19

President Muhammadu Buhari has assented to the 2021 Supplementary Appropriation Bill submitted to the National Assembly in June. Mr Umar El-Yakub, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, disclosed this to State House correspondents after a meeting with the President on Monday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The 2021 Supplementary Appropriation Act, which is targeted at the provision of military hardware and COVID-19 vaccines, comes into effect from July 26. The budget is expected to be funded largely through new borrowing. The Supplementary Appropriation Bill passed by the lawmakers amounted to a total of N982.72 billion.

The lawmakers went on to pass an increased sum of N982,729,695,343 as the approved 2021 Supplementary Budget estimate. Of the figure, N123,332,174,164 was for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure, and N859,397,521,179 was earmarked for contribution to the development fund for capital expenditure for the year ending on December 31, 2021.

  • Nigeria-Cameroon $36m Border Bridge Will Facilitate Free Trade – Fashola

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has explained that the $36 million border bridge project linking Nigeria with the Republic of Cameroon will smoothen the free trade relationship under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) signed by both countries. Fashola disclosed this on Tuesday while inspecting the bridge project at the Ajassor border community in Etung Local Government Area of Cross River State.

He added that the project which has attained 99.9 percent completion would advance the actualization of the objective of the agreement. Speaking at the inspection, Fashola added that the current administration plans to renew and expand old infrastructure that would take the two countries to the future for many more decades and strengthen the relationship between them. The Minister described the bridge as a social asset that would bring happiness and prosperity for Nigerians.

 

 

 

 

HEALTH

  • Drug abuse: Advocate urges parents to monitor children

Founder and Executive Director of Safer Community Initiatives Chiejina Chibuzor has urged parents to pay closer attention to the friends their children and wards keep to avoid the use of drugs. The Anti-drug abuse advocate said it will curtail the wards’ rate of drug abuse and other vices. The rate of drug abuse, he said, was becoming alarming among teenagers.

Chibuzor, who had held series of sensitisation programmes on the menace, enjoined Nigerians to rise against drug abuse. The advocacy, he said, need all hands on deck. Many, he added, have opined that grassroots fight against drug abuse through effective awareness and engagement with vulnerable youth will be a way out.

* Nigeria’s pharmaceutical sector going through tough time –Pharmacists

Nigeria’s pharmaceutical manufacturing sector is going through a tough time, according to the Association of Industrial Pharmacists of Nigeria. The pharmaceutical sector, the association said, is facing serious challenges of infrastructure deficits that players in the industry require government support and intervention to surmount.

Speaking with newsmen, the immediate past National Chairman of the NAIP, Ignatius Anukwu, said the decision of the industrial pharmacists to partner with the Ebonyi State Government in its push for the establishment of pharmaceutical manufacturing parks was prompted by the quest to overcome some of the serious infrastructural challenges facing the industry. According to Anukwu, while the challenges facing the industry are many and complex, they are not insurmountable.

  • Cholera kills 169 residents, 5,221 infected in Kano

No fewer than 169 persons have been confirmed dead in Kano State following the outbreak of cholera that affected 41out of the 44 local government areas of the state. The state Director of Public Health, Dr. Ashiru Rajab, confirmed the number of death in a telephone interview with newsmen in Kano on Thursday. He, however, explained that the casualties were recorded within the last three months in the state.

Rajab said a total of 5,221 persons were affected by the disease, while about 4,860 had so far been treated and discharged. He added that a total of 191 affected persons were currently receiving treatment in various health facilities across the state.

 

 

 

 

 

EDUCATION

  • 2021 WASSCE Exam Will Hold In All States Nationwide — WAEC

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has said it has prepared well to hold the forthcoming school-based West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, amidst rising waves of insecurity and rising cases of COVID-19 in the country.

The examination is billed to commence on August 16 and last for about six weeks with no fewer than 1.6 million students expected to participate nationwide.
Giving the assurance, the acting head of WAEC Nigeria, Mr Demianus Ojijeogu, said at the moment, the council does not foresee any reason the exam would not be held in any state. He said though the council is well aware of the serious security challenges, particularly in some states in the northern part of the country, all hands would be on deck to ensure the examination is conducted in a safe and friendly environment across the country.

  • JAMB withdraws result of candidates for impersonation

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has withdrawn the result of one Attama Lawrence Ikedichukwu for acts bordering on impersonation in the just-concluded 2021/2022 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

JAMB spokesperson, Fabian Benjamin, who disclosed this Tuesday in Abuja, said Investigations revealed that Mr. Lawrence had hired a professional examination taker to sit the examination on his behalf. However, his luck ran out when the Board’s post-examination processes discovered that the candidate had been impersonated in the course of the examination. According to him, no result obtained through fraudulent means would be allowed to stand.

“The Board wishes to remind candidates and the general public that it would painstakingly scrutinise the entire examination processes with the proviso that the results obtained through fraudulent means would be withheld and after thorough investigation, cancelled as the case may be.”

  • 18,000 Candidates Get Chance To Take UTME On August 6th

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has fixed Friday, 6th August 2021 for 18, 000 candidates who missed the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) to retake the examination. The Board said the examination will take place in some select locations across the country.

JAMB’s Head of Media Fabian Benjamin said this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja. The Board said the 18,000 candidates slated for the examination are being notified through both text messages on their designated phone numbers and their JAMB profiles. It, therefore, directed the affected candidates to print fresh examination notification slips containing the venue and time of the examination from its website from August 1.

  • We Are Building Students’ Capacity To Reduce Unemployment – Snawo Olu

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said the ongoing Jobs Initiatives Lagos (JIL) and entrepreneurship skills programme designed for final year students and others is aimed at reducing graduate unemployment and grow young entrepreneurs. Sanwo-Olu spoke at the Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED), Naforija, Epe, where the JIL programme was launched. The JIL programme is in partnership with LOFTYINC Allied and Partners.

Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Education, Tokunbo Wahab, said his government, in demonstration of its commitment to entrepreneurship skills development, had built two additional vocational training centres in Badagry and Epe, thus bringing the centres to nine. The governor enjoined the students to maximise benefits of the initiative and other entrepreneurship programmes to make them become globally competitive.

  • Create Enabling Environment For Varsities Chancellor Urges Govt

The Chancellor of Anchor University Lagos (AUL), Dr. William Kumuyi, has urged the Federal Government to create an enabling environment for varsities across the country by intensifying the fight against insecurity. He also canvassed support for private varsities.

“Nigeria 170 universities of which 79 are privately owned, while 43 and 48 are owned by the Federal and State governments, respectively, hence governments need to help the private universities by creating a better environment for development and growth of university education in the country,” he said. The Chancellor urged the graduates to cultivate the habit of hard work and be entrepreneurial.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WORLD

  • IMF kicks against adoption of cryptocurrencies as legal tender

The International Monetary Fund has kicked against the adoption of cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin and ethereum, as legal tenders. In a blogpost titled ‘Crypto assets as national currency? A step too far’, the IMF said it did not see crypto currencies catching on as national currencies, and highlighted numerous risks and costs involved if it happened.

The post was authored by the financial counselor and director of the IMF’s Monetary and Capital Markets Department, Tobias Adrian, and general counsel and director of the IMF’s Legal Department, Rhoda Weeks-Brown. The IMF said, “Bitcoin and its peers have mostly remained on the fringes of finance and payments, yet some countries are actively considering granting crypto assets legal tender status, and even making these a second (or potentially only) national currency.

The IMF added that digital currencies had the potential to provide cheaper and faster payments, enhance financial inclusion, improve resilience and competition among payment providers, and facilitate cross-border transfer but nations need to proceed with caution. The IMF said that macroeconomic instability, reductions in government revenues, and weak monetary policy would be the likely possibilities if nations rush to adopt cryptocurrencies.

  • Peru’s President Sworn In, Vows New Constitution

Pedro Castillo was sworn in as Peru’s fifth president in three years Wednesday on the 200th anniversary of the country’s independence, promising an end to corruption and a new constitution. The 51-year-old rural schoolteacher, who has vowed to upend a quarter century of neo-liberal government, enters the job with a lengthy to-do list: tame the coronavirus epidemic, reactivate a flagging economy and end years of political turmoil.

Wednesday’s swearing-in was attended by Spanish King Felipe VI, five Latin American leaders, former Bolivian president Evo Morales and the United States education secretary, among other guests. Some 10,000 police officers were deployed in the capital Lima, and hundreds of Castillo voters came out waving banners in a show of support.

  • Tunisian President Suspends Parliament, Sacks PM

Tunisian President Kais Saied announced Sunday the suspension of the country’s parliament and the dismissal of Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi following a day of protests against the ruling party. Earlier, thousands of Tunisians had marched in several cities protesting about government failures in the North African nation and crippling coronavirus rates. Tunisia has been overwhelmed by Covid-19 cases, including more than 18,000 people who have died in a country of around 12 million.

“The constitution does not allow for the dissolution of parliament, but it does allow for its work to be suspended,” the president said, citing Article 80 which permits such a measure in case of “imminent danger”. Saied said he would take over executive power “with the help” of a government headed by a new chief appointed by the president himself. He also said that the immunity would be lifted for parliamentary deputies.

  • Tunisia In Political Turmoil As president Dismisses More Officials

Tunisia lurched further into political uncertainty Wednesday, as President Kais Saied sacked more officials, days after he suspended parliament and assumed executive powers in what opponents labelled a “coup”. Key civil society groups warned against any “illegitimate” extension of Saied’s 30-day suspension of parliament, and demanded in a joint statement a timeline for political action.

After suspending parliament and sacking Hichem Mechichi as prime minister on Sunday, dismissing the defense and justice ministers on Monday, Saied then issued orders dismissing a series of top officials. He has also lifted the parliamentary immunity of lawmakers, and assumed judicial powers. Saied says his actions are justified under the constitution, which allows the head of state to take unspecified exceptional measures in the event of an “imminent threat”.

On top of the political turmoil, the North African nation is struggling with a crippling economic crisis including soaring inflation and high unemployment, as well as surging Covid-19 infections. Tunisians are waiting anxiously for clarity on the next political steps. Saied, an austere legal academic who has said he is determined to revolutionise the political system through the law, said he would assume executive power “with the help” of a government whose new chief he would appoint himself.

  • Wikileaks Founder Stripped Of Ecuadorian Citizenship

Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, has been stripped of his Ecuadorian citizenship by a court on Monday. Assange has been incarcerated in HM Prison Belmarsh in London since April 2019 over conspiracy to commit computer intrusion charges which carries a maximum 5-year sentence.

Assange received Ecuadorian citizenship in January 2018 as part of a failed attempt by the government of then-President Lenín Moreno to turn him into a diplomat to get him out of its embassy in London. However, tensions later flared between Quito and Assange. On Monday, the Pichincha court for contentious administrative matters revoked this decision.

  • Egypt Sentences 24 Muslim Brotherhood Members To Death

An Egyptian court on Thursday sentenced 24 Muslim Brotherhood members to death for the killing of police officers in two separate cases, a judicial source said. The Damanhour Criminal Court, north of the capital Cairo, convicted the group of several crimes, including the alleged bombing of a bus transporting police officers in the coastal Beheira governorate in 2015.

The attack killed three policemen and wounded scores of others. The other case, also comprised of Brotherhood members and tried by the same court, was over the killing of a policeman in 2014. Eight of the 24 accused were tried in absentia. Capital punishment for civilian convicts in Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, is carried out by hanging. Earlier this year, Amnesty International slammed Egypt’s “significant spike” in recorded executions, which saw a more than threefold rise to 107 last year, from 32 in 2019.

  • Amnesty Calls For Ban On Surveillance Technology

Allegations that governments used phone malware supplied by an Israeli firm to spy on journalists, activists and heads of state have “exposed a global human rights crisis,” Amnesty International said, asking for a moratorium on the sale and use of surveillance technology. In a Friday statement, the NGO warned of “the devastating impact of the poorly regulated spyware industry on human rights worldwide.”

The NSO Group’s Pegasus software — able to switch on a phone’s camera or microphone and harvest its data — is at the centre of a storm after a list of about 50,000 potential surveillance targets was leaked to rights groups.

“Not only does it expose the risk and harm to those individuals unlawfully targeted, but also the extremely destabilising consequences on global human rights and the security of the digital environment at large,” Agnes Callamard, Amnesty’s Secretary-General, said in the statement. Amnesty called for an immediate moratorium on any export, sale, transfer, and use of surveillance technology “until there is a human rights-compliant regulatory framework in place.”

  • Moise Murder Investigation; Haiti Arrests Top Security Chief

Haitian police have arrested the head of Jovenel Moise’s security team as part of the ongoing investigation into the president’s July 7 assassination. Security chief Jean Laguel Civil is suspected of involvement in the plot that saw Moise killed at his home in the middle of the night by armed commandos who bypassed the president’s guards without firing a shot. Civil has been placed in solitary confinement at a prison in Delmas, near the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Civil’s lawyer, Reynold Georges also confirmed his arrest to newsmen on Monday. He called his client’s arrest politically motivated. It was not immediately clear if Civil had been charged with anything.

  • Suspect in Attempted Murder of Mali President Dies in Custody

A man accused of trying to kill Mali’s military strongman Assimi Goita, the figure behind two coups in less than a year, has died in custody. The suspect, whose identity has not been revealed, was taken into custody following the
assassination attempt at Bamako’s Grand Mosque on Tuesday. According to an AFP news agency reporter at the scene, the man was armed with a knife and lunged at Goita after Eid prayers. Goita was whisked away by his security officials and later appeared on state TV to say he was doing “very well”.

Speaking about the suspect in a statement on Sunday July 25 2021, the government said, “During investigations… his health deteriorated” and he was then hospitalised but “unfortunately, he has died.” The suspect was never presented to judicial authorities, a source requesting anonymity told AFP on Sunday. His identity was not revealed, but Commissioner Sadio Tomoda said late Tuesday that he was a teacher, without elaborating.

 

 

 

 

 

ENTERTAINMENT

  • Scarlett Johansson Sues Disney Over ‘Black Widow’ Streaming Release

Scarlett Johansson is suing Disney over its decision to release superhero movie “Black Widow” on streaming at the same time as in theaters, alleging a breach of contract which cost the star millions of dollars. Johansson, one of Hollywood’s biggest and top-paid stars, was entitled to a percentage of box office receipts from the much-anticipated Marvel film, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday at Los Angeles Superior Court.

The film was originally due for a big-screen release last year, but was delayed multiple times due to the Covid-19 pandemic and was eventually released this month simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+. Box office analysts have cited the film’s streaming debut as a major factor in a lackluster — by Marvel film standards — release for a film that has grossed just over $150 million in domestic theaters in three weeks.

  • Alleged Sexual Assault: Victim Testifies Behind Closed Doors Against Baba Ijesha

The 14-year-old girl who was alleged to have been sexually assaulted by Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James Omiyinka, popularly known as Baba Ijesa has testified at the Lagos State Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja. The alleged victim (name withheld), gave her testimony behind closed doors because of the law protecting minors from undue public exposure.

Before her testimony, the lead defence counsel, Snr Advocate of Nigeria, Babatunde Ogala cross-examined comedian, Princes Ademola Adekanye who testified as to the first prosecution witness. Under cross-examination, Princess told the court that contrary to public perception that the allegation against Baba Ijesha is a set-up, she said she baited him with a “script conference” because she had a plan to confront him. She also denied that she set up her child to be molested by her colleague.

The trial judge, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo has adjourned the matter to August 11 for the continuation of the trial. The actor was arraigned before the court by the Lagos State government on a six-count charge of indecent treatment of a child, defilement of a Child, sexual assault by penetration, attempted sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault.

  • Veteran Highlife Musician Feladey Dies

Veteran highlife musician, Felix Odey, aka Feladey is dead. News of his death was announced in the early hours of Thursday, July 29. The multi-talented musician and producer, who embraced Christ at the latter parts of his life, would be remembered for his outstanding contributions and works in the music industry of which is the popular and original signature song of NTA 2 Channel 5.

* Teni Releases New Single ‘Dorime’

Teni Apkata aka Teni has decided to excite her fans with a new single titled “Dorime.” Era, a new-age music project by French composer Eric Lévi, had released an amazing single titled “Ameno” in 1996. In 2021, the song “Ameno” (Dorime) suddenly became a ‘thing’ especially in Nigeria as it has been used for internet memes on many social media platforms, as well as by a number of Nigerian clubs mostly when there are very expensive drinks requested for by clubbers.

Produced by fast-rising beatmaker Damayo, “Dorime” serves as Teni Makanaki’s first official single for 2021. It is a follow-up to her critically acclaimed debut album, “Wondaland.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPORTS

  • Tokyo Olympics: Ogunbanwon Wins Heat 1 Of Women’s 100m Freestyle

Nigerian Swimming representative, Abiola Ogunbanwon made history at the Tokyo Olympics by winning the heat 1 of Women’s 100m Freestyle. Ogunbanwon bested the rest of the field in 59.74 seconds with Antunovic Andela of Montenegro coming in second in a time of 1:00.01 minutes. The 17-year-old became the first Nigerian woman ever to finish this event in less than one minute.

Despite the historic feat, her winning time fell short of the best 16 times required to progress into the semi-final. Ogunbanwon came on the scene representing Nigeria at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships held in Gwangju, South Korea. She also competed in the women’s 100 metre freestyle and women’s 200 metre freestyle events. In both events, she failed to advance to the semi-finals.

  • Tokyo Olympics: ITTF Inducts Oshonaike Into Exclusive ‘Club 7’

Nigerian table tennis legend Olufunke Oshonaike has been inducted into the exclusive club of seven-time Olympians known as the ‘Club 7’ by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). Oshonaike is the first table tennis player in the world and the first female athlete in Africa to attend seven Olympic Games and has now become the first female to be inducted into the 7th Club.

The induction ceremony took place in Tokyo on Monday and was attended by the President of ITTF Thomas Weikert as well as former inductees – Jörgen Persson of Sweden (1988 to 2012), Zoran Primorac of Croatia and the former Yugoslavia (1988 to 2012), Belgium’s Jean-Michel Saive (1988 to 2012) and Segun Toriola (1992 – 2016).

Only four male table tennis players in the world have been inducted since table tennis became an Olympic sport at Seoul ‘88 Olympic Games in South Korea and Oshonaike increased the number to five being the first female player in the world. Oshonaike joins fellow Nigerian table tennis player Segun Toriola in this elite club. He made his Olympic debut at the Barcelona ‘92 Olympic Games, while Oshonaike made her Olympic Games debut at the Atlanta ‘96 Games in the United States.

  • Doping: CAF Bans Enyimba Captain, Augustine Oladapo For One Year

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has banned the Captain of Enyimba football club, Oladapo Augustine for a year over a doping violation. Announcing the ban via a statement on Monday, CAF said it found the prohibited substance “Prednisolone/Prednisone” in urine collected from Oladapo after the Total CAF Confederation Cup 2020/2021 first leg fixture in Cairo. Prednisone is an anti-inflammatory steroid prescribed to treat conditions such as asthma, COPD, and rheumatologic diseases.

“CAF Disciplinary Board decided to suspend the player Augustine Oladapo from all football-related activities for a period of twelve (12) months from the date of notification of the provisional suspension namely 4th July 2021,” the statement partly read. The ban, according to CAF, commenced from 4th July 2021, the date of notification of the provisional suspension.

  • 10 Nigerian Athletes Barred From 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Ten Nigerian athletes were among 18 competitors from “high-risk” nations who have been barred from the Tokyo Olympics after failing to meet requirements for out-of-competition drug testing, World Athletics’ independent anti-doping arm said Thursday.

The Athletics Integrity Unit said the athletes concerned had failed to comply with rules introduced in 2019 requiring those from countries deemed to be at highest risk of doping — so-called “Category A” nations — to undergo three no-notice out-of-competition tests in a 10-month period leading up to a major event.

A source familiar with the case said the 10 Nigerian athletes did not include star sprinter and medal hope Blessing Okagbare. AIU board chairman David Howman said while those nations placed in Category A had made “significant improvements” with anti-doping efforts, “there remains a long way to go in some circumstances”.

  • Swiss Sprinter Wilson Fails Doping Test, Suspended From Olympics

Swiss sprinter Alex Wilson has been suspended from the Olympic Games after failing a drugs test, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said Wednesday. The 30-year-old Jamaica-born sprinter tested positive for the banned steroid trenbolone in an out-of-competition test on March 15. Wilson had initially challenged the test result, arguing that the drug was contained in contaminated beef he ate at a Jamaican restaurant in the United States.

He was provisionally suspended in March. However, a Swiss Olympic disciplinary panel lifted his suspension in early July. The World Anti-Doping Agency and Athletics Integrity Unit appealed that decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which on Wednesday upheld the initial suspension. Wilson made headlines on July 18 after appearing to clock a blistering 9.84sec for the 100m at a meeting in the United States, but the time has not been ratified amid doubts about its veracity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

METRO PLUS

  • NAPTIP Asks Victims Of Trafficking To Speak Out

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, (NAPTIP), has called on victims of human trafficking to speak out as their voices will ‘lead the way’ in efforts towards ending the scourge. Director-General of NAPTIP, Basheer Garba Muhammed, made the call at an awareness campaign walk with partner organisations to mark this year’s World Day Against Human Trafficking, yesterday in Abuja.

He said it is only when voices of victims of human trafficking count that a more strategic and unified action and approach can be shaped for better results in helping them relieve the trauma they have passed through. While highlighting the importance of the walk and the theme for this year’s celebration, “Victims’ Voices Lead the Way,” Muhammed said victims are not criminals and that their voices must be amplified as a necessary step in tackling the menace and saving others from become victims as well as reduce re-victimisation.

  • NYSC Mourns As Five Camp-Bound Corps Members Die In Crash

Tragedy struck on Wednesday as five prospective members of the National Youth Service Corps lost their lives in a crash on the Abaji-Kwali Expressway in Abuja. The NYSC Director, Press and Public Relations, Adenike Adeyemi, stated this in a terse statement titled, ‘Black Wednesday for NYSC family.’

She said, “It is with deep sense of sorrow that the director-general, management and the entire NYSC family commiserate with the families of five prospective corps members that lost their lives in a ghastly motor accident around 2am today, Wednesday, July 28, 2021, along the Abaji/Kwali Expressway.

“The director-general and management also condole with the governments and people of Akwa-Ibom and Imo states over the tragic incident that has left the NYSC devastated.”

  • Killing Of Prominent Fulani Leader Escalating Banditry In Zamfara – Matawalle

Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has attributed the escalation of banditry and kidnapping in the state to unresolved lingering conflict between herders and farmers by past administrations. Matawalle also inferred that the failure of some states in the Northwest region to enter into dialogue with the bandits has further led to the degeneration of the menace.

Furthermore, the governor identified the killing of a prominent Fulani leader in Dansadau as another factor responsible for the escalation of banditry in the state, saying that followers of the Slainned Fulani leader in Zamfara, Kebbi, and Sokoto states became aggrieved and started attacking perceived killers of their leader to avenge his death. This he said, subsequently led to hostilities between the Fulani and Hausa communities, with each group attacking and killing one another.

  • Heavy Windstorm Kills Two, Destroys 1,500 Houses In Katsina

Heavy windstorm has killed at least two persons and destroyed over 1,500 houses in Bindawa, Faskari, and Sabuwa Local Government Areas of Katsina State. The Public Relations Officer of the State Emergency Management Agency, Umar Mohammed confirmed the situation to Channels Television on Wednesday in a telephone conversation.

He said the incident occurred on Monday affecting three Local Government Areas.
He disclosed that in Bindawa alone, 400 houses were destroyed while in Faskari, over 800 houses were destroyed and 300 others in Sabuwa LGA. He added that plans are on top gear to assist the victims according to their losses.

 



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