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:
- Operation Positive Identification: Court Says Army Has No Powers To Subject Civilians To Such Exercise
The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has upheld a Fundamental Rights Enforcement Suit instituted by human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN)over the planned implementation of the “Operation Positive Identification’. Justice Rilwan Aikawa held that the Nigerian Army has no power under the Constitution to subject civilians to such positive identification. While dismissing the objections of the Attorney General of the Federation and the Nigerian Army, the judge held that the applicant, Femi Falana SAN has the locus standi to have instituted the suit.
The judge also ruled that the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people to liberty and freedom of movement would be breached by the planned positive identification. Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), had filed the Fundamental Rights Enforcement suit on the 25th of October against the planned exercise by the army scheduled to hold from 1 November to 23 December 2019. He listed the Nigerian Army, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, as the respondents to the suit.
- Third Mainland Bridge: We’ll Deploy Over 650 LASTMA Officers To Control Traffic – Sanwo-Olu
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has appealed to residents to be patient and bear with the discomfort that will be experienced from the six-month partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge which begins on Friday (tomorrow). Governor Sanwo-Olu assured Nigerians that the pains will be minimal, noting that over 650 officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA ) will be deployed on the road to control traffic during this period. He stated this on Thursday while receiving the new Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Lagos, Commodore Olusegun Ogungbemide, who paid a courtesy visit at the State House in Marina.
The Governor said the closure of the 11.8km bridge – the busiest in the State – was inevitable, following physical deterioration observed on the structure after an integrity test conducted by the Federal Government. The closure of the bridge, Sanwo-Olu said, will bring about pain, but the development was necessary to prevent a disaster that may result from the total collapse of the infrastructure. He promised that men of LASTMA would constantly be on the road with their Federal counterparts to ensure seamless movement of vehicles during the period.
- MC Oluomo, others inaugurated as Lagos committee on FG’s 774,000 jobs
The Lagos State government, on Thursday, inaugurated the committee to select state beneficiaries of 774,000 jobs scheme initiated by the Federal Government, which had Alhaji Akinsanya Musiliu, A.K.A. MC Oluomo, as member. Speaking at the ceremony on Thursday, Chairman of the committee, Alhaji Mutiu Are, said the scheme would provide jobs for thousands of youths in the state, reduce unemployment and crimes by taking many youths off the streets. According to him, members of the committee would ensure that there was equity in the distribution of the slots to each local government and interest groups in the state.
The Chairman noted that the fund for the scheme would be judiciously spent, saying “beneficiaries would be made to earn their pay,” adding that committee members would not be unduly influenced by outsiders. Also speaking, Alhaji Akinsanya Musiliu, A.K.A. Mc Oluomo, who is also Lagos State Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, commended the Federal Government for initiating the scheme, noting that it would “solve some of the cash challenges of the participants.” Musiliu advised participants to work hard justify their inclusion in the scheme.
- Arotile, Nigeria’s First Female Helicopter Combat Pilot, Laid To Rest In Abuja
The burial of Nigeria’s first female helicopter combat pilot, Tolulope Arotile, has commenced at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja. Arotile, who died on July 14 in Kaduna, is being buried in strict compliance with COVID-19 guidelines, Nigerian Air Force spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, said. She died from severe injuries following a road traffic accident at the NAF base in Kaduna, the Air Force has said.
The driver that hit her was reportedly a former secondary school classmate who, in the process of reversing his car to give her a lift knocked down the deceased. President Muhammadu Buhari and other national leaders paid homage to the young military star after her demise and the Air Force promised she would be buried with full military honours. Eight months before her death, she had been commissioned as Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot.
- Most NDDC Contracts Awarded To National Assembly Members – Akpabio
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, on Monday, said most contracts from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) are awarded to National Assembly members. The Minister made the comment as he was being grilled by members of the House of Representatives committee on NDDC in a public hearing. The Minister had been invited by the lawmakers on Friday to defend his actions as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and shed more light on financial misappropriation within the NDDC.
Akpabio’s comment surfaced as he was responding to a question about NDDC expenditure amid a forensic audit. “We cannot close down the Niger Delta Development Commission because of the fact that we are doing (a) forensic audit,” he said. “The NDDC plays a vital role in ensuring the peace and security of the region and 90 percent or more of the resources of the country come from there. “If you close it down in totality all you will have is chaos. You will have a lot of, not just militancy, you will have a lot of insurrection.
- Gbajabiamila Gives Akpabio 48 Hours To Publish Names Of Lawmakers Awarded Contracts By NDDC
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, gave the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, 48 hours to publish the names of lawmakers who were awarded contracts by Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as well as the details of the contracts. Should the minister fail to publish the names, the speaker said the full the House will employ the full wrath to ensure he does so. The ultimatum came a day after the minister claimed that most of the contracts awarded by the NDDC were awarded to lawmakers.
During a testy appearance before the House Committee on NDDC on Monday, Senator Akpabio claimed that the lawmakers were “the greatest beneficiaries” of NDDC contracts. Asked how the lawmakers benefitted, he said, “I just told you that we have records to show that most of the contracts in the NDDC are given out to members of the National Assembly”. The Speaker who accused Senator Akpabio of pulling the oldest trick in the book with the claims believes the minister owes it the country to publish the names in the interest of transparency.
- Akpabio writes National Assembly, denies saying lawmakers got NDDC contracts
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has replied to the National Assembly denying he said that the lawmakers got 60 per cent of the contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission. The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, who announced the receipt of Akpabio’s response, said the minister claimed to have referred to old contracts awarded by the NDDC which had not been paid for and some of which are part of the constituency projects of the lawmakers.
Gbajabiamila said Akpabio’s response would be referred to the Committee on Ethics and Privileges to look at the merits of the minister’s arguments. The minister’s response came after Gbajabiamila said the lawmakers would sue Akpabio for failing to prove that NDDC awarded contracts to them.
- Nigerian Researcher Wins $234,000 Grant For Virtual Reality Project
A researcher at the Lagos Business School has won a $234,000 grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc. A statement on the website of the school said Dr Eugene Ohu, won the grant to conduct a two-year virtual reality research titled Teaching Children Empathy and Compassion through Virtual Reality Games. The project “will explore the potentials of virtual reality (VR) for character development”, the statement said, adding, that the grant was awarded under TWCF’s Global Innovations for Character Development (GICD) initiative. “It will be an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience where teenagers take the perspectives of ethnic groups different from theirs, to appreciate their identity and share in their sufferings,” Dr Ohu was quoted as saying. “We also hope to train teachers at the study schools on the new VR teaching models, so as to incorporate them into the Civics and Social Studies curriculum of secondary schools.”
According to the statement, Dr Ohu runs a Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Lab at Lagos Business School, where he explores the implications of the immersive, interactive and perspective-taking characteristics of technologies like computers, mobile devices and virtual reality (VR) for character development, learning, behaviour modification, wellbeing, and productivity. Dr Ohu’s project will target an initial group of teenagers, who make up more than 60 percent of Nigeria’s population, and explore perspective-taking capabilities of VR to increase understanding for the identities of others different from ourselves. Other collaborators in the project include Judith Okonkwo, founder of Imisi3D, and Extended Reality creation lab in Yaba, Lagos, and Prof. Karen Schrier, a digital games expert at Marist College, USA.
- Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation Donates $1 Million To Help Fight COVID-19 In Nigeria
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated one million dollars to help in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria. The fund was received on Tuesday by the UN Finance support platform, One UN COVID-19 Response Basket Fund. According to the United Nations Development Programme, it is aimed at supporting the country’s response in the management of the crisis and the realities of post-crisis, particularly in the protection of vulnerable persons. The UNDP Representative in Nigeria, Mohamed Yahya, said in a statement that as a COVID-19 response financing and investment platform, the One UN Response Basket Fund provides a timely opportunity to stand with Nigeria and channel financial contributions toward the COVID-19 multi-sectoral response.
On 6 April 2020, The UN in collaboration with the Government of Nigeria launched the One UN COVID-19 Response Basket Fund. The Basket Fund serves as the One COVID-19 Financing and Investment Platform, through which different stakeholders (including UN, other multilateral and bilateral donors, as well as private sector donors, foundations and philanthropists) can channel their financial support to the multi-sectoral efforts of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Response. The overall management of the One UN COVID-19 Response Basket Fund is led and coordinated by the Project Board. The Project Board has representation from the Presidential Task Force; Federal Ministry of Health, Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), relevant Government departments, fund contributing donors and the UN.
- Killings, Resignation of Soldiers: Sack Service Chiefs Now, Senate Tells Buhari
The Senate has again called on President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency, sack all the Service Chiefs to enable the Upper Chamber to go into the remote and immediate cause of the incessant killings of Soldiers who are protecting the lives and property of the people. The Senate has said that it has become imperative for the Service Chiefs to step down especially against the backdrop of recent action where over 200 Soldiers deserted. The four service chiefs include Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Marshal Ibok- Ete Ibas.
The Senate mandate the joint committees of Army, Navy and Defence, Interior, Airforce to interface with the concerned heads of security agencies. In his presentation, Senator Ndume lamented the high level of casualties among the rank and file of the Military and other Security Agencies where over 21 Soldiers were ambushed in Gamboa in Borno State and also in Katsina.
- Senate Asks Buhari To Present 2021 Budget Before End Of September
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Tuesday, urged the Executive arm of Government to work on the estimates for the 2021 budget to ensure its timely presentation to the National Assembly by the end of September this year. Lawan stated this in his remarks after referring President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2021 – 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper request to the Senate Committees on Finance; and National Planning for further legislative work.
The Senate President while charging both Committees to engage the Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning on the MTEF/FSP request, stressed the need for the panel to lend its support where necessary to Revenue Generating Agencies towards meeting expected revenue targets. The Committees were given four weeks to report back to the Senate. “The request of Mr. President C-in-C is referred to the two committees, Senate Committees on Finance; Budget and National Planning, with Finance as the lead Committee.
- CBN Retains Interest Rate At 12.5%
The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria has retained the monetary policy rate at 12.5 per cent. Governor of the Central Bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele announced this at the end of the MPC�s meeting on Monday. Emefiele explained that other parameters were held constant, leaving the CRR at 27.5% and the liquidity ratio at 30%. He added that the move to tighten will contradict the initiative of expansion of affordable credit to the real sector while increasing MPR at the stage will be counter-intuitive and will result in upward pressure on market rates and cost of production and a further cut will not be realistic
The CBN Governor stated that the earlier loosening to 12.5% in May is yielding positive impact as credit growth increased significantly in the economy and more time needs to be given for the impact to be felt further. According to him, the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew in the first quarter of 2020. Available data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that real Growth Domestic Product (GDP) grew marginally by 1.87 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 compared with the 2.25 per cent and 2.10 per cent in the proceeding and corresponding quarters of 2019, he said. Although the CBN Governor noted that there was a decline in output growth, he, however, attributed the decline to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- CBN boosts economy with N3.3tr credit
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday said it has facilitated a credit of N3.3trillion to the productive sectors of the economy. It has also given intervention funds to businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and endorsed the restructuring of loans. CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele said the loans were granted to manufacturing (N815billion), retail and consumer loan (N615billion), agriculture, forestry and fishery (N255bilion), general commerce (N221billion) and information and communications technology (N208billion) through the implementation of the Loan-to-Deposit Ratio (LDR).
He spoke at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja; CBN, he said, adjusted the LDR to 58.5 per cent by May. The LDR is reviewed quarterly to improve lending to the real sector. It was pegged at 60 per cent in September 2019 following CBN’s directive to all banks to maintain the rate as a minimum LDR.
- We’ve identified plans to generate N18tn revenue – FG
The Federal Government on Thursday said it had identified oil and non-oil initiatives that could help the country generate between N13tn to N18tn and achieve its 15 per cent revenue to Gross Domestic Product target. It also stated that states would need to generate N3.4tn to realise this, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic had brought to the fore the need and urgency to further diversify the sources of government revenue.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative of government inaugurated last year would help the government in achieving this revenue growth target. Ahmed spoke during a webinar that focused on leveraging data to drive inclusive policy, revenue generation and improved governance. She noted that the pandemic and crash in crude oil price had drastically impacted on government’s revenue, but explained that the Federal Government had been adopting several measures to tackle the challenge.
- Nigeria considering GCE as replacement for 2020 WASSCE- Minister
The federal government has said Nigerian students may be asked to sit for the General Certificate Examinations (GCE) holding in November if the country fails to meet up with this year’s timetable for the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). The GCE is a private examination which is only offered in November and the results are available by December. The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, made this known at the bi-weekly Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 meeting on Thursday. The minister explained the shift may become necessary since the WASSCE cannot be rescheduled for any reason.
It also said no Nigerian school will participate in the WASSCE earlier scheduled from August 5 to September 5. The decision was made to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among students who usually gather in large numbers during the yearly examination. Also, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, and Liberia have begun discussions on postponing the WASSCE. However, Mr Nwajuiba said there was already a negotiated timeline to move local language subjects such as Ibo, Yoruba and Hausa as offered in Nigeria, behind from their usual spots as first written subjects.
- UTME: Institutions to begin first and second choice admissions Aug 21
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has directed all tertiary institutions to begin the conduct of the first and second choice admissions from August 21. The board gave the directive in the 2020 admission guidelines released in Abuja by the board Spokesperson, Dr Benjamin Fabian. Dr Fabian, in the guidelines, warned institutions against duplication of forms, adding that they should desist from selling forms for admissions into some listed programmes. He urged institutions to advise candidates to apply for the programmes through its office, saying that all admission exercise must be conducted on the Central Admission Processing System.
All applications for admissions to First Degree, National Diploma, National Innovation Diploma and the Nigeria Certificate in Education into full-time, distance learning, part-time, outreach, sandwich, etc, must be processed only through JAMB. Institutions that desire to place advertisement can do so by advising candidates who applied for the current Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination to change to their institution as first choice rather than requesting the candidates to purchase another application form or apply. This is to prevent the issue of double registration which is a violation of the JAMB mandate, he said.
- Oyo releases school reopening exams timetable
The Oyo State Government has approved the measures that would guide the resumption of schools and associated educational activities in the state. This indication was given at the end of the State Executive Council meeting on Tuesday. According to the calendar, the third term 2019/2020 session has been cancelled. As a result, promotion for all affected classes would be determined by the first and second term continuous assessment results. Primary 6, Junior Secondary School 3 and Senior Secondary School 3 students are to proceed on holiday from July 30 and resume for their examinations in some weeks’ time.
The Basic Education Certificate Examination is billed to hold between August 10 and 18, while the Competitive Entrance Examination into the schools of science is to hold on August 19. Placement and screening test to JSS1 is slated for August 20, while placement test into technical colleges is for August 28. The SSS 3 class will resume for examination as soon as the West African Examination Council announces the examination date. The 2020/21 academic session, according to the calendar indicates that the first term will hold between September 21 and December 18, 2020.
- Recovered vehicles auctioned to Presidential Villa, ministries – Magu
The suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, says some of the vehicles recovered by the EFCC were auctioned to the Presidential Villa, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development as well as the Federal Inland Revenue Services and other agencies. He further stated that some of these agencies had not paid for the vehicles but there was an arrangement that the money would be deducted from their financial allocation. Magu, in a letter addressed to the Justice Ayo Salami-led panel titled, ‘Re: Alleged Case of Conspiracy, Enrichment, Abuse of Public Office and Other Infractions,’ explained how some of the recovered vehicles were auctioned.
The letter was in response to an earlier report by the Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets in which Magu was accused of being unable to account for the interest accrued to N550bn recovered funds as well as recovered vehicles and houses.In his response to the allegations of being unable to account for recovered vehicles, Magu stated, “On allocation of vehicles to some government agencies through special auction with presidential approval. The beneficiary agencies are: the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management of which the valued price is to be debited from their allocation; State House, National Commission for Refugees and Displaced Persons; Federal Inland Revenue Service and National Directorate of Employment.” The suspended EFCC boss said about 450 other vehicles, which had been recovered, had yet to be sold despite receiving presidential approval to do so.
- Binani Air to start soon
The aviation sector is set for a major gain with plans by a reputable firm, Binani Group of Companies, to float a domestic airline. The new carrier, Binani Air, according to aviation sources, has applied to the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for an Operational Licence. Binani Group of Companies was founded by a foremost politician, Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed Binani (Adamawa Central). She has relinquished her stake in the firm as required by the law. Her political associates, supporters and well-wishers from Adamawa State and the Northeast geo-political zone have embraced the big aviation leap by the Binani Group of Companies, which is targeted at boosting the economy of the zone.
It was gathered that the enthusiasm about Binani Air followed the track record of the founder of Binani Group, who is rated as a first class entrepreneur in the Northeast. The Northeast has no registered indigenous carrier, a development which has made the emergence of Binani Air historic. It was learnt that the new airline will form a partnership with globally reliable and efficient airlines in the U.S., the Middle East, Asian and two prominent African carriers. Binani Air will be made up of 80 per cent shareholders’ investment, creating a record of value addition in attracting Foreign Direct Investment into Nigeria.
- Nigerian airports not shut to foreign airlines – NAMA
The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency on Tuesday said the country’s airspace was not shut to international airlines. It said the clarification was necessary as a result of insinuations in certain quarters that Nigerian Airports had been shut to international flights until the middle of October, 2020. “Indeed, such speculations are entirely untrue,” the General Manager, Public Affairs, NAMA, Khalid Emele, said in a statement entitled, “Nigerian airports not shut to foreign airlines.”
The agency stated that following the receipt of an All Operators Letter with reference NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/152 from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NAMA issued an Aeronautical Information Circular. Meanwhile, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said that no date has been fixed for the resumption of foreign airlines into the country.
- COVID-19: Nigeria Paediatricians support continued closure of schools
The Paediatric Association of Nigeria (PAN) on Wednesday pulled her weight behind Federal Government (FG) restraint in reopening schools, especially at basic studies level, saying the action “is worth the wait.” Professor Edward Alikor, President, PAN, in the professional body’s position released in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, said an appraisal of global trends in the hard fight against the pandemic and the negative experiences among nations that have attempted school reopening makes FG’s restraint a wise choice.
PAN noted: “As a professional association that actively seek the well-being of children and ensure that their right to quality health care is protected, we support continued closure of Nigerian schools and urge that the schools remain closed until conditions are safe. The minimum consideration for reopening of schools in Nigeria should be a steady, and consistent decline in spread of COVID-19 in most parts of the country. It is then and only then we believe that other criteria laid down by the Guidelines for Schools and Learning Facilities Reopening after Covid-19 pandemic closures can now be considered.
- India Gives Seven Tonnes Of Hydroxychloroquine To Nigeria – PTF
India has donated seven tonnes of hydroxychloroquine to Nigeria as part of efforts to help the West African combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha who also doubles as the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, said this on Thursday during a briefing by members of the task force. According to him, the Nigerian government is grateful for the help from the India Government as well as other nations and organisations in the country’s fight against COVID-19.
“The PTF wishes to thank friendly nations and corporate organisations for their continuing support through the donation of medicines and equipment,” the SGF said. “In this regard, we thank India for the donation of 7-tons of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of patients,” assuring that “the resources will be judiciously utilized.” Mr Mustapha also expressed hope that as the search for a vaccine for the pandemic continues, there will be equitable distribution, adding that there is ongoing research for a local cure to the virus.
- PDP Asks President Buhari To Resign Over Insecurity, Corruption Scandals
Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari, accusing his administration of failing to tackle insecurity and attempting to sweep allegations of corruption under the carpet. The National Chairman of the Party, Mr Uche Secondus, made the call at a news briefing in the nation’s capital Abuja on Friday. At the briefing, titled Nigeria on a free fall as corruption, insecurity engulfs our nation,’ Mr Secondus said rising insecurity in the country across the country has exposed the poor leadership in the military and ruling class.
He said, “What we are witnessing in our country today is a total collapse of the nation, the country is on a ventilator gasping for air, under such circumstance. President Buhari should do the honourable thing required of an elder statesman in situations like this, throw in the towel and save the country from ruins.”
- Nobody Can Force Me Out Of APC, Says Oshiomhole
Former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole says nobody can force him out of the APC as he remains a loyal and founding member of the party. Mr Oshiomhole mentioned this at a reception organised in his honour by his kinsmen and supporters at his country home in Iyahmo, Etsako-West Local Government Area of Edo State. Oshiomhole said on Sunday that those who were bent on destroying the Edo State chapter of the party, have been smoked out.
The former governor told party faithful and supporters that the party remains more formidable with the absence of those who have been ousted. He said, A few weeks earlier, the snake said APC was his house and that he was not leaving, but less than 72 hours after saying this, he left. If we had burnt the house because the snake was giving us a problem, we will all have been homeless by now. Mr Oshiomhole said he has come home to ensure that Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is returned as governor of Edo State.
- Akeredolu Wins Ondo APC Guber Primary
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has emerged the winner of the Ondo State All Progressives Congress (APC) Guber primary which took place on Monday. Akeredolu polled 2458 votes to defeat other nine aspirants in the election. Two aspirants, IfeOluwa Oyedele and Olusegun Abraham had earlier stepped down for Akeredolu in the election. The chairman of the election, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state announced the result after voting, sorting and counting of the votes.
In his acceptance speech, Governor Akeredolu thanked the Chairman and the committee members for conducting the election in a free and fair manner. He also appreciates President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Leader of the party, Bola Tinubu and other leaders of the APC for their support. The Governor also commends the state leadership of APC as well as all the delegates. Akeredolu expressed assurance that come October, 10th 2020, APC will carry the day.
- APC, PDP trade words over recruitment of thugs, cultists in Edo
The Edo State chapters of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, were at each other’s jugular on Monday over Governor Godwin Obaseki’s alleged recruitment of thugs and cultists for the September 19 poll. Publicity Secretary of the APC, Chris Azebamwan, accused the governor of appointing thugs and cultists into his government as special assistants and senior special assistants to be deployed to cause mayhem during the governorship election. However, Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chris Nehikhare, said in its desperation the APC was trying to bully the good people of the state because “it is common knowledge that the APC is the party that is populated by known thugs and brigands in the many factions that exist within it.”
Addressing a press conference in Benin City, Azebamwan alleged: “Abusing state powers, and behaving in a manner already seen since his unfortunate emergence in 2016, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has begun massive recruitment of thugs and criminals, but this time, officially into government. He disguises these appointments as legitimate, in the guise of senior special assistants and special assistants. Countering, Nehikhare said: “To reconcile APC thinking that Edo State Government is giving out appointments to thugs and cultists to disrupt the elections when Edo people now call and hail the governor as the Thug and Godfather Slayer, is an obvious display of its desperation to try to bully the good people of our state. “Governor Obaseki’s fight from the day he took over power was the conscious demobilization of thugs, cultist and their sponsors. This led to the protracted battle of wits that birthed the sacking of their national chairman, fragmentation of the party into small bits and the Governor leaving the prostrate party to the comfort of The Umbrella.” “We understand the frustration involved in trying to put together a scattered broom but that is not an excuse to tell tall tales and fallacies.’’
- Eyitayo Jegede Wins Ondo PDP Primary
Eyitayo Jegede has emerged as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s flag bearer for the Ondo State governorship election which is expected to take place on October 10. Jegede was on Thursday announced as the winner after the delegates cast their votes at the party’s primary which held at the International Culture and Events Center, the dome in Akure, the state capital. He polled 888 votes to defeat his closest rival and incumbent Deputy Governor of the state, Agboola Ajayi who garnered 657 votes and other seven aspirants.
The other aspirants include Eddy Olafeso who polled 175 votes, Banji Okunomo who polled 90 votes, Olabode Ayorinde who polled 95 votes and Boluwaji Kunlere who polled 33 votes. While Olusola Ebiseeni and Godday Erewa polled 29 and 14 votes respectively, the total number of invalid votes stands at 64. After gathering the highest number of votes in the indirect mode adopted by the party, Chairman of the PDP Primary Election Committee and Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi declared Jegede the winner of the exercise.
- China Orders Closure Of US Consulate In Chengdu
China on Friday ordered the US consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu to close in retaliation for one of its missions in the United States being shuttered, capping a furious week of Cold War-style diplomacy. The announcement of the closure followed a torrent of warnings from top American officials about the “tyranny” of China, and Chinese nationals being indicted in the United States on various charges. Ordering the Chengdu consulate to cease operation was a “legitimate and necessary response to the unreasonable measures by the United States”, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
“The current situation in China-US relations is not what China desires to see, and the US is responsible for all this.” The ministry emphasised the closure was directly in response to the United States on Tuesday ordering the Chinese consulate in Houston to shut down. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this week the Houston mission was a “hub of spying and intellectual property theft”. Republican Senator Marco Rubio called the consulate the “central node of the Communist Party’s vast network of spies and influence operations in the United States”.
- Former Tanzanian President Mkapa Dies Aged 81
Former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa has died age 81 in a Dar es Salaam hospital, the government announced Friday. He was the country’s third president after independence from Britain in 1962 and ruled from 1995 to 2005. “I’m saddened by the death of the third president of Tanzania and that is a big loss for us as a country. Let’s pray for him and more information will follow later,” said President John Magufuli in a short televised speech. He did not reveal the cause of death.
He earned a degree in English in Uganda and later worked as a journalist before being appointed the press secretary for the country’s first president Julius Nyerere. He held several cabinet posts, such as foreign minister and information minister and also served as ambassador to the United States before he was elected president. Tanzania will hold a period of seven days of mourning, during which the national flag will be flown at half mast.
- Sudan To Prosecute Ex-President, al-Bashir, For 1989 Coup
Sudan’s former autocratic president Omar al-Bashir, ousted amid a popular pro-democracy uprising last year, faces trial from Tuesday over the military coup that brought him to power more than three decades ago. Bashir, 76, who is already behind bars for corruption, could face the death penalty if convicted over his 1989 coup against the democratically elected government of prime minister Sadek al-Mahdi. The Khartoum trial starting at 0800 GMT against him and 16 co-accused comes as Sudan’s post-revolution transitional government has launched a series of reforms in hopes of fully rejoining the international community.
Sudan has also pledged to hand over Bashir to the International Criminal Court to face trial on war crimes and genocide charges related to the Darfur conflict, which left 300,000 people dead and millions displaced in a scorched earth campaign against a 2003 insurgency. It is the first time in the modern history of the Arab world that the architect of a coup goes on trial, although the man dubbed the true brain behind the military overthrow, Hassan Turabi of the National Islamic Front, died in 2016.
- Kanye West’s Presidential Run: Real Or For Show?
US rapper Kanye West’s chaotic launch of his unlikely campaign to oust Donald Trump in November’s presidential election has sparked anger, concern for his mental health and questions about whether he is seriously running. Wearing a bullet-proof jacket marked “security,” West broke down in tears during a rambling speech in Charleston, South Carolina on Sunday that was supposed to kickstart his White House bid. Instead, controversial comments about renowned American abolitionist Harriet Tubman enraged attendees, provoked scorn online and left political analysts scratching their heads about the mercurial musician’s true intentions.
For Jeffrey McCune, who teaches a course on West at Washington University in St. Louis, the topsy-turvy nature of the event was typical of the hip-hop star. “All things Kanye are impulsive. I have never been a fan of ‘throw-your-towel-in’ political entries. However, this is Kanye’s brand completely,” he told AFP. With “2020” shaved onto his head, West veered between several subjects during the hour-long rant, including claiming that he had wanted his wife, Kim Kardashian, to get an abortion. But it was his comment that “Harriet Tubman never actually freed the slaves, she just had the slaves go work for other white people,” that grabbed most headlines. West “has lost his mind,” tweeted historian Kate Clifford Larson, author of “Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero.” “HARRIET TUBMAN FREED enslaved people. You, Mr West are a jerk and not worthy of uttering Tubman’s name. You have not freed anyone,” Larson wrote.
- China Warns Students In US To ‘Be On Guard’ Over ‘Arbitrary Interrogations’
China on Wednesday urged its citizens studying in the United States to “be on guard” for arbitrary interrogations and detention, hours after Washington ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston. “Recently, US law enforcement agencies have stepped up arbitrary interrogations, harassment, confiscation of personal belongings and detention targeting Chinese international students in the US,” said a social media statement by the foreign ministry.
- Napoli finally agree €60m for Victor Osimhen
Napoli have agreed an initial €60m fee with Lille for Victor Osimhen, with the Nigeria striker set to sign a five-year contract and join the Serie A side in the most expensive transfer deal of the summer so far,reports The Guardian of London. The 21-year-old scored 18 goals in all competitions for Lille before the French season ended prematurely owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and has been linked with several English clubs including Manchester United and Liverpool.
But Osimhen, who changed agent last week, looks set to move to Napoli after negotiations between the clubs were completed on Thursday. It is understood the fee could rise to €81m after a number of performance-related add-ons – €1m more than the African record transfer fee Arsenal paid Lille for the Ivory Coast international Nicolas Pépé last summer. There is also an option to extend Osimhen’s contract by a further year.
- Bolivian Football Federation President Dies After Contracting COVID-19
The president of the Bolivian Football Federation (FBF), Cesar Salinas, died Sunday after being hospitalized with COVID-19 earlier this month, officials said. The federation confirmed his death in a statement that highlighted his dedication and commitment to national and international football. Salinas, 58, had chaired the FBF since 2018.
He was a director of The Strongest in La Paz, a century-old Bolivian soccer institution. His wife, head of the same club, also tested positive for COVID-19. My condolences to the family and friends of Cesar Salinas, president of the Bolivian Football Federation. They have all my support in these hard times, wrote the interim president of Bolivia, Jeanine Anez, on Twitter. The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said: Conmebol and the South American soccer family deeply regret the death.
- Cristiano Ronaldo Puts Juve On Brink Of Ninth Straight Serie A Title
Cristiano Ronaldo put Juventus on the brink of a ninth consecutive Italian league title on Monday after he scored twice in a 2-1 win over Lazio to become the first player to hit 50 goals in Serie A, La Liga and the Premier League. Juventus ended a three-match winless run thanks to Ronaldo’s second-half brace that moves them eight points clear of second-placed Inter Milan with four games remaining. Maurizio Sarri’s side could win the title on Thursday against lowly Udinese, or on Sunday at home against Sampdoria, depending on their rivals’ results this week.
“We are missing four points, only after we have achieved them will we then be able to think about the goal achieved,” said Sarri. “All the games are difficult now, and in the space of six days, we play three games. So, we must stay focused and think about securing the missing points.” Sarri added: “Cristiano is an impressive player because he has the extraordinary ability to complete a quick recovery between games.
- Tyson To Come Out Of Retirement In Fight Against Roy Jones
Mike Tyson, the former world heavyweight champion who retired in 2005, said Thursday he will make a comeback at age 54, fighting Roy Jones Jr. on September 12 in Los Angeles. On his Legends Only League website, Tyson announced the eight-round exhibition bout against Jones, a 51-year-old fighter who briefly held the heavyweight title and has fought consistently into his 50s. “It’s just going to be amazing,” Tyson said on a video call on ESPN.
Tyson shrugged off any notion of danger for serious injury for himself or Jones, saying that California rules will require they both wear headgear for the fight. “We’re both accomplished fighters,” Tyson said. “We know how to protect ourselves. We’ll be alright.”. Tyson finished 50-6 with 44 knockouts while Jones, who last fought in February 2018, is 66-9 with 47 knockouts. Tyson vowed it would be competitive rather than for show — “we’re showing our skills and fighting” — and said he wants to recapture the fearsome form he once displayed.
- Serena Williams to launch women’s football in Los Angeles
There’s a huge group of super-powerful women teaming up to bring pro women’s soccer to Los Angeles by 2022, including Natalie Portman, Serena Williams, Eva Longoria and more. The group is calling itself Angel City and they’re working with the National Women’s Soccer League to establish the city’s first pro team.
The NWSL is the women’s version of the MLS but they only have 9 teams throughout the country in cities like Portland, Orlando, Tacoma, etc. But, the Angel City group claims there’s heavy fan demand in Los Angeles and they’re rallying together to get a team here, stat. The lead investors are Portman, technology mogul Kara Nortman, gaming entrepreneur Julie Uhrman, and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. Ohanian is married to Serena Williams who is part of a smaller investment group affiliated with the team which includes a TON of other big names.
- Rangers FC Present N20m Insurance Benefit To Late Ifeanyi George’s Family
Rangers FC have presented an insurance benefit worth N20m to the family of their late player, Ifeanyi George. The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) side made the presentation on Tuesday to Sunday George, a brother to the late footballer. While thanking the management of the club for the gesture, Sunday described it as novel, expressing hope that it will inspire other clubs to follow the same path.
“This has never happened before in Nigerian football,” Sunday George said. “But Ifeanyi has sacrificed himself for this; I definitely know this is going to be a stepping stone for other clubs to take a step.” Ifeanyi George and Emmanuel Ogbu died on Sunday, March 22nd in a motor accident while travelling to Lagos State.
- Taylor Swift Announces Surprise New Album
Pop icon, Taylor Swift, delighted fans by announcing on social media that she would release a surprise new album at midnight on Thursday. Swift tweeted that “Folklore,” her eighth studio album, would comprise 16 songs that “I’ve poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings into”. “Most of the things I had planned this summer didn’t end up happening, but there is something I hadn’t planned on that DID happen,” said the 30 year-old.
“Before this year, I probably would’ve overthought when to release this music at the ‘perfect’ time, but the times we’re living in keep reminding me that nothing is guaranteed. “My gut is telling me that if you make something you love, you should just put it out into the world. That’s the side of uncertainty I can get on board with,” added the singer-songwriter. Swift hasn’t released any tracks yet from the album, in which she collaborates with indie folk group Bon Iver and Aaron Dessner of rock band The National.
Dessner co-wrote or produced eleven of the songs on “Folklore,” Swift said.
- I Almost Killed My Daughter, Kanye West Reveals At Chaotic Opening Of Presidential Bid
US rapper Kanye West broke down in tears on Sunday at the chaotic launch of his unlikely campaign to oust Donald Trump as president in November elections. Wearing a bullet-proof jacket marked security, West gave a rambling speech in which he claimed he had wanted his wife, Kim Kardashian, to get an abortion and that renowned American abolitionist Harriet Tubman never actually freed the slaves. West told the event in Charleston, South Carolina, how he had wanted his wife to get an abortion when she was pregnant with North, their oldest daughter. He then revealed his father also had wanted to abort him.
My dad wanted to abort me. My mom saved my life. There would’ve been no Kanye West because my dad was too busy, West said, bursting into tears. He later shouted, I almost killed my daughter! I almost killed my daughter! At another point during his speech, he said, Harriet Tubman never actually freed the slaves, she just had the slaves go work for other white people. West’s speech, clips of which went viral on social media, provoked confusion, anger, and concern for the musician’s mental health.
The event was for registered guests only, and all attendees were required to sign a COVID-19 liability release form as well as wear masks and practice social distancing, US media reported.
- U.S. court dismisses fraud case against Woodberry
A United States court has dismissed the case against Olalekan Ponle, a Nigerian accused of multi-million dollar wire fraud. Mr Ponle, popularly known as Woodberry, was arrested, alongside Ramon Abbas (Hushpuppi) in the United Arab Emirate on June 10 for multiple fraud charges after a raid by operatives of the Dubai crime unit. The duo were extradited to the U.S. on July 2.
According to the complaint against Mr Ponle, an unnamed Chicago company was tricked into sending wire transfers totalling $15.2 million. Companies based in Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, New York and California also were victims of the fraud, prosecutors say. The United States government on Monday filed a motion through its attorney, John R. Lausch, requesting that the case against Mr Ponle should be dismissed without prejudice. A court order issued by Judge Robert W. Gettleman on Tuesday, said the government’s motion to dismiss complaint without prejudice was granted.
- Heard Accuses Depp: I Was Afraid He Was Going To Kill Me
Amber Heard on Monday claimed that her ex-husband Johnny Depp threatened to kill her on a number of occasions, as she took the stand in his high-profile London libel action. The 34-year-old actress accused the Pirates of the Caribbean star, 56, of being manipulative, controlling and intimidating in their two-year marriage, which ended in 2017. As the case entered its third week, she said he subjected her to verbal and physical abuse, including screaming, swearing, threats, punches, slaps, kicks, head-butts and choking.
Some incidents were so severe that I was afraid he was going to kill me, either intentionally or just by losing control and going too far, she said in a witness statement. He explicitly threatened to kill me many times, especially later in our relationship. Heard, who first met Depp on the set of the 2011 film “The Rum Diary”, said the actor blamed his actions on a self-created third party he sometimes named “the monster”. But he never took responsibility for his actions, seeing himself as the victim, and surrounding himself with enablers who excused or did not challenge his behaviour, she alleged. Depp is suing the publishers of British tabloid The Sun, News Group Newspapers (NGN) and the author of a 2018 article that labelled him a wife beater at the High Court in London.
- Police probe sexual harassment of female suspect in viral video
The Nigeria Police Force says it has commenced an investigation into a video trending on social media showing policemen interrogating a 25-year-old female suspect and asking her embarrassing questions about her sex life. The police said this in a series of tweets on Wednesday. The tweets read in part, “The Inspector General of Police has ordered discreet investigations into the circumstances surrounding the dehumanising treatment meted out to a female citizen in the above viral video.
“The IGP, while condemning the act, has directed the commencement of comprehensive investigations aimed at unravelling the true identity of the perpetrators with a view to bringing them to justice. “Members of the public are hereby assured that any member of the Force found culpable in the incident will be made to face appropriate sanctions.”
- Viral Video: Police Arrest Three Officers, One Other For ‘Dehumanising’ Woman
The Nigeria Police Force has identified three police officers and one civilian accomplice who participated in the unprofessional act of ‘dehumanising’ a female citizen as shown in a viral video on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. The Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Abuja, Dcp Frank Mba disclosed this in a statement on Thursday. According to the statement, they are currently being detained at the Lagos State CID detention facility, Panti, Yaba. “Two suspects, ASP Tijani Olatunji and Inspector Gboyega Oyeniyi have been arrested for their role in the discreditable conduct and incivility to a member of the public,” the statement read.
“Preliminary investigations show that the policemen who are attached to Area ‘A’ Command, Lion Building, Lagos, were on legitimate investigation activities to Ibadan, Oyo State where the incident took place. “Effort is being intensified to arrest the two other accomplices. Meanwhile, appropriate disciplinary procedures will be initiated as soon as investigations are concluded,” the statement added.
- Suspected Boko Haram Fighters Execute Five Aid Workers In Borno
A video has surfaced online showing the execution of five persons by masked men in military camouflage, suspected to be Boko Haram fighters. A voice was heard speaking in Hausa before the execution, saying that the five persons were working for infidels. “Those of you that are being used by infidels to turn others to infidels, know this today oh, you who work for infidel groups, you satisfy their aims but they do not care about you and that is why when we catch you they do not show concern. Our call to you is to repent and follow Allah; we shall waylay you in all the roads that you follow and if you don’t listen, the fate of these ones will befall you,” the voice said.
The execution immediately followed his speech at the cue of another voice that said “bisimillah.” The slain persons are believed to be aid workers captured during a raid in Monguno Local Government of Borno State on June 13, 2020. They include staff of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency, Action Against Hunger, Rich International, International Rescue Committee and a security guard.
- Nigerian entrepreneur commits suicide over rape accusation in US
A creative designer and founder of Uhuru Designz, a United States of America-based clothing company, Izuchukwu Madubueze (simply known as Izu), has taken his own life over an allegation of sexual assault. Izu, who resided in Tampa, Florida, reportedly moved to the US some years ago. While his Lagos-based friend, Nelson Greyhood, confirmed the suicide to reporters, efforts to speak to his family members proved abortive. Thousands of Nigerians on Twitter also called for justice for the victim, with the hashtag #JusticeforIZU, trending for hours. Newsmen further gathered that a Twitter influencer and female rights activist, Nanichi Anese, added Izu’s name to a list of sexual offenders on the social media late June 2020. She claimed to have received information from some anonymous ladies, who alleged that the victim sexually assaulted them.
Izu, who was contacted by friends, who saw the post, reached out to Anese, demanding the identities of his accusers. However, Anese allegedly declined the request, saying she had sworn to protect the ladies. After failed efforts to clear his name, the victim was said to have taken his own life. Izu announced his own death on Twitter using Crowdfire App, an application which allows users to schedule their posts. “Oh and if you’re reading this, I’m dead lol,” he wrote on July 17, 2020. As reactions trickled in, his accuser, Anese @nanichianese, claimed she had spoken to him and they had apologised to each other. When the criticisms increased, she deactivated her Twitter account. However, before deactivating the account, Anese said her intentions were noble.
- 11 Persons Killed in Another Kaduna Attack
At least 11 people have been reported killed by gunmen in another attack in Gora Gan Village of Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The latest attack comes barely 24 hours after 21 people were killed by bandits at Kukum Daji village in neighbouring Kaura Local Government Area. Police authorities have yet to confirm the latest attack, but the Chairman of Zango Kataf Local government Area, Ezekiel Manzah told newsmen that the attack happened on Monday evening.
The attack was carried out by gunmen suspected to be members of a Fulani militia. Manzah said 11 bodies have been recovered while several others are still missing. The council chairman is worried that the gunmen stormed the village despite a curfew imposed by the Kaduna State government. Only last week, 24 people were killed by bandits in what seemed like coordinated attacks in three communities of Zango Kataf Local Government Area.
- 38-year-old man bags 12 years imprisonment for human trafficking
The Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State, Tuesday, sentenced a 38-year-old man, Mr Samuel Ufor Papa to 12 years imprisonment for human trafficking. Sentencing the convict who was charged on three-count amended charges of facilitating the trafficking of 20-year-old Miss Cynthia Ude to Mali, the Presiding Judge, Justice Toyin Adegoke said the prosecution proved its case beyond all reasonable doubt on count one which borders on facilitating the travelling out from Nigeria of a female victim. Adegoke also found the convict guilty of count 2 bordering on facilitating foreign travel which promotes prostitution.
Pleading for leniency for the convict who broke down in tears following his conviction, the Defence counsel, O.S Odenigbo, said the convict was a first offender, adding that the convict had not seen his pregnant wife who had given birth since 2017 when he was incarcerated. He held that the convict’s family were exposed to hardship and difficulty as a result of his incarceration.