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Showing posts from 2020

Presidency Alerts Public to Smear Campaign Against Buhari

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The Presidency has alerted the public to a smear campaign in the works against Mr President and his office by disgruntled political elements in the country. Mr Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, stated this in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday. Without any evidence, he said the disgruntled elements had been shopping for pliant online media that would serve as accomplices in their nefarious act. According to him, the game plan is to launch orchestrated campaign of calumny in the days ahead, in which the president will be portrayed as not being in charge of the country. He said already this narrative had started from a procured offshore medium by the instigators. He said: “Money and other attractive inducements are being dangled before the online media, and some of them are already complicit, cooking up stories with jejune (simplistic) and unsubstantiated allegations, all to sow seeds of discord and discontent in the country. “Nigerians are urged to be

CAF Champions League: Enyimba Thrashed 0-3 in Sudan

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Nigeria's remaining representative in the CAF Champions league, Enyimba International of Aba, slumped to a 0-3 loss to Al-Mereikh of Sudan this evening in Omdurman to further add salt to injury as it regards the continued woeful performance of Nigerian club sides in the continent. The massive scoreline means Enyimba will need to score four unreplied goals in the return leg in Aba next year, to be able to make it to the money spinning group stage of the Champions league.

Breaking: ASUU Suspends Nine Month Strike

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), a union of university lecturers in Nigeria, has suspended its nine month old insustrial action. The union announced the suspension of the strike at a press conference held Wednesday morning in Abuja. ASUU President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, who led other National Executive Committee of the union to the event where he made the announcement, explained that the suspension takes effect from today, Wednesday 23, 2020. The decision to suspend the action, according to Ogunyemi, followed the resolution to that effect by NEC at its meeting held earlier.

DSS Rings Alarm Bell on Plot to Attack Public Spaces During the Yuletide

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     The Department of State Services (DSS) has informed the public about what it describes as plans by some criminal elements to carry out violent attacks on public places including key and vulnerable points during the yuletide seasons.  It said the planned dastardly acts are to be executed through the use of explosives, suicide bombing and other dangerous weapons.   An objective which it said is to create a general sense of fear among the people and subsequently undermine the Government. A statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of DSS Peter Afunanya said: ''Against this backdrop, citizens are called upon to be extra vigilant and report strange movements and indeed, all suspicions around them to security and law enforcement agencies.   ''On its part, the Service is collaborating with other sister agencies to ensure that adequate measures are put in place for protection of lives and property. ''To further achieve this purpose, the Service h

Nigeria is at Risk of Becoming a Failed State - Financial Times

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More than 300 Nigerian schoolboys were reunited with their families last weekend, days after they had been abducted by kidnappers from their dormitory in the country’s north-west. The kidnapping revived memories of the 276 Chibok schoolgirls abducted in Borno state in 2014. Just as then, Boko Haram, the militant Islamist group, claimed responsibility.  The government insists no ransom was paid. Scepticism is warranted. In a country going backwards economically, carjacking, kidnapping and banditry are among Nigeria’s rare growth industries. Just as the boys were going home, Nigerian pirates abducted six Ukrainian sailors off the coast.  The definition of a failed state is one where the government is no longer in control. By this yardstick, Africa’s most populous country is teetering on the brink. President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 pronounced Boko Haram “technically defeated”. That has proved fanciful. Boko Haram has remained an ever-present threat. If the latest kidnapping t

Former Education Minister Jerry Agada is Dead

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Former Minister of State for Education and one time national president of the Association of Nigeria Authors,  Prof. Jerry Agada is dead. Agada was said to have died on Tuesday at the Federal Medical Center, Makurdi. Unconfirmed report by Punch newspaper said Agada might have died as a result of complications from COVID-19. He was said to have been admitted at the FMC for a week before he was transferred to the isolation centre at th Federal Medical Center, Apir, Makurdi where he died around 8am on Tuesday. The paper quotes the source as saying, “He was taken to the isolation centre where he died after the results of the tests conducted on him came.

National Assembly Passes N13.58trn Budget for 2021

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***Adjourns plenary till 26th January, 2021 The National Assembly, during an emergency session convened on Monday, passed a N13.58 trillion budget for the 2021 fiscal year. The passage of the budget in the Senate was sequel to the consideration of a report by the Committee on Appropriations on the 2021 Appropriations bill.   In his presentation, Chairman of the Committee, Jibrin Barau (APC – Kano North), while giving highlights of the bill, said out of the total sum of N13,588,027,886,175 for the fiscal year 2021, N496,528,471,273 is for Statutory transfers; N3,324,380,000,000 is for Debt Service; N5,641,970,060,680 is for Recurrent Expenditure; and N4,125,149,354,222 for Capital Expenditure.  According to the lawmaker, the 2021 budget is predicated on the parameters approved by the National Assembly when it considered the Medium Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper last week Thursday.  Benchmark Price of Crude Oil was fixed at $40USD Per Barrel; Crude Oil Produ

Federal Government Extends Deadline for SIM Card and NIN Integration

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The Federal Government has extended the deadline for the provision of National Identification Number by telecommunication service subscribers. This was contained in a statement on Monday by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. The statement titled, ‘Extension of Registration Period and Cancellation of USSD and Verification Fees’, was jointly signed by the Executive Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Umar Danbatta; and Director-General, National Identity Management Commission, Aliyu Aziz. It read, “The National Task Force on National Identification Number and SIM Registration met today, 21st December, 2020. “The meeting was chaired by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami with major stakeholders in the sector including Chairman – NCC, EVC-NCC, DG-NITDA, DG-NIMC, ECTS/ECSM-NCC, Chairman ALTON, CEOs of MTN, Airtel, Ntel, Glo, Smile, and 9Moble in attendance. “Based on the endorsement of the Fe

President Elect Biden Receives Covid-19 Vaccine On Live TV

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President-elect Joe Biden has received his first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, saying he was getting the jab to show Americans it is "safe to take". Mr Biden joins a growing number of political leaders getting the jab, including Vice-President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. On Sunday, the roll-out began for a second vaccine, by Moderna, which was approved last week. More than 500,000 Americans are said to have now been vaccinated. BBC

Presidency Insists Army Rescued 344 Katsina School Boys

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The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Sunday, confirmed the involvement of men of the Nigerian Army in the rescue of the students abducted from their school in Kankara, Katsina State. Shehu made the confirmation in an opinion article titled “Five takeaways from the safe return of 344 Kankara schoolboys.” The defence headquarters had earlier said the troops of ’Operation Hadarin Daji successfully rescued the abducted students. That position was contrary to the statement of the Katsina State Governor, Bello Masari, who said the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association played a major role in the release of the schoolboys. But Shehu confirmed the involvement of the military in the rescue mission. He said under enormous pressure from local and international sources, those charged with coordinating the boys’ safe return stayed focused and they eventually got the job done. He said, “Our security forces often do not get the a

80 Abducted Kastina Students Rescued —Police

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The police in Katsina on Sunday confirmed the abduction of another set of 80 students from an Islamiya school in the state on Saturday night. The police, however, said all the 80 students and another four victims have been rescued by security operatives. It was learnt that the 80 students were returning from an Islamic occasion when they ran into the bandits, who had earlier kidnapped the four victims and rustled some cows. Following distress calls, security operatives were said to overpower the bandits, leading to the rescue of the students and the four victims. According to the police, there was no casualty during the gun duel. The spokesman for the Katsina Police Command, Gambo Isah, confirmed the incident, adding that investigation had commenced. ‌Isah, in a statement on Sunday, said, “On 19/12/2020 at about 2200hrs, a distress call was received by DPO Dandume, that some Islamiyya Students of Hizburrahim Islamiyya, Mahuta village, Dandume LGA of Katsina state, num

WHO in Close Contact With the UK Over New Variant of Covid-19

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has said it is in "close contact" with UK officials over the emergence of a new variant of coronavirus. The new variant is spreading more rapidly than the original version, but is not believed to be more deadly. Large parts of south-east England, including London, are now under a new, stricter level of restrictions in a bid to curb the rapidly spreading virus. There is no evidence to suggest the new variant reacts differently to vaccines. On Sunday, the Netherlands introduced a ban on passenger flights from the UK because of the new variant. The ban will remain in place until 1 January, the Dutch government said. The move comes after sampling of a case in the Netherlands earlier this month revealed the same new variant of coronavirus as that found in the UK. Pending "greater clarity" on the situation in the UK, it said "the risk of the new virus strain being introduced to the Netherlands should be minimised as muc

VIDEO: Steve Rosenberg of the BBC Takes on Russian President Vladmir Putin At a Press Conference

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Breaking: Abducted Katsina Students Released

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Students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State, kidnapped last Friday have been freed, according to the state government. The Special Adviser to the Katsina Governor on Security, Ibrahim Kastina, confirmed the release of the students to Punch newspaper . He said the students were freed on Thursday at Tsafe (82.5km via road) from Kankara town in Katsina State where they were abducted. Earlier on Wednesday, Governor Bello Masari of Katsina said the abducted students were taken to a forest in Zamfara State. He, however, refuted the allegation that the students were kidnapped by Boko Haram.

Senate Passes 2021-2023 MTEF/FSP

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***Pegs Oil Benchmark at $40 per barrel, Exchange Rate at N379/1US$ The Senate, shortly before it adjourned plenary on Thursday, passed the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).   The passage of the document was sequel to the consideration of a harmonized conference report of the Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Representatives. In his presentation, Chairman of the Committee on Finance, Senator Olamilekan Solomon Adeola (APC – Lagos West), said the Conference Report of the Senate and House of Representatives was a harmonized position of both chambers upon examination of the differences contained in the 2021-2023 MTEF/FSP document.  According to the lawmaker, the Joint Committee of the two chambers after due deliberations gave the following recommendations: that Daily crude oil production be pegged at 1.86mbpd; Benchmark oil price at US$40 per barrel; Exchange rate at N379 to $1USD; Gross Domestic Growth (GDP) rate at 3

French President Macron Tests Positive for Covid-19

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French President Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for Covid-19, forcing several European leaders to self isolate after coming into contact with him. The 42-year-old president was tested after developing symptoms and will now self-isolate for seven days, the Elysée Palace said in a statement. He "is still in charge" of running the country and will work remotely. European Council chief Charles Michel and Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez are among the leaders having to self-isolate. France this week ended a six-week national lockdown, replacing the measure with a curfew to help deal with soaring cases. There have been nearly 2.5 million confirmed cases in the country since the epidemic began, with more than 59,400 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. France plans to start rolling out its coronavirus vaccination programme from 27 December. BBC

Physically Challenged Persons Storm National Assembly, Lament Neglect

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A group of physically challenged persons from the Niger Delta on Thursday stormed the premises of the National Assembly protesting against what they described as neglect by their representatives.  The aggrieved protesters who were scantily dressed forced themselves inside the complex despite resistance by security operatives at the National Assembly gate. Deputy Whip of the senate, Aliyu Sabi, who led other lawmakers to meet with the protesters appealed for calm, assuring that their grievances will be addressed. While asking the aggrieved protesters to delegate a five-man team to meet the National Assembly leaders, Sabi assured them that their demands will be accommodated in the 2021 budget. The spokesperson of the group, Amos Etim, said they arrived at the National Assembly from the various states of Niger Delta to demand their rights from their representatives. He claimed that they were being denied their rights despite being educated.

Finally, Senate President Swears in Stephen Odey

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President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Wednesday swore in Stephen Odey as Senator representing Cross River North Senatorial District in the National Assembly. The oath of office was administered at exactly 11:45am by the Clerk of Senate, Dauda Ibrahim El-Ladan, immediately after the Senate rose from a closed session to commence plenary. With Odey sworn in, the number of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Senators now stands at 46, while the All Progressives Congress, APC, retains majority status with 63 members. Recall Odey’s swearing in was put on hold on Tuesday following a court order by the Federal High Court stopping same.  In a suit NO: FCT/HC/BW/M/633/2020 and before Justice OA Musa of the High Court of FCT in Abuja Judicial Division, member representing Ogoja/Yala federal Constituency, Jarigbe Agom Jarighe, through his counsel Everestus U Chinedum, Esq, had prayed the court for an order of interim injunction restraining INEC from issuing a certificate of return or sw

Senate to Pass 2021 Budget Next Week Monday

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President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has announced that the Senate will next week Monday, 21st of December, 2020, hold a special session to pass the 2021 budget presently before the National Assembly. Lawan made this known during plenary following a motion moved by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (APC – Kebbi North); and seconded by the Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP – Abia South). According to the Senate President, the delay in the passage of the budget was to allow the Appropriations Committee include a late request for additional expenditures from the Executive arm of government.  “Our Committee on Appropriation has been working round the clock. We had planned to receive the report of the Committee on Appropriations today, but there was a late request for some more expenditures from the Executive arm of Government, and we want to ensure that our Committee does work to produce a clean document, so they can’t present this document today. “However, the Committ

Senate Extends Capital Implementation of 2020 Budget Till March Next Year

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The Senate has extended the implementation of capital projects captured in the 2020 budget till 31st March, 2021.  The approval for extension was at the heel of a request to the National Assembly by the Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, to that effect, which necessitated the speedy consideration and passage of the 2020 Appropriation Act (Amendment) Bill, 2020 introduced on the floor during plenary on Wednesday. Leading debate on the bill during its second reading, the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (APC – Kebbi North) while citing the provisions of Section 318 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), lamented the low implementation rate of capital projects in the 2020 Appropriations Act. According to him, an amendment to the Act by the National Assembly became imperative, given that its provisions only allow budget implementation to run for a period of 12 months, starting from the 1st day of January to 31st day of December, 2020. He, however, blam

Appeal Court Nullifies Metuh's Conviction, Orders Fresh Trial

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The Federal High Court in Abuja has set aside the conviction and seven years jail term imposed on a former spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh, after finding him guilty of money laundering charges. A three-man panel led by Justice Stephen Adah in a unanimous judgment, delivered on Wednesday, held that the proceedings of the Federal High Court leading to the conviction of Metuh and his company, Destra Investment Limited, were tainted with bias, and therefore must not be allowed to stand. Justice Adah, who delivered the lead judgment, held that the utterances of the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, in the course of the trial, established that he was biased against the convicts. He, therefore, ordered that trial be conducted afresh. He directed that the case file be sent back to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for reassignment to another judge other than Justice Abang. Justice Abang had in his judgment delivered on February 25, 2020, senten

Senate Considers Bill to Establish Nigerian Peace Corps, Hunters Council of Nigeria

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The Senate on Tuesday considered a bill seeking to give statutory backing to the Nigerian Peace Corps. Sponsored by Senator Ali Ndume (APC – Borno South), the bill was first read about a year ago on Tuesday, 17th December, 2019.  Leading debate on the bill, Senator Ndume said, “the core mandate being sought by the Nigerian Peace Corps (Establishment) Bill is to Develop, Empower, and Provide Gainful Employment for the youth to facilitate Peace, Volunteerism, Community Services, Neighbourhood Watch, Nation-Building.”  The lawmaker added that the piece of legislation when passed into law, would give statutory backing to the existing Peace Corps of Nigeria, which according to Ndume, currently has over 187,000 members comprising of regular Staff and Volunteers with well-structures network of branches in 36 States of the Federation, including the Federal Capital Territory.   Meanwhile, a bill seeking to establish the Nigerian Hunters Council of Nigeria also scaled second reading

NCC Orders Telcos to Block All Unregistered SIM Cards

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has given telecommunications companies in the country two weeks to block all unregistered SIM cards. Bashir Ahmad, media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari, disclosed this in a tweet via his Twitter handle on Tuesday. “The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has given telecommunications operators (MTN, Glo, Airtel, 9Mobile and others) in the country two weeks to block all SIM cards that are not registered with the National Identity Numbers (NIN), the Commission has said in a statement,” Ahmad tweeted. This is coming less than a week after the NCC had ordered telecommunications companies to stop the sale and activation of Subscriber Identification Module (SIM). NCC warned that non-compliance by network operators could lead to withdrawal of operating license.

Dickson, Abiru Unfold Legislative Agenda as Senate Swears-in Four New Senators

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The immediate past Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Seriake Dickson and his counterpart representing Lagos East Senatorial District, Adetokunbo Abiru, have unfolded their legislative agenda for their constituents and Nigeria as a nation. Dickson who represents Bayelsa West following his swearing in at the red chamber, vowed to push for true federalism through the devolution of more powers to the states of the Federation.  Speaking to newsmen shortly after the swearing in ceremony, Dickson also promised to work closely with other senators to institute electoral reforms ahead of the 2023 general elections. He insisted on the need to restructure Nigeria as a way of overcoming  its multiple challenges, saying that the country is currently too divided and has been left to drift for too long. This is as two other newly elected Senators, Cleopas Moses (PDP Bayelsa Central) and Professor Nora Ladi Dadu'ut (APC Plateau South), were also sworn in along with Dickson and Abiru. &

House of Representatives Calls For Suspension of Special Works Programmme

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The House of Representatives has called for the immediate suspension of the controversial Special Works Scheme of the Federal Government. The National Assembly and the Federal Ministry of Labour, Employment and Productivity had clashed over the recruitment of 774,000 workers for the scheme. At the plenary on Wednesday, the House asked the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning not to fund the scheme, which is billed to take off in January 2021. The National Assembly had appropriated N52bn for the exercise in the 2020 Appropriation Act. It was to begin in November. The House also faulted the removal of the Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment, Dr Nasiru Argungu, who had backed the parliament in the controversy. The House urged the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to reverse himself on Argungu’s sacking. The Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, had since appointed Argungu’s replacement on the orde

CJN Tanko Muhammad Tests Positive For COVID-19

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The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, has tested positive for COVID-19. Justice Ibrahim Saulawa, a member of the Supreme Court, made this known at the unveiling of the national headquarters of the Muslim Lawyers’ Association of Nigeria (MULAN) on Tuesday in Abuja, the Nation reports. According to him, Muhammad is currently receiving treatment in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. Recall that Muhammad was absent at the swearing in of 72 new Senior Advocates of Nigeria on Monday. Muhammad’s duty was performed by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, the next most senior Justice of the Supreme Court, who administered oaths to the new senior advocates.

Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Kankara School Kidnapping

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Jihadist group Boko Haram on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the abduction of hundreds of school students in Kankara, Katsina State. “I am Abubakar Shekau and our brothers are behind the kidnapping in Katsina,” said the leader of the group that was also behind the 2014 abduction of hundreds of schoolgirls in Chibok, in a voice message. At least 333 students are still missing since the attack late Friday on the all-boys Government Science Secondary School in northwestern Katsina state. The attack was initially blamed on armed groups locally known as “bandits”, who are active in the unstable region where kidnappings for ransom are common. The army said Monday it had located the hideout of the men, and that a military operation was under way. More than 100 gunmen on motorcycles stormed the rural school north of Kankara town, forcing students to flee and hide in the surrounding bush. A number of boys were able to escape, but many were captured, split into groups and ta

Alleged Attack on BBC Journalists: IPC Calls for Thorough Investigation

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The International Press Centre, IPC, Lagos-Nigeria has expressed concern about the alleged unprovoked physical assault on identified BBC Journalists; Chioma Obianinwa and Nnamdi Agbanelo in south-eastern Enugu State, last Wednesday evening by a Catholic Priest, Father Ejike Mbaka, and some members of his ministry. Media reports including that of BBC News (Pidgin) of December 10, 2020 stated that the BBC crew had scheduled an interview with Father Mbaka, but that while waiting outside of the Father’s premises in their vehicle to be called in for the interview, a group of 20 men surrounded them. They were said to have been issued with death threats for writing "negative reports about Mbaka” while they were reportedly physically and verbally brutalized by the men and Fr. Mbaka.  It was further reported that they narrowly escaped after being chased out of the premises by the men who also closely trailed them till they left the State. Although spokesperson for Fr. Mbaka'

Joshua Knocks Down Pulev, Retains Titles

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Anthony Joshua has successfully defened his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight world titles following his ninth round knock out victory over Kubrat Pulev on Saturday night in London. Saturday’s contest between Joshua and Pulev began predictablely on a cagey note as both men appeared very cautious and exchanged jabs intermittently. In round two, Joshua began to take the fight to Pulev and fired off a combination of hooks and uppercuts. Pulev remained defensive as he absorbed a number of body jabs and tried to close the distance. In the subsequent rounds Joshua still had the upper hand though Pulev also provided some flashes of brilliance. Three consecutive uppercuts from Joshua hurt Pulev in the seventh round but still the tough Bulgarian would not cede ground. Joshua found another knockdown in round nine and then ended the fight with a brutal right which put Pulev down for the count. Undefeated WBC champion Tyson Fury holds the only major belt outside of Joshua’s grip and a meeti

Lagos State Governor, Sanwolu Tests Positive For Covid-19

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has tested positive for coronavirus, the state health commissioner announced on Saturday. The governor had gone into isolation on Friday following contact with persons infected with the virus. Giving an update in a statement on Saturday night, the state health commissioner, Akin Abayomi, said the governor was being treated at home by medical experts in the state. The statement titled, “Sanwo-Olu undergoes COVID-19 treatment’, read, “Following Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s exposure to a confirmed case of COVID19, a PCR test performed yesterday the 11th of December has confirmed that he has indeed been infected with the virus which is supported by mild symptoms and fatigue typical of a mild case of COVID-19.

Senate President Mourns Leadership Publisher, Nda-Isaiah

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The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has condoled with the family and friends of Sam Nda -Isaiah and the Nigerian  newspaper  industry over the death of the Publisher of Leadership Newspaper. In a statement signed by Ola Awoniyi, his Special Adviser(Media) Lawan also commiserated with the Newspaper Proprietors'Association of Nigeria, and the Government and people of Niger State over the loss. Lawan described as shocking the death of the pharmacist-turned newspaper columnist, publisher and politician at the young age of 58 years. "Sam Nda-Isaiah fervently believed in the Nigerian project and this is reflected in his writings and the editorial focus and tone of his Leadership Newspaper. "His contributions as a public opinion  shaper and principled politician are profound  and have put his imprints on the Nigerian history despite his early home call," Lawan says. The Senate President prayed for sweet repose of his soul and for comfort for his loved ones

Leadership Publisher Ndah-Isaiah Dies at 58

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The Publisher of Leadership newspaper, Sam Nda-Isaiah, is dead. Punch newspaper quotes multiple sources from his family and the newspaper organisation to have confirmed that he died on Friday “after a very brief illness.” “Yes, it is true. I was just told now,” a family member told a Punch correspondent on the telephone on Friday evening. When asked if he had been sick, the source simply said, “Yes, but very briefly.” The late publisher was said to be at his duty post in Abuja on Thursday during the inaugural meeting of National Economy’s Board of Economists at the corporate head office of the media organisation. A senior management staff of his company was said to have broken the sad news of his death on the company’s staff WhatsApp , saying “Today is a sad day for Leadership.”

Deduction of N50 Stamp Duty After Bank Transactions illegal, Court Rules

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The Federal High Court in Asaba, Delta State, has declared the deduction of N50 as stamp duty on teller deposits or electronic transfer of funds illegal. The court, presided by Nnamdi Dimgba, gave the verdict in a case between a businessman, Rupert Irikefe, and the Central Bank of Nigeria, Zenith Bank, and the Attorney General of the Federation. A copy of the court judgement shows that it was delivered on Thursday, December 9. The judge also condemned how agencies of government treat court judgements with contempt in recent years. Details of the judgement showed that Mr Irikefe, the plaintiff, sought eight declarations against the CBN and the other defendants – Zenith Bank and AGF. He urged the court to declare, among others, that the conduct of the CBN in continuing to impose, direct the imposition, deduction or remittance to it by the Zenith Bank and or receiving the sum of #50 Naira as stamp duty on electronic transactions or transfer of monies from #1,000 (One Thousand

Governor Umahi After my Life - Senator Obinna Ogba

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***your allegation unfounded - Umahi  Senator Obinna Ogba (PDP Ebonyi Central) alleged Thursday in Abuja that the Governor of the State, Engineer David Umahi was after his life going by series of threats received from him recently and vindictive actions being taken against him and his political associates. This as the Governor in a swift reaction through the Commissioner for Information and State Orientation,  Barr. Orji Uchenna Orji, dismissed the allegation as unfounded. Senator Ogba in a written statement titled: "Unfortunate and  Delusional  Accusations  by Governor  Dave  Umahi", at a press briefing alleged that since Umahi defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) without vibrant politicians in the State following him, he has resulted to vindictiveness against them. Specifically according to him, the Governor recently ordered for closure of a private school in Abakaliki owned by his legislative aide on trumped up allegation of the school being used to

Breaking: Maina Collapses in Court

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Former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Taskforce Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, on Thursday, collapsed in the dock during the resumed hearing in his N2bn money laundering trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja. The Thursday’s sitting was scheduled for the hearing of the defendant’s no-case submission, following the close of the prosecution’s case with nine witnesses earlier on Wednesday. The defence lawyer, Anayo Adibe, was briefing the judge, Justice Okon Abang, that his team had yet to receive the records of proceedings requested from the court’s registry when a loud thud of Maina’s fall drew attention to the dock. Prison officials immediately rushed to him to attend to him. Justice Abang said the court would rise for about five minutes. Punch

Reps Minority Leader Disagrees With Malami, Says National Assembly Can Summon Buhari

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***Says APC Fiddles while Nigeria burns The Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Toby Okechukwu, has faulted the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, on the powers of the National Assembly to Summon the President, saying the AGF was only airing the position of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). The AGF had in a statement on Monday maintained that the House of Representatives resolution inviting President Muhammadu Buhari to interface with it on the rising insecurity in the country was “outside constitutional bounds”. But Okechukwu, a senior lawyer, disagreed with Malami, describing the AGF’s position as “strange”. He said that the invitation was a prudent effort on the part of the legislature to find a lasting solution to the worsening insecurity in the country, adding that the President’s willingness to appear was evident in his interaction with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. H

Why Buhari Will Not Appear Before National Assembly - Malami

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The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), says the National Assembly lacks the power to invite President Muhammadu Buhari, to speak on security matters. Malami, who is also the Minister of Justice, said this in a statement titled, ‘Buhari’s Summon: NASS Operates Outside Constitutional Bounds’ on Wednesday. The House of Representatives led by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, had last week invited Buhari over the rising insecurity and the killing of over 43 farmers in Borno State. An aide to the President, Lauretta Onochie, had also revealed that Buhari would appear before a joint session of the National Assembly on Thursday. However, reports began to filter in on Tuesday that the President had decided not to attend the meeting any longer. The AGF said security matters remained the exclusive preserve of the executive arm of government and the National Assembly must not forget this. He said, “The management and control of the security sector is exclusi

Lawan Pledges to Support Women Participation in all Spheres of Life

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***Advocates stiffer penalty for rapists President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan on Tuesday pledged to give more support for women participation in governance, politics, business and other spheres of life. Lawan made the pledge in a speech after he was presented with an award of HeForShe by a group of women led by the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen in Abuja. He said, "I believe we should give our women all the opportunities available for them to participate not only in governance but in all spheres of life, because governance is limited. "The majority of Nigerians are women. It is not 50‐50, I think it is about 48‐52, and you need to unleash such powerful group into your national development. You must have a conscious agenda and plan to get the best of this lot, and I believe we can't wait any more. "We should be in a hurry, even though in a hurry we must be very meticulous in ensuring that we get every issue properly addressed to support our

Buhari Sacks NDE Boss

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President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the sack of Dr. Nasiru Mohammed Ladan from the position of the Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE). A statement signwd by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu said the directive which was given on Friday, the 4th of December, 2020, is to be effective from Monday, December 7th, 2020.  The statement went ahead to state that the Supervising Minister of the Agency, the Hon Minister of State, Labour and Employment, has been directed to nominate an Acting DG from amongst the most Senior Directors based on competencies and seniority to take over from Dr. Argungu until a substantive holder of the post is appointed by Mr. President.

Federal Government Cuts Down Pump Price of Petrol to N162.44 per Litre

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The Federal Government has announced a reduction in the pump price of premium motor spirit, otherwise known as petrol, from N168 to N162.44 per litre with effect from December 14. The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, disclosed this at the end of a meeting with labour leaders which began around 9 pm on Monday and ended at 1:30 am on Tuesday. The product presently dispenses at N168, following the decision of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company to increase the ex-depot price of petrol from N147.67 per litre to N155.17 per litre in November. The ex - depot price is the price at which the product is sold by the PPMC to marketers at the depots. The minister said a technical committee has been set up to ensure price stability in the industry. Ngige stated that the committee, which will report back to the larger house on January 25, will appraise the market forces and other things that would ensure stability in the industry. He said, “our discussion was fruit

Governor Ortom Brokers Peace Between Channels TV Reporter and Wife

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Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has reconciled Benue State Channel's Reporter, Pius Angbo with his wife, Doctor Mrs. Ifeyinwa Angbo. Governor Ortom who met with the couple today, counselled them to always settle their differences amicably and shun the temptation of engaging in violence. He stated that as a young couple with great potentials, the husband being a versatile journalist and the wife a medical doctor, there was the need for them to foster a strong union to serve as models to others.  Mr. Pius Angbo in a reaction said he had apologised to his wife over the assault on her, stressing that he also sought the forgiveness of the entire women folk and would make amends going forward.  On her part, Dr Angbo said she had accepted her husband's apology and forgiven him, saying their children are still tender and they needed prayers to grow stronger in love and nurture their kids to maturity. She appreciated Governor Ortom for taking time out of his very tight sc