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Showing posts from March, 2021

Buhari Condemns Attempted Coup in Niger Republic

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President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the attempted coup in Niger Republic, according to a statement issued by Malam Garba Shehu, his spokesman, in Abuja, on Wednesday, “Any illegal effort to depose a democratically elected government is not only despicable, but also unacceptable to democratic governments around the world,” Buhari said, over the telephone with Mahamadou Issoufou, his counterpart and outgoing Nigerien President. President Buhari warned that the international community was hostile to the change of government by violent and unconstitutional means. He said: ”It is utterly naïve to attempt the removal of an elected government by force. Military political adventurers should respect the will of the people and respect constitutional order. “I’m particularly concerned about the negative impact of coups on Africa’s stability, peace and progress. “Nigeria cannot be indifferent to these dangers to Africa. Coups are out of fashion and the involvement of the military

Gunmen Attack Ex-CBN Governor Soludo, Kill Three Orderlies

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Gunmen on Wednesday attacked a former Central Bank Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo and killed his three orderlies. The incident happened in Soludo’s home town in Isiofia in the Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State. An eyewitness said, “Gunmen disrupted an interactive session between Isuofia youths and Soludo at the town’s civic centre. Three policemen were reportedly shot dead in the meeting.” A media aide to Soludo, who pleaded not to be identified, also confirmed the incident. He said, “I can’t confirm the whereabouts of Professor Soludo. There was a stampede, I don’t know where Soludo is now. “I only learnt that the state Commissioner for Public Utilities, Emeka Ezenwanne, was taken away but I have not heard about the whereabouts of Soludo.” When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Ikenga Tochukwu, also confirmed the incident. “The incident happened but as of now (8.15pm) I’m still gathering information about the incident,” he told Punch newspap

SAFA Sack Bafana Bafana Coach

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The South African Football Association have confirmed that Bafana Bafana head coach Molefi Ntseki has been fired following the team's failure to qualify for the Africa cup of Nations AFCON. Ntseki has been shown the door after just nine games in charge as he failed to successfully lead the team through their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying. Bafana fell at the final hurdle after suffering a 2-0 defeat to Sudan on Sunday, in a match from which all they needed was a draw to book their spot in Cameroon. However, a poor display has left South Africa embarrassed once again as they failed to qualify for the continental showpiece for a fourth time in the last seven editions. Following a meeting on Tuesday, it is reported that things turned sour as Ntseki refused to resign from his position, prompting the SAFA hierarchy to take stern action in terminating his contract. The 51-year-old also made things difficult for himself after openly stating "I have failed as a coac

FG Appeal to Resident Doctors to Shelve Planned Strike

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The Federal Government has appealed to Resident Doctors to shelve their threat of embarking on a nationwide strike in the country. The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, made the appeal at a conciliatory meeting with the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) on Wednesday in Abuja. It would be recalled that NARD had threatened to shut public health care facilities beginning from April 1, over unpaid salaries and other welfare packages. Ngige said that majority of the welfare issues under contention were almost resolved even before the letter of compliant and notification of a planned strike action was delivered at the ministry ”We are here because we have started solving your issues. We put up proposals with given timelines on how to deal with them. “We will look at those proposals with you, fix adequate timelines so that the people on government side will be implementing and marking them as they execute them. “I have held informal meetings with the

Sanwo-Olu Unveils Body-Worn Cameras for Security Personnel

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Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Wednesday unveiled body-worn cameras for security agencies in the effort to enhance security and safety in the state. Sanwo-Olu said during the unveiling ceremony, at Lagos House, Ikeja, that the use of the cameras would improve transparency and accountability in the activities of law enforcement agencies. He said that the devices would help to put the state government in a better position to respond to security challenges in real time. The governor also approved a mass training for the state’s law enforcement personnel on the use of the body worn cameras, ahead of the deployment of the digital tools for security operations across the state. The three-day training, to begin in May, will be facilitated by the Lagos State Law Enforcement Training Institute (LETI), headed by Prince Falade Oyekan. After the training, all state-funded law enforcement officers would be inaugurated to wear body cameras for their operations. According

UK Agency Fines Oyakhilome’s Channel N65.6m For Spreading Covid-19 Misinformation

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The Office of Communications in the United Kingdom better known as Ofcom, has sanctioned religious channel, Loveworld, owned by Nigerian Pastor, Chris Oyakhilome. Ofcom said in a statement that the station was fined £125,000 (N65.6m) for breaching the country’s broadcasting code by disseminating misinformation on COVID-19.h The statement read in part, “Today we have fined Loveworld £125,000 for this breach of the broadcasting code. This was the second time in a year that the broadcaster breached our rules on accuracy in news and harm in its coverage of the coronavirus.” On December 1 2020, Loveworld aired a 29-hour programme called the Global Day of Prayer, during which claims were made about the COVID-19. According to the agency, these claims included the notion that the outbreak was ‘planned’, that the ‘sinister’ vaccine can be used to implant ‘nanochips’ that can control and cause harm to members of the public and the debunked theory that the virus was somehow caused by

Ebonyi Killing: Fish Out Culprits, South East Senate Caucus Tasks Police IG, Security Agencies

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The South East Caucus of the Senate has charged the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu and heads of the nation’s security agencies to expeditiously fish out those responsible for the recent killing of natives in Ebonyi State communities, insisting it must not go unsolved and unpunished like others before it. The Caucus spoke through a statement by the Caucus Leader and former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, in Abuja on Wednesday, describing the act as unfeeling. In the statement made available to this blog by Uche Anichukwu, the  Media Adviser to Senator Ekweremadu, said: ''this act is most unfeeling and gruesome; and we condemn it in totality. But more importantly, this must not go unpunished like others before it. “It is imperative to warn that the Nigerian state is fast delegitimising itself by its failure to discharge the primary purpose of government, which is security and welfare of the people, as clearly prescribed in Sect

Easter: Federal Government Declares Friday, Monday Public Holidays

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The Federal Government has declared Friday April 2 and Monday April 5, as Public Holidays to mark 2021 Easter Celebration. The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, announced this in a statement by the Director of Press and Public Relations in the ministry, Mr Mohammed Manga, on Tuesday in Abuja. Aregbesola urged Christians to emulate the attributes of forbearance, forgiveness, kindness, humility, love, peace and patience, which were demonstrated by Jesus Christ. He, however, called on them to use the occasion of this year’s celebration to pray for the peace, unity, and progress of the country. The minister gave assurance that the Federal Government would leave no stone unturned in dealing decisively with the spate of kidnapping, banditry and other crimes and criminality being perpetrated by enemies of the country in parts of Nigeria. “Security is everybody’s business. I therefore, encourage all Nigerians and foreigners resident in Nigeria, to display high level of patriot

Buhari Has Ordered Security Chiefs to Identify Bandits, Kidnappers And Their Sponsors - NSA

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The National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno (retired.), on Tuesday quoted the President Muhammadu Buhari as directing the nation’s service chiefs to identify masterminds of banditry and kidnapping as well as the sponsors with a view to taking them out. The NSA told State House correspondents that Buhari handed down the directive at a meeting he had with the service chiefs at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. He quoted the President as saying that a situation where the armed forces are reactionary rather than being proactive will no longer be tolerated. Buhari met the service chiefs ahead of his trip to London for routine medical check-up.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan Denies Calling for Tenure Elongation for Buhari

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The Office of the President of the Senate has reacted to a tweet by one Cmr Mayor attributing a fabricated statement to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan. Special Adviser (Media) to President of the Senate, Ola Awoniyi in a statement said: ''In the mischievous tweet, the Senate President was quoted as saying he "won't mind a constitutional ammendment to allow unlimited term of office for President if President Buhari wishes to remain in office beyond 2023." ''Our iniial reaction was to ignore the ignoble mischief especially since it is not new, having been posted two years ago on 27 March 2019. But because the tweet has been trending again on social media,  it becomes necessary to issue a formal rebutal of its purport. ''We therefore say categorically that the Senate President has never made any such statement, before or after 2019.   ''The old tweet which was entirely  the handiwork of mischief makers is now being circulated ag

NDLEA Boss, Top Officials Undergo Drug Integrity Test

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The Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa along with directors, men and officers at the national headquarters have presented themselves for drug integrity test. The agency’s Director Media and Advocacy Femi Babafemi announced this in a statement issued on Monday in Abuja. Babafemi said that officials were taken unaware when upon resumption, the gates to the headquarters office were shut and everyone was asked to be in groups. He added that a team of medical doctors led by Dr. Vincent Udenze, a consultant in addiction psychiatry, administered the test. In a remark, the NDLEA boss, shortly  before he took his own test, said that the  impromptu test was necessary to ensure that “charity begins at home.  “We cannot be asking others to undergo drug test without submitting ourselves for the same. “Coming out clean and negative gives us the moral authority to conduct the test on others. The essence of also taking everyone by surprise

Buhari Proceeds to London Today for Routine Medical Check-Up

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President Muhammadu Buhari will be proceeding to London, the United Kingdom, today for a routine medical check-up. The president’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, confirmed this development in a statement in Abuja on Monday. According to the presidential aide, the President will meet with Security Chiefs first in the morning, after which he will embark on the journey. ”He is due back in the country during the second week of April, 2021,” he added.  NAN

Senate President Greets Asiwaju Bola Tinubu At 69

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The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has sent his best wishes to former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on the occasion of his 69th birthday on Monday. Lawan joins the family members, friends and political associates of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in rejoicing with him for marking the day in good health and high spirits. A statement signed by Ola Awoniyi, the Special Adviser(Media) to the President of the Senate quotes him as saying: "I felicitate with His Excellency, Asiwaju Tinubu, on this joyous occasion.  "A leader of leaders, political strategist and astute administrator, Asiwaju Tinubu has in three decades of active roles in the politics of Nigeria impacted many lives and greatly contributed to improving the polity. "His achievements and the development foundations he laid in Lagos as the first elected governor of the state in the Fourth Republic have secured his place in the history of the state. &

Federal Government Dispels Possibility of Fake COVID-19 Vaccines

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The Federal Government has dispelled the possibility of any fake COVID-19 vaccines being administered or sold by unauthorised institution in the country. This is contained in a circular signed by Dr Adebimpe Adebiyi, the Director, Department of Hospital Service, Federal Ministry of Health, on behalf of the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire in Abuja. The circular followed a letter from the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 regarding the arrest of about 3,000 doses of fake COVID-19 vaccines destined for Africa from China. The minister, who acknowledged receipt of the PTF letter, however, stated that “I am, therefore, to bring this to your notice and dispel any possibility of COVID-19 vaccines being available for sale or being administered by any unauthorised institution. “To prevent the importation of fake vaccines, kindly note that the Nigeria Customs Service has designated the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, as the only Point of Entry (PoE) for impo

Rivers State Government Hosts Grammy Award Winner Burna Boy in Port Harcourt

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Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state on Saturday hosted the Grammy award-winning Afrobeat artiste, Burna Boy, whom he described as pride of the State. The artiste, whose real name Damini Ogulu, visited governor Wike in company of his parents, Mr and Mrs Samuel Ogulu, and his management team. The governor said the State is proud of Burna Boy for the rare distinction of becoming a winner of the prestigious Grammy award. “There is no Rivers person that will say he or she is not happy with the kind of pride you’ve brought us. “I am very happy and I can tell you, whatever you think we can do to promote you, we will continue to do it,’’ he said. According to him, when news broke that Burna Boy was the winner in the Best Global Music Album category with his Twice As Tall album, the entire State was elated. He said: “You’ve done us proud and we owe you a duty to show you love. Wherever you are, your people appreciate you.’’ The governor urged Burna Boy not to relent in his musical

LEADS-Africa Set To Honour Some Distinguished Ethiopians In Addis Ababa

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All is set for the grand conferment Ceremony of prestigious honors on distinguished Ethiopians selected from various spheres of life for their contributions to development in Africa at the Ethiopian Skylight Hotel, on Sunday, March 28 2021 – by the League of African Development Students LEADS-Africa based in West Africa, in conjunction with the Eastern African Students and Youth Organization EASYO, based in Ethiopia. Among African Awardees for the year of Ethiopian extraction are emerging winners from a keen selection process which  includes Wodessa Yachisi Buluta (Business Investment Category) as Africa's Patriotic Investor; Adanech Abebie (Women in Leadership Category) as Africa's Patriotic Leadership Amazon; Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam (Airline Leadership Category) as Africa's Patriotic CEO; H.E. Mrs. Muferihat Kamil Ahmed, Minister of Peace of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia as Africa's Patriotic Amazon (Women in Public Service Category); Dr. Sam

Ihejirika Former Chief of Army Staff Joins APC

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A former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.- Gen. Oyeabo Ihejirika has formally joined the All Progressives Congress (APC). This is according to a statement issued by Alhaji Mamman Mohammed, Director of Press and Media to Gov. Mai Mala Buni, Chairman APC Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Comnittee (CECPC) on Friday in Abuja. Mohammed said that Buni, who is also the governor of Yobe, formally received the former Chief of Army Staff into the APC. “Gen. Ihejirika was formally presented to the chairman by Jigawa governor and Chairman APC Strategy and Contact Committee, Alhaji Abubakar Badaru, and Farouk Aliyu,” he said. He quoted Buni as saying that “the coming of Gen. Ihejirika into the APC will increase the fortunes of the party in Abia and the South-East generally. “This is a great moment for the party as Gen. Ihejirika and other sons and daughters of the region are coming into the party to deliver the region and bring the South-East closer to the centre.” He added that

Kubwa Residents Resort to 'Mai Ruwa' As Water Scarcity Persists

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Residents of Kubwa in Bwari area council of the Federal Capital territory are not in the best of times as water scarcity enters its second week following the shutdown of pipe borne water supply to the area. The water board had earlier notified residents that supply would be cut from Thursday 11th March to Sunday 14th to enable maintenance of its facility. But less than a week after the initial announcement, a second memo was issued stating that the maintenance work is still ongoing. Residents, most of whom rely solely on the pipe borne water supply are now left in a fix, as mop up of satchet water popularly called pure water is currently ongoing as residents seek alternative to drinking water. Local water vendors popularly called ''Mai Ruwa'' are the other alternative as they now make brisk business, selling ten jerry cans of water for as much two thousand, five hundred naira.

VIDEO: The Story of NEW EDITION

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  If you are a fan of the Boy band, NEW EDITION, the following video takes you down memory lane to their beginning, ups and downs and a reunion.  

Heavy Rains Loom in 2021, Get Ready, FEMA DG Alerts FCT Residents

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The FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has advised FCT residents to prepare for the rainy season and avoid environmental practices that could lead to flooding in the territory. The Director-General of FCT FEMA, Mr Abass Idris, gave the advice in a statement signed by FEMA’s Acting Head, Public Relations, Ngaha Faustina, on Thursday in Abuja. The director-general stated that preparedness and sensitisation remained key towards reducing disasters in the FCT. He appealed to residents to desist from acts, such as, indiscriminate waste disposal into water channels and rivers, building on water ways and river banks as well as diverting water channels. “Everyone is a stakeholder in this disaster prevention efforts and FEMA has created a high level awareness amongst residents through several media platforms to establish the consciousness of disaster prevention and mitigation, rather than management. “This yields better results, because community participation by residents in dis

Northern Youths Honour Senate President’s Aide

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Northern Youths under the auspices of Northern Youth Advocates for Good Governance (NYAGG), on Thursday, honoured the Special Assistant (Press) to the Senate President, Ezrel Tabiowo, with a leadership award.  The group’s Director of Programmes, Sani Mamman, who led a delegation of northern youths to the National Assembly for the award presentation ceremony, extolled Tabiowo’s leadership qualities, and described him as one who has displayed rare commitment to the service of humanity in his quest for national development.  He said: “As keen observers of your impeccable records, your visionary leadership acumen and characteristics are rarely found lately. Permit me to chronicle the following areas where as a 5 star General you have displayed rare commitment to the course of the common man, which makes a gathering of this magnitude unavoidable.  “You have proven yourself to be a seasoned Journalist and philanthropist per excellence to mention but a few. We became convinced tha

Organizers Announce N90M Prize Money for 2021 BB Naija

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MultiChoice Nigeria on Wednesday announced the 2021 season and the sixth edition of the Big Brother Naija, BBNaija show. The organizer announced a N90m grand prize for this year’s edition of the television reality show. MultiChoice Nigeria said it is offering customers on its DStv and GOtv platforms the opportunity to be among the first to be auditioned for the sixth season of the reality show. The organizer said, contestants to be auditioned must be 21 years or older and must be Nigerian with a valid Nigerian passport.

Fifa Hands Former President Sepp Blatter New Ban

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Fifa has banned ex-president Sepp Blatter from football until 2028 after giving him a new suspension of six years and eight months. Former Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke has received a similar ban, with both also being fined £780,000. The punishments were for "various violations" of Fifa's code of ethics. The new bans start when the current suspensions of 85-year-old Blatter and Valcke, 60, end in October 2021 and October 2025 respectively. A Fifa statement said: "The investigations into Messrs Blatter and Valcke covered various charges, in particular concerning bonus payments in relation to Fifa competitions that were paid to top Fifa management officials, various amendments and extensions of employment contracts, as well as reimbursement by Fifa of private legal costs in the case of Mr Valcke." In its findings, world football's investigatory chamber found Blatter accepted "an undue economic benefit" of 23m Swiss Francs (£18

Judiciary Workers Threaten Strike, Demand Financial Autonomy for Judiciary

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The Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) has threatened to embark on a “warning strike’’ if the Federal Government continued to delay the implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary. Mr Nwachukwu Anthony, Rivers Chairman of JUSUN, told newsmen on Wednesday in Port Harcourt that the union had decided to embark on the warning strike as soon as the 21-day ultimatum issued to the government lapsed on March 15. He alleged that the executive arm of the Federal and State Governments had over the years refused to grant financial autonomy to the judiciary, which is the third arm of the government. “This refusal is clearly a way of enslaving the staff and making them subservient. “Our major demand is that if financial autonomy is not implemented it will lead to a total shutdown of all judicial facilities across the country,” Nwachukwu said. It would be recalled that about three years ago, the Federal Government promised to negotiate with judicial staff on a better welfa

Senate Confirms Haliru Nababa as CG Nigeria Correctional Service

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The Senate has confirmed the appointment of Mr Haliru Nababa as Controller General (CG), Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS). The confirmation followed the adoption of the report of the Senate Committee on Interior at plenary on Wednesday. Presenting the report, the Chairman, Senator Kashim Shettima (APC-Borno) said the committee found the nominee suitable to occupy the position of controller general of NCS. He said there was no petition against him, adding that the nominee also displayed high level of intelligence in the discharge of his responsibilities in his previous positions. Shettima said the nominee was not affiliated to any political party and has a high level of personal integrity. He, therefore, urged the Senate to confirm his appointment. NAN

Senate Seeks for Establishment of Mineral Development Corporation

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The Senate Tuesday made a bold move towards establishment of Mineral Development Corporation in Nigeria as required catalyst for investments and growth of the mining sector. The upper legislative chamber accordingly passed for second reading, a bill sponsored to that effect by Senator Tanko Al-Makura (APC Nasarawa South)  Al - Makura in his lead debate on the bill titled: “A bill for an Act to establish the Nigerian Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC),  to invest and catalyze investments in the mining sector, to promote and support mining sector growth and for all related matters", said the agency is very necessary to serve as required catalyst for investments and growth of the mining sector . According to him, the  NMDC is proposed to be a state-owned Enterprise (SOE) with private sector participation and governance control as the vehicle for unbundling upstream and downstream commercial activity in the Nigerian solid Mineral sector.  He said: Since Nigeria is bles

Ethiopian Businessman & Philantropist - Wodessa To Receive Africa Students Award in Addis Ababa

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The secretariat of the League of African Development Students LEADS Africa in Abuja Nigeria has confirmed its resolve to confer the prestigious LEAD AFRICA'S PATRIOTIC INVESTOR (Philanthropist Category) on Wodessa Yachisi Buluta, Co-founder and Board Chair Person, Godu General Trading; in due recognition of his outstanding contributions to Africa's Quest for Development. An honor that is rarely conferred only on men and women who have Distinguished themselves positively. The Secretary-General of LEADS Africa, Mr Osisiogu Osikenyi who spoke from Abuja Nigeria through a statement said that the presigious pan-African honor was to acknowledge Mr. Wodessa's immense strides in Corporate Investment, Economic Growth, Employment for youth, Philanthropy, Support to Student/Youth, assistance to persons with Disability, Community Development, meritorious service to God, Humanity & Africa. He stated that a high powered all Africa Delegation of LEADS Africa is

Imo State Government Revokes 49 Plots of Land Belonging to Okorocha’s Sister

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The Imo State Housing Corporation has revoked 49 plots of land belonging to Jessdean Ventures Limited. of No. 3 Okeoma close Trans Egbu Layout said to be owned by Mrs. Geraldine Obinali. Geraldine Obinali is the elder sister of former Governor of the state, Senator Rochas Okorocha. The revocation is contained in a statement signed on Monday, by the General Manager/Chief Executive Officer of the state Housing Corporation, Mr. Chinedu Mbakwe-Obi, and media aide to the General Manager, Enwerem Prince. The statement further disclosed that the revoked plots of land in Redemption Estate Phase III were issued to Geraldine Obinali (nee Okorocha) for the sole purpose of providing infrastructural facilities which was never carried out. The corporation directed anyone who had transacted business on any of the plots of land to approach it for ratification. The statement reads, “Sequel to all legal actions taken to notify Jessdean Ventures Ltd of No 3 Okeoma close Trans Egbu Layout Ower

Attack on Ortom: Don’t Push Citizens to Self Help, Senator Mark Warns

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Irked by the assassination attempt on Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, former President of the Senate, Senator David Mark has tasked security operatives to step up to the challenges of securing lives and property to avoid the consequences of a resort to self help. Senator Mark said the deteriorating security situation has become scandalous and making Nigeria a subject of ridicule before other nations. Speaking in a statement signed by his media adviser, Paul Mumeh, tje former President of the Senate condemned the assassination attempt on Governor Ortom yesterday, adding: “If a state Governor can be so brazenly attacked, what would they not do to the ordinary citizens. “Let me state clearly that Benue people are receptive and accommodating. But this should not be misconstrued or mistaken for weakness. Enough of this malady. “If our government and security operatives can no longer guarantee peoples’ safety in their homes, farms or places of business, I am worried that th

Governor Ortom Alleges Attack on His Convoy

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Governor Samuel Ortom said his convoy was attacked on Saturday while leaving his farm on Makurdi-Gboko Road. Ortom, who appeared ruffled while speaking to journalists on Saturday at the Benue People’s House, Makurdi, said armed militia men, numbering about 15, advanced quickly towards his convoy with sophisticated weapons but were repelled by his security details. He said the men, dressed in black, had trailed his convoy from the farm. Ortom said he had to run for dear life while his security details engaged the bandits who escaped into the nearby bushes. “I will continue to fight for the truth, equity and justice. Nobody can intimidate me, those after my life will continue to fail as they failed today,” he said. He said that he would send a petition on attack to The Presidency, to ensure that criminal elements were flushed out of the state. He also called on the Federal Government to act swiftly by deploying troops to arrest armed militia gangs hiding in the forests betwee

Bloody Attack: INEC Suspends Ekiti Bye Election, Confirms 3 Dead

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced the immediate suspension of Saturday’s House of Assembly bye-election in Ekiti State following bloody attacks that greeted the exercise. Dr Tella Adeniran, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Ekiti State, made this known in a statement issued in Ado Ekiti, and also confirmed that three persons were shot dead during the exercise. “The Ekiti East State Constituency I bye-election which started at 8.30 a.m. today witnessed 100 percent opening of polls at 8.30 a.m. “The exercise commenced on a good note in a peaceful and orderly manner. “However, at about 10.00 am, there were reported cases of violence: in two Polling Units of Ward 09 (Obadore IV); Polling Unit 8 (Baba Egbe/Odouro /Odoule) and Polling Unit 9 (Beside Baba Egbe/Odouru/Odoule I), Polling Unit 07 (Aro street/Aro) of Ward 07 (Obadore lI). “In PU 07, Ward 07, three voters were shot dead while a youth corps member, a police woman and an I

UEFA Champions League Draws: Liverpool to Face Real Madrid

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Liverpool have been drawn against Real Madrid in the European Champions League quarter-finals, a repeat of the 2018 final, with Chelsea facing surprise package FC Porto. In the draws held on Friday at the House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland, Holders Bayern Munich face last year’s losing finalists Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). While Premier League leaders Manchester City will battle Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund. The first legs of this season’s quarter-final clashes will take place on April 6 and 7, with the return dates being staged a week later. Semi-final encounters are slated for April 27 and 28, with the second legs a week later. The Champions League final will take place on May 29 at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey. European Champions League Quarter Finals Draw 1. Manchester City (England) vs Borussia Dortmund (Germany) 2. FC Porto (Portugal) vs Chelsea (England) 3. Bayern Munich (Germany) vs PSG (France) 4. Real Madrid (Spain) vs Liverpo

Manchester United to Meet Granada, Arsenal Face Slavia in Europa League Quarter-Finals

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Favourites Manchester United were on Friday drawn to face European newcomers Granada in the 2020/2021 Europa League quarter-finals. Manchester United, who ousted AC Milan in the last 16, travel to Spain first on April 8 before hosting the return leg on April 15 at Old Trafford. Manchester United are the 2016/2017 winners of Europe’s second tier event and could face a rematch of that decider in the semi-finals if Ajax Amsterdam beat Roma. The other quarter-finals are two-time finalists Arsenal versus Slavia Prague and Tottenham’s conquerors Dinamo Zagreb versus Villareal. The winners of those ties meet each other in the April 29 and May 6 semi-finals. The final is scheduled for May 26 in Gdansk. The event has been dominated by English and Spainish teams who have won 10 of the 11 titles since the competition was rebranded Europa League in 2009/2010.  

Imo North Senatorial Poll: Court Orders INEC to Issue Ararume Certificate of Return Within 72 hours

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The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday,  ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue Sen. Ifeanyi Ararume a certificate of return within 72 hours in the Dec. 5, 2020 Imo North Senatorial By-election, having been declared as  the valid candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Justice Taiwo Taiwo, in a judgment, said Ararume remained the winner of the election going by the earlier judgments of the court. According to him, with regard to the Appeal Court judgment in Abuja, the 3rd defendant (Chukwuma Ibezim) remained disqualified.   Justice Taiwo therefore declared Ararume as the APC valid candidate in the poll. The judge earlier in a ruling dismissed Ibezim’s application seeking a stay of the judgment, pending the hearing and determination of the suit before the Supreme Court. Justice Taiwo, who described the application as “an attempt to arrest the judgment,” dismissed it for lacking in merit. It would be recalled that  Ibezim and Arara

John Magufuli: Tanzania's President Dies Aged 61 After Covid Rumours

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Tanzania's President John Magufuli has died aged 61, the country's vice-president has announced. He died on Wednesday from heart complications at a hospital in Dar es Salaam, Samia Suluhu Hassan said in an address on state television. Magufuli had not been seen in public for more than two weeks, and rumours have been circulating about his health. Opposition politicians said last week that he had contracted Covid-19, but this has not been confirmed. Magufuli was one of Africa's most prominent coronavirus sceptics, and called for prayers and herbal-infused steam therapy to counter the virus. "It is with deep regret that I inform you that today... we lost our brave leader, the president of the Republic of Tanzania, John Pombe Magufuli," Vice-President Hassan said in the announcement. She said there would be 14 days of national mourning and flags would fly at half mast. According to Tanzania's constitution, Ms Hassan will be sworn in as the new presi

Senate Rejects Bill Seeking Federal Character in Appointment of Service Chiefs

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Senate on Wednesday rejected a bill seeking to ensure federal character is considered in the appointment of Service Chiefs.  In a heated session, the lawmakers were sharply divided in their deliberations on the bill to Establish the Armed Forces Service Commission which was sponsored by Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnanya Abaribe. Senator Abaribe in his lead debate noted that the bill seeks to help strengthen national unity where every geopolitical zone of the federation is represented.  The Abia South Senator said the bill seeks to give effect to the clear provisions of section 219 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.  But the debate took a partisan dimension as senators from the ruling all progressives congress strongly kicked against it saying it seeks to politicize the Nigerian military. The president of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan however put a voice vote, with the nays having it, a decision Abaribe disagreed with. Abaribe citing order 73 of the Senate standing rule called

CBN Introduces New Charges for USSD Services

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has introduced new charges for customers using the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data services. The apex bank said effective Tuesday, customers will pay a flat fee of N6.98 per transaction every time they use USSD services. It said the new charges was part of the agreement reached when banks and telecommunication operators met on Monday to discuss the N42bn debt owed mobile operators by banks. This was contained in a statement released on Tuesday and jointly signed by the apex bank’s Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi; and Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission, Ikechukwu Adinde. The statement was titled, ‘Joint Statement By Central Bank Of Nigeria and Nigerian Communications Commission On Pricing Of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) Services’. It partly read, “We are pleased to announce that after comprehensive deliberations on the key issues, a resolution framework acceptable

COVID-19 Vaccination: Senate President Receives First Jab of AstraZeneca Vaccine

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***Urges more sensitisation, advocacy President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan took the lead at the National Assembly on Tuesday when he received the first jab of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. A statement signed by Ola Awoniyi, the Special Adviser (media) to the President of the Senate said the vaccine was administered on him in his office by his personal physician, Dr Muhammad Usman and witnessed by some Distinguished Senators led by the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi. The vaccination card was presented to the Senate President by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary), Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe. Speaking shortly after he received the first jab of the vaccine, the Senate President called on Nigerians to make themselves available for the vaccination. "The COVID-19 pandemic is real. We are still facing that challenge and therefore I urge all Nigerians especially those within the range specified by the health authorities and those at the fr

Governors Meet Wednesday to Delibrate on Petrol Subsidy, COVID-19 Vaccines

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The governors of the 36 states in Nigeria, under the umbrella of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) will meet on Wednesday to discuss issues related to petrol subsidy and COVID-19 vaccines. The governors made the disclosure in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by Mr Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, the Head, Media and Public Affairs of NGF Secretariat. The forum’s spokesperson said the emergency meeting would be held virtually. Bello-Barkindo said that Gov. Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State, who is the Chairman of NGF Committee on Subsidy on petrol, would brief his colleagues before any decisions on the supply and or retailing of the product was taken. He added that various issues revolving around the COVID-19 vaccines rolled out would feature prominently in the 28th teleconference meeting. Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta and Chairman NGF Committee said that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 would brief his colleagues on the situation with the vaccines rolled out and their a