FRESH FM TOP NEWS THIS WEEK

53

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:

NEWS

  • Judge Orders P&ID To Pay Nigeria Over £1.5 million

A United Kingdom judge has ordered P&ID to make an interim payment of more than £1.5 million to Nigeria within 21 days to cover legal costs the country incurred as part of its successful application for the extension of time to challenge the arbitration award of $9.6 billion to the company. The judge gave the order on Thursday when Nigeria appeared before it in a hearing held to decide procedural and costs issues relating to the FRN’s applications to challenge the arbitration award and to determine the short-term directions to trial. This latest order follows the major victory it secured on Friday last week when the court allowed the country to bring a fraud challenge against a $9.6 billion arbitration award obtained by vulture-fund-backed P&ID well outside the normal time limits.

“This is another crucial win for Nigeria in our ongoing fight against the vulture-fund-backed P&ID,” a spokesperson for the Attorney General of the Federation said in a statement announcing the latest development. The Nigerian government considers the order a “significant blow” to P&ID as will help speed up the trial and halt what it says are attempts by the company to delay the process. “To date, P&ID and its financial backer VR Capital have not produced a single document or credible witness to challenge the FRN’s fraud evidence,” it said of the attempts.

  • NIREC, Adeboye urge review of CAMA 2020

The Nigerian Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) and the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, have urged the review of the Companies and Allied Matter Act (CAMA) 2020 by the National Assembly following the opposition thrown up by the piece of legislation. The council, co-chaired by the President General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, and President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle, also appealed to well-meaning individuals and groups with genuine complaints to approach the court or the federal legislature in the spirit of good citizenship. In a statement on Monday in Abuja, the Executive Secretary, Prof. Cornelius Afebu Omonokhua, said: “NIREC is aware that CAMA is 30 years old before the passage of the CAMA 2020. NIREC is also aware that laws are amended, reviewed, or reformed periodically to address socio-economic changes in society. It is, therefore, not surprising that the National Assembly decided to pass the CAMA 2020. This is more imperative in view of the need for our country to improve its ranking in ease of doing business and fight against corruption.

Describing a section of the law that relates to churches and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as an aberration during a monthly thanksgiving service in Lagos, Adeboye pointed out that the contentious clause in the law was to indict the church that even “gave more palliatives” when the lockdowns were tougher. Adeboye, who spoke through the Assistant General Overseer, Administration & Personnel, Pastor Johnson Odesola, stated that “it is in the best interest of Nigerians to amend the Act.”

  • Nigerian languages going into extinction – NICO

The Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Mr Ado Muhammed Yahuza, has said that some Nigerian Languages might go into extinction if urgent measures are not taken to reverse the trend. Yahuza said this at the 2nd edition of the Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) on Monday in Abuja. According to him, some Nigerian languages including Igbo and Yoruba, may not survive the next 50 years. “The alarm has been raised in socio-linguistic circles that over 90 per cent of the world’s 7,000 languages are likely to go into extinction in the next century, the situation is not different for Nigeria.

“According to experts, more than half of over 400 languages in Nigeria are endangered. “More alarming is the speculation that languages such as Igbo and Yoruba, may not survive the next 50 years if urgent measures are not taken to reverse the trend,” he said. Yahuza said that the Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) in the Barracks was one of the Institute’s platforms to address the critical issue of language extinction and promote interest in the use of indigenous languages.

  • If we truly deregulated, shouldn’t fuel price drop? – Atiku

Former Vice President Abubakar Atiku has again punctured the recent deregulation in petroleum that has led to an increase in fuel price, asking “If we truly deregulated, shouldn’t fuel price drop?”
Atiku, in rhetorics on his verified Twitter handle Tuesday morning, tweeted that as a businessman, he is more concerned with the economic perspective of things. He pointed out that in the US and Europe, fuel prices are far lower than they were in 2019. Atiku had, four days ago, rejected the increase in electricity tariff describing the move as “ill-timed and ill-advised.”

He also described the move as an “impetuous disregard for the challenges.
“I reject the increased electricity tariffs. Coming out of the lockdown, Nigerians need a stimulus, not an impetuous disregard for the challenges they face. “Many Nigerians have not earned an income for months, due to no fault of theirs. This increase is ill-timed and ill-advised,” he said.
Nigerians have however been reacting to the development on the increment in petrol and electricity tariffs, stating their displeasure considering the economic status of the average Nigerian.

  • Protests in Oyo, Osun over fuel price, electricity tariff hike

Scores of students, workers and civil society groups stormed the streets of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Tuesday, to express displeasure with the hike in price of petrol and increase of electricity tariff. The protesters gathered at the Awolowo Junction, Bodija, chanting anti-government and solidarity songs before moving to the Federal Secretariat, Ikolaba, Ibadan. They described the recent increment in electricity tariff and hike in fuel price as wicked and one that lacked sound judgment. They vowed to paralyse the economy if the government failed to reverse the price and tariff.President, National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), Benedict Olalere, who spoke with journalists, said: “We are giving the Federal Government a seven-day ultimatum to reverse the pump price and electricity tariff. Failure to do so, we will shut down and paralyse the economy. If they want to arrest us let them do so. I am ready to die. The masses cannot be sacrificial lambs because they want to take care of political office holders. They should cut down their expenses.” Also, Chairman, Joint Campus Committee of the National Association of Nigerian Students, (NANS), Mayowa Opakunle, emphasised that students in the state totally reject the increase.

On his part, the Convener of All Workers’ Convergence (AWC) and former Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Oyo State, Andrew Emelieze, said: “The policies of the current government are inimical to Nigerians and are making life difficult for Nigerians. By illegally increasing pump price and electricity tariff, life has become miserable for Nigerians. They promised to build refineries. Where are the refineries? IN the same vein, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and rights activists during a protest in Osogbo gave the Federal Government a three-week ultimatum to reverse the hike, saying that the policies by the current leadership have brought untold hardship to the citizens. The protest was organised by NANS, Action Front (JAF) and Amica Ideological School Movement ( ACIS-M).

EDUCATION

  • WAEC finally conducts exams in Chibok after 6 years

The West African Examination Council (WAEC) has successfully conducted the 2020 Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in senior secondary schools in Chibok in Borno six years after closure due to insurgency. Brig.-Gen. Abdul-Khalifa Ibrahim, Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC), 7 Division, Nigerian Army, disclosed this while playing host to members of Education in Emergency Working Group Nigeria (EiEWGN), on Thursday in Maiduguri. He said the insurgency conflict had its foundation on the detest for western education by the Boko Haram sect, adding that it had an unimaginable impact on education in the North East. Ibrahim said that the Nigerian army had continued to support the resuscitation of education in the north east while fighting to secure the region from insurgents.

The Chibok schools were closed after over 200 students were abducted by the Boko Haram terrorists from the Government Girls Secondary School in 2014. While the Federal Government has secured the release of some of the abducted girl, others are still in the terrorists’ captivity till date.
Ibrahim disclosed that about 70 per cent of the schools that were being occupied by soldiers due to the conflict had been relinquished, adding that efforts were being made to relinquish the remaining 30 per cent.
He added that the new super camp strategy of the army had led to the relinquishing of schools by the military. He also said the deployment of military teachers to schools was part of Nigerian army’s civil-military relations.

  • Cars await 20 outstanding teachers in Lagos – Sanwoolu

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has pledged to give cars to 20 deserving teachers across the six Education Districts of the State. Speaking during a virtual training of teachers tagged Eko Educators Webinar Performance Series 3.3, he said teachers were change agents who will be remembered for shaping future generation of leaders. On the importance of technology, Sanwo-Olu counseled teachers to embrace technology to upgrade their delivery. “This is the era of technology and it is working well for us. Technology has become a very strong tool that we cannot do away with in our everyday lives. With technology, we can think locally and act globally,” he said.

He added that great teachers are always remembered for the lives they shape, deriving satisfaction in their students becoming role models to be proud of. Also, the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, emphasised that most critical to the success of any school system is the quality of teaching and learning which is exhibited in the quality of teachers with a multiplier effect on our children. Adefisayo appreciated Lagos State teachers for their continual self development in addition to the government efforts in their development. She commended TESCOM board for the idea of the Virtual training, which she said was doing well for the progress of the Education Sector and Lagos State at large.

  • Ogun Govt gives students Automatic Promotion, Fixes Resumption Date

All students except those in tertiary institutions have been given an automatic promotion to the next class by the Ogun State Government which announced September 21 for the reopening of schools in the state for the first term of 2020/2021 session. The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Kunle Somorin, made the announcement in a statement on Monday.
This is in addition to the earlier resumption of students in exit classes.
According to Mr Somorin, the State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, approved the reopening of schools for all classes in primary and secondary schools, Technical and Vocational Colleges, and Tertiary Institutions. He noted that a resumption schedule for public schools has been developed as part of efforts to meet the COVID-19 guidelines.

Students in primary one to three will attend classes from 8.00 am to 11.00 am, while pupils in primary four to six will learn from 12 noon to 3:00 pm. In secondary schools, students in JSS 1 to JSS 3 are to attend classes from 8.00 am to 11.00 am and students in senior classes will be in school from mid-day through to 3:00 pm. However, the CPS noted that technical and vocational colleges will operate their normal school hours of 8.00 am to 2.00 pm, while tertiary institutions are “allowed to commence reopening from 21 September 2020 as may be determined by their respective management.” The Governor’s spokesman added that private schools are expected to take necessary measures to meet the COVID-19 protocols for physical distancing, among other requirements. He stated that students between the ages of 3 to 5 will not be resuming in public schools until the next phase of schools’ reopening.


POLITICS

  • Nigeria is fast becoming a failed state under Buhari – Obasanjo

Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria has again attacked President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration saying the country is ‘fast drifting to a failed and badly divided state’ under his leadership.
The ex-president said this on Thursday, September 11, 2020, while delivering a speech titled, ‘Moving Nigeria Away from Tipping Over’ at a consultative dialogue. The event according to The Punch was attended by various socio-cultural groups including Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders Forum, Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo and Pan Niger Delta Forum.

Speaking on the security and economic situation of the country, Obasanjo said he had never seen Nigeria so divided. While commending all socio-cultural groups present at the meeting for coming together, the ex-president said if Nigeria was to successfully tackle its challenges, it must first address the problem of disunity.

  • Don’t come to Ekiti – Fayose warns Gov Makinde

Former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has warned the Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, to steer clear of the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ekiti and other South West States. Fayose made this known on Wednesday during a meeting of the National delegates of the PDP in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. The meeting, which had in attendance, chairmen of the party in Ekiti, Osun, Lagos and Ogun, was held at the Ogun PDP secretariat, which was recently taken over by loyalists of Ladi Adebutu from those of late Buruji Kashamu.

Speaking at the South West zonal meeting, Fayose maintained that Makinde had no right to dabble into the local politics in each State of the South West. The Ekiti ex-Governor acknowledged that Makinde is presently the only PDP governor in the South West, saying, however, that he should give every State the freedom to be governed by its local leaders. Fayose said he will be ready to fight anyone who plans to take over the structure of the Ekiti PDP from him. He revealed that there has been a cold war of who become(s) the executive members of the zone. While stressing that he would continue to respect the Oyo State Governor as a brother whom he loves, Fayose stated that being a sitting governor does not give Makinde the right to go to another man’s State.

  • Edo election: Military, DSS, Police in ‘show of force’

Security agencies on Saturday carried out ‘Show of Force’ to assured Edo State residents of their preparedness for the governorship election. The poll will be next Saturday. Reports have it taht the exercise involved multiple security agencies. Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), and Department of State Services (DSS) participated. Others were Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency(NDLEA).

Areas covered were Sapele road, Sokponba road, Erediawa road and Murtala Mohammed way, Ikpoba slope/Ramat park and Aduwawa road. Others were Upper mission extension, New Benin, New Lagos road, Boundary road, Airport road, Akenzua road, Ekenhua road and the Uselu/Lagos road. The exercise will continue on Sunday. CSP Chidi Nwabuzor, Police Public Relations Officer in Edo, said the show was to ensure that Edo was well monitored ahead of the election. He added that it would send a strong signal to criminal elements that security agencies were ready to protect the people. The spokesman assured that the agencies were working with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

  • Edo 2020: PDP’s suit seeking Ize-Iyamu’s disqualification stalled

The scheduled hearing of a suit seeking to disqualify Mr Osagie Ize-iyamu as the All Progressives Congress’ governorship candidate in the forthcoming September 19 election in Edo State was on Tuesday stalled at the Federal High Court, Abuja. The suitfiled by the Peoples Democratic alleged that Ize-Iyamu was not validly nominated as the APC’s candidate.
Ize-Iyamu, APC, and the Independent National Electoral Commission are the respondents to the suit.

However, at the mention of the case before Justice Ahmed Mohammed on Tuesday, PDP’s counsel, Mr Ferdinand Orbih (SAN), said he was ready for the hearing in the case until he was served a notice of preliminary objection by the APC, which he needed to respond to. INEC’s counsel, Mr Alhassan Umar (SAN), and Ize-Iyamu’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), said they would also want to respond to the preliminary objection. The APC, in the notice of preliminary objection, sought an order for striking out the suit. Among other grounds, the application was predicated upon the claim that the suit cannot be heard during the court’s vacation period.

  • Card Readers Destroyed As Fire Guts Ondo INEC Head Office

Several card readers were damaged as fire gutted the head office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Akure, on Thursday. Media Adviser/Chief Press Secretary to the Independent National Electoral Commission, Rotimi Oyekanmi confirmed the incident to Channels Television. Men of the Fire Service are on the ground to put out the inferno which started about 8 pm and gutted the container housing Smart Card Readers, the electoral body tweeted, Thursday.

“The National Commissioner, Barrister Festus Okoye, who is in Ondo State in connection with preparations for the Ondo State Governorship election scheduled for 10th October 2020, rushed to the office at about 8 pm,” INEC added. Although the cause of the inferno is yet to be known, Barrister Okoye assured that an investigation would be carried out to unravel what triggered the fire.

  • Southwest PDP rift deepens

The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday ratified the outcome of the Ekiti congress, it was learnt on Thursday.
National Secretary, Senator Umaru Tsauri, urged security agencies and the Resident Electoral Commissioner to cooperate with the state executive committee, led by Bisi Kolawole. The congress threw up two factional chairmen – former Environment Commissioner Kolawole and former House of Representatives member Kehinde Odebunmi. Kolawole enjoys the support of former Governor Ayo Fayose. Senator Biodun Olujimi is backing Odebunmi.
Moves by the party’s Southwest leader, Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde, to resolve the conflict collapsed, following the rejection of his call for a political solution.

Fayose had taken the Kolawole-led exco on a visit to National Chairman Uche Secondus at the party secretariat in Abuja. A party source lamented that the two factions might approach the court for adjudication on the parallel congresses. On Thuesday, it was learnt that the faction, led by Odebunm, had gone to the High Court sitting in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, to challenge Kolawole and members of his team. There are fears that the crisis may affect preparations for the proposed Southwest zonal congress. Blaming Secondus for the escalation of the rift, the source said: “The national leadership of the PDP saw the crisis coming, but they failed to avert it through their inaction. They should have called the two sides and proposed harmonisation or any other option agreeable to the two sides. “Now, the court is the last option. It takes time, from High Court to the Supreme Court. No court verdict has ever restored party unity and cohesion.”


ECONOMY

  • N30,000 minimum wage meaningless with petrol price hike – NLC

The Nigeria Labour Congress and civil rights groups on Tuesday said there was no economic basis in the claim by the Federal Government that the petrol price in the country was among the lowest in Africa. The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, in an interview with reporters, said government should have situated its argument against the devaluation of the naira and the minimum wage being paid to workers. Also, some state chapters of the NLC said the hike in electricity tariff and the petrol price had rendered the N30,000 minimum wage meaningless. Following the increase of the ex-depot price of petrol by the Federal Government last week, marketers adjusted their pump prices to between N158 and N162 from N148 to N150 in August. On Monday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said despite the increase in the price of petrol, the price of the commodity in Nigeria remained among the cheapest in Africa.

But puncturing the government’s claims, Wabba emphasised that the government failed to acknowledge the fact that the naira had been on free fall for many years and this, he added, had affected the prices of commodities. He noted, “That comparison cannot even stand because our currency has been on free fall and it has been devaluated over and over again. So, the basis for comparison is faulty. If they (other countries) have stronger currencies, it means our currency is weak. “Not only petroleum products but all other commodities are also expensive in Nigeria because of the free fall of the naira. Can they also make the comparison on the basis of the stability of the currencies of other countries over the years and the instability of the Nigerian currency over the last five years? You can then get the answer.” When asked if the minimum wage was commensurate with the hike in the petrol price and electricity tariff, Wabba maintained that the government should have considered the impact of its decision on the workers.

  • Marketers urge full deregulation of downstream oil sector

The Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) has urged the Federal Government to take a further step towards full deregulation of the downstream sector, saying it will enhance national economic growth. In March this year, the government introduced a price modulation policy where international product prices and associated landing costs in Nigeria are used as input in the determination of final pricing in the local market through the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).

Commending the government for consistently seeking ways to reposition the oil sector for effectiveness and profitability, DAPPMAN Chairman, Mrs. Winifred Akpani, said DAPPMAN remained in full support of the implementation of a fully deregulated regime which would make the downstream sector’s operations more seamless, enhance transparency, competitiveness and sustainable growth. We believe that full deregulation of the sector remains the most viable option for Nigeria to effectively navigate this period and ultimately safeguard the future of our economy and wellbeing of 200 million Nigerians,” she said. According to Akpani, deregulation will open up the sector for fresh investments, market deepening, diversification, and expansion, culminating in stable demand and supply regimes which are critical to ensuring that consumers have uninterrupted access to affordable quality products without the huge financial burden currently borne by the government.

  • Buhari Inaugurates Committee To Lift 100m Nigerians Out Of Poverty, Boost Development

President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated the National Steering Committee to oversee Nigeria’s Agenda 2050. The committee is to ensure that the Medium-Term National Development Plan (MTNDP) succeeds the Vision 20:2020 and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017 – 2020. The team will be jointly chaired by Mr Atedo Peterside and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed. Part of the task before the group is to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within the next 10 years. “The main objectives of these Successor Plans are to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within the next 10 years, particularly given the World Bank’s projection that Nigeria will become the world’s third most populous country by 2050 with over 400 million people,” President Buhari said.

For Buhari, it had become necessary to develop successor plans to the Nigeria Vision 20:2020 and the ERGP, which will lapse in December, to ensure continuity and efficiency in the country’s development planning.
On the mandate of the members, President Buhari said it would oversee governance structure comprising the Central Working Group and 26 Technical Working Groups for the important national assignment. While asking members not to lose sight Nigeria’s role globally, President Buhari said the Successor Plans must, therefore, be designed to sustain national development, support regional and global strategic interests, as outlined in the African Union Agenda 2063, the ECOWAS Integration Agenda 2050 and the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.

  • Why We Shut Down Four Oil Refineries – NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has revealed why it shut down four oil refineries across the country. According to the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, the four oil refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri, and Kaduna were shut down because they were functioning below capacity. Kyari stated that having ascertained that the refineries were underperforming, it became necessary to stop them from operating altogether. “All the four refineries in three locations are shut down and it was a deliberate decision for two reasons. One is that the delivery of crude oil to these refineries is completely challenged because the pipeline network has been completely compromised by vandals and all kinds of people that will not allow us to operate these pipelines.

Mr Kyari also weighed in on the recent increase in fuel price, dismissing the criticism that followed the recent hike. “The outburst is very understandable but I also believe very strongly that it is misplaced because Nigerians are not aware of the opportunities lost,” he said.
According to Kyari, the issue of subsidy has been a big issue in the country for many years but the government can no longer afford it because of the economic issues facing the country. “And not only that, every corruption that you are aware of in the downstream industry is one way or the other connected to fuel subsidy,” the NNPC boss added.

  • Buhari Orders CBN Not To Give FOREX For Food, Fertilizer Imports

President Muhammadu Buhari’s quest to boost agriculture in the country took another turn on Thursday with the Nigerian leader directing the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) not to give foreign exchange for food and fertilizer imports. At a meeting of the National Food Security Council at the State House, in Abuja, Buhari reechoed his administration’s commitment to ensuring Nigeria is self-sufficient in food production. From only three operating in the country, we have 33 fertilizer blending plants now working,” he explained, stressing that “We will not pay a kobo of our foreign reserves to import fertilizer. We will empower local producers.” To beat the cartel of transporters undermining efforts to deliver the products to users at reasonable costs, Buhari equally ordered blenders of fertilizer to take their products straight to State Governments.

He advised businesses bent on the importation of food to source their foreign exchange independently. Instead of bringing in “compromised” food items in the country, he, however, has a message for food importers: – ”use your money to compete with our farmers.” Buhari believes farming is one of the ways to ensure food sufficiency and tackle unemployment in Nigeria. We have a lot of able-bodied young people willing to work and agriculture is the answer,” he added. “We have a lot to do to support our farmers.”

HEALTH

  • FG pays N20bn COVID-19 allowance to health workers

The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, says the Federal Government has paid up to N20bn in COVID-19 inducement allowance to doctors and health workers in the country. The minister, who applauded all front-line health workers in the country amid the fight against the pandemic, made this known on Wednesday morning while featuring on Channels Television‘s programme, Sunrise Daily. About 16,000 doctors have downed tools over the government’s inability to meet their demands including insurance package, payment of the outstanding COVID-19 inducement allowance as well as the payment of medical residency training funding.
It had been reported earlier that the doctors also called for the upward review of their hazard allowance from the sum of N5,000 which they described as “paltry”.

But speaking on Wednesday, Mamora said it is regrettable that this is happening at a time when the nation is grappling with a pandemic. He said the N5,000 hazard allowance for doctors and health workers in the country which has been in existence for about 30 years was suspended for the period of the pandemic. He said, “We have been able to pay the COVID-19 inducement allowance because we had to suspend the hazard allowance for this period so that we can go into renegotiation after. “We are now paying starting from 50 per cent of the basic of the workers depending on where the point of operation is. We were able to pay April, May full, June, part of it has been paid but not fully paid and it is because of the economic situation and these funds have to be sourced for one way or the other. “We’ve been able to disbursed close to N20bn and I repeat close to 20bn. So, to now say nothing has been done, that is not true.

  • Kaduna spends N400,000 on COVID-19 treatment per patient – Governor

Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai says the treatment of each COVID-19 patient for his government is well over N400,000, noting that the fight against the viral pandemic is an expensive exercise. The governor disclosed this on Monday during the executive committee meeting of the Northern Traditional Rulers’ Council, held at Lord Lugard Hall, Kaduna. While urging the royal fathers and stakeholders to help sensitise the people on the danger of COVID-19, the governor lamented that having to expend N400,000 on each confirmed case is draining the treasury of the state.

“Even though we have very successful places of treatment for coronavirus, it is a very expensive process. The last time I received a report, it costs about N400,000 to treat a coronavirus patient. “Because it has to be isolated and detected. The cost of medicines has increased including even the PPE that the doctors treating them have to wear. When you add these up, it is over N400,000 per person,” he said. He disclosed that it is a burden the state government have to bear until a potent COVID-19 vaccine is developed. While disclosing that 75 per cent of COVID-19 deaths recorded were from those above 50, he explained that Kaduna State experienced a spike of a little over 300 COVID-19 cases during the lockdown.

  • Federal Govt Approves Additional N8.9bn For June COVID-19 Hazard Allowance

An additional N8.9 billion has been approved by the Federal Government to pay up a large chunk of the June 2020 COVID-19 allowance to all Health Workers across the nation. This was revealed by Senator Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the end of the meeting between the Federal Government and the Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) on Wednesday in Abuja. Ngige stated that the implementation of the payment of the Special Hazard and Inducement Allowance has been concluded, stressing that this has been cash-backed and the mandate sent to the Central Bank of Nigeria for payments to start with effect from September 9. According to him, this will bring the total disbursement to about N288 billion.

On Wednesday, the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and the Federal Government reached an agreement in a bid to end the ongoing strike by health workers. At the meeting that lasted almost the entire day, the association said it will consult its executive council within the next 24 hours, with a view to calling off the strike by Thursday. Both parties had been locked in negotiations to resolve issues that led to the declaration of a nationwide strike on Monday. Some of the issues revolved around the provision of group life insurance for doctors and other Health Care Workers, payment of death-in-service benefit to next of kin/beneficiaries, Universal implementation of the Medical Residency Training Act in all Federal and State, immediate review of the Hazard Allowance of Health Care Workers and payment of the Covid-19 Inducement Allowance.

  • Resident Doctors Suspend Nationwide Strike

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has suspended the nationwide industrial action. Dr Aliyu Sokomba who is the President of NARD confirmed this to newsmen on Thursday evening. Dr Sokomba disclosed that the union will review the progress made in talks with the Federal Government in two weeks. On Wednesday, the Federal Government and the doctors reached an agreement in a bid to end the industrial action. During the meeting which almost took the entire day, NARD had disclosed that it will liaise with the executive council with a view to calling off the strike.

Both parties had been in talks to resolve the issues which led to NARD declaring an end to the country-wide strike. The Federal said an additional N8.9 billion has been approved to pay up a large chunk of the June 2020 COVID-19 allowance to all health workers across the nation. This was revealed by Senator Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment on Wednesday.

WORLD

  • US Election: Trump blows hot, claims Biden is taking drugs to give speeches

U.S. President Donald Trump claimed, without offering any proof, that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is taking performance-enhancing drugs for his public speeches. Trump said this in an interview with Fox News which is due to be appeared in full on Saturday. “I think there are probably, possibly drugs involved, that’s what I hear,” he said.

Trump, 74, has long tried to paint Biden, 77, as senile, as part of his campaign tactics. Trump also said that he was not worried about violence on election day. “We’ll put them down very quickly if they do that,” he said.

  • EU Reserves 200 Million More COVID-19 Vaccines

The European Commission announced Wednesday it has reached a deal with a sixth pharmaceutical firm, this time BioNTech-Pfizer, to reserve a further 200 million doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine. “Our chances to develop and deploy a safe and effective vaccine have never been higher, both for Europeans here at home, or for the rest of the world,” European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said. “To defeat coronavirus anywhere, we need to defeat it everywhere.” Brussels has previously signed deals with Sanofi-GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Curevac, Moderna and with AstraZeneca to be ready to procure doses quickly if and when any of the companies develop a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine. “We are optimistic that among these candidates there will be a safe and effective vaccine against Covid-19 to help us defeat this pandemic,” the EU health commissioner, Stella Kyriakides, said. In a statement, BioNTech said the agreement includes an option for another 100 million doses. Deliveries could start as soon as the end of 2020, if the labs successfully clear the various tests phases.

“We have activated our supply chain, most importantly our site in Belgium, and are starting to manufacture so that our vaccine would be available as soon as possible, if our clinical trials prove successful and regulatory approval is granted” said Albert Bouria, chairman and chief executive of Pfizer. Labs around the world are racing to produce a vaccine to help end the worst health crisis in over a century. More than 200 candidate vaccines are currently being developed with roughly two dozen at the stage of clinical trials with human volunteers. Countries have also been scrambling to ensure they have sufficient doses, with the world’s wealthiest nations making pre-orders worth billions to secure deliveries even before the vaccines have completed tests.

  • Nearly 60 Bridges, 2,000 Houses Wrecked By Typhoon In North Korea

A typhoon that struck North Korea wrecked nearly 60 bridges and destroyed or inundated more than 2,000 houses, state media reported Wednesday, with leader Kim Jong Un saying the damage had disrupted central planning for the rest of the year. Typhoon Maysak brought days of heavy downpours to the country’s east coast last week even as the North was still reeling from earlier flooding and typhoon damage, and this week it was followed by Typhoon Haishen.

Maysak “destroyed or inundated” more than 2,000 houses and tens of public buildings in the affected regions, the official KCNA news agency said, while 60 kilometres of roads and 59 bridges collapsed, with over 3,500 metres of railway roadbeds “swept away”. Natural disasters tend to have a greater impact in the North due to its creaking infrastructure, and the country is vulnerable to flooding as many mountains and hills have long been deforested. The damage obliged the authorities to “change the direction of our struggle after comprehensively considering the year-end tasks that were underway”, Kim told a top committee of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, according to KCNA.

  • Somaliland Launches Representative Office In Taiwan

Somaliland opened a representative office in Taiwan Wednesday as the unrecognised but de facto sovereign territories deepen a relationship that has sparked angry rebukes from both China and Somalia. Taiwan and Somaliland have grown closer in recent years, finding common ground in their peculiar and isolated international status. Both are thriving self-run democracies that remain mostly unrecognised by the wider world. “The bilateral accord between Somaliland and Taiwan is based on common values of freedom and democracy,” Somaliland representative Mohamed Hagi said at a ceremony in Taipei. Beijing views Taiwan as its own territory and has vowed to one day seize it, by force if needed. Only 15 countries diplomatically recognise Taiwan over Beijing, although many nations maintain embassy equivalent trade offices in Taipei.

Somaliland, meanwhile, declared independence from Somalia during the 1991 civil war and has thrived as a comparative beacon of stability. While some nations maintain informal ties with Hargeisa, Somaliland is not diplomatically recognised by any other nation. Last month Taiwan opened an office in Somaliland. Somalia described the move as a “reckless attempt” to infringe on its sovereignty, while Beijing accused Taipei of separatism and acting with “desperation”. Hagi pushed back at that criticism on Wednesday. “From Somaliland’s perspective we are independent,” he told reporters.

  • Scotland Launches App To Track COVID-19 Cases

Scotland on Thursday launched a smartphone app for tracking coronavirus cases using technology developed by Apple and Google, while neighbouring England is still struggling to roll out its own troubled version. The “Protect Scotland” app, developed by the UK nation’s National Health Service (NHS), adopts the decentralised approach offered by the US tech giants to help fight the spread of Covid-19. It alerts app users if they have been in close contact with another user who tests positive for the virus, and helps trace their other contacts “while keeping your information private and anonymous”, Scotland’s devolved government said. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urged Scots to adopt the tool, stressing it was “confidential” and users would be notified “anonymously”. “There’s a new way to help fight COVID in Scotland,” she said on Twitter. “Please download, and let’s all protect Scotland.”

The rollout contrasts with the situation in England, where the effort by the UK government in Westminster to develop its own app has been bedevilled by problems. In an embarrassing U-turn in June, it was forced to abandon the release of the tool nationwide after it encountered major problems with its more centralised approach. Officials switched to the Apple and Google technology, and needed several months of further troubleshooting before trials could begin with the latest version of the app in parts of England.

  • UK Holds Crisis Talks With EU As Pelosi Warns On Brexit Bill

Britain held emergency talks with the European Union on Thursday, facing warnings of legal action over a new Brexit bill and a threatening reminder of its obligations to Northern Ireland from leading US Democrat Nancy Pelosi. Warnings redoubled too within the ranks of the governing Conservative party as former prime minister John Major, who helped lay the foundations for Northern Irish peace in the 1990s, said his successor Boris Johnson risked trashing the UK’s global reputation. “If we lose our reputation for honouring the promises we make, we will have lost something beyond price that may never be regained,” Major said, after the government conceded that the proposed new legislation would breach an EU withdrawal treaty in the countdown to a full Brexit divorce.
European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic headed to London demanding “clarifications” over the new UK Internal Market Bill, after it was submitted to a stormy session of parliament Wednesday.

The bill would give British ministers unilateral powers to regulate trade among England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, once the force of EU law expires after a post-Brexit transition period at the end of this year. But under the EU withdrawal treaty, Britain is meant to liaise with Brussels on arrangements for Northern Ireland, which will have the UK’s only land border with the EU, and where 30 years of bloodshed ended with a landmark peace deal in 1998.

SPORTS

  • ‘So Sorry’ Djokovic Disqualified From US Open For Hitting Judge

Novak Djokovic was dramatically disqualified from the US Open on Sunday after accidentally striking a female lines judge with a ball in frustration during his last-16 match, sending shock waves through the tournament. The world number one apologized for hitting the ball in disgust after losing his serve to go 6-5 down in the first set to Spain’s 20th seed Pablo Carreno Busta inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. Djokovic appeared to be looking the other way when he pulled the ball from his pocket and smacked it in the direction of the official, it hitting her full toss in the throat. The official cried out and began gasping for air as she collapsed to the ground. Djokovic rushed over to check on her, placing his hand on her back as she struggled to breathe. After a few minutes she got up and walked off the court looking dazed.

Around ten minutes of discussions then ensued between Djokovic and the tournament referee Soeren Friemel, during which the world number one pleaded his case. The umpire then declared that Carreno Busta had won by default. Djokovic shook hands with his opponent before leaving the court without appearing to shake the umpire’s hand. He went then directly to his car and left the Flushing Meadows site in New York without speaking to reporters. Djokovic, 33, later posted an apology on Instagram saying he was “so sorry.” “This whole situation has left me really sad and empty,” he wrote, adding that “thank God” the woman was okay. “I’m extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended. So wrong,” Djokovic said. He also apologized to tournament organizers for “my behavior” but did not say whether he thought they were right to default him.

  • ‘100 Is Not Enough’: Record-Breaking Ronaldo Vows To Score More For Portugal

Juventus star, Cristiano Ronaldo wants to score more goals for the national team after he crossed the 100-goal mark for Portugal in a 2-0 win over Sweden, Tuesday. The former Manchester United forward who is overjoyed on reaching the milestone, took to his social media handle to describe it as a “historic goal” for A Seleção. “Huge pride in this historical goal for our national team!” he wrote on Instagram. “When they tell me I can reach 100, I say it’s not enough…101 goals for Portugal.”

The 35-year-old Juventus attacker curled in a free-kick from 25 yards over the wall and into the far left corner beyond Sweden’s stranded goalkeeper Robin Olsen for a memorable milestone in his trophy-laden career. The bonus second goal, and his 101st, came in the 72nd minute, with the former Manchester United and Real Madrid player cutting back inside the Swedish defence and producing a deft finish into the far corner from 20 yards. Incredibly for Ronaldo, just 17 of his 100 goals have come in friendly matches, and his nine hat-tricks all came in FIFA or UEFA tournaments or qualifying games. Portugal are leading Group 3 in League A, with the Sweden victory and massive 4-1 win over Croatia on Friday, giving them six points in two games played so far.

  • Canada Midfielder Quinn Comes Out As Transgender

Canada and OL Reign midfielder Rebecca Quinn came out publicly as transgender in an Instagram post on Tuesday. The 25-year-old player, who won Olympic bronze with the Canadian women’s team in 2016 and played for Canada at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, said the post was aimed at helping “queer folx” feel safe on social media. “As I’ve lived as an openly trans person with the people I love most for many years, I did always wonder when I’d come out publicly,” Quinn wrote. “I wanted to be visible to queer folx who don’t see people like them on their feed,” Quinn added. “I know it saved my life years ago.”

Quinn urged “cis folks” — those who identify with their birth gender — to be “better allies.” Quinn plays professionally for the Tacoma, Washington-based OL Reign of the National Women’s Soccer League, and is currently on loan to Vittsjo GIK in Sweden. Quinn is one of the most prominent North American team sports athletes to come out as transgender. Triathlete Chris Mosier, who began his athletics career as a woman, competed for the US as a man in 2015.

  • Premier League Hit Back Over Newcastle Takeover Bid Claim

The Premier League have slammed Newcastle’s claim that the organisation rejected a Saudi Arabia-backed bid to buy the troubled club. Newcastle released a statement on Wednesday that said Premier League chief executive Richard Masters had blocked the takeover and did not “act appropriately”. But the Premier League delivered a strongly worded response on Thursday that made it clear they had not pulled the plug on the deal. “The Premier League was disappointed and surprised by the Newcastle United Football Club statement regarding its potential takeover by PCP Capital Partners, the Reuben Brothers and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF),” a statement read. “The club’s assertion that the Premier League has rejected the takeover is incorrect.

“The Premier League Board has, on a number of occasions, given its opinion about which entities it believes would have control over the club should the consortium proceed with the acquisition. That opinion is based on legal advice. The investment group, which included the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), PCP Capital Partners and billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben, said they withdrew their bid in July after waiting months for the English top-flight’s approval. A £300 million ($391 million) deal to buy the side from owner Mike Ashley had been agreed in April. However, the bid had attracted scrutiny due to the piracy of sports broadcast rights, including Premier League matches, in Saudi and the state’s human rights record.

  • Moses donates £20,000 to support Wigan

Chelsea star Victor Moses has donated £20,000 to support his former club Wigan Athletic amid their financial struggles, the club’s supporters body confirmed. The chairperson of Wigan Athletic Supporters’ Club, Caroline Molyneux, confirmed the payment by the Nigerian, who played at the DW Stadium between 2010 and 2012. The supporters are aiming to raise £750,000 to support the club this season, and they are now within £100,000 of the target after Moses’ donation.

“Wow” what can we say? When Victor got in touch to say he wanted to help by donating such a substantial amount, I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing, it’s such an incredible gesture,” Molyneux said. “Victor wanted to make the donation and remain anonymous but we simply had to make sure he gets the recognition he deserves.

ENTERTAINMENT

  • Ronald Bell Of Kool And The Gang Dies At 68

Ronald Bell — a co-founder of Kool and the Gang, the heavyweight funk group behind hits like “Celebration,” “Jungle Boogie” and “Ladies’ Night” — died Wednesday. He was 68 years old. The performer died at his home in the US Virgin Islands, the group’s publicist Angelo Ellerbee told AFP, without specifying a cause of death.

Bell founded Kool and the Gang with his brother Robert and friends Dennis Thomas, Robert Mickens, Charles Smith, George Brown and Ricky West in the early 1960s, fusing a foundation of jazz with smatterings of funk, disco, R&B and pop. The group became a major smash in the 1970s, its brassy funk putting it in a class with Earth, Wind and Fire, the Isley Brothers and Sly and the Family Stone. Kool and the Gang scored a Grammy in 1978 for their contributions to the soundtrack for “Saturday Night Fever” starring John Travolta. The group was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018.

Born in Youngstown, Ohio in 1951, Bell also went by his Muslim name Khalis Bayyan. A self-taught musician, he wrote some of the ensemble’s major hits including “Celebration,” which is still a popular anthem at sporting events. The group remains a DJ favorite and is heavily sampled especially in the rap world, its tracks appearing in songs by artists including Jay-Z, Nas, NWA, Tupac, The Wu-Tang Clan, Snoop Dogg, A Tribe Called Quest and Busta Rhymes.

  • Olakira features Davido in “In my Maserati” remix

Afro-Pop and Dancehall sensation, Olakira has featured Davido in his hit song, ‘In my Maserati’. According to information released by the music producer and act, the duet with Davido is set for release soon. Produced by Olakira, fans are yearning for the release after he hinted about the remix on his social media platforms. Olakira upped the ante with a fresh feel of an otherwise regular pop song. Olakira’s ‘In my Maserati’ has achieved over 1.9million audiomack streams, over 2.5million Apple Music streams, over 700k Spotify Streams and YouTube has had over 3 million streams.

Having peaked at Number 1 on the Gambian, Kenyan, and Ugandan official Top 100, the song went ahead to peak at Number 1 on Triller and Soundcity’s Naija Top 20. MTV Base Official Naija top 10 also saw ‘In my Maserati’ on a steady number 1. Speaking on the achievement, Olakira said, ”Children playing in the garden behind the studio heard the recording of “In My Maserati” and would always knock on my window every day and request that I play the song, this went on for almost two weeks, this would be the first time they would be making such requests so my management decided it was time to let the public in on the ”In my Maserati” sound.”

  • Six Nollywood actors get ambassadorial roles with Lagos Waste Management

Six Nollywood stars have clinched ambassadorial roles with the Lagos State Waste Management Authority. In a bid to keep the megacity of Lagos clean, LAWMA unveiled the Nollywood stars as ambassadors to promote effective waste management in the state. The LAWMA ambassadors are Bolanle Ninaolowo, Foluke Daramola, Woli Arole, Onyebuchi Ojeih (Buchi the comedian), Olatayo Amokade (Ijebuu), and Adenike Hamzat. Reacting to the new roles, the actors expressed determination to represent and promote the values of the waste management authority.

Foluke Daramola-Salako said, “Signed and Sealed, we are more than ready to push Lagos forward, together we can! Many thanks to LAWMA for the privilege to serve as an ambassador, it’s such a huge honour. Many thanks to friends and family for your consistent and continuous support! Let’s keep Lagos clean. On his part, Woli Arole said, “Excited to be named as one of the newest LAWMA ambassadors. Our goal is to have a Lagos where waste is properly managed and recycled.” Also, the Managing Director, LAWMA, Ibrahim Odumboni, said, “With the inauguration of the LAWMA Ambassadors, in the next few years, we will see LAWMA on a higher pedestal and better positioned to perform its duties to the satisfaction of the state residents. “We can only achieve remarkable feats with formidable cooperation and support of all stakeholders.’’

  • Kardashians Announce End To Reality Show

Fans will have to find another way to keep up with the Kardashians, as the mega-celebrity family announced Tuesday that their reality show will end next year. “It is with heavy hearts that we’ve made the difficult decision as a family to say goodbye to Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” Kim Kardashian wrote in a post to her 188 million Instagram followers. “After what will be 14 years, 20 seasons, hundreds of episodes and numerous spin-off shows, we are beyond grateful to all of you who’ve watched us for all of these years — through the good times, the bad times, the happiness, the tears, and the many relationships and children,” she said. “Our last season will air early next year in 2021,” wrote the businesswoman and wife of rapper Kanye West. “Without Keeping Up with The Kardashians, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” she added. “This show made us who we are and I will be forever in debt to everyone who played a role in shaping our careers and changing our lives forever.”

The statement was also shared by Kardashian’s mother, Kris Jenner, the family’s highly adept “mom-ager.” The post was signed by the three Kardashian sisters — Kourtney, Kim and Khloe — their mother, their brother Rob, their half-sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner and Scott Disick, the father of Kourtney’s three children. The family gave no explanation for the decision to end the popular show. The announcement comes after that of rap star West, who has four children with Kim Kardashian, that he is running for US president. West has also recently made enigmatic and disjointed, even incoherent, remarks on Twitter and at a campaign event, prompting his wife to open up about his bipolar disorder and ask for “compassion and empathy.”

  • AMPEC – Anyiam-Osigwe-led NEC is validly elected to lead the association

The Association of Movie Producers Electoral Committee (AMPEC) has reconfirmed the validity of the Peace Anyiam-Osigwe-led National Executive Committee (EXCO) of the Association of Movie Producers (AMP), saying it was the only-legally recognized executives that were elected at the national election that held in Asaba on August 29, 2020. The Chair of AMPEC, Sunny Macdon W., in a statement in Abuja said the clarifications became necessary in order to draw the attention of the public to the activities of some individuals who “are parading themselves as newly-elected national excos of the association.” He said that while the association was aware of the development, it was calling on the general public to disregard their claims, “as the only legally-recognised executives are those that were voted for and sworn in after the election in Asaba, Delta State.”

He further said: “We, therefore, extend our warm congratulations to the winners on their success and encourage other contestants who were not as lucky to support the winners in line with the undertaking (to accept the outcomes of the exercise) signed in Lagos by all the contestants on the 26th of August, 2020.”

  • Bollywood actress arrested after ex-boyfriend’s suicide

Bollywood actress Rhea Chakraborty has been arrested for allegedly buying drugs for her former boyfriend, the actor Sushant Singh Rajput, whose suicide sparked a media storm in India. Rajput, 34, was found dead in June in his Mumbai apartment — with police saying he took his own life. A star with many hit movies to his name, his suicide initially triggered a debate over mental health in the multi-billion-dollar industry. But Rajput’s family disputed reports that he suffered from depression and accused Chakraborty, 28, of stealing his money and harassing him. She has strongly denied the allegations. Chakraborty was arrested on Tuesday. The police have also detained others in connection with the case including her brother and a member of Rajput’s house staff.

India’s top anti-crime agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation, has been probing his death since last month. The Narcotics Control Bureau was looking into the star’s consumption of cannabis. “We will be opposing bail petitions” for all suspects, NCB Director Mutha Ashok Jain told reporters. The actress has been remanded to judicial custody until September 22. The investigation has grabbed headlines for months, with the media closely following the back-and-forth allegations between Rajput’s family and Chakraborty.

METRO PLUS

  • Rivers Police arrests dreaded kidnapper ‘Bobosky’

Police in Rivers State have arrested a suspected notorious kidnapper, murderer and cultist, Honest Digbara, popularly known as Bobosky. Bobosky is also acknowledged as the leader of Greenlander cult gang in Ogoni land, Rivers State. It was gathered that Bobosky was arrested at about 2:30 am Saturday at Korokoro-Tai community in Gokana local government area. His second in command was also gunned down in the cause of the operation.

Bobosky was arrested in a joint operation of the local vigilante security outfit and the DPO of Gokana Division, SP Bako and his men. The Rivers State Police Command led by CP Joseph Mukan has commended SP Bako and his team. Bobosky was declared wanted by Governor Nyesom Wike with a bounty of N30m placed on him.

  • Kaduna approves castration of convicted rapists

The state assembly in Kaduna, in north-western Nigeria, has approved full surgical castration as punishment for those convicted of rape. The state commissioner for woman’s affairs and social development, Hafsat Baba, described the approval by the state assembly as a “welcome development” and said that it will serve as a “deterrent” for rapists. State governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai will now need to sign the bill for it to become law in the state.

In June Nigerian governors declared a state of emergency over rape and violence against women and children in the country. The number of successful prosecutions of rape suspects remains low and stigma often prevents victims from reporting incidents.

  • Undergraduate, 47 kids rescued from Osun baby factory

A facility in Ile-Ife, Osun State, where women are apparently impregnated and their babies sold off by operators has been sealed by the state government. An undergraduate was among women rescued at the facility, which is said to be operating under the guise of an orphanage. It was further gathered that 47 children were evacuated from building. Women, Children and Social Affairs Commissioner, Olubukola Olaboopo and other officials of the ministry and police sealed off the facility identified as Oroyemi Elizabeth Covenant Home and Care Centre.

Olaboopo told newsmen on Saturday that government received reports on the goings-on in the building over a period of three to four years suggesting that there were some illegal activities there. She said despite warnings by the government, the owner persisted, thus breaching the Child Right Laws, and resulting in the closure of the building. “We have gotten several reports over a period of 3-4 years, reporting how the children in Oroyemi Elizabeth Covenant Home and Care Centre are malnourished and the environment have been very dirty and how some illegal activities have been going on more or less like a baby factory and many more allegations,” she said.

  • Court remands seven suspects over abduction of Oyo cleric’s twins

A Chief Magistrates Court sitting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, has remanded seven persons in police custody for their alleged involvement in the kidnap of the twins of an Ibadan-based Islamic cleric, Alhaji Taofeek Akewugbagold. The suspected kidnappers are Mohammed Bashir, 33; Oyeleye Opeyemi, 25; Olumide Ajala, 36; Taiwo Ridwan, 30; Rafiu Mutiu, 35; Fatai Akanji, 49; and Modinat Rafiu, 29. The Chief Magistrate, Mr Emmanuel Idowu, ordered that the suspects should be remanded at the custody of the State Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) in Ibadan pending legal advice by the state Directorate of Public Prosecution.

The suspected kidnappers were charged with five counts bordering on conspiracy, kidnapping, and keeping kidnapped victims in their residence.
The Prosecution Counsel, Olusegun Adegboye, said the suspects allegedly conspired together to kidnapped the twins. According to him, Mohammed, Oyeleye, Ajala, Taiwo, Rafiu and Fatai, having kidnapped a boy and his twin sister, demanded a ransom of N4 million from their father before releasing them after eight days in captivity. The prosecution added that Rafiu and his wife, Modinat kept the victims for eight days in their home contrary to Section 516 of the Criminal Code Cap 38, Vol. II, Laws of Oyo State, punishable under sections 4 (2), 6 and 8 of the Oyo State Kidnapping (Prohibition ) Law 2016.

  • Dubai-bound passenger arrested with 2886 ATM cards

A man has been arrested at the Lagos airport with 2,886 Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards just before his flight to Dubai, the United Arab Emirates took off. lshaq Abubakar Abubakar was picked up by officials of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) at the departure hall of Murtala Muhamed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos on August 22, and wason Thursday handed over to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). Deputy Controller Abdulmumin Bako said the suspect also had four Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards on him when he was intercepted. Bako said Abubakar, with Passport No. A08333717, from Kano State, was travelling to Dubai on an Emirates Evacuation flight. “The ATM cards and SIM cards were carefully concealed in a noodles carton by the suspect,” he said. “The suspect claimed that one Mr Musliu was assigned to him to facilitate his movement through the checks at the airport by one Mr Suleiman but due to the diligence of our officers who insisted on conducting physical examination, revealed the concealment.”

Bako pointed out that the suspect claimed that he was due for evacuation and had bought an evacuation flight ticket for his use. The Lagos Zonal Head, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa said the ATM cards could be used for money laundering or foreign exchange malpractices. He said: “We have taken over Ishaq Abubakar who is in possession of 2886 ATM cards concealed in a carton of noddle together with four SIM cards. It is for us here to investigate and know whether the conspiracy is for foreign exchange malpractices or money laundering. “We are also to determine whether banks or bankers are involved in this crime. We will investigate and anyone found wanting will be prosecuted alongside the suspect. The EFCC said though, it’s not a crime to be with ATM cards but for a person to be in possession of 2886 at a time brings about lot of suspicion and threw up a lot of conspiracy. “That the ATM cards are of different banks is another conspiracy and that raised a lot of questions that needed to be unravelled.”