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EFCC Arrests Kwara TV GM, Three Others Over Land Fraud

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EFCC
EFCC

ABDULFATAI Adewale Adebowale, general manager, Kwara State Television Authority,  has been arrested by the Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over allegations of Land fraud.

Adebowale was arrested alongside two staffs of the state television authority, located on Apata Yakuba Area of Ilorin, the State Capital and senior official of Kwara State Bureau of Land.

It could be recalled that the immediate past governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatai Ahmed had sometime in 2014 allocated 10 plots of land in the premises of the state television outfit to some of its staffs.

In a twist, however, 13 staffs of the television station in a petition, dated May 8, 2019, alleged that the General Manager of the television station had sold the 10 plots of land given to them by Ahmed’s government and converted the proceeds to his personal use.

According to them, “Since 2014 to date, the said plots of land were hijacked by Abdulfatai Adewale Adebowale, general manager,   against the purpose intended by the state government.

“In 2017, the in-house  Union of the Corporation Radio,  Television, Theatre and Art Workers, RATTAWU, started agitation for the recovery of the land from the General Manager, which led to plethora of correspondences between the union and the Office of the Kwara State Head of Service.”

They further alleged that “The union wrote the Kwara State Bureau of Land, requesting for the allocation papers in a quest to recover the said land, converted by the General Manager as his personal property, but all to no avail.”

Operatives of the Commission discovered by investigations that Adebowale and his son benefited from the plots of land, while the remaining parts of the land were sold to outsiders without the knowledge of the staffs to whom they were allocated to.

It was also discovered that Adebowale received the allocation papers from the Kwara State Bureau of Land in the names of staffs but did not deliver them to the rightful owners.

All the suspects are currently in EFCC’s detention and will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.

Aug. 23, 2019 @ 19:35 GMT

Tackling Breast Cancer in Nigeria

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Breast Cancer

By Benprince Ezeh

A medical technology company, Monitor Healthcare Ltd, screened more than 1,000 women for breast cancer from April to July because of the prevalence of this deadly health challenge in Nigeria.

It is generally known as the leading cause of deaths among women globally. Annually, it accounts for over 400,000 deaths globally. It is also the fifth most common cause of cancer deaths, coming behind lung, stomach, liver and colon cancers. But in Nigeria, breast cancer is the commonest cancer among women, and it is the number one killer cancer.

Available data shows that about 100, 000 new cancer cases are discovered annually in Nigeria. Many of these cases are breast cancers. Nigeria records as many as 40 deaths per day from breast cancer and the scourge accounts for the death of over 14, 000 women in Nigeria every year. Of the commonest cancers recorded from 1960 to 1980, six percent was breast cancer. It rose to 14. 8 percent from 1980 to 1985.  It has risen steadily since then.

Medical experts have attributed the high mortality rate of breast cancer to the late presentation of cases. In a country like Nigeria where millions of women are unaware of the disease and its symptoms, many of them do not visit the hospital until it is too late. Although medical experts are not too precise on what causes breast cancer, it is generally believed that a combination of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors are responsible for its rise.

One in 20 cases of breast cancer is reported to be inherited. About one in 1,000 individuals is believed to carry the genes responsible for the disease. This means that if a family member is diagnosed with breast cancer, it is most likely by chance. In spite of this, women whose close relatives had cancer might be at risk.

The most common sign of breast cancer is a new lump or mass in the breast, but some other things like thickening or lump in the breast, this makes one feels different from the surrounding area. Inverting of the nipple (as a change from previous appearance, Nipple discharge or redness (especially any bloody discharge), Breast or nipple pain, Swelling of any part of the breast, Redness, Changes in the skin of the breast, Skin dimpling (peau d’orange) and Lymph node changes.

Felicita Ogbu
Felicita Ogbu

Felicita Ogbu, a doctor said that women have been counselled to pay closer attention to their breasts. “Experts prescribed the breast awareness practice, which involves getting to know what is normal for the breasts in terms of look and texture, so as to spot any changes and get them checked immediately.

“Starting from the age of 20, women are advised to embark on monthly self-examination of their breasts. It is believed that the monthly self-examination would help a woman become familiar with her own breasts, and she can easily tell if a new lump is developing. Women under the age of 50 are advised to have regular mammograms, usually every two years,” Ogbu said.

Toyosi Aibinuomo, a medical practitioner said that excess alcohol and tobacco can cause a tumour that can lead to breast cancer. He said this in a seminar in Ilorin. Aibinuomo said that breast cancer could affect both sexes. “No gender can be said to be immune to breast cancer as it affects both male and female, so, we all have to be cautious of what we consume. Everyone should be responsive to any change in his or her body, because the only way it can be cured is through early detection,” she said.

In 2017, more than 850 participants braved the rain to support the fight against cancer at the 4th edition of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE and Corporate Challenge in Lagos. The NSE Corporate Challenge is an annual, highly competitive and fun-filled 5-kilometre walk, jog and run competition designed to raise awareness and funds for the purchase of 37 Mobile Cancer Centres, MCCs, valued at $613,000 each.

Speaking at the event, Oscar N. Onyema, Chief Executive Officer NSE, said that it was amazing and emotional to see a lot of people turn out in the pouring rain to save lives. “Cancer doesn’t care about the weather, and neither do we. This year’s event attracted over 200 partner companies who are all in massive support for the cause to tackle the cancer scourge in Nigeria

“We remained focus in one of our CSR efforts of mobilizing funds for the purchase of Mobile Cancer Centres in the country. Through this initiative, we want to provide access for early detection and treatment of cancers so that people can live to their full potential. With your support, we believe we can save lives,” he said.

Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu
Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu

In the same vein, Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, Ondo State First Lady and founder of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria, BRECAN, commended the NSE for galvanizing efforts to raise awareness and mobilize funds for the purchase of MCCs across the 36 states of the country. “We need increase in investments through public/private sector partnership that will improve the screening process for cancer in Nigeria, considering the huge costs involved.

“We call on the Federal Government to effect policies that will attract private capital investments into the healthcare sector, to tackle diseases like cancer,” she said.

 

Aug. 23, 2019 @ 18:40 GMT /

 

NFF General Secretary, Sanusi, on CAF duty in Ghana

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MOHAMMED Sanusi, General Secretary of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF has been appointed by the Confederation of African Football, CAF to serve as the match commissioner for Saturday’s CAF Confederation Cup first round, second leg match between Ashantigold of Ghana and Akonangui FC from Equatorial Guinea.

Both teams ended their first leg encounter in Equatorial Guinea 1-1. The return clash is scheduled for the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.

Sanusi has also been appointed by world football –ruling body, FIFA, as match commissioner for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying match between Sierra Leone and Liberia scheduled for Freetown’s Siaka Stevens Stadium on Sunday, September 8, 2019.

The match is a first leg encounter, with the clash of the Leone Stars and the Lone Star starting at 4.30pm Sierra Leone time.

Burkina Faso official Jean Ouattara will be the referee, with his compatriots Abdoura Wogbo (assistant referee 1), Kouka Ouedraogo (assistant referee 2) and Boureima Sanogo (fourth official) also on duty. Former FIFA referee Bonaventure Coffi Codjia from Benin Republic will be the referee assessor.

 

Aug. 23, 2019 @ 18:40 GMT /

 

MFM’s 30th Anniversary Convention Kicks off at Prayer City

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MFM Prayer City, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ogun State
MFM Prayer City, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ogun State

THE special international convention to mark the 30th anniversary of Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) kicked off on Friday evening at the church’s popular Prayer City along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ogun State.

Already worshippers, in their thousands from all over the world, who had arrived for the convention, which begins properly on Saturday at 7 0’clock in the morning, Nigerian time, were treated to a highly-anointed and spiritually-packed concert at the Prayer City.

Unveiling the programme of the event last Sunday at the international headquarters, Lagos, General Overseer of MFM, Dr. Daniel Olukoya, said the Saturday programme will be laced with three Holy Ghost-packed Manna Water Services.

He encouraged worshippers to come to the meeting with their bottles of water as they connect to the awesome power of the Holy Ghost.

The Manna Water service is one the church’s inter-denominational services that attract millions of worshippers all over the world.

Worshippers, during several of their testimonies on the Manna Water service, say longtime yokes, intractable ailments and foundational curses, among others, are broken during the services.

Olukoya, speaking on the programme, also said the special convention will come to a close on Sunday with a thanksgiving service at the same venue.

– Aug. 23, 2019 @ 18:55 GMT |

Retail SMIS get $297.92, CNY21.2

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Isaac Okorafor
Okorafor

THE Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has made interventions in the retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales, SMIS, to the tune of $297.92m in addition to CNY21.2million in the spot and short-tenured forwards segment of the inter-bank foreign market.

This was disclosed in Abuja on Friday, August 23, by Isaac Okorafor, bank’s director in charge of Corporate Communications Department. According to him, the United States dollars-denominated transactions were to meet requests in the agricultural and raw materials sectors, while those in Chinese Yuan were for Renminbi-denominated Letters of Credit.

Okorafor reiterated that the bank’s management was satisfied with the continued stability in the foreign exchange market and assured that the CBN remain committed to meeting the foreign exchange needs of the all sectors of the economy.

Meanwhile, the dollar on Friday, August 23, exchanged for N358 while CNY1 exchanged at N46 at the Bureau de Change, BDC, segment of the foreign exchange market.

– Aug. 23, 2019 @ 18:47 GMT |

Next Level: Challenges before the new ministers

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Buhari
Buhari

The admission by Mr. President that “many Nigerians are poor and are anxiously hoping for a better life” is a welcome departure from the views erroneously held and conveyed by some of his ministers and party loyalists. Nigerians are, however, hopeful that the members of the new Federal Executive Council will do the needful and urgently too to meet the basic needs of Nigerians, which include but not limited to security, electricity, good economy, jobs and good governance

By Anayo Ezugwu

WHEN President Muhammadu Buhari included the names of some of his former ministers as ministerial nominees, many analysts knew that most of them will retain their previous portfolios. And on Wednesday, August 21, the President proved them right after all.

From minister of finance; education; labour and employment; information and culture; water resources; Federal Capital territory; justice, transportation, aviation and science and technology, all retained their former portfolios except power, works and housing that was broken into two. These ministers have been tasked by the president to reposition the country and put it on the part of growth.

Buhari said on Tuesday, August 20, at the end of the presidential retreat that many Nigerians are poor and are anxiously hoping for a better life. “Nigerians want a country in which they do not have to worry about what they will eat, where they will live or if they can afford to pay for their children’s education or healthcare. Our responsibility as leaders of this great country is to meet these basic needs for our people,” he said.

Ahmed

But the chunk of this responsibility falls on the minister of finance, who is expected to design the fiscal policies that will drive the economy. The biggest task ahead of Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, is how to revive the economy and propel economic growth.

Incidentally, on assumption of office on Wednesday, August 21, Ahmed acknowledged that the nation’s economy is in crisis. She also warned that the nation must increase revenue generation if the economy is to be revived. But she promised to deliver on the mandate given to her to improve on the nation’s economy.

According to her, the nation is still facing some fiscal crisis and it is the responsibility of all staff of the ministry to ensure the situation is arrested to avoid slipping into a full blown crisis. “We have been growing in eight consecutive quarters, but it is a growth that is still fragile, revenues have grown but they are still behind on what we have projected. So, I want to urge you that the good work you have done in the past should be re-doubled because the task is now double.”

Her acknowledgement is an indication that much needs to done to return the economy on the part of growth. Available data indicate that the economy needs policy direction to avert another recession in 2020. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, the country’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, grew by 2.1 percent in the first quarter of 2019 against 2.38 percent recorded in the last quarter of 2018.

The data also points to the fact that the economic growth rate is shrinking when compared to the population growth rate at 2.6 percent in 2018. Likewise, the growth recorded so far this year is also in shortfall with the projections of International Monetary Fund, IMF, 2.3 percent and World Bank 2.2 percent growth rate.

Apart from fixing the economy, Ahmed must also address the challenges of late budget preparation/passage, poor implementation of fiscal plans and delay in budget releases to the ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs. Also ensure implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP.

Timipire Sylva
Timipire Sylva

It could be recalled that the minister launched the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative, SRGI, to drive revenue mobilisation before the end of her first term appointment. But the impact is yet to be seen on how such initiative will bridge the revenue gap. Experts believe that Ahmed will deliver on the mandate of the administration.

For Saleh Mamman, minister of power, fixing the sector and ensuring steady power supply across the country, is a huge task. One of his first tasks would be to ensure full implementation of the Meter Asset Provider, MAP, scheme in order to end estimated billing system.

He is also expected to fix the national grid, which collapses at will. According to the Discos, the collapses occurred nine times so far this year as a result of poor protection of transmission infrastructure by the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN.

Mamman’s counterpart Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, job won’t be easy as he would have to deal with the policy inconsistencies in the industry. He would need to map out strategies for securing the consensus required for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, which many industry watchers say holds the key to unlocking the great opportunities that abound in the sector.

Sylva will be deputising for President Buhari, who is the substantive minister. The duo has a hard task ahead managing a ministry that is central to the economic survival of the nation and in resolving the uncertainty and paucity of investment. About 90 percent of the nation’s foreign revenue is from oil sales and ensuring efficiency and transparency in running the oil sector has always been a sore point in Nigeria.

With the enormous challenges before the new ministers, some Nigerians believe that they have the required experience and exposure to put Nigeria on the world map again. Pita Adori, economic analyst, said Ahmed is expected to understand the challenges before her as someone who has been in the ministry before. He expected Ahmed to ensure fiscal policy stability to align with the monetary policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

rotimi-amechi
rotimi-amechi

“Well, she has been there as minister of finance after serving as minister of state for budget and planning. So I expect her to understand the economy and know what to do. She is an accountant by training, but I will still prefer an economist for that position. Yes, she has what it takes to manage the economy, her few stay as minister of finance witnessed a steady progress in the economy,” he said.

Tunji Ajibade, policy analyst, said Ahmed will bring innovation and new ideas into public service. He said one other benefit that anyone with Ahmed’s background brings is the opportunity to operate a transparent and unencumbered administration. “Regarding the things Ahmed did in her first term in office, I once stated that for me, even if a government does nothing else, once it ensures that leakages of public funds into the hands of treasury looters are curtailed, such a government is an achiever.

Ahmed has worked towards that, meaning she’s adding value to how this nation is run.  She couldn’t have done otherwise because she came from NEITI where she used to announce to Nigerians what government should get as revenue from the extractive industry that government agencies concerned didn’t remit.  We need more of her kind in government,he said.

But Igbini Emmanuel, national president, Vanguard for Transparent Leadership and Democracy, faulted Buhari’s decision to merge ministry of finance with the ministry of budget and national planning. He argued that the merger would place more burden on the minister in charge and might lead to loss of focus.

He lauded the President’s unbundling of the ministry of power, works and housing. “While we appreciate his (Buhari’s) unbundling of ministries of power, works and housing, we are, however, disappointed that he now merged ministry of budget and national planning with the ministry of finance.

“This will create more burden on the minister of finance and give room for loss of focus, abuses and corruption. We demand that he reverses to the existing status and appoint a substantive minister of budget and national planning,” he said.

Emmanuel lauded Buhari for retaining the ministry of petroleum resources. He, however, asked the president to justify his decision to remain in charge of the ministry by sanitising the petroleum sector.

Ogbonnaya Onu
Ogbonnaya Onu

He urged him to, among other things see to a reduction in the pump prices of petroleum products. “We also hasten to remind President Buhari that Nigerians look forward to him as minister of petroleum resources and an anti-corruption crusader to bring urgent sanity to the petroleum sector and cause immediate downward review of prices of petroleum products and get our nation’s refineries fully operational to their maximum design capacities.

“He is fully in charge and can no longer blame anyone if the corruption, looting and inefficiency in this sector continue. We also want to commend him for appointing some ministers into ministries they have professional competence, experience and proven passion for.

“One of such appointments is that of Mr. Keyamo Festus SAN, who for the past two decades has been with us in the peaceful campaigns for economic and environmental justice and infrastructural development of the Niger Delta region.”

Emmanuel argued that the decision of the president to retain the petroleum ministry is in line with Section 5 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended. He said the ball was in the court of the National Assembly to without fear or favour, invoke its full constitutional powers of oversight to regularly invite Buhari as minister of petroleum resources to give reports of situations in the sector and to answer any query raised.

He also faulted a situation where he said some states were still denied their equal constitutional rights to produce substantive ministers. This, he argued, is a gross violation of Section 147 of the constitution, reiterating that the positions of ministers of state do not exist in the constitution.

As the ministers begin work in earnest, they must show a sense of urgency in addressing the mirage of challenges facing the country. Nigerians also want secured environment to go about their daily living. They also desire improvement in social amenities like electricity supply, potable water, health facilities and every other good thing life can offer.

– Aug. 23, 2019 @ 18:45 GMT |

Multiple subscriptions: SEC regularises over 3.4bn shares

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SEC
SEC

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), says over 3.4 billion units of shares have been consolidated in the market under multiple subscription regularisation initiative aimed at tackling unclaimed dividends.

Ms Mary Uduk, SEC Acting Director-General, stated this on Friday at the second quarter Post Capital Market Committee (CMC) news briefing in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SEC, in order to tame unclaimed dividends, encouraged investors who bought shares during the banking consolidation with different names to consolidate their multiple subscriptions into a single account.

Uduk said over 3.4 billion units of shares had been effectively regularised and 2.7 million account holders had been given the mandate to pay their dividends into e-dividend accounts to tackle the menace of unclaimed dividends.

She said Heads of Banking Operations of all the commercial banks had agreed to collaborate with the commission to display banners in banking halls all over the country to sensitise the public on the regularisation of multiple subscription of shares.

“Company Secretaries of listed companies have also agreed to display similar information on their websites and offices.

“So far, the regularisation exercise has recorded the consolidation of over 3.4 billion units of shares,” Uduk said.

According to her, brokers and registrars are required to make available to the Committee on multiple subscription the number of regularised accounts, on a periodic basis.

The Acting director-general said the commission would continue to engage relevant stakeholders on e-dividend and multiple subscription accounts.

Uduk said the commission would discourage unclaimed dividends from building up from securities of newly-listed companies.

She noted that the commission would collaborate with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to include e-Dividend Mandate Management System (E-DMMS) charges in the guideline for bank charges.

Uduk disclosed that after extensive discussions with the capital market committee, the commission intended to partner the apex bank to issue charges on E-DMMS transactions.

“The CBN has published charges for the banks. This means that any transactions carried out by any bank, there is an established charge.

“The e-dividend charge is not part of the charges from the CBN, and so, because of that, investors are having issues with banks where for instance they are charged for some transactions that are not listed as bank charges which they do not know.

“They complained to us and so we decided that we will engage CBN to actually make this part of their charges and so any e-dividend carried out will be charged by the CBN.

“This came up as a result of us stopping the payment of the e-dividend mandate as we were underwriting the initiative before we mandate investors to pay a token of N150 per mandate.

“We believe the capital market of our dreams can only be achieved through the collaboration of all stakeholders,” Uduk said. (NAN)

– Aug. 23, 2019 @ 18:25 GMT |

Zenith Bank appoints Oroh as executive director

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Henry Oroh
Henry Oroh

THE Board of Directors of Zenith Bank Plc has approved the appointment of Mr. Henry Oroh as Executive Director of the bank. The appointment is consistent with the bank’s tradition and succession strategy of grooming leaders from within.

Also, the Board has approved the appointment of Dr. Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, FCA, as an Independent Non-Executive Director.

Both appointments are effective September 1, 2019, and have been approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Henry Oroh holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Benin, Edo State and an MBA from the Lagos State University as well as an LLB Degree from the University of Lagos. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and an honorary member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN), Nigeria.

He has over two decades of banking experience. He began his banking career in 1992 at Citibank where he served for seven (7) years in Operations, Treasury and Marketing.

He joined Zenith Bank in February 1999 and has worked in various Groups and Departments within the Zenith Group Office. His expertise spans Operations, Information Technology, Treasury, Marketing, including the Manufacturing, Food and Beverages, Pharmaceuticals, Oil and Gas, Public Sector, Consumer, as well as Corporate Banking and Business Development.

In April 2012, he was seconded to Zenith Bank Ghana Limited as an Executive Director and became the Managing Director/ Chief Executive in February 2016, where he successfully spearheaded the phenomenal growth of the Zenith Brand both within the Ghana market and the West African sub-region.

Henry has attended several Leadership Programmes and Executive Management Courses at the Harvard Business School, Columbia Business School, New York, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, HEC Paris, JP Morgan Chase, UK and the Lagos Business School.

He comes to the Board of Zenith Bank Plc with strong competencies in Credit & Marketing, Operations, Information Technology, Treasury and impressive Leadership skills.

Dr. Al-Mujtaba Abubakar is currently the Managing Director of Apt Pensions Funds Managers Limited.

He is a graduate of the Leeds Polytechnic, UK. He is a renowned Chartered Accountant and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.

Dr. Abubakar has extensive and tremendous experience in the financial services industry, audit and consulting. He worked with the firm of Akintola Williams Deloitte between January 2000 and November 2008, and rose to become the Partner and Board Member of West Africa sub-region. Prior to this, he had served on the Board of several financial institutions in Nigeria.

He has attended several management and leadership training programmes and conferences both within and outside the country.

He brings to the Board of the bank tremendous track record in Risk Management, Credit & Marketing, Auditing and very outstanding leadership skills.

– Aug. 23, 2019 @ 17:07 GMT |

 

Kano censorhip board warns against vulgar advertisement of traditional medicine

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TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY AMINU ABUBAKAR A vendor of herbal aphrodisiacs Muhammad Ma'aruf, 65, displays on June 6, 2009 sex stimulants outside the Sabon-Gari market in Kano, northern Nigeria's commercial capital. Men trying to keep several wives happy and women competing with co-wives for their husbands' attentions has led to a boom in the sale of herbal aphrodisiacs in predominantly Moslem northern Nigeria. Women not satisfied with their husband's sexual performance also come for the drugs if their husbands are embarrassed to do so. The drugs come in all forms -- liquid, jelly and powder and are taken orally or rubbed on the penis. The recipes are handed down from father to son and are a jealously guarded secret. AFP PHOTO / AMINU ABUBAKAR

The Kano State Censorship Board has warned against vulgar advertisement by traditional medicine vendors in the state.

The Executive Secretary of the board, Alhaji Ismail Naabba, gave the warning on Friday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano.

He said that the habit had caused a lot of discomfort to people, saying that the Agency would begin prosecuting those engaged in the act.

“Our investigation revealed that many of the vendors are not from Kano, they only come in occasionally to trade but we are going to draw their attention to our laws.”

Naabba added that it was the jurisdiction of the board to ensure morality in literary materials, media content and advertisements.

NAN reports that Kano state Censorship board had before now warned against using vulgar language to advertise the sale of traditional medicine.  (NAN)

_AUG 23, 2019 @18:24 GMT

Customs denies closure of Seme border

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Hameed Ali
Hameed Ali

THE Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has denied closure of the Seme-Krake border with the Republic of Benin, explaining that the ongoing joint security exercise in the area was to tackle transborder crimes.

Mr Joseph Attah the Public Relations Officer of the NCS told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday that the joint security exercise was simply staged to respond to trans-border crimes and criminality.

Attah urged the public and travellers who utilize the route to go about their businesses without apprehension, stressing ‘’those with legitimate engagements should have nothing to be afraid of.’’

He explained that the security agencies in the country came together to form a bond and deploy a common response strategy to tackle insecurity in the area.

“Our attention was drawn to what happened at the Seme Border on Wednesday due to a slight misconception but it was immediately resolved.

“Whoever has valid document is free to come into the country but those without legitimate documents will not be allowed into our country.

“The initial take off of the joint security exercise commenced on Tuesday afternoon. For people to see increased security operatives at the border, it is normal that there could be a misconception,’’ he said.

Attah also said the joint exercise was timely because of security challenges such as terrorism, importation of illegal arms, and increased illegal migration.

He further said that the security operatives were committed and determined to face security challenges around the border areas head-on.

NAN reports that the Federal Government had set up inter-security task force to conduct joint border security in four geopolitical zones of the country to tackle insecurity.

The Joint Border Task Force is codenamed “Ex-Swift Response’’.

The taskforce comprise of personnel of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), armed forces and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

The zones that the taskforce had deployed men so far included South-South, South-West, North-Central and North-West.

NAN reports that the joint exercise is being coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA). (NAN)

– Aug. 23, 2019 @ 18:16 GMT |

FMDQ’s transition to full exchange will create competition – SEC

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Mary Uduk
Mary Uduk

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday said the transition of FMDQ Securities Exchange Plc to a full exchange would depeen the nation’s capital market and make it more competitive.

Ms Mary Uduk, SEC’s Acting Director-General, stated this at the second quarter Post Capital Market Committee (CMC) news briefing in Lagos.

Speaking on the implications of the new exchange, Uduk said the emergence of FMDQ as a second exchange in the country would bring about competition in the nation’s capital market.

“What other implication will it bring other than competition; competition is good for any environment.

“It will help strengthen the market, it will help people to sit up and give people choice of exchanges.

“If you cannot do it in this exchange, you can go to the other exchange and we are expecting that others will come up as well,” Uduk said.

She noted that competition would bring down cost and as well improve efficiency in the market.

Uduk said the transition of FMDQ to a full exchange would position the Nigerian market in line with international standard with two exchanges.

On the plans by state governments to access the market for capital, she said the commission had not received any application from any state government.

Uduk, however, said that the commission would welcome any state government to raise bonds for developmental projects from the market.

“It will be good for transparency because it will help their financial obligations. For you to be able to access the capital market, you must have transparent accounts as well as governance,” she said.

Uduk noted that any state government approaching the capital market to raise bond must comply with the commission’s rules before their applications would scale through.

“One fundamental issue we look at is that we look at is total debt of a state including the proposed debt compared with revenue,” she stated.

According to her, proposed debt will not be more than 50 per cent of the preceding revenue to avoid over borrowing.

Commenting on the commisison’s annual reports that have been pending for four years, Uduk said the outstanding accounts had been signed and would be in the public domain by next week.

“In the last four years, accounts of SEC were not signed because of lack of board. As we speak, the accounts have all been signed and they will be on our website before the end of next week,” Uduk said.

She added that the commission carried out enforcement action against Dantata Success and Profitable Company, an illegal investment scheme operating in Kano State its and environs within the quarter.

Uduk said the commission also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to combat money laundering, terrorists financing and fraud in the capital market. (NAN)

– Aug. 23, 2019 @ 18:12 GMT |

Fidelity Bank signs pact to promote open banking

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Fidelity Bank
Fidelity Bank

FIDELITY Bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with Open Technology Foundation, OTF, for the adoption of a standard Application Programming Interface, API. The idea is to drive the bank’s retail strategy and promote open banking.

Open Banking provides a user with a network of financial institutions’ data through the use of APIs. The Open Banking Nigeria Standard defines how financial data and services should be created, shared and accessed. By relying on networks instead of centralisation, open banking helps customers to securely share their financial data with other financial institutions.

The bank recently took a bold step to further provide its consumers with improved services and solutions that meet their needs by leveraging the collaborative model of Open Banking. Through this deal, Fidelity Bank would deepen its financial services delivery through appropriate and time sensitive channels, while collaborating with other stakeholders within the ecosystem.

Open Banking has been seen as the most transformational financial technology over the next decade, which has seen about 47 countries at various stage of implementation. Recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria signaled its intention to lead Africa in digital payments innovation with the request for information about the National Payments System Vision 2030 for which Open Banking is a strategic priority.

Nnamdi Okonkwo, chief executive officer, .Fidelity Bank, said by this development, the bank has joined other leading banking and financial services industry players, which have not only adopted but are also promoting this mode of operation, which, among other benefits, would drastically consolidate customer satisfaction, grow revenue across diverse streams, promote financial inclusion, as well as assure a smooth, but controlled data flow.

“As a digitally innovative and forward-thinking bank, we believe in the importance of investing in digital technologies and its significant contributions to shaping the future of banking globally. Therefore, this partnership with the Open Technology Foundation for the adoption of a standard, industry-wide API is a step in the right direction and is in alignment with our commitment to digital innovation, for the satisfaction of our customers,” he said.

– Aug. 23, 2019 @ 18:09 GMT |

Wema Bank launches road safety awareness

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Wema Bank
Wema Bank

WEMA Bank has created a 3D zebra crossing in partnership with O2 Academy, Lagos to raise awareness on safe driving and inspire behavioural change among Nigerians. Located opposite the bank’s headquarters along Marina Road in Lagos, the 3D crossing was an effort to improve road safety in the area.

The bank in a statement said the project, which serves as part of the bank’s corporate social responsibility, would also encourage drivers to slow down for pedestrians to cross. The striped zebra crossing, which appears to be floating above the road, works by giving an optical illusion to oncoming drivers, causing them to slow down when approaching it.

Beyond the innovative angle of the project, the optical painting helps drivers to see the crossing easier and anticipate the presence of pedestrians waiting to cross the road.

The bank implemented the optical crossing following concerns over the safety of workers making their way to offices along the busy Marina road.

“Through the innovative crossing, the bank hopes to implement a campaign that will lead to the reduction of hit and run and other road-related accidents.

“For Wema Bank, this new feat will define the future of road safety for both drivers and pedestrians in the country. Before partnering with Wema Bank, O2 Academy, an advertising and creative school in Lagos, had trailed the first 3D zebra crossing in May 2019 as an affordable solution to solving road accidents involving school children.

“The positive feedback gotten from the trial inspired Wema Bank to adopt the eye-grabbing and modern 3D effect,” the statement said.

– Aug. 23, 2019 @ 18:05 GMT |

Insecurity: South West governors plan security network

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GOV. Kayode Fayemi  of Ekiti on Friday said  that governors in the South West were planning a western Nigeria security network in an  effort to tackle security challenges in the country.

Fayemi made the disclosure while fielding questions from newsmen on the sideline of the first Governors’ Lecture Series of the Mass Communication Department of the University  of Lagos in conjuction with the university’s Multi Media Centre of  Excellence.

The lecture is an annual communication in governance agenda setting  initiative.

“For us in South West, we deliberated on this over the last couple of months and  have met with our traditional institutions.

“We have also met with our non-state actors in the field of security, as well as our self-determination group, and we have come up with a western Nigeria security network that is going to be announced soon.

“By then, you will have a full picture of what we are doing,’’ Fayemi said.

The governor noted that the main security outfits in the country were intensifying efforts to fight crimes but said thatmore needed to be done.

“We want it sustained and comprehensive.

“There is a longer term response to insecurity, and we cannot remove it from correlation to other challenges.

“There are economic challenges, inequality in the land and poverty in the society.

“There is a direct correlation between insecurity and inequality, and we must tackle that by ensuring that we create an enabling environment for jobs to be provided for Nigerians seeking to work,” he said.

According to Fayemi, it is not every Nigerian who wants to work but those seeking to work ought to be able to find jobs.

“It may not be necessarily the type of jobs they are looking for; we need to also improve on our entrepreneurial skills.

“This will ensure self-reliance, add value to them and the society at large,’’ he said.

On ministerial appointments, Fayemi said that the appointees were tested.

“To the best of my knowledge, having served as a minister in this country, I think the new appointees are truly tested politicians and technocrats in their own rights.”

According to him, the returnees are people of substance and the new ones, particularly that from his state, decent, honest and credible.

Fayemi expressed confidence that Chief Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, from Ekiti, would excel in the Ministry of Trade and Investment. (NAN)

– Aug. 23, 2019 @ 17:59 GMT |

Court orders FG to renew Shell’s OML 11 for 20 years

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Shell
Shell

THE Federal High Court Abuja has ordered the Minister of Petroleum to grant the renewal of the Oil Mineral Lease 11 to Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria for 20 years.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo ruled that renewal would be for 20 years and not 30 as Shell requested in its suit.

‎The suit by Shell was instituted against the Minister of Petroleum Resources and the Minister of State. – The Nation

– Aug. 23, 2019 @ 17:55 GMT |

Education under threat in West, Central Africa — UNICEF

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says a surge in deliberate attacks against teachers, students and schools is threatening education in West and Central Africa.

In a report titled ‘Child Alert’, UNICEF warned that the right to education “is being violated in communities hit by conflict” in the region.

The agency cited Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Niger and Nigeria.

It said, “Right now, nearly two million children are being robbed of an education in the region due to violence and insecurity in and around their schools.

“A surge in threats and attacks against students, teachers and schools (in the above countries) is casting a foreboding shadow upon children, their families, their communities and society at large.

“Many areas in West and Central Africa are witnessing increased hostility towards education by warring factions.

“More than one quarter of the 742 verified attacks on schools globally in 2018 took place in five countries across West and Central Africa.”

UNICEF said that the number of schools compelled to close down due to rising insecurity in conflict-affected areas of the region tripled between the end of 2017 and June 2019.

Specifically, it stated that 9,272 schools closed across eight countries in the region as of June, affecting no fewer than 1.91 million children and nearly 44,000 teachers.

“Particularly in the countries of the Central Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger) and the Lake Chad Basin (Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria), ideological opposition to what is seen as Western-style education, especially for girls, – is central to many of these disputes.

“As a result, school children, teachers, administrators and the education infrastructure are being deliberately targeted.

“At the same time, worsening insecurity and conflict, including the use of schools by armed forces and groups, further disrupts a child’s access to and quality of education.

“When education is under attack safe schooling in the traditional sense becomes impossible to provide.

“The threat of attacks creates a sense of fear in local communities, forcing schools to close, teachers to flee and school children to remain at home, unable to learn in classrooms with their peers,” UNICEF said.

The agency further noted that out-of-school children were also not spared of dangers.

“Compared to their peers who are in school, they are at a much higher risk of recruitment by armed groups.

“Girls face an elevated risk of gender-based violence and are forced into child marriage more often, with ensuing early pregnancies and childbirth that threaten their lives and health,” it added.

UNICEF, which noted that this is happening 30 years after the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, urged governments to reaffirm their commitment to protecting education.

“Now more than ever, governments must reaffirm their commitment to protecting education from attack and providing the resources needed to help their youngest citizens to keep learning.

“Now is the time for renewed efforts to make sure the potential of a generation of young people is not wasted,” it said. (NAN)

_AUG 23, 2019 @17:49 GMT |

Buhari travels to Japan Sunday

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Buhari
Buhari

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari will travel to Japan on Sunday to attend the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development, TICAD7. The TICAD7 will take place in the City of Yokohama from August 28 to 30.

The President is expected back on August 31. TICAD6 was held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2016 and Buhari also attended it. This year’s conference has the theme, “Africa and Yokohama, Sharing Passion for the Future.”

The Japanese Prime Minister and host, Shinzo Abe, will perform the opening ceremonies of TICAD7. A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, reads, “President Buhari will deliver Nigeria’s Statement during Plenary Session Three in which he will appraise Nigeria-Japan relations and takeaways from TICAD6.

“He will attend a State Banquet and also honour the invitation of Emperor Naruhito to a Tea Reception at the Imperial Palace, Tokyo. In addition to a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Abe, the Nigerian President will also attend some side-events and meet chief executive officers of some Japanese companies with huge investments in Nigeria.

“Formed in 1993, the now triennial TICAD, which has been convened alternately in Japan and Africa since TICAD6, according to the organisers, is the largest international conference held in Japan which provides an open forum that generates innovative discussion among various stakeholders on African development.

“Participants are drawn not only from African countries, but also international organisations, private companies and civil society organisations involved in development.

“TCAD7 is expected to focus on Africa’s ‘economic transformation and improvements in business environment and institution through private investment and innovation; promotion of resilient and sustainable African society for human security; and peace and stability in support of Africa’s domestic proactive efforts.

“Nigeria has gained tremendously since her participation in TICAD6 at the highest level, during which Japan pledged $30 billion investment for the future of Africa combined with the private sector, $10 billion infrastructure investment, and $500 million for vocational training of 50,000 Africans.

“Since the Nairobi Conference, Japanese government and companies have been very active in supporting Nigeria’s agriculture, healthcare, electricity and youth empowerment.

“President Buhari and his delegation are expected in Yokohama to push for broader Japanese assistance in the areas of science and technology, innovation, human resource development, education, agriculture, power, health and disaster risk reduction, among others.

“President Buhari will be accompanied by Governors Babagana Zulum, AbdulRahmam AbdulRazaq and Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Borno, Kwara and Lagos States respectively; ministers and other top government officials. The President is expected back in Nigeria on Saturday, August 31.” (NAN)

– Aug. 23, 2019 @ 17:45 GMT |

Kwara Dep Gov tasks sports stakeholders on talents hunt

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THE Deputy Governor of Kwara, Kayode Alabi, has charged stakeholders to discover and nurture athletes at the grassroots level to positively project Nigeria’s image in the sports sector.

Alabi gave the charge on Thursday in Ilorin when he received the Nigeria Pillar of Sports, Donatus Ejidike, who led others on a courtesy visit to his office.

He urged Ejidike to focus more attention on School Sports, especially from the Secondary Schools to positively engage youths.

Alabi, who described sports as a unifying factor, noted that apart from Agriculture and Education, sports was another avenue to take people out of poverty and improve the economy.

He urged the stakeholders to develop sports facilities and use sports to curb crime and vices as well as keep the youth busy.

Alabi listed some of the potentials in sports, called on the youths to be focused and make use of their talents.

Earlier, Ejidike, who lauded the state government on its victory and successful inauguration, pledged his support to take sports to the next level.

He also promised to partner with the government to promote sports in the state and the nation in general.

The Pillar of Sports pledged to host the next All Secondary Schools Games in Ifelodun Local Government soon.

NAN

Aug. 23, 2019 @ 15:50 GMT /

 

Pillar of Sports donates blocks as SWAN reiterates commitment to complete secretariat

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THE Kwara State Chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), has reiterated its readiness to partner relevant stakeholders to ensure the completion of the association’s secretariat.

The Chairman of the Kwara chapter of the association, Mr Jimoh Bashir, stated this on Thursday in Ilorin when he led other executive members of the association on a courtesy visit to the office of the Nigeria Pillar of Sports, Chief Donatus Ejidike.

Bashir, who described the relationship between the office of the Pillar of Sports and SWAN as strong and cordial, pledged to continue to support the programmes and activities of the Pillars of Sports without hassles.

He stressed that the priority of the body was to ensure that all lined up programmes towards moving the association to the next level was achieved without delay.

Responding, the Nigerian Pillar of Sports, Chief Donatus Ejidike, who expressed appreciation to the present leadership of SWAN, promised his unflinching support toward completing the Secretariat.

Chief Ejidike who pledged to donate 300 blocks to SWAN, assured that his office would also work with other stakeholders to ensure the dream of having a befitting SWAN Secretariat was accomplished.

In his remark, the Chairman of the Kwara football Association, Malam Musa Idris, reaffirmed the commitment of the FA to assist SWAN not only in the completion of its secretariat but also in all its programmes aimed at achieving target goals.

NAN

Aug. 23, 2019 @ 15:50 GMT /

 

12,000 delegates to attend 59th NBA-AGC on Aug. 26 – Official

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KUNLE Edun, Chairman, Media and Publicity Sub-Committee of Conference Planning of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), has said that so far, 12, 000 delegates have registered for the the  59th edition of the confab.

NAN reports that the NBA Annual General Conference (NBA-AGC), tagged:”Facing the Future”, is to hold from Aug. 26 to Aug.28, in Eko Hotels and Suites, as well as the Harbour Point Events Centre Wilmot Road in Lagos.

According to the committee, the conference will stage 41 technical sessions, with 206 guest speakers.

NAN reports that the AGC would focus on Code of Conduct Tribunal; Clash of Judicial and Executive Powers, Capacity Building in Oil and Gas Industry, Social Media Culture; Liability and Professional Ethics, and Domestic Policy Change.

Others are: Redying Your Practice to Tap the Opportunities, Digital Trade in Legal Services, Next Generation Lawyers, leveraging Technology in Practice, Threats, among others.

Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo,  Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammd, are expected to be in attendance.

NAN reports President Muhammadu Buhari, who declared the 58th edition of the NBA-AGC held in 2018 in Abuja,  challenged lawyers to put national interest above all else.

” I believe that lawyers can contribute to another core objective of enhancing our business environment and promoting social justice by promoting respect for the Rule of Law; contributing to the law reform process and putting national interest and professional ethics above self in the conduct of their business, Buhari told the gathering of over 10,000 participants.

NAN

Aug. 23, 2019 @ 15:50 GMT /

 

World Bank to expend $62 million on projects in Adamawa

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The World Bank, in collaboration with Adamawa government, says plans have been concluded to disburse 62 million dollars on a number of intervention projects in the state.

Mr Solomon Kumangar, the Director-General, Media and Communications to Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri, disclosed this in a statement on Friday, in Yola.

Kumangar said the governor had held several meetings with various developmental partners, with the aim of boosting the state’s economy and infrastructure.

He said the deal was struck during one of the meetings with officials of the bank, where they agreed to commit 200 million dollars on some projects across the state.

“The World Bank promised to spend additional 62 million dollars within the next one or two years for various intervention projects in the state,’’ he said.

Kumangar said some areas that required immediate intervention included education, healthcare and infrastructure development.

“Adamawa has suffered setbacks and under-development in the past years and this current administration has adopted policies that will ensure proper coordination of proceeds from development partners to achieve the desired results.

“And this administration will support world bank projects in Adamawa, in the overall interest of citizens.’’ (NAN)

_AUG 23, 2019 @17:16 GMT |

Nigerian Govt Pardons, Grants Amnesty to Terrorists Who Admitted Taking 50 Innocent Lives Per Herdsman Killed

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Boko Haram
Boko Haram

By Perry Brimah

IN a most shocking transgression of law and humanity, the government of Nigeria has pardoned and granted amnesty benefits to terrorists who admitted to killing 50 innocent people per cow herder killed.

Admitting to grave terrorism, in an interview in the Punch of 12th August, Hassan Dantawaye commander of the terrorists said,

“The vigilance group and Yan Sakai have also contributed to the insecurity issue considering their negative attitude towards the Fulani people. These two groups have turned themselves into groups that are licensed to kill. They killed any Fulani man they perceived as a bandit or cattle rustler and the government did not take any serious action to stop the menace. Many of our people were killed by these people. After realising that the government was not ready to stop the killing of our people by these two groups, we decided to pay back with reprisals. From that day, we decided to kill at least 50 people whenever one of us was killed.”

Earlier this month Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara announced that the Nigerian government would be granting an amnesty to Hassan Dantawaye and 99 other similar terrorists responsible for the satanic rampage that consumes the state.

Terrorists Can Become Nigeria’s Presidents – Government

These pardoned terrorists have been behind the deaths of hundreds of Nigerians and destruction of billions in property loses. However rather than apply the harshness of the law and abide by Nigeria’s anti-terrorism bill to prosecute and kill Nigerian terrorists who have killed innocent people as the law prescribes and as happens in Cameroon, Kenya and other African countries, the terror-sympathetic Nigerian government grants immediate amnesty relief to these terror herdsmen and Boko Haram terrorists even going as far as promising them that they can someday become president as the General Officer Commanding, 7 Division, Maj. Gen Abdulmalik Biu is reported to have said.

Activists, Journalists, Non-Violent Minority Groups Get Lengthy Sentences

At the same time, human right activists, journalists and minority groups get the harshest end of the stick as they get locked up without charge for extended amounts of time with the government seeking the worst sentences including death in their cases. The examples of former presidential candidate Yele Sowore, publisher of SaharaReporters, Islamic Movement leader Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat and other non violent group members, persons and journalists the remain in detention come to mind.

Lately the Nigerian army came under the spotlight for actually assassinating Elite Police Intelligence Response officers and freeing a kidnap kingpin suspect as reported by the distressed police command.

Nigeria remains the most terrorized nation in the world but at the same time is the most lenient nation on terrorists, hardly ever arresting, charging and sentencing them, talk-less killing them as the law recommends, and as it now appears, protecting and freeing them even at the expense of the lives of its police.

Dr. Issa Perry Brimah, Whatsapp: +234-903-420-3031; +1-929-427-5305; @CabalMustGo; @EveryNigerian

– Aug. 23, 2019 @ 17:05 GMT |

FG dismisses video showing harassment of foreign affairs minister in Vienna

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Geoffrey Onyeama
Geoffrey Onyeama

THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs has dismissed a video that has gone viral on social media showing the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama being  chased out of a meeting in Vienna, Austria.

The dismissal of the video is contained in a statement on Friday by Mr Ferdinand Nwonye, spokesperson for the ministry.

The ministry explained that the incident captured in the video took place three years ago at a meeting the minister held at the Nigerian Embassy in Vienna with some members of the Nigerian community in that country.

“The Ministry wishes to unequivocally inform that the incident captured in the video took place three years ago.

“The facts are that at the end of a very pleasant and informative interactive session, a group of no more than five individuals complained vociferously that they had not been given the opportunity to speak.

“The minister in his magnanimity prevailed on the organisers to allow a representative of the group to speak, and the fellow when given the floor, unfortunately proceeded to make incoherent declarations against the unity of the Nigeria.

“The minister in his response condemned the glorification of conflict and told them that they were too young to appreciate the traumatic horrors of violent conflict as witnessed during the Nigerian Civil War.

“One of the young men took exception to the minister’s peaceful disposition and got more agitated and vocal.

“At which point the minister was ushered out of the meeting room as the meeting had already ended,” Nwonye explained.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the minister took office on Aug. 21 following his reappointment by President Muhammadu Buhari and has yet to embark on any foreign trip since his reappointment. (NAN)

– Aug. 23, 2019 @ 16:59 GMT |

African countries still experiencing slavery – Don

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Prof. Ayo Olukotun
Prof. Ayo Olukotun

MORE than 200 years after the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, people in sub-Saharan Africa are still experiencing various forms of slavery, a political scientist, Prof. Ayo Olukotun, said in Lagos on Friday.

Olukotun made the observation while speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) to mark the International Day for the Remembrance of Slave Trade and its Abolition.

He said that many African countries were still experiencing various forms of slavery, although the trans-Atlantic slave trade ended officially in 1807.

Aug. 23 of every year is designated by UNESCO as International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.

The significance of the date stemmed from an uprising in Haiti, which set out events that resulted to the abolition of slave trade.

Millions of people, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa perished during the slave trade that lasted for hundreds of years, according to records.

International Day for the Remembrance of Slave Trade and its Abolition was first celebrated in Haiti on Aug. 23, 1998 and in Senegal on Aug. 23, 1999.

Olukotun, of the Political Science Department, Olabisi Onabanjo University at Ago Iwoye in Ogun, said that slavery in Africa cut across many realms, including culture, economy and politics.

“We have to be sober and reflective while celebrating this day. As Africans, we have become blind copy-cats by following cultures that are unknown to us.

“We are heavily indebted to western multilateral donor agencies.

“Even in politics, we as Africans are only imitating the western models of governance without modification.”

The lecturer made reference to the case of physical activities of slavery in Libya, where according to him, open sale of humans are still carried out in slave markets.

“It is sad that people are still enslaved in Libya. Italy also serves as an example because Nigerian girls especially are being used as sex workers.

“Today should really be a day of reflection and sobering.”

Olukotun admonished history departments in tertiary institutions to keep teaching students the history of Africa as it pertained to slave trade.

“The horrors and disasters of slave trade should constantly be taught in history courses.

“As part of the goals of the inter-cultural UNESCO project, the day is an opportunity for a collective recognition and focus on the historic causes, the methods and the consequences of slavery.

“It also sets the stage for an analysis and dialogue of the interactions which gave rise to the trans-Atlantic trade in human beings.’’ (NAN)

– Aug. 23, 2019 @ 16:55 GMT |

Oil prices slide as US, China trade war escalates

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Crude Oil
Crude Oil

OIL prices fell sharply on Friday after China unveiled retaliatory tariffs against about $75 billion worth of U.S. goods, marking the latest escalation of a protracted trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil prices, fell 88 cents to $59.04 a barrel by 1327 GMT.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 slid by $1.33 to $54.02.

“Policymakers and investors remain cognisant of the economic headwinds that are gathering force, given that the U.S.-China trade conflict threatens to drag on for longer,” said FXTM market analyst Han Tan.

China’s commerce ministry said it would impose additional tariffs of five per cent or 10 per cent on a total of 5,078 products originating from the U.S., including agricultural products such as soybeans, crude oil and small aircraft.

Market attention was also focused on a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve chief, Jerome Powell, at a meeting of global central bankers at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, hoping for news on whether it would cut interest rates for a second time this year to boost the U.S. economy.

Meanwhile, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President, James Bullard, said policymakers would have a “robust debate” about cutting U.S. interest rates by half a percentage point at their next policy meeting in September.

Harry Tchilinguirian of BNP Paribas said the market had some other bearish data, noting a rise in Saudi Arabian oil exports, while Russia’s crude output moved above its quota under an OPEC+ agreement.

He also pointed to Russian oil major, Rosneft, helping to ship Venezuelan oil to China and India.

OPEC, Russia and other producers have, since Jan. 1, implemented a deal to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day.

The alliance, known as OPEC+, renewed the pact in July, extending the curbs to March 2020 to avoid a build-up of inventories that could hit prices.

Iran’s foreign minister said talks held on Friday with French President Emmanuel Macron about a landmark 2015 nuclear deal were “productive”.

Iran has said it would scale back compliance with the pact unless the Europeans find a solution enabling Tehran to sell its oil despite U.S. sanctions. (Reuters/NAN)

– Aug. 23, 2019 @ 16:49 GMT |

Putin, Erdogan agree to step up counter-terror efforts in Idlib

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Putin

RUSSIAN President, Vladimir Putin, and his Turkish counterpart, Tayyip Erdogan, on Friday agreed to intensify joint efforts to eliminate terrorist threats in Idlib, the last major rebel enclave of Syria.

In a phone conversation initiated by Ankara, Putin and Erdogan discussed Russian-Turkish cooperation in stabilising the situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

They also discussed other aspects of the Syrian settlement, including the ongoing efforts by Russia, Turkey, Iran and the UN in the formation of the Syrian Constitutional Committee, a body designated to amend Syria’s current constitution.

According to Erdogan’s spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, Putin, Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, had agreed to discuss Syrian settlement affairs in Ankara on Sept. 16. (Xinhua/NAN)

– Aug. 23, 2019 @ 16:45 GMT |

California to sue U.S. over migrant children detention policy

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California Governor, Gavin Newsom, on Friday, said California will join other states in filing a lawsuit seeking to block the U.S. from indefinitely detaining immigrant minors and families with children.

Newsom, in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, said the U.S. administration’s new regulation is an assault on the Flores decision, adding that the court decision will be in their favour.

The Department of Homeland Security, earlier announced plans for new regulations that would roll back protections for migrant children.

Trump officials are taking aim at the 1997 Flores settlement that set minimum standards of care for youths in U.S. custody.

The government is generally prohibited from detaining children, who travelled to the U.S. alone or with their families for longer than 20 days.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary, Kevin McAleenan, blamed the Flores settlement for an influx of Central American families coming to the U.S. border.

He said the administration’s new regulations would deter migration, adding that President Donald Trump inaccurately claimed that former President Barack Obama had started separating immigrant families.

The regulations, which federal officials are expected to publish, added to an ongoing battle over the Trump administration’s ability to hold migrant families and the conditions that immigrants endure in detention centres.

Newsom said during his interview with CNN, “Family separations happen under this administration, seven young children have died since Trump was inaugurated as president, not one died over eight years under President Obama’s stewardship’’.

Nathan Click, a spokesman for the governor, declined to offer any additional information about the timing of the lawsuit or its contents.

The office of Attorney General Xavier Becerra, whose attorneys represent the state in court, also declined to comment.

However, California had filed some 56 lawsuits against the Trump administration on a variety of issues, including health care, immigration and the environment. (NAN)

_AUG 23, 2019 @16:44 GMT |

Winning Nigeria’s 1st gold medal awesome – Nwosu

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Nigeria’s Elizabeth Anyanacho (L) beat Morocco’s Wafae El Atri (R) 22-15 in the women’s -67kg quarter final event
Nigeria’s Elizabeth Anyanacho (L) beat Morocco’s Wafae El Atri (R) 22-15 in the women’s -67kg quarter final event

CHINAZUM Nwosu, the first Nigerian gold medalist at the ongoing 12th African Games in Morocco, says winning Nigeria’s first gold medal at the Games comes with excitement.

Chinazum told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Rabat that she was full of joy and had self-fulfillment winning the gold.

Nwosu defeated Oumaima El Bouchiti of Ivory Coast 26-22 in the -53kg women’s of the Taekwondo event.

She said that losing in the finals would have been disastrous since she won silver at the 2015 Games in Congo.

“I feel great, wonderful and short of words winning Nigeria’s first gold medal. The only thing in my head in the final was to get the gold medal because I have come a long way, trained so hard.

“My coaches also put in so much effort to make this dream come through for me and the country; I felt I had to win at the moment in the final, and winning I did,’’ she said.

“My coach told me that winning is an attitude and anything short of gold implies, I did not learn anything from my defeat at the last African Games,’’ she said.

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence (NSCD) officer said that the coach’s motivational words were key to her success.

“My coach really motivated me. I lost in the final at the last African Games in Congo and getting to this point was work in progress. It was tough taking a decision.

“I encouraged myself, my coach and teammates gave me the necessary support. I am glad the country’s first gold medal is coming from Taekwondo,’’ Nwosu said.

Meanwhile, Nigeria is currently 11th on the medals table with one gold and four bronze.

The country has won all its medals so far in taekwondo events of the Games.

Sunday Onofe (-87kg), Okuomose Benjamin +87kg, Elizabeth Anyanacho (-67kg) and Uzoamaka Otuadinma (-73kg) won bronze medals in the men and women’s taekwondo events. (NAN)

– Aug. 23, 2019 @ 16:45 GMT |

Chelsea’s Kante doubtful for Norwich clash

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N’Golo Kante
N’Golo Kante

CHELSEA midfielder, N’Golo Kante, has suffered an ankle injury and is a doubt for Saturday’s Premier League trip to Norwich City, manager Frank Lampard has said.

Kante’s unavailability could be a significant blow to the London side, who have struggled defensively and already conceded five goals in their opening two league matches of the season.

“Kante has got an injury, so we will assess that over 24 hours. It is an ankle strain,” Lampard told a news conference on Friday.

Chelsea will be without first-choice central defender Antonio Rudiger, who has been on the sidelines since suffering a knee injury at the end of last season.

“Rudiger not fit yet, hopefully next week,” Lampard added.

“Pedro missed open training only because he contributed a lot over three weeks. That was just a precaution.”

Teenage sensation, Callum Hudson-Odoi, who ruptured his Achilles’ tendon in April, is edging closer to full fitness and could return to the matchday squad after the international break next month.

“He is training, looking bright and sharp,” Lampard said. “But we want to protect him as he has had a long time out.”

Having scored just one goal in the league so far, Lampard urged his attackers to be more clinical in front of goal and wants Michy Batshuayi in particular to step up.

Batshuayi has not featured in the opening two matches in which Chelsea have collected one point, but played for the under-23 side in midweek and remains an integral part of plans for the season.

“It was a good performance and he got what he needed out of the game. He worked hard,” Lampard said.

“We need Michy, we need the competition for upfront. Hopefully if they can continue.

“If we had been more clinical we might have had three wins, that is the challenge for us.” (Reuters/NAN)

– Aug. 23, 2019 @ 16:37 GMT |

FG, Labour meet to end minimum wage logjam

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NLC

THE Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) and the representatives of the Federal Government are currently meeting to put an end to delays in the implementation of the new national minimum wage.

The meeting, holding at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, is expected to bring to an end continued disagreements in the percentage of consequential adjustments.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the new minimum wage bill was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in April.

However, deliberations between government and labour had been stalled over the issue of relativity/consequential adjustment of salaries.

The Federal Government had, on May 14, inaugurated the relativity/consequential adjustment committee, which, in turn, set up a technical sub-committee to work out the template for the adjustment of salaries of public service employees.

At a meeting between the government and labour in July, the former had proposed a 10 percent increment for workers on GL. 7 to 14 and 5.5 percent for those on GL. 15 to 17.

Mr Richard Egbule, the immediate past Chairman, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, had attributed the delay in the implementation of the “consequential adjustment” of the N30,000 new minimum wage to the unrealistic demands by labour unions.

Egbule explained that the current demand of the labour unions would raise the total wage bill too high, and that was why government could not accept their proposed salary adjustments.

Labour, on its own part, had also turned down government’s offer, proposing, instead, 30 percent increase for workers on GL. 7 to 14 and 25 percent for those on GL. 15 to 17.

The JNPSNC had initially demanded for 66 per cent increment across board for all workers, basing it on the fact that the increase in wage from N18, 000 to N30, 000 was 66 per cent.

Mr Lawrence Amaechi, an executive member of the labour group in the negotiating council, told NAN that public service workers were expecting government to finally agree with them on reasonable adjustments to the salaries for immediate implementation of the minimum wage.

Amaechi, who is also the National President, Nigerian Civil Service Union, said that the payment of the new minimum wage was long overdue.

He urged government to be proactive in order not to accumulate arrears which, he said, might result in another round of agitations by employees.

Amaechi said although the two labour unions – NLC and Trade Union Congress – were not part of the eight unions that made up the JNPSNC, their representatives had been invited as observers, should negotiations break down.

Both parties are expected to either agree with government’s proposed additions of 10 percent for GL. 7 to 14 workers and 5.5 percent for those on GL. 15 to 17 or come to a middle point away from labour’s demands for 30 and 25 per cent increase respectively. (NAN)

– Aug. 23, 2019 @ 16:35 GMT |

Telecoms infrastructure vandalism affecting service – NCC

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NCC
NCC

THE Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says the spate of vandalism of telecoms infrastructure across the country has resulted in slowing the pace of growth of services.
The Director, Zonal Operations, NCC, Mrs Amina Shehu raised the concern on Friday at a programme to sensitise the Eggon community, near Lafia, Nassarawa, to protection of telecoms infrastructure.
The director, specifically frowned at the state of vandalism, theft and hostility from some host communities stressing that telecom facilities should be treated as collectively owned infrastructure.
Shehu, who was represented by Abubakar Usman, Principal Manager, Zonal Operation, NCC, said the telecom sector had contributed and recorded not less than 10 per cent growth in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
She said the programme was aimed at enlightening the public and other stakeholders on the need to protect telecom infrastructure within their communities.
She said it would also create awareness about the importance of telecommunication infrastructure and ensure that telecom consumers get satisfaction from the quality of service.
“This workshop is also intended to present a platform for cooperation between stakeholders in the telecommunications industry.
“It is also to reach an understanding towards putting into proper perspective the concerns most often expressed by the public about telecoms infrastructure,” he said.
The director said that the advent of GSM has re-engineered the economy and social well-being of the nation.
She noted that there were some challenges pervading the seamless provision of telecommunication services in the country arising from some misconceptions and misguided facts about key telecom infrastructure such as Base Stations.

The director assured that the commission would continue to collaborate with relevant agencies to ensure adequate security for telecoms facilities.

In his paper presentation, Engr. Kunle Olorundare, Principal Manager, Technical Standard and Network Integrity, NCC, also underscored the need to protect telecoms infrastructure.
Olorundare noted that the benefits were enormous, including job creation, attraction of investors.
He urged all stakeholders, traditional rulers, indigenes and individuals to collectively protect telecoms infrastructure in the communities.
The Chairman of Nasarawa Eggon Local Government Council Mr. Idris Danlami, applauded the NCC for for organizing the enlightenment programme.
Danlami who was represented by a Concillor, Mr. Masin Anzaku, promised that all hands would be on deck to mobilise more people for the protection of telecoms infrastructure in the communities. (NAN)

– Aug. 23, 2019 @ 16:35 GMT |

Diaspora remittances to hit $34.89bn by 2023 – PwC

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Andrew S. Nevin
Andrew S. Nevin

THE Diaspora remittances to Nigeria can grow to $25.5 billion, $29.8 billion and $34.8 billion in 2019, 2021 and 2023, PricewaterhouseCoopers, PwC, has said.

PwC noted that total remittance flows to the country could grow by almost double in size from $18.37 billion in 2009 to $34.89 billion in 2023.

In its latest White Paper Series titled: Strength from Abroad: The Economic Power of Nigeria’s Diaspora, it said over a 15-year period, Andrew S. Nevin, partner and chief economist, PwC, said the report was an analysis, which showed the critical importance of the Diaspora to Nigeria’s economy.

According to him, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission led by Abike Dabiri-Erewa, indicated that the federal government recognised the strategic importance of the Nigerians in Diaspora.

He said the key next step for the newly established Commission was to formulate and execute a strategy to maximise the benefits of Nigeria’s Diaspora.

“In addition, we’re very keen to see state governments start to engage the Diaspora. The primary benefit of remittances to the recipient households is the improvement in their general welfare,” he said.

Nevin said that studies showed that 70 percent of remittances were used for consumption purposes, while 30 percent of remittance funds go to investment-related uses. “So, it is important that Nigeria has a Diaspora strategy both at the national and state level.”

The PwC report noted that Nigeria accounts for over a third of migrant remittance flows to sub-Saharan Africa. According to the report, Egypt and Nigeria account for the largest inflows of remittances into Africa last year. In 2017, however, Nigeria led the continent in terms of remittance receipts, but dropped to second place behind Egypt last year.

The report, which underscored the contribution of Nigerian Diaspora remittances to national development, stated that for four consecutive years, official remittances exceeded Nigeria’s oil revenues. “Since many transactions are unrecorded or take place through informal channels, the actual amount of remittance flows into the country is arguably higher,” the report said.

It, however, recommended among others the creation of platforms that increase accessibility of crucial information for Nigerians in the Diaspora; encourage and create pooled investment vehicles.

– Aug. 23, 2019 @ 16:27 GMT |

Nutritionist warns against late dinner, says it affects sleep

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AN Ilorin-based Nutritionist, Mrs Dorcas Olarotimi, has cautioned against late dinner, saying it is unhealthy and affects sleep.

She told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin on Friday that eating late at night may have negative impact on the quality of sleep and caused disruptions to healthy sleep pattern.

She said “eating in the evening hours near bedtime may make your body less prepared to sleep and can have adverse effects on memory, leading to deficit in learning, concentration.

“When the stomach is struggling to digest food while you lie in bed, you are putting yourself at risk, also, late night dinner can lead to weight gain.

“The ability to gain or lose weight does not just depend on food choices but also the timing of your meals and it is very dangerous when you eat more in the evening because of the risk of  higher marker of inflammation.”

She, therefore, advised small, high-protein snack like nuts instead of carbohydrate at night before bedtime.

She stressed that ” people should avoid large meals within a few hours to bedtime. Instead, go for fruits like apple, banana and nuts for good health.”

The nutritionist also advised a two-to- three-hour gap between meal and bedtime to prevent night time reflux.

NAN

Aug. 23, 2019 @ 15:50 GMT /

 

Newcastle not in crisis but need results- Manager

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NEWCASTLE United’s poor start to the season has been blown out of proportion but the best way for the club to stem the “mini crisis” is to start winning games, manager Steve Bruce said on Friday.

Newcastle lost their first two league games against Arsenal and promoted Norwich City and the low-key performances have made critics question whether Bruce was the right man to replace Rafa Benitez.

Bruce, who is one of the odds-on favourites to be the first manager to lose his job, is also looking to avoid becoming the first Newcastle boss to lose his opening three Premier League games.

“After two games there is a so-called mini crisis. Everything is over-sensationalised,” Bruce told reporters ahead of Sunday’s trip to Tottenham Hotspur.

“There’s always a storm in Newcastle, at the minute we’re in one. The only way I can shut a few people up is by getting results. The buck stops with me.

“It’s not for me to comment on what’s been said… It’s two games and I just want it to be fair and responsible.

“ I know the only way I can shut people up is by winning games and I know the quicker the better.”

Unlike Benitez, who used a back-five or a back-four last season to lead them to a 13th-placed finish, Bruce has deployed a back-three formation which he insists the team will continue to use with Joelinton and Miguel Almiron leading the attack.

“We may tinker a bit and change a couple of things. It’s too early to change formations,” Bruce said.

“It’s new for Joe, it’s new for four or five players. Given time, we hope they can forge some sort of relationship.

“For Almiron, we’re working on getting him higher up the pitch and into a goal scoring position.”

Bruce said winger Christian Atsu was back in training from a hamstring injury and hoped Allan Saint-Maximin would also recover in time from a similar injury to play Spurs.

However, he confirmed injured strikers Andy Carroll (ankle) and Dwight Gayle (calf) would not make the trip to London.

NAN

Aug. 23, 2019 @ 15:50 GMT /

 

Buhari approves license of online radio, TV stations

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PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has approved wide ranging reforms in the broadcasting industry, including the licensing of online radio and television stations.

According to a statement by Mr. Segun Adeyemi, Media aide to the Minister of Information and Culture, the initiative is to bring sanity to the industry.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the statement said disclosed it in Abuja on Friday when he received members of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) on a courtesy visit, was responding to a request made by BON for the review of the Broadcasting Code.

“I just want to use this opportunity to inform you that Mr. President has actually already approved a review of the Broadcast Code that is going to take care of many of the issues you have already raised here.

“In particular, the President has approved that Web TVs and radio stations, including foreign broadcasters beaming signals into Nigeria, will be licensed because we must bring sanity into this industry.

“Mr. President has also approved a wide range of reforms in the industry which, at the appropriate platform, I will let you know,” he said.

The Minister, who promised to carry along members of BON in the review of the Broadcasting Code, restated the commitment of the present administration to free media.

“I have said it on many platforms that this administration is not about to gag the press. No!

“But we will appeal to the press to please self-regulate for the sake of this country and also for the sake of the industry itself,” he said.

Mohammed also appealed to BON to partner with the government in the promotion of peaceful co-existence and cohesion to engender progress and national development.

“Today, if anybody listens to what is being said on some radio or television stations, you will think that this country is at war or that Christians actually cannot live with Muslims or that there is a dichotomy between the North and the South.

“I think we need to appeal to you to use your platforms for the unity and cohesion of the country,” he said.

Acting Chairman of BON, Sir Godfrey Ohuabunwa, said the re-appointment of the Minister was deserved because he brought life and great innovation to the broadcast industry during the first tenure of the administration.

He pledged the readiness of BON to key into the government’s agenda, especially the fight against fake news. – The Nation

– Aug. 23, 2019 @ 16:12 GMT |

Court remands security guard for defiling 13-year-old girl

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AN Iyaganku Chief Magistrates’ Court sitting in Ibadan on Friday, ordered that a security guard, Tirimisiyu Oladeji, 60, who allegedly defiled a 13-year-old girl, be remanded in prison custody, pending legal advice.

Chief Magistrate O.O. Ogunkammi, did not take plea of Oladeji,who resides in Oke – Sapati area of Ibadan.

Ogunkammi remanded Oladeji in Agodi prison pending the outcome of legal advice from the office of the Oyo State Department of Public Prosecution.

The magistrate adjourned the matter until Sept.27, for mention.

The Prosecution Counsel, Insp.  Sikiru Opaleye, told the court that Oladeji in June, at Jericho area of Ibadan, defiled the minor.

The offence, he said, contravened the provisions of Section 357 and is punishable under Section 358 of the Criminal Code Cap 38, Vol.II, and Laws of Oyo State 2000.

Defence Counsel, Mrs Modupe Odunmomi appeared for the defendant.

NAN

Aug. 23, 2019 @ 15:50 GMT /

 

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