Home Blog Page 6

Defaulters to be prosecuted As Ekiti State bans traditional festivals


As part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Ekiti State Government on Saturday announced the suspension of all pending local and traditional festivals in the state.

In a statement in Ado-Ekiti by the State Coordinator of COVID-19 Task Force Response Team, Prof Bolaji Aluko, the government directed traditional rulers in towns and villages to indefinitely suspend all local festivals in their domain.

Aluko explained that the traditional festivals were suspended for the rest of the year because of the increasing cases of COVID -19 in the state.

He said the state had so far recorded 78 positive Coronavirus cases, with 29 active, 2 deaths, and 47 discharged, warning that the cases can rise dramatically if public assemblies continue unchecked.

My Deputy Was A Wrong Choice, Akeredolu Says


Ondo Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has said he made a wrong choice in picking Hon Agboola Ajayi as his running mate in 2016.

Ajayi recently defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where he is seeking to contest the governorship election.

Akeredolu spoke at Igbekebo, headquarters of Ese-Odo local government during his “meet the delegates” tour ahead of next Monday primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said he was happy Ajayi showed his true colour at what he termed the right time and described his exit from the party as a cleansing for better performance of the party.

Akeredolu urged the people not to bother about Ajayi and thanked them for not leaving the APC with Ajayi.

Akeredolu urged the party delegates to vote for him at the primary and assured he was prepared to do more for the people of the state.

BREAKING: Abducted wife of former Edo Speaker Finally Released


Hassana, the wife of former Edo Speaker, Zakawanu Garuba, who was abducted along the Lokoja-Abuja highway on Saturday, has been released.

She was kidnapped with the driver on her way to Auchi to bury Garuba, who died of undisclosed ailment in the early hours of Saturday in Abuja.

Hassana, her three children and aged mother of the late Speaker were travelling from Abuja for the burial when they ran into kidnappers at Kabba junction in Kogi state.

The kidnappers were said to have made away with the widower while leaving the three children and their grandmother.

But younger brother to the deceased Speaker told The Nation on Saturday night that Hassana has been released unhurt by her abductors.

He however said the whereabouts of the driver remained unknown.

Meanwhile, The Nation also gathered the remains of Garuba would be interred tonight in his Auchi residence.

More Details shortly…

I have no Presidential Ambition come 2023 — Senate President


Senate President Ahmad Lawan on Saturday denied nursing presidential ambition for 2023.

Lawan, in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media), Ola Awoniyi, said the media report about the said ambition must have “emanated from the sort of practice that drags the noble profession of journalism to the gutters as it only dresses up the lazy fantasy of its unimaginative authors as a fact.”

He said: “The report apparently has its source in beer parlour gossips and should be treated with the contempt which it and those who concocted it deserves.

“It is true that the Senate President was involved in the consultations that President Muhammadu Buhari held prior to the last emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee of the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC).

“But there was nothing extra-ordinary in his involvement in such consultations, given his status as holder of one of the highest political offices in Nigeria and on the platform of the APC. Such is required of any concerned member of the party.

“It is therefore sheer mischief for anyone to read ulterior motives to the Senate President joining hands with the President and other leaders in resolving misunderstanding in their own party.

“We will like to stress that the Senate President’s preoccupation is with advancing the agenda of the Ninth National Assembly to focus governance on the pursuit of the best interests of the Nigerian people and to support President Buhari in delivering his promises to Nigerians.

“The Senate President does not suffer such needless distractions as imputed by the false report under reference.

“He believes that it is premature for anybody to be talking now about 2023 when all hands should be on deck against the myriad of challenges that faces our nation in this period.

“We advise the idle pseudo-journalists to look for other engagements and stop bastardising this noble profession.”

Messi wants Setien Out In Manager Role


The Catalan press are united in their belief that the Barcelona manager has lost the dressing room but will be given a chance in the Champions League.

Quique Setién’s short and turbulent reign as Barcelona manager appears to be coming to an end after Barcelona surrendered their Liga defence to Real Madrid and both Luis Suárez and Leo Messi spoke out about the Camp Nou side’s shortcomings this season.

The Catalan press are united in their belief that Setién is on his way out of Barcelona just six months after replacing Ernesto Valverde. The former coach faced criticism for the side’s style of play but he did deliver titles. Setién’s Barça have gone backwards despite the former boss being brought in due to his tactical reputation and adherence to the Johan Cruyff blueprint for how the team should perform. The 2-1 home defeat against Osasuna provided the last straw for many, including Messi.

Champions League last chance for Setién redemption

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has held several meetings with Setién and it seems increasingly unlikely that he will be in charge when the 2020-21 season kicks off. He will, it seems, be handed the chance for redemption in the Champions League but that is largely because of the difficulty in finding a replacement at such short notice. If Setién delivers a first European triumph in five years the panorama may change and he will be on the bench when Barcelona play Napoli in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie, which is poised at 1-1.

However, Barcelona have been drawn in the tougher section of the knock-out stages and could face Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals with the prospect of either Manchester City, Juventus, Real Madrid or Lyon in the semis.

Should Setién guide Barça past that daunting prospect all may be forgiven but as it stands the former Betis boss’ time at Camp Nou appears to nearing the 11th hour.

As one Catalan daily put it simply on Saturday’s front page: “No league and no football.”

Why I Was Told To Abandon D’banj – Seun Kuti


Afrobeat musician, Seun Kuti who is the son of Nigeria’s music legend, Fela Kuti has revealed why he was told to abandon his colleague, D’banj. Seun says it was due to the rape saga that has been trailing the Koko Master for a while.

In an interview with The Sun, the Egypt ‘80 bandleader and Grammy award nominee said,

One issue that has dominated national discuss lately is rape. This rape thing eh… even me, I have been affected, because I did a song with D’banj that has not been released, and everybody is saying I have to abandon D’banj. You want my take on rape? For me, the appropriate discussion that should be had among African people all over the world cannot be rape. What we must discuss is rape culture.

The things that happen among us in our community that empower, embolden and encourage rapists. We can continue to go after individuals, but as long as the culture that encourages, emboldens and empowers rapists continues to be sustained, then rape will not stop.

What do I mean by rape culture? Young men are brought up and told that women are created for man. In fact, majority of Nigerian men are raised believing that God did not even remember to create women. Men were bored and God was like ‘oh, Adam needs Eve so he crated Eve’. Now, this is one aspect of rape culture, that mentality that diminishes women in front of men, that makes certain people believe that women are property. So, you find a higher percentage of women being abused because we have a higher percentage of religious people that believe this. That is why you hear people saying I cannot rape my wife.”

I Wasn’t Barred From Attending APC Governors Meetings – Governor Oyetola


Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State has denied a trending report that he was barred from seeing Governor Mai Mala Buni, Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja.

The report had claimed APC members loyal to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, National leader of the party were barred from a meeting called by APC governors to discuss the way forward for the Edo and Ondo governorship elections.

“In order to carry out the assignment diligently, Mai Mala Buni who is the National Caretaker Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), has been advised to stop inviting any pro-Asiwaju Bola Tinubu among the National Caretaker Committee to any meeting till both Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu emerged as the APC Governoship candidate and Governor Godwin Obaseki is declared as the winner of Edo State 2020 Election.

“You can confirm from the Governor of Osun State, Mr Oyetola. He was in Abuja for three days and couldn’t see Governor Mai Mala Buni because both Mai Mala Buni and Akeredolu group didn’t want to allow him and other pro Asiwaju Bola Tinubu group in the Committee to discuss the mode of primary for Ondo State APC Governorship Election,” the report said.

However debunking the report, Ismail Omipidan, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Oyetola said his principal was in Abuja and attended all the meetings.

“The report is false. The governor was in Abuja and attended all the meetings,” he said.

Two Policemen Drown While Chasing Weed Smokers In Oyo


Oparemi Goke and Ogunyemi Mujeeb, two newly recruited Constables of the Durbar Police station in Oyo, and a member of the Discipline Intelligent Group of Nigeria (DIGON) have met their untimely death while chasing weed smokers.

The security operatives drowned around 7:30pm on Sunday July 12, 2020, at Awerintu river, Oke Eletu, while chasing the hoodlums who ran towards a bridge washed away by flood.

The policemen had followed one of the hoodlums into a water he jumped into but got swallowed by mud. Their corpses were recovered in the late hours of same day.

Coronavirus: I Will Not Order All Americans To Wear Masks – Donald Trump


Donald Trump has said he will not consider a national mandate requiring people to wear masks to combat the spread of coronavirus.

Asked in an interview on Fox News to be broadcast on Sunday if he would consider the move, the US president said: “No, I want people to have a certain freedom, and I don’t believe in that.”

It comes nearly a week after Mr Trump was seen wearing a mask at a military hospital in Washington after previously appearing reluctant to endorse their use.

Public health experts pleaded with people to cover their mouths and noses as Americans remained divided over mask mandates on Friday.

States and localities have been choosing conflicting strategies in the face of surging coronavirus cases.

Top infectious disease doctor Anthony Fauci said he “would urge the leaders – the local political leaders in states and cities and towns – to be as forceful as possible in getting your citizenry to wear masks”.

Governor Brian Kemp in the state of Georgia sued Atlanta’s mayor to prevent her from mandating masks.

Coronavirus: 3 Nigerians Dropped From Special US-Abuja Flight


Another three Nigerians have missed the special US-Abuja flight arranged to evacuate Nigerians stranded in the United States due to the coronavirus pandemic.

They were dropped for failing to present COVID-19 test results.

Nine persons, including a family of five, were dropped from the last flight for the same reason.

However, Mr Benaoyagha Okoyen, the Consul General of Nigeria in New York, who oversaw the evacuation, said arrangement had been made to accommodate them in the next flight scheduled for July 28.

He said a fully booked plane, with 324 passengers on board, left the Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey, on Friday night, and expected to arrive at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Saturday afternoon.

This is the third evacuation flight from the U.S. arranged by the Federal Government in two months, bringing the total number of evacuees to 811.

The travelers were screened for COVID-19 symptoms and subjected to other monitoring requirements, including presentation of their coronavirus test results.

The COVID-19 test result is one of the requirements for evacuation under the Revised Quarantine Protocol of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

The U.S., which has been an epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis, is grappling with what experts call the second wave of infections, with a record 75,600 new cases on Thursday alone.

With the consular officials at the airport was Dr Philip Ozuah, a nationally-recognized U.S.-based Nigerian medical doctor and Chief Executive Officer of Montefiore Medical Centre, New York.

Ozuah said he was there in solidarity with the consular officials for “the amazing evacuation operations”.

Some executive members of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Americas (NIDOA) led by their Treasurer, Mr Kazeem Bello, were also on hand to lend their support.

They distributed free safety kits, including masks and hand sanitizers, to the evacuees.

FBI Launch Investigation Into Bitcoin Scam On Twitter


Twitter and the FBI have started investigations into whether hackers bribed a Twitter employee to get access into verified accounts and post messages soliciting for bitcoins.

On Wednesday, July 15, Twitter announced that so many high profile celebrity accounts like former US President Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Elon Musk were breached, as the hackers used the accounts to post scam messages soliciting Bitcoin transfers to a wallet controlled by the hackers.

According to Twitter, hackers received $120,000 worth of Bitcoin in 500 transactions, with the scam said to be one of the largest ever on a social media site.

The FBI has announced it is investigating the hacks, and said the high-profile accounts ‘appear to have been compromised in order to perpetuate cryptocurrency fraud.

I Beheaded My Friend Because Of N13M In His Account, Suspect says


The Isiala-Mbano, born victim was hacked to death and his head cut off on 7th January 2020, by his friend, during a night shift duty at the table water company where both of them worked in Auchi area of Edo State.

After killing him, Moses cut off Nwachukwu’s lifeless body so that it would not be recognized before dumping the body in a bush close to the company.

He then took the victim’s phone and the ATM card to some internet fraudsters based in Auchi who withdrew N2.2million from Nwachukwu’s account, while he went on make further withdrawals from POS in various points in Edo State.

Meanwhile, Nwachukwu’s headless body was found by the police in Auchi, who could not identify him and took it to the mortuary. Nwachukwu’s relatives in Imo State and his brother in South Africa therefore became very worried over his sudden disappearance with his phone lines switched off.

His brother was said to have written a petition to the Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed after some months of his disappearance while operatives of the Intelligence Response Team, IRT, headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, were directed to carry out an investigation.

It was gathered that, weeks into their investigation, the IRT operatives were able to trace all POS transactions Moses did with Nwachukwu’s ATM cards, in Benin, Ore, and Auchi areas of Edo State before they finally arrested him in a hotel where he was hiding in Auchi.

During his interrogation, he confessed to the crime and led the operatives in arresting his other accomplices; Yusuf Sagiru, Tony Bright, Terence Okochukwu and a businessman Jahswill Ogbonnaya, who assisted him in withdrawing a total sum of N6million from the account.

We Will Deliver 2nd Niger Bridge As Contracted, Julius Berger Assures Reps, Nigerians


The Managing Director of Nigeria’s leading engineering construction company, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Engr. Dr. Lars Richter has confidently stated that the highly reliable company is “working on a schedule, meeting and exceeding planned construction milestones and will deliver the 2nd Niger bridge, Abuja-Kano road and Lagos-Shagamu expressway projects as contracted”.

Richter who said all requisite human and technical resources, even new technologies, have been mobilised to all sections of the projects to ensure successful completion as scheduled also emphasized that all the contracts for the three top priority projects of the Federal Government, were duly awarded to Julius Berger following due process.

Dr Richter made the assertion on Thursday at the National Assembly Abuja during a hearing by the House of Representatives Committee on Works investigating what the Chairman of the Committee, Honourable Abubakar Kabir Abubakar, described as the “the slow pace of work on the ongoing federal road projects”.

The Chairman of the House Works Committee set the hearing rolling when he delivered the agenda of the hearing as an enquiry into what procurement process Julius Berger went through for the award of the contracts for the projects; the cost each of the projects were awarded for; and completion periods at which the projects were contracted to be delivered.

A member of the Committee, Honourable Kaojewhile acknowledging that Julius Berger is a renowned engineering construction contractor in Nigeria, had said the House of Representatives for which the Works Committee acts at the public hearing, has legislative, appropriative as well as oversight functions over the prudent and successful execution of capital projects in the country. This, he said, is the basis for the public hearing on the projects at issue.

At the hearing, a rather well comported Julius Berger MD, Dr. Lars Richter, very respectfully but emphatically denied a suggestion that Julius Berger did not get the contracts by due process. According to Richter, Julius Berger lawfully bidded for the projects, after which the rest of the contract award process remained the statutory work and responsibility of the Ministry of Works to handle.

Responding further on the issue of due process for the awards, Richter said the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) duly issued letters of No Objectionfor the projects as required by extant procurement law.

In response to the House Works Committee Chairman’s statement that the procurement process for projects in Nigeria is of three types, namely, Selective, Competitive and Direct procurement, Engr. Dr. Lars Richter said: “We are an engineering contracting company, and as a going business concern, we reasonably bid for projects, but we are not by law part of the official procurement process that is the statutory duty of the Ministry.

Continuing further, Dr Richter said: “It is the Ministry of Works that receives a Letter of No Objection to any contract; not our company. Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) itself vets the rates contractors submit to the Ministry, and the Ministry again takes the rates vetted by the BPP to the Federal Executive Council for approval by the President in Council. Julius Berger is not at all entitled to a say in the process apart from the submission of our bid for a project with the Ministry. In the circumstance, I, therefore, cannot and did not say Julius Berger did not follow due process of award for the projects. We lawfully bidded for the jobs and were duly awarded the projects.”

A high point of Thursday’s hearing was Dr. Richter’s confident assurance that in all the projects, Julius Berger was, technically speaking, working assiduously within the schedules of panned works, and even working ahead of time in some scheduled elements of the works.

The Julius Berger MD was by a motion carried by the Committee put on oath before he spoke at the hearing, and by another motion moved by the Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Julius Berger was asked to go back and put forward to the Committee a formally signed presentation to the Committee on the three projects, the subject matter of the hearing.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Works, Honourable Abubakar Kabir Abubakar, thereafter adjourned the public hearing.

VAR Is Favouring Man United – Lampard


Frank Lampard has admitted to concerns that Manchester United are getting a run of VAR decisions in their favour ahead of Chelsea’s FA Cup clash with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side at Wembley.

United have had a number of high profile decisions go in their favour this season, the most recent coming on Thursday when Crystal Palace’s Jordan Ayew had a goal ruled out for a marginal offside, before Victor Lindelof appeared to bring down Wilfried Zaha in the box but no penalty was given.

Palace chairman Steve Parrish complained on Twitter, saying

Is VAR broken?”

After Man United’s 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge in February, Lampard complained about VAR ruling out a Kurt Zouma goal and missing a potential Harry Maguire red card incident.

“People said it would favour big teams maybe, because of the pressure or fan influence,” Lampard told reporters on Friday. “But those days are gone. VAR has come in to try and change that, not just favouring teams but just to get the right decision.

“But there is always a human element to VAR, still, and clearly they have to make a decision. The confusing thing about some of the recent ones, and the one on Thursday night, is that it’s a very, very clear and obvious decision that was wrong and didn’t get reviewed and changed.

“A few of those have happened and that is strange. I would like to think that with VAR you have to be level headed. Some might go against you or not, but we seem to be in a period where, in terms of Manchester United, they’ve got a few in their favour. It would be nice if VAR worked in our favour in this one.”

Two Suspects arrested As NAF opens investigation into Arotile’s death


The Nigerian Air Force on Friday stated that it was investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of its Flying Officer, Tolulope Arotile, in a road accident, adding that two persons were being held.

The NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, stated these in an interview with our correspondent, saying at the end of the investigation, “whatever information needs to go out will go out.”

The NAF spokesman later in a release on Friday noted that Arotile would be buried Thursday, July 23, at the National Military Cemetery, Abuja, with full military honours.

The NAF noted that it would continue to support female pilots’ training as 11 were currently undergoing training within and outside Nigeria.

The country was thrown into mourning on Tuesday when the NAF first announced that Arotile, Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot, died at the NAF base in Kaduna State from a road traffic accident.

The air force said the female officer sustained head injuries from the accident when she was “inadvertently hit by the reversing vehicle of an excited former Air Force secondary school classmate while trying to greet her.”

Arotile, a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy Regular Course 64, hailed from Iffe in the Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State, and contributed to the efforts to rid the North-Central states of bandits and other criminal elements by flying combat missions. She was particularly a squadron leader in Operation Gama Aiki in Minna Niger State.

Notable Nigerians, including the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), had since Wednesday expressed shock over her death.

A Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, however, on Thursday raised suspicion over the death of the female officer, rejecting the road accident explanation and calling for a Coroner’s Inquest into her death.

Congratulations! Leeds United PROMOTED to Premier League after 16 years


Leeds United will be back in the big time next season after West Brom’s defeat to Huddersfield meant Marcelo Bielsa’s side gained automatic promotion.

It has been a 16-year long and often turbulent wait for the club but now they are in the Premier League once more, and celebrations outside Elland Road began swiftly with fans desperate to soak in the glory.

Leeds’ slender 1-0 win over Barnsley on Thursday meant the second-placed Baggies had to pick up three points at Huddersfield and their 2-1 loss means the Elland Road side will be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Liverpool and old rivals Manchester United next season.

As soon as West Brom’s result was confirmed, Leeds were quick to express their joy at returning to the top flight as they tweeted a poster to celebrate their promotion, writing: ‘We are back!’

Bielsa, the man who made it all possible, was given a rapturous reception as he was mobbed by Leeds fans at his home. ‘El Loco’ used his elbow to greet them all before getting into his car.

The Argentine waved to the gathering fans and repeatedly said ‘thank you’ before joking ‘I don’t speak English!’ He then invited three youngster to pose for a photo in front of him.

Despite pleas from the club for supporters to stay at home amid the coronavirus pandemic, fans quickly took to the streets after discovering their 16 years of pain was over.

After waiting so long for this moment, the Leeds faithful had no intention of staying indoors as groups arrived outside Elland Road with blue and yellow flares and waving flags and scarfs and singing to their hearts’ content.

And their celebrations were recognised by the heroes who pulled off the feat as Leeds players were seen dancing around inside the stadium – waving to the fans at the window after watching the West Brom game together.

Leeds stars were seen jumping around and taking photos while huddled together as they were forced to enjoy their glory off the pitch.

And midfielder Kalvin Phillips couldn’t contain his excitement as he left the stadium to roar to the crowds gathered outside the gates.

Tributes to the club have flooded in on social media after their success, with former Whites defender Lucas Radebe offering his congratulations.

‘After long 16yrs finally the wait is over our dreams have come true – back in the Premier League come on @LUFC. Congratulations to El Loco and the boys, absolutely proud.’

FG to review decision on school resumption ― Nwajiuba


THE Federal Government has given school owners in the country up to July 29, 2020, to meet specific guidelines towards the reopening of schools at a date to be announced in due course.

This came as it had settled with four countries on a new date for the suspended West African Examinations Council, WAEC.

Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, who stated this, Friday, in Abuja, said the ministry, having consulted widely, has in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Health, Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, (NCDC), the Education in Emergencies Working Group, developed and circulated guidelines for the reopening of schools.

The minister, according to a statement, Friday, by the Director of Information in the Ministry, Bem Goong, “school owners are to prepare and comply with the guidelines.

“Nwajuiba said schools are to undertake self-assessment and send feedback to state ministries of education, not later than 29 July 2020, “the statement quoted him as saying.

He said consultations with relevant stakeholders will be held to review the situation and decide on a specific date for reopening or otherwise.

The minister further said, having taken the painful but necessary decision not to reopen schools without necessary preparations to ensure the safety of students and teachers, the Federal Ministry of Education has continued consultations with stakeholders, and a mechanism to assess and monitor compliance shall be put in place.

According to him, “Since Tuesday last week, we have consulted widely with stakeholders in the sector, including Commissioners of Education in all the states of the federation, the Association of Private School Owners of Nigeria,(APSON), National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools,(NAPPS), Provosts of Colleges of Education, Rectors of Polytechnics, Vice-Chancellors of universities, some state governors, and development partners.”

Commenting on WAEC, Nwajuiba said, “We met with WAEC on Monday and have agreed to further consult with four other countries on new examination date.”

“We appreciate the concern shown by all stakeholders and note the divergent views expressed on the matter.

“Parents should be rest assured that the safety of our students and teachers is paramount as we work assiduously towards the speedy reopening of our schools for the exit classes to take external examinations,” he added.