Headline stories from Nigeria and the rest of the world.

JUST IN!!! FG, Obasanjo Criticize US Over Fresh Probe Request On AfDB’s President, Adesina

The Federal Government, through the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, on Thursday opposed the decision of the board of the African Development Bank (AfDB) to conduct an independent investigation into allegations against the bank’s president, Akinwumi Adesina.

Adesina is a former minister of agriculture in Nigeria.

Mrs Ahmed, in a letter she personally signed and addressed to chairman of the board of governors, Kaba Niale, said the move was not in line with laid-down procedures, and insisted that due process must be followed to “protect and preserve the bank.”

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, in a letter he personally addressed to former presidents of some African countries, also expressed his disapproval of the development.

The board’s move to conduct independent investigation came after pressure from the United States.

Adesina was accused of giving contracts to acquaintances, appointing relatives and friends to strategic positions, and giving preferential treatment to Nigeria and Nigerians among other claims.

But the AfDB ethics committee cleared him of the allegations raised by whistleblowers.

In the letter, the minister said: “The call for an independent investigation of the President is outside of the laid-down rules, procedures and governing system of the bank and its Articles as it relates to the Code of Conduct on Ethics for the President.

“As Board of Governors, we must uphold the rule of law and respect the governance system of the bank.

“If there are any governance issues that need improvement, these can be considered and amendments proposed for adoption in line with the laid-down rules.”

Noting that the Nigerian government had followed the matter “very closely”, Ahmed stressed that the ethics committee had dismissed the allegations by the whistleblowers.

She revealed that the Federal Government welcomed the conclusion reached by the ethics committee, which, according to her, called on all oversight organs of the bank to answer relevant questions and provide information relating to the allegations.

“The ethics committee also called on the whistleblowers to submit any additional evidence, facts and documents to buttress their allegations but they did not,” she said.

Ahmed further stated that the ethics committee followed the rules, laws, procedures and guidelines in conducting and completing its work, adding that the chair of the board also followed due process when she concurred with the committee’s report, which dismissed the allegations.

With no known opposition, Adesina is due for re-election in August.

In his letter, however, Obasanjo also faulted the independent investigation, saying the allegations were part of an attempt by some non-regional member countries of the bank to frustrate Adesina’s re-election for a second term.

He condemned the role played by the US, saying it ridiculed the bank’s entire governance system, which had been in place since 1964.

Urging the African leaders to rise up and defend the bank, Obasanjo said, “If we do not rise up and defend the AfDB Group, this might mean the end of the bank, as its governance will be hijacked away from Africa.”

He urged the presidents to collectively issue a press statement to support the laid-down procedures followed in evaluating the allegations.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of the Boards of Governors of the bank on Thursday denied asking Adesina to step down for the independent probe.

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BREAKING!!! Nigeria’s COVID-19 Cases Exceed 9000

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Friday announced 387 new coronavirus cases in the country, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 9302.

In a tweet, the NCDC said that of the 387 new cases, Lagos has 254, FCT-29, Jigawa-24, Edo-22, Oyo-15, Rivers-14 and Kaduna-11.

Others are Borno-six, Kano-three, two each in Plateau, Yobe, Gombe and Bauchi and one in Ondo.

According to the agency, two new coronavirus-related deaths were recorded, bringing the total number of deaths to 261.

Also, the number of coronavirus patients discharged rose to 2697 from 2592 the previous day.

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BREAKING!!! Edo, Ondo Police Commissioners Redeployed Months To Election

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has approved the immediate redeployment of 11 commissioners of police to various Commands and Formations.

This was contained in a statement on Thursday by Force spokesman, Frank Mba.

The postings are as follows: Edo State, CP Johnson Babatunde Kokumo; Osun State, CP Undie J. Adie; Bauchi State CP Lawal Jimeta Tanko; Ebonyi State, CP Philip Sule Maku; Gombe State, CP Ahmed Maikudi Shehu; Ondo State, CP Bolaji Amidu Salami; Oyo State, CP Joe Nwachukwu Enwonwu; Eastern Port, CP Evelyn T. Peterside; Explosive Ordinance Device (EOD), CP Okon Etim Ene; Airport Command, CP Bello Maikwashi; and Anti-Fraud Unit (FCID Annex Lagos), CP Olukolu Tairu Shina.

The IGP, in the statement, urged the newly posted officers to ensure they “consolidate and advance the gains of their predecessors particularly in the implementation of community-policing, crime prevention, public security, public safety and general crime fighting.”

He also called on the public to support the officers in their new areas of responsibilities.

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BREAKING: President Buhari Writes Reps, Seeks Fresh $5.513bn Foreign Loan For COVID-19, Other Projects

President Muhammadu Buhari has written to the House of Representatives to request for the approval of fresh external borrowings of $5.513 billion.

The letter which was read at the plenary on Thursday by Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the funds were for 2020 budget deficit, financing of critical projects and some states of the federation.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan read a similar letter during Senate plenary on Thursday.

Buhari also presented a revised 2020 Appropriation Bill and 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

The National Assembly had recently approved a loan of N850 billion for the Federal Government, while another $22.79 billion already approved by the Senate, is pending before the House.

The Debt Management Office had said the N850 billion loan was not new but a conversion of a planned external loan to domestic borrowing.

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BREAKING!!! Coronavirus: Nigeria Records 182 New Cases, Total Nears 9,000

Nigeria on Thursday recorded 182 new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19), with the total active cases now standing at 6,064.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said on Twitter that as of May 28, 182 new confirmed cases and five deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

The centre said this took the country’s total infections to 8,915 out of which 2,592 have been discharged with 259 losing their lives.

The agency said the 182 new cases were reported from Lagos (111), FCT (16), Akwa Ibom (10), Oyo (8), Kaduna (6), Delta (6), Rivers (5), Ebonyi (4), Ogun (4), Kano (3), Plateau (2), Gombe (2), Kebbi (1), Kwara (2), Bauchi (1), Borno (1).

The cases were spread across 15 states and the FCT, with Lagos accounting for the highest number of infections yet again.

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EU plans to raise $825 billion for coronavirus relief. Hard-hit countries need help soon

The European Commission has proposed giving hundreds of billions of euros to EU countries that have seen their economies devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, an unprecedented relief effort designed to ensure parts of the bloc aren’t left behind when the recovery comes.

The executive arm of the European Union on Wednesday unveiled a plan that would see it raise €750 billion ($825 billion) on financial markets through its 2021-27 budget. Two-thirds of the money would be distributed to countries via grants, while the remainder would be offered as loans. International news

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Edo 2020: No Man Can Stop Me From Returning As Gov – Obaseki

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has expressed confidence in returning as governor of the state in the election slated for September.

Mr Obaseki said on Wednesday during an appearance on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, that he believed he would return the same way he was first elected.

“I am not a violent person. But I am confident that the way I got into power is the same way I will return,” he said.

“God gave me power. If he wants me to return I will continue. No man can stop me. Power comes from God.”

Obaseki will go head to head with the consensus candidate of a faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, for the party’s ticket during its June 22 direct primary.

“It doesn’t matter whether it is direct or indirect primary, I will win because I know what we have done in Edo State,” he said.

Obaseki denied claims that his ambition to return as governor would be hindered by inadequate “resources”.

He said: “I have friends with resources. I worked for eight years behind the scene before I became governor.

“So all that insinuations about using somebody’s resources…I became governor on the platform of the party and I am grateful for it.”

He appealed that there should be no bloodshed over an election.

Ize-Iyamu, however, has the backing of the APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, who has been in a long battle with Obaseki.

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BREAKING!!! Kogi Records Two COVID-19 Cases As Total Infections Hit 8,733

Kogi State has finally recorded two cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) months after the disease first broke out in Nigeria.

Figures released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday night on Twitter show that the state’s new cases were among 389 new infections across the country.

Of the 389 new cases, Lagos has 256, Katsina has 23, Edo has 22, Rivers -14, Kano-13, while Adamawa and Akwa Ibom have 11 each.

Others are Kaduna-7, Kwara-6 Nasarawa-6, Gombe-2, Plateau-2, Abia-2, Delta-2, Benue-2, Niger-2, Kogi-2, Oyo-2, Imo-1, Borno-1, Ogun-1 and Anambra-1.

The number of coronavirus-related deaths, according to the NCDC, rose by 5 to 254. However, the number of coronavirus patients successfully managed and discharged nationwide is now 2501.

Cross River remains the only state yet to record a single case of COVID-19.

Kogi authorities had earlier alleged that they were under pressure to declare positive cases. The government had also accused the NCDC of plotting to ‘import’ the disease into Kogi.

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BREAKING!!! Nigeria Records 276 New Cases Of COVID-19, Total Now 8,344

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Tuesday night announced 276 new coronavirus cases in the country, bringing the total to 8344.

The agency said on Twitter that of the new cases, 161 are in Lagos, 36 in Rivers, 27 in Edo, 19 in Kaduna, 10 in Nasarawa, six in Oyo and four in Kano.

Others are three each in Delta and Ebonyi, two in Gombe and one each in Ogun, Ondo, Borno, Abia and Bauchi.

The number of coronavirus-related deaths, according to the NCDC, rose by 16 to 249. However, the number of coronavirus patients successfully managed and discharged nationwide is now 2385.

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BREAKING!!! Chief Imam Of Egbaland, Liadi Orunsolu Is Dead

Chairman, League of Imams in Ogun State and Chief Imam of Egbaland, Liadi Orunsolu, has died at age 99.

Announcing his death on Tuesday, Governor Dapo Abiodun said the imam never treated him as a governor but as a father.

He wrote: “We have lost Alhaji Liadi Orunsolu at the age of 99, to the road that leads to where our ancestors rest.

“I commiserate with the people of Egbaland in particular and of the State and the Muslim ummah in general, on the death of the Chairman, League of Imams in Ogun State and Chief Imam of Egbaland.

“That Almighty Allah (SWT) let Baba Orunsolu see the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan and more so, at that grand age tells us that it is important we immortalise him by emulating the virtues exemplified by the late cleric.

“Alhaji never treated me as a Governor. He was a father to me, and I will personally miss him for his words of wisdom.

“May Allah grant him Aljanah Firdaus, and comfort the family he left with us.”

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Kaduna Health Workers Dare El-Rufai, Begin Seven-Day Warning Strike

Barely 48 hours after Kaduna state government threatened to sack health workers who embark on any form of strike, Kaduna State Healthcare Workers Unions and Associations have dared the government and commenced a seven day warning strike.

The warning strike is part of the measures the associations put in place to protest the deduction of 25 percent from their members’ salaries which has started since Friday.

The unions disclosed in a communique issued at the end of their joint meeting that the state doctors were on strike prior to the pandemic but were prevailed upon to call off their actions by the state and National bodies of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA).

In a statement signed by the Special Adviser to Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, it was stated that the government would reject the strike threat and will regard persons who fail to show up at their assigned places of work as having forfeited their employment.

However, the health workers in the communique jointly signed by Dr. Danjuma Sale, Chairman MDCAN BDTH, Dr Emmanuel Joseph, President ARD Kaduna, Mr. Ibrahim Abashe, Chairman, National Association of Pharmaceutical Technologists and Pharmacy Technology of Nigeria and Dr Stephen Akau Kache, Chairman NMA Kaduna said their strike is not to blackmail the state in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The communiqué read that, the meeting was called to assess the response of Kaduna state government to their earlier notice of a 7- days warning strike to press home their demands.

According to them, “Kaduna state government deducted 25% of the salaries from about 11000 of Healthcare workers in the midst of COVID 19 (April and May). This action was done in violation of section 5 of the Labour Act.

“Kaduna State Government paid between 150,000 to 450,000 naira as Occupational Safety incentives to about 300 selected HCWs and non HCWs working as staff or volunteer in the IDCC and isolation centre or serving in some of the COVID-19 pillars. Less than 2% of the HCWs in the State benefited from the packages.

“The promised 10% incentives for other HCWs though inadequate is yet to be paid. Most HCWs that were infected with Covid 19 are from health facilities outside the IDCC and isolation centres and none of them have been paid the purported #100,000 daily for 10 days.

“None of our members working in hospitals have been contacted to give their details for the widely publicized #5million and the #2 million life and disability insurance respectively.

“All health workers are exposed to varying degrees of risk of infectious diseases such as Covid 19, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDs, Lassa fever, Ebola fever among others.

“There are no adequate PPEs in the State hospitals as evidenced by Patients buying their own gloves, HCWs getting their own personal facemask and eye goggles among other basic PPEs,” The communique read.

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Sultan’s JNI Suspends Eid Prayer, Asks Muslims To Pray At Home

The Sultan of Sokoto and Head of Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI), Sa’ad Abubakar III, has ordered that the Eid-el-Fitr congregational prayers be suspended in the outskirts of towns and cities across the country.

The highly-revered monarch, who is also the President-General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), said this in a statement on Thursday by the JNI Secretary-General, Khalid Aliyu.

He urged Muslims to observe the Eid-el-Fitr prayer at home alone or with family members.

The traditional ruler urged state governments allowing religious gathering to ensure that worshippers observe the strictest measures of distancing, face masks, and the use of hand sanitiser at the praying ground.

According to the Sultan, the authorities should consider using neighbourhood mosques if it becomes necessary to observe the prayer in an open space.

“Nigerian Muslims are, therefore, called upon to reflect their minds to the good virtues of the month of Ramadan and keep to its teachings all through their respective lives, as the Lord of Ramadan, is still and shall remain The Lord of other months, and above all keeps the records of our actions and inactions,” he said in the statement.

“More so, Muslims are reminded to keep to the ordinances of the Glorious Qur’an, for the prestige of the Muslim Ummah.”

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BREAKING!!! Nigeria Records 339 New Cases Of COVID-19, Total Infections Exceed 7,000

Nigeria has recorded 339 new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the nation’s total confirmed cases to 7016.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) stated this on Thursday night on Twitter.

Of the 339 new cases, the NCDC said Lagos has 139, Kano and Oyo recorded 28 each, Edo 25, Katsina 22, Kaduna 18, Jigawa 14 while Yobe and Plateau recorded 13 each.

Others are 11 in the FCT, eight in Gombe, five in Ogun, four each in Bauchi and Nasarawa, three in Delta, two in Ondo and one each in Rivers and Adamawa.

The agency said a total of 1907 coronavirus patients have been successfully treated and discharged nationwide.

It also said 11 new deaths have been recorded, bringing the total number of COVID-19 death cases to 211.

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JUST IN!!! 292 Nigerians Arrive In Abuja From Saudi Arabia

The Federal Government has evacuated 292 Nigerians from Saudi Arabia over the hardship caused by coronavirus-induced lockdown around the world.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, tweeted on Wednesday saying the flight conveying the evacuees arrived on Tuesday night at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

“…A large number are nursing mothers and children and they are all comfortably settled in hotels under the mandatory 14 days quarantine,” he wrote.

As of Tuesday, Nigeria had successfully evacuated its citizens from the United Arab Emirates (265); United Kingdom (253) and the United States (160) due to COVID-19.

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BREAKING!!! Nigeria’s Coronavirus Cases Rise To 6,401

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced 226 new coronavirus cases in the country.

This places the country’s total COVID-19 numbers at 6401.

Of the 226 new cases, NCDC said on Twitter on Tuesday night that 131 are in Lagos, 25 in Ogun, 15 in Plateau, 11 in Edo, seven in Kaduna, six in Oyo and five each in the FCT and Adamawa.

Others are four each in Jigawa, Ebonyi and Borno, three in Nasarawa, two each in Bauchi and Gombe, and one each in Enugu and Bayelsa.

The NCDC added that a total of 1734 have been successfully treated and discharged nationwide while 192 have died from the deadly disease.

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UK Agency Sanctions Pastor Oyakhilome’s Channel Over Coronavirus, 5G Conspiracy

Communications regulator in the United Kingdom, Ofcom, has sanctioned LoveWorld Television Ministry owned by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome for airing false and “potentially harmful statements” about the coronavirus pandemic.

Ofcom, in a statement on Monday, said the Christian channel aired a sermon that promoted a baseless conspiracy that the virus is linked to the roll-out of 5G network and that there is a “global coverup”.

Oyakhilome had made the remarks in April which was also aired in Nigeria.

Loveworld also claimed without proof that hydroxychloroquine was a cure for COVID-19.

The regulator’s statement read: “Our investigation found that a report on Loveworld News included unsubstantiated claims that 5G was the cause of the pandemic, and that this was the subject of a ‘global cover-up’.

“Another report during the programme suggested hydroxychloroquine as a ‘cure’ for Covid-19, without acknowledging that its effectiveness and safety as a treatment was clinically unproven, or making clear that it has potentially serious side effects.”

It also said Loveworld breached Rules 2.1 and 5.1 of the Broadcasting Code.

The channel, it said, will not be fined in monetary terms but is required to broadcast the agency’s findings which debunked its false news and sermon.

Ofcom though warned about a further sanction: “We are considering whether to impose any further sanction,” the statement added.

The regulator also sanctioned London Live and radio station, Uckfield FM, for airing similar false claims without them being sufficiently challenged.

Oyakhilome’s Loveworld, also known as Christ Embassy, is based in Lagos but has operations in several countries across the world, including South Africa, the United States and the United Kingdom.

An estimate puts the church’s branches in the UK at 90 with around 13 million followers around the world.

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T.Y. Danjuma Meets President Buhari At Aso Villa (Photos)

Former minister of defence, retired Gen Theophilus Danjuma, on Monday visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

It comes five months after Danjuma threatened to make damning revelation about Nigeria under Buhari.

The agenda of the meeting between the president Buhari and his former boss in the Nigerian Army, whose last visit to the State House was over three years ago, was unknown as at the time of filing this report.

Danjuma did not speak to State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting.

LEAKERS.NG, however, gathered that Buhari and Danjuma may have deliberated on domestic and sub-regional issues bordering on security and socio-economic development in the country.

Danjuma had been a harsh critic of the Buhari government, particularly its handling of security matters.

In March 2018, the 81-year-old asked Nigerians to defend themselves against what he described as ethnic cleansing by herdsmen.

Speaking at the maiden convocation of Taraba State University, Jalingo, Danjuma said: “There is an attempt at ethnic cleansing in the state and of course, some rural states in Nigeria. We must resist it. We must stop it. Every one of us must rise up.

“Our Armed Forces are not neutral. They collude with the bandits to kill people, kill Nigerians. The Armed Forces guide their movements; they cover them. If you are depending on the Armed Forces to stop the killings, you will all die one by one.

“This ethnic cleansing must stop in Taraba State and other rural states of Nigeria otherwise Somalia will be a child’s play.

“I ask every one of you to be alert and defend your country, defend your territory and defend your state. Defend yourselves because you have no other place to go. God bless our country.”

He followed up in December 2019, saying if he reveals what is happening in the country, Nigerians will no longer sleep.

Speaking at a book launch at the University of Ibadan, Danjuma said: “In Yorubaland, everybody seems to have lost their voice, scared. And people appear not to care about what is happening. If I tell you what I know that is happening in Nigeria today, you will no longer sleep.”

He added: “We are in a big hole as nation. And people who put us in this hole have continued today. So, we’ve to wake up. Only we can save ourselves.”

Buhari, however, dismissed Danjuma’s vote of no confidence in a January interview, saying he was not bothered.

“And what is the vote of confidence of Nigerians in me, as expressed in the polls last year? That is what matters more, not the opinion of one man,” the president said.

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BREAKING!!! Nigeria Records 216 New COVID-19 Cases, Total Now 6,175

Nigeria has recorded 216 new coronavirus cases, bringing the nation’s figures to 6175.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced the new infections in a tweet on Monday night.

According to the agency, Lagos has 74 cases, Katsina 33, Oyo 19, Kano 17, Edo 13, while Zamfara has 10.

Others are eight each in Ogun, Gombe and Borno, seven each in Bauchi and Kwara, four in the FCT, three each in Kaduna and Enugu and two in Rivers.

There are now 1644 persons who have been successfully treated of the disease while 191 have died from it.

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