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News & Announcements

News & Announcements

Nigerian Army Kills Many Boko Haram Terrorists In Northeastern Borno

The Nigerian Army has continues its incursion into the core areas of the Boko Haram terrorists group as it revealed on Wednesday that its personnel on ground in the North Eastern Borno State intercepted and killed very many fighters of the radical Islamic group, as well as their sister-organisations, the Islamic States of the West Africa province (ISWAP). The attack took place at Gubio town of the state.

Major General John Enenche, Coordinator of the Defence Media Operations (CDMO), disclosed this in an operation update released to the media in Abuja on Wednesday.

General Enenche said the casualties were inflicted on the terrorists groups by troops of Sector 3 and Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE.

The Defence operations spokesman disclosed that the terrorists, “attempted to breach Gubio Town in the Northern part of Borno State yesterday, July 7, 2020. Several terrorists were neutralized and a gun truck destroyed by the combined efforts of the land and air forces who overpowered the BHTs with their superior firepower.

“During the encounter, a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft and fighter jets were scrambled to the location.

“The ISR aircraft spotted the terrorists in their gun trucks and vectored the jets to engage them, neutralizing one of the gun trucks and its occupants. 

“The ISR aircraft continued to provide situational awareness as the ground troops engaged the terrorists on the ground, inflicting further casualties on the terrorists,” he said.

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Breaking! Nigerian President Suspends Anti-Graft Boss, Magu, Over Alleged Corruption

After he was ‘arrested’ on Monday, July 6, 2020, following his involvement in corrupt activities, Ibrahim Magu, the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria’s main anti-graft agency, has been suspended by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday.

Magu reportedly spent the night in a police cell at the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) Headquarters in Abuja after the Nigerian top secret service, the Department of State Service (DSS), queried his ownership and occupation of choice properties in Abuja and even beyond, allegedly giving to him by some corrupt public officials.

His suspension on Monday followed a six-hour grilling by a presidential panel, chaired by Justice Ayo Salami, a former president of the Court of Appeal.

Buhari set up the panel to probe various allegations levelled against Magu, following a petition by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and the Department of State Service.

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FIFA Threatens To Sanction Zamba Over Interference

The world football governing body (FIFA) has threatened to come down hard on Zambia with a sanction if the country’s football authorities fail to go out of court to resolve their disputes; thus, the football authorities have given the former African champions 10 days to do that or face the harmer. 

In a letter dated June 30, 2020, FIFA Head of Member Associations, Veron-Musengo Omba, said it would forward the Zambian case to the relevant body for sanctions should the matter not be resolved in 10 days. Omba said the Zambia case had dragged on for too long and needed to be resolved.

“We note with concern that, to date, proceedings against FAZ still remain active, before Zambian courts of law. This situation thus is in total breach of the FAZ and FIFA Statutes article 59, paragraph 21. 

“It is worth mentioning at this stage that any decisions of any court in Zambia shall be deemed third party interference and would result in FAZ being sanctioned accordingly. 

“In this context should the situation not be normalized within the next 10 days, we would be compelled to submit the present affair to the competent FIFA body for further action,” reads the letter in part.

Meanwhile, Zambia Football Federation (FAZ) was due to hold elections but some members among them Damiano Academy proprietor Damiano Mutale who is under a FAZ ban and Patson Lusaka have dragged the local football mother body to court.

Mutale and Lusaka are protesting the FAZ electoral rules that have seen some of their preferred candidates like two-time FAZ president Kalusha Bwalya being knocked out of the race.

Kalusha had taken his case to the International Court of Sports Arbitration but lost his bid to have his candidacy restored.

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COVID-19: Nigerian Government Writes Off N4.6bn Debt From Radio Stations

FG Gives Radio Stations 4.6bn in Debt Waiver
The Nigerian Government on Monday said it has forgiven in debts sixty percents of debts some radio stations owe it across the country in a move to support their fight against the Coronavirus.

The reprieve, as announced by the country’s Minister of Information an Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, amounted to a whopping 4.6 billion Naira. Mohammed made made the announcement at a press conference on the interventions by the FG to ensure financial sustainability among broadcast stations in the country in Abuja on Monday.

The Minister however, noted that the criterion for enjoying the debt forgiveness which amounted to N4.6 billion is for debtorstations to pay 40 percent of their existing debt within the next  three months. 
“I want to announce today a number of broadcast industry-specific measures aimedat giving a lifeline to the industry which, though largely a business, continues to function as a critical social service of sorts, which is relevant to the information and enlightenment needs of the people.

“These measures are in addition to the two-month licence-fee waiver granted to terrestrial broadcast stations in the country by the NBC, as part of efforts to ease the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Broadcast Industry.
“According to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), many Nigerian radio and television stations remain indebted to the Federal Government to the tune of 7. 8 billion Naira in total. Also, many of the stations are faced with the reality that their licenses will not be renewed, in view of their indebtedness.

“Against this background, the management of the NBC has therefore recommended, and the Federal Government has accepted, the following measures to revamp the Broadcast Industry and to help reposition it for the challenges of business, post-Covid-19.
“60 percent debt forgiveness for all debtor broadcast stations in the country.
“The criterion for enjoying the debt forgiveness is for debtor stations to pay 40 percent of their existing debt within the next 3 months.”Any station that is unable to pay the balance of 40 percent indebtedness within the 3 months window shall forfeit the opportunity to enjoy the stated debt forgiveness.”The existing license fee is further discounted by 30 per cent for all Open Terrestrial Radio and Television services effective July 10th, 2020.

“The debt forgiveness shall apply to functional licensed Terrestrial Radio and Television stations only. “The debt forgiveness and discount shall not apply to pay TV service operators in Nigeria. The effective date of the debt forgiveness shall be July 10th 2020 to October 6th, 2020
“The Federal Government has made these interventions with a view to re-positioning the Broadcast Industry to play its critical role of promoting democracy and good governance in Nigeria. It is our expectation that the sector will cash in on this unique opportunity to make itself an effective catalyst for national development,” he said.

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Head Of Nigerian Anti-Graft Agency, Magu, Arrested Over Corruption

In what is like an irony, the Nigerian Secret Service, the Department of State Service (DSS), has arrested the country’s head of Anti-Graft Agency head, Ibrahim Magu, over allegations that the has acquired properties and was laundering money abroad through proxies.
Magu was alleged to be transferring money abroad through a third party, as well as owing four illegally acquired four properties.
He was arrested at the Wuse II office of the DSS on Monday and is reportedly undergoing questioning at the head office of the DSS also in Abuja.
According to the secret service, in 2016, it called to question Magu’s occupation of a N40 million mansion allegedly paid for him by a retired air force chief, Umar Mohammed, who was reportedly into a shady deal.
DSS said in a report on Monday: “In December 2010, the Police Service Commission (PSC) found Magu guilty of action prejudicial to state security – withholding of EFCC files, sabotage, unauthorised removal of EFCC files and acts unbecoming of a police officer, and awarded him severe reprimand as punishment.
“Magu is currently occupying a residence rented for N40m at N20m per annum. This accommodation was not paid [for] from the commission’s finances, but by one Umar Mohammed, air commodore retired, a questionable businessman who has subsequently been arrested by the secret service.

“For the furnishing of the residence, Magu enlisted the Federal Capital Development Authority to award a contract to Africa Energy, a company owned by the same Mohammed, to furnish the residence at the cost of N43m.

“Investigations show that the acting EFCC chairman regularly embarked on official and private trips through a private jet owned by Mohammed.

“In one of such trips, Magu flew to Maiduguri alongside Mohammed with a bank MD who was being investigated by the EFCC over complicity in funds allegedly stolen by the immediate past petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

“Furthermore, the EFCC boss has so far maintained a high-profile lifestyle. This is exemplified by his preference for first-class air travels. On 24 June, 2016, he flew Emirate airlines first-class to Saudi Arabia to perform lesser hajj at the cost of N2.9m. This is in spite of Mr President’s directive to all public servants to fly economy class.

“Magu has fostered a beneficial relationship with Mohammed who by his confession approaches clients for possible exploitation, favours and associated returns,” the DSS report said.

Meanwhile, it has been gathered that members of Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are reportedly commending the development after the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government has been allegedly using Magu and the EFCC to fight anybody that opposes the actions of the government.

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Late Dr. Mathew George Finally Laid to Rest In His Hometown Njala-Kombaya, Southern Part of Sierra Leone

“Your profession is not what brings home your weekly paycheck, your profession is what you are put here on earth to do, with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.” Vincent Van Gogh Kushandwzoom

The above words by Vincent Van Gogh encapsulate the life and times of late Dr. Mathew Peter George until his demise, he lived a fulfilled life in service to mankind no wonder, family members, colleagues, students and his counterparts in the medical profession expressed their profound condolences at his funeral.

In reminiscence of his heroic work, he dedicated his time to saving lives from the period of the deadly Ebola disease and with the emergence of the deadly Coronavirus, he kept up his passion and desire to save lives and in the process he was caught in the crossfire of the pandemic, leaving the nation of Sierra Leone, his family members and close associates in agony.

The late Dr. Mathew became one of the high profile victims of the pandemic across the globe. It is noteworthy to say that Sierra Leone and Africa have lost an astute professional in Dr. Peter Matthew George who passed away fighting the battle against the pandemic and in the process he laid his own life-saving lives.

As a renowned surgeon, a specialist he worked in the provinces of Sierra Leone for several years, until his death he was attached to the Connaught Hospital in Freetown. Born to Matthew George (now deceased) and Margaret George in the town of Nyagoihun, Njala Kombaya, Bo district where he was laid to rest on the 4th of July 2020 leaving behind his wife, Mrs. Michaela George, two children and family members to mourn his death. He would be fondly remembered for his love, for his family, sense of humility, selfless service to mankind, and passion for his profession.

It would be recalled that he cut his teeth with his desire for education at Murialdo secondary school where he sat to his GCE O’level and he later continued at the Christ the king college-CKC-Bo. Late Dr. Mathew George would be remembered as a frontline medical doctor and a pioneer of general surgeon practice in Sierra Leone. His funeral was well attended by dignitaries in the country led by Sierra Leone’s Minister of Health Hon. Dr. Alpha Wurie, as they turned out in large numbers to pay last respect to the departed. Adieu, Dr. Peter Matthew George.

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12 Injured In Carolina Nightclub Shooting

A shooting at a South Carolina nightclub left 12 people in “various conditions” early Sunday, a sheriff’s official said.

A Greenville County sheriff’s deputy noticed a “disturbance” at Lavish Lounge just before 2 a.m., and called for backup because of “active gunfire from inside the building,” Lt. Jimmy Bolt said in a statement.

Responding officials took victims inside the lounge to the hospital, while others were taken via private vehicles.

It’s unclear whether anyone was in custody in relation to the shooting. The names and precise conditions of the victims weren’t immediately released.

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Dozens Dead As Flood Ravages Japan

Rescuers are searching for 14 people missing after floods hit the Kumamoto region on Japan’s southwestern island of Kyushu.

About 34 people are either confirmed or feared dead — including 14 at a nursing home — after torrential rain in Japan triggered massive floods and mudslides, authorities said Sunday.

Rescuers were searching for 14 people missing after floods hit the Kumamoto region of Japan on the southwestern island of Kyushu, destroying houses, sweeping away vehicles and causing bridges to collapse.

The regional government confirmed 18 people had died, while another 16 were in a state of “cardio-respiratory arrest”—a term often used in Japan before a doctor officially certifies death.

Fourteen of the victims were at a nursing home that was inundated when local rivers broke their banks. Emergency services rescued 50 people from the facility.

More than 200,000 people have been urged to evacuate as authorities request those in emergency shelters to wash their hands, wear masks and maintain social distance to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“We will do our utmost to prevent the spread of the infection and make the lives of those who had to flee their home as comfortable as possible,” Disaster Management Minister Ryota Takeda told reporters after visiting a gymnasium in Hitoyoshi city where 600 residents are sheltering.

At a cabinet-level meeting in Tokyo on the disaster, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to offer financial support, while warning residents in Kumamoto to brace for more rain.

“As we speak, more than 40,000 personnel from police, fire, coast guard and Self-Defence troops are conducting search and rescue operations which will continue through the night,” Abe said.

“Saving lives is our priority.” Heavy rain is expected in the region through Monday, Abe added.

“We must remain vigilant,” he said, warning residents to monitor news for further risks associated with flooding and landslides.

Communities along the Kuma River, which passes through Hitoyoshi, have been hit hard by the floodwaters.

Although the rain had eased in Kumamoto by Sunday morning, collapsed bridges and blocked roads due to flooding and mudslides have left many isolated in the region.

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Killing Of Ethiopian Singer: Protest Death Toll Jumps To 156

The number of people killed in protests in Ethiopia following the slaying of a popular singer has jumped to 156 from the initial tally of 80, a senior regional security official told Reuters on Sunday.

Members of the Oromo Ethiopian community in Lebanon take part in a demonstration to protest the death of the musician and activist Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, in the capital Beirut on July 5, 2020.

The protests were sparked by the assassination of Hundeessaa on Monday night and spread from Addis Ababa to the surrounding Oromia region. 

Jibril Mohammed, head of the Oromia Security and Peace Bureau, said the 156 are those who died just in the Oromia region, which was the worst hit by the protests.

He said more deaths might be reported due to the number of injuries being treated in hospitals. Some 145 of the casualties are civilians while 11 are security personnel, he added.

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Macron Appoints New Prime Minister After Govt Resignation

French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday appointed Jean Castex to replace Eduoard Philippe as prime minister.

Castex is a senior civil servant who has held several posts in local, regional and national governments. In April, he was charged with managing the easing ofFrance’s lockdown during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Earlier, Philippe resigned along with the rest of the French government.

The move paves the way for a government reshuffle, which was widely expected as French President Emmanuel Macron seeks to boost his credentials with disillusioned voters. Macron aims to reorient his final two years in office.

The rest of the government is expected to be named by Wednesday.

On Sunday, Macron’s centrist political party En Marche collapsed in municipal elections across the country. Although Macron enjoys popularity at the European level, his image domestically has suffered from a series of setbacks, including the yellow vest protests and labor reforms.

The French presidency said Macron and Philippe had agreed that a new government was required to form a “new path” forward.

“I will need to make choices to lead [France] down that path,” Macron said. He praised Philippe’s “outstanding work” during his time in government.

In April, Macron said he wanted to “reinvent” himself to meet the latest challenges facing the French republic. But tackling the fallout of the novel coronavirus pandemic is likely to take center stage for the rest of his presidential term.

Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are spearheading plans to establish a European recovery program for the EU’s hardest-hit countries. However, even those efforts have faced resistance among EU member states that fear pulling debt as part of a recovery fund.

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