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19 Apr 2019

BREAKING NEWS: Two Black Snakes Chase President Out Of Office

Two black snakes have forced the Liberian President George Weah out of his office. This has made the former world and African best footballer to work from his private residence since Wednesday.

BBC citing the Press secretary, Mr Smith Toby, said that two black snakes were found in the foreign affairs ministry building, Weah’s official place of work. In view of this, therefore, all staff have been told to stay away until 22 April. “It’s just to make sure that crawling and creeping things get fumigated from the building.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosts the office of the president, so it did an internal memo asking the staff to stay home while they do the fumigation”, Mr Toby said. The office of the president has been based in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since a fire in 2006 gutted the nearby presidential mansion. However, workers tried to kill the snakes but did not succeed. “The snakes were never killed,” Mr Toby said.

“There was a little hole somewhere through which they made their way back.” Recall that similar incident happened in Nigeria when his Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari left the country for about three months on a medical ground.

Following the three months period of disuse, rodents caused a lot of damage to the furniture’s and interiors in his office, making it impossible for him to operate from the office in that condition.

However, Police and presidential securities were seen guarding Mr Weah’s residence in the capital Monrovia. A fleet of vehicles including escorts jeeps were parked outside. Mr Toby said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has started to fumigate the area.

“That building has been there for years now, and because of the drainage system, the possibility of having things like snakes crawling in that building was high”. The president is definitely returning to his office on Monday after the fumigation, whether or not the snakes are found and killed, Mr Toby said.

Minimum Wage Will Give Workers Sense Of Belonging – TUC

The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) on Friday said the new N30, 000 minimum wage would give workers a sense of belonging.

TUC, in a statement, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the N30, 000 minimum wage bill into law. It will be recalled that the bill was passed by both chambers of the National Assembly in March.
The TUC President, Bobboi Kaigama, and Secretary General, Musa-Lawal Ozigi, said that the new wage would in no small measure give workers a sense of belonging. It said that the organised labour appreciated the approval of the new wage, but that its gains had been eroded by inflation as prices of commodities had gone up when employers had not commenced receiving the new wage.

“The N30, 000 monthly National Minimum Wage that we are asking for a family of six amounts to less than N50 per meal per person. It is exclusive of utility bills, school fees and many others. “Given our extended family system as Africans, we are also expected to assist parents, in-laws, relations and friends who have lost their jobs,” the TUC said.

It called on the 9th Assembly to prevail on governors to pay workers their salaries and pension to pensioners as and when due to avoid crisis in the industrial sector. The TUC said it appreciated the Federal Government, lawmakers and Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA) for seeing reason with workers.

Full List Of What Onnoghen Will Forfeit To Federal Government After Conviction

The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) yesterday convicted the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen of false and non-declaration of assets.

Reading the lead judgment yesterday, the tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar, also ordered the immediate removal of Onnoghen from office as the CJN and the Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC) as well as the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC).
The tribunal also ordered the forfeiture of all the monies in the five accounts the prosecution said Onnoghen failed to declare. They are

Domiciliary US Dollar account No. 870001062650 – $56,878*

Domiciliary Pound Sterling account No.285001062679 – £13,730.70.

Domiciliary Euro account No. 93001062686 – €10,187.18.

e-Saver savings (Naira) account No.5001062693 – N12,852,580.52

Another Naira account No.010001062667 – N2,656,019.21.

All the accounts are maintained with Standard Chartered Bank (Nig.) Ltd.

* All balance as at December, 2018, except the US Dollar account

Daily Trust reports that except the conviction is overturned by appellate court, Onnoghen cannot be pardoned by the president through prerogative of mercy. Section 23(7) of the CCT/B Act provides that: “The provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, relating to prerogative of mercy, shall not apply to any punishment imposed in accordance with the provisions of this section.”

Earlier, the tribunal dismissed the two interlocutory motions filed by Onnoghen, with the first challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal and the second requesting the tribunal chairman to disqualify himself from the trial on allegations of bias.

Meanwhile, Onnoghen’s lawyer, Okon Efut (SAN) described the CCT judgment as unconstitutional and a breach of fair hearing, adding that the defence will appeal the judgment.

Addressing journalists after the judgment, Efut said, “Before this day, on 23rd of January, the same judgment had been passed before now removing the CJN without a fair hearing. So, it was a fait accompli, it was premeditated. So, today’s (Thursday) judgment is just a formality.

'Private NEPA' - Subsistence Electricity Sharing Centres On The Rise Due To Persistent Blackouts

New local power distribution centres colloquially called 'Private NPEA' are emerging in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, to solve the persistent power outage and blackout in most areas in the state.

NEPA, in full the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA), is the defunct organisation that governed the use of electricity in Nigeria.

Investigations showed that those operating the local power distribution centres are private business owners who own lister diesel power generating sets and are willing to share with residents at a cost depending on your needs.
Some residents of Azikoro Village, Ekeki and Azikoro road, who spoke with newsmen, said although the owners of the local power distribution companies did not start with the intention of distributing power "they were prevailed upon to help their neighbours".

SaharaReporters gathered that most residents have started patronising the local operators due to the spate of violent crimes arising from the abysmal failure of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) to supply power to homes.

For example, areas such as Imgbi Road, Ekeki, Azikoro Road and other parts of the state have been in total darkness for five days without proper explanation from PHED.

Others have even taken to town criers to urge residents not to pay any bill brought to them by the power distribution company. They threatened to deal with any PHED official who approaches their streets.

Another factor responsible for the patronage of local power distribution outfits is the illegal increase in pump price of fuel and man-made scarcity created by petroleum marketers in the state. A litre of fuel in the Bayelsa capital now is N160 and it is not easily available.

The patronage of these local power distribution companies is rising by the day, with small business operators and private resident owners struggling to be connected.

It was gathered that while some local distribution centres take between N2,000 to N6,000 per week for private and commercial use, others have taken advantage of inflating cost of issuance of forms, weekly payment and connection fee to N20,000.

A man, who identified himself as James, told SaharaReporters that he patronises the local distribution company known as 'private NEPA' in his area due to the convenience.

"They distribute power at your convenience," he said. "If you operate a business, they connect you for a fee between 8am to 6pm. If it is private, you can negotiate for 7pm to 6am. Itsaves you stress."

Attempts to get one of the operators close to Ekeki Park failed, as everyone refused to comment. But one of his agents told SaharaFReporters that the distribution of power to neighbours is not a crime.

"We're only helping our neighbours," he said.

"And fees taken are just for running cost of diesel and maintenance. If the federal and state governments have failed to supply power and Bayelsa is in perpetual darkness, what do we do? In some areas, people are gathering money to buy diesel generator to power houses on their street. They don't even bother to pay light bill and they asked Power Holding to disconnect them."

Outrage As Head Teacher Orders Schoolgirl To Be Burnt To Death

A schoolgirl was burned to death in Bangladesh on the orders of her head teacher after she reported him for sexually harassing her, police said Friday.

The death of 19-year-old Nusrat Jahan Rafi last week sparked protests across the South Asian nation, with the prime minister promising to prosecute all those involved.

Rafi was lured to the rooftop of the Islamic seminary she attended where her attackers asked her to withdraw the sexual harassment complaint she had filed with police.

When she refused, she was doused in kerosene and set on fire.
Police said Friday that one of the 17 people arrested in connection with her death had accused the school’s principal of ordering the attack.

The teacher “told them to put pressure on Rafi to withdraw the case or kill her if she refused”, senior police superintendent Mohammad Iqbal, who is leading the investigation, told AFP.

Rafi had gone to the police in late March to report the sexual harassment, and a leaked video shows the local police station chief registering her complaint but dismissing it as “not a big deal”.

Iqbal said at least five of those under arrest, including three of Rafi’s classmates, had tied her up with a scarf before setting her on fire.

“The plan was to pass the incident off as a suicide. But it fell through after Rafi managed to come downstairs while on fire because the scarf burnt and freed her hands and feet,” he said.

Rafi suffered burns to 80 per cent of her body and died in hospital on April 10.

But she recorded a video before her death, repeating her allegations against the principal.

“The teacher touched me, I will fight this crime till my last breath,” she said. She also identified some of her attackers.

Rafi’s brother Mahmudul Hasan Noman said people close to the principal had also put pressure on the family to withdraw the case against him.

“They told us that it was a conspiracy against him and that it was fabricated,” he told AFP.

The case has caused outrage in Bangladesh, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina vowing that “none of the culprits will be spared legal action.”

Rights groups say the number of rape and sexual assault cases has increased in Bangladesh because authorities have failed to prosecute attackers.

“The horrifying murder of a brave woman who sought justice shows how badly the Bangladesh government has failed victims of sexual assault,” Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.

“Nusrat Jahan Rafi’s death highlights the need for the Bangladesh government to take survivors of sexual assault seriously and ensure that they can safely seek a legal remedy and be protected from retaliation,” she added.

The local Manusher Jonno Foundation, a non-governmental group, says at least 39 children under the age of 18 have been raped in the country since April 2.

Another eight have been subjected to attempted or sexual harassment, the groups says.

(AFP)

Lecturers Compromised The Integrity Of 2019 Polls - Jega Finally Speaks On 2019 Elections

The former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Muhammadu Jega, has accused the academicians used as ad hoc staff during the 2019 elections for conniving with politicians to compromise the integrity of the polls.

He stated this in Kano, in a remark at the 15th annual conference of Fulbright Alumni Association of Nigeria (FAAN) which took place at the Dangote Business School at the Bayero University, Kano.
Speaking as the chairman at the opening ceremony of the two-day conference, Professor Jega decried  the attitude of some lecturers during the poll, whose action he said paved way for faulty recruitment process of the political class during the polls, thereby betraying the confidence the electoral body reposed in them.

“Look at what happened during the last elections, and the story of irregularities being spread even in the four walls of BUK. The politicians, through crooked means, got alliances with lecturers in the university to compromise the system and they perpetrated all sort of irregularities, which pave way for a faulty process for the continued entrenchment of bad people in governance,” the former INEC boss said.

“Maybe, I am preaching to the converted or I am talking nonsense but frankly speaking, I am beginning to think that we are not taking the obligations of scholarship and intellectual engagement with the seriousness it deserves.

“I think the major crisis in Nigeria’s democracy is that our electoral integrity has been under assault, compromised and undermined by those who have control over the process,” he added.

Speaking on the theme of the conference,  the Vice Chancellor, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Professor Mohammed Sanni Abdulkadir, urged the Federal Government to improve the  funding of security agencies fighting insurgency and other organized crimes in various fronts across the country with a view to motivating them to be able to carry on their constitutional responsibilities with enthusiasm.

Another Election Promise Delivered - APC Reacts To New Minimum Wage

The All Progressives Congress (APC) says the signing into law of N30,000 minimum wage for Nigerian workers by President Muhammadu Buhari is another election promise delivered.

Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, APC National Publicity Secretary, made the assertion in a statement on Friday in Abuja, while commending Buhari for signing the new minimum wage bill into law.

“Truly, our workers deserve a new, improved and implementable minimum wage in view of current economic realities.
“Commendably, the welfare of workers has remained a top priority of the Buhari-led APC administration,” he said.

The APC spokesman said that this has been demonstrated by the Federal Government’s bailouts to states to pay workers salary and housing schemes for civil servants among other welfare packages in 2018.

Issa-Onilu congratulated stakeholders that ensured the achievement of this laudable feat, particularly the National Assembly, state governors, the Amma Pepple-led tripartite committee, labour and trade unions and indeed Nigerian workers.

“The signing of new minimum wage is another solid demonstration of a President who matches his words with actions,” he said.

The APC spokesman recalled that Buhari had severally assured of a new and improved national minimum wage for workers.

“The assent of the N30,000 minimum wage by the president is indeed another election promise delivered,” Issa-Onilu said.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that Buhari signed into law the Minimum Wage Repeal and Re-Enactment Act 2019 on Thursday.

By this act, the new minimum wage for Nigerian workers is now N30,000 monthly.

All employers of labour across the country with at least 25 workers are mandated by the law to pay their workers a minimum of N30,000 monthly wage.

The National Assembly had submitted the minimum wage Bill to the President since March 27.

The Bill approving N30,000 as the new national minimum wage was passed by both chambers of the National Assembly before they went on break for the 2019 general election.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and other trade unions had in 2018 insisted on an upward review of the monthly wage of Nigerian workers which was N18,000 before now.

The NLC had used various means, including dialogue and calling for strike to get the federal government and other stakeholders to see reason why the wage of the Nigerian worker needed to be reviewed upward.(NAN)

Family Demands Conviction Of By Policeman Who Killed Legion Member

The family of a member of the Nigerian Legion, Ademola Moshood, who was allegedly murdered by a police inspector, Paul Joseph, have demanded the conviction of the cop.

Ademola was said to be  returning from work on his motorcycle on March 29, 2019, when he was stopped at Kilo bus stop, Surulere, by a  police team from the Sholoki Police Station.

The policemen allegedly demanded a N200 bribe from the 34-year-old, who was in his uniform.

The victim, who was said to have refused to part with the sum after identifying himself as a member of the Nigerian Legion, was allegedly shot in the head by Joseph.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the police team was arrested after the incident was reported to the Divisonal Police Officer.

The elder brother of the deceased, Akeem Moshood, said only justice would assuage the hurt of the family, adding that the killing was premeditated.

He said, “My brother was on his way back from work and was about three buildings away from his place of residence when he was accosted by a police patrol team. The refusal of my brother to part with N200 was what led to his death; there was no provocation. The inspector just cocked his gun and shot him in the forehead.

 “When we got to the police station, the DPO identified the culprits and said he had transferred them to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba.

“We demand that the case should not be swept under the carpet; justice must be served. My brother was married with a kid and his wife is heavily pregnant. We appeal to the state government to come to the aid of his family and ensure that they do not suffer.”

In a petition to the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, the Nigerian Legion, Lagos State Command, lamented the killing of Ademola, who was reportedly attached to the state Ministry of Youth and Sports as a security operative.

The petition, which was signed by the state Chairman, Samuel Akande, and dated April 4, 2019, urged the state to give the group the recognition it deserved.

 “We are indeed surprised that a policeman, who should protect lives, was so intoxicated by the gun in his possession to the extent of shooting a law-abiding citizen returning home from work. More so, the deceased was in the uniform of the Nigerian Legion, an offshoot of the Armed Forces established by the Federal Government Decree 37 of 1988, when he was shot.

“The killing of Ademola Moshood for whatever reason by Inspector Paul Joseph is unacceptable, unlawful, oppressive and an abuse and misuse of authority. He was not a thief, hoodlum or a commercial motorcyclist. He was lawfully engaged and contributed his part as assigned in the provision of security for the state.

“We appeal to you sir to use your good offices to help the Nigerian Legion and the family of late Ademola Moshood get justice for the unlawful killing, harassment, molestation and humiliation. We also appeal that our members and corps of commissionaires should be recognised and accorded the respect they deserve as members of the Nigerian Legion. Police officers in Lagos State should be educated and enlightened on the Nigerian Legion.”

PUNCH Metro gathered that the 52-year-old inspector was arraigned before an Ebute-Meta Magistrates’ Court on one count of murder.

The charge read, “That you, Paul Joseph, on March 28, 2019, around 1am, at the Kilo area of Surulere, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did kill one Ademola Moshood, by shooting him in the head with a Takorav rifle, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 222 and punishable under Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.”

The presiding magistrate, Mr O. A. Komolafe, ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison pending the release of legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.

The case was adjourned till May 8, 2019.

University In Shock As Two Students Drown In River Benue

Benue State University will investigate the circumstances leading to the suspected drowning of two of its students in River Benue, where they went for swimming, the institution’s management has said.

The students, Adakole Christopher (100 Level Mathematics) and Emmanuella Mson (100 Level Medicine), drowned in the river on Friday, April 5, allegedly while swimming.

In a statement signed by the university’s Information Officer, Mr. Tser Vanger, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Msugh Kembe, described the deaths as unfortunate.
He said in spite of the orientation given to the fresh students on social outings, the sad incident occurred.

Kembe said a committee had already been inaugurated to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the deaths.

He appealed to students who live on campus and off campus not to embark on any form of social outing without proper documentation from the Student Affairs Directorate.

The vice-chancellor appreciated the Student Union Government and local fishermen who assisted in the recovery of the bodies.

He also commiserated with the families of the deceased students.



(NAN)

5 Uncommon Facts You Didn't Know About Easter Celebrations

Every year people around the world gather together to celebrate Easter. Easter is seen as the most important time in the “Christian” calendar.

It forms part of “Holy week” which consists of Palm Sunday – the week before Easter Sunday, Good Thursday – the day of Jesus’ Last Supper, Good Friday – the day Jesus was killed and Easter Sunday the day he “rose from the dead.”

For many, it is a festival and holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day after his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary.
While in some countries, it is seen as a time to hunt for coloured eggs and eat with family.

However, there are hidden facts about this celebration that many do not know.

Origin of Easter: There are debates about the origin of Easter celebration. Some scholars argued that the name Easter comes from a pagan figure called Eastre (or Eostre) that was celebrated as the goddess of spring by the Saxons of Northern Europe. The Anglo-Saxon goddess symbolizes the hare and the egg.

The exchange or giving of Easter eggs actually dates back to before Easter and the giving of eggs is actually considered a symbol of rebirth in many cultures.

Eggs: It is the unofficial symbol of Easter, often seen as an ancient symbol of fertility, and it is considered to bring new life and rebirth.

While celebrating Easter, the ancient Babylonians and Egyptians exchanged coloured eggs, usually red, in honour of spring. The Greeks and Romans adopted the custom, enlarging the colour board. In other parts of the world, eggs were forbidden during Lent. This made eggs very popular at Easter.

Note: The tallest Easter egg chocolate was made in Italy in 2011. It stood at 34 feet tall and weighed over 7 tons.

Easter Bunny: The Easter bunny is believed to have originated in Europe where it was actually the Easter Hare.

Other Easter traditions include wearing Easter bonnets, making Easter baskets and having Easter egg hunts.

Dates: The date of Easter varies each year as it is based on the lunar/Julian calendar and the position of the moon. Easter is celebrated on the Sunday after the full moon.

Easter symbols: Popular Easter symbols include – Eggs, Rabbits, Easter flowers, Baskets, Nests, springtime et al.
 
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