Thursday, 26 November 2020

Canadian, American People Meet During Thanksgiving Holiday Despite Border Closure


 People meet at the Peace Arch Historical State Park, where a small portion of it is delineated along the Canada-United States border, during the Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 25, 2020.

 The US and Canadian border has remained closed to non-essential traffic since March due to COVID-19. 

Canadian and American friends and relatives meet during the American Thanksgiving week along the border despite being separated by the border closure. 

The Peace Arch Historical State Park straddles the border allowing people of both nationalities to meet during the pandemic border closure in effect since March.

 (Photo by Andrew Soong/Xinhua)

Ethiopian Army Launches Operation on Tigray Capital


Olayemi Esan (with Agency Report)

The Ethiopian military is launching an assault on Mekelle, capital of the restive northern region of Tigray, after the local ruling party rejected an ultimatum that they surrender within 72 hours.

This is according to a communiqué released on Twitter on Thursday by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali.

Earlier in the week, the government issued an ultimatum, giving the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) 72 hours to surrender.

“The Ethiopian National Defense Forces have now been directed to conclude the third and final phase of our rule of law operations.

“In this final phase, great care will be given to protect innocent civilians from harm.

“All efforts will be made to ensure that the city of Mekelle, which was built through the hard work of our people, will not be severely damaged,” the statement reads.

The armed conflict in northern Ethiopia broke out earlier in the month after the federal government had accused the TPLF of attacking a local military base and launched a security operation against it.

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Military Kills Scores of Bandits at Birnin Kogo Forest in Katsina and Ajjah Forest in Zamfara--DHQ


Olayemi Esan

The Military says no fewer than 67 bandits, armed with very high calibre weapons, including Anti-Aircraft (AA) Guns, have been killed and several others injured in air interdiction missions executed by the Air Component of Operation Hadarin Daji at Birnin Kogo Forest in Katsina State.

Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche said this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

The Military Spokesperson also added that, about 15 armed bandits were killed in air strikes conducted by the Air Component at Ajjah Forest in Zamfara State.

He said, "Both air strikes were carried out sequel to credible Human Intelligence (HUMINT) reports as well as aerial surveillance missions that led to the identification of the 2 forest hideouts, which housed scores of the armed bandits along with hundreds of rustled cattle".

"The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets and helicopter gunships dispatched by the Air Component to attack the 2 locations took turns in engaging the target areas, scoring accurate hits on the caves, which are used by the armed bandits to shield themselves from air strikes", he said.

The Military High Command therefore commends the troops and other security agencies operating in the North West zone for their professionalism and urges them to remain resolute in order to eradicate all armed bandits.

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

COVID-19: FCT Mobile Courts Prosecute 7,996 Persons in 2 Months


Olayemi Esan, Abuja

A civil society organisation, Network of University Legal Aid Institutions (NULAI) Nigeria said 7,996 persons were prosecuted in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) by  COVID-19 mobile courts in two months.

The mobile courts were inaugurated by the Chief Judge of the FCT, Justice Ishaq Bello in April.

Programme Manager, NULAI Nigeria,  Mahmud Yusuf made this known at a Media Launch/Presentation of Study on COVID-19 Pandemic in Abuja on Tuesday.

17-Year-Old Girl Who Got 7 A1s in WAEC Dies


A teenager who got 7A1s in the 2019 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) has died.

Chisom Chukwuneke, made straights A’s in the entrance exam and emerged the best student from her school, Graceland college in Enugu last year. She went on to win numerous academic awards in her school.

Chisom was reportedly sick and was already making a recovery before she died.

Her obituary reveals she died on October 18 in a hospital in South Africa.

17-year-old girl who got 7 A1s in WAEC dies

Ondo Assembly Sacks Deputy Speaker


 Emmanuel Ogundele

The Ondo state house of Assembly has impeached the deputy speaker, Rt. Hon. Iroju Ogundeji. 

Iroju who Odigbo constituency 2 was impeached following the house resolutions led by the speaker, Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oloyelogun and was immediately replaced by Hon. Aderoboye.

 Iroju was impeached on the ground of gross misconduct which has brought disrepute the hallowed chamber. 

Meanwhile twenty lawmakers signed for the impeachment.

However, following the reconstitution of the House, Hon. Tomide Akinribido has been removed as the minority leader and replaced by Hon. Festus Akingbaso from PDP while Hon. Ogunmolasuyi is the new majority leader. Hon. Taofeek Oladele is now the new chief whip in replacement of Adeyemi Olayemi. 

Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu will present to the State House of Assembly 2021 budget on Friday.

Breaking: FG Writes CNN over Report on Lekki Shootings Full text



Office Of The Honourable Minister

Federal Secretariat, Phase Il, Shehu Shagari Way, Central Business District, P.M.B 473, Abuja.

FMIC/HM/GEN/OOI/XIV                                         November 23, 2020

Mr. Jonathan Hawkins

VP, Communications

CNN Centre

Atlanta, Georgia





Our attention has been drawn to an 'investigation' by CNN, entitled 'How a Bloody Night of Bullets Quashed a Young Protest Movement' and aired on 18 Nov. 2020, in which the international news organization said it had I l uncovered that Nigerian security forces opened fire on unarmed protesters" at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, Nigeria, during the #EndSARS protest.

Nigerian Air Force Knocks Out Terrorist Logistics Base, Neutralizes Several Fighters In Borno


Olayemi Esan, Abuja

The Nigerian Air Force of Operation Lafiya Dole has knocked out an Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) logistics base and neutralized several of their fighters in air strikes conducted at Tumbun Rego on the fringes of Lake Chad in Borno State. 

Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.

Enenche said, the mission was executed on 22 November 2020 on the heels of credible intelligence reports indicating that the location, with its makeshift structures camouflaged under dense vegetation, was being used by the terrorists as a hub for logistics items conveyed via the lake and its tributaries for onward transportation using trucks/ motorcycles.

He added that, the Air Task Force therefore dispatched Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets and helicopter gunships to attack the location. 

"Overhead the target area, significant number ISWAP elements were observed".

"These were engaged in successive passes by the NAF attack aircraft resulting in the destruction of the terrorists’ structures as well as the  neutralization of several of their fighters" he said.

Monday, 23 November 2020

2020 Finance Bill: FG Exempts Minimum Wage Earners from Tax

 Olayemi Esan, Abuja 

The Federal Government has proposed the exemption of minimum wage earners from the Personal Income Tax in the 2020 Finance Bill. 

According to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, the aim is to reduce the impact of inflation on Nigerians.

The statement said that President Muhammadu Buhari noted that the incentives in the proposed bill and various economic policies of the Federal Government would ensure the resilience of the Nigerian economy to exogenous shocks.

According to the statement, the President made these disclosures in his speech delivered virtually by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, on Monday at the opening session of the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit Group Conference with the theme: “Building Partnerships for Resilience”.

“We are proposing in the new Finance Act that those who earn minimum wage should be exempted from paying income tax.

“These provisions which complement the tax breaks given to small businesses last year will not only further stimulate the economy, but are also a fulfillment of promises made to take steps to help reduce the cost of transportation and the impact of inflation on ordinary Nigerians,” President Buhari said.

Explaining the role of the private sector in building a resilient economy, President Buhari said, “this government has always emphasized that the private sector has a key role to play in our efforts to build a more resilient and competitive economy as expressed in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

“Private companies in design, construction, logistics and finance are very much engaged in our infrastructural projects in power and rail as well as road and bridges and the installation of broadband infrastructure which is an essential requirement if Nigeria is to participate actively and benefit from the 4th Industrial Revolution.”

Former South African footballer dies in car crash


Tributes have been pouring in for the South African footballer, Anele Ngcongca, who died in a car accident in Kwazulu-Natal on Monday morning at the age of 33.

He died after moving from Mamelodi Sundowns club to AmaZulu.

In a joint statement, the clubs confirmed the tragic news.

“AmaZulu Football Club and Mamelodi Sundowns FC are saddened to learn of the tragic passing of former Bafana Bafana player, Anele Ngcongca.

Prosecution stalls N451m theft case against 8 Dangote Sugar Refinery staff


The absence of the prosecuting team from the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police Force on Monday stalled the trial of eight staff and a businessman accused of stealing N451million from Dangote Sugar Refinery Ltd.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the staff are; Musa Sule, Joseph Ukpah, Babatunde Ajao, Onyekwere Chinedu, Alayande Rahman, Omoro Ezekiel, Abugba Christian Odion and Mannir Mohammed.

FIFA Suspends CAF President For Five Years


The head of African football Ahmad Ahmad has been suspended by FIFA for five years for corruption, the global governing body announced on Monday.

Ahmad, from Madagascar, has been president of the African Football Confederation (CAF) since March 2017 and was standing for re-election when FIFA banned him for “governance issues”.

In their statement, FIFA said Ahmad had “breached his duty of loyalty, offered gifts and other benefits, mismanaged funds and abused his position as the CAF President”.

Seven Soldiers Feared Killed In Borno Landmine Attack


Olayemi Esan

At least seven soldiers have been feared dead following a landmine ambush in the northern axis of Borno state on Saturday. 

The ill-fated soldiers, who were on escort duty en route Baga, came upon the landmines planted by suspected Boko Haram members.

The insurgents followed up with heavy gunfire on the convoy.

The convoy consisted of truckloads of food heading to Baga town of Kukawa local government.

The food supplies were to be distributed to returning Internally Displayed Persons by Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum.

Some of the civilians who escorted the food were natives of Baga living in Stadium IDP camp, Maiduguri.

Their relatives at the camp confirmed the attack to our reporter saying some of them were maimed in the explosion and have been evacuated from the scene of the attack to a hospital in Maiduguri.

Soldiers who survived the attack said the terrorists seized weapons and a gun truck.

Further investigation revealed that the attack was at Gazarwa village, a popular Boko Haram checkpoint after Gajiram, before Monguno.

Sources said seven corpses of soldiers and one of CJTF were seen on Sunday morning at Gajiram.

Military sources that took part in the evacuation of injured persons said they are being treated at the military hospital in Maiduguri.

The military is yet to comment on the incident.

But spokesperson to Governor Zulum, Isa Gusau confirmed that neither Zulum nor any component of his detail was part of the attacked convoy.

He said in a statement that the governor had successfully completed his mission in Baga, where he spent one night and returned to Maiduguri on Sunday.

While Gusau did not deny the attack, he advised newshounds to seek clarification from the military.