July 13, 2018 // 2 days ago

Ekiti Poll Holds amidst Tension.
The out-of-season governorship election in Ekiti State holds Saturday amidst palpable tension as the leading parties, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) upped their stakes, accusing and counter accusing one another of desperate attempts to win the poll by all means possible. Leaders of thoughts, including the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, and the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Paul Arkwright, have, however, called for restraints, warning against violence and calling on politicians to allow peace to reign.


rAPC Asks Court to Sack Oshiomhole-led National Executive.
The Reformed All Progressive Congress (r-APC) on Thursday asked the Federal High Court, Abuja to sack the Adams Oshiomole-led National Executive for not being lawfully elected to lead the party. The Plaintiffs in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1734/18 are Buba Galadima, Kazeem Afegbua, Barr. Nicholas Asuzu and Alhaji Hadi Ametuo. Sued as defendants alongside the NEC, are members of the APC National Working Committee, Chairmen of the 36 States Executive Council, INEC and APC.


Picketing: MTN Counts Losses as Offices Remain Under Lock.
MTN Nigeria has suffered huge losses as a result of the nationwide picketing of its offices by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) leading to a complete shutdown of its head office in Falomo, Ikoyi, Lagos and its regional offices nationwide. Thisday’s investigation revealed that the offices were under lock since Monday, forcing the staff of the telecoms company to render only skeletal services from their homes. Although the continuous lock of its offices is causing the telecoms company huge financial losses, which is also affecting all MTN partners that manage MTN Connect Stores across the country, the company however, said yesterday, that it was still calculating its losses. The company added that what was paramount to it was to ensure that its services to its over 60 million subscribers were up and running.


Bill to Create State Police Passes First Reading in Senate.
The first reading of the Constitution Alteration Bill for the Establishment of State Police and other related matters was taken at the Senate plenary Thursday. A statement by Mr. Uche Anichukwu, the Special Adviser (Media) to the Deputy President of the Senate, said the bill, sponsored by Ike Ekweremadu, who is also the Chairman, Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, has all members of the committee as co-sponsors. It seeks to establish a federal police and state police, while also creating the National Police Service Commission, National Police Council, and State Police Service Commission for the states.



Buhari withholds assent, returns four bills to National Assembly.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday communicated his decision to withhold assent to four bills to the National Assembly. At the House of Representatives, the presidential decision was contained in a letter read to members by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara, at the start of the day’s proceedings. The bills are the “Corporate Manslaughter Bill, 2018”; “Agricultural Credit Scheme Bill, 2018”; “National Child Protection Bill, 2018”; and “Court and Tribunal Standard Scale Fines Bill, 2018.” Buhari gave reasons for rejecting the bills. For instance, on the corporate manslaughter bill, Buhari said several of its provisions were inconsistent with the 1999 Constitution. He also rejected the agricultural credit scheme bill on the grounds that the National Assembly jacked up the fund created in the scheme to N50bn. The President explained that he was more convenient with the extant provision of N100m. On the child protection bill, Buhari noted that the proposed agency would merely duplicate the functions of already established agencies and the Ministry of Women Affairs. He turned back the court and tribunal bill for being “ambiguous” and conflicting with extant laws.


NEMA receives 160 Nigerians from Libya.
The National Emergency Management Agency says it has received a batch of 160 assisted voluntary returnees from Libya who were stranded in failed attempts to reach different European countries. The Planning Officer of NEMA, Mr Segun Afolayan, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Friday that the returnees arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, at 9.45p.m. on Thursday. Afolayan said that the returnees landed at the Cargo Wing of the airport aboard Libyan Airline flight with registration number 5A-DMG. He said that they were brought back through the assistance of the International Organisation for Migration.


FG spending Abacha’s loot on Ekiti election, says Olusola.
The governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, has accused the Federal Government of moving part of the $321m recovered from the late Abacha family to Ekiti for Saturday’s governorship election. Olusola, who is the incumbent deputy governor, said about $50m of the recovered loot was moved from Abuja in a chartered flight through Akure Airport to Ekiti in two bullion vans to support the All Progressives Congress governorship candidate, Dr Kayode Fayemi. The Director, Media and Publicity of Kolapo Olusola Campaign Organisation, Lere Olayinka, raised this alarm at a press briefing in Ado Ekiti on Thursday.


32 get mass burial, as NASS, Tambuwal, govs condemn Sokoto killings.
The Senate and the House of Representatives on Thursday condemned the killing of 39 persons in Sokoto State by suspected bandits on Tuesday. The Sokoto State Government was reported on Thursday to have held a mass burial on Wednesday for 32 people, who were killed when bandits on motorcycles invaded villages in Rabah Local Government Area of the state. Compared to the neighbouring Zamfara, Sokoto has been peaceful.


TimesLive

Lekota calls for government to introduce refugee camps.
Congress of the People (Cope) president Mosiuoa Lekota has called on the South African government to introduce refugee camps for foreigners. Addressing a press conference of the coalition governments that took over cities including Tshwane‚ Nelson Mandela Bay and Johannesburg‚ Lekota took aim at foreigners. The Cope leader criticised the government‘s handling of immigrants‚ saying that during the struggle against apartheid‚ ANC exiles were confined to refugee camps and not allowed to “push out” residents.


Motorists stoned as protesters block N14 highway in Centurion.
A protest on the R55 is affecting Centurion residents‚ as demonstrators burn tyres and set up barricades while on the N14‚ protesters are on a bridge throwing burning material and rocks onto passing cars. TrafficSA advised motorists to avoid the area.


Durban bomb hoaxers could pay for wasting cops’ time.
Police have warned the culprits behind three hoax bomb threats in Durban on Thursday that aside from facing criminal charges‚ they could face a hefty bill for wasting state resources. Pandemonium erupted in the city on Thursday when hundreds of tenants of the 23-storey Commercial City building in central Durban were evacuated following a bomb scare. Police officers‚ including members of the explosives unit‚were called to the building. The area houses the offices of a number of provincial government departments‚ including arts and culture‚ agriculture and rural development‚ health and home affairs. It also houses offices of the ANC and the Public Protector. That scare came only hours after hundreds of shoppers and employees at the Cornubia Mall in Mount Edgecombe were evacuated following a bomb threat earlier on Thursday morning. Later in the afternoon‚ the Phoenix police station‚ north of Durban‚ was evacuated amid fears that three explosive devices had been planted there. All three turned out to be hoax calls.


Former DA councillor convicted of RDP housing fraud.
A former Cape Town DA councillor has been convicted of R3-million fraud for giving a bogus appointment letter to a developer to build RDP homes on land owned by the Western Cape government. The Bellville Commercial Crimes Court convicted Wilma Brady on Wednesday. According to court documents‚ Brady unlawfully entered into a contract with Lelethu‚ a construction company‚ which purported to bind the provincial government financially. Brady was the chairperson of the city’s Oostenberg sub-council in 2006 when she claimed that she represented the provincial housing department in a letter to a representative of the developer‚ Faizel Davids. In the letter‚ she purported to appoint the company for the construction of 33 RDP houses in Malibu Village‚ Blue Downs.


TheEastAfrican

UN set to impose arms embargo on South Sudan.
The UN Security Council will vote Friday on imposing an arms embargo on South Sudan and sanctions on two military officials after the latest diplomatic efforts failed to end nearly five years of war. The United States circulated a revised draft resolution on Thursday that diplomats said is likely to be adopted, imposing a ban on arms sales to South Sudan until May 2019. The measure expresses "deep concern at the failures of South Sudan‘s leaders to bring an end to the hostilities" and would renew until May 2019 sanctions imposed on South Sudan. South Sudan won independence from Sudan in 2011, with critical backing from the United States, which remains Juba‘s biggest aid donor.


Eritrean President Afwerki to visit Ethiopia.
Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki will visit Ethiopia on Saturday, Eritrea’s information minister Yemane Meskel said on Friday, days after the two neighbours declared their “state of war” over. The visit comes a week after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed visited Eritrea and signed a pact on resuming ties with Isaias. Under the historic deal, the Horn of Africa neighbours agreed to open embassies, develop ports and resume flights, in concrete signs of rapprochement away two decades of hostility since war erupted over their disputed border in 1998.


Outrage as Kenyan MPs go to World Cup at taxpayers‘ expense.
Kenyans voiced outrage on Thursday as it emerged that a group of lawmakers had gone to the World Cup at the taxpayers‘ expense, even though the country had failed to qualify for the tournament. The scandal erupted after some of the legislators posted selfies on social media of themselves enjoying matches in Russia.


Twaweza is being accused of conducting the research without a permit.
The Tanzanian government is threatening legal action against Twaweza, a research outfit which recently unveiled findings that President John Magufuli’s popularity had dropped significantly. Article 37(2) of the controversial Statistic Act (2015) prescribes a fine of up to $878 (Sh2,000,000) or imprisonment of not less than six months or both to a person who would publish or possess statistical information that the law deems unauthorised for publication. In a letter to the Executive Director of Twaweza dated July 9, the acting Director-General of the Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), Dr Amos Nungu, said the not-for-profit organisation had not applied to the commission to conduct the research. It has thus been given seven days to show cause why appropriate action should not be taken against it.



Trump detonates Brexit bomb in Britain visit.
With a friend like Donald Trump, Theresa May doesn‘t need enemies. The President delivered an astonishing political knifing of the British Prime Minister on Thursday, comprehensively undermining her fragile position in Britain‘s tortuous negotiations on leaving the European Union and getting his visit to the country off to the most explosive of starts. In an interview with the Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper The Sun, Trump said May had ignored his advice on Brexit, he praised former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson -- who has just walked out of her Cabinet over the issue -- and he said May‘s cherished hope of a free trade deal with the US would be killed off by her softened approach. Trump‘s comments represent a stunning intervention in British domestic politics, especially since they came at the end of a week in which she lost three ministers, including Johnson, who said her approach is a betrayal of a referendum vote to leave the EU. They are a fresh sign that Trump has no time for diplomatic niceties, is either oblivious to the political pressures that foreign leaders face or simply does not care about them and is willing to sow disruption wherever he goes in order to enhance his own outspoken political brand.


Syrian government forces raise flag in Dara‘a, birthplace of the war.
Syrian government forces say they have retaken a town that was the epicenter of the civil war that engulfed the country and the region for more than seven years. State media said the Syrian troops entered the town of Dara‘a on Thursday. Under an agreement reached last week with militant groups, the Syrian government said "terrorist groups will hand over heavy and medium weapons," and that those who agree to the accord will be permitted to remain in the area. "Those who refuse reconciliation will be evacuated," the state-run SANA news agency reported Thursday. Troops raised the Syrian flag once again over the town of Dara‘a, where graffiti taunting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad about the demise of Arab dictators in other countries first sparked the uprising that became the Syrian war.


India ruling party lawmaker charged with rape of minor.
A lawmaker from India‘s ruling party has been charged with raping a teenage girl, whose father was allegedly beaten to death when the family complained. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has charged Kuldeep Singh Sengar -- an elected member of the Uttar Pradesh state legislative assembly -- with rape, abduction, criminal conspiracy, criminal intimidation and rape of a minor under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act. He has denied all charges. The girl, now 17, claims she was attacked by Sengar on June 4, 2017 when she was taken to his home on the pretext of getting a job. She says she was then repeatedly gang-raped over nine days at the property between June 11 and June 20. According to court documents, police officers allegedly picked up the girl on June 20 and, as they drove her to the police station, repeatedly threatened violence against her father if she spoke out. In April 2018, after the family filed a complaint, the girl‘s father was allegedly assaulted and later died of his injuries. The CBI has also filed charges against five people for murder, rioting, voluntarily causing hurt, breaching peace, criminal intimidation in relation to the April incident. The day before her father‘s death, seeking to draw attention to her case, the girl attempted to set herself on fire outside the residence of the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, but was stopped by passersby.


‘Ghost particle‘ found in Antarctica provides astronomy breakthrough.
For the first time, scientists have been able to trace the origins of a ghostly subatomic particle that traveled 3.7 billion light-years to Earth. The tiny, high-energy cosmic particle is called a neutrino, and it was found by sensors deep in the Antarctic ice in the IceCube detector. Scientists and observatories around the world were able to trace the neutrino to a galaxy with a supermassive, rapidly spinning black hole at its center, known as a blazar. The galaxy sits to the left of Orion‘s shoulder in his constellation and is about 4 billion light-years from Earth. Scientists say the discovery heralds a new era of space research, allowing the use of these particles to study and observe the universe in an unprecedented way. And the finding suggests that scientists will be able to track the origin of mysterious cosmic rays for the first time.



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