Latest News

Thursday, 28 May 2020

FG Issues Guidelines For Resumption Of Flight Services

FG Issues Guidelines For Resumption Of Flight Services

The Federal Government is to certify airlines and other operators in Nigeria before the resumption of flights once the country’s airspace and airports are re-opened for commercial operations.

It was also gathered on Wednesday that all operators in the country’s civil aviation space were required to inform the government five days ahead before resuming operations.

Nigerian airports had been under lockdown to commercial flights for about two months as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

There had been calls for the reopening of airports and recommencement of commercial flight operations.

But the Federal Government through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority said it would have to certify certain requirements before commercial flights would begin again.

The General Manager, Public Relations Department, NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, told our correspondent that the authority had issued various circulars to airlines on basic requirements needed from the carriers before they resume operations.

He said, “All we are doing are contained in the various circulars issued to the industry. They are all on our website.

“However, when resumption is allowed by the Federal Government, operators will be required to notify us five days ahead, to enable us certify certain requirements as enunciated in our various circulars.”

On May 6, the Federal Government extended the suspension of both local and international flight operations in all Nigerian airports by an additional four weeks.

The government had in March this year halted the operations of commercial flights by two weeks, before it announced the additional four-week extension on May 6.

Commercial flight operations, both local and international, had stopped forthwith but the Federal Government allowed essential flights.

Such essential flights include those for medical and evacuation purposes.

The government had stated that such flights were subject to the authorisation for the Federal Ministry of Aviation.

Meanwhile, in one of the circulars with reference NCAA-AC-FSG-001/20, sighted by our correspondent, the agency said the guidelines and protocols would be implemented to ensure an organised, safe, secure and efficient normalisation of the industry operations for the post COVID-19 lockdown.
Policemen Kill Innocent Man In Ibadan While Trying To Use Him As Bait To Arrest His Friend

Policemen Kill Innocent Man In Ibadan While Trying To Use Him As Bait To Arrest His Friend

Members of the Inspector-General of Police Special Tactical Squad have been accused of torturing an electrician, Olaoluwa Bolarinwa, to death while trying to use him as a bait to arrest his friend.

It was gathered that the policemen stormed Olaoluwa’s house in the Ekotedo, Iyaolobe area of Ibadan, Oyo State, on March 26, 2020.

They were said to have arrested Olaoluwa and his nephew, Oreoluwa Abiona, and took them and two televisions, decoders and phones, and detained the two men at the Mokola Police Station.

The police reportedly called Olaoluwa’s wife, Blessing, the following day to come and bail Oreoluwa, saying her husband’s friend was their main target.

The operatives were reported to have ordered the 46-year-old Olaoluwa to give information that would lead to the arrest of his friend, identified simply as Bosun, who was suspected to have been involved in a bank robbery.

Blessing said after securing Oreoluwa’s release on bail, all entreaties to get her husband freed were rebuffed by the policemen.

The victim’s brother, Boyo Adeshina, dsaid  that Olaoluwa was later moved from the Mokola Police Station to an undisclosed location, which made the family to search for him.

He stated, “It was at the Mokola Police Station that we got to know that my brother had been moved to the Obada Police Station. The following Saturday, we went to the Obada Police Station, where I was told that there was no record of him there and we were directed to the Ogun State Police Command’s Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, Eleweran.

“When we got there, we were directed to the IGPSTS and with the help of my sister, who is an army officer, we got to know that the policemen were from the IGPSTS in Lagos.

“We called the phone number that the IPO gave Oreoluwa and Truecaller identified the number as belonging to System, but immediately we asked him about Olaoluwa, he dropped the call.

“My brother-in-law called him and the policeman told him that he was in Lagos that we should come and meet him at the police headquarters in Obalende, but when we got to Obalende and called him, he told us that he was on his way to Abuja and would call my brother-in-law and give him the details of my brother’s offence, but whenever we called him after that, he used to cut off the phone.

Ädeshina said he got a lawyer to call the policeman to demand his brother’s offence and his whereabouts.

He stated, “The cop said my brother and others were involved in armed robbery, which was different from what we were told at the Mokola Police Station that Olaoluwa was just needed to track a suspect and would be released as soon as the suspect was found.

“Four weeks after that, I went to their office at Ayobo. The policemen we met there denied knowing any cop called System. They also said there was no case of any Olaoluwa there. My sister and I went back the following week and met another policeman, who told us that all the suspects and their IPOs had been moved to Abuja.

“He asked us to go home and wait until after the lockdown. We went back but the following week, we were chased away because we asked for their phone numbers to enable us contact them to know when the commandant would be available.

“I later went back to the station with my sister. They brought out their register; I was behind the policeman who brought out the register and he asked me to call System; they spoke with him after which they allowed us to see the commander.

“The commander asked me if Olaoluwa had been arrested before and I said no. She asked if I knew he was an armed robber and I told her it was not possible. The commander ordered that the suspects be brought out, but four men were brought and the first man, who claimed to know Olaoluwa, said he was their sponsor and that he was in charge of providing guns for them during operations.

“The commander told us that Olaoluwa died three days after his arrest. She and her men had forgotten that two weeks after Olaoluwa’s arrest, they gave him a phone to speak to his wife. We asked them to release his corpse to us, but the commander said because he was an armed robber, they would not release his corpse for burial. She didn’t allow us to ask how our brother died.

“They called my brother an armed robber and killed him without taking him to court; we want Nigerians to stand up and fight for us. My brother’s death is a case of extrajudicial killing. My brother was not a thief and he was murdered. We want justice.”

When the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, was contacted , he did not pick his calls and had yet to reply to an SMS sent to his telephone as of the time of filing this report.
Donald Trump Orders FBI's Investigation Into Killing Of Blackman By 4 Policemen In USA

Donald Trump Orders FBI's Investigation Into Killing Of Blackman By 4 Policemen In USA

United States President, Donald Trump, has ordered an investigation into the killing of a middle-aged black man, George Floyd

He described Floyd’s death as “very sad and tragic” while commiserating with his family on the loss.

The POTUS, who ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Department of Justice to expedite the probe, vowed that justice would be served on the matter.

“At my request, the FBI and the Department of Justice are already well into an investigation as to the very sad and tragic death in Minnesota of George Floyd.

“I have asked for this investigation to be expedited and greatly appreciate all of the work done by local law enforcement. My heart goes out to George’s family and friends. Justice will be served!” Trump tweeted.

 Floyd died shortly after four police officers assaulted him in Minneapolis, a city in Minnesota.

One of the officers was seen in a video kneeling on his neck while he was handcuffed.

“Your knee in my neck. I can’t breathe… Mama. Mama,” Floyd pleaded, slowly grew silent and motionless, unable to move even as the officers taunted him to “get up and get in the car”.

He was taken to the hospital where he was later declared dead.

After dismissing the four officers involved, Minneapolis Mayor, Jacob Frey, expressed outrage as calls rose for them to be prosecuted for murder.

“What I saw was wrong at every level,” he said of the video.

“For five minutes, we watched as a white officer pressed his knee into the neck of a black man. Being black in America should not be a death sentence,” Frey added.

The family of the late Floyd has called for the prosecution of the four officers, stressing that they should be charged with murder.

The death of the black man sparked street protests in the Midwestern US city.

Protesters, many wearing face masks because of the coronavirus outbreak, held signs saying “Justice for George Floyd” and “Black Lives Matter” during a rally near the scene of Monday’s death in custody.

But beyond the US, blacks all over the world have been outraged by the inhumane treatment as they took to the Social Media to vent their angst over the killing of Floyd which many described as a shadow of racism.
Court Sends Lady That Drowned Her Baby In Lagos For Psychiatric Evaluation

Court Sends Lady That Drowned Her Baby In Lagos For Psychiatric Evaluation

The Lagos State Magistrates’ Court sitting in Igbosere has sent Oluwafunmilola Adisa, who drowned her daughter, Oluwanifemi, in a bucket of water, for psychiatric evaluation at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital.

This followed an application filed by the Office of the Public Defender, which is representing Oluwafunmilola, that based on Section 217 (3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of 2015, the defendant should be sent to hospital so that psychiatric tests could be conducted on her to determine her mental state.

It  had reported that after Oluwafunmilola perpetrated the crime at her place of residence on Plot 221 Gowon Estate in the Ipaja area of the state, she wrote a note to her sister, Damilola,  detailing how she killed her daughter,  and she went to the Gowon Police Station to report herself.

The 22-year-old, who blamed her daughter for the hardship she had been facing after she gave birth to her 21 months ago, had been in police custody since she reported the case.

However, Nigerians and non-governmental organisations, including the President, Nigeria Association of Psychiatrists, Taiwo Sheikh; and the Director, Prisoners’ Rights Advocacy Initiative, Ahmed Adetola-Kazeem, had called for Oluwafunmilola’s psychiatric evaluation as she might be suffering from postpartum depression.

During the court proceedings on Wednesday, the presiding magistrate, Dora Ojo, approved the OPD’s application and adjourned the case till June 26, 2020, for further hearing.

In a statement made available to our correspondent, the spokesperson for the OPD, Mamud Hassan, said the Director of the agency, Dr Babajide Martins, promised to do everything within the legal framework to defend Oluwafunmilola, adding that it was the responsibility of his office to provide free legal services for indigent and vulnerable persons in the state.

The statement read in part, “The Lagos State Magistrates’ Court, Igbosere, has sent 22-year-old mother, Oluwafunmilola Adisa, accused of killing her 21-month-old daughter, Oluwanifemi, by drowning her in a bucket of water, to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital’s, Psychiatric Department for psychiatric evaluation.

“Delivering her ruling on Wednesday, the presiding magistrate, Dora Ojo, granted the application of the Lagos State Office of the Public Defender, which is representing the defendant, that based on Section 217 (3) of the Lagos State Administration of Criminal Justice Law of 2015, the defendant should be sent to the teaching hospital for the necessary psychiatric tests to determine her state of mental health.

“It will be recalled that the defendant, on May 11, 2020, was arrested after being alleged to have killed her 21-month-old daughter, Oluwanifemi, by drowning her in a bucket of water at their place of residence at the Gowon Estate, Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State.”

Martins said the OPD, in line with its statutory responsibility of providing free legal services for the indigent and vulnerable, was representing the defendant.

The statement added, “Martins said the OPD came to her rescue by providing free legal representation and ensuring that the suspect was moved from the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, to the Federal Psychiatric Hospital, Oshodi, as an outpatient pending her arraignment before the court for further judicial action.

“Martins further said the case had been adjourned till June 26, 2020, for the outcome of the psychiatric examination to be conducted on the defendant; he assured members of the public that the OPD would do everything within the legal framework to defend the defendant.

“He assured members of the public that the office was still operating within the directive of the state government during the lockdown to ensure that the rights of defenceless are well taken care of irrespective of their socio-economic backgrounds.”
Stop Blackmailing Me..Nyesom Wike Warns Hotel Owners

Stop Blackmailing Me..Nyesom Wike Warns Hotel Owners

Rivers State Government has warned the owner of the demolished Prodest Hotel, Promise Gogorobari, against blackmailing the state Governor, Nyesom Wike, following his recent claims that the government was planning to kill his hotel Manager, Job Azoroh.

The government in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, yesterday, also took exemption to Gogorobari’s description of the state’s isolation facility as an illegal detention centre.

Nsirim said it was laughable that the hotelier alleged that his convicted Manager, who recently tested positive for Covid-19 amongst 27 others, in a result released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was infected by the government.

He described all the allegations from the hotelier as spurious, deliberately misleading and intentionally provocative.

Nsirim explained that the Port Harcourt Senior Magistrates’ Court convicted Azoro, sentenced him to a fine of N50,000 ordered that th convict should be quarantined at the Isolation Centre in Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Elekahia for 14 days to ascertain his coronavirus status.

He said while in the isolation centre, a competent health official carried out mandatory tests on all suspected Coronavirus individuals at the facility.

He said: “It is important to state here that COVID-19 tests undergo World Health Organisation, (WHO) and NCDC guidelines and are conducted under strict established medical protocols.

“Prior to the publication of the test results, the owner of Prodest Hotel Eleme, Mr. Gogorobari Needam published one of his misleading petitions in an attempt to preempt the outcome of the test and the question we want to ask is: ‘Why did the hotel owner try to preempt the outcome of the test? Was he trying to cover up something?’

“On Sunday, 24th May, 2020, the NCDC announced that Rivers State had 27 recorded positive cases including  Job Azoroh, from tests carried out in the state. Following the official announcement of the result and confirmation of his Manager’s Covid-19 positive status, the Prodest Hotel owner has once again released another statement and this time is now calling for a state of emergency in Rivers State because his manager tested positive for Covid-19.

“Rivers people will recall that on May 19, 2020, we raised an alarm intimating the world of a clandestine plot by some Abuja politicians hiding under the cover of Covid-19 to instigate a state of emergency in the state.”

“Today, a hotel owner in Eleme, who lives in Lagos, is also now calling for a State of Emergency. Is there any wonder therefore as to who is beating the drum for him?

“Indeed there seems to be more to this than meets the ordinary eye and we are calling on all well-meaning people to see the need to interrogate this man and know that he is acting out a script”.

“Infact, the entire petition sounds and reads like something lifted directly from the copy book of those who have been desperately trying to run down the Rivers State Government. This is desperation taken too far”.
Read Also: Wike cancels lockdown, imposes curfew

Nsirim recalled that Gogorobari in an interview he granted to a national daily recently said he had no ill-feelings towards Wike for demolishing his hotel adding that he had forgiven the governor.

He said: “So what happened to make him change his mind? Is it not obvious that the agents of evil and those who do not mean well for Rivers State have reached him and are now beating this drum of dissent for him?

“Again, we want to state categorically here that Government doesn’t conduct Covid-19 tests. Trained Health professionals follow the relevant medical protocols set down by WHO, the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, to conduct these tests.

“The claim, therefore, that the Prodest Hotel Manager, Mr. Bariledum Job Azoroh, was infected while in detention is not only laughable and preposterous, but sadly and dangerously exposes the amazing ignorance and naivety of Mr. Needam Promise Gogorobari and those sponsoring him about the deadly nature of the Covid-19 disease. How does one even carry such a deadly virus around and infect people with it?

“Rather than commend the Rivers State Government for stemming the tide of infection that would have arisen if the Hotel used for clandestine parties was not demolished and the Manager arrested, the owner is crying wolf where there is none.

“We also want to caution Mr. Needam Promise Gogorobari to be very mindful of his claims that his hotel Manager ‘has been framed up by an unorthodox hired medical officers recruited by Governor Wike with a report that he has tested positive to COVID-19 whilst in detention with the Rivers State Government’.This is a clear accusation and indictment of the reputation and authority of the NCDC.

“We also want to call the attention of Mr. Needam Gogorobari that we take exception to his description of the Isolation Centre in Port Harcourt, as an ‘illegal detention facility in Stadium, Elekahia, Port Harcourt’ and to inform him and his sponsors that the Director-General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu and a team from the World Health Organisation, were in Rivers State on a working visit in April this year and not only praised Governor Nyesom Wike for his leadership and handling of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Cow Meat Sales Drop In South East ..Miyetti Allah Laments

Cow Meat Sales Drop In South East ..Miyetti Allah Laments

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, has said the global pandemic known as Coronavirus has become it’s nemesis in the Southeast markets.

The group lamented yesterday that Igbo no longer patronise them the way they used to as a result of COVID-19

MACBAN’s Southeast Chairman, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, spoke with reporters in Awka, Anambra State

He said the issue is no longer the herders and communities again, but the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, which had caused lockdown in the country.

Siddiki, said the outbreak of the pandemic had stopped ceremonies such as burial, marriage ceremonies among others in Igbo land, where they make huge sales, in compliance with the COVID-19 protocols.

According to him, “the Coronavirus disease outbreak is seriously affecting our business, we no longer sell cows like we used to because people no longer celebrate marriages and burials like before. These are some of the events that give us sales.

“Again, cows have become expensive due to high cost of transportation, our volume of sales has gone down very much”.

He regretted that most of his members were not adhering to the rules of social distancing, hand washing among others despite repeated sensitization

“I and members of my leadership take the awareness message to them where they are in the bush and also them that we have to join hands with other people to eradicate this virus which is threatening our business.”

He urged Muslims to relate harmoniously with everyone irrespective of the creed in the spirit of the lesson learnt during the Ramadan.

However, he commended the governors of the South-East and the people of the area for giving them the enabling environment to do their business.
Fraud Allegations At African Development Bank (AfDB):I Am Innocent..Akinwumi Adesina

Fraud Allegations At African Development Bank (AfDB):I Am Innocent..Akinwumi Adesina

The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, hit back on Wednesday at accusations of corruption and vowed to continue working.

In a press statement, Adesina slammed “unprecedented attempts by some to tarnish my reputation” and declared “I will… continue to work with each and every one of our shareholders.”

The United States is pressing for an independent probe into charges by whistleblowers — declared as unfounded by an internal inquiry — of alleged embezzlement and favouritism under Adesina, who is bidding for a second five-year term at the helm.

“I maintain my innocence with regard to trumped-up allegations that unjustly seek to impugn my honour and integrity, as well as the reputation of the African Development Bank,” Adesina said.

He cited “my heroes, Nelson Mandela and Kofi Annan, whose lives have shown that through pain we grow.”

“I am confident that fair, transparent and just processes that respect the rules, procedures and governance systems of the Bank, and rule of law, will ultimately prove that I have not violated the Code of Ethics of this extraordinary institution,” he said.

Adesina is the first Nigerian to be in charge of the AfDB, one of the world’s five largest multilateral development banks.

The former Nigerian agriculture minister is known for his bow ties and flamboyant manner, but also for a managerial style that critics say is authoritarian.

‘Blatantly False’

The bank was shaken by a string of high-level departures soon after his arrival.

The 60-year-old is the only candidate in an election which was set for late May but which has been postponed until August because of the coronavirus pandemic.

His bid has received the backing of the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

On May 22, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sent the bank’s board a letter expressing “deep reservations” about the outcome of an internal inquiry clearing Adesina, and urged the appointment of “an independent outside investigator of high professional standing.”

“We fear that wholesale dismissal of all allegations without appropriate investigation will tarnish the reputation of this institution as one that does not uphold high standards of ethics and governance,” he wrote.

The bank’s ethics committee had totally exonerated Adesina, saying the whistleblowers’ 15-page complaint “rested on no objective, solid facts”.

Adesina himself has previously dismissed the allegations as “spurious and unfounded” and “blatantly false.”

In October 2019, the AfDB raised $115 billion (105 billion euros) in fresh capital, an operation deemed a personal success for Adesina.

The bank has 80 state shareholders, 54 of which are African. The others are from the Americas, Asia and Europe.

The biggest shareholder is Nigeria, with nine per cent.