A man, Opeyemi Akapo, 35, on Thursday appeared before an Ogudu Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, for alleged assault on an official of Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC).
Akapo, who resides in Agiliti area in Mile 12, Ketu, Lagos, is facing a charge of assault, to which he pleaded not guilty.
The Prosecutor, Insp. Lucky Ihiehie, told the court that the defendant committed the offence with one other person still at large on May 2 at his residence.
Ihiehie said the defendant assaulted the complainant, Mr Oluwole Odebode,while performing his official duties.
“The complainant and some of his colleagues went to the defendant’s compound to disconnect the electric power in the houses of those having outstanding bills with the company.
“Akapo held the complainant by the neck, questioning the authenticity of their assignment and also willfuly damaged their ladder valued at N150, 000, property of Ikeja Electric Plc,” he said.
The prosecutor said that the offence contravened Sections 172 , 350 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos, 2015.
The Magistrate, Mrs Bukola Mogaji, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N70, 000 with two sureties in like sum and adjourned the case to May 27.
Court acquits man, 52, of attempted homosexuality
An Ogbeson Chief Magistrates’ Court in Benin, on Friday, discharged one Mike Aibueku, 52, of an alleged attempted sexual conduct with a man.
The prosecutor had arraigned the defendant on a two-count charge of attempt to commit an unnatural offence and conduct himself in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace.
The prosecutor also alleged that the defendant conducted himself in a manner likely to cause the breach of the peace by “giving the complainant his breast to suck’’.
The prosecutor said the offence contravened sections 215 and 249(D) of the Criminal Code of the defunct Bendel State of Nigeria, 1976, now applicable to Edo.
For a convicted offender, the first count charge attracts seven years imprisonment while the second attracts one month.
However, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Turks protest in Istanbul against police killing of unarmed United States black man
Turkish people on Friday staged a protest in Istanbul against the killing of an unarmed black man in the United States last week.
The crowd gathered in front of the Trump Towers in the Sisli district of the European side of the largest Turkish city, chanting slogans against the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25.
Protesters carried banners, which read: “Long live international solidarity,” “Black lives matter,” and “Justice for George Floyd.”
In a press release, they expressed solidarity with the people in the United States, demanding justice for the murder.
“The killing of George Floyd is not an isolated incident. On the contrary, it is the result of institutional racism in the United States,” the release said.
Several protesters wrote Floyd’s last words “I can’t breathe” over their facial masks.
On Thursday, a group of people had held a demonstration in front of the United States Consulate in Istanbul.
Ekiti Police Command parades 11 suspects
The Police Command in Ekiti has arrested 11 suspects alleged to have defiled a three and four-year-old girls.
Parading the suspects on Friday, the Commissioner of Police in Ekiti, Mr Amba Asuquo, said that the 11 suspects were arrested for different criminal cases bordering on cultism, armed robbery, assault occasioning harm, burglary, stealing, impersonation, defilement and rape.
Asuquo said that at Ologede area of the state, a man was reported at the Divisional Police Headquarters to have allegedly defiled a four-year-old girl.
According to the Commissioner of Police, the little girl cried to her mother and informed her that the alleged suspect removed her pant and forcefully had sex with her.
Asuquo said that when the girl was taken to the hospital, it was confirmed that she had been penetrated and her hymen broken.
He said that the man was arrested and was assisting the police with its investigation.
Asuquo also paraded another suspect accused of defiling a three-year -old girl.
“On May 30, the mother of the three-year-old victim returned home from hawking fish and discovered that her daughter was looking so rough and stressed.
“After a close examination, she noticed that there were some fluids on the pant of her daughter and further discovered that her daughter must have been defiled by an unknown person.
“The case was reported and the suspect arrested, while further investigation and medical examination showed that there was a penetration,” he said.
The commissioner also said that two other men were arrested while their accomplices escaped after allegedly raping a 17-year-old girl hawking sachet water at the Oja-Oba new Shopping Complex, Ado-Ekiti,
Asuquo said that the two suspects and their partners, who were at large, lured the teenage girl into an uncompleted building and allegedly gang raped her.
He further disclosed that his men are closing in on the killers of a 78-year-old woman who was allegedly murdered in Ikere-Ekiti on May 29.
The commissioner said that the command’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) on May 31 upon receipt of information from a reliable source intercepted a 28-year-old man in Ado-Ekit suspected to be a member of a secret cult.
“During interrogation, the suspect confessed to being a member of Neo Black Movement Of Africa called “AYE Confraternity”.
“One infinix phone was found in his possession which he confessed to have been using to communicate with other members of the AYE secret cult that are involved in the ongoing killing of other rival secret confraternity groups in Ogun State, Lagos state and other states in Nigeria.
” The suspect’s house was further searched and a complete dress customised with the inscription of AYE Emblem and code “0147” was recovered,” he said.
He said that two other suspects were arrested for alleged armed robbery.
“These suspects and others at large armed themselves with guns and invaded the residence of one Ajetomobi Olawale at Oke-Oro Street, Ayetoro-Ekiti and allegedly robbed him of his Nokia handset valued at N15,000 at gun point.,” he added.
A motorcycle parts dealer was also paraded over the alleged case of burglary and stealing.
Asuquo said that the suspect broke into the shop of one Ejiofor Osai, located on Nova road, Ado-Ekiti, and carted away different motorcycle/generator parts.
“Among the parts stolen were timing chain, socket and chain, engine valve, battery, Chinoki bulb, piston, engine bearing and clutch cable valued at N200,000.
“However, it was discovered during investigations that the suspect had restocked his shop with all the stolen goods.
“Further investigation by SARS revealed that the suspect is a serial burglar who had broken into the shop of Ejiofor about seven times and carted away the sum of N420,000 and different types of motorcycle/generator parts worth N1.5million,’’ the commissioner said.
He said that two of the suspects, both from Ife Olukotun Village, Yagba East Local Government Area of Kogi State, were arrested at Omuo-Ekiti for allegedly impersonating military officers and assaulting a Police Constable, Awoniyi Lawrence.
“The two suspects, who identified themselves as Captains in the Nigeria Army attached to 44 Battalion in Niger State, assaulted the Police Constable, beat him mercilessly and further threatened to break the Constable’s head with a bottle.
“During interrogation by the SARS Operatives, the two suspects confessed and claimed that the army uniform belonged to one of their brothers,’’ Asuquo said.
He said that investigation had been extended to the said captain and all the suspects would be prosecuted upon completion of investigation of their respective cases.
The police commissioner advised residents to be security conscious, vigilant and report any untoward incident or happening observed to the nearest Police Station or call the Police Control Room number on 08062335577.
He gave an assurance that the police would at all times rise up to its responsibility to perform the statutory duty of protection of lives and properties of innocent citizens.
Germany’s GDP to shrink by 7 pct in 2020: central bank
After a decline in 2020, Germany’s real gross domestic product (GDP) was expected to increase again by three to four percent annually over the next two years. “The German economy will recover following a deep recession in the second quarter of this year,” according to Deutsche Bundesbank.
Germany’s economic output had seen an “exceptionally sharp drop” in the first quarter of the current year, Deutsche Bundesbank noted. However, the German economy had already “bottomed out” in April and was starting to recover.
The recovery of the German economy would initially remain subdued because the negative effects caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken to contain new infections would diminish only gradually, according to Deutsche Bundesbank.
The forecast was finalized after the latest economic stimulus package was announced earlier this week by the German government. As a result, the economic outlook was now “noticeably more favorable,” Deutsche Bundesbank noted.
The state aid, worth 130 billion euros (147 billion United States dollars) for the years 2020 and 2021, includes a reduction of the value-added tax (VAT) from 19 percent to 16 percent until the end of this year, which alone would cost around 20 billion euros, according to the government.
“Further stimulus is also appropriate in light of the current situation, and I welcome the economic stimulus package,” stated Jens Weidmann, head of the Deutsche Bundesbank, adding that government finances were making a “substantial contribution to stabilization.”
German gov’t supports local fleece manufacturer to boost face mask production
The German government subsidized the expansion of fleece production by local company Innovatec in order to boost production of face masks in the country, Germany’s Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) announced on Friday.
“We intend to significantly expand our production capacities for protective equipment in Germany and thus effectively reduce our dependence on imports,” said German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier when handing over the first notice of funding for fleece production.
Innovatec would invest more than 11 million euros (12.5 million United States dollars) in two new units for fleece production and could manufacture an additional 1,500 tons of fleece in the future, enabling the production of more than 1.5 billion face masks, according to BMWi.
The program was aiming to stimulate an additional fleece production of 4,000 tons per year. However, Altmaier stressed that “our long-term goal is to cover the entire value chain, from machines to filter fleece and protective masks.”
Police command in Ogun arrests lovers for faking kidnap
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the command, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, made the disclosure in a statement on Friday in Abeokuta.
According to the PPRO, Adekunle and Olasunkanmi live at 32, Agura Road, Abeojuta, and 4, Ogun Radio Road, Abeokuta respectively.
He said the duo were arrested on Friday, following a report by the girl’s mother, Mrs Bukola Adekunle.
The spokesman said the woman had complained at the Enugada Police Division, Abeokuta, on Thursday that her daughter was missing.
“She stated further that she received a call from someone on Wednesday who claimed to have kidnapped her daughter and demanded N500,000 ransom for her release.
Oyeyemi said further that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Enugada Division, SP Baba Hamzat, quickly led some detectives on investigation to the hideout where the girl and her boyfriend were hibernating and hatching the plot.
He said that the suspects were promptly arrested and taken to the station.
“Preliminary investigations reveal that the boyfriend, a butcher, was the one who brainwashed the girl and lured her into the devilish plan because he needed money to settle some problems.
“Meanwhile, the state Commissioner of Police, Kenneth Ebrimson, has ordered immediate transfer of the case to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for further investigations and possible prosecution,” he said.
Singapore to build vaccine manufacturing capacity in fight against COVID-19: PM
Singapore is building up its vaccine manufacturing capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a transcript of his remarks released on Friday for the virtual global vaccine summit.
One key area of cooperation is developing and producing a vaccine against COVID-19 and Singapore is doing its part as well, he said.
Singapore is building up its vaccine manufacturing capacity, and it hopes to offer to fill and finish contract manufacturing services to vaccine developers, said Lee.
“This should help them ramp up production faster, and assure them high standards of safety and quality in the manufacturing process,” he added.
On top of that, Singapore has contributed about 13 million United States dollars towards international efforts to combat COVID-19, through the World Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations or CEPI, and donations of essential medical equipment and supplies.
In addition, Singapore is also investing heavily in research and development on diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics.
Its researchers have developed a range of serological and nucleic acid-based diagnostic tests, which have been deployed to over 20 countries, said Lee. They are also developing therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, as well as a vaccine, and have started clinical trials of various therapeutics.
“Discovering, producing and distributing a safe and effective vaccine is vital to getting life back to normal despite COVID-19,” said Lee.
“I hope that this summit will help focus our minds and resources, and forge partnerships to promote vaccine multilateralism,” he said.
The Global Vaccine Summit was held on Thursday and co-hosted by the British government and Gavi, or the Vaccine Alliance, the public-private global health partnership.
On his Facebook page, Lee wrote on Friday that COVID-19 has “been a forceful reminder of the necessity for countries to mount a united response to common threats like the pandemic and climate change.”
“We are all in the same fight together and Singapore will do our part in this global call for action,” he said.
Filed bankruptcies in Germany see moderate increase: IWH
With 1,019 companies in Germany filing for bankruptcy in May, insolvencies recorded a “moderate increase” of 53 companies compared to the previous year, the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) announced on Friday.
Although overall corporate bankruptcies in Germany remained almost constant, IWH found that an increasing number of employees was subject to employer bankruptcy.
The five largest German companies, which filed for bankruptcy in May, employed a total of more than 10,000 people, according to the IWH analysis. In the previous months, there had hardly been any company insolvencies that affected 1,000 or more workers.
“During the course of the financial crisis of 2008/2009, we also observed increasingly large firms filing for bankruptcy,” said Steffen Mueller, head of IWH department of structural change and productivity and the IWH bankruptcy research unit.
Beyond economic crises, IWH noted that large companies were generally in a better position than small companies to avoid insolvency through a timely implementation of restructuring measures.
In order to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus crisis, the German government temporarily suspended companies’ duty to file for insolvency until the end of September if the insolvency was directly caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a result of this law, it is possible that fewer insolvency applications will be received than usual at present and that these are not expected until autumn 2020,” warned Erik Geisler, vice president of a local district court in Darmstadt in March when the obligation to notify was suspended.
“Ultimately, the coronavirus crisis and the bankruptcies associated with it will be visible in increased job loss even if the bankruptcy numbers should stay moderate,” warned Mueller, who stressed that the current numbers would just reflect the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.
Germany’s biggest health insurer reports rise in prescription drug spending before lockdown
During the week before contact restrictions came into force in Germany in mid-March, expenditure on pharmaceuticals by Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) had already increased by 44 percent year-on-year, the country’s biggest statutory health insurance fund said on Friday.
TK’s expenditure on pharmaceuticals totaled about 104 million euros (117.6 million United States dollars) during the second week of March, said the insurer.
The number of prescriptions, which included an unusually large number of large drug packages, was 10 percentage points higher than in the same week last year, according to the TK.
Patients in Germany had “stocked up on prescription drugs before the so-called lockdown, this applies in particular to insured people with chronical diseases,” said Jens Baas, chair of the TK’s Board of Directors.
During March, expenditure on pharmaceuticals per insured person increased around 26 percent, but returned to the level of the previous year in April, according to the TK’s initial evaluation.
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