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Updated: Gov. Bello of APC wins with 526,412 votes in Niger 



Gov. Bello of APC wins with 526,412 votes in Niger


Minna, March .10,2019 ( NNN) The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Gov. Abubakar Sani Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of Saturday’s governorship election in Niger State.

The result was announced on Sunday night in Minna at the State Collation Centre by the returning officer, Prof. Angela Miri.

Miri who is the Vice Chancellor Federal University Lokoja,  said Gov.Bello of APC scored 526,412  votes, while Umar Nasko of PDP polled 298,065 votes.

“Abubakar Sani Bello of APC, having satisfied the requirement of the law and scored the highest votes is hereby returned elected and declared the winner of the March 9, Saturday governorship election in the state,” she  said.

Niger state has 2,387,734 voters registered. But 925,518 voters were accredited for the governorship election, with total valid votes put at 900,817. The number of votes cast was 920,480, while 19,609 votes were rejected.

Prof.Samuel Egwu ,Niger Resident Electoral Commissioner(REC) commended stakeholders for the peaceful conduct of the election in the state.

He lauded the Niger State Police Command and other security agencies for providing the ambience to enable a peaceful and transparent poll.


COVID-19: UN launches $6.7bn updated humanitarian plan



The United Nations on Thursday, launched its updated Global Humanitarian Response that sought help and protection for the most vulnerable in poor countries.

Nearly $7 billion (N2.6 trillion) is needed to implement the revised plan in no fewer than 60 of the world’s poorest countries.

Besides protection of millions of lives, the initiative is also aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 (a respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus), in the target countries.

It called for urgent and determined action to mitigate the huge impact of the pandemic in the low and middle-income countries.

Although most of these nations had low COVID-19 burdens, their surveillance, laboratory testing and health systems were weak, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the update was an expansion of the initial plan launched on March 25, for which $2 billion (N752 billion) was needed.

Speaking at the virtual event, UN Secretary-General António Guterres appealed to donors to step up support to stop the disease around the world.

“Humanitarian aid is not just a moral imperative; it is a practical necessity to combat the virus.

“If COVID-19 wreaks havoc in the poorest places, we are all at risk,’’ Guterres said in a video message.

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr Mark Lowcock, said action was needed to stop a “significant rise in conflict, hunger, poverty, and looming famine’’.

“If we do not support the poorest people, especially women and girls and other vulnerable groups, as they battle the pandemic and impacts of the global recession, we will all be dealing with the spillover effects for many years to come.

“That will prove even more painful, and much more expensive, for everyone,’’ Lowcock said ahead of the launch.

According to the UN Deputy Secretary-General, Ms Amina Mohammed, the first plan has netted $1 billion (N376 billion) from donations.

The UN said the money had been used to provide handwashing facilities in refugee camps and other vulnerable places.

“Part of the fund has also been used to provide countries with medical supplies such as gloves, surgical masks, N95 respirators and testing kits,’’ Mohammed stated.

The organisation added that transport hubs for transporting supplies by air had also been established.

“Nearly two million people worldwide, including health workers, have been trained in virus identification via an online portable run by WHO,’’ it said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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UPDATED: PTF approves disbursement of medical materials, consumables to states for Covid-19 response



The Presidential Task Force(PTF) has approved the distribution of medical equipment and consumables to states to support their Coronavirus(COVID19) response.

Mr Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and PTF chairman on COVID-19, disclosed this at the PTF daily briefing on COVID19 in the country, on Tuesday in Abuja.

“The distribution shall begin with immediate effect,”he said.

He noted that this  will be in addition to the Jack Ma equipment and materials already shared to the states.

“Governors have been at the head of the response which is encouraging. The State EOCs and their treatment centres are in place.

“There are improved levels of preparedness and response activities- focusing more on strengthening current capacity where they exist over building new structures.

“There is obvious need to support the states in strengthening coordination across board

More guidance should be provided in the area of non-pharmaceutical interventions.

“Particular attention is to be focused on some states with heavy burden, particularly, Kano; and priority is being placed on Intensive State Level Support,” he said.

He consider it apt to repeat that this was the time for all hands to be on deck so that the PTF could improve on its delivery.

“Every Nigerian has a role to play for self, for family, for community, for the nation and for humanity,” he said.

Also speaking, Dr Sani Aliyu,National Coordinator said that the PTF would continue to urge Nigerians to use their face masks as an addition to existing precautions: respiratory hygiene, avoiding mass gatherings, physical distancing, sanitizing surfaces.

“Please Stay at stay at home, If you have to come out (and it must be for a good reason) avoid mass gatherings, maintain physical distancing, and use a mask,” he said.

Aliyu said that the PTF were closely monitoring Kano, Osun, Oyo and Edo States.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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(Updated)Lockdown: Lawyers urge Security Operatives to fish out personnel involved in alleged extrajudicial killings



The Coalition of Public Interest Lawyers and Advocates (COPA) has urged Security Operatives to fish out personnel involved in alleged extrajudicial killings during the The March 30 to April 13 COVID-19 lockdown.

In a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja by Mr Pelumi Olajengbesi, National Coordinator of COPA, deplored the alleged extra-judicial killings by security agents, the number of which had risen to 18.

Olajengbesi stated that reports by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) indicate that 18 Nigerian citizens had been Allen killed by security agents enforcing the lockdown directives.

He said that the sanctioning of those involved in the killings would serve as a deterrent to other trigger-happy cops who have such counterproductive intentions.

“It is incredible that we have lost more lives to our murderous officers than we have as a nation to the virus for which a lockdown order is in effect in the first place.

“It is instructive that this official figure does not, and cannot, reflect the real figure(s) of lives taken by trigger-happy and belligerent cops during this period given that not all deaths under same circumstances may be reported.

“It is sadly but easily predicted that more lives will be lost if a timely intervention by the hierarchies of these agencies and government is not effected with alacrity.

“These men and women who have had their lives cut short are reported mostly to have been citizens who sought to earn a meal or meet pressing social needs.

“This hints on the need for governments to act with more understanding and temperament through its enforcers, rather than sanction the use of excessive force by officers by refusing to call their agents to order,” Olajengbesi said.

According to him, coronavirus is the enemy and not the people and as such the objective of the lockdown should be to save lives and not to take it under the guise of enforcing government directives.

“From Kano to Kogi, Ogun to Lagos, Abia and so many others states in the country, reports are rife of police officers and soldiers allegedly abusing their powers by the application of excessive force during this time.

“The coronavirus pandemic will test us as a people.

“It is our civic duty to keep the peace during this time and that ultimately translates to protecting and emphasising the rights of the people even during such a difficult time,” he said. 

Edited By: Bayo /Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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UPDATED: Two septuagenarians, 4 others to die by hanging in Ekiti



An Ekiti High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti has sentenced two septuagenarians and four others to death by hanging for the murder of one Sola Adeniyi.

The six persons were: Oniyelu Olu, 63; Folorunso Oluwatoba, 65; Peter Ajayi, 73; Tijani Arowolo, 80 (who died during the pendency of the suit); Dolamu Olaide, 29; John Ojo, 77 and Lateef Arowolo, 45.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that death penalty was pronounced on the convicted persons by Justice Lekan Ogunmoye.

Ogunmoye held that the prosecution had successfully established a prima facie case of conspiracy, attempted murder and murder against the convicts.

According to charges, the offences run contrary to Sections 516 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap. C16, Section 320 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap. C16 and Section 316 of the Criminal Code Law, all Laws of Ekiti State, 2012.

The prosecutor, Olukemi Daniel-Ojo, told the court that the offences were committed on or about Feb. 7, 2017 at Ilupeju Ekiti.

She said that the convicts conspired to murder one Sola Adeniyi, 27 and also attempted to murder a commercial motorcyclist, Ojo Olaoluwa, 22.

The prosecutor said that Olaoluwa gave evidence that when the second accused person (Folorunso Oluwatoba) stopped him on that fateful day he was about to mount the motorcycle, he noticed blood dropping from his bag.

“Olaoluwa asked Oluwatoba to open the bag because of police check point ahead but he told him that it was grass cutter that was inside the bag and that he could not open the bag.

“When it was perceived that the content might be incriminating, he took to his heels and shot Olaoluwa from the back,” she said.

To proof her case, the prosecutor called five witnesses and tendered some exhibits which included confessional statements made to the police by the accused persons.

Other exhibits were photographs of the severed body of the deceased, medical report from Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Dane gun, locally-made single barrel and one cartridge.

On conspiracy and attempted murder, all the accused persons were sentenced to five years imprisonment each, except the second accused person who was sentenced to 10 years.

All the accused persons spoke in their own defence through their lawyers, C. O. Omokhafe, S. A. Longe, Busuyi Ayorinde and E. K. Adetifa and they called no witness.

Edited By: Biodun Esan and Wale Sadeeq


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UPDATED: Petrol Pump Price reduced to N125 Per Litre from N145 by Buhari




President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reduction in pump price of premium motor spirit (PMS) from N145 per liter to about N125.

Economic Confidential correspondent gathered from presidency sources that the approval followed presentation by Minister of State For Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva to the Federal Executive Council (FEC), on Wednesday, on the need to reduce the pump price following the global fall in oil price.

At the behest of the spread of Covid19, international crude oil price slumped from $60 to $30, causing fear of a possible economic crisis.


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Reps C’ttee to provide updated database on constituency projects Projects



The House of Representatives Committee on Constituency Outreach has promised to provide an updated database on constituency projects as allocated for in the Appropriation Act.

The Chairman of the committee, Rep. Bello Kaoje (APC-Kebbi) who made the pledge will addressing journalists on Monday in Abuja said the aim was to ensure easy monitoring.

He said that the committee was out to ensure that the projects are implemented in line with the demands of constituents across the country.

Kaoje said that the decision to ensure proper implementation for inclusive governance and democratic accountability was reached at a retreat with relevant stakeholders, held in Owerri.

The Rep said that the committee would utilise it powers to ensure proper education of constituents and improve citizens understanding on constituency projects.

He said that it would build public trust and deepen the understanding of democratic process among locals.

The chairman said that the committee would ensure that legislators setup a functional constituency office as required by law.

According to him, this would enable effective communication between constituents and reps and deepen legislative accountability.

Kaoje said that the committee would also ensure that individual lawmakers also monitor constituency projects to ensure proper implementation.

“We shall submit reports on the state of constituency projects to the house and we shall partner with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) for monitoring and tracking of constituency projects and offices,” he said.

The lawmaker said that only 30 per cent of the amount budgeted for constituency projects in the 2019 Appropriation Act has been released.

Kaoje appealed to the Federal Government to release funds for quick implementation of the rural projects for the people to feel the dividends of democracy.

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Sadiya Hamza

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UPDATED:Deposed Emir Sanusi drags IG, DSS, others to court over alleged detention



Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the deposed Emir of Nano, on Thursday, dragged the Inspector-General (I-G) of Police, Mohammed Adamu; Director-General, Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi, to the Federal High Court, Abuja, over his alleged detention.

Also joined in a motion ex-parte with suit number: /357/2020, filed by his team of lawyers led by

Lateef  Fagbemi, SAN, who is leading the legal team are the Attorney General of  Kano State and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami as 3rd and 4th respondents respectively.

Nigeria News Agency , however, confirmed that the case was yet to be assigned to a judge.

Sanusi, who is currently confined to Awe, a town in Nasarawa State, brought the application pursuant to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), Articles 5, 6. 10 and 12 (1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, among others.

The deposed emir sought for an interim order of the court releasing him from the detention and/or confinement of the respondents and restoring the applicant’s right to human dignity, personal liberty, freedom of association and movement in Nigeria, (apart from Kano State) pending the hearing and determination of the applicant’s originating motion.

“An order granting leave to the applicant to effect service of this order alongside the originating motion and subsequent processes to any officer in the office of the 1st respondent at the headquarters,” among other requests.

According to him, it is in the interest of justice to grant this application.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza

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Turkey: 2016 migrant deal with EU needs to be updated



Turkey said on Tuesday a 2016 migration deal with the European Union (EU) needs to be updated in light of the crisis in northern Syria.

Ankara said it would no longer stop migrants trying to cross as tensions continued to flare on the Turkish-Greek border.

In an interview with state-owned Anadolu News Agency, Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu said that EU visa liberalisation and an update of the country’s customs union with the bloc must be implemented to help solve the migrant issue.

On Monday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan left meetings in Brussels with EU and NATO leaders without issuing a joint statement nor appearing at a joint news conference, as had been planned.

Erdogan made the trip to Brussels as a dispute deepened over the fate of thousands of migrants trying to enter EU-member Greece.

Ankara decided to encourage the migration to extract more European support and funding in its military effort in Syria’s Idlib region.

Turkey hosts 3.6 million Syrian migrants and has stemmed migration to Europe under the 2016 deal in return for billions of euros in aid.

However, it has become frustrated with what it regards as too little European support over the war in Syria, where its troops faced off against Russian-backed government forces.

The pact also envisaged the EU taking in thousands of Syrian refugees directly from camps in Turkey, rewarding Turks with visa-free travel to the bloc, faster progress in EU membership talks and upgrading their customs union.

Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed/Rabiu Sani Ali




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Updated; Rice production in Kano increases to 3m tonnes – Gov. Ganduje



Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano state says his administration has raised rice production in the  state to 3 million tonnes annually to meet local demand.

Ganduje said this on Monday in Kano at the launch  of indigenous rice value-chain promotion programme organised by the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) in partnership with R CONNECT.‎

He attributed the development to the agricultural policies of his administration, which he said had created significant impact on farmers’ production capacity especially in local rice production.

” Today, I am proud to state that because of the activities and policies of this administration towards agriculture, rice production in Kano has reached the level of 3 million tonnes a year, ” Ganduje said.‎

Represented by his deputy, who is also the Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Nasiru Gawuna, the governor said before the inception of his administration in 2015, rice production was very low but from then, it grew by over 75 per cent.‎

According to him, under the Anchor Borrowers Programme alone, about 127,000 farmers have benefited in Kano state.

Ganduje faulted critics of the Federal Government who were in the habit of dishing out false statistics with regards to government policies on agriculture in Nigeria.

“We, in the sector and the farmers know very well about the good impacts of those policies on agricultural development.

“When these programmes started, state governments were in contact with farmers to examine this change,” he said.

The governor who described the programme as timely in promoting local rice production and patronage in Nigeria, called on farmers to cooperate with Central Bank of Nigeria and those institutions that gave loans to derive maximum benefits of the programmes.

Earlier, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, appreciated the effort of the state in terms of its growing figures on rice production which rose from 25 per cent to almost 100 per cent.

Nanono, in a message, said that the state was the highest rice producer in Nigeria because out the over 400,000 hectares of rice cultivated in the country, 127,000 hectares were from the state.

Edited By: Razak Owolabi/Ali Baba-Inuwa

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