Senator Andy Uba, All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant, has said there is no truth in the media reports that no aspirant of the party has paid for forms to contest the Anambra State governorship election.

A media report had days back reported that even though there are about 10 aspirants on the platform of the party, none has paid for the nomination and expression of interest forms, two weeks after the party began sales.

But Uba in a press statement by his media office, described it as falsehood, insisting that Uba had long paid for the forms.

Uba said: “It behoves us to immediately clear the air on the news report which we find as misleading. The report attempted to lump all the aspirants together, both the serious and the unserious, the contenders and the pretenders, the fainthearted and the brave-hearted, which we find as not professional. We are setting the records straight that our principal, Senator Andy Uba has paid for the forms and will in due time be going forward to pick them and submit them.”

Residents of Kanamma in Yunusari Local Government Area of Yobe State are currently taking refuge in the bush as they fled their homes following an ongoing attack by Boko Haram militants.

This is coming barely 24 hours after reports claimed that the Boko Haram spiritual leader, Abubakar Shekau had appointed a new War Commander.

Kanamma is about 200klm from Damturu, the Yobe State capital in northeast Nigeria. It is also the birthplace of Boko Haram insurgency in the state. According to residents, prior to the attack, the community saw some Boko Haram fighters but could not report due to fear.

ASP Dungus Abdulkarim, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Yobe Police Command Damaturu confirmed the attack to newsmen.

He said, “there was a Boko Haram insurgents attack on Kanamma, but unfortunately, they lost contact with Police in Kanamma due to the absence of mobile network in the area. We will update you when we reach out to them” 

On Thursday, Prof. Osadolor Odia, former Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering in Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, was kidnapped by unknown gunmen in Edo State.

It was gathered that the Professor of Engineering was said to have been kidnapped on his way to his farm at Egoro, Ekpoma, Esan West Local Government Council of the state.

A source in the University community said; “I can confirm that Prof. Osadolor Odia was kidnapped today on his way to his farm. The suspected kidnappers have already made contact with the family of the Professor and they are demanding N18 million ransom.”

When contacted, the spokesman of the Edo State Police Command, Kontongs Bello, said he was not aware of the incident and promised to ‎contact the Divisional Police Office in charge of Ekpoma as soon as possible.

The Akwa Ibom State Government said it has begun the payment of forty years arrears of pension and gratuities of retired primary school teachers and their next of kin in batches.

The Head of Civil Service (HOC), Elder Effiong Essien who stated this in an interaction with journalists in Uyo on Thursday, said the payment started on Monday, April 19, as promised,

He said it would continue throughout the week, stressing that the government may stage a public show of the payment to convince doubting Thomases that it is sincere with its promises and tthe payment which spanned four decades showed that the government was not only humane but that Governor Udom Emmanuel was workers friendly.

He said, “It was published widely that the payment of the backlog of gratuities have been left behind by previous government and administration in the state, apart from 1976 and 1988 for retired primary school teachers and next of kin, that the payment would start on Monday. The administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel is very sensitive to the needs and situations of the people of the state, especially the workers. The Governor is workers friendly and ensures salaries are paid, as at when due.”

He said the government cannot take up a huge financial involvement of that entitlement, but the government has the good will to continue the payment, as funds are available, a batch would be taken despite being that those protesting are not the direct workers he employed but their next of kin.

The Osun State Commissioner for Federal Matters, Idiat Babalola, has resigned from the Osun Government.

A source in the office of the Deputy Governor confirmed the information to newsmen. The source revealed that the reason for the resignation is not known yet, but that it is true that she has tendered her resignation letter.

It was recalled that Babalola was a former Special Adviser on Federal Matters to former Governor, Rauf Aregbesola.

As at the time of going to press, her resignation from the Osun State Executive Council has not been announced by the State Government.

Malawi now becomes the 22nd sub-Saharan country to abolish the death penalty as a Supreme Court sitting in the country ruled death penalty as unconstitutional.

A hangman’s noose on black background. Rope, black, hangman, despair, failure, noose, execution, crime, suicide, punishment, death

The court explained that the death penalty was against international human rights standards. Which in turn means that a life sentence will be the highest punishment in Malawi.

The Malawi Human Rights Commission described the ruling as progress. The ruling noted there had been no executions in the country since 1975.

However, Malawian social justice advocate Alexious Kamangila stated that the death sentence did not necessarily deter criminal activities, adding that other forms of punishment were good enough.

“The death penalty targets the poorest in Malawi and other places – those who cannot afford proper legal representation are the ones who are more likely to face death penalty,” he said.

The Federal Government of Nigeria has warned citizens against travelling to countries that are recording a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The countries that are currently recording a third wave of the pandemic are India, Brazil, South Africa and Turkey.

The National Incident Manager (NIM) of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, Dr. Mukhtar Muhammad, disclosed this at the media briefing by the committee on Monday.

Muhammad also warned Nigerians against shunning safety protocols against COVID-19, insisting that the virus was not over.

He said, “While we continue to reopen the economy, we must also be aware of the happenings around the globe. Mr Chairman (Boss Mustapha) and the Honourable Minister of Health (Osagie Ehanire) have made reference to specific incidents in India, Turkey, Brazil and South Africa.

We sympathise with the people of these countries [India, Brazil, South Africa and Turkey] because it is really a very trying time, particularly for India that is recording over 300,000 cases a day and recording over 2,000 deaths. India is a prime destination for medical tourism for Nigeria. We know that many Nigerians like to travel to go to India but now… we urge Nigerians to limit all travels to only essential travels, particularly to these affected countries.”

On Tuesday, Police in Osun state has disclosed the rescue of one Yinka Okunade who was kidnapped on Osu-Ife Expressway on April 24.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted Spokesperson Yemisi Opalola as saying on Tuesday that Okunade was freed at 10 pm on Monday after intense police pressure on the kidnappers.

“This is to inform members of the public that due to intensive pressure on the kidnappers by the police, Okunade, who was kidnapped on April 24, has been released,” she stated.

An Italian priest identified as Fr Christian Carlassare has been shot and injured by unknown gunmen, Catholic church authorities have said.

It was gathered that Carlassare was attacked at his house on Sunday night.

“He is currently receiving treatment at a hospital in Rumbek [central South Sudan]. The armed men targeted him, they knocked his door and started shooting at the door until they broke it. They shot him three bullets, two on one leg and the other one on another leg. He is now in stable condition as doctors have controlled the heavy bleeding,” Fr. Andrea Osman, a Diocesan priest who also survived the incident told the Nairobi-based Association for Catholic Information in Africa.

Fr Andrea disclosed that the arrangements were underway to airlift the Bishop-elect to Nairobi for further treatment.

However, the motive of the incident remains unknown.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan Pardon over 5,000 prisoners to celebrate Union Day.

President Samia urged the released inmates to put into practice the lessons they learned in prison and lead responsible lives when re-joining their communities.

Union Day is celebrated to mark the coming together of Tanganyika and Zanzibar to form the Republic of Tanzania on 26 of April 1964.

Pardoning prisoners on Union Day is an annual tradition.

The Egyptian authority has executed nine people who were found guilty of involvement in the killing of 13 policemen during the unrest in 2013 following the removal of the Islamist Mohamed Morsi from power.

Local media reported that the nine were part of a group of 20 people sentenced to death for the attack on a police station after security forces broke up a mass sit-in protest in Cairo by supporters of Morsi. Which led to the death of hundreds of protesters.

However, International has condemned the executions as a horrifying example of the Egyptian authorities’ contempt for the right to life.

The local government in Kaduna state has disclosed that two more Greenfield university students have been found dead.

Recall that three students had already been killed by kidnappers on Friday out of the twenty students who were kidnapped last Tuesday along with three non-academic staff from the privately-owned Greenfield University in the Chikun area of the state.

Governor Nasir el-Rufai has instead said that the kidnappers were arrested and prosecuted.

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Ogun State chapter, has called on the state government to help provide adequate security for students in tertiary institutions in the state.

The chairman of the association in the state, Mr. Kehinde Simeon, made this known yesterday at a news conference in Abeokuta. He appealed to the government to invite heads of security and tertiary institutions to a security meeting where they would proffer ways that would prevent criminals from perpetrating evils on campuses.

“It is high time for government at all levels to prove themselves as friends of the masses and of the students’ constituency through decisive, strategic, and holistic actions. The issue of kidnapping students on campuses should not be taking for granted; we condemn in its entirety the recent kidnapping of students from Greenfield University, Kaduna State. It is very pathetic that five of these students have so far been killed for a crime they knew nothing about. The function of every government in the world is to provide adequate security for the lives and properties within their jurisdictions,” the chairman said.

Simeon also appealed to Governor Dapo Abiodun to ensure that the student’s community is safe, saying all criminal elements found within the school premises should be flushed out.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has announced the approval of the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS) put together by the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC).

Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, who disclosed this to State House Correspondents on Wednesday stated that the Steering Committee on NPRGS would be headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who will provide overall guidance for implementation.

He added that the council also approved the implementation of the Strategy and its incorporation into the Medium-Term National Development Plan 2021-2025 and the Agenda 2050.

It was also gathered that FEC directed the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to prepare a bill for submission to National Assembly, to make the implementation of the strategy sustainable.

The newly elected Senator representing Imo North senatorial district, Chukwuma Frank Ibezim has been sworn in.

He was elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress in a bye-election.

His election was a subject of controversy until the Supreme Court delivered judgment in his favour on Monday, 5th April, 2021. In arriving at its decision, the apex court in a unanimous judgment voided, nullified and set aside the concurrent judgments of the Federal High Court in Abuja and that of the Court of Appeal which nullified the candidacy of Ibezim on the ground of perjury.

Justice Emmanuel Agim who delivered the judgment held that the suit which led to disqualification of Ibezim for allegedly supplying false information to secure nomination was statute barred at the time it was instituted. The judgment that the suit was not filed within 14 days when the cause of action arose.

Reacting to Senator Ibezim’s oath of allegiance, Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan said, Imo North is fully represented we wish him a robust representation.

On Tuesday morning, the premises of the Federal High Court in Abakaliki was set ablaze by yet-to-be-identified hoodlums.

Mrs Loveth Odah, Ebonyi State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of Ebonyi, who confirmed the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said that no arrest had been made.

She said that the command had began investigation to unmask those behind the attack with a view to bringing them to justice.

She said “Hoodlums in the early hours of Tuesday, wielding dangerous weapons stormed the Federal High Court premises and burnt part of the building. Though no arrest has been made, investigation is ongoing. The Commissioner of Police, Mr Aliyu Garba, has promised to arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice” 

Three construction workers who were abducted last week Tuesday in Ondo State by gunmen have released from captivity.

The construction workers who were kidnapped while working on the rehabilitation of the road.

Meanwhile, the kidnap which affected the progress of work on the road as other workers were said to be scared of returning to site.

Source said the abducted workers were released over the weekend but disclosed that it could not be confirmed if any ransom was paid by the firm before they were released. They were taken to an undisclosed hospital for medical check up.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, in the state, Tee-Leo Ikoro, confirmed the release of the workers but failed to give further details on the development.

On Tuesday, former presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar warned of danger over the continuous attacks on schools in the country.

Atiku warned that darkness awaits Nigerians if the attacks on schools are not stopped. He said this as he condemn the abduction of three students of the University of Agriculture in Makurdi, Benue State yesterday.

The former Vice President lamented that the latest abduction was one too many.

He said “It marks both an unacceptable escalation and an expansion of this menace, and we must not only ensure that the abducted youths are rescued, but even more importantly, we must put in measures to prevent future reoccurrences.”

This must not be allowed to become our new normal. It is time for us as a nation to face the reality that we have an emergency on our hands. A catastrophe that must be decisively dealt with before it snowballs into an existential crisis. We must stop treating these acts of criminality with kid gloves. Enough is enough! There must be the safety of lives and property in our citadels of learning.”

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has said that the Federal Government is reorganizing the entire security architecture in the country because policing is very difficult.

Osinbajo stated this Monday when he received His Royal Majesty, Yakanaje Uke, (in Nasarawa State), Alhaji Dr. Ahmed Abdullahi Hassan who paid him a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa,

He assured that the present challenges would prepare Nigeria for a greater and prosperous future, urging the traditional institution to support the re-engineering process.

This was said On Tuesday by the Spokesman to Osinbajo, Laolu Akande.

He said according to the Vice President, “there is no question at all that we are facing security challenges, but we are able to overcome them. The role of the leadership is to sit down to think through the problems. This is a big country, so policing is very difficult. There is a need for us to reorganize our security architecture, which is what is going on now.”

He added, “I believe strongly that the reason why we are experiencing what we are going through today is because we are being prepared for the future. A future where we will take into account all of the problems because if we haven’t gone through the problems we are going through now, it will be difficult for us to appreciate the importance of fairness and justice, the importance of giving people a voice and a representation. I am very pleased to hear about what you are doing.”

Hon. Idris Garba Rikiji, the Director-General of Zamfara State, Urban and Regional Planning Board, has said that any structure erected in the state without the approval of the board must be demolished irrespective of political status of the person.

He noted that nobody is a sacred cow or untouchable, saying that all are equal before the law.

He said this in a press statement he signed and made available to newsmen in Gusau, the state capital. According to him, all structures are to be erected only with due permission of the board after fulfillment of the prerequisites, including evidence of payments where necessary, obtained from the board.

He said “We are assuring the people of Zamfara State of excellent service. It is also pertinent to inform you that, the board will henceforth not hesitate to challenge any irregularity aimed at jeopardizing the mission and vision of the board and by extension the state government in promoting and providing conducive environment and proper positioning of structures in an acceptable plan”