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Niger repatriates 780 Almajiris to their states of origin

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Niger State Government says it has repatriated 780 out of 794 Almajiris from its Quarantine Center in Minna, the state capital to their states of origin in line with decision of the Northern States Governors Forum, NSGF,.

It stated that the remaining 14 children at the Center include 12 foreigners from Benin and Niger Republics while the other 2 could not really give the exact states or countries they came from.

The state Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Hannatu Jibrin Salihu, stated this at a post-Exco briefing in Minna said transporting back to their states cost the Niger State Government the sum of N86 million.

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She explained that a total of 794 Almajiris were brought from their teachers from the 25 local government areas of the state and quarantined at the Quarantine Center in Minna.

“Under the first phase, we quarantined about 86 Almajiris, took adequate care of them and later returned them to their states. Under the second phase, we quarantined 708 Almajiris and returned them to their families. Out of them, 557 were from other states, while 139 were from Niger state,” she stated.

The commissioner revealed that those presently remaining at the Quarantine Center are 14 children out of which 12 are foreigners from Benin and Niger Republics while the other 2 could not really give the exact place they came from.

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” And arrangements are on to return the 12 foreign Almajiris at the Center. We are liasing with the Immigrations Service on how we can safely return them back to their countries. The other two children could not really tell us where they came from as they kept going back and forth.”

On the reopening of schools, Salihu further stated the state Government is weighing carefully the risks of reopening of schools and putting in place post Covid-19 school reopening plans.

The commissioner maintained,” Niger state will reopened schools when all the guidelines of the Covid-19 Task Force are met.”

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Malami under fire for suggesting whistleblowers should recover loot

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The African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) has restated its call for an honest implementation of the federal government’s whistleblower blower policy.

This was contained in a statement on Thursday by Chido Onumah, the Coordinator.

It criticised the recent comments by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, that whistleblowers can only get commission from loot they expose after a series of processes.

AFRICMIL said Malami suggested that beyond providing information or exposing stolen public funds, whistleblowers would have to recover the funds and lodge them in stipulated accounts before they are rewarded.

“You do not expect a whistleblower to be so shabbily treated that the only conclusion an unbiased observer would reach is that there is a grand plot to deny him his due”, it noted.

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The centre accused the AGF of misreading the whistleblowing policy document released by the federal government in December 2006.

It stressed that there is nowhere in the document that says whistleblowers have a responsibility to recover funds after providing information to the relevant authorities.

Section 12 of the whistleblowing policy FAQ document says: “A Whistleblower responsible for providing the Government with information that directly leads to the voluntary return of stolen or concealed public funds or assets may be entitled to anywhere between 2.5%-5.0% of the amount recovered.

“In order to qualify for the reward, the Whistleblower must provide the Government with information it does not already have and could not otherwise obtain from any other publicly available source to the Government. The actual recovery must also be on account of the information provided by the Whistleblower.”

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Onumah pointed out that the document only says whistleblowers would get their reward following the supply of information that leads to the voluntary return of stolen or hidden funds or assets.

“It did not say whistleblowers must recover the funds or assets as the AGF is interpreting”, he stressed.

AFRICMIL said the duty of ensuring recovery is statutorily that of the security agencies working with the administrators of the whistleblowing policy.

The organization cited the Ikoyi apartment incident where upon the exposure of funds concealed in the apartment, security agents moved in and recovered the looted funds.

“That recovery was not made by the whistleblower but by security agents. And the whistleblower was rightly paid what is due to him even if after some embarrassing official delay,” the statement added.

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The organization advised the AGF to retract the portion of his statement that has “distorted the facts in the whistleblowing policy document”.

It warned that failure to do so would be “a costly disincentive to the patriotic duty of whistleblowing”.

“No reasonable citizen will blow the whistle on stolen or hidden public funds if he is also the one to recover the funds and deposit in a bank”, AFRICMIL added.

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Edo Election: Gov Wike slams Pastor Ize-Iyamu, reveals why he lost to Obaseki in 2016

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The political battle in Edo State is getting intense as Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has slammed Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate.

Wike alleged that Ize-Iyamu lost to Governor Godwin Obaseki in the 2016 governorship election in Edo State because the people saw that he ‘would not be a good leader’.

Recall that Ize-Iyamu, who contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, four years ago was defeated by Obaseki who was the APC candidate then.

However, Wike, in a tweet on his official Twitter handle on Wednesday, also said that the Edo election is not an ‘Obaseki election’ but for the people of the South-South.

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He said: “There would be no intimidation in the Edo election, the people must choose who they want.

“All the South-South Governors would be in Edo State to support our brother Governor.

“Edo people rejected Ize Iyamu in the last election because they saw he wouldn’t be a good Governor.

“Edo election is not an Obaseki election but for the people of the South-South.

“It is time for the South-South to speak with one voice.”

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Edo Guber: Ganduje, Uzodinma head 49-man APC National Campaign Council

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Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has been appointed to head the All Progressives Congress, APC, National Campaign Council for the upcoming governorship election in Edo State.

Ganduje is to be assisted by Hope Uzodinma, Governor of Imo State and Hon. Abbas Braimoh as Secretary of the 49-member APC National Campaign Council.

A statement by APC’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena on Thursday said the committee would be inaugurated on July 6.

According to Nabena: “The Governor of Kano State, H.E. Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has been appointed by the Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to chair the Party’s high-level National Campaign Council for the Edo State Governorship Election.

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“The Governor of Imo State, H.E. (Sen) Hope Uzodinma will serve as Deputy Chairman and Hon. Abbas Braimoh as Secretary of the 49-member APC National Campaign Council.

“This followed the approval for the constitution of a National Campaign Council for the 19th September, 2020 Governorship Election, by the National Chairman of the APC Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee, H.E. Mai Mala Buni.

“The campaign council will be inaugurated on Monday, 6th July 2020 at the Party’s National Secretariat.”

See list of members below:

1.

H.E. Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje

Chairman

2.

H.E. (Sen.) Hope Uzodinma

Deputy Chairman

3.

Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege

Member

4.

H.E. Inuwa Yahaya

Member

5.

H.E. Alh. Yahaya Bello

Member

6.

H.E. Babajide Sanwo-Olu

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Member

7.

H.E. (Chief) John Odigie-Oyegun

Member

8.

H.E. Comrade Adams Oshiomhole

Member

9.

Sen. Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko

Member

10.

H.E. Sen. Godswill Akpabio

Member

11.

H.E. Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu

Member

12.

H.E. Sen. Owelle Rochas Okorocha

Member

13.

H.E. Timipre Sylva

Member

14.

H.E. Dr. Pius Odubu

Member

15.

Sen. Degi Eremiemyo Biobaraku

Member

16.

H.E. Prof. Oserheimen A. Osunbor

Member

17.

H.E. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan

Member

18.

Sen. John Owan Enoh

Member

19.

Rt. Hon. E.J. Agbonayiman

Member

20.

Engr. Babachir Lawal

Member

21.

Prince B.B. Apugo

Member

22.

Gen. Charles Airhiavbere

Member

23.

Hon. Peter Akpatason

Member

24.

Hon. Patrick Aisowere

Member

25.

Hon. Johnson Oghuma

Member

26.

Hon. Prof. Julius Ihonvbere

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Member

27.

Hon. Pally Iriase

Member

28.

Hon. Dennis Idahosa

Member

29.

Mrs. Rachel Akpabio

Member

30.

Mr. Bolaji Afeez

Member

31.

Engr. Gabriel Iduseri

Member

32.

Chief Cairo Ojougboh

Member

33.

Patrick Obahiagbor

Member

34.

Chief Ayiri Emami

Member

35.

Hon. Abubakar Adagu Suberu

Member

36.

Usman Nahuche

Member

37.

Engr. Chidi Orji

Member

38.

Dr. Almajiri Geidam

Member

39.

Sen. Sa’idu Umar Kumo

Member

40.

Chief Pius Akinyelure

Member

41.

Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi

Member

42.

Chief Solomon Edebiri

Member

43.

Prof. Ebegue Amadasun

Member

44.

Hon. Saturday Uwulekue

Member

45.

Hon. Osaro Obaze

Member

46.

Chief Samuel Ogbuku

Member

47.

Miss. Rinsola Abiola

Member

48.

Theresa Tekenel

Member

49.

Hon. Abbas Braimoh

Member/Secretary

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EPL: Michael Owen speaks on Ndidi’s handball in Everton’s 2-1 win against Leicester

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Former Liverpool striker, Michael Owen, has blamed Wilfred Ndidi for Leicester City’s 2-1 defeat to Everton in the Premier League on Wednesday.

Ndidi was adjudged to have handed the ball in the eighteen yard area leading to Gylfi Sigurdsson scoring from the spot-kick.

But referee, David Coote had a lengthy consultation with the video assistant referee before awarding the spot kick.

Richarlison gave Everton an early lead in the 10th minute and six minutes later Sigurdsson netted through the penalty.

Kelechi Iheanacho put one back for the visitors but it wasn’t enough to Savage the situation.

Speaking on Premier League Productions, Owen said that the referee made the right call to award a penalty to Everton as it was clear the Nigerian international handled the ball in the area.

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He said, “The ball has traveled 30 odd meters in the air, you can see it the whole way and it hits Ndidi’s arm first.

“Without even seeing the pictures, if someone said to you there is a ball crossed into the box and it traveled 30 yards in the air and the first thing it hit was someone’s arm, that was above everybody’s head, you’ll say I don’t even need to see it, it is a penalty. It has to be a penalty.”

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COVID-19: Call Kogi Gov, Yahaya Bello to order – PDP tells Buhari

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The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello to order.

PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan made the appeal in a statement he signed and issued.

Ologbondiyan berated Governor Bello over his approach to what he termed, “managers of COVID-19,” in the state.

According to the PDP spokesman: “We urge President Muhammadu Buhari to call Governor Yahaya Bello to order, particularly over his needless confrontation with the managers of COVID-19 in the state.”

Also, the opposition party urged security agencies to probe the gunmen attack at the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, in Lokoja.

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PDP insisted that the gunmen and their sponsors should be apprehended and made to face the full wrath of the law.

“PDP calls on the security agencies to immediately commence a high level investigation into the attack on the Federal Medical Center, Lokoja and ensure that the gunmen and their sponsors are made to face the wrath of the law,” Ologbondiyan added.

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