Fire kills Woman, Children In Anambra

A pregnant woman and two of her children have been burnt to death by fire in umuoffor village, in Ihiala local government area of Anambra state.

According to an eye witness, Mr Pius Ukachukwu said the fire incident started at about 7:30 in the evening at the residence of one Mr maxwell okeke.

The pregnant woman Nwazuru okeke and two of her children makuochukwu and chidiebube okeke were trapped in the inferno and were burnt beyond recognition.

Police public relations officer in Anambra state, Mr Haruna Mohammed said the commissioner of police had ordered a full scale investigation into the matter to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Mr Mohammed however, advised residents to always be conscious of any activity that would cause fire incidents especially at homes.

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President Buhari Declines Assent To Five More Bills

President Muhammadu Buhari has again, on Wednesday, declined assent to five more Bills passed by the National Assembly.

His latest rejection of the Bills brings to 26 the number of bills passed by the Eighth National Assembly and rejected by the President.

In a letter addressed to Senate President Bukola Saraki and read at Wednesday plenary, the President listed the newly rejected Bills to include: Nigerian Film Corporation Bill, Immigration (Amendment) Bill, Climate Change Bill, Chattered Institute of Pension Practitioners Bill as well as Digital Rights and Freedom Bill.

President Buhari explained that he rejected the Immigration Bill because it would have adverse effect on Nigeria’s position on the Ease of Doing Business ranking if signed into law, adding that the Chattered Institute of Pension Practitioners Bill amounted to duplication of functions with an existing institute.

Other bills earlier rejected by Buhari since 2015 include: the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill, Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) (Amendment) Bill, National Research and Innovation Council (Est.) Bill, National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism (Est.) Bill and National Agricultural Seeds Council Bill.

Others are Chattered Institute of Entrepreneurship (Est.) Bill, Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences (Amendment) Bill, Subsidiary Legislation (Legislative Scrutiny) Bill, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (Amendment) Bill as well as five constitution amendment bills.

Also rejected are: National Transport Commission Bill, Federal Road Authority (Establishment) Bill, National Broadcasting Commission Amendment Bill, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) Act (Amendment) Bill and Federal Polytechnics Act (Amendment) Bill.

The Senate had earlier set up a Technical Committee on Declined Assent to Bills, chaired by David Umaru to look into the rejected bills by the President.

Although the Technical Committee laid its report in December last year, the report of the David Umaru-led panel is yet to be considered.

Saraki had on September 10, 2018 announced the setting up of a technical committee to review 15 critical bills earlier rejected by President Buhari.

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1.7m Children To Be Vaccinated In Borno

About 1.7 million children are expected to be vaccinated against measles during the five days campaign in Borno state.

The first phase of the campaign would cover children between the age of six months to ten years in Maiduguri metropolitan and twelve other local government areas.

In a statement by UNICEF in Maiduguri indicates that thirteen children have died during the current outbreak as a result of low coverage of measles vaccine in the state.

The statement says that the vaccine will be administered free in IDP camps, health facilities, places of worship and high-risk areas of the state. 

Director Disease Control in the Borno state Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Babagana Abiso said the campaign would provide opportunity to provide regular routine immunization.

UNICEF Chief of Field Office, Geoffrey Ijumba called for concerted effort to ensure all eligible children access the vaccine during the exercise. 

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BMO Hails Buharinomics For Falling Inflation

Reports by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and other reliable monitors of the Nigerian economy confirming a decline in inflation rate to 11.31% in February 2019, indicates that the robust economic policies of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari are achieving their planned goals.

The latest  fall in inflation rates, the third in the last six months, has put more money in the pockets of Nigerians as they pay less for more consumables in their households, the Buhari Media Organisation(BMO) said in a press statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Mr. Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary, Mr. Cassidy Madueke.

“The continued downward trend of inflation rate in Nigeria from an annual  average of 12.46 per cent in 1996 until now at 11.31 is indicative of the impact of the policies of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari designed to put the economy on a sound footing,” BMO said.

“The falling prices of food in particular affirm that the drive to boost agricultural production in Africa’s biggest democracy is yielding the desired result, especially the attainment of 98 per cent sufficiency in domestic rice production”.

BMO noted that the findings by the NBS that the year-on-year food price level declined by 0.04 per cent to 13.47 per cent in February 2019,   including prices of fish, bread and cereals, potatoes, yam and other tubers, meat, vegetables, oils and fats and fruits,  testify to the efficacy of the economic diversification drive of the administration in which the boosting of agriculture is a key pillar.

The group noted that farmers’ access to high quality seeds and other agricultural inputs with price support from the Federal and state governments through the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) for dry season farming,   boosted yields from irrigation farms where grains and vegetables were grown and are being harvested in large quantities.

“The promotion and support of aquaculture to bolster domestic food production and the availability of inputs for fish-food production contributed in the downward trend of fish and other food prices”, the group added in the statement.

Figures released by the NBS indicate that both the annual and monthly core sub-indices declined to 9.8% and 0.65% respectively in February from 9.9% and 0.81% in January 2019. This was mainly caused by a reduction in the prices of household appliances and materials.

The exceptional decline in the various elements of overall inflation, despite huge spending in a highly competitive election season, was attributed to the sound economic and fiscal policies being implemented by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Federal Ministry of Finance, among others.

“The mopping up of excess liquidity in the financial sector by the CBN in order to reduce the amount of Currency in circulation and control inflation, contributed in achieving the goal of taming the monster of inflation,” BMO concluded.

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Senate Mourns Death Of Two Nigerians Killed In Ethiopian Airline Crash

The Nigerian Senate today, 19th March 2019 mourned the death of two Nigerians who died in the Ethiopian airline crash of 10th March 2019. The Senate equally resolved on the need for Nigeria to protect its airspace from the Boeing 737 MAX 8 Series while also ensuring that all aircrafts’ operating within Nigeria are air worthy in order to keep Nigerians safe at all times.

The Senate resolution flowed directly from a motion titled “The Sad Demise of two illustrious Nigerians in the recent Ethiopian Airlines Crash of 10th March, 2019 and the need for Nigeria to protect its airspace from the Boeing 737 Max 8 series pending the determination of its Air worthiness”. The Motion was sponsored by Distinguished Senate Gbenga Ashafa, representing Lagos East in the Senate and Chairman Senate Committee on Land Transport.

Ashafa moved the motion expressing sadness that Nigeria lost two illustrious citizens in the crash. He was quoted as saying thus “Notes with great sadness that two illustrious Nigerians were among the 157 people who lost their lives in the ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines flight ET – 302, which went down near Bishoftu a community roughly 60 kilometers southeast of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

Notes that the said late distinguished Nigerians aboard the flight were Ambassador Abiodun Bashua, a former United Nations and African Union, Deputy Joint Special Representative in Darfur, Sudan and Professor Pius Adesanmi, a Professor of Literary Arts in Carleton University, Ottawa Canada, and a popular advocate for good governance”

The Senator went on further to intimate the Senate that the two Nigerians who lost their lives were no ordinary citizen as the two of them distinguished themselves in their various fields and till their death were worthy Ambassadors of Nigeria in the Diaspora.

Ashafa observed that it was not the first time that a Boeing 737 Max 8 series aircraft had crashed under similar circumstances. He thereafter commended the Minister for Transportation (Aviation) Senator Hadi Sirika for the restriction placed on the use of the Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 series aircrafts within the Nigerian airspace pending the outcome of the investigation of the plane crash.

In their contribution to the Motion, Senator Mao Ohuanbunwa and Minority Leader, Senator Biodun Olujimi expressed their sadness over the death of the two Nigerians, while also commending the Minister of State for Transportation for the restriction on the use of the Air craft. Both Senators agreed on the need for Nigeria to own its own National Airline to be able to monitor and regulate its use.

The senate along with the resolutions made observed a minute silence in honour of the two deceased.

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Unknown Gunmen Abduct Senior INEC Staff In Jigawa

A senior staff of the Independent National Electorate Commission (INEC) in Jigawa state has been kidnapped in the state last Friday.

The kidnapped staff identified as Mr. Mahadi Hassan, is a Pension Desk Officer of the Commission in Jigawa State INEC office.

It was gathered Hassan was picked by gunmen along Gwiwa road Gwiwa local government area in the state.

The INEC Head of Department voter education and Publicity Mr John Kaiwa confirmed the incident.

He added that the kidnappers were yet to contact the commission or the victim’s family on any amount of ransom.

When contacted, Jigawa Commissioner of Police Bala Zama Senchi? said the command was yet to receive any report related to the kidnap of INEC staff in the state.

“As I am speaking to you, we have not received any report in relation to the kidnap of any INEC staff. I just heard it for the first time from you,” he said.

The commissioner promised to contact all people related to the matter and get back with updates.

The Nation

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House Urges Security Agents To End Kaduna Killings

The House of Representatives has called on the Security Agents to urgently bring to an end the spate of Killings and attacks in Kajuru Local Government of Kaduna State.

This resolution followed a motion on incessant Attacks and killings by armed bandits in Kajuru Local Government of Kaduna State.

In the motion by the Minority Whip of the House, Mr.Yakubu Garde, the House mandated its Committees on Security matters to carry out a thorough investigation on these crises with a view to unravelling the fundamental issues responsible for the unrest and proffer solutions for lasting peace in the area.

The House urged the National Emergency Management Agency to urgently move to the Communities with relief materials in order to alleviate the sufferings of the displaced families.

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Customs Distributes Seized Items To IDPs, Orhanages In Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Monday began the distribution of seized items to the internal displaced persons (IDPs) and orphanages in Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi States.

Briefing journalists at the NCS Area Command headquarters in Sokoto on Tuesday, the chairman of the committee set up by the Comptroller General of Customs Yakubu Salihu said President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), to distribute seized items which are perishable to IDPs and orphanages to ameliorate their suffering.

According to Salihu, the committee has finished the distribution of the items in zone A for phase one, which comprised Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Ekiti and Osun States.

The committee was in Sokoto Tuesday to commence distribution for zone B. He added that the distribution would continue till the committee goes round the four zones of the country.Salihu said the criterion for the distribution is to screen and accredit genuine or registered orphanages with the administrators of those orphanages or IDPs would come forward for collection.

He warned people to beware of unpatriotic elements who went around deceiving people that they were mediating between the committee and the recipients, stressing that there is no third party in the distribution process.

He further urged the media to sensitise the people about the distribution process.Salihu said so far, over 300 jerrican of vegetable oil, 450 bales of used clothes, 2,675 used shoes, 155 cartons of tomatoes paste, 56 cartons of soaps/detergents, 45 cartons of spaghetti, and 65 cartons of mosquito coils have been distributed.

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Ekiti Court Sentences Two To Death For Armed Robbery

An Ekiti State High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti has sentenced two people Adedayo Oluwayemi and Daramola Seyi to death by hanging for armed robbery.

In his judgement the trial judge, Justice John Adeyeye held that the suspects were guilty of the two-count charge of armed robbery and conspiracy preferred against them having violated Section 516 of the Criminal Code Cap C16 Laws of Ekiti State..

Justice Adeyeye however discharged and acquitted the third accused person, Ogunleye Ige on the grounds that evidence before the court showed that there was no link between him and the incident.

The accused people reportedly stormed a popular club located at Irewumi, opposite Bawa Estate, Ado Ekiti on the 4th of August, 2018 with dangerous weapons and robbed many victims of their belongings

They were arrested at the point of selling the stolen items particularly the laptops and phones days after the incident.

Prosecution counsel, Mr Felix Awoniyi, called six witnesses and tendered exhibits including the two laptops to prove his case against the suspects.

Defence counsel, Mr Toyin Oluwole, did not call any witness to defend the convicted people.

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Lagos Police Command Arrest Three Suspected Cult Members

The Lagos State Police Command have arrested three suspects following a raid on cultists and ritualists’ hideout.

The Command’s Spokesperson, DSP Bala Elkana, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.

He also said that the raid, which took place on Monday almost led to a serious attack on Imota Police Station in Ikorodu, during which two policemen were injured.

“On March 18, at about 5:30pm, following a tip-off, a team of policemen on surveillance at Adama community, Ikorodu, raided a den of cultists who specialise in ritual murder and kidnapping for ritual purposes.

“On sighting the police, they opened fire and equally used some of their hostages as human shields.

“During the operation that lasted for about one hour, two police officers were injured and three suspects were arrested namely, Ahmed Hassan, Daniel Enyin and Olaniran Alium.

“One Hadiyat Sikiru an SS1 student was hit by a stray bullet. Attempt by other members of the deadly gang to attack our police station at Imota was met with stiff resistance by the gallant officers on duty.

“The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Zubairu Muazu mni, has directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police in Charge of Criminal Investigation, Panti, to take over the case for further investigation,” he said.

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ICPC Moves To Seize N4.8b Properties From 30 Firms

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) is moving to seize plots of land and buildings worth N4.8 billion from 30 companies.

The commission’s spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, in a statement, listed the items 22.9 hectares of undeveloped land, a plaza as well as a block of six two-bedroom flats located in Wuse, Zone 1.

She said the decision followed a petition by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) accusing the firms of owing N288.2 million in taxes.

The spokesperson cited Section 37 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 which empowers the agency to seize assets alleged to be subject of an offence under the law and Section 48 that allows it apply to a high court for an order of forfeiture within 12 months from the date of the seizure.

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PTAD Boss Wins Africa Pension Award

The Executive Secretary of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, PTAD, Barrister Sharon Ikeazor has been announced the winner of this year’s Africa Pension Personality of the year.

Sharon Ikeazor won the Africa Pension Personality of the year, CEO Leadership Caegory-Gold, due to her immerse contributions, legacy of integrity, passion for service and humanity.

She introduced efficient payment platform, painstaking I.T driven verification with empathy and anti-corruption crusade with the inauguration of Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit.

The Executive Secretary of PTAD has been able to restore hope to pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme.

She was appointed as the Executive Secretary of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate by the President Muhammadu Buhari on the 26thof September 2016.

Barr Sharon Ikeazor is expected to receive the prestigious awards at Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Ikeja, Lagos.

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