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    Wednesday, 15 July 2015

    HIV Positive Wrestler, Michael Johnson, Gets 30 Years For ‘Recklessly Infecting’ Male Sexual Partner, Exposing Others

    college wrestler, HIV exposure
    Michael L. Johnson, All-American champion college wrestler, had his fate for the next several decades confirmed in court Monday, the judge handing down a 30-year sentence to the former college wrestler for engaging in sexual acts with multiple partners while knowing he was infected with the AIDS-causing HIV virus, reports UPI.
    “He will infect people for his own sick purposes,” said one of those sexual partners during Johnson’s trial. “He has lost the privilege to be free.”
    It was back in May that a jury concluded that the former champion wrestler out of Lindenwood University, Michael L. Johnson, was guilty of the five counts he faced for knowingly exposing his sexual partners to HIV, the Monday sentencing pinning the wrestler with 30 years marking the conclusion of the trial.
    Champion wrestler Johnson, 23, was accused and convicted of leaving one of his male sexual partners infected with HIV, while four other people who also had sexual encounters with Johnson were also exposed to his HIV virus.
    Once a champion wrestler but now a convict, Johnson received the 30-year sentence from St. Charles County Circuit Judge Jon Cunningham for “recklessly infecting another with HIV” and four separate counts of “reckless exposure” to the wrestler’s other sexual partners.
    The combined sentences could’ve left Johnson wrestling with more prison time, but Judge Cunningham chose to run the former college wrestler’s sentences concurrently.
    Daunting testimony from infectious disease and HIV experts, along with statements from three male sexual partners of Johnson who testified that they’d had unprotected sex with the former champion college wrestler after he lied to them about having HIV, sealed Johnson’s fate.
    The attorney for the former champion college wrestler, Heather Donovan, pleaded with the judge to give Michael Johnson a lesser 10-year prison sentence, her point being that HIV “is not a death sentence anymore,” reports the Daily Mail.
    Lawyer Donovan also pleaded on her former champion wrestler’s behalf that treatment for HIV and AIDS had come a long way since the type of laws that Michael Johnson was being subjected to had been incorporated, but Judge Cunningham emphasized that Johnson’s crimes were “very severe.”
    Michael Johnson’s glory days as a wrestling champion carried him from his home state of Indiana in 2010 through being a junior college All-American champ and then a national champ in Illinois at Lincoln College.
    Johnson then took his gifts as a wrestler to Lindenwood University, but his having several sexual encounters with male partners, while knowingly having HIV, led to his expulsion from the University in 2013 when his alleged crimes came to light.
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    U.S. provides marriage benefits to gay couples in all states

     Supporters celebrate outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington after the court declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States. In the wake of that ruling, Attorney General Loretta Lynch says the government will make federal marriage benefits available to same-sex couples. Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta /Associated Press / AP
    can start applying for Social Security and veterans benefits for spouses in all 50 states, but there are still issues to resolve as the federal government works to implement the Supreme Court ruling allowing gay couples to marry nationwide.
    The vast majority of federal marriage benefits were already available to same-sex couples, following a 2013 Supreme Court ruling that struck down the federal ban on gay marriage. However, some Social Security and veterans benefits for spouses were still denied to these couples if they lived in the 13 states that did not recognize their marriages.
    In the wake of the 5-4 ruling last month that the Constitution provides a right to same-sex marriage, Attorney General Loretta Lynch has announced the federal government is making marriage benefits available to same-sex couples in every state.
    “I am proud to announce that the critical programs for veterans and elderly and disabled Americans, which previously could not give effect to the marriages of couples living in states that did not recognize those marriages, will now provide federal recognition for all marriages nationwide,” Lynch said in a statement. “The agencies are currently working toward providing guidance to implement this change in law.”
    There are still unresolved questions about how the federal government will implement the ruling, said Vickie Henry, a senior staff attorney for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, a legal advocacy group.
    For example, Social Security had been denying spousal benefits to same-sex married couples if — at the time they applied for benefits — they were living in a state that did not recognize their marriage. Also, they were denied survivor’s benefits if their same-sex spouse died while living in a state that did not recognize their marriage.
    Will same-sex spouses who were denied benefits now be able to go back to Social Security and reapply?
    Likewise, the Department of Veterans Affairs had been denying spousal benefits if — at the time they applied for benefits — couples were living in a state that did not recognize their marriage.
    Will spouses be able to reapply if the VA denied their applications for pensions, home loans, education benefits, medical services or burial benefits?
    Stay tuned, says the Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Both agencies said they are still working to implement the ruling.
    “With this terrific statement from the attorney general, the devil is in the details,” Henry said. “Marriage benefits are available to same-sex couples nationwide. I think that is what the Supreme Court ruling requires. But what does that mean?”
    In a statement, Social Security said same-sex couples should apply for benefits right away, if they believe they qualify.
    “Applying now will preserve your filing date, which will protect you against the loss of any potential benefits,” the agency said.
    The VA said in a statement that it will work quickly to issue new guidance. In the meantime, the agency says it will temporarily wait to rule on claims that were not covered before the Supreme Court ruling.
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    ‘Prophet’ makes congregants eat snakes

     Copy of Copy of PN Prophet Penuel Mnguni2
    Pretoria - Shocked social media users have lashed out at a pastor of the End of Times Disciples Ministries Church who has now taken to having his congregation eat snakes, rocks and clothes – all in the name of their salvation.
    The man behind this is “Prophet” Penuel Mnguni, 24, whose church’s Facebook page is filled with pictures of services and some demonstrations of the miracles they allege to be conducting in God’s name.
    The church in Soshanguve extension 13 has previously been reported to have had congregants eating hair, drinking petrol and even stripping naked while the pastor jumped on the believers.
    One of the latest posts on the Facebook page reads: “The Man of God declared a snake to become a chocolate (chomp) and the congregants ate it. We have authority to change everything into anything and it will obey because of our authority.”
    Facebooker Faith “FD” Dikgale said: “This is a joke right? If it was someone doing such acts in the name of Allah, by Islamic act they would be put down as soon as possible! Don’t get me wrong. I am not condoning violence, just that people tend to be so gullible they follow men. And we Christians have been ignoring and accepting such acts, voicing out against it and saying ‘Let God deal with them’. Who the hell is this prophet guy though? These are heinous acts!!!
    “Is this how God did his miracles when he was on Earth? Riding humans like horses, giving his disciples serpents to eat… open your inner eyes and your inner ear… and free yourself from fake miracles and fake pastors,” wrote Olowoyo Blessing.
    Efforts to contact Mnguni were fruitless.
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    Fams Mi: Davido risks 15 years imprisonment, N2m fine for promoting drug trafficking

    davido fan miSelf-acclaimed Omo Baba Olowo, David Adeleke, otherwise known as Davido, may be sentenced to prison for promoting drug trafficking in one of his latest videos, Fams Mi.
    This is just as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has concluded plans to summon the Dami Duro crooner to explain the story behind the video.
    In the controversial video, Davido, an MTN ambassador tries to seal a deal with a drug dealer to supply cocaine while the dealer hands him cases of dollars for the transaction. Davido then goes back to his mansion where he can be seen aided by the brassieres-and-panties flaunting ladies preparing the ‘cocaine’.
    However, the ‘cocaine’ Davido delivered to the drug dealer was only semovita (a local Nigerian food).
    Mitchell Ofoyeju, Director of Public Affairs of the NDLEA, while reacting to the development, said he had watched the video and noticed it was not okay for public viewing.
    He said, “The video has no positive impact on the society, no ethical message either; instead, it is evidently against what we confess. I have to this effect set up a panel to check mate him, his video, why he would go ahead with such a video where he was seen exchanging a brief case purportedly containing sedatives for dollars, exhibiting affluence which is questionable, probably based on drug trafficking or something I can’t conclude on for now’.
    He went further to say that the panel will not only meet with Davido, but will also look into why the video was let out to the market when he believes there is meant to be a body that screens or edits videos or songs before they are finally released.
    “All these put together will aid in investigating and verifying the necessary facts before we will give our take on the issue”, he added.
    Findings by this reporter shows that if the singer is eventually roped, he may spend 15 years behind the bar or N2m fine.

    Decree Number 48 of 1989, now Act of Parliament of the agency states that,”any organisation or individual that colludes with offenders to perpetrate a drug offence or to conceal proceeds from the illicit drug trade and by so doing bring the name of our great nation into disrepute is liable on conviction of 25 years imprisonment or two million Naira fine.” Meanwhile, the widely anticipated second album of the HKN boss earlier scheduled to drop on June 8, 2015, has a new date. The new release date for the album entitled Baddest is Monday, August 10, 2015.
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    United States Vows to Pressure Nigeria to Reverse Anti-Gay Laws

    Linda Thomas Greenfield
    Linda Thomas-Greenfield
    US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, on Monday stated that the Obama administration is committed to pressuring Nigeria and other countries where anti-gay laws exist, to banish such laws.
    Greenfield announced the news during a live web chat with journalists in Washington, DC.
    International Business Times reports that “Obama has adopted protection of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community as part of its foreign policy agenda.”
    Greenfield stated:
    “As a government, it is one of the highest priorities and strongest values that discrimination against anyone based on their sexual orientation and gender identity is wrong. We believe human rights should be available to everybody,” Thomas-Greenfield said during a live web chat with journalists in Washington, D.C., according to Gay Star News. “As a policy, we will continue to press the government of Nigeria as well as other government who have provided legislation against the LGBT community.”
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    Nigeria: Fresh Battle Brewing Between Jonathan,President Buhari

    A fresh battle is brewing between former President Goodluck Jonathan and President Muhammadu Buhari.

    goodluck jonathan.jpg

    THE NATION reports that Jonathan is disturbed by the determination of President Muhammadu Buhari to probe how $2.1billion was illegally withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA). Jonathan is reportedly planning to a protest to the Gen. Abubakar Abdulsalami National Peace Committee for 2015 General Elections.

    Jonathan's protest is based on 3 grounds:
    •the Buhari administration is trying to blackmail him and his erstwhile cabinet members;
    •he is not pleased with the corruption tar being put on his administration; and that
    •he is worried by the likely probe of the whereabouts of the $4billion taxes and dividends paid by the Nigerian Liquified Natural gas Ltd between 2009 and 2014.

    A former minister in the Jonathan administration, who anonymously said, ''The ex-President is unhappy that the administration of Buhari has been stigmatising his administration instead of putting him into confidence on issues. For God’s sake, let them allow this man to earn his well-deserved retirement. If there is any observation by the new government, there are standard official procedures of addressing such.
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    Yobe reduces State Ministries from 22 to 15

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    Governor Geidam appoints new SSGIn order to reduce burden on government spendings, the Yobe State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Geidam has cut down the number of ministries in the state from twenty-two to fifteen.
    A statement sign by the new Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Baba Mallam Wali said the governor approved the move to make the ministries in the state more effective in the discharge of their duties and also as a means of cutting cost of governance.
    As a result of the reorganization, seven ministries have now formally ceased to exist, including Animal and Fisheries, Higher Education, Sports, Integrated Rural Development, Transport and energy as well as Enviroment.
    The ministries of transport has been merged with that of Works to become Ministry of Works and Transport, while the ministry of Enviroment and Animal and Fisheries have been merged with Agriculture to become the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

    The reorganization also bring together the ministries of education and higher education into Ministry of Education, while the ministries of youth development, sports and community development section of the ministry of integrated rural development have been merged to become the Ministry of Youths, Sports and Community Development.
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    JAMB fixes 180 as cut-off points for varsities

    Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of JAMB, Prof. ‘Dibu Ojerinde
    The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board on Tuesday in Abuja pegged the minimum entry requirement into Nigerian universities for the 2015/16 academic year at 180 marks.
    The body, however, said polytechnics and colleges of education, including innovative enterprise institutions awarding National Diploma are to admit undergraduate students with a minimum of 150 marks.
    The decisions were taken during the 6th combined policy meeting of stakeholders of institutions awarding degrees and certificates.
    The stakeholders also agreed on the admission quota for the 2015/16 academic year, approving a 60-40 ratio for science and arts-related programmes in all universities while a ratio of 70-30 goes for technology and non-technology related courses in the polytechnics.
    The meeting was attended by vice-chancellors of universities, provosts of colleges of education and rectors of polytechnics and monotechnics.
    The Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of JAMB, Prof. ‘Dibu Ojerinde, cautioned tertiary institutions against flouting the admission process, saying that with effect from the current academic session, the board would sanction defaulters who defy the regulation for admissions.
    In his power-point presentation at the meeting, Ojerinde said a total of 1,436,867 candidates, representing 97.38 per cent applied to degree-awarding institutions as first choice preference, while candidates’ preference for NCE stood at 18,341, representing 1.24 per cent.
    The 2015 UTME cumulative performance statistics of candidates also released by JAMB indicated that 455,639 candidates scored 200 marks and above.
    Those who scored between 190-199 stood at 207,720 while those below 160 were 122,091 candidates.
    For the 2015 admission year, University of Ilorin, Kwara State, topped the first choice university chart for applicants with 7.12 per cent, this was closely followed by University of Benin, coming second with 4.83 per cent.
    The Federal Polytechnic,Offa in Kwara State, topped most preferred polytechnic with 0.15 per cent, followed by Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot-Osurua, with 0.11 per cent.
    Copyright PUNCH.
    All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.
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    Osun Workers Declare Fresh Strike over Incomplete Payment

     Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola,
    Workers in Osun State have declared a fresh strike barely 24 hours after the suspension of a previous two-month industrial action.

    It was gathered that the labour leaders declared the strike after discovering that only 50 per cent of salaries were paid to Grade Level 8 and above workers.

    It would be recalled the workers had suspended the strike after signing Memorandum of Understanding on Monday, detailing how they wanted their salaries to be paid.

    As part of the agreement, January salary was expected to be paid on Tuesday and February on Thursday but they said that the state government paid half to some workers.

    Making his announcement to that effect on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Osogbo, the State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Jacob Adekomi on Tuesday evening, told the workers not to resume as earlier directed.

    But the state government appealed to workers, explaining that half payment was also paid to pensioners to make the available money go round.

    The government in the statement on Monday said: “The attention of the State Government of Osun has been drawn to a growing discontent among workers in the state on the partial payment of salary to workers from Grade Level 08 and above. The Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, wishes to appeal for calm and understanding from all workers in the state.

    “The Government wishes to state that it realised the need to accommodate our senior citizens, the pensioners, within the limited funds available in order to ensure an all-inclusive payment that will alleviate the hardship that the delay in salaries and pensions had caused. It should be noted that happiness never decreases by being shared.

    “We are committed to meeting our obligations to the workers as more funds become available to settle such. This period calls for deep understanding of our challenges and we appeal to all and sundry for cooperation in this regard.”

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    Liberia: Ebola, the Executive Summary - July 14, 2015

    To give you an overview of what's happening in the Ebola outbreak, we've organized the latest developments in a curated summary.
    Liberia: Sixth Patient Tests Positive for Ebola, Dies
    A sixth patient has tested positive for Ebola in Liberia, as part of the same viral cluster that killed a 17-year-old boy in late June. The woman died a few hours after receiving the positive result, according to the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER).
    She reportedly died on Sunday at the ELWA Treatment Unit in Monrovia, where the new cases are being treated. She was from the Paynesville area of Monrovia and was only admitted to the treatment unit in the very late stages of infection, indicating, as Reuters reports, "that surveillance of known contacts from the earlier cases had not been rigorous enough."
    The woman's death is the second in the new cluster. The first was a 17-year-old boy who died in late June; his posthumous diagnosis alerted officials to the new flare-up.
    Officials have still not been able to confirm the source of the new outbreak. Tests on the carcass of a dead dog that was eaten by several of the patients proved negative. Sexual contact with a survivor has not been ruled out.
    A total of 132 people are being monitored on a contact list, UNMEER said.
    Two Patients Flee Ebola Treatment Unit in Freetown, as Eight New Cases Recorded
    Two Ebola-positive patients broke out of a treatment unit in Freetown on Saturday, and were in a public setting for several hours before being tracked down and brought back to the unit that evening, Agence France-Presse reports.
    The pair, a 32-year-old woman and an eight-year-old girl, are not related.
    "Our contact tracers and surveillance officers are tracking the level of contacts the two would have made during the period of their escape," a spokesman for Sierra Leone's National Ebola Response Centre said.
    Eight new cases of Ebola were recorded by Sierra Leone's Ministry of Health at the weekend, including seven new cases in Freetown. A total of 14 new cases were recorded in Sierra Leone in the past week.
    Authorities in Port Loko, another persistent Ebola hotspot, told Ebola Deeply that extreme measures, including six-month jail terms have been implemented there for anyone not adhering to key preventative measures.
    Pockets of resistance persist in some communities, according to a report by the BBC.
    "We have not been successful in convincing a last hard core of the population to change their behaviour," said Obi Sesay, director of the National Ebola Response Centre.
    U.N.'s Nabarro: Ebola Infection Rate Still Includes 'Surprise Cases'
    With an average of 30 patients still being diagnosed with Ebola each week, the outbreak is still not close to being over, United Nations Special Envoy for Ebola David Nabarro has said.
    Under normal circumstances, an infection rate of 30 people a week would be considered "a major, major outbreak," Nabarro said at a conference in Cape Town, South Africa, on Monday.
    "Probably about one third of these people are not coming from the contact list, which means they are surprise cases, and that's a big worry," he said.
    Four prefectures in Guinea - Boke, Dubreka, Conakry and Forecariah - still have Ebola cases, according to UNMEER.
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    Nigeria: Spain Buys €6.5 Billion Oil From Nigeria

    The Spanish Government on Tuesday said it bought oil and gas worth 6.5 billion Euros from Nigeria in 2014.
    The Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, Alfonso Sebastian de Erice, disclosed this while on a visit to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, at the National Assembly.
    While appreciating existing bilateral relations between Spain and Nigeria, Erice expressed readiness of his country to help Nigeria to boost local production of crude oil by partnering to transform existing refineries in the country.
    He also said that Spain was prepared to partner Nigeria in agricultural development.
    "Spain is one of the partners of Nigeria, the first or the second best client; we buy 6.5 billion Euros worth of oil and gas.
    "We are very happy with the exchanges that we have, and we need the oil but we want to diversify because we think it is very important that our economic relations should not be only in gas and petrol.
    "We want to cooperate with you in agriculture; we have very good agricultural industry. We have comparative advantage in tourism, manufacturing.
    " We have several treaties that allow us to work here. It is a domain that we will have to explore.
    "For us, the oil business is important because we need it but we want to diversity and I know that Nigerian authorities also want to diversify," he said.
    On terrorism in the country, the envoy said that his country was ready to provide support towards combating the menace, adding that Spain and Nigeria had signed several Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on training on anti-terrorism.
    Responding, Dogara said that Nigeria appreciated Spain's offer to help in fighting terrorist, noting that the country had experience of insurgency as it had faced and overcame such problems in the past.
    He said that Nigeria had a lot in common with Spain and called for further assistance to enable Nigeria to diversify its economy.
    In a related development, Dogara pledged support for the development of tourism, mineral resources and other sectors in Cross River.
    He made the pledge when the Cross River Caucus in the House paid him a courtesy visit.
    The speaker, however, urged the lawmakers to shun personal interests as there was the need to compensate those who suffered during the electioneering campaign by promoting pro-people agenda which included employment generation and security. (NAN)
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    World can end AIDS by 2030 – UN

    The UN has said the world can end the AIDS epidemic within 15 years, but senior officials said that would only be possible by breaking the pharmaceutical industries “tight grip” on government policies.
    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said reaching the goal would be difficult but achievable in a report released in Ethiopia on Tuesday.
    “Ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030 is ambitious, but realistic, as the history of the past 15 years has shown,” Ban said in the report.
    The UN Millennium Development Goal to halt and reverse the spread of the disease has been achieved, said UNAIDS, the global body’s agency focusing on the disease.
    UNAIDS is driving efforts to end the epidemic by 2030 by enabling everyone to have access to prevention services, treatment and support.
    “During the first decade of the epidemic, there was very little to offer someone dying from AIDS,” Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, said in the report.
    The key to change, he said, was breaking the pharmaceutical industry’s “tight grip” on government policies and drug prices.
    Some 15 million people are receiving antiretroviral treatment for HIV/AIDS, a staggering increase from less than 700,000 in 2000.
    At that time, patients had to take an average of eight pills per day, costing $10,000 a year. Today, medicines can be bought for $100 a year.
    These medicines keep the virus from growing and multiplying helping people to live longer and reducing the chances that they will transmit HIV to others.
    Legislation allowing developing countries to override patent rights was critical, allowing them to manufacture copies of the drugs and cut prices.
    AIDS-related deaths have dropped more than 40 percent since 2004 to 1.2 million a year, the report said, adding new HIV infections have fallen by 35 percent since 2001 to 2 million a year in 2014.
    Investment in HIV/AIDS surged to almost $22bn in 2015 from less than $5bn in 2001.
    One of the biggest successes has been reducing new infections among children by 58 percent between 2000 and 2014, the agency said.
    This has been achieved by ensuring women with HIV receive medicine to prevent them from passing on the infection when they give birth.
    Last month, Cuba became the first country in the world to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
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    Nigeria: State Urges Stronger Efforts At Blocking Sources of Funding for Terrorism

    Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday called for stronger efforts towards blocking all sources of funding for terrorism and related activities threatening the development of nations.
    Osinbajo made the called at the on-going Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
    The vice-president said that global terrorism constituted a potent threat to peace, stability and economic development of countries worldwide.
    He, therefore, called for adequate funding, partnership and collaboration of the global community to combat terrorism, extremism and insurgence as well as ensure a safe, peaceful and inclusive society.
    He said: "We call on this conference to accord greater recognition to the challenges to sustainable development posed by rising global terrorism.
    "The phenomenon of global terrorism constitutes potent threat to peace, stability and economic development of countries worldwide.
    "The threat calls for adequate funding, partnership and collaboration of the global community to combat terrorism, extremism and insurgence as well as secure safe, peaceful and inclusive society.
    "We must identify viable funding mechanism to address all aspects of human security and other commitments to challenge terrorism.
    "We must also take parallel action to intensify efforts towards blocking all sources of funding terrorist activities."
    Speaking on Nigeria's development efforts, Osinbajo said that the Federal Government had been implementing reform policies aimed at diversifying the economy and building the requisite capacity to support technology transfer and develop value chains in the agro-allied sector.
    He said: "We are also developing new frameworks for domestic mobilisation of resources while at the same time curbing corruption and plugging loopholes in the system that have, in the past, provided avenue for capital flight.
    "We are also empowering women and young people to be actively engaged in various economic activities by broadening opportunities for them to access affordable capital and other types of support to start their businesses.
    "The critical factor for greater success is partnerships, support and adequate funding from all sources.
    "We must, therefore, fully harness regional and multilateral efforts towards promoting the inter-relationship from all sources of development finance and achieving the synergies between financing objectives across the three dimensions of sustainable development."
    Osinbajo reiterated the Federal Government's support for the establishment of a framework towards financing global education.
    "Our government strongly supports the establishment of a high level commission for financing global education announced last week by the Norwegian Prime Minister and the UN Secretary-General.
    "We note that the financing commission would identify more effective ways for mobilising and deploying resources, whose scale is needed to achieve the ambitious new sustainable education programmes.
    "We recommend that this initiative should lead to the establishment of the Global Fund for Education.
    "We ardently believe that such a fund will help galvanise the needed political commitment, facilitate partnerships as well as ensure focus and organisation required for scaling up financial resources to fund educational development.
    "It should replicate the successes registered by the global fund for fighting HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria," he said.
    According to the vice-president, the fund, as envisaged, should support universal, free and quality primary education, especially in developing countries.
    He expressed Nigeria's readiness to join the international community in re-invigorating and strengthening development finance and all the follow-up processes. (NAN)
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    Governor Ortom Advocates Rejection Of Gay Marriage

    Samuel Ortom, the executive governor of Benue state, has said that the state will not tolerate gay activities.
    He said this when he received the prelate of the Anglican Communion of Nigeria, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, at the old banquet hall in Makurdi, the state capital.

    He said gay culture was against African culture and beliefs and was being promoted by the West.
    The governor, who said his administration would shun corruption, commended the Anglican Communion for its strong stance on homosexuality.
    “Gay marriage is not a belief of Africans and the Church. The issue is a new development and is a reflection of the event of Sodom and Gomorrah, so we must reject it,”  he said.

    Archbishop Okoh in his response urged the government to help in the fight to resist gay relationships in the state. He cited the fact that the three major religions in the country were against same sex relationships.
    Meanwhile, Okoh has urged the federal government not to accept same sex marriage especially as it is being legalised in other countries.
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    5 Muslims killed in stampede while collecting gifts after Ramadan fast

     Muslims praying
     The Kaduna Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, Abdullahi Zubairu, said nobody died during the stampede

    About five people were said to have died in a stampede which occurred while Muslims were collecting Ramadan gifts (Zakat) in Kaduna on Monday, July 13.
    Punch reports that scores of Muslims had fainted while waiting to receive the Ramadan gifts from a businessman who deals in dairy products in the state.
    It was gathered that he was sharing the gifts at the Kabala Constain area in Kaduna North Local Government Area of the state.
    However, the Kaduna Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, Abdullahi Zubairu, said nobody died during the stampede, Punch says.
    Zubairu also said the command deployed its personnel in the venue, adding that the team did not report any death.
    But an eyewitness at the venue, which was besieged by able and physically challenged persons in their hundreds, said the people became uncontrollable, leading to a stampede.
    The eyewitness explained that the police were invited to the scene when it the situation started degenerating.
    One Bala Mohammed, a cripple, said when they arrived at the venue, his set was ordered to queue on a separate line while the able and women also have their own line.
    Bala added that when the businessman arrived to give out the gifts, the women line was first chosen and it was in the process that the stampede occurred, which led to the death of five persons.
    According to reports, another eyewitness, Zainab Mohammed, told journalists that she was informed by her sister that there would be sharing of gifts at Tyosco Yoghurt, but lamented that her sister was one of the victims of the stampede.
    It was gathered that the house was besieged by people, who wanted to have their own share of the gifts, while the police detachment was on the ground to maintain law and order.
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    Nigeria: Boko Haram Kills 25 Persons in Borno

    Maiduguri — Twenty-five persons were killed in a Boko Haram attack on Mainok, a town at the outskirts of Maiduguri on Monday night, a member of youth vigilance group, Kaka Ba'ana, told THISDAY on Tuesday.
    Ba'ana said over a hundred Boko Haram militants stormed Mainok village in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State on Monday at about 5:30p.m. opening fire on civilians, killing at least 25 helpless persons in the attack that lasted about four hours.
    He said the vehicles that were trapped in Mainok along Maiduguri-Damaturu highway were set ablaze by the raging terrorists, who sent fears across the capital town, Maiduguri.
    Ba'ana said: "More than 30 vehicles that were trapped were burnt down as well as hundreds of homes. Mainok village is about 45 kilometres away from Maiduguri.
    He lamented that: "We were left to mourn the dead and bury our lost ones some of them burnt beyond recognition.
    "Some of the foodstuffs of the villagers were carted away."
    Balana said some people have not been seen after the attack on the town, which has made many to be apprehensive that perhaps they may have gone away with them with the mission to forcefully conscript them.
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    Tuesday, 14 July 2015

    Beggars, Almajirai Relocate To Abuja


    Following Governor Nasir el Rufai’s ban on begging and street hawking in Kaduna State, there has been an influx of almajirai and beggars to the federal capital city, Abuja. ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM captures the development
    “This is not the right time for the governor to send us away. We voted him because we thought he would allow us free passage to carry out our business without hindrance. This is really going to be difficult for us if we are kept off the streets.”
    The above statement came from Musa Abdulahi, one of the beggars affected by the ban which was necessitated by the suicide attack on public servants in Zaria which claimed the lives of 26 people and injured several others.
    To avert what Abdulahi foresaw as difficult time in Kaduna, many beggars and street urchins decided to relocate to the Federal Capital Territory where they hope to be allowed to continue ‘business’ without harassment.
    Some residents who spoke to Interval said beggars were brought into the city at night in trucks and lorries and dropped off at several locations, namely Gwarimpa, Lugbe, Jabi, Asokoro and Nyanya, among others and they suspected they were the ones dislodged from Kaduna by the state government.
    Street hawking and begging which are like normal businesses in most parts of the country constitute not just a menace but also a security threat to the people and the state. In the current state of insecurity caused by heightened Boko Haram insurgency and which we find ourselves, it smacks of insensitivity and carelessness to allow these “businesses” to continue to flourish.
    Our correspondent who went round Gwarimpa was shocked at the increased number of beggars in several locations within the area, mostly young boys between the ages of 7-14 years and men and women of various age brackets pestering motorists and passersby for alms.
    Walking up the pedestrian bridge going to Dawaki and further to Gwarimpa, there were men and women, between the ages of 20-60 carrying children begging for alms while almost obstructing free movement on the pedestrian bridge.
    One of the beggars on the pedestrian bridge who responded to enquiries from our correspondent said in Hausa language that she is from Kano State and resorted to begging to take care of her three children who were with her as there was nothing else she could think of doing. She spoke of the hassles they go through, particularly in the attempt to escape harassment by members of the task force on environmental sanitation describing the experience as unpleasant sometimes.
    There is also another group of beggars who are mostly drug addicts who litter the area and many parts of the city and beg to sustain their lifestyle. This group poses the greatest risk to members of the public as many of them have been linked with violent attack on people returning from work at night.
    An attempt to speak with the acting director of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Baba Shehu Lawan on the development was unsuccessful as he did not pick our calls and did not also return same. But on a programme on Raypower FM, the AEPB boss complained about being short-staffed, but pointed out that the police had been of immense assistance to the agency in carrying out its functions. He said AEPB was doing everything possible to rid the city of beggars and street hawkers and would not rest on its oars until that had been achieved.
    While not disputing that the authorities are working, it needs be stressed that there is increased number of beggars on the streets of Abuja and the satellite towns today. The presence of these people at strategic locations within the city can only but promote insecurity. The FCT administration should act fast to enforce the law which is already in place.
    On its part, Kaduna State government said the ban on begging and street hawking was for security reasons, pointing out that it has the responsibility to protect the lives and properties of its citizens. The special assistant on media to the governor, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, explained that the law banning them had always been there, noting what the Nasir el Rufai administration did was to enforce it.
    “We as a government are ready to work with the people and by doing so we are here to protect and provide for the people of Kaduna State. We are not here to witch hunt anybody as people are speculating.
    “We are here to protect lives and these people are the major targets because where they gather to do what they do is where the terrorists usually carry out their attack. And some also disguise as beggars and street vendors.
    “So as a government, we are doing everything possible to protect the people and if they are leaving the state to the FCT, the law over there also should take its course because we have totally banned street begging and hawking of any guise in Kaduna State,” he said.
    The influx of beggars, almajiri to Abuja must be halted now in the interest of the country and the people.
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    Christ Embassy: Trouble Ahead For Oyakhilome as Church Workers Take to The Streets

    Crisis is brewing at Christ Embassy Church as workers with Infinity Media, a communication outfit owned by the church is set to take to the streets of Lagos State on Thursday to protest the non payment of their salaries.

    1. oyakhilome.jpg

      The workers are accusing some top pastors of the church of playing politics with their salaries, while blaming Pastor Ifeoma Chiemeka for refusing to approve the payment of their arrears after a directive to that effect was issued by the Head Pastor and President of Believers Loveworld, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome.

      According to the aggrieved workers, in December 2014, some of the workers were retrenched and paid off while a few that remained were overworked and also denied their salaries.

      This prompted them to petition the Lagos State Mediation Centre in April 2015 for intervention.

      On 22 April, 2015 the church, according to the workers, sent Pastor Adegoke Adebayo and Pastor Ike Nnoli to represent it at the Mediation Centre and the parties agreed to meet again on 22 May, 2015 after the workers might have been paid.

      But the pastors refused to honour the agreement and also failed to show up at the adjourned date.

      Angry with the nonchalant attitude of the church management, the workers resolved to go on a peaceful protest on Thursday this week to draw the attention of Oyakhilome and Nigerians to their plight.
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    Five persons die while collecting zakat gift in Kaduna Five persons die while collecting zakat gift in Kaduna

    Five persons die while collecting zakat gift in KadunaAbout five persons were feared dead on Monday following a stampede that occurred during the collection of zakat gifts in Kaduna, Kaduna State.Zakat is a charitable contribution expected to be given to the underprivileged by Muslims who are well-to-do.
    DAILY POST gathered that scores fainted while waiting to receive zakat from a businessman in the state at Kabala Costain, in Kaduna North Local Government Area of the state.
    The State Police Command’s spokesperson, Abdullahi Zubairu, however denied the claim that five persons lost their lives during the stampede.
    He said, “The command drafted its personnel to the venue, and they did not report any death at the venue of the Zakat.”
    An eyewitness however said five persons lost their lives at the venue which was packed with both able bodied and physically-challenged persons, adding that the stampede occurred when the crowd became uncontrollable.
    “It was after the stampede that the police were invited to control the crowd to prevent further tragedy.”
    A beneficiary, Bala Mohammed, stated that when they got to the venue, the physically disabled persons were told to queue separately, while the able-bodied women formed another queue.
    He stated that the businessman, on arrival started giving out the zakat gifts, adding that the stampede occurred just when he started attending to the women with five persons feared dead.
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    Taxi Driver Arrested For Reporting Suicide Bomber

    The Boko Haram insurgency in North Nigeria has taken its toll on an innocent taxi driver who has been arrested after reporting a suicide bomber.
    Residents of Maiduguri, Borno state, have criticised the arrest of the taxi driver, Rabiu Usman, popularly known as Billejo, Daily Post reports.
    They claim that Usman reported to the military his suspicions about one of his passengers who later turned out to be a suicide bomber. However, he was then unjustly arrested as an accomplice of the terrorist group.
    READ ALSO: B/H: Military Unveils New Plans To Stop Suicide Bombing
    A resident who spoke on the matter said: “It is very unfortunate that instead of commending his effort at saving lives he was arrested by the military at Sector six and subsequently moved to Maimalari military cantonment at about 6pm on Monday.”
    According to the report, Usman was heading for Maiduguri with his passengers, when he was stopped by another passenger. On arriving at a security checkpoint he reported his suspicions before the bomber detonated himself.
    Residents said they are concerned that he might be prosecuted despite his bravery in exposing the bomber and saving lives.
    Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to seek spiritual assistance in defeating the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents and other challenges facing the nation.
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    APC: We Will Soon Release Shocking Revelations About Jonathan’s Government

    APC governors forum chairman - OkorochaAPC governors forum chairman - Okorocha
    APC Gov Buhari
    APC Gov Buhari
    The All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked Nigerians to expect “shocking revelations” of the past government in the coming weeks and months.
    In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by Lai Mohammed, national publicity secretary of the party, APC accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of distorting the facts about the source of the $2.1 billion that President Muhammadu Buhari approved for sharing among the three tiers of government.
    The statement also faulted the claim of Olisa Metuh, PDP spokesman, that former president Goodluck Jonathan refused to share $5.5 billion dollars from Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) dividends because he wanted to
    leave money for Buhari.
    APC alleged that such money was not in the federation account, urging Buhari to probe past dividends of the NLNG.
    ”The revelations concerning the deep rot in the system that will come in the weeks and months ahead will shock even the most ardent critics of the Buhari administration’s salvaging efforts,” the statement read.
    “Whereas the presidency corrected the initial erroneous report that the shared money was sourced from the excess crude account (ECA), the skittish opposition continued to insist it was from the ECA and that it was part of the ‘savings’ by the Jonathan administration.
    ”Well, we can tell Nigerians that the $2.1 billion was sourced from the $1.6 billion company income tax/education tax paid to the FG on June 17th 2015, over two weeks after the Jonathan administration left office, as well as the $500 million tax paid by Shell. We can’t tell Nigerians that this is the first time the payment of the income tax/education tax by the NLNG was being disclosed by any government, in addition to paying it into the federation account for sharing, hence those who call it their ‘legitimate’ earnings should be asked why they did not demand the sharing of such ‘legitimate’ earnings in the past.
    ”We can tell Nigerians that apart from the said $1.6 billion NLNG payment for 2015, NLNG also paid $1.4 billion as Income Tax/EducationTax in May 2014, paid $0.3 billion as education tax to the FG in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and $1.2 billion in VAT and With-holding tax to the FG since 2009. These payments are just those made in the past six years alone, hence there were other payments before then.
    “In addition, dividend payments totalling $4,728,136,946 was paid to the FG between 2004 and 2009, out of which only $127,851,348.19 was credited to the FG’s Independent account with JP Morgan, leaving a balance of over $4 billion. The questions to ask therefore are why all the past taxes and dividends were neither fully paid into the federation account nor shared by the three tiers of government and what happened to the funds.”
    ”Since, according to the PDP, President Goodluck Jonathan asked that the money be ‘left for the incoming administration to manage’. It is important for the party, therefore, to tell Nigerians in which account the money was ‘saved’ because it is definitely not in the federation account.”
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    Flavour joins list of performers at 2015 MAMA

    Highlife musician Flavour will join other artistes to perform at the fifth edition of the MTV Africa Music awards (MAMA). The event sponsored by KwaZulu-Natal holds on Saturday, July 18, at the Durban international Convention Centre, Durban, South Africa.
    Flavour, who was also nominated for the ‘Best Live’ act, joins the likes of DJ Tira, DJ Fisherman, Big Nuz, Da Les and Naakmusiq to perform on the MAMA stage.
    Other artistes earlier scheduled to perform at the MAMA include 2face, AKA, Black Motion, Bucie, CassperNyovest, Davido, Diamond Platnumz, Jhené Aiko, Ne-Yo, Toofan, Wizkid, Yemi Alade and Young Thug.
    However, Nigeria is strongly represented at the MAMA.
    While Davido and Wizkid were nominated for Best Male Act, the duo of Seyi Shay and Yemi Alade were nominated for Best Female Act and P-Square was nominated for Best Group Award. Lil Kesh featuring Davido and Olamide, Mavins, WizKid and Yemi Alade are in contention for the Best Song Award.
    Other nominations Nigerian artistes got at the MAMA include Yemi Alade, D’Banj, P-Square, Asa, and 2Face (MAMA Evolution Award), Basketmouth and OC Ukeje competed for the Personality of the Year Award, Nneka (Best Pop and Alternative), Patoranking (Best New Act) and Olamide and Phyno were nominated for Best Hip Hop Act.
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    God gave me knowledge of ‘babalawo’, that is why I drink akpeteshie – Majek Fashek

    God gave me knowledge of 'babalawo', that is why I drink akpeteshie – Majek FashekOnce upon a time, Majek Fashek was Nigeria’s greatest musician.
    He is a reggae extraordinaire with an epic all-time hit song entitled: Send Down The Rain. Whenever Majek Fashek (whose full name is Majekodunmi Fasheke) raised his voice in a melodious refrain of “Send Down the Rain”, there was literally an extraordinary downpour. And by that, he lyrically put an end to an almost two-year drought ( famine) in northern Nigeria.
    At 20, he was a kid sensation. At 40, a reggae god. At 55, a troubled star. The Nigerian reggae icon no doubt believes that he would still bounce back into limelight despite his deplorable state.
    The principal prophet of reggae whose pathetic-looking picture spread like wildfire on the internet recently claims that he still remains the heir apparent to Bob Marley.
    Fasheke, who is gradually fizzling out because of hard drugs spoke about rehab and his use of local medicine in a recent interview with Encomium Weekly.
    According to him, “I’m scared of rehab. Let me tell you what I did to escape the rehab. God gave me different knowledge of orisha, babalawo knowledge. My ancestral knowledge, which is what I’m using right now. I drink akpeteshie. It’s the orisha idea I got” he further said.
    Pastor Wole Oladiyun of CLAM had invited the singer for a month long of deliverance but he reportedly escaped because he does not want to be depressed.
    “I don’t want to get depressed. Jesus is my Hero, my Lord and Saviour. He is the one that has seen me through up to this level. I told them to wait until I have released my record. I no wan enter hospital now, before somebody go inject me with bad injection,” stated Fasheke.
    The singer, who is separated from his wife says the Celestial Church of Christ came in between her. “It was the Celestial Church that confused her. They gave her wrong vision about me. The celestial church can’t try me any day, any time. I will attack them. I will burn them. I am equipped spiritually.”
    Many well-meaning Nigerians have cried over the deteriorating state of the reggae artistes, seeking public assistance on how to revive him.
    Recently, the eccentric Charlyboy, also known as Area Fada called for intervention. Speaking with newsmen, the singer said that Majek Fashek, was an iconic artiste who should not be left to die in his present condition.
    According to him, “The worst thing we can do is stand and watch when we see someone struggling in agony, especially when their pain is self inflicted.
    “It is no longer news that the rain maker is a sorry shadow of himself plagued by issues larger than his self discipline.
    “Majek Fashek is our own; let’s see how we can heal our rain maker who needs all the love and understanding he can get right now.”
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    Court frees Lamido and two sons

    Lamido-sonsJustice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has granted bail to the former governor of Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido, and his two sons, Aminu and Mustapha, who have been in prison custody for the past five days.
    Justice Evelyn Anyadike of the Kano Division of the high court had on July 9, remanded the ex- governor and his sons in prison after they were arraigned over a 28-count criminal charge that was entered against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
    In his ruling on tuesday, Justice Kolawole, of the Abuja High Court granted the former governor bail on self recognition while his sons were granted bail on the sum of N25 million each and two sureties who must be civil servant of grade level 16 or a businessman with evidence of tax payment who has landed property in either Abuja or Jigawa state worth N75million.
    One Aminu Abubakar Wada, a party to the case, was also granted bail on the sum N25 million.
    The accussed persons are facing trial over alleged money laundering and illegal diversion of public funds to the tune of N1.35billion.
    Lamido was equally alleged to have collected kickbacks from contractors in the state, with the funds allegedly paid into accounts that were managed by his sons.
    While adjourning their trial till September 28, Justice Anyadike who had earlier declined to accede to oral bail request by the accused persons, however said they could approach the vacation
    judge with their formal bail application.

    Consequently, the prison authorities, on Monday, flew all the accused persons to Abuja.
    Meanwhile,  Joe Agi, SAN, counsel to Lamido and his sons, had pleaded before the Abuja Federal High Court that they would be available to face their trial if released.
    Their application was however opposed by the EFCC which through its lawyer Mr. Chile Okoroma, alleged that Lamido and his sons had earlier threatened one of its lead witnesses, one Mr. Bartholomew Dalington, a Manager in one of the companies allegedly owned by the former governor.
    EFCC further alleged that one of Lamido’s sons was earlier convicted over another charge that bothered on money laundering.
    He was allegedly apprehended at the airport with the sum of $50, 000, even though he only declared the sum of $10, 000.
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