Thursday Update: Bawa’s Confirmation, Bandits In Kaduna And Nigeria’s Vaccine Wait
We are leading with the Senate’s confirmation of Abdulrasheed Bawa, more bandit attacks in Kaduna, and Nigeria’s long wait for COVID-19 vaccines.
Senate Confirms Abdulrasheed Bawa
The Senate has confirmed Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa as the new Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Mr. Bawa, during his screening by the lawmakers, defended his competence to lead the anti-graft agency’s task of ridding Nigeria of corruption.
After his confirmation, 40-year-old Bawa said he would represent young people with distinction. “I am going to give the young people a very good representation in the governance of this country so that more young people will be given more responsibility in this country,” he said.
He also denied selling off any assets seized by the commission in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Corruption Allegations: Chairman of the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes, Suleiman Kwari, defended the lawmakers’ decision to ratify Mr. Bawa’s appointment, despite allegations of corruption brought against him. He said they were “wild allegations that could not be proven.”
Related: Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, said the Senate disappointed Nigerians by confirming the immediate past service chiefs as the nation’s ambassadors.
Police Trust Fund: Meanwhile, the Senate has approved N11.3 billion for the fund’s 2020 budget. About N1.3 billion was allocated for the procurement of teargas, while about N1 billion was set aside for the procurement of arms and ammunition.
Bandits Kill 18 In Kaduna
Attacks by bandits across three Local Government Areas in Kaduna have left at least 18 persons dead, the state government said on Wednesday.
The bandits burnt houses, barns, storehouses, rustled cows, and abducted people.
The attacks are the latest in a string of violent crimes that have rocked the North-West state for years.
Bala Mohammed: The Bauchi State Governor said he has no apology for justifying why Fulani herdsmen wield AK-47 guns. But he also pleaded with the herdsmen not to carry weapons illegally and embrace peace instead.
Delta State: One policeman has been confirmed dead and three others injured after gunmen attacked a bullion van belonging to a new generation bank along the Ubulu-Okiti, Aniocha South Local Government Area.
Borno Attack: Governor Babagana Zulum visited victims of Tuesday’s attack on Maiduguri. The number of those injured from the attack has risen to 50, the Governor said.
Ghana Takes Delivery Of COVID-19 Vaccine
Ghana has received 600,000 doses of the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine from Covax, a global scheme to procure and distribute Covid inoculations for free to poorer countries.
The West African nation was the first to receive vaccines from the scheme, which plans to ship two billion doses by year’s end.
Nigeria is also part of the scheme and is expected to receive part of its share before mid-March, according to the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire.
But the precise date of delivery is unavailable as it is not in the hands of the government, Dr. Ehanire said.
Quote: “So, COVAX begins to deliver before the end of February,” Dr. Ehanire said. “And we hope that before the end of this month, it would be our turn or latest by the beginning of next month.”
NCDC: Nigeria confirmed 655 new cases of the virus and 11 deaths on Wednesday, according to the disease control agency.
What else is happening?
Rotimi Akeredolu: The Ondo State Governor has been sworn-in for a second term in office. He won re-election in October.
Ifeoma Abugu: Although men of the defunct SARS said she died of a cocaine overdose, an autopsy of her remains has come out negative for the substance, a report submitted at an #EndSARS panel said. Abugu was taken away by SARS operatives from her home in Lokogoma, Abuja in September 2020, only to be reported dead at the Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital the next day.
Organised Labour: Members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) clashed at the headquarters of the Corporate Affairs Commission in Abuja over alleged anti-labour activities. The TUC attempted to stop the NLC from picketing the commission.
Abdulrasheed Maina: A Federal High Court will hear the bail application of the former ex-Pension boss today. Mr. Maina, notorious for jumping bail, is being prosecuted by the EFCC for money laundering to the tune of N2 billion.
Facebook: The social media giant has pledged to invest at least $1 billion to support journalism over the next three years.
Johnson & Johnson: The US Food and Drug Administration has found the drugmaker’s single-shot vaccine as highly effective in preventing severe COVID-19, including newer variants.
Champions League: Manchester City continued their blistering run by beating Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Champions League round of 16 first leg tie, but coach Pepe Guardiola wants more from his players.
And that’s it for today. See you tomorrow.