Foreign inmates End Two-week hunger strike in Japan

Foreign inmates protesting prolonged detention and poor medical care in Japanese immigration centres ended their two-week hunger strike, with the government signalling no change in policy, activists said on Thursday.

At total of 100 men held at the several regional Immigration Bureaux launched a hunger strike on May 9 to protest against the repeated detentions and inhumane treatment, but had ended on Wednesday after they had reached their physical limits.

Despite hunger strike, Shoichi Ibusuki, a lawyer of Provisional Release Association in Japan, said the authorities have so far done little to improve conditions inside immigration detention centres, raising fears that similar incidents can happen again.

Over the two weeks on strike, at least four detainees were briefly hospitalised, including one of whom swallowed a razor blade that was later extracted, a lawmaker briefed by immigration officials said.

Gov. Ugwuanyi Reiterates Commitment To Urbanise Nsukka

Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has reiterated his resolve to transform Nsukka, a town and Local Government Area in South-East Nigeria, into an urban area.

He made this known during an event organised by the people of Nsukka town to thank him for the roads projects already completed in the area especially the Opi/Nsukka road.

He stated that he is fully committed to fulfilling his campaign promises and improving the living standards of people in the area and the state at large.

“We promised to pay a special attention to rural development and to create more urban areas to boost economic growth. In line with this, we pledge to equip and modernise Nsukka”

“We are gratified to see that the projects we have done in Nsukka such as construction of vital roads, installation of street lights, upgrading of health and other public facilities, among other things, have given this town a new look and lifted the quality of life for its residents. I want to assure you that we will remain committed to the full realization of our vision for the town”

One of the organisers, Mr Peter Odo, a permanent secretary at the government house, said prior to the construction, the road was considered a death trap especially during the rainy season. He added that it was the first time such development was coming to Nsukka

While commending the governor, he called for the need to focus more on human capacity building to foster economic growth.

Christians Advised To Proclaim Resurrection Of Jesus

Christians have been advised to proclaim the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to signify the finished work of faith and eternal life through salvation.

The senior Pastor of Shelter of Glory Church, Makurdi, the Benue state capital, King Omudu, gave the charge during the Sunday Easter service.

Apostle Omudu recounted the efforts by those opposed to the church, to discredit the salvation offered to mankind through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

“Only John was close a bit, he was close enough to see, everybody melted into the crowd, they stood afar and gave a distance, infact, it was the women that were even coming a bit close.

“This was their state on Friday, this was who they had become on Friday and then on Sunday morning, something happened, and something changed. The same people that were so afraid for their lives and did not want to associate with him, they turned around.

“The bold proclamation of the apostles and the eloquent silence of the Jews, is an evidence that he is alive. Look at how their lives so radically changed, before now, they were hiding from even little children but right now they will shout it from roof tops that Jesus is not dead but he is alive.

“If Jesus is alive, it means that everything he said he was to do for you, he did them all,” the clergyman noted.

Edo PDP Rejects Tribunal Verdict

Mr Dan Orbih

The Edo state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has reacted to the rule of the governorship election petition tribunal which affirmed Mr Godwin Obaseki as the duly elected governor of the state.

Addressing journalists at the campaign office shortly after the verdict in Benin City, the Edo state capital, the State Chairman of the party, Mr Dan Orbih, as well as the party’s governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, said the party rejects the verdict in its entirety.

Ize Iyamu

They also insisted that everything would be done within the law to reclaim the mandate given to the PDP by the Edo people.

“For us as a party, we believe the mandate that was freely given to us by Edo people – We have the responsibility to retrieve it irrespective of the judgement that was delivered this morning.

“I would like to assure you that we have discussed with our team of lawyers and we have taken a decision that the party will go on appeal to the court of appeal.

“By Tuesday, we will get copies of the judgement. I have no doubt in my mind that we are fighting a just cause,” the PDP Chairman noted.

Also reacting to the judgement, Mr Iyamu said: “I know that many of you were very expectant today. You trooped out in large numbers, but I told some people yesterday that I know that our case is good, I know that we will win this case. But because of the way our system is, I have my fear, and I said I will wait at home to hear the judgement.

“I don’t want you to be worried at all about what has happened but by the grace of God, at the end, we shall  be declared winners,” he added.

Dangote Refinery Plants 60 Trees

Sixty trees have been planted in commemoration of the 60th birthday of the business mogul and President of Dangote group, Mr Aliko Dangote.

The tree planting, done at the 16 billion dollar Dangote refinery, was also aimed at combating global warming and climate change.

It was also carried out to create awareness for individuals to adopt the vision.

16 billion dollar Dangote refinery

Present at the event, and sharing their goodwill messages, were executive directors of the company, the United Nations, members of some mass A-forestation agencies, as well as daughters of Mr Dangote, Miss Fatima Dangote and Mrs Maria Dangote Dantata who represented him.

PCN Seals Off 264 Pharmacies In Enugu

The Pharmacist Council of Nigeria (PCN) has sealed off 264 pharmacies and medicine shops which according to the agency, fall short of the operating standards in Enugu state.

The exercise, according to the Head of Enforcement Team, Stephen Esumobi, revealed some patent shops that were operating illegally, dispensing expired drugs, while others were yet to meet up with the basic requirements of operating a pharmacist/ medicine shop.

“Some of these shops do not have pharmacist and evidence of registration. Some have not met minimum conditions for storage. There is a likelihood that these drugs can deteriorate before the expiry date. Some of the ethical drugs can be harmful if they are not properly managed, that is why we are doing this to ensure the right things are done.”

PCN Officials

Director and HOD of the PCN Inspection and Monitoring unit, Anthonia Aruya, said the council is committed to sanitising the drug trade chain in ensuring quality drugs are distributed across the nation.

“The Pharmacist Council of Nigeria cannot guarantee that drugs sold in unregistered outlets are of the same integrity as specified by manufacturers.”

To this end, she therefore called on the public to be mindful of where they buy drugs and advised that they seek professional advice before doing so.

Kwara Govt. Adopts New Strategies Against Herdsmen, Farmers Clash

Abdulfatah-AhmedIn a bid to ensure that Kwara state does not witness clashes between herdsmen and farmers, an occurrence which has become rampant, the state government has put measures in place to ensure peaceful co-existence among various groups.

Some of the measures include prompt payment of damaged farmlands, centralization of the activities of the vigilante groups and regular security meetings.

The State Governor, Abdufatah Ahmed, who was in the Baruten Local Government Area to lay the foundation for the agriculture campus of the Kwara State University, assured residents that the government would put heads together with the security operatives on how to ensure that clashes between farmers and herdsmen do not occur anywhere in the state.

According to him, living together in peace, would bring more development and economic independence to the area, as the communities are known for agricultural produce.

At another event; a monthly stakeholders meeting with party members across the 16 Local Government Areas of the state, the governor noted that an agreement had been reached with the umbrella body of the herdsmen and farmers, Miyetti Allah, to live in peace and harmony.

He also said adequate compensation would be paid for any encroachment on farms or vigilante groups which hitherto were under different leaderships.

The governor added that they would now be under one leadership and answerable to the police authority.

Palm Sunday: Christians In Anambra Pray For Nigeria

Christians in Anambra State, from the Church of the Holy Spirit, Awka, the state capital, engaged in a procession in celebration of the Palm Sunday.

The Vicar of the parish, Reverend Canon Jason Onyeakagbusi, upon the return of the congregation and clergy from the procession, prayed that the palms be a sign of victory for the church.

He also prayed that just as Jesus Christ triumphantly entered Jerusalem as king, he would enter every nation, especially Nigeria and Anambra state and cleanse them of every political and economic mess.

“Jesus triumphantly entered into Jerusalem, it is also our belief and faith that he will enter into every heart triumphantly and when he enters into the heart, he will cleanse the mess. Jesus will enter into every nation – He will enter into Nigeria and when He enters into Nigeria, every political mess, and economical mess will be cleansed.

“When He enters into Anambra state, every economic mess, every political mess will be cleansed and we will have a cleaner place to live in, a place where the will of God is done,” Reverend Onyeakagbusi said.

Tunisia Confirms Kasperczack Sack


The Tunisian Football Federation has announced the sacking of Henryk Kasperczak from his position as its National Team Coach.

This is coming less than two weeks after the cartage eagles lost two international friendlies against Morocco and Cameroon in March.

The 70­-year­-old, who led Tunisia to the final of the 1996 Africa Cup Of Nations, returned for a second spell in charge in 2015.

The Tunisian Football Federation said a new coach will be appointed by the end of the month.

Christians Across The World Celebrate Palm Sunday

Christians in Nigeria and across the world have gathered in celebration of the Palm Sunday, marking the final Sunday in the Lenten season and the start of the Christian holy week.

The holy week is the week leading to Easter and is held in remembrance of Jesus’ time in Jerusalem, before he died and was resurrected.

The Palm Sunday is also in remembrance of the day Jesus entered into Jerusalem in triumph, riding on the back of a donkey.

It is a solemn day where Christians pay their respects to their savior and reflect on the sacrifices he made.

Meanwhile, a blast has taken place outside a church in northern Egypt, leaving at least two people dead.

The explosion occurred hours after a separate blast which killed at least 25 people during a Palm Sunday service in the Nile Delta.

As gathered from Reuters, the Nile Delta explosion comes as Islamic State’s branch in Egypt appears to be stepping up attacks on Christians and threatening them in messages blasted out to followers.

SERAP Asks Buhari To Refer High-Profile Corruption Cases To ICC

Alleged Corruption: SERAP Writes Buhari Over SGF's CaseAs the Nigerian government’s anti-graft war continues to draw reactions, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has asked the President, Muhammadu Buhari, to refer high level official corruption cases to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

A statement released on Sunday, by the agency’s Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale, stated that the measure would improve deterrence and show commitment in confronting grand corruption.

Mr Adewale further noted that referring corruption cases to the ICC should be part of a strategy to require a fundamental reform of Nigeria’s criminal justice system.

“As a state party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the government should also consider drawing from the expertise, experience, and international best practices of the court to complement the mandates and powers of our anti-corruption agencies and judiciary to successfully and satisfactorily investigate, prosecute and hear high-profile corruption cases.

“The latest setbacks in the prosecution of high-profile corruption cases show the need for effective enforcement measures to weed out, expose, and punish grand corruption in the country. Referring large-scale corruption cases to the International Criminal Court would in the short-medium term improve deterrence, and at the minimum demonstrate a symbolic commitment to confront grand corruption head on.

“Referral to the ICC should be considered as a stop-gap measure, and as part of an all-embracing strategy that would inevitably require a fundamental reform of the criminal justice system and the strengthening and empowerment of the country’s anti-corruption agencies.

“SERAP argues that corruption by high-ranking officials and their families and associates is an international crime, especially given the sheer amounts of national wealth involved, and the devastating effects of such plundering, including political instability, weak rule of law, and destruction of the country’s economy.

“Without effective investigation and prosecution of high-ranking public officials charged with corruption, and a judiciary that is willing and able to satisfactorily play its own interpretative role, this government’s fight against corruption may sadly turn out to be all motion and no movement, and this will eventually undermine the legitimacy of the anti-corruption efforts,” the organisation stated.

SERAP also advocated that more training be provided to those charged with the task of investigating and prosecuting large-scale corruption.

“SERAP believes that radical and more robust criminal enforcement measures are necessary to appreciably improve anti-corruption efforts, by equipping, empowering and providing opportunities for training and re-training of those charged with the investigation and prosecution of large-scale corruption so that they can fearlessly, impartially, efficiently and energetically enforce anti-corruption laws and ensure justice for the countless victims of corruption in the country.

“It should not be the case that only petty offenders are successfully prosecuted while high profile corrupt officers escape punishment and justice. Prosecuting the ‘small fry’ and leaving the ‘big fish’ to go unpunished would send a particularly damaging message about the government’s commitment to end large-scale official corruption, legitimize offenders’ impunity, and clearly violate the underlying legal and moral assumptions that a govern­ment will treat all persons equally, fairly, and with respect.

“Effectively prosecuting high-ranking officials would help to persuade foreign jurisdictions keeping stolen public funds, and facilitate international cooperation and assistance that may lead to the recovery of such assets.

“Efforts must also be intensified to apply stronger preventive measures to ensure that Nigerians are informed of the dangers of corruption. By ensuring that the Nigerian public views grand corruption with a ‘human face,’ the public may be more likely to build a united front and demand change from their leaders, which, in turn, would gradually strengthen Nigeria’s political will to end the problem. This is the surest way to help keep Nigeria fair, just, stable and prosperous.

“As the situation in the country has shown, corruption is costly to good governance, human rights and national development, and leads to erosion of confidence in good governance, rule of law and economic stability.

“SERAP argues that grand corruption in the country violates fundamental human values, and the values protected by international human rights law, as well as negates the doctrine of fiduciary relations that obligate public officers to faithfully perform the duties of their office, and to preserve state property.”

Explosions Hit Egyptian Churches On Palm Sunday

A Second blast has taken place outside a church in northern Egypt, hours after at least 25 people were killed during a Palm Sunday service in the Nile Delta.

The latest explosion outside St. Mark’s Coptic Church in Alexandria killed at least two people, according to state TV.

As gathered from Reuters, the bombing in Tanta, a Nile Delta city less than 100 kilometers outside Cairo, comes as Islamic State’s branch in Egypt appears to be stepping up attacks on Christians and threatening them in messages blasted out to followers.

According to the BBC, Pope Tawdros is unhurt and his secretary said the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber who struck outside the church.

After the first explosion in Tanta, Provincial Governor, Ahmad Deif, told the state-run Nile News channel: “Either a bomb was planted or someone blew himself up.”

General Tarek Atiya, a spokesperson at Egypt’s Interior Ministry, told AFP news agency that the blast in Tanta took place near the altar. However, a search is under way for any more explosives which could be in the vicinity.