Italy, Dubai-Bound Drugs Blocked In Lagos As NDLEA Seizes 203,879 Tramadol Tabs

 

 

Fresh bids by drug cartels to export Tramadol, Ecstasy MDMA, and Cannabis to Milan, Italy, and Dubai, the United Arab Emirates through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Ikeja Lagos have been foiled by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The officials seized 203, 879 tablets of various pharmaceutical opioids and illicit substances in raids across Abia, Kaduna, Yobe, and Kogi states.

At the Lagos airport, a female passenger, Odia Emiliana Efe was arrested on Monday 9th May while trying to board a Royal Air Moroc flight from Lagos via Casablanca to Milan, Italy with 1000 tablets of Tramadol 200mg concealed in food items.

According to the Spokesman for the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, five days after, Friday 13th May, a freight agent Kareem Ibrahim was arrested at the SAHCO cargo shed of the airport for attempting to export food items in which were hidden blocks of cannabis weighing 6.65kg and 24grams of ecstasy drug, MDMA to Dubai in UAE.

 

Meanwhile, in Abia, three trucks loaded with drugs coming from Lagos and Onitsha, Anambra were intercepted in Aba, Abia state. When properly searched in the presence of the owners on Wednesday 11th May, 67,100 tablets/capsules of Tramadol and 12,650 ampules of pentazocine, morphine, and dopamine were recovered.

On the same day, NDLEA operatives in Kaduna arrested a notorious drug dealer, Shehu Kabiru a.k.a Dan-Zaira, wanted by the Kastina Command of the Agency for jumping bail. Recovered from him include 45,000 tablets of Diazepam weighing 41.5kg; 50,000 tablets of Exol, weighing 15.6kg; 1,500 tablets of Rohypnol weighing 700 grams and 300 bottles of codeine weighing 41.5kg.

 

Similarly, in Yobe state, no fewer than 7,029 tablets of Tramadol, D5, and Exol as well as 1.5kg cannabis were recovered from a drug dealer, Ibrahim Yakubu when his hideout was raided in Unguru town on Sunday 8th May, while in Rivers state, one Chekiri Richard Obomanu was arrested at Eleme area on Wednesday 11th May with 207.2kg cannabis.

No less than 19,600 tablets of Tramadol coming from Onitsha, Anambra state to Abuja were intercepted and recovered along Okene/Abuja highway on Wednesday 11th May by NDLEA operatives in Kogi state.

 

In another development, five members of a syndicate, which conducts fake recruitment into security agencies, have been arrested in coordinated operations in Zamfara, Kebbi, and Bauchi states. The leader of the gang, Yakubu Sani was first arrested in Gusau, Zamfara state. His criminal gang issues fake NDLEA employment letters and identity cards to unsuspecting members of the public for the sum of N400, 000 per person.

A follow-up operation in Zuru, Kebbi state led to the arrest of another gang member, Ibrahim Isah, while three others; Dahiru Musa Limanchi, Gambo Danladi, and Umar Abubakar were nabbed in Bauchi state. Recovered from them include a fake NDLEA ID card; NDLEA guarantor form; INEC offer of appointment letter; Nigerian Customs Special Replacement Form and appointment letter; Nigerian Correctional Service Replacement Form; Credentials of some Applicants; Receipts and passport photos; Five sim packs and one MTN SIM card.

 

Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) commended the officers and men of the MMIA, Abia, Kaduna, Yobe, Rivers, and Kogi for the arrests and seizures.

He equally acknowledged the well-conducted operations in Zamfara, Kebbi, and Bauchi that nailed five members of a criminal gang scamming innocent job seekers with fake employment letters. He charged them and their compatriots across all commands not to rest on their oars but should continue to aspire to beat previous records.

 

Exit Expo: Dubai World Fair Closes In Blaze Of Fireworks

Artists perform during the closing ceremony of Expo 2020, in the Gulf emirate of Dubai, on March 31, 2022. – Dubai shuttered Expo 2020 with a colourful closing ceremony punctuated by fireworks, leaving a multi-billion dollar mini-city in the desert and heightened expectations for future hosts. (Photo by Karim SAHIB / AFP)

 

Dubai shuttered Expo 2020 with a colourful closing ceremony punctuated by fireworks on Thursday, leaving a multi-billion dollar mini-city in the desert and heightened expectations for future hosts.

Six months after the delayed opening of the $7 billion, purpose-built site, Christina Aguilera, Nora Jones and cellist Yo-Yo Ma performed at the LCD-lit Al Wasl Dome, Expo’s centrepiece, as pyrotechnics lit up the sprawling site.

Millions of people have flocked to Expo’s 192 country pavilions in its final days, pushing visit numbers over 23 million — not far off the 25 million targeted, despite the ongoing pandemic — and making it tough to find a taxi elsewhere in the city.

In 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) heat, long queues have formed at the most popular attractions, including the falcon-themed United Arab Emirates pavilion and the Saudi Arabia building, a slanted slab that appears to hover in the air.

“It’s been a huge experience, it’s been really, really great,” said Abbas Masud, 66, a retired banker originally from Pakistan.

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“I’ve done about 172 countries. I wanted to do all 192 but I don’t think I will be able to because it’s the last day. I feel a bit sad.”

Expo, housed on a circular site twice the size of Monaco, has been a point of pride for Dubai’s monarchical rulers and one of a number of projects aimed at grabbing world attention.

Dubai, the commercial heart of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, is famously home to the world’s tallest building, the 830-metre (2,723 feet) Burj Khalifa.

In February, it opened a Museum of the Future — in the shape of a silver ellipse decorated with Arabic calligraphy — that promotions insisted was “the most beautiful building on earth”.

– Inauspicious start –

Expo, which started with the 1851 Great Exhibition in London and has since showcased innovations such as the telephone and microwave, now moves to Osaka in Japan for the 2025 edition on a man-made island.

“It’s clear that we have set a new bar here — it’s something I believe (Osaka) will look to aspire to,” said Dimitri Kerkentzes, secretary-general of the Bureau International des Expositions, according to UAE’s The National newspaper.

The event started inauspiciously, with a year’s pandemic delay and a boycott appeal from the European parliament, which criticised the UAE’s human rights record and “inhumane” practises towards immigrant labourers.

Three workers died and more than 70 suffered serious injuries building Expo, officials later said, insisting safety standards were “world-class”.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Novak Djokovic were among the sports stars to visit, along with Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the leaders of France, Brazil, Turkey and Morocco.

The site, with its canopied walkways and speakers playing soothing music, is now envisaged as a car-free “15-minute city”, with all parts accessible by foot or bicycle within a quarter of an hour.

Eighty percent of the structures will remain, including the self-powering ‘Sustainability’ pavilion and a giant water feature that gives the impression of water flowing upwards.

District 2020, as the Expo site will be known, is attempting to attract high-tech and digital companies to become a centre for innovation.

“It was never an investment to host an Expo,” the show’s director-general Reem Al Hashimy told AFP in September.

“It was an investment to create a new city that is equal distance between Dubai and (UAE capital) Abu Dhabi and really the city of the future.

“That investment goes into a city to 2040, 2050 and beyond.”

AFP

Djokovic Loses World Number One Ranking To Medvedev In Dubai Shock

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Czech Republic’s Jiri Vesely during their quarter-final match at the ATP Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championship, in the Gulf emirate on February 24, 2022.
Karim SAHIB / AFP

 

Novak Djokovic lost his Dubai quarter-final and his world number one ranking in one go on Thursday as he suffered a 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) upset at the hands of Czech world number 123 Jiri Vesely.

Competing in his first tournament of the season, and first, since getting deported from Australia, Djokovic needed to at least reach the semi-finals in the Emirates to try and stop Daniil Medvedev from replacing him at the top of the rankings.

But Vesely had other ideas as the left-handed qualifier improved his career record against Djokovic to 2-0 – a result that will see Medvedev become the first man since 2004 outside the “Big Four” – Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray – to occupy the number one ranking on Monday.

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Djokovic, who has spent a record 361 weeks as the world number one, said at the start of the tournament that he “would be the first to congratulate” Medvedev if the Russian succeeded in his quest for the summit.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Czech Republic’s Jiri Vesely during their quarter-final match at the ATP Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, in the Gulf emirate on February 24, 2022.
Karim SAHIB / AFP

 

US Open champion Medvedev, currently involved in the Acapulco tournament, becomes the third Russian man after Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin to ascend to the world’s number one spot.

Vesely, a former junior number one, has won five matches in Dubai so far this week, making it through qualifying to reach his first tour-level semi-final since Pune in 2020.

“It’s an amazing feeling. I never thought I would really have a chance against Novak, he’s one of the greatest of all time, if not the best,” he said.

“After the last 12 months, I’ve been going through… it’s unbelievable, I have so many emotions inside, it’s hard to describe, it’s just an amazing feeling,” added Vesely, who next takes on Denis Shapovalov for a place in the final.

The 28-year-old, who survived a serious car crash last year, came out victorious in his only previous meeting with Djokovic, defeating the Serb on the clay courts of Monte Carlo back in 2016.

Vesely started the match by breaking Djokovic on his way to a 2-0 lead.

He lost his advantage as the top seed struck back but some clever drop shots and some tricky lefty serve saw the towering Czech inch ahead once again and he served out the opening set on the 47-minute mark.

A down-the-line backhand drive earned Vesely a break in the seventh game of the second set but he wobbled while serving for the victory as Djokovic pegged him back to level for 5-5.

Vesely raced to a 3-0 lead in the tiebreak and soon completed a huge surprise win over the five-time Dubai champion.

 Sinner slumps

Earlier on Centre Court, second seed Andrey Rublev advanced to his third semi-final in as many weeks with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory over American Mackenzie McDonald.

Contesting a 12th consecutive quarter-final at the ATP 500 level, Rublev recovered from a poor first-set performance against McDonald to reach the Dubai semi-finals for the second year in a row.

The 24-year-old Russian will next face off with fifth-seeded Hubert Hurkacz, who eased past Italian fourth seed Jannik Sinner 6-3, 6-3 in 84 minutes.

“Today I was thinking that for sure it’s over, but somehow I was just trying to tell myself, ‘Just keep fighting and we’ll see what happens,” said an exhausted Rublev, who won both singles and doubles titles in Marseille last weekend.

“I lost twice to Hurkacz. It will be interesting for me. In the situation I am right now, completely tired, the last times I lost against him, I have nothing to lose. I will try to go for it and we’ll see what’s going to happen.”

AFP

After Australian Furore, Djokovic Starts His Season In Dubai

A handout picture made available by the press office of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship on February 20, 2022 shows Serbian Tennis player Novak Djokovic holding a press conference ahead of the ATP Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in the Gulf emirate of Dubai. (Photo by jorge ferrari / Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship / AFP)

 

Novak Djokovic’s season, derailed in January when he was deported from Australia, finally starts on Monday in Dubai with the world number one insisting players in the locker room “have been positive and welcoming” on his return.

Djokovic missed the chance to win a 10th Australian Open, and 21st Grand Slam, due to the cancellation of his visa in Melbourne and eventual deportation as a result of not being vaccinated.

He returns to the tour this week in the Emirates, where he will be competing for the first time since the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid last December.

Ahead of his opening round against Italian wildcard Lorenzo Musetti, Djokovic spoke to reporters on Sunday night about how it feels to be back on the tennis circuit, and whether there has been any negative reaction from his peers.

“So far here most of the players that I’ve seen have been positive and welcoming. It’s nice to see obviously. I can’t say that was the case in Australia. It was a little bit strange. But here it’s well so far,” the 34-year-old Serb said.

Dubai organisers have dubbed the first day of the ATP event ‘Magnificent Monday’ and a couple of other marquee entrants, Marin Cilic and Andy Murray, will also be in action.

But all eyes will be on Djokovic who last played in Serbia’s Davis Cup semi-final defeat by Croatia.

Djokovic, who saw Rafael Nadal win in Australia to claim a 21st major, is able to play in Dubai as a coronavirus vaccine is not a requirement to enter the United Arab Emirates.

The Serbian is a five-time winner in Dubai and he finally starts his season with a point to prove and his number one ranking under threat.

Even if he wins in Dubai, Djokovic could lose the top spot, which he has held since February 2020, to Daniil Medvedev, who is in action this week almost 15,000km away in Acapulco.

Even if Djokovic defends his status this week, his refusal to get vaccinated could cause problems and cost him ranking points, particularly with two Masters tournaments coming up in the United States.

– ‘Follow the rules’ –

He is on the entry list at Indian Wells from March 7 to 20, even though it is currently restricted to vaccinated players. That is followed by the Miami Open from March 21 to April 3.

“I just have to follow the rules. Whatever tournament that I’m able to play, I’ll be trying to get to that country and play the tournament,” Djokovic said Sunday.

“I really can’t choose right now. It’s really about where I can go and play. Wherever I have an opportunity, I’ll be using probably that opportunity and going to play because this is what I do, it’s what I love to do still.”

There are still three more Grand Slam tournaments to play — French Open,, Wimbledon and the US Open.

Djokovic is the defending champion at Roland Garros and the All England Club.

“We all hope that the health crisis will evolve in a positive direction, but if that does not change, he will need a vaccination pass and therefore Novak Djokovic will not be with us,” at the French Open, French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu told RTL radio on Sunday.

Djokovic and Musetti have history, with the 19-year-old taking the first two sets off the Serb when they met in last year’s French Open.

Musetti eventually retired due to injury with Djokovic leading the last 16 clash 6-7 (7/9), 6-7 (2/7), 6-1, 6-0, 4-0.

Cilic, a former world number three, will open the action on Monday against Czech qualifier Jiri Vesely.

Murray is on court immediately before Djokovic, against Australian Christopher O’Connell.

At 34, former world number one Murray is playing with a metal hip after surgery in 2019, and won just a single game as he was crushed by Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in Qatar last week.

The second seed Andrey Rublev, fresh from a ninth career title in Marseille at the weekend, faces Briton Dan Evans on Tuesday.

Number three Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime has been drawn against Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili and number four Italian Jannik Sinner will play Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Last year’s Dubai winner Aslan Karatsev will face American Mackenzie McDonald.

Work Permit Row: Nigerian Professionals In UAE Embark On Narrative-Changing Campaign

File photo of Nigerians on the streets in UAE.

 

Nigeria professionals living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have commenced a narrative campaign online to appeal the work permit restriction by the country.

President of the group, Professional Nigerians in UAE, Kayode Ogungbohun is leading the campaign.

He spoke on Monday during an interview on Channels Television programme, Sunrise Daily that the campaign started after the problem was identified and it is aimed at projecting Nigerians living in UAE, positively.

“We saw the problem, although we don’t have any official reason why UAE took the decision. We speculated that some things were done by Nigerians in terms of not obeying the law of the host country. So, we came up with the solution to speak to ourselves to be law-abiding, to appeal and pacify to the UAE government to allow all categories of jobs to be given to Nigerians.

“Because these jobs that they are not giving to Nigerians is being given to people of other nationalities.

“The #iamNigerian campaign is aimed to project us positively. Nigerians are now aware that there is a problem in our hands. We have left the stage of denial and realised that there is a problem, and it is everyone’s responsibility to play a role,” Ogungbohun explained.

He added that the campaign which commenced 14 days ago is helping to project Nigerians and how Nigerian professionals contribute to UAE’s economy.

“We can’t fold our hands and do nothing,” he said.

Meanwhile, a resident of Fujerah in UAE, Esther Adedokun insists that the problem is not necessarily due to atrocities committed by Nigerians resident in UAE but a diplomatic row between both countries.

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She also explained how the permit restriction has left her stranded.

“My situation is so critical that I have spent all my savings.

“I don’t want us to have the impression that because of the atrocities committed by some Nigerians, that is why we have this problem. Nigerians are not the only citizens in UAE that commit worse crimes and they are there are no restrictions on their work permits.

“I am against crime and criminality but the diplomatic issue if resolved will ease the problem of this restriction,” she said in the interview.

Nigeria High Commission Office in UAE.

 

Over seven months, hundreds of Nigerians in UAE became jobless and homeless following a change in diplomatic policy which led to the restriction of work permits.

The policy has left many Nigerians in pathetic conditions and most of the victims have lost their jobs.

This has led to frustration with many rendered homeless. A work visa is the most common route to getting residency in the Middle East country, so all those caught in the web of the lingering work permit restrictions row have also lost their residency status.

FULL LIST: Mbappe, Ronaldo, Chelsea + All Winners At 2021 Globe Soccer Awards

globe-soccer-award-winners-2021
Mbappe had a sterling year with club and country.

 

French forward Kylian Mbappe has won the Best Men’s Player of the Year at the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards on Monday.

The 23-year-old Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) star scooped the prize in a ceremony at the Armani Hotel.

He beat six-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo; Lionel Messi, Mohamed Salah, Karim Benzema, and Lewandowski to the award.

“It is a big achievement for me. I want to say thank you to my club Paris Saint-Germain, who believed in me these past five years, even better this season,” he said after he was handed the award.

“To my national team; to all the people who nobody knows who work with me, who help me a lot; to my family, they are there with me, always with me.”


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Last season, Mbappe scored 27 to emerge as the highest goalscorer in Ligue 1 although his form did not stop PSG from finishing as runners-up to Lille.

Mbappe also helped France win the UEFA Nation’s League.

Aside from him, other winners at the 12th edition of the awards include Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski, and Ronaldinho.

Globe Soccer Awards 2021 Winners 

Below is a full list of winners at the Globe Soccer Awards 2021

Fan’s Player of the Year – Robert Lewandowski

Men’s Player of the Year – Kylian Mbappe

Maradona Award – Robert Lewandowski

Top Scorer of All Time – Cristiano Ronaldo

Best National Team of the Year – Italy

Best Agent of the Year – Federico Pastorello

Best Sporting Director of the Year – Txiki Begiristain

Best Men’s Club of the Year – Chelsea

Best Defender of the Year – Leonardo Bonucci

Best Goalkeeper of the Year – Gianluigi Donnarumma

Women’s Club of the Year – Barcelona

Women’s Player of the Year – Alexia Putellas

Innovation Award – Serie A

Best eSports Player of the Year – Msdossary7

Best Youth Academy in Africa – ZED FC

UAE Concedes Seven Flight Slots To Nigeria

A file photo of the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.

 

The Federal Government has confirmed that the United Arab Emirates has conceded seven flight slots to Nigeria’s carrier, Air Peace.

The move, which was confirmed by the Ministry of Aviation on Tuesday, follows the withdrawal of Emirates’ 21-slot winter schedule by the Federal Government owing to what it described as a breach of reciprocity.

The UAE had earlier denied Air Peace flights from operating to Sharjah, near Dubai, three times a week.

It also joined the United Kingdom, Canada, and Argentina in adding Nigeria on its travel red list over cases of the omicron variant of COVID-19.


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While the UK has cleared Nigeria and 10 other countries from its red list, the UAE has still maintained the travel restrictions.

The presidential steering committee on COVID-19 has assured Nigerians that the Federal Government is working assiduously to ensure that the flight restrictions are lifted in about a week.

Meanwhile, also on Tuesday, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, met with representatives of Emirates Airline, the Chairman/CEO of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, and heads of agencies in the aviation sector over the flight flow between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Nigeria.

Others present at the meeting were the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, and his aviation counterpart, Hadi Sirika.

After the meeting which lasted for about three hours behind closed doors, Gbajabiamila told journalists that it was a fruitful deliberation where issues at stake were discussed.

The Speaker said both Nigeria and UAE had good diplomatic relations and that they would not allow the current row to mar the long-standing friendship.

Nigeria Remains Most Viable, Attractive Investment Destination In Africa, Buhari Declares

President Muhammadu Buhari gives a speech during Nigeria’s National Day ceremony at the Dubai Expo 2020 in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai).

 

President Muhammadu Buhari Saturday in Dubai declared that Nigeria remains the most viable and attractive investment destination in Africa, adding that the country is on the path of becoming the continent’s leading industrial and trading nation.

Addressing a trade and investment forum at Dubai Expo 2020, organised by the Nigerian Arabian Gulf Chamber of Commerce, Nigeria’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), the President said Nigeria is reaping from the efforts his administration has made to consciously improve the investment environment.

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‘‘Nigeria’s pavilion at the Expo 2020 clearly shows why we remain the most viable and attractive investment destination in Africa. Our location, our natural resources, our population, and our regulations are there for all to see. Nigeria is on its way to become a leading industrial and trading nation in Africa,” special media aide, Femi Adesina quoted Buhari as saying.

‘‘To achieve this, our government focused on policies, projects, and programs that support private sector investors. We introduced numerous fiscal incentives and infrastructure projects aimed at enhancing the viability of investments.

‘‘Despite the adverse global economic environment of recent years, Nigeria’s investment environment has greatly improved both at the national and sub-national levels.’’

The president also assured captains of industry, and entrepreneurs, who have shown interest and commitment to further enhance trade and investment relations with Nigeria, that his administration would continue to work with them to improve the business climate especially as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) comes into full effect.

‘‘Just last month at the Intra Africa Trade fair in Durban, I reminded business leaders that most of Africa’s challenges, whether security, economic or corruption, can be traced to our inability to domesticate the production of our most basic requirements and provide jobs to our teeming and dynamic youth population.

‘‘I am pleased that this Forum focuses on ‘Unveiling Trade and Investment Opportunities in Nigeria,’ and will encourage you all to keep an open mind and look beyond the challenges.

‘‘In this room, we have governors, ministers, and heads of government agencies that can address all your questions and concerns. We are here to support you and I hope you will all take this opportunity to move your investment decisions forward,’’ he said.

The Nigerian leader also used the occasion to express profound gratitude to his hosts, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates and the Emir of Abu Dhabi, for their unwavering commitment to strengthening trade and investment relations between both countries through various initiatives, partnerships, and support.

President Buhari Departs Abuja For Expo 2020 Dubai

File Photo of President Muhammadu Buhari boarding a flight.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has departed Abuja for Dubai where he is expected to attend the Expo 2020 in the United Arab Emirates.

The Expo 2020 Dubai is aimed at creating an environment for Nigerians to join over 190 countries to forge true and meaningful partnerships.

According to a statement by the president’s spokesman, Femi Adesina on Wednesday, the expo will provide an opportunity for the Nigerian delegation to highlight significant strides in the economy in the last six years as a basis for making the country an important destination for foreign direct investment.

Asides from touring the Nigerian pavilion at the expo on Friday, Nigeria’s national day, the president will also receive in audience prospective investors as well as meet with his highness, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai.

On Saturday, President Buhari will be the special guest of honour at the special trade and investment forum.

Top government officials in the president’s entourage include the ministers of foreign affairs, industry, trade and investment, finance, budget and national planning.

President Buhari is expected back in Abuja on Sunday, December 5.

PHOTOS: Global Business Forum Africa Begins In Dubai

The forum is a meeting of global leaders aimed at exploring opportunities in Africa.

 

The 6th edition of the Global Business Forum Africa started on Wednesday after a one-year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This year’s edition is hosted by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and is a platform for global business leaders to discuss the opportunities on the continent.

The two-day event, holding at the Expo 2020 Dubai, will revolve around the theme Reset, Restore and Renew, with the new Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement highlighted.

Below are photos from the event: 

The forum is holding one year after it was moved due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A cross section of participants on the first day of the event holding in Dubai.

Dubai Ruler Ordered Hacking Of Ex-Wife’s Phone –  UK Judge

Man Bags 15 Years In Prison For N5.2m Fraud
A file photo of a court gavel.

 

Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum authorised the use of spying software to hack the phone of his ex-wife, according to a British court ruling published on Wednesday.

The phone of Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, 47, and those of her lawyers and others in her entourage were hacked using Pegasus spyware during the pair’s acrimonious divorce custody case in London, the High Court found.

The 72-year-old sheikh, who is the vice-president and prime minister of the UAE, gave his “express or implied authority” for the phone of Princess Haya to be hacked with the multi-million-pound software only available to national governments, the ruling said.

Presiding judge Andrew McFarlane concluded Sheikh Mohammed was “prepared to use the arm of the state to achieve what he regards as right”, explaining the surveillance of at least six phones was attempted.

“He has harassed and intimidated (her) both before her departure to England and since,” he added.

In March 2020, McFarlane ruled on the balance of probability that the billionaire Emirati sheikh had ordered the abduction of two of his daughters by another marriage and subjected Princess Haya to a campaign of fear.

She was forced to flee to London in 2019 with their two children, Al Jalila, 13, and Zayed, aged nine, as a result.

READ ALSO: Despite Diplomatic Row With UAE, Nigeria Pavilion Open For Expo2020

After Sheikh Mohammed applied for the two children to be returned to the Gulf kingdom, Princess Haya — his sixth wife and a half-sister of Jordan’s King Abdullah II — filed for the children to be made wards of court and requested a non-molestation order for herself.

The use of the Israeli-developed Pegasus software, which can track a person’s location and read texts and emails, was revealed in August 2020 following a tip-off by lawyer Cherie Blair, whose husband is former British prime minister Tony Blair, to the princess’ legal team.

Rights groups have accused software developer NSO of allowing its spyware to facilitate state-sponsored repression after it was used to hack the phones of activists and journalists around the world.

Sheikh Mohammed has denied any knowledge of the hacking but his lawyers suggested another country like Jordan could be responsible in efforts to embarrass him.

He has previously strongly denied the claims made by the princess in the case about their children’s welfare.

AFP

Despite Diplomatic Row With UAE, Nigeria Pavilion Open For Expo2020

 

Despite a diplomatic row with the United Arab Emirates (UAE)  –  the host country for Expo2020 –  over COVID-19 protocols, Nigeria’s pavilion which opened a few days back has started gaining traction.

The country’s pavilion is located in the Opportunity District for the six-month-long exhibition.

Nigeria joins a long list of participating countries that are seeking to make the most of the global event which kicked off on October 1st.

The Expo is expected to attract tourists to Nigeria.

 

At the Nigerian pavilion, music can be heard by passers-by, while images of different cultural attire are displayed on walls outside it. From Afrobeat star Fela Anikulapo Kuti to Grammy winner Burna Boy, the success stories of Nigeria’s music industry are also on display.

 

The roof is covered with art by Victor Ehikhamenor. Other arts are also on display; from the ancient to the contemporary, including a life size horse sculpture by Dotun Popo.

 

Dotun Popo’s work.

 

A peep into the pavilion reveals different sections promoting opportunities in the creative, agricultural,  culture and tourism, sports, and tech sectors.  Screens in the pavilion share information about states and sectors in need of investment.

While it is unclear how the country would fare in Expo2020, the exhibition is expected to further open up Nigeria to more investments and bring tourists to the nation.

READ ALSO:  UAE Relaxes Travel Restrictions For Nigerians

Nigerians Targeted?

 

Before the Expo, Nigeria had a fractured relationship with the UAE. This was after the Middle East nation imposed a ban on transit flights from Nigeria as it battled a rise in COVID-19 cases.

One of the art works on display at the Expo

 

Although the move was reversed in early August, the Federal Government faulted the COVID-19 protocols put in place by the UAE, claiming discriminatory treatment by the UAE.

“The story is they (UAE) have a protocol that discriminates against Nigeria and it was specifically targeted at Nigeria and we said no, and it’s on behalf of the people,” the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika said during a briefing of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 in Abuja on September 14.

“We’ve gone through the ministry of foreign affairs, now we’re been mandated by the task force (PSC) jointly with the foreign affairs to resolve this impasse.

“Nigeria has no issue with the Emirates, but against the preferential treatment.”