Lobi Stars Appoint Solomon Ogbeide As Head Coach

Nigeria Professional Football League club, Lobi Stars, have appointed Solomon Ogbeide as their new head coach.

The appointment of Ogbeide was ratified by the board of the Makurdi-based club on Monday.

The veteran trainer has previously managed clubs like Sunshine Stars, Akwa United, Warri Wolves, Bayelsa United and Sharks FC.

Lobi Stars currently occupy 12th spot on the NPFL log, with 24 points from 18 matches.

Police Disperse ‘Free El-Zakzaky’ Protesters With Teargas

Supporters of  the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shi’ites, have taken to the streets of Abuja in what they have termed a ‘free El-Zakzaky’ protest.

In an attempt to disperse the protesters who converged on Unity Fountain, the Police sprayed them with teargas, having failed to disperse them with water, which thereafter forced them to move into the streets.

Protesters being Dispersed.

Former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Professor Chidi Odinkalu, who addressed the protesters before they were chased out of the Unity Fountain, advised the Federal Government to respect the rule of law by releasing the group leader, (Sheikh) Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.

A Federal High Court in Abuja had on December 2, 2016, ordered his release and awarded a cumulative sum of 50 million Naira to the Zakzakys and ordered the AGF and IGP to provide him a new accommodation and security in any part of Kaduna or Northern region that they prefer within 45 days; a judgment which is however yet to be obeyed.

The Shi’ites leader has however remained in custody for 485 days now, despite the judgment.

FRSC Recalls Rivers Commander For Cutting Female Officers’ Hair

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), has recalled Andrew Kumapayi, Commander of the Rivers State Sector Command, for cutting the hair of female officials.

Pictures of kumapayi cutting the hairdo of the female officials during a general inspection had surfaced on the internet on Monday.

Courtesy: www.premiumtimesng.com

The inspection was carried out at the FRSC headquarters in Port Harcourt.

The female road marshals were reportedly accused of sporting long hair styles which prevented their caps from sitting well on their heads.

The FRSC Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi, ordered the recall of Kumapayi and other officers involved in the act.

FRSC’s Head of Media and Strategy, Bisi Kazeem, told Channels Television that Kumapayi’s action was outside the mandate of the commission.

Mr Kazeem therefore stated that the FRSC will mete out appropriate sanctions to the officers involved after due investigation.

Senate President Promises Passage Of Climate Change Bill

Senate President Meets With Business Community In Germany
Senate President, Bukola Saraki

President of the Global Legislators Organisation, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim, has asked the Senate President to support the Climate Change Bill and ensure expedited passage in the Senate.

Senator Ibrahim made the request at a meeting between the parliamentary advocacy group and the Senate President in the National Assembly.

He said the National Assembly must give priority to the passage of the Climate Change Bill as Nigeria is already confronted with the negative effect of climate change.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki on his part, assured the group that the bill will move swiftly in the Senate.

FAAN Headquarters Gutted By Fire

The headquarters of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), has been gutted by fire.

The fire outbreak reported to have started on Tuesday morning, is currently crippling activities at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos state and causing massive traffic build-up along the Ikeja –Agege Motorway.

Reports say the fire started from the Finance Department but firemen have been on ground to put out the flames.

Although the cause of the incident as well as the extent of damage done is yet to be ascertained, the impact is said to have led to a long queue of vehicles while some passengers have resorted to trekking to their destinations.

Workers were however moved to safety from the inferno and are awaiting the fire services to finish their jobs.

According to FAAN’s acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Henrietta Yakubu, investigation is being carried out to find out the cause of the fire outbreak.

In a statement made available to Channels Television, FAAN assured travelers, airport users and the general public that the incident did not affect operations as normal operations continue unhindered.

G7 Foreign Ministers To Meet Over Syrian Crisis

Courtesy: www.slate.com

The Group of seven industrialised nations (G7) Foreign Ministers, are working towards a common position on the Syrian conflict, before the U.S. Secretary of State, Mr Rex Tillerson, flies to Russia to persuade Moscow to abandon its Syrian ally.

Mr Tillerson is also scheduled to meet officials from the allied Middle Eastern countries before heading to Moscow.

The U.K has suggested threatening tightly-focused sanctions on Russian and Syrian military officers following the latest apparent use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Syria however, denies it carried out the chemical attack on the rebel-held town of khan Sheikhoun that left 89 people dead last week.

In response to the attack, the U.S said it destroyed a fifth of the Syrian operational aircraft in an air strike on the Shayrat airbase.

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

courtesy: pulse.ng

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.”