Category Archives: Breaking News

Enugu State Continuity and Equity Movement (ESCEM) suspends its State Coordinator, Secretary

The Enugu State Continuity and Equity Movement (ESCEM)has risen from an emergency meeting to announce the immediate suspension of its State Coordinator and Secretary, in the persons of Hon. Samuel Okonu and Chief Hon. Ifeanyi Nwozor respectively.

According to a communiqué issued at the end of the State Executive Committee meeting (comprising of state excos and local government coordinators) on Saturday, 20th February 2021, SEC observed that the duo were inefficient in the discharge of their duties.

The two executives were also mandated to hand over ESCEM property in their possession within 24hours, while Hon. Chukwuebuka Aneke from Uzo-Uwani LGA was appointed acting state coordinator.

The State Publicity Secretary, Comr. Onyendozi E. Onwe told our reporter that ESCEM also empowered the state assistant secretary, Hon. Emma Mba to take over as the state secretary, even as it commended the coordinators of Nkanu West, Nkanu East, Enugu East, Enugu North, Uzo-Uwani, Awgu, Eziagu, Udenu, Isi-uzo, and Nsukka for their efforts in propagating the mission and vision of ESCEM to their respective councils.

The communique further advised members of ESCEM and the general public to discontinue any communication or transaction with the suspended officers in the name of ESCEM.

‘Benin Republic ready to be Nigeria’s 37th state’, says Nigeria’s minister

The Federal Government has said the President of Benin Republic, Patrice Talon, had expressed readiness for his country to be part of Nigeria.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, who stated this shortly after a closed-door meeting with Beninoise Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Aurélien Agbenonci, said the Beninoise president gave the offer when he visited President Muhammadu Buhari, a few weeks back.

“The President of Benin said as far as they are concerned, they want (not just saying it like that) but in reality, Benin should be the 37th state of Nigeria,” he said.

“We should really be one. They charged us to come together at ministerial level, to work out a framework for a sustainable relationship.”

Onyeama said, at the visit, both presidents discussed agreements between the two countries on how to put the issue of smuggling to an end, once and for all, as a follow up to the presidents’ meeting.

NBS ranks Abia third for 2020 capital inflow

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has ranked Abia State as the third state with top capital inflow in 2020.

According to NBS, “By destination, Lagos emerged as the top destination of capital investment in Nigeria with $8.3 billion, followed by Abuja, which received $1.3 billion.

“The others on the list are Abia State with relatively $56 million, Niger with $16.4 million, and Ogun with $13.4 million.

Anambra State recorded $10.2 million, Kaduna State recorded $4.03 million, Sokoto got $2.5 million and Kano got $2.4 million”.

It stated that the remaining 26 states received no foreign capital inflows the entire year.

The states include: Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Taraba, Yobe, and Zamfara States.

JUST IN! Facebook Bans Its Own Page

Facebook has banned its own page from social media during its war on Australian news.

The tech giant announced on Thursday that it would bar nine million Australians from reading and sharing local and international news on its platform in response to the proposed Media Bargaining law.

The law would force tech companies like Facebook and Google to negotiate with news providers to feature their content, but its own social media page has been caught in the firing line.

The page, which was previously brimming with content about Facebook’s latest news and achievements, simply read: ‘No posts yet.’

One Twitter user said: ‘Makes it harder to complain, I guess.’

‘What happens when you roll out a content filter without really testing it,’ someone else wrote. The official Facebook social media page joins thousands of others that also appear blank for Australians.

Emergency services that provide Australians with news about Covid-19, bushfires, and where to go for domestic violence help are among the vital Facebook pages which have been scrapped by the foreign-owned social media giant.

Along with government health pages, rescue services, and every reputable news outlet’s Facebook pages, the multi-billion-dollar company’s social media page was also void of all content on Thursday morning.

Covid-19: Nigerian variant found in UK could be resistant to vaccines

A new strain of coronavirus first detected in Nigeria has made its way into the UK, with 32 cases reported so far. A prominent expert has warned the variant may prove resistant to the vaccines.

Coronavirus has undergone yet another mutation and this one has made its way on to UK soil from Nigeria.

There are growing fears that the variant will evade vaccine antibodies after it was revealed it contains the 484K mutation to the spike protein. This mutation has been found in the South Africa and Brazil variants – and is believed to help the disease evade the antibodies which attempt to stop it.

Dr Simon Clarke, an associate professor of cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, sounded the alarm bell about the new strain’s potential resistance to current vaccines.

He told The Guardian: “We don’t yet know how well this [new] variant will spread, but if it is successful it can be presumed that immunity from any vaccine or previous infection will be blunted.

“I think that until we know more about these variants, any variants which carry E484K should be subject to surge testing as it seems to confer resistance to immunity, however that is generated.”
So far, University of Edinburgh researchers have reportedly found 32 cases of the B1525 variant in Britain.

More than 100 cases of the B1525 variant have been found around the world, according to the University of Edinburgh team.

How APC ‘captured me’ – Former Ogun Governor Gbenga Daniel

Former Ogun Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel has joined the ruling party, the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Recall that the former governor served as campaign manager of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in 2019 Abubakar Atiku.

In a statement, Daniel apologised to his former party for the short notice, stating that his support for Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, was a pointer.

Gbenga Daniel explained that the decision took a speedy curve after a request of the national caretaker Chairman of APC to visit him along with three governors on Wednesday.

He wrote: “Dear friends & colleagues, pardon my short notice in informing you of my route to the APC which as you might have suspected started with my supporting Governor Dapo Abiodun during the last election.

“I have since experienced an avalanche of encouragement to come on board.

“However in the last 48 hours things took a dizzying speed with the decision of the APC National Chairman request to visit me at Asoludero on Wednesday with about three Governors.

“While planning for the visit Governor Abiodun also decided to visit me later today with another set of Governors later today.

“It therefore means that I have finally been ‘captured’ “I thought I should quickly brief the house before the news go viral. Thanks for your understanding”, he wrote.

S Korea’s candidate withdraws from World Trade Org DG race, clearing path for Okonjo-Iweala

Yoo Myung-hee, the South Korean candidate to lead the World Trade Organization (WTO), has dropped out of the race, effectively opening the door for Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to become its first African leader.

In a statement, Yoo, the South Korean Trade minister, said that she had been “in consultation with major countries such as the United States” over the consensus vote to become the next director general of the WTO.

Nigerian candidate Okonjo-Iweala had been recommended by top WTO officials to lead the Geneva body in October, after being judged to have had majority support among members, but the appointment was blocked by the United States under the Trump administration.

Former US trade representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer said that her opponent, Yoo, “is a bona fide trade expert who has distinguished herself during a 25-year career as a successful trade negotiator and trade policymaker”.

CBN bans cryptocurrency trading in Nigeria, orders closure of cryptocurreny accounts

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and other financial institutions to close accounts of persons who are using their systems for cryptocurrency trading.

A cryptocurrency is a virtual or digital currency that appreciates or depreciates on the whims of market forces.

Trading with Bitcoin–a cryptocurrency type–has gained traction globally and in Nigeria lately; and most young people have been investing in the cryptocurrency world, buying and selling bitcoin and making profit for themselves.

But the apex ban is clearly not a fan of digital currencies.
In a statement signed by Bello Hassan, Director of Banking Supervision; and Musa Jimoh, Director of Payments System Management Department, the CBN said:

“Further to earlier regulatory directives on the subject, the bank hereby wishes to remind regulated institutions that dealing in crypto currencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchange is prohibited.

“Accordingly, all DMBs, NBFIs and OFIs are directed to identify persons and/or entities transacting in or operating crypto currency exchanges within their systems and ensure that such accounts are closed immediately.”

The CBN also declared that breaches of its directive will attract severe regulatory sanctions.

CBN has never liked cryptocurrency

It is not the first time that the CBN would be showing its disdain for cryptocurrency. In 2018, the apex bank issued a circular to say cryptocurrencies are not legal tenders in Nigeria.

“For the avoidance of doubt, dealers and investors in any kind of cryptocurrency in Nigeria are not protected by law. Virtual currencies are traded in exchange platforms that are unregulated, all over the world.

“Consumers may therefore lose their money without any legal redress in the event these exchangers collapse or close business.

“Members of the public are hereby warned that virtual currencies are not legal tender in Nigeria. Accordingly, we wish to caution all and sundry on the risks inherent in such activities,” the 2018 statement had read.

Other types of cryptocurrencies are Ethereum, Litecoin, Polkadot, Chainlink, Binance coin, Tether, Gadecoin, etc.

BREAKING: Enugu Commissioner slumps, dies while defending budget

The Enugu Commissioner for Transport reportedly died yesterday while defending his Ministry’s budget.

Jungle Journalist Media Limited learnt that Hon. Matthias Ekweremadu Jnr, a brother to Nigeria’s immediate past Deputy President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu suddenly collapsed at a meeting and was rushed to Niger Foundation Hospital Enugu, where doctors pronounced him dead.

Ekweremmadu was elected into the Enugu State House of Assembly in 2015 where he served for one term, before becoming a commisioner.

Two years ago, he lost his son, a final year engineering undergraduate.

BREAKING: Six Igbo soldiers secretly executed in Abuja (SEE PHOTOS)

•Four of the executed soldiers: L-R; Top – Ebube, Ukwuoma; Down – Uchendu, Anyim

Six Nigerian soldiers have been secretly executed in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, after a hasty secret trial at which they were denied legal representation of their choice, a coalition of rights activists and scholars alleged this morning of Tuesday, February 2, 2021.

The coalition said it was informed of the shocking development by Barr E.R. Okoroafor, an international human rights lawyer, who was allegedly denied the right to defend his client at the secret trial.

The coalition said in the Executive Summary of an upcoming report, a copy of which was made available to News Express: “We have received with rude shock and deepest dismay the Monday, 25th Jan 2021 secret execution of six Igbo Christian soldiers, attached to the Armory Department of the Nigerian Army, Abacha Barracks in Abuja. The slain Igbo Christian soldiers; namely: Prince Ukwuoma, son of a traditional ruler; Ebube Isaiah, Amos Azubuike, Ekene Ebere, Moses Anyim and Godwin Uchendu were secretly executed under the instruction of now Retired Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai, a day before he left office on Tuesday, 26th Jan 2021. This shocking news was disclosed to us by Barr E.R. Okoroafor, an int’l human rights lawyer, who is very conversant with the matter and was also contacted by one of the slain soldiers through his family to defend them in the trumped up charges, executed using hazy and clandestine Military Court Martial.

“According to the int’l rights lawyer, “sometime in Sept 2020, an allegation of missing weapons was made at Abacha Barracks and it was immediately traced to a senior Colonel of Fulani-Hausa Muslim origin and instead of the COAS to issue query and sanction the Colonel, he exonerated him on the grounds of his tribe and religion. The COAS turned around and ordered for the arrest of 12 soldiers guarding the armory, comprising six Igbo soldiers, three Yoruba soldiers and three Fulani-Hausa Muslim soldiers. In the end, the latter soldiers were shielded and exonerated under questionable circumstances and the six Igbo soldiers made to face secret court martial during which they were blocked and prevented from having access to their families and defense lawyers of their choice”.

“Barr E.R. Okoroafor also told the Coalition that his attempts to stand in for the Igbo soldiers were stiffly opposed and he was flimsily told by the Army’s Legal Department that “civilian lawyers are not allowed to defend the accused soldiers except military lawyers”. Their trial was totally shrouded in secrecy and never disclosed to the public through Army statements till date; likewise their constitutional right of appeal to Court of Appeal and Supreme Court which was also totally denied. The persecuted and executed soldiers protested their innocence to the point of tendering their resignation in protest; all to no avail.

“Apart from their secret execution being totally despicable and condemnable and a clear case of ethnic cleansing, the Coalition also strongly suspects that the six Igbo soldiers were framed or singled out for persecution on the grounds of their ethnicity and religion. It is also doubtful whether the offense of ‘missing weapons’ in peace time is commensurable with death sentence in the Nigerian Military laws, all subject to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended. Another shocking part was where the immediate past Army Chief derived his power to order for secret execution of “justly” and “unjustly” convicted soldiers. This is more so when there is a national moratorium on death penalty in Nigeria. The Coalition therefore notes further that dozens, if not hundreds of Igbo soldiers have in recent times particularly since 2017/8 died under similar circumstances both in battle fronts and ‘peace time’. Additionally, there have been several reported and unreported cases of dismissals, resignations and desertions involving soldiers and officers of old Eastern Nigeria extraction on account of the ethnic cleansing under Buratai as Nigerian Army Chief.”

Below are signatories to the report:

Emeka Umeagbalasi (M.Sc.), Board Chair, Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law
Prof Anthony Ejiofor-Chairman, World Igbo Congress (USA)
Prof Uzodimma Nwala-President, Ala-Igbo Dev Foundation (ADF)
Prof Justice Chidi-President, Concerned Elites for Better Society Initiative
Prof Justin Akujieze-President, Ekwenche Research Institute (USA)
Moses Nwaigwe-President, Biafra Genocide Survivors Group (USA)
Austin Okeke, Esq.-Global Leader, Igbo Board of Deputies (UK)
Kanayo K. Odeluga, MD., MPH-Executive Director, Igbo League, Inc.(USA)
Mercy Alu, MBA, PhD-Executive Coordinator, the Int’l Association of African Authors & Scholars (USA)
Onyenkachi Orjiako, Esq.-Rep, Int’l Society for War Against Lawlessness (USA)
Okezie Kelechi-ED, Neighborhood Environment Watch Foundation
Jerry Chidozie Chukwuokoro-Rep, Int’l Solidarity for Peace & Human Rights Initiative
Comrades Chilos Godsent & Zulu Ofoelue-Reps, Igbo National Council
Ezekwike Chekwube Violet, Esq.-Founder, New Home Mentoring & Dev Initiative
Comrade Aloysius Attah-Chair, Civil Liberties Organization, Southeast
Maazi Tochukwu Ezeoke, President, Igbo Ekunie Initiative
Comrade Justine Ijeoma-ED, Human Rights Social Dev & Environmental Foundation
Comrade Vincent Ezekwueme-Chair, Civil Liberties Organization, Anambra State
Comrade Peter Onyegiri-ED, Center for Human Rights & Peace Advocacy
Comrade Alex Olisa-Rep, Southeast Good Governance Forum
Comrade Nnana Nelson Nwafor-ED, Foundation for Environment Rights Advocacy & Dev.
Comrade Nkwocha Anozie-ED, Initiative for Ideal Dev & Emancipatory Leadership
Comrade Emeku Uche-Rep, Easy-life Initiative for Rural Youths
Comrade Samuel Njoku-Chair, Human Rights Organization of Nigeria
Comrade Ngwobia O. Ngwobia-Rep Primate Salvation Initiative