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Army, police, others collected N44bn bribe during lockdown

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Security agencies in the country collected at least N44m as bribe from members of the public during the lockdown imposed by the Federal Government to curtail the spread of coronavirus [COVID-19] pandemic in the country.

Human right activists under the aegis of International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, in a statement on Monday, said the police, army and others extorted the money mainly from travellers at inter-state boundaries.

The group in a statement by its board of trustees chairman, Mr Emeka Umeagbalasi on Monday in Awka, Anambra State said,

“Those directly or vicariously responsible for collection and pocketing of the bribe included officers and personnel of the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police Force, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps and Nigeria Customs Service.

“Officers and personnel of Nigerian Air Force and Nigerian Navy also got involved especially where they mounted roadblocks or were joined as members of ‘Joint Security Taskforce (JTF)’ and drafted to jointly man COVID-19 border post and boundary post-security.

“The Joint Security Taskforces under reference are generally maintained across the country by various State Governments.

” Involved in the roadblock, boundary post or border post-COVID-19 bribery and extortion were the civilian COVID-19 taskforces drawn from State or Federal Governments’ ministries of health and transport.”

They maintained that

“The Nigerian security forces and their chiefs are likely to have collected and pocketed total cash sums validly estimated at not less than N44bn in the past 90 days or from 30th of March to 30th June 2020.

“Our investigation covered lands and borders and did not include railways, coastal lines, waterways and airports.

“The criminal sums were collected by the named culprits while enforcing intra and inter-state COVID-19 “prevention lockdowns”.

The group called for the lifting of the inter-state lockdown order, stating that it had become counterproductive and a conduit pipe for extorting the people.

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Why 602 repentant Boko Haram members swore oath- Military

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The Nigerian military on Thursday explained why 602 repentant Boko Haram members swore oath of allegiance to Nigeria.

Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, spoke at a news conference in Abuja.

He recalled that the former insurgents underwent De-radicalisation, Rehabilitation and Re-Integration (DRR) programme by Operation SAFE CORRIDOR.

Enenche said they completed DRR programme at Malam Sidi Camp and took the Oath before an 11 member quasi-judicial panel.

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The senior officer said the “reason behind the Oath of Allegiance is to emphasize their loyalty, discipline and obedience to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and thereby making a commitment”.

The implication, he noted, was that if they commit any offence, they will forfeit “all privileges and will be liable for offence against the State”.

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Gabon now has first female Prime Minister

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Rose Raponda was on Thursday appointed Prime Minister of Gabon, in accordance with a presidential decree read by the Secretary-General of the Presidency, Jean-Yves Teal.

Raponda has become the first woman in the country to hold the office of Prime Minister and she succeeded Julien Bekale.

On Feb. 12, 2019, Raponda was appointed Defence Minister by President Ali Bongo Ondimba, after the failed coup in January.

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She has a degree in Economics (Public Finance) from the Gabonese Institute of Economy and Finance.

The prime minister earlier served as Director-General of the Economy as well as Deputy Director-General, the Housing Bank of Gabon.

She also served as the country’s Budget Minister between February 2012 and January 2014.

Raponda was elected Mayor of the capital city, Libreville, where she represented the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party, on Jan. 26, 2014, and she served in that capacity until 2019.

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The prime minister also became President of the United Cities and Local Governments, Africa.

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Niger Assembly sacks Majority, Deputy Minority leaders

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Members of the Niger State House of Assembly have sacked the Majority and Deputy Minority leaders allegedly over issues affecting the smooth running of the House.

They are: Honorable Musa Suleiman, representing Magama constituency and Hon. Andrew Danjuma Jagaba, Munya constituency.

Raising the motion for the removal of the two lawmakers during the House plenary was Hon. Jibrin Ndagi Baba, Lavun constituency and was seconded by Hon. Mohammed Rama, Edati constituency. They said the members no longer have confidence in them.

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According to him,

“Having consulted with my colleagues on the issues affecting the smooth running of this House, we no longer have confidence in the House leader and deputy leader.

” I then move that the two officers be removed. And, I so move.”

The members immediately nominated Hon. Mohammed Abbah Bala, Borgu constituency as the new Majority Leader and Hon. Binta Manmman, Gurara constituency as Deputy Minority Leader of the House.

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