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DSS releases Newsdiary Online publisher after interrogation

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has released the publisher/editor-in-chief of Newsdiary Online, Danlami Nmodu, after interrogating him on a recent report on Kano Ecological Fund projects.

Mr Nmodu told the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) that he was released after questioning on Thursday.

“I want to thank all of you for your prayers. I have been allowed to leave DSS HQ after interaction on the story. Thank you all,” he said.

Nmodu did not reveal details of his time with the DSS.

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Newsdiary had published a story titled Diplomatic backlash, legal tussle loom as FG dumps German firm over Kano Project.

After publishing the story, the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, made further facts available through a rejoinder, which clarified the issues.

The newspaper published the Federal Government’s rejoinder.

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The online newspaper was also among those who went for an on-the-spot assessment of the Challawa, Sharada and Bompai N2.6 billion ecological projects in Kano in the aftermath of the story.

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Amazon launches online pharmacy in India

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Global e-commerce giant Amazon has rolled out an online pharmacy service in India on Friday.

The service beginning with information technology hub Bengaluru as part of its efforts to ramp up operations in a country it sees as a major emerging market.

Customers in Bengaluru would be able to order prescription-based drugs in addition to over-the-counter medicines, basic health devices, and Ayurveda or traditional medicine products from certified sellers, a spokesman for Amazon India said.

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“This is particularly relevant in present times as it will help customers meet their essential needs while staying safe at home,’’ the spokesman said, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic, which is still spreading at a rapid pace in India, saw a nationwide lockdown for weeks beginning at the end of March. Lockdowns currently continue in highly affected areas.

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The lockdown and social distancing norms have seen a jump in online sales by e-pharmacies with several online pharmacies reporting growth in sales, according to business news portal moneycontrol.com.

Even before the pandemic, sector analysts forecast rapid growth for e-pharmaceutical players, with growing internet connectivity and the use of smartphones.

E-pharmacies were expected to attain a combined market size of 2.7 billion dollars in India in 2023 from about 360 million dollars in 2019, according to a report by global consultancy EY.

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During a visit to India in January, Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said his company would invest one billion dollars in India over the next five years.

“I predict the 21st century is going to be the Indian century,’’ Bezos said at a company event in New Delhi.

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Falana kicks against N5m NBC fine, says act is illegal

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Femi Falana,  Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has described the N5m fine on Lagos-based radio station, Nigeria Info 99.3 FM by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) as illegal.

The Human Rights Lawyer said this in a statement he personally signed and wondered why the NBC will be in a hurry to penalise the radio station

While noting that the State Security Service (SSS) has not concluded an investigation into the radio station’s guest, Dr Mailafia Obadiah, Falana asked why the Commission was in a hurry to violate the broadcast firm’s fundamental right.

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According to him, it is only a competent court of law that has the right to impose fines on a criminal suspect after conducting a trial.

“Only a competent court of law is empowered to try, convict and impose a fine on a criminal suspect after a trial has been conducted before a competent court.

“In view of the fact that the imposition of the N5 million fine was anchored on a purported amendment of the Code and since the NBC lacks the legal competence to impose a fine on any broadcasting station without a finding of guilt by a properly constituted criminal court the NBC should suo mutu quash the illegal fine,” Falana said.

The senior lawyer added that:

“Section 33 (4) of the Constitution provides that anyone charged with a criminal offence shall be tried before a competent court or tribunal.”

He noted that in the case between the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited at the Federal High Court, Honourable Justice Ojukwu held that the imposition of fines by regulatory agencies was unlawful.

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The NBC had said the fine was imposed on the media outfit due to its unprofessional broadcast.

It explained that Nigeria Info was not professional in the handling of its morning show aired between 8.30 am and 9.00 am on Monday.

NBC stated that the station provided its platform for its guest and a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr Mailafia Obadiah, to promote “unverifiable and inciting views,” saying such could lead to public disorder.

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Two dead in Imo petrol tanker explosion

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Tragedy struck on Owerri-Onitsha Road in Imo State on Friday as a petrol-laden tanker exploded and killed two persons.

The incident, which happened at the Irete area by Forte Oil Filling Station, caused panic in the area.

The cause of the explosion was yet to be ascertained but newsmen, who visited the scene on Friday afternoon, learned that the driver of the tanker and a woman, said to be coming back from a nearby market, died in the explosion while many others were injured.

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An eye witness, Kingsley Eke, told newsmen that for the timely intervention of the men of the state fire service, the explosion would have wrecked more havoc.

He said, “The incident would have been more disastrous but for the prompt arrival of firefighters. It is unfortunate that we lost two persons in the fire – the driver and a woman. Others have been rushed to a hospital.”

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When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Orlando Ikeokwu, confirmed the incident.

Ikeokwu, however, said he could only confirm one death as of the time of filing this report.

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