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We did not deny Bishop Oyedepo visa – US Embassy

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Bishop Oyedepo

The United States Mission in Nigeria has debunked reports that it refused to issue visa to Bishop David Oyedepo, the founder of Living Faith Church Worldwide, aka Winners Chapel.

Reports went viral on Friday morning that the preacher, who pastors one of the largest pentecostal churches in Nigeria with branches across the world, was denied a visa by the Lagos office of the U.S Embassy on Thursday, 30th January 2020.

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The report added that the obviously angry and flustered preacher and businessman reportedly created a scene over the denial of the US visa as he queries the stance of the embassy.

Reacting to the report via its verified Twitter handle, the Embassy shared a screenshot of the report exclusively published by ThisDay newspaper and described it as false.

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It tweeted:

Alert! Be advised, the reports making the rounds about a visa being denied to Nigerian Bishop Oyedepo are false.

“If you have seen this manufactured item in the media, help defeat this #misinformation by communicating to everyone that it is completely false.”

 

See the tweet:

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Tunde Braimoh: Sudden darkness overtakes our sun

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It has been over 24 hours, yet I am still in search of the right words to portray how I feel currently. It did not come like lightning. No. It hit like thunder. Maybe. Maybe worse than that. Or how best can one describe the blow death brought upon us with the sudden demise of Hon? Tunde Braimoh? How best can I understand that one backbone of the Lagos State House of Assembly has been expunged, not even like something taken away temporarily to be returned someday? How best can I pull myself together knowing that we will not see this scholarly politician whose meritorious service has added to the gains of Lagos?

As I sit quietly, ruminating about our journey on this earth, how we became close pals, the circumstances that brought us together, Briamoh’s unique voice, his brilliant arguments and postulations, his sequence and enviable use of words that sometimes got us bursting with laughter and respect, his gait, his carriage, then the reality that none of these would be heard or seen again, I melt with thick sweats on my forehead. Can our tears cease? Two times I have tried to put something together within the last 24 hours. Yet, same two times I have been at a loss for what to say.

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Tunde Braimoh was not just a lawmaker, he was an ally, he never had ‘no’ for an answer. He knew what to do even before such was brought to his attention. He had a ready answer for all questions. I remember the many times he would walk up to me to tell me about issues. A constant characteristic was that he solved most of them before I got to know.

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Yes, he was not perfect; he was a human being like all of us, but who can judge him when his good deeds, which are unquantifiable, are there before everyone? There is no doubting the fact that he touched lives personally and on behalf of the House of Assembly. He had feelings for the downtrodden – they benefitted immensely. In everything he did, he always placed himself in the shoes of the other person.

Hon. Braimoh had plans, great ones, for Lagos State. He had shared some with me. He also always had his constituents in mind constantly thinking of how best to reach them and give them reasons to be happy.

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This year 2020 has shown its troubling uniqueness. Between June and July, we lost two strong pillars. We were still grappling with the reality of the demise of Senator Sikiru Oshinowo, whose valedictory session Braimoh played a role in as the Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Security and Strategy.

We will be consoled by the fact that the late two-term lawmaker served his State and the Federation of Nigeria with his might and intelligence and contributed immensely to their advancements. But, again, our hearts will continue to grieve. Rest on, dear brother and friend.

Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa

Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly

 

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I didn’t receive N28m from Magu, Falana says

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Femi Falana

Lagos lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria, on Sunday repudiated a report he was a loot funnel for suspended chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu.

In a letter dated July 12 written to a media house over the said report, Falana, through his lawyer, Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, a Silk, distanced himself from whatever alleged corrupt practices likely perpetrated by Magu whose tenure temporarily came to a halt last Wednesday when President Muhammadu Buhari approved his suspension.

The letter reads in part,

“The publication and the imputations it conveyed is damning, as you will no doubt agree with me. It is particularly damning against my client because his entire career as a lawyer has been devoted to fighting human rights abuses and corruption in high and low places (among the many public causes he has become noted for). So, to charge such a person with the imputations in your publication is not something that he can (in fairness to himself and the reputation he has worked for all his life) ignore despite that he is also a well-known advocate and defender of press freedom.

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“It is noteworthy that no attempt was made by you to contact and request my client to react to the allegation before publishing and circulating it to your worldwide readers. The impression my client gets from this is that you were well aware that you were publishing a planted story, hence there was no desire or need on your part to seek and balance it with my clients reaction. This speaks volume as to your professionalism, as well as your malicious intent.

 

“My client does not deny that he is a supporter and public advocate of the EFCC, and indeed of all agencies set-up to rescue our country and its downtrodden masses from the noose of corruption. He has been since the inception of the EFCC and the tenure of its first Chairman, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu.

 

“As a token of his support and public advocacy against corruption, he has, since the Commission was established in 2003 and up till now,  refused and rejected all approaches by the high and mighty (who are loaded with cash and able to pay for his services and thus save him from the indignity of having to criminally scrape around for =N=28m or any sum whatsoever from anyone in the EFCC) to take-up their cases or causes against the EFCC. He stands tall to also say despite his public advocacy for the Commission and its anti-graft efforts, all reports or allegations of human rights abuse of disobedience of court orders by the Commission or any of its officials that came to his attention were always taken-up by him with its Management.

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“My client acknowledges that just as his anti-corruption activism has won him friends, they have also bred enmity from those who see things from a different perspective and have therefore always tried to paint and present him (or anyone that strives or claims to be different) as someone that is also not free from the stains of corruption! Not long ago, these elements invented and spread through the media the lie that my client was a beneficiary of property purchase from the EFCC. When given the opportunity to prove the allegation, the publisher failed to take up the opportunity but apologised for the false publication. I am not too sure that your case will turn out different if you permit it to degenerate to the level of being sued.

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“In the circumstance, my immediate instruction is to demand that you acknowledge your wrongdoing, expressly admit that what you imputed against my client was false, and apologise for your unprofessionalism and the damage you have caused to him. I do hope that you will, within the next 48 hours, comply with this gentlemanly request by publication on the front page of your newspaper. Failing compliance, my instruction is to issue a Writ in the tort of defamation in other to afford you an opportunity to prove what you imputed against my client’s character.”

 

See the letter below;

 

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Hungary bars travel from Africa, Asia

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Hungary’s government said Sunday it was barring travel from Africa, most of Asia apart from China and Japan, and restricting entry from several European countries after worldwide spikes in coronavirus cases.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Chief of Staff Gergely Gulyas said that Hungarian health officials have placed 154 countries into three risk categories based on numbers of coronavirus infections.

“We need to protect our security so that the virus is not introduced from abroad… the level of active infection cases at home is falling, and we want to keep it like that,” he told reporters in Budapest.

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Entry into Hungary would be barred for citizens from countries assessed as “red” from Tuesday midnight, including all African and Asian countries apart from China and Japan.

European countries in the red zone are Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Belarus, Montenegro, as well as Hungary’s neighbor Ukraine.

Hungarian citizens returning from “red” countries must pass a virus test and undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine, said Gulyas.

Citizens from countries in a “yellow” category — including the US, UK, Norway, Serbia, Russia, China, and Japan — will have to enter two-week quarantine unless they have tested negative for the virus within five days.

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Four of Hungary’s fellow EU members — Bulgaria, Portugal, Sweden, and neighboring Romania — will also face the same restrictions.

Countries in the “green” category can continue to enter without restrictions.

Hungary’s population of almost 10 million has been lightly affected by the pandemic in comparison with other parts of Europe, reporting just over 4,200 coronavirus infections and around 595 deaths so far.

Earlier this month, Orban said Hungary would not follow an EU recommendation to lift coronavirus travel restrictions for more countries outside the bloc, citing a risk to health.

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The EU’s border relaxation, announced June 30 and left to member states to implement, was a bid to help rescue the continent’s battered tourism sector, which had been choked by a ban on non-essential travel in place since mid-March.

The number of infections and deaths has risen relentlessly in many of the world’s biggest nations, with the United States crossing three million confirmed cases.

In Europe, where many nations had successfully suppressed their outbreaks, spikes have occurred in recent weeks.

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