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NSA Mongono absent at security meeting with Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has given fresh marching orders to service chiefs and other heads of security agencies to end abductions and killings of innocent people in the North-Central and North-West.

He stated this on Tuesday three weeks after he met with the service chiefs, where he vowed not to leave office as a failure.

He directed security chiefs to find tactics to solve the security challenges in the country.

The President gave the order after receiving a briefing from security heads at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He commended them for their efforts so far, which he said were yielding positive results in the Northeast and Southeast.

But conspicuously absent was the National Security Adviser, Major-Gen Babagana Monguno (rtd).

On August 19, President Buhari promised to do everything possible to address the security challenges facing the country and expressed his wish not to leave government in 2023 “as a failure”.

Monguno, who briefed State House reporters after that meeting, said the President expressed happiness over the successes recorded so far by the security agencies in the fight against insurgents, bandits, kidnappers, and other criminal elements in various parts of the country.

But between the last meeting of the President with security chiefs and yesterday, there were some major security breaches, such as invasion of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Kaduna State, mass abductions in Zamfara State and reprisal killings in Plateau State.

Monguno’s absence raised a cloud of dust, especially after last Wednesday’s sacking of the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, and the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Sabo Nanono, for ‘non-performance’.

It was gathered that more heads are expected to roll as President Buhari begins an unprecedented move to weed out non-performing ministers from his cabinet.

The service chiefs at the meeting were led by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor. The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba; Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Abubakar Malami; and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, were all in attendance.

Buhari’s position was made known to State House correspondents by IGP Alkali after the three-hour meeting.

He said the President also directed them to redouble their efforts to restore security across the country to enable citizens go about their normal business.

He said, “Service chiefs and the intelligence chiefs have been able to brief the President on the security situation in the country. The President has also observed and made a remark that the constitutional responsibility of government is the provision of security, and he is ready to provide such.

 

“We should reinvigorate our efforts, which are yielding results in the Northeast, Southeast, but there is more to be done in the North-Central and Northwest, where people are worried. He has intelligence and information that schoolchildren and students are abducted, selective abductions and killings are going on. This narrative must change. We have assured him and promised him that we’ll make efforts to do more.”

 

The Minister of Defence, Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd), also told newsmen after the meeting that the government reviewed the situation in the country and concluded that it can resolve the security challenges, especially in Zamfara State, with the cooperation of Nigerians.

According to him another batch of six A-29 Super Tucano Jets will arrive in the country next week while the jets in the first batch already delivered are being test run.

The Zamfara State Commissioner for Information, Ibrahim Dosara, has said the military onslaught against bandits is yielding tremendous success, especially since the shutdown of telecoms services in the state.

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Nigerians To Pay More For Beverages, Sweetened Drinks As FG Enforces Sugar Tax

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The Federal Government has commenced the implementation of the N10 per litre sugar tax on carbonated sugar drinks and beverages.

According to the Chief Superintendent of Customs, Department of Excise, Free Trade Zone and Industrial Incentives, Dennis Ituma, the tax would help combat Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs).

He spoke at a Policy Breakfast Meeting which held in Abuja this weekend.

The event was organised by the National Action on Sugar Reduction (NASR) to proffer ways to implement tax and other interventions to reduce consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) in Nigeria.

The implementation is coming despite pleas by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and some related stakeholders who asked the government to halt the policy introduced in the Finance Act, signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on December 31, 2021.

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In a statement, the Coalition Representative of the 12-member NASR, Omei Bongos-Ikwue, quoted  the Customs official as saying the services had commenced.

“The N10 per litre of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages has been implemented on June 1, by July 21, all excise duties must have been collected and paid into the federation account. It should interest you that taxation on SSBs was a policy of the Federal Government in 1984 but was stopped in January 2009.

“Previously both SSBs, alcoholic drinks and tobacco were all taxed until 2009 when SSBs was removed from taxable beverages,” he said.

Members of the NASR are Diabetes Association of Nigeria, Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Nigeria Cancer Society, Breast Without Spot, Lafiya Wealth Initiative, TalkHealth9ja, Nigeria Health Watch, Project PINK BLUE, Sustainable Development Initiative, African Youth Initiative on Population, Health and Development (AfrYPoD), Bundies Care Initiative, and Nigerian Heart Foundation.

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Ekweremadu: Immigration says Ukpo birthday certificate shows he’s 21 not 15

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Birth certificate of Ekweremadu ‘kidney donor’ shows he’s 21, says immigration

The Nigeria Immigration Service says David Ukpo, the “kidney donor” at the centre of the organ harvesting allegation against Ike Ekweremadu, is 21 years old — not 15.

Spokesman for the NIS, Amos Okpu, disclosed this in a statement released on Sunday.

Okpu said the birth certificate presented by Ukpo during his international passport registration showed that he is 21 years old.

Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice, were arrested last Thursday and arraigned in court for allegedly bringing a child to the UK for organ harvesting.

They were subsequently remanded in custody till July 7 while investigations are still ongoing.

The senator had written to the UK high commission to support a visa application of a “donor”.

Although the UK police said the donor was 15, Ukpo was listed as 21 years old on his international passport and the Bank Verification Number (BVN) portal.

The immigration spokesman said the birth certificate issued by the National Population Commission (NPC) and the national identity number (NIN) slip presented by Ukpo indicated that he is 21.

He explained that Ukpo’s date of birth was listed as October 12, 2000 — meaning he will be 22 years old in October 2022.

“The facts of the matter concerning the case above, therefore, are that the said Mr David Ukpo Nwamina applied and paid for the enhanced standard passport using the NIS portal after which he approached the Gwagwalada Passport Office, FCT Abuja, on the 2nd November 2021 for his interview,” the statement reads.

“To support his application, Mr. Nwamina presented all the necessary documents required, including his National Population Commission (NPC) issued Birth Certificate, showing 12 October, 2000, as his date of birth; his National Identity Number (NIN) corroborating the date of birth on his birth certificate, issued by NIMC; a letter of introduction issued by Ebonyi State Government Liaison Office situated at Maitama District Abuja, and a Guarantor’s form duly signed by one Mr. Uchechukwu Chukwuma Ogbonno.
“In view of the above, the general public may wish to be informed that the date of birth, or any other information for that matter, on any Nigerian passport is printed on the document only after a thorough vetting process that involves both physical and forensic examination of the applicant’s breeder documents. Mr. Nwamina’s case, therefore, was not different.”

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South African police investigate death of 20 in nightclub 

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South African police are investigating the deaths of at least 20 people at a nightclub in the coastal town of East London early Sunday morning.

According to AP, it is unclear what led to the deaths of the young people, who were reportedly attending a party to celebrate the end of winter school exams.

Local newspaper Daily Dispatch reported that bodies were strewn across tables and chairs without any visible signs of injuries.

“At this point we cannot confirm the cause of death,” said health department spokesperson Siyanda Manana.

“We are going to conduct autopsies as soon as possible to establish the probable cause of death. The deceased have been taken to state mortuaries,” Manana added.

The owner of the club, Siyakhangela Ndevu, told local broadcaster eNCA that he had been called to the scene early Sunday morning.

“I am still uncertain about what really happened, but when I was called in the morning I was told the place was too full and that some people were trying to force their way into the tavern,” he said.

“However, we will hear what the police say about the cause of death,” Ndevu added.

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