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Stranded Nigerians return from Libya

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The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has announced that it received another batch of 174 stranded Nigeria’s Voluntary Returnees from Libya on Friday.

NEMA said the returnees were received at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, by the Acting Zonal Coordinator of NEMA South West Zonal Officer, Segun Afolayan and other federal government agencies.

They arrived aboard Al Buraq Air which landed at the cargo wing of the airport about 1:10 a.m.

The returnees which comprised of 61 female adults, four female children and eight female infants with 91 male adults, six male children and four  male infants along with unaccompanied male child were brought back to Nigeria through the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) with support from the European Union in the ongoing Assisted Voluntary Repatriation programme.

Others include 10 families, three minor medical cases and three pregnant women

Afolayan while receiving them urged the returnees to take precautions with any information that seems to be very easy at getting rich, especially when it involves travelling outside Nigeria, noting that most of the conveyors of these messages would not be sincere with the truth.

A returnee, Chukwudi Onyemechie, 30 years old from Anambra State told newsmen that he was a successful auto tyres dealer at Ladipo Market  Lagos before he left the country to make quick money and expressed regret at his gullibility to allow himself to be fooled by the promised of a better life in Europe.

Onyemechie disclosed that a man convinced him that he could help him travel to France and linked him to his friend in Libya.

In order to raise money, he sold off his wares and took off to the Benin Republic from where his journey to Libya began.

“I was told that that the journey would be by road but I never knew that it was a deadly and dangerous route. I entered Libyan town where I was taken to a camp controlled by Nigerians where I spent three months in detention. My trafficker organised my detention in other that I would be forced to pay him money. I left Nigeria in June 2017, I experienced an unstable and dangerous life over there. After struggling to cross but unsuccessful, I was helped to get to IOM office in Libya who helped me back to Nigeria today. I am proud to be a Nigerian. Libya is a country that has existed without government; so it is incomparable to Nigeria that is peaceful and naturally endowed,” he said.

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Ekiti govt lifts embargo on three banks

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Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has lifted the embargo placed on some banks by the immediate past administration.

Dr Kayode Fayemi

The Fayose-led administration had in May 2016 placed a “non-patronage” ban on three banks- Ecobank, GTbank and Zenith Bank Plc and forbade government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as workers from transacting business with them.

Governor Fayemi in quashing the directive on the embargo, earlier in the month, also directed that all MDAs should resume patronage of all the banks immediately.

Consequently, the office of the State’s Accountant General has issued a memo to all heads of MDAs to give effect to the Governor’s directive lifting the ban.

According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Yinka Oyebode, the embargo was lifted in a bid to rekindle and strengthen the age-long relationship between the affected banks and the State Government.

The government said it took the decision after a careful review of the developments that led to the purported embargo by the immediate past administration.

The Fayemi administration is committed to the infrastructural and industrial development of the state. In achieving this, it will create a conducive atmosphere for business to thrive in the state by partnering with the private sector and encouraging private initiatives, among others, the statement added.

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Court remands OAU sex-for-marks lecturer in prison

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A Federal High Court in Osogbo, Osun State, yesterday refused to grant bail to a former Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) lecturer, Prof. Richard Akindele, charged with demanding sex to pass his student, Monica Osagie.

Justice Maureen Onyetenu ordered Akindele to be remanded in Ilesa Prison until December 17.

She ordered the prosecution counsel from the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to produce video evidence of the lecturer and his student allegedly having fun.

ICPC Senior Legal Officer Mr Kehinde Adetoye had prayed the court to deny the defendant bail on the grounds that he would not appear for his trial when released.

He argued that the defendant had refused to turn up at the ICPC office in Abuja after a written agreement to honour any invitation extended to him, particularly on his return from abroad on a medical trip.

Defence counsel Mr Francis Omotosho prayed the court to grant his client bail pending the final determination of the case.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the lecturer was first arraigned before Justice Maureen Onyetenu on November 19 by the ICPC on four counts of alteration of age and demanding sex to pass his student.

He argued that the defendant had refused to turn up at the ICPC office in Abuja after a written agreement to honour any invitation extended to him, particularly on his return from abroad on a medical trip.

Defence counsel Mr Francis Omotosho prayed the court to grant his client bail pending the final determination of the case.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the lecturer was first arraigned before Justice Maureen Onyetenu on November 19 by the ICPC on four counts of alteration of age and demanding sex to pass his student.

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Politics

Edo: Obaseki advises Head of Service to develop the state civil service

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The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has charged the new Head of Service (HoS), Mr Isaac Ehiozuwa, to hit the ground running in terms of developing the state’s civil service.

Obaseki urged Ehiozuwa to put to use, his wealth of experience, in fast-tracking the ongoing reforms of the state’s civil service in line with the vision of his administration.

Obaseki gave the charge on Monday, at the Government House in Benin City, the state capital, during the swearing in ceremony of the new HoS.

“We have resolved to give world-class trainings to our civil servants and you will help reshape the civil service to ensure that everybody that works for the state government must be Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-compliant.

“We know you are hardworking and have the capacity to bring the desired reform in the sector,” the governor said.

The governor explained that his administration’s vision is to reform all aspects of the state’s civil and public service for optimal performance.

He maintained that work has started on the reform of the physical environment with the ongoing revamp of the buildings in the Secretariat Complex, and charged the new HoS to commence work with the reform of the people in the service.

“One of the key responsibilities of the new HoS would be to reform the people in the service” he added, and urged Mr. Ehiozuwa to build on the legacies of his predecessors.

In his remark, the new HoS expressed gratitude to the governor for the confidence reposed in him and described his appointment as a call to service.

He assured that he would live up to the estimation of the state government and people of the state, adding “I will do my duties with diligence and will put in my best in the interest of the state.

Ehiozuwa said his vision for the service will be driven by “excellence and proficiency in service delivery by all civil servants” and promised to leverage on the experiences of his predecessors.

The new Head of Service takes over from Mrs Gladys Idahor who retired from service earlier in November.

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Ebonyi: APC governorship candidate promises aggressive reforms, if elected

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The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ebonyi, Sen. Sonni Ogbuoji says his administration will pursue aggressive reforms in all sectors if elected in 2019.

Ogbuoji, representing Ebonyi South Senatorial District in the Senate spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Monday in Abakaliki.

He said that the APC administration would initiate policies and programmes to stimulate economic development, through establishment of functional industries and enthronement of credible governance if elected in 2019.

The governorship candidate said he would rehabilitate the education, health, agricultural and civil service sectors to ensure improved service delivery.

The senator decried lack of good governance and general maladministration in the state and promised to change the narrative if elected.

According to him, the APC government will strive to restore lost hope, recreate and reinvent Ebonyi to meet the dreams and aspirations for which the founding fathers fought for its creation.

“The present administration has impoverished the people by creating economic hardship and it has equally divided its people along ethnic lines contrary to the dreams and aspirations of the founding fathers.

“This is not the Ebonyi that late Dr Akanu Ibiam, Chief Martin Elechi and other founding fathers fought for.

“The APC as a government will recreate Ebonyi; we are going to give hope back to the people of the state and we are going to make sure that Ebonyi comes back to become that one single family for which it was created.

“Some of us were small boys working under Ibiam and we know what it took to get Ebonyi created in 1996,” Ogbuoji said.

He said that youth and women economic empowerment would be given priority by his government if elected to strengthen their economic viability.

Ogbuoji cautioned the electorate against selling their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and urged them to cast their votes wisely during the elections.

He pledged to run issue based violence free campaigns and restated his belief in the capacity and capability of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct credible, free and transparent elections in Ebonyi.

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