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UK increases visa fees for Nigerians, others

The lawmaker cautioned that the coming generation will be tolled towards agricultural practices, bringing about a diversified economy.

“My dream is to ensure the establishment of a world-class institution to conduct education, research, and environmental monitoring and assessment in collaboration with society at large,” he said.

Agbese said, “For a knowledge-based economy, the proposed university will become a key element of innovation systems both as a creator of new knowledge and ideas based on research and as a provider of human capital.”

The bill was sponsored by Hon Philip Agbese (APC-Benue), representing Ado/Okpokwu/ Ogbadibo Federal Constituency.

Ondo pastor bags two-year jail term for stealing

An Ondo State Magistrates’ Court sitting in Akure, the state capital, has sentenced a man, Friday Okeneji, to two years imprisonment for stealing some chemical substances worth N130,000.

 The convict, who is a pastor of a popular church in Iwaro Oka Akoko in the Akoko South-West Local Government Area of the state was said to have committed the offence on July 2, 2023, in the town.

 He reportedly broke into a chemical shop and stole the items.

He was however arrested and charged to court.

The convicted pastor, who pleaded guilty when the two charges were read to him, told the court that he committed the offence for survival purposes.

 He pleaded that he had no means of livelihood, adding that he had to pay N150,000 for his mother’s burial slated for August.

 In his ruling, the Magistrate, Damilola Sekoni, said the pastor was guilty of the charges and sentenced him to two years imprisonment with an option of N100,000 fine.

He also advised the convict to turn a new leaf.

Super Eagles draw South Africa, Zimbabwe, Benin, two others in World Cup Qualifier

Nigeria’s Super Eagles have been drawn in Group C alongside South Africa, Benin Republic, Rwanda, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

The draws ceremony was held on Thursday in Abidjan, Cote’d’Ivoire.

The West African side missed out on the last year’s World Cup in Qatar having lost to the Black Stars of Ghana in the playoffs.

The Eagles’ tie with West-African neighbours, Benin Republic will be the first against former manager, Gernot Rohr since he was relieved from his position in 2021.

LP demands dismissal of INEC chairman, wants commission probed

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Director General of the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council, Akin Osuntokun, has called for the immediate dismissal and prosecution of the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, over the role he played in the 2023 presidential elections.

Osuntokun also demanded that a forensic financial investigation be conducted on all expenditures and donations received by the commission before, during, and after the polls.

The campaign director made the demand at Thursday’s international press conference held at the party’s campaign headquarters in Abuja.

“We demand unequivocally, the immediate dismissal from Ofiice and prosecution of Prof Mahmud Yakubu and the commencement of forensic financial investigation into the expenditure of budgeted disbursements and donors’ funds received by INEC.

“This is in addition to the N300 billion appropriated from the national purse as well as other funds and materials received from International donor Agencies,” he said.

The development is coming barely five months after the February 25 election, where the commission announced the candidate of All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as the winner.

Tinubu polled 8,794,726 votes to defeat the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and his counterpart in Labour Party, Peter Obi, who amassed 6,984,520 votes and 6,101,533 votes respectively.

Emefiele has been charged, says DSS

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The Department of State Services has said the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele had been charged to court.

An Abuja High Court had on Thursday ordered the DSS to either release Emefiele or charge him to court.

Reacting in a statement by its spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, the DSS said the service had in 2022 applied for a court order to detain Emefiele but noted that he got another order stopping the DSS from arresting him.

Afunanya explained that the suspended CBN governor was arrested for “criminal infractions” for which he was being prosecuted for.

President Bola Tinubu, declared a state of emergency on food

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President Bola Tinubu, on Thursday, in Abuja, declared a state of emergency on food security.⁣

Tinubu also approved that all matters pertaining to food and water availability and affordability, as essential livelihood items, be included within the purview of the National Security Council.⁣

This is followed by an immediate release of fertilizers and grains to farmers and households to mitigate the effects of the subsidy removal.⁣

Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties, Communications and Strategy, Dele Alake, disclosed this to State House Correspondents on Thursday evening after consultations with key stakeholders in the agricultural sector at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. ⁣

Alake said “We will immediately release fertilizers and grains to farmers and households to mitigate the effects of the subsidy removal.⁣

“There will be an organic synergy between the Ministry of Agriculture and the use of water resources to ensure adequate irrigation of farmlands and to guarantee that food is available all year round. ⁣

“As a country, Mr. President has made it clear that we are no longer comfortable with seasonal farming. We can no longer afford to have farming downtime.” ⁣

The Presidential aide explained that the Federal Government will partner with states to create ranches in those that are willing to avail lands. The ranches will have sections dedicated as grazing reserves, he added. ⁣

“We will establish ranches in collaboration with state government and the federal government will pay for the land,” he said. ⁣

Alake explained that the FG will activate land banks nationwide, which currently stand at 500,000 hectares mapped “to increase the availability of arable land for farming which will immediately impact food output.”⁣

Meanwhile, the Central Bank has advised middlemen withholding grains to release supplies at their disposal as prices are likely to fall when the FG begins to distribute grains.⁣

Singapore Records the Highest Suicides in 22 Years

The suicide rates among young people aged 10-29 and the elderly people aged 70-79 were particularly concerning, the prevention centre Samaritans of Singapore said in its annual press release containing statistics on the issue.

A total of 476 individuals killed themselves in 2022, “the highest recorded suicide deaths since 2000”, up from 378 the year before, the SOS release stated.

“Seeing the unprecedented rise in suicide numbers in Singapore is profoundly heartbreaking,” veteran psychiatrist and mental health consultant, Jared Ng, was quoted as saying.

“This increase paints a picture of the unseen mental distress permeating our society, especially amongst our youths and the elderly.

“It is crucial that we remain vigilant to the pressing issues that continue to heavily impact mental health, such as social isolation and loneliness.”

Suicide “remained the leading cause of death for youths aged 10-29 for the fourth consecutive year”, accounting for 33.6 per cent of all deaths within the age group, the release said.

A total of 125 individuals from that age bracket took their own lives in 2022, up 11.6 per cent from 112 the previous year.

Globally, suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among those aged 15-29, according to the World Health Organisation.

In Singapore, the number of people aged 70-79 who took their own lives surged to 48 last year, a 60 per cent increase from 30 in 2021, the SOS further revealed.

The city-state, which has one of the world’s lowest fertility rates, has a rapidly ageing population, with one in four Singaporeans projected to be 65 or older by 2030, up from one in six three years ago.

SOS Chief Executive, Gasper Tan, said suicide was a “complex issue influenced by various factors, including mental health challenges, social pressures, and economic uncertainties”.

“We recognise the urgency of the situation, and are committed to continue taking proactive steps to address the rising suicide numbers and provide support to those in need,” he added.

Actress Keke Palmer’s Baby Daddy Slams Her Outfit, Social Media Reacts

Darius Jackson, Hollywood actress Keke Palmer’s boyfriend has sparked up controversy online following his comments on the star’s choice of outfit to Usher Raymond’s show in Las Vegas, on Wednesday.

Palmer, 29, who welcomed a son, Leodis Andrellton Jackson, with Jackson in February, donned a fitted, black bodysuit under a sheer dress to watch Usher perform.

Unhappy with her outfit choice, Jackson took to Twitter to slam his baby’s mother writing; “It’s the outfit tho. you a mom.”

Receiving mixed reactions from his followers, Jackson doubled down on his stance adding; “We live in a generation where a man of the family doesn’t want the wife & mother to his kids to showcase booty cheeks to please others & he gets told how much of a hater he is,” his second tweet read.

In a third tweet, the fitness instructor wrote; “This is my family & my representation. I have standards & morals for what I believe. I rest my case.”

His tweets have since sparked an outrage on social media with many calling him insecure and toxic.

National Trials: Amusan Wins Again, Itsekiri 100m King

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World record holder, Tobi Amusan, on Wednesday retained her national title after storming across the finish line in a smooth 12.70secs under the rain to win the women’s 100m hurdles event at the National Trials for the 2023 World Athletics Championships, which holds next month in Budapest, Hungary.

Amusan was competing in Nigeria for the first time since setting the world record of 12.12s last year in Oregon and she gave the fans inside the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City a feel of her expertise as she eased into the final of the event.

Coming off the back of a win at the Stockholm Diamond League, the world champion is now on course to defend her title in Budapest next month.

Speaking after her race, Amusan, who was happy to win again, having also won at last year’s edition, noted that her perfect execution gave her victory.

Nwaneri snubs City and Chelsea for Arsenal stay

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Arsenal forward of Nigerian decent, Ethan Nwaneri, has signed a new two-year scholarship deal with the club, ending speculations over his future.

The England U-17 international memorably became the Premier League’s youngest-ever player when he made his debut aged 15 years and 181 days in September’s 3-0 win over Brentford.

With Martin Odegaard missing, Fabio Vieira occupied the number 10 role at the Gtech Community Stadium and made way in the final minute for Nwaneri, who broke the previous record set by 16-year-old Harvey Elliott.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta explained that he had a “gut feeling” about Nwaneri, but the 16-year-old has since been demoted back down to the youth team to continue his development.

Falcons Nest at Mercure Hotel in Australia

The nine-time African champions, who arrived at Gold Coast in Australia, will face co-hosts Australia, reigning Olympic queens Canada and the Republic of Ireland in Group B of the competition.

The Super Falcons are lodged at the four-star Mercure Southport, Gold Coast in Australia for training, ahead of the 2023 Women’s World Cup, which Australia and New Zealand will jointly host from July 20 to August 20,

Mercure Southport is a newly built resort on the Gold Coast, incorporating 160 rooms with quality midscale accommodation.

It features a restaurant, bar, fitness centre and modern swimming pool for guests.

Abba Kyari Granted Bail After 18 Months in Prison

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The Federal High Court in Abuja has granted bail to the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari.

The embattled cop was on Thursday granted bail by Justice Kolawole Omotosho after 18 months in detention.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency had declared Kyari wanted over his alleged involvement in a 25kg cocaine deal.

He was subsequently taken into custody in February 2022 after the NDLEA, alleged tampering with drug exhibits and was remanded in Kuje Prison, Abuja.

However, Kyari still has a case before Justice Emeka Nwite of a Federal High Court in Abuja.