50 Killed In Bus Fire Incident In Kazakhstan

At least 50 Uzbek nationals have been killed in a bus fire incident in neighbouring Kazakhstan, and the cause behind the tragedy is still not known.

The deceased people were travelling in the north-western part of Kazakhstan when the vehicle suddenly burst into flames. Besides the 55 passengers, the bus had two drivers. Five people managed to escape the inferno with injuries and are now undergoing medical treatment.

Although the destination of the bus is not clear, the Samara-Shymkent route, about 2,200km (1,300 miles) by road, is often used by Uzbek migrant workers travelling to construction sites in Russia. The incident took place at 10.30am local time on Thursday, 18 February in Irgiz district of Aktobe region.

The interior ministry did not provide more details about the suspected accident.

Fire and police personnel are already at the site carrying out emergency measures. Authorities have also set up a hotline for the victims’ friends and families.


Pregnant Woman Shot By Custom Officers

A pregnant woman has been hit by the bullet shell of customs officers who shot in the air to disperse a mob.

The incident, which happened early hours of today Thursday at Ota, Ogun State, left the woman, identified as Mrs. Ogunlana, hospitalised.

According to an eyewitness, Olugunna Bukola, the eight months pregnant woman became a victim when customs officers shot in the air to disperse a mob trying to prevent them from arresting a suspected “Tokunbo” car driver.

Mrs. Ogunlana, who is said to be a staff of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, IBEDC, was hit by the bullet shell at the upper shoulder.

She is said to be responding treatment.

Speaking on the incident, the Customs Federal Operation Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ Lagos spokesman, Jerry Attah, said the woman was alive and is doing fine.

“I have called the OC in charge there, he confirmed the incident. The woman has been taken to the hospital for treatment.

“Our officers have gone there and her hospital bill will be taken care of by the customs. We thank God that the incident was not a fatal one,” Mr Attah told PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview.

Narrating how the incident occurred, Mr. Attah said it was while the Comptroller General of Customs compliance team was trailing a “Tokunbo” car to Ota that the mob attacked them.

“While trying to disperse the mob through gun shots in the air the bullet shell hit back of her upper shoulder. She is not dead.”


FRSC Promises To Reduce Accidents On Highway By 50%

The Corps Marshal Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Mr Boboye Oyeyemi has assured the public that the corps will reduce by 50 per cent the rate of accidents on the highways if the funds appropriated for the agency was adequately released.

He made this known during the agency’s budget defence before the Senate Committee on Federal Character headed by Sen. Tijjani Kaura on Wednesday in Abuja.

Oyeyemi who said this would be achieved through the agency’s strategic goals also noted that the commission would train state traffic management agencies with a view to improving professionalism.

He, however, called for the upward review of the agency’s budget so as to function optimally.

The lawmakers commended FRSC for reduction in road crashes in 2017.

The FRSC is yet to publish the full data of road accidents for 2017.

But in the first quarter of last year, the National Bureau of Statistics reported 2,556 road crashes, with 42.69 % caused by speed violation.

Loss of control and dangerous driving followed closely as they both accounted for 12.73% and 7.34% of the total road crashes recorded.

A total of 1,466 Nigerians were killed during the period, while 8,672 Nigerians were injured.


Schools Shut Down In Ebonyi Over Lassa Fever Outbreak

The Ebonyi Government has ordered the closure of all public and private schools in the state to check the spread of lassa fever that broke out in the state recently.

Prof. John Eke, the Commissioner for Education, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in an interview in Abakaliki, that the closure was part of proactive steps taken to contain the spread of the disease in the state.

Eke disclosed that the government embarked on the measure to effectively control and contain the spread of the dreaded lassa virus which had claimed some lives including two medical doctors.

The commissioner, however, said that the lassa out break in the state was not alarming, but noted that the closure of schools was done to check the disease spreading into schools.

“First of all, I want to inform you that the issue of the outbreak of the lassa disease is not in alarming rate, and what we have done is to ensure that we effectively put the spread under control.

“Again, a women yesterday (Wednesday, Jan 17), was diagnosed positive of the virus and this patient has her children in schools.

“We believe that one of the best ways to handle the situation is to shut down our schools until we are sure that our pupils and students are safe.

“The schools will remain shut for seven school days to enable us monitor the situation and we appeal to parents, guardians and school authorities to comply with the directive, ” Eke said


Kastina State Magistrate Court Gives Shocking Verdict To Rapist

A chief magistrate court sitting in Katsina State, on Wednesday gave a shocking verdict to four men who pleaded guilty to rape. Magistrate Fadilla Dikko ordered four convicted men to receive six strokes of the cane each after pleading guilty to a charge bordering on abduction and rape.

The convicts, Ahmed Lawal, Abdulmalik Mustapha, Adamu Khalid and Abubakar Lawal, all from Rafukka quarters in Katsina metropolis, had on December 20, 2017 criminally conspired and abducted two teenage girls from Abattoir quarters, Katsina, took them to an unknown destination and raped them.

Delivering the judgement, Magistrate Fadilla Dikko said “the court took notice of their pleas and the judgment considered the fact that they were first time offenders.”

Apart from the flogging ordered by the court, Dikko also sentenced them to five months imprisonment with an option of N2,000 each for the offences of criminal conspiracy and N5,000 each for abduction and rape.


Tuface Visits Governor Ortom Over Herdsmen Killings

2face Idibia who has always attributed himself as a son of the soil of Jos, has visited the Benue. The musician on Wednesday paid a condolence visit to his Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom over the recent herdsmen killings in the state.

Recall that Tuface during Soundcity awards called on the government to end killings in his state. The Benue state born singer was received at the state government house by the governor and members of his cabinet.



Fate Of IPOB To Be Decided Today

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja today will rule on the proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.

The Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdul Abdu-Kafarati, will deliver the judgment in the suit seeking to void the proscription and declaration of IPOB, as a terrorist organisation.

The Pro-Biafra group had through its lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, approached the court challenging the ruling it delivered on September 20, 2017, which outlawed it on the strength of an ex-parte motion the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, filed on behalf of the government.

The court had declared as illegal, all activities of IPOB, particularly in the South-East and South-South regions of the country in the said ruling.

The Acting Chief Justice, who gave the ruling in chambers, further restrained “any person or group of persons from participating in any of the group’s activities.”

The judge further directed the AGF to ensure that he published the order proscribing IPOB in the official gazette, as well as in two national dailies, an order FG had since complied with.


Donald Trump Finally Announces The Winners Of His ‘Fake News Awards”

The President of the United States, Donald Trump has finally announced the winners of his highly anticipated ‘Fake News Awards’.

Topping the list are CNN and New York Times emerging top on the list. Trump described them as dishonest and corrupt.

Trump crashed the Republican Party’s website on which he posted the list of the award winners moments after he tweeted the link announcing the winners, due to the high volume of traffic.

Trump had on January 2, said: “I will be announcing THE MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR on Monday at 5 p.m. Subjects will cover Dishonesty & Bad Reporting in various categories from the Fake News Media. Stay tuned!”

However, on January 7, he said: “The Fake News Awards, those going to the most corrupt & biased of the Mainstream Media, will be presented to the losers on Wednesday, Jan. 17, rather than this coming Monday. The interest in, and importance of, these awards is far greater than anyone could have anticipated!”

Out of the 11 ‘fake news reports’ listed on the award, CNN won four, New York Times clinched two, while TIME magazine, ABC News, Newsweek and Washington Post won an award each.

The full list of the website read: “The New York Times’ Paul Krugman claimed on the day of President Trump’s historic, landslide victory that the economy would never recover”.

“ABC News’ Brian Ross CHOKES and sends markets in a downward spiral with false report”.

“CNN FALSELY reported that candidate Donald Trump and his son Donald J. Trump, Jr. had access to hacked documents from WikiLeaks.

“TIME FALSELY reported that President Trump removed a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office.

“Washington Post FALSELY reported the President’s massive sold-out rally in Pensacola, Florida was empty. Dishonest reporter showed picture of empty arena HOURS before crowd started pouring in.

“CNN FALSELY edited a video to make it appear President Trump defiantly overfed fish during a visit with the Japanese prime minister. Japanese prime minister actually led the way with the feeding.

“CNN FALSELY reported about Anthony Scaramucci’s meeting with a Russian, but retracted it due to a ‘significant breakdown in process’.

“Newsweek FALSELY reported that Polish First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda did not shake President Trump’s hand.”

“CNN FALSELY reported that former FBI Director James Comey would dispute President Trump’s claim that he was told he is not under investigation.

“The New York Times FALSELY claimed on the front page that the Trump administration had hidden a climate report.”

“And last, but not least: “RUSSIA COLLUSION!” Russian collusion is perhaps the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people. THERE IS NO COLLUSION!”

The post also went on to list 10 Trump administration’s major successes, adding “while the media spent 90 per cent of the time focused on negative coverage or fake news, the President has been getting results”.


Four Foreign Nationals Abducted In Kaduna State

Kaduna State Police Command confirmed that four foreigners have been abducted nationals on Kwoi-Jere road in Kagarko local government area of Kaduna State.

This was announced by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Mukhtar Aliyu confirmed to NAN that the foreign nationals included two Canadians and two Americans.

The Spokesperson said the nationals were said to be returning to Abuja from Kafanchan, Jema’a local government area of Kaduna state, adding, “the kidnappers laid ambush for them and engaged the escorts in gun duel which led to the death of two policemen while the four foreigners were whisked to unknown destination.”

He said the Command had since swung into action as it had deployed its anti-kidnap unit and assured that the abductors would be brought to book.

The officer urged Nigerians to be vigilant and report any suspected persons or group of persons to the appropriate authorities.


How Anyim Got N575m For Special Service, By EFCC And Other Interesting Newspaper Headline Today

The former Secretary to the Government of the Federation Anyim Pius Anyim is fighting to keep his integrity after being accused of collecting N575m for special service. THE NATION disclosed that the cash according to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), came from the office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

THE VANGUARD reveals on its headline that Southern, M-Belt Leaders Visit Benue, Insist On Restructuring. The leadership of ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, including Afenifere, Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, Middle Belt and South South Forum, yesterday, stormed Makurdi, Benue State, urging President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, APC, to embrace the call for the restructuring of the country to save it from imminent collapse.

On NIGERIAN TRIBUNE today, Senate Uncovers Excess Petrol Importation Worth N784bn. A report of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downsteam), headed by Senator Kabiru Marafa, has uncovered a N784 billion worth excess petrol imported by the Federal Government in 2017.

Finally Heardsmen Destroy Ex-Naval Chief’s Farms, Taraba Rejects Cattle Colony head THE PUNCH this morning. A former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Samuel Afolayan, said on Wednesday that headsmen had destroyed about 45 hectares of his 500-hectare farm. Afolayan’s cry is coming on the heels of fresh attacks by herdsmen in Benue State during which five people reportedly died.



US Embassy To Be Moved To Jerusalem Within A Year

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday announced that the U.S. will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem within a year.

Netanyahu made this known to Israeli reporters on a flight from Dehli to Gujarat during a state visit to India, the Times of Israel reported.

The prime minister’s timeline drastically differs from that offered earlier by White House officials, who said the move would take at least three to four years due to stringent security measures and other requirements.

“My confident assessment is that it will move much faster than people think, within a year from today,” Netanyahu said, according to the Times of Israel.

President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Dec. 6 and initiated a process to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

Israel occupied the eastern half of Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed the territory in a move that was not internationally recognised.

Israel has long claimed that Jerusalem as its “undivided capital,” while the Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

Trump’s controversial decision sparked protests in some countries and was rejected in a non-binding UN General Assembly resolution.

The recognition was welcomed in Israel, and Guatemala has since announced it will follow the US in moving its embassy to the city.

Arab foreign ministers are set to meet on Feb. 1 in Cairo to discuss steps against Trump’s recognition, the Arab League had earlier said.