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NRC suspends 8 am train ride

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The Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC, has suspended the 8 am train ride from Ujevwu in Delta State from January 17 due to technical glitches.

Mr Fidet Okhiria, NRC’s Managing Director, said that measures were, however, put in place to rectify the issues at the earliest possible time.

This is coming less than a few weeks after the Federal Government of Nigeria declared free train rides for Nigerians from December 24 to January 4, 2022.

“This is to inform the general public and most especially our esteemed passengers that due to technical hitches, the 08:00hrs train from Ujevwu station will not run from tomorrow, Jan.17.

“The 14:15hrs train will, however, continue to run.

“Be assured that every effort is being made to ensure that this disruption is for a minimal period of time.

“We regret any inconveniences this may cause our esteemed passengers,” Okhiria said as quoted by NAN.

Umahi warns Ebonyi residents against obeying IPOB sit-at-home order

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The Ebonyi State Government has warned residents of the state against obeying the sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), ahead of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu’s court outing.

Nwachukwu Eze, the state’s Commissioner for Markets and Parks, warned that residents who obey the sit-at-home would be severely punished.

Recall that IPOB’s spokesperson, Emma Powerful, had announced the sit-at-home for Tuesday in protest of Kanu’s continued trial.

Kanu’s trial before Justice Binta Nyako-led Federal High Court Abuja continues on Tuesday.

However, the Commissioner directed that all markets and parks in the state should be open for business or their leaders should be prepared to face “severe punishment”.

According to Eze, “All markets and parks leaderships in Ebonyi are by this announcement directed to ensure that markets are open for businesses on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

“The state is not in any way part of the sit-at-home order by IPOB. Please note that strict compliance to this directive is very important as failure to do so will attract severe punishment.”

FCTA bars unvaccinated civil servants, visitors

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Monday, began enforcement of ‘no vaccination, no entry’ into the Area 11 Garki Secretariat.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that as early as 7 a.m., the implementation team and security men manned the entrance of the secretariat.

A NAN correspondent, who monitored the enforcement exercise, observed that many staff and visitors were being turned back.

Some were seen at the entrance gates grumbling and begging to gain access.

Addressing newsmen, Mr Ikharo Attah, Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to the FCT Minister, said that the enforcement would be sustained to ensure maximum compliance.

He said there was no going back on enforcement of the directive, adding that pictures of vaccination cards on phones and photocopies would not be accepted.

Attah said that an enforcement team had been deployed at the premises of FCTA and secretariats and departments to monitor compliance.

“We will be following up seriously on this and we have also warned people not to snap their card on the phone as we want to see the original card, don’t show us vaccination card on phone,” he said.

“We will be asking for identity cards and we would match the cards with your COVID-19 vaccination card so that you don’t bring someone else’s card as your own.”

NAN reports that the enforcement team went round some of the agencies of FCTA which includes, the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Social Development Secretariat and FCT Universal Basic Education Board.

Others are FCT Water Board, Secondary Education Board, FCT Primary Health Care Board, Public Health Department, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASA) and FCT Area Council Staff Pension Board.

FG applauds NCC’s commitment to enhancing digital skill in youths as Danbatta vows to deepen access

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The Federal Government has applauded the commitment and dedication of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) towards enhancing digital skills development among youths through implementation of various Information and Communication Technology skill acquisition programmes.

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, and the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, gave the commendation during the inauguration of a Digital Nigeria Centre (DNC), a project executed by the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), an arm of NCC, at the Ijesa Muslim Grammar School, Ilesa, Osun State recently.

Representing President Muhamadu Buhari at the event, Aregbesola commended the NCC for timely and thorough implementation of the project, saying he was confident that the project will promote the connection of public secondary schools to broadband internet in Ilesa community and ultimately equip beneficiaries with 21st century skills.

“I would like to thank my very good friend and brother, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, for assenting to our request to have the first of this remodeled project in Osun State sited in Ilesa. I will also like to thank the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta and the entire Management and staff of NCC and the USPF, as well as their technical partners for a timely and successful completion of this laudable project,” he said.

On the sideline of the commissioning, Aregbesola also announced the establishment of President Muhammadu Buhari N100 million Technology Fund for Youth Empowerment, to nudge the emergence of world class technology experts. The Minister of Interior stated that the Fund targets 2,000 youths in the next two years, who will be provided with devices for training in different areas such as software development and design, amongst others.

The Governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola, who was represented by the State’s Commissioner for Innovation, Science and Technology, Dr. Babatunde Olawale, expressed the gratitude of the State Government to the Federal Government, the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the Nigerian Communications Commission, for initiative and particularly for inaugurating the pioneer remodeled DNC project in Osun State. Oyetola also informed the enthusiastic gathering that Osun State Government was willing and ready to collaborate with NCC to replicate the project in other parts of the State

Speaking in the same vein, Pantami, who was represented at the event by the Chairman, Board of Commissioners of NCC, Prof. Adeolu Akande, also commended the NCC and USPF on the delivery of the DNC project on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He declared that the project and similarly instituted ones were initiated by the government to give expression to its vision to effectively digitise the nation’s economy for increased prosperity for all Nigerians.

Pantami stated that the Federal Government is focused on promoting the digital economy across the country and that this had informed the renaming of the Ministry of Communications to the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. On the heels of the re-christening, Pantami recalled that the Federal Government emplaced Digital Nigeria-oriented policies to reinforce the focus of existing policies in order to accelerate the delivery of derivable benefits of digital economy to Nigerians, regardless of their locations and circumstances.

Very central among the policies is the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030, a 10-year, eight-pillar focused blueprint for actualising the Federal Government’s digital economy agenda unveiled in November, 2019.

Pantami asserted that the DNC inaugurated at Ilesa was a concrete implementation of the Digital Literacy and Skills, the second pillar of NDEPS.

According to Pantami, the overarching objective of the DNC project is to facilitate adoption of digital lifestyle in the schools as well as in the school communities. The Minister averred that the project’s significance cannot be under-estimated, considering its ability to improve digital skill for the youths and subsequently make them globally competitive.

Pantami said the Nigerian government is determined to arm the youths with digital skills, strong literacy and numeracy skills, critical and innovative thinking skills, complex problem solving aptitude, the ability to collaborate, and deploy socio-emotional skills, which they require to transform their lives and build the economy.

“We have already made a number of giant strides in the development of our digital economy culture and the deployment of initiatives such as the Digital Nigeria Centre eloquently demonstrates the current administration’s commitment to connecting all Nigerians,” Pantami said as he equally expressed Federal Government’s commitment to its tripartite agenda of improving the economy, curbing corruption and enhancing national security through effective deployment of ICT in all nooks and crannies of the country.

In his remark, Danbatta, who was represented at the event by the Commission’s Director of Projects, Iyabode Solanke, said all the regulatory activities, initiatives and programmes that the Commission had undertaken since 2019, in collaboration with its critical stakeholders, including its arm, the USPF, have been targeted at giving concrete expression to Nigeria’s deliberate policy to migrate to a full digital economy.

He said the Commission achieves this by consistently committing itself to expansion of appropriate infrastructure to enhance digital literacy and skills in view of the economic and social impact of digitization on all sectors.

The NCC Chief Executive restated the Commission’s commitment to the overall objective of bridging the digital divide through the provision of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as well as broadband access to the unserved and underserved institutions and communities in the country.

Earlier, the Principal of Ijesa Muslim Grammar School, Ramota Ilesanmi, thanked the President Buhari-led Federal Government for the project, saying that it will go a long way in meeting the ICT needs of students and residents of the city.

The DNC, formerly known as School Knowledge Centre (SKC), is one of the projects in the Access Programme framework of the USPF, conceptualized to promote the availability and utilisation of ICT and resources of the Internet in teaching and learning in public schools in underserved, unserved and rural areas.

Specific objectives of DNC are to increase ICT literacy among school teachers and students; provide a platform for accessing online educational resources; equip students with ICT skills; facilitate ICT adoption in teaching and learning; as well as increase pass rate in Mathematics, English language and other science subjects

‘Good chance Hillary Clinton will run in 2024 if Joe Biden loses Congress in 2022 midterms – Former top advisor to Bill Clinton says

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A former top advisor to former US president Bill Clinton says there’s a ‘good chance’ Hillary Clinton will run against Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential election if the current administration led by Joe Biden loses Congress in the 2022 midterms.

Dick Morris claimed Sunday morning, January 16 that a Clinton-Trump rematch is likely if the Democrats don’t win congress in the November 2022 election, alleging the failure would cause the party to turn on President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and support a candidate like Hilary Clinton.

 

‘There’s a good chance of it,’ Morris told WABC radio host John Catsimatidis before applauding Hilton’s campaign strategy, which could see her face-off against Donald Trump again after Trump beat her to the White House in 2016.

‘Hillary has set up a brilliant, brilliant strategy that nobody else is able to do.’

‘What she’s done — at a point at which no Democrat is willing to come out and criticize Joe Biden, but all Democrats are disappointed with him and have to realize the ultimate correctness of our accusations that he was incompetent to be president — she has set up a zero-sum gain with him.

‘The worse he does, the better she does because she’s positioned herself as the Democratic alternative to Biden.’

Although Clinton has not yet said if she intends to enter the bid for president in 2024, she has publicly taken aim at the current administration’s efforts, saying they ‘mean nothing if we don’t have a Congress that will get things done and we don’t have a White House that we can count on to be sane and sober and stable and productive’.

 

Morris also claimed Clinton, 74, has portrayed herself as the opposition to the extreme left and cautioned her own party to be careful if candidates they bring up in what she refers to as ‘purple districts’.

 

The former political advisor alleged ‘there is only one person capable of that level of thinking — and that’s her husband, Bill.’

 

Morris alleged Clinton is well positioned to be the Democratic party’s change candidate who can reference Biden’s failures, noting that a ‘left-wing took over the party and led us into disaster in the 2022 midterms’.

‘The person who staked out the turf first and owns the turf in the Democratic Party is going to be Hillary. It’s a brilliant, brilliant strategy?,’ he explained.

Hilary Clinton told NBC’s Willie Geist last month that Democrats needed candidates who could win in purple states if it was to have a Congress that will ‘get things done.’

 

‘I think that it is a time for some careful thinking about what wins elections, and not just in deep blue districts where a democrat and a liberal Democrat or so-called progressive Democrat is going to win,’ said Clinton.

‘We’ve got to be very clear eyed about what it’s going to take to hold the House and the Senate in 2022. And to win the electoral college because also Republicans are doing everything they can to create an environment in which winning the Electoral College, even narrowly the way Joe Biden did will be out of reach for Democrats,’ she argued in December, just weeks after the party’s defeat in Virginia’s gubernatorial election.

‘But at the end of the day, nothing is going to get done if you don’t have a Democratic majority in the House, in the Senate, and our majority comes from people who win in much more difficult districts and our majority in the Senate comes from people who can win in not just blue states and hold those wins … but can win in more purpleish states,’ she said.

‘So this is going to be a very intense period, not just for the Democratic Party, but for the country.’

 

Morris, referencing her commentary, added: ‘She was absolutely right and nobody else has the guts to say that.’

‘Hillary can say “go to hell, I don’t care about you guys. I’m going to be the anti-Chirst, I’m going to run against you.” Therefore, she’s the only one between now and the end of the midterm elections who’s prepared to say what the truth is,’ Morris said.

He added: ‘She staked out a ground, not on ideological issues, but on pragmatism.’

How I aborted unlawful search of Justice Odili’s Abuja house – Police chief tells court

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An Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP, Madaki Chidawa, on Monday, in Abuja narrated to the Federal High Court how he aborted the unlawful search of the Abuja residence of the Supreme Court Justice, Mary Peter Odili on October 29 last year.

He gave evidence in the trial of 15 persons, including a housewife, accused of perpetrating the unlawful act at No, 7, Imo Rivers Street, Maitama official residence of the apex court Justice.

At the trial kick-started by the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, ASP Chidawa told Justice Nkeonye Evelyn Maha that the 15 defendants led by a Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP Lawrence Ajodo, stormed the house in a fearful manner around 6 pm of October 29.

On arrival, the witness said that the defendants vehemently demanded to execute a search warrant on the house as a team of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Assets Recovery Panel attached to the Federal Ministry of Justice.

He told the court that he demanded for the search warrant and upon going through, he discovered the search warrant signed by a Chief Magistrate was addressed to No 9, Imo Crescent, Abuja.

ASP Chidawa explained that he used the wrong address on the search warrant to resist the execution of the warrant since the house of Justice Mary Peter Odili is No 7, Imo Rivers Street.

The witness further informed the court that he subsequently ran to Justice Mary Odili, who promptly made some phone calls that eventually nailed and aborted the unlawful mission of the defendants.

He said that upon realising that the mission had been aborted, CSP Lawrence Ajodo, who allegedly paraded a suspicious identity card of the Federal Ministry of Justice, then threatened to deal with him when they come back with reinforcement but that the defendants never returned.

Meanwhile, further trial has been adjourned to March 1, 2022 by Justice Maha.

We are saints compared to today’s level of corruption – IBB

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Former Military leader, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, IBB, (rtd) has said that the massive corruption going on in Nigeria now would make him and others who served in the military look like saints.

 

Babangida said this in an interview with Trust TV.

 

In his words

 

 “I sacked a governor for misappropriating N300,000. Now there are people, we read in the papers, thank God there are papers to read and social media and so on, who steal N2 billion, N3 billion and nobody is saying they are corrupt; only us because we are military, that is all.

I still maintain that we are saints if you compare somebody who is accused of stealing N3 billion to one with N300,000; then I think we are saints.”

So what did we try to do? We got government not to be involved in things like production. Anything to do with ‘I have to come to you and you will always think you are doing me a favour, so maybe I should reciprocate it’; that is the sort of thing. And that is why we introduced freeing the economy; you don’t need a licence to be graded Grade A; your groundnut or cocoa or cotton or whatever it is.

You don’t need to go to the Central Bank or to go to banks to get foreign exchange. There are Bureaux de Change. They set it up in market areas, where you can easily go and get it. So the sources of corruption has to be identified and attacked”

“People in the NorthEast can now sleep with their two eyes closed” – Yobe state governor, Mala Buni, hails President Buhari for ‘improved security’ in the NorthEast

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The governor of Yobe State, Hon. Mai Mala Buni, has praised President Buhari for what he described as the “significant improvement in the security situation in the North-East, particularly in Yobe State.”

 

According to Buni, people in the North East can now sleep with their eyes closed.

 

The governor commended the President for restoring peace to the North-East when he spoke at the 2022 Annual Machina Cultural Festival on Sunday, January 16.

 

Buni said the large and peaceful congregation that witnessed the cultural festival was an evidence that the security situation had improved. He thanked President Buhari for providing the security personnel the required resources to secure lives and property in the country.

 

“As a result of this, the people in the north eastern part of the country can now sleep with their two eyes closed. In case there is still anybody in doubt, this large congregation at this event is enough proof that the security situation has improved” Buni said

Watch moment police man grabbed female colleague by the throat and shoved her into patrol car after she tried to pull him off suspect (video)

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A police sergeant in Florida, US has been demoted to office work after he was seen on video grabbing a fellow officer by her throat and shoving her into patrol car.

Police in Sunrise, Florida have shared body camera footage of an incident that took place November 19.

 

Watch moment police man grabbed female colleague by the throat and shoved her into patrol car after she tried to pull him off suspect (video)

Everyone in the video had their face blurred except for Sergeant Christopher Pullease, 46, a 21-year veteran of the force who assaulted a female officer.

Sunrise police say they were detaining a suspect who was ‘verbally and physically resistive’ when officer Pullease came on the scene and got aggressive, Chief Anthony Rosa said in a statement.

Pullease (pictured bottom left)  then got into a verbal altercation with the suspect, who was already sitting inside a police car.

 

Watch moment police man grabbed female colleague by the throat and shoved her into patrol car after she tried to pull him off suspect (video)

The female officer approaches Pullease from behind and pulled him by the back of his duty belt, in line with the department’s policies.

Pullease then turned around while backpedaling as he was pulled, then put his hand at the other officer’s throat before pushing her backward until she hit a nearby police patrol car.

 

Watch moment police man grabbed female colleague by the throat and shoved her into patrol car after she tried to pull him off suspect (video)

Rosa said that Pullease was ‘inappropriate and unprofessional’ in the situation and added that he ‘unnecessarily elevated the demeanor of the suspect.’

 

In an interview with local TV station, Rosa was asked why Pullease hasn’t already been charged in the three months since the incident, with a reporter pointing out that any civilian who put their hands on an officer’s throat would face charges.

‘So there’s some details of the investigation that I’ve not disclosed, that I’m unable to disclose right now, and if any of the information that comes up during the investigation rises to a level of criminal behavior or criminal conduct, then we’ll address it appropriately,’ Rosa responded.

Watch the video below

 

North Korean hackers stole nearly $400 million in cryptocurrency last year – New report claims

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North Korean hackers reportedly stole nearly $400 million worth of cryptocurrency in 2021, making it one of the most lucrative years for cybercriminals in the impoverished and severely isolated country.

 

According to a new report by Chainalysis, a firm that tracks cryptocurrency, hackers launched at least seven different attacks in 2021, targeting investment firms and centralized exchanges with a variety of tactics, including phishing, malware and social engineering.

The cybercriminals worked to gain access to organizations’ “hot” wallets — digital wallets that are connected to the internet — and then move funds into North Korea controlled accounts.

 

The report is the latest indication that North Korea which is heavily sanctioned by the US and UN continues to rely on a network of hackers to help fund its domestic nuclear program.

 

A confidential United Nations report last year accused the regime of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, of conducting “operations against financial institutions and virtual currency exchange houses” to pay for weapons and keep North Korea’s economy afloat.

 

Last February, the US Justice Department charged three North Koreans for conspiring to steal more than $1.3 billion from banks and companies around the world and orchestrating digital heists of cryptocurrency.

According to Chainalysis, most of last year’s thefts were carried out by the Lazarus Group, a hacking group with links to North Korea that has previously been linked to the hack on Sony Pictures.

“North Korea is, in most respects, cut off from the global financial system by a long sanctions campaign by the US and foreign partners.” said Nick Carlsen, analyst at blockchain intelligence firm TRM Labs.

“As a result they have taken to the digital battlefield to steal crypto in, essentially, [a] bank robbery at the speed of the internet, to fund weapons programs, nuclear proliferation and other destabilizing activities.”

“As the cryptocurrency market grows more popular we are likely to see continued interest by North Korea to target crypto businesses that are young and building out cyber defenses and anti-money laundering controls,” said Carlsen.