Halt Rafah Offensive Now – ICJ Orders Israel

By Chris Udochukwu The top United Nations court on Friday ordered Israel to halt military operations in Rafah “immediately”, a landmark ruling likely to increase mounting international pressure on Israel more than seven months into the GazaThe International Court of Justice also ruled Israel must keep open the key Rafah crossing for “unhindered” humanitarian aid and urged the “unconditional” release of hostages taken by Hamas during its October 7 assault. ICJ rulings are legally binding but the court has no concrete means to enforce them. For example, it ordered Russia to halt its invasion of Ukraine, to no avail. The court said Israel must “immediately halt its military offensive, and any other action in the Rafah Governorate, which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” Israel had argued before the court that an order to stop military activity would give free rein to Hamas extremists and prevent its army from rescuing hostages taken in the group’s brutal October 7 attack. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu …

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Tribunal upholds Uzodimma’s Election As Imo Governor

…..Gives reason for Dismisses LP’s Petition FCT. – The Imo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal on Friday affirmed the election of Hope Uzodimma as Imo State Governor. The tribunal which gave its ruling in Abuja also dismissed the petition of the Labour Party (LP) and its governorship candidate Athan Achonu. In a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay, the three-man panel of the tribunal held that Uzodimma’s election as Imo State governor complied substantially with the provisions of the Electoral Act. The tribunal further held that the Labour Party in its petition failed to prove the allegation of overvoting and non-compliance to the Electoral Act. Recall that last year, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Uzodimma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the November 11 governorship election in Imo State. Uzodimma scored 540,308 votes to defeat his closest challenger, Senator Samuel Anyanwu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 71,503 votes while Achonu, came third with 64,081 votes. None of the other 15 candidates had up to 10,000 votes. Dissatisfied with the result, …

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South Africa Applauds ‘Tougher’ ICJ Order on Israel

South Africa on Friday welcomed an order by the International Court of Justice to Israel to halt its offensive in the Gaza city of Rafah, and urged UN member states to back it. “I believe it’s a much stronger, in terms of wording, set of provisional measures, a very clear call for a cessation,” Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor told public broadcaster SABC. South Africa has brought a case before the ICJ alleging the Israeli military operation in Gaza, launched in response to the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas militants, amounts to “genocide”. The court is considering that case, but in the interim has brought in “preliminary measures” ordering Israel do everything it could to prevent acts of genocide during its campaign against Hamas. Israel has nevertheless pursued its operation, notably in assaulting the refugee-packed city of Rafah, and South Africa requested Friday’s ruling on further interim orders. Pandor said South Africa was “really pleased” that the court had heeded its call and argued that its case “is getting stronger and stronger by the day, that a genocide is …

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Anambra: Kidnapped Catholic priest freed

The Anambra State Government has announced the release of an abducted Catholic priest, Reverend Father Basil Gbuzuo. The priest was last week abducted at Nkpor, close to Onitsha, by unknown gunmen. Press Secretary to Anambra State Governor, Mr Christian Aburime, who announced the priest’s release in a statement on Friday, did not share details of the development, but said that the state government has commenced work to exterminate all criminal elements in the state. He said: “This is to inform the general public that Rev. Fr. Basil Gbuzuo, who was kidnapped on 15th May 2024 along Nkpor-Obosi axis has regained freedom, through the onerous efforts of the joint security task team of Anambra State Government and well meaning citizens. “The State Government will not rest on its oars, as we work to ensure that any person held in captivity is released unconditionally and unhurt. “The Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo CFR, appreciates the contributions of all well meaning people in the onerous effort to make Anambra a peaceful and liveable homeland.” Aburime added: “We also seize this …

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Man losses life after being shot in the face with police tear gas

A resident of the Kubwa area in the Bwari Local Council in Abuja identified as Onyebuchi Anele was reportedly shot in the face with a tear gas canister by a police officer. The incident occurred on Wednesday, May 22. An eyewitness recounted to Leadership Newspaper that the deceased was on his way home from work when the incident occurred. The eyewitness said the deceased “hit an okada man and his passenger and after stopping and making sure the accident victims were okay, decided to head home in the Haj Estate when policemen arrived the scene.” The eyewitness elaborated that trouble ensued when the policemen, upon arriving at the scene, insisted that the deceased accompany them to their station, despite the departure of the okada man and his passenger. This disagreement escalated into a quarrel, culminating in the policeman firing the tear gas canister directly into the deceased’s face at close range. Widely circulated pictures and videos showed Anele bleeding from his face with a metallic object embedded in it. However, the Police Public Relations Officer in the FCT, SP Josephine …

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National Sports Festival Rescheduled for January 2025

The Federal Government has postponed the 22nd edition of the National Sports Festival, tagged, ‘Gateway Games, Ogun 2024’, to January 2025. Recall that Sunday Dare, the then Minister of Youth and Sports Development, announced Ogun as the next host in Asaba during the closing ceremony of the 21st NSF on December 10, 2022. However, in a communique released after the first National Council on Sports, at the Old Government Lodge, Abakaliki Road, Enugu State, the Minister of Sports Development, John Enoh, announced the postponement of the games. The minister commended Ogun State Government for its commitment ahead towards hosting the festival, noting that the event plays a vital role in national unity, while also increasing socio-economic growth for the sustainable development of the hosting state and the country in general. He called on the federal and state governments to bid and host national and international sports competitions, to fast-track the development of sports in the country. The minister stated that the Council of Sports was in favour of the establishment of the Sports Development and Investment Fund (NSIDF) due to …

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Only the court can decide Nnamdi Kanu’s fate on terrorism charges– Fagbemi

ABUJA- The Attorney-General of the Federation ( AGF), Lateef Fagbemi, SAN says the offence of the detained leader of the proscribed  Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu is a difficult one and can only the court is competent to determine the charge. Fagbemi said this while responding to questions at the Sectoral Ministerial Briefing on the first anniversary of the President Bola Tinubu administration on Friday in Abuja. He said that since the mater was already in court, it should be left to the law to have its way. The AGF pointed out that there was a remarkable difference between Kanu’s case and that of the convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore. He said, “Sowore and Kanu are not the same, when it comes to the first one I didn’t have difficulty to say go, but I have difficulty with the second one”. While pointing out that Kanu is being held in accordance with the Constitution, he observed that, “the matter is still in court, let’s wait for the court”. It will be recalled that Sowore was arrested in …

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Sickness, surgery delayed my debut album – Tems

Grammy-winning Nigerian singer Temilade Openiyi, popularly known as Tems, has revealed how a “serious illness” (she declined to specify) forced her to delay the release of her debut album. Tems, who hit the global reckoning in 2020 after appearing on Wizkid’s summer hit ‘Essence,’ disclosed in a recent interview with the New York Times that her debut album was scheduled for release in 2021 but got postponed due to an illness that forced her into surgery and six months of recovery. The Oscar-nominated diva explained that she released her sophomore extended play, ‘If Orange Was a Place’ instead. Fighting her way back to health partly inspired her new music, which she said was about embracing life as a warrior. “Being a warrior is about not giving up,” she said. “Even if they cut your leg, you walk on your knees, you fight on your knees using what you have — and that’s good enough.” Tems’ much-anticipated and long-awaited debut album, ‘Born In The Wild’ will arrive June 7. She is also kicking off her first headline world tour in June.

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How to apply: Nigerian Students loan portal kicks off

The Much-awaited Nigeria’s education loan scheme commenced on Friday. The managing director/chief executive officer of the Nigeria Education Loan Fund, Akintunde Sawyerr, recently announced that the launch portal will be on Friday, May 24, 2024. According to NELFUND, the scheme’s first phase will include 1.2 million federal higher institution students. He stressed that the next phase will include students from State universities in Nigeria. Sawyerr said the requirements to apply for the loan include an admission letter from the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, a National Identity Number, a Bank Verification Number, and completed application forms from its website. Meanwhile, students in private universities have kicked against exclusion from the scheme. Here are the outlines on the step-by-step application process: How to Apply for Student Loan Step 1: visit nelf.gov.ng Step 2: Click on the “Apply Now” Step 3: Click on “Get Started” Step 4: Answer the questions on this page to continue by clicking on “Yes, I am a Nigerian” Step 5: Verify your educational information. To check if your school has uploaded your details, select your school from …

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Flavour Grieves as He Loses His Father

Nigerian highlife singer Chinedu Okoli, popularly known as Flavour, has lost his father, Elder Onyemaechi Okoli. The ‘Ijele’ crooner announced the sad news via his X (formerly Twitter) handle. Elder Okoli passed away on Wednesday, May 22, 2023. Mourning his dad, Flavour wrote in Igbo: “My father, Ijele’s (his nickname) father, rest well. God gave and God has taken.” Meanwhile, condolence messages have been pouring in from fans and colleagues of the singer via the comment section. The family has yet to announce the funeral plans for the deceased.

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Minister supports Niger mass wedding, makes donations

The Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, on Thursday, announced scholarships and gave various gift items to 100 orphaned girls in Niger State, ahead of their mass wedding today (Friday). The mass wedding is being sponsored by the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Abdulmalik Sarkindaji. The minister had kicked against the mass wedding of the young girls, saying it was a violation of the Child Rights Act. Kennedy-Ohanenye, who addressed a press conference in Abuja, noted that she had petitioned the Inspector General of Police to stop the wedding, adding that she also filed a lawsuit, seeking an injunction to restrain the Speaker from going ahead with the mass wedding. In response, the Speaker lambasted the minister for dabbling into a religious and cultural issue she did not understand. He said the minister acted without first making any effort to understand the circumstances that confronted the girls, which made it necessary for their weddings to be sponsored. The Speaker also received the backing of the Niger State Council of Imams and the Muslim Rights Concern, which both warned …

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Hon. Ezechi Rolls Out Empowerment Program for Constituents

By Chidinma Okoh ASABA – Barely two weeks to his one year in the National Assembly, Honourable Nnamdi Ezechi (PDP) representing Ndokwa/Ukwuani Federal Constituency, Delta State has rolled out program for his constituents. To herald Saturday, the main day for the presentation of the empowerment items; such as Tricycles (Keke Napep), Sowing Machines, Generators, hair dressing and barbing equipments, among others, several trainings took place on Thursday and Friday, where lots of women and youths were trained on various skills. Hon. Nnamdi Ezechi while inspecting the training on Friday, assured constituents of more empowerment programs, saying that he will rolls out empowerment that will convince his constituents that they made the right choice giving him their mandate to represent them at the national assembly. However, Ezechi boasted that since his people found him worthy to represent them at NASS he was going to display real representation to them. He said, “More empowerment will manifest in the next couple of weeks, people of Ndokwa/Ukwuani Federal Constituency will see what representation is all about.” The chairman House Committee on Nigeria/South Korea Parliaments …

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Xavi Hernandez Sacked As Barcelona Coach

Barcelona sacked coach Xavi Hernandez on Friday after the Catalan giants failed to win a trophy this season but just weeks since he and club president Joan Laporta agreed he would stay in the post. Xavi will take charge of the team’s final La Liga match on Sunday at Sevilla before departing. “Barcelona president Joan Laporta has told Xavi Hernandez he will not continue as coach for the 2024-25 season,” said Barcelona in a statement. Former Bayern Munich and Germany coach Hansi Flick is heavily tipped to replace Xavi. In January, Xavi said he would leave at the end of the season but, after a run of strong form, in April he and president Laporta agreed the coach would stay for the next campaign, with his contract expiring in June 2025. However, the situation quickly changed with Spanish media reporting Laporta was angered by Xavi’s comments suggesting it was hard for the financially-hamstrung club to compete with Real Madrid and other elite European sides. “Barcelona want to thank Xavi for his work as coach, which adds to his unmatchable career …

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El’Rufai Pays Courtesy Visit Elder Statesman Dr. Sylvester Ugoh in USA

…Says Ugoh feels deeply concerned about situation in Nigeria By Chris Udochukwu Former governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El’Rufai has paid a courtesy visit to the Elder Statesman and running mate to Bashir Othman Tofa in June 12, 1993 presidential election, Dr. Sylvester Ugoh in his home in Maryland, USA. El’Rufai who is on vacation disclosed this in a statement released via his X account, said the former minister in the Shagari administration expressed deeply concerned about the situation in Nigeria. “As former Governor of the Central Bank of Biafra, Ugoh appreciates the challenges being faced by the Central Bank of Nigeria,” Elrufai said. The former Federal Capital Territory minister said Ugoh, who is 93 years old looked strong, healthy and content. The statement reads in full; Yesterday, I had the unique privilege to visit Elder Statesman Dr. Sylvester Ugoh, former Minister in the Shagari administration, and running mate to Bashir Othman Tofa in June 12, 1993 presidential election in his home in Maryland, USA. Dr. Ugoh looked strong, healthy and content, but deeply concerned about the situation in Nigeria …

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Senate approves transformation of abandoned Shell Airstrip to Airforce Base

ABUJA – The Senate on Thursday gave its approval for the transformation of one of the oldest Airstrip owned by Shell but abandoned at Oloibiri Oil Well 1, in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State to an Airforce Base This is sequel to a motion moved by Senator Agadaga Benson Sunday who represents Bayelsa East in the Red Chamber. In his lead debate, he noted that, the Airstrip was constructed by Shell in 1958 when Crude Oil was first discovered in 1956 in the Otuogidi Community and sit on over 25 hectares of land but has since been abandoned. He stated that while the Airstrip was operational, it was a valuable asset for exploration and exploitation of oil activities as well as airlifting of personnel and equipment. But regrets that following the gradual decline of Shell’s operation and final departure from Oloibiri Oil Field, the Airstrip have been left desolate, as agriculture which happened to be the mainstay of the Community can no longer subsists due to concretized soil topography. Concerned by the environmental challenges and ecological complications faced …

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2027: PDP must stick to zoning to win– Bode George

LAGOS- Chief Bode George, a former Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) National Deputy Chairman, says the party must stick to its power rotation grundnorm  between the North and South to win in 2027. George said this while fielding questions from newsmen during his address to the nation, titled “My Thoughts on The State of Our Country in the Last 25 Years: A Time to Chart A New Direction”in Lagos . He was  reacting to a recent statement made by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and PDP 2023 Presidential candidate that he would drop his ambition in 2027  if the party decides to pick its candidate from the  South East. Abubakar,who made the comment after a meeting  with the Labour Party Presidential candidate in 2023,Mr Peter Obi , said if Obi returns to PDP and the party zones the presidential ticket to the South East in 2027 ,he would drop his ambition and support him. George said power rotation must be  sacrosanct ,adding PDP  should have learnt its lessons from  the defeat of 2023. He said: “Our party has  a grundnorm. The constitution …

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