Monday 20 May 2024

Breaking: OSERM Seeks Over Two Trillion Naira in Damages in Upcoming Lawsuit Against Government and Utility Bodies for Over 15-Year Power Outage in Ondo South Communities

Breaking: OSERM Seeks Over Two Trillion Naira in Damages in Upcoming Lawsuit Against Government and Utility Bodies for Over 15-Year Power Outage in Ondo South Communities

Tolani - Akure.

OSERM Seeks Over Two Trillion Naira in Damages in Upcoming Lawsuit Against Government and Utility Bodies for Over 15-Year Power Outage in Ondo South Communities.



The Ondo South Electricity Restoration Movement (OSERM) has announced its intention to file a comprehensive lawsuit against several key defendants including the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the Ondo State Government, the Federal Government of Nigeria, and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). The suit addresses the long-standing electricity deprivation in the Ondo South Senatorial District, which has spanned over fifteen years.


The detailed claims for relief include demanding the immediate suspension of BEDC from operating in the district due to what OSERM describes as "gross negligence." Furthermore, OSERM is advocating for the court to mandate the allocation of a new and competent electricity service provider to the region.

In terms of financial compensation, the movement seeks substantial damages from the defendants for their respective failures to address the electricity crisis. Specifically, the lawsuit requests: Five Hundred Billion Naira (₦500 Bln) against BEDC for failures including the loss of life, property damage, and general inconvenience; Seven Hundred Billion Naira (₦700 Bln) against NERC for not enforcing regulations to reconnect Ondo South to the national grid; Five Hundred Billion Naira (₦500 Bln) against the Ondo State Government for neglecting to resolve the electricity issues; Five Hundred Billion Naira (₦500 Bln) against the Federal Government of Nigeria Ministry of Power for their role in overseeing a failing service provider and Five Hundred Billion Naira (₦500 Bln) against NNDC for not addressing the infrastructure deficiencies that have exacerbated the situation.


Additionally, OSERM seeks general damages and the costs of the lawsuit, citing physical, emotional, and economic suffering endured by the residents due to the prolonged electricity outage.


This legal action marks a pivotal moment for the communities of Okitipupa, Irele, Ilaje, and Eseodo, as they strive to hold these bodies accountable and seek redress for the years of hardship and economic stagnation caused by the power crisis. The outcome of this case could set a significant precedent for how utility services and governmental oversight are managed in the region. 


Further updates in our upcoming bulletin.

For inquiry, mail us via [email protected].

Tuesday 14 May 2024

President Tinubu Bans Purchase Of Petrol-dependent Vehicles

President Tinubu Bans Purchase Of Petrol-dependent Vehicles

 


President Bola Tinubu, on Monday, prohibited members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) from purchasing petrol-dependent vehicles, in order to drive the implementation of CNG-enabled motors.

Mr President has mandated that all future vehicle, generator, or tricycle acquisitions by the government and its agencies must utilize either compressed natural gas (CNG), solar power, or electric energy sources.


According to a statement by Presidential spokesman Ajuri Ngelale on Monday, the President’s directive is also in furtherance of Nigeria’s effort to transition to cleaner energy, as CNG-enabled vehicles have been adjudged to produce lower emissions, presenting a more affordable alternative for Nigerian energy consumers.


Addressing members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the State House in Abuja on Monday, President Tinubu affirmed that there was no turning back on the energy reforms initiated by his administration.


“This nation will not progress forward if we continue to dance on the same spot. We have the will to drive the implementation of CNG adoption across the country, and we must set the example as public officials in leading the way to that prosperous future that we are working to achieve for our people.


It starts with us, and in seeing that we are serious, Nigerians will follow our lead,” the President stated.


The President further directed the rejection of all memos brought forward by members of FEC seeking the purchase of traditional petrol-dependent vehicles, tasking the affected members of the Council to go back and diligently seek value-driven procurements of CNG-compliant vehicles.


The statement added that the President remained committed to effectively harnessing the nation’s gas potential, alleviating the burden of high transportation costs on the masses while enhancing the standard of living of all Nigerians.


It has been reported that the recent order has impacted new requests made by the Nigeria Customs Service and the Shipper’s Council. These agencies had requested approval to purchase hundreds of operational vehicles powered by petrol; however, they received approval for their requests with the directive that the vehicles must be powered by CNG.


Also, a request by the Federal Capital Territory to buy petrol generators was approved, but the council insisted they must be powered by CNG or solar.


The government also expects agencies to begin converting petrol or diesel vehicles or generators to CNG.


N’Assembly Moves To Stop CBN Gov From Biased Politics

N’Assembly Moves To Stop CBN Gov From Biased Politics

 


The National Assembly is seeking amendments to the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 to bar top officials of the apex bank from partisan politics.

Championed by the ex-lawmaker representing Abia Central Senatorial District, Darlington Nwokocha before he was sacked from office by an Appeal Court sitting in Lagos in 2023, the amendment seeks to prohibit the chairman, governor, and deputy governors of the CBN from engaging in political activities or becoming members of any political party for three years after service.

A former governor of the apex bank, Godwin Emefiele, it will be recalled, was drafted into the political arena in the run-up to the 2023 presidential election, as a group obtained the intention and nomination forms of the All Progressives Congress for him.

The development generated tension in the polity, following the introduction of the infamous naira redesign at the twilight of the former President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

In a bid to forestall such development, the Senate sought to ban officials of the apex bank from further incursion into the political arena.

A part (amended section 8) of Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill 2023 read: “The Governor and Deputy-Governors shall be persons of recognised financial experience and shall be appointed by the President, subject to confirmation by the Senate on such terms and conditions as may be set out in their respective letters of appointment.

“The Chairman shall also be appointed by the President. The Chairman, Governor and Deputy Governors shall not engage in or be a member of any political party until three (3) years after disengaging from office.”

The bill also proposed that the CBN’s top executives made up of the chairman, governor, and deputy governors, shall initially be appointed for a five-year term.

However, they may be reappointed for one additional term not exceeding five years.

A transitional clause stipulates varying terms for the initial deputy governors to facilitate a staggered leadership transition, with two appointed for three years and two for four years.

The amendment bill read “The Chairman, Governor and Deputy Governors shall be appointed in the first instance for a term of five years and shall each be eligible for reappointment for another term not exceeding five years and no more:

“Provided that, of the first five deputy governors to be so appointed, two shall in the first instance be appointed for three years and two shall in the first instance be appointed for four years.”

CBN Governor to report to N’Assembly

The proposed law also seeks to promote accountability mechanisms of the CBN Governor by mandating semi-annual reports to the parliament.

These sessions are to cover the broad spectrum of the CBN’s monetary policy efforts, activities, objectives, and future economic development prospects.

The amendment bill created a new Board of Directors for the bankers’ bank, aimed at injecting a new range of expertise and ensuring robust oversight.

The amendment further read, “There shall be for the Bank a Board of Directors (in this Act referred to as “the Board”) which shall be responsible for the policy and general administration of the affairs and business of the Bank.

“The Board shall consist of (a) Chairman; who shall be a renowned professional in Accounting, Finance or Economics that has served as a Chief Executive of a regulatory agency in Nigeria and has deep insight of the operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria in the course of his regulatory functions.

“(b) the Governor; (c) Five Deputy Governors (of which one shall be appointed from each region other than the region where the Governor comes from); (d) the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance; (e) five non-executive Directors; and (f) Accountant-General of the Federation.

“The Board shall, from time to time (a) keep the President informed of the affairs of the Bank, including a report on its budget; and (b) make a formal report and presentation on the activities of the Bank and the performance of the economy to the relevant Committees of the National Assembly.”

Labour Threatens Indefinite Protest Over Electric Tarrif Hike As FG Convenes Emergency Meeting

Labour Threatens Indefinite Protest Over Electric Tarrif Hike As FG Convenes Emergency Meeting


The Federal Government will next week hold a crucial meeting to address the demands by organised labour for the restoration of the power subsidy and the reversal of the hike in electricity tariff.


The spokesperson for the Ministry of Power, Mrs Florence Eke, disclosed this to The PUNCH, hours after the labour unions disrupted activities at the ministry in Abuja, on Monday.


However, organised labour has threatened to continue with the protest indefinitely, stressing that it might take drastic action should the government fail to reverse the tariff hike.


The protests paralysed activities at the Federal Ministry of Power, and the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission and also disrupted the operations of the distribution companies across the country.


The nationwide protests were triggered by the Federal Government’s decision to raise electricity tariffs and remove the subsidy from the power sector.


The NERC announced the hike in the electricity tariff for Band A customers at a press briefing in Abuja on April 3, revealing that those affected would pay N225 per kilowatt-hour, up from the previous rate of N68/kWh. The hike represented a 240 per cent increase.


The nationwide protests were triggered by the Federal Government’s decision to raise electricity tariffs and remove the subsidy from the power sector.


The NERC announced the hike in the electricity tariff for Band A customers at a press briefing in Abuja on April 3, revealing that those affected would pay N225 per kilowatt-hour, up from the previous rate of N68/kWh.


The development marked the removal of subsidy from the tariff of customers in the Band A category, who constituted about 15 per cent of the total 12.82 million power consumers across the country.


Based on the tariff hike, the Federal Government said it would save N1.5tn.


The government stated that the decision took effect on April 3, 2024, adding that Band A customers would enjoy up to 20 hours of power supply daily.


The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria had earlier given the NERC until May 12, to reverse the hike or face labour action.


Speaking to one of our correspondents on the moves to contain the protests, the spokesperson for the power ministry, Eke, said that the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Mamman Mahmuda, acknowledged the National Union of Electricity Employees’ concerns regarding the lack of sufficient consultation before the implementation of the new tariffs.


She said the ministry was committed to transparency and would engage in a comprehensive dialogue with all relevant parties to discuss the issues raised.


“The union was at the Power House today and they were addressed by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Power. He assured that the ministry would call for a stakeholder meeting by next week where all issues will be addressed because one of the points they raised was that there was not enough consultation before the tariff was increased. The permanent secretary said as policymakers, the ministry would invite the stakeholders by next week,’’ she said.


But unimpressed, the unions issued a one-week ultimatum to the Federal Government to reverse the new electricity tariff.


The National Treasurer of the NLC, Hakeem Ambali, told The PUNCH that the Monday protest was a one-day event, adding that should the government fail to reverse the tariff hike, the unions would embark on  “a full-blown action.’’


“The protest is a one-day warning action. If after a week nothing happens, labour will go into full action,’’ he warned.


 In the same vein, the First National Deputy President of the TUC, Tommy Etim, said there would not be any engagement with the government until the tariff hike is reversed.

Friday 10 May 2024

Police Arrested Cleric For Defíling Three Teenage Girls In Kwara

Police Arrested Cleric For Defíling Three Teenage Girls In Kwara


 The Kwara State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps has arrested a cleric for allegedly defíling three teenage girls in Agah village in Ilorin South Local Government Area.

The 45-year-old cleric identified as Prophet Olayinka Ajiboye, described as a serial rápist, was alleged to have defíled three minors, all within the age bracket of 13-17years in Agah Village, Ilorin South Local Council Area of the state.


The cleric who had been under surveillance of the state command of the NSCDC was arrested on Tuesday by the operatives of the command.


Confirming the arrest of the cleric on Thursday, the Public Relations Officer of NSCDC in the state, ASC Ayoola Michael, said “The suspect, who specialises in harássing and sexúally assaulting minors, has been under the surveillance of the command following several complaints about his nefarious activities. He was apprehended after a tip-off on Tuesday, May 7, 2024.


“Investigation revealed that the suspect is the General Overseer of Divine Land of Joy Prayer Ministry located in Agah village and has sexúally assaulted several members of the church, as reported by the victims.”


“One of the victims, Joy Godfrey, who bravely reported the case at the Gender Unit of the command on April 3, 2024, revealed horrifying details of her ordeal. She disclosed that Prophet Olayinka Ajiboye lured her into an unfamiliar house in the Sango area of Ilorin and sexúally assaulted her.


“Additionally, he compelled her to swear with the Bible and instructed her never to discuss the incident with anyone, threatening her with fatal consequences if she dared to speak about it”, the NSCDC PRO said.


“The second victim who suffered a similar abuse (name withheld) also revealed that the suspect started having canal knowledge with her at the age of sixteen(16). She further disclosed that the suspect impregnated her and gave her drugs to abórt the baby, resulting in severe bleéding that lasted for several months. The suspect threatened to kíll her if she revealed their illicit relationship to anyone.”


He went further to state, “According to the third victim (name withheld),  who is also a member of the church, disclosed that the suspect defíled her at the age of 13. She mentioned that she couldn’t report to her mother because the suspect consistently threátened her, warning that she would díe if she exposed him to anyone.”


“Michael that the suspect had confessed to the críme, attributing it to the work of the devil.


“The Kwara NSCDC State Commandant, Dr Umar J.G Mohammed, expressed concern over the infamous act and directed the Head of Gender Unit to conduct a detailed investigation and ensure that the suspect is prosecuted diligently.”


Mohammed appealed to the public to support the command’s fight against all forms of Gender-Based Violence and assured them that perpetrators would be prosecuted in accordance with the laws of the land.

Senate Approves Déath Penalty for Drug Traffickers

Senate Approves Déath Penalty for Drug Traffickers

 


The Senate, on Thursday, pass the bill of death penalty for dealers and importers of cocaine, heroin and other hard drugs into the country.

The proposed capital punishment also applies to manufacturing, trafficking, dealing in or delivery of hard drugs by any means.


The Senate arrived at the resolution on the floor of the red chamber after deliberations on the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024.


The maximum punishment in the extant law for offenders is life imprisonment.


During the consideration of the report on the bill for passage on Thursday, Senate Whip, Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South), recommended that the punishment of life imprisonment be “toughened” and upgraded to the death penalty.


The penalty for drug importation or dealership is captured in Section 11 of the extant law, which Ndume sought to be increased to a death sentence.


He said, “This (life imprisonment) should be changed to a death sentence. This is the standard worldwide. We have to do this to address this problem of drugs that has seriously affected our youths.


During the consideration of the report on the bill for passage on Thursday, Senate Whip, Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South), recommended that the punishment of life imprisonment be “toughened” and upgraded to the death penalty.


The penalty for drug importation or dealership is captured in Section 11 of the extant law, which Ndume sought to be increased to a death sentence.


He said, “This (life imprisonment) should be changed to a death sentence. This is the standard worldwide. We have to do this to address this problem of drugs that has seriously affected our youths.


“It should be toughened beyond life imprisonment. It should be the death sentence, either by hanging or any way.”


But this proposal did not sit well with some of his colleagues, including former governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, who took to the floor to voice out his reservations.


Oshiomhole, who was visibly agitated, told his colleagues that he would rarely joke with any matter concerning life and death.


“When a matter has to do with life and death, we should be accountable. Let’s divide the Senate. This is lawmaking. We are not here to take voice votes,” Oshiomhole said.


His position was, however, overruled by the Deputy Senate President, Barau Jibrin, who presided over the plenary session.


Jibrin told Oshiomhole that he should have called for a division of the Senate immediately after the voting took place and before the Senate moved to another clause in the amendment bill.


“This is about procedure. You were supposed to call for a division; you didn’t do so. I am sorry, I can’t help you,” the DSP said, sanctioning the decision of the Senate.


Similarly, Senator Sampson Ekong from Akwa Ibom State kicked against the resolution of the Senate but he was also overruled. The Senate went ahead to pass the bill for a third reading.


The report on the bill was jointly produced by the Committees on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters/Drugs and Narcotics.


Speaking with Senate correspondents after the plenary, the Chairman of the Joint Committee, Mohammed Monguno, said the Senate approved the death sentence, noting that the voices of Oshiomhole and others did not change the ruling of the presiding officer.


“The ruling of the presiding officer is the position of the Senate,” he added.


When contacted over the development, the spokesperson for the NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, said that the anti-narcotics agency could not comment on the matter, being an ongoing legislative business, which had not yet been finalised.


Babafemi said, “The agency cannot comment or be involved in the development because it is a legislative matter.”


Meanwhile, impeccable senior anti-narcotics officers, who spoke to one of our correspondents on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak on the matter, noted that the House of Representatives and the Senate had yet to harmonise their positions on the amended penalty for drug offenders.


They noted that while the House of Representatives was proposing life sentence for convicted drug offenders, the Senate proposed a death sentence, hence the need to harmonise their positions.


However, one of the sources said, “Though it is not yet a law, the amendment of the NDLEA Act by the National Assembly, proposing life and death sentences for convicted offenders, if made to become a law, would send a strong message to illicit drug traffickers and users.”

Court Imposes Travel Ban On Hadi Sirika, Daughter and Son-in-Law

Court Imposes Travel Ban On Hadi Sirika, Daughter and Son-in-Law

 


The Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja, on Thursday, barred the immediate-past Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, his daughter, Fatimah, and son-in-law, Jalal Hamma, from travelling outside the country.

Justice Sylvanus Orji ruled that they must not leave the country pending the conclusion of their N2.7bn fraud trial.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, on Thursday on six counts, bordering on N2.7bn fraud.

They were arraigned alongside Al-Buraq Investment Ltd.

The commission said in doing that, the ex-minister acted contrary to Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

In another count, the anti-graft agency alleged that on or about August 18, 2022, in Abuja, Sirika “did use your position to confer unfair advantage upon Al Buraq Global Investment Limited, whose alter ego, Fatima Hadi Sirika and Jalal Sule Hamma, are your daughter and son-in-law respectively, by using your position to influence the award to them, the contract for the Apron Extension at Katsina Airport for the sum of N1.498,300,750.00.”

The anti-graft agency said by so doing, Sirika violated Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and was liable to punishment under the same section.

In count three, the EFCC accused Sirika of criminal breach of trust “while being the Minister of Aviation and in such capacity as a public officer on or about August 18, 2022, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court.”

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.

 Following a bail application by the defence counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), the defendants were each granted bail in the sum of N100m with two sureties in like sum.

The judge said one of the sureties must own a landed property with valid land titles within the Federal Capital Territory.

The judge also held that the sureties must depose to an affidavit of means while he barred the defendants from travelling outside the shores of the country without permission.

Justice Orji added that failure to fulfil the bail conditions would earn the defendants a stay in a correctional facility.

He ruled, “I admit the first, second and third defendant to bail in the sum of 100m each with two sureties of like sum.

“One of the sureties must have a landed property within the Federal Capital Territory. The defendants must not travel outside the country.

“Any of them who is unable to fulfil the bail conditions will be remanded in the correctional centre.”The trial was subsequently fixed for June 10, 11 and 20.




Thursday 9 May 2024

Africa: Foreign Investments or throwing Away of your Resources and Control - By Gabriel Olatuja

Africa: Foreign Investments or throwing Away of your Resources and Control - By Gabriel Olatuja

Africa: Foreign Investments or throwing Away of your Resources - By Gabriel Olatuja. 


Connect with Gabriel Olatuja on LinkedIn.

No foreign investor invests in your country or startups/SMEs in your country to help you, they do so for their own interests and profitability. 

Seeking foreign (direct) investment means seeking to dash out your nations resources and economy. Your foreign investors repatriate their profits back to their own countries to boost their economy and GDP, leaving your country with nothing. 


The only  way Africans can boost African economy is not by seeking foreign investments but by Africans investing in African businesses in form of angel investment, private equity funding and  crowdfunding. This means national profit retention rather than repatriation that comes with foreign investments. This consequentially boost the nation's national GDP which will rob off on the nations sectors, economy, and citizens. 


Rich Africans should invest in African SMEs, startups, innovations, inventions, research and development. 

Individuals and youth should help raise funds through Crowdfunding for businesses, patronize the businesses and support to make them viable. Imagine a crowdfunding where 100,000 backers (0.0005%) of Nigerian population raise 1,000NGN for a startup.  That is N100,000,000. 

Imagine 1,000,000 (0.005% of Nigerian population) crowdfunding 1,000NGN for one or two businesses. That is N1,000,000,000 (1 billion Naira). This is a fund that so many startups find difficult to get from foreign investors. Even those who got it are being ripped off, lost ownership and control and the country is left with little or nothing from the profit.

Businesses that get local funding and support have high possibility to succeed and  will boosting economy, create job opportunities aside the primary goal of problem solving.

Nigerians travelling out to other continents for studies are encouraged to return to their home countries as soon as they complete their education to help uplift their home countries and Africa at large. We must be responsible for our own lives. The countries many of us go to were built by their citizens, not foreigners. We need to reciprocate same in our countries.

The disadvantages of foreign investments far outweigh the benefits in startup funding which includes lost of ownership and control for the entrepreneurs.

It's high time Nigerians and all Africans rose up to defend and protect our economy.

Who says we can't build a non-partisan social media platform to accommodate the African community rather than depending solely on foreign platforms for everything. 

In China, the combination of technological barriers, content control, data localization requirements, and regulatory measures has effectively limited the presence of international social media platforms in China, allowing domestic platforms to dominate the market and align with the government's objectives and policies in terms of economic development goals.

Enough of constantly going out to buy debt from those who are most indebted. It's time to desist from western dependencies and be productive in all aspects. These will alleviate poverty and debt.

Price of fuel is N850, a paint container of Gari is about N3,500, beans is N6,500,  even in mile 12 market. Feeding is now difficult for everyone. No economic power to feed well, no food to buy. Individuals should come together and privately invest into agriculture.  State governments should go all in to agriculture and work with local farmers to cultivate food and cash crops for local consumption and foreign exchange. From economic hardship, fuel scarcity to food scarcity, all the solutions lie on our hands.

No one will build your country for you. Building your country is your responsibility. 

In as much as I'm not against foreign investment or international trade and not against positive western impacts on the continent of Africa, my voice is calling on Nigerians to build Nigeria and Africans to build Africa. No foreigner or foreign government will do it for us.

This is a clarion call to all citizens, let's be creative. Let's be innovative. Let's support innovations and inventions. Let's depend on each other for greatness.

Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS should be joint-partners in building the economy of West African States through innovation in engineering, technology, business and development. Our goal of coming together as a cohort shouldn't be solely for political dominance.


ECOWAS should put resources together and implement sustainable projects in member States. Why can't ECOWAS build refineries and focus on other problems that face the member states?


Africa, Arise! We have all we need to make Africa strongly viable first-world nations. We have the resources from natural resources to human resources. It's time to loose ourselves from slavery and neocolonialism.


I, Gabriel Olatuja, I am committed to building Nigeria, defend the shores of Africa and her interests. 


Wednesday 8 May 2024

Widely Used COVID-19 Vaccine Withdrawn By Producer

Widely Used COVID-19 Vaccine Withdrawn By Producer


 The Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is being withdrawn worldwide due to concerns over a rare and dangerous side effect.

This development came months after the pharmaceutical giant admitted for the first time in court documents that the vaccine can cause a rare and dangerous side effect, The Telegraph reports.


The company disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.


The vaccine can no longer be used in the European Union after the company voluntarily withdrew its “marketing authorisation”.

The application for withdrawal was submitted on March 5 and took effect on Tuesday.


Similar applications will be made in the UK and other countries that had previously approved the vaccine, also known as Vaxzevria.


The decision to withdraw it brings to an end the use of the jab, which was heralded by Boris Johnson as a “triumph for British science” and credited with saving more than six million lives.


AstraZeneca disclosed that the vaccine was being removed from markets for commercial reasons.


The manufacturer added that the vaccine was no longer being manufactured or supplied, saying it has been superseded by updated vaccines that tackle new variants.


The statement read, “We are incredibly proud of the role Vaxzevria played in ending the global pandemic. According to independent estimates, over 6.5 million lives were saved in the first year of use alone and over three billion doses were supplied globally.


“Our efforts have been recognised by governments around the world and are widely regarded as being a critical component of ending the global pandemic.


“As multiple, variant Covid-19 vaccines have since been developed, there is a surplus of available updated vaccines. This has led to a decline in demand for Vaxzevria, which is no longer being manufactured or supplied. AstraZeneca has therefore taken the decision to initiate withdrawal of the marketing authorisations for Vaxzevria within Europe.


“We will now work with regulators and our partners to align on a clear path forward to conclude this chapter and significant contribution to the Covid-19 pandemic.”


In recent months, the Vaxzevria vaccine faced significant scrutiny due to an extremely rare side effect involving blood clots and low blood platelet counts.


AstraZeneca acknowledged in court documents filed with the High Court in February that the vaccine can in very uncommon instances, lead to Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome.


TTS – which stands for Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome has been associated with at least 81 fatalities in the UK, along with numerous severe injúries.


AstraZeneca is currently facing a lawsuit from over 50 individuals who claim to have suffered due to TTS, as well as from grieving family members in a High Court case.


However, AstraZeneca maintained that their decision to withdraw the vaccine is unrelated to the ongoing court proceedings or their acknowledgement of the vaccine’s potential association with TTS.


They said the timing of this withdrawal is purely coincidental.

Niger Troops Arrest Nigerian Bàndits Kingpin, Kachallah Mai Daji

Niger Troops Arrest Nigerian Bàndits Kingpin, Kachallah Mai Daji


 The Niger Armed Forces have apprehended a notorious Nigerian bandit kingpin known as Kachallah Mai Daji near the border town of Illela, Niger.

According to Zagazola Makama, a security analyst and counter-insurgency expert, Kachallah Mai Daji has left a trail of terror and devastation across northeastern Nigeria over the past decade.


“He has kîlled dozens of people, burnt down villages, kidnapped hundreds and imposed levies on villages for almost ten years,” Makama said


The bàndits leader was said to be particularly active in the Illela region, terrorising villages such as Tozai, Sabon Garin Darna, Darna Tsolawo, Tudun Gudali, Basanta, Ɗan Kadu, Takalmawa, Gidan Hamma, Ambarura, Gidan Bulutu and many others in the surrounding areas.


Kachallah Mai Daji was captured by Nigerien forces as he attempted to rustle livestock across the Nigeria-Niger border.


“He was apprehended by Nigerien forces when he tried to rustle livestock through the country border,” the report added.


On Sunday, no fewer than 11 persons reportedly died and five injured when two vehicles drove over suspected bandit’s landmines in Gamboru-Ngala and Dikwa local government areas of Borno State.