PLATEAU SCHOOL BUILDING COLLAPSE: 22 DIE, 132 INJURED The Plateau State Government says 22 persons have died and one hundred and thirty-two persons injured after a school collapsed in the Busa Buji, Jos North Local Government Area of the state. The Plateau State Commissioner for Information and Communication Musa Ashoms said this in a Friday evening statement. “As of 6:00 pm, 154 people have been rescued from the debris. Sadly, 22 individuals have been confirmed deceased,” the statement read. “Injured students and staff are receiving medical treatment at various hospitals across Jos.” Ashoms had earlier visited the scene of the building collapse and said while the school had a population of 400 students, the section that was affected had about 200 persons. He said emergency workers took the survivors to hospital. “To ensure prompt medical attention, the government has directed all major hospitals in Jos to prioritize treatment of the victims, regardless of documentation or payment,” the commissioner said. “Governor Barrister Mutfwang has specifically instructed these hospitals to accommodate all those affected by the collapse.”


COURT SLAMS N10B BAIL BOND ON BUHARI’S EX-MINISTER OF POWER Justice James Kolawole Omotosho of the Federal High Court in Abuja has slammed a N10bn bail bond on the former Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman, in the N33bn money laundering offences brought against him by the federal government. The bail bond must be endorsed by a reputable bank in Nigeria, while the ten billion naira would be forfeited to the federal government in case the defendant bolts away from trial. The Judge issued the order on Friday while delivering a ruling in a bail application filed and argued by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN, Femi Ate on behalf of the former minister. In the alternative, the defendant is to produce two sureties in the sum of N10B each who must have properties worth the minimum of N750M within Abuja. The properties must have registered titles that would be verified by the registrar of the court, along with evidence of three years of tax payments. Besides, the former minister and his two sureties are to deposit their international travelling passport with the court and shall not travel out of the country without the approval of the court. Justice Omotosho ordered that the former minister be taken to Kuje prison pending the time he would perfect the bail conditions. At the time of this report, the former minister, who was visibly ruffled by the bail conditions, was busy, along with his friends, seeking to meet up with the conditions to escape being taken to Kuje prison. The EFCC, on behalf of the federal government, filed a 12-count money laundering charge against the Mamman and was arraigned on Thursday, July 11 but pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was alleged to have committed money laundering offences to the tune of N33 billion.The former minister served under former President Buhari from 2019 to 2021.


BREAKING: SCHOOL COLLAPSES ON STUDENTS WRITING EXAMS IN JOS A school building, Saint Academy situated in Busa Buji in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State, has collapsed, trapping numerous students and teachers inside. The incident occurred around 11 am while the students were taking exams. Rescue efforts are currently underway to save the trapped students. Security personnel, including soldiers and police, have arrived at the scene to assist in the rescue operation.The full extent of the damage and the number of students trapped is yet to be confirmed.


TINUBU NAMES NATIONAL ARTS THEATRE AFTER WOLE SOYINKA President Bola Tinubu has named the National Arts Theatre in Iganmu, Lagos, after Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka. Tinubu announced this in a letter he wrote to the iconic figure in commemoration of his 90th birthday. “I am pleased to join admirers around the world in celebrating the 90th birthday of Nigeria’s iconic son and the world-renowned Professor Akinwande Oluwole Babatunde, famously known as Wole Soyinka. “Tomorrow the 13th July will be the climax of the series of local and international activities held in his honour. To underscore the global relevance of the literary giant, a symposium, along with poetry reading was held in Rabat Morocco on 9 July. The event was organized by the Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco and the Pan African Writers Association (PAWA). “Professor Soyinka, the first African to win the Nobel Literature Prize in 1986, deserves all the accolades as he marks the milestone of 90 years on earth. Having beaten prostate cancer, this milestone is a fitting testament to his ruggedness as a person and the significance of his work. It is also fitting we celebrate this national treasure while he is still with us. I am, accordingly, delighted to announce the decision of the Federal Government to rename the National Theatre in Iganmu, Surulere, as the Wole Soyinka Centre for Culture and the Creative Arts.” Tinubu said his government did not only celebrate Soyinka’s remarkable literary achievements but also his unwavering dedication to the values of human dignity and justice. “When he turned 80, I struggled to find words to encapsulate his achievements because they were simply too vast. Since then, he has added to his corpus with his series of Interventions, which have been published in many volumes.” “Professor Soyinka is a colossus, a true Renaissance person blessed with innumerable talents. He is a playwright, actor, poet, human rights and political activist, composer, and singer. He is a giant bestriding not just the literary world but our nation, Africa, and the world. “He remains the shining light of our nation, the gadfly that pokes our national soul, decrying tyranny and oppression, urging us to become better as a nation. “He is one Nigerian whose influence transcends the Nigerian space and who inspires people around the world. Since his youth, he has been a vocal critic of oppression and injustice wherever it exists, from apartheid in South Africa to racism in the United States. Soyinka always speaks truth to power. “Beginning from his 20s, he took personal risks for the sake of our nation. His courage was evident when he attempted to broker peace at the start of the civil war in 1967. Detained for two years for his bravery, he narrated his experience in his prison memoir, “The Man Died.” Despite deprivation and solitary confinement, his resolve to speak truth to power and fight for the marginalized was further strengthened. His early writing, such as ‘The Lion and the Jewel,’ ’Death and the King’s Horseman’, not only testified to his mastery of language, his innovative storytelling, but also his unflinching commitment to enthroning a fair and just society. “Our paths crossed during our just struggle for the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria following the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election. When faced with a trial in absentia and death sentence by the military regime at home, he galvanized opposition in exile through NALICON and NADECO. His global stature made him the face of our struggle to validate June 12 and restore democracy in Nigeria. “Today, I join the world to celebrate his profound influence on generations of writers, scholars, and activists who have been inspired by his work.”I celebrate him for giving us the spark…


STOP COMPLAINING, ENFORCE MINIMUM WAGE COMPLIANCE – SGF TELLS LABOUR The federal government has said that the organised labour has the obligation to enforce compliance to the minimum wage payments by state governments following the inability of some states to pay. George Akume, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) disclosed this at the end of a two-day Pre-retirement Summit organised by XEM Consulting Ltd. Akume, who was represented by Dr Nnamdi Mbaeri, Permanent Secretary, General Services Office (OSGF) urged the organised labour not to leave the enforcement of the law to the government. “So, as we are discussing paying pension, I will also throw it back to labour; you have the duty to enforce the compliance of these laws; it is not just the question of complaining,” he said. “You should be able to come in; ensure the compliance of these laws by the relevant stakeholders. “Federal Government can come up with a policy and issue circulars, but then the onus lies on those who are monitoring the implementation, to ensure that lack of compliance should be sanctioned. “Whether it is minimum wage or pension, the best law that can be made is the law you can enforce; if you make an omnibus law that you cannot enforce, that law is good as nothing.” According to Akume, the federal government has initiated a lot of reform programmes that will lift people out of poverty in the nearest future but that Nigerians should be patient, while it materialise. Earlier in his remarks, Joe Ajaero, President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), regretted that the current pension scheme fell short of taking care of Nigeria’s aging population. “Nigerian workers before and after retirement are faced with challenging life situations; the lump sum payment should be increased by at least 50 per cent. “Together, we can create a system that assures workers a retirement period of joy and not trepidation; the theme of this summit resonates with the present day workforce. “Retirement under the current pension scheme may become a death sentence for many; many questions fill the minds of workers post retirement as regards the pension scheme. “Inadequate pension benefits, inflation, rising cost and the financial contributions made pre-retirement difficult to match the current monetary values at post retirement,’’ he said. Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan, Head of Civil Service of the Federation, said that her office was working on remodelling the existing health insurance programme to accommodate retirees.Yemi-Esan, who was represented by Dr Comfort Adeosun, a Director in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, said retirees could not be abandoned in their old age.


JAIL BREAK IN NIGER REPUBLIC AS HUNDREDS OF AL QAEDA, BOKO HARAM TERRORISTS ESCAPE A curfew has been imposed in the restive Tillaberi region of Niger Republic after a mass prison break at the high-security Koutoukale prison, approximately 50 kilometres northwest of the capital, Niamey. The incident occurred on Thursday, according to the interior ministry. This is not the first attempted jailbreak at the facility, with two previous attempts in 2016 and 2019 being thwarted. The escape has raised concerns about the ability of Niger’s military to contain jihadist threats in the region, particularly as they are already stretched thin protecting the junta that seized power in last year’s coup and responding to attacks in the west. Zagazola Makama, a counter-insurgency expert in the Lake Chad area, disclosed that the prison, located near the capital city of Niamey, was the scene of a violent mutiny that overwhelmed guards and allowed inmates to escape with weapons and vehicles. Citing eyewitnesses, gunshots and explosions were heard inside the prison around midday, prompting a quick response from security forces. However, the inmates had already gained control of the prison, breaking through armoured gates, barbed wire, and trenches. Meanwhile, the ministry did not specify in its statement how many prisoners managed to escape in the latest jailbreak. Interior Minister has issued a radio message to all governors, confirming the escape and urging village chiefs and religious leaders to report any suspicious individuals. A curfew has been declared in the Tillabéri region, and the entire River Niger region is on high alert. The curfew restricts all movement of pedestrians, bicycles, and motor vehicles. According to Reuters, the prison’s inmates include detainees from the West African country’s conflict with armed groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State and suspected Boko Haram insurgents. Niger and its neighbours – Mali and Burkina Faso, all under military rule, have been battling to contain increasing jihadist attacks. On Monday, at least 14 soldiers were killed and 11 others wounded in an attack by suspected jihadist groups linked to al-Qaeda in the Tillaberi region. The troops were ambushed between the villages of Ila Fari and Djangore with 24 soldiers still reported missing. The three military-led countries have all expelled French soldiers who were there helping to fight jihadist groups and turned towards Russia for military assistance.Thousands have been killed in the insurgencies and more than three million displaced, fuelling a deep humanitarian crisis.


LIST OF STATES RUNNING LOCAL GOVERNMENT CARETAKER COMMITTEES The local government councils in most of the states are currently under the administration of caretaker committees appointed by state governors. The Supreme Court had ruled that all state governors should steer clear from receiving any funds allocated to the 774 local government areas of the country. The supreme court declared that it is unlawful for states to regulate the funding of local government areas. The Supreme Court also ruled that it is unlawful for governors to dissolve democratically elected local government councils. Following are states running local governments with caretaker committees: 1. Rivers – Rivers Governor Siminalayi Fubara appointed caretaker committees for the 23 local government areas as he continues his battle with his predecessor, Nyesom Wike, for the control of the political structure in the oil-rich state. 2. Jigawa – On June 28, 2024, the government of Jigawa State dissolved the elected council chairmen of the 27 local governments. 3. Anambra – On June 20, 2024, Governor Charles Soludo, through the House of Assembly, confirmed the appointment of transition committee chairmen and councillors for the 21 local government areas. 4. Zamfara – In Zamfara, the last grassroots poll was held on April 27, 2019, and the State returned to appointees after the chairmen’s tenures expired. In May 2024, the Assembly approved a six-month extension for the caretaker committee. 5. In Benue, however, elections were scheduled to be have been held on July 6, 2024, for LG council chairmen. 6. Bauchi – Last year, Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, sworn in 20 appointed local government area caretaker committee chairmen with their deputies. 7. Plateau – June 2023, Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau inaugurated the Interim Transition Committee chairpersons for its 17 local government areas at Government House Jos. 8. Abia – In December 2023, Abia Governor Alex Otti, inaugurated the 17 local government transition council chairpersons. 9. Enugu – In March 2024, Enugu State Government ordered local government chairmen in the 17 councils to hand over administration to heads of personnel management after the expiration of their tenures. 10. Katsina 11. Kano – In March 2024, Gov. Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State recommended names of Interim Management Committee members for Local Government Areas of the state to its House of Assembly for screening and confirmation. 12. Sokoto 13. Yobe – In April 2024, Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, approved the dissolution of all the 17 local government councils of the state, and also directed all local government chairmen to handover the affairs of their respective local governments to Directors of Personnel Management. 14. Ondo – Ondo State Government also constituted Caretaker Committees for the 18 Local Councils and 33 Local Council Development Areas, (LCDA). 15. Osun – In February 2024, Osun Assembly extended the tenure of office and re-appointed caretaker committees of 30 Local Government Areas and 39 others running Modakeke Area Office and Local Council Development Areas in the state. The extension was subsequently secured for the caretaker chairmen, vice chairmen, scribes and their members’ fresh six months tenure, beginning in February and ending in August 2024. 16. Delta 17. Akwa-Ibom – Governor Umo Eno last year through a letter with reference number GHU/AKS/S/104/VOL.1/607, addressed to the Speaker, Hon. Udeme Otong, informed the House of Assembly that there was no provision in the 2023 budget for the conduct of local government elections. He urged the Assembly to pass a resolution authorising him to set up interim administration at the 31 local government areas at the expiration of the tenure of the elected council officials. 18. Cross River 19. In Imo State, the last council poll was conducted on August 25, 2018, which was the first in seven years.20. In Kwara…


OHHA MICROFINANCE BANK PETITIONS GOV MBAH OVER MOVE BY LG OFFICIALS TO DIVERT MONEY COLLECTED FROM IT Recently demolished Ohha Microfinance Bank Limited, Enugu by the state government has petitioned governor Peter Mbah over move by officials of Enugu North Council area of the state to divert 250,000 naira they collected from the bank as levies into their private pockets, urging the state government to probe the correct act. The petition written on behalf of the bank by a human rights organization, Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network (CRRAN) called on the governor to safe the bank from the shylock LGA personnel. It said “the officials of the bank informed us that while they were carrying out repairs on a new rented apartment at No.37, Ziks Avenue, Enugu South Local Government Area, some officials of Enugu North Local Government came and demanded for certain payment. “They issued a “Demand Notice” demanding N150,000: 00K and another N100,000 :00K, as Penalty, and thereafter seized some tools of the workers at the site until the payment is made. “The bank agreed to make the payment of the said N250,000 :00k (Two hundred and fifty thousand Naira) but they demanded that the money be paid in cash or the money be transferred to a POS operator. According to the petition signed by its president, Barrister Olu Omotayo “The Demand Notice and the account Details of the POS Operator written on a plain paper are attached herewith. “We believe that this type of thing should not be happening in any decent society when officials of government will be diverting government revenue to their personal purse with impunity. “Due to the Zero Tolerance of this Administration to Corrupt Practices, we hereby seek your intervention in this matter in order to ensure that justice is done as the circumstances of this case demands and also in the interest of maintaining justice and Rule of Law in our society.


TINUBU REMOVES BUHARI’S IN-LAW, OTHER OFFICIALS OF NIGERIA’S SECURITY PRINTING COMPANY President Bola Tinubu has ordered the immediate removal of the Managing Director of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc (NSPM), Ahmed Halilu, and four other executives of the company. Mr Halilu, brother to former First Lady, Aisha Buhari, was appointed to the position in September 2022 by ex-President Muhammadu Buhari. Also affected by the removal directive were the company’s Executive Director, Corporate Services, Ado Danjuma; Executive Director, Operations (Lagos Factory) Chris Orewa; Executive Director, Security Documents, Tunji Kazeem and Company Secretary, Victoria Irabor. Mrs Irabor is married to a former Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor, a retired general. The Defence Headquarters, under Mr Irabor, in 2023 shielded former Governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, from arrest by the State Security Services by deploying troops to secure his home and workplace. In the interim, Abubakar Minjibir, the organisation’s executive director of operations (Abuja factory), has been asked to remain in office to act as managing director. It is unclear why Mr Minjibir was sparred. The spokesperson for the CBN, Sidi Hakama, did not answer or return calls when contacted for comments on the development at the security minting company. She also did not respond to a message sent to her on the matter. However a top official of the central bank confirmed our findings, saying the affected officials were asked to leave with immediate effect. This shakeup at the company comes months after Jim Obazee, the special investigator appointed by President Tinubu to probe CBN’s affairs under the Buhari administration, submitted his report to President Tinubu. The report outlined NSPM’s role in the controversial currency redesign policy implemented by Mr Emefiele, which negatively impacted individuals and businesses in the country. According to Mr Obazee’s report, in commencing the naira redesign policy, the former central bank governor invited the now removed managing director of NSPM to the CBN headquarters and directed him to redesign and reconfigure the old naira notes. However, Mr Halilu informed Mr Emefiele that the task would be time-consuming due to the complexity of the new features, which included the positioning of the watermark, presence of QR codes, different numbering styles, and other advanced security elements. He advised Mr Emefiele to reconsider revising the redesigns given the time constraints. But Mr Emefiele was determined to overcome all obstacles to the policy. He therefore contracted De La Rue, a company based in the United Kingdom, to handle the redesign for a fee of GBP 205,000. After De La Rue delivered on the task, the NSPM was then tasked with printing the redesigned currency. The company did not quite deliver, triggering an unprecedented shortage of currency in the country. The NSPM Plc, also known as The MINT, was established 1963. It is the corporation responsible for printing and minting Nigeria’s currency notes and coins. It operates under the supervision of the CBN and is tasked with producing secure and high-quality currency to ensure financial stability in the country. The company also produces security documents such as passports, stamps, and other vital records for both government and private entities.NSPM Plc is known for its advanced security features and complex printing processes to prevent counterfeiting and ensure the integrity of Nigeria’s financial system.


25 MUSLIMS ELECTED TO UK PARLIAMENT DESPITE RISING ISLAMOPHOBIA A record-breaking 25 Muslims have been elected to the British Parliament, despite rising Islamophobia in the country. This shows an increase from the 19 Muslim MPs elected in 2019. The successful candidates come from various political parties, with 18 representing the Labour Party, four as independents, two from the Conservative Party, and one from the Liberal Democrats. The election saw Muslim voters play a crucial role, with many casting their ballots in support of candidates who expressed solidarity with the Palestinian cause and condemned Israel’s actions in Gaza. The list of the 25 Muslim candidates elected to the UK House of Commons includes: Rushanara Ali from the Labour Party, who kept her seat in Bethnal Green & Bow. She was first elected on May 6, 2010. Yasmin Qureshi from the Labour Party, who kept her seat in Bolton South East. She was first elected on May 6, 2010. Shabana Mahmood from the Labour Party, who kept her seat in Birmingham Ladypool. She was first elected on May 6, 2010. Naz Shah from the Labour Party, who kept her seat in Bradford West. She was first elected on May 6, 2010. She was a Labour member from May 7, 2015 until April 27, 2016, and an Independent member from April 27, 2016 to July 5, 2016. Imran Hussain from the Labour Party, who kept his seat in Bradford East. He was first elected on May 7, 2015. Mohammad Yasin from the Labour Party, who kept his seat in Bedford. He was first elected on June 8, 2017. Tulip Siddiq from the Labour Party, who kept her seat in Hampstead & Kilburn. She was first elected on May 7, 2015. Rupa Huq from the Labour Party, who kept her seat in Ealing Central & Acton. She was first elected on May 7, 2015. She was a Labour member from May 7, 2015 until September 27, 2022, and an Independent member from September 27, 2022 to March 2, 2023. Rosena Allin-Khan from the Labour Party, who kept her seat in Tooting. She was first elected on June 16, 2016. Afzal Khan from the Labour Party, who kept his seat in Manchester Gorton. He was first elected on June 8, 2017. Apsana Begum from the Labour Party, who won Poplar & Limehouse. She was first elected on December 12, 2019. Zarah Sultana from the Labour Party, who won Coventry South. She was first elected on December 12, 2019. Tahir Ali from the Labour Party, who won Birmingham Hall Green. He was first elected on December 12, 2019. Abtisam Mohamed from the Labour Party, who won Sheffield Central. Naushabah Khan from the Labour Party, who won Gillingham and Rainham. Zubir Ahmed from the Labour Party, who won Glasgow South West. Sadik Al-Hassan from the Labour Party, who won North Somerset. Jas Athwal from the Labour Party, who won Ilford South. Iqbal Mohamed, an Independent Candidate who won Dewsbury and Batley. Ayoub Khan an Independent Candidate who won Birmingham Perry Barr. Shockat Adam an Independent Candidate who won Islington North. Adnan Hussain an Independent Candidate who won Blackburn. Nusrat Ghani from the Conservative Party, who kept her seat in Wealden. She was first elected on May 7, 2015. Saqib Bhatti from the Conservative Party, who won Meriden. He was first elected on December 12, 2019. Bobby Dean from the Liberal Democrat Party, who won Carshalton and Wallington. This election result marks a significant step towards greater diversity and representation in UK politics, but also highlights the need for continued efforts to address Islamophobia and discrimination against Muslim communities in the UK. With 3.4 million Muslims living in the UK, this election marks a significant milestone in the country’s political landscape,…