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Wife, Daughters, Group Demand Fresh Probe Into Journalist’s Death

Journalists
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Nigeria’s foremost media rights group, Journalists for Democratic Rights, has called for a fresh investigation into the death of the journalist, Baguada Kaltho.

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Kaltho disappeared in line of duty between late 1996 and early 1997, while his wife and her two daughters still await the return and reunion of her husband and father.

Kaltho was a correspondent with The News Magazine and until now was believed to have been murdered through a bomb linked to state authorities during the regime of the late General Sanni Abacha.

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But on Arise News on Monday, a medical doctor, Mahdi Shehu said a former US envoy to Nigeria, Russell

Hanks had offered him N1 million to plant a bomb at Durbar Hotel in Kaduna to unsettle the Abacha regime, an offer he claimed to have rejected.

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He suggested that Hanks might have handed Kaltho the bomb parcel which exploded at Dubar Hotel in Kaduna in 1995.

Reacting to the claims, the group in a statement on Friday by its Executive Director, Adewale Adeoye said Shehu’s position has added new twist to what has remained an unresolved murder.

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He then called on the National Assembly to set up a panel that would begin the investigation afresh.

The group said the claim was not only a heinous crime committed against the late Kaltho, but also against the Nigerian media.

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The statement partly read, “This is one issue that should not be allowed without investigation.

“Shehu’s position has added a new twist to what has remained an unresolved murder. He has left many gaps in his story which make his conclusion to appear questionable and therefore calls for further investigations by independent parties so that those responsible for Kaltho’s death will be held accountable based on convincing and incontrovertible evidence.”

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JODER, however, called on the National Assembly to institute a Judicial Panel of Inquiry to investigate Shehu’s claims and also about the murder of Baguada Kaltho.

“JODER calls on the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ and all media institutions to rise up to the occasion that should help unravel one of the most grievous crimes in the history of the Nigerian media.”

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ECOParl: MPs Say Covid-19, Russia-Ukraine War, Low Import Duties, Reason For Low Remittances of Community Levy

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By Gloria Ikibah

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, have attributed the causes of low remittance of community levy by member states to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, low import inflow, the effect of Covid-19 on the global economy leading to recession among other factors.

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Speaking with Journalists at the ongoing 2nd Extra-Ordinary session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Lome, a cross-section of Parliamentarians from different countries also blamed the development on negligence on the part of some member states.

The Ghanaian Head of Delegation, Hon. Alexander Afenyo Markin, asserted that the current economic downturn experienced across regions is a major deterrence to remittance of levies.

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“Without attempting to speculate, I should think that the recent downturn in business is a result of economic crisis leading to low import could be a factor, in the sense that now we are having this Ukraine- Russia war which came just after COVID obviously import have come down, it has reduced drastically, and this levies are imposed on import at our Ports so obviously.

“It could also be the slow pace at which member states transmit or transfer such levy as collected so we need that political will from the Commission, the Heads of States, or those responsible for this, and those coordinating to ensure that these levies as at when they are collected are transmitted to ECOWAS on time.

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While MP from Seirra-Leon, Hon. Veronica Sesay said the possible cause of countries non-remittance of levy was negligence.

“This could be out of negligence. We cannot move, we cannot succeed, even ECOWAS Parliament committees cannot come to Lome or go to Abuja without paying of levies, and that is why we are asking the other member states to pay their levies because it is sometimes unfair if others pay their levies on time then you benefit on time, so I don’t want to call it parasitic because we have to work together as a team”, she said.

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Hon. Adjaratou Traore from Cote d’Ivoire said, “without the community levy there will be no ECOWAS Parliament, there will be No ECOWAS Commission, every country need to contribute, we have to make sure our government take this issue very seriously to make the operation of the regional body smooth, so all Member States have to work hard on it”.

Similarly, Nigerian Delegate to the session, Sen. Smart Adeyemi said, “There is a global economic recession now, I think as the economy improves maybe next year, some of these West African Countries will be able to meet up their obligation to the ECOWAS Parliament”.

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Hon. Siryon from Liberia added “the pandemic came in and interrupted countries economic plans, I feel that is the reason why some of them have not been able to pay, no matter what, they have to pay, if they have problems, they have to come to us, they have to come and let ECOWAS know the problem, they put the Act together, they sign it and I believe that they will pay” she said.

The Parliamentarians furthermore called for mechanism to be put in place to fast track payment by making sure that such funds come to the Commissions by the use of technology.

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They also believe that, bureaucracy of collection and transmitting should be eliminated by creating a network which will automatically ensure that ECOWAS and other institutions receive their payment directly from the Member States once charges are made in their Ports. That according to them will be one way of resolving that issue of non-remittance of community levy.

“There will be no excuses as to what the Member States have collected and refused or delayed. It is these levies that are used for capacity building, for all activities, for stability and for work to progress, and also for salaries of workers, our community institutions depend on this levy, that is our only source of income and funding for our activities as a Sub-Region, for me, it is a key thing that must be considered”.

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North Korea fires two missiles, blames US

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North Korea fired two ballistic missiles Thursday and claimed its recent blitz of sanctions-busting tests were necessary countermeasures against joint military drills by the United States and South Korea.

As the United Nations Security Council met to discuss Pyongyang’s Tuesday launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan, North Korea blamed Washington for “escalating the military tensions on the Korean peninsula”.

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The recent launches — six in less than two weeks — were “the just counteraction measures of the Korean People’s Army”, Pyongyang’s foreign ministry said in a statement Thursday.

Seoul, Tokyo and Washington have ramped up joint military drills in recent weeks, including large-scale naval manoeuvres and anti-submarine exercises.

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No Amount Of Fasting, Prayer Can Cure HIV” – Bisi Alimi

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Bisi Alimi is of the belief that no amount of fasting or prayer can be able to heal an individual who is infected with the HIV virus.

Alimi is a Nigerian gay rights activist, public speaker, blog writer and HIV/LGBT advocate who gained international attention when he became the first Nigerian to come out on television.

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In a new development, Alimi who has been living well advised those living with the virus to live a happy life by thinking positively, exercising and taking their medications regularly.

He also urged people living with the virus not to listen to naysayers.

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“If you are HIV+, no amount of prayers and fasting will cure you. Take your medication, exercise, think positively and live a happy life. There is no healing in faith.

“Your viral load will only come down if you adhere and not by how days you pray or fast.

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“If your viral load is taking long to come down, talk to your healthcare provider about it and be very honest about the lifestyle choices you have.

“Don’t mind the idiots laughing cos you are positive; at least you know. Many of them hide under their clothes, their greatest shame. Turn their stigma into your crown of glory”.

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