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Ambode speaks on EFCC search, says ‘no cause for alarm’

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Former Lagos Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has urged his supporters to remain calm and law-abiding as there was no cause for alarm.

Ambode, in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Habib Aruna, spoke on the backdrop of a search by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on his Epe Country home and Parkview Ikoyi residence where the anti-graft agency conducted the exercise without any incident.

He said the Commission has not opened any direct communication with him on any issue, adding that he was ready and willing to respond if or when they do so.

The statement reads: “This morning, operatives of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission visited the Epe Country home and Parkview Ikoyi residence of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, former Governor of Lagos State, with warrants to conduct a search. These searches were carried out extensively and at the end of the exercise the operatives left without any incident.

“The former Governor reiterates that the EFCC has till date not had any direct communication with him on any subject matter whatsoever and if or when it occurs he is ready and willing to respond.

“The former governor wishes to assure his supporters and the generality of Lagosians to continue to remain calm and law-abiding as there is no cause for alarm.”

The former governor reiterated his belief in the rule of law and due process and remains grateful for the opportunity to have served Lagos State diligently and conscientiously.

It would be recalled that Ambode, in an earlier response to allegations by the EFCC that it had frozen certain accounts linked to him, insisted that no account of his contained N9.9bn let alone being frozen by the Commission as those accounts were opened and operated by the Lagos State Government.

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THE NATION

COVID-19 lockdown: Military officers kill man in Delta, govt orders investigation (Pictures)

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COVID-19 lockdown: Military officers kill man in Delta, govt orders investigation (Pictures)

The Delta State government has ordered investigation into an alleged killing of a man  by military operatives in the state for allegedly flouting (COVID-19) stay-at-home directive by the state government.

THE WITNESS gathered that the victim, 28-year-old, Joseph Pessu, was allegedly shot dead by military operatives on enforcement duty in the Ugbuwangue area of Warri region in the state. Resident youths had taken to streets in reprisal attacks over the killing.

Late Pessu

The state commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, in a statement on Thursday disclosed that the state government was worried about the report by security agencies on patrol.

“The state government has sent a delegation to the family of the deceased young man to condole with them over the loss of their son. Military authorities have also been contacted to carry out an immediate and thorough investigation into the killing,” the Commissioner said.

Late Pessu

He however called on the people to remain calm and not to take laws into their hands while the government conducts an investigation into the killing.

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THE NATION

COVID-19: NITDA inaugurates advisory committee to protect start-ups, IT in Nigeria

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NITDA DG, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi CCIE, during the online inauguration of the advisory Committee

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), on Thursday, inaugurated a 10-Member advisory committee that will advise the federal government of Nigeria on measures  to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on start-ups, small and medium businesses as well as the Technology Ecosystem in general.

In a statement by the NITDA’s Head of Corporate Affairs & External Relations, Hadiza Umar, and made available to THE WITNESS said the inauguration is in line with the agency’s mandate of developing and regulating Information Technology (IT) inn Nigeria for sustainable national development.

The inauguration took place via virtual digital technologies (video conference), in compliance with the directive against gatherings as part of the anti-Coronavirus battle-plan.

During the inauguration of the committee

Speaking during the inauguration, the Director General of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE, disclosed that the constitution of the committee is at the instance of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami.

Some of the tasks of the committee according to Abdullahi are to “devise suitable strategies for the provision of affordable Internet access to individuals and businesses; develop a Framework to facilitate access to financing for tech and tech-enabled ventures.

“Devise modalities for encouraging the development and adoption of digital technology use support policies in line with the ‘Work From Home’ directives of the Federal Government.

“Develop a support program for Innovation Hubs to facilitate access to remote resources by startups during the work from home as well as other forms of support the hubs may require to be sustainable.

The NITDA DG further said that the committee which will make effective use of digital technologies in carrying out these assignment has been given 48 hours to submit its preliminary report.

The Chairman of The Innovation Support Network (ISN) and President, African Business Angels Network (ABAN), Mr Tomi Davies is to chair the committee. Other members include: Amal Hassan, MD/CEO, Outsource Global, Bosun Tijani, MD/CEO Co-Creation Hub (CCHub), Juliet Anammah, Chairperson Jumia Nigeria and Head, International Affairs, Jumia Group, Kola Aina, Founder, Ventures Platform, Musa Ali Baba, MD/CEO Teasy Pay, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Co-Founder, Andela, Collins Onuegbu, MD/CEO Signal Alliance and Dr . Kalli Zannah, Special Assistant to the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy. Dr Amina Sambo-Magaji, the National Coordinator, Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE), is to serve as Member/Secretary.

NITDA was created in April 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy and co-ordinate general IT development and regulation in the country.

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THE NATION

COVID-19: FG okays markets to open for four hours daily in lockdown states

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COVID-19: FG says markets to open for four hours daily in lockdown states
FILE PHOTO: President Muhammadu Buhari at the budget presentation in November, 2019.

The Federal Government has announced that all markets in states where a lockdown was imposed (Lagos, FCT and Ogun) will be allowed to open between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm daily.

The National Co-ordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Aliyu Sani, said this on Wednesday during a briefing by members of the task force.

“For markets, only shops and stalls selling food and groceries shall be allowed to open to customers between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm,” he said.

Meanwhile, for supermarkets and food stores, their opening hours must be between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm and all owners and managers have been warned to screen staff and customers before entry.

“On arrival, all staff must be screened for a high temperature and all those found to have a high body temperature above 38, will be denied entry and advised to seek immediate medical attention.

“All deliveries for supplies and products for these supermarkets must be made between the hours of 5:00 am and 9:00 am,” Sani added.

He further stated that at any point in time, the total number of customers inside each store must not exceed a third of the store’s total capacity.

After their closure at 4:00 pm, Sani urged shop owners to ensure that all shelves, aisles and stores are cleaned and disinfected and by 6:00 pm, staff are conveyed back to their respective homes.

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