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Former Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu Remanded in Prison over N4.56bn Fraud

A Minna High Court on Tuesday ordered the remand in prison custody of former governor of Niger state, Babangida Aliyu, who styled himself the Chief servant, while in office.

He is standing trial over alleged N4.568 billion fraud and abuse of office.

Aliyu was docked alongside his former Chief of Staff, Umar Nasko, on a six -count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust, punishable under Section 97 and 312 of the Penal Code.

The defendants were accused of conspiring and dishonestly converting to personal use funds amounting to N4.568 billion, belonging to the Niger State Government.

According to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the funds are for ecological projects, as well as proceeds realised from the sale of 16 per cent shares of the state in the North-South Power Company.

Ayodele Oladeji (SAN) and Mamman Osuman (SAN), who appeared as lead counsel for the 1st and 2nd defendants respectively, applied for the bail of their clients as they pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against them.

They argued that the defendants were always available when invited by the EFCC, adding there was no evidence they would jump bail.

The defence counsel, however, prayed the court to remand the defendants in EFCC custody, if it was going to fix a date for hearing of the bail application.

The EFCC prosecutor, Gbolahan Latona, opposed the bail application, arguing that it would jeopardise investigations.

The EFCC prosecutor also opposed remanding the defendants in EFCC custody, saying that accused persons were usually remanded in prison custody once the court takes “cognisance of the case.”

Justice Aliyu Mayaki, ordered that the defendants be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the matter till May 3 for ruling on the bail application.

The two-time governor, who served between 2007 and 2015, had been in the custody of the EFCC since April 4.

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Minna promptly deployed 30 armed men to Minna prison after the ruling by the court.

Philip Ayuba, Commandant of the Corps, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna shortly after the court sitting.

Ayuba said that movement of cars, motorcycles and other vehicles to the prison would be closely monitored.

“We will be patrolling the metropolis along with the Police and the DSS against any unforeseen circumstances,” he said.

He said the NSCDC personnel deployed will complement the efforts of the prison officers managing the prison against any security threat.

The commandant warned residents against any form of demonstration around the prison as anyone caught would be dealt with.

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Donald Trump Agrees to meet Kim Jong Un

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Donald Trump Agrees to meet Kim Jong Un

Donald Trump Agrees to meet Kim Jong Un

The United States President Donald Trump has agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the White House announced, setting the scene for a historic, unprecedented encounter.

The meeting, which would be the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader, will happen by May, according to South Korea’s national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, who delivered the invitation to Trump after a visit by his delegation to Pyongyang earlier this week.
The stunning announcement is the culmination of a diplomatic whirlwind that began with the invitation of a North Korean delegation to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Trump’s decision to meet Kim, after a year in which the two have repeatedly traded insults, is a remarkable breakthrough — albeit one with uncertain consequences.

The South Korean delegation, which landed in Washington, D.C. for a debriefing Thursday on the North-South talks, was careful to praise Trump’s influence over the developments. Chung said the US President’s “leadership” and his administration’s pressure on the North Korean regime had “brought us to this juncture.”

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that Trump “greatly appreciates the nice words” of the delegation and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
“He will accept the invitation to meet with Kim Jong Un at a place and time to be determined. We look forward to the denuclearization of North Korea. In the meantime, all sanctions and maximum pressure must remain.”

There are many details to be ironed out before the meeting could take place, including the location. The Panmunjom truce village in the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), one possible venue, hosted meetings between North and South Korea in the run-up to the Winter Olympics.

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Nokia 7 Plus Sold Out In 5 Minutes In China

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Nokia 7 Plus Sold Out In 5 Minutes In China

Nokia 7 Plus Sold Out In 5 Minutes In China

The first batch of Nokia 7 Plus  releases in China has reportedly sold out in 5 minutes. Can I imagine ?

As soon as the virtual shop doors opened at 10:07am, it took only 5 minutes for all available units of the new Nokia phone to be sold out.

The phone sold for CNY 2,300 for the 4GB/64GB version and CNY 2,500 for the 6GB/64GB version (that’s €239 and €318 respectively).

There will be another batch available in about a week – on March 15 at 10:07am. Chances are that the new batch will be gone just as quickly. Of course, neither HMD nor the stores will say how many phones are in a batch.

As for people not in China, we’ll have to wait until April. The Nokia 7 plus is set to cost €400 in Europe (and it doesn’t look like the Old Continent will get the 6GB RAM version).

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King Mohammed VI of Morocco undergoes Successful Heart Surgery in France

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 King Mohammed VI of Morocco undergoes Successful Heart Surgery in France

King Mohammed VI of Morocco undergoes Successful Heart Surgery in France

King Mohammed VI of Morocco yesterday underwent a successful heart surgery in France, state news agency MAP reports.

The 54-year old monarch was treated at a Ambroise Paré Clinic in Paris after he had been diagnosed with an “atrial flutter”. The surgery normalised the heart rhythm, and the king would be able to resume his duties without any restrictions.

The photo of King Mohammed VI on the hospital bed, surrounded by relations has since leaked on the internet. A full statement from MAP read:

“HM the king had on Saturday 20th January 2018 a heart rhythm disorder. The doctors of HM the King said that medical examinations carried out for this purpose revealed an atrial flutter. The ablation by radio frequency of this arrhythmia, performed today at the Ambroise Paré clinic in Paris, allowed the normalization of the heart rhythm. At the end of a rest period as prescribed by his treating physicians, HM the King will resume his normal activities without any restriction.”

King Mohammed VI of Morocco undergoes Successful Heart Surgery in France

Statement by the medical team composed of: Dr Abdelaziz Maouni, Dr Olivier Thomas, Dr Sébastien Bloc, Dr Olivier Dubourg, Dr Ali Chaib, Dr Lahcen Belyamani. The king, who heads the Muslim world’s longest-serving dynasty, took office in 1999 after his father, Hassan II, died of a heart attack.

The political and social stability of Morocco is closely watched by Western governments as it is the only country in North Africa where jihadist groups have failed to gain a foothold, and is an important partner against Islamist militancy in terms of intelligence-sharing.

The kingdom has escaped mass uprisings such as in Egypt, Libya or other Arab countries, but protests have erupted since 2016 in some rural areas against poverty and unemployment. Morocco has averted previous protests with a combination of limited constitutional reforms, heavy policing and hefty public spending.

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