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BREAKING: Hope Uzodinma Freezes Imo Government Accounts

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Imo State Governor-elect, Senator Hope Uzodinma, has given an order to all financial institutions where the state funds are maintained not to honour any draft till further notice.

This order came a few hours after the Supreme Court declared him the duly elected governor of the state on Tuesday.

A letter addressed to the regional directors and managers of all the financial institutions in Imo State and signed by Cosmos Iwu, director-general of Senator Hope Uzodinma campaign organization, on behalf of the governor-elect, ordered the financial institutions to “post no debit” on all the accounts.

The letter which was titled, “Order of post no debit on all accounts of Imo State government effective 14, January 2020” stated that the order was a sequel to the apex court judgment which declared Uzodinma the new governor of the state.

The three-paragraph letter, which was sighted by The PUNCH in Owerri on Wednesday, read, “Following the Supreme Court judgment of 14, January 2020, I am directed by his excellency, Senator Hope Uzodinma, to take this as your authority/instruction to place a post no debit order on all accounts of the Imo state government maintained in your various institutions.

“You are by this letter directed to comply and await further instructions from the office of his excellency, the executive governor of Imo state. Thanks for your cooperation.”

BIG STORY

NFIU Office Vandalized As N510bn Is Traced To Kaduna-Based BDC ‘With Links To Magu’

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The offices of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) were vandalized on Thursday night after the presidential panel probing Ibrahim Magu requested for the transaction history of a Kaduna-based bureau de change (BDC), online news medium, TheCable is reporting.

The panel was told that the BDC, which allegedly has links to the suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has recently transacted businesses worth over N500 billion in different currencies — N336 billion, $435 million and €14 million.

However, there was a twist in the tale when the panel asked that the transaction history of the BDC be made available by NFIU, the central national agency that handles disclosures and intelligence in the financial sector.

Its offices were then vandalized, forcing members of the panel to seek an audience with President Muhammadu Buhari, who immediately approved the suspension of Magu from office and the overhaul of EFCC security personnel to avoid interference with the investigations.

Magu had been suspended by Abubakar Malami, the attorney-general of the federation, since Monday with the tacit approval of Buhari but it was not officially announced.

There is an unresolved controversy on the extent of the supervisory powers of the AGF over the EFCC — which is one of the grievances Malami listed in his memo to the president — but Buhari’s approval has finally sealed Magu’s fate.

The panel, led by Ayo Salami, former president of the court of appeal, was also told that an unknown Lagos-based pastor who is very close to Magu has N573 million in his bank account.

The pastor will be invited and questioned by the panel, TheCable learnt.

Magu was arrested on Monday by a combined team of officials of the Department of State Services (DSS) and force criminal investigation department (FCID) after failing to honor two invitations from the panel.

He has been detained since then and the police authorities on Thursday withdrew his security.

Magu is a commissioner of police by rank.

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2,191 COVID-19 Patients Yet To Report For Treatment —– Lagos Govt

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The Lagos State Government has said that 2,191 COVID-19 patients who are located across communities have yet to submit themselves for treatment at the state care centres.

The state Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, who disclosed this on Friday, added that residents of the state must continue to take the responsibility of wearing face masks in public in addition to regular handwashing and physical distancing.

Abayomi said on his Twitter handle that the total number of COVID-19 tests conducted in the state stood at 45,490.

He said, “The new cases bring the total number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in Lagos to 11,537 as of Wednesday. Also, 2,191 active cases in communities have yet to turn up for admission in COVID-19 Lagos care centres. For a greater Lagos, we take responsibility by wearing our face masks when in public spaces in addition to regular handwashing and physical distancing.

“Stopping the community spread of COVID-19 begins with you. Staying alive and safe together begins with us. 1,753 of the confirmed cases have since been discharged from COVID-19 care centres following full recovery while 7,059 of the confirmed cases are being monitored in communities by the COVID-19 Lagos response team.”

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, has said the state government will on Monday come out with its reaction to the cancellation of the West Africa Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations by the Federal Government.

Adefisayo, who spoke with our correspondent on the telephone, said the state was still reviewing the Federal Government’s decision and would soon make its stance known.

She said, “We are still reviewing the situation and will let you know our decision on Monday. I don’t want to say more than that; give us time. It is something we can’t respond to now. There is not enough clarity; so it’s better to speak when I do.”

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control said on Friday that the country recorded 575 new COVID-19 cases nationwide to bring the total cases to 31,323. The NCDC noted that 12,795 patients had been discharged while 709 deaths had occurred.

The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, during the press briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday, announced that the 2020 WASSCE conducted by WAEC would hold between August 4 and September 5.

But Adamu said on Wednesday that all federal schools would remain closed until it was safe to reopen them.

He also urged state governments that have announced school’s resumption plans to rescind such.

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COVID-19: Emirates Airline To Cut Up To 9,000 Jobs

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The scale of Covid-19’s impact on Emirates Airlines has been revealed for the first time with the carrier’s president saying they will “probably” have to cut up to 9,000 jobs.

Emirates, according to the report, had 60,000 staff prior to the crisis and announced on May 31 it had axed roles but did not reveal how many jobs were cut.

Sir Tim Clark told the BBC that the carrier had removed a tenth of its staff, which would leave 54,000 jobs after 6,000 were removed.

However, Sir Tim added: “We will probably have to let go of a few more, probably up to 15%.”

Prior to the cuts announced in May, Emirates was the sole holdout among the Gulf’s three major East-West carriers on retaining staff.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad and Doha-based Qatar Airways axed staff as countries shut down their airspace as the virus spread.

Sir Tim acknowledged to the BBC the carrier, owned by a Dubai sovereign wealth fund, was “not as badly off as others” and was “heading for one of our best years ever” prior to the pandemic.

Announcing the cuts in March, the company said it would treat its staff “with fairness and respect”.

Its statement added: “We have endeavored to sustain the current family as is … but have come to the conclusion that we, unfortunately, have to say goodbye to a few of the wonderful people that worked with us.”

The number of total losses expected at Emirates comes the day after the British Airlines Pilots’ Association slammed proposals by carrier easyJet to use sick days as a factor when deciding which pilots to axe as part of its wave of redundancies as “unnecessary and wrong”.

Job losses have stretched far beyond the travel sector and throughout the entire UK economy.

A day after Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out his “plan for jobs” it was found that almost 10,000 posts are at risk at household-name firms on the high street as a result of the pandemic.

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