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Criminals Converging on West Africa, Interpol Warns

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The International Police Secretary-General, Jurgen Stock, says criminal networks in narcotics, weapon and migrants’ smuggling were taking advantage of lack of information sharing system by security agencies in West Africa to carry out their activities unhindered.

The Interpol chief warned that transitional criminal gangs were converging on the sub-region and feeding off one another.

Stock said this in Abuja on Tuesday during the signing of an agreement for the implementation of the West African Police Information System (WAPIS) by the Federal Government and Interpol.

He stated that the signing of the agreement was a bold step forward in the collective fight against crime.

While commending the West African states for coming together to respond to the threats in the region, Stock said collective will was needed to ensure the success of the WAPIS programme, which he said would enable West African countries to have access to the global 24/7 communication network.

Stock said, “Increased criminal data available to law enforcement agencies within Africa and wider global police network is at the centre of our vision. Ultimately, the WAPIS programme will bring critical information closer to the front line for police officers across West Africa.

“Information is the life blood of law enforcement and the WAPIS programme will help police on the ground across the region and the global police community to have access to the vital data they need,” Stock said.

The Minister of Interior, Abdulrahaman Dambazau, said the establishment of WAPIS would boost information exchange, identify crime patterns, encourage best practices and develop an all-inclusive operational mechanism capable of neutralising identified and emerging security threats in the sub-region.

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Police Take Funke Akindele, Husband to Court for Violating Lockdown Rule

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The Lagos State Police Command has taken Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele, and her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello popularly called JJC Skillz, to court for flouting the lockdown order in Lagos State.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, confirmed to The PUNCH that the actress, popularly called ‘Jenifa’, had been taken to a Chief Magistrates’ Court in Ogba, Lagos.

The police spokesman said “The husband arrived at the SCID around 2 am and they will be arraigned together.”

They were arraigned for breaching the Lagos Infection Diseases Regulations 2020 (the Regulations) which prescribes a jail term of one month or N100,000 fine or both for persons found guilty of hosting gatherings or flouting the lockdown order.

It reads in part, “Where there is a violation of a close down or stay at home order, security Agencies shall have the power to arrest without warrant and may detain any person who violates the close down or stay at home order for at least 48 hours.

“Where the arrested person is found guilty, the person is liable to a fine of N100,000.00 or one-month imprisonment or three months Community service.”

The police had arrested the actress on Sunday evening for hosting a party in honour of her husband.

However, JJC Skillz and Naira Marley were absent during the time of arrest, causing the police to invite them.

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FirstBank Salutes Medical Professionals Tackling COVID-19 

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By Felix Onajite

First Bank of Nigeria Limited has saluted medical professionals tackling the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria and the world, THE WITNESS reports.

The Bank in series of tweets on its Twitter page on Friday, acknowledged the role medical experts are playing to fight the virus.

Some of the messages read: “No capes, just heroes. To all the health professionals at the frontline of efforts to tackle COVID-19, we say thank you. Your timeless efforts are much appreciated. The world called and they responded.”

“No cape, just lab-coats. No superhuman capability, just dedication, strength, and compassion. As we play our parts of staying at home, we thank our medical professionals for being our ‘Avengers’.”

“The world called and they responded. We salute our frontline warriors.”

FirstBank has been in the forefront of supporting the drive to flatten the curve with promoting public enlightenment being among its many measures to check the rising spread of Coronavirus since the outbreak of the disease in Nigeria.

Recall, the lender, as part of a robust effort to combat the deadly virus, recently announced a donation of N1 billion to the federal government of Nigeria for the expansion of health facilities, purchase of relief materials, critical care facilities, protective gears to contain the spread of the virus and treating individuals diagnosed with the disease.

The donation is in addition to the Bank’s drive to move one million children to e-learning, together with an early partner – Roducate – as recommended by the Lagos State Ministry of Education.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, the e-learning initiative is a complementary effort in education to support students and minimise the disruption to their education resulting from closure of schools.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Friday night confirmed 20 new cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

Eleven cases were confirmed in Lagos, three cases confirmed in the FCT, 3 in Edo, two in Osun and one in Ondo

“Two new deaths have been recorded in Lagos and Edo States, with 25 cases discharged. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in Nigeria to 210,” the centre said.

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APC Chieftain, Ogiemwonyi Celebrates Oshiomhole at 68

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A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Edo State and renowned technocrat, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi, has joined millions of well wishers to celebrate the party’s National Chairman, Adams Aliu Oshiomhole who clocked 68.

Ogiemwonyi described Oshiomhole as a Pathfinder and Leader of leaders in a message he signed.

It read “Happy 68th Birthday to our National Chairman, a pathfinder, a coach, mentor and Leader of leaders.

“Comrade Adams Aliu Eric Oshiomhole,
On behalf of My family, friends and Political Associate, I pray that whatever you ask may you receive, whatever you seek may you find, whatever door you knock may it be opened on your birthday and always.

“May the joy that you have spread in the past come back to you on this day. Another adventure filled year awaits you so wear a seat belt and be sure to enjoy the journey. Happy birthday”

Ogiemwonyi recently joined the fight against coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria with the donation of relief materials such as nose mask, gloves and sanitizers to Edo rural dwellers and appointed coordinators across the 18 local government areas of the state to sensitise them on personal hygiene in a bid to stop the spread of the COVID-19.

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