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Ikem’s Employer to be Charged with his Murder in Philippines- Dabiri-Erewa

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Ikem’s Employer to be Charged with his Murder in Philippines- Dabiri-Erewa

By: Michael Mike

Chairman/ CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has informed the Senate Joint Committees on Diaspora and Inter Governmental Affairs and Foreign Affairs that the employer of Ikem, a Nigerian student beaten to death in Philliphines, has been charged with murder, along with five others.

She also said that a viral video by a man posted on social media recently alleging that 250 Nigerians are slated for killing in Ethiopia was totally false and untrue.

This was the highlight of the investigative hearing of the Joint Senate Committees presided over in Abuja on Monday by Sen. Victor Umeh, saying on the case of Ikem, who was brutally murdered, the Philliphines authorities have declared the employer, who has since been on the run, wanted.

Dabiri-Erewa said that Nigeria Embassy had informed the Department of Foreign Affairs in the Philippines and also reported the case to the Inspector General of the Philippines National Police.

The Embassy, she added, had maintains regular contact with the line police station at the location; with a strong directive to go for the investigation.

Dabiri-Erewa said the investigating police team on the case are done with evidence building and presented the case to the Mandaue city prosecuting Department for action; who has evaluated it and deemed it fit for murder case filing.

“They have filed the case and issued a warrant of arrest to the boy’s employee and five other suspects; they are charged for murder, human trafficking and operation of illegal business in the Philippines”, she said.

The NiDCOM boss who gave the committee, a copy of the pictures of the suspects, said the pictures have been forwarded to all exits in the Philippines to prevent them from leaving the country.

She stressed that the case will be held as soon as the major suspect, still at large, is arrested.

On Nigerians in Ethiopian prisons, she said the official information received is that 160 Nigerians were serving various jail terms under very poor conditions and that over 90 per cent of them were for drug related offences.

She told the Committees that in order to decongest the prisons, amnesty was granted to them but majority of them went back and still committed the same crime.

She said that a Memorandum of Understanding was entered into awaiting Ministry of Justice in Nigeria to sign its own side of the deal to enable prisoners swap or to continue their jail term in their respective country.

In addition, she explained that most of those caught are those transiting from Addis Ababa to other countries of the world

Other stakeholders who appeared before the Committees were Hon. Amb. Enya Francis , Director, Consular representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the sister of the deceased, Blessing Essien, President National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) Mr John Ogar and Country Representative Commonwealth Students Association (CSA), Mr Nwanba Chidubem.

Speaking in the same vein, the Director Consular in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Enya Francis said they are in close contact with Embassy and on top of the matter.

Francis said the corpse is yet to be buried as it will cost between N31million to N35 million to repatriate and bury the corpse in Nigeria as against N10 million to N15 million to cremate it in the Philippines.

He said the cost of keeping the corpse at the funeral home is accruing N30,000 on daily basis, hence the need to expedite action on the investigation and take appropriate action.

Speaking on behalf of the family of the deceased, Blessings Essien, Ikem elder sister, said he was the only son of the family and in-line with Igbo tradition, it would be an honour to bring the body back to Nigeria for burial.

She therefore appealed to the Federal Government through the Senate Committees to assist the family in repatriating the body back to Nigeria for a befitting burial.

The President of National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) in the Diaspora, Mr John Ogar said the group was troubled by the dastardly and wicked act in which late Ikem was killed and seeking for justice.

He and Mr Nwanba Chiduben, Country Representative of Commonwealth Students Association (CSA) said apart from protest they have done to seek justice for the death of Ikem, they have written to Gov. Charles Soludo of Anambra state to assist the family in bringing back the corpse home for burial while appealing to some foreign airlines plying the route to see it as Corporate Social Responsibility in flying the corpse home.

Senator Umeh thanked all the stakeholders for all their efforts, saying the investigative hearing was sequel to a motion he moved on the floor of the Senate and the joint committees were mandated to investigate the matter.

He assured that the Committees will ensure that all those involved will be prosecuted and face the music, saying the matter would never be swept under the carpet.

Ikem, a Nigerian student based in Philippines, was on October 22, 2023 tortured by a group of Chinese co-workers over a minor disagreement with his supervisor.

“They tied his hands up, covered and tied his mouth and beat him until he gave up the ghost”, an eye witness said in a statement.

Ikem’s Employer to be Charged with his Murder in Philippines- Dabiri-Erewa

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Potiskum market: Gadodomasun Fika seeks Governor Buni’s intervention

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Potiskum market: Gadodomasun Fika seeks Governor Buni’s intervention

By: Yahaya Wakili

Gadodomasun Fika Emirate Council in Yobe State, Alhaji Abdullahi Garba Alele, has appealed to His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Yobe State, Hon. Mai Mala Buni CON, to intervene in the construction of the Potiskum modern market.

“I will not forget the first tenure of His Excellency. During his campaign, we went round all of Yobe State, rural and urban, and he made promises to the people of Potiskum town, a modern market, because Potiskum is a center of commercial business in Yobe State. And by the grace of God, His Excellency has fulfilled his campaign promises.

Alhaji Abdullahi Garba Alele, who is also the former chairman of the NARTO Potiskum local government chapter, made the call in Potiskum while speaking to Newsmen on the one year of the second tenure of His Excellency, Governor Mai Mala Buni CON.

Abdullahi Garba Alele further said that His Excellency Governor Buni laid the foundation stone for the construction of modern markets in Damaturu, Potiskum, Gashu’a, Nguru, Geidam, and Buni Yadi, and by the grace of God, all these modern markets have been completed and commissioning, and people have occupied them and businesses have raked off inside.

“But our own for Potiskum town, which has the longest history in business with a high population of people, businessmen, and farmers, but up to now this modern market has not been completed, the work has stopped as a result of what we don’t know, the contractor has abandoned the work. Therefore, we use this opportunity to appeal to His Excellency, Governor Mai Mala Buni CON, to intervene and call on contractors to resume work on site.” Alele said.

The former NARTO chairman said that in the history of Potiskum, God blessed Potiskum with transports, because in the 774 local government councils that we have in the country, there is no local government that has transporters like Potiskum. We thank God, and we thank His Excellency Governor Mai Mala Buni for considering this thing critically. He constructed us a trailer park in Potiskum, and we thank him a lot.

“But I am assured to His Excellency that this project has stopped. Therefore, we appeal to His Excellency to intervene in this matter to complete these two projects before the end of his three years in office, so that people can benefit from this development. He prayed to Almighty Allah, and as His Excellency completed his five years successfully, we also prayed to Almighty Allah to guide and help him complete the remaining three years successfully.

Gadodomasun also commands His Royal Highness, the Emir of Fika, and Chairman Yobe State Chiefs, Alhaji (Dr) Muhammadu Abali Ibn Idrissa CFR, in his efforts to unite the people and the traditional rulers in Yobe State, and also prays to Almighty Allah (SWT) to give him health. He also prays to Almighty Allah to long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria, long live Yobe State, and long live Potiskum local government.

Potiskum market: Gadodomasun Fika seeks Governor Buni’s intervention

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Defense industries: Senator Lawan meets Minister of state

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Defense industries: Senator Lawan meets Minister of state

By: Yahaya Wakili

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Defense, and President of the 9th Senate, Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan, Ph.D., GCON, Yobe North Senatorial District, has today met with the Minister of State for Defense, Dr. Bello Matawalle, MON, and his team to discuss the implementation of the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) Act 2023.

In a statement issued and signed by him on his official page, which was made available to newsmen in Damaturu,.

The DICON Act, which was signed into law by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in November 2023, is a major step towards enhancing the capacity of the Nigerian Armed Forces to produce their own equipment and reduce dependence on imports.

During the meeting, the minister of state for defense briefed me on the progress made so far on the implementation of the DICON Act.

“I commended the minister, members of his team, and other stakeholders present for the swift action taken to implement the DICON Act. I emphasized the urgent need to make DICON a catalyst for the industrialization of the defense sector in Nigeria.

The President of the 9th Senate pledged that the Senate Committee on Defense, which I chair, will continue to provide legislative support and oversight to ensure the successful implementation of the DICON Act. We believe that a vibrant and self-sustaining defense industry is essential for the security and prosperity of our nation.

Senator Ahmed Lawan also seized the opportunity to inform the minister and his team that the Senate Committee on Defense will embark on a familiarization tour of the ministry next week.

He urged the minister to leverage the expertise of Nigerian engineers, scientists, and manufacturers in the development of indigenous weapons and equipment. This will not only boost our national pride but also create jobs and stimulate economic growth.

The DICON Act has the potential to transform the defense sector in Nigeria. By working together—the Senate, the Ministry of Defense, and other stakeholders—we can make this transformation a reality.

Defense industries: Senator Lawan meets Minister of state

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FG intervenes in Travails of Nigerian students in UK Teeside University

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FG intervenes in Travails of Nigerian students in UK Teeside University

By: Michael Mike

A delegation, to be led by a representative of the Nigerian Embassy in the UK, Amb. Christian Okeke, leaders of the Nigerian Students Union in UK, will visit the Management of Teesside University to intervene on the allegations of unfair and unjust deportation order served on some Nigerian students, in the middle of their studies .

The decision was taken at the end of a virtual meeting held between Chairman/ CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Representative of the Nigerian High Commission UK, Amb. Christian Okeke, President, Nigerian Students Union UK, Mr Yemi Soile, and many of the affected students at the meeting on Sunday.

The affected students passionately narrated their ordeal and were optimistic of a positive intervention.

During the meeting , Chairman NIDCOM appealed to the students to remain calm and not to take laws into their hands while appealing to the University to treat the students with justice and fairness. Ambassador Okeke spoke in the same vein.

On May 22, some students of Teesside University from Nigeria staged a protest following the directives by the University authorities for them to leave UK on the allegations that some of the students defaulted in paying their school fees.

FG intervenes in Travails of Nigerian students in UK Teeside University

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