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Nigeria Receives Stolen Ile-Ife Artefact From Mexico

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A stolen Nigerian Ile-Ife artifact has been recovered in Mexico, and has been returned to the Nigerian charge d’affaires in the country, Dr. Yakubu Dadu.

Dr. Dadu handed over the artifact to minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in Abuja on Thursday.  The minister praised the Nigerian embassy in Mexico for its efforts in recovering the artifact.  He said there is need for a more secured border to prevent a future reoccurrence of such thefts.

Onyeama also lauded the commitment of Nigerian envoys in recovering the country’s stolen possessions.

The minister also heaped praises on Mexico for its cooperation in ensuring the artifact was returned to Nigeria. He said there is need to sensitize customs officials at borders to ensure national heritages are not stolen in the first place, so there would be no need to start negotiations for their return.

The recovered Ile-Ife artifact was stolen from Nigeria and intercepted in Mexico where Nigeria’s former ambassador to the country, Aminu Iyawa, noticed the artifact displayed at the airport in Mexico.  He expended some diplomatic energy to establish the origin of the work. Once he confirmed it was stolen, he engaged with Mexican authorities and prevailed in convincing them of its origin.  That effort has now led to the return of the object.

There is plan now to present the artifact to the minister of information and culture with the Mexican ambassador in attendance.  After that, the artifact would be handed over to the national commission or museums and monuments.

Nigerian News

El-Rufai Declares NLC President, Ayuba Wabba Wanted, Promises ‘Handsome’ Reward

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Kaduna governor, Nasir El Rufai, has declared the chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, and other members of the union’s headquarters wanted.

The governor said in a tweet on Tuesday Wabba and his team are wanted for economic sabotage and attacks on public infrastructure under the miscellaneous offenses act.

The governor has promised what he calls “a handsome reward” for anyone who knows his whereabouts and turns him by sending a message to the ministry of justice in Kaduna.

The NLC chairman, Ayuba Wabba, had led members of the union in a protest in Kaduna on Monday against the government’s decision to sack 4,000 workers from all local government areas of the state.  The government says this it has to do this to rein in a ballooning wage bill among other reasons.

Labor was opposed to the move; so, it decided to ground activities in the state by starting a five-day warning strike that began on Sunday.

Workers in just about every sector joined in the strike that has left most of the state paralyzed.  Even, electricity workers are also on strike, plunging the state into darkness.

El Rufai has also declared as wanted former chairman of the Nigerian national human rights commission, Chris Odinkalu for incitement and injurious falsehood over a tweet on Monday.

The governor remains adamant that nothing, not even strikes, can cause it to change course and scuttle its plans to right-size.

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Nigerian News

Nigeria Receives £4.2m Ibori Loot From UK – Malami

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Nigeria’s Minister of Justice and the Attorney-General of the Federation has on Tuesday said the federal government has received the £4.2million seized from the associates of convicted former governor of Delta State, James Ibori from the United Kingdom.

The AGF, Abubakar Malami via a statement issued by his spokesman, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu confirmed that the “Federal Government of Nigeria has received GBP 4,214,017.66 of the loot associated with the family members of former Delta State Governor, James Ibori.”

In the statement released, Malami said “the amount has been credited into the designated Federal Government account with naira equivalent value of the amount as of 10th May 2021.”

The minister was said to have signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the repatriation of the Ibori loot on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Malami said the development was a demonstration of the recognition of reputation Nigeria earns through records of management of recovered stolen Nigerian stolen in the execution of public-oriented projects.

Ibori was Delta State governor from May 29, 1999 to May 29, 2007. In April 2012, he received a 13-year jail sentence after admitting fraud of nearly £50million.

He pleaded guilty two months earlier, to conspiracy to launder funds, substantive counts of money laundering and one count of obtaining money transfer by deception and fraud.

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Nigeria Immigration Suspends Passports Issuance Till June

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The Nigeria Immigration Service says it is suspending issuance of new passports and renewals nationwide till next month.  The service says the directive is to enable the commission clear all application backlogs before the commencement of new passport regime.

Deputy comptroller-general of immigration, Ab Yarima said in a statement, all new applications in the country will be suspended till June the first.

The Nigeria Immigration Service has now directed all passport offices to use the rest of this month to ensure that all backlogs are cleared up and delivered for collection by members of the public.

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