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Nigeria yet to deal with alleged thieving ex-gov 11 years after

Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has established a new sum as the amount of money allegedly stolen by former Abia State governor, Orji Uzo Kalu

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Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has established a new sum as the amount of money allegedly stolen by former Abia State governor, Orji Uzo Kalu.

The new figures now stand at N7.65 billion, up from N2.9 billion. The agency had on Tuesday re-arraigned Kalu before the Federal High Court in Lagos.

Kalu has been on trial for eleven years, raising serious concerns over quality of prosecution and willingness of government to pursue the case. The suspect is a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party in Nigeria.

The anti-graft agency re-arraigned him alongside his company, Slok Nigeria Limited, and Ude Udeogu, who served as the Director of Finance and Account, Abia State Government House, under Kalu.

Read Also: Senegal jails teachers

EFCC had 11 years ago levelled a 34 count-charge against Kalu over alleged diversion, stealing and laundering of N2.9 billion.

On Tuesday, however, the commission re-arraigned the former governor on amended increased charges, from 34 to 39, and an increased amount of N7.65 billion from the initial N2.9 billion.

According to the prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), the amendment became essential in view of new facts revealed by some of the 19 witnesses who had testified against Kalu and his co-defendants in court.

The trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, paved the way for the re-arraignment of the defendants, having sacked the objection raised by the defence counsel to the amended charge sheet.

Aside the N7.1 billion, Kalu and his co-defendants were also alleged to have received a total of N460 million allegedly stolen from the Abia State Government treasury between July and December 2002.

Kalu, Udeogu and Slok Nigeria Limited, meanwhile, pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them and were allowed to continue with the bail granted them 11 years ago when they were first arraigned.

Metro

Malian migrants, including children, die as makeshift Europe-bound boat capsizes in Libya

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Twenty-two Malian migrants including three children, have been killed when their makeshift Europe-bound boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, the United Nations as well as the Malian government have confirmed on Wednesday.

The UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM), also confirmed that 61 other migrants were rescued and taken to a detention centre in Libya.

The Ministry of Malians Abroad, in a statement, said the people who died were part of a group of 83 mostly Malian nationals who were stuck on a distressed vessel since June 22.

The IOM, in statement by its spokeswoman Safa Msehli, said the rescued victims were brought back to shore with the help of the Libyan coastguard after nine days at sea, adding that the “cause of death for the 22 people was drowning and dehydration.”

Msehli also said some of the survivors were in very poor health and had to be taken to hospital by the IOM.

“The remaining migrants were taken to al-Maya detention centre” in Libya, she said.

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Metro

Monkeypox: WHO records over 6,000 cases in 58 countries in recent outbreak

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According to the World Health Organization, more than 6,000 cases of monkeypox have now been reported from 58 countries in the current outbreak.

The United Nations agency is yet to decide declaring the outbreak a global health emergency, the WHO’s highest level of alert.

Its committee reconvene a meeting in July 18 to decide or sooner.

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news conference from Geneva.

Monkeypox, a disease that was once largely restricted to Africa, has also penetrated Europe and North America in its recent spread with more than 100 cases recorded outside Africa.

The UN committee meeting in June 27 decided that the disease was not yet a health emergency. There have recently been reported cases in other African countries like Nigeria and Morocco.

“I continue to be concerned by the scale and spread of the virus across the world,” Tedros said, adding that a lack of testing meant that there were likely many more cases going unreported.

Until recently, monkeypox had been a disease that was once largely restricted to Africa, but has gradually penetrating Europe and North America in its recent outbreak.

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