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CBN Governor’s Wife Kidnap

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In a bid to track the abductors of Mrs. Margaret Emefiele, the wife of the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has deployed helicopters along the Benin-Agbor Road, where the incident had taken place.

Idris, it was gathered, had also flooded the area with hundreds of police operatives and sniffer dogs in a move to put pressure on the kidnappers.

A senior police officer said, “We received information on Thursday that the CBN governor’s wife was abducted alongside three women and a male driver. They were on their way to Agbor, Delta State, where she hails from.

“We have deployed policemen, helicopters and sniffer dogs and we will arrest the suspects very soon.”

Gunmen had on Thursday abducted Margaret along with four others and demanded N100m as ransom.

The kidnappers were said to have made the demand after taking their victims to an unknown location.

A senior police officer told our correspondent that Margaret was abducted alongside three women and a male driver.

He said they were abducted along the Benin-Agbor Road on Thursday.

Police sources said the abductors did not know her identity, adding that they simply stumbled on her and whisked her away.

Our correspondent learnt that the IG Special Intelligence Monitoring Team, headed by Abba Kyari, has commenced investigation into the incident.

Kyari was the officer who arrested the suspects responsible for the abduction of Prof. Kamene Okonjo, the mother of ex-Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in 2012.

Another source said, “The kidnappers did not know the identity of the woman; preliminary investigation indicated that the gang just got her by chance. They have contacted her husband and they are demanding for N100m cash.”

Findings indicate that there were fears that the gang may increase their demand if they got to know the identity of their hostage.

“We actually wanted to keep the incident under wraps until the woman has been rescued, because the exposure of the victim’s identity may complicate the case; this is our fear,” a source said.

The police spokesman, Donald Awunah, could not be reached for comments as calls to his mobile telephone failed to connect. He had yet to respond to an SMS as of the time of filing this report.

Incident, very embarrassing-Security experts

Security experts described the abduction of the CBN governor’s wife as an embarrassment, noting that something must have gone wrong.

A former director, Department of State Services, Mike Ejiofor, stated that as a politically exposed person, Margaret must have had security operatives attached to her.

He wondered where the personnel were at the time she was abducted, noting that until the details of the incident came to light, it might be hard to know what transpired.

The lawyer urged Nigerians to take their personal security seriously.

Ejiofor said, “I don’t know the circumstances around her abduction, but this is one of the highest profile kidnap cases in recent time.

“How can the wife of the CBN Governor, with all these security challenges be kidnapped? We need the details. Was any security operative attached to her?

“As the wife of the CBN governor, I expect she would need some protection. Until I get the details, I can’t talk much, but I believe something has gone wrong, which is very embarrassing.”

Another security analyst, Ben Okezie, also observed that something must have gone wrong with the security operative(s) around Margaret.

He expressed confidence that the kidnap victim would be rescued and prayed for her safety.

“We pray they did not do anything evil to her. This should signal top people that their security should be guaranteed because they are important to Nigeria,” Okezie said.

When contacted, the spokesperson for the CBN, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, did not pick repeated calls made by one of our correspondents to his mobile telephone.

When a text message was sent to him, requesting for comments on the kidnap of Margaret, his response was “I am sorry, not at this time.”

When contacted on Friday evening, the acting Police Public Relations Officer, Edo State Command, Stephen Onwochei, told our correspondent to call back in 20 minutes.

But he did not pick subsequent calls made to his telephone.

He also did not respond to a text message sent to his telephone number as of the time of filing this report.

However, the Zonal Police Public Relations Officer, Emeka Iheanacho, said that he was not aware of the incident.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

COVID-19 Vaccine: African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) to Purchase 270 Million Doses for Nigeria, Other African Nations

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African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) Approves $2 Billion for the Purchase of 270 million Doses for African Nations

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) said it has approved $2 billion for the purchase of 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for African nations, including Nigeria.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of the Bank, disclosed this at a virtual Africa Soft Power Series held on Tuesday.

He, however, stated that the lender is looking to raise more funds for the COVID-19 vaccines’ acquisition.

He said: “The African Union knows that unless you put the virus away, your economy can’t come back. If Africa didn’t do anything, it would become a COVID-19 continent when other parts of the world have already moved on.
“Recall that it took seven years during the heat of HIV for them to come to Africa after 12 million people had died.

“With the assistance of the AU, we were able to get 270 million vaccines and financing need of about $2 billion. Afreximbank then went ahead to secure the $2 billion. But that money for the 270 million doses could only add 15 per cent to the 20 per cent that Covax was bringing.

He added that this is not the time to wait for handouts or free vaccines as other countries will naturally sort themselves out before African nations.

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China Calls for Better China-U.S. Relations

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China Calls for China-U.S. Relations

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Monday the United States and China could work together on issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic if they repaired their damaged bilateral relationship.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang urged Washington to respect China’s core interests, stop “smearing” the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering in Beijing’s internal affairs and stop “conniving” with separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence.

“Over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels,” Wang said in prepared remarks translated into English.

“We stand ready to have candid communication with the U.S. side, and engage in dialogues aimed at solving problems.”

Wang pointed to a recent call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden as a positive step.

Washington and Beijing have clashed on multiple fronts including trade, accusations of human rights crimes against the Uighur Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and Beijing’s territorial claims in the resources-rich South China Sea.

The Biden administration has, however, signalled it will maintain pressure on Beijing. Biden has voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and endorsed of a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang.

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U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

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President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office Of The White House

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation, a blow to his quest to conceal details of his finances.

The justices without comment rebuffed Trump’s request to put on hold an Oct. 7 lower court ruling directing the former Republican president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena to turn over the materials to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.

“The work continues,” Vance said in a statement issued after the court’s action.

Vance had previously said in a letter to Trump’s lawyers that his office would be free to immediately enforce the subpoena if the justices rejected Trump’s request.

A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority included three Trump appointees, had already ruled once in the dispute, last July rejecting Trump’s broad argument that he was immune from criminal probes as a sitting president.

Unlike all other recent U.S. presidents, Trump refused during his four years in office to make his tax returns public. The data could provide details on his wealth and the activities of his family real-estate company, the Trump Organization.

Trump, who left office on Jan. 20 after being defeated in his Nov. 3 re-election bid by Democrat Joe Biden, continues to face an array of legal issues concerning his personal and business conduct.

Vance issued a subpoena to Mazars in August 2019 seeking Trump’s corporate and personal tax returns from 2011 to 2018. Trump’s lawyers sued to block the subpoena, arguing that as a sitting president, Trump had absolute immunity from state criminal investigations.

The Supreme Court in its July ruling rejected those arguments but said Trump could raise other objections to the subpoena. Trump’s lawyers then argued before lower courts that the subpoena was overly broad and amounted to political harassment, but U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in August and the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October rejected those claims.

Vance’s investigation, which began more than two years ago, had focused on hush money payments that the president’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen made before the 2016 election to two women – adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal – who said they had sexual encounters with Trump.

In recent court filings, Vance has suggested that the probe is now broader and could focus on potential bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records.

In separate litigation, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives was seeking to subpoena similar records. The Supreme Court in July sent that matter back to lower courts for further review.

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