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FG Evacuates 481 Trafficked Nigerians From Libya

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Nigerians deported
  • FG Evacuates 481 Trafficked Nigerians From Libya

A set of 481 Nigerians evacuated from Libya arrived at the Port Harcourt International Airport in Rivers State on Sunday with sad stories.

While some of the returnees (females) were pregnant and looked tired, a large number of them, especially the young men, appeared emaciated ostensibly due to the lack of adequate food inside their detention camp in the North African country.

This is just as the Federal Government promised to rehabilitate the returnees, who flew in with a chartered Max Airline at exactly 4.55pm.

One of the returnees, who spoke with newsmen, 42-year-old Lucky Iyanusa from Edo State, said he went through hell after he was arrested by the Libyan police.

Iyanusa explained that many Nigerians were killed by Libyan security agents for no reason, adding that the entire N850,000 he spent in order to get to Europe through the North African country had gone down the drain.

The returnee, who was an artisan before he left Nigeria, recalled that he had to sell all his tools before he could embark on the journey to Libya from Kano State through the desert.

“I travelled to Libya on June 9, 2017. My aim was to travel to Europe and the only way I could achieve that was to get to Libya first. The financial condition with me and my family in Nigeria was bad and I had to sell all my work tools to travel to Libya by road.

“I moved to Libya from Kano State and through the desert. I could not get to Europe because I was arrested by the Seaside (Marine Police in Libya). The day I was arrested, 290 blacks were killed by the Libyan policemen; that was in November, 2017. Nigerians, Ghanaians and Malians were killed. Some had their legs shot and amputated.

“We were arrested and kept in an underground cell since last month. Inside the prison, we met some of our Nigerian brothers, who had been there for up to three years, four years, six months, nine months. Nigerians are going through hell in that place. We were fed once a day with something that looked like the bottom of a water bottle.

“People have been travelling through the desert; I am not the first person. We have burgers we pay to enhance our move. I paid N850,000 to a burger for me to travel to Libya and to Europe. I was washing cars to feed when I got there,” Iyanusa, who was in tears, added.

Addressing the returnees, who were served rice immediately they were ushered into the Hajj camp near the airport, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, explained that apart from rehabilitating them, government would ensure they (returnees) were gainfully employed.

“We saw the inhuman condition you went through; we saw the traumatic condition. Despite the inhuman conditions you were subjected to, you comported yourselves in a very responsible manner.

“We know that many of you were trafficked. We will make provisions to rehabilitate you to enable you to get good jobs. You have exhibited self-control. We will not abandon you.

“We will do everything possible to rehabilitate you. We want you to become advocate of the youths. We want you to go out there to share your experiences with the youths out there on what you encountered as to discourage them from embarking on such trip.”

The minister commended the Rivers State Government and other Federal Government agencies for the role they played in bringing back the returnees.

In his remark, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, said the state was in support of the Federal Government’s efforts to bring Nigerians back from Libya.

Wike, who was represented by the Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Mr. Kenneth Kobani, stated that there was a common concern when it the issues concern Nigerians irrespective of tribe or state.

Among Federal Government delegation to Libya are the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Mustapha Maihaja, Senior Special Adviser to the President on Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri Erewa.

Maihaja said, “In line with the mandate from President Muhammadu Buhari, we have started repatriating Nigerians who are trapped in Libya. We are using Max Air and Medview Airlines with a target of completing the process in three weeks.

“The first batch in the inaugural flight included 481 returnees. We have put necessary logistics in place for a hitch-free evacuation.

“The returnees will undergo profiling, medical examination and other processes before reuniting them with their families.

“We are collaborating with relevant state governments to receive these returnees at the Reception Centre.”

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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