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Govt begins review of air pact with 60 nations

A REVIEW of air pacts between Nigeria and over 60 other nations is expected to commence today in Abuja.
A member of the review committee who spoke to The Guardian yesterday said they would begin with the first phase of the exercise today, but declined…



OduahA REVIEW of air pacts between Nigeria and over 60 other nations is expected to commence today in Abuja.

A member of the review committee who spoke to The Guardian yesterday said they would begin with the first phase of the exercise today, but declined to disclose which countries would come first.

“We were in India and we just came back from the 65-nation BASA members in India. So we want to review some of the BASA agreements,” the source said.

There are indications that the BASA involving the lucrative routes might come under scrutiny, particularly, the London-Nigerian route. The need to scale down on the frequencies (time of operations) was necessitated by the row between the British government and the Nigerian authorities over the sale of slots in London Heathrow Airport which a Nigerian airline considered to be costly.

The row forced the Ministry of Aviation to consider a retaliatory action against British Airways by cutting down its frequencies to Lagos to three and changing its schedule to odd hours. The matter was however resolved diplomatically, forcing the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah-Ogiewonyi to rescind her decision on the mega carrier, while London allowed Arik Air to buy slots at prevailing rate at London Heathrow Airport. This development was said to have forced the Ministry to look at the BASA with a view to balancing the pact.

To many stakeholders, balancing the pact may not be feasible because only one Nigerian airline operates to London and the United States under BASA and ‘Open Skies’ policy. Two British carriers, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways have between them 21 frequencies while Arik has 14 as it operates to London from Lagos and Abuja. Besides, no Nigerian airline operates to the United Arab Emirates. Emirates and Qatar operate to Lagos from Dubai and Doha.

Reviewing the pact without ability of Nigerian airlines to offer services, according to sources, amounts to cutting choices among travellers. Already, many of these carriers, The Guardian learnt, pay royalty to the Federal Government for the failure of Nigerian airlines to reciprocate these services.

The Assistant Secretary General of Airline Operators of Nigeria, Mohammed Tukur said the review of the agreements could make for renewal of the contents in line with realities of modern aviation.


Kwara Governor, Abdulrazaq Declares 24-hour Curfew



Kwara Governor, Abdulrazaq Declares 24-hour Curfew

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq

Following the outbreak of violence in some quarters of the State, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State has declared a 24-hour Curfew on the state starting on Saturday.

Governor Abdulrazaq made this known in a statewide broadcast on Friday night.

Recall that on Friday some residents of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital stormed the warehouses where the government stored COVID-19 palliatives expected to be distributed to citizens.

Also Read: BREAKING: Lagos Government Relaxes Curfew

The warehouses, located at the cargo warehouse of the International airport in Ilorin as well as the agro-mall located in the Sango area of the state were totally ransacked as residents struggled to pack as much food items as they could.

Abdulrazaq said, “Lives are being threatened. Businesses are being looted. Public properties have been targeted. This is unacceptable. It is not who we are.

“To curb these acts of criminalities, I hereby declare a 24-hour curfew in Ilorin metropolis from midnight today October 23rd, 2020. This is in line with Sections 1, 2, and 4 of the Public Order Act Chapter 382 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.

“People are urged to stay indoors in compliance with this curfew. This will be reviewed as we watch developments.

“Our observation is that what has happened today is not a protest, it cannot be defended under any guide, it was a pure act of criminality as some people are hiding under the guise of nationwide protest.”

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Lagos Policemen Brutalise PUNCH Journalists For Covering #EndSARS Protest



Two PUNCH journalists, Femi Dawodu and Segun Odunayo, were on Wednesday brutalised by policemen guarding the Lagos State House of Assembly in Ikeja.

The duo had gone to cover events around the Alausa area, a major demonstration ground of the #EndSARS protesters calling for a total overhaul of the Nigeria Police Force.

According to the PUNCH, both Odunayo and Dawodu were recording a live video of activities in the area when the policemen accosted them and ordered them to stop the recording.

After showing the policemen their identity cards, indicating that they are journalists covering #EndSARS protests and monitoring compliance with the government-imposed curfew, the policemen became annoyed and pounced on them.

Odunayo said the policemen tortured them for four hours, adding that they stripped them of their clothes, laid them on the floor, beat them with a stick and guns, and took a video recording of them while torturing them at the Lagos State House of Assembly.

Odunayo said, “Femi and I were at the Secretariat in Alausa around 7 am and were doing a live video of the activities going on in the area. We were heading back to the expressway when a group of armed policemen accosted us at the Lagos State House of Assembly roundabout and immediately collected our phones. We showed them our ID cards, but they refused to let us go.

“What got the policemen annoyed was that we saw them using a stick and a rubber to beat a young man, and during the live video, they heard me saying that they were beating someone. So, after they arrested us, they tortured us and demanded that we should do another live video denying the statement, but we refused.

“Each Time we refused, they slapped us, used a stick to beat us, used the butt of their guns to hit our heads and bodies after stripping us of our clothes. All they wanted was for us to do another live broadcast to claim that we lied and we didn’t because we told the truth.”

Dawodu said it took the intervention of the state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi before they were released at the Alausa Police Station, adding that before their release, the policemen took their details, including their addresses, took a video record of them and threatened to go after them if any negative report was published about what happened.

He said, “The policemen were transferring the aggression of what is happening regarding the #EndSARS protest on us. They later took us to the Divisional Police Station in Alausa, and if not for the DPO, the policemen guarding the LSHA that arrested us would have done more grievous things to us.

“The PPRO and the DPO later spoke with them, and we were released.

“But despite his intervention, we were told to write statements. They collected our details, address, took video recordings of us making false statements during the torture, and threatened to use it to blackmail and go after us if we end up doing any bad report against them.”

Sahara Reporters

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CCTV At Lekki Toll Gate Was Not Removed -Lekki Concession Company Says



Lekki Concession Company in their press release has debunked the rumour that the Lekki Toll Gate CCTV camera was not removed.

Lekki, Ikoyi tolls will rise on February 1 – LCC - Ivory NG

According to the press release by the company which condemns the unlawful killings of the peaceful protesters said no one gave the order for the removal of the Closed Circuit Television System as the CCTV is still intact as of the time of this report.

Speaking further, the concession company revealed that if the CCTV was to be removed, it would require the use of machinery to reach the heights that they have been installed.

Read the release report below;


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