US & World News

Akeem ReachnaijaFebruary 14, 2019
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A Nigerian, Job Oyebisi, who won the 2018 Idea Change Lives British Council global competition, was yesterday awarded a cash prize of £20,000 for emerging champion.

Oyebisi, who runs StanLab, a 3D virtual science laboratory, is also a joint winner of the competition with ‘Malawi’s mHub’.

He won the championship that featured over 170 countries by creating a viable solution that would enhance secondary school students get acquitted with new learning skills in laboratory technology.


Akeem ReachnaijaFebruary 12, 2019
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3min380

The information we used for this ranking is according to the latest Henley Passport Index. The ranking is based on the number of destinations their holder can access without a prior visa. The ranking is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest and most accurate database of travel information.

This is how it is calculated:

For each travel destination, if no visa is required for passport holders from a country or territory, then a score with value = 1 is created for that passport. A score with value = 1 is also applied if passport holders can obtain a visa on arrival, a visitor’s permit, or an electronic travel authority (ETA) when entering the destination. These visa-types require no pre-departure government approval, because of the specific visa-waiver programs in place.

Where a visa is required, or where a passport holder has to obtain a government-approved electronic visa (e-Visa) before departure, a score with value = 0 is assigned. A score with value = 0 is also assigned if passport holders need pre-departure government approval for a visa on arrival, a scenario we do not consider ‘visa-free’.

The total score for each passport is equal to the number of destinations for which no visa is required (value = 1), under the conditions defined above.

In a nutshell, some passports are more powerful and hence offers more freedom.

Below are the world’s most powerful passports in 2018.

It’s cool you note that some positions have ties.

1. Japan:

With the Japanese passport, you can comfortably travel to 190 destinations around the world.

2. Singapore, South Korea:

For the second most powerful passport in the world, there is a tie between Singapore and South Korea. With these two Asian passports, you can travel to 189 destinations around the world.

3. France, Germany:

The two passports can travel to a total of 188 destinations around the globe. In the beginning of 2018, Germany took the first spot as the most powerful passport in the world.

4. Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden:

The four countries joined at the fourth position can make it to 187 destinations with their passport.

5.Luxembourg, Spain:

The two passports can get its holders to 186 locations around the world.

6. Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States:

At this sixth position, the passports here have access to 185 destinations.

7. Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland:

The passports have access to 184 destinations.

8. Czech Republic:

The lone passport sitting pretty on the eighth position can get into 183 destinations.

9. Malta:

The passport have access to 182 destinations.

10. Australia, Iceland, New Zealand:

The passports have access to 181 destinations.

 

AUTOJOSH


Akeem ReachnaijaFebruary 11, 2019
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3min340

The suspension of Nigeria’s most senior judge by President Muhammadu Buhari broke international human rights standards on the independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers, a United Nations expert has said.

“International human rights standards provide that judges may be dismissed only on serious grounds of misconduct or incompetence,” said Diego Garcia-Sayan, the UN special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, on Monday.

“Any decision to suspend or remove a judge from office should be fair and should be taken by an independent authority such as a judicial council or a court,” he said in a statement.

Buhari, who was a military ruler in the 1980s and was voted into office in 2015, is hoping to win a new term in a presidential election scheduled to take place on Saturday.

The chief justice could preside over any dispute over the election result.

Nigeria’s judiciary has helped resolve electoral disputes in past votes, some of which have been marred by violence and ballot rigging.

Garcia-Sayan, who is mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate legal and judicial independence, said dismissing judges without following legal procedures or offering a chance to contest the decision was incompatible with the independence of the judiciary.

Buhari suspended Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen on January 25 following an order by a tribunal on public officials’ conduct and replaced him with Ibrahim Tanko Mohammad.

But four courts superior to the tribunal had already ordered a stay of proceedings and the tribunal had previously said it lacked jurisdiction over cases involving judicial officers, Garcia-Sayan said.

The UN statement said some of the judges and the defence lawyers involved in Onnoghen’s case had been subject to serious threats, pressures and interference.

‘Attempted coup’ 
The move prompted anger among the country’s civil society groups and opposition.

Last month, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) decided to embark on a two-day warning boycott of all courts in Nigeria over Onnoghen’s suspension.

The NBA and local civil society associations held protests in Abuja and southeast Enugu state to reject Onnoghen’s suspension, calling it an “attempted coup against the Nigerian judiciary”.

Critics say the suspension is an effort by Buhari to weaken Nigeria’s judiciary and pave the way for his election to a second term in the February 16 vote.

Amid heightened tensions before the vote, observers warned against election-related violence.

Oil-rich Nigeria struggles with multiple security challenges, including the decade-old Boko Haram rebellion and Buhari’s 2015 election was a rare peaceful transfer of power. Diplomats have urged the top candidates to sign a peace pledge.


Akeem ReachnaijaFebruary 2, 2019
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1min370

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States said on Thursday it was imposing visa restrictions on Ghana, accusing the African country of not cooperating in accepting its citizens ordered removed from the United States.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “has ordered consular officers in Ghana to implement visa restrictions on certain categories of visa applicants,” the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a statement.

“Without an appropriate response from Ghana, the scope of these sanctions may be expanded to a wider population,” the statement said.

“Ghana has failed to live up to its obligations under international law to accept the return of its nationals ordered removed from the United States,” said DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

“We hope the Ghanaian government will work with us to reconcile these deficiencies quickly,” she said.


Akeem ReachnaijaDecember 14, 2018
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1min380
Photos of Bukola Saraki, Nigeria’s Senate President at the launch of Trump’s Africa Strategy in Washington has been shared.

His Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, had earlier disclosed that the new United States strategy argues for more effective utilisation of existing U.S. resources on the continent.

Also with Bukola Saraki at the launch of Trump’s Africa Strategy in Washington, was Senator Ben Bruce, Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs; Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee; and Honourable Nnenna Ukeje, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs.


Akeem ReachnaijaDecember 12, 2018
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1min260

A Nigerian fraudster who claimed his sister and nephew died in the Grenfell Tower fire to secure accommodation and more than £40,000, has been convicted of fraud in the U.K.
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Abolaji Onafuye, 54, claimed the cash after telling volunteers he was related to two real victims of the fire. He was put up in a hotel for nearly a year before being moved to a flat. .
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The convict denied fraud, but was convicted at Isleworth Crown Court of two counts of frauds by false representation. He is due to be sentenced on 18 December. .
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The 14 June 2017 fire in Kensington, killed 72 people. Prosecutor Michael Phillips, said: “Abolaji Onafuye had no connections to the Grenfell Tower tragedy but saw an opportunity to benefit himself, both financially and with accommodation. .
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Our prosecution was able to prove he had repeatedly and intentionally lied and that his post-arrest story that it had all been an innocent mistake was just an attempt to escape the consequences of his cruel deception.”


Akeem ReachnaijaDecember 11, 2018
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4min240

The Department for International Development (DFID) says Nigeria needs to invest more in healthcare, education and economic reforms.

The country head of the oganisation, Debbie Palmer, said this on Monday during a conference organised by the Not Too Young To Run group in the nation’s capital, Abuja.

She explained that there are projections that soon Nigeria could become the third largest nation on earth which could mean a rise in the number of the working age and potentially, a boost in the nation’s GDP.

However, according to her, this can only be possible if the nation invests in its health, education and economic sectors.

Palmer said, “According to projections, Nigeria is set to become potentially, the third largest nation on earth by 2050 after China and India.

“So, what that means is, there will be a huge rise in the number of Nigeria’s working age over the next 50 years and in theory, this could transition Nigeria from being a lower middle-income country to being a higher middle-income country with a GDP per capita of over $8,000 per person.

“That is a bright future to work for and that would be a fantastic future for Nigeria.

“To get there, Nigeria needs to be investing in its healthcare, education and economic reforms.

“Because in a nutshell we’ve got huge numbers of Nigerians being born and we need those people to be nourished, educated, healthy, skilled and to become productive members of the society, having jobs and driving this economy forward”.

Also addressing the youths, the sponsor of the Not Too Young To Run bill in the House Of Representatives, Mr Tony Nwulu, asked them to walk their talk anytime they recite the country’s national anthem.

“The Not Too Young To Run initiative has truly brought us into the spirit of the national anthem. Today, we can actually say that we have answered that clarion call for young people to get involved in mainstream politics.

“So if you could have made it through your party primaries, go through the rigors and every other thing that goes with it and you emerged as a party candidate, then you know that you’ve truly been called to serve this country with strength and faith and I want all of us to continue to reflect on the national anthem,” he said.

The conference brought together candidates from 91 registered political parties to educate them on the need to build the right values that would help them deliver good governance and quality representation in Nigeria.

President Buhari had signed the ‘Not Too Young To Run’ Bill into law in May, reducing the age limit for presidential candidates from 40 to 35.

On the other hand, the minimum age for National and State Assembly members was reduced to 25.

The aim of the law is to increase the participation of young people in politics