The kidnappers of a retired United States Army officer, Maj. Jide Ijadare, who was abducted at his Palm oil factory located along Ijan-Ise EKiti road have demanded N20 million ransom.
Ijadare and one of his staff were allegedly abducted by gunmen at Ijan Ekiti, Gbonyin Local Government area of Ekiti State, on Tuesday.
A man identified as a contractor with the factory was allegedly shot dead by the kidnappers during the broad day attack.
A member of Ijadare’s family confirmed to journalists via telephone, on Wednesday, that the abductors had contacted one of them and demanded for N20 million ransom.
“Yes, they contacted one of the family members this morning (Wednesday) and demand for the sum.
“Though, the matter had been reported to the police since life was involved and they are also doing their own bit to ensure that the abducted are released in time.”
However, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, Mr Sunday Abutu, said the command was not aware of any ransom being demanded by the abductors.
“We are not aware of any ransom being demanded by the abductors. But our men are in the bush combing everywhere to ensure their release.
“The police Commissoner, Mr Babatunde Mobayo had deployed different units of police operatives in the factory and the surrounding forests.
“We are assuring the people that the abductees will be released safe and sound and in good health, but we appeal to the public to give us useful information that can help our men and other local hunters we are working with.”
The retired military man’s abduction came barely 48 hours after the Director, General Administration with the Local Government Service Commission, Mr David Jejelowo, was shot dead by assailants.
Jejelowo was killed at his residence at Igirigiri, Odo Ado area of Ado Ekiti metropolis.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz
NCDC records 189 new COVID-19 cases, total now 57,145
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Saturday.
“As at Sept. 19, 2020, 189 new confirmed cases and one death was recorded in Nigeria.
“Till date, 57,145 cases have been confirmed, 48,431 cases have been discharged and 1,095 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory,” it said.
The agency stated that the 189 new infections were reported from 15 states of the federation.
“Lagos (70), Plateau (37), FCT (24), Kaduna (19), Rivers (12), Oyo (5), Ogun (4), Ebonyi (3), Katsina (3), Ondo (3), Osun (3), Imo (2), Yobe (2), Ekiti (1), Nasarawa (1),” it said.
The agency said that cloth masks provide protection when properly worn and cared for.
“Wear mask covering your nose and mouth, handle mask with clean hands and wash cloth face masks after each use.
“MaskOnNaija with other preventive measures. Learn how to make your own face mask: covid19.ncdc.gov.ng/media/files/DI… ,” it advised.
“TakeResponsibility and adhere to all non pharmaceutical preventive measures of COVID-19 if you must travel,“ it said.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujini/Sadiya Hamza
Nadal stunned by Schwartzman in Italian Open quarter-finals, Djokovic survives Koepfer
Defending champion Rafa Nadal crashed out of the Italian Open with a stunning 6-2 7-5 defeat by Argentine Diego Schwartzman in the quarter-finals on Saturday.
The nine-times Rome champion, who had won all nine previous meetings against Schwartzman, struggled with his serve throughout the match.
He made a series of uncharacteristic unforced errors that proved to be his undoing.
The Italian Open was the Spaniard’s first tournament in over seven months and while he cruised through the previous two rounds, his rustiness showed from the outset against the 15th-ranked Schwartzman.
Nadal committed 30 unforced errors to Schwartzman’s 17 and had his serve broken five times.
“Losing that many serves, you can’t expect to win a match,” Nadal said. “So that’s something that I have to fix. I know how to do it.”
Nadal will now travel to Paris, where he will look to clinch a record-extending 13th French Open title.
Schwartzman will face Denis Shapovalov in the semi-finals after the Canadian defeated Grigor Dimitrov 6-2 3-6 6-2 for his 100th tour-level match win.
Earlier in the day, Novak Djokovic overcame a mid-match wobble against Dominik Koepfer before securing a 6-3 4-6 6-3 win over the unseeded German and a semi-final spot.
The top-ranked Serb had sailed through the previous two rounds, his first matches since being defaulted at the United States Open for hitting a line judge with a ball.
But he faced a potentially tricky test when Koepfer levelled the contest at one set apiece.
However, Djokovic regained his focus to close out the victory and stay on course for his 36th ATP Masters 1000 crown.
He takes on Casper Ruud for a place in the final after the Norwegian battled past fourth seed and local hope Matteo Berrettini 4-6 6-3 7-6(5) in their last-eight clash.
“Clay is definitely Casper’s preferred surface. This is where he feels most comfortable. It’s semi-finals and it’s anybody’s game,” said Djokovic, who will be targeting his 30th victory from 31 matches this year.
“I’ll do some homework and be ready for that one.”
In the women’s draw, 2018 French Open champion Simona Halep advanced to the semi-finals when her opponent Yulia Putintseva retired due to a lower back injury while trailing 6-2 2-0.
The top-seeded Romanian will now meet Spain’s ninth seed Garbine Muguruza, who survived an early scare against Victoria Azarenka to beat the United States Open runner-up 3-6 6-3 6-4.
Halep said: “Every time I played well against her (Muguruza), I was as much as possible aggressive.
“If I play my best game, and if I feel great physically on court, I have a big chance to win the match. But every time is different, because she’s playing so hard. You don’t really know what to expect. It’s tough.”
Two-times champion and fourth seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, who skipped the United States Open to prepare for the claycourt swing, was stunned by Czech Marketa Vondrousova 6-3 6-0.
Number 12 seed Vondrousova will face compatriot Karolina Pliskova in the semi-finals after the defending champion survived a mid-match scare to beat Belgium’s Elise Mertens 6-3 3-6 6-0.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
United States initiates ‘snapback’ process to reimpose sanctions on Iran – Pompeo
The United States has initiated the so-called snapback process to restore almost all previously lifted UN sanctions against Iran, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Saturday.
“Today, the United States welcomes the return of virtually all previously terminated UN sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror and anti-Semitism,” Pompeo said.
He said the snapback of previously terminated UN sanctions became effective at 8 pm Washington time (0000 GMT).
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected the United States move, saying that the snapback mechanism and reimposed sanctions were invalid.
“This step is not supported by the UN Security Council because the United States is no longer in the nuclear agreement and accordingly no longer plays a role in UN resolution 2231,” Zarif said referring to the resolution in which the UNSC backed the Iran nuclear deal signed in Vienna in 2015.
The move by Washington was merely a “propaganda trick” ahead of the United States election, Zarif said on Iranian state television.
Washington’s plans to reimpose international sanctions on Iran have been met with overwhelming opposition from other countries.
Other members of the UN Security Council (UNSC), including key United States allies who are part of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, have rejected Washington’s move and have vowed to ignore it.
Under the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Tehran limited its nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief.
“Sanctions are being re-imposed on Iran pursuant to the snapback process under UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 2231. On August 20, the United States notified the President of the Security Council of Iran’s significant non-performance of its JCPOA commitments,” Pompeo said in the Saturday statement.
“Virtually all @UN sanctions have returned on Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism and anti-Semitism.
“This includes a permanent extension of the arms embargo. This is great news for peace in the region!” Pompeo added on Twitter.
He later added that Washington would soon “announce a range of additional measures to strengthen enforcement of @UN sanctions on Iran.”
“Our maximum pressure campaign on the Iranian regime will continue until it stops spreading chaos, violence, and bloodshed,” he said.
United States special representative for Iran and Venezuela Elliott Abrams had already signalled Washington’s determination to reimpose sanctions on Tehran earlier this week.
The United States launched a formal bid in August to revive the UN sanctions under the “snapback” mechanism included in the Iran deal.
Those sanctions include the indefinite extension of an arms embargo that would otherwise expire in October.
But few countries believe Washington’s move is legal, as United States President Donald Trump unilaterally exited the JCPOA in 2018.
Washington said it would provide more information this weekend and next week on how the United States intended to enforce the global sanctions.
“In the coming days, the United States will announce a range of additional measures to strengthen implementation of UN sanctions and hold violators accountable,” Pompeo said in Saturday’s statement.
“Our maximum pressure campaign on the Iranian regime will continue until Iran reaches a comprehensive agreement with us to rein in its proliferation threats and stops spreading chaos, violence, and bloodshed,” Pompeo asserted.
Trump is likely to address Iran in his speech next week to the UN General Assembly’s largely online meeting of world leaders.
The stand-off between the United States and other member states over the issue threatens a diplomatic crisis at the world body.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Ekiti Deputy Gov eulogises late theatre icon, Jimoh Aliu
The Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, has paid tributes to the late theatre icon, Chief Jimoh Aliu.
He eulogised the late prominent artiste for using his talent in promoting arts and culture locally, nationally and internationally.
Egbeyemi, in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on media, Mr Odunayo Ogunmola, on Saturday, described the late Aliu as a worthy Ekiti Ambassador, who placed the name of the state on the global map of theatre, arts, culture and entertainment.
He described the death of the former National President of the Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP), as a great and monumental loss not only to Ekiti, his state of origin but also to entire Nigeria.
According to him, the late dramatist and producer exhibited the famed Ekiti virtues of honesty, integrity, hard work and good name, which the youths of nowadays must emulate.
Egbeyemi noted that the Aliu mentored many young artistes and promoted local content in the nation’s entertainment industry.
The Deputy Governor said the plays and films produced by the deceased taught moral lessons, bravery, valour, strong will, determination and self-belief in pursuit of dreams and vision.
He said that Aliu rose to stardom by hard work and perseverance, and never forgot his roots as he lived among his people throughout his lifetime.
Egbeyemi regretted that the late Aliu died at a time his wise counsel was still needed, noting that the deceased contributed his quota to the development of Ekiti State.
The Deputy Governor, while commiserating with the family and associates of the deceased, urged them to be consoled by the good life he lived and the legacies he left behind.
“Surely, the vacuum left behind by this great legend of the stage and movies will be difficult to fill owing to his sterling contributions over the years.
“This is a monumental loss not only to Ekiti, but to our entire country. Our prayers and thoughts are with the family of the deceased.”
He prayed God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Felix Ajide