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Reps probe alleged killing of vigilante members in Enugu by army



House of Reps

The House of Representatives has begun investigation into the alleged gruesome murder of some vigilante members in Eke, Udi Council Area of Enugu State by the Nigerian army.

Abdulraheem Egidi, the chairman, House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigating the murder disclosed this when the members of the committee visited Gov. Peter Mbah at the Government House, Enugu on Thursday.

Reports had it that men from the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army allegedly opened fire on some members of the Eke Vigilante Group who were on their way to respond to a distress call in their community, killing two of them including a woman and inflicting gunshot injury on three others.

Egidi who expressed the committee’s resolve to unravel the reasons behind the unlawful killings of the Enugu indigenes, stressing that the National Assembly “is worried by the way and manner the lives of Nigerians are being wasted on a daily basis, and resolved to end this by whichever means possible.”

While briefing Mbah who was represented by his Deputy, Ifeanyi Ossai, of their mission, Egidi expressed displeasure with the way the Nigeria soldiers killed some vigilante groups who were responding to distress call on banditry and kidnapping, added that they were on a fact-finding assignment in the state.


According to him, the investigation followed a motion moved by a member representing Ezeagu/Udi Federal Constituency, Mr Sunday Umeha, to investigate the “gruesome murder of some Nigerians by soldiers in the state on the 29th of June, 2023.

He explained that following that motion, the House of Representatives resolved to embark on a fact-finding mission.

“The House considering this as a matter of urgent public interest as it affects the lives of Nigerians, resolved to set up this ad hoc committee to among other things; investigate what actually happened on that fateful day, and punish those found culpable.

“Visit the victims critically lying at the hospital, and families of the deceased, and urge the National Emergency Management Agency to provide relief materials to the victims of the gunshots,” he said.

The Chairman further commended Mbah, for the support his administration had been giving the security agencies in his efforts to protect the lives and property of the citizens, and rid the state of crime.


Egidi, said the governor had shown resolve in combatting criminality and ensuring the “protection of lives and properties of the people” by providing adequate support in cash and kind to the security agencies to complement the efforts of the federal government.

Responding ,the governor extolled the resilient spirit of the committee for being proactive in their response to the plight of Nigerians, adding that the state government would give them maximum support and protection as they discharged their duties.

Mbah said the state welcomed the development with delight even as he condemned the unfortunate loss of lives

.He called on the committee to discharge their duties without partiality, urging them to listen to all sides, including witnesses, before drawing their conclusions.

The governor observed that the security agencies in the state had been doing their best efforts to ensure that the lives and properties of Nigerians were protected in the state, and called for a robust relationship between those saddled with the responsibility of guaranteeing the life of every citizen and members of the public.


Mbah, who further bemoaned the heavy spending and other sacrifices the state had been making to keep the state safe, appealed to the National Assembly to consider allocating special security funding to Enugu State in the next cycle of budget.

“The investment this government is making on security is enormous. We have enjoyed the collaborative synergy with the security agencies, but we need the federal government to assist us to do more.

“We need investment from the FG to rejig and re-equip the security apparatuses in the state. We need the federal government in providing tools that the security services need so as to gradually relieve the state of the burden of what we have been investing,” he appealed.


WHO releases $16m to tackle cholera, says Director-General



The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies to tackle cholera.

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said this during an online news conference.

Ghebreyesus said that the organisation was providing essential supplies, coordinating the on the ground response with partners, supporting countries to detect, prevent and treat cholera, and informing people how to protect themselves.

“To support this work, we have appealed for 160 million dollars, and we have released more than 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies.

“But the real solution to cholera lies in ensuring everyone has access to safe water and sanitation, which is an internationally recognized human right,” he said.


According to him, in the previous week, WHO published new data showing that cases reported in 2022 were more than double those in 2021.

He said that the preliminary data for 2023 suggested was likely to be even worse.

“So far, 28 countries have reported cases in 2023 compared with 16 during the same period in 2022.

“The countries with the most concerning outbreaks right now are Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq and Sudan.

“Significant progress has been made in countries in Southern Africa, including Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, but these countries remain at risk as the rainy season approaches,” Ghebreyesus said.


According to him, the worst affected countries and communities are poor, without access to safe drinking water or toilets.

He said that they also face shortages of oral cholera vaccine and other supplies, as well as overstretched health workers, who are dealing with multiple disease outbreaks and other health emergencies.

On COVID-19, Ghebreyesus said that as the northern hemisphere winter approaches, the organisation continued to see concerning trends.

He said that among the relatively few countries that report them, both hospitalisations and ICU admissions have increased in the past 28 days, particularly in the Americas and Europe.

WHO boss said that meanwhile, vaccination levels among the most at-risk groups remained worryingly low.


“Two-thirds of the world’s population has received a complete primary series, but only one-third has received an additional, or “booster” dose.

“COVID-19 may no longer be the acute crisis it was two years ago, but that does not mean we can ignore it,” he said.

According to him, countries invested so much in building their systems to respond to COVID-19.

He urged countries to sustain those systems, to ensure people can be protected, tested and treated for COVID-19 and other infectious threats.

“That means sustaining systems for collaborative surveillance, community protection, safe and scalable care, access to countermeasures and coordination,” he said.

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FG targets wealthy Nigerians in new tax drive



The Federal Government is planning to overhaul the nation’s tax system to shift more of the burden to wealthy citizens while cutting corporate taxes.

The move — part of President Bola Tinubu’s reforms to overhaul the beleaguered economy – aims to lift the country’s tax take to 18 per cent of Gross Domestic Product within three years from 11 per cent now, according to a Bloomberg report.

A tax amnesty to encourage compliance is also under consideration.

The plan is to make “the rich pay what is fair and those who are too poor can be protected,” said Taiwo Oyedele, who is leading a panel appointed by Tinubu to drive the changes.

“We also envisage a reduction in the corporate income tax rate,” to below the current effective rate of more than 40 per cent to help boost business, he told Bloomberg in a recent interview. The new rate should be benchmarked against Nigeria’s peers, he said.


In Africa’s most populous nation, where a tiny minority enjoy vast wealth while two thirds of its 200 million people live in extreme poverty, the numbers suggest widespread tax evasion.

Nigeria’s tax revenue as a share of GDP is a third of the 34 per cent average for members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Among four million registered firms, less than 250,000 actively pay tax, while fewer than a quarter of the 41 million registered people pay income tax, Oyedele said.

The country’s tax system is bedeviled by overlapping local, state and federal jurisdictions, which helps the wealthy to slip through the cracks. The high number of different taxes, which he put at almost 70, also adds to complexity.

“We will find a way to create structures and systems around what taxes can be imposed, how it can be collected, who can collect it and how it should be accounted for,” he said. The goal is to slash the number of taxes down to single digits.


“We just identified the top eight giving us 99% of the taxes, so we keep them and the rest we get rid of,” he said.

Boosting tax collection is vital for a country which, despite its immense oil wealth, has had to borrow heavily to fill the gap between government spending and the revenue shortfall.

Since 2015, the nation’s public debt has increased almost eight-fold to 87.4 trillion naira ($112.6 billion), according to the debt management agency. Servicing those obligations consumed 96% of government revenue in 2022.

A tax amnesty will be introduced to provide a relief on old debts and prepare the mind of the people to meet future obligations.

“If people know that government knows their income, where they are; if they haven’t been paying their taxes, if we declare an amnesty they will show up,” he said.

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