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FG Under fire as Saudi Arabia recruits Nigerian doctors

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THE Federal Government on Monday feigned ignorance as a firm concluded arrangement to recruit Nigerian doctors for Saudi Arabia. The firm, Meed Consultants, is recruiting doctors in different specialities under a programme tagged, ‘Saudi Ministry of Health Doctors Recruitment August 2021.”

The government-licensed recruiting agency based in Abuja has fixed Tuesday (today) as interview date for doctors who registered for recruitment on its website. This is coming at a time resident doctors under the aegis of Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors are currently on strike.

Flyers announcing the recruitment had been trending on social media, especially WhatsApp platforms. But when contacted on the matter on Monday, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, denied knowledge of the exercise. He directed our correspondent to the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire. According to Ngige, the Health minister is in charge of doctors.

“I am not aware of that. You can please contact the Minister of Health. His ministry is in charge of doctors,” the minister stressed. Ehanire, however, did not take the calls made to his known telephone line.

He had also yet to respond to the text message sent to him on the matter as of the time of filing this report.

However, in his reaction, NARD President, Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, told The PUNCH doctors were at liberty to do whatever they wanted to do since government had failed to fulfill its promises. He said there was no benefit for any doctor still practising in Nigeria, saying those who were staying back were only being patriotic.

Okhuaihesuyi said, “Everybody is free to do whatever he/she wants. The government has not fulfilled its promises to the health sector. Those who stay behind are only doing so because of patriotism, not as if there is any benefit or something.”

Efforts made to reach the firm on the telephone line on its website did not yield result as the line did not connect. An enquiry posted on the website has also not been replied to.

According to the interview invitation, specialties that will be interviewed for employment include anaesthesia, ICU, paediatrics surgery, family medicine (consultants only), obstetrics and gynaecology, ENT, Emergency medicine, all sub-specialties (surgery), all sub-specialties (internal medicine), orthopaedic surgery, Ophthalmology, Radiology as well as Haematology and Histopathology.

The invitation also listed requirements such as originals and photocopies of all credentials; updated CV with chronologically detailed summary of experience, two passport-sized photographs and a valid form of identification. The interview is scheduled to hold at the Ladi Kwali Conference Centre, Sheraton Hotels, Abuja.

Some doctors, who did not want their names in print, told our correspondent it was not the first time the firm would be recruiting for Saudi authorities. One of them said the firm conducted a similar interview in 2018 for medical consultants. He said, “This is not the first time they are organising such recruitment. This was also done in 2018. They held one in Lagos and another in Abuja.

“Lots of doctors are coming out tomorrow (today). It is not about being an Islamic country; it is about conditions of service. As a Christian, if it means I have to go to an Islamic country to get better conditions of service, then I will go.”

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Crypto is a danger to world economy, tool for money laundry- EFCC Boss

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Advancement in digital assets such as cryptocurrencies increasingly portends huge risks to the world economy, the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, has said.

This, according to Bawa, is partly because, many criminals now play significant roles in crypto-currency markets. He said the virtual currencies had become their preferred mediums of exchange.

Bawa spoke while delivering his keynote address Monday at the 38th Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime, themed, ‘Economic Crime-Who pays and who should pay?’

The event was organised by the Centre for International Documentation on Organised and Economic Crime (CIDOEC), Jesus College, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.

EFCC’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, who captured some highlights of the event in a statement, quoting Bawa as saying, “The developments in new technologies and the growth of cryptocurrencies portrays a far greater danger to the world economy than ever before with many criminals playing significant roles in crypto-currency markets.

“Criminals now elect to transact or receive illegal monies (such as ransom money) for

cyber-attacks in cryptocurrencies with Bitcoins and Ethereum as the most commonly used mediums for these exchanges.”

He lamented that “the sophistication and complexity that defines the dynamics of economic crime in the 21st Century continues to evolve, spurred by technological advancement in the global economy that has become borderless and transnational.”

This he said had “inevitably led to the prioritisation of law enforcement action on crimes that drive Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) across the globe”.

‘No nation is immune’

According to the EFCC Boss, “economic crimes which are largely illegal acts committed for private gain affect the vital structures of global economies, causing significant damage to the Global Financial System and depriving developing nations of the needed resources for sustainable development”.

He noted that developed countries are not immune to the scourge, which, according to him, has “magnified with the proliferation of cyber-crimes which threatens the stability of Global Financial Institutions.”

Bawa said the platform of the event provided an opportunity to interrogate the challenges of economic crimes.

“As the victims of crime continue to suffer globally from the effects of financial crimes, either directly or indirectly as part of a social system, the determination of who pays or who should pay becomes a critical measure of the criminal justice system in place.”

He underlined the imperatives of an impartial judiciary in ensuring that “the perpetrators of acts and not the victims pay for their crimes.”

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had barred commercial banks and other financial institutions from transacting with cryptocurrency in fear of the risks it poses to investments and the economy at large.

Despite these actions, there have been reports over the use of these digital or virtual currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum and others, with criminals turning it to a haven to launder proceeds of corruption, fraud, drug trafficking, and other heinous crimes.

PRecall that last month that the United States Department of Justice training over 50 Nigerian investigators and prosecutors to tackle cryptocurrency-enabled organised crimes.

Efforts to fight crypto-related crimes

While highlighting some of the transparency and accountability achievements of the current administration by President Muhammadu Buhari, Bawa pointed out that the EFCC, as the rallying point in the fight against economic crimes in Nigeria, has recorded important milestones in investigations, prosecutions and assets recovery.

“Since its establishment in 2003, the Commission has recorded no less than 3,500 convictions and recovered assets of significant value including properties in Nigeria, the UK, USA, and the UAE. All these have measurably contributed to the national efforts against economic crimes in Nigeria,” he said.

The EFCC charged participants to come up with practical solutions to curb the international threat of economic crimes.

Meanwhile, the chairperson of the symposium, Saul Froomkin, thanked the EFCC boss for his insightful presentation, and the support received from Nigeria in organising the event.

Participants at the symposium were drawn from law enforcement and security agencies, accountability institutions and partners across the world.

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SuperTV CEO: Lagos DPP to charge Chidinma Ojukwu, two others

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A Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos State has adjourned to sept 29, further hearing in the murder of Usifo Ataga, the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV.

A 21-year-old student, Chidinma Ojukwu and one Adedapo Quadri were again presented. before the Chief Magistrate, Adeola Adedayo on Monday after they were ordered to be remanded for thirty days at the Kirikiri Correctional Centre last month.

Police Prosecutor, Cyril Ejiofor, informed the court that the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecution had issued a legal advice on the case, recommending their trial for murder which implies that the case will now be heard at the high court of Lagos state which has jurisdiction to hear matters of this nature

She, however, adjourned the case to await further Information from the DPP as to the status of the case at the high court that will now hear the matter.

The News Beat also gathered that the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions, Olayinka Adeyemi, recommended the release of four persons who are also standing trial at the Magistrate court for obstruction of justice and dishonestly receiving stolen belongings of the deceased .

The four persons are Babalola Disu, Olowu Ifeoluwa, Olutayo Abayomi, Nkechi Mogbo, Ojukwu Onoh, who is said to be Chidinma’s adopted father.

One Egbuchu Chioma who was allegedly found in possession of the deceased’s iPhone 7, and who had initially refused to release the phone on demand, is however to continue her trial.

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Omoyele Sowore’s younger brother shot dead

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A file combo photo of Omoyele and Olajide Sowore

Sahara Reporters Publisher and ex-presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, has narrated how kidnappers shot dead his brother in the Okada area of Edo State on Saturday.

According to him, Olajide was killed in the early hours of Saturday on his way from the Igbinedion University where he was studying Pharmacy.

Sowore, in a tribute on his Facebook page, described his deceased brother who almost clocked 50 as an “out-of-the-box thinker”

He wrote, “My immediate younger brother, Olajide Sowore was today shot and killed near Okada in Edo state by reportedly herdsmen /kidnappers on his way from Igbinedion University in Edo sate where he is studying Pharmacy.

“They snuffed out the life yet another real human being!

“Rest In Power, “Dr. Mamiye!”

“This act in itself will not delay their day of justice.

“I travelled widely with you and our father as a little kid. You were the most loved robust kid I ever first knew. You, Mr. magnet had no enemy!

“You, Mr. Sunshine Foundation who made everyone happy.

“You, the boy who snuck out his older ones to parties, taking all the blames when our disciplinarian father found out.

“You, the guy who was an out-of-the-box thinker who decided school wasn’t for you and created you own genre of music and then turned around to go to school after you almost turned 50!

“You lived your life so that everyone could be alright but now assassinated by everything that’s not alright!

“Saddest day yet!”

Details later…

 

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