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TIFF Industry announces 2019 Filmmaker Lab participants, inaugural talent accelerator

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TIFF Industry announces 2019 Filmmaker Lab participants, inaugural talent accelerator

…International and homegrown talent to receive mentorship from industry leaders

The Toronto International Film Festival ® announced today the 20 directors selected for the 16th annual TIFF Filmmaker Lab, an exclusive mentorship opportunity that fosters creative thinking and project development through intimate workshops. New this year is the TIFF Talent Accelerator, a customised, year-long development experience for promising Canadian female creators. Two Filmmaker Lab directors are part of the inaugural class of six, with two producers and two writers benefitting from other Industry support programmes.

Led by renowned industry leaders and designed to inspire original voices, Filmmaker Lab will bring 9 Canadian and 11 International directors together with a variety of artists and film-business professionals. Four Governors — producer Cassian Elwes (Mudbound), writer-director Patricia Rozema (Grey Gardens), acting coach Miranda Harcourt, and director Lulu Wang (The Farewell )— will serve as guides throughout the four days of the programme. Participants will be provided with a space to explore creative concerns with these mentors, while also having access to all Festival offerings to add context to the insights gained.

“Championing filmmakers and helping them find their voice and realize their vision continues to be a part of TIFF’s mission,” said Geoff Macnaughton, TIFF Industry Director. “TIFF Filmmaker Lab is an integral part of this mission, as it allows the next generation of creators to learn from industry leaders, established filmmakers, and their peers. We continue to take pride in providing resources and financial support to accelerate the careers of these filmmakers and refine their craft in tangible ways.”

Reflecting gender parity in both the domestic and international groups, and with a higher number of applicants than ever before, TIFF Filmmaker Lab continues to be a valuable opportunity for emerging creative and the established artists that want to empower them. TIFF Talent Accelerator is made possible by Share Her Journey, our successful fundraising initiative committed to increasing participation, skills, and opportunities for women behind and in front of the camera.

Past mentors and speakers at the Lab include: Darren Aronofsky, Juliette Binoche, Jane Campion, Alfonso Cuarón, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Julie Dash, Claire Denis, Ava DuVernay, Atom Egoyan, Cassian Elwes, Mia Hansen-Løve, Agnieszka Holland, Jia Zhang-Ke, Spike Lee, Steve M c Queen, Sandra Oh, Ivan Reitman, Lone Scherfig, Jim Stark, Jean-Marc Vallée, and Wim Wenders.

Past participants at the Lab include: Ian Harnarine (TIFF 2011 prize-winning short Doubles With Slight Pepper), Michelle Latimer (2017’s RISE, on Viceland), Trevor Mack (Portraits from a Fire, in development with Telefilm Canada funds), Pat Mills (Don’t Talk to Irene, 2017), Lina Roessler (the upcoming Best Sellers, starring Michael Caine), and Joyce Wong (2016’s Wexford Plaza; the next season of Workin’ Moms on CBC).

Filmmaker Lab and Talent Accelerator are programmed by TIFF Industry Programming Producer Jane Kim. The Lab will run September 4–7, 2019.

The 2019 TIFF Filmmaker Lab participants are:

Canada: Joseph Amenta (Ontario), Sofia Bohdanowicz (Ontario), Karen Chapman (Ontario), Aisling Chin-Yee (Quebec), Nicole Dorsey (Ontario), Martin Edralin (Ontario), Drew Lint (Ontario), Geoff Redknap (British Columbia), Charlie Tyrell (Ontario).

International: Abbesi Akhamie (USA), Cyril Aris (Lebanon), Andreas Bøggild Monies (Denmark), Chema García Ibarra (Spain), Beza Hailu Lemma (Ethiopia), Jennifer Peedom (Australia), Johanna Pyykkö (Norway), Silvina Schnicer (Argentina), Maya Vitkova-Kosev (Bulgaria), Charles Williams (Australia), Samantha Pineda Sierra (Mexico).

 

The 2019 TIFF Talent Accelerator participants are:

Directing: Sofia Bohdanowicz, Karen Chapman

Producing: Melissa Coghlan, Shasha Nakhai

Writing: Lisa Jackson, Jasmin Mozaffari

Filmmaker Lab participants:

Abbesi Akhamie is a Nigerian American writer, director, and producer based in New York City. She received her MFA in film from New York University. Her short film, Still Water Runs Deep (17), premiered at TIFF, and has been screened and broadcast worldwide. She is currently developing her debut feature film, In My Father’s House, which follows an American woman who goes on a journey of self-discovery when she travels to Nigeria to confront her estranged father.

 

Joseph Amenta is a producer, writer, and director. Their recent short film, Haus (18), was fully funded by the Canada Council for the Arts and was screened in the International Competition at the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival. In 2018 they completed their residency at the CFC Directors’ Lab, and they have been invited to take part in TIFF’s 2019 Talent Lab. Their upcoming first feature film, Tribe (20), received funding from

Telefilm’s Talent to Watch program and won the Toronto Screenwriting Conference Breakthrough Artist Award. They have an honours degree in Film Studies from Ryerson University.

Cyril Aris is a Lebanese writer-director based in Beirut and New York. His feature documentary The Swing (18) premiered in Karlovy Vary and won awards in El Gouna, Rome, London, and Budapest. His short film The President’s Visit (17) premiered at TIFF and played in over 60 film festivals. Aris holds an MFA from Columbia University and is a voting member in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Andreas Bøggild Monies is a Danish filmmaker. After having worked as a film editor for 12 years, he turned towards directing, resulting in the award-winning short film Shadow Boxer (18) about a young girl who takes up boxing after her mother is injured in the ring. He is currently working on developing this short film into his first feature film.

 

Sofia Bohdanowicz is a Toronto-based filmmaker. She won the Emerging Canadian Director award at the 2016 Vancouver International Film Festival for her first feature, Never Eat Alone. She won the Toronto Film Critics Association’s 2017 Stella Artois Jay Scott Prize and was a runner-up for the 2018 Rogers Best Canadian Film Prize for Maison du bonheur (17). Her latest feature, MS Slavic 7 (19), premiered at the Berlinale Forum. She is currently in development on a new project and is completing her MFA in film production at York University.

 

Karen Chapman is an award-winning filmmaker and an alumna of Emily Carr University, the Banff Centre, and the CaribbeanTales Incubator, where she won best pitch. In 2018, Playback named her one of five filmmakers to watch and she completed the Canadian Film Centre’s Directors’ Lab. In 2019, her film Lessons Injustice (17) won Best Screenplay at the Women in Film & Television – Toronto Showcase and she received support from the Harold Greenberg Fund for her film Esequibo Rapture. Currently, Chapman is preparing to shoot her first feature film, Village Keeper, through Telefilm Canada’s Talent Fund.

 

Aisling “Ash” Chin-Yee is a Montreal-based filmmaker and a co-founder of the #AfterMeToo movement. Her feature directorial debut is The Rest of Us (19). Her producer credits include the feature films Rhymes for Young Ghouls (13), Last Woman Standing (13), and The Saver (15). She is currently directing a documentary feature about pianist Billy Tipton, and her feature drama The Day Between will start shooting in 2020. Chin-Yee was recently selected for the inaugural cohort of the leadership program 50 Women Can Change the World in Media & Entertainment.

Nicole Dorsey was born in Mississauga, Ontario. She has a BFA in film production from Ryerson University. She’s worked extensively as a commercial and narrative director. Her debut feature, Black Conflux (19), was part of the WIDC Story & Leadership program and was a finalist in Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest. Dorsey also directed the short Arlo Alone (16), which premiered in competition at the Atlanta Film Festival. The film was a Vimeo Staff Pick and won the A&E Short Filmmakers Award in the NSI Online Short Film Festival. With a strong penchant for character-driven material, Dorsey aims to present a realist portrayal of the human condition.

 

Martin Edralin is a Toronto-based filmmaker. His work has screened at international film festivals including TIFF, Sundance, and Locarno. His films include Hole (14), which won the Grand Prize at Clermont-Ferrand and a Canadian Screen Award for best live-action short; Emma (16), a Canada’s Top Ten selection at TIFF; and Building History: The Story of Benjamin Brown (16), which was nominated for the Heritage Toronto Award for public history.

 

Chema García Ibarra made the short films The attack of the robots from Nebula-5 (08), Protoparticles (09), Mystery (13), The disco shines (16), and The golden legend (19). His films have been selected for the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes, Sundance, and the Berlinale. He has received two honourable mentions from Sundance, and he won first prize in the Avant-Garde Competition at BAFICI. He also won the Méliès d’Or and was nominated for the European Film Awards.

Beza Hailu Lemma is an Ethiopian filmmaker based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A graduate of Addis Ababa University’s School of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, he has written, directed, and independently produced a number of short films, including 2017’s Ballad of the Spirits. He is currently writing his debut feature film, titled The Last Tears of the Deceased. His work focuses on the intersection of faith, ancient tradition, and nature. Hailu Lemma is an alumnus of Berlinale Talents 2019 and Africa Centre’s Artist in Residency program.

 

Drew Lint is a Canadian writer-director based in Berlin. In 2009 he graduated from Ryerson University’s film program. His debut feature, M/M (18), premiered at Slamdance Film Festival and received a special mention from the jury at the Vancouver International Film Festival for the Emerging Canadian Director prize. In 2018, Lint was longlisted for the Directors Guild of Canada’s Discovery Award.

Jennifer Peedom is a BAFTA-nominated Australian director, known for her gripping, intimate portraits of people in extreme circumstances. Her credits include the internationally renowned feature documentaries Solo (08), Sherpa (15), and, most recently, Mountain (17), a collaboration with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. She is currently developing her first narrative fiction film about Tenzing Norgay, one of the first people to climb Mount Everest in 1953, along with Edmund Hillary.

Samantha Pineda Sierra is a director, producer, and writer. Her work explores yearning, loneliness, and mental distress through the use of magic realism. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in media and communication, she studied film in England, Australia, Cuba, and Canada. She’s been part of Berlinale Talents, the Oaxaca Film Lab in collaboration with the Sundance Film Institute, and FONCA’s Jó venes Creadores. Her films have been in more than 100 film festivals, winning several prizes.

Johanna Pyykkö has a bachelor’s degree in film directing from the Norwegian Film School. She has made award-winning shorts and been in writers’ rooms on several drama series, one being the critically acclaimed Home Ground (Heimebane ) (18– ). Her short The Manila Lover (19) premiered in competition at the 58th Semaine de la Critique during Cannes, and her short My Sister Dances (19) premiered in the International Competition at Lago Film Fest.

Geoff Redknap ’s special makeup-effects artistry has spanned projects from The X-Files (93–18) to Deadpool (16). He attended the NSI’s Drama Prize program, where he wrote and directed the award-winning short film The Auburn Hills Breakdown (08). He also attended the NSI’s Features First program with Hangfire (then known as Heaven’s Door), which was a finalist in the 2012 Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition. He wrote and directed the feature film The Unseen (16), which premiered at Fantasia in Montreal. He is represented by Zero Gravity Management.

Silvina Schnicer is a filmmaker from Argentina. Along with Ulises Porra Guardiola, she co-wrote and co-directed the short films La Bicha (10) and Destello (16), both winners of the National Arts Fund in Argentina. Her first feature film, Tigre, had its world premiere at TIFF in 2017. She is currently working in her second feature film, The Cottage, in which a middle-class family finds a body during their summer vacation.

 

Charlie Tyrell is a Toronto-based filmmaker who works in a hybrid style that often combines live-action footage with stop-motion and 2D animation. His most recent documentary short, My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes (18), premiered at Sundance and won awards for best documentary short at the Canadian Screen Awards and SXSW. The film was also shortlisted for the 2019 Academy Awards and was selected for TIFF’s Canada’s Top

Ten series.

Maya Vitkova-Kosev ’s debut film, Viktoria (14), was the first Bulgarian feature in competition at Sundance. The film won 10 awards and was named one of the best films of 2016 by The New Yorker . Vitkova-Kosev is currently working on her second feature film, Afrika , which was developed at the Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters Lab in 2018 and won the Krzysztof Kieslowski ScripTeast Award for the best Eastern European script at Cannes the same year.

Charles Williams is a filmmaker born and raised in Victoria, Australia. His films have screened at over 150 festivals, including TIFF, Cannes, Clermont-Ferrand, SXSW, Telluride, Busan, and Melbourne. His latest short film, All These Creatures (18), won the Short Film Palme d’Or at Cannes. He is currently developing his first feature film, Inside.

Talent Accelerator participants:

Sofia Bohdanowicz is a Toronto-based filmmaker. She won the Emerging Canadian Director award at the 2016 Vancouver International Film Festival for her first feature, Never Eat Alone. She won the Toronto Film Critics Association’s 2017 Stella Artois Jay Scott Prize and was a runner-up for the 2018 Rogers Best Canadian Film Prize for Maison du bonheur (17). Her latest feature, MS Slavic 7 (19), premiered at the Berlinale Forum. She is currently in development on a new project and is completing her MFA in film production at York University.

Karen Chapman is an award-winning filmmaker and an alumna of Emily Carr University, the Banff Centre, and the CaribbeanTales Incubator, where she won best pitch. In 2018, Playback named her one of five filmmakers to watch and she completed the Canadian Film Centre’s Directors’ Lab. In 2019, h er film Lessons Injustice (17) won Best Screenplay at the Women in Film & Television – Toronto Showcase and she received support from the Harold Greenberg Fund for her film Esequibo Rapture. Currently, Chapman is preparing to shoot her first feature film, Village Keeper, through Telefilm Canada’s Talent Fund.

Melissa Coghlan is a Toronto-based producer. Her first feature, Below Her Mouth (16), premiered at TIFF. Her current projects in development are Shot-Blue and All My Love Vadim , which she is producing with Serendipity Point Films and Broken Head Pictures, the production company she co-founded in 2015.

Lisa Jackson is a Genie Award–winning artist working in film and media. She is known for her cross-genre approach. Her films have screened widely on television and at festivals including the Berlinale, Hot Docs, and SXSW. Her credits include Indictment: The Crimes of Shelly Chartier (17), which won Best Documentary at imagineNATIVE, and the virtual-reality work Biidaaban: First Light (18), which premiered at Tribeca and won a Canadian Screen Award. She is Anishinaabe and lives in Toronto.

Jasmin Mozaffari is a Toronto-based filmmaker. She studied film at Ryerson University’s School of Image Arts. Her debut feature, Firecrackers (18), premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and won the award for best film at the Stockholm International Film Festival. In 2019, the film also won the Canadian Screen Awards for direction and editing and was named a New York Times Critic’s Pick.

Shasha Nakhai is a filmmaker from Toronto with Compy Films and Storyline Entertainment. Her film with partner Rich Williamson, Frame 394 (16), was shortlisted for an Oscar and named one of TIFF’s Canada’s Top Ten. She recently released her first feature documentary, Take Light (18), which enters the tangled web of Nigeria’s energy crisis. Nakhai is currently adapting Catherine Hernandez’s award-winning novel, Scarborough.

The 44th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5–15, 2019. Register for Festival Industryaccreditation online by August 23 at tiff.net/industry.

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JAMB to begin verification of centres for 2020 CBT UTME

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JAMB to begin verification of centres for 2020 CBT UTME

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says it is set to commence the verification of centres that may be considered for use ahead of preparations for its 2020 all computer-based Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). The Head, Media and Information of the board, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, made the disclosure to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lagos. According to him, preparations are already in top gear by the board to ensure that set standards for the smooth execution of the exercise is intact.

He said: “We have concluded plans to kick start the centre verification as part of preparations to ensure a smooth conduct of the 2020 UTME nationwide. “We will likely commence the exercise not later than Monday, Nov. 18, and we plan to use at least 700 well accredited centres across the country. “The board in its usual penchant for excellence will not accept anything short of what is expected of the centres that wish to participate in the examination.

“We have laid down rules and regulations guiding the use of any centre and as such, we expect that owners of centres who intend to collaborate with the board in ensuring the success of this upcoming examination will have no choice than to meet such rules or stay away.

“Those who are genuine stakeholders of our examinations are already aware of our position in the fight against examination infractions and other forms of sharp practices. “They also know about the board’s zero tolerance in any behaviour of a person or group of persons that intend to undermine the integrity of our examination or that of the board.”

The spokesman dissociated the board from reports making the rounds by a group of individuals in some sections of the media that JAMB’s move to commence the centre verification was allegedly of a short notice, illtimed and designed to push a lot of the centres’ owners out of business.

He said that the board did not recognise this group, who call themselves Owners of CBT Centre Proprietors Association of Nigeria (CTAN) whom, according to him, had called a news conference to raise the allegation against the board. “It is regrettable that these persons under whatever guise are trying to create confusion, heat up the polity and mislead the innocent public with this sort of propaganda,” he said.

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No casualty as NAF confirms helicopter crash in Enugu

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No casualty as NAF confirms helicopter crash in Enugu

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) yesterday confirmed the crash-landing of its helicopter on Thursday at its base in Enugu State. A statement issued yesterday in NAF’s Twitter handle, said the incident occurred after a routine flight and that though the blades of the helicopter broke, there were no casualties.

The statement said the cause of incident could not be ascertained, even as the statement reads: “@NigAir- Force Helicopter has crashed on landing in Enugu after a routine flight today. Fortunately, there were no fatalities or injuries to any crew member or persons on the ground. “@CAS_AMSadique has directed that a Board of Inquiry be constituted to determine the causes of the accident.

“Nigeria Air Force continues to solicit the understanding and support of the general public as it daily strives to ensure the security of Nigeria and Nigerians.” The base is close to Akanu Ibiam International Airport, where repair works have commenced after its closure in August this year. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the scene of the crash was cordoned-off as members of the public attempted to have full glare of the incident.

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FG, Obaseki parley to fix federal roads in Edo

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FG, Obaseki parley to fix federal roads in Edo

Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, assured Edo people that the Federal Government is in talks with Governor Godwin Obaseki on how to fix and improve on some of dilapidated federal roads in the state. Fashola, who said this during a book presentation at the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Ugbowo, Edo State, said the President Muhammadu Buhari- led administration would work to improve the experience of commuters plying the roads daily.

He said: “Work on roads is a continuous process and we will make it better,” promising to form “strong alliance with the state government to address the bad spots.” The minister said the problem with the Benin-Auchi Road was how to drain some portions of the road so that the construction work on the road could stand the test of time.

“The problem that we have is how to drain the affected section before we spend money to construct it. It is a drainage problem. We want to ensure that when we build the road, water doesn’t wash it away,” he added. Fashola said the Federal Government had already mobilised for remedial work on the Benin-Warri Road, adding that it would get better in the coming months as weather conditions improved. On the permission for state governors to embark on the construction of federal roads across the country, Fashola said there were rules, processes and laws that must be complied with. He said: “There are processes and laws that must be followed and complied with. These are Federal Government road.

The state can ask to construct such roads and the Federal Government can grant such requests under certain conditions. “The president, who is the custodian of the road, must be informed. He must meet in council with Ministers to look at the request.” He said the responsibility of the Ministry of Works and Housing was to collaborate with every state government to achieve their developmental objectives in line with the ministry’s mandate on road construction.

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Group besiege US, UK Embassies, denands visa ban for Nigerian politicians

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Group besiege US, UK Embassies, denands visa ban for Nigerian politicians

A group of civil society organisations has stormed the United States, United Kingdom embassies to demand more visa restrictions for Nigerian politicians and family members who are using their positions and wealth to derail the country’s democracy.

The group in a petition submitted to these embassies alleged that the unnamed politicians were already working in connivance with criminal elements to rig the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states. Mr. Deji Adeyanju and other leaders of Center For Liberty accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of grand conspiracy to hijack the media, other arms of governments, even some civil society organisations for the purpose of manipulating the country’s democratic processes. They urged the countries and their allies to impose more visa restrictions on all politicians working to undermine democracy and subvert the wishes of the masses.

“We are aware that the government of the United States has profoundly demonstrated its resolve to place visa restriction on some politicians and individuals responsible for undermining Nigerian electoral and democratic process, especially during the heavily rigged 2019 general elections, by making it a reality.

“The action of the US government in this regard is highly commendable and we make bold to say that the people of Nigeria are indeed highly elated and grateful, since the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari has deliberately refused to implement electoral reforms and rein in violators of electoral rules and guidelines. “Consequently, we wish to draw the attention of the US, UK, European Union and other development partners to the build-up of the forthcoming governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa, scheduled for November 16, 2019, which is gradually assuming a worrying dimension. The plot to undermine the two elections are very real and there have been reported incidents of violence and killings.”

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Lawan urges women Affairs Ministry to work with N’Assembly

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Lawan urges women Affairs Ministry to work with N’Assembly

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has tasked the Ministry of Women Affairs to work closely with the National Assembly towards the empowerment of the Nigerian women. Lawan, who played host to the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen and her officials in Abuja, said that the ministry and the National Assembly ought to work together to redress the gender imbalance. He said: “As legislators, we need to do a lot together with the Ministry of Women Affairs to see how we can empower the female gender.

“You (Women Affairs minister) need to relate with the Senate Committee on Women Affairs very closely. You need to define what your roadmap is. What can we achieve together to improve the lives of Nigerian women. “It is important that we have the roadmap because we want to have measurable targets. We want to say after six months, we should be celebrating achieving certain targets.

“Therefore, I will propose that you have an engagement with our committee where you have your own idea of what you want to do as a minister and what we can do to intervene through legislations or whatever kind of support that is possible to make you succeed in your ministry.”

He said Nigerian women deserve something far better than the deal they have been having over the years. Speaking on girl child education, Lawan said that the time had come to really take a more decisive position in terms of educating the girl child. “We owe the Nigerian girl child the obligation and responsibility to make her realise her potentials, give her education that she deserves and requires. “We are the country with the largest number of out of school children today in the world. That is not a good story.

“The world is very big and if we will be categorised as number one that is very bad. If we are to ensure that 11 or 12 million, in fact very undetermined number of children out of school, are enrolled and kept in school we have to have a better approach. “The basic and secondary education levels require the full implementation of UBE Act 2004. This is a duty we must perform. “We are at the moment thinking that the federal government should work and partner with the states government to ensure that those out of school children are enrolled and kept in school.

“Because of paucity of funds it is not possible to deal with the situation at once, but we can stagger it. With strategic planning, execution and implementation we can be able to say take one or two million by next year and subsequently over the years. I believe women affairs ministry should be at the vanguard of this campaign,” he stated. The President of the Senate further said that the National Assembly had zero tolerance for violence against women and promised to give full support to the ministry in the fight against the menace.

He cited the sexual harassment bill, which has passed the second reading in the Senate as testimony of the lawmakers’ commitment to protect the right, and dignity of women. Earlier, Tallen said the visit was to intimate the President of the Senate about the roadmap she initiated to advance the cause of women in the country, and to seek for the support of the Senate in combating the menace of out of school children, girl child education and violence against women.

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Olujimi lauds judiciary for upholding justice

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Newly sworn-in Senator representing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Ekiti South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Biodun Olujimi, yesterday lauded nation’s judiciary for upholding the cause of justice in the country. Olujimi gave the commendation, during a visit by a delegation from Ekiti State, to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Olujimi was sworn in on Thursday following a judgement of the Court of Appeal in Kaduna which declared her winner of the Ekiti South senatorial elec-tion held on February 23. Olujimi replaced the former Senate spokesperson, Adedayo Adeyeye. She said winning her appeal had further strengthened her confidence in the Nigerian judiciary.

The senator called on her opponent to join hands with her in working for the good of their constituents. She said: “I went to it (Judiciary) without the necessary confidence, being a female, two; without a governor, three; without the ruling government at the centre behind me and yet, justice was done. I doff my hat to the judiciary.”

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LASPOTECH’s rector, others must step aside, group tells Sanwo-Olu

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LASPOTECH’s rector, others must step aside, group tells Sanwo-Olu

Disturbed by the possibility of compromise in the ongoing investigation into the crisis rocking the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), a coalition of civil society groups has called on the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo- Olu, to suspend the management of the institution, headed by the Rector, Mr. Samuel Olayinka Shogunro, to give room for independent investigation by the recently constituted Visitation Panel. Speaking on the developments in the institution, the coalition right groups comprising Sahara Education Development Initiative (SEDI), Human Right Monitoring Agenda (HURMA) and Centre for Policy Intervention in Africa (CEPIA), commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for wading into the crisis plaguing the polytechnic. According to Comrade Buna Olaitan Isaac: “We commend Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for the courage and for taking this bold step which has become pertinent in view of the unwholesome dimensions of flagrant abuse of due process and unbridled highhandedness which have become the trademarks of the current institution’s management.’’ He, however, lamented that the groups were disturbed that despite attempt by the governor at unravelling the real issues, the management of LASPOTECH was ultimately stonewalling the investigation.

“Towards achieving this, we consider the intervention of Governor Sanwo-Olu in ensuring that the management headed by the Rector, Mr. Shogunro, steps down forthwith as highly critical. “Moreso, given the widespread shenanigans, distrust and impunity which the current management has fostered, it would only be fair and just that the management headed by the current Rector be asked to step aside pending the conclusion of investigation by the Visitation Panel.

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Gbadamosi: Border closure’ll undermine Nigeria’s economy

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Gbadamosi: Border closure’ll undermine Nigeria’s economy

Action Democratic Party (ADP) governorship candidate in Lagos State in the 2019 general elections, Mr. Babatunde Gbadamosi, has condemned closure of the land borders by the Federal Government, saying such decision will undermine Nigeria’s economy. Speaking to journalists at the Salem Touch Awards held at the Lagos State University, Ojo, in Lagos, Gbadamosi, who was given the ”Creative Exponent Award” for his support for youths in the state, said the closure of land borders would have adverse effects on citizens both in Nigeria and neighbouring countries.

He said: “The continued closure of land borders will have negative effect on the citizens, even both here and in neighbouring countries. “It is clear that that the agenda behind it is completely not for economic growth, because it will affect the earning capacity of people, and if that happens, many people will not be able to meet their needs. “Consequently, many sectors will be affected within and in neighbouring countries that have built large doses of subscriptions on us.

The closure will more or less affect the economy instead of improving it.” Gbadamosi also stressed the need for government to open the economy in such a way to attract more trade and industries, noting that refusal of government to encourage and open up the economy would hamper the progress of the country.

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Ortom: Suswam, Ayu true democrats

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Ortom: Suswam, Ayu true democrats

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, yesterday portrayed former Senate President, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu and his predecessor, Senator Gabriel Suswam, as true democrats and experienced administrators, who have made numerous contributions for the development of the state. The governor said the harmonious nexus between him and the duo as well as other leaders of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gave the party overwhelming victory in the 2019 elections.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Mr. Terver Akase, Ortom congratulated the two politicians on their birthdays. He said that the healthy relationship has continued to deepen internal democracy within its fold and promises to sustain it. Ortom applauded Ayu for the role he played as chairman of the State Transition Committee, and urged him to continue to provide similar selfless services to the state and country whenever called upon. He expressed confidence that Suswam would bring his experience as a former member, House of Representatives to bear on his duties as the senator for Benue North-East senatorial district.

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Border communities: IPMAN flays Customs’ suspension of petroleum products

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Lagos State chapter of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has kicked against the directive of the Comptroller of Customs to suspend supply of petroleum products to fuel stations within 20 kilometres to all the borders. In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday, and signed by the state’s Chairman, Mr. Akin Akinrinade, and Secretary, Mr. Akeem Balogun, IPMAN described the decision as punitive and uncalled for, because the fuel stations were not serving people outside the borders.

IPMAN therefore called for the immediate reversal of the order so as not to punish the border communities, fuel stations’ owners and the staff working at these stations. It reminded the Customs that the affected fuel stations were established legally and licensed to serve the communities at the border towns and their environs.

The association noted that what the Customs’ circular showed was that Customs only exhibited their inefficiency and negligence in their duties which the law saddled them with. It satated: Fuel stations’ owners are not the problem at the borders.

“Our position at the IPMAN is that we are not and cannot support any act of smuggling of any petroleum products. Our members are entitled to decent living which cannot be taken away from them. “IPMAN, therefore, called upon the comptroller-General to rescind the order immediately and called on their staff to be more efficient in the discharge of their duties to the nation.

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