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Calls For Separation Threatening Nigeria's Unity, Says Malami

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 2:54pm


Mallam Abubakar Malami, Minister of Justice

Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has said that calls for separation and dismemberment of Nigeria is threating the unity of the country. 

Malami said this on Thursday during the unveiling of plans for his second term as Minister of Justice.

He said, “The law must work, it must speak its firm language of justice at all times, no matter who is involved.

“It’s the secret that binds societies together, so I am determined as ever to use the law as a means to shape society, regulate people’s behaviour and balance the competing interests in the Nigerian society.

“This is because the defence of the corporate interest of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the rights of her citizens are my primary goal as the Chief Law Officer.

“We should do more especially at this critical time in the annals of our country when the soul of Nigeria is currently being threatened by the emerging class of mutinous element.

“Nigeria is today bedevilled with an existential crisis of nationhood that is threatening to tear the country apart with the needless calls for separation, dismemberment and ill-motivated restructuring.

“This has consequently created a very vulnerable political environment and the failure is evident in so many areas.

“These include lack of compliance with the laws, low capacity by institutions to enforce laws, lack of patriotism, delayed justice with attendant undue congestion in our prisons and widespread corruption.

“As we enter the second and final term in office, we have to build on the gains already made through our usual and consistent pursuit of the policy thrusts of the administration.”

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How We Repelled Boko Haram Insurgents In Borno –Nigerian Army

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 2:53pm


The Nigerian Army on Thursday said that its troops succeeded in frustrating Boko Haram terrorists’ bid to overrun its bases in Gubio and Magumeri communities in Borno State by killing many of the insurgents during the encounter.

A statement by Deputy Director Army Public Relations, 7 Division, Col. Ado Isa, shed more light into how the army crushed the terrorists.

The statement read, “To avoid further misinformation that could create unnecessary tension, the Theatre Command wishes to state that the attack was targeted at Nigerian Army troops deployed in the areas to enable the terrorists gain access to the market in the towns to loot food items and other logistics. The attack was however repelled by the troops. 

“Consequently, due to fierce exchange of fire, the terrorists were forced to withdraw in disarray from the town resulting to damages on buildings and property along their route of withdrawal. See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Boko Haram: Terrorists Raid Borno, Wreak Havoc On Residents 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

“There were no casualty on the security force (troops) and no loss or damage to own equipment as wrongly insinuated on the social media. 

“However, a vigilante sadly lost his life in a cross fire. Also, some civilians in the area reportedly sustained various degrees of injuries.

“Peace has so far been restored in the communities with residents going about their lawful businesses.

“The Nigerian Army once again call on all well-meaning members of the public to collaborate with the military and other security agencies in the area of sharing information and suspicious movement of criminals in their communities to proactively deal with criminal activities.”

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US Arrests Two Nigerians Over Multi-million Dollar Internet Fraud

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 2:51pm


Two Nigerian men were arrested on Thursday as United States authorities clamped down on fraudsters trying to scam unsuspecting victims of $40m.

The group of fraudsters, numbering 80, have been implicated in several Internet frauds until their arrest.

The indictment alleges that at least $6m in fraudulently obtained funds were transferred through a money-laundering network run by two Nigerians – Valentine Iro, 33, and Chukwudi Christogunus Igbokwe, 38, who have both been arrested together with 78 others.

Federal prosecutors unsealed the dozens of indictments after 17 people were arrested and taken into custody in Los Angeles, California and elsewhere in the United States.

The suspects allegedly targeted the lovelorn, the elderly, and small and large businesses, using a variety of scams to persuade their victims to send money over the Internet, according to a report by the AFP.

“Some of the victims of the conspiracy lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to fraud schemes, and many were elderly.

“Billions of dollars are lost annually and we urge citizens to be aware of these sophisticated financial schemes to protect themselves or their businesses from becoming unsuspecting victims,” said Paul Delacourt, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office.

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Nigerians Need Immediate Jobs, Rewane Tells Buhari

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 2:49pm


Economist and financial analyst, Bismarck Rewane, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to create immediate jobs for Nigerians.

Rewane said this on Thursday during a programme on Channels Television.

President Muhammadu Buhari had said that he would lift at least 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over the course of the next 10 years. 

Reacting to that declaration, Rewane said the 10-year plan is a long term goal, adding that Nigerians cannot even wait 10 more months to lay their hands on jobs. 

He said, “How are they going to achieve this? The President has laid out his vision but the thing is that 10 years is a long time.  See Also Economy Buhari: We'll Lift 100 Million Nigerians Out Of Poverty 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

“Nigerians can’t wait for 10 years, they can’t even wait for 10 months, they want results now.

“Mr President, yes we like this (10-year plan) but we want some immediate deliverables.

“To get the immediate deliverables, first and foremost there has to be fiscal and monetary coordination to be able to unlock and deliver results.

“We have to manage our expectations and go back to total factor productivity or labour productivity.”

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NASU, SSANU Threaten Indefinite Strike

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 12:59pm


 

The Non-Academic Staff Union and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities have jointly said that they would embark on an indefinite strike if the Nigerian Government fails to heed to their demands.

National Vice President of SSANU for the north, Solomon Alfa, said this during a briefing with journalists in Abuja on Thursday.

The workers are currently on a five-day warning strike, which commenced on Monday.

Sahara Reporters reported the shutdown of non-academic activities within the University of Ibadan. Chairman of SSANU in UI, Wale Akinremi, also told Sahara Reporters that the unions are committed about going on an indefinite strike except the government meets their demands.

He said, “We have been consistent with our demands from the Federal Government.

“We are talking to them in terms of the issues we have with our allowances for about 10 years now.”

The unions are demanding the implementation of the renegotiated 2009 agreements.

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Investigation Into Rape Allegation Against Fatoyinbo Inconclusive –PFN

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 12:53pm


 

The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria has said its investigation into an allegation of rape levelled against founder of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, Biodun Fatoyinbo, by Busola, wife of musician Timi Dakolo, is inconclusive.

National Publicity Secretary of the PFN, Bishop Emma Isong, made the disclosure on Thursday at a briefing with journalists.

According to Isong, this was caused by the inability of the committee set up to undertake the investigation to meet with the accused despite several attempts.

He said, “Unfortunately, several attempts to meet Pastor Fatoyinbo who is one of the important parties in the matter, have failed despite efforts by the panel to get his attention or appearance.  See Also Christianity COZA Rape Scandal: Inspector General Of Police Trying To Scuttle Investigation Of Pastor Fatoyinbo, Coalition Of Lawyers Allege 0 Comments 1 Month Ago

“Arising from this, the PFN unfortunately wishes to announce our inability to come into conclusion on this matter.”

Busola had accused Fatoyinbo of raping her twice when she was 17, a claim the popular pastor denies.

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Imo PDP Says Okorocha Is ‘Anxious And Nervous’

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 12:25pm


 

The People’s Democratic Party in Imo State has said former governor, Rochas Okorocha, is ‘anxious and nervous,’ over the committees set up by his successor, Emeka Ihedioha, to probe the land contracts and deals done under his administration.

In a statement by spokesperson for the party in the state, Damian Okpara, Okorocha was advised to willingly return all funds he stole from the state in his eight years as governor.

The statement said, “The former governor’s body language is clearly suggestive of a man who is anxious and nervous, following the inauguration of a judicial commissions of inquiry by Governor Emeka Ihedioha, to probe the award of contracts and land deals in the state during his administration and those of governors Achike Udenwa and Ikedi Ohakim.

“The truth is that he is conscious of the shady contract deals, massive looting of the state’s patrimony and other grievous and unwholesome practices which characterised his administration.

“Okorocha must be made to understand that the best he can do for Imo people at this time, is to willingly return all that he had stolen from the state and not to engage in fruitless outburst against the government of the day.”

Okorocha had earlier released a statement urging Ihedioha to follow in the footsteps of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and stop attacking his policies.

He accused Ihedioha of setting up 14 committees to cancel policies by his administration.

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NEC To Set Up Panel On Recovery Of Bail-Out To States

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 12:19pm


 

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said the National Economic Council will set-up a panel made up of members of the Nigerian Governors Forum to follow up on the repayment of the budget support fund given to 35 states.

Ahmed disclosed this to journalists at the end of the NEC meeting on Thursday presided over by Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo.

Ahmed, who said each state is to pay back the equivalent of N175bn, stated, “Council agreed to constitute a committee of the Nigerian Governors Forum to meet with the Minister of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria to finalise modalities for repayment.”

She revealed that the 2020 budget will be presented at the end of September.

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We Have Spent N1.3trn On Education In Four Years, Says Buhari

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 12:14pm


 

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his administration has so far invested around N1.3trn on the development of the education sector in the last four years.

Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Buhari, Femi Adesina, made the disclosure in a statement on Thursday, adding that the amount excludes funds spent on overhead and personnel costs.

He said, “It is no longer a secret that the state of facilities in our universities and other institutions of higher learning has not kept pace with the requirements of the ever-growing population of students and other stakeholders or with modern methods of learning.

“Let me reiterate here that this administration places much premium on education at all levels, as it is the bedrock of society’s progress, and the way to overcome poverty.”

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Ex-NBA Vice President, Ubani Condemns Arrest Of Jalingo

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 12:10pm


Agba Jalingo

Agba Jalingo

A former Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Monday Ubani, has condemned the arrest of Publisher of Cross River Watch, Agba Jalingo, by the police in Cross River State on Thursday.

The legal practitioner described the incident as an infringement on the right of Jalingo, who was billed to honour a police invitation earlier sent to him on Monday, August 26.

Ubani said, “I have just been informed by Mrs Agba Jalingo that the Nigerian Police from Cross River State have arrested her husband, Mr Agba Jalingo, for reasons that are not clear. 

“Recall that Jalingo had been having a running battle with his state governor, Mr Ben Ayade. 

“This stems from his criticisms of his inept leadership in Cross Rivers State, an act considered sacrilegious by the governor.  See Also Free Speech Police Invite Cross River Journalist Over Article 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

“The Commissioner of Police in Cross Rivers State is clearly on the side of the governor as he has not hidden his subservience to the governor and his desires which includes the arrest and public humiliation of Mr Jalingo. 

“This arrest may not be unconnected with that desire. The surprise element in all this is that the same police have invited him to come on August 26 and he has promised to honour their invitation. 

“One is at a loss why the arrest on August 22, four days earlier than the day of the invitation. 

“Just hope that this arrest is not from Cross River State governor as this will be clearly illegal and condemnable.” See Also Corruption Police Arrest Cross River Journalist, Agba Jalingo 0 Comments 6 Days Ago

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Oyo-Ita Returns To Work After Buhari Rejects Resignation

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 12:08pm


 

Head of Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, is said to have returned to her desk on Thursday following the rejection of her resignation by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Oyo-Ita had sent in her resignation last weekend following pressure from her family members for her to retire. 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had accused the HoS of using front companies to scheme N3bn from contractors, an accusation she strongly denies.

TheCable reports that Oyo-ita was present at the swearing-in of new ministers on Wednesday the stance of Buhari.

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Nigerian Customs Tightens Security At Seme Border

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 12:01pm


 

Travellers and vehicles were stranded for hours at Nigeria's border with Benin Republic following sudden restrictions of movement on Thursday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the restriction at Seme followed the joint border security exercise ordered by the government and aimed at securing Nigeria’s land and maritime borders.

The exercise, code-named, ‘Ex-Swift Response’, was being jointly conducted by the customs, immigration, police and military personnel and coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser.

It was gathered that incoming travellers and vehicles were thoroughly searched by the additional security officials drafted to the border, causing long delays.

Many commercial vehicles conveying passengers into the country were ordered to park at the new border post for several hours, while hundreds of Nigeria-bound trucks were parked across the border.

Customs spokesperson, Joseph Attah, had, in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja said that the joint border security exercise would be conducted in 25 states across the South-South, South-West, North-Central and North-West zones and urged the public to cooperate with the officials.

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Police Arrest Cross River Journalist, Agba Jalingo

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 12:00pm


The police in Cross River State have arrested Agba Jalingo, publisher of Cross River Watch.

Jalingo had initially been invited by the police for questioning for publishing an article exposing how Governor Ben Ayade approved and diverted N500m for Cross River Micro-Finance Bank.

In the article, Jalingo said the micro-finance bank had been rendered non-functional as money earmarked to start its operation was not released.

Jalingo had informed the police he was out of the state and the invitation was moved to August 26, 2019.

However, he was arrested by the police on Thursday, four days before the scheduled date for him to honour police invitation.

The arrest of Jalingo was confirmed by his wife.

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Policemen Remanded In Prison Custody For Killing Suspect

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 11:51am


 

A Lagos State Magistrate Court has remanded four policemen in prison custody for killing an unarmed suspect.

The officers were remanded at the Ikoyi Prison following their arraignment by the Nigeria Police Force.

The four defendants including Fabiyi Omomayara, Olaniyi Solomon, Solomon Sunday and Aliyu Mukaila have also been dismissed by the police.

Sahara Reporters had earlier revealed the identity of the policemen when they were arrested by the police.

A viral video of a restrained man shot to death by two policemen had generated outrage on the social media, with Nigerians calling for the prosecution of the officers.

Spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, Bala Elkana, said the men were subjected to internal disciplinary procedure at the Provost Department.

He said, “They were tried on three-count charges bothering on discreditable conduct; unlawful and unnecessary exercise of authority; and damage to article.

“The four policemen were found guilty and awarded the punishment of dismissal from service and prosecution.”

Following the investigation, they were handed over to the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation Department in Yaba for prosecution in conventional Court.

The case was adjourned to August 23, 2019, for the Department of Public Prosecution to advice on their matter.

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Nigerian Undergraduates Devise New Strategies To Escape Robbers, Rapists

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 10:35am


The heightened insecurity in Nigeria characterised by kidnappings, armed robbery, petty theft and rape has spilled into tertiary institutions in the country, forcing students to develop new strategies to protect their lives.

Recently, On August 1, 2019, a female undergraduate of Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, was allegedly raped by some soldiers stationed at the military checkpoint in Ikare Akoko, Akoko North-East Local Government Area of the state. The incident has since forced other students of the institution to take measures to cope.

Babaleye Jeremiah, a student in the Faculty of Law in AAUA, told SaharaReporters that they have taken their destinies into their own hands.

He said, “We have had several issues of cultist clash, armed robbery and hostel robbery. Even though we have been persistent in reporting these issues to the school management and the police, it still happens.

“Sometimes, the police will be there when it happens and they will not do anything. 

“So, to protect ourselves, we now restrict our movement and don’t go out at night. 

“There are some parts of my school in Akungba that you cannot even go to after 10:00pm but before it wasn’t like this. 

“We cannot go to night classes anymore because of the activities of robbers and cult gangs.

“The raping of a female student by a soldier scared people but when it happened we wrote to the government but we haven’t seen much results.”

At the University of Jos in Plateau State, academic activities on campus are usually disrupted by ethno-religious crisis that ravaged the city since 1994.

James Davou, a student at the Department of Mass Communication in the university, told SaharaReporters that it had been tough living in an atmosphere of fear.

He said, “Since I gained admission to this university, it has been one crisis or the other. 

“The other day, there was tension due to a clash in town and because the university is located at an area that is a flashpoint in town, some boys from Russo Village invaded our hostel and started shooting at students. Even a soldier shot a student dead that day.

“Whenever things like this happen, we usually skip classes and go home until it is safe to return.

“Surviving as a student of this university has not been easy. When the school management notices that we don’t attend lectures regularly, they usually announce a two-week break for staff and students. 

“I don’t like it because I know in other parts of the country, this does not happen to students and it is affecting our academics.”

At the Obafemi Awolowo University in Osun State, students were thrown into panic in May this year over a letter by a cult group that threatened to attack students on June 1, 2019.

On July 9, 2019, the university honoured five students, who were killed in a cultist attack in 1999.

Recalling events of the time in relation to happenings now, Olowolafe Oluwadunsi, a student of OAU, said, “If you remember the events of the July 10, 1999, a lot of students were killed and since then, the campus has always been a tensed place because students have always provided their own security.

“Recently, due to the attack on campus unions and ideological groups, there has been a drop in consciousness and an increase in crime. 

“A certain accommodation policy led to about 70 per cent of students leaving the campus to places in town and Ile-Ife town is not really a safe place and this has led to an increase in cult attacks and rape cases on campus.

“We have complained to school authorities to come to our aid but they have not been responding. 

“If there was a student’s union in place, students would have been able to address it by conducting searches and interventions. 

“But for now, we have to devise our own tactics to be safe from criminal gangs including armed robbers and rapists terrorising us on campus.”

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BREAKING: 133 Nigerian Refugees Arrive Adamawa From Cameroon

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 10:03am


No fewer than 133 Nigerian refugees residing in Cameroon have returned home.

The returnees touched down at the Yola International Airport aboard Nigerian Airforce C130 at exactly 5:00pm local time on Thursday. 

Officials of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, said the refugees volunteered to return home on their own.

Director, Refugees and Migrant Affairs of the commission, Lawal Hamidu, told journalists that the exercise was not “repatriation, but the refugees voluntary signed to return to their ancestral homes”.

Some of the refugees recounted nasty experiences while in Cameroon, as according to them, life over there was tortuous.

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Attackers Of Ekweremadu In Germany Identified

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 9:51am


An official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed TheCable that four of the people, who attacked former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, in Nuremberg, Germany, last weekend during a ceremony organised by Ndi-Igbo, have been identified. 

The source said they were figured out following an analysis of a viral video showing the incident.

The official said, “I cannot reveal their identities for now because the German authorities are now co-operating with us and investigating the attack.” 

It was learnt that Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Yusuf Tuggar, pressured a reluctant Bavarian police to look into the incident.

Tuggar had impressed on the authorities that under section 102 (1) Chapter 3 of the German Criminal Code, attacks against heads of foreign governments or representatives of organs of foreign governments were punishable.

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10 Unauthorised Patent Medicine Stores Sealed In Ondo

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 9:49am



A total of 10 patent medicine stores operating illegally at Ayede Ogbese and Shasha markets in Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State were on Thursday sealed by a special task force. 

This came barely a month after 255 patent medicine stores and unregistered pharmacies were sealed in five local council areas of the state. 

SaharaReporters learnt that the stores were sealed by a team on fake and counterfeit drugs. 

Leader of the task force, Olugbenga Lasekan, decried the rate at which vendors flout the rules of practice. 

He said many patent medicine stores had also been selling and dispensing “harmful drugs” to sick patients without any prescriptions from doctors. 

He noted that the vendors had the list of drugs they were not permitted to sell even without exceptions of antibiotics, injections and control drugs. 

Lasekan said, “The shops that open without following rules and are not license are illegal while those drugs without NAFDAC registration are fake.”

While promising to go tough on vendors of adulterated drugs in the state, Lasekan affirmed that the government would prosecute all recalcitrant illegal operators, advising members of the public to always buy drugs from licensed patent medicine vendors or pharmacies.

 

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Ondo Accident Caused By Potholes, Speeding, Says FRSC

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 9:45am


The Federal Road Safety Corps in Ondo State has attributed the fatal accident that occurred on Thursday at Ogbese in Akure North Local Government Area of the state to “multiple potholes” on the roads.

Head of Operation of FRSC in Ondo, Olusegun Ogungbemide, made the disclosure in an interview with SaharaReporters on Thursday.

Ogungbemide explained that the accident would have been avoided if not for the drivers of the vehicles involved trying to manoeuvre their way around potholes on the road.

According to him, the fatal accident occurred between a bus and a truck traveling on top speed.

The driver of the bus, Ogungbemide said, upon sighting the pothole lost control of the vehicle and veered off the road.

He said, “The accident occurred few metres to the Ogbese Bridge and we were able to gather that it was a result of potholes on the road.

“The driver of the bus was on top speed and as a result of trying to dodge the potholes, he lost control of the vehicle.

“In that process, he rammed into an articulated truck which was coming from the other lane on the tiny road.

“One person (a male adult) died instantly and 10 others were injured and had been rushed to the Federal Medical Centre in Owo.”

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Falana Storms Court Over Delay In Hearing Sowore's Motion

Sahara Reporters - 22 August 2019 - 9:43am


Following delays in hearing the motion filed by activist, Omoyele Sowore, challenging his continued detention by the Department of State Services, his lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), on Thursday stormed the Federal High Court in Abuja to demand for a date for the hearing of the application.

Falana, who arrived at the court while it was in session, walked quietly inside and sat at the back of the room.

Presiding Judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, who sighted him from seated at the back, called his name and asked if there was a problem since he was not wearing his robe.

Falana, therefore, walked up to the judge and told him that he was in the court in respect of the motion he had filed on August 9 on behalf of Sowore.

After a conversation between both men, Justice Taiwo appealed to Falana to exercise some patience as a date for the hearing shall soon be fixed.

Falana said, “We filed our motion since last week and it had not been heard but the DSS filed its own and within 48 hours it was heard.”

The motion on notice is expected to be assigned to another judge next week since the role of Justice Taiwo as vacation judge on the matter ends on Friday.

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