NEWS: Gunmen kidnap American missionary in Kogi, demand ransom and Other News Reports

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Boko Haram: Nigerian woman awarded Japan peace prize for anti-terror activism

A Nigerian woman Pastor Esther Ibanga who campaigns against terror group Boko Haram has been awarded the Japan Peace Prize from the Niwano  Peace Foundation

She received the sum of $170,000 (£110,000) on Tuesday (24 February) for her campaign against the widespread kidnappings and raids carried out by the insurgents throughout northern Nigeria, AFP reported.

She is also the founder of the Women without Initative (WOWWI), an NGO that promotes the rights of women and children and provides a non-violent approach to conflict resolution in Nigeria.

The Foundation, which awarded the prize to Ibanga, said she campaigned tirelessly and pressurised the central government in Nigeria to fight the extremists.

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Gunmen kidnap American missionary in Kogi, demand  ransom

An American missionary Rev. Phyllis Sortor was whisked away on Monday by unknown gunmen suspected to be kidnappers at her workplace in Kogi State.

She was running the Hope Alive Nursery/Primary School, which she runs in Emiworo, Ajaokuta Local government Area of Kogi State on Monday.

A spokes person of the police in Kogi State said The kidnappers were “unknown gunmen…(who) came into the school premises shooting sporadically to scare away people before taking (the hostage) away into the bush”, and they also confirmed that the  five kidnappers had tabled N60 million ransom demand but have now reduced the ransom to the sum of N30.

The U.S. State Department said it was aware that a U.S. citizen had been reported missing in Nigeria.

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10 Year Old British-Nigerian Girl to Study Maths in Open University

Esther a 10 Year Old British-Nigerian Girl from Walsall, West Midlands, has enrolled on an Open University course months after she passed her A-levels – and wants to study for a PhD before running her own bank.

She applied to the Open University last August – and after a phone interview, an essay and an exam, she was told in December that she had been accepted onto the course.

She stunned her parents last year when she achieved a B grade in her pure maths A-level.

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FG approves nine new private varsities

On Wednesday, the establishment of  nine new private universities in the country were approved the Federal Government.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo, which had in attendance; the Minister of Aviation, Mr. Osita Chidoka; the Minister of State, Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda; the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe; and the Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau.

Chidoka listed the new universities as Augustine University, Ilara, Lagos State; Chrisland University, Owode, Ogun State; Christopher University, Mowe, Ogun State; Hallmark University, Ijebu Itele, Ogun State; Kings University, Ode Omu, Osun State; Michael and Cecilia Ibru University, Orode, Delta State; Mountain Top University, Ogun State, Ritman University, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State and Summit University, Ofa, Kwara State.

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National Assembly prescribes five-year jail term for child labour

A five-year jail term bill for any person who permits  any place or premises to be used for the purpose of forced labour in Nigeria has been passed by The National Assembly.

President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to assent to the bill on trafficking in person (prohibition) law enforcement and administration Act, 2003 (as amended), whenever it is transmitted to him.

The conference report which is the harmonization version between the Senate and House of Representatives adopted  by the Senate, was to provide measures against trafficking and for related matters, 2015 .

Section 22 of the adopted bill states that any person who permits any place or premises to be used for the purpose of forced labour commits an offence that is liable on conviction to imprisonment for five years and to a fine of not less than N1m.

The bill also states that any person  arrested or under investigation for an offence under the Act, would get his or her account frozen by applying to the High Court for an exparte for an order authorising the agency to issue or instruct a bank examiner or such other as appropriate regulatory authority to issue an order as specified in the Act.

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