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Portugal Prime Minister Resigns Over Corruption Scandal

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Portugal Prime Minister Resigns Over Corruption Scandal

Portugal Prime Minister Resigns Over Corruption Scandal

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced his resignation on Tuesday after he was embroiled in a corruption investigation into the awarding of energy-related contracts.

“The duties of prime minister are not compatible with any suspicion of my integrity,” Costa told a press conference after briefly speaking with President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa earlier on Tuesday.

“In these circumstances, I have presented my resignation to the president of the Republic,” he added.

Earlier Tuesday, Portuguese media reported that investigators had searched several ministries as well as Costa’s offices.

Public prosecutors later said they had indicted Infrastructure Minister Joao Galamba and issued an arrest warrant for Costa’s chief of staff.

The investigation covers alleged “misuse of funds, active and passive corruption by political figures, and influence peddling,” according to a statement from public prosecutors.

A separate probe is looking into Costa, who is alleged to have intervened personally to speed up the contracts, the statement said.

The investigation covers lithium mining concessions in the north of the country, as well as a hydrogen production project and data centre to be built by the company Start Campus in Sines, a town about 100 kilometres (62 miles) south of Lisbon.

Citing flight risk and the possibility that illegal activity could continue, arrest warrants were also issued for the mayor of Sines and two executives at Start Campus.

The president of the executive board of the Portuguese Agency for the Protection of the Environment (APA) was also indicted.

APA in May approved a lithium mining project, an essential metal for the manufacturing of electric batteries.

A second project was given the green light at the start of September. The projects are opposed by environmental groups and part of the local population.

Portugal has the largest lithium reserves in Europe and is the continent’s leading producer, but its current output goes entirely to the ceramic and glass-making industries.

Costa, from Portugal’s Socialist Party, has been prime minister since late 2015 and was reelected in January 2022. His popularity has recently declined after a series of scandals linked to the national airline TAP.

Portugal Prime Minister Resigns Over Corruption Scandal
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Police arrest suspected vehicle, motorcycle snatcher in Kaduna

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The Police Command in Kaduna State, said its operatives have arrested a suspect with 30 different fabricated master keys of vehicles and motorcycles in Kaduna.

The command’s spokesperson, ASP Mansir Hassan, confirmed the arrest to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Kaduna.

Hassan said, “The suspect specialises in vehicle and motorcycle theft .

“In July 20, at about 0230hrs our personnel received a distress call that a shop was burgled.

“Upon receiving the information, our operatives immediately drafted to the area.”

He said on arriving at the scene, that the suspect, Zahradeenee Suleiman was arrested in the shop .

According to him, the suspect is a resident of Galma road, Tsugugi area of Sabon Gari Zaria Local Government Area of Kaduna State and 35 years old.

“Upon search, about 30 different sizes of keys of vehicle and motorcycles were recovered including two locally fabricated master keys in his possession,” Hassan said.

He added that the suspect was said to have specialised in the theft of vehicles and motorcycles.
Hassan said that the suspect would be charged to Court for prosecution after the completion of investigation.

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Biden condemns Russia’s 16-year sentence for U.S. reporter

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President Joe Biden

U.S. President Joe Biden has sharply criticised the 16-year sentence for U.S reporter Evan Gershkovich, imposed on Friday by a Russian court.

According to the president, Gershkovich was targeted by Russia “because he is a journalist and an American.”

Biden, in a statement released by the White House, said the reporter had “committed no crime.”

He added that the U.S. government will continue to fight for the Wall Street Journal reporter’s release as well as for all U.S. citizens unlawfully detained abroad.

“Journalism is not a crime,” Biden said, adding that both he and the United Nations have said that Russia is wrongfully detaining the reporter.

“We will continue to stand strong for press freedom in Russia and worldwide, and stand against all those who seek to attack the press or target journalists,” the U.S. president added.

(dpa/NAN)

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APC, Police disagree over attack on Okpebholo, Shaibu in Edo

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo Staten has accused the state police command of complicity in the attack on its Governorship Candidate, Sen. Monday Okpebholo and the reinstated deputy governor, Philip Shaibu.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that gunmen attacked the two on Thursday while exiting Benin Airport shortly after they arrived from Abuja aboard a chartered flight.

The party, during a press conference on Friday in Benin, called for the sack of the Commissioner of Police, Funso Adegboye.

Kassim Afegbua, Director of Media, APC Campaign Council for the Sept. 21 election, said the ruthless shooting and killing of a policeman was witnessed by the police chief.

Afegbua said the party had petitioned the Inspector-General of Police to look into the case and check how the police commissioner undermined the role of the police.

According to him, some members of the party, who saw the commissioner at the airport shared the intelligence of what was about to happen, but unfortunately, he allegedly ignored it.

The director of media described the attack on the candidate as an assassination attempt as well as a disdain for peace that the state and its people were known for.

Reacting, Adegboye exonerated himself of any wrongdoing during the mayhem.

He refuted a claim that intelligence was shared with him ahead of the attack, saying there was no crisis throughout his stay at the airport.

The commissioner noted, however, that an investigation was ongoing and those whose names had been mentioned in the incident would be arrested soon.

(NAN)

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