Hilda Baci Sets Guinness World Record by Cooking for 100 Consecutive Hours; Mompha’s Alleged N6bn Fraud Trial Scheduled for July 23 | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Hilda Baci Sets Guinness World Record by Cooking for 100 Consecutive Hours
  • Mompha’s Alleged N6bn Fraud Trial Scheduled for July 23
  • Resident Doctors Declare Warning Strike, Government Reacts
  • US Imposes Visa Ban on Nigerians Undermining Democracy in 2023 Polls
  • Nigeria’s Inflation Rate Climbs to 22.22%

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss

Hilda Baci Sets Guinness World Record by Cooking for 100 Consecutive Hours

Renowned Nigerian chef, Hilda Bassey Effiong, professionally known as Hilda Baci, has etched her name into culinary history by shattering the Guinness World Record for the longest continuous cooking session. Displaying unparalleled culinary prowess, Hilda surpassed the previous record-holder, Indian chef Lata Tondon, who had set the bar in 2019.

Lata Tondon’s remarkable feat saw her masterfully prepare tantalizing dishes for a staggering duration of 87 hours, 45 minutes, and 00 seconds, thus securing her place in the prestigious record book. However, Hilda Baci’s unwavering determination and passion for cooking propelled her to surpass this milestone, setting a new benchmark in the culinary world.

She has now set the Guinness World Record for ‘Longest Cooking Marathon by an Individual’ by cooking for 100 hours.

Read Also: Guinness World Records Says It Will Review All Evidence Before Confirming Hilda Baci’s Cooking Feat

With the clock striking 8 p.m. on Monday, May 15, 2023, Hilda officially seized the Guinness World Record title for the longest individual cooking marathon. Her remarkable achievement showcases not only her exceptional culinary skills but also her unwavering dedication to her craft.

Hilda’s extraordinary journey began on a Friday at the scenic Amore Gardens in Lekki, Lagos State. Surrounded by a captivated audience, she embarked on this monumental cooking marathon, demonstrating her mastery of diverse culinary techniques and creating an array of delectable dishes.

Read Also: Rema, Wizkid, Tobi Amusan, Hilda Baci – Nigerians Who Have Set Guinness World Records

As news of Hilda’s record-breaking achievement spreads like wildfire, it serves as a testament to the remarkable talent that exists within Nigeria’s culinary landscape.

Mompha’s Alleged N6bn Fraud Trial Scheduled for July 23

Ismaila Mustapha, the well-known social media celebrity popularly known as Mompha, is set to face trial on July 23 in the alleged N6 billion money laundering case brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The trial date was fixed by Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos.

The decision to schedule the trial for July 23 came after the court received information that Mompha had been arrested. The charges against him include conspiracy to launder funds obtained through unlawful activity, retention of proceeds of criminal conduct, laundering of funds obtained through unlawful activity, failure to disclose assets and property, possession of documents containing false pretence, and use of property derived from an unlawful act.

During the proceedings on Monday, the EFCC’s prosecuting counsel, Sulaiman Sulaiman, informed the court that Mompha had been arrested by the agency’s international partners. However, he also mentioned that the defendant is not yet in the custody of the EFCC in Lagos. Sulaiman requested a new trial date, assuring the court that Mompha would be present by the next adjourned date.

Mompha’s defense counsel, Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), was absent from the court during the proceedings. Justice Dada granted the prosecution’s request and scheduled the trial for July 23.

This isn’t the first time that Mompha’s trial has faced delays. The absence of the defense counsel previously halted the proceedings on November 16 and 22, 2022. On September 22, 2022, Justice Dada ordered that Mompha’s trial continue in absentia due to the EFCC’s unsuccessful attempts to arrest him after he jumped bail.

Mompha was initially arrested on January 10, 2022, by the EFCC and arraigned on January 12 along with his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, on an eight-count charge of alleged money laundering amounting to over N6 billion.

Mompha pleaded not guilty to the eight counts. He also pleaded not guilty to the first six counts on behalf of his company, Ismalob Limited. On January 18, he was granted bail in the sum of N200 million with two sureties in like sum, with one surety required to own property valued at N100 million within the court’s jurisdiction. The court also ordered him to surrender his international passport and remain in a chosen Correctional Centre in Lagos until the bail conditions were met.

On March 28, Mompha was released to his lawyer, Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), after the court modified his bail conditions. However, he has since failed to appear in court on at least three scheduled trial dates.

On June 10, the EFCC accused Mompha of violating the court’s order by traveling to Dubai with a new international passport. Consequently, on June 22, the court issued a bench warrant for his arrest and revoked the bail previously granted to him.

It’s worth noting that this is the second case in which Mompha is facing charges by the EFCC. He is also standing trial at the Federal High Court in Lagos on an amended 22-count charge related to cyber fraud and money laundering involving the sum of N32.9 million.

Resident Doctors Declare Warning Strike, Government Reacts

The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has declared a five-day warning strike due to alleged failure by the Federal Government to meet their demands. The strike is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, May 17, and end on Monday, May 22. The decision was reached during an extraordinary National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held virtually on Monday.

Dr. Emeka Orji, President of NARD, confirmed the strike action via a WhatsApp message to Channels Television. He mentioned that a press conference would be held on Tuesday, May 16, and a press statement would be made available to journalists.

The resident doctors have been in dispute with the Federal Government over issues such as poor remuneration and better welfare for their members. They are demanding an immediate 200% increment in the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure, as well as new allowances outlined in a letter sent by the association to the Minister of Health on July 7, 2022, regarding the review of CONMESS.

In response to the planned strike, the Federal Government has deemed it unnecessary. Dr. Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour, stated during a briefing in Abuja that the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), the parent body of NARD, is already engaging with relevant government agencies on the matter. He expressed confusion over the demand for a 200% salary increase, citing the NMA’s acceptance of a 25-30% increase for their members. Dr. Ngige emphasized the importance of the NMA contacting NARD and engaging in negotiations instead of resorting to a strike.

The strike action by the resident doctors highlights the ongoing challenges faced by healthcare professionals in Nigeria and the need for effective dialogue and resolution of their grievances to ensure the delivery of quality healthcare services to the population.

US Imposes Visa Ban on Nigerians Undermining Democracy in 2023 Polls

The United States has announced its intention to impose visa restrictions on certain individuals in Nigeria for their role in undermining the democratic process during the recently concluded 2023 general elections. US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, made the disclosure on Monday, reaffirming the Biden administration’s commitment to promoting democracy in Nigeria and worldwide.

In a statement, Blinken clarified that the visa restrictions target specific individuals and not the Nigerian people or government as a whole. The restrictions are being implemented under Section 212(a)(3)C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which covers individuals believed to be responsible for or complicit in undermining democracy.

The statement further mentioned that the visa restrictions are a response to individuals involved in activities such as voter intimidation, threats, physical violence, and manipulation of vote results, all of which undermine Nigeria’s democratic process. However, the US government did not disclose the names or groups of individuals affected by these visa restrictions.

Blinken emphasized that the US government’s decision reflects its ongoing commitment to supporting Nigeria’s efforts to strengthen democracy and the rule of law. The measures taken are part of broader initiatives to advance democracy not only in Nigeria but also globally.

Nigeria’s Inflation Rate Climbs to 22.22%

The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics has released its latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) report, revealing that the country’s inflation rate for the month of April has reached 22.22%, surpassing the previous month’s rate of 22.04%. The report indicates an increase of 0.18% points in the April 2023 inflation rate compared to March 2023.

According to the data bureau, the year-on-year headline inflation rate for April 2023 was 6.13% points higher than the rate recorded in March 2022, which stood at 15.92%. On a month-on-month basis, the All-Items Index in April 2023 showed a 1.91% increase, 0.05% points higher than the rate recorded in March 2023 (1.86%). This implies that, on average, the general price level was 0.05% higher in April 2023 compared to March 2023.

The report also highlights an increase in urban inflation on a year-to-year basis. In April 2023, the urban inflation rate stood at 23.39%, which was 6.05% points higher than the 17.35% recorded in April 2022. On a month-on-month basis, the urban inflation rate in April 2023 was 2.05%, a 0.05% points increase from March 2023 (2.00%).

Read Also: Overcoming Inflation’s Assault on Delayed Gratification

Food inflation also experienced a slight increase, rising from 24.45% in March 2023 to 24.61% in April 2023.

The percentage change in the average CPI for the twelve months ending April 2023, compared to the average of the CPI for the previous twelve months, was 20.82%. This indicates a 4.37% increase from the 16.45% recorded in April 2022.

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