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Queen Elizabeth’s Coffin Arrives Edinburgh on Solemn Final Journey

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Thousands of mourners thronged the route for the final journey of Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday as her coffin arrived in Edinburgh from the Scottish retreat where she died.

Huge crowds packed the streets of Scotland’s capital as the hearse bearing Britain’s longest-serving monarch completed the first leg of a sombre odyssey that will culminate with her state funeral in London on September 19.

Soldiers in kilts stood to attention as the seven-car cortege arrived at Holyroodhouse palace after a six-hour drive from the queen’s Balmoral residence where she passed away on Thursday, aged 96.

Some of the well-wishers along the way had thrown flowers or applauded, while others were in tears as the convoy including the queen’s only daughter Princess Anne went by.

“It is history, history in the making. We lived so long with the queen – 70 years,” said former soldier Stuart Mackay.

“It’s the only Monarch we’ve known and I think it’s my duty to be here to wave her goodbye.”

The queen’s coffin will rest in Holyroodhouse Palace, the monarch’s official residence in Scotland, for a day before being moved to St Giles’ cathedral for the public to pay their respects.

Her son, Charles III – formally proclaimed monarch on Saturday – will travel to Edinburgh on Monday for a prayer service and to mount a vigil by her coffin along with other members of the royal family.

The body of the queen will be flown to London the day after to lie in state for four days, which is expected to draw at least a million people, ahead of a funeral set to be watched worldwide and attended by numerous heads of state.

– ‘Poignant moment’ –

The symbolism of the queen’s last journey will be heavy for Scotland – a nation with deep royal links, but where there is also a strong independence movement intent on severing the centuries-old union with the United Kingdom.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wrote on Twitter that it was a “sad and poignant moment” to see the queen leave her cherished Balmoral refuge for the final time.

Charles – also declared monarch in Scotland at a pomp-filled ceremony on Sunday – and other royals will on Monday take part in a procession to convey her coffin along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile to St Giles’ Cathedral.

The following day the coffin will be flown by Royal Air Force jet to Northolt airfield near London, and driven to Buckingham Palace. Then, on Wednesday, it will be moved to Westminster Hall to lie in state.

King Charles will also visit Northern Ireland and Wales in a show of national unity. The new monarch will be joined at memorial services by British Prime Minister Liz Truss, who was only appointed by the late queen on Tuesday.

Charles has seen his popularity recover since the death of his former wife Diana, Princess of Wales, in a 1997 car crash, but he takes the throne at a moment of deep anxiety in Britain over the spiralling cost of living and international instability caused by the war in Ukraine.

– William and Harry together –

While Charles’ accession has pushed Britain into what newspapers have called the new “Carolean” era, Britain and the royal family are still coming to terms with the end of the Elizabethan age.

Prince William broke his silence with an emotional tribute to his beloved “Grannie” on Saturday.

“She was by my side at my happiest moments. And she was by my side during the saddest days of my life,” said William, who has now become the Prince of Wales.

But the queen’s death also brought a surprise show of unity from William, 40, and his younger brother Harry, 37, when they emerged with their wives to speak to well-wishers outside Windsor Castle.

The sight of the two couples, who have barely seen each other since 2020, together — even if they separated to speak and shake hands with different sides of the cheering crowds — will likely spark rumours of a reconciliation.

Pictures of the four were splashed on the fronts of Sunday’s newspapers.

“Reunited for granny,” read the Sunday Mirror’s headline, while the Telegraph ran with “Reunited in sorrow” and the Sun with “All 4 One”.

The Sunday Times focussed on the apparent frostiness, with the headline: “Warring Windsors’ awkward truce to honour the Queen”.

– ‘Inspiring example’ –

Charles vowed at the formal Accession Council at St James’s Palace on Saturday that he would “strive to follow the inspiring example I have been set” by his mother during her “lifetime of service”.

Thousands of people have gathered outside Buckingham Palace and other royal residences in recent days to lay flowers and messages of condolence, or simply to experience history in the making.

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Court Denies Binance Executive Tigran Gambaryan Bail

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Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court Abuja, on Friday, refused to grant bail to an executive of Binance Holdings Limited, Tigran Gambaryan.

Justice Nwite held that Gambaryan is likely to jump bail if granted to him.

The company and its executive were arraigned on a five-count charge bordering on money laundering before Emeka Nwite, judge of a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Moving an application, Counsel to the Defendant, Mark Mordi, argued that the court had the power to grant bail to the defendant and impose conditions to ensure his presence in court.

The prosecution counsel, Ekele Iheanacho, however opposed the bail application, stating that the defendant is a flight risk.

He stated that the defendant attempted to obtain a new passport, which he claimed was stolen, and this is a suspicious act given the proximity to his colleague’s escape from custody.

He added that the court cannot risk granting Gambaryan bail, especially as he is not attached to any community in Nigeria.

“The fact that the passport of the defendant is with the complainant does not guarantee that he will remain in Nigeria because the defendant is not only an American citizen but also an Armenian citizen by birth.

He urged the court to refuse the application and instead remand him in EFCC custody to ensure his safety and prevent potential flight risk.

Delivering ruling, the judge said several factors including the nature of offence and its severity must be considered when trying to decide whether or not bail should be granted to the defendant applicant.

Justice Nwite agreed with the depositions made by prosecution and was of the view that the applicant will jump bail if bail is granted to him.

He subsequently ordered that the trial be given an accelerated hearing.

After the ruling, the EFCC called its first witness, a staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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Governor Adeleke Felicitates with Dele Momodu at 64

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The Executive Governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke has felicitated with the celebrated journalist, and Publisher of Ovation Magazine, Akinrogun Dele Momodu on the occasion of his 64th birthday, describing him as “a pride of the media industry.”

Governor Adeleke noted Akinrogun Momodu’s heartwarming contributions to a just and equitable society, saying he has touched the minds and hearts of countless people with insightful words, logistic support and unwavering dedication to truth and justice.

The Governor appreciates the Ovation Magazine Publisher’s sustained commitment to informing and enlightening the public as a weapon of nation building, acknowledging him as an inspirational figure, who has empowered readers to think critically, and engage meaningfully.

“I congratulate my dear friend, Akinrogun Dele Momodu, on the auspicious occasion of his birthday. The Aare Tayese of Iwoland is a unique personality, who has touched lives positively and brought smiles to countless faces,” the Governor was quoted in a congratulatory message, signed by his spokesperson, Mallam Olawale Rasheed.

“On this auspicious occasion, I honour both your wonderful life and exceptional contributions to the media sector and the larger society. I note, with admiration, Akinrogun Momodu’s deep sense of commitment to a better Nigeria, which is manifest in columns and public discourse.

“On behalf of my family, I convey best wishes to Akinrogun Momodu on his birthday and it is my prayer that God grant him many celebrations in good health and happiness while also bestowing him the grace to give more to humanity.”

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Why We’re Charging Helicopter Landing Fee – Aviation Ministry

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The Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development on Monday said the introduction of helicopter landing levies was in line with global best practices and cost recovery measures.

This is contained in a statement by Odutayo Oluseyi, Head, Press and Public Affairs of the ministry in Lagos.

According to Mr Oluseyi, the ministry recognises the importance of helicopter operations in Nigeria’s aviation industry and is committed to implementing international best practices in helicopter operations.

He said that helicopter landing levies were commonplace in countries such as the US, the United Kingdom, India and various other regions worldwide.

He maintained that Tallahassee International Airport in Florida began implementing helicopter landing levies under Vector Airport Systems, since 1 October 2022.

Mr Oluseyi said helicopter landing levies were common across airfields in the United Kingdom, ranging from major commercial ones, to small general aviation fields.

He added that, typically, helicopter levies matched or exceeded those for fixed-wing aircraft, and varied based on factors like location and services provided.

“The federal government has granted NAEBI Dynamic Concepts Ltd exclusive rights to collect helicopter landing levies in line with the MoU between NAEBI Concept and NAMA (focal Agency), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

“It is instructive to note that NAMA, under the Act as amended in 2022, is empowered to collect aeronautical revenues in both the upper and lower airspace to support her self-sustainability.

“However, over the years, NAMA has predominantly relied on the upper airspace for her revenue generation.

“Government in her wisdom, having discovered a lacuna on the lower airspace where helicopter operations is dominant, directed NAMA to live up to its responsibilities, to enable them generate enough resources, to sustain their aeronautical architecture, enhance security and surveillance and improve the overall quality of helicopter operations in Nigeria,” he said.

According to Mr Oluseyi, the government is confident that the move will improve capacity, efficiency, safety, security and attract more investments in the aviation industry.

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