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Asaba

Delta State House of Assembly, Thursday, received a list of twelve nominees for appointment as commissioners into the Delta State Executive Council from Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan. 

The state governor, last week, sacked eleven commissioners, which sources revealed were not loyal to his course of returning as governor in 2011.  

Governor Uduaghan had in a letter addressed to the Speaker of the House noted that the appointment is aimed at strengthening the capacity of the State Executive Council for better and greater service delivery to the people of the state.  

Names of the commissioners were also contained in the letter which was read on the floor of the House. They include Mr. Bello Orubebe, Dr. Chris Oghenechovwen, Mr. Victor E. Otomewo, Mr. Frank Omare, Mrs. Juliet Oti Agoba and Anthony Akpomiemie.  

Others are Mr. Fred Majemite, Mr. Azuka Osakwe, Mr. George Ugboma, Mr. Emmanuel Eboh, Dr. Onochie Okonkwo and Mr. Pat Mozea.  

The Commissioners that were sacked last week are Mr. Abraham Bobor, former Commissioner for Housing, Paul Osaji (Works), Mrs. Elizabeth Uvoh-Gardner (Primary Education), Gilbert Benafa (Transport), Mrs. Chinwe Monu-Olarewaju (Commerce/Industry), Timinimi George (Water Resources), Roland Eyime (Science/Technology), Dafe-Akpedeye (Attorney-General/Justice), Champion Kpateghe (Special Duties, Government House) and Dr. Tab-Ogaranya Tabowei (Agriculture).

 

Jos

The authorities of 3 Amoured Division of Nigerian Army, Jos, have sentenced a soldier to 56 days imprisonment with hard labour, for physically assaulting a Jos-based lawyer, our correspondent has gathered.

 Besides, he will not receive his salary during his two months imprisonment, just as a driver, his comrade-in crime spent the sallah holidays in police custody. The troubled soldier, will serve his jail term in military guard room.  

The soldier’s imprisonment followed a court martial. The lawyer (name withheld) had petitioned the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 3 Amoured Division, complaining on how he was unlawfully assaulted by the soldier.

 The soldier, one of the troops stationed at former United Trading Company (UTC) junction, Jos, on peace-keeping in Jos, following Nov. 28, last year mayhem. The soldier’s trouble started sometime in June this year, when the lawyer had a disagreement with a driver that conveyed him (lawyer) from Akwanga, Nassarawa State to Jos, Plateau State capital.  

According to sources close to the lawyer, he wanted the cab driver to drop him at Terminus area of the metropolis, while the driver insisted that he must drop at Old Airport junction.  

Consequently, the lawyer refused to come down from the cab. In what was described as unconstitutional reaction (behaviour), the driver took him to the UTC junction where his soldier friend assaulted the legal practitioner, inflicting injuries on him.

 

Osun

Over 30 communities in Egbedore Local Government Area of Osun State have been connected to the national grid, while another 11 villages are expected to be connected very soon in an effort to grease the wheel of development

Speaking with newsmen on the level of infrastructural facilities in the area, the chairman of the local council, Comrade Bamidele Salami, said over N75 million has been spent on the electrification projects.

According to him, there was purchase and installation of 500KVA transformer and extension of low tension wires to Tiwadayo Community and purchase of six 500/33 KVA transformers for Awo, Ido Osun, Adetoro Estate, Alapupu, Olafa Estate, Ilaasan/Ori Oke Baba Abiye, while reactivation and extension of street lights in all towns and villages have been completed.

 

Oyo

About 400 members of staff of the Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo, have marched to the palace of Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi over the sack of union leaders.

They urged the monarch to intervene in the labour crisis rocking the institution.

The protesting workers registered their grievances against the purported sack of seven union leaders.

The state government had in an announcement conveyed the sack of the unionists which was hinged on ‘re-organisation’ of the institution.

Workers at the institution and the polytechnic, Ibadan, have been on strike since July to make the government reverse its new tax regime of 18 per cent tax in their gross earning and non-payment of 21 month arrears of the Consolidated Teacher Salary Structure (CONTISS).

The sacked union leaders are chairman, College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), Dr Abiodum Aina; secretary, Mr Isiaka Ojo; chairman, Senior Staff Union of the college, Comrade Sikinu Agboluaje; chairman, COEASU, Lanlati Campus, Comrade K Olanrewaju; chairman, Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) of the institution, Comrade Olanrewaju Jimoh and one other.

 

Niger

Bank of Industry (BOI) has said  that it has approved a total of N816.984 million as loans to entrepreneurs, including those operating as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and co-operative groups consisting of rural dwellers, in Niger State.

Managing Director of BOI, Mrs Evelyn Oputu, said in Abuja at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the bank and Niger State government on the N1 billion Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF) that loans to SMEs summed up to N714.50 million while that for the co-operative groups stood at N102.48 million.

Oputu, who was represented by the bank’s executive director, Mr Chris Umeh, disclosed that SMEs assisted were those engaged in shea butter production and rice milling while the co-operative groups were men and women engaging in shea butter production, rice processing, cassava processing, melon processing, cattle fattening, among others.

Besides, she pointed out that BOI and its foreign and domestic partners had in the last 18 months, organised capacity building for potential and current entrepreneurs in Niger State.

Niger State commissioner for investments, commerce and industries, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, who said the state had been able to contribute N300 milloin of its own counterpart fund, however, said the state government was not relenting in its efforts at providing its own part of the financing arrangement.

 

Bauchi

Bauchi State Council of the National Drug and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested a 33-year old farmer from Alkaheri, Hussaini Hussaini, for cultivating substances suspected to be Indian hemp in his farm. The agency also arrested two others, Amadi Sunday and Raphael Galadima, for possessing 25 kilogrammes of Indan hemp.

Addresing newsmen in Bauchi, the State Commandant of the Agency, Mr Sule Momodu, explained that Hussaini was arrested on September 22, on his farm while his substance was equally uprooted. Upon interrogation, Hussaini confessed that he got the seed of the substance from Nassarawa state which he used to plant, admitting that besides cultivating the weed, he also smokes the substance.

In a related development, the agency has equally arrested one Amadi Sunday and Raphael Galadima for possessing 25 kilogrammes of Indian hemp which they bought from Kaduna.

 

Ekiti

Well-wishers of late Pa Lawrance Sunday Adeosun from form all walks of life, stormed Iloro-Ekiti to celebrate the passing of the late Pa Adeosun into eternal glory.

It was a celebration of life as the children and well-wishers stormed the area to celebrate the exit of the 77 years of late Adeosun who was a successful trader, farmer and a devoted Catholic and community leader, who retired from public service in 2005 and settled in Lagos where he died peacefully.

In a sermon, Seminarian Awogbemi Stephen on behalf of the Parish Priest, Rev Fr Francis-Mary Ogundare, during the Funeral Mass at St. Mary Catholic Church, Iloro Ekiti, described Adeosun as a selfless man who used his whole life in the service of the Lord.

Seminarian Awogbemi urged everyone present to walk in accordance with the dictate and injunction of the Holy Bible, saying “let us do our work, so that at the end of the day, we could make bold to say we have run a good race.”

He emphasised the need for good works, while one is still alive, because according to him, that is the only legacy one could leave behind.

Awogbemi condemned acquisition of wealth, saying it was a vanity as none of the property so acquired would be buried with the owner.

“We shall all go naked, just as we came to the world. It is only our soul that would go with us to give account of our deeds while alive,” he added.

He said late Pa Adeosun served the church as an usher until he answered the call of his creator.

The late Pa Adeosun was survived by Mr Peter Adeosun, a chartered accountant, Mrs Funmilayo Adeosun and many other grand children.

 

Lagos

Lagos High Court presided by Justice Olusola Williams will on October 15, resume hearing in the defence of former Chairman of the National Drug Law Emforcement Agency (NDLEA), Alhaji Bello Lafiaji.

The former NDLEA chairman, who is standing trial alongside his former special assistant, Usman Amali for corruption charges had last month opened his defence in the corruption charge filed against him at the Lagos High Court.

He, however, told the court that he was currently a consultant on National Security to Nigeria’s Vision 20-2020 project.

Led by his counsel, Professor Taiwo Osipetan, Lafiaji said “before then, I was the executive chairman of the NDLEA from 2000 to 2005 and had joined the police force in 1973.”

The ICPC is prosecuting Lafiaji and Amali for alleged corruption while in office, and they were accused also of demanding and receiving £164,300 being exhibits seized from a drug suspect, Ikenna Onochie, in a bid to release him and his vehicles from the NDLEA custody.

Lafiaji, according to ICPC, obtained the sun of N50,000 from Bashiru Gadzama and another N450,000 from Garba Yauri both staff of the NDLEA.

On cross examination led by Osipetan, the 12th and final prosecution witness, Mr Femi Oloruntoba, NDLEA director of prosecutions, said Lafiaji did not query him when his (Lafiaji) directive to release Onochie on bail was disobeyed.

He also told the court that the case filed did not include the Euro as exhibit.

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Abdulsalami Abubakar Warns Against Increase In Fuel Price

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Former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd.), has warned against an increase in fuel price.
Speaking at the 19th Daily Trust Dialogue in Abuja, he said an increase in fuel price will push millions of Nigerians into poverty.
He said this following the recommendation issued by the National Economic Council for fuel price to be pegged at N302 per litre.
The former Head of State said, “Insecurity in the country is worsened by our dear economic situation. Unemployment and underemployment remain at a high level. Over 18 million Nigerians are still caught up in needless poverty. All of these tend to have negative effects on security. In fact, Nigeria now faces a full security crisis that is confounded by the COVID-19 global pandemic and the banditry in many states in Northern Nigeria.
“Most of these have disrupted the final value change across the country and negatively impacted the ability of Nigeria to produce, process, and distribute.
“There is a continuous rise in the prices of food items beyond the reach of many Nigerians. On top of all these, fuel prices are expected to rise significantly in the coming months as announced last November. We all know that when this happens, it will push many millions of Nigerians into poverty.”
On insecurity, Abdulsalami stated that the situation has overstretched the country’s security forces and has led to the death of thousands.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Nigeria is once again at crossroads. Insecurity remains the single, most difficult challenge for the country. The Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East, banditry in the North-West, violence in the South-East, kidnappings and abductions of travellers across many states all continue to fester in the land.
“In addition to these, ethnic, communal and religious conflicts are rearing their head again in many parts of the country. All of these have greatly challenged and overstretched our security forces. This has caused thousands of deaths and millions of internally displaced persons in the country over the past years,” he said.

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Osun APC Chairmen Forum Accuses Aregbesola Of Championing Crisis

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The Forum of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Party Chairmen in Osun State Local Government Council Areas has cautioned the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, to stop henceforth the disturbance of the political peace of the State.
The APC party chairmen who spoke through their chairman, Rufus Awotidoye, on Tuesday, after a meeting in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, stated that the conduct of Aregbesola constituted an obvious distraction to the administration of Governor Gboyega Oyetola.
Awotidoye disclosed that the Interior Minister’s affirmation in Ilesa last Friday “of being the brain behind the obnoxious, leprous and antagonistic pressure group within the state APC self-styled, The Osun Progressives (TOP), was unfortunate and needless.”
They praised the quick and prompt condemnation by the State chairman of the Party, Prince Gboyega Famodun, of the needless outburst of Aregbesola, stating that they were in agreement with the chairman’s timely response.
The local APC party chairmen, however, charged the governor to invoke his vast constitutional powers to deal with whoever is constituting a clog to the lawful performance of his official duties.
They warned Aregbesola to stop taking advantage of the gentle nature of the governor to foment trouble and crisis in Osun State each time he visits the State.
They reminded the Interior Minister that his ministerial appointment should be a source of blessing to the people of the State and not the other way round.
The local APC chairmen, who cautioned Aregbesola to desist from distracting Governor Oyetola from performing his statutory duties, accused him of being responsible for all the atrocities being performed against the sitting Governor and his government by the leadership of his militant political group in the state.
They asked the Interior Minister why he has chosen to be the tormentor-in-chief of Governor Oyetola when it’s on record that the governor as his Chief of Staff gave him a hundred per cent support for the eight solid years he ran the administration of the State.
The furious APC local chairmen told Aregbesola that “enough is enough, you should stop riding roughshod on the State as if Osun is a conquered territory of yours.
“There were functional politicians in the state before your foray into the political terrain of the state.
“You should stop playing God who possesses the absolute power to install governors in the State, as all powers belong to God Almighty.
“When it’s apparent that you could not allow any kind of such seditious act against your administration when you were in government, one wonders why you are doing the same to the focused administration of Governor Oyetola.”

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WHO Recommends Lifting COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged nations to lift or ease COVID-19 travel restrictions.
WHO said travel restrictions have proven to be of little public health value but detrimental to economic growth.
On January 13, the WHO Emergency Committee on International Health Regulations met via video conference to evaluate the latest developments in the pandemic situation across the world.
This is amid the spread of the Omicron strain as the meeting also sought to revisit the COVID-19 response measures.
A statement released by WHO read, “the committee identified the following actions as critical for all countries; lift or ease international traffic bans.
“They do not provide added value and continue to contribute to the economic and social stress experienced by states parties.’’
The committee also said the failure of travel restrictions to restrain the cross-border spread of Omicron has proven their inefficacy.
“Countries should rely on evidence-informed risk assessment when choosing to introduce travel requirements, namely masking, testing, vaccination, and quarantine, and avoid placing the financial burden on international travellers.
“The WHO advised for international traffic to not require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for international travel as the only pathway or condition permitting international travel given limited global access and inequitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines,” the statement said.
The WHO also urged states to recognise all vaccines that have received WHO authorisation, particularly in the context of international travel.
The agency further requested states to uphold research “to derive the optimal vaccination strategy for reducing infection, morbidity and mortality.”
WHO has also approved 10 COVID-19 vaccines, including Covovax, Moderna, Comirnaty, Janssen, AstraZeneca, Covishield, Covaxin, Sinovac and Sinopharm.
Ten more vaccines are undergoing the review process, including Russia’s Sputnik V and EpiVacCorona.

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