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THE STATES

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As the global economic meltdown continues to put soco-economic growth of nations in reverse gear and unleash hardship on their citizens, especially in developing countries like Nigeria, a religious leader has provided a recipe. He has called on Christians to give to God what will attract a “Thank you” from Him, pointing out that when God says “thank you, nothing can stop your prosperity and nobody can harm you”. The Archbishop of Christ Healing Church of Nigeria (CHCN), His Grace, Most Rev (Dr) Benjamin A. Obomanu (JP) stated this Sunday at the 2009 Adult Thanksgiving Service of St. Nelson’s Church, Ikot Abasi in Akwa Akwa Ibom State. Obomanu who is also the Bishop of the Port Harcourt/Ikot Abasi Diocese of CHCN in his sermon on the theme: “I will not sacrifice to God burnt offering that costs me nothing”, said harvest is a period that the relationship of a Christians with God is put to test by what he offers to his creator for the great benefits he/she had received from His hands. According to the Prelate, many Christians make themselves their own enemies, as according to him God’s blessings can only be received through giving from the heart. “When God becomes your friend because of your giving, no one can be your enemy. The man of God urged Christians to joyfully thank God for all He has done for them in order to attract more blessings. Abuja The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Friday night arrested and detained the sacked Group Managing Director of Spring Bank, Mr. Charles Ojo, over alleged insider abuse, while the boss of the Commission’s spokesperson, Mr. Femi Babafemi, confirmed the arrest. The commission is also set to declare the sacked Group Managing Director of Equitorial Trust Bank, Mr. Ike Oraekwuotu, wanted if he did not give himself up for arrest. He did not give any ultimatum. He is said to be in hiding since his removal by the Central Bank of Nigeria over alleged unethical handling of the bank while in charge. Mr.Francis Atuche, under whose headship the Bank PHB failed the apex bank stress test ,had been taken in by the commission last Friday. Also arrested same day was the highest individual debtor in the country, sacked Managing Director of Falcon Securities, Mr. Peter Ololo. Ojo was reportedly arrested at 11.30 pm Friday night at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos. The commission’s operatives were said to have trailed him from Abuja, where he boarded a late night flight, to Lagos and was reportedly picked while trying to use the cover of night to sneak out. The commission had put all the three sacked bank chiefs on security surveillance since they were removed by the apex bank penultimate week. The audit report of the apex bank was said to have indicted them for alleged insider abuse. It was learnt that the commission would start with the arrest of the trio and move against other members of the management teams of the three banks after interrogating the sacked bank bosses. Our source was informed that their interrogation would determine those to be picked among other members of the management teams and those to be left off the hook. The trio had reportedly ignored the directive of the commission to submit themselves to it and had to go after them when it became clear that they did not want to honour the commission’s invitation. The homes of Atuche and Ololo in Lagos were searched by the commission’s operatives after their arrest. It could not be confirmed as of press time if the same treatment was meted out to Ojo. The Chairman of the commission, Mrs Farida Waziri ,last Thursday stormed Lagos with 80 operatives for the arrest of the sacked management teams of three of the five banks that failed the recent Central Bank of Nigeria {CBN} stress test and the recovery of over N1 trillion non-performing loans owed ten troubled banks by top Nigerian businessmen, oil companies and stockbrokers. The first five banks that failed the apex bank’s stress test included Oceanic Bank, Intercontinental Bank, Finbank, Afri Bank and Union Bank, while the last five are Bank PHB, Spring Bank, Unity Bank, Equitorial Trust Bank and Wema Bank. Only Wema and Unity Banks’ management teams were spared. According to CBN, debtors of non-performing loans included Nigeria’s Ambassador to South Africa, Gen. Buba Marwa, scion of the late M.K.O Abiola’s dynasty, Kola, the deported Vaswani brothers , billionaire businessmen, Femi Otedola and Aliko Dangote, Professor Pat Utomi, Otunba Oyewole Fasawe, Chief Cletus Ibeto of Ibeto Cement, among others. Ondo Following the uproar at the Ondo State House of Assembly over the delay in the swearing in of a lawmaker-elect, Hon. Adeniyi Akindele of Labour Party (LP), the assembly as adjourned its sitting indefinitely. Addressing reporters at the weekend in Akure, the state capital the Chairman, House Committee On Information, Orientation and Mobilisation, Hon. Kele Bolodeoku and his counterpart on the Public Account Committee, Hon. Niyi Adebusuyi, said the adjournment was due to insecurity at the assembly. The four of their colleagues, who were injured by suspected thugs on Thursday at the assembly’s premises, are responding to treatment at undisclosed hospitals. Bolodeoku said there was no way the House could sit in an unsecured environment. He urged Governor Olusegu Miniko to ensure that the security and property is guaranteed. Regretting the inability of the house of searing in the Hon. Adeniyi Akindele, who got his certificate of return last week, Bolodeoku said the assembly was constrained by the pending suit challenging Akindele’s election. He said the lawmakers will resume as soon as security there is guranteed. Ekiti The Ekiti State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Ado-Ekiti, has rejected two documents a witness sought to tender in favour of governor Segun Oni. It was at the resumed hearing of the petition filled by Action Congress (AC) governorship candidate Dr. Kayo Fayemi against Oni’s declaration as winner of the April 25 governorship rerun election. Omodan Afolabi sought to tender as exhibits his AC membership card and tag as party agent during the election. Afolabi, who claimed to have acted as a party agent for AC at Ipoti ward B Ijero Local Government Area of the state, urged the tribunal to admit the documents-his party membership card and party agent tao, as exhibits. The ruling, which threw out the two documents, was delivered shortly before the continuation of Oni’s defence of his election. Fayemi is challenging the results declared by the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) in six wards of Ipoti A, Ipoti B in Ijero Local Government Area and Ifaki I, Ifaki II Orin/Ora and Usi in Ido/Osi Local Government Area. The Tribunal Chairman, Justice Hamma Barka, had in a short ruling after counsel announced their appearances rejected the two documents. He said they were not pleaded. Justice Barka upheld the objection of the counsel to the petitioners. Ibadan Unknown gunmen attacked the Ibadan, Oyo State Polytechnic Rector, Prof Moshood Nassar and other members of the institute Wednesday. The team was said to be returning from a visit from Eruna Compus before heading to Saki Satellite for an inspection tour when it was attacked by the hoodlums and the Rector was shot in the arm. At this point, the policeman simply identified as Hassan, was said to have shot one of the robbers who suddenly jumped on the road to stop the convoy. However, other members of the gang emerged from their hideout and ordered all those on the convoy to prostrate on the road, fired several shots on the policeman who died on the spot. It was said, to be a neigbouring community, Maya’s market day. The robbers had earlier robbed some other people before they got there, the police boss Baba Adisa Bolata confirmed the incident. Ogbomoso Ogbons, Christopher Chinwero, a corps member serving in Ogbomoso, Oyo State has reached out to over 2,500 persons aged 50 years and above through a community project to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. He organised two sessions in September and October at the Baptist Medical Centre, Ogbomoso during which health professionals attended to the needs of the elderly. The programme was a huge success, those in attendance included elderly persons, NYSC officials, traditional rulers of the indigenous community as well as representatives of pharmaceutical companies. Through this project, the participants were privileged to receive low-dose aspirin (Vasoprin, 75mg) courtesy of Juttel Nigeria Ltd. By this, Ogbons, a graduate of pharmacy from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), hopes to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke using the wonder drug vasoprin 75mg. He, and his partners also equipped the participants with the knowledge of risk factors for some common cardiovascalar diseases such as heart attack, stroke, hypertension and congestive heart failure. Oyo Doctors at the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan, Oyo State, Wednesday suspended their three-day old strike. The stroke was called off following a negotiation with the hospital’s management. The negotiation began last Tuesday. The UCH branch of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) had embarked on strike last Monday, following a resolution at a congress last weekend. Association of Resident doctors (ARD) secretary, Dr Sunday Ekanem, said the decision to suspend the strike was reached at a congress held Wednesday. Bauchi A former student of the department of Science Laboratory Technology of Federal Polytechnic, Offa (FEDPOFFA) Kwara State, Mr Akinyemi Rotimi Olowookere, has been given automatic employment by the Bauchi State Government for his diligence and exemplary conduct during the 2007/2008 National Youth Service (NYSC) year. Apart from working diligently in his place of primary assignment at the Government College (special), Azare, Olowookere rallied, through proposals, 25 national and international organisations to support his project for the secondary school, and was able to build a community development centre, which was rated the best in the state in Azare as his Community Development (CD) project. Kwara Four nominees have been sent to State House of Assembly by the Kwara state Governor Bukola Savaki for confirmation as commissioners. However, he is seeking approval of the lawmakers to appoint three special advisers. At this point, the commissioner nominees are Abdulaaniya Dele, Ladi Hassan, Abubakar Kannike and AbdulRaaf Shittu. Three of the nominees Hassan, Shittu and Kannike were holding various positions. Hassann was Chief of Staff Government House, Shittu, Special Adviser on Infrastructure, and Kannike, Special Assistant on Agriculture.

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FG Vows To Check Modern Day Slavery

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The Federal Government says it plans to check modern day slavery through awareness creation activities on the effects of illegal immigration, child labour, sexual abuse and other vices.
Director, International Cultural Relations, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Mrs Memunat Idu-Lah, stated this in an interview with The Tide source in Abuja yesterday.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), designated August 23 each year as the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, and Nigeria is preparing to join other member countries to commemorate the day.
Idu-Lah said the ministry in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders would use the celebration to showcase the experience of victims of trafficking, to educate Nigerians on the tricks of potential traffickers.
She said: “We are looking at the effect of this slave trade on Africans and the effects of what we termed as modern day slavery.
“We have learnt in history about how people are enslaved; now we can see how people are being trafficked.
“There is illegal immigration where people are moving to locations they are not sure of their means of livelihood.  Many of them die in transit, all those vices, child labour, sexual abuse, all sorts of things that are going on.
“We want to see how we can use this celebration to also reach out to people to create awareness, let them know that these things people are doing are another forms of slavery.
“And it means we are not yet out of slavery, as of those of us who went to school and study history, we learnt of Trans-Atlantic slave trade.
“We should be able to look at what is happening now and correct these modern day slavery.”
According to her, this is because generations to come will sit down and read what we did during our own time.
“It will be bad if we as educated as we are, cannot check this modern day slavery that is going on.
“One of the ways of checking it is through awareness because a lot of people don’t even know when they are being lured to be trafficked, they don’t know.
“Through this celebration, we can reach out; we might be having people who have experienced it,
“They will come out to tell people their experiences and alert people on the kind of languages traffickers use, how they lure them.
“People will get to know that when somebody comes and says those kinds of things they will know that this is a possible trafficker,” Idu-Lah said.

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Imo Police Resist Armed Bandits’ Attack

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The Operation Restore Peace team of the Imo State Police Command has repelled armed bandits attack at Njaba town in the Njaba Local Government Area of the state.
The Imo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abutu Yaro disclosed this in a statement issued by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, CSP Michael Abatham at the weekend.
According to him, the convoy of bandits was moving towards Njaba town to launch an attack but were intercepted by Operation Restore Peace team of the Nigeria Police , Imo State Command . 
The Commissioner explained that during a fire fight which ensured immediately, one of their operational vehicles was de-mobilised and two of them neutralised while the remaining ones scampered into the bush.
According to the Commissioner, one Ak 47 rifle was recovered with ten rounds of live ammunition and a locally made double barrel pistol with two expended cartridges.
The Police boss stated that the team detonated an Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) into the parking lots of a nearby Njaba Police Station causing minimal damage. 
 Mr. Yaro said that cordon and pursuant exercise is on going  in the area while advising members of the public residing in the area not to panic as the ongoing Police clearance operation is designed to root out violent criminals in that axis.
He appealed to them to avail Police information of  persons seen treating  bullet wounds or hiding within the community.

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NDLEA Intercepts 35 Wraps Of Cocaine, Drugs En Route Italy, Turkey

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), says it has recovered 35 wraps of cocaine from a lady passenger at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos.
NDLEA’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi, disclosed this in a statement made available to The Tide source yesterday in Abuja.
Babafemi said that the suspect, Okafor Ebere Edith was arrested on July 31, during the outward clearance of passengers on Air Cotevoire bound to Monrovia Liberia.
He said the suspect, who tucked pellet of cocaine in her underwear to beat security checks at the airport, was however picked up for search.
This, he said, included questioning during which the wraps of the illicit drug were found on her.
“During preliminary interview, the suspect claimed that the desire to make money pushed her into drug trafficking,” he said.
Babafemi said the operatives arrested another suspect, Echendu Jerry Maduakolam, an intending male passenger going to Istanbul, at Gate A Departure hall of the MMIA on July 27.
He said the suspect was arrested during outward clearance of Egypt Airline bound to Turkey in possession of 78grams of Cannabis mixed with dried bitter leaf.
“On the same day another intending male passenger, Egbon Osarodion going to Milan, Italy was arrested at the airport’s Gate A Departure hall.
“This was also during outward clearance of passengers on Egypt Airlines with different quantities of 225mg Tramadol and Rohypnol concealed in foil papers wrapped in a polyethylene bag,” he said.
Babafemi disclosed further that NDLEA operatives, Kontagora Area Command, Niger State, raided a warehouse at Mailefe village in Kontagora Local Government Area of the state.
The spokesman said the operation was carried out on July 29, at a warehouse where suspected drug supplies for bandits operating in parts of the state were stored.

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