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THE STATES

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Lagos

The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Anthony Cardinal Okogie has called on the governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola to immediately arrest the growing immorality and moral depravity in Lagos.

Okojie made the call Monday while reacting to a media report on the increase in strip clubs in parts of Lagos State, where girls danced stark naked, attracting a lot of patronage from men.

“Evil has taken over Lagos. The way things are going, when girls of between the ages of 15 and 25 dance nude and throw caution to the wind with boys and men watching them, then they are sending a strong signal to the society. It portends danger. We are sitting on a loaded gun”, said Okogie in a statement signed by the Director of Social Communications, Lagos State, Reverend Gabriel Osu.

Okogie called on Fashola to act now because the strinp clubs are on the increase, while those shut earlier have reopened with impunity and with change of name.

“I hope this is not making mockery of Lagos as mega-city, centre of Excellence and City of Aquatic Splendour,” he said.

He called for a ban on gambling in the state as well as prevent people from playing Kalokalo game, while under-aged girls should be disallowed from dancing naked in hotels.

“Parents should not allow girls who are supposed to be under their watchful eyes to patronise hotels. It is contrary to the feeling of the people of the state,” Okogie said.

According to him, the current trend amounted to a defiance of government and government, he said must do something to stem what he called the rising tide of evil sweeping across the state.

“Some VIPs are among them, some top civil servants are with them. They lured innocent girls into prostitution. We don’t want Lagos to be spoilt,” Okogie said.

Bauchi

A Bauchi High Court has restrained the State Signage and Advertisement Management Agency (BASSAM) from charging commercial banks in the state on their billboards and signages, after months of legal tussle between the 21 banks operating in the state and the agency.

Justice Haruna Tsammani of Bauchi High Court Four, ruled that the agency, established early this year to collect taxes on signages in the state, has no legal rights to do so and that the law establishing the agency was inconsistent with paragraph 1 (k)i of the 4th Schedule of the 1999 constitution and therefore unconstitutional, null and void.

Briefing newsmen after the ruling, counsel to the banks, Victor Dalbadal, said the banks believed that the agency was not the constitutional body vested with the powers to collect taxes on signages, saying it was the power of local government which the banks were paying to and had never defaulted.

It was gathered that commercial banks pay about N15,000 each to their host local government as tax on their signages before the establishment of the agency managed by a consulting firm, which demanded that they pay million of naira for the same purposes.

In January this year, all the 21 commercial banks closed their gates to customers for a day, to protest what they described as the exhorbitant and arbitrary fees being charged by BASSAM on their signages, billboards and other commercials around the state.

The agency however, declined to speak on the court rulling.

Zamfara

Zamfara State Director of State Security Services (SSS), Alhaji Mohammed Tanko Mingi, has said failure of political parties to fully co-operate with security agencies is the major reason for political thuggery in the country.

The problem, according to him, is more pronounced during election period when parties deliberately attack each other without recourse to laid down rules and regulations.

Speaking when he received executive committee members of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who visited him in Gusau yesterday, Mingi said tackling the menace of political thuggery had beenone of the greatest challenges.

Ningi said the only way security agencies in the state could effectively and efficiently work to rid the society of criminals is by getting first hand information about people of suspicious character living among members of the community.

Oyo

The Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan yesterday sacked a member of the house of representatives representing Ibadan South-West/Ibadan North-West Federal Constituency in Oyo State, Hon Folake Olunloyo Shinoldo.

The three man appellate court removed Olunloyo-Oshinowo from the lower legislative chamber on the ground of irregularity and non-compliance to election rules. INEC had declared Olunloyo Oshinowo, People Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, winner of April 21, 2007 election. Action Congress (AC) candidate at the poll Dr Idayat Adebusuyi, had headed to the tribunal to contest the election which was, however upheld at the lower tribunal until the appellate court finally upheld the prayers of the AC candidate and ordered a re-run.

The appellant, among others wanted the Appeal panel to order that Olunloyo-Oshinowo did not win the election, and that INEC and the state Resident Electoral Commissioner were biased in their declaration.

She also wanted the court to return her as the valid winner of the election, or alternatively, cancel the election and order a fresh run.

The court of Appeal panel agreed with her that the election was indeed fraught by many irregularities. Reading the lead judgment, Justice Charles Ogunbiyi, said Adebusuyi, through her counsel, had been able to convince the panel that there was wide spread irregularities in the election and that INEC did not do its job of an umpire effectively.

Ondo

Ondo State government has banned viewing of television in all government offices. The decision was contained in a circular dated October 20, 2009 and signed by the head of service directing all commissioners, chief of staff to the governor, permanent secretaries and heads of department. The ban, the circular stated, was sequel to the discovery by government that television had become a major source of distraction in office, leading to low productivity among civil servants. The government observed that the situation was so bad that some members of the public were on routine visit to offices in various ministries, department even after the close of work to watch TV.

The government also banned the use of computer system for entertainment purposes, adding that TV sets in public offices are now restricted to waiting rooms of offices of the head of service, permanent secretaries or those of similar positions.

Kogi

In his continued efforts to boost healthcare delivery in the state, the Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris has approved the immediate employment of more medical doctors, nurses and consultants to meet the desired need of the people.

The governor disclosed this in Lokoja last weekend while taking delivery of five containers of medical equipment worth millions of naira from the United States of America.

Inspecting the consignment at the state Essential Drug Warehouse in Lokoja, Governor Idris directed the state Commissioner of Health, Dr Dorcas Onumijan to ensure equitable distribution of the equipment to all the existing health institutions across the state.

 He said another five containers of same equipment that were also ordered from the US had already arrived Lagos and would soon be delivered to the state.

The governor who reiterated his commitment to the health sub-sector in view of its important role to human existence, promised to continue to provide enabling environment that would boost healthcare delivery services in the state.

Kwara

Governor Bukola Saraki of Kwara state has promised that all efforts would be put in place by the government to eradicate poliomyelitis in the state so as to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

This, he noted would go a long way in bringing healthcare delivery to the doorsteps of the rural people.

Saraki stated that at Kaima, the headquarters of Kaima local government council area of the state during the official commissioning of the newly upgraded hospital constructed at the cost of N76 million.

According to him, “poliomyelitis among the children should be totally eradicated as this would ensure steady growth, thereby accelerating the socio-economic development of the country.”

He said that the main thrust of the present administration is to provide effective and efficient healthcare delivery services to the people of the state and this would be pursued to the letter.

Abuja

The Court of Appeal, Abuja yesterday fixed November 12, for the adoption of written addresses in a suit filed by the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate in the April 14, 2007 governorship election against Martins Agbaso.

The court fixed the date after granting the two applications filed by his counsel, Patrick Ikwueto (SAN). Agbaso is appealing the judgment of a federal high court, Abuja, which struck out his suit seeking to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to announce the result of governorship election.

INEC cancelled the election which Agbaso believes he won, but INEC declared Governor Ikedi Ohakim then of Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) as the winner.

Dissatisfied with the court’s decision, Agbaso took his case to the court of Appeal whch assumed jurisdiction in the matter, after dismissing the preliminary objection filled by the respondents on February 26.

It summoned Ohakim and INEC to appear before it on the matter but the respondents appealed the verdict at the court of appeal. In its ruling delivered on September 29, Justice Dahiru Mustapha who led other justices queried the defendants for coming to court to file an appeal in a matter that had not been heard and decided to its merit.

The court, while striting out the motion, ordered an acceleration of the appeal. Yesterday, Ikwueto withdrew his motion seeking the leave of the court to appeal at the Supreme Court, which was granted.

Osun

Osun State police command yesterday said it had impounded some electoral materials allegedly smuggled into the state.

The materials included 300,000 copies of form EC 40A, Ballot Papers Account and Verification Statement. The materials according to the police investigation, did not have stamps and dates on the ballot papers account and verification statement.

State police command spokesman, ASP Clement Akinola said it was surprising to see such materials because the police was not aware of any election in the state that should warrant such movement of INEC materials.

But the driver of the Mazda Bus with registration number Osun XD 214 GNN, Mr Bonniface Ahmed, who allegedly brought in the materials claimed that they were authentic and therefore were not being smuggled into the state.

He said the contract for the materials was allegedly awarded to Jike International Investment Limited, Abuja to print for Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before its delivery in Osogbo, noting that one Chinedu’s wife was the contractor that handled the printing of the materials in Abuja.

Consequently, he said he was only asked to deliver the material to the state INEC office in Osogbo with the waybill attached to it.

Akinola said that the police should look into the matter so as to arrive at the truth behind the alleged smuggling of the materials into the state

However the state zonal director of store for INEC, Mr M. J. Oyegha confirmed that the materials belong to INEC.

He said since Osogbo is the zonal office for INEC, all INEC materials were not given police escort as required by the law, he said only sensitive INEC materials are usually accorded such escorts.

Oyegha stressed that materials form INEC headquarters to any of its zonal offices across the country may come without prior notice as it applies to the case in question.

Reacting to the development, the director of Research and Strategy of Action  Congress (AC) in the state, Mr Sunday Akere said the materials are the ones that are likely to be tendered in the on-going retrial case of Governor Olagunsoye Oyimlola.

He observed that his party is about to conclude its case before the justice Garba Alli-led tribunal in due course while the PDP will soon open its own defence.

However, the Osun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday chided the Action Congress (AC) in the state for raising false alarm.

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Group Urges Police To Apologise To Protesters

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The Alliance on Surviving Covid-19 and Beyond (ASCAB), has asked the Nigeria Police to apologise for violating the fundamental right of the protesters to freedom of expression.
A statement by the human rights group yesterday, by its Interim Chair, Femi Falana (SAN), also accused the police of deliberately contravening Section 83 (4) of the Police Establishment Act 2020. 
The section provides that “Where a person or organization notifies the police of his or its intention to hold a public meeting, rally or procession on a public highway or such meetings in a place where the public has access to, the police officer responsible for the area where the meeting rally or procession will take place shall mobilize personnel to provide security cover for the meeting, rally or the procession.”
The group noted that Section 36 of the Constitution guarantees the fundamental right of the Nigerian people to freedom of expression including the right to protest against policies of the government. 
Many Nigerians in many states across the country trooped out on Saturday, June 12 to mark the day– Democracy Day – with protests against bad governance. 
The protesters chanted ‘Buhari must go’ in apparent dissatisfaction with the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government that has seen security, economy, youth employment rate and some other sectors and indices worsen. 
However, there were arrests and harassment of peaceful protesters by the policex particularly in Abuja, Lagos and Cross River. 
The group in the statement said, “For having the audacity to insist on their fundamental right to protest against unpopular policies of governments, teams of armed police personnel fired teargas to disperse the peaceful rallies. As if the unprovoked attack was not enough, the Police brutalised and arrested scores of protesters in Lagos, Abuja and Calabar (Cross River State capital). 
“Since the protesters who were arrested during the peaceful rallies did not commit any offence, they have since regained their liberty. But the police authorities ought to apologise for violating the fundamental right of the protesters to freedom of expression.
“More so that the Police had deliberately contravened Section 83 (4) of the Police Establishment Act 2020 which provides that ‘Where a person or organization notifies the police of his or its intention to hold a public meeting, rally or procession on a public highway or such meetings in a place where the public has access to, the police officer responsible for the area where the meeting rally or procession will take place shall mobilise personnel to provide security cover for the meeting, rally or the procession.’
“While commending the protesters for conducting the themselves in a matured and peaceful manner, we condemn the official lie that the protesters were teargassed to prevent hoodlums and miscreants from hijacking the peaceful rallies. Since the Police admitted that protesters committed no offence whatsoever why were some of them arrested? Why were the so-called hoodlums and miscreants who wanted to cause mayhem and unleash violence on the protesters not arrested? 
“Or were they treated like sacred cows because they had been hired to disrupt the peaceful rallies of the protesters? Why were the scanty pro-government protesters who were reported to have fought openly in Abuja over their booty not arrested for breach of the peace in the Federal Capital Territory?

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‘MKO Most Acceptable Nigerian Democrat’

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Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, has described the late Chief Moshood Abiola, widely believed to have won the June 12, 1993 presidential poll, as “the most acceptable democrat cherished by Nigerians”.
Mohammed said this in Gamawa Local Government Area (LGA) of the state during the distribution of empowerment items to youths and women under the Kaura Economic Empowerment Programme (KEEP).
He said the empowerment scheme historic as it coincided with Democracy Day which he described as an unforgettable day in the history of Nigeria.
The governor, who was full of praises for the late business mogul, said Abiola provided the country with a lot of empowerment programmes without considering the tribe, language and geographical location of the beneficiaries.
“Our launching of this empowerment programne today is historic and passionate; we remember today is democracy day and we decided to do it on this day.
“This is because Chief Moshood Abiola, who we are celebrating, empowered several people.
“He did that across board without considering the religion, language and origin of those that benefited from the gestures.
“Abiola will remain in our memory as the most acceptable democrat or politician in Nigeria.
“We all voted for him and that is why myself, my deputy and the government decided honour to him this day by coming to Gamawa and Zaki to empower the people,” he said.
Mohammed noted that democracy day meant remembering people who had empowered the masses, adding that the late Abiola was in that category.
The gesture, he said, was also to show appreciation to the people who brought his administration to power, adding that his government had a lot to offer to the people.

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Buhari, Bello Greet Abubakar At 79

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President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated former Head of State, retired Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, on his 79th birthday, joining family members and friends to celebrate with the iconic leader.
The president’s congratulatory message is contained in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja yesterday.
Buhari noted that Abubakar’s legacy of setting the country on the path of democracy and good governance, and passionate pursuit of peace had continued to yield results.
He congratulated the General for another age, appreciating his patriotism and visionary leadership style of always advocating unity, projecting maturity and wisdom on national discourse, and providing a rallying point for the future of the country.
The president noted the goodwill that the former Head of State had continued to attract to the country, both at national and international levels.
He particularly lauded him for sacrificing his time and resources to reach out to individuals and institutions on the need to work for the growth of Nigeria.
Buhari prayed for increase in wisdom, strength and long life for the former military leader that midwifed return of democracy to the country in 1999.
Similarly, Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger has felicitated former Military Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd), on his 79th birthday.
Sani-Bello, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mrs Mary Noel-Berje, last Saturday in Minna eulogised Abubakar and described him as a “complete gentleman”.
According to him, the former head of state is a patriot who has remained “consistent and significant” in the progress and development of the country.
He said Niger and the country were indeed lucky to have an outstanding leader and statesman who had consistently remained on the path of promoting national unity and integration, as well as pursuit of global peace.
“Undoubtedly, your resolve to rededicate yourself to the service of our fatherland and humanity in general is a clear testimony of your statesmanship and influence which cuts across the length and breadth of the country,” Sani-Bello said.
He noted that at 79 years, Abdulsalami had remained a reference point for good governance, diplomacy and conflict resolution.
He prayed Allah to grant him sound health, many more years of wisdom, courage and determination to continue to offer selfless service to the nation and humanity.

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