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THE STATES

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Katsina

Katsina State Governor, Ibrahim Shema has called for the establishment of many cottage industries for the country’s development.

He said this while receiving the Director-General of Development Association of Nigeria Small and Medium Enterprises SMEDAN, Alhaji Nadade Umar in his office in Katisna recently.

Governor Shema said the state has some progress because it harnessed its mineral resources properly in the past two years of administration.

He said the state can boast of 28 mineral resources on its soil and two of such natural resources had been utilised to set up cottage industries in all the local government council’s areas of the state.

He cited the chalk and paint cottage industries in some local councils of the state while claiming that youths engaged in the venture had realised over N26 million.

The governor told SMEDAN officials that there was need to eradicate poverty in the country.

He said to discourage the importation of fertiliser for farming in the state, four fertiliser plants were set up by his administration, noting that 25 youths were employed in the plant.

He called on SMEDAN to devise means whereby members of the public would know their existence.

Responding the SMEDAN boss, Alhaji Umar Nadade said his organisation has a policy whereby each of the geopolitical zones would be self accounting and be able to grant loan to the people to establish their own small scale industries in their areas.

Kwara

Tragedy struck at the weekend in the sleepy boarder town of Bukuro, Baruten local council, Kwara State, where 50 people, including school pupils, were feared killed when two canoes capsized on Nano River.

The victims were heading home at Bukuro after the day’s business and schooling in neighbouring Yarawodo village, Benin Pepublic. Eighty passanegers were reportedly on board the two canoes, which capsized midstream.

A visibly disturbed Emir of Gwanara in the Garaten Local Council, Alhaji Sabi Idris, described the incident as the worst in the history of Gwanara District.

The royal father, who sympathised with the victims’ families, made a passionate appeal to the federal government to provide infrastructure at border towns like those in Buruten council, which he said had been neglected.

He noted that the incident would have been averted if the federal government had provided Bukuro with a good road network and electricity to boost economic activities in the area as this would have discouraged the people from crossing over to Benin Republic to do business or school there.

Village head of Bukuro, Mallam Isa Aliyu, lamented that this village with a population of about 20,000 could only boast of three teachers in its only primary school.

He said the situation forced parents and guardians to enroll their children and wards in schools across the border in Benin Republic.

Education secretary, Barutun local council, Umaru Zango, disclosed that about 55 school pupils were on board the ill-fated canoes.

Zango asked the Kwara state government to provide more teachers for the Bukuro primary school to reduce the number of the state’s pupils attending primary schools in Benin Republic.

About 30 bodies have been recovered while 35 passengers survived the mishap. The people of Baruten and Yaworodo share many things in common with children and adults from both settlements crossing over on a daily basis for schooling as well as business activities.

Abuja

Justice Salisa Garba of the FCT High Court, Maitama, Abuja, on Thursday, adjourned till December 15, for the taking of plea in the 229 amended charges filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), against the suspended chairman of the Nigeria Electrity Regulatory Commission, NERC, Dr Ransome Owan and six commissioners of the agency.

The commissioners are Mallam Abdulrahman Ado, Professor Onwuamaeze Uoeje, Dr Abdurazaq Alimi, Engr Mohammed Bunu, Engr Abinbola Odubiyi and Dr Grace Eyoma.

Counsel to EFCC, Godwin Obla, said the amended charges were as a result of fresh evidence available to the commission. When the matter came up, council to the fourth acused person, Barrister O. Owa, argued that his client could not take his plea because he was only served the amended charge this morning, and when there is a dispute as to issue of service, it cannot be resolved by conflicting words of counsel, it must be resolved by production of proof of service,” Owa told the court.

After listening to the submission of the prosecuting and defence counsel, Garba adjourned the case to enable the 5th accused person study the amended charge before taking his plea. Owan and the six commissioners were first arraigned by the EFCC on April 22, before the FCT High Court, Abuja on a 196 count charge.

Makurdi

Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State has disclosed that the Tactial Air Command (TAC), Makurdi will soon come alive after close to two decades of lull because the Nigerian Airforce (NAF) has acquired 15 fighter-jets to domicile at the military facility.

Suswam, who spoke in Makurdi at the weekend while playing host to the Commandant of the AirForce Institute of Technology, said he received the cheering news from the Air Officer commanding the Tactical air command, Makurdi.

He announced that the Airforce had approached him to assist in re-surfacing the runway of the Markurdi military Airport, which he agreed to carryout because there was every need to return the military facility to its days of glory.

Damaturu

In response to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) earlier warnings on possible drought and rising food prices in 11 Northern states the Yobe state government weekend approved the release to N195 million for the procurement and distribution of 1,500 metric tones of grains.

The intervention was to cushion the effects of drought in the state, as farmers in the northern part of the state may experience crop failures, due to lack of rain. Approving the fund, Governor Ibrahim Gaidan at the recent council meeting in Damaturu, said that to avert famine and other devastating effects of drought, the state government would procure 1,500 metric tones of assorted grains with N195 million.

Lagos

Lagos State Ministry in collaboration with Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) will on today and Friday hold an awareness workshop, entitled, “Safety of Highway Cleaners, Responsibilities For All,” at Adeyemi Bero Audiotorium, Secretariat Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos by 10.00am.

The managing director, LAWMA, Mr Ola Oresanya, said the workshop was “aimed at enlightening the streets sweepers on safety health in waste management, how to avoid accidents, understanding the environment and to also educate and sensitise the public, particularly motorists, on their responsibilities towards the sweepers.”

Ondo

Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko has approved the release of N5 million for the establishment of a Basic Health Centre at Igbokoda in Ilaje Local Council to immortalise the late Dr (Mrs) Agbeke Adebisi Ehinlanwo.

Mrs Ehinlanwo (63) who died on August 1, 2009 was buried at the weekend at Igbokoda, the country home of her husband, Senator Hosea Ehinlanwo. Mimiko who was accompanied by is wife, Olukemi and top government functionaries commiserated with the families of the deceased, saying that establishment of the health centre is part of the state government’s intention to immortalise the deceased.

The governor who spoke at the reception held for the late Mrs Ehinlanow at Igbokoda prayed for the repose of the soul of the deceased and that God may give her family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

He enjoined all residents of the state to intensify their prayers to God for peace, tranquility and prosperity.

Mimiko, however, reiterated his determination to make the state the best administered in Nigeria where equity, justice and fairness shall be the driving forces of government’s action.

He said the present administration would mobilise the citizenry to harness God-given resources and create wealth for collective fulfillment with peaceful cohabitation in an environment of transparent and honest leadership.

Minna

The stepping aside slogan of former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, on Saturday in Minna came under a severe attack by the Niger State governor, Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu, saying that those who talk about stepping aside, nurse the ambition of coming back to power.

He called on writers in the country to use their skills to install good leadership in Nigeria. It will be recalled that Gen. Babangida had, shortly after the annulment of June 12 presidential elections in 1996, told Nigerians that he was stepping aside after eight years in power as a military head of state.

But Governor Aliyu, while declaring open the 28th annual International Convention of Nigerian Authors at the UK Bello Art Theatre in Minna at the weekend insisted tha it is only those who nurse the ambition of having a second shot power that talk about stepping aside.”

The governor was reacting to a remark by the master of ceremony (MC) at the convention that the out-going president of ANA was stepping aside after four years in office, and the governor while declaring the convention open, said Niger State will not entertain “stepping aside” leaders.

He urged Nigerians not to allow those he described as charlatans to occupy the position of leadership, stressing that writers should strive towards using their creative writing to mobilise the people to reject bad leadership in the country.

The governor told Nigerian authors that as men and women of wisdom, they should not abandon the politics of sycophants and charlatans, saying that “you must join the fold now in order to give direction to the serious endeavour of the politics.”

We should not give leadership to those who desperately want it. Many of these selfish politicians have noting to offer and should, therefore, not be considered.” Governor Aliyu said.

He argued that Africa and indeed Nigeria have suffered the brunt of bad leadership, which is responsible for the current high level of under-development and backwardness.

He, therefore, advocated value re-orientation as an imperative if the country must get out of the trap of poverty and indeed catch up with the rest of the world.

He challenged the authors not just to write about the failures of leadership in Nigeria alone, pointing out that “they cannot continue to write to condemn the system and refuse to participate in correcting the ills. Writers must leave their comfort zones and act now, by participating more actively in partisan politics.

Earlier, in a speech, the out-joining President of ANA, Dr Wale Adediran, took stock of the association’s achievements under him in the past four years, saying that ANA has made government more responsive to the needs of the writers in the country.

Adediran pointed out that contrary to the claims of those who think that a synergy between government and writers is detrimental to their course, the association has been able to, through its relationship with the government, erased that long and wrongly held belief that writers and government are enemies.

Osun

Action Congress Senatorial candidate in the forthcoming Osun East elections re-run, Hon Babajide Omoworare last weekend called on the Nigeria Police to arrest and prosecute persons identified as election fraudsters and riggers during proceedings of the court of appeal, Ibadan.

He said that allowing such persons to roam freely would enable them to perpetrate the malpractices once again and nullify the honest intentions of the court of appeal for free and fair polls.

In a statement entitled, “You, The Voters Are The Winners”, Hon. Omoworare said, the court of appeal ruled that the election malpractices invalidated the polls based on the facts and figures presented in the petitioner’s case and these include names of persons who criminally subverted the will of the people.

He said, “At this juncture in our electoral history when we clamour for electoral reforms that would ensure one man one vote and that each vote counts, I want to support the proposition that we establish an electoral offences court to bring to trial and justice, individuals, security operatives, staffers of the electoral commission etc, who perpetrate electoral malpractices. It is a matter of historic record that we identified such persons in our petition. Now that the malpractices committed by them have been established, the logical consequence is for the Nigeria Police to initiate their prosecution without further delay.

Our struggle for violence-free polls would record a progressive advance if the court, relying on evidence admitted in the course of this case, can try them and if found culpable, convict and put them where they truly belong.”

Omoworare, whose petition led to last week’s removal of Otunba Iyiola Omisore from the Senate also urged the government to ask Omisore to return the public funds he acquired as a fake Senator since the Appeal Court had shown that he was never elected to the position he fraudulently occupied.

“It is unfortunate that my party will be contesting the election again with those we identified as election riggers; free to roam the constituency on election day. The financial resources of the people once again will be spend against their wishes on electoral day by those that they did not initially vote for who have acquired illegitimate wealth in government by being in government fraudulently. The re-run elections in Ekiti state are still fresh in our memory” he said.

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Of 1,561 Candidates, 880 Graduate From Law School-DG

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The Nigerian Law School says out of the 1, 561 candidates who sat for the December examination, 880 passed.
The Director-General of the School, Prof. Isa Ciroma, SAN, made this known yesterday in Abuja, while presenting the new wigs to the Body of Benchers at the 2020 Call to the Bar ceremony.
“Four others were from previous Bar examination,’’ he said, adding that the new wigs had met all the required and set conditions by the Council of Legal Education.
“I am happy to affirm that they all have exhibited good manners and decorum during their training.
“They have also been groomed in the best ethics and ethos of our noble profession.
“The screening committee of our distinguished body carefully perused the records of each of the aspirants and found them worthy to be presented for the Call to the Nigerian Bar.’’
Ciroma said that the school had begun a special remedial course for students from the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
“The programme began on June 28, at the Nigerian Law School Headquarters, Bwari, Abuja. We thank all distinguished members of the Body of Benchers, for their support,’’ he said.
The Chairman, Body of Benchers, Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, congratulated the new wigs and charged them to adhere to the provision of rules regarding the profession at all times.
“As a lawyer, you are an officer of the court and accordingly, you are not to do any act or conduct yourselves in a manner that will obstruct or adversely affect the course of justice.
“The practice of Law is not a right but a privilege. It is a privilege that can be lost should you fail to live up to the requisite professional standards imposed upon you by virtue of your entry into the community of lawyers.
“You must, therefore, strictly adhere to the provisions of the Rules of the Professional Conduct and maintain best practices at all times.’’
He stressed that the Body of Benchers Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee was always determined to discipline any lawyer found wanting or breaching set rules of the profession.
Rhodes-Vivour said that the committee had been carrying out its mandate “in a just and fair manner’’ without giving any room for compromise or ill-will.
He said that between January and July, the committee disbarred six lawyers and suspended some for between two and four years, while one lawyer was admonished during the period.
Rhodes-Vivour advised the graduates to continue to update their knowledge on both statute and case law in order to attain more understanding on especially, international jurisdictions.
In 2020, the Council of Legal Education said that out of a total of 2,515 students who participated in the examinations, 1,864 passed the Bar Final Examinations conducted in January.
The director-general who described the performance as outstanding, said that among the 1, 864 students who were successful, only five made First Class while 632 others failed the examinations.
“Candidates graded in First Class are five, Second Class Upper 77, Second Class Lower are 633, those who got pass marks are 1,067 and those with Conditional Pass are 82.
“632 candidates failed the examination, 17 were absent and 2 results are withheld.”
Chiroma further explained that only 0.2 per cent made First Class, 3.06 per cent made Second Class Upper, 25.17 per cent made Second Class Lower and 42.42 per cent passed.
He said other performances include a 3.26 per cent for those with conditional pass, 25.12 per cent failed the examinations, 0.7 per cent were absent and 0.8 per cent results are being withheld.

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NGO Trains 300 Returning Migrants On Business Development

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Web of Heart Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation, says it has trained and empowered more than 300 returning migrants, youths and internally displaced persons on job creation.
Its Executive Director, Mrs Bose Aggrey, made the declaration yesterday in Lagos at the graduation of its “Create and Start Module’’ trainees.
The graduating trainees were awarded certificates and given grants facilitated by some investors and soft loans from banks after six months of training to identify and analyse business ideas and opportunities.
“We taught them how to articulate their business ideas into plans; introduced them to investors and equally assisted them to get bank loans.
“It is an opportunity for the participants to put themselves together either to get employed or to become employers,’’ she said.
“We introduced investors to the participants when they were pitching and some of them are already getting grants.
“We are working with two banks so they can provide soft loans at low interest rates for the participants,’’ she added.
In his remarks, Mr Peik Bruhns, Team Leader of the firm of consultants that conducted the training, said the company had reached out to train 5,000 Nigerians on Micro, Small and Medium scale Enterprises in six months
He said this was done in collaboration with nine organisations, including Web of Heart Foundation.
“I will like to stress the importance of working with returnee migrants because Web of Heart Foundation focuses on assisting them to reintegrate into society.

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Zamfara Police Refute Kidnap Of 60 Passengers Rumour

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The Zamfara State Police Command has refuted a story that 60 passengers travelling along Sokoto – Gusau road on Sunday, July 25, were kidnapped by bandits.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mohammed Shehu, in a statement, yesterday, said the story was inaccurate and a calculated attempt by some mischief makers to create fear and apprehension into the minds of the general public, especially the commuters.
“The attention of Zamfara State Police Command has been drawn to a story trending on social and conventional media that armed bandits blocked Sokoto – Gusau Road, and abducted 60 people travelling from Sokoto to Abuja.”
The statement said, “For the avoidance of doubt and purpose of clarity, the command was informed that a large number of armed bandits blocked a Toyota bus vehicle, belonging to the Sokoto State Mass Transit and abducted 11 passengers who were travelling from Sokoto – Abuja along Sokoto – the accurate report of the incident. On Sunday, July 25, 2021, Gusau Road in Bakura LGA.”
According to the statement, the Police Tactical operatives attached to Operation Restore Peace were alerted, and they quickly mobilized to the location and dislodged the hoodlums who blocked many vehicles for abduction, adding that the road was instantly cleared for motorists and other road users and reinforced more police operatives to improve the security and safety of the commuters.
The statement noted that in the course of mopping up the scene, a Toyota bus vehicle belonging to Sokoto State Mass Transit was sighted empty and it was revealed that 11 passengers, including the driver were abducted and taken to the bush before the arrival of the police.
It said the operatives further embarked on search and rescue operation in the surrounding bush with a view to rescuing the kidnapped victims, stressing that two persons who were left far behind with other hoodlums were abandoned by their captors for fear of being neutralised by the Police operatives, the remaining nine victims were taken to the forest.

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