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THE STATES

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Abuja

There are allegation of fraudulent practices in the salary department of the National Assembly.
Quite a number of complaints have been made by many against the staff on the department which is situated at the Annex of the National is supposed to have been done by the Auditors, who would have collected 10 percent of the amount in question.

Benue

Councillors in Ogbadibo local council of Benue State are presently at dagger drawn with the council chairman for allegedly mismanaging the recently released excess crude funds.
This was coming after repeated warnings from the Benue State government to invoke necessary sanctions against local government council leadership in the state that pilfer the excess crude funds released to the councils for development purposes.
The councilors who have commenced impeachment proceeding against the council chairman, Mr. Clement Agada, are also venting their anger on the chairman for his alleged total disregard for the principles for accountability and transparency in the handling of the council’s funds.
The aggrieved councilors reached the decision after a committee set up to investigate the management of the last allocation of excess crude totaling N78 million released to the council in December discovered that the council chairman allegedly misapplied the funds.
Aside the impeachment proceedings, the local government legislative council under the leadership of Mr. Julius Ali had directed the immediate freezing of the council’s account in three commercial banks to forestall further illegal withdrawals from the affected accounts.
For now the only authorised withdrawal is for the payment of workers’ salaries to save the council workers the agony as a result of the crisis.

Ondo

The commissioner representing Ondo State in the Niger Delta Development Commission, NNDC, Mr. Benson Enikuomehin assured the people of the communities of adequate and unprecedented development and fairness to all the communities in the region.
Enikuomehin gave the assurance in Akure during a reception organised for him by leaders from Ilaje council area of the state.
According to him, the areas have suffered in the past and within the next four years some developmental projects would be inaugurated.
He said plans are on to reclaim an expanse of land in the oil rich community of Ilaje while some road projects would be awarded to link it with other towns in he hinterland.
Communities which would benefit from road projects according to him include Ugbo, Ugbonla and Mahin township roads.
Enikuomehin said the contract had been included in this years’ budget.
He lauded the governor for nominating him for the board appointment and promised to justify the confidence reposed in him.
The commissioner pointed out that the “door of NDDC is opened for anybody irrespective of political affiliations because as a Peoples Democratic Party member I was nominated by Labour Party administration in the state.”
Enikuomehin said he would not work against the interest of the governor but work with him for the Development of the Niger Delta region areas of the state.

Plateau

Teacher in Plateau State have threatened to resume their suspended strike, accusing the government on reneging on the agreement reached with them.
Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, in the state Comrade Gunshin Yarling alleged that the state government had failed to abide by the agreement reached on the 27.5 percent Teachers salary structure, TSS, and outstanding three years leave transport allowance.
He said the teachers were dissatisfied with the implementation of the agreement reached to end the over four-month strike and would not return to classes until their demands were fully met.
However, the state government in a swift reaction denied the allegation saying it had infact, started a gradual implementation of the agreement.
Commissioner for Education, Prof. Angela Miri told journalists that the NUT had been trying to resist the verification exercise which would see unqualified teachers being eased out of the system.
“Our children are suffering from the strike. The implementation of the agreement has started. I have been asking the chairman of State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, about the progress being made and she said NUT was trying to resist the verification exercise that we are going to do which is part of the agreement,” she said.
She appealed to the teachers to consider the negative effect of another strike on school children who were get to regain lost ground fro last year’s four month strike, adding that those of them with requisite qualification or evidence of having started NCE programme had nothing to fear.
The Gbony Gwon Jos, Da Gyang Buba had in October last year brokered an agreement between the state and the teachers to end the protracted crisis.

Lagos

Federal Bureau of Investigations, FBI, agents have carried their investigation of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab into Ghana, trying to piece together his time in the West African nation before he embarked on a journey that ended with his Christmas Day attempt to blow up a U.S. plane.
Abdulmutallab arrived in Lagos, Nigeria December 24 from a flight originating in Ghana. He then flew to Amsterdam where he boarded a plane bound for Detroit on Christmas.
Details are scarce because “this is a security issue,” James Agyenim-Boateng, the country’s Deputy Information Minister, told our source. He said the FBI had been in the country since last Saturday and that no arrests have been made as of yet.
Agyenim-Boateng said Abdulmutallab, upon arriving in Ghana Dec. 9 from Ethiopia, had listed one hotel where he was staying on his immigration form, but actually stayed in a different hotel.
Investigators, he said “have put that part of the puzzle together.”
Ghana, the official said, was unhappy about not having information on Abdulmutallab after his father reported the young man’s radical views on the United States and other foreign security agencies.
“Fighting terrorism is a collective responsibility of every country and it is therefore important that we share security information of this nature if we are to fight terrorism,” Agyenim-Boateng told our correspondent earlier this week.
“If we have heard this information (given to the US embassy in Nigeria) from our Nigerian counterparts, the suspect would have been subjected to a more thorough screening,” he said.
In Detroit, Abdulmutallab is due in federal court Friday for his arraignment on charges that he failed to detonate a chemical-laden explosive on the Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines flight. But with so much evidence stacked against him, experts say his defense team is left with few options as the case moves forward.
Attorneys outside the case say the 23-year-old’ s lawyers can challenge incriminating statements to the FBI, seek a mental-health exam for Abdulmutallab – and seriously consider a plea deal.
“This is not a case of mistaken identity or a whodunit. For the defense, it’s damage control,” said Joseph Niskar, a defense lawyer who was involved in a 2001 terrorism case in Detroit that fell apart for the government.
Former U.S. Attorney David Griem, who gave CBS News the government’s perspective, agrees.
“This a no-lose trial for the prosecution. .. You have a combination of two factors; One, that the crime was so horrific and, two, overwhelming evidence,” Griem told our source.

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Katsina Reopens filling Stations, Cattle Markets

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Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State has ordered the immediate reopening of all filling stations and cattle markets earlier closed as a result of cattle rustling and banditry in the state.
However, the governor urged the two emirate councils in the state to admonish district and village heads of the affected areas to be vigilant and ensure that no act of connivance by Sarakunan Fawa and others is allowed.
In a statement by Secretary to the State Government, Mustapha Muhammad Inuwa, the government warned that it would not hesitate to re-enact the closure where a resurgence of any dubious activity was noticed.
Recall that in August 2021, Masari had ordered the closure of the markets.
Regarding the closure of Kankara-Sheme Road to commercial vehicles, motorists were advised to go through Funtua.
The order said, “Only private non-commercial vehicles are to ply the road and lorries, trucks carrying firewood from the bush are totally banned.
“Suspension of sale of all animals at the markets of the following local government areas: Jibia, Batsari, Safana, Danmusa, Kankara, Malumfashi, Charanchi, Mal’adua, Kafur, Faskari, Sabuwa, Baure, Dutsinma and Kaita.
“Ban on transportation of cattle trucks from Katsina State to any other state in Nigeria.
“Total ban on carrying three persons on motorcycles and more than three passengers on a tricycle.
“Total ban on the sale of second-hand motorcycles at the Charanchi Market.
“Re-enforcement of the ban on the operation of commercial tricycles and motorcycles from 10.00 p.m to 6.00 a.m in the state capital and 6.00 p.m to 6.00 a.m in the frontline local government areas.
“Re-enforcement of the total ban on the sale of petrol in jerry cans at filling tations.
“Only two designated filling stations are allowed to sell fuel of not more than N5,000.00 to motorists in Jibia, Batsari, Safana, Danmusa, Kankara, Faskari, Sabuwa, Dandume, Musawa, Matazu, Dutsinma, Kurfi, Danja and Kafur local government areas.
“Identified essential workers (health personnel, security personnel and journalists) could use tricycles and motorcycles beyond the banned periods.”

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Supreme Court Restores GTBank’s Appeal Against Innoson Motors

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The Supreme Court has reversed its earlier decision which dismissed an appeal by Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) against a N2.4 billion judgment given in favour of Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited by the Court of Appeal in Ibadan, Oyo State.
A judgment delivered on Friday by a five-member panel, led by Justice Olukayode Ariwoola held unanimously that the Supreme Court erred when, in a ruling on February 27, 2019, it erroneously dismissed the appeal marked: SC/694/2014 filed by GTB.
In the lead judgment, written by Justice Tijani Abubakar, but read on Friday by Justice Abdu Aboki, the court held that it was misled by its Registry, which failed to promptly bring to the notice of the panel that it sat on the case on February 27, 2019, and that GTB had already filed its appellant’s brief of argument.
The judgment was on an application by GTB seeking the re-listing of the appeal on the grounds that it was wrongly dismissed.
The Supreme Court said had the panel that sat on the case on February 27, 2019, been notified of the existence of the appellant’s brief of argument, it would not have given the ruling which dismissed GTB’s appeal on grounds of lack of diligent prosecution.
Relying on Order 8 Rules 16 of the Supreme Court’s Rules, Justice Abubakar, in the lead judgment, held that the apex court has the power to set aside its decision in certain circumstances, like any other court.
He added that such circumstances include where there is any reason to do so, such as where any of the parties obtained judgment by fraud, default or deceit; where such a decision is a nullity or where it is obvious that the court was misled into giving a decision.
Justice Tijani held that the circumstances of the GTB case fall into the category of the rare cases where the Supreme Court could amend or alter its own order on the grounds that the said order or judgment did not present what it intended to record.
“I am convinced that at the material time that the appellant’s appeal was inadvertently dismissed by this court, there was in place, a valid and subsisting brief of argument filed by the applicant.
“It will be unjust to visit the sin of the court’s Registry on an innocent, vigilant, proactive and diligent litigant.
“It is obvious from the material before us, that there were errors committed by the Registry of this court, having failed to bring to the notice of the panel of Justices that sat in chambers on the 27th February 2019 that the appellant had indeed filed its brief of argument.

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Terrorists Attack Southern Borno Community

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Members of the Islamic State West Africa Province terrorist group have launched an attack on Mainahari community near Wakabiu in Biu Local Government Area of Borno State.
Reports had it that the insurgents threw bombs to the village on Saturday afternoon.
However, a source said that the insurgents were successfully repelled by men of the Nigerian Army.
“We were at the barrack when we began to hear sounds of bombs around 3:00pm this afternoon. Then we heard that they were trying to enter Mainahari Village near Wakabiu but the army were on alert and they immediately engaged the insurgents.
“There was no casualty on the side of the Nigerian Army but we are told the Army killed scores of the insurgents, seized a gun truck and many ammunition from the fleeing insurgents,” a civilian source was quoted as saying.
This trails an attack by the insurgents five days ago on the Tukur Buratai Institute for War and Peace, a research institute of the Nigerian Army University in Buratai Village, Biu Local Government Area of Borno State.
SaharaReporters had reported that the insurgents attacked the Buratai community on Monday, shooting heavy artillery.
Buratai is the country home of the immediate past Chief of Army Staff and current Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Benin, Tukur Buratai.
A military source had said the situation forced people to scamper for safety and remain indoors as the shooting continued.

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