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Adamawa

The ongoing strike by civil servants in Adamawa has paralysed activities at the courts, schools, hospitals and other public institutions in the Mubi Local Government Area for the second day.

The Tide’s source, reports that the civil servants embarked on an indefinite strike on Monday following a disagreement with the state government over wages and improved working conditions.

The source who visited key government offices and schools reports that armed security personnel had been deployed to protect the property there.

At the Mubi North Local Government Secretariat, the main entrance was closed by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC)officials who were going round to enforce compliance with the strike directive.

Bauchi

Dr Ignatius Kaigama, the Archbishop of Catholic Diocese of Jos, has enjoined priests to serve as models and lead people to Christ.

He made the call in Bauchi during the ordination of five priests at St. John’s Cathedral Church, Bauchi at the weekend.

The cleric told the newly ordained priests that they were called to be like Jesus Christ, hence the need to emulate him in all spheres of life.

The Archbishop also told them to preach the word of God to the poor and those hungry for the word of God.

Kaigama said they were expected to offer sacrifice to God and forgiveness of sins as well as offer bread and wine to Christ.

“You are also to reconcile people who have gone far away from God and bring peace of Christ to the injured families and ethnic groups.

“As priests of God, you are to offer forgiveness of sins on behalf of Jesus Christ, you should be a bridge through which people will pass to God,’’ he said.

Kaigama told them that for them to be able to perform their duties effectively, they must be guided by the Holy Spirit.

Ekiti

Governor Segun Oni of Ekiti State yesterday advised students to study courses which would make them to be self employed.

Oni, who gave the advice at an inaugural lecture at the Ekiti State University of Science and Technology, Ifaki-Ekiti, also admonished the students to shun cultism.

Represented by his deputy, Dr. Sikiru Lawal, the governor charged the students to be employers of labour rather than scramble for white collar jobs.

“The rate of unemployment in the country is a concern to all well-meaning Nigerians, especially those in leadership positions.

“Students should strive to go for courses that will make them self-reliant and employers of labour,” Oni said.

FCT

The NNPC and the PHCN yesterday in Abuja, signed a Gas Supply and Purchase Agreement (GSPA) for gas supply for improved power generation in Nigeria.

The pact is expected to deepen Federal Government’s commitment to rapidly reposition the domestic gas market for sustainability.

Egbin Generating Company Ltd. A subsidiary of the PHCN and NNPC/Pan Ocean Corporation Joint Venture, are joint executors of the gas-to-power agreement.

Speaking at the event, Petroleum Resources Minister Diezani Allison-Madueke said the agreement would underpin the supply of 65 million cubic feet of gas per day from Pan Ocean’s Ogharafe Gas Plant to Egbin.

She said the NNPC/SPDC JV and NNPC/Chevron JV would also supply gas to Egbin to boost generation.

Kaduna

The National Blood Transfusion Service NBTS) says it collected 2,989 units of blood from voluntary donors in the past one year.

Dr Abigail Bozegha, the North West Zonal Coo-rdinator of the centre, told newsmen on the occasion of this year’s World Blood Donor Day in Kaduna, that the blood was collected between June 2009 and June this year.

She said 2,516 units of the blood had been distributed to patients in various health institutions in the zone, adding that “the blood went through normal screening and test before being given out to needy people.’’

Bozegha added that the remaining units could not be released for various reasons.

The co-ordinator said the theme for this year’s world blood day campaign was “New Blood for the World’’.

She said blood pressure check, weighing and blood group test services wouldbe provided to walk-in donors free during the week-long event.

Kano

The Kano State Association of Community Pharmacists has urged the management of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to involve its members in the implementation of the programme.

The Chairman of the association, Dr Sadiq Inuwa, made the request in Kano at an interactive session involving NHIS officials, the operators and beneficiaries of the scheme.

“As qualified and registered pharmacists, we request that we be allowed to render our service to the scheme in order to contribute to its success,” Inuwa said.

He said the hospitals and clinics involved in the scheme should not be the only ones to implement it “because we too have a role to play as professionals”.

The chairman suggested that patients should be made to purchase the drugs prescribed for them by the clinics from pharmacists, especially where such hospitals did not have standard pharmacies.

He said the same gesture should be extended to the laboratories and X-ray centres outside the hospitals.

Inuwa explained that the measure would boost the patronage of pharmacies.

Katsina

In a bid to promote self reliance and encourage poultry farming, Kankara Local Government in Katsina State has distributed 1,000 chickens to less privileged persons.

Alhaji Ibrahim Kasko, the Council’s Supervisory Councillor of Education and Social Services Department, told on Saturday that the effort was part of its poverty alleviation programme.

Kasko explained that the beneficiaries, mostly women, were selected from the 11 political wards of the council, adding that each of them got four to five chickens.

He noted that 300 goats were also distributed to orphans and other vulnerable families to empower them economically.

The councillor commended Governor Ibrahim Shema and Kankara Local Government chairman, Alhaji Mamman Sani, for their policies aimed at uplifting peoples living condition.

He pointed out that construction and expansion of schools, roads, hospitals as well as provision of water and electricity across the state had proven their distinctive leadership styles.

Lagos

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) yesterday in Lagos said it arrested 2,883 suspected drug traffickers between January and May 2010.

A statement issued by Mr Mitchell Ofoyeju, Head of Public Affairs of the NDLEA said that the suspects included 2,780 males and 103 females.

According to the statement, 77,796.12kg of narcotic drugs were seized from the suspects.

The statement said that cannabis, popularly called Indian hemp, formed the biggest chunk at 77,267.04 kg.

It said psychotropic substances accounted for 419.59 kg of the seizures, while cocaine and heroin of 82.281 kg and 27.21 kg respectfully, made up the balance.

The statement also disclosed that 674 offenders were convicted by the law courts within the period.

Ogun

The Ijebu-Ode Local Government Council in Ogun has engaged the services of town criers to educate the people on the dangers of dumping of refuse in the drainage system.

Mr Rotimi Ojuyiingbo, Chief Environmental Officer of the council, said that the measure was part of the council’s public enlightenment campaign against dumping of refuse in public drains.

Ojuyiingbo told newsmen in Ijebu-Ode in Ogun yesterday that the dumping of refuse in drains had caused flooding in the town.

He said that the campaign would take the town criers to all the markets and houses in the town on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays of each week.

Oyo

An Ibadan Grade ‘C’ Customary Court yesterday dissolved the five-year-old marriage between Azeez Musibau and Kafilat Musibau on the grounds of jealousy and stubbornness.

Musibau, an Islamic cleric, told the court that his wife was stubborn and had not given him peace of mind to carry out his duties in the mosque.

He also said that Kafilat did not trust him and was always accusing him of having extra-marital affairs with women during Islamic meetings.

The man added that he never understood why his wife thought he was unfaithful, as he had done his best not to let her down.

He told the court that before he became an Islamic cleric, he lost the two children he had from Kafilat.

But Kafilat accused her husband of infidelity by bringing different women into their matrimonial home.

Plateau

The Plateau Government says it has concluded arrangements to “flood” Jos and Bukuru towns with taxi cabs following the ban on commercial motorcycle operation in the two towns.

The Commissioner for Information, Mr Gregory Yenlong, disclosed the plan in Jos yesterday.

Yenlong said that the state government was only waiting for the statistics of the commercial motorcyclists, popularly, especially in Jos, as they would be the prime beneficiaries of the cabs.

The commissioner also said that government would assist interested civil servants and some of the former commercial motorcyclists with loans to enable them buy their own cabs.

He, however, said that government was not considering the option of tricycles for now.

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NHRC Seeks Prioritisation Of Children’s Rights In National, State Budgets

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The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr Tony Ojukwu, has called for the prioritisation of child rights issues in both the national and state budgets.
Ojukwu, represented by Abdulrahman Yakubu,  director, political and civil education rights in the commission made the call in Abuja at an event organised by the commission to commemorate the 2021 International Day for the African Child  (DAC), celebrated every June 16.
He also called for alignment of national implementation plans of the Child’s Rights Act with international action plans like the Agenda 2040 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda to ensure a more holistic and measurable implementation outcome
“While progress has been made on the implementation of the Child’s Rights Act and Laws across the   states that have adopted it, challenges bordering on non-prioritisation of child rights in the budget, poverty.
“Harmful traditional practices, inadequate access to educational and health services, armed conflicts and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic have continued to slow down process across all sectors.
“I call on all concerned Ministry , Departments and Agencies and child-focused organisations to explore  new tools and innovations like technology and social media to accelerate the implementation of child-based laws and policies in the country,” he said.
He also called for the adoption and implementation of measures to ensure universal health coverage, access to quality health-care services for all while closing all gender and vulnerability gaps.
Ojukwu also called for equal access to compulsory and quality education to all children, including children in rural communities, the girl child, children living with disabilities, children in conflict and humanity settings.
“We must address the root cause of conflict and engage early warning mechanisms to eliminate the impact of armed conflicts on children” he said.
The executive secretary said the DAC serves as a strong advocacy and sensitization tool for implementation of children’s rights.
“Beyond honouring the memory of the fallen heroes, the DAC celebration calls for introspection and self-assessment by the AU member states on the level of child rights implementation in respective countries.
The theme for the 2021 DAC celebration as selected by the African committee of Experts on the Rights and welfare of the child, he said, 30 years after the adoption of the charter: accelerate the implementation of the Agenda 2040 for an Africa fit for children.
In a goodwill message, the Country Representative of UN  Women Nigeria, Ms Comfort Lamptey called for education-in-emergencies in Borno,  Yobe and Adamawa.
The country representative, represented by Patience Ekeoba,  National Programme Officer,  UN Women Nigeria,  Lamptey said that children of these three conflict affected states need education -in-emergencies.
“ In the north east of Nigeria, 2. 8 million children need education -in-emergencies support. No fewer than 802 schools remained closed and 497 classrooms are listed as destroyed with another 1, 392 damaged but repairable in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.
“In addition to this,  the COVID-19,  insecurity and humanitarian crisis and other prevailing challenges have presented new and additional challenges,” she said
“A lot of countries in Africa have robust legal frameworks policies,  conventions and other frameworks that guarantee the rights of the child,” she added.

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Court Rejects EFCC’s Request To Amend Charge In Ex-NNPC GMD’s Trial

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has rejected an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to amend its charge in the $9.8million, £74,000 fraud trial of an ex-Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed, in a ruling, yesterday, held that granting the application by the EFCC would amount to varying a subsisting judgment given by the Court of Appeal, Abuja on April 24, 2020, where it, among others, ordered Yakubu to enter defence in relation to counts three and four of the six counts originally contained in the charge on which he was arraigned.
Justice Mohammed was emphatic that allowing the prosecution (the EFCC) to amend the charge was tantamount to disobeying the subsisting order made by the Court of Appeal in its judgment of April 24, 2020.
The EFCC claimed that its operatives, acting on a tip-off, raided Yakubu’s house located on Chikun Road, Sabon Tasha area of Kaduna South Local Government Area of Kaduna State on February 3, 2017, and recovered the $9,772,800 and £74,000 cash kept in a fire proof safe.
It arraigned Yakubu on March 16, 2017, on a six-count charge relating to money laundering offences.
He was among others, accused of failing to make full disclosure of assets, receiving cash without going through a financial institution, which borders on money laundering and intent to avoid a lawful transaction under law, transported at various times to Kaduna, the aggregate sum of $9,772,800 and £74,000.
The prosecution closed its case on October 17, 2018, after calling seven witnesses.
The seventh prosecution witness, an operative of the EFCC, Suleiman Mohammed, spoke about how his team recovered the $9,772,000 and £74,000 cash in Yabubu’s house in Kaduna, which was later deposited in CBN in Kano.
At the closure of the prosecution’s case, Yakubu made a no-case submission, which Justice Mohammed, in a ruling on May 16, 2019, partially upheld by striking out two of the six counts contained in the charge and ordered Yakubu to enter defence in relation to the remaining four counts.
The judge was of the view that the prosecution failed to prove counts five and six of the charge, which related to allegation of unlawful transportation of the money.
“Even though I am tempted to discharge the defendant on counts one to four, I am, however, constrained to ask the defendant to explain how he came about the monies recovered from his house.
“Fortified with my position, the defendant is hereby ordered to enter his defence in respect of counts one to four,” Justice Mohammed said in the May 16, 2019, ruling.
Dissatisfied, Yakubu challenged the decision at the Court of Appeal, Abuja, which, in a ruling on April 24, 2020, upheld Justice Mohammed’s ruling and proceeded to strike out two more counts – one and two – in the charge.
The Court of Appeal, then, ordered Yakubu to enter his defence in respect of the remaining two counts – three and four.
Proceedings later resumed at the Federal High Court, with the defendant commencing his defence as ordered by the Court of Appeal.
But, on March 10 this year, the prosecution applied for leave to amend its charge, arguing among others, that the law allows the prosecution to amend charge at any stage of the proceedings before judgment.
The defence countered, arguing that the Court of Appeal, in its judgment of April 24, 2020, made an order to guide further proceedings in the trial.
It noted that the Court of Appeal ordered that the defendant was only to enter defence in relation to counts three and four in respect of which a prima facie case was established.
The defence urged the court to refuse the prosecution’s application for amendment and allow the defendant to continue with his defence, a prayer Justice Mohammed granted in his ruling, yesterday.
When the judge ended the ruling, yesterday, the defence indicated its intention to proceed with its case, but the court elected to adjourn till June 30 following plea by the prosecution for an adjournment on the grounds that the lead prosecuting lawyer was not immediately available.

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Economist Challenges W’Bank’s Prediction On Nigeria’s Inflation Rate

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An economist, Prof. Akpan Ekpo, has queried World Bank’s prediction that Nigeria’s inflation rate is expected to rise to fifth highest in Sub-Saharan Africa by the end of 2021.
Ekpo, a professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, questioned the prediction in an interview with The Tide source yesterday in Lagos.
Recall the bank’s Lead Economist for Nigeria, Macro Hernandez while presenting its six-monthly update on development in Nigeria on Tuesday, said Nigeria was lagging the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, with food inflation.
Hernandez included heightened insecurity and stalled reforms as slowing growth and increasing poverty.
The professor said: “First of all, we need to examine the methodology the World Bank used to arrive at the conclusion because we know that inflation has declined slightly.”
Ekpo, also Chairman, Foundation for Economic Research and Training in Lagos, said, however, that if government could solve the insecurity problems limiting economic growth and increase Agricultural production, the prediction might not hold.
According to him, there are countries with double digits inflation and still doing well.
“This means you can have inflation and yet your GDP is growing, so, it’s when you have what we call run-away or hyper inflation that is when you get worried.
“Run-away inflation means that prices are increasing everyday or every month without control,” he said.
On predictions that the inflation would push seven million more Nigerians into poverty due to falling purchasing power, Ekpo gave a suggestion to the federal government to stem it.
He urged the Federal Government to seriously implement the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy Programme and the Economic Sustainability Plan documents.
“I cannot fault them on this one because already, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said about 85 million Nigerians are living in poverty.
“So, World Bank just saying that confirms what our own NBS has already said.
“Now, if the government implements the National Poverty Reduction initiative document as well as the Economic Sustainability plan seriously, then we can begin to reduce the poverty rate.

“Then the economy must grow double digits, that is, 10 per cent and above for us to see reduction in poverty and more jobs creation as well, because poverty is linked to unemployment,” he added.

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