The police in Mubi Local Government Area in Adamawa have arrested two farmers, Jonathan Rugwari and David Rugwari in connection with an assault occasioning harm on one Dotorr Markul.
The Police Area Commander, Mr Bashiru Itanola, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), confirmed the arrest to newsmen in Mubi on Wednesday, but declined to say the cause of the attack.
He said the suspects were apprehended for allegedly attacking Markul with daggers at Kirya village in the local government area.
Itanola said Markul sustained injuries from the attack and was currently receiving treatment at a private clinic in the area.
According to him, the suspects would soon be arraigned.
The commander appealed to the people of the area to cooperate with the police and remain law abiding.
The Bauchi State Command of the Nigeria drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has called on youths in the state to shun anyone offering to engage them as political thugs or for other criminalities.
The Commandant of the agency, Alhaji Suleiman Madu, made the call on Wednesday in Yuguda village, Bauchi Local Government Area, during a sensitisation exercise on the dangers of drug abuse.
Madu expressed concern with situations where politicians engaged youths as political thugs by giving them hard drugs that were detrimental to both their physical and moral up bringing.
Madu urged the people in the state to report illicit drugs dealers who were bent on circulating hard drugs to members of the society, especially the youth.
Earlier, the Sarkin Yuguda, Alhaji Hamza Musa, commended the command for the campaign and assured the agency that the people of his domain would always support it in its war against hard drugs.
Prof. Williams Emofurieta, Lecturer at the Department of Geology, University of Benin, said on Wednesday that more than 4 billion metric tonnes of virgin bentonite had yet to be exploited in the country.
Emofurieta disclosed this while delivering a lecture at a two-day international conference on “Modern Mining Processing’’ in Abuja.
Bentonite, according to him, “is a mass of clay minerals dominated by over 70 per cent montmorillonite, while other minerals such as quartz, illite, kaolinite, vermiculite and attapulgite may occur in association as impurities within bentonite”.
“Nigeria has an estimated large reserve of more than 4 billion metric tonnes of virgin bentonite ore yet to be exploited.
“This will more than serve Nigeria for the next 1,000 years for our domestic needs and export purposes,’’ Emofurieta said.
He said the development of the ore would create more employment opportunities capable of increasing the country’s source of revenue and the Gross Domestic Product.
In another development the House of Representatives on Thursday appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to re-award the Abuja-Lokoja-Okene road contract.
It summoned the Minister of Works, Sen. Sanusi Dagash, to appear before its Committee on Works to explain the delay in the completion of the project.
The House also directed the minister to ensure that critical portions of the road at Abuja, Gwagwalada bridge and Lokoja were completed before the end of the year.
It directed relevant agencies to release funds to the contractors to facilitate the completion of the project on schedule.
The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has stressed the need for change of attitude among Nigerian pilgrims to ensure smooth Hajj operations in the country.
A NAHCON Commissioner, Alhaji Isa Bukar, made the call in Gombe on Wednesday at the North East Zone sensitisation meeting of state chairmen and secretaries of Pilgrims Welfare Board.
Bukar said some of the problems encountered during hajj exercise could be a thing of the past if there was a change of behaviour on the part of all concerned.
He sais most of the problems faced during Hajj operation such as overloading, misbehaviour and absconding of pilgrims were caused by lack of proper and clear knowledge on how Hajj should be conducted.
The meeting suggested that NAHCON should find ways of preventing those who had performed hajj exercise from embarking on the holy pilgrimage to give others opportunity and reduce congestion in the Holy land.
The meeting, the first of its kind, attracted Hajj officials and clerics from the six states in the North East Geo-political Zone.
The Olofa of Ofa in Kwara, Oba Muftau Gbadamosi, has tasked security operatives to fish out those behind the recent killing of journalists in the country.
Gbadamosi made the call in Ilorin at a ceremony to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Kwara State Broadcasting Corporation (Radio Kwara).
He also pleaded with government to provide adequate security for media practitioners.
The Monarch said that the killings, if not checked, would affect the practice of journalism and information dissemination, which he described as crucial to nation building.
Gbadamosi, however, urged journalists not to renege in discharging their constitutional roles and also to uphold the ethics of journalism.
The General Mananger of the station, Mr Abdulateef Adedeji, said that the station was in total state of disrepair until 2003, when the present administration was inaugurated.
Adedeji assured that the station would continue to practice responsible journalism with a view to promoting peace within and outside the state.
A cooking competition organised by the women fellowship of the Christian Community Church, Surulere, Lagos tagged ‘cooking contest for Jesus’ has ended.
Rivers State indigenous delicacy prepared with ripe plantain and fresh fish pepper soup (biate mbana) by Mrs. Helen Bob-Manuel emerged the first position while Cameroonian dish, Ndole soup cooked by Mrs. Okome Dibo-Ebong came second.
In an interview with our correspondent shortly after the keenly contested event at the church premises last Sunday, the leader of the fellowship, Mrs. Bose Abisagboola r4ecalled that the group had organised symposia for members in other areas of endeavour, but stressed that the cooking contest was aimed at getting women more involved in their kitchens.
According to Mrs. Abisagboola, “most women are not seriously involved in cooking for their families, rather they prefer buying cooked food outside for their families, hence the competition is to show how orderly and simple the handling for kitchen environment and the entire home should be”.
Unregistered human resources management practitioners in the country will be sanctioned, the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria IPMN) warned on Thursday in Ibadan.
The National President of the CIPMN, Mr Abiola Popoola, gave the warning at an agricultural human resources management forum organised by the institute.
He sought the support of registered members in flushing out fake practitioners.
He urged those who had not registered with the institute to do so immediately, saying it was the only way true professionalism could be brought to bear on the practice of personnel management.
Popoola also said that in line with the institute’s professional development plan, there was an urgent need for it to add value to national development through increased capacity building.
The president noted that the CIPMN had branches in 25 states and promised that efforts would be made to expand and establish branches in the 11 remaining states and Abuja as well as in some local government areas.
The Sokoto Government has distributed 726 assorted brands of vehicles to its workers, who are expected to pay back the cost as loans.
It also disbursed about N530 million as car purchase/refurbishing loans to the workers.
The Commissioner for Social Welfare, Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu, made the announcement in Sokoto on Thursday while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the state executive council meeting.
He said that 30 Kia and 14 Hyundai vehicles worth N128.8 million were approved for Permanent Secretaries and Directors-General, while 100 Hyundai and 235 Chevrolet cars worth N476.7 million were given to civil servants on grade levels 14 to 16.
Aliyu said that those on grade levels 12 to 13 would be allocated 247 Hyundai and 100 Kia Picanto cars worth more than N400 million, while civil servants under grade level 12 would be given N800,000 and N500,000 each as car loans, amounting to N530 million.
The Commissioner for Education, Alhaji Arzika Tureta, said the council also approved some projects, including the construction of roads within and outside the state’s metropolis at more than N2 billion.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Taraba seized 977 kilogrammes of Indian hemp from dealers between January and May this year, an official of the agency has said.
The agency’s Commander in the state, Mr Kaku Mshelia, said the figure surpassed the total seizure of 796kg in 2009.
Kaku newsmen in Jalingo on Wednesday that the command made its largest catch since its establishment in 2003 in May when it seized a consignment weighing 345kg.
He said that his men, acting on a tip off, intercepted the consignment conveyed from Akure.
The commander said that four persons, Joseph Etim, Okon John, Akpabio Philip and Mohammed Ibrahim, were arrested and charged to court in Yola as the main suspects in the deal.
Kaku said that 56 suspects were arrested during the period, out of whom 17 have been convicted to various jail terms, while 23 others were counseled and rehabilitated.
NHRC Seeks Prioritisation Of Children’s Rights In National, State Budgets
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.
Court Rejects EFCC’s Request To Amend Charge In Ex-NNPC GMD’s Trial
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.
Economist Challenges W’Bank’s Prediction On Nigeria’s Inflation Rate
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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