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THE STATES

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Bauchi

Alhaji Babayo Gamawa, the Deputy Governor of Bauchi State, says he will dedicate himself to the struggle for the creation of Katagum State if elected senator in 2011.

Gamawa, who wants to contest the seat for the Bauchi-North Senatorial District, made the pledge last Saturday in an interview with newsmen in Bauchi.

He said that if elected, he would devote 75 per cent of his time and energy in seeing to the creation of Katagum State.

Gamawa said that he made a lot of consultations on the issue with the speakers of state houses of assembly when he was speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly.

He said that he received encouraging words from the speakers and that many of them promised to support him in achieving the objective.

Borno

Borno State police command said on Sunday that it had arrested 13 suspects in connection to last week’s killings in Maiduguri.

Suspected Boko Haram militants had killed at least four individuals in separate attacks on Wednesday and Friday in Maiduguri.

But the command Police Public Relations’ Officer Mallam Lawal Abdullahi told newsmen in Maiduguri that 11 suspectswere arrested in connection with the Wednesday’s killing.

“I want to inform you that we have already made a number of arrests in connection with the killings.

Ekiti

A non-governmental organisation, WaterAid Nigeria has constructed 38 boreholes in Ekiti state as part of its efforts to ensure that people have access to safe  water.

The Director of Justice Development Peace Initiative/WaterAid in the state, Rev. Fr. Raphael Aborisade said this at the weekend in Ado-Ekiti during a sensitization programme to mark the World Toilet Day.

Aborisade said the boreholes were constructed mostly in rural communities  in Ikole, Ilejemeje and Ekiti South West local government areas.

FCT

Some applicants who did not meet the height requirement in the FRSC recruitment process were barred from taking part in the written test conducted by the corps in Abuja last Saturday.

Male applicants were required to be up to 1.7 metres while their female counterparts were expected to be up to 1.6 metres.

Those barred from the examination due to their height were seen in groups discussing their fate at the Mogadishu Cantonment, venue of the exercise.

However, reports that as at 11:30 a.m. some 1,800 out of the 5,400 cleared to write the test had done so with others on a long line waiting for their turn.

Kano

Most Food Vendors in Kano have yet to resume business, five days after the Eid-el-Kabir festival.

  A survey conducted by our correspondent in the state capital revealed that the food sellers,many of whom hailed from other states of the federation, are still away,observing their Sallah break.

Our correspondents’ checks at Galadima Road, Audu Bako way,and the Sabon Gari market, found that most of the vendors’ stalls and other platforms remained desolate, due to the absence of the operators.

One  of the  operators, Hajiya Asiya Garba,told newsmen that she could not resume business now because she was still celebrating the Sallah.

Katsina

The Katsina Study Centre of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) on Saturday matriculated 207 students admitted to study various courses at the centre.

Speaking at the occasion, Dr Kabiru Galadanchi, Manager of the Centre, said that out of the over 1,000 candidates that applied to study at the Centre, only 207 were given admission.

He attributed the situation to the mistakes made by most of the applicants in filling their application forms.

Kogi

A total of 150 students on Saturday matriculated at the Lokoja Study Centre of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) for the 2009/2010 academic session.

The Centre Manager, Mr Theophilus Balogun, who made the disclosure to the newsmen in Lokoja at the 5th matriculation, said that similar ceremony took place simultaneously at the NOUN’s 40 study centres nationwide.

He identified the lack of physical structures and truancy by some facilitators as some of the challenges confronting the study centre.

Balogun urged the Federal Government to expedite action on the ongoing construction work in the centre, noting that lack of structures had forced them to use facilities at the Bishop Delise College.

Kwara

Kwara State Public Complaints Commission says a total of five hundred and seventy – nine (579)complaints werereceived between January and October 2010.

The Acting Durector of Investigation, Mr Caleb Bukoye disclosed this in an interview with newsmen last Sunday in Ilorin.

According to him, during the period the Commission has investigated and successfully resolved 324 complaints.

Bukoye urged members of the public to seize the opportunity provide by the federal government through the service of the Commission in getting their problems and complaints solved.

Niger

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and other related matters (NAPTIP) has said that a 58-year-old father, who allegedly impregnated his 14-year-old daughter is currently being detained.

The 58-year old farmer and the daughter were paraded before journalists on Nov. 15 by Deputy Police Spokesman, DSP Samuel Jinadu in his Ikeja office.

The police said that the man forcefully had canal knowledge of his daughter and has now delivered a  baby girl from the relationship.

Ondo

The Ondo State Government on Saturday reiterated its commitment to sustain its zero tolerance for examination malpractice.

The state’s Commissioner for Education, Dr Pius Osunyikanmi, told newsmen in Akure that the state government had inaugurated an examination and ethics committee to monitor schools that engaged in malpractices.

He also said that disciplinary actions would be taken against any school involved in examination malpractice.

Osunyikanmi said that alreday, four schools had been banned from presenting candidates for public examinations for two years due to the high number of cheats recorded in that school.

Oyo

Some applicants, who turned up for the rescheduled test for recruitment into various positions in the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), on Saturday in Ibadan, have described  the exercise as discouraging.

Some of the applicants, who would not want to be identified, alleged that they were made to sit on bare floor and write the test on their laps.

They condemned the inadequate arrangement made by the FRSC authorities for the test, saying that the shoddy arrangement for the test had dashed their hopes on the recruitment exercise.

Some applicants also alleged that their names were removed from the list of those qualified to write the test after they had scaled through the physical exercise conducted for the recruitment.

Plateau

Dr Mohammed Ali Pati, the Executive Director of Primary Health Care and Development Agency (PHCDA), says polio has reduced from 356,000 cases earlier recorded to below 1,000 in Nigeria.

Pati disclosed this last Saturday at the Silver Jubilee Investiture of Rotarian Joseph Kigbu, as the new President of Naraguta Rotary Club, Jos.

“With the Government fight against the polio scourge in Nigeria, we have been able to reduce the over 356,000 cases to less than a thousand.

“Very soon, we shall totally eradicate polio in Nigeria more so that we have other non-governmental organisations such as Rotary and USAID behind us in the fight,” Pati said.

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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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