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THE STATES

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Adamawa

The Adamawa State Forestry Department has raised and sold about 5,000 tree seedlings to communities in the area in the last three months.

Mr Zakari Philip, the Zonal Forestry Officer in charge of the Mubi North Local Government Council, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in  Mubi on Monday.

Philip said that the seedlings included Eucalyptus, Albezia-lebbeck, Khaya Senegalesis,Azadirachita indica, cashew, guava, mango and tectons grandis.

He added that the tree seedlings project was being run in collaboration with the Federal Government.

“We are targeting about 200,000 tree seedlings under the supervision of a Federal Government’s forestry expert.’’

The officer said that the Forestry Department had embarked on a sensitisation campaign to educate the communities about the dangers of tree felling and the need to plant more trees.

Ekiti

The Ekiti State Police Command yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, paraded three suspects for their alleged involvement in the killing of Police Constable Olufowobi Olusegun during a robbery incident.

The trio allegedly killed the police officer during a robbery operation on July 20, at about 9 p.m. at the residence of the deceased at Moferere in Ado-Ekiti.

The suspects, one of them a medical student aged 24, allegedly committed the murder along with with two other suspects; aged 27 and 24.

A 22-year- old pre-degree female student, suspected to be a girl friend of one them had been detained for allegedly running errands for the suspects.

One the suspects is presently in coma at Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH), Ile Ife, for gunshot injuries received during the robbery.

Jos

People who engage in self-medication are at the risk of delayed diagnosis and treatment when they take ill, a pharmacist has noted.

Rotkang Dimka told newsmen  in Jos that such people risk prolong and ailments like cancer and diabetes which, when diagnosed early, could be treated or managed.

Self-medication is the act of obtaining and consuming drugs without diagnosis or prescription from a doctor.

“Once some people have symptoms similar to ailments they experience in the past, they just make references to previous prescriptions without going to health centres or hospitals for proper diagnosis”.

“Most of them feel they already know the treatment that will be given to them at the hospital and just go ahead to treat themselves without recommendations by qualified medical personnel.

Kano

The Kano Government is to reward the best local government in environmental cleanliness.

Dr  Abdullahi Ganduje, the Deputy Governor, who disclosed this at a meeting with stakeholders in the environment sector, said this was necessary to improve the state of sanitation in the state.

He said that a trophy, to be competed for by all the eight local government areas, would be dedicated as the reward.

Ganduje said the initiative was informed by the state government’s commitment to effective observance of environmental sanitation by the people of the state.

He said that the state government had reintroduced the monthly environmental sanitation beginning from the end of last month.

He said that the government would ensure the success of the exercise in the state capital and in all the 44 local government areas of the state.

Kebbi

Sheikh Ismaila Gotomo, an Islamic scholar in Kebbi, was advised Muslims to embrace Islamic banking as approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Gotomo gave the advice in Birnin Kebbi while addressing the annual Pre-Ramadan lecture, organised by the state branch of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN).

He said that the non-profit banking system would provide expanded economic activities for investors and improve the nation’s economy, devoid of ethnic or religious differences.

Gotomo said that Islamic banking had been in operation for many years in some western countries, and that such countries had not been Islamised.

Kwara

The Kwara Government has called on the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) to join hands with it to ensure the success of the recently introduced Bridge Empowerment Scheme designed to reduce unemployment.

The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Sola Gold, made the call on Monday, in Ilorin, while receiving the executive and members of the state chapter of the council.

The scheme was geared toward creating employment opportunities for youths, he said, urging the NYCN to educate its members to embrace the scheme.

On the recently concluded National Sports Festival in Rivers, the SSG commended the council for its support and assistance to Team Kwara.

Nasarawa

TALLAFI Foundation, a pet project of the wife of the Nasarawa State Governor, Hajia Mairo Almakura, has donated food items to Quranic school pupils to curb street begging among them.

Hajia Almakura, who donated the food items to four of such schools in Nasarawa and Keffi local government areas, said the gesture was aimed at ameliorating the plight of the Almajiris to keep them off the street.

“What I am doing today is to see how to keep these children off the street by providing them with food since I learnt from their teachers that they basically go out to beg for food”.

I also want to see how we can come in to incorporate formal western education into the system,” she said.

Niger

Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State has said that governors are committed to paying the new minimum wage after the grey areas must have been be clarified.

Aliyu stated this while interacting with journalists shortly after attending a Speech and Prize giving Day ceremony at the Nigerian Military School (NMS), Zaria, Kaduna State.

“Nobody can run away from the payment of the minimum wage; all of us agreed to find ways to pay; I think we are now working on the ways”.

“These ways include resources and logistics. You must work out details on the payment. Again, you have to work out logistics”.

Ondo

An Okitipupa Magistrate’s Court has granted bail to Ebenezer Oke, 20, and Sunday Oyetakin , 23, both accused of conspiracy, stealing and receiving stolen property.

The Prosecutor, Mr. Zechariah Orogbemi, alleged that the accused who were granted bail in the sum of N500,000 each, committed the offences on July 8, at about 7:40 am in Igbokoda in Ondo state.

Orogbemi alleged that Oke stole N150,000 kept in a bag belonging to Mrs Abeni Ekudehinwa of Ajere Mobile Junction in Igbokoda.

“After stealing the money, at about 1:pm, Oke gave N10, 000 out of the stolen property to Sunday,” he alleged.

Osogbo

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has sponsored no fewer than 1,000 officers and men of the corps to various colleges for arms training.

Dr Ade Abolurin, the Commandant – General of the organisation, disclosed this yesterday at a workshop organised for the local government officials in Osogbo.

Abolurin urged all Nigerians to consider security issue as a collective responsibility and contribute their quota to the task of making the country safe, stressing that security agencies could not do it all alone.

“Every intelligence gathering revolves around the information supplied by the people. It is the information that the security personnel act upon for crime prevention.”

Sokoto

The Federal Government has reimbursed Sokoto State Government to the tune of about N1.27 billion for the construction of a 74-kilometre Sokoto –Illela federal road.

Alhaji Bashir Kankiya, the Federal Controller of Works in the state, announced this in an interview in Sokoto.

“Actually, the road is about 84 kilometres but the defunct PTF had rehabilitated 10 kilometres out of it while the state government awarded the contract for the construction of the remaining part of the road; the cost of the contract awarded was about N1.995 billion.’’

According to Kankiya , the contractor has completed 74 per cent of the road, amounting to about N1.5 billion .

Taraba

The Nigerian Red Cross in Taraba, has distributed relief materials worth thousands of Naira to victims of Kona and Mumuye ethnic clashes.

The clashes which occurred near Jalingo on July 10, claimed about 10 lives.

The relief materials included blankets, pots, mattresses and food items, which were distributed to Kaudad, Minda, Sambe, Jauro Shawo, Jauro and Awai villages.

Presenting the materials to the victims on Tuesday in Jalingo, the State Chairman of the Red Cross, Alhaji Hassan Abubakar, condemned the incident and prayed that such should never happen again.

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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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