The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nurudeen Muhammed has appealed to traditional rulers to join the Federal Government’s renewed effort in the fight against human trafficking and child labour.
Muhammed made the appeal on last Thursday in Yola when he paid an advocacy visit to Lamido of Adamawa, Alhaji Barkindo Mustapha, in his palace.
He said that traditional rulers had a vital role to play in the campaign against human trafficking and child labour in view of their positions in the society.
The Minister said that checking the menace of human trafficking and child labour was one of the protocol endorsed by ECOWAS Heads of Governments.
Mustapha urged government to always carry the tradit
The Benue Commissioner of Police, Mr John Haruna,has warned politicians in the state against acts capable of breaching the peace.
Haruna handed down the warning in Makurdi while briefing newsmen on the activities of the command in combating crime in the state.
He warned that the police would deal decisively with any politician who engages in nefarious activities to promote selfish and divisive interest.
The commissioner said that policemen had been deployed to identified flashpoints and on the highways to contain criminal activities and road accidents.
Haruna lamented that the state was almost “being consumed in cultism”, and announced plans by security agencies to curtail the menace, including the perennial clashes between farmers and cattle rearers.
Bwari Area Council has expressed its determination to sanitise the area through recycling of waste and wealth generation.
Mr. Haruna Labaran, the Head of Department of Environment in the council, told newsmen in Bwari, FCT, that the exercise would cover Ushafa, Dutse, Kubwa, Dei-dei, Dawaki and Mpape.
He said the decision to recycle waste was informed by the reckless manner people went about the collection, transportation and disposal of waste without regard to environmental health standard.
According to him, poor environmental standard is responsible for up to 75 per cent of the diseases that are ordinarily preventable.
The head of department urged residents to comply with the directive, noting that the exercise would open up the area for economic activities and development.
Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State Governor has presented a budget of N93.3 billion to the state House of Assembly for the 2012 fiscal year against its N79.4 billion for the 2011 fiscal year.
Presenting the budget, tagged “Budget of Reality”, the governor said that the budget would be financed from a total revenue of N50 billion.
He said that the government hoped to collect N4.6 billion as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), while N40 billion was estimated to be from statutory allocation.
Dankwambo added that N3.4 billion would come from excess crude oil, N1 billion from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), N500 million from Exchange Rate Gain and N500 million from other sources.
He noted that the total budget deficit for the year would be N1 billion.
The newly established Federal University, Dutse, has admitted 350 students, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Jibrila Amin, has said.
Amin said during the foundation laying ceremony of Computer Laboratory Complex of the university that the school admitted 200 students as directed by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
He said the institution submitted 150 additional names to the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board for harmonised admissions expected to be published soon.
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says 280 persons were killed and 2,433 others injured in road traffic accidents in Kano State between January and December.
The Sector Commander, Mr Ahmed Kogari, told newsmen in Kano last Thursday that the figures resulted from 770 accidents during the period under review.
He said that there was a reduction in the accident figure this year compared with last year’s figure, which he did not give.
“We are able to achieve this through intensive public enlightenment campaigns, enforcement of traffic rules and regulations as well as continuous surveillance, monitoring and patrol activities.”
The National Programme on Immunisation (NPI), in Kebbi has identified cases of missed children on immunisation days as the major reason for emergence of fresh polio cases.
.This is contained in a statement signed by the Kebbi NPI Manager, Hajiya Saudatu Abdullahi and made available to newsmen in Birnin Kebbi.
The LGAs that had high percentage of missed children during immunisation included Gwandu 49.3 per cent, Jega 19.2 per cent, Maiyama 19.2 per cent, Arewa 16.6 per cent, Ngaski 14.3 per cent.
The state chairman of ALGON and Binrin Kebbi LGA, Alhaji Musa Dan-Ilela, blamed the programme for not including the councils at the initial stage.
The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) last Thursday cautioned labour leaders in political offices to guide against anything that would undermine industrial relations in the country.
Mr Solomon Onaghinon, Secretary General, ASCSN, stated this in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.
Onaghinon expressed worry that most labour leaders appointed into political offices, often get involved in negative means of settling industrial disputes.
Onaghinon said that such means of resolving disputes was against industrial relation practice and could weaken labour movement.
The Kola Daisi Foundation (KDF) has donated an ambulance to the Kola Daisi Centre for Primary and Community Health being managed by the University College Hospital (UCH),Ibadan.
Speaking at the event in Yemetu, Ibadan, the Chairman of KDF, Prof. Niyi Osuntogun, said the ambulance would assist the health centre in conveying patients to the hospital during emergencies.
Osuntogun commended the founder of the centre, Chief Kola Daisi, saying his philanthropic activities were worth emulating.
“Wealthy Nigerians should emulate the good works Chief Kola Daisi has done in the course of rendering selfless service to humanity,’’ he said.
The Plateau Government is to appoint caretaker committees for its local government councils in January preparatory to election, Mr. Alexander Mwolwus, Special Adviser to Governor Jonah Jang on Political Affairs, has said.
The tenure of the current council officials expires January 15, 2012, but the amended Electoral Act has yet to be passed into law.
“Since the tenure of the incumbent officials will lapse between Jan. 15 and 17, 2012, the governor shall have no alternative but to appoint caretaker committees that will take charge,’’ the official told newsmen in Jos.
Mwolwus explained that the new electoral law would empower the PLASIEC to conduct local council polls within 30 days.
He explained that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was already preparing for the election with its congresses beginning on Jan. 4.
Meanwhile, Mr Peter Daylop, Chairman, Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC), has said that the Commission was still awaiting the new Electoral Act.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Sokoto has quashed the judgment of the Kebbi State Governorship Election Tribunal which nullified the election of Gov. Usman Dakingari.
Reacting to the verdict,Dakingari advised his supporters to be moderate in celebrating court’s judgment and called on the opposition parties to join his administration in moving the state forward.
Justice Laraba Mohammed, who led three other members of the tribunal, had on Nov. 13, nullified Dakingari’s election and ordered a fresh one within 90 days.
Justice Amiru Sanusi, who led four other Justices of the court, ruled in favour of Dakingari and set the judgment of the lower court aside.
Mr Ogene Nero, counsel to the CPC and its gubernatorial candidate, Alhaji Abubakar Gari-Malam, said they will appeal against the judgment at the Supreme Court.
The Kebbi State Chairman of the CPC, Alhaji Suleiman Nasiha, also said the party would appeal against the judgment within the 21 days stipulated by law.
Former Commissioner for Finance in Zamfara, Danbuba Mohammed says lack of focus on medium and long-term development plans by governments is responsible for socio-economic crisis in the country.
Mohammed made the statement in an interview with newsmen in Gusau shortly after Governor Abdulaziz Yari presented the state’s 2012 budget of N120.8 billion to the House of Assembly.
.He said the budget captured the essence of consistency and continuity in government policies, adding that it had also raised public hopes and expectations.
“This is the first time in several years that we are witnessing a medium-term development strategy captured in the budget with practicable ideas on how to actualise the plan for concrete development.’’
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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