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THE STATES

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Abuja

Stakeholders in the water and sanitation sector have appealed to all tiers of government to make water available to government-owned schools nationwide to avoid premature deaths of students.

The call was informed by the death of three female students in search of water at Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Edo State.

It will be recalled the students fell into a well located in the school premises while trying to fetch water from it.

Eye witness reports showed that the three girls were washing on top of the well, while four others sat on it when it suddenly collapsed.

 

Adamawa

Adama Beverages Limited, makers of Faro bottled water and juice, has won the 2011 Best Contributing Employer in Human Resources Development award from the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) in Yola zone.

The Area Manager of ITF, Mallam Ishaku Shehu,  presented the award to the Managing Director of the company, Alhaji Ahmed Jarma, in Yola.

He commended the company for its commitment to staff training in 2011.

Shehu said that such effort in training and re-training of staff by the companies would facilitate better productivity.

He recalled that the ITF was established by Decree 47 of 1971 (now Act) with the responsibility of contributing to training of staff of organisations that remit one per cent of their total pay roll to the fund.

 

Bauchi

Bank customers in Bauchi State have been groaning over constant malfunctioning of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in Bauchi metropolis and environs.

Checks revealed that customers have been having problems with the machines since the use of the machines was made compulsory..

Bank customers complained that the machines were always malfunctioning when their service were needed most, particularly at month ends.

A civil servant with the state government, Malam Usman Damina, complained that the machines always went bad whenever it was a month end.

‘’I can’t understand these machines. No branch of banks that you go to at the end of the month that you will not see long lines of customers. And at the end of the day, the ATMs will pack up. This is frustrating.

 

Borno

The Borno Government has said that it was working on plans to train 100 graduates of Agriculture and other related fields in Thailand.

A statement from the Government House in Maiduguri said that Governor Kashim Shettima disclosed the plan when he received a team of agriculture experts from Thailand.

The statement, signed by the Special Adviser on Communications, Malam Isa Gusau, said that the training was part of the partnership between the state government and some Thailand-based agro-allied experts.

Shettima said in the statement that the training was part of his administration’s drive to revolutionise agriculture in the state.

“The governor said that the 100 graduates of different fields in agriculture, as well as those of other-related sciences disciplines will undergo a vigorous selection process.”

Jijawa

The Jigawa Commissioner for Commerce and Tourism, Hajia Hauwa Lawal, has said that 1,200 stalls had been allocated to traders in the new Dutse market.

She told newsmen in Dutse that shop owners in the old market were treated fairly by allocating stalls to them before considering new applicants.

The commissioner said the traders had been given up to April 20 to move to the new market.

Lawal said that basic amenities like potable water, electricity and toilet facilities were provided in the market.

She explained that the old market would be converted to central business districts, in line with the masterplan of the state capital.

 

Kano

Dealers in second-hand clothes in Kano City are currently enjoying high patronage, an investigation by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reveals.

Our  correspondent, who visited second-hand clothes market at Kofar Wambai in the Kano metropolis, reports that dealers were seen making appreciable sales.

Several buyers clustered around the traders, selecting clothes they wanted to buy.

Malam Isa Ladan, one of the buyers, attributed the high demand for second-hand clothes to the current economic situation in the country.

 

Kaduna

Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State has urged youths to join the nation’s security organisations to restore peace and order in the state.

Yakowa gave the advice while receiving the state indigenes of Batch 20 graduates of the Nigerian Navy Basic Training School Onne, Port Harcourt, who paid him a courtesy call.

The governor urged the 35 graduates to be dedicated, determined and to work hard in their various places of assignments.

He said more indigenes would be recruited to participate in the next batch of the course to enable the state get more position in the navy.

Yakowa reiterated the government’s commitment towards peace, unity and development and assured them of his support.

 

Katshina

A former Speaker of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, has donated drugs worth N100,000 to a nomadic community in Aidun Hassan village of Danmusa Local Government Area of Katsina State.

Presenting the drugs, Alhaji Mamman Abubakar said the donation was part of his effort to assist the less-privileged people in the area.

He said the gesture would save members of the community from the dangers of using fake and expired drugs being sold by hawkers in the area.

He also advised the benefiting community to make good use of the assorted drugs.

The former Speaker urged the people to cooperate with the Nursing Officer in-Charge of the village clinic to achieve the objectives.

ed a school, Juma’at mosque and clinic in Aidun Hassan village.

 

Kogi

The Code of Conduct Tribunal sitting in Lokoja, has banned two former public officers in the state from holding public offices for one year for failing to declare their assets.

Those banned are Sumaila Adamu and Sumaila Shuaibu, Special Advisers to Ofu Local Government Chairman in 2007, were banned for refusing to declare their assets after collecting the bureau’s asset declaration form.

The tribunal ordered the ban in Lokoja while trying 40 accused persons in Kogi, who contravened various sections of the Code of Conduct and Tribunal Act.

The accused pleaded guilty to the charges of non-declaration and submission of the forms within 30 days of issuance.

 

Lagos

A wood dealer, Molapo Olajuowo, 30, was last week arraigned before an Ebute Meta Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, over alleged theft of wood valued at N200,000.

The accused, who is standing trial on a two-count charge of felony and stealing, however, pleaded not guilty.

The prosecutor, Insp. Philomena Omorogie, alleged that the accused stole one raft containing 13 logs of wood valued at N200, 000 belonging to one Mr Austine Pinrin.

Omorogie said that the accused stole the wood on March 28 at about 1 p.m. at Okobaba area of Ebute Meta, adding that the offence contravened Sections 409 and 285 of the Criminal Code.

 

Nasarawa

The Chairman of NUJ Nasarawa State Council, Mr Dogo Shammah, has urged journalists to key into the new insurance policy initiated by the national headquarters of the union.

Shammah made the call in Lafia when he led a delegation of the state executive of the union on a condolence visit to the NTA over the loss of one of its staff, Mrs Lois Abimiku.

He said that although death was inevitable for all mortals, its effect on the dependants could be reduced through measures such as the new insurance policy by the union.

He said that two members of the union (Peter Uma of NBS and Lois Abimiku of NTA) died between March and April this year without registering with the scheme.

 

Ogun

Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun has called on corporate organisations in the state to support efforts at rebuilding the state.

The governor made the call in Abeokuta when he received the management team of Keystone Bank Plc which visited him.

A statement issued in Abeokuta by the governor’s spokesperson, Mrs Funmi Wakama, quoted Amosun as saying that the state was ready to partner with genuine investors.

The governor, according to the statement, said the partnership should be in the areas of education, health, agriculture, housing and urban development.

Amosun also said his administration had achieved significant improvement in its Internally Generated Revenue, adding that the state was planning to be financially self-sufficient.

 

Oyo

An Ibadan Chief Magistrates’ Court has ordered the remand in prison of a 21-year-old man, Adetunji Adeyemi, for allegedly raping a six-year-old girl.

Adeyemi was alleged to have raped the girl on April 6 at about 9:45 am at Elebu area of Oluyole, Ibadan.

The police prosecutor, ASP Grace Akinsehinwa, said the offence was contrary to and punishable under Section 218 of the Criminal Code Cap 38, Vol II Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria 2000.

The plea of the accused was, however, not taken.

Chief Magistrate Fatimah Badrudeen adjourned the case till June 4.

Yobe

The Yobe Teaching Service Board has said that teachers posted to remote areas in the state were paid hardship allowance to encourage them to stay in their areas of posting.

The Executive Chairman of the board, Alhaji Maijawa Dawayo, made this known in Damaturu at a news conference.

He said that teachers employed by the board also enjoy responsibility allowance as incentive to boost productivity and commitment to duty.

The chairman noted that 1,478 teachers were manning 40 senior secondary schools in the state, adding that “there are 373 university graduates, 55 HND holders, 810 NCE holders and others. “The board also trained 474 others through in-service to pursue degree programmes in various universities in the country.”

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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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