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Benue

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), has requested the assistance of the Benue Government to get the National Assembly to approve its Rice and Cassava Value Chain Programme.

The IFAD Country Programme Manager in Nigeria, Miss Atsuko Toda, made the request when she led a Supervision team monitoring the IFAD-assisted Rural Finance Institution Building (RUFIN) programme’s projects in the state on a courtesy visit to Gov Gabriel Suswam.

RUFIN is a seven-year programme designed to improve the performance of non-bank rural finance institutions to enable them to develop to sustainable Rural Microfinance Institutions (RMFIs) in the 12 participating states.

The goal of the programme is to improve the income, food security and general living conditions of poor rural households, particularly women-headed households, youth and the physically challenged.

Atsuko appealed to the governor to help expedite the approval process, saying that the state would benefit from the programme. According to her, the programme will attract more funding to micro-finance institutions in the state.

 

FCT

The Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA) last Thursday expressed disappointment over the spate of allegations of bribery rocking the National Assembly.

The National Chairman, Mr Sam Nkire, made the condemnation in an interview in Abuja,  described the allegations “as not only shameful but also a terrible commentary on the nation’s legislative institution”.

According to him, it is quite disgraceful that the leadership of both legislative houses have never sanctioned members implicated in any of these allegations.

He called on the leadership of the National Assembly to redeem its image by suspending all those members who had cases to answer.

The chairman said this had become imperative in order not to leave the public with the impression that it condoned corruption. “ The NASS should realise that the public is anxious to know what steps it will take in respect of its members implicated in the power, SEC and fuel subsidy probes,” he said.

 

Jigawa

The Jigawa Government, has procured 3,000 tonnes of assorted fertiliser worth N359 million for sale to farmers during this year’s cropping season.

The Commissioner for Information, Youth, Sports and Culture, Alhaji Babandi Gumel, disclosed this in Dutse last Thursday in an interview after the state executive council meeting.

Gumel said the fertiliser bought included NPK, Urea and organic fertiliser for farmers’ use to increase agricultural production.

He explained that NPK and Urea would be sold to farmers at the cost of N2,500 per bag, while organic fertiliser would be sold at N1, 900 per bag adding that fertiliser would be sold to farmers at different locations across the state.

Gumel also announced the termination of the contract for the supply of fertiliser given to Allied Range and Fuldu Nigeria Ltd. for failure to supply fertiliser at the stipulated period of one month.

 

Kano

A former Military Governor of Kaduna State, Air Vice Marshal Muktar Mohammed, has called for collective efforts of the people to fight corruption in the country.

He made the call at a one-day sensitisation workshop organised for the senior management officers of the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) in Kano on Thursday.

The workshop was organised by the Anti-corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) of the hospital, in collaboration with the zonal office of ICPC in Kano.

Mohammed said the appeal was necessary because of the level of corruption in the various sectors in the country.

According to Mohammed , there is the need for Nigerians, irrespective of their religious or political inclination, to support the anti-corruption crusade.

Zakari urged the participants to make the best use of the forum, to ensure that their various departments were corrupt free.

 

Kaduna

The National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) centre in Kaduna, last Thursday honoured 150 voluntary blood donors.

The North West Zonal Coordinator of the service, Dr Abigail Bozegha, told journalists in Kaduna that the honour was part of activities to mark this year’s World Blood Donor Day, commemorated on June 14.

Bozegha explained that the donors were given various gifts items in appreciation of their sacrifice to save the lives of other people.

She urged Nigerians to embrace the culture of voluntary blood donation to prevent further unwanted deaths in the country resulting from blood shortages. The coordinator said the centre had collected 1,500 pints of blood in the first five months of the year.

Bozegha said the blood was screened and distributed to needy patients within the period under review. “In Kaduna State with an estimated population of 6.7 million people, about 67,000 people should serve as blood donors,’’ Bozegha said.

 

Katsina

Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State last Thursday appointed Alhaji Usman Daudawa as the new Managing Director of the state’s Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (KTARDA).

Daudawa’s appointment followed the removal of the erstwhile Chief Executive, Dr Abba Jamo.

Jamo’s removal is contained in statement issued in Katsina by the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Head of Service, Alhaji Dalha Adamu.

The same statement named Daudawa as his replacement. It did not give any reason for Jamo’s removal.

Jamo was redeployed as director to the Monitoring and Evaluation (M & E) Department of the state’s Ministry of Agriculture as the director.

 

Kogi

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) last Thursday began the assessment of emergency provisions in public and high valued buildings in Kogi.

The exercise started in Lokoja with the assessment of emergency provisions in the state secretariat complex by officials of NEMA, Red Cross and the Kogi State Emergency Management Agency (KOSEMA).

The assessment will later be extended to other high valued and public buildings in the state.

The officials assessed the adequacy and state of alarm systems, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, exit doors, provision for disabled in emergency situations and first aid box and facilities at the staff clinic. The exercise also featured the demonstration of emergency staff evacuation drill for workers.

Commenting on the exercise, the Coordinator of Abuja Zonal office of NEMA, Mr Ishaya Chonoko said that the exercise was part of the agency’s response to current wave of terrorism and disasters in different parts of the country.

 

Kwara

A mobile court in Kwara State last Thursday convicted 34 drivers in Ilorin for violating various traffic rules.

The Magistrate, Mr Shuaib Olanikewu, convicted 34 of 35 accused drivers arraigned before him, while the 35th accused person, an NYSC member, was cautioned and discharged.

The convicts were fined from N1, 000 to N4, 000 depending on the type of offence committed.

The offences committed by the drivers included failure to use sea belts, overloading and driving without the driver’s licence, among others.

Most of the drivers were convicted of failure to use seat belts.

Commenting on the development, Mr Christopher Ademoluti, the Kwara Sector Commander of Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) said the exercise would continue to mitigate the level of road crashes in Kwara.

 

Plateau

The Plateau Government last Thursday threatened to stop forthwith, the payment of salaries of striking local government workers in the state.

The workers embarked on strike action two weeks ago to press home their demand for the full payment of the N18,000 minimum wage as against the half salaries they have been receiving since January.

 

Sokoto

The Sokoto State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Alhaji Aminu Kofar-Soro, last Thursday warned officers and men of the corps against misuse of fire arms.

Kofar-Soro said that the command would not tolerate any form of misuse of fire arms as any one found wanting would be sanctioned.

He said that the fire arms must be used to safeguard government property against vandals and enhance the security situation of the state.

The commandant said that the command had already drafted an effective operational order that would enable the officers to discharge their primary assignments without hindrance.

He called for the support of the members of public by giving intelligence reports about their communities.

 

Taraba

The Taraba Coordinator of the National Teachers Institute (NTI), Malam Saidu Yusuf, has decried the state’s low enrolment in the institute’s programmes, despite the number of unqualified primary school teachers.

Yusuf said in Jalingo in an interview that unqualified teachers in public schools in the state were not utilising opportunities provided by the institute to update their knowledge in recent trends in education development and teaching skills.

He said the National Certificate of Education (NCE), which was the minimum qualification for teaching in primary schools, had continued to elude such teachers because of their inability to improve themselves.

Yusuf, therefore, advised the unqualified teachers to enrol for NCE courses to enable them meet the minimum qualification to teach in primary schools.

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Enugu: Court Remands Siblings For Alleged Murder Of Makeup Artiste

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An Enugu State High Court, presided by Justice I. K. Okpe yesterday remanded two siblings allegedly involved in the murder of makeup artiste, Ijeoma Nneke, in Enugu Correctional Center.
The prosecuting counsel, Mrs Ngozi Ikem-Okoye. informed the court that the prosecution also had an application that sought the leave of the court to call additional witnesses in the matter.
However, the defence counsel, Mr C. U. Okafor, in response, said that the application was unnecessary as the accused had yet to take pleas.
Okafor held that the case was not yet before the court, adding that the prosecution did not seem to be ready to prosecute the case.
Delivering judgment, Okpe adjourned the case until August 25 for ruling on the application to call additional witnesses.
Recall that the two siblings were alleged to have conspired to kill Ijeoma on November 11, 2020, at 66 Ozubulu Street, Independence Layout, Enugu.
They were also alleged to have killed the victim by forcing her to drink poisonous substances and thereafter poured acid all over her body.

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Court Criticises DSS Over Failure To Produce Detained Igboho’s Aides

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A Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday criticised the Department of State Services (DSS) over failure to produce in court the 12 persons arrested at the residence of Yoruba nation’s agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho.
Justice Obiora Egwuatu, in a ruling, also ordered the DSS to produce the applicants in court in the next adjourned date.
The Tide learnt that Justice Egwuatu had, on July 23, ordered the DSS to produce the detainees in court yesterday.
The order followed a fundamental right enforcement suit that the lawyers to the detained applicants, Pelumi Olajengbesi, filed on their behalf, pursuant to Section 32(1) and (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) as well as Sections 6(6), 35 and 36 of 1999 Constitution, as amended.
The 12 persons, who had been in the DSS detention since July 2, are; Abdullateef Ofeyagbe, Amoda Babatunde (Aka Lady K), Tajudeen Erinoyen, Diakola Ademola, Abideen Shittu, and Jamiu Noah.
Others are Ayobami Donald, Adelabe Usman, Oluwafelumi Kunle, Raji Kazeem, Taiwo Opeyemi and Bamidele Sunday.
The Tide source reports that the DSS had, on July 1, confirmed that its operatives stormed Igboho’s home in Ibadan, arrested about 13 suspects; including a female and 12 males.
It also disclosed that two people were killed in the raid.
However, at the resumed hearing yesterday, Counsel to the DSS, I. Awo, informed the court that the applicants could not be brought because the service procured an order to hold the detainees.
Awo based the absence of the 12 detainees on the grounds that investigations into the circumstances that led to their arrest at Mr Igboho’s home were ongoing.
He hinted that of the 12 detainees on the court’s order, only three were being held by the DSS.
The lawyer listed the three detainees in the DSS custody to include: Amoda Babatunde (Aka Lady K), Diakola Ademola and Bamidele Sunday.
Reacting, Olajengbesi, urged the court to reject the service’s explanation as it was in contempt of the court’s order.
“The apparent affront on the authority of the court by the DSS cannot be justified,” the applicants’ lawyer argued.
He urged the court to discountenance the purported detention order that was procured by the DSS, arguing that it was not a Certified True Copy (CTC).
The lawyer prayed the court to admit his clients to bail.
Olajengbesi also informed the court that he had been denied access to his client, and urged the court to make an order in that regard.
Ruling, Egwuatu charged the DSS to purge itself of such a negative public perception as it did not paint a good picture of Nigeria before the international community.
He then ordered the security outfit to produce the detainees and show cause why they should not be granted bail.
“An order is hereby made directing the respondent (DSS) to allow the applicants’ counsel have access to the applicants, and the respondents are ordered to produce the applicants on the next adjourned date,” he said.
He adjourned the matter until August 2 for continuation of hearing.

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Anambra Poll: Obi, Ozigbo Beg PDP Stakeholders To Unite For Victory

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Former governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi and one of the two factional governorship candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr Valentine Ozigbo, have begged stakeholders and members of the party to unite for easy victory during the November 6 election in the state.
Obi and Ozigbo spoke yesterday in Awka, during a reconciliation meeting of the party, which was summoned by Ozigbo to reunite members of the party, after the rancour caused by the holding of two primary elections by the party on June 26, which produced Ozigbo and Senator Ugochukwu Uba.
Obi, while speaking at the meeting called on everyone to come together and work for the victory of the party in the forthcoming governorship election, saying that the primary was over and should be done with.
“I’m ready to beg all the aspirants for us to win the election. This candidate must win this election and we will not run away in our State because of anyone. I will win my local government and that is my assurance, nothing will stop us from winning the governorship election. Anambra must not go back to what it used to be.
“PDP has the best candidate for this election and we are going to win it, we have a formidable candidate and we need a formidable team to win it. I’m committed to PDP 24 hours and the party’s governors in the country are committed to winning the Anambra State election. It is our own election and we will win it,” the former governor said.
Ozigbo, in his address, reeled out the efforts he had made in reconciling every member and aspirants but regretted that the litigations in the party had held it down, adding that the party’s legal team was not relenting in evacuating the obstacles.
“I didn’t win the primary, but PDP and Anambra won. We’re one family but we are going to unite soon. Our enemies are not within, but outside PDP. PDP is a platform that will bring Igbo together, nobody should weave in what is happening now. We’re going to occupy the government house by the grace of God.
“The major reason for the gathering is to thank you for what you did and thank you for what you will do in the coming days because the real battle is coming. We are not celebrating because the real celebration will come on November 6. There’s a need for us to go into the governorship battle as a united family.
“I’ve visited my co-aspirants and I received positive vibes from Senator Uche Ekwunife, Hon Chris Azubogu, Dr Obiora Okonkwo, Dr Godwin Maduka, Mr Godwin Ezeemo and others.
“What I want to tell you now is that every other party in this State is counterfeit from APGA to APC to YPP and that is why I’m begging all our stakeholders to have faith in me and I won’t disappoint them.
“They should forgive and forget and I’m ready to make every sacrifice for all of us to come together. We want to make the founder of PDP, late Dr Alex Ekwueme, proud whereever he is and that’s the assurance I gave the daughter, lady Chidi Onyemelukwe, when we spoke before the meeting.

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