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Senate Passes N315bn NDDC Budget

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The Senate yesterday passed the N315.8 billion 2013 Budget of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary session, decried the continuous late presentation of the budget by the commission and its subsequent late passage.
He advised the NDDC to ensure that it submitted its budget early enough to enhance quick passage and to enable implementing agencies to execute the budget in time.
Meanwhile, the Senate, yesterday in Abuja, approved President Goodluck Jonathan’s request to extend the state of emergency imposed on Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States, for another six months.
The Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba (PDP-Cross River), had moved the motion entitled: “Request for Extension of State of Emergency.”
He recalled that the Senate passed a resolution on May 21, following which the President declared the state of emergency. This was in order to curb militant insurgency and restore peace in the three states.
Ndoma-Egba said the approval of the extension was based on the same terms and conditions that were earlier approved and gazetted.
The Senators invited service chiefs and the Supervising Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mrs Viola Onwuleri, to further brief the upper chamber on the impact the state of emergency had had on the three states.
The extension of State of Emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states by President Goodluck Jonathan was greeted with mixed feeling by the people of Adamawa.
President Goodluck Jonathan on November 6 wrote to the National Assembly seeking its approval to extend the emergency rule imposed on the three states experiencing the activities of insurgents.
The letter followed the expiration of the six months emergency rule earlier declared in the states in May.
Buba Ardo, a resident of Mubi said that he was happy with the return of peace to the area.
He, however, said he would want to see the emergency rule lifted for so that people, particularly the border communities, could go about their daily activities.
“I am not happy with the proposed extension of state of emergency, it should be removed while the army should remain to patrol the area,” Ardo said.
Also speaking, the Adamawa Secretary of Jamatul Nasril Islam (JNI), Alhaji Gambo Jika, said he was delighted that peace had returned to the state.
“As far as we are concerned in Adamawa, things have normalised except if there are certain things the security agencies see that we cannot see,” Jika said.
Also speaking in the same vein, Mallam Abdullahi Damare, Coordinator of North East Interfaith Mediation Centre, said it was high time the emergency rule was lifted.
He said the security situation in the state had improved to the extent that the emergency rule was no longer necessary.
The Adamawa Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Moses Taparki, also lauded the return of peace and normalcy in the state.
He, however, said it was the duty of the security agencies to decide if things were normal enough to lift the emergency rule.
“If they (security) feel the situation has improve to warrant the removal of the state of emergency they should go ahead to do it but if they feel otherwise so be it”, Taparki said.
Meanwhile, the Director Press Affairs to Gov. Murtala Nyako, Mallam Ahmed Sajoh, has said the Adamawa government was not in support of the extension of the emergency rule.
He said rather than a blanket extension, the security agencies should consider the security situation on state-by-state basis.

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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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