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THE STATES

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Ekiti

An Ado-Ekiti Magistrate Court has remanded one Iboi
Sunday, 25, in prison custody for allegedly raping and strangling a 13-year-old girl to death.
Chief Magistrate Olanike Adegoke gave the order pending the outcome of the legal advice from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
She adjourned the case to December13 for further hearing.
Prosecutor Sunday Onwuchekwa had told the court that the accused committed the offence on October 29, 2013 at Oshodi farm, Eyio -Ekiti in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area of Ekiti State.

FCT

Parents Consultative Association of Nigerian Universi
ties (PCANU) has commiserated with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over the death of its former President, Prof. Festus Iyayi.
The group conveyed its message in a statement signed by its President, Mr Donald Sobara, and issued in Abuja recently.
Sobara described the late Iyayi as a renowned academic and a respected human rights activist, who had been part of ASUU’s negotiating team with the Federal Government to end the struggle.
“We must put aside everything and mourn this great man of honour and integrity.

Gombe

President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to declare open
the second North-East Economic Summit scheduled for December 3 in Gombe, Gombe State.
Chairman of the Publicity Committee of the summit, Alhaji Bashir Bello-Akko, made this known when he interacted with newsmen in Gombe State.
Bello-Akko said preparations were in progress to ensure a successful summit.
According to him, two pre-summit conferences were held recently in Abuja to discuss issues that would be deliberated upon in the summit.

Kaduna

A total of 53 Cadets of the Nigeria Defence Academy
have joined the Special Elite Force after successfully completing a six-week basic airborne course at the Nigeria School of Infantry, Jaji, Kaduna State.
The Commandant of the School, Maj.Gen. Tukur Buratai, said the training was designed to “produce physically fit and skilled elite troops capable of being launched into battle field from an aircraft”.
Represented by Col Sani Audu, the commandant said the paratroopers had displayed high discipline and professionalism during the course.

Kano

The Joint Security Taskforce (JTF) has said it had killed
two suspected Boko Haram members at Gayawa in Ungoggo Local Government Area of Kano State.
This is contained in a statement signed by spokesman of the JTF, Capt. Ikedichi Iweha, and made available to newsmen in Kano State.
The statement stated that the suspects lost their lives during an early morning operation at Gayawa general area.
“A further cordon and search operation was conducted this morning at about 6.30 at Gayawa general area”, the statement said.
Kebbi

The Raw Materials Research and Development Council
(RMRDC), says it would upgrade its intervention programmes in agriculture and mining to boost industrial development in Kebbi State.
The acting Director-General of the council, Dr Hassan Ibrahim said this in Birnin Kebbi at the opening of a capacity building workshop with the theme“Harnessing Fruit Juice Processing and Packaging in Kebbi state.”
Represented by Mr Usain Wele, the director general said the RMRDC had in the past assisted stakeholders in the state to promote their trades.
Kogi

The Kogi State House of Assembly has resolved to con
stitute a delegation to go to Benin and commiserate with the family of the late Prof. Festus Iyayi.
The resolution came after the assembly adopted a motion moved by the Majority Leader, Alhaji Yakubu Yunusa, at plenary.
Yunusa had in the motion called for the constitution of a powerful delegation from the assembly to go to Benin and commiserate with the family of the late Iyayi.
“The late professor, who was a former President of ASUU and author, was a leader who devoted and sacrificed his all for the country.
Kwara

An Ilorin Magistrate Court has  remanded the tradi
tional ruler of Tewu Village, in Baruteen Local Government Area of Kwara State, Sinapatiagi Sule, for alleged inhuman treatment.
The monarch was arraigned on a four-count charge with his seven chiefs for criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide, causing grievous hurt, and trial by ordeal.
The chiefs are Musa Lafia, Gunu Adamu, Muhammed Akpo, Usman Sabi, Sule Taku, Gunu Ibrahim and Amuda Tabe.
Prosecutor Adekunle Iwaleye told the court that the monarch invited the seven complainants to his palace for allegedly belonging to witches and wizards.

Niger

The Niger State Government has signed a N1.2 billion
Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with Soject Nigeria Limited for the upgrading of Brigi-Lapai gwari road in the state.
Alhaji Mu’azu Bawa, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure Development, who signed on behalf of the state government, said that the project was designed to ease traffic congestion in the area.
He said the initial design of the road project was surface-dressing as feeder road to cater for the villages within the area.
Bawa, however, said that the state government changed the design to make it a by-pass to accommodate more traffic.
Ogun

Governor  Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State  has pre
sented a budget proposal of N210.21 billion for 2014 to the State House of Assembly.
Christened “Budget of Consolidation’’, Amosum said the 2014 was slightly lower than the 2013 figure of N211.86 billion and geared toward the actualisation of the administration’s mission to rebuild the state.
He said N117.51billion was earmarked for capital expenditure, while N92.70 billion would be for recurrent expenditure.
The governor said the expected revenue was N154.38 billion, while the capital receipt was  N55.83 billion.

Ondo

A trader, Remi Lanre, has appeared before an Akure
Magistrate Court for allegedly assaulting a police officer.
The Prosecutor, ASP. Pelumi Adejuwon, alleged that the accused committed the offence on November 18, at about 1 p.m. at Ilotin, off Ijoka road in Akure.
“She unlawfully assaulted one Cpl Cecilia Adebisi, attached to Oda Divisional Police Headquarters, Akure.
“The accused rough-handled the police officer by damaging her uniform, crest and wrist watch,” he said.

Oyo

A university teacher has called for the creation of more
employment opportunities for women to improve the health status of mothers and their children.
Dr Adetola  Adeoti, lecturer, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Ibadan,  made the call at the National Policy Seminar on Health, Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction in Ibadan last Tuesday.
In her paper: “Child Health and Maternal Health Status and Demand for Health Care Services in Nigeria’’, she said “educated and employed mothers will not only be healthy but also have healthy children.’’
She said Nigeria experienced significant increase in economic growth in the last decade yet the health indicators were very poor particularly in the rural areas where poverty remained high.

Taraba

The Director, Public Complaints Commission in
Taraba State, Alhaji Sa’ad Mohammed, has said that the disparities existing in salaries of civil servants in the country were unfair.
Mohammed said this in Jalingo in an interactive session with the State-Based Federal Civil Servants in Taraba State.
“I cannot understand why people who graduated from the same school, department and at the same grade level, are receiving different salaries, simply because they are not working in the same organisations.
“Some earn even three times what their mates are earning elsewhere. Are there public establishments that are not important.”
He, however, said that the disparities had recently been bridged to some extent by the present administration, but stressed that the gap was still wide.

Chairman, Gombe State Sports Commission, Mr Faruk Yarma (left), briefing Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo (right), during an inspection tour of sports facilities in Gombe last Wednesday. With them is the Principal Permanent Secretary to the Governor, Alhaji Sani Joro (middle). Photo: NAN

Chairman, Gombe State Sports Commission, Mr Faruk Yarma (left), briefing Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo (right), during an inspection tour of sports facilities in Gombe last Wednesday. With them is the Principal Permanent Secretary to the Governor, Alhaji Sani Joro (middle).
Photo: NAN

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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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