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THE STATES

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Bauchi

The Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) has an
nounced the suspension of its ongoing registration exercise in Bauchi State due to the death of its chairman, Alhaji Abdullahi Jibo.
Speaking to newsmen recently, the National Vice Chairman of the party, Alhaji Muslihu Maigari, said the death came as a shock to the party.
According to him, Jibo’s  death was a serious loss to the party not only in the state but in the country.
Also speaking, the deceased’s brother, Alhaji Umar Jibo, said  Abdullahi died  at the National Hospital, Abuja while on official assignment.

FCT

The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps
(NSCDC) has advised the warring people of Guari and the Fulani communities in the Bwari Area Council, to learn to live  in peace.
NSCDC commandant in the area, Mr John Efere, gave the advice in an interview with newsmen in Bwari.
Speaking over the crisis between the Guari and Fulani people residing in Geram community, he said that there was need for the people to live in harmony.
Efere, a Chief Superintendent of NSCDC, also spoke of the necessity of the people to develop the attitude of staying vigilant and to report suspicious movements in the community.

Gombe

Gombe State Government said it had installed 20 fire
hydrant in Gombe, the state capital, to assist fire fighters with water to combat fire outbreaks.
Alhaji Isa Mohammed, General Manager of the state Water Corporation, made the disclosure in an interview with newsmen recently.
He said that officials of the ministry would accompany fire fighters round the metropolis to show them the locations of the fire hydrant.
“We will soon take them (fire fighters) round the city to show them the locations of the fire hydrant”.

Kaduna

The Kaduna State Government said it had placed se
curity agencies on alert to avert any breakdown of law and order in the state. The Commissioner for Information in the state, Mr Ben Bako, made the call in a statement in Kaduna.
Bako urged the residents to be vigilant, support security agencies and report suspicious movements around them to relevant authority.
“This call became necessary to assure citizens of government’s continuous vigilance on happenings within the state”.

Katsina

The Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria
(HERFON), an NGO, has urged the Katsina State Government to dedicate 25 per cent of its annual budget for the health sector to malaria control.
Chairman of the foundation in the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Kurfi, made the call in Katsina during an advocacy visit to the State House of Assembly. The chairman said “malaria constitute majority of health problems in hospitals in the state, hence the need for allocating 25 per cent of health sector budget to ensure effective malaria control.’’
He urged the lawmakers to support the NGO in its malaria control efforts and always involve health professionals during their oversight visits to health facilities in the state.

Kwara

An expert on  Family Medicine, Dr Esther Bankole,
has warned homosexuals and those practising oral sex of the dangers of contracting hepatitis.
Bankole, a staff of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), gave the warning at  the Lenten season programme organised by the wife of the state’s  governor, Mrs Omolewa Ahmed.
She said those at risk were  people  with unusual sexual orientation such as  homosexuals, those practising oral sex and the sexually promiscuous.
Bankole, who described hepatitis as the inflammation of the liver tissue, said it  may also be caused by toxins, drugs, radiation or a virus.

Lagos

There was a mild drama at an Oshodi Magistrates’
Court in Lagos as an ex-convict, Segun Olanrewaju, changed his guilty plea as he was being sentenced.
Our correspondent  reports that Olanrewaju had earlier pleaded guilty to the theft of two mobile phones worth N80, 000.
Olanrewaju, 24, who resides at 23, Olufemi St., Yaba, was arraigned on March 4 and remanded him in Kirikiri Prisons after admitting the charge of theft.
The case was scheduled for facts and sentencing on Tuesday.
However, when the Magistrate, Akeem Fashola, was about to sentence him, he changed his plea, saying:“ I earlier pleaded guilty because I did not understand the charge.”
Nasarawa

A Grade One Area Court in Mararaba, Nasarawa
State has discharged a 19-year-old student,  Emmanuel Ebuka, charged with assaulting his colleague, Umoh Kelvin.Our correspondent  reports that Ebuka was arraigned on five counts of criminal conspiracy, trespass, intimidation, mischief and theft.
The presiding judge, Mr Albert Maga, discharged the accused, after the prosecutor, PC Friday Adaji, told the court that both parties had settled their differences “amicably”. Maga therefore struck out the case, and said “it is always good for parties in a matter to iron out their differences.
Ondo

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has condemned
in strong terms the  manhandling of two of its members in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, by suspected political thugs.
This is contained in a statement issued in Akure by the Zone ‘B’ Vice-President, Mr Dele Atunbi. The union described the attack on its members covering the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) secretariat that was gutted by fire in Ado-Ekiti as debasing and dehumanising. “We at the NUJ frown at a development where thugs have constituted themselves as lords in Ekiti State under a democratically elected government.

Osogbo

The Chairman, Osun State Broadcasting Corporation
(OSBC), Mr Kola Akanji has promised that the corporation would be fair to all political parties ahead of the August 9 governorship election in the state.
Akanji made the promise in Osogbo in an interview with newsmen. He said that both the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) had always been in the vanguard of fair hearing.
“As the governorship election approaches in Osun, the corporation is aware that there would be increased political activities from the parties, individuals and stakeholders.

Ogun

The Principal Dental Officer, Ogun State Dental Clinic,
Ijebu-Ode, Dr David Ogunba,has advised residents to go for regular  dental check-up   to prevent tooth decay and mouth odour.
Ogunba gave the advice in an interview with newsmen in Ijebu-Ode.
According to him, decay often  set in when  acid by bacterial fermentation of food debris accumulates in the tooth and destroys  its hard tissues. Ogunba said refined sugars found in confectioneries such as candies, chocolates, cakes, ice-cream, jams and peanut butter  were often  responsible for tooth decay.

Taraba

The Taraba Board of Internal Revenue has registered
over 5,000 eligible tax payers in the state from 2009 to date, its Chairman, Alhaji Yusuf Galadima, has said.
Galadima told newsmen  in Jalingo that the registration captured both private individuals and civil servants. He said that all the registered persons had been issued Tax Identification Number (TIN) as directed by the National Joint Tax Board.
The chairman said the TIN would enable the board develop a data base that would assist in checking tax evasion.

L-R: District Head of Barnawa, Alhaji Kabir Zubairu, Chairman, TY Danjuma Foundation, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd) and President, Civil Rights Congress, Comrade Shehu Sani, at the graduation  of participants of TY Danjuma Foundation vocational skills acquisition  in Kaduna State, last Wednesday. Photo: NAN.

L-R: District Head of Barnawa, Alhaji Kabir Zubairu, Chairman, TY Danjuma Foundation, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd) and President, Civil Rights Congress, Comrade Shehu Sani, at the graduation of participants of TY Danjuma Foundation vocational skills acquisition in Kaduna State, last Wednesday. 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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