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Musician, 23, Arraigned For Allegedly Stealing Musical Equipment

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A 23-year-old musi
cian, Izuchukwu Chukwudozie, was last Wednesday arraigned before a Wuse Zone 2 Senior Magistrates’ Court, Abuja, for allegedly stealing musical equipment from a church.
The accused who resides at Trade More Estate, Lugbe, Abuja, is standing trial on a two-count charge of criminal conspiracy and theft.
The police prosecutor, Cpl. Paul Anigbo, said that on Oct. 10, 2013 Pastor Roy Onwuatun of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, FHA Lugbe, reported the accused at the Lugbe Police Station.
Anigbo told the court that Onwuatun had reported that sometime in June 2013, the accused and two others now at large were expelled from the church because of their shortcomings.
He said that the accused and his accomplices conspired among themselves, broke into the church and stole some musical equipment.
According to him, the stolen musical equipment included an electrical mixer, valued at N120,000, and an electrical drum pedal valued at N100,000.
He said that during police investigation, the accused could not give a satisfactory account of himself.
Anigbo said the offences contravened Sections 79 and 287 of the Penal Code.
The accused, if found guilty, could face five years jail term, a fined, or both.
The accused pleaded not guilty.
The Senior Magistrate, Mr Chukwuemeka Ubani, granted the accused bail in the sum of N120,000 with one surety in like sum.
Ubani said the surety must be a resident within the jurisdiction of the court and should be a civil servant of any grade level.
He adjourned the case till May 6 for hearing.

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Court Remands IAUOE Staff Over Sexual Abuse Charges

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A Port Harcourt Magistrate Court in Rivers State presided over by Senior Magistrate Gomba Osaro has remanded a staff of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUOE), Mgbechi Wekwa, aged 45 years, in the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre, for alleged sexual abuse of a 16-year old girl.

The suspect is standing trial on a one-count charge bordering on sexual abuse and forcefully having carnal knowledge of a 16-year old girl.

The charge sheet read, “that you, Mgbechi Wekwa ‘M’ on 13th day of January, 2021, at Rumuakwunde in Emohua local Government Area, but triable in Port Harcourt Magisterial District did unlawfully and sexually abuse one Victoria Edwin ‘F’, 16 years old by inserting your penis into her vagina, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 32(1)(2) of the Child’s Rights Act Cap. 50 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2013.

The presiding senior magistrate, after hearing application for bail brought by the defence Counsel, Martina Okpeeholo, adjourned the matter for bail consideration to Monday, February 22, 2021, and ordered that the suspect be remanded at the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre.

Speaking outside the court room, practicing lawyer in Port Harcourt, Jane O. A. James, holding watching brief for the complainant on behalf of the Centre for Basic Rights Protection and Accountability Campaign, expressed displeasure that the police watered down the charge to Section 32(1)(2) of Child’s Rights Act 2013, which is a charge of sexual abuse and exploitation instead of Section 31(1)(2), which states the definition and punishment for rape as is the case in this instant matter.

 

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CBN Gives Credit To 200,000 Maize Farmers

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has provided credit facilities to more than 200,000 maize farmers to bolster domestic maize production and reduce the  price of maize through increased production.
National President, Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN), Alhaji Bello Abubakar on Monday confirmed that the CBN had released credit facilities to more than 200,000 farmers who were expected to produce more than 25 million metric tonnes of maize in the 2020-2021 planting season.
The funds were provided under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) of the CBN.
Abubakar said the credit facilities were being distributed to members along the maize value chain nationwide.
He expressed confidence that the support of the CBN would boost production and, ultimately, ensure availability as well as stability in the price of the commodity.
According to him, despite  the cases of insecurity in some parts of the country, farmers are committed to meeting the objective of food security.
Abubakar charged middlemen “not to take advantage of the supply gap to hike the price of the grains”.
He assured the government, that “farmers would maintain reasonable price” and urged the Federal Government to put in place “mechanism to protect farmers from market triggered shocks”.
Meanwhile, the price of maize is set to crash to N120,000 per metric tonne next month from N155,000 per metric tonne.
The maize price slash will be brought on by the planned release of about 300,000 Mt into the market from strategic anchors under the ABP of the CBN.
With the release of 300,000 Mt, it is expected that the prices of maize in the market will drop significantly, thereby increasing demand for the crop and, ultimately, enhancing the gains of maize farmers.
The anticipated maize release follows moves made by the CBN, working with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), in the last quarter of 2020, to facilitate import waivers to four agro-processing firms to import 262,000 tonnes of maize to bridge the shortfall in production and augment local production.
A prime anchor under the maize production, Dr. Edwin Uche, yesterday said the planned dry season farming, timely distribution of input to farmers and improved security, would enhance production and ensure stability in the price of maize.
che noted that banditry, drought in some parts of the country in 2020 and middlemen were responsible for  high price.
Abubakar also attributed the shortfall in the quantity of maize available in the market to insecurity around the major maize producing belt of Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and part of Kano states.
According to him, hoarders and middlemen are responsible for the scarcity and exorbitant price of maize.
Another major stakeholder in the maize production, Mr. Ayodeji Balogun of AFEX, attributed the hike in price to cash-flow problem of farmers which has compelled them to resort to collecting cash from buyers ahead of production and resort to side-selling, especially across the borders of neighbouring countries due to higher prices.

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Rivers Community Disowns Traditional Prime Ministerial Position

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The Okwuzi Council of Chiefs in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government area says the purported position of a traditional prime minister is strange to its culture and tradition.
The chiefs’ council said this at a press briefing while reacting to claims by one Nelson Ekperi that he was the traditional prime minister of Okwuzi community.
The text for the briefing which was read by chairman council of chiefs of Okwuzi community, Eze James M. Nnah, said the community had no such position since its inception till date, and added that what the community had at the moment was a regent because of the incapacitation of the Eze Oruamara I of Okwuzi (Eze Ali II) of Okwuzi.
“Our own community does not have a traditional prime minister. What we have is a regent following the incapacitation of our paramount ruler”.
According to the council, anyone parading himself as the traditional prime minister of the community is on his own as its culture and tradition does not support it, “thus anyone parading himself as traditional prime minister of our community does so without traditional support and should be treated as an impostor.
“Our chieftaincy matter which is about rightful successor is still in court”, he said.
He said the community had distanced itself from unlawful conduct perpetrated by Nelson Ekperi against the Inspector General of Police, the AIG Zone 16, the Commissioner of Police Rivers State and the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) Okwuzi, and added that the council tendered unreserved apology over whatever dirt Ekperi must have poured on the police.
Also speaking, the chairman Egbema Council of Chiefs, Chief Kingsley Obiye, said the position of a prime minister of Okwuzi had never existed in the annals of Okwuzi history and urged the public to discountenance it.
Earlier addressing newsmen Nelson Ekperi had claimed that he was the prime minister and that the paramount ruler of Okwuzi is alive.

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