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THE STATES

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Adamawa

Adamawa  State Acting Governor Ahmadu Umaru has
approved the constitution of  a seven-man judicial panel of inquiry to investigate the administration of impeached Murtala Nyako from June, 2007 to June 2014.
A statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Tukur Liman  in Yola recently indicated that the panel which   has Justice Bobbo Umar as chairman, and Mr Sedan Nyari,   as its secretary has four weeks to submit its findings. According to the statement, the terms of reference of the panel were to investigate financial accruals to the State from June, 2007 to June, 2014  and the investigation of disbursement and application of funds to ministries, boards, and agencies over the period of reference.
The panel would also identify those involved in inappropriate financial disbursements and application. It further stated that the panel would investigate staff recruitment, deployment and administration of human resources.

Bauchi

Some gunmen, suspected to be armed robbers, have killed
the District Head of Soro in Bauchi State Malam Abdulrahman Baba, and injured two other persons.
The Bauchi Police Command’s spokesperson, DSP Haruna Mohammed, who confirmed the killing in a statement yesterday, said the incident occurred at 7.45 pm last Saturday
.He said: “On Saturday at about 7.45 pm, six gunmen suspected to be armed bandits, stormed Soro town in Ganjuwa Local Government Area of Bauchi State, killing the District Head, Abdulrahman Isa Baba, and injuring two other traders. They carted away undisclosed amount of money from their victims and escaped to unknown destination. The entire surrounding had been cordoned off and efforts are being intensified to arrest the fleeing suspects.”
Mohammed also said a 32-year-old man had been apprehended in connection with an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) that was buried in a building site located at VIO quarters in Azare.

Ekiti

A former Speaker of the old Ondo State House of
Assembly, Chief Femi Akinyemi, says  the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, lost his bid for a re-election in the June 21 governorship election to “inexperience and incompetence in politics and governance.”
Chief Akinyemi, who is also the chairman of Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) in Ekiti State, addressed newsmen in his native Usi-Ekiti in Ido/Osi Local Government Area of the state after he received a merit award of the community. He claimed that “Fayemi failed woefully in the election because he did not put reliable structures in all the councils to reach out to the people.”
Describing the SURE-P scheme as a huge success and one of the best poverty alleviation strategies in the country, Akinyemi revealed that “the Federal Government spends a sum of N360 million on beneficiaries in Ekiti annually.”
Akinyemi, however, condemned the states and local governments for not showing enough transparency in the disbursement of the funds to beneficiaries like the Federal Government.
FCT

The Nigeria Immigration Service said  recently that 24
officers were to be sent to various embassies abroad to ease the process of obtaining visas and e-passports.
The NIS Public Relations Officer, Mr. Emeka Obua  said some Nigerians in Diaspora and foreigners experienced difficulties obtaining  visas and e-passports because NIS was not represented at some Nigerian embassies.
The spokesman said to complement the effort of officers, the service would also make provisions for more machines since the passport was mainly done online.
He said that NIS had begun the implementation of the new e-passport reforms, and called on all Nigerians to cooperate with the service to ensure its implementation.
The spokesman said the new 64-page e-passport costs N20,000, adding that those under 18 years and those above 60 years could obtain the passport at N8,750.
Kano

Governor  Rabiu Musa  Kwankwaso of  Kano
State, yesterday accused President Goodluck Jonathan of running a government based on ethnic sentiment and religious bigotry.
Kwankwaso, who spoke with reporters in his office weekend, also advised the Presidency to reduce the level of hatred and bitterness among Nigerians, if the government was actually interested in resolving the problem of insecurity.
According to him, the real cause of insecurity in the country was bad leadership being experienced in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)- led government, noting that the inability of President Jonathan to tackle the issue of insurgency in the North and insecurity in other parts of the country had exposed Jonathan’s incompetence to preside over the affairs of Nigeria.

Kwara

The Kwara  State  House of Assembly last
Monday debunked a report that it had concluded plans to impeach Governor  Abdulfatah Ahmed.
The Majority Leader of the House, Alhaji AbdulKareem AbdulGaniyu, told newsmen in Ilorin that the impeachment rumour was fuelled by a report that the House was divided over the second term bid of the governor.
Abdulkareem, however, said the House was united, adding that most of the members were from the same party. He also maintained that the relationship between the governor and Senator  Bukola Saraki was cordial.

Lagos

As part of the on-going efforts to prevent the
spread of the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, into the country, a team of federal and Lagos State health officials, yesterday, visited the General Overseer of The Synagogue Church of All Nations, Prophet Temitope Joshua, to sensitise members of the congregation about persons from the affected countries in their midst.
The team, led by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, expressed readiness to work with the health team of the Church by way of technical assistance, medical advice and training to ensure that no victim of the deadly disease comes to the Church undetected. Medical doctors attending to an Ebola virus disease victim
Nasarawa

Nasarawa State Universal Basic Education Board said
it had concluded plans to recruit no fewer than 2,000 teachers to fill vacant positions in schools in the state.
Executive Secretary of the board, Malam Abdulkarim Abdullahi, made this known at a meeting of the board and local government councils’ chairmen and education secretaries in the state in Lafia recently Monday.
Abdullahi said the board had set up a committee to collaborate with the councils’ chairmen and the education secretaries to identify areas where the teachers were needed stated that the committee was also charged with the responsibility of working out modalities of ensuring that only competent hands were employed.

Osun

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has issued a red
alert on the August  9 gubernatorial election in  Osun State, saying, about half a million permanent voters cards (PVCs), which were either unclaimed, not handed over to their authentic owners or obtained fraudulently, have been cloned by unscrupulous persons ahead of the election, with the sole purpose of rigging.
”These cloned cards, mostly in the hands of persons from states other than Osun, are to be used along with the authentic PVCs issued to the electorate in Osun state during the August 9 Osun governorship election,” the party said in a statement issued in Osogbo last Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
”Already, we can confirm that the hundreds of thousands of people in possession of these cloned cards all over Nigeria, especially in the states neighboring Osun, are being induced monetarily and instructed to super impose their photographs on the cloned PVCs.

Oyo

The epileptic electricity supply currently being experienced
in Ibadan and its environs will soon be a thing of the past as Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company Plc (IBEDC), in charge of electricity distribution in the zone, has promised a daily 15-hour electricity supply to consumers.
The Managing Director of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Engr. Fortunato Leynes, made this promise at the company’s first journey to change knowledge sharing series which held in Ibadan over the weekend.
According to Leynes, one of the greatest challenges hindering uninterrupted power supply to customers is inadequate power generation capacity for his company to distribute to consumers.
Speaking on the essence of the knowledge sharing series being organised by the company, Deputy Managing Director of IBEDC Mr. John Darlington noted, that “the challenges are enormous but if we get our people, technology, attitude and discipline right, in the next two or three years our company will make the difference.”

Governor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto (left), receiving a souvenir from Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar 111 for attending the Nigerian Defence Academy Alumni 18th Regular Course Re-union in Sokoto, recently.

Governor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto (left), receiving a souvenir from Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar 111 for attending the Nigerian Defence Academy Alumni 18th Regular Course Re-union in Sokoto, recently.

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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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