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THE STATES

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Borno

The 7th Division of the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri
on Saturday cautioned residents of Borno State against embarking on street protests, saying such was not allowed under emergency rule, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
The division’s spokesman, Col. Sani Usman, in a statement, said, “Some unscrupulous elements, under the guise of (being) concerned indigenes of some parts of Borno, intend to stage a protest in Maiduguri.
“We are calling on these miscreants to stop their plans. We are also reminding all residents that Borno is under a state of emergency declared by the Federal Government.
“Consequently, such protest is unlawful and anyone involved in such acts will have himself to blame.”
Usman said the military was working hard to root out suspected terrorists from the state.
“We wish to assure the good people of Borno and indeed all law-abiding citizens that the military is doing all it could to root out terrorists causing mayhem in the society.
“Therefore, we solicit your continued support and understanding in the fight against insurgency and terrorism in the country,” he said.

Jigawa

The  Jigawa State Government has expressed worry
over the  rate of rape incidence which stands at seven to 10 cases in recent months.
Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Yakubu Abdullahi Ruba, who spoke to reporters in Dutse, the state capital, said the judiciary has mapped out a plan to effect quick dispensation of cases at the courts.
Abdullahi said his ministry in collaboration with the  justice sector and law reform commission have embarked on mass enlightenment campaign  to reduce their occurrence adding that the state chief judge, in line with the quick dispensation of cases, had ordered the hearings on criminal cases on daily bases.
He said the state government recently organised a stakeholders’ meeting, where security agencies were educated on the state’s laws and how some cases are to be handled.
“We in Jigawa State are making efforts to ensure that justice is done to all parties on  any criminal offence,” he added.

Kano

The Kano State Hisbah authorities said on Wednes
day in Kano that they arrested 200 persons for street begging in Kano municipal area.Hisbah is the law enforcement arm of the sharia law. The Deputy Commander, Operations, Hisbah Board, Malam Yusuf Nabahani, told newsmen that preliminary investigations indicated that the beggars were new to the city. Nabahani also said that most of those arrested claimed ignorance of the ban on street begging by the Kano State Government.”We plan to return all of them to their various communities after making inquiries. We will warn them never to return,” he said. One of those arrested said that his community was facing famine, adding that there was not much farm activities for him to undertake. Another batch of 15 beggars, which was arrested by the board, was given assistance by the state government to start their own businesses.

Kwara

Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed said yes
terday his administration has redeemed the N17 billion bond obtained in 2009 for infrastructural development projects.
Ahmed, who announced the redemption at a meeting with stakeholders in Ilorin, the state capital, expressed satisfaction that Kwara had met its obligations under the bond.
He said the N17 billion was utilised for the Kwara State University Malete, the International Aviation College, Harmony Advanced Diagnostic Centre, the Ilorin Township Stadium, Ilorin Water Reticulation Project (Phase One) as well as road and electrification projects.
The governor said information from the  capital market indicates that the market is excited and reinvigorated to subscribe to the state’s proposed N23 billion bond for infrastructural development.

Katsina

The Katsina State  Government has approved an  addi
tional N97 million for securing befitting accommodation for its pilgrims participating in the 2014 Hajj. The state’s Deputy Governor, Alhaji Andullahi Faskari, said this recently at the opening  of  an enlightenment workshop year’s intending pilgrims at Matazu, in  Matazu Local Government Area of the state.  Faskari  said the state government had earmarked N15 million for  the workshop which would be conducted in  the 34 local government areas of the state. Represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Community Development, Alhaji Abubakar Yusuf, Faskari also said the government was making arrangements for the feeding of  the pilgrims.

Kaduna

A former Minister of Finance and Agriculture, Mallam
Adamu Ciroma, said in Kaduna on Saturday  he lost interest in Nigerian politics because of the insincerity of the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party on rotational Presidency. He said rather than abiding by the agreement on rotational presidency, the party leadership scuttled it soon as former President Umaru Yar-Adua died in 2010.
Ciroma, who spoke on the Liberty FM, Kaduna, insisted that somebody from the North should have completed Yar’Adua’s tenure and not President Goodluck Jonathan.
Ciroma said, “I was there when the party was moving the Presidency between the North and the south. And this President was there when General (Olusegun) Obasanjo presided over the agreement in the PDP, which agreed that the movement of the Presidency from North to South should be based on two terms.  While assessing the party since 2011 to date, the former minister expressed concern over the current security challenge in the land.

Lagos

Former Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon.
Jokotola Pelumi, at the weekend, decried the treatment being meted to delegates from the state at the National Conference, who he said were not allowed to present Lagosians’ views, declaring that the delagates might refuse to sign the final report of the Confab. Hon. Pelumi said  he had the mandates of elders and leaders in the state to speak on the issue noted that similar national conferences occurred under late Sani Abacha and Chief Obasanjo’s administrations, but the opportunities were squandered,  Pelumi pointed out that Lagos State had its own delegates at the Confab with a mandate to present the people’s demands that should form part of the new constitution in the making, but that none of them (delegates) were recognised by the Confab secretariat to speak on the floor whenever they moved to do so.

Nasarawa

The Nasarawa State House of Assembly has criticised
the acquittal of governor, Tanko Al-Makura, saying that the seven-man panel did not exist in the first instance to warrant any verdict.
The House also served notice it was going ahead with the removal of the governor despite the dismissal of the 16 offences levelled against him by the panel.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Information and Security, Baba Ibaku, who announced the rejection of the panel’s verdict in Lafia, said that there was no going back on the impeachment move against the governor.
He said the panel set up by the Chief Judge, Justice Umaru Dikko, to investigate 16-count charge against the governor violated Section 188 Subsection (5) of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, describing its sitting as illegal.

Ogun

The Ogun State Government has urged those hunting
for Wild Life and Games Animals to suspend their activities forthwith in the state as part of measures to curtail the outbreak of Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever Virus in Nigeria. Commissioner for Agriculture, Mrs. Ronke Sokefun in a statement said such huntings  facilitate the outbreak of the disease as they pose some risks.
The Commissioner however assured that the risk of slaughtered animal at the state’s slabs having Ebola Virus is False saying that the rumoured outbreak in slaughtered cattle should be discountenanced.
While noting that transmission is relatively easy through direct contact with bodily fluids such as blood, saliva, sweat and vomit of infected animals commonly monkeys or fruit bats, she advised that domestic pets be screened especially at night in environments that are known to have significant bat populations or areas that serve as migratory routes for bats.

Osun

The Transition Monitoring Group has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission for the smooth conduct of Saturday’s Osun State governorship election.
TMG, which is a coalition of civil society groups, said the Osun election was an improvement on the Ekiti State governorship election, which held in June.
The Deputy Chairperson of TMG, who led the team to observe the Osun election, Hajiya Goroso Giwa, told our correspondent that the conduct of the Osun election was very commendable, except for some hitches in the some parts of the state.

Gov. Sule Lamido of Jigawa State (2nd right),  laying foundation stone for the senate building of the State University at Kafin-hausa recently. Photo: NAN

Gov. Sule Lamido of Jigawa State (2nd right), laying foundation stone for the senate building of the State University at Kafin-hausa recently. 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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