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Adamawa
The Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency
(ADSEMA) says no fewer than 2,000 school-aged children of Internally Displaced Persons, have enrolled into the Safe School programme in the state.
The Executive Secretary of the agency, Mr.  Haruna Furo, who disclosed this to newsmen in Yola, said the initiative was part of the Federal Government’s special education package for the children of IDPs nationwide.
According to him, the programme is a collaboration between  State Universal Basic Education Board, National Emergency Management Agency, and UNICEF.
He disclosed that the main objective of the programme was to ensure that the education of the affected children did not suffer any setback while living in the camps.
“Presently, the Safe School programme for children of IDPs in both primary and secondary schools had commenced in six designated camps across the state.
“Over 2000 children have enrolled in the programme and about 165 of them, already admitted into various Unity Schools and Colleges across the country.” Furo said.

Bauchi
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the North
East Zone has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to be fair to all Nigerians without religious prejudice or ethnic sentiment.
The Chairman of the association in the zone, Rev. Shuaibu Byal, made the call in an interview with newsmen in Bauchi.
Byal said that the generality of Nigerians from different walks of life and without prejudice to religion and ethnicity voted for the president.
He said that it would be fair for the Buhari administration to consider every part of the country for appointment into the various political offices irrespective of religion, regional or ethnic differences.
“Appointments into political offices have always been based on ethnicity and religion in this country.
“Now that the long awaited change has come, Nigerians expect a shift from such predispositions.
“As Nigerians, we expect fairness and equity in appointments into political offices, particularly by ensuring a balance between the two major religions, to strengthen trust and confidence among us,’’ he said.

Ekiti

Former Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Mr.
Olufemi Bamitile, said the new administration of President Muhammadu Buhari would restore Nigeria’s lost glory.
Bamitile said this in his country home, Kuta in Ekiti East Local Government Area of Ekiti State when he addressed a gathering of party faithful to celebrate the inauguration of President Buhari.
He commended the courage of APC supporters in the state and urged them to continue working for the success of the party.

FCT

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria
(HURIWA), an NGO, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to pay attention to police reforms and to wage total war against corruption and mass poverty.
National coordinator, HURIWA, Mr Emmanuel Onwubiko, made this call in a signed statement made available to journalists in Abuja.
Onwubiko described the smooth civilian -to-civilian transition programme that took place on May 29 as  unprecedented and successful.
He urged the new Federal Government to begin without further delay the comprehensive overhaul of the anti-graft machinery by appointing tested, trusted, fearless, incorruptible and competent persons to his cabinet.
The HURIWA boss stressed the need to appoint competent and qualified persons to head the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Offences Commission (ICPC).
He said HURIWA believed that the current leadership of the two anti corruption agencies have compromised in very unpleasant dimension.

Gombe
Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State has
pledged to continue to pursue probity, transparency and accountability in running the affairs of the state.
He spoke while taking oath of office for a second term in office in Gombe administered by the State Chief Judge, Justice Akila Heman at the Pantami Stadium Gombe.
The governor promised to carry all stakeholders along to give them a sense of belonging.
He said the sporadic attacks from insurgents and the hosting of internally displaced persons from the neighbouring states affected by the crisis had negative impact on the lean resources of the state.
The governor, however, said his commitment and stringent fiscal management had led to the transformation of the state into a modern metropolis for other states to emulate.

Jigawa

Some persons displaced as a result of the Boko Haram
insurgency, have resorted to begging in major streets of Hadejia town in Jigawa, to fend for themselves.
Sources said that the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), comprising of women and children, roam the streets, offices, market places and other strategic locations, to beg for alms.
According to sources some of the IDPs were taking refuge in unoccupied stalls at Hadejia market, due to lack of approved camp in the area, while others, who migrated from Yobe and Borno states, as well as Niger Republic, were staying with relations in Hadejia town.
Hauwa Bakari, one of the displaced persons, said she was forced to beg to fend for herself and her three children.

Kano

Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, said that his
administration would employ female sanitary Inspectors to strengthen personal hygiene in many homes in the state.
Ganduje announced this in Kano while launching a campaign on “Keep Kano Clean” at the Gyadi-Gyadi dumping site in Tarauni Local Government Area of the state.
He said that the present administration would focus more on strengthening personal and environmental hygiene with seriousness, to keep Kano clean.
The female inspectors, he said, would go into houses to ensure that children and everyone in the house observed personal and environmental cleanliness, as it used to be.
He further said that sanitary inspectors would be posted to all markets and slaughter houses in the state, to oversee their activities, stressing that the new administration would not tolerate negligence in sanitation issues.

Kwara

An economist, Mr. Babatunde Salami, has blamed poor
economic management and unjustifiable high debt profile for the country’s failing economy.
Salami made the remark while speaking with newsmen in Ilorin.
According to him, it is pitiable that it may take about four or more years to offset the over N14 trillion loan borrowed by government.
He stressed that it was unimaginable that the level of development was not commensurate with the country’s debt profile.
Lagos

The Women Advocates Research and Documentation
Centre (WARDC) has urged the Federal Government to establish an Independent Electoral Offences Tribunal to address issues of electoral violence in the country.
The Executive Director of the centre, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, made the call at a joint media briefing with the International Foundation for Electoral System and the European Union on “Issues and Challenges of Post 2015 Election’’.

Plateau

Elder statesman and All Progressives Congress (APC)
chieftain in Plateau, Alhaji Yahaya Kwande, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to resort to the use of internal mechanisms in fighting corruption.
He told newsmen in Jos last Saturday that corruption was not a new thing in Nigeria as it predated the colonial era.
Kwande however said that the scourge of corruption escalated because institutional mechanisms for fighting it such as checks and balances in the various Ministry’s Departments and Agencies (MDAs) were relegated to the background.
He lamented that, in recent time, even commissioners and deputy governors were mere figures heads who acted on issues, including corruption among their staff, only on the directives of either the president or the governors.

Sokoto

Former VC Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto, Prof. Shehu
Riskuwa, has expressed confidence that the present administration would weed out Boko Haram insurgency.
Riskuwa told newsmen in Sokoto that President Muhammadu Buhari, being an army general, would come out with stringent security measures that would end the killings of innocent souls.
He said that Buhari had the political will to end the activities of the insurgents, hence the decision to relocate the military central command to Maiduguri showed that the administration was committed to tackling the insurgency.
He explained that ‘’ it has been part of his campaign to bring to an end the activities of the insurgents.

Secretary, Nuj,  Fct, Mr Emmanuel Ogbeche (left), presenting a nomination form for the post of the Nuj President to the National Secretary of the union, Mr Shu'Aibu Leman, on behalf of Mustapha Lamidi of the News Agency of Nigeria (Nan), during the submission of the form for Nuj Election in Abuja recently. With them are the contestant, Mr Mustapha Lamidi (2nd-right) and Chairman, Nan Chapel, Mr Felix Ajide.

Secretary, Nuj, Fct, Mr Emmanuel Ogbeche (left), presenting a nomination form for the post of the Nuj President to the National Secretary of the union, Mr Shu’Aibu Leman, on behalf of Mustapha Lamidi of the News Agency of Nigeria (Nan), during the submission of the form for Nuj Election in Abuja recently. With them are the contestant, Mr Mustapha Lamidi (2nd-right) and Chairman, Nan Chapel, Mr Felix Ajide.

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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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