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THE STATES

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Kogi State Police Commissioner, Mr Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi (right), explaining a point to Governor Idris Wada (2nd-right), during his visit to the Police Headquarters in Lokoja last Monday. With them are the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Nasiru Yunusa (left) and the Personal Assistant, Mr Unekwu Sule.

Kogi State Police Commissioner, Mr Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi (right), explaining a point to Governor Idris Wada (2nd-right), during his visit to the Police Headquarters in Lokoja last Monday. With them are the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Nasiru Yunusa (left) and the Personal Assistant, Mr Unekwu Sule.

Adamawa

The American University of Nigeria (AUN) in Yola has
created new study-abroad windows to enable highly motivated students to seek experience and active educational responsibility beyond Nigeria.
The University President, Dr Margee Ensign, announced the new windows in Yola last Thursday in a statement signed by Mr Daniel Okereke, the university’s Director of Communications and Public Relations.
Okereke quoted Margee as saying the windows would start in September.
He stated that “the Global Liberal Arts Alliance is an alliance of 27 liberal arts universities, including AUN, in 15 countries.

Borno

Governor  Kashim Shettima of Borno State said that the
Federal Government has taken over the funding of the 22 Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in the state.
The governor said this while breaking Ramadan fast at the Yerwa Girls College IDP camp in Maiduguri.
A statement issued by Mallam Isa Gusau, the Special Adviser to Shettima on Communication and Strategy, stated that the governor commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the decision.
Gusau quoted the governor as saying that the funding began few weeks after the assumption of office of Buhari.
He quoted Shetimma as saying that the state had already started feeling the impacts of Buhari’s administration.
According to him, with the emergence of Buhari as president, the Federal Government, through the National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA,) has taken over so many responsibilities in the camps.

Ekiti

The Ekiti State House of Assembly has confirmed a re
tired teacher, Mrs Olubunmi Olayinka, three former legislators — Bisi Kolawole, Lanre Ogunsuyi and Kehinde Odebunmi as commissioners.
Others include the current Vice-Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti, Mr Taelolu Otitoju, as well as Mr Samuel Ayodeji, Mr Kolapo Kolade, Dr Olurotimi Ojo, Mr Olugbenga Olajide and Mr Victor Egunjobi.
Names of the nominees were presented by Governor Ayo Fayose and cleared by the 26-member PDP House at its plenary sitting held in Ado-Ekiti, presided over by the Speaker, Mr Kola Oluwawole.
The Leader of Business of the House, Mr Ekundayo Akinleye (Ijero), who moved the motion for screening and confirmation of the nominees, reminded them to comply with the Code of Conduct as regards declaration of their assets.

FCT

Former Director-General of the Raw Materials Research
and Development Council (RMRDC), Prof. Peter Onwualu, has urged universities nationwide to establish research centres in their faculties.
Onwualu, who is now a visiting professor to the National Universities Commission (NUC), told newsmen in Abuja that such centres would boost research and innovation.
“One other thing that needs to be done is to encourage the establishment of centres of excellence and research units within faculties. “In other words, in addition to traditional departments, you can actually have special institutes or special research centres that focus on key national problems”, he said.

Gombe

The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Gombe State
has granted the request of the APC and its governorship candidate, demanding a forensic examination of documents used during the 2015 Governorship election.
Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Mathew Adewara, granted the request in his ruling on an application filed by the APC.
He said the tribunal would allow the forensic examination of the document to enable the petitioners (APC and its gubernatorial candidate) have necessary materials for the purpose of the presentation of their petition in the case.
The chairman, however, refused to grant the second request of the petitioners demanding for a recount of votes cast during the elections.

Jigawa

Some farmers in Hadejia, Jigawa State, have advocated
for introduction of modern preservation techniques to check spate of food poisoning.
A cross section of the farmers made the call in an interview with newsmen in Hadejia.
The farmers also called for a training programme to expose them to proper application of chemicals on agricultural produce.
Alhaji Abdulkadir Daudu, a bean grower, said the measure would encourage the use of safer techniques in food preservation.
Daudu said that poor farmer education and absence of such facilities were responsible for high cases of food poisoning.

Kano

The FRSC in Kano State has said that it had facilitated
the establishment of road safety clubs in 140 primary and secondary schools in the state.
The spokesman of the commission in the state, Kabiru Ibrahim, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Kano.
He said the road safety clubs were established to sensitise students on road traffic rules and regulations.
‘’This is part of our renewed effort to ensure that road accidents are reduced on our highways through sensitisation carried out by the clubs.
‘’We want children who ride bicycles to school to have sense of sharing the road with other road users and to differentiate between right and wrong so as to avoid unforeseen accidents,’’ he said.
Ibrahim said the commission had also embarked on massive enlightenment campaign in secondary schools on national safety under its “ Catch Them Young Programme.’’

Lagos

The Lagos State Chapter of the Poultry Association of
Nigeria (PAN), has called on the state government to enact a law to compel poultry farmers to register with it.
The association’s General Secretary, Mr Olugbenga Ogunsetan, told newsmen in Lagos that such a move would enable the body to have a comprehensive data bank of its members.
Ogunsetan said that would help the association in its distribution of bird-cages to poultry farmers and to estimate the number of chicks and eggs produced by them annually in the state.
“As of now, there is no data base of poultry farmers in the state and so government needs to compel poultry farmers to register with the association.  “A data base will help the association to interface with government for policy formulation,” Ogunsetan said.
Ogunsetan also said that the data would be collected from each local government area in the state. According to him “the data will give us the dimension of the farm holdings which will translate in the input to be used and that will help the industry.
Ogunsetan speaking further said that the current price increase and scarcity of eggs was because the poultry farmers were currently selling off their layers.
Plateau

Director-General, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria
(FRCN), Alhaji Ladan Salihu, has accused the international media of “worsening and prolonging the insurgency in the North-East’’.
“The international media unnecessarily prolonged the Boko Haram violence by its reckless approach that treated it as just a headline-grabbing conflict,’’ Salihu told newsmen in Jos.
According to him, the international media “deliberately refused to see the violence as an internecine conflict demanding all hands toward ending it’’.
He particularly accused the international media of “failing to give appropriate, fair and balanced reportage that will attract cohesive international attention to end the hydra-headed monster called terrorism’’.

Sokoto

An Islamic scholar, Sheikh Kabiru Gombe, has advised
youths to shun social vices and be responsible citizens.
Gombe gave the advice at a Ramadan fast commentary on the Holy Qur’an, held at Savanna Bank Mosque, Sokoto.
He said Islam promotes peace and urged young people to work hard and embrace religious tolerance.
The cleric also called on youths to adhere to the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

Taraba

No fewer than 110,849 people are living with HIV and
AIDS in Taraba State, Mr Edward Ogenyi, National Coordinator, Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN), has revealed.
Ogenyi made this disclosure in Jalingo at the commencement of a five-day Demand Generation Activities for HIV and AIDS Service Uptake in Taraba State.
He said the activities marked the first phase of implementation of the President’s Comprehensive Response Plan (PCRP) for HIV and AIDS, funded by NACA/SURE-P HIV/AIDS Programme, launched in July, 2013.

Yobe

The Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety
Corps(FRSC) in Yobe State, Mr Yusuf Garba, has said the agency had no equipment to evacuate accident wreckages on highways in the state.
He told newsmen in Damaturu that vehicles involved in accident along highways in the state constituted threat to motorists.
“The sector does not have equipment to clear tankers, trailers and other long vehicles involved in accident and occupying portions of the highways. “Road users on the busy Kano-Maiduguri road are threatened by such vehicles, especially during rainy and when over taking,” he said.

Zamfara

The Malaria Action Programme for States (MAPS), an NGO,
says that 97 per cent of Nigerians are prone to malaria attack.
A consultant with the project, Mr Umar Garba, said this in Gusau while briefing stakeholders on the importance of using treated mosquito nets.
The consultant also said that the malaria scourge had resulted in the reduction of the nation’s annual GDP by one per cent.

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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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