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Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State (right), presenting certificate to the new Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, during the Oba's coronation in Ibadan on Friday . With them is the Oba's eldest wife, Alhaja Rafiat Adetunji.

Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State (right), presenting certificate to the new Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, during the Oba’s coronation in Ibadan on Friday . With them is the Oba’s eldest wife, Alhaja Rafiat Adetunji.

Bauchi

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Wikki Spring Water
Company, Mainamaji, Bauchi State, Mr Ojile Alfa says the company has engaged 2,050 youths working for the company.
Alfa announced this at the commissioning of the company in Mainamaji, Alkaleri Local Government Area of Bauchi State.
Alfa said that the company was currently producing 5,000 bottles of water per hour but could produce 40,000 bottles in eight hours.
He further explained that the company produced 80,000 sachet water per hour while it was working to provide additional two production lines.
The CEO called on the state government to re-construct the two-kilometre road linking main entrance to Yankari Games Reserves to Badara, to motivate the villagers who were sugar cane farmers.

Ekiti
The Ekiti State Government says it has expended over
one billion naira (N1 billion) on ecological projects between October, 2015 and February, 2016
The State Commissioner for Environment, Mr Bisi Kolawole told newsmen in Ado-Ekiti, that seven of the projects had been completed, while three were ongoing.
He said that the projects executed include dredging of stream channels, construction of access culverts and reconstruction of failed culverts.
Kolawole, who frowned at the careless attitude of the citizens to their environment, appealed to them to compliment the efforts of the state government at ensuring a clean environment.
“The attitude of our people to their environment is not encouraging because there are so many culverts that were blocked with waste and filth thrown inside them by the people.
“I want to appeal to our people that they should complement the efforts of the state government by ensuring that they clear their drains at least once or twice a month.
“If our people can inculcate that attitude of cleanliness, the state will be clean and government will have less work to do.
FCT

The Director of FCT Muslims Pilgrims Welfare Board
(FMPWB), Malam Muhammad Bashir, has pledged to ensure hitch-free 2016 Hajj operations in the territory.
Bashir gave the assurance in an interview with newsmen in Abuja.
He said as part of early preparations for the 2016 Hajj, the board held preliminary discussions with service providers such as accommodation and feeding providers in Mecca.
“Immediately after the 2015 Hajj, we began preparations for the 2016 by reviewing our performance in order to improve the standard of future operations.
“We reviewed all aspects of the operations to make sure that we identify what we did perfectly and where we were found wanting.
“This was to enable us to adjust where necessary and to improve the 2016 Hajj exercise,’’ Bashir said.

Gombe

The Inspector- General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase,
has been urged to prosecute the police officer who reportedly shot and killed Sadiq Yunusa, a student of Government Science Secondary School, Gombe.
The Executive Secretary of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Bem Angwe, made the call in a statement issued by Chief Press Officer of the commission, Fatimah Mohammed in Abuja.
The statement, which said that Yunusa was shot by a policeman on Friday, described the death as senseless.
It urged the Inspector- General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, to ensure that the officer responsible was prosecuted in line with the relevant laws.
It also appealed to officers and men of the police force to always abide by the rules of engagement while on duty.

Kaduna
The Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) on Tuesday
said it had released new high-yield cowpea (beans), maize, groundnut and sorghum’s varieties to farmers in Kaduna state.
An IAR Director, Prof. Ibrahim Abubakar, made the disclosure at the IAR’s 2016 Annual Cropping Scheme Meeting held in Zaria, Kaduna State.
Our correspondent reports that the meeting had “Revamping Agriculture for Economic Growth and Sustainability’’ as its theme.
“Our research scientists, together with technicians and technologists conducted different researches covering; genetic improvement of our mandate crops, crop production, irrigation, farm mechanisation, crop production management practice, economics and extension.
“The institute had projected the university and the country in positive light through developing and releasing two cowpea (beans) varieties (SAMPEA 16 and SAMPEA 17) which are striga tolerant, alectra and drought resistant.

Kano

The Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO)
has appealed to its consumers to exercise patience over the drop in power allocation.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of the company, Muhammad Kandi and issued to newsmen in Kano recently.
It said that current generation profile had descended to less than 3, 697 MW against the peak of 5, 074 MW achieved earlier in February.
“The management of KEDCO hereby calls on all its customers not to panic as concerned authorities in the sector are working assiduously to address the problem”, the statement said.
The statement quoted the company’s Chief Technical Officer, David Omoloye as attributing the situation to poor gas supply to generation companies (GenCos) in the country.
Kogi

A food processing company, Ahiaba Global Resources
Limited in collaboration with U.S-based Techno Serve said it had commenced production of cashew juice from cashew apples in Kogi State.
The Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr Stephen Ahiaba,disclosed this at the inauguration of the processing plant in Ochaja, Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi.
“The initiative, apart from adding value to cashew production in the state, is part of efforts to improve on the national economy and curb unemployment among youths and rural women.
“Farmers in the rural areas will no longer harvest cashew nuts and waste the apples as they have now been trained on how to preserve them for our company to process,’’ Ahiaba said.

Nasarawa

The Curator, National Museum and Monuments in
Nasarawa State, Mrs Elizabeth Kefas, says the major challenge confronting the commission is the lack of a gallery or museum to display its works.
Kefas told newsmen in Lafia that it was important for the commission to have a gallery or a museum where it could display the state’s cultural heritage for the public.
She said that such a gallery would also help to protect the cultural heritage of different ethnic extractions that abound in the state.
“The diverse ethnic groups in the state have a lot of artifacts which can be displayed.

Osun

The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has appealed to
both the Federal and state governments to allocate more funds for the upgrade of government-owned hospitals.
The Osun State chairman of NMA, Dr Suraj Ogunyemi, told newsmen in Osogbo that the upgrade would create opportunities for more medical doctors to be employed.
Also, it would afford the hospital managements the opportunity to train and retrain existing ones and recruit new ones for housemanship, Ogunyemi said.
According to him, most doctors cannot get placement for their internship in government-owned hospitals because of their poor and deplorable states due to underfunding.

Oyo

Students of the Polytechnic, Ibadan have staged a protest
over the introduction of insurance and ICT fees in the institution.
Our correspondent reports that the placard-carrying protesting students were seen matching from the south campus to the north campus chanting solidarity songs.
The students also barricaded all the entry points into the campus, making it impossible for people to gain entry.
The students were also demanding for the presence of the student union president whom they accused of being behind the introduction of the fees.

Sokoto

Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, has
announced that card reader machine would be used in the conduct of this month local government election in the state.
The governor made the announcement in Binji Local Government Area at the commencement of the APC campaign in Sokoto North Senatorial district.
He said that the state would set new standard by being the first state in Nigeria to use the new voter card and the card reader machine to conduct the local government poll.

Taraba
A retired officer of the State Security Service, Mr Hosea
Danjuma, has been abducted by gunmen at his residence in Baisa, headquarters of Kurmi Local Government Area of Taraba.
The Caretaker Chairman of the council, Mr Steven Agya, confirmed the development in an interview with newsmen in Jalingo.

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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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