A Port Harcourt Chief Magistrate Court in Rivers State, presided over by Israel Agbesor (Esq) has remanded the former Chairman of Asari-Toru Local Government Area the State, Mr. Ojukaye Flag-Amachree in prison custody for two weeks for alleged murder.
The court also ordered the Chief Registrar of the court to hand over the original case file to the Chief Judge of the State for onward transmission to the State Attorney general and Commissioner for Justice for legal advise on the matter.
The Presiding Chief Magistrate, Israel O. Agbesor, made the order, yesterday while ruling on an oral application bordering on the jurisdiction of the court to entertain and make orders on the matter brought before it by the defense counsel, Ken Atsuete.
The Chief magistrate ruled that Section 4 of the Rivers State Criminal Procedure Law empowers the Magistrate Courts to make orders in criminal cases that attract capital punishment as well as gives them power to remand accused persons with such criminal charges.
Agbesor, therefore, dismissed the oral application of the defense counsel, adding that the application lacks merit and runs contrary to the application of criminal procedures in the state.
The presiding chief magistrate, while adjourning the matter to the 4th of May, 2016, stated that the accused has the right to seek his bail at the High Court.
The defense counsel, Ken Atsuete had, through an oral application on Wednesday when the case was first mentioned, asked the court to hands off the matter, adding that the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain and make orders in its accordance with Sections 516(a) and 319 (1) of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol. 11, laws of Rivers State of Nigeria 1999, for which the accused person was charged.
He further urged the court to allow the Police to take custody of the accused person pending when the Police will arraign him properly in a High Court instead.
However, the Police prosecutor, Insp. Tom Ledormum opposed the oral application of the defense counsel, adding that the court has the powers to make orders in criminal matters.
He urged the court to remand the accused in prison custody pending the ruling of the court, an arugment which the court sustained, and remanded the accused in prison custody.
The accused person, Ojukaye Flag-Amachree was arraigned on two-count charge of murder and killing.
The Police had alleged that the accused person and others now at large, on the 11th day of April, 2016, at Buguma, in the Port Harcourt Magisterial District, shot and kill one Smart Soberekon, which according to Police, was punishable under Sections 319 (1) and 516 (a) of the criminal Code cap 37, Vol. 11, laws of Rivers State of Nigeria 1999.
Later in an interview with journalists after the court ruling, Counsel to the accused person ken Atsuete, said he will challenge the ruling of the court at the High Court.
Also speaking, Counsel to the petitioner, Barr. Tamuno Dick, lauded the ruling of the court, adding that justice has taken its course in the administration of justice in the state.
Made-In-Nigeria Foods: NAFDAC Raises Alarm Over Rejection By US, EU
The Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof Moji Adeyeye, has decried the incessant rejection of food and agricultural commodities from Nigeria by the United States of America USA and the European Union member countries over what she described as “poor quality”.
The DG, in a press statement on ‘Quality and Safety of Export Food Trade’ made available to newsmen, yesterday, urged all the regulatory agencies at the port saddled with the responsibility of ensuring high quality of imports and exports to find urgent and lasting solutions to Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) Border Rejection Notifications from the European Commission on products originating from Nigeria.
Adeyeye lamented the resultant bad image the repeated rejection of commodities from Nigeria by the EU has caused the country.
She expressed concern over the volume of food and agricultural commodities from Nigeria that is currently facing challenges at entry points in some countries in Europe and the US where they have been repeatedly rejected.
‘’NAFDAC has a statutory responsibility to safeguard public health through the execution of its mandate. We are charged with the responsibility to regulate and control the manufacture, importation, exportation, distribution, advertisement, sale and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled and packaged water, chemicals – generally referred to as NAFDAC regulated products.
“NAFDAC is designated as World Trade Organization/Sanitary and Phytosanitary Enquiry Point in Nigeria on Food Safety to facilitate international trade, and respond to enquiries on safety standards, regulations, and guidelines on food trade in Nigeria”.
Adeyeye said internationally, Nigeria’s products meant for the export market are faced with the presence of contaminants such as pesticide residues, notoriously dichlorvos and other impurities, exceeding maximum permitted level and some with inadequate packaging and labelling which had caused a lot of products’ rejections in the global market.
She noted that the international market is competitive in nature and only welcomes products of high quality with relevant certifications and quality packaging that is environmentally friendly, to trade globally, stressing that the problem of quality, standard, certification, and appropriate packaging for made-in-Nigeria products destined for export has been an issue in the international market and there is a need to address the issue of rejections.
The NAFDAC boss disclosed that the agency has over the years intervened to assist Nigerian exporters to meet with international regulations thereby creating employment and earning foreign exchange for Nigeria.
Through this intervention by NAFDAC, she added that it was agreed that these products be subjected to 100 per cent pre-export testing and issuance of Health Certificate to products with satisfactory limits before European Union further verifies at their border control points.
Adeyeye further disclosed that her agency had analysed the RASFF alert from the EU and observed that most rejected products by the EU were smuggled out and not certified by NAFDAC nor the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services at the ports, adding that this calls for proper collaboration and synergy amongst all agencies of government to curb the indecent behaviour of some exporters and ensure only quality and certified products are exported.
‘’We need to close gaps and work together to prevent regulatory gaps being exploited by the unscrupulous traders and their collaborators. There must be convergence for all regulatory activities especially at the Ports of Exit as a starting point before we begin cleaning up and capacitating the honest operators and traders within the country’’.
Based on the RASFF alert received from the EU, she said NAFDAC had sensitized food processors, handlers and exporters through training programmes, workshops and seminars on current Food Safety Management requirements such as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP), Good Manufacturing Practises (GMP), Good Hygiene Practices (GHP), Risk Analysis to ensure that products are safe and of good quality, to gain consumers’ confidence and acceptability in Nigeria and international export markets.
“Effective assessments of export products are very key and basic information that may need to be considered in the accompanying shipping documents include Certificate of Radiation, Health certificate, Sanitary and Phytosanitary certificate, Evidence of fumigation of vessels and evidence of risk-based inspection on food Safety, must all be certified by the appropriate and designated competent authorities having current scope-testing accreditation.”
Oyedepo Justifies Sick Pastors’ Sack
The President, Living Faith Church Worldwide, Bishop David Oyedepo, blew hot, yesterday, as he said he has right to sack pastors who were sick and unprofitable, warning critics to face their jobs.
Oyedepo, during a service at Faith Tabernacle, Ota, Ogun State, justified the sack of some pastors in his church, saying that even in the secular world, workers who are not profitable are always sacked.
“Rural church is going on. All the offerings from rural churches for the next 40 years cannot build what they are building for them because I learnt some fellows were saying that, “It is because they don’t have offering that is why they said they should go.
“It is because you are sick, you are unproductive, you will be plucked out. We sent you to go to the villages to reach out to minimum of 12 souls in a week and ensure that minimum six of them come to church. Then six months, you don’t have 10. You are unprofitable, you shouldn’t survive.
“Sound management brought us here Sir. Keeping unprofitable servants makes you a poor manager. Businessmen hear me now: keeping unprofitable servants makes you a poor manager. You have a right to resign; we have the right to sack you. It is a system, it works like that everywhere,” he stated.
Oyedepo also spoke on the church’s ongoing 100,000-capacity auditorium, warning critics to stay clear as the church was not using their money to build the massive edifice.
According to him, “We are building 100,000-seat auditorium; did they collect money from you? ‘They should have built a factory’: who told you? Do you budget for somebody’s resources? Keep quiet my friend, and face your job.
“They enjoy hearing from me, so, I like speaking to them. Even UK Government agrees that our churches are one of the best run charities in UK. Well, God is faithful.
“That is how your business will be. You will never keep unprofitable stewards in your system. If you have a driver who is always bashing your car, will you retain him? Before he will bash you yourself.”
Ijaw Nation Under Threat, Jonathan Laments
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has lamented that the relevance of Ijaw nation was being threatened as a minority group.
He said this was because Ijaw people were not existing within one location, except in Bayelsa State where their homogeneity was better pronounced.
The ex-president called on notable Ijaw indigenes to sacrifice for their people and put collective interest above personal gains.
He said the differences among Ijaw people should not jeopardise their unity.
Jonathan said these when he was paid a visit by the national executive members of the Ijaw National Congress (INC).
The Central Zone officials of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), in Yenagoa, were also among the visitors.
He urged leaders and other stakeholders of Ijaw nation to shun divisiveness and embrace unity for the collective interest of all Ijaw people.
The ex-president noted that leaders of the INC and IYC have huge role to play to ensure the unity of Ijaw people.
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