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THE STATES

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Benue
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has said that 22
state legislators have started refunding car loans they collected for personal vehicles to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) .
Ortom, who said this when he received youths of Turan in Kwande local government, said they were expected to refund N317million to the anti-graft agency in Abuja.
He said the refund was necessitated by the shoddy manner in which the loans were disbursed to the lawmakers.
The governor said that the process fell short of best practices required in such financial transactions.
Ortom explained that out of the number, 12 legislators were from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) while 10 were from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

FCT
The Department of State Services (DSS) says it has ar
rested 23 suspects between July and August in furtherance of its ongoing tactical and counter-terrorism operations to degrade capabilities of criminal gangs/syndicates nationwide.
This is contained in a statement signed by one of its Operatives, Tony Opuiyo, in Abuja.
Giving the breakdown, Opuiyo said that the service arrested one Mudaisiru Jibrin a.k.a. Namakele/Alarama, a leader of a newly-uncovered Boko Haram cell in Kano on July 17.
“Preliminary investigation so far conducted revealed that he was also the mastermind of the shooting of some students at Government Secondary School (GSS), Mamudo village near Potiskum, Yobe State, in 2013,” he said.

Gombe
The Child Protection Advocates in Gombe State have
expressed “deep concern” over the rising number of rape cases in the state.
One of them, Malam Yaya Hamman, Adviser, Child Protection Network (CPN), told newsmen in Gombe that the situation was becoming “scary and frightening”.
“Rape is becoming too incessant and persistent; it is certainly not good for the girl-child.
“Even when the perpetrators are apprehended, no punishment is meted out on them; that encourages them to do even worse things,” he said.
He blamed the situation on parents’ attitude and observed that most parents would rather keep quiet about it.
“Most parents think that the victim will be an object a subject of ridicule if exposed and will prefer that no one is told.
Kaduna

The Katsina State Government says it has received de
livery of 50 out of the 400 tractors to be supplied by an Indian firm through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) to boost agricultural mechanization in the state.
Our correspondent recalled that was sequel to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the State Government and Indian firm about six months ago for the supply of the tractors to the farmers.
Alhaji Mannir Yakubu, the state Deputy Governor, who disclosed this while inspecting the 50 tractors in Katsina, said that the decision would encourage commercialization of agriculture through mechanisation.
Yabubu, also the Commissioner for Agriculture, said that the tractors would be given on hire basis to farmers through the Tractor Owners and Operators Association at subsidised rate.
`Kano

The Kano State Government will employ 1,000 sanita
tion workers as part of efforts to provide direct employment for its youths.
The state Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, made this known when he briefed newsmen on the outcome of the State Executive Council meeting in Kano recently.
Garba, who is also the Chairman of the Employment Committee, said apart from creating job opportunities, the scheme would also improve the sanitary condition of communities in the state.
The commissioner said that each of the worker would be paid N15, 000 monthly.
Katsina
The Katsina State Government, has alleged that the
immediate past administration in the state diverted N11.1 billion from the State Joint Account to the accounts of Association of Local Government Chairmen (ALGON).
The Special Adviser to Governor Aminu Masari on Banking and Finance Alhaji Farouk Jobe, made the allegation while presenting a memo before the State Commission of inquiry investigating missing funds.
Jobe alleged that the money was diverted for personal use from various accounts between January 2011 and May 2015.

Kebbi
The Argungu Local Government Area in Kebbi State,
has registered 200 unemployed youths for skills acquisition to promote self-reliance.
The Sole Administrator of the local government, Alhaji Bashar Matawalle, stated this on Tuesday in an interview with newsmen in Argungu.
He said that the second phase of the skills acquisition training would focus on vocations which include: welding, carpentry, bids making, tailoring, weaving, and automobile mechanic.
The sole administrator said that the beneficiaries were drawn from 11 electoral wards in the area, adding that 200 trainees were registered, out of which 100 were women.

Kogi
The Kogi State Governmentsays that it has acquired
acres of land In Lokoja for the development of housing schemes for political appointees and civil servants.
The State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, told newsmen of the development at a media conference in Lokoja to mark the 25th anniversary of the creation of the state.
Bello, who was represented at the briefing by his Special Adviser on Media and Strategy, Alhaji Abulkarim Abdulmalik, said the housing schemes would be developed on a Public/Private Partnership arrangement.
Kwara
An Ilorin-based lawyer, Mr Afolayan Moses, has im
plored the Federal Government to expand the number of judicial divisions to decongest the courts and reduce the rate of adjourned cases in the country.
Afolayan made the call in an interview with newsmen in Ilorin on Tuesday.
He said that only expansion of judicial divisions would reduce persistent cases of adjournments in the court.
According to him, if government can expand the number of judicial divisions, it will expedite dispensation of justice and minimise adjournments.
The lawyer, however, condemned unnecessary adjournment of cases, saying, it was frustrating not only the clients, but the counsel.
`Lagos

An ICT expert, Mr Kola Samuel, has appealed to
the Federal Government to create an enabling environment for the sector to contribute to economic growth of the country.
Samuel who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Technology Masters Company told newsmen in Lagos that technology sector had the potentials of improving the economy and lives of the citizens.
He said that ICT was one of the main driving forces behind organisational competitiveness in the present day business environment.
“We need to be encouraged with improvement on some basic social infrastructures like high speed internet, hotspots, lower internet rates and technology hub centres.

Niger

A member of NYSC, Dr Uwaezuoke Ikesinachi,
has set up an eye clinic for the Nigerian Police Force in Minna, the Niger State capital.
Speaking at the inauguration of the facility, Ikesinachi said that the project was part of his personal community development services.
He said that the project would serve as a follow- up to the free eye surgery he had conducted on 30 indigent persons earlier this month.
“The idea behind this community development programme is to create a system that can keep running with or without the presence of the initiator.
”After providing free eye-screening, I don’t want to just leave without setting up a platform that will run as a follow up on the patients.”

Oyo

Federal Government has reactivated the construc
tion of the new Oyo-Ogbomoso expressway with the sum of N6 billion.
Our correspondent reports that the road, the second section of the Ibadan-Ilorin expressway, had been abandoned by past administrations.
The flag-off ceremony was performed by Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State which was attended by members of the National Assembly, top government officials and the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi.
The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said the road project would be completed in compliance with the Federal Government ‘s specification.
Fashola, who was represented by Mr Anya Omoregbe, the Federal Controller of Works in Oyo State, said that the ministry would ensure that Nigerians got good value for their money.

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NDLEA Arrests Doctor, Ex-Soldier For Dealing In Drugged Cookies, Cocaine

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The operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested a medical doctor, Jane Chioma Ofoma, in Auchi, Edo, for selling drugged cookies and biscuits.
Its Director, Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi, said in a statement yesterday in Abuja, that Chioma sold the drugged cookies and biscuits through an online catering service, Omachi’s kitchen.
Babafemi said the arrest followed intelligence and surveillance where narcotic officers of the Edo Command of the agency on Saturday June 19, stormed her operational base at 1 Winners Way, Auchi.
This, he said, led to her arrest and at least 94 pieces of cookies produced with cannabis sativa were recovered from the suspect.
According to him, Chioma, 26, who is a graduate of medicine from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, recently completed her housemanship at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.
“She has confessed to baking the cookies with skunk in her statement while under interrogation,” he said.
In the same vein, Babafemi said a 30-year-old Emmanuel Ehiramhen, of No. 10 Egan Street Ekpoma, has been arrested by officers of the Edo Command of the agency for dealing in crack cocaine.
Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives in Kwara have arrested a 52-year-old ex-Soldier, Ibrahim Musa, with 12.167 kilograms of Arizona (cannabis sativa), 4 grams of Cocaine and 25 grams of flunitrazepam.
Babafemi said the suspect was apprehended on Thursday June 17, at Oke-Odo, Tanke area of Ilorin, when he arrived from Lagos to supply his customers.
He said Musa worked in the maintenance department at Abati Army Barracks, Lagos from where he was deployed to 117 Battalion in Chibok, Borno, before he deserted the Army.
He added that the suspect had arrived Ilorin with his wife, Basirat Musa, in his Honda Accord car with registration number JJ 707 BL Lagos with the seized exhibit.
He was, however, arrested at the point of delivery by operatives of the Kwara Command of the agency.
“Under interrogation, Ibrahim revealed that while at Chibok he got the connection of a supplier of Arizona (Cannabis) and other drugs in Lagos who he immediately contacted when he deserted the Army in October 2020.
“He said he decided to go into the illicit drug business to enable him fend for his two wives and three children.
“The suspect revealed that the latest journey was his second trip to Ilorin to deliver the drugs and decided to travel with one of his wives who was not aware of his mission to Ilorin,” he said.
Babafemi quoted the Chairman, NDLEA, retired Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa as commending the Edo and Kwara Commands of the agency for their vigilance and commitment to the goal of ridding Nigeria of the menace of illicit drug trafficking and abuse.
He charged the Commanders, officers and men of the two Commands and their counterparts across the country not to relent in the discharge of their responsibilities.
He assured them of his commitment towards making their welfare a priority.

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13 Vehicles Burnt In Tanker Explosion On Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says six tankers, five trucks and two cars were destroyed in a tanker explosion at Ogere on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway yesterday.
Earlier, FRSC Sector Commander in Ogun, Mr Ahmed Umar, confirmed the incident to The Tide source, saying that it occurred at about 6.20 a.m.
Umar had said the explosion occurred in front of Romona trailer park on the expressway.
Giving update, he said, “the fire is serious, six tankers, five trucks and two cars are burnt in the explosion.’’
Umar said that one person had so far been rescued and taken to a private hospital in Ogere.
Meanwhile, the Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE), has advised motorists plying the road to use alternative routes.
TRACE spokesman, Mr Babatunde Akinbiyi explained that the tanker which was laden with fuel suddenly burst into flames affecting other vehicles.
“Vehicles moving inbound Lagos should go through Saapade-Ode/Remo-Iperu-Sagamu to relink Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
“In addition, vehicles moving inbound Ibadan should also go through Sagamu-Iperu-Ode/Remo-Saapade to relink Lagos-Ibadan Expressway,’’ Akinbiyi said.
The incident was the fifth of such tragedies involving fuel tankers in the Lagos and Ogun State axis since the beginning of the year.
A similar fuel tanker-related fire was recorded on Jan. 7 on the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway.
On March 21, a fuel tanker was the cause of fire on Otedola Bridge, also on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in which many vehicles were burnt.
On March 25, a diesel-laden tanker went up in flames at the Ikotun area of Lagos, leading to the incineration of other vehicles and shops.
On June 17, fire from the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant at the Ogun State Property Investments Corporation (OPIC) Plaza in Lagos trailed a leaking gas truck which was on motion in the area.
This resulted in a fire snowball which engulfed many other vehicles and property.
Twenty-five cars were destroyed in the OPIC Plaza inferno, while 13 persons, mostly workers in the restaurant, sustained burn injuries.

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S’ East Leaders Denounce Secessionist Groups …Seek Protection Of Igbos

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Leaders of the South East geo-political zone have urged leaders of other geo-political zones in the country to protect Igbos living in their regions, even as they condemned in totality the activities of violent secessionist groups in the zone and elsewhere. 
The lgbo leaders comprising the governors of the five states, members of the National Assembly, Ministers, Speakers of the State Houses of Assembly, the Clergy and Traditional Rulers, made their feelings known on Saturday, in a communique issued when they rose from a closed-door meeting at the Government House, Enugu. 
Explaining that they made the request in view of what they described as “threats by some groups against our people”, the South East leaders promised to protect everyone, including Igbos and people from other regions, residing in the zone.
On the impression that South East leaders are silent over agitations for secession by some youths of the region, they stated that “is not correct”, stressing that “South East Governors, Ohaneze President, National Assembly members, notable leaders had come out publicly many times in the past to speak against such agitations”.
Proclaiming firmly that “we do not support them, they do not speak for South East”,  the communiqué read by the Governor of Ebonyi State and Chairman of South East Governors’ Forum, Engr. David Umahi, made it clear that the leaders of the zone reiterated their “commitment to one united Nigeria under a platform of justice, equality of rights, fairness, love and respect for one another”.
The communiqué revealed that South East leaders, in order not to mismanage the unfortunate situation, “have set up a committee to engage such youths to stop and allow elders speak to address such fears”. 
It added that South East leaders also condemned the killing of security agents, burning of strategic infrastructure and killing of civilians in South East and in other regions, and requested the security agencies to discharge their duties within the rules of engagement and the law
They, however, explained that the meeting was held “for articulation of our positions and further meet with the Presidential team”, sequel to the earlier meeting with the Presidential delegation, led by the Minister of Defence, Retired Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi, on June 11, 2021.
The communiqué disclosed that the meeting consequently “set up committees under Ohaneze Ndigbo to articulate and address our positions on all burning issues to further meet among ourselves and thereafter meet with the Presidential team”.
On the safety of the Igbo indigenes in other parts of the country and the newly established regional security outfit, the communiqué added that the “meeting directed our Governors and Ohaneze Ndigbo to liaise with indigenes from the northern part of Nigeria and indigenes of other regions to assure the nation, Nigeria, and their people of their safety in South East.
“The meeting endorsed our South East joint security outfit – Ebubeagu and asked them to work with security agencies and to respect the rights and privileges of all those living in the South East and our visitors”.

By: Canice Amadi, Enugu

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