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THE STATES

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The Director-General, National Orientation Agency
(NOA), Mr Garba Abari, says tapping into the positive features of the youth population would enhance the nation’s development.
Abari said this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja.
He noted that the youths under the age of 35 constituted between 16 and 62 per cent of the country’s population, adding that there were varieties of talents which could be tapped for the advancement of the nation.
Statistics quoted to have put the youth between 16 and 62 per cent population and below the age of 35, thus making Nigeria a country of very young people.
“In this younger population is energy, enthusiasm, and curiosity, they are curious to know what is happening around the world.
Jigawa

The Jigawa State command of the Nigeria Security and
Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), has warned Private Guards Companies (PGCs) operating in the state not to sell or lease their licences.
The State Commandant, Mr Muhammad Durumin-Iya, gave the warning in an interview with the newsmen in Dutse.
Durumin-Iya said the warning became necessary to check quackery among the PGCs operating in the state.
He said that the licenses were only issued to registered PGCs, adding that the “Licenses are not transferable”.
“In line with the NSCDC mandate of monitoring, regulating, supervising, registering, training and licensing Private Guards Companies (PGCs), licenses are issued to only registered companies”, he said.

Kaduna
Governor Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna State, has inau
gurated the Kaduna State Treasury Single Account (TSA) Operations Manual.
This is contained in a statement issued by Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to El-Rufai, Samuel Aruwan, which was made available to newsmen in Kaduna.
The statement said that the manual was presented at the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) West Africa workshop on TSA implementation in Lagos.
It said that the manual contained records of the experience of Kaduna State in implementing the Treasury Single Account, which it commenced last year.

Kano
The Kano State Fire Service has concluded arrange
ments to train 80 additional staff on fire fighting to enhance the performance of the service.
The Director of the service, Alhaji Mohammed Rilwan, stated this in an interview with newsmen in Kano.
“We will train our staff on modern method of fire fighting,” Rilwan said.
According to him, 47 staff are undergoing training at the Fire Service Training College, located at Dakata in Nassarawa local government area of the state.
“They will be passing out of the training in two weeks time,” he added.
Katsina
Katsina

Two suspected secret cult members have allegedly
stabbed to death an 18-year-old SS II student, Abdullahi Muhammad, in Katsina.
An eye witness told newsmen in Katsina that the deceased was killed by suspected miscreants identified as“Kauraye’’.
The eye witness said the deceased was killed at about 9.30 p.m. in front of his family compound for his refusal to give his cell phone to the assassins.
Family sources said that the two killers came on a motorcycle and asked the deceased to release his phone to them.
The source said that when the deceased refused to comply, the hoodlums stabbed him in the neck with a knife.
According to the source, the victim slumped and the suspects picked the phone and zoomed off immediately to an unknown destination on their motorcycle.
Kebbi

Residents of Gesse Phase 1, a community in Birnin
Kebbi, have appealed to the Kebbi State government to construct additional drains and waterways in the area to prevent flood.
The ward head of the area, Alhaji Auwalu Argungu, made the appeal in an interview with newsmen in Birnin Kebbi.
Argungu recalled that a recent three-hour downpour destroyed houses, foodstuffs and livestock in the community, although no life was lost.
He also said that past administrations in the state had pledged to construct roads, drainages and waterways in the area but did not actualize those pledges.
The ward head said that a permanent solution was needed to address flooding in the area, adding “the magnitude of the problem was beyond communal effort.’’

Kogi

The Kogi State Government has inaugurated a new
300 joint security outfits dedicated to fighting kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism and other violent crimes in the state.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Mr Jerry Omodara said in a statement in Lokoja that the outfit is code named “Operation Total Freedom”.
Omodara who inaugurated the outfit on behalf of Governor Yahaya Bello said that members of the outfit were drawn from the police, the army, the navy and the National Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC).
Our correspondent reports that the state government recently handed over 114 patrol vehicles to the various security agencies in the state.
According to him, the stage government would provide the outfit with communication equipment to ease communication flow among its members.
He said that the state government had also worked out issues relating to stipends and other welfare for the outfit’s personnel.

Kwara

The Kwara State House of Assembly has approved
the extension of the tenure of elected executives of Offa Local Government Council to November 10.
The approval was sequel to a request by Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed contained in a letter read by the Speaker, Dr Ali at plenary.
Our correspondent reports that the tenure of the chairman and councillors expired last Friday.
The tenure of other 15 council chairmen in the state would, however, expire on November 10.
The motion for tenure extension of the Offa council executives was moved by the House Leader, Hassan Oyeleke, and seconded by Saheed Popoola, who represents Ojomu-Balogun Constituency.
Niger

The Unilever UK has invested N7.5 million in the construc
tion of borehole and a business outlet in
Dabara community of Suleja local government area of Niger State.
Our correspondent reports that the managers of the project, Technoserve Sunlight Water Centre (SWC), donated 40 water carts and 50 number 160 litres of water containers to the community for the launch of the project.
Technoserve Market Consultant for the SWC, said that the project was part of the initiatives to engage business solutions in resolving the water challenges of rural people.
Our correspondent reports that Unilever UK works in collaboration with TechnoServe in Nigeria to provide a strictly private-sector approach to solve the water access problem in communities across the country.
Oyo

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Oyo State com
mand, says it apprehended 1,818 traffic offenders in the state in August.
The state’s sector commander, Mr Yusuf Salami, told the newsmen in Ibadan that the offenders committed 2,040 offences in August.
He said that 553 offenders were arrested for not using their seat-belts while driving, making it the most prevalent offence committed. “Other offenders include 531 riding motorcycles without wearing crash helmets and 321 driving with expired or worn-out tyres ,’’ he said.

Plateau
Poultry farmers in Plateau State say they record low pa
tronage and experience hike in the price of feeds in recent times.
The Chairman, Poultry Association of Nigeria in the state, Mr John Dasar, spoke to newsmen in Jos.
“This period is, indeed, tough for us; the sale is low, while cost of production is high; government must step in to help us,’’ he said.
He attributed the low patronage to the poor purchasing power of most families occasioned by the worsening economic situation nationwide. He explained that low patronage had also led to an excess in supply of poultry products, particularly eggs, compared to the demand.
Sokoto
The National Emergency Management Agency ( NEMA),
says flood and windstorm displaced no fewer than 7, 290 people and destroyed many farms in Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara States, between April and September, 2016.
The agency’s Head of Sokoto Zonal Operations Office, Alhaji Suleiman Muhammad, told newsmen in Sokoto that the twin disasters affected 17 local government areas in the three states.
According to him, a total of 3,309 houses were also destroyed in the three states. Muhammad said Sokoto recorded the highest cases, with 14 local government areas affected.
He listed the areas as: Tangaza, Dange-Shuni, Gudu, Sokoto South, Sokoto North, Bodinga, Wamakko, Wurno, Gwadabawa, Binji,Kebbe, Kware, Rabah and Sabon-Birni.

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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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