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THE STATES

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Borno
A humanitarian organisation, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) last Sunday, said it had deployed more than 1, 700 personnel to Borno State to provide emergency support services to communities ravaged by Boko Haram insurgency.
The organisation also known as ‘MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES’, said it was providing intervention in the areas of health care delivery, food and nutrition support as well as water and sanitation services.
The MSF’s Head of Mission, Mr Moctar Abassi, told newsmen in Maiduguri that the personnel included 1, 600 Nigerians and 130 expatriates.
Abassi said that the organisation had extended its outreach to 11 locations, to enable it render support to the displaced persons and vulnerable persons in the state.
He listed the benefitting areas to include Maiduguri, Pulka, Gwoza, Monguno, Damasak, Benisheik, Dikwa, Banki, Ngala, Rann and Bama.

FCT
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, has approved the appointment of Prof. Bisala Ekele, as the substantive Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH).
The Assistant Director of Information in the hospital, Mr Frank Omagon, made this known in a statement last Sunday, in Abuja.
It said that the letter signed by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, indicated that the appointment was for a four-year term with effect from June 1, 2017.
The acting president, in the statement, called on the new CMD to be conscious of the enormous responsibilities of the office.
“You must be conscious of the yearnings of our people for an effective and responsive healthcare delivery system,” it quoted the acting president as saying.

Gombe
The management of the Federal College of Education (Technical) in Gombe State, has declared a ‘no work, no pay’ policy following the indefinite strike embarked by lecturers of the institution.
This was  disclosed  in a statement signed by  the Director, Establishment and Council Affairs Ibrahim Shehu, last Sunday, in Gombe.
Reports have it that the lecturers embarked on an indefinite strike on July 11 demanding the payment of the backlog of allowances owed them by the college authority.
Shehu described the action by lecturers under the College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) as uncalled for.
He added that the management of the institution has no option but to apply the policy in line with directives by the federal government.

Kano
Kano State Governor, Alhaji Umar Ganduje, last Saturday, observed that Fulfulde language and culture in Nigeria were slowly ‘dying,’ warning that it was a question of time before they became ‘extinct’.
Ganduje made the observation in Yola during formal inauguration of Board of Trustees and Directors of newly established Yola-based Pulaku Radio FM station.
“Fulfulde is becoming a dying language in Nigeria, especially among the elites; Fulanis themselves should wake up and promote their language.
“Many elites who are Fulani by origin will tell you, sometimes with some element of pride, that their father or grandfather was Fulani but they (elites) cannot speak the language,” Ganduje lamented.

Kwara
One of Landmark University’s best graduating-students in the 2016/2017 academic session, Oladiran Ezekiel, has attributed his feat to the inspiration he garnered from his father, a chartered accountant.
Ezekiel said this last Sunday, during the post-convocation thanksgiving service held within the university in Omu-Aran, Kwara State, where it  is located
Our correspondent reports that Ezekiel was among the 468 students that graduated during the institution’s 4th Convocation held last Friday.
Sixty-six students, that included Ezekiel, graduated with First Class Honours in various courses of studies.
Ezekiel, apart from bagging a First Class Honours in Accounting, is also a certified Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN) as well as being a member of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountant (ACCA) upon his graduation.

Lagos
The Managing Director of the Jos-based Nigeria Film Corporation, Dr. Chidia Maduekwe, says Nigerian movies are among the best   internationally in terms of contents, settings and acceptability.
Maduekwe told newsmen in Lagos that many movie-producers and marketers were smiling to their banks because of impressive turnover from the sales of their videos based on quality and public acceptability.
“There is no doubt that today Nigerian movie-producers are improving in the qualities of their home videos.
“Take for example the “Wedding Party’’ or “1976’; these are blog busters that are raking-in hundreds of millions of naira for their producers, because they have better production qualities,.

Niger
Five students are to enjoy full scholarship to study Medicine at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, courtesy of a Niger State lawmaker, Mr Danlami Bako.
Bako, representing Rafi Constituency in the State House of Assembly, told newsmen last Saturday, that the sponsorship was part of efforts to support the educational pursuits of youths.
“The sponsorship is my own little way of encouraging the educational development of our teeming youths in Rafi.
“The importance of education in one’s life cannot be over-emphasised and that is why I support people who are willing to embrace it,’’ he said.
Bako disclosed that he had paid the WAEC, NECO and JAMB fees of 22 students drawn from the 11 wards in his constituency.

Osun
Outraged by the abduction and killing of  a Permanent Secretary in Osun State, Mrs Kemi Kolawole, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly,  Mr Najeem  Salaam, has called on the Federal authorities to provide adequate security on the nation’s highways particularly the Okene-Lokoja-Abuja Expressway.
He spoke against the backdrop of the killing of Kolawole and her driver, on Okene-Abuja highway by some suspected kidnappers.
“It is painful and shocking,” the speaker said in a statement last Saturday, in Osogbo, signed by  the Chief Press Secretary, Mr Goke Butika.
Salaam decried the spate of killings and insecurity particularly on Okene-Abuja road and urged Kogi and the Federal Government to take urgent steps to find the killers of the permanent secretary and her driver.

Oyo
Property owners occupying government lands at Fasade and parts of Egbeda town in Egbeda Local Government Area of Oyo State, have appealed to the state government not to demolish their houses.
The spokesman of the affected landlords, Mr Michael Adeniyi, made the appeal last Saturday, because of the ongoing demolition of unapproved structures built on government lands at Ajoda new town.
According to Adeniyi, appeal remains the only option for the landlords, having realised that the lands actually belong to the government.
“We have resolved to make this passionate appeal to the state government to leave out our community out of the several hectares acquired.

Plateau
The Plateau State Police Command says it has apprehended a 25 year-old man for allegedly posing as ‘female sex worker’ in Jos.
The command’s spokesman, ASP Terna Tyopev, told journalists, last Saturday, in Jos, that the suspect, identified as Michael Atseng, was arrested on July 13 at Gwom Guest House, Hwolshe, at about 9:30pm.
“The hotel management alerted us that someone is lodging in their hotel who poses as a woman but with physical features of a man.
“We mobilised our men and at exactly 9:30 pm, he was accosted and had been in our custody, “ Tyopev said.
Tyopev, who described the suspect as a “habitual homosexual’ said in 2016, he was arrested by  soldiers but returned to his normal business after he was released.

Sokoto
The Kebbi State Governor, Senator Atiku Bagudu, last Sunday, visited Wamakko, the home of Senator Aliyu Wamakko (APC-Sokoto North),to condole him over the death of his younger brother, Rep.Abdullahi Muhammad(APC-Kware/Wamakko).
Bagudu, according to our correspondent, was accompanied on the visit by his Sokoto State counterpart, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal.
Bagudu described the death of the late lawmaker as a great loss not only to his family and Sokoto State, but also to the country in general.
He prayed God to repose the soul of the deceased and grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Responding, Wamakko commended Bagudu for the gesture and described Muhammad’s death as a collective loss.

Taraba
A member representing Ussa Constituency in the Taraba State  House of Assembly, Mr Timothy Anderifun, has awarded scholarship to 200 students from his constituency studying in various tertiary institutions across the country.
Presenting the scholarship last Sunday, in Jalingo, Anderifun said he was moved to reach out to the students given his personal experience during his school days.
According to him, the scholarship is to encourage them to work hard so as to become patriotic future leaders of the country.
“I want to encourage you to work hard, even in the face of economic hardships and insecurity facing the nation.
“Education remains the bedrock of any societal development and it is my belief that you all will succeed in your endeavours.

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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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