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Benue
Five officers of the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS), serving in Benue State are to face the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to authenticate their certificates.
The Benue State Controller of Prisons, Mr Peter Pevigo, disclosed this in Makurdi last Tuesday in an interview with newsmen.
He said that the officers were among the 382 persons picked by the ICPC across the country to validate their certificates.
Pevigo explained that the officers were not guilty of certificate forgery, but were only invited by the anti-graft agency to clear some grey issues surrounding such certificates.
“No officer is found guilty until the joint investigation by NPS and ICPC is concluded, and an official report communicated to me; it is then that they could be deemed culpable.

Borno
The Police in Borno State last Monday said two Boko Haram suicide bombers were killed in a failed attempt to attack displaced persons’ camps and University of Maiduguri.
A statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Victor Isuku, said the suicide bombers were killed by security operatives before they hit their targets.
“On Sunday at about 2115hrs, a suspected female Boko Haram terrorist, took advantage of the darkness of night and attempted to gain access into Dalori 2 IDPs camp through the rear perimeter fence.
“Fortunately, she was sighted by vigilant security personnel on duty and chased.
“In an attempt to escape arrest, she hurriedly detonated the IED strapped to her body, killing herself alone.

FCT
A University teacher, Prof. Noel Wannang, last Tuesday stressed the need for a policy that would guarantee the safety and welfare of the aged population in the country.
Wannang is a Professor of Toxicology in Pharmacology Department of the University of Jos.
He made the call at the annual scientific seminar of the Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria (AHAPN), FCT branch in Abuja.
Toxicology is the scientific study of adverse effects that occur in living organisms due to chemicals.
Reports say that the theme of the seminar is “Cardiometabolic medicine: Meeting the challenges of an aging population”.
Wannang who is also the Secretary-General, West Africa Postgraduate College of Pharmacists, decried challenges faced by the aged in the society.

Kano
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has warned the new interim management officers for the 44 local government areas in the state against corruption and laxity to duty.
At the swearing-in ceremony last Monday Ganduje said that his administration would continue to give priority to service to the people.
According to reports the swearing in followed the confirmation of the officers by the State House of Assembly.
Ganduje urged the new appointees to perform their duties with diligence, honesty and fear of God, adding that they should initiate developmental programmes in their areas.

Katsina
Communities displaced by the construction of Jare Earth Dam in Bakori Local Government Area of Katsina State have urged the Federal Government to review the compensation approved for their houses and farmlands.
The communities, under the aegis of Jare Earth Dam Association, said in a letter to the government that they have been short-changed by the committee responsible for the payment.
The letter was signed on behalf of the communities by Malam Dahiru Musa and Alhaji Rabi’u Ahmad and obtained by newsmen.
The communities also requested the government to investigate the activities of the resettlement committee, alleging that some of those affected were either excluded or shortchanged in the exercise.

Kogi
The Kogi State Government last Monday distributed food, drugs, sanitary items and cash to 18 registered orphanages across the state.
The Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Bolanle Amupitan, who handled the exercise, said that the gesture was aimed at improving the living standards of the orphans.
“Government has resolved that the children must be well fed; we have resolved never to allow the circumstances of their birth to define their future,” she said.
Matron, Stagi Orphanage, Lokoja, Mrs Clara Owosagba, while thanking government for the gesture, praised Governor Yahaya Bello’s efforts toward a better life for orphans.

Kwara
No fewer than 60 volunteers in the Federal Government’s job creation scheme for youths are on payment hold and may be prosecuted for fraud, the Presidential aide on Job Creation, Mr Afolabi Imoukhuede, said last Monday.
He gave the indication while addressing 5,559 N-Power volunteers in Kwara State at the Banquet Hall of the Government House, Ilorin.
At the event, he gave July ending as deadline for those experiencing payment issues to resolve them or be removed from the programme.
Imoukhuede had led a team of Monitoring and Evaluation officials to assess the performance of the volunteers in the state as well as mandate the state’s institutional partners to take absolute charge of the volunteers.

Lagos
Two men, Rabiu Rasaki, 46, a panel beater and Sakiru Adeogun, 47, a painter, were last Tuesday arraigned in an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court, for allegedly stealing their customer’s car valued at N3.8 million.
The two defendants who live at Orile Agege, a suburb of Lagos, are standing trial on a two-count charge of conspiracy and stealing.
The Prosecutor, Insp. Clifford Ogu, told the court that the offences were committed on October 29 ,2016 at Amoo St., Orile Agege, Lagos.
Ogu said that the complainant, Mr Yomi Ogunusi, gave his Toyota Hilux to Rasaki for repairs.
“Rasaki gave it to Adeogun to first panel beat the vehicle before spraying it,” he said.

Nasarawa
Traders in Masaka Market in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, last Tuesday urged the Nasarawa State Government to establish a fire service station in the market.
The traders made the call when some of them spoke with newsmen in Masaka last Sunday’s fire disaster in the market.
They said that such a measure had become necessary to avert future occurrence.
The traders have been counting  their losses following the early morning inferno that destroyed over 2,000 shops, a report said.

Ogun
The Ogun State Government has inaugurated a committee to look into the menace of  prostitution among under-aged youths in the state.
The committee members, drawn from the Ministries of Youth and Sports and Women Affairs, would sensitise, arrest and rehabilitate youths found engaging  in such activities.
Speaking at the inauguration of the committee last Monday in Abeokuta, the Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr Afolabi Afuape, lamented the rampant nature of open prostitution in the state.
He said that sensitisation would start from all the four stadia across the state for a week, after which arrests  could be made by security personnel.
“The ministry has always been an advocate against the act of open prostitution across the state, especially within the four stadia across the state.
“Yesterday, the committee swung into action by sensitising shop owners at MKO Abiola International Stadium,” he said.

Plateau
An NGO, Christian Women For Excellence and Empowerment in Nigerian Society (CWEENS), said last Monday in Jos that violence against women would persist unless measures were adopted to punish perpetrators.
“Perpetrators of the violence are not prosecuted; girls are commonly abused without any consequence. The evil will persist if nothing is done to punish the offenders,” Chairperson, CWEENS Observatory Steering Committee (OBSTEC), Mrs Ladi Madaki, stated.
Madaki told newsmen in Jos that existing laws and “some insensitive policies” had made it impossible to deal with the violence, much less eradicate it.
She said that some NGOs and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) were keen on complementing government efforts to deal with the menace, but were being held back by some bottlenecks.

Taraba
Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State said recently in Jalingo that the Paris Club debt relief fund received by the state would be used to settle outstanding pensions and gratuities.
Ishaku, in a speech shortly before signing the Anti-open Grazing Bill into law, said that the amount received would cover the outstanding pensions of local government workers and a substantial part of gratuities of both state and local government workers.
He expressed concern that local government retirees had not been paid their pensions and gratuities since 2013, and promised to address the situation.
The governor announced that he had requested the House of Assembly to approve the re-naming of the state airport after Mr Danbaba Suntai to immortalise the late governor that died last month.

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NDLEA Arraigns Catholic Knight, Cousin For Drug Trafficking 

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arraigned a knight of the Roman Catholic Church, Sir Basil Okafor and his cousin, Edwin Izuchukwu, before the Federal High Court over allegations of drug peddling.
The two brothers were arraigned on charges of conspiracy, possession of 2.169 kilograms of heroin, and frustrating the cause of justice.
According to the NDLEA, the suspects were arrested on March 28, 2022, at No 26 Akpomule Street, Isolo-Okota area of Lagos.
The prosecutor, Mr. Umar Hussaine, informed Justice Daniel Osiagor that the defendants were found in unlawful possession of the prohibited drug and also discovered to be distributing same.
The counsel also alleged that Okafor threw his iPhone 7 containing his SIM card into a water closet in a bid to obstruct the operations of the NDLEA officers in the course of his arrest.
Hussaine said the offences committed by the two brothers were prohibited under Sections 14(b), 24(1)(a), and 49 of the NDLEA Act, 2004. The said offences are also punishable under Section 20(2)(a) and Section 20(2)(b) of the Act.
After reading the charges, the defendants pleaded not guilty.
The defendant’s counsel, Mr. Benson Ndakara, prayed the court to grant his clients bail, appealing that one of the defendants, Sir Okafor, is a knight of a Catholic Church.
Justice Osiagor granted the two defendants bail in the sum of N2m each with one surety in like sum.
He, however, remanded them in the NDLEA custody until their bail terms have been perfected.
The court adjourned the case till October 5 to open trial against the defendants.
Earlier, the NDLEA had obtained a lien of Post No Debit from Justice Tijani Ringim directing Zenith Bank Plc and United Bank of Africa to restrict the defendants from accessing their accounts.
The justice also ordered that the NDLEA should be granted rights to inspect the Certified True Copies of their accounts, and also conduct other investigations as necessary.
The application was granted on the alleged ground that the defendants were international drug traffickers.

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Sokoto Launches COVID-19 Action Recovery, Releases N8.3bn To 152,107 Beneficiaries 

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The Zamfara  State Governor, Dr. Bello Matawalle, has launched the COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Programme (CARES) in the state.
The programme was launched to directly support individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the poor and vulnerable in the state.
The governor made this known on Wednesday in a statement by his Press Secretary, Jamilu Iliyasu Magaji.
The governor said the programme would be accomplished through social transfers, livelihood grants, basic infrastructure provision, support for medium and small business enterprises, and maintenance of food security threatened by armed banditry and general economic downturn.
He said the sum of N8.3 billion had been set aside for distribution to 152,107 beneficiaries to enable their small and medium scale businesses flourish.
He explained that the programme would be implemented through three delivery platforms, namely: CSDA, FADAMA, and the ministry of Commerce and Industries, in collaboration with the office of Zamfara State First Lady to address the problem of malnutrition in the state.

Matawalle added that, “there is also a CARES Coordinating office unit for the state. The services that CARES will deliver to the common man of Zamfara State including livelihood grants of 3.4 billion Naira, food security 3.4 billion Naira and job creation through small and medium scale Enterptrises at 2 billion Naira”.

The statement said further that in order to cover the target beneficiaries in all parts of the state, the programme would be implemented in three phases of Result Area One: to increase social transfer, basic services, and livelihood support to poor and vulnerable households, targeting 82,321 beneficiaries.

“Similarly, Result Area Two component is aimed at increasing food security and safe functioning of food supply chains for poor households targeting 61,286 beneficiaries, while Result Area Three Component of the Programme would facilitate recovery of micro and small informal businesses, the phase will target 8,500 beneficiaries”, the governor said.

The governor said his administration considers it a matter of utmost significance to implement programmes explicitly tailored to mitigate poverty among people and open new economic horizons for committed youths and entrepreneurs.

According to him, the administration has been working hard in the last three years to address the issue of insecurity, which has long been a major impediment to economic activity in many parts of the state, in addition to the massive investments in primary, secondary and tertiary education, healthcare, road infrastructure, cargo airport construction and a variety of other areas in order to turn around the fortunes of the state.

Matawalle also reaffirmed  his administration’s resolve to place high premium on the well-being of individuals while also trying to create an environment that allows legitimate businesses and other critical sectors of the economy to function effectively.

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World Bank To Fund $30bn Projects In Nigeria, Others

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The World Bank has said it is set to disburse a total of $30bn to fund existing and new projects in Nigeria and other countries as part of a global response to combat the ongoing food security crisis.
According to the bank, it is working with countries on a $12bn new projects fund for the next 15 months.
It said the projects are expected to support agriculture, social protection to cushion the effects of higher food prices, and water and irrigation projects.
It added that most of the funds would go to Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and South Asia.
The global bank disclosed this on Wednesday when it announced how it plans to be part of a comprehensive, global response to the ongoing food security crisis.
It stated that it intends to roll out this fund in existing and new projects in agriculture, nutrition, social protection, water, and irrigation.
It said, “This financing will include efforts to encourage food and fertilizer production, enhance food systems, facilitate greater trade, and support vulnerable households and producers”.
World Bank Group President, David Malpass, said, “Food price increases are having devastating effects on the poorest and most vulnerable.
“To inform and stabilise markets, it is critical that countries make clear statements now of future output increases in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Countries should make concerted efforts to increase the supply of energy and fertilizer, help farmers increase plantings and crop yields, and remove policies that block exports and imports, divert food to biofuel, or encourage unnecessary storage.”
The bank added that its current existing portfolio includes balances of $18.7bn in projects with direct links to food and nutrition security issues, covering agriculture and natural resources, nutrition, social protection, and other sectors.
It stated, “Altogether, this would amount to over $30bn available for implementation to address food insecurity over the next 15 months. This response will draw on the full range of Bank financing instruments and be complemented by analytical work”.

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