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Retired Cop Arraigned For Raping Minor

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A 55-year -old retired police officer, Mr Oliver Ugbaga, was last Monday arraigned at a Makurdi Magistrates’ Court for allegedly raping a minor.
Ugbaga was charged with “Procuration of a minor and rape’’ punishable under Sections 276 and 284 of the Penal Code Laws of Benue, 2004.
The Prosecutor, Sgt. Regina Ishaya told the court that a petition by one Mrs Grace Okoha of Iniongum, Wadata, Makurdi, addressed to the Commissioner of Police, Benue State Command, was received on December 14, 2018.
Ishaya said that the petitioner stated that her 14-year-old daughter went out on December 7, 2018 but did not come back.
“She stated that all efforts to trace her whereabouts proved abortive until on December 8, 2018 when the accused came to her house and told her that he had taken the girl as his wife.
“The petitioner further stated that the accused thereafter, warned her not to report the matter to anybody,’’ she said.
The prosecutor told the court that the accused was arrested during police investigation and he confessed committing the crime.
She also informed the court that investigation into the matter was in progress and pleaded for adjournment to give time for the investigation to be concluded.
Mr Prince Agbo, counsel to the accused, applied for bail for his client, promising to comply with the bail conditions.
The Magistrate, Mr Peter Chaha, granted bail to the accused in the sum of N100, 000 and a surety in like sum.
Chaha adjourned the matter to February 27, 2019.

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Christmas Holidays: Schools Resume In Rivers, Today

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The Rivers State Ministry of Education has announced the resumption of both  public and private schools in the state for the second term 2019/2020 academic session with effect from today.
A statement from the  State Ministry of Education available to The Tide, said ahead of the resumption of schools, the  State Ministry of Education has reinstated its stand  that unapproved schools in state remain banned and should not open for resumption.
It will be recalled that the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom, had in last year set up a committee for accreditation and approval of private schools; a move designed to improve quality education in the state.
The committee, led by professor  Ozo Mekuri Ndimele, in its report denied accreditation/approval to 437 schools which did not meet set requirements for the operations of private schools.
“Subsequently,  the state government directed that all schools denied approval should discontinue operations forthwith”.
The statement quoted the state  Commissioner for Education, Professor Kaniye Ebeku, while  speaking on the resumption of schools over the weekend said  the directive on the ban of unapproved schools still subsists.
Professor Ebeku, however, advised parents and guardians of pupils and students not to patronize unapproved schools, adding that such schools are illegal and should not resume.
He warned that any of the unapproved schools found operating will be made to face appropriate sanctions in accordance with the relevant state laws..
The Education Commissioner further disclosed that the Rivers State Government has made adequate provisions for the maintenance and functioning of public schools in the state, and cautioned Heads of public primary and secondary schools in the state not to collect any fee from pupils and students.
”Any Principal or Head teacher that violates the directive will face appropriate disciplinary  measures” the statement stated

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School Feeding: FG Pays Food Suppliers In 33 States

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The Federal Government yesterday said it had paid suppliers of foodstuff and cooks in 33 participating states under the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, said the payment, which was for January 2020, would ensure that the feeding of the 9.9 million pupils in the 33 states and the Federal Capital Territory starts immediately schools resume in two weeks time.
She explained that the payment covered the cost of feeding the school pupils in the participating states, adding that the funds were released in December to give the suppliers and cooks adequate time to procure and stock foodstuff.
Farouq said, “We believe that paying these funds early is critical to the success of the programme. We do not want any hitches and we want to ensure that the  school children are fed on time and without any excuses.”
The minister warned that the Federal Government would not accept any drop in the nutritional quality of the meals given to the children.
She said the Federal Government had gladly received reports of improved attendance in the schools and improved hygiene among the pupils.
These outcomes, according to Farouq, were some of the reasons for setting up the school feeding programme.
She noted that under the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme, a total of 9,963,726 pupils were fed in 54,942 schools across the country and were served by 107,862 suppliers and cooks.
The programme is one of the components of the National Social Investment Programme of the federal government.
The NSIP, which was previously under the Presidency, was recently moved to the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

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Monarch Cautions Youths Against Violence, Other Social Vices

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The Gom Mama of Mama Chiefdom in Nasarawa, Alhaji Mustapha Zubairu, has advised youths to shun violence and all other negative tendencies in their interest and for societal development.
Zubairu gave the advice yesterday when he received Wamba/Farin-Ruwa Youths Movement residing in Lafia, the state capital.
The traditional ruler said that if youths and other Nigerians could shun violence at all times, it would go a long way in not only promoting peace but would also ensure speedy development of the country.
“I want to thank you for the visit and for forming this group aimed at promoting unity and peaceful co-existence among yourselves and other Nigerians.
“This is because peace is the necessary requirement for the development of any society.
“Peace is priceless and non-negotiable; as no society or nation will achieve meaningful progress and development without peace.

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