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THE STATES

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Lagos

The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Anthony Cardinal Okogie has called on the governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola to immediately arrest the growing immorality and moral depravity in Lagos.

Okojie made the call Monday while reacting to a media report on the increase in strip clubs in parts of Lagos State, where girls danced stark naked, attracting a lot of patronage from men.

“Evil has taken over Lagos. The way things are going, when girls of between the ages of 15 and 25 dance nude and throw caution to the wind with boys and men watching them, then they are sending a strong signal to the society. It portends danger. We are sitting on a loaded gun”, said Okogie in a statement signed by the Director of Social Communications, Lagos State, Reverend Gabriel Osu.

Okogie called on Fashola to act now because the strinp clubs are on the increase, while those shut earlier have reopened with impunity and with change of name.

“I hope this is not making mockery of Lagos as mega-city, centre of Excellence and City of Aquatic Splendour,” he said.

He called for a ban on gambling in the state as well as prevent people from playing Kalokalo game, while under-aged girls should be disallowed from dancing naked in hotels.

“Parents should not allow girls who are supposed to be under their watchful eyes to patronise hotels. It is contrary to the feeling of the people of the state,” Okogie said.

According to him, the current trend amounted to a defiance of government and government, he said must do something to stem what he called the rising tide of evil sweeping across the state.

“Some VIPs are among them, some top civil servants are with them. They lured innocent girls into prostitution. We don’t want Lagos to be spoilt,” Okogie said.

 

Bauchi

A Bauchi High Court has restrained the State Signage and Advertisement Management Agency (BASSAM) from charging commercial banks in the state on their billboards and signages, after months of legal tussle between the 21 banks operating in the state and the agency.

Justice Haruna Tsammani of Bauchi High Court Four, ruled that the agency, established early this year to collect taxes on signages in the state, has no legal rights to do so and that the law establishing the agency was inconsistent with paragraph 1 (k)i of the 4th Schedule of the 1999 constitution and therefore unconstitutional, null and void.

Briefing newsmen after the ruling, counsel to the banks, Victor Dalbadal, said the banks believed that the agency was not the constitutional body vested with the powers to collect taxes on signages, saying it was the power of local government which the banks were paying to and had never defaulted.

It was gathered that commercial banks pay about N15,000 each to their host local government as tax on their signages before the establishment of the agency managed by a consulting firm, which demanded that they pay million of naira for the same purposes.

In January this year, all the 21 commercial banks closed their gates to customers for a day, to protest what they described as the exhorbitant and arbitrary fees being charged by BASSAM on their signages, billboards and other commercials around the state.

The agency however, declined to speak on the court rulling.

 

Zamfara

Zamfara State Director of State Security Services (SSS), Alhaji Mohammed Tanko Mingi, has said failure of political parties to fully co-operate with security agencies is the major reason for political thuggery in the country.

The problem, according to him, is more pronounced during election period when parties deliberately attack each other without recourse to laid down rules and regulations.

Speaking when he received executive committee members of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who visited him in Gusau yesterday, Mingi said tackling the menace of political thuggery had beenone of the greatest challenges.

Ningi said the only way security agencies in the state could effectively and efficiently work to rid the society of criminals is by getting first hand information about people of suspicious character living among members of the community.

Oyo

The Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan yesterday sacked a member of the house of representatives representing Ibadan South-West/Ibadan North-West Federal Constituency in Oyo State, Hon Folake Olunloyo Shinoldo.

The three man appellate court removed Olunloyo-Oshinowo from the lower legislative chamber on the ground of irregularity and non-compliance to election rules. INEC had declared Olunloyo Oshinowo, People Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, winner of April 21, 2007 election. Action Congress (AC) candidate at the poll Dr Idayat Adebusuyi, had headed to the tribunal to contest the election which was, however upheld at the lower tribunal until the appellate court finally upheld the prayers of the AC candidate and ordered a re-run.

The appellant, among others wanted the Appeal panel to order that Olunloyo-Oshinowo did not win the election, and that INEC and the state Resident Electoral Commissioner were biased in their declaration.

She also wanted the court to return her as the valid winner of the election, or alternatively, cancel the election and order a fresh run.

The court of Appeal panel agreed with her that the election was indeed fraught by many irregularities. Reading the lead judgment, Justice Charles Ogunbiyi, said Adebusuyi, through her counsel, had been able to convince the panel that there was wide spread irregularities in the election and that INEC did not do its job of an umpire effectively.

 

Ondo

Ondo State government has banned viewing of television in all government offices. The decision was contained in a circular dated October 20, 2009 and signed by the head of service directing all commissioners, chief of staff to the governor, permanent secretaries and heads of department. The ban, the circular stated, was sequel to the discovery by government that television had become a major source of distraction in office, leading to low productivity among civil servants. The government observed that the situation was so bad that some members of the public were on routine visit to offices in various ministries, department even after the close of work to watch TV.

The government also banned the use of computer system for entertainment purposes, adding that TV sets in public offices are now restricted to waiting rooms of offices of the head of service, permanent secretaries or those of similar positions.

 

Kogi

In his continued efforts to boost healthcare delivery in the state, the Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris has approved the immediate employment of more medical doctors, nurses and consultants to meet the desired need of the people.

The governor disclosed this in Lokoja last weekend while taking delivery of five containers of medical equipment worth millions of naira from the United States of America.

Inspecting the consignment at the state Essential Drug Warehouse in Lokoja, Governor Idris directed the state Commissioner of Health, Dr Dorcas Onumijan to ensure equitable distribution of the equipment to all the existing health institutions across the state.

 He said another five containers of same equipment that were also ordered from the US had already arrived Lagos and would soon be delivered to the state.

The governor who reiterated his commitment to the health sub-sector in view of its important role to human existence, promised to continue to provide enabling environment that would boost healthcare delivery services in the state.

 

Kwara

Governor Bukola Saraki of Kwara state has promised that all efforts would be put in place by the government to eradicate poliomyelitis in the state so as to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

This, he noted would go a long way in bringing healthcare delivery to the doorsteps of the rural people.

Saraki stated that at Kaima, the headquarters of Kaima local government council area of the state during the official commissioning of the newly upgraded hospital constructed at the cost of N76 million.

According to him, “poliomyelitis among the children should be totally eradicated as this would ensure steady growth, thereby accelerating the socio-economic development of the country.”

He said that the main thrust of the present administration is to provide effective and efficient healthcare delivery services to the people of the state and this would be pursued to the letter.

Abuja

The Court of Appeal, Abuja yesterday fixed November 12, for the adoption of written addresses in a suit filed by the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate in the April 14, 2007 governorship election against Martins Agbaso.

The court fixed the date after granting the two applications filed by his counsel, Patrick Ikwueto (SAN). Agbaso is appealing the judgment of a federal high court, Abuja, which struck out his suit seeking to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to announce the result of governorship election.

INEC cancelled the election which Agbaso believes he won, but INEC declared Governor Ikedi Ohakim then of Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) as the winner.

Dissatisfied with the court’s decision, Agbaso took his case to the court of Appeal whch assumed jurisdiction in the matter, after dismissing the preliminary objection filled by the respondents on February 26.

It summoned Ohakim and INEC to appear before it on the matter but the respondents appealed the verdict at the court of appeal. In its ruling delivered on September 29, Justice Dahiru Mustapha who led other justices queried the defendants for coming to court to file an appeal in a matter that had not been heard and decided to its merit.

The court, while striting out the motion, ordered an acceleration of the appeal. Yesterday, Ikwueto withdrew his motion seeking the leave of the court to appeal at the Supreme Court, which was granted.

Osun

Osun State police command yesterday said it had impounded some electoral materials allegedly smuggled into the state.

The materials included 300,000 copies of form EC 40A, Ballot Papers Account and Verification Statement. The materials according to the police investigation, did not have stamps and dates on the ballot papers account and verification statement.

State police command spokesman, ASP Clement Akinola said it was surprising to see such materials because the police was not aware of any election in the state that should warrant such movement of INEC materials.

But the driver of the Mazda Bus with registration number Osun XD 214 GNN, Mr Bonniface Ahmed, who allegedly brought in the materials claimed that they were authentic and therefore were not being smuggled into the state.

He said the contract for the materials was allegedly awarded to Jike International Investment Limited, Abuja to print for Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before its delivery in Osogbo, noting that one Chinedu’s wife was the contractor that handled the printing of the materials in Abuja.

Consequently, he said he was only asked to deliver the material to the state INEC office in Osogbo with the waybill attached to it.

Akinola said that the police should look into the matter so as to arrive at the truth behind the alleged smuggling of the materials into the state

However the state zonal director of store for INEC, Mr M. J. Oyegha confirmed that the materials belong to INEC.

He said since Osogbo is the zonal office for INEC, all INEC materials were not given police escort as required by the law, he said only sensitive INEC materials are usually accorded such escorts.

Oyegha stressed that materials form INEC headquarters to any of its zonal offices across the country may come without prior notice as it applies to the case in question.

Reacting to the development, the director of Research and Strategy of Action  Congress (AC) in the state, Mr Sunday Akere said the materials are the ones that are likely to be tendered in the on-going retrial case of Governor Olagunsoye Oyimlola.

He observed that his party is about to conclude its case before the justice Garba Alli-led tribunal in due course while the PDP will soon open its own defence.

However, the Osun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday chided the Action Congress (AC) in the state for raising false alarm.

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SEAMATA Condemns Inport Duty Increment On Cargo

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Members of the the South East Amalgamated Markets Traders Association (SEAMATA) have strongly criticised and rejected the recent astronomical and indiscriminate increment in the import duty on cargoes charged by Nigerian Customs.
SEAMATA is the umbrella union of traders in all the markets in the South-East Geo-political Zone and traders of South-East extraction doing business across the states in the Federation and in Diaspora.
This is contained in a statement jointly signed by SEAMATA’s President General, Chief Gozie Akudolu and its Secretary General, Mr Alex Okwudiri, in Enugu yesterday.
According to them, the Nigerian Customs introduced a method of working out import duty payment on goods and set out a particular minimum amount payable for each 40ft container.
The statement noted that items with the least percentage tariff of five per cent are not even spared.
The  current import duties, the statement further regretted, are no longer calculated based on invoice value of consignments.
”Between 2020 and now, the amount charged on cargoes as import duties have risen in geometric proportion from N750,000 to N2 million, again to N3 million and presently, to N3.3 million for 40ft containers; while 20ft containers jumped to N1.8 million.
”The Nigerian Customs on their own, work out payable import duty now based on “estimated” invoice value of consignment as against the actual invoice value of goods from the country of origin.
”This development is not only bringing untold hardships to importers but is also compounding the pains of the citizens as it dovetailed to astronomical increase in prices of imported goods as the Nigerian Customs estimated invoice value is always far above the actual cost of the imports.
”The indiscriminate estimate of value of goods by Nigerian Customs is adversely affecting the prices of goods in the markets today both imported and locally produced as it triggered a chain reaction.
”Even agricultural products are not spared in the chain effect of the price increase.
”In the general meeting held in Onitsha on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, the traders resolved to very strongly condemn and reject the increment.
”We are appealing to the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning to prevail on the Nigerian Customs to, as a matter of urgency, suspend the exercise.
”This is to save the Nigerian citizens from further economic hardships as further economic pains that follow such situations could lead to social unrest which our nation doesn’t need now”.
The statement also prayed and expected that the appeal of the traders would be favourably considered in the overall interest of the masses across the country. 7Ends.

By: Canice Amadi, Enugu

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Kaduna SUBEB To Sack 233 Teachers Over Fake Certificates

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Chairman of the Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board (KADSUBEB), Alhaji Tijjani Abdullahi, on Thursday, hinted that 233 primary school teachers have been pencilled down for dismissal for gaining employment with fake certificates.
Abdullahi, who spoke at a press conference in Kaduna yesterday, further noted that for the Board to be sure that the newly-employed teachers have the requisite qualifications, it went into secret verification of their credentials from various institutions attended.
According to him, the board has already verified 451 institutions they claimed to have attended, but only nine of them have responded so far.
He further added that the responses from the institutions showed that 233 teachers presented fake certificates.
He added that one of the institutions disowned 212 of the 233 fake certificates, adding that, the board would forward their files to the Ministry of Justice to initiate prosecution for forgery.
A visibly shaken Abdullahi noted that the Board will continue to check the integrity of the certificates presented by teachers to ensure that the teaching profession is not devalued by impostors.

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How I Delivered 125 Children After Govt Hospitals Rejected Us -Woman Leader

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Women leader of the Internally Displaced Persons, Durumi camp, Garki Abuja, Mrs Liyatu Ayuba, has narrated how she became a midwife in the camp following rejection of their pregnant members in government hospitals.
The women leader, who was displaced from Borno State after the Boko Haram insurgents killed her husband in 2015, revealed that she has successfully assisted in delivering about 125 children in the camp.
Speaking with The Tide source in the camp, Mrs Liyatu alleged that the National Hospital, Abuja, and other government medical facilities had denied their pregnant members access to medical care following their inability to pay bills.
According to her, a lady in the camp who needed a cesarean section died in the National Hospital after they were unable to pay for the operation.
“Few years ago, a lady came to this camp and she was 7 months pregnant. She came barefoot with only a wrapper and she didn’t have a bacha (hut) so she was squatting on another person’s own.
“The next three days, she was in labour and we took her to the National Hospital in Abuja here and we were told to bring 100,000 but we told them that we do not have such money that they should please try and save her life.
“They said they can’t do anything, that we IDPs are disturbing them. That was how the woman and her baby died in the hospital. They even refused to release the corps for us because we could not pay,” they disclosed.
According to her, she was angered by the incident which prompted her into midwifery to save the lives of other women in the camp.
“I learnt how to be a midwife from my grandmother. I started delivering babies on January 2, 2015, so from that year till date, I have delivered a total of 125 babies in this camp,” she stated.
Liyatu told our source that she has been sensitizing households in the camp to embrace family planning due to lack of funds to train the children.
“I have been telling them that people who have four to five children should do family planning because we are facing a lot in this camp, we are not collecting salary.
“And these children are not going to school and women keep getting pregnant. God will hold us responsible for the children that we are bringing to this world without training them,” she noted.

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