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THE STATES

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Osun
Osun State government has set N4.5 billion aside, to ensure adequate development of technical and vocational education in the state.
The Osun State Commission for education, Science and Technology Alhaji Jelili Adesiyan, said this at a speech presentation organized for schools and colleges in the state.
Adesiyan said already, about nine technical colleges in the state would be used as Attest case for various vocational educational advancement for total emancipation of the youths, adding that the state government is committed to the advancement, development of vocational and technical education in the state, in order to put the unemployed youths on a sound
footing.

Zamfara
Zamfara state special Adviser, Directorate for Rural Electrification, Alhaji Sani Rawayya, Wednesday said government has so far spent about N500 million on the purchase of transformers to boost power supply in the state.
Rawayya said the amount was used to acquire 100 units of transformers, saying the directorate has already received 50 units from the contractors and were distributed to various communities in the state.
He said already, the directorate has installed the transformers at Tsafe, Samaru, Filindem, Munehi, Tudun Wada, Unguwar Yarima, Gadabiyu while others areas will receive similar treatment adding that about 44 other electrification projects were in progress and have reached advanced level of completion.

Kaduna
Judicial workers in Kaduna State had their deplorable plight brought to the fare by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) which declared them as the least paid in the country.
The association said the poor conditions of service of magistrates in the Kaduna State judiciary was unacceptable and urged Governor Namadi Sambo to redress their plight by increasing their salaries and other benefits.
NBA president, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), stated this recently as the Association national officers converged in Kaduna to consider vexed issues such as the professional fees charged by lawyers in the country.
At the opening of the third yearly conference of the legal practice section of the NBA tagged “legal practice changing times, changing strategies, “Akeredolu said it was not an enviable position for Kaduna state to be the least in the federation in terms of remunerations for its judicial workers, particularly magistrates.
To Samdo, Akeredolu said. “Our magistrates here are happy with you, but they want to be happier, I tried to collect data when I am coming to a particular state, and I found out that your magistrates are not well paid whether you like it or not, Kaduna is the capital of the North this is where the north started, so don’t lag behind.
“Do well for your magistrates and let other states copy you; you must show the light and let others now follow illuminate the path and let others follow you. I can assure them (the magistrates) that they will smile after his NBA conference.”

Taraba
At least one person have been reportedly killed and several others hospitalised following the protests that erupted in Ibi Local Council Area of Taraba over the non-payment of workers’ salaries.
The local council employees were said to have also accused the council chairman, Yakubu Agbaizo, of staying away from the council in Jalingo, the state capital or Abuja the Federal Capital Territory.
Apart from the death and injuries, property worth millions of naira, including a church was said to have been razed by the protesting workers.
The anger of the workers, it was leant, was ignited when the chairman, instead of payng the entire salaries owned them decided to pay only half of the salaries for the month of August.
On sensing danger, the chairman was said to have taken to his heels but was cornered by the workers, prompting sporadic shooting by policemen attached to the council headquarters.
The chairman, who at the time of filing this report was taking refuge at the nearby local council or Wukari police station, was said to have had a narrow escape.
Protests and complaint have recently emanated from many local councils in the state about the refusal of the council chairmen to pay workers’ salaries for over there months.

Ekiti
Following the ultimatum given by the Ekiti State of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to the state government to pay September and October salaries of its workers or face industrial action, the state government has said that all allowances of the workers have been paid including their October salary.
The state government in a statement said all local government workers and primary school teachers were paid October salary last week.
The state commissioner for local government, Mr Femi Ige, who issued the statement, said the salaries of the council workers and primary school teachers paid gulped a total sum of N1.024 billion.
The commissioner described as self-serving the 14-day ultimatum issued to the government by the NLC for the payment of September and October salary of public servants in the state, saying; issuing an ultimatum salary already paid is not only ridiculous but self-serving.”
Ige said all local government workers and primary school teachers in the state have been paid up to October adding that, “the government will continue to take welfare of the workers and the entire people of the state as priority.”
The commissioner urged leaders of the NLC in the state to emulate the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) by assisting the government in realising its developmental goals instead of issuing ultimatum to the government on the payment of just one month salary arrear.

Abuja
Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested five suspected drug traffickers for allegedly swallowing 410 wraps of powering narcotic substances at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Interational Aiport (NAIA) Abuja.
According to a statement by the Head Public Affairs, Ofoyeju Mitchell, yesterday in Lagos, four the suspects ingested 385 wraps of substances that tested positive for cocaine with a weight of 5.750kg, while one suspect ingested 75 wraps of substances that tested positive for heroin with a weight of 1.3kg. All the suspects were caught attempting to extort the illicit drugs out of the country at the airport.

Benue
The Benue state university, Makurdi, has cancelled the aptitude test it conducted for the faculty of social sciences last weekend.
Vice Chancellor of the Institution, Professor Paul Sorkaa, stated that the university management resolved to cancel the test for all prospective students of the faculty of social sciences, because the tests were marred by irregularities.
Sorkana has reiterated the determination of the university to, at all times, maintain high standards, stressing that it would not condone any attempt at fraud.
Explaining the circumstances that led to the cancellation at an interview recently.

Ogun
The Nigerian Union of Teachers, Ogun State wing, has suspended its seven week-old strike for two weeks, pending the outcome of the negotiation between the State Government and the Union.
The teachers had embarked on the action because of the inability of the state government to implement the 27.5 per cent new Teachers Salary Scale.
Also, government promised not to penalize any teacher(s) in the state for the role (s) played while the strike lasted. In a statement signed by Modupe Idowu, Information Officer, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology made available on Saturday said, “consequent upon meeting held between the state government led by the Head of Service, Chief Dipo Odulate and NUT representatives, it was unanimously agreed to suspend the strike action for two weeks with effect from Monday, 9th November, to allow for the conclusion of the negotiation.
“That government will not penalize any teachers for their roles in the cause of the strike.”
Meanwhile the Chairman of the Union, Comrade Sam Idowu, had since directed that teachers in both primary and secondary schools in the state to return to classrooms with immediate effect.

Ibadan
What could have been a bloody weekend for the people of of Molete in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, was divinely averted on Friday when a trailer carrying full load of sand rammed into a storey building, however, killing nobody.
The trailer, with registration number EDO XC 123 AUC, working for a construction firm handling the construction work on Queen Cinema — Molete Road avoided running over vehicles, traders and scores of passersby at Bode Market, in Molete, and instead, diverted to a building serving as vocational centre for the Nigeria Prison Services.
Mr. Okuwobi Oyekanmi Oluwafolajimi, a Senior Prison Assistant, who was on duty at the time of the accident, said it happened at 10.45 a.m. The vehicle, which had a brake failure, was coming from Challenge Area and when it was descending the Molete flyover, the driver, Mr. Gbolahan Timilehin, who was conscious of not running over the people and vehicles at the end of the flyover, swerved left and entered into the hall of the building used as tailoring workshop .
The building, serving as vocational centre, is used by the prisons for reformation of inmates that have served or serving their jail terms. The sewing machines in the hall were damaged and a staff the trailer met in the hall escaped unhurt. The driver, who afterwards became unconscious due to shock, was taken to Prospect Medical Centre and Maternity Clinic at Eyin Grammar in Molete.
Speaking on the hospital bed, the driver said it was God who helped him because the fear that he would run over the people gripped him and he had to divert the vehicle to the house which he saw was empty.

Taraba
The recent suspension of three government House workers for failing to attend the mandatory daily prayers for a period of time instituted by Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba sate has continued to raise dust in the state.
The workers, who included two female journalists from the state-owned media and an aide to the governor’s special adviser on security, were last week suspended for refusing to be part of the mandatory daily prayers initiated by the governor for both Christians and Moslems workers working in the Government House.
Suntai was said to have ordered their immediate suspension after going through attendant register for the Christians at the Government House Unity Chapel during one of the prayer sessions. Immediately after his assumption of office on May 2007, the governor enacted compulsory prayers for workers attached to the Government House to be observe by 8.00a.m, 12.00 noon and 4.00p.m. daily.
The mandatory daily exercise stressed that both faiths must strictly adhere to the policy by patronizing the Unity Chapel or the mosque both of which are situated in the Government House from Mondays to Fridays.

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NBA Chieftain Tasks Lawyers On Fairness, Social Justice

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As the world celebrated the World Day of Social Justice yesterday, the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Remuneration Committee, Mr Afam Osigwe (SAN), has urged lawyers to ensure justice at all times.
Osigwe added that Nigerian lawyers must reflect on their call as ministers of justice, and protect the same at a cost.
The World Day of Social Justice is celebrated annually on February 20.
Its observance aims to do justice and to remind us each year of the need to build fairer and more equitable societies.
In a statement yesterday, Osigwe harped on the need for lawyers to uphold the principles of justice, equality, and fairness within their society.
“Social justice is not just a concept; it is a call to action that requires our unwavering commitment to safeguarding the rights and well-being of all individuals, irrespective of their background or circumstances.
“As aspiring leaders and contributors to the legal landscape, we have a unique opportunity to effect positive change.
“Let us strive to bridge gaps, break down barriers, and create an inclusive legal environment that resonates with the principles of social justice.
“Our actions, both individually and collectively, have the power to shape a more equitable future for all.
“As we mark the World Day of Social Justice, we must, therefore, reflect on our collective responsibility as legal professionals to uphold the principles of justice, equality, and fairness within our society,” he said
Osigwe noted that the legal profession plays a pivotal role in shaping the legal landscape, adoing that as the bar embarks on this journey, it must stand united in our commitment to promoting fairness, equity, and the rule of law.
“Through continued education, advocacy, and engagement with our communities, we can contribute meaningfully to the advancement of social justice principles in Nigeria,” he said

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Abia Govt Flays Butchers’ Protest Over Alleged Eviction Rumour

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The Abia State Government has formally reacted to the street protest by the Umuahia Butchers Association over an unfounded speculation that it plans to relocate the abattoir to another area.
The government described the protest as ill-conceived, saying that there was no truth in the speculation.
The butchers took to the streets of the state capital last Thursday over an alleged plot by the government “to forcefully evict them” from the abattoir located at Mgbarakuma Community, near Umuahia.
They alleged that the plot was being hatched by the community and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Navy Capt. Macdonald Uba.
The protesters, who marched through the major streets of Umuahia, ended up at the Government House in Umuahia, displaying placards with different inscriptions.
Some of the inscriptions read: “Save us, our governor”, “Ministry of Lands, Garki land is not for sale, please leave us”, “Abia people, slaughter Garki is not for sale”, amongst others.
In an interview with newsmen, the President of the association, Chief Ngozi Williams, said that the abattoir had existed at Mgbarakuma since 1994.
According to Williams, the host community had, in the last two years, made several attempts to force them out of the abattoir.
He said: “The community had gone as far as selling some parcels of land that make up the abbatoir to different individuals.
“We were relocated from the old Garki in Umuahia Town to this place in 1994 during the military administration of Col. Ike Nwosu (rtd.) and the abattoir was inaugurated by the then Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Adamu Chiroma.
“But the Mgbarakuma indigenes came up about two years ago and asked us to leave the place.
“They claimed that government had revoked the land.
“Ever before that time, about six hectares of the land were sold to unknown individuals by the community,” Williams said.
He also said that about a month ago, the governor’s aide started fencing the abattoir, claiming that the place had been sold to him by the government.
“About two to three weeks ago, he brought armed operatives of the Operation Crush to manhandle and chase us out.
“Most of our property were damaged.
“We have written to several agencies of the government to register our complaints,” Williams further said.
He said that the development had affected their businesses and appealed to the government to come to their aid.
“If the government doesn’t want us to continue doing our business in the present location, it should relocate us to another place within Umuahia.

“This is because it is only the government that has the right toa relocate us and not individuals,” Williams said.
But reacting to the protest and allegations by the association, the Traditional Ruler of the community, Eze Ebere Ubani, said that the butchers were not asked to leave the abattoir.
Ubani also said that the association was seeking for ways to divert people’s attention from the actual issue on ground.
“We have never asked them to leave, all we are saying is perform your corporate social responsibility to us as the host community,” he said.
Also, the security adviser to the governor described the allegations made by the butchers as “spurious”.
Uba said that the construction works taking place in the market were meant to improve the state of the abattoir and not to evict the butchers.
He said: “We have commenced the fencing of the cattle market in Lokpanta and extended the same to the Abattoir in Mgbarakuma.
“We at no time told them to relocate or to leave the place or plan for the place to be used for any other purpose than what it is currently being used for.
“The thing is that whatever be their reasons for resisting any further improvements in the market is a figment of their imagination.
“And I think I should say their resistance is based on their selfish interest.”
The Chief Security Officer to the Governor, Mr Ken Nwosu, who received the protesters at the Government House, appealed to them to be peaceful and law-abiding.
Nwosu said that protecting the interest of the people remains paramount in the government’s agenda.
He said: “The letter you have brought to us will definitely be delivered to the governor.
“I know that issues concerning abattoir and cemetery are under the Local Government’s jurisdiction.
“So, your letter will also be delivered to the Transition Committee Chairman of Umuahia South Local Government Area, where the abattoir is situated.”

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CJN Calls For Justice, Equity From West African Leaders In Building Region

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The Chief Justice of Nigeria, (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola has called on West African leaders to use justice and equity to build a prosperous region for the coming generations.
Ariwoola made the call in Abuja on Tuesday while declaring open the Statutory ECOWAS Judicial Council meeting holding in Abuja.
The CJN presided over the meeting being attended by Chief Justices of West African Countries.
He said that the call has become necessary in view of the economic, political and leadership challenges engulfing the region at the moment.
He challenged West African leaders to reaffirm commitment to the ideals of justice, equity and solidarity and work together to build a just region for the people.
“The ECOWAS Judicial Council (EJC), though not widely known like other bodies, has been playing crucial roles in maintaining the rules of law and justice within the region.
“The Council which comprised eminent jurists from West African States has also been serving as the guardian of the rule of law and the protector of human rights within the region.
“In addition, the ECOWAS Judicial Council plays a crucial role in the resolution of disputes among member states, ensuring that conflicts are resolved peacefully and in accordance with the rule of law”.
He added that, the Western Region characterised by diverse legal systems and traditions, the harmonization of laws and legal practices is essential for promoting regional integration and cooperation.
“While the ECOWAS Judicial Council has made significant strides in promoting justice and rule of law in West Africa, the Council is faced with the challenges of inadequate funding, capacity constraints and the need to bolster cooperation among others.
“However, these challenges also present opportunities for innovation and collaboration, as we work together to overcome shared obstacles and build a brighter future for our region.
“The council stands as a beacon of hope and progress in the quest for justice and regional integration within West Africa”.
He assured that, the council, under his leadership will continue to pay attention to addressing situations that threaten the judiciary system in West Africa and organisation of the Community Court of Justice.
“By so doing, the court contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability in the region.
“The various national judicial systems in member States are also expected to play these critical roles of nation and regional building”, he said.
He, therefore, called for support to the council to be able to play the role of ensuring an integrated West Africa.
The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) also charged the ECOWAS Court of Justice to pay attention to the peculiarities of member States and refrain from issuing orders and judgments that are practically incapable of enforcement.
“There is a dire need to promote and deepen alternative dispute resolution measures within West African region.
“The ECOWAS Court must adopt strategies that would strengthen its jurisdiction, whilst appreciating the jurisdictional boundaries of the court and limiting unnecessary conflict with domestic laws of member States.

“The extensive jurisdiction conferred on the ECOWAS Court calls for recruitment of jurists with extensive experience, expertise, high moral character and discipline”.
He stressed the need for the Community Court of Justice to undergo necessary reforms to bring it in tandem with the current emergencies and manage the challenges associated with justice delivery in the region.
The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Touray, in his speech said, the Judiciary remains crucial in the efforts to curb instability, insecurity in West African Sub-region.
“In this era where instability and insecurity are overwhelming our
community, the role of the justice sector is crucial in conflict prevention, through the promotion and defence of the rule of law and human rights.
“Over the years, the community court has been a reference point for ECOWAS Institutions, as well as individuals, entities, and governments in search of advice, arbitration, and adjudication.
“The regular session of the Statutory Meeting of the ECOWAS Judicial Council is important to address issues affecting the effective operation of the Community Court and to ensure excellence, high standards of conduct.
“The enforcement of the judgments of the Community Court has remained a major issue in the effective delivery of the mandate and responsibility of the judicial institution to the community citizens”, he said.

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