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Bauchi

 

Former Bauchi State Governor Adamu Mu’azu has gone to court to challenge the 10-year ban on him from holding public office.

In a suit filed by his lawyer Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN) at Bauchi High Court, Mu azu is claiming that the state executive has no power to set up a judicial commission of inquiry without the approval of the House of Assembly in line with the provisions of the 1999 constitution.

According to Mu azu, the move which contravened Section 128 and 129 of the Constitution, was inconsistent with the provisions of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Act and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Act, Criminal procedure of the Northern Nigeria as applicable in Bauchi State and the Public Act 2004.

Mu azu said the defendants lacked constitutional power to investigate matters bordering on criminal allegations levelled against him.

He said the commission did not avail him fair hearing when it ordered that he should be served through publications in newspapers despite that he had been out of the country since July 2007.

Mu azu asked the court to set aside the findings and recommendations of the commission, restrain the government and its agents from implementing  the report.  

The defendants are the governor Isa Yuguda,

The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice”, Chairman of the Commission, Justice Vitrus Sanga and the five members.

Besides being banned, Mu azu was also ordered to refund N1. billion which he allegedly misappropriated to the state coffer.

                                 Lagos

In reaction to a report credited to the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) that no more than four newspaper companies pay their employees regularly,  while others owe arrears, the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) has told journalists they should stop working when being owed.

In a statement yesterday made available to newsmen, NPAN accused NUJ of being  consistently cowardly in mentioning those companies that are actually owing journalists, saying that it is ready to wade into the matter only if NUJ can “name the newspaper companies that are not living up to the employment contracts obligation, primary of which is the payment of their workers including journalists”.

“The Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria, (NPAN) whose members own and publish newspapers and magazines which employ journalists, naturally feel concerned about these allegations even in their un-substantial form.  As such it is quite prepared to investigate the allegations and act accordingly, depending on its findings, in the interest of both  the employee journalists and the newspaper companies”, NPAN posited.

Oyo

The Oyo State Commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEN) has seized some substance suspected to be cannabis (Indian hemp) with a street valve put at over N8 million.

The drug was allegedly discovered in a bungalow at Adewolu village in Egbeda local government  area of the state.

The state commander of the agency, Mr Sulaiman Jadi stated this recently while addressing reporters on the activities of his command in his office at Onireke area of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

He said the hard drug, which was parked in 421 bags, was discovered following a tip-off to the command on the activities of some yet to be arrested drug dealers in the area.

On how the command got the information that led to the discovery, Jadi explained that his men received a tip-off and mounted a three-day surveillance on the bungalow until the arrival of the Indian hemp dealer who is said to be on the run.

Ogun

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the four Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) South-West governors net in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Wednesday, ahead of a meeting of the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) on the state of the nation.

The president’s health is believed  to have topped the agenda of the meeting held at Obasanjo’s hilltop residence.

Sources said they may have also discussed the Ijebu-Ife mayhem in which a senior police officer and scores of others were killed.

A source said they may have adopted a position to be canvassed at the NEC meeting billed for Abuja.

Obasanjo is chairman, PDP’s Board of Trustees (BOT) and the governors are members of NEC.

Governor Gbenga Daniel (Ogun), Olagunsoye Oyinlola  (Osun), Adebayo Alao-Akala (Oyo) and Segun Oni (Ekiti) were in attendance.

Oyrilola told reporters that the meeting lasted for two hours because Obasanjo was preparing pounded yam for them. 

Daniel said the governors were on a “yuletide visit” to Obasanjo.

Sokoto

Sokoto State Governor  Aliyu  Wawakko has called on religious leaders, traditional rulers and citizens of the state to pray for the ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua and the peace and stability of the country.

He said there was no cause for alarm as available credible information in the state of health of the president indicates that he is improving  fast.

The governor advised those wishing the president bad to be weary of the wrath of their creator.

“They are playing with God by arrogating to themselves the powers of life and death”.

Wamakko, in a statement by Special Assistant on Press Abuybaka Mohammed Dan Gusau, said it was disheartening that rather than praying for the quick recovery of the president,.

“Some Nigerians are nursing uncharitable thoughts of this resignation and succession”.

He appealed to Muslims to offer special prayers during this week’s Juma, at prayers and Christians during church service on Sunday.

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar has also called for prayer for the president’s speedy recovery.

He said this while receiving a delegation of the Muslim Ummah of the South-West of Nigeria (MUSWEN) in his palace.

Oyo

Coalition of non-governmental organisations, the Medical Support Group (MSG), has urged Inspector-General of Police Ogbonna Onovo to order the immediate release of the chairman of Ijebu East Local Government Council, Ogun State, Mr Tunde Oladunjoye.

Oladunjoye, who was on Tuesday invited along with the Ajalorun of Ijebu-Ife, Oba A.A. Oguntayo, and one Chief Duduymi, has been held by the police.

He arrived in Abuja on Tuesday about 8:10 am aboard a Virgin Nigeria airplane to honour a police invitation over last Saturday’s violence which rocked Ijebu-Ife. Scores of people were killed during the crisis, including the Area Commander of Ijebu Division.

The others had gone the previous day aboard an Arit airplane, while the two others were allowed to go, Oladunjoye was detained after giving his statement at the force C.D Head- quarters, Area 10, Abuja.

In a statement by the group’s Director of Organisation, Nathaniel Igbimo, he wondered why Oladunjoye was being held.

He said the police’s action may further exacerbate the tensed situation.

Ondo

Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko has approved the payment 50 per cent of the monthly basic salary to workers for Christmas and New Year celebrations.

The government in  a statement by the commissioner for information, Mr Ranxi Akerele, said the gesture is part of government’s welfare package for the workers to appreciate their contributions to the successes recorded in the outgoing year and to motivate them for the challenges ahead.

The Commissioner said: “Mr Governor’s gesture, the first of its kind in the history of Ondo State, is another way of demonstrating that the present administration realises the prominent position occupied by the workers in the task of building a new Ondo State.

He expressed the hope that the gestures of the government would motivate and elicit commitment, loyalty and hardwork in the workers.

Meanwhile, the Head of Service, Mr Ajose Kudehindu, has, in a circular yesterday urged heads of ministries departments and agencies to urgently implement the governor’s directive.

 

Ekiti

Ekiti State Government has pleaded with the leaders of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) to resolve the internal crisis rocking the state chapter of the union.

The State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Gboyega Oyewole, said in a statement in Ado-Ekiti yesterday that the government remained committed to the conclusion of negotiation with the union and improve the welfare of the judicial workers.

Oyewole, who said the government has restrained itself from interfering in the internal crisis of JUSUN added,  it has never been the attitude of the government to interfere in the internal affairs of any trade union even when there is palpable division within such union”.

He urged politicians to desist from misinforming the public.

Oyewole said “for the avoidance of doubt, the state government has shown  enough commitment to the resolution of the judiciary workers’ industrial action by being one of the first states to committee to look into JUSUN demands.

“The committee, which is already looking into the financial implication of the new salary structure for the judiciary staff, is headed by the state Acting Chief Judge, Justice Silas Oyewole.

Ogun

Commercial banks at Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State, have suspended their operations because of incessant robbery attacks.

The banks have not been attending to customers since December 7, due to worsening security situation.

The latest suspension of banking operations is the second  in one month.

Some of the bank officials who pleaded anonymity said that they were living  in tear because of the likelihood of attack by armed robbers

They said they felt their lives were no longer safe, adding that in the circumstance they had no option but to suspend operation indefinitely.

Newsmen report that customers, who trooped to the banks for withdrawal, were turned back by security men.

It was learnt that the decision by the banks not to open for business until further notice was reached at a meeting held by officials of the banks last week.

The officials had resolved that the closure would continue until insecurity was addressed by the relevant  authorities.

Sources told journalists that the bank officials were also planning to march to the governor’s office in Abeokuta to stage a protest.

Efforts to get police comments were unsuccessful as the officers approached said they were still mourning the death of their area commander.

FCT

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) needs wider power and financial independence to win the battle against corruption. Its Chairman Justice Emmanuel Ayoola (rtd) said Wednesday.

Speaking at a public hearing on a bill for an Act to amend the ICPC (Establishment) Act 2000 organised by the House Committee on Anti-Corruption, National Ethics and Values in Abuja, Ayoola said the National  Assembly should give more powers to ICPC to stem corruption in the private sector

Create new criminal offences and allow the agency to seek, receive, publish and disseminate information on corruption.

According to him, this will only be subject to review of  certain restrictions regarding respect of rights and the reputations of others and for protection of national security, public order or public health or morals in the amended ICPC Act.

He said the existing acts have greatly limited the committee on drugs,  Narcotics and Anti Corruption which  faulted ICPC on its proposal of N300 million in the 2010 budget to build an academy.

The Committee Chairman, Senator Sola Akinyede, queried why the amount was inserted in the N2.235 billion 2010 budget for the commission, when N270 million was appropriated and released for the project in the 2009 financial year.

 

Plateau

The Pioneer National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Solomon Daughep Lar, has warned politicians against heating up the polity by debating over the health condition of President Umaru Yar’Adua.

Speaking to journalists in Jos Wednesday, Chief Lar said it was baseless for anyone to argue over the outcome of Mr President’s illness, stressing  that it amounts to playing God. “None of us is God.  So, why are we debating over what we as humans, do not have power to do?.   We should be praying for Mr President to recover quick enough to return to the country and continue his national assignment”, he said.

The elder statesman expressed concern over comments by politicians especially  political office holders who have chosen to fly to Saudi Arabia to see Mr President rather than remaining on their duty posts.

He told them to desist from their unwarranted visits.

According to him, such visits are not helping matters.

He said: let everybody remain on his or her duty post, be you governor, minister, senator or council chairman”.

The first civilians governor of Plateau State noted that Yar Adua is not the only president who has fallen ill in office and wondered why Nigerians are trying to make politics out of his health problem.

Lar recalled that Fidel Castro of Cuba and Sharon of Israel fell ill in office  but their countries remained intact until their presidents recovered. He added that Yar’Adua should not be different since he is not a super human.

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NDLEA Arrests 774 Suspects, Seizes 3,874.3kgs Of Drugs In Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau

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NDLEA arrested 774 suspects and seized 3,874.3kgs of various narcotics and psychotropic substances in Nasarawa, Benue and Plateau State in the first half of 2022.
The three states make the Zone D of the narcotics agency.
Zonal Commander in the zone Umoru Ambrose, said this in Lafia yesterday while marking the 2022 UN International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
He said 134 drug suspects were prosecuted during the period, while 378 drug users were counselled and rehabilitated.
He added that states in the zone had intensified their operations in the War against Drug Abuse and sensitisation.
Ambrose called on all stakeholders to get involved in curbing drugs menace in the zone.
In his remarks, NDLEA Commander in Nasarawa State, Peter Odaudu, said the celebrations underscored the need for access to proper treatment for people with drug disorders.
He stressed that the war against drugs must be intensified in Nasarawa State especially given its position as the second highest drug prevalence state in the North Central after Kwara.
“Statistics from the 2018 drug survey showed a very alarming trend, the involvement of females in drug issues.
“We have at least one female out of every four drug users; this development is worrisome and must be reversed,’’ he said.
Odaudu thanked Nasarawa State’s Governor Abdullahi Sule for his support for the NDLEA and solicited urgent intervention in the provision of operational vehicles and the construction of a rehabilitation centre.
Guest speaker, Mr Nwora Okpalaeke, who is coordinator of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria in Nasarawa State, said 494,000 users died of drug abuse in 2019.
He spoke on “Illicit Drugs in Health and Humanitarian Crises.’’
He said drug abusers suffered liver cirrhosis, stroke, hepatitis, kidney and heart failure, noting that 14.3 million Nigerians are drug addicts, while three million are suffering from drug-related disorders.
“Government should strengthen the system to prevent proliferation of drugs and pay attention to agencies charged with reversing the situation.
“Drug abuse affects economic growth; the higher the abuse the higher the level of insecurity and poverty,’’ he said.
Senior Special Assistant on Primary Healthcare to Governor Sule, Margaret Elayo, commended the NDLEA in the state and assured of partnership to curb drug abuse in Nasarawa State.
The theme for this year’s celebration of the Day is: “Addressing Drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crises.’

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NDLEA Arrests 218 Suspects, Seizes 1,471.314kg Of Drugs In Imo

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The Imo State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested 218 drug suspects made up of 171 males and 47 females.
The agency has also seized 1,471.314kg of drugs between July 2021 and June 2022.
The state commandant, NDLEA, Mr. Reuben Apeh, disclosed this while speaking to The Tide ahead of this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drugs Trafficking.
He said that 1,458.49kg of Cannabis Sativa, 1,0513kg of cocaine, 0.2077kg of Heroine, 3.896kg of Methamphetamine and 3.184kg of Tramadol were exhibits seized within the period under review.
Apeh disclosed further that cannabis farm in hectares was also destroyed in Imo State while 0.5278kg of Rohypnol and 2.5135kg of diazepam were among the seized exhibits.
He stated that some of the arrested suspects had been arraigned and convicted for drug related offences at the Federal High Court.
According to him, “Within the period covered, 51 were convicted and 145 were charged and their cases are still on going”.
Apeh described the drug situation in Imo State as worrisome, saying women have joined the illicit trade for financial gains.
He lamented that drug peddling was alarming among the younger generation in the state.
He, therefore, called on the stakeholders to partner with NDLEA to sensitize the society on the dangers of drug abuse.

By: Joe Nwachukwu, Owerri

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NDE Trains 750 Youths On Apprenticeship Skills In Imo

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The National Directorate for Employment (NDE) has commenced the training of 750 youths on various apprenticeship skills in Imo State.
Director-General of the NDE, Mallam Abubakar Nuhu-Fikpo, made this known while flagging off the training programme in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
The Tide reports that the training is captured under the Advanced National Open Apprenticeship Scheme (A-NOAS) and Basic National Apprenticeship Scheme (B-NOAS) of the Directorate’s Department of Vocational Skills Development (VSD).
The training skills include barbing, basic tailoring, hairdressing, welding, event planning, make- up, confectionery and auto mechanic, among others.
Nuhu-Fikpo, represented by the State Coordinator of the NDE in Imo State, Mrs Ngozi Ihenacho, explained that the trainees include youths and women drawn from the 27 local government areas of the state.
According to him, the intensive training programme will take place in the Directorate’s training centres, one in each senatorial district of the state, and last for three months.
He urged the trainees to utilise the opportunity provided by the training programme to acquire viable skills that would enable them become self-reliant, and thereby decongest the labour market, and reduce poverty and hunger.
“In today’s world, opportunities such as these are rare and hardly come on a platter and I  urge you, my dear beneficiaries, to take this opportunity serious, be punctual at the training venue with the aim of liberating yourselves from the chains of poverty and unemployment”, he advised.
Also speaking at the programme, Director of the VSD, Mallam Isa Abdu, explained that the training scheme would run simultaneously, with the beneficiaries receiving transport allowances for the duration of training.
Abdu, represented by a senior staff in VSD, Mr Onyekwelu Igwesi, said that expert trainers had been hired to conduct the training and urged the trainees to justify the opportunity given them to become employers of labour.
“All over the world, as the value of money depreciates, entrepreneurs are adjusting with the times, hence the need for viable skills that can drive the economy. Learn the skills and be your own boss”, he said.
One of the trainees, Miss Oluchi Uchenna, who responded on behalf of his colleagues, thanked the NDE for creating the opportunity for them to thrive in their quest to become economically independent.

By: Joe Nwachukwu, Owerri

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