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THE STATES

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Bauchi

 

Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State has reiterated the resolve of his administration to ensure security of lives and property of citizens in the state irrespective of religion, tribe or political differences.

He stated this in a goodwill Easter message to the people of the state, a copy of which was made available to The Tides source.

Yuguda said that the State Government would use all legitimate means to ensure that the state continued to remain peaceful, “where no one is molested or harassed’’.

“This administration will ensure prevalence of security, nurture our democracy to maturity and revamp our ailing economy,’’ the governor said.

He asked the people of the state to de-emphasise religion, ethnicity or political differences in their relationship with one another.

“God the Almighty has in His wisdom, created us and made us to live together in one place with all our differences. “We should learn to live together, tolerate and love one another.”

 

Benue

 

Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue has filed a law suit against an Abuja-based business man, Mr Manasseh Joshua and three others for alleged conspiracy and libel against him.

The Tides’s source reports that the five count charge was filed at Makurdi High Court 1 by a Makurdi-based attorney, Jibrin Okutekpa, on behalf of the governor.

In the suit, the governor alleged criminal conspiracy and agreement which resulted in the printing and publication of defamatory materials against him in a magazine entitled, “Power Steering”.

The defendants, Manasseh Joshua, Tom Whia, Eddy Ochigbo and Dan Ekah, according to the writ of summons, caused to be published in November, 2009, injurious falsehood against the person of Governor Suswam.

It further averred that the libelous publication against the governor. contravened section 96 of the Penal code and was punishable under Section 97(1)and 2 of the document.

The applicant is therefore seeking a motion ex-parte application to prefer a charge pursuant to section185(b) of the Criminal procedure code rules 2 and 3.

The alleged offending document was allegedly circulated and sold in Benue.

 

FCT

 

The Federal Government has been urged to separate water sector from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Participants at a 5-day advocacy workshop for civil society organisations (CSOs) operating in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sectors made the call in a communiqué issued on Friday in Abuja at the end of the workshop.

The communiqué, signed by Mr Muhammad Ibn-Ahmad of Centre for Peace Projects & Development and Mr Omoniyi Omojugbagbe of MEDIA NETWORK, also called on the government to appoint a technocrat as minister for the Ministry of Water Resources and provide more funding for the sector.

They called for the involvement of CSOs in budget planning and a mechanism to ensure adequate monitoring and implementation of budgets in the sector.

The statement also advised CSOs in the WASH sector to be strategic in their policy advocacy as well as budget analysis and tracking.

 

Kaduna

 

The Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Mr Mohammed Barkindo, has described as “very remarkable’’ the just completed turn around maintenance (TAM) of the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC).

Speaking shortly after a tour of the facility recently, Barkindo said the refinery, which produces about 1.5 million litres of petrol daily, though not at full capacity, would be able to supply the product to most of the states in the northern part of the country.

“I saw a remarkable TAM of this plant after a very extensive tour of the facility.

“The refinery has re-streamed and there is a flare up there indicating that the distilling processes are on.

“I have been receiving tremendous reports from this plant in spite of your challenges.

“The management and corporate headquarters are happy with what you are doing here,’’ Barkindo said.

The Tide’s source reports that the GMD, who had earlier met with the management of the KRPC, also met with staff of NNPC locations in the Kaduna zone as well as launched the corporation’s transformation agenda.

 

Kano

 

Property worth about N1.776 billion was destroyed in the recent fire outbreak in Kantin Kwari Textiles Market in Kano.

The Chairman of the committee set up to investigate the disaster, Dr.Ibrahim Garba, told newsmen in Kano on Thursday that about N122 million would be spent on the renovation of some buildings including a mosque.

 Garba said the details were contained in the interim report of the committee submitted to the state government.

He said a total of 1,216 persons were affected by the disaster, out of which 861 lost their property to the fire while 355 retrieved their goods intact.

The Chairman said the figures were arrived at after a thorough screening of the traders’ claims by the committee assisisted by the traders’ union.

According to him, about N200 million has so far been collected as donations from some state governments and individuals with the highest donation of N100 million from a Kano businessman, Alhaji Aminu Dantata.

 

Katsina

 

In a bid to promote self reliance and reduce poverty in the rural areas, Musawa Local Government in Katsina State organised skill acquisition programme for 70 housewives.

Speaking at the opening of the training on Thursday, wife of the  chairman, Hajia Binta Lawal, said that it was meant to empower housewives with skills to uplift their economic status.

Lawal said that participants were drawn from all the political wards in the area, adding that the beneficiaries were expected to train other women at their various localities.

She expressed the council’s commitment to assisting women and encouraging them to concentrate on the various businesses that would contribute to their families’ upkeep.

Speaking, the Facilitator, Hajia Jummai Garba, noted that the economic empowerment skills would reduce poverty and encouraged women to assist their families considering the economic condition of rural families.

 

Lagos

 

The Lagos Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on Thursday faulted a suit by a lawyer, Mr Jiti Ogunye, challenging the state’s 2009 Magistrate Law.

 Ogunye in February filed the suit challenging the validity of the law which became operational on Jan. 16

Briefing newsmen at a news conference in Lagos, the Chairman of the branch, Mr Chijioke Okoli, said any grey areas in the law could be amended without litigation.

“Any law made by man can be subjected to amendment; if there are some grey areas in the law, I think that it can still be handled instead of going straight into litigation,

“What cannot be amended is only the Holy Bible; but a law by man can be amended at any stage,’’ he argued. 

Okoli said the NBA also faulted a ruling of the Lagos High Court directing that the state’s Magistrate’s Courts should revert to the 2003 Magistrate Law pending the determination of the suit.

 

Ogun

 

The Ogun government has established  early childhood education centres in 75 percent of public schools in the 20 local government areas.  

Mr Sina Adejobi, the Chairman of Ogun State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) made the disclosure to The Tide’s source recently  in Abeokuta.

He said that  the state government would  focus more on early childhood education, under the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).

“We have so far established early primary classes in 75 per- cent of public schools in all the 20 local government areas,” he said.

On the School Feeding Programme, the chairman, however, said that the state was not implementing that at the moment, but that plans were on to do so.

 

Osun

 

Osun State Youth Empowerment Board (OSYEB) has distributed equipment to 90 youths, with a view to empowering them to become self-employed. 

Dr Adeniyi Ayeni, Chairman of the board, who presided over the distribution in Osogbo, said that gainful self-employment was a useful antidote to anti-social activities.

He said that the beneficiaries included those who recently underwent vocational training organised by the board and had attained competence in the trades they were trained for.

Ayeni congratulated the beneficiaries for enjoying the dividends of democracy and urged them to make judicious use of the equipment. 

He also advised them to promptly establish their businesses in order to justify the state government’s investment in the project.

 

Sokoto

 

Governor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State on Friday inaugurated a 30- member committee for the hosting of the 24th edition of the National Quránic Recitation competition.

The competition would hold in the state from May 15.

The committee has the Speaker of Sokoto State House of Assembly, Alhaji Abdullahi Salame, as its chairman.

A statement, signed by Abubakar Muhammad, Special Adviser on Press Affairs to the Governor, quoted Wamakko as expressing the government’s commitment to ensuring the success of the event.

The governor also promised to support the committee to succeed in its assignment and expressed confidence that members of the committee would handle the assignment well.

Wamakko appealed to wealthy individuals in the state to contribute to the successful hosting of the competition to avoid a situation where the committee would go “outside looking for donations”.

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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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