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Buhari, CJN, AGF, Others Hail NgigeAt 60

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President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Chairman of the Council of Legal Education (CLE), Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN) on his 60th birthday.

Ngige was born on July 11, 1961.

In a statement by his Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, GarbaShehu, yesterday, Buhari said he is “rejoicing with family and friends on the milestone” recorded by Ngige.

The statement reads, “The President notes, with commendation, contributions of the legal luminary to the study and practice of law in Nigeria, donating books and materials to law schools, and serving on National Executive of NBA for more than 25 years, during which he represented the association as a member of the Body of Benchers.

“President Buhari affirms that Chief Ngige played a significant role in ensuring fairness and justice for the state and citizens by accepting to join the team of private legal professionals that prosecuted cases at the Failed Banks’Tribunal, and other significant cases for the Federal Government, largely related to recovery of public funds and property.

“As the lawyer, who holds the chieftaincy title of “IkembaN’Alor” turns 60, the President congratulates him for many achievements that have attracted recognitions and awards for diligence over many years of service.

“President Buhari joins family members of Chief Ngige, his friends and all well-wishers in praying for longer life, good health and strength to continue in good works.”

Others, who have also felicitated with the leading litigator, include Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad; Ondo State Governor, RotimiAkeredolu, SAN; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha; Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, AbubakarMalami, SAN; Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN), Council of Legal Education and many Nigerian Law School Alumni classes.

In his goodwill message, Justice Muhammad described Ngige as a “legal icon and quintessential philanthropist,” adding that he is a “man of honour and dignity” whose lifestyle “has been a formidable fountain of inspiration to people from all walks of life.”

According to him, “A life of scholarship.A life of commitment to the development of his fatherland.A life of service to humanity.A life of absolute submission to the dictates of the almighty God and his conscience. Those are the exceptional attributes that aptly epitomise the 60-year voyage of this legal icon and quintessential philanthropist at whose instance we are all gathered here today.”

Justice Muhammad added, “My friend and learned colleague, Chief EmekaNgige, SAN, who is currently the chairman of the Council of Legal Education, is a man of honour and dignity. His lifestyle has been a formidable fountain of inspiration to people from all walks of life. He is a man who briskly deploys wisdom and unassailable intellectual strength whenever he is confronted with herculean challenges. Interestingly, to the best of my knowledge, he has never faltered in any task assigned to him, especially in the enviable position he currently holds in the Council of Legal Education.

“The legal luminary whose 60th birthday we are celebrating today has accomplished so much in life within the short time he has so far spent. He has become a strong tower and a paragon of intellectual prowess that the younger generation of lawyers from Nigeria and beyond could conveniently draw inspiration and strength.

“His profundity and dexterity are pointedly a vehement salute to industry and excellence which ultimately culminated in the giant strides he has recorded within and outside the shores of Nigeria. To the expansive clan of his admirers, Chief Ngige, SAN is a dogged promoter of equity and fairness; and evidently an outstanding combatant in the campaign against injustice.

“He is a man that is richly endowed with immense savvy and graciously blessed with inimitable creative acumen which he generously engages in his daily social intercourse. His intellectual accomplishments have tremendously crystallized the legal profession by erecting virile pillars of knowledge and confidence in the minds of both legal practitioners and law students.”

On his part, Ondo State Governor, RotimiAkeredolu, said, “My great brother and learned friend in the life of Mortals, commemoration of the day of first contact with the Earthly plane comes once in a yearly calendar.

The governor, who was a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), said,“As you celebrate your 60th Birthday today, I heartily wish you a very happy birthday and prayers for scores of healthy, prosperous and peaceful returns of the day. May you have all the joy your heart can hold, all the smiles a day can bring, all the Blessings a life can unfold.

“Congratulations. All honour, glory and adoration belong to the Lord for seeing you to this age. As we say in Yoruba, Asodunmodun, àsosùmòsù, igbaodunodunkan. More grace.”

In his congratulatory letter dated July 2, 2021, the Mr Boss Mustapha said, “This occasion, indeed, requires giving thanks and adoration to the Most High for bestowing His favours and mercies upon you.

“Your achievements and contributions over the years towards the growth and development of the legal profession is far reaching. You have used your role as the chairman, Council of Legal Education to effectively ensure that legal education receives the desired attention needed in order to take the legal profession to its desired destination. I strongly believe given your wealth of experience, you will do more towards the growth, development and progress of the legal profession and Nigeria at large.

“Additionally, I wish to attest to the fact you have contributed much to humanity both publicly and privately over the years. This is evidenced in the number of high profile cases you have handled and won convincingly while maintaining humanity and integrity. You are indeed a blessing not just to the legal profession but to the nation. For these and much more, we are grateful to God for witnessing this great day in good health.”

On his part, Malami said, “Your birthday calls for the celebration of your life and the remarkable achievements you have recorded over the years. As a thorough-bred legal practitioner with a track record of professional excellence, your invaluable contributions towards the progress of our noble profession over the years have not gone unnoticed hence the various appointments both in the legal profession and other bodies.

“Indeed, you have distinguished yourself as a renowned, selfless, industrious and committed lawyer whose foray into the legal profession has benefitted our dear nation tremendously.

“While wishing you continuous success in all your future endeavours, it is my prayer that Almighty God will preserve you for many more years and in good health so that the legal profession and the nation in general will continue to benefit from your wealth of experience.”

Aside from family members, associates and leading lawyers such as Chief Joe-KyariGadzama, SAN and, birthday messages were also received from Nigerian Law School Class of 1985; Independent National Electoral Commission (Imo State); Chairman of Air Peace Airlines, Mr Allen Onyema; University of Nigeria Law Class of 1984; Otu Oka Iwu (Law Society); National Association of Catholic Lawyers (NACL), and Alor People’s Assembly, among others.

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Reps Urge FG To Revisit School Feeding Programme

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The House of Representatives, yesterday, urged the Federal Government to revisit the school feeding programme, suspended over sundry controversies.
The National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme was a pilot programme launched in 2004 targeting 12 states to provide a nutritious midday meal to public primary school pupils in the country:
In 2016, the programme was relaunched nationally, targeting public primary school children using locally sourced ingredients to improve health, stimulate agricultural production, and boost smallholder farmers’ income.
Recall that President Bola Tinubu, on January 12, 2024, suspended all programmes of the National Social Investment Programme Agency for six weeks.
The four programmes administered by NSIPA are N- the Power Programme, Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, and Home Grown School Feeding Programme.
Following the adoption of the motion, the House mandated its Committees on Special Duties and Finance to invite the Ministers of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Education, and Finance to revisit the program and propose solutions for its future success.”
The House, while adopting a motion on “Urgent call to revisit school feeding policy” moved by the member representing Tarauni Federal Constituency, Kano State, Mr Muktar Zakari, noted that the philosophy behind the NHGSFP is to encourage enrollment into the public primary schools, address childhood hunger pangs, and improve their ability to concentrate, learn, and increase school attendance.
The lawmaker, a member of the New Nigeria People’s Party, lamented that “The suspension of the NHGSFP by the current administration is unsettling for several reasons, namely reduced school enrollment and attendance, compromised health and cognitive development of the children, and disruption of the income of smallholder farmers.”
He also said “Addressing the programme’s challenges is crucial, but a complete suspension may cause more harm,” noting that “It is important to find alternative solutions or efficient implementation of the NHGSFP to ensure Nigerian children continue to benefit from this important initiative.”
In his words, “The cancellation of the programme is causing an upsurge in the number of out-of-school children, posing a threat to the country’s future and leading to a high rate of crimes, insecurity, and unemployment.”

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Insecurity: Reps Want Modern Technology Deployed In Nation’s Borders

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The House of Representatives has called on the Nigeria Customs Service to deploy modern technology to secure the nation’s borders with neighbouring countries.
The directive followed the adoption of a motion on “Need to employ the use of modern technology to secure the nation’s borders,” sponsored by the member representing Awka North/Awka South Federal Constituency, Anambra State, Obiageli Orogbu at Thursday’s plenary.
Consequently, the Reps mandated “The Nigeria Customs Service to beef up the nation’s border security with modern technological gadgets.”
It also directed its Committees on National Security and Intelligence and Customs and Excise to “Interface with the relevant agencies of the executive arm to ensure implementation and report back to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.”
Leading the debate, Orogbu said that there are over 320 illegal routes into Nigeria “That serves as horrendous channels for the influx of inadmissible aliens and goods.
“Nigeria at the moment lacks sufficient security personnel to safeguard the existing illegal routes across the borders. These unmanned routes provide avenues for insecurity, proliferation of arms, and dumping of unwholesome goods into the country;
“The porous borders have provided an impetus to the thriving drug and human trafficking routes all over the country.”
Justifying the significance of the motion, the Labour Party chieftain noted that, “Border policing has since shifted from the mundane use of only human beings to the deployment of sophisticated electronic based equipment for potency.
“The deployment of technologies like electronic sensors, video monitors, and night vision scopes to detect illegal entries has proved more effective in western countries than human security.
“Advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, (drones) and dark fighter cameras are available to further enhance border controls,” she added.

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Kogi Lauds Appeal Court’s Verdict On Ododo’s Victory

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The Kogi State Government has hailed the verdict of the Appeal Court, Abuja that yesterday uAtiku hails Supreme Court judgment on LG autonomypheld the victory of the state governor, Usman Ododo.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo, made the government’s position known in an interview with journalists shortly after the judgment was delivered in Abuja.
Fanwo described the judgment as “sound,” adding that the it represents “echoes of the indisputable victory” of the governor at the poll.
He said the governor remains unwavering in his faith in the judiciary.
The conmissioner said, “Today’s judgment represents echoes of our victory on November 11, 2023. We campaigned round the state and worked hard to reassure the people that our party is the most reliable to take the state forward.
“November 11 will continue to be remembered in Kogi as the day that Kogites across the senatorial districts united to speak with one voice, birthing a resounding victory for the incumbent governor.
“Today’s verdict has offered another great opportunity for those who lost at the poll and in the courts to join the governor in moving the state forward.”
Fanwo said the court case did not in any way slow governance down as the governor has continued to “roll up his sleeves and deliver democracy dividends to the great people of the state.
“The jubilation that greeted the verdict affirming the victory of the Chief Servant of Kogi is a demonstration of the triumph of the people’s will.”
He urged the people of the state to continue to support the governor to make the state the Confluence of Excellence.

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