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DMO offers N150bn from 3 instruments

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THE Debt Management Office (DMO) on Wednesday offered N150 billion from three Instruments. five- year, 10-year and 30-year bonds for N50 billion each to investors at the auction.

The statement issued by DMO in Abuja indicated that the bond Auction by the DMO which took place on Wednesday, Nov. 20, was highly oversubscribed.

The DMO explained that the total subscriptions received through Competitive bids for the instruments at the Auction was N252.35 billion, indicating a subscription level of 168.23 per cent.

It said that the trend of investors’ appetite for the longer tenored instruments continued with subscription of N115.09 billion or 230.18 per cent for the 30-year Bond.

According to the statement, the successful bids are allotted at the rate of 12.0000 per cent for the 5-year, 12.9300 per cent for the 10-year and 13.3900 per cent for the 30-year Bonds.

“The allotment rates indicated a significant decline from the rates at which the Bonds were issued at the October 2019 FGN Bond Auction.

“The total amount allotted for Competitive Bids was N157.93 billion across the three tenors. In addition, the sum of N95.00 billion was allotted through Non-Competitive Bids for all the tenors at the same rates as the Competitive Bids.

“Overall, the sum of N252.93 billion is allotted to investors at the auction through both Competitive and Non-Competitive Bids” it added.

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 08:19 GMT |

Firm begins empowerment programme for Immigration Service officers’ widows, children

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OWOLABI Awosan, the Managing Director of Greater Washington Limited (GWX), says the company will soon be empowering widows and children of some officers of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).

Awosan told newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja that the logistics firm had been doing this through all levels of education and would extend the programme to some extremely poor individuals.

“The empowerment programme will be executed in partnership with the Immigration Officers Wives Association (IMMOWA) and the Ministry of Interior and it will involve key business partners sponsoring the initiative,’’ he said.

The company chief executive added that the firm would also cater for extremely poor people across the six geo-political zones of the country.

“The organisation’s focus is to reduce the rate of illiteracy and poverty in Nigeria through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes.’’

He said the organisation was set to provide necessary financing for small businesses, including educational support services for the less privileged.

“We will be working with IMMOWA and the Ministry of Interior to attract strong partners to expand the fund for wives of officers who have died or were incapacitated during the course of duty.

“Our focus is education for the extreme poor, because we found out that a lot of people want to go to school but cannot afford it. We have launched the project across all the region.

“Over the years we have done a lot of CSR projects and this time we are supporting the cause of the widows, especially wives of the officers who died or have become incapacitated while serving in the NIS.

“We will support them in petty trading and financing and by giving scholarships to the children of the poor among them, while ensuring that they are sponsored to state-owned institutions from the secondary to tertiary education levels,” Awosan explained.

He also disclosed plans by the organisation to build the capacity of journalists and other media practitioners through effective training and partnerships in major humanitarian projects.

“We have a lot of existing ones going on, and we will also train media personnel who cover the Ministry of Interior, ” the GWX Managing Director said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that GWX has a strong background in logistics and business consulting, and flaunts a reputation for services excellence and best global practices

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 08:19 GMT |

Surulere Super Plaza gutted by fire in Lagos

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Surulere Super Plaza Akerele, Lagos gutted by fire on Wednesday
Surulere Super Plaza Akerele, Lagos gutted by fire on Wednesday

THE Super Plaza on Akerele Street in Surulere area of Lagos was gutted by fire on Wednesday, destroying valuable merchandise, reports the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

NAN correspondent who was at the scene reports that many of the shop owners were seen packing out their goods, including, furniture, to reduce their losses.

NAN reports that the plaza comprised of many shops and churches including Fountain Hall, Dominion City Worship, Omega Fire Ministries, Textiles and Fabrics, Bureau de Change and Gift Gallery, among others.

A witness, Mr Abayomi Ayelomi, commended the effort of the Lagos State Fire Service and other emergency services who supported in putting out the fire, adding that the building was formally Super Cinema before it was converted to a shopping plaza.

Director General of Lagos Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Oke-Osanyintolu, said that

preliminary investigation conducted on site indicated that the fire resulted from an electrical surge in one of the shops before escalating to other parts of the plaza.

“No loss of life nor injury has been sustained so far at the scene of the fire where properties worth a fortune have been lost to the inferno,” Oke-Osanyintolu said.

 

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 08:19 GMT |

participants laud organisers of 2019 INAC Expo

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SOME participants at the ongoing 12th edition of International Arts and Crafts Expo (INAC) have lauded the organisers for proving a platform to synergise and showcase diverse cultures.

They made the commendation in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.

Ms Odette Peterson- Thomas, the counsellor/head of chancery Trinidad and Tobago High Commssion, lauded organisers saying it was a great platform to showcase culture, arts and Crafts.

According to her, the expo has provided them with a platform to display their culture, arts and national instruments, such as the steel pan-tenor.

Thomas said that the tenor pan when played brought out great sounds and melody and could be played during festivals or cultural events.

She noted that it was her second time to participate in the expo and acknowledged that it was an awesome experience for her.

According to her, Nigeria’s culture is different from Trinidads and that is the unique experience for her and planned to participate in the next expo to showcase more of their cultural heritage and arts.

Ahmed Ullah falso, the Director of Bangladesh Arts and Crafts Foundation, said the expo also provided an opportunity for them to showcase their arts and crafts.

He also said that it was an avenue to learn from other countries participating in the expo for wider experiences.

“This is our first time to participate in this expo and I will be glad if we are given the opportunity to participate again next time

“We are showcasing our cultural items such as the “Jambari sharee” one of our handmade fabrics and the Jute purse and bag made with natural fibre and it is not harmful to the environment.

“There is also the Nakshi Katha fabrics and all these items are made naturally with hands,” he added.

Mrs Binta Abdullahi from Chad Republic of Chad, said that participating in the expo was a place to present and display their traditional medicine meant to cure illnesses such as fibroid and sickle cell diseases and others.

Abdullahi, who is an expert in local and traditional herbs and medicines, added that on display at her stand was local pots and plates made with woods and different types of traditional and local scents.

According to her, this is her second time of participating in the expo, she says she is looking forward to more of the occasion added that she is having a nice time in Nigeria.

Mrs uchenna Eboechiwi a participant from Anambra state, said the event had provided her with a platform and opportunity to showcase the rich culture of Anambra.

She added that she was also participating to showcase the traditional arts and crafted items such as wooden idols and pots from her state.

Eboechiwi, who displayed native hand beads and necklaces made with traditional fabric, cultural hand fans and handmade wooden animals to portray the beauty of their culture also expressed her gratitude to INAC.

She, however, stated that she had been a regular participant and was looking forward for a wonderful event and reiterated commitment to participate in the next edition.

 

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 08:19 GMT |

Gov. El-Rufai appoints 8 more aides

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GOV. Nasiru El-Rufai has appointed eight more aides including Ahmed Maiyaki, the spokesman of former Gov. Mukhtar Ramalan-Yero,

A statement signed by Muyiwa Adekeye, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication, made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Kaduna, said Maiyaki is now Senior Special Assistant (SSA) Community Relations.

Also appointed is Mrs Saude Atoyebi, a former Personal Secretary to the governor, as Kaduna State Focal Person on the National Social Investment Programme.

Others were Umar Yaro, Special Assistant, Social Investment Programme; Mubarak Abdulkadir, Special Assistant, ICT; Rebecca Padonu, Special Assistant, Social Investment Programme, and Adamu Abubakar, Special Assistant, Economic Matters.

The rest include Samuel Hadwyah, Special Assistant, Economic Matters and Umar Abubakar,  Special Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Legislative Matters.

 

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 08:19 GMT |

Zamfara: DPR cautions filling stations against supplying petrol to bandits

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THE Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has warned filling stations in Zamfara against supplying petroleum products to bandits.

The Controller, Gusau DPR Field office, Alhaji Ango Haruna gave the warning on Wednesday in Kaura-Namoda while on surveillance of filling stations.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the department also sealed one Liquified Petroleum Gas Refilling Plant in Gusau over some infractions.

The controller said, “today, we intercepted some blackmaketers conveying jerricans loaded will petroleum products in Kaura-Namoda.

“You know it is a tradition in Zamfara that some unpatriotic citizens supply petroleum products to bandits in the bush.

“As you can see, we met four persons at a filling station conveying the product in jerricans going to nearby villages.

“Even though they told us that they are going to some villages where there is no filling station, but we didn’t believe them.

“We won’t allow them to go with the products, we asked them to return the product to the station.

“I am using this medium to warn filling station managers to desist from selling the product to those unpatriotic citizens and if we catch anyone doing that he will be sanctioned.

“We cannot seal the station now because we dont want to create artificial fuel scarcity in this area, because we learnt that it is the only station selling the product here in Kaura-Namoda today”, he explained.

On the LPG Refilling Plant sealed by the department in Gusau, the Controller said the plant was using expired gas cylinders and had no as safety equipment.

“As you can see all the gas cylinders in this plant are expired, water system is not working, infact the plant manager cannot even present a copy of their licence to us.

“The environment of the plant is very bushy and if a customer comes while buying LPG mistakenly throw a away a lighted cigarette butt in this area we wont know what will happen.

“Therefore, we have to suspend them from operation until when they meet up the minimum safety requirement to operate”, he added.

The Controller said that the department would continue the inspection of all facilities selling cooking gas and other to ensure compliance with safety and other regulations.

 

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 08:19 GMT |

Hate speech bill: Governors tell NASS to respect views of Nigerians

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THE Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has advised the National Assembly to hold public hearing on the hate speech bill before it to ensure that views of Nigerians were captured in the passage of the bill.

NGF Vice Chairman and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal gave the advice while fielding questions from newsmen at the end of the forum meeting held on Wednesday night in Abuja.

He advised the federal lawmakers to respect the views of Nigerians on the bill.

“I am not sure I have heard any governor come out to say he is in support of death penalty for hate speech.

“I believe the National Assembly should hold a public hearing on that bill, so that due process of lawmaking is followed, so that the views of Nigerians not just the governors will be well captured on that bill.

“They should respect the views of Nigerians in whatever may be the direction of debate and the eventual passage or otherwise of that bill,” Tambuwal said.

Asked of the governors’ position on the Finance Bill submitted to the NASS by President Muhammadu Buhari  to increase Value Added Tax (VAT) from five to 7.5. per cent, Tambuwal appealed to Nigerians to show more understanding with the  Federal Government.

He said that the governors were in support of what would improve the revenue generation drive of both the federal and state governments.

“We are appealing to those who probably have no proper understanding of the contexts of those bill to kindly have a rethink of them and reflect on quantum of work ahead of us.

” As a country and states, we need a lot of resources to turn around infrastructure, to invest in education, healthcare and every sector of our national life.

“There is urgent need of more revenue in Nigeria. So, I appeal that we should should show more understanding with the  Federal Government in that regard,” he said.

On the December deadline for the implementation of minimum wage issued by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to state governors, Tambuwal said the various states were engaging labour  unions on the issue.

“I am sure it is work in progress. Before December all the states must have finished working out the details on the issue of minimum wage across the federation.

“We are very much committed to the welfare and wellbeing of our workforce and therefore we shall continue to ensure we do our best on what needs to be done.”

Tambuwal said the forum received update on the outcome of its meeting in the US with Aliko Dangote Foundation, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Human Capital Development with focus on Primary Health Care (PHC).

He said that at the meeting, the governors and the two Foundations expressed commitment to the Seattle Declaration aimed at promoting collaboration to transform PHC at the subnational level in Nigeria

This according to him include full implementation of PHC Under One Roof and meeting the requirements of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund.

“To improve efficiency gains across governments and economic activities at the household level, the NGF committed to initiatives to advance value added activities in agriculture, access to finance and women economic empowerment.”

Tambuwal disclosed that the governors also received update on the World Bank State Fiscal Transparency

Accountability and Sustainability  (SFTAS) programme and discussed modalities to ensure its smooth and accelerated implementation.

“Following a presentation from the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation on the SFTAS Annual Performance Appraisal (APA) mission to States, members committed to working with the Independent Verification Agent (IVA) to ensure that the APA process does not experience delays.

“The  forum also held a preliminary consultative session with the World Bank Country Director, Shubham Chaudhuri and his team on the new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Nigeria for the period of 2020 to 2024.

“This also include  a planned Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment Program.

“Governors promised to hold a dedicated session to reach a consensus on what matters most for States and a common agenda to improve the wellbeing of all Nigerians.”

Tambuwal said that in commemorating the anniversary of the Rights of Children, Peter Hawkins, the Country Representative of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) made a presentation to the forum where education of Nigeria’s children was unequivocally emphasized.

Asked if the forum was looking at ensuring each member state domesticate the Child Right Act, Tambuwal said many states had alread passed the law.

“I believe some of the states that have challenges that have to do with religion, culture or others are dealing with them at local level and addressing them.

“The peculiarity depends on the situation of individual state.”

The seventh meeting was attended by governors of Sokoto, Yobe, Zamfara, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Niger, Imo, Adamawa, and Kwara.

Other states such as Gombe, Enugu, Edo, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Oyo and Ebonyi were represented by their deputy governors.

 

NAN

– Nov. 21, 2019 @ 08:19 GMT |

Ogun govt. to de-worm 900,000 school children

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OGUN government says it has concluded plans to de-worm no fewer than 900,000 school children in the ongoing health awareness programme across 10 local government areas in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gov. Dapo Abiodun made this known on Wednesday in Abeokuta.

Abiodun, who spoke through the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Adesanya Ayinde, said that the exercise was an opportunity to help children get rid of worms that might make them susceptible to skin and respiratory infections.

He said that a total of 839,273 children were being targeted during the exercise in 4,900 schools across the designated local government areas.

The governor called on parents and guardians to work harmoniously with the health workers, who were saddled with the responsibility of carrying out the exercise.

NAN reports that the second round of the exercise for children between the ages of 5 and 14, which commenced on Nov. 15, will end on Nov. 24.

The designated local government areas are: Abeokuta South, Abeokuta North, Ifo, Odeda,Yewa North, Yewa South, Odogbolu, Sagamu, Ijebu North and Ogun Waterside.

Contrary to insinuations in some quarters, the governor said that the exercise was meant to enhance the children’s health and help guard against untoward health condition that might result in absenteeism from school.

In her remarks, the state Coordinator, Neglected Tropical Diseases, Dr Islamiyat Soneye, thanked the parents for their enthusiasm towards the school-based de-worming exercise.

She urged them to encourage their wards to take part in the exercise to avoid infecting others.

Soneye noted that parents should endeavour to de-worm their kids in another three months to keep them healthy.

While monitoring the exercise in Odeda council area, the Medical Officer of Health in charge of the area, Dr Olusan Oluwaseun, described the turn-out as impressive.

He assured that all schools within the area would be touched, without leaving any out of the programme.

Oluwaseun appreciated the teachers for their support which, he said, had made the task easy, pointing out that children, who had yet to be de-wormed, would be attended to in the coming days.

 

NAN

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 18:39 GMT |

 

30 countries exhibit as international Arts/Crafts expo begins

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THE 12th edition of International Arts and Crafts (INAC) Expo opened on Wednesday with no fewer than 30 countries showcasing their cultures and heritage.
NAN reports that some of the countries in the Expo are Kuwait, Cuba, Ethiopia, others displaying their cultural wares and heritage.
Speaking with News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) in Abuja, Mr Abdullah Alawadhi, a diplomatic attache to Kuwait Embassy described the expo is an opportunity for the embassy in Nigeria to promote the country’s cultural heritage.
Alawadhi added that it was the country’s first time of participation and expressed optimism that it would be a remarkable experience for the citizens.
He said that the expo would help strengthen the bilateral relationship between Kuwait and Nigeria in terms of culture.
Carlos Trejo Sosa, the Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria said the embassy was participating for the first time in the expo, adding that Cuba had been following the nation’s culture for many years.
He also said that Nigeria and Cuba have similarities in terms of culture noting that 50 per cent of Cubans are linked to people from Calabar in Cross River’
According to him, the relationship dates back to the 19th century during the slave trade.
The Envoy, who is rounding off his posting in Nigeria, however, said that the expo was a welcome development and expressed delight in what he saw on ground saying it was a way of showcasing culture and heritage.
The Syrian Ambassador, Adeeb Albodi, said that the opening ceremony showed that it was a well organised event noting that every participant had its own pavilion to showcase its country’s culture
He also said that it was the country’s second time of participating in the expo and reiterated readiness to attending the 2020 edition of the expo.
According to him, the expo is worthy of emulation and it is an avenue for countries to showcase their cultural diversities.
He added that it would also strengthen relationships between various countries and the host country.
NAN reports that about 10 states such as Kano, Ogun, Yobe, Anambra, Zamfara among others were also present and displaying their wares at the INAC.

NAN

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 18:39 GMT |

 

Tanzania launches campaign to protect lions from extinction

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THE Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) and its partners on Wednesday launched a campaign aimed at protecting the East African nation’s 40 per cent of the world’s remaining wild lions.

TTB in collaboration with the Lion Recovery Fund and WildAid, an international environmental organisation that focuses on reducing the demand for wildlife products, said lions were vital to the country’s economy, environment and cultural identity.

“If we do not protect our lions and make sure they have secure, safe areas in which to live, then we risk losing a vital part of our nation’s heritage and a key driver of our wildlife tourism industry,” said Devota Mdachi, TTB Managing Director.

“As a nation, we need to ensure that our lions thrive for generations to come,” she said.

The campaign urges Tanzanians to ask their local and national leaders to draft policies that will safeguard both lions and the people living alongside them.

“Tanzania might be one of the few places where coexistence is possible, where a number of community-driven organisations are pioneering systems that ensure people and wildlife are seeing benefits from keeping lions alive,” said Mdachi.

Across Africa, the number of wild lions has halved in just the last 20 years to about 20,000, according to TTB statistics.

“In spite of the positive steps that Tanzania has taken to protect its lion populations, much work has yet to be done in safeguarding the future of this species, which scientists consider vulnerable to extinction,” said Mdachi.

“When tourists come on safari to Tanzania, they always expect to see a lion.

“And they usually do because today our parks hold nearly half of the continent’s population of wild lions,” she said.

Peter Lindsey, the Director of Lion Recovery Fund, said lions and other wildlife were almost certainly declining in number and distribution as elsewhere, and were extremely vulnerable to a wide range of human threats.

Lion Recovery Fund is an organisation that invests in the most innovative and effective projects across Africa that can recover lions and restore their landscapes.
“Tanzania’s lions and wildlife landscapes need support now to help shield them from the human pressures and threats facing them,” said Lindsey.

Tanzania is home to 40 per cent of the world’s remaining wild lions; however, the lion’s survival is threatened by a number of factors.

Lindsey said 60 per cent of lions live outside of protected areas, where they are vulnerable to habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict and the bush meat trade.

 

NAN

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 18:39 GMT |

 

AU urges South Sudan to utilise extension period to address outstanding matters

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THE AU on Wednesday called on South Sudan’s parties to agree on a systematic approach to address remaining outstanding matters within the agreed 100-days extension period.
The statement was made by the Peace and Security Council of the 55-member pan-African bloc in a statement issued on Wednesday, which followed the council’s latest meeting that dwelt upon the current situation in South Sudan.
The council underscores the need for the parties to agree on a systematic approach for addressing outstanding matters, with a view to effectively and efficiently utilise the coming 100 days to complete the remaining crucial tasks.
The outstanding matters include notable security arrangements and the number of states and internal boundaries of South Sudan, according to the statement.
The council, which welcomed the extension of the Pre-Transitional Period, also noted that the outcome creates a conducive environment for the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to decisively give impetus to the implementation of the Revitalised Agreement.
It also commended IGAD “for its continued efforts to address the situation in South Sudan.”
The council called on “all regional and international stakeholders to further enhance their coordination and to harmonise their efforts, under the leadership of IGAD for the promotion of peace, security and development in South Sudan.”
The AU Peace and Security Council made the call weeks after South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and the country’s main opposition leader Machar agreed to postpone the formation of a transitional government of national unity by 100 days.
On Nov. 7, Kiir and Machar agreed to postpone the formation of a transitional government of national unity by 100 days in a bid to iron out contentious issues like security arrangements, number and boundaries of states alongside constitutional amendment.

NAN

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 18:39 GMT |

 

Court jails 2 internet fraudsters in Ilorin

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A Kwara High Court, sitting in Ilorin, on Wednesday, sentenced two persons, Emezue Joseph and Ibrahim Omotowo, to six months imprisonment for internet fraud and other related offences.

Justice Mahmood Abdulgafar passed the sentence on the plea of the Prosecuting Counsel, Sesan Ola, that the court should convict and sentence the defendants in accordance with their plea bargain agreements.

Counsel to the accused persons, Oluwadamilola Obadimeji, had, however, pleaded with the court to be merciful to her clients and reduce the sentence.

The charge against Omotowo read: “That you, Ibrahim Abdulqadir Omotowo (Kate Williams), sometime in October 2019, cheated by impersonation, by pretending to be one Kate Williams, a white female, with a gmail account: [email protected]

“That you fraudulently deceived one Bernard Shannon, an American citizen, to send $150 to you, through gift card and also made him believe that you were a girl in love with him.”

The charge against Joseph also read: “That you, Emezue Onyedikachi Joseph (Serah James), sometime in October 2019, cheated by impersonation, by pretending to be one Serah James, a white female, with a gmail account: [email protected]

“That you fraudulently deceived one Sampson, an American citizen, with phone number +1424001470, to send $170 to you through gift card after you made him believe you were in love with him.”

The judge, in passing the judgment, said that the evidence of prosecution witnesses were unchallenged and un-contradicted by the defendants.

“I hereby find you guilty of the offence that has to do with internet fraud, and sentence you to six months imprisonment.”

“The sentence of this honourable court is to commence from Oct. 25, the day the accused persons were arrested by the operatives of the EFCC,” he said.

The prosecution counsel said that the offence contravened Section 321 of the Penal Code and was punishable under Section 324 of the same law.

NAN

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 18:39 GMT |

 

PDP senators reject Bayelsa, Kogi results

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THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the Senate, on Wednesday, rejected the Bayelsa and Kogi Governorship election results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The senators, led by the Minority Leader of the Senate, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, made the rejection at a news conference in Abuja.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that INEC had declared the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), David Lyon and Yahaya Bello winners of the gubernatorial elections.

“We want to call the attention of Nigerians. We are very disturbed by the elections that were held last weekend in Bayelsa and Kogi.

“We totally reject the pronouncements after the elections by INEC and we are worried about the trend of what happened during the election.

“We know that the results that were announced were not a true reflection of what happened in the field.

“We are much more concerned about the fact that it seems that all the gains made by the PDP in all the period of democracy starting in 1999 seem to have been eroded from the elections starting in Osun, Edo and culminating into last weekend.

“We are further pained by the fact that the PDP woman leader, Salome Abuh, after declaration of result, hoodlums still chased her to her house and burnt her to dead in the clear view of security agents.”

The caucus called on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Inspector-General of Police and other security agencies to immediately fish out the killers of Salome.

“We hear that the police are launching an investigation but this is something we don’t want to be put under the carpet because it involves life,” Abaribe said.

Meanwhile, the spokesman of the Senate, Sen. Godiya Akwashiki, in his reaction to the outcome of the Bayelsa and Kogi gubernatorial elections said: “I don’t think it will be right for the Senate to say anything about the election.

“Nigeria is not a lawless country and we must obey it. The Electoral Act has spelt out everything that there should be primaries between aspirants in political parties so a candidate will emerge.

“After the primaries, INEC will set aside a day for general election. Based on the Electoral Act, the elections have come and gone. If anyone has any grievances, the one knows what to do,” he said.

NAN

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 18:39 GMT |

 

FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup: Supersand Eagles set for Portugal

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TWO –time African champions Nigeria will begin their campaign at this year’s FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup finals in Paraguay when they clash with world number two Portugal in Asuncion on Friday.

This year’s finals will hold at the ‘Los Pynandi’ World Cup Stadium – named after the Paraguayan national beach soccer team – and located at the headquarters of the Paraguayan Olympic Committee in Greater Asuncion.

Nigeria earned a ticket to feature at the 16 –team World Cup finals after finishing second at the CAF Beach Soccer Cup of Nations held in Egypt in December 2018. Champions Senegal is the other team flying Africa’s flag in Paraguay.

This year’s finals will kick off on Thursday and end on Sunday, 1st December.

Nigeria’s delegation of players and team officials flew out of the country on Friday, 8th November, in order to participate in an eight-nation pre-competition tournament that took place in Asuncion, 12th – 16th November. The Supersand Eagles defeated the Tahiti national team 9-4 during the pre-tournament event, after losing 3-7 to host Paraguay.

On Monday this week, Coach Audu ‘Ejo’ Adamu and his wards moved into their Dazzler Hotel World Cup accommodation in Asuncion, and have been training hard as they countenance an interesting encounter with the world number two team on Friday.

Nigeria, winners of the African title in 2007 and 2009, and quarter –finalists at the World Cup in 2007 and 2011, will campaign in a fierce Group D that also has world number one team, Brazil and Oman, ranked number 14 in the world. Nigeria is ranked 21st in the world.

Host nation Paraguay will tackle Japan in the tournament opening game on Thursday. After their first game against Portugal on Friday, the Supersand Eagles take to the beach against Oman on Sunday, 24th November and then against Brazil two days later.

Head Coach Adamu has listed veterans Abu Azeez and Victor Tale in his final squad of 12, with Emmanuel Ohwoferia, Emeka Ogbonna, Godspower Igudia, Dami Paul and Taiwo Adams also in.

Godwin Tale (Victor’s younger brother), Egan-Osi Ekujimi, Babatunde Badmus, Godwin Iorbee and Hameed Kareem are the other names on the list.

 

2019 FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP GROUPS

Group A: Paraguay, Japan, Switzerland, USA

Group B: Uruguay, Mexico, Italy, Tahiti

Group C: Belarus, United Arab Emirates, Senegal, Russia

Group D: Brazil, Oman, Portugal, Nigeria

 

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 18:39 GMT |

 

Navy hand over unregistered cocoa factory, suspect to NAFDAC

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THE Nigerian Navy in Lagos on Wednesday handed over a suspect and an unregistered cocoa beverage factory to the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command, Rear Adm. Oladele Daji, handed over the suspect alongside the items to NAFDAC at Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) WEY in Lagos.

Daji, who was represented by the Commander NNS WEY, Commodore Uduak Ibanga, said the suspect was caught producing unregistered cocoa beverage named Belling Chokovita.

“The suspect was caught by NNS WEY security patrol team at 01:30hrs on Sunday Nov. 17 in his factory situated in Mammy market, Navy Town, Ojo.

“The following items recovered from the suspect’s illegal factory are 10 cartons x 12 pieces of finished products, 152 pieces of unpacked products.

“Others are 23 bags of grounded cocoa powder and seven bags of Calcium Carbonate Power,” he said.

Commodore Ibanga advised Nigerians to purchase only NAFDAC registered products and to always check the manufacturing or production and expiry dates of products before consumption.

“The navy will not rest on her oars in carrying out this task and the cooperation of the general public is solicited,” he said.

 

NAN

 

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 18:39 GMT |

 

NSE market indicators maintain positive position, up 0.14%

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ACTIVITIES on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) maintained positive trend on Wednesday with crucial market indices growing further by 0.14 per cent.

Specifically, the market capitalisation inched by N18 billion or 0.14 per cent to close at N12.923 trillion against the N12.905 trillion achieved on Tuesday.

Also, the All-Share Index, which opened at 26,739.44, rose by 36.71 points or 0.14 per cent to close at 26,776.15.

The upturn was impacted by gains recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks of Nigerian Breweries, Conoil, UBA, FBN Holdings and Access Bank.

Consequently, the Month-to-Date return increased to +1.60 per cent, while the Year-to-Date loss moderated to -14.81 per cent.

Commenting on market performance, Mr Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd., said that the market would continue to experience mixed performance.

“We expect mixed performance to continue, profit-taking and repositioning in value stocks as market players digest the rising inflation and its impacts on investment returns,” Omordion said.

He said that the changing sentiments in expectation of improved liquidity as interest rates drop in the money market ahead of the MPC meeting should guide investors.

According to him, the current undervalued state of the market offers investors opportunities to position for short and medium-to-long-term.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the market breadth closed positive with 24 price gainers and price 10 losers.

Chams led the gainers’ chart in percentage terms, appreciating by 10 per cent, to close at 33k per share.

LearnAfrica followed with a gain 9.48 per cent to close at N1.27, while Conoil increased by 9.47 per cent to close at N18.50 per share.

Cornerstone Insurance garnered 9.38 per cent to close at 70k, while NPF Microfinance Bank appreciated by 9.09 per cent to close at N1.20 per share.

Conversely, NASCON led the price losers’ chart in percentage terms with a loss of 5.72 per cent to close at N14 per share.

Lasaco Assurance followed with a decline of 3.57 per cent to close at 27k, while Wapic Insurance dipped by 2.86 per cent to close at 34k per share.

Unity Bank lost 2.78 per cent to close at 70k, while AIICO Insurance shed 2.74 per cent to close at 71k per share.

Meanwhile, the total volume of shares traded decreased by 32.22 per cent to 267.31 million valued at N3.05 billion in 4,074 deals.

Access Bank was the most traded stock with an exchange of 63.53 million valued at N643.70 million.

UBA followed with a total of 44.86 million shares worth N338.65 million, while Zenith Bank traded 24.09 million shares valued at N451.63 million.

FBN Holdings accounted for 16.82 million shares valued at N119.31 million, while Guaranty Trust Bank transacted 14.26 million shares worth N414.07 million.

 

NAN

 

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 18:39 GMT |

P&ID: FG adopts strategies to get Contract Quashed – Malami

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Malami
Malami

THE Federal Government has started implementing enhanced strategies geared towards setting aside the entire P&ID liability and possible nullification of the contract.

Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation made this known in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by Dr Umar Gwandu, his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations Office of the Minister.

According to the Minister, under the new strategy, “no lawyers were replaced, but more lawyers with specialised skills are locally and internationally engaged to support the existing capacity and initiate fresh suits with a view to achieving the desired result.

“This time around it is not limited to a challenge on enforcement proceedings, but extended to setting aside the entire liability and probably the nullification of the contract on which the award was hinged”.

While repudiating the allegation on replacement of the Nigerian Legal team on P&ID Malami said “Our lawyers originally engaged have proven to be versatile, competent and effective and constitute our winning team.

“They have such capacity that we do not doubt in their ability to deliver.

“There was no change of counsel, but enhanced strategy commonly agreed upon which was targeted at getting overall success”, the Minister added.

NAN reports that Malami described the so-called P&ID contract as a well-organised scam “consciously, deliberately and intentionally orchestrated by some dubious – and well-placed Nigerian government officials at the time with some shrewd foreign collaborators to defraud Nigeria and inflict heavy economic and financial loss on Nigeria and its people.

He vowed that the Nigerian Government will not sell out the interest of the country and the Nigerian people in order to satisfy some elements who are consciously out to extort the Nigerian people for their selfish aggrandizement.

“We will not allow fraudulent local and foreign collaborators to rip off the resources of Nigeria for no just cause but merely to be seen as being nice or ‘investor-friendly’”  he reaffirmed. (NAN)

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 18:35 GMT |

Lagos State reviews policy to surmount traffic gridlocks

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Sanwo-Olu
Sanwo-Olu

THE Lagos State government says it has directed relevant agencies to review traffic control and regulation policies, toward identifying long-lasting solution to perennial traffic gridlocks in the state.

The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, said in a statement on Wednesday that government would surmount the challenges with technology and enforcement of traffic rules.

Omotoso said that government was aware of the discomfort commuters and motorists had been experiencing since the beginning of the massive road repairs under ‘Operation 116’ across the state.

The commissioner, who said that there was no deliberate action to cause Lagosians any pain, added that the present situation was temporary.

According to him, the contractors are speeding up their jobs and they are being encouraged to work at night, where possible.

He advised motorists to use alternative routes so as to ease the time and stress of staying in traffic.

”The administration sympathises with residents on the inconvenience being suffered daily.

”In fulfilment of its commitment to making the roads motorable immediately the rains subside, resources and equipment have been deployed to fix degenerated roads. The discomfort will be short-lived.

”The daily influx of people from other parts of the country into Lagos has contributed to the big human and vehicular pressure on the roads.

”Government will surely surmount the challenges with technology and enforcement of traffic rules.

”Government appreciates the perseverance of Lagosians and pledges its commitment to pooling all its resources together to achieve a permanent solution to the problem posed by the rehabilitation of bad roads.

”The administration will ensure that majority of the roads become smooth and motorable before the Yuletide,” he said. (NAN)

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 18:49 GMT |

Domestic violence: British Council trains magistrates, judges in Lagos

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IN an effort to reduce domestic violence in Lagos State, the British Council has trained about 100 magistrates and judges on Protection Against Domestic Violence Law.

The British Council organised the training through its Rule of Law and Anti-corruption (RoLAC) programme,  funded by the European Union.

The Lead Consultant for the training, Prof. Ayo Atsuwa, Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, said that the training focused on the safety of vulnerable persons such as domestic servants, spouse, physically challenged and persons.

She said that the law had been there but had little or no effects on victims, as its provisions had yet to be explored for the safety of victims.

Atsuwa said that the involvement of many non-governmental organisations, human rights groups and civil societies in creating awareness against domestic violence showed that the menace was in the increase.

The don urged judges and magistrates to raise awareness on the law and ensure  safety.

She said that many people were facing challenges at home in the hands of those they would not want to expose, adding that the law allowed another person to bring  applications before the court on behalf of such victims.

Atsuwa said that counsellors, health service providers,  police, social workers, organisations or teachers could bring such applications in court provided they had the consent of the complainant.

She said that an application for the protection of a minor, mentally challenged and unconscious, who might be  unable to consent, would not need their consent.

The Coordinator of RoLAC in Lagos State, Mrs Ajibola Ajimakiwa, said that the two-day training was to build the capacity of justice stakeholders in the state to apply the provisions of the law.

Ajimakiwa said that the training was to build capacity toward increased application and utilisation of the provisions of the law, to resolve criminal cases and apply the newly signed practice direction.

She said that in spite of laudable achievements in implementing some provisions of the law, more would still need to be done.

“The reasons are largely due to public ignorance of the existence of the law and its protective nature and limited knowledge on the provisions of the law.

“Lagos State Judiciary would be able to effectively understand the law itself and the guiding principles when presiding over cases of domestic violence in court, thereby advancing the implementation of the law,” she said.

NAN

 

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 18:39 GMT |

Abia Controller of Corrections expresses concern over inadequate escort vehicles for inmates

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JULIUS Ezugwu, Controller of Corrections, Abia Command, has appealed to the state government to become an integral part of the new correctional reform and assist the centre with escort vehicles for inmates.
Ezugwu, who made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia on Wednesday, said it would enable the centre to safely transport inmates to court.
He regretted that the state government gave out vehicles to other security agencies but left out the service, “all because they feel we are not in enforcement.”
He said: “But the centre is taking care of all the by-products of all these agencies, including police, Department of State Services, civil defense, Immigiration, vigilante and others.
“The inmates need to go to court. How do they access justice if they don’t go to court?
“We have vehicles but we need the Abia government to complement the efforts of our management at the national headquartres to at least increase our fleet of vehicles.”
The controller lamented that the three escort vehicles for the inmates in Umuahia were grossly inadequate to cover the 48 courts located all over the capital city.
He also said that Aba correction centre was covering 39 courts, adding that Arochukwu had the same number of courts with few vehicles.
Ezugwu, who decried the problem of overcrowding in Abia correction facilities, disclosed that of the 1760 inmates in custody in three correctional centres in the state, only about 150 were convicted.
According to him, the rest are awaiting trial and some of them have undergone trial for 10 years and above.
He, however, described the new correctional service Act as the best international correctional practice.
He said that the Act had made a lot of provisions to address the issue of overcrowding.
“Moreover, the new correctional Act provides for separate facilities for females and even for juveniles, but we don’t have such facilities in Abia.
“We have a juvenile home in Aba but it is not operational now.
“So it is only the state government that can help us to reactivate that place so that the juveniles will not be seen in the prison,” he said.

NAN

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 18:39 GMT |

P&ID: FG adopts strategies to get Contract Quashed – Malami

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THE Federal Government has started implementing enhanced strategies geared towards setting aside the entire P&ID liability and possible nullification of the contract.

Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation made this known in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by Dr Umar Gwandu, his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations Office of the Minister.

According to the Minister, under the new strategy, “no lawyers were replaced, but more lawyers with specialised skills are locally and internationally engaged to support the existing capacity and initiate fresh suits with a view to achieving the desired result.

“This time around it is not limited to a challenge on enforcement proceedings, but extended to setting aside the entire liability and probably the nullification of the contract on which the award was hinged”.

While repudiating the allegation on replacement of the Nigerian Legal team on P&ID Malami said “Our lawyers originally engaged have proven to be versatile, competent and effective and constitute our winning team.

“They have such capacity that we do not doubt in their ability to deliver.

“There was no change of counsel, but enhanced strategy commonly agreed upon which was targeted at getting overall success”, the Minister added.

NAN reports that Malami described the so-called P&ID contract as a well-organised scam “consciously, deliberately and intentionally orchestrated by some dubious – and well-placed Nigerian government officials at the time with some shrewd foreign collaborators to defraud Nigeria and inflict heavy economic and financial loss on Nigeria and its people.

He vowed that the Nigerian Government will not sell out the interest of the country and the Nigerian people in order to satisfy some elements who are consciously out to extort the Nigerian people for their selfish aggrandizement.

“We will not allow fraudulent local and foreign collaborators to rip off the resources of Nigeria for no just cause but merely to be seen as being nice or ‘investor-friendly’”  he reaffirmed.

NAN

 

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 18:39 GMT |

 

Bullying: Psychiatrist calls for more vigilance in risk settings

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A Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Tomi Imarah, has urged the public including those in authority to be more vigilant in awareness and prevention efforts in all settings where the risk of bullying exists.

Imarah, who runs an online Mental Health Counselling service, “DrTomi Haven’’, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos.

She spoke in reactions to a recent bullying act carried out by some students of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) on a 100-level student of the school.

NAN reports that a video of the students, four female, one male beating the victim had on Nov. 16, 2019, surfaced online.

The university authorities had placed the affected students on indefinite suspension pending the conclusion of investigation into the case.

Imarah defined bullying as when “a person intentionally and repeatedly carries out actions that hurts, harms, or humiliates another person’’.

According to her, this is especially when the perpetrator has more social or physical power than the victim, bullying is said to occur.

“Bullying may be physical assaults, verbal attacks like teasing, taunting, threats, name callings; social or relational attacks such as spreading rumours, social isolation, and cyber bullying.

“It is commonly experienced and reported among young children in early school years.

“However, there are all indications that bullying can occur in higher institutions and workplaces,’’ she said.

Imarah said the task starts with ensuring that our society shuns the aspect of our culture that encourages bullying.

“Modelling acts of bullying in front of young minds leaves the impression that it is alright to bully others.

“We need to ensure we are not mirroring aggressive behaviors in our homes or justifying acts of aggression being reported on all media platforms.

“When we respond to violence with statements like, “what did he do that made them gang up on him?”, we are communicating to a child that it is okay to attack others if he can find justification for it,” she said.

The consultant also urged parents and guardians not to ignore signs that suggested a child was growing up to be a bully.

According to her, they should take seriously school reports of aggressive behaviour such as picking fights with peers, spreading gossips about others, destroying properties, and causing emotional hurts to others.

“We should keenly observe a child who is emotionally detached and insensitive to the feelings of others, even family members.

“One should not take lightly frequent incidences in which children get easily frustrated, demonstrate rapid and explosive anger, justify their aggressive outbursts, and show no remorse for their actions, ” she said.

Imarah advised that when those recurrent patterns in children were observed, parents should seek professional help from child psychiatrists and clinical psychologists.

She said that it was imperative that professional help was sought in order to access guidance in cognitive and behavioural modifications that will help to improve the situation.

“There will also be need for collaborative efforts with teachers, school psychologists, social workers, guidance and counselling personnel to ensure the interventions instituted are followed up within school hours.

“Victims of bullying will also benefit from psychological support to prevent or manage effects of bullying.

“They should also be encouraged to report the incidences and not suffer in silence. Friends and family members should make concerted efforts to lend support and be there for them.

“In higher institutions and workplaces, there should be anti-bullying guidelines stipulating stiff sanctions to serve as a deterrent for bullies,” she said.

NAN

 

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 18:39 GMT |

 

FEC approves policy for easy access to justice

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THE Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved a Justice Sector Policy as part of deliberate efforts to reform the nation judicial sector for easy access to justice in the country.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami disclosed this when he briefed State House correspondents at the end of the Council meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to the minister, the policy will ensure speedy determination of justice, enhance quality of justice as well as access to justice.

“From the office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, two memos were presented for consideration of the Council. The first memo that was taken was a memorandum relating to administration of justice which was about having in place a justice sector reform policy.

“It is a blueprint that sets out a clear vision, objective and interventions for the reform of the justice sector to engender fair, efficient and transparent administration of justice.

“The intention and desire was to have a justice sector reform package that would turn things around for the better as far as the administration of justice is concerned.

“Turn things around relating to access to justice; turn things around relating to speedy administration of justice and turn things around for the purpose of ensuring at the end of the day that we have a consensus approach to the administration of justice.

“So, what was presented in that respect by the Office of the Attorney-General was a policy package that has been worked upon by the executive, judiciary, legislature and multi-dimensional institutions and stakeholders coming about with a roadmap as it relates to speedy administration of justice,’’ he said.

According to him, the three arms of government as well as the Ministries, Departments and Agencies have been over time working on roadmap that was a product of this policy.

He said: “So, what we have in place by way of administration of criminal justice act at a time, which was intended to ensure that we have speedy determination of cases before the court, was indeed a product of that understanding.

“What we had by way of a legislation relating to the Correctional Service Act was indeed a product of that understanding and the same thing with the executive orders that were put in place. So the intention is to work together for the purpose of assisting the justice sector.’’

Malami also revealed that Council approved a memo seeking to repeal the Geneva Convention and re-enact it to “accord greater access to justice by prisoners of war.”

According to the minister, it appears that Nigeria was behind the rest of the world in terms of according prisoners of war certain rights and privileges.

“Geneva Convention, which is accommodated in our laws as `Geneva Convention Act, G3, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004’ is a convention that was designed to provide protection to prisoners of wars; to people involve in arm conflicts and associated infractions, for example,’’ he added.

NAN

 

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 18:39 GMT |

 

Alleged P&ID scam: Court to rule on Briton’s plea for bail variation on Friday

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THE Federal High Court, will, on Friday, Nov. 22, ruled on the application for bail variation of James Nolan, a Briton, in Abuja.

Justice Okon Abang, who made this known, on Wednesday, also adjournment the continuation of trial in the suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Nolan until Nov. 21.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that EFCC had, on Oct. 21, arraigned Nolan and Adam Quinn (at large), both British nationals, over their alleged complicity in the 9.6 billion dollars judgment against Nigeria.

Process and Industrial Development (P&ID), an Irish engineering company, had secured the award against Nigeria following the non-execution of a 20-year gas and supply processing agreement (GSPA) the company had with the federal government.

The arraignment of the two British nationals is coming weeks after two P&ID directors were convicted over the deal.

The defendants, both directors of Goidel Resources Limited, a Designated Non-Financial Institution (DNFI) and ICIL Limited, were arraigned on a 16-count charge bordering on money laundering.

Justice Abang had, on Nov. 7, admitted Nolan to a bail in the sum of N500 million.

The judge, who granted the bail in an application filed by Nolan, ordered that the applicant must produce “a surety in like sum, who must be a Nigerian and a serving senator not standing any criminal trial in any court in Nigeria.

Besides, he held that the proposed surety must submit a three years tax clearance certificate and sign an undertaking to always be present in court with the defendant throughout the duration of the trial.

“The senator must have a landed property fully developed in Maitama District of Abuja and fully certified by the FCDA.

”The surety must submit two passport photographs,” Abang had ruled.

Likewise, the court ordered the defendant to surrender all his international passports, even as it mandated the Nigerian Immigration Service to confirm how many passports that were issued to him within the past 20 years.

Earlier at the resumed trial on Wednesday, the EFCC’s Counsel, Ekele Iheanacho, had told Justice Abang that since the matter was slated for trial, the anti-graft agency was ready to commence the trial.

The lawyer told the court that he was in the court with two witnesses.

However, Counsel to the defendant, Paul Erokoro, SAN, told the court that he was not prepare for the commencement of trial due to inability to have adequate access to his client.

Erokoro told the court that he had already briefed the prosecution about the difficulty he faced in preparing for the trial.

He explained that Nolan was being held at Kuje Correctional Centre where they were allowed access to him twice a week.

According to him, and on each visit, we are allowed only 15 minutes.

The lawyer attributed this to the fact that there were lots of persons awaiting trial at the correctional center who all need to be visited by their counsel and families.

He said it was disheartening that all these persons received their visitors at once without any privacy, besides the time constraint.

“Again, the visitors are supervised by prison officers. So the time for proper communication is not there,” Erokoro said.

He lamented that the development had made it difficult for him to prepare for the trial.

The lawyer, who reminded the court about the application for bail variation before it, prayed the court to favourably grant the request to allow the defendant counsel have adequate time and facility for their defence.

“We therefore appeal for adjournment until your Lordship fix a date for hearing in the variation of bail application,” he said.

Opposing the request, the EFCC lawyer argued that though “the law provides facilities and time for a defendant, such facilities do not include that the defendant must be released on bail before he can brief his counsel.”

Iheanacho stressed that the law does not include confidentiality between a defendant and his counsel on the briefing they must have at a correctional centre.

“We have served the defendant the prove of evidence in this case since September and today is Nov. 20.

‘So the defendant has sufficient time to have briefed his counsel even if it is 15 minutes per a visit and two times visit per week.

“We have two witnesses in court today and we are ready to proceed,” he said.

Responding, Erokoro said that the prove of evidence was served on the defendant while he was at EFCC’s custody and that through the period, “we had no access to him.

“It was only when this court kindly ordered that the 3rd defendant be remanded at Kuje Correctional Centre that we are able to have access to him.

“We thank your Lordship for that kindness,” he said.

The lawyer argued further that if the prosecution counsel called his witnesses, it would be difficult for him to cross-examine them and that this might amount to wasting the precious time of the court.

Erokoro, who commended Justice Abang on the way he had handled the case so far, said: “My Lord, you have handled the case in a way that Nigerian judiciary looks good before international community because the whole world is watching this case.”

Justice Abang, however, said that his decision on the matter would be based on the fact of the case and the law.

“I hope you will be able to say this when the case does not favour you because justice will definitely be done,” Abang told Erokoro.

Delivering his ruling on application for adjournment, the judge noted that though the defendant should be given adequate time and facilities for his defence, this does not mean that the defendant must be released to have adequate preparation.

According to him, it is my view that the commencement of the trial can not be depended on the granting of the variation of bail.

The judge, who said that he could not make a decision on the issue that the prison officers did not allow him adequate time.

He said to take a decision on the issue without hearing from the officers, even though they are not party in the case, would mean denying them of fair hearing.

Justice Abang, who overruled Erokoro on application for adjournment, therefore, ordered the prosecution to call the witnesses.

The first prosecution witness, Mr Agunbiade Adewale Akinseye, told the court that he is an account officer with the Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB).

“I have worked with the bank for 15 years,” he said.

Akinseye, who enumerated his duty in the bank, said he knows Mr James Nolan and the two companies; Goidel Resources Limited and ICIL Limited.

“The accounts of the two companies are assigned to my team to manage,” he said.

He explained that his team was charged with attending to customers’ requests and resolving their issues.

Akinseye said on September 16, 2019, his team received a request from the EFCC to provide accounts opening documents and statements of accounts of the companies and that they were forwarded to the commission.

He said the account documents were jointly signed by his colleagues; Idris Giwa and Beckley Ojo, members of the compliance team in the bank.

The witness, who confirmed that Nolan and Isaac Ebubeogu were signatory to accounts numbers: 0154696732 and 0151728629, said $125, 000 was credited into the account number: 0154696732 of Goidel Resources Limited on February 1, 2016 by Nolan.

“On May 2, 2019, $47, 975 was transferred from Industrial Consultant International to Goidel Resources Limited.

“On February 13, 2018, a transfer of $120, 000 from LIR Resources Nigeria Ltd to Goidel Resources Limited,” he said.

Akinseye added that on account number: 0151728629, N50 million was transferred from Box Design Ltd to Goidel Resources Limited on February 15, 2015.

“On November 6, 2015, there was a transfer of N10 million from Box Design Ltd to Goidel Resources Limited.

“On May 5, 2016, there was a transfer of N11 million from Lurgi Consults Ltd to Goidel Resources Limited.

“On 1st February, 2018, there was a transfer if N10 million from Eclate Plathora Ltd to Goidel Resources Limited,” he testified.

The witness, who said Nolan was also signatory to ICIL Limited’s account, said on the account number: 0024024414, there was a transfer of $350, 000 from Pasali Enterprises to ICIL Limited on September 1, 2014.

“On 3red September, 2014, there was a transfer via cheque of $80, 000 from ICIL Committed to Ahmed Usman.

“On September 4, 2014, there was a transfer of $40, 000 from ICIL Limited to Neil and Elizabeth for salary payment.

“On September 8, 2014, there was a transfer of $700, 000 from ICIL Limited to Ahmed Usman,” he stated.

Akinseye, who responded to Erokoro’s question during cross-examination, said the account of ICIL Limited started operating in May 2014.

He gave criteria for opening corporate account in the bank and conditions with which such account could be placed on restriction.

Akinseye, who said that Goidel Resources Limited is into oil and gas business, as well as other activities in their memorandum of association of the company, stated that ICIL Limited is an engineering firm that engages in contract, consultancy, etc.

He said he came to testify because the accounts were assigned to his team to manage.

“So I was contacted during investigation and I was invited to give evidence.

“I have written statement about what I know about the existence of these accounts and I made the statement nit as a suspect but as an account officer,” he said.

When the defendant counsel demanded for the original of the witness’ statement, the EFCC lawyer, though said he was not with it in the court, he promised to make it available after the sitting.

In his ruling, Justice Abang, therefore, granted Erokoro access to Nolan within the regulation time of the correctional service centre, pending the hearing and the termination of the defendant’s application for the variation of the bail conditions.

The judhe, who adjourned the matter till Nov. 21 for continuation of cross-examination of the first prosecution witness, fixed Nov. 22 for hearing of the application for bail variation.

NAN

 

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 18:39 GMT |

 

Stakeholders call for collective effort to mitigate effects of climate change

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Participants at the National Consultations on PRE-COP 25 Workshop in Abuja 2
Participants at the National Consultations on PRE-COP 25 Workshop in Abuja 2

STAKEHOLDERS in the Environment sector have called for collective efforts towards mitigating the effects of climate change.

They made this call during The National Consultations on Pre-Conference of Parties (COP 25) Workshop organised by Climate & Sustainable Development Network (CSDevNet) in Abuja on Wednesday.

Dr Uzodinma Adirieje, President, Society for Conservation and Sustainability of Energy and Environment in Nigeria, said that humans were the most affected by climate change.

Adirieje, therefore , said it was important for everyone to collectively protect the environment and mitigate the impact of climate change.

He said more than half of the SDGs were linked to climate change which showed how important is was to tackle the issue.

“We are at a big cross road in human development. Everything nature has bestowed on us is at war with human beings.

“From the technologies we apply to the pollution we are all inhaling, to the refuse scattered around both degradable and bio- degradable, to the generators we use and vehicles that carry us around. We are tampering with our environmental equilibrium especially our climate.”

He said Nigeria , must embrace renewable energy, embrace green economy, green environment and green energy which would help reduce the impact of climate change, .

According to him we must do our best to protect and preserve our environment, yes we can, yes we should.

Also speaking, Mr Ochuko Odibo, from the REDD+ secretariat urged participants and Nigerians to come up with nature based solutions , build resilience and adaptation measures.

According to him Reducing Emissions From Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) is a nature based solution designed by a student, we use trees to engage and teach people and it has been a successful programme under the UN.

“I want to challenge us to start thinking, you can do REDD+ in any state as long as there are trees irrespective of if those trees are depliting.

“You can be the next person to come up with a solution to address the issue of climate change; i want to challenge us as Nigerians to start thinking of how we can solve this problem that will be adopted internationally.

Also contributing, Dr Pricilia Achakpa, Founder, Women Environment Programme, said CSOs involvement in climate change activities was key because they provide oversight to the government.

Achakpa, , said that nobody was linking the issues such as flooding, herders and farmers clashes, Boko haram, draught and experienced in different regions in the country to climate change.

” We need to come together and we need a voice that will hold government accountability, we cannot always antagonise Government.

“Gender issues must also be looked into in the National Determined Contributions and must be discussed as we go for COP because no one will beat our drum for us.”

Mr Atayi Babs, National Co-ordinator, CSDevNet, said the time to take action was now if ” we want to leave a better planet for our children”

Babs represented by Samuel Jinadu, Programme Officer, CSDevNet urged participants to come up with local solutions to address climate change.

According to him we must know what you all are doing at the local level and in your Various communities.

” Whatever we discuss and arrive at here Will be delibrated at COP25, so your voice needs to be heard.”

Dr Peter Tarfa, Director, Department of Climate Change, Federal Ministry of Environment, in his address said a lot of activities were being done in silence to achieve the Paris Agreement on Climate change.

Tarfa,represented by Chioma Edeh, Principal Scientific Officer, in the Department however said government could not do it alone and platforms should be created to discuss how to address the situation.

According to him, the Ministry is coming out with a mapping on Monotoring Reporting and Verification ( MRV) in 2020 which would put figures on activities of our reduction footprint .

“So this will allow everyone have access to information and data on what we have done.

“We have are going forward . A lot of have been done on all the sectors the National Determined Contributions focus areas but we cannot put figures to it until we have the MRV.

“Government cannot do it alone we have to create a platform where we can all discuss how we all can address the situation.

“The activities towards COP25 is not soley on the government we are open to observation, suggestions, interactions ,whatever it takes for the government to come out with a very objective and good outing is welcomed.”

Mr Pius Oko, Project Officer, CSDevNet, had earlier said that the workshop was aimed at getting government and CSOs perspective as a build up to COP25.

Oko said the initiative seeks to sustain synergy and collaborative effort in Nigeria and the global call for action against climate change, and responses to the challenges posed by global warming.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop is being organised in collaboration with the Nigerian Civil Society Framework on Paris Agreement and SDGs (NCSFPAS) and the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA).

Other partners are ECOWAS, Department of Climate Change, Federal Ministry of Environment and other key collaborating agencies at the national level.

CSDevNET us a network of over 300 civil society organisations cutting across the six geo-political zones in Nigeria.(NAN)

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 18:29 GMT |

Reps move to abolish payment of acceptance fees in tertiary institutions

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Gbajabiamila
Gbajabiamila

THE House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to “immediately” abolish the payment of acceptance fees into Tertiary Institutions in the country.

This followed a unanimous adoption of a motion moved by Rep. Chinedu Martins (PDP-Imo) during the plenary presided over by the Speaker of the house, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, on Wednesday.

The motion is titled “Call for Abolishment of Acceptance Fees into Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria”.

Moving the motion, Martins said that recent data from the National Universities Commission showed that only about two million people were enrolled into the universities nationwide out of a population of over 180 million.

He said that the estimates represented one per cent of the population which was an indication of the low attendance in tertiary institutions compared to other advanced countries.

The lawmaker also said additional data from the National Bureau of Statistics and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board showed that out of the 10 million applicants that sought admissions into tertiary institutions, only 26 per cent gained admissions between 2010 and 2015.

He said it was an indication that about 75 per cent of the applicants failed to gain admissions every year and also reinforced that access to tertiary education in the country was low.

“The house is concerned that one of the factors contributing to poor access to tertiary education is the predatory admission policies being enforced by tertiary institutions, particularly the requirement for payment of non-refundable acceptance fees as condition precedent for admissions.

“The house is also concerned that many federally-operated tertiary institutions charge as much as N30, 000 per student, while some States and private institutions charge significantly more, as evidenced in the following:

“University of Ibadan, N35,000; University of Lagos, N20,000;  Ahmadu Bello University, N30,000;  Imo State University, N70,000; and Lagos State University, N20,000.

“The house is further concerned that applicants are expected to pay the acceptance fees within a short deadline despite having gone through the tortuous process of paying and sitting for the Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE), the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) and making the cut off mark.

“If they are unable to meet the deadline, the applicants are surcharged for late payment with the risk of losing the offer of admissions.”

The lawmakers also said that the aspirations of prospective students would be cut short if the “exploitative admission practices of tertiary institutions in the country are left unchecked”.

The reps directed the House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services to investigate the admission policies and practices of tertiary institutions in the country.

The investigation would relate to the charge of acceptance fees and would also be in order to remove all obstacles to accessing tertiary education in the country. (NAN)

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 18:25 GMT |

NAF neutralises ISWAP leaders, destroys meeting venue

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Army
Army

THE Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has neutralised some Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) leaders and destroyed their meeting venue at Jubillaram in the Northern part of Borno.

Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, NAF Director of Public Relations and Information made this known in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said the operation was conducted on Tuesday through the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE.

“The operation was executed yesterday, Nov. 19, sequel to intelligence reports indicating that some top ISWAP leaders had assembled for a meeting at a compound within the settlement, which they also used to store some of their logistics supplies.

“Accordingly, the ATF dispatched a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform as well as fighter jets to attack the location.

“Overhead the target area, several terrorists were observed around some buildings in the middle of the settlement.

“These fighters were neutralised in successive strikes by the attack aircraft as they attempted flee the location.

“The air strikes also led to the destruction of some terrorists’ structures, including one of their logistics stores, which was seen engulfed in flames,” he said.

Daramola said the NAF, operating in concert with surface forces, would sustain its efforts to completely destroy all remnants of the terrorists in the North East. (NAN)

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 18:25 GMT |

Presidential panel on sexual, gender-based violence receives 96 complaints – NHRC

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Tony Ojukwu
Tony Ojukwu

THE presidential Special Investigation Panel on Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) in Nigeria has so far received 96 complaints and memoranda across the six geo-political zones on cases of sexual gender-based violence.

Mr Tony Ojukwu, the Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), made this known at the South-West public sitting of the panel on Wednesday in Lagos.

Ojukwu said that so far, the panel had received 96 complaints/memoranda across the six geo-political zones with South-East accounting for the highest number of 35, representing 37 per cent of the total complaints received.

He said that the North-Central accounts for 19; South-West has 15; North-West 12; South-South 11, while North-East has four.

Ojukwu said that the panel, which had conducted sitting in Abuja, was constituted following the complaint received on April 26, 2019 in respect of raids of night clubs and streets of Abuja by armed security personnel.

According to him, it was led by the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) under the auspices of the FCT Joint Task Force, claiming that the raids were intended to arrest prostitutes.

He said that victims of the raids, mostly women had made serious allegations of rape, sexual harassment and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

“Pursuant to the above, the office of the Vice President requested the commission to take immediate steps to arrest this scourge in the society and make appropriate recommendations to the government,’’ Ojukwu said.

The commission executive secretary called on the victims of sexual and gender-based violence to forward their complaints to the panel.

He explained that the essence of the public sitting was to check the scourge of sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria and increase access of Nigerians to the services of the commission.

Ojukwu said that this was to enable them to seek for accountability “where there is evidence to indicate that any officer or official or any individual is involved in acts of sexual and gender-based violence’’.

He said that the public sitting was also to provide opportunities for fair hearing to both complaints and alleged violators and to mainstream human rights norms and tenets into the operations of AEPB.

Ojukwu said that the panel would still hold public sittings in the South-South; South-East; North-West and North-East toward addressing the scourge of Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) in Nigeria.

He said that members of the panel were carefully selected to represent diverse interests of the society.

Ojukwu said that the panel would work closely with consultants who would bring expertise in the field of SGBV to bear on the proceedings and reports of the panel.

He said that the commission would hear complainants and investigate alleged acts of violation of human rights under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

“Investigate matters of conduct and discipline of the joint task forces including AEPB, the police and other law enforcement agents during raids, especially as it affects women and girls within the past 10 years.

“Identify individuals directly responsible for any violation and abuses and make recommendations for further actions including, but not limited to prosecutions, disciplinary proceedings and damages.

“Develop clear guidelines and policy on SGBV for institutions, MDAs, public and private organisation and homes that can serve as good practices against the backdrop of reported cases of abuse,” he said. (NAN)

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 18:25 GMT |

Ota tanker fire: Victims should be compensated – Falana

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Falana
Falana

FEMI Falana, (SAN) says he is ready to go to court in defence of any victim that was involved in the recent tanker fire incident at Sango-Ota in Ogun, or their willing family members.

Falana spoke on Wednesday at the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Zone 2 4th Quarter 2019 retreat held at Public Staff Development Centre (PSSDC) Magodo, Lagos.

According to him, somebody must be responsible for any traffic crash on the the road.

Recall that two persons died and six others were injured in a fire accident involving a petrol tanker close to the old toll gate at Sango-Ota, Ogun State on Thursday night.

Seventeen vehicles were burnt in the accident that happened around 11.55 pm, according to the FRSC Assistant Corps Commander in Ota, Mr Ganiyu Akeem.

Falana said he was ready to go to court to seek compensation for victims who lost their vehicles and the families of the dead victims Pro Bono.

“That is the whole essence of insurance; they must be compensated, so that we don’t turn their families to beggars on the streets.

“The case must be pursued, we must put smiles on peoples face,” he said.

Falana also tasked the FRSC to always get the authority involved to fix dilapidated roads to prevent future occurrence of such disaster.

According to him, the corps should not only check the road worthiness of vehicles, but also identify roads that are bad and channel the reports to appropriate agencies for rehabilitation.

“The corps must also ensure the reports of bad roads are constantly channelled to Ministry of Works.

‘The life span of every road is four years, FRSC must ensure both the federal and state government do their responsibilities as the case may be on road rehabilitation,” he said.

Falana also charged the FRSC to always discharge its duties in line with the law.

“Ignore big men who threaten you on the highways by making calls when they are arrested, do your work in line with the enabling law, always keep your record of any incident and shun briber;  then, we’ll be there to defend you,” said.

Mr Samuel Obayemi, the FRSC Zonal Commanding Officer in Charge of Ogun and Lagos States, earlier in his address, said that the corps had done well in terms of patrol operations in the zone.

Obayemi said that the corps was also trying to improve on its service delivery despite many cases of assault by members of the public against its officials.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the fourth quarter retreat involved Unit Commanders in both Ogun and Lagos States. (NAN)

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 18:09 GMT |

Electoral Act amendment bill scales second reading in Senate

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Ahmad Lawan
Ahmad Lawan

EFFORTS to get a new electoral legal framework for Nigeria ahead of the 2023 General Election received a major boost on Wednesday as the Electoral Act Amendment Bill passed Second Reading in the Senate.

The bill titled: “A bill for an Act to amend the Electoral Act No. 6, 2010 and for other related matters, 2019 (SB. 122)”, was sponsored by the Deputy President of the Senate Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege (APC- Deltal) and co-sponsored by Sen. Abubakar Kyari (APC- Borno).

The bill was read for the first time on the floor of the upper legislative chamber on Oct. 29.

The bill seeks to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to accommodate new technologies in the accreditation of voters during elections.

It also seeks the reduction of nomination fees charged by political parties and granting of party agents the right to inspect original electoral materials before the commencement of polls.

The bill also seeks the electoral body to suspend an election in order to allow a political party that lost its candidate before or during an election to conduct a fresh primary to elect a replacement or new candidate.

It also prohibits members of political parties from taking up employment in INEC and compelling of INEC to publish the voters register for public scrutiny at every registration area and its website seven days before a general election among others.

In his Lead Debate, Sen.Omo-Agege pointed out that the bill was in fulfilment of the Legislative Agenda of the 9th senate in the area of electoral reforms.

According to him, the proposed law will not only strengthen the nation’s electoral process in line with global best practices but also remove the lacuna in the current electoral law.

“Mr President, electoral reform is a major part of the Legislative Agenda of this 9th senate.

“Before the Legislative Agenda came to be, you made an admirably patriotic case for electoral reform before your popular election as the President of this 9th Senate.

“This bill is therefore a part of the process of fulfilling that promise to the Nigerian people. It is a bill of great significance to be considered with utmost patriotism.

“Mr President, this bill proposes comprehensive amendments to the principal Act.

“It is a response in part to a plethora of Supreme Court decisions directly or indirectly calling upon the National Assembly to act.

“The apex Court has persistently done this regarding INECs introduction of modern technologies into the electoral process, especially accreditation of voters,” he said.

In their separate contributions, senators who supported the bill included: Michael Nnachi (PDP- Ebonyi South), Abba Moro (PDP- Benue South) and Ibikunle Amosun (APC- Ogun Central).

They stressed the need for the 9th Assembly to fast track approval of the bill and not repeat mistakes of the 8th Assembly where it was passed on the eve of the last General Election, hence did not receive presidential assent.

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, who presided over the session, put the question to voice vote and it was unanimously approved.

He, thereafter, referred the bill to the Committee on INEC for further legislative input and report back in four weeks. (NAN)

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 18:05 GMT |

Ihedioha’s wife tasks students on drug-free Imo

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Lady Ebere Ihedioha
Lady Ebere Ihedioha

THE Wife of Gov. Emeka Ihedioha of Imo, Ebere, has admonished secondary school students in the state to support government’s efforts to achieve a drug-free society.

She gave the charge on Wednesday, while addressing students at a conference organized by the Imo chapter of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) in Owerri.

Ihedioha, who was represented by her Special Assistant on Communications and Programmes,  Mr Martin Onyekwado, urged the students to avoid being lured into drug abuse by their peers.

She encouraged them to be bold enough to stand out from the crowd no matter how difficult and build a generation of drug-free Imo citizens.

“The future of every nation is her youth. To build a drug-free Nigeria, we must begin by building a drug-free Imo because charity begins at home.

“One of the biggest challenges young ones face is peer pressure and provided you are bold enough to resist it, then a drug-free generation of Imo citizens is possible,” Ihedioha said.

The ACPN Chairman, Mr Nkem Anaele, pledged the association’s continued commitment to the fight against drug abuse.

Anaele also promised to partner with relevant government agencies to fight the menace.

Also, the Imo Commander, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Mr Nse Inam, outlined the negative effects of drug abuse to include cognitive impairment and destruction of social norms.

Inam, who was represented by an officer of the command, Mrs Lucy Nwankpa, assured the students that avoiding drug abuse would keep them free from vices, such as stealing and unimaginable health challenges.

He further advised them not to form friendship with arrogant youths, “who are chronic liars and  unnecessarily secretive and angry,” adding that drug abuse often led to crime.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that students that participated in programme were drawn from Government Secondary School, Owerri, Emmanuel College, Girls’ Secondary School, Ikenegbu  and Young Scientists’ College, Owerri. (NAN)

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 18:05 GMT |

Lawmaker calls for calm over suspension of petrol to border communities

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Babatunde Hunpe
Babatunde Hunpe

REP. Babatunde Hunpe, member of the House of Representatives representing Badagry Constituency, has urged residents of the border communities to remain calm following the Federal Government’s suspension of petrol supply to their areas.

Hunpe made the plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Badagry, saying that the members of the House were on top of the matter.

NAN reports that the Federal Government had on Nov. 6 announced the suspension of diesel and petrol supply to filling stations within 20 kilometres radius of all Nigerian borders.

The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Retired Col. Hameed Alli, issued the directive in a memo.

NAN also reports that on Nov. 11, the House of Representatives called on the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Customs Service, to lift the ban on sales of petrol within the country’s borders.

A member of the House, Mr Sada Soli, had moved a motion of urgent national importance at the plenary asking that the order by the NCS should be vacated.

According to him, the order by the customs boss contravened the provisions of the Customs and Excise Act.

Hunpe urged his constituents not to be confrontational with security operatives as a result of the directive.

He said that the members of the House of Representatives were working round the clock to ensure that the Federal Government rescind its directive.

“Sincerely, I understand the plights of my people in all the border communities as a result of closure of the borders and now suspension of petrol to them.

“Many people have lost their jobs, while some have their means of livelihood stopped. Since the closure of the borders, things are not the way it used to be.

“The question is that if our security operatives live up to expectations, it will not result to this suspension.

“At present, my people have lost many things to this closure; our friends, business partners and many travellers that ply our roads.

“I am from a border community and I got voted into the House of Representatives to seek their welfare, which I have promised with my strength.

“I feel your pains my people, I know what you are passing through with the border closure and now the pains of travelling down many kilometres to get petrol.

“Even, many of our women have lost their babies at birth due to no petrol supply to travel to the next hospital in the middle of the night in the border communities.

“Can we blame God because He created us in this place?’’ Hunpe asked.

Hunpe appealed to the Federal Government to see reasons with members from border communities and lift the ban on the suspension of petrol to those border communities.

He said that this would alleviate sufferings the residents were passing through and reduce the numbers of people that were out of jobs as a result of the border closure. (NAN)

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 18:05 GMT |

Dino Melaye calls for cancellation of Kogi West Election

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Dino Melaye
Dino Melaye

SEN. Dino Melaye, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Kogi West Senatorial poll, has called for total cancellation of the Nov. 16 election.

Melaye disclosed this while submitting a petition at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquartres in Abuja over the election on Wednesday.

The petition addressed to INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, was received by INEC National Commissioner, Mr Festus Okoye and the Secretary to the Commission, Mrs Rose Oriaran-Anthony.

Melaye said he had also copied INEC National Commissioner supervising Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa.

He said that attached to the petition were 21 video CDs and documentary evidence to prove that there was no election in Kogi West on Nov. 16.

“The object of my petition is that I am demanding for the entire cancellation of the election.

“The demand is based on electoral malpractices, violence, ballot boxes stocking, the use of helicopters to intimidate voters among other electoral crime committed on Nov. 16,’’ he said.

Melaye alleged that the election results were manipulated and many lives were lost, including that of his nephew who was killed by hoodlums.

He said that he also have pictorial evidence of violence that took place during the election and the collation process.

“This is not an election; we are going to take it up and fight for our right to finish,’’ Melaye said.

He said in the petition, dated Nov. 18 and signed by his lawyer; Mr Tobechukwu Nweke that the 21 video discs captured total sabotage of the electoral process that marred the election in the area.

Melaye urged the commission to study painstakingly, the events captured in the said video discs, which reveal that election was not conducted in Kogi West and to cancel the entire election.

He alleged that the election was not conducted in substantial compliance with the dictates of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) as well as requisite Guidelines and Regulations issued for the election.

“We urge the commission to cancel the entire election for the Senate in Kogi West held on Nov. 16,’’ he said.

Melaye said that the claim that fake policemen operated during the election was condemn-able.

“If fake police officers overpowered over 66,000 security officers deployed for Kogi and Bayelsa, it means there is a problem in the country.

“If the police officers were fake, were the guns and bullets used, fake? Were fake police men driving police vehicles and helicopters?’’ Melaye asked.

Okoye who received the letter on behalf of INEC Chairman commended and assured Melaye that the commission would look into the petition.

He said that the commission would review the petition and the video CDs, consider the merit and get back to Melaye.

“We assure you that the commission is a public institution. We exist because political parties exist and because Nigerian people want democracy.

“We are going to collect your petition and the Chairman and his National Commissioners will look at it and we assure you that we are going to continue to serve Nigerian people and do justice in all circumstances,’’ Okoye said. (NAN)

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 17:59 GMT |

Does sex position, duration determine child’s gender?

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Sex Position
Sex Position

OLATOYE Ogundipe, a gynecologist, on Wednesday, says the gender of a child is not determined by the sex position or duration contrary to beliefs by some people.

Ogundipe, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin, said that most couples had been misled in believing that there were certain sex positions to adopt to have a baby boy or girl.

“This is erroneous and misleading, the formation of a child is more than just sex by the couple, a lot goes on in the body.

“I hear some traditional healers say a lot of things about conception, some say; do not have sex when the sun is high.

“Others say there is a particular time of the menstrual cycle to conceive in order  to have a boy or girl; these claims are not medically proven.

“What medicine says is that sperm carries the X or Y chromosomes while the female egg is X. If the sperm carrying Y meets the egg first, it results to XY which is a boy and if it is X, it becomes XX which is a girl.

According to him, some men are still not knowledgeable of the fact that the gender of a child is determined by them and therefore, the woman is not to blame.

“It is time we humans understand that the cycle of life is dependent on both the man and the woman; we cannot continue to wish for baby boys alone, then, who will carry future pregnancies.

“We need women too. They are important too. The birth of a baby girl is a blessing to the human race, so is a boy.

“However, the sex position, duration or timing cannot determine a child’s gender, otherwise, until such a claim is proven medically,” he said.

NAN

 

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 12:39 GMT |

 

Blockbuster stage drama, “Hertitude” for National Theatre in December

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THE producer of Nigeria’s blockbuster stage drama, “Hertitude”, Mrs Kesiena Obue, on Wednesday said that the “A list drama would be staged at the National Theatre, Lagos in December.

Obue told a news conference at the VIP Room, National Theatre, Iganmu, that the blockbuster stage drama had received lots of commendation, hence, the need for lovers of drama to enjoy it more.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Hertitude is a stage drama weaved on a storyline of a heartbroken single woman who later suffered a heart attack.

The woman left behind with three daughters, Kesiena, Rume and Ogor, who struggled to keep the home front through reunion.

The story also screened a series of betrayals that eventually disrupted their already dysfunctional lives in a play that also takes the stage with dance and music.

On the lessons from the drama, the playwright, Obue, who also wrote the blockbuster film, “Lagos Bling”, said the drama depicted all the social categories of life, the high, low and middle class.

“The film, Hertitude, is metaphorical because it takes us round the three classes in the society, the elite, middle and lower and our moral pictures in life.

“When it comes to morality, the society has different standards and many only take sides when one of the morality does not favour them. It also parental abuse.

“The play dwells so much on parental abuse which most people in the society don’t like to talk about and also the question of immorality which has been exemplified in the play.

“Hertitude is like a smokescreen of what individuals are inside and what they really are inside when people are not there, the real ugliness inside us, our flaws and imperfections,” she said.

Obue said that the drama also depicted a spiritual linkage which many seek ways to deal with societal ills.

“Hertitude is a drama for all because it has the real lessons of life which many sseek for. It is like a spiritual healing for many seeking for help to find their compass.

“The film also tells us about how to find ourselves out different and solutions provided around us which we must be able to decipher if it suits us or not.

“The film, though it has women as principal characters, it is not a feminism storyline but a drama centred on women’s role and their impact in shaping the society,” she said.

NAN reports that Hertitude will be on stage at the Cinema Hall 1, National Theatre from Dec. 14 to Dec. 22. It will also return on Dec. 25, Dec. 28 and Dec. 29 at 5 p.m.

The drama will also be staged on Jan. 1, Jan. 4 and Jan. 5, 2020, while the ticket will be at seven points in Lagos, namely: Ariyatickets.com, africticket.com. Slots shops and others.

NAN

 

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 13:39 GMT |

 

We `ll make state-owned tertiary institutions world class- Gombe Commissioner

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MESHACK Lauco, the new Commissioner for Higher Education, Gombe state says the vision of the ministry under his leadership is to make the state-owned tertiary institutions attain world class ranking.

Lauco, who disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Gombe, said the quality of education in all state-owned tertiary institutions would not be compromised.

He stated that the era of just giving certificate would be jettisoned, adding that the laws establishing such institutions would be reviewed to put them in their right perspectives in line with their mandate.

According to him, there will be thorough evaluation of the accreditation status of all the programmes and courses in all the tertiary institutions.

He explained that the strategic plans for the development of the institutions, in line with their timelines, would be supervised to ensure no deviation from their developmental plans across the state.

“We want a situation whereby we will have our institutions like Gombe State University, they will become world class. Their rankings would be improved in both national and international ranking.

“We will look at the impact factors like publication, Google citation of articles from these institutions and the visibility of the institutions on the internet; we will ensure all these are improved.

“We want a situation whereby people will want their children to come to our institutions to have quality education in Gombe State; that is our mission,’’ he said.

On the non-payment of two month salaries of staff of some of the state-owned institutions, the commissioner said: “The ministry is aware based on the brief I got from the Permanent Secretary.

“We are already putting heads together and making concerted efforts to make sure they are paid their salaries. I assure you that Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State is committed to quality education.

“You cannot talk of quality education when officers are grumbling. Now that the commissioners are in place, it is our responsibility to inform the governor and we have no doubt it will be resolved.

“I call on all those who have not received their salaries for the past two months, now, to bear with us. We will definitely pay their salaries soonest.’’

The commissioner appealed to staff of all tertiary institutions in the state to give the state government the needed commitment, loyalty and sacrifice that would improve the quality of tertiary education in the state.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that staff of three tertiary institutions, owned by the state government has not received their September and October salaries.

The institutions are: State Polytechnic, Bajoga; College of Health, Science and Technology, Kaltungo and College of Legal and Islamic Studies, Nafada.

NAN

 

– Nov. 20, 2019 @ 13:39 GMT |

 

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