The government of Ogun State says it is set to take over three strategic federal roads to boost socio-economic activities in its main industrial hubs.
In a statement by the press secretary to the governor, Kunle Somorin where State Governor, Dapo Abiodun said he had formally sought the permission of the federal government to dualise three major Federal roads linking the state and Lagos under the public, private sector partnership arrangement.
“The roads are, Ikorodu – Ogijo – Shagamu road, Epe – Ijebu – Ode road and Lagos – Ota – Abeokuta road.” the statement said
“The governor said the takeover became necessary because of the economic importance of the roads”.
He made these disclosures while interfacing with the World Bank team headed by its country director, Rachid Benmessaoud
The statement further said that the governor was at the World Bank to share his vision of collective prosperity for Ogun people and bring onboard global best practices on the ease of doing business from the World Bank.
“He underscored the importance of development partnership to actualise his “building our future together” agenda and the centrality of public-private sector partnerships. ”
“The Lagos – Abeokuta road is a sorry sight when it rains and our people need to commute to and from Lagos every day because we are to Lagos what New Jersey is to New York.
“People who commute through Iyana Ilogbo will tell you of the nightmare they encounter every day because of potholes which cause endless gridlock. This is a road that has been under construction for a long time and still needs about N26bn before completion.”
“Only N1bn was in this year’s federal budget for that same road. So, as a responsible government, which is closer to the people, we have to do something”, Gov Abiodun said.
He stated further that the Epe – Ijebu Ode road requires similar intervention, just as the Ikorodu-Shagamu corridor.
“Lagos has completed its own end of the Epe-Ijebu Ode road. What we need to make it a total package is about 14.4km. So, we are taking it over because of the welfare of our people matters. It will become an alternative route for motorists going to the Eastern part of the country”, the Governor added.
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has assigned portfolios to the recently appointed commissioners, after their screening by the state House of Assembly.
Obaseki at the weekly State Executive Council meeting on Wednesday in Benin City, also effected minor reshuffle of his cabinet and charged the Exco to deliver on key tasks.
The names and portfolios of the new commissioners are Marie Edeko, Ministry of Social Development; Damian Lawani, Ministry of Youth; Joe Ikpea, Ministry of Minerals, Oil, and Gas; and Momoh Oise Omorogbe, Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning.
Others are Felix Akhabue, Ministry of Cooperatives and Wealth Creation; and Moses Agbakor, Ministry of Energy.
In the minor cabinet reshuffle, the former commissioner for Agricultural and Natural Resources, Hon. Monday Osaigbovo, was moved to the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, while the former Commissioner for Education, Hon. Emmanuel Agbale now heads the Ministry of Science and Technology.
While the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Hon. Jimoh Ijegbai, now heads the Ministry of Education.
The five Special Advisers who were appointed alongside the commissioners in the first week of July were also assigned portfolios.
Andrew Momodu is the Special Adviser, Public Order, and Security, while Hon. Osaigbovo Iyoha, the former member of the Edo State House of Assembly, is now the Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters, in Edo South.
Hon. Magdalene Ohenhen, former Commissioner for Women Affairs is now Special Adviser Political Matters, Edo Central; the former Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Kabiru Adjoto is the Special Adviser, Parliamentary Issues; while Ojo Asien, is now Special Adviser, Political Matters, Edo North.
Human rights lawyer Femi Falana SAN has urged the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Fatou Bensouda to “immediately open an investigation into the allegations of international crimes committed by the government of former president Yahya Jammeh.”
Falana stated this today in his keynote address at a meeting by the African Network on International Criminal Justice held at Dakar, Senegal.
In the paper titled: Africa and the ICC: Achieving justice for victims and ending impunity across the continent Falana said, “If the ICC wants to be relevant in Africa it cannot continue to pick and choose the cases to investigate and prosecute. For instance, the Prosecutor of the ICC issued warnings and threatened to prosecute politicians linked with political violence during the 2015 general election in Nigeria. But no such warning was ever issued when former President Yahya Jammeh annulled a credible presidential election held in The Gambia in 2016.”
“Happily, the Economic Community of West African States intervened decisively and prevented the break out of a civil war in the country. As the ICC cannot continue to turn a blind eye to atrocities committed by the regime of former president Yahya Jammeh of Gambia the Prosecutor should open an investigation into them under the Rome Statute without any further delay.”
Falana’s paper read: “The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) recognizes that during this century millions of children, women and men have been victims of unimaginable atrocities that deeply shock the conscience of humanity” owing to armed conflicts. These grave crimes threaten the peace, security and well-being of the world. Africa has had its fair share of the problem. As such, various efforts to pursue, make and keep the peace have been intensified over the past half a century.”
“To the extent that the ICC has failed to try the heads of governments of some powerful states responsible for the unprecedented crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria the allegation of selective prosecution of African leaders cannot be dismissed lightly. But the failure of the ICC to prosecute such well known highly placed criminal suspects should not be a justification for preventing the arrest and trial of other perpetrators of crimes against humanity and genocide.”
“As far as Africa is concerned the ICC cannot be absolved of the allegations of selective prosecution. In fact, the case of former President Laurent Gbagbo has gone from selective prosecution to selective persecution. Whereas he was discharged and acquitted in February 2019 the ICC has ordered him to be incarcerated in Belgium pending when the Prosecutor would file a fresh charge against him. But since the ICC has no power to order a defendant that has been tried, discharged and acquitted it ought to quash the detention of Mr. Gbagbo forthwith.”
“In as much as AU is opposed to the indictment and prosecution of African leaders not much has been done to promote to accountability and defend human rights. In fact, in order not to be held to account only nine States (Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali and Tanzania and The Gambia) have made a Declaration to allow victims of human rights abuse to seek redress in the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights. However, the AU will be deceiving itself if it believes that the planned mass withdrawal of African states from the ICC will shield African leaders who engage in genocidal acts from prosecution and humiliation.”
“As long as the governments in Africa continue to pay lip service to the fight against impunity, the victims of egregious human rights infringements will not hesitate to seek redress in available human rights mechanisms with a view to bringing perpetrators to book.”
“If the AU does not want Africans accused of violations of international law to be tried outside the continent and outside domestic jurisdictions, it has to show strong political will to combat impunity and ensure justice for victims. Refusal to comply with court orders admitting criminal suspects to bail or ordering the release of detainees is an invitation to anarchy. The manipulation of constitutions for tenure elongation is also an invitation to political instability.”
“The AU has to adopt measures to prevent the manipulation of national constitutions to legitimise tenure elongation by ruling parties, harassment of opposition figures and civil society activists, killing of political opponents, proscription of civil groups, closure of media houses and ban on freedom of expression and association.”
“To best address accountability and combat impunity across the continent, African leaders should strengthen and improve domestic criminal justice systems and the regional and sub-regional human rights courts and mechanisms. In particular, the Summit of Heads of State or Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) should reaffirm its commitment to improve respect for human rights among its member states, consistent with the SADC treaty, which commits them to act in accordance with the principles of “human rights, democracy and the rule of law.”
“The Summit of Heads of State or Government should without further delay restore the SADC Tribunal’s human rights mandate and comply fully with the orders of regional tribunals and municipal courts. It should be noted that SADC leaders in August 2014 stripped the tribunal of its mandate to receive human rights complaints from individuals and organizations, leaving it only to adjudicate disputes between member countries. This drastically limits the tribunal’s human rights protection mandate.”
“The AU should immediately rescind its 2018 outrageous decision [DecisionEX.CL/Dec.1015(XXIII)] to limit the autonomy and human rights mandate of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. This illegal decision is entirely inconsistent and incompatible with the human rights provisions of the AU Constitutive Act, and it is retrogressive to say the least.”
“It should be noted that the AU Executive Council in June 2018 stated in its decision that the African Commission only had “independence of a functional nature, and not independence from the same organs that created the body.” The AU Executive Council also decided to authorize the AU policy organs to revise the criteria for the commission to grant observer status to NGOs, taking into account overtly broad considerations of “African values and traditions.”
“The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights itself has to wake up and be counted on the side of human rights, be more assertive in the exercise of its human rights mandate and to robustly challenge any attack on its foundational instrument—the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights—by the AU or any other institutions for that matter. The African Commission has to restate its historical leading role across the continent in promoting and protecting human and peoples’ rights, including in Nigeria when it delivered groundbreaking decisions during the period of military dictatorship in the country.”
“The AU should stop prioritizing ‘political settlement’ of egregious human rights abuses at the expense of accountability, access to justice and effective remedies for African victims of violations and abuses. Accountability and justice must never be sacrificed to promote the interests of those in power.”
“African victims of human rights violations and abuses cannot have faith and confidence in domestic criminal justice systems and regional and sub-regional human rights courts if the AU continues to fail or refuse to address the challenges confronting these institutions of justice and to consistently obey and enforce court judgments.”
“The African human rights community should coordinate and organize victims of crimes against humanity and genocide to seek reliefs within the criminal justice system. Victims of human rights abuse should be encouraged and supported to seek redress in domestic courts and regional tribunals and institutions. The AU and its member states and African leaders in general must sort out the procedural obstacles that continue to impede the effective enforcement of judgments of regional courts in domestic nation states.”
“The AU should stop engaging in confrontation with the ICC and instead show genuine commitment to prosecute those accused within member states’ domestic courts, develop the capacity to prosecute crimes under international law within national courts, and improve access to justice for victims nationally and regionally. The African Union should adequately fund the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and encourage its member states that have not yet done so to ratify the protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights establishing the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and make declarations that would allow individuals and NGOs direct access to the court.”
World football governing body, FIFA has released a 12-woman shortlist for The Best FIFA Women’s Player 2019 award – based on their respective achievements during the period from 25 May 2018 to 7 July 2019 inclusive.
According to a statement by FIFA, the list was compiled by a panel of experts in women’s football.
FIFA’s statement further informs that the fans can now have a say and can vote for their personal top three (First choice: 5 points, second choice: 3 points and third choice: 1 point).
The UK Government has pledged its support in the areas of education, healthcare and economic development in Kaduna State, as well as the entire country.
This was disclosed by the newly appointed United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for International Development, Mr Alok Sharma, when he visited the state on Wednesday.
His visit comes barely a week after his appointment by the British government.
Addressing journalists after a closed-door meeting with Governor Nasir El-Rufai, Mr Sharma said he is in Nigeria and Kaduna state, in particular, to see what the government is doing in the areas of education and other human capital development programmes, as well as to invite the Kaduna State governor to the African Investment Summit taking place in January in London.
According to him, Nigeria being one of the key partners of the United Kingdom has a lot to gain from attending the economic summit, especially as regards to wooing more investors into the state, adding that the UK is providing a substantial and increasing package of education, health humanitarian and development support to Nigeria.
On his part, governor El-Rufai thanked the DFAID for the various support it has given to Nigeria and Kaduna state in particular, especially with regards to efforts made to give the citizens secure, prosperous and happy lives.
He specifically commended the UK for improving the quality of education in the state through the teacher development programme , equipping 34 primary healthcare centres with solar power and other facilities as well as other humanitarian support.
The governor also disclosed that the state government is building a world-class ranch for herdsmen through a British company, which he says will reduce the herders/farmers conflicts in the state.
The United Nations on Wednesday launched a virtual reality experience called ‘Holding On’ to tell the stories of those who have been displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency which is now in its 10th year.
The exhibition which is open to the public is billed to last from August 1 to 15, 2019, and is also in commemoration of the World Humanitarian Day which comes up on August 19.
Attendees get to watch 360 videos that would give them a feel of the deplorable conditions that the internally displaced persons face in Nigeria.
Speaking at the event, the Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buini, called for more assistance as the states in the northeast begin the process of reconstruction as well as rehabilitation of over 1.8 million persons displaced by the Book Haram insurgency.
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has announced a temporary suspension of street protests in demand for the release of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Elzakzaky and his wife, Zeenat.
A statement issued on Wednesday by the spokesman of the group, Ibrahim Musa, says the suspension of the free Elzakzaky street protests is to allow for some new openings into the resolution of the problems, especially the court case instituted by their lawyers on the proscription order made by the federal government this week.
Mr. Musa said the IMN has taken the step in good faith out of respect for some eminent people and groups, whose input in the resolution of the problems appears genuine, while they sincerely hope an amicable way could be found to solve the crises surrounding the illegal detention of their leader for almost four years now.
“If at all any protests occur anywhere in the country, it might be this notice hasn’t reached those in the field or this message is misunderstood or it is some security agents who are mischievously behind it as they have been doing in an attempt to smear our image and be seen as unruly people rather than as victims of savage oppression since 2015.
“The Islamic Movement wishes to thank both national and international civil rights activists and organizations who have been busy demanding the protection of our fundamental human rights as enshrined in the constitution.
“We are committed to exploring the new openings we have seen in resolving this protracted issue.
“We, therefore, reiterate our demand that our leader, his wife, and several others in detention be given their freedom denied to them since 2015”.
A ten-man shortlist for The Best FIFA Men’s Coach 2019 award – based on their respective achievements during the period from 16 July 2018 to 19 July 2019 inclusive – has been compiled by a panel of experts in men’s football.
According to world football governing body – FIFA, the fans now have a say and can vote for their personal top three (First choice: 5 points, second choice: 3 points and third choice: 1 point).
FIFA says the fan vote will be equally weighted alongside the votes of other key members of the footballing community – namely journalists, national team coaches and captains.
The Federal Government has pledged to install CCTV’s strategically along highways, monitor forests, and bushes with the use of aerodrones.
This follows the security challenges affecting the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed this on Wednesday when the Ooni of Ife, Imperial Majesty Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja II, and some elders of the state visited him at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Briefing journalists after the meeting, the Ooni of Ife said the President gave an assurance that the entire security architecture of the country would be restructured.
Facebook said on Wednesday it has removed a profile frame targeting Pakistan’s long-persecuted Ahmadi community as the media giant continues to grapple with the proliferation of hate speech on the social network.
Profile frames are filters Facebook users can add to their pictures that often promote a cause, celebrate a holiday, or commemorate an event or tragedy.
The frame withdrawn by Facebook called for the death of the Ahmadis in Urdu and was widely shared in Pakistan.
“We have removed the Profile Frames in question for violating our rules, and have ensured that they’re unavailable for future use,” a Facebook spokesperson told AFP via email.
“We do not tolerate any content — including anything shared within Profile Frames — that incites violence, and we remove this content whenever we become aware of it.”
The frame was extensively used by Pakistani Facebook users after US President Donald Trump met with several leading members of persecuted religious groups in the White House earlier this month, including a representative from Pakistan’s Ahmadi community.
Ahmadis were legally declared non-Muslims in Pakistan decades ago for their belief in a prophet after Mohammed and have long been persecuted and widely hated in the deeply conservative country.
Hardline Islamic scholars denounce the Ahmadis as heretics and the group has been the target of violence and threats by leading politicians in Pakistan over the years.
Facebook disabled 2.19 billion accounts in the first quarter of this year, nearly double the number of accounts nixed in the prior three-month period.
The social network took down four million posts considered hate speech in the first quarter of this year and continues to invest in technology to better detect such material in various languages and regions.
However, Facebook has been battered by criticism that it was more focused on growth than protecting users or thwarting deception, bullying, and harassment.
A witness, Mohammed Abba, on Wednesday told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal that although schools attended by President Muhammadu Buhari were listed in his Curriculum Vitae (CV), his certificate was not attached to it.
Abba, a senior special assistant to President Buhari disclosed this during the continued hearing of President Buhari’s defence against the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging his victory during the February 23 presidential election.
Abba during the hearing identified President Buhari in a group photograph of the 1961 set of Katsina provincial secondary school but said that the result sheet possessed by the President is not the same as a certificate.
Mister Abba said he has known President Buhari for over 30 years but under cross-examination, he said that he never served in the Nigerian Army and was never a school mate to President Buhari.
He said that the fact he deposed to in his witness statement on oath were obtained from the curriculum vitae and available record on the President.
When presented with Buhari’s CV, Abba told the tribunal that although schools attended by Buhari were listed, no certificate is listed in the CV or attached to it.
On the differences in the name, MOHAMMED BUHARI contained in the Cambridge documents and MUHAMMADU BUHARI being the real name of the president, the witness maintained that the two names are the same in Islam.
President Buhari has so far called seven of the 240 witnesses listed in his response to the petition. Further defence in the petition has been adjourned till August 1, 2019.