Absence Of Judge Stalls Trial Of Ladoja

Man Arraigned For Alleged Assault And Public FightThe judges of the Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos on Monday did not sit to hear cases pending in the court.

That’s because all Federal High Court judges across the country are said to be away in Abuja, attending a conference organized for them by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON.

One of the cases affected by the absence of the judges is the case involving a former Governor of Oyo State, Sen Rashidi Ladoja.

When our correspondent arrived at the court this morning, only a few lawyers and litigants could be seen in the court premises. Some of them were trying to get new dates for the hearing of their cases.

Most of the judges are however expected to be at their duty post on Tuesday as the training is only scheduled for today. It will be the turn of the Appellate court judges to hold their training tomorrow.

The former Oyo State Governor, Rashidi Ladoja is standing trial alongside, his former Commissioner for Finance, Mr Waheed Akanbi, on allegations of defrauding the state to the tune of 4.7billion Naira.

The two were arraigned last December by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on an eight count charge before Justice Mohammed Idris.

They had pleaded not guilty to the charges and a second prosecution witness was to have taken the witness box in continuation of his testimony against the two men.

Trump Suffers Setback, As U.S. House Healthcare Bill Collapses

trump-congressPresident Donald Trump suffered a stunning political setback on Friday in a Congress controlled by his own party when Republican leaders pulled legislation to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system, a major 2016 election campaign promise of the president and his allies.

House of Representatives leaders yanked the bill after a rebellion by Republican moderates and the party’s most conservative lawmakers left them short of votes, ensuring that Trump’s first major legislative initiative since taking office on Jan. 20 ended in failure. Democrats were unified against it.

House Republicans had planned a vote on the measure after Trump late on Thursday cut off negotiations with Republicans who had balked at the plan and issued an ultimatum to vote on Friday, win or lose. But desperate lobbying by the White House and Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan was unable to round up the 216 votes needed for passage.

“We learned a lot about loyalty. We learned a lot about the vote-getting process,” Trump told reporters at the White House, although he sought to shift the blame to the Democrats even though his party controls the White House, the House and the Senate.

With Friday’s legislative collapse, Democratic former President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement, the 2010 Affordable Care Act – known as Obamacare – remains in place despite seven years of Republican promises to dismantle it.

The healthcare failure called into question not only Trump’s ability to get other key parts of his agenda, including tax cuts and a boost in infrastructure spending, through Congress, but the Republican Party’s capacity to govern effectively.

Neither Trump nor Ryan indicated any plans to try to tackle healthcare legislation again anytime soon. Trump said he would turn his attention to getting “big tax cuts” through Congress, another tricky proposition.

Republican supporters said the legislation would achieve their goal of rolling back the government’s “nanny state” role in healthcare. The White House made undoing Obamacare its top priority when Trump took office two months ago.

But the White House and House leaders were unable to come up with a plan that satisfied the clashing interests of moderates and conservatives, despite Trump’s vaunted image as a deal maker.

Amid a chaotic scramble for votes, Ryan, who championed the bill, met with Trump at the White House. Ryan said he recommended that it be withdrawn from the House floor because he did not have the votes to pass it, and Trump agreed.

“We were just probably anywhere from 10 to 15 votes short,” Trump said. “With no Democrat support we couldn’t quite get there.”

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said the bill failed “because of two traits that have plagued the Trump presidency since he took office: incompetence and broken promises.”

Democrats said the bill would take away medical insurance from millions of Americans and leave the more-than-$3 trillion U.S. healthcare system in disarray.

Reuters

Oil Cleanup: Kachikwu Assures Abia Residents Of Kick Off

NEC, Alternative funding, Oil and gasThe Minister for petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu has commended the state government and the people of Abia, for sustaining peace in Ukwa West Local Government Area especially in Owaza, where oil exploration started in 1958.

The minister who was responding to the people’s agitation during the Town hall meeting on issue of neglect and pollution in the area by the oil companies operating in Owaza, disclosed that there is need for the oil companies to take care of their environment, hinting that the campaign for cleanup of oil communities will soon take effect.

He encouraged the people to see the oil in their communities as a blessing and seek better ways to harness it for a better purposes.

“I want to commend you for the peaceful conduct in preserving the oil facilities within your communities and Nigeria’s oil resource is safe and secured.

“As you have gathered here today to table your demands and neglects without causing mayhem or carrying arms in the name of agitation, my assurance to you is that the state would partake in all the Federal Government convergence of relief to all the Niger Delta States.

“I want you to know that Abia State would be among in the intervention packages”.

Meanwhile the people during rejected the submission by the Special Adviser, to President on Amnesty matter, General Paul Boro on his submission that two hundred and thirty seven beneficiaries from the state has been trained in capacity building under the amnesty programme.

Residents Decry Indiscriminate Refuse Dumping In Lafia

Kubwa Residents Cry Out Over Refuse DumpSome residents in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital have complained of the dumping of refuse indiscriminately in the heart of the city.

They called on the government to bring up a more practicable approach to curb the unhealthy trend.

This was made known when Channels Television visited some of the streets within the state capital.

Inspite of intensified efforts by the state government through the Nasarawa Urban Development Board to keep the city clean with the provision of trash cans at some locations and ensuring that workers of the sanitation unit of the urban development board clear the refuse daily, some residents seem not to be co-operating in that regard.

It was observed that some residents prefer to throw refuse on the ground and in the drainage.

Residents are not bothered as they are living in close contact with filth and moving about their normal businesses.

A resident of Lafia, Yohanna Anzaku placed the blame at the door step of the residents and the government .

They are of the opinion that both of them must join hands to ensure that the state capital is clean, as this does not augur well for the state.

“Truly the indiscriminate dumping of refuse in a town like this is bad, especially in the heart of the town like this, I think it is not the best because it does not make the place look clean and healthy”

Meanwhile, efforts to get the reaction of the Managing Director of the Nasarawa Urban development board was unsuccessful.

FG To Reimburse Borno Govt. In Rebuilding Infrastructures

babatunde-fashola-power-works-and-housing-minister-nigeriaThe Federal Government says it is working out a plan to pay off costs incurred by the Borno state government in fixing federal projects.

The Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola stated this in a meeting with Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state.

Fashola has been touring the northeast, inspecting federal roads and projects across the zone.

The Minister says the contractors of the Damaturu-Maiduguri highway are back to site and the Works Ministry will liaise with that of Defence to give security support to the contractors, based on their previous experience so they can quickly complete that section.

“I believe that you have intervened in some of our roads and we thank you very much for it and also some of the public assets that have been damaged as a result of the insurgency.

The Federal Government is working to deliver a comprehensive plan that will include a bond to pay off all those liabilities.

It’s part of the President’s presentation during the budget presentation as a matter of principle all of us are the actors; finance, debt management office, budget and I believe parliament has some understandable consensus, so we are verifying those numbers.”

Governor Kashim Shettima said the Borno state government has to embark on some of the Federal projects because of the situation the state has found itself in.

Gov Shettima however maked an appeal to the Federal Government to consider constructing the 120km Biu-Gombe road which he says is in a bad shape.

“One of the most important roads in the whole of Nigeria is the Maiduguri-Gamboru Ngala road; the distance of about 52km between Dikwa and Ngala is off limit during the rainy season.

The cars cannot pass through the main road because it is clay and the cars get stuck, because of our recent history we have had instances of vehicles stepping on landmines.

“So we will appreciate if you can fastrack that particular end of the road between Dikwa. I think a contract has been awarded, all we need is for your support to push it forward.”

“The state government is currently working on Mbalala-Damboa-Chibok road. It’s a Federal road but we are compelled to act on that road because it links to Adamawa and the southern part of Borno to Maiduguri.

“It is also a very important link road and because of our recent past we need to give the people of Chibok a sense of belonging, a sense of commonality.” Kashim stated.

Security Operatives Synergise To Curb Herdsmen And Farmers Clash

Iwo-Palace-Mob-police-clashThe Abia State Police command has declared its readiness and commitment, to maintain peace and ensure that the fundamental rights of every Nigeria citizen is protected at all times.

To this end, the Commissioner of Police, Leye Oyebade said that strategies has been designed to curb clashes between the farmers and Fulani herdsmen, which in recent time has left the groups injured.

A situation, the police commissioner said would no longer be tolerated as moves have been made through the state government ,security operatives and the warring groups to shield their differences and live in peace .

The police and other security operatives are synergising to tackle the mayhem which formed part of discussion during the visit to Commander 14 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Ohafia.

‘I must say that we are working relentlessly to confront the challenges facing the making Abia relatively crime free.

“My vision of how to police the state includes combating hideous crime like kidnapping, drug abuse, as well as robbery, having healthy respect for the fundamental right of every citizen of this country and respect for the rule of law.

“I want you to know that we will use joint policing, proactive policing, preventive and reassurance policing to actualize the objectives.

“I am talking of synergy where all the sister security agencies would work together, actualizing the fact that in togetherness lies the strength, because we have the same focus to improve internal security, the same agenda which is to ensure that Abia is relatively crime free.

“I want to ask that we continue to work in that direction.”

On his part, Brigadier General Lawrence Fejokwu. Commander, 14 brigade, Nigerian Army, Ohafia said that they would continue to their part, to ensure a peaceful atmosphere .

‘I want to assure that we will continue to be on the heels of the criminals to make Abia State crime free

“I am committed and promise that this synergy would not die, together, we will keep it alive, we are all working for a common goal of ensuring that peace remains supreme in the state.”

Extension Workers Advised To Use Modern Techniques

agriculture-tractorsAgricultural extension agents in Nasarawa state have been advised to use modern techniques, to educate farmers in order to boost food production in the state.

The program manager, Nasarawa Agricultural Development Program, (NADP) Stephen Kpama gave the advise at a one day capacity building workshop on cassava value chain in Lafia.

The one day agricultural training of trainers workshop was organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture which drew 20 participants within the state, and will transfer the knowledge learnt to farmers in their localities.

The NADP boss said extension agents are critical staff in agriculture and charged participants to put in their best to impact meaningful ideas to farmers

“The extension agents are always considered as the bridge between any technology and farmers that is why you are all here. Some of you have been appointed because of one capacity or the other so I want to urge you to be very attentive”

On his part, agricultural officer of the extension department, Federal Ministry of Agriculture Ogundere Paul, said the program is aimed at enlightening and training the 20 extension agents on cassava value chain so that they can train 25 farmers each.

“We are here to train them on cassava value chain and the importance of cassava, the products that can come out of cassava, the contribution of cassava even to our economy.

As the Federal Government preached that we have to diversify the economy through non oil sector”

Presenting a paper on importance of cassava, principles of cassava production and choice of planting materials and source, NADP extension director Emmanuel Allahnanan, charged the participants to see the training as a platform to educate farmers in the state on how to improve cassava production.

“We have enumerated a lot of things and Federal Government is saying No, we know what cassava is and what it can be processed into.

“We are talking about the variety and the condition from which I have made up my mind to grow cassava”

Some of the extension agents who benefited from the training expressed gratitude to the organisers and promised to create value chain to farmers.

Lafiya Dole: Troops Intensify Clearance Operations

lafiya-dole2Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole and other Internal Security operations have recorded success in their clearance operation, patrols and raids in suspected areas where Boko Haram terrorists, cattle rustlers and other criminals were hiding or sighted.

Troops of 232 Battalion of 23 Brigade were on patrol towards Gombi, Guriki and Bobini towns in Adamawa State, to prevent Boko Haram terrorists infiltrating from other parts of Borno State.

In a press statement by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman, “Troops in Garkida have continued to maintain blocking positions through patrols close to Jau area, to fix any fleeing Boko Haram terrorists.lafiya-dole-cow

“Other units under the Brigade have also steered patrol towards the Wurolade village to prevent terrorists infiltrating through our border from Republic of Cameroon, while those deployed at Hong have intensified patrol at Mararraba Pella, Kalla and Shangui as well as Hong- Garaha road.

“Troops of 120 and 159 Task Forces Battalions of 27 Task Force Brigade have maintained aggressive clearance operations”.

On their part, troops of 154 Task Force Battalion, 29 Task Force have also been carrying out their patrol to Mauli with the aim of destroying Boko Haram terrorists. While 156 Task Force Battalion have embarked on route clearance patrol along Alagarno-Mauli.

lafiya3The 33 Brigade Nigerian Army following a tip-off on the presence of suspected cattle rustlers and armed bandits at Dutsen Kelembu around Dogon Ruwa, Ningi Local Government Area embarked on a fighting patrol to the general area. Although the suspected criminals fled, but the troops recovered one AK-47 rifle, one locally made gun and an empty magazine buried in cow dung. The patrol team destroyed the cattle rustlers’ camp.

The Brigade also arrested a former Assistant Police Inspector, Odigba Elias and Abdulwahab Adamu at Married Officers Quarters in Shadawanka Barracks, Bauchi, in possession of one Single Barrel Gun, four cartridges, 11 empty cartridges, Gun powder, one Leg chain, one Motorcycle and one Cutting Machine, both suspects are being interrogated.

Similarly, troops of 301 Artillery Regiment and 231 Battalions have also intensified patrols in southern parts of Borno and Gombe States to destroy fleeing Boko Haram terrorists from Ajigin and Talala axis.

The troops of 251 Battalion, seven Division Garrison deployed at Ummarari while on routine patrol discovered 2 wrapped suicide bomb vests possibly kept there for pick up in the bush. The troops called the Nigeria Police Explosive Ordinance Team who safely detonated the vests.

The troops of 7 Division Gun Boat Company responded to a distress call by cattle rearers at Aramari village very close to Konduga on the presence of Boko Haram terrorists rustling over 1,000 cows from them. The troops mobilized and rescued two persons along with the rustled cows intact while the terrorists fled.

Also, troops of 145 Task Force Battalion of 5 Task Force Brigade arrested a suspected Boko Haram terrorist, Auta Abdullahi attempting to enter Damasak from Niger Republic. Although the suspect claimed to be a herbs dealer, preliminary investigation confirmed his membership in the Boko Haram terrorists group, but he is still under interrogated.

Some elements of the Brigade while advancing to clear an objective, encountered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at Duoma near Damasak. The fragment of the IED damaged the door of one of the armoured Personnel Carrier.

Further investigation confirmed that the IED was made of compartments of Acetylene Gas Cylinder and Pressure Plate Switch.

On Saturday night, two female suicide bombers attempted to enter Maiduguri through Ummarari. One of them was shot by a soldier while the second panicked and detonated the suicide vest strapped to her body.

There were no casualty beyond the two suicide bombers.

Wike Advocates For Ethnic Unity, Peace And Development

Cash Recovery Claim Shows Police Desperate To Impress – Rivers Govt.The Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike has called on all ethnic nationalities in the state, to work in harmony for the peace and development of the state.

The governor was speaking when leaders of a socio cultural group called Ogbako Ikwere Cultural Organisation met with him at the Government House, Port Harcourt, the state capital.

Governor Wike said although he hails from Ikwere, he will continue to work for  true peace and development to reign in the state.

He called on all ethnic nationalities to work together.

Kaduna Airport Runway Gets Busy With Closure Of Abuja Airport

kaduna5It has been a busy day at the Kaduna International Airport, as local airlines arrive in their numbers.

About 16 inbound and 16 outbound flights operated before noon.

Most passengers have mixed feelings about the transit arrangement while some are excited as the bus and train services are free.

About five passenger loads of buses have departed out of Kaduna for Abuja.

On Wednesday, at exactly 11:30 am the Ethiopian Airline opened landing operations at the International Wing of the airport in the admiration of passengers and aviation workers.

Ethiopian Airline lands At the Kaduna Airport
Ethiopian Airline lands At the Kaduna Airport

The arrival of the international carrier signals the commencement of both domestic and international flight operations at Kaduna airport.

Security has equally been beefed up at the airport and its environs.

The Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of operations, Joshak Habila was on ground to monitor the exercise.

kaduna6Meanwhile, the Federal Road Safety Corps has designated three out posts along the Kaduna -Abuja highway and near the airport for emergency situation.

While, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), says it had licensed over 200 taxis and buses to operate shuttle services from the Kaduna International Airport beginning from Wednesday.

Nasarawa Assembly Speaker Calls For Local Government Reforms

Nasarawa-State-House-of-AssemblyThe Nasarawa State House of Assembly Speaker Abdullahi Balarabe, has called on newly appointed executives of the state Local Government Commission to portray their experience, so as to achieve success in the reform of activities in the local government.

He made the call while screening the members during plenary at the Assembly complex.

The Speaker who presided over the screening commended the Governor for sending in names of men of proven integrity, to man affairs at the commission of the third tier of government.

Concerned about how to overcome the percentage payments of the local government employees, he asked the chairman nominee questions in that regard.

Responding, the chairman nominee of the commission, Barrister Sani Bawa said they he will do all within his confine to overcome the plight that has affected the local government administration in the state.

“I became baffled when I discovered that salaries of workers are just being paid 30 percent, ranging from 20 percent to 70 percent, at times 60 percent. It’s a big problem to me and not only to me but to the state ”

“Although the statutory allocation coming from the Federal Government is a little below what was collected before, what is actually happening? I usually ask myself the question, there must be a problem and we must find out what actually is the problem”, he said.

Satisfied with the response, the speaker asked the nominees to take a bow and leave.

A motion for their confirmation was moved by the House leader, Umar Tanko Tunga and seconded by the Minority Leader, Mohammed Alkali

The Speaker used the opportunity to announce receipt of a petition from some concerned citizens in Toto Local Government Area of the state on the misrepresentation of map of Toto by the Nasarawa Geographic Information System(NAGIS).

He then referred the petition to the Joint House Committees on Petitions, Lands and Local Government for prompt consideration.

With the confirmation of the chairman and commissioners of the Nasarawa state local government commission, it is expected that there will be a visible change in the affairs of Local Government administration in the state.

Police Boss Accuses Natives of Exagerating Southern Kaduna Violence

Police Inspector Allegedly Kills Man Two Days To His WeddingThe Kaduna state commissioner of Police, Agyole Abeh, says the fresh violence that led to the death of some people in two Local Government Areas in the southern part of the state, is as a result of attacks and reprisals following the killing of some Fulani herdsmen in the area.

He also accused some communities in Southern Kaduna of mischief and benefitting from the crisis, hence they do not want it to end.

He made this known while addressing journalists at the area command headquarters in Kafanchan after visiting some of the affected communities.

The attack occurred on February 19, 2017 in Dakin Kogi, Jema’a Local Government Area while another occurred the next day in Kaura Local Government Area.

The attack was said to be carried out by suspected herdsmen who stormed the communities and opened fire on the people.

During the attack, lives were lost including two policemen and properties were destroyed while the people still live in fear.

The police commissioner and the Garrison Commander of One Division Nigerian Army were on a fact finding visit to the two local governments where the recent attacks occurred.

They also visited Goska and Dongoma, both in Jema’a Local Government where attacks occurred in December.

The purpose of the visit is to assess the progress of operations by troops and to also talk with the parties concerned.

The Police boss says the his men would take all lawful action to ensure security of Southern Kaduna and that some of the recent attacks are isolated incidents that are being curtailed.

He therefore appealed to the communities on the need to accept peace as the only way to end the crisis.

“Some of the communities are mischief makers, they are beneficiaries of the crisis because for one reason or the other they want to misinform the world.

“We are not taking sides in our operation. We are paid by the Federal Republic of Nigeria and we are committed to sustain peace in the communities”.

On his part, the Garrison commander debunks allegation that security operatives did not respond to distress calls on time when the attackers came.

“Our mandate is to bring peace and order in the affected communities,” he said.

He frowned at hate speech among some communities and said the police would deal with anyone fueling the crisis.

“The issue of people killed, houses burnt are all exaggerated. The crisis in Southern Kaduna is about attacks and reprisal attacks that are escalating the crisis. But the security operatives are on top of the situation.”

Deadly clashes between herdsmen and farmers in southern Kaduna have claimed many lives and displaced many families.

Most of the communities had been destroyed and burnt down, while socio-economic activities were equally affected.