The Chief Judge of Delta, Justice Marshal Umuokoro, on Saturday decried the high rate of divorce petitions in the state and blamed the rising rate of social vices to broken homes.
A statement by Mr Timothy Agbaragu, spokesman of the Delta High Court, quoted Umuokoro as saying that the rising divorce rate was contributing to the congestion in correctional homes in the state.
The statement made available to newsmen on Saturday in Asaba, said that Umuokoro spoke shortly after he released 77 inmates and granted bail to two others at Ogwashi-Uku Medium Security Custodial Centre in Aniocha South Local Government Area.
“Between January and May, 157 petitions were filed by people seeking dissolution of marriage. The trend is scary, ugly and worrisome,” it quoted Umuokoro as saying.
It also quoted him as saying that 383 inmates, out of 2143 warrants reviewed in the five Custodial Centres across the State, were either freed or granted bail.
The Chief Judge observed that broken homes usually lead to juvenile delinquency which, in turn, leads to alarming rise in crime rates in the society.
Umuokoro advised parents to monitor their children closely and conduct adequate profile of the friends they keep.
He admonished youths to avoid bad company, saying that 80 per cent of inmates, whose ages were between 17 and 25 in Ogwashi-Uku custodial centre, were from outside the State.
“Like I always say, it shows that our family system is being threatened; many parents are not doing their home work,” he said.
Umuokoro also regretted that complainants had continued to prematurely withdraw from rape cases, saying that the situation had adverse consequences.
Chief Judge stated: “It is unfortunate that most of the victims are being pressurised to settle the matters out of court. In most such cases, the victims hardly get justice.
“It is a drawback on the advocacy by FIDA, our women Lawyers and other NGOs, who are advocating that people charged with such offences should be tried,” Umuokoro stated.
Umuokoro admonished Lawyers, who represent inmates, to plead for mercy rather than having the mindset of inquiring into their guilt or innocence, even as he implored them to exercise discretion in order to balance the scale of justice.
He said that he could not release or grant bail to inmates charged with capital offences such as kidnapping, murder and rape as such heinous crimes were rampant in the society.
Umuokoro said that one of the inmates granted bail on health ground was Benneth Madubugini, 53, from Okpanam, diagnosed of glaucoma, and Emeka Chukwuma, 19, who had been in custody since 2017 for robbing a victim of the sum of N820.
The Chief Judge, while granting the bail, said that their continue state in custody for such crimes amounted to economic wastage on the Federal Government.
Some of the pardoned inmates, who spoke with newsmen, thanked the Chief Judge for showing them mercy, and vowed not to go back to crime.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu and Ephraims Sheyin (NAN)
Robogarden set to empower education stakeholders on coding technology
A digitised educational platform, Robogarden, has urged the Federal Government to imbibe personalised learning on coding, robotics, artificial intelligence and skills in the Nigeria’s educational system.
Its President, Dr Mohamed Elhabiby, made the plea at a webinar on Tuesday, in Lagos, saying this would ensure future of the new economy was dependent on successful and sustainable digital transformation processes.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the webinar focussed on Personalised Learning, AI and Education Technology, Digital Transformation Skills, Challenges, Today and in the Future.
Its theme was: “Rights and Voices of Youth: Teach Coding for the Youth.”
Elhabiby said there was the need to prepare children from an early age for the new reality of professions and mastery of digital technology to address shortage of skill and enhance competitiveness in the future of jobs.
He said that Robogarden was created to engage and provide code execution support for persons of different races and culture, irrespective of language.
The founder of the garden also urged the government to stimulate plans to provide tools to enable individuals, communities and companies to become active innovators.
“The job market was already undergoing profound digital transformation, and so required professionals with an increasing knowledge of technology.
“Such qualifications would result in better income distribution, reduction of social inequality, unemployment and crime rates.
“Skills for the future in 2030 include: digital literacy and computational thinking, creative and innovative thinking, and cognitive flexibility.
“We are highly relying on technology and skills should be matching to them.
“It is important to be digitally literate to the emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things and data science.
“Today’s job vacancies may not be the same as tomorrow, and that is why humans should be able to adapt to the changes happening around them in the digital space.
“Currently, every country has issues with shortage of skills and high unemployment rates globally.
“Skills plus education is the new future, while the new literacy is coding,” he said.
In her remarks, Mrs Ngozi Ogoke, Chief Executive Officer, Ovana E-learning Limited, said her organisation, in collaboration with Robogarden, focussed on bringing transformation to the Nigerian digital economy and Africa as a whole.
According to her, the webinar serves to offer scholastically unique technology driven solutions that would lead to critical thinking and achievement of excellence in higher learning outcomes.
“We aim to create bright new opportunities for individuals and the entire community as we are in a new world of technology and
digitalisation,” Ogoke said.
Responding, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said the country had opened its doors to technological training with regards to robotics.
Adamu, represented by Mrs Muna Onuzo-Iyanam, Special Adviser, Technical Planning, Research and Development, Ministry of Education, said he was committed to upscaling training of teachers and students toward achieving digital transformation in the education space.
“Our schools will become more compliant at introducing AI, robotics, coding and technological learning to prepare our children for the future and advance the future of jobs,” he said.
Also at the webinar, Dr Sally Adukwu-Bolujoko, the President, National Association of Proprietors of Private School, pledged her support and commitment to ensuring public schools’ participation in technological personalised learning.
Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)
Zamfara Govt directs schools to resume on August 9
The Zamfara Government has directed secondary schools in the state to reopen from August 9, to enable exiting students sit for Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE).
The State Commissioner of Education, Dr Ibrahim Abdullahi disclosed this while speaking to newsmen in Gusau on Tuesday.
Abdullahi said the state is complying with the Federal Government directives for the reopening of schools for the exit classes at Junior and Senior level.
“Based on this, Governor Bello Matawalle has directed the Ministry of Education to immediately commence the process of reopening schools for exit classes as directed by the federal government.
“As you can see, we have just conclude deliberation at management level, we have taken all issues under consideration, we have analysed all the problems and opportunities, we have resolved that.
“All the boarding schools will be reopened on the 9th of August, while the day schools will be reopened on 10th of August.
“The decision is to allow both public and private schools to make proper arrangements and prepare for the examinations in line with the COVID-19 protocols”, the commissioner said.
Abdullahi said that the state government would fumigate all its 193 schools and examination centers across the state.
“We enjoin parents and guardians to ensure prompt resumption of their wards to school and also take certain responsibilities of equipping their children with certain palliative as well as adhere to COVID-19 protocols.
“The state would provide hand sanitizers, washing detergents and thermometers among others at the examinations centers and schools.
“We are going to deploy health workers to all schools and examinations centers.”
The commissioner further said that the state government was also making plans to reopen schools for other clases very soon.
He said that the government was considering Aug. 24, for the resumption of JSS students, as well as SS 1 and SS 2, and primary schools.
Abdullahi directed all public and private schools to ensure adherence to COVID-19 protocols, and appealed to all stakeholders to join hands with government for the successful conduct of the examinations.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
30 stranded Nigerians in Lebanon rescued, among 150 awaiting evacuation – NIDCOM
Thirty Nigerians, who were trafficked and left stranded in Lebanon have been rescued, and are among a total of 150 victims awaiting evacuation to Nigeria.
The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) made this known in a statement by Gabriel Odu of its Media, Public Relations and Protocol Unit on
The commission said the rescue came after a video footage of the stranded Nigerians making an appeal to the Federal Government and well-meaning Nigerians to come to their aid viral on the Internet.
According to it, the appeal for help by the stranded Nigerians led to their rescue by officials of the country’s mission in Lebanon.
The stranded Nigerians have already been relocated to a more conducive apartment.
“They will be part of 150 others to be evacuated to Nigeria after they were trafficked and left stranded in Lebanon.
“The Lebanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Houssam Diab disclosed the evacuation plans when the Management of NIDCOM, led by the Secretary, Dr Sule Bassi, visited that country’s mission in Abuja,” Odu said in the statement.
He quoted Diab as saying that the 150 girls would be returned home in batches with the first group of 110 people leaving Beirut for Lagos on Aug. 12.
The second batch sws expected to arrive Abuja on Aug. 16.
“The diplomat commended efforts of the Lebanese Community and the Oyo State Government who is sponsoring the return of 55 of the girls,” he said.
Responding on behalf of the NIDCOM Chairman/CEO, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Secretary of the commission, who acknowledged the excellent ties between Nigeria and Lebanon, urged both countries to sustain the cordial relationship.
Bassi also lauded the Nigerian Ambassador to Lebanon, Amb. Goni Madu Zanna Bura for his dedication and commitment.
He also commended the staff of the Nigerian mission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Oyo and Ogun state governments and other strategic partners for their efforts.
“As part of the Nigerian Embassy’s Consular responsibility, the ladies in the said video that went viral and many other distressed Nigerian domestic workers were located and relocated to a safer place.
“Suffice it to say that 150 of these stranded victims are expected to be evacuated next week and handed over to NAPTIP, the agency responsible for (dealing with human) trafficking.
“A break down of the evacuees shows that Oyo State had 41, Ogun 21, Lagos 12, Ondo 18, Osun 26, and Imo 3.
Others are Kwara– 9, Enugu — 1, Ekiti — 6, Kogi — 1, Edo — 1, Delta — 3, Ebonyi — 1, Benue — 1, Abia — 1, Akwa Ibom — 1, and Anambra — 1,” he said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
High turnout of students as schools resume for exit class in FCT
There was a high turnout of students as schools resumed in Abuja following the Federal Government’s directive that schools should reopen for students in exit classes.
Some students were seen at their schools on Tuesday observing the COVID-19 safety protocols stipulated by the Federal Government.
Social distancing was observed in class rooms, hand wash points set at different locations in the schools and students were mandated to wear their face masks.
The Minister of State for Education, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajuiba, who monitored the resumption in Abuja expressed satisfaction with the level of compliance with the COVID-19 protocols.
“We are happy with the level of compliance by the students. It shows that they are aware of the current pandemic and taking measures to avoid the spread of the virus.
“I was at Federal Government College, Apo and can tell you that the students are fully aware of what they need to do to keep safe. They are fully prepared and are conscious of the safety,” he said.
Nwajuiba stressed that actions would be taken to address infrastructure decay in the schools.
Also, Mr Sonny Echono, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, said the ministry was working on modalities to maintain facilities in schools through the employment of skilled specialists such as plumbers, electricians and the rest.
Echono commended the students in taking precautionary measures to combat the spread of the virus.
Students also expressed happiness for returning to school while praying that the pandemic would end soon to allow other classes to resume.
One of the students, Amanda Onoja, a Senior Secondary School 3 student of Federal Government College, Bwari pledged to ensure that proper safety measures were observed during and after the WAEC examination.
Also, Miss Chichi Ilochi, another student, said she was excited that the school had finally reopen, stressing that she was fully prepared to take the upcoming examination.
“I feel much exited that we are back to school. I have been preparing for this examinations and I think the decision to open school is right.
“My dream of leaving secondary school this year has come to reality. At first, when the pandemic started, I have lost hope of graduating from secondary school this year but now I think I am happy,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that some of the schools visited include Federal Government College, Apo, Federal Government College, Kwali and Federal Government College, Bwari.
However, Federal Government College, Kwali seemed not prepared for resumption as the school environments still look unkempt even when students were all ready for resumption.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)