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Judiciary

Driver in court for allegedly absconding with his employer’s car

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Michael, who lives in Kuje Area Council, FCT, is charged with two counts of criminal misappropriation and cheating.

The prosecutor, Mr Chinedu Ogada, told the court that the matter was reported at the Dakwa Police Station Abuja, on June 18, by Mr Oniwon Ogirima of No 14 Ibrahim Atta close Police estate Abuja.

Ogada said that on June 28 2018, the complainant gave the defendant his Mitsubishi space Wagon model to drive as taxi.

He said that the complainant told the defendant to be remitting N6, 000 monthly but he dishonestly took the vehicle to unknown destination.

The prosecution said that the defendant deliberately refused to remit the money and converted the vehicle valued at N1.5 million to his own personal use.

The prosecutor said during police investigation, the defendant could not give a satisfactory account of himself.

Ogada said the offence contravened the provisions of sections 309 and 322 of the Penal Code.

The defendant pleaded not guilt.

The judge, Alhaji Gambo Garba, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N50, 000, with one surety in like sum

and adjourned the case until July 18 for hearing.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

Foreign

Ethiopian staff members trained as professional train drivers of Ethiopia-Djibouti rail line in E China

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Ethiopian staff members Yidnekachew (C) and Taressa (L) receive guidance on a locomotive in Zhengzhou, central China’s Henan Province, June 5, 2020. Yidnekachew Alemu Mekonen and Taressa Dirbaba Giraba, along with other 32 Ethiopian staff members, came to Zhengzhou Railway Vocational & Technical College in October of 2019. These staff members will be trained as professional train drivers of Ethiopia-Djibouti rail line. On June 1, members began on-site internship and practicing after 7 months’ theoretical study. Once they finish the whole training and obtain graduation certificates, they will return and serve as train drivers in hometown. (Xinhua/Li An)

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Feature: Chinese bus company commits to keeping Cuban drivers safe during COVID-19 pandemic

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Cuban drivers from the Guanabo bus station on the outskirts of the capital city of Havana received around 1,000 face masks donated by China’s Zhengzhou Yutong Bus Co. to help minimize the risk of infection during the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Jorge Hernandez, who has been driving buses in Havana’s metropolitan area for nearly 40 years, said the donation is welcome due to the high demand for face masks among people working in public transportation.

The 59-year-old bus driver said that wearing a face mask while driving is something he could not have ever imagined. “Yutong is not only taking care of the maintenance and technical conditions of the buses we drive, but also helping us keep safe during the pandemic,” he said.

Like Hernandez, close to 80 drivers from the Guanabo bus station start work early in the morning to transport health professionals and essential service workers.

Havana’s provincial public transport company has acquired around 1,080 Yutong buses, nearly 700 of which have active routes in the city of 2 million people during the COVID-19 emergency.

China has had the capacity to look far beyond our health system and has provided a helping hand to different sectors of Cuban society,” said Migdalia Aguero, 48, a Cuban nurse on board a Yutong shuttle bus in Havana.

Oscar Naury, 56, general director of the Guanabo bus station, said that during the coronavirus outbreak, no more than 20 people are allowed on board the buses at a time, and the use of face masks is compulsory for both drivers and passengers.

Workers at the Guanabo bus station have also implemented disinfecting procedures, including a rigorous handwashing process, cleaning surfaces, and disinfecting doors, seats, and other areas frequently touched by passengers.

“We clean the buses early in the morning and late at night, and use virus-killing disinfectant. There are many things we can still learn from China about disinfecting protocols,” he said, adding that buses made by Yutong Bus Co. are comfortable and meet Cuban passengers’ needs.

Cuba suspended national bus, air, and train travel across the country in the second half of March and subsequently prohibited public transportation from functioning in metropolitan and rural areas in early April as part of a governmental strategy to curb the spread of the epidemic.

Yutong Bus Co. has started to distribute around 100, 000 face masks to public transportation workers at nearly 20 bus stations to which the Chinese company provides technical assistance in the Cuban capital.

Wang Tong, head of the company’s branch in Cuba, has been handing out face masks to local bus station personnel and getting insight into the protocols they have adopted to combat the coronavirus.

“These face masks will help protect drivers and passengers from contracting the virus. We are committed to the wellbeing of workers in the public transportation sector in Cuba,” she said.

Full buses have become a common feature in everyday life in Havana due to economic restrictions and the United States blockade against the island, which bars the Caribbean nation from acquiring vehicle parts from the United States market.

Cuba has imported more than 10,700 Yutong buses since 2005, and these vehicles transport 80 percent of passengers on the island and also benefit the tourism sector.

According to Yutong Bus Co., among the company’s plans for a post COVID-19 scenario in Cuba is the continued introduction of hybrid and electric buses and the support of the country’s efforts to save fuel in the public transportation sector.

Yutong Bus Co. is celebrating its 15th anniversary on the island this year, the very same year China and Cuba are marking the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations.

(XINHUA)

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Judiciary

2 drivers docked for alleged assault, theft of phones

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Two men who allegedly assaulted a vehicle owner and stole his mobile phones worth N95,000 have been arraigned before a Life Camp Magistrates’ Court in Abuja on Friday.

The Police charged Desmond Momoh, 39, and Jaiyesimi Oloruntoba, 30, of Asokoro Extension and Dape Village, Abuja, respectively, with five-count charge of joint act, assault, causing hurt, mischief and theft.

The Prosecutor, ASP Peter Ejike of FCT command, told the court that the matter was reported at Life Camp Police Station on May 21, by one Ahmad Tukura of Kado Estate, Abuja.

Ejike alleged that on the said date, at about 12.15 p.m, while the complainant was driving to Life Camp, he was stopped at Setraco police check point by security officers to present his pass document.

He alleged that while the complainant drove off from the police check point, the two defendants drove after him and blocked his vehicle from moving.

The prosecutor further alleged that the defendants dragged the complainant out of his car, beat him up and stole his Techno phone and Samsung galaxy tab both valued at N15,000 and N80,000, respectively.

He said the police at the check point heard the complainant screaming and immediately swung into action, arresting both defendants.

He said that the offence contravened the provisions of Sections 79, 265, 244, 327 and 288 of the Penal Code.

Momoh and Jaiyesimi, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Mr Gadafi Nwegbe, Counsel to the defendants, prayed the court to grant the defendants bail, while citing Section 158 and 165(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

The Chief Magistrate, Celestine Odo, admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N200,000 each, with a surety each in like sum.

Odo ordered that the sureties must be reliable with a fixed address and must reside within the jurisdiction of the court.

He also said both sureties must deposit a recent passport photograph to the court registrar, and their addresses verified by the court officer.

Odo adjourned the matter to June 25 for hearing.


Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Metro

Accident claims life of shuttle bus driver in Anambra

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The Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Anambra, Mr Andrew Kumapayi, on Friday confirmed the death of a shuttle bus driver at Upper-Iweka in Onitsha.

 

Kumapayi told the News Agency of Nigeria in Awka that  the  driver of the  bus died as a result of an accident involving his vehicle, a Prado jeep and two other shuttle buses.

 

The commander said  that  the accident which occurred at about 9 a.m. was caused by brake failure.

 

“The crash occurred after the brakes of a Prado Jeep with registration number UWN277PE failed and rammed into three shuttle buses with registration numbers: AWK279XJ, ATN57XB and HAL420ZX.

 

“A total of four male adults were involved in the crash.

 

“Two sustained some degree of injuries while one of the shuttle bus drivers was confirmed dead by  the doctors at St. John Hospital and Maternity, Onitsha, where they  were rushed to by the FRSC rescue team.

 

“His  corpse had been deposited at a morgue while the driver of the Jeep had been handed over to the police for further investigation, “he said.

 

Also, he said that a Mercedes Benz Truck went up in flames on the River Niger Bridge, after developing some electrical faults.

 

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Truck catches fire on Niger Bridge in Onitsha

Kumapayi said it occurred at about 8a.m. on Friday and the Fire Service  personnel were contacted immediately to put out the fire.

 

He said that  an FRSC heavy duty tow truck was brought in to tow the vehicle off the bridge after the fire had been  successfully extinguished.

 

According to him, two male adults were involved, but no injury and no death were  recorded.

 

Kumapayi said that clearing of obstruction was ongoing  at the scene of the crash to ensure free flow of traffic.

 

He urged motorists to always ensure that  they checked and service their vehicles regularly, paying particular attention to the brakes and  the electrical systems.

 


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Peter Dada (NAN)

 

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Defence/Security

Lockdown ease: FRSC arrests 4,235 drivers nationwide

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on Friday said that a total of 4,235 drivers were arrested for overloading of vehicles during the first phase of the gradual lockdown ease.

The Corps Public Education Officer (CPEO), Mr Bisi Kazeem disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.

“The corps successfully recorded a number of arrests from May 11 to June 1. A total of 4,235 drivers were arrested for overloading of vehicles.

“Out of this number, 972 drivers were arrested for overloading their vehicles with goods.

While a total of 636 were arrested for overloading their vehicles with both goods and passengers.

Also a total of 2,627 were apprehended for overloading their vehicles with persons alone, bringing to a total of 4,235 in all.

“Meanwhile, in the course of the arrests, a total of 7,594 passengers were discharged to make way for adequate physical distancing in the vehicles, out of the 4,235 vehicles apprehended for conveying 17,614 passengers,” he said.

Kazeem noted that the corps had been able to evaluate performance in the last four weeks following the end of the first phase of the gradual ease of the lockdown.

He said that the corps was also able to identify areas of strength where significant achievements were recorded and areas where gaps existed.

Kazeem said that the corps had strengthened its capacity to address the identified gaps as quickly as possible.

He said that the corps would also sustain the tempo and to some extent, enhance the performance in the areas where it recorded huge success.

He noted that the corps was working in synergy with other security agencies through the instrumentalities of joint task force, mobile court operations and effective patrol operations.

Kazeem, however, said that collaboration was key to the success of the special patrol operations, saying that combination of the above strategies was expected to yield adequate result as expected.


Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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Defence/Security

Boko Haram: Drivers offer free rides to returning residents of Auno

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As residents of Auno town in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno, troop back home following assurance of adequate security by Gov. Babagana Zulum, commercial drivers plying Maiduguri-Damaturu road, are giving them free ride.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that residents of Auno which is few kilometres from Maiduguri, deserted the town in February following an insurgents attack that led to many deaths and destruction of properties.

A driver, Bukar Gwange, said that the gesture was part of the drivers  support to the returnees as they wish to see the once bubbling town bounce back to life.

“Auno is a place we use to get passengers and loads to and fro Maiduguri. When the sad incident happened in February, we were sad as it affected many of our colleagues and passengers.

“Now that the residents are returning home, we feel the best we can do is to give them free ride,”Gwange said.

Another driver, Ali Mohammed, told NAN that they always picked the returnees at Njimtilo area, in the outskirt of Maiduguri.

He said that after dropping the returnees in Auno, the driver used the opportunity to pick passengers who are going back to Maiduguri from Ngamdu and Beneshiek

“That way, we get little money to ease the hardship caused by the lockdown due to the existing ban on inter state travels,” Mohammed said.

Dauda Mustafa, another commercial driver, said the free ride was a blessing in disguise as security personnel along the road also appreciated the gesture and no longer  subject them to tedious screenings and delays.

Meanwhile, Gov. Zulum had already directed that an operational outreach office where he would be working from time-to-time, be set up for him in Auno,  so as to boost the people’s confidence.

The governor has also established zonal office of the state Rapid Response Squad, made up of police, hunters, vigilante and Civilian Joint Task Force in Auno.

According to the Commander of the squad, CSP Abioye Babalola, the team would not only ensure security in Auno and its environs, but also be on constant patrol and respond to distress calls along the busy Maiduguri-Damaru road.


Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Judiciary

Driver in court for reckless driving, causing an accident

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The police  on Thursday, arraigned a 46-year-old man, Stephen Otaido, at a Life Camp Magistrates’ Court, Abuja for alleged reckless driving and causing an accident.

The police charged Otaido, who lives in Efab Estate, Life Camp, Abuja, with  three counts of causing motor accident by dangerous driving, driving without due care, attention and driving without valid licence.

The Prosecution Counsel, Peter Ejike, told the court that on Feb. 16 at about 6.30 pm, the defendant drove a Toyota Sienna vehicle, with registration number GGE 49 EA, on the Life Camp/Efab  Road.

The prosecutor alleged that the defendant drove the said vehicle in a manner that was dangerous to other road users by swerving from his lane, causing a collision.

Ejike said the defendant caused N1.9million damage on the vehicle he hit.

He said the offence contravened the provisions of Section 28 of the Road Traffic Act,  and sections  21  and 10 (1) of Road Traffic Law.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Magistrate Chinyere Nwecheonwu admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N500,000, with one surety in like sum.

Nwecheonwu ordered that the surety must be a civil servant who should provide his or her first appointment letter, last promotion letter, confirmation letter as well as identification card for citing and verification by the court officials.

The magistrate adjourned the matter until June 8, for hearing.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Foreign

Interview: China’s domestic economic drivers are strong: U.S. scholar

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The domestic drivers for the Chinese economy are looking much better and Chinese domestic economic activity has picked up “dramatically” in the last month or so, a U.S. scholar has told Xinhua.

In a video interview on Wednesday, Geoffrey Garrett, dean of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, said “obviously China is several months ahead of the West, and it looks like Chinese domestic economic activity has picked up dramatically in the last month or so,” referring to China‘s recovery from the impact of COVID-19.

He believed the problem for China now will be global demand. “The fact that there will be no global demand in the second half of this year will obviously slow down China‘s recovery, but so, the domestic drivers for the Chinese economy are looking much better and better every day.”

China on Thursday raised the curtain for its annual political high season. This year’s “two sessions” are expected to highlight China‘s final push in poverty alleviation and completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Such progress is expected to boost its economic growth.

Deputies to the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) walk towards the Great Hall of the People for the opening meeting of the third session of the 13th NPC in Beijing, capital of China, May 22, 2020. (Xinhua/Xing Guangli)

Deputies to the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) walk towards the Great Hall of the People for the opening meeting of the third session of the 13th NPC in Beijing, capital of China, May 22, 2020. (Xinhua/Xing Guangli)

Garrett said “2021 was going to be a very big year for China, with a bunch of goals, to be delivered on by that time.”

He explained that though “2020 is just going to be an incredibly difficult year for every economy in the world,” “we should just never lose sight of the fact that what’s happened in China since 1978 is probably the greatest economic miracle in the history of the world.”

“Lifting 700 million … people out of poverty in three or four decades is just extraordinary,” he said in reference to China‘s poverty alleviation efforts.

Talking about international cooperation in the COVID-19 pandemic, the expert said, “I would expect that China could and should be a leading player in any international responses to the pandemic.”

He believed that international collaboration has been absent so far in response to the pandemic. “And I hope we can change that. Of course they have got to be national responses too, but I think coordinated international action is really important,” he said.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Tanzania, Kenya resolve dispute over COVID-19 tests for cross-border truck drivers

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Tanzania and Kenya on Friday resolved a dispute over COVID-19 tests for truck drivers crossing the border, facilitating trade between the two East African countries.

The dispute, which had been ongoing for quite some time, was resolved by ministers responsible for transport from the two countries at the end of their one-day meeting at the Namanga border post, said a communique released at the end of the meeting.

The meeting followed a directive on Wednesday by heads of state of Tanzania and Kenya to ministers responsible for transport and commissioners of border regions to resolve the dispute to facilitate trade between the two countries.

According to the communique, the ministers agreed that truck drivers from both sides will be tested for COVID-19 before commencement of their journeys at the point of origin using standards set by the World Health Organization.

The two countries agreed that tested truck drivers should be issued with a 14-day COVID-19 free certificate by competent authorities, which should be mutually recognized by the two countries, said the communique.

The communique said the two countries also agreed that each country should create conducive places where the truck drivers can stop for a rest, adding that such places should be equipped with necessary amenities.

They further agreed that the two countries should undertake random COVID-19 screening at the designated resting places, said the communique, adding that the screening should be done in a transparent manner.

According to the communique, the two countries agreed that in case of one of the truck crew being found to be at high risk of COVID-19, the owner of the truck will be allowed to replace all the crew and the truck allowed to proceed.

It said the two countries agreed to release to the public data on the status of COVID-19 without mentioning the nationality of the infected.

Tanzania was represented by Minister for Works, Transport and Communication Isack Kamwelwe, while Kenya was represented by Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works James Macharia.

(XINHUA)

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