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Judiciary

Group urges states to domesticate ACJA for dispensation of corruption cases

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Cleen Foundation, a Non Governmental Organisation, on Friday in Abuja urged states to domesticate the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 with a view to ensuring speedy dispensation of corruption cases in Nigeria.

Mrs Rita Elasuju, Assistant Project Officer, Cleen Foundation made the call while presenting the foundation’s 2nd policy brief on promoting accountability and transparency in the implementation of ACJA in Nigeria to ACJA Monitoring Committee.

The document is titled, “The potential of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 to bolster the fight against corruption”.

Elasuju said that since the inception of the Act, 29 out of 36 states had domesticated the Act while Zamfara, Kebbi, Niger, Imo, Taraba, Gombe and Borno states had not done so.

She emphasised that most state governors were becoming aware of the aims and import of the existence of such law for their state judiciary, thus passing the law.

“It is paramount for the Chief Judges of states that are yet to domesticate the law to take a united approach in embracing the gains of ACJA by pro actively moving for its full adoption in their states.

“Partial adoption may not guarantee judicial reform or the full rewards of the Act,” she said

Elasuju also pointed out the need to ensure uniform application of the law across the country.

She said, “out of the 26 states that that have adopted the law, only a few of the state laws share a near complete semblance to the principal legislation.

“Some states have their laws enhanced and well detailed thus leaving no room for gaps as is obtainable with the Act, while others have their law drafted in such a manner that departs from the spirit of the ACJA,” she said.

Elasuju, however, expressed worry that in spite of efforts by the Federal Government and civil society groups to spread the law, lawyers and litigants still find a way to cause unnecessary delays in the hearing of corruption cases.

 

She urged the prosecuting agencies to demonstrate resilience and passion in the prosecution of corruption and financial crime cases using the ACJA, 2015.

 

Receiving the report, Mr Sulayman Dawodu, Secretary, Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Committe, said that the report would be reviewed by sub committees with a view to presenting viable and empirical data to the larger committee.

 

According to Dawodu, there is need to have solidly viable and empirical data that the sub committees can submit to the larger committee.

 

“It will be extended to other institutions and notes will be compared for improved implementation of ACJA through analysis of cases and trends,” Dawodu said.

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Sadiya Hamza

Science & Technology

ICT: MainOne, Group partner to support Cote d’Ivoire fight against COVID-19

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West Africa’s leading connectivity and data centre provider, MainOne, with headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria, and AWALE, a neutral network operator are partnering to support the Crisis Cell of the Ivoirian Government against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

MainOne is a Mauritius Group holding company with subsidiaries in Nigeria, Ghana, Portugal and Cote D’Ivoire.

Mr Kazeem Oladepo, MainOne’s Regional Executive Director, West Africa, said in a statement on Tuesday that as an organisation committed to enabling the digital economy of West Africa, it was aware of the impact of the pandemic on public services, infrastructure and businesses.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that a neutral service provider gives high speed data transmission capacity via its fiber optic cables installed on the Ivorian national transport and electricity.

Oladepo said that the joint partnership intervention was also aware of the economic challenges faced by governments.

He said that as premier provider and responsible Ivorian business, the partnership would continue to support governments efforts at every level by providing world-class internet infrastructure.

According to him, value-added services that reduces cost, drive operational continuity and seamless communication for good governance in Côte d’Ivoire will also be provided.

‘’We are proud to partner with AWALE, a subsidiary of the Pan-African Group ERANOVE, who shares our commitment to support government efforts to manage the impact of the pandemic across the sub region.

‘’This measure of solidarity will reinforce the emergency deployment plan of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Postal Services of the country.

‘’The joint initiative includes the provision of free connectivity capacity and internet services to strategic state institutions for a period of three months,” he said.

The executive director said that MainOne and AWALE were jointly contributing their broadband connectivity infrastructure and ICT services for the delivery of critical online and real-time public services.

He said that with lockdown, social distancing and remote work patterns becoming the new-normal globally, it was determined to ensure the Ivorian crisis committee continued to dispense its socio-economic and public security responsibilities through virtual platforms.

Oladepo said that the enhanced connectivity offering provided the government’s crisis committee with robust access to real-time information management, whilst seamlessly connecting essential workers across the nation.

He said it was also helping to drive dynamic exchange of scientific findings and access to global knowledge related to control and management of the disease by researchers in Côte d’Ivore.

He said it would enable the researchers to collaborate with colleagues around the world and participate in the global fight against the pandemic.

Mr Daniel Sampah, Founder and Managing Director of AWALE said that the organisation appreciated the efforts of the Ivorian in deploying an effective response plan to COVID-19 disease.

Sampah said that it was an honour to support the Cote d’Ivoire actions by making available to operators and Internet Service Providers its carrier-neutral network entirely based on fiber optics.

He said that the partnership with MainOne would enable the provision of quality connectivity infrastructure to the committee and thus minimise the impact of COVID-19 in the country.


Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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General news

Expedite action to bring Omozuwa’s killers to justice, group tasks Police  

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Girl Child Africa, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) on Tuesday, urged the Police to intensify efforts to ensure that killers of Miss Uwaila Omozuwa were brought to justice.

Founder of Girl Child Africa, Bukky Shonibare made the call in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria .

Omozuwa, a student of University of Benin (UNIBEN)  was gruesomely raped and murdered in a church in Edo, where she had apparently gone to study ahead of resumption of academic activities.

This elicited protests by various groups and individuals, demanding the arrest and prosecution of her murderer (s) who was/ were still at large.

While condemning the rape and murder of the 100 level female microbiology student of the UNIBEN , Shonibare emphasised the need for police to work assiduously to establish the facts surrounding Omozuwa’s death.

The human rights activist also stressed the need to implement laws that protected lives and rights of citizens from abuse, particularly women.

According to her, the way we handle Omozuwa’s matter will serve as a deterrent to others and go a long way in stopping rape in the country.

“This brings to the fact that we have laws that protect the lives and rights of citizens from abuse.

“If those laws exist as letters and are not implemented, then every person who wants to indulge in sexual abuse will have his or her way.

In February 2019, Edo  government signed the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Bill which stipulates appropriate punishments for sexual abuse.

“Same was replicated in some states but unfortunately the laws are not being implemented.

“Since the passage of this law, we have not had instances where they are used to serve as deterrent to those who may want to indulge in such ugly practice,’’ Shonibare said.

She however, decried unwholesome practices in the judiciary, saying that they contributed to slowing down quick dispensation of justice in the country.

She said “even when you take such cases to the courts, the corruption is discouraging and will not allow victims get justice.

“We will continue to have such cases of abuse if the laws are not implemented.

“Therefore, the way we follow Uwa’s case will go a long way in stopping sexual abuse in Nigeria,’’ Shonibare said.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

 

 

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Politics

Ondo 2020: Group endorses Kekemeke for APC governorship primaries

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Liberal Movement, a political group within the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, has endorsed Isaacs Kekemeke as its candidate in the July 20 governorship primaries of the party.

The Chairman of the Group, Mr Demola Ijabiyi, made this known on Tuesday at a news conference in Akure.

Ijabiyi said the group reached the unanimous agreement to adopt Kekemeke as its candidate for APC in the coming primary election after a critical assessment of all the aspirants.

“It took us sometime to zero in on Kekemeke; we carried out a painstaking assessment of each of them.

“At the end of it all, we have no difficulty at all in arriving at the conclusion that Kekemeke is the best,” the group said.

According to him, Liberal Movement comprises of highly placed and upwardly mobile personalities across political parties and the professions in and outside Ondo State.

The group said that “Ondo State needs a person who is experienced in governance and in party politics and Kekemeke is that person.

“Kekemeke was a member of the House óf Assembly, chairman of a major national parastatal, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Commissioner for Works, Lands, Housing and Transport as well as Secretary to the State Government.

“At party level, he was pioneer State Secretary of the PDP, pioneer State Chairman of APC.

“Kekemeke is, therefore, an experienced government man and party chieftain. No other aspirant has this kind of intimidating pre-election credential,” the group said.

Ijabiyi described Kekemeke as “a man of great competence with ability to combine pragmatism with intellectualism to plan, execute and deliver.

“A man imbued with clear-headedness, deep thinking, creative mind, a moral and spiritual icon, a no-nonsence disciplinarian and dogged fighter, calculating and methodical. That man is Isaac Kekemeke.”

The group said that Ondo State has a long tradition and understanding of geopolitical rotation, adding that Kekemeke from Southern Senatorial District would win the October 10 governorship poll for APC.

“Our direct opponent is PDP. To defeat the party, we must field our best man, a man that carries no public liabilities or controversies, a man that can attract the votes of the people and that man is Kekemeke,” the group said.

Ijabiyi said that the group would agressively work for Kekemeke’s victory at the primary election and spare nothing to see him through at the October 10 governorship poll.


Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Foreign

China focuses on poorest groups in decisive battle against poverty

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China aims to eradicate absolute poverty by 2020. Find out how local governments in some of the poorest regions in the country have helped villagers out of poverty. #BeatingPoverty

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Zimbabwe’s leading hospitality group re-opens hotels as lockdown eases

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Zimbabwe’s leading hospitality group, African Sun Limited (ASL), has re-opened some of its hotels as the country relaxes COVID-19 lockdown to allow some sectors to resume operations.

The group, in its latest trading update released on Monday, said in line with the relaxation of the lockdown measures imposed by the government, the group is taking the decisive action to protect the core of its business until travel resumes.

The southern African country has been under a COVID-19 induced lockdown since March 30, forcing the hotel group to temporarily close all of its 11 hotels and two casinos.

Since end of April, the restrictions have eased, allowing some businesses to resume operations at reduced capacity.

“Taking into account the global trends, management expects international business to gradually resume starting from July as airlines rebuild their networks.

“The group implemented various health and safety measures as guided by World Health Organisation, Inter-Continental Hotels Group and government at its hotels,” the group said.

The group expects domestic business largely driven by government and NGOs programs centered on COVID-19 responses.

ASL is a Zimbabwe-based hospitality management company which operates in the hospitality and leisure industry through a number of hotels, resorts and casinos in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

(XINHUA)

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Health

COVID -19: Youth group inaugurates e-clinic in Kano

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A youth group, known as COVID-19 Relief Alliance (CORA) has inaugurated an e-clinic to cater for the health needs of the people of Kano State during the COVID -19 pandemic.

Dr Khalid Umar, Head of the Project, launched the e-clinic at the Centre for Infectious Disease and Research, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, on Monday.

He said the initiative was carried out in collaboration with the teaching hospital and Private Health Instructions Management Agency of the state government.

He said the aim of the project was to carter for outpatients in the state thereby reducing their risk of contracting COVID-19.

According to Umar, the e-clinic operates through a 24/7 toll-free line that enables residents to consult highly trained and experienced physicians via voice or video call during and after the pandemic.

The director, Center for Infectious Disease and Research, Prof. Isa Abubakar, said the e-clinic would reduce the number of people who visited hospitals as a way of curbing the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

“Patients can now consult a physician at the comfort of their homes with a voice or video, which is toll free.

“These days people are afraid to go to hospitals because of the pandemic. This technology will go a long way in helping the less privileged and poor ones in the society,” he said.

Abubakar commended the eight NGOs for the initiative.‎

Head of Mobilisation of CORA, Bashir Suaid, said the organisation received about 4,000 calls and distributed palliative to 1,450 people during a10-day test run.

He identified the NGOs that formed the alliance as the Arewa Young Entrepreneurs Initiative, Minds in Making, Orphans and Women Support Group, and Teens Development Initiative.

Others, he said, are: Angels of Hope, Jamar Health Foundation, Hope for Healthy Society and the Exceptional Girls Network. (NAN)


Edited By: Chidi Opara/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

 

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Health

COVID-19 : Oyetola commends group for donating protective items to Osun

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Gov. Gboyega Oyetola of Osun, on Monday, commended Al-Azeez Medical Venture, a Pharmaceutical Company for donating protective items to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.

The medical consumable donated include 1,800 liquid soap, 300 bottles of hand sanitiser, Two gallons of hand washing liquid and 200 pieces of hand gloves.

Oyetola, represented by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Rafiu Isamatu, said the gesture by the group was laudable, saying it would be of great benefits to citizens.

” I want to appreciate Al- Azeez medical ventures for giving back to the system at this period of global pandemic of COVID- 19 which is commendable.

” Health financing takes a lot of funds and the state government is doing its best with the limited resources available to tackle the Coronavirus,” he said.

According to him, the state government will  continue to engage stakeholders in the health sector in fighting the pandemic ravaging the entire world.

“We shall continue to synergies with your venture and other phamarceutical companies for the health benefit of residents, ” he said.

In his remarks,  Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Al-Alzeez Medical Ventures Ltd,  Dr Adebayo Adedokun, said the state government had performed creditably, especially in the health sector.

Adedokun lauded frontline health workers for their relentless effort in the fight against COVID -19.

“We donated these items to support the government of Osun when we realised that government has done a lot within its powers and the limited available resources to curb the spread of Coronavirus .

“As an indigene of Osun, we will continue to assist and support the government in whatever way for the benefit and well-being of the people,”  Adedokun said .

He, therefore, commended the government for being  proactive with the measures put in place to contain the spread of the pandemic, saying the measures had assisted in reducing the number of cases in the state.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and Isaac Ukpoju (NAN)

 

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Agriculture

COVID-19: Group urges Bauchi govt. to increase allocation to agric sector

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A group of NGOs under the aegis of Bauchi State Public Financing in Agriculture Budget Committee has urged the state government to increase its allocation to agriculture due to the effects of COVID-19 to boost farming.

Mrs Tabawa Atiku, the chairperson of the committee, made the appeal at a news conference on Monday in Bauchi.

Atiku said in view of the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, little allocation to the agricultural sector would not help farmers in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the NGOs are: Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON), Fahimta Women and Youth Development Initiative (FAWOYDI), with the support Actionaid Nigeria.

Others are: Rahma Women Development Programme (RAHMA), Media, Women Empowerment Initiative Nigeria (WEIN), Bauchi State Network of Civil Society and Association of Small scale Agro Producers in Nigeria (ASSAPIN).

Atiku said the N8.9 billion budgeted for agriculture by the state government, out of the total budget of N167 billion for 2020 was below the 10 per cent recommended by the Malabo Declaration of 2014.

She noted that the allocation for the agricultural sector was just 5.34 per cent, which was far less than the Malabo Declaration of 2014.

“We noticed the downward review of funding of inputs to farmers in the state and we are pleading with the government to reconsider it to assist more farmers in this farming season.

“We are also appealing to the government to make provisions for credit and loan schemes to assist farmers, if we must avert the looming food crisis occasioned by COVID-19,” she said.

Atiku solicited prompt release of the funds and involvement of smallholder women farmers and other key stakeholders in the budgeting process.

She urged the government to establish a local produce buying and transportation network for smallholder farmers to ensure food supply and income generation.

According to her, the partial lockdown has made it difficult for farmers to access markets to sell their produce,” she said.


Edited By: Joe Idika/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

 

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Judiciary

Group asks court to compel DSS, IGP to investigate Omo-Agege

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The Incorporated Trustees of Empowerment for Unemployed Youths Initiative on Monday, asked the Federal High Court, Abuja to compel the Director- General,  Department of  State Services, (DSS) and the Inspector- General of Police to investigate  the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege.

The group wants the security agencies to investigate Omo-Agege over his alleged conviction in the United States in November 1995.

A  motion ex parte filed by the group further  prayed the court to order Omo-Agege to step down from office as deputy senate president pending the completion of the investigation.

Counsel to the group, Mr Edward Omaga said his client asked the deputy senate president to step down to allow for transparent and fair investigation and to also prevent him from interfering with the investigation.

The group also prayed the court to declare that refusal of the DSS  and the IGP to investigate Omo-Agege would be deemed unjustifiable, wrongful and tantamount to dereliction of duties under the relevant laws that established them.

According to Omaga,  in the affidavit attached to the motion exparte,  until the DSS and the IGP are compelled by an order of the court, they will continue to refuse to investigate Omo-Agege.

The plaintiff said in the suit that it was convinced that any action or inaction of persons occupying elective and appointive position would have a direct impact on the overwhelming unemployed youths in the country.

No date has, however been fixed for hearing in the suit.


Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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