Justice Joyce Abdulmaleek of the Federal High Court, Ibadan, has sentenced a 25 year-old drug trafficker, Fatai Lawal to three years in prison for unlawful dealing in Indian Hemp.
Abdulmaleek said that she convicted and sentenced Lawal based on the overwhelming evidence against him.
“In view of the overwhelming evidence before me, I am convinced that the convict is guilty as charged.
“Therefore, to serve as warning to other would – be offenders, Fatai is sentenced to three years in prison.
“All the exhibits found in his possession are forfeited to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA),” the judge said.
Earlier, Counsel to the NDLEA in Oyo State, Mr Raphael Himinkaiye, had told the court that the convict was facing a one-count charge bordering on unlawful dealing in Indian hemp.
Himinkaiye further stated that Lawal committed the crime on April 12, 2017 in Ibadan.
He said that the convict was arrested in possession of a bag containing two kilogrammes of the illicit substance, which was tested to be Indian hemp.
The prosecutor said that the offence was contrary to and punishable under Section 11(C) of the NDLEA Act Cap N30 Law of the Federation, 2004.
APC in Niger still united – Chairman
Alhaji Mohammed Imam, Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC) in Niger, says the party is still united despite recent petition alleging misappropriation of funds by some members of the state executive.
Imam stated this on Tuesday in Minna after an extended meeting with members of the party at the state and local government levels.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the state Financial Secretary of the APC, Malam Idris Gbongon, had recently petitioned the police alleging that the chairman and other executive members misappropriated funds accruing to the party.
“The APC has set out mechanisms to re-strategise and ensure that the party remain united.
“We will not allow factions in the APC in Niger or to be subdued by anyone, no matter the position the person holds, as the party remains a supreme body,” he said.
Imam said that party had properly documented all the monies it had spent.
“No money is lost. We have been running the system in the most transparent manner, in fact, we run it as if it is a Ministry. We have been prudent in resource management.
“The party has three signatories and the financial secretary who wrote that petition is one of the signatories and he has been the one writing the cheques,” he said.
He added that the financial secretary had never been sidelined any anyway as he had always participated in all meetings and party activities.
He pointed out that the financial secretary was being mischievous, saying that a five-man committee has been set up by the party to give fair hearing to all parties involved and submit their report in one week.
“This is an internal issue and we have internal mechanisms for conflict resolution which have been employed.
“A committee has been set up to give everyone fair hearing and they will submit their report in a week time,” he said.
On the party’s relationship with the executive in the state, Imam said that it was cordial, “but the party should be consulted on some issues that affect it.”
Buhari condoles with Dan Suleiman over wife’s death
President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with elder statesman and former military Governor of Plateau, retired Air Commodore Dan Suleiman over the death of his wife, Marie.
The president’s condolence message was conveyed in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Tuesday.
“Buhari condoled with all family members and associates of the matriarch, whose investment of love in her family and community will always be remembered,” he said.
The president prayed that the almighty God will receive the soul of the deceased, who would be laid to rest at the weekend.
He also prayed that God would comfort the family she left behind.
UN warns of looming humanitarian crisis in Somalia
The UN on Tuesday called on the international community to help Somalia avert a major humanitarian crisis due to the combined effect of devastating floods, desert locusts and the widespread impact of COVID-19.
Justin Brady, head of Office for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Somalia warned that the political and security gains made by Somalia over recent years could be at risk of reversal if swift action is not taken to avert the crisis.
“We expect to see a portion of the crops this year lost to the locust infestation, which will compound the food security and nutrition situation for many Somalis,” he added.
The UN official said Somalia’s coping mechanisms are significantly less than those of the neighboring countries.
“Therefore, the impact of floods, locusts and COVID-19 is not simply humanitarian but has the potential to reverse some of the political and security gains that the international community has invested in over the past decade,” said Brady.
According to the UN, about 500,000 people have been displaced by recent floods in Somalia’s central regions, while the country is also dealing with a severe locust infestation which threatens food security and nutrition for many.
The UN said the pandemic has led to major socio-economic disruptions across Somalia, including a reduction in remittances from the Diaspora, itself a mainstay for many Somalis, and a reduction in casual labor opportunities due to COVID-19 restrictions, making it difficult for many to cope.
“We need to continue to work together and expand the coordination with the private sector, civil society and have more engagement with the diaspora,” Brady said.
He said the UN‘s warning takes into account Somalia’s inherent structural weaknesses, which make the country far more vulnerable than the other countries in the region, and calls for an all hands on deck approach to avert the worst.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said it has acquired equipment to help eradicate the locusts in infested areas in locations such as Hargeisa, Galmudug and Puntland. The infestation is Somalia‘s worst outbreak in 25 years.
The FAO Country Representative in Somalia, Etienne Peterschmitt, believes that the impact of the current desert locust outbreak in Somalia could, by September, increase the number of Somalis facing food insecurity or severe hunger by half a million.
Somalia was already struggling with floods and an invasion of desert locusts in the northern parts of the country when COVID-19 struck, further aggravating the situation by putting pressure on the country’s fragile health system, thereby causing a major public health crisis.
“Unless we are able to rapidly scale up our response operations, unless we get adequate funding from our donors, we will not be able to respond to this need of the government and that window is closing very rapidly,” said the WHO Country Representative for Somalia, Mamunur Rahman Malik.
According to the UN, while some half a million people have been displaced, overall, more than a million people have been affected by flash and riverine floods in Somalia.
Ibadan businessman petitions new Oyo CP over alleged rights infringement
An Ibadan-based businessman, Mr Peter Asa, has petitioned the new Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Nwachukwu Enwonwu, over alleged infringement on his fundamental rights by the police.
Asa, in his petition, entitled: ‘Save My Soul’, and made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Ibadan, said that his rights had been grossly infringed upon.
He alleged that some police officers were being used to silence him over a certain property sold to him by a company, UAC, in 2020 for N26 million.
Asa, popularly known as King Zion, named a certain man as the brain behind his recent detention for three days at the Iyaganku police station.
The businessman said that the inaugural speech of the new police boss, where he pledged never to tolerate any infringement on the fundamental human rights of any member of the public by his officers and men, motivated his distress call.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Enwonwu, who took over from Mr Shina Olukolu, who had been transferred to the Force Criminal Investigation Department in Lagos State, assumed duty on June 1.
Asa, while alleging that the man in question had sponsored several attacks on him, using security agents, implored the police commissioner to carry out an investigation on the case.
“Two officers from Iyaganku, on a recent Thursday afternoon, around 2 pm., at the premises of a bank in Dugbe, arrested and treated me like a common criminal.
“I was taken to Iyaganku police station and kept in detention with criminally-minded suspects for three days.
“The officers arrested me and said my attention was needed at Iyaganku.
“There is no iota of truth in what I was alleged of. They said I was responsible for the fire incident at the said property, which I duly paid for over 18 years ago.
“The ownership right on the matter is still in court and I will not want to go there. But as a pastor, I know truth will prevail at the end, as I have faith in God that I will get justice, no matter what,” he said.
Asa said that the fire incident happened in broad daylight on April 15 and that he was arrested on May 14, allegedly on a trumped up charge that he was responsible for the inferno.
He said that his arrest came after the officials of Oyo State government had fingered a welder working in one of the shops in the complex as the brain behind the inferno.
Demand for labor in Germany continues to fall due to COVID-19 pandemic
Due to economic restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for labor in Germany continued to fall as the country’s job index fell from 94 points in April to 91 points in May, Germany’s Federal Employment Agency (BA) announced on Tuesday.
The decline in labor demand slowed down after the monthly index had fallen by 19 points last month. “New job registrations have recovered from the strong fall in April,” BA noted.
“Staff requirements are lower than in the previous year in all industry sectors,” BA said. Almost half of the decline was due to the decreasing demand in temporary employment and the country’s manufacturing industry.
The hotel and restaurant industry was also affected by the coronavirus restrictions with 42 percent fewer jobs registered, according to BA. In transport and logistics, the number of registered jobs fell by a third.
Migrants demand “freedom” at Malta’s Marsa detention center
Police were called in on Tuesday to help quell a protest at one of Malta’s detention centers where hundreds of migrants were demanding “freedom.”
The protest, which lasted from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., was kept under control. No major incidents were reported.
The migrants held at a detention center in the harbor village of Marsa waved towels, banged on windows and chanted “We want freedom.”
One migrant climbed the fence and jumped into a nearby canal. He was immediately captured by the police and taken to hospital. The situation seemed to escalate during the rescue because he resisted and the migrants inside the center began insulting the police and tried to force open the main gate.
However, the situation was soon brought under control. A police spokesman told Xinhua that only the person who tried to flee was arrested and that the intervention of the riot police squad was not required.
In April, a similar protest took place at the Marsa detention center.
India launches $6.7 bn plan to boost electronics manufacturing
India launched a 6.65 billion dollars plan on Tuesday to boost electronics manufacturing, saying it would start by offering five global smartphone makers incentives to establish or expand domestic production.
The government is offering a production-linked incentive (PLI) involving cash worth four per cent to six per cent of additional sales of goods made locally over five years, with 2019-2020 as the base year, technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told a news conference.
Names of the five companies, which would have to meet investment and sales thresholds to be eligible, were expected to be announced in the next two months, ministry officials said.
Five Indian firms would also be selected for the PLI scheme, which, along with two other related initiatives, could help India produce smartphones and components worth 10 trillion rupees (133 billion dollars) by 2025, Prasad said.
The smartphone industry has become a showpiece for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make In India’ drive. The government now wants to make the country an export hub.
Global players such as Samsung and Taiwanese firms Foxconn and Wistron, which both supply Apple, have already ramped up local production, attracted by India’s huge market of 1.3 billion people.
The new plan also includes schemes to drive up production of components and create manufacturing clusters with pre-built factory sheds and common facilities for companies to move in immediately.
“We want the bridegrooms to come but we also want the entire wedding procession. A company coming (to India) should also bring the entire procession of its ancillaries,” Prasad said.
India, which offers cheap labor, has more than 1 billion mobile connections but less than half that number of smartphones, offering manufacturers a huge potential market.
Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)
Feature: Istanbul’s cafe resorts to well-dressed mannequins to ensure social distancing after reopening
Customers entering a cafe in central Istanbul on Tuesday were surprised when they saw some well-dressed mannequins sitting at some tables among other customers.
“My friend and I decided to have a chat in this cafe for the first time in three months as the figures related to the COVID-19 cases have been in decline for a while in Turkey,” Mahmut Nuvit, a customer of the cafe, told Xinhua.
“We thought it would be empty over hygiene and social distancing concerns,” he continued with a smile on his face. “As soon as we stepped in, we noticed a different kind of crowd, and later realized that … some were mannequins.”
The management of the Varuna cafe and restaurant in the crowded Beyoglu district on the European side of the city has recently decided to use mannequins to implement the social distancing rule differently.
“Instead of leaving some of our tables empty, which would make the venue look bizarre and isolated, we simply treated the mannequins as our customers,” Ulas Volkan Celik, a manager of Varuna, told Xinhua.
The health ministry demanded the facilities leave at least 1.5 meters between each table and 60 centimeters between the chairs to secure the social distancing rule.
Now, there are a total of 16 mannequins sitting on eight out of 35 tables, all wearing daily outfits.
The staff had spent almost three weeks in preparing them for the big reopening on Monday.
“We found out that there are dressers specialized in dressing up mannequins,” Celik explained the process.
“But we did not apply to any stylist. We dressed our own clothes on mannequins,” he added.
The management has received a significant interest both from passersby and the customers, according to Celik.
“Even at the stage of our preparation, those who saw the models walked in and started taking photos,” he said, noting since the reopening, the customers have been saying of the cozy atmosphere inside the cafe.
“There is nothing more repellent than an empty cafe or restaurant, no matter where you are in the world,” Celik said.
Britain announces £160m in humanitarian aid to Yemen
Britain announced on Tuesday 160 million pounds ($201 million) in humanitarian aid to Yemen, James Cleverly, the Foreign Office minister for the Middle East and North Africa said.
Cleverly told a pledging conference to help the war-torn country of the British government plans to assist Yemen with the fund.
The conference is aimed at raising 2.4 billion dollars to keep aid flowing to Yemen.
“Today’s pledges will help our UN humanitarian agencies and their partners on the ground to continue providing a lifeline to millions of Yemenis,” he added.
He added that aid agencies “are in a race against time” in Yemen.
Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)
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