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Judiciary

Nigerian courts must advance beyond writing proceedings in longhand – Lawyers

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Proceedings

Lagos, March 12, 2019 Irked by the delay in justice administration, some legal practitioners in Lagos, on Tuesday, called for the provision of an electronic-based court system across the country to facilitate speedy delivery of justice.

The lawyers, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria , stressed the need to fast track justice administration and promote its easy dispensation.

They called for the introduction of a computerised court system, where judges would no longer be saddled with the “biro task’’ otherwise known as “longhand”.

According to a Legal Analyst, Mr Ogedi Ogu, the use of longhand by judges slows down the pace of proceedings as they are made to invest greater part of their time in trying to record what transpired before them.

He gave a contrast with an electronic system and said: “Where you have a machine which performs the task of recording, the judge then concentrates on listening and reflecting on the proceedings as well as observing the demeanour of witnesses before the court’’.

Ogu told NNN that the impact of recording proceedings in longhand had similar impact with an analogue system in a digital world.

He recommended the adoption of a computerised court system, as the practice of long hand, had adversely affected the pace of proceedings with a consequent delay in justice delivery.

In the same vein, a Rights Activist, Chief Malcolm Onirhobo, said that taking down proceedings in longhand by the “bench’’ was one of the conventional methods of courts in Nigeria, which had become obsolete and time-consuming.

“The way out of this is by employing the use of electronic system which involves modern Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Nigerian legal system.

“We need to keep pace with the developed countries of the globe that adopt the use of electronic equipment to record court proceedings.

“The benefits of the E-justice system are enormous. In the sense that it is transparent, court documents are secured easily and are faster to access.

“It is cost and space saving and above all, leads to a quick dispensation of justice,’’ Onirhobo said.

Onirhobo perceived that challenges would stem from an epileptic power supply, on-line hacking, corruption and inadequate funding.

He, however, espoused its (E-justice system) advantages which he described as crucial.

Mr Emenike Nnoromlele said that many courts were burdened with so many cases at a time, leading to the daily cause lists having as much as 20 or more cases.

“Imagine having to allocate sufficient time to listen to submissions of counsels and litigants on a daily basis, while the judge has to put down every word in writing.

“Counsels are even often encouraged to slow down the pace at which they address the court, so as to enable the judges record them clearly.

“With a computerised system, a lawyer is free to address the court at his full pace, with the judge paying full attention to his submissions,’’ he said.

According to him, it is time for our courts to employ stenographers or in the alternative voice recorders to serve this crucial purpose.

Mr Samuel Esoga said that a complete adoption and integration of technology in all courts in Nigeria will better serve to speed up proceedings and allow for easier and smart record-keeping.

“In both the private and public sectors, the use of information technology has been embraced to a good effect and the judiciary should not be allowed to lag behind.

Esoga said that a resort to a technologically-improved system for the courts, would  afford presiding judges a better atmosphere to conduct and conclude proceedings in quality time.

Foreign

Nigerian military kills 392 gunmen in major operation

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The Nigerian military said Thursday that it has killed up to 392 gunmen across the northwest and north-central regions in a major operation that has lasted multiple days since last month.

The spokesman for the military, John Enenche, told the media in Abuja that the joint operation, which started in the northwestern state of Katsina on May 14, is aimed at ending the menace of banditry and other crimes in the northern region.

Through that operation, troops successfully degraded the gunmen in the two regions and a follow-up operation was launched on June 1 to further degrade the gunmen who fled and later attacked civilian targets, according to Enenche.

“It is a concomitant operation by all the theaters of operations in the northwest and north-central regions of the country targeted at tackling banditry and other criminal activities. In this regard, all identified hideouts and hibernations of the enemies will be decisively cleared through land and air combat actions,” the military spokesman added.

(XINHUA)

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Defence/Security

Nigerian Army donates vehicle to NIPR

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The Nigerian Army on Thursday, donated an Innoson G-Wagon 80 SUV to the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) in continuation of its civil-military relations activities.

The vehicle was presented to the President of NIPR on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, by the Chief of Civil Military Affairs, Maj.-Gen. Hamza Bature.

Buratai said that the army and NIPR had been partnering in the promotion of public relations, adding that the presentation of the vehicle was in fulfilment of his pledge to the institute.

He said the donation was part of efforts to maintain a healthy information cooperation with the institute and to also reinforce the recognition of Nigerian army of the essence and importance of information management.

“The aim of our being here today is to present on behalf of the Chief of Army staff, officers and soldiers of Nigerian army, Innoson vehicle G-Wagon 80 SUV as Buratai’s pledge to this institution.

“You are all aware that we are in an era where the menace of fake news or fake news syndrome poses a great danger to the corporate image of organisation,” he said.

Responding on behalf of the Chairman of Council, NIPR, Mr Muktar Surajo, the Vice President, ACG Wale Adeniyi, commended the Nigerian army for the gesture.

Adeniyi said that the institute recognised the effort of Nigerian army in the fight against insurgency and other forms of insecurity in the country as well as performing its primary responsibility of defending the territorial integrity of the nation.

He said the institute has watched how the military has done this commendably to the admiration of all and to ensure that Nigeria remains one indivisible entity.

“In the process of doing this, we have also seen that they have realised the importance of maintaining effective communication and synergy with stakeholders not only in the areas of operations but also the wider Nigerian society.

“We have also seen the new trend of establishing the civil-military affairs office and also what we see as a step forward in the area of public relations to ensure that the civilian populace is on the same page with the vision and mission of Nigerian Army,” he said.

Adeniyi also commended the Nigerian army for the choice of the vehicle being a made in Nigeria product, saying it was a bold statement in believing in Nigerian products and the reputation of what Nigeria represents.

He pledged the readiness of the institute to support the vision of the Nigerian army to fight fake news.

“We have seen the havoc that fake news could constitute in major parts of lives; first, the situation of insurgency in the North East and of course the general defence of Nigeria and secondly the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have discovered that while efforts are ongoing to address these two major crisis, the incidence of fake news has constituted a major setback for us.

“We, as a professional institute, join the military and all the appropriate authorities to fight this scourge,” he said.


Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Foreign

NiDCOM, Lebanese embassy collaborate to return stranded Nigerians

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The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) will collaborate with the Lebanese Embassy in Nigeria to return the remaining 10 stranded Nigerians back home.

Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, NIDCOM Chairman, made the disclosure on Thursday during a visit to the Ambassador of Lebanon in Nigeria, Mr Houssam Diab, in Abuja.

She said that 69 Nigerians were returned successfully on May 25 with the help of the embassy and the Lebanese community in Nigeria who paid for their tickets and quarantine.

“First is that the evacuation of the Nigerians stranded in Lebanon was paid for by the Lebanese embassy and also the quarantine was paid by them so we thank them for that.

Also 10 Nigerians were left behind and the ambassador had explained that nine had cases of theft and one had case of murder and they are undergoing judicial process.

“But he had assured us that whatever the allegation against them they will speed up the process to finish the judicial intervention and they will return,’’ she said.

Dabiri-Erewa explained that the two bodies are also working on the area of maltreatment of some Nigerians working in Lebanon.

“I am so glad with the major decision taken by Lebanese government which is to stop visas for workers until we have proper agencies that will be documented with the Ministry of Labour.

“So that if you are going to work you will work with proper terms and conditions. So we are now talking about how to manage migration which will be done legally.

“Interested persons can work in Lebanon legally without the fear of being maltreated,’’ she said.

Speaking earlier, Diab said that the evacuation of 69 stranded Nigerians citizens was successful with the help of Lebanese community in Nigeria who paid for their tickets and quarantine.

He also added that the collaboration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Nigerian Embassy in Lebanon also made the process smooth for the returnees.

“We were able to bring back 69 Nigerians citizens stranded in Lebanon two weeks ago. I have to stress that the Lebanese community has always gone out of its way to give back to their second country Nigeria and to the Nigerians that have adopted them as their own, and this is one of many palliative measures we have taken lately,’’ he said.

He explained that the government of Lebanon had stopped all domestic staffs work visas to discourage maltreatment of Nigerians by agencies and employers.

“Our government has stopped all domestic visas to help discourage helpers being abused and maltreated by their agencies and employers.

“So we want to work closely to get an agreement with the Ministry of Labour for a legal and systematic way to make domestic staff to come into Lebanon legally without the fear of inhuman treatment.


Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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General news

Death: Cleric admonishes Nigerians to live exemplary lives 

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A cleric in Nasarawa State, Rev. Anthony Aya, has admonished Christians and other Nigerians to live exemplary lives in order to inherit the kingdom of God.

Aya, the Reverend in-Charge of ERCC Ami-Abma Ezzen, Nasarawa State, gave the advice on Thursday while presiding over the funeral service of Mr Danladi Bala at ERCC Mada Station, Agidi Development Area of the state.

The News Agency of  Nigeria reports that Danladi is a staff of Agidi Development Area and an elder brother of Mr Abel Bala, member representing Nasarawa Eggon West constituency at the state legislature.

The man of God said that if Christians and other Nigerians live a life worth of emulation, it would not only enable them to inherit the kingdom of God but it will also promote peaceful co-existence among the people in the country.

He added that there is life after death for those who believes in Jesus Christ, hence the need of his call.

The Bible said for does not know when it will occur, so who can tell him when it (death) will occur.

“No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit and no one has power in the day of death, so let’s get prepared because death can come at any time,” he said.

He urged Christians and other Nigerians not to sin in order to inherit the kingdom of God, adding that one day those who refused to repent, God would would expose their sins and their will be judgement after death.

The cleric alsod to grant the entire family and the  ERCC family  the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. 

Speaking during the funeral service, Mr Abel Bala (PDP-Nassarawa Eggon West) described the death of his elder brother as painful, urging people to pray for the reposed of his soul and other deceased persons.

“My elder brother had left good legacies, he is a man who always stand by the truth, he is a straight forward man.

“Death is inevitable for all humans, but it is painful. May the soul of my elder  brother and the souls of other departed souls rest in peace with the Lord,” he said.

The lawmaker, who is the Minority Whip of the House, appreciated all those who attended the funeral service and urged them to continue praying for the family to succeed.

He thanked the Speaker of the assembly, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, members and entire staff and people of the state for identifying with them at this trial moment.

NAN also reports that Danladi’s body was immediately buried in his house at Mada Station after the funeral service amidst tears by families, friends and political associates.

NAN also reports that the funeral had in attendance Mr David Umbugadu, 2019 PDP governorship candidate in Nasarawa State; Sen. Philip  Gyunka; politicians, traditional rulers and religious leaders, among other sympathisers.

NAN recalls that Danladi died on May 29, 2019, in a hospital in Lafia at the aged of 54 after a brief illness.

He was survived by a wife and children.


Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Foreign

Nigerian air force confirms killing of over 300 bandits in NW region

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Nigeria’s air force on Thursday confirmed that over 300 armed bandits were killed and their camps destroyed in a military operation in the country’s northwest region.

Sadiq Abubakar, Nigeria’s Chief of the Air Staff, disclosed this to reporters in northern Katsina during an operational visit to the air component of Operation Hadarin Daji.

The military operation was launched early this year to rout out bandits from the northwest region.

Over 300 bandits have so far been confirmed killed in the ongoing war against banditry in the northwestern part of the country,” Abubakar added.

He told reporters that the visit was to assess the level of support in terms of Air and Special Forces operations given by the Nigerian Air Force to the defense headquarters operation to secure the entire northwest and north-central zones of the country.

The air force chief, who appealed to the bandits to surrender their arms and face justice, urged troops not to spare any bandit so that farmers can go back to their farms.

The Nigerian authorities have launched repeated military operations and local peace talks to try to curb the violence in the northwest, which has been wracked by years of insecurity involving clashes between rival communities over land, attacks by heavily-armed criminal gangs and reprisal killings by vigilante groups.

(XINHUA)

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Economy

FBNQuest educates Nigerians on estate planning, wealth transfer

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FBNQuest Trustees, a subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc, says it is offering expert guidance on estate planning as an important requirement for successful wealth transfer.

Mr Adekunle Awojobi, FBNQuest Managing Director, said this in a statement on Thursday in Lagos.

Awojobi said FBNQuest through the Legacy Series campaign themed ‘Building a Legacy’ would help individuals understand how to plan for the protection and seamless transfer of their assets during their lifetime and after.

He said that the legacy series, now in its seventh season, was delivered in line with its commitment to educate individuals and improve the understanding of the concepts of estate planning.

Awojobi said individuals would be empowered to identify opportunities, protect their investments, and efficiently transfer their assets to their beneficiaries.

“There is a decent appreciation for the importance of investing to secure one’s financial future.

“However, the average individual has paid little attention to the structures that are needed for efficient management of their assents and the seamless transfer of their wealth.

Through the Legacy Series, we continue to drive this message, as Estate Planning must be an integral part of everyone’s plan – even if it’s one’s first property or major asset”, he said.

Awojobi added that FBNQuest Trustees also offers unique expertise in Islamic Estate Planning services.

“We realise that Islamic Estate Planning is a dynamic and often challenging subject.

“The fractional approach to distributing assets might be intimidating.

“That’s why we have built expertise to enable us support our clients by creating Al-Wasiyya, Waqfs and other acceptable forms of charitable giving in line with the tenets of worship” he stated.

According to him, the company has organised several webinar series to educate the public on the principles of Islamic Estate Planning.

He said the webinar series addressed areas such as importance, structure and operations of Islamic Estate Planning and Administration, Wills, the concept of Waqf (an endowment made by a Muslim to a religious, educational, or charitable cause), among others.


Edited By: Angela Okisor/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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General news

Report any rape case in your vicinity, NAPTIP DG urges Nigerians

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The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has urged Nigerians to report cases of  Rape within their vicinity to the agency or the nearest police station.

Mrs Julie Okah-Donli,  Director General of the Agency, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja, following the rising cases of rape in the country.

The DG said both old and present cases should be reported to the Agency.

According to the her, reporting the case of rape is the only way the trend can be stopped in the society; the agency will not compromise its work for anything if such case is reported to it.

“Rapists are now getting away with their illicit acts along with murder; these cases of domestic servitude are cases that take place behind  closed doors.

Our job in NAPTIP is to protect Nigerian men and women, we are not going to compromise our work if they report such case, we will ensure justice is done.

“Rape cases are not reported because of stigmatisation of the victims and this makes the cases to rise. Very soon, the name of rapists will be published with their pictures in the media,” she said.

She said that sex offender register had already been opened in the agency where the names of rape perpetrators were documented for further actions.

Okah-Donli however, appealed to the media to assist in creating more awareness about this trend to put the perpetrators on alert.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/ Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

 

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Agriculture

Embrace agriculture to ease effect of COVID-19- Expert tells Nigerians

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Chief Godson Ezenagu, an agriculture expert in Anambra, has called on Nigerians to engage in agricultural practices as a measure to cushion the effect of looming food insecurity due to COVID-19.

Ezenagu, a two-time commissioner for Agriculture in Anambra, made the call in an  interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Awka on Thursday.

The expert said that the aftermath of the global pandemic of Coronavirus and the economic lockdown that followed it, would be acute food shortage.

He said that every family should own a farm no matter how small and called on state governments to roll out incentive to encourage the people.

Eze Agu, who is also a politician, said the long period of stay at home should be time for civil servants, businessmen and artisans to engage in food production.

He said that engaging in food production, did not require people to travel far distance to get to their farms hence the need to embrace it.

According to him, the lockdown period is not the time to stay at home and be idle.

“People should engage the empty land nearest to them, those who don’t have land should rent.

“There is going to be serious food crisis and the best way to forestall it is to go into massive food production.

“Government should encourage people by providing soft loans, affordable and improved inputs, equipment as well as prizes for any individual who cultivated the largest expanse of land.

“They should also provide security for the farms from herdsmen by mobilising community vigillannce team to ensure that these farms are not destroyed, we can’t stop farming because of cattle menace,” he said.

Ezenagu, who supported the partial easing of the lockdown, agreed with the argument that interstate borders should still be restricted to reduce spread of COVID-19 but decried the non effectiveness of the closures.

He said the figured from Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was still worrisome that total ease of lockdown for full economic activities may cause a national health boomerang.

According to him, the borders should be closed for as long as it is safe to open but unfortunately people are still finding their ways across the states because of the porous policing of the borders.

“It is true that the economy is biting but there should be a balance between saving the economy and protecting public health,” he said.


Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

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Education

Experts urge Nigerians to embrace natural foods, proper hydration

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A Professor of Biochemistry at Lagos State University (LASU) has urged Nigerians to embrace natural foods and proper hydration to boost their immune system to fight against COVID-19.

Prof. Babajide Elemo made the call at the sixth LASU Virtual Public Lecture, entitled; “COVID-19: Effective Use of Science in Overcoming the Pandemic,” on Wednesday in Lagos.

He said that regular consumption of natural foods and balanced nutrition were part of the keys to stay free from contracting COVID-19 and any other diseases.

World Health Organization recently published a nutrition advice that people should eat fresh and unprocessed food, drink enough water, eat moderate amount of fat and oil, amongst others.

“Balanced diet and hydration are vital during COVID-19 pandemic, while nutrition status plays an important role in the functioning of the immune system,” Elemo said.

Dr Josephine Sharaibi, Lecturer, Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, LASU, said that absence of cure for COVID-19 necessitated that everyone consumed the right foods and herbs as a means of boosting the immune system against the virus.

Sharaibi said that plants were critical to both the prevention and eventual cure of the disease and advised participants on the responsible use of herbs and herbal medicines in their search for solution to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said that there were many local herbs which included ginger, garlic, tumeric and cinnamon that could be taken as immune boosters.

“There are also anti-malaria herbs such as moringa lucida (Brimstone tree), alstonia boonei (God’s tree), enantha clorantha (African whitewood) and the popular Dogonyaro tree, all of which can be used to treat symptoms of the virus.

“We should also regularly detoxify our system by taking herb drinks and natural fruit smoothies but avoid processed foods and as much as possible, stay natural,” Sharaibi advised.

Also speaking, Prof. Sunday Omilabu, Director, Centre of Excellence on Human and Zoonotic Virology, Lagos State Biobank, warned against unapproved testing process of COVID-19.

Omilabu said that till date, no serological testing platform had been licensed for COVID-19, and even when available, was not meant to replace the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction for diagnosis of the virus.

Prof. Richard Adegbola, Research Professor and Consultant, Nigeria Institute of Medical Research, Yaba, recommended three pronged approaches to prepare for future pandemics.

Adegbola said that the three approaches were consistent surveillance for data aggregation and trend monitoring; modelling for prediction and forecasting; and translation and research that turned basic research into health-improving products.

He said there was need for multidisciplinary approach to problem solving because research alone would not be enough to solve all science-related problems.

“Technology and other fields, have major roles to play in keeping our world together,” Adegbola said.


Edited By: Razak Owolabi/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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