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Panels’ reports: Makinde pledges to implement recommendations

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Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Wednesday said his government would immediately start implementation of the recommendations of the investigative panel’s constituted on his administration’s assumption of office.

Makinde said this when he received the reports of the seven panels of inquiry/committees inaugurated shortly after assumption of office to look into some activities of the past administration in the state between 2017 and 2019.

The governor promised that his administration would not set up another committee on the reports, ”but will begin implementation of the recommendations immediately.”

He added that the implementation of some of the reports would be ”in short, medium and long term, adding ‘’and within four weeks from the presentation of the reports, the implementation will commence.”

Makinde also said his administration would not hesitate to re-absorb workers that were found to have been wrongly dismissed from the civil and public service of the state, in accordance with the recommendations of the committee.

On the recommendation of the committee on review of operations at Bola Ige International Market, Gbagi, that an annex of the market should be built along the Ibadan-Eruwa road, Makinde said the recommendation fits well into his administration’s vision.

According to him, whatever the state needs to spend on infrastructure will have to target its economy.

Nigeria News Agency reports one the committees looked into the cases of 1,803 sacked civil servants by the past administration.

Others were on the management crisis in two tertiary institutions – Ibarapa Polytechnic Eruwa and Oke-Ogun Polytechnic Saki; and on contracts and projects initiated in the state between 2017 and 2019.

Some of the other committees included on review of operations at Bola Ige International Market, Gbagi; waste and refuse management in Ibadan and one on the Ibadan Central abattoir.

Presenting his report, Mr David Olatunde, Chairman of the Committee on the review of workers that were allegedly wrongly dismissed or retired from service by the previous administration, said that a total of 1,803 were either dismissed or compulsorily retired.

He stated that 1,325 among the affected workers had issues bordering on fake results, while some of the remaining 478 had issues with lack of respect for civil service rules.

The chairman said that majority of the affected workers actually deserved the punishment because they committed some infractions against civil service rules.

He however said the findings of the committee indicated that the past administration did not follow due process in penalising many of the concerned workers.

Also, Mr Adedamola Falade-Fatila, chairman of the committee that reviewed the contracts and projects awarded between 2017 and May 2019, said that a total of 484 projects were initiated out of which 350 have been completed.

He said that 60 out of the completed projects still have outstanding payments owed the contractors.

”88 of these projects are still ongoing, about six of them have been totally abandoned and 35 have not been funded at all,” the chairman said. (NAN)


DAK/AOS

Edited by Bayo Sekoni

Judiciary

Appeal Court sets up special panels to preside over time-bound cases

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The Nigerian Court of Appeal has set up special panels with mandates to preside over time-bound matters during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a circular dated April 24, the Acting President of the Court of Appeal, Justice M. B. Dongbam-Mensem, provides for the various justices to preside in divisions.

“You are hereby empanelled to sit in the undermentioned divisions, for now, to hear and determine time-bound motions and appeals pending in the said divisions.

“The presiding justices shall oversee and communicate the date of sittings,’’ Dongbam-Mensem said.

According to the circular, the Lagos division panel includes Justice M.L. Garba, Justice J.O.K. Oyewole, Justice H. A. Abiru, Justice B. B. Aliyu, Justice A. Obaseki-Adejumo, Justice U.A. Ogakwu and Justice G.O. Kolawole.

The presiding justices for the Kaduna division are Justice I. M. M. Saulawa, Justice A. D. Yahaya, Justice S. T. Hussein, Justice M. I. Shuaibu, Justice A. M. Talba and Justice T. Y. Hassan.

The Ibadan division has Justice H. M. Ogunwumiju, Justice A. O. Belgore, Justice J. S. Ikyegh, Justice F. O. Akinbani T. Abubakar, Justice I. A. Adefope-Okojie, Justice N. Okoronkwo and Justice E. Tobi.

For the Enugu division, there are Justice I. I. Agube, Justice M. O. Bolaji-Yusuf, and Justice A. I. Andenyangtso are to preside, while justices for the Benin division are Justice U. I. Anyawu, Justice Oseji, Justice B. A. Georgewill, Justice F. E. Oho and Justice B. M. Ugo.

Justices for the Jos division are Justice A.G. Mshelia, Justice J. H. Sankey and Justice M. Oniyangi while Porthacourt division is to be presided by Justice R. C. Agbo, Justice A. O. Lokulo-Sodipe, Justice M. A. A. Adumein, Justice O. F. Ogbuinya, Justice I. Jombo-Ofo, and Justice O. O. Daniel-Kalio.

The Abuja Panel I has Justice A. Aboki, Justice E. Agim and Justice Y. Nimpar are to preside while for Abuja panel II, Justice J. O. Bada, Justice. H. S. Tsammani and Justice M. Mustapha will preside

Justice S.J. Adah, Justice R. M. Abdullahi and Justice A. S. Umar are to preside at the Abuja panel III while Abuja panel IV has Justice A. Jauro, Justice. M. A Danjuma and Justice B. G. Sanga.

Presiding justices for Abuja panel V are Justice M. B. Dongbam-Mensen, Justice U. Onyemenam, Justice A. A. Wambai, Justice J. G. Abundaga and Justice M. B. Idris

Presiding justices for Abuja panel VI are Justice H. Mukhtar, Justice T. Akomolafe-Wilson and Justice J. T. Tukur while those of Abuja panel VII are Justice P. O. Ige, Justice F. A. Ojo and Justice P. A. Mahmoud.

For the Calabar division, Justice N. A. Owoade, Justice P. M. Egpe, Justice P. O. Elechi, Justice I. G. Mbaba and Justice J. E. Ekanem are to preside while Owerri division will be presided by Justice C. E. Nwosu-Iheme, Justice R. N. Pemu and Justice O. A. Otisi.

Presiding Justices for the Sokoto division Justice A. A. B. Gumel, Justice A. M. Bayero and Justice A. M. Lamido while the Yola division will be presided over by Justice C.N. Uwa, Justice S.J. Abiriyi and Justice A.M. Bayero.

The Akure division is to be presided by Justice O. F. Omoleye, Justice T. N. Orji-Abadua and Justice I. S. Bdiya.

Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Sport

ITF forms player panels for lower-tier professionals

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With lower-level athletes alleging lack of communication with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) amid the COVID-19 lockdown, the governing body has now moved for a change.

The federation on Tuesday announced the creation of player panels for those competing on its World Tennis Tour.

The ITF World Tennis Tour consists of lower-rung tournaments and serves as a transition circuit between the junior and senior game.

It gives more professionals a chance to earn a living while helping them move up the ladder to play on the men’s ATP Tour and the WTA Tour for the women.

But with the shutdown of the tennis circuit since early March due to the novel coronavirus, those depending solely on tournament winnings have been left in a precarious situation.

Georgia’s Sofia Shapatava, the world’s 375th-ranked women’s singles player, started a petition seeking financial assistance from the ITF while also pleading with the body to communicate better with the lower-ranked professionals.

“The panel will provide a forum for players to provide their input and have their say on how the tour is run and will be a further opportunity for the ITF to engage with the player community,” the London-based governing body said.

While tennis is a lucrative sport for those at the top, those in the lower echelons often struggle to make ends meet.

The men’s ATP, the WTA, which runs the women’s circuit, the ITF and the organisers of the four Grand Slams have now all come together.

This is to work on creating an emergency relief fund for those struggling during the shutdown.

“It is vital that the views of players are represented at all levels of the sport and across the globe,” ITF chief David Haggerty said.

The men’s and women’s players will each elect a panel of seven current player-members, who will have voting rights.

An ITF-appointed chair and an ITF-appointed coach will also be in the panel, but neither will have a vote.

Men’s players with an ATP ranking of below 350 will be allowed to nominate a fellow player or stand in the election.

This will also apply to women’s tennis players with a WTA ranking no higher than 151.

The elected members will serve two-year terms on the panel, which will advise and make recommendations to the World Tennis Tour Committee, which in turn reports to the ITF board.

Australian Mark Woodforde, a 17-time Grand Slam doubles champion, will chair the men’s panel while the women’s panel will be led by multiple Grand Slam winner Mary Pierce of France.

“There would be no tennis without the players. So, it is vital that their voice is heard and that their views are considered when making decisions about how to run the Tour,” said Pierce.

(
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

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Education

Ihedioha appoints visitation panels for IMSU, IMSUTH

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 Gov. Emeka Ihedioha of Imo has constituted visitation panels for the Imo State University (IMSU) and the Imo State University Teaching Hospital (IMSUTH), Orlu.


The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Chibuike Onyeukwu, stated this in a statement issued to newsmen in Owerri on Wednesday.


Onyeukwu said that the appointment was in line with the governor’s resolve to sanitise and reposition tertiary education in the state for greater efficiency.


He said that the IMSU visitation panel, to be headed by Prof. Chinedu Nebo, would have Prof. I.K Ogbonnaya, Prof. Basil Nwosu, Prof. Florence Nduka, Prof. N.F Ukaigwe and Prof. Dominic Chima, as members.


Other members included Dr Chilaka Nwankwo, Mr Chuck Chukwemeka, Dr Chineze Obi and Mr A.C. Duru, as Secretary.


He also said that IMSUTH panel would be headed by Prof. Frank Akpuaka, with Prof. Theodore Okeahialam, Prof. Peter Akah and Lady Stella Achunine, as members.


Others were Dr Meg Opara, Dr Emeka Iroegbu, Mr Basil Ngobiri, Dr Kenneth Iregbu, Mr Ekene Bob-Ekechukwu and Mr Leo Chimezie, as Secretary.


According to Onyeukwu, the panels would, among other things, identify the strength and problems of the institutions and make appropriate recommendations to the Visitor.


They would also ascertain the operations of various departments and units and ascertain the operations of the institutions and investigate students’ complaints.


They are also to conduct internal audits aimed at ascertaining the financial status of the two institutions from 2012, including Internally Generated Revenue, the university micro finance bank and come up with a comprehensive report.


The panels were also saddled with the responsibility of investigating award of contracts in the university and ascertain if due process was adhered to, in line with the Procurement Act 2017.


The statement further stated that the panels would investigate the state of infrastructure, including collapsed or collapsing buildings, in the institutions.


Other responsibilities were to investigate the appointment of the Vice Chancellor to ascertain if it was in conformity with due process.


The panels would also ascertain the welfare of students and investigate allegations of sexual abuse, extortion, issues bordering on allocation of hostels, sub-standard books, handouts, Students Union Government election and illegal payments.


They were mandated to capture other issues not listed on the terms of reference and forward their report to the Visitor not later than one month after assumption of duty. 



(Edited by Sam Oditah)

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General news

Judiciary inaugurates 5 panels to review appeal cases in Nasarawa state

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The Nasarawa State Judiciary on Monday, inaugurated five appeal panels to review 132 judgments delivered by the lower courts.


Justice Suleiman Dikko, the state Chief Judge, announced this at the inauguration of 2019 Second Call-Over Special Appeal Session at the State High Court 1 in Keffi Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.


Dikko was represented by Justice Aisha Bashir, acting Chief Justice of the state at the event.


According to him, the constitution of the panels is aimed at ensuring that justice is served to reinforce the hope of the common man in the judiciary.


He explained that Justice Simon Aboki would preside over panel 1 and would be supported by Justice Mustapha Rahmat.


Justices Rose Soji and Hanatu Kabir are to take charge of panel 2, while Haruna Offor and Abdullahi Ozegya are to handle cases in panel 3.


Others are Justices Daniel Adeck and Samuel Ayiwulu for panel 4, while Justices Danjuma Oyigbenu and Asmau Mainoma are to handle cases in panel 5.


The CJ warned judges against corrupt practice and promised to introduce mechanism to check such tendencies by judges and other judicial staff.


Earlier, Mr Ahmed Loko, Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Keffi Branch, commended the CJ for the prompt constitution of the panels.


He, however, listed some challenges facing the judiciary to include poor facilities in courts, corruption among others.


He called on the State Government to build more courts and renovate the old ones. (NAN)


IU/ASS/ABI


Edited by Saidu Adamu/Ali Baba-Inuwa

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Judiciary

Supreme Court sets up 2 panels to sit during annual vacation

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The Supreme Court on Thursday set up two panels to sit during the annual vacation, beginning on July 22.

“This development arose from the numerous appeals on election related matters that have been streaming to the Court since the conduct of the 2019 general elections.

“The annual vacation will begin on Monday, July 22. And the panels will sit during the holiday period in order to see that all election related matters are dealt with’’.

He said that in view of this development, all parties with matters before the court, would be contacted through hearing notices.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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General news

2 panels to handle tribunal cases in Nasarawa-Secretary

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Tribunal

Lafia, April 23, 2019 Mr Bello Mukhtar, Secretary of the National and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lafia on Tuesday said two panels would handle the election petition cases in the state.

“Another  panel was set up by the President of Court of Appeal to handle tribunal cases in the state, ” Mukhtar told newsmen in Lafia.

He said another panel was constituted because of the number of petitions filed saying that they were more than the limit a single panel could handle.

“A panel is expected to handle between one and 20 petitions, but currently there are 24 petitions before the tribunal in the state, hence the need for another panel,”  he said.

Mukhtar said that the tribunal was no longer accepting petitions due to the expiration of the 21-days period given to file petition from the day the  results were announced.

He disclosed that the tribunal would hold its inaugural sitting on Friday April 26. .

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Foreign

Court upholds EU anti-dumping measures against Chinese solar panels

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The General Court of the European Union on Tuesday confirmed the validity of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures for imports of solar panels from China.

Twenty-six companies affected by those duties, with an average rate of 47.7 per cent, had applied to the General Court for annulment of the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures.

The European Commission had concluded after an investigation in 2012 and 2013, that Chinese solar panels were being sold in Europe well below their normal market value.

In December 2013, the European Council reacted by imposing anti-dumping duties on imports of solar panels and key components from China.

On the same day the Council imposed anti-subsidy duties on Chinese solar imports.

In Tuesday’s judgment the court confirmed all the definitive duties set by the council.

The companies now have the option of bringing an appeal before the Court of Justice of the European Union within two months.

SH

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Foreign

Japan calls S. Korea’s latest move in trade spate “extremely regrettable”

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Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung-wha on Wednesday that Seoul‘s move to reopen a World Trade Organization complaint about Japan’s tightening of export controls is “extremely regrettable.”

According to Japan‘s foreign ministry, Motegi also told his South Korean counterpart during the 40-minute telephone talks that the move was also “not helpful” in resolving disputes between both sides, as both countries remain at odds over numerous issues that have severely marred bilateral ties between both countries of late.

According to South Korea’s Foreign Ministry, Kang voiced “deep regret that Japan had not held up its end of the deal by easing its export controls despite South Korea having addressed all of Tokyo’s concerns.”

The South Korean government on Tuesday announced that it would move ahead with procedures to reopen the complaint against Japan’s tightening of export controls last July on three high-tech materials.

The move was made on the part of South Korea due to Japan having not shown willingness to deal with the conflict bilaterally, despite months of negotiations that have already been put in to try and find headway, South Korea’s Trade, Industry and Energy Ministry said Tuesday.

Japan slapped tougher export controls on three high-tech material bound for South Korea last July, which are used to manufacture semiconductors and display panels, mainstays of South Korea‘s economy.

A month later, Japan removed South Korea from its “white list” of countries given preferential trading status.

Tokyo said at the time the reason for this was that it was concerned that Seoul’s rules on exporting sensitive goods were not stringent enough.

South Korea,for its part, filed the WTO complaint in September.

It stated that Japan’s measures were both political and retaliatory in nature, although Seoul suspended the complaint in November after both sides agreed to begin dialogue to try and improve the export controls situation.

Tokyo and Seoul have been at odds since South Korea‘s top court ordered a Japanese firm to pay compensation for the forced labor of South Koreans during Japan’s 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

Japan maintains the matter was settled by a 1965 pact, which saw Tokyo pay Seoul some 500 million U.S. dollars under the banner of “economic cooperation.”

The dispute, however, continued and spread to trade and security issues, with both sides tightening export restrictions and removing each other from their preferential lists of trade partners.

The Japanese side had claimed that South Korea had been lax in making sure that certain goods being imported from Japan were not being diverted for military use.

The spat had also spilled over into security areas, with Seoul cancelling the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), before deciding to extend the pact with Japan just hours before the deal was due to expire.

GSOMIA is a bilateral military intelligence-sharing accord signed between both countries in November 2016.

The pair on Wednesday agreed to keep diplomatic channels open with an aim to resolving the standoff through ongoing dialogue, a Japanese foreign ministry spokesperson said.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Roundup: S.Korea’s export posts double-digit fall for 2 months

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South Korea’s export posted a double-digit fall for two straight months through May as global demand weakened amid the COVID-19 outbreak across the world, a government report showed Monday.

Export, which accounts for about half of the export-driven economy, amounted to 34.86 billion United States dollars in May, down 23.7 percent from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The outbound shipment dropped in double figures for two months in a row. In April, the export dived 25.1 percent.

The daily average export retreated 18.4 percent as the coronavirus pandemic roiled global demand for locally-made products.

The import contracted 21.1 percent from a year earlier to 34.42 billion dollars in May on the back of lower global crude oil price and slumped 15.8 percent in April.

Trade balance recorded a surplus of 440 million dollars in May, after posting a deficit of 1.39 billion dollars in April.

The ministry said the country’s export is anticipated to rebound in accordance with the economic recovery of major economies given that South Korea’s export fall in April and May did not stem from the country’s structural problem such as the weakened export competitiveness.

It noted that South Korea’s export to China is being improved as China‘s economic recovery was the fastest among major economies, forecasting that the country’s shipment to the United States and the European Union (EU) would recover according to the easing of the COVID-19 fallout in these regions.

Export to China, South Korea‘s biggest trading partner, fell 2.8 percent in May from a year earlier after sliding 17.9 percent in the previous month, while its daily average shipment advanced 4.0 percent.

Exports to the United States and the EU plunged 29.3 percent and 25.0 percent each last month, with shipment to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) skidding 30.2 percent.

Shipment to Japan, the Middle East, Latin America and India all plummeted in double digits in the month.

Export for automobiles, auto parts and textiles plunged in double digits last month as the products are sensitive to a business cycle. The ministry predicted a rebound of the products export in accordance with the recovery of major economies.

Oil product shipment plummeted 69.9 percent due to cheaper crude oil and weaker demand. Petrochemicals export sank 34.3 percent amid the supply glut.

Outbound shipment for general machinery, display panels, steel products, mobile phones and consumer electronics all declined in double figures last month amid the global economic slump.

However, semiconductor export advanced 7.1 percent in May from a year earlier, marking the first rebound in 18 months. It was attributable to robust demand for chips used for personal computers (PCs) and servers.

The daily average export for semiconductors jumped 14.5 percent last month.

Computer shipment soared 82.7 percent in May, continuing to grow for the eighth consecutive month.

Demand for computer remained strong as companies encouraged employees to work at home with laptops or PCs amid the fear over the COVID-19 spread, while solid state drive (SSD) shipment rose on an increased server capacity.

Ship export picked up 35.9 percent on demand for LNG carrier, containership and oil tanker, and biopharmaceutical shipment kept expanding for the ninth straight month on demand for locally-made testing kits and medical supplies relevant to the COVID-19.

(XINHUA)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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