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Taraba Assembly elects Joseph Kunini as new Speaker

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The Taraba House of Assembly on Monday, elected Mr Joseph Kunini and Alh Hamman-Adama Abdulahi as the new Speaker and deputy Speaker of the Assembly.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the election followed the resignation of the former speaker, Mr Peter Abel Diah and his deputy Alh Muhammad Gwampo from the positions.

The assembly, which convened on Monday morning, elected an impeached deputy speaker, Gwampo as Speaker pro tempo who chaired the election.

Kunini was nominated by Mr Bonzana Kizito (PDP- Zing) constituency, and he was seconded by Mr Ammed Jedua of Gembu constituency.

His election was unanimous with 16 of the 24 members present at the sitting.

In his remarks, Kunini pledged to be just and equitable in carrying out his functions.

“This is a house of justice and equity. Taraba should be greater than any individual and we must work hard to take the state to greater heights. I will work to champion this, “ he said.

He promised that the house would work as a team and partner with the executive to make the state a greater place.

“I will run an open door Parliament where even the minority will have a say.

“Thank you for this trust. I assure you that it will be used as a medium to serve God and humanity. Thank you for this privilege”, he said.

Kunini who represents Lau constituency was a third-term member of the House.

The House also nominated Mr Douglas Ndatse as the Majority leader of the House to replace the new speaker who occupied the position before now.

Edited & Vetted By: Joseph Edeh/Maureen Atuonwu
(NAN)

 

 

 

 

 

Judiciary

AGF takes over prosecution of alleged Taraba kidnap kingpin,  Wadume

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The Attorney-General of the Federation, (AGF) and Minister of Justice Mr Abubakar Malami has taken over the prosecution of alleged Taraba kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu (aka Wadume), Capt. Tijjani Balarabe and 18 others.

At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, Mr Shuaibu Labaran, a lawyer from the Ministry of Justice told the court that the AGF has taken over the prosecution of the matter.

Labaran said that the AGF needed time to look at the case file before re-arraigning the defendants and prayed the court for a short adjournment.

The counsel  said the adjournment was to enable the prosecutors to put their house in order.

The AGF has taken over the prosecution of this case. We have received the file and noticed that there are about 20 defendants from the charge.

” So there is need for us to review the charge and also liaise with the arresting agency to ensure that all the defendants are brought to court.

“We will do all that is necessary to ensure that  justice is done in the matter,” he said.

The trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako adjourned the matter until June 8 for re-araignment.

The News Agency of Nigeria report that the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had filed a 16- count charge bordering on terrorism, murder, kidnapping and illegal arms running against Wadume and the others. 

NAN reports that they were arraigned on March 16.

Count one of the charge read, “That you, Alhaji Hamisu Bala, 33, aka Wadume; Capt. Ahmed Tijjani Balarabe; ASP Aondona Iorbee; Insp. Aliyu Dadje; Auwalu Bala; Uba Bala; Ahmad Suleiman; Bashir Waziri; Zubairu Abdullahi; Rayyanu Abdul and others now at large, between February and April 2019 at Takum and Ibi, Taraba, within the jurisdiction of this court, while acting in concert, conspired together to commit felony, to wit: acts of terrorism, by attacking and kidnapping one Usman Garba, aka Mayo, at his filling station in Takum, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 17 of the Terrorism (Prevention) Amendment Act 2013.”

 They were also accused of possessing six AK-47 rifles and dealing in prohibited firearms contrary to Section 27 (1)(a)(I) and (1)(b)(iii) of the Firearms Act 2004.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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Health

COVID-19: NGO sensitises Taraba residents on personal hygiene, use of face masks

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The Youth Progressive Association in Taraba (TYPA), an NGO, on Saturday, sensitised Taraba residents on personal hygiene and use of facemasks to check the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
The Programme Officer of the organisation, Mrs Francisca Ikyumen, who spoke at the sensitisation programme, called on the people to take issues about the existence of the virus seriously.
She said that the monthly exercise, which was an initiative of Effective Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (E-WASH) in the state, was aimed at ensuring a clean and healthy society.
Ikyumen urged the participants not to depend solely on government in ensuring the sanitation of their environment, as government alone could not do everything.
She also appealed to the people of the state to observe all the protocols for the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his remarks, Mr Boniface Kosson, the Chief Executive Officer of the NGO, urged the participants to form groups of willing members in their respective communities to deepen the campaign for personal hygiene.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that stakeholders at the meeting pledged to mobilise their people to ensure effective water supply and sanitation in their areas.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Health

COVID 19: Taraba govt. announces resumption of religious activities

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The Taraba government has announced the resumption of religious activities in the state.
The state Deputy Governor, Haruna Manu, made the announcement on Monday in a statewide broadcast in Jalingo, the state capital.
Manu, however, said that observance of social distancing and other safety protocols must be strictly adhered to.
He also announced a slight ease on restriction of movement and other activities in the state.
According to him, government has set aside Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays to enable the residents carry out their activities from 8 am. to 6 pm.
The deputy governor added that lockdown would still be observed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, adding that violators would face strict penalties.
Manu urged religious leaders and other citizens to comply with the rules.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the government had hitherto declared partial lockdown, allowing free movement on Wednesdays and Saturdays only.

Edited By: Edith Bolokor and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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General news

COVID-19: Taraba Assembly approves Ishaku’s request for N2.5bn CBN facility

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The Taraba House of Assembly has given approval to Gov. Darius Ishaku’s request to access a N2.5 billion loan from Access Bank Plc as part of measures to fight the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

The Chairman, House Committee on Information, Alhaji Bashir Mohammed, made this known to the News Agenc of Nigeria on Tuesday in Jalingo.

Mohammed (APC-Nguroje Constituency) said the assembly had deliberated and approved the governor’s executive request at an emergency sitting on Monday.

Mohammed, who is also the Minority Leader of the house, explained that the loan would be drawn from the N100 billion COVID-19 facility provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to help state governments in the fight against the spread of the pandemic.

According to him, the loan will have a one-year moratorium and repayable in 10 years with an interest rate of 4.5 per cent, instead of the usual 20 to 21 per cent interest charged by banks on conventional loans.

The chairman also disclosed that the emergency session of the assembly had similarly appropriated 6.5 million USD (about N2.3 billion), which was granted Taraba alongside other selected states by Transparency International for prudent management of resources.

He said the amount, which was not part of the 2020 budget estimates would be utilised by the Taraba Government in the execution of some people-oriented projects and programmes.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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General news

Gov Ishaku mourns Taraba Commissioner

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Gov.Darius Ishaku of Taraba has condoled with the chairman and  the people of Wukari Local Government Area (LGA) of  the  state over  death of the  state’s Commissioner for Poverty Alleviation, Mr Naphtali Kefas who  died  on  Thursday.

 This was contained in a statement by Mr Bala Dan-Abu, the Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Publicity in Jalingo on Friday.

“The death of Kefas less than a year after his appointment as member of the Executive Council has robbed the state of the services of a patriotic and hard working gentleman.

“He was very gentle and compassionate, that was the reason for his posting to the Ministry of Poverty Alleviation to help implement government’s pragmatic programmes of giving hope and succour to the poor and the needy, ” he  said.

Ishaku prayed God to give the members of the immediate family of the late commissioner the fortitude to bear the painful loss.

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Religion

Expert expresses concern over Taraba Broadcasting Service refusal to air programme

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Dr Suleiman Bakari, an anti-corruption expert, has expressed concern over the refusal of the Taraba State Broadcasting Services (TSBS) to air sponsored Ramadan Call to Prayer.

The complaint, which was in form of an open letter addressed to the General Manager, and copied to the State Gov. Arc. Darius Ishaku was signed by Dr Suleiman Bakari, dated May 5.

In a telephone interview with News Agency of Nigeria , in Abuja, both Dr Bakari and the management of TSBS explained their positions on the said issue.

According to Bakari, his reason for sending out the letter is to call the attention of the management to address certain anomalies he has observed from his dealings with the organisation.

“During the 2019 Ramadan, I made an attempt to sponsor call to prayers for the breaking of fast by the Muslim Ummah, through the state radio station known as TSBS.

“But it was declined by the management of the service and the payment I made was refunded without any reason given. This year, the same scenario has repeated itself.

“The call to prayer is a brief message which reminds the Muslim faithful about the time for prayer (magrib prayer), so that they can break their fasting” he said.

Bakari added that his reason for sponsoring the “call to prayer” this year was to ease the inconveniences caused by the COVID-19 lockdown to the muslim ummah and the resultant inability to reach or use a mosque.

“You will all recall that every form of gathering is prohibited given the state of the nation on the global health crisis.

“The call to prayer is therefore necessary as it tells the people that it is time to break their fast & prayers and such prayers are conducted at home, ” he said.

Bakari said he has sponsored public enlightenment programmes on other electronic and print mediums, but his attempts to reach out to the General manager of TSBS had proved abortive.

Hence, while addressing the General Manager in the open letter, Bakari stated that he was willing to support the organisation if necessary, so as to perform better.

“Mr GM, my words are given for your attention. Taraba State is yours, mine and ours. While I pray for wisdom greater than ever imagined constructively.

“To pilot the affairs of Taraba State Broadcasting Services, do accept the assurances of my support in carrying out your activities as a media firm,” he said.

However, for its part, the management of the State Broadcast Service through the Marketing Manager, Abdullahi Wakili, said in their defense that the case in question was brought late two years ago and that for this year, it was just an allegation.

“It is getting to two years that they brought the issue to me and they brought it very late, last year there was none.

“And the management decided to stop it that year because it was too late. We were, however, occupied with all sponsored programmes.

“Then last year, I did not see him, that is the truth and this year, somebody called me and was alleging that we refused to air this programme and I said we didn’t see anybody who requested to sponsor call to prayers that we refused.

“We are having many “Tafsirs” now going on, it is because we dont have airtime, we dont have space now, we have almost all our programmes sponsored by now.

“Somebody have paid to sponsor programmes, before the fasting period, so you can’t collect his money and then stop his programme now, it is not fair.

“So the little space we had, we have just collected eight “Tafsirs” because we do not operate 24hrs,” Wakili said.

Meanwhile, the response of the management may have addressed some parts of the open letter.

NAN reports that the Taraba State Broadcasting Services, (TSBS) Jalingo was established on the Aug. 28, 1991.

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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Health

COVID-19: NEDC donates 2 ambulances, 200 thermometers to Taraba Govt

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The North East Development Commission (NEDC) on Tuesday donated two ambulances and 200 pieces of Infrared thermometers to the Taraba Government to assist in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Alhaji Yerima Ishuwa, the Director Audit at the commission, who lead the team, presented the items in Jalingo to Alhaji Haruna Manu, the State’s Deputy Governor.

 

Ishuwa noted that the NEDC was committed to assisting the north east zone in tackling the challenges posed by the pandemic.

 

While receiving the items, the deputy governor commended the commission for its kind gesture.

 

Manu recalled that two weeks ago, NEDC had donated two ventilators and assorted food items to Taraba government.

 

“I want to, on behalf of the Gov Darius Ishaku and the people of Taraba, commend the NEDC for this kind gesture.

 

“Two weeks ago, we received two ventilators and assorted food items from the NEDC and we are so grateful for that,” he said.

 

Manu said the governor had already directed that the two ambulances be deployed to the two isolation centres for more efficient operations.

 

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Taraba, which has eight confirmed cases, is currently on lockdown.

 

The lockdown is, however, relaxed on Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 8:00a.m to 6:00 p.m, to enable people buy food items.

Edited By: Moses Solanke/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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Defence/Security

Clashes: Taraba community calls for commission to determine ownership of fishing pond

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Jole Community Development Association in Taraba has urged the state government to set up a judicial commission of inquiry to determine ownership of fish ponds that causes crisis between it and Shomo community.

Spokesman of the community, Mr Luka Audu, made the appeal at a news conference in Jalingo on Tuesday.

Audu said that this was one of the best approaches to finding a lasting solution to the crisis that had lingered for more than four decades.

The call is coming on the heels of recent clashes between Jole and Shomo communities, all in Lau Local Government Area of the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that 25 persons died during the recent clashes, while property worth millions of naira was destroyed.

Audu noted that previous committees set up by the state government did not yield any meaningful result.

He alleged that Shomo continued to contest the ownership of the Marmi lake which “has been an incontestable property of the Jole all through recorded history’’.

The spokesman further alleged that successive governments in the state had “not shown enough political will to put the records straight and put an end to the crisis’’.

He described the recent attack on the Shomo communities as unfortunate, but denied the involvement of Jole people in the attack.

According to him, Shomo people have made enemies and fought with most of their neighbours in the past.

Audu explained that the attack could have come from any or a combination of the many aggrieved enemies of Shomo community.

“It has become necessary for us as a people to address the public and set the records straight.

“While we regret the recent unfortunate attack on the Shomo people, we find it appalling that everyone is accusing the Jole people of carrying out the attack.

“They forget that we have been displaced for several years now with all our villages completely destroyed by militia suspected to be from the Shomo ethnic group.

“Is it in this sorry state that we orchestrated such an attack?

“We call on the state government to set up a judicial panel of inquiry to ascertain the true ownership of the Marmi lake that has been the cause of these hostilities and whoever is found to be the true owner should be handed over their rights.

“That is the only way to resolve this crisis. Justice has to be served objectively.

“We have a lot of court judgments in our favour, restraining the Shomo people from the lake but they have total disregard for the courts and continue to attack us and invade our lake and farmlands,’’ he claimed.

NAN recalls that the attack on Shomo-Kila and Shomo-Sarki occured in early April and was widely condemned by stakeholders.

Edited By: Johnson Eyiangho/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Health

COVID-19: Taraba Govt. rejects 100 Almajiris from Nasarawa State

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The Taraba State Government, has rejected 100 students (almajiris) of Islamic studies repatriated from Nasarawa State due to the flouting of procedure, as agreed by the Northern Governors Forum (NGF).

Dr Innocent Vakai, the Chairman of the Taraba COVID-19 Technical Committee, made this disclosure on Monday while briefing newsmen in Jalingo.

The northern governors forum resolved that repatriated almajiris must undergo tests to determine their COVID-19 status.

Also, the repatriated almajiris must be accompanied by officials from their state of repatriation and the results of their tests be presented to their state of origin.

Vakai, who is also the Commissioner for Health in the state, added that proper documentation must be made for the almajiris to be accepted in Taraba.

He said that the state had not started the repatriation of its own almajiris to their states of origin.

He said the state government was in collaboration with the northern governors forum  to procure mobile testing kits, adding that such would enhance capacity to conduct tests on many people in the state.

Vakai announced that Mrs Talatu Idris, the COVID-19 positive patient, who had earlier escaped from the state isolation centre had been returned to the centre by the committee.

The commissioner, who did not disclose how the woman was found, said that no suspect was being quarantined at the moment.

He explained that, the 122 quarantined suspects in the state had earlier been discharged after the 14 days incubation period, warning that the lockdown measure in the state remained.

The commissioner called on the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious case of COVID-19 to the committee.

NAN recalls that Mrs Talatu Idris had earlier escaped from the state’s COVID– 19 quarantine centre.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Yemi Idris-Aduloju (NAN)

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

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