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Kano Govt Approves N500m Counterpart Fund for Climate Project

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The Kano State Government has approved N500 million counterpart fund for the implementation of a-six-year World Bank assisted project, “Agro Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL).”

The Commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the State Executive Council (SEC) meeting.

Garba said the project focused at increasing the adoption of climate resilience landscape management practices and enhance livelihood in targeted arid and semi-arid watersheds in northern Nigeria.

According to him, the project will consolidate the achievements recorded under the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) in the state.

The commissioner said the council also approved MoU between Kano Government and Medina Academy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the physical teacher training of 5,000 teachers in Madina.

“The state government will be responsible for providing return air tickets, visas, training allowances to the first batch of 50 teachers that will attend the intensive training in Madina before Ramadan,” he said.

Garba said that the council approved the release of N94.9 million to facilitate the settlement of rent stores and garages in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for 2020 and 2021.

He said the council also approved contract for the completion of dualisation of five kilometre road in Tofa Local Government Area.

Another approval was for the release of funds for the training of healthcare personnel and refund on stamp duty and educational support fund.

He added that the council approved internet service renewal and annual maintenance of ICT equipment and deployment of Hospital Management Information System (HMIS) software at Abdullahi Wase Teaching Hospital.

The rest were engagement of consultants for the supervision of the proposed Kano State Fibre Optics Network Project and procurement of firefighting operational vehicles.

“Maintenance of 12 selected metropolitan roads, contract for management and maintenance of street lightening, fountain and landscape area of Dangi interchange and purchase of one unit 350KVA MIKANO generator.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in 2021, the World Bank has approved a 700million dollar credit from the International Development Association for the ACReSAL project.

The project will increase the implementation of sustainable landscape management practices in northern Nigeria and strengthen the country’s long-term enabling environment for integrated climate-resilient landscape management.

Nigeria

Senate Challenges Military, Other Security Agencies To Block Escape Routes Of Terrorists

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The Nigerian Senate has challenged the military and other security agencies to closely monitor and effectively block the escape routes being used by bandits and fleeing terrorists to forestall their relocation to safe havens in the country.

This was just as it urged the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to provide food and other livelihood support amenities to affected villages and those that are internally displaced in Mariga, Mashegu, Kontagora and Borgu Local Government Areas in Niger North Senatorial District.

The Senate resolutions followed a motion on “Renewed kidnappings and banditry attacks on communities in Mariga, Mashegu, Kontagora and Borgu Local Government Areas of Niger North Senatorial District.”

Coming under Order 41 and 51 of the new Senate Standing Orders, the Deputy Whip, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, bemoaned the disturbing trend of renewed kidnappings and banditry communities of Mariga, Mashegu and Kontagora Local Government Areas of Niger State.

He recalled that, “Following the massive onslaught against criminal elements and bandits operating in eastern parts of Sokoto State and Zamfara, there was massive movement of these escaping bandits and their criminal elements into Niger State and specifically into Mariga local government area of Niger State.

According to him, “These bandits continuously attacked communities in Mariga LGA leading to massive internal displacement of many communities. Currently Villagers have moved out of MaÚndu, Alabani, Sappaji in Berri Ward; over twenty villages are now empty in Galma/Wamba ward and scanty residents in Ukuru, Igoma, Maruba and Ruka villages in Bobbi Ward.

“Communities that border Kaduna, Zamfara and Kebbi States located in Mariga LGA namely Galma, Makici, Makogi Na Maforo, Nassarawa, and Kwanan Duci are constantly being attacked by bandits and over 15 persons killed in Bobbi ward of Mariga Local Government Area.

“Some notorious bandits in their numbers operated for hours in five villages on Friday, 14 January 2022, where several cattle were rustled as villagers fled their homes.

“The bandits first attacked Tungan-Ruá village in the morning, later moved to Tungan Maje and also rustled cattle.

“The same day they attacked Kawo Mashegu where two people were killed, four persons abducted and proceeded to attack Tungan Magaji village where several cattle were also taken away.

“After several operations 17 persons were abducted including two persons delivering ransom. The same day Farin Shinge village a few kilometres away from Kontagora town was also attacked and two persons kidnapped,” he stressed.

The lawmaker lamented that “the bandits are in the habit of burning down villages, burning farms with agricultural produce unharvested, stealing the home stored foods of villages they attack with the danger of those who brave the odds to go to their farms for harvest being killed or kidnapped”, adding that many villagers are now IDPs in places like Bangi, Mangoro and other safer locations with no food or amenities for their livelihoods.

Senator Abdullahi recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the nation’s Armed Forces for a major military operation in Niger State which has faced continued attacks on its communities by bandits and remnants of Boko Haram terrorists fleeing theatres of war in the Northwestern and Northeastern parts of the country.

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Nigeria

Governor Wike Orders LGA Chairmen To Destroy Illegal Refinery

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Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Wike has ordered all the 23 Local Government Area Chairmen in the state to hire bulldozers and destroy every identified illegal crude oil bunkering and artisanal refinery site in the state.

Recall that the governor on Friday, 14th January 2022 issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the 23 Local Government Area chairmen to provide him with a comprehensive list of all illegal refinery sites and their operators within their respective jurisdiction.

The governor also directed Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Eboka Friday to provide adequate security for the chairmen as they embark on the mass destruction of illegal refinery sites across the state.

Wike gave the order on Wednesday during a meeting with the council Chairmen, the State Commissioner of Police, and the Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Port Harcourt.

“One thing I want to say and which is very clear, and like everybody knows, I am not against anybody making money. But, we cannot allow people to make money, while others are dying.”

“I will not relent in this fight. And all of you should hire bulldozers. All those areas where the illegal refinery sites are in the bush, in the creek, clear the place. The government will give you some money to go and hire bulldozers to go and clear the sites so that they will know we are serious.

“With the receipt of the list of identified illegal refinery sites, the state government would provide financial support to the Local Government Area Chairmen to hire bulldozers and swamp buggies for the purpose of destroying all the sites,” Wike said.

He urged the Commissioner of Police to give the Local Government Area chairmen adequate security personnel to go and destroy all illegal refinery sites stressing that government would not allow those engaged in illegitimate business to operate in Rivers State.

The governor acknowledged that since the state government intensified the fight against illegal refinery operators, who are primarily responsible for the discharge of impure carbon particles resulting from the incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons into the atmosphere, the air quality in parts of the Rivers State has improved remarkably.

He said he was mindful that as the state government intensifies the war against illegal refinery activities, the cartel behind illicit business would make effort to compromise unscrupulous security agents in the State.

The governor, however, warned that he would personally visit the Inspector General of Police, the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and the Chief of Army Staff in Abuja, to report any of their personnel implicated in illegal crude oil bunkering and artisanal refinery activities in Rivers State.

“You know in Nigeria; we don’t believe that anything can happen. We don’t take government seriously, but in our own case, they have no choice, they’ll take us seriously,” he said.

He regretted the failure of the Federal Government to take any action to end the soot crisis in the oil-producing states saying that his administration cannot fold its arms and watch some deviant persons destroy the environment and health of the citizens.

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Legal News

Court Convicts Businessman To Life Imprisonment For Defiling 14-Year-Old

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A Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court in Ikeja, Lagos has sentenced a businessman, Ofure Siakpere to life imprisonment for defiling and impregnating his 14-year-old in-law (name withheld) in his care.

The accused was sentenced after finding him guilty of a charge of defilement contrary to Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.

The convict was 35-years old when the offence was committed.

Justice Abiola Soladoye, while passing the judgment, said that the prosecution had proved every ingredient for the offence of defilement.

She described the prosecution witnesses as “compelling and convincing”.

The judge admonished parents to stop sending their children to stay with relatives and advised that they should plan their families by giving birth to the number of children they can afford.

“This is contrary to that of the defence which was rather shallow and full of fallacy. The evidence of the defence witnesses were merely self-serving,” she said.

“The defendant maltreated the victim (his wife’s niece) by defiling her. The conduct of this so-called in-law is hurtful and demeaning. Where is the defendant’s humanity and moral compass?

“This case is a reflection of sexual lawlessness that occurs within the family circle.

“The defendant must be duly sanctioned in the hope that this will serve as a deterrent to others to not tow the line of sexual misconduct.

“The defendant Ofure Siakpere, is hereby sentenced to life imprisonment with no option of fine.

“His name shall also be registered in the Sex Offenders Register as maintained by the Lagos State Government,” she said.

According to the State Directorate of Public Prosecution, Siakpere committed the offence on or about March 2018 at his residence located at No. 10, Salaudeen Imam St., Lagos.

During the trial, two witnesses; the survivor and a medical doctor, Dr. Aniekan Makanjuola from Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF) testified on behalf of the prosecution.

The survivor in her evidence said that she was overpowered and defiled on at least 15 occasions by the convict while living with him and his wife who was her aunt.

She said that anytime she resisted his advances, he beats her up. The survivor said that she became pregnant as a result of the abuse.

At the time of her testimony in court, she had delivered a baby.

The convict and his wife, Mrs Adebimpe Siakpere testified for the defence.

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