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AEDC threatens to disconnect Presidential Villa, EFCC, others

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By Matthew Denis, Abuja

The Abuja Electricity Distribution Plc (AEDC) has threatened to disconnect the electricity supply of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, along with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) over a total debt of N47.1 billion.

The company said the Presidential Villa owes the sum of N923,873,150 as an outstanding debt for electricity charges.

In a disconnection notice on Monday, the AEDC listed the outstanding electricity debts of government ministries, departments and agencies as of December 2023.

It gave the MDAs 10 days to comply and pay their debts or risk disconnection and subsequent blackout from February 28, 2024.

The electricity distribution company in the document stated that it was constrained to publish the details of the debts which had lasted for long for the services rendered.

The AEDC stressed that the publication of the unpaid electricity bill became imperative because its “previous attempts to make them honour their obligations have not achieved the desired result.”

Meanwhile, there are speculations that former President Muhammadu Buhari-led government in the 2023 approved budget allocated the sum of N35.9 million for the Presidential Villa electricity charges.

Defending the budget allocation for the Villa, media reports quoted the Director General of the Budget Office, Mr. Ben Akabueze, said, “The Villa is quite an expansive edifice with several residences and support services, so as significant as N4.9 billion sounds it is not too much to keep those facilities in top shape that they have been kept.

“Anyone who has been to the villa will appreciate that it is one of the best maintained edifices in the country.”

Recall that in December 2023 also reported that President Bola Tinubu’s administration in 2024 allocated the sum of N37.9 million for powering generators in the State House while N260.8 million was earmarked for electricity charges.

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Rivers: Court outlaws LGA chairmen tenure extension

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By Barth Ndubuwah, Port Harcourt

A High Court sitting in Rivers State has ruled against the recent extension of Local Government Chairmen’s tenures, declaring exercise by the ousted 27 lawmakers of the State House of Assembly as invalid.

 The case, Hon. Enyiada Cookey-Gam & 6 Others vs The Governor of Rivers State & Others (Suit No. PHC/1320/CS/2024), was presided over by Hon. Justice D.G. Kio  in Port Harcourt.

Justice Kio declared that Local Government Law No. 2 of 2024, which sought to extend the Chairmen’s terms by six months, conflicts with the 1999 Constitution and Section 9(1) of Rivers State Local Government Law No. 5 of 2018.

The court affirmed that the lawful tenure for Local Government Chairmen and Councillors remains three years, as stipulated by the 2018 law.

The judge emphasised that the attempt to extend the tenure was not only unlawful but also violated the officials’ oath of office.

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Emir of Kano to visit Awujale of Ijebuland today

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The Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, and President, Ijebu Traditional Council, Oba Dr. Sikiru Kayode Adetona CFR, GCON, JP, Ogbagba II, will today play host to the revered traditional ruler, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, on a royal visit along with eight officials of the Kano Emirate.

In a letter titled Notification of Our Visit to Ijebu Ode Kingdom, dated 19th May 2024, with reference number KEC/HH/CORR/OOW/VOL.I/768 and personally signed by the Emir of Kano, the purpose of the visit is to pay “respect to His Majesty with intention to strengthen the cordial relationship that has been in existence for several years between Awujale of ljebu-land and our father, the late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, of blessed memory.

The letter read, “I humbly write to notify His Royal Majesty the Awujale of ljebu-land of our resolve to pay a Royal Visit to ljebu Ode Kingdom, Ogun State, on Wednesday, 22nd May, 2024 with an entourage of 8 officials of Kano Emirate.

“The purpose of our visit is to pay our respect to His Majesty with intention to strengthen the cordial relationship that has been in existence for several years between Awujale of ljebu-land and our father, the late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero of blessed memory.

“At the same time, we will seize the opportunity to felicitate with His Majesty for attaining the age of 90 years, as well as been on the throne for 64 years.

“While we pray and hope the trip will be successful, and we meet Your Majesty in good health, please accept the assurance of our esteem regards.

 ”Allah Ya kare mutuncin mu da addinin mu. Allah Ya bamu lafiya da zaman lafiya (May God protect our honour and our religion. May God grant us health and peace).”

The visit will hold at the GRA Ijebu Ode residence of Kabiyesi Awujale between 12.00 noon and 2.00pm

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Domestic violence: Speak out, don’t suffer in silence — Lagos Commissioner tells women

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By Sodiq Adelakun

The Lagos State Government has urged women experiencing violation of rights to speak out as they can only receive help when they do so.

This was disclosed by the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), Mrs. Cecilia Dada, at a ministerial news conference in Ikeja, Lagos on Tuesday.

“Speak up, speak out on domestic violence, there’s help! Come to the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation. If you cannot come, call 767. 767 is a number to call if you need help,” Dada said.

Also, she revealed that a total of 662 domestic violence cases were reported in the last one year, with 592 women and 70 men affected.

According to the commissioner, 592 women reported battering and violence against them by their husbands, while 70 men reported being beaten or battered by their wives within the same period.

She said the cases were reported directly to the WAPA ministry or through its toll-free line 767/112.

Further breakdown showed that 27 men and 247 women reported domestic violence directly to the ministry, while 43 men and 345 women reported spousal violence through the toll-free line.

In response to the growing concern, she revealed that Lagos State Government is constructing a Domestic Violence Survivors Shelter at Agidingbi, Ikeja, which will provide a safe and secure refuge for survivors of domestic violence.

Meanwhile, Dada added that the domestic violence unit created in 2015 in order to handle gender based violence cases that occur among intimate partners, relations, neighbors, among others had done a lot.

She said the domestic violence unit is saddled with the responsibilities of ensuring zero tolerance to gender based violence in the state.

The commissioner stated that the unit had been able to offer social intervention which involved advocacy (sensitisation and awareness creation programs on GBV), counseling, mediation, rescue, social investigation, empowerment, referral, medical assistance, collaboration, psychosocial services and follow up.

“The Ministry also partners with MDAs, International organisations and other relevant stakeholders to curb cases Of gender based violence in the State,” she said.

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