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Aiyedatiwa suspends 18 Caretaker Chairmen in Ondo

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Ondo State Governor, Hon.Lucky Aiyedatiwa has suspended the newly sworn-in caretaker chairmen of the 18 council areas and the newly created Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in Ondo State.

The suspension follows a court order by an Akure High Court.

The Court presided over by Justice Yemi Fasanmi, recently granted an interim injunction filed by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which sought to restrain late governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu from inaugurating any person or persons not democratically elected as member(s) of caretaker committees to administer the affairs of the local councils and the LCDA pending the determination of the interlocutory injunction in this suit.

Justice Fasanmi later barred the caretaker chairmen from operating after they resumed office on the excuse that they had been sworn in before the order was granted.

Their suspension by the governor was contained in a letter by the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and signed by Alonge Adewale.

The letter read, “It has come to the notice of the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs that despite the suspension of all recently appointed Caretaker Committee members for Local Government (LGAS) and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state by a Court of competent jurisdiction, some individuals in these former positions are still parading themselves in that posts.

“Consequently, I have been directed to request the Heads of Local Government Administration (HOLGAs) in all the LGAs/LCDAs to immediately assume responsibility as head of their respective Local Government Areas/ LCDAs in acting capacity pending the resolution of all legal matters relating to this subject.”

The letter asked the suspended caretaker chairmen to submit, without delay, all assets and properties of the LGAs/LCDAs.

Reacting, one of the caretaker chairmen said they had earlier secured a stay of execution against the court order. Speaking with journalists in confidence, the chairman said they would pursue the matter to the Supreme Court.

According to him, “We were shocked that Aiyedatiwa refused to obey the order for a stay of execution. But that’s not the end of the matter; we would ensure that justice was done in this matter.”

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Appeal Court fails to hear EFCC suit against order restraining ex-Kogi governor’s arrest

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The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Monday did not sit to hear the appeal lodged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the order of a Kogi High Court which restrained the anti-graft agency from arresting the immediate-past governor, Yahaya Bello.

The Kogi court, in a ruling on April 17, restrained the EFCC from arresting, detaining and prosecuting  Bello.

The judge, I.A Jamil, gave the order in a two-hour judgment delivered in suit no HCL/68/M/2020 in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, on Wednesday.

The judgment coincided with the  ”siege’ nvasion of Bello’s home in Abuja by EFCC operatives in a bid to arrest him.

The EFCC is seeking to arraign the former governor on 19 counts bordering on alleged money laundering, breach of trust and misappropriation of funds to the tune of N80.2billion.

The anti-graft agency determined to get Bello to face the law for his alleged crime, approached the Federal High Court in Abuja on the same day to get an arrest warrant.

.The warrant was issued following an ex parte motion filed by the EFCC.

In his ruling on the motion, Justice Emeka Nwite also directed that the former governor be produced before him on Thursday, April 18, for arraignment.

He said, “It is hereby ordered as follows:

That an order of this honourable court is hereby made directing and/or issuing a warrant for the immediate arrest of the defendant to bring him before this honourable court for arraignment.

“That case is adjourned until April 18 for arraignment.”

Alhough Bello was absent to take his plea, his team of lawyers, led by Abdulwahab Mohammed (SAN), informed the court of the matter before the appeal court.

Mohammed told the court that it was wrong for the EFCC to apply for an arrest warrant against Bello when the same matter was already before the appeal court.

The EFCC counsel, Kemi Pinehero, argued that court could go ahead with the trial.

The EFCC, in its appeal through its solicitor, J.S. Okutepa (SAN), is seeking a stay of execution to the order of the trial court in Kogi State.

In the appeal marked CA/ABJ/PRE/RDA/CV/165MI, the anti-graft agency contested the court order on the grounds that it is a body created by statute to carry out functions specified in its Establishment Act and empowered to investigate and prosecute economic crimes as set out under sections 6 and 7 of the EFCC Act.

The EFCC faulted the order of the lower court, describing it as an obstruction.

“The orders granted ex parte on the 9th of February 2024 constitute a clog in the progress of the appellant/applicant’s performance of its statutory functions and duties under the EFCC Act 2004,” the EFCC said.

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Unite against plastic pollution: HOMEF’s World Earth Day message

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In observance of the 2024 World Earth Day, the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), a non-governmental organization, has rallied for a unified effort to combat the pervasive issue of plastic pollution plaguing the planet.

HOMEF’s media officer, Kome Odhomor, issued a statement in Yenagoa emphasizing the necessity of concerted action to eliminate the scourge of plastics and preserve the well-being of all life forms. Dr. Nnimmo Bassey, Executive Director of HOMEF, echoed this sentiment, urging individuals worldwide to actively safeguard the environment within their local communities.

“Today presents a critical juncture where we must choose between the sustenance of our planet and the proliferation of plastics,” remarked Dr. Bassey. “While the allure of convenience may tempt us towards plastic usage, we must prioritize the health of our planet, which sustains all life forms. Failure to do so could lead us down a path of plastic dependency, resulting in dire consequences for our health, climate, and the overall ecological balance.”

HOMEF emphasized the imperative to recognize World Earth Day as a poignant reminder of our collective responsibility to protect and preserve the Earth. This year’s theme, “Planet Vs Plastic,” underscores the urgent need to forge a sustainable future for humanity, wildlife, and natural ecosystems.

“Our addiction to single-use plastics is suffocating the planet,” stated HOMEF. “These non-biodegradable materials persist indefinitely, clogging our environment and posing grave threats due to their chemical composition. The rampant production of plastic, coupled with dismal recycling rates, underscores the magnitude of the challenge we face.”

Acknowledging global efforts to reduce plastic consumption, HOMEF commended initiatives advocating for a 60 percent reduction in plastic usage by 2040. Additionally, the organization stressed the importance of embracing sustainable alternatives to mitigate the adverse effects of plastic pollution.

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IGP wants NSCDC, FRSC merged with police

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The Inspector General of Police, Mr Kayode Egbetokun, has advised the Federal Government to merge the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) with the police for effectiveness.

Egbetokun said this at the National Dialogue on State Policing, organised by the House of Representatives on Monday in Abuja with the theme “Pathways to Peace: Reimagining Policing in Nigeria”.

The I-G, represented by the Assistant Inspector General (DIG) of Police, Mr Ben Okoro, said that the NSCDC and the FRSC were a duplication of the police.

Egbetokun also said that Nigeria was not ripe enough for state police urging those calling for state police to work toward merging the NCDSC and the FRSC with the police for effectiveness.

He said the police were battling with inadequate training as well as lack of adequate manpower.

He said that most police barracks had dilapidated due to lack of maintenance and renovation.

“This has have a negative impact on the performance of the policemen,” he said.

Egbetokun also faulted calls for state police saying that Nigeria was not matured enough for state police.

He added that state police would create avenues for state governor to use it to suppress the opposition in their states.

He said creating state police would also lead to the problem of jurisdiction, which would bring about conflicts of interest.

He added that the state police would not be able to combat terrorism, kidnapping, and banditry, because they required enormous resources to combat.

He also said that there was a need to improve the training of personnel to enable modern policing, adding that funding was necessary to also help maintain internal security.

The Chief of Defense Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa, said that there was need for comprehensive and effective security framework to tackle rising security challenge in the country.

Musa, represented by Maj. Gen. Kunle Ariyibi, said that the security and safety of the country was paramount.

“I is imperative that we come together to find sustainable solutions.

” It is through collaboration and a shared commitment to the common good that we can develop policies and strategies that will enhance the security infrastructure of our dear nation,” he said.

Musa said it was imperative to create a security framework that would be inclusive, responsive, and capable of safeguarding the rights and freedoms of all Nigerians.

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