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Ogun SSG task Southwest counterparts on developmental strategies, digital connectivity

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Secretary to the Ogun State Government, Mr. Tokunbo Talabi has tasked his counterparts in the Southwest States to evolve short and long-term strategies that will propel the next level of development in the region.

Talabi stated this in Abeokuta at the 2nd Edition of the Secretaries to State Governments (SSGs) Forum, saying that the Southwest States should adopt a uniform structure of digitalisation process, to encourage interconnectivity among member States to avoid duplication of efforts.

Talabi affirmed that the last meeting was an eye-opener on the need for collaboration, cooperation and knowledge sharing among the Southwest States, especially on Cabinet Affairs, urging his colleagues to use the occasion not only to map out but implement those strategies to enable the region to forge ahead.

One of the resource persons at the event, who is from the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Prof. Tunji Olaopa, while speaking on the topic: “The Nigeria State, Public Policy Implementation and the Challenge of Implementation”, identified lack of national ideological framework for understanding development as a bane engendering impactful developmental initiatives by government at all levels.

Prof. Olaopa posited that to tackle the trends of uncompleted projects by States in the Southwest, government should have the political will and leadership sophistication that harness the best of policy intelligence and expertise, channel funds and resources based on technical-rationale parameters.

He tasked the Southwest States on deployment of required smart structures and methods, as well as ensuring the recruitment of personnel to achieve an intelligent mixture that would facilitate efficient service delivery in the public sector.

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Tinubu unveils African Counter-Terrorism summit

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President Bola Tinubu unveiled the African Counter-Terrorism Summit at the Office of the National Security Adviser in Abuja on Monday.

The event which is currently ongoing and organised by Nigeria, with support from the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, will be held from Monday to Tuesday, April 23, 2024, with the theme: ‘Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Institution Building to Address the Evolving Threat of Terrorism’.

The Presidency announced on Sunday that the summit aims to enhance multilateral counter-terrorism cooperation.

Details later…

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Number of inmates awaiting trial soars by 70% in Kano — NCoS

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The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS),  Kano State Command, says 70 per cent of inmates are awaiting trial across the custodial centres in the state.
The Public Relations Officer of the Command, SC Musbahu Lawan, disclosed this while addressing newsmen at the State Headquarters on Monday in Kano.
He said that overcrowding was a challenge to the smooth operation of the NCoS in the state, as the number of awaiting trial inmates had tripled that of convicted inmates in the state.
“Statistics show that only 30 per cent of inmates are convicted in the correctional service, while inmates awaiting trial constitute 70 per cent of the total number of inmates in the state.
“Most of the inmates awaiting trial have stayed in custody with their cases yet to be determined by the courts.
“Our laws give us the power to transfer convicted inmates to any facility in the country, so if the inmates awaiting trial are eventually convicted there won’t be congestion,” Lawan said.
He noted that convicted inmates were easier to manage as they were mandated to engage in the various reformatory programmes, an opportunity which awaiting trial persons might  not have.
“Most of the convicted inmates also benefit from the educational programmes in the custodial centres.
“In Kano, 38 convicted inmates sat for and passed the NECO, SSCE and are now seeking for admission at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
“Due to increased interest of the inmates to study, the service is working with NOUN to establish more study centres in the custodial centres in the state,” Lawan said.
He said that one of the challenges was lack of study facilities like computers and study materials.
Lawan said the Federal Government had introduced the non-custodial measures like parole, community service and  probation among others, to address the overcrowding conundrum in custodial centres.
He commended some judges for complementing the Federal Government’s effort by making maximum use of non custodial sentencing.
“NCoS  will continue to pursue its mandate of keeping safe and humane custody of the legally interned, while protecting the society safer by reforming rehabilitating and reintegrating offenders,” Lawan said
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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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