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Tinubu expresses confidence in peaceful, secure W/Africa

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President Bola Tinubu has expressed confidence in the possibility of lasting peace, security and prosperity in the West African region.
He said this at the Extraordinary session of the Authority of Heads of States and Government on the Political, Peace and security in ECOWAS region in Abuja,  on Saturday.
Tinubu said the complexities of the issues facing the body necessitated a comprehensive and collaborative approach.
He stressed the importance of engaging in constructive dialogue, prudent judgment and unity toward sustainable peace, security and political stability in the region.
”I am confident that through our collective efforts and determination, we will navigate the challenges before us and chart a course toward a more peaceful, secure, and prosperous West Africa.
”Your presence today demonstrated your unflinching commitment to the sustenance of regional integration with all its ingredients for the promotion of good governance, peace, security, stability and socio-economic development.
”Once more, we are gathered here to address pressing developments in our sub-region surrounding peace and security as well as the political situations in the Republics of Niger, Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mali.
”We must approach these issues with a sense of unity and commitment to the well-being of our people,” he said.
The President said  the challenges warrant concerted efforts and a deep sense of history to ensure the spirit of shared vision, solidarity and collective responsibilities.
He said that in spite of the region’s challenges, he was buoyed by the spirit of collective resolve that defined the ECOWAS community.
”In the course of this summit, therefore, we will receive a Memorandum from the ECOWAS Commission President on the peace, security and political situation in the region.
”The memorandum will give us an update on the current situation in the Republics of Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali and Niger.
”Our decisions must be guided by our commitment to safeguarding the constitutional order, upholding democratic principles, and promoting the social and economic well-being of the citizens of the aforementioned countries.”
He called for constructive deliberations to examine the actions taken by these countries and ensure that the citizens were not denied the benefits derived from regional integration initiatives.
”Let me underscore that these challenges, though daunting, present an opportunity for ECOWAS to reaffirm its commitment to the vision of our founding fathers and the principles underpinning our commitment to peace, security, and regional integration.
”We must stand united in our resolve to promote economic integration, democracy, and human rights, with a view to fostering sustainable development across all our member states.
”Times like we currently face in our sub region demand that we take difficult but courageous decisions that put the plight of our people at the centre of our deliberations.
”Democracy is nothing more than the political framework and the path to addressing the basic needs and aspirations of the people.”

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Ogun Assembly passes Assembly Commission Amendment bill

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The Ogun House of Assembly on Wednesday passed the State House of Assembly Service Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2024.

The passage of the bill followed  presentation of the Committee’s report by the Chairman, House Committee on Establishments and Public Service Matters, Mr Babatunde Tella at plenary in Abeokuta.

Tella moved the motion for its adoption, seconded by Mr Adeyanju Adegoke and supported by all the members.

The bill was later read and adopted clause by clause before the Committee of Whole.

The Majority Leader, Mr Yusuf Sheriff, moved the motion for the third reading of the bill, seconded by the Minority Leader, Mr Lukmon Adeleye and supported by the Whole House through a unanimous voice vote.

Consequently, the Deputy Clerk of the House, Mrs Funmilayo Adeyemi, took the third reading of the bill before the lawmakers.

The Speaker, Mr Oludaisi Elemide, directed that the clean copy of the bill be forwarded to Gov. Dapo Abiodun for his assent.

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Abuja court gives EFCC go-ahead to arrest ex-Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello

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A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, ordered that a warrant be issued to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for immediate arrest of former Governor of Kogi, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

Justice Emeka Nwite, in a ruling on EFCC’s ex-parte motion, held that after listening to the submission of commission’s counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, and reading the affidavit in support of the motion, including the exhibits and written address, he was inclined to grant the application.

It was earlier reported that a High Court sitting in Lokoja on Wednesday, restrained the EFCC from arresting, detaining and prosecuting Bello

Justice I.A Jamil, who gave the order in a two-hour judgment delivered in suit no HCL/68/M/2020, held that infringing on Bello’s “fundamental human rights is null and void.”

The judge, who dismissed the commission’s application challenging the jurisdiction of the court, said: “By this order, the EFCC is hereby restrained from arresting, detaining and prosecuting the applicant.

“This is a definite order following the earlier interim injunction given.”

However, in a ruling delivered by Justice Nwite on Wednesday, the judge ordered that a warrant be issued to the commission for Bello’s immediate arrest.

He also directed that the former governor be produced before the court on April 18 for arraignment.

“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 for the purpose of bringing him before this honourable court for arraignment.

“That case is adjourned to 18th day of April, 2024 for arraignment,” he declared.

NAN reports that the EFCC, in the motion ex-parte marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/98/2024 dated April 16 and filed April 17, sought six orders.

These include “an order granting leave to the complainant/applicant to effect service of the charge together with the proof of evidence on the defendant by substituted means to wit; by pasting the charge at the last known address of the defendant within the jurisdiction of this honourable court being: 9, Benghazi Street, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja.

“An order directing and/or issuing an arrest warrant for the immediate arrest of the defendant for the purpose of bringing him before this honourable court for arraignment.”

In the alternative, the anti-graft agency sought an order issuing and directing the publishing of a public summons requiring/ commanding the defendant to appear before the court on a named date, among others.

The conflicting orders came after the EFCC had appealed against the initial order, and the appeal was scheduled for hearing on April 22 in Appeal No: CA/ABJ/CV/175/2024 between EFCC and Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

The Yahaya Bello Media Office had, in a statement signed by Onogwu Mohammed, alerted the nation to a siege on the former Governor’s Abuja residence.

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Zulum approves N1.3bn scholarship for 997 nursing, midwifery students

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Gov. Babagana Zulum, of Borno has approved the release of N1.3billion as scholarship for 997 nursing and midwifery students from the state.

Zulum stated this on Wednesday while inaugurating the scholarship programme at the College of Nursing and Midwifery, Maiduguri.

He said that out of the 1,080 nominations, 40 from each of the 27 local government areas of the state, 997 qualified to benefit from the scholarship.

He also announced that the 997 beneficiaries of the scholarship would receive automatic employment after graduation.

The governor said that the support was to encourage the students to complete their studies so as to bridge the workforce demand in the state’s healthcare system.

“The government has allocated  N1,305,189,000 for scholarship, with a breakdown of N124,149,000 earmarked for tuition fees, the remaining N1,181,040,000 will be disbursed as monthly stipend of N30,000 to each beneficiary throughout their studies,” Zulum said.

He added that N201 million bursary allowance would be given to 2,010 nursing and midwifery students who did not benefited from the scholarship, and directed that each of them should receive N100,000.

Zulum, who stated that ongoing construction of two colleges of nursing would be completed this year, inaugurated a lecture theatre complex and a 3,000-capacity multipurpose hall at the college.

Earlier, Lawan Wakilbe, the Commissioner for Education, said that the government had approved over N6 billion scholarship, out of which about N2.7 billion was disbursed to students from the state studying in higher institutions across the country.

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