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Wilder was doomed against Fury –Joshua

Deontay Wilder was doomed from the outset of his heavyweight trilogy fight with Tyson Fury due to his jab-heavy approach to the contest, Anthony Joshua has claimed.

The Bronze Bomber vowed to change his tactics ahead of his third fight with Fury last month and impressed early on by landing several heavy jabs to the Gypsy King’s midriff in an attempt to slow his bigger opponent down.

However, Wilder quickly fatigued and the former champion was fighting on instinct before being felled by Fury in a vicious 11th-round knockout.

Joshua – who is seeking to reclaim his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts from Oleksandr Usyk – says that Wilder lacks the fighting intelligence to carry out such a technical plan.

“He tried, but to get that power and that ferociousness, you have to have it up here (points to his head),” AJ said during a JD Sports round table.

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“Before you have it just here (clenches fists) at that level, you have to have it here (points to his head) as well.’

The likes of Wladimir Klitschko ruled the division for years with an effective jab followed by a straight right hand, but Joshua believes you need more than a jab to conquer the current leading heavyweights.

“Not in this day and age (can heavyweights jab for 12 rounds) because heavyweights are different.

“I met the guy who makes gloves the other day, and he said that they never used to have to make special gloves. But now heavyweights are 17 to 19 stone and six-foot ten. The whole division is changed in the last, like, five years.

“And before, fighters could jab like that for 12 rounds and get away with it. They’d get a bit tired, but they were conditioned because they were lighter.

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“But now, when you’ve got big guys who are six-foot-seven, they get tired.”

Joshua is still reeling from his September loss to Usyk, in which fans also questioned his choice of tactics against the wily Ukrainian southpaw, when he tried to out-box his technically superior opponent.

AJ has vowed to adopt the same thrilling style that saw him defeat Klitschko back in 2017 in order to avenge his second career defeat.

He said, “I’m gonna bring that energy back. But I’m not going go into my training and all that.”

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Lagos govt urges clerics to promote peace, unity during sermons

The Lagos State Government on Friday urges clerics to promote peace and unity during weekly sermons.

The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Anofiu Elegushi, this call at the 2021 Inter-Faith Parley held in the state, as contained in a statement titled, ‘Governor Sanwo-Olu Calls for Moral Revival Among Citizens to Promote Peace, Security.’

While addressing attendees, Elegushi stated that promoting unity, peace and love during sermons would lead to peaceful and harmonious co-existence in the nation.

He said, “Your weekly sermon on unity, peace, and love must resonate with the people on a weekly basis, while obedience to rule of law and commitment to our Lagos project must remain sacrosanct”.

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The Commissioner also implored the religious leaders to have a more robust relationship to consolidate the gains of collectiveness, adding that the Sanwo-Olu led administration expects clerics to close ranks and check the excesses of exuberant preachers who tend to create enmity among the people.

Earlier in his presentation, the National Director, Fishermen Maximum Output Ministries/Education, Dialogue & Value System Initiatives, Rev. Dr. Kehinde Babarinde, noted that religious leaders must be the guide and critics of the State and not its tools.

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“If the religious body does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority,” Babarinde said.

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CAMA: Court dismisses CAN’s suit against CAC, trade minister

A Federal High Court, Abuja has dismissed a suit filed by the Christian Association of Nigeria against the Corporate Affairs Commission and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment, dismissed the suit over the failure of the plaintiff to comply with the law in the name used in filing the originating summons.

“Therefore, this application lacks merit and ought to be dismissed and I hereby make an order dismissing same,” he declared.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that while the Incorporated Trustees of Christian Association of Nigeria is the plaintiff in the suit, the CAC and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment are 1st and 2nd defendants respectively.

The plaintiff, in an originating summons marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/244/2021, had prayed the court to determine “whether Section 839, subsections (1), (7) (a) and (10) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), 2020, is inconsistent with Sections 4(8), 6(6)(b) and 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which guarantees the plaintiff’s right to freedom of association and the right to seek redress in court.

“Whether the provision of Section 854 of the CAMA is inconsistent with Section 39 of the CFRN which guarantees the right to freedom of expression,” among others.

Part of the reliefs sought by the plaintiff include “a declaration that Section 839(1), (7) (a) and (10) of the CAMA are inconsistent with Section 40 of the CFRN and thus unconstitutional, null and void.

“A declaration that Section 839(1), (7) (a) and (10) of the CAMA are inconsistent with Section 4(8) of the CFRN and thus unconstitutional, null and void.

“A declaration that Section 839(1) and (7) (a) of the CAMA are inconsistent with Section 36(1) of the CFRN and thus unconstitutional, null and void.

“A declaration that Section 839(1) and (7) (a) of the CAMA has a direct effect on the judicial power of the court under Section 6(6) (b) of the CFRN, and Is therefore void.

“An order striking down Sections 839(1), (7) (a) & (10), 842(1) and (2), 843, 851 and 854 of the CAMA for being unconstitutional.

“A declaration that Section 17(2) (a) & (d) of the CAMA demand an impossible and impracticable action; thus, void.

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“An Order striking down Section 17 (2) (a) & (d) of the CAMA for being impracticable and unknown to Law.”

However, in the course of the proceedings, CAN brought an application, praying for an order to amend the originating summons and accompanying processes by replacing the word, “INCORPORATED” with “REGISTERED” in the name of the plaintiff in the suit such that it would read, “The Registered Trustees of the Christian Association of Nigeria.”

The application was filed on the grounds that the name expressed in its certificate of incorporation is the “Registered Trustees of the Christian Association of Nigeria” and not “Incorporated Trustees of Christian Association of Nigeria.”

It stated further that in the originating summons, the plaintiff’s name was inadvertently expressed as “Incorporated Trustees of the Christian Association of Nigeria.”

“This error in the plaintiff’s name was as a result of the inadvertence of counsel.

“The error in the plaintiff’s name is what we seek by this application to rectify,” it added.

The plaintiff argued that it was an oversight on the part of the counsel who prepared the draft of the processes.

In its counter affidavit, the CAC had opposed the plaintiff’s suit, challenging the propriety of the constitution of the parties and competence of the plaintiff.

It argued that “The Incorporated Trustees of the Christian Association of Nigeria;” as a non-juristic person, was unknown to law to institute and maintain the action.

“The plaintiff is not an entity registered under the Companies and Allied Matters Act and not one otherwise recognised as being vested with statutory rights of incorporation and bereft of the requisite locus standi, legal capacity or competence to sue and maintain this action eo nomine against the 1st defendant.

“The certificate of incorporation, Exh. P1, is a certificate of Christian Association of Nigeria and not the plaintiff.

“The plaintiff being the party invoking the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court is not a juristic person and incompetent to do so.

“The amendment which the plaintiff seeks is not one to cure a mere misnomer but an amendment to give life to the originating processes by substituting a non-juristic person with a juristic person.

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“The originating process of the plaintiff is incurably defective and cannot be cured by an amendment.

“This court cannot by an order, breathe life on an otherwise lifeless and/or non-existent entity.”

The CAC insisted that granting the application would change the character of the case and would be prejudicial to it.

Delivering judgment, Justice Ekwo said he had taken a look at the certificate of incorporation of the plaintiff attached to the origination summons as Exh. P1 and found that the name on the certificate is ‘The Registered Trustees of Christian Association of Nigeria.”

“Further peruse shows that the certificate was issued under the regime of the Land (Perpetual Succession) Act, Cap. 98 of the 1958 LFN on 19th December, 1986.

“This means that the plaintiff was registered before CAMA first came into effect in 1990.

“With this evidence, it means the plaintiff can only sue and be sued in the name on the certificate issued to it on 19th December, 1986,” he said.

He cited a previous case to back his stand.

“There must be consequential order in the circumstance of this case.

“The originating processes in the name of ‘The Registered Trustees of Christian Association of Nigeria’ cannot stand.

“Similarly, it is my opinion that this ruling has therefore also resolved the issue in the preliminary objection of the 1st defendant too.

“I find that the plaintiff did not comply with the law in the name used in filing its originating summons.

“Therefore, this application lacks merit and ought to be dismissed and I hereby make an order dismissing same,” he ruled.

The judge added that the ruling affected the foundation of the case going by the defect in the name by which the plaintiff commenced the matter.

“I therefore make an order striking out the entire case. This is the order of this court,” Ekwo held.

(NAN)

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JAMB not producing surplus revenue, says Budget Office DG

The Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Mr Ben Akabueze, on Friday, said the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board is not producing surplus revenue.

Akabueze spoke on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ breakfast programme monitored by The PUNCH.

JAMB Registrar, Prof Is-haq Oloyede, has been applauded by many for turning around the revenue generated by the agency established by the government in 1978 “to conduct matriculation examinations for entry into all universities polytechnics and colleges of education in the country and to place suitably qualified candidates in the available places in these institutions”.

During his first term, Oloyede, amongst other reforms, has been noted to have significantly increased the JAMB remittances to the Federal Government. Under his watch, over N30bn has been said to have been remitted to the Federal Government purse, an amount far above what was generated by the Board in its 40 years of existence, before Oloyede came on board.

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Asked why other agencies and departments of government haven’t borrowed a leaf from JAMB to turn around the revenues remitted to the government, Akabueze said the government is looking at plugging leakages to increase federal revenues.

He also said, “I need to clarify what exactly the situation is with respect to JAMB and my friend, Prof Oloyede has done an excellent job but first of all, it is not correct that JAMB is producing a surplus because when you say a surplus, it means you are producing over and above your revenue. JAMB’s cost for staff and all of those are still being paid for by government. And if you take the aggregate of the revenue compared to the aggregate of their cost, it is not a surplus.

“However, what has happened is that their cost having been borne by government, the revenues that they generate from their activities in the past, some individuals in the organisation would find a way of spending them on items that were not appropriated in the budget and (JAMB) put an end to that to say that government has borne our cost and if we generate this revenue, if we net out our cost that is directly attributable to the conduct of exams, the excess, the surplus over that which by government’s fiscal regulations is supposed to be remitted to the consolidated revenue fund, that we will make that remittance, that is basically what has happened.”

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JUST IN: Former Edo State Governor, Igbinedion loses mother at 85

A former governor of Edo State, Mr Lucky Igbinedion, has lost his mother, Mrs Maria Oredola Igbinedion.

According to a statement by the former governor, she was 85 years old and she is survived by children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The statement reads, “With gratitude to God for a fruitful and eventful life, we announce the transition to glory of our mother, grandmother and great grandmother, Madam Maria Oredola Igbinedion who joined the Saints in the early hours of December 2, 2021, at the age of 85. She is survived by children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”

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According to the former governor, the burial arrangement of the late octogenarian would be announced later.

She was a descendant of the popular Ogbebor family of Usen, in Ovia North-East Local Government Area of the State.

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Pay close attention to children’s moral behaviour, Sanwo-Olu tasks parents

The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has tasked parents to pay close attention to the morality of their children and wards, to avoid breakdown of peace and security in the nation.

Sanwo-Olu made this call at the 2021 Inter-Faith Parley held in the state on Friday.

This was contained in a statement titled, ‘Governor Sanwo-Olu Calls For Moral Revival Among Citizens To Promote Peace, Security.’

The Governor, who was represented by his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, also called for moral revival among citizens to promote peace and security necessary for the progress and development of the nation.

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Sanwo-Olu emphasised on the need to ensure that youths are not “misled into towing the wrong path, just as parents must pay close attention to the morality of their children and wards.”

The statement partly read, “While commending the religious leaders for their continuous support, the Governor admonished the clergy to relentlessly preach love and peace among people and also develop a tolerance for others, irrespective of their differences.

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“He reassured the religious leaders of his administration’s commitment to responsive and responsible governance that will continuously create an enabling environment for peaceful co-existence amongst various faiths and worship centres.”

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Former head of global athletics, Lamine Diack dies at 88

The former head of global athletics Lamine Diack, who presided over the sport from 1999 to 2015 but was later convicted for corruption, has died aged 88, his family told AFP.

The Senegalese was head of the International Association of Athletics Federations, now renamed World Athletics.

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Diack, who was also a powerful figure at the International Olympics Committee, was found guilty of corruption by a French court in 2020 for covering up Russian doping cases in exchange for bribes.

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He was sentenced to four years in prison, of which two were suspended, and fined 500,000 euros ($560,000).

AFP

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Vulnerable Osun citizens get health insurance cards

Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, on Thursday, commenced mass distribution of Osun Health Insurance cards to 69,273 vulnerable citizens in the state.

Osun Health Insurance Agency has successfully enrolled 69,273 vulnerable persons who have been receiving healthcare services in the last two years under the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund.

A statement by Ismail Omipidan, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, said Oyetola while speaking at the flag-off ceremony, held at Ede High School, Ede, explained that the ceremony marked a watershed in the administration’s quest to ensure that no one was left behind in accessing qualitative healthcare.

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“To further strengthen the scheme, we have consistently paid the government’s share of public servants’ health insurance premium which is 3% of workers basic salary and paid the equity grant meant for the provision of treatment and care for the vulnerable/less privileged people in the State free of charge, making us the second in the entire Federation to do so.

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“The programmes have just been completed and the enrolled patients are already receiving treatment for TB across the State, as part of the OHIS Equity Programme for vulnerable persons,” he said.

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Ini Edo confirms surrogacy rumours, opens up about past miscarriages

Nollywood actress, Ini Edo, has confirmed rumours of her welcoming a daughter through a surrogate mother.

After days of keeping silent since the rumours began, the actress finally opened up in an interview with Stella Korkus, which was published on Friday.

Surrogacy is a practice where a woman (a surrogate) carries a child for another person through artificial insemination of eggs.

Confirming the news, Edo stated that the daughter was genetically hers because her eggs were used to fertilize the child.

She said, “Yes I do have a daughter and I had her through surrogacy. The eggs are mine and so genetically, she’s my blood.

“I chose this path to fulfil my dream of becoming a mother. I still have a good number of eggs frozen in case I decide to do surrogacy again or carry my baby myself.”

She also mentioned that she had the daughter almost a year ago, stating that she planned on breaking the news herself.

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“I was hoping to talk about her on her first birthday in a few months but mischief makers beat me to it and spoilt the beautiful story with lies,” Edo said.

Reacting to rumours that her child’s father was a married man, identified as Kome, the actress said, “It is so sad that in Nigeria, when a ‘single’ woman is friends with a guy, it must mean to people that they are dating.

“Kome has been my friend for years and that’s what it is, period. He is a responsible family man and doesn’t deserve to be dragged into my motherhood story.”

She then revealed that she opted for a donor because of her fears saying, “I opted for a donor for me and my baby’s peace of mind.

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“Another major reason I opted for a donor is because it scares me so much when I see banter and controversies between a mother and a father over a baby in public forums.”

During the interview, Edo also opened up about her past miscarriages, pointing out that her experience did not influence her decision on surrogacy.

“I had a series of miscarriages in the past but that wasn’t my reason for going this route .I still hope to carry babies In my womb in the future, God willing,” the actress said.

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BREAKING: Navy frees Comedian Cute Abiola from detention

The Nigerian Navy has freed online Comedian, Abdulgafar Ahmad, aka Cute Abiola, from detention, The PUNCH has learnt.

Naval spokesperson, Commodore Suleman Dahun, confirmed the development to our correspondent on Friday.

Cute Abiola was said to have been missing on Monday, November 15, 2021, when his colleague in the comedy industry, Debo Adedayo aka Mr Macaroni, raised the alarm that he was nowhere to be found after reporting at his office in Navy Town, Lagos, that same day.

Two days after the alarm was raised, Dahun had announced that the funnyman wasn’t missing but was detained for contravening the military laws by posting a video of himself in military uniform on social media, an act which is said to be in violation of the armed forces’ social media policy.

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Dahun had also added that the comedian failed to show up when called upon to explain himself but only returned after the expiration of his leave on November 15, 2021, and was put behind bars the same day.

Speaking with The PUNCH on Friday, the naval spokesman maintained that Ahmad knowingly violated the armed forces’ social media policy but was given a punishment after he was tried for misconduct and indiscipline.

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He added that the funnyman is no longer in the naval detention as he has been released to serve his punishment.

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I love Wizkid, that’s not going to change – Tems

Fast-rising Nigerian singer, Temilade Openiyi, popularly known as Tems, has declared her love for Wizkid, stating that it’s not going to change.

She said this in a video which surfaced on Friday, where she was performing their hit song, ‘Essence.’

Her recent video surfaced a day after a viral video which featured Wizkid trying to lift her while they both performed during his album tour in London.

The perfomance which held on Wednesday at the sold out O2 Arena saw Wizkid inviting Tems on stage to perform their hit song, Essence.

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During the performance, Wizkid is seen placing his arms under Tems’ buttocks in an attempt to lift her.

Tems, on her part, resisted his attempt by pulling his hands away.

The video has since caused a debate on Twitter as some fans accused Wizkid of sexual harassment while others tried to defend his action.

However, in the video which surfaced on Friday, Tems said, “All I’m going to say is Wiz is my brother, and someone I look up to.”

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Showing appreciation to Wizkid, Tems stated that she is grateful “for all he’s done and his existence.”

“I want you guys to remember that he’s human, I’m human, and I love him, and that’s not gonna change,” She concluded.

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Treat civilians how you’d love to be treated, Oba of Lagos cautions police

The Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, has cautioned the Nigerian police to treat civilians the way they’d love to be treated after service.

The monarch stated this in an interview after a private visit of the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard, to his palace.

This was contained in a statement released on Thursday titled, ‘Oba Akiolu Calls For Collaborative Policing’.

Noting that the police plays an important role in the nation’s security, the monarch also stated that lack of welfare has bred bad eggs among officers.

“The Monarch also identified the Nigerian Police as an important player in the nation’s security system noting, however, that lack of equipment and inadequate welfare of officers had bred bad eggs among the personnel, just as he affirmed that the Police is servant to the public and admonished officers to treat civilians as they would love to be treated after service,” the statement read.

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Oba Akiolu further explained that every Nigerian must be security conscious and very sensitive to their surroundings.

According to him, this will enable citizens to provide timely information to security agencies when an unusual occurrence is noticed in the community.

“Security is everyone’s business and we all need to be security conscious. You see something, you say something,” the statement quoted him as saying.

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The monarch also noted that the continued influx of people into Lagos not only put pressure on the infrastructure but also on the security architecture of the state.

Oba Akiolu, who commended the state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for his efforts in improving security, also called on traditional institutes and residents to support the government.

He mentioned that such support can be through obeying laws and paying their taxes.

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Travel safety, security, fire prevention tips you need during Yuletide

December comes with a lot of activities as it’s a season of festivities due to the Christmas celebration.

The season, which also ushers into a New Year, is characterized by shopping, outings, travelling, and lots of merriment.

However, while one may be carried away with these activities, it is pertinent to note that the season also comes with its own downsides which include a rise in theft, fraud, accidents, and other crimes.

Though the security agencies are in place to tackle these vices, one must apply simple security tips to ensure safety this period.

In this piece, The PUNCH highlights five areas where security is required and tips on how to stay safe.

Travel safety

As common with most people, the rate of travelling during the Yuletide is always on the rise. These few tips would ensure safety during travel:

  • Make sure doors are properly locked and items are kept safe before leaving the premises.
  • Despite the excitement, ensure that drink-driving is avoided.
  • In case of road travel, board buses with registered transport companies and always look out for your luggages while on transit. This also applies to air travel.
  • When travelling with kids in the car, a child safety seat should be employed to ensure that they are safely tucked in.
  • Ensure you use a life jacket for sea travel and boat cruises.
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Fire prevention

With the presence of firecrackers and different kind of fireworks, safety must be applied to avoid an outbreak.

Also, the use of Christmas trees, candles, and other electrical decorations may lead to fire outbreak when not properly used.

  • Avoid using faulty electrical appliances and ensure they’re away from arm’s length.
  • For electrical repairs, seek help from a professional. Simple do-it-yourself hacks are not always advised.
  • Ensure candles are properly extinguished before going to bed.
  • Don’t use firecrackers close to residential or commercial areas.

Safe shopping

  • Avoid moving with large amount of money. The advent of debit cards and mobile banking has made this easy.
  • For online shopping, patronise authentic vendors. Avoid pop-up ads which may contain malware.
  • Beware of scam and stay away from sharing sensitive information such as debit card number, bank verification number, and transaction PIN.
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Food safety

Asides firecrackers and Christmas decorations, another major source of fire incident also emanates from the kitchen.

These tips would ensure food safety and prevent cooking-related hazards:

  • Have presence of mind during cooking to quickly curtail impending dangers.
  • Keep flammable objects like napkins and paper towels away from open flame.
  • Ensure food ingredients/items are in good condition before cooking; to avoid food poisoning.

Home/personal security

  • Avoid loud music. Not only does it cause noise pollution, it also attracts burglars.
  • Be careful with sharing information about personal activities on social media, to prevent monitoring which may lead to kidnapping or theft.
  • Keep all important documents safe and out of public eye.
  • Gift items and flashy possessions should be kept properly and away from windows.

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NGO sensitises police, judiciary to restorative justice in Nasarawa

A Non-governmental organization, Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action, has urged officers of the Nigeria Police Force and Judiciary workers in Nasarawa state to use the restorative justice platform which was recently introduced in the criminal justice system to tackle minor crimes in the state.

The restorative justice system provides an opportunity for the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and their communities.

Speaking on Thursday in Lafia, during a one-day sensitisation training programme for police officers and judiciary workers in Nasarawa on restorative justice, Deputy Director of PRAWA, Ogechi Ogu, said that the training became necessary in order to decongest correctional facilities in the state.

She explained that so many citizens of the country were locked up in correctional facilities for minor crimes, saying that if the system of restorative justice was applied, it would help in decongesting Nigeria prisons.

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“It Is not every case that must go to court and people should not be detained in every case. There are certain cases that can be settled at the level of the police who are in charge of alternative dispute resolution.

“So many people are in correctional facilities for minor cases which could have been settled if restorative justice was applied. The reason for this training is ensure collaboration between the police, correctional officers and the judiciary so that we can decongest our prisons”, she said.

Ugo urged security agencies in the state to create a platform to interface with the judiciary in order to avert the regular delay in the delivery of criminal justice.

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“We all know that there is usually a delay in the delivery of criminal justice in Nigeria and there are so many factors that are responsible for it, but one of the major factors is communication gap between security agencies and the judiciary. So I think that if they can close the gap, our prisons will be decongested”, she added.

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World Disabilities Day: Rights group seeks Buhari’s assent to Electoral Act

A disabilities rights group, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, has called on the president, Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) to assent to the Electoral Act 2021.

This was contained in a statement signed by the CCD’s Executive Director, David Anyaele, which noted that the bill removes barriers that limit persons with disabilities from participating in electoral processes.

The statement read in part, “We are marking this day at a time Nigerians are awaiting the assent of the President on a Bill for an Act To Repeal The Electoral Act No. 6, 2010 And Enact The Electoral Act 2021, To Regulate The Conduct Of Federal, State And Area Councils In The Federal Capital Territory Elections; And For Related Matters.

“The Bill provides for the removal of barriers that hinders citizens with disabilities from participating in the electoral process on an equal basis with others. We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign into an Act the Electoral Bill without further delay in order to open space for necessary actions towards 2023 General Elections.”

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The CCD also called on state governments to adopt the Disability Rights Act, noting that only 13 states of the federation had demonstrated measures to adopt the act.

The group stated that a failure by state governments to adopt the Act was an endorsement of discrimination against persons with disabilities.

“We are worried that 36 months after the passage of the Disability Rights Act, only 13 State have demonstrated measures to adopt the Act. We commend States like Lagos, Anambra, Ekiti, Ondo, Plateau, Bauchi, Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa, Kogi, Niger, Kwara, and Niger states. We call on the State governments yet to adopt the National Disability Rights Act to do so without further delay,” the statement added.

“This is important because failure in this regard is an indirect endorsement of discrimination and other harmful practices against their citizens with disabilities. It is important for state governments to make inclusion and participation of citizens with disabilities in governance and development programmes a priority, as it is very expensive and difficult to live with a disability without government support.”

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The group warned that Nigeria will not be able to achieve its Sustainable Development Goals target if policies meant to protect the rights of persons with disabilities are not protected.

“Acknowledging that Nigeria has signed the United Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities including its optional protocols, we state that SDGs will not be achieved if state and none state actors continue to discriminate, isolate and marginalize over 31 million Nigerians with disabilities in planning and implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria,” the group stated.

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FG must deregulate politics to expand  economy – Ex-Speaker Na’Abba

Friday Olokor, Abuja

A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Umar Na’Abba, on Thursday said that the Federal Government must do more to deregulate politics with a view to expanding the economy of Nigeria.

According to him, Nigeria, as a country, never had a perfect constitution, adding that it was always work in progress.

He said it was important for Nigerians to conduct themselves nationally in an orderly manner.

Na’Abba stated this at the Maitama Sule Leadership Lecture Series, with the theme: “Constitution, constitutionalism and the future of Nigeria”, organised by the Students wing of the Coalition of Northern Group at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi.

He said Nigerian politics ‘must be deregulated because you cannot expand an economy without deregulating politics and this deregulation comes in the form of the control that political parties have been subjected to by the governors in the states.”

Na’Abba said, “The economy has not grown and social mobility has become impossible, therefore, we must expand the usage of our forces. We must deregulate politics because that will now release economic potential for the benefit of Nigerians.

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“I believe what the National Assembly proposed that there must be direct primaries to select party candidates; the proposal must be assented to by the President no matter the cost.

“I believe we need good leadership,  the imperative of good leadership is much higher than the cost involved and this is not a sum that the Federal Government could not afford.

“If the Federal Government can afford to dish out what they call conditional cash transfers to individuals, I think, they can as well fund direct primary election.”

He however, told the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd ), to assent to the bill saying that  Nigerians had a pulse.

“I don’t think it will augur well for the country if Nigeria’s democracy continues to be held to ransom by our governments” , he said, and commended the CNG for mentoring youths.

Delivering his paper at the lecture, a legal practitioner, Muzammil Yahaya, said, “the removal of fuel subsidy has to be looked at from various dimensions; in as much as I see it as a necessity, at the same time, it’s the wrong time for the policy, Nigerians can believe and trust the government.

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Speaking on democracy, he explained that everyone had to be involved in every decision that had to be considered.

Yahaya said, “I urge the Federal Government to consider more opinions.”

On his part, the spokesperson for the CNG, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, said it was time for the younger generation to “rise, struggle and walk to the places of these leaders who think power is their birthright.”

He said, “You cannot change a system unless you have to be in the system. Gone are the days when our students would be dictated to and they would be decided for by people who have dominated or preferred to use the word to manipulate them.”

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