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Kagara Students may die of hunger, says Bandit

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As Governor Bello laments FG neglect

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State is unimpressed that other than sending a delegation to the state, the federal government has not done any other tangible thing for the State.

Bello has always lamented what he often described as the neglect of the state in terms of infrastructural development, among others. His position is shared by some northern state governments, who seeing escalating security challenges despite the huge sums they spend on security agencies, are resorting to self-help or negotiating with bandits to citizens safe.

He told visiting Senate Minority Leader, Orji Uzor Kalu, on Thursday that though he appreciated the Federal government’s concern, there was nothing extra from the central government, just as abductors of 27 students, 3 teachers and 12 members of a family of Government Science College Kagara, Niger have told negotiators the Federal Government will be responsible if the children die.

The abductors said the children are hungry and weak with nothing to have but water since their abduction eight days ago.

When he met Senator Kalu, an obviously frustrated Bello said, “At the moment, we do not feel any Federal presence here. The Inspector-General of Police sent us four mobile units but we are to shoulder the financial responsibilities. So, where is the support? There is no support from anyone.

“Yes, we had a (Federal Government) delegation (led by Minister Lai Mohammed and including National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno and Police Inspector General Mohammed Adamu) that came to visit and commiserate with us but that was all.

“So, we are left to ourselves,” he said.

Governor Bello and Senator Kalu


“We have already made a commitment that we will bring back the children safely with or without anyone.”

In an audio conversation obtained by The Nation, the abductors said they no longer have food to give the abductees, saying if one dies, they would dump the body for the government to pick up.

The bandit, who was speaking to the negotiator in Hausa, said: “I don’t have food for them. If anybody dies among them, we will tell you where to go and pick the corpse.

“You know these children are hungry. I don’t have food to give them, only water if they are going to die, let them die.”

The abductor was identified to be speaking to Kaduna- based Islamic Scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, who is said to be the top negotiator for government.

The bandit disclosed they have informants who feed them with every move of government, stating one of their sponsors is an influential member of the society involved in the negotiation process.

“You think I don’t know what you people are doing? I can tell you how many security vehicles are in Kagara as we speak.

“It is with the help of the people of the city that intruders can overrun the city. Don’t you know that?

“The person who gave us this business is there among you. He is there with you. Wherever you go, he is watching you.

“If you want to do this deal, go ahead. From God, we come and to Him, we will return

“Even if you put together the entire security forces of Nigeria in Kagara, I have eyes all over Kagara. Whichever step you take in Niger state, I swear, I will know.

“You people are saying they should not pay us, that if they pay us, we will use the money to buy weapons.

“With whose money did we buy our weapons? If we don’t have weapons, you will just send security agents to kill us and take the children.”

The bandit further said the deployment of security to Kagara is a waste of time, asking government to disband vigilantes for peace to reign in Kagara.

“Your deploying security officials in Kagara is a waste of time. Is there a fence in this forest? You know we are not in the cities, we are in the forests.

“You see, if you want to seek peace, seek peace and if you don’t stop the activities of vigilantes in Niger you will not know peace forever,” the bandit stated.

▪︎ Additional reports by The Nation

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Ebonyi Head of Service Position: Umahi Throws Application Open

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Against the usual practice of picking from the top echelon of the Civil Service,  Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi on Tuesday threw the position of Head of Service (HoS) of the state open, asking civil servants on Grade Level 14 and above to apply within two weeks.

Umahi, in a statement by the Commissioner of Information and State Orientation, Mr Uchenna Orji, said civil servants across the 13 LGAs of the state are qualified to apply within two weeks.

“The Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi requests applications from Civil Servants from Grade Level 14 and above to fill the vacancy of the Head Of Service (HOS), who shall be bowing out of Civil Service on 30th June 2021 after a meritorious and selfless service to the government and people of Ebonyi State,” the statement read in part.

The Governor further directed the civil servants to forward their applications to the Secretary to the State Government (SSG): “All applications are to be addressed to the Secretary to the State Government and Coordinating Commissioner, and submitted with all relevant credentials no later than 30th June, 2021.

Umahi added that “In replacing the outgoing Head of Service, the Government will be looking for the best for the State to continue the good work that the outgoing Head of Service began.

He applauded the loyalty, committed efforts and selfless service rendered by the out-going Head Of Service, Dr. Chamberlain Nwele, in the state and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Federal High Court Issues New Practice Direction For Filing Of Processes As Workers Resume

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The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court (FHC), Justice John Tsoho, has issued a new practice direction on exemption of payment of default fees for filing of processes.

The development, according to a statement by Catherine Oby-Nwandu, Chief Information Officer of FHC, on Friday night, followed the resumption of work after the two-month strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) was called off on on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that JUSUN had, on April 6, shut down all courts nationwide to demand for financial autonomy for the judiciary at the state level.

Although the industrial action was called off on Wednesday, June 9, the workers union directed all its members to resume work on Monday, June 14.

Justice Tsoho, in the statement, therefore ordered that notwithstanding the provisions of Order 48 Rule 4 of the court rules, 2019, on computation of time for filling of court proceedings as provided by the Rules and payment of default fees for extension of time, the period covering the JUSUN strike action would be exempted.

The statement reads: “Following the resumption of work after the strike action by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) from 6th day of April, 2021 to 14th day of June 2021 which affected court proceedings and filling of processes, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Honorable Justice John Terhemba Tsoho, announces to Hon. Judges, stakeholders and the general public, the essential need for a new Practice Direction on EXEMPTION OF PAYMENT OF DEFAULT FEES FOR FILING OF PROCESSES computation of time for the payment of default fees for extension of time for filing processes in the Federal High Court of Nigeria for the above period.

“Pursuant to the powers conferred on him, he thereby issues the following Practice Directions:
“COMPUTATION of Time for filing of court processes and payment of default fees for extension of time;
“Notwithstanding the provisions of Order 48 Rule 4 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019 on computation of time for filling of court proceedings or doing an act as provided by the Rules and payment of default fees for extension of time thereof, the period covering the JUSUN strike action, being from 6th day of April, 2021 to 14th day of June, 2021, is hereby exempted.

“APPLICABILITY; These practice Directions shall, save to the extent or as may be otherwise directed by the Chief Judge, apply to both criminal and civil causes and matters in the Federal High Court of Nigeria.

“CITATION; These Practice Directions shall be cited as the Federal High Court (Exemption of Payment of Default Fees for Filing of Processes) Practice Directions (No. 2) 2021.

“The Practice Directions take effect from Tuesday, June 15, 2021.”(NAN)

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BUHARI REMOVES ARMSTRONG IDACHABA, REPLACES HIM WITH SHEHU ILELAH AS NBC DG.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, as the new director-general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

The minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the appointment in a statement made available to NAN in Abuja on Friday.

The statement said Ilelah’s appointment is for a tenure of five years in the first instance.

Ilelah

It added that Ilelah is a veteran broadcaster.

Ilelah takes over from the acting director-general of the agency, Armstrong Idachaba, who had been acting since the removal of Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, the esthwhile director-general who was removed over alleged corruption last year.

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