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Drone Bombing: Group Condoles Families, Kaduna Govt over Death Toll

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By Laide Akinboade, Abuja

Some groups recently, commiserated with the families, people, and Government of Kaduna State over the unfortunate, mistaken bombing of some innocent civilians in the Tudun Biri area of Igabi Local Government Area, LGA, in the state.

The group which said it received the news of the development in Kaduna with serious pain, appealed to residents to believe in the ability of the nation’s Armed Forces to enthone a secured Nigeria for the betterment of all citizens.

The coalition is led by a foremost African peace-building group, Global Peace and Life Rescue Initiative (GOPRI), which noted that the military drone was in hot pursuit of some terrorists that infiltrated some communities in the area before the unfortunate incident.

While expressing its heartfelt condolences to the families, people, and government of the state, the group, however, took a swipe at a call for the resignation or sack of the Chief of Defence Staff and the Chief of Army Staff, by a northern-based group operating as Arewa Action Group for Good Governance.

Recall that the Arewa group on Tuesday, had alleged that the action of the Nigerian Army has cast a shadow on the human rights rating of the Nigerian Army.

The group, in a statement signed by Moses Saleh, accused the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Gwabin Musa, of conniving with the Nigerian Army to cause havoc in communities in Kaduna State.

The group said the Chief of Defence Staff sanctioned the action of the Nigerian Army without the involvement of the Nigerian Air Force, the service responsible for air operations.

But in its reaction to the allegation, the GOPRI-led coalition expressed disappointment at the claim by the northern group even as it said such a group was not in existence anywhere in Nigeria or beyond.

In a statement issued by the coalition, they called on the military chiefs not to be deterred in their relentless efforts to rid Nigeria of terrorists following the actions of some faceless individuals masquerading under some nonexisting groups.

In the statement signed by the, the Executive Director of Global peace and life rescue initiative GOPRI, Amb. Melvin Ejeh, the Convener of the Conference of Islamic Preachers in Africa (CIPA), Sheikh Mohammad Abubarkar Zango, the coalition commended President Bola Tinubu over the high-powered delegation he dispatched to the community for immediate assessment of the situation.

The group which said though it does not speak for the military, said the Nigerian military remains one of the best in the world, noting that a single mistake should not be a yardstick to attack the nation’s revered military who are making sacrifices and achieving monumental results daily.

It said: “In as much as we won’t want to join issues with the nonexisting group, we will not also sit on the fence while some enemies of the country succeed in their desperate clandestine plan to pitch Nigerians against the military and its leadership.

“The Global Fire Power (GFP), an institution that ranks the military of different countries, recently rated the Nigerian military as one of the best in the world, in its survey.

“This places Nigeria above 18 European countries namely: Denmark, Belgium, Portugal, Bulgaria, Austria, Ireland, Macedonia, Finland, Hungary, Croatia, Slovakia, Serbia, Albania, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Anybody in doubt can do their research,” the coalition said.

The coalition added: “We are saddened over the unfortunate deaths of innocent civilians in Kaduna State.

“Our hearts go to the immediate family of the deceased. We sympathize with the families, people, and Government of Kaduna State over this regrettable incident. We call on the Government to make adequate arrangements for the families the deceased left behind.”

It added: “We commend President Tinubu over the high-powered delegation he dispatched to the community for immediate assessment of the situation. 

However, we are saddened and shocked by the reckless, and irresponsible derogatory, defamatory, and inciting statement issued by a faceless sponsored group, operating under the name, Arewa Action Group for Good Governance, against our revered Chief of Defence Staff,

CDS, General Christopher Gwabin Musa, and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Taoreed Lagbaja, at a time Nigerians are mourning. “

According to the coalition, “This group which has no visibility and physical address anywhere in the country according to our investigation, is just out to play their paymasters’s script just to tarnish the good reputation of the CDS and COAS to cause bad blood between them and Nigerians.”

The coalition said it did not see how an operational hazard would translate to be caused by the CDS and COAS.

“While we are not trying to justify the killing of innocent Nigerians under any guise, however, credible intelligence available to us suggests that the soldiers were in hot pursuit of some terrorists who had infiltrated the communities on that faithful day,” it said.

The group said, “Operational hazard happens anywhere in the world no matter how advanced.”

It advised Nigerians against playing politics with issues of national security rather than coming together to solve the problem. 

“While we call on the government and military high command to ignore the faceless group, we appeal to the DSS to commence an immediate investigation to unravel the sponsors of the faceless group who are out to malign the office of CDS and COAS. Their action is capable of causing religious and ethnic unrest,” it tasked.

NEWS

Alleged Defilement: Businessman Docked for Failing to Produce Suspect

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Court Sentences Applicant to 6 Months in Prison for Stealing Cell Phone
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A businessman, Robert Makolo on Monday appeared before an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court, for failing to produce a suspect he stood surety for in a case of defilement.

Makolo had promised to produce the suspect, John, who is his brother in court by the adjourned date.

The Magistrate Mr Lateef Owolabi, adjourned the case until May 30 for mention and to enable the defendant produce the suspect.

Reports says that Makolo had earlier been arraigned on Jan.

22 and stood trial on a two- count charge of conspiracy and perversion of justice.

He had pleaded not guilty.

Magistrate Owolabi, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties in like sum who must produce evidence of 3 years tax payment to the Lagos State Government.

He said that one of the sureties must be a blood relative.

The prosecutor, SP Josephine Ikhayere had told the court that Makolo stood in as surety on  Nov 16, 2023 at the Anthony Police Station.

Ikhayere alleged that Makolo stood as a surety for his brother Paul, who was involved in a case of defilement.

She said the defendant promised to produce his brother the suspect anytime his presence was required at the police station until the case is finally disposed of.

She said that the defendant undertook to produce the suspect on Nov. 30, 2023 but failed.

The prosecutor said that the section contravene the provisions of Section 97 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos.(NAN)

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Education

Minimum Entry age to Tertiary Institutions18 Years – FG

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The Federal Government has directed that admission to tertiary institutions should not be given to candidates less than 18 years.

The Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman gave the directive on Monday during a monitoring exercise of the ongoing 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Bwari, Federal Capital Territory.

He decried the activities of some parent, who were pressuring their underage students to get admissions into tertiary institutions,

The minister said that the 18-year benchmark is in line with the 6-3-3-4 system of education.

“The minimum age of entry into the University is 18, but we have seen students who are 15, 16 years going in for the entrance examination.

“Parents should be encouraged not to push there wards too much. Mostly, it is the pressure of parents that is causing this.

“We are going to look at this development because the candidates are too young to understand what the whole university education is all about.

“This is the period when children migrate from controlled to uncontrolled environment; when they are in charge of their own affairs.

“But, if they are too young, they won’t be able to manage properly. I think that is part of what we are seeing in the Universities today,” he said.

On skill acquisition for those who will not be able to gain admissions into tertiary institutions, Mamman said the ministry is taking skills to pupils from primary school.

“ In overall, it is 20 per cent that can be admitted into the University, Polytechnic and Colleges of Education system.

“So, where will the 80 per cent go to? That is why the issue of skills acquisition is very important.

“Any student who is unable to proceed to tertiary institutions should be able to have a meaningful life after primary and secondary school’s education and the only solution to this is skill acquisition,” he said.

Corroborating the minister’s position on the benchmark of 18 years for admission to tertiary institution, the JAMB spokesperson, Dr Fabian Benjamin said 18 years is the is in line with the 6-3-3-4 education system.

The Minister of State for Education, Dr Yusuf Sununu who was in the monitoring team applauded the conduct of the 2024 UTME, particularly, the introduction of online examinations as a way of checking malpractices.

He said the Computer Based Test (CBT) had reduced examination malpractices to the barest minimum.

Sununu commended the Board for setting simple but high standard for the examination. (NAN)

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NEWS

EFCC Arraigns Businessman for Allegedly Tampering with Forfeited Property

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday arraigned a businessman, Ifeanyi Bosah-Reginald, before an Ikeja Special Offences Court for allegedly tampering with forfeited property.
Reports says that Bosah-Reginald was arraigned on a count charge alongside Magnificat Homes & Leisure Ltd.

 and fifth Neighborhood Management Ltd.

The EFCC alleged that the defendant ran foul of the offence of dealing with forfeited property without authorisation contrary to Section 12(1) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The EFCC Counsel, Mr Babatunde Sonoiki, thereafter applied to the court that the defendant should be kept in appropriate custody and also  asked for a trial date.

According to the EFCC, the defendant was alleged to have trespassed property of one  Jokotade Tade Estate Resources Ltd. and that of one Mrs Foloshade Ogundare.
The EFCC said the property, a subject of forfeited order in suit ID/2168/2015, was said to be measuring about 10,687 hectares, situated at Sangotedo Lekki, Lagos State.
It said the property had been forfeited to the Federal Government based on the interim forfeiture order of the court of competent jurisdiction.
Justice Rahman Oshodi ordered the defendant to be remanded in Kirikiri Correctional Centre.
The judge, however, adjourned the case until  May 31 for commencement of trial. (NAN)

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