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Royal Father Urges Fubara to Deliver more Democracy Dividend

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The Traditional Ruler of Opobo Kingdom, Dandeson Jaja, has advised Gov. Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers to ensure that his administration delivers meaningful democracy dividend equitably to all parts of the state.

Jaja gave the advice at the Opobo  International Charity Day, organised by the Opobo Foundation, USA (OFUSA), in collaboration with different clubs in Opobo Kingdom.

He said that spreading the dividend of democracy round the state would benefit the people of the state and society at large and endear him more to the citizenry.

He urged the governor to hold God as his greatest guide in any difficulties that might come his way.

“We wish him well as the governor of the state as he pilots the affairs of the state,” the royal father said.

He commended the organisers of the event, saying that they had touched majorly the key important issues in human life, which include health and education.

He also thanked the group for the medical outreach, scholarship award to 10 indigent students of Opobo origin and donation of food items and cash to the community.

Jaja advised the beneficiaries of the scholarship to make most of the opportunity and ensure they finished tops in their studies.

In a speech, the President of OFUSA, Prof. Iyalle Peterside, said that the foundation is a non-profit organisation with an aim to build the future and restore Opobo cultural heritage.

Peterside said that the group offered scholarships to students in post-secondary education based on merit.

He said that the scholarship covered tuition, boarding fees and books to ensure that the students would have no reason to drop out of school.

He urged the parents of the beneficiaries to make sure that their children stayed out of trouble in school during the four years of the scholarship.

He gave assurance that the best graduating student would receive another scholarship for a postgraduate study.

Peterside, a professor of Pediatrics and Pediatric Surgery in the University of Pennsylvania, said that the available scholarship funds would run for 12 years non-stop, if  judiciously managed.

Also, the Chief Executive Officer of Tap Africa Albino Foundation, Mr Jake Epelle, appealed that persons with disabilities should be included in the OFUSA scholarship scheme.

Epelle, who is a member of the Specialist Examination Committee on Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, said that the foundation would ensure that the initiative to empower the indigent and persons with disabilities with cash gifts was sustained.

He urged organisations to create more awareness about the need for the visually impaired persons to be educated.

He later made cash donation to 40 indigent elderly and persons with disabilities in the area.

The Director-General of Steering Group of Opobo/Nkoro International Charity Day, Dr Sofiri-Starson Peterside, said that the initiative, which also aims at reaching out to Opobo and non-Opobo indigenes, would run through the 14 sections of the communities in the kingdom.

Peterside, a Medical Doctor with First Care Hospital, said that the  health of the people of Opobo Kingdom is paramount, if there would be development.

He called on corporate bodies to use the group platform in subsequent years to dispense their social responsibility to the kingdom.

A beneficiary of the scholarship scheme, Mr Jaja Isaiah, thanked the group on behalf of other beneficiaries for the scholarship offered to them.

Isaiah advised his colleagues to take their studies seriously and live a disciplined life that could help them to take similar opportunities that might come their way in future.

Reports says that people received medical checks, including eye, malaria, sugar tests, dispensing of drugs, cash gifts, wrappers and clothing, rice, noodles and exercise books to students, amongst others. (NAN)

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FCCPC Summons Owner of Chinese Supermarket for Alleged Discrimination of Citizens

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The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), has summoned the owner of a Chinese supermarket located in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), for alleged restriction of Nigerians.

The supermarket located at Royal Choice Estate, Lugbe, allegedly permits only Chinese citizens access to purchase groceries.

The supermarket was under lock and key when officials of the FCCPC visited in reaction to a viral video where citizens frowned at the supermarket’s policy.

Ms Boladale Adeyinka, the Director, Surveillance and Investigations of FCCPC, who led the team, said the essence of the investigation was to verify the allegations and the contents of that viral video.

”On arrival, we noticed that the supermarket which is right behind me, was sealed and padlocked externally.

”Inquiries have shown that yes, as at this morning this supermarket was opened and people were here.

”CCTV footage also shows that at about 8:29 a.m., two vehicles departed from these premises allegedly containing the owner of the supermarket, whom we have been able to identify by name and we have her contact details.

”Now the summon is to serve notice on her to appear before the FCCPC by April 24 at 11 a. m.

”There are other regulatory tools to be deployed if she fails to honour this summons, ” she said.

Adeyinka said that if the owner of the supermarket failed to hour the summon, the commission under its powers, would seal the premises until she complied.

Mr Sanusi Shuiabu, the Estate Assistant Facilities Manager, said the supermarket was primarily established to cater for the groceries needs of Chinese residents and other tenants of the estate.

He said that there were no agreement restricting the supermarket to Chinese residents only.

Shuiabu said the owner of the supermarket who he simply identified as Cindy was a tenant in the estate.

Reports says that the supermarket was under lock and key when the FCCPC official visited. (NAN)

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Niger Delta Leaders say NDDC MD has Capacity to Perform

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Some leaders in the Niger Delta say they have confidence in the capability of the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr Samuel Ogbuku to perform.

Mr Freedom Atigbi, the Convener of the Niger Delta Opinion Leaders, Youths and Weighted Stakeholders said this at a news conference in Port Harcourt on Monday.

He said that Ogbuku had demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities, charisma, and ability to drive both human and infrastructure development in the Niger Delta during his few months in office.

“Since Ogbuku’s appointment as managing director, the NDDC has successfully completed the 25.7-kilometre Ogbia-Nembe Road and bridges project.

“In addition, initiatives such as the postgraduate oversees scholarship programme and ‘Operation Light up the Niger Delta’  has significantly reduced crime and enhanced commercial activities in the region.

“Under Ogbuku’s leadership, NDDC has inaugurated the Project Hope programme aimed at creating a database to facilitate the planning and implementation of training and provision for skilled labour,” he said.

Atigbi, who also serves as the Deputy President of the Ijaw Council Worldwide, said that the managing director had established the Niger Delta Chamber of Commerce to support local entrepreneurs in growing their businesses.

“These achievements within few months in office underscores our belief that Ogbuku’s leadership has transformed NDDC from a transactional to a transformative government agency.

“Ogbuku has shown his ability to engage all stakeholders to achieve the goal of carrying everyone along in the commission’s policies and programmes.

“We hereby pass a vote of confidence and offer our support to Ogbuku, a balancer and unifier whose policies and programmes are tackling poverty and misery in the region,” he added.

The youth leader praised President Bola Tinubu for entrusting Ogbuku with the task of advancing his Renewed Hope Agenda in the Niger Delta. (NAN)

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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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