Enugu: Police personnel, others participate in fitness exercise

No fewer than 516 police personnel and other officers from sister security agencies in Enugu State have participated in a routine monthly fitness exercise.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that officers of other security agencies present at the exercise included the Nigeria Prisons and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) as well as staff of corporate organisations including NAN.

The state’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Mr Ebere Amaraizu, told NAN during the exercise on Saturday that the exercise was to keep security personnel in Enugu State up and doing in the discharge of their duties.

Amaraizu said that the exercise, tagged “Walk/Jog for Life’’ also promote synergy and co-operation among security agencies and the members of the public.

“Through this monthly fitness exercise, the Enugu State Police Command has been able to close the communication and interaction gap between members of the public and security agencies in the state.

“It has increased the number of people involved in fighting crime and criminality; thus, increasing safety and calmness in the entire state,’’ he said.

The PPRO, however, appealed to more corporate organisations to get involved in the exercise in order to promote security consciousness among residents.

“We want philanthropists and corporate organisations to partner with us in printing security information leaflets, banners and other items that would carry beneficial security tips.

“These security tips and addresses both in GSM and social media can be handy and helpful to anyone at any moment,’’ Amaraizu said.

One of the participants, Mr Johnson Ugwu, an officer of NSCDC, told NAN that ‘’the exercise has extended the frontiers of the inter-agency co-operation between NSCDC and Nigeria Police as well as other security agencies’’.

NAN reports that the participants walked and jogged through Ridge Way, Okpara Avenue, Prisons Way, Camp Road, Zik Avenue and terminated at Agbani Road all within Enugu metropolis.

NAN also recalls that the Enugu State Police Command monthly Walk/Jog Exercise commenced in January 2009.

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Boko Haram Attack: Child victim’s surgery successful

Boko Haram child’s victim, Ali Ahmadu has survived corrective surgery in Dubai after being in Intensive Care Unit for 48hours.

The Chairman of Taleveras, Igho Sanomi and members of the Dickens Sanomi Foundation are still at his bed side.

During the surgery, doctors described Ali as “a very strong boy who was determined to live.”

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55 Adamawa schools get Lottery Trust Fund support

National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF) has donated sports equipment to 55 primary schools in Adamawa, newsmen report.

Presenting the equipment to heads of the benefiting primary schools on Saturday in Yola, the Executive Secretary of NLTF, Alhaji Habu Gumel, said the gesture was to promote sports among youths.

Sports development boosted by National Lottery Trust Fund in Adamawa
Gumel said the purchase of the equipment was funded from revenue generated by the NLTF.

According to him, the donation is also taking place in all the 36 states of the federation, including the FCT.

He said NLTF was ready to partner with states, local governments and NGOs for funding of people oriented projects.

He added that “the gesture demonstrates the present administration commitment in promoting grassroots sports.”

He urged the benefiting schools to ensure safety of the equipment.

“We don’t want to see these equipment in the market. We will be checking the items from time to time to ensure that they are safeguarded,” Gumel warned.

Alhaji Abdurazak Namdas, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Media, said the National Assembly would continue to make legislation that would enhance youth participation in sports.

Namdas, who represents Mayo Belwa, Jada, Ganye and Tuongo constituency in the House of Representatives encouraged youths to participate in sports.

He added that the sports industry had the capacity to create wealth and unity in diversity.

Mr Daniel Richard, a philanthropist and one of the financers of lottery in Nigeria, encouraged Nigerians to support sports funding.

According to Richard, the era of depending on government funding is over.

He urged citizens of Adamawa to contribute to sports development “to enable the state to wake up from its slumber.”

He encouraged individuals to contribute to school sports in their communities or in their former schools.


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NAFDAC union insists on strike until new DG apointment

Ejor Michael, the National Public Relations Officer (PRO), Medical and Health Union of Nigeria, NAFDAC chapter, made this known on Saturday in Abuja in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) workers say they will continue with their strike until the Federal Government appoints a substantive Director General.

Mr Ejor Michael, the National Public Relations Officer (PRO), Medical and Health Union of Nigeria, NAFDAC chapter, made this known on Saturday in Abuja in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The union on Sept. 22 embarked on an indefinite strike to demand for a new DG or the appointment of the most senior director to run the affairs of the agency.

Michael said that the Acting DG, Mrs Yetunde Oni, had been on acting capacity since February 2016 and had acted for over one year.

“She clocks 60 years on Thursday and by virtue of public service rule she has to go but she doesn’t want to go.

“”We, therefore, ask the Federal Government to give us a substantive DG or the most senior director in NAFDAC take over same way Oni took over as the most senior in 2016,” he said.

The union alleged that the acting director had handed over to a director who is not the most senior.

Mr Idu Isua, Vice Chairman of the union said that the next senior director was supposed to take charge after Oni had attained the mandatory age of 60 years.

He said that the next in line to the Acting DG should automatically take charge before the appointment of a substantive DG by the Federal Government.

In a swift reaction, Mr Jimoh Abubakar, Director of Public Relations and Special Duties, NAFDAC said that the appointment of the DG was an exclusive preserve of the President.

He said that the controversy surrounding the appointment of an acting DG was needless, adding that the Federal Government was aware of the situation and would take appropriate step at the right time.

“Government in its wisdom will take appropriate decision, we should not be in a hurry, government is aware of information we are not privy to.

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Police arrest NAN reporter for “defamation of character, falsehood”

The Benue Police Command has arrested Mr Emmanuel Atswen, a reporter of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), over a report on the protest by IDPs at the International Market camp in Makurdi.

IDPs, on Sept. 12, protested against alleged diversion of relief materials, and blocked the main entrance into the camp to stop vehicles loaded with the assorted relief materials, from driving out.
Some of the protesters, who spoke, said that they were prompted to protest because such diversion had become more persistent, insisting that it was not the first time camp officials were loading materials from the camp”s warehouse.

Atswen, who was at the camp when the protest took place, not only filed the story, but took still and video pictures of the protesters.

He also spoke with the Commissioner of Water Resources and Environment, Mr Joseph Utsev, who promised to investigate the protest.

The state government had earlier removed the camp manager over alleged “irregularities”.

Miffed by the protests, the Executive Secretary of the Benue State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Dr. Boniface Ortese, recently closed down all the camps hosting victims of the Benue floods, after claiming that they had been taken over by hoodlums.

Atswen, who was arrested on Friday in Makurdi, is being accused of “defamation of character and falsehood”.

One Mr Offor, the police officer investigating the case, turned down pleas by journalists and lawyers to release Atswen on bail, and ignored arguments that the offences he was being charged with were bailable.

NAN reports that prior to Atswen’s arrest, the SEMA boss had petitioned NAN over the same story, demanding N3 billion as damages, even though neither his name nor his agency were mentioned in the report.

The NAN management, in a press statement on Saturday in Abuja, however, said that it was standing by its protest story, and reiterated its commitment to reporting the truth always.

The NAN management declared that the said story did not violate the tenets of the journalism profession.

The Management of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) has assured its subscribers within and outside the country of its unalloyed commitment to balanced reportage, saying it stands by its protest story of Sept. 11, 2017.
In a statement on Friday in Abuja, the Editor- In-Chief of the media giant, Malam Yusuf Zango, said the agency was aware of its responsibilities “as the sole content provider of news to hundreds of news outlets within and outside the shores of the country.”

According to him, such responsibilities make the organisation to be upright in its reportage of events and will not compromise on professional standards.

Zango said the agency was shocked by the claims of Dr Boniface Ortese, the Executive Secretary of Benue State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), that a NAN reporter instigated protest at the International Market camp housing Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to enable him get a story to write.

“We were shocked and surprised by the claim made by Dr Ortese; the facts of the case are that on Sept. 11, 2017, there was a protest at International Market camp housing IDPs affected by the recent flooding in Makurdi.

“Our reporter was at the camp on another assignment and was having discussion with the Commissioner for Water Environment, Dr Joseph Utsev, when he heard some noise at the gate of the camp.

“He, along with the commissioner, went to the scene where they discovered members of the camp blocking vehicles loaded with relief materials, which they alleged were being diverted by camp officials.

“The reporter did not only report the protest, but took pictures and video of happenings; he also had interviews with some of the protesters.”

Zango said the reporter acted in conformity with the tradition of the agency in ensuring balance in stories by seeking the reaction of the commissioner, who said he would investigate the matter.

The EIC, therefore, wondered why the SEMA boss would address the press claiming misrepresentation and demanding N3 billion when his name or that of his agency were not mentioned in the said report.

Zango, therefore, said the agency was standing by its story as published, since it did not violate the ethics of the journalism profession.

It would be recalled that the Benue Council of Chiefs, led by the Chairman, Prof. James Ayatse, the fifth Tor Tiv, warned camp officials of diversion of relief materials.

The IDPs camps at the International Market and Agan had at different times protested alleged diversion of relief materials.

The Camp Manager of the International Market, Mr James Iorhuna, was relieved of his duties on Sept.10 over acts of disobedience.

He was relieved by the Deputy Govenor of the state, Mr Benson Abounu, also the Chairman of the state’s Flood Relief Committee.

Abounu had also chided the SEMA boss for not releasing blankets meant for IDPs at the same camp when the UNHCR team had brought materials to the camp.

The SEMA chief himself had alluded to the fact that hoodlums had taken over the camps and were causing trouble, which prompted him to order the closure of the camps.

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5 SARS operatives found guilty of extrajudicial killing

A High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, has found a five-man patrol team of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, also known as SARS, guilty of extrajudicial killing of two friends.

The SARS operatives were led by one Samuel Chigbu while the victims of extrajudicial killing were Michael Akor and Michael Igwe in Oyigbo Local Government Area of the State.

Michael Akor (28) and his friend, Michael Igwe, were said to have been arrested while going about their businesses on June 22, 2009 by the security agents, who eventually killed them in a bush in Oyigbo the next day.

Apart from finding the SARS operatives guilty, the court ordered the Nigeria Police to pay a N50 million compensation to the families of the victims.

The judge, Justice Adolphus Enebeli, gave the order in an enforcement of fundamental human rights suit that was brought before the court, even as he asserted that ASP Chigbu and his men intentionally killed the two men.

Justice Enebeli noted that no investigation or trial was carried out by the security agents before shooting and killing the two young graduates, adding that their action was contrary to some sections of the Constitution.

Explaining that the alibi that the deceased were hit by bullets during a crossfire between the police and a group of hoodlums were not substantiated, the judge insisted that it was not a coincidence that the two victims were shot at the same part of their bodies.

The judge added that victims of extrajudicial killing died at Briathwaite Memorial Hospital and buried at the same place and at a similar time.

He specifically said that SARS in the state had acquired the notoriety of extra-judicial killings, adding that this was destroying the image of the State Police Command.

It will be recalled that Chigbu and four other erring SARS operatives had since been dismissed from the Police Force after the incident.

The five SARS operatives are also standing trial for murder and extra-judicial execution before Justice Margaret Opara of the State High Court in Port Harcourt.

Speaking after the judgement, the counsel for the late victims, Mr. Johnson Ejekwu, maintained that a death sentenced for the offending SARS operatives would have been better than a N50 million compensation.

Ejekwu, however, thanked the court for the ruling, even as he suggested that relevant authorities should intervene and help to stop the extrajudicial killings by men of SARS in Rivers State.

But the mother of one of the deceased, Mrs. Catherine Akor, lamented that no amount of compensation would bring back her son.

She added that the murder of her son had also caused her spouse memory loss, adding that her husband was currently experiencing a terrible health condition as a result of SARS operatives’ action.

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FG to start local manufacturing of sports equipment

Mrs Habiba Lawal, Acting Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

Hajiya Habiba Lawal, Acting Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) said government was making efforts to commence local manufacturing of sports equipment.

Lawal made this known on Saturday at the official unveiling, launch and presentation of sports equipment to 2000 primary schools by National Lottary Trust Fund (NLTF) in Yola.

The acting SGF, represented by Dr William Alo, Permanent Secretary, Special Duties in the office of the SGF, said local production of the equipment would enhance accessibility of sports equipment to many potential athletes.

She said the provision of sports equipment to primary school pupils was to promote youths participation in sports.

She added that Federal Government was committed to revatilising rotary for revenue generation. She noted that the revitalisation of the sector would contribute to government drive toward economic diversification.

According to her, Federal Government will harness the rotary potential for the generality of all Nigerians. In his remark, Gov. Mohammed Bindow of Adamawa said his administration had already put measures in place to boost sports in the state.

Bindow, who was represented by Mr Martins Babale, the Deputy Governor, said sport was a major uniting factor among diverse groups. He said the administration was built on three cardinal objectives which included development, peace and poverty reduction.

He added that the administration had achieved tremendously in the area of infrastructure, noting that revatilisation of sports would engender peace and unity in the state.

According to him, sports does not have ethnic, religion and region, and everybody is one. Bindow commended the NLTF for supporting grassroots sports and promised to build on it.

In his remark, Mr Julius Kadala, the Commissioner for Education, gave the assurance that the equipment would be safeguarded by the management of the benefiting schools.

He said that the declaration of state of emergency in education was to intervene in rehabilitation of physical structures, teaching and learning, as well as sport development in schools.

The commissioner thanked the NLTF for the support.

The News agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports tha various equipment such as balls, goal posts, nets, and other sporting kits were distributed to 55 schools in Adamawa

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