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CJN warns judges against corruption

By Ise-Oluwa ige

ABUJA—The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Aloysius Katsina Alu yesterday warned judges nationwide to eschew corruption, saying that “a judge who perverts the course of justice for any consideration is worse than the accused standing trial before him.”

The CJN gave this warning yesterday at the opening ceremony of the 2010 induction course for newly appointed Judges and Kadis.

Alu who is the Chairman, Board of Governors of NJI told the newly appointed judicial officers to always abide by their oath of office and Code of Conduct of Public Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

He assured them that “the National Judicial Council, NJC, is determined in ensuring qualitative performance of judges.

“In this regard, there is a standing committee to monitor the performance of judges and you will be expected to render quarterly returns of the cases handled by you. “There are also sanctions for none or under performance. I therefore urge you to imbibe the culture of hard work.”

Also in his welcome address, the Administrator of the NJI told the newly appointed judges that they were “not appointed to be confrontational to their heads of court or with your fellow judges. It is therefore our advice that you have no option but to fall in line.”

He also urged them to be up and doing so as to decongest the court of the back log of cases in the various courts just as public outcry in this regard has been overwhelming.

Nigeria needs 2m units of blood annually — Minister

By Chinyere Amalu

ABUJA—Nigeria requires an estimated 2 million units of blood annually to adequately satisfy the demand for blood in Nigeria, Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Christian Chukwu has said.

The Minister who disclosed this yesterday at a briefing to mark the 2010 World Blood Donor Day, said out of this, the National Blood Transfusion Service, NBTS, was able to collect about 25,000 blood yearly, which according to him “is a far cry from the estimated requirement for the country.”

Professor Chukwu who was represented by the Director of Hospital Service, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Ike Animaeze, said the celebration provides opportunity for the nation to evaluate the effectiveness of “our donor programme and to improve the margins.”

His words, “Nigeria requires an estimated 2 million units of blood annually to adequately satisfy the demand for blood. The NBTS collects about 25, 000 units of blood yearly, this is a far cry from the estimated requirement for the country “.

Professor Chukwu pointed out that millions of lives are saved each year through blood transfusion in many countries, including Nigeria, adding that people still die due to inadequate supply of blood and blood products.

Northern Speakers ask FG to intervene in persistent Jos crisis

By Aliyu Dangida & Tina Akannam

DUTSE — THE Federal  Government has been call upon to, as a matter of urgency, intervene in the persistent crises in Jos, Plateau State with a view to finding the lasting solution to the unfortunate catastrophe.

The call was contained in a communiqué issued in Dutse shortly after the end of the 20th Forum of Northern Speakers meeting, signed by the chairman who is also the Speaker of Adamawa State House of Assembly, Mr James Barka.

According to the Forum, “the northern state Houses of Assembly recommended that the Federal Government should take decisive measures in arresting the Jos situation before it gets out of control and further called on the Plateau State government without further delay to find solution to the problems that emanated from the ban on Okada in the state.”

The Forum while condemning the bloody crises in the once peaceful Plateau, said the Federal Government’s intervention became imperative with a view to finding a lasting solution to the crises. “If urgent steps were not taken to resolve the Jos recurrent crises, there might be lawlessness and anarchy in the area,” the Speakers said.

The meeting said the perpetrators of the trouble should be brought to book and be punished according to the law.

It condemned all form of crises in the country in totality and appealed to government to compensate victims who suffered untold damage as a result of the Jos episodes.

“The meeting also deliberated on the recent Jos skirmish between the police and the motorcycle riders that claimed four lives as a result of the ban on the use of motorcycles.

“We advised the Plateau State government to find a peaceful solution to the problem with a view to stopping the wanton destruction of lives and property in the state,” the communiqué said.

On the ongoing constitution amendment by the National Assembly, the Speakers said they were also waiting for the result at the state level.

The conference commended the Federal Government and international donor agencies on their efforts in controlling polio and  malaria in the country.
The meeting also appreciated the achievements recorded in Jigawa State under Governor Sule Lamido in the area of infrastructural development such as road construction, housing, education among others.

PHCN assures of optimum services during World Cup matches

By Peter Duru

MAKURDI — The Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, has assured Nigerians that it is fully prepared to provide optimum services and uninterrupted power supply during the period of the ongoing FIFA World Cup.

This hint was dropped by the Makurdi Business District Manager, Engr. John Emeruwa while fielding questions from newsmen in Makurdi.

Emeruwa noted that the company had before the commencement of the football fiesta carried out a comprehensive maintenance of its installations and lines to avert any form of power failure that could be associated to equipment or lines failure.

He said as part of the move to ensure steady power supply in the district, Chief Executive Officer of the PHCN, Jos Electricity Distribution Company, Mrs. Joy Nwaoko had directed the maintenance of entire distribution network in preparation for the global fiesta.

According to him, the district also received from its Jos office some power transformers, a reasonable quantity of aluminum conductors and other accessories for the immediate, re-enforcement, replacement and maintenance of some faulty supply stations.

He added: “We have also received six walkie-talkies and an HF Radio has been installed in Makurdi to enable us communicate easily with other stations especially Enugu, Jos and other parts of the country aimed at boosting power supply and also enhance communication for better service delivery.”

The District Manager asserted that the PHCN had also set up a World Cup Technical Committee and Standby Group in addition to an already existing Rapid Response Team whose members have all been provided GSM phones to ensure spontaneous response to all faults that may develop on its power lines.

Continental Airlines to begin flight from Lagos to US

By Kenneth Ehigiator

U.S carrier, Continental Airlines, yesterday announced plans to commence direct flight between Lagos and Houston, Texas, with effect from 11 November 2011.
This would bring to two the number of U.S. carriers operating direct flights into Nigeria, as Delta had on 4 December 2008 started direct flight operations between Lagos and Atlanta and now also fly direct from Abuja.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the airline, Jeff Smisek, said the operation would be the airline’s first in Africa.
According to him, Continental Airlines would be deploying the Dreamliner, Boeing 787-7, which had just been released to the market by Boeing Corporation.
Smisek said the airline was deploying the new aircraft type because of the importance it attaches to the Nigerian market.
It will be recalled that Delta Airlines had scores to settle with the federal government over its deployment of a relatively old Boeing 757 aircraft, which most Nigerian travellers resisted.
But Smisek said Continental would not only use a new aircraft on the route, but also connect Nigerian travellers to more than 100 cities across the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Pacific.

2011: Group urges Nigerians to give IBB another chance

By Bose Adebayo

A political group,  “IBB For You” has urged Nigerians to give former Military President Ibrahim Babangida another chance to rule Nigeria, saying Babangida remains one of the best presidential candidates for 2011 elections,

National Co-ordinator of the group, Mr Jude Anaeto, in a statement said: “From our research, we discovered that many individuals and groups attacking Babangida are doing so out of malice and most of these people are elite.

“We will advise them to learn how to forgive and forget. They should allow sleeping dogs lie. If they continue to talk about the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election, Babangida should not be solely held responsible. He just happened to be the leader of the military regime that annulled the poll at that time.

“He had no power to prevent what his other colleagues had made up their mind to do. He should not continue to be persecuted over the issue. We should emulate such other countries like Algeria where an election was also annulled, but the citizens there took it as an act of God, and since then, series of other elections have been held in that part of  Africa.”

Anambra repositions vigilance groups

AWKA—THE process for the re-positioning and re-focusing of the operations of the 529 vigilante groups in Anambra State has begun with the passing out of the first batch of professionally trained members of Anambra Vigilance Service, AVS, in Awka, weekend.

State Coordinator of AVS, Chief Kenneth Okonkwo, said at the ceremony attended by top officials of the state Police Command and State Security Service, SSS, that the training became necessary because there was need to expose members of AVS to the basic skills in crime fighting and control.

According to him, this is in view of the complex nature of the operations and activities of criminals who have constituted a serious threat to lives and property.

It was gathered that those trained at the state level would eventually train AVS members in the 21 local government areas of the state.

Okonkwo said, “Before now, members of the AVS lacked all the basic rudiments that will make them achieve success in their operations.

“They had little or no idea of what community policing is all about and discipline was at its lowest ebb in the entire rank and file of the outfits.

“We have, therefore, decided to streamline the activities of vigilante groups in the 177 communities in the state, including those in the markets and motor parks.”

By Vincent Ujumadu

13-yr-old wins cooking contest with roasted yam

ENUGU—thirteen-year-old Master Uchenna Obeleagu, a JSS2 pupil of Bishop Otubelu Juniorate, Enugu, has emerged winner of Enugu zone of the Maggi Cook for Mama competition.
Uchenna beat nine others, including eight females, to emerge victorious after preparing roasted yam, popularly called Kpacha in Igbo.

The cooking competition is for secondary school pupils from age 13 and 17.
Apart from qualifying for the grand finale, which comes up in Lagos, 26 June, Obelegu carted away as first prize, a set of cookware and Maggi hamper.

The two runners-up both 17, Mmachukwu Offia of Holy Rosary Girls College, Enugu and Oluchi Ezetu of City Girls Secondary School, Enugu, went home with a microwave oven, Maggi hamper and food processor, Maggi hamper, respectively.

The other contestants each went home with consolation prizes of a table top gas cooker and Maggi hamper.

The first runner up, Offia, will also compete in the grand finale in Lagos.

In last year’s competition, a 13-year-old male contestant, from Notre Dame Academy, Enugu, also won the competition.

By Tony Edike

Guber aspirant to revive farm settlement scheme in Abia

Umuahia—A Peoples Democratic Party, PDP governorship aspirant in 2011 election in Abia State, Mr Uzodimma Okpara, said yesterday that if voted into power, he would reactivate the farm settlement system of agricultural development.

Okpara said this in Umuegwu Okpuala Afugiri, Umuahia North Local Government Area of the state.

“The state is in dire need of massive agricultural development, coupled with industries, to engage our youngmen and women in meaningful jobs,” he said.

He added that he would borrow a leaf from what his late father, Chief Michael Okpara, did for the former Eastern Region.

He said he would make sure that all public schools in the state, starting from primary to post-primary, were equipped with modern information and communication equipment.


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