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Ruga: IPOB reacts over Arewa youths’ 30-day ultimatum

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The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has declared that states in the South-East of Nigeria will not budge over the 30-day ultimatum handed to them by the Coalition of Northern Youths over the Federal Government’s suspension of the controversial Ruga programme.

The separatist group, in a press release signed by its publicity secretary, Emma Powerful, vowed not to yield to the demand for land for the implementation of the Ruga settlement programme in the South-East.

“IPOB will support ranching business but in your own private land not forcing people to release their ancestral land to anybody or Fulani people.

“IPOB is a peaceful movement and must remain so but cannot allow anybody to trample on us by forcing our people to release their ancestral land to them. We are aware that cattle business remains personal business in Nigeria and cannot change today.

“We advise federal government of Nigeria and those behind this evil plan to retrace their steps before it spills over, claims more innocent lives and becomes uncontrollable,” the statement read.

Powerful pointed out that communities’ ancestral lands were gifts from God, handed over to them to dwell, which must not be taken over under any guise by the government or an ethnic group.

“We challenge Fulani Islamists terrorists including their Arewa youths to do their worst after the expiration of the so-called 30 days ultimatum as was widely reported in every national and international media.

“We are anxiously and eagerly waiting for them in whatever shape they may want it,” IPOB averred.

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Mixed reactions as unions threaten to shut down Nigerian banks Jan 2

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Some financial experts and stakeholders have appealed to bank unions’ to dialogue with their employers to forestall the proposed operation shut down of banks by Jan. 2.

The Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) and the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (NUBIFI), on Nov. 17, issued a strike threat.

The unions said that workers in the sector would embark on an indefinite strike over failure of their employers to review the Collective Bargaining Agreement in line with extant law.

Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday, Mr Emmanuel Atama, the Executive Secretary of the National Cooperative Financing Agency of Nigeria (CFAN), appealed for an amicable resolution.

“It is a notice that they have given and every employee has bargaining power and when an employee wants to hit an employer, he hits the employer from a very tight corner so, there is no cause for alarm.

“I strongly believe that issues like this can be resolved.

“My appeal is for both parties to come to the table and amicably resolve this because if that is not done, it will go a long way to affect banking.

“Some people will think that if they keep their money in the bank and the banks can put them under a tight corner, it is better for them to withdraw.

“The effect of it is that the public will embark on panic withdrawal and the banks cannot withstand it.

“It will come to a point where employees will start begging that people should not withdraw their monies from their banks because people will resort to banking at home,’’ he advised.

Mrs Ijeawele Ndu, an Abuja based civil servant, called on the parties involved to resolve the issues peacefully and promptly before the festive season.

“I am not surprised to hear about this strike because of the way and manner that bankers are relieved of their duties.

“But I can’t even imagine what will happen by the time banks close operations and Automated Teller Machines (ATM) is not working.

“It will be disastrous to the economy and to us as individuals more so when it is during the festive season,’’ she said.

Meanwhile, Mr Lucky Abomi, a businessman in Karu Local Government Area, FCT, said the proposed shut down of banks would negatively impact businesses across the country if implemented.

Abomi appealed to governments at all levels to intervene in the matter in the interest of peace and development of the country.

“The Federal Government closed the border and that is already affecting our businesses and now, we are hearing that banks might close down too.

“The government should come and mediate between the parties involved so that our businesses do not suffer setbacks,’’ he appealed.

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Arewa

FG vs Dino Melaye: What happened in court on Tuesday

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An FCT High Court Maitama on Tuesday ordered the prosecution to pay N100, 000 for stalling trial of the Sen. Dino Malaye in the alleged falsehood suit filed against senator.

NAN reports that Melaye was charged with two counts bordering on giving false information to the police.

The Federal Government arraigned Melaye, alleging that he, sometime in April, 2017 deliberately gave false information to the police.

The judge, Justice Olasumbo Goodluck gave the order after the prosecution informed the court that their witnesses were not in court.

Goodluck held that by the provisions of Section 396 (4)(6) of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act, 2015, parties are entitled to five adjournments and nothing more.

The judge said she was not pleased with the attitude of the prosecution in the matter, especially when the matter was placed on fast track, day to day hearing and the defendant’s counsel comes from outside jurisdiction.

” A cost of N100, 000 is therefore awarded against the prosecution instead of N250, 000 prayed by the defence counsel ” she ordered.

The judge said the trial was slated for Nov. 19 and Nov. 20 and both dates of trial are stalled for failure of the prosecution to bring their witnesses to court.

Goodluck then adjourned the matter until Dec. 5, for continuation of trial

Earlier, the prosecution counsel, Mrs N.O.Ezra informed the court that her witnesses were not in court.

Ezra then prayed the court for an adjournment to enable them bring their witnesses.

Responding, defence counsel Olusegun Odubela, SAN, told the court that this was unfair to the defendant because the witness could not be more involved in Kogi election than the defendant who was a candidate in the election.

”The court should be guided by the provisions of sections 396 (4)(6) of ACJA and 36 (4) of the 1999 constitution as amended.

”The prosecution have not adduced any cogent reasons why their witnesses are not available in court, in case the court grants them an adjournment, we will be asking for a cost of N250, 000, he said.

Odubela further told the court that since last sitting on July 4, the prosecution could have known and informed the court and the defence counsel who comes from another jurisdiction.

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Crime

23-year-old man in court for cultism

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23-year-old man, Aliu Oluwafemi, on Tuesday, appeared in an Ota Chief Magistrate’s Court in Ogun for allegedly belonging to a secret society, Akate Confraternity.

Oluwafemi of no fixed address is facing a two-count charge of conspiracy and being a member of a secret cult.

The Prosecutor, Insp. Abdulkareem Mustapha told the court that the defendant and others still at large, committed the offence on Sept. 8, at about 8.30 p.m at Alaska area, Ijako, Ogun.

Mustapha said that the defendant and his accomplices conspired to belong to a secret society called “Akate Confraternity.”

He said that the offence contravened Sections 64(B) and 516(1) of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ogun, 2006.

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Chief Magistrate, Mathew Akinyemi, granted the accused bail in the sum of N300,000 with two sureties in like sum.

Akinyemi ordered that the sureties must reside within the court’s jurisdiction and be gainfully employed with an evidence of tax payment to the Ogun Government.

The chief magistrate adjourned the case until Jan. 6, for further hearing.

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