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Refuse: Lagos Assembly orders PSP to go back to work, disowns Visionscape

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The Lagos State House of Assembly has ordered the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state to call on the PSP operators in their areas to go back to work with immediate effect.

Speaker of the House, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, who gave this directive on Thursday on behalf of the lawmakers during plenary also ordered the Clerk of the House. Mr. Azeez Sanni to invite the Commissioner for the Environment, Hon. Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti to appear before the House on the matter next week.

This followed an Urgent Matter of Public Importance raised by Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu on heaps of refuse scattered all over the state.

The Speaker, Obasa  emphasised that the Lagos State Government does not know about Visionscape.

Obasa stated that there are three arms of government including legislative, executive and judiciary, and the state government ought to have consulted the House on Visionscape before they started operation.

“We insist that we don’t know anything about Visionscape because we were not consulted before they started work.

“We once wrote the Commissioner for Finance, Hon. Akinyemi Ashade not to pay Visionscape again and any money paid to them after our instruction would have to be returned to the State government.

“We will go back to that, when the time comes. We have to do the needful now.

“We are calling on the 20 local governments and 37 LCDAs in the state to have meetings with the PSP operators to go back to work and they should start paying them and make the residents to start paying the operators. We have to avoid epidemics and be proactive,” he said.

The Speaker also warned those stopping people from dumping refuse at the dumpsites to desist from doing so, adding that he saw a lot of refuse trucks in a bad state and that some of them have been abandoned.

He insisted that the House ought to have approved the refuse disposal policy before Visionscape started work.

“We are inviting the Commissioner for the Environment to come and report to us within one week. The Clerk should write all the councils to do the needful and the Commissioner for the Environment to work on this and report to us in a week,” he said.

Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu had said that there were still refuse on Lagos roads, adding that it was not like before “because some PSP are now working and the state government has bought some trucks- visionscape.

He said: “Some refuse are taken to Epe and Ikorodu but it is a bit far now as 300 instead of 800 trucks are disposing refuse now.

“We used to dump them in Olusosun, but the place was gutted by fire. “We can give the place to private stations.

“The sanitary land fill in Epe is not being utilised and the transfer loading stations too are not working effectively and the turn around time of packing the refuse is not being utilised. It is not all the PSP operators that are working. May be we can recall the PSP Operators to go back go work and reopen Olusosun and the land fill sites should be operated properly.”

The Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade from Ikorodu Constituency 1 revealed that refuse is worse in his area, and that for the state to have good sanitation,  a law on environmental sanitation was passed in Lagos State, but that it seemed it was not properly done after that.

“The refuse on the road and on the streets are hazardous to the people. Flies from the refuse mix with the food people are eating.

“One day, Olusosun would not be able to accommodate refuse any longer. If we can change our policy on refuse disposal it would be better.

“I will suggest that we should challenge those in the Ministry of Health and those in the Ministry of the Environment.

“We can invite the people in the Ministry of the Environment to know their challenges. This has become an eyesore in Lagos State. We should invite the people in charge,” he said.

Also speaking, Hon. Bisi Yusuff from Alimosho Constituency 1 revealed that eight people died in Igando, where they dump refuse in his area.

Yusuff stressed that Visionscape does not know the job, and that they did not even allow PSP operators to help the people.

“There are big rats on the roads now and they could even make a vehicle to stumble.

“We should look at it critically. They are not picking any refuse in the state. It is an important matter that should be handled urgently,” he said.

In his comment, Hon. Abiodun Tobun from Epe Constitueny 1 stated that Lagos State is dirty and that only God would help the state.

He stated that Epe is not benefitting in Epe from the system and that their water has been contaminated and that all their roads are now bad.

“There is no industrial estate in Epe, but they have in other places. “They cannot bring refuse dump to Epe, they can relocate it if that is what we are benefiting. We want better things in Epe such as industries and other things,” he said.

In Eti-Osa East Local Government, there are refuse there and in other places on my area. In the days of PSP, people knew when they would come and they prepare their refuse. We should invite both the commissioner and LAWMA officials as well as the local government. We should be able to do our best because we need the people’s vote now.

Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, in his submission said, “There are refuse in Idumagbo, Martins and other areas in Lagos Island. We should call on the government to clear the refuse as fast as possible. We should be proactive so that we would not go back to 1999 era.

Other lawmakers who contributed to the issue also corroborated the fact that there constituencies are facing the problem.

The House also ordered reopen of all dumpsites for the PSP operators.

It would be recalled that the spokesperson for the Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria (AWAM), Olugbenga Adebola  reiterated the readiness and commitment of PSP in moving Lagos back to that part of honour, where several accolades were received by them and the government.

 

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Why we re-arrested ex-judge Ofili-Ajumogobia in court premises – EFCC

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has explained why it re-arrested a dismissed judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia.

A statement on Tuesday by its acting Head of Media and Publicity, Tony Orilade, revealed that Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia was re-arrested to enable the anti-graft agency to prefer a fresh criminal charge against her.

It added that the arrest was in line with the decision of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, in a case involving Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, where the court held that a judge could not be prosecuted until he or she had either been dismissed or compulsorily retired by the National Judicial Council (NJC).

The EFCC noted that consequent upon the fact that it had presented Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia before the NJC for disciplinary action and that the council had taken a position, it would approach the court to prefer fresh charges against her.

Ofili-Ajumogobia and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Godwin Obla, were first arraigned on a 30-count on November 28, 2016, on offences bordering on alleged perversion of the course of justice, graft, unlawful enrichment, providing false information and forgery.

They were later re-arraigned on an amended 31-count bordering on an alleged perversion of the course of justice, unlawful enrichment and forgery.

According to the anti-graft agency, the judge and the lawyer had pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them, thereby setting the stage for the trial.

It revealed that it presented 12 witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence by the court in the course of the trial.

The EFCC said counsel to Ofili-Ajumogobia who was the first defendant, Robert Clarke, in an application dated November 27, 2018, said the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case and urged the court to discharge and acquit his client.

But counsel for the second defendant, Obla, Ifedayo Adedipe, told the court on January 25, 2019, that the charges preferred against his client could be entertained.

He, therefore, urged the court to separate the charges so that his client could continue with his trial.

After listening to both parties, the EFCC quoted Justice Hakeem Oshodi in his ruling as saying, “The issue of substantive jurisdiction must be cleared before the issue of no-case submission could be heard.”

The judge had further directed both parties to make their submissions based on the application on the jurisdiction of the court.

In his ruling at Tuesday’s sitting, Justice Oshodi stated that based on the judicial precedent set by the case of Justice Nganjiwa V. FRN, the High Court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit as the EFCC “jumped the gun” in filing the first amended charge.

“As at Monday, December 11, 2017, the EFCC was aware of the decision reached by the Court of Appeal in Nganjiwa vs FRN. As at that date, the amended information was yet to be filed and the 12 prosecution witness was still giving evidence,” he was quoted as saying by the EFCC.

The anti-graft agency stressed that in view of Tuesday’s ruling by Justice Oshodi and having complied with the NJC procedure, it would prefer fresh criminal charges against Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia.

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Amnesty Programme: My vision has paid off, says Dokubo

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L-R-Chief Brown Aroloyeteim, Head Reintegration, representing Prof Charles Dokubo, Special adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, receiving from Mr Tunde Oderinde, Team Leader, representative of the Market Development Programme in the Niger Delta, presenting the MOU and Mrs Patricia Ojakovo, Head Legal Niger Amnesty, at the Nigeria Agricultural Enterprise Curriculum(NAEC) TOT Traning for beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme supported by DFID Funded Market Development In The Niger Delta, held in Uyo, Akawa Ibom State, on April 16, 2019.

*As 20 graduate beneficiaries get NAEC Training

Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo said on Tuesday, that his vision of creating a Job Placement and International Partners Engagement Unit (JP-IDPE) last year has started yielding results.

He stated this in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, at the opening ceremony of a Train the Trainer (ToT) training on Nigeria Agricultural Enterprise Curriculum for 20 graduate beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme.

The training programme is fully funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) Nigeria, and organized in partnership with the Presidential Amnesty Programme by Market Development in the Niger Delta (MADE), a non-profit project sponsored by UK-DFID.

Dokubo who noted that the partnership project was the first of its kind in the Amnesty Programme described it has historic, and expressed optimism that it will create pathways for other international agencies to partner the Amnesty Office.

“On my appointment and assumption of duty as Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme in 2018, I studied the existing implementation strategies and realized that little effort had been made to extend a hand of partnership to relevant international organizations.

In order to rectify this omission, I created the Job Placement and International Development Partners Engagement Unit on May 2, 2018. I am glad that my vision has paid off today. The JP-IDPE unit network produced this MADE project that we see today and we look forward to having more of it”.

He disclosed that in a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Amnesty Office, MADE agreed among others, to facilitate linkage between the Presidential Amnesty Programme and service providers working within its fisheries and poultry sector; provide a Train the Trainer (ToT) training for 20 beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme, and select the best five beneficiaries from the NAEC ToT programme for further training for them to become master trainers.

To ensure that the project is sustained, Dokubo said beneficiaries of the training programme would be certified as Amnesty Programme training consultants in all vocational and empowerment refresher programmes of Agric-based contracts, and future agric training programmes  will as a matter of criteria utilize trained MADE beneficiaries as a requisite for their contract liabilities and payments.

Official and the delegates in a group pictures, at the Nigeria Agricultural Enterprise Curriculum(NAEC) TOT Traning for beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme supported by DFID Funded Market Development In The Niger Delta, held in Uyo, Akawa Ibom State, on April 16, 2019.

“The JP-IPDE unit shall ensure that beneficiaries of this post-training scheme receive their full engagement package and are listed as engaged/placed in the database. This includes provision of office space and training room with the necessary office and training room setups through the already contracted job placement consultants.

It will interest you to note that since the creation of the Amnesty Programme, we’ve not had our own beneficiaries as training consultants, neither have we setup office/training rooms for anyone. This is an entirely new model that we have formed with the help of MADE and that is why I am here today. Each of these beneficiaries will be registered with the CAC as a consulting firm; provided with an office and training room, NAEC aquaculture and poultry kits, among others. We are hereby creating a business model with multiplier effects. I commend MADE, DFID and DAI for this project”.

In his remarks, MADE Team Leader, Mr. Tunde Oderinde, said the partnership with the Amnesty Programme is about the youth of the Niger Delta and the future of Nigeria. He gave assurance that MADE will back up beneficiaries of the NAEC training with mentorship.

“This initiative is not just another capacity building; it is handing over a business to our participants, just like the Coordinator emphasized in his speech, and you are actually our future consultants. The most important thing to learn about NAEC is that it is a tool that will help enterprises understand the problems around their business. It is not just one of those training curriculums; it is actually a tool to diagnose any problem in any enterprise. We are charging you not just to take this lightly but to see it as the future that is yet to come.

Within your engagement in the community and the sector you eventually settle in, some of us that will become the master trainers can begin to adapt this into other sectors. I want to tell you that it is not just garbage in, garbage out; it is about you internalizing what you are receiving here and turning it into business. It is not just going to be a training that you have PAP with time supplying you with people to train; you need to go all the way out into the market. In all you do, wherever you go, you must become the ambassador of NAEC”.

Also speaking at the event, a traditional ruler, Sir Edidiong Eyoh Nsuquo Essien, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for developing the Niger Delta region through the instrumentality of the Presidential Amnesty Programme. Essien, who is the Village Head of Nsukara  Ufot- Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, expressed hope that beneficiaries of the training programme will live up to expectation.

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UNIBEN scores another first, kicks off PGD programme in Forensic and DNA Analysis

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Prof. Faraday Orumwense

One of Nigeria’s most respected higher educational institutions, University of Benin, UNIBEN, Benin City, Edo State, has scored another first in the tertiary educational sector in Nigeria as it recently commenced a post-graduate diploma programme in forensic and DNA analysis.

The development is another landmark achievement recorded by the institution under the leadership of the vice-chancellor, Prof. Osasere Orumwense FNSE.

The Centre for Forensic Programmes and DNA studies of the university provides high quality instruction and advanced hands-on training in forensic science techniques and crime laboratory methodologies.

Speaking at the orientation programme for the pioneer postgraduate students for the 2018/2019 academic session, the vice-chancellor, Prof. Osasere Orumwense FNSE, urged the students to be committed and focused so as achieve their desire of being forensic experts.

He noted that they are very fortunate to be the pioneer set while enumerating the effort made so far by his administration to ensure they get a world class standard of training.

Prof. Orumwense informed the students that he and other principal officers of the university recently traveled to the United States of America and Canada to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Centre for Forensic Research and Education, Philadephia, U.S.A, Paleo DNA Centre and Lakehead University, Ontario, Canada.

In his welcome address, the programme coordinator, Centre for Forensic Programme and DNA Studies, University of Benin, Prof Edeaghe Ehikhamenor while congratulating the students added that the centre undertakes postgraduate diploma in forensic and DNA analysis (PGD Forensic) as well as other training such specialized short certificate courses in areas of DNA analysis and forensic science .He also added that the centre shall also provide services in DNA technology and forensic specialties for other departments within the university and other service/research institutions of higher learning in the country.

The dean, School of Dentistry, University of Benin, Prof. M. Sede gave a brief lecture on career in forensics alongside lectures by sub-unit heads on DNA Analysis, Forensic Law, toxicology, Digital Forensics, Forensic Accounting, Forensic Document Examination, Forensic Social Work and Forensic Nursing.

Some of the students expressed readiness to acquire all the necessary skills and assured the vice-chancellor that they will do the university proud.

Present at the event were principal officers of the university as well as staff of the centre.

A total number of 45 students were admitted for the programme which will run for nine months.

 

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