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AU Picks Abia, Rivers Governors’ wives pet projects for session on women empowerment

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The Abia and Rivers States Governors’ wives pet projects have been chosen for the 62nd session of the African Union Commission on Women Empowerment and Gender Equality.

The AU Country Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Tunji Asaolu, announced this in Umuahia on Thursday when he visited the Wife of the Abia State Governor, Nkechi Ikpeazu.

Asaolu, who was represented by his Special Adviser, George Azubuike, said the NGOs were the Vicar Hope Foundation of Ikpeazu and RivEthics, founded by the wife of the Rivers State Governor, Justice Eberechi Wike.

He said the commission scrutinised the activities of four frontline NGOs, sponsored by states in Nigeria, and found the two qualified for participation at the conference.

The country representative said the session, scheduled for March 11 to 23 in New York, United States of America, was being organised by the United Nations.

Asaolu said Ikpeazu was also chosen to deliver a keynote speech at a side event to be organised by the African Trade Centre, in conjunction with the AU Economic Social and Cultural, Council, Nigeria.

The side event, themed: “Women Empowerment and Gender Equality: Issues and Challenges in Africa,” was designed to share Africa’s perspective on women status on the continent at the event.

He said Ikpeazu was expected to use the opportunity to address participants on the situation in Abia State and Nigeria in general and the activities of her foundation.

Asaolu said the essence of the presentation was to enable her to attract grants and funding for her foundation’s social intervention projects.

He said Ikpeazu would be conferred with the Africa Role Model Award at the event.

Responding, the governor’s wife expressed happiness over the invitation, saying she had long yearned for assistance to enable her to deliver on the vision and mission of her foundation.

According to her: “God has answered our prayers because we have been worried about how to get necessary assistance to enable us to carry out our programmes.”

IKpeazu thanked the AU for finding her foundation qualified for participation at the session and expressed the readiness of the organisation to partner with the union.

She listed some of the programmes so far executed by the foundation to include the building of 38 houses for indigent widows and provision of 366 wheel chairs to disabled persons.

Others are the provision of artificial limbs for 140 persons and take off grants to graduates of skill acquisition for indigent youths of Abia.

Source: EagleOnline

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EFCC: Former Governor Of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello Fails To Show Up In Court, Says He Is Scared Of Arrest

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The embattled immediate past Governor of Kogi state, Yahaya Bello, says he would have appeared at the Federal High Court in Abuja to answer to the 19-count charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, but is afraid he would be arrested.

Though Bello was absent for his arraignment today April 23, His team of lawyers addressed the court on his behalf.

A member of his legal team, Adeola Adedipe, SAN, had this to say on his behalf;

“The defendant wants to come to court but he is afraid that there is an order of arrest hanging on his head,” Adedipe, SAN, submitted.

Adesipe then appealed to the court to set aside the exparte order of arrest it earlier issued against the former governor. The lawyer contended that as at the time the order of arrest was made, the charge had not been served on his client as required by the law.

He argued that it was only at the resumed proceedings on Tuesday that the court okayed substituted service of the charge on the defendant, through his lawyer.

“As at the time the warrant was issued, the order for substituted service had not been made. That order was just made this morning. A warrant of arrest should not be hanging on his neck when we leave this court,” counsel to the defendant added.

According to him, the Federal Government did not consult the 36 States of the federation before it enacted the EFCC Act through the National Assembly. He argued that section 12 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, required the various Houses of Assembly of states to ratify the Act before it could become operative.

“This is a very serious matter that borders on the constitution and the tenets of federalism. It has to be resolved because as it stands, the EFCC is an illegal organization,” Bello’s lawyer added

However, EFCC’s lawyer, Mr. Kemi Pinheiro, SAN, urged the court to refuse the application, insisting that the warrant of arrest should not be set aside until the defendant makes himself available for his trial.

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Nigeria Has Secured $2.25B World Bank Loan With An Interest Rate Of 1% – Minister Of Finance

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The minister of Finance and coordinating minister of the economy, Wale Edun has announced that Nigeria has secured a $2.25bn World Bank loan with a 1% interest rate.

While speaking at the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group on April 20, Edun disclosed that the loan was approved by the board of directors of the World Bank, and offers a 40-year term, a 10-year moratorium, and a one percent interest rate.

He said;

“If you look at the fact that we have qualified for the processing, just this week to the board of directors of the World Bank of a total package of $2.25 billion.

“There is no such thing as a free lunch but it is the closest you can get to free money. It is virtually a grant. It is about 40 years, 10 years moratorium and about one percent interest. That also is part of the flow that you can count.”

He added that Nigeria also secured similar budgetary support and low-interest funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB). Edun said;

“Clearly, there are also ongoing discussions with foreign direct investors. Some of these things take longer than you expect but they are relatively advanced discussions on major foreign direct investments flows into the country, specific transactions with specific companies, institutions, and authorities.”

This news has however stirred different reactions from citizens as not everyone agrees with the idea of Nigeria borrowing money.

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Update On How Bobrisky Is Treated In Prison – Top Official Discloses

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Top official of the Nigerian Correctional Service has given an update on how crossdresser, Bobrisky is being treated in prison.

Recall that Bobrisky was handed a six-month prison sentence over naira abuse. While sentencing him, Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court in Lagos, said the judgment would be a deterrent to others who are found abusing and mutilating the naira.

An official of the prison who spoke to Punch said the crossdresser was taken to prison after the judgement and he was examined at the point of admission. It was also stated that no realignment of gender or genital organ was discovered as his male biological features were the same.

The source told the publication;

“Bobrisky made a public declaration that he was a male and court proceedings are public records. Every inmate brought into a facility during admission is examined. He was equally examined and no realignment of gender or genital organ was discovered. The male biological features were the same.

“After that, a cell was allocated to him, and he had a certain number of inmates with him. A bed space was also allotted to him. It is just like a boarding house where your housemaster will issue you your personal belongings.

“When it is time for class, he attends. When it is time for food, he will go and get his portion. The same goes with prep and light out. He observes all these without preference. He has been going about his business just like other inmates since he was brought in here.

“He is not getting any five-star treatment and is not being protected from anybody. He follows the same rules and regulations just like every other inmate. Single cells of isolation cells are to prevent outbreaks of communicable diseases.

” In a male prison, homosexuality is outlawed and it is a grievous offence. Sodomy or homosexuality, is frowned upon here in the custodial centre. So any inmate that tries to violate him will face the law.”

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