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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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PHOTOS: Ex-convict Returns To Nigeria With 4.56kg Of Cocaine

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An ex-convict, Okechukwu Francis Amaechi, has been arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency at the Port Harcourt International Airport for importing cocaine.

The agency in a statement issued on Sunday said Okechukwu finished serving a drug trafficking prison sentence in Brazil in March 2022.

Okechukwu was caught with 4.56kg crack concealed in lawnmower tyres.

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UK Government Denies Declaring IPOB Terrorist Organisation

By Sandra Ani

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ipob members
IPOB Members

The British High Commission Abuja has described as inaccurate the reports making rounds that United Kingdom (UK) has added the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to the UK’s list of terrorist groups or organisations banned under UK law.

In a statement made available to GrassRoots.ng, titled: “British High Commission Abuja on the UK Government Publications of the 13 April Country Policy and Information Note: ‘Nigeria: Separatist groups in the South East’”, the Commission said, “These reports are untrue.  The ‘Indigenous People of Biafra” (IPOB) is not a proscribed organisation in the UK”. 

“The inaccurate reporting relates to the 13 April 2022 publication by the UK Government of a revised Country Policy and Information note (CPIN) on separatist groups in SE Nigeria, including the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). CPINs provide country of origin information (COI) and analysis of COI for use by UK Government decision-makers handling particular types of protection and human rights claims. 

“All asylum and human rights claims made in the UK are considered on their individual facts in accordance with our obligations under the UN Refugee Convention and European Convention on Human Rights, taking into account relevant background country information and case law.

“The CPIN on separatist groups in the South East, including the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), provides a general assessment of risks faced by individuals belonging to those groups.  These assessments are based on an analysis of publicly available country information obtained from a wide range of reliable sources including media outlets; UK and other governments; local, national and international organisations; and non-government organisations. 

“This CPIN also acknowledges that the Nigerian government has proscribed IPOB as a terrorist organisation, some members of IPOB have reportedly used violence against the state and members of the public, and advises that persons who have committed human rights abuses must not be granted protection”.

 The document is publicly available on our UK Government website, Gov.UK here.

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Lawyer Gives EFCC Seven Days To Summon Nwajiuba, Ngige, Amaechi, Threatens Lawsuit

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An Abuja-based human rights lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, has given the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission a seven days’ notice to summon serving ministers and All Progressives Congress presidential aspirants.

The lawyer said the anti-graft agencies must summon the ministers and other government officials who have picked up bogus APC 2023 nomination forms to explain the source of funding, as their salaries for four years combined can’t afford such exorbitant fees charged by the ruling party.

Olajengbesi, who is the Principal Partner at Abuja-based law firm, Law Corridor, warned the EFCC and the ICPC that failure to summon the APC aspirants and serving government officials after seven days would attract a lawsuit.

He said the lawsuit would be instituted at the Federal High Court in Abuja and would be followed up to a logical conclusion to rid the political system of corruption.

Olajengbesi, in a statement on Friday, alleged that “The APC is promoting the same corruption that it claims to fight with the outrageous cost of nomination and expression of interest forms. One is not even surprised, after all, President Muhammadu Buhari has found nothing wrong in the pardon of two former governors convicted of stealing billions of naira. APC reeks of corruption.

“By this statement, I put the EFCC and the ICPC on notice to summon and probe all APC aspirants who double as government officials who have purchased the outrageous nomination forms. Be it, governors, ministers and every one of them must explain the source of their funding and must be duly vetted by the anti-graft agencies.

“Taxpayers’ monies must not be siphoned into the pursuit of selfish ambitions by individuals who do not have the interest of common Nigerians at heart.

“I will be instituting legal action against the EFCC and the ICPC at the expiration of seven days beginning from today, April 30, 2022, upon the failure of the two anti-graft agencies to live up to its responsibilities and probe all these government officials.”

APC had days ago pegged the cost of its nomination and expression of interest forms for the presidential election at N100 million, N50 million for governorship, N20m for Senatorial and N10m for federal house of representatives.

Already, Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello; amongst others have picked up the forms while others are expected to follow suit in the coming days. They include Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi; former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha; former Abia State Governor, Orji Kalu; amongst others jostling to be the flagbearer at the end of the APC presidential primary scheduled to hold at the end of May 2022.

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