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Prisons to states: Stop sending minors to us

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The Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS), has advised states against sending “minor offenders” to facilities, saying the development was inimical to the federal government’s decongestion efforts. This was as the Service further bemoaned the stigma suffered by ex-convicts within the society.

The concerns were raised yesterday by the Service’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Francis Enobore, a Deputy Comptroller of Prisons (DCP). Enobore, who spoke during an inspection tour of Prisons farms located at Gwagwalada Area Council, suggested domestication of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) by states.

The development, he argued, would enable the states to adopt alternative approaches to custodial sentence.

“The feat was however not without some challenges. Although the population of inmates awaiting trial shows a considerable reduction but the rate of influx, if care is not taken, will sooner than later make a travesty of the present decongestion effort.

“Some states take forces to arrest minor offenders like street hawkers and even those without proof of means of likelihood and send them to the prison without a corresponding mechanism for further care and support.

“We are of the opinion that the 2015 Administration of Justice Act should be domesticated and implemented in states, so alternative to custodial punishment can be used. “Also of significant concern is the rejection of ex-convicts by members of the society.

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Osifeso lauds Awori Diocese on socio-economic development

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A fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Surveyors (NIS) and chairman of Macpotec Nigeria Limited, Dr. Segun Osifeso, has applauded Bishop of the Diocese of Awori (Anglican Communion), Rt. Revd. Johnson Akin-Atere, on the contributions of the Diocese to the socio-economic development of Ota in and Ogun State since its inauguration 10 years ago.

Osifeso, who made this remark during the dedication of the Diocesan multimillion naira office complex at Ota recently, also praised the Diocese for its leadership role in laying a solid foundation for the growth and expansion of Christianity in Aworiland and Nigeria in general.

He noted with delight the impact that the completion of the office complex, boasting a secretariat, 12- lock–up shops, Diocesan cemetry, women centre as well as ownership of acres of land and other landed properties across the town are having on the socio-economic standing of the area.

While showering encomiums on Rt. Revd. Atere for his leadership qualities, sense of vision and innovation in piloting the affairs of the Diocese, the NIS fellow reminded members of the important role Ota played in the growth of Christianity in Nigeria and advised that all hands must be on deck to ensure the Diocese remained a force to reckon with.

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Ambode’s wife presents quintuplets with cash gift, others

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Wife of the governor of, Mrs Bolanle Ambode, has volunteered a monthly allowance of N500, 000 for the next twelve months, for the care of quintuplets born to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Augustine Obiefuna of Orile Iganmu, a suburb of the state.

This is contained in a statement from the Assistant Director, Public Affairs at the Office of the Wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Folashade Kadiri. Quintuplets are five babies born from one pregnancy.

Other welfare arrangements by Mrs Ambode for the newborns include the supply of diapers for one year and the supply of baby milk and other essentials for one year.

All these in addition to two bus-loads of baby essentials like beds, mattresses, diapers, boxes of clothes, socks, pants, caps, etc, that accompanied her on a visit to the infants at the Lagos Island Maternity.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode also gave an undisclosed sum of money, for the care of the babies; three boys and two girls, who weighed between 1.5kg and 2kg respectively.

Speaking at the maternity ward, the governor’s wife who was visibly elated and beemming with smiles, thanked God for the safe delivery of the infants and commended their mother, for regularly attending her ante-natal sessions in  the government hospital.

She urged expectant mothers in the state to shun quacks and self-medication, but to register early and diligently attend ante-natal clinics in government hospitals, for standard medical care.

According to her, ‘”You can all see why it is good to register in a government hospital where standard medical care is guaranteed. This woman registered early and regularly attended her ante-natal clinics. The result is that all five babies were safely delivered to the glory of God.”

She commended the entire medical team, especially the consultant, Dr. Ogungbemile Babalola, for their professional service, stressing that the government would always prioritize health care service for expectant mothers, to eradicate maternal and infant mortality in the state.

Mrs. Ambode who later inspected the maternity ward, promised further donations to the hospital, to strengthen maternal and infant service delivery in the hospital.

Father of the babies, Mr. Augustine Obiefuna, copiously thanked the governor and his wife, for their rare benevolence and generosity, which according to him transcended ethnic and tribal considerations.

He said, ‘We are surprised that despite being non indigenes of the state, the governor and his wife could show us so much love and kindness. They are just wonderful. We never imagined that Her Excellency could personally come here to see our new babies. We cannot stop praying for them and their children, for God’s favour, protection and wisdom at all times. Babies Obiefunas are the first set of quintuplets delivered in Lagos State this year.

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UN allocates $2m to tackle cholera, seeks more funds

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The United Nations (UN), through the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund, has allocated US$2 million to support the response to a deadly cholera outbreak in Yobe State.

Also, the United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has disclosed that additional resources were needed to tackle the deadly cholera outbreak, which could affect thousands of people.

In a statement, OCHA said the additional funding being sought would ensure that the cholera outbreak would be contained, especially ahead of the rainy season when the risk of outbreaks and spreading of water-borne diseases is higher.

Since the beginning of the cholera outbreak, which was officially declared in four local government areas on March  28, a total of 404 cases and 15 deaths have been reported, representing a 3.7 per cent case fatality rate.

According to the statement, “The funds would enable humanitarian partners to provide safe water to over 1.6 million people, improve sanitation for thousands in the affected communities, and boost the technical and human resource capacity in hotspot areas so that cholera can be detected early and treated promptly.

“Raising awareness of how to identify, prevent and treat cholera is also a key part of the response to the outbreak.”

The UN and its partners activated an immediate emergency response in the affected communities in support of the State Ministries of Health.

UN Humanitarian Coordinator Mr. Edward Kallon said,  “Acting swiftly is pivotal if we are to prevent high mortality rates.”

He added, “Cholera outbreaks can potentially impact and kill thousands of people, especially women, children and men who are living in overcrowded places such as camps for internally displaced persons. Surveillance and early detection are key to limiting the number of fatalities and the spread of the outbreak.”

Kallon said, “These funds will help the UN and partners strengthen the capacity of community health personnel and equip local health facilities with diagnostic and treatment equipment as the rainy season gets underway and access to some of the affected localities might be impacted by flooding.”

The humanitarian crisis in Nigeria’s north-east, that has spilled over into the Lake Chad region, is one of the most severe in the world today, with 7.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in 2018 in the worst-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, and 6.1 million targeted for humanitarian assistance.

The Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (NHF), managed by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs under the leadership of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, was created to provide funds in a prioritised, flexible and timely manner so those who are most in need of life-saving support.

The NHF is one of 18 country-based pooled funds and was launched during the Oslo Humanitarian Conference for Nigeria and the Lake Chad region in February 2017.

To date, the NHF has raised $49.4 million in contributions and pledges, thanks to the generous support of Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Norway, Ireland, Switzerland, the Republic of Korea, Canada, Spain, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Arab Gulf Programme for Development, Malta, Azerbaijan and Sri Lanka. Of those $49.4 million, $35 million – including this latest $2 million allocation — have now been allocated to various organisations in support of the humanitarian response in north-east Nigeria.

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