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Nigerian, African Security Chiefs commend improved security in Enugu

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• We’re deploying technology to fight insecurity – Mbah

Faculty and participants in the Executive Intelligence Management Course 17 of the National Institute of Security and Strategic Studies, drawn from Nigeria, Chad, Cote d”Ivoire, Ghana, Gambia and Rwanda, have lauded Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State for what they described as very visible improvement in security of lives and property in the state.

This came on a day when the governor stressed that his administration would continue to deploy technology to fight insecurity in all nooks and crannies of the state.

The syndicate members made the observation during a courtesy call on Mbah at Government House, Enugu, during which they also toured the state’s Command and Control Centre being put together by the governor.

Speaking, a directing staff at NISS as well as syndicate supervisor and leader of the delegation, Bolarinwa Adekunle, said the syndicate, which was drawn from 29 agencies and five African countries, was in Enugu to “understudy how the state government is leveraging AI to advance the security and economy of the state and also governance in general.”

“I was in Enugu in 2022 as a participant of this prestigious course. We arrived in Enugu on a Sunday, and on Monday, we were made to stay in our hotel. We could not go anywhere. But today, the situation is not the same. That has been stopped. Things have improved in the state.

“Artificial Intelligence, Security and Emerging Economies in Africa: Challenges and Prospects,” was choosen by the institute, as Artificial Intelligence was fast evolving globally and permeating almost every facet of human endeavor, including agriculture, health, security, manufacturing, transportation, education, and authority.

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“Africa can not stay aloof and watch other continents of the world take advantage of artificial intelligence. It is therefore imperative that we appropriately interrogate the theme of this course, such that we leverage the opportunities that abound in artificial intelligence, while we also strive to mitigate the risk and the ethical issues that are associated with it. That is why we are here,” he said.

In his response, Mbah said that his government prioritised security from the outset, knowing that his vision to grow the state’s economy from $4.4 billion to $30 billion, eradicate poverty and make the state the preferred destination for investment, business, tourism and living would amount to a pipe dream without it.

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Mbah also said that the administration owed the security and order enjoyed in the state to the commitment, sacrifices, and cooperation of the security agencies as well as the deployment of technology to track down criminals.

“We recognise that under the fundamental objectives and the directive principles of state policy in our constitution, the primary purpose of government is the provision of security and welfare for our citizens. So it means that you lose your reason for existence as a government if you are not able to guarantee the safety of your people and which is why it was almost like we had to set forth on this when we took office.

“We have deployed technology to deal with the challenges of insecurity. In fact, you are actually seated here in the command centre, which we regard as our Command and Control Centre. We will take you around shortly to see what we are doing in terms of the deployment of security surveillance cameras where we monitor what is going on around in our state. We are also able to again deploy this around Artificial Intelligence to be able to nip some of these things in the bud,” Mbah stated.

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He added that the state was investing heavily in education to ensure that the young people were imbued with the necessary and relevant digital and entrepreneurial skills that they needed to be able to deal with the future. That way, he said, they would be positively and gainfully engaged and have no reason to go into crime.

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Ex-Kogi Gov Bello’s trial for alleged N80.2Bn graft stalled again, to appear in court June 27

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Follow AGF’s advice, submit to EFCC – Group tells Yahaya Bello
Former Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello

The arraignment of former Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello for alleged N80.2 billion fraud slated for Thursday was stalled again as the case was adjourned to June 27 based on requests from both counsels in the case.

Bello, who was expected in court on Thursday, before Justice Emeka Nwite at the Federal High Court Abuja on a 19-count charge, was absent.

According to the EFCC, through the counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), the court had previously adjourned the case on May 10 with the expectation that Bello would be present for arraignment today.

However, Bello’s lawyer, Adeola Adedipe (SAN), argued there was a misunderstanding.

He claimed the lead prosecutor, Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), had suggested to his colleague, Aliyu AbdulWahab, of postponing the arraignment to June 27 for convenience sake during an informal meeting outside of court.

Adedipe stated that he was surprised to find EFCC lead counsel, absent from the court today.

“They (EFCC) agreed that junior counsel would be sent to court today to formally pick a date. And the registry can confirm this.

“Kemi Pinhero, SAN, has been calling us to say today is not convenient,” Adedipe said, accusing the prosecution of attempting to “ambush” him.

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The EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), countered by saying the defense team was misrepresenting the situation. He argued that holding an unofficial meeting was not a valid reason for Bello’s absence and called for an apology to the court.

“Assuming without conceding that there was a conversation between the counsel for Bello and the prosecution (outside the court), to have this matter adjourned, the fundamental issue today is compliance with the order of my lord; to with, the appearance of the defendant,” he said.

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According to Adedipe, Yahaya Bello was prepared to appear today as originally scheduled.

“Under 266 ACJA there are instances when defendants don’t need to come and this is one of them.

“We came here to pick a date. Of what use will the defendant coming here be? It is the prosecuting counsel that approached us, we did not approach them. We have nothing to hide,” Adedipe argued.

After hearing the arguments from both sides, the judge acknowledged the confusion and accepted the defense team’s apology.

“I am minded to take the apology on the ground that the defendant is making a fresh undertaking that the defendant (Bello) will be produced on June 27.

“The matter is adjourned to June 27 for arraignment,” the judge ruled.

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Alleged N80bn Fraud: Yahaya Bello to appear in court for trial today

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Ex-Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello

After several months of hide-and-seek between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the former governor of Kogi state, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the ex-governor is expected to appear before the Federal High Court in Abuja on June 13 for arraignment on the corruption charge against him.

The former governor, through his lawyer, finally agreed to submit himself to the court at the last adjourned date.

Bello’s lead counsel, Abdulwahab Mohammed, gave the undertaking to Justice Emeka Nwite on May 10, shortly after the court rejected the defendant’s request for suspension of trial.

According to him, the former governor was not afraid of arraignment but of the safety of his life in the hands of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja.

He said the life of his client has been under consistent threats in Abuja, hence his decision to go underground for safety.

The agreement to submit to court trial was informed by Justice Nwite’s remarks that the EFCC, as a law-abiding body, would not do anything contrary to the provisions of the law.

The judge said Bello was not the first former governor to be merely invited by the anti-graft agency and would not be the last.

The judge also said that the charges are based on allegations that have not been proved, adding that the law presumes any accused person innocent until proven otherwise.

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He advised the senior lawyer to prevail on his client to respect the law and order of the court as a law-abiding person.

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Bello’s lawyer, responding to the admonition, thanked the Judge for the hint, adding that, with the assurance that the EFCC would not do anything untoward, the former governor would be brought to court.

“All my client needs is just an assurance for the safety of his life, which has been under threat for some time in Abuja.”

The lawyer requested for four weeks to bring his client before the court.

He said Bello would, however, come to the court instead of the EFCC to take his plea in the charges.

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‘I did my Dobale’, Tinubu breaks silence on Democracy Day fall at Eagle Square

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Minimum Wage: FG denies offering N105,000
President Bola Tinubu

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu late yesterday, Wednesday, June 12, 2024, broke his silence on a viral video on social media where he missed his steps and tripped earlier in the day during the proceedings at the Democracy Day Parade at Eagle Square, Abuja.

Speaking at the Democracy Day Dinner, Tinubu, a Yoruba from South West Nigeria, said tongue-in-cheek that he was only performing a traditional Yoruba gesture of respect.

“Early this morning, I had a swagger and it is on social media. They are confused on whether I was doing Buga or doing Babariga but it is a day to celebrate democracy while doing ‘dobale’ for the day. I am a traditional Yoruba boy and I did my Dobale,”

The president also underscored the importance of national orientation and collective effort in fostering a prosperous future for the country.

“Nigeria is blessed, our complexity, our diversity is there, but is the best road to success. Whatever we have to invest in our national orientation, we have to do it,” Tinubu declared, stressing the need for a concerted effort to instill a sense of service and patriotism among Nigerians.

He also noted that the nation’s national anthem encapsulated the essence of service, a value he observed being practiced by many governors across the country.

He expressed his gratitude to the governors, acknowledging their dedication to serving their people irrespective of their political affiliations.

“We include in our national anthem, the essence of service. I have seen many governors, both live and on tv, serving their people. They belong to other parties and many of them are here tonight. Thank you, Governor Eno, of Akwa Ibom, thank you Governor Okpara, my comrade from Kaduna, thank you, Sheriff and Abia, thank you. If I miss you, forgive me. Everybody has forgotten the partisanship column and embraced that green, white, green that depicts Nigeria.”

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Acknowledging criticisms of the national anthem, he called on governors to redouble their efforts in fostering a sense of duty and national character among citizens.

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“Citizenship is not just the dictionary meaning of it, it is the actual character. Let us teach this to our children, so that Nigeria collectively, we will do the job that we are called upon to do as both family or nation under God almighty,” Tinubu urged.

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