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BREAKING: CCT Dismisses Onnoghen’s No-case Submission, Orders Him to Open Defence

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The Code of Conduct Tribunal on Friday dismissed the no-case submission filed by the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, and asked him to open his defence in respect of the six counts of false and non-declaration of assets preferred against him.

CCT dismisses Onnoghen’s no-case submission, orders him to open defence
Justice Walter Onnoghen
The three-man bench of the CCT led by Danladi Umar, which earlier took arguments of parties on Friday, held that Onnoghen had case to answer and should enter his defence.

Contrary to the contention by Onnoghen’s legal team that the three witnesses called by the prosecution failed to give credible evidence to prove the case, the CCT held that the admission to the alleged offences by the embattled top judicial officer showed that there was a prima facie case against him.

Umar said the defence was only trying to frustrate the punishment of the defendant for the offences.

The Chief Adegboyega Awomolo-led defence team promptly applied for the copy of the ruling to enable them to properly advise the defendant.

The tribunal chairman said it would be ready by Monday.

He also adjourned till Monday for the suspended CJN to open his defence.
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INEC Declares Fintiri Governor-elect of Adamawa

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Alhaji Ahmadu Fintiri of Peoples Democratic Party has emerged winner of Adamawa Governorship election.

INEC declares Fintiri governor-elect of Adamawa
Ahmadu Fintiri: Adamawa governor-elect
The Returning Officer of the election, Prof. Andrew Haruna, who declared the result Thursday in Yola after the supplementary election in 44 units across 14 local government areas of the state said Fintiri polled 376,552 votes to beat his closest rival, Gov. Muhammadu Bindow of APC who scored 336,386 votes.

Sen. Abdul-Azeez Nyako of ADC scored 113,237 votes, while Chief Emmanuel Bello of SDP got 29,792 votes.

Fintiri born in October 27, 1967 in Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa is a graduate of History from University of Maiduguri.

He was the Speaker of Adamawa House of Assembly in 2014 and also served as Acting Governor in July 2014 following the impeachment of then Gov. Murtala Nyako.
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Nigeria, Ghana to Explore New Areas of Business

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Nigeria and Ghana are set to explore more areas of business opportunities to further strengthen relations between both countries.

Nigeria, Ghana to explore new areas of business
President Buhari of Nigeria with his Ghanaian counterpart Nana Akufo-Addo
Ghanaian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Rashid Bawa, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) when he received a business delegation from Ghana in Abuja.

Bawa said the delegation from the Secondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (STCCI) had visited the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and was in Abuja to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

According to the Ghanaian envoy, the MoU is between STCCI and the eSilk Network Limited, which is the driving platform of the eSilkroad.

“This is the first time that we have a regional chamber of commerce from Ghana coming into Nigeria to network with the various chambers here in the federation.

“The delegation met with the Lagos Chamber and they had fruitful discussions and agreed on various areas that will strengthen both chambers and therefore promote business between the two countries.

“The first assignment when the delegation arrived Abuja was to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the Vice President of NACCIMA and the Chairman of Secondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (STCCI).

“Of course, it brings closer these two chambers and it promotes networking among them as a body and also introduces their various businessmen to the business opportunities that exist between the two countries.

“By so doing, it will strengthen the economic opportunities between both countries.”

The envoy explained that the MoU would introduce Ghana to “a new network which brings together almost all business opportunities and presenting flexibility to deal with any business opportunity”.

He added that it would also present the businessmen with the opportunity to compare businesses from various angles before going into them.

Mr Tony Ejinkeonye, Director of Business Development (Africa), eSilkroad Network Limited said the MoU signed by the company and STCCI was on the eSilkroad, a digital network linked to the Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce (SRCIC).

Ejinkeonye, who is also the Vice President, NACCIMA, said SRCIC is a private initiative of the Chinese Government recruiting members of the Belt and Road initiative (BRI) aimed at creating a digital network that would connect countries’ businesses, trade organisations and chambers of commerce.

The BRI is a development strategy adopted by the Chinese government involving infrastructure development and investments in 152 countries and international organisations in Europe, Asia, Middle East, Latin America and Africa.

“Abuja Chamber of Commerce was the first, when I was president, to register as a member of the SRCIC but currently, so many chambers of commerce in Nigeria have registered and a few in some African countries.

“Can you imagine all businesses within the BRI are registered under the same network; it is an immense thing, just like Facebook.

“I am part of that digital network, I am the Director, Business Development for eSilk network which is what is driving the platform of the eSilkroad and our headquarters is based in Hong Kong. I am representing them in Africa.

“So what I did today was I took the opportunity to register the Secondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce into the eSilk network.

“What that means is that by the time our platform starts running they will incorporate all their members and companies into the digital platform. Abuja and the whole of Nigeria will do that. So that is that is the work I am doing,” he said.

The NACCIMA vice president also said as part of the digital network, STCCI stood to benefit from the infrastructural development and loans, cultural and educational grants, among others, within the BRI network.

Also speaking, Mr Ato Van-Ess, Chairman of STCCI, said that having businesses of that magnitude on one platform would encourage confidence among the chambers and facilitate trade among countries.

Van-Ess said the STCCI was the first to sign on to the eSilkroad digital platform in Ghana.

“We expect that the chambers would have done due diligence before putting them on the platform.

“It makes it very easy for us to access vendors and customers would have done all the due diligence before putting any element on the platform.”

Mr Michael Konow, Deputy Director, Head of International Projects and Partnerships, Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, Germany, said the organisation was working with the STCCI to learn from experiences of Nigerian chambers of commerce.

Konow added that the delegation would also explore business opportunities in Nigeria.

“It is more about sharing experiences; we have seen that the main challenges of commerce and industry in Africa are the same.

“It is always about how to get members attracted because there is freedom of association in Germany, there is compulsory membership so it is very easy for us in Germany but in Africa it is not.

“I can tell you that the Nigerian chambers of commerce are very big and we can learn a lot from them and as a business membership organisation, we do the work for our members and I can tell you it makes sense to do business both ways especially in the extractive industries.

“We have established a first connection and it will be vibrant in the future. This is a major benefit.”
The business delegation is on a one-week fact-finding mission to Nigeria.
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Hearing Care: Expert Advocates Speedy Implementation of National Strategic Plan

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Prof. Titus Ibekwe, Head of Department, Ear, Nose and Throat, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada has urged the Federal Government to immediately implement the National Policy and Strategic Plan for Ear and Hearing Care.

Hearing care: Expert advocates speedy implementation of national strategic plan
Prof. Titus Ibekwe HOD, Ear, Nose and Throat UNIAbuja Teaching Hospital
Ibekwe told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja that the implementation of the plan would go a long way in reducing hearing challenges in the country.

“In 2018, the Federal Government launched an Ear and Hearing care policy for Nigeria of which I was one of the key technical working group members that drafted this policy.

“This document entails hearing screening, hearing conservation, hearing aids, cochlear implants and indeed, all devices that can be used to improve the lives of people whose hearing is down.’’

The surgeon said the document, launched in November 2018, should be prioritised considering what it was meant to address.

He also said the document would serve as a blueprint to guide the activities geared toward prevention of ear diseases and hearing loss.

According to him, it will also boost the efforts at early detection of hearing loss, intervention, rehabilitation and support services to people living with the disease in the country.

Ibekwe described the document as comprehensive and evidence-based intervention to prevent, identify and treat ear diseases and hearing loss through the country’s health system.

He said the prevention and early identification through a public health approach remained the most effective alternative in the fight against hearing loss.

“It is worthy of note that as people aged, they have hearing loss. In adult, evidence has shown that it starts from 65 and above.But nowadays, from 50 years upward, some people start losing their hearing ability.

“Something needs to be done, in fact, it is known that one in every three adults, 65 years and above has hearing loss; you can imagine how significant and urgent this policy is.

“The ear gradually loses its hearing function following advancement in age (Presbyacusis), with statistics of 1:3 disabling hearing loss from 65 years and above,’’ Ibekwe said.

He described the ear as window to human critical development, including proper cognitive functions, adding that it offered good quality of life.

The professor, however, noted that there was need to take good care of “our hearing.”

According to him, the quick implementation of hearing policy documents would also go a long way in assisting the young and aged to address their hearing challenges.

NAN reports that the World Health Organisation (WHO), in its recent report, said that one in three adults, aged 65, and above has hearing loss worldwide.

According to WHO, “ 250 million people in the world have disabling hearing impairment (moderate/worse hearing impairment in the better ear, see: grades of hearing impairment), two third of these people live in developing countries.

“Half of deafness and hearing impairment is avoidable.

“Adult-onset hearing loss ranks 15th among the leading causes of the Global Burden of Disease (GBD), and 2nd in the leading causes of Years Lived with a Disability (YLD),’’ it said.
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'Several Motorists, Soldiers Killed', Hundreds Flee as Boko Haram Attacks Military Checkpoints in Borno

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Many people are feared dead while hundreds of residents fled their homes, as suspected Boko Haram terrorists attacked a military checkpoint in Biu Local Government Area of Borno State on Wednesday night.

'Several Motorists, Soldiers Killed', Hundreds Flee as Boko Haram Attacks Military Checkpoints in Borno

According to vigilantes and residents in the area, the terrorists stormed Miringa village, some 16km to Biu, the largest town in the southern part of the state, at about 6pm and shot sporadically at military personnel at checkpoints, killing several motorists and soldiers.

Abdulrahman Miringa, one of the residents who fled the area, said hundreds of residents passed the night in Biu, while the invaders exchanged gunfire with the soldiers for about two hours, non-stop.

"The incident started precisely at 6pm," Abdulrahman told our correspondent by phone.

"We thought it was a normal routine exercise by the military, but it became so severe and there was confusion everywhere. We stayed back till about 8:15pm. The gun battle was ongoing and we saw flames at the military base of the Command School. That's when I ran to Biu and passed the night there.

"Hundreds of people from Miringa fled to Biu. Both children and women are currently in Biu as I speak with you. I believe many may have lost their lives, because the road many travellers ply that route."

A vigilante source confirmed that the terrorists attacked two military checkpoints over a period for hours.

"Yes, there was an attack on military checkpoints in Miringa last night. They attacked both the Command School checkpoint and that of the Government Primary School. The distance is about 1km and the troops engaged them, but many lost their lives on both sides," the vigilante said.
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