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FG Will No Longer Refund States For Repairing Federal Roads – Fashola

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Minister of works and housing, Babatunde Fashola has announced that the Federal Government will no longer make refund to states that repair federal roads

He advised the states to concentrate on state-funded roads. Fashola announced the paradigm shift in federal-state relations on Thursday, October 10th while defending the budget of his works component of his ministry before the Works Committee of the House of Representatives.

“When we came in, we inherited quite a number of such debts from states which repaired Federal roads and asked for refunds. The President directed that we pay all those that were approved by the previous government.  

“He also directed that states should concentrate on their own roads and that states can only get involved in Federal roads, if they are repairing them and not coming to ask for refund,” he said.

The minister complained that the N157b capital budgetary allocation to his ministry is too little, as it is not enough to pay contractors for jobs already done. According to him the Ministry needs N306 billion to pay contractors for jobs already done, while N2.93 billion was pending in unpaid certificates under the multilateral-funded projects.  

The minister said the Federal Government has about 524 ongoing road projects across the country, with four multilateral-funded road projects, 81 roads under the Presidential Infrastructural Development Fund (PIDF) and 45 others being funded under the Sukuk bond. Fashola said N255 billion was required to fund some of the major roads, adding that the ministry was focusing on roads that help to open up the economy and make the ease of doing business less cumbersome.  

The minister listed some of the projects under the PIDF to include the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road, the Second Niger Bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan Express Road, the Mambilla Hydro project and the East-West road

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Kogi West: INEC Finally Fixes Date For Melaye, Smart Fresh Election

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The rerun election for the Kogi West Senatorial election involving Sen Dino Melaye of the PDP and Sen Smart Adeyemi of the APC is to hold on Nov. 16, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

INEC, in a statement signed Mr Festus Okoye, Chairman of its Information and Voter Committee, said that the senate election would hold simultaneously with the Kogi governorship election.

Okoye, INEC National Commissioner, in a statement made available to newsmen on Monday in Abuja, said that another by-election for the Sabuwa State Constituency in Katsina State had been slated for Nov. 30.

“The decision was taken at the commission’s meeting held on Monday,” the statement said.

He said that the fresh election was a sequel to the nullification of the Kogi West Senatorial District election conducted on Feb. 23, by the Election Petitions Tribunal and its subsequent affirmation by the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal had upheld the ruling of the Election Petitions Tribunal which nullified the election of Sen. Dino Melaye (PDP), following a suit filed by Sen. Smart Adeyemi of the APC.

The Appeal Court, on Oct. 11, 2019, ordered INEC to conduct a fresh election within 90 days from the date of judgment with all those who participated in it as eligible candidates.

Okoye appealed to the candidates and political parties to conduct issue-based campaigns.

“We also enjoin stakeholders to eschew violence and avoid acts capable of creating apprehension or a sense of fear before, during and after the elections,’’ he said.

Okoye also disclosed that following extensive consultations with stakeholders and a review of the security situation with the relevant security agencies, the Commission fixed Nov. 30 for the conduct of bye-election in Sabuwa State Constituency, Katsina State.

He recalled that the Katsina State House of Assembly, vide a letter with Reference Number KTSHA/PER/HON/l24/VOL.l/24, dated Sept. 26, notified INEC of the death of Mustapha Abdullahi, who represented the constituency, and subsequently declared the seat vacant.

He said that the Commission would issue the Notice of Election on Oct. 23, while the conduct of party primaries would take place between Oct. 24 and Nov. 6.

According to Okoye, the last day for the submission of personal particulars of candidates (Form CF001), and the list of candidates (Form CFOO2) is Nov. 8.

“The last day for the submission of names and addresses of polling agents is Nov. 15, while campaigns will end on Nov. 28,” he said.

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Drama As Court Seals Church Over Noise Pollution

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A Chief Magistrate Court in Nnewi, Anambra State presided over by Emekwue AC has sealed off one of the new generation churches in the area over noise pollution.

The church leadership which was sued by the Director of Environmental Health Services and the Nnewi North local government area, was also given ten days for relocation.

In a charge number NMC/10c/2019, the church was prosecuted on two count charges under the public health laws of Anambra state.

The church was accused of mounting amplifier and five loudspeakers in front of its premises, tuned at a very high pitch, leading to heavy noise pollution and restless night within the neighbourhood.

The prosecution described the situation as ‘prejudicial to man’s health’, which is punishable under section 21 of the public health laws of Anambra state 2006.

The church was also accused of failure to comply with terms and requisition of abatement notice referenced No: 00000896 served on it.

The prosecution maintained that the condition was punishable under sections 8(1,4b) and 9(1,2) of the public health laws of Anambra state.

It presented three witnesses who all testified that the church activities, particularly during its vigils held between 11pm to 4am constituted source of noise pollution as well as serious disturbance to an 86 year-old woman.

The President-General of the community who appeared as witness to the defendant, said he was a neighbour to the complainant, adding that the church activities did not disturb anybody.

Delivering judgement on the matter, Emekwue AC directed the Director of environmental health services and Nnewi North Local Government Area to seal off the church and stop the defendant from continuing church activities in the facility.

The court also directed the defendant to relocate the church within 10 days or face one-year jail term without option of fine.

A resident of the area who witnessed the sealing off of the church, but preferred anonymity, described the court ruling as long awaited.

He said, “It is a thing of joy that the court has finally come to the rescue of the people who have not known peace since the church was opened in their neighbourhood.

“We are all Christians here but all attempts to make the pastor and his church see reason on the danger his activities pose to the well being of the people has always been misunderstood.

“They always tag those of us who are complaining as being occults

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BREAKING: Edward Onoja Sworn In As Yahaya Bello Deputy

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Edward Onoja, a former chief of staff to Governor Yahya Bello, has been sworn in as the deputy governor of Kogi state following the impeachment of Simon Achuba.

Onoja was sworn in as Bello’s deputy at the government house in Lokoja on Monday, October 21.

The Kogi State House of Assembly has earlier confirmed Edward Onoja as the deputy governor of the state. The assembly confirmed Onoja’s appointment on Monday following the impeachment of Simon Achuba.

Mr Onoja’s appointment was confirmed during a special sitting presided over by Speaker Mathew Kolawole. He will be sworn in by the state chief judge, Justice Nadir Ajana. Mr Achuba was impeached last Friday on three grounds of criminal indulgence, financial misappropriation, and non-performance.

Achuba had accused the governor of the state, Yahaya Bello, of being after his life. He alleged that Bello had sent gunmen to kill him, adding that the governor withheld the payment of his allowances amounting to N800 million.

Kogi lawmakers, however, claimed that Achuba’s allegations, actions, and utterances amounted to gross misconduct. Achuba had tried to block his impeachment at the State High Court, Lokoja.

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