The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, convicted and sentenced one Bright Nduagu to three years in prison for possession of 6.2 grams of cocaine.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo, in his judgment, held that in accordance with the provision of the law, “a trial court shall not pass a maximum sentence on first offender.”
Justice Taiwo, who noted that Nduagu, a 31-year-old man, pleaded guilty of the offence charged, sentenced him with an option of fine of N200, 000.
According to him, after the plea of guilt by the defendant, the defence counsel entered allocutus with the prosecutor, pleading for leniency.
He said his lawyer, Nduka Benson, told the court that the convict had become remorseful having been counsel while in detention of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
“A plea of guilt is a conclusive evidence that the accused committed the offence.
“I therefore convict the defendant as charged and shall proceed to pronounce my sentence,” the judge said.
Taiwo ordered the convict to be remanded at Kuje or Suleja Prison, pending the perfection of his bail conditions.
Shortly after the judgement, counsel to NDLEA, Mike Kassa, made an oral application, asking the court to make an order that Nduagu’s vehicle, which he described as “proceed of crime,” be forfeited to the Federal Government after he had been convicted and sentenced.
However, the convict’s lawyer, Benson, vehemently opposed the application.
The judge, who ordered counsel to the parties to file written addresses to ventilate their stand, adjourned the matter till Oct. 20 for ruling.
The News Agency of Nigeria notes that Nduagu was arrested at 2nd Avenue, Gwarimpa in FCT, Abuja, “on or about 16th day of July without lawful authority, possessed 6.2g cocaine, a narcotic drug similar to cannabis sativa, heroine and LSD, thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of the NDLEA Act CAP N30 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
NOTAP calls for more funding for research to accelerate Nigeria’s development
The National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) has called for more funding for research in the country to accelerate Nigeria’s development.
NOTAP Director-General, Dr Danazumi Ibrahim stated this while receiving AVM Onyemaechi Osahor, the Director-General of the Defence Research and Development Bureau (DRDB), on a courtesy visit in Abuja on Wednesday.
Danazumi said that more than 90 per cent of the technologies powering the Nigerian economy were imported stressing that it was time for the country to address the anomaly by adopting a strategic approach.
“If research and development are not given required attention, then the future of Nigeria becoming independent in terms of sustainability would be weaken.
“I must say that we have no option but to spend hugely on research and development so that we gain our independence and be able also to produce and sell our products to the outside world, ’’ he said.
He said Nigeria has a very weak intellectual property culture evident in the university and research institutes system.
He said that NOTAP in 2006 partnered with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) to establish Intellectual Property Technology Transfer Offices (IPTTOs) in Nigerian Universities to change the system.
“ The IPTTO’s were established to sensitise researchers on the culture of intellectual property and encourage them to file applications for patents before publishing in order to protect their inventions and innovations.
“NOTAP has so far established 45 IPTTOs across the country some of which are in military establishments like Airforce Institute of Technology (AFIT) Zaria, Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Kaduna and Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) in order to harness research and development results that will lead to commercialization, ” he said.
He commended DRDB for its research and development efforts, and the wisdom of the military in having a single umbrella for its research and development activities.
He promised the organisation of its support and partnership for the overall development of the nation.
Earlier,Osahor said that the bureau is charged with the responsibility of co-coordinating activities of defence related laboratories, conducting and coordinating research and development activities in defence and security related areas.
He said the visit was part of efforts aimed at partnering with relevant organisations to ensure the fulfillment of the mandate of the organisation of having a most modern military.
He added that the bureau was seeking partnership with NOTAP in the area of patenting and Intellectual property rights having come up with many research and development efforts.
” This partnership will lead to awareness on intellectual property rights within the military research and development circle thereby leading to the production of patents for the enhanced security of the nation, ” he said.
Osahor said that the military has inventions and innovations like the compo ration, IED detector with a detection range of over 50 metres and design and development of the airboat among others.
APC Professionals Forum to partner NAN to achieve FG’s 9-point agenda
The All Progressives Congress (APC), Professionals Forum on Wednesday promised to partner the News Agency of Nigeria , to achieve Federal Government’s agenda.
Akeem Akintayo, the National Coordinator of the groups made the pledged during a visit to Mr Buki Ponle, the Managing Director of NAN, at its headquarter in Abuja.
Akintayo said that the group would love to work with NAN to build a better Nigeria for the future generation.
“We are here to congratulate Mr Buki Ponle, who is one of us, on his appointment as the Managing Director of NAN.
“Ponle is a professional journalist; we are all professionals from diverse fields in the forum such as engineers, journalists, medical personnel, lawyers, among others.
“We want to organise a summit that will showcase what we are doing; we will encourage our members who our professionals in diverse fields to work with NAN whenever we have a programme.
“We are also looking forward to nominating him as one of our patrons,’’ he said
One of the members, Dapo Okunbajo, who is also a journalist, urges the agency to work more on developmental stories on Nigeria.
“There is a lot of developmental strides happening in Nigeria that we need to report.
“Developmental journalism is a way to grow the society, we look forward to working together with NAN to achieve this,’’ he said.
Mr Gerald Ekwunife, the National Publicity secretary of the group, in his remark said he believed in NAN’s ability to promote the administration in its reportage.
“I believe media mangers can do more in advocating the good works of the government, we want to partner NAN because we believe in the officials and we want them to do more,’’ he said
Mr Ponle, the Managing Director of NAN, gave the assurance that the agency was working to achieve the nine-point agenda of the Federal Government.
Ponle, represented by the Editor-in-Chief, Mr Idonije Obakhedo, thanked the group and promised partnership with them to ensure that the Federal Government’s agenda was actualised.
“We are happy to receive you here; we will work with you in assisting the government to achieve its objectives.
“We are focusing on the nine points agenda of the Federal Government; we are running series of features from now to Oct. 1, to celebrate Nigeria @ 60.
“NAN will publish all your activities and we will always be ready to work with you,’’ he managing Director said.
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Donald Ugwu
Gov. Zulum launches 1m trees planting campaign in Borno
Gov. Babagana Zulum on Wednesday inaugurated the one million trees planting campaign to reclaim soil fertility and check desertification in the state.
Speaking at the ceremony at the Borno State University, Maiduguri, Zulum said that the exercise was aimed at increasing the adaptive capacity toward reducing the negative impact of soil erosion, climate change with a view to accelerate afforestation.
He said “This year’s tree planting campaign which is the first of its kind in the past ten years, became necessary due to pressures from desertification, deforestation, soil erosion, poverty, and insecurity.”
The Governor explained that human activities like bush burning, illegal tree felling has continuously put pressure on the already fragile ecosystem thereby threatening food security.
Zulum expressed concern over desertification facing the state, noting that his administration was committed toward reversing the scenario.
“Government has already commenced raising of some seedlings, with the annual 1km desert reclamation programme which is handled by the Ministry of Environment.
The governor also announced a policy under which all construction in the state would be accompanied by planting of trees to cushion the environmental impacts of such developmental projects.
The governor also presented gas cookers to women to promote other alternative sources of energy for domestic use.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Environment, Alhaji Modu Walama said one million assorted trees including those with commercial values would be planted in nine Local Government Areas.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the trees include moringa oleifera, baobab, mango, eucalyptus, guava, cashew, neem, pawpaw, and tamarind among others.
NAN report that Borno is among one states worse hit by the negative impacts of climate change in Nigeria.
The sustainable development goal number 13 urges the global community to “take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts by regulating emissions and promoting developments in renewable energy.”
Edited By: Yakubu Uba/Sadiya Hamza
AFAP pledges to make Lagos food processing hub
The Association of Food and Agro Processors (AFAP) says it has evolved mechanisms to assist Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) drive Lagos State into a food processing hub for local and export markets.
Kuteyi said that the aim of AFAP was to work in line with the state’s agenda for food sustainability in Nigeria by reducing post-harvest losses.
“We have trained more than 5,000 youths, women, retiring staff of Lagos State and widows.
According to him, various agricultural products end up in Lagos markets, and that they should not be subjected to post harvest loss.
“The Federal Government has already done so much to generate interest in farming by providing funds to encourage individuals and organisations to embrace the business of farming.
“However, not much has been done in the areas of food and agro processing, preservation and packaging.
“Therefore, as an association (AFAP), we are advocating and pushing strongly for the government to look toward developing this sector, and this will ensure food security for the nation,” he said.
Kuteyi said that AFAP would like to collaborate with the state government to establish a white rice processing line in the state.
“The white rice will be another raw material for both MSME and large industries
“It will serve as a boost to Made-in-Lagos products as MSMEs will have continuous and consistent raw materials to make rice flour, ground rice, snacks, baby food, breakfast cereal, biscuits, among others,” he said.
According to him, AFAP will also partner the Lagos State in the establishment of briquette factories to reduce incidence of fire hazard in the state.
Kuteyi said that AFAP would hold a workshop to sensitise stakeholders on imported intermediate raw materials that could be locally produced, using available technologies to process them.
He said that the workshop would also create awareness and harness the available raw materials in Nigeria.
The president said that this was to reduce the outflow of foreign exchange on importation of semi-finished raw materials for large and multinational industries.
Kuteyi urged the government to collaborate with AFAP as it promotes “Made-in-Lagos Products” by securing maximum protection for MSME products and provide easy registrations with SON, NAFDAC and other agencies.
Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye