The Court of Appeal, Abuja, on Tuesday, upheld the conviction and sentencing of a clergy, Basil Princewill, for raping a 14-year-old girl and attempting to abort the pregnancy.
Justice Stephen Adah, while reading a unanimous judgment of a panel of three, held that the appellate court found nothing wrong with the judgment given on June 25, 2019 by Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Justice Baba-Yusuf had, in that judgment, convicted Princewill, Founder and General Overseer of the Mountain Mover Fire Ministry International, Nyanya, Abuja, on two couts of the four counts contained in the charge on which he was tried.
Princewill, who was sentenced to seven years for rape and five years for attempting to procure abortion, however appealed the decision in a suit marked: 03c/2020 at the Court of Appeal.
Justice Adah, in the judgment, dismissed the clergyman’s appeal.
He noted that Counsel to the police, Simon Lough, effectively discharged the burden of proof placed on it by the law.
“The sole issue, identified for determination, is resolved against the the appellant.
“Having gone through the record before the court and the argument of counsel to the parties, we found that the trial court did not do anything wrong in convicting the appellant and sentencing him to seven years.
“This appeal hereby fails. The conviction and sentencing of the appellant is affirmed,” Justice Adah said.
He also dismissed the cross-appeal filed by the prosecution, who had sought a longer term of imprisonment for Princewill.
Justice Adah held that it was the discretion of the trial judge and added that under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, a first offender cannot be given the total term of imprisonment provided by the law.
NAN reports that the case was filed by the police on June 4, 2012, with the prosecution closing its case on Dec. 9, 2016, after calling five witnesses.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
COVID-19: NCDC announces 221 new cases, total infections rise to 56,956
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Friday.
According to it, the new cases are confirmed from 18 states in the country.
The new infections brought the total number of confirmed cases to 56,956 in Nigeria.
The public health agency said that Lagos had 59, the highest number of cases, followed by Abia with 46 cases and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), 22.
Among others were; Rivers, 11, Bauchi, 7, Benue, Ekiti and Imo, 6 each, Kaduna, Kwara and Ondo, 4 each, Ogun and Osun, 3 each, Bayelsa, Edo and Kano, 1 each.
According to it, those discharged on Friday include 100 community recoveries managed in Oyo State in line with new case management guidelines.
The health agency sadly recorded one more death, which brought the national death toll to 1,094.
It noted that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC) activated at Level 3 had continued to coordinate the national response activities across the country.
It cautioned that the risk of getting infected with COVID-19 was higher when people did not wear face mask in public places.
“Wear your face mask properly at all times. Adhere to all non-pharmaceutical preventive measures of COVID-19,” it urged Nigerians.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that as the people of Edo State prepared to vote their preferred candidates at the governorship election on Saturday, Sept. 19, NCDC urged all to observe the COVID-19 guidelines recently released.
It noted that relevant stakeholders must take actions that would reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 during the election.
“Ensure there is hand hygiene and temperature checks at the campaign ground, polling stations; providing additional polling stations or booths to ensure physical distancing, with clearly marked floors to enforce spacing on queues.
”Mandating the use of face mask for everyone, regular cleaning of polling stations, tables and other surfaces highly essential because those are the areas that are easy to contract the virus.
”Multiply hand-washing points or alcohol-based hand sanitiser, while staff at the polling units should practice hand hygiene frequently,.”
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
FG, LASG inaugurates Eko MSME Fashion Hub-1
The Federal Government and the Lagos State Government on Friday inaugurated Eko Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Fashion Hub-1 at Old Alade Market, Ikeja, Lagos.
Speaking virtually during the inauguration, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, reiterated President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s commitment to supporting the growth and development of MSMEs in the country.
Osinbajo said with the launch of the Eko MSME Fashion Hub-1, MSMEs in and around Ikeja would no longer have to travel far to use the equipment.
According to him, the fashion equipment are expensive for individual businesses to procure by themselves, hence, the need for the fashion hub.
”With the full scale production line, this hub will enable production of a diverse range of clothing and garments, wedding dresses, office dress.
”Very soon, the products of the hub will be ubiquitous on the streets and will be sourced around the country.
”The fashion industry will be one of Nigeria’s biggest sources of revenue.
”The shared facility scheme which we are launching today and this particular one seeks to provide high quality operating equipment which small businesses can access at a reasonable cost.
”It help reduce operating cost for users, allowing them to invest their savings in expanding their businesses and hiring more staff
”MSMEs are the engine for Nigeria’s economy because when they thrive, the country thrives and when they struggle, the country struggles,” he said.
The vice president said plans were also ongoing to commission similar facilities at Kaduna, Anambra and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) before the end of the year.
According to him, the Fashion Hub 1 was expected to serve 380 Small and Medium Enterprises daily.
Osinbajo said that the federal government was committed to ensuring that MSMEs thrived through access to credit from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Development Bank of Nigeria and Bank of Industry (BoI).
He charged other state governments and the Organised Private Sector to emulate initiatives that would engender the development of MSME across the country.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said that in spite of the efforts of the small and medium enterprises, only about 40 per cent ever survive beyond five years.
Sanwo-Olu said that this made it impossible for the small businesses to contribute their quota to the country’s socio-economic growth on a sustainable basis.
He said that the shared facility that was being commissioned and handed over to the community was certainly a step in the right direction.
According to him, it is a win-win situation for everybody as it shows the progressive dedication to the eradication of poverty and the economic emancipation of the people
”We are here to witness the implementation of an innovative strategy that is expected to re-energise the fashion industry, stimulate creativity, and also create employment opportunities for our teeming population.
”The destiny of several Lagosians is about to positively change because of this facility. This is the beginning of many victories over unemployment and poverty,” the government said.
Also, Mrs Mariam Katagum, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, said the shared facility would provide a conducive environment for the SME space.
Katagum said that the initiative was one of the key take aways of the MSME clinic chaired by the vice president.
She said that shared facilities were effective tools that could address infrastructure challenges, which had hindered the growth of SMEs.
The minister commended the Lagos State Government for the laudable initiative, particularly at this time when support for SMEs was critical amid the pandemic.
Dr Lola Akande, Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, said that the centre was the first phase of the shared MSME Fashion facility.
Akande said that the facility was equipped with state-of-the-art machinery such as industrial button-hole machines, monogram machines, among others.
”This would serve for suits and shirts, tinko machines, straight sewing industrial machines, industrial embroidery machines, amongst others, to afford MSMEs in the fashion space the opportunity to utilise them for a token,” she said.
The commissioner said that the facility would also enhance productivity of quality apparel capable of competing favourably globally.
”In so doing, skilled and semi-skilled fashion designers who ordinarily would be thwarted by prohibitive start-up expenses are availed the privilege of access to these industrial machines for a token.
”This is aimed at ultimately creating jobs, boosting trade and commerce, improving income and increasing GDP as a corollary.
”This centre is also intended for capacity building and continued upskilling of those in the fashion industry; after all, education is known to be a life-long process,” she said.
The Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Mr Herbert Wigwe, while acknowledging the outstanding growth of the Nigerian fashion industry, reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to grow the nation’s fashion industry.
”We will continue to partner with the fashion industry, because we believe it will boost local growth of SMEs in that space,” Wigwe said.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
COVID-19: NCDC records 131 new cases, as total infections now 56,735
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Thursday.
It said the new cases were confirmed in 18 states.
The health agency said Lagos state recorded the highest number of infections with 45 cases, Kaduna and plateau followed with 17 each, 16 in FCT, and 6 cases each in Delta and Niger.
Kwara recorded 5 cases, Oyo 3, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ekiti, Enugu, and Osun 2 each.
Others were, Sokoto 2, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Katsina, and Rivers 1 each.
The agency said that in the past 24 hours, 2 people had died from the virus.
According to the agency, till date, 56,735 cases have been confirmed, 48,092 discharged, and 1093 deaths recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The health agency said that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC) activated at Level 3, had continued to coordinate national response activities across the country.
Meanwhile, as Edo prepares for governorship election on Sept. 19, the agency has reminded voters of the need to observe COVID-19 guidelines recently released.
It advised all relevant stakeholders to take actions that would help reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus during the election.
“As you are aware, the governorship election is holding in Edo this weekend but the pandemic still poses an additional challenge.
“A few months ago, we developed the guidelines for conducting elections during the COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria.
”These guidelines are actually for the political parties, electorate, the election monitors, INEC, and other relevant stakeholders.
”The guidelines actually provide recommendations and actions that should be taken to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 during the election,” it noted.
The agency warned that the virus thrives in mass gatherings such as there are during elections.
It, therefore, warned that failure to adhere to public health and non-pharmaceutical measures could create possibility of infection.
“We just got a story of someone that went somewhere and brought a secondary infection and of course causing deaths to the vulnerable and we need to avoid that.
“So mass gatherings during election will likely occur, and the only way to conduct election without putting anyone at risk of contracting the COVID-19 is to comply with the protective measures at all times.
“And so we recommend the following: Ensure there is hand hygiene and temperature checks at the campaign ground, polling stations.
“Provide additional polling stations or booths to ensure physical distancing can be maintained with clearly marked floors to enforce spacing on queues.
”Make the use of face mask by everyone mandatory, and ensure regular cleaning of polling stations, tables, and other surfaces.
“Those are areas that are easy to contract the virus.
”Multiple hand-washing points or alcohol-based hand sanitiser should be provided.
”All staff at the polling unit should practice hand hygiene frequently. Of course when you meet with people you need to do that regularly,” it said.
”We know INEC has put a lot in place and we are also employing our people to also adhere to those non-pharmaceutical measures so that we don’t take home the virus to our loved ones, especially vulnerable ones,” NCDC added.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Emmanuel Yashim)
3 men in court over alleged assault, mischief
Three men on Thursday appeared before a Grade I Area Court in Kubwa, Abuja, over alleged assault and mischief.
The defendants, residing at Kubwa, Abuja are 49-year-old man, Chidubem Nnajifor, Anas Aliyu, 28 and Nasiru Ishaku, 23.
They are facing multiple count charge bordering on abetment, criminal trespass, mischief, criminal force, assault and theft.
The Prosecutor, Chinedu Agada, told the court that Nnajifor and one Charles, at large instigated Aliyu, Ishaku and 13 others at large to enter a building site at Kubwa and damaged the casting work on Sept. 12.
Agada said the defendants battered and inflicted injuries on one Ogechukwu Nwosu and another worker at the site and stole a big metal gate valued N120,000.
The prosecution counsel said the gate was recovered from the defendants.
He said that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 83, 348, 327, 265 and 287 of the Penal Code.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty.
The defence counsel, Taiye Okoya, prayed the court to grant the defendants bail in the most liberal terms, citing Section 162 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).
Okoya said the defendants were presumed innocent until proven otherwise.
The Judge, Mr Muhammad Adamu, granted N500,000 bail to each of the defendants with one reasonable surety each in like sum.
Adamu ordered that the sureties must reside within the court’s jurisdiction, present means of identification and their addresses verified by the prosecution counsel.
He adjourned the case until Oct. 13, for hearing.
Edited By: Deji Abdulwahab/Abdulfatah Babatunde