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Benue approves new minimum wage

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Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has approved the implementation of the new minimum wage for workers in the state.

Special Adviser to the governor on labour, Ode Enyi, said the approval was arrived at at the meeting on the new minimum wage and adjustment of salaries held in Makurdi by the negotiation committee.

He said that the labour and the government agreed on N30,009.99 as the new minimum wage in the state.

He added that the committee would meet to adjust the salaries of level-seven workers and above.

“Already, level one to six have been settled,” Enyi said.

Enyi said that the chairman of the committee and the Secretary to the State Government, Tony Ijohor, expressed the readiness of the Ortom administration to tackle the issues affecting workers in the state with all seriousness.

When asked about the date for commencement of the new minimum wage, Enyi said, “(When) the committee meet on the adjustment of the salary for all levels, the implementation period will be known.”

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NIGERIA

Nigeria’s capital tops record today of COVID-19 new cases

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Federal Capital Territory, Abuja recorded 90 new cases of COVID-19 cases on Tuesday out of the 304 new cases of recorded.

In the latest information disclosed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Twitter, confirmed cases of the virus in the country are now 44433.

The new cases of COVID- 19 across the country spread thus:

304 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;

 

FCT-90

Lagos-59

Ondo-39

Taraba-18

Rivers-17

Borno-15

Adamawa-12

Oyo-11

Delta-9

Edo-6

Bauchi-4

Kwara-4

Ogun-4

Osun-4

Bayelsa-3

Plateau-3

Niger-3

Nasarawa-2

Kano-1

The total confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the thirty-six states of the countryb are 44,433 while 31,851 patients have been discharged after recovery.

910 patients have died of the virus.

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NIGERIA

Adoke’s trial for money laundry to begin August 11

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The Federal Government has filed an amended 14-count money laundering charge against former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Justice Minister Mohammed Bello Adoke as well as a businessman, Aliyu Abubakar.

The amended charge replaced an earlier seven-count charge on which Adoke and Abubakar were arraigned before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on June 17 this year.

Both defendants were re-arraigned on Tuesday on the amended charge before the same judge and they pleaded not guilty to them.

Justice Ekwo adjourned till August 11 for the prosecution to open its case by calling its first set of witnesses.

In the old charge, six counts were directed at Adoke, while only one was directed at Abubakar. But in the amended one, seven counts are directed at each of the defendants.

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NIGERIA

Court dismisses Farouk Lawan’s appeal in $500,000 bribery charge

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The Court of Appeal in Abuja has ordered former House of Representatives member, Farouk Lawan, to return to the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to defend himself in the $500,000 bribery case pending against him.

In a judgment on Tuesday, a three-man panel of the Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed Lawan’s appeal for lacking in merit.

The appellate court upheld the October 17, 2019 ruling by Justice Angela Otaluka of the High Court of the FCT, rejecting Lawan’s no-case submission.

Justice Peter Ige, who read the lead judgment of the Court of Appeal, held that, as against the appellant’s claim, there was no injustice against Lawan in Justice Otaluka’s ruling, which ordered him to enter his defense in the trial.

Justice Ige resolved the four issues for determination in the appeal against the appellant.

He said: “I have also read the records of appeal, particularly the evidence of prosecution witnesses one to five (PW1 to PW5), the ruling of the High Court, and the argument of parties to this appeal. I am of the firm view that the review of the evidence by the lower court was not slanted in favour of the prosecution against the appellant.

“The lower court was expected to be brief in its analysis of the evidence at the stage of the no-case submission. In any event, what calls for examination on a no-case submission is whether there is any evidence from the prosecution, no matter how to slant, linking the defendant with the commission of the offenses for which he was charged, and whether or not the evidence linking the defendant has been discredited during cross-examination.

“The trial court is also called upon, at the no-case submission stage, to find out if the evidence or ingredients of the offenses for which the defendant was charged have been established and not to go into any elaborate or extensive review of the evidence of witnesses

“The lower court was right in its decision, calling on the appellant to enter his defense.”

Lawan is being prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission (ICPC) for allegedly collecting $500,000 as part of a $3 million bribe.

The ex-lawmaker was alleged to have demanded money to facilitate the removal of Femi Otedola’s company, Zenon Oil, from the list of firms indicted by the House of Representatives’ ad hoc committee which probed fuel subsidy abuse in 2012, which Lawan chaired.

The prosecution called five witnesses and closed its case, following which Lawan made a no-case submission, which was rejected in a ruling by Justice Otaluka on October 17, 2010.

Rather than enter his defense, as ordered by the trial court, Lawan, through his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), appealed the ruling, which the Appeal Court dismissed yesterday for lacking in merit.

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