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Court adjourns Kanu’s suit against FG to Oct 7, as DSS files counter-affidavit

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The suit filed by the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, against the Federal Government has been adjourned to October 7 for further hearing.

Vacation judge, Justice K. C. K. Okereke of the Abia State High Court, before adjourning the matter today, ordered that it be transferred back to the State Chief Judge for re-assignment as his vacation elapses September 30.

The judge noted that Kanu shall be entitled to certain reliefs against any party that fails to respond timely to the suit.

He had earlier granted Kanu leave to serve all respondents by substituted means through a publication in two national dailies.

Kanu had, through his special counsel, Mr. Aloy Ejimakor, sued the Federal Government of Nigeria for his “extra-ordinary rendition from Kenya”.

He demands, among other things, that he be returned to Kenya where he was “abducted”, and then to Britain where he resides; and paid N5 billion for the gross violation of his fundamental human rights.

The respondents include the Federal Government, the Attorney General of the Federation, the Chief of Army Staff, Brigade Commander, 14 Brigade Ohafia, Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Police, Abia State, the Director General of the Department of State Services, DSS, and the Abia State Director of DSS.

The seventh and eight respondents, DSS, through their counsel, Mrs. C. Odukwe, filed a counter affidavit, seeking time extension.

However, the first to the sixth respondents did not appear in court, nor were they represented by any attorney.

Counsel to Kanu had prayed the court to foreclose any further opportunities to the other respondents, who did not appear in court to file any other counter-affidavit.

But the judge said granting the prayer would be speculative.

Kanu’s lawyers

Later in an interview with our correspondent, Kanu’s lawyer, Ejimakor, expressed optimism his client would get justice in the end.

Ejimakor who appeared for Kanu in company of several lawyers including Patrick Agazie and Wilson Kalu, expressed confidence in the capacity of the Abia High Court to uphold the law by enforcing Kanu’s human rights.

He said that the judiciary remained the last hope of the common man, arguing that in democracy, court orders should be respected by all.

His words: “There is an unbroken chain of federal government’s violations of Kanu’s constitutional rights that started with the lethal military invasion of his home in Umuahia and his flight to safety in 2017 and his extraordinary rendition to Nigeria in late June 2021.

“At today’s hearing, it emerged that out of the eight respondents, only two — the DSS in Abuja and Umuahia — have filed their reply to the Suit but their processes were filed out of time.

“Nothing was received from the other six respondents, which included the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Nigerian Army.”

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Entertainment

Toke Makinwa unveiled as Gulder Ultimate Search 12 anchor

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Popular OAP Toke Makinwa has been unveiled as host for the 2021 edition of the survival reality show, Gulder Ultimate Search.

She was unveiled on Saturday less than 24 hours after the organisers tasked over 61,000 Instagram followers to guess the show’s new host.

“It’s about time! The age of craftsmanship is upon us and@tokemakinwais ready for the journey. Welcome to the #GulderUltimateSearch,” the video’s caption reads.

Confirming the announcement, Makinwa also shared the video via her Instagram page.

“The council of Elders called and I answer. The age of Craftmanship is finally upon us.

“My name is Toke Makinwa. I am the anchor of the Gulder Ultimate Search – The Age of Craftmanship. Now let the adventures begin,” she said.

She added: “Gulder Ultimate Search is back and guess who your host of the season is????

“You guessed correct. The TM season is fully on.

“The council of elders called, the age of Craftsmanship is finally upon us, see you at the jungle.”

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Business

WHO reports global shortfall in mental health investment

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The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) new Mental Health Atlas paints a disappointing picture of a worldwide failure to provide people with the mental health services they need.

In a statement made available on Saturday, it said it happened at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic was highlighting a growing need for mental health support.

“World misses most 2020 mental health targets; extension of WHO Mental Health Action Plan to 2030 provides new opportunity for progress reading time, four minutes (1003 words).

“The latest edition of the atlas, which includes data from 171 countries, provides a clear indication that the increased attention given to mental health in recent years has yet to result in a scale-up of quality mental services that is aligned with needs,” the global health agency said.

According to WHO, the Atlas is a compilation of data provided by countries around the world on mental health policies, issued every three years.

Others are legislation, financing, human resources, availability and utilisation of services and data collection systems.

According to the global health body, it is also the mechanism for monitoring progress towards meeting the targets in WHO’s Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan.

“It is extremely concerning that, despite the evident and increasing need for mental health services, which has become even more acute during the COVID-19 pandemic, good intentions are not being met with investment.

“We must heed and act on this wake-up call and dramatically accelerate the scale-up of investment in mental health, because there is no health without mental health,” it quoted Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of WHO, as saying.

The statement said that none of the targets for effective leadership and governance for mental health, provision of mental health services in community-based settings, mental health promotion and prevention, and strengthening of information systems, were close to being achieved.

It said that in 2020, just 51 per cent of WHO’s 194 member states reported that their mental health policy or plan was in line with international and regional human rights instruments, way short of the 80 per cent target.

 

It said that only 52 per cent of countries met the target relating to mental health promotion and prevention programmes, also well below the 80 per cent target.

 

WHO noted that the only 2020 target met was a reduction in the rate of suicide by 10 per cent, but even then, only 35 countries said they had a stand-alone prevention strategy, policy or plan.

 

It said that steady progress was evident, however, in the adoption of mental health policies, plans and laws, as well as in improvements in capacity to report on a set of core mental health indicators.

It said that, however, the percentage of government health budgets spent on mental health has scarcely changed during the last years, still hovering around two per cent.

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Ortom: I’m still consulting with God whether to run for Senate in 2023

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Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, says he has not taken a decision whether he will contest for a seat in the Senate in the 2023 elections.

Ortom, speaking with journalists on Saturday, said he was still consulting with God over the matter.

“I am still consulting with God because I do not take any decision without consulting my God. If he says yes, I will go ahead and contest, but if He says no, I will obey his decision,” he said.

The governor also said reports of division in the Peoples Democratic Party should be ignored, as members had been working in unity.

He said, “The PDP as a party made mistakes in the past and has learnt a lot of lessons from its mistakes and it is fully prepared to take over the leadership of the country from the APC.

“Nobody should deceive you that the PDP is polarised. We are working together as a party. We met and agreed that the positions which are currently in the north should go to the south, while those in the south should go to the North.

“This is the resolution of the zoning committee and it is graciously accepted at the national level. Nobody has begrudged the decision. It is widely accepted by all PDP members.”

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