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‘Illegal’ sale of govt property: Panel wants trial of ex-Senate President

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Only a rejection of the recommendation by AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, Governor of Kwara State, would save former Senate President from standing in the dock to defend how he allegedly frittered away the assets of the government while he was the governor of the same state.

Saraki, his successor Abdulfatah Ahmed, and other former government officials were named in alleged economic sabotage against the state through sales of public assets to cronies at giveaway prices and recommended for prosecution in court, by a white paper committee set up by the incumbent. 

Chairman of the White Paper Panel on the unlawful sales of government’s properties from May 29, 1999 to May 29, 2019 Hussein Buhari said during the submission of the report that findings in the report were mind boggling and said nothing short of diligent prosecution, possible jail terms and recovery of many of the properties can avenge the “official connivances” that led to the pilferage of the assets. 

He said the former Governors and many of their aides have questions to answer on how public properties and shares were sold under questionable circumstances, including on the eve of their departures from public offices. 

Buhari said none of these officials honoured the invitations for them to clear the air on the deals, and said the administration should prosecute them as a matter of justice — a request the Governor said has been noted for action. 

His words: “The committee swung into action immediately it was inaugurated and went through the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry on the sales of Kwara State Government Assets between May 1999 and May 2019. There are so many rots perpetrated by the past governments especially in the 16 years before 2019. 

“For instance, the rots on Shonga Farms, Satellite Motel, and our properties in Kaduna, Abuja and Lagos were simply inconceivable. They were all sold to themselves at giveaway prices. We saw criminal conspiracies. In fact, Kwara State is now heavily indebted to some people because the past governments mismanaged our properties. I just wish Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq will have the courage and political will to implement the report so that everybody found wanting will be brought to book. And the Electoral Act is very clear that anybody who is found guilty of mismanagement of resources be banned for 10 years from holding political office. We wish the government will accept our recommendations and set up an implementation committee.  

“There are so many instances where those in government before used their positions to acquire government properties in questionable circumstances. For instance, the High Court Complex in Tanke, Ilorin they removed all the steels and allocated the land to themselves, they built hotels and eateries on government properties. All our houses in Kaduna have been sold. Today, apart from our liaison office, we do not have anything in Kaduna.  

“Government should take them to court and prosecute them for economic sabotage and, if found guilty, the government should ban them from holding political offices for 10 years. 

“Also, some ministries, Bureau of Lands, Surveying Office and many other offices had shady deals with our land in Kwara State. So, anyone involved should be sanctioned and prosecuted according to the civil service rules. Even if they have retired, they should be brought to book because the connivance was too much. Look at what happened at KWTV. They sold almost all the land at KWTV to themselves. Despite the fact that you must live certain metres away from television mast, those rules were jettisoned.  

“Also, Noktel Hotel is built right on top of aquifer which supplies water to Agba Dam, Ilorin. What we observed is unbelievable. So, for the hotel, we recommend outright demolition of it. Because they knew what they were doing. They have now blocked water from flowing to the dam. 

“Based on what we discovered, the people that were in the helms of affairs for the past 16 connived to perpetrate evils and they were given ample opportunities to defend themselves by the judicial panel of inquiry and they refused to come. It shows they were accomplices in the whole deals. 

“Also, our shares, bonds and stocks were sold out within five weeks of their leaving office. These are worth billions of naira. Even, the Amoyo International Market in which they claimed that they bought land for over N400m and paid about N200m and also swapped 10 pieces of our land in Abuja for Amoyo land by Harmony Holdings Limited. Personally, Bayo Sanni and Tope Daramola need to be brought to book on the issue. 

“On Kwara Mall, it is sad that Kwara State Government put down the sum of N500m, gave land and C of O over the land and they used the C of O to collect another loan in a bank worth N500m and brought nothing to the Kwara State Government. In fact, the sharing formula is 70% to 30%. That is, 30% to the state government that put down everything. 

“On Shonga Farms, you brought 13 farmers and you gave them land and huge money in foreign currency and yet nothing was remitted to the state government. They did not stop at that. They mortgaged the same land and collected money from different banks. We also found out that most of the government officials that involved in all these are deliberately working against the government of the day for selfish reasons. It is impunity. They are working for their pay masters, and not the citizens of Kwara State.”


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NSCDC dismisses viral video on ‘bandit personnel’

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has dismissed a viral video purporting that a member of the corps confessed to being a bandit.

The suspected bandit, Mr Abdullah Saidu, in the viral video called himself personnel of the Corps.

This is contained in a statement issued by the NSCDC Spokesperson, Mr Olusola Odumosu, in Abuja.

Newsmen report that Saidu was arrested in connection to a group of armed bandits terrorising some parts of Koton Karfe Local Government Area of Kogi.

The spokesperson said that the NSCDC has set up a team to investigate the available records to confirm the authenticity of Saidu’s claims that he was the corps personnel.

“The general public shall be adequately briefed on subsequent findings.“Based on the aforementioned, the purported video where the alleged suspect openly confessed to the crime did not in any way give credence to or affirm his membership to the Corps.

“Experience has shown that criminals are fond of impersonating security operatives in order to divert attention, subvert investigation or get away with the crime,” he said.

Odumosu further noted that the NSCDC was saddled with the responsibility of protecting lives and property amongst others.

“The Corps will not in any way condone any saboteur of national security or sponsorship of criminals.”He reiterated the Corps’ zeal to discharge its statutory mandates without compromise but with humility and integrity.

He said the NSCDC will continue to synergise with sister agencies to combat crimes in the country.

Source: (NAN)


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Federal government to incorporate NNPC board in six months

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President Muhammadu Buhari
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President Muhammadu Buhari said on Sunday he had appointed a board for the NNPC and directed that it should be incorporated within six months, a move that could allow it to sell shares in the future.

The President signed the petroleum bill into law last month which has been in the works for nearly two decades, aiming to overhaul the sector and turn the state-owned oil company into a private firm.

The new oil law requires NNPC to be incorporated within six months, Buhari said in a statement, appointing Ifeanyi Ararume as NNPC chairman and its current Chief Executive Mele Kyari to lead the firm.

Kyari has said NNPC could consider an initial public offering (IPO) within three years. The incorporation could pave the way for NNPC to sell shares.

Buhari said last month that NNPC made its first profit in 44 years in 2020.

Source:(Global World News)


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Niger state becoming safe haven for fleeing Zamfara bandits

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Shiroro Local Government in Niger State has cried foul over the influx of bandits and terrorists fleeing Zamfara state.

The bandits/terrorists are identified by their masks and motorcycles, and their presence is causing fear and apprehension among the locals, spokesman of the local government, Salis M. Sabo disclosed in a statement.

Sabo said the bandits are believed to have flown from “Zamfara or other adjoining troubled states which the Niger State borders through Shiroro.

“The marauders have started showing their ugly faces in Galadiman Kogo, Zama, Magami, Maganda m, Paleli, Iburo, Chukuba, Dnasapa all in Shiroro Local Government.

“The military operation going on in Zamfara needs to be well coordinated and replicated in other States on Zamfara borders so as to save the vulnerable neighboours from bearing the brunt arising from the operation.

“The Coalition of Shiroro Associations (COSA) calls on the authorities concerned to swiftly intervene and listen to the cries of the people of Shiroro” Salis M Sabo said.


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