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Sanusi responds to corruption allegations

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The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, has dismissed allegations by the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission that under his watch, the Emirate Council misappropriated a total sum of N3.5 billion.

Sanusi, in a rebuttal of the 13-point allegations levelled against him by the commission, which has also gone ahead to recommend his suspension to Kano State Governor, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, attributed the accusations to a misunderstanding of how the Emirate Council functions by the petitioners and the commission.

The moves to suspend the monarch, however, got the support of a coalition of civil society group, Network of Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria, which yesterday commended the commission for recommending the suspension of the emir.

In the 10-page defence, signed by the Acting Secretary, Kano Emirate Council, Alhaji Abba Yusuf, the monarch said no money was missing under his superintendence.

The defence apparently predated the intervention of Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, and a business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who hails from Kano State, that led to the brokerage of peace between the emir and Ganduje, in a bid to restore normalcy in the state.

According to him, the emirate is also not involved in any shady deal as contained in the petition, which formed the basis of the ongoing probe of the emirate by the commission.

The document containing his defence and titled: “Kano Emirate Council Secretariat, Without Prejudice,” is in response to the full Interim Report of investigation by the state anti-corruption commission whose highlights of the 19-page document include the indictment of individuals, amounts involved, obstruction of the investigation by suspects and recommendations.

Issues addressed in the document are, however, different from the emir’s response to the query given to him by the Kano State Government, in which he was mandated to respond to some allegations levelled against him by the state anti-graft commission.

In his response to the first allegation that the emirate council misappropriated N3.5 billion between 2014 and 2017, Sanusi said: “This allegation and other similar ones have been refuted since 2017 by the Walin Kano, Controller of Finance, Kano Emirate Council. The total amount in the Emirate Council, when Emir Muhammad Sanusi II was appointed was N1.8 billion. The Councillor, Controller of Finance… has given clear explanations refuting allegations of irregular expenditure by the council.”

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Local News

Bauchi Detects 41,000 ghost workers on payroll

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Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, has alleged that 41,000 out of the 101,000 civil servants in the state are ghost workers and without Bank Verifiable Numbers (BVN). He made the startling revelation last Friday night at a reception for the visiting members of the FCT Minister’s press corps, who were in Bauchi for their sixth annual retreat.


The state government, according to him, only found out last week about the non-existent civil servants, who were placed on salary by the immediate past administration.
He said the ghost workers didn’t have BVN, which is a clear violation of the federal government’s regulation which makes it mandatory for every worker on the payroll to have BVN.

The governor also questioned the rationale behind paying the ghost workers, wondering why salaries were going up even the state had not employed workers, including graduates, medical doctors, and engineers in the last four years.
“We carried out a check last week and discovered that 41,000 out 101,000 civil servants in the state are non-existent. They don’t have BVN and have been collecting a salary since the last administration.
“Unless there is an increase in employment or promotion, there should not be an increase in salary. The workers’ salaries have been increasing since the last administration, and now we have found the cause. This BVN is the first step,” he said.
Mohammed also warned the affected workers against arranging with banks to issue them BVN, insisting that any bank number presented by the ghost workers will not be considered a legal tender now.
The governor fingered the Education Secretaries and Health Directors of local government areas of colluding with the ‘faceless’ workers in perfecting the scheme, wondering why they have allowed ghost workers to be paid under their guise.
He threatened that if the senior administrators were found to have compromised, the civil service rules and regulations will apply to them, adding that in the past four months, the state has been clearing the pensions arrears of N28 billion by paying about N200 million monthly.

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8 foreign students loss out on NYSC

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Alhaji Ladan Baba, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Coordinator in Kano State, says no fewer than eight foreign graduates were refused registration due to incomplete and inconsistent documents.

Baba revealed this on Monday during the passing out parade of the 2019 Batch ‘B’ Corps members after three weeks orientation course at the NYSC permanent camp in Kusalla, Karaye Local Government Area.

According to him, some of the graduates were also blocked online from registration as a result of failure to defend their degrees as foreign students after physical verification of their results.

“As a matter of fact, some of them cannot express themselves verbally.

“More worrisome is the fact that some of them did not undergo any academic pursuits, but obtained certificates through illegal means with allegations that some did so in Kano and environs.

“This will undoubtedly require urgent action by the government and good people of Kano in collaboration with the dogged security agencies in the state to checkmate this ugly trend that will affect us negatively,” Baba said.

He said that out of the 1,700 corps members posted to the state for their service year, 1,592 were registered and went through various skill acquisition trainings.

The coordinator called on the corps members to contribute immensely towards the development of the state and country.

Buba said contribution could be on the state initiative on girl-child education, adult and mass literacy campaign, sustainable development goals, and campaign against drug abuse.

Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje, represented by his deputy, Dr Nasir Gawuna, called on the corps members to understand the culture of their host communities and other aspects of their lives.

Ganduje urged them to identify viable projects that was of benefit to their host communities and mobilise them to realise the lofty ideals of the programme for their benefits.

“Kano State Government through its agencies is working fast for a new vista of opportunities in a quest to fulfill its campaign promises in the next level for sustainable development.

“The ongoing reforms in youth policies in the state are targeted mainly on growth and development meant to uplift the standard of living of our citizens and provide enabling environment and job opportunities,” he said.

Ganduje urged the corps members to imbibe the values of leadership, courage and resourcefulness throughout their service year.

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Ekiti begins public shaming of sex offenders

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The Ekiti State government has begun the public shaming of sex offenders in the State.

The government said it has started this move by making public a picture of an Anglican priest, Rev’d Asateru Gabriel, who was convicted of raping a seven-year-old girl.

A statement from the office of the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Wale Faphounda, on Monday, said the step was taken to discourage the obnoxious act following an increase in reported cases of sexual violence in the state.

The statement added, “The state government is concerned about the frequency of sexual violence. It has, therefore, become necessary to put in place proactive measures to halt the trend. One of these measures includes public notification of the status of convicted sex offenders by displaying their photographs via television and announcing their names on the radio.”

Rev. Gabriel, who became the first scapegoat of the state government campaign, was a former Anglican priest who was currently serving a five-year jail term at Government Prison in Ado Ekiti, the state capital.

His picture and identity had been displayed through the mass media to further establish the zero-tolerance stance of the Fayemi-led administration for violence against women and children.

According to the statement, other measures embarked upon by the state government include: posting of pictures of offenders in public places within their environment, compulsory psychiatric tests, uploading of their pictures on the state government’s official website among others.

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Politics

Obaseki visits Oshiomhole to end their rift

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Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, yesterday raised hope of an earnest end to the war of attrition between him and his predecessor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, who is now the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC).

He said in Benin City that he had met with Oshiomhole and efforts were being made to resolve issues created by those he referred to as third parties in the state.

He reiterated his position that there are no fundamental issues between them.

Obaseki spoke during a mass at the St. Paul Catholic Church, Benin City, to mark the 80th birthday of the first executive governor of the state and Oshiomhole’s predecessor as APC national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.

The simmering crisis of confidence between Obaseki and Oshiomhole blew open in the wake of the inauguration of the state House of Assembly during which 14 members-elect who are reportedly loyal to the APC national chairman refused to be inaugurated.

The governor was accused of surreptitiously issuing the proclamation letter for the inauguration of the state legislature, leading to the swearing in of only nine out of the 24-members-elect then.

Efforts to resolve the crisis, including the intervention of the National Assembly, which has asked the governor to issue a fresh proclamation otherwise it would take over the functions of the House of Assembly, have been mired in legal battles.

The faction of the state lawmakers loyal to the governor has secured court orders stopping Obaseki from issuing a fresh proclamation and the National Assembly from carrying out its takeover threat.

However, at the thanksgiving for Odigie-Oyegun’s 80th birthday celebration, Obaseki said the state would soon put the crisis behind it and forge ahead with its developmental strides.

He said: “I thank you very much for the remarkable homily by Archbishop Augustine Akubeze, Catholic Archbishop of Benin Metropolitan See. I listened very attentively and I have taken every word in your remark to heart and very seriously. I want to assure you that we are in pursuit of peace and we will have peace in Edo State.

“We have met – me and my predecessor in office – and fortunately, we do not have any fundamental issues. And because we do not have any fundamental issues, I believe that whatever third parties are trying to propagate, I am sure we can talk over it. I assure you that very soon things will return to normalcy in Edo State.”

He said the state government, in line with the spirit of Nigeria’s national anthem, would not forget the labour of past heroes, which shall never be in vain.

“Today, we are here to celebrate our own Chief Odigie-Oyegun. On behalf of the people and Government of Edo State, I want to congratulate you on your 80th birthday,” Obaseki said.

According to him, the state government has named the soon-to-be-completed Civil Service Training Centre after the celebrant for his contributions to the development of the state and the country at large.

“For your contributions and what you have done for our dear state, I have decided to name the public service academy, which is under construction, after you. We know your passion for public service; we know and acknowledge the contributions you made to the public service in Nigeria. Therefore, we have decided to name this edifice, which will be completed within the next 60 days, by the grace of God, after you. President Muhammadu Buhari will come and commission the academy, with you standing beside him. It will be known as the John Odigie-Oyegun Institute for Public Administration,” he added.

The institute, according to the governor, is on “three floors and is made up of large training rooms that will host 220 people. Two halls hold 118 people each. There are seven training halls that will host 58 people each. There is a library, a sick bay, a cafeteria and 12 offices. This facility at any point in time can hold and train a minimum of 900 people. It will be the largest facility for training public servants in Nigeria.”

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