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Ex-governor Yari administration diverted N10.8bn for university project, says Commissioner

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Court orders final forfeiture of ex-Gov Yari’s monies, comprising Dollars, Naira in Zenith, Polaris

…As EFCC says Okpoh, Suspect wanted by FBI for $6m scam has surrendered***

The Zamfara Government has accused the administration of former governor Abdulaziz Yari of diverting N10.8 billion set aside for the state university project.

The State Commissioner of Finance, Alhaji Rabiu Garba, made the accusation at a press conference in Gusau on Tuesday.

However, former commissioner of finance under Yari’s administration, Alhaji Mukhtar Idris dismissed the allegation as politically motivated.

Garba said “based on the records available to us, the past administration in the state had diverted the sum of N10.8 billion from the N37 billion refunded to the state by the federal government for the construction of 14 federal roads.

“We learned that in May 2019, N10.8 billion was transferred to the University’s Projects Account by the past administration in the name of construction of State University.

“The amount was transferred in two tranches, that is N5 billion each, and subsequently N850 million was also transferred to same account on 9th May 2019.

“But instead that the amount transferred to be used for the said project, the money was diverted to other issues that have nothing to do with the university project”, he explained.

Garba dismissed claims that the present administration led by Governor Bello Matawalle is not interested in the completion of the university located in Talata-Mafara.

According to him, those making the claim were not aware that part of the fund for the project was diverted by the past administration.

Also read:  TURAKI: EFCC witness contradicts self in ex-Minister’s trial

On whether the state government would continue with the project, Garba said that only the State Executive Council can decide on that.

Reacting, the former Commissioner of Finance, Alhaji Mukhtar Idris denied the allegation.

Idris said the past administration had initiated a Special Account for the State University Project.

He said that projects were executed at the site of the university with part of the money, while a balance was left in the project account.

“Out of the money claimed by the current commissioner of finance, Rabiu Garba about N4 billion was left in the account and they are part of the money inherited by the present administration.

“Let the present administration explain the multibillion naira capital projects executed in the university, Talata-Mafara before going to the media for unclarified claims,” he added.

Idris urged the commissioner to always verify issues before going public.

In another development, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it is now in custody of Felix Okpoh, who was declared wanted by the U.S Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) over alleged fraud.

Okpoh is wanted by FBI for alleged involvement in a Business Email Compromise (BEC) scheme that allegedly defrauded more than 70 different businesses in the United States of six million dollars (N2.79 billion).

A spokesperson for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, that Okpoh turned himself in to the anti-graft agency on Sept. 18.

“Okpoh, alongside Richard Uzuh, Alex Ogunshakin, Abiola Kayode and Nnamdi Benson were declared wanted by the FBI sometime in 2019.

“They allegedly defrauded over 70 businesses in the United States, of over six million dollars,” he said.

Uwujaren said that Okpoh allegedly provided over 40 bank accounts and conspired with others to receive fraudulent wire transfers from their victims totaling over one million US dollars.

“Okpoh was, on Aug. 21, 2019, indicted in the United States District Court, District of Nebraska, on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

“He turned himself into EFCC Lagos Zonal Office in the company of his parents on Sept. 18, 2020,” he stated.

 

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Governors’ Forum Welcomes LG Autonomy – Gov. AbdulRahman

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Governors’ Forum Welcomes LG Autonomy – Gov. AbdulRahman

AbdulRazaq AbdulRahman, Governor of Kwara and Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), said the forum welcomed the Supreme Court ruling granting autonomy to local government areas. They have no options, anyway.

AbdulRahman remarked while addressing State House correspondents after a meeting with President Bola Tinubu on Friday.

He was accompanied by Gov. Hope Uzodimma, Chairman, All Progressives Party (APC) Governors Forum and Dr Bala Mohammed, Chairman, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum.

“Compliance is a given and our Attorney General has applied for the enrollment order, which we’ll study carefully.

“But by and large governors are happy with the devolution of power regarding local government autonomy. It relieves the burden on governors.

“Our people really don’t know how much states expense in bailing out local governments, and that’s the issue there,” he said.

He said in his state Kwara, the government had never tampered with local government funds.

“What the local governments have to do is to manage themselves, especially with the incoming minimum wage, to manage their affairs and make sure salaries are paid, traditional rulers get their five per cent and those are the main issues,” he said.

On states where local government elections are yet to be conducted, he said the forum would meet next Wednesday to look at the issue wholly and then come up with a resolution.

He also said the discussion on minimum wage was ongoing, and that the tripartite committee had met and submitted its report.

“Yes, a movement of figures is the prerogative of the president which he will also transmit to the National Assembly for robust debate before it’s adopted,” said AbdulRahman. 

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Kanwan Katsina Lauds Efforts of Successive Katsina Governors, on Ketare

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Kanwan Katsina Lauds Efforts of Successive Katsina Governors, on Ketare

… Credits Shehu Yar’ Adua for Government Day Secondary School; Gov. Shema for construction of Gora-Ketare-Kankara and, Ketare-Mashigi-Malumfashi Roads

The Kanwan Katsina District Head of Ketare, Alhaji Usman Bello Kankara has commended successive governments of Katsina State for executing various developmental projects in Ketare District.

Alhaji Usman Bello gave the commendation when he received the leadership of Ketare District Youth Mobilization KDYM in his palace who paid him Sallah’s homage and congratulated him for the successful Sallah Durbar in Katsina.

The Monarch explained that all the modest achievements recorded in his 24 years as District Head of Ketare were made possible with the assistance of the successive Governors of Katsina State.

The Kanwan Katsina explained that the Late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua when he was the Governor of Katsina State in 1999  and was his Teacher at Katsina College of Art and Science and Technology in 1975 was responsible for the construction of the Government Day Secondary School, Ketare; while Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema who was the Kanwan Katsina School mate at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, constructed Gora-Ketare-Kankara Road and Ketare-Mashigi-Malumfashi Road.

Similarly, Governor Aminu Bello Masari constructed Dayi-Gangule-Gundawa-Wawal Kaza Roads and a comprehensive Primary Healthcare Center in Ketare, in the same vein, the current Katsina State Governor Malam Dikko Umaru Radda in a bid to enhance the security of lives and properties which are his topmost priority establish the Katsina Community Watch Corp where Ketare Youth were engaged in combating bandits and kidnappers.

Alhaji Usman Bello Kankara mni also expressed gratitude to the management of the Community and Social Development  Project CSDP under the leadership of Dikko Mohammed for collaborating with communities of Ketare District to construct all the Community Day Secondary schools.

Therefore, The Kanwan Katsina assured the youth organization that he will not relent in partnering with the Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies to bring in the much-needed development in Ketare District.

Earlier in his address, the interim Chairman of the Association Malam Bishir Umar Girbobo said they were at the palace of the Kanwan Katsina District Head of Ketare Alhaji Usman Bello Kankara to pay Sallah homage and to appreciate all the developmental projects and policies initiated by or facilitated by him such in the areas of education, computers training for the Youths ICT, Health, Agriculture,  Road Construction, issuance of National ID Card and INEC Voters’ Cards, among others.

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HOAX: NNPP Writes Senate, Debunks Letter To Akpabio Alleging ‘Siege’ By FG On Kano

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HOAX: NNPP Writes Senate, Debunks Letter To Akpabio Alleging 'Siege' By FG On Kano

…Calls writer an impersonator who should be arrested!

The New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) says the letter to the Senate, accusing the Federal Government of laying siege on Kano State did not emanate from the party.

This is contained in a statement by the NNPP National Chairman, Dr Agbo Major on Thursday in Abuja.

The party was reacting to a letter written to the Senate, through its President, Godswill Akpabio by Dr Ajuji Ahmed on June 24. 

The letter was titled: Need for NNPP Federal Lawmakers to Make Urgent and Concerted Efforts to End Immediately the Siege on Kano State by Agents of the Federal Government.”

According to Major Agbo, the letter written by Dr Ajuji Ahmed was without the mandate and authorization of the leadership of  NNPP.

“Dr Boniface Aniebonam is the founder of  NNPP, holder of the registration certificate of the party,  chairman,  board of trustees and a life member of the board while  Dr Agbo Major is the national chairman and Comrade Oginni Olaposi Sunday is the National Secretary etc. 

He described Ahmed as an impersonator who should be arrested by the senate. 

“The NNPP stand remains that the Kano Emirate leadership crisis is an internal matter of Kano state indigenes under culture and tradition.

HOAX: NNPP Writes Senate, Debunks Letter To Akpabio Alleging 'Siege' By FG On Kano

“Political party involvement under the circumstances is wrong. The principle of our party remains focused on the peace of the society, development and well-being of the greater numbers of Nigerians.

“That the matter is currently before competent courts of law and jurisdiction and any interference by the National Assembly shall further complicate the situation.

“The avoidable tension generated as a result of the actions of the state government in Kano necessitates the need for vigilance and enhanced security in the state to avoid breakdown of law and order. 

“It is trite for Gov. Abba Kabir Yusuf, Sen  Rabiu Kwankwaso and Elder Buba Galadima to understand that every court order must be obeyed before the complaint. The rules of engagement to vacate orders of the court are very clear and unambiguous”

He said it was, therefore,  necessary for the National Assembly to align with the position that would guarantee the protection of the lives and property of citizens in  Kano state.

” ⁠The NNPP as a registered political party in Nigeria is not interested in engaging in any controversy with the Federal Government and its agencies,  particularly security institutions.

“We should be responsible partners and law-abiding citizens for the peace and development of Nigeria. The letter and any form of representation by the said Ahmed should be disregarded forthwith 

“In an ideal situation,  it shall be the responsibility of the NNPP lawmakers to raise the matter on the floor of the national assembly.

“As we said, the matter is in court and they should go to court, after all, the Kano state governor is in power today via the court.

NNPP  have no role to play because Gov ABBA Yusuf is the governor of Kano state and not the party.”

Major Agbo noted that Elders of Kano state and elites, come together and resolve the internal Chieftaincy crises, then approach the court for consent judgment or be patient with the court for final judgment.

“This is better, civilised and brotherly than the avoidable propaganda and blackmail of the Federal Government and its security institutions carrying on with their statutory duties to maintain peace and order of the society.

“We, therefore,  wish to state that Gov ABBA Yusuf should concentrate on providing quality leadership in Kano and distance himself from all the avoidable tensions in the state. 

“We also appeal to the senate to disregard the illegal and inappropriate letter of the expelled members of the NNPP led by Ahmed.

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