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Bello floors Wada at Tribunal after Faleke

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Gov Yahaya Bello at Innauguration

Gov Yahaya Bello at Innauguration

Bello floors Wada at Tribunal after Faleke

Barely 24 hours after James Faleke failed to unseat Governor Yahaya Bello as Governor of Kogi State, immediate past Governor Idris Wada was also floored by the Governor at the tribunal sitting in Abuja as his petition was dismissed.

Wada who was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the election had challenged the emergence of Yahaya Bello as governor.

Governor Bello was nominated by his party, the All Progressives Congress, (APC) to replace Abubakar Audu, who died before completion of the polls.

Audu was in clear lead as the Independent National Electoral Commission was collating the results of the governorship election which held on November 21.

After his demise, INEC declared the election inconclusive and asked APC to name a replacement.
Bello was named the replacement, and he defeated Wada in the supplementary election that held on December 5.

However, Wada challenged the outcome at the tribunal chaired by Justice Halima Mohammed.

He alleged “gross irregularities”, and asked the tribunal to determine whether Bello was qualified to be declared governor-elect even though he did not take part in all the electoral processes that led to the supplementary poll.

The former Kogi governor said INEC contravened the electoral law by accepting to allow the APC to replace the late Mr. Audu with Bello.
He also argued that Bello went into the supplementary poll without a valid running-mate.

The running mate to the late Audu, James Faleke, had declined to run with Bello saying that as the deputy to the late Audu, the poll was technically concluded on November 21.

His petition against Bello was earlier dismissed on Monday for lacking merit.
Wada on Tuesday suffered a similar fate as the tribunal said he lacked the locus standi to challenge the process that produced Bello as the APC candidate.

Mohammed said Bello’s nomination was in line with the Electoral Act and that Wada not being a member of the APC , had no right to challenge the process.

Wada had also prayed in his petition that the tribunal reject the nomination of Bello as a replacement for the late Audu because it was done outside the 21-day period allowed by the Electoral Act.

In her verdict, the tribunal chairperson said the 21-day period for the substitution of candidate did not apply in the matter since Bello “is a member of the APC and having come second in the primary election earlier conducted by the party”.

The petitioner contended that the first respondent who did not participate in the Nov 21st election cannot inherit votes as he only scored 6000 votes in the Dec 5th election.
Reponding, the tribunal held that petitioner did not support their case with necessary fact as to qualification of the first respondent, hence it declared that the 1st respondent met the constitutional provision for contesting the governorship election of Kogi state.

On the arguement that the votes belong to the candidate and not political party that was raised by the petitioner, the tribunal held that considering authorities of the supreme court, the votes casted on 21st November and 5th December belong to the party.

On issue 4, after tribunal critically examined none compliance to the electoral act and irregularities raised by the petitioner, it held that as at the time of 5th December election, Faleke was still the deputy to the 1st respondent as his withdrawal did not meet stipulated law.

on the the petitioner’s witness admittance that the 2nd respondent scored the highest votes the witness also failed to prove that he was an agent or collation officer even as he admitted that he relied on the result sheets by the 3rd respondence.

On the continuation of the forensic issue, the tribunal held that the witness did not show a convincing expertise.

“This tribunal held that the petitioner has failed to prove with substantial evidence his claim of none compliance and irregularities.

“In line with the above, the case between Captain Idris Wada and 2 others, Yahaya Bello and 2 others is hereby dismissed for lacking in merit.”

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Again Presidecy tackles Bishop Kukah over damning sermon

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Again Presidecy tackles Bishop Kukah over damning sermon

Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, of Sokoto Catholic diocese, has come under attack again from the Presidency for describing Nigeria as a killing field under the Buhari administration.
Kukah in his Easter homily on Sunday, said both the government and the citizens have become helpless as criminals continue to cause havoc in parts of the country.
The battle over insecurity in Nigeria has continued unabated especially in the northern parts of the country where bandits and insurgents have turned to a killing field.
Kukah said the security situation has frustrated many citizens making them to believe the government has gone AWOL (absent without official leave).

“Taunted by Boko Haram, ravaged by bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, and other merchants of death across the nation, there is collective fear as to whether Nigeria’s glory is about to depart” the bishop said.
“Retired military and intelligence officers lament over what has become of their glorious profession, as they watch the humiliation of our military personnel. Traumatised citizens are tortured daily by bandits.
“The nation has since become a massive killing field, as both government and the governed look on helplessly. A thick and suffocating cloud of desperation, despondency, desolation, gloom, and misery hangs in the hot air. We have no message and have no idea how long this will last.”

However in a statement issued in Abuja Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman said Kukah’s “bashing” of President Muhammadu Buhari is “ungodly.”
“All citizens have their individual ideologies, even their own versions of truth. But if you profess to being a man of God, as Father Mathew Hassan Kukah does, ideology should not stand in the way of facts and fairness,” he said.
“Father Kukah has said some things that are inexplicable in his Easter message. But, in saying that the Boko Haram terrorism is worse than it was in 2015, he did not speak like a man of God. 

“Kukah should go to Borno or Adamawa to ask the citizens there the difference between 2014 and 2021.”
Shehu also faulted the bishop for saying Buhari is not concerned about those displaced because of the security crisis, citing the creation of the ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development as part of the president’s efforts in that regard.
“Some of the comments are no more than a sample of the unrestrained rhetoric Fr. Kukah trades in, which he often does in the guise of a homily,” the presidential spokesman said.
“We urge well-meaning citizens to continue to support the ongoing efforts by the administration to secure the country and move it forward.”

With additional reports from Cable

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Kwara Gov should be held responsible for looming religious crises over Hijab conundrum says CAN

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Kwara Gov should be held responsible for looming religious crises over Hijab conundrum says CAN


The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has berated Kwara Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, for allowing the hijab wearing in schools controversy to degenerate further.
The association therefore urged the Federal Government and the Inspector General of Police to intervene in the violence over the hijab policy.

The General Secretary, Joseph Bade Daramola, in a statement on Wednesday indicated that AbdulRazaq’s pronouncement on hijab in clear contempt of the court directive on the matter for statusquo to be maintained until the matter is finally resolved by the court is leading to more crises.

According to CAN scribe the state government ordered the reopening of the closed schools without resolving the crisis.

Daramola said churches and mission schools are being vandalised with impunity by those “banking on the state government’s support in the pretext of enforcing the policy”.

The Christian leadership observed that the Governor who is playing ostrich while innocent Christians are being violently abused and attacked in the State he is the chief security officer.
In order not to precipitate further crises CAN said wisdom is required by those in leadership to handle sensitive issues such as that of religion.
“It is disheartening and unfortunate that a government that was installed democratically will become insensitive to the plight and the yearning of the people as if the governor was voted into the office primarily to protect his religion. This is unfair, ungodly and reprehensible.

“There are public schools and schools that belong to some Islamic organisations where those who wanted to be wearing hijab can be attending without causing the ongoing needless crises rocking the state.”

The statement advised AbdulRazaq to order “his hoodlums to stop attacking mission schools and churches before the situation degenerates into an unprecedented religious crisis.”

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Senate panel unravels N443bn subsidy scam by NNPC

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Senate panel unravels N443bn subsidy scam by NNPC

The Senate Committee on Public Accounts on Wednesday uncovered a scam involving N443B by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which allegedly lavished the money on oil subsidy in 2016 without budgetary provision.

The panel, therefore, summoned the leadership of the nations oil firm to brief it on the expenditure.

The committee’s chairman, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, issued the summon yesterday when the panel considered a 2016 report by the Auditor-General for the Federation.

“During the examination of subsidy records provided by Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), it was observed that total subsidy paid during the year 2016 was N443,940,559,974.80,” the audit report.

The breakdown of the fund showed that N403.3 billion was paid to oil marketers, while interest & foreign exchange differential gulped N40.6 billion, totalling N443.9 billion.

The fund, according to the report, was spent in 2016 without budgetary provision and was deducted at source.

“This reflects continuing weaknesses in the budgeting process adopted by the Federal Government,” it added.

Responding to the audit report, the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, told the committee that the NNPC would be in better position to explain the extra-budgetary spending.

The Chairman of the committee, Senator Matthew Urhoghide summoned the NNPC Group Managing Director, Melee Kyari to give explanation on the expenditure.

In a related development, the committee also summoned the Central Bank of Nigeria over alleged disappearance of $9.5 million interest from Investment Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT), Royalty and Foreign Excess Crude.

The invitation of the Apex Bank in the country was sequel to the 2016 Auditor General Report which accused the Central Bank of Nigeria failing to present documents supporting the investment for verification.

The Senate observed no letter supporting the investment of the fund and the actual amount invested were not made known.

The Query reads, “During the examination of transfers to Forefinger Excess PPT/Royalty and Foreign Excess Crude Accounts it was observed that during the year 2016, amount totalling $6 million and $3.5 million were credited to the Foreign PPT/Royalty and Foreign Excess Crude Account as interest on Funds investments.

“The authority for placing the funds which yielded the above interests totaling $9.5 in deposit account, the principal sums deposited, the tenor and rate of interest were no made available for audit verification.

“This observation had also been a subject of my reprts since 2017 without any positive response from Central Bank of Nigeria

“Records made available for audit further revealed that the balance in the foreign PPT/Royaltt and Foreign Excess Crude a accounts as at 28th December 2016 were USD0.00 and USD, 251,826 respectively

“This suggest the foreign PPT/Royalthy was depleted before the year end.

“The Accountant General has been requested to provide the authority for the funds invested, tenor of the investment, rate unrest payable, certficate for the funds invested and forward same for audit verification.”

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Mathew Urhoghide however asked the Accountant General of the Federation, to respond to issue raised in the Auditor General Report.

The Accountant General was unable to present any document on the issue raised by the Committee.

He further told the lawmakers that the Office of Accountant General has sent a letter to the Central Bank of Nigeria for clarification on the issue raised.

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