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INEC chair: Lawan denies taking N2b bribe to confirm Yakubu

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INEC chair: Lawan denies taking N2b bribe to confirm Yakubu

By James Ojochegbe

The president of the senate Ahmad Lawan has denied collecting any gratification of N2b to facilitate the confirmation of the INEC chairman as alleged by an online publication.

This contained in a Statement issued in Abuja by his special Adviser on media Ola Awoniyi.
The statement reads, “The attention of the Office of the Senate President has been drawn to a report by SaharaReporters alleging that a group led by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, collected N2billion from Professor Mahmood Yakubu to facilitate the confirmation of his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari to a fresh five-year tenure as chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“It is noteworthy that the publication, as always with its ridiculous fabricated reports, could not even expand the entertainment of its readers by providing the names of members of the fictitious group and where the group operates from.
“To be sure, that group exists only in the mischievious imagination of the writer of the fiction.”
The Statement enjoined Nigerians to ignore the report as yet another incident of hallucination by the comical characters operating the fabricated news platform.

“The online medium has long earmed its notoriety as a purveyor of fake news with high profile public officials as its targets. 
“It is well known that only the President can nominate a candidate for appointment or reappointment as Chairman of INEC.
And only the Senate as a body can confirm or reject the appointment, after due screening of the candidate.
“The parliamentary process for the confirmation of nominations by the President is open and involves all distinguished senators.
“The Senate President is only a presiding officer of the Senate and does not lead any group in or outside the august chamber that acts in any way to circumvent the processes of the Senate. “We reassure Nigerians that the Senate President did not receive any gratification, in his or behalf of others, to help Professor Yakubu get a second term as chairman of INEC.”

He challenged SaharaReporters and the sponsors of the false publication to provide whatever evidence that they can in support of their glib claims, failing which Nigerians should dismiss the report as another cheap blackmail from a platform that has no reputation for credible reportage and ethical journalism practise.”

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Yoruba group tackles Zamfara Gov over Reckless, Insensitive, statement

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Yoruba group tackles Zamfara Gov over Reckless, Insensitive, statement

The Yoruba Peace and Leadership Initiative ( TYLPI ) has condemned the statement credited to the Zamfara State Governor, Alhaji Bello Matawalle, on alleged killings of Northerners in the South and his threat of reprisals in the north.

The group describe the statement coming from the Governor as baseless, distasteful, reckless, insensitive and irresponsible.
In a press statement issued by its Director of Publicity, Mr. Tunde Ipinmisho, TYLPI said it was unguarded statements like the one made by Governor Matawalle that triggered off the crisis that landed the nation in a 30 month civil war that claimed millions of lives and arrested its development.

It said Matawalle’s statement smirks of dangerous desperation by those who believe that the nation must travel on a trajectory pre-determined by them alone.

TYLPI also said the unguarded statement by the Zamfara State Governor reflected poorly on the nation’s leadership recruitment process.

It praised the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) for its timely and courageous condemnation of Governor Matawalle’s statement.

Noting that Nigeria was in very difficult times, the group said the least that was expected of leaders across the nation was for them to guard their utterances and let out only words that build bridges among the people rather than raise tension.

Describing Matawalle’s statement as akin to a man who attempts to set fire to the roof of the house in which he is sleeping, the Yoruba group said those who ignite the fire of crisis ought to be well aware that nobody can predict the direction the fire of instability would spread or its possible victims.

What the nation needed now, the group said, were genuine patriots who would proffer workable solutions to the issues afflicting the nation.

“It behoves all men and women of goodwill to disperse, with responsible conduct and utterances, the evil cloud hanging over Nigeria. Nobody knows who will be swept away by the flood, should the rain be allowed to fall,” the group added.

The Yoruba group said every part of Nigeria had people from other ethnic groups living with them and urged leaders to be careful so as not to set the country on fire.

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COREN declares zero tolerance for substandard engineering practices

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COREN declares zero tolerance for substandard engineering practices

Umar Egbunu Muhammed, Lafia

Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) has said it would not condone any form of substandard practice in the engineering profession across the 36 States of the federation including the Federal Capital Teritory..

The president of COREN Engineer Ali Rabiu, made the declartion during the inauguration of their Nasarawa state office in Lafia, the state capital on Thursday.

He said the aim of having their office in Nassarawa State is for to bring its services to the Nasarawa state government and the people of the state to ensure definitive effectiveness is being achieved.

According to him, the executive order 5 recently signed by President Muhammad Buhari would go a long way in actualizing the global best practice advocacy if effectively implemented.

He, however, admonished all engineers across the country to always be at their best adding that they are expected to always live above board as worthy ambassadors of COREN in Nasarawa state.

His words: “I therefore, urged you to always be at your best in project delivery. The Engineering Regulation Monitoring (ERM) will not tolerate any form of substandard practice in the discharge of your duty.”

Rabiu said that in 2018, the national assembly strengthened the power of COREN by amending its Act, saying the renewed powers widens the scope of ERM which led COREN to Nasarawa state in July 2020.

He applauded Governor Abdullahi Sule for providing the land for the building of their office complex in the state.

Earlier, while inaugurating the engineering edifice, Governor Abdullahi Sule said the state donated the land for the construction of the Secretariat complex after considering the significant his administration attaches to the engineering profession.

He maintained that it is in furtherance of that collective commitment aimed at stimulating the development of engineering profession in the state as fulcrum for meaningful development that prompted the decision by the state.

His words: “Let me commend COREN for this laudable project, aimed at providing conducive working environment for the council in order to enhance efficiency in the delivery of service in the state.

Sule urged the citizens of the state to avail themselves of the opportunity provided by the engineering complex to engage in meaningful ventures that will add value to their lives and become self reliant as well as employer of labour in the state.

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ENDSARS: FG innaugurates Police Public complaints committee (PPCC)

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#ENDSARS: FG innaugurates Police Public complaints committee (PPCC)

In its bid to forestall the repeat of the ENDSARS protest that led to loss of lives and property in October 2020, the minister of police Affairs Alhaji Muhammed Maigari Dingyadi has inaugurated Police Public complaints committee (PPCC).
The commission is to provide permanent structure that will help to effectively nip in the bud civil unrests with their undesirable and disruptive tendencies, by providing the populace with the opportunities to channel their grievances on the misconduct of Police Personnel to the appropriate quarters for necessary action.

While inaugurating the committee the minister said if the committee had been active, it would have provided adequate channel through which affected Nigerians would have been ventilating their grievances on Police brutality and the tragedy which befell the nation late last year might have been averted.

“This administration is therefore determined that such ugly incidents would never occur again.”He recalled his address to the National Assembly during the defence of the Ministry’s 2021 budget to the effect that the PPCC would be reactivated to investigate all complaints involving Police Personnel and members of the public.”It is good to note that the PPCC had been in existence since but over the years became moribund due to lack of funds.’ Indeed, 
“While there is a Public Complaints Commission that deals generally with all kinds of complaints against administrative injustices by public institutions, the Police Public Complaints Committee, which we are inaugurating today is created as a specialized institution to deal strictly with public complaints against Police Personnel. “Needless to say that this practice is obtainable in many advanced nations such as Canada””The overriding objective of the PPCC is to serve as an institution that has oversight on the activities of Police Personnel viz-a -viz their interaction with the public. 

“It is obvious that the current habit of the public lodging complaints against Police Personnel at Police Stations or at various Police commands have not given the desired solutions to aggrieved Nigerians. 

Once the PPCC becomes operational, he said he will expect it to swing into action by embarking on wide publicity and Sensitization campaigns to enable Nigerians to be aware of its existence and its functions and thereby recognize it as a proper avenue to channel their complaints against Police Personnel. 

He said the Committee is also expected to create a platform and Special dedicated phone numbers through which the public can channel their complaints. 

“I would also like to see the PPCC decentralize its structure to ensure that Nigerians have easy access to it. “For instance, the PPCC may even consider opening channels of communication at all Local Government Headquarters for this purpose.”

“The PPCC is designed to have a Subcommittee to be known as Special Investigation Unit (SIU). This will be made up of professionals who will be charged with the responsibility of indepth analysis and thorough investigation of every case broughtbefore it and proffer recommendations accordingly.

 “I charge the PPCC to work assiduously and in a transparent manner as to give confidence to Nigerians that their complaints will be attended to by a fair, just and equitable systerri. 

“The Committee is not out to witchhunt the men and officers of the Nigerian Police Force, rather it is to work in synergy with the Police to ensure it carries out its mandate effectively. 

“I therefore charge the members of the PPCC to rise above board in the discharge of their duty. The Government is committed to support the PPCC in every possible way to help it achieve its mandate.

“The committee is made up of Ministry of Police Affairs (Chair); Police Service Commission; Ministry of Justice, National Human Rights Commission, National Intelligence Agency and Non Governmental Organizatien (CLEEN Foundation) 
Others are Nigeria Police Force, Police Community RelatIons Committee, department of State Security services and Police Inspectorate Department (Secretariat) 

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