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Kogi committee on staff verification recovers N20M says review Committee Chairman

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Kogi committee on staff verification recovers N20M says review Committee Chairman

Five staff of the state pension board diverting pensioners’ money through micro finance banks have so far, refunded N20 million, Kogi Staff Verification and Screening Review Committee chairman Alhaji Yakubu Okala has disclosed.
The chairman who spoke to confluence update in Lokoja explained further that workers with such accounts have been advised to open new accounts with commercial banks so that their list can be forwarded to the screening review committee.
He was speaking against the backdrop that the fate of workers whose salary accounts were domiciled with Micro Finance Banks were denied salaries for about eight months.
The chairman said, they want to discourage as much as possible, the use of micro-finance banks.
“Micro finance bank on its own, is not a problem but the previous administration used that avenue to commit a lot of fraud against the staff. They kept posting money into fictitious micro finance bank accounts and when the accounts fail, they collect the money and share.
Okala indicated that the workers screening and validation exercise will continue until the state civil service is rid of ghost workers and fraud.

The chairman told confluence update that the exercise was a continuous one and in phases adding that the present phase would end September, 30.

The committee chairman pointed out that at the beginning of the screening exercise in February, the entire workforce both at state and Local Government levels was 88,000 comprising 25,000 for the state and 63,000 for the 21 local councils.
He said that after the validation exercise, the figure came down to 63,000 for both levels adding: “As at the time the validation committee submitted its report on 26th July, the total number validated was 18,211 workers for state. which is still being subjected to scrutiny.

The figure, he said, is still being subjected to scrutiny “because those on Problem Lists are coming with their complaints and by the time we resolve their complaints, the number will increase. The committee has the mandate to further scrutinize even the cleared list.”

The chairman said that the next phase would commence in urged all genuine workers with untainted employment papers not to entertain fears even if their names are neither on the cleared or problem lists as he assured them of justice.

“The only person that does not have hope and we will do everything possible that he does not have hope include those that are drawing salaries from the state but are not contributing anything to the growth of the state”, he said.

On the fate of workers whose salary accounts were domiciled with Micro Finance Banks and have been denied salaries for about eight months, the chairman said, “We want to discourage as much as possible, the use of micro-finance banks.

“Micro finance bank on its own, is not a problem but the previous administration used that avenue to commit a lot of fraud against the staff. They kept posting money into fictitious micro finance bank accounts and when the accounts fail, they collect the money and share.

“Five staff of the state pension board diverting pensioners’ money through micro finance banks have so far, refunded N20 million. Workers with such accounts have been asked to open accounts with commercial banks and their list will be forwarded to the screening committee”, he said.

Okala said workers whose names were on problem list initially but have now been screened and cleared would be paid arrears along with the three months salary to be paid soon.

“The salary we are going to pay now is three months and as for the newly cleared people, their arrears will be computed as supplementary and they will be paid accordingly.

“The Accountant-General has authorized the respective Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to prepare supplementary lists for those people. The screening exercise is a continuous one. We will continue until the state is rid completely of fraud”, he reiterated.

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17 persons die in seperate accidents on same route in Kogi

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17 persons die in seperate accidents on same route in Kogi


17 persons including five children, two policemen and their driver lost their lives in seperate autocrashes Thursday on Itobe-Anyigba road in Kogi State.

First was that involving a mercedez-Benz truck and an ambulance conveying an empty casket with two police inspectors and a civilian driver travelling to Anyigba to take the body of a dead police sergeant.

The trio died when their ambulance van had a headon collision with a Mercedes-Benz truck coming from the opposite direction.

On the same day 14 persons also perished in a multiple accident involving three vehicles; two trucks and a passenger bus along the same route.
The State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr Solomon Aghure, who confirmed the incident to newsmen in Lokoja on Friday, indicated that three vehicles; two trucks and a passenger bus, were involved in the accident.
He said that the three vehicles were travelling on the same lane enroute Anyingba when a truck suddenly hit the bus from behind and as a result of the impact, the Bus skidded and hit the truck in its front.
Aghure said that the bus was trapped in between the two trucks with all the passengers before his men arrived the scene to carry out rescue operation which lasted for hours.
He disclosed that 14 out of the 23 persons involved in the accident died on the spot, adding that nine others sustained various degrees of injury.
Aghure said that three men, one woman and five children (two males and three females) survived the accident with some injuries.
He said that the injured were taken to Holley Memorial Hospital, Ochadamu for treatment while corpses of the dead were deposited at the morgue of Grimard Hospital, Anyingba.
Aghure,who attributed the accident to possible break failure,said further investigation would be carried out to determine its actual cause.

 

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Presidency tells Muslim group to exercise restrain even though Kukah actually injured Islamic faith

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Presidency tells Muslim group to exercise restrain even though Kukah actually injured Islamic faith


The Presidency has indicated that, though it agrees with Muslim Solidarity Forum that Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto actually injured the Muslims in his Christmas day homily it’s unconstitutional for them to issue him quit notice.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu spoke in reaction to the threats for the Bishop to quietly pack and leave Sokoto should he fail to apologise over the controversial sermon.
The Muslim Solidarity Forum had issued what seem like a subtle threat to Bishop Hassan Kukah to tender an unreserved appology or quietly leave the seat of Caliphate.

The spokesman for the President in a statement said, Kukah has truly injured the Muslims, but he should be guided in his utterances and take into cognisance, Sokoto’s heartbeat of Islam in Nigeria.
Shehu said, it’s unconstitutional for an individual or group to issue quit notice to a citizen under whatever circumstances, saying, father Mathew Hassan Kukah must be allowed to practice his religion.
Nationalupdate reports on Tuesday indicated that the Sokoto based Islamic group, “Muslim Solidarity Forum”, at a press briefing said the Bishop is known for his perchance to speak in parables and innuendos against Islam in a provocative manner.

The spokesman for the President in a statement said,
“Father Kukah has greatly offended many with his controversial remarks against the government and the person of the President, with some even accusing him of voicing anti-Islamic rhetoric.
“On matters such as these, responsible leadership in any society must exercise restraint. Knee-jerk reactions will not only cause the fraying of enduring relationships, but also the evisceration of peaceful communities such as Sokoto, the headquarters of the Muslim community as beacon of pluralism and tolerance.
“The reported ultimatum by a group based in Sokoto, “Muslim Solidarity Forum,” calling on the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Rev Matthew Hassan Kukah to tender an unreserved apology to the entire Muslim Ummah over his recent “malicious comments” against Islam, or quietly and quickly leave the state, is wrong because it is not in line with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Under our Constitution, every citizen has the right to, among others, freedom of speech and expression, the right to own property and reside in any part of the country, and the right to move freely without any inhibitions.
“Nigeria’s strength lies in its diversity. The right for all religions to co-exist is enshrined in this country’s Constitution.
“The duty of the government, more so, this democratic government, is to ensure that the Constitution is respected. But all must respect the rights and sensitivities of their fellow Nigerians.
“The Sultanate has historically had good relations with followers of all faiths. That is why Father Kukah was received on his arrival in Sokoto with friendship and tolerance.
“Under our laws, groups or factions must not give quit notices, neither should they unilaterally sanction any perceived breaches. Where they occur, it is the courts of law that should adjudicate. Unilateral action is not the way to go.
“Groups such as the Muslim Solidarity Forum must be seen to share and uphold the country’s multi-religious principles. And individuals like Father Kukah must respect the feelings of his fellow Nigerians in his private and public utterances.”

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Group tackles Bishop Kukah, demands immediate arrest

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Group tackles Bishop Kukah, demands immediate arrest

The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has described Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah’s recent controversial statement as unguarded and open incitement to military coup and insurrection against the democratically elected government of Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement signed by its National President, Alhaji Yerima Shettima on Monday, the group
condemned “Kukah’s use of nepotism as weapon of calumny against government and people of Nigeria.”

The AYCF demanded the immediate arrest and prosecution of Bishop Kukah for what it described as treasonable felony against the Nigerian state.

In the alternative, the group called on Federal Government to place Kukah on special watchlist for this open attempt to “set the South against the North in order to destabilize our country and further complicate matters.”

Shettima, in the statement, took exception to what his group described as “Kukah’s latest role in devil’s advocacy, as the North struggles to restore peace and enduring security in the region and indeed Nigeria.”

The statement noted that “such a reckless statement by Kukah betrays something much more sinister against both the North and the nation as a whole because Nigeria is at a stage that it requires responsible advice for attaining peace and stability, not deliberate attempt to mischievously compound our problems.

“If Kukah wants to play politics, he should not do so in the pulpit and he should keep the Bishop’s office aside and chose any Nigerian political party platform to contest President in 2023 and stop all the pretences,” the statement said.

It reminded Kukah of the rough road tread by democracy heroes to rid the nation of military dictatorship at a time when he was nowhere in sight.
“We will not allow opportunists who did make any contribution to scuttle the democracy achieved through the our sweat and toil and the sacrifice of our liberty,” Shettima said in the statement.

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