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Senate queries PS over payment of N460m for uncompleted projects

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Senate queries PS over payment of N460 million for uncompleted projects

The Senate committee on public accounts has queried the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Information and Culture, Nebolisa Anako over payment of N460 million to contractors without completing the projects. 

Auditor General of the Federation report indicated that the payment of N460 million to contractors indicated 100 percent payment of contracts sum in 2015 

Hence the query was issued by the Committee chairman Senator Mathew Uhroghide.

The query reads, ” A constituency project contract amounting to N51 million for the construction of roads,  parking lots, drainage at Ureje Dam in Ado Ekiti showed varrious part of the contract totaling N25.5 million were paid for but not executed. 

“The Ministry should ensure the contractor either completed the work or refund the money collected and forward the recovery particulars for audit verification. “

But, the permanent Secretary  in his written response said,  ” The contractor has completed 60 percent and promised to hand over the projects on or before 30th June 2017 to the Minis vide the minutes of the meeting held with the contractors handling the contracts on the 20tg April.”

However, the contractor is yet to complete the project as at the time the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry appeared before the Committee on Tuesday. 

The Chairman of the committee expressed dissatisfaction with the way the contract was handled by the Ministry ordered the Permanent Secretary to go and get the contractor and complete the job. 

Urhoghide said, “he was paid , he did not do half of the job and go and get him to complete that job until this man does this job,  you will never have respite, whether it is constituency project,  it is irrelevant. “

Also in the another query which reads, “A visit to a contact amounting to N132 million for construction of Ureje Dam waterfront scheme in Ado-Ekiti of Ekiti State,  revealed that some parts of the contract amounting to N5 million were paid for but not completed. 

“A visit to a contract amounting to N138 million for the construction of Event centre/Resturant at Ureje Dam waterfront scheme in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State which was fully paid showed that the contract was not completed. 

“The Ministry should cause the contractor to complete the contract valued at N19 million were paid for but not executed. “

The Permanent Secretary  however was unable to convince the Committee that contract was completed and the lawmakers sustained the query. 

The also queried the Ministry payment of N17 million for uncompleted project for the construction of fence at Exekuna cultural museum in Nchi-Onu, Amuzu Ezza local government in Ebonyi state. 

The Committee said,  ” The contract amounting to N6 million was not constructed. As a result all over the fence, some. Parts were also broken in the site. 

“Audit inspection visit to a contract amounting to N122 million for construction of fence, gate House at Ureje Dam  waterfront  scheme in Ado Ekiti of Ekiti State,  revealed that painting and external electrical works being part of the contract were not completed. 

“The Ministry should cause the contractor to complete the work or refund the appropriate amount involved. “

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Late Attah Igala’s wife square up for battle in succession tussle

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Late Attah Igala’s wife square up for battle in succession tussle

Even as the Igala People in Kogi and seven other states across the county look forward to the continuation of the enthronement rites of the designated candidate for the Attah Igala Stool, intrigues and subterfuge have continued to impede the process.

After the period of mourning of the late Attah Idakwo Ameh Oboni II, the Aju-Ameachor, the Ruling House due to produce the Attah in accordance with the Kogi State Igala Area Traditional Council Chieftaincy Succession Law held a meeting at Idah, the Headquarters of the Igala Kingdom 19th of November, 2020 and nominated a retired Central Bank Executive, Prince Samuel Oguche Opaluwa from among three Princes of the house interested in ascending the throne.

The November 19th nomination has already been communicated by the Ruling House to the Kingmakers and other statutory stakeholders.

The next step is the appointment of the nominee as Attah Igala by the Kingmakers who will thereafter be required to communicate the fulfilment of their obligation to the His Royal Highness The Achadu, Who is regarded as the Traditional Prime Minister of the Kingdom for onward transmission to The State Governmentfor approval.

While this process is playing out, one of youngest Prince from family, and a brother with, the same parents with the nominee, it was learnt, has escalated a campaign to supplant his elder brother.

This brazen challenge from the young Prince which has confounded observers of the process, sources told our correspondent, is being orchestrated by the Queen of the Late Attah Idakwo Oboni said to be a first cousin of the two Princes.

Already used to allure of power and perks of royalty the Queen, it’s believed, intends to perpetuate her stay at the Royal Palace if she succeeds in her scheme of enthroning her young cousin. She is reportedly reaching out to statutory stakeholders and Kingmakers to push for the candidature of her preferred cousin.

Also her son whose father was the last occupant of the throne is equally in the contest as a backup even when the Aju-Ocholi Ruling House where he hails from is not entitled to aspire to the throne until the three other Ruling Houses namely Aju-Ameachor, Aju-Akogu and Aju-Aku have taken their turns in that order of rotation.

But the desperation to enjoy “tenure elongation” by the Queen and other beneficiaries of the palace in the immediate past royal regime observers believe is behind the plot to undermine the smooth succession process which is anchored on the tradition of rotation.

However with the succession law which makes it impossible for a candidate to emerge except through a nomination from his Ruling House, it is believed that the gambit of the Queen and her preferred cousin said to be a high ranking para-military officer with a heavy financial war chest is doomed from the start.

Besides, the succession law also provides for preference of seniority In the choice of an Attah.

The Aju-Ameachor family conclave according to records of the meeting took this law and tradition into consideration in arriving at Prince Samuel Opaluwa as the family’s choice.

There were four Princes in the Contest namely James Ufaruna Opaluwa, Samuel Opaluwa Oguche, Matthew Alhaji Opaluwa, a Director With the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Ocholi Opaluwa.
The eldest is James Ufaruna who withdrew on health grounds even before the conclave endorsed Samuel, the next in line of seniority who was eventually nominated as the choice of the family.

At the end of deliberation, Prince Matthew Alhaji had thanked the family stakeholders and called on his brother Ocholi who was on official duty and therefore unavoidably absent to equally respect the family’s choice.

The peaceful process of nomination by the Aju-Ameachor was informed by the desire of members of the Ruling House to end a 101 year jinx which has kept the family away from the throne.

The last Attah produced by the Aju-Ameachor is Oguche Akpa, the grandfather of the nominee and the other Princes, who reigned from 1911-1919. After him there was Attah Atabo Ijomi from the Aju-Akogu Ruling House 1919 -1926; Obaje Ocheje 1926-1945 from Aju-Aku and Attah Ameh Oboni I from Aju-Ocholi 1945- to 23rd June 1956.

After the demise of Attah Ameh Oboni, the Aju-Ameachor picked Opaluwa Oguche eldest son of Oguche Akpa, as their choice. He went through all the rites of Coronation and was awaiting an official crowning ceremony when the Colonial Government of the Northern Nigeria Province procured Prince Aliyu Obaje, son of Obaje Ocheje and turbaned him as Attah Igala in total defiance and disregard for the custom and tradition of succession of the Igala People.
Attah Aliyu Obaje the turbaned usurper ruled for 57 years and passed on in 2013 but the Aju-Ameachor were again disadvantaged because of the prevailing law and tradition at the time which restricts succession to only direct sons of a past Attah. As at 2013 no direct son of Attah Oguche Akpa 1911-1919 was alive anymore. The Aju-Akogu suffered the same disability with no direct son of Attah Ijomi who passed away in 1926 surviving to ascend the throne.

This was the major reason Idakwo Ameh Oboni, a surviving direct eldest son of a past Attah was enthroned.

The Succession law, titled, Igala Area Traditional Council (Modification of Native Law and Customs) Order 2015 was passed by the Kogi State House of Assembly In 2015 to redress the injustice which would have led to the extinction of the Aju-Ameachor and Aju-Akogu as Ruling Houses.

The law was also specific that the rotation will now commence from the Aju-Ameachor Ruling House obviously to compensate them for the injustices and deprivations they have been suffering since 1956.
The choice of Prince Samuel is the first ever nomination of a grandson in the 700 years history of the throne.

The Aju-Ameachor are worried that the shenanigans and schemings of Queen Oboni and her acolytes is threatening this rare opportunity to end the jinx.

A member of the Ruling House told our correspondent:
“Even as it appears that the Kingmakers are set to correct the wrong of contemporary history and restore the sanity, sanctity and integrity embedded in the long standing tradition of the Igala,there are suspicion of some kind of tenure elongation.

“Direct beneficiaries of recent occupants of the throne ,having been acquainted with the allure of power are scheming to distort the law and tradition to pave way for preferred candidates who will undoubtedly play to their dictates.These are the people fanning the embers of disunity among the “Attaity”.

“But the law remains sacroscant because it is the basis of justice.” said the Prince who pleaded anonymity.

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Again Sultan of Sokoto, Alafin of Oyo warn FG to act fast on cries of citizens 

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Again Sultan of Sokoto, Alafin of Oyo warn FG to act fast on cries of citizens

If decisive steps are not taken to listen to the yearnings and aspirations of the citizens as well as act on them appropriately things may get worse for the country the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar 111,  has warned the Federal Government and other levels of government.

Abubakar, spoke on Friday at the 5th coronation anniversary lecture of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, held at the Banquet Hall of Premier Hotel, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
Entitled, ‘Preventing our Common Heritage: Celebrating the Labour of our Heroes Past,’ organised by the Oodua Descendants Worldwide, the Sultan noted the array of traditional rulers that graced the occasion and representatives of the Oba of Benin and Emir of Ilorin, as well as political office holders has sent a positive signals to the public space that unity in diversity of Nigeria should be emphasised.
The event was also attended by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi; Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji; Aje Ogungunniso I; Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero; Oniru of Iru; Elegushi of Ikateland; Alara of Ara and representatives of state governors in the Southwest, who paid glowing tributes to Oba Ogunwusi.
He said the fact that people saw monarchs from different parts of the country together “means a lot, especially at this time when there so much cries; cries for division here and there and cries for do this and do that.
“I am not going to talk politics; I am not a politician, but I am the father of politicians. I can talk politics from now till tomorrow, it may not get into some people’s heads, but I know some words will get into some people’s heads, whether they like it or not.”
The Sultan was particular on the alarm he raised on Thursday in Abuja that the northern part of the country is a dangerous place to live, based on insecurity rocking the region at the moment, adding: “If you check the newspapers today (yesterday), almost all of them have this very bold headlines on what I said on Thursday. It means some people are watching; they are listening, they are reading.
“What we want is for them to implement, act. If you listen, you will hear what people have been saying and crying for. When you don’t act, then things will get worse. When things get worse, they will get worst. When they get worst, of course, it is only Almighty Allah who will come and help us.
“So, let’s not allow that; let’s rise up and make things change in this great country. Almighty couldn’t have made a mistake when He put this country together. And if He wants to do whatever He wants to do, He will just do it. He will separate this country, divide it into one million little pieces and you will need visa to go somewhere and you may not get the visa.”
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Adeyemi, who prayed for long life for Oba Ogunwusi, lauded the Sultan for saying the truth to the authorities even at the highest level in Nigeria, especially that the northern part of the country is the worst place to live based on protracted insecurity in the region.
He also urged different ethnic groups to embrace peace, so that the country could move forward.
Both monarchs condemned the killing of another monarch in Ondo State on Thursday.
Oba Ogunwusi, in his address, thanked the traditional rulers and other representatives that honoured him with their presence on the occasion, saying: “We can see the mix of all of us that are here and that is the beauty of our dear country.
“Anytime we are talking about the unity of this country and togetherness, these royal fathers are always there to support government in anything they do.”

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Lawan sponsors 300 less privilleged couples in Yobe

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Lawan sponsors 300 less privilleged couples in Yobe 


President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has given helping hand to three hundred less privileged couples in Yobe North Senatorial District by footing the bills of their weddings.

The district comprises six Local Government Areas of Bade, Jakusko, Machina, Yusufari, Nguru and Karasuwa.

This was contained in a statement his special assistant (Press) Ezrel Tabio.
The statement indicated that the criteria for qualification for the gesture, is that the intending couples are those who are really of marriageable age but with nobody or means at all to finance their weddings.

He said the Senate President decided to foot the bills in response to the passionate appeal made to him by some parents during his previous visits to his constituents in Yobe North.

The wedding which is to be organized in three phases with strict adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols, commenced today in a first phase arrangement that witnessed the marriage of one hundred couples drawn from Bade and Jakusko Local Government Areas in Yobe State. 

The mass wedding which was flagged-off at the Bade Emirate on Saturday, had the intending couples joined as husband and wife, according to Islamic rites, in a ceremony that held at the Bade Central Mosque. 

One hundred couples from Nguru and Karasuwa Local Government Areas of the State are also expected to be wedded in the Second Phase of the mass wedding programme; while another hundred would be drawn from Machina and Yusufari Local Governments for the third phase plan, respectively. 

The dowries of the first one hundred couples were fully paid for by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, who is the Sarduana of Bade Emirate.

Furnitures and household items were also provided by the Senate President to the couples who were drawn from sixty wards within the six local government areas of Yobe North Senatorial District. 

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