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Two feared dead in Kogi as thugs invade polling unit shoot sporadicaly

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Two feared dead in Kogi as thugs invade polling unit shoot sporadicaly

Two persons have lost their lives at Ajetachi polling unit opposite OLS Anyigba where some political thugs invaded and started shooting sporadically leading to the deaths while a woman on queue was seriously injured.
At Agbeji, thugs invaded the two polling units and tried to force presiding officers to sign completed result sheets which they refused and had to run for their lives disrupting the process.
Kogi East especially Dekina Local Government has been notorious for post and.pre election violence where elections.are.hardly held peacefully.
At Anyigba, also in Dekina Local Government, accreditation and voting commenced early with a good turnout of voters at the polling units until the hoodlums struck in Ajetachi area resulting in pandemonium
At Ochadamu Ward, Unit 004 in Ofu Local Government, that simultaneous accreditation and voting commenced at 8 am with long queue of voters without visible hitches.
The Presidential and National Assembly elections in State however witnessed massive turnout of eligible voters in the midst of some cases of card reader malfunctioning in Kogi Central and East Senatorial District.

The electorate in many of the polling units came out as early as 7 am and before 8 am, the polling units were filled just as many of the electoral officers turned up before 8am.
The Presiding Officer, Kemi Adebayo said the conduct of.election was smooth adding that the card readers were functioning well.

Also at Ochadamu Ward, unit 003, the Presiding Officer, Helen Okorie said the conduct commenced in an orderly manner with voters conducting themselves peacefully at about 8:55 am when our reporter visited.

At Ajedime Ogane-Iyale, Iyale Ward unit 005 in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi, electoral officers did not arrive at the polling unit till about 11. 30 am.

The voters however remained determined to exercise their franchise as they remained on the queue awaiting arrival of materials and officers.

In Idah, accreditation and voting commenced at about 8:45 am in New GRA ward, Unit 001 and there was no report of Card Reader malfunction.
At Ofukolo Ward Unit 006, also in Idah, electoral materials and officials arrrived on time and voting commenced on time.
The police public relations Officer William Aya confirmed.that one person was killed in Anyigba adding that the situation has been brought under control and voting has resumed.

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How National Assembly members divert contracts for themselves at PRODA, by acting DG

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How National Assembly members divert contracts for themselves at PRODA, by acting DG

*** Onje insists he remains the board chairman

The acting director general of Product Development Institute (PRODA) Engineer Fabian Okonkwo opened a can of worms Wednesday, alledging that national Assembly members diverted most of the contracts in the agency to themselves and their cronies.

He spoke at the ongoing investigations into the procurement violations in the agency by by the Honorable Nasiru Ali Ahmed led House public procurement committee

Testifying before the panel the embattled DG insisted that the contracts being investigated were awarded in full compliance of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.

He further indicated that most of the jobs executed in the agency were done by highly placed individuals in the National and State Houses of Assembly.

“Mr. Chairman, honourable members, most of the contracts at PRODA belongs to senators and members of the House of Representatives”

Although, Okonkwo was compelled to apologised to the lawmakers for disclosing that the contracts were executed by them, he explained that they were two types of contracts at the agency, which include the agency’s contracts and zonal intervention projects otherwise called constituency projects domiciled in the institute.

He clarified that the constituency project contracts were the ones that belonged to the legislators.

The acting DG who was accused of opening an authorised bank account said it was the board chairman of the agency that gave him the approval.

The committee chairman, Hon. Ahmed and many other lawmakers frowned at the action of the acting DG to open an account without approval describing it as an illegality.

Also, testifying before the committee, the permanent secretary, ministry of science and technology, Mr Sunday Edet Akpan said it was not the ministry of science and technology that appointed the acting DG as required by law establishing the agency.

He also said that the actions of the acting DG in awarding some contacts were in violation of the public procurement Act, 2007.

He further said that the the acting chairman of the board, Mr. Diran Ayanbeku had clearly usurped the powers of the president as the Act establishing the agency had clearly stated that it is the president that has powers to appoint a board chairman adding that every of their action the duo is an illegality.

According to the House committee, the acclaimed acting chairman of the board ought not to have assumed the office without communication from Mr. President who has the absolute power to appoint both the board chairman and it members.

In his reaction, the board chairman, Comrade Daniel Onje who has stepped aside in view of the ongoing investigations insisted that he has neither been suspended or sacked by the President adding that he is still the chairman pending the outcome of the probe.

Onje said he was not an impostor as been painted by the committee members and Diran Ayanbeku group as “only the president have the power to appoint and remove me from office. “As we speak, the president has neither sacked me or suspended me. Rather, I was asked to step aside so that investigations into the issues of procurement will be carried out without interference.

“I’m not an impostor; I am still the chairman until Mr. President does otherwise. There is no allegations of corruption against me anywhere as the DG was suspended on my recommendations. However, I stepped aside for a smooth investigation”, he said.

He argued that this was a normal administrative procedure when issues like this arise but that does not mean he is on suspension.

Chairman of the committee, Honorable Ahmad however, told Onje that the permanent secretary, Mr. Sunday Akpan had confirmed that he was no longer the board chairman.

Ahmed ruled that all parties involved, including Onje and his board members should return to the committee on Thursday for the continuation of the investigation. He said all concerned will be given room to make their presentations and defend themselves when the investigation reopens tomorrow.

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Bauchi Governor is part and parcel of the terrorist Fulani, Ortom alleges

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Bauchi Governor is part and parcel of the terrorist Fulani, Ortom alleges

Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom on Monday described Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed, as a terrorist.

Ortom was reacting to comments credited to his Bauchi counterpart Governor Bala Muhammed who earlier berated him for being an arrow head in excerbating the bad media framings, criminalizing the Fulani tribe in Nigeria.
Muhammed spoke at the Press week organised by the Bauchi state Correspondents’ Chapel, Monday, in Bauchi.

In a swift reaction Ortom said,
“I am beginning to think that my brother, the governor of Bauchi State is part of the terrorist Fulani organisation that is terrorising this country,” Ortom said while addressing journalists in Makurdi, Benue State capital.
“Why do I say this? This is the same governor who took the oath of office to protect the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This constitution does not leave room for allowing foreign herdsmen to come in without valid papers,” he added.

He also referred to the assertion by Mohammed that herders should carry AK-47 to defend themselves as being “unconstitutional.”
“His recent outburst that Fulani herdsmen are justified for carrying AK-47 to protect themselves. I don’t know where the constitution of this country allows that,” he said.
Ortom, therefore, called Mohammed to render an unreserved apology to Nigerians and learn from the provisions of the constitution that, land both territorial, forest, and aquatic, are vested on the governor of a state who holds them in trust.
Mohammed’s comment on armed herdsmen earned him some baching from his counterparts and Nigerians alike, increasing calls for the prohibition of open grazing.

Mohammed later defended his comment about armed herders, explaining that he used AK-47 as a figure of speech for protection.

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EFCC summons, interogates Delta Speaker, Clerk Over N1.6Bn Vehicles Purchase Deal

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EFCC summons, interogates Delta Speaker, Clerk Over N1.6Bn Vehicles Purchase Deal

A petition by an Abuja based anti-corruption organization, Initiative For Advancement & Accountable Integrity In Governance has prompted the EFCC to summon and interogate, the Speaker and the Clerk of Delta State House of Assembly, Mr. Sheriff Oborevwori, and Mrs Lyna Ochulor, respectively.

The petition bothered on alleged fraud, abuse of office, exorbitant prices on the purchase of vehicles and wanton looting of the legislative treasury.

In its petition to the EFCC Acting Chairman, a copy of which was made available to the NationalIpdate in Abuja, Monday,  the anticorruption group alleged that the Speaker and his clerk quoted exorbitant prices for the purchase of official vehicles for members of the Delta State House of Assembly to the tune of N1,621,226,250.00 (One Billion, Six Hundred and Twenty one Million, Two Hundred and Twenty Six Thousand, Two Hundred and Fifty Naira).

“While it is within the scope of legislative duties to provide members with functional official vehicles, we were taken aback by the huge sums used in the purchase of different brands of vehicles for Honourable members when in fact, the state is faced with so much task to deal with.”

The Civil Society Organisation also accused the Speaker, Mr Sheriff Oborevwori of tax evasion, stating that “the sum of N77,201,250.00 (Seventy seven million, two hundred and one thousand, two hundred and fifty naira) calculated at 5% of the total vehicle purchase sum was claimed as VAT when in fact, no such sum was claimed as VAT when in fact, no such was paid neither was VAT paid on purchase.”

The CSO urged the EFCC to urgently commence comprehensive investigation into the petition and to ensure that all illicitly acquired monies from the proceeds of this purchase and wanton looting be recovered and returned to the legislative account.

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