Northern Youths says Ndume’s Detention is Injustice

Youths from the 19 Northern states under the auspices of the Arewa Youth Forum (AYF) on Monday declared that it was a great injustice to remand the Senator representing Borno South Senator Ali Ndume in prison.

Ndume was remanded at the Kuje correctional center in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for his inability to produce the former Chairman of the Presidential Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina.

Maina has been on trial over the alleged misappropriation of N2 billion pension funds.

But in a statement in Kaduna, AYF disclosed that Ndume should be allowed his freedom to enable him produce Maina as remanding him in prison will not only infringe on his fundamental rights, but also his chances of producing the person he is standing surety for.

The statement signed by Gambo Ibrahim Gujungu stated that, “This is not the first time that a prominent Nigerian is standing surety for someone that would jump bail or refuse to appeal in court.

“Moreover the Federal government and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) has what it takes to hunt down Maina if they really want to. We are aware that Senator Eyinaya Abaribe was a surety to Nnamdi Kanu who had jumped bail and abscond from the country, but the Senator has not been put in prison. Why is Ndume’s case different.

“Is it because Ndume is not from the South like the judge that his own case is different? We are calling on the judge to reverse the order as Ndume is a true Nigerian who has been working seriously for the socio economic well-being of the country and we believe his incalceration is in bad faith.

“We are of the believe that Ndume as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a prominent citizen should have been given enough time to produce Maina.

“We are therefore appealing to Justice Okon Abang to take a look at the person of Ndume. His political and humanitarian posture and give him a reprieve. He should be given more time to produce Maina.”

The youths also said that even though Justice Okon Abang had ordered that the N500m worth of property located in Asokoro, Abuja, be sold, that can be done with out remanding the Senator in custody.

​Man 50, Defiles 6yrs Old Minor in Kaduna

A six-year-old girl (name withheld) has been allegedly defiled by a 50-year-old neighbour at a village called Hanyi Danmasani in Kaduna South local government area of Kaduna State.

Confirming the incident via a phone call on Monday, Village Head (Mai Ungwan), Hanyi Danmasani, Umar Ibrahim said, the girl was recuperating from bruises she sustained during the defilement by her parents’ neighbour simply identified as Ibrahim.

According to him, “it is true. The case is in Rigasa Police station. But this morning they told me that they are trying to transfer the case to the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

“The rape case involved a girl of about six-year-old girl and that man is about 50-year-old. He has his family with two wives. He has his own house as a neighbour to the parents of this girl.
“It happened on Friday but Police then said they should come by Monday. So today, the community went there as instructed.

“I was told that the police are done with the hospital report and they are now transferring the case to the CID.
“According to the mother, it was a very horrible face but she said her daughter is responding to treatment”. He said.

This was coming while concern interests were yet to recover from the shock of the gruesome murder of two six-year-old girls in separate defilement cases with a similar pattern in a community called Kurmi Mashi which is not far from Hanyi Danmasani where the latest episode emerged.

The little girl was lucky to be alive unlike the two others of her age who were raped, killed and dumped at a mosque and graveyard on Sunday, June 28 and Monday, November 9 this year.

As at the time of filing this report, both the Kaduna State Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs and Kaduna State Police Command were yet to apprehend the suspected serial rapists who raped and killed the two girls in separate incidences.

Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Mohammed Jalige, could not be reached for comment as he did not answer his phone call as at the time of filing this report.

Hanyi Danmasani is a village located in the same district area with Rigasa (the largest community in Kaduna where Abuja-Kaduna train terminal is located). The community is between Badiko and Nnamdi Azikiwe Bypass by Kaduna South local government.

No N4.6bn missing, stolen under my watch – Fashola

The Minister of Works and Housing , Babatunde Fashola , has declared that no money was missing or stolen under his watch between September and December 2019 .

Fashola denied reports that he supervised the illegal payment of N 4. 6bn into private accounts when he served as Minister of Power , Works and Housing .

An online report  had stated that Fashola ’s ministry paid over N 4 .6 bn into personal accounts of directors and staff in four months, stressing that this was in clear violation of extant law .

The report claimed that between September and December 2019 , the N 4. 6bn was illegally paid into the private accounts of some directors and employees of the then Ministry of Power , Works and Housing .

But in reaction to the report , the works minister declared, “In all , no money was stolen or is missing . There is no smoking gun to criminalise Fashola .”

In his reaction, which he personally signed and was made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Monday , the minister explained that the Federal Government in 2007 initiated a payment platform called the Integrated Personnel Payment and Information System .

He argued that the current administration had been engaging all sectors of government to fully migrate to the IPPIS platform .

Fashola said , “What has happened is that not all government officials who , from time to time , needed to be paid for approved expenses were registered on the platform .

“In order to ensure that government work was not hampered , the directors of finance and accounts sought and obtained approval of the accountant -general to pay these monies through the accounts of an approved few who were on the platform .”

He added , “ Those so approved then collect the money and disburse to the beneficiaries who sign receipts all of which are retired and available for verification as approved by the accountant- general .”

The minister noted that the accountant- general had recently issued new guidelines to deal with this process .

This , he said , was “because not all public officials had fully enrolled on the IPPIS and the DFAs had the mandate to comply and not Fashola .”

The minister then declared that it was wrong to think that a public officer would take such money on a consistent and repeated basis with impunity .

NCC pledges more collaboration with Nigerian universities

The Nigerian Communications Commission has pledged more collaboration with universities in the country towards transforming Nigeria into a knowledge -based economy .

The Chairman of NCC board , Prof . Adeolu Akande , said this while paying a courtesy visit on the Vice- Chancellor of Bayero University , Kano , Prof . Sagir Abbas .

NCC Director of Public Affairs , Dr Ikechukwu Adinde , said this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja .

The statement partly read , “The NCC superintends a sector that is knowledge – driven and therefore, it can only achieve its mandate with enhanced collaboration with institutions such as BUK.

“In the absence of the citadels of learning , one could only imagine what would have become of the communications industry .

“So , if we come to Kano , we need to come to the prime centre of learning in Kano and other universities across the state .”

On his part, Abbas said , “The NCC Executive Vice -Chairman Prof Umar Danbatta has served the university diligently , as lecturer , as head of department , as Dean, as director and he was also a former VC in Kano University of Science and Technology , but wherever he goes , you find him relating to his base .

“We hold him in very high esteem and we are always happy to see him and his team discharging the national assignment he is saddled with .

“Bayero University is proud to be associated with him . We have no doubt that the board and management of NCC will enjoy him more as he begins his second term in office .”

​APC says PDP rattled by visit of its governors to Jonathan

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is rattled by the recent visit of some of its governors to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Mr Yekini Nabena, the APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja while reacting to PDP’s criticism of the development.

He, however, advised the PDP to focus on picking itself up instead of dwelling on frivolities.

“The PDP is obviously rattled and disoriented by the recent courtesy visit by some governors of the APC to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

“Chairman, APC Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) and Gov. of Yobe, Mai Mala Buni led the APC delegation.

“At a time when the PDP and its leadership are grappling with a crisis of confidence, one would expect the failed opposition party to focus on picking itself up,” Nabena said.

He added that as a party for all progressives, the APC on its part will continue to consolidate on its national appeal and acceptance.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the PDP had, in an earlier statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, criticized the APC governors for visiting the former president.

According to the PDP, the visit to Jonathan by the APC governors is a direct acceptance of the successes recorded by it in building a strong nation with a virile economy.

The PDP said the visit is also a subtle step by APC governors into an agreement that the PDP has the solution to the country’s challenges.

​Buhari mourns Nasarawa APC boss, orders security agencies to end violence

President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the killing of Mr Philip Shekwo, Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Nasarawa State, and challenged the nation’s security system to “do more” to end violence in the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the late APC Chairman was abducted by gunmen, who stormed his residence in Lafia on Saturday night. The gunmen later killed him.

A statement by Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, quoted Buhari as saying that Police investigation would determine if it was an assassination or kidnap-related murder.

It quoted Buhari as commending the Inspector General of Police, Mr Muhammed Adamu, for sending reinforcement of men and materials to the state.

It further quoted the president as commiserating with the family of the deceased while describing Shekwo as kind and jovial.

”His contribution towards strengthening the party in Nasarawa State will not be forgotten. May his soul Rest in Peace,” the statement quoted Buhari as saying.