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Soldiers prevent EFCC from marking ONSA director’s forfeited assets

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insist anti-graft agency can’t probe serving officer

Some soldiers attached to the Office of the National Security Adviser have prevented operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from marking some of the property belonging to the Director of Finance in the ONSA, Brig.-Gen. Jafaru Mohammed.

The properties are under an interim forfeiture order.

Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, had, on March 9, 2021, granted an ex-parte application brought by the EFCC for an interim order of forfeiture over some identified property linked to the senior military officer.

The court also ordered the EFCC to publicise the interim forfeiture of the assets and invited people “who may have interest in the assets and properties listed in the schedule to show cause, within 14 days of such publication, why a final order of forfeiture to the Federal Government of Nigeria of the said assets and properties should not be made.”

Residents of Sun City, an upscale housing estate on the outskirt of Abuja, reported a near stand-off on Wednesday morning between the EFCC operatives and military men in plain cloth and uniform at one of the assets located in the estate.

Daily Trust gathered that stern-looking soldiers stationed at one of the houses located at No 25, Osaka Street, upon sighting the anti-graft operatives at about 10am, became furious and ensured that the house was not marked with red inscription “EFCC: Keep off”.

While the two sides were exchanging words, over 20 uniformed and plain-clothed soldiers arrived at the scene, resisting the attempt to mark the house.

“They came in an unmarked white Hilux and black jeep, then others came in a small car and more again in a bus,” a source explained.

 

When Daily Trust visited the area, it was observed that the soldiers were on red alert as they attempted to chase our correspondents who went on a fact-finding mission on the seized property.

Similarly, when our correspondents visited the property located at No 52, Main Street, also in Sun City Estate, it was observed that the property was marked by the commission, but hours later, the EFCC red inscription was covered off from the walls and the gate.

Daily Trust recalled that the assets traced to the proxies and associates of the Brigadier General, according to the court papers, include: House on Plot 7, God’s Own Estate, Road 1, Wamna District, Abuja; a fencer plot at No 1 Jubril Aminu Crescent, Katampe Extension, Abuja and plot at Kubwa Express, Directly opposite Abuja Model City Gate, Abuja;

Others are a house on Block SD 22 House 2, Road 5, Kabusa Garden Estate, Abuja; No 15, 21 Crescent, 2nd Avenue, Gwarinpa Estate, Abuja; No 3 Liverpool Close, Sun City Estate, Abuja; No 52 Main Street, Sun City Estate, Abuja; and No 25 Osaka Street, Sun City Estate, Abuja.

The EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, in a telephone interview, said he was not aware of the squabble.

When contacted last night, the Office of the NSA directed our correspondent to the Brigadier General’s lawyer, Omokayode Adebayo Dada, who maintained that the EFCC, according to the law of the land, had no power to investigate a serving military officer.

The lawyer argued that the military officer was right to have prevented himself from harassment of the operatives, stressing that if there was any petition against him, the EFCC should formally write to the authorities of Nigerian Army who will then look at the case.

“Anything that has to do with a serving military officer, you dare not go by EFCC and say you have powers. Everything EFCC did was premised on the foundation of illegality. The man is a graduate and learned person, he knows the law that governs him.

“If he had not spoken all these while and he now woke up from slumber, then he has the right to repel them. He didn’t repel them illegally. They constituted illegality in his premises and he took steps to defend himself,” he said.

-Daily Trust

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We’ll not ban Almajiri qur’anic education, but reform it — Gov. Tambuwal

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Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has said the state government was targeting the remodelling of the Qur’anic education system and not banning it.

Tambuwal stated this on Saturday at the closing of a two-day workshop for the adaptation of the Indonesian Pondok system into the Almajiri-Islamiyya educational system in the state.

He expressed government’s determination to ensure that the initiative was implemented to the letter, stressing that any recognisable success of the system would upgrade and improve the state’s educational system.

He said: “We are not aiming to ban the Almajiri qur’anic education system as some people have urged the Sokoto State Government to emulate other states.

“We are striving to provide reasonable solutions to the challenges and with the present initiative the time has come.”

Tambuwal assured of full implementation of the suggestions made by resource persons and the design of a programme that would surely be a solution to the educational challenges, especially bridging the gap of out of school children.

In his remarks, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, urged the Federal Government and its agencies, including the Universal Basic Education Commission, to consider making financial provisions to the Almajiri qur’anic educational system.

Abubakar noted that when the implementation of the initiative begins, the out of school children figure will drop as well as curtail those roaming the streets.

The Sultan urged others states to emulate Sokoto state on the initiative, in recognition of its importance and suitability to Nigerian’s system of education.

The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Social Investment Programmes, Maryam Uwais, expressed delight at the initiative as it was in line with the President’s efforts at reducing poverty and empowering Nigerians.

Uwais said: “The huge numbers of marginalised youths and children, who have no education, school dropouts who have no skills, have contributed to the dismal outcomes of security challenges.

“The challenges also include females who faced incidence of gender based violence, along with cases of early marriages arising from lack of education, which leads to diminished opportunities.”

She noted that the Pandok system focuses on character development and addressing socioeconomic challenges that children faced, as well as improving educational levels which were all aligned with Sustainable Development Goals.

Uwais added that her office was working towards empowering between 30 to 50 youths in all the local government councils, to supervise and monitor others on valuable skills to be acquired, through various initiatives.

Earlier, the Executive Director, Sokoto State Arabic and Islamic Education Board, Alhaji Umar Altine, said based on the study conducted, the Pandok system of education in Indonesia were owned and managed by individuals or communities, regulated and assisted by the federal ministry of religious affairs.

Altine said the major sources of sustainability were Endowments (Waqf) and Alumni, noting that based on advocacy and sensitisation by the board, six Qur’anic schools had adopted the model.

In her presentation, UNICEF Education Specialist, Sokoto Field Office, Dr. Safiyya Tahir, said that no fewer than 1.2 million children were out of school in Sokoto State, noting that early children development centres were mostly owned by private schools, with only a small percentage owned by public schools.

Tahir said the Pandok system would be relevant to the culture of Sokoto people because they shared similarities with the Indonesians as many families prepared their children for enrolment in religious schools in early life.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that several resource persons made presentations at the occasion, including Dr. Bala Muhammad of the Mass Communication Department, Bayero University, Kano, and Prof. Abdullahi Sule-Kano of the Political Science Department, BUK.

Others were: Prof. Maryam Koko of the Centre for Entrepreneurship Development, Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto; Prof. Suleiman Khalil, Sociology Department in UDUS; Prof. Bashir Galadanci; and Prof. Muhammad Junaid.

The Eagle Online

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Resident Doctors Vote to Continue Indefinite Strike

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Striking resident doctors in the country have resolved to sustain their ongoing industrial action until their demands are met by the federal government.

The strike by members of the National Association Resident Doctors (NARD) has entered its seventh week, with their parent body, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), also threatening to embark on solidarity strike if the dispute is not resolved by next weekend.

The resident doctors are demanding payment of arrears of salaries of their members on GIFMIS platform as well as approval of new hazard allowance for the health sector, among other demands.

Rising from its Annual General Meeting (AGM) that ended yesterday at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH), Bauchi State, NARD said that it had unanimously resolved by vote to continue the total and indefinite strike action.

A new national leadership also emerged at the meeting with Dr Dare Godiya Ishaya as the new president of NARD.

NARD said that: “After critical appraisal of the performances of both federal and state governments on all the issues that led to the ongoing strike as stated above, the AGM unanimously resolved by vote to continue the total and indefinite strike action until our minimum demands are met”.

In a communiqué jointly signed by NARD President, Dr. Dare Godiya Ishaya; Secretary General, Dr. Suleiman Abiodun Ismai; and National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Alfa Yusuf, the doctors said that federal government should ensure that their demands are urgently met before normalcy would return to the health sector

The resident doctors said they are demanding the payment of the Medical Residency Training allowance within 72 hours since the money meant for it is available and verification of the list for payment has been completed.

They also demanded payment of the arrears of salaries of their members on GIFMIS platform within 72 hours while the migration process continues.

Other demands of the Resident doctors include: “Withdrawal of the case against us in court in the interest of peace; and payment of our withheld August and September salaries”.

NARD said that federal government should prevail on various state governments to urgently “pay arrears of salaries and allowances owed our members in the state tertiary health institutions as stated above”.

In the communiqué, NARD said they were committed to the smooth running of the health sector, but can only do so when their welfare is given the desired attention.

“We, therefore, call on all well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the government to set aside all technicalities as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari and resolve the aforementioned demands in the interest of the masses and our members who are currently suffering because of the ongoing strike action,” it said.

Earlier during the AGM, the doctors bemoaned the delay in payment of death-in-service insurance benefit to the next-of-kin of the fallen heroes despite their sacrifices to the country.

They expressed concerns over the conditions of their members under different state governments’ employs, especially Abia, Imo, Ekiti and Ondo states, where their members are being owed 20 months, six months, four months and four months’ salary arrears, respectively.

They meeting also observed with serious concerns the poor response of most state governments in domesticating the Medical Residency Training Act of 2017 while commending states like Delta and Benue for adopting the law.

In particular, NARD expressed appreciation to the governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, who has paid its members the 2021 MRTF during the ongoing strike.

The meeting lamented the acute manpower shortage in most tertiary health institutions and the attendant burnout effects on its members.

The communiqué said that NARD observed with serious concerns that despite several meetings with the presidential committee on salaries and other top government stakeholders on the review of hazard allowance for health workers, the hazard allowance still remains a paltry N5,000.

It also noted the non-payment of COVID-19 inducement allowance to some of the members in federal and most of its members in state tertiary institutions.

Onyebuchi Ezigbo, Thisday News

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BREAKING: IPOB orders sit-at-home on October 1, removal of all Nigerian flags from southeast

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The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has declared a sit-at-home across the Southeast on October 1.

IPOB said the October 1 sit-at-home is to show its rejection of Nigeria and all the country stands for.

In a statement by its spokesman on Saturday, Emma Powerful, the group also declared the commencement of “operation no Nigerian flag begins in Biafra land from October 1st.”

Powerful said the sit-at-home order was declared to celebrate Ambazonia Independence Anniversary.

The statement reads partly: “IPOB has declared 1st of October 2021 total shutdown in Biafra land as a sign of our rejection of the evil construct called Nigeria and there shall be no movement in Biafra land on this day.

“Also, IPOB has declared from today 25th September 2021 that all Nigerian flag mounted anywhere in Biafra land must be brought down, Banks exceptional, IPOB leadership will communicate to Banks directly and give them reason they must peacefully bring down Nigeria flag in their banking premises before we do it ourselves in our own way.

“Every body must strictly adhere to this directives from IPOB leadership, we want to let the world know you that Biafraland is not Nigeria and shall not be. Don’t say I don’t know, a word is enough for the wise.”

Seun Opejobi, Daily Post

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