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Bola Ige: Soyinka tackles Buhari over Omisore selection as APC national secretary

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Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka has attacked President Muhammadu Buhari for supporting Iyiola Omisore as the new national secretary of the All Progressives Congress.

According to him, Omisore remains a prime suspect in the unsolved murder case of former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Bola Ige.

In a statement titled ‘Perhaps Closed Files Should Remain Just That – Closed?’, Soyinka noted that there was a subsisting pledge to reopen the files on the spate of unsolved political assassinations by the current administration.

He wondered how it was possible that the APC, headed by President Buhari, had now selected one of the prime suspects in the Bola Ige case as its national secretary if it was really serious about prosecuting the unsolved murder.

“To this layman, that investigative revisit is already hamstrung and disrobed of credibility,” Soyinka said.

The whole statement is as follows:

Perhaps Closed Files Should Remain Just That – Closed?

Barely three months have passed since the twentieth anniversary of the murder of the late Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Bola Ige, an occasion that I utilized to ⁷ President Mohammed Buhari, of a subsisting election pledge. That pledge was to re-open the files on the spate of unsolved political assassinations that had plagued the nation in recent decades. Prominent among those cases was that of the Minister of Justice, murdered on his way to take up a prestigious position with the United Nations.

Presidential response was swift. Buhari ordered the Inspector-General of Police to re-open those files and resume investigations. The nation has patiently awaited even a hint of Work in Progress. Most, I am certain, expect no less than a revaluation of prior investigative efforts. None, to my knowledge, has attempted to rush the Chief of Police and his team into judgment. We all take solace in the knowledge that the wheels of justice grind slowly, but they arrived eventually.

However, an unusual turn of events has raised questions. The ruling party, headed by the same President, has just elected as its National Secretary one of the prime suspects of this most notorious of the nation’s unsolved murders. Not for a moment does one suggest that mere accusation, even trial, presumes Guilt. More than a mere verdict is involved in any trial, however. The process of arriving at that ultimate destination – justice – is integral to the very concept of democracy and equality under the law. That process is one of the structures of civic education.

Unresolved till today were quite a number of untidy, even suspect aspects of investigation, prosecution and trials, aspects which revealed improper cell co-habitation by suspects under custody. That this led necessarily to recantations of earlier depositions is not thereby proven, but the fact remains that such U-turns did take place. One was so brazen that it induced a heart attack that proved fatal to the victim’s wife, another Justice – Mrs. Atinuke Ige. That the prime suspect was privileged in a number of improper ways went beyond mere allegation. Political interventions, including pressure on the judiciary during bail hearings cannot be denied. A judge under such pressure kept a diary with accusations, pages of which he consigned to friends for safe keeping.

With the emergence of the said prime suspect as National Secretary of the Ruling Party, is the Inspector-General of Police equipped to confront political obstacles in a resumption of investigation? Is there any guarantee that the result will see the light of day? How suspect, ab initio, will be the conclusions, given the present political ordering?

I repeat: we are speaking of blatant, undeniable exercise of POLITICAL interventions during investigations and the arraignment of suspects. Prior incumbency of the position of National Secretary of a ruling party has demonstrated the potent interventionist clout that can be wielded from that office. The president has personally received, and thus anointed the new incumbent. Since he remains central to any re-investigation – whatever form or direction it takes – just what value of objective assessment can be placed on the presidential pledge?

To this layman, that investigative revisit is already hamstrung and disrobed of credibility. I think the nation should simply relieve President Buhari of his pledge. I am certain the Inspector-General of Police will be equally relieved and can now turn his mind and energy to the national accustomed posture – Business as Usual.

Wole SOYINKA

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Adeleke Sacks Over 10,000 Workers Newly Recruited by Oyetola

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Osun State Former Governor, Gboyega Oyetola and Governor of Osun, Ademola Adeleke

New Governor of Osun, Ademola Adeleke, has nullified the recruitment of over 10,000 workers most of them teachers who benefitted from employments shortly before the end of the tenure of former Governor, Gboyega Oyetola.

This was part of the Six Executive Orders issued and signed by the Governor on Monday. Adeleke was sworn into office on Sunday as the sixth elected governor of the state. His late elder brother, Isiaka Adeleke was the first elected governor.

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In the Order 3, which bordered on employment, the order stated,

“All employments in the service of Osun State Government made in any capacity into any capacity in all the Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Commissions , Boards and Parastatals after July 17th, 2022 be and are hereby nullified.”
Information available to the NPO Reports showed that more than 10,000 people would be affected with the decision.

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BREAKING: Adeleke suspends OSIEC chairman, members

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Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke

The Osun State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke, has ordered the immediate suspension of the Chairman of the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission, Mr. Segun Oladitan.

A statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Tesleem Igbalaye, on Monday, also suspended six members of the Commission with immediate effect.

The suspension was said to have been based on several petitions bothering on financial impropriety, dereliction of duty, absenteeism and abuse of office against the said Chairman and members of the Commission.

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The statement further read in part, “The Executive Governor of Osun State, Senator Adeleke, has directed the immediate suspension of the Chairman of OSIEC, Segun Oladitan, and the following members of the Commission;

I. Mr. Yusuf Oyeniran
II. Alhaja Suibat Adubi
III. Prince Yinka Ajiboye
IV. Mrs. Abosede Omibeku
V. Mr. Dosu Gidigbi
VI. Mr. Wahab Adewoyin

“This suspension is sequel to several petitions bothering on financial impropriety, dereliction of duty, absenteeism and abuse of office against the said Chairman and members of the Commission.

“Pending the outcome of investigation into the allegations against the suspended chairman and members of the Commission, the Secretary to the Commission shall hold forth in running the affairs of the Commission.”

Punch

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Senate uncovers N200m fraud in Labour ministry payments

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The Senate through its Public Accounts Committee says it has discovered fraud in the payments of over N208 million for the Zonal Skills Acquisition organised by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.

The programme was organised in all the six zones of the federation in 2021 with N35 million for each zone apart from South East which had N32 million.

The money used for the programme was reportedly drawn from Service Wide Vote (SWV) which has become the subject of investigation by the Senate Public Accounts due to failure to subject the expenditure to the scrutiny of the auditor-general of the federation office before expenditure.

The Senate committee alleged forgery of signatures of participants in the programme.
The lawmakers, who received the lists of participants through the Senate Public Accounts Committee chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide, observed a few persons signed for the participants to collect their stipends in the six zones as the ministry allegedly failed to make available the phone numbers of participants in the programme.
Urhoghide wondered how the officials could pay millions of naira via cash for the programme instead of bank transfers.

The committee said the character of the signatures in participants’ list made it look the same and not a single person used his name as a signature.
The committee said the ministry would have used e-payment for the participants.

“The signatures can’t stand the forensic test if we subject them to the forensic test,” the committee declared.
Urhoghide said, ” The money ought to have been paid straight into the accounts, you see one person signing for many people. There is a clear violation of e-payment”
However, the ministry’s permanent secretary, Ms Kachollom Dajua, and other officials were said to have failed to give a convincing explanation to the committee as they argued that due process was followed in paying the participants.

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