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Buhari orders ICPC to sanction corrupt civil servants

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday ordered the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to take actions against heads of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies MDAs and other personnel  involved in project racketeering,  budget, and payroll  padding  as well as  ”ghost workers retention.”

Buhari said that ICPC investigations had opened the government’s eyes to situations where some MDAs present new projects as ongoing, thereby circumventing his administration’s plan to cut down on the cost of governance.

He spoke at the opening of the 3rd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector in Abuja. The theme of the summit was: “Corruption and Cost of Governance: New Imperatives for Fiscal Transparency.”  

His words: “Necessary action and sanctions should be taken against the heads of such errant MDAs. I am confident that ICPC will continue to maintain the vigilance required of her by the ICPC Act in this regard.

“We reduced the cost of governance by maintaining our promise to complete abandoned or ongoing projects commenced by previous administrations and have ensured that MDAs do not put forward new capital projects at the expense of ongoing projects.

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“Government has, however, noted from the activities of the ICPC that some MDAs have devised the fraudulent practice of presenting new projects as ongoing projects.

“I am however delighted that the Legislative and Judicial arms of government are also under focus on managing the cost of government because the government is collective and is not the business of the Executive branch alone.”

The President said he was delighted that some public officers have continued not only to demonstrate the core values of ethics, integrity, and patriotism but have been identified for their sterling anti-corruption disposition in their workplace.

The high point of the event attended by Chief Justice of Nigeria Ibrahim Muhammad was the presentation of the 2021 Public Service Integrity Awards to three Nigerians.

They are Nelson Okoronkwo, deputy director (Legal) Federal Ministry of Information and Culture; Muhammad Ahmad, assistant commander of Narcotics, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and Ikenna Nweke, a doctoral student in Japan.

Okoronkwo was recognised for his consistent acts of integrity in the different ministries where he served.

As Chairman of the committee on Illegal Recruitment in the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, he facilitated the detection and removal of over 3, 000 fake employers from the service thereby saving the government millions of naira in terms of salaries and emoluments.

Okonkwo was also credited to have reported corrupt practices that led to the Ogoni cleanup investigation in the Federal Ministry Environment.

Ahmad was recognised for demonstrating the highest ideals and standards of public service in the discharge of his responsibilities.

A recipient of the Chairman/Chief Executive Award for Outstanding Performance and Integrity, Ahmad recently recovered and declared to his agency $24,500 offered to him as a bribe by a drug baron.

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Nweke found a wallet containing a very large amount of money and other valuables and handed it over to the Japanese police.

He declined 10 per cent of the money offered to him as a reward.

The Nigerian, who joined the event virtually from his base in Japan, was recognised for his act of “honesty and integrity.”

Speaking specifically on Nweke, Buhari said:”I am also happy to note the ICPC special award to Ikenna Steve Nweke, a Nigerian Ph.D. student from Imo State studying in Japan.

“He has done Nigeria proud in far-away Japan by displaying traditional Nigerian values of honesty and integrity and returning a wallet containing a very large sum of money and other valuables to the police.

“He also declined 10% of the money found as a reward offered to him.

“He is indeed an icon and a beacon for our youths. I also congratulate all those to be awarded the ICPC Certificate of Integrity through their agencies.”

The Nation

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Lagos corporal beats up senior officer over traffic

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Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin

There was a mild drama on Saturday at the Simbiat Abiola Way, Ikeja, Lagos State, as a police corporal assaulted his superior during an argument.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the yet-to-be-identified corporal had confronted the superior officer, who was identified as Supol Edgar, for allegedly causing traffic at the junction linking the Awolowo Way.

This led to an argument, as the corporal punched Edgar.

Our correspondent learnt that the policeman did not know Edgar was a police officer who resided in a barracks close to the scene.

During the confrontation, Edgar reportedly reached out to his colleagues in the barracks, who stormed out and bundled the policeman into their premises.

Our correspondent, who was at the scene of the incident, observed as the corporal was forcefully dragged into the police barracks.

An eyewitness, who identified himself only as Stanley for security reasons, said the problem was caused by a tricycle rider, who tried to navigate through some vehicles at the junction.

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He said, “The Supol tried to caution a tricycle rider who tried to make his way past some vehicles and that led to the traffic jam. But when the corporal saw what was happening, he angrily rushed out of his car to confront him for causing a delay. That was how the argument started between them and even when the senior officer was telling him that he was also a police officer, he did not hear him out, as he kept on slapping and punching him. That was when the Supol called someone in the barracks and they came to carry him.”

A traffic warden, who was at the spot and begged not to be identified because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, said the officer did not reveal his identity on time before the matter escalated.

He said, “I was controlling traffic when I saw a man arguing with someone in the tricycle. I approached him to know what was happening but he refused to answer me. I left him to continue what I was doing. It was later that I saw that traffic had started building up and by the time I went back to check what caused it, I saw both of them dragging each other.”

Our correspondent also observed that before the corporal was taken into the barracks, he was stripped of his clothes and asked to kneel, while other senior officers in the barracks gathered around him.

Edgar threatened to lock him up at the Area F Police Command.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, said he was not aware of the incident.

He promised to respond after making enquiries. He had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.

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Just In: Bandits kill three, abduct scores in Taraba

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Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba

Bandits on Sunday night attacked and killed three persons while scores were reportedly abducted by the attackers in Bali town, the headquarters of Bali Local Government Area of Taraba State.

Several sources in Bali told our correspondent on the phone that the attackers who rode on motorcycles attacked and killed personnel of Taraba Marshall at a checkpoint near General Hospital before proceeding to individual houses to kill and abduct people.

The Tiv central leader and Chief of Tiv in Bali, Zaki David Gbaa (Ter Tiv Bali II) told our correspondent that two of his subjects were killed and scores, mostly women, were abducted in the attack.

“The attackers invaded the town at about 11: pm. Two of my subjects were killed in the attack, and two others who were badly injured are receiving treatment in the hospital.

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“Many people, especially women, were abducted. It’s a terrible situation and I want to call on the government and security agencies to sit up and ensure the protection of the lives and property of citizens.

“For over four hours, the bandits held the town shooting sporadically and there was no response from security agencies. People are losing hope of the government’s ability to protect them and I think the bandits are no more than our security agencies,” he said.

This is even as the traditional ruler called on the government to support the injured who are receiving treatment in hospitals.

The attack came barely three days after bandits blocked the Mutum-Biyu- Garba Chede road killing a driver and abducting passengers in the neighbouring Gassol Local Government area of the state.

Efforts to get the Police to react to the attack failed as the Taraba State Police Public Relations Officer, Abdullahi Usman, did not pick up calls made to his line.

But a police officer in the Taraba State Police Command told our correspondent that the PPRO was attending a security briefing.

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NAF Fighter Jet Kills Banditry Kingpin, Followers In Katsina

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A notorious banditry kingpin, Abdulkareem Lawal alias Faca-faca, and many of his followers have been killed in airstrikes by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets on some bandits’ enclaves in Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State.

Our correspondent learnt that the raids were carried out in the evening.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Gambo Isah, confirmed on Sunday that eight suspected bandits including Faca-faca were killed during the raid.

 He also said the police Saturday night raided a terrorists’ hideout at Unguwar Dako, Tandama village in Danja Local Government Area of the state where they rescued six kidnapped victims. 

Isah gave the names of the rescued victims as Alhaji Garba DanMallam, 52; Rabiu Idris, 45; and Abba Samaila, 38, who are all residents of Unguwar Nuhu. 

Others are Yunusa Sani, 54; Ishaq Yakub, 40; and Danjuma Samaila, 45, all residents of Layin Sani village, Kafur. 

Meanwhile, bandits have killed two members of a local vigilante group and abducted a newlywed couple and other residents of Shola Quarters in the Katsina metropolis. 

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Residents said the bandits invaded the area around 1:25am and operated for over an hour. 

One of the sources said, “It was the vigilante members that even confronted the bandits but in the process, two of them were killed and two others wounded.” 

He explained that the vigilante members had to retreat for their safety when the bandits overpowered them. 

He said it was later that one body was retrieved while one of the injured persons rushed to the hospital died. 

Explaining how the newlywed couple was kidnapped, a relative, Usman Masanawa, said the husband, Yusuf Bishir, called to inform him of the attack but there was nothing he could do.

“We went there this morning; the bandits did not even enter the house through the entrance gate but they smashed the wall and got access into the house,” Masanawa said. 

He added that the number of residents abducted could not be ascertained but other residents said some houses were attacked and people abducted. 

When contacted, the PPRO who responded via WhatsApp message, said officers were on an operation (on the matter) and would communicate details later. 

In another attack, bandits abducted 13 people from Natsinta village, in Jibia Local Government Area, which is a few hundred metres from the army barracks in Katsina. 

A resident, whose uncle and two of his children were abducted, said the bandits had earlier abducted 26 people but when they got to where they parked their motorcycles, they took 13 with them and left the others.

DAILY TRUST

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