FG orders fresh probe into diverted N2.6bn school feeding fund – Newstrends
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FG orders fresh probe into diverted N2.6bn school feeding fund

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Sadiya Umar Sodiq

The Federal Government has ordered an investigation into the report of N2.67bn meal subsidy for 104 unity schools allegedly found in private accounts.

The Director, Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Education, Ben Goong, made the announcement in Abuja on Tuesday in a statement titled: ‘ICPC, Education Ministry to collaborate on Unity Schools’ investigation’.

The statement read in part, “Following the report of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission that the sum of N2.67bn released to the 104 Unity Colleges during the COVID-19 lockdown for meal subsidies found its way into individual accounts, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has ordered a full-scale investigation into the matter.

“In response to queries issued by the Federal Ministry of Education, the principals explained that payments on meal subsidies to unity colleges on the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System platform are designed to accommodate individual officers of those colleges who are officially recognised to receive such payments and disburse same to food vendors.

“This followed difficulties encountered by farmers, local food vendors and market women who do not have Tax Identification Numbers, PenCom and other requirements to access the payment platform.”

The statement added that the principals explained that payments made included debts owed food vendors before the COVID-19 lockdown.

It said, “The investigation is to establish the veracity of the claims to ensure that there is no diversion of public funds or misappropriation of same.

“To this end, the ministry in line with the minister’s directive is to collaborate effectively with officials of the ICPC to unearth the facts, as well as find a lasting solution to the payment system for meal subsidies that will ensure accountability and transparency.”

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Vacate Kano now to allow peace, Arewa group tells Bayero

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Aminu Ado Bayero

Vacate Kano now to allow peace, Arewa group tells Bayero

The Arewa Social Contract Initiative on Sunday, May 26, asked the dethroned emir of Kano, Aminu Bayero, to vacate the ancient city quietly for peace to reign.

Bayero, who was dethroned alongside four other first-class emirs following the enactment of a new law, has returned to Kano and is occupying the Gidan Nasarawa palace, while Sanusi is in the main palace, a situation that is causing intense tension.

The national chairman of the Arewa Social Contract Initiative, Alh. Sani Mahmoud Darma, on Sunday, May 26, said the solution to the stalemate over the emirate tussle is for Bayero to vacate Kano.

Darma, who addressed a press conference in Kano, said all the Arewa executives from the 19 northern states had met, critically analyzed the situation, and decided that Bayero was the problem and should leave Kano.

He said: “It is very unfortunate that after his dethronement, Aminu Ado Bayero accepted the decision and packed all his belongings from the palace and left Kano state, then some people from the top brought him back and claimed his lost position.

“If he feels his dethronement was unlawfully done and he wants to reclaim it, he would have stayed somewhere and pursued it through the court. But coming back to Kano and attempting to occupy the palace is a sign that he wants to cause violence and chaos in Kano.”

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He reminded the dethroned emir to look back and recall history and accept that his sack was from God and should leave Kano immediately to avoid bloodshed.

Darma said: “This is unacceptable! It happened to Sanusi and he benefited. When Sanusi was dethroned and he (Bayero) was appointed he accepted everything in good faith and left Kano for Bayero to occupy the palace. Why is he back now that he is the victim? It shows he is still interested in the throne.

“He should congratulate Sanusi and vacate Kano immediately for peace to reign. If he is still interested in the position, he should go and stay in another state while he seeks justice from the court.”

He said the Arewa members are 100 percent strongly behind the new emir (Sanusi), because Governor Abba Yusuf, during his gubernatorial campaign, had promised the Kano people that he was going to bring back Sanusi.

The people were happy and they voted for him. What the governor has done is just a fulfillment of his promise and the people are happy about the governor’s decision because it is a long-awaited thing. So, we are (Arewa) also happy about Sanusi’s reinstatement, because he was victimised.

“What has happened is purely the decision of the State House of Assembly, the governor, the kingmakers, and the people of the state, after the old law was repealed. So, it is purely a state affair. We were even surprised when the issue of court order came about,” he said.

Vacate Kano now to allow peace, Arewa group tells Bayero

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President Tinubu arrives in Lagos for Lagos-Calabar highway flag-off

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President Tinubu arrives in Lagos for Lagos-Calabar highway flag-off

President Bola Tinubu has made a notable arrival in  Lagos to commence the flagging-off ceremony for the construction of the Lagos-Calabar highway. Welcomed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and other government dignitaries at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, President Tinubu’s presence marks a significant step forward in infrastructure development for the region.

The announcement of President Tinubu’s visit was preceded by statements from Olusegun Dada, Tinubu’s Special Assistant on Social Media, who had earlier indicated that the president would inaugurate several projects in commemoration of his first anniversary in office.

Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, had confirmed that Tinubu would initiate the construction of the Lagos-Calabar highway on May 26, emphasizing the administration’s commitment to enhancing transportation infrastructure across the nation.

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During a meeting with a delegation of Yoruba leaders of thought at the State House in  Abuja, President Tinubu reiterated his administration’s dedication to fostering tangible impacts on the lives of Nigerians. He expressed optimism about the country’s trajectory towards prosperity, highlighting the progress made during the past 12 months despite inherent challenges.

President Tinubu’s visit to  Lagos and the subsequent commencement of the Lagos-Calabar highway project underscore the administration’s commitment to accelerating socio-economic development and improving connectivity across regions.

President Tinubu arrives in Lagos for Lagos-Calabar highway flag-off

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FG drags 36 states to S’Court over local govt autonomy

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FG drags 36 states to S’Court over local govt autonomy

The federal government has sued the thirty-six governors before the Supreme Court to ensure the autonomy of the nation’s local governments.

In the suit, marked SC/CV/343/2024, was filed on May 20, by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) on behalf of the federal government.

The federal government is praying the Apex Court for an order prohibiting state governors from unilateral, arbitrary, and unlawful dissolution of democratically elected leaders for local governments.

It also prayed the Supreme Court for an order permitting the funds standing in the credits of local governments to be directly channelled to them from the federation account in line with the provisions of the Constitution as against the alleged unlawful joint accounts created by governors.

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It wanted an order stopping governors from constituting caretaker committees to run the affairs of local governments as against the constitutionally recognized and guaranteed democratic system.

Also, the federal government wants an order of injunction restraining the governors, their agents, and privies from receiving, spending or tampering with funds released from the Federation Account for the benefit of local governments when no democratically elected local government system is put in place in the states.

FG drags 36 states to S’Court over local govt autonomy

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