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Mexicans excited as Biden stops border wall construction

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Mexico has welcomed US President Joe Biden’s order to stop construction of Donald Trump’s wall along the US-Mexican border, as well as his other immigration-linked reforms.

“Mexico welcomes the end of the construction of the wall, the immigration initiative in favor of DACA and a path to dual citizenship,” Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard wrote on Twitter.

He was referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to regularize the immigration status of young people who arrived illegally as children, which Trump tried to shut down.

The Republican sparked anger during his 2016 election campaign when he branded Mexican migrants “rapists” and drug dealers, and vowed to build a wall across the southern US border.

The order to stop work on the hulking steel fence was one of Biden’s first acts after he was sworn in on Wednesday.

The Democrat also plans to send a bill to Congress to revamp immigration policies and give millions of undocumented migrants living inside the country a path to citizenship, according to his aides.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was one of the last high-profile leaders to congratulate Biden on his election victory, saying he wanted to wait until legal disputes were resolved in Trump’s quest to have the result overturned.

Relations between the neighbors have also been strained over the case of a former Mexican defence minister accused by the US of cartel ties.

Lopez Obrador on Wednesday wished Biden success ahead of his inauguration and said that he agreed with his policy priorities, including on the migration issue.

(AFP)

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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.”

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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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Breaking! Adeleke Makes First Appointments As Governor of Osun

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Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke

The newly sworn-in governor of Osun State,Senator Ademola Adeleke has named Mallam Olawale Rasheed as his Chief Press Secretary.

The governor also appointed Alhaji Kazim Olaleye and Teslim Igbalaye as Chief of Staff to the Governor and Secretary to the State Government respectively.

Details later….

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