N700bn recovered through whistleblowers – Finance minister – Newstrends
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N700bn recovered through whistleblowers – Finance minister

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The Federal Government had recovered over N700bn from corrupt individuals since the commencement of the whistle-blower policy in 2016, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said on Tuesday in Abuja.

She spoke during an interview with journalists at the National Conference on Whistle Blower Policy in Nigeria.

She said some of these recoveries were made during the cleaning of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System; stoppage of non-compliance with the Treasury Single Account and violations of the procurement Act 2007 among others.

The minister said at inception of the policy, there was widespread enthusiasm as Nigerians volunteered numerous actionable information.

Such information or tips, she noted, were referred for further investigations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission; Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission; Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit and the Department of State Services.
However, she lamented that after sometime, interest in the implementation of the policy nosedived.

To address these issues, she said a committee with representatives from anti-graft and security agencies, chaired by a representative of the Federal Ministry of Justice, was set up to draft a Whistle Blower Bill.

The committee was set up taking into account all the complaints received from the public and the observations of the various stakeholders.

Also speaking at the event, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the Whistle Blower Policy was developed as a tool to expose corruption and corrupt actors in government.

“The Whistle Blower Policy presents a unique opportunity for men and women of conscience who are appalled by the level of corruption in the society and are looking for safe avenues to expose the perpetrators of such corrupt activities to do so in a way that their identities are protected and their positions in their places of work are secured,” he said.

The Vice President urged the developers of the new Whistle Blower Bill to expand the scope of wrongful acts that might be reported by whistleblowers.

He said, “As a violation of law, gross mismanagement, waste of public resources, or acts inimical to public health or safety should be included in the scope of activities that whistleblowers can report to the authorities.

“The law should also provide for comprehensive protection of whistleblowers, including against reprisals from their employers and those whose activities they expose.

“These may include witness protection type provisions should the whistleblower have to appear in court.”

The VP said the ability of government to deliver on promises in the areas of human capital development, provision of quality infrastructure and the general economic progress of the country depended significantly on the protection of the scarce resources from being looted and its application for the benefit of Nigerian citizens.

He also said the policy should operate widely in states and local governments as they were closer to the people and oversee about half of the nation’s revenues.

Osinbajo said government’s goal was to harness the huge potential of the people to deliver on their moral obligation to report cases of corruption within their immediate environments.

The new whistleblower policy, he insisted, would energise the people to guard their resources through increased exposure of financial and related crimes.

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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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