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PFN defends Kukah, says he spoke truth to power

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The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has defended the Bishop of Sokoto Catholic diocese, Matthew Kukah, on his Christmas message to President Muhammadu Buhari, saying the cleric spoke the truth to power.

Kukah had accused President Buhari of nepotism, adding there could have been a coup if a non-northern Muslim president did a fraction of what Buhari had done.

The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has called for Kukah’s prosecution, describing his comment as a “treasonable felony against the Nigerian state”.

But the PFN President, Felix Omobude, said Kukah should not be made a sacrificial lamb for expressing his views.

He said Kukah “spoke on what is in the minds of most Nigerians and should be commended for voicing out when others kept quiet when things were getting out of control.”

The PFN president, who spoke in Benin, Edo State, on Wednesday, said as a patriot and an advocate of democracy, the bishop could not have called for an overthrow of government.

“I appreciate Bishop Kukah. I don’t think we have interacted one-on-one but if you follow him, you will know that he is down to earth when it has to do with telling the truth,” he said.

He also said, “Bishop Kukah is an advocate of democracy; so, he could not have been calling for the military overthrow of the government. The issues that he raised are very glaring.

“Now, it is only in this country that you can’t talk against the government and go free. What is the dust for? I know that the minister of information is paid for his job but he should be honest enough to face certain truth.

“People call Mr Trump all kinds of names and never has anybody been sued for insulting him but people have been sued in Nigeria for insulting the president.

“So, Bishop Kukah spoke the minds of genuine Nigerians. And any attempt by anybody to impose a section of the nation upon the other is bound to cause chaos.

“Bishop Kukah should be seen as a patriot and not a sacrificial lamb. He is not a hater of government but he is a lover of truth. I stand wholeheartedly on his views.”

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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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