Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami (SAN) has advised the police on the fate of embattled former Commander of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Abba Kyari.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Baba, who announced this yesterday, said the police authorities were awaiting the advice of the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) on the probe report.
Baba spoke at the weekly briefing coordinated by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. He said the AGF advised the police to confront Kyari with the findings of the panel that investigated allegations that the embattled IRT commnader received gratification from and fraternised with an Instagram influencer, Abbas Ramon, popularly called Hushpuppi.
The police, he explained, had also submitted the findings to the SGF for vetting and advice.
Hushpuppi, 29, pleaded guilty to money laundering in a United States (U.S.) court on July 29, 2021.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), he contracted Kyari to detain a co-conspirator, Chibuzo Vincent, for threatening to expose the alleged $1.1 million fraud committed against a Qatari businessman.
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The agency also said Hushpuppi paid $20,600 into a bank account provided by Kyari.
When asked for an update on the reported FBI extradition request for Kyari, the IGP said he did not know a formal request but had read of such on social media.
Baba said: “I’ve not heard about it formally, but I have read it on social media that there was an extradition request. I’ve not seen it; I’ve not heard it formally. That is one.
“Two, when this issue of Kyari started, we took our own action by constituting a panel to look at the allegation that was made against the senior officer.
“The allegation was based on receiving gratification and also fraternising with Hushpuppi and his group and even receiving some instructions, and so forth.
“We looked into all these allegations by a committee that was set up and chaired by a DIG (Deputy IGP). We submitted our report to the SGF for vetting and advice on the findings we got from the investigation.
“We’ve just received legal advice from the Office of the Attorney General and we are working on it, on what to do next in terms of asking the officer to account for what we have gathered in the investigation and what we will do next. But as for extradition order, I have not received any, I’ve not heard of any.”
He pledged the assurances of the police to act on the advice of the AGF “to ask Kyari to account for what we have found out”.
Responding to a question on the disappearance of a journalist, Tordue Salem, the IGP said the case had been taken over by the Force Headquarters, under a unit with better capacity to handle it.
Baba also said the police had established the last place where the missing journalist was seen, the last person he met with and the last person he spoke to on phone before his disappearance.
He added that the matter was being given the needed attention.
Canadian Town Builds Mosque To Retain Muslim Doctors
The town of Gander in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, is working with its local Muslim community to establish the town’s first mosque and to retain Muslim doctors.
The town’s mayor, Percy Farwell, and Dr Mohamed Barasi, director of the Central Newfoundland Islamic Community, said Wednesday they hope a mosque will encourage Muslim doctors to stay in the region.
Farwell said there were several internationally-trained Muslim doctors working in Gander, and that in the past, the town has had difficulties convincing them to stay.
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“Doctors are parts of families, and families have needs that go way beyond the professional life of the physician,” Farwell said in an interview. “The rest of the community needs to be part of that.”
Barasi, an orthopaedic surgeon, said his community has been working with the Town of Gander for over a year to establish a mosque.
Working together, they’ve since identified a suitable plot of land, he said.
He said his group is now stuck in the paperwork process of establishing itself as a registered charity so it can begin fundraising to buy the land.
Gander has a population of about 11,600 people and it is home to a busy regional hospital and health centre. Farwell estimated the local Muslim community to be about 55 residents, but he said that figure is closer to 100 if surrounding communities are factored in.
$418m Paris Club Refund: Govs Tackle Malami, Say Action Fraudulent, Self-Serving
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Wednesday described the positions of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on the controversial $418 million Paris Club contractors’ fee as “fraudulent and self-serving.”
The NGF Chairman and governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, disclosed the position of the forum in a communique issued at the end of its meeting, held at the Conference Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Fayemi, while reading the communique to journalists, said the governors had resolved to pursue the issue, which is before the law court, to a logical conclusion so as to know the next steps to take on the matter.
The governors, who insisted that the deductions for the payment of said consultancy were illegal, especially as the matter is before the courts, said Malami was not acting in public interest.
“The forum extensively reviewed the purported attempt by the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Minister of Finance to circumvent the law and a recent judgment of the Supreme Court, to secure the approval of the Federal Executive Council, to effect illegal payment of the sum of $418 million to contractors who allegedly executed consultancies in respect to the Paris Club Refunds to state and local governments.
“The forum set up a committee comprising the Chairman, the governor of Ekiti State, the Vice Chairman, the governor of Ondo State, the governor of Plateau State, the governor of Nasarawa State and the governor of Ebonyi State, to interface with the committee set up by Mr. President to review the matter.
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“But the position of the Governors’ Forum is clear and unequivocal. Although this matter is sub-judice and we are very reluctant to get in the way of a matter that is still being pursued in the courts, we are constrained by the manner in which the Honorable Attorney-General has been going around various media houses and purporting to create the impression that this is a liability to which governors have committed themselves to and agreed to, even though he is very much aware that that’s not the case.
“We reject all of the claims that he has made on these issues and we also insist that states will not give up on insisting that these purported claims are fraudulent and will not stand, as far as governors are concerned, and we will take every constitutional and legal means to ensure that these purported consultancies are fully litigated upon by the highest courts in the land.
“If the courts now find governors and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and states liable, then we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. As far as we are concerned, this is a matter that governors feel very strongly about and we do not believe that the Attorney-General of the Federation is acting in the public interest. We believe he’s acting in personal, selfish interest, that would ultimately become clear when this matter is fully addressed in the law courts,” he said.
The governors, who also deliberated on the prevailing economic and security situation in the country, agreed to intervene by engaging with the federal government and other stakeholders to deliberate, suggest immediate action plans on ameliorate the current situations.
“The Forum extensively discussed the state of the Nigerian economy and security, following a presentation by Mr. Bismarck Rewani, member of the President’s Economic Advisory Council, the Forum resolved to immediately engage with the federal government and other critical stakeholders; Labour, the presidential candidates of political parties, and corporate actors on finding resolutions and suggestions to implement a set of immediate actions to ameliorate the worsening economic conditions in the country”, he said.
On the industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the communique said “on the prolonged strike by Nigerian universities, the forum encourages the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities to find meaningful resolutions to the lingering impasse and as proposed to engage with both parties, just as we have done in the past, in a bid to ending the strike”.
The communique further revealed that the Forum discussed several other issues, ranging from resolve to increase funding for the health care sector to encouraging fiscal transparency in states.
Ex-IBB spokesman, Duro Onabule, dies at 83
Duro Onabule, former Chief Press Secretary of former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, has died at the age of 83.
The veteran journalist reportedly died on Tuesday evening.
A close associate of Onabule’s family, Chief Eric Teniola, broke the news of the foremost journalist’s death, saying, “Chief Duro Onabule died this evening”.
He Onabule was presidential spokesman for the greater part of Babangida nine-year administration when the government shut down many newspapers and magazines and slammed their publishers with temporary proscription to make them comply with the code of conduct set up by the administration.
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He was born in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, on September 27, 1939 and graduated from CMS Grammar School and School of Journalism, London.
He started his first media work as a reporter at the Daily Express in 1961. Three years later, he joined the Daily Sketch and spent some time there before going back to his previous employer, Daily Express.
In 1969, he served as the London correspondent of the Express. In the mid-1970s, he worked for the Daily Times and later became a deputy editor of the Headlines magazine.
Onabule was appointed features editor when the late MKO Abiola started Concord Press and in 1984, he became the editor of Concord newspaper.
He was a columnist at the Sun newspapers until his death.
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