Zamfara State Government has ordered the immediate closure of all boarding schools in the state.
Kano State Government has also closed 10 boarding schools operating in the state for fear of attack and kidnapping by bandits.
The directives came after over 300 students of the Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in the Talata-Mafara Local Government Area of the Zamfar State, were abducted by gunmen on Friday.
In a broadcast on Friday evening, Matawalle extended his sympathy to the families of the abducted girls, while assuring them of the commitment of the state government to ensure their speedy rescue.
“I wish to assure everyone that we are wholly committed to ensuring a speedy rescue of our dear schoolgirls and reuniting them with their families. Since when I received the sad news, I have been making contacts with the security agencies and other relevant individuals and groups towards rescuing these girls,” he said.
The governor also said, “Currently, police helicopters and other search-and-rescue operatives have been deployed to the area. Members of the public, and most especially the parents and guardians, would be kept informed of developments with regard to this all-important mission.
“As a father, I feel the pains of the parents and guardians of the abductees. My heart is with you at this moment and will always be with you throughout the rescue mission. I also want to use this opportunity to appeal to the parents and guardians to exercise more patience and continue to pray for the success of the ongoing rescue mission.
“As we are making efforts to strengthen security around our schools, I have directed the immediate closure of all boarding secondary schools across the state.”
He noted that the period was not the time to “trade blame”, adding that the recent twist in the spate of banditry had necessitated the need for the adoption of a uniform strategy across all affected states.
“Despite this seeming setback, my administration will ever remain focused on its strategy of disarmament. A single bullet in the hands of the non-state rogue elements could result in severe harm to the innocent. I am of the conviction that the large cache of assorted weapons recovered through the disarmament process has made Zamfara state safer, despite the recent unfortunate incidents,” Matawalle said.
He added, “We can only defeat this formidable challenge through a united response. Politics or any other difference should not stand in the way of the fight against insecurity.
“I appeal to the people of the state to remain calm and resist the evil machinations of those who would want to exploit the current situation to achieve political ends. I also call on people to be more security conscious and report any suspicious individual or activity to the relevant authorities.
“While we remain appreciative of the efforts by the federal government in the fight against banditry and other criminal activities in the state, I wish to appeal for more support towards combating this challenge, most especially with the new trend the challenge is assuming.”
Similarly, the Kano State Government has ordered the closure of 10 boarding schools in the state.
The state Commissioner for Education, Muhammad Kiru, said this in an announcement on radio stations in Kano on Friday night.
He said the decision became necessary as a result of the recent abduction of students from boarding schools in neighbouring states.
The closed schools are situated at Ajingi, Sumaila, Jogana, Kafin Maiyaki, Gaya, among other areas.
Kiru advised parents to evacuate their wards from all the affected schools.
Security operatives are currently on the trail of the gunmen in Zamfara, while President Muhammadu Buhari has warned bandits to desist from such attacks.
The abduction in Zamfara comes less than two weeks after bandits abducted students and staff members from Government Science College, Kagara in Niger State. And they are yet to be released.
Auditor General report: 100 govt establishments risk zero allocation
About 100 government establishments, comprising ministries, departments and agencies face the risk of getting zero allocation in the 2023 budget should they fail to respond to the queries raised against them in a report by the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation.
The affected groups, according to Senate President Ahmad Lawan, have one week to respond.
He said this after Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo), raised a point of order during plenary that agencies indicted in the audit report had refused to appear before his panel.
Urhoghide said his committee had invited heads of the affected agencies on several occasions to respond to queries raised in the Auditor-General’s report.
The lawmaker said sections 88 and 89 of the constitution empowered the parliament to summon federal government agencies to account for public funds they had spent.
He lamented that the agencies had refused to appear before his committee, saying the amounts involved were staggering.
He urged the Senate President to issue warrant of arrest to compel the agencies to appear before the Public Accounts Committee.
Responding, the Senate President said, “Reading this list at plenary, it gives the agencies the opportunity to now know, if they were not aware before for those that may claim ignorance.
“I am taking the opportunity to advise that, in the next one week, the agencies mentioned here should appear before the committee. If there is no communication whatsoever and no cogent and verifiable reasons are given, we will slash the budget of the agencies.”
Some of the agencies are Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Ministries of Interior, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Transportation, Health, Works and Housing, Information and Culture, Mines and Steal Development, Police Affairs, Defence, Youths and Sports, Petroleum and Aviation.
Others are State House, Budget Office, Presidential Fleet, Nigerian Army, Navy, Nigerian Air Force, NAFDAC, Civil Defence, Presidential Amnesty Programme, FERMA, NEMA, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Debt Management Office, INEC, North East Development Commission (NEDC), Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA), National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Dept Management Office, National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), National Examination Council (NECO).
Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia returns as high court judge four years after her dismissal
Four years after Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia was dismissed as a judge of the federal high court, the National Judicial Council (NJC) has reinstated her.
Her reinstatement is coming three years after the court had cleared her of corruption preferred against her that led to the dismissal.
This is contained in a December 5 circular sent to all judges of the federal high court.
According to the circular signed by John Tsoho, chief judge of the federal high court, the reinstatement takes immediate effect.
It stated, “Your Lordships are by this circular letter notified that at the meeting of the National Judicial Council held on the 1st of December, 2022, the council reinstated the Hon. Justice R. N. Ofili-Ajumogobia as a judicial officer.
“The reinstatement takes instant effect and there shall be consequential posting.”
The chief registrar of the court as well as the director of library and deputy director of finance and accounts were copied in the memo.
In 2016, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned the judge on charges bordering on money laundering and breach of public trust.
However, Hakeem Oshodi, judge of a Lagos high court, struck out corruption charges against her.
In his ruling in April 2019, Oshodi struck out the 31 counts bordering on alleged perversion of the course of justice, unlawful enrichment and forgery on the grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit.
The charges were filed by the EFCC against Ofili-Ajumogobia and Godwin Obla.
In 2018, the NJC dismissed Ofili-Ajumogobia from the service of the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) on the grounds of alleged judicial misconduct.
Dissatisfied, she instituted a suit before Inyang Ekwo, judge of an Abuja federal high court, challenging the process adopted by the fact-finding committee of the NJC that recommended her dismissal.
She prayed the court to declare her dismissal unconstitutional, null and void.
Hijab circular: MURIC expresses appreciation to Tinubu, Sanwo-Olu
The Lagos State Government earlier this week issued an official circular which formally approved the use of Hijab in all Lagos schools.
Newsbreak.ng reports that this was sequel to the appeal made recently by an Islamic human rights organisation, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), to the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to intervene in the hijab affair in Lagos State.
It would be recalled that last week, MURIC appealed to Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, to wade into the delay in the enforcement of the Supreme Court judgement on hijab in Lagos State schools.
Consequently, MURIC has expressed gratitude to Tinubu, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and others for ‘their role in facilitating’ the issuance of the circular.
The statement signed by MURIC’s Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, partly reads: “MURIC expresses profound appreciation to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for rising to the occasion.
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“We also thank the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for giving the final approval. Both the Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Okunola and the Commissioner of Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, for their constructive engagement which eventually led to the fruitful outcome.
“Equally worthy of mention are those who were involved in high-level diplomatic consultations behind the scene in the past 48 hours towards resolving the impasse. This resulted in treating the matter with military dispatch and the emergence of the circular within 24 hours. We are very grateful to them.
“MURIC congratulates the Muslim lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN), the Lagos Muslim Community and the entire Muslim Ummah who have shared our concerns over the years for the issuance of this historic circular.
“With this new development, MURIC pledges to double its pursuance of the presidential ambition of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as well as the second tenure goal of Governor Sanwo-Olu. We call on all Islamic organisations in the country and all lovers of good governance to join hands with us in ensuring that these two goals become fait accompli.”
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