Governor Yahaya Bello will make corruption a taboo in Kogi State – DG Media 

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Governor Ahmed In US To Discuss Investment And Inclusiveness

Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed on Sunday travelled to the United States to join 18 other northern state governors invited by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) for the Northern Nigeria Governors’ Symposium.

According to a statement issued on Sunday by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications to the governor, Dr. Muyideen Akorede, the symposium will hold in Washington DC between October 18 and 21.

The Statement noted that the symposium is designed to address causes of instability in the north and seek opportunities for durable peace and economic development of the region.

It added that the governors will also meet with officials of the U.S government, public agencies and business leaders to discuss Nigeria’s development and project priorities for Northern Nigeria.

Governor Ahmed is expected to advantage of his participation in the symposium to seek investments and partnerships targeted at promoting the growth and development of Kwara State as well as issues surrounding inclusive governance.

A Senior Advisor at USIP, Mr. Johnnie Carson said that boosting economic growth with alternatives such as agriculture to make up for the declining oil revenues will be among discussions at the symposium.

In an article published on USIP website, Mr. Carson added that the symposium will provide an opportunity for sharing of experience and open new thinking and ideas.

After the event, the governors are expected to coordinate with a Senior Working Group of Nigerian civic, business and other leaders to assist with implementing ideas coming out of the symposium.

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Governor Yahaya Bello Flags Off N10bn Road Project

The Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello over the weekend flagged-off road constructions across the three senatorial districts of the state at the cost of over N10 billion naira.

The 18.3 kilometres long road network in Kogi Central include Agassa-Ahache-Upogoro road, Ogaminana-Ebogogo road, Itape-Eika-Kuroko road and Obehira-Ihima-Obangede road in Okene, Adavi and Okehi local government area of the state at the cost of N3. 819 billion naira.

Others are Iyamoye-Jege-Ife-Olukotun-Ponyan-Ejuku-Ijowa Isanlu roads, Ekirin-Ade-Ohun-Ifeolukotun roads all in Kogi West at the cost of N4 billion naira.

While in Kogi East, work is to commence at Ayingba-Umomi-Akpagidigbo-Ugwolawo-Ajaka road, Ankpa township road, Ibana-Okpo road and Ikeje-Ogugu-Ette road at the cost of 2.84 billion naira.

Flagging-off the road in Kogi Central over the weekend, the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Belllo in his address lamented the poor state of infrastructure, particularly road across the three senatorial districts of the state.

According to Bello, the New Direction blueprint of his administration had taken note of the infrastructural decay in health, education and road in the state, adding that frantic efforts would be made to rehabilitate dilapidated infrastructure in the state.

Bello explained that Lokoja, the state capital and other major towns in the state would be given facelift to the standard of 21st century cities.

He particularly expressed the readiness of his administration to complete the ongoing Lokoja township road with modern facilities to make the state capital be able to compete with others across the country.

The governor added that apart from urban roads, his administration would also rehabilitate rural roads and make them motorable to further aid economic development of the state.

According to him, since efforts were on to diversify the nation’s economy with agriculture considered to be alternative to oil, deliberate moves would be made to ensure that farm produces get to market through good road networks.

Also speaking with newsmen at event, the Special Adviser to Kogi state governor on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Arc. Abdulmumuni Okala assured communities in the state that henceforth they will be part of decision making on the types of project to be executed in rural areas.

Okara who spoke against the backdrop of underutilisation of projects by the people living in the rural areas of the state, said gone are the days when government officials sat in the comfort of their offices to decide for communities the type of projects to be provided,

He noted that investigation has revealed that most projects that are completed but not put to use by communities concern was due to lack of involvement of the people in decision taking before the projects are provided.

The Special Adviser also disclosed that governor Yahaya Bello has introduced what is called “end users report, pointing out that SDGs officials have gone round the 21 local government councils with a view to interact with communities on the type of projects they want, adding that by the time they go back to execute the projects, the communities will definitely utilise the project.

“The end users report introduced by the governor will enable the government have a comprehensive report on the projects executed before payment can be made and this will enable the government have check and balance.

“We have gone round the 21 local government council and based on our interaction with the people at the grassroots, we have discovered the type of project they needed which varies from one community to another, while some are in need of road, others declared interest in having hospital, water among others and by the time we go back to establish the projects, the communities were already involved and they will put such projects in use because they need such projects” Okala noted.

On the MDGs projects that had been paid for by the immediate past administration, but not completed, the Special Adviser declared that the contractors who handled such projects will be called back to site to complete the project.

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Governor Wike Allegedly Helped Judge To Move $2million Stashed In His Home

The Department of State Security Service may have accused Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike of helping a Federal Court judge to move $2million found in the home of the judge as part of efforts to frustrate the sting operation put up by the Nigerian secret police.

Speaking to journalists at a news conference at the DSS headquarters in Abuja on Saturday, Garba Abdullahi, an agent of the service, said the judge, with the active support of the governor craftily moved the money to an unknown location

Although he did not directly name the governor, earlier reports indicated that governor Nyesom in the early hours of Saturday prevented the DSS operative from searching the house of the judge in Portharcourt.

Gov. Wike sprang up late night to obstruct the arrest of Justice Abdullahi Liman in Port Harcourt, but security sources claimed that he left when confronted by Police and DSS agents who threatened to shoot him.

He is also said to have protected Justice Uche Nma Agomoh, from the arrest by the DSS. she is accused of possessing documents relating to bribery of judges.

“In one of the states where the service operations were conducted, credible intelligence revealed that the judge had $2m stashed in his house,” Abdullahi said.

“When he was approached for due search to be conducted, he, in concert with the state governor, mobilised thugs against the service team. The team restrained itself in the face of unbridled provocative activities by those brought in by the governor. Unfortunately, the judge and the governor also engaged the tacit support of a sister security agency.

He also did not name the sister security organisation, but SaharaReporters said the Police bungled some of the raids by tipping off their targets.

Continuing, Abdullahi said “the service surveillance team noticed that upon frustrating the operation, the judge, with the active support of the governor craftily moved the money to an unknown location, which the service is currently making effort to unravel.”

Governor Wike is said to have bribed judges involved in election petition in River state. Two of the judges, Justices John Inyang Okoro And Sylvanus Ngwuta of the Supreme Court who has since been arrested by the DSS allegedly benefited from a bribe money from Governor Wike. Ngwuta reportedly traveled to Qatar to pick up bribes that he shared with some others.

The DSS also arrested some other judges on the allegation of corruption and professional misconduct.

While Justice Muazu Pindiga was arrested in Gombe and currently penning his statement regarding his role in the Rivers election tribunal bribery, Justice Adeniyi Ademola was arrested with at least N300million found in different local and foreign currencies in his bedroom. He was said to have claimed not to be home, but his cellphone signal gave him away.

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Police, SSS Operatives Reportedly Manhandles Governor Wike As Arrest Of Judges Continues

Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike was reportedly manhandled by operatives of the Nigerian Police and the State Security Service in Portharcourt for attempting to prevent them from arresting a judge.

The DSS had gone berserk with a clampdown on judges across the country.

Multiple sources said the clampdown began in Gombe State where the SSS arrested Muazu Pindigi who served on the elections tribunal in Rivers State.

The operation continued in Abuja on Friday night into early Saturday morning.

In Abuja, the SSS stormed the the home Nnamdi Dimgba and Adeniyi Ademola, both of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, in their official residences located inside Apo Legislative Quarters, Abuja.

Mr. Ademola was later arrested in the early hours of Saturday while Mr. Dimgba’s brother was assaulted by the operatives.

Both judges are neighbours on Samuel Ogbemudia street of the Apo quarters.

The official quarters of Walter Onoghen, who was recently recommended to President Buhari as the next Chief Justice of Nigeria, and Sylvester Ngwuta also of the Supreme Court were besieged by the SSS for several hours overnight.

In Rivers state, the officers reportedly stormed the home of the judge, whose identity Mr. Wike withheld, at 35, Forces Avenue, Port-Harcourt, the state capital.

A statement by Mr. Wike’s spokesman, Oraye Francis, said the operation was led by the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Francis Odesanya, and the Director of SSS, Tosin Ajayi.

The operatives, “rough-handled Governor Wike, pushing him around and injuring his hand,” Mr. Francis said. “A few of the operatives cocked their rifles and threatened to shoot the Governor.”

No reason has been officially given by the SSS for Saturday’s raids and the agency currently has no spokesperson.

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Kogi: Governor Bello Sets Up Judicial Commission of Inquiry To Retrieve Stolen Public Funds

The Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, today inaugurated a seven-man Judicial Commission of Inquiry to “probe, investigate, and recover misappropriated public funds, lost or diverted government properties, failed contracts and the existence of ghost workers by previous administrations in the state, between 29th May, 2003 and 27th January, 2016.

According to a press statement by the Secretary to the Government of Kogi State, Dr. (Mrs.) Ayode Folashade Arike, the Governor’s decision was in fulfilment of his promise to “clampdown on corruption and bring perpetrators to book.” This, the statement reads, is in exercise of the powers conferred him by Section 2 of the Commission of Inquiry Law Cap 25 of the Laws of Northern Nigeria 1963 (as applicable to Kogi State), and other relevant laws enabling thereto.

The Commissioners approved to by the Governor to act on the Commission are:

1. Justice Wada Umar Rano – Chairman

2. Dr. Mohammed Aboki

3. Barr. Ameh Franklin Adejoh

4. Prof. Angela O. Okatahi

5. Chief J.O. Ajewole

6. Maj. Gen. H.G. Aminu (rtd)

7. Mrs Fatima Ojochenemi Audu

The statement also confirmed the appointment of Barr. Ajinomoh Pemida as Secretary to the Commission, while J.B. Dauda will serve as Counsel to the Commission.

The Commission’s terms of reference include:

1.    Collating a comprehensive and updated list of contracts awarded by previous administrations in Kogi State between the period under review

2.    The names of companies of all companies and business names involved in the above specified contracts awarded and their company directors and/or proprietors and owners

3.    The personal names of companies of all contractors, either local or expatriates, involved in all contracts awarded by previous administrations between the period under review and their business addresses both within Nigeria and abroad.

4.    Determine whether contracts awarded by Kogi State Government between the period under review to individuals or corporate organisations were in accordance with due process, and/or were in accordance with contract agreement.

5.    The contract sum of each project, the amount actually paid to the contractor, and the percentage of work done. Identify where contracts were executed contrary to agreement as a result of which government lost money, recover such money and make appropriate recommendations for such case.

The Commission has 12 weeks to complete its assignment.

In his speech at the inauguration, Governor Bello charged the Commissioners to be fair and incorruptible. He asked them to maintain their integrity and fearlessness throughout the assignment. The Governor compared Kogi State’s history and development to Dubai’s, concluding that the state has been underserved.

“Kogi State was created on 27th August, 1991 – a little over 25 years ago. 25 years ago, Dubai was a desert settlement in the middle of nowhere. Today, Dubai is a global megalopolis hosting some of the most advanced man-made technology and infrastructure on Planet Earth. Kogi State, on the other hand, still ranks low on the global development map, along with the rest of Nigeria,” he said.

“Dubai did not start out with significantly more resources than Kogi State, except perhaps the honesty and patriotism of their human resources. While the leaders of Dubai got creative about changing their society for good, ours became exponentially proficient in short-changing their people in the worst ways possible.

“In this time and age, it is unbelievable that we are still grappling with lack of every conceivable public infrastructure, unpaid salaries, benefits, pensions, gratuities, unpaid contractors, unfunded projects, inability to meet counterpart funding obligations to Development and other partners, to mention but a few.

“That conclusion would be a total fallacy, for the simple reason that our previous leaders did not account properly for the money that we did get.  While I am not saying that our state has made or received all the money she needs, I make bold to insist that our problem is not the LACK of money, but the THEFT of money. If what we did make or receive were used better this past 13 years, we would not have the current socioeconomic disaster on our hands.

“We too must put our dirty linen out in the public, albeit in a controlled environment like the scrutiny of a Commission such as this one, subject it to cycles of cleansing in the washing machine of truth and bring out the stronger fabrics and brighter colors of a thriving society.

“I pray for wisdom, knowledge and understanding from Almighty God to rest on the Chairman, My Lord, Honorable Justice Wada Umar Rano (RTD) and on each member of this Commission of Inquiry and to make them both fearless and forthright in the performance of their duties.”

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Keep Faith In Buhari, Kogi Governor Urges Nigerians

Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has urged Nigerians to keep faith with the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari as the Nigerian leader has the capacity to navigate the ship of the nation out of the current recession occasioned by the years of locust and financial recklessness and malfeasance of past administrations.

Bello made this known through a press statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Petra Akinti Onyegbule. He said the nation must bond together and take tough decisions to ensure economic rediscovery.

The Governor said it is imperative for Nigerians “to seize the current economic situation to reinvent the glory of the nation and work with their leaders to fix the economic challenges”.

He said, “The benefit of having a credible leader at this critical moment is key to taking the nation off the tray of recession. President Muhammadu Buhari’s integrity is paramount to the drive to make the nation more dependent on agriculture. We must strengthen the capacity of agriculture to take centre-stage in our economy.

“Kogi State has shown a New Direction in economic development. Agriculture is our key to unlocking the limitless edaphic potentials of our state. More youth and women are now embracing agriculture, and in the next few years, Kogi State has the potential of becoming the food centre of the nation.

“Let me use this opportunity to urge the international business community to invest heavily in the agricultural sector of Nigeria. What the nation was spending on food importation is unacceptable, and today, we are paying the price for our inability to think outside the box that is oil.

“In all of these, Buhari remains the good news. His Economic Team possess the capacity to breathe life back into our economy. His fight against corruption and renewed efforts that have brought peace to North Eastern Nigeria have combined to rekindle the hope of the global community in what the nation is doing to be great again.”

Governor Bello said the economic recession would soon become a thing of the past, urging Nigerians to become change agents by ensuring the change we seek involves and begins with each and every one of us.

“More than ever, we need to be united and supportive of government. We need fiscal discipline and proper prioritizing of projects and programs of government. We must move forward with unity and a renewed determination to reclaim our nation from over-dependence on crude oil,” he said.

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APGA Crisis: Anambra Governor, Obiano May Join APC

There were indications that the Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, might review his membership of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), following the crisis rocking the party.

The National Working Committee of the party on Thursday suspended the National Chairman of the party, Victor Oye, thus cracking the the party.

Punch reports that a member of the NWC, who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that plea by Obiano to stop Oye’suspension fell on deaf ears.

“The governor was calling us to stop the suspension, but nobody listened to him. Now what we are hearing is that the governor may join the APC to realize his re-election next year. If that happens, you know what that means to our party. Obiano is the only governor we have in APGA”.

APGA National Working Committee had suspended Oye, for what it called gross misconduct.

Rising from its monthly meeting in Abuja, the NWC said the suspension of the national chairman was in line with the provisions of the party’s constitution, following alleged constitutional breaches and inordinate practices of the chairman and other national officers.

The Deputy National Secretary of the party, Jerry Obasi, said the suspension was necessary in order to save the party.

When contacted on the telephone, a Senior Special Assistant to Governor Obiano on Media, Mr. Emeka Ozumba, said he would not make any comment.

“It’s an APGA thing. We don’t engage on speculation. The governor is busy trying to realise his stimulus package on recession for the people of the state.

“He signed several memoranda of understanding today. The issue you raised is not an issue the governor would like to react to.

“Try and get APGA reaction on the matter, and leave the governor out of it. It’s APGA thing,” Ozumba stated.

When contacted on the telephone, the APGA chairman in the state, Sir Nobert Obi, said he would not want to comment on the issue now.

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Governor Bello Has Started Infrastructural Revolution In Kogi – Aide 

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Governor Yahaya Bello Reiterates Commitment To Fight Corruption

Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has reiterated the commitment of his administration to make anti-corruption a “governance culture” in the State.

The Governor who stated this through a press statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Petra Akinti Onyegbule, said his administration will enthrone a systemic devaluation of corruption in the State.

Governor Bello carpeted corrupt leaders as “anti-people and anti-development”, calling on the people of the State to key into the anti-corruption drive of his administration.

“We are prepared to lead by example. Our government is putting in place institutional framework that will make corruption a sociological leprosy. We have given government officials our blueprint as our social contract with the people of Kogi State.

“An indispensable pillar of our New Direction Agenda is good governance. Good governance is about Synergy between our government and our people to do things right and govern with probity, accountability and transparency. We must always strive to achieve development.

“My administration will not only fight corruption in the system, but also in the minds of the citizens, in the minds of school children. I have directed the Ministry of Education to ensure we have anti-corruption clubs in our schools.

“Corruption is a thing of the mind. We must change our orientation against ill-gotten wealth. Our society must stop honouring those who steal monies meant for road constructions, drugs in our public health institutions and quality education in our schools”.

The Governor warns public office holders to refrain from yielding to the temptation of corruption, saying his administration will not only expose corrupt officials, but also ensure they are prosecuted.

He said it has become necessary to probe into why contracts failed in the State, saying any contractor who had been paid must return to sites to complete their jobs.

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Blogger Arrested Allegedly On The Orders Of Katsina Governor Remanded In Prison

A Katsina state blogger, Jamil Mabai was arrested allegedly on the orders of the Katsina State governor, Aminu Masari, has been remanded imprison custody.

A Katsina magistrate court remanded Mubai in prison for inciting public disturbance and causing disaffection to government.

Abusidiqu had reported Wednesday that the blogger was arrested for criticising the decision of the governor to purchase 3000 coffins and distributing them to mosques in the State.

SEE [Another Blogger Arrested For Criticising Katsina Governor’s Purchase Of Coffins For Mosques]

The blogger frowned at the rationale behind such venture when salaries of civil servants in the state are yet to be paid.

The prosecuting police officer Isa Liti told the court that Mabai actions are contrary to section 416 of the penal code. He applied for time to enable him prepare his prosecution properly.

In his defence, lawyer to the accused Sada Abdullahi argued that his client was not properly arraigned and as such, sought for relief for his client.

In his rulling, the presiding Judge Abdul El-Ladan adjourned the matter to Monday 26th August for continuation.

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Supreme Court Upholds Election Of Yahaya Bello As Kogi Governor

The Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed the election of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

The seven-man panel headed by Justice Sylvester Ngwata affirmed the election after listening to the closing statements of all the counsel.

The court in a unanimous judgement dismissed the appeal filed by Hon. James Faleke, the deputy to Late Abubakar Audu, candidate of the APC aand Captain Idris Wada of the PGP.

The court said it will give reasons for its judgement on September 30, 2016

The election petition tribunal of the state and the court of appeal had dismissed their petitions against the governor for lacking in merit.

The All Progressives Congress substituted Bello as its governorship candidate and retained Faleke as its deputy governorship candidate after Audu died at the conclusion of the first round of the election held on November 21.

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