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EFCC declares ex-governor Bello wanted, may use military to effect arrest

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Apparently piqued by their inability to arrest the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has declared him wanted.

The Antigraft agency in a Statement said, “Former Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, is wanted by the EFCC for offences relating to economic and financial crimes to the tune of N80.2 Billion.

“Anybody with information as to his whereabout should report immediately to the Commission or the nearest Police station.”

The commission indicated it may be forced to use the military option to effect the arrest Mr. Yahaya Bello,  after it failed to effect the arrest on Wednesday when the antigraft agency barricaded his Abuja home even as a Federal High Court, Abuja, ordered that a warrant be issued to it for his immediate arrest.

A Federal High Court was Thursday forced to adjourn to April 23 over the absence of Bello in court. At the resumed sitting, Counsel for the EFCC, Kemi Pinhero, told the court he was absent for his arraignment because he was being protected by someone with immunity.

He said the former governor was whisked out of his Abuja residence by the same person with immunity, adding that EFCC might seek the help of the military to fish him out.

It is alleged that the sitting governor, Ibrahim Usman Ododo, used his security cover to ferret Bello out of his (Bello’s) residence when the commission’s operatives cordoned off and trapped him in his Abuja residence on Wednesday.

Operatives of the anti-graft agency had laid siege to the Wuse Zone 4 residence of the former Kogi governor for most part of Wednesday.

The EFCC had cordoned off the road and entrance to Bello’s residence in an attempt to have him arrested and arraigned for corruption charges on Thursday.

As the EFCC operatives surrounded the ex-governor’s residence, his successor Ododo arrived amid cheers from the supporters of Bello who had gathered to support their embattled principal.

The Kogi State governor after a while left the premises of his predecessor, with the anti-graft agency confirming that he took Bello along with him.

There was conflicting court orders over the arrest of Bello on Wednesday.

One of the rulings, which came from a Kogi State High Court sitting in Lokoja, restrained the EFCC from arresting, detaining or prosecuting Bello.

Justice I.A Jamil, who gave the order in a two-hour ruling on Wednesday, said that infringing on the fundamental human rights of the former Kogi Governor is null and void except as authorised by the Court.

“By this order, the EFCC is hereby restrained from arresting, detaining and prosecuting the applicant except as authorised by the Court.

“This is a definite order following the earlier interim injunction given,” he said.

The EFCC, however,  obtained permission from the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to arrest the ex-Kogi State governor in preparation to his arraignment on Thursday.

Justice Emeka Nwite granted the warrant at the instance of the EFCC.

Bello served as the governor of the North Central state from January 27, 2016 to January 27, 2024, when he handed over to his fellow party man in the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Justice Emeka Nwite, in a ruling on EFCC’s ex-parte motion, held that after listening to the submission of commission’s counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, and reading the affidavit in support of the motion, including the exhibits and written address, he was inclined to grant the application.

Justice Nwite also directed that the former governor be produced before the court on April 18 for arraignment.

“It is hereby ordered as follows:

“That an order of this honourable court is hereby made directing and/or issuing a warrant for the immediate arrest of the defendant for the purpose of bringing him before this honourable court for arraignment.

“That case is adjourned to 18th day of April, 2024 for arraignment,” he declared.

EFCC, in the motion ex-parte marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/98/2024 dated April 16 and filed April 17, sought six orders.

These include “an order granting leave to the complainant/applicant to effect service of the charge together with the proof of evidence on the defendant by substituted means to wit; by pasting the charge at the last known address of the defendant within the jurisdiction of this honourable court being: 9, Benghazi Street, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja.

“An order directing and/or issuing an arrest warrant for the immediate arrest of the defendant for the purpose of bringing him before this honourable court for arraignment.”

In the alternative, the anti-graft agency sought an order issuing and directing the publishing of a public summons requiring/ commanding the defendant to appear before the court on a named date, among others.

Following the conflicting orders, the EFCC had appealed against the initial order, and the appeal was scheduled for hearing on April 22 in Appeal No: CA/ABJ/CV/175/2024 between EFCC and Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

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FCT News

Group denounces attack on Military, says it can trigger Anarchy, Unrest

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A Civil–Military Cooperation (CIMICO) group has condemned the incessant attacks on the military and security forces as dastardly and condemnable trend capable of triggering anarchy, unrest in the country.
A viral video seen trending in the social media had shown a multitude of civilians overpowering some soldiers during a free-for-all at Banex.
The FCT Police Command, in a statement by its spokesperson, Josephine Adeh, later said the police had restored peace in the affected area, adding that a buyer had gone with four soldiers to demand a refund after the purchased phone developed faults, which the shop owner resisted.
The action resulted in a confrontation and squabble with the military officer. This development led some irate youths to attack the military officer which led to an uproar in the environs.

At a press conference on Thursday in Abuja, the group stated that the attack, especially the one witnessed recently at Banex Plaza, Abuja, is not just an attack on individual soldiers, but an affront to the collective sensibility of the Nigerian State.
Speaking on the topic: “Incessant attacks on Nigerian Military and security forces: a dastard and condemnable trend that can trigger anarchy, unrest and national security distabilization,” the Chairperson of Conference of Civil Societies Coordinator Civil-Military Cooperation, Adams Otakwu, called for a respectful and cooperative stance towards the military personnel to prevent unintended military responses.

He said: “The Nigerian Civil Society roundly condemns the infamous trend of attacks on our military and security forces by civilians as witnessed recently at Banex Plaza, Abuja.

“This incident is not just an attack on individual soldiers, but an affront to our collective sensibility and the Nigerian State, because the military is an institution that embodies our collective strength, unity and resilience. Any assault on the military is an assault on the very fabric of our Nation, that can trigger anarchy, unrest and national security destabilization.

“Before we forget, the experiences of Udi, Zaki-biam, and the recent Okuoma community in Delta State, were widely reckoned as unpleasant, and underscore the necessity of maintaining a respectful and cooperative stance towards our military personnel to prevent unintended military responses.

“This accounts for our intensified efforts to galvanize Civil-Military Cooperation across the country in the bid to foster good relationship between the civilian populace and our military forces.

“We urge all citizens to remember that the military exists to protect and serve the Nigerian people, hence fostering a harmonious relationship with them is crucial for our collective security and progress.

“It is pertinent to state that the current leadership of the Armed Forces has shown commendable dedication to promoting this relationship as evidenced by the establishment of Civil-Military Cooperation Departments and Human Rights Desks across various services of the Armed Forces.

“These initiatives are designed to entertain civilian complaints, and mitigate potential conflicts between military personnel and civilians, a reflection of how democratically compliant our military has evolved in upholding human rights and fostering mutual respect.

“Again, we reiterate that that the military is our collective institution, and any assault on it is an assault on the Nigerian people. It is essential to recognize that the military is not biased towards any tribe, religion, or region. Nations like France, Germany, Egypt, the UK, and the US have demonstrated this understanding and emerged stronger and more resilient.

“Let us draw inspiration from these examples and work together with our armed forces in the overall interest of National Security and Development.”

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FCT News

FCT minister for State urges for investment in intellectual development 

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The need for investment in the intellectual development of staff for the growth and development of the Federal Capital Territory has been canvassed by the Minister of State, Dr. Mariya Mamoud.
The Minister made the call at the maiden edition of the FCTA book exhibition organised by the Department of Reform Coordination and Service Improvement (RC&SI).
A statement by the special adviser Austine Elemue quoted
Mahmoud to have identified books as windows to the world, offering insights, knowledge, and perspectives that transcend boundaries and time, stressing that the importance of continuous learning cannot be overstated.

The Minister who was represented by the permanent secretary, Social Development Secretariat, Hajia Asma’u Mukhtar, called on the staff to equip themselves with the necessary tools and knowledge to navigate the complex challenges of the present situation and to enhance the value proposition to provide the needed services to the residents of the FCT.

“This book exhibition serves as a testament to our commitment to fostering a culture of learning and growth within our administrative framework.

“It is a reflection of our belief that investing in the intellectual development of our staff is not just a noble endeavor but a strategic imperative.

“The diverse array of books on display covers a wide spectrum of subjects ranging from public administration and governance to urban planning, sustainability, economics, and beyond.

“Each volume holds within its pages the potential to inspire, educate, and empower us to become better leaders, decision-makers, and agents of positive change,” she affirmed.

Speaking in the same vein, FCT Head of Service, Dr. Samuel Attang, said books have always been a cornerstone of knowledge and wisdom, and their role in shaping minds and societies is unparalleled. 

Represented by the Permanent Secretary Women Affairs, Mr. Adetoyi Rabiu Kolawale, the Head of Service said the theme of the exhibition; “Enhancing Intellectual Capacity for Effective Service Delivery” underscores the critical link between knowledge and performance.

According to him; “As public servants, educators, and community leaders, we understand that the quality of our service delivery is directly proportional to the depth of our understanding and the breadth of our skills.

“Intellectual capacity is not merely about acquiring information; it is about nurturing the ability to think critically, solve problems creatively, and make informed decisions that benefit our communities”.

He used the occasion to applaud the good leadership of the Minister of FCT, Barrister Nyesom Wike, and the Minister of State, Dr. Mariya Mahmoud for their developmental stride to make FCT a heaven on earth. 

Earlier, the Ag. Director of Reform Coordination and Service Improvements, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, stressed that the exhibition was to enhance the professional capabilities of civil servants in line with the 6th Pillar of the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan 2021-2025 (FCSSIP25).

She emphasised that by investing in intellectual development, civil servants would not only enrich themselves, but also enhance their value proposition as individuals and as an organization. 

In her words; “By embracing life long learning, we equip ourselves with the tools necessary to navigate the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie ahead”.

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FCT News

FCTA pays out N6.3b March statutory allocation to Area Councils, Stakeholders

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has paid out the sum of N6,316,621,045.37 to the six area councils and other stakeholders as statutory allocation for the month of March, 2024.

Special Adviser on Media To FCT Minister of State, Austine Elemue in a statement indicated that the March allocation is said to be 40 percent higher than the N3,938,092,102.92 paid out in the month of February, 2024.

According to the Statement the 188th Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC), meeting was presided over by FCT Minister of State, Dr. Mariya Mahmoud, who expressed satisfaction with the 40% increase.

She, urged the Area Council Authorities to carryout meaningful projects to justify the monthly allocation

“The allocation to the area councils as its stands today goes beyond payment of staff salaries. It is, therefore, expedient and instructive for the chairmen to carryout people orientated projects to justify the resources that goes to the councils”.

Thebbreakdown analyses of the figures released during the JAAC meeting indicated that the sum of N3,814,043,951.50 was made available for disbursement to the six area councils, while the sum of N2,502,577,093.87 was made available to other stakeholders, bringing the total sum to N6,316,621,045.37.

Similarly, distributions to the six area councils shows that the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), received N796,985,326.39, while Gwagwalada got N606,666,131.20 and Kuje received N635,903,823.41.

Other area councils which includede, Bwari Area Council received N598,406,880.71, Abaji got N564,901,838.77 while Kwali received N611,179,951.02, bringing the total sum to N3,814,043,951.50 disbursed to the six area councils.

On the other hand, distribution to other critical stakeholders included Primary School Teachers which gulped N2,115,855,089.92, 15 percent Pension Funds took N226,478,989.57, One percent Training Fund gulped N52,394,108.75, while 10 percent Employer Pension Contribution gulped N107,849,405.63, bringing the total sum to N2,502,577,093.87.

Those present at the 188th Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) meeting included the Senior Special Assistant on Administration and Strategy to FCT Minister of State, Dr. Abdullahi Isa Kauramata, Mandate Secretary Area Council Services Secretariat, Hon. Bitrus Garki, Permanent Secretary, Area Council Services Secretariat, Dr. Olusa Olusegun, Ag. Director of Funds, Mr. Muhammed Aris, Commissioner FCT Revenue Mobilization Fiscal Allocation Commission, Hon. Ismail Ajaka and the representative of the Accountant General’s Office, Mr. Muhmud Nasiri.

Others included the Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council, Hon. Christopher Maikalagun, Chairman of Abaji Area Council, Hon. Abdullahi Abubakar, Chairman of Bwari Area Council, Hon. John Gabaya and representatives of the chairmen of Gwagwalada and Kwali Area Council amongst others.

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