In continuation of the fulfilment of his campaign promise of affordable healthcare for Nigerians, do you know that a 120-bed Mother and Child Hospital has been built by the Buhari administration in Makurdi the Benue State capital?

The well-furnished and equipped facility, which has been named as Muhammadu Buhari Mother and Child Hospital, will soon be commissioned by the President himself after which it will commence operations.

Very importantly, it is gratifying to know that this new hospital will not only restrict itself to Mothers and Children but will treat other adults with health issues that can be treated there. And it is also remarkable that the administration is building similar hospitals across all the states.

About yesterday…Friday August 2019


By Malam Ibrahim sheme

Malam Nasiru El-Rufai has shown tremendous leadership values in his intervention in the traffic gridlock yesterday. I said exactly that to my friend who was travelling to Kaduna with me after the governor walked past my car window acknowledging cheers from victims of the gridlock, scores of whom followed him enthusiastically. Even if he did not help clear the jam (but he did!), his presence alone – as the leader of the state – was enough balm on the bruised psyche of the commuters. He boosted our morale, raised our hopes, and assured us about the future. At that material time, that’s all what matters. I immediately saw in him a presidential material, i.e. if they don’t hand it over to Tinubu on a platter of gold!

What amazed me most was the distance the big man (I insist he is not a diminutive person as some insinuate) covered on foot. The beginning of the gridlock and its end were very long, maybe 30km, and Malam covered them all on foot! And his walk was brisk, energetic, jaunty even though he wore a babbar riga, as if he was enjoying it. I wondered how healthy he was physically and emotionally as to do that. Even younger elements like us would have to think thrice before daring to trek that long. He must have been inspired by the passion to bring comfort and solace to us, the stranded citizens. And he did so, selflessly. Some other Excellency would have turned back from the beginning of the gridlock or ordered for a helicopter to come and pick him. Some would even pretend that their tooth was suddenly aching again. But Malam was there from evening to morning, offering sympathy, smilingly reassuring everyone. He must have melted the hearts of many, including those that disagree with him on the political scene.

But then it is his style to be there just when it matters. Malam has always virtually walked into trouble – I mean trouble spots. Any time there is a crisis somewhere in his state, more so the recurring communal type, he will quickly dash there and be physically involved with the effort to solve it. He wouldn’t stay back in his cozy, air-conditioned offices receiving updates from minders. Somehow this works; it helps douse the tension. And it actually did so last night as admirers kept hooting, “Sai Malam! Sai Malam!” I heard several people, in spite of the debilitating situation in which they were caught, saying loudly that after Buhari it should be El-Rufai’s turn to become president. I laughed at the Nigerian’s propensity to mix politics with hardship and still enjoy the admixture.

It is a style other leaders, especially President Buhari, would do well to emulate. I remember that as Zamfara burnt with all those terrorist killings by bandits, the issue of the President needing to be there on ground (or even to go for commiseration) was tops in many people’s analysis of the incident.

Call it populism or whatever. Malam Nasiru is THAT type of leader the people want. He wouldn’t be sipping green tea as his Rome burns!

Kudos to Malam. I doff my hat to him multiple times!
Sheme is a successful journalist and author. Publisher of Fim magazine, Director communication, National open university. Abuja

Press Briefing By South West Peoples Alliance: Don’t Just Probe Obasanjo On Power Sector Malfeasance, Prosecute Him Too


Date: Friday, 9th August, 2019.

I warmly welcome everyone who has found it necessary to be here with us today. I most especially welcome the esteemed members of the press to this briefing.

Gentlemen of the press, I should start by stating that this conference has become necessary due to the conversation on probing the power sector started by the Young Nigerian Professionals who delivered a Press Conference on Sunday last week in the nation’s capital, Abuja, about the decision of the House of Representatives to probe the power sector spending in the country.

The group had called for unrelenting efforts by the House in that probe, while noting the necessity of accountability as a nation if we were to make any progress.

At their very auspicious conference, the YNP called on Nigerians to monitor the planned probe of all power contracts from 1999 to date, which the House of Representatives is about to kick-start, and ensure that the process is thorough and that all those culpable in the mismanagement of the funds earmarked for power in Nigeria are brought to justice.

Let me start by saying that we agree wholeheartedly with the body of young professionals on this issue. But we will like to take the discussion further by demanding for specific interrogation of key individuals in the whole power mismanagement saga.

It’s our belief that there are known actors that were responsible for overseeing the sleaze that took place in the power sector spending since 1999.

The most prominent, as every Nigerian possibly knows, is former President Olusegun Obasanjo – who is reported to have spent a whopping sum of about 16 Billion Dollars on power, with nothing worthy or credible to show for it.

We would like to commend the House of Representatives for its decision to again re-investigate the power sector spending. It is our belief that what the House is set to do represents justice for the people of Nigeria who have had to bear the burden and pain associated with the poor power situation in the country.

Until this investigation and other related efforts that ensure transparency and openness are undertaken, Nigeria cannot really move forward or record any significant progress.

The unearthing of the sleaze that took place in the power sector is key if we want to start a new footing that ensures proper accountability going forward.

While we are confident that the investigation by the House of Representatives would unmask the fraud that was committed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his cronies in the power sector; we demand that the House should, upon the completion of its investigation, endeavor to submit the name of the former President and his conspirators to the country’s anti-corruption agencies, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), for full prosecution.

The ultimate goal is not to undertake a futile ‘name and shame exercise’, rather we want to see a situation where all those involved would face punishment for their crimes against the country.

While he and his co-travelers must be made to return all stolen monies, we demand that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo live up to his avowed commitment to transparency by coming forward to explain his role in the alleged mismanagement of power funds; without directing all those who seek to hold him to account to a self-serving and delusional book whose account has not exonerated him of active involvement in the sleaze.

No doubt, only a comprehensive prosecution that is in tandem with justice will send a strong message to all those who have either managed or still managing our resources that Nigerians will no longer tolerate any corrupt act by anyone, no matter how highly placed. This is the only way we can sanitize the power sector and begin to reset the country.

Thank you.

Oseni Owolabi Ajimomuya (Chairman)
Ismael Lanre Oguntoyinbo (Secretary)

Jonathan never won any election, even in Bayelsa — Nabena


By chibueke obigidi 9/8/2019

The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Yekini Nabena, has said former President Goodluck Jonathan never contested and won any election even in his home state of Bayelsa.

Yekini said no amount of “falsehood and rigging” of the November 16, governorship election in Bayelsa State could stop PDP’s defeat at the poll, adding that the PDP had become very unpopular and stood rejected in the state.

Addressing a press conference yesterday in Abuja, Nabena cautioned Jonathan to be mindful of making misguided comments so as not to ridicule his personality.

Jonathan was quoted a few days ago as saying during the PDP Elders’ Advisory Council meeting at Government House, Yenagoa, that the APC was not on ground in Bayelsa and could not win the forth coming governorship election.

Jonathan added that the large number of aspirants on PDP’s platform indicated the dominance of the party as the preferred platform for election.

But the deputy image maker of the APC said, “Former President Jonathan has never contested any election and won. Even that of 2015, he contested as a sitting President, he lost woefully. The recent 2019 senatorial election in Bayelsa State, APC defeated Jonathan’s candidate in his senatorial district.

“Jonathan is attempting to rewrite history on presidential elections conducted under his watch in Bayelsa State while he was president. He never won, as votes never counted. Aided by security agents, election results were simply announced by the election body in favour of the PDP.”

The Hard Facts! Ahmadu Bello Sardaunan Sokoto

Complied by an unknown writer
1. Ahmadu Bello was born on June 12, 1909 in Rabbah, present day, Sokoto State.
2. He was the son of a concubine.
3. His father died when he was 6 years old.
4. He was the only surviving son of his father and mother, Mariyamu.
5. He was a great grand-son of Shehu Uthman dan Fodio, the great Fulani jihadist.
6. He got his Islamic and Arabic education as a teenager from Mallam Garba who was the Imam of Rabbah village.
7. He finished at the age of 16 top of his class.
8. He attended the Teacher’s Training College, Katsina (later Barewa College) where he was a School Prefect and Class Captain.
9. Thereafter, he graduated as a Teacher in 1931 with a credit equivalent Grade III result.
10. He was appointed by the Sultan of Sokoto to work as a teacher at the Sokoto Middle School, where he was once a student and taught from 1931-1934.
11. He was appointed a rural administrator (District Head) at the age 25 in 1934.
12. He gave birth to a daughter after his death (posthumously).
13. He became a candidate for the succession to the throne of the Sultan of Sokoto at the age of 29.
14. He made attempts to become the Sultan of Sokoto but was not successful, losing to Sir Siddiq Abubakar III who reigned for 50 years until his death in 1988.
15. The new Sultan immediately made Sir Ahmadu Bello the Sardauna (Warlord) of Sokoto, a honourary title and promoted him to the Sokoto Native Authority Council, these titles automatically made him the Chief Political Adviser to the Sultan.
16. Later, he was put in charge of the Sokoto Province to oversee 47 districts.
17. In 1943, a drama played out when he was thrown before the Sultan’s court for misappropriating jangali (cattle) tax for the Gusau region where he was the Councillor.
18. He was sentenced to 1 year in prison, but spent 3 months in jail.
19. By 1944, he was back at the Sultan’s Palace to work as the Chief Secretary of the State Native Administration.
20. In 1949, at the age of 40, he was nominated for a seat in the Regional House of Assembly.
21. He spoke impeccable English, and respected many European values.
22. Sir Ahmadu Bello keenly encouraged female education.
23. In 1954, Sir Ahmadu Bello became the first Premier of Northern Nigeria.
24. He never had material accumulation instincts, did not accumulate wealth and gave out whatever came into his possession. He was scrupulous and prudent with public finance but generous with his own money.
25. In 1955, he made his first pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
26. The ‘Work and Worship’ motto on the Northern Nigerian crest was adopted by him.
27. He chose to remain the Premier of Northern Nigeria and gave the position of Prime Minister to his hand-picked candidate, the late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, who was then the Deputy President of the NPC.
28. Sir Ahmadu Bello never sought the leadership of Nigeria.
29. He once stated that he would rather be the Sultan of Sokoto than to be the leader of Nigeria.
30. At various times, he made inflammatory statements about the Ibos as He once referred to them as the ‘Jews of Nigeria’ whose sole purpose is to dominate wherever they find themselves.
31. In 1959, Queen Elizabeth II (b.1926) made him a Knight of the British Empire (KBE), and that explains the ‘’Sir’’ in his title.
32. In 1962, he became Pioneer Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria.
33. He founded the Bank of the North (now Unity Bank).
34. He founded the Northern Nigerian Development Company.
35. He established the 16,000-seater Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna.
36. He established the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna (the only military university in Nigeria).
37. He established the University of Northern Nigeria, which stretched from Samaru in Kaduna State to Funtua in Katsina State, on the 4th of October, 1962 now known as Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.
38. By the beginning of 1966, it was quite clear that the Sardauna was one of the most powerful figures in the country, and many believed that he was actually the most powerful, even much more powerful than the Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.
39. His party, Northern People Congress (NPC), held sway over 29 million out of 55 million Nigerians.
40. On his way to Umrah (the Muslim lesser pilgrimage), he received a letter with threats to kill him.
41. The letter was said to have stated: “We have arranged to kill you and the Prime Minister (Alhaji Tafawa Balewa).”
42. As a devout Muslim, the Sardauna believed that giving his life in the service of Northern Nigeria was worth the sacrifice and that death was a certain end.
43. He later said of the threat: “Don’t worry, continue to get useful information. I know what to do.”
44. On the evening of 14th January, 1966, armed soldiers, led by Major Patrick Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, arrived at his residence at Lugard House, Kaduna, with the message of death.
45. He told his family to stay away in safety but they would have none of that. They all trooped behind him as he came out of the family quarters and in a matter of seconds, he was surrounded by the soldiers led by Nzeogwu who fired at his babban riga . And immediately, blood sputtered from the point of impact through the beard on his face.
46. At that point, his first and eldest wife, Hafsatu, threw herself at him in a final embrace. They were both shot.
47. He was believed to have been killed instantly when a bullet penetrated his spinal cord.
48. Brave till the very end, he had faced the soldiers and introduced himself as the Sardauna of Sokoto and Premier of the Northern Region.
49. He once referred to Nigeria as the ‘mistake of 1914′ but he later worked for and gave his best for the new nation of Nigeria.
50. He died leaving £10 in his bank account. Equivalent of 5,000 naira in tod. May he soul continue to rest in perfect peace. Allahumma Amin Reply Forward

Wamakko Versus Maccido : Tribunal adjourns for Judgment as Counsels adopt final addresses


The National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Sokoto on Thursday adjourned to an undisclosed date for Judgemnt in the Petitions filed by the defeated Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party  ( PDP), Senator Ahmed Mohammed Maccido,  against the winner of the February 23, 2019, Sokoto North Senatorial District Polls , Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko .

The Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Peter Akhimie Akhihiero,  said while adjourning the matter , ” the matter has been adjourned for Judgment.  The date will be communictated in due course .”

The Counsels for the Petitioners and the Respondents had earlier adopted all their final written addresses .

The Lead Counsel of the 1st Respondent,  Dr Hassan Liman, SAN, said ,” in accordance with the Rules of the Court and the Electoral Act, the 1st Respondent has filed his written addresses dated 17/7/2019 and filed on the same date .

” We have also filed a reply to the Petitioners’  written address on 1/8/2019 . We hereby adopt the said two addresses as our final argument in this Petition .

” We are urging the Court to dismiss and strike out the Petition for being Statute -Barred as it was filed out of time, as well as lacking in merit. “

Lead Counsel for the 2nd Respondent,  Chief Jacob Ochidi , also stated that , the 2nd Respondent has filed his final written address on 2/7/2019.

Ochidi explained, ” I herebey adopt the written address as the argument of the 2nd Respondent in this Petition.

” I am also urging the Tribunal to strike out the petition for being Statute – Barred , resolving all the issues of the 2nd Respondent.

” To dismiss same petition for lacking in merit and award substantial cost in favour of the 2nd Respondent, against the Petitioners. “

Similarly, Lead Counsel for the 3rd Respondent,  Barrister Henry Eni-Otu, told the Court that,his Client has filed his final written address on 18/7/2019.

He averred ,” I want to adopt it as the argument of the 3rd and urge the Court to strike out the petition for being Statute-Barred .

” I am also praying the Court to dismiss the Petition in its entirety  for being unmeritorious and speculative ..”

The Lead Counsel of the Petitioners,  Dr Ibrahim Abdullahi said the Petitioners have filed their written address on 25/7/2019.

” We respectively adopt the same written address, making particular reliance on legal arguments.

” I am also urging the Court to resolve all the issues against the Respondents, to hold that , the Petition is not Statute-Barred and to grant the reliefs of the Petitioners. “

Responding, Dr Hassan Liman , SAN, commended the Chairman and menbers of the Tribunal for being diligent and working assiduously to ensure smooth proceedings.

Justice Hadiza Shagari In Katsina: A Good Minister In The Temple Of Justice


In the book Nahjul Balagah it was reported that in one of the letters written by Sayyadi Mu’awuya (R.A) to Sayyadina Ali (A.S), he wrote that he will send soldiers with the heart of a lion. In his reply Sayyadina Ali (A.S) said he will send soldiers with the heart of a women. Sayyadina Ali (A.S) was asked what he meant by that, and he said the heart of a woman is more determined than that of a lion.

I can attest to this notion of women’s heart, going by various instances I came across in the course of my research as a journalist, I have for time immemorial realized that anyone who appears to be too powerful or too arrogant, women are the recipe to his downfall or can teach him the lesson of life.

Right from the time I started my career as a journalist, I have covered so many court cases which have over the years enable me to accumulate vast experience of life reality. However in all the years of my career, I have never come across a judicial officer and a lady whose wisdom and expertise impressed me as much as Hajiya Hadiza Shagari, a judge at the Federal High Court in Katsina.

I have witnessed many instances in which her actions and rulings on the basis of justice and fairness humbled many lawyers and indeed reduce them to mere learners in the temple of justice. In this little piece I will only cite two of such instances to provide a convincing justification. At one of such cases, a lawyer apologized many times, thanked her, and assured her that he has learnt a lesson and conclude with a phrase “we are always learning”.

In the court case between Federal Government of Nigeria and the former Governor of Katsina State, Alhaji Ibrahim Shehu Shema. The EFCC lawyer was furious and she kept cautioning him. At a point he threatened to walk out of the court room but she immediately address the situation by quoted a section of court procedures and threatened to invoke that section if he walks out of the court room. It was then that I saw how learned men were brought to their knees, as Justice Hadiza Shagari rendered that lawyer speechless by her sharpness. At that point I almost clap my hands.

Secondly, in the case between Muhammad Mahdi Shehu and Federal Government of Nigeria, Justice Hadiza Shagari gave the floor to a lawyer but he kept talking repetitively. He explain a point and then explain it all over again, until everyone in the court room got tired of listening to him.

Whenever she attempts to interrupt him he raises his voice. He wanted her to lose her temper but she remained calm. At a point the lawyer raised his voice so loudly that from the first floor he could be heard at the ground floor. She remained calm while asking him questions. Eventually the lawyer admitted that he acted unprofessionally and started apologizing. The court audience almost burst into laughter and excitement, being impressed by her gentle approach and demonstration of experience in handling situation. When she started lecturing him on court procedures and provisions of the law, he kept apologizing and thanking her endlessly while admitting her astuteness and his own lack of decorum.

Justice Shagari style of conducting court proceedings keeps audience of the court very attentive, no one falls asleep, because she makes every sitting interesting. She don’t comprise rules and procedures and this is what makes prosecutors to be fully armed before attending her court sitting. A lawyer confirmed to me that, in her court one have to read and research hard to avoid embarrassment.

From Shagari town in Sokoto State, Justice Hadiza Shagari did her O-Level in Minna and Kaduna States and proceeded to Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto (UDUS) and University of Abuja, Gwagwalada. She also attended Law school in Lagos.

She worked with the Nigerian Ports Authority, Lagos, from 1994 to 2005 before becoming a judge in 2006, starting from Abuja where she spent ten years in that capacity. Afterwards she was transferred to Lagos. She is now a judge at the Federal High Court in Katsina.

One very impressive trait about her career was her decision to leave the very prestigious and lucrative Nigerian Ports Authority where she had served in the legal department, to become a judge in a court. Her close associates say she was motivated to take that decision by her urge to help people that are being treated unjustly in courts. Women of high caliber are worth commendations for their contributions to humanity and for being a role model in their profession. However this piece was also meant to encourage the younger generation to emulate Justice Hadiza Rabiu Shagari.

Governor Dikko Radda Ordered Transport Agency Not To Increase Cost of Intra-state Services


By Sulaiman Umar Ciroma

The governor gave the order when he called an emergency meeting with the Katsina State Transport Authority KTSTA at the state government house.

Dikko Radda explained the purpose of the emergency meeting to bring ease of transportation to the people of Katsina due to the withdrawal of fuel subsidy by the federal government.

The meeting was attended by the former chairman of the board, Haruna Musa Rugoji, and the Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport and other staff.

The governor expressed his sorrow over the situation that all travelers find themselves in and instructed the Katsina state transport agency not to increase the cost of transport for domestic traffic.

He also ordered the Commission to bring him a report on how to make it easier for travelers in the state.

Gunmen attack: Yahaya Bello escapes death


Security operatives foil attack on Yahaya Bello

The Convoy of the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello was on Saturday blocked and attacked by people believed to be supporters of Alh. Muritala Yakubu Ajaka.
The incident which occured at about 12.30 hours left many people injured.

According to a statement issued by Kingsley Femi Fanwo, the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, the attack took place near the Naval Base, few kilometres from Lokoja.

Fanwo noted that the convoy of Muritala Yakubu Ajaka, having sighted that of the Governor, blocked the road and Ajaka’s armed thugs started shooting sporadically at the convoy of the Governor.

The statement reads: “A Tundra branded with the logo of the SDP and with SDP flags also blocked the Governor’s vehicle and occupants of the SDP branded Tundra were armed with Rifles and short guns. The Governor left the scene unscathed and there is no cause for panic as the Governor is in high spirit.

“Some security aides and other aides attached to the Governor sustained some degrees of injuries and have been rushed to medical facilities for medical attention.

“We urge the people of Kogi State to remain calm as security agents are in full control to ensure the arrest of the hoodlums behind the attack. The State Government will ensure that law and order are maintained as the attackers will be brought to justice.

“The Governor has warned that no APC member should involve in any reprisal attack as insecurity from any quarter will be met with stiff penalties” the statement concluded.

Bala Mohammed Emerges As Chairman PDP Governors’ Forum


Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State has emerged Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum.

Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, disclosed this shortly after a retreat for elected PDP Governors and Members of National Assembly elect.

The retreat held Saturday at the Government House Bauchi.

Fuel Crisis: Students Lament Rising Cost Of Transportation


Some Nigerian Students have lamented the rising cost of transportation and commodities following the removal of the fuel subsidy, describing it as “frustrating.”

President Bola Tinubu during his inaugural address on May 29 declared that “fuel subsidy is gone”, leading to an increase in the price of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) better known as petrol.

Within 48 hours, the price of petrol per litre rose to over N650 in some parts of the country, which instantly affected transport fare and prices of commodities.

The Nigerian National Petrol Company Limited also confirmed it adjusted pump prices of petrol in line with “current market realities.”

Under the new price regime, petrol sells between N488 and N570 per litre across the country.

As the subsidy removal continues to generates mixed reactions among citizen, Nigerian students have expressed their concerns over the hike in transport fare and commodities prices.

Finding by Daily Trust revealed that transport fare that was hitherto N200 is now between N300 to N400.

Zainab Yusif, a 300 level student of Usman Danfodio University Sokoto, described the subsidy removal as “an unwelcome development as its stifle their struggle for survival amid the ongoing hardship and insecurity situation in the country.”

Speaking on the effect, Abdullahi Abdullateef, a final-year student of Bayero University Kano feared that removal of subsidy may result in hike of food commodities.

“Being a final year student I must say that the removal of subsidy is frustrating at the moment.

“As the pump price flew more than 70 percent, the general price level of goods and services in the country would significantly increase,” he said.

He also added that: “ the government must put in place measures as palliatives to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy, given that Nigeria operates a mixed economy model but capitalist takes the giant share of the economy activities.”

However, a nursing student of Ahmedu Bello university Zaria, Memunat Ahmed Baba urged Nigerians to view the removal from a brighter perspective stressing it is for greater good.

She further explained that: “when subsidy is removed, the government will have time to free up resources for the other sectors of the economy.”

The organised Labour had announced that it would, on Wednesday, embark on a nationwide strike over fuel subsidy removal.

This was after a meeting held at the State House, Abuja, between the organised labour and the federal government representatives over the fuel pump price, ended in deadlock.

Return Missing Bullet Proof Jeeps Within 5 Days, Zamfara Gov Tells Matawalle


Governor Dauda Lawal of Zamfara State has given his predecessor, Bello Matawalle, an ultimatum of five days to return vehicles allegedly taken away by officials of his administration.

The governor gave the ultimatum in a statement which Sulaiman Bala Idris, his spokesman, issued on his behalf.

He gave the details of the alleged missing vehicles, while vowing to recover looted funds and properties of government.

“Our government is determined in fulfilling the campaign promises made to the good people of Zamfara State which involves the swift recovery of looted public funds and properties.”

“The mischievous statement is only aimed at distracting us from doing the work that positively touches the lives of the people. Our time is precious and we cannot waste it in engaging or bandying words with a political party that spent four years without a single project beneficial to the people of Zamfara, instead their only achievement is massive looting of the state’s treasury.

“We have the facts and records available that expose Matawalle’s impropriety. Where is the lie? A contract was awarded by the former Governor, for the purchase of vehicles to be distributed to dignitaries and Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) at the cost of N1,149,800,000.00. The contract for the purchase of the vehicles was awarded to Hafkhad Properties and Facilities Management Nig. LTD.

“The money was meant for the purchase of a Toyota Lexus VIP Bullet Proof 2021 Model; Toyota Land Cruiser VIP Bullet Proof 2021 Model; Toyota Prado V6 2021 Model; Toyota Prado V4 2021 Model; Peugeot 2021 Model; Toyota Hilux 2021 Model; Toyota Land Cruiser Bullet Proof 2021; and Toyota Lexus 2021 Model.

“On the 4th of October 2021 the former Governor paid MUSACO for the supply of three bulletproof Jeeps at the sum of N484, 512, 500; to supply seven sets of bulletproof Prado Jeeps and Land Cruiser at the sum of N459, 995, 000; to supply seven Toyota Hilux vehicles at the sum of N228, 830, 000.

“On the 19th of May 2021, Matawalle paid for the supply of 30 sets of Peugeot 406 cars to TK Global Services at the sum of N61,200,000. Also, on the 15th of December 2021, Nadeen Butta was paid for the supply of one bulletproof Land Cruiser in the sum of N130, 000, 000 Naira.

“On 26th of February 2022, a contractor, Dapiyau B. Linus was paid the sum of N160,000,000 for the supply of two Land Cruiser Jeeps 2021 model; On the 20th of March 2022, Matawalle’s government paid MUSACO the sum of N120,000,000 for the supply of three vehicles for the office of the Deputy Governor.

“It is the height of indignity for the Zamfara APC to continue to fizzle at a time when all the above official vehicles were looted by the immediate past government . None of the vehicles is available in the Government House. This is a show of shame, not only to the state chapter of the APC but to anyone justifying the action of Matawalle.

“We have communicated officially to former Governor Bello Matawalle and his Deputy to return all the missing vehicles within five working days.”

Ibrahim Dosara, spokesman of Matawalle, could not be reached for comments as his line was switched off.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had said it was probing Matawalle for alleged N70 billion probe, but the former governor had fired back saying Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman of the commission, demanded $2 million bribe from him.

Tinubu appoints Gbajabiamila as chief of staff, Akume is SGF


President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has appointed House of Representatives speaker Femi Gbajabiamila as chief of staff.

Tinubu in a statement by State House spokesman Abiodun Oladunjoye also announced appointment of former Governor of Benue State and immediate past Minister of Special Duties, George Akume, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

The president also appointed Sen. Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia, a former Deputy Governor of Jigawa State, as Deputy Chief of Staff.

Tinubu is currently in a meeting with governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Gbajabiamila was tight-lipped on Thursday when asked about his rumoured appointment as chief of staff to Tinubu.

“Be patient. The system works in its own way – allow the system to work,” Gbajabiamila told a journalist that quizzed him at the State House in Abuja.

A report by Leadership Newspaper claimed that Tinubu appointed Gbajabiamila as chief of staff. There was no official confirmation to the report.

Gbajabiamila was reelected as an House of Representatives member for Surulere Constituency in Lagos State during the February National Assembly elections.

Since the election which took place on the same day as presidential election won by Tinubu, Gbajabiamila has been tagged the president’s ‘right hand man’ due to his visibility in majority of the president’s engagements.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan said Tinubu would have made a wise decision if Gbajabiamila is appointed as his chief of staff.

“I am waiting for the announcement. You are speculating,” Lawan said. “I’m not. The speaker of the house of representatives has been rumoured to be the chief of staff designate. First of all, I pray that it comes to pass. If that happens, Mr president would have made a wise decision.

“At this moment, you need a chief of staff with very versed experience in the area of legislation, in the area of cooperating with the executive which the speaker spearheaded from the house.”

EFCC lacks constitutional powers to probe Zamfara State’s accounts, court declares


Sets aside Commission’s invitation to past, serving Zamfara officials

A Federal High Court, sitting in Gusau, Zamfara State has declared that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission does not have the powers to invite (by letters, telephone calls or any other means of communication) serving and past officials of the Zamfara State Government for the purpose of explaining how the state’s funds are utilised.

The Court held that the power to audit the public accounts of Zamfara State is not vested in the 1st Defendant (EFCC) or any other authority, person, body or organisation other than in the Auditor General of Zamfara State.

Justice Aminu Bappa Aliyu made this known on Wednesday while delivering judgment on a suit instituted by the Government of Zamfara State and Attorney General of Zamfara State against the EFCC and the Attorney of the Federation.

The Court also set aside EFCC’s letter of invitation to the past and serving officials of Zamfara State Government, dated 28th September, 2021, or any other date, noting that such letter, “being ultra vires the powers of the 1st Defendant”, was null and void and of no effect whatsoever.

These and other orders were made after the court had listened to submissions of the Plaintiffs’ counsel, Abdulfathu Shehu; and Counsels to the defendants, Adebisi Adeniyi and P. A. Attah, in the Writ of Summons suit, dated and filed on November 16, 2021 and marked: FHC/GS/CS/30/2021.

Having gone through the processes filed by the parties, Justice Aliyu granted all the prayers of the Plaintiffs, stressing that only the Zamfara State House of Assembly and the Auditor General of the state are vested with the constitutional authority of seeking explanation or inviting public officials on how the state’s money is being spent and not the EFCC or the AGF.

The Zamfara State Government had also prayed the court to bar EFCC from inviting, arresting or detaining any government officials as regards the appropriation of public funds in the state as such contradicts the power of the anti-graft body.

The presiding judge granted all the Plaintiffs’ prayers, saying, “A declaration is made that, having regard to the provisions of Section 120, 121, 122. 123, 124, 128 and 129 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, the 1st Defendant (EFCC) does not have the powers to invite (by letters, telephone calls or any other means of communication) serving and past officials of the Plaintiff for the purpose of explaining how funds meant for security votes, estacodes and travelling allowances were utilized, or are being utilized, when such funds are such that the Auditor General and the Zamfara State House of Assembly have the constitutional authority to conduct investigation and exercise powers and control over same.

“A Declaration is made that upon a calm and proper interpretation of the provisions of Section 125 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, the power to receive financial statement and annual accounts of Zamfara State from the Accountant General of Zamfara State is not vested in the 1st Defendant or any other authority, person, body or organization other than in the Auditor General for Zamfara State.

“A Declaration is made that upon a proper interpretation of the provisions of Section 125 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, the power to audit the public accounts of Zamfara State is not vested in the 1st Defendant or any other authority, person, body or organization other than in the Auditor General of Zamfara State.

“A Declaration is made that upon a calm and proper interpretation of the provisions of Section 125 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, the Auditor General or any person authorized by him, cannot be subjected to any direction or control of the 1st and 2nd Defendants (EFCC and AGF) or any authority, person, body or organization.

“An Order of Injunction is made retraining the 1st Defendant by itself, agent, servant, detectives, employees, staff, operatives and privies from inviting, or further inviting. arresting and or detaining past or present officials of the 1st Plaintiff (Zamfara State Government) with respect to how funds meant for security votes, estacodes and travelling allowances were expended by the 1st Plaintiff except through the House of Assembly of Zamfara State and in strict compliance with provisions of the Constitution of the Federal of Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended.

“An Order of Injunction is made restraining the 1st Defendant whether by itself, its agents, employees, servants, operatives, detectives, privies, investigating officer(s), and other person by whatever name called, from inviting, or further inviting, intimidating, harassing and threatening to arrest or detain, or from arresting or detaining any past or present official of the 1st Plaintiff on the basis of the same facts or similar facts as herein stated.

“An Order is made setting aside the 1st Defendant’s letter of invitation to the past and serving officials of the Plaintiff, dated 28th September, 2021, or any other date, same being ultra vires the powers of the 1st Defendant, and therefore, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.”

Subsidy removal: NLC declares nationwide strike Wednesday


The Nigeria Labour Congess (NLC) has declared a nationwide strike from next Wednesday.

NLC President Joe Ajaero made the announcement after an emergency meeting of the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) in Abuja.

The congress said it took the decision due to the fuel shortages across the country, following President Bola Tinubu’s inaugural speech in which he pronounced the removal of subsidy.

Tinubu disclosed that with the 2023 budget made no provision for fuel subsidy, hence payment was no longer justifiable.

He said the government would instead channel funds into infrastructure and other areas to strengthen the economy.

However, the president’s pronouncement led to scarcity and long fuel queues across the country.

Currently, petrol prices have jumped to more than N500 per litre.

Ajaero stated that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has up until Wednesday next week to revert to the old price of petrol.

He added that failure of the Federal Government to meet the ultimatum would attract an indefinite protest across the country.

On Wednesday, an hour-long meeting between the Federal Government and the NLC on the matter ended in a deadlock.

The NLC demanded that the Federal Government return to status quo by reversing the price of fuel before resuming negotiations with labour.

Ajaero insisted that the government did not enter into any conversation even on palliative measures for Nigerians, hence the reason an industrial action has been scheduled to commence next Wednesday.

CBN denies devaluing naira, commits to gradual rate convergence


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has not devalued the naira, even as it pledged its commitment to gradual rate convergence. The Deputy Governor in charge of Economic Policy, Dr. Kingsley Obiora, made this known, yesterday, in Abuja at the Fiscal Liquidity Assessment Committee (FALC) retreat.

This comes as the Import and Export window has adjusted the rates but it appeared that the CBN has not adjusted the rates officially. A report claimed the apex bank had devalued the local currency to N631/$. But a statement signed by the Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Dr. Isa AbdulMumin, described the report as false, pointing out that the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window was trading at N465/$ yesterday morning. He noted that the apex bank was committed to a gradual convergence of the rates around I&E window.

But a financial analyst, Paul Alaje, said Nigerians should expect 34 to 38 per cent inflation in the next two to three months if naira is devalued, which he said would happen in a matter of days.

“No doubt the move will increase flows of foreign portfolio investment and foreign direct investment in dollars and more diaspora remittances without the need for rebate. More companies will also bring in their export proceeds dollars and not divert it to foreign accounts or use it to purchase equipment and bring it to sell,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Aliyu Ahmed, called for the strengthening of non-oil revenue through the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) initiatives to drive the contributions of the non-oil to the national revenue.

“Despite the plethora of tax and other revenue generating reform, revenues remain insufficient and below levels that could enable the Government play its pivotal role in sustainable and inclusive development.

“It, therefore, not only calls for strong policy coordination and consistency to bring inflation back to the CBN’s long-run objective and safeguard financial system stability, it stressed the need to ensure policy actions that could lead to the attainment of fiscal goals, leveraging on emerging technological innovations,” he noted.

Director, the Monetary Policy Department, CBN, Dr. Hassan Mahmud, said the CBN would continue to implement various quasi-fiscal measures to support the Federal Government’s effort to manage the economy, address liquidity challenges in the face of emerging global and stimulate domestic growth.

He added: “The government’s response to these headwinds led to substantial budgetary allocations to boost economic activity and provide social safety nets, resulting in significant increases in public debt and its service costs. In addition, the widespread adoption of electronic modes of payment has further impacted monetary policy management in the Central Bank’s efforts to ensure price and financial system stability.

“These developments call for a comprehensive fiscal consolidation effort to boost revenue mobilisation and strengthen the efficiency of public expenditures. It has also become imperative that fiscal and monetary authorities should intensify ongoing collaborative efforts and provide assurances that envisaged macroeconomic objectives are achievable under the present conditions,” he said.