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Kaduna Assembly Committee Indicts El-Rufai For Money Laundering, Abuse Office

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The ad hoc committee set up by the Kaduna State House of Assembly to investigate all finances, loans and contracts awarded under the administration of former governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has submitted its report to the House.

 

THEWILL had reported that the Kaduna State House of Assembly set up the ad hoc committee with the mandate to investigate loans, grants and project implementation from 2015 to 2023, during which El-Rufai served as governor of the state.

 

Presenting the report during plenary on Wednesday, chairman of the ad hoc committee, Henry Zachariah, said most of the loans obtained under the El-Rufai’s administration were not used for the purpose for which they were obtained, while in some cases, due process was not followed in securing the loans.

 

Receiving the report, the Speaker of the Kaduna House of Assembly, Yusuf Liman, said a total of N423 billion was siphoned by the El-Rufai administration while leaving the state with huge liabilities.

 

The committee, therefore, recommended the investigation and prosecution of El-Rufai, and some other indicted members of his cabinet by security and anti-corruption agencies for “abuse of office through the award of contracts without due process, diversion of public funds and money laundering as well as plaguing Kaduna State into heavy debt”.

 

The committee also recommended the immediate suspension of the Kaduna State Commissioner of Finance, Shizer Badda, who also served in the same capacity under El-Rufai’s administration, as well as the chairman of the state universal basic education board.

 

It also recommended a thorough investigation of some key appointees of the last administration by appropriate law enforcement and anti-corruption agencies.

Politics

Wike’s Political Crisis Stifling Development in Rivers State, Says Eze

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Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has accused Governor Nyesom Wike of frustrating development efforts in Rivers State.

 

Eze claims that Wike’s political crisis has led to the loss of public sector investments worth over N2 trillion and has hindered the development of various projects in the state.

 

According to Eze, several projects initiated by former Governor Rotimi Amaechi, including a water project, a monorail system, and an agro-village, were abandoned or stalled due to Wike’s alleged aversion to development.

 

He also blamed the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for perpetuating the crisis in the state.

 

Eze called on the Nigerian Police to intervene in the political situation, stating that former Speaker Martin Amaewhule and his group are impersonating the Rivers State legislature to further the interests of the FCT Minister.

 

In his words, “Wike has continued to use crisis to distract the young Governor Fubara, and the President cannot call him to order. This has led to the delay in reviving economically viable projects that would create jobs and put food on the tables of Rivers people.”

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PDP Leaders in Ilaje Defect to APC, Endorse Governor Aiyedatiwa’s Re-Election Bid

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In a significant political development, a group of top leaders from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State have defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), pledging their support for Governor Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa’s re-election bid in the upcoming governorship election.

Led by former Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Lebi Adepiti, and former Chairman of OSOPADEC, Prince Debo Ajimuda, the defectors include former political office holders, local government and ward officers of the PDP in Ilaje Constituency 1 and 2.

 

According to Adepiti, their decision to join the APC was motivated by their desire to support Governor Aiyedatiwa, whom they praised for his impressive performance since taking office.

“We believe it is our duty as brothers to unite with him and advance the State,” Adepiti said.

The defectors were welcomed into the APC by the State Chairman, Engr. Ade Adetimehin, who promised a level playing field for all members.

 

Governor Aiyedatiwa expressed his gratitude for their support, assuring them of inclusive participation and retention of their leadership roles within the APC.

This development is seen as a significant blow to the PDP in Ilaje Local Government Area, with the defectors declaring that the opposition party “no longer exists” in the area.

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LG Autonomy: Nigerians Want Total Restructuring – Bode George To Tinubu

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Olabode George, the former national vice president of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has applauded the court verdict granting financial autonomy to local government Councils.

He stated that the development is not only a victory for democracy but a big boost for Nigeria’s political and economic development.

The elder statesman, however, urged President Bola Tinubu to go the extra mile and ensure the complete restructuring of the country.

Speaking via a statement according to Naija News, he asserted that the judiciary has once again proven that it is the last hope of the common man.

According to him, “The apex court was precise and unambiguous in its verdict: allocations to local governments must be paid directly from the Federation Account to councils governed by democratically-elected officials.

“The judiciary has, once again, proved that it is the last hope of the common man. This courageous verdict from the apex court, obviously, will have far-reaching implications for the growth of democracy in the world’s most populous Black country and Africa’s biggest democracy. This courageous judgement will also strengthen democratic principles at the local level and foster transparency.”

Speaking further, George said, “Nigerians want total restructuring and this will lead to decentralisation of power, fortify our democracy and ensure that dividends of democracy reach all Nigerians anywhere they may be in the country. For any country to develop, there must be a strategic plan for a bottom-up approach to governance, not the other way round. We cannot be doing the same thing, over and over again, and expect another result.

“For instance, in many developed countries, how many airports – international and local – are controlled by the central government? Jackson Airport in Atlanta, the United States is one of the busiest and most profitable airports globally. Atlanta City Council controls it. What of seaports? A major challenge in Nigeria is that almost everything is over-centralised.

“Many states in the U.S. have Supreme Courts and that is where legal cases in such states end, not in Washington D.C. In Nigeria, all cases must go to Abuja.

“Here, for something as minute as mining gold in any part of the country, somebody must approve in Abuja. So, how do we want to develop Nigeria?

“We want a new Nigeria where development starts from the grassroots. Everything must change. Nigerians are losing patience. Everything here is centralised. The Supreme Court has started the revolution. This is the right time to rejig our Constitution in full.”

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