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Jubilation as FHA hands over FESTAC mechanic village to artisans



Senator Gbenga Ashafa

Sen. Gbenga Ashafa, Managing Director, Federal Housing Authority (FHA), on Thursday handed over the site of the six acres Mechanic Village/Market in FESTAC Town to the artisans.

Speaking during the handing-over ceremony at the new site on 6th Avenue, FESTAC town, Ashafa said that the event was in line with his promise to restore the lost glory of FESTAC town.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ashafa was represented by Mr Akintola Olagbemiro, FHA South-West Zonal Manager, at the handing over the site to the Nigerian Automobile Technician Association (NATA).

He expressed joy at the achievement of FHA’s age -long plan to resettle the mechanics in a comfortable permanent site.

“Let me quickly add that the place of mechanics, technicians, and artisans can never be underestimated in any society.  Their overall importance in any economy is not of low profile because of the essential nature of their trade.

“The value chain they add to the economy is quite enormous, owing to the many jobs and employment they create through service deliveries.

“We in FHA will do all we can within our reach to make you comfortable, relevant and organised,” he said.

He urged the leadership of NATA, FESTAC branch, to ensure orderly business premises and collaboration with all tiers of government and other stakeholders for peaceful coexistence.

“With the success of today, it has been officially declared illegal for any auto mechanic to operate in any other part of FESTAC Town.

“We also implore the auto mechanic/technician leadership to help relevant authorities concerned with the security and sanitation of FESTAC Town, by compelling all your members to avail themselves of this facility,” he said.

Ashafa pledged continuous collaboration of FHA with the artisans and other stakeholders and thanked the FESTAC Town Residents Association, security agencies and other stakeholders for their patience.

He said that the FHA would liaise with the Amuwo Odofin Local Government and other stakeholders towards Right of Way (RoW) recovery.

Ashafa added that FHA surveyors had taken the measurements of the site for laying of the beacons on the new site.

The Chairman, Amuwo Odofin Local Government (AOLG), Mr Valentine Buraimoh, said the move would bring added development, not only to FESTAC Town, but to the entire community.

Buraimoh, however, noted that there was need to hold a stakeholders meeting to determine how the space allocated could be maximised.

“We need to get ideas and suggestions on how best we can use the space given to us,” he said.

NAN reports that NATA members, led by the immediate past chairman of the Amuwo Odofin Local Government (AOLG) Area, Mr Ayodele Adewale, marched in joy to the venue to take possession of the facility.

Adewale told journalists that he was overwhelmed with joy that efforts of his tenure to ensure that the artisans and traders take possession of the site allocated to them in the original Master plan of FESTAC Town, had become a reality.

The Chairman of NATA, Mr Yunusa Elekolomo said: “I am happy that finally this site that rightly belongs to us is being given to us today.

“Since the 70s, we have suffered a lot of encroachment on this land, we have suffered too much, I will say that today that we are taking possession is my happiest day,” he said.

Earlier, President, FESTAC Town Residents Association (FTRA), Mr Shola Fakorede, said that enough sensitisation and awareness campaign was carried out for residents and artisans to embrace the project which had become a reality. (NAN)

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Supreme Court Orders FG To Pay allocations Directly To LGAs




The supreme court has ruled that the federal government should henceforth pay allocations directly to local government councils from the federation account.

Delivering judgment in the suit on Thursday, a seven-member panel of justices held that state governments have continued to abuse their powers by retaining and using the funds meant for LGAs.

In May, the federal government filed a suit at the supreme court against governors of the 36 states.

In the suit marked SC/CV/343/2024, the federal government asked for full autonomy for the country’s 774 local governments.

In the suit filed by Lateef Fagbemi, attorney-general of the federation (AGF) and minister of justice, the federal government also requested the supreme court to authorise the direct transfer of funds from the federation account to local governments — in accordance with the constitution.

The suit was hinged on 27 grounds.

“That the constitution of Nigeria recognizes federal, states and local governments as three tiers of government and that the three recognized tiers of government draw funds for their operation and functioning from the federation account created by the constitution,” the originating summons had read.

“That all efforts to make the governors comply with the dictates of the 1999 Constitution in terms of putting in place a democratically elected local government system, has not yielded any result and that to continue to disburse funds from the federation account to governors for non-existing democratically elected local governments is to undermine the sanctity of the 1999 constitution.”

The federal government had asked the apex court to invoke sections 1, 4, 5, 7 and 14 of the constitution to declare that the governors and state houses of assembly are under obligation to ensure democratically elected systems at the third tier.

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N33bn Fraud: Ex-Minister Mamman Collapses Outside Court




The arraignment of Saleh Mamman, the former Minister of Power under ex-President Muhammadu Buhari, was on Thursday, July 11, 2024, stalled at a Federal High Court in Abuja due to ill health.

Mamman, whose plea was fixed for Thursday morning, collapsed outside the courtroom before the case was called.

The former minister’s counsel, Femi Ate (SAN), told the presiding judge Justice James Omotosho shortly when the matter was called for Mamman to take his plea.

Upon resumed hearing, the ex-minister walked into the courtroom and stepped into the dock with part of his clothes drenched.

Justice Omotosho then asked why Mamman was sweating or whether it was raining outside.

The former minister, who responded from the dock, said water was poured on him.

The counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika (SAN), while addressing the court, said though the matter was fixed for Mamman’s arraignment, there was a development outside the courtroom.

Olumide-Fusika said he had a discussion with Ate outside the courtroom about Mamman’s ill-health.

“I was informed of an incident outside. I will want my learner senior advocate to tell the honourable court himself,” he said.

Speaking, Ate said Mamman, “upon being brought into the premises of the court collapsed and had to be resuscitated and treated by the medical personnel of the Federal High Court.”

He said his client was served with the charge after he was resuscitated.

N1.6bn fraud: Please give me time to return looted funds, ex-AGF begs court

“He was served this morning,” he added.

The lawyer said he sought the understanding of Olumide-Fusika for an adjournment so that the arraignment could be done on Monday when his client would have been okay.

However, the judge said due to the workload in the court dockets, the arraignment could only be fixed for September ending.

Ate then withdrew the oral application for an adjournment.

The judge, however, asked Mamman if he was fit enough to take his plea today and he responded in the affirmative.

Mamman, however, said he was fit to continue with the arraignment.

“It can happen to anyone,” the judge said.

Justice Omotosho, thereafter, stepped down the arraignment until Thursday afternoon.

The EFCC had filed a 12-count money laundering charge against the Mamman.

He was alleged to have committed money laundering offences to the tune of N33 billion.

The former minister served under former President Buhari from 2019 to 2021.


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Olaide Akinremi, House Of Reps Member, Dies At 51




Olaide Adewale Akinremi, a member of the house of representatives, is dead.

The lawmaker died on Wednesday morning aged 51.

Akinremi represented Ibadan north federal constituency on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He was a ranking member and house committee chairman on science and research.

In a statement, Akin Rotimi, spokesperson of the house, said the Oyo lawmaker was a “dedicated public servant known for his unwavering commitment to the development of his constituency and the country at large”.

“His passion for service, coupled with his deep understanding of the needs and aspirations of his people, earned him the endearing title of ‘Jagaban’.

“Throughout his tenure, he was a staunch advocate for policies and initiatives that promoted social welfare, economic growth, and scientific research.

“His contributions to legislative debates and his active participation in committee activities were a testament to his dedication and hard work.

“Rep. Akinremi was as much a grassroots politician as he was an astute statesman who leveraged his goodwill and network of relationships to attract positive impact to the people of his constituency.

“He built friendships by being intentional about reaching out and sending goodwill messages to all colleagues on special occasions, fostering camaraderie and unity within the House.

“As a ranking member, Rep. Akinremi had keen institutional memory and was a mentor to many first-time parliamentarians, guiding them with wisdom gained from his extensive experience in legislative affairs.”

Tajudeen Abbas, speaker of the house, also expressed “profound sadness” over the passing of the lawmaker.

“Rep. Akinremi Olaide Adewale was a beacon of dedication and service,” Abbas said.

“His contributions to our legislative work, especially in the area of science and research, were invaluable.

“His passing is a great loss to the House, his constituency, and the nation. We will miss his leadership, wisdom, and the unique passion he brought to his work.”

Akinremi’s death comes weeks after the passing of Isa Dogonyaro, a member of the house of representatives who represented Babura/Garki federal constituency of Jigawa state.

Dogonyaro died in May after a brief illness.


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