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N20bn bailout fund: Make your findings public, Kogi tells EFCC

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Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi State
Kogi state Governor, Yahaya Bello
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The Kogi  Government has dared the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to make public,  report of its investigations on the purported N20 billion bailout fund fraud.

The EFCC in August,  alleged that the N19.3 billion Kogi bailout fund domiciled in Sterling Bank, had been partly misappropriated and the state account frozen on orders of a Lagos High Court.

The News Agency of Njgeria (NAN) recalls that the EFCC  on Friday, withdrew its suit, seeking  forfeiture of  the N20 billion bailout fund.

However, Kogi government  had  kicked against the withdrawal by the EFCC,  charging the anti-graft body to make its findings on the fund public.

In a statement, the Commissioner for Information, Mr Kingsley Fanwo, the state government said  the EFCC despite the withdrawal, should be able to provide  facts of  its investigations.

He also urged Nigerians to ask the EFCC in whose custody it found a part of the bailout fund said to have been dissipated.

Fanwo insisted that the alleged sum of N19.3 billion which Sterling Bank had undertaken to the EFCC to transfer to the Central Bank of Nigeria,  does not belong to the Kogi  government, and that the state did not enter into any agreement, either with Sterling Bank or the EFCC, to return any bailout fund to the CBN as being portrayed.

“It is our belief that the  withdrawal of the suit by the EFCC without informing the Court of the facts,  is a deliberate and face-saving effort by the commission,    all in a bid to ‘nail’ at all cost, the Kogi government and tarnish its image,” Fanwo said.

He said  the EFCC violated an earlier order of the court, as it failed to report its findings to the court, rather it unceremoniously withdrew the suit, without facts of its investigation   to the court and the public.

According to him, residents of Kogi  and indeed Nigerians at large,  should rather ask the EFCC to publish on its official platforms,  the report of its investigation as to the ownership of the said sum of N19,333,333,333.36,  and the whereabouts of the sum of N666,666,666.64, which they alleged had been dissipated.

The commissioner further said: “Nigerians should further ask the EFCC whether a commercial bank can  simply undertake to transfer a customer’s money from the customers’ account without the order of any court mandating such transfer or a forfeiture?

“Nigerians also deserve to know what becomes of the criminal allegation that the EFCC made,  when it informed the Federal High Court that the sum of N666,666,666.64  out of the N20 billion bailout loan had been dissipated and that same was being traced.

”Nigerians will  want to know if the EFCC has found the money, if so, in whose custody was it found? Have charges been preferred against the custodian of the said funds.

”Or has the EFCC also abandoned that chase? Nigerians deserve to know the truth.

“We have as of October 2019,  fully disbursed our bailout funds and are already religiously repaying the loan to Sterling Bank Plc,” he  clarified.

The government spokesman said that  concealing these inalienable facts of the matter would be  misleading and unethical.

“Finally, while we reserve all our legal rights against the EFCC, we reiterate our demand for an unreserved apology from the EFCC as contained in our letter to the Chairman of the EFCC on  Sept. 6.

“We hope the EFCC will honour the said demand to regain the trust of Nigerians,” Fanwo said.

He disclosed that the Kogi  government had, as revealed in freshly published documents, sought further clarifications from Sterling Bank to drive home its innocence in the matter.

The commissioner said:  “Buoyed by the strength of our innocence, the Kogi  government on Oct. 4, wrote to Sterling Bank, seeking further clarifications on the contentious account. The Bank did not only reinforce their earlier stance that the account is a Mirror Account; it also made it unequivocally clear that the Kogi  government has nothing to do with the opening or operation of the account.

“All of these facts are in their reply received by the Kogi  government on Oct. 5.

‘”The state government again urges  the  commission to tender public apology to it  and refrain from  measures that can  further damage the image of the nation,”  Fanwo said. (NAN)

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Sanusi Reinstated As Emir Of Kano

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Four years after Muhammadu Sanusi II was deposed as the Emir of Kano, Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano State has reinstated him to the throne.

“With the full support of the kingmakers, I have approved the reappointment of Malam Sanusi Lamido,” the governor said to cheers at the Art Chamber of the Kano State Government House around 5:16 pm on Thursday.

He announced the decision right after signing the Kano State Emirate Council (Repeal) Bill 2024 into law.

The new law replaces the Kano State Emirates Council Law, 2019, and dissolves the emirate councils created by Governor Yusuf’s predecessor Abdullahi Ganduje.

It was based on the law that Ganduje split the Kano Emirate into five in December 2019 and deposed the 14th Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II on March 9, 2020. The emirates created by the Ganduje administration were Karaye, Bichi, Rano, and Gaya, in addition to Kano.

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FG Offers 2-Month Free Ride On Abuja Light Rail

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Nyesom Wike
Nyesom Wike
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The federal government has offered 2-month free ride services to passengers on the Abuja Light rail after its inauguration on Monday.

Nyesom Wike, The FCT Minister, disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday at a ministerial press briefing on the one year in office of President Bola Tinubu.

He said President Tinubu would inaugurate the rail project on Monday, while it would start commercial services on Tuesday.

“For those who are saying that the rail system had already been commissioned, don’t make a mistake. What was earlier commissioned was the building. What we want to commission on Monday is commercial operations.

“If you are going to the airport, from here to airport is 20 minutes. Seeing is believing. Go on Tuesday. We are going to allow for free rides for two months.

“You know, Mr. President, he can even say extend it to six months just to reduce the pain of our people. That is renewed hope agenda. When you say something, you do it,” Wike said.

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Sanusi II To Be Reinstated As Kano Emir …..As State Assembly Dethrones Emir Bayero, Others

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Former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II
Former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II
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Sanusi Lamido Sanusi II has been reinstated as the Emir of Kano, according to a report by LEADERSHIP newspaper.

This decision followed the Kano State House of Assembly’s resolution to dethrone the current Emir and also dismantle the four new Emirates in the State established under a controversial 2019 law.

Though it has not been officially announced, LEADERSHIP reported that it had it on a good authority that Sanusi II had been reinstated, and was expected in Kano on Friday.

“According to credible inside sources, ‘So certainly with the passage of the Bill, Sanusi automatically stands reinstated. No need for confirmation, the thing to is wait for the Governor to assent to it’.

“The then restructuring of the Kano Emirate is seen as a political manoeuvre to diminish the influence of then Emir Sanusi II, a vocal critic of the former Governor Abdullahi Ganduje administration. The creation of the new emirates fragmented the authority of the old Kano Emirate Council, diluting its power and influence.

“Meanwhile, the Majority Leader of the Kano State House of Assembly, Lawan Hussaini Chediyar Yan Gurasa, who sponsored the Amendment Bill, shortly after Thursday’s session, revealed to journalists that, “the bill has been sent to the governor for assent, now there is no longer an active Emir in Kano in all the five Emirates; Kano, Bichi, Gaya, Rano and Karaye. The law now provides the governor to call on the traditional kingmakers to choose a new king.”

“Our correspondent also reports that all the district heads elevated or appointed under the repealed law are to revert to their previous positions.”

 

 

 

Source: Leadership

 

 

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