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Sanusi responds to corruption allegations

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The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, has dismissed allegations by the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission that under his watch, the Emirate Council misappropriated a total sum of N3.5 billion.

Sanusi, in a rebuttal of the 13-point allegations levelled against him by the commission, which has also gone ahead to recommend his suspension to Kano State Governor, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, attributed the accusations to a misunderstanding of how the Emirate Council functions by the petitioners and the commission.

The moves to suspend the monarch, however, got the support of a coalition of civil society group, Network of Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria, which yesterday commended the commission for recommending the suspension of the emir.

In the 10-page defence, signed by the Acting Secretary, Kano Emirate Council, Alhaji Abba Yusuf, the monarch said no money was missing under his superintendence.

The defence apparently predated the intervention of Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, and a business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who hails from Kano State, that led to the brokerage of peace between the emir and Ganduje, in a bid to restore normalcy in the state.

According to him, the emirate is also not involved in any shady deal as contained in the petition, which formed the basis of the ongoing probe of the emirate by the commission.

The document containing his defence and titled: “Kano Emirate Council Secretariat, Without Prejudice,” is in response to the full Interim Report of investigation by the state anti-corruption commission whose highlights of the 19-page document include the indictment of individuals, amounts involved, obstruction of the investigation by suspects and recommendations.

Issues addressed in the document are, however, different from the emir’s response to the query given to him by the Kano State Government, in which he was mandated to respond to some allegations levelled against him by the state anti-graft commission.

In his response to the first allegation that the emirate council misappropriated N3.5 billion between 2014 and 2017, Sanusi said: “This allegation and other similar ones have been refuted since 2017 by the Walin Kano, Controller of Finance, Kano Emirate Council. The total amount in the Emirate Council, when Emir Muhammad Sanusi II was appointed was N1.8 billion. The Councillor, Controller of Finance… has given clear explanations refuting allegations of irregular expenditure by the council.”

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Politics

Senate-elect stage protest at INEC over certificate of return

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The Senator-elect representing Imo North district, Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu on Monday staged a protest at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) demanding the immediate release of his certificate of return being withheld by the Commission.

Uwajumogu had secured an order of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja directing the Commission to release the certificate of return, but three weeks after the judgement, INEC was yet to comply with the judgement.

INEC had refused to give the Senator his certificate of return on the excuse that he was wrongly declared winner of the election, saying it has set up a committee to investigate the veracity or otherwise of claims of misconduct during the election, a decision he challenged in Court.

Director General of Benjamin Uwajumogu campaign organisation, Matthew Omegara said during the protest that INEC should be held responsible for any break down of law and order in the area, giving the commission 24 hours to release the certificate of return.

Speaking to newsmen at the INEC office, the APC Senator said he approached the Federal High Court as a law abiding citizen and obtained a judgement instructing INEC to release his certificate of return, adding that till date, INEC was yet to obey the judgement.

He alleged that there were people in the opposition with INEC to frustrate him, adding that when other people, including members of the opposition obtained judgement, INEC did not waste tie in releasing their certificate, saying “why is my own different. Why is INEC looking for excuses to deny us our certificate of return when a court of competent jurisdiction has given an order.

“I am here today to collect my certificate of return, but INEC has refused to issue me the certificate. I am asking them to do that to forestall break down of law and order. We are prepared to do whatever it will take to get our certificate of return”.

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Politics

Abia state governor debunks being sick

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The governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has debunked the news making rounds that he is sick and incapable of performing his official duties.

In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Onyebuchi Ememanka, Ikpeazu said that he is hale and hearty, and discharging the duties of the office of Governor of Abia State with zeal, zest, and passion, as he has done since 2015.

According to Ememanka, Ikpeazu had a busy schedule on Friday attending to a long line of official visitors who came to Government House Umuahia.

“Those carrying the rumor that the Governor is sick and bedridden are political fifth columnists and agents of destabilization whose stock in trade is to spin rumor mills and trade on falsehood.

“The unfortunate news they have been spreading exist only in their disjointed imaginations.

“The good people of Abia State are advised to completely disregard these agents of confusion and their evil machinations.

“Your Governor is in a perfect state of health and is prepared to challenge any of those spreading the rumor to a game of soccer,” the statement concluded

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Politics

Oyo state governor publicly declares his N48 billion asset

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Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has published his asset declaration document showing he has in excess of N48 billion in both cash and properties.


PT reported that the governor complied with Nigeria’s code of conduct law that mandates senior public office holders to file their asset details while assuming and exiting office.

It is however not compulsory to make the details of asset public.

Mr Makinde went further on Monday to release details of what he filled in his asset form at the Code of Conduct Bureau in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

He also said he would encourage all his potential cabinet appointees to do so when they are nominated.

He became the first high-ranking public official to do so amongst those that emerged in the last general election.

According to a statement by Taiwo Adisa, a spokesperson for Mr Makinde, the governor’s CCB OYSE/2019/001 form filed on May 28, 2019, showed he had N48 billion in cash and asset.

The asset was categorised in cash at hand, in the bank, landed properties (developed and undeveloped), and household items.

They also include shares and bonds owned by the governor, his wife, Omini Makinde, as well as his companies.

BANK ACCOUNTS
As of May 28, 2019, Mr Makinde’s bank balance stood at N234, 742,296.01. In dollar terms, he has cash valued at $30,056.99 as at the same date.

Properties, including the developed and undeveloped as well as household items indicated on the asset forms, showed that the governor is worth N2, 624,800,500.

In dollar terms, Mr Makinde also declared properties, developed and undeveloped as well as household items valued at $4,400,000.

In South African Rands, the governor declared buildings and household items worth four million, four hundred and fifty-seven thousand, five hundred and fifty-four and four South African Rands.

The houses declared by Governor Makinde include nine buildings in Nigeria, two in the United States of America and one in South Africa.

One of the properties in the United States is described as “jointly owned.”

The details showed the current value of Makinde’s companies stands at N48, 150,736,889, including 33,730,000 units of shares as of May 28.

The governor also has existing Bonds (Eurobond) worth $3, 793, 500 as well as shares, debentures and other securities valued at N120,500,000(One hundred and twenty million, five hundred thousand naira).

FIRMS AND VALUES
The governor also listed companies that include Makon Engineering and Technical Services Limited; Energy Traders and Technical Services Limited; and Makon Oil and Gas Limited.

Makon Group Limited, Makon Construction Limited and Makon Power System Limited were also listed

The asset declaration form indicated that Governor Makinde’s four companies have additional assets denominated as loan notes.

They are as follows: Makon Engineering and Technical Services Limited(N1.7 billion); Makon Power System Limited(N148.4 million); Makon Oil and Gas Limited(N341 million); Energy Traders and Technical Services Limited(N1.159bn) totalling N3.389 billion.

Disclosure of asset by public officials is rare in Nigeria. The lack of transparency plays a key role in the country’s alarming corruption problem.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who came to power in 2015 with the pledge to fight corruption, promised to make his asset public.

He only did so after public pressure. Even so, he did not release some details of his asset, including those belonging to his wife and children.

The president and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo have yet to make their asset public after winning a second term.

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SECURITY

Herdsmen kill daughter of Afenifere leader

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The daughter of 93 year old Pa Reuben Fasoranti, the national leader of the Pan Yoruba Socio- Political group, Afenifere.

Mrs Funke Olakunrin was yesterday shot dead by suspected Fulani herdsmen along Benin/Ore expressway.

She was said to be traveling along Benin/Ore expressway when she, along with others, ran into the barricade mounted by the suspected Fulani herdsmen. The herdsmen have been terrorizing motorists along the Benin/ Ore highway in recent times.

Report has it that an eyewitness said that the 58-year-old died of gunshot wounds. According to the eyewitness, Olakunrin was suspectedly shot by Fulani herdsmen at Ore junction in Ondo State earlier on Friday.

The assailants wanted to kidnap her alongside other occupants of the vehicle. Reports had it that the suspected herdsmen abducted one of the occupants of the vehicle. The deceased however was unlucky as she was shot dead by the suspects.

Meanwhile, a former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, has reacted to the killing. “This is the final straw. The Yoruba MUST act NOW. We must defend our people!”

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