The Kano State Public Complaint and Anti-Corruption Commission has ordered the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, to appear before it on Monday, March 9, 2020.
The anti-graft agency said this in a statement on Thursday as the Kano Emirate requested for another day for the monarch to appear before the body.
Emir Sanusi was supposed to appear before the agency on Thursday to answer questions on alleged illegal sales of land belonging to the emirate.
According to the Chairman of the Commission, Barr. Muhuyi Rimingado, the investigations are not related to any other probe of the Emir.
He said: “Preliminary findings suggest that a company, Country Wide House Ltd. served as a corporate vehicle to allegedly launder the sum of over N2bn being proceeds of several hectares of land in Darmanawa phase I and II and Bubbugaji, under the former right of occupancy CON-RESS 2016-503 illegally sold to Messer family home fund limited at the alleged instance of His Highness the Emir of Kano.”
Rimingado also claimed that “Investigation further revealed that some of the proceeds of the sales remitted to the Emirate Council’s bank account can be traced to the companies of interest to His Highness.”
According to the body, the investigation of the Emir followed information brought to it by a whistleblower, on the 29th of December 2019.
He, therefore, described the situation as unacceptable, noting that the centre has to be fixed within the fastest time possible.
“There is no way that Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa with a population of 200 million, yet in the Federal Capital and the surrounding states – six of the north-central, you don’t have one room that you can call an isolation centre where anyone who unfortunately falls into this crisis would be taken to.
Over 200 tents and properties worth millions of naira were razed on Tuesday after a wildfire gutted some parts of the popular Gujungu market in Jigawa State, northwest Nigeria.
The Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Mr Yusuf Sani Babura, confirmed the incident to Channels Television saying that the cause of the outbreak is yet to be ascertained.
According to him, however, the incident may have been linked to the activities of the traders around the market especially those using fire to roast fish and other related businesses.
The chairman of the market, Alhaji Salisu Dan’azumi, lamenting over the incident, noted that property worth over N10 million was destroyed before the fire could be put out.
Say no to a handshake, refuse every peck on the cheek and definitely avoid hugging. Instead, try a direct gaze, or maybe a hand gesture.
Around the world, people are changing their habits at work, home and in worship to reduce the risk of contracting the new coronavirus and prevent it from spreading any further.
AFP looks at changes in behaviour due to the coronavirus, which has killed more than 3,000 worldwide.
In Beijing, the capital of the country where the outbreak began, red hoardings tell people not to shake hands but to join their own hands together in a sign of greeting.
Loudspeakers tell people to make the traditional gong shou gesture — a fist in the opposite palm — to say hello.
Newspapers have been filled with advice on how to replace kissing on the cheek — an everyday greeting in France, even between people who have only just met — and handshaking, a common formality at work.
Etiquette expert Philippe Lichtfus, who has been widely cited in the media, says handshakes are a relatively recent development that began in the Middle Ages.
He says simply looking into a person’s eyes can suffice as a greeting.
Brazil’s health ministry has recommended that citizens not share metal straws used to consume the caffeine-rich South American drink mate, also known as chimarrao.
Meanwhile, a kiss — even if not on the mouth — is totally advised against as a greeting.
In a sign of the times, Germany’s Interior Minister Horst Seehofer rebuffed Chancellor Angela Merkel’s attempt to shake hands with him on Monday, smiling and keeping both his hands to himself.
They both laughed and Merkel threw her hand up in the air before taking a seat.
The outbreak could hit one of Spain’s most cherished traditions — the kissing of sculptures of the Virgin Mary in the week leading up to Easter.
With just a month to go before the week starts, the ritual could be banned. “It is one of the measures that is on the table,” said national health official Fernando Simon.
During the holy week, the faithful queue up to kiss the hands or feet of sculptures of Mary and the saints, seeking their protection.
Romania’s Martisor festival marks the beginning of spring when talismanic strings and flowers are handed out, often from men to women.
But the government has passed on a message to people urging them to hand over the flowers and talismans without the accompanying kiss. “Let’s give the flowers but not the kiss,” said Nelu Tataru, state secretary at the health ministry.
In Poland, one of Europe’s most Catholic countries, the faithful are allowed to take “spiritual communion” instead of consuming the communal bread — or it can be taken in the hands rather than the mouth.
The faithful have also been asked not to dip their hands in holy water when going in and out of the church and instead make the sign of the cross.
Is the footshake the new handshake?
In Iran, where 66 people have been killed by the virus, a video has gone viral showing three friends meeting — hands in their pockets, with two of them wearing masks — tapping their feet against each other as a greeting.
A similar video in Lebanon shows singer Ragheb Alama and comedian Michel Abou Sleiman tapping their feet against each other while making kissing noises with their mouths.
Some educational institutions in New Zealand have temporarily abandoned the Maori greeting known as the hongi — which involves two people pressing their noses together.
Wellington polytechnic WelTec said that instead of staff greeting new students with a hongi, its welcome ceremony would instead include a waiata, or Maori song.
New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard urged Australians to kiss with caution and suggested a pat on the back instead of a handshake.
“It’s a very Australian thing to put your hand out to shake hands, for example. I would be suggesting to the community… it’s time that Aussies actually gave each other a pat on the back for the time being — no handshaking,” he said.
“There are other things that can be done — I’m not going to say don’t kiss, but certainly you could be exercising a degree of care and caution with who you choose to kiss.”
The United Arab Emirates, as well as Qatar, are advising citizens to stop the traditional “nose to nose” greeting.
The UAE also said that people shouldn’t shake hands or kiss. Greet each other “by waving only”, it said.
NBA stars have been given a series of recommendations including that players interacting with fans should bump fists rather than high-five and avoid taking items such as pens, balls and jerseys to autograph, ESPN reported.
Some players have already taken steps to limit their exposure to the virus. Portland Trail Blazers star C.J. McCollum said he was no longer signing autographs because of the outbreak.
“Make sure y’all washing y’all hands with soap for 20 or more seconds & covering ya mouths when you cough,” McCollum wrote on Twitter.
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Wednesday advocated stiff penalties for electoral offences such as rigging and ballot snatching.
Lawan made this known in his concluding remarks after the Senate considered a bill that seeks to establish the Electoral Offences Commission.
According to the Senate President, the move to establish the Commission was in line with the legislative agenda of the Ninth National Assembly in sanitising Nigeria’s electoral process.
He said, “It is in pursuit of our legislative agenda at ensuring that we sanitise the electoral environment in the right direction.
“So, this bill is one of many that requires we amend the Electoral Act. Even Constitutional amendments and alterations will be made to that effect to ensure that the electoral processes and procedures are very well protected, that we stop people from abusing the process because they are in power, or because they have money.”
“I agree that the penalties must be punitive enough to make people not to indulge in electoral offenses,” Lawan added.
Earlier, sponsor of the Electoral Offences Commission Bill, Senator Abubakar Shaib Kyari (APC–Borno North), in his lead debate, expressed concern that “Electoral crimes lead to low quality, corrupt and violent political leadership.
“Electoral crimes help election riggers and offenders take control of governments against the democratic will of the electorates.”
According to the lawmaker, electoral offences give birth to political apathy that forces the electorates to shun political processes.
Kyari warned, “Political violence precipitates vicious cycles of political instability and national insecurity.
“Election corruption leads to avoidable waste of public resources and threaten National development in social-political and economic contexts.”
“Civil disturbances and violence resulting from manipulated elections strain otherwise harmonious communal relationships with adverse effects on national cohesion, peace and security; because rigged elections throw up political schemes that are not conducive for businesses, the national economy decays from declining Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), declining Gross Domestic Product (GDP), increasing unemployment, and General fall in the volumes of both local and global commerce,” he added.
Lending his voice to the debate, Senator Rochas Okorocha (APC – Imo West) advocated stiffer penalties and sanctions to serve as checks against electoral offenses such as rigging by officials of the electoral body.
Another lawmaker, Smart Adeyemi (APC– Kogi West) called for the establishment of a special court for electoral offences, saying, “I think we must look at the possibility of having a special court for electoral offences.”
Senator George Thompson Sekibo (PDP – Rivers East) said the establishment of an Electoral Offences Commission was long overdue.
According to the lawmaker, the 2023 General Elections will be marred with electoral violence like never witnessed before, should the National Assembly fail to pass the bill into law.
He, therefore, threw his weight behind the establishment of a tribunal alongside the proposed Commission.
“This request is long overdue. If we achieve this, we will be able to deepen our democracy. If we don’t achieve this, then 2023 will be worse.
“Electoral Act has many of these provisions, but the problem is who will implement it?
“We need the Commission, we also need the tribunal. Let it be surplus than having none.
“When it is passed, it should be assented to. If they don’t assent to it, then 2023 will be more than war,” Sekibo warned.
Senator Matthew Urhoghide (PDP – Edo South) said, “There is no amount of amendment to our electoral act devoid of the establishment of an institution for the purpose of punishing electoral offenses that will achieve any result.
“Anybody who commits, including political parties who commits electoral corruption, must be dealt with ruthlessly.”
Senator Francis Fadahunsi (PDP – Osun East), in his contribution, said the responsibility of realizing a credible electoral system is one that begins with politicians.
He said unless politicians agree to have a sanitized electoral process in Nigeria, no amount of commission established will change the frequency of electoral offenses in the country.
Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa (APC – Bauchi North), while speaking in support of the establishment of the commission, said there is need to establish a special court so as to reduce congestion that may arise as a result of the number of petitions and electoral offenses that would go before the commission.
Senator Uche Ekwunife (PDP – Anambra Central) said, “For this act to work, it behoves on us the politicians.
“We are still the people that will make the environment conducive. If we follow the way we are doing elections in this country, there will be no democracy.”
The Electoral Offences Commission Bill, which scaled second reading debate on the floor, was referred by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to the Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for further legislative work.
The Committee which is Chaired by Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC – Kano South) is expected to submit its report on the bill in four weeks.
Online streaming giant, Netflix’s first made-in-Africa production, Queen Sono, a spy thriller starring South Africa’s leading actress Pearl Thusi, has been making waves since its launch on Friday.
Created and directed by leading local satirist and actor Kagiso Lediga, Queen Sono is part of Netflix’s broader “Made in Africa, Seen by the World” strategy and one of its first investments on the continent.
Shot at more than 37 locations including in Kenya, Zanzibar, Nigeria and South Africa — Queen Sono is the first original script-to-screen series from Africa.
Netflix’s Africa manager Dorothy Ghettuba describes the movie as “a gripping action pact thriller (that) … follows the life of Queen Sono, a highly trained secret spy who works for South Africans”.
“I have always been the face of a strong African woman; it’s not new to me but I’m now representing a character on screen who is, I think reflecting all the women in Africa that are strong, black African women,” said Thusi, who is also a star of US FBI thriller series “Quantico”.
The production shows “exactly what we wish to do which is telling stories about Africa by Africans,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief content officer at Netflix.
For creator and director Lediga “there are so many stories, there are so many great filmmakers on the continent, I can’t wait to see what comes up after this”.
“It shows that we as Africans we can to do things by ourselves, we don’t need Europeans or Asians or anyone to tell our own stories. We understand ourselves and we can actually tell our story better than anybody else”.
Days after its release, many have expressed huge love for the series across social media, saying it is time Africa started telling its own stories.
what makes Queen Sono so revolutionary, is the fully served story of african women fighting and saving the continent as it always have been.
Someone commission me to write about Queen Sono and how it tells the very needed story: AFRICAN WOMEN HAVE ALWAYS SAVED THE CONTINENT
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, says agriculture remains a viable means for employment creation in Nigeria.
According to him, substantial investment in the sector by the Federal Government would guarantee food security for the country.
Lawan stated this on March 4, against the backdrop of a bill that is under consideration by the National Assembly, seeking to establish the Agricultural Development Fund.
“The agricultural sector remains unarguably the most viable means of ensuring that we create employment opportunities and that we create wealth for our people as well.
“If there is anything that needs to be done to enhance this sector, we should do so”, the Senate President said.
He noted that the establishment of the fund will make available some funds for the sector to do better and thrive, adding that same will boost the Nigerian economy and provide the much-needed food security in the country.
Earlier, sponsor of the bill, Senator Abdullahi Adamu (APC – Nasarawa West), leading debate on the bill, said “the current contribution of the agricultural sector to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stands at 15-20 per cent with the potential for improvement through the implementation and sustenance of appropriate intervention programmes, policies and enabling laws.”
According to the lawmaker, in spite of the policies and enabling laws, the utilisation of arable land in the country is only 40 per cent, and agriculture largely subsistence with minimal value addition.
“It will be difficult to achieve agricultural productivity and value addition required for industrial development without sustainable funding. The fact is that the current budgetary system will continue to be improved but it will be insufficient to generate the necessary transformation in the agricultural sector,” Adamu said.
The lawmaker noted, “One of the first steps that need to be taken to ensure adequate funding for the agricultural sector is the enactment of this bill in order to pave way for the creation of a mega-agency to manage viable and sustainable sources of agricultural financing.”
He added that the bill, when passed into law, would give legal backing to the establishment of the Agricultural Development Fund, and will compliment other funding development opportunities at the international and regional levels.
Abdullahi stressed that the fund, which will be domiciled under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, would “fill the apparent gap in agricultural development in the country, especially where the mainstream government budgetary allocation is grossly inadequate.”
Senator Adamu Aliero (APC – Kebbi Central), while contributing to the debate said if passed into law, the bill would put in place the needed structure that will take care of agricultural funding in the country.
“The bank is not capitalized, stakeholders have called for recapitalization but the CBN has not responded to these calls,” he said.
The lawmaker noted that the piece of legislation besides taking care of the existing gap of funding in the agricultural sector, will promote value chain, generate employment as well as reduce poverty.
Senator Sandy Onuh (PDP– Cross River Central) said: “one of the challenges of agriculture in Nigeria is that it is predicated on subsistence.”
“Subsistence agriculture exists because farmers do not have access to funding, they continue to be where they are year in year out.
“There is a need to establish the Agricultural Development Fund. Everyone around the world is talking about moving from subsistence to commercial farming”, the lawmaker added.
The bill which scaled second reading was referred by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, to the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development for further legislative work.
The committee which is chaired by Senator Abdullahi Adamu is expected to report back in four weeks.
Meanwhile, the Senate also on Wednesday considered a bill for an act to establish the Federal University of Agriculture, Dambatta, Kano State.
The bill which scaled second reading during plenary was sponsored by Senator Jibrin Barau (APC– Kano North).
The piece of legislation was referred to the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institution and TETFUND for legislative input.
The Committee which is chaired by Senator Ahmed Baba Kaita (APC–Katsina North) is expected to turn in its report in four weeks.
The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Mr Chikwe Ihekweazu is currently under self-quarantine for possible infection of the deadly coronavirus.
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, who was at the National Assembly on Tuesday, to brief the senate leadership on the level of Nigeria’s preparedness to contain the virus disclosed this to the leadership of the Senate.
According to him, Mr Ihekweazu went into self-quarantine after his return from China to Nigeria and will remain in quarantine in his house for 14 days.
In response, Senate President Ahmed Lawan has asked the Ministry of Health to immediately step up the plan to create more isolation centers in all the states of the federation or at least make plans to have one in each of the six geopolitical zones.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued on Tuesday evening, the NCDC said reports that the DG was under ‘quarantine over coronavirus’ is false.
They explained that between the 16th and 24th of February 2020, the World Health Organisation deployed a high-level mission to China.
According to the agency, the mission involved 25 national and international experts who met with their counterparts in China to understand their response to the COVID-19.
“As recommended in NCDC’s public health advisory, travelers from countries with ongoing transmission of COVID-19 are advised to proceed on 14-day self-isolation whether well or unwell.
“The Director-General has adhered to this, to protect himself and the public. He has been tested since his return and has shown no symptoms of COIVID-19 infection.
The Oyo State House of Assembly has passed the bill establishing the state security network agency, code named Operation Amotekun into law.
The Bill was passed on Tuesday, after a presentation of the report of the House Committee on Security and Special Duties at the plenary.
Dramatically clad in attires resembling leopard skin, the House deliberated and was unanimous in its decision to pass the bill which would create a security network to collaborate and assist the police and other security agencies to maintain law and order.
After deliberations at the House, the speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, rt. Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin said he was optimistic that the new bill would help stem the tide of banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery and other criminal acts to pave way for a prosperous state, and by extention, the entire southwest region.
A bill which prescribes a five-year jail term, with an option of fine of not less than five million naira, for any importer or exporter of any nuclear material or proscribed substances without a license from the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA), passed its second reading at the Senate on Tuesday.
In the case of a corporate body, the bill prescribes a fine of not less than N20 million on conviction.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Special Assistant (Press) to President of the Senate, Ezrel Tabiowo.
According to the statement, the bill provides that an offending Director or officer of the corporate body shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than five years or an option of fine of not less than five million naira or to both such fine and imprisonment.
It also provides that any operator of nuclear installation, who fails to take measures to secure any nuclear material in such a manner as to result in unauthorized access, theft or loss of control of such materials or sources commits an offence and shall in the case of an individual, be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not lass than five years or a fine of not less than N10 million or to both; and in the case of a corporate body, be liable on conviction to a fine of not less than N50 million.
Consequently, the upper chamber, in the bill under consideration, is proposing the re-establishment and composition of the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NNRA), with membership from relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government.
In his lead debate, the sponsor of the bill, Senator Robert Ajayi Boroffice (APC – Ondo North), explained that it seeks to re-establish an already existing legal framework for the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority by expanding its mandate to include security and safeguards for the nuclear industry in Nigeria.
“The existing law (Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Act no 19 of -1995) is twenty five year old. It has been overtaken by events and developments in the field of nuclear technology.
“It falls below the minimum standards of independence and other requirements, considered to be Indispensable and prescribed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for national nuclear relay our bodies worldwide.
“The current law does not provide for the regulation of the Nuclear Power Programme and Nuclear emergency preparedness; and does not deal with the growing challenge of radioactive waste management,” Boroffice noted.
“Although Nigeria does not generate electricity from nuclear sources, it is considering doing so in the nearest future because research shows that nuclear power offers one of the cleanest source of energy, reduces the amount of energy generated from fossil fuels and provides stable baseload of energy at relatively lower costs.”
“It is one of the promising forms of alternative energy. Due to advancement in technology, it has become an one of the safest sources of energy,” he added.
The lawmaker, however, warned that Nigeria stands to be exposed to the risks of radioactive and nuclear sources of energy, should the country fail to immediately introduce enabling laws that would regulate nuclear technology.
“After painting a very positive picture of the derivable benefits from passing the bill, it is also equally pertinent for us to know the harmful effects of unregulated sources of energy,” Boroffice said.
Citing Chernobyl in Russia as example, he cautioned that, “the uses of radioactive and nuclear sources may involve great risks including the dangers associated with accidents and leakage of large amounts of nuclear waste to the environment which remains hazardous for thousands of years.
He added, “even though Nigeria does not currently generate electricity from nuclear sources, she is already using radioactive sources in the fields of agriculture, medicine and mining. And there are great possibilities that she might add nuclear energy to its energy mix in the nearest future.”
The bill when passed into law, according to Boroffice, will make provision for the Nigerian Nuclear Security Committee (NNSC) and the National Research Institute for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection.
He stated that the piece of legislation will also provide for authorisation and licensing of the use of nuclear and radioactive sources for industrial, medical and mining purposes and the appointment of inspectors and their enforcement powers.
Contributing to the debate, Senator Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC – Kwara Central) said, “the current legislation is not effective.”
The lawmaker noted that “it is critical and important to look at the 1995 Act to understand the deficiencies”, adding that contributions by stakeholders will enrich the bill.
The bill after consideration, was referred by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to the Senate Committees on Science and Technology; and Petroleum Upstream to report back in four weeks.