Court Declares Detention Of Ex-FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed Unlawful

Court Orders EFCC To Release Bala Mohammed On Bail

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has declared the detention of the former Minister of the FCT, Bala Mohammed, as unlawful and a violation of his right to liberty.

The trial judge, Justice Hussein Baba Yusuf, who made the order on Thursday, awarded the sum of N5m as damages for his detention.

In his ruling, the trial judge held that keeping the former Minister beyond 48 hours constitute an infringement of his personal right to liberty.

The judge also held that the refusal to release him because the EFCC had a remand order of court cannot hold waters, therefore it is immaterial that different judges gave the order of remand and the order of release.

 

Court Orders EFCC To Release Bala Mohammed On Bail

Court Orders EFCC To Release Bala Mohammed On BailJustice Baba Yusuf of the Federal Capital Territory High Court 4, has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to release the former FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed on bail.

The erstwhile Minister had been in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission since October 24, 2016 when he honoured the invitation of commission.

The Court granted him bail with two sureties who must have landed property within the Abuja Municipality with Certificate of Occupancy.

In granting the application for bail filed by the lead counsel to Mr Mohammed, Chris Uche, the High Court took a swipe at the EFCC for manifesting contradictions and for lying under oath with the depositions in the counter affidavit it filed challenging the bail application.

The court adjourned the matter till December 14, 2016 for the hearing of the substantive suit for the enforcement of the fundamentalist rights of the former minister.

FCT Plans Informal Markets To Stop Street Hawking

Street HawkingThe Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Muhammad Bello, says he will create informal markets in Abuja to eliminate street hawking from the city.

According to him, the creation of such informal markets would complement the efforts of the special task force he inaugurated earlier in the year to rid the city of street hawkers and beggars.

The special task force comprises the Police, the Army and other paramilitary agencies.

The chairman of the special task force had told Channels Television in September that those who import beggars from neighbouring states have made it difficult for the task force to succeed in eradicating street hawking in Abuja.

Meanwhile Abuja residents have been reacting differently to the decisions of the Minister.

While some applaud the activities of the special task force, others say the informal markets should have been created before the enforcement begins.

Street hawking has continued to thrive in Abuja despite the various efforts of past administrations to eradicate it.

El-Rufai Promises To Revive Textile Factories in Kaduna

textileThe Kaduna State Governor-elect, Nasir El-Rufai, has given an assurance that the incoming All Progressives Congress (APC) government is determined to revive all the collapsed textile factories in the state and other parts of the country as soon as it takes over power on May 29, 2015.

El-Rufai made the promise during his familiarization tour of some textile factories in Kaduna State.

During the tour, he lamented over what he described as the sorry state of infrastructure at the textile industries in Kaduna State, which he said had led to loss of jobs and revenue for the government.

As part of effort to turn around the textile sector, the former FCT Minister said that the APC government led by General Muhammadu Buhari would ensure the full implementation of the ban on smuggled textile materials into the country as well as giving the textile factories a lifeline to pick up again.

The leadership of the textile workers union said that the major problems facing the textile industry in particular and the manufacturing sector in general are infrastructural inadequacy, electricity supply, smuggling, counterfeiting and faking raw materials, as well as lack of local patronage, among others.

They said that all these problems call for strong interventions by the incoming government.

The United Nigerian Textiles Company Limited had over 7,000 workers in its payroll before 2007 when it was shut down and later re-opened in 2010. Sadly, despite having quality machines and manpower, the company has been producing at very low capacity with few staff due to low patronage.

While expressing optimism in the ability of the Buhari government to revive the textile sector, the workers also expressed willingness to partner with the incoming administration to reinvent the sector which has propelled newly industrialized countries in recent times such as China, India, Bangladesh and Indonesia among others.

According to a report released by the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), 26 out of the 36 states in the country grow cotton of both long and short stable lengths.

Nigeria has the potential of producing 1.2 billion meters of cloth per annum at 6 meters per capital. In the West African sub region, Nigeria is a natural textile destination point in the world. The industry has the potential to create 3 million direct jobs.

In the 70s and up to early 80s, Nigeria was the largest producer of different range of textile, garment and carpet products surpassed in production only by Egypt and South Africa.

El-Rufai Receives Certificate Of Return, Promises To Rebuild Kaduna

el-rufaiThe Independent National Electoral Commission in Kaduna State has presented Certificates of Return to winners in the 2015 elections in the state.

Among those that received their certificates at the INEC headquarters in the state capital were the state governor-elect, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, his deputy, Mr Bala Bantex, as well as national and state assembly elected members.

The presentation was sequel to El-Rufai’s victory over the incumbent governor, Muhktar Yero of the Peoples Democratic Party in the April 11 election.

Speaking after receiving his certificate, El-Rufai thanked the people of Kaduna State for voting massively for the APC in the election. He gave them an assurance that his government would hit the ground running immediately after their swearing in on May 29 in an effort to rebuild the state.

The Governor-elect explained that his administration would complete all ongoing projects initiated by the outgoing PDP government which has positive impact on the people of the state, while those of less importance would be reviewed.

The former FCT Minister also vowed to prosecute without exemption, anyone involved in electoral violence during the just concluded polls in order to serve as deterrent to others and also to reinforce his government’s commitment to the rule of law.

Among those that attended the event were traditional rulers, civil society organizations, and members of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security.

Others are local and international observers, political parties, religious leaders and the media.

The elected officials took turns to receive their certificates from the INEC National Commissioner in charge of Abuja, Niger and Kaduna states, Chris Iyamoga, to the admiration of relatives and friends.

FG To Compensate Bauchi Market Blast Victims

bauchi blastThe Federal Government has promised to compensate victims of the Bauchi central market explosions.

The Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed, announced the plan when he visited victims of the blast in some hospitals in Bauchi State.

The FCT Minister led a presidential delegation that included the Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Mohammed Sidi, on a visit to injured victims of the explosion.

According to the delegation, the visit was to show the Federal Government’s solidarity with the victims and provide the much needed succour.

The Minister, who made a donation of 20million naira for the victims, also announced the rebuilding of the market so that the traders could return to their normal businesses.

Some of the victims, who spoke to Channels Television, recounted their experiences and urged the Federal Government to make good its promise as they have been paying their medical bills from their pockets.

The explosion which rocked the Bauchi central market on December 22, 2014, claimed several lives and injured many others.

Trailer Kills Policeman, Two Others at Kaduna APC Primary Election

APC primaryAt least three people have been confirmed dead and many others severely injured in Kaduna when a trailer plying the Kaduna-Zaria highway failed break and crushed into members of the All Progressives Congress.

The APC members were waiting for accreditation at the Trade Fair Complex, venue of the state APC primary election on Thursday.

An eyewitness told our correspondent that the trailer lost control while approaching the Rigachikun end of the express way where thousands of APC delegates were waiting to be accredited into the Trade Fair complex.

It rammed into the crowd, killing three people on the spot, including one of the Policemen on duty.

The injured ones were taken to the hospital for treatment while the remaining delegates were immediately moved into the premises of the trade fair complex to avoid another accident.

The APC primary election was still ongoing as at the time of filing this report and the news of the incident threw the entire delegates and party officials into a mourning mood.

The state APC Chairman, Bala Bantex, has described the incident as very unfortunate.

 

Those Who Planned To Kill Buhari Are Sons Of Devil – Jonathan

Jonathan AgbadaThose who planned to kill General Buhari and Dahiru Bauchi are sons of the devil who wanted to plunge the whole nation into chaos.

Those were the words of President Goodluck Jonathan while receiving Vice President Namadi Sambo and other Muslim faithful who were in his residence to pay him the traditional Salah homage after the Ramadan fast.

Muslim faithful, started arriving the residence immediately after the Eid prayers, with those living in the Federal Capital Territory led by the Vice President. The President, clad in white agbada joined the visitors in the living room, welcoming everyone with warm handshakes.

Vice President Sambo expressed appreciation to the President for participating in the one month fast. He prayed that Allah would grant the President wisdom to lead Nigeria and that the country would overcome the crisis bedevilling it, and enjoy the transformation going on in its polity.

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed, who joined the Vice President to lead the group, described the courtesy call as a tradition, especially following the President’s humane disposition, a character that has endeared him to many.

President Jonathan, while thanking his special guests, condemned the Kano attacks and others in the country and pleaded with Nigerians, especially Muslim clerics and other men of God, to pray for the country. He wondered where Nigeria could have been if the two prominent Nigerians were killed in the Kano attack, saying that the country could have been in turmoil.

He thanked Allah for saving their lives and preventing a major calamity that would have befallen the country.

He added that only a collective effort by Nigerians and support for the Government could bring the excesses of Boko Haram to an end.

More prayers were offered to Allah as the living room got filled up to its brim with guests, some of them in Government and many others, friends of the President.

A Salah greetings card and other gifts were presented to the President as he looks forward to getting huge support and contributions from Nigerians at the launch of the Victims Support Fund scheduled for Thursday.

It is expected that money from the launch would be used to cushion the effect of terror, while security personnel make extra effort to bring it to an end.

President Goodluck Jonathan Unveils Centenary City

jonathan-5-599x300President Goodluck Jonathan, on Tuesday, unveiled the Centenary City, which is the last of the activities lined up to mark Nigeria’s 100 years of existence.

President Jonathan said that the Centenary City would be used to attract foreign investors and showcase the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria to the International Community.

He commended the confidence displayed by the developers and promised that his administration would do all it could to provide the enabling environment needed to complete the project in ten years.

President Jonathan, whose dream is to build a Nigeria that posterity would cherish, expressed happiness that it had become a reality.

For him, the outcome would be a representative of Nigeria’s unity and strength such that would galvanise investors from across the world.

The FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, described the vision as evidence of good leadership and inspiration from the President, while Secretary to the Government of the Federation,  Anyim Pius Anyim, said that this was the legacy the President wants to bequeath to posterity.

An inspection of the architectural design  showed that there would be residential houses comprising of 260 luxury villas and 256 apartment buildings, 5 star hotels and residences, including the Abuja commercial center with 139 office buildings.

The ground breaking and unveiling ceremony attracted captains of industries from Nigeria and overseas,Government officials including State Governors, members of the Federal Executive Council, friends and well-wishers of Nigeria and members of the diplomatic corp.

 

 

 

 

 

Nyanya Bombing: Ekweremadu Calls for Multi-Level Policing

EkweremaduThe Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, says the immediate review of the nation’s policing system has become imperative to tame the menace of insecurity in the country.

He made the call at the weekend in a chat with newsmen when he visited the National Hospital, Abuja to condole with hospitalized victims of the Nyanya, Abuja bomb incident.

Senator Ekweremadu, who was accompanied by his wife, Nwanneka Ekwereamdu, rued the rising disregard for human life and insisted that only a multilevel policing could secure the country adequately.

He said: “I was out of the country for an official visit at the time of the incident and I feel completely dehumanized that a country that values human life more than anything else is going through this kind of bestiality; so, it is completely unacceptable and we must come together as a nation and borrow from our past and relevant examples in the world to fight this evil and put it behind us.

“We are the only country that runs a federal system and run the type of police we have now. The type of police system we are running is not suited for a federal system of government. We are about 170 million people; we cannot have 320 thousand policemen to deal with it and I don’t believe that the Federal Government can ever produce the number of police that will be enough for this country.

“So, it is important that we review our policies and our laws in respect of this and see how we can incorporate other levels of government in security matters in this country so that at least in every vicinity, in every local area, we have sufficient of policemen around there who would not only police the place but also report to higher authorities on what is happening there.”

“If you have malaria, so long as you keep taking Panadol, you will never be well; it’s not going to work, because you need malaria drugs in order to deal with malaria; that is the problem we have here”, he stressed.

Senator Ekweremadu gave assurance that the National Assembly would continue to live up to its responsibilities in repositioning the security sector, emphasising that the nation’s security sector needed all the encouragement and support to give the nation their best.

“Our responsibility in this regard as lawmakers is essentially budgetary and we have appropriated nearly one trillion (Naira) in the budget to deal with security challenges; this year we made a specific provision for Police to hire more hands”, he explained.

The Deputy President of the Senate commended the National Hospital for the professionalism and patriotism with which they handled the victims. He gave personal financial support to the hospitalized and thanked God for their survival, while also wishing them quick recovery.

FCT Minister Orders Reconstruction Of Nyanya Park

Bala MohammedLess than a week after the bomb explosion at the Nyanya mass transit bus park that killed several people, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed, has ordered a reconstruction of the destroyed facility.

To this end the Minister has constituted a special committee to reconstruct, upgrade, or relocate the park to enhance security and free flow of traffic in the area.

The committee which was constituted during an emergency security meeting to review security situation in the FCT has been directed to commence work immediately despite the public holidays.

Mr Mohammed has also directed the Abuja Urban Mass Transit Company to deploy more mass transit luxury buses to the routes to fill the gap created by the buses damaged by the bomb blast.

Those present at the emergency meeting were the FCT Minister of State, Ms. Olajumoke Akinjide; Permanent Secretary of FCT, Mr. John Chukwu; Chief of Staff to the FCT Minister, Mohammed Yau Gital; FCT Commissioner of Police, Mr. Joseph Mbu; the Director of State Security Services in FCT, Mr. John Okojie and chairmen of the six area councils in the FCT.

Others were the Coordinator of Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Mr. Reuben Okoya, the Commandant of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Aminu Kofarsoro; and the FCT Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mrs. Susan Ada Ajenge.

The Minister called for support for government from all quarters to ensure the return of normalcy to Nyanya.

Fight Against Corruption: Jonathan Commissions Auditor-General’s Office

The Federal Government has resolved to strengthen the office of the Auditor-General to give it more impetus in the fight against corruption.

President Goodluck Jonathan gave the indication while commissioning the headquarters complex of the Auditor-General of the Federation’s office in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The President   decried a situation where a national accountability institution like the Auditor-General would be allowed to operate from a three bed room apartment, a situation not befitting to its image.

He commended the National Assembly for the audit bill and the relevant constitutional amendment that would strengthen the Auditor-General’s office for the good of Nigeria.

The President said that he granted the request by the National Assembly for the acquisition of the new building that was commissioned, believing that the Auditor-General needs a conducive working environment to discharge the important work in the fight against corruption.

The commissioning attracted the FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, and some Nigerian lawmakers who asserted that the auditors were the first line of defence in the fight against corruption, even before one gets to the EFCC and other anti-corruption agencies.

The Auditor-General, Samuel Ukura and his staff expressed joy at the commissioning. He said that henceforth, Nigerians should expect international best practices in their operations.

The Auditor-General of the Federation, Samuel Ukura, noted that by providing the building, the President has sharpened the teeth of the Auditors-General to bite, and that they would do, not minding whose ox is gored in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.