Presidential Committee Arrests Three Fertiliser Adulterators

In this photo taken on April 15, 2020, Jigawa State Governor and Chairman of the Committee on Presidential Fertiliser Initiative, Badaru Abubakar, announces the Federal Government’s plan to reduce the price of fertiliser at the Government House in Dutse.

 

The Committee on Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI) has arrested three suspects who specialise in adulteration of fertiliser and selling such to farmers in the north-west region of the country.

Jigawa State Governor, Badaru Abubakar, who is also the Chairman of the Presidential Committee disclosed this on Monday.

He made the disclosure during an inspection visit to some fertiliser blending plants in Kano State.

Governor Abubakar said the suspects who have since been detained in police custody were arrested in Kano, Kaduna, and Zamfara States.

He explained that they were nabbed for selling adulterated fertiliser and packaging them just like that of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative.

A map of Kano state in northern Nigeria.-Kanooooo
A map of Kano State in north-west Nigeria.

 

The PFI chairman decried that the action of the suspects was capable of tarnishing the hard-earned reputation of the Federal Government of providing the Nigerian farmers with qualitative fertiliser.

He, however, stated that his committee would make sure that the quality of fertiliser under PFI watch was not compromised and, in an event, where such happens, the culprits would be arrested and made to face the full wrath of the law.

Governor Abubakar also faulted the rumours that PFI fertiliser was sold beyond N5,000 per bag – the approved price by the Federal Government.

He, therefore, appealed to farmers in the country to make use of the whistle-blowing number printed on the fertiliser bag and report persons involved in such acts for prosecution.

During the visit to Kano, the PFI chairman inspected the Alu Fertiliser plant in Birninkudu, Kasco Fertiliser blending plant at Bompai, and Nagari Fertiliser blending plant in Madobi town.

He was satisfied with the quality and quantity of fertiliser produced daily at the various plants visited.

Governor Abubakar believes the quantity of fertilizer produced daily is more than enough for farmers in the three states of Kano, Jigawa, and Katsina under the jurisdiction of the plants.

Aid Group Says Five Nigerian Workers Abducted By ISWAP

 

Five humanitarian workers have been abducted by Islamist insurgents in the restive northeastern region, aid group Action Against Hunger said.

The Paris-based organisation said in a statement Tuesday that one of its employees was among those kidnapped last month.

“Action Against Hunger condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the abduction of our employee, Ishaiku Yakubu, and we urgently call for his release,” it said.

It said Yakubu was abducted in June by a non-state armed group along with four other humanitarian workers from different organisations.

The five, all Nigerians, have appeared in a video that surfaced this week on the Telegram messaging app.

In the footage — apparently shot on June 21 — they said they had been kidnapped by fighters aligned to the Islamic State group at different times last month and appealed to be released.

Aid workers have been repeatedly targeted by jihadists waging a decade-long insurgency in northeastern Nigeria.

Last year fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) faction abducted a group of six humanitarian workers — including a female ACF employee — in the region.

Five of the hostages were later executed and the ACF worker remains in captivity.

ISWAP splintered from the jihadist group Boko Haram in 2016 and swore allegiance to then IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The 10-year conflict in northeastern Nigeria has killed 36,000 people and displaced about two million from their homes in northeast Nigeria.

Aid groups provide a vital lifeline for some 7.9 million people who the United Nations says are in need of urgent assistance in the region.

Kano Govt Lifts COVID-19 Lockdown, Bans Street Hawking

Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, spoke to reporters on Friday, February 7, 2020.
A file photo of Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, at a press briefing.

 

 

Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has announced the suspension of lockdown earlier declared in the state to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Governor Ganduje made the announcement on Thursday while giving an update on the outbreak of COVID-19 in the state.

He also banned street hawking and begging, adding that it was compulsory for residents to wear face masks in public places.

The governor declared that final year students could resume school while all civil servants from Grade Level 12 should resume work from Monday next week.

He explained that the workers would be in the office from 9am to 2pm, noting that it was necessary to ensure the full opening of the state economy following the significant reduction in recorded cases of COVID-19.

Governor Ganduje, however, warned that the government would not hesitate to punish residents who fail to comply with the face mask policy.

He also advised people older than 55 years to stay at home, stressing that they were most vulnerable to the virus.

Kano State has been on lockdown since April 17 after the positive COVID-19 cases witnessed a significant rise.

Buhari Flags Off Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline Project

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has formally flagged off the construction of the $2.8 billion Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline project, said to be the largest of its kind in the nation.

The President who performed the ceremony virtually from the State House on Tuesday, called on governors of states on the path of the pipeline route to create an enabling environment for the success of the project.

The AKK project is a section of the trans-Nigeria gas pipeline with a capacity to transport 2.2 billion cubic feet of gas per day and will be fed from the existing domestic gas infrastructure.

Meanwhile, Governor Nasir El-Rufai also flagged off the Kaduna end of the pipeline with a proclamation that the project will bring about rapid economic development in the northwest zone and the entire country.

El-Rufai was accompanied at the flag-off ceremony by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva.

Speaking during the ceremony at Rigachikun in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, the governor said the 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano project, will add 3,600MW of electricity to the grid when completed and also supply industrial clusters with constant power.

Ganduje Reopens Viewing Centres, Donates 40, 000 Masks In Kano

 

Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje has ordered the reopening of viewing centres in the state.

While receiving the leadership of Soccer Viewing Centres Association on Friday, Ganduje asked them to observe all protocol put forward by health workers.

As part of the measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state, the governor also donated 40, 000 face masks to the association.

“It is in line with our decision to see that our economy bounces back through reinvigorating commercial and other business activities in the state that I have directed all viewing centres to be re-opened from today,” he said.

The governor also warned that as youth gather in their viewing centres, they must use the platform to create awareness on ways to help tame the pandemic.

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On his part, the Chairman of the association, Sharu Rabi’u Ahlan commended the efforts made by the state government in curtailing the spread of the virus.

“On behalf of all our members, we are appreciative of your unrelenting effort to human development, especially youth, in the state.”

“We are grateful for the face masks His Excellency gave us. And we promise to abide by all the protocols, Sir.

“Our members are always supportive of your policies. And we are in a good working relationship with the state Ministry of Information and the state Censorship Board,” he said.

Court Dismisses Fraud Charges Against Ex-Kano Gov. Candidate

A file photo of a court gavel.
A file photo of a court gavel.

 

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Kano on Friday dismissed a case of money laundering filed against Mr Abdulkareem Zaura, the governorship candidate of the Green Party of Nigeria in Kano State.

The presiding judge, Justice Ambrose Allagoa, held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, adding that the prosecution did not establish criminal evidence against the defendant.

He said the prosecution left a serious doubt in the mind of the court, explaining that the prosecution pursued its case based on suspicion as against the defendant while failing to prove the charges against him.

According to Justice Allagoa, the EFCC accused the defendant of defrauding a Kuwaiti national of monies amounting to over $1 million, and that the failure of the nominal complainant to appear before the court to give evidence has rendered all the testimonies by the prosecution witnesses null.

He added that the two witnesses brought by the anti-graft were not in a position to relate what transpired between the nominal complainant and the defendant.

The court then dismissed the nine charges filed against the defendant and acquitted him.

Alleged Land Scam: Court Dismisses Sanusi’s Request To Stop Probe

A file photo of the deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II.

 

 

The Federal High Court sitting in Kano has dismissed the application of deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, seeking to stop the State Public Complaint and Anti-Corruption Commission (PCACC) from investigating a petition against him over N2 billion alleged land scam.

In his judgment on Monday, Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa held that the court cannot restrain a statutory body from carrying out its official responsibility.

He added that the deposed emir’s fundamental human rights guaranteed under section 36(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) has not been breached in any way by the investigation of the commission.

The judge said “the substratum of the entire case of the applicant collapsed” with the court’s decision that there has been no breach of the fundamental human right of the applicant, thereby dismissing all other claims as mere “academic”.

Sanusi had approached the court on March 6, 2020, seeking to halt PCACC’s invitation to him to come and explain his role in an alleged land transaction scam.

He had asked the court to declare that PCACC’s refusal to give him facilities and allow him adequate time to prepare for his defence was a breach of his fundamental human right to a fair hearing.

The deposed emir, therefore, urged the court to set aside the letter of invitation extended to him and declare that PCACC be perpetually restrained from further investigating him over the breach of his fundamental human rights to a fair hearing.

However, PCACC and its chairman, Muhyi Magaji, through their lawyer, Usman Fari, submitted during the trial that they were only investigating allegations of fraud in the land transaction in Darmanawa, in the state metropolis in which over N500 million was alleged to have been siphoned through a proxy.

PCACC’s lawyer had informed the court that it received a petition from a whistleblower that lands belonging to the Kano Emirate Council, which the applicant was heading at the time, were been illegally sold, and it invited and interviewed many people, including officers and titleholders in the council.

It said its preliminary investigation was the reason it extended an invitation to Sanusi and denied that it was unfair to the deposed emir or any other person in the matter.

Fari argued that Sanusi cannot claim that his right to a fair hearing was (likely) to be jeopardised when he refused to honour the invitation extended to him while others did.

He said since PCACC was not a judicial or quasi-judicial body, the requirements of fair hearing that was contemplated by Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria would not be applicable.

He explained that the commission did not conduct a hearing to determine anyone’s guilt, but rather carried out an investigation, stressing that fair hearing was an opportunity to be heard and that opportunity was granted to Sanusi.

On the allegation of bias, the lawyer noted that there was no fact in Sanusi’s application to support the claim.

He, therefore, insisted that the deposed emir’s prayers to the court to give an injunction restraining PCACC from further investigating him would amount to frustrating the commission from carrying out its statutory duties.

Fari then urged the court to disregard the prayers of the deposed emir in the application.

Magaji told Channels Television after Monday’s sitting that the commission would proceed with its investigation after the judgement.

Ganduje Directs House-To-House Sample Collection For COVID-19 Test

Kano state Governor Abdullahi Ganduje
A file photo of Kano state Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje.

 

 

Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has directed the commencement of house-to-house sample collection exercise in the eight Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.

The emergency exercise is expected to take place within the metropolitan LGAs such as Taurani, Nasarawa, and Kano municipal, where most of the confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 are concentrated.

Governor Ganduje disclosed this on Thursday at a press briefing organised by the State Task Force on COVID-19.

He said, “We are putting our emphasis within the eight metropolitan Local Government Areas. We are engaging in house-to-house sample collection.

“I think during the political campaign, some politicians engaged in a house-to-house campaign. Right now, for COVID-19, we are engaging in a house-to-house sample collection campaign.”

According to the governor, the state has always improved on its successes in the fight against COVID-19 which is a result of the commitment of the Task Force and the frontline health workers.

He noted that the people were aware of the easiest ways to contract and avoid getting infected with the disease.

“We know the three commandments of COVID-19 which are social distancing, washing and sanitising our hands and wearing our face mask. These three commandments should become our way of life. They should become part of our everyday life,” Ganduje urged the people.

He added, “Relaxation of lockdown is now from 6am to 6pm on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. We also decided to open our markets in order to improve business activities in the state.

“We are producing face masks in large quantities and the market leaders have promised to produce face masks and distribute them free of charge. They will also provide water and soap for visitors and customers to make use of them.”

The governors hinted that officials have been directed to fumigate all the markets to ensure that they were devoid of diseases, saying the ratio of collection of samples has increased.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the State Task Force on COVID-19 and the state deputy governor, Dr Nasiru Gawuna, said their objective was to contain the spread of the disease in the state.

He noted that since Kano recorded its index case of COVID-19, the task force has continued to work hard in ensuring that the spread of the virus was controlled.

“This we have done through a coordinated mechanism for preparedness and response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Task Force has been working hand-in-hand with the Committee on Palliatives to ensure donations from corporate organisations and good spirited individuals,” he said.

The deputy governor added, “We are also working with traditional rulers, Civil Society Organisations, and other opinion leaders to ensure effective enlightenment of members of the public.”

Kano Govt Eases Lockdown, Releases Protocols And Summons Market Leaders

Kano state Governor Abdullahi Ganduje
A file photo of Kano state Governor Abdullahi Ganduje

 

The Kano State Government has eased the lockdown which was imposed on the state in a bid curb the spread of the coronavirus.

In line with the Federal Government’s directives regarding how state governments can ease their lockdown exercises, the Kano state government has released guidelines and established protocols on how to manage access to markets and locations of economic activities to limit the risk of continuous transmission.

The State’s Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, noted in a statement that after critical review and due consultations with key public health professionals regarding the situation in Kano; market operations, religious gatherings and movement of persons are now allowed on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 6:00am to 6:00pm.

Malam Garba said Governor Ganduje has summoned an emergency meeting with market leaders on how to ensure strict observance of safety and prevention protocols in markets and business places.

The commissioner also pointed out that while these restrictions have been lifted, interstate movements except for goods, agricultural produce and essential services are still restricted.

He stated that schools will remain closed, and urged students to make judicious use of the opportunities that will be availed via radio broadcast and televised lessons being sponsored by the state government.

Speaking on the handling of COVID-19 cases in Kano, Malam Garba said that Governor Ganduje has attributed the success being recorded in terms of reduced numbers of infectious, to measures being taken by the government and health authorities, and more importantly; to fervent prayers by the Ulama and the people of state.

According to the State’s Spokesman, the Kano Government has called for more of such prayers until the disease is completely wiped out.

Malam Garba on behalf of the government, thanked the people for their patience and understanding in the face of the restriction order.

Kano Formally Bans Almajiri System Of Education

Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, spoke to reporters on Friday, February 7, 2020.
Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, spoke to reporters on Friday, February 7, 2020.

 

Kano state government has formally abolished the traditional Almajiri system of education in the state after completing arrangements to enroll all repatriated almajirai to Kano from other states into conventional educational system.

At a COVID-19 media briefing, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje confirmed that over 1000 almajirai have so far been received from various states of the northern region.

Channels Television had earlier reported that the Kano State Government had evacuated about 1,172 almajirai to their states of origin.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Reports 389 New COVID-19 Cases, Total Infections Hit 8,733

More recently, these almajirai, all about 2000 of them were quarantined for two weeks after the state commenced the repatriation exercise.

Though the state task force on COVID-19 has not confirmed any positive cases among the almajirai, the Kano government believes that in view of the current circumstances, the almajiri system of education must be stopped.

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje stated on Wednesday that the repatriation of almajiri children to their states of origin has not stopped, adding that all almajirai who are not from Kano will be handed over to the right persons in charge.

Ganduje called on all residents to remain calm and continue to observe all safety precautions to prevent further spread of the pandemic which the government says is reducing drastically.

218 Almajirai Repatriated To Kaduna Will Get Free Education – El-Rufai

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Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufa’i says the 218 Almajirai who were repatriated to Kaduna from Kano, Nassarawa, Plateau and Gombe States would be enrolled in free and compulsory primary education.

The governor said every child in the state including the Almajiri has equal opportunity and access to 12 years of free and compulsory education in the state’s public school.

El-Rufai who disclosed this on Monday on his Facebook page added that the COVID-19 test was carried out on all the Almajirai and they all tested negative.

He explained that children would not be denied Islamic education, noting that, plans have been put in place to ensure the children go to Islamic school in the evening and at the weekend.

“I am pleased to see our Almajiri children the batch of 218 from Kano, Nassarawa, Plateau & Gombe States looking well & free of Covid 19. With the support of @UNICEF_Nigeria, AMA Foundation, other NGOs & philanthropists, they are being restored full human rights as children, dignity & hope!
“Every child in Kaduna has equal opportunity and access to 12 years of Free and Compulsory Education in our public schools.

“The next step is for the Commissioner of Human Services & Social Development, Mrs Hafsat Baba and her team to return them to their parents in collaboration with Local Government Chairmen and Traditional Rulers. All the children are to be compulsorily enrolled in the primary school nearest to them so they have modern education and life skills in the morning, and continue their Quranic or Islamic education in the afternoon and over the weekend.

“That is how many of us got our education. That is what the Nothern States’ Governors’ Forum decided. These children may the future of Northern Nigeria. – Nasir @el-Rufai.”

The Almajirai are currently kept in interim care at Government College, Kaduna.

The governor, therefore, assured the children that the state’s decision to reunite them with their families is in their best interest.

Kano Govt Extends Lockdown By One Week

Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, spoke to reporters on Friday, February 7, 2020.
Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, spoke to reporters on Friday, February 7, 2020.

 

Kano state government has announced a one-week extension of the lockdown imposed.

This the government says is to help further combat the spread of the novel COVID-19 pandemic.

The state commissioner for information, Malam Muhammad Garba, who made the announcement said the decision was reached after due consultations with the federal government and key stakeholders in the health sector.

READ ALSO: Udom Orders Immediate Shut Down Of All Livestock Markets In Akwa Ibom

He said the measure is aimed at further reducing indiscriminate person to person contacts
which is considered as one of the major ways the disease is being spread.

The statement, while acknowledging the consequences of the measure on the public, called for patience and support as the battle against the pandemic continues.

It also called on the people to continue to observe strict personal hygiene through regular hand washing, use of face masks and social distancing.