PDP Governorship Aspirants Accuse Incumbents of Imposing Unpopular Candidates

PDP STAKEHOLDERS MEET20 People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirants from the North-West zone have protested what they described as an attempt by the outgoing governors of the party in four states in the zone to impose unpopular persons on the electorate as candidates of the party, saying such moves would not augur well for the party in the forthcoming elections.

The aggrieved aspirants in Kaduna accused the incumbent governors of hijacking the party’s recent congress and last Saturday’s screening exercise in order to impose their anointed candidates specifically in Jigawa, Katsina, Kaduna and Kebbi states.

A former Senator from Katsina state, Ibrahim Idah, who addressed the press on behalf of 19 other aspirants, which include the former deputy governor of Kebbi state, Ibrahim Aliyu, former Minister of Aviation, Hassan Hyat, from Kaduna State and Abba Anas Adamu, from Jigawa state, said they viewed the move by the governors as a calculated attempt to frustrate and deliberately compromise the success of the forthcoming 2015 general election.

While insisting that candidates of the party must emerge through a transparent primary, they however called on the national leadership of the party to urgently wade into the matter by providing a level playing ground for all aspirants in order not to give an unfortunate but avoidable advantage to the opposition.

EFCC Arraigns Kebbi State Director For Stealing N64m

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned a Director with the Kebbi state, Ministry of Finance , Yahaya Saidu Andarai and one  Farouk Abubarka Uduli, before the Lagos  High Court in Ikeja for allegedly stealing the sum of N64million belonging to Coscharis Motors Ltd.

The two men, who were arraigned before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo, are facing a 27 count charge of conspiracy , fraud and stealing.

The defendants were accused by the EFCC of  converting the said sum  which is  the proceed of AX motorcycles,  property of Coscharis Motors entrusted to them on behalf of Jega National Union Local Government Employees of Kebbi state.

While the second defendant, was only charged with two count, the first defendant was charged with all 27 counts. Both men however pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Counsel to the EFCC,  Oluwabumi Abosede, said that the defendants had committed the offence between August 26, 2009 and August, 2, 2012, in Maza Maza area of Lagos.

CHARGES:

She also said that sometime in August 2010, the first defendant stole 20 units of Ax Motorcycle valued at N2.2million

The anti- graft agency further said that on the 26 of August 2009, with intent to defraud,the first defendant, Andarai, converted to his use the sum of N17million, the money entrusted to him by the Jega National Union of Local Government Employees of Kebbi state.

According to the EFCC, the offence committed is contrary to section 309 Cap 2 laws of Lagos state.

After the defendants had taken their plea,  an oral application was made by the first defendant’s counsel Odu Hycinth that the first defendant should be remanded in EFCC’s custody because of his alleged ill health, pending when he will meet his bail conditions.

He said that Andarai, is an hypertensive patient and has been to the Military hospital at , very close to the EFCC office.

He also said that the first defendant is a very responsible man who is a director with the ministry of finance in Kebbi state and he is still serving, adding that he would be available for trial any time the matter comes up.

Hyacinth, further added that the issue of the first defendant not being present will not arise because he is a credible person.

In her reply, counsel to the EFCC said”I know that the proper place after arraignment is prison custody.”

“I will allow the court to use its discretion because am not aware of his health issues.” She said.

However Justice Onigbanjo, said that he is not satisfied with the explanation from the first defendant counsel and that of the EFCC investigating police officer IPO on the ill health of the first defendant.

He  however granted the two defendants bail in the sum of N2million, with two sureties in like sum.

The matter was then adjourned to November 20, 2013, for trial.

FEC Approves 3 New Universities For Northern Nigeria

Three new universities are to be established in the northern part of the country to bring the number of universities owned by the Federal Government to 40.

The new universities are to be located in Zamfara, Kebbi and Yobe states.

This is one of the decisions taken by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) today during its weekly meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The meeting was presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan before he left to also preside over the caucus meeting of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

President Jonathan charged the Ministers to move faster in actualising their set plans for the year.

Victims of St Rita’s Church bombing are buried

Victims of the St Rita’s Catholic Church suicide bombing in Kaduna have been laid to rest.

Over 2,000 people attended the mass burial which started at 10AM, Thursday morning.

The Catholic Archbishop of Kaduna diocese, Reverend Father Matthew Ndagoso, who presided over the mass appealed to Christians in the state to shun all acts of violence or attempts to seek revenge over the October the 28th, 2012 bomb blast which claimed four lives of the church members.

Addressing parishioners at a special mass of burial for the victims of the blast, Bishop Ndagoso advised all affected persons to forgive those who committed the act and embrace peace saying Christians must remain human even in difficult situations.

He is also asked the federal government to devise new ways of addressing the issue of insecurity in the country adding that the attack on the church is by terrorists who are masquerading as Islamic fundamentalists.

Reports say that, three coffins were presented to the church containing the bodies of Laraba Sule, Sarah Yohana and Samuel Ishaya.

The other victims of the suicide bombing were reported to have been buried by the family immediately following the attack.

The church had pleaded with the families of the victims to allow the bodies of the three victims to be buried at the church premises – to mark the ultimate sacrifice they made for the church.

Out of the seven believed to have died from the blast, four were said to be members of the church.

And out of the four, one of the victims, Bitrus Simon was buried immediately following the blast.

He was buried in Kebbi state by his family.

UNICEF deploys 510 volunteers to combat polio in Northern states


As part of the National Polio Eradication Emergency scheme, the United Nation’s Children Fund, UNICEF, has trained and deployed 510 Volunteer Community Mobilisers to Kano, Kebbi and Sokoto states.

According to UNICEF in a statement, “there are a total of 957 volunteer community mobilisers (557 in Kano, 200 in Kebbi and 200 in Sokoto)and they would be fully operational by the end of April 2012.”

“With the support of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this initiative will contribute to reducing the percentage of missed children through targeted interventions house-to-house to generate demand for and acceptance of oral polio vaccine…this initiative will be expanded to Zamfara, Jigawa and Borno by June 2012, and Katsina and Yobe by August 2012 ,depending on funds availability.” the agency also said.

UNICEF further disclosed that 2,150 settlement level volunteer mobilisers in total, will be recruited, trained and deployed in the settlements where missed children and refusals to oral polio vaccine are still persistent.

Nigeria is one of four countries in the world – along with Pakistan, India and Afghanistan – where polio is still a major health risk.  In November 25, 2011, Nigeria recorded 43 cases of wild poliovirus compared to 14 cases in the same time period in 2010. In the first nine months of 2011, the country reported more cases than in the whole of 2010.

Also, Nigeria remains the only polio-endemic country in Africa. The first case of wild poliovirus (WPV3) in 2012 in the country was reported on 14th January, 2012 from Sokoto State.

Supreme Court sacks Kebbi State governor

Sa'idu Usman Dakingari

The Supreme Court has sacked Kebbi State Governor, Saidu Dakingari, from office, ordering that fresh governorship elections be held in 90 days time.

In the judgement delivered on Friday by Justice Walter Onnoghen, the Supreme Court set aside a ruling by the Court of Appeal upholding Dakingari’s election as governor of Kebbi state.

Dakingari’s governorship win had been challenged by the Congress for Progressive Change party, who argued that the election of the PDP man should be nullified as it was not valid.

An election tribunal had initially removed the governor, claiming that documents presented as evidence by the Independent National Electoral Commission were not part of the prescribed forms.

Dakingari’s elections had been nullified by the tribunal and fresh elections ordered; however, the embattled governor took his case to an appellate court in Sokoto where the verdict of the tribunal was overturned and his governorship upheld.

Justice Aminu Sanusi of the Court of Appeal, Sokoto on 28 December 2011 had ruled that while the INEC documents were not part of the prescribed forms, they did nothing to impair the legal validity of Dakingari’s elections in April 2011.

The court had further dismissed an appeal by the CPC that a certificate of return be issued to its candidate Abubakar Malam Abubakar and had said it would provide other reasons for the judgement on a later date to the parties involved.

However, the Court of Appeal failed to do so within 60 days; Justice Onnoghen overturned the ruling today, saying the appellate court should not have deferred the reason for its judgement past the time allowed by the constitution.

The Supreme Court upheld the ruling of the tribunal, nullifying Dakingari’s election.