COVID-19: Kwara Govt Shuts Down Schools, Orders Civil Servants To Work From Home

 

The Kwara State Government has ordered the closure of all public and private nursery, primary, secondary schools and state-owned tertiary institutions as part of efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease.

The government has also banned all gatherings of more than 25 people.

Apart from the Ministry of Health and other essential workers, all civil servants are expected to work from home.

This was contained in a statement signed by the state governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Sunday.

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Although the state has no confirmed case of the COVID-19, it says it is taking the proactive measures to avoid any future incidents, while noting that they are embarking on a healthcare transformation agenda to give residents access to better quality and affordable healthcare.

Read the full statement below.

Statement by His Excellency Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State on COVID-19 pandemic

Dear Kwarans:

The welfare, security and well-being of all Kwarans are of utmost importance to our administration and, as such, we have embarked on a robust healthcare transformation agenda to give every Kwaran access to better quality and affordable healthcare.

At this moment, however, the world is faced with a viral pandemic caused by coronavirus.

Coronavirus Disease 2019, or COVID-19, is a new strain of coronavirus to infect humans. It was first detected in China and has now spread around the world, including Nigeria.

Currently, we have no confirmed case of COVID-19 in Kwara State. However, as a proactive government, and consistent with our determination to upgrade healthcare infrastructure in Kwara state, I have since approved funding for the construction of an isolation centre at the onset of our administration.

Now, the number of cases in Nigeria is increasing, there are a total of 27 confirmed cases. The federal government of Nigeria is leading the fight against coronavirus by taking bold and decisive decisions that will save lives.  In Kwara State, we are following the lead of the Federal government by mobilising all resources available to us to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Kwara.

Even so, basic preventive measures by individuals and communities remain the most powerful tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As individuals, we are all responsible for the general well-being of fellow Kwarans and should work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by:

1) washing our hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as much as possible daily;

2) avoiding touching our eyes, mouths, and noses;

3) covering our mouths and noses with our bent elbow or tissue when we cough or sneeze;

4) staying more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick and coughing, and wearing a mask if you are ill (especially if coughing) or looking after someone who is ill and coughing;

5) abstaining from handshaking until the threat of this COVID-19 is zero; and

6) avoiding crowded area and minimising any gathering to a maximum of 25.

As a community, we must do everything possible to prevent any transmission of COVID-19 by embracing the concept of social distancing and self-isolation. These measures are to prevent anyone that may be infected with COVID-19 from spreading the disease to others. An exponential spread of COVID-19 in our community might be catastrophic because we could have thousands of our citizens sick at the same time.

Given the aforementioned and the global health emergency situation, our administration has taken the following difficult but important decisions to protect Kwarans:

1)     Closure of all public and private nurseries, primary, secondary and state-owned Tertiary institutions.

2)     Aside from Ministry of health and essential workers, all civil servants are to work from home.

3)     All gatherings of more than 25 people are hereby discouraged until further notice.

We need to encourage all Kwarans to get involved in this fight against COVID-19. We believe we will achieve desired results only if and when our people are properly sensitised on how to protect our communities from the virus.

We are determined to continue to make the necessary investments in healthcare to safeguard the lives of our people. A 20-bed high-quality isolation centre has been completed and equipped at Sobi Specialist Hospital and plans are underway to build additional and well-equipped 12-bed intensive care unit at the General Hospital, Ilorin.

We have put in place a “COVID-19 Technical Committee” comprising healthcare professionals and officials whose primary responsibility is to assist our administration in combating COVID-19 in Kwara State. This committee is headed by the Deputy Governor.

In addition to the above measures, including the emergency telephone lines already given by the Ministry of Health, you will be receiving regular briefings and bulletins from us on the development.

Finally, l wish to reassure all Kwarans of the determination of our administration to prevent, contain, and limit the impact of the pandemic on our people.

God bless Kwara State! God bless Nigeria.

AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq
Governor, Kwara State.
March 22, 2020.

Ile-Arugbo: Court Fixes March 25 For Hearing After Parties Fail To Settle

 

A Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin has fixed March 25, 2020, for definite hearing on the case between the Saraki family and the state government.

Both parties have been in dispute over the demolition of the Saraki family home known as Ile Arugbo, which was demolished by the state government.

According to the state government, the property which was used as a venue for political meetings was destroyed over alleged illegality in its acquisition.

Counsels to both parties had told the presiding judge, Justice Abiodun Adewara, that the matter will be settled out of court.

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However, Channels Television gathered that several meeting held at the office of the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, ended in a brick wall as both parties failed to reach amicable terms of a settlement.

In the terms of the settlement, the Kwara government wants the land to be left for the public interest; but the claimant proposed that the government should vacate the revocation order on three plots on Illofa road, GRA, which Ile Arugbo sits on.

The claimants added that the government should rebuild all the demolished structures on the land, and issue a public apology to the aged who were traumatised by the demolition.

On Mondays sitting, Justice Adewara commended both parties for trying to find an amicable resolution to the crisis as advised by the court, and fixed March 25 for the hearing of the case.

Customs Impounds 48 Sacks Of Marijuana In Kwara

The Nigeria custom officers in Kwara State have seized 48 sacks of Cannabis Sativa popularly known as Marijuana.

Also, 953 bags of imported rice weighing 50kg each were seized.

The Area Comptroller, Ahmed Bello said the seizure was made at Bukuru in Baruten Local Government Area of the state between August 2019 and January 2020.

He said the seized marijuana weighs 3,593kg and the total duty paid value of the items seized is N448million.

Bello also condemned the act of smuggling and the increased consumption of marijuana by youths. He revealed that the command would continue to dialogue, engage, sensitise and educate the public on the strategic role of the customs activities to the social and economic stability of the country.

Ile Arugbo Demolition: Kwara Govt To Revoke More Illegal Properties

 

The Kwara State Government says it will soon revoke more properties that are found to be illegally acquired.

The chairman of the committee on the review of the sales of government properties, Senator Suleiman Ajadi, said this on Sunday while addressing journalists on the demolition of the Saraki Property by the state government.

Ajadi noted that the committee which was established to look into the sales of government properties from 1999 to date has recommended some properties to be taken over by the government.


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According to him and contrary to the belief in some quarters, the Saraki property known as Ile Arugbo did not have any documents.

He added that the committee which submitted its report four months ago discovered that no application nor payment was made in respect of the land in question.

Before the demolition, the Saraki family house was used as a venue for political meetings when the family held sway over the Kwara Government.

Policemen, numbering about 50 were said to have gone to enforce the action at about 3:00 am on January 2 but were initially resisted by some the old women.

They later returned at about 4:00 am when the structure was eventually pulled down.

Several reactions have continued to trail the action, including that of the Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki, who is a member of the APC, and a member of the Saraki family.

According to her, although she had chosen to remain silent over the previous happenings in the state as part of her loyalty to the party, she felt it was necessary to speak up now in order for her silence not to be misconstrued as approval.

She condemned the manner in which the issue was approached and therefore called on members of the party “to stand up against vindictive politics, driven by envy, motivated by jealousy and practiced without integrity.”

Police Take Over Saraki’s Ancestral Home

 

Policemen have surrounded a property belonging to the family of the former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

The property has in recent days been a subject of controversy between the former Senate President and the current Kwara State Government.

Prior to this development, the state House of Assembly had deliberated on a petition against the ownership of the expanse of land which was reportedly not paid for, prompting the call for the executive to take over the property.

The matter has also triggered political arguments between the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party in Kwara State and the state government.

Kwara Workers Threaten Strike Over Non-Payment Of New Minimum Wage

Kwara workers during the emergency meeting held at the Labour house in Ilorin, Kwara State capital on Tuesday, December 17, 2019.

 

Workers in Kwara State on Tuesday threatened to embark on industrial action if the State Government does not implement the N30,000 new minimum wage.

The labour union which comprises of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) disclosed this during an emergency meeting held at the Labour House in Ilorin, the state capital.

According to them several efforts made to convince the state governor Abdulfatah Ahmed on the need to constitute minimum wage committee has not been met.

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According to the workers, six states have commenced the payment with ten already negotiating; therefore Kwara State should not be left behind.

The state chairman of TUC, Kola Olumoh during the meeting said the “issue of the N30,000 minimum wage has been passed into law and it should be seen as an act of the law that is binding for state governors to emulate.

“We are ready and willing to ensure that the state government pays the minimum wage of N30,000 by the virtue of the adjustment that has been made and signed by Labour.

“We hope and expect that the state government will be magnanimous as a way of giving back to the workers, the dividends of having voted them in to pay us our N30,000 minimum wage before December 31st.”

Meanwhile, the state government through a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Rafiu Ajakaye says the governor has directed the head of service to immediately constitute a minimum wage committee.

Alleged N4bn Misappropriation: 16 Kwara LG Chairmen Released By EFCC

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has released the 16 Local Government Chairmen of Kwara State invited for questioning into the alleged misappropriation of N4bn loan and ten percent of Internally Generated Revenue.

In a statement by the antigraft agency, the LG Chairmen were released after volunteering statements to the Commission.

The Head, Media & Publicity of the commission, Wilson Uwujaren clarified that the invited men were not detained, contrary to reports.

“They were invited over allegations that border on misappropriation of part of the N4bn loan obtained from Sterling Bank for the payment of arrears of salaries and pension of local government employees and teachers through the State Universal Education Board, SUBEB. They also allegedly diverted 10 percent of state internally generated revenue.”

RELATED: EFCC Arrests 16 Kwara LG Chairmen Over Alleged N4bn Misappropriation

The Chairmen, after a meeting, decided that N100,000,000.00 (one hundred million Naira) be shared among themselves from the loan.

“All the council chairmen were released after questioning on Friday, November 1, 2019, contrary to reports in mainstream and social media, that they were detained by the Commission. “

The Commission stated that investigations are still ongoing.

EFCC Arrests 16 Kwara LG Chairmen Over Alleged N4bn Misappropriation

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested 16 Local Government Chairmen of Kwara State for allegedly misappropriating part of N4bn Loan and ten percent of Internally Generated Revenue.

The EFCC in a statement by its Head, Media & Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said all the suspects have made useful statements, as the investigation continues.

He explained that the Local Government Chairmen held a meeting after securing the controversial loan and decided that N100,000,000.00 (one hundred million Naira) be shared among themselves.

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The Chairmen include; Risikat Opakunle, Saidu Yaru Musa, Umar Belle, Ayeni Dallas, Fatai Adeniyi Garba, Lah Abdulmumeen, Raliat Funmi Salau, Aminat Omodara, and Muyiwa Oladipo.

Others are, Oladipo Omole, Abdullahi Abubakar Bata, Saka Eleyele, Lateef Gbadamosi, Oni Adebayo Joseph,  Omokanye Joshua Olatunji and Jibril Salihu.

“The suspects had on the 7th of February, 2018 wrote a four billion naira loan request to the Ilorin Branch Manager of Sterling to pay the Salary Arrears of teachers under the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Local Government Staff and Local Government Pensioners.

“The embattled politician was also accused of diverting ten percent of the monthly internally generated revenue for their personal use which was paid directly into their personal accounts against the Financial Regulations.”

Police Discover Illegal Rehabilitation Centre In Ilorin

 

Another illegal rehabilitation centre has been uncovered by the Kwara State police command in Ilorin the state capital, with one hundred and eight inmates living in inhuman conditions.

The centre held in its confines one hundred and three males and five females with ages ranging between twelve and forty, several of whom were chained.

The victims looked malnourished and unkempt, allegedly as a result of being denied food for days.

While some of the rescued inmates admitted to being wayward and drug users, they described their experience as horrific, and asked the government to ensure the closure of such centers across the country.

The police say the victims will be investigated to ascertain the claims of being dropped at the centre willingly, before they are returned to their parents.

Man Sentenced To Death By Hanging Over Murder Of MTN Staff

Nigerian To Be Executed In Singapore, Clemency Appeal Rejected
File photo

 

After more than three years of legal battle, the Kwara State High Court, has sentenced Ogundele David, to death by hanging over the killing of a staff of MTN Telecommunications, Abiola Tosin Ashinwo.

In a judgment given by the trial judge, Justice Adebayo Yusuf, Ogundele was convicted on two counts.

In the first count, he was convicted of committing an illegal act of stabbing Ashinwo with the intention of causing her death, thereby being guilty of culpable homicide which according to the judge, is punishable with death under Section 229 of the Penal Code Law.

He was also convicted for committing culpable homicide for causing the death of Ashinwo by stabbing her with a knife and thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 221 of the Penal Code Law.

The prosecutor, Abdulmumini Adebimpe Jimoh, had called four witnesses before the court; Inspector Yusuf Daudu, CPL Bunmi Adegboye, Abiola Ashinwo and ASP Gbadebo Adeyemi, as proof.

He also tendered some exhibits which included a Toyota Camry, a knife, a pair of rubber slippers, photographs of the deceased, a statement of the convict, among others.

Thereafter, the judge held that Jimoh was able to prove the case of culpable homicide against Ogundele.

Consequently, he ruled that for the first offence, he is to serve a 25-year jail term while he would be sentenced to death by hanging for the second charge.

EFCC Presents N112m Recovered Loot To Kwara Govt

 

The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has presented N112million recovered from treasury looters to the Kwara state governor, Mr Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.

At the presentation, the Head of the Ilorin office, Isyaku Sharu said the Zone which started its operations in February has achieved a lot in terms of assets recovery and conviction of corrupt individuals.

“We have 29 convictions and over N500million (five hundred million naira) recovery for both assets and cash; part of this recovery is the N111, 428, 891.00 cash recovered for the Kwara state government.

“This recovery is from suspected Kwara state treasury looters. The suspects allegedly misappropriated landed properties of Harmony Holdings while others diverted funds meant for micro small and medium enterprises credit scheme. The suspects cut across political office holders, traditional rulers and top civil servants,” he said.

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Mr Sharu hinted that he was mandated by the acting chairman of the Commission, Ibrahim Magu to present a draft for the recovered fund, while assuring of the agency’s steadfastness in ridding the state of all acts of corruption and other economic crimes.

Governor Abdulrazaq, in his response, thanked the EFCC and disclosed that the cash will be used for the social investment programme in the state to lift poor people out of poverty.

“We are overwhelmed because history is being made in Kwara state with the return of our monies recovered by the EFCC especially now that there are many projects to embark on.

“As we promised to replicate the federal government social investment programmes, this cash would be used for that programme and we will make our people realise that the seed money for social investment programme, before we came into power, was also recovered.

“We would let our people know that it is the money realised by the EFCC we are giving them so that they can pay back when they get the loan. It will help to lift thousands of people out of poverty,” he said.

 

Kwara Assembly: Chairmen Describe Suspension As Unconstitutional

Kwara Senator, Eight Others Arrested Over Alleged Killing Of Two

 

The chairmen of the 16 Local Government Areas in Kwara State have described their suspension by the state governor, Abdulrahman Abdurasak as unconstitutional and a complete waste of time.

Addressing journalists in the state on Wednesday, the Chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria, Joshua Adekanye noted that there is a pending court order which prohibits the government from taking such an action.

He also wondered why the governor would give such order when according to him, their tenure does not expire until November next year.

Read Also: Kwara Govt Suspends LG Councils For Six Months

Meanwhile, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye noted that the governor only acted on the recommendation of the State House of Assembly.

The Assembly had recommended their suspension for six months pending the outcome of an investigation over allegations of misappropriation of funds to the tune of N33 billion.