COVID – 19: Kwara Govt Returns Loaded Passenger Bus To Niger

Kwara Senator, Eight Others Arrested Over Alleged Killing Of Two

 

Kwara State Government has returned a loaded Toyota Hiace passenger bus which defied the interstate travel ban from Niger State.

The Deputy Governor and Chairman of the State Technical Committee on Coronavirus, Mr Kayode Alabi gave the directive in his office on Wednesday during a parade of the driver and the 30 passengers arrested with the bus.

Mr Alabi frowned at the bus driver for risking lives and directed that the occupants of the bus be escorted and handed over to security agents at the Kwara-Niger border in Jebba.

READ ALSO: COVID – 19: Kwara Returns Loaded Passenger Bus to Niger

He noted that the government would not allow anyone to further import coronavirus into the state.

Parading passengers before the Deputy Governor, the Kwara state police commissioner, Mr Kayode Egbetokun explained that the driver claimed to have bribed his way through the borders into the state.

Mr Egbetokun said that the bus and its passengers left Kano yesterday for Ibadan before men of the Nigeria police force with other security agents at the border intercepted it for violating the interstate travel ban.

The bus was later led back to Niger State border by men of the Nigeria police force at 3pm.

Top Kwara Govt Official Suspended Over Controversial COVID-19 Operation

File photo/ AFP

 

 

The Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19 pandemic has asked the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Ayinla Abubakar, to proceed on indefinite suspension.

The State Deputy Governor and Chairman of the committee, Kayode Alabi, announced this in a statement on Thursday.

He explained that the decision followed the mishandling of the evacuation of a man said to have locked himself in his vehicle for days and had become distressed following some personal life challenges.

Alabi noted that a video had gone viral, showing how the rescue operation for the man was poorly carried out.

He said, “The committee is thoroughly embarrassed at the whole development.

“While the driver has been sacked from all activities of the committee for unilaterally allowing evacuation of the man by members of the public without waiting for the Rapid Response Team (RRT) to arrive the scene as instructed, the Permanent Secretary who directed him to proceed on the operation with a COVID-19 ambulance without due diligence and respect for all safety protocols is hereby asked to proceed on an indefinite suspension forthwith.”

“As the highest official involved in the RRT squad who gave the directive for the driver to proceed, the committee does not accept his explanation regarding the ugly development,” he added.

The deputy governor revealed that Abubakar has been directed to hand over to the most senior officer on the team, pending his return from suspension.

He stated that the incident necessitated the ongoing refresher course for all ambulance drivers and members of the RRT in Kwara, stressing that the scenario witnessed in the footage cannot be allowed to happen again.

Alabi apologised, “We are sorry once again for the development; it should not have happened. We do not take the support of the Kwara people for granted.”

“We reassure them that Kwara retains its proud ratings as one of the states with the best facilities, responsiveness, and general preparedness to manage this pandemic.

“This has been attested to by the NCDC team as well as the Stears Business rating of the level of states’ responsiveness and preparation for the pandemic,” the deputy governor said.

Gambari’s Appointment, A Befitting Development Rooted In Dedication – Kwara Governor

Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq

 

The Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has commended President Muhammadu Buhari on the appointment of his new Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari.

Governor AbdulRazaq described Prof. Gambari’s appointment as a befitting development rooted in dedication, loyalty, and history.

In a statement signed by his spokesman, Rafiu Ajakaye, the governor said, “The appointment is clearly fit for purpose and is deserving for our own Professor Gambari whose record of service as a diplomat and global statesman is unblemished. On behalf of my family, the government and people of Kwara State.

“I congratulate the Wambai Ilorin for this historic appointment.

“Professor Gambari has always been one of the ‘President’s men’ for decades and it is not surprising that he has been appointed at this crucial moment to serve as his chief of staff.

“We commend Mr. President for yet again honoring not just one of his renowned loyalists of all time but also the people of Kwara State who still relive his relationship with one of Nigeria’s finest military officers and son of Kwara late Major-General Tunde AbdulBaki Idiagbon.

“We pray the Almighty Allah to guide and protect Professor Gambari on this delicate national assignment and to not stop his blessings and protection for President Muhammadu Buhari whose administration continues to impact positively in the lives of the masses”, he added.

Kwara Reports First COVID-19 Death, Four New Cases

A medical official performs a throat swab on a resident of Mabushi in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory Abuja as part of the community testing for COVID-19… on Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV
A medical official performs a throat swab on a resident of Mabushi in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory Abuja as part of the community testing for COVID-19… on Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

The Kwara State government says it has recorded its first COVID-19 death.

This was revealed in a statement released by the state’s technical committee spokesman on the virus, Rafiu Ajakaye on Saturday.

Ajakaye, who is also the Chief Press Secretary to the Kwara State Governor, said the state had also recorded four new coronavirus cases.

The new figures bring to 28 the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Kwara State. Of these, 19 are active while nine have been discharged.

All active cases are asymptomatic, Ajakaye said.

According to the statement, the COVID-19 patient who died “had recently arrived Kwara from Lagos with his wife and a child shortly after he suffered stroke at his Lagos base. Before his death, the government had treated him, his wife and their child as suspected cases and samples were taken from them. The results of their samples came back positive.

“Unfortunately, he died early Saturday morning even before the family got to know about their COVID status. He has been buried accordingly. Everyone involved in the burial has now had their samples taken.”

The statement added that “because of the peculiarity of this development, the Rapid Response Team has moved in to bring all those involved, into the isolation centre, including the wife and the child.”

The government also urged citizens to see COVID-19 as “a deadly and highly contagious virus that requires adherence to all safety protocols, including obeying the lockdown order.

“We repeat that there is no shame or blame in contracting the virus as this is a global pandemic from which no one is immune.”

COVID-19: Kwara Govt Releases 46 Inmates

Kwara Senator, Eight Others Arrested Over Alleged Killing Of Two

 

The Kwara State government has pardoned 46 inmates in Mandala and Oke Kura Correctional Centres in Ilorin, the state capital.

The State Chief Judge, Suleiman Kawu, announced this while addressing journalists in Oke Kura Correctional Centre on Wednesday.

The Chief Judge said the exercise is in line with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari to decongest correctional centres across the country to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

He added that 18 out of the inmates were released outrightly, while others were granted bail but will continue facing trial.

He advised the beneficiary to shun any criminal activities and be useful to their family and the society at large.

He also urged the beneficiaries who are released on bail to stand for their trial to the end and not abscond.

The state governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq last week granted executive pardon to 101 inmates at Oke-Kura maximum and Mandala medium custodian centres of the state.

COVID-19: Kwara Imposes Curfew, Bars Travels Within State  

Kwara Senator, Eight Others Arrested Over Alleged Killing Of Two

 

Kwara State Government has announced additional measures to curtail community transmission of COVID-19 pandemic in the state, insisting that the recent relax of the lockdown does not mean that the state was out of the wood.

In a statement issued on Sunday by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, the government warned people against letting down their guards as the level of threat of infection remains high across the country.

Ajakaye revealed that the government imposed a curfew between 6 p.m. and 6.a.m beginning from tomorrow (Monday) until further notice while restricting the movement of persons within the state.

According to him, the move follows the agreement of the Northern Governors Forum (NGF) to prevent non-essential and unauthorised movement in order to curtail the spread of the virus.

“Effective from tomorrow Monday May 4, there will be state-wide curfew between 6p.m. and 6.a.m. until further notice. This is part of the agreement of the Northern Governors Forum (NGF) to prevent non-essential and unauthorised movement that could spike infection rate.

“Also, in addition to the measures earlier announced on Friday May 1, the government hereby bans travels/movement from one local government to the other. This is especially true of local governments with clear borders,” the statement partly read.

Meanwhile, the six COVID-19 patients have been discharged in the state after testing negative twice for the coronavirus disease.

This comes two weeks after two former COVID-19 patients were discharged.

Kwara Discharges Two COVID-19 Patients

File photo/ AFP

 

Two COVID-19 patients have been discharged in Kwara State after full recovery and testing negative twice.

This was announced on Thursday by the Kwara State Government via its official Twitter handle.

They were discharged alongside five members of their families who were also at the state’s isolation centre and have equally tested negative twice.

The state governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq while speaking with journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital warned residents against the stigmatisation of COVID-19 patients or their families.

“I’m glad to announce to you that we are discharging a total of seven persons from our isolation facility. Among these are our first two (index) cases (a male and a female) who have twice tested negative for COVID-19.

“The remaining five are members of their families who were on quarantine and have also twice tested negative to the virus.

“With the exit of the seven persons, we have 11 persons left in the facility. Two of these 11 are COVID-19 patients while the remaining nine are people with varying contacts with them,” AbdulRazaq said.

He also commended the health workers for their professionalism and commitment assuring them of constant support.

Following the discharge of the two patients, Kwara State now has two cases of the virus.

“Our two remaining patients are in the best spirit and are doing pretty good. We wish them quick recovery,” the governor added.

Governor AbdulRazaq also applauded Kwara residents for their support and understanding at this time of lockdown, adding that, “it is to flatten the curve of transmission and save all of us from this pandemic.”

Kwara Records Two Cases Of COVID-19

 

Kwara State has recorded two cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Mr Rafiu Ajakaye, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor …,  confirmed this in a statement on Monday.

“One is the wife of the UITH patient, a UK returnee, who died last Thursday and the other is another UK returnee,” the statement said.

Ajakaye explained that the statement was issued after the government received official confirmation of the results from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Test Centre in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

He added that the governor would address the state on Tuesday to give more details and highlight further measures being taken to tackle COVID-19.

How Ex-Kwara Scholarship Board Embezzled Students’ Bursary – Witness

How I Was Tortured, Asked To Implicate Saraki – Offa Robbery Suspect
A file photo showing the signpost of a Kwara State High Court in Ilorin.

 

 

The trial of the immediate past Chairperson of the Kwara State Scholarship Board, Fatimoh Yusuf, and two others have begun at the State High Court sitting in Ilorin.

Yusuf is facing trial along with the board’s secretary and accountant, Fatai Lamidi and Stephen Ajewole, for allegedly diverting N50 million meant for the payment of 2018 students’ bursary.

The trio are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) who arraigned them on January 15 before Justice Sikiru Oyinloye on seven counts bordering on bursary fraud, but they pleaded not guilty.

At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, the anti-graft agency presented its first witness, Isiaka Adeshina who is an executive member of the National Association of Kwara State Students.

Adeshina told the court that the board’s officials listed his name as one of the beneficiaries of the 2018 bursary award at the University of Ilorin, but he never received any money.

While being led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, O. Akinsola, the witness narrated how he was shortlisted as number 725 on the list of beneficiaries of the 2018 bursary award released by the Kwara State government.

“Each student was entitled to the sum of N5,000 but to my surprise, when I was invited by the EFCC, they confronted me with some documents, especially the payment vouchers.

“I found my name among those that have been paid; they signed against my name as a beneficiary, but the signature is not mine, my signature was forged,” Adesina was quoted as saying in a statement by EFCC’s spokesman, Tony Orilade.

He added, “When they started the payment, they did not pay up to 350 students. They told us they were going for Jumat prayer but when they came back, they said the money had finished.”

After listening to the testimony, Justice Oyinloye adjourned the case until Wednesday next week for the continuation of the trial.

INEC Publishes Credentials Of By-Election Candidates In Four States

A file photo of an INEC ad-hoc staff setting up a polling booth at a school.

 

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the credentials of the candidates participating in the forthcoming by-elections in four states.

INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, announced this in a statement on Saturday.

This comes two weeks ahead of the March 14 by-elections to be conducted in Niger, Kwara, Sokoto, and Jigawa States.

The by-elections are for Magama/Rijau (Niger) and Babura/Garki (Jigawa) federal constituencies, as well as Patigi (Kwara) and Kebbe (Sokoto) state constituencies.

A total of 10 political parties are expected to participate in the election.

The parties, according to INEC, are Accord, African Democratic Congress (ADC), Action Democratic Party (ADP), All Progressives Congress (APC), All People’s Party (APP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), African Action Congress (AAC), Allied Peoples Movement (APM), and New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

With the publication of the credentials INEC is urging any individual or group that has reasons to challenge the credibility of the submitted documents to do so.

“The commission wishes to draw attention to the provision of Section 31(5) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) which entitles “any person who has reasonable grounds to believe that any information given by a candidate in the affidavit or any document submitted by that candidate is false to file a suit at the Federal High Court, High Court of a state or FCT against such person seeking a declaration that the information contained I the affidavit is false,” said Okoye.

According to him, the commission is determined to conduct free and fair elections in accordance with extant laws while working with critical stakeholders to ensure the peaceful conduct of the exercise.

The national commissioner also appealed to all eligible voters in the respective constituencies to go out and exercise their franchise on the day of the elections.

Read the full statement below:

We’ll Bring Back All The Looters Hiding Outside The Country – Magu

 

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu has said that the agency will request the extradition of persons alleged to have looted public funds.

The EFCC boss stated this on Tuesday, during an interview with journalists after an assessment visit to the Ilorin zonal head of the agency.

READ ALSO: EFCC Forfeiture: Court Adjourns Saraki’s Suit Challenging Jurisdiction

He stated that the fight against corruption has been renewed this year and anyone found guilty will be prosecuted.

“We will arraign everybody investigated, when it is concluded, will be prosecuted.

“This is just the beginning, we are going to request more extradition; we will bring back all the looters who are hiding outside the country.

“The fight against corruption has just started, it is renewed this year,” he added.

Mr Magu debunked the assertion that the establishment of the Agency in Kwara state is to go after select persons.

“It is not fair, Kwara is one of the oldest states in the Federation, and it deserves a Headquarter of the EFCC.

“Not because of an individual, at all, far from it.”

EFCC Forfeiture: Court Adjourns Saraki’s Suit Challenging Jurisdiction

CCT, Bukola Saraki, Danladi Umar,

 

A Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos has fixed February 5 to take arguments on the objections raised by a former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to the permanent forfeiture of some of his houses in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital.

In a preliminary objection put before Justice Rilwan Aikawa, the two-term Kwara State Governor, through his lawyer, Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN), filed a preliminary objection, challenging the territorial jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit.

They also described the new suit by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), as an abuse of court processes because it was filed at a time when a suit on the same subject matter was still pending at the Federal High Court in Abuja before Justice Taiwo Taiwo.

READ ALSO: Uche Nwosu Asks Supporters To Work With Uzodinma For Greater Imo

The EFCC had, in the suit filed before Justice Aikawa, claimed that the houses – Plots No. 10 and No. 11 Abdulkadir Road, GRA, Ilorin, Kwara State – were acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities allegedly perpetrated by Saraki while he was Kwara State Governor between 2003 and 2011.

Justice Aikawa had on December 2, 2019, ordered the temporary forfeiture of the houses to the Federal Government.

The judge then adjourned for Saraki to appear before him to give reasons why the houses should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

In his preliminary objection filed before the court, Saraki described the suit as an abuse of court processes and a move to scandalise him.

He also said the suit is a ploy by the EFCC to review the July 6, 2018 decision of the Supreme Court “discharging the applicant from culpability arising from the same money and houses which are the subject matter of this action,” asking Justice Aikawa to dismiss the suit.

The court will hear arguments for and against the suit on February 5, 2020.

Background

The EFCC, in the suit, told the court that it received “a damning intelligence report, showing monumental fraud perpetrated in the treasury of the Kwara State Government between 2003 and 2011,” when Saraki was governor of the state.

An operative of the EFCC, Olamide Sadiq said, “Whilst investigation was ongoing several fraudulent transactions were discovered.

“I know for a fact and verily believe that our investigation has revealed the following mind-boggling findings, among others:

“That between 2003 and 2011, Dr Olubukola Abubakar Saraki was the Executive Governor of Kwara State.

“That whilst he held the aforementioned position, the common pattern was that after payment of monthly allocation by the Federal Government to the Kwara State Government, a cumulative sum of not less than N100m will be deposited into the Kwara Government House account.

“That upon the payment of the said N100 million, same will, in turn, be withdrawn in cash by one Mr Afeez Yusuf from the Kwara State Government House, Ilorin’s account in bits and brought to the Government House.”