Kwara Governor Dissolves Cabinet One Year After Inauguration

A file photo of Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.

 

Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, has dissolved his cabinet with effect from December 31, 2020.

The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday in Ilorin, the state capital.

“His Excellency especially commends the honourable cabinet members for their contributions to the development of the state while also wishing them the best in their future endeavours,” Ajakaye said in the statement.

However, the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Mamman Jubril, retained his position in the State Executive Council.

Governor Abdulrazaq also directed the former cabinet members to hand over to the most senior officers in their respective ministries.

The cabinet members who were sworn in on December 14, 2019, comprise at least 56.25% female, the statement noted.

According to the governor’s chief press secretary, this was remarkably the most gender-friendly cabinet on the African continent.

The cabinet also had the youngest commissioner in Nigeria.

Governor Abdulrasaq relieved the members of his cabinet a year after they were inaugurated into office.

He contested the Kwara State governorship election in March 2019 and won on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The governor polled 331,546 votes to beat his closest rival, Razak Atunwa, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who secured a total of 114,754 votes to emerge second.

He succeeded former Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed who was in office between May 2011 and May 2019.

10 Die In Kwara Road Accident

Kwara Senator, Eight Others Arrested Over Alleged Killing Of Two
The map of Kwara State.

 

Ten persons have been confirmed dead in an accident on Idofian-Ilorin road in Kwara State.

The Sector Commander of Federal Road Safety Corps, Jonathan Owoade, who spoke with journalists in Ilorin said the fatal crash was as a result of Speed Limit Violation and Wrong Over Taking (WOT).

Owoade said that the crash which occurred at the Unilorin Sugar Research Institute involved two vehicles and 27 persons were involved in the accident.

He advised motorists to be patient while on the road, adding that they should reduce speed in order to stay alive.

“It was a multiple and fatal accident involving two vehicles; a commercial Nissan Vanette bus and a private Honda Accord,” he said.

“27 persons were involved, 10 lost their lives, nine of which were burnt beyond recognition, while 16 persons sustained various degrees of injury and one other person was rescued unhurt.”

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The sector commander said that the crash response team of the corps had taken the injured persons to the Kwara State General Hospital and the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), while some others were taken to Ile Anu Medical Centre at Idofian.

He said that the corpses have been taken to the UITH by the FRSC, police, and the NSCDC, urging those going through the route to be careful and ensure that their vehicles were in good condition.

Owoade warned motorists against impatience while on the wheel, adding that as it was the festive season, only the living can celebrate.

Six Killed, 30 Buildings Burnt In Kwara Tanker Fire

Kwara Senator, Eight Others Arrested Over Alleged Killing Of Two
a map of Kwara State.

 

At least six persons have been killed and 30 buildings burnt following a fire incident involving a petrol tanker in Jebba, Moro Local Government Area of Kwara State.

The incident occurred on Wednesday when a petrol tanker travelling through the ancient town lost control and spilled its contents as it rammed into residential buildings.

The accident resulted in an explosion that burnt down at least 30 houses and shops, killing up to six persons.

The State Fire Service in a swift response however brought the fire under control.

Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq in a statement signed by his Chief press secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye has commiserated with the families of those who lost their lives and properties in the fire incident.

He described the development as devastating and sad.

#EndSARS Protests: Kwara Issues Cheques To Owners Of Looted Businesses 

A file photo of Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.

 

Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has presented cheques of varying amounts of non-refundable grants to owners of 48 businesses whose shops were looted in Ilorin the state capital, in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protest.

The governor presented cheques on Thursday to all the affected businesses in Ilorin, with the highest beneficiary getting a grant of N17m, the middle earner getting N15m and the lowest getting N100,000 as recommended by the adjuster and the committee.

The total grants awarded stood at N180,775,000 in line with the recommendations of the committee.

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“We really sympathise with you and we regret that such a thing ever happened to businesses. We do not have the capacity to give you everything you have lost but this is our token of support to encourage you not to give up,” Abdulrazaq remarked just before handing them their cheques,” AbdulRazaq said.

Governor Abdulrazaq also reiterated his administration’s commitment to helping businesses to grow as part of its efforts to build an economy outside of the civil service that is currently the biggest labour demographics in the state.

“The trouble emanating from #EndSARS incident has come to pass but it left a lot of victims behind and you are some of the victims. It is not your fault that your businesses were damaged but as an entrepreneur, we believe in what you are doing.”

Kwara Governor Presents 2021 Budget To State Assembly

A file photo of Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.

 

The Kwara state governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has presented a budget proposal of N123,091,307,468 to the House of Assembly.

He described the fiscal document as a product of wide consultations with the electorate and designed to reflect current economic challenges.

The proposal contains provisions for payment of the minimum wage once the government reaches a deal with the labour as well as effecting promotion for different cadres of the civil service.

The budget is 54% recurrent expenditure and 46% capital expenditure, a fallout of the dwindling revenue from oil and internally generated revenue, and urgency to prioritise anti-poverty measures to cushion the effects of the general economic crisis on vulnerable households and small businesses amidst the covid-19 pandemic.

The governor hinted at the possibility of the administration taking a bond to finance key infrastructural projects later in the year.

Speaker Salihu Yakubu-Danladi commended the administration for the faithful implementation of the 2020 budget and commendable infrastructural strides despite the outbreak of the pandemic.

He said the lawmakers would discharge their duties to scrutinise the document and ensure it passes relevant thresholds of participatory democracy and good governance.

Kwara Court Jails Student Nine Months For Internet Fraud

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.

 

Justice Mahmood Abdulgafar of the Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin has sentenced one Oladipo Juwon to nine months imprisonment for his involvement in an internet scam.

Juwon, a 23-year-old HND 1 Student of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa in Kwara was sentenced on Thursday, the spokesman for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement.

He was arraigned by the Ilorin Zonal Office of the anti-graft agency on three counts bordering on cheating and an attempt to cheat contrary to and punishable under Section 324 of Penal Code Law of Kwara State.

Count one of the charges read, “That you, Oladipo Opeyemi Juwon, sometime in the month of March 2019, in Ilorin, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did cheat by personation, by portraying yourself as a white female named Frank Tinna via your email address [email protected] to one Bernard Fontenot and induced him to send you the sum of $235 United States Dollars vide gift cards, a representation you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 324 of the Penal Code and punishable under the same section of the Law.”

When the charges were read to him, Oladipo pleaded guilty to the counts.

Following his plea, an operative of the EFCC, Enoch Onyedikachi, was called into the witness box to review the facts of the case.

Onyedikachi, while being led in evidence counsel to the EFCC, Andrew Akoja, told the court how the crime was perpetrated.

He said, “On the 7th of September 2020, the EFCC, Ilorin Zonal Office received an anonymous petition from some concerned citizens in Offa about the activities of some internet fraudsters in the area.

“The Commission swiftly placed surveillance on the area. Consequently, on the 14th of September, we raided the place leading to the arrest of the defendant and other suspects. Upon arrest, we recovered an iPhone from the defendant.”

“The defendant was brought to our Office on the 15th of September, 2020. We gave him a computer attestation form, which he filled.

“We analysed his phone and email address. Our findings revealed that the defendant was into internet fraud – a fact he admitted to in writing,” the EFCC operative told the court.

In his judgment, Justice Abdulgafar said, “I have considered the totality of the evidence placed before me; the plea of the defendant, the exhibits tendered, the uncontradicted and unchallenged testimonies of the sole prosecution witness, Enoch Onyedikachi, I hold the view that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubts.”

“This court finds you, Oladipo Opeyemi Juwon guilty as charged. I hereby sentence you to three months imprisonment on count 1 with an option of fine of N100,000, three months imprisonment on count two with an option of fine of N100,000. and three months imprisonment on count three with N50,000 as an option of fine,” he added.

According to the judge, the sentence will commence on December 23 in view of the ongoing examinations at the Federal Polytechnic, Offa, involving the convict.

He also ordered the convict to forfeit his mobile phones and restitute his victims.

Saraki Bought Lagos Properties With Kwara Funds, EFCC Tells Court

A file photo of former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki.

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has told a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos that former Senate President, Bukola Saraki used Kwara State Government funds to pay off loans he obtained from Guarantee Trust Bank Plc, for the purchase of two properties in Lagos.

The allegation was made by an Investigating officer with the EFCC, Olamide Sadik who testified on Wednesday in a suit filed by the commission, seeking to seize and forfeit to the Government, two properties situated at 17 & ‪17A, McDonald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, belonging to Saraki.

Sadik also told Justice Mohammed Liman, that that sometime in 2009 his boss, who was the Zonal Head for the EFCC, Ilorin Zone asked him to join an ongoing investigation of some properties linked to the former Senate President, who was also a former Governor of Kwara State.

The EFCC investigator claimed that he commenced the investigation by inviting an employee of GTB, Bayo Abdulrahaman Daudu to produce Saraki’s statement of account.

The witness testified that in the course of his interaction with Dauda, he recovered an offer letter for loans obtained by Saraki for the purchase of the two properties from the Presidential Committee for the sales of Government Properties.

Sadik said that there was evidence that the loans were disbursed by the bank on behalf of Saraki to the Presidential Committee for Sales of Government Properties through bank drafts.

He also claimed that he interrogated a Cashier with the Government House, Hafeez Yusuf, “who was persistently withdrawing money from the Kwara State government house account with Access Bank PLC.”

The EFCC operative added that from his investigation and interaction with Yusuf, he discovered that one Abdul Adama, a domestic servant to Saraki “usually and constantly withdraws cash from the government and pays same to Saraki’s account with GTBank and the same government funds was then used to repay the loan obtained from GTBank.

“EFCC investigation also revealed that Adama was collecting an average of N100 million monthly and depositing same into Saraki’s personal account which was eventually used to repay the loans obtained from GTB to purchase the properties in Lagos,” the witness said.

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The witness also alleged that to beat the Anti- Money Laundering Act, the money was deliberately being structured and this led the bank to write the Financial Intelligent Unit (FIU) to complain about the way the money was being paid into the account.

“The summary of our investigation is that Dr Bukola Saraki obtained loans from GTB to buy the properties, but repaid the loans from money being collected by Abdul Adama, his domestic aide and other unidentified people,” he maintained.

Before Sadik’s testimony, the Chief Accountant at the Kwara State Government House, Hafis Yusuf had told the court that he gave monies to Abdul Adama on the instruction of his boss, Isiaka Kareem, a former Controller of Account and Finance.

But during cross-examination by Saraki’s counsel, Kehinde Ogunwomiju (SAN), the two witnesses told the court that they did not have any interface with the former Senate President.

Sadik specifically said that he did not investigate the Kwara State budget, neither did he know what the money was used for.

After the EFCC concluded its oral evidence as ordered by the court, counsel to Saraki, told the court that he relied on the evidence of the anti-graft agency as their defence in the suit.

Justice Liman has refused an application by the EFCC seeking to subpoena one of Saraki’s allies, Kennedy Izuagbe, to give evidence as to the affidavit he deposed to in response to the suit.

The judge has also adjourned till December 16, for the adoption of parties’ final written addresses in the suit.

Jubilation As Saraki Arrives Ilorin Since 2019 General Elections

Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, waves to supporters during his arrival to Ilorin, the Kwara State capital on November 14, 2020.

 

Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki has arrived Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

The arrival to his GRA to his hometown is the first since the 2019 general elections where he lost his bid to return to the Senate.

Bukola’s visit to the town is for the eight-year Fidau prayer for his late dad, Olushola Saraki and the silver jubilee anniversary of the coronation of the Emir of Ilorin, Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari.

The ex-Senate President was welcomed by a huge crowd of supporters at the Ilorin International Airport.

Supporters lined up the route leading to the palace of the Emir of Ilorin.

Thereafter, Saraki arrived his family’s GRA residence where the Chief Imam of Ilorin, Alhaji Muhammad Bashir led the prayers.

Also present is his younger sister who is also the Minister of State for Transport, Gbemisola Saraki.

Saraki lost the February 23 National Assembly election to represent Kwara Central Senatorial District.

Although he contested under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he polled 68,994 votes to trail behind Dr Ibrahim Oloriegbe of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who garnered 123,808.

See Photos Below:

Like Lagos, Kwara Govt To Scrap Pension For Ex-Governors, Deputies

A file photo of Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.

 

Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, on Friday announced plans by the state government to abolish the payment of pension packages to former governors and former deputy governors in the state.

The announcement comes three days after Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State informed lawmakers in the State House of Assembly about his administration’s effort to stop the pension of former governors and deputies in the south-western state.

In a statement issued in Ilorin, Governor Abdulrazaq’s Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye, confirmed that the governor would send a bill to the State House of Assembly next week, requesting the lawmakers to immediately repeal the law awarding pension packages to former governors and deputies in Kwara.

He explained that the governor’s decision was in line with his campaign mantra and proof that he recognised himself as a product of democracy.

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“The governor has listened to voices of the majority of the citizens opposing the pension law for former governors and deputy governors.

“As representatives of the people, the lawmakers would exercise their discretion to call a public hearing on the topic to further harvest wider opinions on the topic,” Ajakaye said.

He added, “However, the governor feels it is time for the law as it is to give way. He would rather the state commits the scarce public funds to tackling the question of poverty and youth unemployment.”

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, speaks during a budget presentation ceremony held at the legislative chamber of the Lagos State House of Assembly on November 10, 2020.

 

On Tuesday, Governor Sanwo-Olu told the Lagos lawmakers that the government would send a draft executive bill to the House for the repeal of the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension Law 2007), but no specific date was given.

The law provides for payment of pension and other entitlements to former governors and their deputies.

The Lagos governor had explained that the move was part of innovative ways of keeping the costs of governance at a minimum while engendering a spirit of selflessness in public service.

He added that the decision became necessary amid the dwindling revenues and the appurtenant inflationary growth rates in the state.

Looting: Politicians Sponsoring Angry Youths To Overthrow Govt – Abdulrasaq

File Photo of Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq.

 

Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, says some politicians are sponsoring some angry youths to overthrow the country’s government.

He said this on Sunday while inspecting looted malls in Ilorin the state capital, describing the situation as sad and handiwork of disgruntled persons.

“Behind the ideas (of angry youths) are people with ideologies of trying to overthrow the government, loot the country or trying to take some sort of advantage the legitimate concerns of #EndSARS,” he said.

After inspecting the damages inflicted on business outfits by hoodlums and looters hiding under the guise of EndSARS protesters, Governor Abdulrasaq announced a N500 million fund to assist owners of looted businesses.

While condemning the looting of people’s businesses on Friday and Saturday, the Kwara leader said there can be no justification for such criminal behaviour.

“We are therefore not going to leave the business owners like that. We are setting up a N500 million fund for those that were affected, to access.

“The application form is live and active on the state government’s website and can now be filled by interested parties. We are going to get them back on their feet as soon as possible,” he added.

He sympathised with owners of all the businesses affected, adding that the incident may bring businesses to their knees and cause massive loss of jobs and a surge in the poverty rate.

He was also at the Agro mall where the materials meant for the flood victims in four local governments were kept before being looted.

#EndSARS: Kwara Governor Inaugurates Judicial Panel To Probe Police Brutality, Rights Violation

Kwara Governor inaugurates judicial panel to probe police brutality

 

The Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AdulRazaq has inaugurated a judicial panel of inquiry to probe the violation of human rights and police brutality on its citizens.

The panel comes after the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, had directed all State Governors to set up the Judicial Panels in all the States would include representatives of Youths, Students, Civil Society Organizations and would be chaired by a respected retired State High Court Judge.

He also directed State Governors to immediately establish a State-based Special Security and Human Rights Committee to be chaired by the Governors in their States, to supervise the newly formed police tactical units and all other security agencies located in the State.

The idea of the Special Security and Human Rights Committee in all States of the Federation and the FCT is to ensure that police formation and other security agencies in the State consistently protect the Human Rights of citizens.

EFCC Arrests Two Lecturers, 28 Others For Internet Fraud In Kwara

 

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC), Ilorin zonal office, have arrested two lecturers of the Kwara State College of Health Technology, Offa: Abdulahi Opashola and Adebisi Ademola and twenty-eight others over their alleged involvement in offences bordering on internet fraud.

The twenty-eight other suspects are: Kingsley Essien; Tobiloba Adenuga; Tope Ayodele; Rasheed Mujib; Oladipo Opeyemi; Saadu Muktar; Oladejo Hammed; Hammed Tope; Ameachi Umenyi, Salauden Adam and Afolabi Gafar.

Others are: Oladimeji Timi; Remilekun Adeolu; Audu John; David Momodu; Abdulkareem Samad; Adebiyi Sodiq; Dawodu Olusoji; Yusuf Amoo; Kehinde Olarenwaju; Philip Mike, Ademola Adebukola and Adeniyi Olamilekan.

The rest are : Adeyemi Adedeji; Ajayi Teslem; Olawale Oladayo, Olasunkanmi Olawale and Adeleke Damilola.

They were arrested at different locations within Kwara State, following intelligence gathered by operatives of the Commission over their alleged involvement in the offence.

Meanwhile, efforts are ongoing to arrest a herbalist who is also linked with the alleged offence.

Items recovered from them include cars, phones, laptops among others.

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