Alleged Money Laundering: EFCC Arraigns Ex-Kaduna Gov Yero, Others

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned a former governor of Kaduna State, Mukhtar Yero, and three others.

The former governor and the other persons were arraigned by the anti-graft agency on Thursday before Justice Mohammed Shuaibu of the Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna.

Others charged alongside the former governor are a former Minister of State for Power, Nuhu Wya; a former Secretary to Kaduna State government, Hamza Ishaq; and a former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna, Haruna Gaya.

They were charged with four counts bordering on money laundering, criminal conspiracy, misappropriation of public fund, and breach of trust.

All the defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to them.

When Mr Yero’s counsel, Yunus Ustaz, made an oral application for the bail of his client with the alternative to be remanded in EFCC custody, it was opposed by the EFCC counsel, Joshua Saidi.

Saidi insisted that the four accused persons be taken to prison as the commission does not have enough detention facilities to accommodate them.

After listening to both arguments, Justice Shuaibu, agreed with the submission of the prosecuting counsel and, therefore, directed the defence counsel to file a written application for bail.

He then ordered that the four accused persons be remanded in prison custody until the next sitting, which he adjourned till June 6, for ruling on the bail application.

The ruling, however, did not go well with the purported supporters of Mr Yero who gathered in front of the court premises in solidarity with him.

They insisted that the former governor was innocent of all the allegations levelled against him.

The EFCC had invited Mr Yero, Mr Ishaq and Mr Gaya on Friday last week over the alleged mismanagement of N750 million campaign funds.

They were asked to explain the various roles they played in the distribution of the campaign fund meant for the state in the buildup to the 2015 general elections.

The anti-graft agency later released them after hours of interrogation.

However, the three men, as well as the former minister, were detained at the EFCC zonal office in Kaduna on Wednesday.

The spokesman for the zonal office Kamaludeen Gebi had told Channels Television that the four accused persons would be arraigned in court on May 31.

Immigration Repatriates Over 2,000 Illegal Immigrants

nisThe Kaduna State Command of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) says it has repatriated over 2, 000 foreigners within the last six months.

The State Comptroller of Immigration, Nuhu Apang-Takum, disclosed this to Channels Television on Saturday.

He said most of the illegal immigrants were from Niger Republic, Cameroun, Mali and Ghana, and had entered Nigeria without valid travelling documents. He further explained that the illegal foreigners were arrested in different parts of the state with no means of identification.

According to him, the service has intensified its mop-up operation to get rid of illegal immigrants in the state as part of measures to secure the state from criminal elements.

Mr Apang-Takum also appealed to the former Governor of Kaduna State, Mukhtar Yero and other former political appointees, who are no longer in government to return the diplomatic passports in their possession to the command, berating the fact that only a few of them have so far complied with the directive.

 

Heads Of Ministries Brief El-Rufai On State Of Affairs In Kaduna

El-RufaiHeads of government Ministries, Departments and Agencies are in a closed door meeting with the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, for a brief on the State of affairs in their respective offices, especially the financial status of the state.

Although, the agenda of the meeting, which took place at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, the State Seat of Power at about 9:00am on Monday morning, was not made public, it was said to be one of the schedules lined up in Governor El-Rufai’s first day in office.

Governor El-Rufai, who would continue with such interactions with government officials throughout the week, is also expected to make a statewide broadcast at the end.

In the meantime, all pictures and banners of the former Governor, Mukhtar Yero and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) logo at the entrance of the Government House had been replaced with the pictures of Governor El-Rufai and his Deputy, Bala Bantex and the logo All Progressives Congress (APC) logo.

As Governor El-rufai settles down for the business of governing Kaduna State in north-west Nigeria, residents of the state are expecting him to deliver on his campaign promises.

Some of state residents, Amos Mathew and Shola Ojo told Channels Television that they want the new Governor to focus on reviving the ailing industries in the state, create employment and complete all ongoing projects across the state.

With the inauguration over and the stage kick-started for another four years, Governor El-Rufai would have to demonstrate to the people of Kaduna State, that he has what it takes to be fully in charge and make Kaduna great again.

Christian Group Tasks Kaduna Governor-elect, Deputy On Campaign Promises

el-rufai Kaduna Governor The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has admonished the Kaduna State Governor-elect, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and his Deputy, Barnabas Bantex, to deliver on their campaign promises to the electorates.

The Chairman of the Kaduna State Chapter of CAN, Bishop George Dodo, gave the admonition on Sunday at a Thanksgiving Service ahead of the May 29 handover. The Service was held at the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA) in Kaduna.

He also urged the elected representatives to be fair to all and also run an open-door policy if they must make progress as leaders.

Bishop Dodo told the elected officials that the people would hold them accountable for their actions and inaction while in office and, therefore, urged them to do what was right before God and man.

The church service was part of the inauguration programme lined up for the May 29 handover.

‘Tough Decisions’

Although the incumbent Governor, Mukhtar Yero, lost the April 11 governorship election to the former Federal Capital Territory Minister, Mallam El-Rufai, both men had continued to work closely for a smooth transition.

Addressing the congregation, the Deputy Governor-elect, Barnabas Bantex assured them that the incoming administration would take some tough decisions for the interest of the people.

He also explained that the incoming government would take all decisions in-line with the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution, and however assured the Christian community of equity and fairness.

Mr Bantex also told the Youth that the El-Rufai Government would provide massive jobs for them, and solicited for prayer from the Church to enable them succeed.

On his part, the outgoing Deputy Governor, Nuhu Bajoga, who represented Governor Yero, thanked the people for their support to the outgoing administration and urged them to extend similar support to the incoming government.

El-Rufai Drags Yero To EFCC Over N2.7b SURE-P Funds

el-rufaiThe All Progressives Congress Transition Committee established by Kaduna State Governor-elect, Mr Nasir El-Rufai, has dragged the outgoing governor of the state, Mukhtar Yero, to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an alleged attempt by the outgoing government to misappropriate the sum of N2.7 billion SURE-P funds belonging to the 23 Local Government Areas of the state.

In a letter titled ‘The attempt to misappropriate Sure-P Funds in Kaduna State’ and addressed to EFCC Chairman, the Chairman of the Committee, Balarabe Abbas Lawal, informed the commission of steps being taken by the outgoing State Government to legitimize the misappropriation of N2.744 billion Local Government Subsidy Re-Investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) funds, and therefore called on the commission to stop such last minute looting of public assets.

The letter noted that “whereas the Kaduna State House of Assembly had declined to appropriate the Sure-P funds in the 2015 budget, and promptly removed them from the budgets submitted by the 23 local government councils”, adding that the outgoing governor, “has mounted pressure on the legislators to approve his utilisation of 50% of the Sure-P funds for a road project, while the 23 local government councils would share the balance”.

The committee therefore “appealed to the EFCC to urgently launch an investigation on whether the Sure-P funds are still intact, or if they have been illegally spent by the outgoing government without appropriation”.

This allegation is coming barely 10 days to the May 29 hand over date to a new government at both federal and state levels.

Kaduna Govt. Distributes Fire Fighting Vehicles To 23 LGAs

KadunaThe Kaduna State Government has distributed Fire-Fighting Vehicles to the 23 Local Government Areas of the state as part of measures to ensure prompt response to fire incidences and emergency situations in all parts of the state.

Speaking during the distribution of the vehicles to the respective councils at the Government House, Kaduna on Thursday, Governor Mukhtar Yero said that the purchase of the vehicles was aimed at re-equipping and reviving the state Fire Service that has been in comatose over the years.

He explained that the purchase of the fire fighting vehicles and other equipments was part of his administration’s efforts to reduce incidents of fire in all parts of the state especially during the harmattan season.

The fire fighting vehicles are equipped with communication gadgets and installed water tank with a capacity of 1,100 litres, a fitted light pump and a hose reel.

The vehicles also have provision for a larger delivery in case of a major fire incident.

Apart from the vehicles, Governor Yero said that his administration had also built new fire service stations in all the 23 Local Government Areas of the state, as well as providing them with solar boreholes, administrative office and communication centre to receive alert on fire incidents from the public.

He called on the people of the state to be proactive and vigilant in order to avoid outbreak of fire within their areas.

Nigeria’s State Election Underway, Stiff Contest Expected In Lagos, Other States

electionsAccreditation in the governorship election in 29 of the 36 states of Nigeria commenced at most polling centres across the country at about 8am, with voting also expected to commence almost immediately after as scheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The election comes two weeks after the presidential and national assembly elections that saw power shift from the Peoples Democratic Party after 16 years to the All Progressives Congress.

The election has been predicted to be very keen in Lagos, Kaduna and Rivers States, where the candidates of the two main parties, that is the PDP and the APC, are considered very strong and command large following among the population in each of the states.

In Lagos State, for example, the ruling APC candidate, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, who is supposed to riding on the wave of the recent victory of the party at the federal level, is facing stiff opposition from his PDP counterpart, Mr. Jimi Agbaje.

The PDP candidate appears to be drawing strength from the huge support of some non-indigene voters in the state for the party, which manifested during the presidential elections in which the two parties almost split the votes equally.

The recent outrage that trailed a statement by the traditional ruler of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, threatening the Igbo in the state to vote for the APC candidate or perish in the Lagoon, has also raised the stakes in the election.

Rivers State remains one to watch in the election, as both the PDP and APC in the state appear bent on emerging victorious. Mr. Dakuku Peterside, who is the governorship candidate of the APC, is backed by the incumbent, Governor Chibuike Amaechi, while his opponent in the PDP, Nyesom Wike is believed to have the backing of the presidency.

The run-up to the elections in the state has been characterised by violence, with several people killed. The state has been listed by the National Human Rights Commission, to be one of the flashpoints in this election, alongside Lagos, Kaduna and some other states.

Kaduna State has former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, of the APC seeking to unseat Mr. Mukhtar Yero of the PDP. The state is known for a history of electoral violence, the worst of which occurred in 2011 following the announcement of the presidential election which was won by the PDP.

Mr. El-Rufai comes into the race with his pedigree as the FCT minister who carried out much of the tranformation that has taken place in the nation’s capital, Abuja.

While, Mr. Mukhtar is expected to capitalise on the power of incumbency to retain his seat in the election, his opponent, Mallam El-Rufai is also touted to ride on the wave of his popularity and eloquence to put up a good fight in the poll.

Kaduna, Kwara Governors Felicitate With Christians At Easter

Kaduna State Gov Yero- ChristianThe Kaduna State Governor has congratulated the entire Christian community in the state on the occasion of the Easter Celebration which marks the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In a goodwill message signed by Governor Mukhtar Yero’s Director General of Media and Publicity, Ahmed Maiyaki, he called on the Christians to forge greater unity irrespective of religious or ethnic differences.

Governor Yero also urged them to use the Easter period to praise God for the peaceful conduct of the presidential election and to pray for peaceful conduct of the remaining elections.

He stressed that the Easter celebration is an opportunity for Christians to reflect on the ultimate sacrifice done for the sake of salvation of mankind, as well as human love and peace by Jesus Christ.

He urged Christians to use the occasion to intensify prayers and devotion for God’s intervention on efforts by the people of Nigeria to surmount current challenges in order to evolve a peaceful and progressive nation.

The Governor also called on Christians and Muslims to forge greater unity through prayers for national peace and stability.

The Governor of Kwara State, on the other hand, urged the Christians and other Nigerians to use the Easter season to pray fervently for peace, enduring stability in the country and divine guidance for the incoming President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, who made the call in an Easter message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Abdulwahab Oba, noted that such prayers by Nigerians would help the President-elect to run a purposeful governance.

The Governor further urged the Christians to imbibe the enduring lessons of forgiveness, selflessness and perseverance that the 40 day Lenten, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ at Easter preaches.

Governor Ahmed wished all Christians and Nigerians a happy Easter celebration.

Yero Congratulates Buhari, Commends Jonathan

yeroKaduna State Governor, Mukhtar Yero, has congratulated the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, over his victory at the just concluded presidential election in Nigeria.

Governor Yero also commended the patriotic courage of President Goodluck Jonathan for displaying uncommon sportsmanship in conceding defeat even before INEC’s official pronouncement of a winner in the election.

In a statement issued by his Spokesman, Ahmed Maiyak, in Kaduna on Monday, Governor Yero called on Nigerians to unite behind the President-elect, Gen Buhari, in order to move the country forward.

The Governor called on people in Kaduna State to remain peaceful and law abiding, irrespective of their political leanings.

Yero also prayed that the Almighty God would grant the incoming President, the wisdom and good health to deliver on his campaign promises to the people of Nigeria.

General Buhari was declared winner of Nigeria’s presidential election, on Wednesday, April 1. He defeated the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan by over 2 million votes.

General Muhammadu Buhari of the APC polled a total of 15,424,921 votes to defeat all other candidates, with Dr Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polling a total of 12,853,162 votes to place second.

Abandoned Projects: PDP Accuses APC of Spreading Falsehood

pdp-apc-1The leadership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna State has described as  “cheap blackmail and total falsehood”, allegations by the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) that the incumbent administration of Mukhtar Yero has abandoned all ongoing projects inherited from the last administration of the late Governor, Patrick Yakowa.

In an interview with Channels Television, the Kaduna State PDP Chairman, Abubakar Haruna, said no ongoing project has been abandoned by Governor Yero, adding that 20 out of the 32 roads awarded by the former governor in 2012 have been completed by the Yero administration while the remaining others are at their various stages of completion.

He also said the Yero government had successfully empowered the youth and the elderly through the award of overseas scholarship to indigenous students, payment of pension arrears to civil servants who retired since 2005 and construction of over 300 classrooms and health centres across the state.

The PDP chairman, while stating that the people of Kaduna State have resolved to vote for continuity in the forthcoming polls, alleged that the tenure of Mr Nasir El-Rufai as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and Director General for the Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE) did not benefit the people of Kaduna State in any way.

He further stated that the APC out of desperation had decided to use allegations of abandoned projects to discredit the ruling party especially now that the elections are around the corner.

He said APC’s “incontrovertible blackmail and attack on PDP members not only contravenes the Electoral Act, but also against the peace accord jointly signed by the governorship and other candidates”, aimed at preventing violence before, during and after the elections.

PDP, APC Trade Words Over Violence In Kaduna

pdp-apc-1The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kaduna State, North West Nigeria, are trading blames over recent violent attacks and killings in the state.

This is coming despite the peace accord signed by political parties in Nigeria to shun all acts of violence ahead of the forthcoming elections.

The Campaign Organisation of the PDP governorship candidate and incumbent Governor of Kaduna State, Mukhtar Yero, raised an alarm on Thursday, over growing victimization of its supporters allegedly by APC thugs in some parts of the state.

The group alleged that some people working for the opposition party were destroying campaign vehicles, posters and billboards belonging to the PDP in the state.

Spokesman of the Yero Campaign Organisation, Yakubu Lere, told reporters at a news conference that members of APC were behind the recent attacks on the Governor’s campaign train in Birnin-Gwari, Kubau, Igabi and Lere Local Government Areas of the state.

He also stated that hired thugs of the APC governorship candidate in the state, Nasir El-Rufai, had been using intimidation and blackmail to stop people from campaigning for the PDP ahead of the elections.

Lere further called on the APC candidate and the party leadership to caution their members from attacking PDP supporters, stressing that they should allow the wish of the people to prevail.

He pointed that the APC is desperate to clinch power at all cost, adding that the opposition party is afraid of Governor Yero’s wide acceptability by the people across the state.

In a swift reaction, the Spokesman for the APC governorship candidate, Samuel Aruwan, described PDP’s allegation of violence as baseless and false, stating that it was the PDP that is guilty of growing provocation.

He said that the PDP, being the ruling party, is using all apparatus of power at its disposal to victimize the opposition.

As accusations continue, the State Police Command has warned that it would deal with any person or group found in any political violence before, during and after the elections.

The State Commissioner of Police, Umar Shehu, in an interview with the media, said that several people had been arrested and would be arraigned for various offences.

He advised political parties and their candidates to play the game according to the rules.

Governor Yero Flags Off Dualisation Of Kawo-Station Road

governor yeroGovernor of Kaduna state, Mukhtar Yero, has flagged off the dualization of 14 kilometer Kawo-Station-Command Junction road project, being a decongestant to the heavy traffic usually experienced by motorists in the state capital.

While speaking at the flag-off in Kawo, Kaduna North Local Government Area, Governor Yero said his administration was totally committed to the infrastructural development of the state and would also complete all ongoing projects inherited from his predecessors.

The road, which is a gateway into the state capital, is among the infrastructural challenges facing residents of the capital, which the state government is working hard to address.

The governor, at the flag-off ceremony said the dualization of the road is another promise made and kept by his administration to the people of the state, adding that the project is aimed at reliefing traffic and beautifying the city.

Speaking earlier, the State Commissioner for Works and Transport, Mr Bashir Aliyu, said the road would be completed in three phases, with one starting from Kawo to Lugard Hall Roundabout, while the second commences from Lugard Roundabout to Station Roundabout and the final phase would be from Station Roundabout to Command Junction.

Residents in the area commended the state government’s effort at reducing traffic in the city centre and making roads in other parts of the state passable for motorists.

The road dualisation project, which include parking lots and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lanes, is being handled by Mothercat Nigeria Ltd and would be completed in 15 months at the cost of over N3.6 Billion.

So far, the administration of Governor Yero,  has completed over 30 roads both within the state capital and rural communities across the state.