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BIG STORY

N344Billion: Kogi APC Stakeholders Reject Yahaya Bello For Second Term, Petition Buhari

Peter Okunoren

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Stakeholders in the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi State have sent a petition to President Muhammadu Buhari against fielding Governor Yahaya Bello for the second term in office.

They said Bello has received about N344billion in the last 38 months he has been in charge of the state.

They said the governor has been owing salaries, pensions and gratuities without any visible capital projects on ground anywhere in the state.

They described Bello as non- performing and violent governor in the past three and a half years.

The stakeholders accused the governor of wasteful and fraudulent use of funds.

They made their position known in the petition signed by the Convener of the Kogi APC Stakeholders Forum, Sen. (Dr.) Alex Kadiri.

The petition reads in part: “Governor Yahaya Bello was never elected by the good people of Kogi State.

“The death of Abubakar Audu made it possible for Bello to be Kogi State Governor.

“He has shown everyone that he lacks leadership abilities. He can’t fight for the rights and privileges of Kogi people.

“We request you to step down your support for the candidature of Governor Yahaya Bello for the forthcoming election in Kogi State.

“If the party fields him as a candidate, we are sure of losing the state to the opposition.”

The stakeholders gave insights into how the governor allegedly mismanaged statutory allocations meant for the state.

They said: “For the past 38 months including February 2019 Gov. Yahaya Bello has not paid full salaries to the workers of Kogi State, despite the fact that the state received full allocation from Federation Account as detailed below: Statutory allocation, Excess Crude and VAT(N132b); Internally Generated Revenue by the state(N51b); total allocations to local governments(N111b).

“Total funds received by the state and local governments: N294 billion. The other funds received by the state are as below: Bail Out (N20b); Paris Club refunds 1, 2, and 3 (N19b); and refunds for road construction by previous governments (N11b).

“The governor had conducted multiple staff screening for both the state and the local governments. And from the Report of the screening, the Monthly wage bill (state, local governments and pensions) at the inception of the administration stood at N5.8 billion. After screening, this figure reduced to N4.4 Billion.

“From table above, it is evidently clear that the total revenue received by the state Government was more than enough to settle all salaries, pensions and gratuities with huge balance remaining for overheads and capital projects.

“It is very instructive to note that even without bailout and other funds received outside statutory allocation, Gov. Yahaya Bello could have still paid all salaries including pensions without conducting multiple screening and inflicting pains on Kogi State and Local Government workers. This must hurt APC at the polls.

“Even after the screening, all salaries and pensions payments were paid using arbitrary percentages, thereby still owing workers huge outstanding salaries.”

BIG STORY

Two ‘Trigger-Happy’ Police Officers Arrested As Nigerians Demand Justice For 16-Year-Old Girl Killed By Bullet

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Many Nigerians on Friday via social media demanded justice for a 16-year-old girl, Tina Ezekwe, allegedly killed by a trigger-happy policeman in the Iyana Oworo area of Lagos on Tuesday.

The cop was said to be from the Bariga Police Division.

Reports indicated that the policeman was trying to arrest a bus driver for violating the nationwide curfew imposed by the Federal Government to check the spread of coronavirus.

In the process, the policeman was said to have shot the bus driver and Tina standing by the roadside.

It was learnt that Tina, an Imo State indigene who resided at Bariga, was rushed to a hospital after the incident. However, she died on Thursday evening.

A video posted on Twitter by Oworo TV (@OworoTv), which went viral, showed Tina’s body being dragged amid a panicky crowd.

As of Friday, the video had gathered about 160,000 views on the social media platform.

Using the hashtag, #JusticeforTina, Nigerians demanded the prosecution of the erring police officer.

On Friday, #JusticeforTina was one of the most trended topics on Twitter. Actress Adesua Etomi-Wellington shared a picture of Tina on her handle, @AdesuaEtomiW, and captioned it “#JusticeforTina. Tina was only 16.”

Another actress, Beverly Naya with the handle @BeverlyNaya also lent her voice to demand justice for the murdered teenager. “This is all too much! Police brutality needs to stop! #JusticeForTina,” she wrote.

Another Twitter user, @aproko_doctor, asked all Nigerians to demand justice for Tina.

He wrote, “All she did was stand at a popular junction and she was shot by a Nigerian policeman. It could be any of us, and we will not stop until we have a reform of the Nigeria Police Force.

“I don’t want to mind my business and still be shot.”

Sally Suleiman, with the handle @is_salsu, also wrote, “The people who are meant to protect the citizens are killing them. Please lend your voice! #JusticeForTina.”

Also, Efam Harris (@iefamharris) said, “Tina is the young boy with an iPhone; Tina is the young woman who sells clothes; Tina is the gentleman who returns late from work; Tina is everyone who the Nigeria Police have killed for no reason; Tina is all of us. #JusticeForTina.”

Twitter user, Ugwunna Ejikem, lamented that Tina was shot dead even though she didn’t bear arms or looked suspicious for any crime.

“Her only ‘crime’ was standing at a popular junction within the reach of a trigger-happy Nigerian policeman.

“How long will this continue and how long will they keep getting away with this?

“Please lend a voice. #JusticeForTina,” she wrote.

Another user, Danny (@Danny_Walterr), described the incident as heartbreaking.




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BIG STORY

JUST IN: Former NNPC GMB Baru Dies

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced the death of its immediate pas Group Managing Director (GMD), Dr Maikanti Baru.

In a statement, the corporation said: “NNPC regrets to announce the demise of its former Group Managing Director (GMD), Dr. Maikanti Kacalla Baru, Friday night.”

Baru, a consummate Mechanical Engineer, died after a brief illness, NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs, Dr. Kennie Obateru stated.

He said NNPC Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari expressed shock over the sudden death of Dr. Baru, who was the 18th Group Managing Director of the Corporation.

Mallam Kyari described him as a man ‘of exemplary character and disposition.’

Baru, 60, who was at the helm of the Corporation from July 4th 2016 to July 7th 2019, died after a brief illness in an Abuja hospital.




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BIG STORY

BREAKING: Six Nigerian Air Force Officers Jailed Over Murder Of Former CDS, Alex Badeh

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The General Court Martial (GCM) sitting in Abuja, has sentenced six Nigerian Air Force Personnel for criminal conspiracy, dereliction of duty over the gruesome murder of former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh.

The sentences are however subject to confirmation by the Appropriate Superior Authority.

The convicted Officers were Squadron Leader Tom Gwani, Flight Sergeant Amu David, Flight Sergeant Philemon Degema, Flight Sergeant Sabo Simon, Sergeant Mukhtar Abdullahi and Sergeant Alfred Alexander.

Four of the personnel were detailed to provide armed escort for the late CDS, while two others were detailed for guard duty at his residence.

Badeh was killed on the 18 of December 2018 by unknown gunmen along Gitata-Keffi Highway in Nasarawa State, while returning from his farm.

In a statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, while delivering his judgment, the President of the GCM, Air Commodore David Aluku, pronounced the six accused personnel guilty of various charges including failure to perform Military duties, by absconding from the convoy of the deceased former CDS while it came under attack, as well as to conduct to the Prejudice of Service Discipline, for giving false statements.

According to the statement, the charges against the accused also included other Civil Offences of Criminal Conspiracy and Miscellaneous Offences Relating to Property, for illegally disposing of 79 rounds of 5.56mm live ammunition issued for the protection of the late CDS, among others”.

It added that “on the count of aiding and abetting, two of the personnel were found not guilty, while the other four personnel who were detailed to provide armed escort were handed various sentences.

“While pleading in mitigation, the Defence Counsels urged the Court to show leniency, describing the accused persons as first-time offenders.

“The sentences were announced as being subject to confirmation by the Appropriate Superior Authority”.




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