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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

How Yahoo Boy,H-Money, Serving 24-yr Jail Term, Pulled Off $1m Scam From Kirikiri Prison, Attends Parties, Bought Properties

Peter Okunoren

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A convicted internet fraudster, Hope Olusegun Aroke who is serving a 24-year jail term at the Kirikiri Maximum Prison in Lagos is again, the subject of an investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for being the alleged mastermind of a mega scam to the tune of over $ 1,000, 000.

He allegedly pulled the heist right from prison using a network of accomplices, some of the targets of fraud and money laundering investigation.

The lid on his latest fraud exploits from the bowels of the Maximum Correctional Centre was blown following intelligence received by the EFCC.

The immediate riddle that confronted the EFCC was how it was possible for the convict to continue to ply his ignoble trade of Internet fraud from prison.

Preliminary investigation revealed that that the convict, against established standard practice, had access to the internet and mobile phone in the Correctional Centre where he is supposed to be serving his jail term.

Even more puzzling was the finding that Aroke got himself admitted to the Nigeria Police Hospital, Falomo, Lagos for an undisclosed ailment. And from the hospital, he would move out to lodge in hotels, meet with his wife and two children and attend other social functions.

The circumstance of his admission into the hospital and those who aided his movement from the hospital to hotels and other social engagements are already being investigated by the EFCC.

For a felon supposedly serving a jail term, the investigation revealed that the Aroke used a fictitious name, Akinwunmi Sorinmade, to open two accounts with two of Nigeria’s leading banks.

He also bought a property at Fountain Spring Estate, Lekki Lagos in 2018 for N22million and a Lexus RX 350 2018 model registered in his wife’s name, Maria Jennifer Aroke.

The convict was also in possession of his wife’s bank account token in prison, which he used to freely transfer funds.

Further investigation revealed that, while his trial was ongoing in 2015, Aroke bought a four-bedroom duplex at Plot 12, Deji Fadoju Street, Megamounds Estate Lekki County Homes, Lekki for N48million.

Aroke was one of two Malaysia-based Nigerian undergraduate fraudsters arrested by the EFCC in the closing weeks of 2012 at the 1004 Housing Estate, Victoria Island, Lagos following a tip-off. The indigene of Okene, Kogi State had claimed to be a student of Computer Science at the Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan University, Malaysia.

But the Commission’s investigation fingered him as the arrowhead of an intricate web of internet fraud scheme that traverses two continents.

When Aroke was arrested, a search conducted by EFCC operatives on his apartment led to the recovery of several items such as laptops, iPad, traveling documents, cheque books, flash drives, internet modem, and three exotic cars – a Mercedes Benz Jeep, One 4Matic Mercedes Benz Car and a Range Rover Sport SUV.

He was eventually convicted by Justice Lateefa Okunnu of a Lagos State High Court on two counts of obtaining money by false pretense, cheque cloning, wire transfer, and forgery.

He was sentenced to twelve years imprisonment on each of the two counts.

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BIG STORY

End Of Royalty! 21 New Kings Installed By Ex-Oyo Governor, Ajimobi, Lose Crowns As Court Quashes Case

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The crisis rocking the Olubadan-in-council was put to rest, on Tuesday, as the Oyo State Government withdrew their crowns as part of the condition for a settle-out-of-court proposal made by the state government.

The Court of Appeal, sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State, had on August 23, 2019, referred parties in the controversial coronation of 21 kings by the immediate-past Governor Abiola Ajimobi to a lower court.

The State Governor, Seyi Makinde, who inherited the matter, had opted for an out-of-court settlement to restore peace between the Olubadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, and his estranged chiefs.

The appellate court ordered that the case be returned for trial before another judge of the state High Court.

The parties reached agreement on Tuesday when the state High Court in a suit number M/317/2017 filed by High Chief Rashidi Ladoja pronounced that the parties in the suit have met and agreed that they will let go the right to wear beaded crown and coronet granted by the state government during the pendency of the suit.

The judgement read by Justice A Aderemi reads: “that all the gazettes affecting the chieftaincy laws of Ibadan land particularly gazette Nos.14 vol.42 of 23rd August 2017; 15 Vol 42 of 24 August 2017 and 3 vol 43 of 29th March 2018 and the subsequent elevation of High Chiefs and Baale in Ibadan land as Obas during the pendency of this suit be and are hereby set aside.

“That the right to wear beaded crown and coronet granted by the state government during the pendency of the suit, are hereby revoked.

“That the 1st defendant shall take steps to reconcile all parties involved in the chieftaincy matters to foster unity and harmony in the protection of the tradition of Ibadan land as relates to the chieftaincy laws of Ibadan land.”

Meanwhile, the family heads in Ibadan land has described the judgement as victory for Ibadan land, and for the sons and daughters of Ibadan land.

The Mogajis, in a statement by their spokesperson, Wale Oladoja, said the judgement reflected the true wishes of the people of Ibadan land, urging the embattled high chiefs to support Olubadan for rapid development of the ancient town.

 

(Daily Trust)

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BIG STORY

‘I’m Not Owing Workers Any Dime’ —- Yahaya Bello Speaks After Election Victory

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Kogi State Governor-Elect, Yahaya Bello, on Tuesday, rubbished claims that he was owing salaries, stressing that such were “lies.”

Bello said his administration met salary backlog owed workers in the state, but insisted that his administration was not owing workers.

The governor-elect, who said this while featuring on Channels Television, also alleged that thugs of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, stabbed a resident after he was declared the winner of Saturday’s election.

Bello also alleged that the wife of his deputy was also shot after he emerged winner of the election.

He said: “All these reports of me owing salaries are lies. Past governors of Kogi State were owning salaries starting from Audu to my immediate predecessor. Kogi state is not owning any dime at the state level, what is left is the ten percent from the previous government.

“As for El-Rufai kneeling, he was begging that Kogi people should forgive Bello for ensuring security and ensuring the state was peaceful and not because he could not pay salaries.”

On the claim of people being killed during the election, Bello said: “After I was declared winner, a PDP thug stabbed somebody and ran into the house of their women leader but he was caught and dealt with.

“My deputy governor-elect’s wife was shot at but thank God she didn’t die, the police are looking into it and would bring the culprits to book.”

Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had on Monday declared Governor Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress, APC, winner of the Saturday’s governorship election in the state.

INEC’s Returning Officer in the state, Prof. Ibrahim Garuba had declared Bello winner after polling 406,222 votes to defeat his closest rival, Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who scored 189,704 votes.

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