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Kano Anti-Graft Agency Invites Emir Sanusi Over Alleged N2.2bn Land Scam

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The Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission has invited the Emir of Kano, Malam Muhammad Sanusi II, over a fresh allegation of N2.2 billion land scam

The first-class traditional ruler is expected to appear before the commission on Thursday to answer some questions over alleged violation of the provisions of Sections 22, 23 and 26 of the Commission.

This is contained in the invitation letter dated March 2, 2020, signed by the commission’s Executive Chairman, Mr Muhuyi Magaji Rimingado, and made available to newsmen in Kano on Wednesday.

“This Commission is investigating an alleged violation of the provision of Sections 22, 23 and 26 of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission Law 2008 (as amended) in the management of land reserved as ‘GANDUN SARKI’ spread all over the state,” the letter read in part.

A copy of the letter was stamped acknowledging receipt by the office of the Emir.

Mr Usman Bello, the commission’s Director of Special Assignment/Communication Adviser, also confirmed the development to journalists in Kano on Wednesday.

Bello disclosed that the investigation was triggered by some whistleblowers.

The director said Section 31 of the law establishing the commission empowered it to initiate such investigation and ordered any invitee to appear before it to defend him/her self from any allegation.

He said in the course of the investigation the commission was made to understand that a company, Country Wide House Ltd, served as a corporate vehicle to allegedly launder N520 million as proceed of 20 Hectares of land at Darmanawa II.

According to him, the land in question, which was under formally Right of Occupancy CON-RES-2016-503, was illegally sold to Messrs Family Home Fund Limited at the alleged instance of the Emir of Kano (Sanusi ll).

He said the investigation also revealed that all the alleged illegal transactions for the sales of the landed properties at Darmanawa, Hotoro and Bubbugaje belonging to the Emirate was done by the trio of Shehu Muhammad Dankadai (Sarkin Shanu), Sarki Abdullahi Ibrahim (Makaman Kano) and Mustapha Kawu Yahaya (Dan Isan
Lapai) based on the alleged instruction of the Emir.

The spokesman explained that the trio was invited in the spirit of fair hearing and they visited the commission on several occasions to provide useful information.

“Investigation further reveals that some of the proceeds of the sales remitted to the Emirate Council Bank Account can be traced to the companies of interest by His Highness,” he emphasized.

Bello said the Emir was also alleged to have ordered for the payment
of N175 million to Messrs Apple Integrated Resources as facilitation fee for the agreement of provision for side and services at Darmanawa 33.4 Hectares by Messrs CityScape Ltd, which was against the decision of the Emirate Council of June 8, 2016.

“A (2016) 4th Meeting which rejected such move of payment to the company, which now investigation confirmed that has never participated in any dealing with the CityScape arrangement with Ado Bayero Royal City Trust Fund,” he said.

According to him, some senior councilors in the Emirate cooperated with the commission and facilitated the current probe.

He said it was based on the foregoing and in compliance with the spirit of fair hearing the commission requested the monarch to come forward for clarification on Thursday (March 5, 2020) at 11 a.m.

A Federal High Court sitting in Kano had last month quashed the report of the commission that indicted the Emir over an allegation of N3.4 billion fraud from the Emirate Council fund.

Voiding the action of the commission, the court held that the fundamental human right of Sanusi II was violated because he was not given Fair hearing.

The court said the failure of the commission to invite the Emir to defend himself against the allegations nullified any step taken or recommendation made by the commission.

Meanwhile, there are two pending cases before the Kano State High Court over the N3.4 billion fraud allegations against the emir being investigated by the commission.

BIG STORY

Lekki Shooting: Soldiers Used Blank Ammunition – Ex-Army spokesman, Sanni Usman

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Former Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Usman on Thursday claimed that Military personnel who shot protesters at Lekki toll gate used ‘blank ammunition.

Usman in an interview with Arise News said the blank ammunition used to disperse protesters has little or no effect on its target.

Recall that the Army had earlier denied that its officers were present at the scene of the shooting.

But on Wednesday, the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army (NA) revealed that the Lagos State Government invited the military to intervene during the End SARS protests.

Speaking on Thursday Usman said, “If you look at the canisters, they were blank ammo and blank ammo don’t even kill. At a close range, maybe 100metres – maybe it will have some pigmentation on your skin.

“Remember the military are armed and by the nature of their training, they are trained to kill and I think the military in its wisdom instead of using live ammunition decided to use blank armour which is meant for training.

“I think they should be commended for that otherwise there would have been serious collateral damage, but they were professional enough to have done that.”

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BIG STORY

Why We Are Opposed To Okonjo-Iweala’s Selection As WTO Director-General —– U.S

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The United States government has explained why it is opposed to the selection of former Nigerian finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, as the director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The U.S. made its position known late Wednesday in a statement by the Office of the US trade representative on the WTO director-general selection process.

The United States said it supported the selection of Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee as the next WTO Director-General because she is “a bona fide trade expert who has distinguished herself during a 25-year career as a successful trade negotiator and trade policymaker.”

The statement said the minister has all the skills necessary to be an effective leader of the organization.

“This is a very difficult time for the WTO and international trade,” the statement said.

“There have been no multilateral tariff negotiations in 25 years, the dispute settlement system has gotten out of control, and too few members fulfill basic transparency obligations.

Although the U.S. did not mention Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala, it however said that “The WTO is badly in need of major reform. It must be led by someone with real, hands-on experience in the field.”

Recall that we had earlier reported Wednesday that although she won the overwhelming support of the World Trade Organisation’s 164 members, Mrs Okonjo-Iweala’s ambition suffered a setback as the United States failed to endorse her for the top job.

The former Nigerian minister had moved a step closer to becoming the first woman and the first African to be a director of the global trade watchdog as she secured the support of a key group of trade ambassadors in Geneva.

But the U.S. raised last-minute objections to the process by which the new director-general was being picked.

A spokesperson for the WTO on Wednesday said Mrs Okonjo-Iweala’s candidacy would be put to a meeting of the body’s governing general council on November 9.

 

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BIG STORY

Sanwo-Olu Awards Scholarship To Children Of Policemen Who Died In Lagos Violence

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Police officers lynched in the wake of the violence instigated by the nationwide youth demonstration against police brutality will not die in vain, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, pledged.

The State Government, on Wednesday, directed Lagos State Scholarship Board to award scholarship to the children of the slain officers up to the university level.

The State Police Command bore huge loss in personnel, armoury, and properties in the violence.

Twenty-nine Divisional Police Stations and 17 Police Posts were razed by hoodlums disguising as protesters. Also, six police officers were lynched, 36 critically injured, while 71 police operational vehicles were torched.

In spite of the loss, the police said they remained undeterred in performing their constitutional duties.

Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, made the offer to take the bill of replacing the logistics lost by the police when he visited the Command Headquarters in Ikeja to boost the morale of officers, following the demoralizing events of the past week in which police officers and their stations were targeted by hoodlums.

The Governor got the assurance of the police’s commitment to strengthen security across the State from the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu.

Sanwo-Olu said the statutory duties of the Police could not be wished away because of the actions of a few bad eggs, noting that the impact of the police officers’ absence on the roads was generally felt by residents.

He said the State must put the event of the past week behind it and move on to restore peace across the communities. To achieve this, police officers, he said, must regain their confidence.

He said: “Commissioner of Police has come forward with a number of requests, which we will need to address to boost the morale of officers after the last week’s event. As your Governor, I have come here to take full responsibility for the loss you have suffered in terms of logistics. From tomorrow (Thursday), we will start implementing these requests.

“Through the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), we will be replacing the police operational vehicles burnt in the violence. We have a bigger plan for all the police stations burnt down. We will look for the funds and build befitting stations that will set the standard of what police stations should be.

“The most important request is to offer scholarships to the children of officers that died. I have directed the Lagos State Scholarship Board under the Special Adviser on Education to immediately award a scholarship to the children of the slain officers.”

Sanwo-Olu said the State Government would also be compensating family members of the officers killed in the violence and take care of the burial arrangement of the slain officers, adding that the State would also be picking up the hospital bills of those injured in the mayhem.

Police officers serving in Lagos are also to get life insurance from the State Government, Sanwo-Olu promised. The Governor directed the Executive Secretary of LSSTF, Dr. Rasaq Balogun, to establish the modality with the police leadership in the State.

The Governor also approved the request to upgrade Police Cottage Hospital in Ikeja, directing the Commissioner for Health to inspect the facility for the required upgrade.

In addition to donating two 150KVa generating set to the police, Sanwo-Olu said the Command Headquarters would be connected to the State’s Independent Power Project (IPP) for constant power supply.

He said: “The reform that you truly desire is starting today. The reform which the youths had clamoured for through the EndSARS protest is taking off and we will continue to engage the police on how to improve on what we have started. We will take up this cause with the objective to effect desired change and we will approach the high authorities for the requests that are not in our control.

“I will be leaving you with the thought that you all have the responsibility to secure lives and properties. Your uniform is not for oppression; it is a symbol of dignity and discipline. You must protect the fundamental rights of all citizens without compromising the ethics of your duty. It is only when you do this that the citizens would see that we have a Police that is truly responsible.”

Sanwo-Olu said the State would be championing the cause to improve the citizen-police relationships to prevent re-occurrence of the issues that led to the EndSARS protest.

Odumosu said the manner with which the slain officers were murdered brought down morale in the Command. He said the police officers remained committed to their statutory responsibilities, thanking the Governor for approving their requests

The gesture, the police boss said, would restore confidence in the State’s police workforce.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police in charge of Research and Planning, Leye Oyebade, said the Police took away valuable lessons from the EndSARS protest, noting that there was no better time to fully implement the community policing than now.

He said the protest had ended and it was time for the police to win back citizens’ confidence and trust.

He said: “As police officers, we must now go back to the drawing board and cultivate the goodwill of the communities in which we operate. I’m particularly charging divisional police headquarters to devise strategies tailored toward your local realities and employ digital tools.”

Top police officers, who attended the meeting with the Governor, included the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) in charge of Zone II, Ahmed Ilyasu, all Deputy Commissioners of Police, and all the 14 Area Commanders across the State.

Also, all the 110 officers in charge of all Divisional Police Stations and heads of the 56 Police Departments across the State.

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