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33 Groups Demand Probing Of Nigeria Police Trust Fund

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The CSO-PTF Support and Oversight Group, which includes 33 different civil society organizations, has called on the federal government to launch an investigation into the alleged poor equipment purchased by the Nigeria Police Trust Fund.

According to the organisations, President Muhammadu Buhari’s commissioning breached the NPTF Establishment Act since it was adverse to the ICPC’s ongoing investigation and subversive to the fight against corruption.

CSO-PTF Support and Oversight Group is a Civil Society Organization Observatory on the Implementation of the Police Act 2020 and the Police Trust Fund Act 2019, according to a joint statement released in Lagos.

According to them, it is a coalition of over 200 civil society organisations and activists spread across Nigeria and committed to promoting transparency and accountability in the implementation of the NPTF Act.

The statement reads in part: “We, the undersigned members of the CSO-PTF Support and Oversight Group have received with serious concern, the news of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commissioning, on the 13th of January, 2022, of 200 Buffalo Toyota operational vehicles and other equipment purchased by the Police Trust Fund for the Nigeria Police Force through alleged contract fraud.

“Our concern arises from the fact, not only that the said equipment was fraudulently purchased in utter violation of the PTF Act, but also that the equipment is currently subjects of an ongoing investigation by the Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) based on a petition alleging abuse of due process, corruption and mismanagement of funds by the PTF Management.

“Fighting corruption is one of President Buhari’s signature commitments and the mantra on which he campaigned to be elected President.

“Several news media reported this scandal. According to the Vanguard Newspapers report of September 20, 2021 captioned “N11bn police equipment contract fraud: How infighting within NPTF management led to ICPC’s petition, an investigation” over N11 billion substandard equipment were fraudulently purchased for the Nigeria Police by the management of the PTF.

“The report further revealed that ‘sharing formula of proceeds from the fraudulent purchase of substandard equipment led to the petition’. The Chairman of the PTF Board of Trustees, former IGP Abba Suleiman, was reported to have testified before ICPC investigators as a witness, during which he made startling revelations of fraud, abuse of due process and mismanagement of the PTF funds by the management.

“The Management staff of the NPTF have also been invited by ICPC over the matter.

“It was further alleged that a former Deputy Governor who is a serving Senator eyeing 2023, and a Minister were fingered in the substandard equipment purchase.

“It was, for instance, alleged that the bulletproof vests that ought to possess double-sided shields were found to only possess shield on one side.

“It was further alleged that the helmets were too small and the Toyota Buffalo vehicles procured were largely substandard.

“It is unbecoming of the President that despite the alleged scandal associated with this procurement which allegedly breached due process and despite the ongoing investigation by the ICPC over the petition alleging fraud and corruption, the President went ahead to commission that equipment.

“The Chairman of the board is quoted to have denied knowledge of the procurement process and that the management of the NPTF has been frustrating him from resuming work with his staff at the office provided by the Nigeria Police Force.

“Is it that the President is unaware of these facts despite being widely reported in the media or is it that someone or a group of people are misleading the President?

“We note that President Buhari was represented at the commissioning by the Minister of Police Affairs who was quoted to have described the provision of the equipment as part of the ongoing reformation of the Nigeria Police Force. How can the commissioning of equipment that is alleged to be substandard and capable of exposing police personnel to grave danger if faced with criminals be part of any reformation?

“The Minister, speaking for President Buhari also commended the Board of Trustees, Management and Staff of the NPTF “for meticulously and meritoriously completing the project.’  We dare to ask: what can be meticulous and meritorious about an alleged fraudulent act that breaches the laws of the country?

“The IGP, Usman Baba, in his remark during the commissioning, was quoted to have said that ‘the items provided for the force are largely in line with the requisite operational specification, tested and found to be standard that would enhance effective and efficient policing.”

“Again, we dare to ask: on what did the IGP base this assessment? We are not aware that the ICPC has concluded or made public the outcome of its investigation into allegations that the equipment was substandard and unsuitable, in fact dangerous, for use by the police. Again, the IGP’s remark is preemptive of and prejudicial to the ongoing ICPC investigation.

“Was the IGP under pressure or in cahoots with those accused of mismanagement of Police Trust Fund?

“We in the CSO-PTF Support and Oversight Group call on the ICPC to expedite action, conclude its investigation into the serious allegations of fraud and mismanagement of PTF funds and make its findings public. All those found to be involved in the allegations should be brought to account.

“ICPC owes Nigerians the legal, moral and sacred duty of ensuring that nobody or group of individuals or groups, no matter how powerful, should be allowed to interfere with or derail the investigation.

“We in the CSO Observatory will continue to monitor and regularly update Nigerians on the progress of this investigation and generally on the operations of the PTF to ensure transparency and accountability in the management of the PTF and to ensure that the purpose of establishing the fund – which is to fill the funding gap for the Nigeria Police with a view to enhancing their operational capabilities to effectively discharge their functions of securing and protecting Nigerians from crimes and insecurity is achieved.”

The groups that endorsed the statement include Rule of Law And Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), Lagos; International Peace And Civic Responsibility Centre (IPCRC), Anambra State; Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution. Lokoja, Kogi State; Centre For Human Rights And Ethics in Development (CHRED), Oyo State; Initiative For Gender Equality And Advancement, IGEA/ Edo Civil Society Organization, Edo State; Community Outreach For Development And Welfare Advocacy (CODWA), Kwara State; Human Rights Social Development And Environmental Foundation (HURSDEF), Rivers State; COMPPART Foundation For Justice And Peace Building; Habitatcare And Protection Initiative and Centre For The Advocacy of Justice, And Rights (CAJR), Plateau state.

Others are Civil Liberties Organization (CLO), Lagos State; Foundation For Environmental Rights Advocacy And Development (FENRAD) Nigeria, Abia State; Young innovators And Vocational Training Initiative (YIVTI), Kaduna State; International Solidarity For Peace And Human Rights Initiative, Enugu State; Vivacious Development Initiative, Abia State; Vision Spring Initiatives, Lagos; Anthony Opara, a private citizen; Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network (CRRAN), Enugu; Elixir Trust Foundation, Benue State; Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD),  Rivers State and Social and Integral Development Center (SIDEC), Anambra State.

The rest are African Centre for Entrepreneurship and Information Development (ACEIDEV), Abuja; Centre for Mmadu on Human Rights, Enugu; Grassroots Development Monitoring and Advocacy Centre (GDMAC), Ilorin Kwara State; Women Environment and Youth Development Initiative (WOYODEV), Kwara State; Legal Awareness for Nigerian Women, Kaduna State; Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), Lagos; Nnabuihe Azinkpali,  Activist, Abuja; Initiative for Safety Security and Educational Development (IPSSED NETWORK), Enugu State; Centre for Transparency Advocacy, Abuja; Koyenum Immalah Foundation, Benin; ONYIGBUO, Stephen Uche, Private, Enugu and Social Intervention Advocacy Foundation (SIAF), Lagos.

The CSO-PTF Civil Society Observatory was established to act as a catalyst to spur the Police Trust Fund to deliver on its mandate and to carry out vigorous and sustained sensitisation to create public awareness across the geo-political zones on the existence of the Police Trust Fund and its mandate.

BIG STORY

JUST IN: Amaechi Resigns As Minister Of Transportation

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Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, a presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, on Monday, officially resigned his position in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari as the Minister of Transportation.

In a press statement issued by the Amaechi Presidential Media Committee (APMC) signed by Kingsley Wali, in Abuja, Amaechi in his resignation letter expressed profound gratitude to the President for considering him fit to serve in his administration.

He equally thanked Buhari for the enormous support given him, which he said, was responsible for the tremendous record of achievements he made in the Ministry of Transportation over the last seven years.

The statement quoted Amaechi as saying in his resignation letter: “It is with mixed feelings that I tender my resignation as the Minister of Transportation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to contest for the Presidential ticket of our great party, the All Progressives Congress.

“Your Excellency, it has been a great honor and privilege serving as a member of your cabinet following your historic victory at the polls in 2015. Under your administration, the Ministry of Transportation has recorded significant achievements, made possible by your visionary support and commitment to ensuring that we deliver on our mandate.

“As I embark on the next phase of our mission to work towards a better Nigeria for ALL NIGERIANS, I humbly seek Your Excellency’s prayers, and blessings, and look towards your continuous support and guidance.

“Your Excellency, whilst humbly seeking your kind consideration of my request please accept the assurances of my highest esteem.”

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BREAKING: EFCC Arrests Accountant-General Of The Federation, Ahmed Idris, Over Diversion Of N80bn

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Nigeria’s Accountant-General, Ahmed Idris, has been arrested over alleged money laundering and diversion of public funds.

Those familiar with the development said Mr. Idris was intercepted in Kano by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday evening and is being flown to Abuja, the nation’s capital, for interrogation.

Report has it that the EFCC has for some time been investigating a case of diversion of at least N80 billion in public funds which were allegedly laundered through some bogus contracts.

The companies used in laundering the funds have allegedly been linked to family members and associates of the accountant-general, investigators said.

Our sources further said after progress was made in the investigation, Mr. Idris was summoned repeatedly for interrogation but he failed to honor the invitations.

“We kept inviting him but he kept dodging us,” one of our sources said. “We were left with no choice but to keep him under watch and arrest him.”

The spokesperson for the EFCC could not be reached to comment on his story. One of his subordinates said he is traveling in the United Kingdom at this time.

However, a top EFCC official confirmed the development but asked not to be named because he had no permission to discuss the matter with the media.

President Muhammed Buhari appointed Mr. Idris’s accountant-general on June 25, 2015.

The position became vacant at the time after the former Accountant General, Jonah Otunla, left office on June 12, 2015.

President Buhari reappointed Mr. Idris for a second four-year term in June 2019, amid criticisms from labor groups who said the accountant-general should retire after turning 60.

Mr. Idris, a native of Kano State, North-west Nigeria, was born on November 25, 1960, and was until his appointment in 2015 the Director of Finance and Accounts, Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.

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BREAKING: Embattled Ex-EFCC Chair, Ibrahim Magu, Promoted To AIG

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The Police Service Commission has promoted Ibrahim Magu, suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to the rank of an Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), along with five others.

AIG Magu Ibrahim who is proceeding on retirement is the most senior in the CP cadre and missed the last two promotions after returning to the Police from the EFCC.

It was gathered that the decision to promote Magu follows the recommendation of the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba. The PSC had last July declined to promote Magu during the promotion of 24 CPs and other officers.

This is just as the PSC confirmed the promotion of Mr. John Ogbonnaya Amadi as a Deputy Inspector General of Police, to take over from late DIG Joseph Egbunike who represented South East in the Police Management team. Also promoted DIG is Zana Bala Senchi.

The other Commissioners of Police promoted to AIG are CP Abraham Egong Ayim; Okunlola Kola Kamaldeen; Andrew Amieengheme; Akeera Mohammed Younous; Celestine Amechi Elumelu; Ngozi Vivian Onadeko and Danladi Bitrus Lalas (Airwing).

A statement by Ikechukwu Ani, Head of Press and Public Relations said 23 Deputy Commissioners of Police were promoted to Commissioners of Police

The new 23 Commissioners of Police are; Taiwo Olusola Jesubiyi, former DC, Admin and Finance, Akwa Ibom State Command; Kolawole Olajide former DC, Force CID Annex, Alagbon, Lagos; Julius Alawari Okoro, former DC, Maritime, Lagos; Adelesi Ebunoluwa Oluwarotimi, former DC DFA, Kwara State Command; George Chijioke Chuku, former DC Ops Ebonyi State Command; Paul Alifa Omata, former DC Ops, Kwara State Command; and Effiong Dominic Edem, former DC Ops, Zone 2 Lagos. Others are Yusuf Adesina Akeem, presently at the National Defence College; Mary Gbemudu George, former DC, Anti Human Trafficking Abuja; Etim Aqua Efiom, former DC Ops FHQ, Abuja; Mohammed Yakubu, former DC SCID Anambra Command; Ganiyu Alhaji Salami, former DC ZCID Zone11 Osogbo; Magaji Kontagora Ahmed, former, DC Ops, Lagos State Command; and Kolo Yusufu, presently O/c IGP Special Tactical Squad & TIU.

Also promoted CPs are Bzigu Yakaba Kwazhi Dali, presently on secondment to ECOWAS Commission, Guinea, Bissau; Ahmed Ammani, presently at the National Defence College; Afolabi Babatola Adeniyi, former DC, Ops Yobe State Command; Njoku Henry Eronini, former DC, JTF, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State; Abiodun Oladimeji Asabi; Dankwara Adamu Mohammed, former DC, SPU FHQ, Abuja; Mohammed Usaini Gumel, former DC TIU FHQ, Abuja; Ogundele Ayodeji, former DC Central Intelligence, Force CID Annex, Lagos and Idris Nagoya, former 2i/c Force Animal branch.

The Commission also approved the promotion of 23 Deputy Commissioners to the next rank of Commissioners of Police; 31 Assistant Commissioners to Deputy Commissioners of Police.

Magu’s ordeal began in July 2020 when he was suspended from office as acting EFCC chairman by President Muhammadu Buhari, over Malami’s allegations against him and he consequently appeared before a presidential panel headed by retired Justice Ayo Salami set up to probe him for alleged graft and insubordination.

More to come…

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