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OGP: Petition against Muhuyi Magaji due for hearing in court Nov. 5

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By Nasiru Yusuf

A federal high court sitting in Kano has fixed November 5, 2019 for hearing of a petition filed against Muhuyi Magaji, chairman of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission, over his refusal to respond to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request on his Open-Government-Partnership (OGP) financial expenditure.

Kano Focus reports that the Center for Awareness on Justice and Accountability (CAJA) has sued Mr Magaji, who is the co-chair of the OGP and his counterpart Halima Ben Umar–a representative of the civil society organizations (CSOs) for shunning CAJA’s request seeking explanations on funds spent on the OGP programme.

CAJA is demanding Kano OGP to release the total amount of funds received from Kano state government from January 1st 2017 to June 30th 2019.

The group also sought to know the “details of expenditure at/of OGP secretariat including those used for the purchase of vehicles and other equipment/facilities throughout the period of OGP process in Kano state.”

CAJA, which is headed by an activist, Kabiru Sa’idu Dakata, had filed a petition praying the federal high court to compel Mr Magaji to release the requested information to the applicant.

It also asked the court to award a sum of N5 million against the defendants being the cost of filing the petition.

However, when the matter was brought on Thursday for mention, counsel to OGP, Umar Fari said he was not ready and requested an adjournment to a later date.

In his ruling, the presiding judge Justice O.A Ogwuatu adjourned the case to November 5 2019 for mention.

What is OGP?

Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from national and subnational governments to promote open government, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.

In the spirit of multi-stakeholder collaboration, OGP is overseen by a steering committee including representatives of governments and civil society organizations.

Nigeria joined the OGP in 2016 while three states including Kano joined the platform in 2017.

Muhuyi Magaji Rimin Gado chairman Kano state Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission was appointed as the government co-chair of the platform in the state.

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Kano High Court acquits 2 suspected armed robbers detained for 13 years

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Kano High Court

Nasiru Yusuf

A Kano State High Court has disçharged and acquitted two suspected armed robbers accused of killing their victim, Bako Zangina, an offense punishable by death.

Kano Focus reports that Justice Suleman Namalam held that though the court has no doubt that the accused are criminals having been convicted previously, the prosecution has failed to estabilish the ingredient of the offence beyond reasonable doubt in the instant case.

The accused Isyaku Umar otherwise known as ‘Small’ and Ibrahim Suleiman were arraigned in court on three counts charges of conspiracy,attempted armed robbery and culpable homicide punishable by death.

The two accused have been in custody since October 2007 for the alleged killing of Bako Zangina.

The court held that while the prosecution established the death of the victim, it failed to establish three ingredients of offense linking the identity of the accused to the crime thereby creating doubt.

The trial judge held that failure of the prosecution to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt left the court with no option than to discharge and acquitt the two accused.

The two accused persons have been in detention for over 13 years and have previously been tried and convicted for armed robbery.

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Kano wins national award in the fight against TB, leprosy

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Nasiru Yusuf

Kano State Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Program has won the twin National Tuberculosis and Leprosy awards for the year 2020.

Kano Focus reports that, the awards were announced by the Nigeria National TB, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer Control program during the Annual Review meeting held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State Capital.

Kano get the award as the state with highest consistent quarterly TB case notification for 2020 and the highest TB testing laboratory using GeneXpert Machine.

This is the first time the state have won such National TB and Leprosy Awards.

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FG signs US$1.959bn Kano-Maradi railway project

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Nasiru Yusuf

The federal government has on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Mota-Engil Group for the construction of US$1.959 billion Kano-Maradi Standard gauge railway line.

Kano Focus reports that the Minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi signed on behalf of the federal government while the Managing Director, Mota- Engil, Antonio Gvoea signed on behalf of the contracting firm.

The new railway corridor which is to be located in northern Nigeria will run through Kano, Jigawa and Katsina states and through Niger Republic territory as far as Maradi.

Other cities to benefit directly from the passage of the rail route are Danbatta, Kazaure, Daura, Mashi, Katsina and Jibiya.

A statement signed by Eric Ojiekwe, Director, Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Transportation noted that the 283.750-kilometre rail line besides developing freight and passenger transport, “will be integrated with road transport to make a great contribution to the local economy as well as an important development in the social sector.”

The project duration is for 36 months and the contract type is Engineering, Procurement and Construction.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Magdalene Ajani; Director, Legal Services, Pius Oteh; Managing Director, Mota-Engil Group, Antonio Gvoea; Head of Legal, Mota- Engil Group, Cameron Beverley; Magajin Garin Kano, Muhammad Wada; Director, Mota-Engil Group, Kola Abdulkarim; Vice President, Mota-Engil Group, Mohammed Abdul-Razaq; Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Yusuf Tuggar; Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala-Usman among other personalities.

Mota-Engil is a Portuguese conglomerate with diverse interest in construction, transportation, public works, port operations, waste, water and logistics with presence in 23 countries spread across Africa, Europe and Latin America.

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