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Detained Kano rice workers – Ministry of labor denounces police intervention

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Detained Rice Mill Workers

Nasiru Yusuf

The Federal Ministry of Labor and Productivity has criticized the Nigerian police for rescuing hundreds of workers detained in a Kano rice mill.

Kano Focus reports that the police had rescued the workers after they had been detained in the Popular Farms rice mill at Challawa, Kano for about three months.

However, labor officer in the Kano office of the ministry, Abdullahi Ali told Kano Focus that the issue was not a police matter and that the company had treated the workers fairly.

Police rescue over 300 workers detained for 3 months in rice mill

“We visited the organization, we were conducted round, we interviewed workers and they confirmed to us that they were held in the company willingly.

“As far as we saw with our own eyes, the workers were treated well by the management.

“They were given feeding allowance, and even allowed to periodically visit their homes.” Mr Ali said.

The labor officer added that if the workers had any complaints they should report to the ministry of labor rather than the Nigerian Police.

“In the first place, an employment issue is not a police case.

“If there is any case of forced, compulsory or slave labor, the ministry of labor’s attention should have been drawn, and every agency has its own role to play.

Abdullahi Ali

Abdullahi Ali: Labor Officer

“As far as industrial issues are concerned, we have sole prerogative. “We are on exclusive legislative list of the federal government so when you have industrial issues you address it appropriately and rightly to the labor office and we can assign a labor officer to go and address it.

“We did not received such complaint; we only heard of it over the radio,” Mr Ali said.

The Kano Command of the Nigeria Police is yet to respond to this statement.

The labour officer also denied accusations by the National Union of Food,  Beverages and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE) that he has connived with the company’s management to sabotage the inauguration of the union’s branch.

Union alleges “Compromise”

Kano state secretary of the NUFBTE, Usman Muhammad told Kano Focus that Mr Aliyu had been “compromised” by the company.

“There was a time we visited the factory along with the labour officer, the national president of the National union of food,  beverages, and tobacco employees, his deputy, general secretary, national treasurer and state leadership but the admin manager denied us entry.

“The labour officer’s approach to the matter showed that he has been compromised.

“Instead of taking decisive action, I overheard him pleading to the admin manager to allow us to enter.

“If he has done his work, the factory will not dare to maltreat workers,” Mr Muhammad said.

He said the union will prepare and send a comprehensive report on the incident to the Kano state branch of the Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) for prompt intervention.

Influential people connive with foreigners

Meanwhile, Kano state chairman of the NLC, Kabiru Ado Minjibir has condemned the action of the company pending the receipt of the  report from the NUFBTE.

Mr Minjibir lamented that some Nigerians connive with foreigners to maltreat indigenous workers.

“Some influential people in Kano have contributed in degrading indigenous workers in the sight of expatriates.

“The last time labour leaders visited the said factory to inaugurate union leaders, they met resistance from management of the factory who at the end invited police to arrest the labour leaders.

“But if the matter involved indigenous factories, they don’t get such privileges.

“I don’t know why our leaders support foreigners to enslave our people in their factories.” Mr Minjibir said.

Detained workers not our staff

In its defense, Popular Farm Rice Mill said the labourers are not its employees and it is therefore not responsible for their welfare.

The administrative manager of the company, Kareem Saka told Kano Focus that the labourers are sourced from outside contractors.

“They are not our staff; we contracted loading and offloading contractors who hired those labourers.

“They had an agreement which they are paying them on daily basis. “And out of our own magnanimity we didn’t stop there, we still provided them with allowances, detergents, medical service and so on and so forth.” Mr. Saka said.

He added that the company provided a sleeping place for the workers in its farmland because they live far away from their homes.

Mr Saka however denied any knowledge that the workers were not allowed to go out at all.

“Our agreement is only with the contractors and not with their staff. “They are the ones who discussed with their labourers and agreed on their terms of employment,” he said.

Kano Focus had made several attempts to get the Kano state Ministry of Commerce and Industry to respond to the matter.

However, after several phone calls and text messages to the Ministry’s spokesperson, the commissioner Mahmoud Muhammad is yet to respond.

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Ganduje’s eldest son pays solidarity visit to Kano anti-corruption chairman, ‘lauds govt for investigating father

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

Abdulazeez Ganduje, the eldest son of the suspended national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Ganduje, paid a visit to the chairman of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission, Muhyi Rimingado, at his office.

Mr. Abdulazeez visited Mr. Rimingado on Wednesday evening to show his support for the chairman’s anti-corruption efforts.

He also expressed his endorsement of the charges brought against his father, mother, and brother by the commission.

Abdulazeez voiced his concern to the commission chairman about his unjust removal as a director of one of the companies undergoing trial, expressing his distress over being ousted without his consent.

In September 2021, Abdulazeez lodged a petition with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against his mother, Hafsat Ganduje, accusing her of corruption. In the petition, he detailed how he was approached by a property developer to assist in acquiring land in Kano for a substantial sum of money.

It was revealed that Abdulazeez paid the specified amounts in US dollars to his mother, Mrs. Ganduje. However, the property developer later discovered that the land he had paid for had been allocated to other buyers and requested a refund.

The Kano anti-corruption commission had previously taken legal action against Mr. Ganduje, his wife, Hafsat Umar, his son Umar Abdullahi Umar, and five others on charges related to corruption, misappropriation, and diversion of funds, amounting to billions of naira. Other individuals involved include Abubakar Bawuro, Jibrilla Muhammad, Lamash Properties Limited, Safari Textiles Limited, and Lasage General Limited.

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Breaking: Kano High Court affirms Ganduje’s suspension

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Ganduje

Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

Kano state high Court has affirmed the suspension of the National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje as member of the party.

KANO FOCUS reports that the court presided over by Justice Usman Malam Na’abba on Tuesday affirmed the suspension following an exparte motion filed by Dr. Ibrahim Sa’ad Esq on behalf of two executive members APC Ganduje ward, Dawakin-Tofa local government area, the assistant secretary, Laminu Sani and legal adviser Haladu Gwanjo (plaintiffs) who were part of the nine ward executive who suspended Abdullahi Ganduje on Monday.

The order followed an ex parte motion filed Haladu Gwanjo and Laminu Sani by their counsel Ibrahim Sa’ad.

The plaintiffs, who identified as executive members of APC Ganduje ward, said they brought the motion on behalf of the executive members of the ward.

Gwanjo, who identified as the party’s ward Legal Adviser, was the one that announced the suspension of Ganduje two days ago.

Subsequently, the court ordered, that henceforth, Ganduje should desist from presiding over all affairs of the National Working Committee (NWC) of APC.

The State Working Committee of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Kano had announced the suspension of ward party leaders who earlier announced the suspension of Ganduje.

Recall that the leadership of the party at Ganduje ward in Dawkin Tofa Local Government area announced the suspension of the party’s national chairman, citing corruption charges filed against him by the government.

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Court asks Ganduje to stop parading himself as APC member, affirm suspension

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

Kano state high Court has granted an exparte order restraining the National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje from parading himself as member of the party.

KANO FOCUS reports that subsequently, the court ordered, that henceforth, Ganduje should desist from presiding over all affairs of the National Working Committee (NWC) of APC.

The application granted by Justice Usman Malam Na’abba on Tuesday follows an exparte motion filed by Dr. Ibrahim Sa’ad Esq on behalf of two executive members APC Ganduje ward, Dawakin-Tofa local government area, the assistant secretary, Laminu Sani and legal adviser Haladu Gwanjo (plaintiffs) who were part of the nine ward executive who suspended Abdullahi Ganduje two days ago.

The court directed the four parties (respondents) joined in the matter, include All Progressives Congress (APC), APC National Working Committee (NWC), APC Kano State Working Committee (KSWC), and Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, to henceforth, maintain status quo ante belum as from 15th April, 2024, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit on 30th April, 2024.

Justice Na’abba also held as prayed, stopped State Working Committee APC Kano, from interfering with the legally and validly considered decision of executives of Ganduje ward, essentially on action endorsed by two third majority of the executives as provided by the party constitution.

“An order is hereby granted directing all parties in the suit APC (1st), APC National Working Committee (2nd), Kano State Working Committee APC (3rd), Dr. Abdullah Umar Ganduje (4th), to maintain status quo ante belum as of 15th April, 2024.

” The order thereby restraining the 1st respondent (APC) from recognizing the 4th respondent (Ganduje) as member of APC and prohibiting the 4th respondent (Ganduje) from presiding over any affairs of the NWC and restraining the state Working Committee from interfering with the legally and validly decision of the ward executives of Ganduje ward.

“That the 4th respondent (Ganduje) is prohibited from parading himself as member of APC or doing any act that may portray him or seem to be a member of APC pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit”.

It will be recalled that nine members of the Ganduje ward proclaimed the suspension of the National Chairman of APC over the allegation of corruption slammed on him by Kano state government.

The nine APC executives said they were prompted to act following a petition written by one Ja’afaru Adamu, a member of APC from the National Chairman’s polling unit.

In the petition, Adamu complained over allegation of corruption charges against the former Governor just as he urged the ward leaders to investigate the matter to redeem the dented image of the party and the implication on President Bola Tinubu’s fight against corruption.

Although, the chairman and secretary of the ward failed to act on the petition filed since 8th April, 2024, nine members of the executives led by the legal adviser had acted upon the petition, a decision that led to the suspension Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

In the last one year, the former Kano state Governor Abdullahi Ganduje had suffered serious political setback for loosing his Dawakin Tofa federal constituency in the 2023 general elections where his son U
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