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Court acquits  Aminu Wali of N950m campaign fund charges

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Nasiru Yusuf

The Federal High Court in Kano has on Friday discharged and acquitted former minister of foreign affairs Aminu Wali accused with receiving N950 campaign fund from PDP during 2015 presidential election.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is prosecuting Mr Wali and Mansur Ahmed with three count charges bordering around 950 million Naira campaign fund received from People Democratic Party PDP in 2015, an act that contravened Section 1 of money laundering prohibition Act 2011.

Delivering the judgement, the trial judge Lewis Allagoa said the prosecution has failed to probe their case beyond reasonable doubt.

Mr Allagoa averred that the prosecution though established that the money  950 million was received beyond the threshold allowed by law,It failed to establish the money was received outside a financial institution an ingredient of probing the case beyond reasonable doubt.

The court said that while the defendants have admitted to have collected the said money from a financial institution, EFCC couldn’t not prove the money laundering charge against them.

He therefore discharged and acquitted the defendants.

Reacting to the judgment, counsel to EFCC Cosmos Ugwu described the judgment as “a well considered judgment.”

Mr Ugwu said, “we will take it as delivered, we will go back and study it and see what to do hereafter.

“I do not think the EFCC has gotten it wrongly because we charge base on the provision of the law. It doesn’t necessarily means that party was malicious in it prosecution, it only means that the element of the offense that ought to have been proved were not proved.

“The central issue was that whether there was transaction through a financial institution or not. Our argument was that it was not because you cannot go to Fidelity Bank and say give me the account from which this money was paid and you will get it.

“But, it is a new area of law so we would continue to work towards developing it so that subsequently when this kind of matter comes up we would have authority, we would have authorities to quickly bring to the aide of the court to say this is what the supreme has said.

“I am sure if the appeal court or supreme Court had interpreted the phrase ‘through a financial institution’ we wouldn’t have had the difficulties we had in trying to prove that it was not through a financial institution,” Mr Ugu said.

Commenting on the judgement, counsel to Messrs Wali and Ahmed, Sam Olagunorisa commended the judge for exhibiting erudition of law in his final verdict.

According to him “His lordship showed his erudition. He went through the law, and at the end of the day, it was very clear that, the entire transaction in this charge went through financial institution, which is one of the major cardinal ingredients before you can find anybody guilty for an offence of money laundering.

” Both the prosecution and defence agreed that the money went through Fidelity Bank. Fidelity Bank is the  financial institution within the laws of Federal Republic of Nigeria. To that extent, one of the cardinal ingredients for which the prosecution must probe was found not existing. That account for the reason why the defendants were discharged and acquitted.

Reacting to the judgement Mr Wali expressed gratitude to God for vindicating him despite three years of litigation.

“God is there. God will never allow injustice to persist. I thanked Him and I thanked all for the support and the believed had in me that this thing never really happened, is all political,” Mr Wali said.

Messrs Wali and Ahmed were arraigned alongside former governor of Kano, Ibrahim Shekarau by EFCC before the court on May 24, 2018 on six count charges that the trio received the money on March 25, 2015 from PDP without transacting through a financial institution contrary to section 1(a) of Money Laundering Act 2011, punishable under section 16 (2b) of same act.

Mr Shekarau was later discharged and acquitted by the same court after he filed and won a case of no submission at the court of appeal leaving Wali and Ahmed with a three count charges before the Federal High court.

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COEASU FCE (T) Bichi commences one week warning strike over poor leadership in the college

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Comrade Salisu Yunusa

 

Nasiru Yusuf

The Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) Federal College of Education (Tech) Bichi has commenced a one week warning strike.

Kano Focus reports that the chairman of the union Muhammad Salisu Yunusa announced this on Tuesday while briefing journalists at Press Centre.

The COEASU chairman has accused the management of the college under Muhammad Bashir Fagge with non remittance of twenty five million Naira deduction made on behalf of the staff multi purpose cooperative society.

According to him as at August 2017, the college management had incurred a debt stock amounting to about eighty million Naira, being the cumulative sum of deductions from staff salaries that were not remitted to the college’s staff cooperative society.

Mr Yunusa alleged that teaching and learning is being conducted under unbearable condition due to dilapidated infrastructure.

He also alleged that the management of the college has failed to pay legitimate staff allowances including 10 months peculiar academic allowance, Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) supervision allowance; teaching practice allowance and series of outstanding payment of the centre for continuing education.

” Academic infrastructures are dilapidating due to lack of maintenance; laboratories, workshops and studios are not functioning optimally due to lack of equipments and consumables.

“Insecurity and lawlessness is alarming due to complacency of the current management of the college; while staff morale is at low level, due to non payment of staff allowances and other statutory entitlements among other pressing issues,” Mr Yunusa alleged.

According to him the college is yet to issue college graduands their Teachers’ Registration Council (TRCN) certificate and National Certificate in Education (NCE) certificates for 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 sessions.

“The failure to issue TRCN certificates to our former students may be viewed by the general public as a corporate fraud, considering the fact that they had paid for the processing of the certificates in advance as part of their NCE III school fees while in college.

“The non-payment of security personnel for about seven months has further threatened the security of lives and properties of the institutions. This situation has culminated in serious theft in the students hostels,” the chairman alleged.

Mr Yunusa called on the appropriate authorities to to prevail on the management of the college to immediately remit this money back to college’s cooperative as soon as possible as failure to to do this will further worsen the welfare condition of some staff, some of whom have invested a larger chunk of their life saving in cooperative society.

“We will never soccumb to the intimidation of ‘No work, no pay’ by the college management until our demands are met,” he said.

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We’ve never added a penny on the price of our products during Ramadan – Dangote 

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Aliko Dangote

By Mukhtar Yahya Usman

The chairman of Dangote Group Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has categorically urged people not to panic over price hike in his products during this Ramadan.

Kano Focus recalled that every Ramadan, sugar is one of the most used substance to prepare varieties of drinks and other edibles, even though it often goes higher than usual that a common man cannot afford to buy.

This problem according to many Muslim faith, is associated with the business people in commodity markets – who purchase such most used substances during the fasting period.

However, Mr Dangote said that he has massively filled markets with sugar across the country to avoid shortage during this Ramadan, which according to him to will not heighten the price of the sugar.

Dangote who spoke through his Manager, Garba Ibrahim El- Suleiman in Kano, says the Company presently has bathed all the markets across the country with products, “because our President, Alhaji Aliko Dangote respects and values month of Ramadan to the level that he has never added a penny on the price of his products during the time.” He added.

“Our dealers also are very good people and we’re rest assured that none of them would be able to take up the price of any product.” Garba said.

Speaking with Salisu Sambajo, one of the Dangote Company’s major Dealers in Nigeria, says there has never been a time when the Dangote increases prices of his products in any parts of the country during Ramadan.

“The price of every bag of sugar we sell is N18,500 only, therefore whenever you find out that a kobo is added to that, it is from the retailers. These people buy goods from us, they pay for transport, tax and many – so when they some amount on it, it is not Dangote that added it…we cannot force them not to.” Sambajo said.

Also, Sabo Dankoli, another dealer of Dangote products explained that they have never experienced a hike in price from Dangote unless in 2020, when there was lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, “and that also was not from Dangote, it’s because the commodities have gone out of store and people started to add money.” He said.

Commending the Dangote Group efforts to ensure that there is no price increase during the fasting period, Chairman of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti- Corruption Commission (PCACC), Muhuyi Magaji Rimingado has thanked Aliko Dangote for taking measures to ensure that his products have not gone out of store or too expensive to consumers during Ramadan.

‘’I was informed that the company has flooded the market with commodities that can last till after the Ramadan period and not only in Kano but across the northern states, ‘’Muhuyi Rimingado said.

‘’That was why we appreciated the company with a letter of Commendation last week. I hope the company will sustain the initiative even after the holy month of Ramadan.’’

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Ahmed Musa signs short deal with Kano Pillars

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Nasiru Yusuf

National captain Ahmed Musa is considering a proposition to play some matches for his former club in Nigeria, Kano Pillars, in a move hoped to boost the local league and maintain his personal fitness. 

Kano Focus reports that the 28-year-old, who is a free agent since leaving Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr in October, had received offers from England, Russia and Turkey.

But as he mulls over his next European destination in the summer, the winger received a proposition from the governor of Kano, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and Shehu Dikko, chairman of the League Management Company (LMC) for a short stint in Nigeria.

“After speaking with the governor and chairman of the LMC I am considering to play some games for Kano pillars,” the former Leicester City player told BBC Sport Africa.

“Anything that improves the image of Nigerian football is something that I strive to embark on and Kano Pillars holds a special place in my heart.

“It’s the team that helped me become the professional footballer I am today, so this is more than just football but a very strong bond,” Mr Musa said.

According to BBC a deal to bring Musa in has already been finalised.

Musa, who has built a training and fitness facilities in Kano to help grass roots football, scored 18 goals for Kano Pillars to finish as top scorer in the 2009/10 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season.

His desire to help promote the image of the domestic league on social media is what the LMC, which runs the NPFL, is hoping to benefit from this season.

Musa made his 96th appearance for Nigeria in their 3-0 win over Lesotho in Lagos in the Super Eagles final Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

After Vincent Enyeama (101) and Joseph Yobo (100), Musa is Nigeria’s third most capped player in history, having played 96 matches since his debut aged just 17 in 2010.

He helped the Super Eagles win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and played for them in the past two World Cups

Musa scored twice for Nigeria at the 2014 and 2018 Fifa World Cup tournaments to become the country’s top World Cup goalscorer.

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