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People accused of corruption becoming more powerful- Muhyi Magaji

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

The Chairman of Kano Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission, Barr. Muhuyi Magaji Rimin-Gado has lamented that the anti-corruption fight is facing serious challenges in Nigeria.

KANO FOCUS reports that Mr. Rimin Gado said this at the 32nd Anti-corruption Situation Room (ACSR), organized by the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), held in Kano on Tuesday.

He said common Nigerians are the ones bearing the brunt of corruption in the country as a result of the fact that the “people accused of corrupt practices are becoming more and more powerful in the country.”

According to him, the event was timely as it helped devise means of bringing issues that need to be addressed in a bid to achieve the desired result in the anti-corruption crusade.

On his part, the Former Executive Secretary, of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof Sadiq Isah Radda advised the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to concentrate on politicians only in asset declaration.

Radda, who was the Chairman of the occasion, noted that most of the activities of the CCB are centered around politicians.

According to him, for the CCB to fight corruption squarely, judges, civil servants and members of the National Assembly should be included in the asset declaration.

The former PACAC Executive Secretary also noted that for CCB to win its war against corruption among public office holders, it must extend its activities to all three arms and tiers of government.

“We have three tiers of government and three arms of government, all these must be included in asset declaration if we want to fight corruption squarely in this country.

“Judges and civil servants should also be asked to declare their assets, not only politicians, especially governors and presidents. Members of the National Assembly should also be included,” Prof. Radda said.

In his remark, the foremost human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana, SAN advocated for the regional Code of Conduct Tribunal to prosecute infractions arising from asset declaration by public office holders.

Falana made the call while presenting a keynote address virtually via Zoom at the event

The learned silk said the regional CCT would take care of the current scenario where only two to three judges presided over the CCT and infractions from the entire country.

According to him, “the Code of Conduct Bureau is under funds. It operates under the canopy of the Attorney General of the Federation. There is no provision for it under the constitution. It is supposed to be an independent body, well funded with adequate staff around the country. But right now, the body is not deliberately allowed to work and perform its constitutional duties.

“It is the same thing with the Code of Conduct Tribunal CCT. There is no way you can have only two or three judges that will cover 36 states and FCT in terms of prosecuting those who breach the exercise of asset declaration by the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB.

“We should have a regional CCT. We can’t have three people sitting in Abuja’s overall infractions from the entire country.

“The CCB can also collate information with regards to declaration of assets online instead of traveling around the 36 states since we do many examinations and interviews conducted online successfully,” he suggested.

In his welcome address, the Chairman of the Human and Environmental Development Agenda, HEDA, Mr. Suraju Olanrewaju frowned at the present condition of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT which he said is in a comatose.

He called for the empowering of the tribunal to effectively and efficiently perform its constitutional duties or for the National Assembly to commence a process of amending the law to have properly constituted mechanisms for the prosecution of infractions arising from asset declaration.

Olanrewaju said, “We are concerned about the CCT in comatose and that is why you have not seen any media report around anything happening within CCT. And that is a very key constitutional instrument meant to deter people from illicitly acquiring assets outside the means of their legitimate earnings. But it is completely missing in the whole anti-corruption effort. And it gives room for people to get away with blue mothers. We are displeased with the situation.

“We either have a properly constituted and effective and efficient CCT or we move with the National Assembly should commence a process of amending the law to have a properly constituted mechanisms for the prosecution of infractions arising from asset declaration,” Mr. Olanrewaju however stated.

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Hajj 2024: Kano asks NAHCON to reverse BTA issuance via card

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

The Director General of Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Lamin Rabi’u Danbappa has described as unjustified, the decision of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, NAHCON, to pay part of the Basic Travel Allowance, BTA, for this year’s Hajj via payment card.

KANO FOCUS reports that the DG made the call at a meeting to discuss the issue pertaining the BTA at he board’s headquarters on Thursday.

It will be recalled that NAHCON had issues a directive to state pilgrims boards pilgrims to pay $200 BTA in cash, while the remaining $300 will be accessible by the pilgrims via card in Saudi Arabia.

In a statement by the board’s spokesman, Suleman Abdullahi Dederi, Danbappa pointed out that “many pilgrims come from rural areas and may not be familiar with using cards to access their funds in Saudi Arabia.”

Danbappa therefore called on the NAHCON to reconsider this decision, noting that “it imposes additional hardships on the pilgrims, who are already facing challenges due to the high Hajj fare this year.

“The Director General emphasized that requiring pilgrims to use cards in Saudi Arabia could lead to numerous problems during the Hajj exercises.

“He stressed that the BTA is intended to assist pilgrims and should not be a cause of confusion or difficulty,” the statement reads in part.

He urged the relevant authorities to ensure that the BTA is provided in a manner that genuinely assists the pilgrims, without complicating their experience.

The statement added that the Chairman Board of Directors of the Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Yusuf Lawan, led the meeting to discuss the issue pertaining to the BTA.

Lawan stated that the board had recently received a directive from the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria regarding the BTA process.

According to the directive, pilgrims will receive only $200 in cash, while the remaining $300 will be accessible via card in Saudi Arabia.

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APC Chairmanship: Search For Ganduje’s Replacement Begins

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Ganduje

Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

There are indications that the Presidency may have given the green light for stakeholders to begin the search for a replacement of the All Progressives Congress (APC) national chairman, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, LEADERSHIP gathered.

KANO FOCUS gathered that the Villa, which has been silent over Ganduje’s recent political travail, is said to have “commissioned” APC governors from the North Central geo-political zone to begin a search for a new chairman from the region as originally planned by the party.

A top party source told LEADERSHIP Newspaper that besides the North Central zone producing the next chairman, the Villa might be open to allowing the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) camp within the party to produce Ganduje’s replacement as part of appeasement moves.

It was further learnt that those opposed to Ganduje’s continued stay, including a serving senator who was former governor of a South South state, listed his perceived handling of the Edo and Ondo primaries as well as the unfolding drama surrounding the probe into his tenure as Kano State governor.

Ganduje’s woes, it was also gathered, is being compounded by an alleged plan for New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) presidential candidate in 2023, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, to return to the APC, a claim confirmed to LEADERSHIP Friday by a former commissioner and APC chieftain in Kano State, Musa Ilyasu Kwankwaso.

Also, the agitation by APC stakeholders in the North Central zone for the return of the chairmanship position to their zone has not helped Ganduje’s case. The immediate past governor of Kano State is from the North West zone.

The APC chairman has been locked in an intriguing legal battle in Kano State over moves to suspend him in his ward by some persons claiming to be APC executives.

They hinged their suspension on the probe into Ganduje’s administration over alleged financial misappropriation by Governor Abba Yusuf.

While Ganduje blames the NNPP-led administration in the state for his travails, the APC leadership, at federal and state levels, has since distanced themselves from the suspension moves.

However, the embattled chairman is fighting back and battling to salvage his job. Party sources told LEADERSHIP Friday that he had reached out to some governors to help him stave off those angling to remove him from office.

It was gathered that he recently pleaded with a governor from a North Central State to urge an aggrieved aspirant to withdraw his suit seeking to stop him from parading himself as chairman.

A serving senator and former national chairmanship aspirant is said to have also been recruited to ensure the case is dropped.

KANO FOCUS recalls that an APC chairmanship aspirant in 2022, Muhammad Etsu, is seeking a legal injunction to stop Ganduje from parading himself as national chairman.

He had earlier argued for the national chairmanship seat to return to the North Central zone.

In the build-up to the 2022 national convention, the APC had zoned the position to the North Central which saw Senator Abdullahi Adamu emerge as national chairman.

He resigned in 2023 paving the way for Ganduje, who hails from North West, to become chairman.

However, the party source told LEADERSHIP Friday that another North Central governor is backing the move to remove Ganduje.

The governor, according to a party source, is seeking Ganduje’s removal because he appears to have taken sides with the governor’s political opponent (a top government official) in the state.

Attempts to get Ganduje’s reaction on the issues were not successful as calls and messages to his media handlers were not responded to.

Meanwhile, it was learnt that the APC-led presidency adopted the silence option over Ganduje’s ordeal, in light of unfolding political intrigues in the North ahead of the 2027 presidential election.

With the frayed political romance between President Bola Tinubu and some of his allies in the region, it might “be convenient to forge new alliances which might involve making tough decisions,” a source said.

The source, who neither confirmed nor denied the Kwankwaso angle, however said the president would need to firm his base in the region, having seemingly fallen out with some politicians, like former Kaduna governor, Nasir el-Rufai.

“So he might be firmer to ask himself what political value the embattled chairman has to him ahead of 2027. Kano State is a strategic state that any incumbent or presidential candidate would need to have on his side,” the party chieftain said.

Another APC chieftain, who also pleaded not to be named, said Tinubu is keeping quiet on the issues about Ganduje because he single handedly brought him to the position.

The source said: “Unlike in the case of Adams Oshimhole who was elected at a national convention and was not the then President Muhammadu Buhari candidate, hence he was allowed to sink, Ganduje is more or less an appointee of the president and, though the quietness, he is enjoying the protection of Villa.

“Unlike Buhari, Tinubu could be blunt to tell Ganduje to go if he is not satisfied with his leadership as the APC chairman. Also, in the case of Oshiomhole, the APC governors were not on his side but it seems the governors are with Ganduje or they simply are not interested in what is happening.”

A former APC national vice chairman, North-west, Salihu Lukman, said the only strong qualification of Ganduje as the party’s chairman is his close relationship with the president.

Source: Leadership Newspaper.

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Qatar Foundation to award scholarship to BUK indigent students

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

Qatar Charity Foundation, a humanitarian and development non-governmental organization, has planned to award scholarship to indigent students of Bayero University, Kano.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Country Director of Qatar Foundation, Hamdi Abdou made this pledge when he paid a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor, Professor Sagir Adamu Abbas on Thursday.

He said the visit was to reignite the relationship between the foundation and BUK, with a view to supporting the University in the area of providing scholarship to the indigent students.

He reiterated the foundation’s commitment to providing boreholes to address the challenges of water shortage.

The Country Director explained that last year, the foundation dug 1500 boreholes across 15 states in Nigeria; constructed 400 mosques and supported 4500 orphans with N50,000 monthly, out of which 1200 of them were from Kano State.

The Vice Chancellor, Professor Sagir Adamu Abbas expressed happiness with the visit and expressed the University’s commitment to strengthen its relationship with the Qatar Charity Foundation.

He said the University’s doors are open to assist the Foundation with research to solve some challenges related to its activities.

At the end of the meeting, the two parties agreed that a formal memorandum of understanding would formally be signed to fast track the relationship.

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