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EFCC arraigns Kano couple accused of N410million Fraud

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned Aisha Salihu Malkohi (a.k.a Ummitah, Arab Money) and her husband, Abubakar Abubakar Sadiq Mahmoud (at large) on five- count charges bordering on misappropriation of funds to the tune of N410,518,000.

KANO FOCUS reports that they were arraigned on Friday, December 8, 2023 before Justice Aisha Mahmud of the Kano State High Court sitting in Kano.

One of the charge reads ‘’’that you Aisha Salihu Malkohi and Abubakar Sadiq Mahmoud (now at large) on or about 2022 in Kano, Kano state within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did obtain the sum of Two Hundred and Twenty-Five Million, Two Hundred and Fifty Nine Thousand Naira only (225,259,000) belonging to Farida Ibrahim between 6th January to 16th December, 2022 into account bearing Abubakar Sadiq Mahmoud domiciled at Zenith Bank that the said money were paid to you for the purchase and supply of 64 cars, from Saudi Arabia facts which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (a)&(b) and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related offences Act,2006’’

The defendant pleaded not guilty to all the five counts when they were read to her.

In view of her plea, EFCC counsel, Zarami Mohammed prayed the court for a trial date.

However, defence counsel, G.I Abubakar moved a bail application for his client which was opposed by Mohammed.

Justice Mahmud thereafter adjourned the matter till December 15, 2023 for ruling on the bail application. She also remanded the defendant in EFCC custody pending ruling on her bail application.

Malkohi was arrested by investigators of the EFCC in Kano following a petition from two petitioners, Farida Ibrahim and Ibrahim Mohammed Abdulrahman alleging that she conspired with her husband and defrauded them of their hard earned monies under the guise of supplying them with cars, gold, electronics and kitchen utensils from Saudi Arabia.

Upon the receipt of the petition, the Commission swung into actions and conducted thorough investigation which so far revealed that the defendant had collected a total sum of N410,518,000 through bank accounts belonging to her company, Golden Grass Hill International Ltd and her husband’s Zenith Bank account.

Further investigation also revealed that the defendant, alongside her husband, who is still at large, diverted the monies into several bank accounts.

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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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