The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday said it had arrested 16 council chairmen in Kwara state over alleged misappropriation of N4billion loan.h
Spokesman of the Commission, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, said the suspects were currently being quizzed by its operatives at the Ilorin zonal office.
Uwujaren said that the local government chairmen included: Risikat Opakunle, Saidu Yaru Musa, Umar Belle, Ayeni Dallas, Fatai Adeniyi Garba, Lah Abdulmumeen, Raliat Funmi Salau, Aminat Omodara and Muyiwa Oladipo.
Others according to him include: Oladipo Omole, Abdullahi Abubakar Bata, Saka Eleyele, Lateef Gbadamosi, Oni Adebayo Joseph, Omokanye Joshua Olatunji and Jibril Salihu.
“It was gathered that the council chiefs after securing the controversial loan held a meeting and decided that one hundred million naira be shared among themselves.
“The suspects had on the February 7, 2018 wrote a N4billion loan request to the Ilorin Branch Manager of Sterling to pay the Salary Arrears of teachers.
“Teachers under the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) Local Government Staff and Local Government Pensioners, ” he said
According to him, the embattled politician were also accused of diverting 10 per cent of the monthly internally generated revenue for their personal use.
He added that the money was paid directly into their personal accounts against the financial Regulations.
He stated that all the suspects had made useful statements while Investigation continues.
Edited by Bayo Sekonihttps://nnn.ng/n4bn-loan-efcc-quizzes-16-kwara-lg-chairmen-over-alleged-misappropriation-internal-cevenue/
Rainstorm damages INEC office roof in Kwara
Heavy rainstorm on Saturday night in Ilorin, Kwara, wreaked havoc as it blew off the roofs of some buildings at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Ilorin.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that a torrential rain fall on Saturday night accompanied by heavy wind storm damaged many buildings and electric poles in the state capital and other towns in the state.
INEC Head of General Administration and Procurement (GAP), Mr Friday Patrick, who conducted NAN correspondent round the affected buildings and offices within the complex, said buildings affected included the Collation center.
Others are the ICT centre, and the car port, which had their roofs blown off and the ceiling damaged, even as a one of the vehicles under the car port was damaged.
Also damaged during the rainstorm were roofs of some offices including that of the Administrative Secretary, Electoral Operations (OPS) office and the conference room.
Patrick said he came to the office on Sunday to discover that the rainstorm had damaged offices and buildings in the complex.
He said that the report of the damages had been made to the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Malam Garba Attahiru-Madami, to intimate him of the havoc the storm had caused
According to him, officials of the commission had to evacuate all the laptop computers from ICT to a safe room.
He said that the commission was yet to ascertain the level of damage to the computers because rain fell on all of them.
He therefore appealed to the national headquarters of INEC to come to the aid of Ilorin office and fix the damaged roofs and ceiling so as to prevent damage to furniture and equipment in the offices.
Attahiru-Madami said he had notified the head office through the Commissioner in charge of Works and Estate in INEC.
He expressed his confidence and optimism that INEC headquarters would respond in earnest.
Edited By: Bayo Sekoni
Lawmaker donates 5 motorised boreholes, promises more
Rep. Tunji Ajuloopin, representing Ekiti, Isin, Irepodun and Oke-Ero Federal Constituency of Kwara, has donated five motorised boreholes to his constituency.
The lawmaker during the inauguration of the projects on Sunday reiterated his earlier promise to sink a motorised borehole in each of the 42 wards in his constituency.
Ajuloopin, who is the Chairman House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, said the well-being of the people of his constituency is a top priority to him.
He pledged to continue to give adequate attention to projects that would have direct bearing on his constituents.
“These five newly completed boreholes take us to a total of 13 and we are spurred to do more; we will be doing this based on availability of funds.
“We still have plenty of projects to bring to our people but it is one step at a time.
“We are careful about what we are doing, so that we won’t give a community in need of transformer, a borehole. We don’t want to make such a mistake,” he said
He appealed to his constituents to exercise patience with him as the COVID-19 pandemic affected a lot of things already in the pipeline for the year, saying that he would not, however, be deterred from delivering his mandate.
The lawmaker thanked the people for their support, while expressing happiness for belonging to the constituency.
As at the time of visit to some of the projects sites, all the boreholes were fully operational.
Edited By: Shittu Obassa/Felix Ajide
EFCC witness contradicts self in ex-Minister, Turaki’s trial
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’s witness, Mr Umar Tahir, on Monday, contradicted himself in the ongoing trial of a former Minister in the President Goodluck Jonathan-led government, Taminu Turaki.
The development occurred when Tahir, who was a Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Islamic Affairs in the same government, was being cross-examined by Counsel to Turaki, Joe Gadzama, SAN, before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Turaki, the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs between 2013 and 2015, is facing a money laundering charges involving about N854 million.
He also served as the supervising Minister of Labour from 2014 to 2015 in President Jonathan-led administration.
NAN reports that the EFCC had, on May 4, arraigned the former minister alongside his former Special Assistant, Sampson Okpetu, and two firms; Samtee Essentials Limited and Pasco Investment Limited, on 16 counts of money laundering.
The anti-graft agency alleged that the defendants used the companies to launder funds totaling about N845 million stolen from the two ministries where the minister held sway under the then administration.
However, Turaki and Okpetu pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Tahir had, on June 23, while giving his evidence-in-chief, alleged that Turaki released N200 million to him out of the N359 million approved by former President Jonathan to launder the image of the government through sensitisation of Muslim groups in parts of the country in 2014.
At the cross-examination on Monday, Tahir admitted that N150 million was transfered to him in tranches while the remaining N50 million was handed to him by Tukari’s aide.
When Gadzama asked Tahir how much he had so far paid out of the N67 million the EFCC asked him to refund from the N200 million, the witness said the anti-graft agency only asked him to refund N20 million.
“How much have you refunded so far?” he asked.
“I have refunded about N1.7 million,” he responded.
But Gadzama disagreed with him, saying from the documented evidence before the court, he had, at three different occasions, paid about N3 million to the EFCC, of which Tahir did not object to.
Asking further, Gadzama said: “I put it to you that the entire money, which is N404 million, was released for the project.”
“I am not aware that the total money was N404 million,” Tahir responded.
The lawyer then proceeded to show him the amount from the documented evidence.
“N404 million was released for this project from this memo. Do you agree with me; from the exhibits in court?” he asked again.
“I am not aware. I am only concerned with what was giving to me and this has been my argument with EFCC,” Tahir replied.
The lawyer asked him what step did he take when he saw that N200 million was released to him from the N359 million.
Tahir, however, refused to give a direct answer, insisting that he had to offer an explanation.
“I seek the protection of my lord to offer an explanation,” he said.
“No, this is simple question. You told the court that N359 million was approved to you and you got N200 million. What did you do to get the balance,” the lawyer asked again.
Tahir said: “I asked the minister and he said the release was in tranches and I have no reason to doubt him.”
Justice Ekwo, however, cautioned Tahir when the cross-examination session turned into heated argument.
“Did you want me to form an opinion about you that you are not cooperating with the evidence?
“Your language is very bad. You need to know you are before the court,” the judge said
Ekwo, adjourned the matter until Sept. 22 for continuation of cross-examination and trial.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
Kwara Govt to convert Pakata PHC to standard cottage hospital
Dr Mohammed Ghali-Alaya, a member of a government standing committee, made the disclosure when he led a government team to inspect the centre.
He said that the cottage hospital would include a maternity and children’s ward in line with its original plan dated back to the 1970s.
Ghali-Alaya said that the OPD was initially intended as a cottage hospital and was to serve as an alternative to the congested Children Hospital in Igboro, Ilorin.
According to him, the idea was abandoned.
“The government is about to start working there as part of its plans to deepen people’s access to basic healthcare,” Ghali-Alaya said.
He added that the state government would restore the status of the health dispensary in Ubandawaki Ward of Ilorin West Local Government, many years after the public facility was converted to a secretariat of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party in the area.
According to him, the dispensary was one of the health facilities constructed across the state by the late Admiral Muhammed Lawal in 2003.
He gave the assurance that it would be rebuilt and re-equipped for public use.
“Today, this facility has regained its status; government has directed that it should be renovated and made available for its original purpose,’’ he said.
Edited By: Zainab Garba/Ijeoma Popoola