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More Troubles for Bauchi Gov-Elect as EFCC Slams six Fresh Charges

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One month to his inauguration, Bauchi State Governor-elect, Senator Bala Mohammed, will be arraigned on Monday (today) by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on fresh six counts bordering on alleged failure to declare his assets and false information, The Punch has learnt.

Mohammed, a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, was declared the winner of the recent Bauchi State governorship election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party after defeating the incumbent Governor of the state, Mohammed Abubakar, of the All Progressives Congress.

According to information sent by court registrar to the EFCC Director of Legal Services and Prosecution, Chile Okoroma, obtained by The Punchon Sunday, Mohammed popularly known as Kaura, will be arraigned in Court 26 at the FCT High Court, Maitama in Abuja.

“He will be arraigned on six counts bordering on false declaration of assets and giving false information to the EFCC. There are some properties he bought which he did not disclose to the EFCC but were discovered. The details will be unveiled when the charges will be read to him. A renowned legal practitioner and the EFCC counsel, Wahab Shittu, has been assigned to prosecute Bala Mohammed, before a new judge,” a source in the commission stated.

Count five of the charges to be read to the accused  reads, “That you Bala A. Mohammed on or about October 24, 2016 at the head office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Abuja within the judicial division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory made a false statement to the detective, Ishaya Dauda, investigating officer with the Economic Governance Section of the EFCC, Abuja to wit: that you acquired house situate at No. 2599 and 2600, Cadastal Zone AO4 Asokoro District Abuja through a mortgage facility from Aso Savings  & Loan Bank Plc and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 09 (2) (a) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004 and punishable under Section 39(2)(b) of the same Act.”

The accused had in a recent interview with Saturday Punch in Bauchi vowed that he would probe his predecessor, adding that his trial by the EFCC was politically-motivated.

He said, “It is completely politically-motivated but I believe in justice and that was why I went to the court of justice. Definitely! Because of the evidence that we have, he is going to be thoroughly probed because I have not been spared by the Federal Government. I have been under probe by the EFCC and because I believe in accountability and was influential in the government of President Goodluck Jonathan, I chose not to run away.

“I will stand and answer all questions. I have passed the first battle by winning my case against the Federal Government on human rights, for arbitrarily imprisoning me and then calling me names. Of course, N5m has been awarded in my favour and the next one is the other spurious charges against me. I believe in justice and equity.

“And if the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has discovered some documents which shows that over 2,000 ghost workers have been inputted into the salaries and arrears of Bauchi State in the last four years and over N400bn has come to Bauchi and we cannot see anything that has been done for N5bn, if I don’t do it (probe him), then I have abdicated my responsibility.”

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100 Days of Coronavirus in Nigeria: Cross River Maintains Clean Slate

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By Eric Elezuo

Today marks exactly 100 days since the incursion of the dreaded coronavirus disease into Nigeria. The advent of Coronavirus, nicknamed COVID-19, in Nigeria on February 27, 2020 took many by surprise, but to many others, it was just the consequence of weeks of official indecision. The disease finally entered through the airport via an index-Italian, whose name is still unknown.

COVID-19 was first discovered in the Wuhan Province of China, and made public on December 31, 2019. It has been reported that the origin story of coronavirus says that someone at the now world-famous Huanan seafood market in Wuhan was infected with a virus from an animal. All fingers have been pointed at pangolins; a scaly mammal that looks like an anteater, suggesting this animal was the staging post for the virus before it spread to humans.

The rest is still an undeveloped history, but the fact of the matter remains that the spreading from that first cluster in the capital of China’s Hubei province to a pandemic that has killed over 315,000 people so far, globally.

In Nigeria, after 100 days of the first infection, the spread of the novel Disease continues to rise as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal there are about 12, 000 confirmed cases. Presently, with the 300 new confirmed cases and 8 deaths recorded on June 5, 2020, the country seems far from flattening the curve.

The NCDC said, “On the 5th of June 2020, 328 new confirmed cases and 10 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

“No new state has reported a case in the last 24 hours.

“Till date, 11844 cases have been confirmed, 3696 cases have been discharged and 333 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

“The 328 new cases are reported from 14 states- Lagos (121), FCT (70), Bauchi (25), Rivers (18), Oyo (16), Kaduna (15), Gombe (14), Edo (13),Ogun (13), Jigawa (8), Enugu (6), Kano (5), Osun (2), Ondo (2).”

  • Total Number of Cases – 11,844
  • Total Number Discharged – 3,696
  • Total Deaths – 333
  • Total Tests Carried Out – 71,336±

The latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 5644, followed by Kano (975), Abuja at 862, Katsina (400), Edo (364), Borno (322), Kaduna (320), Oyo (334), Ogun (363), Rivers (308), Jigawa (282),  Bauchi (281),  Gombe (184), Kwara (127).

Delta State has recorded 116 cases, Sokoto (115), Plateau (113), Nasarawa (90), Ebonyi (80), Zamfara (76),  Yobe (52), Osun (49) Imo (47), Akwa Ibom (45), Adamawa (42), Niger (41), Ondo (38),  Kebbi  (33), Bayelsa (30), Ekiti (25), Enugu (30), Taraba (18), Abia (15), Benue (13), Anambra (12), while Kogi state has recorded only 3 cases.

Of the COVID-19 related deaths so far recorded, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, late Mallam Abba Kyari, remained the highest official to bow to the disease. The likes  Bauchi State government, Bala Mohammed, Kaduna State governor, Nasir, el-Rufai, Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, Chairman, Daar Communications, Raymond Dokpesi, and his family among others have remained some of the big shots that tested positive to the disease, but got ‘cured’.

While trying to contain disease in the last 100 days, President Muhammadu Buhari, among iterating the regular safety measures as authorised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT and Ogun State for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020. The lockdown was renewed for another 14 days at the expiration on April 13, 2020.

On April 27, 2020, when the second 14 days expired, President Muhammadu Buhari took different measures. He declared an overnight curfew from 8pm to 6am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9am. The movement restrictions was partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4.

By June 1, 2020, the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force, Boss Mustapha, announced that business activities as well as places of worship would reopen, but at the instance of the state governments, who were expected to implement the guidelines following.

Consequently, Lagos, the epicentre of the disease, has declared Friday, June 19 for the reopening of religious centres with special emphasis to churches and mosques. The reopening is inundated with strict guidelines.

Analysts believe that Nigeria may have fared well in 100 days in comparison to most European countries whose blew out of proportion within weeks of their index case. Others have however, said the situation in Nigeria could be worse if adequate testing is being carried out.

So far, Cross Rivers State remains the only state in Nigeria yet to record a COVID-19 case 100 days after.

 

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Nigeria’s COVID-19 Cases Now 11,844 with 328 New Infections

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328 persons were tested for coronavirus in Nigeria in the past 24 hours.

This brings the total number of infections in the country to 11,844.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control made this known on Friday.

The 328 new fresh cases of #COVID19 are broken down as follows:

Lagos -121

FCT – 70

Bauchi – 25

Rivers – 18

Oyo – 16

Kaduna – 15

Gombe – 14

Edo – 13

Ogun – 13

Jigawa – 8

Enugu – 6

Kano – 5

Osun – 2

Ondo – 2

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Finally, AfDB Agrees for Independent Investigation of Adesina

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The Bureau of the Board of Governors, Africa Development Bank Group has approved an independent investigation of the allegations against the President of the Bank, Akinwumi Adesina.

The decision, taken at the meeting of the Bureau Thursday regarding the whistle-blowers’ complaints against Mr Adesina, is in deference to the demand by the U.S. government that a fresh and in-depth investigation be conducted into the allegations against Mr Adesina using an independent investigator.

On May 5, the ethics committee of the continental bank, headed by Takuji Yano, said in its report that Mr Adesina was not guilty on all counts.

Mr Yano is a Japanese executive director charged with the responsibility of investigating allegations by some concerned employees against the Bank’s president.

The committee described the allegations that Mr Adesina violated the code of conduct of the institution as “spurious and unfounded”.

Regardless, the United States government expressed “deep reservations about the integrity of the committee’s process” and called for a fresh “in-depth investigation of the allegations.”

At the end of its meeting Thursday, the Bureau of Board of Governors issued a communique, agreeing with the U.S and authorizing an independent review of the ethic committee’s report.

The communique, signed by the Chairperson of the Bureau of the Boards of Governors, Niale Kaba, reads,

“The Bureau reiterates that it agrees that the Ethics Committee of the Boards of Directors performed its role on this matter in accordance with the applicable rule under Resolution B/BG/2008/11 of the Board of Governors.

“The Bureau also reiterates that the Chairperson of the Bureau of the Board of Governors performed her role in accepting the findings of the Ethics Committee in accordance with the said Resolution.

“However, based on the views of some Governors on the matter and the need to carry every Governor along in resolving it, the Bureau agrees to authorize an Independent Review of the Report of the Ethics Committee of the Boards of Directors relative to the allegations considered by the Ethics Committee and the submissions made by the President of the Bank Group thereto in the interest of due process.

“The Independent Review shall be conducted by a neutral high calibre individual with unquestionable experience, high international reputation and integrity within a short time period of not more than two to four weeks maximum, taking the Bank Group’s electoral calendar into account.

“The Bureau agrees that, within a three to six month period and following the independent review of the Ethics Committee Report, an independent comprehensive review of the implementation of the Bank Group’s Whistle-Blowing and Complaints Handling Policy should be conducted with a view to ensuring that the Policy is properly implemented, and revising it where necessary, to avoid situations of this nature in the future.”

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