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Alleged fraud: EFCC interrogates board chairperson, 5 others in Kwara

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The EFCC has begun investigations into an allegation of N150 million bursary fraud levelled against the board chairperson Hajia Fatimoh Yusuf and some management staff of the Kwara State Scholarship Board.

This information was contained in a statement, signed by the media head of the commission, Mr Gbenga Adewoye and made available to the Nigeria News Agency in Ilorin on Thursday.

It stated that those being interrogated by the operatives of the commission on the case include, the aforementioned chairperson, the executive secretary of the board, Mr Fatai Lamidi and the board’s accountant, Mr Stephen Ajewole among others.

The statement said the Kwara State Government in 2017 and 2018 released the sum of N150 million as bursary allowances for 10,000 students, who are indigenes of the state in various tertiary Institutions.

Also, in the statement, the commission gathered that the board did not pay up to 4,000 students and fraudulently converted the remaining money to personal use.

“The petitioners, who are students in various higher institutions of learning, had alleged that their names appeared as beneficiaries of bursary allowances at the Kwara State Scholarship Board but never received the money.

In the statement, during interrogation with the operatives of the commission, the students alleged that the names and matriculation numbers they submitted were correct but their signatures were allegedly forged by the board.

“They claimed not to have been the original beneficiaries of the controversial bursary allowance despite their particulars on the scholarship board documents”.

It also stated that the officials of the board had earlier told the operatives of the anti-graft body that the students were issued cheques, but the commission discovered that only a few beneficiaries were given cash.

As at the time of filing in this report, the officials of the board are still being interrogated by the operatives of the commission.

Defence/Security

Police confirm killing of Sen. Mantu’s relative in Plateau

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The Plateau state Police Command has confirmed the killing of Alhaji Hashimu Mantu, a relation of Sen. Ibrahim Mantu in Chanso Village in Gindiri, Mangu Local Government.

A statement by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Terna Tyopev said that efforts were ongoing to arrest the suspects to face the full wrath of the law.

“On November 16, 2019, at about 06:30 a.m. the Plateau State Police Command received an information that a corpse was seen at a bush near Chanso Village in Gindiri District of Mangu LGA.

“The Police upon the receipt of the information, immediately mobilised detectives to the scene of crime. On arrival, one Alh. Hashimu Mantu, male, aged 42 years was found motionless.

“He was rushed to JUTH (Jos University Teaching Hospital) in Gindiri and was confirmed dead by the doctor on duty,” Tyopev said.

He said that the victim’s handset and a stick were recovered at the scene of crime.

Tyopev said that the corpse was thereafter released to the family for burial in accordance with the Islamic rites.

The Command calls on members of the public to volunteer information that would lead to the apprehensions of the perpetrators in good time.

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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Defence/Security

Ebonyi Acting Governor urges Nigerians to support armed forces in tackling insecurity

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The Acting Governor of Ebonyi, Dr Kelechi Igwe has urged Nigerians to support the armed forces in their efforts to protect the nation from the current security challenges.

Igwe, who is also the deputy governor, gave the charge on Monday in Abakaliki during a courtesy call by a study-tour team of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna.

According to him, the military is invaluable to any nation’s existence.

The acting governor said that any nation that did not accord its military friendly and accommodating reception had planned to fail.

“The engagement of the military in civil and military operations has guaranteed security, peace and sovereignty of nations.

“Any nation that has not put its military together has always failed not only in terms of external aggression but in implosion within the country,” he said.

He welcomed the study tour team to the state, assuring them that the Local Government council chairmen would guide it in its research and interactions in the state.

“You should take particular notice of our yam and rice and use the rice as a signpost that you have the best rice in the country.

“ you conclude your sojourn in the state, the state governor must have been around to ask you questions on how you fared.

“We will then enrich your knowledge more on things you have seen because we are a people with rich cultural heritage, economic and social potentials,” he said.

Brig.-Gen. Victor Ebhaleme, the Study Team Leader expressed its happiness to be in Ebonyi whicg was known for its rich rice potentials and infrastructural developmental strides.

“The team visiting Ebonyi consists of 51 members who include four members of the teaching and administrative staff and 29 student officers.

“We also have a directing staff from Ghana on exchange programme, one international student from Gambia and students from the Nigerian Customs Service, among others,” he said,

He said that the tour would enable the team members have knowledge of Ebonyi, carry out on-the- spot assessment, research into its theme and proffer workable solutions in relation to the state.

“The team will also know about the state’s history, geography, culture and socio-economic development that have made it outstanding in the area of governance in the country,” he said.

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Edited by Maureen Atuonwu

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Rep assures of improved welfare for military personnel

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Hon. Tajudeen Adefisoye, Deputy Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Army, has assured that his committee will give priority to the welfare of military personnel.

Adefisoye stated this when he paid a courtesy visit to the 32 Artillery Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Super Camp, in Okitipupa on Monday.

The lawmaker, representing Idanre/Ifedore Constituency, said that his committee would work tirelessly to ensure that soldiers were well catered for in the discharge of their duties.

He also promised to foster robust relationship between the military and the civilian populace in the country.

“I am most impressed with the functional facilities that are available in the Super Camp, particularly the helipad.

“The Brigade Commander, Brig.-Gen. Zakari Abubakar, also deserves commendation for the humanitarian services being rendered by the military to residents of the host communities.

“Provision of potable water, distribution of sports wears and computers to students in the Ondo South Senatorial District by the military are undoubtedly deserving of commendation,” he said.

The lawmaker also thanked Abubakar for doing a great job to curb crime and criminality in the state.

Adefisoye also commended the traditional rulers of the host communities for supporting community policing.

He lauded the leadership of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, for making funds available to run the camp, thereby ensuring peace in the southern zone of the state.

Responding, the brigade commander said that the ongoing clearance activities of ‘Operation Crocodile Smile IV’ had been yielding the desired results in the state and across the country.

Abubakar urged the public, particularly the host communities, to take advantage of the hot lines provided by the Nigerian Army to provide useful information to attain success in clearance operation.

The commander later conducted Adefisoye round the camp and explained to him its strategic security importance.

Although Abubakar said that the camp was a military barrack, he, however, added that it also housed the police and other paramilitary agencies like DSS, Immigration, NDLEA and the NSCDC.

Edited by Ifeyinwa Okonkwo and ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Nigerian Army offers free medical services to Kogi residents

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The Nigerian Army on Monday offered free medical services to the residents of Irepene and Idodenge communities in Adavi Local Government Area of Kogi.

Maj. Gen. Bamidele Ogunkale, the Commander, Command Army Records (CARs), while monitoring the exercise at Irepene, told journalists that the gesture was part of activities for the ongoing Field Training Exercise, tagged ” Ayem Akpatuma 11,” in the state.

Ogunkale commended the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, for the initiative and for giving the needed support since the exercise began on Nov. 1, saying the military had recorded an appreciable success.

The commander, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, CARs, Brig.-Gen. Ayobambo Orukotan, said that the medical service was a civil- military cooperation to assist the residents of the neighbouring communities where the military Super Camps were sited.

”In that spirit, the Nigerian Army Women’s Corps (NAWC) were sent down here to participate in the exercise in collaboration with CARs to offer free medical treatment and give free drugs to patients,” he said.

The commander noted that the exercise “Ayem Akpatuma 11” had recorded a huge success, noting that the military were able to flush out criminals from their hideouts and rid some areas of bandits across Kogi.

He added that the military had also helped to curtail violence during the last Saturday election, while reaffirming the determination of the military to curtail and reduce criminality to the barest minimum in the state.

Also speaking, Lt. Col. Susan Dibal, the Coordinator, Women Special Operations Battalion, NAWC, Giri, said the women corps was collaborating with headquarters CARs for civil-military relations to offer free medical treatment to people.

”We have to say thank you to our peculiar father, the COAS, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, who had built women corps and for making women what they are today in the Army.

”The women corps is here to support the medical outreach for the vulnerable women and children including men,” she said.

Dibal also thanked the Commander CARs for making it possible for the NAWC to work together to have the medical outreach.

On his part, the Medical Officer, CARs, Capt. Nurudeen Saka, said doctors would check blood pressure, random blood sugar for diabetes, immunisation for children, mosquito net to pregnant women and free drugs as the case may be.

He noted those that could be treated would be counseled appropriately to go the nearest hospital or come down to the military hospital for treatment.

He said that malaria and malnutrition were common ailments among the residents, and the pregnant women also lacked antenatal care.

A physically challenged mother, Mrs Ife Azeez, whose child was diagnosed of a chronic jaundice, thanked the army for promising to take the child for treatment.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the residents of Irepene and some neighboring communities, trooped out in their large numbers to benefit from the free medical services.

NAN reports that the exercise, Ayem Akpatuma 11, is being conducted simultaneously in North Central States such as: Kogi, Taraba, Nassarawa, Niger and Benue States from Nov. 1 to Dec. 23.

Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi and Abdullahi Yusuf

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Bandits attack Zamfara community kill 14, injure 10

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Zamfara Police Command on Monday confirmed the killing of 14 persons and injuring of 10 others by bandits in Karaye village of Gummi Local Government Area.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the attack is the first major breach of the peace agreement between the state government and the bandits initiated by Gov. Bello Matawalle.

A statement issued to newsmen in Gusau by the command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Muhammad Shehu said the attack occured on Sunday.

According to him, a total of 14 persons were killed, 10 others sustained gun shot injuries while some houses were set ablaze.

Shehu recalled that on Nov. 3, some meembers of local vigilantes, known as “Yan sakai in Bardoki village, attacked and killed nine Fulanis under the suspicion that they were bandits.

He said on receiving the report, the command arrested 11 members of the vigilantes suspected of actively participating in the killing of the fulanis.

The command’s spokesman said Sunday’s attack might have been a reprisal of the Nov. 3 incident.

“The incident is being investigated by the State CID Gusau and all the suspects will be charged to court for prosecution in order to serve as deterrent to others.

“However, combined teams attached to Operation puff Adder, men of Operation Hadarin-Daji and vigilantes led by the DPO Gummi mobilised to the scene and embarked on extensive bush combing with a view to trailing and arresting the perpetrators.

“Corpses and injured victims were conveyed to the General Hospital Gummi for autopsy and treatment, ” he explained.

He added that discreet investigation into the incident was ongoing and whoever was involved will be prosecuted.

“The command calls on members of the public to desist from taking laws into their hands as it will not hesitate to deal decisively with any person or group of person that tries to sabotage the relative peace currently being enjoyed in the state”, he said.

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

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Defence/Security

Varsity appeals for release of lecturer, abducted 3 months ago

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Federal University Dutsinma (FUDMA) in Katsina State, has appealed to members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) nationwide and other Nigerians to pray for the release of Abubakar Idris, a Senior Lecturer in the university, abducted three months ago without trace.

Nigeria News Agency reports that Idris, a lecturer in the university’s department of languages and linguistics was abducted on Aug. 2, at his residence in Kaduna.

A statement by FUDUMA’s Acting Director Public Relations and Protocol, Habibu Matazu, issued on Monday in Katsina,  also appealed to the abductors to release the lecturer.

The university noted that since the abduction, there had been no trace of the victim, as there was no demand for ransom nor any other lead as to his whereabout.

According to the statement, the university management had reported the matter to all the relevant security agencies and Gov. Aminu Masari for their intervention.

“It is inhuman and abuse of human right, the abduction of a family man like Abubakar Idris whose detention had generated tension and uncertainties to members of the university community and his family in particular.”

The management assured ASUU and other members of the university community that it would not relent in working more closely with security agencies to get the lecturer back home safely.

The statement added that the management had approved financial support for the family of Idris and had delegated a three-man committee to sympathise with them over the incident.

“The university appeals to the abductors to kindly release him so he can report back to his work place and loved ones,” it added.

 

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

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