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Banditry: VGN deploys 4,500 members in Kebbi

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Banditry: VGN deploys 4,500 members in Kebbi

The Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) in Kebbi, says it has deployed 4,500 members in the 21 local government areas to complement security agencies in strengthening security in the state.

The Chairman of the group in the state, Alhaji Lawal Augie, told newsmen in Birnin Kebbi on Monday that one of the ways to curb the menace of bandits was to strengthen and support the vigilante members in the state.

“We have already deployed our members in all the 21 local government areas of the state.

“We have at least, 20 to 30 members in every ward, out of the 225 wards in the state,” he said.

Augie noted that the group needed appropriate care and support from the state government and individuals in the state to overcome the banditry menace.

“Bandits have AK-47 guns while we have only knives but still they are afraid of us; what if we have weapons like them,” he said.

Augie urged the state government to strengthen existing structure of VGN in order to ensure proper security.

“Interestingly, most of our members come from their localities where they live and are retired soldiers, police and even DSS who have one form of training or the other,” he said.

He commended the Police command in the state for collaborating with the group, especially in the fight against armed bandits and other forms of crime in the state.

The commander, however, called for more synergy between the police and VGN to combat crimes.

He appealed to all tiers of government, wealthy individuals and the public to assist VGN to complement the efforts of the police in ensuring security of lives and property in the state.

Edited by Tayo Ikujuni and Olisa Ifeajika

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Defence/Security

Senate to release new surveys on corruption

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Senate President Ahmad Lawan on Tuesday said that the Senate would release new surveys on corruption to the public in the next few weeks.

Lawan disclosed this at the two-day National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector in Abuja.

The event is organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) in collaboration with the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

Lawan, who was represented by Sen. Suleiman Kwari, said that the senate just discovered that the anti graft war was far from over, hence the need for the action.

“The next few weeks, new surveys on corruption will be release to the public.

“We also find out that there is undeniable linkage between corruption, insecurity, lost developmental opportunity and poverty.

“For us in Parliament, one of the four challenges of this senate is how to forge a strong collaborating linkage with at least six standing committees of the Senate with overlapping oversight jurisdictions.

“Today, I am pleased to inform you of the senate leadership approval of a legislative forum to fight corruption and financial crime within the Senate vault,” he said.

He added that the senate would continue to reach out to all the stakeholders in the fight against corruption.

“Graft is a borderless and global problem that must be handled in all ramifications and we therefore require a concerted effort of all to eradicate it.

“In Nigeria today, there are at least 20 different legislations that have direct bearing on the fight against corruption and financial crime.

“As a direct result, we are exploring all available options to strengthen specific institutions like the Code of Conduct Bureau.

“If they have to succeed they have to be well funded so that they can be well empowered to carry out their mandate,” he added.

The Senate President said “over the next budget circle, we will be systematically increasing the funding of law enforcement and other anti-corruption agencies.

“We will also be benchmarking their performance to ensure value for tax payers’ money are met.”

Mr Boss Mustapha, SGF, in an address of welcome said that the summit was organised for top government officials drawn from the three arms of government as part of new strategies against corruption.

He said that the present administration has recorded some success in the area of fight against corruption.

The SGF said President Muhammadu Buhari was honoured as Africa Champion in the fight against corruption in recognition of his effort in the region.

He said that at domestic level, several policies were being implemented to address corrupt practices in the public sector, which was now yielding positive results.

“This summit therefore present the opportunity to reevaluate the effectiveness of these measures put in place and where necessary develop new strategies to strengthen our common resolve to rid the public sector of corrupt practices.

“The brainstorming session is to seek ways of blocking identified gaps in the fight against corruption crusade in the present administration and as a further guide in the implementation of ways to cup corrupt practices in the public sector.

“Today’s event is epochal as it stands to evaluate the successes recorded so far and find solutions to where there are weaknesses and the need to recognise and reward anti-corruption ambassadors,” he said.

On his part, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mohammad Tanko, appealed to Nigerians to stop seeing corruption as a way of life but embraced modesty to erase any trace of corruption in the country.

He said that the ongoing war against corruption by the ICPC has gained good result and the international community have changed their negative perspective about the country.

He noted that the Commission has secured several prosecutions with some sentences through the court.

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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Defence/Security

Senate to release new strategies on corruption fight

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Senate President Ahmad Lawan on Tuesday said that the Senate would release new strategies on corruption fight to the public in the next few weeks.

Lawan disclosed this at the two-day National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector in Abuja.

The event is organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) in collaboration with the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

Lawan, who was represented by Sen. Suleiman Kwari, said that the senate just discovered that the anti graft war was far from over, hence the need for the action.

“The next few weeks, new surveys on corruption will be released to the public.

“We also find out that there is undeniable linkage between corruption, insecurity, lost developmental opportunity and poverty.

“For us in Parliament, one of the four challenges of this senate is how to forge a strong collaborating linkage with at least six standing committees of the Senate with overlapping oversight jurisdictions.

“Today, I am pleased to inform you of the senate leadership approval of a legislative forum to fight corruption and financial crime within the Senate vault,” he said.

He added that the senate would continue to reach out to all the stakeholders in the fight against corruption.

“Graft is a borderless and global problem that must be handled in all ramifications and we therefore require a concerted effort of all to eradicate it.

“In Nigeria today, there are at least 20 different legislations that have direct bearing on the fight against corruption and financial crime.

“As a direct result, we are exploring all available options to strengthen specific institutions like the Code of Conduct Bureau.

“If they have to succeed they have to be well funded so that they can be well empowered to carry out their mandate,” he added.

The Senate President said “over the next budget circle, we will be systematically increasing the funding of law enforcement and other anti-corruption agencies.

“We will also be benchmarking their performance to ensure value for tax payers’ money are met.”

Mr Boss Mustapha, SGF, in an address of welcome said that the summit was organised for top government officials drawn from the three arms of government as part of new strategies against corruption.

He said that the present administration has recorded some success in the area of fight against corruption.

The SGF said President Muhammadu Buhari was honoured as Africa Champion in the fight against corruption in recognition of his effort in the region.

He said that at domestic level, several policies were being implemented to address corrupt practices in the public sector, which was now yielding positive results.

“This summit therefore present the opportunity to reevaluate the effectiveness of these measures put in place and where necessary develop new strategies to strengthen our common resolve to rid the public sector of corrupt practices.

“The brainstorming session is to seek ways of blocking identified gaps in the fight against corruption crusade in the present administration and as a further guide in the implementation of ways to cup corrupt practices in the public sector.

“Today’s event is epochal as it stands to evaluate the successes recorded so far and find solutions to where there are weaknesses and the need to recognise and reward anti-corruption ambassadors,” he said.

On his part, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mohammad Tanko, appealed to Nigerians to stop seeing corruption as a way of life but embraced modesty to erase any trace of corruption in the country.

He said that the ongoing war against corruption by the ICPC has gained good result and the international community have changed their negative perspective about the country.

He noted that the Commission has secured several prosecutions with some sentences through the court.

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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Defence/Security

ICPC recommends suspension of public officers under investigation

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has recommended the suspension of public office holders under investigation.

The Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, made the recommendation at a National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Service.

The two-day event is organised by ICPC in collaboration with the Office of the Secretary of the Federation in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said that the commission had discovered that some civil servants served conviction terms and return to work as if nothing has happened.

“Such persons should be flushed out of the system in accordance with extant laws. We have communicated a Iist of such persons to government.

“We also advised digital information sharing between anti-corruption agencies and financial services sector critical to preventing money laundering and other corruption prevention measures.

“All Anti-Corruption Agencies (ACAs) as a policy ought to have seamless access to existing databases of suspects and the profile, biometric of persons of interest.

“Inter agency collaboration is essential to avoid duplication and waste of resources in the investigation and prosecution of cases.

“This is also in line with Mr President’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) agenda for 2019 and Beyond.”

He also disclosed that by next week the ICPC would be launching nationwide a community enlightenment and advocacy initiative called “My Constituency, My Project”.

He said that using the programme the Commission would sensitize communities to own projects approved for them by government and to know the amount involved.

“We have disaggregated project allocation to each senatorial district and local government area in Nigeria.

“We have also created a toll tree line through which Nigerians can call to find out the projects allocated to their constituencies.

“We have uploaded this information on our website and we will also publish in leaflets. We hope to make this an annual initiative in order to remove the opacity and secrecy that currently dog’s constituency projects.”

The chairman pledged that the ICPC was available to cooperate with and support the efforts of the government and also the leadership of the other arms of government to fight corruption and improve fiscal transparency and governance.

“No less is expected of us, this is what our law says we should do and this is what we will strive to do within our capacity.”

Edited by Ismail

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Defence/Security

NSCDC arrests 5 suspected illegal miners in Oyo

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Oyo State command, has arrested five suspected illegal miners and a truck loaded with precious stones in Iseyin area of the state.

The suspects were paraded by the NSCDC State Commandant, Iskilu Akinsanya, on Tuesday, at the command headquarters in Ibadan.

Akinsanya said that the command discovered the operation of the illegal miners at about 4 pm. on Monday as a result of intelligence gathering.

The commandant said that five suspects were arrested with one truck loaded with precious stones.

He said that the suspects were also apprehended with an empty truck and a bicycle.

“We discovered that some of the companies were mining without licence and this is against the law of the land.

“Investigations still continue and they will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded,” Akinsanya said.

He advised Nigerians to always participate in legal businesses and obtain necessary documents and government permit before engaging in any venture.

Speaking with newsmen, one of the suspects admitted that he did not have a licence to mine, saying that he regretted his action.

Edited by Tayo Ikujuni and ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Maj.-Gen. Yusuf takes over as MNJTF Commander

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Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim Yusuf has taken over as the 6th Force Commander of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) in N’Djamena, Chad.

The Chief of Military Public Information, MNJTF, Col. Timothy Antigha, disclosed this in a statement made available to the Nigeria News Agency , on Tuesday in Abuja.

During the handing over ceremony, the Executive Secretary, Lake Chad Basin Commission and Head of Mission MNJTF, Amb. Mamman Nuhu congratulated the former Force Commander, Maj.-Gen. Chikezie Ude for successfully completing his tour of duty.

Nuhu said that the most significant achievement of MMJTF under Ude was the continuous mobile operation concept, which was approved by the Heads of State and Government of Troop Contributing Countries.

He added that the new Force Commander was not new to the mission, having distinguished himself as the General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Nigerian Army.

Also, the Special Representative of the African Union Commission Chairperson, Amb. Zaina Nyiramatama, commended Ude’s efforts in dealing with the military and security threats constituted by Boko Haram Terrorists and wished the former commander success in his future endeavours.

In his remarks, Maj.-Gen. Ude thanked the Head of Mission, Troop Contributing Countries, African Union and strategic partners for sustaining their support for the MNJTF throughout his tour of duty and urged same support for his successor.

He commended the discipline, dedication and steadfastness of MNJTF officers and soldiers and prayed for the repose of the souls of personnel who paid the supreme price.

While addressing the troops, the new commander, Yusuf stressed the need for teamwork and collaboration between Troop Contributing Countries and promised to work in close harmony with the Lake Chad Basin Commission.

He charged officers of the MNJTF to sustain cohesion of the force by building mutual trust.

He also assured all the stakeholders responsible for the restoration of peace and security in the Lake Chad Basin region that the MNJTF will sustain and enhance all existing collaborative frameworks. NAN

Edited by Felix Ajide

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4 Brigade dissociates from banner, request for sponsorship of charity work

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The Nigerian Army 4 Brigade, Benin has dissociated itself from an illegal banner and request for sponsorship of a three-day 10 kilometres charity trek.

This was contained in a statement by Maj. Ojo Adenegan, Assistant Director Army Public Relations, and made available to Nigeria News Agency , Benin on Tuesday.

According to Adenegan, “The attention of the 4 Brigade Nigerian Army has been drawn to the circulation of the illegal banner and request for sponsorship of a three days 10 kilometres charity trek.

“This is therefore to inform the general public, private and public organisations as well as government parastatals that the illegal banner and letter which was signed by one AB Gofai who claims to be AFOBREF Commandant with telephone number 0812347002, did not originate from 4 Brigade Nigerian Army or its Officer Mess.

“It has become necessary to issue this rebuttal also to disassociate the Brigade from this false information and to inform the general public that there is no such event being organized by the Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association or 4 Brigade Nigerian Army.

“All are please therefore requested to ignore the banner and any request for sponsorship of the event as this is clearly a scam by persons who were yet to be identified”.

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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