- Anti-Graft Agency Says N4.7bn Disappears From Emirate Account Under Sanusi
The Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission has said that under five years as Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II spent N4.7 billion from the Emirate account.
This is even as the commission described the claim by the Emir, that he was not the accounting officer of the Kano Emirate Council as a misrepresentation of facts.
This is contained in a preliminary report of the Commission on the investigation being carried out in respect of the alleged misappropriation of over N3.4 billion by the Kano Emirate Council between 2014 and 2017.
The report was signed by the commission’s Chairman, Mr Muhuyi Magaji, a copy of which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano on Thursday.
The report, with reference number PCAC/GEN/6/VOL.I, dated June 11, 2019, was addressed to the Secretary to the State Government.
Part of the report reads: “In furtherance to the Commission’s earlier communication No. PCAC/GEN/6/V.I, dated 31st May, 2019, on the above subject matter and the unfolding events, the Commission deemed it necessary to make some clarifications as follows:-
“It is imperative to state categorically that, the Commission’s investigation is on alleged misappropriation and questionable expenditures but not on the funds left behind by the Late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, and we still maintain our stance.
“In the cause of investigation we undertook an analysis of the main Account belonging to Kano Emirate Council and domicile at First Bank with Account No. 2005888452 starting from the era of the Late Emir to enable the Commission have an idea of how the money is being managed.”
According to the report, there were 783 activities bordering on withdrawals, transfers and placements from Jan. 2, 2013, to June 6, 2014, during the time of the late Emir.
“As from 2nd January 2013 to 13th April, 2017, the opening balance is N432,338,412.98. Total credit made in the account during this period was N6,784,146,335.73 while the total debit during the period under review is N7,209,035,163.09.”
However, it added that, “the closing balance as at April, 2017, is N7,449,585.62″.
It further revealed that on Feb. 13, 2014, and Feb. 26, 2014, payments were made to Philko Ltd, the company said to have undertook the construction of Ado Bayero Royal City via Inter Bank transfers of the sum of N776,159,519.50.
“There were transfers of N388,079,759.75, N338,079,759.75 and N50,000,000.00 made on Feb. 13, 2014, and Feb. 26, 2014, respectively; making the total quoted figures for Philko Ltd.”
The report also alleged that during the period, fixed deposit placements were made to the tune of N581,884,729.54 (placement and rollovers) while net withdrawals on some engagements both cash and withdrawal stood at N1,056,533,728.31.
“In summary, the total withdrawal made from the Account under the Late Emir was N2,414,577,977.35, subtracting this amount from total debit on the account which is N7,209,035,163.09.
“It is evidently clear that the current Emir is responsible for the expenditures to the total sum of N4,794,457,185.74 from the Emirate Council Account domicile in First Bank Plc,” it said.
Similarly, it alleged that all the expenditures made by the Emirate Council were either based on the approval or instructions of Emir Sanusi.
The commission attached copy of a payment voucher in respect of one of the withdrawals to buttress its claim, which read “Being payment to the above named in respect of making special prayers for peace as directed by H.H. Emir of Kano respectively“.
“Therefore, any claim that Emir Sanusi is not the accounting officer of the Kano Emirate Council is a deception and a misrepresentation of facts.
“Specifically, the reason of our recommendation for the suspension apart from obstruction of investigation which formed the basis, investigation further reveals that Rufa’i Buhari (Senior Accountant) usually made cash withdrawals directly from the account and change it to Dollars on behalf of the Emir.
“Sometimes direct transfers from the account are made to a Bureau De Change belonging to one Jazuli Sani who was said to have died.
“The Commission still maintain the allegation on unappropriated, seemingly personal expenditures, making the total sum of questionable expenditures uncovered by this investigation to the tune of N3,432,090,797.94 only,” the report emphasised.
SERAP Urges FG to Slash Politicians’ Allowances
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Chairman of Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Elias Mbam, to urgently review upward the remuneration, allowances, and conditions of service for Nigerian Judges, and reduce the remuneration of President Muhammadu Buhari and other political office-holders in order to address the persistent poor treatment of Judges, and improve access of victims of corruption to justice.
The appeal came on the heels of a nationwide industrial action by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) to press home their demand for financial autonomy for the judicial arm of government, and the federal government silence on the judiciary workers’ strike that has grounded court activities across the country.
In a letter dated April 10, 2021, which was signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said Judges should get all they are reasonably entitled to, and that it is unfair, illegal, unconstitutional, and discriminatory to continue to treat Judges as second-class people, while high-ranking political office holders enjoy lavish salaries and allowances.
SERAP expressed concern that the remuneration and allowances of Judges have fallen substantially behind the average salaries and allowances of political office-holders such as president, vice-president, governors and their deputies, as well as members of the National Assembly.
The letter read in part: “According to our information, the last review of the remuneration, allowances, and conditions of service for political, public and judicial office holders carried out by RMAFC in 2009 shows huge disparity between the remuneration and allowances of judges and those of political office holders.
“Judges’ work is very considerable but they cannot give their entire time to their judicial duties without the RMAFC reviewing upward their remuneration and allowances, and closing the gap and disparity between the salaries of judges and those of political office holders such as the president, vice-president, governors and their deputies, as well as lawmakers.
“We would therefore be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, the Incorporated Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel the RMAFC to comply with our requests.”
COVAX Delivered 38m Vaccine Doses To Over 100 Countries, Says WHO
The World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday announced that more than 100 countries have received life-saving COVID-19 vaccines from COVAX, the global mechanism for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
It said the milestone comes 42 days after the first COVAX doses were shipped and delivered internationally, to Ghana on February 24th.
In a statement, the United Nations’ Agency revealed that COVAX has now delivered more than 38 million doses across six continents, supplied by three manufacturers – AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech and the Serum Institute of India (SII).
Of the over 100 economies reached, 61 are among the 92 lower-income economies receiving vaccines funded through the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).
It, however, said despite reduced supply availability in March and April – the result of vaccine manufacturers scaling and optimising their production processes in the early phase of the rollout, as well as increased demand for COVID-19 vaccines in India – COVAX expects to deliver doses to all participating economies that have requested vaccines in the first half of the year.
According to the CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Dr. Seth Berkley, “In under four months since the very first mass vaccination outside a clinical setting anywhere in the world, it is tremendously gratifying that the roll-out of COVAX doses has already reached 100 countries.
“COVAX may be on track to deliver to all participating economies in the first half of the year yet we still face a daunting challenge as we seek to end the acute stage of the pandemic: we will only be safe when everybody is safe and our efforts to rapidly accelerate the volume of doses depend on the continued support of governments and vaccine manufacturers. As we continue with the largest and most rapid global vaccine rollout in history, this is no time for complacency.”
The WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “COVAX has given the world the best way to ensure the fastest, most equitable rollout of safe and effective vaccines to all at-risk people in every country on the planet.
“If we are going to realise this great opportunity, countries, producers and the international system must come together to prioritise vaccine supply through COVAX. Our collective future, literally, depends on it.”
Approved Ibom Deep Sea Port, Proposed $1.4B Fertilizer Plant Will Change Akwa Ibom’s Economic Status – Gov. Udom
Akwa Ibom State Government has said the approved Ibom Deep Seaport and the proposed $1.4 billion Fertilizer and Ammonia Plant are expected to change the economic status of the state.
The State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, made the assertion in an Easter message to the people of the state.
He maintained that with the recent approval and take off of the federal government’s approved Oil and Gas Free Zone and the ongoing construction of the Sterling Petrochemical Plant at Eastern Obolo, the state would be ready to dump its status as a civil service state.
The governor said the fertilizer and ammonia plants should be supported by all indegenes and residents irrespective of political affiliation because of its capacity to change the economic fortunes of the state.
The governor who commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the industrial projects in the state said construction work on the Ibom Deep Seaport would commence very soon.
“In recent past, we have been blessed with life-changing projects such as Sterling Petrochemical Plant in Eastern Obolo, where construction is in an advanced stage.
“Two months ago, the Federal Executive Council, (FEC) approved the license for us to commence the construction of our long desired Ibom Deep Seaport. Work would soon commence on this gigantic project. These are huge achievements for our State and our people.
“Ibom Deep Seaport will open up our economic fortunes; create employment and wealth opportunities for our people and throw open our State as a major maritime hub in our nation.
“We thank the President and the Commander in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) for this kind approval,” he said.
Continuing, Emmanuel said: “About three weeks ago, we signed a $1.4 billion Fertilizer and Ammonia plant with our Moroccan counterparts. The plant will again create huge employment and other supply chain activities for our people, which will transform us from a civil service oriented state to a fast industrialising one.
“These are huge achievements that should gladden the hearts of every Akwa Ibomite irrespective of political affiliations.”
He reminded the people of the state that the essence of Easter would be lost if the resurrection of Christ is not allowed to illuminate their souls through love and sacrifice to one another.
“Let the fishermen in the ocean fronts of Mbo, Okobo, Eastern Obolo and Ibeno love one another. Let the farmers in the rice plantations at Ini, Ikono, Ika, Onna and Nsit Ibom love one another.
“Let the civil servants and public servants, politicians in all political parties, members of all denominations, preachers of all faiths, love one another.
“When we let love drive our every action and every thought, when we let it drip from our lips and from our hands, then shall the joy of Easter be complete, and our State shall surely attain the lofty height set for it by our ancestors when they named it Akwa Abasi Ibom State.” the Governor stated.
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