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Senate urges TCN to hasten repair work on Jos-Gombe 330KV vandalised transmission line



The Senate on Wednesday, May 22, urged the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to hasten repair works on the vandalised Jos-Gombe 330KV transmission line and restore power to the northeast states of Gombe, Adamawa, Borno, Bauchi, and Taraba.

It also directed the federal Ministry of Power to allocate funds for the repairs and extend the power line to include the Gombe-Maiduguri end.

Recall that the six northeast states and parts of Plateau state were thrown into darkness about one month ago after vandals reportedly destroyed key towers of the power line along the Jos-Gombe route.

The Senate’s resolution followed a motion sponsored by Senator Manu Haruna (Taraba Central) and 14 other lawmakers from the zone at a session presided over by Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, in Abuja.

The Senate also appealed to President Bola Tinubu, in line with the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’ of his administration, to expedite the construction of the Makurdi-Jalingo-Yola-Gombe 330KV transmission line to connect the northeast to the southeast transmission line to preserve as an alternative supply path to the North-East in the event of a fault on the Jos-Gombe line.

It further urged the Ministry of Power to “collaborate with security agencies and local vigilantes in the host communities of TCN transmission lines to deter and prevent acts of vandalism.”

Senators in their contributions to the debate called for more attention to be given to the well-being of the people of the Northeast whom they said had suffered from long years of neglect.

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,On his part, Senator Kaka Lawan informed the Senate that prior to the vandalism of the towers last month, some other parts of the Northeast had been without light for two years.

“The issue of the 330KV line is a recent development. Before now, many parts of the zone had been without light for two years.

“Major facilities like airports, and hospitals have no light as a result of the activities of vandals”, Lawan said.

The immediate past Senate President Senator Ahmad Lawan recalled that as far back as the 90’s, the “UNDP caregorised the North East to be the poorest in Nigeria”, adding that, “even today, the situation has not changed.”

He argued that though the Federal Government had intervened with the North East Development Commission (NEDC), the agency had its own limits, requiring the government to give more attention to the zone.

Senator Adamu Aliero in his contact called for the arrest and prosecution of the vandals to serve as a deterrent to other criminal elements.

“Let’s find out who did the vandalism. It’s a crime to go and destroy social infrastructure.

“Those who are responsible for this vandalism must be punished. I am happy that the TCN promised to restore power this weekend. I hope they will keep the promise”, he said.

Source:The Nation

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Recruitment saga: PSC asks Tinubu to sack IGP



Police recruitment: IGP, PSC clash over corruption allegations

The Police Service Commission (PSC) on Wednesday called on President Bola Tinubu to immediately sack the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun for undermining the police recruitment process.

PSC also faulted the alleged corruption levelled against the PSC.

Briefing reporters in Abuja, Chairman of the Association of Senior Civil Servent of Nigeria (ASCSN) and Joint Union Congress of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Adoyi Adoyi expressed displeasure over what he described as false allegation against the PSC.

The IGP, at the weekend through a statement issued by the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, alleged the recruitment process was marred with irregularities and corruption.

Adoyi said there was reliable information indicating that elements within the police Force attempted to smuggle over 1, 000 names into the recruitment list.

Source: The Nation

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Court Denies Suspended DCP Abba Kyari Bail



Suspended police chief, Abba Kyari released after 27 months in

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has denied bail to suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari.

POLITICS NIGERIA reports that the Court has however granted an accelerated hearing in the case.

Justice Emeka Nwite, in his ruling, stated that Kyari’s bail is at the discretion of the court, as per the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

According to the judge, Kyari has not presented sufficient evidence to warrant bail.

The alleged offences carry a maximum sentence of 25 years, exceeding the two-year term required for bail consideration under the ACJA.

Recall that on May 22, the court granted Kyari a temporary two-week bail to attend to his mother’s burial rites. The bail was extended by a week upon his application, and he was released on June 1 after meeting the bail conditions.

Source: Politics Nigeria

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How $6.2m stolen from CBN was shared, court documents reveal



The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has retrenched approximately 200 employees across various departments in a bank-wide restructuring

Documents have shown how the $6,230,000 cash allegedly stolen from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on February 8, 2023 was shared.

A special presidential investigative team, led by Jim Obaze, that probed the tenure of the immediate past CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had claimed that the $6.2 million was removed from the apex bank’s vault under the guise of paying election observers.

In the court documents, sighted by The Nation, investigators described the theft as an insider’s job, allegedly effected by mainly, CBN officials with the connivance of two outsiders, identified as Adamu Abubakar and Imam Abubakar.

In the documents, investigators claimed that a personal assistant to Emefiele, while being the CBN Governor, – Odoh Eric Ocheme – allegedly got $3,730,000 from the money, while the remaining $2,500,000 was shared by three others.

Ocheme was alleged to have claimed he needed to settle other interests within the apex bank, which informed why he got the lion share.

Emefiele is accused of complicity in the theft in a 20-count amended charge filed against him before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), allegation he has since denied by pleading not guilty to the charge.

However, during a hearing in the case, a Deputy Director and Head of the Service Delivery Division of the CBN, Michael Onyeka Ogbu, who was in charge of the apex bank’s Abuja branch, where the cash was withdrawn, has since confirmed the withdrawal.

Testifying in the case on February 12, Ogbu said he allowed the payment on being convinced that it was authorised by the necessary persons.

Ogbu recalled that on February 8, 2023 there was a request for payment, addressed to the Abuja Branch Controller (which he was at the time).

He said: “On that day the request for the payment of $6,230,000 was received in my office by my Office Assistant, who brought it to my attention.

“When I received the document, I found that it is from Banking Services Department.

“The Director, Banking Services signed the memo, and the content of the memo contained an instruction for the Branch Controller to pay the sum of $6,230,000 to a staff of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation , with the identity and the name of the person mentioned.

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“The memo said the payment was for international election observers and that we should debit an account – Naira Forex Account – with the naira equivalent of $6,230,000.

“The memo also said that the money will be refunded in the second quarter of 2023 by the Federal Ministry of Finance. It went on to say ‘find attached the approval of the governor of the CBN for the payment.’

“The attachment had the approval of the governor of the CBN. It also had the approval of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the request letter from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.”

Ogbu said that after going through the documents and was satisfied, he minuted on it to the Head of Business Services Unit for processing and payment.

On whether the money was eventually released, Ogbu said: “Payment was eventually made. The $6,230,000 was paid on the 8th of February 2023. The payment was in cash.”

In one of the court documents, it was revealed that some of the beneficiaries invested their shares of the loot, estimated at about N1.4 billion in real estate, part of which has now been recovered.

One of the investigators, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, gave details of investigators’ findings and progress made so far, in an affidavit filed along with an extradition charge pending against Adamu Abubakar, Imam Abubakar and Odoh Eric Ocheme before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Adamu Abubakar, Imam Abubakar and Ocheme are said to be at large and are believed to have fled the country, which informed the initiation of extradition proceedings against them before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police said: “We commenced investigation into the case and obtained copies of the withdrawal slip as well as the accompanying documents, Central Bank of Nigeria memos, dated 07/02/2023 and 31/01/2023 respectively, staff identity card of one Jibril Abubakar, letter dated 2/01/2023 purportedly written by Muhammadu Buhari to Boss Mustapha and letter dated 20/01/2023 purportedly written by Boss Mustapha to Mr Godwin Emafiele, which the Central Bank of Nigeria, Abuja Branch relied on in making the payment.

READ ALSO  How $6.2m stolen from CBN was shared, court documents reveal

“Investigation at the office of the President as well as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in the Stale House revealed that the letters purportedly written by Muhammadu Buhari and for Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha did not emanate from the offices respectively, while Jibril Abubakar, whose identity card was used to cash the money in question is not a staff of the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

“We watched the Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) footages of the 08/02/2023 being the day the money in question was cashed, and the payee (Jibril Abubakar) could not be identified by the staff of either the CBN or that of the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, where he falsely represented himself to be working.

“A further study of the Closed-circuit Television (CCTV) footage revealed that a staff of the Abuja Branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria, identified as Abdulmajeed Muhammad received the impostor (Jibril Abubakar) at the gate of the bank when he arrived on the fateful date: 08/02/2023.

“Abdulmajeed Muhammad was consequently arrested and in his statement made on 15/12/2023, he admitted helping the impostor into the Abuja Branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria, but claimed that he did that innocently, the impostor having been referred to him by Bashirudeen Maishanu; a Senior Staff of the CBN.

“Abdulmajeed Muhammad further revealed that prior to 08/02/2023 when the impostor came to cash the money in question, he (Abdulmajeed Muhammad) had been invited by Bashirudeen Maishanu to explain the procedure of public officials making cash withdrawal from the CBN as those persons claimed to be officials from the office of the SGF and that the then president had approved certain fund for official assignment.

“We visited Kuje Correctional Centre, where we interviewed Godwin Emefiele, who purportedly approved the memos authorising the payment, as then CBN and he denied seeing, talk less of approving such memos.

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“We also arrested some concerned staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria, who denied any involvement in the crime, before we finally arrested Bashirudeen Maishanu, who corroborated the account of Abdulmajeed Muhammad and further confessed to have been involved in the crime which, according to him was perpetrated by himself and the first to third defendants/respondents – Adamu Abubakar, Imam Abubakar and Odoh Eric Ocheme.

“Bashiru Maishanu further confessed that himself, the first and second defendants/respondents (Adamu Abubakar and Imam Abubakar) shared the sum of $2,500,000.00 from the stolen money, while the third defendant/respondent (Odoh Eric Ocheme), being a fellow staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria, kept the balance of $3,730,000.00 claiming that he had other interests to settle in the CBN.

“Bashirudeen Maishanu further confessed that both himself, and the first and second defendants/respondents jointly invested the United States dollars equivalent of the sum of N1, 440,000,000.00 into real estate business of Afrolyk Global Ltd.

“The Managing Director of the said Afrolyk Ltd, Aminu Lawal has been arrested and he confirmed the investment by Bashirudeen Maishanu, Adamu Abubakar and Imam Abubakar, and already refunded the sum of $200 000 00 to the Special Investigator’s team as part of the money he (Aminu Lawal) received as part of the purported investment.

“Cash of about $400,000 00 has also been voluntarily returned by Bashiru Maishanu from part of his remaining share of the money in question.

“The money (the $6,230,000) was received in cash from the Central Bank at Nigeria and also shared in the same cash by the defendants/respondents and others, making it difficult to trace the monies without arresting the defendants/respondents.

“It was later revealed that the third defendant – Odoh Eric Ocheme – was the Personal Assistant to Godwin Emefiele as the CBN governor while the first and second defendants (Adamu Abubakar and Imam Abubakar) are businessmen and associates of Bashirudeen Maishanu.”

Source: The Nation

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Japa: Shortage of bricklayers, roofers, carpenters hits UK



Japa: Shortage of bricklayers, roofers, carpenters hits UK

The United Kingdom, UK is grappling with a shortage of bricklayers and other construction workers, causing prolonged delays for homeowners seeking building services.

Since 2021, a staggering 415,000 people have experienced over a year-long wait to secure a builder, according to a national construction audit by Fix Radio.

The shortage extends beyond builders, with 301,000 households waiting a year for plumbers and heating engineers, 294,000 for roofers, and 274,000 for carpenters.

On average, the wait for a bricklayer over the past three years has exceeded three months, while landscapers, painters, and decorators have left customers waiting for two and a half months, per report from Daily Mail UK.

Industry experts highlight the severe impact of this skills shortage on major projects, including delays in completing the Co-op Live venue in Manchester.

To meet rising demand, an additional 225,000 skilled workers are to be needed by 2027 with economic repercussions significant as the UK is projected to miss out on £98 billion of growth by 2030 due to the skills gap.

The ageing workforce exacerbates the issue, with a fifth of construction workers now over 50 and a third planning to retire by 2030.

The Construction Industry Training Board’s Construction Skills Network estimates nearly one million tradespeople will retire in the next decade.

While migrant labour has somewhat mitigated the shortages, there is an urgent need to train more British workers.

Last year, bricklayers, plasterers, roofers, and carpenters were added to the Home Office’s shortage occupation list to address the deficit.

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UK government initiatives aim to alleviate the problem, including cracking down on non-vocational university degrees and funding 100,000 apprenticeships. Both Labour and Conservative parties have focused on construction in their General Election campaigns, with Labour proposing new towns and Rishi Sunak promising to build hundreds of thousands of homes in major cities.

Clive Holland of Fix Radio emphasized the critical need for more builders, warning, “If political parties, irrespective of their stripe or colour, honestly believe they can address the housing crisis without having the serious conversation of addressing the skills deficit, we’re heading into a very dangerous position.”

A Fix Radio survey revealed that two-thirds of Britons felt insufficiently encouraged to pursue trades in school, and 18% of parents discouraged their children from entering the construction industry due to perceived low earnings.

Source: Vanguard

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Sanwo-Olu ‘has achieved more with grassroots development’



Full List: Sanwo-Olu orders indefinite closure of markets in Lagos

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is to be honoured as the Most Grassroots-Friendly Governor at the 10th Anniversary of Elgee Info Media. The Sunday ceremony at Lagos Marriott Hotel, Ikeja, will recognise Sanwo-Olu’s dedication to grassroots development.

Elgee Info Media, a community magazine, noted Sanwo-Olu’s contributions to rural development through his administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S. Plus Development Agenda. Key infrastructure projects, such construction of roads in Ijake Community, Oto-Awori LCDA, Ganiyu-Oduntan in Ikorodu, Ayubu-Bashorun Road in Ijede, Erelu-Amikanle Road in Alimosho, and Onishon Street in Ibeju-Lekki, exemplify the governor’s commitment to improving rural communities.

In a statement by Publisher/Chief Executive, Samuel Akinyemi, said “in addition to infrastructure, Sanwo-Olu has facilitated 500KVA transformers to communities, including Odan-Ilogbo-Eremi PH1 in Olorunda, Owu CDA in Ibeju-Lekki, Gengenla CDA in Agunfoye, Ama Street in Ijede, and Agbede Omolaye in Ikorodu.

These initiatives are part of his administration’s efforts to transform rural areas into semi-urban centres, thereby mitigating rural-urban migration.” The event will also honour individuals, including Oba Saheed Elegusi, Kusenla III, Lukman Lawal, Special Adviser to Speaker of House of Representatives, and some chairmen of local councils.

State officials and other Nigerians are expected to attend the occasion. Originally scheduled for an earlier date, the celebration was postponed to allow time for mourning Deputy Chief of Staff to the governor, Gboyega Soyannwo, who was a close friend and ally of the governor.

The event will feature an art exhibition, audio-visual documentary highlighting Sanwo-Olu’s achievements, and presentation of a compendium chronicling his administration’s accomplishments.

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Sanwo-Olu, with other grassroots achievers, will receive an award of merit. Additionally, the ceremony will include a lecture on grassroots governance by Special Adviser to Minister of Solid Minerals, Kehinde Bamigbetan, providing attendees with insight into grassroots governance.

Organisers are of the view the recognition of Sanwo-Olu underscores his administration’s commitment to development and transformation of rural communities.

Source: The Punch

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Tinubu arrives South Africa for Ramaphosa’s inauguration



Tinubu arrives South Africa for Ramaphosa’s inauguration

President Bola Tinubu has arrived in Pretoria to attend the inauguration of the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, following his re-election for a second term.

Tinubu’s arrival was announced on by his Special Assistant on Social Media, Dada Olusegun, on Tuesday.

The caption reads, “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu arrives Pretoria, South Africa, ahead of the Presidential Inauguration of President #CyrilRamaphosa.

“President Tinubu, along with other heads of state from across the continent, will attend the inauguration of President Ramaphosa.

“This follows his re-election to the #PresidencyZA for a second term.”


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