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Okupe received N702m from ONSA for doing nothing –Witness

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday narrated to Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, how former Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe, allegedly collected the sum of N702m from the Office of the National Security Adviser for doing nothing.

Okupe was arraigned on a 59-count charge bordering on money laundering and criminal diversion of funds to the tune of N702m.

The first prosecution witness, Osas Azonabor, an operative of the commission, while being led in evidence by the EFCC Counsel, Ibrahim Audu, told the court that sometime in 2016, the agency got an intelligence report that some individuals were paid by the ONSA for doing nothing.

He said when investigations began, it was discovered that the first defendant, Okupe, was one of the beneficiaries.

Azonabor told the court that the EFCC wrote to the ONSA, demanding the vouchers of the payments made to Okupe.

According to him, after analysing the payment vouchers, it was realised that the sum of N50m was paid into Okupe’s account, as stated in a voucher dated April 8, 2014.

He also said another cash payment of N6m was found to have been made to Okupe on April 2, 2014, adding that there were series of payments in multiples of N10m made to the defendant between 2012 and 2014.

The witness further told the court that EFCC’s investigation found that N50m was paid into the Zenith Bank account of Value Trust Investment Ltd, a company in which Okupe is a director.  He added that another N35m was paid into the account of Abraham Telecoms Nig. Ltd. to which Okupe is a signatory.

Azonabor said, “Okupe said he was paid N10m monthly for 24 months by ONSA and the money was reduced to N5m monthly from January 2015 to May 2015.

“He said the money was for special services. When asked to explain what he meant by ‘special services’, he said that part of the money was used to sponsor ‘Insight’, a programme aired on NTA.”

The witness explained that when a letter was written to NTA to confirm the authenticity of the document that emanated from the station, it said the programme was aired free-of-charge.

The EFCC operative further informed the court that Okupe claimed that part of the money collected from ONSA was used to pay workers. “But when asked to show proof of payment, he simply tendered a list of names on a piece of paper.

“There was no payment voucher, receipt or pay slip to show evidence of payment and when we asked him to produce the staff he paid to, he couldn’t produce any”, Azonabor said.

The acting EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, in a statement, said that the Corporate Affairs Commission documents of the Value Trust Investment Ltd and Abraham Telecoms Nig Ltd, and a letter of response from ONSA to the EFCC Acting Chairman and statements of the defendants were all admitted in evidence.

The Judge adjourned the case to February 28 (today) for cross examination and presentation of other witnesses.

-PUNCH

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THE NATION

Firm hails Abdullahi’s appointment as NITDA DG

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An Information Communication Technology hub in sub-Saharan Africa, Global IT, has hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi as the Director-General/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

Country Director of the Global IT Rasheed Bakare, in a commendation letter to the President, praised the appointment of 39-year-old Abdullahi, whom he described as a digital guru and an industry key player with passion to improve on his predecessors’ achievements in NITDA.

Bakare said: “Abdullahi, for a couple of years, has shown and proved to be a world-class professional who will use his wide network to take NITDA to the next level, in line with the vision of Mr. President and the agency’s role as the clearing house for IT projects and infrastructural development.”

Global IT advised Abdullahi to live above board and justify the confidence reposed in him by the president.

Abdullahi is a graduate of Computer Science from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, and a Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT Sloan – trained strategist with 15 years of experience in IT operations, business transformation and solution architecture across the private and public sectors.

He attended Leadership and Management courses at Harvard University in the United States of America (USA), University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom (UK) and IMD Business School in Switzerland.

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THE NATION

Yaba Psychiatric Hospital doctors’ strike enters 4th week

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The strike action embarked on the 31st of July 2019 by the  Association of Resident Doctors, Federal  Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Yaba has entered its fourth week.

The doctors are protesting what they have described as a “severe lack of doctors to provide seamless delivery of mental health service.”

The strike action was reviewed on Monday August 19th, 2019 when the doctors deliberated for over six hours to review their ongoing industrial action.

The review meeting was called due to timely interventions of key stakeholders.

After their deliberations, the resident doctors in a statement made available to the press “resolved to CONTINUE our industrial action to insist on standard mental health  care for our clients and quality work experience for our overworked doctors, until such a time the Hospital Management deems it fit to meet our singular demand!”

Find below their resolutions:

“1. The Hospital Management is insensitive to the plight of over 535 in-patients and 220 outpatients daily who now receive suboptimal, if not pernicious,  mental health service in the 20 days that this industrial action has been allowed to fester without goal-directed interventions

2. The Hospital Management has blatantly refused to replace the annual exit of resident doctors  for the past four years. Instead, they have let  patient load and clinical work increase significantly for hapless resident doctors  whose health and academic pursuits have suffered irreparably

3. In light of the above, the Hospital Management’s insistence on employing only FIVE locum doctors is highly provocative of our demands. It hardly improves the status quo which already puts overworked resident doctors at the brink of academic failure, health challenges and malpractice suits

Our Resolution

We have resolved to CONTINUE our industrial action to insist on standard mental health  care for our clients and quality work experience for our overworked doctors, until such a time the Hospital Management deems it fit to meet our singular demand!

To this end, we call on Nigerian citizens and the  Presidency under the able leadership of  President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the Hospital Management to do the needful in line with the Next Level Agenda of this administration.

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THE NATION

Meet Kashifu Abdullahi, new DG of NITDA and ‘architect’ of cashless banking in Nigeria

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President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi as the new Director-General/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA.

The appointment was disclosed by the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu.

Below is the profile of the new NITDA helmsman

Born on February 21, 1980, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi is a graduate of Computer Science from the prestigious Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi.

Mr Abdullahi is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT Sloan – trained strategist with 15 years of experience in IT operations, business transformation and solution architecture, across both private and public sectors.

He attended Leadership and Management courses at Harvard University in the USA, University of Cambridge in the UK and IMD Business School in Switzerland.

As the 1st Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) in Nigeria’s Public Sector, he is also a certified project manager and solution architect. He also has many professional certifications in networking, telecommunications, service management and Solution design such as: Huawei telecommunications engineer, Cisco design professional, ITIL, Prince2, etc.

He has worked at Galaxy Backbone as Network Engineer, IP Network Field Engineer, Senior Network & Lead, IP Operations Team, and Senior Solution Architect & Lead, Technical Solution Design Team between 2004 to 2013.

In 2014, he joined Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a Technology Architect, where he dedicated his time to developing Technology Architecture Repository that gives 360 view of the Bank’s IT infrastructure and easy decision on new IT investment. He was part of the team that executed software license rationalization which has increased cost savings for the bank in license annual subscriptions.

Mr Abdullahi was a key resource in the development of IT standards for the apex bank, which has reduced mean time to deploy/integrate new system by over 20%. One of his major achievements as a Technology architect was the production of 7 Solution Architectures for critical IT initiatives that helped in achieving cashless society in Nigeria.

He joined NITDA in 2017 as Technical Assistant to the Director General/CEO. Being the IT regulatory body in Nigeria mandated to implement National ICT policy, he Managed execution of strategy which has increased ICT contribution to Nigerian GDP by over 13% in Q2 2018.

The new DG coordinated Local Content initiatives that has increased ICT local production by over 200% in 2017.

He also overhauled IT clearance process and encouraged shared services among agencies. This has helped Federal Government saved over 16Bn NGN from IT projects.

Mr Abdullahi also oversaw procurement process that has reduced cost of major projects by over 5% in two consecutive annual procurement cycles.

Additionally, he managed project execution that has implemented over 300 IT infrastructure intervention.

Mr Abdullahi is a member of both British Computer Society (BCS) and Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) in addition to many memberships to his credit.

He is a recipient of 100 Leading Telecom and ICT Personalities in Nigeria – By Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON).

Mr Abdullahi is from Hadejia, Jigawa State, and he is married with children.

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