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Why we’re freezing Bauchi State govt account – EFCC

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Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Monday, granted the EFCC’s prayer to freeze the FCMB Operational Account number: 0998552074 of the Bauchi State government.

The EFCC, through his Counsel, Abubakar Aliyu, in an Exparte Order with file number: FHC/ABJ/CS/858/2019, sought the order of the court to freeze the account pending the conclusion of the ongoing investigation by the commission.

The state government presently has about N11 billion (N11,500,000 000 00) in the bank account.

The judge ordered the EFCC to, within 21 days, notify the respondents; the Bauchi State government and the FCMB about the court’s decision.

The judge, however, adjourned further hearing until Sept. 3.

Earlier, counsel to the EFCC told the judge that the commission was investigating a money laundering case in which the account featured prominently.

He said many non-existent companies were used to transfer funds from the account.

”My Lord, about N19.8 billion cheques were raised on the eve of transferring power to the new government for purportedly non-existent contracts and other grants,” he said.

He told Justice Taiwo that the amount was beyond the N11 billion in the account

According to him, the Accountant General is still a signatory to the account and they are still trying to access the money.

When the judge asked if freezing the FCMB account would not affect the operation of the state government, Aliyu said the action would not affect the government’s operation because the account was not the one linked to Federal Account Allocation Committee, FAAC.

”They have other accounts and we have tagged this as exhibit 22 and 23,” he said.

Responding to the judge’s question on how long the investigation would take, the counsel said: ”My Lord, investigation is like a pregnant activity. If My Lord will give us 21 days, we will be grateful.”

”I have patiently listened to the counsel’s prayer. I, therefore, grant the order sought by the applicant as prayed.

”Meanwhile, the parties concern must be put on notice within 21 days of the order of this court,” Justice Taiwo held.

In the suit filed, the EFCC had claimed that the immediate-past government in the state was involved in money laundering for which it deployed the account.

The EFCC stated that it needed to have the account frozen to preserve the funds being held in it.

An official of the EFCC, Yakubu Sani stated in a supporting affidavit that “it is a fact that between the 24th and 28th day of May 2019, the applicant received intelligence that the then outgoing government in Bauchi State initiated a process at overdrawing to launder the sum of N19,897,809,334.08 property at Bauchi State Government.

”The bank account subject matter of the intelligence is the Bauchi State Government Operational Account number: 0998552074 domiciled at First City Monument Bunk.

”The actual amount in the sand bank account is N11,500,000 000 00 which was paid to the Bauchi State Government by the Federal Government of Nigeria via the Central Bank.

”The process of laundering employed by the suspects includes the issuance of mandates and cheques rose to the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) for the payments at non-executed contracts and fictitious claims to individuals and contractors.

“The Bauchi State Accountant General is one at the signatory that clears the said cheques and mandate for said suspicious payments and still remains a signatory to the said account under investigation.

”Based on the intelligence received, attempts were being made to activate the withdrawal of such funds while still under investigation by the current Government of Bauchi State

“The investigation has since commenced and the applicant deems it necessary to cause the said bank account and funds to be frozen pending the determination of the investigation therein.

”Freezing the said bank account and funds will greatly assist the applicant to get to the root of the matter and conclude its investigation timeously.

”Deflating the said funds by way at withdrawal will greatly obstruct the applicant from getting to the root of the matter and conclusion of the investigation timeously.

”The applicant needs to obtain the order of this court to cause the freezing of the said bank account and the funds therein.

“This honourable court has the jurisdiction to grant this order and it is in the best interest at justice to grant this application.”

NAN

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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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THE NATION

Ambode speaks on EFCC search, says ‘no cause for alarm’

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Former Lagos Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has urged his supporters to remain calm and law-abiding as there was no cause for alarm.

Ambode, in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Habib Aruna, spoke on the backdrop of a search by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on his Epe Country home and Parkview Ikoyi residence where the anti-graft agency conducted the exercise without any incident.

He said the Commission has not opened any direct communication with him on any issue, adding that he was ready and willing to respond if or when they do so.

The statement reads: “This morning, operatives of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission visited the Epe Country home and Parkview Ikoyi residence of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, former Governor of Lagos State, with warrants to conduct a search. These searches were carried out extensively and at the end of the exercise the operatives left without any incident.

“The former Governor reiterates that the EFCC has till date not had any direct communication with him on any subject matter whatsoever and if or when it occurs he is ready and willing to respond.

“The former governor wishes to assure his supporters and the generality of Lagosians to continue to remain calm and law-abiding as there is no cause for alarm.”

The former governor reiterated his belief in the rule of law and due process and remains grateful for the opportunity to have served Lagos State diligently and conscientiously.

It would be recalled that Ambode, in an earlier response to allegations by the EFCC that it had frozen certain accounts linked to him, insisted that no account of his contained N9.9bn let alone being frozen by the Commission as those accounts were opened and operated by the Lagos State Government.

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