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Melaye Petition: Bello Kogi Governor under investigation by EFCC

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has commenced an investigation into the fraud allegation leveled against the Kogi State government and Governor Mr.

Yahaya Bello.

In a letter signed by the EFCC’s Director of Operations, Abdulkarim Chukkol, and seen by Peoples Gazette, the anti-graft agency said it received a petition filed against Bello and certain officials of his government.

   READ ALSO: FRAUD: Senate Panel Summons Emefiele Again Over Missing $9.5m

A non-governmental organization, Anti-Corruption Network, on March 1, filed the petition against the governor, on claims that it uncovered huge financial fraud carried out in the state.

In a copy of the petition shared on Twitter by former Kogi senator, Dino Melaye, the organization detailed the allegations of financial mismanagement and corruption by Mr. Bello, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

According to Mr. Melaye, the petition was also submitted to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), U.S. Embassy, British High Commission and Transparency International.

A part of the petition read: “We have meticulously investigated and uncovered huge financial fraud carried out by Kogi State Government, the Governor of Kogi State and his Cohorts from 2016 – 2019, ranging from the award of contracts to non-legal persons, award of contracts without due process, circumvention of procurement procedures, suspicious payments made without specific breakdown, money laundering, borrowing from the non-capital market, fraudulent loan, and many others.”

EFCC letter

The organization further urged the new EFCC chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, to use his “good office and cause a further investigation on this matter and bring the perpetrators to book.”

Also Read:  100 Fulani Herdsmen, Women, Children Loaded In A Truck Intercepted In Kogi

The EFCC, in the letter dated March 26, summoned the group for an interview on March 31 at its headquarters in Abuja.

  READ ALSO: Tinubu is kingmaker, he will support a youthful president like me in 2023 — Yahaya Bello

The spokesperson for the anti-graft agency, Wilson Uwujaren, however, did not respond to a call seeking his comment on the investigation.

Other calls for Mr. Bello’s probe

On March 4, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) through its National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan asked the governor to “answer to revelations by the Anti-Corruption Network that he laundered over N3.7 billion in addition to billions of naira allegedly laundered through other individuals.

“Also, Governor Yahaya Bello should answer to allegations by the Anti-Corruption Network that he siphoned billions of naira through the award of contracts, without due process, to Southbridge Integrated Services Limited to the tune of N624 million, in addition to five other companies which allegedly got between N22 million N129 million, respectively,” the PDP said in a statement.

“Against this background, our party calls on the EFCC, under its new leadership, to immediately commence investigation by inviting all those mentioned in the report as well as prosecute any individual or company indicted in the matter.”

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Similarly, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) in a letter dated March 27, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the governor over mismanagement of COVID-19 donations and support from the federal government.

The governor stirred controversy in the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic, joining issues with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Presidential Task Force (PTF) to declare that the “state is not testing at all and is an absolute high risk for Nigerians to go there because there is no testing facility and even if you fall sick, there is no isolation centre, and they don’t even acknowledge that the disease exists.”

SERAP, in a letter signed by its deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, urged Mr. Buhari to “direct the Attorney General of the Federation Abubakar Malami, SAN and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to investigate alleged misuse of the N4.5 billion donations, loans and support the Kogi State government obtained from the federal government, including N90,720,000 reportedly spent on software to track COVID-19 cases in the state.

  READ ALSO: Tinubu is kingmaker, he will support a youthful president like me in 2023 — Yahaya Bello

The organization stated that “if there is relevant and sufficient admissible evidence, anyone suspected to be involved should face prosecution, as appropriate.”

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The group reminded Mr Buhari of the promise he made at his inaugural speech in 2015, where he said his administration “will ensure that the gross corruption at the local level is checked. For I will not have kept my own trust with the Nigerian people if I allow others to abuse theirs under my watch.”

SERAP stated: “As you have correctly stated, the obligations of your government to combat corruption in Nigeria extend to all the three tiers of government, namely, the federal, state and local governments.”

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I Vow Not To Impose Any Candidate In 2023 If You Made Me Your Leader, Akpabio begs

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Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Godswill Akpabio has vowed he would not impose any candidate on Uyo Senatorial District as its choice for the 2023 governorship election in Akwa Ibom State.

Reports say that by the zoning arrangement in the state, the next governor should come from Uyo Senatorial District (officially known as Akwa Ibom Northeast).

Akpabio is from Akwa Ibom northwest (or Ikot Ekpene senatorial District). The former Senator is believed by some to be the All Progressives Congress (APC) leader in Akwa Ibom. He was instrumental in the emergence of incumbent Governor Udom Emmanuel of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in 2015.

Recently, the former governor created a political pressure group known as Akwa Ibom Democratic Forum (ADF) in the state, thus triggering impressions that the group is his special purpose vehicle through which his anointed candidate would emerge.

“My goal is to work with like-minded associates in Uyo Senatorial District and nominate a suitable candidate that would win the election,” Akpabio said. “I have no particular person in mind, and I cannot repeat the mistake I made in 2015.”

Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio
Akpabio was speaking at the inauguration of executives of Uyo Senatorial District chapter of Akwa Ibom Democratic Forum (ADF).

Also Read:  100 Fulani Herdsmen, Women, Children Loaded In A Truck Intercepted In Kogi

It was the first time he would address the issue in such a clear manner in front of a large crowd of Uyo Senatorial District politicians, and it was a direct rebuttal of insinuations spread by critics that the Minister was planning to foist a particular aspirant on the district.

But he has come out to deny and dispel the speculations, saying: “Akwa Ibom people of various political persuasions do agree that we need a dependable leadership in 2023” and that “I will work with all of you to identify and support any candidate that will develop our state”.

He added: “Uyo Senatorial District is capable of bringing up good a good candidate that would be acceptable to the rest of the state. ADF will work with Uyo in this regard.”

Agreeing with him, Group Captain Sam Ewang, a retired military officer who was governor of Ogun and Rivers State during the military era, confirmed that he has had several heart-to-heart discussions with Akpabio on the 2023 politics and he is certain that the minister “will not impose any candidate on Uyo”.

–-With Etim Etim

The views expressed in this article are the writer’s opinion, they do not reflect the views of the Publisher of Ibom Leak News (Legit Work Communications and Business). Please report any fake news , misinformation or defamatory statements to Email: [email protected] , [email protected],

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Fayose Declares Makinde as PDP Leader in S’West

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It was a moment of emotions, surprise and excitement in Oshogbo on Monday, venue of the Southwest PDP zonal congress as the two warring factional leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party in Southwest, Governor Seyi Makinde and former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose sheathe their swords to embrace peace for the progress of the party.

While making their separate remarks, Ayodele Fayose declared Makinde as his leader and leader of the PDP in the region. Fayose’s remarks sparked positive reactions from the delegates across all the six Southwest states. Fayose also apologized to whoever he might have offended.

On his part, Governor Seyi Makinde said today’s congress will go a long way to determine the future of the PDP in the Southwest.

Details later….

.

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South West Congress: You Are Only Afraid of Free And Fair Congress, PDP National Organising Secretary Blasts Ogun State PDP Chairman Mr Mr. Sikirulai Ogundele

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The Unedited Press Statement.

 


RE: COMPLAINT OF ILLEGAL RELEASE OF OVER 150 BALLOT PAPER TO GOVERNOR MAKINDE FOR BALLOT STUFFING AT SOUTH-WEST CONGRESS

Our attention has been drawn to a spurious and baseless Petition circulating in the Social media purportedly signed by Mr.

Sikirulai Ogundele, the Ogun State Chairman on behalf of Chairmen of Ogun, Lagos, Osun and Ekiti States.

The petition alleged that over 150 (One hundred and fifty) ballot papers for the election of National Vice Chairman and Zonal Secretary have been released to a group illegally by a Staff of the Directorate of Organization and Mobilization intended for ballot stuffing. The petition also claimed that the hatched job of stuffing the ballot boxes with these illegally released ballot papers is to be supervised and achieved by a ‘certain Senator Anyanwu’.

Ordinarily, there would have been no need to comment on the misleading letter since the allegations are false and malicious, but, in this age of Social media, it is important to save the unsuspecting public from falling prey to the antics of the author, in the name of politics.

It is on record that under our watch, our Party has consistently conducted some of the best primary elections.  The last Presidential Primary election of October 2018 was accorded the status of the most transparent and best primary election of any Political Party in the history of our Country.  Ekiti (2018), Osun (2018), Kogi (2019), Bayelsa (2019), Ondo (2020) Governorship Primary Elections were unquestionably free, fair, transparent and credible.

In keeping with the mandate of the National Working Committee (NWC) to ensure free, fair and transparent South West Zonal Congress:

i. The Electoral materials including all sensitive documents were jointly released to the Congress Committee Chairman and Secretary just yesterday afternoon (11/04/2021).

ii. The voting procedures for Zonal Elections have since changed from the previous method of issuing one ballot per position to each delegate at a time.  Under this NWC, we have reformed our voting process by creating a “Ballot Booklet” where all positions are combined into a booklet and one booklet will be given to each delegate for him/her to vote for all the positions at the same time.  So then, the allegations that Ballot Papers for the National Vice Chairman and Zonal Secretary were issued as suggested in the Petition is not only false but irresponsible.

iii. The total number of Delegates on the approved Delegates list which was released yesterday was743 (Seven Hundred and Forty-three) and the total ballot booklets released to the Congress Committee yesterday afternoon was 750.  So, where did the claim that extra 150 ballots were “illegally” released come from?

iv. The National Directorate of Organization and Mobilization runs an independent computerized system (the author(s)) of the petition under reference are aware because when they came to update their Delegates List, they were put in front of the Directorates’ Database to verify their updated lists.  Every unit runs on its own and therefore, each unit knows what needs to be done at every stage.  The unit that calculates the total number of Delegates is separate from the one that issues the Ballot papers which is also different from the unit that releases.  With this in place, it is quite difficult that as many as 150 extra ballots would have been illegally released, as mischievously alleged.

v. For any member of our Party, especially at the level of a State Chairman to refer to a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as “a certain Senator Anyanwu” is impolite, insulting, reckless and this should be discouraged.  Sen. Anyanwu is a respectable leader of our Party and a very known committed Party member.  These libelous narratives is a grave violation of Section 58(1)(h).

I wish to implore every member of our Party, the Delegates and Stakeholders across the Country to discountenance this unnecessary, irresponsible, reckless and false publication.  The NWC will continue to ensure free, fair, credible and transparent primaries in line with its oath of office.

Col Austin Akobundu (rtd).

National Organizing Secretary

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