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N5bn NEMA Fraud: Petitions Trail DG, Maihaja

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The Office of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), have received petitions on monumental corrupt practices against the current Director General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Engr. Mustapha Maihaja.
The new revelation is coming after a public hearing of House of Representatives investigating alleged breaches of public trust in NEMA where Maihaja was found to have expended over N5bn on companies that have no legal qualifications to get contract awards from the federal government.
The NEMA boss who has been enmeshed in several scandals including arbitrary harassment and suspension of directors and massive redeployment of Account Staff is alleged to be engaged some bad practices in less than a year since his appointment in April 2017.
On receipt of the petition titled “Petition Against Engineer Mustafa Yunusa Maihaja, Director General NEMA” the Office of the Vice President directed Maihaja to respond to the query.
In a letter dated January 15, 2018 with Reference No SH/OVP/DCOS/LGR&C/NEMA/367, and signed by Ade Ipaye, Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, the NEMA boss was requested to send a brief on all the allegations raised against him in the petition.
Some of the allegations against the embattled Maihaja in the petition stated that: “upon resumption of office in April 2017 Maihaja grounded the operations of Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MICU), Emergency Response Vehicles, Air Ambulance and the Helicopter that cost the Federal Government of Nigeria over $100 million tax payers money to put in place.”
The petition further disclosed that during the 2017 floods when the Acting President approved and released N1.6bn to provide succour to the 16 affected states, no item was procured and delivered to the states concerned despite the emergency involved. Similarly, the Petition further disclosed that Maihaja awarded a contract of N2.4bn without following due process and above his approval limit while assigning director of Relief and Rehabilitation to be signing contract awards.
The Director General was also alleged to have taken substantial amount of foreign currencies for official oversea trips without actually embarking on such trips or spending fewer days from the approved durations of the tours.
Another allegation against him read: “He travelled to the United Kingdom for a training with all his entitlements paid for two weeks but he only spent 5 days and bought an Apple Ipad and return to the country only to pull out the amount from the Agency’s account.”
Meanwhile the National Assembly through the House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness have uncovered over N5 billion contract scandal under the management of current DG NEMA Maihaja and lambasted him for spending over N400mn Demurrage on donated Chinese Rice..
He was also accused of awarding contracts to fake companies that are not qualified for business engagements in Nigeria which included N1.6bn Flood Victims Fund for 16 States and N3.1bn Food Intervention for victims of Boko Haram in North-East.
Concerned on his maladministration and victimisation of staff, the lawmakers have ordered Maihaja and the Governing Board of NEMA to immediately recall the suspended Directors of the agency who were unfairly and unjustly treated for challenging his draconian disposition and unethical intents .
The affected officers that were recalled are Director of Finance and Accounts, Akinbola Gbolahan; Ag. Director, Special Duties, Mr. Umesi Emenike; and Director, Risk Reduction, Mallam Alhassan Nuhu. Others are pilot in charge of Air Ambulance and Aviation Unit, Mr. Mamman Ali Ibrahim; the Chief Maintenance Officer, Mr. Ganiyu Yunusa Deji; and the Director of Welfare, Mr. Kanar Mohammed.
There are growing concerns that as ICPC and other security agencies are investigating Maihaja on the petition, the NEMA boss is also using EFCC under the Office of Vice President to intimidate the staffs, especially those that have spent over 10 years in the public service and union leaders.
Meanwhile, a national leader of Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) told PRNigeria that public institutions should be protected from the vagary of political office holders who may attempt to destroy the careers of incorruptible civil servants that dare to challenge their corrupt tendencies.
The union leader added that: “The current NEMA boss, Maihaja, has among other things refused to implement terms of agreement towards improving productivity in the agency while he harassed civil servants with financial scandals trailing him based on revelations at the National Assembly public hearing. If he continues to misbehave we will have no options than to mobilise forces to checkmate his draconian style that demoralises staff before he destroys the respected emergency agency.”

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UBEC, RSUBEB Begin Digital School Construction In Rivers

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As part of government’s efforts to realize its dream of making the nation’s educational system a global digital community, the Federal Government, through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and the Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (RSUBEB), have commenced the construction of a modern digital Smart Basic School in the state, with 14-month completion schedule.
The school, which is a pilot modern basic education facility, is designed by UBEC in collaboration with RSUBEB to entrench digitization of ICT-driven basic education system across the 36 states and FCT, Abuja.
Speaking with journalists at a brief handover ceremony of the proposed smart school site to UBEC by RSUBEB at the Community Primary School, Uzuoba in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state, over the weekend, the National Consultant, UBEC Smart School Project, Prof Masud Abdulkarim, said the school was designed to incorporate digital technology into the basic education system in the country, which he said, has been in practice in advanced countries for years.
Abdulkarim stated that the desire of the Federal Government was to ensure that Nigerian children were not left out in the digital space, saying that the school would have great impact on the youth and give them equal opportunity to compete globally in the technology world.
He described the school as the first of its kind in the history of the country, adding that the school would have four categories that would take care of the nursery, handicapped, primary as well as junior secondary students with a maximum of 35 persons per class of two streams.
Abdulkarim noted that with the strategy, no fewer than 700 children would be enrolled into the school.
According to him, the school would afford the children the opportunity to become robotic engineers, artificial intelligence (AI) engineers and ICT engineers, and added that as future leaders, they need to be equipped and encouraged.
The UBEC consultant commended the state government for the provision of the school for the construction of the smart school, and described the site as the most suitable across the 23 states so far visited.
“Let me thank the RSUBEB for the site, in fact, it is the best and most suitable site among the 23 states we have so far visited. Because it has an existing school structure with a fence to protect our equipment and infrastructure. Moreso, the project will impact on the schools around because they will benefit from our Wi-Fi”, he stated.
Abdulkarim called on the host community to jealously guard the project as a growing child, till its maturity to adult stage, saying that they were important stakeholders in the project.
Also speaking on behalf of the Chairman of Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (RSUBEB), Ven Fyneface Akah, a commissioner in the board, Chief Faith Amaso, called for synergy between the contractors and host community in other to remove every impediment that may affect the delivery of the project on schedule.
Akah opined that the project, when completed, would improve basic education in the state, and expressed happiness over the commencement of the project in the state.

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Rivers United Beat Young Africans Of Tanzania 1-0

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Rivers United Football Club of Port Harcourt, yesterday, at the Adokiye Amasiemaka Football Stadium, trounced the Young Africans Football Club of Tanzania 1-0 in a return leg match of the ongoing Confederation of African Football Club Champions League competition.
The stadium, which was filled to capacity, witnessed a trilling encounter, which saw the crowd craving for more.
It would be recalled that Rivers United had defeated the Young Africans of Tanzania 1-0 in the first leg of the championship at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, last Sunday.
Reacting to the feat, the Chairman of Degema Local Government Area, Hon. Michael John Williams, expressed joy over the victory of the Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt against the Young Africans of Tanzania in the ongoing Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League.
The match, which ended 1-0 in favour of the Rivers United FC, took place at the Adokiye Amiesimaka International Stadium in Rivers State, yesterday.
Top government officials in the state, including Rivers Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo; LG council chairmen and commissioners, amongst other sports enthusiasts, graced the event.
Speaking on the outcome of the match, Williams stated that the Rivers United players exhibited the Rivers team spirit, which culminated in their victory.
The political heavyweight in Degema LGA, noted that nothing would be impossible for Rivers people to achieve when they work together in unison and firm determination.
He added that the massive support and huge investment in the sports sector by the Governor Nyesom Wike administration, also motivated the Rivers team, who worked hard to secure a back-to-back victory.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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NJC Okays Six Chief Judges, 30 Others For Appointment

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The National Judicial Council (NJC), has recommended the appointment of chief judges and 30 others as judicial officers to beef up judicial functions in some states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
At its 95th meeting held on September 15 and 16, 2021, the council considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee, and recommended the 36 successful candidates to their respective state governors for appointment as heads of courts and other judicial officers in Nigeria.
They are Hon. Justice Richard O. Olorunfemi as chief judge, Kogi State, Hon. Justice Joe Itsebaga Acha for Edo, Hon. Justice Akintoroye Williams Akin for Ondo, Hon. Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf for FCT, Hon. Justice Ekaette Francesca Fabian-Obot for Akwa Ibom, and Hon. Justice J. O. Adeyeye for Ekiti State.
Others are Hon. Kadi Baba Gana Mahdi as Grand Kadi, Yobe; Umaru Ahmad Liman as Grand Kadi, Bauchi; Hon. Justice Osagede Osado Emmanuel as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Nasarawa; Hon. Justice Mashud Akintunde Akinfemi Abass as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Oyo State; and Siyaka Momoh Jimoh Usman as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Kogi State.
Three judges are recommended for High Court of Gombe, and they are Zainab Abdulkadir Rasheed, Abdussalam Muhammad, and Daurabo Suleiman Sikka.
Akwa Ibom has Effiong Asukwo Effiong; Bauchi has Nana Fatima Jibril; while Kaduna High Court has Abdulkarim Mahmud.
The three candidates recommended for Katsina State are Kabir Shuaibu, Ibrahim Ishaku Mashi, and Ibrahim Abubakar Mande, while Prof Alero Akeredolu was recommended for Ondo State.
Four successful candidates for Oyo State are Olusola Adebisi Adetujoye, Folabimpe Beatrice Segun Olakojo, Prof Taiwo Elijah Adewale, and Kareem Adeyimika Adedokun.
Kogi State has three candidates, and they are Abubakar Sule Ibrahim, Abdullah Sulyman, as well as Aminu Ali Eri.
Two Kadis for Sharia Court of Appeal are Adamu Kuna Jibril and Ahmed Baba Bala, while the four for Bauchi are Musa Sani Abubakar, Mahdi Manga, Khamis Al-Hamidallah Muhammad and Sani Musa with Ondo State having one in the person of Orimisan James Okorisa and Oyo Customary Court of Appeal having Ajadi Olubukola Omolayo.
A statement by the NJC Director of Information, Mr Soji Oye, and released in Abuja, yesterday, said that all the recommended candidates are expected to be sworn-in after approval by President Muhammadu Buhari, and their respective state governors, and confirmation by the respective state Houses of Assembly.

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