“Dr. Ganduje, as a sitting Governor, enjoys immunity from prosecution in his own right. Furthermore, under Nigerian laws, a suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law,” the statement read.
by SaharaReporters, New York Jan 31, 2019
President Muhammadu Buhari has responded to claims that he is shielding Abdullahi Ganduje, Governor of Kano State, from prosecution.
Ganduje was caught on camera pocketing wads of dollars, which appeared to be kickbacks from a contractor.
Although the Governor has claimed the videos were doctored, Jafar Jafar, publisher of Daily Nigerian, who shared the videos in public domain, insisted the videos were real.
Jafar was invited to face an investigative panel set up by the Kano State House of Assembly, but no major action has been taken against the Governor on the matter.
Similarly, when he appeared on ‘The Candidates’, a presidential town hall programme for politicians broadcast on live television, Buhari expressed doubt about the authenticity of the videos but stated that the law would take its course.
However, on Thursday, the presidential campaign rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC) berthed in Kano and Buhari was welcomed to the state by Ganduje, as well as thousands of party faithful. Buhari also endorsed Ganduje for reelection as governor of the state.
Responding to the reports that the corruption allegation levelled against Ganduje had watered down the President’s claim that he is fighting corruption impartially, a statement by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media and Publicity), issued on Thursday, restated Buhari’s commitment to the fight against corruption.
The statement read: “President Muhammadu Buhari has dismissed claims that his association with Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano has diminished his commitment to the war against corruption.
“The Presidency in a statement Thursday said that there is a difference between perception and reality. According to the statement, which followed comments after the proclamation by President Buhari of Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, at a rally in Kano, the presidency cited a number of high-profile prosecution of senior government officials that a former Secretary to the Government and a former state governor who is a party member and now serving term in jail as indications of will and determination to wage the anti-corruption war without fear or favour.
“It also added that the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Usman Yusuf, is currently on administrative leave as part of President Buhari’s commitment to transparency and accountability.
“The statement explained that despite some of the suspects being close to the President, he had not shielded them from investigation, administrative suspensions and prosecution.
“The Presidency added that it is sheer mischief to suggest that President Buhari is shielding anybody because of their closeness to him, explaining that no official under this administration would go unpunished once they break the law.”
On the allegations of corruption against the Governor, the statement added: “On the specific issue of Governor Ganduje of Kano State, the statement noted that Dr. Ganduje, as a sitting Governor, enjoys immunity from prosecution in his own right. Furthermore, under Nigerian laws, a suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
“In the circumstances, the matter is in court and the President has no power to dictate to the court or the Kano State House of Assembly, which is already investigating the matter, about what to do with the allegations against Ganduje.
“The Presidency added that it is unfair to ignore the larger picture of the President’s major successes in the war against corruption, including blocking leakages of corruption, which in turn, boosted government revenues.
“The statement challenged President Buhari’s critics to prove that those facing corruption allegations are innocent, adding that the President’s zero tolerance for corruption has boosted and remarkably improved Nigeria’s image in the eyes of world leaders.”
NYSC DG pays last respect to corps member who had his primary assignment with Channels TV, Precious Owolabi
The Director-General, National Youth Service Corps, Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, on Tuesday paid his last respect to Mr. Precious Owolabi, a corps member who had his primary assignment with the Channels TV Abuja office.
The DG, Ibrahim inspected Owolabi’s body shortly before it was removed from the National Hospital Abuja, for homeward journey.
Owolabi died on Monday after he sustained gunshot injuries during a violent confrontations between the Police and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) popularly known as Shi’ites.
NYSC members carry the remains of their colleague, Mr. Precious Owolabi, who was killed on Monday during a violent confrontation between Police and the Shi’ites. His body left the the National Hospital, Abuja on Tuesday.
Boko Haram conflict causing misery to millions 10 years on
Ten years since the beginning of a violent insurgency in northeast Nigeria, the living conditions for displaced people are continuing to deteriorate at an alarming rate due to inadequate and overcrowded facilities. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) calls for increased efforts to improve their living conditions and prevent an imminent cholera outbreak.
Ten years after the first attack launched by the armed group Boko Haram, more than two million people remain displaced from homes in northeast Nigeria, the highest number of any time over the last decade.
“Every week, people continue to flee violence and insecurity in northeast Nigeria. Many settle along the roadside or on empty strips of land, devoid of proper sanitation and water points,” says Eric Batonon, Country Director at the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Nigeria.
Hundreds of thousands of people are living in overcrowded displacement sites far below international minimum standards and without proper access to latrines and clean water. Some have put up shelters made of wooden sticks and pieces of ripped fabric. These improvised shelters provide no protection against wind or rain and offer almost no privacy or security. Many don’t even have a door – leaving women, men and children highly vulnerable to intrusions and attacks.
More than 180,000 people are currently in need of shelter in Borno State with many sleeping in the open or in deplorable makeshift homes. As the rainy seasons gets underway, fears of another deadly outbreak of cholera are looming. Last year, 10,000 cholera cases were confirmed along with 175 recorded deaths, although the real figure is likely to have been much higher.
“People in Nigeria need safe pathways back to their homes and much better living conditions in the meantime. Displacement sites are dangerous, chaotic and entirely unsuitable for children. It is critical to decongest these overcrowded sites, provide people that have been forced to flee with safe, dignified facilities and prevent another deadly cholera outbreak,” Batonon adds.
The NRC is calling on donor countries to increase their financial support for relief to families trying desperately to survive in one of the world’s most volatile regions.
“Ten years on, it is harrowing to see families still crowding into make-shift shelters with inadequate drainage systems to remove rain water. The global humanitarian community, local and national authorities have to do much more and much better to improve the lives of these people,” says Batonon before concluding: “The world needs to scale up the relief work and send a message of hope to the more than seven million people in need of humanitarian assistance in northeast Nigeria. After a decade of conflict, we need to show them that they have not been forgotten.”
Over 200 Kidnap Victims Regain Freedom In Zamfara – Police
The Commissioner of Police in Zamfara, Mr Usman Nagogo says over 200 victims of kidnap have been received from their abductors in the last three weeks in the state.
Nagogo made this known at a news conference in Gusau on Monday.
The police chief said the bandits willingly returned and handover the victims to him as the leader of a peace and reconciliation initiative recently set up by Governor Bello Matawalle.
He explained: “Since the beginning of the peace and reconciliation initiative team assignment about three weeks ago now, we have received over 200 kidnap victims from Fulanis and Yansakai.
“We have sat with all the warring factions and they have understood that peace is the most important aspect of growth and development which is why they willingly return the victims,
“and await the promise made by the governor to re-establish grazing reserves, build hospitals and veterinary clinics, provide good drinking water and other amenities at Fulani settlements.
“At the moment, all the factions go to the markets that were closed due to the armed bandit activities while farmers go to the farms without any hindrance or threats,”.
The commissioner of police who urged residents to continue to pray for the success of the peace process and sustenance of peace in the state, cautioned politicians against politicising the effort so as to allow security agencies carry out their operations without diversion.
Some of the rescued victims told newsmen at the police command that they were tied like animals and without any shelter against rain or sun.
Some of the victims spent more than seven months in the hands of their abductors.
After their rescue, the victims were camped at the Government House, Gusau, where they received medical and psycho-social support services before they were reunited with their families.
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