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$202m missing at NIA, not $44m, says Reps’ panel

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The House of Representatives Committee on Public Safety and National Intelligence said on Sunday that contrary to recent reports, the real amount of money missing at the National Intelligence Agency was $202m and not the $44m as reported.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr. Aminu Sani-Jaji, said the $44m was not missing but was only moved to a safe location.

However, Sani-Jaji stated that $202m could not be accounted for at the NIA.

The committee is investigating the controversies surrounding the appointment of an acting Director General for the agency, Mr. Ahmed Rufai-Abubakar, by President Muhammadu Buhari.

There were reports that Rufai-Abubakar failed his promotion examinations.

Another allegation was that the acting DG was a citizen of Chad.

The House had passed a resolution directing the Sani-Jaji panel to investigate the allegations, just as some directors in the agency petitioned the House, seeking the removal of Rufai-Abubakar.

Sani-Jaji, who spoke with reporters in Abuja, disclosed that the committee discovered in the course of the investigation that the actual money missing at the NIA was $202m.

He confirmed that the panel had already taken the testimonies of a former DG of the agency, Mr. Ayo Oke; the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.); and the acting DG, Rufai-Abubakar.

The lawmaker added that under Oke, the NIA collected a total of $289m as “intervention” funds during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He stated that $43m was part of the money the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission uncovered in Ikoyi in April 2017, while $44m was moved from the vault of the agency to another location.

However, Sani-Jaji said the committee was unable to get any useful information on the balance of $202m from the officials, who made appearances before it.

The committee had met with the officials behind closed doors last week at the National Assembly.

Sani-Jaji added, “We had a meeting too with the NSA. We later discovered from our meeting since last week that the $44m is not missing. For that one, I can tell you they moved the money from one place to another. We are still investigating.

“If we get 60 to 70 per cent of what we are supposed to get, then we can tell you. But, for now, I will tell you categorically that the money isn’t missing. They only moved it from the agency to another place, pending when all these issues surrounding the agency would be resolved.

“If you remember, this $44m is part of the $289m approved for the then DG, Ayo Oke. You know that in April last year, there was the issue of $43m found in Ikoyi. He tried to say that the $44m and the $43m are part of the $289m.

“But for us, we are still working to see where the remaining $202m was placed. We only know about the $43m recovered in Ikoyi and the $44m recovered from their vault.

“In the course of our investigation, we will come up with where the $289m really is, not the $43m and not the $44m but the entire amount…

“Yes, for me it is ($202m) still missing. The money in question is $289m, and all what the former DG is trying to say is that the $43m and the $44m are part of the $289m.

“If you subtract $43m and $44m, where is the balance? That is why we are where we are today, and that is also why we have to intensify the investigation.”

On the allegations against the acting DG, Sani-Jaji explained the findings of his committee, “One of the issues is that, some are saying he (Rufai-Abubakar) has dual citizenship. But, he said to us categorically that his father is from Katsina State and he (his father) after sometime, decided to migrate from Katsina to Chad.

“His mother is a Nigerian, and his wife too is a Nigerian. He even showed us the approval of the then DG that he was allowed to marry her. I think she is Fadilah by name. She is from Katsina. She did her secondary school in Sandamu, according to the documents supplied to us. He said really he did his primary school in Chad, but he attended secondary school in Nigeria and his first degree was in the Bayero University, Kano.

“Again, we discussed with him and we also saw all the promotion examinations that he went through when he was in service.

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Ganduje Donates N10 Million to EFCC, ICPC for Anti-Corruption Event

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The Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has donated N10 million to the organizers of the National Anti-Corruption Marathon.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Crimes, ICPC, Athletic Federation of Nigeria, AFN and other stakeholders organized the first National Anti-Corruption Marathon, in honour of President Muhammadu Buhari, for his fight against corruption.

Announcing the donation when he received members of the main organizing committee in Abuja, Mr Ganduje promised that the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti Corruption Commission would collaborate with the organizers, as an official partner, to ensure success of the event.

He said his administration not only engaged in sensitizing the citizenry on the evils of corruption but also reorganized and strengthened its anti-corruption agency to offer optimal professional services.

“Before now, people find it difficult to access the services of the agency but we established offices across the 44 local government areas so that the services can be available to the common man”, the governor stressed.

“We also facilitated the recruitment of additional personnel and subjected them to training by professional agencies like EFCC and ICPC so that they can deliver.

“We also ensured cooperation with these agencies and that attracted international organizations to support us in reinforcing our anti-corruption system.”

The governor stated that as a result of the renewed professional and vigour of the state anti-corruption agency, highly placed individuals such as Permanent Secretaries in the state civil service and a commissioner were removed and prosecuted for involvement in corrupt practices.

Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Jacob Onu, told the governor that the organizers intend to “use the image and popularity of marathon races to create massive awareness and bring together all segments of the Nigerian population in support of Mr. President’s fight on corruption in all facets of national life”.

“This will strengthen unity among the citizens of this country and also satisfy the desire to exploit and harness the abundant talent in our youth for national integration,” Mr Onu said.

He added that the campaign was aimed raising national consciousness on the scourge and danger of corruption to the country and humanity in general.

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Buhari Approves New Salary Package for Police Officers

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a new salary package for police personnel.

Mr Buhari also assured that his administration will continue to give attention to the welfare and operational needs of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) with a view to restoring its lost primacy in the internal security framework of the country.

Mr Buhari said this during an audience in the State House, Abuja, with members of the Nigeria Police Service Commission and the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force on a “Thank You” visit.

The visit followed his approval of Rank Salary Structure Adjustment, by which salary, allowances and pension of police officers will be increased.

Mr Buhari regretted that the inability of the police in their constitutional role as the frontline force in the prevention of crime had led to military involvement in the maintenance of law and order throughout the country.

According to the president, “From Taraba to Sokoto, to the South-south, people don’t feel secure until they see the military. I am pleased to make the increase in salary and allowances in the hope that it will increase the performance index of the police and strengthen Nigeria’s internal security system.”

Mr Buhari observed that the more efficient the police is, the more confident the government and citizens will be.

According to him, “The military should be reserved for higher tasks. The police should be able to cope well with the challenges of armed robbery, kidnapping for ransom and such crimes. In every town and village, there is the presence of the police. From all these places, they should be able to forward first-class intelligence to you on which to act.

“There is a need to amplify the question of more men of the police, especially given the condition we are in–emergency in the North-east, pervasive insecurity and abduction for ransom and banditry in many parts of the country. I congratulate you on the success you recorded against criminals taxing people and stopping them from their farms. We are expecting more from you,” the president told the team.

A Commissioner in the Nigeria Police Service Commission, Clara Ogunbiyi, a retired judge, who represented the chairman, Musiliu Smith, had informed the President that the Rank Salary Structure Adjustment would enhance police welfare and morale.

The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, also assured that the police would redouble efforts to ensure free, fair and credible elections throughout the country next year.

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Eid-El Maulud: FG Declares Tuesday Public Holiday

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The Federal Government has declared Tuesday as public holiday to mark the Eid-el Maulud.

The Minister of Interior, Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd), made the declaration on Friday in Abuja in a statement by Dr. Mohammed Umar, Permanent Secretary of the ministry.

Dambazau called on Muslim faithful to align themselves with the Prophet’s teachings which border on piety, charity, tolerance and peaceful co-existence, among others.

He also called on all Nigerians to uphold these virtues with a view to overcoming the current national challenges facing the country.

Dambazau assured that the Federal Government remained committed to the unity of the country, and as such, would put adequate structures on ground towards ensuring that forthcoming general elections were credible, free and fair.

He wishes all Nigerians a joyous and peaceful Eid-el Maulud.

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