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Monumental Fraud Rocks Zamfara State …… + How Gov Yari Milked The State Dry Eighteen Years After Creation…..



Zamfara State till date remains a traditional rural state due to some lapses, gross non-performance and corruption by virtually all the previous administrations of the state. In this analysis, Society Reporters takes a peep at the state and the impediment that deters the progress and revealed that democracy still stands a chance to survive, only if the main actors can give the necessary inputs in real terms. For a long time, Zamfara indigenes have prayed for salvation and solace especially, this is what the political class in Zamfara lack, a sense of dedication, patriotism and commitment. Most of them are not even fair to themselves much less for those that gave them the mandate. Pundits averred that the attitude in itself is inimical to democratic ideals and consequently anti democratic and by extension autocratic, a situation where anything can go when money is involved is very disastrous and unfortunate. Truly, democratic set up in Nigeria were full of corrupt practices. It is the same practice that had hindered the state from economic growth and infrastructural development, despite collecting over N370Billion as statutory allocation from the federation account within the period.
Investigations revealed that Governor Abdul Azees Yari’s administration, has failed by the judgment of majority and in fact by his own admission and to register an appreciable success. His failures were indeed followed by his inability to fight corruption, or better still his choice to allow carefree attitude of people in the corridors of power to continue dominating the system. Our findings revealed that everything remains as it use to be, even worse. Money from the public treasury were used to achieve political ends, an episode where government tendered cash allegedly forwarded to top politicians for victories is still the public funds. And none of them has given any explanation in that respect. This administration has not made sincerity and dedication as their hallmark, which is why they have not built a strong economic base and a conducive Zamfara State. The money they were alleged to have looted is more than the little they spent for public projects during this administration. The evil calamity they inflicted on the masses is still haunting the common masses. The state has been placed into a waste basket. Ask them, is the money they stole into their accounts not enough to service the debt the state owes? After robbing the state of its resources, they still went to disgrace its image in the world. Governor Yari on assuming power, worsened the debt crisis in the state by securing illegal loan of N4Billion allegedly with high interest rate for some supposedly Sharia projects. The facility was secured without the approval of the state House of Assembly and before the constitution of the State Executive Council. Questionable projects that are not priority to the immediate needs of the people but were created to favour the economic interest of friends, associates and conduit pipes was awarded by Yari in violation of due process and from all analysis over inflated. Governor Yari is perhaps today the most widely travelled state governor in Nigeria, with a record of spending over N2Billion on expenses incurred on hotels, food and air craft charter across Nigeria, revealed by an insider that pleaded anonymity. His frequent travels to Dubai, London and Saudi Arabia, according to the source have cost the poor people of Zamfara State more than N500Million within less than one year according to the source. Within the same period, Zamfara owing to Yari’s negligence and disregard to the welfare of the people has lost the services of more than 20 medical doctors, due to nonpayment of their salaries and failure to effect the payment of their allowances and salary increments. Investigation also reveals that nearly 50% of the highly substandard but inflated projects Yari has embarked upon was concentrated in his home town of Talatan Mafara, a move condemned by citizens of the state as irresponsible for a leader that was elected by all the people of the state. Another source who pleaded anonymity told this online media that Yari was warned by his Malam not to relocate to the Government House, hence his illegal decision to remain in his home at Talatan Mafara, since he was elected and incurring huge expenses in the process and subjecting the police and other security agents to divide within the Government House in Gusau and the governor’s house at Talatan Mafara. Among all the former governors of Zamfara State according to those interviewed by Society Reproters, “Yari in less than one year through his conduct, policies and vision has proven to be the most insensitive with no clear policy direction. From creation, the state has never got any direction or focus due to poor financial management by the past leaders of the state. The whole system has become faulty democratically as there was no trust or truth in the system. The influx of the youth to the urban areas increased the rate of political thuggery in the state. According to Malam Bello Gusau, “it is shameful and disgraceful that the world has stepped into a global village, yet Zamfara is yet to locate its level, in dire need of development. The failure of all the government is because they did not have a sense of purpose, direction and focus. The gravity of the whole offence lies drastically and terrifyingly on the past leaders who left power to Governor Abdul’azeez Yari. While Yari had continued to plunder as the case of his predecessors, pundits believed that he inherited virtually nothing from the past governors. But considering the kind of leadership and lack of accountability Zamfara witnessed in the last ten months under Yari, the incumbent governor and his predecessors are to be collectively blamed for the backwardness of the state and for allowing so called contractors to defraud the state with nothing commensurate in return. Pundits also averred that if Yari is indeed serious in fighting corruption he must start with himself by stopping his unnecessary foreign and domestic trips and ensure sanity and transparency in awarding government contracts and in determining who or which company is qualified. They also said that Yari should start the war on corruption by subjecting his blood brother, Ja’afaru Dan’ auta to the EFCC for investigation, because according to them the stupendous wealth Dan’auta is intimidating the people with which he didn’t have prior to the emergence of his brother as governor must be investigated to convince the people that Yari is sincere and committed to fight corruption. They said virtually all the commissioners of Yari are redundant because all issues that has to do with money is now under the authority and monopoly of Dan’auta, Usman Sahabi Kaura and Alhaji Sani Jega. “The situation in Zamfara is unfortunate. Dan’auta is illiterate and has nothing before his brother became governor. Usman Sahabi has been cheating Zamfara and making Millions since Yarima was governor. If the governor is serious Dan’auta, Usman Kaura and Sani Jega must go to jail for the financial crimes they are committing against Zamfara and its citizens”, Bello said. But many believed that if the way Yari has started by reducing government to impact on the economic lives of few privileged in the state is anything to go by, he will go down as the worst governor Zamfara State has ever had. For now and in view of the typical leadership direction of Yari, the hope of getting a governor that will transform the state and its economy has been dashed in Yari.

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JUST IN: Tinubu Meets Ibori, Wike, Makinde In Abuja




President Bola Tinubu is currently holding a closed door meeting with James Ibori, former Governor of Delta state; Nyesom Wike, the immediate past Governor of Rivers state; and Seyi Makinde, the Oyo State Governor.


The meeting is taking place at the President’s office in Aso Villa.


Reports say the three politicians arrived at the Aso Rock Villa at about 4:20om on Friday, 2 June, 2023.


Details shortly…

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Court Orders Union Bank To Pay Former Manager N20.2m Over Wrongful Termination…….



Justice Maureen Esowe of the Lagos division of the National Industrial Court has ordered the Union Bank to immediately pay the total sum of N20, 261, 810 million to one of its retired staff, Asenime Claire Ojuzo.


The judgment sum according to Justice Esowe, is the shortfall of gratuity Union Bank ought to pay Mrs. Asenime, upon her retirement.


Justice Esowe made the order while delivering judgment in a suit marked NICN/LA/534/2017, filed by a retired officer and the bank.


The claimant, a former senior manager at Union Bank, through her lawyer, Chief Paul Omoijiade, had asked the court to “declare that the purported approval by the bank of the claimant’s withdrawal from service which the Claimant did not apply for was wrong.


“A declaration that the purported determination of the Claimant’s contract of service by Union Bank is wrongful, same having been done without due process as laid down in the bank’s handbook and the bank’s custom and practice.


“A declaration that the purported removal of the claimant from his employment as Senior Manager (SM) without due process amounts to redundancy for which the claimant is entitled to redundancy benefit.


“A declaration that Union Bank is in arrears of N18, 114, 600 million, in the payment of the Claimant’s gratuity.


“A declaration that the deduction of the sum of N16,106,219.66 million, as outstanding loans, status car, unearned medical, outstanding status generator, and car from the claimant’s gratuity is unlawful.


“An order of the honourable court directing Union Bank to pay to Ojuzo the sum of N16,106,219.66 million, deducted from the claimant’s gratuity.


“An order of the honourable court directing Union Bank to pay to Ojuzo the sum of N18,114, 600 being a shortfall in the gratuity paid to her.


“An order of the honourable court that the bank pays the sum of N12 million, to the Claimant as compensation for the defendant’s wrongful and unlawful action withdrawing the claimant’s services without due process.


“An order of the honourable court for the payment of interest at the rate of 20% on the deductions and withheld gratuity under paragraphs (f) and (g) above.


“An order of the honourable court that the bank pay to the claimant the sum of N1 million, being the cost of litigation.


During the trial of the suit, the claimant told the court that she was a staff of the bank until her employment was wrongfully withdrawn on November 22, 2013, and her terminal benefits were never paid in full.


She also told the court that Union Bank also deducted the sum of N16, 106, 219.66 million, which the bank referred to as outstanding loans, unearned housing, status car, and unearned leave from her benefit, adding that, said she never applied for withdrawal service, therefore, the withdrawal of her services is tantamount to redundancy.


Defending the suit, Union Bank through its witness, Francis Idiaghe, who was led by Feliz O. Ogungbemi, told the court that there is no provision in the Trust Deed of variation that the claimant or any employee of Union Bank can remain in service till the age of 60. Rather, than underemployment, either party can determine the contract by giving a month’s notice.


The witness told the court that the Defendant, exercising her right under the contract, determined the contract by a letter of withdrawal of service dated November 22, 2016, issued to the claimant. Adding that the sum of N16,106,219.66 million, deducted from the claimant’s terminal benefits covers the loans (N13,683,188.86 million) taken by the claimant during the pendency of her employment and the outstanding and unpaid money (N2,247,210 million) covering the cost of her status car and a generating set.


Union Bank in its final written address, asked the court to determine “Whether the claimant is entitled to a declaration that the withdrawal of the Claimant’s employment is unlawful.


“Whether the Claimant having been paid her terminal benefit and having accepted same, can be heard to complain that his contract was not properly determined.


“Whether the termination of the Claimant of employment by the Defendant amounts to redundancy.


“Whether the Claimant is entitled to the sum of N18,114,600.00 (Eighteen Million One Hundred and Fourteen Thousand Six Hundred Naira) as outstanding gratuity from the Defendant.


“Whether the deduction of the sum from the Claimant’s terminal benefit in the liquidation of Claimant’s outstanding staff loans, status, generator loan, and unearned medical is unlawful.


“Whether by the evidence placed before this Honourable Court, the Claimant is entitled to damages in the sum of N12 million.


“Whether the Claimant is entitled to interest at the rate of 20% on the alleged outstanding gratuity and the amount allegedly deducted from her gratuity.


“Whether the Claimant is entitled to the sum of N1 million, as cost of litigation.”


Justice Esowe, in her judgment on the suit after the evaluation of parties’ submissions, and citing plethora of legal authorities, held that: “having gone through the claimant’s claim, evidence led in support, the defendant’s defense, evidence led in support, with the final written submissions of Counsel on both sides, this Court, while adopting all the issues formulated by Counsel, has distilled a sole issue for determination, to wit: Whether the Claimant has proved his case to be entitled to the reliefs sought.” culled: Business Hallmark.

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Dr. Ope Banwo Speaks On Transitioning  Naija Lives Matter Organization To Non-Partisan Mode 





***Says Organization Will Now Focus On Projects To Improve Nigerian Lives


Dr. Ope Banwo, the founder of Naija Lives Matter (NLM), a non-governmental organization committed to better lives for Nigerians has explained the organization’s decision to refocus its priorities.


In a statement released on Tuesday, Dr. Banwo stated that the organization’s mission and goals extend beyound the 2023 elections, electioneering campaigns, and politics.


According to him, the process of the organization had been clearly communicated from its very beginning to avoid any accusations of opportunism or policy inconsistencies, which are unfortunately common in our country when disagreements arise.


He said; “Since 2011, the NLM organization has consistently de-emphasized its partisan support for any specific candidate after the elections and campaigns are over, enabling it to concentrate on its global mandate of making Naija lives matter to all Nigerians, irrespective of their political affiliations.


“When Naija Lives Matter endorsed Peter Obi as our chosen candidate in August 2022, we made it clear that our partisan involvement would solely extend until the conclusion of the elections. Subsequently, we would focus on other aspects of our mission and goals, for which our organization was founded in 2011.


“In the past, we supported Jonathan through the GEJ project, rallied behind Buhari through the Buhari4Naija project in 2015, and even had a Moghalu4Naija project before eventually endorsing Peter Obi for the 2023 elections.


“Our commitment is not irreversibly tied to any particular politician; it lies in what we believe is in the best interest of Nigeria and its people,” Dr. Banwo said.


With the transition, NLM now moves beyond the recent election cycle, with a current focus on organizing projects aimed at making the lives of all Nigerians better.


“Henceforth, we shall therefore leave the legal and political affairs to lawyers and politicians, and respect the decisions of the courts, whatever they may be.


“In alignment with our mandate and the previously declared engagement period for the 2023 elections, we hereby inform our members that Naija Lives Matter will now shift its focus towards other aspects of our charter such as mass non-partisan mobilization on national issues, youth empowerment training, workshops, community assistance services for the less privileged in Nigeria, and other activities.


“In light of this new direction, we will convene meetings with our state directors and cell leaders to announce additional NLM initiatives that extend beyond politics in the coming days. These initiatives will focus on non-partisan national mobilization, youth empowerment through training and workshops, and community-building responsibilities.


“All our threads on WhatsApp and other social media platforms will once again be dedicated to NLM as we officially conclude the Peter Obi Nation Project for the 2023 elections,” Dr. Banwo noted.


Thanking members of the Peter Obi Nation Project of the NLM organization for their tremendous efforts during the 2023 elections, Dr. Banwo said that together they fought valiantly in a highly contested electoral process, adding that together they gave as much as they got in the very bitter partisan electioneering campaign for the organization’s endorsed candidate, Peter Obi.


“We did not compromise and many of us even paid the price of alienating some of our long-term friends in the heat of partisan battle.


“To this end, I am immensely proud of every individual involved in this monumental battle, and it has been an honor serving as the Chief Vawolence Officer for Naija Lives Matter side of things during this 2923 election cycle. We also offer No apologies for our passionate campaign for what we passionately believed in. It was what it was.


Acknowledging the fact that many individuals who joined NLM’s special Peter Obi Nation Project were primarily interested in supporting the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, and may not share NLM”s broader mandate and NGO charter, Dr. Banwo said that the organization would understand if those solely focused on partisan politics choose to disassociate themselves from the NLM organization across it numerous groups and threads, adding that the organizational continuity transcends any single election cycle.


“To be clear, this pivot by NLM does not mean we no longer support Peter Obi. We continue to stand behind his 2023 mandate which we believed in, wholeheartedly. Nevertheless, our organization was not established solely for this election cycle. We have followed the same refocusing approach after the elections in 2011 and 2015. Although the intensity of this cycle was undeniable, our policy remains intact.


“We hope that our fellow compatriots engaged in the highly intense campaign for 2023 will understand and respect our decision to shift away from combative partisan politics at this juncture. Instead, we aim to engage the Tinubu government in a non-partisan yet critical manner, reminding them of their promises and holding them accountable. Should the courts later remove him from office, we will also celebrate. But for now, we have a country to assist in governance.”

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