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PDP reveals why it didn’t challenge outcome of Anambra election

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The Peoples Democratic Party has said it decided not to challenge the outcome of the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State to enable it to focus on rebuilding the party and providing a credible opposition.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had on November 10 declared a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Prof Charles Soludo, as the winner of the election.

INEC said the candidate of the PDP, Valentine Ozigbo, came second with 53,807 votes behind Soludo who polled 112,229 votes.

It said Senator Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress got 43,285 votes while Senator Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressive Party polled 21,261 votes to come third and fourth, respectively.

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Not satisfied with the result of the poll, Uba filed a petition before the Anambra State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.

But the State Secretary of the PDP, Chukwuebuka Okolie-Akirika, said though the election was marred by failure of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, the party did not believe in heating the polity.

“We don’t believe in heating the polity unnecessarily. What happened was unfortunate. The Bimodal Voter Accreditation System failed extensively on that day.

“We decided to take it in good faith and concentrate on rebuilding and offer Ndi Anambra the opportunity to constructively engage the incoming government by offering credible and alternative opposition so that in the fullness of time, people would have the opportunity to know that the PDP would have done better than APGA,” Okolie-Akirika said.

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He further said, “In essence, we don’t want to go to the tribunal. Ndi Anambra have spoken. Rightly or wrongly, so be it.

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“So, what we have resolved to do is to put our house in order, get ready for the next general elections and provide an alternative government for Ndi Anambra through constructive criticism.”

The party’s state secretary, however, advised Soludo to concentrate more on change than continuity.

The PDP state secretary said, “He should concentrate on changing the bad aspects or policies of the incumbent government, especially financial rascality and imprudence, and make sure that policies that touch the lives of Ndi Anambra were given priority over projects that cannot be achieved.

“He shouldn’t be carried away by projects like building an international conference centre when for the past eight years, there was no international event in Anambra State. There are so many hotels. Why is the government spending scarce resources to build an ICC?”

He further urged the governor-elect to reduce the cost of governance and mould his administration’s programmes in line with the sustainable development goals in the interest of people of the state.

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“The incoming governor should endeavour to concentrate on projects that will impact meaningfully on the lives of Ndi Anambra. Anambra is not known for political patronage.

“We are known for pursuing policies that will benefit Ndi Anambra and not having people who go about as the governor’s SAs and PAs without doing anything that will affect the lives of the people.

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“Let Soludo’s programmes be patterned after verifiable development goals so that our foreign partners can come to Anambra State,” Okolie-Akirika added.

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Fidelity Bank renovates classroom blocks, commissions ATM gallery in Zaria

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Leading financial institution, Fidelity Bank Plc has commissioned the newly renovated Madrasatul Anwarul Islam school in Zaria, Kaduna State, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives targeted across Nigeria.

Established over five decades ago by the emir’s father, late Maga in garin Zazzau, Alhaji Nuhu Bamalli, Madrasatul Anwarul Islam is the alma mater of the current Emir of Zazzau and has produced several notable personalities in the country.

The bank also inaugurated a state-of-the-art Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) gallery to drive financial inclusion within the community.

Speaking at the official project commissioning event on June 18 Executive Director, North Directorate, Fidelity Bank Plc, Hassan Imam, said the bank’s decision to renovate the school was borne out of its commitment to make learning conducive for both students and teachers across the country.

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According to Imam, “Our CSR footprint extends beyond education, healthcare and youth empowerment initiatives across the country as we are driven by the belief that we can only succeed as an organization when the people and community where we do business succeed.

“That is why we have taken it upon ourselves to help upgrade the facilities here at Madrasatul Anwarul Islam. Our hope is that the teachers and students in the school will put the facility to good use.

“As part of our commitment to drive financial inclusion across the country and boost commerce in Zaria in particular, we have installed an ATM gallery at the emir’s palace.

“We hope this would make financial services easier and accessible to members of the Zaria community in line with our mission as a bank and thank the emir, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, for his support in executing this project as well”, he said.

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Applauding the bank for its gesture towards promoting education and commerce in Zaria, HRM Ambassador Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli encouraged members of the community to put the facilities to good use and protect them against vandalism.

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The monarch urged businesses and merchants to patronize the bank as a way of appreciating their efforts in developing the community.

Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 6.7 million customers serviced across its 250 business offices and digital banking channels.

The bank was recently recognized as the Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking & Finance Awards.

The bank has also won awards for the “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.

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Supreme Court Sets Aside Ban On Use Of Hijabs In Lagos Schools

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The Supreme Court has set aside, the restriction the Lagos state government placed on the use of hijab by female Muslim students in its public primary and secondary schools.

In a split decision of a seven-man panel of Justices, of five to two, the Apex court affirmed the earlier decision of the Lagos Division of Court of Appeal, which nullified a High Court judgement that banned female students from wearing Hijab with their school uniforms.

The court, in its lead majority verdict prepared by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun but read by Justice Tijani Abubakar, dismissed as lacking in merit, an appeal Lagos state government lodged against the Court of Appeal decision.

The Supreme Court said it found no reason to reinstate the October 17, 2014 judgement by Justice Grace Onyeabo of the High Court of Lagos State, which upheld the ban on Hijab.

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PHOTO STORY: Multi-billion naira assets traced to suspended Accountant-General Ahmed Idris

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An online news platform, Premium Times, has obtained images of some of the multi-billion naira assets allegedly owned by the suspended Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris.

The properties which are mostly in Kano, his home state in Nigeria’s northwestern region, are said to be worth billions of naira, significantly more than his monthly salary as a public officer.

Part of the assets is the Gezawa Commodity Market in Kano State.

Also, an Ultra-Modern Mall, located in Kano State, is said by sources at the EFCC to be worth more than N700 million.

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From the pictures obtained, the mall is built with bricks and sited on a large expanse of land.

However, while the major exterior works have been perfected, work is still ongoing inside with facilities like elevators and escalators being installed.

The accountant-general had in 2021 launched Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited which he had openly admitted to owning.

Assets traced to suspended Accountant-General Ahmed Idris
Assets traced to suspended Accountant-General Ahmed Idris

Mr Idris reportedly made the remarks when he met with a delegation of the Kano Concerned Citizens Initiative led by its then chairman, the late Bashir Tofa.

The enclosed market is made up of over 20 blocks of shops painted yellow and a spacious parking space.

The space is occupied by fleets of pick-up vans. Our reporter cannot independently ascertain if the new vehicles belong to the suspended official.

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EFCC investigations

Mr Idris is being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over allegations of corruption I involving over N80 billion in alleged looted public funds.

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The suspended AGF, although released after spending nights in the EFCC custody, is also facing allegations of criminal conspiracy.

Our sources said the EFCC has for some time now been investigating a case of diversion of at least N80 billion in public funds which were allegedly laundered through some bogus contracts.

The companies used in laundering the funds have allegedly been linked to family members and associates of the suspended accountant-general, investigators said.

The Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, suspended the accountant-general without pay on May 18, following his arrest and interrogation over corruption allegations.

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Assets traced to suspended Accountant-General Ahmed Idris
Assets traced to suspended Accountant-General Ahmed Idris

The minister said his suspension was to begin effectively on May 18, 2022.

“Following your recent arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on allegations of diversion of funds and money laundering, I write to convey your suspension from work without pay effective 18th May 2022,” the minister’s letter read in part

Others connected to the alleged diversion have also been arrested.

A former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, was also arrested over “N22bn SURE-P fraud” linked to the accountant-general.

Mr Yari is yet to be released from the EFCC’s custody as he is still being grilled on other corruption accusations related to Mr Idris.

Assets traced to suspended Accountant-General Ahmed Idris
Assets traced to suspended Accountant-General Ahmed Idris

PREMIUM TIMES reported last week how the former governor is also being investigated for allegedly conspiring with the suspended AGF to siphon an estimated N84billion in public funds.

Those familiar with the matter told this newspaper that the diverted funds were part of the 13 per cent derivation funds meant for payment to eight oil-producing states.

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Assets traced to suspended Accountant-General Ahmed Idris
Assets traced to suspended Accountant-General Ahmed Idris
Assets traced to suspended Accountant-General Ahmed Idris
Assets traced to suspended Accountant-General Ahmed Idris
Assets traced to suspended Accountant-General Ahmed Idris
Assets traced to suspended Accountant-General Ahmed Idris
Assets traced to suspended Accountant-General Ahmed Idris
Assets traced to suspended Accountant-General Ahmed Idris
Assets traced to suspended Accountant-General Ahmed Idris
Assets traced to suspended Accountant-General Ahmed Idris
Assets traced to suspended Accountant-General Ahmed Idris
assets traced to suspended Accountant-General Ahmed Idris
Assets traced to suspended Accountant-General Ahmed Idris
Assets traced to suspended Accountant-General Ahmed Idris
Assets traced to suspended Accountant-General Ahmed Idris
Assets traced to suspended Accountant-General Ahmed Idris
Assets traced to suspended Accountant-General Ahmed Idris

WATCH: Governor Yahaya Bello’s Roadmap to Hope 2023


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