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Nigerian Leaders Like Men In ‘Drunken Stupor’ – Kukah

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The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah, on Sunday, said for over 60 years, Nigerian leaders have looked like men in a drunken stupor who stumble and fumble while searching for the way home.

Kukah, in his Easter message made available to newsmen, called on the Federal Government to come up with a robust template for how it wishes to reverse and put the country on a path of national healing.

He said, “Our leaders chose the feast rather than the fast. We are today reaping what we sowed yesterday. For over 60 years, our leaders have looked like men in a drunken stupor, staggering, stumbling and fumbling, slurring in speech, with blurred visions searching for the way home.

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“The corruption of the years of a life of immoral and sordid debauchery has spread like cancer destroying all our vital organs. The result is a state of a hangover that has left our nation comatose.

“Notwithstanding, Easter is a time to further reflect on the road not taken. It is a time to see if this Golgotha of pain can lead us to the new dawn of the resurrection. Nigeria can and Nigeria will be great again. Let us ride this tide together in hope.”

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As part of measures to curb the current economic woes and curtail hunger among the citizens, the bishop urged the government to come up with some urgent steps to put the nation on the path of healing.

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These, he said, must include a deliberate policy of inclusion that will drastically end the immoral culture of nepotism.

He said, “The government must design a more comprehensive and wide-ranging method of recruitment that is transparent as a means of generating patriotism and reversing the ugly face of feudalism and prebendalism

“There is a need for a clear communications strategy that will serve to inspire and create timelines of expectations of results from policies.

“There is a need for clarity over questions of the who, what, when, and how national set goals are to be attained and who can be held accountable.”

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The bishop added, “Second, the notion of rejigging the security architecture is a hackneyed cliché that is now at best, an oxymoron. It is difficult to fathom our current situation regarding the ubiquity of the military in our national life.

“It is impossible to explain how we can say we are in a civilian democracy with the military literally looking like an Army of occupation with an octopussean spread across all 36 states and Abuja.

“This has very serious consequences both for its professionalism, its integrity and perceived role in protecting society. No other person than the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, who recently referred to the military as facing the dilemma of what he called ‘see finish.’ It is now difficult to say whether the persistence of insecurity is a cause or a consequence of military ubiquity.

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” Trillions of naira continue to go into bottomless pits with little measurable benefits. Our military’s professionalism cannot be diluted by the recruitment of hunters, vigilante groups, and other unprofessional and untrained groups.”

Kukah noted that “this is not sustainable because it leaves the military open to ridicule and perceptions of surrender. Fighting insecurity is now an enterprise. I believe our security men and women can defeat these criminals in a matter of months. All we hear and see are fingers pointing to the top. No, this must end.”

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The bishop expressed delight that President Bola Tinubu recently announced that kidnapping and banditry are now to be treated as acts of terrorism.

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If so, we need to see a relentless and implacable plan to end this menace with a definite deadline for bringing these terrorists to their knees, no matter what it will take,” he said.

Kukah encouraged the President to continue on the path of probity, to take further steps to cut down the overbearing costs of governance and to put in place more comprehensive plans towards achieving both food and physical security across the country.

He said merely distributing money through already corruption-riddled structures is not enough and diminishes the dignity of citizens.

The cleric argued that no one needs to line up to receive aid when the nation is not in a war.

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“Give our people back their farms and develop a comprehensive agricultural plan to put our country back on the path of honour and human dignity,” he said.

 

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Edo Man Petitions EFCC Over Fraudulent Withdrawal Of ₦4 Million In His Access Bank Account

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has received a formal petition from Osehobo Onojie Bernard, a resident of Ebo Quarters, Benin City, alleging fraudulent activities involving his bank account No. 1838861087 with Access Bank.

In the petition dated June 24, 2024, Osehobo highlighted the careless handling and fraudulent transactions associated with his account by the bank authorities.

He told the Commission that an unauthorized withdrawal of ₦4,201,000 (four million two hundred and one thousand naira) was made from his account on May 16, 17, and 18, 2024, facilitated by officials of Access Bank.

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He explained that he opened the account in question in November 2023 when two identified Access Bank staff from their 39 Akpakpava Road, Benin City branch approached him to set up a High Interest Deposit Account (HIDA) with funds from his existing Access Bank account No. 0040251257, which he held at the Airport Road Benin City branch.

He said that subsequently, he was assigned a new HIDA account number, 1838861087.

Osehobo added that the Access Bank personnel opened the HIDA account number 1838861087 using the existing information from his other bank account, No. 0040251257, which he operated manually without an ATM card or mobile banking.

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READ ALSO: Lagos Taskforce Uuncovers 2 Illegal Petroleum Storage Facilities

He specified that withdrawals could only be made with a teller by verifying his signature, BVN, and NIN before approving transactions, especially for large sums.

In his detailed narrative, Osehobo recounted that by November 2023, the account had accumulated a significant balance, driven by interest yields.

However, discrepancies emerged in May 2024 when he did not receive a routine birthday wish from the bank. Instead, he received a message that included an OTP (One-Time Password), which raised his suspicions.

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Osehobo argued that, “My subsequent investigations revealed that the OTP was part of a scheme allegedly orchestrated by the bank officials to access my funds fraudulently.”

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He said that the unauthorized withdrawal occurred over multiple transactions on May 16, 17, and 18, 2024, without his knowledge or consent, facilitated by the misuse of the OTP system.

He expressed his conviction that Access Bank officials were complicit in the fraudulent withdrawals, leveraging internal banking processes to circumvent security protocols.

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He conveyed his frustration and the significant impact of the lost funds, which he described as a considerable portion of his financial assets.

Osehobo called on the EFCC to investigate the matter thoroughly, hold the responsible parties accountable, and recover the misappropriated funds

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Lagos Taskforce Uuncovers 2 Illegal Petroleum Storage Facilities

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The Lagos State Taskforce has uncovered two illegal petroleum storage facilities where over 2,000 litres of diesel were recovered during multiple sting operations of blackspots in Ikoyi and environs.

Also, a total of 114 suspects were arrested and five were released unconditionally after properly identifying themselves.

The operation was led by the State Taskforce Chairman, Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP, Adetayo Akerele, in a late night operation on Tuesday night.

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Akele explained that the operation was based on the feedback mantra of “see something, say something” put in place by the agency and the directive and support of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Adegoke Fayoade, major blackspots at Mosley Street, Glover Road and Lateef Jakande Avenue in Ikoyi were raided by the agency after concerned residents highlighted the clustering numbers of unidentifiable individuals at those selected locations and the conversions of residential areas to safe havens for suspected criminals and miscreants.

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He said, “After having carefully analyzing the complaints received, a discreet investigation was carried out in the vicinity which confirmed the intelligence to be credible, and resulting in a late night raid.

“We have come out here to address issues of environmental and safety concerns in Ikoyi where residents have complained about the increasing numbers of miscreants who have converted these inner streets to restaurants, drinking spots, gambling spots, and boutiques to mention but a few.

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“It is an eyesore what we encountered here during our investigations and we will ensure that we restore sanity to these streets immediately.”

The Chairman further disclosed that an illegal petroleum storage facility was discovered during the operation where over 2000 litres of diesel was discovered in an unsafe location, posing a risk to both occupants of the uncompleted building and neighbours on the same street.

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He stated that the occupants of the building risked safety concerns regarding storage of petroleum products which if not properly managed could result in a fire disaster.

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“We have discovered over 2000 liters of diesel stylishly hidden in this abandoned building in an unsafe manner which could lead to a fire disaster.

“Diesel is highly flammable and also combustible if not properly stored. Therefore this miscreants are not just risking their lives through their ignorant actions but also the lives of their neighbors and passerby in the event of an explosion.”

Akerele also warned street traders who are still in the practice defacing the environment and disposing their waste into the gutters and drainage channels in any part of the state to move their trade to approved markets or risk being arrested.

He also warned miscreants who lay about and convert streets to religious grounds, social event centers and sports ground to desist forthwith or be prosecuted.

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Akerele stated that such selfish actions hinder on the right of residents to live in peace and serenity as prescribed in the THEMES PLUS agenda of the State Government.

“I urge every well meaning Lagosian to notify us of any environmental infraction by any individual or groups of individuals in any part of the Metropolis to prevent an environmental mishap.

“Its our duty and responsibility to ensure that such infractions are nipped in the bud to maintain sanity and habitability across board.

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“A total of 114 suspects were arrested and five were released unconditionally after properly identifying themselves and stating their business.

“The remaining suspects will be charged to court and all items confiscated will be forfeited to the state government through the court,” Akele affirmed.

 

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Abia Commissioner For Health Resigns

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The suspended Abia state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ngozi Okoronkwo, has tendered her resignation from office, to Governor Alex Otti.

Otti, had on June 11, 2024, suspended the Commissioner for Health over alleged financial misconduct. The Governor also set up a committee to probe the allegations against her.

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Ukoha Njoku, in a statement, disclosed that the Governor had accepted the resignation and thanked Okoronkwo for her services and modest achievement in repositioning the health sector of the state.

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“The suspended Abia state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ngozi Okoronkwo has tendered her resignation letter to the Executive Governor of Abia State, His Excellency, Dr. Alex Chioma Otti, OFR.

“The Governor while accepting her resignation, thanked Dr. Okoronkwo for her services to our dear State and her modest achievements in repositioning the Health Sector for better service delivery in the last one year. He wished her well in her future endeavours.

“The Governor reiterated his commitment to the transformation of Abia State and reminded Abians that they gave him the mandate to assemble his team, and this includes hiring, suspending or sacking his appointees or rejigging and reshuffling his cabinet whenever the need arises for the sole purpose of delivering all his promises to the people,” the statement read.

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