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Kwara Govt only recovered what belongs to it — Property Committee

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Controversy over the reclamation of the land bordering the civil service clinic was needless because the Kwara State Government has only recovered a property that originally belonged to it but was unlawfully diverted for private use, a committee that probed the sales of some Kwara properties said on Sunday.

Senator Suleiman Ajadi, chairman of the Committee on the Review of Kwara State Government Properties from 1999 to 2019, told a news briefing in Ilorin that many of the publications on the land were either erroneous or mischievous as there are no proofs anywhere that the land ever belongs to Asa Investment Limited.

“The issue of the land in question came under the terms of reference of this committee which considered several other properties of government and submitted its recommendations in July 2019,” Ajadi said.

“As was the case with all the properties looked into by the committee, the committee’s recommendations were based on strictly available records from the archives of government. And based on the available records, the Committee did not see proof of any payments nor an approved Right of Occupancy even though there was a letter of allocation in principle.

“In reaching its conclusions, the Committee noted foundation work with erected columns at varying areas of the larger segment of the land. The Committee also noted that the land in question was also a part of a larger parcel of land, part of which has been developed into the Civil Service Clinic and Secretariat complex now housing the State Ministry of Finance, among others.

“Finally, based on the existing convention that land acquired by Government in overriding public interest cannot be converted to private use, unless under extraneous circumstances which requires the express approval of the Governor of the State, the Committee did not see a case made for this land and neither was there any approval from the Governor of the state to convert it to private use. In view of the above reasons, therefore, the committee was compelled to recommend that the land be repossessed and put to the original use it was meant for.”

Flanked by some members of the committee, Ajadi also described as false the claims that the government demolished a belonging to the late politician Senator Olusola Saraki, wondering how a place bordering a hospital could be used for political meetings where noise and commotion were rife.

He added: “let me draw the attention of Nigerians to the use of “ile arugbo” to describe the land in question. Usage of that phrase leads to many people erroneously thinking of a structured building where old people were catered for. This is not so. What was on the ground up until the physical reclamation by the government was a garage-like structure (a shed) used by the older Saraki to keep people waiting to see him or to hold political meetings.

“In addition, it is important to discuss the issue of ownership which should be central to the whole debate. With emphasis, from all records available, there is no “Right of Occupancy” or “Certificate of Occupancy” available to the private firm to which the land was allocated in principle. There also no receipt of payments for the land. Where, therefore, is the right to a claim to this land?

“Another issue of note is the absurdity of putting a political gathering place beside a (medical) clinic. An hospital is supposed to be a serene environment for medical welfare of patients; it is definitely not a political war centre where people make the loudest noise, fight, or find themselves enmeshed in commotion and fatal stampede etc which was the lot of that place.

“I, therefore, on behalf of all of my committee members, some of whom are present here today, believe it was necessary and prudent to make this public clarification on an issue that has generated needless controversy.”

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Edo 2020: ADP Accuses Ize-Iyamu’s Running Mate Of Certificate Forgery

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The running mate of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September 19 governorship election in Edo State, Gani Audu, is embroiled in a certificate forgery case.

Documents submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) show discrepancies in his academic qualifications and other means of identification, Vanguard reports.

The discrepancies appear in several documents and show a trail similar to the inconsistencies found in the academic credentials of the sacked deputy governor of Bayelsa State, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, which caused the APC to lose the state after the Supreme Court ruled that his certificates were defective thereby nullifying the party’s ticket in that state’s recent governorship election.

To compound Audu’s woes, the Action Democratic Party (ADP) has instituted a court case at the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking the court to disqualify the candidate of the APC as result of the defective certificates of his running mate.

The ADP is asking the court to rule that certificates submitted by Audu are forged and that he was not fit to stand for the September 19 governorship election in Edo.

In the documents, while Gani Audu swore to an affidavit submitted to INEC with his name as Audu Abudu Ganiyu, his other documents bear different names.

A legal expert, Mr Blessed Omonuwa, who assessed the documents, said, “While his name on the affidavit is Audu Abudu Ganiyu, in his voter’s card, his name is Audu Abdul Ganiyu. Likewise, in his APC membership card, his name appears as Gani Audu. The WASSCE/GCE certificate he submitted bears Audu Ahudu Ganeyu.”

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FRESH: ‘We Must Be Kind To The Dead’ —Tinubu Mourns Kashamu

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Bola Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says the demise of Buruji Kashamu has demonstrated that death is inevitable for every mortal.

Kashamu, a former senator from Ogun state, died of COVID-19 complications at a Lagos hospital on Saturday.

In a statement on Sunday, Tinubu said he was shocked and saddened by the passing of Kashamu whom he described as “a notable leader in the country and a true grassroots politician”.

He said the deceased worked actively to advance the political and economic fortunes of Ogun state, adding that he admired Kashamu’s doggedness even though they were never in the same political party.

Tinubu said Kashamu’s death has increased the “grotesque list” of important personalities that have lost their lives to COVID-19.

“He fought for his convictions, for the people of Ogun State and for his country,” Tinubu said.

“Senator Kashamu was also a good party man. He was unwavering in his support for his party, PDP, through all the twists and turns of his political life. His passing is a big loss to the larger political family in Nigeria.

“He worked assiduously to advance the political and economic fortunes of his state. Kashamu represented, with merit, Ogun East in the 8th National Assembly and worked well for his constituents. He was a kind and generous man, a philanthropist in his own right and an astute businessman.

“I admire his political doggedness and sagacity, and his steadfastness in pursuing whatever he believes in, though we were never in the same political party.

“Again, Kashamu’s sudden death has demonstrated the transience of human life and rekindles the fact that death is inevitable for every mortal. As such, it behooves on us to be kind to the dead.”

Tinubu asked Nigerians to continue to take protective measures as the economy reopens and as they return to “a new normal in our lifestyles”.

“I mourn with his family, particularly his wives, children and grandchildren. May Almighty Allah lay His hands of protection on them at this moment,” Tinubu said.

He also offered his condolences to Dapo Abiodun, governor of Ogun, and the people of the state.

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Edo 2020: Edo Lawmaker Says Obaseki Is A Failure, Declares Support For Ize-Iyamu

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The lawmaker representing Akoko-Edo II constituency, Hon Emmanuel Agbaje, has pledged his support for the election of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the September 19th governorship election citing his inability to meet his political obligations to his constituents under the present administration of Governor Godwin Obaseki.

He is the second lawmaker out of the ten that have been sitting since the controversial inauguration of the house in July last year to publicly declare their support for Ize-Iyamu.

Addressing his supporters in Igarra over the weekend, Agbaje said the current system as being operated is strangulating them as lawmakers.

He said: “The only time I can remember that I was a true house of assembly member was the first one year and five months and that was when Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was governor.

“In that one year and five months Adams Oshiomhole approved our constituency projects: I cited one in Ward One, I cited a second one in ward 8 Enwan Mixed Grammar school, I cited one in Ososo Secondary school, they are all there uncompleted.

“Oshiomhole mobilised the contractors with 50 per cent of the value of the contracts and that is where the job has stopped till today.

“Since then, for the past four years we have been begging for those jobs to be completed even when we have not got new ones, is that fair?

“Today, I am pained because I have wasted years in the house of assembly without being able to deliver on my campaign promises to my constituents, without being able to meet the slightest of the projections we promised our people because we have a system that doesn’t care about anybody.

“Here we have an opportunity and this opportunity is very simple, it is either we want to continue like this but me I don’t want to end my eight years like this.

“The opportunity is that we get a change, a new system that will now bring out better governance that will benefit all of us so the choice is for our people and I know that we are not foolish.

“They say they did roads in Akoko-Edo, the World Bank did roads for us. We are happy even though the standard of those roads are nothing to write home about because they are almost all being washed away.

“I want to appeal to all of us, I will not stick my neck into projecting this same system that has tied everybody’s hand.”

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