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ICPC boss cautions CEOs on decision taken in office

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 Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, the Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has cautioned Chief executive Officers (CEOs) of public agencies of the implication of negative decision taken while in office.
Owasanoye said this in Abuja on Thursday at the Executive Session of the chairman of ICPC with CEOs.
News reports that the training was organised by Anti-Corruption Academic (ACAN), the research and training arm of ICPC with the support of MacArthur Foundation.
According to him, the reality is that, there is personal responsibility for every decision, on every action taken while in office.
He said the good thing about the law was that, any bad decision taken today no matter how far it lasted, there would be a day that you must be call upon to face the law.
He further explained that, “the law and order says that, if You go contrary to the law, this is the consequence.
“You took a decision today and it wasn’t the best decision and you get out of that, some day, you will be called upon to answer it.”
The ICPC boss further stated that CEOs were highly exposed to all kinds of pressure which are associated with the ecosystem and the mandates of their appointment itself.
He added that, until you lead an agency, you would not understand the practical pressure of what leadership entails.
“I do not understand how people will build career in a particular field and are globally recognised as experts in their field and when they go to international conferences to present papers the world listens.
“And such people if they get appointed to head one small agency then they become something different.
“How can you ruin the career you built for over 30 to 40 years just
because you are given an appointment to head an agency for a period of 4 to 8year, ” he question.
He added that this does not only ruined everything such people built but also the family’s name, its reputation and sometimes implicated their health condition.
According to him, law and order is important because if people are not sanctioned for wrongdoing, there will be no reforms.
“The aims of criminal punishment is not just punishment, there is deterrence and there is reform as well. We have seen not just in Nigeria, but in many countries that the law and and order approach alone is not effective to diminish crime.
“Especially when you are dealing with corruption to stabilise the polity. So, there are prevention measures but more critical is the need for behaviour change.
“If people change their approach to issues, then of course, there will be a marked improvement in the outcomes, ” he added.
Owasanoye further stated that paper qualification was not the most critical requirement for leading an agency, adding that, that does not guarantee success.
“Indeed, if you want to be able to make a determination between people qualification and character, character should be first because with character every other thing falls into place.
“If you have papper qualification without character, the system will collapse.
He further explained that most times, reasons that brought some of these head of agencies, parastatals to ICPC to face trial were mostly avoidable.
He said the conversation with CEOs was important as it would avoid some of these challenges the country was facing.
“This interaction is designed to help us to resolve as part of our prevention mandate and we try to avoid agencies that are in the eye of the storm in our office for the moment so that somebody will not think that this interaction is an aspect of our investigation, it is not.
“You cannot say the peron who stole 50 kobo is less morally guilty than the one who took 1.2 million. Your defence cannot be that everybody is doing it. That is not a recognisable defence.
“It is  important for CEOs to take note of some of these few points that are used as discussion points and also to take a look at our National Ethics and Integrity Policy and familiarise yourself with anti-corruption laws broadly speaking in order to avoid truly avoidable default on errors.
“Leadership examples that shapes organisational behaviour are always helpful in devolving the ethical standards that the society so badly needs in order to stabilise and develop.
The Provost of  ACAN, Prof. Tunde Babawale, earlier in his address of welcome said the two-day training would help to mainstream social norms and behaviour change approaches into anti-corruption training and research.
According to him, the CEOs participating in this session should also leave with more heightened awareness of issues and principles that will strengthen their capacity to initiate and implement corruption prevention arrangements in their agencies.
He said ACAN being the think-tank of the ICPC, facilitated experience and knowledge sharing sessions with CEOs and senior executives in the public and private sectors.
“This present experience and knowledge sharing session is designed to support the CEOs of public agencies to understand how social norms are a double-edged sword that can either enhance or prevent corruption.
“The feedback from those who attended the previous sessions confirmed that they have learnt a lot from the interactions, and this will impact positively on the Management of their agencies subsequently.
“Our expectation is that the present session will be equally beneficial.
“At the end of this session, CEOs should enjoy the benefit of being better placed to prevent corruption in their organisations and to prevent themselves from stepping on avoidable banana peels.

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Ogun Assembly passes Assembly Commission Amendment bill

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The Ogun House of Assembly on Wednesday passed the State House of Assembly Service Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2024.

The passage of the bill followed  presentation of the Committee’s report by the Chairman, House Committee on Establishments and Public Service Matters, Mr Babatunde Tella at plenary in Abeokuta.

Tella moved the motion for its adoption, seconded by Mr Adeyanju Adegoke and supported by all the members.

The bill was later read and adopted clause by clause before the Committee of Whole.

The Majority Leader, Mr Yusuf Sheriff, moved the motion for the third reading of the bill, seconded by the Minority Leader, Mr Lukmon Adeleye and supported by the Whole House through a unanimous voice vote.

Consequently, the Deputy Clerk of the House, Mrs Funmilayo Adeyemi, took the third reading of the bill before the lawmakers.

The Speaker, Mr Oludaisi Elemide, directed that the clean copy of the bill be forwarded to Gov. Dapo Abiodun for his assent.

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Abuja court gives EFCC go-ahead to arrest ex-Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello

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A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, ordered that a warrant be issued to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for immediate arrest of former Governor of Kogi, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

Justice Emeka Nwite, in a ruling on EFCC’s ex-parte motion, held that after listening to the submission of commission’s counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, and reading the affidavit in support of the motion, including the exhibits and written address, he was inclined to grant the application.

It was earlier reported that a High Court sitting in Lokoja on Wednesday, restrained the EFCC from arresting, detaining and prosecuting Bello

Justice I.A Jamil, who gave the order in a two-hour judgment delivered in suit no HCL/68/M/2020, held that infringing on Bello’s “fundamental human rights is null and void.”

The judge, who dismissed the commission’s application challenging the jurisdiction of the court, said: “By this order, the EFCC is hereby restrained from arresting, detaining and prosecuting the applicant.

“This is a definite order following the earlier interim injunction given.”

However, in a ruling delivered by Justice Nwite on Wednesday, the judge ordered that a warrant be issued to the commission for Bello’s immediate arrest.

He also directed that the former governor be produced before the court on April 18 for arraignment.

“It is hereby ordered as follows:

“That an order of this honourable court is hereby made directing and/or issuing a warrant for the immediate arrest of the defendant for the purpose of bringing him before this honourable court for arraignment.

“That case is adjourned to 18th day of April, 2024 for arraignment,” he declared.

NAN reports that the EFCC, in the motion ex-parte marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/98/2024 dated April 16 and filed April 17, sought six orders.

These include “an order granting leave to the complainant/applicant to effect service of the charge together with the proof of evidence on the defendant by substituted means to wit; by pasting the charge at the last known address of the defendant within the jurisdiction of this honourable court being: 9, Benghazi Street, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja.

“An order directing and/or issuing an arrest warrant for the immediate arrest of the defendant for the purpose of bringing him before this honourable court for arraignment.”

In the alternative, the anti-graft agency sought an order issuing and directing the publishing of a public summons requiring/ commanding the defendant to appear before the court on a named date, among others.

The conflicting orders came after the EFCC had appealed against the initial order, and the appeal was scheduled for hearing on April 22 in Appeal No: CA/ABJ/CV/175/2024 between EFCC and Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

The Yahaya Bello Media Office had, in a statement signed by Onogwu Mohammed, alerted the nation to a siege on the former Governor’s Abuja residence.

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Zulum approves N1.3bn scholarship for 997 nursing, midwifery students

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Gov. Babagana Zulum, of Borno has approved the release of N1.3billion as scholarship for 997 nursing and midwifery students from the state.

Zulum stated this on Wednesday while inaugurating the scholarship programme at the College of Nursing and Midwifery, Maiduguri.

He said that out of the 1,080 nominations, 40 from each of the 27 local government areas of the state, 997 qualified to benefit from the scholarship.

He also announced that the 997 beneficiaries of the scholarship would receive automatic employment after graduation.

The governor said that the support was to encourage the students to complete their studies so as to bridge the workforce demand in the state’s healthcare system.

“The government has allocated  N1,305,189,000 for scholarship, with a breakdown of N124,149,000 earmarked for tuition fees, the remaining N1,181,040,000 will be disbursed as monthly stipend of N30,000 to each beneficiary throughout their studies,” Zulum said.

He added that N201 million bursary allowance would be given to 2,010 nursing and midwifery students who did not benefited from the scholarship, and directed that each of them should receive N100,000.

Zulum, who stated that ongoing construction of two colleges of nursing would be completed this year, inaugurated a lecture theatre complex and a 3,000-capacity multipurpose hall at the college.

Earlier, Lawan Wakilbe, the Commissioner for Education, said that the government had approved over N6 billion scholarship, out of which about N2.7 billion was disbursed to students from the state studying in higher institutions across the country.

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