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Property: Judge withdraws from developer’s trial amid pressure



Justice Mohammed Idris of the FCT High Court has withdrawn from the alleged fraud brought against a property developer, Cecil Osakwe, citing external pressure.

Justice Idris, on Monday, remitted the case file, which was brought by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, to the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court for advice.

The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), had filed the two-count charges against Osakwe following a petition by Asabe Waziri claiming that his company, Abeh Signature Apartments collected the sum of N130 million without delivering possession to her.

But in a letter to the Malami by counsel to Osakwe, Victor Giwa, the company advised him not to allow his ‘highly regarded’ office to be used to defame his client who is an honest businessman.

Giwa explained that the repossession of the two units of the 2-bedroom apartment at Mekong Close, Maitama, Abuja, priced at N130 million each, totalling N260 million, for which the staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was granted possession after a part payment of N140 million, was due to her “violation of the covenants of the apartment.”

He said, “Based on various breaches and her mode of payment, our client approached Asabe Waziri to terminate the transaction and offered to refund her money, an offer Asabe bluntly refused, prompting our client to approach the FCT High Court.”

A copy of the enrolled order of the FCT High Court presided by Justice Musa Othman showed that the court had on February 17, 2022, upheld Osakwe’s application terminating the contract, refunding and repossessing the apartments in suit no: FCT/BW/CV/2435/2021 that the mode of payments employed for the purchase violated the money laundering laws.

“That in view of the termination of the contract for the purchase of the two flats of Abeh Court by the claimant, the defendant (Waziri) can no longer claim or exercise ownership over the said two flats,” the judge ruled.

“Consequently, the court orders the claimant (Abeh Signatures) to immediately refund the entire monies paid to it by the defendant (Waziri), (including the legal and agency fees) and further orders the defendant to immediately hand over possession of the two flats, being flats 3C and 38 of Abeh Court to the claimant,” he added.

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Unacessed UBEC 60bn funds: SAN to drag FG, State govt to court



By Omolola Dede Adeyanju

Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana has disclosed that there will be a court hearing at the federal high court in respect to the 60 billion naira lying fallow with the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC as the state governments have refused to access it to ensure out of school children are taken off the streets and enrolled in school.

Falana revealed this at the IA Foundation charity ball and fundraising annual event, themed: ‘Panacea to a Menace’ which was held on Saturday. He reiterated ‘In September last year, UNICEF disclosed to our utter embarrassment as a nation that Nigeria has not less than 20.2million out of school children, it is a sad development, having regards to our enormous resources. The task before all of us is to intensify efforts to remove the children from the streets and have them enrolled in school.

‘We will be going to court as regards the disclosure that 60billion naira is lying fallow in the hands of the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC because state governments have refused to access the money to educate the children of the poor, hence we are going to the federal high court to compel the state governments and federal government to ensure that out of school children are taken off the streets and enrolled. This is the beauty of this program as the IA foundation is alerting and challenging all of us to take education for the children very seriously, especially for the elite, if we fail to do that, children of the poor are going to harass them, it’s already happening, talk of area boys syndrome, terrorists and other criminals.’ he submitted.

However, the founder IA Foundation, Ibironke Adeagbo, FCA FCCA in her speech examined the relevance of the foundation’s drive to taking children out of the streets. She said, ‘I commend the IA foundation for the tenacity and drive over the last 5 years to shine a light and push for correction on this deep darkness that plagues our land.’ she revealed that Pakistan Indian and Nigeria are the three Nations on comparative basis with the most out of school children in the last 5 years. The United Nations agencies put the record of out of school children for the 6 to 18 years age brackets in India at a little above 52 million while Nigeria and Pakistan are closer to the 20 million Mark.

Adeagbo added, ‘The situation is escalating to a dangerous position, we need to begin remedial actions, we need to plan and design solutions based on collaboration, we need to create strategies, have accurate data, pp CEO Nigerians in the Diaspora commission (NIDCOM), Dr. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, highlighted the achievements of the Federal government in relation to ensuring education of children. She said, ‘The Federal government recently established the national commission for Almajiri out of school children to address this issue; development partners and some non-government organizations also strive to reverse the trend which could further worsen the socio- economic problems of the country. This is why the initiative of IA Foundation is highly commendable and should be supported as a means of complementing government efforts aimed at addressing these problems and ensuring that out of school children have access to quality education’

One of the Bursary beneficiaries, Faridah Yusuf, in appreciation to the foundation for sending her back to school, paying her school fees and providing learning materials. She said, ‘When I came back to school I could not read nor express myself. I have stayed at home for too long but now I have improved and I am making progress in my school work.’ She acknowledged.

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National mortgage policy will solve housing deficit — El-Rufai



Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, says that Nigeria  requires a favourable mortgage policy to solve its housing deficit.

El-Rufai made this known on Saturday shortly after the inauguration of the Gombe Geographic Information Systems Service Centre, and performing the groundbreaking of 550 Shongo Homes and Gardens under the Family Homes Fund in Gombe State.

According to the Kaduna State Governor, the housing deficit stands at about 18 million, stressing that it was not sustainable to sell houses between N10million and N50million.

He disclosed that the mortgage system would enable buyers to pay in 25 years’ time, stressing that the incoming administration under President-elect Bola Tinubu would ensure single-digit interest between 15- 20 years.

He said, “The steps taken by Gombe are the right steps, which is partnering with the private sector and other investors to build houses. But the problem of the housing deficit will never be addressed until we have a national mortgage system. People cannot buy houses by paying N10million-N50million at a go.

“No one does that at a go. We need to design a system that enables people to buy houses and pay in 25 years at interest low rates. That means we need a national mortgage system.

“The administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has already promised that they will come up with a national mortgage system single digit interest, 15 to 20 years repayment and we are looking for to it. It is not impossible to do. I did it in the FCT when we sold 32,000 Federal Government houses but it only worked in the FCT. It was not scaled up nationally.  I think the time has come to scale it up nationally. Once, you do that builders know as soon as they build the house it will be sold tomorrow is how to reduce the housing deficit which stands at about 18 million houses.”

Speaking further, El-Rufai expressed optimism that states would be given the needed opportunity to operate, adding that states should devise means to survive without Federal Account Allocation Committee.

“Our hope is that the incoming administration under President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu will support the states, even more, to take their states into their own hands.

“For us as states defending on Federation Account Allocation is not the way to go. We must find a way to be independent from the FAAC and the only way to do so is to explore sources of revenue generation in our states. And we can only do so if we have invested in the right infrastructure, attract the right investment and ensure that our land administration and tax administration are perfect, which is a sine qua non.

“The Federal Government can assist provide land and we are lucky that a former Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, will be the President and knows what we are concerned about to give states more authority, and revenue because that is how Nigeria will progress,” he said.

On his part, the Director-General of GOGIS, Kabiru Hassan, said the organisation had moved from the implementation of the project and the transition from a manual to a digital system.

He said, “Some of our notable achievements are securing digital Certificates of Occupancy, digitising over 22,000 manual land files out of the 27,000 we have in our records.

“Moreover, to enable the agency checkmate layout distortions, we digitised 52 layouts, regularised about 12,000 customary titles to statutory titles and captured over 1,500 customary plots into our database through an electronically driven process in an effort to tackle cases of missing files, double allocation, and creation of infilled plots.”

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HYPPADEC Chairman promises completion of 1.2km canal in Makurdi



The Chairman, Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC), Mr Terfa Ityav says the commission will complete the ongoing 1.2km canal project in Makurdi.

Ityav made the assertion on Monday in Makurdi shortly after an inspection tour of HYPPADEC projects in Makurdi, Tarka and Buruku Local Government Areas of Benue.

He said that the commission is committed towards completing the project to tackle flooding in the city.

“Work is ongoing, we shall ensure that the project is completed before the rains begin to fall heavily,” he said.

The Chairman stated that the Comission chose to construct only one canal in each of its intervention states because of the cost implications.

He urged the public to protect HYPPADEC projects in their domains to avoid vandalism and theft.

Also speaking,  the Chairman, Project Monitoring Team, Prof. Saleh Kanam, said that the essence of the canal is to tackle ecological challenges in the state.

“As a team, our task is to monitor the implementation process and ensure adherence to schedule and specification.

“We also liaise with community people to ensure smooth operations and protection of facilities,” he said.

The District Head, Ikyoyia, Chief Joshua Gwa, pledged the community’s committment to maintain and protect all HYPPADEC projects in the area.

He urged the Commission to sustain its efforts towards improved quality of life for the people.

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