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WHO to partner NDDC on health programmes in Niger Delta

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated its willingness to partner the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to execute a Health Insurance Project, as well as other health programmes that will benefit the people of the Niger Delta region.

This was affirmed by the NDDC Managing Director, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, during an interview with journalists at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt. He said that the Commission recently held a meeting with WHO officials, where it made a presentation on a Health Insurance Project for the Niger Delta region.

Ogbuku said, “The World Health Organisation is discussing with us on our health programmes. In fact, they have written to us, saying that they want more meetings to explore collaborations in the execution of our free healthcare programme. They want to add professionalism and credibility to what we are doing.

“The participation of WHO in our medical outreach programme will ensure that those vaccines that we don’t have access to, are procured through them for the benefit of our people.

“We are not only looking at what they will bring to us in terms of funding, we are looking at their contacts, reach and expertise in the medical field.”

The Managing Director said that NDDC was also discussing with the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, in the areas of youth development and rebuilding public trust to enhance service delivery in the Niger Delta region.

Speaking on collaborations with other organisations, Ogbuku noted that the NDDC had made significant gains since it embraced Public-Private Partnership, PPP, as a major policy thrust.

He remarked, “Partnership is one of the major ways to achieve sustainable development in the Niger Delta region and it is important that NDDC, as the driver of development in the region, stays at the forefront of building the right partnerships.”

The NDDC boss said that the PPP arrangement went beyond collaborations with International Oil Companies, IOCs, as it extends to other critical sectors such as health, education and youth development.

Ogbuku stated, “In some areas, we are seeking technical assistance, not necessarily money. I can assure you that the PPP programme is gaining momentum and it is also gaining the interest of a lot of people.

“We are currently looking for technical support in the area of training for our staff, because we need properly trained staff that will be able to lead most of our programmes and they need to be updated on a regular basis.

“Some of these collaborations, especially the ones from the private sector, need to be studied carefully, because we can’t afford to mortgage the interest of our people. We are not just working for ourselves; we are representing the people of the Niger Delta and we must ensure that the right decisions are made.”

Ogbuku said that there had been positive fall-outs from the partnership arrangements, citing the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, between the NDDC and the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas Limited, NLNG, to collaborate on diverse fronts in the delivery of sustainable development projects.

Reacting to concerns about the approach of the current NDDC Board to the policies introduced before their inauguration, Ogbuku said that the board members were happy with the initiatives and had keyed into them.

He said, “We have had opportunities to interact with members of the Board, especially the Chairman, and they were convinced of the need for the programmes. In some cases, they asked for details of the key programmes.

“In our last board meeting, our consultant on Holistic Opportunity Projects of Engagement, HOPE, made a presentation and the board members were impressed. They have also requested that we have a meeting with KPMG to also make a presentation on the progress in producing a Standard Operating Procedure, SOP, to cover all aspects of the Commission’s activities and transactions.”

Ogbuku expressed satisfaction with the synergy between the Board and Management, attributing it to the experience and knowledge of the Board Chairman, Mr. Chiedu Ebie.

“The Chairman has a rich administrative background in both public and private sectors,” he said.

He declared, “Certainly, we will achieve more together as Management and Board, because if there is one thing we must do, it is to work together to bring development to the people of the Niger Delta region.”

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Kano Court sacks Ganduje as APC Chairman

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The Kano State High Court has sacked Abdullahi Ganduje as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Court granted an ex parte order restraining the Ganduje from parading himself as a member of the party.

Subsequently, the court ordered that henceforth, Ganduje should desist from presiding over all affairs of the National Working Committee of the APC.

The application granted by Justice Usman Na’abba on Tuesday followed an ex parte motion filed by Dr. Ibrahim Sa’ad on behalf of two executive members of Ganduje’s ward, Dawakin-Tofa Local Government Area, the Assistant Secretary, Laminu Sani and Legal Adviser, Haladu Gwanjo (plaintiffs), who were part of the nine ward executives who suspended Ganduje on Monday.

The court directed the four parties (respondents) joined in the matter, including the APC, NWC, APC Kano State Working Committee, and Ganduje, to henceforth, maintain status quo ante belum as of April 15, 2024, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit on April 30, 2024.

Justice Na’abba, also held as prayed, stopped State Working Committee APC Kano from interfering with the legally and validly considered decision of executives of Ganduje ward, essentially on action endorsed by a two-thirds majority of the executives as provided by the party constitution.

The ex parte order read, “An order is hereby granted directing all parties in the suit APC (first), APC National Working Committee (second), Kano State Working Committee APC (third), Dr. Abdullah Umar Ganduje (fourth), to maintain status quo ante belum as of April 15, 2024.

“The order thereby restraining the first respondent (APC) from recognising the fourth respondent (Ganduje) as a member of APC and prohibiting the fourth respondent (Ganduje) from presiding over any affairs of the NWC and restraining the state Working Committee from interfering with the legally and validly decision of the ward executives of Ganduje ward.

“That the fourth respondent (Ganduje) is prohibited from parading himself as a member of APC or doing any act that may portray him or seem to be a member of APC pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”

Nine members of the Ganduje ward proclaimed the suspension of the National Chairman of the APC over the allegation of corruption slammed on him by the Kano State Government.

The nine APC executives said they were prompted to act following a petition written by one Ja’afaru Adamu, a member of the APC from the National Chairman’s polling unit.

In the petition, Adamu complained over allegations of corruption charges against the former governor just as he urged the ward leaders to investigate the matter to redeem the dented image of the party and the implication on President Bola Tinubu’s fight against corruption.

Although the chairman and secretary of the ward failed to act on the petition filed on April 8, 2024, nine members of the executives, led by the legal adviser, acted upon the petition, a decision that led to Ganduje’s suspension.

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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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