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Fashola names alleged corrupt contractors

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The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN has forwarded to Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) documents from some of the Ministry’s agencies providing some level of details regarding the names of contractors that allegedly collected money for electricity projects but failed to execute any projects, and inviting SERAP to “inspect a compendium of verified and paid/outstanding liabilities of contractors, kept at the offices of the Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Limited/GTE.”

This development was disclosed today in a statement by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare. The Ministry’s letter with reference number FMP/LU/R2K/2016/T/40 and signed on Mr Fashola’s behalf by the Permanent Secretary (Power) Louis O.N. Edozien, was sent to SERAP last week. The letter reveals that: “Pow Technologies Limited, an Abuja based company, was in 2014 awarded a contract for the supply and installation of test and maintenance equipment relays, etc to various NAPTIN regional training centers (RTCs)
(LOT15), with the total contract sum of N87,763,302.40, out of which N79,404,892.66 was paid to Pow Technologies Limited.”

According to the Ministry’s letter, although the contract was awarded in 2014, only 13 of the 19 items have so far been supplied, with 6 items
outstanding. The details of the 6 items that Pow Technologies Limited has allegedly failed to supply are not provided by the Ministry but the
letter indicates some of the action the Ministry said it has taken to ensure: “completion of the project, address criminal breach of contract
and take remedial action.”

The Ministry said that while the contractors undertook to take remedial action, they have failed to complete the project for which funds have
been released. The Ministry pointed out that it submitted a petition to the Commissioner of Police, Abuja on 13th January 2016, and that the
police instituted a case for the prosecution of Messrs Pow at the Upper Area Court.

The Ministry also said it has sought and received legal advice to pursue a civil action at the FCT High Court while a report of criminal breach
of contract has been made to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

SERAP said: “We welcome Mr Fashola’s latest response and the information regarding Pow Technologies Limited. But we need details of names of other contractors that have collected public funds yet failed to execute power projects. We will continue to push the Ministry and its agencies to reveal more details of alleged corrupt contractors and companies, as contained in our FOI request. We will continue to pursue our FOI suit at the Federal High Court, Lagos, before Justice Chuka Austine Obiozor, a Professor of Law, who has granted an order for leave in the case.”

Mr Fashola’s latest letter to SERAP reads in part: “I write with respect to the Ministry’s letter regarding details of alleged corrupt
contractors and to forward the attached responses from some of the Ministry’s Agencies namely: National Bulk Electricity Trading Plc;
National Power Training Institute of Nigeria and Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Limited/GTE for your information.”

It would be recalled that Mr Fashola had earlier said in response to SERAP’s FOI request that: “the Ministry has searched for the requested
information on details of alleged contractors and companies that collected money for electricity projects and failed to executive any
projects, but we could not find it from our records.”

However, SERAP disagreed with the response, saying: “The public expectation is that government information, when in the hands of any
public institutions and agencies, should be available to the public, as prescribed by the FOI Act. The FOI Act should always be used as an
authority for disclosing information rather than withholding it.”

Mr Fashola in a follow-up letter dated 4th March, 2019, to SERAP’s reaction promised to: “refer the request for details of alleged
contractors and companies that collected money for electricity projects and failed to executive any projects to the Ministry’s agencies for
necessary action and appropriate response. There may be instances of part-payment against certification of commensurate value for materials and services in achieved contract milestone even though the entire contract is not 100% performed.”

Mr Fashola’s initial response followed SERAP’s FOI request and suit number FHC/L/CS/105/19 filed in February at the Federal High Court,
Lagos. The suit is seeking “an order of mandamus directing and/or compelling Mr Fashola to provide specific details on the names and
whereabouts of the contractors who collected public funds meant for electricity projects but disappeared with the money without executing
any projects.”

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BreakingNews: Kano court declares appointment of new emirs null and void

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A Kano State high court Wednesday declared the appointment and the installation of four new emirs by the Kano State government as null and void.

The emirs were installed by the Governor Umaru Ganduje at the weekend following the balkanisation of the century-old emirate by the Kano state government.

Ganduje has been accused of carrying out a personal vendetta against the Emir of Kano Muhammad Sanusi II in order to whittle down his influence in one of Nigeria’s oldest traditional institutions.

But the governor insisted the future of the state was taken into consideration before Kano Emirate was divided into five smaller units.

“For easier local administration as Kano state moves in a new direction to deliver community-based growth, we have decided to create 4 new Emirates for our great state,” Ganduje said on May 10.

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OUR INTEGRATED TRANSPORT SYSTEM FIRMLY ON TRACK- AMBODE

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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday commissioned the Bariga Waterfront Jetty, Five Transport Ferries and the Ilaje Road, saying that the development was a testament to the fact that the State’s integrated transport management system was firmly on track.

Governor Ambode, who spoke at the unveiling of the projects, said the development would greatly lessen pressure on road transportation, reduce travel time as well as enhance connectivity within the State.

“With these projects, our State is firmly on track with our goal of establishing an integrated transport management system. These facilities will continue to impact positively on the lives of Lagosians as we strive to address traffic gridlock, reduce travel time, improve road connectivity and abate flooding,” Governor Ambode said.

He said like other projects delivered by his administration, the projects were inspired to open up the Bariga community for more commercial activities and make residents feel the impact of government, recalling that his administration since inception set out on a mission to make every community economically viable and livable

“Ladies and Gentlemen, the thinking behind these projects is inclusion; an inclusion where every resident of our State has a say, feels the impact of government in their lives and is given the opportunity to realise their dreams

“When we assumed office four years ago, we set out on a mission to make every community economically livable. This has been the guiding principle behind spreading our different projects across the State,” he said.

Explaining how the jetty and Ilaje Road came about, Governor Ambode said the projects were basically in response to the security challenges of late 2015 as investigations then revealed that the cultists terrorizing the people and threatening peace of the State were getting funds from sand dredging activities in the area, adding that the projects were a clear example of urban regeneration inspired by creating solution to challenges.

The Governor said that the initial plan was to upgrade the roads in the community but that a proper assessment of the community revealed a greater need to improve the lives of the people and make Bariga a transport hub that would connect the community to other parts of the State through water transportation.

“The delivery of this road, the jetty and our new ferries signifies our commitment to the people of Lagos State to continuously provide the critical infrastructure that will improve their standard of living and also be an impetus to increase the socio-economic activities of this axis

“The provision of comfortable, safe and reliable ferry services for the residents of Bariga and environs will no doubt bring about an improvement in journey times that would lead to greater productivity,” he said.

The Governor explained that the new Ilaje Road would serve as a very good access road to the jetty as well as opening up the community, while the Bariga Jetty would serve as a terminal where residents in the area can access ferry services and easily get to other jetties at Ikorodu, Marina, Falomo and Badore in Ajah, among others.

He said the jetty has a 150-car parking lot that would provide an avenue for people to park their cars comfortably and get on a ferry taking them to other parts of the State, adding that residents of the area can also make use of the ample space for social events.

Besides, the Governor said that of the five new ferries, four are passenger ferries that can accommodate between 40 to 60 passengers, while the fifth ferry – a Car Barge has the capacity to take between 16 and 20 cars at a time on water.

He said the projects were also in line with his administration’s policy to develop an efficient integrated transport model to decongest roads in the State by getting more people to utilise water transportation as a viable alternative.

Earlier, Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr Ade Akinsanya said aside the jetty, road and ferries, the State Government was also constructing 12 other roads within Ilaje and Bariga, just as he urged the people to take ownership of the projects.

On his part, Baale of Ilaje, High Chief Kayode Ajetiwa, who spoke on behalf of the community, thanked Governor Ambode, saying the people of the area would forever appreciate and remember him for transforming their neighborhood and making life comfortable for them through the projects.

“The good people of Ilaje-Bariga Community and Bariga Local Council Development Area (LCDA) and Shomolu Local Government and all Lagosians will ever remember your Excellency (Governor Ambode) for the construction of this ultra-modern jetty at Ilaje-Bariga Community for the sole purpose of easing water transportation in Lagos.

“We salute your courage for providing the funds for this project within four years of your administration to which no other Governor has ever done. We are grateful that you have taken us to the next level,” Ajetiwa said.

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BREAKINGNNEWS: Tribunal Asked To Stop Buhari’s Inauguration

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A political party, Hope Democratic Party (HDP), has filed a motion seeking an order of the presidential election tribunal restraining President Muhammadu Buhari from presenting himself to be sworn-in on May 29th, 2019.

The party is also seeking an order restraining the Chief Justice of Nigeria from swearing-in, administering the oath of office and oath of allegiance to the president on May 29th, 2019.

In a motion on notice made available to journalists on Tuesday, Hope Democratic Party filed the motion on six grounds pursuant to section one subsection two of the 1999 constitution as amended and under the jurisdiction of the tribunal.

Some of the grounds of the application is that there is a pending petition challenging the election and return of President Buhari as the winner of the February 23 presidential election.

The Hope Democratic Party also said the petition has been served on President Buhari and pleadings have been exchanged.

The Hope Democratic Party claimed that inspite of the pendency of the legal action against President Buhari, he has been making frantic efforts and preparation for his inauguration on May 29, 2019, by the CJN.

The party further said that unless President Buhari restrains from presenting himself for inauguration he will foil ” a fiat accompli and state of hopelessness on the court and render their petition nugatory.

The Hope Democratic Party also averred that the law is settled that once a question of the validity of an election of any person is challenged that person is not competent to take oath of office or assume the seat of power.

The application was filed on May 9th, 2019 and it is been heard today, May 14, 2019.

The respondent including counsels to President Buhari, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said they have not been served with the motion.

However, the petitioner has announced the application.

Other petitions challenging Buhari’s victory are filed by other political parties. They include the major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

Source: Channels

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