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Benue PDP to gov: Account for the N44b grants

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From Attah Ede Makurdi

The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State, on Monday, asked Governor Hyacinth Alia to give account of how he expended the N44 billion special intervention grants he received from the federal government between August 2023 to this year, 2024.

The party stated this following a startling revelation from the All Progressives Congress, APC in the State at a press briefing on Sunday night in Makurdi, that the governor received such amounts and has not done anything with it to see in the State.
The APC had during the meeting passed a vote of confidence on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu while revealing that Governor Alia has received from the federal government variously the sums of N5 Billion as post-subsidy removal fund, N9 Billion as Infrastructure Fund, and N30 Billion Sub-national Intervention Fund, collectively amounting to N44 Billion without making use of it.
The PDP State Publicity Secretary Chief Bemgba Iortyom, in a press statement issued and made available to newsmen in Makurdi, observed that the said interventions of N44 billion are outside the monthly federal allocations which have also increased by about 70% since the removal of fuel subsidy in May last year. “We as a party finds this revelation as shocking as there has been no disclosure from the governor of receipt of such funds, with the exception of the post subsidy removal (palliatives) fund which, after much pressure from the PDP, the APC had accepted having received in part N2 billion, and thereafter had kept sealed lips over the outstanding N3 billion”.”If there was a N9 billion infrastructure fund and a N30 billion Sub-national intervention fund, the people of Benue State are only getting to know about it from the APC statement, and this by all standards of transparency and accountability is unacceptable.”PDP is saddened that this non disclosure of N44 billion federal intervention grants by Governor Alia reinforces his policy of concealment and disregard for due process and the rule of law which underpin a style of governance that is in character a sole administratorship.”We recall that on several occasions, our great party had urged the governor to give account of contracts awarded for projects without recourse to due process and extant financial guidelines and regulations, or disclosure of costs for such projects.”It is our position that Governor Alia should come clean and disclose how he has expended the N44 billion special grants, as to do otherwise will be to thicken further the cloud of suspicions hovering over his administration, particularly against the backdrop of the N20 billion scandal rocking the Bureau of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs right under his watch”, the statement read in part”.

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Abductors of former Gov Ortom’s CoS, wife, cook, contact family demand N100 million

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From Attah Ede Makurdi

The suspected armed Fulani herdsmen who reportedly attacked chief of staff (CoS) to former Benue State governor Samuel Ortom, Mr. Terwase Orbunde and abducted his wife and house maid, have contacted the victims’ family and demanded for the sum of N100 million as ransom for their release.

Orbunde served the immediate past Governor of the state, Chief Samuel Ortom as chief of staff between 2015 to 2022 and contested for governorship of the State under the platform of APC in the 2023 general elections.
The former governorship aspirants who is being treated for gunshot injuries in undisclosed hospital in Makurdi, said that the men contacted him this morning (Saturday) at about 8:30am through their victims.
The former Chief of Staff said his wife and cook were very calm when they spoke with him.He revealed that during the attack which took place at about 6pm yesterday, the gunmen spoke Fulani among themselves and communicated with him in Hausa saying they would contact him on phone.He maintained that his wife and the house help told him to be prepared to send the money to them and that if he failed to do that they would kill his wife and cook.Daily Asset had earlier reported that the former chief of staff was attacked yesterday (Friday), April 12, 2024, close to the Genocide Cemetery along Mobile Barracks-Welfare Quarters Road in Makurdi, the state capital at about six pm.Orbunde reportedly escaped with a gunshot on his right arm while the attackers whisked away Mrs Abigail Kashimana Orbunde, and her house help, Patience Ogute.It was said that Orbunde, his wife and the house help had gone to inspect the weeding of their farm located close to the road.They said after the inspection of the work and payment of the workers five gunmen suddenly attacked their victims as they walked back to their car.It was reported that they opened fire and Honorable Orbunde received a bullet on the right arm while they ordered him and the women to follow them to an unknown destination.The shooting was said to have caused villagers and passersby to scamper for safety in different directions.”As they marched along, the former Chief of Staff was said to be bleeding profusely and unable to walk quickly.”The leader of the group ordered him to walk away while the gunmen took the women to an unknown destination while good Samaritans conveyed Mr Orbunde to hospital”, an eye witness watched from afar narrated.

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Kukah Advises Nigerians to use Power, Authority to Impact Humanity

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Bishop Mathew Kukah, Archbishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, has advised Nigerians to use positions of power and authority to impact, and add value, to humanity.

Kukah gave the advice on Friday in Abuja at the 2nd Annual Impact and Legacy Lecture of Late Innocent Chukwuma, Founder of Cleen Foundation.

The foundation is known for promoting public safety, security and accessible justice through the strategies of empirical research, legislative advocacy and publications.

Kukah who spoke on: “Power of One: Dreams and Nightmares”, said that it was important to strive to change negative narratives, live impactful lives and leave lasting positive legacies.

“I begin this lecture by telling you about people like Pope John Paul, Malala Yousafzai, Martin Luther King and a host of others who have used powers positively.

“I used this to illustrate the choices that people have made in life and how they have used powers in their hands, either for good or bad.

“The late Innocent took up a passionate commitment and we must continue to push the frontiers that brought greatness to Nigeria,” he said.

The Bishop said that memorials are only for those who make impacts.

He urged everyone with ideas on curbing crimes and enhancing policing to strive to make impact irrespective of age and location for the betterment of the country.

Contributing, Mr Solomon Arase, Chairman, Police Service Commission (PSC), said the whole idea of community and intelligence policing could be attributed to the efforts of late Chukwuma.

According to him, it was through Chukwuma’s efforts that the trends and patterns of crime and its terminology were introduced into Nigeria’s policing vocabulary.

“Intelligence policing in Nigeria can be attributed to late Innocent Chukwuma because most people may not know about this and how this whole thing came about.

“The efforts of this man brought people from the metropolitan police and conveyed about 500 police officers from Nigeria to study what they were doing in the United States.

“His efforts and those of Prof Etannibi Alemika, Kemi and the MacArthur Foundation also brought into Nigeria one of the best police officers in the world who started talking about community partnership in deepening internal security management.

“The man Innocent Chukwuma has left things that are imperishable and should be sustained,” he said.

Reports says that former Minister of Solid Minerals, Obi EzEzewkesil, representatives of Ford Foundation, Civil Liberty Organization, YIAGA Africa and others at the event commended the convergence of great minds to foster continued development in policing. (NAN)

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CP Orders Trial of Officer Threatening Residents with Gun in Viral Video

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The Commissioner of Police (CP) in Edo, Mr Funsho Adegboye, has ordered an orderly room trial of Police Constable Prince Chima for allegedly threatening some people with a gun at their residence.

The video of where Chima was caught in the act went viral on Sunday on the X social media platform.

In a statement issued on Saturday by the command’s spokesperson, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, the CP had called for a discreet investigation into the matter, leading to the arrest of the officer.

“Sequel to a viral video sighted on X handle on the 7th of April 2024 where a young man that wore a blue T-shirt, black joggers’ trousers, and blue palm slippers was seen alone threatening with violence some persons in their residence with an AK-47 rifle.

“Immediately, the Commissioner of Police, Edo State Command, CP Funsho Adegboye, mni called for a discreet investigation into the matter.

“During the investigation, the police operatives, while using technical intelligence, arrested the young man, and he was identified as a Police Constable attached to the Department of Operatives (DOP).

“Consequently, during interrogation, he affirmatively stated as follows that he is Force Number 534023 PC Prince Chima,” said the police spokesman.

Nwabuzor noted that the officer was enlisted on Jan. 10, 2020, and was deployed to the South-South Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Chima, according to the spokesperson, said he was on duty at NIPCO, along Siluko Road, where he had an altercation with a young man who came to charge his phone.

The man, he said, called him a smelling policeman.

The spokesman said when the man left the petrol station for his residence, after the intervention of the station’s manager, the officer followed him home.

It was at home the incident displayed in the viral video took place.

Nwabuzor said the CP had directed the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the X-Squad Section to investigate the erring policeman.

His mental health status was to be ascertained through the command’s medical officer and committed to a disciplinary process known as Orderly Room Trial.

The CP, said the spokesman, commended the threatened people for their patience and tactfulness in handling the situation, promising that the erring officer would face the consequences of his actions. (NAN)

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