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Fake appointments: Nasarawa Assembly lifts suspension on member

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The Nasarawa State House of Assembly has lifted its suspension on the member representing Obi II constituency, Mr Luka Iliya-Zhekaba over his alleged involvement in the recruitment of 366 teachers and inclusion of names of 38 fake teachers in the payroll of the State Civil Service.

Alhaji Ibrahim Balarabe-Abdullahi, the Speaker of the House, lifted the suspension after the House deliberated on the report during the House proceedings in Lafia on Monday.

Abdullahi directed the suspended member to resume work immediately.

” The recommendations are as follows, first, in order to protect the integrity and uphold the sanctity of this Institution, membership of Hon Luka Iliya Zhekaba be withdrawn from the House Committee on Education.

” That Hon Luka Iliya Zhekaba be warned strongly not to compromise with undue process in future engagements.

” Hon members be also cautioned not to indulge in any illegality that may dent the good of this revered Institution.

” Hon Luka Iliya Zhekaba should resume his job immediately,” he said.

He directed the clerk of the House to communicate the suspended member to resume work immediately.

Earlier, Alhaji Tanko Tunga, the Majority Leader of the House moved a motion for the adoption of the report.

Mr Abel Bala, the Minority Leader of the house seconded the motion.

The House unanimously adopted the report.

The News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) recalls that on Sept.13, 2021, the House suspended its former Deputy Minority Leader, Luka Iliya Zhekaba ( PDP- Obi II) for his alleged involvement in the fake employment of 38 secondary school teachers in the state.

The Speaker of the House announced this after the House deliberated on the report of the House Committee on Education on the recruitment of 366 teachers and 38 fake teachers in the pay roll of the State Civil Service during the House proceedings in Lafia.

The speaker set up three man Ad-hoc committee to investigate the suspended member.

Similarly, the House has passed into second reading a Bill for a Law to Establish Customary Courts of Law and other Related Matters Thereto.

The sponsor of the bill, Mr John Osewu ( APC- Doma South) while moving a motion for the bill to scale second reading said that the bill if passed into law would deal with matters that were related to customary issues.

” This bill if passed will give a facelift and will bring justice closer to the people.

Alhaji Ibrahim Alkali, member representing Lafia North constituency who seconded the motion said that the bill if passed into law would also create job opportunities in the state.

The speaker, then committed the bill to the House Committee on Judiciary to work on the bill and report back to the House in the next 3 weeks.

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Ayade orders recruitment into Cross River civil service

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Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River has ordered immediate recruitment into the state civil service to fill the vacuum that may occur due to workers’ retirements.

The new Head of Service (HoS), Mr Timothy Akwaji, disclosed this on Wednesday during his maiden meeting with permanent secretaries on Wednesday in Calabar.

Akwaji said the creation of Akwa Ibom from Cross River in 1987 caused a mass exodus of civil servants to the new state, leading to mass recruitment by the state government to fill the attendant vacant positions.

“Most of these workers will be exiting the service, having completed their mandatory 35 years in service and this may create a bureaucratic vacuum if there is no mentoring of those who may be left behind to keep the service running.

“The governor has, therefore, given approval for the recruitment of workers to cushion the effect of the impending mass retirement from the state civil service.” NAN quoted him as saying.

The Head of Service stressed the need for the permanent secretaries to mentor their subordinates, as directors and for other civil servants to look up to them as role models.

He said mentorship in the service has become necessary to enable civil servants discharge their responsibilities effectively.

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Buhari assures Nigerians price of rice, other food Items to crash soons

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President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that prices of food items, especially rice will soon come down.

The president, who gave the assurance on Tuesday, during the official unveiling of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)/Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) Rice Paddy Pyramids in Abuja, urged Nigerians to exercise some patience, saying the growing food production in the country, especially expansion in rice farming would eventually bring down prices of food, making it more affordable for all.

This was just as the Governor of the CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, revealed that following the successes recorded in the implementation of the CBN-led Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), the country had been able to significantly reduce rice importation from Thailand by over 99.83 per cent within the past seven years.

But reacting to yesterday’s unveiling, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Tuesday mocked the APC and its governments, describing it as another shameless media stunt to again beguile Nigerians ahead of 2023 elections.

According to the leading opposition political party, the unveiling of bogus rice pyramids in Abuja, was nothing but, “pyramids of lies.”

However, Buhari’s assurance to Nigerians on cheaper food items came on a day he personally presented awards to Emefiele and five other state governors for their contributions to the development of agriculture in the country.

The state chief executives included Governors of Ekiti, Mr. Kayode Fayemi; Kebbi, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu; Cross River, Prof. Ben Ayade; Ebonyi, Mr. David Umahi, and Jigawa, Alhaji Abubakar Badaru.

The president said: “Today rice production in Nigeria has increased to over 7.5 million metric tons annually. Prior to the introduction of APB, the average production in Nigeria between 1999 to 2015 was less than four metric tons annually.

“I am aware that the bags of paddy will be moving straight from here to rice milling plants across Nigeria, which lead to the release of processed rice to the markets by the rice millers. The measure will aid our efforts at reducing the price of rice in Nigeria.

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Mompha released on N200m bail

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Justice Mojisola Dada of the Ikeja Special Offences Court has granted Instagram celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha, popularly known as Mompha, bail of N200 million.

Mompha was rearrested last week Monday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and was first re-arraigned in court last Wednesday, January 14.

While granting his bail application today January 18, the court requested he provides two sureties, one of which must own a property valued at N100 million within its jurisdiction.

Mompha and his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, are standing trial on an amended 22-count charge bordering on cyber fraud and money laundering to the tune of N32.9bn brought against him by the EFCC.

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