Bala Mohammed, Governor-elect of Bauchi State, is set to face a fresh six-count charge bordering on alleged failure to declare his assets and false information.
Bala will be arraigned on Monday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Mohammed, who contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was declared the winner of the 2019 Bauchi State governorship election after defeating Mohammed Abubakar, the incumbent Governor of the state, of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to information sent by the court registrar to Chile Okoroma, the EFCC Director of Legal Services and Prosecution, Mohammed will be arraigned in Court 26 at the FCT High Court, Maitama in Abuja.
The charge read in part: “That you Bala A. Mohammed on or about October 24, 2016 at the head office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Abuja within the judicial division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory made a false statement to the detective, Ishaya Dauda, investigating officer with the Economic Governance Section of the EFCC, Abuja to wit: that you acquired house situated at No. 2599 and 2600, Cadastal Zone AO4 Asokoro District Abuja through a mortgage facility from Aso Savings & Loan Bank Plc and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 09 (2) (a) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004 and punishable under Section 39(2)(b) of the same Act.”
In a recent interview with Punch newspaper, Mohammed had said his trial by the EFCC was “completely politically-motivated”.
He continued: “But I believe in justice and that was why I went to the court of justice. Definitely! I have been under probe by the EFCC and because I believe in accountability and was influential in the government of President Goodluck Jonathan, I chose not to run away.
“I will stand and answer all questions. I have passed the first battle by winning my case against the Federal Government on human rights, for arbitrarily imprisoning me and then calling me names. Of course, N5m has been awarded in my favour and the next one is the other spurious charges against me. I believe in justice and equity.
“And if the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has discovered some documents which shows that over 2,000 ghost workers have been inputted into the salaries and arrears of Bauchi State in the last four years and over N400bn has come to Bauchi and we cannot see anything that has been done for N5bn, if I don’t do it (probe him), then I have abdicated my responsibility.”
We Produce 90% Of The Rice We Eat, Says Nigeria’s Minister Of Agriculture
Audu Ogbeh, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, says 90 per cent of the rice consumed in the country is produced locally.
Ogbeh revealed this on Tuesday at the 2019 Annual Research Review and Planning meeting, which held at the Balarabe Tanimu Conference Hall at the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Zaria, Kaduna State.
Ogbeh, who was represented by Karima Babangida, the Director of Extension Services in the ministry, said this was achievable to local producers because of the backing they received from present administration, noting that the country is shifting “to eating what we grow, rather than eating imported food’’.
He said: “One very good example that we see today is the home-grown Nigerian rice. Hitherto, Nigeria has been a major and largest importer of rice from Thailand and this implies largest importer in the world.
“But today, we have been able to achieve a paradigm shift in the right direction and we are now producing 90 per cent of the rice we eat in the country, I think we should appreciate our farmers here.
“Nigeria does not only have the capacity to feed itself, it also becomes a major actor in agricultural exports to other African countries, Europe and American countries, including the Far East, especially China.”
He said other sectors of the agriculture economy are witnessing the same trend and that with joint efforts of stakeholders, the country can achieve balance of trade in food items.
He pointed out the need for all stakeholders to collaborate to continue to develop the great potential in the country.
Ibrahim Garba, Chairman of the occasion and the Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, noted that the future of the Nigerian economy lay on the shoulders of agriculture.
Garba, who was represented by Prof. Ezra Bako-Amans, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics), said: “Nigeria has all it takes to lead the African trans-border trade in food and fibre. It can cut its global share too in a number of crops it has comparative advantages in their production.
“The world’s cotton economy for instance, is about 1 trillion dollars. Needless to say, that cotton used to be one of the most important fibre crops in Nigeria, but down the line, we lost relevance on this crop.
“With the current renewed focus on agriculture, this glory can be reclaimed and Nigeria can have her fair share in the global cotton industry.”
How 45-year-old herdsman killed farmer
The Prosecutor, Insp Elisha Olusegun, told the court that the defendant committed the offence on March 13, at 12.30 p.m., at Ila-Orangun, Osun
Bello is facing a two-count charge of murder.
Olusegun said that the accused conspired with others at large and killed Oyebamiji, on his farm.
He said that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 324 and 319(1) of the Criminal Code Cap 34 vol. 11, Laws of Osun, 2002.
The plea of the defendant was not taken by the court.
In the ruling, Magistrate Mary Awodele, ordered that the defendant be kept behind bars in Ilesa, pending legal advice from the Office of the State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Awodele adjourned the case until May 20, for mention., NAN reports.
Nigerian Newspapers: 10 things you need to know this Thursday morning
1. An Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure, on Wednesday sentenced Seidu Shakiru-Adeyemi to death by hanging for gruesomely killing his girlfriend, Khadijat Oluboyo, daughter of former deputy governor of the state, Lasisi Oluboyo.
Adeyemi was charged for killing his girlfriend, Khadijat, on July 2, 2018, and burying her inside his room at Aratusi, Oke-Aro area of Akure.
2, Three more presidential candidates have separately approached the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, demanding that it voids the result of the February 23 presidential election.
In their various petitions, the three presidential candidates, of the Hope Democratic Party, HDP, Chief Ambrose Owuru; Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, Aminchi Habu and Coalition for Change, C4C, Geff Chizee Ojinka, urged the tribunal to invoke its powers and quash the declaration of President Buhari as the bonafide winner of the 2019 presidential election.
3. Barring last minute changes, the 9th National Assembly may not go for proper parliamentary election to choose its leaders.
This position followed the declaration by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Wednesday, wherein it said there may be no voting, but consensus on that day to elect the leaders of the two chambers of the 9th National Assembly.
4. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has promised that the 2019 budget will be passed when plenary resumes on Tuesday, April 2.
He, however, made it clear that the National Assembly would not rubber stamp the N8.83trn 2019 budget saying, “We hope to pass the appropriation bill as soon as we reconvene plenary”
5. A coalition of 42 registered political parties in Kano State, under the aegis of Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), have expressed support for the re-election of Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje at the just concluded governorship election.
The CUPP chairman in the state, Alhaji Nuhu Isah, who paid a congratulatory visit to the governor, expressed dismay over a purported news conference held in Kano where it was reported that the coalition condemned the entire process due to alleged electoral irregularities.
6. Gunmen, on Wednesday attacked Suleiman Abubakar, Chairman of Correspondents’ chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Nasarawa state and abducted his wife, Yahanasu Abubakar.
Suleiman told newsmen that the incident happened at about 7 p.m. along Gudi-Garaku road in Akwanga Local Government Area of the state.
7. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Wednesday, in a Federal High Court, opened its case in the trial of a former Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Tuoyo Omatsuli, over alleged N3.6 billion fraud.
The anti-graft agency on Nov. 8, 2018, arraigned Omatsuli alongside Don Parker Properties Ltd., Francis Momoh, and Building Associates Ltd. before Justice Saliu Saidu on a 45-count charge bordering on the alleged offence.
8. The Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris, on Wednesday said the Federal Government shared N619.85 billion, as revenue generated in February to the three tiers of government.
The amount showed an increase of about N9.49 billion from what was shared in January.
9. The Founder of Daar Communications PLC, Raymond Dokpesi, on Wednesday said he was invited by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) on issues related to his International Passport.
Dokpesi told newsmen at the gate of the Immigration Head office in Abuja, shortly after an interrogation that lasted for about two hours, that the service wanted him to leave his passport with them.
10. Ahead of the Thursday supplementary poll, the Adamawa State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged its supporters to turn out massively for the poll.
The state PDP Chairman, Mr Tahir Shehu, alleged that the state government, led by the All Progressives Congress (APC), was planning to import thugs from Kaduna and Kano states to cause mayhem and manipulate the process to ensure victory for the APC candidate.
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