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FG’s probe may have affected Magu psychologically – Sagay

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The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof Itse Sagay, has bemoaned how the former acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, was treated.

He said what Magu went through was tantamount to persecution, and that his dramatic removal from office and the way his tenure was probed left him devastated.

The don, in an interview with our correspondent on Wednesday, however, warned that such actions could discourage people from giving their best while in service.

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Magu, whose confirmation was declined twice by the Bukola Saraki-led Senate over damning reports against him by the Department of State Services, was appointed on November 9, 2015 and suspended by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in July 2020.

The President then set up a presidential panel headed by a former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, to probe the various allegations levelled against the former EFCC boss by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

The AGF had in a memo to the President in June 2020 recommended Magu’s sacking over acts of misconduct, including alleged diversion of recovered loot.

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Magu’s tenure eventually ended when the President nominated Abdulrasheed Bawa for confirmation by the Senate in February 2021, even though the Salami panel submitted its report to the President since November 20, 2020.

Speaking on Magu’s removal and the continued silence from the Presidency over his fate in the police, Sagay, who had expressed reservations over how Magu was treated, said, “That event has made him withdraw into his shell. That’s the way I see it. I think he’s probably psychologically damaged as a result.

“He’s very down in spirit based on what happened to him, and like I said, if you treat people who are serving well in that manner, it will discourage people from coming out and putting in their best. We need to support people when they serve us.

“I wasn’t disposed to how he was treated because they didn’t follow any proper procedure for prosecuting such matters; it was like persecution the way the whole thing went on.

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“Without mentioning names, I’m so disappointed about some really respected people who participated in that process. No statement has been made by the government as to the outcome and the next line of action. And in fact, the man is still in the police force, what conclusion do we draw from that? Your guess is as good as mine.”

Sagay also revealed that the eighth Senate, led by Saraki, refused to confirm his nomination because many highly placed individuals had replacements for Magu.

He said, “A lot of people wanted that slot for themselves. When I went to the National Assembly and I spoke to the senior people there and I said this man (Magu) has done the job very well and it was time his nomination was confirmed, there was a little coldness in their response.

“When I got back to the hotel, someone came to me and asked why I said that. I said I believed the man had been very good, the results he had produced since his appointment had been tremendous. The person then told me all the people I was talking to had their candidates for the position, so they were not happy with me.”

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2.5m Kaduna residents to benefit from ANRiN nutrition, reproductive health services

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From Sola Ojo, Kaduna

About 2.5 million Kaduna state residents have been targeted to be provided with basic package of nutrition services and adolescent health services at community level under the World Bank-supported Accelerating Nutrition Results in Nigeria (ANRiN) project, the Project Coordinator, Dr Zainab Muhammad-Idris said on Tuesday.

Muhammad-Idris who said this at the end of the quarterly stakeholders meeting of the ANRiN project added that the services would be provided by two non-state actors which are eHealth Africa and Society for Family Health (SFH).

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She reminded the attendees that ANRiN, a five-year World Bank-supported project was designed to increase the utilisation of quality, cost-effective nutrition services for pregnant and lactating women, adolescent girls and children under five years.

According to her, the objective was to reduce chronic malnutrition, maternal and child mortality rates and in the long run, increase school completion, performance and improve labour force productivity.

She said that the two NSAs were contracted in 2021 to deliver the services to the target groups at the community level, adding that so far, the project has reached 895,724 in 2021.

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“Considering the outstanding performance of the two NSAs in 2021, I am confident that they will meet their targets which are expected to commence by June. We are happy with their performance so far. What we desire to see is for them to sustain the efforts and do better,” she said.

Project Director, eHealth Africa ANRiN Project, Dr Aminu Abubakar promised that eHealth would reach 556,749 beneficiaries in 12 local government areas between June 2022 and June 2023 saying the providers were being sourced from the communities where services were provided to strengthen acceptability and community ownership.

He said “We have employed two visually inspired persons who are providing services in their communities, and they are doing very well. We plan to recruit 24 more, two each from our 12 local government coverage areas.

“Out of the 556,74 targets, 104,187 pregnant and lactating women would be counselled on maternal, infant and young child nutrition, and provided deworming tablets to 138,502 children 12 to 59 months.

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“131,036 children from six to 59 months would be provided with Vitamin A supplementation, while 51,805 children and their mothers would be provided with Zinc/ORS for diarrhoea”.

The project director also said that micronutrient powder would be provided to 53,473 children, six to 23 months with counselling and IFA supplement tablets with counselling to 32,640 pregnant women.

“Malaria drugs will also be provided to 29,737 pregnant women and modern contraceptive services with counselling to 15,369 women and adolescent girls,” Abubakar said.

On his part, Project Director, SFH ANRiN Project Ibrahim Mohammed said that SFH had a target of providing services to 1.92 million beneficiaries in 13 local government areas.

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Mohammed said that of the 1.92 million targets, 360,784 pregnant and lactating women would be counselled on maternal, infant and young child nutrition, while deworming tablets would be provided to 481,755 children.

He said that 455,786 children would receive Vitamin A supplementation and 180,194 children would receive Zinc/ORS for diarrhoea ea, while their mothers counselled.

“Also, 185,839 will be provided with micronutrient powder six to 23 months with counselling, while 113,024 pregnant women will receive IFA supplement tablets with counselling.

“Malaria drugs will also be provided to 102,978 pregnant women while contraceptive services will be provided to 39,548 women and adolescents,” he said.

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Govt sets to decongest correctional service centres in Ebonyi

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From Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki

Ebonyi state Security Council has expressed dismay over the congestion of Correctional Service Centres across the state.

It therefore directed the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice to, Chief Cletus Ofoke,  to liaise with the state Comptroller of corrections to get the full lists of inmates awaiting trial with a view to decongesting the correctional service centres.

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The state Attorney General, Cletus Ofoke disclosed this while  briefing journalists after the state Security Council meeting at new government House, Centenary city, Abakaliki.

He said “the security council has noted with dismay the congestion nature of the Correctional Service Centres in Ebonyi state and council directed that the Attorney General and CP should liaise with the Comptroller of corrections to get the full lists of inmates awaiting trials with a view to decongesting the correctional service centres in the state by way of either releasing them base on opinions from the Ministry of Justice or by granting of bail by the court”.

On the crisis that erupted in Akaeze, Ivo local government area of the state on Sunday in which some lives were  lost with property burnt, the council directed the state Commissioner of Police, Garba Aliyu, and the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice to ensure that all those arrested in connection with the mayhem were made to face the law.

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“Council received briefing on the carnage in Akaeze, Ivo local government area of Ebonyi state just two days ago. Council has condemned the carnage and has directed that the state Commissioner of Police and my humble self the Attorney General to ensure that those arrested face the law.

“Council directed that there should be regular briefing on the outcome of the prosecution of the perpetrators of the dastardly act.

“Council however commended Ebubeagu Security Outfit for what they are doing in the state in securing the environment, protecting properties and that of lives.

“Council however warned that the personnel should always do their job in line with the rules of engagement. Council directed that the CP and other security agencies should be on the watch for Ebubeagu personnel who may want to go contrary to rules of engagement”, he said.

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