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Reps to investigate project racketeering, other fraud in MDAs

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The House of Representatives has mandated its Committees on Anti-Corruption and Public Service to investigate alleged corruption in the nominal rolls of government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and project racketeering.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Dachung Bagos (PDP-Plateau) at plenary on Thursday.
Moving the motion, Bagos said that there were allegations of wide spread corruption in the MDAs in the country.

He said that President Mohammadu Buhari on Nov. 30, ordered the ICPC to take actions against heads of MDAs and other personnel involved in project racketeering, budget and payroll padding as well as ghost workers.
Bagos said that the ICPC Chairman also stated that the review of the 2021 budget led to the discovery of 257 duplicated projects with a combined value of N20.138 billion.
“Concerned that the corrupt practices are carried out in all facet of the activities of the MDAs, with the highest list been the issue of payroll padding and ghost workers’ retention, these funds find their way into the pockets of the Chief Executives, Officers/ Heads of the MDAs at the expense of the nation.
“Also concerned that this corrupt practices have diverted the country’s revenue meant to be channeled into economic development and capital projects,’’ he said.
Given the ban on employment in the MDAs, the house mandated the committees to ascertain the status of employment and determine number of MDAs that were given waiver to employ.
In his ruling, the Speaker of the house, Femi Gbajabiamila gave the committees 10 weeks to carry out the investigation and to report to the house for further legislative actions.

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Confusion as security operatives exchange blows during Buhari’s Kaduna visit

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There was confusion when security agents exchanged blows while President Muhammadu Buhari was commissioning Kawo bridge in the heart of Kaduna state, city, on Thursday.

President Buhari arrived in Kaduna State to commission projects executed by the State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai.

The projects are in Kafanchan, Kaduna and Zaria.

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Shortly after his return from Kafacnchan, the President commissioned the Kawo bridge.

However, an altercation among security operatives attached to the President and those based in Kaduna resulted in exchange of blows.

Trouble started when some operatives of the Department of State Services blocked the road to Kawo bridge soon after the President who mounted the bridge.

Governor El-Rufai, who had earlier alighted from his vehicle, rode in the President’s convoy to the bridge.

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The security agents, who barred journalists and other dignitaries from accessing Kawo bridge, blocked the road after El-Rufai and the President were on the bridge.

However, El-Rufai’s Aide-De-Camp insisted that the governor’s official vehicle must be allowed access.

Daily Trust reports that the President’s security aides stood their ground and this resulted in not just an altercation but exchange of blows.

Eventually, the governor’s vehicle was given access.

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Two die, five injured as truck crushes motorcycle in Cross River

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The Federal Road Safety Corps has confirmed the death of two persons in an accident in the early hours of Thursday in Nko community, Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River State.

The Public Education Officer of the Corps in Cross River State, Mark Ajuka, confirmed the death of the victims in an interview.

Ajuka, a Superintendent Route Commander, told the News Agency of Nigeria that five persons were also injured in the crash that involved a truck and a motorcycle.

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He said that investigation revealed that the crash was caused by a brake failure from the truck driver.

He said: “The accident occurred early this morning in Nko community, Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River.

“The deceased have been evacuated from the scene of the crash, while those injured were taken to the General Hospital in Ugep for treatment.”

An eyewitness, James Eteng, told the NAN that the tragic incident occurred at St. Pius Primary School in Nko community.

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“Today is a black Thursday for us in Nko community.

“We have lost a son and a daughter in an accident that occurred this morning.

“As we speak, the whole community is in mourning mood, we can only console with the family to bear the irreparable loss.”

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