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Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Recovers 301 Houses From Two Public Officers

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has recovered 241 houses from a public officer and 60 from another in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The commission also recovered an advance of N51billion promissory notes from various real estate developers in the nation’s capital.

Despite the deficit of 22 million housing units in the country, where 70 per cent of its citizens are said to be living in ghettos and slums, mostly in decrepit houses despite huge investments in the housing sector over decades, two Nigerians alone in a country are owned 301 houses.

Prof Bolaji Owasanoye, ICPC chairman disclosed this when he appeared before the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on the operations of real estate developers in the FCT.

He said the findings came through efforts of the commission to unravel the owners of the ever-increasing unoccupied luxury estates in Abuja.

According to him, public office holders top the list of fraudulent investors in the real estate sector in the nation’s capital, adding that they are well involved in illicit financial flows in the country.

He said such public officers acquire estates in pseudonyms to conceal the illegal origin of funds, explained that a tour round Abuja, especially the metropolis and the central area, would show a lot of estates that are built up but empty.

“This was made possible by the absence of proper documentation, registration of titles to land and estates in the country and the non-enforcement of beneficial ownership standards.

“If they had been constructed with funds that were borrowed at market rates, I don’t think any investor would allow such properties to be empty. One way or the other they would put them to use. So, it is suspected that some of those estates have been used to launder ill-gotten public funds.

“The commission has for example in one case recovered 241 houses from a public officer and another one in which we recovered 60 buildings on a large expanse of land from another public officer.

“Major culprits and criminals who are encouraging the problem are staff of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) and their land collaborators.

“Some members of the Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN) are accessing funds from the Federal Mortgage Bank (FMB) for mass housing and diverting same to construct private estates.”

“By the original concept of the mass housing policy of the government, developers are supposed to profile and forward names of allottees to FCDA to issue certificates of occupancy. But in practice developers do not comply with these policies and subscribers are often left at their mercy, holding only letters of allocation without a proper title to land,” he said.

Owasanoye noted that the private estates are sold at exorbitant prices to the general public, excluding public officers, who are the main and intended beneficiaries of the projects and structures.

He noted that the intervention of the ICPC in the sector has led to recoveries on behalf of some allottees for FMB, FCDA and sometimes for other stakeholders.

 

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In memory of my brother, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru —Archbishop Emeka Agwu

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In Loving Memorial Of Late COAS, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, Chief Of Army Staff, Nigerian Army

Life itself is futile in several respects, but made plausible by the rectitude exercised by veritable men, such as you were among us. Today, we recount your attributes with gleeful hearts; yet, with sincere pain in our hearts we thank God profusely because a conqueror is reckoned amongst us, one that overcame the oddities of this life and triumphed over its inordinate allurements to the realm above.

Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, a friend, but a brother, my wife and I went through enormous grief when we received the news of your sudden departure, especially after we learnt the circumstance that orchestrated your painful exit. The light of joy we had always experienced in our relationship with you was extinguished, just like a candle in the wind; and we went into pensive mood, recalling with nostalgia the times we spent together, and the unforgettable moments of communal fraternity.

We would not forget your resourcefulness and resilience, and your unalloyed pursuit for peace, mutual respectability, love, and enduring tenderness towards the people. We were witnesses to your profound humility, eschewing bitterness in circumstances that mean men would vent their anger, given their place and status such as you occupied variously in your lifetime. For this, we revere you.

You adorned your dispositions with utmost gentleness, such that people who knew you too well were encouraged that in our time, one still lived that was as harmless as a dove. You were indeed meek beyond measure, and such is one of the salient identities of astutely disciplined minds. Your quiet mien, reconciliatory approach to vexed issues, diligence, sensitivity to the wellbeing of others, disinterestedness in earthly acclaim, and continual quest for oneness and unity of purpose are some of the salient attributes you possessed, for which you were known, and for which you would always be remembered. You wore integrity as a garment, kindness radiated from your heart like the rising early morning sun. For these and many more, we thank God immensely for granting among us, such a rare gem as you were. You would be remembered always, especially within the military circle of the Nigerian army, but more so amongst people who knew you too well.

Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, you were called to duty as Chief of Army Staff. You nursed in your heart the necessity to reposition the Nigerian Army. You had the revered purpose of entrenching professionalism in the Nigerian army. You were poised to foster integrity as a culture within the ranks and file. Again, it was utmost in your agenda to scuttle insurgency and create again a peaceful Nigerian State where everyone would be safe. You yearned for a detribalised Nigerian nation where everyone is welcome everywhere, and accommodated warmly, irrespective of tribe, ethnicity, or any other untoward inclination.

In some of our conversations, you were worried about the future of the Nigerian child, and the economic imbalances that have grossly derailed the wholesomeness of the family unit. You looked up to a time when the womenfolk would be suitably empowered in diverse ways to function appropriately in their God-given role as home makers and builders in no little dimensions, and by extension, help in remodelling the Nigerian society. Furthermore, you craved for such a time when we would have a beautiful Nigeria to which Nigerians in diaspora would return, as their motherland and be glad that they have a country they could call home.

You were charitable in several respects; and those who came to you went away rejoicing often times. You did not know how to send them away empty-handed. It was not in your character. People who knew you with this attribute will always adore you still.

You detested nepotism, sectionalism of all sorts, and you decried religious intolerance. It was your unalloyed wish that Nigerians should love and care for one another in oneness of heart and spirit.

Beloved, we are pained in our hearts still; and probably, this wound would be hard to heal. However, what can one say or now, especially when all ill is done. The ill-fated plane crash of May 21, 2021 took all our calm away. Now we are distraught, and only God can heal the wound in our hearts.

We pray God to grant my beloved one! Continues Rest in perfect peace.

Archbishop (Dr) Emeka Agwu is the general overseer of Houston-based Voice of Evangelism International

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Nigeria

Winning A Delegate Election in Nigeria—A Critical Look

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Those who have won delegate elections in Nigeria over the last 2 decades fall into the following categories:

  1. Those backed by an incumbent government at national or state levels.
  2. In the absence of a incumbent FG; those who are supported by a majority of “Super Stakeholders”. These include sitting state governors, fmr governors & leaders in states where no sitting governors exist.
  3. Aspirants who are able to dispense stupendous financial resources.

In the absence of an incumbent FG, a very rich aspirant can prevail against scenario “2 above.

*Delegate elections are devoid of conscience, rational thinking, patriotism or the principle of right or wrong.*

From my many years of experience, 70 to 80% of delegates vote along with the dictates of their leaders. It has nothing to do most often with their personal convictions.

WHY IS THIS SO?

It is so because at the end of the convention everyone returns to his state. If at the convention you refused to toe the line, most assuredly you are likely to pay for it and certainly you will not be a delegate in the next election …and so will many perks and privileges elude you in your state.

This is not restricted to ordinary delegates alone. Even if you were a former minister or senator or whatever, once you fail to align with party directives, be ready for sanctions from the powers that be within the party in your state.

INFLUENCE OF MONEY

This is a very interesting and intricate matter.

*Money in some cases may be the ultimate deciding factor. And in other situations where group or regional interest is crucial and compelling, it may be of little consequence.*

*But without money or with an offer considerably much lower than the leading contender financially, the poorer aspirant irrespective of pedigree, competence or suitability, may have no chance of winning at all.*

Mischievously, and quite treacherously, the new trend is that each state delegation collects monies from all the aspirants and thereafter do one of to things.

  1. They still vote for the aspirant they had decided on from home based on several considerations, or
  2. Divide their votes pro rata in accordance to how the aspirants have faired financially.

In the last PDP convention in Port Harcourt in 2019, most delegates went home with between $8000 & $10,000.

This year, the figures are bound to be higher. The big spenders are prepared to go as far as $10,000 per delegate.

As I write this piece, a delegate election to elect the state assembly member for my local government is underway. Information reaching me from the venue is that one of the two contestant is offering N200,000 per delegate while the other has offered N150,000.

We have 10 wards and 3 delegates per ward. That is, each aspirant will today dispense N6m for this delegate election!!!

Let no one fool you. This is what goes on nationwide and in all parties. Only the stakes differ. This practice is not sustainable and is inconsistent with a progressive democratic developmental growth.

♦ Doyin Okupe was senior special assistant on public affairs to Goodluck Jonathan

 

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Breaking: Nigerian Jubilate as President Buhari signs amended electoral act

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Signature provide a place in the law for statutory delegates of political parties to vote during their congresses and conventions

Nigerians familiar with thee political trends surrounding an upcoming general elections are excited as the president, Muhammadu Buhari signed a much awaited  amendment to the electoral act. This mark of approval is coming just as the party conventions are less than two weeks away.

The amended electoral act which has been a bone of contention for a while now as the House of Representatives, Senate and other politicians has been urging the president to sign it in order to avert crisis was signed noon day today, the 21st of May.

The amendment was swiftly done to legally provide a place in the law for statutory delegates of political parties to vote during their congresses and conventions will indeed do a lot of good for the upcoming general elections.

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