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Betta Edu scandal: What Interior Minister, Tunji-Ojo said over alleged N483 consultancy fee indictment

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The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has addressed allegations of his involvement in a purported N438.1 million consultancy contract between New Planet Project Limited and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, led by the suspended Minister Betta Edu. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu suspended Edu on corruption charges.

Following Edu’s suspension, reports surfaced claiming that the Minister of Interior paid N438.1 million to a company owned by him for consultancy services. The company, New Planet Project Limited, was reportedly one of the consultants awarded contracts from the N3 billion allocated by the suspended Minister for the National Social Register contract.

In response, Tunji-Ojo, appearing on Channels TV Politics Today on Monday night, refuted the allegations, stating that he founded the company ten years ago but resigned from directorship in 2019 when he contested for the House of Representatives. He expressed shock at the report and clarified that he was not involved in the day-to-day operations of New Planet Project Limited.

Tunji-Ojo emphasized, “I have to say this: I saw it and was shocked because the company in question was where I was the director. About five years ago, I resigned my directorship. Yes, I founded the company ten years ago. In 2019, when I got to the House of Representatives, I won the election precisely, and I resigned. I resigned on 4th February 2019, with a Certified True Copy of Corporate Affairs Commission as far back as 2019 to prove this.”

It’s noteworthy that Edu has faced scrutiny over a leaked memo instructing the Federation’s Accountant General to transfer funds meant for vulnerable groups into a private account.

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Gunmen Kill 6 Famers In Kaduna Village

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The Numana Community Development Organisation (NCDO) has expressed sorrow over the recent unprovoked attack and killing of innocent and unarmed farmers in Ambe village, Sanga local government area of Kaduna State, by gunmen.

During the tragic incident, six people were killed, and many others were injured and are currently receiving medical treatment in various hospitals.

In a statement to journalists in Abuja, NCDO President Comrade Ahmed Gani remarked, “It is alarming that kidnappings in our communities have surged recently, with reports of one or two persons being kidnapped every week.”

He further highlighted the worsening situation, stating that herdsmen have occupied ancestral lands, transforming these areas into hotspots for frequent kidnappings of innocent farmers. Some affected villages include Dangwa Ungwan Kafinta, Ninte, and Dangwa Ungwa Manzo.

Gani recounted a series of attacks in Sanga local government area: two people were killed at Lambari village on March 2, 2023; one person at Unguwar Madaki Arak on May 5, 2023; one at Gani Sarki on August 19, 2023; and five at Unguwar Ganye on February 8, 2024.

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“These persistent attacks on our peaceful communities have become intolerable, especially now with the onset of the rainy season,” he stated.

Farmers are now afraid to go to their farms due to the escalating attacks, which will likely have a negative impact on the local economy in the coming months, Gani warned.

While acknowledging the efforts of the Kaduna State Government under Governor Senator Uba Sani to address insecurity, Gani urged for increased protection, especially in Sanga and Jema’a local government areas.

He called on the Kaduna state government to deploy more security forces to rural communities to protect residents and restore their confidence so they can farm without fear of attack. Gani also urged the state government to support those injured in the recent Ambe village attack who are currently undergoing medical treatment.

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BREAKING: Helicopter Carrying Iranian President Raisi Crashes In Azerbaijan

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A helicopter in a convoy transporting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to the Qiz-Qalasi Dam in East Azerbaijan province reportedly crashed on Sunday.

Details of the crash and information about other passengers were unclear at the time of reporting, but rescuers were attempting to reach the crash site, according to state television.

The country’s finance minister, Amir Abdollahian, was also reportedly in the helicopter with the president. Reports indicated that two of the three helicopters in the convoy safely reached their destination.

Iran operates a variety of helicopters but faces challenges in obtaining parts due to international sanctions. Much of Iran’s military air fleet dates back to before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The 63-year-old Raisi is a hard-line former head of Iran’s judiciary and is considered a disciple of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Some analysts believe he could succeed the 85-year-old Khamenei upon his death or resignation.

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We will not tolerate breach of contractual agreement – Gov Namadi warns contractors

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Jigawa State governor, Malam Umar Namadi has said his administration would not tolerate or accept any breach of contractual agreement.

The Governor stated this while inspecting some ongoing projects across the state.

The inspected projects were mostly rehabilitation and reconstruction of the roads and bridges damaged by flooding in the last two years.

Speaking to various contractors, Governor Namadi expressed satisfaction on the quality of the projects and urged them to speed up the work for a timely completion.

According to him, “we are ready to continue patronizing any company that demonstrates seriousness and sincerely in handling his work.

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“We will not delay your payment as soon as you complete the work and at the same time we will not tolerate or accept any breach of contractual agreement.”

He noted that the state government had taken measures towards reconstruction of facilities damaged by flood last year.

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