The senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, has criticised the N-Power programme introduced by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration,saying it is used as a means of maintaining grassroot political support.
The senator shared the same view on the SURE-P program of the former administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Mr Sani, who left the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) some weeks ago, was reacting to an allegation that the disbursement of the N-power fund has been politicised.
Senate Minority Leader, Biodun Olujimi, said, on Wednesday, that the fund had been “politicised” and its beneficiaries were asked to submit details of their permanent voter’s cards (PVCs).
She said officials disbursing the fund were circulating forms on which recipients are asked to write their names, gender and details of their PVCs.
She said such forms are accompanied by another from Access Bank containing details of payment.
The Senate has decided to investigate the allegation setting up a seven-man committee to do the job.
In a press statement on Thursday, Mr Sani, a member of the ad-hoc committee, hit hard at both the Buhari and Jonathan administrations on the motives of their social intervention programs.
The statement reads: “The SURE-P program of the last administration and NSIP of this administration are not social intervention programs but political largesse dispensed for political goals.
“The two programs are aimed at throwing hands outs and crumbs to the masses with the aim of pacifying them and retaining their support for the political establishment and the ruling parties.
“The ideological basis and reasoning of both the SURE-P and NSIP programs is to reinforce the iniquities, inequalities and plunder inherent in the prevailing socio economic system that institutionalised the class privilege of a few against a many.”
Instead of being disbursed to the vulnerable, Mr Sani said the funds were channelled at grassroot political supporters to “neutralise possible resistance”.
“The SURE-P programs was designed to build up the grassroots support base of the PDP and the N Power was designed to build the grassroots support base of the APC.
“SURE-P AND NSIP are institutionalised state generosities and philanthropy presented as social intervention while actually intended to neutralise mass resistance against social injustice and inequality presided over by the political establishment and the ruling elites.
“SURE-P and N power are all hands outs thrown to the poor ‘to purchase their conscience and loyalty’
“SURE-P was a larcenous bread of corruption and N Power is a butter of social deceit.
“Nigeria’s poverty problems can’t be solved by a ration system of throwing peanuts.
“N-Power is a repackaged SURE-P program that only encourages the culture of social dependency on state handouts,” he said.
Alleged Gang rape: Court denies Babcock University student bail
A Babcock University student, James Aguedo has been denied bail by Justice Abiola Soladoye of an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court.
The student of Babcock University, James Aguedo, accused of involvement in gang-rape of a student of the University of Lagos (Unilag) was reportedly denied bail when bail applications were made.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Soladoye in a ruling on Thursday said Mr Aguedo, 20, did not provide compelling circumstances as to why the court should grant him bail.
“The essence of bail is to ensure the defendant’s attendance at trial. In deciding an application for bail, certain factors must be taken into consideration such as the nature of the charge and the evidence adduced.
“Grant of bail of a defendant in a criminal offence is not automatic, it is at the discretion of the court.
“I am, therefore, of the view that the application before the court has not shown any compelling or exceptional circumstances to warrant the court exercising its discretion in favour of the applicant.
“The application for bail is hereby refused, and the court shall give this case accelerated trial; I so hold,” the judge said.
NAN reports that Mr Aguedo’s counsel, Lawal Pedro, had on March 25 prayed the court to grant him bail to enable him to write an examination at the Babcock University in April.
He also submitted that the undergraduate suffered from ill-health and needed constant medical attention.
“He has a recurring back ailment. We brought not just a medical report but the history because he has been attending an orthopaedic hospital.
“The prison facility is not conducive for him,” the SAN said.
Mr Pedro had attached Mr Aguedo’s school identity card and admission letter to the bail application dated March 13.
Also attached were a National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, Yaba, Lagos, appointment card, history of medical examination and a St Dominic’s Catholic Church’s letter of recommendation.
NAN reports that the student is standing trial alongside Moboluwaji Omowole, 19, Chuka Chukwu, 19, Peace Nwankama, 19 and Osemeka Josephine, 20.
The defendants were charged with serial gang-rape of a Unilag student (name withheld).
According to prosecution counsel, Fehinti Ogbemudia, the defendants committed the gang rape sometime in 2017 within the premises of Unilag.
The alleged victim had on February 26 testified that she was lured by Nwankama who was her roommate to High Rise, a staff quarters hostel, in Unilag.
She said she was gang-raped at High Rise by eight students, and that the sexual assault was video-taped.
According to the alleged victim, she was also blackmailed with the video and further gang-raped on other occasions by the defendants and their accomplices who are now at large.
The five defendants have been remanded in the Kirikiri Prisons since February 26, when they were arraigned.
The case has been adjourned until May 2 for continuation of trial.
Sterling Bank Staff, Olanrewaju Yusuf remanded in prison for N36m fraud
Justice Bello Duwale of the Sokoto State High Court has remanded a Sterling Bank Plc worker, Olanrewaju Yusuf, in prison custody for cheating to the tune of N36 million and issuing of dud cheques.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission arraigned Yusuf, who is the Chief Executive Officer, Viclibo Ventures, on five counts bordering on the issuance of dud cheque, criminal breach of trust and cheating.
A complainant, Tunde Akinola, had alleged that sometime in January 2018, Yusuf, who worked with the Sokoto branch of the bank requested a N30 million loan for the establishment of a biscuit and juice production factory with a pledge to pay back the money with 10 per cent interest.
Akinola stated that he rallied round friends and colleagues to raise the money, which he gave to the accused via his United Bank for Africa account on condition that the loan should be paid back by March 2018.
Pursuant to the agreement, Yusuf allegedly issued three post-dated Diamond Bank cheques of N10m each and another for N6m, all of which were dishonoured by the bank on presentation.
Yusuf pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charges.
Counsel for EFCC, S.H. Sa’ad, urged the court to fix a date for commencement of trial and asked that the defendant be remanded in prison custody, but the defence counsel, Ferdinard Okotete, prayed the court to grant his client bail.
Justice Bello, however, ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison custody and fixed April 25, 2019 for hearing of bail application.
The trial judge further granted an interim forfeiture order in respect of the defendant’s property, pursuant to a motion ex parte filed by the EFCC.
Kenyan family sues Boeing over Ethiopia crash over Ethiopian Airline Plane crash
A family of a Kenyan man, who died in last month’s Ethiopia Airlines crash said it is taking the plane manufacturer Boeing to court in the US.
In all, 157 people died when the Boeing 737-Max 8 went down six minutes after take off on a flight from Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, to Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.
The 29-year-old engineer George Kabau was one of more than 30 Kenyans on board.
At a press conference in Nairobi his siblings said they wanted the company to release emails relating to the plane, which has now been grounded, Reuters news agency reports.
“We cannot replace him, and he cannot and shall not be replaced. But we pray that by what is happening, my parents especially and us as his siblings and all other loved ones, can use his demise to ensure safe travel for all,” said Mr Kabau’s sister.
Boeing is facing three other law suits relating to the Ethiopia crash, including from members of the family of a Rwandan victim.
The Ethiopian Airlines plane nose dived several times before it hit the ground, a preliminary report released a fortnight ago said.
Pilots “repeatedly” followed procedures recommended by Boeing before the crash, according to the first official report into the disaster.
Boeing’s boss has admitted for the first time a failure in the jet’s anti-stall system was a factor in the crash.
But the company has not commented on the legal cases.
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