· Federal government uncovers 5,000 more ghost workers, says osinbajo
Armed contingent of police personnel have cordoned off the home of former Kano State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso for allegedly conducting a mass wedding despite police order stopping the event.
It was learnt that Kwankwaso had organized a mass marriage for over 100 couples which was scheduled to hold last Saturday, but was aborted by the police who cited security reports about a possible clash with Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje’s supporters.
A source said that the aborted wedding took place secretly on Monday at the premises of Kwankwaso’s office located along Lugard Road, a few meters away from the Kano Government House.
However, speaking on the issue an ally of the former governor, Sanusi Surajo said the wedding took place at the residences of the respective couples and not at the office of Kwankwaso.
He said the police got hint of the wedding and sealed off Kwankwaso’s office after the Kwankwasiya Foundation began distributing the wedding gifts to some of the couples on Monday.
Kano State police spokesperson Magaji Musa Majiya said the police sealed off the building because the organizers of the mass wedding did not seek any approval to assemble at the venue.
The United States has pledged more support to Nigeria’s anti-graft fight even as it praised President Muhammadu Buhari’s courage.
“We applaud what you are doing. Corruption creates a ready-made playing field for recruiting extremists,” visiting U.S. Secretary of State, Mr John Kerry, told Buhari at a closed-door meeting at the Presidential Villa yesterday.
“You inherited a big problem, and we will support you in any way we can. We will work with you very closely. “We don’t want to interfere, but will offer opportunities as you require,” Kerry said.
He was also quoted to have pledged to assist in tackling the humanitarian challenges in the north-east. He said the U.S would get the United Kingdom, France and others “to augment the support.”
“Nigeria is priority for us. We won’t miss the opportunity to work together, because you are making significant progress,” he said.
President Buhari in his remarks assured Nigerians that the ongoing anti-corruption campaign in the country will be institutionalized and made to last beyond the life of his administration.
Presidential spokesman Femi Adesina quoted Buhari as making the pledge at the State House in Abuja yesterday while receiving American Secretary of State, Mr John Kerry.
“We will insist on the standards we’re establishing. We are laying down administrative and financial instructions in the public service that must be obeyed. Any breach will no longer be acceptable.
“We will retrain our staff, so that they understand the new orientation. And those who run foul of these rules will be prosecuted, no matter who is involved. But we will be fair, just and act according to the rule of law.
“Anyone perceived corrupt is innocent till we can prove it. We will work very hard to establish documentation for successful prosecution, and those in positions of trust will sit up,” the president said.
He appreciated the US intervention in the 2015 general elections in Nigeria, affirming that “America did not do it because of what it stands to benefit from us. You did it for the Nigerian people. It tells so much what the U.S stands for in the world.”
On the Boko Haram insurgency, Buhari thanked the U.S for both their hard and soft military help.
“The training and intelligence that we could not muster ourselves, we received. The training has made Boko Haram less of a threat to Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin region, while the military hardware has given our troops added confidence,” he said.
The president also told Kerry that though the militancy in the Niger Delta had impacted negatively on the economy and affected the positive intentions of international and local investors, his administration was showing restraint.
Speaking on the economy, Buhari said his administration’s focus was on diversification having learnt lessons from years of over-dependence on oil.
Earlier, in Sokoto, Mr John Kerry lamented that corruption cost the global economy USD 2.6 trillion every year.
Delivering a speech on the importance of resilient communities and religious tolerance in countering violent extremism at the Sultan Palace, Kerry said developed countries were not doing enough to improve good governance globally.
“We are not collectively yet doing enough to improve good governance and that need to be changed because we are all paying for corruption as it costs the global economy USD2.6 trillion every year which ought to be spent in providing infrastructures, education, health and to ensure food security,” he stated.
According to him, the fight against corruption has to be a global security priority of the first order and that developed countries have to help other countries to eliminate corruption in their midst.
“Bribery, fraud and all forms of criminality endanger everything that we own, everything that we value and encourage human trafficking, discourage accountability in governance and undermine the community,” he stated.
On the fight against terrorism, Kerry said Nigeria and its allies had succeeded in degrading Boko Haram, but that this should be seen as the beginning of the fight.
“People join violent groups because they have trouble finding meaning or opportunity in their daily lives, because they lost hope in the future, because they lost confidence in legitimate government and they are really frustrated,” he said.
He maintained that one of the central tasks was for Nigeria to work towards removing vulnerability through building and rebuilding trust in government and the military. Trust creates citizens,” he stressed.
The police in Lagos yesterday claimed that shallow graves were discovered at the residence of 70-year-old Prophet Emmanuel Adeyemi arrested for chaining his son and 27 others.
Police Commissioner Fatai Owoseni who confirmed the allegation said the place was raided following a tip-off that the suspect traded human parts to ritualists.
He claimed that Adeyemi who was arrested alongside his first wife on Friday, buried some dead persons in the swamps and three others at his residence.
Owoseni said: “We got a tip-off that they were people he buried in that compound and he confirmed it during interrogation.
“Because the area is swampy, the suspect had allegedly buried some people in the swamp and about three others in the house.
“When we asked him of their identities he said it was some of his patients that were brought to his home from the hospital, after they were given up for dead, who finally died in his care and were buried in the swamp.
“When we also queried him on the claims that he used the body parts of the deceased to sell to ritualists, he swore that he was only a traditional healer and not a human parts seller.”
Owoseni said Adeyemi was earlier invited for questioning after it was discovered that he put his son in chains.
The Commissioner said the suspect claimed he chained the teenager, Toba Adedoyin Adeyemi in order to cure him from stealing.
He said: “When we got information that a teenager was locked up in a house, the area G Commander invited the suspect, who claimed that his son was known for stealing and so he locked him up in chains to cure him of stealing.
“While we were still on that case, we got another credible tip off that there were other people chained up in that same house. Of course, we carried out a raid and confirmed the allegation to be true.
“But before then, we had contacted the Lagos State Government because we don’t have the facility to keep the rescued persons. His claims now that he was arrested is that he is a herbalist, but why didn’t he tell us that when we first invited him to the station over locking up his stepson? He only told us that he wanted to cure his son of stealing.”
It was gathered that one of the victims who was feeble and had sores was currently on admission at a hospital, while the others were moved to the state rehabilitation centre.