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Kano Lawmakers Move to Curb Malnutrition

Kano, Lawmakers, Curb Malnutrition

Kano State House of Assembly has flagged off the process to rigorously confront the threat of hunger and malnutrition in neighborhoods across the state.
The speaker of the House, Rt Hon Abdulaziz Garba Gafasa on Thursday noted that malnutrition constitutes a challenge that should be squarely and urgently addressed, adding that the role of nutrition in the development of the state cannot be overemphasised.
The speaker in his keynote address, which was delivered by the majority leader of the House, Hon Kabiru Hassan Dashi, during a two days meeting with the theme “Improving Nutrition Investment in the 2021 State Annual Budget”, organized by Civil Society Scale Up Nutrition in Nigeria,(CS-SUN) held at Sleeprite hotel, Zaria, said “much needed to be done in our health system, especially in the area of addressing the issues of hunger and malnutrition in our neighborhoods.
“The state House of Assembly will relentlessly do more towards improving budgetary allocations on nutrition, as well as timely release of funds, we had the opportunity in the period under review to have budgeted over N4.5 billion through massive investment in scaling up impact and cost effective nutrition interventions to reduce multiple burden of malnutrition in the state.”
He reassured that the state legislators would embark on rigorous oversight functions, adding that the lawmakers will collaborate with various nutrition partners to ensure they curb the threat pose by malnutrition.
In his welcome address, permanent secretary, Kano state ministry of planning/budget and chairman, Kano state nutrition committee, Balarabe Hassan Karaye noted that the meeting was aimed at creating a common understanding on the importance of investing on nutrition in the state.
According to him, Kano state is in urgent need to scale up nutrition to tackle the pervasive problem of malnutrition, adding that the immediate initiation of the process of adequate investment on nutrition to forestall the danger confronting children who are under five years of age is germane.
He said there was the need to “catalyze progress toward the global nutrition target is priorty that should be given to a set of the most cost effective nutrition interventions in the 2021 annual budget to yield significant results.”

NFF to Disburse $2 Million COVID-19 Relief Funds to NPFL Clubs, State FAs

NFF, Disburse $2 Million, COVID-19 Relief Funds, NPFL Clubs, State FAs

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) would disburse two million US dollars COVID-19 relief package to all league clubs, national football organizing bodies and state football associations across the country.

NFF director of media and communications, Ademola Olajire, in a statement issued on Monday said the decision to dole out the relief package to key football sectors in Nigeria was taken by the executive committee of NFF which met via video conference on Monday, 10th August 2020, noting that the virtual meeting deliberated on important issues concerning Nigerian football.

Olajire  said  “After consultations with the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Board endorsed the proposal from the Secretariat for the lump sum of $2,000,000.00 (Two Million American Dollar Only) to be shared across the various Clubs and governing bodies of the various Leagues, viz Nigeria Professional Football League, Nigeria National League, Nigeria Women Football League and the Nigeria Nationwide League, as a booster for their preparation ahead of the 2020/2021 League Season.

“The total sum is made up of $1,000,000 (being FIFA’s support for restarting the football season); $500, 000 (being FIFA’s dedicated support for women’s football); $300,000 (CAF’s support to its Member Associations); $200,000 (NFF’s support from Sponsors’ Funds).

“The Executive Committee applauded the efforts of the Federal Government in combating the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) that continues to be a source of sorrow and gnashing of teeth worldwide, but with noticeable decline in infection cases in Nigeria as a result of the untiring work of the Government, the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, all first responders and all other public health workers in the frontline who continue to sweat hard to ensure reduction in community transmission and in saving lives”, Olajire stated.

Supported by  CHRICED and MacAthur Foundation.

Malami and His Business Boom under Economic Doom

Malami, Business Boom, Economic Doom
Nigeria's Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami

By Bala Ibrahim

I read with disbelief, the defence put forward by the Attorney General of the Federation and Nigeria’s Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, where he informed President Muhammadu Buhari that he was rich and owned lucrative businesses before becoming a minister of the federation.

In the letter of defence against the accusation of self enrichment, Malami listed 27 properties in his asset declaration form submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau, amongst which are, Rayhaan Hotels and Rayhaan Food & Drinks, all of them in Kano.

The defence was triggered by the combined publication of Sahara Reporters and the petition of a group, Kebbi Concerned Citizens, KCC, to President Muhammadu Buhari, calling on him to suspend the AGF from office with immediate effect.

While Sahara Reporters is alleging that since his appointment into the government of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, minister Malami had embarked on a relentless purchase and construction of property through the use of public funds, the KCC is imploring the President to swiftly act the same way he did when Malami brought up issues against the suspended EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu.

Amongst the allegations are the issues of Malami building a multi-billion naira private school in Kebbi, a luxury hotel in Kano, and a luxury home in Abuja. He is said to have built three houses in Abuja, including one he bought this year for N90m in the Gwarimpa area of the city, which he pulled down and remodelled into a mansion worth around N300m. Another mansion valued above N500m, located on Ahmadu Bello way, Nasarawa GRA, Kano, is allegedly bought by Malami while in office as minister.

However, in his defence, Malami said he had long been a rich man, maintaining that he had been in business before his coming to power, and the businesses are successfully flourishing all these years.

The implication of Malami’s statement is that, going by the wealth he had, which pre-dates the victory of President Buhari in 2015, and the trajectory of the returns he is getting from these flourishing businesses, it would be astonishing if by 2020, he is not the billionaire he is.

If Malami had really been this rich all these years, he must have been living a deceitful life with the people of Kano, because his lifestyle in the years before he became minister, was at complete variance with what obtains after he was made a minister. The business successes and affluence only came to be seen these few years.

Although Malami had mentioned food and drinks amongst his business interests, he seems to have highlighted more, or laid more emphasis on the Rayhaan Hotels, which also featured prominently in the many allegations against him. What baffles the rational mind, particularly those that live in Kano or know the location of the hotel, is how such a hotel, in a poor neighborhood, that is virtually unknown, could be such a money spinner at a time of economic doom.

Like many parts of the north, Kano has been suffering from serious economic hardship since the beginning of the insurgency, and the hospitality industry is the most affected due to poor patronage, occasioned by the fall in travels and tourism. How Rayhan Hotels is making profit, when the top ten hotels in Kano are operating at a loss, is not only questionable, but clearly in conflict with economic logic.

Rayhaan Hotel, located at Sallari, near Y’an Tsaki Chicks, can at best be described as a hotel in a location for those engaged in short time, who cannot afford the high price of hotels in good areas. For such an off-licence to be churning out the kind of profits that could transform the owner into an overnight billionaire, at a time of insurgency and economic doom, really makes mockery of all economic and business laws.

I don’t know the market share occupied by Rayhaan Food & Drinks, because I have never seen their products in the market, but I know they are not as popular as Coca-Cola, whose parent company in Nigeria said its business in Africa’s largest economy witnessed decline for the full year 2018. Operating via its wholly-owned subsidiary, Nigerian Bottling Company, NBC, with brands such Coke, Fanta and Sprite, the company said Nigerian volumes declined for the year 2018 as a result of competitive pressures. So, how Malami’s Rayhan Drinks are making profit remains the guess of every economist.

Another defence put by Malami, which happens to be the common defence of public officers accused of corruption is the word estacode.

Every time public officers are accused of amassing sudden wealth, the answer is estacode. If truly the government is dishing out money in the magnitude that turns officials into billionaires overnight, in the name of travelling allowance, then the time has arrived for a total travel ban, or a drastic review of estacode.

I am sure Malami himself knows that he is not the most travelled minister or the most successful businessman before joining the government of PMB. Also, apart from his own businesses, no business has recorded any serious success in the north in the last five years, including the businesses of Dangote and BUA, the most successful businessmen of the region.

So how he is recording boom at a time of doom is the issue the economic team of the President needs to look at, before the matter goes for the attention of Mr. President, if the war against corruption is meant to be taken seriously.

Mr Ibrahim writes from Abuja.

EXPOSED: Kano Pillars Fans to Miss Out of CAF Confederation Cup Action

Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano Pillars, Fans to Miss Out, CAF Confederation Cup
Kano Pillars in a match at Sani Abacha Stadium

Kano Pillars fans would not enjoy the opportunity to watch their darling team when they file out to campaign in the 2020/2021 edition of the CAF Confederations Cup, owing to the challenge posed by the still ravaging COVID-19 disease.

Judicial Sketch checks revealed that Pillars’ home turf at Sani Abacha Stadium has been converted to a COVID-19 isolation centre by the state government.

Our correspondent who visited the stadium on Tuesday further reported that a giant isolation tent is standing erect on the artificial turf, while other structures to aide medical services were also situated on the playground.

The state deputy governor, Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, who also serves as the chairman of the state task force committee on COVID-19 had, in May 2020, announced that Sani Abacha stadium was converted into an isolation centre to support other designated facilities in the fight against the disease in the state.

The request by CAF to all clubs that would be competing in its inter club competitions to send forward the names of venues for their home matches has sent panic down the spines of football administrators in the state.

“We have been informed that the draws for CAF competitions would be held in Moroco on September 25th. A letter has been sent to Kano Pillars that the inspection team would be coming to Kano to inspect the stadium where Kano Pillars is expected to play its home matches”, a sports official in the state told Judicial Sketch.

He said he was not sure of the steps to be taken, considering the time limit. “Frankly, I don’t know the miracle that could be performed. Kano Pillars’ fans may not be entirely part of the fun.

“The revenue that would have accrued to the club and the business communities would now be loss to the state, and I think the only likely option is Kaduna because of the rivalry between Kano Pillars and Katsina United fans is unhealthy. Jigawa does not have the facility, so Kaduna remains the only option, except the club may relocate to Bauchi.

When contacted, the media officer to Kano Pillars, Lurwanu Idris Malikawa, simply said “it is too early to decide.”

Supported by CHRICED and MacAthur Foundation.

BREAKING: Kano Gets Six New High Court Judges

Kano, Six New, High Court, Judges

Kano State government has just confirmed the appointment of six new High Court judges, Judicial Sketch reports.

The judges were confirmed on Tuesday after all the processes for the appointment of High Court judges have been satisfied.

Those confirmed were Justices Abdurahman Maiwada, Maryam Sabo, Zuwaira Yusuf Ali, Jamilu Sulaiman, Sunusi Ma’aji and Hafsat Yayha Sani

The first three were from the judiciary as they were former Magistrates while the last two were from the state ministry of justice, and Jamilu Sulaiman was chief registrar at the state High Court.

More details later.


Malami Writes Buhari to Explain Alleged Wealth Accumulation

Malami, Business Boom, Economic Doom
Nigeria's Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami

Nigeria’s minister of justice and attorney general of the federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN), wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari discarding the allegations of corruption against him.

He also tried to explain the sources of his alleged wealth, saying they were not proceeds of corruption.

The minister, in a in a memo to the president, gave evidence to show that the properties he was said to have procured as a minister were deposed to in his asset declarations to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

The AGF in a memo dated August 7, 2020, declared that those who wrote petitions against him were misled, giving details of his earnings, including salaries, allowances, estacodes and sundry income and benefits of businesses he received since his appointment as minister from 2015 till date.

He was obviously responding to a coalition of civil society organisations which petitioned Buhari against Malami, asking that the minister should step down from office in view of online reports of alleged massive acquisition of expensive properties likely to be proceeds of corrupt enrichment.

Malami disclosed that apart from a successful legal practice of more than 20 years, seven of which were as a senior advocate of Nigeria, he had interests in business ventures allowed by law before he withdrew from active practice upon his appointment.

He said he established Rayhaan Hotels, Rayhaan Food and Drinks both in Kano State, since December 13, 2013, adding that political maneuvering towards the 2023 election informed the allegations of corruption against him.

Journalists, CSOs Move to Scale up Nutrition in Kano

Journalists, CSOs, Scale Up, Nutrition in Kano

Civil Society groups under the umbrella of Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), Kano state chapter, have engaged  working journalists to help evaluate, monitor and conduct surveillance on nutrition in the state.

The chairperson, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, Kano state chapter, Bilkisu Ado Zango who led the media team at the engagements with CS-SUNN disclosed that journalists, after series of engagements, have reached a resolution with CS-SUNN on the need for the media to be mobilized to take actions that would increase the level of nutrition in the state.

According to her, part of the engagements would also include an increase in the number of news reports on print and electronic media, including feature articles and use of the new media platforms to create awareness, pursue change in poor government policies on nutrition, adding that the media is expected to now better educate the people on the best nutrition practices.

The secretary CS-SUNN, Kano state chapter, Ahmed Tijjani, disclosed that the group engaged the media at a day session held at Audu Bako secretariat where they remodeled how the media would work with civil society groups, particularly CS-SUNN to further heighten advocacy on nutrition.

He noted that the media is critical and key to the Strategy of Behavioral  Change Communicational (SBCC), explaining that without engaging the media to work beyond the usual reporting of nutrition, the agenda of scaling up nutrition in Kano state would not be achieved.

Athlete Gets Mysteriously Drown in Kano Pond

Athlete, Mysteriously Drown, Kano Pond

Popular Kano born track and field event athlete, Abubakar Salisu, last Friday got drown in a pond located in Rangaza Quarters in Kano metropolis, leading to his   dead.

Our correspondent reports that the deceased athlete, until his demise, had represented the state at national track and field events where he won laurels.

The biological father of the late athlete, who is also an athletics coach attached to Kano State Sports Commission, Salisu Molo, confirmed the death of his child,   saying the incidence came to the family as a rude shock.

He said “My 27 years old late son, Abubakar last Friday woke up and went to a neighborhood mosque where he performed his morning prayers. Surprisingly, I later received information that he later went to the pond, where he got drawn and died instantly.

“The pond is behind the compound where he lived. I have accepted fate as a Muslim, but two things baffled me. Abubukar was responsible for chasing away children who go to swim in the pond. He had also always cautioned parents not to allow their wards go close to the pond. How then did he himself end up going to swim in the pond and lost his life?

“I repeat, I have accepted my fate as a Muslim, but another issue that baffles me is that after his corpse was recovered from the pond, there was no any evidence to show that he was overpowered by the stagnant water because his stomach was not protruded which is the usual evidence of been drown”, coach Salisu said.

The spokesman, Kano state Sports Commission, Abbati Sabo, who spoke to Judicial Sketch about the incidence said the commission commiserates with Kano sports fraternity over the death of the athlete.

He said “Late Abubakar was one of our bright athletes. He usually competed in the 400m, 800m, and 1500m. We have lost a great sportsman.”

The remains of the late athlete has been interred according to Islamic injunctions, Judicial Sketch gathered.

Run All-Inclusive Tenure, MULAN Tells Akpata

Ahmad Kahlil, All-Inclusive Tenure, MULAN, Akpata

Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN) Yobe State Chapter has urged the newly elected national leadership of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) led by Olumide Akpata to run an all embracing government when they take over the mantle of leadership.

A statement issued by the secretary, MULAN Yobe state chapter, Ahmad Khalil, further urged the incoming national leadership of NBA to hit the ground running with the motive to fulfill all electoral promises.

Khalil said the uppermost task before the incoming leadership borders around sustaining unity amongst lawyers, adding that the newly elected leadership of the association should work hard to surmount the challenges that are bothering young lawyers.

He said “we congratulate the NBA president-elect, Mr. Olumide Akpata, NBA General Secretary Elect Mrs Joyce Oduah, the NBA National Treasurer Elect Mercy Ijato Agada and the entire NBA elected national officers on the occasion of their victory at the election.

“The association wishes them success and divine guidance in discharging their official responsibilities. We pray for Allah to grant them success in their tenure”, he stated.

PDP Claims Malami’s Request on Edo House Members-Elect was Thoughtless

Malami, Business Boom, Economic Doom
Nigeria's Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reacted to the directive by Nigeria’s attorney-general (AGF), Abubakar Malami, to the inspector-general of police to provide security for some Edo State House of Assembly members-elect, saying it was “thoughtless, unconstitutional, null and void.”

The party said the police chief has no obligation to heed such illegal directive, asking him to disregard it.

The party, at a press briefing, by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, noted that “nothing in Sections 90, 91, 101 and 104 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) cited by the Attorney General, empowers him to go to the streets of any part of the nation to assemble some clowns and declare them members-elect of any House of Assembly, without any electoral mandate.”

The PDP said these individuals have been absent for 180 days, abandoning their mandate and their seats declared vacant in line with the rules of the legislature and the laws of the federation.

“It is trite in law that with their seats having been declared vacant by the House, they have consequently lost their membership and respective mandates,” Ologbondiyan said.

The party further stated that the Attorney General ought to have availed himself of the facts that the state House of Assembly, as constitutionally constituted, had written to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), asking it to conduct fresh elections into the vacant seats in line with the provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Act…”

“If the AGF had bothered to get his facts correctly before issuing the unconstitutional warrant for the Gestapo operation to the IGP, he would have known that the matter of the declaration of the seats of the errant individuals and the request for the conduct of fresh elections to fill the vacant seats are pending in competent court in Edo State at the instance of his clients and therefore, it is sub-justice for him to speak on it or cause an action to be taken,” Ologbondiyan added.

The party said it rejected the AGF’s directive, saying it was responsible for Thursday’s attempt to cause mayhem at the Edo State House of Assembly.