Kano Governor Ganduje caught on video receiving dollars from suspected contractors. [PHOTO CREDIT: Screen shot of the video obtained from Daily Nigerian]
The Kano State Government has revoked three contracts awarded to Tiamin Multi Services Ltd, a company belonging to Aminu Mohammed. Mr Mohammed is believed to be the contractor behind the videos showing the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, receiving money from contractors.
The three projects were worth N1.6 billion.
The state commissioner of information, Mohammed Garba, announced the cancellation at a widely reported press briefing on Friday, on the resolutions of the State Executive Council.
The state government gave “non-performance” as the reason behind revocation, which affected Tiamin and one other company, FNL Engineering Limited. It is unclear if the second company is also linked to Mr Mohammed.
Last year, an online newspaper, Daily Nigerian, published a series of videos showing Mr Ganduje collecting wads of dollar bills at different times believed to be kick-backs from contracts awarded by the state government.
Findings by this newspaper indicate that Tiamin’s managing director, Mr Mohammed, was the one who filmed the videos while delivering the cash to the governor at different times.
Mr Mohammed however declined to answer PREMIUM TIMES inquiry on his role in the sting operation.
However, a senior official in the company, who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES Friday evening but declined to be named as he was not authorised to speak by his boss, confirmed that Mr Mohammed was indeed the unseen face in the infamous Ganduje videos.
He said the cancellation is not unconnected with the decision of Mr Mohammed to blow the whistle on Mr Ganduje’s alleged misconduct.
Ironically, one of the projects by Tiamin that was revoked by the government, dualisation of Kofar Dawanau-Dandinshe-Kwanar Madugu was mentioned inone of the bribe-taking videos among those the contractors needed the governor’s intervention for payment.
Mr Ganduje was heard promising to talk to the state’s Accountant General on the outstanding payments.
The other two projects by the same contractor revoked by the government are roads linking different parts of Bichi and Fagge local government areas.
Mr Garba said the road projects in Bichi and Fagge were awarded on August 2, 2017 and November 13, 2017 with completion period of four months and 14 months respectively.
He said the contracts were revoked based on the contractors’ inability to complete the projects despite collecting respective advance payments of N204 million and N96 million.
Mr Ganduje is enmeshed in the bribe-taking scandal in spite of his denial and his suit against the news platform and its publisher, Jaafar Jaafar.
A probe into the scandal by the Kano State House of Assembly was also stalled in November by a high court of Kano State at the instance of Mr Ganduje.
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed resentment over the misconduct as captured in the videos.
He was reported to have made references to it at a meeting with Nigerian community in Paris last year, and at a meeting of his party’s campaign council penultimate week.
On Thursday, Mr Buhari re-echoed the dilemma he expressed at the party meeting on the irony of campaigning for Mr Ganduje with the allegation still around the governor’s head.
Mr Buhari mocked the governor for going to the extent of receiving the bribes personally and “smiling”. He said he hoped the issue would be cleared before his scheduled campaign visit to Kano and suggested the videos could have been doctored.
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has said he will only participate in the presidential debate tonite if the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, President Muhammadu Buhari would also take part.
Mr. Abubakar said this through the Spokesman of the Atiku Campaign Organisation, Kassim Afegbua.
The former vice president was reacting to the statement credited to the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof Itse Sagay that President Buhari will not debate with political dwarfs.
He blasted Sagay, saying the erudite professor has become a turncoat academic, with the senility of his intellect attaining double jeopardy.
He said, “When you realised that a supposed law professor like Itse Sagay now talks with tongue in cheek, you easily know that societal values and morality have become debased.
“When you realised that he once taught in the University, then the senility of his intellect has attained double jeopardy.
“Itse Sagay has not only become a turncoat academic but one whose sight invokes pity, sympathy and empathy. How can APC presidential candidate who has been fighting ‘battles’ with his WASC consider others who are duly qualified and well read as dwarfs?
“Does it not suggest that something is amiss somewhere?
“Who is actually a dwarf here? Is it a presidential candidate running away from debate or one who is challenging the other to a debate?
“Didn’t you see them packaging a phoney debate for him where he would have studied the questions and answers and regurgitate them to the best of what would have been prepared for him?
“If the APC presidential candidate is not presenting himself for debate, we will not allow our presidential candidate to attend any debate. But if APC candidate is ready to engage our candidate, he is ready and prepared for him.”
The debate will hold from 7pm at the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
The Executive Secretary of NEDG, Edidi Emesiri, had in a statement listed candidates to debate alongside Buhari as those of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, Oby Ezekwesili, Alliance for New Nigeria, Fela Durotoye; Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar and Young Progressives Party, Kingsley Moghalu.
The running mates of all the candidates are expected to take their turn on December 14, 2018.
Meanwhile, the Coalition for United Political Parties had on Thursday alleged that the Mr. Buhari was planning to evade the debate.
Wedding Church at Cana, pictured May 2017, was built circa
1881 in Kafr Kanna, Israel, and named in commemoration of the wedding in
the Gospel of John. (Wikimedia Commons/Larry Koester)
“There’s nothing worth doing that isn’t
worth overdoing.” Thus spoke one of my delightfully irreverent college
friends. Impudent as that sounds, it echoes one commentary about the
first of Jesus’ signs recorded in John’s Gospel. Scripture scholar
Silvano Fausti says that this story “tries to show us in one fell swoop
how scandalously distinct God is from what we would imagine.”
Really, what wedding celebration needs 600
liters of wine? But that is the story John tells us. The theological
message seems to be that God is willing to go to extremes — and not
necessarily the kind people ordinarily preach about.
While we have probably heard that the wedding at Cana
showed Jesus’ blessing of marriage, the story falls miserably short on
marital details. The only member of the wedding party who even gets
mentioned is the anonymous groom, and his only role is to hear that the
new wine is better than the old.
The principal characters in the story are two of the
wedding guests: Jesus and his mother. The secondary characters are
servants. The family, disciples, bridesmaids, etc., are just extras. The
entire plot flows around the wine. John the Baptist and his ascetic
friends would be shocked!
Obviously, this is not a story about
marriage and family. Nevertheless, it is a story about a marriage feast.
In John’s Gospel, it is the first act in the Messiah’s mission to bring
the union of God and humanity to fulfillment.
John the Evangelist called this the first of Jesus’
“signs,” events we often think of as miracles. But Jesus’ signs were far
more than one-time miracles. They were portents of things to come.
Jesus’ signs announced that something radically new was happening. We
could consider the sign of the wedding wine as a living parable, a
performance that explained Jesus’ first declaration of his mission when
he said: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at
hand!” (Mark 1:15).
John pays almost no attention to the actual
bride and groom because this story is about the marriage of God and the
people. The wedding without wine is the situation in which the old
traditions, like the empty ceremonial jars, have lost their power.
This wedding is a lifeless liturgy. The principal
players are nameless, the disciples are mere bystanders. People go
through the motions, but there is no passion. It is as if they think
this is what they are supposed to do, but they have no idea why they
still believe in it. Anybody could do what they are doing and it would
make no difference.
Then the mother of Jesus enters the scene. As the
representative of Israel’s hope, as Israel’s potential to give life, she
protests. A wedding without wine is a liturgy with no passion — a
The ever-enigmatic Jesus responds that his hour has not
yet come. But Mother Israel, trusting that prayer will never go unheard,
tells the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Like Moses who bid his
people to choose life, she instructed God’s servants to obey Jesus’
This brings the scene to its climax. Jesus asks the
servants to do something utterly simple. He instructs them to fill their
empty ceremonial jars. He tells them to fulfill the religious practices
they had allowed to fall into neglect. Their obedience provided him
with the raw material for working his sign. When they filled the jars to
the brim, they demonstrated wholeheartedness, and God had something new
to work with.
In a story that will be echoed in the
account of the loaves and fishes, Jesus took the little they could
provide and transformed it into an overabundance. John tells us that
this event marked the first revelation of Jesus’ glory and that the
disciples began to believe in him.
According to the Gospel of John, this was Jesus’
primordial sign, the event that foreshadowed everything that was to
come. Jesus said that his time had not yet come, but Mary believed that
his very presence meant that the time was ripe.
We may be living in the same time zone as the guests at
Cana. Too many of us have become accustomed to dryness. Like impassive
wedding guests, we go through the motions of the ceremonies without
great expectations. The real scandal highlighted in this story is not
wine, but passivity.
Today, Mary asks us if we want things to be different,
if we are willing to risk the experience of God’s lavish love. If so, it
is time to turn to Jesus and do whatever he tells us. It is time for
Abbas and the Palestinian leadership are clearly trying to drag Israel into a religious conflict with all Muslims, not only Palestinians. The Temple Mount has become their favorite platform for disseminating blood libels…. If anyone is defiling the
The outcome of Nigeria’s 2019 election may not be
significantly different from what happened in the 2011 elections in which
scores of people were killed including serving members of the National Youth
Service Corps serving Northern Nigeria.
This prediction was echoed during one day summit in Sokoto, Northwest Nigeria by a Sociologist Prof. Muhammad Tukur Baba of the Federal University, Birnin Kebbi. He said his prediction is based on the current hype by the two dominant political parties, the APC and PDP to the effect that each is in pole vault position to win the polls.
He recalled that the same thing played out during the campaigns leading to the 2011 elections which later spiraled into violence as supporters of Buhari’s CPC refused to accept the results and resorted to violence, killing and maiming.
Prof. Tukur Baba pointed out that most Nigerian
children are brought up on faulty foundation thereby predisposing them to crime
and violence. He further said most of those involved in robbery and kidnapping
in Zamfara and some other states are members of the same communities that they
Addressing the summit, the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Most Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah remarked that while political leaders meet and fraternize, their ignorant followers out there fight and kill one another for the same leaders.
He observed that while the children of the less
privileged in society are recruited and induced with drugs and other substances
to cause mayhem, children of political office seekers don’t participate in
political activities and they have never been known to be victims of political
The Bishop lamented that the nation’s psyche has been militarized as men of the armed forces have been brought into every conflict which are mostly internal.
He said he hopes that Nigeria’s 2019 polls will be
peaceful. He urged every Nigerian to be at the vanguard of the country’s
security for the common good.
The one-day summit was organized by the Justice, Development and Peace Commission of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto. It was the second in the series aimed at creating awareness on the need for the involvement of community leaders in ensuring peace and security before and after the elections.
Director of the JDPC, Fr. Lawrence Chike Emehel
said the one-day summit was a follow up to the recommendation of participants
at the last forum for more of such opportunities for mind rubbing.
Participants included politicians, community
leaders, members of the armed forces and other security agencies who are
engaged for election security.
A wildfire on Friday engulfed parts of the Guinness Nigeria Plc, Aba Brewery, Abia, razing bottles, chemicals, office structures and furniture to ashes.
Firefighters battled hard to contain the fire, which started at about 11 a.m. on Friday until about 6:46 p.m. when the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent left the scene.
Okezie Uche, Aba Fire Service Commander, told NAN that his men reached the site at about 1 p.m. and fought hard to extinguish the fire with the help of other staff of near-by companies who volunteered.
“We have water challenges but today, we refilled from the NNPC.
“When the fire seems to be out of control, I called the Controller of Abia Fire Service, Mr V.O Gbaruko in Umuahia office for backup and he sent men and more equipment.
“We used techniques with the support of NNPC that gave us a foaming chemical which helped to extinguish the fire.
“Without that chemical, we cannot do much because we are fighting a highly flammable material,” he said.
Mr Uche said the materials at the brewery included empty bottles, plastic crates and others.
He said that “poor house-keeping” might have been responsible for the fire, stressing that when the staff could not contain the fire, they called the fire Service.
A police officer who preferred anonymity told NAN the police got information on the fire at about 12 noon and called in the Fire servicemen in Aba.
“They came, the Commander of MOPOL 55 also sent his men; the villagers also assisted in fighting the fire but it has not been easy as efforts were slowed because there was no power from EEDC to pump water.
“And the water the Fire Service brought finished but the efforts continued with the help of Glover Paints that mobilized their men to bring water to help.
“When the Umuahia Fire Service Commander sent his men, they joined with the help of staff of Geometric, to contain the fire to this level,” he said.
He assured that the fire would be over before 6 p.m. following combined efforts, adding that fire reached nearby NNPC Gas Pipeline but was put out at that end.
He said the fire reached the NNPC Gas Pipeline area near the depot but when the Fire Service came, they first tackled the area which was why the pipeline did not explode.
Eric Otuonye, the Station Officer in charge of security of the brewery, said workers noticed the fire and smoke in the compound at about 11:30 a.m. from a nearby bush hence they mobilized to fight it.
He said that the fight had been tough as firemen from fire service office in Aba and Umuahia, the staff of Clover Paints and Guinness Nig. Plc fought the fire from 12 p.m.
“I think the fire got to a chemical that has escalated it, this is after 6 p.m. and if it is not put out, I do not know what will happen at night.
“I believe the fire must have started from our compound. But there is a bush close to our fence on that side where it started, that is what we are suspecting.
“But now what is important is fighting the fire, when it is over we can now trace where it started,” he said.
Mr Otuonye said that the damage was to be estimated in billions of Naira.
He said the brewery had been shut down already since July 2018, adding that only a few police personnel and company security guards were around. (NAN)