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PROMISORY NOTE DRAMA: ZAMFARA STATE GOVT VS. UBA PLC By Bello Idris Galadi

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PERSONAL OPINION By: Bello Galadi,

During the reign of His Excellency, Alh. Abdul- aziz Yari Abubakar (Shatiman Mafara) as the Governor of Zamfara State, he carried out the construction and rehabilitation of 14 federal roads across the state. He said he expended N60b for the projects which were financed from the allocations of the state government. 


Towards the end of his tenure, he requested for the refund of the N60b from the FG alongside other 22 state governors. Immediately thereafter, the FG set up a committee to verify the claims of the state governments involved. The committee recommended the sum of N47b for Zamfara State instead of N60b requested. President Muhammadu Buhari eventually approved the amount. However, since there was no sufficient funds in the coffers of the FG at that time to settle all the claims amounting to N500b, the FG issued Promisory Notes to all the 23 state governments including Zamfara. 


By the Notes, payments were to be made in 2 trenches within 3 years. The first Promisory Note was to mature on the 28th December, 2020 while the second Promisory Note is to mature early April, 2022. Each state government was to receive from the Central Bank of Nigeria 40% of its total claim at the first trench and 60% at the second trench.
In the case of Zamfara State, it was billed to receive about N15b on the 28th December, 2020 and about N23b in April, 2022.


When the Zamfara State Government received her Promisory Note, Yari as the Governor then, couldn’t wait for the maturity of the Promsory Notes, as such, he approached the United Bank for Africa Plc.


It was agreed between the UBA and the ZSG that UBA was to advance about N37b to the ZSG. Reciprocatly, the ZSG was to forfeit about N10b to the UBA as its interest. 


It was also agreed that the CBN was to credit the UBA directly on the maturity dates with the N47b as on the Promisory Notes. I am sure some documents were signed by the UBA and ZSG. Few moments later, the UBA credited the account of the ZSG with the N37b.
Few months later, the newly inaugurated governor, His Excellency Bello Muhammad (Matawallen Maradun) raised alarm that he could not trace the money. That was the beginning of the drama. 


The Governor mulls the idea of setting up a Commission of Inquiry to trace the money. Almost 6 months now, no such commission. According the state government,  the deal was illegal because proper procedure and due process of law was not followed. 


In December, 2020, the ZSG filed an action before the Federal High Court Abuja against the CBN and UBA challenging the legality of the deal and secured an Exparte Order on the 24th December, 2020 which restrained the CBN from crediting UBA with the first trench of the Promisory Note in the sum of about N15b. Both the CBN and the UBA have been served  with the court order and they seemed to have complied.


Now, from the scenario above, who defrauded Zamfara State: is it the FG which cut the value of the contracts from N60b to N47b? Or Abdul Aziz Yari who refused to wait to allow the Promisory Notes to mature? Or the UBA, which, on the face of the desperation of the government, charged an exuberant interest rate of about N10b? All of them, in my view.


I think, the concern of Zamfara people revolves around how to trace the money and return it to the account of the ZSG for the use of the people.


We await to see the outcome of the case at the Federal High Court Abuja. As a lawyer, I will not discuss the substance of the case since it is already before the court. Whether or not the deal was legal, the court will determine the issues in accordance with the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007, the Banks and other Financial Institutions Act 2020 and all other enabling laws applicable to the case. However, as a key stakeholder in the drama, I hope and pray for a positive outcome of the case.


The ZSG has 2 basic options: either to pursue the case to its logical conclusion or explore means of settlement. If the government chooses the first option, one thing is certain: either to win or lose the case. Similarly, if the government chooses the second option, one thing is certain: it will recover part of the N10b from the UBA and forfeit part. I am personally more comfortable with the dialogue option.


If the governor insists on litigation and he wins, he will be crowned as a Knight and his political value will appreciate. If he loses, his political value will depreciate and a lot of people will never forgive him for adding salt to the wounds. So many people will question his rationale for embarking on litigation without proper assessment of the situation and in depth analysis of the available options. Some right thinking minds expected him to exercise some restraint and caution himself before instructing his lawyers to proceed with the court action which will gulf millions of naira in legal fees. The stage is now set for the actual drama.


I hereby enjoin His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Muhammad (Matawallen Maradun), as the custodian of our resources, to do everything possible to trace the money and ensure its return of the account of the ZSG and punish whosoever is culpable according to the laws they offended. Anything short of this is a minus to him.
Remember, N60b is not N60m.


Bello Galadi, immediate past Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Gusau Branch (covering Zamfara State) and President, Bello Galadi Foundation. He can be reached on: 


muhammadbel_law@yahoo com; muhammadbellaw80@gmail.com

2nd January, 2021

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HOW CP YUSUF KOLO IS CHANGING THE SECURITY  NARRATIVE IN ZAMFARA STATE

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Monday Editorial

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It has become clearly imperative for this medium to blow the trumpet for the newly deployed Commissioner of Police Mr. Yusuf Kolo who since his deployment has helped change the security narrative about the genuine fight against armed banditry in the state.

 

The deployment of this experienced Police officer has no doubt assisted greatly in improving the security situation of Zamfara state especially the stellar measures he adopted which are increasing social and economic stability in the state.

Reading about his CV and the career he has built in the service of the Nigeria Police Force, it has no doubt raised the hope of the people because for sometimes now Zamfara people had been agitating for deployment of capable Police officer who is vast in terms of security management and fighting insecurity.

 

For sometimes now, Thunder Blowers had carefully observed that, there is effective patrol and surviellance along the major highways in Zamfara State From Gada-Biyu Round about to Bimasa the Zamfara border town with Sokoto, one may clearly understand that this fine Police officer and gentleman Mr. Yusuf Kolo is ready to deliver his best to the restoration of security architecture  in Zamfara state.

This strategy is also effective at the Gusau-Kaura-Namoda and  Gusau-Gurbin Bore border with Katsina and Gusau-Tsafe-Yankara highways respectively. Within the capital city of Gusau again, there are various check-points mounted within all the strategic positions of Gusau and criminality has really reduced to the barest minimum.

 

It is evident that, there is serious stop-and-search operations in all the strategic locations in the state. and the recent arrest of some miscreants involved in various criminal activities is a clear indicator that, things are getting better with the new Police Commissioner’s arrival.

 

It is on record that, since his  assumption in office there has never been a major armed banditry attack in Zamfara except that of Zugu which took place at the bridge of his taking-over of the mantle of leadership of the State Police Command.

His tour of the divisions and formations across the state and his interaction with the officers on Duty Posts has really risen the hope of the people of the state. More importantly, the visitation to the traditional institutions and his engagement with them which had surely manifested in his recent achievements recorded.

 

We were keenly apt at the manner at which the Police Commissioner is personally moving round the streets of Gusau at the dark of the night to monitor the conduct of the operations of his men. His pictures are all over the social media moving with the other galant police officers working with full force to ensure that people slept with their two  eyes closed.

Residents of  areas of Gusau and outskirts including Damba, Tsunami, Mareri and  the rest are all grateful to this visionary tactical Police officer Mr. Yusuf Kolo for his commitment to ensuring that their hearts are at rest. For instance,from Lalan  to Damba,the level of Police enforcement along that area in the night is adding to the relative stability of the people.

 

What inspired people more is the manner at which the Police Commissioner Mr. Yusuf Kolo has effectively but tactically engaged the Nigerian Bar Association to develop strategies on how to jointly speed up the administration of criminal justice system in the state.

Our prayer is for the Police Commissioner to passionately sustain the momentum and continue to work hand in hand with the critical stakeholders to double this commitment, It is indeed wonderful and promising if the momentum is sustained.

 

Our conclusion on the steawardship of Police commissioner Mr. Yusuf Kolo is that his achievements speak volumes that he is matching his  academic credentials, his experience with these practical achievements.

 

We at Thunder Blower wish  you all the best as your partners in the fight against crime and insecurity in Zamfara  State.

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ONLY GENUINE MECHANISM OF RECONCILIATION CAN ENSURE THE SUCCESS OF APC IN ZAMFARA

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By virtue of the reconciliation we are all part of Governor Bello Matawalle family and he needs to treat all of us with justice and fairness. It is only justice and fairness that can guarantee solidarity and peaceful political atmosphere.
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Hon. Abubakar Yanware is a die-hard supporter of the former Governor of Zamfara Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar and a strong stakeholder in the ruling All Progressives Congress APC in Zamfara state.

He was among the APC aspirants that contested for the State Assembly post from Tsafe and wanted to contest the APC Primaries for 2023 elections with the current Deputy Speaker of Zamfara Hon. Musa Bawa Tsafe before the APC reconciliation dashed away the hope of  people like him.

He shared his perspectives with the Managing Editor regarding the political reconciliation in the Zamfara APC and raise his concern on matters arising and also shared his perspectives on what is to be done to ensure that the party remains strong and united.

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WHAT IS YOUR ASSESSMENT OF THE ON-GOING RECONCILIATION IN ZAMFARA APC?

Well, people have their own ways of assessing a political situation or rather have their different ways of reacting to a situations especially when issues involved politics and political developments but for me, there are more to see than one can understand about the Zamfara APC reconciliation.

The leaders namely former Governor Yari, Governor Matawalle and Sen. Kabiru Marafa may be entering into the peace deal with all sense of sincerity because they may want to bring an end to the lingering crises in the APC, but that may not be a true reflection of the mindset of their supporters.

And remember, they have a limit to which they can influence the same spirit into the minds of their supporters because decision-making in politics goes with the perception of the game players here I mean the party supporters.

So, the leaders of the APC in Zamfara, especially Governor Matawalle and former Governor Yari need to take time and make review of the progress recorded from the reconciliation and begin to reach out to their genuine supporters.

I will say this with clear voice our supporters from the site of Yari the former Governor still have reservations with this reconciliation arrangement within Zamfara APC and something very urgent needs to be done to save the party from collapsing.

FROM YOUR PERCEPTION, IT SEEMS MANY PEOPLE WITHIN THE APC ESPECIALLY FROM THE CAMP OF YARI AND MARAFA HAVE NOT ACCEPTED THE RECONCILIATION?

This is the reality of the situation many people have reservation about this Zamfara APC reconciliation and our leaders need to accept this as the true reflection of what is on the ground and begin to reach out to their supporters.

I am not part of those objecting to the reconciliation and all my supporters are with the reconciliation move hundred percent because I make sure that the moment the political reconciliation was perfected by our leaders I came back home and put my house in order by appealing to my supporters to forget the differences and join hand with the former Governor Yari in the new move.

But I am telling you, many of my political status across the (14) local governments especially those from the camp of former Governor Yari can not convince their supporters to accept the peace initiative entered into by our leaders and this shall be seen as a big problem because you cannot be relying on uncertain political structure to win election.

The feedback we are receiving from the communities is that people cannot be forced to continue to accept decision in the APC without them being properly consulted and this is the exact problem with the current arrangements entered into by our leaders, and for me, their resistance is a concern that need to be addressed with all sense of urgency.

BUT ARE YOUR POLITICAL LEADERS ESPECIALLY FORMER GOVERNOR YARI AWARE Of THIS DEVELOPMENTS?

I am sure he must be aware because he has ears to the ground and I believed from the exit of strong party men like Maibuhu Gummi and rest the former Governor must understand that all is not well with the reconciliation move within his camp.

The Governor, on the other hand, must understand that Yari is facing resistance from his supporters because steps that are supposed to be taken to ensure justice and fairness to all party members were not instituted.

Former Governor Yari may not speak this out for some strategic reasons but as wings to the politics of Yari we have to say this with all sense of modesty that politicians from Yari camp need to be accommodated so that their supporters can feel a sense of belonging politically.

WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU WANT GOV. YARI TO DO IN MANAGING THIS TYPE OF SITUATION.

I think the former Governor has done his best because since when the political reconciliation started he has been taking steps to ensure that his supporters are contacted, and I know how active he has been working to ensure that sanity is restored within his camp.

I believe it is not enough because time is not on our site and campaign will soon start and there is strong need to reach out to the people because the resistance is really telling bad of our political chances.

Recently, we have lost many people to PDP, and it is not to our best interest politically and all these are happening because there are no extended consultations with the members of the party at the grassroots.

If it means the former Governor should form a committee of consultation, so be it because it is important we get this problem addressed before the main campaign started.

WHAT DO YOU THINK, GOV. MATAWALLE SHOULD HAVE DONE TO SUPPORT YARI CAMP WHO ARE MOST AGGRIEVED IN THIS ARRANGEMENT?

The Governor needs to open his government and accommodate those serious hands from the camp of Yari so that they can have a sense of belonging politically.

By virtue of the reconciliation we are all part of his family members and he needs to treat all of us with justice and fairness and it is only justice and fairness that can guarantee solidarity and peaceful political atmosphere.

We knew the Governor may be facing similar challenges from his camp also, but that is the spirit of political reconciliation because the arrangements shall be “no-winner-no loser”.

Yari camp shall be given posts of Commissioners, Special Advisers and Council Sole Administrators that is justice and if this is done many concerns coming from supporters that have made sacrifices for Yari can be addressed.

Many of my readers would be looking at my position to be too primitive, but that is the only way out. If you go to my local government Tsafe, there are many powerful political forces from Yari and even Marafa camps that are abandoned to their fate, and you think this is healthy democratically?

At least certain percentage of appointments need to be sacrificed to Yari camp so that he can be able to step into the heart of his people, but for now, the Governor had to understand that there is no magic Yari can do to bring stability into his political camp than getting his supporters accommodated.

LET’S TALK ABOUT THE CHANCES OF THE APC CANDIDATES IN THE FORTH-COMING 2023 ELECTION IN ZAMFARA?

My answer to this question may not be different from my earlier position. Let the APC leaders in Zamfara- the Governor, former Governor Yari and rest put in genuine mechanism of reconciliation and be just and fair to their followers. Anything short of this no one can predict the end result of the APC political journey in 2023.

I am saying this because I know the kind of reaction that is coming from the people, and it is only justice that can help resolve the current state of uncertainty in the APC of Zamfara.

We know there are many candidates that are more popular in their respective constituencies, but the reconciliation had dashed their hope and political chances and these candidates are left without any arrangements.

You know this is a fact that those who had the opportunity to secure the ticket were only considered for some strategic reasons of reconciliation, not because they are better than the rest in terms of their political popularity.

YOU CONTESTED FOR THE POST OF STATE ASSEMBLY BEFORE THE RECONCILIATION EDGED YOU OUT OF THE ARITHEMETICS WERE YOU CONSULTED BY THE PARTY ORTHE CANDIDATE WHO HAPPENED TO BE DEPUTY SPEAKER?

Neither the party nor the candidate reached out to me since after the party primaries and it was the same thing with all the other aspirants that were aged out as a result of the political reconciliation.

What I expected the party to do was to set up a genuine reconciliation mechanisms that will make people like us who invested in the development of the party have a sense of belonging.

The implications of what is happening within the APC Zamfara is that people like us will be made to move aside and be watching things as they unfold, since the party does not consider us as stakeholders that are needed to win election.

But the APC needs to know that stakeholders like us cannot be abandoned to their fates because it can constitute a political redline to to the party.

It has been the same complaint all over but I wish the party can see reason why it shall reach out to us and carry us along as critical stakeholders.

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POWER OUTAGE: ZMSG TO FIX BRAND-NEW ELECTRIC TRANSFORMER IN TSAFE

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Zamfara state Governor had deployed a powerful delegation to inspect the condition of power distribution transformer at Tsafe power station on Monday.

The delegation was headed by the State Commissioner for Health Aliyu Abubakar Tsafe, Special Adviser to Zamfara Governor on Urban and Rural Electrification (DURET), technical staff of the Directorate as well as some powerful politicians in the local government.

The Commissioners who listen to the technical brief by the Directorate officials said the Governor of Zamfara Bello Matawalle was deeply worried when he received the news of the power outage at Tsafe and instantly ordered for on the spot inspection of the power transmission station.

Aliyu Abubakar Tsafe said based on the briefing by the DURET, the transformer which is measured at 2.5 (mba) was too small for the power consumption of Tsafe town, and it’s environ.

He said hence it was suggested that the new transformer to be installed be upgraded to at least 7.5(mba) he will intimate the Governor immediately and get the commitment of the state government in making sure that the problem is addressed out rightly.

He assured that the Governor will do what is right for the people of Tsafe local government by fixing brand-new transformer of high capacity since the existing one is no longer serviceable.

Furthermore, he thanked the people of Tsafe for sustaining their loyalty to the government of Bello Matawalle and assured that the government will do all that are needed to making Tsafe people comfortable.

In a remark, the Special Adviser Directorate of Urban and Rural Electrification (DURET) Alh Muhammad Shinkafi commended the Governor for his prompt response to the plight of Tsafe people and urged them to continue to extend their support to the government.

One of the elder statesmen in the local government Samaila Mudi Tsafe commended the Governor for taking the appropriate step of responding to the complaint of power problem in the Tsafe local government area and urged him to speedily fulfilled the pledge so that citizens of Tsafe can have a sight of relief.

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