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I regret leaving my husband’s bedside in his final moments – Turai Yar’Adua

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For Turai, wife of the late former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, it has been difficult to swallow the lump of guilt which she feels for leaving the bedside of her husband before he took his last breath in 2010.

She said she still regretted her action, 13 years after even though it was for her to observe her prayers, explaining that the former President appeared not to have approved ot that temporary separation from her at that moment.

Yar’Adua, who was elected in 2007 died in 2010 of an touted heart condition known as peracarditis – said to be the swelling of thin, sacklike tissue surrounding the heart – the first Nigerian leader to die in service outside the late Aguiyi Ironsi, who was killed in a coup and Sani Abacha, who died of unidentified causes – both military.

The wife of the late Nigerian leader, who said she had no taste for politics, having lost it when her husband died, told BBC Hausa on Friday, how her husband died moments after she left him to break her fast, which she had been her routine since he took ill, adding that regretted it afterwards, because she felt he did not want her to leave his side.

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She said: “I was fasting on that day. In fact, I had been fasting non-stop from when he took ill and even after he died, I did not stop. So when it was time for me to break my fast, he was lying down looking at me. I felt he did not want me to leave, so I told him I was going to break my fast. He then shook his head and I left.

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“I was later called and I met him struggling with his breath. That moment still lingers in my mind. I even quarrelled with myself on why I left to break my fast, I should have stayed.”

Testifying to what many had said about the late President as a simple man without airs, she spoke of how he was not enamoured by things of the world, giving examples of how he was not bothered by what he wore.

Hear her: “For example, he could be using a wristwatch continuously until the strap gets broken into two. Unless I see it, he would continue to use it like that. My husband was not taking alcohol, he would not go after women and he was not corrupt. He was a very simple person who did not attach importance to worldly things.

“I think about him every day. Every day seems like any other day. The only difference is that today, people gathered to pray for him, eulogise him and I’m happy. I thank them.”

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BREAKING: Court begins trial of Hadi Sirika, Buhari’s ex-Minister

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Hadi Sirika, former Minister of Aviation in the government of Muhammadu Buhari, will on Thursday begin to face his accusers – the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), over the allegation of fraud regarding a contract award of N2.7billion while in office.

The former Minister, who is being arraigned alongside his daughter, Fatimah, and two other suspects, one Jalal Hamma, and Al-Duraq Investment Ltd, on charges of abusing their positions to launder over N2.7 billion, is expected to appear before Justice Sylvanus Oriji of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The Minister, said to be undergoing investigations over an N8,069,176,864.00 money laundering allegation, involving Engirios Nigeria Limited, reportedly, owned by his younger sibling, Abubakar Sirika was arrested by operatives of the anti-graft agency was brought into its Abuja office on Tuesday, April 23 and where he was detained.

It is not known whether the two cases are related, but The PUNCH quoted a source as saying: “The N8,069,176,864.00 aviation ministry contract fraud was carried out in connivance with his younger brother, Abubakar Sirika, through the latter’s company.”

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The report, which said that Sirika was particularly being investigating for conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of public funds, and contract inflation, as well as criminal breaches of trust and money laundering amounting to N8,069,176,864.00 during his tenure in office.

Abubakar Sirika, was said to have been arrested and detained by the commission in connection with N3,212,258,930.18 paid to his company, Engirios Nigerian Limited’s, bank account by the former minister without a trace of work done on any of the contract items to date.

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Demolished Abuja land: Wike empty noisemaker, nothing outside politics – Ukachukwu  

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“Where was Wike in 2003 when a national honour was given to me as a result of developing Abuja? Where was he? Is it because of these fake opportunities that they have in the country that lead them to come on television and start harassing the citizens? When you talk of integrity we never go into shady deals.”

These were the exact words of Linus Ukachukwu, Abuja based billionaire businessman, as he fired back at Nyesom Wike, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), over the issue of demolition of a large piece of land in Abuja, belonging to him and his brother, Nicholas Ukachukwu.

Wike had described them as landgrabbers, who acquired the property through the back channels, using corrupt officials of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), a move which he vowed not to condone under his administration of the capital city.

Ukachukwu, who appeared visibly angry at being so tagged, stated that the Minister was far behind in rating considering what he and his brother had contributed in the development of the FCT for decades now, for which they had won individual awards from the government.

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Ukachukwu, while appearing on African Independent Television (AIT), accused Wike and Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, a former FCT Minister, and later Governor of Kaduna State of colluding with Lebanese developers to seize his land.

Hear him: “As far back as 2003, I had a national honour as a result of what I had been doing in the housing sector in Abuja. In 2005 my brother had a similar honour. How can you call Linus Ukachukwu and Nichoas Ukachukwu land grabbers? We need a serious apology from Wike.

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“Where was Wike in 2003 when a national honour was given to me as a result of developing Abuja? Where was he? Is it because of these fake opportunities that they have in the country that lead them to come on television and start harassing the citizens? When you talk of integrity we never go into shady deals.

“This land was given in the nineties. I gave the documents showing the ministerial approval to AIT. Along the way because of the size of the land, El-Rufai came in and intimidated the first person (allotee) that they gave that land and did all manners of things to try to take that land from him. At the end of the day, they went to EFCC, went to court and the court discharged the guy and said that there is no forgery on the document.

“They went to court of Appeal, EFCC lost and they gave up and gave the Certificate of Clearance to the initial person that the land was allocated to. That was when we now came in and acquired some of the property and discovered that while the matter was still in the court, that El-Rufai went and gave part of the plot to Sunrise without even revoking our rights.

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“So, you can see the impunity. Some of these leaders you need to stop listening to them because they are just bunches of liars. He took part of the land and gave it to Sunrise, (Lebanese) without revoking our title.”

Ukachukwu, who revealed how Mohammed Musa Bello, Wike’s immediate predecessor, set up a committee to address the dispute, he which he said, discovered that the original title held by him and his brother remained legitimate, he stated that the former Minister then suggested they should surrender the portion of land already developed by Sunrise and focus on developing the remaining area.

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Stressing that contrary to Wike’s claim, the land dispute had been settled in his favour approximately seven months prior to the end of the last administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, under which Bello served, he said the latest action was instigated by the same Lebanese, who met the Minister and pushed him into the matter.

Hear him: “Along the way, these Lebanese went to Wike and called for a meeting. My brother went for the meeting and in that meeting, Wike started intimidation, he didn’t even want my brother to talk, but Ukachukwus cannot be intimidated because Wike does not have address even to intimidate anybody.

“If he can intimidate, it is not me because I made my money through the grace of God and sweat. I never stole and I never worked for any government. In that meeting, he didn’t even want my brother to talk until my brother raised his voice and said you cannot bring me for a meeting and tell me that I cannot talk and that only my lawyer can talk.”

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BREAKING: I’m guilty, I didn’t know spraying money is against the law, Bobrisky tells court

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Idris Olanrewaju Okuneye, Nigerian crossdresser, popularly known as Bobrisky, promptly admitted guilt in the case of Naira abuse slammed on him at the Federal High Court, in Lagos on Friday, rather than wasting the courts time, in apparent move to secure some leniency Justice Abimbola Awogboro, presiding over the matter.

The controversial mummy of Lagos, who was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), was brought to the court to answer charges on a six-count bothering on abuse of the Naira – four counts and two counts bothering on money laundering, wasted no time in pleading guilty.

Before the charges were read to him Suleiman Suleiman, asked the court to strike out counts five and six bordering on money laundering allegations, which Awogboro acceded to and subsequently struck the said counts out, leaving the controversial figure, who has since adopted a female gender as his preference to promptly plead guilty.

“Yes, I am guilty,” he told the court after the charges were read to him, but pleaded that his matter be treated with mercy, since he was not aware that the said act was an offence under the Nigerian law.

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Addressing himself as a media influencer, he told the court that he was ready to make amends and to particularly do a video to enlighten Nigerians, who like him, might not know about the law on the implication of the act.

“I know, My Lord. My Lord, I wish that you could give me a second chance to use my platform to inform and educate my followers about spraying money. I would do a video on my page and I will educate people about spraying money. I will not repeat it again. I regret my actions,” he said.

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