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Dickson Akor: Sinner or Saint?



Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) headed by Dickson Akor has been embroiled in controversy over a number of years and the controversy which has lingered has almost consumed the corps and its head. PowerSteering went to town recently to take another look at allegations leveled against Dickson Akor.
Unemployment is a very big problem that has bedeviled Nigeria over the years and presently there are about 60million Nigerians that are unemployed. Among this unemployed, are about 10 million that are graduates and the figure is growing every year. It is a source of concern that unemployment has pushed young Nigerians to engage in all manner of vices like armed robbery, cultism, kidnapping, drug pushing, prostitution and cybercrimes. A few years back some Nigerian youths were arrested on the border of India and Iraq on their way to join ISIS. As a result of unemployment Nigerians are now being recruited as terrorists.
Some individuals and organizations have also taken advantage of the unemployment situation in the country to extort money from unsuspecting job seekers. It will be recalled that there was a huge recruitment scandal involving the Immigration service and the Ministry of Internal Affairs that boarded on collection of money from applicants amounting to hundreds of millions of naira. While the applicants were fleeced of their money, many of them lost their lives at the recruitment exercise that was held at the National Stadium, Abuja.
The allegations against Dickson Akor are similar to what happened in the immigration recruitment. The Peace Corps under Dickson Akor at a particular time was collecting various sums of money from applicants seeking recruitment into the corps. The money collected from applicants was under the guise of providing them with uniforms and training kits amounted to millions of naira. This development led to various allegations being levelled against the commandant of the corps. He was also alleged to have criminal records against him way back in the 90s which was the reason approval was not given to his organization by the President Buhari’s administration.
It will be recalled that the Federal government filed a 90-count criminal charge against the Commandant of the Peace Corps of Nigeria, Mr. Dickson Akor and the Incorporated Trustees of the Corps for alleged conversion of N1.4 billion.
In the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/45/2017 filed by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the defendants were further accused of wearing uniforms and other identification marks contrary to section 24 (1) of the Private Guard Companies Act Cap P30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and punishable under Section 32 (1) of the Act.
The charge filed by an Assistant Chief State Counsel, Aminu Alilu, on behalf of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, also accused the defendants of laundering funds obtained through unlawful activities. PowerSteering investigation has revealed that Mr. Dickson Akor bought so many landed properties from the profits of the fraudulent recruitment exercise both in Abuja and other cities; one of such properties is a massive structure in Otupko in Benue State alleged to have been owned previously by one prominent Idoma politician who is now a paramount ruler in Benue State. He was also alleged to have bought the building along clerical road by federal road, Otukpo for half a billion naira in 2016. These are just few out of the numerous properties Mr. Dickson Akor owned through the laundering of the recruitment proceeds including other massive ones in Abuja.
The Federal Government also accused the defendants of obtaining money by false pretense contrary to Section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other fraud related Offences Act, Cap A6 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under the same section of the Act.
They were also charged in count 86 for organizing and training of members of Peace Corps of Nigeria as a quasi-military organization. Count 88 of the charge accused the defendants of unauthorized display of flags contrary to Section 7(4)(b) of the Public Order Act, Cap P42, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under the same section of the Act.
In count 89, the prosecution accused the defendants of operating as a private guard without license. Under the offence of obtaining money by false pretense, the Federal Government alleged that Dickson Akor and Incorporated Trustees of Peace Corps of Nigeria, had, between January 1, 2013 and March 6, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, Abuja, did commit an offence to wit: by false pretense and with intent to defraud, obtained for yourselves the sum of N274,712,126.18 from unsuspecting citizens of Nigeria who paid into Eco bank’s account No. 4582022099.
The leader of the embattled Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN), Dickson Akor and its Incorporated Trustees, have been formally slammed with a 90-count charge by the Federal Government.
It was against this backdrop that Akor and some 46 members of his group were arrested and paraded by the police in Abuja on allegations they were operating illegally.
In count 1 to 32, Akor and PCN’s Incorporated Trustees are accused of converting money derived directly from extortion, contrary to Section 15(1)(a)(ii) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 and punishable under the same section of the Act.
They are, in Count 33 to 42, accused of transferring money derived directly from extortion contrary to Section 15(1)(a)(ii) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 and punishable under the same section of the Act.
In Count 43 to 75, they were accused of “obtaining money by false pretense contrary to Section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other fraud related offences Act, Cap A6 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under the same section of the Act”.
They were in Count 76 to 85 accused of “laundering of funds obtained through unlawful activity contrary to Section 7(1) (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other fraud related offences Act, Cap A6 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under the same section of the Act”.
They were in Count 76 to 85 accused of “laundering of funds obtained through unlawful activity contrary to Section 7(1) (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other fraud related offences Act, Cap A6 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under the same section of the Act”.
Mr. Dickson Akor who has been working hard to ensure that the Bill establishing the Peace Corps be passed into law was alleged to have bribed some Senate members with cash and slots to pass the bill.
The two Chambers of the National Assembly, as part of the legislative processes, organized Public Hearings in their respective Chambers in respect of NPC Bill.
So far over 570 Memoranda were received and 300 oral submissions made during the Public Hearings. In all of these, it was only 4 submissions and presentations that were against the passage of the Bill. Public Hearing is one of the most important parts of Bill making processes. The Bill establishing the Peace Corps is yet to see the light of day.
The Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN), is a youth organization in Africa, and has network of branches in all the States Capital in Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja with current membership strength of over 157, 000 comprising of both regular members and volunteers.
PCN and its activities established since 1998 in Kaduna, was accorded Federal Government recognition, under the Federal Ministry of Youth Development, since 2004 and is a member of the National Youth Council of Nigeria.
The Corps was in 2012 accorded a Special Consultative Status by the United Nations and assigned desk offices at the UN Headquarters in New York City, USA and regional offices in Geneva, Switzerland and Vienna, Austria.
The African Union, in the same vein, accorded PCN a special Conservative Status in 2016 on the occasion of its 18th Anniversary. Also, the Federal Ministry of Education granted PCN approval to establish its activities in all the Federal Government Colleges (Unity Schools) in the Federation since 2011. It is also affiliated to National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide emergency relief and humanitarian services.
The Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) may have met every requirement to be given approval and accent by the president, but the previous criminal record by the personalities behind the Corps is the greatest stumbling block to its existence. However, PowerSteering investigation has revealed that Mr. Dickson Akor after selling to get the Corps recognize is now angling to pick the ticket of a Deputy Governorship of Benue State from the slot of Zone C in Benue State. It was revealed that he has donated hundreds of million to the party chieftains in Benue State including the state Chairman and Senators in Benue State to pave way for his emergence at the forthcoming primaries. All these time and chance will tell if he will realize his dreams. Every attempt to reach Mr Akor to respond to these allegations proved abortive as he attacked our reporter and cautioned him not to ever call him on this matter again as he is fed up with the antics of Nigerian journalists. He advised the journalist to go and put pressure on the federal authorities to approve the operation of the Corps.

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Bauchi Assembly passes bill for the management of its funds and two others bills



The Bauchi State House of Assembly has passed the bill in to law for the management of its funds.

The Chairman House finance Committee Mr Abdullahi Abubakar disclosed this in an interview with Newsmen in Bauchi on friday.

“After a clause-to-clause consideration of the bill, the Speaker, Mr.Kawuwa Shehu Damina invited the Clerk of the House, to read the bill for the third time signifying its passage,” he said

He said the bill was signed in to law at a plenary session on Wednesday to provide the management of funds accruing to the Bauchi state House of Assembly from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the state.

“In order to ensure accountability, transparency, effective and efficient utilisation of the fund,” Abubakar said
He stated that the bill will give effect to the forth alteration bill to the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria that provided for the autonomy of the state Assembly and judiciary.

Abubakar explained that the bill would ensured that any amount standing to the credit of the legislature in the CRF of the state will be paid directly to the statutory account of the legislature where monies received from CRF will be deposited.

He said that the causes contained in the bill are sufficiently enough to provide modalities for the smooth, effective and efficient implementation of financial autonomy in the house.

Meanwhile the house pass other 2 bills which pass the third reading at plenary on Thursday.

The speaker Mr Damina mentioned tha the bills for a law to establish the Bauchi state Market Advisory Council and for connected purposes.

“The second one is a bill for a law to harmonize the activities of development partners in the state, to provide for the establishment of directorate in planning commission for administration of donor partners support.

The speaker Damina after house deliberations then ordered the Clerk to the house to read the bill for the third time signifying its passage.

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‎NGO trains 1000 vulnerable women, PLWHA on skills acquisition in Bauchi



A Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Bauchi Rahma Women Development Programme has trained 1000 vulnerable women and persons living with HIV/AIDS on various skills acquisitions.

Mrs Miriam Iliya the Executive Director Rahma Women Development made this known at the inauguration of Board of trustees in Bauchi on Friday.

“We embarked on the trainings in collaboration with the support of some international partners, the training was conducted within the period of nine months.

“The NGO was committed to make the trainees to become employers of labour in the future and be self reliance.

“The beneficiaries includes the People Living with HIV/AIDs and other vulnerable women whom were trained on different skills acquisitions such as Tailoring, Knitting, Barbing, Hair dressing saloon, Pomade and soap making and baking.

“We also give counselling to (PLWHA) to let them know that being positive is not the end of their lives and also disabuse their mind on the stereotype,”she said.

She however reminded the newly inaugurated board members that they are the custodians of the NGO and always to ensure right things goes in the right direction.

Earlier speaking the the Chairman Board of Directors Rahma Women Development Alhaji Bello Inuwa said the NGO had implemented several projects through international partners in various sectors that impact positively to the lives of people of Bauchi state.

“We carry out interventions in different various sectors such as health, education, water sanitation and hygiene, and micro finance credit facilities to women,” he said

Bello urged government at all levels to support local NGOs to improve the lives of the citizens: nothing that is only the NGOs that interact much with the grass roots people for implementation of projects.

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School teacher assaulted, manhandled by officers at Mabushi station



A serving teacher with Dominion International School, Jabi, Abuja, Iorember Doolumun, recently reported that he was maimed by two men of the police force from Surveillance Unit, Mabushi Divisional Police Station while having breakfast in Gishiri Village.

Mr. Doolumun who revealed that he was still in a devastated mood, told journalist that he had only gone for a tea break in Gishiri Village when two armed men stormed the spot to order everyone to lie flat on the floor but despite his decent quest to ascertain the reason for such an assaultive invasion, he got loads of slaps and kick boots from the officers, who told him he was speaking too much grammar, noting that they were also graduates, before conveying him to the Gishiiri Police station in hand cuffs, to get two more slaps for explaining that he had asked a simple civil question.

He further disclosed that he was forced to append to a statement titled, ‘An assault on a police officer’, after which a fine of N10, 000 was paid by friends as ransome for his release, as he cautioned the federal government to quiz the status of such security men for the future of Nigeria, mostly as the 2019 elections are around the corner. He said:

“I went out to eat that morning at a spot in Gishiri village and it was barely minutes when I entered the place that two policemen from Surveillance Unit at Mabushi Divisional Police station invaded the restaurant and ordered everyone to lie flat on the floor.

“I politely asked why they had to assault innocent citizens but in response, they pounced on me with slaps on my ears and kickings all over, telling me they were also graduates before conveying me to the station, where the officer in-charge gave me two more slaps, saying I had assaulted police officers on duty.

“I was forced to write and sign a statement titled, ‘An assault on police officer’, before I was released on bail after payment of a N10, 000 as fine, and I can barely hear well with my ears even as I speak to you, and my limbs are even swollen from the battering.

“It’s very worrisome to think that these are the same supposed custodians of peace in the country and will be the ones to be used as security in the forthcoming elections.

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