Categories: Health

Gombe to prosecute IG Wala over N3.8m contract fraud

Gombe State Government said it has concluded arrangement to prosecute Mr Ibrahim Garba Wala, the managing director of Wala One 2Man Media Ltd for failure to execute a N3.8 million computer training contracts awarded to him five years ago.

A Permanent Secretary at the Gombe State Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Mr Adamu Kala told Daily Trust that Mr Wala’s (popularly known as IG Wala) firm is yet to return the N3,795,000 paid to him on September 8, 2012, for a scheduled computer training that was not conducted.

Official documents showed that IG Wala wrote a quotation to the ministry on June 29, 2012, urging the ministry to purchase forms for 300 youths for three- month ICT training skills.

In a letter dated October 4, 2012, and signed by Alhaji Bappayo Yahaya (permanent secretary), the ministry for local governments and community development, conveyed Governor Ibrahim Dankwambos’ approval to the caretaker chairmen of the 11 local governments of N345,000 per LG, totalling N3,795,000, for sponsorship of the training.

The training which was scheduled to commence on January 23, and end on January 30, 2013, didn’t commence when ministry officials paid unscheduled visits to the proposed training centres in Gombe, Mr Kala said.

“After the contract was approved by the then commissioner in the ministry, Alhaji Mijinyawa Sani Labaran, the sum of N3.8 million was released to the company, Wala One, through its proprietor, Ibrahim Garba Wala,” the permanent secretary said.

“However, after the fund was released to him, he failed to conduct the training and also refused to return the money paid to him,” he said.

“We have written to him, but for about five years now after the said agreement, he neither return the money nor conduct the training he was given the money in the first place,” he said.

He said due to Wala’s failure, the ministry came under intense pressure from prospective trainees and their guardians. In a letter to the firm dated January 31, 2013, and signed by the then commissioner in the ministry, Umar B. Abubakar, the ministry asked IG Wala to appear before it on February 5, 2013, “otherwise the ministry will be left with no option than to take appropriate measures against you (IG Wala) and the company.”

“We compiled the reports with all the evidence and relevant documents which we now forwarded to the office of the state Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Barrister Abdulhamid Ibrahim for further action,” the permanent secretary said.

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In his reaction, IG Wala told Daily Trust last night that he never collected a dime directly from the state government. “You will agree with me that any money paid by prospective candidates in the process of application are non-refundable, so it is not correct for the government to claim that they gave me money,” he said. He said the programme failed because “The government failed to provide the necessary logistic as agreed that will facilitate the smooth running of the programme, hence the training could not hold.”

Researchers record breakthrough with new technique of gene-editing

Researcher  have discovered a new technique which vastly improves the accuracy of gene-editing technology.

Gene-editing medicine envisions  utting a guided biomachine into the body to seek out defective gene sequences in each cell and to edit in the correct information with accuracy

Researchers from the University of Alberta carried out the study published in Nature Communications, and funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.They discovered a way to greatly improve the accuracy of gene-editing technology by replacing the natural guide molecule it uses with a synthetic one called a bridged nucleic acid, or BNA.

The study promises to bring the technology much closer to therapeutic reality and applications to patients.Basil Hubbard, Canada Research Chair in Molecular Therapeutics and an assistant professor in the U of A’s Department of Pharmacology, who led the study said: “We’ve discovered a way to greatly improve the accuracy of gene-editing technology by replacing the natural guide molecule it uses with a synthetic one called a bridged nucleic acid, or BNA.”

He and his team have filed a patent on their discovery and are hoping to partner with the pharmaceutical industry to incorporate it into a therapeutic.

Interest in gene-editing technology has been rapidly rising since the discovery of CRISPR/Cas9. This system is naturally present in bacteria, which use it for protection against their natural predators, called bacteriophages.

“What researchers have realized is that this system can be programmed to cut a specific DNA sequence in a human cell also, allowing us to edit our genes. One of the main issues, however, is that the system is not perfectly specific — sometimes it cuts a similar but incorrect gene.”

Even though gene-editing technology still has several obstacles to overcome, including how to deliver it effectively into the human body, it may someday be used to treat a wide variety of genetic diseases, from muscular dystrophy to hemophilia and various cancers

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