NIPR: It’s Criminal Offence To Appoint Spokespersons Without Certification

The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) says it is a criminal offence to appoint spokespersons without certification in public relations.

The organisation has also threatened to take legal action against public and private organisations that fail to appoint public relations professionals as spokespersons.

A statement by Stanley Ogadigo, NIPR Public Relations Officer, issued on Tuesday in Abuja, noted that there were skills to acquire before a person can function optimally as a spokesperson.

Quoting Muhktar Sirajo, the NIPR President, the statement read: “There are laid down rules about appointing spokespersons; the law establishing NIPR makes it a criminal offence for anybody to practise public relations by whatever name without certification or licensed by NIPR.

“There are set parameters of knowledge you need to acquire before you can practice public relations. The law actually provides for imprisonment, fine, or both.

“Unfortunately, the government too does not come clean in respect of this. Most of the people government appoints to be spokespersons are in violation of this very important creed.

“The government is either unaware of, or has forgotten that there is a law that says you cannot practice Public Relations, PR, without licence from the NIPR. In essence, the government too cannot appoint a spokesperson if that person is not licensed by the NIPR.”

In the statement published by NAN, he also noted that the organisation was doing well in the fight against quackery.

For those who required certification, the NIPR President stated that they can take advantage of a professional training programme to regularise their membership of the body.

“We have sought audience with the Attorney General of the Federation, because part of the provisions of the law is that the Attorney General is supposed to establish a tribunal that is to try and punish people found to be practising PR without licensing from the NIPR.

“The NIPR leadership in its wisdom introduced Master Class programme, a window of opportunity for people who have been practising PR for minimum of five years without licensing as part of measures to ensure that those holding executive and other high-profile positions in both public and private sectors do not end up being embarrassed when the hammer falls.

“We are educating, enlightening and making advocacy visits to let the people, especially those that matter, know that they are further killing the system by compromising professionalism. As long as square pegs are not put in square holes, we will continue to have this and even worse problems.”

HURIWA Demands Buhari Impeached For Suspending Onnoghen

However, a statement by Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and Miss Zainab Yusuf, the National Coordinator and National Media Affairs Director of HURIWA, respectively, quoted Section 292 of the Nigerian Constitution which does not expressly distinguishe between “temporary removal (suspension) from a permanent removal (sack)”.

According to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, the CJN can only be removed with the knowledge of the National Assembly — the removal must be approved by two-thirds majority of the National Assembly.

Portraying HURIWA’s contrary position to the President’s decision to suspend the CJN, the statement read: “The power to remove is different and is even more stringently interpreted in employments with statutory flavor as in this case, but we have not even begun to talk about the power of removal. Granted that the CCT may have a constitutional role in the removal of the CJN going by a wholistic reading of the above provisions, but there is no statutory provision that clothes the CCT with power to order the CJN or any person appearing before it to step aside or recommend that the President should suspend the CJN or anyone appearing before it.

“Such a procedure amounts to denying the CJN or whoever has been subjected to such treatment by the CCT, his constitutionally guaranteed presumption of innocence and is an imposition of punishment by the CCT even before it has made a finding of guilt (which finding is even appealable to the Court of Appeal). Even after finding a person such as the CJN guilty of a contravention against the Code of Conduct the Constitution strictly lists the punishments it can impose on the guilty party (subject to his right of appeal) and the listed punishments do not include suspension or recommendation for suspension. It is putting the cart before the horse, and a violation of the rights of the accused to a fair trial, to suspend him from office while he is undergoing trial before your court when you are not his employer who has initiated disciplinary proceedings against him.

“The suspension of the CJN by the president under whatever guise constitutes a constitutional infringement of the principle of separation of powers and a usurpation of the disciplinary powers of the NJC enshrined in the Constitution. The power of removal granted under the constitution not being an absolute power but one predicated on specified conditions and requiring the participation of other actors alongside the President, does not include the power to unilaterally suspend which is under of the disciplinary powers of the NJC. 

“As we have always maintained the decision in the Nganjiwa case, in blurring the delicate lines between disciplinary and penal proceedings may have unwittingly contributed to the desperation that led to this monumental blunder in suggesting to the minds of those ignorant of the workings of the law, that the judiciary was hell-bent on protecting its corrupt members and shielding them from the reach of the law. While the current blunder is inexcusable, we can feel the reverberating effect of the Nganjiwa case in the spate of court orders and applications that has trailed this particular case and finally culminated in this desperate measure whether well motivated or ill motivated. In the final analysis, this ill-advised move has rendered nugatory whatever credibility there seemed to be in the initial revelation of undeclared asset by the CJN and transformed the case into one of ill-advised abuse of power. Two wrongs do not make a right.”

We Can’t Produce Diezani In 72hrs” – EFCC Chair, Magu Reacts To Court Order

EFCC Chair, Ibrahim Magu, has reacted to the High Court order which directed the anti-graft agency to arrest the immediate-past Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu, has said that the commission needs less than 72 hours given by the court, in producing a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to face her corruption charges, stating that the only problem the commission has is that she is being held “in another man’s country”.

Mr Magu made this known on December 5, 2018, during an interactive session with journalists and social media influencers, at the commission’s headquarters in Jabi, Abuja.

Expressing optimism with complying with the court order, Mr Magu said: “We will comply with the court order. In fact, it is in our character to do so. If we won’t comply with the court order, that means we have reasons to appeal against the court decision.
“We need less than 72hours to produce Diezani. But she is being prosecuted by other law enforcement agencies outside this country. This is our predicament.”

Talking about the challenge in getting her, he said, “Another law enforcement agency is in the matter. You know she is in the United Kingdom. And we are making preparations to get her.
“We have already gone to the court, in fact that was our request for extradition that compelled the court to issue a warrant of arrest against her. I need just less than an hour. If she is here, I will get her immediately and take her before the court. Our problem is that she is another man’s country.”

Responding on the issue of not finding anything against the former minister, Mr Magu said, “Nobody can say she has not committed anything. All the neighbouring countries in Europe and America and all the law enforcement agencies in the world have knowledge of Diezani’s money laundering activities.”

Speaking on looted funds still hanging outside the country, Mr Magu wondered why it was difficult for the countries concerned to repatriate the looted funds.

He said:-

“More than 80 per cent of the loot recovery outside this country is still hanging. Ask them why is it hanging? Why is it so difficult to repatriate this money, when you have established that this only came from Nigeria and you know that this person does not own this money? There is no justification. It’s not small money. We have over $300million hanging in the United Kingdom”.

Responding on the Halliburton bribery controversy, the anti-graft czar, said “We are only looking at the way the money was expended, the manner in which it was shared, and used.
“There was money that was received from Halliburton. There was settlement. So now, our problem is how that money given to Nigeria was shared. We are very much on it. We will see to the end of it”.

He thereafter urged the general public to collaborate with the commission in the corruption fight, stating that the whistle-blower policy was still very much on.

“This whistle blowing policy is working. This boy that blew the Ikoyi whistle has become a millionaire and he is not calling me again,” he added.

(NAN)

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Breaking News:EFCC Arrests 9 Yahoo Boys, Recover Cars (Picture)

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arrested nine suspected internet fraudsters in Abuja.

A statement on Wednesday by the acting spokesman of EFCC, Mr. Tony Orilade, said the suspects were cooperating with the commission and would be charged after the conclusion of investigations.

It noted that the suspects were arrested by the Advance Fee Fraud Section of the Commission on November 30, 2018 through an intelligence report received on the fraudulent activities of the suspected fraudsters residing somewhere along Airport road, as they were obviously living above their means.

According to the statement, operatives of the EFCC had carried out surveillance for days on the activities of the fraudsters before they swooped in on them.

The suspects are: Edwin Ogbomwan, Okouromi Franklin, Oseji Collins, Collins Onyekwuluje, Anyanechi Ekene, Tony Oviasuyi, Chidi Emeshili, Osaigbovo Aiseos and Osaigbovo Ikponmnosa.

The suspects had turned their residence into a safe haven for fraudulent activities using it as a place of abode and an operational office with computers, laptops, phones, modems, sim cards and many other fraudulent tools to fleece unsuspecting Nigerians and foreigners of their hard-earned money and valuables.

The suspects had created a phoney identity of ‘Thomas Jerry Star and John Ben’ which they effectively deployed in their deceptive deals.

The suspects, aged between 19 and 26 years, were arrested with two GLK Mercedes Benz, One Toyota Camry, Lexus Jeep and other valuables worth millions of Naira, which they acquired through the proceeds of their ignoble trade

9 Yahoo Boys 

$8.1bn Refund: MTN Opted For Out-of-Court Settlement​

MTN Nigeria Communications Limited has asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to further adjourn the hearing in the suit it filed to challenge the $8,134,312,397.63 being demanded from it by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The $1.8bn demand by the CBN followed alleged forex remittances infraction by MTN.

MTN’s lead counsel Wole Olanipekun told the court that his client had approached the CBN for possible amicable resolution of the dispute.

He urged Justice Saliu Saidu to further adjourn the suit to enable parties to fully explore out-of-court resolution and deliberate on the terms of the settlement.

CBN’s lead counsel Seyi Sowemimo confirmed that the discussions for possible out-of-court settlement were in the advanced stage.

Consequently, Justice Saidu adjourned to December 12 for a report of the settlement between the parties.

CBN, OSGF, NIPOST, NIBSS, FIRS Failed To Account For N20trillion Stamp Duty Revenue

Details of the revenues from stamp duties estimated at N20 trillion still remain opaque as the federal agencies involved in the collection have refused to provide information, despite the Freedom of Information (FOI) request filed by The International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

The FOI request was sent on July 31 on behalf of LeaksNG to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) PLC.

Information requested include a report of stamp duty remittances by Deposit Money Banks and other financial institutions, the current status of the Stamp Duty Central Account domiciled in the CBN, stamp duty revenue remitted to the CBN by NIBSS between 2016 and 2017, amount of revenue collected by NIPOST between 2010 and 2016 and so on.

Two months after the requests were dispatched, on September 26, letters of reminder were again sent to the various offices to draw their attention to the enquiry. Nevertheless, till the time of this report, none of the institutions has fulfilled its legal obligations by providing the information asked for.

While NIPOST and NIBSS have not bothered to respond at all, others gave one excuse or the other for their inability to oblige.

Different Reasons, Same Conclusion

Of all the five agencies that received enquiries from The ICIR, three responded, but sidestepped the responsibility to disclose information. The OSGF, in its reply dated August 9, 2018, said it had referred the FOI application to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), which, it claimed, is better positioned to provide answers.

“After a careful review of the application,” wrote J.O. Obule, Acting Legal Adviser to the Secretary, “the Office is of the view that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has a greater interest and is the custodian of the information sought and therefore would be in a better position to provide same.”

“Please be informed that your application has been referred to the FIRS accordingly and you are advised to deal with it directly,” he added.

FIRS would later shift responsibility to NIPOST.

In a letter dated November 5 and signed by Ike Odume, the FIRS Director of Legal Services, the FIRS wrote:

“The Legal Service Department of the FIRS received a letter from the International Centre for Investigative Reporting dated 26th September 2018 requesting for details for Stamp Duties recovered from NIPOST. We regret to inform you that FIRS does not collect Stamp Duties from NIPOST.”

“Therefore we ask that the above request be directed to NIPOST.”

NIPOST is yet to respond to similar enquiries sent to them.

Finally, the Central Bank of Nigeria replied to The ICIR’s request on November 6 and, in the letter signed by R.J. Monguno of the Corporate Secretariat, said it cannot provide the information sought as the matter is the subject “of a suit before the Supreme Court of Nigeria and is therefore sub judice”.

The court action referenced in this letter is yet unclear.

Secrecy, Alleged Fraud Mar Nigeria’s Potential Gold Mine

The status of unremitted revenue from stamp duties said to have run into several trillions of naira over the years, has been shrouded in secrecy.

In November 2017, the Senate kick-started a probe into the allegation that stamp duties revenue, which accumulated over a period of five years and is valued at over N20 trillion, has not been paid into the federation account.

Following a motion raised by John Owan Enoh, the senator representing Cross River Central district, the House had instructed committees on finance and banking, insurance and other financial institutions to investigate the scandal and report back to it within a period of eight weeks.

“The Senate is worried that the provision for stamp duty in the revenue framework of the nation’s annual budget for 2015, 2016 and 2017 has been N8.7billion, N66billion and N16.9billion respectively despite the above reports; apprised of the anti-stamp duties collection stance of the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System,” Enoh said.

“It is currently being accused of systemic diversion of huge revenue flows from stamp duties collection on the electronic transfer receipt on online bank transactions, and the necessity to demand notice on all unremitted stamp duties.

“The Senate is convinced of the duties and responsibilities of the National Assembly to ensure the harnessing of all sources of revenue to the government of the federation, and to curb all forms of wastefulness, corruption and diversion of funds belonging to the federation.”

The School of Banking Honours (SBH) is the consultancy agent authorised in October 2017 by the Federal Government, alongside the International Investment Law and Arbitration, to recover stamp duty revenue that has not been remitted.

It raised alarm in March that the NIBSS has been uncooperative so far in SBH’s efforts to recover unremitted stamp duty revenue of about $53.3billion (N19.4 trillion) borne out of inter-bank electronic transactions.

According to Tola Adekoya, SBH’s Project Consultant and Chief Executive Officer, N7.719trillion was due in 2015 as accumulated yet unremitted revenue to the federal and state governments of Nigeria. In total, he said, the funds are about N20trillion, out of which not up to one per cent has been remitted appropriately.

He also said the presidency, through the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, has ordered the CBN to cooperate with SBH in implementing its mandate. However, NIBSS has refused on multiple occasions to grant access to data of relevant inter-bank transactions that passed through its central switch.

“We served the demand notice because NIBSS is the agent of banks that handles their transactions,” Adekoya said.

“Banks don’t have any power over NIBSS. Once they ascertain a liability, they debit the banks immediately and that is why NIBSS is going to be a strategic partner in recovering the unremitted stamp duty revenue. It was indicated in the first paragraph of the letter sent to CBN and NIBSS that we should commence with NIBSS and that is what we are doing. We are following due process.”

According to its website, the NIBSS was incorporated in 1993 and is owned by all licensed banks including the CBN. It manages inter-bank payments so as to remove bottlenecks characteristic of fund transfers and operates the Nigeria Automated Clearing System (NACS).

The NIBSS board “is composed of the Deputy Governor (Operations) of the Central Bank of Nigeria as the Chairman, representatives of banks as Directors, Executive Directors and the Managing Director/CEO, who heads Executive Management group of the organisation”.

The House of Representatives Committee on Telecommunications, in October 2017, summoned Kemi Adeosun, former finance minister, Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the CBN, and Adebisi Adegbuyi, Post-Master General of NIPOST, to provide explanations on why billions generated from stamp duty charges were kept in commercial banks and the CBN.

The committee’s resolution was triggered by the revelations by Zhigun Shaba Usman, NIPOST’s Director of Finance and Investment, who said the sum of N13.4billion had been deposited to the CBN by commercial banks.

Usman had, however, added that the figure is suspect as the banks’ remittances oddly increased geometrically after NIPOST announced plans to audit the accounts.

FIRS, NIPOST Fight for Relevance in Managing Revenue

The controversy as to who is responsible for what and the fate of revenue generated so far has been on for years. In February 2016, the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) had to wade in to strike an agreement between the competing forces on access to a revenue account estimated to attract over N2.5trillion annually.

Moreover, in which authority the control of stamp duty funds resides has also been a contentious matter, especially between the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST). While FIRS has claimed stamp duties collection as part of its statutory functions, NIPOST appears to disagree.

Ike Odume, FIRS Director Legal Services, has described a controversial bill to amend provisions of the Stamp Duties Act as an attempt to usurp its duties. According to him, the Act as it exists is a tax legislation which has nothing to do with NIPOST.

The postmaster-general of the federation, however, said, in his submission, that the amendment is crucial because the law has become old-fashioned and that NIPOST is only requesting for permission to sell stamps, either manually or electronically.

“We are seeking the amendment of the Act to include the sale of a postage stamp. We are not collecting the tax. It is in the interest of Nigeria to draw a line between duty and stamp. We want to sell our stamp,” Adegbuyi said.

Between December 2016 and January 2017, NIPOST put out adverts for forensic auditors to peruse bank records in an attempt to confirm the compliance level of banks when it comes to remittances.

But, as gathered by The Punch, the postal service had to ditch its plan after the CBN said it could use its supervisory powers to achieve similar results.

NIBSS Denies Responsibility for Stamp Duty Revenue

In an interview with TheCable, Samuel Oluyemi, NIBSS Deputy General Manager of Corporate Services, said despite claims to the contrary by the SBH, the NIBSS is not attempting to prevent the Federal Government from realising the full potentials of the Stamp Duties Act.

He explained that this is because the company is neither in possession of any revenue accruing from stamp duties nor is aware of how much been collected under the scheme. NIBSS jurisdiction does not cover anything having to do with stamps or cheques.

He also revealed that there is no mechanism presently in place to track how much each bank collects, and that banks charge the duty at their own discretion as not even all of them make the necessary deductions.

He recommended that the enabling act for the collection of stamp duty is reviewed to specify what should be collected.

Governors’ Forum Declines Comment

When he was contacted by The ICIR, Abulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, who is the Media and Public Affairs Head at the Nigerian Governors’ Forum Secretariat, insisted that the forum cannot comment on the subject at the moment because the case is subjudice. He declined to shed light on what the litigation is about or who the parties are.

“There is post office interest, there is governors’ interest, so we are not talking about it until the case is adjudicated on,” he explained.

He was also asked whether a report has been submitted by the three-man committee established by the NGF in April, and headed by Ibikunle Amosun, Governor of Ogun State, which was mandated to investigate the allegations of non-remittance. “No, they have not,” he replied.

“As a matter of fact, there has not been any meeting regarding that up till now. The governor has been very busy, and we have not had it on the agenda for the last four, five meetings.”

The committee had been given one week to submit its findings to the forum. NGF’s concern regarding the unexplained non-remittance of the bulk of the duty arises as a result of the percentage guaranteed to flow to the thirty-six states.

With the current sharing formula , while the Federal Government takes the lion share of 52.68 per cent from the federation account, the state governments collectively get 26.72 per cent and the country’s 774 local governments get 20.6 per cent.

Adebisi Adegbuyi, Postmaster-General of NIPOST, did not answer calls from The ICIR and has not responded to texts asking, among other questions, if the postal office still intends conducting an independent audit of bank records. 

SaharaReporters Floors Saraki At Appeal Court… N4bn Judgement Overturned

The Court of Appeal in Ilorin, Kwara State, has nullified the lower court’s judgment that awarded a N4billion cost as sum of damages against SaharaReporters and its founder, Omoyele Sowore, in a suit between the two and Bukola Saraki, Nigeria’s Senate President.

On Tuesday, the Appeal Court set aside the judgment of Justice A.S. Oyinloye of the Kwara State High Court in Ilorin delivered on June 28, 2017.

The Appeal Court judges — Honourable Justice Ibrahim Mohammed Musa Salauwa, Honourable Justice Chidi Nwaoma Uwa and Honourable Justice Hamma Akawu Barka — unanimously ruled that the judgment be nullified and assigned to a new trial judge at the lower court for a retrial.

The account of Sahara Reporters Media Foundation, a Non Governmental Organisation, was garnisheed in a suit between SaharaReporters, an online citizen journalism news website, and the Senate President even though the foundation was never named in the suit, neither is it a news publishing platform.  

Justice Oyinloye had entered a judgment of N4billion against SaharaReporters and its founder, Omoyele Sowore, over allegations of defamation involving Saraki. However, the judgment was used to obtain a garnishee order against the foundation, a separate entity.

Sometime in 2017, Saraki had sued SaharaReporters and its founder to the tune of N1billion each as general damages for four different publications on SaharaReporters.

He also sought the court “for injunction restraining the Defendants from further writing, printing or causing to be written, printed or circulated or otherwise published of the Claimant, the said or similar libel”.

However, Stanley Imhanruor, a senior lawyer from Falana & Falana’s Chambers, who represented SaharaReporters at both the High Court and the Appeal Court, argued that his clients were never served in the motion on notice neither were they given an opportunity to defend themselves during the hearings that led to Justice Oyinloye’s judgment.

Paul Erokoro, Saraki’s lead counsel, had claimed in court that he could not serve the counter affidavit on the counsel for SaharaReporters because there was no address for service within the court’s jurisdiction. He argued that he had no obligation to serve counsel directly unless the court ordered him to do so or if he sought the court’s leave to serve counsel directly.

Imhanruor contested this argument, stating that his chambers had sent one Adams Adebara to the chambers of Tunde Olomu & Co to pick up the counter affidavit, to no avail. He told the court that, rather than give the document to Mr. Adebara, the chambers rudely dismissed him.

He explained to the court that Saraki’s lawyer had asked Adebara, who was to collect the counter affidavit, to meet with him on the premises of the court so that the bailiff could serve him, but Erokoro failed to deliver on his promise. He told the court that multiple calls to Erokoro were ignored.

The case was, however, withdrawn from the lower court, having lost faith in the process and an appeal filed at the Court of Appeal.

The protracted case had taken several turns before the eventual judgement of the appeal court. In one of the hearings at the Federal High Court in Ilorin, journalists and student activists who had gone to court to observe the hearing were harassed by alleged loyalists of the Senate President.

Reporters from CoreTV, AIT News, and ChannelsTV who were in court to cover the proceedings were harassed and their cameras seized. They were also forced to erase footage of the court proceedings and the assaults that took place in the premises of the court.

The touts, perceived to have been supporters of the Senate President, also assaulted a middle-aged woman, Funmi Jolayemi Ajayi, stripped her naked and beat her. Ajayi, a civil society activist, had travelled from Lagos to observe the court proceedings in Ilorin.

Senate Commenced Investigation Into N23bn Failed Road Project

The Senate Committee on Works has commenced investigation into the N23 billion failed Ibadan-Ilorin road project.

The Chairman of the committee, Sen. Kabiru Gaya, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.

Gaya said the committee got to know of the development during its oversight of roads across the country.

According to him, the committee discovered that the road, which is in bad shape, was completed in 2015.

Gaya noted that for the road, which was said to have been completed three years ago to have gone bad, it meant the project was not properly carried out.

He said that the committee would get to the root of the matter to ensure that the contractor and all those involved in the project were brought to book.

“We were told that the contractor had finished his job and three years after spending N23 billion the road has failed.

“We were shocked at the development and we said the senate will not take this kind of behaviour or allow this act of corruption to continue.

“If not for corruption, there is no how a contractor will finish a road and it fails within three years.

“We will investigate this. We have written a letter to the contractor and we will do a special investigation to know who authorised payment for such a shoddy job and who even paid the retention.

“Whoever we find wanting, I assure you will be brought to book to serve as deterrent to others,” he said.

The lawmaker said the committee discovered a similar development when it visited the North-Central on oversight.

He said, “we noticed a similar thing when we went to the North-Central. The contractor messed up seriously.

“He was even pouring asphalt on a rainy day.

“In fact, he was out of site for years and when he heard we were coming, he quickly went to site.

“We have dealt with the matter and now a better contractor has been mobilised there,” Gaya said.

He said the committee would do all it takes to ensure that all Nigerian roads were motorable.

He said the committee had so far inspected roads across 33 states of the federation and would visit the remaining states before the end of the year.

Breaking News:Okorocha Suspended AG, Orders Arrest Of Bank Managers Over Salaries Issues

Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has ordered the suspension the Accountant-General of the state, Mrs. Stella Udogwu and ordered the arrest of branch managers of Ecobank and Access Bank over non-payment of November salaries of the local government workers.

A statement signed by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwemeodo, said the suspension was with immediate effect. He said the governor had directed that the October and November salaries of the staff be paid at the same time in October, adding that the governor had believed that the directive was carried out accordingly, only to be told that it was not adhered to.

The statement quoted the governor as giving the directive when he attended an event to mark the 40th year anniversary of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, (NULGE) in Owerri.

The statement said that the governor ordered that the November and December salaries be paid on Monday since December 1and 2 are not working days. He equally announced a Christmas bonus of N10,000 each for workers and N2.5m as car allowance for each of the Local Government Directors of Administration and General Services.

Group Approached Court Over Atiku’s ‘Unpaid’ Personal Income Taxes

The Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CCPM) has approached a court to demand the 2015 and 2016 tax receipts of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic party (PDP).

The group had made a request to the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Abuja on November 16, citing Section 1(1) and (2) and Section 4(A) of the Freedom of Information Act.

However, according to CCPM, the demand had not been met, even after it issued a seven working days ultimatum to the FIRS to respond to the request.

Therefore, on Thursday, the group approached the Federal High Court in Abuja “for an Order of Mandamus compelling FIRS to make available either directly to the Applicants or through the Courts, copies of the 2015 and 2016 Tax Receipts of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar”.

This was disclosed in a statement by Nelson Ekujumi, CCPM National Coordinator, and Solomon Sobade, CCPM Trustee, made available to SaharaReporters on Thursday.

The statement read: “Sequel to the request of the Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM) dated Friday, November 16, 2018 and addressed to the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Abuja made under Section 1(1) and (2) and Section 4(A) of the Freedom of Information Act with regards to the 2015 and 2016 Tax Receipts of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

“The Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM) today Thursday, November 29, 2018, consequent upon the failure of FIRS to accede to our demands instituted within the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act within seven working days from the date of receipt of our request, approached the Federal High Court Abuja for an Order of Mandamus compelling FIRS to make available either directly to the Applicants or through the Courts, copies of the 2015 and 2016 Tax Receipts of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

“From our private investigation, it has come to our knowledge that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar may not have been paying his personal income taxes AS AT WHEN DUE. We wonder how he intends to get Nigeria working again if he has been a tax dodger.

“We have instituted this court action for the purpose of enlightening Nigerians about the electoral process as well as campaigning for the accountability of public office holders and aspirants.”

Reps Probe $1bn Arms Procurement, Demand Release Of Dead Soldiers’ Names

The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, began investigation into the 1 billion dollar appropriated for procurement of arms and equipment in the fight against Boko Haram in the North East.

The lawmakers also demanded that the Nigerian Army should, after due consultations with families of soldiers killed in the Nov. 18, insurgents’ attack in Metele village in Borno, release all their names.

The resolution was sequel to a motion by Rep Chukwuka Onyema (PDP-Anambra) at the plenary presided over by Speaker Yakubu Dogara in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the release of 1 billion dollars for the procurement of security equipment to be used in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents.

Moving the motion, Onyema, who is the Deputy Minority Leader, noted that many Nigerian soldiers of the 157 battalion were massacred by Boko Haram insurgents, who now called themselves Islamic State West Africa, in Metele in Borno State.

According to him, the initial figures of the casualty put the death toll at 44 but as more details emerged, it is now confirmed that many more soldiers and officers were killed together with their commanding officer, Lt. Col. Ibrahim Sakaba, while others are still missing.

“The House notes that according to reports, the insurgents carted away large consignment of weapons from the Melete army base which security experts say would embolden them and pose great danger.

“The House observed that while the news of the attack and death toll continued to increase, neither the President nor the Minister of Defense or the army authorities said anything about the report as there was silence for more than five days.

“The House notes that the President and C-In-C finally broke his silence six days after the attack in a statement issued on his behalf,” he said.

The lawmaker said it was unfortunate that in the last one year, no fewer than 600 Nigerian soldiers were killed by insurgents, mostly in Borno State around the fringes of the Lake Chad.

He enumerated instances of attacks launched by Boko Haram against Nigerian soldiers within the year under review.

Onyema, who expressed regret that while the executive continued to insist that the insurgents had been technically defeated, he said they seemed to be waxing stronger on a daily basis.

“The House recalls that twice in three years, the Commander-In-Chief gave directives to service chiefs to permanently relocate to the Theatre Command Centre in Maiduguri until Boko Haram is defeated,” he said.

He said it was disheartening that with the recent happenings in the North, all the successes and gains made against the insurgents had been reversed.

Contributing, Rep Nnenna Ukeje (PDP-Abia) said it was high time Nigeria began to change tactics in order to checkmate the audacity of the insurgents.
She urged the Federal Government to take a cue from Pakistan and review the curriculum of its military.

Rep Aminu Shagari (PDP-Sokoto), who queried how the recently appropriated money was used, described the attack as sad.

Rep Beni Lar (PDP-Plateau) called for the sack of the service chiefs.

On his part, Rep Idris Ease (APC-Plateau) called on the House to treat the matter dispassionately and not to be affected by political sentiment.

Rep Rimande Shawulu (PDP-Taraba) recalled that last year, there were reports that about 6, 000 members of the Islamic State in Syria (ISIS) found their ways to the sub-Saharan Africa.

According to him, some of the things we are seeing now are not unexpected.
He argued that the porous nature of the country’s borders was another challenge.

Shawulu, who is the Chairman, House Committee on Army, however said that there was the need for the security agencies to account for the funds appropriated to them.

Other lawmakers who contributed in the Senate include Reps Johnson Agbonayinma, Stephanus Gyang, Aminu Shagari, Edward Pwajok, Zakari Mohammed, among others.

The Speaker, Mr Dogara, after over an hour deliberation on the motion, described the development as an eye-opener.

He said it was time the leadership in the country began to take responsibility and not to apportion blame.

When the motion was out on a voice vote by the speaker, the lawmakers unanimously adopted it.

An ad hoc committee to investigate all funds appropriated for utilisation by the Armed Forces for the fight against insurgency was set up by the House.

The committee was also charged to look into the operational lapses that led to the killings of the soldiers.

Culled from SaharaReporters 

A Former Spokesman Of The PDP,Olisa Metuh,Has Cried Out , Accused EFCC Of Freezing Accounts .

A former spokesman of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, has cried out, accusing the EFCC of freezing all his accounts.

Chief Olisa Metuh, a former National Publicity of the Peoples Democratic Party, told the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had on Monday frozen all his bank accounts, Punch Metro reports.

Metuh, who expressed shock over the development, said he learnt of the no-debit order placed on his account after his failed transaction on one of the accounts on Tuesday.

He told the court presided over by Justice Okon Abang that as a result of the development, he could no longer feed his family or buy things as common as water and pain-relieving medicine like Panadol.

Metuh was testifying in his trial as a defence witness when he digressed into making the comments about his frozen accounts on Tuesday.

The ex-spokesperson for the PDP said, “The EFCC seized my accounts yesterday night and I can’t get money to feed my family

“I am in total shock as I am here talking to you. I don’t even know what to say.

“They seized all my accounts in every bank in this country. As I am don’t have money to buy Panadol or water to drink.”

The ex-spokesperson noted that the freezing of his accounts had to do with his ongoing trial on the charges bordering on the N400m he allegedly received fraudulently from the Office of the National Security Adviser in 2014.

He, however, wondered why the EFCC having earlier seized his assets with the Asset and Resource Management Company Limited and his funds in other banks took the fresh step which he said had denied him access to his funds worth more than the amount at stake in the ongoing trial.

He said, “They have alleged in this case that N400m was stolen. Why would they not limit it to that amount? I don’t know how I am going to feed my family? I don’t have access to any money at all. I am ready to end this case and submit myself to the judgment of this court.”

His lawyer, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), said he had no objection to what his client was saying except the part where he spoke about ending the case.

But the judge, Justice Abang said the issue was not part of the case before him.

He advised the defendant to ask his lawyer to discuss the issue with the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Sylvanus Tahir, who was present in court.

Earlier, Metuh had tendered the print-outs of some news reports of news conferences he organised as the spokesperson of the PDP in July 2015.

He had said the news conferences which were critical of the All Progressives Congress and the President Muhammadu Buhari administration earned him threats and eventually his arrest and subsequent prosecution.

The EFCC is prosecuting Metuh and his Destra Investments Limited, on seven counts of money laundering and fraudulent receipt of N400m from the Office of the NSA on November 22, 2014, for the PDP’s campaign activities.

Reps Ordered Buhari To Sack NEMA DG For ‘Embezzling Over N33billion’

The House of Representatives has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Mustapha Maihaja as Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for allegedly mismanaging more than N33 billion.

The lower chamber had inaugurated an ad hoc committee to probe NEMA’s operations under Maihaja; and when it turned in its report on Thursday, it recommended his dismissal.

Nigeria’s emergency operations hardly pass any test of investigative reporting regarding scale of funding compared to the quality of relief available to victims of disasters and insurgency.

In December 2016, an undercover investigation exposed how government and emergency-aid officials were piling more misery on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) by stealing foodstuffs and other relief materials meant for their well-being.

Corruption: PDP Urges NIA, DSS, Interpol to Track Oshiomhole

November 8, 2018

Press Statement

Corruption: PDP Urges NIA, DSS, Interpol to Track Oshiomhole
…Mocks APC For Habouring Corrupt Persons

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) charges the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and INTERPOL to help track down the factional National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, believed to be on the run outside the country since his reported interrogation by the Department of State Services (DSS) over alleged corruption charges.

The party notes that Adams Oshiomhole’s swift flight out of the country, at the heat of the investigation, is suspect and goes to confirm allegations that the Muhammadu Buhari Presidency is shielding him from prosecution for fear that his investigation would implicate certain interests at the Presidency and the APC.

It is ludicrous that the APC, in its lying proclivities, believes that by dismissing Oshiomhole’s arrest as a rumour and aiding him to momentarily flee the country, it would succeed in getting him off the DSS hook as well as sweeping the matter out of public discourse with its famished broom.

No! Nigerians are already aware that Oshiomhole has not denied his investigation including his reported confession that the Presidency was in the loop of all his actions.

The PDP had always cautioned Adams Oshiomhole of his unbridled arrogance, lust for power and alleged embezzlement of public funds for which he must surely have his day in the hands of the law.

The PDP therefore demands that APC and the Buhari Presidency must immediately produce Adams Oshiomhole to face investigation and prosecution in our courts.

Signed:

Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

2019 Presidency: Al-Mustapha Blasted Military For Failure To Submit Certificate

The presidential candidate of Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN), Hamza Al-Mustapha, has also blamed the Military for his failure to submit academic credentials to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

 

All the aspirants seeking elective positions in the country are expected to submit certain documents, including their academic credentials to INEC.

But Al-Mustapha, a retired major in the Nigerian army, told the commission his documents were in possession of the military.

In his particulars submitted to the commission, Al-Mustapha said the military has “refused” to release his academic certificates, despite court orders asking them to do so.

He said: “I was a victim of persecution for 15 years over deliberate trump of charges. I was, however, exonerated and freed of the wanton charges vide court of appeal ruling on 12 July 2013.

“My entire personal documents including my certificates and awards were taken by the then government in 1998.

“Formal complaints were registered before the high court of Lagos (2000 – 2001) and federal high court, Lagos division, (2004 – 2007) but the government refused to obey court orders till today.

“However, Nigeria army (my employer – 1983 – 2013) is in custody of the certificates this application is asking of.”

President Muhammadu Buhari also failed to submit his academic credentials, saying they are with the military.

Daily Nigerian Publisher Accused Ganduje Of Collecting 15-25% Cut From Contractors For Years

Jaafar Jaafar, Publisher of Daily Nigerian newspaper, has revealed that Abdullahi Ganduje, Governor of Kano State, had been collecting kickbacks from contractors in the state for a long time.

Jaafar made the disclosure during an investigative hearing on Thursday.

A video of Ganduje collecting money from a person purported to be a contractor had been published by Daily Nigerian, and Jaafar had been summoned by the House to a hearing

In his presentation on Thursday, the publisher maintained that Ganduje had been under investigation for more than two years, when he got a hint from his contractor-friend that the governor received amounts ranging between 15 to 25 per cent of contract funds for every project executed in the state.

He said: “More than two years ago, a contractor-friend of mine complained to me that the Governor had been receiving kickbacks, ranging from 15 to 25 per cent, for every project executed in the state from contractors.

“We then agreed to plant spy cameras on his kaftan lapel so that he can capture the brazen act in hard evidence.”

Jaafar maintained that the contractor who was used to trap the Governor captured at least 15 clips, nine of which fully showed the Governor’s face, body and hands collecting bundles of dollars.

He also stated that the video was released to public domain, and its authenticity was verified, adding that it was further proven genuine by other organizations.

“In the case of the video clips in question, our in-house technical expert, the editor-in-chief and editorial adviser certified that the videos were original and not doctored contents,” he said.

“Experts from Amnesty International Nigeria, BBC and Premium Times also watched the clips and certified their authenticity before we went to press.”

Jaafar maintained that his news platform is willing to share the video without any form of editing to assist the committee in its investigation.

On October 14, 2018, Daily Nigerian published a video showing Ganduje receiving money from a contractor in foreign currency.

The video also showed him tucking these monies under his outfit, as well as putting them inside an envelope.

Breaking News :Usman Yusuf, Executive Secretary Of NHIS, Has Been Suspended.

Usman Yusuf, a professor and Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), has been suspended.

A source very close to the NHIS told SaharaReporters on Thursday that the suspension was ordered by the NHIS board chaired by Dr. Enyantu Ifenne, a paediatrician with an impressive track of academic, professional and public advocacy accomplishments.

Thursday’s action from the NHIS board marks Yusuf’s second suspension in a little over a year, as Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health, first suspended him in June 2017, after an administrative panel found him guilty of allegations of gross misconduct, nepotism, financial recklessness and theft of public funds to the tune of N919million.

In October, Adewole made the suspension indefinite pending action from President Muhammadu Buhari.

However, in February 2018, the President reinstated him. The reinstatement was confirmed by a letter to the Minister, signed by the Chief of Staff to the President Abba Kyari, which made no mention of the allegations against Yusuf but simply urged him to “work harmoniously with the Minister”.

“Yusuf was not at the meeting where his suspension was announced,” the source told Saharareporters. “Apparently, he has been undermining the board, feeling no one can touh him due to his relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari and the people running his government.”

Yusuf’s latest suspension will be made public any moment from now, the source added.

Ifenne subsequently confirmed the suspension to journalists, saying it was for financial improprieties, and adding that Mallam Sadiq Abubakar will now act as Executive Secretary in the interim.

Breaking News: Court Grants Fayose N50m Bail

Ayodele Fayose, former Governor of Ekiti State, has been granted bail in the sum of N50 million.

His second appearance before the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Wednesday, lasted less than 30 minutes.

He was also asked to provide a surety who must have landed property in Lagos. The guarantor is also required to have three-year tax clearance in Lagos.

Fayose was arraigned before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on charges of corruption.

He arrived at the court premises on Wednesday around 9am, escorted by armed security operatives and officials of the EFCC.

Fayose is facing an 11-count charge bothering on receiving illegal monies to fund his 2014 governorship campaign in Ekiti State, among other allegations of benefitting from proceeds of money laundering.

EXCLUSIVE: Wike Hit By ‘Certificate Forgery’ Scandal Ahead Of 2019 Governorship Election

Achinike William-Wobodo Esq., a lawyer in Rivers State, has sued Governor of the state, Nyesom Wike, for allegedly forging his Age Certificate in documents he presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

William Wobodo instituted the law suit against Wike and INEC at the Federal High Court (Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1020/2018), pursuant to Section 182(1)(j) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

In the suit, he asked the court to disqualify Wike from participating in the 2019 Rivers State governorship election.

The complaint of the Applicant was that in 1999/2000, when Wike intended to contest for the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area Council (LGA) chairmanship election, he was less than 35 years, which was the minimum age qualification at the time for contesting the LGA Chairmanship.

In order to qualify himself for that election, Wike allegedly got someone who deposed to an Affidavit that he was born on March 13, 1963, which made him eligible for that election. In the said affidavit, allegedly made in 1986, there was copious reference to Obio/Akpor LGA, which was not in existence as of 1986. The LGA was only created in 1989.

Curiously, the affidavit, titled ‘Statutory Declaration of Age’, was also allegedly deposed to at the High/Chief Magistrate Court, yet had a stamp, purportedly of the Probate Registry. There was no identification or stamp of the person who allegedly administered the Oath as Commissioner for Oath as required by Oaths Act 1963. The Applicant alleged that the Governor had reasons to have known that the age declaration, which he presented to INEC as his Age Certificate, was forged — because even his date of birth earlier submitted in his documentation with INEC was December 13, 1967.

 

 

 

The applicant also claimed to have known the Governor from 1991, when they were both of the same Faculty of Law at Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), Port Harcourt, and that the Governor had always presented his date of birth as 13/12/1967. This, he said, made the Governor 50 years of age in 2017, and this was consistent with the Governor’s 50th birthday celebrations last year in Port Harcourt. By Wike’s age declaration to INEC, he would have been 54 rather than the 50 he celebrated in 2017.SEE ALSO

It was alleged that in the buildup to the 2015 governorship election in Rivers State, some social media platforms published that the Governor had an unresolved conflict around his age and threatened to publish same. It was in a bid to maintain consistency in his age that Wike re-presented the allegedly forged Certificate of Age to INEC, which has now put him into a stronger dilemma.

The applicant gave particulars of alleged forgery, which include: (1) that the document lied against/about itself; (2) that the content was made of manifest inconsistent, inexplicable and irreconcilable falsehood; (3) that the information regarding the age of the Governor is false, and to the knowledge of the Governor; (4) that the Governor intended that INEC should act on the document as genuine; (5) that INEC acted on the document as genuine; (6) and that the Constitution of Nigeria talks about presentation of forged certificate, it will be immaterial that the Governor claims he did not forge the document by himself.

A very close source to Wike, who asked not to be named, revealed that the Governor and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), were doing everything to suppress and frustrate the case. The source claimed that Wike admits that the case is a very bad one and that the timing has made the situation even worse.

Our source also revealed that the Governor had hoped that the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) would not have been able to decipher a cause of action from the certificate saga. He expressed shock that Wobodo was able to weave a very strong case out of the situation.

Wike and his team have resolved that their strategy would be to frustrate the case; right now, he has directed his personal staff not to receive service of any court processes.

SaharaReporters called Wike on his mobile phone to get his reaction, but he neither answered nor returned the calls.

The applicant was also contacted, but he simply said it was not time to speak on the matter.

“Please, this is not the time for me to speak about this matter,” he said. “My priority now is to serve the Governor and to have him appear in Court to respond to the issues. We can speak afterwards.”

Culled from SaharaReporters

Ibori LostAppeal Against UK Graft Conviction

James Ibori, a former Governor of Delta State, who was jailed in Britain for laundering tens of millions of dollars in stolen public funds, through British banks and properties, has lost an appeal against his conviction in London.

According to NAN, he lost the appeal against his conviction on Wednesday.

He had pleaded guilty in a London court in 2012 to a 10-count charge of fraud and money-laundering, involving sums amounting to at least 50 million pounds ($66 million).

He received a jail sentence of 13 years, and served half the jail term, as is common in the British system.

The former governor, who is now back in Nigeria, appealed against his conviction, alleging misconduct by the British Police and prosecutors, which he argued, tainted the judicial process.

EFCC Operatives Trail Fayose​

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( EFCC) operatives are already trailing Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose to prevent his alleged escape bid.

Barely 24 hours to Fayose’s exit, the anti-graft agency’s operatives were yesterday at Akure airport, when the governor and his wife boarded a flight to Abuja.

Another set of operatives closed up on the governor immediately he landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

The governor was also placed on surveillance as at the time of filing this report.

Already, three probe teams have been raised by EFCC on the issues against the governor, including a group on his pending trial, a panel on N4.685 billion National Security Adviser (ONSA) fraud; and the last team is working on alleged infractions during his second term in office.

According to findings, the EFCC may meet with the incoming governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on some records, which the Ekiti State Government had withheld over the years.

But from preliminary findings, Fayose is likely to face trial in Ado-Ekiti, Ibadan, Lagos and Akure.

A top source in EFCC, who spoke in confidence, said: “We have mounted surveillance on Fayose in the last 72 hours and we are trailing him in order to keep his words to appear before our teams of investigators.

“We have tracked his movement from Akure Airport to Abuja, where he came to attend a send-forth dinner. We will keep tab on him until he reports to EFCC on October 16. Otherwise, we will effect his arrest.

“There are three teams handling the allegations against the governor. There is a special team managing his suspended trial because he had immunity as a governor. We will resume his trial.

“Another team of detectives is in charge of N4.685 billion fraud in the Office of National Security Adviser( ONSA) in which Fayose was implicated. All we need to do is to take the statement of Fayose and arraign him in court.

“The third team takes charge of alleged infractions he committed in office during his second term. The Ekiti State Government has withheld some vital records in the last three years. We will meet with the incoming governor on these documents.

“The governor may face trial in some courts in Ado Ekiti, Ibadan, Lagos and Akure. If he comes around, he will be our first guest at the new EFCC complex.”

In his September 10, 2018 letter, Fayose said he was prepared to appear for interrogation on October 16.

The letter said:  “Several and serial actions of your commission for some time now, including but not limited to freezing of my accounts and attempts to secure temporary forfeiture of my properties, are indicative of the commission’s desire to have me clarify some issues or answer some questions but for the immunity that I enjoy under Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution as sitting governor of Ekiti State.

“I wish to inform you that my term of office pursuant to which I enjoy immunity against investigation and prosecution under the above provision shall lapse by effusion of time on Monday, October 15, 2018.

“As a responsible citizen of our great country, who believes in the rule of law, I wish to inform you of my decision to make myself available in your office on Tuesday, 16th October, 2018 at 1pm to clarify issues or answer questions on issues within my knowledge.

“Kindly confirm the suitability of the above date or indicate by return, the commission’s convenient date.”

Although the EFCC’s September 13 letter to

Assets Declaration: FG Files Charges Against Ekweremadu, Akpan

The Federal Government has charged the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu , and Senator Bassey Akpan , who represents Akwa Ibom North- East Senatorial District in Akwa Ibom State, with offences bordering on their alleged refusal and negligence to declare their assets to the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property.

Ekweremadu On Wednesday, Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court in Abuja where two separate sets of charges were instituted against the senators , ordered that the charges and other accompanying papers be served on the two of them through the Clerk of the National Assembly.

The judge, after granting the orders for service through substituted means , fixed October 22 for the next hearing date in respect of Ekweremadu ’ s case and November 19 for Akpan’s.

The Okoi Obono – Obla – led SPIPRPP had, on behalf of the Federal Government , filed the two separate criminal suits containing two counts each against the senators. It filed the criminal suit marked FHC/ ABJ / CR/ 62/ 2018 against Ekweremadu on May 11, 2018, while it instituted the one marked FHC/ABJ /CR /88 /2018 against Akpan on June 13, 2018.

EFCC Sets Up Special Team To Probe Fayose

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has set up a special team to grill the outgoing Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose.

The Governor will lose his immunity in a matter of few days.

This will give the EFCC the constitutional right to arrest, detain and prosecute him.

Fayose had already been invited by the anti-graft agency and is expected to report at the head office in Abuja to meet with the commission’s Director of Operations, Umar Mohammed, after which he will be grilled by a team of operatives.

Fayose, who is the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Governors’ Forum, is under investigation for allegedly receiving over N1.2bn from a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), through a former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro.

He allegedly got the money during the build-up to the 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State.

His aides, Abiodun Agbele, and others who are excluded from the immunity had been arraigned by the EFCC.

Punch reports that Fayose is expected to show up at the EFCC office next week, adding that the Governor has nowhere to run to since he is under security watch and cannot leave the country through any land border, seaport or airport.

A top officer at EFCC told the newspaper, “We have also set up a special team of investigators that will interrogate him immediately after the expiration of his tenure.”

Fayose’s spokesman, Idowu Adelusi, told the newspaper that his principal was ready for the EFCC.

Adelusi noted that the governor had written a letter to the EFCC indicating his readiness to appear before the commission next week.

He said, “Governor Fayose is an honourable man. He will not run away. He has already stated that he will make himself available next Monday once his tenure expires.

“He made this clear in a letter recently. Even when he was not under immunity, the governor honoured the EFCC invitations.

“The EFCC is not a court of law and cannot declare a person guilty. The governor will be available next week, no doubt.”

Police Arrested Fake EFCC Fraudster

The Nigeria Police Force have arrested one Paschal Ugwu, who allegedly disguised to be an official of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for defrauding Wire-My-Cake Company of N805,000.

Disclosing news of the arrest on Monday, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, said Ugwu connived with Sodiq Ibrahim, a former employee of the company to defraud the company’s managing director.

Edgal said: “The suspect met his waterloo on October 5 at Ijegun, having defrauded Wire-My-Cake Company. Two months before his arrest, while pretending to be an EFCC official, he accused the company’s CEO of defrauding GTB.

“He further accused him that it was the proceeds of the fraud that he used in setting up his company.

“The suspect did not only intimidate the company’s CEO, but also followed it with accusations and at the end of the day obtained N805,000 from him.

“The command operatives attached to Area ‘F’ Ikeja began operation. This led to the arrest of Sodiq Ibrahim, a dismissed employee of Wire-My-Cake Company, who connived with the suspect to defraud his former employer.”

Ugwu and Ibrahim allegedly took advantage of the pending case the company had with EFCC. The suspects would be charged to court for prosecution.

We don’t have criminal case against Atiku – US

I Don’t Know My ADC Uses His Position To Defraud Unsuspecting Officials– Aisha Buhari

WIFE of the President, Aisha Muhammadu Buhari has distanced herself from the arrest and detention of her Aide De Camp, ADC, Sani Baban-Inna, a Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP, over allegation of N2.5 billion fraud, saying that she has no hand in her ADC’s travails.

 

But the President’s wife has also said that she was dismayed by the revelation from initial investigations by security operatives that have shown that CSP Baban-Inna who has been her ADC since 2016 and has been associated with her could use the opportunity to defraud unsuspecting associates and officials.

Mrs. Buhari in a statement by her Director of Information, Suleiman Haruna in Abuja Tuesday said that the arrest and detention of the ADC by the police was within the jurisdiction of the force. The statement read, “The attention of wife of the President, Dr. Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari has been drawn to some media publications and releases purporting illegal detention of her Aide De Camp (ADC) over allegations of fraud.

“The story as it pertains to her ADC, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Sani Baban-Inna has it that he has been detained on the orders of Her Excellency for dropping her name and defrauding unsuspecting officials and associates.

“She wishes to use this opportunity to refute such allegation and to state that she has no hand in his arrest and detention.

“CSP Sani Baban-Inna has been her ADC since 2016 and has been associated with her ever since. To the utter dismay of Her Excellency, he has used the opportunity to defraud unsuspecting associates and officials as initial investigations have shown.” Justifying that the police acted within its powers, she said, “The Nigeria Police Force, his employers arrested him to investigate the allegations leveled against him, this, being within their jurisdiction.

“She therefore wishes to use this opportunity to inform the general public that she has never sent any of her staff to collect any favours on her behalf or on behalf of her children and will never do so. She is therefore imploring anyone that has been defrauded by Mr. Baban-Inna to get across to him to retrieve whatever he took from them.

Mrs. Buhari wishes to reiterate that she will not condone fraudulent behavior by any of her staff.

“She uses this opportunity to call on all those in positions of authority to rise above intimidation by their aides and deal with such attitudes as extortion by name-dropping, especially within the Presidency.

As she always emphasizes, this government was voted into office based on the trust and confidence of the people.”

Watch Video Of The Man Who Climbed Airtel Mast To Protest Against Buhari Re-election(videos)

Nura Ilyasu, the man who climbed a telecommunications mast in Abuja on Wednesday to protest the re-election bid of President Muhammadu Buhari, has finally descended.

He came down from the mast on Thursday.

Ilyasu touched ground at 11:25am voluntarily, after security operatives acceded to his request that he must address the press upon his descent.

According to Ilyasu, he climbed the mast to protest the economic hardship in the country, just as he stated that President Muhammadu Buhari does not deserve another four years in office.

Security agents had made entreaties to him since Wednesday when he mounted the mast, but their efforts proved abortive, as he had vowed not to descend until President Muhammadu Buhari resigns from the office.

However, this morning, they were able to communicate with him via his mobile telephone, and they appealed to him. He later told them that he would come down on the condition that he must speak to the press.

He said: “My name is Nura Ilyasu. I am 28 years old. What I did is within the purview of the law. My human right is to protest peacefully and I never threatened my life or any other person

“What we are going through in this country is not from God. Some microscopic-view individuals hijacked all that God endowed Nigeria with for decent life, and we can’t continue like this. I climbed up for seven days hunger strike to protest the incompetence and cluelessness, to protest presidential impunity and general docility displayed by the masses. We can’t continue like this.

“Other competent candidates are there; even Saraki, Atiku, Kwankwaso, Tambuwal, Dankwambo and others.  At least one of these [men] will make a good President.

“I don’t believe General Buhari deserves another four-year term in Nigeria because the pervasive hunger and poverty in Nigeria is inexplicable. I don’t have mental disorder as being insinuated by some people.”

When asked how he felt now that he had come down from the mast, Ilyasu said he was full of life and mentally stable.

He said he came down because some lawyers spoke to him while he was on the mast. He was later taken away by security operatives.

Ilyasu climbed a mast with the approval number AB0099 belonging to Airtel Nigeria, located few metres away from the presidential villa and Lungi Army Barracks, on Wednesday.

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