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Corruption Worsening Under Buhari, Says Jonathan |The Republican News

Jonathan-press-briefing
                               Former President Goodluck Jonathan

Olusola Fabiyi, Olalekan Adetayo, and Eniola Akinkuotu

Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday  boasted that his record of fighting corruption was greater than that of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Jonathan said this in a post on his official Facebook page which was signed on his behalf by one of his aides, Reno Omokri.

Related: Corruption: We Didn’t Plug All Loopholes, I Did Well, Had Good Economic Team, Says Jonathan

The ex-President posted the message in reaction to an allegation by the Director General of the Voice of Nigeria, Mr Osita Okechukwu.

Okechwuku had said rather than plug loopholes that allowed for corruption, Jonathan opened them up further, contrary to his speech at the non-elective convention of the Peoples Democratic Party, which held on Saturday.

However, Jonathan said he fought corruption to the extent that Nigeria’s ranking on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index improved.

Jonathan said, “It may surprise Mr Okechukwu and his boss to know that the last time Nigeria made progress on Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perception Index was in 2014 under former President Jonathan when we moved eight places from number 144 to number 136 under Goodluck Jonathan.

“That year marked the most improvement Nigeria has ever made since Transparency International began publishing the annual Corruption Perception Index in 1995.

“Transparency International took note of the Jonathan administration’s e-wallet system that cut out the corruption in Nigeria’s fertiliser procurement system, the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System which weeded out 50,000 ghost-workers from the federal civil service, the cashless policy and the fact that the Jonathan government promptly fired two ministers (Prof. Barth Nnaji and Stella Oduah) mentioned in corruption scandals.”

The ex-President said ever since his exit, Nigeria’s corruption perception in the outside world had not improved.

Jonathan said rather than fight corruption holistically, the Buhari administration had only succeeded in deceiving Nigerians.

He added, “Ever since 2014, Nigeria has not improved in Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perception Index ranking and has remained 136 in 2015 and is still 136 on the latest CPI ranking released in 2017.

“In the most recent CPI Transparency International report and I quote ‘some other large African countries have failed to improve their scores on the index. These include South Africa, Nigeria, Tanzania and Kenya.’

“If it were true that the Buhari administration was really fighting corruption, why hasn’t Nigeria made progress in the CPI? The answer is because you can deceive some gullible Nigerians but you cannot deceive Transparency International.”

However, the Presidency on Monday said Jonathan handed over an economy ravaged by many years of mismanagement and corruption to President Buhari at the inception of the present administration in May 2015.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this in a statement in Abuja.

Related: Economic Legacy: APC Chief, Balarabe Musa Tackle Goodluck Jonathan |RN

Shehu was reacting to a statement credited to Jonathan at the non-elective national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party on Saturday in which he claimed he handed over a robustly healthy economy to Buhari.

He said contrary to Jonathan’s claim, the former President presided over what he called the most monumental and tragic economic mismanagement recorded in Nigeria’s history.

The presidential spokesman said despite that oil price was as high as $120 and there was peace in the Niger Delta under Jonathan, there was nothing to show for the revenues earned.

He alleged that no major capital project was completed under Jonathan.

Rather than carrying out projects, he said Jonathan presided over massive diversion of the nation’s resources.

He said, “Let me start by reasserting an obvious statement, which is that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was handed an economy ravaged by years of mismanagement and corruption.

“It is understandable that Dr Jonathan kept his comments short because a cursory look at any sector clearly indicated that he and his government presided over the most monumental and tragic economic mismanagement recorded in our national history.

“The oil sector boomed under his tenure, with oil prices as high as $120 and peace in the Nigeria Delta. Nigeria earned unprecedented dollar revenues. Sadly, that is where the story turns sour.

“There is nothing to show for the revenues earned, no major capital project was completed, neither power generation, road development, rail or agriculture benefitted from the windfall earnings.

“Rather, the administration presided over the diversion of oil revenues on such a massive scale, that even without the protection now accorded to whistle-blowers, the then Central Bank Governor blew not only a whistle but a trumpet. He was hurriedly shown the door.

“Meanwhile, the acquisition by public officers and their cohorts of private jets, luxury yachts and the accumulation of expensive property portfolios worldwide continued unabated.

“Indeed the President once celebrated having the largest number of private jets, whilst our youths languished without jobs, our fields stood idle and our factories began the lay off of workers.

“Government simply reticulated oil revenue through personal spending by corrupt leaders,  wasteful expenses and salaries. This was done rather than investing in what would grow the economy.

“Economies grow due to capital investment in assets like seaports, airports, power plants, railways, roads and housing. Nigeria cannot record a single major infrastructural project in the last 10 years. In short, the money was mismanaged. (Punchng.com)

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Magu, AGF May Clash Over Corrupt Ex-Governors, Senators |The Republican News

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Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN) and EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu

LEKE BAIYEWU,  ENIOLA AKINKUOTU and OLALEYE ALUKO

The Special Assistant to the President on Prosecutions, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, on Saturday, said the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), may report the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu; and Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, Ekpo Nta, to the Presidency.

He revealed that the heads of the agencies could be sanctioned for insubordination for withholding the case files of more than 35 ex-governors and senators from the AGF.

The case files requested by the AGF in separate letters to both agencies were for ex-governors, including Bukola Saraki (Kwara, now Senate President); Ali Modu Sheriff (Borno);  Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom); Orji Uzor Kalu (Abia); Chimaroke Nnamani (Enugu); Saminu Turaki (Jigawa); Sule Lamido (Jigawa); Joshua Dariye (Plateau); Ahmed Yerima (Zamfara); Gabriel Suswam (Benue); James Ibori (Delta); Martin Elechi (Ebonyi); Danjuma Goje (Gombe); Murtala Nyako (Adamawa); Ikedi Ohakim (Imo); Gbenga Daniel (Ogun); Achike Udenwa (Imo); Ubong Victor Attah (Akwa Ibom); Jolly Nyame (Taraba); Rasheed Ladoja (Oyo); Adebayo Alao-Akala (Oyo); Adamu Mu’azu (Bauchi); Lucky Igbinedion (Edo) and Peter Odili (Rivers).

Senators on the list included Stella Oduah and George Akume.

Obono-Obla said the refusal of the two anti-corruption agencies to forward the files to the AGF since July 2016 when the request was made had caused a setback to the anti-graft campaign of the Federal Government.

He had on Tuesday alleged that the EFCC and ICPC were not cooperating with Malami, which had led to the loss of some high-profile corruption cases.

Speaking on Saturday, Obono-Obla said, “When this administration came on board, one of the reforms that were initiated was the setting up of a National Prosecution Committee to complement the efforts of the anti-corruption agencies and the Department of Public Prosecution.

“A team of highly motivated lawyers, investigators and policy makers were brought in. The committee was inaugurated on May 27, 2016, by the then Vice  President, now acting President.

“The essence of the committee was for us to take on the looters of our treasury and we have to ask the heads of the anti-corruption agencies to furnish us with case files starting from 2006.

“You remember that former EFCC chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, had told the National Assembly at a time that 32 former governors were being investigated by the commission. So, we demanded the reports so that we could file criminal proceedings against those ex-governors indicted in those reports. I also made a similar application to the ICPC, but they refused to comply.

“Most important, we asked them to give us the files of senators under investigation. We wanted to, after getting those files, file an order of interim attachment of properties belonging to the suspects under investigation. This is because under Section 28.4 of the EFCC Act when suspects are arrested, the commission attaches all the properties acquired under that financial crime.

“So, we wanted to really wage a war, get those files and carry out those attachments so that Nigerians will know we are really serious about this war on corruption. And disappointedly, they refused to hand over those files and have refused to work with the AGF.

“The AGF is the chief prosecutor of the country and I see no reason why agencies under his supervision should not cooperate with him.

“The AGF is bothered and he may likely take a definite position. What the bosses of the agencies have done amounts to insubordination under the public service rule because the AGF is a chief legal officer and the agencies under him are to respect him. The AGF’s position may be to report the heads to the Presidency.”

The Special Assistant to the AGF on Media and Publicity, Salihu Isah, told SUNDAY PUNCH in Abuja that the office of the AGF would keep the pressure on based on heads of the anti-corruption agencies to release the case files.

He said, “Everything we are doing is the official procedure. We are not relenting. We have decided to put further pressure on the agencies. That is the best option for now.

“If the pressure doesn’t work, we know how to handle the situation.”

When contacted, the spokesman for the EFCC,  Wilson Uwujaren, referred one of our correspondents to the official response to the commission last week.

The  EFCC’s Head of Legal Department, G.K. Latona,  had last week denied claims that the commission was not cooperating with the AGF.

He said, “We are not working at cross purposes with the office of the Attorney General of the Federation; we are cooperating with them. We have a wide range of corruption cases in concert with state agencies.

“The Attorney General’s office has the right to initiate new high-profile corruption cases and investigate them without waiting for cases initiated by the EFCC. We are also working on best practices manuals for the prosecutors and investigators. If we want a corruption-free society, we must all work towards it.”

The spokesperson for the ICPC, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa, did not respond to calls or text messages sent to her by one of our correspondents.

Arrest lawmakers ignoring invitation, Sagay tells EFCC

The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), however, asked the EFCC to arrest any lawmaker that refused to honour the commission’s invitation when he spoke with SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday.

The lawmaker representing Anambra North Senatorial District, Senator Stella Oduah, was invited by the EFCC on June 20, but refused to honour the invitation.

It was learnt that she also did not write any letter to the commission stating reasons for not honouring the invitation.

Oduah, a source said, was invited over some petitions bordering on the purchase of two armoured BMW vehicles at N255m by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority during her tenure as aviation minister in 2013 and the N9bn contract for the remodelling of some airports.

She had filed a fundamental rights enforcement suit, asking the court to stop the Attorney General of the Federation’s office, the EFCC, and the police from inviting, arresting, investigating or prosecuting her but the court denied her request on October 6, 2016.

Oduah, it was learnt, was emboldened by a Senate resolution three weeks ago in which the senators resolved not to recognise the authority of the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu until he stepped aside, having been rejected twice by the Senate.

Similarly, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Leo Ogor, who was invited by the EFCC as part of investigations into the N284bn budget padding, refused to honour the invitation.

The Clerk of the House said in a letter that he was directed by the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, to tell the EFCC that Ogor or any representative be invited through Dogara.

However, Sagay said the EFCC should not hesitate to arrest anybody who failed to cooperate.

He added that the commission had the power to arrest anyone without an arrest warrant.

He said, “The EFCC is an institution; so, recognising Magu or not is totally irrelevant and until the Supreme Court says Magu is no longer chairman or acting chairman, the Senate cannot refuse to recognise Magu or the EFCC as an institution.

“If the EFCC invites you, you must go. There is no law that says invitation letters must come from the leadership of the National Assembly. The EFCC can inform the leadership as a matter of courtesy but letters should go directly to the person being invited.

“The danger now is that if they keep insisting on this, the EFCC will arrest her (Oduah).

“In fact, the law allows the EFCC to make arrests without a warrant if it has a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed a crime. So, I think the woman is taking a risk.”

Similarly, a human rights advocate, Femi Falana (SAN), said no one had the right to ignore an EFCC invitation.

Falana said, “The EFCC does not need to go through the leadership of the National Assembly because they are like other members of the public. There is no law that says letters must come from the leadership of the National Assembly.

“Whether you recognise Magu or not, what of the institution and other staff in EFCC? Are they not doing their work? So, if you say you don’t recognise the Inspector General of Police, wouldn’t you recognise the commissioners of police in every state? Doesn’t the EFCC have zonal heads in every state?”

Sagay should contest in 2019 or keep quiet –Senate

The Senate on Saturday replied Sagay, asking him to stop making ‘nonsensical statements’ capable of denigrating the nation’s parliament.

The red chamber stated this while reacting to a statement credited to the professor of law, which was widely published in the mass media on Saturday.

Sagay had described the 8th Senate as the worst in the history of Nigeria, adding that its members would be kicked out in 2019 general election.

He also described the ongoing constitution amendment by the National Assembly as a hypocritical exercise, which would lead nowhere.

He further lambasted the Bukola Saraki-led Senate for refusing to devolve power to the states, scrapping the State Independent Electoral Commission and for refusing to ensure 35 per cent affirmative action for women.

But the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi-Abdullahi, asked Sagay to go back to the classroom if he had become overwhelmed by the national assignment given to him.

Sabi-Abdullahi said, “He (Sagay) is entitled to his opinion. That people can make nonsensical statements is the beauty of democracy but to be totally irresponsible in denigrating state and democratic institutions is definitely unacceptable. He is not speaking as a private citizen, given his position in this government.

“He needs to guard his utterances. He is in a democratically elected government brought about by the electoral victory of our great party made possible by the collective efforts of party members, including members of the Senate and House of Representatives.

“If he does not understand the decorum and values of democracy, let him go back to the classroom; if he is still needed there. His disdain for the National Assembly surely makes him anti-democratic. In the alternative, I challenge him to contest in 2019 or forever remain silent.” (Punchng.com)

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My Family Invested In Dubai Property Before I Became Army Chief, Says Buratai

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Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai

 

Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai has said that his family invested in a property in Dubai, United Arab Emirates before he was appointed the chief of army staff.

Buratai, a guest on BBC interview programme Hard Talk, on Tuesday, said his family conducts its private business and has the wherewithal to afford a property in Dubai.

“Substantial property is just an investment; my family do their own private business. They should afford to have such property in Dubai,” the army chief said.

“The type of property you are talking about is not the ones people are talking about.

“The property I invested was far back as 2013 before I became the chief of army staff, I never dreamt of becoming the chief of army staff and people are accusing me as if it is today.”

Speaking on the swap of Boko Haram prisoners for Chibok girls, Buratai said it was a decision taken in national interest.

He said it was not a military decision, but a political one.

“As far as I am concerned, we performed our own role for the save passage of the abducted Chibok girls,” he said.

“The Boko Haram terrorists’ swap for the Chibok School girls was a political decision not a military decision. It is in the best interest of the nation and based on circumstances, the government felt it was the best course.

“Personally, I think it has its own advantages; the message is to rescue the Chibok girls.”

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Federal Government To Appeal Saraki’s Acquittal |The Republican News

Okoi-Obono-Obla

Special Adviser to the President on Prosecution, Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Okoi Obono-Obla

ADE ADESOMOJU

Special Assistant to the President on Prosecutions, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, said on Saturday that the Federal Government had finalised its decision to appeal last Wednesday’s ruling of the Code of Conduct Tribunal discharging and acquitting the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, of charges of false asset declaration.

Obono-Obla, who vowed that no one would be allowed to get away with any act of corruption, said in a telephone interview with our correspondent that the government would file a notice of appeal against Saraki’s acquittal by Wednesday.

The presidential aide, who works in the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, argued that the two-man panel of the CCT led by Danladi Umar, misapplied the law by adopting the wrong standard of proof in exonerating Saraki.

He said, “Definitely we are going to appeal against the ruling in Saraki’s case. One of our grounds of appeal is that the tribunal misapplied the law. For instance, the standard of proof that the tribunal used is not applicable to charges of false declaration of asset.

“It (charge of false asset declaration) is a strict liability offence, so you cannot apply the standard of proof that is applied in the regular criminal proceedings.

“Surely, we will file the appeal next (this) week Wednesday.”

Obono-Obla had earlier in an interview with The PUNCH, described the CCT ruling discharging Saraki as a travesty of justice, pedestrian and outrageous.

He said on Saturday that the government was resolute in its fight against corruption and would appeal against all the recent “nonsensical” rulings delivered in some high-profile corruption cases.

Obono-Obla said, “We are resolute. We are going to fight this war to the end. We must clean up Nigeria, otherwise, the nation is doomed. We have gone back to the drawing board to change our tactics and strategies.

“Anybody who thinks he can get away with an act of corruption is dreaming. We are going to file an appeal against all the nonsensical rulings that we have got from our court in recent times.”

The Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja on Wednesday discharged and acquitted Saraki of all the 18 charges of false asset declaration and other related offences preferred against him.

The two-man panel of the CCT led by its Chairman, Umar, unanimously upheld the no-case submission which Saraki filed after the prosecution closed its case with the fourth and the last prosecution witness testifying on May 4, 2017.

There were 48 documentary exhibits said to have been tendered in the course of the trial.

Umar, in his lead ruling, exonerated Saraki of all the charges on, among other grounds, that failure of the prosecution to obtain Saraki’s statement and make it part of the proof of evidence was fatal to the case.

He described as “absurd” that neither Saraki’s statement nor the report of investigation said to have been carried out was produced before the tribunal

He agreed with the defence team led by Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), that the prosecution’s evidence had been manifestly discredited during cross-examination by the defence.

He added that the evidence adduced by the prosecution led by Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) was “so unreliable that no reasonable tribunal could convict” based on it.

The tribunal chairman specifically noted that the third prosecution witness, Mr. Samuel Madojemu, who is Head, Intelligence Unit of the CCB, only gave hearsay evidence on the information the witness purportedly received from the EFCC.

Umar also noted that the evidence of the first prosecution witness, Mr. Michael Wetkas, an operative of the EFCC, was unreliable.

Concerning the evidence of second prosecution witness, Mr. Amazi Nwachuckwu, Head of Funds Transfer Unit of the Guaranty Trust Bank, Umar noted that witness had testified that documents relating to alleged foreign transfers by Saraki had been consumed in a fire incident so there was nothing to prove the charges that were based on the documents.

The tribunal chairman also noted none of the four witnesses, including Mr. Bayo Dauda, an official of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Ilorin branch in Kwara State, who testified as the fourth witness, gave evidence that could prove any of the ingredients of the alleged offences.

The charges instituted against Saraki before the CCT related to the alleged breaches of the code of conduct for public officers, acts which were said to be punishable under the Constitution and the CCB/CCT Act.

He allegedly committed the breaches by making false declaration of his assets while being governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2007 for his first term and between 2007 and 2011 for his second term as governor and from 2011 to 2015 as a senator.

Among the breaches were that he obtained an N375m loan from Guaranty Trust Bank Plc in 2010, converted it to £1,515,194.53 and transferred to the United Kingdom for the full and final mortgage payment for a London property.

The prosecution accused him of abuse of office by paying back the loan with funds belonging to Kwara State Government.

Additional charges against him included the allegation that he continued to receive salary and emoluments as Governor of Kwara State after the expiration of his tenure and at the same time, from the Federal Government as a senator between June 2011 and October 2013.

He was also said to have failed to declare to the Code of Conduct Bureau on assumption of office as governor of Kwara State in 2003, his leasehold interest in the property at 42, Remi Fani-Kayode Street, Ikeja, Lagos.

The charges also included an allegation that Saraki failed to make a written declaration of his “properties and assets”, that is, N77m made into his account with Guaranty Trust Bank, GRA, Ilorin branch on September 5, 2007.

The prosecution alleged that the sum of N77m was not fairly attributable to his “income, gifts or loan approved by the Code of Conduct for Public Officers”.

The prosecution also alleged that while being a public officer, he operated bank accounts outside Nigeria, and failed to declare the foreign accounts to the CCB while being governor and a senator during the period.

Properties that he allegedly made false declaration about included 17, 17A and 17B Mcdonald, Ikoyi, Lagos; Plot 2A, Glover Road, Ikoyi, Lagos; 37A, Glover Road, Ikoyi, Lagos which he allegedly bought through Carlisle Properties; No. 1 and 3 Targus Street, Maitama, Abuja, otherwise known as 2482, Cadastral Zone A06, Abuja.   (Punchng.com)

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Buhari’s Anti-corruption Panel Lambasts Presidency, Judiciary, Says AGF, Others Unserious About Graft War

 ItseSagay
Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN)

..says AGF, others not serious about graft war

•Lawyers sponsor judges’ children’s weddings –Sagay

ENIOLA AKINKUOTU

Two prominent members of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption in Abuja on Saturday picked holes in government’s handling of the anti-corruption war.

Speaking in Abuja at a programme organised by the National Association of Seadogs (the Pyrates Confraternity), the Chairman of the panel, Professor Itse Sagay (SAN), and member, Professor Femi Odekunle, attributed recent setbacks suffered by the administration in the prosecution of corruption cases to the fraudulent activities of compromised elements in the judiciary and legislature, and a lack of diligence on the part of some senior government officials.

The Chairman of the committee, Prof. Itse Sagay, said the President and his team must come up with new ideas to fight corruption.

He said the judiciary was concentrating more on technicalities rather than the spirit of the law and justice.

Sagay said, “The Federal Government, particularly the President and Vice-President, who were elected into office principally to eliminate corruption, must go back to their drawing board, search and scan the constitution and other laws to draw the requisite irresistible power to deal firmly with this terrible scourge of our times – otherwise we are all dead.”

The senior advocate said the National Judicial Council was not equipped to look into corruption cases against judges. He said the primary duty of the NJC was to address judicial misdemeanour.

The PACAC chairman said before 1999, Nigeria had many incorruptible judges like Justice Kayode Eso, Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, Justice Mohammed Bello, Justice Chike Idigbe, Justice Adetunji Adefarasin, Justice Mason Begho and others

Sagay, however, said corruption pervaded the judicial system after the return to democracy in 1999 when judges started hearing election petition cases.

He noted that many senior advocates had corrupted and compromised judges to the extent that some of the advocates now pay the school fees of children of judges.

Sagay added, “Today, some judges actually solicit for money. They don’t even wait to be offered money. One of the judges that have been asked by the NJC to go back to work is a constant solicitor of money. He writes to counsel, ‘my mother died yesterday, I need money to bury her.’

“Two months later, ‘my daughter is getting married next month, I need money to organise a wedding: Another month, the same judge will write, ‘my uncle has just been made a chief and I need to make a contribution, send money.’

“This is written to lawyers and the lawyers gladly contribute. In fact, there is a long list of lawyers now who have to go to the EFCC at least once a month to explain why they had to send so much money to the account of one judge or the other who demanded money.

“Some lawyers do it out of a sense of obligation while some lawyers do it for consideration of future favours. It just shows you how (low) our judges have sunk.”

Sagay said his committee had drafted a bill for the ‘Forfeiture of Assets and Properties, procured by unlawful activity (proceeds of crimes)’ which will empower courts to order forfeiture of properties by a person without the person being convicted.

The senior advocate said he had advised anti-graft agencies to use non-conviction based assets recovery system to fight graft in some peculiar cases.

He said in such a situation, anybody who was found in possession of huge sums of money, whose source he or she could not explain, would be made to explain themselves in court.

Sagay said this approach was used by the EFCC in the case against Patience, the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, whose $15m has been forfeited to the Federal Government and is now battling to save the $5m found in her bank account.

The PACAC chairman added, “If you are seen to be living beyond your means of livelihood, the anti-graft agencies could apply for temporary forfeiture of funds and properties and you would then be made to appear in court to explain yourself.

“That bill is already before the National Assembly but we are not even waiting for it to be passed. A part of the EFCC Act empowers the agency to do this and it is already being done in the case of Patience Jonathan’s $15m.

“You will recall recently that when $5m which she owns was frozen in her account but was later unfrozen due to technical issues, the EFCC went back to court to apply through this non-conviction based forfeiture and got it frozen again. Now she has to come to court to explain how she got it.”

Also speaking, Odekunle, in particular, questioned the commitment of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to the anti-graft war and also raised a doubt about the integrity of the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Mr. Danladi Umar, who discharged and acquitted Senate President Bukola Saraki of all 18 charges levelled against him, on Wednesday.

The professor of criminology also questioned the resolve of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, to help the Federal Government in the fight against corruption.

The event titled, ‘Feast of Barracuda’, had ‘Critical Review of the Anti-Corruption War in Nigeria: Strategies, Challenges and Prospects’, as its theme.

While exploring the theme, Odekunle, raised eight salient questions which he said members of the public must answer in order to put the recent failures of the anti-graft war in proper perspective.

He asked, “Does the Presidency realise that routine crime prevention and methodology, instruments and processes are not adequate in fighting corruption in this country? That is, does the Presidency realise that fighting corruption must be a ‘rofo rofo’ fight? That it is not a question of due process, long process, fair hearing and all those that will give you technical justice instead of real justice?

“It is said that he who comes to equity must come with clean hands. In this regard, I ask, what were the details and the resolution of the EFCC matter on Danladi Umar’s bribery case? I don’t know, I’m just asking. Does the DSS possess any information about Danladi Umar on the use or abuse of hard drugs?

“Is there any record that Danladi Umar had been driving and crashing his car under the influence? These are questions that I don’t know the answers to but I want you to investigate.

“Is the Attorney-General of the Federation, who is to lead the anti-corruption fight, going by the way things have been going in the past two years, as committed as others who could have done the job better?

“I have no answers but I believe if they are answered, it will give us an insight into the cause of our current dilemma in the fight against corruption.”

Odekunle urged the Federal Government to use unconventional methods in the fight against corruption, saying it would never win if it continued to use what he described as conventional methods.

He said since the corrupt elite controlled the judiciary and the legislature, this group of people would continue to protect its own.

Odekunle added, “So, all this arrangee between the judiciary, the legislators, and people are saying, ‘We don’t want the APC to be destroyed, Saraki is our own, let us settle our own, party supremacy is better’, we must moderate that.”  (Punchng.com)

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BREAKING: FG Pays N375.8m To 2O Whistleblowers |The Republican News

President-Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

The Federal Government has paid N375.8m to 20 whistleblowers, who provided information that led to the recovery of N11.6bn.

The Director of Information, Mr Salisu Dambatta in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, said that the payment was only for recovered assets that had been declared free of legal disputes or litigation by the Attorney-General of the Federation.

He said that in addition, taxes have been removed before final payments to beneficiaries.

“This payment, which is the first under the Whistleblower Policy, underscores the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration in meeting obligations to information providers under the Whistleblower Policy.

“The policy is an essential tool in the fight against corruption.

“The Ministry, therefore, encourages all Nigerians with information on misconduct, violation or improper activity which can impact negatively on Nigeria to report it to the appropriate authority,” he said.

Dambatta said the Whistleblower Policy was recently amended to include the introduction of a formal legal agreement between information providers and the Federal Government.

He said the agreement had already been executed by the Minister of Justice.

He said the amendment was introduced to ensure the protection of the identity of information providers during the payment process.

However, Dambatta declined to reveal the specific recoveries for which the monies were being paid saying that “it may endanger the whistleblowers”.

The Whistleblower Unit is a multi-agency team, resident in Federal Ministry of Finance Headquarters.

It is staffed by secondees from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and Department of State Services.

Also, the Nigeria Police Force and Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit form part of the unit.

The Unit is the first line of response to whistleblower information, where the initial review is undertaken before cases are forwarded to the relevant investigative agencies.

So far, the unit has received 2, 150 communications and 337 tips through its dedicated channels from many patriotic Nigerians, which led to the recovery of substantial assets that were illegally acquired by various individuals.

The primary purpose of the Policy is to support the fight against financial crimes and corruption, promote accountability and enhance transparency in the management of public finances.

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False Anti-Corruption Supporters In Government Frustrating US, Says EFCC

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                                                              Ibrahim Magu

Eniola Akinkuotu and Chukwudi Akasike

The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu, says there are many people in authority claiming to be supporting the war against corruption but are doing the opposite.

He also slammed those calling on the EFCC not to put too much focus on punishment of politically-exposed persons.

Incidentally, Senate President Bukola Saraki had at the public presentation of Senator Dino Melaye’s book titled, ‘Antidotes to Corruption,’ asked anti-corruption agencies to concentrate on prevention of corruption rather than punishment of corrupt persons.

Magu, while addressing a crowd during the EFCC stakeholders’ walk against corruption in Abuja on Tuesday, said the anti-corruption war was being frustrated by those who should ordinarily protect the poor masses.

He said, “It is time to weep for those who believe they can perpetually hold down Nigeria as a cow and milk her to death. It is time to weep for supposed men and women of honour who pose as corruption fighters but when they think we are not looking, they plot and fund the collapse of the anti-corruption war.”

Magu added, “While most of us who feel the pains of corruption are asking for more vigour in the fight, the cabal profiting from corruption would want the campaign watered down. While many Nigerians are calling for stiffer punishment for the corrupt, the patrons of corruption now tell us that it does not pay to punish the corrupt.”

The EFCC boss urged Nigerians to join the corruption war by embracing the whistle-blower policy of the Federal Government.

The walk, which lasted three hours, started from the EFCC head office in Wuse 2 through the Unity Fountain, Maitama and the Federal Secretariat.

The walk also took place in all the EFCC zonal offices located across the six geo-political zones.

In Lagos, the President of Women Arise for Change Initiative, Joe Okei-Odumakin, called on Nigerians to continue to expose corruption, saying it is necessary to preserve the future of the country.

Okei-Odumakin, a leading female rights activist, also described corruption as “cancerous.’’

In his address, the Chairman of Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, Mr Debo Adeniran, said the walk was an expression of sheer determination to wipe out corruption from Nigeria.

Adeniran, who said Nigeria stood a chance of reclaiming her lost image through the current anti-graft crusade, further urged Nigerians to support the efforts of Magu to rid Nigeria of corruption.

Also, the Leader of Coalition of Human Rights Defenders, Inibehe Effiong, said the current decadence in Nigeria could only be eradicated through a sustained war against corruption.

In a similar event in Rivers State,  Magu said he was not afraid of anybody in the ongoing fight against corruption.

Magu, who declared that he had no fear in his DNA, said he would not succumb to pressure no matter how highly placed those involved in corrupt practices might be.

The acting EFCC chairman, who spoke through the Zonal Head of the commission, South-South, Mr Ishaq Salihu, during a walk against corruption in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, maintained that everybody was equal before the law.  (Punchng.com)

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