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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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Lagos Policeman Allegedly Caught Extorting Money With POS |RN

 Nigerian-police

Samson Folarin

THE Lagos State Police Command on Wednesday cleared a policeman attached to the Makinde Police Division of an allegation of extortion.

A seven-second clip filmed by a female motorist had shown the policeman holding what looked like a Point of Sale terminal.

He was seen taking what appeared like an Automated Teller Machine card from a man who had disembarked a motorcycle.

The woman who was filming the incident from her car was heard in the background accusing the policeman of extortion.

Efforts by our correspondent to speak with the woman were abortive, as the poster of the clip on Instagram said she sought anonymity.

The poster told PUNCH Metro that the witness was in her car when the incident happened.

After the video went viral on the social media, many Nigerians expressed shock and dismay at the attitude of the cop, which they said represented the level of corruption in the Nigeria Police Force.

Our correspondent visited Olowora Street, in the Mafoluku area of Oshodi, where the incident reportedly happened on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. He established the spot of the incident from the video evidence, but no resident owned up to witnessing the incident.

Instead, the residents, including motorcyclists and traders, lamented that policemen from the Makinde and Akinpelu divisions were notorious for extorting money from commercial motorcyclists in the area.

A trader close to the scene of the incident noted that policemen from the Makinde division sometime stayed at the junction to extort money from motorists and motorcycle riders.

A resident of the area said, “Extortion by policemen is not new here.  There is a woman selling roasted corn down the road. They stay close to her place. But I did not witness the one in the video.”

An executive member of one of the motorcycle riders association in the community, who watched the video, said it was not impossible for the policemen to do such a thing.

He said, “It is a normal occurrence around here. In fact, it happens on a daily basis. Those policemen always stay in that area to stop motorcycle riders and motorists. But I believe the man that was being extorted in that video is not the motorcycle rider. It must be his passenger, who could be a yahoo-yahoo boy (Internet fraudster). When policemen ask them (fraudsters) for money, they give excuses. The excuses may have forced the policeman to devise the method of the POS terminal.

“But for us as motorcycle riders, they collect between N5,000 and N10,000 when they seize our motorcycles. They have told us that we are their ATM. The policemen fond of this are from the Akinpelu and Makinde divisions.”

Another motorcycle rider in the community said cops sometimes threatened to take them to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad where they would be detained for robbery.

“We all have been victims at different times. Sometimes, they ask us not to park close to banks or pick more than one passenger. They could say we have been asked to stop using a particular park and they will arrest us and start demanding money,” he added.

A resident listed some of the points of extortion to include Akinniku Street, Bolade Junction and Oshodi Express bus stop.

“There is nobody to call them to order; they just do as they like,” he said.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Olarinde Famous-Cole, said the command was aware of the video, adding that the policeman involved was arrested and detained.

He said, “The policeman was on a stop-and-search on Tuesday. From what we gathered, he stopped a commercial motorcycle rider who was carrying a passenger with a bag. He asked the passenger what he had in his bag and he stated them.

“The policeman searched the bag and found the POS terminal and other documents. When he asked him what he was doing with the POS, the man claimed he was using it to pay utility bills and that he worked with an electricity distribution company.

“The policeman demanded a proof of identification and he tendered it. The policeman then asked him to go since there was nothing implicating on him. Unknown to all of them, a passerby was filming the scene without their knowledge.

“We arrested the policeman initially. But this morning (Wednesday), we saw the same commercial motorcycle rider and asked him to give an account of what transpired. The  rider gave the same account, saying the policeman did not collect any money from the passenger.”  (Punchng.com)

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FG Uncovers Massive Fraud In Niger Delta Ministry Projects

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                               Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Usani Uguru

• N423bn spent in six years, execution rate at 12%

• Some contractors collected money without going to sites

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Usani Uguru, on Wednesday said the Federal Government has uncovered some shady deals by some of the contractors that handled projects in the Niger Delta region between 2009 and 2015.

He said while some of the contractors made away with the money paid them without appearing on the sites of the projects, some others managed to implement 12 per cent of the projects they were paid for.

Uguru disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said the discoveries were contained in a report of an investigation carried out by the ministry on all contracts awarded and projects carried out by the ministry from 2009 to 2015.

The late Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan were the Presidents of the country during the period.

The minister said the report revealed that over N423bn had been expended in the region by the ministry alone, adding that the amount did not include the sums expended by other intervention agencies.

“From this amount, projects execution rate has been at 12 per cent with an average completion rate of a project standing at five years. The impact rate is eight per cent,” he said.

The minister said he sought and got the council’s approval to make the report available to relevant government agencies in charge of recovering government assets that were either misappropriated, misused or found to be idling in some quarters.

He said while those who deserved sanctions would be punished, others who needed to return to sites would be compelled to do so.

He said, “With this, it means all those who have accessed government resources for one purpose or another must be compelled to make adequate use of same, otherwise they will face the recommendation that goes with such violations.

“That is our position concerning that report and we have received council’s approval for that.

“Sixty per cent cost has been paid out to contractors with 12 per cent completion rate. Sixty per cent of the amount of money appropriated which is N700bn, 60 per cent of that constitutes N423bn.

“To find that such money has been spent in that region with the kind of work we see, shows that there is something tangibly and obviously wrong with how procurement had been carried out in the ministry.

“The number of projects awarded was 427 and there is no uniform action by each of the contractors. So, the measure of action to be taken to address the shortfall of our expectations or commitment to contractual agreements will be the determinant of what will be done.

“Those that require sanctions will be sanctioned. The sanctions may not be uniform. It will be according to the measure of liabilities hold by each of the contractors.

“Some will be compelled to return to site. Some, of course, should be made to refund money, those who we have seen by their actions displaying criminal intent by collecting money and not appearing at sites at all.

“The report is not just all about punishing people. There are also those who have performed well and are commended and the report recommended that they should be encouraged to carry on in their contractual commitments.

“The report has also recommended that sanction will be taken against officers. There are rules. I don’t know if they will amount to purge.”      (Punchng.com)

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Dieziani Used 3 Oil Firms, 2 Persons To Launder $115M, Says EFCC

By Lukman Olabiyi

An operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Usman Zakari, yesterday, narrated before the Federal High Court, Lagos, how former Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, laundered $115 million, through three oil companies and two individuals.
Zakari was the EFCC second witness in the ongoing trial of former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Kwara State, Mr. Mohammed Dele Belgore and former Minister for National Planning, Dr. Abubakar Sulaiman, who are standing trial in the alleged N450 million fraud.
Belgore and Sulaiman are being re-arraigned before Justice Rilwan Aikawa on an amended five counts, wherein the name of the former Petroleum minister was mentioned in the charge.
According to the amended charge, on or about March 27, 2015, Alison-Madueke was accused of conspiring with Belgore and Sulaiman to directly take possession of N450 million, which they reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful act.
The two defendants were equally said to have taken the said funds in cash, which exceeded the amount authorised by law, without going through any financial institution.
They were also accused of paying N50 million to one Sheriff Shagaya, without going through financial institutions.             (The Sun)

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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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FG Wants Masked Witnesses Against Dasuki To Testify Behind Screen

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                    Immediate past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.)

Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

The Federal Government, on Thursday, urged the Federal High Court in Abuja to allow its prosecution witnesses to testify behind the screen in the trial of a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.).

Justice Ahmed Mohammed said he would, on June 15, rule on the application which was opposed by Dasuki’s lawyer, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN).

The lead prosecuting lawyer, Mr. Dipo Okpeseyi (SAN), while addressing the court on Thursday, stated that there was possible threat to the witnesses’ lives by virtue of Dasuki’s current and previous positions.

Dasuki’s lawyer, Raji, however, urged the court to consider the alleged threat as a mere “speculation” without any evidence supporting it.

But the prosecutor, in his further argument, insisted that the threat was real, alluding to an alleged inexplicable accident which he said had virtually incapacitated the principal prosecution witness in the case.

Okpeseyi added, “The principal witness in this case can no longer appear in court due to an accident he was involved in.

“The circumstances surrounding his accident are still unknown. He was just saved by God. He sustained multiple fractures from his head to his leg.

“So, life must be protected before it is lost.”

The prosecution had, on April 6, 2017, re-arraigned Dasuki on amended charges of money laundering, stealing of prohibited firearms and illegal possession of firearms.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to all the seven counts instituted against him.

At the hearing of the prosecution’s application for witness protection on Thursday, Okpeseyi argued that there was a need to shield the identities of the prosecution witnesses from the public.

He said this was because the witnesses were operatives of the Department of State Services “carrying out covert operations on behalf of the Federal Government in various parts of the country and even beyond.”

Okpeseyi also noted that Dasuki’s status as a former senior military officer, an ex-Aide-de-Camp to a sitting President, a former NSA and a crown prince (of Sokoto Caliphate), collectively conferred on the defendant large followers.

He stated, “What we seek is for them to give evidence behind a screen to be provided by the court.

“The defendant was once their boss and the defendant had been a senior military officer, a former Aide-de-Camp to a sitting President, a former NSA and a crown prince, who has large followers.

“It is for these reasons that, even without his (Dasuki’s) knowing, harm may come the way of the witnesses.”

He also distinguished between the application and the one earlier filed by the prosecution and dismissed by the former trial judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, from whom the entire case was transferred to the current trial judge.

Okpeseyi said Section 232(b) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act provides for “screening” or “masking” as the options for witness protection which the prosecution could seek for its witnesses.

He added that the screen, if allowed by the court, would not take away the right of the defence to cross-examine the witnesses or prevent the defence lawyers as well as the defendant from seeing the prosecution witnesses behind the screen.

But in response, Raji insisted that the alleged threat to the prosecution witnesses’ lives was speculative as no harm had been done to any of the prosecution witnesses who had been testifying without a screen in the two criminal cases pending against Dasuki in the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Maitama, Abuja.

He also argued that a similar application had been dismissed by the former trial judge, adding that if the court granted the application, it would amount to Justice Mohammed sitting as an appeal court over the previous ruling.

He argued that Section 232 of ACJA was applicable to the trial as some of the offences instituted against the defendant fell under economic and financial crimes as provided under section 232(4)(c) of the Act.

Justice Mohammed fixed June 15 for ruling.      (Punchng.com)

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$1.3bn Malabu Scam: EFCC Raided My Brother’s Home, Says Adoke (ex AGF)

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Mohammed Adoke (SAN)

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

The immediate past Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), says operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission raided the home of his younger brother, Bashir, in Kogi State during the wee hours of Sunday.

The raid, it was learnt, was part of investigations into the $1.3bn oil deal involving Malabu Oil and Gas Limited and oil giant, Shell, which was brokered by Adoke in 2011 when he was the AGF.

Adoke said this in a statement by his spokesman, Victor Akhidenor.

The former AGF, however, stated that nothing was found during the raid which he described as illegal.

The senior advocate said the operatives of the anti-graft agency assaulted some occupants of the house when they did not find any money in the building.

The statement read in part, “The men who arrived Mr. Bello’s house at about 12 midnight in a Hilux van were dressed in black uniform. They did not present any search warrant and when the security man sought to know their mission, they stated that they were in search of money particularly dollars that have been hidden by Mohammed Bello Adoke.

“When the security guard insisted that the house was not occupied and that no such monies were kept there; they not only brutalised him, but proceeded to hack down the door, tore the place apart and searched virtually every nook and cranny of the house, destroying the furniture, the ceiling, wardrobes, water tank, etc.

“At the end, they left the premises infuriated that they did not find the dollars they were informed was hidden in the house.”

Operatives of the EFCC had last month raided the Kano home of Adoke but were said not to have recovered any money

Adoke, who has been in The Netherlands since 2015, said members of his family were being harassed by the EFCC.

He added, “This will be the second time that security personnel would be invading Mr. Adoke’s home. Last month, officials of the EFCC invaded Mr. Adoke’s family home in Kano in search of documents ostensibly to use to prosecute him.

“There appears to be no end to the level of harassment, intimidation, and persecution that Adoke and his family will face at the hands of law enforcement personnel determined to unearth incriminating evidence against him.

“Adoke is apprehensive about his personal safety as well as that of his immediate family and calls on law enforcement personnel to guarantee the safety of his family especially now that he has become a target and subject of harassment, intimidation, and persecution from powerful families and aggrieved individuals bent on settling scores with him on account of his refusal to allow his office as a minister in the government of the federation to be used to serve their personal interests.”

All attempts to speak with the EFCC spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, on Sunday proved abortive as his phone indicated that it was switched off.    (Punchng.com)

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