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Alleged $1.6bn Scam: Court Strikes Out Charge And Deziani’s Name |RN

Deziani madueke

From Godwin Tsa, Abuja

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday struck out one of the nine counts of $1.6billion crude oil fraud filed against the businessman, Jide Omokore, and five others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
This was a sequel to an application by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke, who alleged that she was not accorded the opportunity to defend herself after being indicted in the particular count. Others facing trial for the alleged crime include Omokore, his two companies, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Limited. Others are a former Managing Director of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, Victor Briggs; a former group executive director, exploration and production of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Abiye Membere and a former manager, planning and commercial of the NNPC, David Mbanefo.
The anti-graft agency had preferred nine counts of criminal diversion of about $1.6billion alleged to be part of proceeds of sales of petroleum products belonging to the Federal Government, against the six defendants.
Allison-Madueke, who was said to be currently in the United Kingdom facing some legal proceedings, was not listed among the existing six defendants in the case to defend the charge, but she was, together with Briggs, Membere and Mbanefo, in count eight, accused of aiding Omokore in the commission of money laundering offence.
The offence she and others were accused of was said to be contrary to section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act.
But the former minister, through her lawyer, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), on September 18, 2017, filed an application seeking among other prayers, an order directing an amendment to the charges, by adding her name as the seventh defendant to enable her to defend herself with respect to the eighth count.
She also told the judge that she would be grossly prejudiced by a refusal of the application, which would further compound the gross violation of her constitutional rights.
Opposing the application, lawyer for the EFCC, Mr Aliyu Yusuf, urged the court to refuse Diezani’s application seeking to be joined as a defendant. He said that Diezani, who is on self-exile, is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police for several crimes and has been admitted to bail in the United Kingdom but cannot leave the country.
Yusuf said: “The applicant seeing that the investigations by the Metropolitan Police had reached the advanced stage and that trial in the instant charge before this honourable court is proceeding smoothly had designed the instant application to distract and scuttle both her investigation and imminent prosecution in the United Kingdom and the trial before this court.”
He also argued that Diezani knew she would not be able to leave the United Kingdom in view of the ongoing investigation and imminent prosecution. Therefore, she is seeking the order to amend the charge for her name to be included on the face of the charge in order “to escape from investigation and prosecution in the United Kingdom under the guise that she is coming to face her trial before this court and also scuttle the trial.”
In his ruling, Justice Dimgba ruled that the EFCC could not have its cake and eat it because by including Diezani’s name in count eight, the commission ought to make her one of the defendants.
“It looks like blackmail,” the judge said and added that the court had no option than to strike out count eight of the charge, where Diezani’s name was mentioned. He adjourned trial of the substantive matter till October 5 and 6, 2017.   (The Sun)

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BREAKING: Chief Justice Of Nigeria Creates Corruption, Financial Crime Court

Walter-Onnoghen

CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen

From Godwin Tsa, Abuja

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen has directed heads of the divisions of courts to establish a special court for corruption and financial crimes cases.

This, he explained will curb the unnecessary delay associated with the prosecution of such cases.

In addition, the CJN has further directed heads of courts to compile and forward to the National Judicial Council (NJC), comprehensive lists of all corruption and financial crime cases with them.

Justice Onnoghen disclosed the measures Monday at the special session of the Supreme Court where he administered oath on 29 new Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN).

Speaking in the presence of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former Vice President Alex Ekwueme and other dignitaries including state governors and past Chief Justices of Nigeria, Justice Onnoghen said they were aimed at supporting the fight against corruption of the present administration.

In order for the National Judicial Council (NJC) to monitor and effectively enforce the foregoing Policy, the CJN announced that an Anti-Corruption Cases Trial Monitoring Committee will be constituted at the next Council meeting.

The committee, he explained, “would be saddled with, among other things the responsibility of ensuring that both Trial and Appellate Courts handling corruption and financial crime cases key into and abide by our renewed efforts at ridding our country of the cankerworm.”

Justice Onnoghen further directed Heads of Courts to clamp down on both Prosecution and Defence Counsel who indulge in the unethical practice of deploying delay tactics to stall criminal trials.

He said; “Heads of Courts are now to report such cases to the NJC which in turn, would transmit them to the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee, in the case of Senior Advocates, and Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee in the case of other Legal Practitioners.”

“Heads of Courts have been directed to designate in their various jurisdictions, one or more Courts, depending on the volume of such cases, as Special Courts solely for the purpose of hearing and speedily determining corruption and financial crime cases.

“Where such cases come on appeal, to either the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court, Special Dates on each week, shall be fixed solely for hearing and determining such appeals.

The CJN noted that the judiciary cannot win this war alone; hence the need for collaboration and interface with stakeholders in this noble cause.

“We are under no illusion that the fight against corruption would be an easy one, as we are already aware that when you fight corruption, corruption fights back; but we are determined to win it. We require all hands to be on deck to fight this monster.

“We in the Supreme Court, having reduced the pre-election appeals in the course of the Third Term of the last Legal year, will devote much of this First Term in dealing, by way of task work, with the identified eighteen (18) EFCC, ICPC, and Economic Crime cases alongside the normal Civil, Criminal, and Political cases,” he revealed.

The CJN observed “We must not lose sight of the indispensable role of the judiciary in the fight against corruption.

“Corruption continues to place the judiciary in the eye of the storm, but, we cannot allow that to deter us or weaken our resolve. It is regrettable that the image of the Judiciary has been tarnished by the notion that the Nigerian Judiciary is bedevilled by corrupt elements, hence the need for an image-building parade. We must accept that acts of misconduct of a few rub off on the rest of the judiciary and create the impression that all judicial officers have their hands soiled with the proceeds of corruption. Let me be clear here; it is not going to be business as usual for the few unscrupulous elements in our midst.”

Justice Onnoghen said he was determined to redeem the battered image of the judiciary.

“Any judicial officer found wanting would be dealt with decisively, and shown the way out swiftly. It is therefore for this reason that the independence of the judiciary must be entrenched if we are to hold the trust and confidence of the citizens of Nigeria.

We, in the judiciary, are fully aware and in fact worried by concerns expressed by members of the public on the very slow speed with which corruption cases, in particular, are being heard or determined by our courts.”

He noted that although the Administration of Criminal Justice Act contains many commendable provisions to speed up the process of criminal prosecution generally, it is clear that we still need to employ more strategies to support and strengthen this law in fast-tracking the criminal justice system.

On his part, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) applauded the vigorous process of reforms aimed at re-positioning the nation’s judiciary to play its role in a more humane and efficient manner.

Malami also acknowledged Justice Onnoghen’s Circular on Practice Direction dated May 28 on the compulsory enforcement of Arbitration provisions in contracts by the courts in order to promote faster commercial dispute resolutions and foster greater confidence in the judicial system by domestic and foreign investors.  (The Sun)

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Buhari Should Check His Men And Their Loyalty, Says Sen. Rufai Hanga |RN

Rufai-Hanga1

With microphone: Sen. Rufai Hanga

Stories by Omoniyi Salaudeen

The scenario playing out at the seat of power gives a clear indication that some close aides of President Muhammadu Buhari are working at cross purposes. In this interview, a prominent Kano-born politician and pioneer chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Senator Rufai Hanga, says it is high time the president looked inward and re-examined the loyalty of his lieutenants. 

You must have been following the comment attributed to the Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, about Buhari. Perhaps, one can safely say that 2019 power politics is already on. What do you make of this development?

I agree; the 2019 politics is already on. I mix with a lot with people, from the side talks; it is obvious that 2019 power politics is already on only that people have not openly declared their intentions. 

Would you then expect somebody who is still serving under a sitting president to make the kind of statement she made about her boss?

She has defended her position, saying Atiku had a hand in her appointment. She even said it that he (Atiku) was the first person to inform her of her appointment as a minister. Two, she said she had been with Atiku a long time ago. And I want to believe her because it is not only Buhari’s people that are in government now. Three, she said Buhari told them that he was not going to contest in 2019. So, I don’t see any reason people should blame her for saying she would go for Atiku in 2019.  I really admire her courage because I learnt that some supporters of Buhari in the defunct CPC had earlier told her that they would never support Buhari in 2019 if he decides to contest. So, what is wrong in her saying she is not going to do this or do that? I think she is very courageous and I admire her for that.

Would you say that the people working with Buhari are actually loyal to him?

It depends on how one sees it. But for me, I see it as disloyalty. By Buhari’s nature, once he gives you responsibility, he will also give you authority. So, he doesn’t normally stand behind to see what is happening. He trusts people because he thinks everybody is like him. Since the beginning of this administration, some people have been working at cross purposes. It is not only Magu and Malami that are in disagreement. Even the DSS is not in harmony with Magu. And it is not helping matters.

At this juncture, don’t you think Buhari needs to re-examine his cabinet and the people around him so that the objectives and agenda of his administration can be realized?

I think it is high time he did that. I believe the majority of the people working with Buhari were not handpicked by him.  They were selected for him. I think he should have appointed people who had been with him a long time, who know his body language so that whether he is around or not, they all can do whatever he sets out to do.  But unfortunately, the majority of the people around him are catering for themselves. Buhari is a very honest person, but the people around him are busy making money. And there are shreds of evidence to show. There are people who were living from hand to mouth before they joined this government. But now, they are dishing out thousands of Euros and pounds. Such people are not helping Buhari himself.

What do you think the president can do to make the lawmakers key into the anti-graft war?

Not only Buhari but we Nigerians are also not happy in both ways.  The legislators have their own limitations. They are being accused of corruption, they are being accused of dishonesty, they are being painted black by the ignorant public, while they are busy watching corruption on the part of the executive too. Not all the legislators are bad. There are some of them that are good and mean well for the country. But unfortunately, they are being painted black. Let’s hope Buhari will do something this time around.

Would you expect Buhari to seek re-election in the next general elections with the way things are now?

As things are now, I don’t expect him to run for 2019. And I am sure, he won’t want to contest. People clamouring for him to contest are doing so for selfish reasons. They want him to contest so that they can continue to wreak havoc as they are doing now. Buhari is an honest man, he is a straight forward man, he loves Nigeria and Nigerians. If he contests again, these people will continue to do what they are doing now. If for that reason, he won’t want to contest. We want somebody who has a vision for Nigeria, we want somebody who is strong enough to come and do the things he is doing. And I am sure; Buhari will recommend that kind of person. If he doesn’t, we already got some people in our minds; Nigerians have got people in their minds. I pray for him to be well, but I don’t think he will contest in 2019. My prayer for him is to sit down and guide Nigeria as a statesman. I pray for him to sit down and continue to watch what he has established and admire what is happening.      (The Sun)

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Multi-Billion Naira Loot Allegation: Diezani Seems To Surrender |RN

 

Deziani madueke

Ex-Petroleum Minister, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke

 

How non-appearance and not making legal representations in court compounded her case

By OMONIYI SALAUDEEN and ONYEDIKA AGBEDO

Former minister of petroleum resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke is arguably facing the greatest travail of her life with allegations of monumental corruption against her by the Federal Government rapidly debasing her reputation. But she appears to have given up rather than put up a fight, a sort of total surrender to fate in the face of imminent destruction. And week in, week out lately, the Federal Government has secured court judgments against her either ordering interim or permanent forfeiture of her ‘hard-earned savings and property’ said to be proceeds of corruption. In the last one month alone, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the government’s anti-graft agency, has got at least three of such judgments against her.

Just last Monday, Justice Abdulazeez Anka of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, ordered the permanent forfeiture of the sum of N7.6 billion suspected to belong to the former minister. Justice Anka gave the ruling sequel to an application filed by the EFCC seeking the final and permanent forfeiture of the said sum to the Federal Government.

  The anti-graft agency had in its supporting affidavit averred that consequent upon the investigation carried out on the intelligence reports received by the commission, it discovered that the sum of N7.6 billion kept in the accounts of some banks were proceeds of unlawful activities.

  The forfeited sum was allegedly laundered through former Group Managing Director, Crude Oil Marketing Division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Gbenga Olu Komolafe; former Group Managing Director, Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), Prince Haruna Momoh; and Group Managing Director of Nigerian Products Marketing Company (NPMC), Umar Farouk Ahmed, on behalf of Deziani.

Justice Chuka Obiozor of another Federal High Court, Lagos, had on August 7, this year, ordered the temporary forfeiture of the monies following an ex-parte application argued before him by the EFCC.

Also on Wednesday, August 22, a Federal High Court in Lagos had ordered that 56 buildings linked to Diezani and her associates be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government. The buildings located in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Rivers States and valued at N3.320 billion, were alleged to be proceeds of corruption.

  The court presided over by Justice Abdulaziz Anka gave the order while granting an ex-parte application filed and argued before the court by counsel to the EFCC, Mr Anselm Ozioko.

  The properties ordered to be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government included 21 mixed housing units of eight numbers of four-bedroom penthouse apartments; six numbers of three-bedroom apartments; two numbers of three-bedroom apartments; and one number of a four-bedroom apartment, all en suite and located at 7 Thurnburn Street and 5 Raymond Street, Yaba, Lagos valued at N937 million.

  Other properties included 16 numbers of four-bedroom terraces located at Heritage Court Estate, Omerelu Street, Diobu GRA, Port Harcourt, Rivers State valued at N928 million.

  Also included in the property haul were 13 numbers of three-bedroom terraces, with one-room maid’s quarters, situated at Mabushi Gardens Estate, Plot 1205, Cadastral Zone B06, Mabushi, Abuja, valued at N650 million; and six flats of three bedrooms and one-room boy’s quarters, located at Plot 808 (135) Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, valued at N805 million.

  Diezani had also on Monday, August 7, this year, lost a $37.5 million Banana Island mansion to the Federal Government. A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos had ordered that the $37.5 million sky-scrapper on Banana Island, Lagos, belonging to her be finally forfeited to the Federal Government. The trial judge, Justice Chuka Obiozor, also ordered that the sums of $2,740,197.96 and N84,537,840.70 realised as rents on the property should equally be forfeited to the Federal Government. Justice Obiozor made the orders sequel to a motion on notice argued before him by the EFCC.

  The anti-graft agency had on July 19, 2017, obtained a court order to temporarily seize the property located at Building 3, Block B, Bella Vista Plot 1, Zone N, Federal Government Layout, Banana Island Foreshore Estate, which is said to have 24 apartments, 18 flats and six penthouses.

  As the judgments continued coming, the questions on many lips were: Where is Diezani? Where are her lawyers? Why is she just watching as the government keeps linking illicit funds and properties to her and seizing them through the courts? Would these judgments stand the test of time?

  Although the former minister is known to be battling with ill health in the United Kingdom where she has been residing since the early days of the present administration, the fact that she has not made a legal representation in court amidst the allegations and forfeitures is already being interpreted as an admission of guilt and submission to government’s might by many observers. All that has come from her in the recent past was a statement where she denied ownership of $153.3 million recently forfeited to the Federal Government through an order of the Federal High Court, Lagos; and absolved herself of any wrong doing during her tenure as Minister of Petroleum Resources.

  She said: “I am deeply disturbed and bewildered by recent media reports claiming that by virtue of an order of the Federal High Court, I have forfeited to the Federal Government the sum of $153.3 million, which I purportedly stole from the NNPC.

  “Whilst the reasons for my being out of the country are public knowledge, the principle of fair hearing demands that I should have been notified of formal charges if truly there was a prima-facie evidence or indictment against my person linking me with the said issue, so as to ensure that I had adequate legal representation.

  “This was never done. I wish to state that I cannot forfeit what was never mine. I do not know the basis on which the EFCC has chosen to say that I am the owner of these funds as no evidence was provided to me before the order was obtained and they have not, in fact, served me with the order or, any evidence since they obtained it. As of the time of my writing this rebuttal, the EFCC has still not furnished me or my lawyers with a copy of the order.”

  Diezani further denied any involvement with the Malabu oil deal, saying it was not under the direct purview of the Petroleum Ministry when she was the minister.

   “As Minister of Petroleum Resources, I did not participate in any activity relating to financial payments on the Malabu matter, other than those statutorily mandated to the minister of petroleum resources by the Petroleum Act. My role in this matter was a purely statutory one as required by law in the Petroleum Act,” she noted.

  She added that “it is therefore sad and distressing that in spite of all that I tried to do in the best interest of our nation, I continue to be faced with constant demonisation, unproven accusations and deeply personal insults.”

  To many analysts, the press statement does not equate for a legal defence in any way and as such, they believe that the former minister should have sought redress in the courts if she felt her rights and reputation were being trampled upon. And until she does that, the “constant demonisation, unproven accusations and deeply personal insults” against her might continue till the government becomes satisfied that Nigeria’s stolen funds allegedly in her custody have been substantially retrieved.

  The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, provides further insight into the issue in the interview below:

There is this public concern about the forfeiture of Diezani’s property by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).  What is the propriety or otherwise of the seizure of her property without her appearance in court?

  Who stops her from coming to court to defend herself? Who stops her from engaging a lawyer and briefing him to argue on her behalf? I think people who say that are either mentally retarded or simply corruption trying to fight back. Those who have such a monumental level of bad faith for this country, who hates Nigeria so much and would not even mind, if looters who stole billions upon billions of naira are allowed to get away with it are either themselves beneficiaries of corruption or they are mentally retarded because they don’t know what is good for themselves and for Nigeria. Why can’t Diezani engage a lawyer to represent her interest here? That is all she needs to do. Supply a lawyer with the facts; he will go to court and defend her property. We must disregard such people; they don’t mean well for the country.

What about the possibility of her turning around to challenge these seizures?

It is not possible. The only thing she can do is to go to the Court of Appeal. She can never challenge it. She had the opportunity to defend her property but she didn’t. We advertised for over two weeks, and she had the opportunity of engaging a lawyer to defend herself but she did not. What it means is that she cannot explain how she acquired the money because it is clearly Nigeria’s money.  We all know it. Why are we pretending? Where will Diezani get 52 houses? What job does she do? Does NNPC money belong to her privately? Is NNPC not a Nigerian institution? Those who are pretending about it are beneficiaries of corruption. The best I can say about them is that they are mentally retarded. That is the most charitable thing I can say about it.

Isn’t it possible for the Federal Government to extradite her back to Nigeria to answers these charges?

  Well, it is a possibility. But she has charges to answer also in England. For me, personally, I am not speaking for the government because that is not the priority for now. I think it is urgent to recover all assets that are stolen first so that we can make use of what belongs to us so that we can make use of what we have been deprived of. They have caused a huge level of unemployment for the youth; they have caused kidnapping and armed robbery with their reckless looting. It is the money they have stolen that has almost rendered this country bankrupt. So, let’s get our money back and restore the welfare and well-being of Nigerians. After we have done that or while we are doing that, we can go to prosecution side and prosecute them. For me, the priority is for us to recover assets that have been stolen.

You said she could go to the Appeal Court. What is she going to make out of it, if she chooses to do so?

  She can appeal against the decision of High Court if she is so minded. If she loses at the Court of Appeal, she can go to the Supreme Court.

Must she necessarily be present in Nigeria for her to do that?

  No, she doesn’t necessarily have to be present. It is a civil case. She can hire a lawyer to defend her. She doesn’t have to appear in court.  (The Sun)

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Nigeria’s Corruption Caused Buhari’s Ill Health – APC Chieftain |The Republican News

 

Buhari-at-FEC

President Muhammadu Buhari

 

MIFFED by high-level corruption in Nigeria in previous administrations, chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos and Anambra, Chief Modestus Umenzekwe has said President Muhammadu Buhari would not have been sick if Nigeria was corruption-free.

    Umenzekwe, in a statement, said the visit of the Presidential Media Team to the President in London exposed the lies fed to Nigerians by critics about his health and the economy.

The statement reads: “The visit exposed the opposition and their cohorts of the kind of thoughts that ruled Nigerians for 16 years. President Buhari’s ill health was caused the monumental heap of corruption that he met when he assumed duty.

    “In the power sector alone over N11 trillion was spent and yet nothing to show for it. What the APC government met under power is enough to give Buhari ill health. Look at the findings in the Ministry of Petroleum where someone accumulated a wealth of over three nations put together. What about the bad road. Today the entire Apapa, in Lagos is being closed down for one year for full road reconstruction. The road network is in shamble up to Tincan Island Ports. That is why the pressure from those calling for the restructuring of Nigeria is on the rise.

    When people are talking about change, I laugh because the true meaning of change is nothing but creating a very congenial atmosphere in the state administration. What has Buhari inherited from his predecessors, nothing? Where is Nigerian Airways, Nigerian National Shipping Line, National Electric Power Authority?  Most of these were fraudulently privatized. What are the benefits the nation derived from such privatization? What has happened to the old National Assembly Complex at Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, the National Stadium, Tafawa Balewa Square, The National Arts Theatre, The Nigerian Telecommunication (NITEL)? They have all gone into oblivion. They are either sold away or completely abandoned to decay. They are now gathering to take over governance in 2019 when we are yet to clean the mess they made. They are all dreamers.”   (The Sun)

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Buhari Probing AGF, Magu’s Face-off, Says FG |The Republican News

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

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says President Muhammadu Buhari is investigating the feud between the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), and the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu.

Mohammed said this during a breakfast show on Channels Television titled, ‘Sunrise Daily’ on Tuesday.

When asked to explain what caused the feud, Mohammed said, “That is what the investigation will bring out. The President is aware and is investigating it. He is the employer of both of them.”

When asked if the feud between Malami and Magu would not affect the war against corruption, the minister added, “The fact that the AGF and the EFCC chairman do not see eye to eye on the methods or the approach does not mean that both of them do not believe in the ultimate which is that corruption must be addressed.

“If they disagree on approach, then the President will look into the matter and make his pronouncement. He will ask why the AGF is taking such a position and why the EFCC chairman is taking another position.

“This, to me, is a purely administrative matter and if it is not, Mr President will take appropriate action.”

The AGF and the EFCC boss have been involved in a feud which became public knowledge about a month ago.

Malami had specifically blamed Magu for causing the suspension of Nigeria from the Egmont Group, an international anti-corruption body with over 135 member countries.

The AGF had also accused the EFCC boss of breaching Section 10 (1) of the EFCC Act which states that the EFCC must send complex cases to the AGF for better cooperation and prosecution.

Mohammed admitted that there was a disagreement between the EFCC boss and the AGF but added that it was not as bad as it was being portrayed.

He said both parties had the best interest of Nigeria at heart but only differed on approach and methodology.

Asked if the feud was not a signal that the anti-corruption war lacked coordination, Mohammed said, “There are divergent views between the AGF and the EFCC chairman and the appropriate authorities will look into it.”

The minister also defended the Federal Government’s delay in obeying the order of a Federal High Court which ordered on July 5, 2017, that the Federal Government should release information on people who had returned stolen funds and how much was collected from them.

The minister said publishing the list could be inimical to the war against corruption and so certain things must be considered before the order was obeyed.

“There will be other considerations that the government will examine before it is made public. It depends on the outcome of the consideration before it is published. It also depends on if the release will not tamper with the fight against corruption.

“It is not tantamount to contempt of court process,” Mohammed added.  (Punchng.com)

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Inspector Kills Police Superintendent Over Money, Then Commits Suicide |RN

police-People
• Ondo State CP, Mrs Hilda Harrison; IG, Ibrahim Idris; Akwa Ibom CP, Zubairu Photos: File

• Cop shoots man for picking stolen money

Etim Ekpimah  and Peter Dada

A policeman, Abraham Arowogun, attached to the Kajola Police Station, Kajola town, in the Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State, has committed suicide by jumping into a deep well in the station.

The incident, which occurred on Tuesday, was mysterious to other police officers in the division as well as members of the community.

A police source told PUNCH Metro that Arowogun did not have any history of mental instability.

According to the source, the deceased inspector had first shot dead the Divisional Crime Office,  SP Timothy Aruehi,  after they had a disagreement over money.

Our correspondent gathered that Aruehi had received a complaint that Arowogun while investigating a case, diverted a sum of money to private use.

The source said, “Arowogun was investigating a case and the DCO discovered that a sum of N150,000 was involved. He further discovered that he (Arowogun) had actually converted the money to private use.

“The DCO called and queried him for the action.

“In the course of interrogating him, he stormed out angrily. He returned with a gun which he used to shoot Aruehi dead.”

The police source added that after killing the DCO, there was confusion in the station as other officers fled for safety.

“After killing the DCO, he knew that what he did was unprofessional and unpardonable in the police force. He just left the scene and jumped into the well at the back of the station,” the source added.

The corpses of the two policemen were said to have been deposited in a mortuary in the Ondo State General Hospital, Ore.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Femi Joseph, confirmed the incident, adding that investigation had commenced.

“It was an unfortunate incident, but we have begun an investigation. The command is very saddened and our hearts are heavy. We are doing everything possible to dig further into the matter and talk to our officers and men to avert a recurrence,” the PPRO said.

In a related development, the police in Akwa Ibom State on Wednesday shot a resident for allegedly picking stolen money which dropped along Wellington Bassey Way, Uyo.

Our correspondent gathered that a three-man gang had snatched the money from occupants of a government-owned car.

The gang was reportedly moving the money into a getaway vehicle seized from a female motorist when some of the cash fell on the road.

A witness, Mr Joe Inyang, said, “The people who owned the money were in a Toyota Camry with a government number plate, AK 705 C01. They appeared to be coming from one of the new generation banks, where they withdrew the huge amount.

“As their driver was going through Paul Bassey Street, he noticed the robbers, who were in a Toyota Corolla. They were on his trail.

“As he tried to link Brooks Street, he rammed the vehicle into an oncoming Toyota Camry. It was then that the robbers blocked access to the government car.

“At that point, the robbers seized the vehicle and started shooting continuously into the air. They shattered the boot and doors of the car with bullets to get access to the money, which was in Ghana-Must-Go bags.

“It was in the process of moving the money into another vehicle they seized from a woman that some residents scrambled for the fallen cash. The man the police shot rushed out of his office to pick the cash which littered the road.”

The woman whose car was used as a getaway by the robbers; the man who sustained gunshot injuries; and the driver and other occupants of the government vehicle, were seen by our correspondent at the ‘A Division’ of the state police command on Wednesday.

A resident, who did not want his name in print, told PUNCH Metro that the robbery could not have occurred without the involvement of people in government or the bank, adding that the money could not be less than N50m.

The Commissioner of Police in Akwa Ibom State, Mr Mu’azu Zubairu, did not answer calls that were put across to his telephone. He did not also respond to a text message sent to his line.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Chukwu Ikechukwu, when contacted, said he was not in the state.  (Punchng.com)

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