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We Will Get Diezani, Says Magu |The Republican News

Says $300m loot stuck in UK

The EFCC needs less than 72 hours to comply with Tuesday’s court order mandating it and other security agencies to produce Diezani.

Iheanacho Nwosu, Abuja

 

Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has vowed that the anti crime agency will get former minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, to answer to allegations of graft leveled against her.

Magu, who made the disclosure in Abuja, yesterday, said the EFCC needs less than 72 hours to comply with Tuesday’s court order mandating it and other security agencies to produce Diezani.

In the event that the EFCC cannot, Magus said he would inform the court of their constraint as the former minister does not live in Nigeria, presently.

Magu, however, said the EFCC has already commenced legal process towards bringing her back, to face corruption trial.

He disclosed these at a session with newsmen and social media influencers at the Commission’s headquarters in Jabi, Abuja, yesterday.

Justice Valentine Ashi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, sitting in Apo, Abuja, had, on Tuesday, ordered EFCC, the Nigeria Police Force, the Department of State Service and other security agencies to arrest and produce the former minister within 72 hours.

The order followed a motion ex parte filed by EFCC’s counsel, Msuur Denga, praying for a warrant of arrest against Alison-Madueke to enable the Commission arraign her for alleged financial crimes in Nigeria.

The former minister has been residing in London since 2015.

Magu also said Nigeria’s looted $300 million remains stuck in the United Kingdom.

He also revealed the commission is collaborating with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and others, to stop vote buying in 2019.

The EFCC boss also lamented that a lot of Nigeria’s monies stashed abroad by some Nigerians are yet to be released, despite several promises by authorities of the countries where the funds are.

He added that the looted funds outside Nigeria were massive.

In a statement by the acting EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, yesterday, Magus said: “We will comply with the court order. In fact, it is in our character to do so. If we won’t comply with the court order, that means we have reasons to appeal against the court decision.

“We need less than 72 hours to produce Diezani. But she is being prosecuted by other law enforcement agencies outside this country. This is our predicament.”

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

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

On the commission’s plans for next year’s elections, Magu disclosed EFCC is on the trail of politicians to ensure that they do not have the opportunity to sell ill-gotten properties to finance campaigns.   (The Sun)

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Executive Order 6 Imperative For Fight Against Corruption – British Envoy |RN

British-envoy-Paul-Arkwright
         British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright

Adelani Adepegba, Abuja

 

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, has endorsed the Executive Order 6 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that it is important for rooting out corruption in the country.

The envoy in an interview with Channels TV on Monday noted that the order would assist in the fight against graft in the country.

He said, “I’ve heard that this is an anti-corruption measure, it’s not for me to say who should or should not be on the list. But what I would say is that it’s very important in continuing this fight against corruption and rooting out corruption where it is happening”.

Arkwright, however, refrained from commenting on the travel ban on 50 Nigerians by the Federal Government.

He stressed the need for peaceful and credible elections in 2019, adding that free, fair and credible election was important for political stability in the country.

The high commissioner said that meeting with political candidates was necessary to discuss expectations for the 2019 polls.  (Punch)

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Executive Order 6: Court Backs Buhari On Seizure Of Looters’ Assets |RN

                                            President Muhammadu Buhari

Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

 

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday validated the Presidential Executive Order 6 of 2018 which provides for the interim seizure of assets linked to ongoing criminal trials and investigations.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on July 5, 2018, issued the Presidential Executive Order, but two lawyers, Ikenga Ugochinyere and Mr Keneth Udeze, instituted a suit before the court to challenge its constitutionality.

Delivering judgment on Thursday, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu dismissed the lawyers’ suit for lacking in merit and affirmed that the President had the constitutional powers to issue the PEO as long as it did not encroach into the principles of separation of powers.

She ruled that the PEO was issued as a policy directive for the implementation of provisions of existing laws, adding that it also recognised the right of every citizen to approach the court for redress if aggrieved by the enforcement of the PEO.

The plaintiffs had on July 13, 2018, filed the suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/740/2018, arguing that the PEO contravened constitutional provisions.

They argued that by virtue of the combined effect of sections 5, 36 and 43 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the President lacked the power to issue the PEO.

They maintained that the President’s act or conduct in issuing the PEO interfered with or encroached into the ownership of assets or properties of any person who had not been found guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.

The plaintiffs had through their lawyer, Mr Obed Agu, joined President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, as the defendants.

But dismissing the suit on Thursday, Justice Ojukwu agreed with the defendants’ lawyer, Mr Tijani Gazali, that the PEO could only be enforced in line with the provisions of the law and did not amount to an infringement of the rights of the affected person, who also had the right to approach the court to seek redress.

She ruled that contrary to the plaintiffs’ contention, the Executive Order 6 did not violate the rights of citizens to fair hearing and to own property under sections 35 and 43 of the 1999 Constitution, but was informed by the President’s willingness to preserve suspected property from being dissipated while an investigation or criminal trial linked to it was ongoing.

“What the President has demonstrated by the Executive Order in question is his willingness to ensure the prevention of the dissipation of assets and funds connected with the commission of the offence of corruption and other related offences, until the determination of any corruption-related matter against the person or firm,” the judge held.

However, the judge made a little modification to the PEO which she noted seemed to give the AGF the discretion on when to seek the court’s permission to seize any property suspiciously linked to corruption or other criminal activities.

The judge, in modifying the order, directed that the AGF, who is assigned the coordinating role by the PEO, must, at all times, obtain a court order before seizing any asset.

While reiterating that the PEO must be implemented in accordance to the principles of the rule of law, she added that the coordinating role imposed on the AGF by the PEO was subject to Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution and must be predicated on the existence of facts.

The judge ruled, “It is pertinent that the honourable Attorney General of the Federation, as the overseer of the activities of all the law enforcement authorities listed in the 2nd Schedule to the Executive Order, should ensure due process and uniformity of purpose.

“It is the further opinion of this court that the honourable Attorney General of the Federation first obtains an order of the court in all circumstances before blocking or freezing or confiscating such funds or assets pending the conclusion of an investigation or legal action.

“An application may be made ex parte and if the court is satisfied with the averment and information contained in the application, the order may be granted.

“It is, however, recommended that an order of the court in that regard include a period of investigation or subsequent date. Where the court is of the opinion that the party to be affected by the order should be put on notice, the court should make that determination.”

Affirming the constitutionality of the PEO and the need to implement it in line with the rule of law, the judge ruled, “In the final analysis, what this court has to say is as follows:

“The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has powers under sections 5 and 315 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to issue Executive Orders on routine administrative matters, to state’s policies, especially for the internal operations of state’s agencies insofar as it does not step on the toes of legislative and judicial powers under the constitution.”  (Punch)

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Buhari, NJC Replace Sacked Federal High Court Judge With Petitioner |RN

Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

Justice Olusegun Tokode, who was removed from the Federal High Court’s bench in December 2017, will be replaced on Tuesday with a petitioner who exposed an alleged irregularity in his appointment, The PUNCH has learnt.

The PUNCH on Monday sighted a copy of the letter by the National Judicial Council addressed to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Adamu Abdu-Kafarati, indicating that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the appointment of the petitioner, Ms Abimbola Awogboro, to replace Tokode.

Awogboro, along with the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, had faulted Tokode’s appointment in a petition sent to the NJC, leading to his removal in December 2017.

The NJC’s letter to Justice Abdu-Kafarati, dated October 5, 2018, indicated that Awogboro would be sworn-in at the chambers of the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of NJC, Justice Walter Onnoghen, on Tuesday (today).

Titled, Re: Appointment of one Federal High Court judge, the letter signed by the Secretary of NJC, Mr Ahmed Saleh, on behalf of the CJN, read in part, “I have been directed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of the National Judicial Council, Hon. Mr Justice Walter Onnoghen, GCON, to inform you that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, has approved the appointment of Ms. Abimbola Awogboro as a judge of the Federal High Court.

“In accordance with the provision of 290 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, you are to kindly request the candidate to declare her assets and liabilities.

“The candidate will be sworn-in on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 by 10am in his lordship’s chambers.

“Your lordship may wish to notify the candidate, please.”

Awogboro was not part of the nine newly appointed judges of the Federal High Court.

Tokode was appointed to the Federal High Court bench in December 2015.

But Awogboro and SERAP, in a petition sent against him, accused him of making false claims to the Federal Judicial Service Commission and the NJC over his eligibility for appointment as a judge.

He was said to have submitted six court judgments in six cases, which he claimed to have personally conducted while practising as a lawyer.

But Awogboro and her co-petitioner alleged in their petition that only one of the cases, in which the judgments submitted by Tokode were delivered, was truly conducted by him.

The NJC said the submission of six judgments to the FJSC and NJC was a pre-requisite for application for appointment as a judge.

Following its findings, the NJC not only recommended his removal from office, it ordered him to refund the salaries and allowances he had earned since his “purported appointment to the position of a judge” to the coffers of the judiciary.

But Tokode has since filed two suits to challenge his removal from office.

While one of the suits has been struck out, the other is still pending in court.  (Punch)

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I Was Voted Into Office To Fight Corruption – Buhari |The Republican News

                             President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, said the anti-corruption war of his administration was not negotiable.

He said it was a must for him to fight graft because that was one of the reasons he was elected.

According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, the President spoke while receiving a former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Mbeki, who heads the African Union High-Level Panel on Illicit Flows from Africa, was in Nigeria to give      Buhari, who is the current champion of AU Anti-Corruption Campaign, some updates.

The President said since his electoral promises to Nigerians included fighting corruption, he could not afford to let the people down.

He said, “For this administration, fighting corruption is non-negotiable. It is a must.

“We must fight corruption frontally because it’s one of the reasons we got elected.

“We campaigned on three fundamental issues: security, reviving the economy, and fight against corruption. It’s the reason we got elected, and we can’t afford to let our people down.”

Noting that the government was making progress on the anti-corruption war, “and not just talking,” the President said he was very pleased with the assignment the former South African President was carrying out for the African continent.

He submitted that when Africa was vigorous with the war against corruption, “we will eventually appeal to the conscience of the rest of the world.”

In his remarks, Mbeki said corruption was an African challenge that must be responded to, “as development challenges can only be met through the check of illicit financial flows.”

He said he was delighted that Buhari touched on the issue in most of his speeches, with the most recent being at the United Nations General Assembly last week.

“We are pleased with the way you take up the matter. Countries need the political will to stop the illicit flow. Nigeria has shown a good example.

“The more we are showing that we are acting as Africans, the easier to get the rest of the world to cooperate,” Mbeki said.   (Punch)

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Buhari Blames The Elites For Being Silent Over PDP’s Alleged Misrule |RN

                               President Muhammadu Buhari

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has chided Nigerian elite for remaining silent in the face of alleged misrule of the country by the Peoples Democratic Party between 1999 and 2015.

He said while they allowed Nigeria to be mismanaged in 16 years without raising a voice in consternation, they have been accusing him of being too slow.

He wondered where those that were considered to be fast got to.

According to a statement on Friday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President spoke at a meeting he had with the Nigerian community in the United States of America on Thursday in New York.

The meeting was held on the margins of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly holding in New York.

Buhari said he had taken ordinary Nigerians as his constituency because of the way they had been standing by him.

He said this was the reason he has been conscious of them.

The President said, “They (Nigerian elite) didn’t say a word. Under the PTF (Petroleum Trust Fund, of which he was Chairman), we did roads from Lagos to Abuja, to Onitsha, to Port Harcourt.

“Since then, the roads were not done, between 1999 and 2015, yet the elite did not say a word.

“I was called Baba Go Slow. Those who were going fast, where did they get to?

“In 1983, military officers gathered and made me Head of State. I packed the politicians into jail, told them they were guilty until they could prove their innocence. We seized what they had looted, but after I myself was put in detention, the politicians were given back what they had looted. How many elites complained about that?

“Three times I contested elections; three times I went to court after the elections were rigged against me. No justice, but I said ‘God dey.’

“It was mainly the ordinary people that stood by me. That is why I am always conscious of them. They are my constituency. Even pregnant women on the queue would fall into labour, go to have their babies, and still come back to vote for me. I will keep doing my best for the country.”

Buhari told the Nigerians living in America that if he won the 2019 election, and he spent another four years in office, “I will leave some difference in that office.”

The diaspora Nigerians, in their scores, are top-flight professionals, drawn from fields like medicine, engineering, sports, the arts, investment, academia, politics, agriculture, transport, education, publishing, and many others.

Most of them expressed the wish to come back home and contribute to the change making a headway in Nigeria, to which the President replied, “You are contributing to this great country (America).

“If you want to help back home, invest in education in your constituencies. If you educate people, they won’t then accept nonsense from anybody.”   (Punch)

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Aisha Buhari’s ADC, Sani Baba-Inna Released From DSS Detention |RN

 

The Department of State Services (DSS) has reportedly released the Aide De Camp (ADC) to Wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha.

The First Lady had, last Friday, accused her ADC, Sani Baba-Inna of fraud.

Mrs Buhari said Mr Baba-Inna collected cash gifts totalling N2.5 billion from politicians and businesses over three years but kept it to himself. She asked the police to retrieve the money, and publicly asked persons who may have given money to Mr Baba-Inna to demand same from him.

However, police investigations, according to sources in the police, failed to trace such huge amount to the ADC.

Dissatisfied, Mrs Buhari reportedly asked the DSS to take over the case.

Spokesperson of the service, Peter Afunanya, who confirmed the arrest to PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday said investigation was in progress.

Mr Baba-Inna’s elder brother, Farouq Baba-Inna, told PREMIUM TIMES Thursday afternoon that he has been released.

“He has just been released and I am on my way to see him,” he said.

A call to Mr Afunanya was not answered and is yet to be returned as at press time.      (The Sun)

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