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$43m Ikoyi Cash: 9 Whistle-blowers Fight Over N850m Commission |RN

We’ve record of official informants –EFCC

By Adetutu Folasade-Koyi

Less than 48 hours later the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Finance, promised to redeeming its pledge on five percent commission to the whistleblower who helped uncover $43 million and other currency stashed in an apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos, nine individuals have stepped forward to claim the reward.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recovered the money in an apartment on 16, Osborne Road, Ikoyi, on April 13, 2017, following a tip-off.

The anti-graft agency also uncovered about N23 million and £27,000 from the Ikoyi apartment.

Regardless, three people have fired a petition to the Attorney General of the Federation, Shehu Abubakar Malami, where they alleged that some EFCC officials of attempting to shortchange them by introducing those who were not among the informants.

The petitioners said Head of EFCC Operations, Samaila Muhammed, told them that the number of whistleblowers had increased to nine.

Under the federal government’s whistleblower policy, the individual who gives information is entitled to between 2.5 percent and 5 percent of the recovered loot.

But the payment is yet to be made, even though the federal government has promised to release the money. The petitioners weren’t named, neither was their counsel, said PRNigeria. The petitioners  are heading to court to stop payment of commission to those they described as “wrong persons.”

They claimed that the people listed to collect the commission knew nothing about the deal and are angry that two months after the petition was submitted to the AGF, nothing concrete has been done. PRNigeria obtained and released the petition yesterday.

“Our clients informed us sometime in December 2016 that three of them voluntarily walked into the office of the EFCC at 15A, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos and gave vital information that led to the recovery of over N13 billion at Ikoyi Towers, Lagos.

“Upon subsequent visit, to give detailed information as required by the commission to raid the tower, they were told if the operation was successful, five percent of the amount recovered would be their take-home; within 72 hours of recovery. They were also cautioned that if the information happened to be false, then, they would definitely be in trouble which the three mentioned above accepted because they were sure of their facts.

“When the operation was carried out, it was successful but, since then, they have not received any commendation from the commission, let alone give any reward as stated, even though the EFCC has their names and phone numbers,” a part of the petition read.

The petitioners said rather than do the needful, some EFCC officials informed them more people were involved in the deal. Their names were not released.

When contacted, media aide to the Minister of Finance, Mr. Yinka Akintunde,  said such issues should be referred to the EFCC because “it is not the responsibility of the ministry.”

Akintunde said the ministry would only come in when the right persons have been identified.

At the EFCC, its spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, explained the role of the commission on the matter.

He said several persons had approached the commission to say they were part of the whistleblowing.

Uwujaren, however, told PRNigeria that the commission has records of the original whistleblowers of the Ikoyi Towers cash.

“All will be done to make sure that the right persons are paid accordingly,” he reportedly said.

On Sunday, Finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, said the whistleblower would soon be paid.

She insisted the federal government has not withheld any funds due whistleblowers and emphasised that the Ikoyi whistleblower is part of the next batch of payments. (The Sun)

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Ikoyi Whistle-blower Would Run Mad If Given His Money Immediately- Sagay

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

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), says the Federal Government does not want the whistle-blower who informed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of the N13bn in an Ikoyi apartment to run mad.

Sagay said the government believed he needed to be adequately counselled and this was the reason his commission was delayed.

The senior advocate said this during an interview with our correspondent on Monday.

Sagay said if the commission, which the whistle-blower claims is N860m, was given to him immediately; he probably would have squandered it within a month or two.

Sagay said, “What I gathered from my inquiry is that the man is not sufficiently stable to receive such a huge sum of money. He is like someone who will almost run mental when he gets the money and will use it in an irresponsible manner, attracting not only undesirable people but even danger to himself.

“I think what they wanted to do for him was to provide counsellors. Not just counsellors for character and mental situation but counsellors who would be like consultants that would help him to really invest the money and plan in such a way that he doesn’t throw it away in five minutes.

“They are trying to help him. Nobody is denying him anything. They are trying to help him but he just misunderstands the intention and like everyone that has been deprived for a long time, he is so desperate to have it but from what I can see, if they just give him everything, it won’t last more than a month or two because so many people will start finding ways to get to him and taking their portions from him. So, they were just trying to help him but he became hysterical.”

Sagay hailed the Federal Government’s decision to pay the whistle-blower in tranches, adding that such a method of payment would deter him from spending it all at once.

The PACAC chairman said it was also the responsibility of the government to ensure that the whistleblower did not become a nuisance.

He added, “It is better to pay him in tranches. I agree with the government because if not, he will throw it away. This is valuable money that government could have used for millions of unemployed and wretchedly poor people.

“One man is getting it and he just wants it so that he can blow it all in five minutes? No, the government has a responsibility to see that his excitement does not end in seeing the money being thrown away irresponsibly. So, I agree with the government.”

The lawyer of the whistle-blower, Yakubu Galadima, however, said the government’s intentions were suspect.

Galadima wondered why the government did not question his client’s mental capacity when he was giving the EFCC information on the money.

The lawyer said even if his client was mental, he still deserved to be given his due.

He said, “As far as I am concerned, if the money is not paid by the end of this month, I am ready to tell the whole world but if they act favourably, their image will be redeemed.

“Does Prof. Sagay have contact with my client? Doesn’t my client have relatives that can take care of him? Even a mad man is entitled to his estate so what are they talking about? That is not an excuse as far as I am concerned.”  (Punch)

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$2bn Scam: EFCC Accuses DSS Of Protecting Indicted Officials |RN

MusaDaura1                          DSS Chief, Lawal Daura

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has accused the Department of State Services of refusing to release its officials for questioning over their alleged roles in the $2bn arms scam purportedly perpetrated by a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.).

The EFCC said this in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, on Tuesday.

Uwujaren issued the statement in response to a publication by a national daily in which an anonymous DSS official accused the EFCC of attempting to humiliate officials of the secret police agency because the Director-General of the DSS, Lawal Daura, scuttled the confirmation of the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, at the Senate.

According to the report, an anonymous DSS official said, “What are they (EFCC) trying to do, audit our operations or what? Did the service report any financial infraction to them and call for their intervention? It is just a case of overzealousness and lack of professionalism and we won’t allow that, because what you allow is what will continue.

“If they (EFCC) need any clarification on anything, they should come to our office. We can’t be humiliated by anybody. Never!  If this is the fallout from the security report officially requested by the National Assembly, then we wish them luck. We stand by our findings.”

However, the EFCC said it was not on a witch-hunt.

The commission said it invited DSS officials just as it had invited officers of the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian Navy.

According to the anti-graft agency, while military officers made themselves available and culpable ones have since been arraigned, the DSS refused to release its officers for questioning.

The EFCC said, “It is important to state that it is not strange for the EFCC to invite (for questioning) officers of other law enforcement agencies alleged to be complicit in any case being investigated by the commission. But there are protocols in doing this; and part of that protocol is to write to the heads of such agencies, requesting that the officer(s) in question be released to be interviewed.

“In the course of investigating the arms procurement scandal in the Office of the former  National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), the commission has had cause to request the release of officers of other security agencies, including the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air force, the Nigerian Navy and now the DSS, for questioning. All but the DSS have acceded to this request.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the arms procurement investigation is national in outlook with alleged culprits cutting across the military, security establishments as well as the political class. It is not targeted at any institution.

“Consequently, the insinuation about a revenge-instigated investigation of the DSS by the EFCC over its role in the senate refusal to confirm Ibrahim Magu as substantive chairman of the EFCC, is not only specious, but pure mischief contrived for motives that are unclear.”   (Punch)

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Diezani Bribe: EFCC Traces N950m To Two Former Governors, Detains Idris Wada |RN

Idris-Wada2             Ex-governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday traced N860m to the immediate past governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada; and a former acting governor of Taraba State, Sani Danladi.

While N500m was traced to Wada, N450m was traced to Danladi.

The money was said to be part of the N23bn allegedly disbursed by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, through the then Director of Finance of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Senator Nenadi Usman.

It was learnt that Wada arrived the EFCC office around 12pm and was still in custody around 9pm.

The spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed that Wada was detained by the commission.

He said, “Yes, he was invited by the EFCC over N500m Diezani money. He is still in our custody.”

The Gombe zonal office also quizzed Danladi in respect of the N450m collected by him through Senators Joel Dallami Ikenya and Mark Useni during the build-up to the 2015 presidential election.

Danladi, in his statement on oath, told interrogators that he chaired the eight-man committee that disbursed the money for Taraba State.

The EFCC stated, “He further stated that, he and the other members of the committee shared N36m among themselves while the balance of N414m was distributed to other stakeholders across the 16 local government areas of the state and one Development Area Council.”

Danladi was arrested and detained in Abuja last week and later released on bail to reliable sureties, but asked to report to the EFCC Gombe zonal office for further investigation.

Last week, the commission detained a former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, for his role in the disbursement of the Diezani sleaze.

It was learnt that at least 20 former ministers and governors who are members of the PDP may be detained by the commission

In the states which were ruled by the PDP, the governors were said to have taken possession of the funds while in states that had no PDP governors, the ministers handled the money.

They were alleged to have received a minimum of N450m each.

Some of the former governors and ministers that may be picked up soon include  a former Minister of Power, Mohammed Wakil (Borno); and a former Minister of Science and Technology, Alhaji Abdu Bulama (Yobe).

Others are former governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State (now a member of the All Progressives Congress), the immediate past governor of Kebbi State, Saidu Dakin Garin; former governor Ibrahim Shekarau of Kano State, former governor Ali Modu Sheriff of Borno State, former governor James Ngilari of Adamawa State; and a former governor of Zamfara State, Mamuda Shinkafi.

Sheriff allegedly received N40m from the N450m said to have been received by a former Minister of Power, Mohammed Wakil.

Also, a former deputy governor of Edo State, Chief Lucky Imasuen, and a former Secretary to the State Government of Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, may be re-invited for allegedly collecting N700m from the Diezani fund.

The source said many of the PDP chieftains had promised to return some of the funds but had failed to do so and therefore had to be invited.    (Punch)

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Recoveries From Whistle-blower Policy Exceeded Our Expectations – Adeosun

Kemi-Adeosun-Ogun
                       Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun

Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, on Sunday said that the recoveries, which the Federal Government had made through the implementation of the whistle-blower policy, had exceeded its expectations.

Adeosun stated this in an article written by her and made available to our correspondent by her Special Adviser on Communications, Mr. Oluyinka Akintunde.

The whistle-blower policy, which was launched in December 2016, is aimed at addressing the issues of corruption in the management of government resources.

In the article entitled: ‘Positioning Nigeria for a prosperous future’, Adeosun stated that the government was doing a lot to stop the level of corrupt practices in the country.

The minister did not provide the total amount recovered under the policy. However, as of June this year, the ministry said that the sum of N11.63bn had been recovered under the whistle blower policy with about N375.8m paid to 20 providers of information.

Adeosun said that the implementation of the Treasury Single Account system had assisted the government in consolidating thousands of accounts scattered across Deposit Money Banks into a unified system that was transparent and easy to centrally monitor and track.

She said under the old system, it was common for government accounts to be converted into personal use, adding that with the TSA, this was no longer possible.

The minister stated that while there was a lot of resistance to reform by vested interests within and outside the system, the Federal Government would not relent in pursuing its reforms.   (Punch)

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Fresh Trouble For Tompolo As Court Orders Seizure Of His Property |RN

Tompolo

There appears to be more troubles for fugitive former militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, as the Appeal Court on Friday ordered temporary forfeiture of his assets to the Federal Government over his evasion of court summons to answer fraud charges.

The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos dismissed an appeal filed by him, seeking to set aside the decision of the Federal High Court, Lagos which empowered the EFCC to attach all the assets belonging to the ex-militant. Justice Ibrahim N. Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos had on February 19, 2016 made an order attaching Tompolo’s properties for failure to appear to answer the charges against him.  The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on December 15, 2015 instituted a criminal charge against Tompolo and nine others over allegations of fraud at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA.

However, despite substituted service of the court summons effected on him, Tompolo refused to appear in court. Consequently, Justice Buba issued a warrant of arrest against him. Armed with the warrant of arrest, the EFCC launched a manhunt for him, but could not effect his arrest. On February 19, 2016, the Commission, through its counsel, Festus Keyamo, SAN, prayed the Court for an order attaching the properties of Tompolo by seizure, pending his arrest or appearance before the Court.

The court granted the Commission’s request prompting Tompolo to appeal against the decision. However, in a unanimous judgment yesterday, the Court of Appeal held that Tompolo cannot be heard complaining that his properties are attached by the Court below, when he has not come to answer to the summons against him.

The court held that the option available to Tompolo is to appear before the Federal High Court to apply for the order to be discharged, instead of filing the appeal. The Court of Appeal was of the view that his private right of property has not been breached by the said order.  (The Sun)

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Ex-President Jonathan Ordered To Appear In Court As Olisa Metuh’s Witness |RN

Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court in Abuja, on Tuesday, ordered former President Goodluck Jonathan to appear before it to testify as a witness in defence of a former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh.

The judge has therefore issued a subpoena compelling the former president to appear before the court, on Wednesday, October 25.

Jonathan is to appear as defence witness in the suit filed by the federal government against Metuh.

Metuh is facing trial for allegedly receiving N400 million from the $2.1 billion dollars arms fund from the former National Security Adviser to Doctor Jonathan, Colonel Sambo Dasuki

Metuh’s lawyer, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) earlier told the court that he would subpoena the former president as defence witness during a session at the court, on Monday.

Ikpeazu said further that a letter has already been written to the former president but he was yet to respond.  (The Sun)

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