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Patience Jonathan Petitions Reps, Alleges Harassment By EFCC, NDLEA |RN

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                        Patience Jonathan

 

John Ameh, Abuja

Former President Goodluck Jonathan’s wife, Patience, has petitioned the House of Representatives, seeking protection against alleged “relentless” harassment by agents of the Federal Government, particularly the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Mrs Jonathan also listed the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency and the Federal Inland Revenue Service among agencies of the government that were allegedly harassing her.

She alleged that the agencies had continued to attack her and her associates since her husband left office in May 2015.

Mrs Jonathan’s petition was laid before the House in Abuja on Thursday by a lawmaker from Rivers State, Mr Gogo Bright-Tamuno, on behalf of her lawyers, Granville Abibo.

The House, which was presided over by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara, admitted the petition and referred it to the Committee on Public Petitions for hearing.

She claimed that on many occasions, the EFCC’s Acting Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu, ordered raids to be carried out on property linked to her or her relations in a bid to ridicule her.

She stated that the raids were in addition to the freezing of all her bank accounts, non-governmental organisations and those of companies owned by her relations in violation of legal procedures.

Mrs Jonathan further alleged that raids on her property were often carried out in the absence of the occupants of such properties with “spurious” court orders.

The former President’s wife complained that she had yet to know why out of all the “former first ladies” in Nigeria, she was the only one singled out for harassment by the agents of the Federal Government.

The petitioner cited 13 of such instances, one of which she said was the February 2017 report against her by Magu to the authorities in the United Kingdom to “forestall the renewal of her visa and other travelling documents.”

Mrs Jonathan also alleged that there were assassination attempts on her life twice between February and April by EFCC agents.

The petition partly read, “Only recently, on the 8th and 9th June 2017, the EFCC commenced another fresh orchestration of raids on the personal properties of the NGOs of our client situate at Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Expressway, Mabuchi by Setraco Junction, Abuja and ransacked the building.

“They placed seals around it, all without any lawful court order or summons.

“The recent action has agitated the urgent need for this petition to your office. The harassment against our client has persisted unabated.” (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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Ikoyi N13bn Cash: I won’t Honour Your Summon, CBN Governor Tells Reps

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                         CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele

John Ameh, Abuja

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has declined to appear before the House of Representatives to testify in the ongoing investigation into the $43.4m (about N13bn) recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from an apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The House Committee on National Security and Intelligence chaired by an All Progressives Congress lawmaker from Zamfara State, Mr. Aminu Sani-Jaji, is conducting the investigation.

Other sums recovered from the apartment were £27,800 and N23.2m.

The committee had thrice summoned Emefiele; the suspended Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Dr. Ayo Oke; the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu; and the National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.) to testify.

The third sitting of the committee was Wednesday (yesterday).

But, like in two previous occasions, all the officials shunned the committee on Wednesday.

However, Emefiele wrote the lawmakers to say that he did not think it was appropriate for him to come because he would be in breach of the National Security Agencies Act.

In the letter, which was read out to members by Sani-Jaji, the CBN governor argued that the Act prohibited the disclosure of security information publicly.

He noted that security information was ‘classified information’, which the law barred him from releasing to the public.

The CBN governor further argued that a committee chaired by the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, had already investigated the cash recovery.

But the lawmakers were enraged and berated Emefiele for acting like ‘someone who lacks the capacity to differentiate between a legislature and the executive arm of government’.

Sani-Jaji stated, “This CBN governor doesn’t even know that there is something called separation of powers.”       (Punchng.com)

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Whistle Blowers In Trouble For Giving False Information |The Republican News

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EFCC Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu

•Docked in court by EFCC over false alarm

From James Ojo, Abuja

Two persons, Buhari Fannami and Aba-Kura Abdulahi, who allegedly gave false information under the whistle blowing policy of the Federal Government were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday.
EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said the duo were arraigned before Justice M. T Salihu of the Federal High Court, Maiduguri, Borno State.
The arraignment came a day after the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, claimed that over 2,500 corruption tips were received since the policy started last year.
She was addressing a town hall meeting to give account of the two-year-old Buhari administration in Abuja.
According to the EFCC, Fannami misled the agency with the information about illegally acquired monies purportedly buried at the residence of one Ba’a Lawan, but the information turned out to be false after the execution of a search warrant.
The charge reads: “That you, Buhari Fannami, on or about the 8th day of May, 2017 at Maiduguri, Borno State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did make statement to officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission under the whistle blowing policy to the effect that large sums of money being the proceeds of crime were buried in the residence Ba’a Lawan at Pompomari Layout along Pompomari Bypass, Maiduguri, which information/statement you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under sections 39 (2) (a) and 39 (2) (b) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004 respectively.”
Uwujaren said the accused person pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Counsel to the prosecution asked for a trial date and prayed the court to remand the accused person in prison pending trial.
Justice Salihu adjourned the matter to June 7 and 8, 2017, for hearing and ordered the accused be remanded in prison.
It was alleged that Ba-Kura Abdullahi also gave false information to the effect that large sum of money in naira and foreign currencies were buried in the residence of  Ba’a Lawan.
Justice Salihu adjourned his case to June 7 and 8, 2017 for commencement of trial and ordered the accused to remanded in prison.
The whistle blowing policy was introduced by government last year as part of the war against corruption.
A reward of between five percent and 10 percent of the recovered loot was earmarked for the person who provided the information with a promise to protect the identity of the person.
Adeosun had told her audience: “The whistle blowing policy has made every Nigerian a detective and many of them are not even requesting for compensation.”
Similarly on Monday, Senate President Bukola Saraki disclosed that the Senate was considering anti-corruption legislation to be passed in July:
“At the moment, we are considering for passage into law the following bills: The Whistleblower Protection Bill, which, I am confident, will be passed not later than July 2017; The Proceeds of Crime Bill; The Special Anti-Corruption Court, which would be done through constitutional amendment and; The Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill.”    (The Sun)

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EFCC Arraigns ex-Niger State Governor, Aliyu On Money Laundering Charges

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Former Niger State Governor, Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu

Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday arraigned the immediate past Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, before a Federal High Court in Abuja, on charges of money laundering.

The anti-graft agency arraigned Aliyu alongside the 2015 governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party and a former Niger State Commissioner for Environment, Parks, Gardens and Forest Resources, Umar Nasko.

Both men pleaded not guilty to the eight counts in which they were accused of conspiring and diverting over N1bn ecological funds which the state was said to have received from the Federal Government in 2014.

They allegedly paid the money into the account of a private company, D-Sabrin International Limited, through the Niger State Ministry of Environment.

Some of the counts preferred against them in the case marked FHC/ABJ/CR/71/2017, read, “That you, Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu (whilst being the Executive Governor of Niger State) and Umar Muhammed Nasko (whilst being the Commissioner for Environment, Parks, Gardens and Forest Resources in Niger State) sometime in 2014, at Minna, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did conspire between yourselves to commit an offence to wit; money laundering of ecological funds released by the Federal Government to the Niger State Government and, thereby, committed an offence contrary to section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.”

Shortly after the defendants took their pleas, their lawyer, Mr. Mamman Usman (SAN), moved their bail applications.

The lawyer added that the EFCC had earlier granted them an administrative bail.

EFCC’s lawyer, Mr Ben Ikani, did not oppose the bail application but urged the court to impose conditions that would make the defendants to attend their trial. (Punchng.com)

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