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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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$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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Suspended NIA Boss’ Wife Bought Ikoyi Flat With $1.6m Cash, Says EFCC

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DG National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ayo Oke


Ramon Oladimeji

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Friday named Mrs. Folashade Oke as the owner of Flat 7B, No. 13, Osborne Road, Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, where the sums of $43,449,947, £27,800 and N23, 218,000 were recently recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Comission.

Mrs. Oke is the wife of the suspended Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ayo Oke, whose agency had laid claim to the money.

According to the EFCC, Mrs. Oke made a cash payment of $1.658m for the purchase of the flat between August 25 and September 3, 2015.

She was said to have purchased the property in the name of a company, Chobe Ventures Limited, to which she and her son, Master Ayodele Oke Junior, were directors.

Payment for the purchase of the flat was said to have been made to one Fine and Country Limited.

The EFCC stated that Mrs. Oke made the cash payment in tranches of $700,000, $650,000 and $353,700 to a Bureau de Change company, Sulah Petroleum and Gas Limited, which later converted the sums into N360,000,000 and subsequently paid it to Fine and Country Limited for the purchase of the property.

The EFCC on Friday tendered the receipt issued by Fine and Country Limited to Chobe Ventures Limited as an exhibit before the Federal High Court in Lagos, where it is seeking an order of final forfeiture of the recovered money to the Federal Government.

“The circumstances leading to the discovery of the huge sums stockpiled in Flat 7B, Osborne Towers leaves no one in doubt that the act was pursuant to an unlawful activity.

“The very act of making cash payment of $1.6m without going through any financial institution by Mrs. Folashade Oke for the acquisition of Flat 7B, Osborne Towers, is a criminal act punishable by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Amendment Act. I refer My Lord to sections 1(a), 16(d) and 16(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Amendment Act,” a counsel for the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court on Friday.

In an affidavit filed before the court, a Detective Inspector with the EFCC, Mohammed Chiroma, stated that “Chobe Ventures Limited is not into any business but was merely incorporated to retain proceeds of suspected unlawful activities of Mrs. Folashade Oke.”

While urging the presiding judge, Justice Muslim Hassan, to order the permanent forfeiture of the funds to the Federal Government, Oyedepo argued that the fact that Flat 7B, Osborne Towers was purchased in a criminal manner, made the N13bn recovered therein “extremely suspicious to be proceeds of unlawful acts.”

The lawyer noted that despite the newspaper advertisement of the initial order of April 13, 2017 temporarily forfeiting the money to the Federal Government, no one showed up in court on Friday to show cause why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.                              (Punchng.com)

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Nigeria Still Unable To Prosecute High-profile Corrupt People, Says Obasanjo

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Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo

Olaleye Aluko, Abuja

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said a major challenge with the anti-corruption drive of the Federal Government is the lack of successful prosecution of high-profile corruption cases involving ‘Politically-Exposed Persons’.

Obasanjo added that despite the efforts of successive governments, corruption still posed a challenge to the progress and development of Nigeria.

The former President said this while delivering an inaugural lecture organised by the National Open University of Nigeria, in Abuja, on Tuesday.

The lecture was titled, “Leadership, Governance, and the Challenges of Development in Nigeria: The Way forward.”

Obasanjo, who admitted that Nigeria’s poverty and seeming lack of direction was caused by leadership, said the institutions in the country needed to be strengthened to ensure transparency and accountability.

He said, “Nigeria’s poverty, insecurity, lack of unity and cohesion, youth restiveness and seeming directionless are conscious and unconscious choices made by Nigerian leaders. The impact of corruption on the Nigerian society and economy has been devastating. It continues to affect the government’s ability to provide basic services and has negatively impacted on the wellbeing of the population.

“The lack of successful prosecution of high-profile corruption cases involving some Politically-Exposed Persons is giving a serious cause for concern both for Nigerians and the international community. We must take away the proceeds of illicit enrichment and remove negative role models in our society.”

Obasanjo noted that the government needed serious investments in the areas of human security and development of infrastructure.

“We must invest in areas that can improve human security including food, education, and health. Our budget must reflect a genuine commitment for the development of infrastructure such as roads, rails, power, ports and housing. When we spend 70 to 80 per cent of our revenue on recurrent expenditure, we have very little left for capital and infrastructural development. We should move to 50 per cent of our revenue being spent on capital development,” the former president added.    (Punchng.com)

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