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Woman Runs Away With Lover’s ATM Card After Sex, Withdraws N1m |RN

Tinubu-Magistrate_s-Court

Tnubu’s magistrate court, Lagos

Afeez Hanafi

A businessman got more than he bargained for after his lover fled with his Automated Teller Machine card and allegedly withdrew N1m from his bank account.

It was learnt that the woman, Thelma Kimberly, who is based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, visited the man named Olugbenga at his residence on Victoria Island, Lagos State, on May 17, 2018.

Our correspondent learnt that the lovers went round the highbrow area to have fun before they returned home to ‘spice up’ the experience on the bed.

The 45-year-old man reportedly slept off after some rounds of sex and Kimberly, 22, fled with his ATM card and a mobile phone.

She was said to have made withdrawals, transfers and purchases at a supermarket in Lekki using PoS.

Olugbenga reported the case at the Ikoyi Police Division and Kimberly was eventually tracked down this month.

A police source told our correspondent that while the suspect was on the run, an order was sent to a bank she used to place a restriction on her account.

“The man then sent N100,000 to her bank account as bait with a belief that the bank would alert the police as soon as she made attempts to withdraw the money.

“However, she succeeded in withdrawing the N100,000. She even snapped the police order sent to the bank and sent it to the lover on WhatsApp.

“The police had written to the bank querying why the money was paid to her despite the order. Altogether, she made away with N1m,” the source said.

The suspect, in her statement to the police, confessed to the crime but said she returned the phone to the complainant through the manager of a restaurant on Victoria Island.

She said, “I met Olugbenga in 2016 in Port Harcourt when he visited my foster father, who is his friend. On May 17, around 8:00pm, I visited him in his residence on Victoria Island. He took me out and we bought some things. We had sex several times when we came back. He was tired and slept off.

“I left with his phone and ATM card and I made withdrawals of N150,000 at ATM stands in Obalende, Ikeja and VI. I went to a supermarket at Lekki Phase I and spent N363,000. I paid through PoS.

“I also did transfers of N250, 000 to some accounts. I gave some people the money. I was just spending it and can’t calculate how much I spent altogether.”

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti, said the suspect had been arraigned before a Tinubu Magistrate’s Court.    (Punch)

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Elizabeth Holmes, Founder Of Theranos, The World Youngest Billionaire May Spend 10 Years In Jail

Avery Hartmans
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BREAKING: Court Jails Ex-Plateau Gov. Dariye, 14 Years For N1.16bn Fraud

Joshua-Dariye
  Ex-Plateau State Governor, Joshua Dariye, jailed for 14 years

Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

 

The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Gudu, Abuja, on Tuesday sentenced a former Governor of Plateau State and serving senator, Joshua Dariye, to 14 years’ imprisonment on charges of criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of overN1.16bn belonging to the state.

Justice Adebukola Banjoko  ‎in a judgment which took her six and a half hours to read convicted the ex-governor on 15 out the 23 counts preferred against him.

The judge barely a fortnight ago, imposed 14 years’ jail term on ex-Governor of Taraba State, Jolly Nyame, on similar charges.

On Tuesday she sentenced ‎Dariye to two years imprisonment on each of the five counts bordering on criminal misappropriation and 14 years’ jail term on each of the 11 counts of criminal breach of trust.

The judge, however, ruled that all the sentences would run concurrently, implying that the convict would have to spend 14 years in jail.

The punishments imposed on the ex-governor for the two categories of offences of criminal breach of trust and criminal misappropriation are the maximum as provided under sections 315 and 309 of the Penal Code Act, respectively.

The judge threw out eight of the 23 charges on the grounds of either duplicity or lack of sufficient evidence.

‎Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s lawyer, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), had in opposing the defence lawyer’s plea for mercy, urged the court to impose the maximum sentence to serve as deterrence to others.  (Punch)

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Court Convicts Ex-Governor Of Taraba, Nyame |The Republican News

By Tunde Oyesina Abuja

JOLLY-NYAME

An Abuja High Court yesterday convicted a former three-term Governor of Taraba State, Rev. Jolly Nyame of fraud to the tune of N1.64 billion and was consequently sentenced to 14-years imprisonment without an option of fine.
The judgement came about 11 years after the Federal Government docked the former governor.In the 41-count charge dated May 13, 2007, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alleged that the former governor perpetuated the fraud between January 2005 and May 2007, through various bogus contracts.
Nyame had pleaded not guilty to the charge which he insisted was not only incompetent but brought against him in bad faith.

The trial emanated from a petition jointly signed by one Umar Baba and Kelas Obadia, entitled “Taraba State in a mess, the Commissioner of Finance goofed” written on behalf of concerned citizens of the state.

However, delivering judgement in the matter, the trial judge, Justice Adebukola Banjoko, in a 300-page judgement that lasted for over six hours, found the defendant guilty on 27 out of the 41-counts.

The court, in its pronouncement, sentenced Nyame to 14 years for criminal breach of trust, two years for misappropriation, seven years for gratification and five years for obtaining valuable public properties without consideration.
Justice Banjoko held that the sentence would run concurrently.

The court, however, discharged the defendant on 14 counts of the charge.

Before the final judgement was given, Nyame had pleaded for leniency.

The trial court, however, turned down the plea for leniency on the ground that the court was “morally outweighed by facts of the case.”

In her judgement, Justice Banjoko held: “Citizens of Taraba had elected the defendant, a clergyman, in three separate occasions to govern them, which shows a constant level of trust. The expectation must have been so high.

“As a Reverend, he must have been seen as an epitome of morality, piety and everything good. How will Reverend Nyame begin to explain to people of Taraba State his actions and inactions?
“How can he justify causing such a colossal loss to the state?”

The judge further held that the defendant committed “catalogue of crimes” a month before he vacated office “while under intense searchlight from security agencies.”
She added that the court would be failing in its responsibility “if it fails to impose the full sanction.

“The evidence before the court showed that while officials that served under the defendant were returning their loot to the EFCC after they were questioned, the defendant was still busy committing more crime.

“One of such crimes included N100 million the defendant withdrew from the state treasury to host former President Olusegun Obasanjo who paid a one-day visit to Taraba State in 2007.

“After a careful examination of all the evidence, prosecution tendered before the court, it is my opinion that either the defendant entered into office without a corrupt mind and became corrupted, or he was corrupted ab initio.

“There was such a crazy level of corruption in the air in Taraba State Ministry of Finance. It is, however, amazing that none of the officials was arraigned,” Justice Banjoko added.

The court also held that Nyame “behaved like a common thief with unbridled greed,” adding that his sentence would serve as a deterrent to other public office holders.

“With the overwhelming evidence before the court, the court is left with no option than to do justice in this trial. And the justice in this trial is to impose a punishment that will serve as a deterrent to others.

“The defendant is hereby convicted of the charge before the court. He is, therefore, sentenced to 14 years for criminal breach of trust, two years for misappropriation, seven years for gratification and five years for obtaining valuable public properties without consideration.
“The terms are to run concurrently,” the court held.

The court later directed EFCC to return all the funds it recovered in the process of its investigation into the case, to the coffers of Taraba State.

The EFCC had, on November 22, 2016, closed its case after it called 14 witnesses that testified before the court.

Thereafter, the ex-governor testified in defence of himself and called additional three witnesses that attempted to exonerate him of all the allegations against him.

Nyame had, during the pendency of his trial, approached the Supreme Court seeking to quash charges against him.

He was, however, turned down by the apex court on March 5, 2010.

In the charge, he was among other things, accused of diverting N180 million out of N250 million meant for the purchase of stationeries by Taraba State Government between January and February 2005, as a reward for the award of the contract to USAB International (Nig.) Ltd and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 115, 309 and 315 of the Penal Code Act Cap 532 laws of Federation of Nigeria 1990.

Justice Banjoko had earlier noted that there was a nexus between Nyame and the fictitious N250 million contract that was awarded for the bulk purchase of stationaries and office equipment.

The court noted that Nyame had, through his then Commissioner of Finance, Alhaji Abubakar Tutare, approved a memo for that contract which was awarded to a firm, Saman Global Ventures, on January 1, 2005, sidelining key officials of the Ministry of Finance in the process.
“The defendant gave that memo life by giving his approval,” the court held.

The court also noted that N180 million was subsequently diverted from the contract sum and handed to the ex-governor.

Though the court held that the evidence EFCC tendered against the ex-governor in respect of the transaction was “circumstantial” as no other document had his signature apart from the memo, it, however, stressed that the manner funds were approved and released from   the Taraba State treasury, showed that the defendant acted in breach of his oath of office.

“It is disheartening to note that between 2004 to 2005, the Ministry of Finance in Taraba State was especially an enclave, it was a den of criminal activities best illustrated with Ali Baba and the 40 thieves.
“The court finds the defendant guilty as charged.

“The clear purpose of the money was diverted. There was no evidence of purchase of the stationaries,” the court held.

The Judge also held that convict repeatedly approved the release of funds to the firm despite being aware that it neither purchased the stationaries nor executed any contract.

The court held that there was no evidence that Nyame, who had within five weeks, moved over N345 million from the Taraba State coffers for the purchase of stationaries, made any attempt to prosecute the firm or to set up a panel of inquiry when the fraud was brought to his attention.
“The progenitor of this impunity was no one else than the defendant himself. The defendant cannot feign ignorance of this colossal fraud.

“He who approves must be accountable to what he approved. The defendant had the dominion over the state fund and only him could say open-Sesame to the vault of Taraba State.
“The defendant cannot escape responsibility or cling to the thin plank of mere approval,” the court held.

The court also held that the defendant “dishonestly” diverted public funds through the Taraba State Liaison Office, on the guise that it was used for the purchase of rice that was shared with his supporters.

It further held that the defendant committed “criminal breach of trust beyond a reasonable doubt” when he approved N111 million to host guests when the Mambilla Power Project was commissioned, even as it equally found him guilty of receiving gratification to the tune of N80 million.
The court held that it was amazing that Nyame had, in his bid to defend the charge, “provided the entire arsenal for the prosecution.”

Justice Banjoko held that the defendant admitted to certain offences, seeking at the end for a plea bargain.

“He was also very inconsistent, especially regarding the presidential visit and the issue of security votes,” the court said.

Nyame had, after he was found guilty, prayed the court through his counsel, Olalekan Ojo, to temper justice with mercy, insisting he had no previous criminal record.
In his plea, the former governor told the court that he has dependents that rely on him for their subsistence.

Ojo, however, prayed the court to punish the convict by imposing fine rather than imprisonment.

Prosecuting counsel, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, urged the court to impose the maximum sanction to serve as a deterrent to other public office holders.

Aside the former finance commissioner in Taraba State during Nyame’s tenure, Tutare, among those that testified before the court included a compliance officer with one of the banks, Mr. Olubunmi Ogunode, as well as the Permanent Secretary to Taraba State government, Mr. Dennis Okuma Nev.
In his own witness, Nev told the court that he was, at a time, compelled to raise three separate memos for the withdrawal of N100 million, which he said was used by Nyame to host former President Olusegun Obasanjo when he visited the state in 2001.

Similarly, an Accountant with the Rural Electrification Board in Jalingo, Taraba State, Mr. Abdulrahman Mohammed, narrated before the court, how the ex-governor used his name to withdraw N282 million from a bank, using 20 separate cheques.

Mohammed said the illicit transactions took place between 2005 and 2007 when he functioned as an accountant in charge of Taraba State liaison office in Abuja.                (New Telegraph)

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Exposed! Nigeria’s Deputy House Speaker In N1.1bn Water Contract Scam (II) |RN

By MOJEED ALABI

 

 

In conclusion of this two-part story, MOJEED ALABI reports the details of the contract scandal involving the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Lasun Yusuff, who secures contract award from the same government he serves

 

Whereabouts of Nur & Company Nigeria Limited unknown
                                                       
Unlike the Sabbyn Nigeria Limited, it was easier for the camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for our reporter locating the whereabouts of Nur and Company Nigeria Limited. For a company that handled two out of the three projects at combined sum of N1.1 billion, it has neither website nor social media account. At the projects’ sites, the company fails to put up any signpost indicating details of the contracts, the contractors, among other necessary information, as required by law.
                                                       
New Telegraph reporters arrested
On Thursday, February 1, 2018, when our correspondent visited Plot 8, Impressive Close, off Dosumu Street, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos, which Nur and Company Limited quoted as its office in its documents with the contract awarding agency, the guards on duty at the house said there was no company with such name within the compound.
While our reporter, accompanied by his colleague, Mr. Stanley Ihedigbo, was attempting to gain graphic evidence, the security men accused him of taking photographs of the house without authorisation and got him arrested by policemen.
The owner of the building, who was later identified as Mrs. Dupe Dare, and from whose company – Impressive Chemicals – the street’s name was derived, immediately ordered that the reporters be taken to the Alausa Police Station, where they were subjected to embarrassing scrutiny.
The visibly angry Dare had told the police that she suspected the reporters were members of an unnamed syndicate, which she claimed, had fraudulently used her property to secure a loan from two banks without her consent.
In her narrative at the station, Dare said sometimes in 2015, agents of Skye Bank Plc., security men and court bailiffs, had besieged the property, chasing out all her tenants and employees on the allegation that the house was used to obtain a N660 million loan in 2012 without repayment.
“I was shocked to my marrow because I never banked with Skye Bank, and had never taken any loan. For more than six months, we were in court, with my lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, in charge of the matter,” she said.
Amid sobs, she further narrated her ordeal to both the Divisional Police Officer in charge of the station, Superintendent of Police Bakfur Kyes, and the Divisional Crime Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police Johnson Domchak.
“I was told the fraudster had taken contracts from the government in 2012 and needed money to execute them. So, that year, the bank claimed the individual had approached it, using a fake version of my property document to secure the loan. The pressure was so much on my family that my mum could not bear it as she died same year.”
She said after about seven months of court processes, and following the presentation of the property’s original documents, the court ruled in her favour, and the premises were reopened to her in 2016.
                                                           
Another bank lays claim to the property
The embattled property owner, who refused to reveal the identity of the individual or company illegally using her property to secure the loan, added that in 2017, another financial institution, again emerged with another court judgement to gain possession of the property.
The troubled Dare said: “And this time it was Heritage Bank Plc. The bank claimed that before it acquired the defunct Enterprise Bank Plc., the suspect had taken a loan of about N70 million from the defunct bank, which he or she failed to service.
“Up till this moment, I cannot fathom why my property should remain the target of such fraudsters, and the way these people came to take photographs of my house, I learnt, was also how those fraudsters kept using the pictures of my property to secure the loan. In fact, we are still in court over this.”
Based on this narration, Dare urged the police to charge the reporters to court to unravel the “real reason” for visiting her property.
However, after many hours of interrogations and cross-examinations, the police granted the reporters bail with the newspaper’s Crime Editor, Mrs Juliana Francis, standing as surety, with the instruction that they must return to the station on Monday, February 5, for further interactions, which they surely did.
 
Banks respond to enquiries
When contacted, the concerned financial institutions, which confirmed the development, however, failed to disclose the details of the transactions, claiming it was a confidential matter between the banks and the customers.
In a text message to our correspondent, the spokesperson for the Heritage Bank, Mr. Fela Ibidapo, had written: “Many thanks for your earlier text. Unfortunately, you would agree with me that the information sought is confidential between the bank and the customer, particularly as per pre-signed contract.
“Thus I ask that you permit me to decline any comment in this regard. Nonetheless, please let me know if I can assist in any other way.”
However, when our correspondent reached out to the Head of Information Unit of Skye Bank Plc, Mr. Nduneche Ezurike, he was directed to meet his colleague, Mr. Rasheed Bolarinwa, who, many weeks after messages had been exchanged, could not give a definite response.
                                                                   
Nur & Company Nigeria Limited Officer declines comment
Sometimes in February, the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority made available to New Telegraph mobile telephone number of a representative of the company, who the newspaper later identified as Mr Ebenezer Famgbebe, an engineer.
When called on the phone, the engineer, upon the introduction of our correspondent by name, had mistaken him for another member of the House of Representatives from Osun State, Prof. Mojeed Alabi. He immediately showed courtesies but was astonished to learn that the caller was another person entirely.
He confirmed his relationship with the company but declined to make further comments on all the questions asked including the location of his company’s office.
To all these enquiries, he responded: “Please, I cannot say anything about our projects. Ogun-Osun River Basin is our client and I don’t have any mandate to talk to you. I cannot also tell you our office. Go to Ogun-Osun, you will get whatever you want there. Thank you!”
That was how Famgbebe ended the call.   
 
Corporate Affairs Commission spills the beans
This rather unusual development compelled New Telegraph to apply to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) through a lawyer, request for the company’s details as part of efforts towards ascertaining its authenticity.
On February 12, the CAC released the result of the search conducted listing the company’s shareholders as Mr. Yusuff Sulaimon Lasun of 3, Sarumi Street, Orelope Bus Stop, Egbeda, Lagos; Yusuff Olamide Ayomide, Yusuff Gbemisola Feyisara and Yusuff Omowunmi Rasheeda, all of the same address, as above who New Telegraph found out are the deputy speaker’s wife and children.
It further listed the four individuals as the company’s directors with the addition of Oladimeji Ayodeji Yusuff, with the same address, as the fifth director.
Meanwhile, in another document supplied by the CAC, Mr. Yusuff Rafiu Olalekan, who New Telegraph found out to be the deputy speaker’s immediate younger brother, was listed as a director of the company. His quoted address was Investment House, 2nd Floor, 21/25, Broad Street, Lagos State.
However, in a message addressed to the CAC in 2011, the company conveyed the decision of Mr. Yusuff Rafiu Olalekan to resign as one of its directors, and the appointment of Olamide Ayomide Yusuff, Gbemisola Feyisara Yusuff, Oladimeji Ayodeji Yusuff and Omowunmi Rasheeda Yusuff, all as directors.
A copy of Mr. Rafiu Olalekan Yusuff’s resignation letter, which was attached, was dated April 12, 2011, with the company’s address quoted as Investment House, 2nd Floor, 21/25, Broad Street, Lagos State.
                                                                
Efforts to get deputy speaker’s reaction proved abortive
Through the Special Adviser (Media) to the deputy speaker, Mrs. Lara Owoeye-Wise, New Telegraph made spirited efforts to get the reaction of the parliamentarian but all efforts yielded no fruit.
On January 10, when our correspondent visited the National Assembly, neither the deputy speaker nor his special adviser was on the ground. Mrs. Owoeye-Wise then suggested that a copy of the letter should be photographed and sent to her via WhatsApp which the correspondent did as instructed.
After waiting patiently for days without a response, our correspondent sent a text message to Owoeye-Wise on January 22, for follow-up and she replied via a text message thus; “I’ll give you a response tomorrow, unfailingly. Thank you.”
On January 25, she sent another message, saying; “The Chief Press Secretary (CPS) said he had reached out to your editor. That is what he said when I discussed with him yesterday. Thank you.”
On January 26, Owoeye-Wise advised our correspondent to recompose his message and resend to her via her WhatsApp, promising to forward same to the deputy speaker directly and provide the feedback in less than 24 hours.
Our correspondent’s message had read: “Good morning, Aunty Lara and thanks a lot for your efforts. As a follow-up to my last discussion with you concerning the FoI request letter from New Telegraph Newspapers over the mini-water schemes in Ila Orangun, Ipetu-Ijesha and Ife-Odan, I write to let you know that we are yet to get any response like you promised.
“Recall you said you would discuss with the CPS and that he would contact me after you asked me to make my request official. If you recall ma, I sent the letter to you on January 10 but by Thursday, January 11, I received a call from someone who later identified himself as Mr. Wole Oladimeji and CPS to the DSP (Deputy Speaker). He told me the DSP knows nothing about the project but I simply advised him to discuss with the DSP first. My Editor, Mr. Ayodele Ojo, told me the same person called him and that he was the one who directed him to me. Since then, neither my editor nor myself, have received any response, either in written or verbal form, until I reached out to you again and you told me the CPS had contacted my editor. Your SMS, which claimed my editor has been contacted by the CPS was not only surprising to me but also to my editor.
“However, further investigations have revealed the DSP is linked to one of the companies that handled the projects, especially those of Ife-Odan and Ila-Orangun, that is; Nur and Company Nigeria LTD. All we need is a clarification ma. The other people involved have given their own side of the story ma. Thank you very much ma as I await your intervention to get an official reaction from the DSP.”
Till date, New Telegraph is yet to receive any response from the office of the deputy speaker.         
 
Other National Assembly members kick
Two months after the inauguration of the projects, and precisely in April 2017, some members of the House of Representatives, who said they were inundated by complaints from the beneficiary communities, had embarked on a tour of the three projects to ascertain the authenticity of the people’s claims.
The House of Representatives Caucus comprising Mrs. Ayo Omidiran from Ayedaade/Irewole/Isokan Federal Constituency; Mr. Yinka Ajayi, representing Boripe/Ifelodun/Odo-Otin Federal Constituency; Mr. Gafar Amere, representing Ayedire/Iwo/Ola-Oluwa Federal constituency and Mr. Ajibola Famurewa of Atakunmosa East/Atakunmosa West/Ilesha East/Ilesa West Federal constituency, visited the locations.
According to Famurewa, officials of the Ogun-Oshun River Basin Development Authority and two representatives of the state Water Corporation were part of the inspection tour.
He told New Telegraph that prior to the inauguration, apparently frustrated by the slow pace of work at the sites, the members of the National Assembly had in 2016 petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to report suspected foul play, even after all the budgeted funds had been released to the contractors.
“But rather than inviting us, we never heard anything from the EFCC till date. The only thing we noticed was that the contractors returned to the sites in a surreptitious manner,” Famurewa added.
When New Telegraph approached the EFCC for details of the matter, its spokesperson, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, demanded an acknowledged copy of the petition to locate the exact unit of the anti-graft body handling the matter. But none of the petitioners could provide a copy.
Meanwhile, Senators Babajide Omoworare and Olusola Adeyeye denied complicity in the matter, saying it was unfortunate that the projects were poorly handled.
Adeyeye said: “Personally, I had suggested that we fixed Ojutu bridge in Ilobu but eventually the governor said we should do water. And to do water, none of us could single-handedly fix the water and so we decided to have three mini-water schemes across the three Senatorial Districts.
“It was Lasun that was given the assignment to link up with the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority for the execution. You know very well that I am neither an engineer nor a contractor. So, when they claimed they had finished it, honestly I thought they had finished, it was later on that we heard that the thing was not working and that the people had done a very shoddy job. I am told that some members of the House of Representatives have written a petition to the EFCC to look into it.
“Let me tell you, the crisis on the matter, I should not intervene for now, because if I do, I will make things worse. Let them handle it because, in the end, it is the people that would be the beneficiaries. But if in the end, they sweep it under the carpet, it can be very dangerous for them. The man, who supervised it at the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority, came into my office and he was crying. But I drove him out. I told him that if he had been given a project and he didn’t do it well or he awarded it to a fraudulent contractor, he should go and fry in his own smoke.”
In a similar vein, Hon. Omidiran also distanced herself from the allegation of fraudulent practices in the execution of the projects, saying she was saddened by the development.
When contacted, the duo of Senator Mudashiru Hussein and Honourable Rotimi Makinde, who had failed to win their re-election bid, said since they are no longer in the parliament, they could hardly give any information on the matter. They directed our correspondents to the incumbent members of the parliament.
 
Procurement Laws bar public officers from taking government contracts
An officer of the Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC), a non-governmental organisation, focused on procurement monitoring, Samuel Offia, has explained reasons government officials are banned by law from taking government contracts.
According to Offia, towards promoting transparency, fairness and accountability, and to avoid unholy interference in procurement processes, Sections 58 and 59 of the Public Procurement Act 2007, forbids public officials from participating in or awarding contracts.
Citing specific laws, Offia said: “Part 5 (VI) that is, from Section 25 down to Section 38 of the Public Procurement Act 2007 provides for the steps, conditions/due processes to be followed in the award of contracts. So contract offence(s) are clearly itemised in Section 58 of the Act. 
“One of the ways we can curb this menace of corruption rubbing our nation is to have the system open at all times, and by so doing, citizens will get to know what is being done or was left undone and then ask questions at every stage of the process.”    
 
Constituents should recall representatives –SERAP boss
The Executive Director of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Mr. Adetokunbo Mumuni, has described as an impeachable offence the use of companies belonging to public officials to execute government contracts.
In an interview with New Telegraph, Mumuni said the rot in the National Assembly could be stopped when the people show concern about how they are governed and they realised their power to determine the fate of elected officers.
He said: “If the allegations are found to be true, it is enough for the constituents to initiate recall process and seek for the prosecution of the concerned representative(s).”
 
•This is the concluding part of an investigative budget tracking report with the support of Macarthur Foundation and the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR)  (New Telegraph)

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Paul Kagame Closes 6000 Churches, Mosques In Rwanda |The Republican News

 

 

Rwanda’s government has closed thousands of churches and dozens of mosques as it seeks to assert more control over a vibrant religious community whose sometimes makeshift operations, authorities say, have threatened the lives of followers.

President Paul Kagame has said he was shocked by the high number of churches in this small East African country. “700 churches in Kigali?” he said of houses of worship in the nation’s capital in March. “Are these boreholes (deep wells) that give people water? I don’t think we have as many boreholes. Do we even have as many factories? This has been a mess!”

Kagame said Rwanda doesn’t need so many houses of worship, claiming that such a high number is only fit for bigger, more developed economies that have the means to sustain them.

The closings are bringing mixed reactions in Rwanda, where human rights groups have long accused Kagame’s government of clamping down on freedom of expression, which the president has denied. Six Pentecostal pastors who protested the church closures were arrested and accused of “illegal meetings with bad intentions,” and since then other critics have refused to discuss the issue with The Associated Press.

While Rwanda’s government describes the closures as tackling churches that have failed to comply with building safety standards, it is taking other steps to oversee the religious community in the largely Christian nation of 12 million people.

Proposed legislation aims to regulate faith-based organisations separately from civil society organizations, said Alexis Nkurunziza, president of the private Rwanda Religious Leaders Forum. Suggestions from religious leaders soon will be forwarded to the Rwanda Law Reform Commission for scrutiny and later to parliament, he said. The legislation is expected to be passed as the ruling party holds a majority of parliamentary seats.

The new legislation would require pastors to have a theology degree before they start their own churches so that they teach correct doctrine, said those familiar with the discussions. The aim is to regulate the Pentecostal churches that often spring up under leaders who claim to have received a call to preach. Not everyone, however, has the money to such a degree, some observers have said.

The majority of churches that have been closed are said to be small Pentecostal prayer houses, with some preachers suspected of growing rich off often impoverished followers. Some churches meet in tents or houses that cannot accommodate crowds and noise pollution from nighttime gatherings is a concern, authorities said.

“The prayer houses were found in such poor physical conditions, and we are not targeting any religion,” Anastase Shyaka, the head of the Rwanda Governance Board that regulates faith-based organizations, told the AP. “We are closing prayer houses of all different denominations and asking them to meet existing health and safety standards for their followers.”

Local media in the capital have reported that over 6 000 churches have been closed so far across the country, but Shaka said the actual number was still being compiled.            (Times Africa)

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EFCC Detains Nwaoboshi While Police Hunts For Melaye |The Republican News

By Onwuka Nzeshi, Chukwu David and Emmanuel Onani Abuja

This is not the best of time for some members of the Senate. Two of the senators are now in the eyes of the storm.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has for about eight days detained Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP, Delta North) over alleged fraud.

Also, Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West) was yesterday prevented from travelling abroad while armed policemen laid siege to his Abuja residence.

Nwaoboshi was arrested over the purchase of a 12-storey “Guinea House” in Lagos and alleged corruption in the equipment contract he got from the Delta State Government.

The building was owned by Delta State before the sale.

The lawmaker purchased the building for N805 million through his company, Golden Touch Construction Project Limited.

Nwaoboshi, who represents Delta North Senatorial District, was detained after interrogation on April 17.

EFCC’s spokesman, Wilson Uwajare, confirmed that the senator is in custody.

The Delta lawmaker has asked supporters to be calm and law-abiding, saying his ordeal was the handiwork of “detractors”.

A statement by his media aide, Hon. Andy Onyemeziem, read thus: “We hereby bring to the notice of the general public that on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, Senator (Barr.) Peter Onyeluka Nwaoboshi was detained by the EFCC after series of interrogation over some pending issues part of which is already before the court.

“While, formal charges have been filed against him by the Commission, however, attention is drawn to the ill-treatment meted against his person.

“As a law-abiding citizen, who believes fervently in the rule of law, the senator urges his teeming supporters and well-wishers to remain calm and steadfast to the laws of the land as this is the handwork of detractors, who are bent on tainting the senator’s image and throwing cogs in the wheels of his good works for the Anioma people, the Niger Delta and Nigeria in general.”

Meanwhile, it was a day of drama yesterday as armed policemen laid siege to the residence of Senator Melaye, the vocal lawmaker who has been very critical of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in recent months.

Hordes of policemen barricaded the entrance to the palatial Signature House located on Sangha Street, Maitama and prevented human and vehicular movement in and out of the mansion.

They also blocked the street with their patrol van while a number of the armed policemen took strategic positions beside the perimeter fence of the building.

A few hours after the Police arrived the building, a group of protesters also besieged the lawmaker’s residence in protest and offered to be arrested along with Melaye.

Melaye was earlier yesterday arrested and prevented from travelling abroad by men of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. The lawmaker, who was on his way to Morocco to attend a Federal Government-sponsored programme was briefly detained at the airport before he was released.

New Telegraph learnt that following his encounter with the immigration officials, Melaye returned to his home in Abuja only for the armed policemen to arrive there seeking to arrest him.

The leader of the Police Squad, an Assistant Commissioner of Police dressed in plain clothes declined to state the reason behind the siege.

The man who also declined to give his name was courteous when our correspondent approached him but he declined to comment on the reason for the siege and how long it would last.

When New Telegraph asked him what their mission was he said: “We are here to do our job. I know why we are here but I have to keep that close to my chest.

If you want details, you can go to the Force Headquarters or call the Force PRO,” he said

Addressing journalists at the venue, the Senate Minority Whip, Philip Aduda, condemned the development.

He said he had visited the house in order to report back to the presiding and principal officers of the Senate.

Aduda said: “Some of us came here with a view to reporting to the presiding officers and principal officers on what we have seen.

“I will report appropriately on what I saw, but I  don’t believe this should happen.” Director, Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights (CASER), Mr Frank Tietie, who addressed journalists at the scene of the siege, expressed disappointment at the action of the Police, describing it as an attempt by the Federal Government to silence critics and intimidate all dissenting voices in the country.

Tietie, a human rights activist and lawyer, said it was disheartening that while Nigerians were being killed every day in different theatres of conflict, the security agencies have chosen to silence the lone voice that has been speaking against the killings and injustice in the land.

Tietie challenged the Nigeria Police to tender a court order or any other legal instrument which justifies the invasion of Melaye’s residence and holding him to ransom.

On the argument that Melaye was being hounded by the security agencies because of a pending case against him in Lokoja, Kogi State, the human right activist said the lawmaker cannot answer to the charges because the Police had failed to guarantee his safety in Kogi State.

Meanwhile, some protesters have also besieged the same residence of the embattled lawmaker, vowing to go into detention with him if the Police arrest him.

The protesters numbering over 40 were said to have been drawn from the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camp in Abuja.

Melaye has been having a running battle with the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, and the Federal Government, leading to the Police declaring him wanted on an allegation that he was sponsoring some armed criminals and gun runners in Kogi State.               (New Telegraph)

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