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You Made Illicit Money, Buhari Campaign Team Replies Atiku |The Republican News

                                                    Festus Keyamo

…says President has run economy well

 

Eniola Akinkuotu

The Director of Media for the Buhari Campaign Organisation, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN), said Atiku made money through illegal means and cheating the system.

Keyamo said this during an interview with one of our correspondents on Tuesday.

He said Atiku was running private businesses as a customs officer in contravention of public service rules.

The senior advocate said Atiku’s only successful business was Integrated Logistics Services Nigeria Limited, popularly known as INTEL.

Keyamo said, “Firstly, the myth about Atiku’s business acumen is one of the biggest and fattest lies ever sold to Nigerians. He has never run a successful business. He only has one company, which is a cash cow through which he invests in other things and that company is known as INTELS.

“He acquired shares in INTELS in 1982 when he was still a customs officer which was in clear violation of the code of conduct for public officers where he acquired shares in a company that had something to do with the customs and government.

“The company is not run in a competitive manner but a monopolistic manner where all other persons are totally shut out. All governments in this country until now had been compromised by this company until now.”

He said Atiku’s university ran on public funds. He challenged Atiku to prove that the money used in running the institution was not government’s own.

Keyamo said the achievements recorded by the Obasanjo/Atiku administration were not extraordinary.

He said the boom in the telecommunications sector occasioned by the introduction of the GSM during the Obasanjo/Atiku era was not peculiar to Nigeria but happened simultaneously in many African countries.

The Buhari campaign director added that the debt forgiveness of $18bn under the Obasanjo was part of a mere G8 directive and was not limited to Nigeria.

Keyamo said although Buhari was not as rich as his opponent, the President had shown that he understood how to effectively run an economy.

The senior advocate added, “He has managed an economy effectively even in the time of economic recession occasioned by a terrible crash in oil prices. Under him, foreign reserves increased; he inspired investors to invest in critical infrastructure.

“He refused to retrench workers. He also released the biggest money so far for capital projects. In 2016, he released N1.2tn in capital releases and in 2017 they released N1.5tn despite an economic recession.”   (Punch)

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Buhari, Governors Spend Over N241bn On Security Votes Yearly – Transparency International

IkoyiEFCCcash2

Cash found in a flat in Ikoyi, Lagos, The Republican News

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

 

Transparency International says the President, 36 governors and 774 local government chairmen across the country, spend $670m (N241bn) yearly on security votes which are not subject to audit or legislative oversight.

The Africa Director for TI’s Defence and Security Programme, Christina Hildrew, said this at a two-day event organised by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre in Abuja on Wednesday.

The event was titled, ‘Impact of Anti-Money Laundering and Illicit Financial Flows: Legislative, Policy and Institutional Gaps to Investigate, Prosecute and Convict for Anti-Money Laundering and Illicit Financial Flow charges.’

Speaking with journalists on the sidelines of the event, Hildrew said many officials divert funds under the guise of security votes.

She added, “Security votes are opaque and corruption-prone and the security funding mechanisms widely used across Nigeria’s three tiers of government; a significant percentage of the country’s overall security spending, the secretive unaccounted for add up to an estimated $670m annually.

“Transacted mostly in cash, security votes spending is not subject to legislative oversight or independent audit because of its ostensibly secretive nature. Yet, this veil of secrecy protects many officials who misspend security votes, channel them into political activities or embezzle them outright.”

Hildrew also stated that there was a need for defence budgets and spending to be more transparent.

The TI official said while it was important to put national security in its rightful place of importance, there was also a need to ensure that those controlling the funds were being held accountable.

She added, “So, there is a wide issue in the defence sector which is defence ‘exceptionalism.’ That is the public allows the defence sector to be unaccountable for what they spend because of national security issues.

However, the defence sector should not be unaccountable to the citizens it is meant to protect and serve. So, we call for additional legislative oversight of the defence sector and we think it is important that not only parliamentary committees and audit committees and civil society have a say in how the security funds are decided but checks and balances are also put into the system so that there is accountability and transparency of what security expenditure is going to occur to ensure that it protects citizens.”

Also speaking, anti-corruption advocate with CISLAC, Vaclav Prusa, said Nigeria remained the biggest victim of illicit financial outflows in Africa.

Prusa said Nigeria loses about $25bn to money laundering every year.

He added, “Nigeria is affected by illicit financial outflows much more than the rest of the continent. In fact, the data shows that more money comes out of Nigeria than any other countries in Africa combined. We are talking about $20-25bn going out of Nigeria every year.”

When asked to evaluate the anti-corruption drive of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, Vaclav said the President had put some measures in place but it was too soon to evaluate the success or otherwise of his initiatives.

On why Nigeria was still ranked low by TI on corruption perception, Vaclav said the ranking was based on expert opinion and the perception of most Nigerians towards corruption.   (Punch)

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EFCC Discovers Another N250.5m In Balogun Market |The Republican News

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Money

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday recovered €547,730 and £21,090 as well as N5,648,500 from a Bureau de Change operator in Balogun Market, Lagos.

The figure, it was learnt, sums up to N250,558,670 when converted to naira, according to the EFCC.

The recovery comes less than four days after the commission recovered over N480m from an abandoned shop in the Nigerian Air Force complex, Legico, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island.

The EFCC said on its official Facebook page that the recovery followed information that about N250m cash was being moved somewhere in the market for conversion into foreign currency.

It said following a tip-off from a whistle-blower, some operatives of the commission responded timely to the scene, met the money in the BDC office, but a large chunk of it had been converted into euros and pounds.

The statement read in part, “The BDC operators found in possession of the monies claimed they were acting on behalf of their boss who sent the money to them from one of the northern states in Nigeria.

“The converted monies were €547,730 and £21,090 as well as N5,648,500 which was to be converted, but for the intervention of the EFCC operatives.

“Two persons were apprehended and they are helping the commission in its investigation.”

Meanwhile, sources within the commission told our correspondent that no one had come forward to claim ownership of the N489m seized last week.   (Punchng.com)

 

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