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Japa syndrome: Reps vote against anti-migration motion

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The House of Representatives, on Thursday, unanimously voted against a motion seeking to make the Federal Government address the issues causing Nigerian professionals to migrate to other countries en masse, in search of greener pastures.

A new member of the House, Philip Agbese, had moved a motion titled ‘Need to Declare Emigration of Young Nigerians Abroad A.K.A Japa Syndrome a National Emergency,’ urging the government to “convene a national summit with key stakeholders to effectively address the ‘Japa Syndrome.’

The phenomenon is popularly known as ‘Japa,’ a Yoruba word that simply means to go away from a problem or trouble.

Agbese also prayed the House to “declare a state of Emergency on the factors that predispose young Nigerians to give up on Nigeria in preference for other nations.”

The lawmaker cited statistics from the Nigerian Economic Summit, which says a growing number of young Nigerians are relocating abroad. He also said recent reports by the African Polling Institute indicate that 69 per cent of young people would opt to relocate abroad if given the chance or if the opportunity presents itself.

He added that there is a 40 per cent increase in the number of young Nigerians leaving the nation, compared to the number captured in 2019, as the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs reported that international emigration from Nigeria in 2020 total 1.7million, which is a substantial increase from 990,000 in 2010.

Agbese said, “The House is concerned that the growing statistics of young Nigerians leaving Nigeria and securing permanent residence in the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Canada portends a grave danger for our nation in many ways from economic to intellectual and social aspects.

READ ALSO  Wire fraud: Court gives AGF nod to extradite Nigerian to US

“The House is also concerned that the Nigerian population is made of two-thirds of persons under the age of 30 and a good number of these persons are already afflicted with what today is acceptably referred to as the ‘Japa Syndrome,’ as estimates indicate a staggering tens of thousands have relocated to the USA, Canada, South Africa and, even, Gambia over the last two years;

“The House is worried that the eagerness to migrate to countries that offer hope seems to have a compelling influence. The House is also worried that those leaving Nigeria are not just the poor but middle class who possess skills/workforce, including bankers, lecturers, health care practitioners, doctors, nurses, and trained manpower, all of whom were trained in Nigeria and emigrating at a time when their services are needed to build a strong and vibrant economy in Nigeria.

“The House is disturbed that if this scenario continues with our able minds, brains and skilled personnel leaving, Nigeria may fall into a grave crisis in our critical sectors from education to healthcare, thereby making a bad situation worse.”

The lawmaker pointed out that the young population remains one of our greatest assets. “Though the prospects of a growing Nigerians in the Diaspora could be beneficial in a way, it should not be at the expense of our needed manpower,” he added, stressing that it bothers on national pride “when our young bright minds leave the country in droves, conveying an impression that ‘Nigeria is a sinking ship that everyone is rushing to get out of.’”

Agbese also stated that life-changing decisions, whether to stay in one’s country or emigrate, should not be anchored on challenges ranging from insecurity to poor health sector, poor educational system and poor economy, among others.

READ ALSO  Probe of Emefiele’s N30tn Ways and Means loan not abandoned – Senate

However, after a ranking member of the House, Dennis Idahosa, seconded the motion, another ranking member, Sada Soli, raised a constitutional point of order to say that the motion would infringe on the fundamental rights of Nigerians if adopted by the chamber.

Soli said, “Chapter 4 of the Constitution is talking about the fundamental rights; and go to Section 35 talking about the personal liberty of an individual. This motion, as it is, looks nationalistic but it contravenes the provisions of the Constitution.

“It is the liberty of a Nigerian if he is qualified and he is normal, and he has all the granted right of movement (to) anywhere he wants. It is the right of a Nigerian if he has the right qualifications, to go anywhere to source for a living. The Constitution of Nigeria allows even dual citizenship, talk less of moving somewhere to earn a living. If we allow this motion on this floor, it contravenes the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Opposing Soli, another ranking member of the House, Ahmad Jaha, argued that the motion was more about the factors causing mass exodus from Nigeria and not a restriction of exit from the country. He urged the lawmakers to “be mindful of the prayers of the motion before killing it.”

Jaha partly said, “The mover of the motion is not praying that everybody should be stopped from going abroad. We should take this into consideration. But it is advising because we have to tell each other the truth; the factors enumerated, which are the actual factors or reasons behind people leaving this country to seek greener pastures somewhere (else).

READ ALSO  50 reps write Tinubu, demand release of Nnamdi Kanu

“What he is trying to say in a nutshell is that the international community has identified the reasons why Nigerians are compelled to go outside the country. What he is saying now is ‘let there be a national summit so that all these factors will be given priority, so that at the end of the day Nigerians will be discouraged from going abroad. So, as far as I am concerned, this motion is apt and it should be considered.”

The immediate past Deputy Speaker of the House, Ahmed Wase, said “As good as the motion may be, first the fundamental issue raised in the Constitution; no law, including our motions and bills…if you go to Section 1(3) of the Constitution, it says any law that is inconsistent with the Constitution to the extent of that inconsistency is best null and void. So, as far as I am concerned, we have to rule on the point of order (raised by Soli) before we can proceed, otherwise, we will be contributing to the contravention of our own constitution.”

When the Speaker eventually put adoption of the motion to voice vote, the lawmakers unanimously voted against it.

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Court acquits former Lagos Speaker Ikuforiji, aide of money laundering charges

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A Federal High Court in Lagos has discharged and acquitted former Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker, Adeyemi Ikuforiji of a 54-count money laundering charge.

Ikuforiji was acquitted alongside his former personal assistant, Oyebode Atoyebi.

The charges date back to March 1, 2012, when the defendants were initially arraigned before Justice Okechukwu Okeke.

They faced a 20-count indictment related to the alleged misappropriation and laundering of ₦338.8 million.

Court Acquits Senator Konbowei Of Alleged Certificate Forgery

The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Apo has acquitted Senator Benson Friday Konbowei (Bayelsa Central), of the
Konbowei, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was brought before the court on March 26 on a three-count charge, one of which accused him of forging an exemption certificate of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

Benson has been apprehended over alleged certificate forgery.

Naija News recalls that Konbowei was first arrested in September 2022 by a team of tactical officers from the office of the Inspector-General of the Nigeria Police Force.

Benson was said to have defeated his opponent, Moses Cleopas, by polling 110 votes to emerge as the party’s standard bearer during the PDP primaries.

Cleopas, however, did not agree with the processes before and during the primaries.

The politician dragged Benson before the Federal High Court in Yenagoa, accusing him of submitting forged documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Source: Naija news

READ ALSO  Probe of Emefiele’s N30tn Ways and Means loan not abandoned – Senate
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50 reps write Tinubu, demand release of Nnamdi Kanu

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At least, 50 members of the house of representatives have asked President Bola Tinubu to order the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

In a letter addressed to Tinubu, the legislators, who identified themselves as Concerned Federal Lawmakers for Peace and Security in the South-East, asked the president to direct Lateef Fagbemi, attorney-general of the federation, to invoke section 174 of the 1999 constitution to release Kanu.

The aforementioned section confers on the attorney-general of the federation the power to discontinue at any stage, before judgement is delivered, any such criminal proceedings instituted or undertaken by him or any other authority or person.

In recent months, there have been frequent calls for Kanu’s release, particularly from stakeholders from the south-east.

The IPOB leader has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since he was extradited from Kenya in June 2021.

The south-east region has witnessed an uptick in the activities of gunmen who violently enforce a sit-at-home order on Mondays to demand Kanu’s release.

‘KANU’S RELEASE WILL ADDRESS INSECURITY IN SOUTH-EAST’

In the letter, the legislators said the release of Kanu is a political solution that will end the rising insecurity in the south-east.

“Your Excellency, We are concerned Members of the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with a strong belief and trust that the RENEWED HOPE agenda of His Excellency and the various positive reforms would be seen and felt by all,” the letter reads.

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“It is at the backdrop of the foregoing that we the undersigned hereby beseech Your Excellency to direct the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN to invoke his powers of nolle prosequi under the provisions of Section 174(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended) and Section 107(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and cause the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from detention and discontinue his trial which we collectively believe is long overdue and would be instrumental in opening the door for much-needed conversations surrounding peace reformation and inclusivity as well as addressing the issues that led to the agitations, especially at this time Nigeria is going through several Constitutional reforms.

“Your Excellency, we resolutely believe that this singular act can serve as a pivotal gesture towards national unity as it would address some of the Political, Security and Economic concerns in the region. It would encourage stakeholders from the Southeast to engage more actively in the national discussions on the Renewed Hope Agenda, thereby promoting inclusivity and addressing long-standing grievances.

“This we belief will also help in dismantling the apparatus of violence and restiveness that has plagued the region, allowing for a focus on economic growth and development. Also, it is coming at a time the nation-state is under enormous pressures, including but not limited to unemployment, insecurity, hunger and poverty, thereby deescalating tension from all sides.”

The lawmakers said Omoyele Sowore and Sunday Igboho, who were accused of treason felony, got their charges dropped by the federal government, adding that the same should be extended to Kanu.

READ ALSO  Court acquits former Lagos Speaker Ikuforiji, aide of money laundering charges

“It is, therefore, our conviction that fixing the challenges in the south-east would go a long way in changing the narrative and showcase your commitment to upholding the principle of Rule of Law , Justice and Fairness, which are the bedrock of our democracy. It would also set a precedent for addressing issues through dialogue rather than prolonged political cum judicial persecution and brass show of executive lawlessness,” the lawmakers said.

“We, therefore implore your excellency to adopt this approach and save the south-east and pave way for a national conversation to restore, safeguard and better the resources and economic activities in the south-east. The primary responsibility of the government is the protection of lives and property. Facilitating the release of Nnamdi Kanu would demonstrate a commitment to upholding the principles of justice and fairness, which are the bedrock of our democracy.”

The lawmakers who signed the letter included Obi Aguocha (Abia), Ikenga Ugochinyere (Imo), Aliyu Mustapha (Kaduna), Midala Balami (Borno), Afam Ogene (Anambra), Abiante Awaji-Inombek (Rivers), Dominic Okafor (Anambra), Etanabene Benedict (Delta), Shehu Dalhatu (Katsina), Chinedu Emeka Martins (Imo), Matthew Nwogu (Imo), Muhammed Buba Jagere (Yobe), Peter Aniekwe (Anambra), Koki Sagir (Kano), Amobi Oga (Abia), Gwacham Chinwe (Anambra), Uchenna Okonkwo (Anambra), Abdulmaleek Danga (Kogi), and Osi Nkemkama (Ebonyi),

Others were Mark Useni (Taraba), Alexander Mascot (Abia), Philip Agbese (Benue), Ginger Onwusibe Obinna (Abia), Zakari Nyampa (Adamawa), Jamo Aminu (Katsina), and Emeka Idu Obiajulu (Anambra), Nnabuife Chinwe Clara(Anambra), Ukodhiko Jonathan (Delta), Akingbaso Olarewaju (Ondo), Lilian Obiageli Orogbu (Anambra), Marcus Onobu (Edo), Chinedu Obika (FCT), Billy Osawaru (Edo), Ojuawo Rufus Adeniyi (Ekiti), Okoli Ngozi Lawrence (Delta), Ezechi Nnamdi (Delta), Alozie Munachim Ikechi (Abia), Nkwonta Chris (Abia), Nnamchi Paul Sunday (Enugu), Obetta Mark Chidi (Enugu), Tochi Okere Chinedu (Imo), Uguru Emmanuel (Ebonyi), Joseph Nwaobasi (Ebonyi), Onwugbu Befford Anayo (Enugu), Atu Chimaobi Sam (Enugu), Sunday Cyriacus Umeha (Enugu), and Anthony Adepoju (Oyo).

READ ALSO  Probe of Emefiele’s N30tn Ways and Means loan not abandoned – Senate

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Probe of Emefiele’s N30tn Ways and Means loan not abandoned – Senate

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Probe of Emefiele’s N30tn Ways and Means loan not abandoned – Senate

Senator Isah Jibrin, Chairman of the Senate panel investigating the N30tn Ways and Means loans secured from the Godwin Emefiele-led Central Bank of Nigeria by the Federal Government, has confirmed that the probe is ongoing and has not been abandoned.

Senator Jibrin clarified to our correspondent that reports of an abandoned probe are entirely false.

On Tuesday, February 20, the Senate resolved to investigate the N30tn loan, citing that the alleged reckless spending of the overdraft from the CBN largely contributed to the current food and security crises in the country.

After its inauguration, the panel identified 13 infractions in the process of obtaining the loan from the CBN. Responding to a media report, Senator Jibrin emphasised that the figures under investigation are not in dispute, as the Ways and Means advances given to former President Muhammadu Buhari by Emefiele are already public knowledge.

The panel chair stated, “We received some preliminary documents and decided to delve deeper after our interface with the CBN governor, Olayemi Cardoso, the Minister of Finance, some CBN directors, and others. Following leads from our interface, we realized the need for a detailed, step-by-step breakdown of how the money was spent.

“We have written to the Accountant-General requesting additional documents on the Ways and Means loan, and we believe the delay is due to efforts to compile accurate information to avoid misleading us and Nigerians,” he added.

Senator Jibrin reiterated, “We have not gone into limbo; we only needed additional documents from the Accountant-General’s office to continue the interface. The amount under probe is N30tn. I don’t know why people are spreading falsehood to achieve a selfish purpose.”

READ ALSO  50 reps write Tinubu, demand release of Nnamdi Kanu

He added that although the committee has elapsed the time frame given to it, but the delay was necessary to get the job done.

He said, ” The committee was given a time frame that has elapsed but we cannot because of that submit a job done haphazardly. We have written reminders to the Accountant General Office and once we have the document, we move to the next phase of the probe.”

The PUNCH reports that during the Ninth Assembly, President Buhari, in a letter dated December 20, 2022, requested the restructuring of the accumulated N22.7 trillion Ways and Means loans, alongside an additional N1 trillion primarily for funding the N819.5 billion 2022 supplementary budget, totaling N23.7 trillion.

In his request, President Buhari explained, “The Ways and Means are advances from the Central Bank of Nigeria to the federal government for emergency funding due to delayed fiscal deficits. As of December 19, 2022, the balance of Ways and Means was N22.7 trillion.

“I have approved the securitization of these balances under the following terms: Amount, N23.7 trillion; Tenure, 40 years; Moratorium on principal repayment, three years; Interest rate, 9 per cent. Your concurrence and approval are sought to allow for the implementation of the same.”

After the Ahmad-Lawan-led Ninth Senate passed the N23.7 trillion, the Tenth Senate, on December 30, 2023, also approved the securitization of the outstanding debit balance of N7.3 trillion of the Ways and Means Advance in the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Government.

Source: The Punch

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Wire fraud: Court gives AGF nod to extradite Nigerian to US

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The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has authorised the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to extradite one Samuel Olasunkanmi Abiodun to the United States of America (USA) to face trial for alleged wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Both offences carry a maximum jail term of 20 years.

Justice Akintayo Aluko gave the order on June 14, 2024, following the AGF’s application filed and argued by Kehinde Adesola Fagbemi of the Federal Ministry of Justice.

Specifically, the federal government prayed for the surrender/extradition of Abiodun, the respondent, to face two counts:

“Wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code (U.S.C), and Section 1343, carrying a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

Abiodun was also charged with “Conspiracy to commit money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code (U.S.C), and Section 1956 (h), carrying a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years”.

Abiodun, through his counsel, Demola Adekoya denied the allegations, and challenged, among others, the court’s power to order his extradition.

But, evaluating the evidence against him, Justice Aluko found that the Federal Government provided sufficient evidence to show that Abiodun had a case to answer in America.

He reasoned that the respondent misconceived the issues of the Treaty between Nigeria and the United States authorising the court to grant an extradition request.

Justice Aluko held: “Leveraging on the decision of the apex court, the extradition Treaty between the United States of America and Great Britain signed in London on 22 December 1931 is recognized as binding on Nigeria and enforceable in the instant case.

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“Against the background of the foregoing, the sole issue in this judgment is resolved in favour of the Applicant against the Respondent.

“To this end, there is merit and substance in the instant application. Judgment is entered for the Applicant in the following terms:

“The application of the Hon. Attorney General of the Federation for the surrender and extradition of the Respondent, Samuel Olasunkanmi Abiodun to the United States of America is hereby granted.

“The Respondent is further committed to prison custody and shall remain in the facility of the Nigerian Correctional Service to await the decision of the Hon. Attorney-General of the Federation for his surrender to the United States of America for the purpose of facing his trial.

“The Attorney General of the Federation of Nigeria shall ensure and see to it that special arrangements are put in place for the Respondent’s fair trial and defence under the Laws of the Requesting country (USA) to the extent that the Respondent is not prejudiced on account of his race, religion, nationality and to ensure that his trial shall be limited to the extradition offence provable by the facts on which his surrender is granted devoid of any superficial sentiments considerations.”

According to a certified true copy of the judgment seen by our correspondent, the respondent denied the Applicant’s allegations while claiming that he lived all his life in Nigeria and that he had never travelled to the US.

He claimed neither had any business/romantic relationship with anyone in the US nor did he commit any offence either in Nigeria or in the US

READ ALSO  Wire fraud: Court gives AGF nod to extradite Nigerian to US

He added that he did not co-conspire with anyone to commit money laundering or deal in wire fraud against one J. S., a student at the Kutztown University within the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (now deceased as claimed by the Applicant).

The respondent said that he did not use Snapchat or have a persona of “ALICE_D013” allegedly used to demand money from J.S. and that he had never been tried or convicted by any Court in Nigeria for the offence being alleged against him.

Furthermore, he claimed that he was just a victim of persecution for being a friend to someone tagged as “a friend from WhatsApp” while conducting a lawful business operated by a registered cryptocurrency platform called Binance with which he is lawfully registered.

Source: The Nation

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Two ex-bankers in EFCC net over alleged theft of dead customer’s N4.2m

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arrested two former staff of Union Bank in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, over the alleged theft of N4,199,500 belonging to a deceased customer of the bank.

A statement by EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, on Saturday in Abuja said the suspects, Idah Ogoh and Agbo Okwute were arrested on Friday in Makurdi.

Oyewale said their arrest followed a petition against them by the bank on fraudulent debits on the account of a deceased customer, Emmanuel Azer Agenna.

According to him, their dealings were uncovered when the family of the deceased approached the bank for the balance on the account of the deceased for probate processing.

According to him, the family disputed the balance given to them by the bank and subsequently sent a complaint to the bank regarding unauthorised debits on the account.

He added that based on their complaints, the bank carried out an internal investigation and its findings revealed that a debit card was procured on the deceased’s customer account on May 10, 2023.

He said that the debit card was procured by Ifah Ogoh, one of the bank’s Sales and Service associates which was authorised by the bank on the same date.

“Further findings by the bank showed that the procured card by Ogoh was handed over to another Sales and Service associate, Agbo Okwute, who eventually delivered the card to an accomplice for transfer and withdrawal of funds from the account of the deceased.

READ ALSO  Wire fraud: Court gives AGF nod to extradite Nigerian to US

“Several withdrawals were allegedly made by the suspects through the accomplice. The suspects would be charged in court as soon as investigations are concluded,” he said.

Source: Daily Post

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Employment Scam: EFCC arrests syndicate promising people jobs in NCC, NNPC, others

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The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, on Tuesday, said the Commission has discovered

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested a syndicate of fake State House staff in Abuja for alleged criminal conspiracy, false representation and employment scam.

Its spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, said this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.

Mr Oyewale said operatives of the commission arrested the suspects separately following an investigation of petitions by victims, who were promised jobs in various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

He said the suspects had promised the victims jobs as “Director-General” at the Ministry of Communication, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, NNPCL, Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, and other ministries.

The spokesman listed the suspects to include Augustine Umogboi, who claimed to be a former staff of the State House and Eleojo Idakwo, a fake staff of the Ministry of Information in the Registry Unit.

Others are Kingsley Onuh, who also claimed to have just concluded his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Omata Sunday and Eljayon Nigeria Limited, one of the companies whose bank account they were using to get money from their victims.

“Besides, they had different account numbers of different banks through which they were receiving the money amounting to N22,350,000 from different victims.

“Umogboi was arrested on June 16, Idakwo was arrested on April 30, 2024, while Onuh was arrested on April 3,” he said.

He said that the victims narrated their bitter experience in a series of petitions written to the EFCC, adding that, “the suspects have given useful information to the EFCC and will be charged to court upon conclusion of investigation.”

READ ALSO  Wire fraud: Court gives AGF nod to extradite Nigerian to US

Source: Premium times

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