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N84bn fraud: EFCC files laundering charges against Yahaya Bello

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The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ola Olukoyede, has revealed that a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello,

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, March 14, 2024 dragged former Kogi State governor, Yahaya Adoza Bello before Justice James Omotosho of the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja for alleged N84billion money laundering offences, alongside his nephew Ali Bello, Dauda Sulaiman and Abdulsalam Hudu.

The EFCC is prosecuting the quartet on an amended 17-count charge of money laundering, breach of trust and misappropriation of fund to tune of N84, 062,406,089.88 (Eighty-four Billion, Sixty-two Million, Four Hundred and Six Thousand, Eighty-nine Naira, Eighty-eight Kobo).

To make way for Yahaya Bello’s inclusion in the trial, prosecution counsel Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, informed the court of an application before it for the amendment of the charges against the defendants, dated February 5, 2024, and filed the same day. He then prayed that the amended charges be read to the defendants for them to take their pleas. The judge granted the prayer, overruling objections from A.M Aliyu SAN, and Olusegun Joolawo SAN, counsels to Ali Bello and Suleiman, first and second defendants.

Count one of the charges reads: “That you, Ali Bello, Dauda Suleiman, Yahaya Adoza Bello (still at large) and Abdulsalam Hudu (still at large), sometime in September, 2015 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired amongst yourselves to convert the total sum of N80,246,470,089.88 (Eighty Billion, Two Hundred and Forty-six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand, Eighty-nine Naira, Eighty-eight Kobo), which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of your unlawful activity to wit: criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(b) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended.”

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While ex-Governor Yahaya Bello and Hudu are still at large, Ali Bello and Suleiman, first and second defendants respectively, who were present in court “pleaded not guilty” to all the charges when they were read to them.

In continuation of the trial, Oyedepo invited fourth Prosecution Witness, PW4, Yakubu Gana, counsel to the property owner and seller of a property located in Danube Street, Maitama, Abuja which Ali Bello and Suleiman allegedly bought at the cost of N950million on behalf of ex-governor Yahaya Bello through their lawyer, Ramalan Jibril Abdullahi.

Gana said that, “we negotiated and agreed on the sum of N950million. Their lawyer, Ramalan Abdullahi, said his clients would prefer to pay in cash and in dollars. I had to call my client to inform him because he was not in the country at that time. My client cautioned me whether I knew the buyers, and I answered I knew their lawyer way back in secondary school.

“The lawyer and the clients invited me into their office, a bureau de change office at Zone 4, adjacent to Sheraton, now Abuja Continental Hotel. They then showed me dollars in ‘Ghana must go,’ but the dollars in ‘Ghana must go’ was not up to that N950million. They said they would make it up by bringing some dollars to make it to N950million. The transaction took us almost two weeks, and the lawyer invited me to the same BDC office for confirmation, then the money was completed in dollar equivalent,” he said.

In his testimony as fifth prosecution witness, Abdullahi told the court that though he acted as a go-between in the purchase of the property, his major assignment was to carry out due diligence on the said property which paved the way for its purchase by Ali Bello and Suleiman, his clients.

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Oyedepo requested for the property’s title documents to enable him to tender them in evidence. However, Justice Omotosho ordered him to formally apply to the defendants and thereafter adjourned the matter to March 28, 2024 for continuation of trial.

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Reps pass resolution on arrest of WAEC officials over misappropriation of funds

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Reps pass resolution on arrest of WAEC officials over alleged misappropriation of funds

The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a resolution for the detention of top officials of West African Examination Council (WAEC) for failing to account for the funds appropriated to the organisation.

The resolution was pass d during an investigative hearing carried out by the House Committee on Basic Examination Bodies, chaired by Hon. Oforji Oboku.

The officials are: Amos Josiah Dangut, Head of National Office, WAEC Nigeria, who represented the Registrar; Angus Okeleze, Senior Deputy Registrar; Victor Odu, Acting Director of Finance; Segun Jerumeh, Deputy Director of Finance.

The motion for the arrest of the four WAEC officers was sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Uchenna Okonkwo, during an investigative hearing, after the officials failed to answer their questions to their satisfaction.

The lawmakers during the hearing were in heated arguments with the WAEC officials whether the examination body was accountable to Parliament or not.

Dangut had earlier in his presentation to the Committee argued that WAEC was not an agency of government, hence not accountable as other agencies.

But the lawmakers insisted that WAEC Nigeria was a creation of an Act of the National Assembly, hence must account for all their activities to them.

The lawmakers also pointed out that WAEC’s convention dictates that they must submit to the legislation of any of its member countries.

Following the arguments, Hon. Okonkwo said: “I will like to move a motion that while pending the investigation to look into the activities of WAEC Nigeria, the invited Guests before should be taken into custody and held at the Police Post while we seek for solutions for these issues they are bringing upon Nigerians.”

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Meanwhile, there was mild drama at the venue of the investigative hearing as one of the WAEC officials kept shouting at the lawmakers that it was being unfair to them.

Thereafter the WAEC officials were taken away by members of the Sergeant at Arms of the National Assembly where they were detained in one of the member’s office for about 15 minutes.

However, after a brief closed door session, the Committee resolved to allow them go and come back at a later date with relevant documents demanded of them.

In his intervention, Oboku who presided over the session, directed the WAEC management to bring the audited statement of accounts of the examinations body from 2018 till date.

He also directed that the delegation to present relevant documents in respect to a N5 billion loan that the Organisation secured in 2022 to buy a customised calculator among others.

The Chairman said WAEC cannot operate outside the supervision of the National Assembly.

He insisted the WAEC officials bring the requested documents, else there would be sanctions.

Source: Authorrity Nigeria

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EFCC’s failure to file processes stalls Kwankwaso’s rights enforcement suit

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Military capable of ending security challenges, says Kwankwaso

The inability of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to file processes before a Kano High Court on Tuesday stalled hearing in a fundamental rights suit filed by the 2023 presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, Rabiu Kwankwaso and seven others.

The other applicants are the NNPP, Dr Ajuji Ahmed, Dipo Olayanku, Ahmed Balewa, Chief Clement Anele, Folashade Aliu, and Buba Galadima.

When the matter came up for hearing,
Counsel to the EFCC , Mr Idris Ibrahim-Haruna, told the court he was not ready and sought for an adjournment to enable him file responses.

“My lord service was effected in Abuja. We are very sorry for the inconveniences and seek for another date to enable us file our responses.”

Responding, Counsel to the applicants, Mr Robert Hon, told the court that he was ready to proceed with the hearing.

He urged the court to dismiss the application by the EFCC counsel seeking for an adjournment for not giving the court a genuine reason for not filing their responses.

“My lord we served the respondent with all the court processes on June 10, and by the rules of this court they have five days to file their responses.”

He urged the court to adjourn the case for definite hearing.
Justice Yusuf Ubale, ordered the EFCC counsel to file his responses and adjourned the matter until October 24, for definite hearing.

The court had on June 10, granted an Interim order stopping the EFCC from arresting Kwankwaso and the seven responders.

READ ALSO  Reps pass resolution on arrest of WAEC officials over misappropriation of funds

 

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Shelve planned protest -Tinubu begs Nigerians

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Don’t devalue naira after implementing new national minimum wage – Workers tell Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu has appealed to Nigerians to shelve planned protests against bad governance in the country, slated for next month.

The appeal was made known by Information Minister Mohammed Idris, who briefed State House correspondents after a meeting with the President on Tuesday.

Idris said Tinubu urged the organisers of the protest to shelve the plan and await the President’s response to their complaints.

“The issue of the planned protest, Mr President does not see any need for that. He’s asked them to shelve that plan. He’s asked them to await the government’s response to all their pleas,” the minister said.

The protest against economic hardship, which is gaining traction on social media, has been scheduled to hold across all states of the Federation as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, starting from August 1.

DAILY POST reports that the prices of food and basic commodities have gone through the roof in the last months.

Many Nigerians currently are battling one of the country’s worst inflation and economic crisis sparked by the government’s twin policies of petrol subsidy removal and unification of forex windows.

Source: Daily Post

READ ALSO  Tinubu tells national assembly to pass N70k minimum wage bill
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Amnesty International warns Tinubu’s govt against threatening protesters

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Presidency: Obi’s supporters behind planned protests

Global human rights movement, Amnesty International has berated the Bola Tinubu-led government for threatening protesters.

AI was reacting to comments made by Tinubu’s media aide, Dada Olusegun, who said those planning the nationwide protests in the country will “meet the strongest resistance of your lives.”

In a post on X, the organisation stated:

”Threatening peaceful protesters is unlawful. It is a clear attack on freedom of assembly — which is guaranteed by international law and Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution:

”Nigerians must not be denied the constitutionally and internationally guaranteed right to peaceful protest; through veiled threats of violence and false insinuations.”

Source: Naija news

READ ALSO  Tinubu tells national assembly to pass N70k minimum wage bill
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Senate passes ₦70,000 national minimum wage bill

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The Senate on Tuesday speedily passed the National Minimum Wage Act 2019 (Amendment Bill). The bill, which scaled first, second

The Senate on Tuesday speedily passed the National Minimum Wage Act 2019 (Amendment Bill).

The bill, which scaled first, second and third readings, just minutes after it was transmitted by President Bola Tinubu, was instantly passed by the upper chamber.

In a unanimous vote after a clause consideration in the Committee of the Whole, the National Minimum Wage Bill scaled third reading and was passed.

Earlier on Tuesday, the President transmitted the National Minimum Wage Bill to the National Assembly for consideration and passage.

The President separately wrote the Senate and the House of Representatives requesting expedited consideration of a bill for an Act to amend the National Minimum Wage Act, 2019 to increase the National Minimum Wage from ₦30,000 to ₦70,000.

The President also asked the lawmakers to reduce the time for periodic review of the national minimum wage from five years to three years and related matters.

Last Thursday, Tinubu and the leadership of the Organised Labour agreed on ₦70,000 as the new minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

The truce between the government and labour sides followed a series of talks between labour leaders and the President in the last few weeks after months of failed talks between labour organs and a tripartite committee on minimum wage constituted by the President in January.

The committee, which comprised state and federal governments and the Organised Private Sector, had proposed ₦62,000 while labour insisted on ₦250,000 as the new minimum wage for workers who currently earn ₦30,000 as minimum wage.

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Labour had said ₦30,000 was unsustainable for any worker going by the economic vagaries of inflation and high cost of living which followed the removal of petrol subsidy by the President.

Despite its initial insistence on ₦250,000 as the new minimum wage, Labour accepted the President’s offer of ₦70,000 last Thursday.

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, said Labour accepted ₦70,000 and rejected a proposal by President Bola Tinubu to pay ₦250,000 minimum wage on a condition to increase petrol prices.

He also said Labour agreed to the ₦70,000 offer because minimum wage won’t be reviewed once in five years anymore but once every three years.

The transmission of the wage bill came about six weeks after the President said in his Democracy Day speech on June 12, 2024, that an executive bill on the new national minimum wage for workers would be sent to the National Assembly for passage.

 

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Crime

Robbers rape two female students of Tai Solarin University

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Armed robbers have raped two female students of the Ogun State-owned Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ijebu Ode.

Armed robbers have raped two female students of the Ogun State-owned Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ijebu Ode.

It was gathered that the two first-year female students of the institution were raped by robbers on Monday.

The incident reportedly occurred around 12:30 am when the robbers invaded students’ apartments.

A source at the school disclosed that the suspects, armed with guns, forced the students to surrender their phones and other belongings before leading them to an uncompleted building where they took turns to rape them.

Police spokesperson in the state Omolola Odutola confirmed the incident in Abeokuta, the state capital.

“The incident was reported at the Igbeba Police Division at about 10 am. Our operatives immediately combed the area in search of the suspects. Efforts are in top gear to arrest everyone involved in the crime.

“In the meantime, the survivors have been taken to the school clinic for treatment,” she said.

-Channelstv

 

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