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Subsidy beneficiaries, smugglers fighting back to ruin economy, says Tinubu

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President Bola Tinubu yesterday alleged that smugglers and beneficiaries of the old petrol subsidy were beginning to fight back, but vowed that his administration would not abuse the trust Nigerians reposed in him.

Tinubu, during a meeting with the Forum of State Chairmen of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the State House in Abuja, said that Nigeria would prevail against the agents of destabilization allegedly working to sabotage efforts at repositioning the economy.

The President, according to his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, said his administration was deploying resources to critical sectors and areas with significant impact on the welfare of Nigerians, describing the nation’s treasury as sacrosanct.

He assured Nigerians that his government was working round the clock to improve their living conditions, and asked leaders at the grassroots to encourage citizens to get their National Identification Number (NIN) for planning, structuring interventions and to achieve their full integration into various relief programmes.

“As we are fighting corruption, smugglers and old subsidy beneficiaries, they most certainly will fight back,” Tinubu was quoted as saying.

Continuing, he said: “All those who falsified records and became losers with the subsidy (on petroleum products) removal, they will fight back.

“But we will defend our people. The treasury belongs to the people, and that sacred trust must not be abused.

“I urge the state chairmen that regardless of party affiliation, let us help citizens by mobilizing them for NIN registration. Not just PVCs. Some are poor Nigerians who have not experienced formal education and have no understanding of what NIN is and how it will benefit their lives. We must teach them. We must care for them.

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

“Without NIN, we cannot embark on social security interventions for the vulnerable. We will be making faulty moves without accurate data and iron-clad, digital intervention structures.

“I have established a committee of governors, and it is headed by the Vice President, Sen. Kashim Shettima. It is working on what must be done to further lift our people.

“We need to give hope, and we are giving it to the country and our citizens. We are working hard, day and night, even though some agents of destabilization are present in the polity. Nigerians, with our focused support, shall defeat them.

“The programme of our government will be truly progressive; student loans, a national consumer credit system, and social welfare for the unemployed, as well as graduates. Every Nigerian will find a place of belonging in our country.

“In the eye of even the biggest hurricane, we will find that place of tranquility and prosperous harmony for the benefit of all. Nigerians will all partake on this national journey to prosperity.”

Speaking on the central role of agriculture in expanding and accelerating Nigeria’s economic growth, President Tinubu told the party chiefs led by the National Chairman of the APC, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje that his government had already drawn up a blueprint for large-scale livestock farming, which will be activated soon.

His words: “We are bringing mechanized farming to the fore. Yesterday’s crisis will become today’s opportunity.

“Fertilizers are being supplied to farmers as we speak. Agriculture and economic diversification provide the answers to our problems. We will not continue to import food. We know how to turn lack into abundance, and the world will watch us do it again.”

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

Also speaking, Ganduje said the party was poised to establish a Progressive Institute of Policy and Development for the benefit of its members and the broader Nigerian public.

The Forum of APC State Chairmen congratulated the President on his victory at the polls, the election petitions court , and the Supreme Court.

 

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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  Wire fraud: Court gives AGF nod to extradite Nigerian to US
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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  50 reps write Tinubu, demand release of Nnamdi Kanu

Source The Cable

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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.

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

“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

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

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

Source: Premium times

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