Court Orders EFCC To Charge Ubani, Ex-senator By March 28

The FCT High Court, Apo, on Tuesday ordered the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to charge an Abuja-based lawyer, Monday Ubani and a former Senator, Christopher Enai to court or release them on bail on or before March, 28.

Justice Silvanus Oriji , gave the order after listening to the submissions of the applicants in an ex-parte motion filed by their counsel Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN).

The judge also in alternative granted bail to the applicants in the sum of N50 million with two reasonable sureties, who must must be civil servants on level 15.

The court had also ordered that the applicants must deposit their international passport.

Ozekhome, counsel to the applicants, in the motion exparte prayed the court to order the EFCC to grant the applicants bail on self-recognizance or liberal terms pending arraignment.

He also prayed an order of the court to direct the EFCC to immediately release the applicant on bail pending formal arraignment of applications before a court.

He also prayed  an order of the court  directing the  respondent whether by themselves, their  agents ,employee, operatives, detectives, investigating officers to produce the applicants before a court on next adjourned date of this matter.

The Senior Advocate also stated that the applicants have been detained beyond the constitutionally provided limit by the EFCC.

Ubani, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja branch and Enai, ex-senator representing Bayelsa were invited and detained by the EFCC operatives on March, 19.

The applicants were detained for standing as sureties for Ngozi Olejeme, who once served as the Chairman of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund from 2009 to 2015.

They are yet to be charge to court by the EFCC.

NAN

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Amount Of Foreign Currency Flooding The Country Alarming, Says President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed astonishment at the huge amount of foreign currency flooding the country intended to influence the general elections beginning on Saturday.
 
Speaking during the Federal Executive Council, FEC meeting Wednesday, the President accused some politicians of flouting money laundering regulations in their desperate bid to capture political power.
 
President Buhari, however, commended the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC for successfully tracking the money in “millions of United States dollars.”
 
The EFCC success followed the presidential directive to investigative agencies to probe a number of high profile cases.
 
Reassuring the nation of his administration’s determination to wage a relentless war against money laundering and terrorist financing, the President again appealed to Nigerians, especially politicians to place the interest of the country above all others, as they troop out to cast their votes in the coming elections.
 
Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
February 21, 2019

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Declaring Maina Wanted ‘Unlawful’ – Court Tells EFCC

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has stopped the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from declaring the chairman of defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, wanted.

In a judgement delivered on Monday, Justice Guwa Ogunbanjo described the action of the anti-graft agency to declare Maina wanted as unlawful.

Mr. Maina had in a suit filed on September 5, 2018, prayed the court to determine whether the EFCC can lawfully exercise powers of declaring him as “wanted” on its official website or any other media platform, or by harassing him.

In addition, the former pension boss sought an order of perpetual injunction to restrain the commission from further harassing him or declaring him wanted in relation to the particulars and subject matter of this suit.

He prayed the court to order the EFCC, both jointly or severally, its staff, agents, privies, representatives, and any other person or related affiliates under whatever name or guise, to forthwith stay clear and remove his picture, name, references, addresses, details and other particulars from the wanted list published on the EFCC official website or any other related platform where ever it may be.

After counsels in the matter argued their briefs, Justice Ogunbanjo gave an order of perpetual Injunction restraining EFCC and its affiliates or related bodies from further declaring Maina ‘wanted” in relation to subject matter of the suit.

He also ruled that the action of placing Maina as “wanted” was unlawful, as it was an infringement on his fundamental human rights.

The judge said it was done without an order of a court of competent jurisdiction, as stipulated by sections 41 and 42 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.

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Security Agencies Uncovers PDP’S Vote Buying Plan

Reports say that security agencies have discovered the plan by opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to deploy $3million (N1.8billion) to each state to induce voters.

The party is reported to have also co-opted former members of staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recruit loyal ad hoc staff for the elections.

Also, a member of the National Peace Committee, a body headed by former Head of State Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, has also discovered to be in the work plan of PDP.

The Nation reported that the cash was remitted before last Saturday’s postponement elections.

It reported that most state chapters were finding it difficult to change the dollars to naira because of the surveillance on Bureau De Change operators by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Department of State Services (DSS).

Also, the agencies have intercepted alleged compromise of some officers of INEC, policemen and other security agents in some states.

The intelligence report, including the alleged implication of a former top official of INEC, may be presented to the chairman of the electoral commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, by the security agencies.

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EFCC Releases Hotlines Against Electoral Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, wishes to inform the general public that patriotic citizens with authentic information that can lead to arrest of culprits of Vote Buying should reach the Commission for prompt response.


The numbers to call are as follows:
ABUJA HQ—- 08141219896, 09077928772, 09051923475, 09074456025
ABUJA ZONAL OFFICE  —09051916064, 09066270016, 08123827088
LAGOS OFFICE —08033106347, 08123828744
PORT HARCOURT OFFICE —- 08024428265
KANO OFFICE —08090939606
GOMBE OFFICE —07061813411
KADUNA OFFICE —08058437872
ENUGU OFFICE —07064917920
BENIN OFFICE —08188722502
MAIDUGURI OFFICE —08035899836
UYO OFFICE —08055112603, 08180008030
SOKOTO OFFICE —08081765401
ILORIN OFFICE —08034516071
MAKURDI OFFICE —08036328837
IBADAN OFFICE—08113883322, 09030000520

Please note that handsome rewards await informants with authentic information in accordance with the Whistle-blowing Policy of the Federal Government.

Tony Orilade
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity

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Court Adjourns Justice Ajumogobia’s Trial

A Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, has adjourned proceeding till April 16, to rule on whether or not to strike out the suit filed against former Federal High Court judge, Justice Rita Ofili Ngozi Ajumogobia, who is being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for unlawful enrichment and breach of code of practice.

The court presided over by Justice Hakeem Oshodi, will rule whether to strike out the suit for lack of jurisdiction and perhaps split charges between the first defendant, Ajumogobia and the second defendant, Godwin Obla, SAN.

The court arrived at the decision after listening to the submission of counsel to the first defendant, Chief Robert Clark, SAN, that the court lacks juridiction to entertain the case based on Appeal Court ruling on Justice Ajiya Nganjuwa Vs FRN.

In his oral submission, counsel to the second defendant, Mr. Ifedayo Adedipe, SAN, said the jurisidction of the court to entertain the charge and offences is different and sepaerate from the jurisdication your lordship has over individual diffendants.

In a counter response, EFCC Counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo urged the court to strike out the case based on the ruling on Nganjuwa’s case, but not to be persuaded by the submisison to discharge and acquit the defendants.

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EFCC Intercepts Over $2.8m At Enugu Airport

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Friday, ]intercepted $2.8 million at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu State.

Acting Head of Media and Publicity of the commission, Mr Tony Orilade, confirmed this in a statement on Friday.

He explained that the money was recovered from two persons suspected to be money launderers by the operatives of the EFCC Enugu Zonal Office on Thursday.

Orilade added that the suspects, Augustine and Ezekwe, said to be working for a company, were arrested based on intelligence report.

Upon their arrest, the suspects were caught with consignments of two suitcases, containing $1.4 million each, totalling $2.8 million.

The EFCC spokesperson said the two men were intercepted at the departure lounge of the airport while they about to board an evening flight to Lagos.

The statement read, “During interrogation, the suspects confessed that they have been in the business of conveying cash for ‘some notable banks’, for over six years.”

According to Orilade, the suspects confessed that they were in the process of doing same for a bank located at New Market, Onitsha in Anambra State, when they were caught.

He added that they were already giving useful information to operatives of the commission and would be charged to court soon.

The suspects said they had so far carried out such assignments “four times this year”.

The anti-graft agency recovered the money barely one month after it arrested a Lebanese, Abbas Lakis, for money laundering offence.

Lakis was picked up in November following intelligence report that he had on him undeclared huge sums of monies aboard an airline conveying him from the Kano Airport en route Lebanon.

Part of the currencies recovered from the suspect included $2,104,936, £163,740, and €144,680, among others.

 

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EFCC Arraigns Fake Prophet For Alleged N2.4million Fraud

The Enugu Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on December 17, 2018 arraigned one Kingsley Ifeanyi Eluma (aka Doctor Eluma), Managing Director of EEAL Global Links Nigeria Limited before Justice A.M. Liman of the Federal High Court Enugu, Enugu State on a two-count charge bordering of obtaining the sum of N2, 452,500 (Two Million, Four Hundred and Fifty Two Thousand, Five Hundred Naira) under under false pretence. He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges when they were read to him.

Eluma who had for many years paraded himself as a Phd holder and a prophet was said to have sometimes on or about March 23, 2018, presented himself to the petitioner as a Director at the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, capable of securing a job for him at Federal Civil Service Commission, FCSC. He also obtained several funds with a promise to secure visa to Dubai and USA for the petitioner’s relatives as well as to import a fairly used Toyota Camry from USA for him.

Soon after his plea was taken, the defence counsel E.O. Isiwu prayed the court for permission to move his application for bail which was opposed by the prosecuting counsel, Innocent Mbachie, who argued that “he might jump bail”.

The presiding judge, however, decided otherwise and granted the defendant bail in the following terms: One surety and the sum of N2, 000,000 (Two Million Naira) in like some.

“The surety shall have a landed property within the jurisdiction of Federal High Court Enugu,” the judge held.

Justice Liman, while adjourning to February 13, 2019 ordered the defendant to be remanded in prison custody pending the perfection of his bail terms.

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Court Adjourns Arraignment Of Fidelity Bank MD

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, has adjourned the arraignment of the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, who was arrested on Friday by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), till January 14.

Okonkwo was brought to court alongside Dauda Lawal, a former executive director of First Bank.

The arraignment of the two banks chiefs could not hold as a result of the absence of Lanre Adesanya and Stanley Lawson, who are also being charged alongside the bank chiefs.

At the resumption of hearing before Justice Muslim Hassan, counsel to the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that all efforts to secure the attendance of the third and fourth persons involved in the case yielded no result.

Mr. Oyedepo thereafter asked for a bench warrant to allow EFCC arrest the defendants.

However, Counsel to Adesanya and Lawson, Mr. Ademola Adesina,  told the court that the two defendants had travelled abroad on medical grounds before the charge was filed.

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Alleged N1.4bn Fraud: Court Rejects NBA President’s Request To Transfer Case To Abuja

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, Tuesday, rejected the request by President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA ), Mr Paul Usoro (SAN), that his case be transferred to Abuja.

Mr. Usoro is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for an alleged N1.4billion fraud.

Usoro pleaded not guilty to a 10-count charge of fraudulent conversion of N1.4bn said to belong to the Akwa Ibom State Government.

Justice Muslim Hassan, in her ruling granted the defendant bail and adjourned hearing till February 5.

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Court Jails 22 ‘Yahoo Yahoo’ Boys In Edo

The Benin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said it has secured conviction of 22 persons who were involved in yahoo yahoo within it’s operational base in the last one yeat

 
It said millions of naira were recovered from fraudsters who want to reap where they did not sow.
Head of the Benin Zone, Mr. Mailafia Yakubu, who spoke to a newsmen after a road walk to mark this year’s World Anti-Corruption Day said other fraudsters would soon be convicted.
According to him, “Corruption and its twin evil,  economic and financial crimes have ravaged our nation and it evidence in the decayed infrastructures and other basic amenities. 
 
“It is the bane of our development.  It is the reason our power supply is epileptic; It is the reason our country is still touted as a potentially great nation even after many years of sovereign statehood.”
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Unpaid Allowances: NASS Legislative Aides Writes EFCC, Buhari, Fingers Saraki, Dogara, CNA In Funds Diversion

The last has not been heard about the #WeAreAidesNotSlaves movement of Legislative aides of the National Assembly as some Legislative Aides to Federal Lawmakers have written a petition to the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, demanding an investigation into “criminal diversion of their budgeted legitimate entitlements.”

They also asked the EFCC chairman to bring the culprits to book and ensure the prompt payment of their allowances.

It will be recalled that Legislative Aides of the National Assembly has for some months been protesting the non-payment of allowances and their poor welfare in General since the inception of the 8th Assembly.

Also copied in the letter is President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, Director General of the State Security Service, Yusuf Bichi, and the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Bolaji Owansanoye.

In the letter which was made available to PREMIUM TIMES, nine of the aides, who do not want their names mentioned for fear of victimisation, signed on the endorsement page of the petition. The letter was dated November 19 and received by the anti-graft agency same day.

They accused the Senate President, Bukola Saraki; the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and the Clerk of the National Assembly, Sani Omolori, of diverting funds appropriated to them. They accused them of complicity in the management of the legislative aides’ account.

An investigation in 2016 revealed that no fewer than 2,570 aides are engaged by the 469 members of the 8th National Assembly. Out of the number, 700 aides work for lawmakers in the Senate, while the remaining 1,870 are engaged by House of Representatives members.

As provided in the National Assembly Act, each lawmaker, excluding principal officers, is entitled to five aides – one Senior Legislative Aide (SLA), two legislative aides, a personal assistant and a secretary.

Also, the President of the Senate is entitled to 45 aides, his deputy, 30, and 20 each for principal officers.

Similarly, Speaker of the House of Representatives has 35 assistants, Deputy Speaker, 15 and 10 each for the six principal officers of the House of Representatives.

The number of aides to each legislator, it was gathered, includes those in their constituency offices.

The monthly emolument of the aides, which ranged from N150, 000 to N250, 000, sources at the assembly said, has been reduced to between N75, 000 and N180, 000 by the current leadership of the assembly.

All the aides are paid from the coffers of the assembly.

The letter, dated November 19, is titled “Petition on criminal diversion of funds of legislative aides by the clerk and presiding officers of the 8th National Assembly.”

In it, they explained that aides are employed on a short-term basis and entitled to allowances as applicable to other public servants and a severance package of 300 per cent of their annual basic salary at the end of the four -year tenure of their principals. ‘

Part of the allowance, they said, is the Duty Tour Allowance (DTA).

“Each SLA from Level 15 to 17 is entitled to the sum of N100,000 while other category of aides receives the sum of N75,000 every quarter as. DTA allowances. In essence, each aide is entitled to between N300,000 and N400,000 yearly as DTAs.

“We are also entitled to be trained four times yearly which was later compressed into twice a year. At the end of each training, each aide is entitled to a honorarium of N50,000 making a yearly total of N100,000,” part of the letter read.

They said of the 13 quarters DTA owed legislative aides of the 8th Assembly since June 2015, only two quarters has been paid, adding that there has been no training activities for the past three and half years despite the budgetary allocations for these items, “which were neither used for the said activities nor were they returned to government coffers as unused funds.”

“The non-payment of these accumulated legitimate entitlements has turned legislative aides into legislative slaves. We have been pauperized to the extent that we are unable to meet our financial obligations like payment of school fees, hospital bills, house rents, debt serving, putting us into several embarrassing situations.”

   

 

The aides praised the past senate presidents for reportedly ensuring the payments of such allowances and accused the present leadership of fraud.

“It is pertinent to point that past Senate Presidents including Evan Enwerem, Chuba Okadigbo, Adolphus Nwagbara, Pius Anyim, Ken Nnamani and David Mark were all diligent in ensuring that legislative aides receive their appropriated DTAs and training allowances.

“We are hereby alleging criminal diversion of these yearly appropriated legitimate entitlements by the Senate President and Chairman of the National Assembly, Senator Bukola Saraki, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara and the Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Sani Omolori because of their complicity in the management of the legislative aides account,” they said.

The aides said all avenues employed in appealing to Messrs Saraki, Dogara and Omolori were unsuccessful, hence the last recourse to the petition.

Referring to a PREMIUM TIMES’ report on how National Assembly mismanaged billions of Naira through illegal expenditures and fraud, the aides said instead of settling the accumulated entitled, Mr Omolori engaged in sundry white elephant projects which are not captured in the original plan-of the National Assembly. These projects, they said, served as a conduit pipe of diverting and misappropriating funds meant to settle our entitlements.

When contacted, Mr Saraki’s spokesperson, Yusuf Olaniyonu, told PREMIUM TIMES that the Senate President has nothing to do with the salaries and allowances of legislative aides.

He explained that payment of the aides is controlled by the “management committee” of the National Assembly and that the aides are speaking ignorantly.

“The salaries and allowances of National Assembly aides including me, is handled by the people they call the Management committee which is headed by the clerk, like the bureaucracy of the National Assembly. The Senate President does not have anything to do with it. In fact, I attended a meeting he held with them the other day, and he told them, “I don’t know a single thing about your salaries and allowances”

This alarm raised by the legislative aides is not the first. They had on October 9, staged a protest at the National Assembly Complex to demand allowances – a protest which the Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazak Namdas, described as “uncalled for.

This petition also comes days after hundreds of staff of the National Assembly shut lawmakers out of the complex to demand payment of their entitlements.

The workers held placards bearing inscriptions such as ‘Omolori is a contractor’ ‘Killing staff with poor condition of service’ and ‘Constitute the National Assembly Commission Now.’

Mr Omolori had addressed the protesters and declared that the problem was not from him but that the federal government had not approved the money for payment of such entitlements.

 

Premium Times 

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