FG’s Inaction Delays Recovery Of $85million Ex-minister’s Loot – Report

UK Neswpaper, Evening Standard has blamed the inaction of the Federal Government of Nigeria as hindering the recovery of an $85million loot recovered from a former petroleum minister, Dan Etete.

The $85m is believed to be part of the proceeds from the award of the licence of OPL245 – an oilfield containing an estimated nine billion barrels of crude – made  by Etete to Malabu Oil & Gas.

The fraud case is popularly known as the “Malabu Oil Deal.”

According to the Newspaper, the federal government’s failure to send a proceeds-of-crime submission to the judge of a UK court is stalling the recovery of the money which is frozen in a NatWest bank account in London.

“Last week, the two governments agreed criminal assets stolen in Nigeria and seized in Britain can be returned to the West African country, but such breakthroughs are rare,” it said.

“Buhari’s governing style is also a source of frustration. Critics say he is slow in his decision-making, which allows the EFCC to wallow in indecision.

“Buhari’s critics say his approach means that much-needed funds from corruption cases are not bringing in revenue for an ailing economy ravaged by low oil prices, and the oil blocks themselves are not being developed.”

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

PDP Youth Tells Dokpesi To Return Alleged Loot To EFCC

Some Peoples Democratic Party’s youths operating under the aegis of Youth Forum For Democracy in Osun State have advised  a national chairmanship aspirant of the party, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, to return the funds allegedly traced to him from the National Security Adviser’s Office to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Dokpesi had on Saturday campaigned at the PDP Secretariat along Ogo Oluwa area of Osogbo and shunned the secretariat of the Adagunodo-led faction of the party situated along Ikirun Road.

He was alleged to have said that any PDP member, who was not at the PDP secretariat belonging to the Omisore faction was not a member of the party.

But the  PDP youths in a statement issued by the YYFD Secretary, Olajide Adam, and the Public Relations Officer, Mathew Alao, in Osogbo on Monday, said Dokpesi was not fit to lead the party this time.

The PDP in Osun State was divided as a result of the last congress of the party in the state and the group berated Dokpesi for visiting Senator Iyiola Omisore and neglecting the Soji Adagunodo-led faction of the party.

The PDP youths said the party did not need a politician, who was accused of stealing the nation’s treasury to lead it if the leaders wanted Nigerians to believe in the party.

The group said the alleged anti-peace comments made by Dokpesi during his campaign in the state showed that he was not competent for the position of the chairmanship of the party.

The statement partly read, “We are obliged to inform members of the public on the visitation of Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, who is jostling for the post of the National Chairman of the PDP, especially on the anti-peace, callous and sentimental comment he made.

“He (Dokpesi) was paying a solidarity visit to Otunba Iyiola Omisore, who is his colleague in the EFCC net onDasukigate.

“Dokpesi is a good customer  of Senator Ahmed Tinubu, (a national leader of the All Progressives Congress) and he (Dokpesi)  could be picked up at anytime. So, he cannot be the PDP chairman because he would cave in at the slightest pressure from Tinubu

“With every sense of modesty, Dr. Raymond Dokpesi should not be contesting for the National Chairman, if he had meant business he should be working on the unity, peace and healing process in Osun PDP.”

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Interest On Loot Recovered From Tafa Balogun, Alamieyeseigha Hits N1.9bn –EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Sunday said as of March 2015, it had realised N1,956,007,974 as interest on the loot recovered from convicted former Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Tafa Balogun; the late former Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, and other prominent Nigerians.

The EFCC further revealed that between March, 2012 and March, 2013, it generated N185m rent from the forfeited properties of a former Managing Director of the defunct Intercontinental Bank, Mr. Erastus Akingbola; a convicted ex-Governor of Edo State, Chief Lucky Igbinedion; a former Plateau State Governor, Senator Joshua Dariye; and nine others.

The EFCC said this in a write-up titled, ‘What EFCC did with recovered loot’, which was published on its official website.

The commission explained it received permission from the then President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, to spend N183m out of the interest generated on the recovered funds  when it had financial constraints.

The commission gave the breakdown while reacting to a petition written against its former Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, who is the subject of a Senate inquiry.

In a petition by a security consultant, George Uboh, Lamorde was, among other things, accused of diverting the proceeds of Balogun’s forfeitures between 2008 and 2013 at an interest of 12 per cent per annum, amounting to N2,154,625,556.37.

In its response, however, the anti-graft agency said the recovered funds were deposited in some interest-yielding accounts on the instruction of the courts.

The EFCC said, “The placement of forfeited money in interest-yielding accounts is not an entirely new idea. The court, in various rulings, ordered some funds to be placed in interest yielding accounts.  Rather than warehousing forfeited funds in current accounts for a long period, the commission lodged such funds, including those of Tafa Balogun, in interest yielding accounts.

“The interest element is always in line with CBN Cash Reserve Ratio and not fixed. Not a single kobo is taken out by the commission under this initiative. It is interesting to note that under this initiative, as of March 2015, the sum of N696,590,765.36 was generated as interest on recovered funds with Access Bank Plc.

“Another sum of N522,807,543.83 presently stands as interest generated from recovered funds with Ecobank Plc, while the subsidy recoveries with Enterprise Bank Plc has yielded the sum of N736,609,666.62.

“All the money is intact and is held on behalf of the Federal Government until all encumbrances to their release are cleared.”

The EFCC, however, admitted that it withdrew over N183m from the interest in Access Bank to run its affairs after taking permission from Jonathan, the then President.

The anti-graft agency added, “Sometime in 2011, the EFCC was facing budgetary constraints with adverse consequences for its operations. Consequently, the commission approached (former) President Goodluck Jonathan through the Attorney General of the Federation and received presidential approval to utilise interest, which accrued on recovered funds amounting to N183,124,185.94.

“It was on the basis of the approval received by the commission to utilise the accrued interest that the above instrument, Ref. EFCC/ACCESS/PS/01/01, dated January 9, 2012, was raised.”

The anti-graft agency also denied allegations that Lamorde manipulated the forfeitures and recoveries to the tune of N3.7bn from Alamieyeseigha for two years before formally documenting the transaction

The EFCC said the money realised from the disposal of Alamieyeseigha’s properties was remitted to the commission’s account by Real Estate Derivatives Limited on July 24, 2008 while the last payment from the sale of the ex-governor’s assets in Nigeria was received in March, 2009.

“On July 9, 2009, the total sum of N3,128,230,294.83, realised from the assets, was remitted to the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Finance in favour of Bayelsa State,” it added.

The agency said it was still in possession of N157,708,387.64 from the loot recovered from Alamieyseigha.

It said it would remit the money to the Federal Government’s account soon.

It stated, “The balance of N157,708,387.64 with the commission comprises the sum of  N97,708.387.64 forfeited by Pesal Nigeria Limited, which was remitted to the commission by Diamond Bank on June 12, 2015, and the sum of N60m discovered through routine account reconciliation in 2014.

“This balance will be remitted at the end of the ongoing audit of the commission’s exhibits and recoveries by a reputable international audit firm. Regarding the offshore assets of DSP Alamieyeseigha, the repatriation of the forfeited foreign assets was handled by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, not the EFCC.”

The anti-graft agency dismissed allegations that Lamorde, while serving as the Director of Operations in September, 2008, diverted several cheques and drafts valued at N1,678,345,000.

According to the commission, looters, who return money through cheques and drafts, usually make deposits into Federal Government’s accounts in the Central Bank of Nigeria, which the EFCC has no access to.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

EFCC Arrests Omisore Over N1.3billion Ekiti Election Loot

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested a former gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Iyiola Omisore.

Omisore was picked up earlier this morning in Abuja and has since been in the custody of the anti-graft agencies facing interrogation for his role in the election funding fraud.

According to EFCC sources, the Senator received over N1.3billion from funds pilfered from the office of the National Security Adviser to fund and rig Governor Ayodele Fayose into office in 2014.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

N115b Loot: Ex-Air Chiefs, Politicians Top Refund List

Barely 24 hours after the confirmation of the recovery of about N115billion, The Nation yesterday glimpsed a likely list of some of those behind the huge refund.

They include some politically exposed persons, ex-military chiefs and some of those involved in the $115million poll bribery scandal.

Besides, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is said to be tracking about $3.9billion believed to have been stolen.

A Presidency source however said the government was not yet aware of the said $3.9billion.

The recovered cash includes the following: $3.1b  from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) accounts (the money was paid to the oil giant by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited); $1m seized from a former Chief of Air Staff;  National Broadcasting Commission (N10,061,172,600); another Chief of Air Staff(N2.3b); an ex-presidential aide (N900m); a businessman (N750m); an ex-governor of Delta State ($15m); an ex-Chief of Staff and others (N420m); and an ex-Minister (N140m); an ex-Military Administrator  (N100m).

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials in Oyo and Ogun (N359millon); a former Minister (N2m); a former state Speaker N1m and N580 million (£2 million) in jewelry, allegedly from a former minister.

An EFCC source said: “We cannot release the names of those affected because some of them are already on trial before the court. We do not want to take any prejudicial action. We have been advised against doing so.

“As soon as it is legally convenient, we will release the full list.”

 

But there were indications  yesterday that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was tracking about $3.9billion.

The said amount was allegedly not yet captured in the fact-sheet which was released to the public on Saturday by the Federal Government due to an outstanding reconciliation process.

The $3.9billion includes the $15million seized from former Delta State Governor James Ibori, who is serving term in the United Kingdom.

Other components are about $3.1billion intercepted in the accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG), which was yet to be moved to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in line with the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy.

A reliable source in the anti-graft commission, who spoke in confidence with our correspondent, said the list of recoveries issued out on Saturday might not be the final.

The source said: “The EFCC has also intercepted over $3.9billion, including those in the NNPC and NLNG accounts and put in the TSA account.

“This has not been captured yet. So, what we have on Saturday was certainly not the final list of recoveries.”

“Following a judgment of the Court of Appeal, a $15million recovered from ex-Governor James Ibori has been paid into the treasury too.

“We will soon make the breakdown available to Nigerians accordingly. This process is a continuous one .”

A top Presidency source said: “The affected $3.9billion is unknown to this government. The list of recoveries released to Nigerians on Saturday by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed, went through vetting and other checks before the announcement.

“Do you know the value of $3.2billion? If there is such money in the system, do you think we will go to AFDB for a loan of $1billion?

“I only hope you will get the figures right from whoever is giving the information. Some people have sent an online link to the government but the source only quoted a member of the House of Representatives.”

TheNation

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

FG Releases Interim Report On Loot Recovery [Full Details]

The Federal Government on Saturday released what it described as the interim report of the loots recovered from some corruopt Nigerians.

The report was released by the Minister of information and Culture, lai Muhammed.

Here is the full statement by Minister:

LOOTING: FG RELEASES INTERIM REPORT ON FINANCIAL, ASSETS RECOVERIES

The Federal Government made cash recoveries totaling N78,325,354,631.82 (Seventy eight billion, three hundred and twenty-five million, three hundred and fifty-four thousand, six hundred and thirty one Naira and eighty two kobo); $185,119,584.61 (One hundred and eight five million, one hundred and nineteen thousand, five hundred and eighty four US dollars, sixty one cents); 3,508,355.46 Pounds Sterling (Three million, five hundred and eight thousand, three hundred and fifty-five Pounds and 46 Pence) and 11, 250 Euros (Eleven thousand, two hundred and fifty Euros) from 29 May 2015 to 25 May 2016.

In a statement in Lagos on Saturday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, also disclosed that Recoveries Under Interim Forfeiture (cash and assets) during the period totaled N126,563,481,095.43 (One hundred and twenty six billion, five hundred and sixty three million, four hundred and eighty one thousand, and ninety five Naira, forty three Kobo; $9,090,243,920.15 (Nine billion, ninety million, two hundred and forty three thousand, nine hundred and twenty Dollars, fifteen cents; 2,484,447.55 Pounds Sterling (Two million, four hundred and eighty four thousand, four hundred and forty seven Pounds, fifty five Pence) and 303,399.17 Euros (Three hundred and three thousand, three hundred and ninety-nine Euros, 17 cents ).

According to the statement, which is based on the interim report on the financial and assets recoveries made by the various government agencies from 29 May 2015 to 25 May 2016, the Funds Awaiting Return From Foreign Jurisdictions total $321,316,726.1 (Three hundred and twenty one million, three hundred and sixteen thousand, seven hundred and twenty six Dollars, one cent); 6,900,000 Pounds (Six million, nine hundred thousand Pounds) and 11,826.11 Euros (Eleven thousand, eight hundred and twenty six Euros, 11 cents).

It showed that Non-Cash Recoveries (Farmlands, Plots of Land, Uncompleted Buildings, Completed Buildings, Vehicles and Maritime Vessels) during the period total 239.

Please read the breakdown here: Analysis of LOOT RECOVERY

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

$200bn Loot: EFCC Raids Abuja Office Of Dubai Property Firm, Arrest Top Officials

As part of the ongoing probe of the laundering of over $200billion loot in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by former political office holders, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) yesterday stormed the office of a Dubai property firm, The First Group Company,  in Abuja.

The company is also being investigated for allegedly defrauding unsuspecting Nigerians by luring them to invest in real estate in Dubai.

A prominent Nigerian lost about $402, 000 (N136.6m) in a phony real estate transaction with the company, it was learnt.

Two officials of the company were arrested. They were undergoing interrogation at the anti-graft agency’s office last night.

Some documents and a Central Processing Unit (CPU) containing a list of high profile patrons were retrieved by the EFCC.

The EFCC team raided the company’s seventh floor office at the Bank of Industry building in the Central Business District of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) after obtaining a search warrant.

An EFCC source said: “Our operatives searched the office as a result of a plethora of complaints received through petitions from concerned Nigerians about the activities of The First Group Company, a real estate outfit incorporated in Dubai (UAE).

“We executed a duly endorsed search warrant and vital documents as well as CPU relevant to the facts in issue were recovered.

“They specialise in aiding and abetting money laundering and foreign exchange malpractices by top civil servants and Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).”

The EFCC is working on clues that some former governors, ministers and top civil servants laundered money through the company to buy choice properties in Dubai, using such proxies, including their children and relations.

“Two employees of the company (an accountant and the senior client service/ legal executive) were arrested and are being interrogated,” the source said.

The investigation of the company is said to be in line with the agreement between the Federal Government and the UAE to trace about $200billion loot stashed away in the Emirate by ex-governors and ministers.

The source said the First Group Company was also being probed for allegedly swindling some Nigerians.

“So many unsuspecting Nigerians have fallen victims of their antics by parting with their hard-earned money running into millions of dollars. Iinvestigations into the allegations are ongoing,” the source added.

Under searchlight for stashing funds or acquiring properties in Dubai are seven ex-governors, six former ministers, a former presidential aide implicated in the $2.1billion arms deals, ex-military chiefs under probe, agents / fronts of some of these public officers and about five chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who are undergoing interrogation.

A Federal Government team, comprising the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Magu and detectives from the anti-graft agency some months ago met with their UAE counterparts to collate  intelligence notes on the PEPs.

President Muhammadu Buhari in January signed a “Judicial Agreement on Extradition, Transfer of Sentenced Persons, Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal Matters, and Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal and Commercial Matters, which includes the recovery and repatriation of stolen wealth with UAE.”

Calls were made to both the Abuja office and Dubai Headquarters of the affected office last night but these did not how through.

While Dubai line  +97144550100 was on automatic answering machine, the Abuja lines of +2349903600 and +23494611454  did not connect.

Although some of the cases involving The First Group were handled by Barrister Ismail Muftau from Jackdon, Etti and Edu, it was difficult to get the counsel when this newspaper went to bed.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Buhari May Reveal Details Of Recovered Loot At London Summit

There were signs last night that President Muhammadu Buhari may disclose the actual amount of funds so far  recovered from those who looted the treasury under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, at the London Anti-Corruption Summit.

Officials were at work last night with a view to verifying the figure.

Sources said Buhari intends to update all the world leaders expected at the summit about his war against corruption. The president is to depart Abuja on Tuesday for the meeting.

Sixty global leaders including Buhari will be participating in the talks.

“Contrary to insinuations that the anti-graft war of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is a witch-hunt, the world leaders will be presented with the nation’s fact-sheet on the fight so far,” a top source said last night.

“At the summit, the President will make disclosures on recovered loot and the challenges ahead. The figures have been collated by all relevant MDAs but kept under wraps as I talk to you.

“These critics will realize at the end of the day that Buhari has walked the talk on the anti-corruption war. The President will join 59 other world leaders in the United Kingdom to seal the pact which will make 60 countries a “no safe haven” for treasury looters.

Some of the sanctions likely against looters are as follows:

  • travel restriction or denial of entry into the 60 countries;
  • rejection of request for political asylum by corrupt political and public officers;
  • likely loss of citizenship;
  • no more approval of naturalisation for any corrupt person;
  • no establishment of shell companies abroad; and
  • the corrupt will not be allowed to operate foreign accounts in any of the 60 nations.

The UK Government which is hosting the summit said the leaders might agree on the enforcement of international anti-corruption laws

It said: “On 12 May, the Prime Minister will host the Anti-Corruption Summit to step up global action to expose, punish and drive out corruption in all walks of life.

“The summit will seek to galvanize a global response to tackle corruption. As well as agreeing a package of actions to tackle corruption across the board, it will deal with issues including corporate secrecy, government transparency, the enforcement of international anti-corruption laws, and the strengthening of international institutions.

“It will be the first summit of its kind, bringing together world leaders, business and civil society to agree a package of practical steps to:

  • expose corruption so there is nowhere to hide
  • punish the perpetrators and support those affected by corruption
  • drive out the culture of corruption wherever it exists

“The summit will be preceded by a conference on 11 May for leaders in civil society, business and government who are championing the fight against corruption.”

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami (SAN), who  had initially spoken  exclusively with our correspondent, said  the agreement by the world leaders  will make it difficult for those stealing public funds in the country to escape abroad or operate slush accounts to stash away cash.

He said: “The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is stepping up the fight against corruption. I am happy to bring to your notice that Nigeria and 59 other countries will enter into an agreement in May on the imposition of international sanctions against corrupt political and public office holders. This will take place at the 2016 international summit on anti-corruption in the UK.

“At the May summit, these 60 countries will agree on some sanctions against those who steal public funds or launder money. Some of these measures are travel restriction or denial of entry into the 60 countries; rejection of request for political asylum by corrupt political and public officers; no more approval of  application for naturalisation by any corrupt person; and the corrupt will not be allowed to operate foreign accounts  in any of the signatory nation to the pact among others.

“The affected countries will also design ways of sharing intelligence on corrupt officers and money launderers. We will all key into this understanding as part of the global action against corruption.

“With this development, there is no hiding place for any public office holder who steals funds in this country.”

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Abacha Loot: US Agree To Return $480m To Nigeria As EFCC Seeks Records of Recovered £22.5m

United States has agreed to repatriate to Nigeria about $480million believed to have been stolen by the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha and his family.

But the conditions for the repatriation of the cash  and other details are being worked out.

Also, it was learnt that the Department of Justice in the United States now has a Kleptocracy Unit, which will assist to track looted funds and money laundered by public officials from Nigeria and other nations.

The planned repatriation is the outcome of the recent meeting between the Department of Justice and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) and the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu.

A source, who spoke in confidence with our correspondent, said: “This is the largest loot ever traced to a former Nigerian public officer in the U.S.

“The DOJ, the AGF and the EFCC have concluded all the talks; we are in the process of repatriation of the $480million.

“Although there are interventions from private lawyers, the DOJ prefers a government-to-government deal.

“ I can tell you that the funds will soon be repatriated. If there is anything left, it has to do with the conditions which the US will attach to the utilisation of the funds.

“The US is likely to advise on specific areas to spend the funds on and the project monitoring mechanisms. It does not want the cash re-looted.”

In the source’s view, there is no hiding place for Nigerian treasury looters in the United States anymore.

“The Federal Government and the U.S.  on January 14, 2003  signed the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between the two nations. So, no corrupt public officers from Nigeria can hide in the US.

“At the session with AGF and the EFCC boss, they told the Nigerian team that the DOJ now has Kleptocracy Unit which is closing tabs on Political Office Holders and other public officers in this country and many other nations.”

The Department of Justice of the United States had in the last few years initiated forfeiture proceedings against the Abachas.

The proceedings made it possible for the Abacha family and its associates to forfeit over $550million and £95,910 in 10 accounts and six investment portfolios linked to them in France, Britain, British Virgin Islands and the United States.

The Criminal Division of the Office of International Affairs of the US Department of Justice, in a letter to the Federal Government, identified the accounts where Abacha loot was hidden.

The highlights are as follows: Doraville Properties Corporation – $287 million in Account Number 80020796 located at Deutsche Bank International Limited in the Bailiwick of Jersey; HSBC Fund Administration (Jersey) – $12 million in account number S-104460 in the Bailiwick of Jersey; and Rayville International, S. A – $1 million in account number 223405880IUSD at Banque SBA in Paris, France.

Others are  Standard Alliance Financial Services Limited – $144 million in account 223406510PUSD at Banque SBA in Paris; Mecosta Securities – $21.7 million in accounts 10030688 and 100138409 at Standard Bank in the United Kingdom;  and HSBC Bank Plc – $1.6 million in account number 38175076.

Also listed are  Blue Holding (1) Pte Ltd/ Ridley Group Limited – £6,806,900; Blue Holding  (2) Pte. Ltd/ Ridley Group Limited – £21,846,983; Blue Holding (1) Pte. Ltd/ Ridley Group Limited – £10,293,343.58; Blue Holding (2) Pte. Ltd/Ridley Group Limited – £56,962,996.26

It was learnt that  the Abacha family had pledged to cooperate with the Federal Government.

But the EFCC is still probing the whereabouts of £22.5m (N6.18billion) loot which the late Gen. Abacha allegedly stashed away on the Island of Jersey.

No fewer than three prominent Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) have been quizzed by the EFCC on the whereabouts of the records of the recovered £22.5m (N6.18billion).

According to records, the late Head of State allegedly stashed the funds through a Lebanese called Bhojwani.

But when the Office of the AGF was alerted by a whistle-blower, the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan opened discussions with the Attorney-General of the Island of Jersey.

“The AG of the Island of Jersey cooperated fully with the government, leading to the repatriation of the £22.5m. EFCC is still searching for the records from those involved.

A top EFCC source said last night: “We have not closed investigation into the whereabouts of this money.”

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Ex-PDP Nat’l Secretary, Oladipo Offers To Return Loot To Stave Off Prosecution

Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) National Secretary Prof. Wale Oladipo has appealed to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) to be allowed to refund the N75 million he received from ex-National Security Adviser (NSA) Mohammed Sambo Dasuki.

Oladipo’s request is contained in a letter to the Vice President in which he sought to be excluded from prosecution.

Prominent Nigerians, including Raymond Dokpesi and ex-Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Aminu Baba-Kusa, were charged to court for allegedly diverting billions of naira belonging to the Federal Government under the guise of fighting Boko Haram.

The existence of the letter by Oladipo was confirmed in the suit he filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, through his lawyer Babs Akinwumi.

He is seeking to, among others, restrain the attorney general of the federation (AGF) and four others from arresting, detaining and prosecuting him.

Oladipo also seeks to restrain the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), the inspector general of Police (IGP) and the Department of State Services (DSS) from holding him.

The PDP national secretary, in a supporting affidavit, said he wrote the Vice President on his intention to refund the money he received from the Office of the NSA, without knowledge that it was proceed of unlawful dealings, with the understanding that he would be shielded from prosecution.

Oladipo, who claimed to have received an anonymous message on his telephone, inviting him for interrogation, urged the court to, among others, restrain the respondents from moving against him.

He alleged that the respondents were being used by agents of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to harass, intimidate and persecute him, being a key opposition figure.

But the respondents faulted Oladipo’s letter, arguing that his letter could not shield him from investigation and prosecution.

“Assuming without conceding that Exhibit 1 (the letter) exists, it is our further contention that the exhibit cannot come to the aid of the applicant because a letter written to the Vice President to return N75 million cannot act as shield from investigation and possible prosecution, rather it is suggestive of corruption, requiring investigation,” ICPC said in its objection to the suit.

Other respondents faulted the suit and urged the court to dismiss it on the grounds that Oladipo was merely seeking to hide under a spurious text message, whose source he failed to establish, to prevent statutory established bodies from performing their responsibilities.

“It is clear that the applicant has failed to discharge his duty of establishing nexus between the 3rd respondent and the so called witch-hunt of APC against him.

“The applicant, in anticipation of possible invitation by the 3rd respondent (ICPC) to answer questions with respect to the N75 million, which, he said, he received from officials of the PDP, has come to this court to twist the arms of the law and challenged the statutory powers of the 3rd respondent in carrying out its constitutional duties and ultimately escape from criminal invitation.

“It is submitted that the applicant’s suit is incompetent, misleading, lacking in merit and should be dismissed. We urge the court to so hold and strike out or dismiss this suit,” ICPC said.

In his response to the suit, the AGF, Abubakar Malami (SAN), argued that Oladipo only raised unsubstantiated allegation of persecution and harassment against the respondents “on account of funds he received from his party members and is thus seeking to restrain the respondents from performing their constitutional duties”.

He denied taking any steps against Oladipo “in respect of money received by the applicant either from party members or other sources”.

“Even the alleged invitation by the 2nd respondent (EFCC) did not state that the applicant was invited because of funds, which he received.

“The applicant, on his free volition and admission, wrote to the Vice President wherein he offered to return to the Federal Government funds which he received.

“Rather than comply with the invitation, if indeed it exists, to clear his name, the applicant, via the instant suit, resorted to engage the instrumentality of the law to stop or frustrate his investigation and possible prosecution,” the AGF said.

The judge adjourned hearing to May 19 to enable ICPC file its responses.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Fayose Urges Buhari To Fund 2016 Budget With Recovered Loot, TSA

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has described as unnecessary the reported plan of the federal government to borrow $2 billion from China to finance the N1.84 trillion deficit in the 2016 budget.

Rather, Fayose said President Mohammadu Buhari should finance the budget with the recovered loot from corrupt politicians and money saved from the Treasury Single Account (TSA),

He said the move was an attempt to mortgage the future of Nigeria and its people and put the country into unnecessary debt.

Fayose, who said  the 2016 budget was not a reflection of the present economic reality in the country, added that the proposed loan if obtained would further aggravate the suffering of the masses in 2017 when the Federal Government will be servicing debt with about 50 percent of its budget.

In a statement by Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, to the governor, Lere Olayinka on Friday, the governor said, “In elementary economics, you don’t propose to spend more when your income reduces, and I still can’t understand this Buharinomics in which Nigeria is going to spend N6.06 billion with crude oil bench mark of $38 per barrel when the country budget was N4.5 trillion in 2015 when crude oil bench mark was $53 per barrel.”

He warned that with the proposed N1.84 trillion borrowing, $2 billion of which President Buhari is already going to borrow in China, the nation may soon be going the way of Greece because Nigeria will be borrowing N5 billion per day for the next 365 days.

“If your income was N200, 000 per month last year and your expenditure was N195, 000 per month; does it make any economic sense for you to propose to spend N300, 000 per month this year that your income has reduced to N120, 000?

“Only President Buhari can explain to Nigerians what manner of Economic theory encourages borrowing of N1.84 trillion to fund a N6 trillion budget. As for me, it is nothing but a voodoo economic theory, and Nigerians must take note that the income that should accrue to them in five years’ time is about to be spent in one year by the Buhari’s APC government.”

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]