World News

UN chief `horrified’ by alleged migrant slave auctions in Libya

Written by Maritime First

..As EFCC obtains warrant to detain Anyim for 30 days over N13bn contracts***

Dehumanized by war, Libyans have begun to sell African migrants as slaves; and a shocked UN Secretary- General, Antonio Guterres on Monday described the bizarre situation as  “appalling’’.

Guterres said he was “horrified’’ by video footage appearing to show a slave auction where migrants were sold for 400 dollars apiece, made public by a CNN investigation.

“I abhor these appalling acts and call upon all competent authorities to investigate these activities without delay and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“Slavery has no place in our world and these actions are among the most egregious abuses of human rights and may amount to crimes against humanity,’’ Guterres told newsmen in New York.

The UN chief said he had asked the relevant UN actors to actively pursue the matter.

Guterres added that the “scourge’’ of human trafficking should also remind the international community of the need to address issues surrounding migration.

He called for development cooperation to address the root causes of current migration flows, a meaningful increase in legal migration opportunities and enhanced international cooperation to crack smugglers and traffickers.

In the meantime, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has secured a remand warrant to further detain a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius, who was arrested by the EFCC last Thursday.

Anyim is being investigated for allegedly collecting N520m from a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), on the eve of the 2015 presidential election.

He also allegedly awarded contracts worth N13bn to companies he had interests in.

The remand warrant, it was learnt, would enable the anti-graft agency to keep Anyim in custody beyond the stipulated time allowed by law.

The move, according to EFCC, is to enable its operatives to conduct proper investigation into how he got the money, what it was used for and who the beneficiaries were.

A source at the EFCC said, “Yes, we have obtained a remand warrant to hold the former SGF for about 30 days. This will help us to conduct investigations properly and verify his claims.”

Apart from allegedly receiving funds from Dasuki, the former SGF was accused of false assets declaration and using proxies and companies in which he had interest to corner contracts from the ecological funds.

The source said Anyim allegedly awarded contracts to some companies linked to him through which ecological funds were diverted.

The companies include: Foundation Years Limited, Precious Integrated, Precious Petroleum, Mak & Mak, Chap Construction, Eldyke Engineering, Pryke Limited, Chipa Nigeria Limited, Prima A11 Limited, Pima International, Chanto Engineering, Ishiagu Microfinance Bank, Mulak Ventures, Vitro Engineering and Tip Top Nigeria.

The source added, “Anyim was SGF from May 2011 to May 29, 2015. During this period, specifically May 2012 to May 2015, the SGF Ecological Fund Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria received an inflow of N58,146,983,677.85.

“From this fund, three of the companies linked to Anyim, Foundation Years, Obis Associate and Eldyke Engineering, received contracts worth over N13bn. Foundation Years alone received a net payment of N10,308,017,838.85 between 2014 and 2015.

“Curiously, on receiving the fund, Foundation Years and another Anyim company, Br-Kthru made several transfers to 37 entities. Some of the organisations and individuals have no nexus at all with ecological issues. Investigators are probing the reasons behind the wild disbursement.”

A House of Representatives panel had in March asked the EFCC and the Code of Conduct Bureau to investigate Anyim and a former FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, over the Centenary City project.

Additional report from Punch

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Maritime First