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$202m missing at NIA, not $44m, says Reps’ panel

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…As Maina files N10b suit against Magu, commission over Pension fund***

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Safety and National Intelligence said on Sunday that contrary to recent reports, the real amount of money missing at the National Intelligence Agency was $202m and not the $44m as reported.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr. Aminu Sani-Jaji, said the $44m was not missing but was only moved to a safe location.

However, Sani-Jaji stated that $202m could not be accounted for at the NIA.

The committee is investigating the controversies surrounding the appointment of an acting Director General for the agency, Mr. Ahmed Rufai-Abubakar, by President Muhammadu Buhari.

There were reports that Rufai-Abubakar failed his promotion examinations.

Another allegation was that the acting DG was a citizen of Chad.

The House had passed a resolution directing the Sani-Jaji panel to investigate the allegations, just as some directors in the agency petitioned the House, seeking the removal of Rufai-Abubakar.

Sani-Jaji, who spoke with reporters in Abuja, disclosed that the committee discovered in the course of the investigation that the actual money missing at the NIA was $202m.

He confirmed that the panel had already taken the testimonies of a former DG of the agency, Mr. Ayo Oke; the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.); and the acting DG, Rufai-Abubakar.

The lawmaker added that under Oke, the NIA collected a total of $289m as “intervention” funds during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He stated that $43m was part of the money the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission uncovered in Ikoyi in April 2017, while $44m was moved from the vault of the agency to another location.

However, Sani-Jaji said the committee was unable to get any useful information on the balance of $202m from the officials, who made appearances before it.

The committee had met with the officials behind closed doors last week at the National Assembly.

Sani-Jaji added, “We had a meeting too with the NSA. We later discovered from our meeting since last week that the $44m is not missing. For that one, I can tell you they moved the money from one place to another. We are still investigating.

“If we get 60 to 70 per cent of what we are supposed to get, then we can tell you. But, for now, I will tell you categorically that the money isn’t missing. They only moved it from the agency to another place, pending when all these issues surrounding the agency would be resolved.

“If you remember, this $44m is part of the $289m approved for the then DG, Ayo Oke. You know that in April last year, there was the issue of $43m found in Ikoyi. He tried to say that the $44m and the $43m are part of the $289m.

“But for us, we are still working to see where the remaining $202m was placed. We only know about the $43m recovered in Ikoyi and the $44m recovered from their vault.

“In the course of our investigation, we will come up with where the $289m really is, not the $43m and not the $44m but the entire amount…

“Yes, for me it is ($202m) still missing. The money in question is $289m, and all what the former DG is trying to say is that the $43m and the $44m are part of the $289m.

“If you subtract $43m and $44m, where is the balance? That is why we are where we are today, and that is also why we have to intensify the investigation.”

On the allegations against the acting DG, Sani-Jaji explained the findings of his committee, “One of the issues is that, some are saying he (Rufai-Abubakar) has dual citizenship. But, he said to us categorically that his father is from Katsina State and he (his father) after sometime, decided to migrate from Katsina to Chad.

“His mother is a Nigerian, and his wife too is a Nigerian. He even showed us the approval of the then DG that he was allowed to marry her. I think she is Fadilah by name. She is from Katsina. She did her secondary school in Sandamu, according to the documents supplied to us. He said really he did his primary school in Chad, but he attended secondary school in Nigeria and his first degree was in the Bayero University, Kano.

“Again, we discussed with him and we also saw all the promotion examinations that he went through when he was in service.

In the meantime, Former Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT) Chairman Abdulrasheed Maina has sued Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Ibrahim Magu and the agency for alleged defamation of character.

The suit dated January 15 and filed on his behalf by his counsel, Mr. James Onyilo, before a High Court of Justice, Lafia, accused Magu of granting media interview, which were slanderous, untrue and malicious.

In the writ of summons, Maina’s counsel asked the court for a declaration that the interview granted by Magu on November 30 and December 14, 2017 were defamatory, injurious and intended to lower the reputation and integrity of the plaintiff in the estimation of right-thinking members of the society and brought him to public ridicule, odium, contempt and derision.

He asked the court to order the defendants to retract and publish an apology to the plaintiff in at least three daily newspapers within seven days from the day of the judgment.

Maina urged the court to restrain the EFCC boss from making comments considered defamatory to him.

He asked for an order directing the defendants to pay jointly and severally N10billion  as damages for the publications.

In the statement of claim, Onyilo said: “The 1st defendant (Magu), who has a personal score and vendetta to settle with the plaintiff using the instrumentality of the 2nd defendant  (EFCC), maliciously embarked on a campaign of calumny against the plaintiff.”

Punch with additional report from Nation

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Edo Assembly Impeaches Deputy Governor, Shauibu

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Edo Assembly Impeaches Deputy Governor, Shauibu

The impeachment followed the adoption of the recommendation of a seven-man judicial panel led by retired Justice Stephen Omonua.

At plenary in Benin, the Majority leader of the house, Charity Aiguobarueghian said the report of the 7-man panel presented to the house found Shauibu culpable of disclosure of government secrets.

Aiguobarueghian further disclosed that though the panel was unable to establish the case of perjury against the deputy governor, it made two findings and one recommendation upon which the decision to impeach the deputy governor was anchored.

According to him, “the seven-man judicial panel of inquiry recommended that the deputy governor be impeached on the ground of disclosure of government secrets.’’

During voting on the motion, 18 out of 19 members present at plenary voted for the impeachment of the deputy governor while one abstained from the headcount and voting process.

The Clerk of the House, Yahaya Omogbai conducted a head count of the lawmakers who voted for and against the impeachment of Shaibu.

The clerk said with the figure, the house stated that it met 2/3 (16 members of the House was needed to carry out the impeachment).

The assembly thereafter upheld and approved the recommendation of the seven-man panel and thereafter impeached the deputy governor.

The speaker, Blessing Agbebaku directed the Clerk of the House, Yahaya Omogbai to forward copies of the impeachment to Gov. Godwin Obaseki for assent.

The Edo House of Assembly on Monday impeached the Deputy Governor, Mr Philip Shaibu.

The impeachment followed the adoption of the recommendation of a seven-man judicial panel led by retired Justice Stephen Omonua.

At plenary in Benin, the Majority leader of the house, Charity Aiguobarueghian said the report of the 7-man panel presented to the house found Shauibu culpable of disclosure of government secrets.

Aiguobarueghian further disclosed that though the panel was unable to establish the case of perjury against the deputy governor, it made two findings and one recommendation upon which the decision to impeach the deputy governor was anchored.

According to him, “the seven-man judicial panel of inquiry recommended that the deputy governor be impeached on ground of disclosure of government secrets.’’

During voting on the motion, 18 out of 19 members present at plenary voted for the impeachment of the deputy governor while one abstained from the headcount and voting process.

The Clerk of the House, Yahaya Omogbai conducted a head count of the lawmakers who voted for and against the impeachment of Shaibu.

The clerk said with the figure, the house stated that it met 2/3 (16 members of the House was needed to carry out the impeachment).

The assembly thereafter upheld and approved the recommendation of the seven-man panel and thereafter impeached the deputy governor.

The speaker, Blessing Agbebaku directed the Clerk of the House, Yahaya Omogbai to forward copies of the impeachment to Gov. Godwin Obaseki for assent.

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Court Remands Emefiele In EFCC Custody As Trial Begins April 11

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Emefiele: CBN disbursed N12.65bn as agriculture intervention since January; N1.09 trillion since 2015

An Ikeja Special Offences Court on Monday remanded the embattled former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, for alleged abuse of office and fraud to the tune of $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion.
It was reported that Justice Rahman Oshodi remanded Emefiele in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) custody while his co-defendant, Henry  Isioma-Omoile, was remanded in the Ikoyi custodial centre.
Oshodi remanded the defendants pending the determination of their bail applications on April 11.
The judge adjourned the case until April 11 for the determination of bail application and commencement of trial.
Earlier, EFCC arraigned Emefiele on a 23-count charge bordering on abuse of office, accepting gratifications, corrupt demand, receiving property fraudulently obtained and conferring corrupt advantage, while his co-defendant was arraigned on a three-count charge bordering on acceptance of gift by agents.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
EFCC counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN) had asked the court for a trial date following the defendants’ not guilty pleas.
Oyedepo also informed the court that the prosecution would be asking for a closed section for some of its witnesses who were willing to come to court to testify but scared for their lives.

Counsel to the two defendants, Mr Abdulakeem Labi-Lawal, had in their bail applications, urged the court to grant them bail on self-recognizance and liberal terms pending the determination of the case.
Labi-Lawal, in a 35-paragraph affidavit, said that the first defendant (Emefiele) complied with the bail application given to him by Justice Hamza Muazu in his ongoing fraud trial in Abuja.
He added that the charges against the first defendant were bailable.
“Though the first defendant was granted administrative bail by the prosecuting authority, he is seeking bail based on self-recognizance, and he is ready to attend trial.
“The court should also take into consideration the status of the first defendant as he was the former CBN governor of the country,” the counsel said.
The defence counsel further said that Emefiele religiously presented himself before Justice Hamza Muazu in Abuja to answer allegations before him.
According to the counsel, the first defendant was not at flight risk as he was the first person to arrive in court.
He also prayed the court to grant bail to  Emefiele on liberal terms
Labi-Lawal also moved a bail application for the second defendant and urged the court to grant him bail on liberal terms.
Prosecution counsel, Oyedepo, did not oppose the bail applications.
Oyedepo, however, urged the court to exercise its discretion judiciously in granting bail to the defendants.
In one of the charges, EFCC  alleged that Emefiele abused the authority of his office as CBN  governor by allocating foreign exchange in the aggregate sum of $2.2 billion without bids, the act which was prejudiced to the rights of Nigerians.
It also alleged that the ex-CBN governor corruptly accepted an aggregate sum of  $26.5 million from NIPCO Plc through Donatone Ltd.
The commission also accused Emefiele of receiving the sum of $400,000 from Source Computer Ltd. on account of the approval of a “contract” in favour of the said company by CBN.
The anti-graft also alleged that Emefiele used his position as the governor of CBN  to confer corrupt advance on his associate, Limelight Multidimensional Services Ltd. by approving payment of an aggregate sum of N900 million to the company.
Emefiele was also alleged to have used his position as the CBN governor to confer a corrupt advantage on Comec Support Services  Ltd. by approving the sum of N149 million to the company.
EFCC also alleged that the former CBN governor used his position to confer a corrupt advantage on  Andswin Resources and Solutions Ltd. by approving payment of the sum of N398 million to the company.
EFCC also accused Emefiele’s co-defendant (Isioma-Omoile) of giving the sum of $100,000 to the governor as a gift reward for allocation of foreign exchange.
According to the prosecution, the alleged offences violate Sections 8, 10, and 19 of the Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Act of 2000, Sections 65, 73, and 328 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2011.

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NAGAFF Vows to Stop Kwankwaso from Taking Over NNPP

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NNPP inaugurates 2023 Presidential Campaign Council, Aniebonam remains BoT Chairman

…Votes N150m take off professional fees for lawyers to begin litigation warfare!

Members of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) will vehemently resist the taking over of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) by the group noted to be loyal to Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.

It would be recalled that the NNPP was originally founded by the National Association of Government-Approved Freight Forwarders NAGAFF, largely to provide a credible platform for maritime industry stakeholders to make a national impact within the nation’s political space.

It. would also be recalled that the former Governor of Kano, Senator Kwankwaso latched on the NNPP, after his effort to run as the flag bearer of another political party was dimmed by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who emerged as the PDP presidential candidate.

NNPP inaugurates 2023 Presidential Campaign Council, Aniebonam remains BoT Chairman

Alhaji Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso

Presently, a statement issued by the NNPP National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Clement Iwegbuna, lamented that what started as a child’s play is becoming a reality with the body language and actions of Senator Kwankwaso to highjack NNPP from the original owners, the members of  NAGAFF.

In a swift move, the president of NAGAFF, leading the pack of resourceful young freight forwarders said the original are poised to match money for money and contact for contact to retrieve NNPP from the people tagged ungrateful.

The statement revealed that the sum of N150,000,000 has been contributed as a take-off professional fee for the lawyers to take on the serial litigations upcoming.

NAGAFF accused Kwankwaso of court abuse with the institution of a court case involving INEC at Kano State High Court. “And so what does it take someone who held the position of minister of defence and member of the national assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to know that it is out of jurisdiction to do so.

NNPP is a national party and INEC is a federal commission. “Let Nigerians be told that there is a new order in Nigeria judiciary at the moment. If Senator Kwankwaso likes let him, Elder Buba Galadima and all of them who are the former members of the National Working Committee led by Alhaji Abbah Kawu who was alleged not to be able to write a statement at the state police command, Abuja when he reported a case against Mr Phillip Oyana the Zonal Secretary North Central of New Nigeria Peoples Party.

“Our young, vibrant and informed lawyers shall meet him and his cohorts in court. Once again we hold no malice against any person. All members of NNPP and NAGAFF are children of God and always ready to show love to all manner of people who may come our way,” the statement further said.

The statement directed and appealed to all members of NAGAFF and NNPP to keep the peace of the society and be law abiding and respectful to the constitution of Nigeria.

“Regret to note that Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso had avoidably prided himself to have brought NNPP to relevance and recognition. Tell the American marine that trash for the fact that Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso forgot to note that NNPP is as old as People’s Democratic Party of Nigeria spanning over 24 years in existence. He joined less than 2yrs ago.

“We consider Senator Kwankwaso as someone who is avoidably arrogant and proud for no good reasons. This is because NNPP provided him the opportunity to contest the Presidency of Nigeria 2023 with great men like the current president of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (PDP) and Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party

“Let it be on record that if NNPP were not winning elections for the period under review it would have been deregistered like the one he facilitated which was called Alliance National Party. As a matter of fact, the current headquarters of NNPP in Abuja is the same office used by the defunct Alliance National  Party whose chairman was one Moshood.

“We also know that the current executive Gov of Kano Alhaji Abbah Kabir who was shortchanged in the previous elections took advantage of us as children of God to be protected and today those evil men could not stop him from becoming the Gov of Kano State.

“Therefore senator RABIU MUSA Kwankwaso should be taught the principles of humility and gratefulness to people who have been nice to him.

“In all of these, he may wish to distance himself from elder Buba Galadima if he wants to make headway in politics. The former President, Gen. Buhari did realise and distanced himself to combine with Asiwaju B. A. Tinubu, the grand master to become the President of Nigeria.,” advised.

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