The EFCC has rewarded 25 youths with Net book laptops with Bribe Buster application for joining the Commission in the anti-corruption campaign through their art works.

Mr Osita Nwajah, the Director, Public Affairs of the commission, presented the gifts to the youths during the launch of the Creative Youth Community Development Initiative (CYCDI), an NGO, in Lagos.

Nwajah, who represented the commission’s Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu, said that the commission had been in a partnership with the Creative Youth Initiative against Corruption (CYIAC) sponsored by Prof. Wole Soyinka.

According to him, the 25 recipients emerged from the three-month intensive creative programme organised by the commission to curb corruption through creative development.

The director noted that the students, aged between nine and 14 years, showcased their talents in painting, drama, poetry and singing.

“The Net Book, a mini laptop, is packaged with educational materials and Bribe Buster application; an animated video series for children and youth developed by TRACE International, USA, for the purpose of advancing commercial transparency worldwide.”

Nwajah said that the commission was very delighted to be identified with the CYIAC, stressing that its involvement in the project was a deliberate effort at achieving a corrupt-free Nigeria.

“Corruption is fighting back and it is easy to be discouraged; but the EFCC will do all it can within its powers to ensure that corruption is fought to the barest minimum.

“One of the ways to achieve the preventive mandate of the commission is to support this initiative. The CYIAC is a corruption preventive initiative of the EFCC.

“It kicked off in October 2016 and is committed to lead change in children and youth by eradicating corruption through character (attitude) and skill (aptitude) development for the positive advancement of Nigeria,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Foluke Michael, the Project Director of the CYIAC, said that the project was aimed at creating corruption awareness in children and youths, adding that the objective had been achieved through various forms of art.

The Chairperson of CYCDI, Chief Oyenike Okundaye, in her remark, said that her organization would provide the necessary support and platform to ensure that CYCDI delivered its objectives of building a new Nigeria.

She said that the platform would engage children, youths, women and the creative community for the advancement of the nation.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that CYCDI is an NGO that aims to empower children, youths and women through creative development, to support the creative industry.

It also seeks to support other community development projects by promoting creativity, entrepreneurial skills, empowerment programmes and wealth creation in children, youths and women in Africa.

(NAN)

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has condemned in the strongest terms the invasion of the premises of The Sun Newspapers in Lagos by Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday.

Reacting to this ugly development in Abuja, NUJ National President, Abdulwaheed Odusile, said that the union was truly worried that at a time when the Nigerian security forces need the support and cooperation of the media in fighting terrorism, corruption and other criminal activities in the country, the media is now being attacked by the same security operatives.

Odusile noted that there can be no valid explanation to this act of intimidation by the EFCC which swooped on the premises of the newspapers, preventing the staff from either gaining entrance or exit. This unfortunately led to the disruption of operations particularly the circulation of the newspapers.

The NUJ President stated that in a democracy, “security personnel should not be seen to be intimidating the media no matter the perceived offence, rather civilised means and ways should be employed to check any excesses or misdemeanour.”

The NUJ president said it was more worrisome “when such an invasion was carried out without any cogent reason, thus giving the impression that the action was merely a political act aimed at instilling fear into the organisation.”

While expressing the union’s regrets of “this violation of press freedom and freedom of journalists to work without being molested,” Odusile said “the EFCC will do well to unconditionally apologise for this untoward act in the interest of our democracy because the media remain the only voice of the masses.”

The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal has given the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the go ahead to investigate the Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, Ifeanyi Ubah, for alleged involvement in a N43.29bn petroleum subsidy scheme fraud.

The anti-graft agency and the police had levelled against him, allegations of obtaining subsidy payments by false pretences, stealing, money laundering and forgery with respect to the alleged fraudulent payment of N43.29bn in the transactions conducted in 2011.

Recall that Ifeanyi Ubah is still in the detention of the Department of State Services (DSS) for investigation into a separate case of alleged diversion of N11bn worth of Federal Government’s Premium Motor Spirit (petrol).

A unanimous judgment of a three-man bench prepared by Justice Emmanuel Agim and consented to by Justice Akomolafe-Wilson (bench head) and Justice Tani Yusufu, was released on Sunday.

In the lead judgment, Justice Agimnullified the July 25, 2013 verdict of Justice Abdukadir Abdu-Kafarati of the Federal High Court in Abuja, who had made an order of perpetual injunction restraining the EFCC, the Inspector-General of Police and the AGF, from prosecuting Ubah with respect to the subsidy fraud allegations.

Justice Agim, also in the lead judgment of the appeal court, nullified all of Justice Abdul-Kafarati’s orders, including the one quashing the November 3, 2012 interim investigation report of Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede-led Presidential Committee on Verification and

Reconciliation of Subsidy Payments to Petroleum Marketers.

He held that by virtue of the Aig-Imoukhuede committee’s report, and the first two reports made by the Commissioner of Police in charge of Special Fraud Unit ‘D’ Department of the Force Criminal Investigation Department, Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin “there was a reasonable basis for the suspicion of the first and second respondents (Ubah and Capital Oil) of committing the said offences.”

The Court agreed with EFCC’s lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), that the agency “can competently reopen and continue investigation into the matter,” after the police, through Ogunsakin, had issued a third report of investigation clearing Ubah and Capital Oil contrary to the findings of the first two reports by the same police officer indicting the businessman and his company.

Justice Agbim noted that “the fuel subsidy fraud involved corruption and fraud on a very massive scale”; that it involved many oil companies and officials of government’s regulatory agencies “looting and stealing of trillions of naira from the Federal Government of Nigeria and threatening the security and economy of Nigeria.”

He frowned that in spite of sabotage, Justice Abdu-Kafarati of the Federal High Court in Abuja had granted Ubah’s application for fundamental human rights “in such a manner as to prevent or frustrate investigations into the scam.”

Menacing and gun-toting operatives of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the early hours of Monday invaded and laid siege to the offices of The Sun Newspapers in the Jahi District of Abuja.

The Whistler learnt that the operatives were quoted as saying that they acting on “orders from above,” a euphemism for extra-judicial authority.

A statement by The Sun management said that staff were held at gunpoint, while those inside the premises were not allowed out, and those reporting for duty were prevented from gaining entry.

“At gunpoint, they ordered our security personnel to take them round the company premises, after which they proceeded to prevent staff from either entering or leaving the premises, and disrupted our circulation process,” the statement read.

The full statement reads:

EFCC INVASION: OUR POSITION, BY THE SUN

Law -abiding staff of The Sun Publishing Limited resumed work this morning, June 12, 2017 to behold heavily armed EFCC operatives in our company. They claimed to have "orders from above" to seal up the premises of The Sun Publishing Limited.
For one gruelling hour, EFCC operatives subjected our staff to crude intimidation, psychological and emotional trauma, even as some of the men accused our organisation of publishing pro-Biafra, Boko Haram and Niger Delta militant stories, as they surveyed our premises.

We recall that in 2007, (10 years ago) the EFCC had obtained an interim forfeiture order in respect of some assets of The Sun, attached to a suit against our Publisher, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, for which we have filed an appeal, which is still pending in court.

We also recall that the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu had written a letter personally signed by him dated 23rd of May and received on the 7th of June, asking The Sun management to report to the Commission on 5th of June, detailing our operations in the last 10 years, on account of an interim order of forfeiture under appeal.

As law abiding corporate citizen, our lawyer, Chief Chris Uche SAN, wrote the Commission to intimate the Agency that the issue was pending before the court of Appeal. The receipt of our correspondence was duly acknowledged.

We were therefore shocked that our premises would be invaded by the Commission under whatever guise. This is condemnable and reprehensible. No one, Agency or authority should be above the laws of our country. An abuse of the law is a recipe for chaos.

Magu had in an earlier letter threatened to sue The Sun over a report published by one of our titles, pertaining to a report on investigation of a property allegedly traced to his wife. But up till now, we are yet to receive any court process.

In the light of the above, we strongly view this onslaught against The Sun as a personal vendetta by the leadership of the Commission, and by extension a declaration of war against the media.

In this invasion of our premises, it is crystal clear that what Magu and his Commission are after is not only to intimidate and muzzle us, but a furious attempt to call a dog a bad name in order to hang it.

On the issue of the interim order, which he purportedly based his invasion, Magu knows the matter has been on appeal since 2007 for which hearing comes up this week. But rather than wait for the court process, thecCommission under the leadership of Magu, typically resorted to self help.

We want the general public to take note of this authoritarianism and high handedness, which has been the hallmark of Magu’s leadership of the EFCC.

The other charge of publishing Biafra, Boko Haram and Niger Delta militant stories is very ridiculous, baseless and anti-Press freedom.

We like to state that we are neither an ethnic, political nor religious newspaper, but we are the Voice of the Nation, reflecting all sides, all views and all shades of opinion in line with the ethics of our profession.

We challenge Magu and his Commission to show where The Sun’s stories have been different from other papers in the country.

We call on well-meaning citizens and relevant authorities to restrain Magu and his Commission from taking the laws into their hands.

Senator Kanti Bello is a former Senate Majority Whip, who represented Katsina North Senatorial District on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before joining the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), one of the legacies parties that formed the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Proffering solutions to the burning issue of corruption in Nigeria, among others, will dominate the 12th annual Ramadan symposium of the Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN) Abuja chapter on Saturday June 3.

The war of words between the Executive and Legislature seems to have been re-ignited after Senate President, Bukola Saraki on Monday threw a shade at President Muhammadu Buhari’s approach to fighting corruption.

About N17billion have been recovered so far following the introduction of the whistle-blower policy by the federal government, Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, said on Thursday.

Mr Ibrahim Magu, the Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says the commission will soon launch its anti-corruption programme in universities across the country.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday met with the heads of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Department of State Security (DSS), the Nigeria Police Force and other security chiefs in his office at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

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