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)

Strong indications emerged on Wednesday that a consortium of 13 banks, involved in Etisalat Nigeria’s 1.2 billion dollars loan is seeking the Federal Government’s intervention to investigate the management.

A management source close to the banks told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Lagos that the banks want the government, through the EFCC, to wade into the matter, by investigating what the company did with the loan.

The source alleged that the loans were siphoned and needed to be investigated by the EFCC, noting, there was no proof of what the company did with the loan.

He said that the affected banks had rolled out a lot of viable options to Etisalat for the loan to be restructured, but was rejected by the company.

The source said that the banks were not into telecommunications and had no intention of running Etisalat.

“All we want is to recover the loans; we cannot write off the loans as being demanded by Etisalat, because the company is viable,” the source stated.

The source said that Etisalat wanted the banks to write off the loan as non-performing, which was rejected because the company was doing well.

According to the source, the company wants injection of new capital, and this has been suggested to the majority shareholder.

The source said the government should investigate the matter with all seriousness, to dig out the truth.

NAN reports that UAE’s Etisalat on June 20 said that it had been instructed to transfer its 45 per cent stake in Etisalat Nigeria to a loan trustee.

Etisalat said it had been notified to transfer its stake by June 23. It said the stake had a carrying value of zero on its books.

NAN reports that in the last three months, Etisalat Nigeria had been in talks with the consortium of banks, to restructure a $1.2 billion loan, after missing repayments.

The loan is a seven-year facility, agreed with 13 banks in 2013, to refinance a 650 million dollar-loan, and fund expansion of the telecommunications network.

Although the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), stepped into the fray to prevent a takeover by the banks, those discussions failed to produce an agreement on restructuring the debt.

(NAN)

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has reportedly arrested a director of administration at the Police Service Commission (PSC), Emmanuel Ibe.

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday further adjourned till July 14, to deliver judgment in a fundamental rights suit filed by Government Ekpemulopo, alias Tompolo.

Tompolo, who had been declared wanted since February 12, 2016 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is seeking court’s protection against prosecution over an alleged N45.9 billion fraud.

Joined as respondents are the Inspector-General of Police, Chief of Army Staff, EFCC, Chief of Naval Staff and Chief of Air Staff.

The case earlier slated for judgment on Monday was re-slated for July 14, following the absence of the trial judge, Mojisola Olatoregun, who is said to be attending a workshop.

At the last sitting, the counsel representing the applicant and respondents had adopted their processes before the court.

Adopting his originating processes, the counsel to the first and second respondents, T. A. Mofolu, had argued that the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act provides for speedy criminal trials.

According to him, the law provides that an accused has a right of appeal where he is not at satisfied with the decision of a court.

He said in this case the respondent was aware of an appeal filed by the applicant.

Mr. Mofolu had also objected to the attachment of a newspaper publication in the applicant’s further affidavit dated June 16, 2016, on the grounds that such piece of evidence was secondary and ought to be certified at the National Library.

He had therefore urged the court to dismiss the application for lack of merit.

The counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, had submitted that the applicant in question is a “fugitive” in law and should not be allowed to seek redress from the court until he submits himself for trial.

He argued that given the materials placed before the court, it was clear that the applicant was in clear contempt of the order of a brother judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba.

The counsel said that Buba had earlier compelled Tompolo’s attendance in court to answer charges preferred against him.

Mr. Oyedepo described the application as an abuse of court process, saying “it is trite that a party who is in contempt of court cannot seek redress” and urged the court to throw out the application for lack of merit.

He said that in his originating processes, the applicant had “ridiculously and in contradiction of his claims” annexed a copy of his notice of appeal signed personally by him.

“If the applicant feigns ignorance of the charge, how then was he able to brief his counsel on the charge for an appeal to be filed.

“The issue leading to the criminal charge against the applicant borders on fraud, in which billions of naira was lost by the Federal government.”

He had therefore urged the court to dismiss the application and award “heavy” costs against the applicant for abusing the court’s time.

In response to the arguments of the respondent’s counsel, Tompolo’s lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, said the application was brought in pursuant to the provisions of the African Charter of Human rights, the 1999 Constitution, as well as the inherent jurisdiction of the court.

He had argued that in criminal law, service of a charge was personal and could not be presumed, adding that there was no evidence before the court showing that exhibit A (charge) was served on the applicant.

On the issue of contempt, Mr. Adegboruwa submitted that the applicant could not be cited for contempt, adding that since the beginning of the proceedings, the applicant had not breached any court order.

He insisted that it was the constitutional right of the applicant to apply to court for the enforcement of his rights and urged the court to uphold it.

After listening to the submissions of counsel, Justice Olatoregun had adjourned for judgment.

The EFCC had filed a 40-count charge against Tompolo and nine others before Justice Ibrahim Buba of the same court.

Following the absence of Tompolo in court since the arraignment of his fellow accused, Justice Buba had issued a bench warrant for his arrest and production in court.

The court had also on February 19, 2014, ordered a forfeiture of property belonging to Tompolo after an application was moved to that effect by the EFCC.

Justice Buba had held that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 empowers the court to seize properties of an accused who refused to face trial.

The court recalled that though Tompolo refused to appear in court, he briefed his lawyers and through them sought to vacate the order for his arrest.

Consequently, he ordered forfeiture of properties belonging to Tompolo pending when he appears in court.

Properties affected by the forfeiture order included a River Crew Change Boat named MUHA – 15, the property known as “Tompolo Dockyard”, and the property known as “Tompolo Yard” in Warri.

Others are the Diving School at Kurutie at Escravos River, the property known as “Tompolo House” at Oporaza Town, and any other property discovered by the EFCC moveable and immovable.

Meanwhile, Tompolo is seeking an order restraining the respondents from further proceeding with the charges slammed on him.

Tompolo contends that Sections 221 and 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 which prohibit him from seeking a stay of proceedings in his trial infringed on his constitutional rights to fair hearing.

Tompolo also wants the court not to only nullify Sections 221 and 306 of the ACJA but to also restrain the respondents from invoking the sections of the law against him.

He insists that Sections 221 and 306 were in conflict with Section 36 of the Constitution which guarantees his right to fair hearing.

(NAN)


*Says He Is Not Governed By Money-

The Minister of Transportation, Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has revealed how he rejected N1bn bribe from a contractor while he was governor of Rivers State. 

Suspended House of Representatives member, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has debunked reports that he has been expelled from his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The suspended former Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumuni Jibrin, has been invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Mr. Jibrin’s invitation is based on his allegations on budget padding against the leadership of the House and to answer questions concerning money looted through padding in the 2016 budget.

The EFCC’s letter of invitation to Mr. Jibrin dated June 9 was signed by the acting Head of Extractive Industry Grid Section, Michael Wetkas.

It said: “The commission has commenced investigation into the petition of corrupt practices and abuses of office reported on 1st August, 2016, by Hammart and Co. (Tafida Chambers) on your behalf against Hon. Yakubu Dogara, Hon. Yussuf Lasun, Hon. Alhassan Doguwa, Hon. Leonard Ogor and others.

“In furtherance of the investigation and due to unfolding findings, it has become imperative to request that you attend another interview with the team.

“Through Ibrahim Ahmed on 13th June 2017 at the 3rd floor Block A, No.5 Fomelu street, off Adetokumbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja, at 10 a.m. to clarify some issues to enable us conclude investigation”.

Mr. Jibrin in a statement on Monday in Abuja confirmed receipt of the letter.

He said: “Today, I received invitation from the EFCC for another interview to clarify some issues to enable the commission conclude investigation on my petition against some principal officers of the House on 2016 budget fraud, corruption and abuse of office.

“This is a welcome development as it is coming at a time that many Nigerians have lost hope that the outcome of my petition will not see the light of the day.

“I have severally maintained that I have full confidence in the EFCC under the chairmanship of Ibrahim Magu.

“I am also aware that the EFCC have been investigating the petition I submitted and far reaching discoveries were made.

“It is also noteworthy that this invitation is coming at a time that some revelations were made last week.

“The revelations with details of how the Minority Leader of the House, Leo Ogor, used his company where he is the signatory to the accounts to execute constituency project contracts completely against the laws of our land.

“It is however worrisome that in his response, Ogor admitted the offence and even boosted that there is nothing wrong in what he did as quoted by The Nation newspaper.

“Let me state emphatically clear that any Member or Senator who used his company or companies with links to him to execute constituency project contracts, whether such contracts are executed or not has committed an offence.

“Either way you look at it, he can be prosecuted on charges of corruption or abuse of office.

“The case of Leo Ogor is same or even worse than that of Babachir Lawal, yet the entire National Assembly has maintained an embarrassing silence.

“Is my boss, Senate President and Chairman of National Assembly, Sen. Bukola Saraki aware of this?

“In due course, I will expose a lot of other issues in the 2017 budget that will shock Nigerians whether the authority decides to act on it or not.”

(NAN)

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, explained why it invaded the headquarters of The Sun Newspaper in Lagos.

The Sun Management had revealed that armed operatives of the anti-graft agency, in the early hours of Monday, arrived at its head office saying they had “orders from above” to seal up the premises.

The newspaper had further stated that the EFCC had ordered its security personnel to take them round the company premises at gunpoint.

According to it, the agency subjected its staff to crude intimidation, psychological and emotional trauma.

“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.

“For one grueling hour, EFCC operatives subjected our staff to crude intimidation, psychological and emotional trauma, even as some of the men accused our organization of publishing pro-Biafra, Boko Haram and Niger Delta militant stories, as they surveyed our premises,” read the statement issued by The Sun management.

But the EFCC in its response said that its invasion of the Newspaper was part of routine efforts to ascertain the state of the assets of the publishing company which is subject of subsisting interim forfeiture order.

It further said that its officials did not molest staff of the newspaper as claimed, adding that its action was without prejudice to any appeal and only meant to verify the integrity of the assets.

“The Commission still awaits the response of the Sun and will not be distracted by any attempt to whip up sentiments by alluding to an appeal which has been pending for ten years,” Wilson Uwujaren, the commission’s spokesperson said.

“Contrary to claims in a statement released to the media by the mPro-Biafra

anagement of the Sun, no staff of the media outfit was molested or intimidated for the few minutes that operatives of the Commission spent in the premises of the company.

“The claim that ‘EFCC operatives subjected our staff to crude intimidation, psychological and emotional trauma, even as some of the men accused our organization of publishing pro-Biafra, Boko Haram , and Niger Delta Militant stories,’ is strange and clearly the figment of the imagination of the Sun.

“There was no reason to molest anybody as the commission has always related professionally with the publishing outfit.”

Mr. Uwujaren said the attempt to link their visit to Mr. Magu’s threat to sue the organisation over a libelous publication was diversionary.

“Magu is pursuing that option in his private capacity and his lawyer, Wahab Shittu, did write the Sun and his letter was widely published in the media on March 31, 2017.”

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.”

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