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Daily Archives: August 8, 2019

The Sun appoints new Managing Director

The Board of Directors, The Sun Publishing Limited, has approved the appointment of Mr Onuoha Ukeh as new Managing Director.

Ukek, currently the Editor, Daily Sun, takes over from Mr Eric Osagie, whose letter of resignation coincided with the expiration of his four year tenure as Managing Director/Editor-in-chief, and nine years in the Executive Directorate of the company.

The board also approved the appointment of Mr Iheanacho Nwosu, Bureau Chief, Abuja, as the new Editor, Daily.

Other appointments are: Adetutu Folashade-Koyi (Editor, Abuja and the North); Beifoh Osewele (Deputy Editor, News) and Willy Eya, Politics Editor.

The appointments take effect from tomorrow.

The Board thanked Mr Osagie for his immense contributions to the growth of The Sun in the last four years as chief executive officer, and assured him that his place in the history of The Sun’s evolution is assured.

Under Osagie’s tenure, the company witnessed phenomenal growth as salaries and emoluments were promptly paid, even under harsh economic climate.

His tenure also saw to the relocation of the editorial and business departments to a brand new city office in Ikeja, Lagos.

In his letter to the board chairman, Osagie said he was leaving The Sun fulfilled.

According to him, “it is with utmost gratitude to you for the opportunity to serve in the executive management position in the past nine years, four of which was as managing director.

“I am leaving confident the company will continue to wax stronger, growing from strength to strength. Even as I bow out, I want to believe I will continue to be a member of The Sun family. I will continue to contribute my quota to the growth of this exceptional and vibrant brand.”

Buhari orders probe over killing of police officers by soldiers

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Defence Headquarters to investigate the killing of three police officers and a civilian by troops of 93 Battalion, Takum, Taraba.

The Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar, disclosed this when he briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting of the National Security Council, presided by President Buhari at the State House, Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Army and Police authorities had on Wednesday constituted a Joint Investigation Panel to investigate the incident.

Sagir Musa, Acting Director of Army Public Relations, in a statement on Wednesday, said the panel would be headed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Criminal Investigation Department, Mike Ogbizi.

Mr Musa said the panel would jointly investigate and report on the true circumstances surrounding the unfortunate incident in order to avert future occurrences.

Mr Abubakar said the council also evaluated the current internal security strategy across the country.

According to him, the council expressed satisfaction with the current efforts aimed at restoring law and order in the country.

“We are making substantial progress in all the areas of conflicts,’’ he said.

On the issue of using technology and drones to fight crimes as earlier pledged to the south-west leaders by the President, Mr Abubakar said technology would continue to play a very critical role in resolving security challenges in the country.

“All the services are using one technology or the other in order to ensure that our country is secured.

“So, security will continue to play a role and we are also looking at other areas of technology that are not currently in use to ensure that we put together all that is required to ensure the security of Nigeria and Nigerians,’’ he added.

The chief of air staff also reassured Nigerians that the armed forces of Nigeria and other security agencies would continue to work to ensure the security of Nigerians and to also ensure that no individual or group of individuals undermine the territorial integrity of country.

NAN reports that the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, had earlier issued a statement that the Police Operatives, led by Felix Adolije of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) reportedly came under sudden attack by soldiers along Ibi–Jalingo Road.

Mr Mba said the operatives, who were taking an arrested suspect, Alhaji Hamisu, to the Command Headquarters in Jalingo, were shot by the soldiers in spite of sufficient proof that they were police personnel on legitimate duty.

He said three policemen comprising one Inspector and two Sergeants and one civilian died as a result of gunshot injuries sustained in the attack while others sustained serious gunshot wounds.

According to him, the soldiers thereafter released the handcuffed suspect, Alhaji Hamisu, who is now on the run. (NAN)

Court remands Iwu, ex-INEC chair, over ‘N1.2bn fraud’

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, on Thursday, remanded Prof Maurice Iwu, former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in custody over allegations of fraud.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned Iwu before the court on four count charges bothering on N1.23 billion fraud.

The anti-graft agency is accusing the former INEC chairman of playing a part in the concealing of the N1.23 billion public funds between December 2014 and March 2015.

The money is believed to be part of the N23.29 billion public funds allegedly diverted and shared by Diezani Allison-Madueke, former minister of petroleum resources.

The EFCC said this was “to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential elections.”

The commission said the “loot” was domiciled in the United Bank of Africa (UBA) account of Bioresources Institute of Nigeria Limited.

The ex-INEC chairman, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Chuka Obiozor, the presiding judge, remanded him in the custody of the anti-graft agency. He then adjourned till Friday to rule on a bail application filed by Iwu.

Other INEC officials said to have been fingered in the alleged fraud are also being prosecuted.

Police disclose identities of the officers shot dead by soldiers

The police have released the names and photographs of the three officers shot dead by soldiers in Taraba state.

Frank Mba, force spokesman, had announced the unfortunate incident on Wednesday, narrating how some soldiers opened fire on the deceased officers along Ibi-Jalingo road in the state.

The fallen officers are Usman Danzumi, a sergeant; Dahiru Musa, a sergeant; and Mark Ediale, an inspector.

Mba said the operatives were in Taraba to arrest one suspect simply identified as Hamisu. He said the suspect had been “indicted in a series of high-profile kidnap incidents in the state”, adding that the soldiers set the suspect free after attacking the policemen.

The army authorities later said the soldiers thought the policemen were kidnappers.

In a tweet on Thursday, the police released the identities of the men who died in the line of duty.

The picture was accompanied with the message: “Where is Espirt De Corps”.

Espirt De Corps is a feeling of mutual loyalty shared among security operatives.


901 people are talking about this

Bayelsa guber poll: Cross River REC resigns, joins APC

Frankland Briyai, resident electoral commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Cross River, has resigned his appointment to contest the November 16 gubernatorial election in Bayelsa state.

Briyai, a native of Bayelsa, had announced in June that he might contest in the election due to “pressure” from his people.

Briyai announced his resignation and made his intentions known on Thursday while addressing journalists at the INEC headquarters in Calabar, Cross River capital.

He disclosed that he would be contesting the election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“On Saturday, the 21st of July, 2019, a mammoth crowd of Bayelsans held a peaceful rally in Yenagoa, calling my humble self to contest the November 16, 2019 gubernatorial election,” Briyai said.

“I was called upon by my people; my people believe in my ability and capacity to lead. They are impressed and also believe that I have what it takes to take Bayelsa and its people to a higher ground and next level.

“They understand that I can bring back the lost glory of the state; I have to answer the clarion call by resigning today the 8th of August so that I can formerly go back to Bayelsa and register as a party member.

“I am progressive. I believe in being pragmatic and proactive and I want to contest for the governorship position under APC in Bayelsa state. The people of Bayelsa are more interested in the integrity and character of the person. My people have grown and they are now after men with credibility, with capacity.

“All politicians are not dirty; there are still many honest person involved in politics. We have a master plan that will ensure that all graduates who are from Bayelsa become gainfully employed.

“Youth restiveness will become a thing of the past; we will take young people off the streets. We have plans for agriculture, ICT and other skill and profession and a lot more. We urge the youths to eschew violence and thuggery. But when you eliminate idleness, restiveness will automatically stop.”

The development comes six days after Attahiru Jega, former INEC chairman, announced that he had joined the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).

Kogi APC suspends Yahaya Bello’s deputy

The Kogi state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has suspended Simon Achuba, deputy governor of the state.

This comes 24 hours after the state house of assembly commenced impeachment proceedings against Achuba who has been having a long running battle with Yahaya Bello, the governor.

Achuba had alleged that he is being owed over N800 million in salaries and allowances as a result of directives from the governor.

He also said Bello was after his life. The governor had denied all the allegations.

Abdullahi Bello, chairman of the APC in the state, told reporters on Thursday that Achuba was suspended over alleged anti-party activities before, during and after the 2019 general election.

He described some of the actions of the deputy governor as embarrassing to the “APC family in Kogi state”.

He said a committee set up to probe the actions of Achuba indicted the deputy governor and also recommended his suspension.

“As we are all aware, the All Progressives Congress does not condone acts of indiscipline, indiscretion and anti-party activities from any party member, no matter how highly placed,” he said.

“His series of reckless, damaging and unsubstantiated allegations against government of Kogi state was an action that constitute a serious violation of Article 21A(ii), (v) and (vii) of the APC constitution, amount, amounting to acts of disloyalty and embarrassment to the party.”

Bello added that the decision of the state working committee will be communicated to the national working committee of the ruling party.

AMCON debtors in trouble as Buhari signs new law

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed a new law which empowers the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to put the bank accounts of its debtors under supervision.

On July 31, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo set up a task force with a mandate to devise a strategy to recover the N5 trillion owed to the corporation.

The agencies tasked to go after the debtors are the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the ministry of justice.

Muiz Banire, AMCON’s chairman, had said 20 individuals and companies owe 67 percent of the N5 trillion debt.

Ita Enang, aide of the president on national assembly matters, said the signed law – AMCON (amendment) Act, 2019, empowers the corporation to access the financial details of any of its debtors.

He said the law mandates AMCON to: “Obtain access to any computer system component, electronic or mechanical device of any debtor with a view to establishing the location of funds belonging to the debtor, and to obtain information in respect of any private account together with all bank financial and commercial records of any debtor of any eligible financial institution, banking secrecy, and the protection of customer confidentiality is not a ground for the denial of the power of the corporation under this section.’’

“It makes it mandatory for AMCON to, despite the convention of confidentiality of banking, business and contracting relations to furnish the federal government, ministries, departments and agencies with a list of recalcitrant debtors and then impose an obligation to seek clearance on the federal government, ministries, departments and agencies when the federal government, any ministry, department or agency proposes to contract with, or pay, debtors on the list furnished by the corporation.’’

According to Enang, it also stipulates that “All money standing to the credits of the corporation in any bank account is deemed to be in the custody and control of the corporation. Where any proceeding is pending in any court of competent jurisdiction by or any the corporation, the grant of any interim, interlocutory or preservative order of attachment against the corporation’s funds in any bank is prohibited.

“The corporation may require any eligible financial institution from which it has acquired an eligible bank asset or any director, manager or officer of such eligible financial institution to furnish information and produce documents, books, accounts and records in relation to any eligible bank asset acquired by the corporation from such eligible financial institution or in relation to the borrower or other obligator connected with such eligible bank asset.’’

He also said the law makes for a part-time chairman who ‘’shall be a deputy governor in the Central Bank of Nigeria to be nominated by the Central Bank of Nigeria’’.

Court grants DSS permission to detain Sowore for 45 days

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday granted permission to detain the publisher of SaharaReporters and convener of RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore, for 45 days.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo, ruling on an ex parte application by the Department of State Services, whose operatives arrested Sowore last Saturday, held that the detention order would be renewable after the expiration of the first 45 days on September 21.

The DSS had on Tuesday applied for permission to keep Sowore for 90 days to investigate him over his call for revolution ahead of the RevolutionNow protests which held in some parts of the country on Monday.

The security agency anchored its application on the provision of section 27(1) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Amendment Act.

Ruling on ex parte application, a one-sided request by the DSS without counter-argument by Sowore’s legal team, Justice Taiwo, said he had to grant the application, “only to the extent” of allowing the security agency to keep the respondent in custody for only 45 days for the applicant to conclude its investigation.”

He said, although the hearing of the application was one-sided as provided by 27(1) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Amendment Act, the use of the word, “may”, in the provision “is directory” and not “discretionary”.

He said he would, therefore, be failing in his duty not to grant the request for a detention order.

He also said should the applicant require more time to conclude its investigation after the expiration of the first 45 days, it had the liberty to apply for its renewal.

Zenith Bank introduces free banking for senior citizens


Zenith Bank Plc has introduced the Zenith Timeless Account, which allows Nigerians aged 55years and above to enjoy free financial services.

According to a statement by the lender, Zenith Timeless Account is a product offering targeted at senior citizens (aged 55 years and above), pensioners, potential and existing retirees, that allows them bank for free and conduct banking transactions with ease.

Holders of the Zenith Timeless Account enjoys interest on Savings Account and are not required to pay maintenance, debit card, cheque book, or SMS notification fees. They also enjoy priority treatment at all Zenith Bank branches nationwide, and have access to a wide range of travel and holiday offers on tickets., it said.

The bank advised customers who have an old savings or current account and are above 55 years old to quickly reactivate the account and begin to enjoy all the benefits of the Zenith Timeless Account.

This could be done via the bank’s website, www.zenithbank.com , or at any of its branches.

Russian president, Putin’s 20-year stint upstaged by long-serving leaders

Vladimir Putin has held power for 20 years but he is still well behind the record terms of Cuba’s late Fidel Castro and North Korea’s founder Kim Il Sung.

He is also far from achieving the lengthy stints of many living leaders, with Equatorial Guinea’s Teodoro Obiang Nguema the longest-serving president at 40 years.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning monarch at 67 years.

Putin first came to power as prime minister of Russia in 1999, being elected president the following year.

In 2008, after two presidential terms, he handed the role to Dmitry Medvedev and stepped back to become prime minister again.

He returned to the Kremlin in 2012, triumphing at the polls in 2018 for a fourth term as president.

To mark his 20 years in office, here are other world leaders who have managed to stay at the top for more than two decades.

Leading the pack is Cuba’s revolutionary hero Fidel Castro, with 49 years in power. When he handed over in 2008, ill and aged in his early 80s, it was to his brother Raul.

Taiwan’s first president Chiang Kai-shek was in charge on the island and in mainland China for a total of 47 years until his death in 1975.

North Korea’s founder Kim Il Sung ran the reclusive state for 46 years before dying in office in 1994, remaining revered as the “eternal leader”.

Moamer Kadhafi ruled Libya with an iron fist for almost 42 years but was ousted and then slaughtered in 2011 at the height of the Arab Spring uprisings.

Omar Bongo Ondimba governed oil-rich Gabon for more than 41 years until his death from cancer in 2009.

Albania’s communist dictator Enver Hoxha was in power for 40 years until he died in 1985.

Equatorial Guinea’s Obiang became the world’s longest-serving living leader on August 3, 2019, having siezed power in a 1979 coup.

Monarchs aside, others still adding up their time in the top job are:

– Cameroon’s President Paul Biya who has already ruled for 37 years

– Congo-Brazzaville’s Denis Sassou Nguesso now at 35 years, excluding a five-year pause after he lost a 1992 election

– Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, 34 years

– Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, 33 years

– Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has been supreme leader since the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989

– Chad’s Idriss Deby Itno, 28 years

– Tajikistan’s Emomali Rakhmon, 27 years

– Eritrea’s Isaias Afwerki, 26 years

– Belarussian Alexander Lukashenko, 25 years

– Djibouti’s Ismail Omar Guelleh, 20 years

– Gabon’s Ali Bongo will have been in power for 20 years in October 2019.

Arsenal reject Everton’s £30m bid for Alex Iwob

Everton have submitted a £30m bid to sign Arsenal winger Alex Iwobi, according to reports.

Marco Silva’s side had prioritised a move for Wilfried Zaha, but Crystal Palace are demanding £100m for their star player.

Palace had received an offer from Everton of £70m plus James McCarthy and a season-long loan deal for Cenk Tosun, but that was rejected.

Everton are now seeking alternatives and Metro UK claims that Iwobi has been targeted by the Toffees.

The report claims that Arsenal have been offered £25m upfront with a further £5m in add-ons.

But Everton’s bid has been rejected by Arsenal.

I’ll be more party conscious in this final term, says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday assured members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of All Progressives Congress (APC) that he would be more conscious of the interests of the party in taking key decisions.

Receiving members of the NWC of the APC at the State House in Abuja, President Buhari pledged to uphold party supremacy and commended the National Chairman , Adams Oshiomhole, and other members for their sacrifices and overall success in the last general elections in the country.

“It is obvious that the success of the party was more paramount in your hearts. You could have deployed the times and energy you deployed for the party for your own personal use.

“I respect the sacrifices you are making; you can only derive satisfaction if you are working for your country and all our people because, materially, nobody can pay you for the sacrifices,” the President said.

President Buhari used the occasion to appeal to NWC members to abide by the constitution of the party, adding: “It is not enough to just criticise certain decisions of the party without first understanding what the constitution says.”

The President assured the NWC that competent members with the requisite experience will be invited to contribute their quota to nation-building as heads and chairmen of boards of governmental parastatals and agencies.

Earlier, Oshiomhole while congratulating the President on the electoral victory, noted that the NWC was meeting with him exclusively for the first time after the elections.

The party chairman acknowledged that, while it was regrettable that the party lost some states, the greatest victory of the APC was in Kwara and Gombe states.

“In Kwara, we uprooted the ruling dynasty and inaugurated absolutely loyal and totally committed APC men at the helm of affairs,’’ he said.

Commending the unique leadership style of the President, Oshiomhole thanked President Buhari for his unflinching support that ensured the success of the party in holding the principal offices of the 9th National Assembly.

BA cancels flight to Lagos over IT glitch

British Airways, on Wednesday, cancelled and delayed a total of 127 flights out of Gatwick and Heathrow airports in London after its systems suffered a partial crash.

It is estimated that a total of 117 flights connected to Heathrow Aiport in London were cancelled while 10 flights connected to Gatwick Airport were also affected.

Flights scheduled to depart Heathrow Airport for Lagos have been delayed overnight with arrival delayed while departure for a flight to Abuja was delayed with arrival still on time.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the airline said it was experiencing a systems issue that affected check-in and flight departures from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City affected.

British Airways
British Airways

It, however, said it was not a global IT outage adding that it used manual systems to cope with the issues.

“We are working as quickly as possible to resolve a systems issue which has resulted in some short-haul cancellations and delays from London airports,” it said.

“A number of flights continue to operate but we are advising customers to check ba.com for the latest flight information before coming to the airport.

“We are offering customers booked on short-haul services departing from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City today, the opportunity to rebook to another day.

“We are encouraging customers to check ba.com for the latest flight information, and to allow additional time at the airport.”

Flights into Heathrow from Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Nashville, and Miami were reported to have been the worst hit.

Sowore shouldn’t have contested if he wanted revolution – Oshiomhole

Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, has broken his silence on the call for revolution which led to the arrest of Omoyele Sowore.

Sowore, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) during the elections, was on Saturday arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) for spearheading a nationwide protest which the authorities have described as treasonable.

Speaking with journalists after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, Oshiomhole said Sowore should not have contested in the last presidential election if he wanted revolution,

He said he is a believer in the rights to protest but not a revolution to overthrow an elected government.

“What was the reason for protest? Let’s be honest. I have led series of protests, even to this villa. Whoever wants to protest should articulate the particulars of his grievances and make specific demands about the solutions that he wants,” he said.

“So what exactly as far as you know as members of the fourth estate of the realm, that Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters, a presidential candidate, cleared by INEC to bid for power, who had the opportunity to ask Nigerians to vote for him. Now Nigerians have voted, the votes have been counted and he was not a favoured candidate, what does he want now? That Nigerians must make him the president?

“Because we all have to be careful, nobody should talk as if we have another country. We have challenges but somehow we have all resolved as a people that the way and route to power in the ballot box. Our task as a people is to continue to work to clean up the system so that only Nigerians alone shall determine who governs them at all levels. That I believe is a legitimate thing to fight for. But if you want to overthrow, you want a revolution then he should have spared us the INEC putting him on the ballot paper.

“I don’t want to talk about this but I believe Nigerians have a right to protest, I believe people have a right to contest issues, people have the right to disagree. I have often said government doesn’t have the right to dictate to people how to protest, but you must state exactly what you want. I ask you to name any country in the world where somebody stands up and say after the election that I contested and lost, now, therefore, I want revolution.”

The chairman of the ruling party said as a former leader of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), he was also involved in organising protests against the government, and their purpose was to defeat a set of anti-people policies and not to remove the president from office.

He said there is a difference between the type of protest he partook in and the one planned by Sowore.

“So you can go and contest election and when you lose you say you want to do revolution. It is not about this president, it is not about APC, it is recognising that we have challenges. Are we prepared to allow non-democratic means to effect a change?” he added.

On Tuesday, the DSS sought a court order to detain Sowore for 90 days “in order to carry out an investigation” on him.

Court sacks rep appointed minister by Buhari

The Court iof Appeal sitting in Abuja has sacked Emeka Nwajiuba, lawmaker representing Ehime Mbano/Obowo/Ihitte Uboma federal constituency of Imo state in the house of representatives.

Nwajiuba is one of the 43 ministerial nominees of President Muhammadu Buhari. Like others, he was screened and cleared by the senate.

He was a member of the lower legislative chamber of the national assembly when Buhari named him a minister.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had earlier declared Chike Okafor of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the election in the constituency but Nwajiuba had challenged the victory of Okafor.

Bello Kawu, judge of a high court in Abuja, nullified the result of the election and declared Nwajiuba, former member of the Accord Party, winner of the election.

But in a unanimous judgment on Wednesday, the appellant court set aside the April 29 order made by Kawu.

The three-man panel of the appellate court led by Adamu Jauro, equally set aside the May 10, ruling of the trial court and the entire proceedings in suit No. FCT/HC/CV/423/2018.

Jauro allowed the appeals filed by Okafor and the APC for being meritorious.

The appellate court granted the appeal and declared Okafor winner of the election.

Meanwhile, Nwajiuba is now a member of the APC. He defected from Accord party barely 24 hours after he was announced a ministerial nominee.

EFCC to arraign ex-INEC chair Iwu over N1.2bn scam

A former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof. Maurice Iwu is to face trial for alleged laundering of N1.2billion.

Iwu, who has been interrogated by the EFCC, was said to have been involved in the N23.29 billion poll bribery scandal which characterized the 2015 poll.

Although charges have been filed against Iwu, it was unclear last night when the ex-INEC chairman will be formally arraigned.

A source said: “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is set to arraign a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Maurice Iwu.

“Iwu will be arraigned at a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos on a four-count charge bordering on money laundering.

“Iwu is alleged to have between December 2014 and March 2015, aided the concealment of the sum of N1, 203,000,000 (One Billion, Two Hundred and Three Million Naira)

“The said sum was in the bank account of Bioresources Institute of Nigeria Limited domiciled in the United Bank for Africa, UBA Plc.

A reliable source, who gave insights into the investigation of Iwu, said: “The cash in question was about the poll bribery scandal in 2015.

“Iwu has been implicated in the N23.29billion poll bribery scam perpetrated by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

“He was accused of allegedly using an NGO, West African Network of Electoral Observers, in the facilitation of bribery to top officials of the electoral commission. We have been on this case since 2016.

“We gave Iwu enough time to appear before us for interrogation. After series of quizzing and thorough perusal of relevant documents, we are set for his trial.”

The Acting Head of Media and Publicity of EFCC, Tony Orilade, said: “We will soon arraign the ex-INEC chairman,” but he was not forthcoming on the details.

The EFCC has been investigating the bribery scandal which was allegedly facilitated by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.

About four oil firms, some directors of some oil companies, two banks and some politicians more than 283 staff of INEC are under probe.

Also, about 205 staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are on trial in connection with the biggest electoral fraud in the country.

Many of the indicted INEC staff and politicians have owned up and refunded huge sums of money to the EFCC.

More than N3.4billion in cash has been recovered apart from choice assets seized by the anti-graft agency.

Some choice assets belonging to the affected staff have been placed under Interim Asset Forfeiture until the determination of cases against them.

Apart from the EFCC’s findings, INEC’s panel, headed by a National Commissioner, Baba Arfo Shettima made shocking discoveries as follows:

• An NGO, West African Network of Electoral Observers, was used to share the bribe to INEC

• A former chairman of INEC (names withheld) coordinated the large-scale bribery scandal.

• Many former Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) and retired Administrative Secretaries were used to penetrate INEC in all the 36 states for the bribery to alter poll results

• Some serving RECs and directors benefitted from the bribery scandal as confirmed by EFCC’s investigations

• A REC collected between N107million and N140million bribe

• While some RECs and INEC staff collected as much as over N100m, others were given as low as N150, 000 to compromise the electoral system.