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Monthly Archives: January 2019

Court orders forfeiture of N1.04bn abandoned by Jonathan family in Fidelity Bank

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has secured an interim forfeiture of the sum of fromN1,000,494,000 (One Billion, Four Hundred and Ninety Four Thousand Naira) only. The order was granted by Justice Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court sitting in Kano.

According to an EFCC statement on Thursday, the forfeiture was as a result of a motion exparte filed by the Commission seeking for the interim forfeiture of the sum of N1,000,494,000 (One Billion Four and Ninety Four Thousand Naira) only found hidden away in the bank account of MAGEL RESORT LIMITED, a company linked to the former first lady of Nigeria, Patience Jonathan.

The EFCC received an intelligence alleging that a bank account domiciled in Fidelity Bank, was said to have stored huge sum of money that is not being used by anybody.

Upon receipt of the intelligence, the Commission swung into action by conducting preliminary investigation which revealed that the former first lady and some relatives of the former President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan are Directors of the Company.

Others named as directors of the company are Oba Oba Tamunotonye, Goodluck Jonathan Aruera, Goodluck Jonathan Ariwabai and Esther Fynface.

While tracing the origin of the money, it was discovered that N500, 000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) was deposited on the 20th May, 2015 by Esther Fynface, who is alleged to be in charge of the company while N1,000,000,000 (One Billion Naira) only was transferred in two tranches on the 25th May, 2015 from PAGMAT OIL AND GAS NIGERIA LIMITED a company that is not incorporated with the Corporate Affairs Commission.

The court order reads that: “An interim forfeiture order is granted to the Federal Government in the sum of N1,000,494,000 (One Billion, Four Hundred and Ninety Four Thousand Naira) only in the Bank account of the 1st respondent MAGEL RESORT LIMITED 4011019546 which is maintained with 2nd respondent Fidelity Bank Plc”.

The court further ordered that the forfeited sum be deposited in the Treasury Single Account of the Federal Government.

 

Amaechi challenges Peter Obi to public debate … says he lied about Jonathan’s regime

Rotimi Amaechi, the director general of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCPCO), has challenged Peter Obi, vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to a public debate.

Speaking in Kano on Thursday, Amaechi said Peter Obi lied about infrastructure and transportation, while fielding questions from Kadaria Ahmed on the presidential town hall-style debate.

“I need to address some important issues, I’m addressing Nigerians, not just Kano indigenes; I speak today as a Catholic Christian. I speak with responsibility as a former governor of Rivers state, and former chairman of the governors’ forum.

“I have told my friend and my former deputy, his excellency Peter Obi, that the moment you climb the post of governor, you must deal with facts and figures, you must not lie to the people lead.”

Amaechi said Peter Obi lied by saying that former president Goodluck Jonathan had released money for all the rail projects completed by the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

“It is not correct from what my friend and former colleague said that the former government of president Goodluck Jonathan had paid all the money for the railway, before we came. It is not correct,” Amaechi said.

“If they had paid all the money the contractors would have completed the job, why didn’t they complete it in their regime? We are looking for $500 million to complete all the airports, it is not correct that they had finished payment for the Abuja-Kaduna rail.

“As a former governor and a vice-presidential candidate, we expect that Peter must work with figures, he could have come to my office and ask for those figures, we would have given to him.

“He is also not correct that the Lagos-Ibadan was also there. We had to borrow money to fix the Lagos-Ibadan, there is a need for them not to deceive Nigerians. That project was initiated by us, paid for through the loan we got from China Exim bank.

“So the statement yesterday by my friend, governor Peter Obi is not correct, and if he wants it, I am ready to open a debate with him, with facts and figures and documents to show that he is not correct.

“I am open for a debate tomorrow morning; anytime any day. I am open for a debate on Sunday, he and I are Catholics, in the church, let him tell me where he’ll worship, I’d worship there, and let us open the debate on whether he is right or wrong.”

He said it important to tell Nigerians the truth, and not distort reality.

CCT fixes February 4 for continuation of Onnoghen’s trial

The Code of Conduct Tribunal has fixed Monday for the continuation of the non-assets declaration trial against Walter Onnoghen, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).

Ibraheem Al-Hassan, spokesman of the tribunal, disclosed this in a statement issued on Thursday.

Al-Hassan said this was as a result of the appeal court ruling on the matter. Onnoghen had lost in his bid to make the appellate court halt his trial.

The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) which filed a six-count charge against the suspended CJN had asked the court to grant its prayer for the trial to continue and the court did.

“Following Court of Appeal ruling yesterday on the trial against Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Onnoghen Nkanu Walter, on alleged non declaration of asset before Code of Conduct Tribunal is hereby fixed for Monday, 4th of February, 2019,” he said.

“The decision was reached today sequel to a correspondence from Code of Conduct Bureau, applying for the resumption of trial of the case captioned; Application for resumption of trial of the case of FRN V. Hon. Justice Onnoghen Nkanu Walter Samuel case No: CCT/ABJ/01/19, addressed to Hon. Chairman Code of Conduct Tribunal, dated 30th January, 2019, jointly signed by Musa Ibrahim Usman (Esq) and Fatima Danjuma Ali (Esq).

“However, in the wake of this afternoon, 30th Junuary, 2019 the Court of Appeal has thrown out the appeal.

“Consequently on the above, we urge the Honourable Tribunal to give us a date for resumption of the trial subject to the convenience of the Tribunal, Most obliged my Lord.”

What Onnoghen told CCB on his asset declaration (full text)

Exactly one week ago, President Muhammadu Buhari suspended Walter Onnoghen, chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), over alleged false assets declaration.

In his speech at the occasion where Onnoghen was suspended and Ibrahim Muhammad appointed in acting capacity, Buhari said Onnoghen had admitted that he failed to “follow the spirit and letter of the law” in declaring his assets.

Defending his action which was severely criticised, Buhari said ’’mistake and forgetfulness’’ are totally unknown to the law.

What were the exact words of Onnoghen in response to the query of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), which filed a six-count charge against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT)?

Below is the former CJN’s response which was obtained by TheCable:

DATE: 1st January, 2019

I WALTER S. N. ONNOGHEN of THE SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA hereby voluntarily depose to the statement averred herein knowing that whatever I write or state may be tendered against me as evidence in court. I also volunteer to state that the statement was not taken in evidence from me under duress but after the administering officer has explained and made known the details of the allegations against me.

Rank/Position: CHIEF JUSTICE OF NIGERIA
Date of Birth: 22nd DECEMBER, 1950
Residential Address: CTN DRIVE ASO VILLA, ABUJA
Date of 1st Appointment into Service: 1st OCTOBER, 1989
Date of Substantive Appointment: 7th March, 2017
Category of Appointment: TENURED
Duration of Tenure (if Applicable): FOUR YEARS
Date of Declaration of Assets: 14TH DECEMBER, 2016
Details of Companies/Enterprises: NONE
Bank account Details: STD. CHARTERED 0001062667 AND OTHERS AS PER MY ASSET DECLARATION FORM
No of Children: FOUR
State any other full Time Employment (if any): NIL
Name (s) of Spouse/Date of Birth: MRS NKOYO W. N. ONNOGHEN 11TH JULY, 1957
Name of Children/Date of Birth:

  • ORIMINIWEFA N. ONNOGHEN
  • EWUWUNI N. ONNOGHEN
  • EFA N. ONNOGHEN
  • TITE N. ONNOGHEN

Response to the Allegation(s):
My Asset Declaration for Nos. SCN000014 and SCN.0000 5 were declared on the same day, 14th December, 2016 because I forgot to make a declaration of May, 2005 declaration of my assets after the expiration of my 2005 declaration in 2009. Following my appointment as Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria in November, 2016 the need to declare my asset anew made to realize the mistake and then did the declarations to cover the period in default. I did not include my Standard Chartered Bank Account in SCN. 000014 because I believed they were not opened during the period covered by the declaration. I did not make a fresh declaration of assets after my substantive appointment as CJN because I was under the impression that my SCN. 000015 was to cover the period of four years which include my leave as CJN. The deposits made in my US Dollar account No. 87000106250 with STD. Chartered Bank of $10,000 at different intervals of 28/6/11 were sourced partly from my reserve and saving from my estacodes including medical expenses. The same applies to my deposit of 27/7/11 of the sum of $10,000 twice. It is important to state that prior to my opening the US dollar account I had foreign currency which I kept at home due to the fact that there existed a government policy that proscribed the operation of foreign currency account by Public officers including judicial Officers. It was when I got to know that the policy had changed that I had to open the said account. Upon opening the account, I was made to understand that I cannot pay in more than $10,000 at a time and per payment slip. I cannot remember the total amount I had in reserve at the time but it spread from my practice days as a private legal practitioner from 1979-1989. Some of the deposits are a result of forex trading. AGRICODE and other investment returns were from proceeds of my investments into them. The withdrawals in the account are partly to pay children fees and upkeep abroad and further investments. My British Pound and Euro accounts with Chartered Standard Bank are savings accounts.

WALTER SAMUEL NKANU ONNOGHEN 

I won’t support Buhari or Atiku, says Soyinka

Prof Wole Soyinka, foremost playwright, says he will not support presidential candidates of either of the two major parties.

He said this at an ongoing interactive session in Lagos on Thursday  tagged Citizen Forum 2019.

“It is time for a totally new direction, and when an alternative emerges, we will give the candidate our backing,” he said.

President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are the two leading candidates.

The octogenarian said it is time to change the direction of the country in a positive way.

“For the avoidance of doubt, let me make my position quite clear because I don’t want any ambiguity; I Wole Soyinka will not be voting for either the two so called contesting parties. I find both of them worthy of absolute rejection,” he said.

“For a number of reasons which I will not go into here, I’m not interested in a comparative assessment. My position is simply that it is time for a totally new direction. And obviously, I’m not the only one, as I’m speaking, there is a coalition having its meeting in Lagos from which they hope to produce a consensus candidate.

“There is another group meeting in Abuja, also at the end would send us their consensus candidate. Things have been going on quietly in the background to try and change the direction of this nation in a very positive way, and to make the public understand that they do not have to be enslaved permanently to the old discredited order. It is my sole business in this election.

“I don’t believe in what is called negative vote which means, for me, throwing your vote in a waste basket, I believe instead in a creative vote, not a protest vote, not a negative vote but a creative vote. And a creative vote means that the will to at least sow a seed through your vote that will germinate eventually. The pace of germination is beyond the control of everyone, but it is never too early to make a beginning. It has happened before in other societies. When a dark horse emerges from nowhere and trumps all the political juggernauts caterpillars and so on with their performers, worthless, their capacity for violence and treachery.”

He added that the reason they are yet to arrive at a consensus candidate was because the supposed genuine third force was hijacked.

Oke, ex-NIA DG, jets out of Nigeria ahead of EFCC trial

Ayo Oke, former director-general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), and his wife are no longer in the country, TheCable is reporting.

Oke, who was to be arraigned along with his wife by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday, left the country last week, the paper said citing.

He is said to be in a European country “for medical reasons”.

There are speculations that he may not be around for the arraignment.

In April 2017, EFCC said it had discovered $43 million, £27,000 and N23 million stashed in a flat in Ikoyi after a tip-off from a whistle blower.

Following reports that the monies belonged to the NIA, it was reported that the agency had collected $289,202,382 in cash for special operations from the account of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in February 2015.

NIA said the funds were part of “covert intelligence operations” but there was public outcry that it was a case of looting.

A three-man panel headed by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo indicted Oke and recommended his dismissal, which was effected in October same year.

On January 20, 2019, Osinbajo said criminal allegations would be filed against Oke and Babachir Lawal, former secretary to the government of the federation, following a directive from President Muhammadu Buhari.

Sources in the intelligence community have suggested  that subjecting Oke to open trial might compromise the nation’s security operations.

“Most of the projects financed by NIA from the funds are aimed at gathering intelligence and these things are usually done through cash transactions. Government might have succumbed to public sentiments to treat it as a crime, but there will be dire consequences for the nation’s security operations,” an NIA operative said.

Coca-Cola completes acquisition of Chi Limited

The Cola-Cola Company has completed the acquisition of Chi Limited.

In a statement on Wednesday, Coca-Cola announced that it has extended its minority investment in the company to full ownership.

In 2016, the company acquired a 40% minority stake in Chi in a deal valued at over $400m and had expressed interest in increasing ownership within three years.

“Coca-Cola is continuing to evolve as a total beverage company, and Chi’s diverse range of beverages perfectly complements our existing portfolio, enabling us to accelerate expansion into new categories and grow our business in Africa,” said Peter Njonjo, president of the West Africa business unit of Coca-Cola.

“We will support the Chi management team in building on the company’s remarkable heritage and achievements while using the scale of the Coca-Cola system to replicate their success in more markets across Africa.”

Chi Limited was founded in Lagos in 1980. It produces juice under the Chivita brand, Caprisonne and value-added dairy under the Hollandia brand.

In a September 2018 interview, Njonjo had said that the company’s drive to diversify its product range would give it some flexibility.

“We realise that in certain pack formats you can only go down so low. But once you start looking at pouches and still products, like juice and drinking yoghurts, that allows you to start accessing much lower price points,” he said.

“Affordability will start becoming a bigger issue in this market than it was in the past. As a company, that is what we need to factor in as we are thinking about the future of our business in Nigeria.”

Hotel workers kill London returnee-owner, manager in Lagos

The owner of Etashol Hotel and Suites, located on Budland Street in the Ojodu Berger area of Lagos State, Mrs Abimbola Olusola, and the manager, Tunji Omikunle, have been murdered.

PUNCH Metro reports that the deceased were drugged, tied up and strangled by a gang that included some workers at the hotel.

Olusola, who had lived in London, the United Kingdom, for 35 years, was said to have returned to Nigeria recently and opened the hotel for business in March 2018.

Our correspondent learnt that the 56-year-old had issues with some of the workers, who allegedly defrauded the hotel of millions of naira.

Two of the workers were reportedly sacked after the police were invited to look into the matter.

Last week Thursday, a gang said to have consisted some of the sacked workers and some still in the employment of the hotel, allegedly conspired among themselves and drugged Olusola and Tunji.

They allegedly deactivated the Closed Circuit Television cameras on the premises, dragged the manager into a toilet, where his hands and feet were tied.

Our correspondent learnt that Tunji was strangled, after which the suspects proceeded to Olusola’s room and strangled her too.

Relatives of the deceased told our correspondent that the suspects fled the hotel, as family members met the lifeless bodies of the victims in the hotel.

The case was reported at the Ojodu Abiodun Police Station.

A family member of the late businesswoman, who asked not to be named, said Olusola was planning to lease out the hotel and return to London when tragedy struck.

She said, “The incident happened on Thursday night cum Friday morning. I was called that my sister had been murdered by the boys working for her in the hotel.

From what I learnt, the manager had dragged one of them, called Light, to a police station for involvement in fraud in the hotel. There were also cases of stealing involving these guys. Two of them were sacked.

“On Thursday night, the men tied Tunji’s hands and feet and strangled him. I think it was after they had killed Tunji that they got access to the card that opens my sister’s room. They went to her bed, tied her up and strangled her.”

It was learnt that the woman’s 12-year-old son, who was to go to school on Friday morning, was the first to discover the mother’s corpse.

Around 7am when the school bus came to pick him, a vigilante member, who had tried unsuccessfully to reach the deceased businesswoman on the telephone, insisted on knowing her whereabouts from the son.

The boy was said to have found her dead on the bed in her room.

The family member added, “The child sleeps in a room in the hotel. Tunji used to wake him up and prepare him for school. But when the boy did not see the manager that morning and his school bus had arrived, he quickly got himself ready and ran out.

“However, a vigilante member, who had suspected that something was amiss after noticing some of the workers’ movements the previous night, waited at the hotel’s gate. The man had called both Tunji and the woman on their phones without getting any response.

“When the boy was hurrying to school that morning, the man said he should go and call the manager. The boy went inside and returned, saying he could not find the manager. He was hurrying to get into the school bus when the man said he should go and call his mother.

“He went to her room and raised the alarm after discovering her corpse.”

Our correspondent learnt that Olusola, who hailed from Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, had separated from her husband.

Tunji’s uncle, Chief Tunde Omikunle, said the deceased was survived by his wife and twin children.

Tunde said, “He grew up with me before learning fashion designing. And when he was done, the family got a shop for him; he even had apprentices until last year when he said he had been employed as a manager in the hotel.

“His wife, a graduate, had just been delivered of a set of twins. She stays in Ibadan. In fact, he wanted to go to meet his family in Ibadan when his boss asked him to wait. It was that night that he and the boss were killed.

“From what we know, two of the sacked workers conspired with those still there to carry out the act. They drugged him and took him to a toilet, where he was strangled. Although they destroyed the CCTV in the hotel in order to cover their tracks, we still got to know that they were responsible for the killings.”

The case had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba, where one of the workers was being interrogated.

A source said the police had recovered the ropes used to commit the crime.

“There was no stab wound or anything on the corpses. The victims were strangled. We recovered the ropes used to commit the crime,” the source said.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti, confirmed the incident, adding that investigation was ongoing.

The Punch

EFCC charges Babachir Lawal, ex-NIA DG to court

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC ) has filed a 10-count charge against Babachir Lawal, former secretary to the government of the federation.

The charges were filed at a high court in the federal capital territory (FCT).

To be charged alongside Lawal were Hamidu David Lawal; Sulaiman Abubakar; Apeh Monday; Rholavision Engineering Limited, a company owned by him, and Josmon Technologies Limited.

The agency also filed four counts against Ayodele Oke, director-general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), and his wife, Folashade, before the federal high court in Lagos. They were charged over a huge sum of money found in an apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos.

Oke and his wife will be arraigned in court on Friday, while Lawal will be in court next week.

The development comes one week after Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said President Muhammadu Buhari had prevailed on anti-corruption agencies to prepare criminal charges against Lawal and Oke.

Lawal’s travails began on December 14, 2016, when the senate ad-hoc committee on “mounting humanitarian crisis in the north-east” indicted him of fraud in a contract awarded for the clearing of “invasive plant species” in Yobe state, through the Presidential Initiative on Northeast (PINE).

PINE, which was under Lawal, was at the time unable to account for N2.5 billion allocated to it for the alleviation of the IDPs’ suffering.

Lawal’s crime, according to the ad-hoc committee, included his alleged spending of N570m to cut grass.

Rholavision Engineering Ltd was also said to have got suspicious payments of N200m from the contract.

Rholavision’s bank statements and other documents obtained by TheCable at the time had shown how Josmon Technologies Ltd, a company that got the contract from PINE to clear grass for N248, 939, 231, made cash deposits of N10m into Lawal’s company’s account 20 times from March 29.

Although the former SGF had claimed that he resigned from his company on August 15, 2015, and as a result was not a party to whatever business it contracted,  a document from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) that he was a director of Rholavision until September 16, 2016, when he wrote to the commission informing it of his intention to relinquish 1,500,000 ordinary shares.

Buhari had sacked Lawal on October 31, 2017.

INEC insists APC won’t field candidates in Zamfara

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has insisted that the All Progressives Congress (APC) will not field candidates for the elections in Zamfara state.

Arising from a meeting on Wednesday, INEC maintained its stance that the party did not conduct valid primaries to elect candidates for the governorship, national assembly and state assembly elections in Zamfara.

INEC made its position know while reacting to two contradictory court judgments on the issue.

While a state high court in Zamfara had ruled that the APC conducted primaries in the state, a federal high court in Abuja ruled that the party did not conduct valid primaries and therefore is ineligible to field candidates for the elections.

Festus Okoye, a national commissioner, said going by the contradictory judgements, the commission has decided to maintain its stance.

“The Commission would like to reaffirm its commitment to obeying all court judgements even when it disagrees with them,” Okoye said in a statement.

“However, these are clearly two contradictory judgements delivered by two courts of coordinate jurisdiction on the same day.

“Consequently, the Commission has decided to maintain its original position that the party in question did not conduct primaries and therefore, in line with Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), is not eligible to field candidates for the National Assembly, Governorship and State Assembly elections in Zamfara State.”

The electoral body said it also approved the final list of candidates for the governorship, state assembly and federal capital territory (FCT) area council elections.

“On the whole, there are 1,066 candidates for the Governorship elections, 14,583 for the State Assembly elections and 806 for the FCT Area Council elections broken down into 105 Chairmanship candidates and 701 Councillorship candidates.

“Commission also reviewed various aspects of its preparedness for the 2019 general elections and expressed satisfaction with the overall preparations for the elections.

“A meeting with all the Resident Electoral Commissioners will take place next week to further review the state of preparedness of each State.”

Atiku: How I blocked a former Anambra governor from returning to office

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says he had a hand in Chinwoke Mbadinuju’s failed bid at getting a second term as governor of Anambra state in 2003.

While fielding questions on The Candidates, a live television show on the 2019 elections, Atiku who was then vice-president to Olusegun Obasanjo said Mbadinuju did not do well with the state’s educational sector which Atiku said is most important to him.

He said he convinced Obasanjo that they should work against Mbadinuju.

“When I was VP, I took a tour to Anambra state during the governorship administration of Chinwoke Mbadinuju. I found out all the public schools were overtaken by weeds,” he said.

“I went back to the president and said this governor must never be allowed to come back. And, believe me, he never did.”

Mbadinuju had won the PDP governorship primary in 2003 but Chris Ngige was named the party’s candidate.

In an interview with Vanguard in 2012, Mbadinuju had also accused Obasanjo of stopping him from getting a second term as governor.

“And when it came to second term, the man who praised me so much; he wrote in the News magazine of 27th December, 2004, that he, President Obasanjo, single handedly stopped my second term in office. He was the person who said I scored A-plus in infrastructure and when it came to peace and security, I got Gold cup in National Competition in Abuja and in infrastructural development, I got B, second position,” he said.

“So, in terms of working as a governor of a state nobody can challenge me. When I asked him in Awka when he came to raise Ngige’s hand, I said, ‘ah Baba, why did you raise Ngige’s hand now, (yet) you gave me A-plus in my work?” He said, ‘Odera, it is politics.’ I said, ‘politics with my second term?’”

Obasanjo ceded Bakassi to Cameroon because of Nobel prize, says Oshiomhole

Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has accused former president Olusegun Obasanjo of ceding Bakassi to Cameroon for selfish reasons.

The former Edo governor said Obasanjo had his sight set on winning the Nobel peace prize, hence the decision to “hand over” the former part of Nigeria to its West African neighbour.

Historically, Nigeria conceded Bakassi to Cameroon as far back as 1975 when Yakubu Gowon, a general, was military head of state.

However, Nigeria and Cameroon continued to clash over the peninsula and Cameroon took the matter before International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.

The court ruled against Nigeria in 2002 when Obasanjo was president, and President Goodluck Jonathan finally handed over the peninsula to Cameroon in 2012 in compliance with ICJ judgment.

Oshiomhole said history will punish Obasanjo for his action.

He made the remark on Wednesday while speaking at the APC presidential campaign rally in Calabar, Cross River.

Addressing the crowd, he said, “never forget Obasanjo because he handed over Nigeria to Cameroon because he wanted to win the Nobel peace prize.

“Nigeria can never forgive him. History will punish him if we are too weak to punish him.

“He separated fathers from mothers, brothers from sisters. The Nobel Peace Prize is not given to traitors”.

Ahead of the general election, Oshiomhole, a former president of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has been increasingly critical of Obasanjo.

In December 2018, he said the former president is at risk of God’s punishment for supporting the presidential ambition of Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Oshiomhole had said God “will go to work in February and he will punish him thoroughly and the person he is supporting”.

Commenting on his decision to support Atiku’s bid for the presidency, Obasanjo recently said although he is not perfect, he is “two times better” than President Muhammadu Buhari, candidate of the APC.

EFCC to arraign Ex- NIA DG, wife over $205m fraud on February 1

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has slammed a 4-count charge of alleged $205.9 million fraud on a former Director General of the National

Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ayo Oke and his wife, Mrs. Folashade Ayodele Oke.

The charge is coming after Oke was suspended from office after his agency laid claim to the the sums of $43,449,947, £27,800 and N23,218,000 recovered by the EFCC from Flat 7B, No. 16, Osborne Road, Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Some of the counts against Oke and his wife reads as thus:

“That you Ambassador Ayodele Oke, Mrs. Folashade Ayodele Oke, on or about the 12th day of April, 2017 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court indirectly conceal the sum of $43,449,947.00, property of the Federal Government of Nigeria in Flat 7B, No. 16, Osborne Road, Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Amendment Act 2012 and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

“That you you Ambassador Ayodele Oke and Mrs. Folashade Ayodele Oke, between 25th day of August, 2015 and 2nd day of September, 2015 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court indirectly used the sum of $1, 658, 000.00 property of the Federal Government of Nigeria to acquire Flat 7B, No. 16, Osborne Road, Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Amendment Act 2012 and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

“That you Ambassador Ayodele Oke, between 25th day of August, 2015 and 2nd day of September, 2015 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court directly converted the sum of $160, 777, 136. 85, property of the Federal Government of Nigeria to your own use which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Amendment Act 2012 and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act”.

The duo are expected to be arraigned before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke on Friday 1st of February, 2019.

JUST IN: I have not resigned, says suspended CJN Onnoghen

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, who was suspended by President Muhammadu Buhari last Friday, has debunked the rumour gaining traction online on Monday that he has resigned.

Onnoghen, whom President Muhammadu Buhari replaced with the next most senior Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Tanko Mohammed, as Acting CJN, debunked the rumour in a statement on Monday.

The statement was signed by his media aide, Awassam Bassey, who described the CJN’s rumoured resignation as “fake news circulated by mischief makers.”

“Mischief makers are still circulating this fake news. Once again, no truth in it whatsoever. The Hon CJN, Hon Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, GCON, has not resigned,” Bassey said.

The rumour came less than 24 hours to the emergency meeting summoned by the National Judicial Council to deliberate on Onnoghen’s suspension and Muhammad’s emergence as the Acting CJN.

The Buhari administration has since Friday, come under scathing and widespread criticism locally and from the international community for being ill-timed, coming in the eve of the imminent general elections.

Onnoghen: Senate heads to court, suspends plan to reconvene

 

The Senate has filed a case in the Supreme Court, seeking its interpretation on whether President Muhammadu Buhari acted within the provision of the constitution in his suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Hon. Justice Walter Nkannu Onnoghen or whether the action of the President does amount to usurpation of the powers of the Senate as provided for in Section 292 of the constitution.

Following the filing of the case, the matter of the suspension of the CJN which is the main issue for which the Senate had planned to reconvene tomorrow, has become subjudice, according to a statement by spokesmanof the Senate President, Yusuph Olaniyonu.

“Therefore, in line with the standing rules of the Senate not to debate issues that are already pending before the court, the reconvening of the Senate tomorrow has been put off. The previous adjournment of the Senate till February 19, 2019 stay,” the statement added.

Agbakoba submits petition against acting CJN, Tanko Mohammed

A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), says he has submitted a petition against Justice Tanko Muhammed, who was appointed last Friday as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria by President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement from his chambers on Monday, Agbakoba said he submitted his petition to the National Judicial Council, asking it to determine the propriety of Justice Mohammed accepting to be sworn-in by the President in place of the suspended CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen.

According to Agbakoba, by submitting himself to the President to be sworn-in as acting CJN, Justice Mohammed lent himself to constitutional infraction by the executive arm of government.

Agbakoba recalled that Justice Mohammed was part of an NJC panel that sanctioned Justice Obisike Orji of Abia State for allowing himself to be sworn-in as Abia State Chief Judge by the state’s governor without the recommendation of the NJC.

Agbakoba said, “It is a matter of regret that Justice Tanko Muhammad, who participated in this process, will lend himself to this constitutional infraction.

“We pray the NJC to determine this petition in line with the decision in Justice Obisike Orji by immediately removing Justice Tanko Muhammad as Justice of the Supreme Court on grounds of gross misconduct which has generated perhaps the most controversial crisis in Nigeria’s judicial history.”

Insisting that the President violated the law in suspending Justice Onnoghen, Agbakoba cited Section 153 of the constitution, saying the law was clear on how a CJN could be removed.

He said, “The Constitution is clear about the procedure for suspending or removing the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

“The Chief Justice of Nigeria can only be removed on the recommendation of the NJC. See Section 153 (1), Paragraph 21 (a) of the 3rd Schedule and Section 292 (1) (a) (i) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999and the Supreme Court decision in Elelu-Habeeb v AGF (2012) 40 WRN 1.

“Hon. Justice Tanko Muhammad is fully aware of the state of law, yet presented himself to be sworn in by the President.”

Zenith Bank pioneers account blocking with code *966*911#

Poised to ensure its customers are protected and operate their accounts in a safe and secure environment, Zenith Bank has scored yet another first with the introduction of Account Blocking code *966*911#.

A statement by the bank at the weekend said customers who suspect their accounts have been compromised, or who lost/misplaced their debit (ATM) cards can dial the Block Account Code *966*911# on the phone numbers registered with the account to secure their funds.

This has become necessary as the bank plays deeper into the retail end of the banking industry, using its topnotch technology and array of innovative products as it works to deepen financial inclusion in conjunction with regulators of the nation’s financial system regulators.

Other codes as part of the Eazy Way banking offered by Zenith Bank include the *966# to ease account opening process by potential customers; while checking account balance has never been easier than dialing *966*00#.

Customers who desire to reset their Personal Identification Number (PIN), or Password, the bank continued, can do so from the comfort of their homes with *966*60#.

To update Bank Verification Number (BVN), the statement said customers can dial *966*BVN#; and dial *966*Amount*MobileNo.# to buy airtime.

By dialing *966*Amount*AccountNo.# for funds transfers.

BREAKING: Buhari currently meeting Mbaka at Aso Rock

President Muhammadu Buhari and Rev Fr. EJike Mbaka, spiritual director of the Adoration Ministry, Enugu, are currently meeting at the presidential villa in Abuja.

Mbaka arrived the forecourt of the president’s office around 12 noon and went straight to the president’s office.

The cleric, who predicted Buhari’s victory in 2015 recently chastised the Peoples Democratic Party’s vice presidential candidate, Peter Obi, for not donating money to his congregation.

More to follow…

JUST IN: Fayemi floors PDP governorship candidate at tribunal

The Ekiti state governorship petition tribunal sitting in Abuja has declared Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti as winner of the last governorship election in the state.

Fayemi victory’s was challenged by Kolapo Olusola of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Olusola had filed a petition, alleging that the election was fraught with irregularities and that Fayemi who ran on  the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) could not be declared winner.

On Monday, the tribunal unanimously struck out Olusola’s case and ruled that Fayemi is the duly elected governor of the state.

Suleiman Belgore, chairman of the three man committee delivered the judgment.

More to follow…

BREAKING: IGP Adamu names Lakanu, Lamorde, four other DIGs

Acting Inspector-General Muhammed Adamu has appointed six new deputy inspectors-general of police.

According to a report by Premium Times, the new DIGs who were elevated from assistant inspectors-general are Usman Tilli Abubakar, who joined the police from Kebbi State in February 1986; Abdulmaji Ali, who joined the police from Niger State in February 1986; Taiwo Frederick Lakanu, who joined the police from Lagos State in February 1986 and Godwin Nwobodo, who joined the police from Enugu State in 1984.

The remaining two new DIGs who were elevated from the rank of police commissioners are: Ogbizi Michael, former Abia State police commissioner, and Ibrahim Lamorde, a former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission who hails from Adamawa State.

Mr Lakanu was the Force Secretary until his appointment.

The new DiGs were named on Monday morning, police sources said. Their respective portfolios would be announced later on Monday by the Police Service Commission.

Their elevation comes a day after Mr Adamu retired seven DIGs who were his senior in order to pave way for the constitution of a new management team with whom he could work comfortably.

The affected officers we Maigari Dikko, the DIG in charge of finance and administration and Habila Joshak, the DIG in charge of operations.
The remaining five DIGs are Emmanuel Inyang, information and communications technology; Agboola Oshodi-Glover, logistics and supply; Mohammed Katsina, research and planning; Sani Mohammed, training and development; and Peace Ibekwe-Abdallah, federal criminal investigation and intelligence.

The seven DIGs and eight assistant inspectors-general were identified as having joined the police before Mr Adamu, who was appointed on January 15 after the former IG Ibrahim Idris was retired as he attained 60 years.

The seven police chiefs’ departure was in furtherance of the convention that recommends the retirement of senior police chiefs when an officer junior to them in service or lower in rank is appointed to lead the institution.

When Mr Idris was appointed IG in 2016, more than 20 DIGs and AIGs were compelled to retire from service to enable him constitute his management team.

Mr Adamu has now followed the tradition, which has been criticised as wasteful and demoralising because of huge resources the nation had spent on the vast knowledge the senior officers had acquired over the years.