The House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions on Wednesday ordered an arrest warrant against the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu.
He is to be brought before the committee on November 7 to answer questions in connection with a petition the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, sent to the House.
Jonathan’s wife had petitioned the House, alleging harassment of her person and firms linked to her associates by the EFCC, the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency.
She also told the House that her personal bank accounts and those of the firms had been frozen on the directive of the EFCC.
However, the panel, which is chaired by a member from Abia State, Mr. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, said on Wednesday that Magu had shunned “several invitations” to appear in connection with the matter.
The NDLEA and FIRS had been appearing before the panel to respond to the petition.
The matter had earlier been adjourned till Wednesday (yesterday), but again, Magu did not turn up and the EFCC sent no representations to the session.
After a motion on arrest warrant moved by the Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Mr. Kingsley Chinda, the panel passed a resolution for Magu’s arrest.
Ruling, Nkem-Abonta stated, “The absence of the EFCC is making our work difficult. We are not against the EFCC doing its work but they have to comply with the law. With no counter motion, the motion on arrest warrant is hereby sustained.”
However, the committee also ordered all the companies linked to Jonathan’s wife to submit their statements of audited accounts to the FIRS within two weeks.
The panel explained that this was to afford the FIRS the opportunity to assess them for tax payment and ascertain the level of tax compliance since they started operations.
FIRS had in a submission to the committee, stated that the reason it kept watch over the activities of the companies was to verify their tax compliance.
On its part, FIRS was directed to conclude the verification within two weeks from the date of receiving the audited accounts from the companies and produce a report.
The committee had also summoned eight banks over the freezing of the accounts of Patience and her companies by the EFCC.
The banks that appeared before the panel on Wednesday were Fidelity Bank; Ecobank; Union Bank; Skye Bank; Diamond Bank; First Bank; Zenith Bank; and Stanbic Bank.
Some of the banks explained that while it was true that Patience secured court orders unfreezing a number of the accounts, the EFCC also appealed the court decisions.
However, they confirmed that Mrs. Jonathan ‘s accounts which had no “legal encumbrance,” had been released to her.
For instance, Union Bank informed the committee that none of Patience’s accounts was frozen any longer, while Diamond Bank disclosed that she had access to two of her accounts, but two others remained frozen.
Skye Bank disclosed that Patience had actually started making withdrawals from her accounts with the bank.
On its part, Zenith Bank said her accounts with the bank remained frozen on the directive of the EFCC and would require a court decision to free them.
The panel later resolved that the banks and Mrs. Jonathan’s lawyers should hold a reconciliation meeting to determine the accounts that were frozen on court directives and those that had no legal issues.
The committee clarified that it earlier directive to “unfreeze” Patience’s accounts was strictly for those accounts that were not backed by a court order or a written instruction from the EFCC.
Saraki Throws Jibes At Tinubu, Says Kwara Will Never Take Instructions From Lagos
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, in a leaked audio clip has vowed that Kwara State will never take instructions from any political leader in Lagos State.
Saraki, who spoke largely in Yoruba in the audio clip, stated this while addressing young Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, members in Kwara State.
The leaked audio clip yesterday drew the ire of Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, which requested the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to investigate the claim that the Senate President spent between N200 million and N400 million to influence the outcome of the 2015 elections for the All Progressives Congress, APC, in states of the federation.
In the audio tape, recorded for about 33 minutes, which had since gone viral across social media platforms, Saraki, who defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to the opposition PDP a few months ago, said he benefited little from his membership of the ruling party.
In the tape, the Senate president threw jabs at APC national leader, Bola Tinubu, by pledging to protect Kwara from the grip of godfathers in Lagos. Although the former Kwara governor did not specifically mention the name of the Lagos-based APC leader, his words were punctured with anti-Tinubu rhetoric from his supporters.
Saraki said if he remained the only member of the PDP, he would ensure that he resisted the ‘invasion’ of Kwara by Lagos godfathers, alleging that he was being persecuted, despite helping President Buhari win the election.
“If you don’t even want Bukola, bring someone from Kwara and empower him. I know you young people are ‘sharp’. Today, there is none in APC (‘empowered’ by government).
Instead, they want you, they want us, to be going to Lagos to get instructions. Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has requested the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to investigate claims that the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, spent between N200 million and N400 million to influence the outcome of the 2015 elections for the All Progressives Congress, APC, in states of the federation.
In an open letter to INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmod Yakubu, SERAP urged him to collaborate with other necessary agencies of government to investigate the veracity of the audio linked to Saraki, where he claimed to have spent between N200million and N400million in every state, except the six South-West states, to influence the outcome of the 2015 elections for APC.
SERAP also urged INEC to “investigate the sources of other cases of apparently unexplained campaign financing and contributions for the 2015 elections by politicians and supporters of the two main political parties, the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
OAU Professor Lands In Prison For Demanding Sex For Marks From Student
A Federal High Court in Osun has remanded an Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Lecturer, Prof. Richard Akindele, in Ilesa prison custody, for allegedly demanding sex for mark from his student.
Justice Maureen Onyetenu ordered the remand on Monday pending the filing of his formal bail application.
Mr Kehinde Adedoye, the Independent Corrupt Practise, and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Prosecutor had told the court that the defendant had on Sept. 16, 2017, unlawfully demanded sexual benefits for marks from Monica Osagie.
According to the prosecutor, the defendant is facing a four-count charge.
“The defendant corruptly asked for sexual benefits from Ms Monica Osagie on account of favour to be afterward shown to her in the discharge of his official duties as a lecturer, to wit: altering her academic grades from fail to pass in the course, MBA 632 – Research Method,” he said.
The offences, he said, contravened Sections 8 (1) (A) (2) and 18 (d) of the corrupt practices and other related offenses Act 2000 and punishable under same sections.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.
The Defense Counsel, Mr Fola Omotoso, thereafter, prayed the court to grant his client bail in the most liberal terms.
The ICPC counsel, however, opposed the bail application, noting that the defendant had refused to appear before the commission since he was granted administrative bail.
Onyetenu, therefore, ordered the defense counsel to file a formal bail application before the next date of adjournment.
The trial judge adjourned the matter till Nov. 27 for definite hearing and ordered the remand of the defendant.
The defendant is a lecturer in the Department of Management and Accounting of the university.
Buhari Unveils APC’s Roadmap ‘The Next Level’ Ahead Of 2019 Elections [READ HERE]
Campaign for the 2019 presidential election formally opened, yesterday, with the two leading candidates, President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP unveiling their plans and at the same time, hitting at each other’s policies.
Buhari at the unveiling of his campaign at a well-attended launch in the presidential villa vowed to take the country to the next level against the background of what was claimed as 16 years of waste under the PDP.
He was immediately countered by Atiku who declared Buhari’s Next Level theme as a new level of propaganda, saying that the administration had failed in its three key promises to enhance security, employment, and anti-corruption.
Speaking on his mandate and quest for another four years in office, Buhari said: “The next four years will be quite significant for our country. Nigeria is faced with a choice to keep building a new Nigeria — making a break from its tainted past which favoured an opportunistic few.
“Our choices will shape us, our economic security and our future prosperity. Nigeria, more than ever before, needs a stable and people-focussed government to move the agenda for our country forward. Join us on this journey to the Next Level of a prosperous, strong and stable Nigeria!
See below full text of the APC Roadmap below:
Four years ago, we promised Nigerians real change – in what we do and how we do it. Nigerians sent a clear message in the last election, and our platform offered a new, ambitious plan for a secure, prosperous and corruption-free country.
We have worked hard to fulfil our promises – and while the road may have been difficult, over the last three and a half years, we have laid the foundations for a strong, stable and prosperous country for the majority of our people.
Foundational work is not often visible, neither is it glamorous – but it is vital to achieving the kind of country we desire. Judging by the prior depth of decay, deterioration and disrepair that Nigeria had sunken into, we are certain that these past few years have put us in good stead to trudge on the Next Level of building an even stronger nation for our people.
First things had to come first. We were a nation at war – but we delivered on our commitment to secure the territorial integrity of our nation in the face of a raging insurgency that devastated many parts of the North East.
We liberated 17 Local Government Areas from the grip of insurgency. Brokering and sustaining peace in the Niger Delta has also been crucial to stabilising the polity.
Despite the difficult circumstances presented by weak oil prices and reduced oil production, we delivered on our commitment to make public investments to spur economic growth, job creation, and broad-based prosperity.
Agriculture continues to expand our economic base, as do our investments in deficient infrastructure across the length and breadth of this nation. We implemented a responsible and transparent fiscal plan for the challenging economic times that saw us doing more even with lesser oil revenues.
Grand scale corruption perpetrated at the highest level of government is now a thing of the past, just as the Treasury Single Account (TSA) has made it more difficult for ministries, departments and agencies to exercise the unrestrained liberties that helped foster a climate conducive to corruption.
The nation’s wealth is now being invested in capital projects to expand infrastructure and connect people, goods and opportunities by rail, road and air. Also, the Federal Government supported state governments with bailouts that enabled them to pay workers on their payroll. We took an unprecedented step towards creating a fairer and more equitable society by implementing Africa’s biggest social investment programme.
Through the National Social Investment Programme, we are providing direct support to over 13 million Nigerians who need it by giving relief and assistance to unemployed youth, our children, the weak and vulnerable as well as small and medium businesses.
But even as we lay the foundation for a stable and prosperous nation, we acknowledge there is still much to do.
The Next Levelof effort focuses on job creation across various sectors. From an enlargement of the N-Power programme to investing in technology and creative sector jobs to agriculture and revolutionising access to credit for entrepreneurs and artisans, there is scope for over 15 million new jobs.
The march away from a mono-economy must continue with our industrialisation plan coming to fore. With specific plans underway to exploit the comparative advantage of the geopolitical zones and different states by developing 6 Industrial Parks and 109 Special Production and Processing Centres (SPPCs) across each senatorial district, our incremental move away from oil dependence is assured.
In addition, our development of the Special Economic Zones will quickly concretise our Made in Nigeria for Export (MINE) plan. To sustain food production and value addition, our mechanisation policy for agriculture will make tractors and processors easily accessible and available for farmers across Nigeria.
We will continue a wide scale training policy, prioritising technology to reach the demography of young people within the productive sector on a massive scale even as we create jobs and growth within our economy.
We believe that our people who are still in poverty have a direct way out and up through our expanded National Social Investment Programme.
We believe we can implement the painstaking and comprehensive policy and work we have done to bring an end to the perennial conflict between farmers and herders – a conflict which is heightened by a struggle for land, water and pasture and the effects of climate change and every now and then, opportunistic and cynical manipulation by political actors.
We are implementing a blend of measures that ensures that justice, order, modernisation and new economic paradigms emerge. Perhaps our biggest ambition yet is the overhaul of our education sector.
Every child counts – and simply, whatever it takes to prepare our teachers, curriculum and classrooms to attain the right educational goals that grow our country, will be done.
We will remodel 10,000 schools every year and retrain our teachers to impart science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics using coding, animation, robotics to re-interpret our curriculum. We know that to succeed, moral integrity and conscience must continue to form the dominant character of our nation and its leadership.
Corruption is an existential threat to Nigeria. Despite the gains we have made in closing the gates, we know that there is still much ground to cover to stop systemic corruption.
We are committed to deepening the work we started this first term such that the nation’s assets and resources continue to be organised and utilised to do good for the common man. The next four years will be quite significant for our country. Nigeria is faced with a choice to keep building a new Nigeria- making a break from its tainted past which favoured an opportunistic few.
Our choices will shape us – our economic security and our future prosperity. Nigeria, more than ever before, needs a stable and people-focused government to move the agenda for our country forward.
Join us on this journey to the Next Level of a prosperous, strong and stable Nigeria! Nigerians, we are all going higher!
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