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The last has not been heard of the controversies surrounding the payment of the 5 per cent commission to the whistle-blower who gave the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission tips that led to the recovery of $43.4 million, N23.3 million and 27,800 Euros that was stashed in an apartment at the Osborne Towers in Ikoyi, Lagos on April 22, 2017 as the original whistleblowers have petitioned the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, PRNigeria has learnt on good authority.

In a petition dated August 24, 2017, addressed to the AGF and received on September 8, 2017, solicitors to the claimants, No Limit Legal Partners, on behalf of Abdulmumin Musa, Stephen Sunday and Bala Usman, told Malami that his clients by the workings of EFCC have shortchanged the whistleblowers by bringing others who were not the arrowhead of the whistleblowing.

The solicitors noted: “Our clients informed us sometime in December 2016 that three (3) of them voluntarily walked into the office of the EFCC at 15A Awolowo Road Ikoyi, Lagos and gave vital information that led to the recovery of over N13 billion at the Ikoyi Towers, Lagos.”

The Legal Practitioners further told the AGF: “Upon subsequent visit to give a detailed information as required by the commission to raid the Tower, they were told if the operation was successful, 5% of the amount recovered will be their take-home within 72 hours of recovery, they were also cautioned that if the information happened to be false, then they will definitely be in trouble which the three mentioned above accepted because they were sure of their facts.

“That when the operation was carried out, it was successful but since then they have not received any commendation by the commission, let alone give any reward as stated even though the EFCC have their names and phone numbers.”

The petitioners said rather than to do the needful, some of the EFCC staff gave them further information that they were not the only people who gave them information on the Ikoyi Tower as others were also involved without mentioning them.

Upon various meetings by the three persons, they agreed to go back and meet the Head of EFCC operations, Alhaji Samaila Muhammed, and were told on their visit that the numbers have increased to nine who made the report, urging them to bring the remaining persons.

When contacted on the matter, the Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance on Media and Communications, Oluyinka Akintunde, said that such issues be referred to EFCC and not the responsibility of the Ministry.

Akintunde added that the ministry comes in when the rightful persons were duly recognised by the relevant authorities for payment after due process.

When PRNigeria contacted the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Wilsom Uwujaren, to explain the role of the commission in the matter, he said several persons have in the past besieged the commission to say that they were part of whistleblowing.

Uwujaren confirmed that that the commission has records of the original whistleblowers of the Ikoyi Towers, stressing that all will be done to make sure that the right persons are paid accordingly.

Meanwhile, PRNigeria has learnt that the petitioners are heading to the court to stop the payment to wrong persons who were not involved in the whistleblowing.

They added that two clear months after the submission of the petition to the AGF, nothing concrete had been done by the Minister to look into their matter.

They alleged that the EFCC sold out in the processes leading to the recovery of the said amount, stating that the development would discourage genuine whistleblowers in the fight against corruption by the present administration.

There were recent controversies as to whether the whistleblower had already been paid or not between the EFCC and the Ministry of Finance.

Explaining the development, Adeosun on Sunday gave reasons why the whistleblower who gave the EFCC tips that led to the recovery of $43.4 million, N23.3 million and 27,800 Euros at the Ikoyi apartment has not been paid.

Her response came at a time that Nigerians placed the blames on the doorstep of the Federal Government over its unwillingness to pay the whistleblower his 5 per cent commission as enshrined in the policy.

The Minister further said: “The Federal Government has not withheld any fund due to any whistleblower. The Ministry has in place detailed procedures for processing payments due under the Whistleblower Policy. The procedures were designed to prevent abuse and legal disputes and to ensure protection of the information providers.

“These procedures include an application by the agency who recovered the funds including evidence of the recovery, confirmation that there are no pending legal issues on the recovery, verification of the identity of the information provider, calculation of the amount payable and computation of relevant taxes.”

BIG STORY

BREAKING: APC Releases Approved Mode Of Primaries For 36 States, FCT

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The All Progressives Congress has released the approved mode of primaries for each of its 36 states chapters and the Federal Capital Territory.

The mode of primaries was contained in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, on Tuesday, which also banned the Adamawa State Executive Committee of the party from conducting the elections.

It accused the state executive of bias in respect of a governorship candidate.

Contrary to the earlier directive of the party that direct primaries must be used for all levels of election ahead of the 2019 elections, some state governors kicked against it.

At a meeting last week between the governors on the platform of the Progressives Governors Forum, led by the Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, and the leadership of the party, headed by the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, the party soft-pedalled on its earlier position.

In the statement by the party on Tuesday, Nabena said the National Working Committee of the APC approved the mode of primaries for the September 29, 2018 governorship primary elections scheduled to hold across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

ABIA: DIRECT PRIMARIES

ADAMAWA: INDIRECT PRIMARIES

AKWA IBOM: DIRECT PRIMARIES

ANAMBRA: DIRECT PRIMARIES

BAUCHI: DIRECT PRIMARIES

BAYELSA: DIRECT PRIMARIES

BENUE: INDIRECT PRIMARIES

BORNO: INDIRECT PRIMARIES

CROSS RIVER: DIRECT PRIMARIES

DELTA: INDIRECT PRIMARIES

EBONYI: INDIRECT PRIMARIES

ENUGU: INDIRECT PRIMARIES

EDO: DIRECT PRIMARIES

EKITI: DIRECT PRIMARIES

GOMBE: INDIRECT PRIMARIES

IMO: DIRECT PRIMARIES

JIGAWA: INDIRECT PRIMARIES

KADUNA: INDIRECT PRIMARIES

KANO: DIRECT PRIMARIES

KASTINA: INDIRECT PRIMARIES

KEBBI: INDIRECT PRIMARIES

KOGI: INDIRECT PRIMARIES

KWARA: INDIRECT PRIMARIES

LAGOS: DIRECT PRIMARIES

NASARAWA: INDIRECT PRIMARIES

NIGER: DIRECT PRIMARIES

OGUN: DIRECT PRIMARIES

ONDO: DIRECT PRIMARIES

OSUN: DIRECT PRIMARIES

OYO: INDIRECT PRIMARIES

PLATEAU: INDIRECT PRIMARIES

RIVERS: INDIRECT PRIMARIES

SOKOTO: INDIRECT PRIMARIES

TARABA: DIRECT PRIMARIES

YOBE: INDIRECT PRIMARIES

ZAMFARA: DIRECT PRIMARIES

FCT: DIRECT PRIMARIES.

Nabena added: “The National Working Committee (NWC) has banned the Adamawa State Working Committee from participating either as delegates or superintendents over the governorship primaries holding in the State.

“This is due to the fact that the Adamawa State Working Committee was prejudiced in favour of a governorship aspirant.”

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BIG STORY

Osun 2019: Omisore ‘Agrees’ To Work With PDP, Adeleke

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Senate President and the Peoples Democratic Party’s Chairman, campaign council for the Osun State governorship election, Bukola Saraki has disclosed that the 2018 Osun governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Senator Iyiola Omisore has agreed to work with the PDP and its governorship candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke in the rerun election billed for Thursday, 27th September 2018.

Saraki disclosed this after he met with Omisore in Ile-Ife.

The Independent National Electoral Commission declared the governorship election in Osun state “inconclusive” after a thin margin between scores for two main contenders.

Rerun elections slated for September 27 in Osun are to hold in seven polling unit across four local government areas.

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BIG STORY

Lagos APC: Go Test Your Popularity At The Primaries, GAC Tells Ambode, Sanwo-Olu

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Lagos State Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) has urged governorship aspirants in the All Progressives Congress (APC) to go and test their popularity in the party primary.

Briefing journalists, at the APC state Secretariat, on Acme Road, yesterday, on the official stance of the 22-man GAC, who met last Saturday, Dr. Abayomi Finnih, in company with Professor Tunde Samuel affirmed that the council, unanimously, adopted direct primaries to pick APC candidates, including for the governorship contest.

GAC, the highest decision-making organ of the party, is headed by the APC National Leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

Finnih assured that there will be level-playing field among the three aspirants jostling for the governorship ticket of the party.

The governorship aspirants are the incumbent, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, Managing Director of the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and former commissioner of Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Femi Hamzat.

The council had, after last Saturday’s meeting at Tinubu’s Bourdillion, Ikoyi residence, insisted on the direct primary for all governorship aspirants slated for the September, 29 primaries.

The APC leader, who spoke on behalf of the council, assured that all necessary machinery has been put in place to ensure a peaceful, free and fair exercise.

“It is not Tinubu’s affair as it is being peddled around in the social media and some quarters. The GAC has no preferred candidates among the aspirants. It is not about Tinubu, it is a collective decision. We resolved to provide a level-playing ground for the contenders without fair or favour.

Meanwhile, Sanwo-Olu, has reached out to the former Lagos State governor and Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.

Sanwo-Olu is also discussing with the camp of the factional APC chairman in the state, Fuad Oki. He was said to have, in the past, met with the former APC legal adviser, Dr. Muiz Banire and other critical shareholders of the party.

Sanwo-Olu was represented by the Director General of his campaign organisation, Tayo Ayinde, during the meeting with Oki.

Sources close to Sanwo-Olu said: “Our principal’s meeting with Fashola held on the phone, for several minutes, during which the duo expressed mutual understanding particularly as the former worked under the latter as commissioner…”

In a related development, the APC national leadership has, for the fourth time, shifted the presidential primary from Thursday, September 27 to Friday, September 28.

President Muhammadu Buhari is the party’s only known aspirant for the 2019 presidential poll.

The ruling party had initially fixed September 26 as the date to conduct the direct primary but later shifted to September 25, then Thursday, September 27, before the latest date was announced in a statement by acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena.

He, however, hinged the reason for the latest postponement on a clash of dates with the Osun governorship election re-run, which holds on Thursday.

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