One year after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) discovered a whopping $44.3 million at a luxury apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos, the anti-graft agency, in conjunction with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), has allegedly unearthed another $9 million cash at the residence of the sacked Special Adviser on Niger Delta to President Muhammadu Buhari and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig.-Gen. Paul Tarelah Boroh (rtd).
The discovery of the cash was made a few hours after his arrest by a combined team of EFCC and ONSA operatives. His arrest, which the Head, Media and Publicity of the anti-graft commission, Mr. Wilson Uwujiaren confirmed, in response to THISDAY’s enquiries, took place on Monday.
A senior security agent also told THISDAY that Boroh was picked up from his home in Gwarinpa, Abuja, on Monday, but was taken back to his residence at about 3 a.m. Tuesday by the security operatives who raided his house for hours and made the cash discovery of $9 million at his home. He remains in the custody of the EFCC.
“The former adviser was driven to his home in an unmarked car after his arrest. His home was searched for several hours and about $9 million cash was discovered in several safe boxes in several parts of the house,” the senior security agent stated.
“The combined team of EFCC and the National Security Adviser operatives were very thorough with the search. Indeed, at a point, the operatives broke all the locks in the home including his wife’s closet. The recovered cash has been deposited at the Office of the NSA.”
With the $9 million cash haul at Boroh’s residence, this will add to other cash discoveries made by the EFCC in the last two years, including the infamous $44.3 million found in the apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi.
Within 24 hours of that discovery, the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) had laid claim to the cash, claiming that the apartment was used as a safe house for its operations in the South-west.
The discovery eventually led to the sack of the NIA director general, Ambassador Ayodele Oke.
Buhari sacked Boroh last week and announced Prof. Charles Dokubo as his replacement.
In the statement announcing Boroh’s dismissal, it said the NSA, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), had been directed to probe the activities of the Amnesty Office from 2015, when Boroh was appointed, especially allegations of financial impropriety and other acts that were allegedly detrimental to the objectives of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
According to investigations by THISDAY, Boroh’s sack, investigation and arrest by the EFCC may not be unconnected to a petition, among others, that was sent to the president last August.
In the petition to Buhari dated August 21, 2017 and signed by one Timi Angalabiri, on behalf of the Niger Deltans for Accountability and Good Governance (NDAGG), the group had requested the president to suspend the ex-Amnesty Programme boss “for a credible investigative inquiry to commence into the non-payment of tuition fees and living expenses of recently graduated Niger Delta students in universities across the United States, the United Kingdom and Nigeria, with many institutions withholding the students’ certificates due to the non-payment of tuition fees ranging from nine months to two years, despite receiving over N70 billion within this time frame”.
The petitioner further pleaded with Buhari to use his good office to prosecute Boroh and others for allegedly diverting the sum of N70 billion.
Shortly after the petition was written, rumours swirled about Boroh’s sack by the president, but they were dismissed by the former Amnesty Programme boss.
“This story about my suspension and even sack has been off and on in the media, but the truth is that I have not been sacked and no one should disrupt the relative prevailing peace in the Niger Delta region with such fake news,” he had said.
“What is happening is the handiwork of political enemies and those who do not want the region to be peaceful. The rumours they are peddling are just rubbish and unfounded. Under my watch, the programme, candidly speaking, has helped greatly to stabilise the region.”
Threats to Oil Installations
But even as information reached THISDAY of Boroh’s arrest and the $9 million cash haul at this house, the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers and 10 other militant groups Tuesday threatened to attack oil installations in the Niger Delta if the sacked coordinator of the Amnesty Programme was not reinstated in four weeks.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Johnmark Ezonbi, leader of the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, said the federal government would “hear from them” if Boroh was not reinstated.
He said the sacked coordinator of the Amnesty Programme played a significant role in prevailing on the militants to end the attacks on oil installations, warning that it was obvious that the government was toying with the destiny of the Niger Delta.
The statement by Ezonbi read: “The federal government will hear from us at the expiration of the four weeks ultimatum as no single stone will be left unturned as the administration prefers to go back to the recession period when Boroh played a major role by visiting the creeks with other stakeholders to prevail on the boys to drop their arms and embrace peace.
“We will embark on a well coordinated destruction of all major delivery oil pipelines after the expiration of the four weeks ultimatum without looking back.
“I want to warn that any intruder into our planned action in four weeks time, if the federal government fails to reinstate General Paul Boroh, will be severely dealt with without mercy because our attacks will make the security agencies in the creeks very small.
“We are fully ready to take on anybody as we have the instruments of warfare that will make the biggest military might marvel at our coordinated attacks.
“We are ready to dirty our rivers and creeks with our oil, it is better we spill it than allow government use it to develop other parts of the country.”
He said Boroh made efforts to put the Amnesty Programme back on track with the regular training of ex-militants and prompt payment of monthly stipends.
Nationwide Strike: NLC Shuts Offices, Schools In Delta
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Delta chapter has started to shut offices and schools in Asaba ahead of the planned strike over delay to implement the new minimum wage.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports on Wednesday that the NLC members were seen patrolling Asaba in a marked Hiace mini-bus, closing government offices and turning back school children.
Recall that the national body of the NLC had threatened to go on strike from Thursday if the Federal Government fails to meet its demand on the consequential adjustment.
Before the meetings, labour was demanding a 29 per cent increase for officers at grade levels 07 to 14 and 24 per cent adjustment for officers at grade levels 15 to 17.
While the Federal Government proposed an 11 per cent increase for officers at grade level 07 to 14 and 6.5 per cent adjustment for workers at grade level 15 to 17.
Mr Goodluck Ofuburuku, NLC State chairman confirmed to NAN on the phone that labour was on strike in the state.
“We are on strike and that is all I can tell you for now. We expect offices and schools to comply.
“The strike is in force that is why we are going round to enforce compliance,” Ofoburuku said.
NAN reports that most government offices and schools within Asaba metropolis were closed as at this morning.
The state government secretariat, along Okpanam road, was equally shut as some workers who had reported for work were seen milling around the gate.
Mrs. Tina Okolo, a civil servant told NAN that the NLC members came and locked her office premises and ask the workers to go home.
“They came this morning and ask us to go home. I reported to work at about 8:15am, but now am going home.
“I don’t know much about the strike, so I am just waiting to see how things will turn out,” Okolo said.
NAN reports that the gate of West-End Mixed Secondary School, Asaba, was also closed, as the students were seen going home at about 10:15 am.
A teacher, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that the students had been asked to go home because of the strike.
Also, members of the NLC were seen at the Achievers Group of Schools, DLA road Asaba, driving out the students and trying to lock up the school gate.
However, most banks in Asaba remained open for business as customers continued their transactions without hindrance.
Kayode Alfred Now Writes For This Day Newspapers
Industrious entrepreneur-cum-society Kayode Olanshile Alfred has officially joined the leading and widest-circulated news journal, This Day Newspaper as a columnist. The award-winning and dynamic writer will be reporting the social lifestyle of the rich and the famous personalities in the society.
The unassuming Kayode, still in the attitude of his passion for the written word, either by commission or omission again went back to his first love as a columnist with This Day on Sunday where he resumed with his society page, High Life.
The charismatic, innovative and very industrious Kayode Alfred, is one of Nigeria’s most prolific society writers that is dedicated, even obsessive, about his work even as he loathes the disappointments that at times, come with it. Alfred will always be a pride of the journalism industry, especially when it comes to society reporting. His impressive career as a journalist speaks volumes and this is just stating the obvious, as he has proved this over time, with his gist, interviews, articles, and stories on those who matter in the society.
The Lagos State University graduate has carved a niche for himself in this volatile industry and can conveniently rank among the best five in society reportage, and this is no hyperbole.
He started making waves in the pen-pushing world many years back, when he joined the National Encomium magazine as a very pro-active Society writer, the credentials of which gave him the leverage to move instructively to The Nation Newspapers, to resume his normal beat as a prolific society writer, with his must-read page, called Society Watch in The Nation on Saturday.
The journalist turned designer has carved a niche for himself among fashion buffs. He can also be regarded as a celebrity journalist and fashion aficionado, a self-driven entrepreneur with astounding diligence and sartorial depth. It is no surprise, therefore, that his foray into the fashion world is predicated on the high art and culture of bespoke designs.
Sanwo-Olu Declares Emergency On Lagos Roads As Work Begins
Work begins today(Monday) on the deplorable city roads in Lagos State as Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Sunday declared an emergency on the situation.
The governor gave the directive for the commencement of repairs to construction companies. It followed his promise last week to start fixing the roads immediately after the rains.
Lagosians have been groaning under the state of roads and the attendant traffic situation. The extended rainfall has not helped matters.
According to the governor, all the construction companies had been mandated to mobilize their tools to the sites assigned to them.
He said: “This (Sunday) afternoon, we have just concluded meetings with various reputable construction companies and all of them have been given the brief to immediately commence major construction work in various parts of the state. The exercise will begin tomorrow with palliative work on the selected roads, which are on the Island and the Mainland.
“The contractors have been given the mandate to start mobilizing their equipment to their respective sites without further delay. Their activities must first give our people immediate relief on the affected roads so that there can be a free flow of traffic even during the rehabilitation work.”
To complement the major construction work on the highway, Sanwo-Olu said Lagos State Public Works Corporation (LSPWC) would be carrying out repairs on 116 inner roads across the state.
This, he said, would be in addition to the over 200 roads already rehabilitated by the corporation in the last three months.
Sanwo-Olu said his administration was not oblivious of the pain experienced by road users in the past few days, which was compounded by the persistent downpour.
He appealed to residents to bear with the government while efforts were being made to assuage their pains and bring permanent relief to them.
He said: “We expect the rains will begin to subside in this month of October and this is why we are mobilizing our contractors to immediately start the major construction work on the identified highways and bring permanent relief to residents. I am giving all Lagosians the assurance that the contractors will start the construction in earnest and will deliver on the terms of agreements reached with them.”
Sanwo-Olu said officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) would be working round the clock to control traffic on the areas where the construction would take place.
The Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure, Aramide Adeyoye, listed some of the critical areas to include Ojota stretch of the Ikorodu Road; Motorways – Kudirat Abiola Way; Apogbon Highway; Babs Animashaun Road; Agric/Ishawo and Ijede roads in Ikorodu as well as Lekki-Epe Expressway from Abraham Adesanya to Eleko Junction.
She added that there would be massive re-construction on a network of roads in Ikoyi, Ikeja GRA and Victoria Island.
The contractors deployed by the government are: Julius Berger, Hitech, Arab Contractors, Metropolitan Construction, Slavabogu Construction, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), Rajaf Foundation Construction and RCF Nigeria Limited.