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The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), on Thursday in Abuja rejected calls for the sack of the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun.

Sagay spoke against the backdrop of the calls for President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Adeosun over the allegation that she skipped the National Youth Service Corps programme and forged an exemption certificate.

Sagay spoke in Abuja during the workshop on the United Kingdom Unexplained Wealth Order, organised by PACAC, UK National Crime Agency and the Department for International Development.

Asked what he thought about the government’s refusal to react to the issue, Sagay said: “I don’t know why the government has not reacted.

“But, let me tell you my reaction: this woman is a brilliant and extremely valuable member of this government.

“A lot of the good things happening now – the welfare that Nigerians are enjoying and are going to enjoy, because it takes time, and the way our economy is booming, how we got out of recession – are due to her expertise, her commitment, her sacrifice.

“There is nothing in this world that will make me remove such a woman from the government.

“The PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) can weep from now until there is no tear in their body.

“She is going to be there.

“We cannot afford to lose that woman.”

Asked if it was not an offence to skip NYSC, Sagay said: “Who cares about youth service?

“I don’t bloody care whether she did youth service or not.

“It’s irrelevant as far as I am concerned.”

On the allegation that she forged an exemption certificate, the PACAC chairman said: “I don’t believe it.

“I don’t see anything serious about not doing youth service.

“I don’t see anything serious about it.

“That’s my own bias, not government’s.

“I’m telling you now. If you ask me, if I were President Buhari, I would never, ever touch that woman because she’s damn good.

“The enemies of this government want to reduce his capacity to provide good governance by engaging in social media attacks and trying to get rid of her.

“It will not work.”

In a related development, Sagay faulted the freezing of Benue State’s account by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, describing it as “extreme”.

He said while EFCC could investigate governors, they cannot be prosecuted since they have immunity.

He said: “There’s nothing EFCC can do to him (Governor Samuel Ortom).

“They can’t arrest him.

“They can investigate him, put down the records of what they found and wait for his tenure to end.

“Right now, nobody can touch him.

“As for freezing Benue State’s account, I can’t support it.

“I don’t know why, but the government has to function.

“I don’t want people to suffer because there are no funds for basic government functions.

“I don’t know if EFCC really did that.

“We have to be careful because it looks extreme to me.”

BIG STORY

I’ll Reward Hardworking, Loyal Supporters In 2019 —- Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday assured his supporters that their handwork and loyalty would be adequately rewarded in 2019.

Buhari gave the assurance in Abuja in his speech at the inauguration of his support group: “Together Nigeria.”

The event was organised by the Buhari Support Organisation.

Buhari, who expressed gratitude to the organisation, said: “Some individuals and organisations might be feeling disappointed because we have not been able to please everyone.

“I would like to assure you that this time, handwork and loyalty will be rewarded adequately.”

According to the President, the event reminds him of the political struggle and support he has been enjoying from the group over the years.

He, therefore, endorsed the plan put in place by the Buhari Support Organisation to reposition the organisation and strategise towards success in the next election and beyond.

“This once again gives me further encouragement, hope and optimism in our political journey,” Buhari said.

While acknowledging the overwhelming nationwide support he has been enjoying over the years, Buhari said his administration was already celebrating the landmark achievements so far recorded.

He expressed gratitude to the group for sensitising Nigerians to the successes recorded by the governing All Progressives Congress.

He also expressed appreciation to Nigerian celebrities for their contributions to the growth of the country’s entertainment industry as well as projecting the good image of Nigeria abroad.

“I would like to thank our celebrities for projecting the image of Nigeria globally and your contributions to our entertainment industry,” he said.

Together Nigeria, which is made up of Nigerian celebrities, is an advocacy group supporting the re-election of President Buhari in 2019.

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BIG STORY

Cashier, Wife, Mother-In-Law Docked For Stealing Customers N2.4million

Peter Okunoren

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A bank Cashier, Ebenezer Adeolu Alonge, his wife, Isakunle Olamide Oyinlola and his mother-in-law, Isakunle Eunice Moradeke have been charged with fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The trio were docked today before Hon. Justice Lekan Ogunmoye of the High Court of Ekiti State, Ado-Ekiti division.

They were arraigned on an 12-count charge of conspiracy and stealing contrary to section 390 (9) of the Criminal Code Laws Cap 16 Laws of Ekiti State, 2012.

The defendants however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.

In view of their plea, counsel to the EFCC, Adeola Elumaro, applied for a date for trial. However, the defense counsel, Fasina A. Olayemi filed applications praying the court to admit the defendants to bail.

Justice Ogunmoye granted the defendants bail in the sum of Two Million Naira each and two sureties in like sum.

One of the sureties shall be a government official not below grade level 12 while the other surety must be resident within jurisdiction.

The case has been adjourned till February 5, 2019 for trial.

One of the Counts reads: That you Ebenezer Adeolu Alonge ‘M’ , Isakunle Olamide Oyinlola ‘F’ and Isakunle Eunice Moradeke ‘F’ between the month of January 2017 and March 2017, at the premises of Sterling Bank PLC Ado-Ekiti branch, did steal the sum of N2,400,800.00 (Two Million, Four Hundred Thousand and Eight Hundred Naira) only property of Sterling Bank, by diverting same to the personal account of Isakunle Olamide Oyinlola with account number, 0047750660 and the personal account of Isakunle Eunice Moradeke with account number 0064222881, all with the Sterling Bank, Ado-Ekiti branch, being money for Ekiti State Primary and Secondary Education Development levy, and thereby committed an offence”.

The journey to the dock started when the illicit activities of Ebenezer got exposed through a petition to the EFCC from one of the new generation banks (name withheld) alleging that one of her staff by name Ebenezer Adeolu Alonge was involved in fraudulent activities.

It was alleged that sometimes in February, 2018 the bank received a complaint bothering on the financial impropriety of the sum of N62, 400.00 in respect of a customer’s account.

According to the petitioner, sometimes in February 15, 2017 a customer lodged the said sum into her account but the transaction could not be traced to the customer’s account even after the customer presented a copy of the slip signed by Ebenezer.

The incident was however, investigated and the said transaction was allegedly traced to Ebenezer Alonge’s wife account. Further investigation however, revealed that there was a turnover of over N21, 000,000.00 (Twenty One Million Naira) as deposit from other customers in his wife’s account. Also, it was alleged that other sums were traced to his mother-in-law’s account, who were also beneficiaries of the fraud.

(NAN)

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BIG STORY

EFCC Arraigns 24 OOU ‘Yahoo Boys’, Releases Names

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan office, on Wednesday arraigned twenty four students of Olabisi Onabanjo University and the National Open University of Nigeria who were arrested for alleged involvement in various cyber crimes.

Ten of the defendants: Agboola Taiwo, Adetayo Tade Ademiluyi, Rabiu Daniel, Sokoya Oluwaseyi, Fredrick Shaibu, Oshikoya Gbolahan, Adegbola Kazeem Aina, Ademosun Opeyemi, Tosin Awobona and Babarinde Jacob were arraigned before Hon. Justice Ibrahim Watilat of the Federal High Court, sitting in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Fourteen others, comprising of Adeleke Oluwamayowa, Banjo Femi, Towolawi Olanrewaju, Tijani Babatunde, Sarafadeen Abibullahi, Adebowale Abimbola, Osunkoya Korede, Mufutau Yusuf Akorede, Salisu Ajibola, Olamikan Oluwasiji, Oduwole Gbenga, Damilare Adelaja, Bakare Azeez Adebola and Edward Ayodeji were arraigned before Hon. Justice M. S. Abubakar of the Federal High Court 1 sitting in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The defendants were all arraigned on separate charges bordering on obtaining money by false pretences, impersonation and possession of fraudulent documents.

They all pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.

One of the counts against one of the accused persons reads: “That you, Rabiu Daniel (a.K.a. Agent Howard Hall) on 23rd June, 2018 at Abeokuta within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud, knowingly had in your possession documents containing false pretences to wit: an e-mail address, howardhall900@gmail.com wherein you represented yourself as; Agent Howard Hall, working for the Government/Facebook Compensation Bonus and Poverty Eradication, and other false pretences, thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 6, and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006”.

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