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EFCC Arrests Two Lagos Based Activists For Demanding N50m Bribe From Company To Withdraw Petition

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Two human rights activists have been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegedly demanding a bribe from Wahum Nigeria Limited, The PUNCH is reporting.

According to the newspaper, the President of the Path of Peace Initiatives, Dandy Eze, and one Solomon Johnson are the accused in the case.

Eze and Johnson was said to have sometime in 2018 approached Wahum Nigeria Limited to ask for N50 million to help facilitate the withdrawal of a petition written against the company, which they claimed was being investigated by the EFCC.

The PUNCH gathered that when the letter allegedly written by the activists was investigated by the EFCC, it was discovered that the suspects had solicited a bribe from Wahum Nigeria Limited.

The newspaper learnt that N1 million had already been collected by the duo as part payment through a First Bank account number 3081329952 operated by Johnson.

They were arraigned before a Lagos State Special Offences Court on four counts bordering on conspiracy to commit felony and acceptance of bribe to the tune of N50 million.

The charges read in part: “That you, Dandy Eze, being the President of the Path of Peace Initiatives, and Solomon Johnson, on or about November 23, 2018, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, solicited the sum of N50m only as bribe in order to facilitate the withdrawal of a petition written against Wahum Nigeria Limited from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

“That you, Dandy Eze, being the President of the Path of Peace Initiatives, and Solomon Johnson, on or about November 26, 2018, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did accept the sum of N1m as bribe through the First Bank account number 3081329952 operated by Solomon Johnson from Wahum Nigeria Limited in order to facilitate the withdrawal of a petition written against Wahum Nigeria Limited from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.”

They defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In view of their plea, the prosecuting counsel, George Chia-Yakua, asked the court for a trial date and also prayed that the defendants be remanded in prison custody.

However, the counsel for the defendants, Terry Adeniji, told the court that he had just been briefed about the case.

Adeniji, therefore, asked the court for a short date to enable him to file a proper bail application.

He also prayed the court to remand the defendants in the EFCC custody.

In his response, Chia-Yakua urged the court to refuse the prayer of the defence counsel to remand the defendants in the EFCC custody.

The presiding judge, Justice Mojisola Dada, adjourned the matter till February 14 and 15, 2019 for the hearing of the bail application and commencement of trial.

Dada, thereafter, remanded the suspects in prison custody.

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Ex-Gov. Abubakar Spent N2.3bn To Buy Burial Materials, Bauchi Governor Alleges

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As the blame game continues in Bauchi State, Governor Bala Mohammed has alleged that his predecessor, Mohammed Abubakar spent a whopping sum of N2.3 billion to buy materials for burying dead bodies in the state.

The governor who spoke through his spokesperson, Dr. Ladan Salihu, in an interview with newsmen in Bauchi over the weekend, alleged that the said funds were spent between January and May 2019.

Ladan Salihu explained that over N900 million of the money was spent in buying white cloth materials used for wrapping dead bodies while over N1.4 billion was used to buy the wood for lacing the graves for the burial.

According to him, the government discovered various issues of corruption, venality, daylight robbery of the commonwealth of Bauchi State where billions of Naira were syphoned illegally.

The spokesperson further alleged that: “These monies which ought to have been appropriated by the Assembly before expenditure, all of a sudden emanated from our treasury books.

How could you imagine that a state government, within five months that is between January and May, 2019, spent well over N2.3 billion on funeral materials, the clothes that are used in wrapping dead bodies and the woods that you lace the graveyards with?

“The immediate past government spent N2.3 billion, that government did not spend a quarter of that amount in our own hospitals and clinics. They have the temerity to want to put up a show of shame,” he lamented.

When asked if the government has any proof to substantiate its claim, he said that there is no iota of doubt on the matter saying that there are documental evidence to prove it.

“All these are captured in the report of the Transition Committee and these were gathered from documents and vouchers and payments made from our treasury books. There is the Freedom of Information law, go there and find out for yourself from those documents.

“We are talking about the principle behind it. You have bought these materials for funerals in graveyards, what have you done to the Christian cemetery? But we are saying that it is wrong completely, it is not the duty of government to buy burial materials for anybody.

“It is the responsibility of the family, the community and people of goodwill. It has never existed in our history books that the government bought those materials in the first place.

“So, you know that these things were bought for a reason, you would not see the materials, because they have disappeared into or out of ballot boxes,” he alleged.

Ladan Salihu further vowed that: “Government will take very, very stern measures, we will recover every kobo that has been looted or stolen by the immediate past administration and in fact, the administration before it. Where it is established that there is a clear case of misappropriation or outright stealing of public funds. It is an obligation, you don’t allow criminality to run roughshod on the rest of us because these are public funds.

“We must take steps, there’s no factor of fear or favour or ill will, it is just the way the business of government must be conducted. We will take every measure, we use every institution and go after everyone that has stolen Bauchi State’s money.

“We will pursue this case in the relevant institutions of recovery whether it is EFCC, ICPC, the constitution of a Special Recovery Mechanism within the state, I can assure you, we will pursue these issues vigorously, rigorously and without let,” he added.

When our correspondent contacted the Special Adviser to the former Governor Abubakar on Media and Strategy, Ali M. Ali, on phone, he simply said, “that is very ridiculous, I cannot make further comments on the issue because I am not aware of such allegation.

“I’ve not heard of anything like that, so I will speak on it when I make my findings but this is laughable. I will get back to you on that when I have done my findings from my principal,” he added.

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Presidents of Rwanda, Senegal And DRC To Speak At The Largest Annual Gathering Of African Entrepreneurs

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The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Africa’s champion of entrepreneurship, has announced the line-up of speakers and activities for the 5th Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum — the largest annual gathering of African entrepreneurs and the African entrepreneurship ecosystem.



For the Forum’s Presidential Dialogue, the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), H.E Félix Tshisekedi will join previously announced President of Rwanda, H.E Paul Kagame and President of Senegal, H.E Macky Sall, in an interactive, charged plenary session that opens Day 2 of the Forum. The Presidential Dialogue will be moderated by TEF Founder, Tony O. Elumelu, CON, and will feature all three presidents engaging directly with an audience of 5,000, comprising of entrepreneurs, policymakers, investors and business leaders, with thousands of people interacting live online, through TEFConnect.

The Forum presents the largest single annual opportunity for entrepreneurs and policy makers to interact directly and all sessions at the Forum have private sector and public sector leaders anchor panel discussions, masterclasses, and a dynamic pitching competition that will engage an audience of start-up entrepreneurs, development institutions, and policymakers.



The speakers expected for this year’s Forum include Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of African Export-Import (AFREXIMBANK); Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of African Development Bank (AFDB); Dr. Awele Elumelu, Trustee, Tony Elumelu Foundation and Founder, Avon Medical; Kennedy Uzoka, Group CEO, UBA Group Plc; Mrs. Djene Kaba Conde, First Lady, Guinea; amongst other notable global business leaders. 

Every year, the Tony Elumelu Foundation hosts the largest gathering of African entrepreneurs, policymakers and business leaders in one location. This year’s Forum, themed “Empowering African Entrepreneurs”, will take place at the iconic Transcorp Hilton Hotel, in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja. The Forum will also include the UBA Marketplace, where UBA, Africa’s global bank, brings together businesses from across the continent.  

At the 2018 forum, TEFConnect, the largest digital platform for African entrepreneurs was launched to connect entrepreneurs to the opportunities they need for business success. TEFConnect will take centre stage at this year’s Forum as global debates move to technology as a key driver of economic development in Africa.

For more information: https://www.tonyelumelufoundation.org/forum2019

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Jim Ovia Advocates For Disruptive Technology To Scale Businesses In Africa

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According to Zenith Bank Founder/Chairman, Jim Ovia, businesses stand a chance to triple growth rate and earnings through innovation and technology.

The options are to “innovate and transform or die”, he said. It is the technology age and businesses operating out of Africa should continually adopt technology to experience exponential scale in their business development.

He made this statement while chairing the launch of the PwC Experience Centre. Mr. Ovia added that the Experience Centre is a forward-thinking way to disrupt the over $1tn consultancy service industry yet to be digitized.

Therefore, the Experience Centre is an effective move towards expanding PwC’s innovative solution services across West Africa.

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