Connect with us

BIG STORY

EFCC Seals Off Saraki’s Houses In Ikoyi, Lagos

Avatar

Published

on

Multiple residential houses located in highbrow Ikoyi, Lagos, allegedly owned by Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki have been sealed off by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

In his reaction, Saraki insisted that the action of the EFCC was a witch-hunt.

According to him, the property in question have been investigated by the commission several times in the past.

A statement by the Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to the Senate President, Mr Yusuph Olaniyonu said: “Our attention has been drawn to the fact that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has marked certain property belonging to Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, obviously under the claim that they are subject of investigation.

“The action of the EFCC only reinforced our earlier stated position that their current investigation is mischievous, contrary to the tenets of the rule of law and only aimed at settling scores. This position is founded on the fact that these same buildings were the subject of earlier investigations by the EFCC as well as the case initiated by the Federal Government at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

“Also, the case went all the way to the highest court in our country, the Supreme Court of Nigeria. In that case, Saraki was discharged and acquitted because the courts believe the government has no case.”

Saraki defected to the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party few weeks to the general elections.

Before his defection, his relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari had gone sour.

Saraki was charged before the Code of Conduct Tribunal for alleged infraction of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers.

The tribunal did not find him guilty of any offence.

Last week, EFCC confirmed reports that it had opened a fresh investigation into Saraki’s stewardship as Senate President as well as a probe of his earnings as governor from 2003 – 2011.

Replying to Saraki’s allegations that the ongoing probe was a witch hunt, the acting EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday said the politician was not above the law, noting that the commission was obligated by law to enthrone probity and accountability in the governance space, a duty it claimed to have pursued without ill-will or malice against anyone.

The EFCC asked Saraki not to worry over the investigation into his earnings as Kwara State Governor and his stewardship in the Senate, “so long as he has no skeletons in his cupboard.”

The commission also said it possessed indicting petitions and other evidence against the Senate President, noting that putting him through a legitimate forensic inquiry was the legitimate route to establish his integrity as a public servant.

The EFCC refuted Saraki’s claims that the probe had to do with his appointment as the International Human Rights Commission ambassador.

It stated, “It is in the interest of the public, and for Saraki’s personal good, that he is not only above board, but be seen at all times to be so.

“Indeed, all the instances in which the EFCC has had cause to sleuth into his financial activities either as a former governor or President of the Senate were driven by over-arching public interest and due process of the law.

“Against the background of the possession of indicting petitions and other evidence available to the EFCC, even Saraki will agree with the commission that putting him through a legitimate forensic inquiry is the legitimate route to establish his integrity as a public servant.”

As part of the fresh probe of Saraki, the commission had written to the Kwara State Government to furnish it what the Senate President earned while he was governor of Kwara State.

Saraki was the state governor from 2003 to 2011, before his election into the National Assembly.

The anti-graft agency stated that it was investigating Saraki for an alleged case of conspiracy, abuse of office, misappropriation of public funds, theft, and money laundering.

In a letter to the Kwara State government, the EFCC demanded to be furnished with a breakdown of Saraki’s income, as well as his entitlements as governor of the state.

The letter signed by the EFCC Zonal Head, Isyaku Sharu, read: “In view of the above, you are kindly requested to furnish us with the full details of all his entitlements to include but not limited to emoluments, allowances, estacodes, other fringe benefits and severance package while he held sway as the Executive Governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011.

“This request is made pursuant to Section 38 (1) & (2) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004 and Section 21 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.”

BIG STORY

Blood On His Hands! Ex-CBN Director’s Son Kills Daughter Of Retired Air Vice Marshal, Six Others

Peter Okunoren

Published

on

A Medical Doctor who has been identified as Femi Babatunde Oni, has reportedly killed seven persons, including the daughter of retired Air Vice Marshal J.A. Mbaka, Saratu Luga Mbaka, in an apparent road rage in Abuja, The Eagle Online reports.

The incident reportedly happened in the early hours of May 18, 2019.

It was gathered that Oni, an in-law of the popular Igbinedion family of Edo State and son of a former Director of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sam Oni, drove out of a building along CBN/Sahad Stores road in Abuja that Saturday.

According to available information, the Medical Doctor had a female passenger with him in the car who was struggling for the steering with him.

In the process, he was said to have knocked down and killed three persons jogging along the road.

However, he did not stop.

Sources said while Oni was being chased by the police, he hit the green taxi in which Mbaka was riding alongside others.

Three passengers in the taxi were reported to have died on the spot, while Mbaka and the driver were taken to the National Hospital in Abuja unconscious.

However, Mbaka, 34, passed on that same day, while the driver remained in coma in the Intensive Care Unit of the National Hospital as at press time.

The police were to later apprehend Oni, whose identity they refused to disclose.

This has fuelled suspicion of a cover up.

A family source told The Eagle Online that Oni, a graduate of the University of Ilorin, has prevailed on the police authorities not to prosecute him but offered to compensate the families of the deceased.

Mbaka’s father is said to be a retired Nigerian Air Force pilot.

He is among those who survived his daughter.

Others are her children, mother, brothers and sisters.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Deputy Commissioner of Police Frank Mba, was not available for comment as at press time.

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

Sanwo-Olu Speaks On His Cabinet, Promises Not To Abandon Ambode’s Project, To Make Appointments Within 90 Days

Avatar

Published

on

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor-elect of Lagos state, has disclosed the kind of people that will make it into his cabinet.

Speaking with select journalists in Lagos on Thursday, the incoming governor said only those who have shared vision with him and Obafemi Hamzat, his deputy, will make it into his government.

He promised to hit the ground running, promising to run an inclusive government.

“There are so many intelligent people in Lagos. It’s just for us to identify them. Some could work full time, some part time, others could be technocrats or politicians but the bottom line is for us to identify square pegs into square holes and round pegs into round holes. That’s number one” he said.

“Number two, those who would work with Dr Hamzat and I must share our vision. They have to be on the same page with us from day one. The moment a politician or technocrat is appointed, he or she should see himself as a commissioner or staff adviser of Lagos, not for a sect or an area or jurisdiction.

“We are out to empower the people of Lagos state… These are the basic things, we will not compromise. Femi and I have been on this journey for the past eight or nine months. So, immediately we come on board, we will organise a crash course for them (cabinet members) to see where we are going. The moment we all see a common vision, it will be easier for us to drive a common agenda. But I can say Lagosians will be happy with us when we finally bring out those names.”

‘I’ll MAKE MAJOR APPOINTMENTS WITHIN 90 DAYS’

The governor-elect said he would make all the major appointments of his government within three months.

He also spoke about his plans to tackle traffic which is a major problem in the state.

“In the first 90 days or so, we are hoping that we would have a working government in all the cabinets, all of the major appointments that we need to have, we would have them running very quickly,” he said.

“We should begin to see huge solutions in our traffic management. I mean there will be some that we would have solved, there would be some that would still be working on because we are going into a rainy season and when it’s raining, for instance, you can’t pour concrete.

“So, some of those issues will come up. But in terms of the design, identifying those corridors that would need traffic improvement, we would have done all of that. In terms of places where we need to improve and increase waste management solution, we would have done all that.

“Like I have also said, the solution of Apapa gridlock. I am believing that we would have solved it as promised but the sustenance of it is another issue. So, sustaining what we solved is key. It’s going to cost us some money to ensure that people are on ground to ensure that the situation doesn’t get bad again but those are the things we need to do.

“In terms of infrastructure, before the end of the year, you will see our road plan in terms of which road, which bridges we would need to complete in the next two or three years.”

‘EVERYBODY HAS A ROLE TO PLAY’

Asked what he plans to do differently in government, Sanwo-Olu said: “I really don’t know if a man in his 50s would change how he dresses but my style would be to be very humble, transparent, accessible and to be very engaging.

“Let people have a voice, let them have a say. You might not necessarily have your way, but you can have your say. Everybody has a role… it is only if you don’t have any business here and you creating a security challenge for us that you won’t be guided by the style. Other than that, the style would remain to be the governor of everybody.”

On the resources of the state, Sanwo-Olu said no matter how much is in the treasury, it cannot be enough because the challenges are numerous.

COMPLETING INHERITTED PROJECTS

The outgoing governor exchanging pleasantries with the man who will succeed him on Wednesday

However, he promised that his administration would find a creative way to get revenue for its projects.

The governor-elect also promised to put finishing touches to some of the projects which Akinwunmi Ambode, the outgoing governor, is yet to complete.

“No matter how the situation is, money will never be enough but we cannot continue to give money as an excuse not to work,” he said.

“There are creative ways by which you can finance, manage all of the things you want to do, for as long as you are right and people can see the charge out, money will look for you. Money will move to people who need it the most.

“In terms of completion of projects of the outgoing government, oh yes, we will complete them because what doesn’t get completed, wasn’t done in the first place. So, we will ensure that we do that and there shouldn’t be any problem.

“Given my sense of understanding of government, it is a continuum, anyhow it is, we really cannot begin to give excuses. Just go out there go fix it, that is the way it is. Wherever it is that things are wrong, we can make it better, quicker, that is what we have promised.”

The Cable

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

Why I Refused To Sack My Ministers —- Buhari

Avatar

Published

on

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his decision to retain cabinet ministers in the last three and half years in spite of pressures from some quarters was because of their unique skills, strengths, and leadership qualities.

The president made this known during a valedictory session of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.

He observed that the ministers, who exhibited spirit of team work, were more rational in taking decisions aimed at tackling the numerous challenges facing the country.

President Buhari described the cabinet members as “a reflection of the Nigeria we aspire to achieve.”

“You will recall that when we started this journey, our country was facing numerous challenges.

“We inherited a broken economy which eventually went into recession in the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2016.

“The situation was further compounded by insecurity and massive corruption.

“Many would have given up. Indeed, many outside commentators said our situation was well-nigh hopeless.

However, we all came together and pushed forward to deliver our campaign promise to rescue our country from its parlous state.

“Although we all had a common vision, we frequently had heated debates in this room on the best way to achieve our goals. These differing views are what made the decisions we took all the more rational.

“It is this quality that made me retain my cabinet for the full term. Each of you in this room has a unique skill and strength.

“We are a reflection of the Nigeria we aspire to achieve – A diverse but tolerant nation where no one is silenced and where every opinion should be heard and considered.’’

President Buhari, who thanked the ministers for agreeing to serve the nation, urged them to be happy for contributing their quota in various ways to the development of the nation.

`I want you all to leave this meeting proud to have served your nation to the best of your ability.

“You should be proud to have been part of the government that liberated the local governments previously under Boko Haram rule.

“You should be proud to have contributed to our food security and economic diversification agenda which led to the revival of our rural agrarian economy

“You should be proud to have been part of the team that developed the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan which led Nigeria exiting its worst recession in decades.

“You should be proud to have introduced the social investment programme that enhanced livelihoods of millions of Nigerians.

“You should be proud to have participated in settling outstanding pensions of many senior citizens abandoned by previous governments while supporting state governments to meet their salary arrears.

“And of course, you should all be proud to have overseen the most ambitious road, rail and airport rehabilitation programmes in the history of our country,’’ the president added.

According to the president, the ministers’ achievements within the period had guaranteed their position in the history books of the nation.

He maintained that the ministers had succeeded in building the foundations for an improved economy and a more purposeful government.

The president, therefore, directed all ministers to remain in office until May 28.

“Although today is our last council meeting, I expect all of you to continue working until Tuesday, May 28, 2019 when you will officially hand over your schedules to your respective Permanent Secretaries.

“Your handing over letters should be submitted to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation,’’ he said.

In his remarks, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo thanked President Buhari for trusting him with various responsibilities, especially when he acted as president.

He said “My deepest gratitude comes from the great trust that you reposed in me at all times.

“I will never forget when you were going on medical leave in May 2017 and you said to me in the course of conversation that evening that you would not meddle in my discretion as acting President in anyway.

“And in keeping with your character and style you kept your words.”

Earlier, the ministers, who took turns to recount their experiences lauded President Buhari’s humility, integrity and hard work.

They expressed appreciation for his kind gesture and pledged to do more for the country when called upon to serve the nation.

The president and the out-going ministers later had a group photograph, as the cabinet members prepare to bow out of office on May 28.

(NAN)

Continue Reading

JoIn Us On Facebook

Most Popular