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There were strong indications on Thursday that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission would reopen investigation into allegations of corruption against the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Justice Danladi Usman.

Sources at the anti-graft agency in Abuja said the commission had started screening all outstanding petitions against the CCT Chairman.

A top officer of the EFCC, who confided in The PUNCH, said after scrutinising all the petitions against the CCT chairman, the anti-graft commission would invite him for interrogation.

“I can confirm to you that the EFCC is set to reopen the probe of the CCT chairman. We are studying the petitions and he will be invited anytime from now,” the source stated.

It was learnt that the anti-corruption agency had more than a year ago begun a probe of the CCT chairman and submitted a preliminary report to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

It was learnt that copies of the petitions that were submitted to the National Assembly in 2015 by anti-corruption groups, were also sent to the EFCC for investigations.

The Senate had in November 2015 directed its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to conduct a comprehensive investigations into the allegations of corruption levelled against the Chairman of the CCT.

The directive followed a petition submitted by a Peoples Democratic Party senator, Obinna Obah, from Ebonyi State.

The petition, which was signed by one Ajaso I. Ajaso on behalf of a group, Anti- Corruption Network, was submitted six weeks after the House of Representatives began a separate investigation into the same petition.

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, referred the petition to the committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions and asked the Chairman, Samuel Anyanwu, to carry out a thorough investigation and report back in two weeks.

The CCT chairman, however, did not appear before the committee. The chairman, while presenting the report, said the investigation had been suspended because the House of Representatives was carrying out a similar exercise.

In the House, findings indicated that hearing on the petition was eventually stalled after the petitioners, the Anti-Corruption Network, could not prove the allegations against Danladi Umar.

The judge had made several appearances before the panel, which was chaired by Mr. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, but frustration set in after the petitioners kept delaying proceedings.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, had appeared before the committee to admit that his office investigated the allegations.

However, Malami told the panel that the report of the investigations showed that the allegations were based on “mere suspicions.”

The matter was later stalled at the committee.

Also in November 2015, another group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria petitioned the two chambers of the National Assembly, demanding an immediate probe of an alleged N10,618,837,435 bribery scandal against the CCT boss.

The group’s petition, which was signed by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, was addressed to Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara.

The group noted that the EFCC had started investigation into the alleged bribery allegations levelled against Umar.

It had alleged that there was a conspiracy involving the EFCC, Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and the CCT.

When contacted on the telephone, the spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said he had not been briefed on such investigations.

“I am not aware. I have not been briefed on the matter,” he said.

 

 

Credit: Punch Newspaper

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BREAKING: Kaduna Assembly Speaker Resigns

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Speaker of Kaduna Assembly, Hon. Aminu Abdullahi Shagali, has resigned from his position.

Sources from the Assembly said Shagali tendered his resignation before the commencement of Plenary session on Tuesday morning

Details shortly…

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JUST IN: Court Finds Olisa Metuh, Firm Guilty Of First Count In N400m Fraud Trial

Peter Okunoren

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The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Tuesday, convicted a former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisah Metuh, and his firm, Destra Investments Limited, of the first of the seven counts instituted against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Ruling on the first count in his judgement, Justice Okon Abang ruled that a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, unlawfully transferred the sum of N400 million to the defendants in November 2014.

The judge ruled that Metuh and his firm reasonably ought to have known that the sum of N400 million paid to them formed part of the proceeds of the unlawful activity of the ex-NSA because they had no form of a contractual relationship with the ONSA.

According to the judge, Dasuki transferred the money to the defendants “in breach of public trust”.

He dismissed the contention of the defence who argued that the defendants could not be convicted for the money laundering offence because Dasuki, who is currently being prosecuted, had yet to be convicted for the predicate offence of breach of trust and corruption.

The judge said, contrary to the argument, “the predicate offence and the money laundering offence are intertwined”.

“The success or failure of the predicate offence does not determine the success or failures of the money laundering offence,” the judge added.

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Lagos Government To Demolish Buildings In Banana Island, Parkview, Ikoyi

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Worried by the persistent violation of building permit laws in Lagos State, the Government has disclosed that it would not hesitate to pull down structures in Banana Island, Ikoyi, Parkview and other highbrow areas.

The announcement came as the State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) intensify enforcement with the sealing of buildings to prevent collapse buildings cases in the state.

Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, disclosed the Government plan in a statement posted on his official twitter handle, lamenting that several buildings within these highbrow areas were erected without permits.

According to him, it is highly regrettable that most of the buildings within these highbrow areas are either without planning permits or built beyond approved units. And this was discovered during our week-long massive enforcement on Planning permit in Ikoyi, Parkview, Banana Island, and environs.

“It was also observed that many commenced construction without recourse to LASBCA as stipulated in the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning Law. In view of this flagrant disregard for the extant planning laws of the state.

“The Lagos Government henceforth will not hesitate to apply the full wrath of the law against such violators and to ensure compliance with the planning laws and regulations in the State”.

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