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The Federal Government has reacted to the barrage of attacks by some of the named treasury looters and has gone further to name 23 others, most of them members of the Peoples Democratic Party.

In a press statement on Sunday, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the list of alleged looters released earlier was based on verifiable facts, including the amount involved, the date the amount in question was collected and from where it was taken.

Mohammed also said those complaining that the list was too short apparently did not understand that it was strategically released as a teaser.

He said: “At the press conference where the list was released, I did say it was a tip of the iceberg.

“Apparently, this does not mean anything to people whose style is to comment on issues they barely understand, or just to shoot down anything coming from the government.”

Mohammed said the Federal Government has a large number of alleged looters on its list.

He slammed the Peoples Democratic Party for daring to challenge the Federal Government over an issue that the party knows is its weakness: Looting of public treasury.

He said: “What was the PDP expecting when it challenged the FG to name the looters of the public treasury under the party’s watch? Did the PDP actually believe that the massive looting under its watch was a joke?

“Did they think it is April Fool?”

The Minister said the PDP’s reaction to the looters’ list has shown that its recent apology is an election-induced act, contrived to deceive unsuspecting Nigerians to vote for the party in the 2019 general election, even when it has not come clean on its looting spree during its time in office.

Mohammed said: “The hysterical and panicky reaction from the PDP has shown that the party is not at all sincere about its choreographed apology. Were it not the case, the party would have followed in the footsteps of one of its leaders, Senator Ibrahim Mantu, who simply owned up to his role in the party’s rigging in the past elections and said he had turned a new leaf.

“It is said that a true confession is done in humility with an attitude of repentance. It is clear that the PDP does not know this, hence its resort to hubris instead of humility and genuine penitence.”

Mohammed said the Federal Government will neither be intimidated nor blackmailed into silence, adding that it will also not rest until all those who looted the public treasury have been brought to justice.

Second batch of alleged looters, amount taken

1. Former NSA Sambo Dasuki: Based on EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) investigations and findings alone (this is beside the ongoing $2.1 billion military equipment scandal), a total of N126 billion, over $1.5 billion and 5.5 million British Pounds was embezzled through his office. A good number of these monies were simply shared to persons and companies without any formal contract awards.

2. Former Petroleum Resources Minister Dieziani Alison-Madukwe: In just one of the cases the EFCC is investigating involving her, about N23 billion is alleged to have been embezzled. She is also involved in the Strategic Alliance Contracts of the NNPC, where the firms of Jide Omokore and Kola Aluko got oil blocks but never paid government taxes and royalty. About $3 billion was involved. The Federal Government is charging Omokore and Aluko and will use all legal instruments local and international to ensure justice.

3. Rtd. Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah: N13.9 billion. N4.8 billion recovered by EFCC in cash and property.

4. Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika: N4.5 billion. N29m recovered by the EFCC so far.

5. Alex Barde, former Chief of Defence Staff: N8 billion, and EFCC recovered almost N4 billion in cash and property already.

6. Inde Dikko: former CG Customs: N40 billion, and N1.1 billion in cash recovered in cash and choice properties.

7. Air Marshal Adesola Amosun: N21.4 billion. N2.8 billion recovered in cash. 28 properties and 3 vehicles also recovered.

8. Senator Bala Mohammed, former FCT Minister: N5 billion. Interim forfeiture order on some property secured.

9. Senator Stella Oduah: N9.8 billion. Interim forfeiture order on some property secured.

10. Former Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu: N1.6 billion – from NSA.

11. Senator Jonah Jang, former Plateau State Governor: N12.5 billion.

12. Bashir Yuguda, former Minister of State for Finance: N1.5 billion. $829,800 recovered.

13. Senator Peter Nwaboshi: N1.5 billion.

14. Aliyu Usman: Former NSA Dasuki’s aide: N512 million.

15. Ahmad Idris: Former NSA Dasuki’s PA: N1.5 billion.

16. Rasheed Ladoja: Former Oyo Governor: N500 million.

17. Tom Ikimi: N300 million.

18. Femi Fani-Kayode: N866 million.

19. Hassan Tukur, former PPS to President Goodluck: $1.7 million.

20. Nenadi Usman: N1.5 billion.

21. Benedicta Iroha: N1.7 billion.

22. Aliyu Usman Jawaz: Close ally of former NSA Dasuki: N882 million

23. Godknows Igali: Over N7 billion.

BIG STORY

JUST IN: Many Missing As Truck Plunges Into Lagos River

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Many people have been declared missing after a truck fell off the Berger bridge into the Epe river in Lagos State on Friday night.

As at the time of filing this report, the number of persons in the truck was unknown.

However, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) confirmed the incident on Saturday.

Head, Public Affairs of LASEMA, Nosa Okunbor, said search and rescue operations are ongoing.

More to come.

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BIG STORY

‘Jail Me But Set Him Free’ — Foreign Activist Writes Buhari Over 13-Year-Old Sentenced For Blasphemy In Kano

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Piotr Cywinski

Piotr Cywinski, director of Auschwitz Memorial in Poland, says he is ready to be imprisoned in Nigeria so that Umar Farouq, a 13-year-old boy sentenced for blasphemy, can regain freedom.

A Sharia court in Kano had convicted Farouq for “using disparaging language on Allah” during a disagreement with his friend.

In a letter dated September 25 and addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, Cywinski sought pardon for Farouq.

He said if Buhari is unable to facilitate the teenager’s release, he and 119 volunteers would serve a month in a Nigerian prison on Farouq’s behalf.

“I permit myself to write to you personally about a young boy named Omar Farouq, who was convicted recently in a Sharia court in Kano State in north-west Nigeria after being accused of blasphemy used during an argument with a friend,” he said.

“I wish to request the pardon of this 13-year-old boy. Regardless of what he said, he cannot be treated as fully aware and responsible, given his age.

“If it turns out that the words of this child absolutely require 120 months of imprisonment, and even you are not able to change that, I suggest that in place of the child, 120 adult volunteers from all over the world, gathered by us myself personally among them should each serve a month in a Nigerian prison.

“In total, the price for the child’s transgression will be the same, and we will all avoid the worst.

“If you agree to grant clemency, or to the above proposal in lieu of punishment, I will make an attempt to provide financial help for the boy’s proper education. This way, instead of a destroyed young man, Nigeria will gain an aware and educated young citizen.

“You will undoubtedly agree with the statement that human rights begin with the rights of the child. I kindly ask you to consider my proposal favorably.”

Cywinski’s request came days after the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) appealed to the Kano state government to reverse the jail sentence.

Auschwitz Memorial preserves the remains of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp, where children were imprisoned and murdered.

Adolf Hitler, the late leader of Nazi Germany, reportedly oversaw the killing of 6 million Jews.

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Don’t Join Nationwide Strike, FG Warns Civil Servants

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Folasade Yemi-Esan, head of the civil service of the federation, has warned workers under the federal government not to join the planned strike by labour unions across the country, scheduled to begin on Monday.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), and its affiliate unions had enjoined workers to embark on an indefinite strike, pending when the federal government reverses the price of petrol and electricity tariff.

In a statement on Friday, Yemi-Esan said the federal government is in talks with the labour unions towards ensuring that all agitations by the workers are resolved.

She, however, added that the workers cannot embark on the industrial action because there is a court injunction restraining them from doing so.

“Sequel to the call by the Labour Unions for workers to embark on industrial action from Monday, 28th September 2020, the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) wishes to inform all public servants that the Federal Government team is currently engaging with the Labour Unions with a view to resolving all contentious issues and avert the planned industrial action,” she said.

“Furthermore, it is important to note that there is a court injunction granted by the National Industrial Court (Suit No. NICN/ABJ/253/2020) on 24th September 2020, restraining the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria from embarking on any form of industrial action pending the hearing and determination of a Motion on Notice.

“Accordingly, all officers on Grade Level 12 and above and those on essential services are hereby strongly advised to be at work to perform their official duties.”

In two separate rulings, the National Industrial Court had restrained the labour unions from embarking on the strike.

Meanwhile, other unions such as the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFIE), the Joint Action Front (JAF), Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), aviation unions, among others, have declared their interest to join in the strike.

 

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