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We’ll Jail More People In 2019, EFCC Tells Nigerians

Peter Okunoren

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The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu, says the EFCC is committed to ensuring that more corrupt persons are jailed in 2019.

The EFCC boss was quoted as saying this in a statement signed by its spokesman, Mr Tony Orilade, on Thursday.

Magu said the anti-graft agency secured the conviction of 312 persons in 2018 and the agency was targeting double of this figure (624) in 2019.

He said the commission was committed to intensifying its efforts in order to ensure that it secured more convictions in 2019.

“With 312 convictions in 2018, we are strategising to redouble our efforts in 2019, as part of our concerted efforts aimed at ensuring that the negative narrative of pervasive corruption in the system is changed for the better, and the perception that some persons are above the law, remains altered,” he said.

Magu, who was speaking to officers while on a working tour to the Lagos office of the commission, on January 3, 2019, noted that the EFCC had already secured three convictions in 2019, which he described as a good start.

“The commission shall continue to rid the country of economic and financial crimes and effectively coordinate the domestic efforts of the global fight against money laundering and terrorism financing,” he added.

Magu stressed that the EFCC remained committed to carrying out its duties “in conformity to best international practices within the ambit of the law.”

While commending the exemplary leadership of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, for the success recorded in the past year, the EFCC boss stressed that the judiciary was key to winning the corruption fight.

He said, “Let us have it at the back of our minds that we are only prosecutors; without the support of the Judiciary, led by the CJN and other heads of courts across jurisdictions, we could not have been able to achieve the much we did in 2018. Therefore, to be able to double that feat in 2019, let us know that we cannot do without the judiciary.”

He further called for the unalloyed collaboration of other stakeholders, urging Nigerians to be “more dedicated and determined in reducing corruption to the barest minimum.”

“Those who stole our commonwealth should know that there is no hiding place for them. A high tension searchlight is being beamed on them, it is in their interest to surrender because the game is up,” he said.

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[MUST READ] APC Gave Me N13m For 2019, I’m A Political Thug; A Sitting Governor Gave Me N6m — Kidnap Kingpin Wadume

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Suspected kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu Balla, a.k.a Wadume, who has been in the middle of the raging storm between the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police over the murder of three police operatives and two civilians by soldiers in Ibi town, Taraba state has finally opened up and made startling revelations.

In an exclusive interview with Saturday Vanguard, Wadume gave a blow by blow account of his encounter with both the police and his Army Captain friend in charge of the 93 Battalion, Wukari who aided his escape after his initial arrest by the police.

Wadume who expressed shock at the manner the soldiers opened fire on the Police Toyota Hiace Bus that was conveying him to the Taraba Police Command Headquarters in Jalingo said while he also sustained bullet wounds on his right thigh after the shootings, he never asked the army captain to rescue him from the policemen who arrested him.

He also explained that as at the time he crawled out of the bullet-ridden bus, which somersaulted three times before landing into the bush, the policemen were still alive but he was surprised to see the soldiers who had pursued them to the check-point raining bullets on the policemen before he was whisked in a red-colored car, to the home of the army captain.

He added that after his leg chain and handcuffs were cut off by a welder invited by the army captain, he was greeted by a large crowd of residents of Ibi who were standing beside the corpses of the deceased policemen who were all brought to the home of the army captain.

With the sum of N550,000 in his pocket after he was rescued, Wadume said he fled Ibi Town and was hiding in the house of one of his friends, Meito, at Ungwachiki town but 24 hours, later some soldiers trailed him to his friend’s house and wanted to kill him. He, therefore, jumped out of the window and fled to the river bank, boarded a speed boat into Tunga area of Nassarawa State, where he spent a night before moving to the home of his maternal uncle in Kano State.

My Background

My name is Hamisu Balla, alias Wadume, 33 years old and I am from Ibi Local Government Area of Taraba State. I am married to four wives and I have four children.

I attended Bula Primary school Ibi, but I dropped out from Government Secondary School Ibi at JSS 3. After I dropped out of school, I started fishing business at the River Benue that flowed through Ibi Town. This was in 1996 and I did fishing for six years, but in the year 2002, I went into fishpond business.

I used to buy fingerlings for N30 per one, nurture them for five months before selling them for N600 and N700. I started small with just two small ponds but I went on to get five more big ponds with 50 by 50 in size and five feet deep.

“I am not a kidnapper, but I have sold arms to several kidnappers. I am a fisher farmer, I own fish ponds, I own transport business. I am equally a political thug. I went into crime when some politicians came for me, they approached me through one Babangida Musa, who was also into the fishing business.

I got N6m from a sitting governor, N13m from APC, defrauded civil servant of N30m.

In June 2018, I deceived a lot of politicians who were vying for political offices that I had spiritual powers to enable them to win their elections. I defrauded the governor when he came to Ibi and met the youths in my town. As the leader of the youths, the Governor met me and I promised to work for him and to also consult some Mallams who would pray for his success.

The Governor gave me N2million at first and we exchanged telephone numbers. But one week before the election, the governor called me and asked me to come to the Government house and when I got there the governor gave me N4million cash to continue with the prayers. Immediately after the election, the governor called to thank me.

I was also given N13million by the APC to prosecute the 2019 presidential election but I spent only seven million. I also defrauded a civil servant from Ibi of N30million.

I contested the Taraba state house of Assembly under the YDP Ibi Local Government but I pulled out of the election and took my supporters to the PDP.

My Initial Arrest By The Police

I volunteered to follow the policemen when they came to arrest me at Ibi Town while I was drinking tea with some of my friends. They showed me their identity cards indicating that they were from the office of the Inspector General of Police and I volunteered to follow them because I knew I could settle any problem I’m confronted with. The policemen handcuffed me and leg-chained me while I was inside their vehicle and the Army Captain wasn’t even there when the policemen came to arrest me and I don’t even know who informed him that I had been arrested.

Slain Policemen Identified Themselves

While I was being taken out of Ibi, Town, the policemen passed the first checkpoint which was being manned by some soldiers after they had identified themselves. They also passed the second checkpoint which was manned by some Mobile Policemen. But when they got to the third one where we were attacked, four of the policemen alighted from their bus and they identified themselves to the policemen and exchanged banters. I was shocked when the soldiers came after us and rained bullets on our bus, killing those policemen. I was almost killed in the encounter. I was then taken to the army captain’s house. When I saw the corpses of the policemen and their agents in front of the Captain’s house I became very disturbed and I pretended as if I wanted to urinate and I escaped from the scene.

How I Escaped From Soldiers Who Wanted To Kill Me

I called one Audu who is one of my boys who took me on his bike to Ungwachiki Town in Ibi Local Government and I passed the night in the house of Meito, my friend. But while I was there some soldiers came to Meito’s house and started looking for me and they were armed with guns and machetes and axes, I believed they wanted to kill me.

I don’t know how they got information that I was in that house but I managed to escape through the window and fled to the river bank around 8pm where I boarded a speed boat to Tunga village in Nassarawa State. I spent a night in Nassarawa state before I boarded another commercial bus to Kano State.

People couldn’t recognize me because of the Sallah holiday. I had N500,000 with me as I was running from the police and I took the money to my uncle’s house where I went to hide in Kano.

While I was hiding, I instructed one of my bothers in Ibi to go to my house and take away all my rifles. My cousin also brought an idea that I needed some favorable stories to be written about me, so he engaged a PR company who were to link up with journalists to write the stories. I paid N3million for that.

 

 

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Tinubu To Sanwo-Olu: Make The People’s Welfare The Cornerstone Of Your Administration

Peter Okunoren

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The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Friday told the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to make the welfare of people the cornerstone of his administration’s programmes.

He stated this at the retreat organized for members of State Executive Council and Permanent Secretaries.

According to a statement issued by Sanwo-Olu’s Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, Tinubu also urged the current Governor to work hard to achieve the programmes of the party in the state.

“Many books on leadership and administration have been written by great thinkers which focused on the talent of individuals.

“But, is leadership about talent alone? I say no. Talent can only give you the opportunity to shine and get recognition among your peers. But it cannot pave the way for success.

“Talent without character is an effort to nowhere,” he said.

Also present at the cabinet retreat was the Minister for Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, another former Governor of the state.

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Nigeria To Extradite 80 Citizens Accused Of Fraud In USA —— FG

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The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, on Friday declared that the Nigerian Government will extradite about eighty Nigerians who have been accused of perpetrating fraud in some parts of United States of America (USA).

Dabiri-Erewa made this declaration in a statement she personally signed, a copy of which was made available to newsmen.

It was reported that the USA authorities, had yesterday released about 80 names of some Nigerians, accused of perpetrating fraud in the country.

But, Dabiri-Erewa while reacting, urged the accused persons to voluntarily turn themselves into the USA authorities in order to clear their names.

Dabiri-Erewa in the statement, however, maintained that failure to do so, the Nigerian government would find means to extradite those accused if relevant international treaties between the two countries are invoked.

Dabiri-Erewa in the statement entitled, “re: arrest of alleged Nigerian fraudsters in various parts of the United’ States OF America”, said that the commission would continue to monitor the case closely.

She said, “The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission is deeply concerned about the news of the court indictment of 80 persons, mainly Nigerians, in various parts of the US, being accused in separate FBI cases of massive email fraud and money laundering.

“Prior to the court indictment of these eighty persons, of which Valentine Iro and Chukwudi Christogunis Igbokwe are lead suspects, Obinwanne Okeke had earlier been arrested in Virginia.

“We acknowledge the fact that accusation does not mean guilt, and we hope that all the accused will be given a fair and speedy trial. We also ask those accused in Nigeria to voluntarily turn themselves in, to American authorities to clear their names, without which the Nigerian government should extradite them if relevant international treaties between the two governments are invoked.

“While such actions ultimately have a negative effect on the image of the country, the Commission, however, reiterates as it has always done, that the actions of a few Nigerians involved in criminal activities is not and can never be what the majority of Nigerians represent. We advise and we continuously resist any stereotyping of Nigeria and Nigerians generally.

“The Commission will continue to monitor the case closely.”

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