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EFCC Seals Off Saraki’s Houses In Ikoyi, Lagos

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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

Trouble Brews In FIRS As Workers Rejects Fowler’s Handover To Aina, Demand Handover To Senior Director

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Twenty-four hours after the change of guard at the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), members of staff of the Service have given the authorities till Friday for the most senior director to take over as acting chairman.

Mr. Babatunde Fowler handed over to Abiodun Aina, Coordinating Director, Domestic Taxes Group after President Muhammadu Buhari named Muhammad M. Nami to replace him as chairman and sent his name to the Senate for confirmation.

According to a communique sent to the Acting Executive Chairman, the workers, under the aegis of the Joint Union Council of FIRS, threatened that they cannot guarantee industrial harmony after Friday if Aina continues to act as chairman.

The FIRS claimed that Aina, “does not have the basic qualification/requirement (HND or BSc) to be employed into the Service.”

Besides, the union said Aina’s appointment to the position of Coordinating Director “was against the provision of Section 2.19 of FIRS Human Resource Policies and Processes which states as follows: Appointment to the post of Coordinating Director shall be made by the Board on the recommendation of the Executive Chairman.”

Aina’s appointment they claim should “be open to all confirmed Directors of the Service and it shall be competitive based on experience, competence, and seniority, as he was never a director in the Service rather a Senior Special Assistant to the erstwhile Chairman of FIRS.”

They also claimed that “his name is not on the seniority list of confirmed FIRS staff and FIRS directors on the staff nominal roll rather on the list of Contract Staff of FIRS.”

At the end of the emergency meeting, union members resolved that “in accordance with the Presidential Directive, the seniority list should be followed and the appropriate person be directed to act, pending assumption of duty of the New FIRS executive chairman.

“That if by close of work on Friday, 13th December 2019, no action is taken to this effect, Union will no longer guaranty further industrial harmony in the system.”

The communique was signed by Okere Samson (JUC Chairman); Idris Hassan Abdulrahaman (JUC Vice-Chairman); Lekwot Friday Thomas (JUC Secretary); Jimoh Idowu; Kenechukwu Oliver; Shehu M.D; Esther Acheme; Jane Akinbami; Abba Dalhatu; Akpabio N.M; Ajoge J.Y; Akorga Lucy; Ohiwere Ahmed A; Abubakar Abeni; Hussaini Moses; Nwoha Godwin and Habiba Adekunle.

The union leaders sent copies of the communique to Finance Minister Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nígeria President and his Nigeria Civil Service Union counterpart.

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BIG STORY

FG Has Commercialized Christian Marriage —- PFN Cries Out Over New Law That Mandates Couples To Pay N51,000 Before Getting Married In Church

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has expressed fury over the new law by the Rauf Aregbesola led Ministry of Interior that mandates the payment of N30,000 by Churches to conduct statutory marriages and N21,000 for each marriages certificate.

PFN has alleged that churches are being targeted by the Federal Government following the new marriage certificate law introduced by the Ministry of Interior.

PFN’s National President of the fellowship, Rev.(Dr.) Felix Omobude who lashed out at the Ministry of Interior over the imposition of a compulsory N30,000 charge license for Christian worship centers for the conduct of statutory marriages in churches and N21,000 for each marriage certificate alleged that it is an attempt to commercialize Christian marriages in the country.

Omobude called on the Federal Government to shelve the unpopular policy which he said is exploitative and targeted against Christian marriages in the country. He added that they will use every legal means to stop the new marriage certificate law.

He said;

“This is very unfair and to the best of our understanding, the new law is targeted against the Church because the Traditional and Islamic weddings are exempted from paying the new marriage certificate fees.

“PFN is at a loss as to why Church Marriages should be in the exclusive list of the nation’s constitution. The PFN, therefore calls on the Federal Government to immediately shelve the unpopular policy targeted against Christian marriages in the country.

“If the Ministry of Interior is in dire need of funds, it should look elsewhere and resist the temptation of placing an extra financial burden on the Christians and their churches.”

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BIG STORY

Incest!!! Man Banished For Impregnating His Daughter A Second Time In Anambra

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A man in his late ’60s was, on Tuesday, banished with his daughter from Okofia community in Okofia, Otolo Nnewi, Anambra State, for impregnating his daughter for a second time.

According to a Facebook user Chinonso Okoro who announced the incident via a Facebook group, the community decided to banish the man because instead of repenting of his wrong deed, he decided to do it a second time.

A picture shared by Chinonso showed members of the community handing the man and his daughter fresh palm fronds, while some more palm fronds were tied round the man’s neck and his daughter’s legs as a sign that they were engaged in abominable acts.

The second picture showed a bus laden with their property and ready to drive out of the community while in another picture his daughter was seen carrying a less than a year old baby which allegedly was a result of the first pregnancy.

The unidentified man is said to hail from Okija, in Ihiala Local Government Area but has lived in Nnewi for a long time.

Chinonso in his post said: “Happening now at Okofia Otolo Nnewi the location of the Unizik college of health. This man from Okija impregnated his own daughter for the second time. Now they’re asked to leave Nnewi. Wonders shall never end.

A resident in the area, Mr. Ikechukwu Anaocha, who spoke to News Express expressed shock that the man did not repent after the first pregnancy.

He said: “I know the man personally. I think he is sick in the head. Whatever will make a sane man want to sleep with his daughter? That’s madness. They have defiled the land and deserve to be banished. Abomination should not be condoned in whatever guise.”

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