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N2bn Fraud: Six Banks MDs, DG Arrested By EFCC




The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested and detained the Director-General of the Kwara State Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprise Development, Segun Soewu, over alleged N2 billion fraud.

A statement issued by EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity in the state, Gbenga Adewoye, in Ilorin on Monday, said Soewu was arrested alongside Managing Directors of six microfinance banks.

The statement listed the six Managing Directors as Ogudu Samuel of Brightway Microfinance Bank; A. K. Imam, Magajingari Microfinance Bank; and M. S. Adeleke of Sincere Microfinance Bank.

Others are Yusuf Muideen of Balogun Fulani Microfinance Bank; Issa Abdulrasheed, KCMB Microfinance Bank; and Oyebode Asimiyu, Apels Microfinance Bank.

According to Adewoye, all the seven suspects are presently being interrogated by the operatives of the EFCC.

The anti-graft body also gave the names of those under investigation to include Lawal Ayo of Omu-Aran Microfinance Bank, Tope Eniola of Iludun Microfinance Bank and Lawal Folashade of Stockcarp Microfinance Bank.

Others, according to the EFCC, are Yusuf Tajudeen of First Heritage Microfinance Bank and E.O. Olawoye of Offa Microfinance Bank.

Adewoye said the anti-graft body had earlier received intelligence reports over alleged fraud and mismanagement of over N2 billion given by the state government to assist market men and women across the 16 local government areas.

Ge said: “It was discovered during investigations that at the point of granting the loans, the director-general of SMED and the managing directors of 16 microfinance banks failed to follow due process.

“It was also revealed that the N2 billion was meant for lending to interested members of the public to support their businesses and augment their working capital.

“The money was, however, said to have been distributed to highly placed politicians, traditional rulers and prominent individuals across the state.

“Soewu and one of the managing directors of the banks, during interrogation by the operatives of the commission, confessed that ‘a prominent and first-class traditional ruler’ in the state received over N78 million cash from the loans.

“The money, which was designed to assist petty traders, were taken and not refunded.”

The EFCC spokesman also said a certain traditional ruler, through his company, Yafy International Ventures Limited, secured from the loan without following due process.

Adewoye said the anti-graft agency also discovered that some selected and influential market men and women across the 16 council areas of the state received N5 million each as loans without paying back.

According to him, about 50 percent of the said controversial loans were shared by some highly placed individuals and selected businessmen and women at the expense of other beneficiaries.

“They defeated the aims and objectives of giving out the loans, which was for the improvement of small and medium enterprises,” he said.

Adewoye said further that findings by the EFCC operatives indicated that the highly placed individuals, who benefited from the loans between 2012 and 2018, failed to pay them back.

He said the arrested suspects were still in custody, while efforts were ongoing to arrest those highly placed individuals, including the first-class traditional ruler, who received the said loans without following due process.


Melaye Vs Adeyemi: INEC Fixes November 16 For Fresh Kogi West Senatorial Election




The fresh Kogi West Senatorial election involving Sen. Dino Melaye of the PDP and Sen. Smart Adeyemi of the APC is to hold on November 16, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Melaye and Adeyemi INEC, in a statement, signed Mr. Festus Okoye, Chairman of its Information and Voter Committee, said that the senate election would hold simultaneously with the Kogi governorship election.

Okoye, INEC National Commissioner, in a statement made available to journalists on Monday in Abuja, said that another by-election for the Sabuwa State Constituency in Katsina State had been slated for November 30.

“The decision was taken at the commission’s meeting held on Monday,” the statement said. He said that the fresh election was a sequel to the nullification of the Kogi West Senatorial District election conducted on February 23, by the Election Petitions Tribunal and its subsequent affirmation by the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal had upheld the ruling of the Election Petitions Tribunal which nullified the election of Sen. Dino Melaye (PDP), following a suit filed by Sen. Smart Adeyemi of the APC.

The Appeal Court, on October 11, 2019, ordered INEC to conduct a fresh election within 90 days from the date of judgment with all those who participated in it as eligible candidates. Okoye appealed to the candidates and political parties to conduct issue-based campaigns. “We also enjoin stakeholders to eschew violence and avoid acts capable of creating apprehension or a sense of fear before, during and after the elections,” he said.

Okoye also disclosed that following extensive consultations with stakeholders and a review of the security situation with the relevant security agencies, the Commission fixed Nov. 30 for the conduct of bye-election in Sabuwa State Constituency, Katsina State.

He recalled that the Katsina State House of Assembly, vide a letter with Reference Number KTSHA/PER/HON/l24/VOL.l/24, dated Sept. 26, notified INEC of the death of Mustapha Abdullahi, who represented the constituency, and subsequently declared the seat vacant.

He said that the Commission would issue the Notice of Election on October 23, while the conduct of party primaries would take place between October 24 and November 6.

According to Okoye, the last day for the submission of personal particulars of candidates (Form CF001), and the list of candidates (Form CFOO2) is November 8.

“The last day for the submission of names and addresses of polling agents is November 15, while campaigns will end on November 28,” he said.


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BREAKING: Heavily Armed Thugs Attack Kwankwaso In Kano, 8 Persons Critically Injured




Former Governor of Kano State and the immediate past Senator representing Kano Central, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, was attacked by thugs who are yet to be identified in Kano, Monday.

The attack, which followed the former governor’s visit to his hometown, Madobi where he had gone to open a midwifery school, was said to have been carried out around the state underpass.

Eight persons were said to have been critically injured while several cars were damaged beyond recognition.

However, Hajiya Binta Sipikin, Kwankwaso’s media aide, linked the attack to thugs loyal to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.

She said, “This attack was preplanned because we were told that heavy-armed thugs were waiting under the bridge to attack us when we were coming from Madobi.

“We believe Ganduje was behind this attack because we heard one of his aide names being mentioned during the attack.”

She noted that scores of their members were seriously injured and currently receiving medical attention in various clinics including the International Hospital while 10 vehicles destroyed and personal items carted away by political thugs believed to have been sponsored by the Kano State Government at Sharada Panshekara Sabon Titi bridge.

However, one of the Governor’s top aides, who pleaded not to be named, denied being behind the attack on Kwankwaso’s convoy.

He alleged that the attack was an internal wrangling between the Kwankwasiyya members who were apparently tired of their boss, Kwankwaso.

He said, “The attack was a misunderstanding between the Kwankwasiyya members, who accused Kwankwaso of betraying their trust by after them for his personal gains.”

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BREAKING: Court Orders Forfeiture Of Saraki’s Houses In Ikoyi




A federal high court sitting in Lagos has ordered the temporary forfeiture of two properties of Bukola Saraki, former senate president, in the Ikoyi area of Lagos state.

Nnaemeka Omewa, a counsel of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC), had approached the court, seeking an order of interim forfeiture of the properties located at 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi, Eti Osa local government area of Lagos.

He had told the court that they were acquired through “proceeds of unlawful activities”.

Part of the reliefs sought by the EFCC included “An order of this honourable Court forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria landed property with appurtenances situate, lying and known as No. 17A McDonald Road, Ikoyi, Eti Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State found and recovered from the respondent which property is reasonably suspected to have been acquired with proceeds of unlawful activity”.

The commission alleged that while serving as governor of Kwara state, Saraki withdrew over N12 billion cash from the account of the Kwara government and paid the same into his accounts domiciled in Access and Zenith Banks through one of his personal assistant, Abdul Adama.

Delivering ruling on the application, Mohammed Liman, the presiding judge, ordered interim forfeiture of the two properties.

He also instructed that the EFCC should publish the order in a national newspaper within 14 days, for anyone with interest in the properties to show cause, why they should not be finally forfeited to the federal government.

The federal government had arraigned Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) while he was the nation’s number three citizen.

He was accused of failing to declare his assets, an allegation he denied, alleging that he was being witch-hunted.

The supreme court subsequently dismissed the false assets declaration trial.

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