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BIG STORY

EFCC Boss Magu Detained At Police Headquarters Overnight As Questioning Enters Day 2

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Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), will face another day of questioning on Tuesday over the activities of the agency under his watch.

He was detained on Monday night at the police headquarters in Abuja.

The presidential panel probing him is headed by Ayo Salami, former president of the court of appeal.

TheCable understands that the panel sat till 10 pm on Monday after which Magu was detained.

Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), had asked President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Magu over some “weighty” allegations.

SOME OF THE ALLEGATIONS

Alleged discrepancies in the reconciliation records of the EFCC and the Federal Ministry of Finance on recovered funds
•Declaration of N539b as recovered funds instead of N504b earlier claimed
•Insubordination to the Office of the AGF
•Not providing enough evidence for the extradition of Diezani Alison-Madueke
•Alleged late action on the investigation of P&ID leading to legal dispute
•Not respecting court order to unfreeze a N7bn judgment in favour of a former executive director of a bank
•Alleged delay in acting on two vessels seized by Navy
•Alleged favouring of some investigators called Magu Boys
•Reporting some judges to their presiding officers without deferring to the AGF
•Alleged sale of seized assets to cronies, associates, and friends
•Alleged issuance of investigative activities to some media prejudicial to some cases

A source said: “In the light of the ongoing investigation, it became expedient to detain Magu at the FCID. We do not want him to return to the office while he is being questioned, because he is likely to have another session with the Justice Salami panel.”

It was also learnt last night that Magu might be suspended from office.

“By not allowing him to go back to his office was an indication that he might be suspended.

“It is obvious that the Presidency has concluded plans to look for a new candidate for the office,” the source said.

At the FCID around 10.50pm, Magu rejected an offer to take him into an office to stay the night.

He told the officers in charge to treat him like a suspect by putting him in a cell.

Sitting on a chair, he said: “I won’t go and sleep in any office, I prefer to be in a cell. Kindly put me in a cell. That is what Allah wants for me. I can’t question God.”

There was drama to Magu’s invitation earlier in the day. He was intercepted on the road along Fomella Street while moving out of the Wuse II office Annex of the EFCC in Abuja.

An invitation was then extended to him by a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) from the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID).

The CSP’s vehicle had a backup comprising a three-man security team, who closely watched the encounter.

Magu was on his way to the Force Headquarters. He pleaded with the officer to allow him to honour the scheduled appointment.

But he was told the invitation by the panel was superior to his appointment.

At about 1.35pm, Magu arrived at the Villa.

The EFCC chairman, who went to the Villa with his full escort and security detail, was not arrested or molested.

While the session lasted, Magu had unfettered access to his mobile phones.

The panel was also polite as he was allowed to pray and given a free lunch.

A source, who spoke in confidence with our correspondent, said: “The CSP was polite. He even allowed Magu to speak with an officer in the FCID to ensure that the invitation was genuine.

“Instead of going to the Force Headquarters, Magu called his lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, and headed for the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa.”

The travails of the EFCC chairman started on Sunday night when a source, suspected to be a former EFCC official, posted on Facebook that “next week, Monday-Friday are black days to (sic) Mr. EFCC.”

The Facebook post confirmed intelligence at Magu’s disposal that he might be arrested or prosecuted.

Another source added: “With the post on Facebook, Magu already had a mindset that yesterday might be rough.

“And true to his prediction, he got the invitation to appear before the panel.”

BIG STORY

APC Planning To Disown President Buhari, Will Change Name Before 2023 —- PDP Alleges

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has claimed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is plotting to disown President Muhammadu Buhari ahead of the 2023 elections.

The PDP made this allegation in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Saturday.

According to him, the ruling party had begun campaigns for the 2023 general election one year into Buhari’s tenure.

PDP also claimed APC might change their name before the next poll.

“The PDP asserts that there are underground moves by APC leaders to disown the Buhari administration, given its failures; the conversation about a possible change of their party’s name as well as the plot to destabilize the PDP, are signs of desperation to hold on to power despite APC’s failures and explicit rejection by Nigerians.

“Our party and indeed discerning Nigerians have seen through the rambling of the APC, which is merely raising dust to foul the political firmament in a bid to cover for its lack of internal cohesion, failure in governance and reneging on the promises they made to Nigerians in other to have access to power,” the statement read in part.

 

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BIG STORY

Lagos Task Force Destroys 1,700 Illegal Shanties, Recovers Illegal Substances At Agege

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Operatives of the Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Unit on Sunday said it demolished over 1,700 illegal shanties and containerized shops around Fagba Railway lines, Agege.

During the demolition exercise, the state enforcement team was said to have seized illegal drugs found in the structures and machetes used by hoodlums to often terrorize residents of Fagba, Iju-Ishaga, and Pen-Cinema.

It was gathered that the occupants of the structures were served a 7-day Removal Order and another 21-day grace to aid removal of their structures and vacate the premises.

The Chairman of the Agency, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi, disclosed that in spite of the notices, the owners/ occupants of the affected shanties and containerized shops refused to leave until the team arrived and pulled them down.

Egbeyemi, in a statement made available to The Guild by Head, Public Affairs Unit for the agency, Adebayo Taofiq, on Sunday, stated that the state government served the notices after receiving series of complaints from residents especially those that have been dispossessed of their belongings, on the criminal activities around the axis.

He said: “The illegal shanties and containerized shops were occupied by miscreants and hoodlums that often terrorized innocent citizens around Fagba, Iju-Ishaga, and Pen-Cinema area, dispossessing residents of their valuables, especially early in the day and late at night”.

Egbeyemi further disclosed that investigations conducted on the axis revealed that the miscreants occupying these illegal shanties were responsible for the destructions of public properties and looting of shops immediately after the recent ‘EndSARS’ protest around Agege.

“It was an eyesore with hoodlums freely smoking and selling Indian hemp including prostitution by under-age boys and girls around Fagba railway lines”, he added.

The Chairman confirmed that illicit drugs such as Codeine, Skunk, and Tramadol as well as Indian hemp were seized during the demolition exercise.

Egbeyemi, however, enjoined members of the public to support the government in salvaging the state from the clutches of these notorious criminals by reporting any noticeable activities within their communities to security agencies.

 

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BIG STORY

2023:PDP Inaugurates 6-Member Committee To Woo APC Governors, Lawmakers

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The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party has appointed a six-member committee to woo governors and lawmakers from the All Progressives Congress into its fold, Sunday PUNCH is reporting.

It was gathered that the PDP, in reaction to the defection of Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State to the APC, set up the National Reconciliation Committee, which was saddled with the responsibility of persuading members of the APC to join the opposition.

The committee, which is headed by a former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, also includes former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim; former Governors Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Ibrahim Shema (Katsina), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe); and former Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, Mulikat Akande.

National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbodiyan, had in a tweet via the official Twitter account of the PDP, on Monday evening, announced the composition of the Saraki-led committee.

However, sources within the party informed our correspondent that the national leadership of the party had directed Saraki and members of his committee to scout for members within the ruling party.

One of the sources, who is a member of the National Working Committee of the party, told Sunday PUNCH that the PDP was planning to “harvest some governors” and lawmakers from the APC, adding that there were members of the ruling party who had contacted the PDP for possible defection. He stated that the APC was aware of the plan but that it had quickly asked Umahi to defect from the PDP to send a signal that the former ruling party was no longer attractive.

The source said, “We knew their game. They knew that their members, including governors, members of the National Assembly, and lawmakers at the state level, were contemplating joining us. That’s why they rushed to Umahi, asking him to defect quickly.

“They promised him that they would hand over the state (APC) chapter. That was why the party quickly dissolved the Ebonyi State chapter and picked a serving commissioner as acting chairman.”

The PDP NWC, at its meeting on Monday evening, was said to have also deliberated on the strategy aimed at repositioning the party ahead of the 2023 elections.

It was gathered that the six-party members saddled with the responsibility of poaching from the APC were also asked to approach “those who had stopped participating in political party affairs in the country or their respective states but are still respected for their views.”

When contacted, the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, described the assignments handed over to the Saraki-led committee as “multi-dimensional.”

He said, “The committee is free to add any other job to its assignment. We want it to reconcile people at all levels. They are also free to talk to those who want to either return to the PDP or even defect to our party.

“I want to tell you that we have large numbers of lawmakers, both at the national and state levels, who are willing to join us. Also, there are some governors who are already talking to us. We just don’t like making noise about what we are doing. I wonder how this information also got to you. But in any case, we are not sleeping.

“If we had won elections in states such as Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Edo, Oyo, Sokoto, and Zamfara from the opposition without making a noise, I can assure you that we are going to do more positive things that will surprise many.”

In a related development, a former presidential aide, Dr Umar Ardo, called on the incumbent Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, to declare the seat of Senator Elisha Abbo vacant, following the senator’s defection from the PDP to the APC.

Abbo, who claimed that he left the PDP for the APC because of his 2023 governorship ambition in Adamawa State, had also accused the state governor, Ahmadu Fintiri, of not running the party well.

But Ardo, in a message titled ‘Don’t imperil our democracy’ and sent to one of our correspondents, said Lawan owed Nigerians the right to declare the seat of the senator vacant.

He said, “Given the expressed provision of Section 68(1)(g)of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), and the clear interpretation of this provision by the Supreme Court, the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, owes the Nigerian state the inalienable duty to declare Senator Elisa Abbos’s seat vacant, in deference to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as a consequence of the latter’s defection from the PDP to the APC.

Meanwhile, the PDP has paid Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State a visit at the Government House, Enugu to probably stop him from an alleged plan to defect to the APC.

It was gathered that the Friday visit, led by the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, and ex-Governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, was to reassure Ugwuanyi that the party remained committed to being fair to all sections of the country and individual members in their determination to seek political positions through its platform.

 

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