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Corruption Allegations: Police Comb Magu’s House, As Suspended EFCC Boss Spends Second Night In Custody

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Some policemen attached to the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department on Tuesday searched the home of the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu.

Also on Tuesday, the Justice Ayo Salami Presidential Panel, which interrogated Magu on Monday over allegations of corruption, again quizzed the suspended EFCC boss.

The suspended EFCC boss, who was detained by the police after Monday’s interrogation, was returned to the police custody at 8:30pm on Tuesday.

But earlier at 6pm, policemen searched Magu’s house located on Abduljalil Street, Karu Site, on the outskirts of Abuja and made away with vital documents.

The policemen, who carried out the search, were said to be the same ones who arrested Magu on Monday.

A police officer, who confided in The PUNCH, said, “On Tuesday evening, a team of policemen stormed the home of Magu in Karu. That is the house where Magu used to live before he moved to Maitama after his appointment as EFCC chairman.

“The policemen made away with some items and everything will be processed as investigations continue.”

It was learnt that at 8: 30p.m. Magu was driven from the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa venue of the panel’s sitting back to the Force Criminal Investigation Bureau where he passed the night on Monday.

“Yes. Magu has returned to police custody. He left the venue of the panel’s sitting at 8:30 pm and was driven back to the same police facility where he was detained on Monday,” a source told one of our correspondents on Tuesday evening.

It was gathered that before the presidential panel resumed its sitting on Tuesday, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had suspended Magu.

It was gathered that Magu was suspended to allow the Salami panel to do its job without interference from the EFCC boss.

Magu was accosted by security agents in front of the old EFCC headquarters on Fomella Street, Wuse 2, Abuja, at noon on Monday, and taken to the Presidential Villa, where he was quizzed by the panel for six hours over 24 allegations.

It was reported on Tuesday that most of the allegations against Magu emanated from a report by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), and a report of the Department of State Services, which was submitted to the Senate in 2016 and 2017.

Among others, the suspended EFCC boss was accused of living above his means, fraternising with corrupt persons and diverting recovered funds.

When the panel resumed sitting at noon on Tuesday at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja like what happened on Monday, security operatives stopped State House reporters from gaining access into the venue.

Confirming Magu’s suspension, a source told The PUNCH, “It is commonsensical that when an investigation of this nature is ongoing, you don’t allow the person being investigated to keep the keys of the office for which he is being investigated.

“This is because if he keeps the keys, there can be a kind of tampering with documents or evidence. It is not logical and it is even undemocratic to allow such to happen.”

The Presidency has yet to issue a formal statement on the issue as of the time of filing this report.

Meanwhile, there are strong indications that the Director of Operations at the anti-graft commission, Abba Mohammed, may take over the affairs of the agency pending the appointment of Magu’s replacement.

A source said, “Deputy Commissioner of Police Mohammed, who is the director of operations, is expected to take over the running of the EFCC in acting capacity pending the appointment of a replacement for Magu.”

Meanwhile, pressure groups have been reportedly positioning various candidates for the EFCC top job.

It was learnt that some people had been pushing for the appointment of a former commissioner of police who arrested some politicians during the 2019 elections in the North-West.

Meanwhile, a top government official on Tuesday said the various allegations levelled against Magu were too weighty to be ignored.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not directed to address the press, said under the regime of Buhari nobody was above scrutiny.

He said whoever occupied an elevated position such as that of the EFCC chairman must be above suspicion.

The government official said, “The panel investigating allegations against the acting EFCC chairman had been sitting for some weeks now.

“Under the Muhammadu Buhari administration, nobody is above scrutiny. I repeat nobody. The investigation is to reinforce transparency and accountability, rather than to vitiate them.”

BIG STORY

BREAKING: Ogun Politician Buruji Kashamu Dies Of COVID-19

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Buruji Kashamu, a former senator from Ogun state, has died of complications from COVID-19. 

Kashamu, who represented Ogun-East senatorial district between 2015 and 2019, died at First Cardiology Consultants, Lagos.

The hospital is the same facility where a former Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi; and the President’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, died.

It was learnt that Kashamu, who had diabetes and high blood pressure, was admitted at the hospital for over a week before giving up the ghost.

Confirming his death, a former lawmaker, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, said the deceased would be sorely missed.

Murray-Bruce wrote on his verified Twitter handle, “I have just lost my good friend of forever to COVID-19. Until his death, Sen. Buruji Kashamu and I were inseparable. He died today at First Cardiology Consultants, in Lagos. May his gentle soul rest in peace. I pray his family and loved ones the fortitude to bear this heavy loss.”

Kashamu, who was the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2019 election, was facing extradition for alleged drug trafficking before his death.

See tweet by Murray-Bruce;

I have just lost my good friend of forever to #COVID19. Until his death, Sen. Buruji Kashamu and I were inseparable. He died today at First Cardiology Consultants, in Lagos. May his gentle soul rest in peace. I pray his family and loved ones the fortitude to bear this heavy loss. pic.twitter.com/OJGIt0VK3n

— Ben Murray-Bruce (@benmurraybruce) August 8, 2020

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BIG STORY

Failed Contracts: NDDC Asks Senator Nwaoboshi To Refund N2.5bn Within Two Weeks

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The Niger Delta Development Commission has demanded refund of N2.5bn from Delta North Senator Peter Nwaoboshi for contracts his companies allegedly failed to execute.

However, the names of the errant firms were not disclosed in the letter addressed to the lawmaker.

The commission asked Nwaoboshi to refund the money within two weeks.

The letter dated July 5 signed by the Director, Legal Services of the NDDC, Peter Okoro, asked the senator to pay back the money meant for the supply of plastic chairs and desks for primary and secondary schools in the Niger Delta region in 2017.

It read, “Instead of supplying the chairs and desks to the Commission’s warehouse in Port Harcourt or to any of the NDDC offices in the nine Niger Delta states, the items were supplied to a warehouse described as Akuede Akwis’ located at Benin Expressway, Okpanam, before Wichetech Aluminum Company.”

According to the letter, the lawmaker’s firms were paid to supply the plastic chairs and desks to schools in Delta North Senatorial District, including desks and benches to selected schools in the Niger Delta.

The NDDC noted, “Despite having fully paid for the 2017 contracts for the production of chairs and desks, the items have not been supplied to the commission.

“The resultant effect is that the commission and the Niger Delta region have been deprived of the use of the desks and chairs.”

The NDDC spokesperson, Charles Odili, confirmed the authenticity of the letter.

Matter in court, unsigned letter not delivered to me –Nwaoboshi

But Nwaoboshi in a statement by his media aide, Awele Onokwai, on Friday, said the matter was already before a competent court of law and that he had yet to receive a copy of the letter purportedly addressed to him from the NDDC.

Nwaoboshi described the letter as fake as it was not officially addressed or signed.

He also said that the letter did not link him to any of the contracts.

The statement read in part, “Our attention has been drawn to the purported subject matter above, credited to one Peter Claver Okoro, Esq, posing as the Director, Legal Services of the Niger Delta Development Commission and we make bold to state the following:

“That the purported matter is sub judice as it is already before two law courts of competent jurisdiction in Nigeria, wherein, Distinguished Senator Peter Nwaoboshi sued the NDDC, Mr Charles Odili and relevant newspapers for defamation of character.

“The purported letter addressed to the Senator Peter Nwaoboshi was written on the 5th of July 2020 and as of today, 7th of August 2020, the said letter has not reached Senator Peter Nwaoboshi – either in person or office or by substitution.

“The purported letter, unlike any formal letter emanating from a recognized government Ministry, Agency or Department is not signed, therefore, can easily be denied.

“Nowhere in the contents of the purported letter was it stated that the contractor is directly linked to Distinguished Senator Peter Nwaoboshi.

“Nowhere in the purported letter was it stated that the warehouse, where the plastic chairs were domiciled, belongs to Distinguished Senator Peter Nwaoboshi.”

Nwabaoshi, his colleagues in the National Assembly and some former ex-governors have denied being contractors to the NDDC.

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BIG STORY

Union Bank’s Edu360: The Search For The Next Robotics Legend Is On!!!

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Next Robotics Legend is an initiative designed by Edu360, Union Bank’s education platform, in collaboration with Awarri, a pan-African technology company, to infuse Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) into the education of the Nigerian child. This stems from the realization that the solutions to some of our most complicated problems as a nation lie in the education of our children today.

This first-of-its-kind robotics training and competition for students aged 11 to 16 will focus on identifying and nurturing young potential inventors and creators who will receive the necessary training to solve some of the challenges facing the Nigerian society with the aid of robotics and AI.

To enter, take a 30-second video of your child telling us what they like about robots. Upload on www.edu360.ng and fill the accompanying consent form. 25 of the most creative and passionate entries will be selected to participate in robotics training.

At the end of the free training programme, participants will be required to identify a need in their community, and apply the skills learned to proffer a solution. The student with the best solution will be admitted for a mentorship program with Awarri, the advanced AI and robotics company owned by Silas Adekunle – top international robotics engineer renowned for creating the world’s first intelligent gaming robot.

Schools are not left out! To ensure the sustenance of the initiative, Edu360 will partner with four secondary schools by providing robotics toolkits and training for their teachers to enable them to include robotics in their curriculum.

Entries will be received from August 7th to 21st, 2020.  Visit  www.edu360.ng for more information.

#NextRoboticsLegend

Terms and conditions apply.

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