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Diezani Removed $70m From NNPC In 12 Bags —– Ex-NNPC GGM

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A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos heard on Thursday that in 2015, a former Petroleum Resources Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke ordered the removal of $70 million from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in 12 padlocked bags.

A former NNPC Group General Manager told Justice Muslim Hassan that he delivered the bags to an Abuja-based banker on Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s instructions.

He testified that he and others “had a command-and-obey relationship and also took an oath of office to obey directives and authority”.

The former GGM appeared as a prosecution witness in the trial of a former Executive Director of a top commercial bank, Dauda Lawal.

Lawal is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged money laundering of N928,000,000

The commission accused him of handling $25 million out of $153 million, which the former minister allegedly doled out to influence the 2015 general elections.

The trial opened on Thursday with the ex-NNPC GGM appearing as the first prosecution witness.

Led in evidence by EFCC Prosecutor Rotimi Oyedepo, the witness narrated how he delivered the cash-laden bags to the Abuja banker, identified simply as Charles, in the front of Dume Supermarket in Abuja.

The witness said: “My lord, as I can remember, shortly before the 2015 elections, it was the norm for heads of subsidiaries (of the NNPC) to be invited for an undisclosed briefing of activities of their departments to the minister.

“At the end of such briefings, the then Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Alison-Madueke, gave me a GSM number in respect of one Charles, whom I had never met, with a clear instruction that I should convey 12 padlocked bags to the said Charles.

“My lord, the source, the content, and the purpose of the bags were not disclosed to me.

“Thereafter, I called the said Charles, who equally confirmed to me that he had been briefed about the message. I delivered the bags to Charles.

“Much later, my lord, the EFCC invited me for interrogation on the issue and I made a statement to that effect.

“Charles equally confirmed at the EFCC that he received the 12 padlocked bags and the bags contained $70 million.”

Under cross-examination by the defense counsel, Patrick Ikwueto (SAN), the witness said he had never met Lawal before.

Justice Hassan adjourned till July 21, 22, and 23 for the continuation of trial.

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Biden Reverses Trump’s Travel Ban On Nigeria, Yemen, Eritrea, Others

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The newly sworn-in American President, Joe Biden, on Wednesday, issued an executive order nullifying a travel ban imposed on citizens of some Muslim-majority countries by his predecessor, Donald Trump.

Before his exit from White House on Wednesday, Mr Trump-led administration was notorious for its harsh policies against immigrants and asylum seekers, one of his many election campaign promises.

He tightened the policies amidst the coronavirus pandemic which rocked the globe, claiming his decision was to protect the American populace.

However, Mr. Biden, immediately after his inauguration on Wednesday, issued a number of executive orders undoing some of the policies and projects of his predecessor.

Reversals

Mr Biden has now nullified the entry ban on citizens from over a dozen countries, including Nigeria, Eritrea, Yemen, and Sudan.

“There’s no time to waste.

“These are just all starting points,” he said before signing the 17 executive orders in the White House, a statement that connotes the possibility of many more to come.

Mr Trump’s strict immigration policies have been condemned by leaders and civil groups in the past.

The American Civil Liberties Union, on Wednesday, lauded Mr Biden’s decision berating his predecessor’s travel policy a “cruel Muslim ban that targeted Africans.”

Against his predecessor’s plan to exit the World Health Organisation (WHO) by July 2021, Mr Biden has also submitted a letter renewing the U.S. ”commitment to funding the organization and honoring the country’s policies on climate change”.

Mr Trump ordered the suspension of funds to the WHO based on his suspicion of the alleged mismanagement of the deadly pandemic by the health agency and its (WHO) pandering to the whims, of the Chinese government.

One of Mr Biden’s newly signed executive orders also includes the abolishment of the construction of a wall along the U.S-Mexico border to deny citizens of the latter outright entry.

In a bid to combat the spread of the deadly virus, the 46th U.S. president (Biden) also encouraged his people to mask up as “it’s a patriotic act that can save countless lives.”

“It’s time to mask up, America,” he wrote on his Twitter handle.

Meanwhile, Mr Biden also signed an executive order mandating all people to wear masks in all federal buildings and on federal lands to fight increase the country’s chances against the pandemic.

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Makinde Warns Sunday Igboho, Others Over Ultimatum To Fulanis

Peter Okunoren

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The Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde, has warned an acclaimed freedom fighter in the state, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho, and other Yoruba youths over the recent seven-day ultimatum quit notice given to Fulanis resident in the state.

Makinde stated this on Wednesday in a statewide broadcast on the rising insecurity and unrest in the state.

He said enemies of Oyo State are neither the Hausa-Fulani pastoralists, who are looking for pasture for their flock nor the farmers, who are seeking to produce food for human consumption.

Igboho, had in a radio interview claimed that the Fulani herders possessed more sophisticated weapons than the operatives of the Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed Amotekun, and they have to leave because of consistent killings and kidnapping in Ibarapa Local Government Area of the State.

However, Makinde said in the statewide broadcast to residents of the state, aired on the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State: “The past few weeks’ events have made it imperative that I address issues that have to do with the internal security of our dear state.

“We cannot overlook the fact that there have indeed been instances that cause concern. The fragile peace between the herdsmen and farmers in Oke Ogun is being threatened.

“Individuals who are not authorized are going around chasing people from their homes and causing mayhem. This assault on residents of Oyo State is not the way to further the Yoruba cause.

“Let me state that we shall not sit back and watch anyone make any law-abiding resident of Oyo State feel unsafe in their homes, farms, or business places. We are aware of some people circulating flyers and giving people ultimatums to leave their land. This is totally unacceptable and will not be condoned.

“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), which I swore to defend and protect, guarantees freedom of movement in Section 41(1), such that citizens are free to reside in any part of the country without fear. We are determined to preserve that right in Oyo State.”

The governor called on local government chairpersons, traditional rulers, and other sectors of the state to work with the security agencies to secure the state and ensure maximum peace.

He said: “Let me also use this medium to speak to our traditional rulers. They must not be part of any plans to disrupt the peaceful coexistence of residents of Oyo State.

“I must reiterate that we will not hesitate to take appropriate action against any individuals who try to disrupt the peace in Oyo State. Our administration is taking all necessary steps to protect the good people of Oyo State from harassment, thuggery, and banditry. We believe we have the situation under control.

“It is time for us to come together and put the interests of our state first. We have a common enemy. That enemy is not the Hausa- Fulani who is looking for pasture for his flock. It is not the farmer who just wants to grow food to sell in the market or to feed his family. Our enemies are the hoodlums, cultists, armed robbers, kidnappers, and bandits. These people live among us.

“With our collective efforts, we can continue to keep the peace in Oyo State. Together, we can preserve the secure environment that has contributed to the growth of our economy.”

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Vice-Principal Impregnates 12-Year-Old Student, Says He Gave Her N300-N500 For Sex

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The Vice-Principal of the Kadandani Community School in the Rimi Local Government Area of Katsina State, Ibrahim Tukur, who allegedly raped and impregnated a student of the school, has explained the circumstances surrounding the development.

He made the explanation in Hausa language to journalists at the police headquarters in Katsina, where he and other suspects were paraded on Wednesday.

Tukur stated, “I am being accused of committing rape and it’s true I committed the crime. I have been having affairs with the girl for eight months ago now. I used to take her to my house and offer her the sum of N300 of N500; some other times, I would give her N200 to have sex with her.

“Information reaching me right now is that the girl has been delivered of a baby boy for me. I have three wives.”

Tukur and the other suspects were arrested between January 9 and 14, 2021.

The spokesman for the command, SP Gambo Isah, told journalists during the parade that the vice-principal was arrested on January 9, 2021, following a formal report at the Rimi Divisional Police Headquarters by one Ibrahim Sani.

Isah said Tukur took advantage of the victim to impregnate her.

“The vice-principal, who is married to three wives, used to take the girl from the school to his house, where he had serial sex with her. As a result, he got the girl pregnant and she was delivered of a baby through caesarean section.”

 

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