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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has frozen over N8, 627,458,773.36 billion in three accounts of an associate and close friend of former first lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan, Hajiya Muinat Bola Shagaya.

According to The Nation report, Shagaya’s relationship with about 10 firms/account names are also being investigated by the EFCC.

The Kwara-born billionaire is however fighting back as the report says she has dragged one of her banks to the High Court of Lagos state for allowing the EFCC to Post No Debit (PND) on her accounts without a valid court order.

She says the action taken on her accounts violates Section34 (1) of the EFCC Act, 2004. Shagaya has since filed a court case via her counsel, Napoleon Emeaso-Nwachukwu and hearing of the matter is slated for Thursday, September 28.

However, the bank says its hands are tied by the law in complying with the EFCC’s directives to freeze Shagaya’s accounts.

The EFCC in a letter to the bank’s managing director in respect of one of the frozen accounts said: “The commission is investigating a case in which the above-mentioned account featured.

“In view of the above, you are requested to kindly check the table below and provide us with Certified True Copies (CTC) of the following information, which should include but not limited to the following:

(i) The deposit slips/telex copies (front and back) that conveyed the authority of the transactions;

(ii) Any investment made with the funds in any of your products which should include fixed/term deposit and their liquidation and the interest incurred, Banks Acceptance, Commercial Papers and any other relevant information in relation to these.

The EFCC listed the transactions in the said account as “N300m(Bola Shagaya RTGS); N300m (Additional N300FTD at 15% TRAN); N500m (Time Deposit); N2,317,013,698.64 (BNG COLLAOS FOR FTD-CUSTOMER ACCOL); N2.3billion (Opening a Time Deposit Account); N292, 495, 029.82 (Withdrawal from Time Deposit); N292, 495, 029.82 (TAK Asset Mgt Limited); N300m (Term Loan booked for 356 days); and N2,025,455,015.08 (BNG COLLAPS OF FTD Customer Account.”

In a separate letter Cr: 3000/EFCC/LS/STF/ STF3MP/ Vol.11/182 which Shagaya made available to the court, the EFCC asked the bank to Post No Debit(PND) on 10 accounts linked with her.

The account names are

(i) First Deep Water Discovery Limited;

(ii) Bola Shagaya;

(iii) FAPLiNs Nigeria Limited

(iv) Lingo Nigeria Limited;

(v) Buri Barclays BDC;

(vi) Links Global Synergy Ltd;

(vii) OKIOIL Nig. Ltd;

(vii) JEMARVIZ Nig Ltd;

(ix) PJ Oil and Gas Ltd; and

(x) AFDIN Ventures Ltd.

The anti-graft commission said: “The commission is investigating a case in which the above mentioned accounts featured.

“You are requested to kindly place the account on Post No Debit (PND) category pending the conclusion of the investigation.

“This request is made pursuant to Section 38(1) and (2) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004 and Section 21 of Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011.”

In the third letter, the EFCC said it was looking into two other accounts including Voyage Oil and Gas and Bola Shagaya from 2008 to date.

But Shagaya accused the bank of complicity on her travails following the bank’s alleged failure to exercise the requisite due diligence.

She said the freezing of her accounts did not comply with Section 34(1) of the EFCC Act, 2004.

She specifically referred to the bank’s refusal to allow her to make transactions on Account 000326118 including payment of N514, 800,000 to Global Apex Air Limited, through Heavywind Integrated Services, for the lease of a bombardier Jet.
She said she had lost a lot of business goodwill since her accounts were frozen including

1. The loss of $1,000,000 deposited with Global Apex Air Ltd. Due to her in ability to pay accrued costs in line with Aircraft Lease Agreement which was occasioned by the failure of the Defendant to oblige the Claimant’s payment instruction to Heavywind Integrated Services.

2. Loss of business opportunities and goodwill occasioned by her inability to operate her account domiciled with the Defendant due to its freezing.

3. Loss of reputation occasioned by the Defendant’s wrongful dishonouring of her payment instructions to third parties.

But in a letter to Shagaya’s counsel, the bank said it has a legal and ethical responsibility to render assistance to law enforcement agencies.

“While the bank respects the contractual nature of the relationship with your client, it is without prejudice to the bank’s standing as a responsible law abiding corporate citizen.

“In spite of the bank’s contractual relationship with your client, that relationship is not without a legal and ethical responsibility to render assistance to law enforcement agencies when required of the bank.

“Litigation against the bank will therefore not be necessary in the circumstance,” part of the letter read.

BIG STORY

Strike: ASUU Must Compensate Students For Wasting Their Time – FG

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Adamu Adamu, Nigeria’s minister of education, has said it is the responsibility of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to compensate students for the time wasted during the six-month strike, and not the Federal Government.

Adamu who spoke on Thursday, also said the government will not concede to the union’s demand to pay lecturers their emoluments for the six months of no academic activities.

The minister suggested that the affected students should “take ASUU to court” to claim damages incurred over the strike period.

The Education minister said this at the 47th Session of the State House Ministerial Briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

According to him, the federal government bears no liability to compensate millions of students grounded for six months over lost time.

He also said if the students are determined to get compensated, they should take ASUU to court.

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BIG STORY

BREAKING: Lagos Govt. Extends Okada Ban To Mushin, Oshodi, 7 Other LGAs

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The Lagos State Government has extended the ban on commercial motorcycles popularly called Okada to four more Local Govt Areas and five Local Council Development Areas.

As gathered, the state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has directed full enforcement from September 1, 2022.

The additional councils where the total Okada ban is pronounced include Kosofe Local Government, Oshodi-Isolo Local Government, Shomolu Local Government, and Mushin Local Government.

Others are Ikosi-Isherri LCDA, Agboyi-Ketu LCDA, Isolo LCDA, Bariga LCDA, and Odi-Olowo LCDA.

Sanwo-Olu had in May banned the operation of commercial motorcycles on highways and six local governments and nine LCDAs. The governor announced that the ban is “indefinite and total”.

The six local governments listed by the governor are Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island, and Apapa. The ban followed the February 2020 restriction placed on the activities of commercial motorcycles.

Sanwo-Olu said the Government decided in line with the State’s Transport Sector Reform Law of 2018 to immediately address the chaos and menace created by the operations of Okada in the listed areas. He told the police to enforce the order without compromise.

He said, “After a critical review of our restriction on Okada activities in the first six Local Government Areas where we restricted them on February 1, 2020, we have seen that the menace has not abated. We are now directing a total ban on Okada activities across the highways and bridges within these six Local Government and their Local Council Development Areas, effective from June 1, 2022.

“This is a phased ban we are embarking on this period, and we expect that within the short while when this ban will be enforced, Okada riders in other places where their activities are yet to be banned can find something else to do. We have given the notice now and we expect all commercial motorcycles plying the routes in the listed councils and areas to vacate the highways before enforcement begins. The enforcement will be total.”

Following reactions that greeted the ban’s announcement, the governor on May 24 insisted that the state government would go ahead with its proposed ban on motorcycles, adding that security services and government are on the same page with respect to the banning of motorcycles in the selected areas of the state.

He also assured that the security architecture of the state would not be compromised in any way so that Lagos residents will continue to live their lives and do their business without any fear or favour.

He said, “The security meeting gives us an opportunity for us to review the recent pronouncement on the future banning of Okada (motorcycles) in some selected local governments and LCDAs.

“We are able to put strategies in place. All of us were able to identify a lot of other things we need to do to embark on advocacy and ensure that we communicate effectively and efficiently to citizens. And that is why you see us giving out handbills in all of the major languages that we have in the country.

“There is a radio jingle being sent out to also communicate to people. I am also aware that there is a plan for advocacy on television stations as well.

“It is a people-driven initiative that we all agreed to live and to comport ourselves in a similar manner. And we know what has been the effect of this. So, I am happy that all of us, the security operatives and government are on the same page with this and we will also be going ahead with our plans.”

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BIG STORY

NDLEA Nabs Abuja Businessman For Selling Illicit Drugs Online

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Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have arrested the MD/CEO of Marvelrock Pharmaceuticals and Stores Limited, Mr. Orakwe Chibuike Celestine, for allegedly engaging in sales of illicit and controlled drugs on the popular e-commerce platform, Jiji.ng.

A graduate of Business Administration from the University of Abuja, Orakwe, it was alleged, registered the pharmaceutical company on 16th December 2014 with the certificate and support of a licensed pharmacist, who opted out of the deal in 2017. The suspect continued running the business and enrolled it on Jiji.ng platform in 2019. He however came under NDLEAs radar in October 2021 when he advertised many pharmaceutical products such as Tramadol, Ketamine Hydrochloride injection, and Hypnox flunitrazepam tablets among others on the Jiji.ng online marketplace.

NDLEA said between 26th October 2021 and 8th August 2022, its team of anti-narcotic officers assigned to investigate Orakwes drug business activities was able to establish the suspect was selling Tramadol 225mg and other illicit/controlled drugs through the e-commerce platform. It said, as a result, the suspect was arrested with some quantities of Tramadol and Swiphnol brand of Rohypnol on Monday 8th August at a drink joint in the Jabi area of Abuja where he had gone to make some supplies of orders made through his online channel on Jiji.ng.

In his reaction to Orakwes arrest, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) said the painstaking investigation and process of arresting the businessman should send a strong message to those hiding behind the internet to engage in marketing and selling illicit/controlled drugs that the Agency will definitely get them to face the consequences of their action.

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