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Abia threatens EFCC, gives seven day ultimatum for removal of notices

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Abia State government has given the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), seven days ultimatum to remove all the offensive notices placed on some assets and estates of the state.

The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Abia State, Chief Uche Ihediwa gave the ultimatum while briefing newsmen on the recent development in the State, where the EFCC sealed off some property purported to belong to a highly placed politician in the State.

Chief Ihediwa demanded the EFCC to tender an unreserved apology to the State within seven days in view of the inconvenience its action has caused the State, failure of which the State would take appropriate redress in court. He explained that those assets marked by the EFCC belong to the State government, also that Abia government duly entered into partnership arrangements with credible investors for the development of those properties under public-private partnerships while the reversionary interest in the properties still resides in the State government.

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Chief Ihediwa informed that the law establishing the EFCC makes it clear that the Commission can only seal property of persons under investigation and noted that ownership of the property in question is not under investigation. He recalled that in 2016, the same EFCC investigated the ownership of most of those property and the certificates of occupancy and public-private partnership agreements between the State government and investors of the various assets.

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The Commissioner described the action of the EFCC as unwarranted and unlawful, regretting why the agency did not write the State government to find out the ownership of the said property whose title documents are domiciled in the State Ministry of Lands. He stated that the action of the EFCC has caused harm to the State economy by scaring investors from the State.

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The assets sealed by the EFCC include; The Abia Mall, the Adelabu Housing Estate, the former township main market at Ogwumabiri, the Millenium Luxury Apartment, Abia hotels and Linto estate, Old Timber Market, all in Umuahia.

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Braimoh was a meticulous legislator, astute communicator- Hon. Kasunmu

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The Lawmaker representing Ikeja Constituency 2 at the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Adedamola Richard Kasunmu, also known as ARK, has expressed total grief at the sudden demise of his colleague in the House of Assembly, Hon. Tunde Braimoh, who passed away on Friday.

In a statement from the Media Office of Hon. Kasunmu, the lawmaker stated that “the death of Hon. Tunde Braimoh is still like a trance to me and I am finding it difficult to believe”.

Hon. ARK described the late Braimoh as “a deft politician and meticulous legislator, whose contributions to the success of the 8th and current Assembly cannot be quantified.

“He was always full of life and his intellectual disposition reflected in his contributions in and out of the Chamber.”

“Indeed, we have lost an erudite parliamentarian and astute communicator. This is one death too many and an irreplaceable loss”.

“On behalf of the people of Ikeja Constituency 2 and the Lagos  State House of Assembly Committee on Lands, I want to specially convey our heartfelt condolences to the immediate family of the deceased, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa and the entire House of Assembly as well as the people of Kosofe Constituency 2 and APC family in Lagos State. May his soul rest in Aljouna Fridaous and may God console the family” Hon. Kasunmu stated.

The late Hon. Tunde Braimoh was the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Security and Strategy before his sudden demise via complications arising from COVID-19 in the early hours of Friday Friday 10th July 2020.

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How Magu used Pastors to launder funds abroad

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A report by the Presidential Probe Panel has shown details of how Ibrahim Magu, the suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), allegedly used a cleric to launder funds abroad.

Magu is currently being interrogated by the panel headed by retired Justice Ayo Salami over allegations of lack of transparency in managing recovered assets and mismanagement of EFCC.

A copy of the report made available to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on Saturday in Abuja disclosed that the founder of the Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry, Abuja, Dr Emmanuel Omalewas was used by Magu to launder funds.

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Omale’s name was uncovered through an investigative report on EFCC’s activities by the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and mentioned in the final report of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets (PCARA).

The report added that the unknown Pastor is alleged to have bought a landed property on behalf of Magu worth N573 million in Dubai, United Arab Emirate.

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Another individual who is helping in laundering funds for the Acting Chairman and who has been referred to in several petitions is one Pastor Emmanuel Omale of the Hand of God Prophetic Ministry.

“He’s reported to have travelled to Dubai with Mr Magu, and his name was used in purchasing a property in Dubai for Mr Magu.

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“As an unknown pastor, the NFIU’s report showed the huge movement of funds ranging from N573,228,040.41,” the report said.

However, efforts had been intensified to reveal the real identity of the Pastor and to arraign him for prosecution if found culpable.

Magu is being held at the Police headquarters in Abuja.

He is expected to reappear before the Salami probe panel on Monday, to defend himself against several allegations.

 

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Fresh troubles for Magu as PCARA uncovers re-looting of recovered funds

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Ibrahim Magu

The suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, may be facing fresh cases of alleged re-looting of funds recovered by the agency as well as bribery.

It was gathered that interest rates accruing from N550bn recovered by the EFCC under Magu were allegedly re-looted.

Magu is being interrogated by a presidential probe panel headed by retired Justice Ayo Salami over allegations of mismanagement and lack of transparency in managing recovered assets by the EFCC.

It was observed that the Final Report of Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets (PCARA) that covered the period of May 29, 2015 to November 22, 2018, had also confirmed the concerns of the public about contradictory recovery figures emanating from Magu.

“It is quite disturbing that conflicting figures are being circulated in the public space by EFCC as the amount of recovered funds.

“For Foreign currency recoveries, EFCC reported a total naira equivalent of N46,038,882,509.87, while the naira equivalent of the foreign currency lodgments were N37,533,764,195.66, representing a shortfall of N8,505,118,314.21.

“These inconsistencies cast serious doubt on the accuracy of figures submitted by the EFCC.

“It is the committee’s view that the EFCC cannot be said to have fully accounted for cash recoveries made by it.

“While EFCC reported total Naira recoveries of N504,154,184,744.04, the actual bank lodgments were N543,511,792,863.47. “These discrepancies mean that EFCC’s actual lodgment exceeded its reported recoveries by N39,357,608,119.43.

“It must be pointed out that the discrepancy of more than thirty-nine billion naira does not include interest accrued in this account since it was opened.

“It, therefore, cast serious doubt on the credibility of the figures and means that a substantial amount of money has not been accurately accounted for.

“Failure to report on the interest on actual lodgments clearly establishes that interest element of over N550 billion has been re-looted relating to the period under review.

“This is an apparent case of manipulation of data in a very brazen and unprofessional manner and this has greatly eroded the public confidence in the anti-corruption efforts,’’ the report stated in part.

It was also gathered that the PCARA revealed how the investigative reports on EFCC’s activities by the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) exposed acts of corruption and money laundering against some EFCC officials, including Magu.

“The NFIU reports established that the acting chairman has been using different sources to siphon money from the EFCC, and in some cases, collecting bribes from suspects.

“The report has shown that a particular Bureau de Change, owned by Ahmed Ibrahim Shanono, linked to the acting chairman based in Kaduna, has more than 158 accounts and has been receiving huge sums of funds.

“The link to Magu was also established by the payment of N28 million to FALANA, who is a close associate and ally of the acting chairman,’’ the PCARA report further revealed.

NAN reports that the Salami probe panel is expected to continue sitting on Monday while Magu’s lawyer, Mr Oluwatosin Ojaomo, had, on Friday, applied for an administrative bail for his client, who is facing corruption and other charges before the panel.

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(NAN)

 

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