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Some powerful persons are out to tarnish my image, I’m innocent, Magu says

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Magu

The suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has alleged that some powerful toes he stepped on while doing his job were out to tarnish his image and destroy his reputation.

Magu told the Presidential Committee On Audit Of Recovered Assets, PCARA, that suspects and other criminal elements he prosecuted were after him.

Magu’s claims were contained in a response he addressed to the PCARA probing the mismanagement and lack of transparency in managing recovered assets by the anti-corruption agency in the last 5 years.

The embattled suspended EFCC boss denied any wrongdoing while in office, insisting that all he did was fight corruption to a standstill in the country.

He said his traducers were out there publishing false information about him on social media platforms.

Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, had in the petition he submitted to the PCARA claimed that the lack of proper record keeping and discrepancies in the recovery figures, was a dent on the anti-corruption drive as well as raising integrity issues that can lead to loss of public confidence.

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Part of Malami’s petition said,

“For instance, EFCC stated 836 as the number of recovered real estate in the original returns it made to Mr. President on 07/04/2017.

“However, in its 1st returns to PCARA on 13/12/2017, EFCC gave the figure of 339, while in the 2nd returns to PCARA on 09/03/2018, it stated the recoveries to be 504. The 1st and 2nd returns total 843.”

Responding to this, Magu, who was detained for about 10 days after his arrest by the Department of State Services, DSS, told the panel that, “In the exercise of my official functions as acting chairman of the Commission, I have stepped on toes in ensuring that corruption is fought to a standstill in Nigeria.

“Some of the suspects under investigation and prosecution are always ganging up to fight me back, publishing false, untrue, malicious and libellous allegations against me. I have never abused the office I am occupying at the pleasure of Mr. President.”

“I have never personally enriched myself whilst performing my official function. I challenge my accusers to produce any evidence of this purported personal enrichment,” Magu said.

Arguing further, he claimed that under his watch, there were no cases of mismanagement of recovered assets or funds.

“No assets were sold and the proceeds thereof converted. There has been no mismanagement of or lack of transparency in the management of recovered assets under my leadership of the Commission. There has been no diversion of proceeds from recovered assets or personal enrichment on my part. A careful investigation into what has been recovered and what has been paid into the appropriate accounts will easily confirm this.

“I unequivocally deny these allegations as same are untrue and merely calculated to tarnish my name, that of the Commission, and the giant strides this administration has recorded in the fight against corruption and recovery of the proceeds of corruption,” he stated.

Magu said he had never in his years of service put a dime of the recovered funds to his personal use, challenging his accusers to produce evidence of such fraudulent conversion.

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The suspended EFCC boss said all his actions while in office were documented and followed the prescribed procedures with necessary approvals.

“I am innocent. I have served my country to the best of my abilities with all sense of responsibility and integrity,” Magu insisted.

He maintained that the records of his achievements are there for all to see.

“I respectfully invite the panel to note the stellar and unprecedented achievements of the EFCC under my watch as the acting Chairman,” he said

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FG raises penalty for hate speech from N500,000 to N5m

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday, reviewed the penalty for hate speech in Nigeria.

Mohammed disclosed the increment in penalty for hate speech from N500,000 to N5 million.

The Minister disclosed this at the unveiling ceremony of the reviewed Nigeria Broadcasting Code organized by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) in Lagos.

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A statement signed and issued by Mohammed’s spokesman, Segun Adeyemi said the reviewed code contained the Antitrust provision aimed at boosting local content and encouraging the growth of the local industry, among other provisions.

The statement reads partly:

“The amended Code also includes the provision raising the fine for hate speech from 500,000 Naira to 5 million Naira.

“Alhaji Mohammed clarified that the amendments were necessitated by a Presidential directive, in the wake of the 2019 general elections, for an inquiry into the regulatory role of the NBC with a view to repositioning the regulator for optimum performance.

“He said despite the attacks by some vested interests, who believe that their singular business interest is superior to national interest, over the provisions of the amended Code, the Federal Government remains unperturbed.”

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1.5m students to sit for 2020 WAEC exams

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WAEC

The 2020 West African School Certificate Examination is to be taken by 1,549,463 candidates in 19,129 centres nationwide.

The participants comprise 786,421 males, while the balance 763,402 are females.

The Head of Nigeria National Office (HNO) of the organisation, Patrick Areghan, made the disclosure yesterday in Lagos.

He added that the test, which holds between August 4 and September 5, would run daily from Monday to Saturday.

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In deference to existing COVID-19 protocols, the HNO said:

“Schools must provide wash-hand buckets with running water, soaps, hand sanitisers and thermometer hand-gun to check the temperature of all concerned.”

He continued:

“All examination functionaries, including the council’s staff on distribution, supervisors, invigilators, inspectors, candidates and school officials will be required to wear face masks, wash and sanitise their hands daily, and throughout the duration of the examination.”

Areghan asserted that the council would adhere strictly to physical distancing in the examination halls by ensuring that candidates sit two metres apart.

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UPDATED: WAEC releases 2020 WASSCE timetable

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WAEC Candidates

The West African Examinations Council has released the timetable for the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination.

The Federal Government had announced the resumption of graduating pupils beginning August 4, noting that WASSCE would begin effective August 17, 2020 through September 12, 2020.

WAEC Nigeria in a statement on Tuesday signed by its Head of Public Affairs, Demianus Ojijeogu, advised candidates to disregard other versions of the examination timetable in circulation.

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The statement was titled, ‘WAEC Releases Timetable For The Conduct Of West African Senior School Certificate Examination For School Candidates, 2020’.

The statement read,

“The West African Examinations Council, Nigeria wishes to inform its stakeholders-schools, parents and candidate-that the Final International Timetable for the conduct of WASSCE for School Candidates, 2020 has been released.

“The Council notes that several versions of the examination timetable have been in circulation and enjoins the general public to disregard them as they did not emanate from it.

“The examination which has been slated to begin on Monday, August 17, 2020 will end on Saturday, September 12, 2020.

“The Council hereby urges the candidates to abide by the rules and regulations guiding the conduct of the examination by shunning all acts of malpractice and obeying all Covid-19 protocols that have been put in place at the examination centres.

“This is wishing the candidates success in the examination.”

 

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