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N600m slush fund: Bafarawa queries EFCC over non-trial of Odili, Ahmadu Ali, George, others

  • Written by Yusuf Adeoye
  • Category: Politics
  • Hits: 50

Read more: N600m slush fund: Bafarawa queries EFCC over non-trial of Odili, Ahmadu Ali, George, othersA former Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, is angry with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly singling him out for trial over the N600million cash given to six leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda.

The ex-governor wants to know why Chief Jim Nwobodo (South-East), Dr. Peter Odili (South-South), Chief Bode George (South-West), Alhaji Yerima Abdullahi (North-East), and Col. Ahmadu Ali (North-Central) who allegedly shared in the money are excluded from trial.

He says each of the presidential election contact chairmen for the six (6) geo-political zones was given N100million.

Bafarawa, in a petition on his ordeal to the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) alleged selective corruption prosecution against “my son, Sagir Attahiru and I by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).”He said the action of the anti-corruption agency “leaves little to be desired and is discriminatory against me.”

 

Continuing, he said: “In 2015, I alongside five (5) other persons  was among other presidential election contact Chairmen for the six (6) geo-political zones in the country.

 

“The six persons appointed were Sen. Jim Nwobodo (South-East), Dr Peter Odili (South-South), Chief Bode George (South-West), Alhaji Yerima Abdullahi (North-East), Col. Ahmadu Ali (North-Central) and myself (North-West). We were given N100million  each by a former Minister State Finance, Bashir Yuguda and were directed to disburse same to the state elders of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in our zones for campaign expenses.

 

“We were not given any information that it was Federal Government money but since this happened after PDP has raised money for campaign I believed it was from it that this money was given to us.

“l am Nigerian citizen and a senior at that. That manner in which the EFCC has persecuted me in the name of prosecution is a cause for alarm. May I note that I am not saying I am above the law but I think it is only conscionable for me to be tried for whatever offence I am accused of committing within the ambits of the law instead of the media trial I have been subjected to in the hands of EFCC.

“What is the rationale to single me out for prosecution while others in the same category with me are left not prosecuted. What is the rationale of EFCC to be prosecuting me without investigating and prosecuting those who are the beneficiaries of the funds.“In a civilized society, I ought to be a witness to the prosecution to enable the government get its money back from the people whom I paid assuming it is Federal Government’s money.

“I urge the Honourable Attorney General and Minister of Justice to conduct an investigation into this complaint and make the necessary recommendations so that my family will stop being dragged in the mud and to enable the cause of Justice have its proper way.”

Bafarawa, who released the list of those he gave his own share of N100million, said he added extra N200, 000 to what was disbursed to him by the ex-Minister.

He said: “On my part, I disbursed the said money to PDP Chairmen in my zone with even an additional N200, 000 totaling N1.2million only between January 12, 2015 and March 17,2015. Upon which I am expecting a refund before my arrest.”

He listed the beneficiaries as:

Kebbi State: Abdullahi Yelwa—0050222873 – Access Bank Mobile No. 08037882327 (N15,600,000.00) 12/1/2015 (Transfer)

Jigawa State: Bashir M. Daihatu—1003873037 Zenith Bank Mobile No 08063029297 (N15,600,000.00) 12/02/2015 (Transfer )

Zamfara State: Bala Mohammed Mande 1001340999 Keystone Bank Mobile No. 07064886648 (N15,700,000.00) 12/01/2015 (Transfer )

Kaduna State: Senator Musa Bello-0025256324 -Diamond Bank Mobile No. 08033078989 (N16,200,000.00) 12/01/2015 (Transfer )

Kano State: Habibu Shuaibu—1002417106 Zenith Bank Mobile No. 08033243111 (N15,100,000.00) 12/01/2015 (Transfer )

Katsina State: Amb. Adamu Saidu Daura—1002074068 Keystone Bank -Mobile No. 08032877665 (N15,700,000.00) 12/01/2015 (Transfer)

Sokoto State: Engr. Mohammad Tori —Mobile No. 08035868876 (N3,300,000.00) 12/01/2015 (Cash)

J Sokoto State : Ahmad Mohd Gusau -Mobile No. 08033034233 (N3,000,000.00) 12/01/2015 (Cash)

“It is thus baffling to see that l was the only one who was arrested and being prosecuted for an offence I did not commit. The money l got was meant for the purpose of the 2015 elections and same was utilized for the purpose.

“The EFCC did not deem it fit to invite the persons to which I disbursed the money to. Just like the others, I am an agent of a disclosed principal but due to whatever personal scores the EFCC has with me, I am the only one who has been made a subject of ridicule by the EFCC.

“You will recall that a chieftain in Ondo State, Chief Olu Falae, also got some certain amount of money but the EFCC has not deemed it fit to prosecute him. What made my case worse is the fact that I did not spend a kobo for myself in the said sum of money but disbursed it as instructed.

“ The Gestapo manner with which the EFCC operatives stormed my apartment at 6.00am on 19th November, 2015 at Usuma Street Maitama, Abuja is one which would create an impression that l have committed a capital offence even when l have not committed any. The operatives neither presented a warrant of arrest nor a court order giving them authority to arrest me.

“Fortunately, l was not in the country when this happened but through phone call l caused my lawyers, Lateef Fagbemi SAN & CO to write a letter to the EFCC on the 25th November, 2015 informing them of my intention to honour the invitation on my return to the country while also protesting the illegal invasion of my house.

“The letter is hereto attached as Annexure B for your attention. Upon my return to the country, | honoured the EFCC invitation on 1St of December, 2015 and l was detained for 3 weeks at the EFCC office before I was transferred to Kuje Prisons on the 22nd December, 2015, l was however released on bail.

“My travails in the hands of the EFCC continued despite the fact that I stated to the EFCC quite categorically how I disbursed the money in question on the instruction of the party. I gave EFCC names of persons I gave the money to, their bank account numbers (to which I disbursed the money) and their addresses.

“What I expected and what would have been the right thing to do was to invite the persons whom I disbursed the money to confirm the veracity or otherwise of my statement.

“The attempt by the EFCC to smear my hard earned name has been extended to my son, Sagir Attahiru, who disbursed funds (N4.5billion) given to him by NSA office only based on the instruction of the NSA.

“He was arrested by the EFCC on the 24th November, 2015 and detained for over a month and four days both at EFCC cell and Kuje Prisons before his release on bail on 28th December, 2015.

“My son, Sagir, only acted on the express instruction of Col. Dasuki as can be seen from the document which he has submitted to the EFCC.”

 

Nation

 

AMBODE OKAYS N30,000 MONTHLY STIPENDS FOR 1,000 INTERNS

  • Written by Yusuf Adeoye
  • Category: Politics
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Read more: AMBODE OKAYS N30,000 MONTHLY STIPENDS FOR 1,000 INTERNSLagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has approved the payment of N30,000 as monthly stipends to Ready.Set.Work (RSW) interns who have been placed in various organisations for six-month paid internships.

The Governor also approved N8million in seed funding for the top five winners of the RSW Business Pitch Competition, whose businesses will be placed in incubation, while the beneficiaries will commence their internships and incubation, respectively, on March 1st, 2018.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh in a statement on Sunday said the interns were part of the 2,000 final year students from six tertiary institutions in the State who took part in the 2017 edition of the 13-week intensive Entrepreneurship and Employability training programme.

He said that the Ready.Set.Work programme, which held its pilot in 2016 with 500 final year students from three tertiary institutions in Lagos State, was scaled up in 2017 to 12,000 Students from six institutions including Lagos State University, University of Lagos, Lagos State Polytechnic, Lagos State College of Health Technology, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, and Michael Otedola College of Primary Education.

“In 2016, we placed 76 students in internships with partner organizations like PwC, SystemSpecs, Total, GTBank, FCMB and Access Bank, to mention a few, who provided 6-month paid internship opportunities for RSW graduates. His Excellency, the Governor, further expanded the scheme by approving funds to place an additional 100 RSW graduates in internship positions with SMEs across Lagos State, with monthly stipends provided by the government.

“In 2017, we were able to scale up and secure internship slots in about 180 organisations across the State for 1,000 top performing RSW graduates. The placement process involved a series of Internship Fairs at which companies had the opportunity to interview and select their interns from a pool of qualified candidates,” Bank-Olemoh said.

He also disclosed that preparation for Ready.Set.Work 2018 has commenced, adding that the programme would be expanded to train 25,000 while 5,000 final year students would participate in the 13-week face-to-face classes and that 20,000 students in their penultimate year would take part in the RSW Online Academy.

Besides, Bank-Olemoh said the programme was also increasing the number of participating schools to accommodate more students in the programme, among which are Yaba College of Technology, Federal College of Education (Technical) and a private institution, Caleb University.

The Special Adviser added that the inclusion of new schools was in line with Governor Ambode’s commitment to ensuring that every student that graduates from any tertiary institution in Lagos State is prepared for the world of work as an employer of labour or a value-adding employee.

Bank-Olemoh also called on professionals from different sectors to join the RSW Faculty, the largest volunteer faculty in Nigeria, as facilitators for the 2018 training programme, adding that the RSW Faculty recruitment would kick off officially on February 22nd, while the application portal will be accessible on the programme website - www.readysetwork.com.ng.

ROSEMARY’S HOLDS FUSION SHOWCASE IN ABUJA … TO CELEBRATE 2018 COLOUR OF THE YEAR

  • Written by Yusuf Adeoye
  • Category: Politics
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Read more: ROSEMARY’S HOLDS FUSION SHOWCASE IN ABUJA … TO CELEBRATE 2018 COLOUR OF THE YEARAward winning interior design company, Rosemary’s – The Soft Furnishing Company, has announced that its 2018 Fusion Showcase will hold in Abuja. According to Ezinne Kufre-Ekanem, Group MD/CEO of Rosemary’s, “this Fusion Showcase is our way of bonding with our discerning clientele in Abuja and celebrating Ultra Violet – the 2018 Colour of the Year. It will hold from Friday, February 23 – Saturday, February 24, 2018 at our showroom on Third Avenue, Gwarimpa, Abuja”.

 

Also speaking, Doosuur Okorie, the Abuja Operations Manager of Rosemary’s said: “We are happy to host the first ever Rosemary’s Fusion Showcase in the Abuja outlet. Being the latest Rosemary’s community, it is a privilege for us and we look forward to receiving our clientele with the true essence of Rosemary’s and the values of Ultra Violet. It will be a two-day walk-in program flexible enough to accommodate the busy and diverse schedules of our customers, from corporates, hotels to individuals and families.”

 

Speaking further, Ezinne clarified that “Ultra violet is a dramatically provocative and thoughtful shade of purple. It inspires creativity and invites us to think outside the box. These characteristics of Ultra Violet, the 2018 Colour of the Year, further reinforce the 5 elements of our core values at Rosemary’s: creativity, accountability, newness, drive and openness. They communicate originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking that points us towards the future. And where there is a future, then there is a hope. All of these and more will be on display through our items and hospitality during the two-day 2018 Fusion Showcase”.

 

Rosemary’s is a passion-driven lifestyle company specializing in soft furnishing and interior design for homes, hotels and offices from an African perspective and with a deep belief in personal service. Established in 2003, the company run 3 showrooms in Nigeria and will celebrate 15 years of operations later this year. Rosemary’s was voted Nigeria’s Most Creative Business of the Year 2007 at the SuccessDigest Enterprise Awards and Africa’s Best-In-Class Furniture/Interior Decoration Company of the Year at the African Brand Leadership Merit Awards 2017.

 

Reps Hopeful, Fatee Muhameed, Plans Valentine With Poor Widows And Kids

  • Written by Yusuf Adeoye
  • Category: Politics
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Read more: Reps Hopeful, Fatee Muhameed, Plans Valentine With Poor Widows And KidsA female House of Representatives aspirant in Ifako-Ijaiye, Lagos State, Hon. Fateema Muhameed, is planning big for the 2018 February 14th Valentine celebration.

As usual, the beautiful polician-cum-businesswoman is not marking the date alone with members of her family, she is sharing the love as the season preaches, with the less privileged members of the society, particularly widows, the poor and orphaned children in her constituency.

According to Hon. Fateema, "it is our usual regular practice especially during the season of love like this to share love with and to everyone. Everyone deserves to be genuinely loved but our focus on an occasion like this are poor widows and children.

As part of our mission and goal to touch lives especially in periods like this, our special Valentine outreach programme is being packaged again for widows and the children of Ifako-Ijaye."

The grassroots politician stated the the outreach is one of her ways of touching lives and reaching out to the less privileged on a day set apart to celebrate love.

She said that the activities of the day will include having fun with the children and widows and giving out gift items to all including free attendees.

Nigerian Governors Back State Police

  • Written by Yusuf Adeoye
  • Category: Politics
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Read more: Nigerian Governors Back State PoliceThe Nigerian Governors Forum on Monday supported the proposal for the creation of State Police, which was brought back into lime light  by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN).
Osinbajo had at the Senate Security Summit last week solicited for the creation of State Police to tackle insecurity across the country.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum,  Abdul Aziz Yari, in an interview said the creation of State Police is the only way out of the current security problem in the country, adding the governors had supported it since 2015.
Yari, who spoke on Monday during the continuation of the Senate Security Summit, said the fear that State Police will be abused by some governors could not hold water.
He said since the judiciary at the state level has not been abused by governors,  so alao will the state police not be used to the detriment of the people.
 
 
Yari spoke after about six hours closed door session with lawmakers in Abuja to address the lingering insecurity in the country.

For Daring Me, I Won’t Back Abe’s Governorship Bid – Amaechi

  • Written by Yusuf Adeoye
  • Category: Politics
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Read more: For Daring Me, I Won’t Back Abe’s Governorship Bid – AmaechiThe Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said he will not back the governorship ambition of Senator Magnus Abe for the 2019 election in Rivers State.
Amaechi, who is also the Leader of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State, said this on Saturday during a meeting with the Ikwerre Chiefs and Elders’ Forum.
He said though there is no infighting within the APC in the State, he will not support Abe, the representative of Rivers South-East, who also said on Saturday that he would go ahead with his ambition with or without the support of the Minister.
Amaechi said: “There is no fight in the APC.
“I am not in any way stopping Abe from running for the governorship, but what I know is that I will not support him.
“Abe is daring me, an Ikwerre son.
“He is abusing me every day.
“I will ensure I use Ikwerre vote on him.”
Amaechi said his Ikwerre ethnic group had 1.1 million votes out of the 2.5 million eligible voters in the state.
He said the position of the governor in the state was rotational among the various ethnic groups, adding that it would amount to greed should Ikwerre hold on to power for more than 12 years.
The former governor said he would support a person from the riverine area to occupy the position of the governor for eight years before power would move to Ogoni.
He said: “At the moment, we have not chosen a candidate.
“Only God will decide who will become the next governor.”
But Abe, also on Saturday, said the power to decide the next governor of the state resides with the people.
Abe, who spoke during a victory thanksgiving/reception by the federal and state lawmakers elected on the platform of the APC in Rivers State, said: “Now is the time to put the interest of the state ahead of anything else.
“We must work together so that the people can benefit from the politics we play.”

Disagreement as six members distance selves from Reps’ call for IGP’s removal

  • Written by Yusuf Adeoye
  • Category: Politics
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Read more: Disagreement as six members distance selves from Reps’ call for IGP’s removalThe unity in the House of Representatives suffered a setback yesterday as six  members distanced themselves from the resolution of the House calling for the removal of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris from office.

The House had earlier yesterday adopted a motion of urgent national importance where they opined that the IGP, due to his utterances, actions and inactions can no longer be trusted to conduct his job in an apolitical manner, and thereby putting the lives of Nigerians in jeopardy.

However, Johnson Agbonayinma (APC, Edo), Abdullahi Mahmud Gaya (APC, Kano), Muhammad Sani Abdul (APC, Bauchi), Ayuba Bello (APC, Borno), Abubakar Chika Adamu (APC, Niger) and Basir Babale (APC, Kano) promptly disagreed with their colleagues, saying that the decision of the House did not follow due process. 

The lawmakers promised to move for the the rescission of the resolution, adding that most members played to the gallery at the resolution thereby denying the IGP a fair hearing.

At a press briefing, the six lawmakers said their position against the resolution of the House to sack the IGP will be presented to the House in form of a motion.

Agbonayinma, who spoke on behalf of the others said, “The motion on Kano did not go down well with some of us. The Speaker has always guided the House and tried his best, but all of us played to the galary. We should be fair to all.

“On the issue that IGP should be replaced, I  think we were too in a rush, the motion should have been refered to a Committee.

“Every Nigerian has a right to fair hearing. The issue should have been investigated. Not only me but some of our colleagues were not too happy with the resolution. 

“Some of us are going forward to rescind the decision. We were not fair to the IGP”.For emphasis, Agbonayinma said the group will not waste a moment to sponsor a motion to rescind the decision, “This is because a decision on a critical actor in enforcement of our laws without thorough investigation would be uncomplimentary to the position of this hallowed chamber, known for fairness, equity and good purpose”, he added.

According to the lawmaker,  the title of the motion will be “The House rescind the resolution from the motion on the need to curb thuggery in political activities in Kano and Nigeria in general and refer to the relevant communities for proper investigations and report back to the House within four (4) weeks for further legislative action

2019: Senate, Reps joint committee adopt reordered sequence of election

  • Written by Yusuf Adeoye
  • Category: Politics
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Read more: 2019: Senate, Reps joint committee adopt reordered sequence of electionSenate and House of Representatives joint committee on Electoral Act amendment yesterday adopted the proposed reordered sequence of elections in the country.

The National Assembly conference committee on electoral Act (amendment) bill which met in Abuja said that reordered sequence of elections, which places the Presidential election last in the order of elections, is that best for the country.

The House of Representatives committee on electoral act ( amendment) bill had in its amendments to the 2010 Electoral Act included section 25(1) into the Act by reordering the sequence of the  elections to start from that of the National Assembly, followed by governorship  and  state assembly election before the Presidential election.This is against the old sequence by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which slated the Presidential and National Assembly election first before governorship and state assembly elections.

Adopting the reordered sequence of elections as contained in the House of Representatives  version of  the   amended Electoral Act, Chairman  of the Committee,  Senator Suleiman Nazif  (Bauchi North), put it to a voice vote.

The 12 members committee unanimously answered in the affirmative.

After the adoption of the reordered sequence of elections, Senator Nazif insisted that the bill did not in any way violate any provisions of Section 76 of the 1999 Constitution which empowered INEC to fix dates and conduct elections.

He noted that the words which empowered INEC to fix dates and to conduct elections were duplicated in the bill just as the power that confers on the National Assembly by Section 4 subsection 2 of the Constitution were exercised in relation to rescheduling of elections ..

Nazif said, ” For the avoidance of doubt , this bill with the inclusion of Section 25(1) which makes provision for sequence of election different from the one earlier rolled out by INEC has not in any way violated any provisions of the laws governing the operations of the electoral body. ”

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