Saraki’s trial: Senators summon CCT Judge
The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions yesterday summoned CCT Chairman Justice Danladi Umar over allegations of corruption against him.
The invitation, coming on a day Justice Umar said Saraki’s trial will run daily, appeared a new twist to the matter.
In a letter signed yesterday by the Clerk of the Committee, Freedom Odolo,the Senate asked Justice Umar to appear unfailingly by 2pm on Thursday.
But Justice Umar replied the committee that he has a court sitting on Thursday and throughout the week.
He said he would not be available until after the court sittings, which is on Saraki’s trial.
The invitation letter was delivered to the CCT chairman shortly after he ruled that the tribunal will be sitting daily from 9am to 6pm.
The Senators may have set the stage for a major confrontation between them and the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over Senate President Bukola Saraki’s trial for alleged falsification of assets.
Dasukigate: Jonathan’s ex-aide arrested at Lagos airport
Nigerian security operatives have arrested a former Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Domestic Matters, Waripamowei Dudafa, while attempting to travel out of the country through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.
A source at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission revealed that Mr. Dudafa was on the anti-graft agency’s wanted list for his alleged involvement in the sharing of N10billion to delegates during the December 2014 presidential primaries of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party.
Mr. Dudafa allegedly converted the money into US dollars, amounting to $47million, and distributed to delegates from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
Investigators say they believe the fund was part of the alleged $2.1billion meant for the purchase of arms but which authorities said was shared as slush funds to politicians through the office of a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
Sources at the EFCC revealed that Mr. Dudafa was arrested and quizzed by the operatives of the State Security Service, SSS, before he was handed over to the EFCC on Monday.
“He has been on our wanted list for a long time and he evaded arrest on several occasions,” a top EFCC official, who asked not to be named, said.
Contacted, the spokesperson of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, declined comment on the matter.
Saraki’s CCT trial adjourned till Tuesday
The trial of Senate President Bukola Saraki has been adjourned till 12 noon Tuesday, 19 April at the request of the defence.
The defence began cross examination of the first prosecution witness, Micheal Wetkas, after the prosecution concluded its examination in chief on Monday afternoon.
The prosecution led by Rotimi Jacobs had tendered evidences in its case against the Senate President Bukola Saraki.
Michael Wetkas, the first prosecution witness identified the documents (bank drafts) used by Saraki to pay for the following:
– no 15 McDonald Ikoyi; property purchased in the name of Tiny Tee by Saraki was partly made from Access Bank and GTB.
– no 17 Macdonald, Ikoyi. One of the drafts was for N256, 300.00 million and another draft for N12.8 million used to partly pay for 17 Macdonald.
– a draft of N24.90 million with N20 million drawn from Zenith Bank account of Carlie Property and Investment Ltd and N4.90m from Carlie Property account in GTB as part payment for the property. “The total of the two were part payment for No 17 McDonald,” said Wetkas.
– draft of N180 m dated 5 April, 2007 part payment for 17 Mcdonald.
– draft of N36, 135 million dated 10 January, 2007 drawn from account Carlies Property account in GTB which also forms part payment for No 17 McDonald and lastly, another draft for N12m dated 10 January, 2007 also drawn from account of Carlie Property in GTB which also forms part payment for No 17 McDonald, Ikoyi.
The cheques for the drafts were issued at different dates in 2006 and 2007. The Court accepted the documents as evidence.
Gbajabiamila writes Chinese president debunking Fayose’s letter
The Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and also the All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmaker from Lagos State, said on Monday that he wrote a letter to the Chinese President Xi Jingping.
He wrote that President Muhammadu Buhari took the right decision on behalf of Nigerians by signing a $6bn investment package with China during his visit to the Asian country. He stated that Buhari got the mandate from the Nigerian people, having “overwhelmingly” elected him to govern the country
The letter, which was dated April 18, was in response to an earlier letter the Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, wrote Jingping, in which he condemned Buhari’s trip to China and his alleged bid for a $2bn loan from the Chinese government.
Gbajabiamila advised the Chinese President to ignore Fayose, whom he said had no authority to speak on behalf of Nigeria, a country with a federal structure.
He also argued that contrary to Fayose’s position that Buhari did not brief the National Assembly before engaging in such international deals on behalf of Nigeria, the President actually notified the legislature in the 2016-2018 Medium Term Expenditure Framework that he would resort to borrowing to fund Nigeria’s three-budgeting plan.
Alleged destruction of evidence: Metuh shuns court
The National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Olisa Metuh was absent Monday at the scheduled resumption of his trial before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory.
Although Metuh and his lawyer were in court at the last adjourned date of March 16 when parties agreed to Monday owning to the judge’s absence, Metuh and his legal team refused to turn up.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on January 21 this year, arraigned Metuh on two-count charges of attempting to destroy evidence to be used for his trial in the allegation of receiving N400 million from the former National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Col. Sambo Dasuki for which he has already been arraigned in another court.
The EFCC stated in the charge that Metuh ‘tore into pieces statement made under caution’ contrary to section 326 of the penal code and punishable under Section 327 of the same code.
The prosecution later amended the charge and added a third count of “Mischief”, which contravened Section 326 punishable under Section 327 of the Penal Code.
Monday, it was only the prosecution lawyer, Sylvanus Tahir and his witness (the first prosecution witness, Said Junaid) who were in court.
They were later informed by court’s official, having waited for over one hour that the trial judge, Justice Ishaq Bello, was not available.
Ex President Ibrahim Babangida is seriously ill
Reports reaching our newsroom say that former Nigerian military president, Gen. Ibrahiim Badamosi Babangida (rtd.) (IBB) is seriously ill. Unconfirmed sources say the ex-military dictator is suffering from a debilitating illness which has emaciated his body frame – making him to look fragile and pale.
IBB is reported to be unable to walk unaided. He uses a walking stick or helped by his security personnel, the sources said.
Reports added that IBB now travels frequently to Abuja for medical attention and has cut down on the number of visitors he receives at his hilltop mansion in Minna, Niger state.
IBB was Nigeria’s military president for eight years. He was forced to step aside by the late military Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha.
APC alerts Nigerians on another 2016 Budget Scam
The All Progressives Congress (APC) South-south zone has punched yet another hole on the bill passed recently by the National Assembly.
According to ThisDay newspaper, the party accused the Senate Appropriation Committee and its counterpart in the House of Representatives of doctoring the budget and removing almost N5 billion meant for the total rehabilitation of the collapsed and terrible Calabar-Odukpani–Itu –Ikot Ekpene federal highway and reallocated it to a non-existent constituency project in Kano State.
In a statement issued yesterday by the National Vice Chairman (South-south) and made available to Thisday, Prince Hilliard Eta, the party said the action was a setback to the progressive change and at variance with the infrastructure development agenda of the APC-led federal government.
“We are very upset that our representatives at the National Assembly would discard decorum and hinder progressive change by acting at variance with the infrastructure development agenda of the APC-led federal government”.
PDP Chieftain Oladipo offers to return ‘Dasukigate funds’
Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) National Secretary Prof. Wale Oladipo has appealed to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) to be allowed to refund the N75 million he received from ex-National Security Adviser (NSA) Mohammed Sambo Dasuki.
Oladipo’s request is contained in a letter to the Vice President in which he sought to be excluded from prosecution. The existence of the letter by Oladipo was confirmed in the suit he filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, through his lawyer Babs Akinwumi.
He is seeking to, among others, restrain the attorney general of the federation (AGF) and four others from arresting, detaining and prosecuting him. Oladipo also seeks to restrain the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), the inspector general of Police (IGP) and the Department of State Services (DSS) from holding him.
The PDP national secretary, in a supporting affidavit, said he wrote the Vice President on his intention to refund the money he received from the Office of the NSA, without knowledge that it was proceed of unlawful dealings, with the understanding that he would be shielded from prosecution.
Buhari didn’t take any loan from China – Femi Adesina
Femi Adesina, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, on Sunday said President Muhammadu Buhari did not discuss the issue of loan during his week-long trip to China. There had been reports that Nigeria would borrow at least $2 billion from China to finance the 2016 budget.
But speaking when he appeared as a guest on O&M Sunday Show on AIT, Adesina said nothing of such happened, saying the trip ended up attracting investment worth $6 billion to the country.
“The issue of loan didn’t arise during the president’s trip to China, not even an emergency loan was discussed,” he said.
“The president went there and signed agreements that were in the interest of Nigeria. We should know that this president knows what is good for the country.”
On the letter which Ayo Fayose, Ekiti state governor, wrote to the Chinese government to stop the purported loan, Adesina said: “Every nation has a room for comic relief. If someone chooses to be so idle and be entertaining others, so be it.
“I am sure so many people laughed when they saw the letter.”
When asked if the president also reacted to Fayose’s letter with laughter, Adesina said: “The president is a serious-minded person who chooses not to be distracted.”