Jonathan’s wife petitions House of Reps; Judge earns N24m annually, spent N500m in 10 months –AGF; FG declares Monday public holiday for Eid el-Maulud celebration; NNPC backs unbundling of corporation by N’Assembly; $1.6 billion oil scam: Former NNPC boss testifies against Jide Omokore; Wike, Amaechi’s Verbal Exchange Degenerates over Rivers Re-run Polls; I don’t receive gifts from people-Buhari’s wife; EFCC storms Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia’s home; Borno IDPs Camp Records 3,213 Pregnancies In 6 Months; EFCC: Jonathan’s wife’s $15.5m proceeds of crime; Senate reschedules Magu’s confirmation to Dec. 15; As Saraki Meets Oyegun, APC Admits There’s Crisis Within . . .
Jonathan’s wife petitions House of Reps
Abuja (The Nation) — Former First Lady Patience Jonathan has petitioned the House of Representatives, alleging harassment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The petition, submitted to the House by a member, Lovette Idisi, said she has been “incessantly harassed” by the anti-graft agency. Dame Jonathan also alleged that operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) are threatening her life.
She added that operatives of the agencies “broke” into her Abuja home twice in her absence. The former First Lady also stated that EFCC froze her children’s and relatives’ accounts, credited to media reports negatively affected her husband’s reputation. Reading the petition before the House, Idisi slammed the EFCC. He said the EFCC’s actions towards the former First Lady were contrary to Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution, which presumed that individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
He said: “This petition is in line with Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution which dictates that every citizen is presumed innocent until proven guilty. “The constant harassment of the former First Lady is contained in a petition which emanated from her, that was sent to my office. “With the leave of the House I seek your permission to lay the petition before the House.” Speaker Yakubu Dogara, who presided over plenary, referred the petition to the Committee on Public Petitions.
Judge earns N24m annually, spent N500m in 10 months –AGF
Abuja (Punch) — The Federal Government on Wednesday said investigations had shown that a Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, spent over N500m between January and October 2016 despite his total annual legitimate earnings, including his allowances being N24m. This was disclosed in a document prepared by the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Charles Adeogun-Philips, summarising the case of the prosecution against the Justice of the Supreme Court, who was on November 21, 2016, arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
During his arraignment, Ngwuta pleaded not guilty to 16 counts, including money laundering and others relating to fraudulent obtainment of multiple passports. The trial judge, Justice John Tsoho, adjourned till January 16, 2017, for the prosecution to start calling its witnesses. The document, prepared in anticipation that the prosecution would be allowed to open its case on Wednesday, stated that the case brought against the judge, “chronicles corrupt enrichment, violations of the money laundering laws of our land, passport fraud, and an attempt to obstruct justice by a judicial officer”. The prosecution alleged that from the N500m, the apex court justice transferred dollar equivalent of N313m cash in $100 bills to a building contractor within the period of nine months between January and September, 2016, to “develop several landed properties” for him.
FG declares Monday public holiday for Eid el-Maulud celebration
Abuja (NigerianEye) — The Federal Government has declared Monday, December 12 as public holiday to mark the Eid-El Maulud celebration. Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau who made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, enjoined all Muslim faithful and Nigerians in general to cooperate and join hands with President Muhammadu Buhari, “as he works tirelessly to build a strong, united and peaceful Nation”.
A statement signed by the acting Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Muhammadu Maccido quoted the minister as urging “all Nigerians to use the occasion to pray for peace across the nation, while calling on all to be patient and supportive of the present administration for the successful implementation of its laudable programmes”.
NNPC backs unbundling of corporation by N’Assembly
Abuja (New Telegraph) — The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has thrown its weight behind the newly introduced Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) by the National Assembly, which splits the corporation into three different entities. The corporation expressed its support for the proposal at the commencement of a three-day public hearing on the bill at the National Assembly complex, Abuja yesterday.
In its submission at the hearing, the state-owned oil firm said that the new bill would serve “as necessary prelude to the enactment of subsequent legislations on upstream,midstream and downstream fiscal, commercial and operational framework for the oil and gas industry.” It also stated that the idea of PIGB, as a separate bill from the fiscal and commercial framework, would hasten the overall consideration of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and also facilitate the “ease of execution when eventually passed into law.”
$1.6 billion oil scam: Former NNPC boss testifies against Jide Omokore
Abuja (Premium Times) — The trial of the embattled chairman of Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited, Jide Omokore, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, got underway Thursday. The case, heard by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja, opened with the prosecutor presenting its first witness, Andrew Yakubu, a former General Managing Director, GMD, of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
Mr. Yakubu, formerly a co-defendant prior to the amended charge, shed light on the nature of his engagement with the NNPC, which involved the strategic direction of NNPC and all its subsidiaries, including the Port Harcourt refinery, Warri refinery, Kaduna refinery, Pipelines and Products Marketing Company Limited (PPMC), Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL) and National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS).
According to him, “in 2013 to 2014, the MD of NPDC, Mr. Victor Briggs (the fourth defendant) came to me and raised some concerns in relation to assets OML 60 series in relation to the strategic alliance agreement between Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Limited and NPDC, citing inability of Atlantic Drilling to meet payment obligations. He told me that he was already looking into the issue and will get back to me. I told him to stop further lifting until the issue is reconciled. I called the Group General Manager of Crude Oil Marketing Department (COMD) and told him to stop further lifting until the issue had been resolved”.
Wike, Amaechi’s Verbal Exchange Degenerates over Rivers Re-run Polls
Port Harcourt (ThisDay) — With just three days to the December 10 re-run elections in Rivers State, the deep-seated animosity between the governor of the state, Mr. Nyesom Wike, and his predecessor, Chibuike Amaechi, reared it head again yesterday, when Amaechi accused Wike and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), of being responsible for the spate of killings in the run up to the 2015 and the March 19 re-run elections in the River State.
But the state government immediately fired back, describing Amaechi’s allegations as a “sewage of lies”. The PDP also described the allegations a smokescreen by the Minister of Transportation to perpetrate violence and bloodshed in the state. In an interview with journalists at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, and repeated in a broadcast on radio stations in the state, Amaechi alleged that Wike and the PDP cannot deny “their involvement and sponsorship of the killing of innocent Rivers people and stalwarts of the APC (All Progressives Congress) in the 2015 general election and the March 19 re-run elections in the state”.
RIVERS RERUN: IT’S FORCE FOR FORCE, AMAECHI, OYEGUN TELL APC SUPPORTERS
Port Harcourt (Daily Times) — The Minister of Transportation and a two-term former governor of Rivers state, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has charged supporters of the All Progressives Congress in the state to be courageous and return fire for fire in the Saturday December 10, legislative rerun election in the state. He gave the charge to the party supporters at the APC Mega Rally in Port Harcourt, capital city of Rivers state, to round off the party’s campaigns, saying that the rerun election “is the election of our lives. He said that gone were the days when APC supporters took to their heels in the face of alleged attacks and electoral violence by the PDP.
The former governor stated: “I have not spoken to you people like this before. Don’t kill anybody so that you can still take Holy Communion, but also make sure you are not killed. If they snatch a result sheet, snatch it back.” He recalled: “My friend in the army told me that if you hear the sound of a gunshot, it is not meant for you. Let them know that they are not the only ones that have right to their lives. We all have a right to our lives. If you allow them to shoot you, you will die. It’s not only them that have rights to life. So, this election is the election of our lives. The federal government has provided enough security, so come out and vote for APC candidates.”
I don’t receive gifts from people-Buhari’s wife
Abuja (New Telegraph) — The wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, has said that the anti-corruption disposition of the family, does not allow her receive gifts from people. She said those who brought gift items during the 2015 presidential election, were asked to print the All Progressives Congress’ logo on them. The President’s wife made the disclosure during the flag-off of the Women Against Corruption in Abuja.
This came as the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, charged women to take up the fight against corruption, to make the society better. Also, a former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mrs Farida Waziri, called on the government to subject every new appointee to a position of authority in the country to a psychiatrist test to determine their state of mental health.
Speaking at the event, Buhari said: “We are all aware that before the swearing-in, we passed through the campaign session in which me and my sister, the wife of the Vice-President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, who is known as a pastor and myself as a Sunni Mallama, we have never ever collected a single penny from our supporters or from donors in the name of campaign.
EFCC storms Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia’s home
Lagos (The Sun) — Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), have visited the home of Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, at Park View Estate in Ikoyi, Lagos. It was gathered that EFCC officials who stormed the house at about 5:00am, yesterday, conducted a search but, eventually, left after being denied access into the house. The EFCC went to Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia’s home to interview her daughter and son, who allegedly did not honour previous invitation from the EFCC.
The anti-graft commission alleged huge sums of money passed through their accounts while some funds were reportedly used to purchase houses abroad from the accounts. They did not meet the judge’s children at home. Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia and Godwin Obla, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, are being prosecuted for allegedly perverting the course of justice by the anti-graft agency. While Ofili-Ajumogobia faces a 26-count charge of unlawful enrichment, forgery and giving false information to an official of the EFCC, among others, Obla is charged with offering gratification in the sum of N5 million, to Ofili-Ajumogobia during her service as a judge. Both have, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Borno IDPs Camp Records 3,213 Pregnancies In 6 Months
Maiduguri (Leadership) — No fewer than 3,213 pregnancies were recorded in Bakassi camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, between June and December this year. LEADERSHIP also gathered that there are 2,234 breastfeeding mothers among the 21,202 IDPs, the camp presently hosts.
This was disclosed yesterday by the camp manager, Mohammed Gujibawu, when a delegation of the United Nations humanitarian agencies, comprising WHO , UNPFA , UNCR , ICRC , UNICEF , FAO, OHRC, UNOCHAR, IOM and representative of the federal government visited the camp to assess the humanitarian situation there.
Gujibawu told the UN agencies that some of the challenges facing the camp are inadequate supply for infants and adults, inadequate school learning materials for the children, lack of potable water, inadequate supply of drugs for underage patients, and absence of ambulance, among others.
He noted that the Bakassi camp started with 4,743 IDPs and grew to the present number following the evacuation of IDPs from school premises when government decided to reopen schools occupied by the displaced persons, in addition to IDPs brought from areas liberated by the military.
EFCC: Jonathan’s wife’s $15.5m proceeds of crime
Abuja (The Nation) — The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to dismiss a suit by former First Lady Mrs. Patience Jonathan. In its counter-affidavit, the commission said the $15.5 million, which Mrs Jonathan was claiming, is “a proceed of crime”. Mrs. Jonathan, in the civil suit before Justice Mohammed Idris, claimed that EFCC froze four of her accounts with Skye Bank in the name of four companies. The accounts, she said, had $15,591,700 (about N5 billion) belonging to her.
But the companies, on September 15, pleaded guilty, and were convicted for laundering the money when they were arraigned before Justice Babs Kuewumi. The judge, however, refused to order the forfeiture of the money to the Federal Government untill the conclusion of others’ trial. The companies are: Pluto Property and Investment Company Ltd (represented by Friday Davis), Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Ltd (represented by Agbor Baro), Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Ltd (represented by Dioghowori Frederick) and Avalon Global Property Development Ltd (represented by Taiwo Ebenezer).
EFCC arraigned them with a former Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to President Goodluck Jonathan, Waripamo Dudafa; a lawyer, Amajuoyi Briggs and a banker, Adedamola Bolodeoku. Dudafa, Briggs and Bolodeoku pleaded not guilty to the 17-count charge. Mrs. Jonathan, in the suit before Justice Idris, is seeking an order to de-freeze the accounts and release her money. Yesterday, her lawyer, Ifedayo Adedipe, told Justice Idris that his client amended her processes. He said he also filed a motion to regularise them, which the court granted.
Senate reschedules Magu’s confirmation to Dec. 15
Abuja (Daily Trust) — The Senate on Thursday, rescheduled the screening and confirmation of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu to Dec. 15. The Deputy Leader of the Senate, Bala N’allah, made this known while addressing newsmen on Thursday in Abuja. He said the postponement of the exercise from Dec. 8 to Dec. 15 became necessary to allow for a full house to convene.
According to him, lawmakers who traveled out of Abuja for official assignments requested the postponement pending their arrival to enable them participate in the confirmation process. “The Senate is normally guided by the time frame of the work. We agreed that today will be the confirmation of the EFCC Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu. “But we received a lot of calls from senators who are away, who want to participate.
“When we looked at the demand and the number we felt it will be wrong for us to proceed, disregarding those calls. “We decided to fix it for Tuesday but we were not sure if the President will declare Tuesday as Public Holiday, so we agreed to fix it for Thursday. “We have since written an official letter to the acting chairman fixing Thursday as the day for the confirmation hearing of his appointment,’’ he said.
On why Magu’s confirmation had lingered for more than five months, N’allah said the senate had other matters of priority to attend to. “Anybody who is familiar with the normal procedure of governance would have known that there are certain procedures that need to be taken for candidates to be confirmed. “Whatever we do is always subject to interpretation but what is important is that a date has been fixed,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Presidency had in July written the Senate seeking the screening and confirmation of Magu as substantive chairman of the commission. President Muhammadu Buhari had appointed Magu as acting chairman of the EFCC after the removal of Ibrahim Lamorde on Nov. 9, 2015.
As Saraki Meets Oyegun, APC Admits There’s Crisis Within
Abuja (Leadership) — The Senate president, Dr Bukola Saraki, yesterday, finally met with the National Working Committee (NWC) of his ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), under the chairmanship of Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, 18 months after the Senate leadership’s controversial emergence.
The parties at the end of yesterday’s meeting, broke their silence on the rumoured cracks in the party, admitting that there were some “glitches.” Senator Saraki said at the end of the meeting that both parties had told themselves the hard truths with the hopes of restarting a harmonious working relationship between the party and the Senate leadership.
On his part, the APC national chairman expressed optimism that the meeting would address the “glitches” that were the case before now. Saraki arrived at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja at about 2:05pm, accompanied by the Senate leader, Ali Ndume; his deputy, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, and the chief whip, Prof Olusola Adeyeye. The meeting started at about 2:21pm and lasted only seven minutes before journalists were excused. It ended two and a half hours after.