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EFCC: How a corps member’s petition made us recover N320m from INEC

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Abdullahi Lawal, Sokoto zonal head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says a petition by a corps member led to the recovery of N320 million from the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC). 

Lawal made this known on Friday at the “Nigerian Youth Walk against Corruption” rally organised by EFCC in collaboration with NYSC and others.

He said the petition was over the non-payment of a N3000 logistic allowance to corps members after the 2019 elections.

He said the petition was received after the elections in Zamfara, adding that N65 million cash was recovered during investigation at the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state.

According to him, the cash was deposited at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), while corps members, who participated in the electoral duty in Sokoto and Kebbi were paid their allowances of about N300 million.

The EFCC zonal boss described youths as vanguards in the fight against all forms of corruption, a menace he said had stunted the nation’s progress.

He said corruption manifests in diverse forms and needed active and collective collaboration of all Nigerians.

“EFCC is on top of a racketeering case bordering Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) results for tertiary institutions admission seekers, “he said.

“Some experts maneuvered to alter JAMB results to award high marks for candidates that paid certain amounts; that is dangerous for the nation.”

He added that N200 million suspected to be misappropriated was recently blocked, while a former minister had been detained over a fraud involving N400 million meant for a textile industry.

He said a woman operating a fraudulent microfinance outfit was recently convicted for collecting N995,000 from 119 women.

The zonal head said EFCC is doing its best to sanitise the country against corruption, rebrand its image and change the attitude of people on corruption.

Philip Enaberue, NYSC coordinator in Sokoto, said the rally was aimed at facilitating more public awareness and involvement in the fight against corruption, especially among youths who are future leaders.

Enaberue said corruption cut across barriers of religion, culture, levels and other community status, and emphasised the need for collective efforts to fight the menace.

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Lagos: Celestial Leaders Arraigned By Police Over N85m Fraud

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The Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department Annex, Alagbon, Lagos, on Monday arraigned three Celestial Church of Christ leaders before the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja over alleged N85m fraud.

The defendants, John Omotosho aka Jorotom, Boye Olaniyan and Folashade Ogundipe were arraigned on four counts bordering on conspiracy, obtaining under false pretences and fraud before Justice Ayokunle Faji.

The defendants, who were arraigned alongside a company, Folafunmi Integrated Limited, were alleged to have defrauded the church’s headquarters at Imeko, Ogun State, of the sum of N85,914,500, under the pretext of using the money for the church’s development.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The offences were said to be contrary to sections 8(a),1(1)(a) and 1(1)(a)&(b)of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2010 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.

Following their pleas, the prosecutor asked for a trial date and urged the court to remand the defendants pending the hearing and determination of their bail applications.

The presiding judge, Justice Faji, asked the prosecution if the defendants were on administrative bail and if they had jumped the bail before being charged to court.

Granting the defendants bail, Faji ordered three church members to file an undertaking, affidavit of means and produce a bond of N350,000 for each of the defendants before they would be allowed to go home.

He said, “These members of the church, Adeosun Israel Oladipo, Assistant Shepherd, CCC, Jerusalem Cathedral, Shasha; Afolabi Tolorunloju and Surakatu John, workers at CCC, Jerusalem Cathedral, Shasha, shall file an undertaking to produce the defendants at the next adjourned date.

“In view of the issue, church and personalities in the matter, they shall be handed over to the three church members, who will also produce a bond of N350,000 each and a means of identification.”

The case was adjourned till March 3 for the hearing of the bail applications.

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Zamfara cleric detained in Saudi for 3 years over mistaken case of trafficking regains freedom

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An Islamic cleric, Ibrahim Ibrahim detained for three years over alleged drug trafficking has finally regained freedom from Saudi Arabian authorities.

Mr Ibrahim had faced drugs trafficking charges, following the discovery of some hard drugs planted into a luggage that was traced to him after his entry into the kingdom.

According to Section 1 of Act 37 of anti-drugs law of the kingdom, such offence, if found guilty, is punishable by death. Court documents sighted by this newspaper indicate that Mr Ibrahim was accused by Saudi authorities of trafficking of 1,497 red capsules carrying an (R) sign suspected to be Tramadol trafficked via Ethiopian Air Flight 402.

Upon the discovery of the bag in question, the documents stated that the Public Investigation and Prosecution Bureau, Jeddah, in conjunction with the Anti-drug Agency, also in Jeddah, then charged Mr Ibrahim for drug trafficking, an offence punishable by death.

This newspaper also reports that during the first trial, two of the kingdom’s lower courts had cleared the Islamic cleric of the said allegation, stressing that the office of the Prosecutor-General had failed to convince it beyond reasonable doubt.

Dissatisfied by the judgement, the Prosecutor-General appealed the ruling at a higher court, heard the matter and acquitted him on Tuesday (today). At the appeal court hearing today, Daily Nigerian gathered that the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM, and Zamfara State Government delegations arrived in Jeddah and presented to the Saudi court some documentary evidence in defence of Mr Ibrahim.

Some of the documents presented by the NIDCOM, it was gathered, included a written statement by the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, stating that they had arrested and charged to court three persons who planted the drugs in Mr Ibrahim’s luggage.

NIDCOM also presented to the Saudi authorities a certified true copy of the two-count charge sheet from the Federal High Court sitting in Kano State. Subsequently, the Saudi court became convinced that Mr Ibrahim was only a victim of circumstance who had no intention of carrying drugs into the country.

Speaking to this newspaper, the lawyer to Mr Ibrahim, Abdullahi Bello, said the acquittal of his client was a result of prompt and diligent action by the Nigerian authorities.

The case of Mr Ibrahim is also similar to one Zainab Aliyu, a Nigerian student falsely accused of drug trafficking in the kingdom. Recall that On April 30 last year, Ms Aliyu was arrested on December 26, 2018, a day after her arrival in Saudi Arabia for lesser hajj, following the discovery of luggage filled with drugs in her name.

Nigerian authorities later arrested and prosecuted the actual traffickers who tagged the contentious luggage in her name at Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.

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Amaechi loses Chief Security Officer in Kaduna

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The chief security officer to Rotimi Amaechi has died in Kaduna.

The officer, who was described as a senior intelligence personnel, died on Monday morning while on a trip with the transport minister. Peter Afunanya, chief spokesperson for the SSS, on Tuesday morning said that the officer was electrocuted at his hotel room.

“He died at his hotel during an electric accident,” Mr Afunanya said. His death occurred hours after reports said Mr Amaechi’s convoy was attacked in Kaduna while leaving from a train station to the city centre.

Mr Amaechi pushed back against the report on Twitter Sunday night, saying it was fake news as no attack on his convoy occurred.

A source close to Mr Amaechi also said the officer died at a hotel in a case of electrocution, dismissing strongly any insinuation that it was from an attack.

The source could not speak openly because he was not authorized by Mr Amaechi to speak on a matter that is being handled as sensitive. Mr Afunanya did not disclose the name of the hotel in Kaduna where the attack happened. But sources said it was from injuries he sustained from the attack.

Some of the sources include colleagues of the departed officer, although we have not been able to independently corroborate the official or private version of how the orderly died.

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