P&ID Bribed Officials To Secure Contract – FG

Man Bags 15 Years In Prison For N5.2m Fraud

 

 

The Federal Government has told a British Court that it has uncovered previously unknown payments to the daughter of a Nigerian official in its latest attempt to overturn an arbitration award against it, worth close to $10 billion.

Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID), a firm set up to carry out a gas project in Nigeria, won a $6.6 billion arbitration award after the 2010 deal collapsed.

The award has been accruing interest since 2013 and is now worth nearly $10 billion but Nigeria is seeking permission in the English courts to appeal the award, granted in 2017, despite having missed the 28-day appeal deadline.

It says new information came to light only in late 2019.

In an online court hearing, the government’s lawyer said it has evidence of payments from companies related to P&ID to Vera Taiga, 11 days before the deal was signed.

Vera’s mother, Grace Taiga, was the chief lawyer for the Petroleum Ministry at the time.

The government said one payment of $4,969.50 was made on December 30, 2009, and a second of $5,000 on January 31, 2012.

It also says the payments came to light following a U.S. discovery order in New York.

The government also said P&ID officials and companies linked to it paid several other officials in relation to the deal.

The EFCC had charged Grace Taiga last year with accepting bribes and failing to follow protocol related to the contract.

She has pleaded not guilty and awaits trial.

FG Releases Details Of Special Programme To Employ 774,000 Nigerians

The first press briefing and the unveiling of the criteria and modus-operandi for selecting beneficiaries and executing the Special Public Works Programme with Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo and others.

 

Despite the suspension of the Federal Government Special Public Works Programme by the National Assembly, the Federal Government says the programme has kicked off across the country.

The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo on Tuesday, inaugurated special committees in all the states of the Federation and the FCT for the selection of applicants for the programme.

The SPW is a post-COVID-19 poverty alleviation programme, approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, under which 1,000 persons are to be employed from each of the 774 Local Government Areas in the country.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated the plan of his administration to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within the next 10 years.

 

The initiative is expected to commence on October 1 and according to the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, each beneficiary will be paid N20,000 monthly to carry out public works.

 

 

In a virtual inauguration conference jointly addressed by the Director-General, National Directorate of Employment, Dr Nasir Ladan Argungu in Abuja, the Minister said: “These Committees would be saddled with the responsibility of identifying the public works to be executed in each of the LGAs in all the States. This would be in addition to projects already identified by several Federal Ministries, Agencies and Parastatals in different localities across the country.

 

“Having accepted the recommendations, we also ensured that the composition of the Committees is multi-sectoral and local enough to balance all the competing interests in different States. Your selection, therefore, was a result of a painstaking process we carried out to ensure that we make the exercise as credible as possible,” the Minister said.

“The 1,000 persons you will recruit per LGA would be engaged by the Federal Government between October and December this year to carry out public works that are peculiar to each Local Government Area.

“They would be paid a total of N60,000 each (that is N20,000 per month). They would be engaged in roads rehabilitation and social housing construction, urban and rural sanitation, health extension and other critical services,” he explained.

He further stated that the programme could be extended or repeated every year.

“After the selection of those to be engaged, they still have to be captured by some selected banks we are in talks with, their account opened, and their BVNs obtained. This is because Mr President has directed that everyone must be paid through their BVNs to eliminate fraud in the programme.

“As a result, I direct that all the States’ Selection Committees have just three weeks to complete the selection process and return the names of those selected to us for further processing with the banks.

“My belief is that if the committees adhere strictly to the guidelines given to them, they are bound to achieve the targets set by Mr President to reach out to 774,000 Nigerians who are largely indigent and itinerant worker,” he added.

Nigerian Army Effects Major Shake-Up With Redeployment Of 37 Generals

A file photo of Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai.
Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai. (File Photo)

 

The Nigerian Army has approved new postings and appointments of 37 generals and five colonels to different formations and units across the country.

The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Sagir Musa, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to Musa, the postings which were approved by the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, are a routine exercise intended to reinvigorate the system for greater professional effectiveness and efficiency.

The new postings are expected to take effect from July 20.

Below is a list of some of the major redeployments.

Maj. Gen. Lucky Irabor from Defence Headquarters Department of Training and Operations to Training and Doctrine Command, Minna as Commander.

Maj. Gen. FO Agugo redeployed from 6 Division NA Port Harcourt to Headquarters NA Signal Corps Apapa Lagos as Corps Commander Signals.

Maj. Gen. M Mohammed moved from Signal Corps Apapa Lagos to Office of the COAS as Special Adviser NA University Biu.

Maj. Gen. AM Dikko moved from Administrative Staff College of Nigerian Badagry to NA Training Centre Kontagora as Commander.

Maj. Gen. US Yakubu moves from Corps of Artillery Kontagora to Army Headquarters Abuja (AHQ) as Chief of Administration (Army).

Also, Major General JO Irefin from Headquarters 81 Division Lagos to Headquarters 6 Division Port Harcourt and appointed General Officer Commanding (GOC), while Major General JO Akomolafe is now redeployed from Headquarters NA Armour Corps Bauchi to DHQ Abuja as Chief of Defence Standards and Evaluation.

Others are – Major General CO Ude from NA Resource Centre Abuja to Defence Headquarters and appointed Chief of Defence Training and Operations, Major General HR Momoh from Defence Space Administration Abuja to AHQ Department of Policy and Plans and appointed Deputy Chief of Policy and Plans/ Director Special Duties, Major General AT Hamman from DHQ to AHQ Garrison and appointed Commander, Major General OA Akinyemi from Administrative Staff College of Nigeria to Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre Oshodi Lagos as Deputy Commandant, while Major General MH Magaji has been redeployed from NA Amour School to Headquarters NA Armour Corps and appointed Commander, Major General MA Masanawa from Defence Headquarters to NA Ordinance School Lagos as Commandant, Major General JI Unuigbe from AHQ Department of Logistics to DHQ and appointed Chief of Defence Logistics, Major General JGK Myam the erstwhile Commander AHQ Garrison Abuja is now the Commander NA Corps of Artillery.

Major General GA Umelo has been redeployed from AHQ Department of Training and Operations to Headquarters 81 Division and appointed General Officer Commanding, Major General SE Udounwa from AHQ Department of Policy and Plans to Army War College Abuja as Commandant, Major General MO Enendu from Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre to NA College of Logistics and appointed Commandant, Major General GS Abdullahi from DHQ to Land Forces Simulation Centre Nigeria and appointed Director-General,

Major General BN Salami from NA School of Supply and Transport is now redeployed to Headquarters NA Corps of Supply and Transport as Commander.

Others affected include – Major General FO Omoigui from AHQ Department of Training and Operations to Headquarters Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE Maiduguri and appointed Deputy Theater Commander, Major General IO Ehiorobo from NA School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering to Headquarters NA Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and appointed Commander, Major General KI Mukhtar from AHQ Department of Army Administration is now the Commandant Depot NA Zaria.

While the erstwhile Commandant Army War College Nigeria Major General C Ofoche has been redeployed to AHQ Department of Policy and Plans as Director Plans, Major General AB Ibrahim from AHQ Department of Training and Operations to Defence Space Administration is now Director Support Services, while Brigadier General IO Adewa is to remain in NA Properties Limited and appointed Acting General Managing Director.

Similarly, Brigadier General KA Kazir has been posted from Headquarters NA Engineers to Headquarters 43 Engineers Brigade as Commander, Brigadier General MU Abdullahi From NA Intelligence and Cyber Warfare School to 58 Signal Brigade and appointed Commander, Brigadier General MB Dala from NA Resource Centre to Headquarters Training and Doctrine Command Minna and appointed Director Exams.

Likewise, Brigadier General BR Sinjen has been redeployed from Headquarters NA Corps of Artillery to AHQ Department of Training and Operations as Acting Director of Operations, Brigadier General SI Igbinomwanhia from 7 Division Garrison Maiduguri to AHQ Department of Training and Operations and appointed Acting Director Campaign Plan, Brigadier General HG Tafida from AHQ Department of Logistics to NA School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering and appointed Acting Commandant, Brigadier General AO Arogbofa from 102 Division Equipment Support to AHQ Department of Logistics as Acting Director Equipment Maintenance, Brigadier General EC Lot from Land Forces Simulation Centre Nigeria to Headquarters 52 Signal Brigade as Commander.

Others are – Colonel B Sarki from Defence Intelligence College to 6 Military Intelligence Brigade and appointed Acting Commander, Colonel KO Ogunsoya from DHQ to Headquarters Directorate of Army Public Relations and appointed Chief of Staff, Colonel TO Antigha from Headquarters Multinational Joint Task Force Ndjamena to Defence Headquarters and appointed Acting Executive Director Armed Forces Radio, Colonel MM Dole from Headquarters Directorate of Army Public Relations to Headquarters Multinational Joint Task Force Ndjamena and appointed Military Public Information Officer, Colonel AF Maimagani is to remain in Headquarters Directorate of Chaplain Services (Roman Catholic) as Acting Director Chaplain (Roman Catholic).

While wishing all the officers well in their respective appointments, the Chief of Army Staff enjoined them to take their new responsibilities seriously and discharge all duties professionally with utmost loyalty to the Nation and the Service.

Bayelsa Election: Supreme Court Dismisses Timi Alaibe’s Appeal Challenging Duoye Diri’s Candidacy

File Photo: Timi Alaibe (left) and Douye Diri (right).

 

The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal filed by a former aspirant of the Bayelsa governorship election under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Timi Alaibe, challenging the candidacy of Duoye Diri in the November 2019 election.

Alaibe who had earlier lost a similar suit at the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal is claiming that he is the authentic candidate of the PDP.

But the court dismissed the case on Tuesday, on the ground that it was a pre-election matter.

Governor Duoye Diri

 

Governor Duoye Diri was sworn in on February 14, a day after the Supreme Court sacked the former governor-elect of Bayelsa State, David Lyon, and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo.

Lyon’s election was nullified for submitting forged certificates to INEC.

A file photo of the nullified Bayelsa State Governor-elect, David Lyon.

 

Read Also: Supreme Court Sacks Lyon As Bayelsa Governor-Elect, Hours Before Inauguration

A five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili, thereafter, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to withdraw the Certificate of Return that had been issued to the candidate of the All Progressives Congress as the winner of the November 16, 2019 governorship election.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, addressing a press conference in Abuja on February 14, 2020. Photos: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The court then ordered INEC to issue a fresh Certificate-of-Return to the candidate of the party with the next highest votes and with the required constitutional spread of votes in the results of the election, which was the PDP.

Diri was then sworn-in along with his Deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.

Senator Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) receives the Certificate of Return as the governor-elect of Bayelsa State at the INEC headquarters in Abuja on February 14, 2020. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

Reps Endorse Ngozi Okonjo Iweala’s Candidacy As DG Of World Trade Organisation

A file photo of former Nigerian finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
A file photo of former Nigerian finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

 

The House of Representatives has endorsed the candidacy of Ngozi Okonjo Iweala as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, describing her as very qualified.

The resolution to support her followed a motion of urgent public importance raised by the minority leader, Ndudi Elumelu at plenary on Tuesday.

The lawmakers also urged President Buhari to rally other African leaders in support of her candidacy.

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar also endorsed the former Finance Minister on Saturday, saying her “experience and the enormous related works she has done confirms without equivocation that her leadership shall be a blessing to the WTO and the world”.

Read Also: Atiku Endorses Okonjo-Iweala For WTO Job

In a video posted on her Twitter handle on July 9, Okonjo-Iweala described the WTO as an organization that has become more important than ever.

According to her, with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world needs to come together using trade to build a better society.

 

She said COVID-19 has changed the face of the world economy and thus the WTO needs to work with its members to pull through the difficult times.

President Muhammadu Buhari had nominated Okonjo-Iweala for the WTO DG role with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) later backing her nomination.

Other candidates also vying for the position inlcude South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee; Kenya’s former foreign minister Amina Mohamed; Mexico’s former WTO deputy Director-General Jesus Seade Kuri; Egyptian former diplomat Hamid Mamdouh; and former Moldovan foreign minister Tudor Ulianovsch.

The successful candidate for the job will replace Mr Azevêdo who said he will step down on August 31.

Former Senator, Cleric Kidnapped In Taraba

Map of Taraba

 

A former senator representing northern Taraba, Ambuno Zik-Sunday and the cleric of the State Police Command Mosque, Mohammed Nuhu, have been kidnapped.

The Police Public Relations Officer, David Misal confirmed the incident to Channels Television on Tuesday, while parading a cache of arms recovered from suspected bandits who are currently at large.

Read Also: Okowa, Family Test Negative For COVID-19

The former senator was abducted in his hometown Bavhama Community in Karim Lamido Local Government Area of the state on Sunday, while the police cleric was kidnapped in his house in Jalingo, the state capital.

Details later.

Supreme Court Strikes Out Suits Challenging Legality Of Virtual Court Sittings

 

The Supreme Court has struck out a suit brought by the Attorney-General of Ekiti State, Olawale Fapohunda, against the Attorney-General of the Federation regarding the legality of virtual court sittings.

In the suit, Mr Fapohunda asked the court to determine whether the directive issued by the AGF to the Heads of Courts at Federal and State levels, as it relates to the conduct of virtual proceedings in court, is not a violation of the federalism provisions of the 1999 Constitution.

He also asked the apex court to determine if the directive issued in line with the National Judicial Council is not a violation of the constitutional provisions on fair hearing as it relates to the conduct of criminal trials in public.

Furthermore, Fapohunda asked the court to set aside or strike down directives to the extent that they purport to be binding on the Ekiti State High Court for being inconsistent with the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Apart from the Attorney General of the Federation, the Attorneys General of Lagos and Ogun States who have implemented virtual court proceedings were also listed as second and third defendants.

Ekiti State further asked that the Supreme Court determines whether the AGF’s guidelines are not a derogation from the legislative, executive and judicial law-making, law execution and adjudicatory rules making powers exclusively vested in states of the federation in respect of states courts, by virtue of Sections 1(3), 4(6), 5(2), 6(2), 272 and 272 and 274 of the Constitution.

File Photo of a virtual court proceeding in Ogun State.

 


RELATED

Lagos Tests Constitutionality Of Virtual Court Hearings At Supreme Court

Ekiti Sues AGF, Others Over Constitutionality Of Virtual Court Hearings


The plaintiff is also asking the apex court to decide whether Lagos and Ogun states, having adopted virtual court hearings pursuant to the lockdown, the three arms of Government in Ekiti State are bound to conduct their legislative, executive and judicial functions pertaining to adjudication in state courts in compliance with the directive upon which the National Judicial Council formulated the provisions of Articles E(1) to E(13) of its Guidelines (issued on May 7, 2020).

But in a unanimous judgement on Tuesday, a seven-man panel, led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour declared that as at today, virtual court sittings are not unconstitutional.

The suit was also struck out on grounds that it was speculative and failed to show any cause of action.

The court further held that the National Assembly is constitutionally empowered to make and amend laws and any Judge that refuses to sit virtually should be reported to the NJC and removed from the bench.

Meanwhile, the court also struck out a suit brought by the Attorney-General of Lagos State.

The issue of the constitutionality or otherwise of remote or virtual court hearing has dominated national discussion since the publication of the guidelines of the NJC which recommended virtual court proceedings for courts in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Opinion has been divided among lawyers on the legality of the directive.

A number of High Courts including those in Lagos, Ogun, and Borno states, have proceeded to implement the guidelines while many States have been adamant in their opposition to the directive insisting that only a constitutional amendment or pronouncement by the Supreme Court can ensure the legality of virtual court hearings.

Okowa, Family Test Negative For COVID-19

A file photo of Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa. Photo: [email protected]

 

Governor of Delta, Ifeanyi Okowa, his wife, Edith and daughter have all tested negative to the COVID-19.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, made this known in a statement on Tuesday, adding that other members of the governor’s family also tested negative to the virus.

Governor Okowa and his wife tested positive to the virus on July 1 and went into isolation for necessary treatment.

[Read Also] We Cannot Rule Out Airborne Transmission – NCDC Boss

Their daughter had also tested positive to the virus a few days earlier.

 

As the state and the entire country continues to battle the pandemic, residents have been asked to comply with regulations targeted at combating and stemming the transmission of the COVID-19.

Sanwo-Olu Mourns Another Lawmaker, Says His Death Is A Reminder For Ongoing COVID-19 Battle

 

The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has commiserated with the family, friends and associates of a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, representing Kosofe II State Constituency, Hon. Tunde Buraimoh, who passed on early Friday after a brief illness.

Governor Sanwo-Olu in a condolence message by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, described late Buraimoh as a true democrat who did his best for the people he served at various levels both as Local Government Chairman and until his sudden demise, legislator representing Kosofe II.

While expressing his shock over the death of the lawmaker, the governor sympathised with the immediate family of the departed, the All Progressives Congress (APC), the leaders and members of the State House of Assembly, as well as people of his immediate constituency.

Read Also: Lagos Senator, Bayo Osinowo, Is Dead

He also advised the late lawmaker’s constituents to see his death as the will of Allah, noting that no one would have ever imagined that the state would lose another very important personality to the Coronavirus, few days after a distinguished Senator.

The governor added that Buraimoh’s death, though painful, should be a reminder to all that the battle against the ravaging coronavirus pandemic is far from being won.

He said: “The death of Hon. Tunde Buraimoh is painful. He died at a time the State had stepped up her fight in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. We must not allow the death of Hon. Buraimoh to deter us from forging ahead in our quest to finding a lasting solution to the dreaded disease.

“I am saddened by the death of this fine gentleman; a loyal party man and committed democrat, with a deep understanding of the State’s social and political landscape. He died at a time when the member of his constituency and indeed the entire Lagos need his service most.

“There is no doubt that Hon. Buraimoh would be missed by the entire political class, particularly his immediate constituents in Kosofe, which he served passionately as a local government chairman and also represented in the Lagos State House of Assembly.

“I pray that Almighty Allah grants the soul of our beloved Tunde Buraimoh eternal rest, grant him a place in Aljannah Firdaus and grant his family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”

With 664 New Infections, COVID-19 Cases In Nigeria Near 32,000

 

With 664 new infections, the number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria has risen to 31,987.

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosed this in a tweet on Saturday night.

According to the agency, the new infections were recorded in 17 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Lagos maintained the lead position with a total of 224 new infections, followed by the FCT with 105 and Edo with 85 new cases.

 

A health worker helps his colleague with his PPE during a community testing in Abuja on April 15, 2020, as authorities race to contain the spread of COVID-19. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

Other states include Ondo with 64 new cases, Kaduna with 32, Imo with 27, Osun with 19, Plateau, Oyo and Ogun with 17 each, Rivers with 14, Delta with 11, Adamawa with 10, Enugu with seven, Nassarawa with six, while three cases each were recorded in Gombe Abia and Ekiti states.

The NCDC also noted that 13,103 persons have recovered from the virus and have been discharged while the death toll in the country now stands at 724.

Read Also: COVID-19 Can Still Be Brought Under Control – WHO

 

See the full breakdown of cases by state.

Image

Globally, the novel coronavirus has killed at least 561,551 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP on Saturday.

At least 12,580,980 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 6,706,700 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.

 

A laboratory technician processes samples for testing the COVID-19, novel coronavirus, at the Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC), which is conducting nation-wide mass testing with around 2000 to 5000 tests per day being analysed, in Kigali on July 11, 2020. Simon Wohlfahrt / AFP

 

Many countries are testing only symptomatic or the most serious cases.

Since Friday, 5,318 new deaths and 217,531 new cases have been recorded worldwide.

The countries with the most number of new deaths were Brazil with 1,214 new deaths, followed by the United States with 888 and Mexico with 665.

A demonstrator places flowers on a cross during a protest against Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and in honour of the people who died of COVID-19 in which 1000 crosses were placed in front of the National Congress in Brasilia, on June 28, 2020, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.  Sergio LIMA / AF

 

The United States so far, remains the worst-hit country with 134,430 deaths from 3,215,861 cases. At least 983,185 people have been declared recovered.

After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 70,398 deaths from 1,800,827 cases, the United Kingdom with 44,798 deaths from 288,953 cases, Italy with 34,945 deaths from 242,827 cases, and Mexico with 34,191 deaths from 289,174 cases.

The country with the highest death rate is Belgium with 84 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by United Kingdom with 66, Spain 61, Italy 58, and Sweden 55.

China – excluding Hong Kong and Macau – has to date declared 83,587 cases (2 new since Friday), including 4,634 deaths and 78,623 recoveries.

Europe overall has 202,231 deaths from 2,819,148 cases, the United States and Canada 143,239 deaths from 3,323,207 infections, Latin America and the Caribbean 141,015 deaths from 3,262,842 cases, Asia 42,161 deaths from 1,697,054 cases, Middle East 19,993 deaths from 905,810 cases, Africa 12,776 deaths from 561,797 cases, and Oceania 136 deaths from 11,126 cases.

As a result of corrections by national authorities or late publication of data, the figures updated over the past 24 hours may not correspond exactly to the previous day’s tallies.

Ondo Govt To Meet With Stakeholders On Monday Over Workers’ Welfare

Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu

 

The Ondo State Government has said that it would be meeting with key stakeholders in the state between Monday, July 13 and Wednesday the 15th, to discuss issues around workers’ welfare in the state.

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Saturday by the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo.

According to him, the meeting is aimed at deepening Industrial harmony in the state and engendering a very robust engagement.

Ojogo also noted that the meeting became pertinent after the attention of the state government was drawn to a widely circulated correspondence to the Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.

While noting that some of the issues listed are not peculiar to Ondo State, Ojogo assured that the government always considered the welfare of workers very paramount and will not play politics with the avowed commitment.

“It is pertinent to state that the issues raised in the correspondence are not new. They are neither peculiar to Ondo State, especially during this period that has compelled states to undergo unpleasant economic challenges following the drastic drop in both Federation Allocation Account and Internally Generated Revenue,” the statement read.

“Nevertheless, the Ondo State Government has always considered the welfare of workers very paramount and shall not play politics with this avowed commitment. It is on record that as at today, Ondo State ranks among those states with a higher level of worker-friendliness among the comity of States in Nigeria.

“Our inherited liabilities, as well as unforeseen occurrences notwithstanding, this culture of commitment, shall be heightened”.

Magu’s Probe: No Better Indication That Anti-Corruption Fight Is Real And Active – Presidency

 

The Presidency has said that those who see the investigation of the suspended Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Mr Ibrahim Magu, as a signal that the fight against corruption is failing, have failed to see the point.

In a statement on Saturday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu, noted that there couldn’t be a better indication that the anti-graft fight is real, than the will to openly investigate anyone who has been charged to head such systems.

“There is no better indication that the fight is real and active than the will to investigate allegations in an open and transparent manner against those who have been charged to be custodians of this very system,” the statement read in part.

According to Mr Garba, there are no sacred cows and even Mr Magu is not immune, regardless of the obvious embarrassment that potential acts of wrongdoing by him, given the office he held, may appear for the government.

Read Also: Buhari Affirms Magu’s Suspension, Directs Mohammed Umar To Take Charge

He also noted that Mr Magu is being availed the opportunity to defend himself and answer the allegations against him.

“This is how it should be, as is the fact that under the Laws of Nigeria every citizen is presumed and remains innocent until proven guilty,” Garba said, adding that the fight against corruption is not a static event, but a dynamic and ever-evolving process, in which the EFCC is just one actor.

“As we continue to work towards improving our democratic process so shall every institution of ours also embark on that journey of evolution,” the president’s aide added.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday affirmed the suspension of Mr Magu and it took effect immediately.

According to a statement from the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the presidential directive was to allow for an unhindered inquiry by the Presidential Investigation Panel under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act and other relevant laws.

Meanwhile, the EFCC Director of Operations, Mohammed Umar, has been directed to oversee the activities of the commission.

Read the full statement below.

STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE

PRESIDENCY STATEMENT ON THE SUSPENSION OF MR. IBRAHIM MAGU

A series of documented allegations were made against the Ag. Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Following a preliminary review of the allegations leveled against the Ag. Chairman and several other members of his staff, there were grounds for a detailed investigation to be conducted.

Hence, an investigative panel was constituted in compliance with the extant laws governing the convening of such a body.

As is the proper procedure, when allegations are made against the Chief Executive of an institution, and in this case an institution that ought to be seen as beyond reproach, the Chief Executive has to step down from his post and allow for a transparent and unhindered investigation.

The EFCC does not revolve around the personality of an individual, and as such cannot be seen through the prism of any individual.

Therefore, the suspension of Mr. Ibrahim Magu, allows the institution to continue carrying out its mandate without the cloud of investigation hanging over its head.

The EFCC has many good, hardworking men and women who are committed to its ideal and ensuring that the wealth of our country isn’t plundered and wherein there is an act of misappropriation such person(s) are brought to justice.

Meanwhile, Mr. Magu is being availed the opportunity to defend himself and answer the allegations against him. This is how it should be, as is the fact that under the Laws of Nigeria every citizen is presumed and remains innocent until proven guilty.

We must realize that the fight against corruption is not a static event, but a dynamic and ever evolving process, in which the EFCC is just one actor; and as we continue to work towards improving our democratic process so shall every institution of ours also embark on that journey of evolution.

What is however important is that there must be accountability and transparency and our people must realize that they would be held to account. This is the building block in the fight against corruption, the establishment of the concept of Accountability and the recognition of the Rule of Law.

Those who see Mr. Magu’s investigation, as a signal that the fight against corruption is failing, have unfortunately, missed the boat.

There is no better indication that the fight is real and active than the will to investigate allegations in an open and transparent manner against those who have been charged to be custodians of this very system.

Under this President and Government, this is our mantra and guiding principle. There are no sacred cows, and for those who think they have a halo over their heads, their days are also numbered.

Mr. Magu was not immune – and regardless of the obvious embarrassment that potential acts of wrongdoing by him, given the office he held, may appear for the government.

No other administration in the history of Nigeria would have moved to bring into the light and public domain such an allegation.

Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
July 11, 2020