NIS Recruitment Scam: Court Acquits Abba Morro, Convicts Former Perm-Sec

A file photo of former Minister of Interior, Abba Moro
A file photo of former Minister of Interior, Abba Moro

 

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court Abuja, has discharged and acquitted former minister of Interior, Abba Moro in respect of the charges of fraud arising from the conduct of the botched Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) recruitment exercise in 2014.

Justice Dimgba had, in 2020 quashed seven out of the eleven count charge against Abba Morro and his co-defendants, following a no-case submission, and in a judgement on Thursday exonerated the former minister and a former Director in the ministry, Mr Femi Alayebami in the remaining four counts.

The court had, in 2020 freed Abba Morro, who is presently the Senator representing Benue South of counts 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10, along with Mr Alayebami and ordered all the defendants to open their defense in counts 2, 4, 5 and 11.

READ ALSO: Court Dismisses Suit To Declare Ayade’s Seat Vacant Over Defection

In dismissing the charges against Abba Morro, the court held that he was neither a member of tenders board nor a member of the committee that recommended the setting up of e-recruitment portal for the exercise when he was minister.

He held that the prosecution could not prove how the minister abused his office and further held that, he found him not guilty of the charges preferred against him.

However, the judge convicted Abba Morro’s co-defendant, a former
Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Interior, Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia

While convicting her, the judge held that as the accounting officer of the ministry, she was responsible for ensuring that award of contracts are done in compliance with the Pubic Procurement Act and, Having found that there was no approval from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) before inviting the four companies, found her guilty.

The Judge deferred her sentencing to April 22.

Abba Moro Wins Benue South Senatorial District, Defeats APC’s Lawani

Abba Moro

 

Former Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has won the Benue South Senatorial District, defeating All Progressives Congress (APC) Steve Lawani.

Returning Officer, Professor Paul Annune declared the former interior minister as the winner on Monday.

READ ALSOStella Oduah Returns To Senate, Wins Anambra North Senatorial Zone

He said Mr. Moro polled 85, 165 votes to beat Mr. Lawani who got 47, 972 votes.

While the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) polled 29, 901 votes.

Former Ministers Visit Wike, Seek PDP’s Unity

Former Ministers Visit Wike, Seek PDP's UnityFormer ministers, led by a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sule Lamido, on Saturday visited Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

Mr Lamido spoke on behalf of the former ministers in what looked like an effort to build political alliances ahead of the 2019 elections.

He commended Governor Wike for standing firm and defending the principles of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He requested, on behalf of others, that Governor Wike should make himself available with other PDP governors as the rallying point for the party as it gets back on its feet.

“You are our own. You are a PDP creation therefore PDP has claim over you.

“With your colleagues, you must come together as a group of governors to be our rallying point,” he said.

The former governor also advocated a united front for the PDP.

Governor Wike, in his reaction, assured the former minister that his commitment to the party would remain irrespective of the challenges facing the party.

“It doesn’t matter what happens, nobody will intimidate us. We will never allow ourselves to be cowed not to stand firm and defend democracy.

“Yes we will pay the price. There are sacrifices but it is worth it,” he assured.

Those present at the meeting include Ibrahim Shekarau, Boni Haruna, Abba Moro, Erelu Olusola Obada, Iyom Anennih and Ambassador Musa Kazaure.

Immigration Recruitment Exercise: Moro’s Trial Continues As Paradang Testifies

immigration stampede victimsThe Federal Government has opened its case against the former Minister of Interior, Mr Abba Moro, who is standing trial for allegedly swindling Nigerian applicants who applied for jobs at the Nigeria Immigration Service in 2014.

At the resumed trial in Abuja on Friday, the prosecutor, Aliyu Yusuf, called his first witness, a former Comptroller General of Immigration, Mr David Paradang who denied authorising the recruitment exercise that claimed 16 lives with 165 others injured.

He told the court that the Federal Government, under former President Goodluck Jonathan, waded into the exercise by authorising the issuance of employment letters to families of the 15 persons who lost their lives.

Mr Paradang, however, said that the employment letters were later withdrawn by the Ministry of Interior.

Although the prosecutor walked out of the court as soon as the trial was adjourned to July 1, lawyers to the defendants claimed that their clients were not culpable.

Judge Hands Off Former Interior Minister, Abba Moro’s Case

abba moroThe trial of former Minister of Interior, Abba Moro has suffered a setback as the judge handling the case has taken his hands off the matter.

At the resumed trial in Abuja, Justice Anwuli Chikere, who has been handling the case said she is returning the case file of Mr Moro to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for reassignment on personal reasons.

The former Minister of Interior is standing trial for allegedly defrauding immigration applicants of over N670 million.

In a related development, the trial of the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Olisa Metuh, was also stalled following his application to seek medical treatment.

Trial Judge, Okon Abang adjourned the corruption case against Mr Metuh to May 17 and 18 due to an oral application made by his counsel to the effect that his client came from a hospital bed to honour the court date.

Court Grants Abba Moro Bail On Self Recognition

Abba MoroThe Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has granted bail to former Minister of Interior, Abba Moro on self-recognition.

His co-accused, a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Mrs Anastasia Nwobia, and the Director of Procurement in the ministry, Mr Felix Alabayemi, were granted bail in the sum of 100 million Naira each.

They were also asked to provide one sureties each in like sum, who must not be below the rank of a director in public service.

All three accused persons were ordered to deposit their travel documents with the court.

The court also allowed Mrs Nwobia to continue on administrative bail, pending the fulfilment of her bail conditions.

She was granted administrative bail by the EFCC, which was further endorsed by the court on the grounds that she was a breastfeeding mother.

Trial has been adjourned to April 27.

Justice Anwuli Chikere had on Wednesday, adjourned ruling on Abba Moro’s case till March 3.

The Court also ordered their remand in Kuje Prison until application is granted.

The former Minister was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on an 11-count charge of advance fee fraud, money laundering and breach of Public Procurement Act to the tune of 676.6 million Naira.

Court Adjourns Ruling On Abba Moro’s Case Till March 3

Abba MoroJustice Anwuli Chikere has adjourned ruling on former Minister of Interior in Nigeria, Abba Moro case till March 3.

The Court also ordered their remand in Kuje Prison until application is granted.

The defence counsels argued that the offences for which the accused persons are standing trial are ordinarily bailable

The Prosecutor, Aliyu Yusuf, however opposed the application on the grounds that the accused persons may interfere with the trial.

Having listened to all the arguments, Justice Anwuli Chikere, who had earlier ordered Journalists out of the court adjourned the matter till Thurs 3rd March for ruling on the bail application

Mr Moro, was arraigned on an 11-count charge of advance fee fraud, money laundering and breach of Public Procurement Act to the tune of 676.6 million Naira.

The former Minister was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Others being charged alongside Mr Moro for their roles in the Immigration recruitment exercise that killed no fewer than 20 job seekers across the country are the Permanent Secretary of the ministry at the time, Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia; a Deputy Director in the Ministry, F. O Alayebami; one Mahmood Ahmadu (at large), and the contracting firm given the recruitment job, Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited.

Mr Moro and his co-accused persons pleaded not-guilty to the charges.

Abba Moro, Others Arraigned For Alleged Fraud

Abba MoroA former Minister of Interior in Nigeria, Mr Abba Moro, has been arraigned on an 11-count charge of advance fee fraud, money laundering and breach of Public Procurement Act to the tune of 676.6 million Naira.

The former Minister was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Others being charged alongside Mr Moro for their roles in the Immigration recruitment exercise that killed no fewer than 20 job seekers across the country are the Permanent Secretary of the ministry at the time, Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia; a Deputy Director in the Ministry, F. O Alayebami; one Mahmood Ahmadu (at large), and the contracting firm given the recruitment job, Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited.

Mr Moro and his co-accused persons pleaded not-guilty to the charges.

Having taken their plea, the accused persons attempted to move their bail application, but counsel to the EFCC told the court that it was not ripe for hearing, because he was only served on Friday and would need time to reply.

They are appearing in court after over a week in custody of the EFCC.

Mr Moro and his co-accused all entered a not-guilty plea to 11-count charges of fraud.

Having taken their plea, the accused persons attempted to move their bail application, but counsel to the EFCC told the court that it was not ripe for hearing, because he was only served on Friday and would need time to reply.

The court, however, obliged the plea of Chris Uche, who is the counsel to Ms Anastasia Nwobia, to extend the administrative bail granted to her pending the hearing and determination of their bail application on the grounds that she is a nursing mother.

Justice Anuli Chikere, however, remanded the former minister and the Director of Procurement in the ministry, Mr Felix Alabayemi in prison custody until March 2, when the bail application would be heard.

The EFCC accused the defendants of defrauding 676,675 Nigerian applicants of over 670 million Naira.

In 2014, the Nigeria Immigration Service, under Mr Abba Moro’s watch, organised a recruitment exercise nationwide on the same day and due to the massive crowd, officials of the Immigration were unable to effectively control the crowd.

This error led to the death of the young graduates and the former President, Goodluck Jonathan, ordered an investigation into the situation, a report which is yet to be made public.

EFCC Arrests Former Minister Of Interior Abba Moro

Abba MoroA former Minister of Interior, Abba moro, is presently in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) custody and he is being quizzed for his alleged role in the immigration recruitment which led to the death of about 20 young graduates.

A source from the anti-graft agency told Channels Television on Monday evening that Mr Moro will soon be arraigned in court of competent jurisdiction as soon as it finalises its investigation.

In 2014, the immigration service under his watch organised a recruitment exercise nationwide on the same day and due to the massive crowd, officials of the immigration were unable to effectively control the crowd.

This error led to the death of the young graduates and the former President, Goodluck Jonathan, ordered an investigation into the situation, a report which is yet to be made public.

EFCC Quizzes Former Interior Minister, Abba Moro

Abba MoroThe former controversial Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, has been grilled by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the ill-fated recruitment in the Nigerian Immigration Service which claimed more than a dozen lives across several recruitment centres in Nigeria.

An official of the EFCC confirmed that Mr Moro was quizzed by a team of investigators at the EFCC office in Abuja on Tuesday.

Mr Moro defended himself, alleging that he is being used as a scapegoat for the outcome of the employment exercise supervised by the Presidential Committee.

He said that the exercise was clearly undertaken by the immigration office lead by the former Comptroller General of Immigration, Mr David Paradang.

After the stampeded that led to the death of some applicants in March 2014, Mr Moro attributed the incident to faulty crowd control, saying that the ministry did its best to ensure a hitch-free exercise for the applicants.

He said the incident was an ‘unforeseen occurrence which was regrettable’.

The incident was witnessed in four centres – the Federal Capital Territory, Benin City, Port Harcourt and Minna in Niger State.

 

Nigerian Immigration Announces New Visa Policy

nisA new visa policy abolishing re-entry visas to legal resident expatriates in Nigeria has been announced by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).

The development implies that resident expatriates in the country need not to apply through the High Commission for visas once granted entry.

The Service explained in a statement signed by the Assistant Controller of Immigration, ‘A’ Headquarters, Lagos, Mr Nuhu Ibrahim, that the new policy, approved by the Federal Executive Council, would attract inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

It noted further that the policy would encourage rapid industralisation and employment generation, adding that it would also attract innovators and highly skilled professionals into the country.

Mr Ibrahim, however, stated clearly that the newly approved policy does not affect accredited diplomats serving in Nigeria.

Nigeria Immigration Introduces New System For Revenue Generation

Nigeria_Immigration_ServiceThe Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) says it is looking to generate more revenue for the government with the introduction of its new data centre that will automatically track Nigerian Passports and Payments around the globe.

The Controller General of the NIS, Mr David Parradang told reporters on Wednesday that it was part of the strategies that the NIS was exploring to generate more funds for Nigerian government.

Mr Parradang said that service internally generated over 9.2 Million Naira domestically and 15.3 Million Dollars Internationally in 2014 alone.

The immigration service also launched security bollards and customers queuing systems.

The Minister of Interior, Abba Moro said, the facilities would enhance the services’ internal monitoring and control systems towards meeting global standards.