Justice Ademola’s Trial: DSS Tells Court How It Recovered Local, Foreign Currencies

adeniyi-ademola-justiceAn official of the Department of State Services (DSS) has testified that the sum of 38 million Naira, two pump action rifles and some foreign currencies were recovered from the house of Justice Adeniyi Ademola during their search at the residence of the judge in October last year.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola, his wife and Mr Joe Agi, a senior lawyer are facing trial on allegations of bribery and illegal possession of firearms.

The witness, an operative of the DSS, Ike Onuoha, also said the operatives involved in the raid were told by Justice Ademola’s domestic workers that he was out of town, while the defendant was inside the house.

He said that the Justice’s security officials had told the operatives that his cook, identified as Ken, was in possession of the keys to the house.

“When we entered the premises, we called on Ken to call the judge with his mobile phone. Ken called the judge several times but he refused to pick. Much later, the judge sent a text message that he was not in town.

“After repeated calls, he switched off his phone. At that point, we had no option than to force open the main door. When we entered, we saw Justice Ademola in the master’s bedroom upstairs in his night wears. That was few minutes after 12 midnight,” the witness told the court.

He further told the court that they found 8.5 million Naira inside another room, after they forced their way in, having been refused access into the room by the defendant.

“The money was in 1,000 Naira denomination. We also found the sum of 6 million Naira, $121,179, €4,400 Euros, £80 and 1,010 Indian Rupees.

“In addition to that; we recovered six ATM cards, eight cheque books, eight deposit slips for various banks, two firearm licences – one for Honourable Justice A.R. Mohammed,” Mr Onuoha said listing recoveries.

He added that the rifles recovered at the residence had renewable licences and that they were no effort to contact Mr Mohammed, another judge at the FHC whose name was on one of the licences of the recovered guns.

The case was adjourned to Wednesday for continuation of trial.

Trial of the justice had resumed on Monday, with the lead prosecution counsel, Mr Segun Jegede, telling the court that he had 14 witnesses, including officials of the Department of State Services (DSS), Zenith Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank who will testify in the case.

The court proceedings commenced with the prosecution counsel addressing the court on the evidence with which he intends to prosecute the case.

After his statement of evidence, the prosecution invited his first witness, a sales consultant to Coscharis Motors in Lagos who testified to have received payment of eight million naira from Joe Agi Associate for a BMW car.

Reps Raise Concern On ATM Charges

Banking, ATM, ATM charges, BVN, House of Reps,
Nigerians at an ATM

The House of Representatives, on Thursday mandated its committee on banking and currency to investigate the illegal and indiscriminate automated teller machines charges by commercial banks in the country.

Speaking on the motion which was supported by most lawmakers, the House observed that the banks are not complying with the directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria on ATM withdrawals.

The lawmakers also wondered why banks are not being penalised and sanctioned for these illegal practices.

The committee is expected to report back to House in four weeks.

NDLEA Parades Suspect With Fake 9.8 Million Naira Notes

NDLEA, fake currencyThe Kwara State command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested and paraded one Muhammad Adamu for possession of 9.8 million Naira believed to be fake currency.

Parading the suspect, the State Commander of the NDLEA, Apeh Reuben said the confiscated money, in 1000 notes, was concealed in cartons of noodles.

He noted that the fake currency trafficker was arrested by Jebba command of the agency while he was on transit to Kano.

Mr Reuben added that a yet to be identified accomplice in Ilorin will soon be arrested.

On the need to alert the public on the fake money in circulation he said it is necessary as people nowadays withdraw fake money from Automated Teller Machines (ATM).

First Bank Reacts To Latest Fitch Ratings

Fitch Ratings, First BankThe Managing Director of First Bank of Nigeria, Mr Adesola Adeduntan, on Tuesday in Lagos, said that the lender’s business activities are integrated with the Nigerian economy in a way that the bank’s position could be impacted by Nigeria’s overall performance and ratings.

Mr Adeduntan was reacting to the latest Fitch ratings report that shaved First Bank’s issuer default rating to ‘B’ from B+, and FBN Holdings rating cut to BBB+ from ‘A’.

The new head of Nigeria’s largest lender says First Bank is proud to be associated with the Nigerian economy, but currently working to strengthen risk management processes and launch new digital channels, targeted at two million customers of the bank, in the first instance.

First Bank has an estimated ten million customers, which the lender plans to migrate onto new technology platforms, including off-site automated teller machines as well as agency banking.

Fitch ratings affirmed the issuer default ratings of eight Nigerian commercial banks and affirmed the viability ratings of all the banks.

However, the long-term foreign currency issuer default ratings of First Bank and UBA Group was downgraded to ‘B’ from ‘B+’ with a stable outlook.

The global rating agency downgraded the national long-term rating of FBN Holdings Plc to ‘BBB+.

Fitch ratings also cut the bank of industry’s long-term issuer default rating to ‘B+’ from ‘BB-‘ and support rating to ‘4’ from ‘3’.

The latest Fitch report expects Nigerian banks to remain profitable in 2016 despite slower asset growth and higher loan impairment charges.

Nigeria’s Apex Bank Seeks Deeper Adoption Of E-payment System

E-payment system in Nigeria POS-card-machineThe Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) have further thrown their weight behind the cashless policy, with the ongoing Electronic Payment Incentive Scheme (EPIS).

During the redemption of prizes in Kaduna for the first 10 winners for the month of September and October, the Deputy Governor of the CBN, Suleiman Barau, said the apex bank would keep giving the desired support to the EPIS project.

He pointed out that E-payment banking would help in revolutionising Nigeria’s economic development and enhancing efficiency in business.

While commending the process used in selecting the winners, Mr Barau added that the cash-less banking initiative was helping to promote financial inclusion and getting banking to the grassroots.

Cash Reward Raffle Draw

The Managing Director of NIBSS, Business Development, Mr Folashodun Shonubi, explained that the introduction of the nation-wide incentive scheme was primarily focused on rewarding users of electronic payment in Nigeria and to further encourage greater adoption by all.

He added that there had been increase of transactions through Point Of Sales (POS) platforms since the inception of the Electronic Banking.

The Electronic Payment Incentive Scheme idea was first conceived in March 2013 driven by the Central Bank of Nigeria and NIBSS amongst other key stakeholders.

In other to spice up a reasonable level of awareness and excitement in anticipation of the Loyalty Program for consumers and salespersons, the CBN in collaboration with NIBSS proposed a Monthly Raffle Draw Initiative targeted at all card users within the Nigerian e-payment ecosystem.

At the Kaduna office of the CBN, the winners for the months of September and October, who were selected across Nigeria, were presented with a cash reward.

To qualify for this draw, all winners are expected to have a valid Biometric Verification Number for the authentication of their various bank accounts.

The scheme also has the support of the Consumer Protection Council and National Lottery Regulatory Commission.

The Kaduna State coordinator of the commission, Baba Adamu, applauded the initiative, describing the process as transparent and unquestionable.

One of the recipients, Omolara Odunusu, expressed happiness for the reward and commended the CBN for the gesture

The CBN E-payment Incentive Scheme Raffle Draw involves a customer using his or her ATM card to make payments on POS to enable such customer qualify for the Cash Reward Raffle Draw.

The benefits of the scheme according to the CBN management, include saving man hours wasted in moving cash about, guaranteeing the safety of the customer in carrying money about as well as saving the apex bank from printing new currencies frequently.

Jonathan Unveils National Identity Card

National Identity CardPresident Goodluck Jonathan has asked the National Identity Card Management Commission to ensure that the issuance process of the new e-card is prompt and swift enough to enable many more Nigerians obtain their e-ID cards, as soon as possible.

While speaking at the unveiling of the e-card, he urged all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), and the private sector, to key into the project, following the benefits from its designed functionalities.

According to the President, the regime of duplication of biometric databases must give way to harmonization and unification with the e-ID scheme, which shall be the primary database.

He asked the commission to also ensure that all registrable persons are enrolled into the National Identity Database and that all MDAs involved in data capture activities, align their activities, with a view to switching over to the NIMC infrastructure.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, while extolling the beauty of the card and its multiple purposes, expressed happiness that the National Identity Management Commission has tried to survive despite various challenges.National Identity Card

The Director-General of the commission, Chris Onyemenem, in a presentation, took the audience through the uses of the card. According to him, the card would solve the challenge of proof of identity, the way no proof of identity has.

There were also testimonies from the operators of the system on what the identity card could do for the holders anywhere in the world.

President Jonathan unveilled the card, and used it to carry out some financial transactions via the ATM.

Top government officials were present for the presidential launch and unveiling of the national e-id card, including the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, and the Minister of Finance and Supervising Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala.

CBN Launches Biometric Customer Registration

The Central Bank of Nigeria and the bankers committee have launched the second phase of the Bank Verification Number (BVN) project.

The scheme will improve and strengthen the ‘Know Your Customer’ process of the banking industry.

The BVN is a biometric authentication of bank customers using Point of Sale and Automated Teller Machines. It is designed to ensure the safety of customers’ funds and avoid losses through compromise of Personal Identification Numbers (PIN).

At the launch in Lagos, the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said that all commercial banks were expected to have captured biometric details of their customers nationwide in the next 18 months.

He noted that the CBN would start to issue circulars to banks to inform their customers to come in and register for the biometric authentication within one week as it would allow banks to enrol and verify the identity of each customer from any point of transaction device.

The CBN Governor also assured Nigerians that the new system, which was also expected to address the issue of customers forgetting their Personal Identity Number, would attract no charges to the customers.

Two banks have been selected to run the pilot of this project which will start from February 17 to March 31.

Bankers Committee endorses N5000 note

The bankers committee on Tuesday endorsed the plan by the central bank to introduce N5000 note and the coining of lower denominations.

Addressing journalists after the committees meeting in Abuja, the Managing Director of the United Bank for Africa, Philip Oduoza said that the move by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will not in any way affect the nation’s economy as currently speculated.

“If it will take you 100 pieces to fit into an ATM for a N100, it will take far lesser than that if you are feeding the N5000 notes into the machine. If you are moving cash as banks normally do between various locations, you’ll find out that you’ll do less number of runs,” Mr Oduoza said.

The bank boss said that all the cost saved from handling more cash will be passed on to the end users, who are the customers of the banks.

Mr Oduoza assured Nigerians that lending rate will drop as charges for the printing of higher denominations reduces.

“One of the things that leads to high interest rate is the cost of operations, so as that goes down, you’ll find out that the benefit will also goes to the customers of the bank,” he said.

On her part, the Managing Director of the Standard Chartered Bank, Bola Adesola said that the N5, 000 note will not be imposed on any customer who wants to be paid in lower denominations.

“It is important for the banking public to also know that the Central Bank or any bank is not going to impose the N5000 note on its customers. It will be based on demand,” she said.

She said the customers will have the choice as to what denomination they would like to receive their cash.