I Was Shocked When Lawmakers Demanded Bribe, Threatened Me – NAFDAC DG

 

The Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mojisola Adeyeye, has revealed some ‘abnormalities’ she has experienced during her time on the job.

According to her when she assumed her role as NAFDAC DG, some House of Representatives members demanded bribes from her and even threatened her upon refusing to concede to their demand.

“When I came to NAFDAC, there were a lot of things that were wrong. Take oversight function or whatever that is done, I was shocked when I was told to give money, I said money for what? … money to the committee that visited us. The Health Care Services Committee of the House of Representatives,” she said on Friday during an interview on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily.

Adeyeye further stated that the request from the federal lawmakers came at a time the agency was ‘bleeding profusely’ from a paucity of funds.

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Beyond shocking, she described the day as the worst day of her life as ‘a chief regulator.’

“I said I cannot. For just the visit? I couldn’t believe my ears because it saddens me. Yes, it can be referred to as them asking for a bribe. It saddens me. This is an organisation that was bleeding profusely.

“It wasn’t taken well at all. I was threatened and I couldn’t believe that too, you are threatening me?” she stated.

Speaking further, the NAFDAC boss explained that since assuming office in 2017, the agency has cleared debts of about 3 billion Naira.

Asked how funds are generated, she stated that officials rake in money from user fees and the Internally Generated Revenue.

According to her, user fees comprise charges on companies for the evaluation and subsequent approval of their products.

Alleged $3m Bribe: Otedola Appears In Court, Insists Lawan Demanded Money

Farouk Lawan                                                                                           Femi Otedola

 

The founder of Zenon Oil, Mr Femi Otedola on Wednesday appeared before a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court to testify in the trial of a former member of the House of Representatives, Mr Farouk Lawan for alleged fraud.

Otedola who is a prosecution witness in the trial was allegedly pressured by Mr Lawan to part with a three-million-dollar bribe while Lawan was chairing a subcommittee investigating a multi-billion-dollar fraud associated with government fuel subsidy during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He (Otedola) entered the witness box after he was introduced by the prosecution counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo after which a video where Mr Lawan was seen receiving $500 000 from the Zenon oil boss, was played.

According to Otedola, the accused had indicted his company in the alleged fraud and demanded three million dollars to exonerate him.

He added that after the initial deposit of $500,000 was paid into his account, Lawan declared Zenon Oil and Gas free of the initial indictment.

When asked by the prosecution counsel about the claim by Lawan that the witness forced him to take the money, Otedola denied it.

Otedola also denied a claim by Lawan that Zenon Oil and Gas was exonerated on the basis of documents later provided by the company.

The defence counsel was, however, unable to cross-examine Otedola as he requested for an adjournment to enable his principal to attend the next trial and conduct the cross-examination.

Lawan was first arraigned in February 2013 along with another accused, Boniface Emenalo, for allegedly receiving $620,000 of the alleged bribe from Otedola and his company.

CAF Bans Kenyan Referee For Life Over Bribe

Marwa Range, the Kenyan referee caught allegedly receiving bribes was given a life ban by FIFA.

 

A Kenyan referee who had been chosen for the 2018 World Cup in Russia has been banned for life after accepting a bribe, an African Football Confederation (CAF) statement said Sunday.

Marwa Range was dropped from the World Cup list after a media sting exposed him accepting a $6,000 (about 5,100 euros) bribe from a journalist posing as a Ghanaian football official.

A terse CAF statement gave no details about what Range was expected to do in return for the cash.

Range is the second major casualty of a series of stings by Ghanaian journalists, which led to follow countryman Kwesi Nyantakyi resigning as CAF first vice-president over corruption.

A total of 22 referees are affected by the CAF crackdown with Togolese Yanissou Bebou and Gambian Jallow Ebrima banned for 10 years each.

Ivory Coast referee Denis Dembele, a regular on the African national team and club fixtures circuit, got a six-year ban.

A further seven match officials received suspensions ranging between two and five years, according to the statement.

Another 11 referees — 10 Ghanaians and one Liberian — have been provisionally banned pending appearances before a CAF disciplinary board on August 5.

AFP

Long Battle To Stop Firms Bribing Africa For Contracts

 

A spectacular probe into French tycoon Vincent Bollore over suspected graft in Africa marks a rare exception among corporate titans doing business south of the Sahara.

Bollore — charged on Wednesday over contracts to operate ports in Guinea and Togo — is by far the most prominent business leader to be investigated in France for suspicious activities in Africa.

Campaigners have hailed the development as a break from decades of judicial indifference or nods and winks from the government over dubious deals in the former French colonies.

The investigation stems largely from laws that are less than 18 months old. The so-called Sapin II Law, passed in December 2016, compels French firms to take preventive steps against graft.

It also beefs up measures dating back to 2000 that enable punishment of corrupt practices used to win public contracts abroad.

Under Sapin II, “corruption is punishable in all circumstances and in any place, even it is a crime committed abroad”, said Thierry Dal Farra, director of the public business law department in UGGC Avocats, a large Paris-based firm of attorneys.

The tougher legislation came after years of criticism by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and specialised NGOs which accused France of turning a blind eye to corporate corruption abroad.

The Bollore probe breaks new ground in France — but the United States already goes much further.

Its prosecutors are empowered to pursue non-American companies for economic crimes committed outside US soil — such cases often culminate in hefty fines.

Competition without ethics

If France is a European example of tighter regulation, ferocious competition from China — the main trading partner of the African continent — is deemed a hurdle to abolishing bad practices.

“Emerging nations that will take decades to incorporate ethical concerns into their search for market share” are a major obstacle, said William Bourbon, head of an anti-corruption association called Sherpa.

“The most stereotypical are the Chinese, who intimidate the entire world and who, when it comes to corruption in Africa, act with complete impunity,” he told AFP.

Already losing ground, French companies in Africa face seeing their share of contracts threatened by potentially unfair competition.

“We would really like everybody to play by the same ground rules. We need competitors who are subject to the same requirements, shared regulations and reciprocity,” said a spokesman for MEDEF, France’s principal employers’ organisation.

Whistleblowers wanted

Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced the adoption of new guidelines providing for more systematic assessment of corruption in its 189 members, stressing that bad practice undermines growth, investment and tax revenue.

Many African countries are only too well adapted to underhand deals. Most of them languish among the bottom ranks of the annual Corruption Perceptions Index compiled by Transparency International.

“What matters most is for African governments to adopt a practice of zero tolerance concerning corruption. If this is done, wherever investors come from, they will have to abide by the laws,” said Samuel Kaninda, African regional advisor for Transparency International.

“The problem is not a lack of legal instruments (in Africa),” he added. “It is that the institutions that fight against corruption suffer from a lack of independence at the political level.”

Setting a rare example, South Africa recently reopened legal proceedings against a subsidiary of French arms manufacturer Thales in an old case of alleged corruption. Former president Jacob Zuma has been charged with 16 counts of graft.

Beyond legislative measures, activists argue that whistleblowers remain key to efforts to clamp down on corruption.

“Whistleblowers are the worst enemies of a particular kind of financial elite,” said Bourdon.

“They are the ones who smash the locks, giving access to secrets.”

Last year, Bourdon became part of an international team that established a Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa, based in Senegal’s capital Dakar.

With lawyers listed in almost a score of African countries, the association offers legal and technical assistance to whistleblowers at risk and an online archive of cases in French and English.

AFP

IGP Orders Probe Of ACP Ayilara Over Alleged N10m Bribe

The Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, has summoned an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr Ayilara Olukayode to Abuja for questioning, over allegations of a N10 million bribe on his authority.

The summon follows a protest by a coalition of civil society organisations in Benue state over the bribery allegations.

They alleged that the executive chairman of the Benue State Board Of Internal Revenue was assaulted on Tuesday, by the head of the IGP X-Squad, Mr Olukayode, who was said to have demanded the sum.

The group, therefore, demanded the proscription of the IGP X-Squad, for alleged extortion, kidnapping of tax agents and serial collection of revenue.

This comes at a time when the police have come under criticism with some questioning its ability to effectively play its role.

The herdsmen attacks across the country, most notably in Benue state, have also led to a trade of blames between the government and the Police Force, and there is yet to be an end in sight to the controversy.

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives called for the removal of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and the Police Public Relations Officer, Moshood Jimoh, after condemning their actions and utterances in connection with the killings in Benue.

While the lawmakers wanted the IGP out for his “failings”, they condemned the PPRO for referring to the Benue State Governor as a “drowning man”.

In the recent development, involving the Assistant Commissioner, Mr Idris, however, denied having any involvement in the case and promised to carry out an unbiased investigation into the matter, assuring both the Benue state government and the coalition of civil society, that the police will address any form of injustice.

#AnambraDecides: Politicians Bribed Voters Openly, Says Situation Room

The Convener of Election Situation Room, Clement Nwankwo has alleged that the Saturday’s Anambra Election was characterised with open votes buying as politicians openly bribed voters during the election.

Speaking in Awka, the state capital, Nwankwo said the election was relatively peaceful but the most striking thing was the situation of votes-buying where huge amount of money was spent by politicians to lure voters.

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“The most striking with the election is the huge amount of money that’s been spent by the political parties openly bribing voters at the polling units. Some spent as much as N5,000 – N6,000 to pay for a single vote,” he said.

The election room convener, who lamented over the situation of open buying of votes saying it is really disappointing and an abuse of electoral process, however applauded the police for being responsive.

“This is really unprecedented in terms of the amount of money spent buying votes of citizens and it is really disappointing to see this level of abuse of electoral process and the abuse on the limit of expenditure.

“The police have been very responsive. Places where incidents have occurred, they have been prompt to react and nip some incidents in the bud. Unfortunately, the police have not been wide spread as we thought. They had promised 26,000 police personnel; I don’t think we had 26,000 police personnel on ground.’’

Late Arrival Of Materials Causes Setback As #AnambraDecides

He also applauded the Independent national Electoral Commission (INEC) for the responses to the cases of card readers malfunction recorded.

‘’There were few cases of card readers malfunction but the response from INEC has been very good. There has been incidents of ballot box snatching but the number have been limited and I think that the fear about police over policing has been seriously minimised.

Despite few cases of officials making away with ballot papers and election materials including officials turning up late, Nwankwo said the election was “relatively peaceful.”

I Got N30m From Diezani, INEC Official Tells Court

Court Strikes Out Charge Indicting Diezani
File photo: Diezani Alison-Madueke

 

A staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr. Christian Nwosu, has told a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos that he collected the sum of N30 million from the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and spent it on logistics aimed at influencing the outcome of the 2015 general elections.

Mr Nwosu who was then the Kwara State Administrator of INEC gave this evidence while testifying in a “trial-within-trial”.

A trial-within-trial is conducted to test the voluntariness of confessional statements made by suspects during investigations.

The INEC staff is standing trial for allegedly conspiring with two other INEC officials to take a bribe of N264.8m from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to compromise the elections.

The offence was said to have been committed in March 2015.

At today’s proceedings, Mr Nwosu also disclosed that though he signed for the N264.8m, he only got N30m which he did not personally benefit from as it was shared out to the ad-hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission for logistics.

The EFCC had alleged that the N264.8m was part of a total sum of $115m which Mrs Allison-Madueke Diezani doled out to several individuals across the 36 states of the federation for the purpose of influencing the outcome of the elections in favour of the incumbent President at the time.

Court Jails Man For Raping Minor In Ekiti

The INEC official also testified that it was one, Mr. Togba, the Director-in-Charge of field services who instructed him through a telephone call to go and collect the money.

The court has fixed Nov. 15 for continuation of the trial.

Mr. Christian was arraigned alongside two of his colleagues on April 4 for the offence. In a plea bargain agreement he had with the EFCC, he pleaded guilty to collecting the money.

He, however, backed out of the plea bargain following the rejection of the terms of the agreement by the trial judge, Justice Muhammed Idris.

Justice Idris had held that the penalty set out in paragraph 4 of the plea bargain agreement ran contrary to the provisions of sections 16 (2) (b) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

Besides a forfeiture of two landed properties traced to him in Delta State, as well as a forfeiture of the sum of N5 million recovered from him, paragraph 4 of the plea bargain had provided: “That a fine in the sum of N500,000 is proposed to the court, to be imposed on the first defendant upon his conviction.

The agreement also provides that within seven days after payment of the fine, the convict shall enter into a bond with the EFCC, never to be involved in economic and financial crimes within and outside Nigeria.

But the judge held that from the provisions of the Act, the appropriate sentence should be an imprisonment term of not less than two years or a fine in the sum of not less than 10 million or both.

Justice Idris held that it was for this reason that he finds the plea bargain agreement as inadequate.

A second defendant, one Yisa Olanrewaju Adedoyin, had already been convicted by the court on the basis of a similar plea bargain arrangement with the EFCC.

Zamfara Govt Approves Removal Of Justice Anka

njc

The Zamfara State government has approved the removal of Justice Musa Ibrahim Anka.

The National Judicial Council said in a statement on Sunday that it has a letter from Zamfara State Government approving its recommendation for the compulsory removal of Justice Anka from office.

This comes six years after the NJC recommended the removal of the judge for allegedly receiving a bribe of N200,000.

Justice Anka allegedly received the bribe from one Zubairu Abdumalik in order to deliver judgment in his favour.

The NJC recommended his removal to the Zamfara State Government in 2011.
According to the NJC, the approval is a good development.

Don’t Blame Dismissed Policeman, Blame Our Leaders- Femi Kuti

Nigerian afrobeat musician, Femi Kuti has blamed the leadership of Nigeria for the ills bedeviling the country.

Speaking in reaction to the video of a police officer that was taped while demanding for a bribe, the eldest son of afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, said “as much as I am very against it, if the leaders of this country look at the problems of this country objectively, the police force will be the kind of police force we desire and we deserve”.

He blamed the leaders, especially after the return to democratic rule in 1999 of treating the problems of the country with laxity.

He looked at other parts of the economy, Kuti said “we look at education, how many police officers can afford? I tell you it’s only the AIG, the top police officers can send his kids to the best schools inis country.

He said it is impossible to eradicate corruption to in the country without paying the police officers well.

Kuti asked about other police officers engaged in soliciting and collecting of bribes saying ‘’what about the rest that do it on a daily basis” adding that “what about the mechanics that keep stealing the parts of your car, what about your house help” he quipped.

He lamented the fact that “to buy drugs in general hospital today, you have to bribe the doctor, the nurse… to get your way, to get treated, to get a bed in general hospital”.

He said the dismissed police officer (Chris Omeleze) will be used as a “scape goat” noting that “he is not the problem” but an “unfortunate part of the problem”.

Kuti further noted that “probably if the police are paid very well, they are not enlightened to know that they are been paid very well, because the corruption is now embedded in our system, it is now in our blood”

Global Phenomenon

Kuti, who just returned from a tour of Europe, also bemoaned the high level of unemployment in the country but was quick to admit that it is fast becoming a global phenomenon.

He said “when you go to Spain there are no jobs, when you go to England people have no jobs, when you to France people…… You see problem was an African problem, poverty was an African problem, unfortunately is a global problem now”.

2 EFCC staff jailed for taking bribes

Two officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Douglas William and Abba Ishaku were on Thursday given five-year prison terms for accepting bribes.

The two officers were arraigned on October 17, 2010, before an Abuja High Court presided over by Justice Abubakar Umar on a four-count of conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretence.

Misters William and Ishaku were sentenced to two years each on counts one and two; and six months each on counts three and four. The sentences are however to run concurrently.

The two officers were arrested in 2010 in a ‘sting operation’.

Until their arrest, the officers were stationed at the reception of the EFCC headquarters in Wuse, Abuja.

The officers allegedly demanded N100, 000 from Kullima Kachalla, a former Chairman of Bama Local Government in Borno state in 2010, by posing as investigators of the EFCC.

They were alleged to have asked Mr Kachalla to send them the money in order to bribe other investigators of the Commission to destroy a petition written to the EFCC, which indicted him (the former chairman) for alleged mismanagement of public funds.

During their trial, the court was told that Mr Kachalla had alerted the EFCC of the action of the two accused persons, necessitating an undercover operation, where an EFCC officer, posing as Mr Kachalla’s representative, arranged a meeting with the accused.

Mr Ishaku, second accused, allegedly called Mr Kachalla by telephone, asking him to bring the money to the Commission’s office in Wuse, Abuja.
It was in the course of the receipt of the money that the two staff were arrested and subsequently arraigned.

In his ruling, Justice Umar said because the convicts have suffered enough humiliation, their sentence should start from the date of their arraignment being October 18, 2010.

Ownership of Ibori’s $15 million bribe: Use the money to develop Nigeria, lawyer says

A legal practitioner, Wahab Shittu on Thursday said that the $15 million the former governor of Delta State, James Ibori allegedly offered the then Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu should be used to build infrastructures that will benefit all Nigerians.

According to earlier reports, Mr Ibori had offered the Money to Mr Ribadu in order to shield him (Ibori) from investigation and prosecution by the anti-graft agency. However, the EFCC boss refused to use the money but handed it over to the Central Bank of Nigeria for safe keeping hoping to use it as evidence against Mr Ibori.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Shittu described the money as illicit fund.

“Such fund can be applied for empowerment projects such as the building of schools, the improvement of education, the improvement of health service delivery, road construction that will directly benefit the citizens,” he said.


JTF officials turn down $30, 000 bribe, arrest suspected oil thief

The Joint Task Force (JTF) in Bayelsa State said it has arrested one Joshua Orupere, for attempting to bribe its officials in order to regain two barges seized for alleged stolen crude oil.

The task force paraded the a 40-year-old man for offering to bribe the JTF’s Chief of Staff to the tune of $30,300 to gain the release of two vessels seized along the Sagama Rivers of Akasa Community in Brass Local Government.

The two vessels named MV Premier and MV Somtrans, with stolen crude oil estimated at 600,000 metric tonnes each were intercepted at the Sagana Kamboro creek by a joint operation conducted by the 343 Artillery Regiments and the Sub-Sector two operatives led by Muktar Adamu in the early hours of Saturday.

The operation according to the JTF, lasted two days and with the help of four newly acquired AK 38 Army Boat from the office of the Chief Army Staff, Lieutenant General Azubike Ihejirika.

Spokesperson of the JTF, Lt. Col. Onyeka Nwachukwu, said the seizure of the vessels and arrest of Mr Orupere was as a result of the sustained security operation against illegal bunkering in the Niger Delta region.

“The suspect has confessed to the crime and admitted being in charge of the arrested vessels at the time it was intercepted”, Col Nwanchukwu said.

The arrested owner of the seized vessels, Mr Orupere, told journalist that though one of the vessel was put in his care by one retired Air Force Commander from Sagana community of Brass Local Government, “both vessels were in my care at the time of arrest.”

He further said “They are condemned vessels converted to barges. I work for persons within and outside the region. I did not know the JTF Chief of Staff before but met him with link provided by the retired Air force Commander. My link advised that I raise money and offer as bribe and I went to Port Harcourt to raise over $30,000.”