Court Dismisses N36bn Corruption Charges Against Ex-Jigawa Governor Turaki

 Senator Ibrahim Saminu Turaki

 

The Federal High Court sitting in Dutse has dismissed a corruption case brought against ex-Jigawa State Governor, Senator Ibrahim Saminu Turaki.

Turaki and three additional companies were being prosecuted on a 33-count by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission in connection with allegations of corruption to the tune of N36 billion.

Turaki appeared at the court Thursday morning to face the 32-count corruption charge filed against him and his co-defendants 14 years ago.

In his ruling on Thursday, the trial judge, Hassan Dikko, struck out the case over lack of diligent prosecution by the anti-graft agency.

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The prosecution counsel was absent during Thursday’s session.

The court also mandated that Saminu Turaki, the first accused party, receive immediate access to his travel documents.

One of the defence attorneys, Saidu Muhammad Tudunwada, responded to the verdict by saying “that the court had found merit in their request for the accused to be exonerated of the 33 count accusations.”

He continued by saying that the decision served justice and was a win for everyone.

Turaki governed the North-Western state from 1999 to 2007. After exiting office on May 29, he was first arraigned by the EFCC before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja on 13 July 2007 on a 32-count charge of misappropriating N36 billion while in office.

The ex-governor was thereafter granted bail in the sum of N100 million.

Four years later, the case was transferred to the Federal High Court, Dutse, after Turaki successfully challenged the territorial jurisdiction of the Federal High Court in Abuja to hear the case.

He was subsequently re-arraigned on the same 32-count charge at the Dutse Division of the Federal High Court.

As a result of the repeated absence of the ex-governor from the court, the case was stalled for years, until he ran out of luck when EFCC arrested him on 4 July 2017 at an event in Abuja.

Since May 4, 2007, Turaki and three additional companies have been on trial for a 33-count charge presented by the EFCC.

Two months after he was charged with 33 counts by the EFCC and appeared before Justice Binta Murtala Nyako of the Federal Capital Territory High Court.

I Share Your Pains, Buhari Tells Nigerians In Last Independence Day Address

President Muhammadu Buhari during his last Independence Day Anniversary live broadcast on Saturday

 

 

As he counts down to the end of his eight-year administration, President Muhammadu Buhari has identified with the pains of millions of Nigerians, assuring them that their resilience and patience would not be in vain.

“As we continue to de-escalate the security challenges that confronted us at inception of this administration, newer forms alien to our country began to manifest especially in the areas of kidnappings, molestations/killings of innocent citizens, banditry, all of which are being addressed by our security forces.

“I share the pains Nigerians are going through and I assure you that your resilience and patience would not be in vain as this administration continues to reposition as well as strengthen the security agencies to enable them to deal with all forms of security challenges,” the President said in his last Independence Day Anniversary address on Saturday.

Buhari said his government has made “appreciable progress” in core areas of economy and security since he assumed office in May 2015.

“I then pledged to Improve the economy, tackle corruption and fight insecurity and this was further strengthened by my commitment to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years as the central plank of my second term in 2019.

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“To the Glory of God and His Grace as well as the commitment and passion displayed by many Nigerian supporters, we have made appreciable progress in these areas but not yet at our destination,” he said.

 

‘Return To Classrooms’

 

The President further urged striking lecturers of public universities to call their over seven-month strike and return to the classrooms.

“I must confess that I am very pained by the recurring disruption to our tertiary education system and I am using this Independence Day celebration to re-iterate my call for the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities to return to the classroom while assuring them to deal with their contending issues within the limits of the scarce resources available.

“This administration has made appreciable progress in redressing these issues that have been lingering for over eleven years.

“The Federal Government will continue to mobilize resources both internationally and nationally towards funding education to ensure that our citizens are well educated and skilled in various vocations in view of the fact that education is a leading determinant of economic growth and employment generation,” Buhari said.

 

Warns Youths Against Electoral Violence…

 

The President warned youths not to be used by politicians to commit electoral violence as campaigns official begin for the 2023 general elections.

“I am sure that our teeming and energetic youths now realise that violence generally mar elections and so should desist from being used by politicians for this purpose,” he said while urging them to increase their participation in elections.

Buhari Challenges African Presidents To Rid Continent Of Corruption

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has challenged his African counterparts to rid their countries of corruption so the continent can rise to its full potential.

Buhari spoke at a High-Level side event on ”Food Security Response: Combating Illicit Financial Flows and Securing Asset Returns for Sustainable Development’‘, on the margins of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly. He expressed regrets that the continent has remained at the far end of the global development index because of the menace.

According to him, national resources around the African continent must not find safe havens around the world hence, making the fight a necessity and not a choice, to give citizens a better life through economic prosperity, social peace, and security.

The President urged his colleagues to recall the United Nations General Assembly Special Session Against Corruption political declaration of June 2021 and ensure its effective implementation toward global food security and sustainable infrastructural development in the continent.

On food security in Nigeria, the President disclosed that the Nigerian government has financed 2.5 million smallholder farmers to cultivate about 3.2 million hectares of farmland across the country, creating 10 million direct and indirect jobs.

Buhari, who has served as AU Champion on anti-corruption since 2018, frowned at the recent data released by the UN which estimated that nearly a billion people went hungry in 2021. He said the data is a collective shame on the world’s conscience, which has been further exacerbated by increased illicit financial flows.

EFCC Denies Investigating Appeal Court Justice Mbaba

A file photo of the EFCC logo.

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday denied beaming its anti-corruption searchlight on the presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal,  Kano Division,  Honourable Justice Ita Mbaba.

EFCC Head, Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed this in a statement, dismissing some media reports that the judge is under investigation.

“We wish to restate, that Hon.  Justice Ita Mbaba is not under any investigation by the EFCC.  The Commission holds the Judiciary in optimum respect and will do nothing to embarrass any officer of the court,” the EFCC spokesman said.

He however admitted that operatives of the agency visited the residence of the judge located on Sheik Yusuf Adam Game street,  off Race Cross Road, Nassarawa Government Reservation Area, Kano.

According to Uwujaren, the visit was on a property verification exercise and not to probe Justice Mbaba.

The EFCC spokesman added, “The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,  EFCC, has been drawn to some reports on social media,  alleging that its operatives,  in the Kano Zonal Command “invaded”  the residence of the  Presiding Justice of the Court of  Appeal,  Kano Division,  Honourable Justice Ita Mbaba,  located on Sheik Yusuf Adam Game street,  off Race Cross Road, Nasarawa Government Reservation Area, Kano.

“While it is true that operatives of the Commission visited the property housing  Justice Mbaba,   on a Property Verification exercise,  owing to a subsisting matter involving the owner of the property,  there is no truth, linkage or nexus with any investigation of the Honourable Justice of the Court of Appeal.   Available facts  showed that Justice Mbaba is not the owner of the property and could, therefore, not be the subject of any investigation by the Commission.”

Ex-Ivorian Leader Gbagbo, Sentenced For Corruption, Gets Presidential Pardon

Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo gestures as he enters the courtroom of the International Criminal Court in The Hague on January 15, 2019. Peter Dejong / ANP / AFP

 

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara announced Saturday that he had pardoned his predecessor, Laurent Gbagbo, who faced a 20-year jail term for a 2018 conviction over political unrest.

“In the interests of strengthening social cohesion, I have signed a decree granting a presidential pardon,” Ouattara said in a speech to mark the 62nd anniversary of the country’s independence.

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The president said he had asked that Gbagbo’s bank accounts be unfrozen and that his life annuity be paid.

Ouattara also said he had signed a decree for the conditional release of two of Gbagbo’s closest associates, former navy chief Vagba Faussignaux and a former commander of a key gendarmerie unit, Jean-Noel Abehi, both convicted for their role in the post-election unrest.

Gbagbo was acquitted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged war crimes committed during the 2011 civil conflict that broke out after he refused to recognise Ouattara’s victory in presidential elections a year earlier.

But in 2018, an Ivorian court handed Gbagbo a 20-year term in absentia over the looting of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) during the country’s post-election crisis.

After his acquittal by the ICC, Gbagbo returned from exile in 2021 and launched a new political party, but he has kept a low profile since, despite having said he wants to remain in politics until his death.

Since his return to the country, there had been no attempt to imprison him on the basis of the 2018 conviction.

 A ‘fraternal meeting’

The announcement of the pardon comes just weeks after a meeting on July 14 between Outtara, Gbagbo and another former president, Henri Konan Bedie.

Ouattara, in his speech Saturday, described that occasion as a “fraternal meeting” in which the three men had “discussed, in a friendly atmosphere, matters of the national interest and the ways and means of consolidating peace in our country”.

Both Gbagbo and Bedie have been invited to attend independence day celebrations on Sunday at Yamoussoukro, the country’s political capital.

In 2020, the ex-presidents had challenged Outtara’s candidacy for a new term — which they deemed unconstitutional — with that election also leading to political violence.

But reconciliation efforts began the following year during legislative elections, which took place without major incident.

Though Ouattara’s party won that poll, it did allow for the return of the opposition to the National Assembly, including Gbagbo’s supporters, who had boycotted every election since his defeat in 2010 after 10 years in power.

A “political dialogue” between the government, parties and civil society organisations is currently underway with the aim of allowing local polls in 2023 and the next presidential election in 2025 to go ahead without violence.

Ivorian political life has been dominated for more than 20 years by Ouattara, Bedie and Gbagbo, aged 80, 88, and 77, respectively.

Only My Govt Has Implemented A Solution To Herder-Farmer Conflicts – Buhari

 

President Muhamamdu Buhari has said that his administration is the only one in Nigeria’s history to implement a solution to decades-long herder/farmer conflicts, exacerbated by desertification and demographic growth.

In a correspondence with Bloomberg, the president asserted that the National Livestock Transformation Plan, putting ranching at its core, is the only way to deplete the competition for resources at the core of the clashes.

According to him, governors from some individual states have sought to play politics where ranches have been established; but where they have been disputes have dramatically reduced.

Speaking further regarding the war against terror, President Buhari explained that in 2015, Boko Haram held territory the size of Belgium within the borders of Nigeria, adding that today, however, the terrorists are close to extinct as a military force.


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Buhari while reaffirming that a leader of ISWAP was eliminated by a Nigerian Airforce airstrike in March, noted that the jets acquired from the US and intelligence shared by the British were not provided to previous administrations and stand as testament to renewed trust re-built between Nigeria and her traditional western allies under his government.

“Terrorists no longer hold any territory in Nigeria, and their leaders are deceased; and vast infrastructure development sets the country on course for sustainable and equitable growth,” Buhari stated.

He urged the same international partners to take additional steps costing them nothing, by proscribing another group – IPOB – as a terrorist organization.

“Their leadership enjoys safe haven in the West, broadcasting hate speech into Nigeria from London, spending millions lobbying members of the US Congress, and freely using international financial networks to arm agitators on the ground.

“This must stop,” the president declared.

As regards corruption, President Buhari assured Nigerians that his government will leave Nigeria in a far better place than they found it.

In his opinion, corruption is less hidden, for Nigerians feel empowered to report it without fear and stolen monies are now being returned.

Kyrgyz Health Minister Beishenaliyev Jailed For Corruption

Kyrgyz Health Minister, Alymkadyr Beishenaliyev

 

Kyrgyzstan’s health minister who recommended a poisonous root as a treatment for coronavirus has been jailed following a corruption probe linked to the purchase of Covid vaccines, prosecutors said Friday. 

Alymkadyr Beishenaliyev has been nicknamed “aconite” for promoting a homemade liquid solution based on the poisonous root, also known as wolfsbane, to cure coronavirus and other diseases.

Prosecutors said Beishenaliyev was involved in the purchase of more than two million coronavirus vaccine doses over national requirements, proceeds from which “were transferred to offshore accounts.”

The money spirited away totalled 1.5 billion soms ($19 million, 17.5 million euros), a statement said.

“Although Kyrgyzstan receives free coronavirus vaccines from China, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and international organisations, in 2021 another 2,460,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines were unjustifiably received from foreign companies,” the statement added.

Beishenaliyev has been under pressure, with his deputies in May calling for his sacking and accusing him of bullying ministry employees, including using sexual taunts.

Beishenaliyev is seen as an ally of President Sadyr Japarov — whom he credits as the ultimate author of the aconite solution used in state hospitals.

He had said Japarov had personally provided doctors with a recipe passed on to him by his father.

The arrest has fuelled speculation of infighting in the government. Beishenaliyev had made a public appearance alongside the president on Thursday morning just hours before his arrest.

Video footage released by the prosecutors that evening showed a detachment of men in military uniforms entering the health ministry and Beishenaliyev being handcuffed in his office.

A spokesman for the state prosecutor told AFP on Friday that Beishenaliyev “is in a jail of the State National Security Committee and is awaiting trial.”

Beishenaliyev has dismissed the accusations and accused state security services of pressuring him.

Three Kyrgyz presidents have been unseated by political crises in the ex-Soviet country’s three-decade independence, with Japarov freed from jail before rising to power during post-vote chaos in 2020.

Japarov, 53, was at the time serving a conviction for hostage-taking that he insisted was groundless and an attempt to derail his opposition activities.

Pardoning Dariye, Nyame Will Not Derail Anti-Corruption War – Presidency

President Muhammadu Buhari speaks during an exclusive interview on Channels Television on January 5, 2021.

 

The presidency on Wednesday said the recent pardon of two former governors, serving long jail terms and other convicts will not hamper the Federal Government’s anti-corruption war.

Last week, the Council of State, chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari met and meeting last week and cleared ex-Plateau State governor, Joshua Dariye,  and his Taraba State counterpart, Jolly Nyame, alongside 157 others convicted for various offences.

The two men were investigated, prosecuted, and convicted for stealing N1.16 billion and N1.6 billion respectively from their state treasuries while they were in office between 1999 and 2007. The situation generated criticisms.

But in a statement by presidential media aide, Garba Shehu, the Presidency said Buhari was guided by the Constitution and his action was based on a recommendation by the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy (PACPM).

Shehu cited Section 175 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999(as amended).

He noted that President exercised his constitutional powers “to grant any person concerned with or convicted of any offence created by an Act of the National Assembly a pardon, either free or subject to lawful conditions; to grant respite, either for an indefinite or a specified period of the execution of any punishment imposed on that person for such an offence; substitute a less severe form of punishment imposed on that person for such an offence or remit the whole or any part of any punishment imposed on the person for such an offence or of penalty or forfeiture otherwise due to the state on account of such an offence”.

The Federal Government constituted the PACPM on August 28th, 2018 with the mandate of assisting the President in the discharge of his constitutional responsibility of granting pardon/clemency to convicts or ex-convicts in deserving cases.

The Committee filed its first report in March 2020 and reconvened on Thursday, 28 September 2021 to attend to the myriad of pending applications for presidential pardon and clemency from Nigerians across the country.

These accrued cases followed the established process of applying for pardon or clemency first to the Correctional Service (formerly Nigerian Prison Service), which must certify claims made, be they of life-threatening ill-health, (as in the cases of Governors Dariye, Nyame; John Joshua Uloh, Engr Umar Bamalli, Sa’adu Ayinla Alanamu, Charles Ihenatu, Akinwumi Ajayi and tens of others making the approved list of 159; or such cases arising from remorse and good conduct or plainly on the basis of compassion among other stated criteria.

The PACPM members, under the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, followed up the recommendations with a visit to selected Correctional Centers in several states of the Federation to “critically appraise and identify potential cases of convicts and ex-convicts before recommending them for presidential pardon/clemency and reduced sentences.”

In this round of the exercise, 412 inmates were interviewed and 162 were recommended to the Council of State by the President in the exercise of his powers, pursuant to Section 175 (2) which requires that he should carry out this function after being “advised by the Council.”

Clearly, the presentation to the Council of States meeting last week, attended by former Presidents, a former Chief Justice and 36 States and the FCT along the lines of its statutory membership was a culmination of a rigorous process, regulated and guided by the law which was not, in any way designed to achieve a political purpose.

While it is natural that the cases of the ex-governors-two among many- would excite political analysts, coming at a time when elections are in the air, the President would at the same time have come across as insensitive and cruel to most people were he to have ignored very compelling cases recommended for pardon made to him because someone is a former Governor. Even Governors have the right to be treated fairly under the law.

President Buhari assures the nation that nothing done here was intended to achieve a political end or send a revisionist message on the relentless war against corruption which he has ably and evidently led by personal examples.

SERAP Asks Buhari To Withdraw Pardon For Dariye, Nyame

A photo combination of SERAP’s logo and President Muhammadu Buhari

 

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on President Muhammadu to withdraw the pardon granted to former governors of Plateau State, Senator Joshua Dariye, and Taraba State, Rev Jolly Nyame.

The duo is serving jail terms after being convicted of corruption since leaving office.

But on Thursday, the Council of State, chaired by President Buhari, granted a presidential pardon to 159 convicts on Thursday.

Three days after, SERAP asked the President to immediately revoke the pardon granted to the ex-governors.

In a statement issued by its deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP asked Buhari to use his “good offices to urgently review and withdraw the pardon granted to former governors of Plateau State, Senator Joshua Dariye, and Taraba State, Rev Jolly Nyame who are serving jail terms for corruption”.

Specifically, the group wants Buhari to “propose constitutional amendment to the National Assembly to reform the provisions on the exercise of the prerogative of mercy to make the provisions more transparent, and consistent and compatible with Nigeria’s international anti-corruption obligations”.

Mr Dariye and Mr Nyame were jailed for stealing N1.16bn and N1.6bn, respectively. However, the National Council of State last week endorsed the pardon of Mr Dariye, Mr Nyame and 157 others serving jail terms following the recommendations of the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy.

In the letter dated 16 April, 2022 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “Impunity for corruption will continue as long as influential politicians escape justice for their crimes. The constitutional power of prerogative of mercy ought not to be an instrument of impunity.”

SERAP said, “The pardon power ought to be exercised in a manner that is consistent with the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended], particularly the provisions on oath of office by public officers, and section 15[5] which requires your government to abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.”

SERAP also said, “Indeed, the presidential pardon power must be exercised in good faith, and in line with the provisions of Chapter 4 of the Nigerian Constitution on fundamental rights.”

According to SERAP, “We would like your government to clarify if the pardon granted to Mr Dariye and Mr Nyame would entitle them to the return of the stolen assets already forfeited to the government.”

SERAP said, “The pardon also constitutes an interference in the exercise of judicial power. Because the pardon appears to be arbitrary, it undermines the authority and independence of the judiciary, and access to justice for victims of corruption.”

The letter, copied to the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, read in part: “The pardon is clearly inconsistent and incompatible with the requirements of the Nigerian Constitution, and the country’s international obligations including under the UN Convention against Corruption.”

“Presidential pardon for corruption cases is inconsistent with the rule of law, and the public interest, as it undermines the principle of equality before the law. It will undermine public confidence in your government’s fight against corruption, and the justice system.”

“SERAP is concerned that while the pardon power is routinely exercised to shield influential politicians and politically exposed persons from justice and accountability, ordinary people who have committed petty offences but with no money or influential politicians to speak for them, languish in prisons and are rarely considered for pardon.”

“While there is no doubt that Section 175 of the Constitution vests wide discretionary power in the Nigerian president to grant pardon, it does not stipulate the conditions under which such power should be exercised.”

“However, when section 15(5) of the Constitution is read together with the oath, it would seem to impose some ethical conditions on you to ensure that the exercise of the discretionary power of prerogative of mercy is not such that it will encourage corruption or impunity of perpetrators.”

“Mr Dariye and Mr Nyame should have been allowed to complete their jail terms. The exercise of the presidential pardon in their cases would seem to be unfair and undeserving.”

“The investigation and prosecution of the corruption cases involving the pardoned former governors Dariye and Nyame reportedly cost over N300 millions of taxpayers’ money. The cases went from the High Court to the Supreme Court of Nigeria.”

“Section 15(5) of the Nigerian Constitution provides that ‘The State shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.’ Similarly, article 26 of the UN Convention against Corruption requires your government to ensure ‘effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions’ in cases of grand corruption.”

“Article 26 of the convention complements the more general requirement of article 30, paragraph 1, that sanctions must take into account the gravity of the corruption offences.”

“SERAP notes that in your inaugural speech on May 29, 2015 you stated that, ‘We are going to tackle pervasive corruption head on. Nigerians will not regret that they have entrusted national responsibility to us.’”

“However, the latest Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index shows that Nigeria scored 24 out of 100 points, and ranked 154 out of 180 countries surveyed, falling back five places from the rank of 149 in 2020. This places Nigeria as the second most corrupt country in West Africa.”

“The pardon power, if properly exercised, can help to protect citizens against possible miscarriage of justice.”

“SERAP therefore urges you to urgently withdraw the presidential pardon granted to Mr Dariye and Mr Nyame, and to propose amendment to section 175 of the Nigerian Constitution that will make the exercise of the power to pardon more transparent and consistent and compatible with the country’s international obligations.”

“Any proposed amendment should also empower the citizens to challenge the legality of any arbitrary exercise of the power of prerogative of mercy.”

 

 

Kolawole Oluwadare

SERAP Deputy Director

17/4/2022

Lagos, Nigeria

Immigration Comptroller Warns Officers Against Corruption, Threatens Sanctions

A file photo of the head office of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in Abuja. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Comptroller, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) Command, Lagos, Kemi Nandap, has warned officers against indulging in sharp practices.

In a statement issued on Friday by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Louisa Amadiokoro, the comptroller pledged to implement the roadmap of the acting Comptroller General of Immigration, Isah Jere, in fighting corruption in the system.

She warned that any officer at the Command caught engaging in swindling of air travellers or attempting to put the name of the service in disrepute would be dealt with accordingly.

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“The officers are presently undergoing an intensive training programme, which is aimed at re-orientating them and ensuring that they are adequately prepared for the task ahead,” Nandap was quoted as saying.

“Upon the completion of the training, the officers are expected to go round on attachment at different wings and other sections like the Visa on Arrival, Statistics, Human Resources, Quits Aviation and other key areas of the airport. After all these, the officers will be assessed based on their performance. If the Command is not satisfied with any of them, such an officer would be sent back for retraining.”

According to her, the essence of training officers is to ensure that the officers are well-equipped for the job ahead.

She emphasised that the Command being the first port of contact for international travellers coming into Nigeria, requires committed, hardworking and refined officers to positively represent the image of the country.

“The officers are presently undergoing an intensive training programme, which is aimed at re-orientating them and ensuring that they are adequately prepared for the task ahead,” Nandap said.

“Upon the completion of the training, the officers are expected to go round on attachment at different wings and other sections like the Visa on Arrival, Statistics, Human Resources, Quits Aviation and other key areas of the airport. After all these, the officers will be assessed based on their performance. If the Command is not satisfied with any of them, such an officer would be sent back for retraining.”

The service headquarters recently redeployed over 30 officers to the MMA Command following the commissioning of the new international terminal at the airport.

Some of the officers would be deployed to the new terminal, which was commissioned on March 22, by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Ex-Delta Poly Rector Bags Jail Term Over Refusal To Appear Before ICPC

A file photo of a court gavel.
A file photo of a court gavel.

 

A former Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku, Delta State, Dr. Edna Mogekwu, has been sentenced to jail for refusing to honour invitations on allegations of corruption from the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Dr. Mogekwu, who was sentenced to a two-year, one-month jail term, as well as three principal officers of the institution who were also convicted, were charged before Justice Marshal Umukoro, of the Delta State High Court, Asaba, by ICPC over their failure to appear before investigators to clear themselves of allegations of corruption.

The principal officers convicted alongside the Rector by the court to one-month prison term each are a former Registrar, Collins Onyenwenu, a former Bursar, Andy Ughusuena and a former Director of Works of the Polytechnic, Joseph Idabor.

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ICPC had earlier filed a 5-count charge against the convicts before Justice Umukoro, in which it accused them of repeatedly refusing to honour invitations from the Commission.

ICPC Counsel, Ogochukwu Iwoba, had told the court that the Rector and her accomplices who were under investigation for acts of corruption by the Commission failed to appear for interrogations when they were required.

The offences, allegedly committed in 2015, also consists of their refusal to honour an order to produce documents required by investigators of the Commission, contrary to Section 28 (1) (b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under Section 28 (10) of the same Act.

Justice Umukoro, at the conclusion of trial, found them guilty on four out of five counts and therefore sentenced the trio of the Registrar, Bursar and Director of Works to one-month imprisonment accordingly.

The Rector was found guilty on counts one, two and three out of the five counts by the court. Justice Umukoro ruled that she would therefore serve one year imprisonment for counts two and three and one month’s jail term for count one. The sentences will run concurrently, the court ruled.

Reps Summon SGF, Finance Minister, Others Over Corruption In MDAs

A file photo of the House of Reps.

 

The House of Representatives committees on Anti-Corruption and Public Service Matters on Tuesday summoned the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and heads of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) for failing to honour an invitation to an investigative hearing.

The joint committee is furious that none of the heads of the agencies was present at its investigative hearing on the High level of corruption on nominal rolls of MDAs.

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Deputy chairman of the Committee on Anti-Corruption Dachung Bagos said the joint committee will not hesitate to take further action if the heads of agencies fail to heed the summons.

Those summoned include the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, The Head of the Service of the Federation, Folashade Yemi-Esan, the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, and the Auditor General for the Federation, Adolphus Aghughu.

Others are the Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Bolaji Owasanoye, the Chief Executive Officer, Federal Character Commission, Muheeba Dankaka.