ICPC Arraigns LG Chairman In Abuja Over Alleged N10m Bribery

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

 

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned the Chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council, Adamu Danze, for allegedly receiving N10 million kickback from a contractor handling construction projects in the area council.

Danze was arraigned by the Commission before Justice U. P. Kekemeke of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court 4 on allegations of corruption bordering on abuse of office and gratification.

ICPC had filed six counts before the court in which it accused the council chairman of demanding and receiving N10 million bribe from the Director of Remotosh Construction Limited, Aremu Omotosho, in exchange for approving payment for the construction of a double-cell culvert in Paiko-Kore.

The local council boss was alleged to have committed the offence in March 2018 when he directed the contractor to transfer the money to his lawyer handling his election tribunal case, thereby violating Sections 8 (1)(a), 10 (a)(i), 18 (b) and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

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One of the charges read, “That you, Adamu Mustapha Danze on or about the month of March 2018 at Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, while being a public officer as the Executive Chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council received the sum of N10 million from Engineer Aremu Omotosho, the director of Remotosh Construction Limited for approving payment for the construction of double cell culvert at Paiko-Kore awarded to Remotosh Construction Limited by Gwagwalada Area Council, the sum you asked the contractor to transfer to your counsel defending you in the election tribunal and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 10 (a)(i) and punishable under Section 10 (a)(ii) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.”

Danze, who had a bench warrant issued on him, pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to him while the warrant was subsequently dismissed by the trial judge after a plea by the defence Counsel, Abdul Mohammed.

Mohammed, in his remarks, apologised to the judge for failing to attend proceedings on two previous dates fixed by the court, saying it was due to the recent kidnapping activities in Gwagwalada.

He also informed the court that the defendant was coordinating rescue operations in the area council, and moved a motion praying that the accused be admitted to bail at the discretion of the court pending trial.

Counsel to ICPC, Michael Adesola, in his counter-argument, averred that the accused was very deliberate in his actions of ignoring court sittings as he was duly served all proceedings since last year.

Adesola, who also opposed the bail application, prayed the court to remand the accused in a correctional facility to prevent him from interfering and intimidating witnesses, some of whom were employees in the area council.

Justice Kekemeke, having listened to both counsels, held that the defendant cannot jump bail based on his current position.

“The defendant who is the current Chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council cannot evade his trial,” he held. “He has nowhere to hide as I give him the benefit of doubt. The application therefore subsists. Bail is therefore granted to the defendant.”

Danze was admitted to bail in the sum of N20 million and a surety in like sum while the case was adjourned until March 1, 2022, for trial.

N86.1m Fraud: Civil Servant Sentenced To 28 Years In Prison

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

 

A Borno State High Court, sitting in Maiduguri, has sentenced a civil servant, Ma’aji Shettima Arfo, to 28-years-imprisonment for engaging in an N86.1 million contract fraud.

Arfo, who was sentenced to jail by Justice Haruna Mshellia, of Borno State High Court, 3, was the General Manager of the state-owned Maiduguri Flour Mills Limited, where he committed the fraud.

He was charged on a six-count by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for offences bordering on abuse of office and conferring undue advantage on himself.

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The charge sheet showed that Arfo, while acting as the General Manager of the Flour Mill, between 2014 and 2020, engaged in multiple frauds in violation of Sections 12 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under relevant sections of the same Act.

One of the counts on which he was convicted revealed that he awarded multiple contracts to Falkwat Multilinks Limited, a private company where he was a director, to supply diesel (Automotive Gas Oil) and maize to Maiduguri Flour Mills.

Counsel to ICPC, Anas Mohammed Kolo, while arguing the case, told the court that the convict in October 2015, awarded a N4.9 million contract to Falkwat Multilinks Limited to supply 40,000 litres of diesel to the flour mills.

The court further heard how Arfo, while being a public servant, awarded several contracts between 2016 and 2017 to his private company, Falkwat Multilinks Limited, to supply maize to Maiduguri Flour Mills Limited.

For instance, he authorized the payments of N42.1 million to his company in July 2016 for the supply of 386.45 metric tonnes of maize and another N23 million to the same company in March 2016 to supply 306.94 metric tonnes of maize to the state-owned flour mills.

He was convicted for yet another offence when he approved the payment of N16 million to Falkwat Multilinks to supply 217.45 metric tonnes of maize.

Justice Mshellia, at end of the trial, found the general manager guilty of four counts out of six preferred against him and sentenced him to seven years imprisonment on each count. The judge ruled that prison terms will run concurrently.

ICPC And DSS Arrest 48 Lecturers, Others Over Leakage Of JUPEB Exam

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Department of State Services (DSS) have arrested 48 individuals for their alleged illegalities in the conducts of the Joint Universities Preliminary Examinations Board (JUPEB).

According to a statement by ICPC spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, the joint operation tagged ‘Operation Combo’ conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, led to the arrests of lecturers, security officers, workers, and students from some of the participating universities in the exam.

Ogugua said Operation Combo was simultaneously carried out by the operatives of ICPC and DSS in seven states after extensive monitoring of tutorial schools allegedly known for notoriously compromising JUPEB examinations. This has led to the arrest of the President of Tutorial School Owners (ATSO).

The operation, a consequence of a sustained period of surveillance and undercover investigations spanning several weeks, led to multiple arrests of suspects including parents of candidates of the exam.

Also arrested were lecturers and others involved in examination malpractices and other illegalities in the participating institutions.

The suspects were arrested from Wellspring University, Benin, Edo State; Christopher University, Mowe, Ogun State and Crown-Hill University, Ilorin, Kwara State.

Also, the raid of tutorial centres by operatives in McPherson and Precious Cornerstone universities in Ibadan and Ilara-Epe, in Oyo State respectively, led to more arrests of suspects.

Ogugua noted that credible intelligence gathered during the operations showed active connivance of the parents of the students and the management of the universities.

Three current Vice-Chancellors have been invited by ICPC for their roles in the unchecked and massive malpractices reported.

It was revealed that syndicated social media platforms were created by the facilitators for leaking questions and circulating answers to students for a fee during examinations.

“The investigations also revealed that candidates, who are mostly minors, allegedly paid between N350,000 to N500,000 each to the suspects in the various tutorial schools to engage in the illegalities,” the statement added.

According to the ICPC, the cartel, in connivance with the coordinators of the examination centres and other management staff of the institutions, deliberately allowed security lapses to enable the candidates to go into examination halls with smartphones and other electronic devices to send question papers to waiting groups online and subsequently, receive answers to questions thereby engaging in massive malpractices.

Some of the suspects arrested have been granted administrative bail while the investigation is ongoing.

JUPEB is an advanced level educational examination that qualifies its candidate for admission into 200 level in any Nigerian and foreign universities through direct entry. It is coordinated by the University of Lagos and has up to 10 accredited universities.

ICPC Recovers Over 300 Houses From Two Government Officials

ICPC Partners OAGF, BPP To Prevent Corruption In MDAs
ICPC logo

 

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it recently recovered over 300 houses from two civil servants in the nation’s capital, Abuja.

Making the disclosure on Thursday, the Chairman of the ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, went on to expose how real estate is often used as cover for money laundering and Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs).

Owasanoye, who spoke at a public hearing on real estate organized by the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee on Investigation of Operations of Real Estate Developers in FCT, Abuja, also stated that public officers use real estate developers as conduits for IFFs.

He said: “Corrupt public officers use real estate investment as a vehicle for hiding ill-gotten wealth and money laundering. Public officers acquire estates in pseudo names to conceal the illegal origin of funds.

“This is made possible by the absence of proper documentation and registration of titles to lands and estates in the country and non-enforcement of beneficial ownership standards.”

“The Commission has a case in which we recovered 241 houses from a public officer and another one with 60 buildings on a large expanse of land,” he added.

“Corruption in real estate aids illicit financial flows. The real estate sector is globally recognized as attractive to IFFs largely because it is informal, unregulated, and thus open to abuse, shell-companies, use of intermediaries and third parties to acquire high-value real estate with proceeds of crime and/or illicit funds,” the ICPC boss further explained.

READ ALSO: Senate Seeks Improved Funding For ICPC

The ICPC leader told the committee of efforts to sanitize the real estate sector which has resulted in the recovery of monies and properties for the government.

He said: “ICPC continued with an exercise started by the defunct SPIP and concluded it from which recovery of a total sum of N53,968,158,974.64 was made.

“The figure comprises of N858,938,681,681.06 fully recovered and paid into FMBN account; N1,357,490,846.28 post-dated cheque for October 2021 and a notarized agreement to pay the sum of N51,751,729,447.30 to the FMBN, “Owasanoye explained.

Speaking further on the need for strict government regulation of the sector, Owasanoye noted that irregularities bordering on forgery and cloning of land documents, double/multiple land allocations, allocations of lands without the minister’s approval, and revocation of land titles without due process have become rampant.

He observed that even real estate developers were not spared of problems in the sector arising from the high cost of home acquisition, unstable capital market, currency volatility, increased rural-to-urban migration, ineffective property protection laws, perceived multiple taxations, and poor building quality.

He further stressed that while some of these challenges of real estate may be tackled by legislative and executive laws and policies, others were strictly based on the interplay of economic forces.

No Pretense

Owasanoye informed the committee that an investigation by ICPC had shown how the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) fraudulently short-changed prospective house owners.

“The commission conducted a System Study and Review of Mass Housing delivery in the FCT in 2010/2011 wherein it was discovered that members of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), who had been allocated huge plots of land for mass housing development in the FCT, failed in the delivery of infrastructure to the project sites and rather resorted to offering and selling the estate plots to the highest bidder contrary to the policy. These abuses were hardly sanctioned by the FCDA,” he noted.

“The estates end up being the exclusive preserve of the rich in society. The consequent pressure on low and middle-income earners is a push factor for public sector corruption as public servants subvert processes, policies, and abuse of office for private gain in order to meet the desire for decent housing.”

He called for strict government regulation and an inclusive mass housing policy saying, “we cannot continue to pretend that all is well with the sector while the economy groans and our teeming populace suffers lack of affordable housing while shylocks and criminals perpetrate their evil intents unchecked.”

The Speaker of the House of Representative, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, who declared the public hearing open, called on the government to protect prospective homeowners from fraudulent real estate developers.

Gbajabiamila, who was represented by the Majority Leader, Hon. Alhassan Ado Dogowa, added that it was the responsibility of lawmakers to make good legislation to ensure that hardworking Nigerians do not lose their monies to fraudulent developers.

Earlier, the Chairman of the committee, Hon. Blessing Onyeche Onuh said the provision of affordable housing was critical to the government and the people and cannot be left unregulated.

She restated that the committee was set up to correct the growing anomalies in the sector and stop real estate developers from taking advantage of prospective homeowners through fraudulent housing schemes.

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) Muhammed Bello, in his remark, noted that the government was working towards reducing the housing deficits.

He added that the FCTA was collaborating with other agencies including ICPC to reposition the housing sector which has started yielding results.

Senate Seeks Improved Funding For ICPC

Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes

 

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes, Senator Suleiman Abdu Kwari, has emphasised the need for improved funding for the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in order to enable it to deliver on its mandate effectively.

Senator Kwari made the remark during the defense of the 2022 appropriation proposal by ICPC at the Senate complex in Abuja on Monday.

The Committee Chairman declared that ICPC was one of the few agencies of government carrying out a very special and critical national assignment and therefore needed to be funded adequately if it must rid Nigeria of corruption.

He also noted that in view of how massive the mandate placed on ICPC by its enabling law was, the current envelope system of budgeting would constitute an impediment to the realisation of this huge task.

 

Kwari, who is also the Senator representing Kaduna North, while advising the Commission to remain focused in carrying out its mandate, pledged to do all that was required to ensure that ICPC’s budget was improved upon.

Also speaking at the budget defense, the Senator representing Kogi West, Senator Smart Adeyemi, said that it was imperative to allocate enough resources to ICPC so that it would enable the Commission to expand its network in terms of physical presence across the nation.

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Senator Adeyemi added that having ICPC operatives at the grassroots or at each senatorial district would aid in checkmating corrupt practices at that level.

He reiterated the Senate’s commitment to supporting improved funding for the effective discharge of the Commission’s mandate, saying that “Whatever it will take to do that in terms of resources, we will support you.”

Other senators who also lent their support to the development were Senators Yusuf A. Yusuf and Stella Oduah representing Taraba Central and Anambra Central respectively.

Responding to some of the issues raised by the senators, ICPC Chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, (SAN), explained to the Committee how the Commission was empowered by its enabling act to carry out a three-pronged mandate of enforcement, prevention, and public enlightenment and education.

Professor Owasanoye, SAN, while also acknowledging that the envelope system was a serious challenge, revealed that the effort at fighting corruption was being escalated.

The Chairman also spoke on the efforts ICPC was making to get critical stakeholders to own the National Ethics and Integrity Policy especially traditional rulers and professional bodies.

ICPC Arraigns Ex-Presidential Aide, Obono-Obla Over Alleged Certificate Forgery

A file photo of Mr Okoi Obono-Obla,

 

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned a former presidential aide, Mr Okoi Obono-Obla, over allegations of certificate forgery.

Obono-Obla is the former Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP) for the Recovery of Public Property.

He was charged with two counts before Justice C.L. Dabup of the Jos Judicial Division of the High Court of Plateau State, a statement by ICPC’s spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, said on Monday.

ICPC maintained its allegations that the former SPIP chair presented a fake result with a credit pass in English Literature to the University of Jos, with which he secured admission to study law.

“The charge filed before Justice C. L. Dabup revealed that while Obono-Obla did not seat for the Ordinary Level, General Certificate Examination (GCE) in English Literature in 1982, he presented a result of the same GCE to the University of Jos, in 1985, containing Credit 6 from Mary Knoll College, Ogoja,” the statement alleged.

“He was alleged to have committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 366 of the Penal Code Law of Plateau State.”

But Obono-Obla was said to have entered a not guilty plea on each of the two counts when they were read to him.

Thereafter, his counsel, M.A. Agara, filed an application in which he urged the court to grant his client bail on self-recognisance.

Obono-Obla’s counsel had also filed a motion contesting the jurisdiction of the court on the matter, as well as accused the prosecution of bringing a defective charge before the court.

He prayed the court not to allow the charge to be read to the defendant.

In his argument, ICPC’s lead counsel, Henry Emore, who opposed the motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court, submitted that the defendant was brought before the court because the offence of certificate forgery was allegedly committed in Jos where the court seats.

He, however, did not oppose the bail application, he urged the court to admit the defendant to bail on stringent terms.

Justice Dabup, in her ruling on the bail application, admitted Obono-Obla to bail in the sum of N1 million with one surety in like sum.

She also ruled that the surety must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court and must submit an affidavit of means, including a tax clearance certificate showing evidence of payment for three years.

The judge later adjourned the case till November 25, 2021, for trial.

ICPC To Collaborate With Reps In Tackling Illicit Financial Flows, Corruption

ICPC Partners OAGF, BPP To Prevent Corruption In MDAs
ICPC logo

 

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) is to strengthen its collaboration with the House of Representatives in addressing corruption and Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) in the country.

The Chairman of the ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, made this known on Tuesday at the opening of a two-day capacity building retreat for members of the House of Representatives Committee on Anti-Corruption, and board members and directors of the Commission held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

The retreat deliberated on corruption, IFFs and financing for national development.

Speaking at the event, Prof. Owasanoye stated that regulations were required from the legislature to eradicate corruption and IFFs.

The ICPC boss noted that the regulation of the cryptocurrency trading in Nigeria would help to prevent the swindling of unsuspecting members of the public.

He emphasized the need for more regulations to address IFFs and other related offences, stating that the breaches in the law and absence of regulatory framework have encouraged perpetrators of the crimes to continue to engage in the crime.

This, he added, would strengthen the economy, and lessen the rate of borrowings by the country.

“Nigeria needs regulatory intervention in cryptocurrency trading. Some people trading in cryptocurrency have used the digital currency and assets to engage in corruption, money laundering and terrorism financing. Corruption in digital assets is not easily traceable,” he stated.

He assured the legislators that the Commission would continue to cooperate with them to achieve its mandate of ridding Nigeria of corruption through lawful enforcement and preventive means.

READ ALSO: ICPC Arraigns Ex-NIS Officer Over Alleged Certificate Fraud

The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Anti-Corruption, Hon. Nicholas Garba Shehu commended the Commission for collaborating with the House in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

Shehu said, “Corruption has held Nigeria backwards for many years and whatever we can do, we will do to help the fight against corruption. The 9th National Assembly has made the fight against corruption one of its cardinal mandates.

“The House of Representatives stands ready to partner with the ICPC in the achievement of its mandate which is to rid the country of corruption.”

Speaking on the topic “National Security and the Opportunity Cost of Corruption”, Prof. E.E. Alemika of the University of Jos and a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC) decried the depletion of critical national resources with renewal due to corruption.

“We are having less and less of what we used to have and not refilling them. We have discouraged productivity, creativity and we are not investing in the real sector of the economy,” Alemika stated.

Prof. Jonathan Aremu of Covenant University gave an in-depth analysis of the topic “Illicit Financial Flows Typologies – Trade, Tax and Oil”, while Mr. George Tyendezwa of the Federal Ministry of Justice explained Cryptocurrencies, Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing Threats.

Another paper on “Public Service and Integrity, including the NEIP” was presented by a representative of the former Chairman of ICPC, Mr. Ekpo Nta.

The two-day event also featured an interactive session between the House of Representatives members and the management of ICPC on ways to improve the operations of ICPC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ICPC Arraigns Ex-NIS Officer Over Alleged Certificate Fraud

ICPC Partners OAGF, BPP To Prevent Corruption In MDAs

 

A retired Chief Superintendent of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Imam Aminu, has been arraigned by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), over alleged forgery of academic certificates.

The commission, in four counts brought before Honourable Justice A.O. Abong of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court 18, sitting in Gwagwalada, Abuja averred that the accused person had forged a National Diploma Certificate in Public Administration from the Kaduna State Polytechnic and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management from the University of Calabar.

Counsel for the ICPC, Mashkur Salisu Esq, informed the court of how the defendant had used the aforementioned forged certificates to enlist into the NIS as well as advance his career to the rank of a Chief Superintendent.

The ICPC in Charge No: CR/821/2021 told the court that the former Immigration Officer’s action was contrary to Section 364 of the Penal Code, and if he is found guilty, he shall be liable to a prison term of not less than 14 years.

When read to the accused, he pleaded not guilty to all four counts.

The prosecution counsel, thereafter, asked for a date for hearing and for the accused to be remanded in Kuje prison pending the hearing.

Counsel to the defendant, however, moved the bail application in favour of the accused.

The trial court then granted Mr. Aminu bail in the sum of N500,000 and a surety in like sum who must reside within the jurisdiction of the court. He was also ordered to deposit his travel documents at the court’s registry.

The case has been adjourned to the 9th of November 2021 for commencement of trial.

We Will Tackle Corruption In The Electricity Sector – ICPC Chairman

ICPC Partners OAGF, BPP To Prevent Corruption In MDAs
ICPC logo

 

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has promised to tackle corruption-related matters arising from estimated billings, illegal selling of meters, and other related offences in the electricity sector.

The Chairman of ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, while speaking at a consultation meeting of business membership organisations and electricity regulatory bodies organised by the Association of Public Policy Analysis (APPA-Nigeria), in Abuja, recently, noted that the incessant complaints about high billings of electricity tariff by power regulators were becoming rife.

Owasanoye, who was represented by Mallam Hassan Salihu, an Assistant Commissioner in the Commission, called on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), and electricity regulatory bodies to join hands in the prevention of electricity-related corruption in Nigeria.

The ICPC Chairman revealed that the Commission articulated the National Ethics and Integrity Policy which is geared towards instilling lost values as a norm in the lives of citizens in the country.

The seven core values of the Policy include Human Dignity, Voice and Participation, Patriotism, Personal Responsibility, Integrity, National Unity, and Professionalism.

He added that the Commission was working to ensure accountability across the public and private sectors through the implementation of these core values, explaining that it would enable people working in the sectors to shun all forms of corruption.

Professor Owasanoye further stated that the Commission was empowered by its enabling law to carry out system studies and reviews in government agencies and departments to mitigate the occurrence of corrupt activities in such organizations.

According to him, the ICPC was working to ensure accountability across the public and private sectors through the implementation of these core values, explaining that it would enable people working in the sectors to shun corruption.

Professor Owasanoye further stated that the Commission was empowered by the law to do system studies and reviews in government agencies and departments to mitigate the occurrence of corrupt activities in such organizations.


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READ ALSO: Abducted Zamfara College Provost Regains Freedom


 

Earlier in his welcome address, the Director-General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Dikko Umaru Radda, who was represented by Mrs. Olabanjo Fowler, an Assistant Director, Partnership and Coordination, said that it was the responsibility of SMEDAN to formulate and implement policies that would ensure the ease of doing business to make MSMEs competitive in the global market.

Radda also stated that the multiplier effects of high electricity tariffs, poor transmission distribution, and supply of electricity on businesses were in no doubt grievous, adding that, it will increase MSMEs production costs and it would reduce their competitiveness in the global market.

He, therefore, called on other relevant agencies to partner in identifying the possible areas of intervention as it relates to electricity consumption protection in Nigeria.

In his paper titled “Mobilizing Stakeholders for Protection of SME Electricity Consumers Against unfair Business Practices through Enforcement of Electricity Consumers Protection Licensee Performance Standards for Job Creation and Economic Growth” the National President, Association for Public Policy Analysis (APPA-Nigeria), Comrade Princewill Okorie, said that micro, small and medium enterprises operators have continued to complain over abuse of their rights as consumers of electricity.

He further stated that the issues had affected SME operators who need electricity to carry out their production and services by hindering operations and increasing their cost of production as they resort to using generators at additional cost as well as paying unjustified exorbitant bills.

Okorie said that the unfair business practices against consumers are not abating while the expected support given to SMEs by funders is minimal.

UPDATED: Seven PDP National Officers Resign, Blame Secondus

 

Seven national officers of the Peoples Democratic Party have resigned from their roles in the party.

The party chieftains in different letters addressed to its National Secretary on Tuesday alleged being sidelined and unfairly treated by the National Chairman, Uche Secondus.

Some of the executive members include the National Deputy Publicity Secretary, Diran Odeyemi; Deputy National Organising Secretary, Hassan Yakubu; and the Deputy National Woman Leader, Hadizat Umoru.

This latest event fuels the crisis rocking the leadership of the party after a former spokesperson of the party’s presidential Campaign, Kasim Afegbua, accused the chairman and the leadership of series of offences.

Afegbua had called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in April, to probe the party’s leadership.

He visited the offices of the anti-corruption agencies to submit his petition and asked them to look into the financial transactions of Mr Secondus, in the spirit of transparency, accountability, and book-keeping, in line with the existing anti-corruption laws.

He also alleged that much of the financial transactions of the PDP under its present leadership have been shrouded in mystery and accused the leadership of a deliberate attempt to short-change the party in the build-up to the 2023 general elections.

In the petition, he asked the anti-graft agencies to scrutinise close to N10 billion that was allegedly accrued to the party’s purse from 2017 till date, especially those that were as a result of sales of nomination forms for presidential, governorship, House of Assembly, and senatorial elections.

Afegbua alleged that the national chairman avoided the use of the party’s bank accounts and used one Morufu Nigeria Limited as a conduit pipe for financial mismanagement in the sales of forms in 2019.

He, therefore, stressed the need for the party’s leadership to lead by example by ensuring transparency and accountability.

ICPC Parleys With Professional Bodies On National Ethics

ICPC Partners OAGF, BPP To Prevent Corruption In MDAs
A logo of ICPC

 

The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN has charged Professional Associations (PAs) and Business Membership Organisations (BMOs) to imbibe the 7 core values of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy (NEIP) in the discharge of their duties, as they play a pivotal role in the implementation.

Owasanoye gave this charge in his welcome address at a one-day webinar organized by the Commission titled: Creating Partnership with BMOs and PAs on the Implementation of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy.

The ICPC Boss who was represented by Hon. Board Member Mrs. Olubukola Balogun, said that the event was aimed at resuscitating the core values contained in the policy adding that so much was expected from them, as drivers of the economy, for the successful implementation and sustainability of the policy.

He encouraged PAs to make moves to enforce the ethics of their profession by punishing erring members and rewarding those found to be honest and impeccable.

He further advised participants to actively contribute to discussions so that they can play the role expected of them in the implementation of the policy.

In his opening remarks, the Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA) Dr. Garba Abari said the event was important as issues surrounding ethics and integrity in the country needed to be addressed.

READ ALSO: Abducted Zamfara College Provost Regains Freedom

He stated that the impact of collapsed values not only affected national development objectives, but also affects every aspect of our lives.

He recommended that BMOs and PAs looked hard at their code of conduct with a special focus on the ethics of their profession and ensure that it was effective and, where need be, refer to the NEIP for guidance.

Abari went further to encourage participants to apply what they would learn from the event such that every aspect of their work and life would feel a positive impact.

The NOA DG called on civil society groups, religious groups, the family and school systems to rise up to expectations so as to bring the nation back on course to ethical standards and integrity in all spheres.

The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata in a goodwill message said the NEIP was a welcome development, adding that ethics was a core strength in the NBA as the association ensures that lawyers abide by the code of the profession.

The NBA president, who was represented by Okechukwu Uzoechi, urged participants to make concerted efforts to ensure that the erosion of ethics which has risen to a worrisome level, is fixed.

Also in her goodwill message, the President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) Mrs. Comfort Olu Eyitayo, who was represented by Ifeoma Okwuosa stated that without probity and integrity, Nigeria would be in trouble.

She also revealed that ICAN was happy to be part of the event as “Accuracy and Integrity” was their motto. She, therefore, pledged that the association would continue to maintain integrity in the discharge of their duties.

The opening ceremony was followed by a technical session chaired by Hon. Board Member, ICPC, Mrs. Hannatu Mohammed. Setting the tone for discussions, she explained that the session aimed to educate the participants on the policy as well as highlight the important roles they play in building the society.

In his paper presentation titled: Overview of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy, lead presenter, Director Public Enlightenment, and Education Department of ICPC, Mr. Ashiru Baba, fsi said the policy was aimed at promoting the 7 core values and hoped that participants would imbibe them as a way of life so as to minimize corruption drastically.

He added that the policy was targeted at all Nigerians across the country and advised the participants to enforce the ethics of their profession while working closely with Anti-Corruption Agencies (ACAs) to report erring officers.

The spokesperson for the Commission, Mrs. Azuka Ogugua, was the first discussant and in her presentation titled: Workplan and Consequence Management Template of the NEIP, informed participants that the template was designed to set benchmarks for the implementation of the policy.

She also said that the template addressed pain points that hindered professionals from having integrity and prescribed incentives for compliance.

Discussing the Role of Professional Associations in the Implementation of NEIP, CEO Convention on Business Integrity, Mr. Soji Apampa, said that the implementation of the policy could not be done by ICPC alone.

He highlighted how corruption risks could be detected, to what extent, and how they can be prevented while stating that compliance and the ability to get it lay in the hands of the association and its members.

The last discussant at the event, President National Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), QS Mohammed Abba Tor, in his paper titled: Embracing NEIP: the Role of Professional Associations; Challenges and Prospects said the key challenge when it comes to policies in the code of conduct in PAs is enforcement.

The NIQS president who was represented by the Deputy President, Mr. Olayemi Shonubi, advised PAs to begin to name and shame erring officers as a deterrent for corrupt persons as well as hold their members accountable.

He also suggested that the NEIP be infused into the curriculum of institutions of learning and training academies.

The plenary session was interactive as participants sent in their questions and suggestions, and these were responded to. Some of the participants who spoke during the session include Mr. Denja Abdullahi, Engr. Olumoh Sharafadeen, Paul Anavhe, Jr. Friday Udo, etc.

Alleged N2.8bn Fraud: Court Grants Ex-Surveyor General Awudu N100m Bail

Logo of a court gavel

 

A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Maitama on Monday granted N100 million bail to the former Surveyor-General of the Federation, Ebisintei Awudu.

Awudu was arraigned before Justice Olusegun Adeniyi, on a 22-count charge of fraud.

He is accused to have awarded multiple contracts worth over N2 billion to a company in which he was a director and shareholder as well as to relation and associates.

The former Surveyor General was also said to have received over N300m as gratification from a contractor executing different contracts for the Office of Surveyor-General of the Federation.

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Upon arraignment, Awudu pleaded not guilty to all counts.

F.B Olorogun, the defendant’s counsel, urged the court to grant bail to his client.

Ruling on the application, Justice Adeniyi granted the defendant bail in the sum of N100 million. Awudu was also asked to produce a surety who must be a director-general or a permanent.

The Judge also remanded the defendant in ICPC custody pending the fulfilment of the bail conditions.  The case has been adjourned to September 13 for the commencement of trial.