Buhari Re-nominates Ibrahim Magu As EFCC Chairman

Buhari Re-nominates Ibrahim Magu As EFCC ChairmanPresident Muhammadu Buhari appears to have re-nominated Ibrahim Magu to be confirmed by the Senate as the substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).

It was gathered that the President’s letter to that effect has been received by the Senate and may be read on the floor of the upper legislative chamber on Tuesday.

The federal lawmakers had in 2016 turned down the President’s request for the confirmation of Mr. Magu who is currently the acting chairman of the anti-corruption body.

They cited security report by the Department of Security Services (DSS) which the Senate claimed indicted Mr Magu.

The decision by the Senate had been a subject of controversy as former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, had insisted that Mr Magu was not rejected by the lawmakers but his confirmation was only stepped down for further consultation with the Presidency.

The position was swiftly countered by Senate spokesman, Aliyu Abdullahi, who insisted that the acting EFCC boss had been rejected.

He insisted that the official position of the Senate remained that the lawmakers cannot confirm Mr Magu because of security reports which showed that he was not fit to be EFCC Chairman.

In July 2016, the Senate received the letter from the Presidency for the confirmation of the appointment of Magu.

The letter also sought the confirmation of Mr Ndasule Moses, Lawan Mamman, Galadanci Imam, and Adeleke Rafiu as members of the commission.

Consequently, the Upper House sent back the nomination letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on December 15, refusing to confirm Mr Magu’s appointment.

Mr Magu has been acting as the chairman of the anti-graft agency since November 2015, after President Buhari removed Mr Ibrahim Lamorde.

Yobe Governor Set To Conduct LG Polls In February

Ibrahim-GaidamThe Yobe state Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, has reiterate his commitment to hold Local Government elections in the state in February 2017.

During a meeting with the National Leadership of Inter Party Advisory Council of Nigeria (IPAC), at the Government House Damaturu, the Governor assured them that his administration would hold election on February 11, in conformity with the tenets of democracy.

The council, is in the state to create awareness on the need to ensure regular conduct of LG elections across the 36 states of the country and Abuja.

According to Gaidam, since he assumed office as the Governor of the state, he had conducted LG elections on two occasions, while the February election would be the third.

With the improved peace, the Governor said he can do more to ensure the growth and development of democracy, adding that it remains the best system of Government known to man.

According to him, the insurgency has never deterred him from developing the state as he continues to construct roads, schools, houses among others.

The National Chairman of Inter Party Advisory Council of Nigeria, Mohammed Lawal, then expressed appreciation for the Governor’s efforts in ensuring democracy at the grassroots and urged other governors across the country to emulate him.

He also praised the efforts of the president as well as security operatives for the restoration of peace in the northeast, while calling for its sustenance.

Ikpeazu Impressed With Abia Polls, Advocates Electronic Voting

 Ikpeazu Impressed With Abia Polls, Advocates Electronic VotingAbia state Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has advocated the use of electronic voting systems in the state for future elections.

He said this after commending the conduct of the electoral process of the local government election which took place on December 21.

Although reports from officials said there seemed to be lack of enthusiasm on the path of voters, asides other hitches, the governor believes the turnout was rather impressive because of the strategy put in place by the electoral umpire in the state.

“Some of the people you see around may have voted, it does not mean when you see them outside the polling booth attending to their businesses, that indicates that the turnout was not impressive.

“I think people are voting and going about their lawful duties, the method adopted by ABSIEC enables one to vote at his/her will and not to cluster in one place.

“I rather commend that going forward, even as we are voting, we can also attend to our legitimate businesses, and if we imbibe electronic voting system it will be better”.

The opposition candidate on the other hand, described the conduct of the election as a scam and called for the cancellation of the entire exercise because according to them, “ABSIEC did not adequately prepare to give Abians a free and fair election”.

A Chairmanship candidate, Nkemakolam Ogene, blamed the police and electoral umpire for the lapses, such as delay of electoral materials and even some voters began to lament that they had already been disenfranchised.

The police however countered the claims, stating that there were adequate security and personnel on ground but the people were foot dragging and slowing down the process.

Lamenting, Ogene said: “ABSIEC fixed a date for this election, they are supposed to be prepared, it is a shame to note that they are bringing the materials now and the time is about three o’clock and election is ending by four o’clock.

“Are we going to cast our votes in the night when our elders, are tired and have gone home, the only explanation given by the ABSIEC official for this gross misconduct is that he does not have adequate security but we were told that adequate security was made for this election and the official that is supposed to come here is saying that from the local government headquarters to the polling booth, there is no provision of security to escort the materials.

“So I am saying that the election should be cancelled and rescheduled because this is not an election”.

Police Commissioner, Oyebade Adeleye, refuting the statement said:

“I went there personally, I was at Ubakala, Umuahia South LGA and the recordings made can testify to it.

“The people were foot dragging and signal and body language suggest that they did not want to go on with the exercise.

“I did try to talk to them that there is security; so, that version of inadequate police is not correct,” he added.

Amidst collation of results and call by the opposition to cancel the exercise, the people are anxiously waiting to see where the tides would rest.

Senate Insists Magu Cannot Be EFCC Chairman

Ibrahim Magu, EFCC Chairman, SenateThe Nigerian Senate has maintained its position that it has rejected the confirmation of Mr Ibrahim Magu, as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The spokesman for the Upper House, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi, made the disclosure to reporters on Tuesday at the National Assembly in Abuja.

Senator Abdullahi said Nigerians should disregard comments made by any Senator or member of the public to the contrary.

He insisted that the official position of the Senate remained that the lawmakers cannot confirm Mr Magu because of security reports which showed that he was not fit to be EFCC Chairman.

In July 2016, the Senate had received the letter from the Presidency for the confirmation of the appointment of Magu.

The letter also sought the confirmation of Mr Ndasule Moses, Lawan Mamman, Galadanci Imam, and Adeleke Rafiu as members of the commission.

Consequently, the Upper House sent back the nomination letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on December 15, refusing to confirm Mr Magu’s appointment.

Mr Magu has been acting as the chairman of the anti-graft agency since November 2015, after President Buhari removed Mr Ibrahim Lamorde.

FG Should Be Blamed For EFCC Appointment Saga – Robert Clarke

FG Should Be Blamed For EFCC Appointment Saga - Robert ClarkeVeteran lawyer, Mr Robert Clarke, believes the federal government and not the Senate or the DSS should be blamed for the non-confirmation of Mr Ibrahim Magu as EFCC Chairman.

Speaking on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, Mr Clarke opined that the allegations against Mr Magu, upon which the Senate based its refusal of his nomination must have been known to the executive.

“There is no way DSS will just send a report directly to the Senate” he said, arguing that this information “passed through a conduit pipe created by the executive”.

He wondered why the Executive still went ahead to forward Magu’s name as nominee for the position when it must have received information that put his integrity under questioning.

“At that stage, why did they not hold on, call a meeting and call Magu himself and say ‘look we are going to withdraw your name’?

The Senate’s decision to reject Magu has generated controversy and Clarke believes that the embarrassment could have been avoided if the government had acted on the information and consequently prevented it from reaching the Senate.

He, however, believes that the revelation might not be a valid basis upon which corruption cases handled under Mr Magu’s leadership of the EFCC should be brought into disrepute.

The Senate has come out to say that it has not totally rejected Mr Ibrahim Magu but has only sent documents back to the executive. This Mr Clarke described as a case of “half a dozen and six”.

“Whichever language you use, it amounts to rejection. If I send a paper to you for approval and you say ‘I’m not rejecting your paper but I am not going to approve it. I will send it back to you’, what does that mean?

“It’s just the same thing. They have rejected him; let us be honest about it,” he said.

 

Magu’s Confirmation: Conspiracy Between DSS And Senate Is Appalling – CACOL

Magu's Confirmation: Conspiracy Between DSS And Senate Is Appalling - CACOLThe Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, has described the Senate’s non-conformation of Mr. Ibrahim Magu as the substantive EFCC Chairman, based on what was described as a ‘security report’ from the Department of State Services (DSS) as appalling and ridiculous.

CACOL reiterated its position on the lingering debacle in a statement by its Executive Chairman, Debo Adeniran on Saturday.

Media reports have listed the ‘infringements’ purportedly committed by the EFCC boss to include; Magu’s arrest, detention and suspension by the Police, that the sum of N40m was paid for renting an apartment, which costs N20m per annum; possession of official EFCC documents in his private residence during the period Farida Waziri was the EFCC boss amongst others.

The group, however, believes that there is more to this than meets the eye.

The statement reads: “Without prejudice to the veracity or otherwise of these “infringements”, we insist that what is really at the background of the debacle is the reality that the Senate knows Magu’s salts and the fact that he is worth it!

“The Senate as presently constituted from the leadership to the rank and file members, is peopled by deeply corrupt elements that deserve no space in such a quintessential Arm of government in a democracy that it is fledging.

“We find it utterly ridiculous that it is at this point that the DSS is just coming up with so-called infringements after about a year of Magu superintending over an Agency of government that is so central to the anti-corruption drive of our country.

“Clearly, there is the auspicious need for Nigerians to really take back their country from a political class that is hell-bent on imposing and spreading the virus called corruption in the polity. Their effrontery in fighting back given the ‘anti-corruption mode of the people’ now knows no limits.

“Our take is that, we, collectively and urgently need to rescue our country; regain our respect within the comity nations to a large extent. A fundamental thing we must realize is that the fight against corruption is actually about sustaining a national consensus that will focus on our strong desire to sanitize our country.

“The point is that, at some time as people, we forget our goals and focus on frivolities at the expense whatever gains of what we consciously describe as ‘anti-corruption mode of the people’ that has recently activated in the country.

“Let’s get serious, we must recognize the inevitable need to own the anti-corruption drive and raising the bars regardless of the occupiers of power at any point, we cannot afford let down the guard. The consequences of corruption need not be over-emphasized, for our socio-economic reality says it all.

The DSS and Senate’s current connivance over Magu betrays conscious mischief and conspiracy if the last time the DSS carried out a ‘sting operation on corrupt judges and the fire and brimstones that came from the Senate were anything to take serious at all.

“It is important to state that we understand perfectly the imperatives of holding ‘principle of separation of powers’ in constitutional democracy as sacred! But won’t we be engaging in national tomfoolery if we pretend not understand what is at stake on this issue?

“We must always be circumspective and objective when some of these ‘conflicts’ within a ruling class that has overtime established themselves as incurably greedy props up. What actually, constitute our priorities if we indeed profess to anti-corruption and the effort to rid our country of the virus of corruption that is so deeply seated in our system as whole?

“The truth is, if mischief was not involved, why would the DSS submit the so-called damning report to the Senate, rather than begin where they should have begun? For crying out loud, the head of the DSS sits on the Board of the Commission of EFCC as constitutionally required by the Act that established the agency i.e. EFCC Establishment Act 2004!

“Again, why would such a sensitive report on someone who has occupied such a sensitive position for about one year be delayed till this time? What sort of security apparatus will so wickedly wait till now while our country was at such ‘grievous’ risk before releasing these apparently manufactured allegations against Magu?

“If the allegations were true, it only tells a lot about the kind of people who the country has put its security in charge of. We need serious introspection on this disgraceful attitude which we consider as punishable under the code of conduct of intelligence and security agencies and personnel.

“Magu, who chairs the board and other members were obviously open to scrutiny and must have been subjected to same logically given the sensitivity of their designated roles as security and intelligence agents.

“The open rivalry amongst the security agencies has once again reared its ugly and embarrassing head in the present debacle which we need to take serious note of. It’s truism that even the DSS is required to report to a higher hierarchy in our security system, making it compulsory for the Service to report to the office of the National Security Adviser.

“The Service and all other security agencies must not be seen to be partakers in the self-serving ways of the political class.

1 By the Act that established the EFCC, the board of the commission consists of the following members,

(A)          A chairman, who shall-

(1)      Be the Chief Executive and Accounting officers of the Commission

(2)   Be a serving or retired member of any government security or law enforcement agency not below the rank of Assistance Commissioner of police or equivalent, and

(3)   Posses not less than 15years cognate experience

(B)       The Governor of the Central Bank or his representative, and

(C)       A representative each of the following federal Ministries

                (1) Foreign Affairs,

                (2) Finance,

                (3) Justice,

(D) The Chairman National Drug Law Enforcement Agency or his representative,

(E) The Director General of-

(1) The National Intelligence Agency

(2) The Department of State Security Services or his representative,

(F) The Registrar- General of the corporate Affairs Commission or his Representative

(G) The director general, Securities and Exchange Commission or his representative,

(H) The Managing Director, Nigeria-Deposit Insurance Corporation or his representative

(I) The Commissioner for Insurance or his representative,

(J) The Postmaster-General of the Nigerian Postal services or his representative,

(K)  The Chairman, Nigerian Communication Commission or his representative

(L) The Comptroller –General, Nigerian Customs Services or his representative,

(M) The Comptroller-General Nigeria, Immigration Services or his representative

(N) A inspector General of Police or his representative,

(O) Four eminent Nigerians with cognate experience in any of the following that is finance, banking and accounting, and

(P) The secretary to the commission who shall be the head of administration

  1. The members of the Commission, other than the Chairman and the Secretary shall be part times members
  2. The chairman and members of the Commission other than ex-officio members shall be appointed by the President and appointment shall be subject to the confirmation of the senate.

“The above should be instructive enough to expose the present mischief for the undiscerning to see and for the need for us all to remain vigilant as corruption fight backs.

“We once again, call for the resignation of Mr. Bukola Saraki as the Senate President given the plethora of corruption cases he is indicted for. He lacks the moral grounds and integrity to occupy such a national space which should be sacredly reserved for leaders who are men of honour.

“We hasten to remind us not to quickly forget the melodramatics that has been orchestrated by the present Senate; these includes how they mobilized themselves in embarrassingly large numbers to queue behind an individual that till the moment has not proven his innocence at the Code of Conduct Tribunal over the corruption charges hanging around his neck.

“The strange term ‘budget-padding’ also came into our national lexicon within the life span of the present NASS so far with the manner the budget 2016 was handled.

“And it is the same Senate that have brazenly utilized different crooked means of causing confusion to achieve the bid to shield themselves from scrutiny while tactically escaping the jaws of justice. It is the same attitude that is responsible for the several attempts to strip the people of their fundamental human right to expression via their yet-to-be discarded idea to shut down the social media.

“Oppressors and corrupt elements are never comfortable with transparency, public accountability and probity and that is what is fundamental about this unnecessary ‘confusion’.

“We must collectively demand that the Senate fulfils its duty as dictated by the constitution. We must look beyond the parochial lens of the so-called friction said to be existing within the different arms of government.

“We do not need to pander to obviously corrupt ways of the ruling class to guarantee that independence of each arm of government is not abused and for checks and balances in governance not be jeopardized.

“It is about our country, we dare say that, it is much more beyond the antics of the present occupiers of the corridors of power including President Muhammadu Buhari, his party, the APC and others.

“Let us take back Nigeria now, it is our country!”

Ezeala Highlights Key Aspects Of Judicial Reforms

Ezeala Highlights Key Aspects Of Judicial ReformsA legal practitioner, Mr Chukwuma Ezeala, has joined in the call for the reform of the Nigerian judiciary as well as highlighted key aspects that need to be improved in the sector.

Ezeala who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme Sunrise Daily, believes that the wrought in the system needs to be addressed.

He also believes that the 100 billion Naira budget for the sector in the 2017 budget is coming at the right time as the sector needs to move to the next level.

“Considering the problems we have in the Judiciary, considering the constant demand for funding, it will certainly make a little difference but I think we should do more.

Outlining some of the outstanding requirements of the Judiciary, he said: “we have a lot of challenges today, we have a lot of people being taken to the judiciary, we need to appoint more judges, we need to improve the court rooms.

According to him, “when you get into the court, you see that a lot of people are hanging outside.

“We need more court rooms, more buildings for the courts, we need to make them a bit more comfortable.

“If we are fighting corruption, where would we start, if not making that area a bit more comfortable, more friendly.

Pointing out the fact that Judges are still writing in long hand, Ezeala stressed the need to employ more people.

He also believes that another problem which might hinder the speedy development of the sector is how much would actually be released.

“You know the performance of our budget depends on how much they are ready to release,” Ezeala posited.

Imo Residents Protest Prolonged Crisis At FMC Owerri

Imo Residents Protest Prolonged Crisis At FMC OwerriConcerned residents have taken to the streets of Owerri, the Imo state capital, to call on various interest groups at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), to give peace a chance.

For over a year, the medical centre has been plunged into what seems to be unending controversy and disagreement between the management and the workers.

The prolonged crisis is over the recall of the medical director of the institution, who the workers say they no longer feel comfortable with.

Now, a group of Imo citizens are intervening in the crisis, calling on all concerned to sheath their sword.

fmc3Leader of the protesters, Mr Princewill Okowe, said the FMC Owerri “was set up for the benefits of the Imo people and not unionists and for over one year, the people that claim to be unionists have made the FMC not to function normally”.

According to o him, “the Federal Medical Centre is the only federal tertiary health institution we have in Imo state”.

“If that centre is messed up, any health challenge at the level of tertiary health care, will mean that the Imolites would have to travel to other states to access tertiary health care and that wouldn’t met with the good welfare of our people,” he stressed.

Financial Misappropriation

The institution’s MD, Mrs Angela Uwakwem, was arraigned by the Economic and Finanacial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on an 18 count charge, bordering on financial misappropriation and embezzlement to the tune of 242 million Naira.

This followed a petition by the (Joint Health Sector Union) JOHESU Of the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri.

Counsel to the EFCC, Mainforce Ekwu, alleged that according to the petition, Mrs Uwakwem, conspired with one Mr Emmanuel Ajayi, to inflate the price of medical equipment bought for the centre.

The accused on the other hand, pleaded not guilty to the 18 count charge leveled against her.

Mimiko Advises Akeredolu To Sustain Peace In Ondo

Mimiko Advises Akeredolu To Sustain Peace In OndoOndo state governor, Olusegun Mimiko, has appealed to governor-elect, Rotimi Akeredolu ‎to be tolerant in power in order to sustain the peaceful atmosphere in the state.

Governor Mimiko stated this while the governor-elect paid him a courtesy visit at the governor’s office in Akure, the state capital. .

On his part, Mr Akeredolu said that the essence of his visit is to work with the government in preparation for ‎the transition.

Mimiko had promised to facilitate a smooth transition from his administration to that Akeredolu.

“It is incumbent upon me as Governor to facilitate a smooth transition between my government and the incoming one. I will, to this end, provide the ambience for a smooth and seamless transition process”.

While promising to continue to provide leadership to the State till the takeover date, Mimiko expressed his appreciation to the people of the State.

rotimi-akeredolu
Ondo state Governor-elect, Rotimi Akeredolu

Akeredolu had also promised that there would be no inter-party division during his administration.

According to him, “my victory at the polls is not for me or for my party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), but for the entire people of the State, no matter their political divide.

While the governor-elect describe his victory as a manifestation of God’s power, he also stated that he would like to focus on the mandate rather than probe the past government.

Senate Rejects Nomination Of Magu As EFCC Chairman

EFCC, Senate, MaguThe Nigerian Senate has refused to grant confirmation to the nomination of Ibrahim Magu as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Explaining the reason behind the decision, the Senate said that security report available to it showed that Mr Magu is not fit to be chairman of the body.

In this regard, the lawmakers have sent back his nomination letter to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Addressing journalists at the National Assembly, Senate Spokesman, Aliyu Abdullahi said that based on security reports, the Senate cannot proceed to confirm the acting EFCC Chairman.

“Based on security reports available to the Senate, the Senate cannot proceed to confirm Mr Magu, consequently, the Senate rejects the nomination and returns the nomination to President Buhari,” he said.

Shortly after the Senate spokesman briefed journalists, the acting EFCC Chairman was seen hurriedly leaving the National Assembly complex.

With the Senate throwing back the nomination of the Mr Magu back to President Buhari, it is not clear at this point what the President’s action would be.

Nevertheless, the Senate President went ahead to welcome and swear in three lawmakers from Rivers state; Senators Magnus Abe, George Sekibo and Osinakachukwu Ideozu who emerged winners in a highly contested and violent senatorial election.

The body language from the Senate had suggested that the confirmation of Mr Magu is not as straightforward as it would seem as the confirmation was postponed twice.

In July 2016, the Senate had received the letter from the Presidency for the confirmation of the appointment of Magu.

The letter also sought the confirmation of Mr Ndasule Moses, Lawan Mamman, Galadanci Imam, and Adeleke Rafiu as members of the commission.

Mr Magu replaced former EFCC boss, Ibrahim Lamorde in Acting capacity in November 2015, after the former Chairman was removed by President Buhari.

He is an Assistant Commissioner of Police and was also one of the deputies of the former EFCC boss.

Alleged Fraud: EFCC Re-Arraigns Former Oyo Governor Ladoja

Alleged Fraud: EfCC Re-Arraigns Former Oyo Governor LadojaA former governor of Oyo state, Rashidi Ladoja, has been re-arraigned in court over fraud allegations.

He is charged alongside one Waheed Akanbi, of graft worth 4.7 billion Naira eight years after they were first arraigned.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the 8-count charge and asked the court to allow them continue with the bail conditions granted to them in 2008.

In the charge, the EFCC had alleged that the duo conspired to convert properties and resources derived from an illegal act, with the intention of concealing their illicit origin.

The anti-graft agency also alleged that ex-Governor Ladoja used 42 million naira out of the proceeds to purchase an Armoured Land Cruiser SUV, and remitted about £600,000 to one, Bimpe Ladoja in London.

However, the counsel to the EFCC, Mr Oluwafemi Olabisi, asked the court to fix a date for the commencement of trial.

In its ruling, the court held that it could not deny the defendants bail, before adjourning till February 14, 2017 to begin trial.

Buhari Commissions Naval Ships In Lagos

Buhari Visits Lagos To Commission Naval ShipsPresident Muhammadu Buhari, has commissioned three war ships and 27 patrol boats at the Nigerian Naval Dockyard, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The president who touched down at the presidential wing of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport just before noon on Thursday, was received by the state Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

One of the war ships commissioned was said to have been imported while the two others were built locally.

Buhari was accompanied on the visit by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola and army chiefs as well as the Police.

The president’s visit is coming 24 hours after presenting a 7.298 trillion Naira 2017 budget to the joint session of the national assembly in Abuja.