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Rice Importation Scam: EFCC To Arraign Customs Chiefs

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Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is set to arraign, this week, Nigeria Customs’ Chiefs who have been fingered in the N3 billion rice importation scam by the Vaswani brothers.

Former Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Ahmed Bello, and two other comptrollers, Hanatu Sulaiman, and Olufemi Taylor, have been mentioned in the scam.

A reliable source told newsmen that the commission has concluded its investigation and charges prepared to nail the customs officers.

EFCC chairman, Farida Waziri, had recently confirmed that the commission was hard on the case and that it would not delay in prosecuting those found liable as soon as investigation was concluded.

In her words, “every one of them found liable will be prosecuted as anyone who breaches the law will face the music. No one is above the law.”

The EFCC boss had maintained that the investigation took a long time because the case was a very complicated one.

According to her, the Vaswani Brothers own a conglomerate which the commission has to investigate in the case.

She added that the EFCC has discovered in the course of the investigation that the Stallion Group of Companies owned by the brothers did not only dodge import duty, but also evaded tax.

It would be recalled that the EFCC arrested Suleiman and Taylor in March for allegedly conspiring with the Stallion Group to defraud the Federal Government of N3 billion in import duty from the importation of rice.

The two comptrollers had mentioned the former CG, Bello, for allegedly ordering the release of the rice to the Vaswani brothers after the customs service had seized the consignment and given the importer a bill of N3 billion.

The ex-custom boss was also quizzed by the EFCC in March over his role in the release of the consignment without duty.

Chairman, Board of Directors, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Chief Ebitimi Banigo (left), Regional Manager, Port Harcourt Airport, Omagwa, Mr. Uche Nwanguma (centre) and the Head of FAAN secuirty, Mr. S.O. Odugbemi during the visit of the board to the airport, recently. Photo: Ike Wigodo

Chairman, Board of Directors, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Chief Ebitimi Banigo (left), Regional Manager, Port Harcourt Airport, Omagwa, Mr. Uche Nwanguma (centre) and the Head of FAAN secuirty, Mr. S.O. Odugbemi during the visit of the board to the airport, recently. Photo: Ike Wigodo

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Bello’s Gunmen After My Life, Family -Kogi Dep Gov

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Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Elder Simon Achuba yesterday alleged that the governor of the state has sent gunmen after his life.
Acbuba called on the inspector General of Police, the Department of State Services (DSS), the Army and other security personnel to safeguard his life, family members and his aides.
Achuba, who spoke with newsmen at his official residence in Lokoja said, “From all information at my disposal, the governor has mobilised gunmen to attack me.
“I want the police, SSS, IGP to know that if anything should happen to me, my family and aides, the governor should be held responsible.”
The deputy governor likewise called on the President to beam his searchlight on the state.

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LGAs Responsible For Farmers, Herdsmen Clashes In Nigeria -UN

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Zebulon Takwa, Peace and Development Adviser, Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, says poor Local Government administration is largely responsible for farmers-herdsmen clashes in Nigeria
Takwa, who gave the position in an interview with newsmen yesterday in Abuja, expressed concerns over “weak operational structures at the local government level’’.
He said that issues that were supposed to be addressed by local administration authority were left unattended to over a long period.
The UN official noted that most of the issues that escalated to crises ought to have been resolved at the local level by the authorities, traditional and religious leaders.
He decried the situation where structures for such prompt amicable settlement were not effective enough to prevent conflicts.
Takwa condemned the situation where most local government officials migrated to urban centres instead of concentrating on their primary responsibilities of settling crises, developing infrastructure and social amenities, among others.

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Reprisal Killing: Taraba Police, Tiv, Junkun Differ On Casualities

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The Police Command in Taraba State has said that only one individual was killed in what appeared to be a revenge for the alleged murder of a Junkun man yesterday.
While the Tiv claimed that no fewer than nine of their kinsmen were killed in Takum town, Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State on Tuesday, the Police said the figure was not true.
Takum is the hometown of Governor DariusIshaku who turned 65 today.
Multiple sources in Takum said trouble started yesterday morning when a Jukun man was killed on his farm along Takum-Wukari road, and irate Jukun youths in Takum went on the rampage, killing at least eight people in the town.
A resident of Takum, Mr. Nathaniel Jato, in a telephone interview with our Correspondent said the eight people killed in Takum town were all Tiv resident in the town.
“We counted at least eight dead bodies around General Hospital Junction and Zenith Bank around the Wukari roundabout.
“We were told that many people were killed around Rimi Primary school area, but there is tension, so we can’t go there.
“The Caretaker Chairman of Takum Local Government Council, ShibanTikari, has assured us that the situation will not escalate, but I am afraid the situation might degenerate if adequate security measures are not put in place,” he lamented.
Jato, who said there was threat that their houses would be attacked in the night, called on Governor Darius Ishaku and security authorities to quickly restore peace in the area to pave way for proper investigation of the matter.

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