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‘We Stopped EFCC From Planting Foreign Currency In Ambode’s House’ …EFCC Denies Claim

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Three lawyers who claimed to have witnessed EFCC’s raid on the Epe residence of former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode yesterday, alleged that they stopped the anti-graft officials from “planting foreign currency” in the house.
The lawyers – Fatai Adebanjo, Busari Olanrewaju and Samson Okuneye – in a joint statement yesterday, said operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission wanted to stop them (lawyers) from being a part of the search.
They said the operatives allowed them into the house after they had engaged them in arguments.
The counsels added that the EFCC officers seized their phones before the tour of the house began.
In the statement, the lawyers said, “Before they entered, we searched all the officials of the EFCC who intended to go in for the search.
“There was a blue bag which they were holding with them.
“We requested to see the content of the bag before they could take it in.
“They got angry and said we could not see the content.
“Having said that, we strongly resisted them from taking it in since they would not allow us to see it; they later agreed.
“We later got to know that the bag contained foreign currency which they brought to plant in the house of the ex-governor to incriminate him.”
The lawyers noted that the operatives, while collecting their phones, had insisted that only one of their (EFCC) men would record the process with a phone.
They claimed that in the end, nothing incriminating was found in Ambode’s house except some documents, including the State Executive Exco Meetings Volumes 1-16.
The counsel explained that the anti-graft officers were stopped from taking the documents away because they refused to take records of the items.
“We followed them as they entered from one place to the other.
“When our presence was intimidating them, they said we should sit down while they do the search.
“We insisted that we must follow them to observe every of their activities on the premises.
“To our greatest consternation, the officials of the EFCC, led by Rotimi Oyedepo, Esq, held on to our phones and told us to follow them to their office in Ikoyi to get our phones.
“All efforts to get back our phones were abortive, as the officials rushed into their white Hiace bus with our phones and instructed that since we had resisted their efforts to take the said blue bag into the main premises of the ex-governor, they would hold on to the phones.
“Thus, almost six phones were forcefully taken away, iPhones inclusive,” the statement added.
The lawyers claimed that their presence throughout the search stopped the EFCC from incriminating Ambode “with the blue bag they brought with them from an unknown destination.”
They said they were ready to challenge the legality of the search on the residence.
Leader of the EFCC operatives, Oyedepo, when contacted by our Correspondent, said the Commission would “resolve the matter” and issue a formal statement on the allegation.
“But I want to assure you that nothing like that happened,” Rotimi Oyedepo said.
In its reaction to the claim by the lawyers, the commission yesterday denied the allegations, saying there was no attempt to plant currencies in Ambode’s house.
In a statement by its Head, Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren denied the allegations.
The statement reads: The attempt by Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to execute a search warrant on the residence of a former Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode was on Tuesday August 20, 2019 resisted by hoodlums loyal to the governor.
“The thugs attacked the Operatives and vandalized their vehicle.
“The Commission had obtained valid warrant to conduct search on Ambode’s residences in Park View, Ikoyi and country home in Epe, as part of ongoing investigation of alleged malfeasance.
“However, the Commission’s operatives were attacked and prevented from executing the search warrant in Epe by irate youths who injured three officers and damaged EFCC official vehicle.
“The attack was totally unprovoked as the Commission’s operatives were civic and did not molest anybody.
“The Commission, therefore, frowns at the attempt to manipulate the video of the search to create the wrong impression that officers of the agency molested residents at the Epe home of the governor.
“It is also not true that the search, was an attempt to plant foreign currencies in the home of the former governor.”
Meanwhile, the attempt by Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to execute a search warrant on the residence of a former Governor of Lagos State, AkinwunmiAmbode was yesterday, August 20, 2019, resisted by hoodlums loyal to the governor.
The Head, Media, and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement revealed that the thugs attacked the Operatives and vandalized their vehicle.
“The Commission had obtained a valid warrant to conduct a search on Ambode’s residences in Park View, Ikoyi and country home in Epe, as part of an ongoing investigation of alleged malfeasance.

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SPDC, Belemaoil Resolve Dispute Over OML 25 …Resume Operations In 10 Days

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with its joint venture partners, Shell Production Development Company, has resolved the protracted dispute with Belemaoil over the operation of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 25.
The feuding group at the signing of the dispute closure agreement in Abuja, yesterday, agreed that operations at the oil well would take off in the next 10 days.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Silva, while signing the agreement, thanked all the parties for their understanding, stressing that the step signified the beginning of a new chapter in the industry.
Silva said that the aim of the ministry was to ensure an oil industry that worked and operated in harmony and in unity.
“When I came into the office, the issue was one of the problems that came on the table; there were so many letters from communities complaining about the problem.
“I just decided to invite Shell to hear its own part of the story but fortunately, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, had intervened in the matter.
“So, I have the honour now to thank him for this great intervention.
“And also thank Shell and Belemaoil for cooperating to ensure that there is closure on this matter that has bedevilled the industry for so long,” he said.
He said that one of the aims of the petroleum industry was to ensure zero loss in the industry and that production got to its destination.
He said that the biggest beneficiaries of the agreement were not the companies but the communities, especially those in Belema who had been suffering since the beginning of the dispute.
The minister commended the NNPC, Shell and the Belemaoil for agreeing to resolve the dispute.
Earlier, Kyari had said that the development was a big achievement for the corporation.
The NNPC boss said that the dispute around the OML 25 had been on for over two years, adding that the end result was that communities lacked peace.
“For us, the most important aspect of the dispute resolution is that, at least, the communities will have their peace restored.
“At the back of it, you are aware that there is a complete stoppage of petroleum operations around the OML 25 and adjoining blocks.
“What this means is shut down of production of over 35,000 barrel of oil every day in the last two years, and that is an enormous economic loss for all stakeholders, Nigeria and the communities.
“This is why we engaged all stakeholders and we are happy to announce today that the closure on the issue has been obtained”, he added.
He, therefore, directed SPDC to return to full operation of the OML 25 within the next 10 days, and urged the communities to cooperate with the government and SPDC to ensure that the benefits of crude oil production in the area get to all stakeholders, including the people.

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Kwara Gov Appoints 26-Year-Old NYSC Member Commissioner

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Kwara State Governor, Abdul Rahman Abdul Razaq has forwarded the names of four women to the State House of Assembly as commissioner-nominees, including a 26-year-old Joana Nnazua Kolo from Edu Local Government Area of the state.
Rafiu Ajakaye, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, made the announcement in a statement yesterday afternoon.
Abdul Razaq also nominated a former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the FBN Mortgages Limited, a subsidiary of the First Bank, Mrs. Folashade Omoniyi, as the new Chairperson of the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS). She would succeed Prof. Murtala Awodun whose tenure expires soon.
Omoniyi, who holds a bachelor of engineering from the University of Ilorin and Masters of Business Administration from Obafemi Awolowo University, has many years of leadership experience in the banking sector, marketing, information communication technology, and business management.
She has executive education in positive leadership from Michigan Ross Executive Education (USA); Market Driving Strategies from London Business School (UK); Strategic Uses of Information Technology from Stanford Business School (USA); and Senior Management Programme (SMP18) from the Lagos Business School (Nigeria).
Omoniyi is from Irepodun local government area of the state.
Miss Kolo, the youngest commissioner-nominee in the state’s history, is a 2018 graduate of Library Science from the Kwara State University (KWASU). A grassroots mobiliser, Miss Kolo is an ardent advocate of community development.
If confirmed, she would be Nigeria’s youngest commissioner, taking the trophy from Oyo State’s 27-year-old Oluwaseun Fakorede.
Miss Kolo is still participating in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)programme in Jigawa, where she is teaching at Model Boarding Junior Secondary School Guri. Her screening for the cabinet seat would hold after she rounds off her NYSC service in the next two weeks.
The three other nominees are professionals and grassroots politicians: Mrs Sa’adatu Modibbo-Kawu; Arinola Fatimoh Lawal; and Aisha Ahman Pategi, according to a correspondence Abdul Razaq forwarded to the House and read at the Tuesday plenary by the Speaker, Rt. Honourable Salihu Yakubu Danladi.
A 1997 graduate of Economics from the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Mrs Modibbo-Kawu also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Ilorin and various certificates from Penn Foster Career School Scranton in the United States and Metropolitan School of Business and Management in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. A member of several professional bodies like the Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria and Nigeria Institute of Management, she is a co-founder of a number of schools and learning centres.
She is married to the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission, Ishaq Modibbo-Kawu and would be representing Ilorin South in the cabinet if her nomination scales through the House of Assembly.
Arinola Fatimoh Lawal, a 1993 graduate of Catering and Hotel Management from the Kwara State Polytechnic, is a top-rated player in Nigeria’s hospitality industry with experience as chief executive officer of several firms including Batool Nigeria Limited, Mohbalamira Nigeria Limited and MirMira Enterprise.
Hajia Lawal, who was a member of the Kwara State Transition Committee in 2019, is a daughter of former Kwara State Governor Mohammed Lawal from Ilorin East local government. Her skills cover project management, tourism and hospitality, change management, and Risk Management. A grassroots mobiliser with effective leadership skills and emotional intelligence, the nominee is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Kwara State.
A scion of one of Kwara’s oldest political families, nominee Aisha Ahman-Pategi is a professional business manager with over 20 years’ experience in communication strategy, investment/financial consulting, and marketing and motivational leadership. She is a serial entrepreneur known for a contagious passion for excellence and innovation with great resource skills in research, government and relations.
Ms Ahman-Pategi was educated at the School of Remedial Studies and FASS-International Relations in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State in 1996; Agent and Broker License Barney Fletcher School, in Atlanta GA, USA in 2004; Capstone Institute of Mortgage Finance, also in Atlanta in 2006; Stanford University, Stanford California where she obtained a certificate in Political Science (Data Analysis) in 2013; Bachelor of Art – Mass Communication from Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma; and MBA Business Administration from American Inter-Continental University, Dunwoody GA.
Aisha was Sales Manager for J&S Auto Sales Decatur, GA 30082 before founding A-Line Realty SMYRNA, GA 30082 in 2004 as the President and Managing Broker. The agency serves more than 300 clients by providing financial planning, asset management, commercial and residential real estate transactions.

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100 Days In Office: Wike Commissions GCDC, Seabed Model School

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In line with his commitment to empower youths through vocational training, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has revived the Government Craft Development Centre, Port Harcourt, bringing the training facility back on stream as part of his first 100 days for his second term.
Commissioning the rebranded school, yesterday, in Port Harcourt, Wike said that technical and vocational training remains one of the surest ways of reaching out to thousands of Rivers youths.
Wike announced that the state government has contracted Julius Berger to construct standard training workshops for the education of the students.
“We must develop middle level manpower. That is why we have repositioned this school to groom technicians in the state.
“We have contracted Julius Berger to equip the workshops with standard training machines. Our children must get the best training facility”, he said.
He warned the principal against hiring out the school’s facilities to outsiders, explaining that the principal would be sanctioned.
The Mayor of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, Hon Victor Ihunwo said the governor has performed exceptionally in the education sector.
He commended the Rivers State governor for reviving the dead institution and placing it on the platform to empower Rivers youths.
Principal of Government Craft Development Centre, Mr China Ameka appreciated the governor for considering it necessary to rebuild the centre into a standard institution for teaching and learning towards human capital development aimed at empowering the youths.
In his remarks, Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Ehie Edison said Governor Nyesom Wike has continued to showcase Rivers State as the best in terms of infrastructural development.
He said the revived institution would help in reducing crime in the society as youths would be equipped with the right skills to be self-reliant.
Member representing Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency, Hon Dumnamene Dekor described the project as a quantum leap to give the best to Rivers youths.
He said Rivers State was the only state in the country where several projects have been rolled out for the first 100 days, adding that the governor has proved himself as a lover of Rivers people.
The Permanent Secretary of Rivers State Bureau of Special Projects, Sunny Okere, noted that the project was designed to ensure that Rivers youths get the best technical education.
He said all the key Workshops have been primed to train the youths in the right skills.
Similarly, in his commitment to the creation of access to quality basic education, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, last Monday, commissioned the reconstructed and remodeled Sea-Bed Model Primary School, Port Harcourt.
The school is one of the 253 schools upgraded and expanded by Wike in the last four years.
The Sea-Bed Model Primary School, Port Harcourt, was delivered as part of the governor’s first 100 days in office for his second term.
Commissioning the school, Wike assured Rivers people that he would continue to uplift the standard of education in the state through critical interventions.
He said: “We shall continue to engage in human capital development. And the best way to engage in human capital development is to fund educational development”.
Wike announced that the state government has awarded contracts for the construction of 69 primary and basic education schools across the state.
“We are awarding contracts for the construction of 69 primary and basic education schools for the expansion of the frontiers of education.
“These projects will be handled by people of Rivers State, who will be empowered in the process of executing the projects”, he said.
He said that the Rivers State Government would continue to develop the education sector as a way of securing the future of Rivers State.
The governor reiterated the abolition of fees and levies for all primary and secondary schools in the state.
He said: “We shall sanction any school administrator or principal that collects any type of fee. We have made provision for the funding of all schools in the state”.
Wike said that while other states celebrated their first 100 days through press conferences, the Rivers State Government has continued to deliver projects to the people.
In a project description, the Permanent Secretary of Bureau of Special Projects, Mr Sunny Okere said that the school was remodeled and expanded, adding that the new school now has computer laboratory, e-library, new classrooms and a generator house.
In his remarks, Chairman of Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board, Ven Fyneface Akah said that this was the first time the school was witnessing upgrade after 106 years of existence.
Mrs Inko-Tariah of Christ Church thanked the Rivers State governor for delivering on his promise to the church.
He said that the project is a testament that Wike was a man of his words.

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