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Akingbola To Forfeit N626bn, 8 Houses, Others – EFCC

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The Mareva order granted against the wanted former Group Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank Plc, Mr. Erastus Akingbola, would see him forfeiting, temporarily, to the Federal Government, about N626 billion, eight houses, nine companies and 12 bank accounts.

This is even as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) again sealed off his property at 2, Bedwell Road Ikoyi, Lagos on Wednesday.

Commission’s spokesperson, Mr. Femi Babafemi, confirmed the sealing off of the property.

The Mareva order issued by a London court and a federal high court sitting in Lagos covered all his properties worldwide.

All the items listed by the commission were covered by the order.

His property at 12, Ruxcon Road, Ikoyi, Lagos was sealed off on Tuesday which signaled the commencement of the execution of the Mareva order.

In the Mareva sum contained in the order, N346 billion was listed in local currency while 1,085,575 British pounds was also listed as alleged proceeds of crime.

The order restrained Akingbola and members of his family from coming in contact with the said property until it is lifted.

In the schedule 11 of the order, assets listed included, property at Milverton Road, Ikoyi, 26, Chester Terrace London, 8 Connaugh Street, London, 65 Gove-End Road, London, Amazing Grace Plaza, Ligali Ayorinde Street, Victoria Island among others.

Companies listed in the order included Tropics Securities, Tropics Property, Tropics Holdings, Summit Finance Company, Tropics Finance and Investment Company, Yankuri Nigeria Ltd, Regal Investment, Bankinson Nigerian Ltd and Associated Discount House Ltd among others.

Some of the bank accounts included accounts with numbers 0001200000029420, 0001210000005334, 0111-001-000352735 and 0111-001000- 352745 domiciled with Intercontinental Bank.

Fifteen cars and five dogs were found on the property sealed off on Tuesday.

In the property listed in his name in the court order, he is said to own 10 properties in Ikoyi ansd Victoria Island, Lagos alone.

The commission’s guards now watch over the seized property.

It was also gathered that the commission’s chairman, Mrs Farida Waziri had written to all banks where Akingbola has accounts for the transfer of same to the government.

Other banks where he has accounts included Access Bank, Zenith Bank, Skye Bank, Fidelity Bank and Intercontinental U.K.

Security agencies abroad where Akingbola has properties and bank accounts, had also been contacted for the same measure of treatment for the former banker.

While the Lagos order was granted on the last day of 2009, the London court had granted its, on 23rd December, 2009.

Some of the assets to also be frozen were Nos 17, 18, 19, 20 on Finchey Road, London as well as the property located at 26, Chesire Terrace, London.

Properties said to have been owned by him in Accra, Ghana and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, were also listed for forfeiture.

The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Oceanic Bank, Mr. John Aboh, has said the bank concluded staff rationalisation exercise December last year, stressing that it has no plan to sack any of his workers in the new year.

Speaking against the backdrop of insinuations that the bank had carried out fresh disengagement of staff, Aboh explained that it was unfounded and a premeditated attempt by people to derail the consistent progress being recorded by the bank.

According to him, last year rationalisation was to drive operational efficiency in the organisation, noting that it had become imperative to alert customers and shareholders on true situation.

“I urge our esteemed customers, shareholders, and the entire banking public to disregard such reports. Oceanic Bank is making steady progress with its recovery efforts and the trends before us show promising prospects and enhanced value creation for all stakeholders.”

The Oceanic Bank boss explained that prior to the bank’s staff rationalisation exercise, the bank was expending over N4 billion monthly on salaries and wages to a workforce of over 20,000 people.

“We had to implement the painful process of staff rationlisation to streamline the workforce along the line of the current business realities otherwise we will be deploying depositors’ funds to sustain the bloated workforce. The vision we have is to grow the business to ensure consistent value creation for our customers and shareholders.”

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June 12: DSS Issues Stern Warning Against Protest

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has warned individuals and groups planning to stage protests on June 12, Democracy Day, to desist from any violent or disruptive actions.
The warning was contained in a statement signed by the Director of Public Relations and Strategic Communications, DSS, Dr Peter Afunanya, yesterday.
The Service said it has received intelligence on plans to incite violence and disrupt public order during the protests.
The security agency vowed to maintain public safety and national security and urged citizens to resist any persuasions to engage in lawless acts.
The DSS also encouraged disgruntled persons to channel their grievances through appropriate channels and procedures.
Afunanya said: “The attention of the Department of State Services (DSS) has been drawn to plans by certain individuals and groups to stage physical protests in some parts of the country on 12th June 2024. These protests are designed with sinister objectives to coincide with the Democracy Day Celebration.
“While citizens may have the rights of assembly and expression, such freedoms should not be used to undermine public safety and national security. The determination by some non-state actors to incite mass disaffection through demonstrations that may turn violent will not be tolerated.
“Citizens are, therefore, called upon to resist any persuasions to be lawless or cause disorder and anarchy in the nation. Displeased persons are rather encouraged to appropriately channel their grievances through the right channels and procedures.
“The Service, while felicitating the government and citizens on this auspicious occasion of celebrating 25 years of unbroken democracy, calls for continued patriotism, unity and commitment to building a Nigeria of our collective dream.
“The Service will sustain collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, including sister security agencies, to maintain the peace as well as protect lives and property across the nation. Law-abiding citizens are enjoined to go about their businesses without fear.”

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Court’s CTC Validates Our Position On Amaewhule, Others -Rivers AG …Advises Media Against Misinterpretation Of Judgements

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The Rivers State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Dagogo Israel Iboroma, SAN, has said that the State High Court neither declared nor affirmed Martin Amaewhule as Speaker of the House of Assembly, stressing that the certified true copy (CTC) of court judgment validates the government’s position.
Mr Iboroma also urged media practitioners to desist from giving interpretations to court judgments by fiat, emotional or other shades of persuasions.
Rather, he advised that they should first obtain the judgement in order to read it thoroughly to gain proper understanding or at best, seek competent legal advice before going to press.
Mr Iboroma gave the advice yesterday night while briefing newsmen after obtaining the certified true copy (CTC) of the Monday court judgment in Port Harcourt.
The briefing was to restate his earlier position that there was no court ruling that ever declared or affirmed Martin Amaewhule and 26 others as members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Rivers State House of Assembly.
Iboroma said: “Yesterday (Monday), I briefed the press and made the point that there is a misrepresentation of the judgment of the High Court of Rivers State in Suit No. DHC/20/CS/2024 in social, print, and electronic media.
“My position has been confirmed and vindicated by the Certified True Copy of the court order in Suit No. DHC/20/CS/2024.”
Mr Iboroma stated that a court order embodied the enforceable decisions of a court, adding that in this case in focus, the enforceable orders of the court will necessarily entail the specific pronouncements of the court.
He listed the three orders of the court in the judgment to include: “That this Suit be and is hereby dismissed/struck out for want of jurisdiction.
“That the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) be and is hereby joined as 4th defendant.
“That the claimants’ case be and is hereby dismissed for lacking in merit.”
Mr Iboroma further said: “Contrary to the false claims and misrepresentation in social, print and electronic media, the court did not make a declaration that Martin Amaewhule is the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, neither did it make a declaration that Martin Amaewhule and 26 others are members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“If it were so, it would have been embodied in the court orders which have been circulated to you all and displayed by me here for the purpose of clarity.”
Mr Iboroma regretted that by the deliberate misrepresentation of yesterday (Monday), the court was painted in bad light and the public misled with such misinformation.
He said: “Whatever finding of fact that is not included in the court order is an Obiter Dictum, which has no binding force.
“Once again, I respectively urge the media to desist from giving any interpretation to any judgement without first reading the content of the judgement and seeking legal advice,” the attorney-general added.

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Sexual Harassment: Minister Drags Perm Sec Before Head Of Service

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, has formally lodged a complaint with the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation regarding allegations of sexual harassment levelled against the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Ibrahim Lamuwa.
In a letter addressed to the HOCSF dated May 27, 2024, Tuggar expressed his concern over the serious nature of the allegation levelled against the permanent secretary by Mrs Simisola Ajayi.
He emphasised the importance of addressing the matter urgently and thoroughly.
The letter was titled, “Re: Official Complaint Regarding Sexual Harassment Of Mrs Simisola Fajemirokun Ajayi By Ambassador Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa (Permanent Secretary Ministry Of Foreign Affairs.
It read, “I am compelled to write to inform you of a formal complaint against the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa, on allegations of sexual harassment.
“Bearing in mind the gravity of the matter, I feel it necessary to draw your attention to it and ask that you handle it accordingly,”
The letter included an attachment of the complaint received via email, and Tuggar assured the HOCSF his full cooperation in the investigation.
“May I also assure you that I remain available to provide you with any assistance required in discharging your responsibilities,” he added.
Ajayi, had a petition dated May 29, 2024, addressed to Tuggar, accused the permanent secretary of serial sexual harrasment.
Ajayi, through her lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), called for a thorough investigation into the actions of Amb. Lamuwa.
The petition, signed by Adebayo A. Oniyelu LP of Falana & Falana’s, was titled “Request For An Investigation Of Amb. Ibrahim Lamuwa’s Conducts Of Sexual Harassment At The Place Of Work, Abuse Of Office, Official Intimidation And Discrimination.”
According to the petition, Ajayi narrated multiple instances of harassment allegedly by Lamuwa, which have created an unsafe and uncomfortable working environment.
She claimed for instance that during a policy retreat on October 7, 2023, Lamuwa allegedly made inappropriate advances towards her, suggesting she joined him in his hotel room.
He reportedly continued with inappropriate remarks throughout the retreat.
She also cited an incident on November 10, 2023, where Lamuwa allegedly invited Ajayi to travel to Hong Kong, promising significant personal benefits from the trip.

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