Maina: EFCC ‘Re-Looted’ 222 Recovered Assets Worth N1.63trn, Witness Tells Court
A witness, Mr. Ngozika Ihuoma, yesterday, narrated before the Federal High Court in Abuja, how the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), under its former Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, mismanaged 222 assets worth N1.63trillion, which he said was recovered by the defunct Pension Reform Taskforce Team (PRTT).
Ihuoma, who appeared as the first defence witness, DW-1, in the ongoing trial of the erstwhile Chairman of the disbanded PRTT, Abdulrasheed Maina, told the court that Magu admitted before the Justice Ayo Salami Judicial Commission of Inquiry, that he shared most of the properties based on a presidential directive.
“Magu admitted before Salami that he shared and allocated most of these properties to most of his friends, associates and colleagues under some presidential directives, but failed to make available to the commission the evidence of that presidential directive”.
The witness told the court that he is a management consultant.
He said his firm, Crincad & Cari Nigeria Limited, was contracted by the PRTT for consultancy service.
He told the court that one of the choice properties the PRTT recovered and handed over to EFCC, was grossly undervalued from N6billion in 2011 and sold to renowned lawyer in 2015 for N1billion.
“One of the properties in question located at No 42, Gana Street, Maitama, was illegally acquired by a renowned lawyer while the property was still subject to litigation,” the witness added, insisting that EFCC should be made to account for all the recovered assets.
Led in Evidence-in-Chief by Maina’s lawyer, Adeola Olawale, the DW-1, told the court that the PRTT wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari shortly after he assumed office in 2015, and expressed its willingness to make available to him intelligence that would lead to the recovery of over N3trillion hidden in undisclosed accounts in some banks.
He said on the basis of the letter, Buhari, in January, 2016, sent the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, and the National Security Adviser (NSA), to have a meeting with Maina in Dubai, United Arab Emirate (UAE).
“After the meeting in Dubai, Maina gave the delegation intelligence report that led to the recovery of N1.3trillion out of the N3trillion promised to recover.
“The money was reported to the Senate Committee that investigated Maina’s reinstatement back to the civil service in 2017.
“Equally, the task team petitioned the Senate on the need to revisit the 7th Assembly Joint Committee that its report was quashed by the Federal High Court in view of the fact that the 222 choice property valued at N1.63trillion that was handed over to the EFCC have started to be mismanaged”.
Ihuoma noted that when the ex-EFCC chairman appeared before the House of Representatives Committee that investigated the reinstatement of Maina back to civil service, he said Magu denied that the anti-graft agency was a member of the PRTT.
He said Magu equally denied that the pension reformed team handed over any recovered property to the commission.
The witness said he was irked by Magu’s claim, and he accordingly petitioned the AGF, Malami, through his company, informing him that the former EFCC boss lied on oath before the House of Reps committee that the agency was not part of the PRTT, despite the existence of the instrument that established the task force and its terms of reference.
He said it was due to the letter by his company that Malami sent a petition to President Buhari, “demanding that EFCC should account for the 222 property valued at N1.63trillion”.
He said Malami’s petition eventually led to the setting up of the Justice Salami-led panel of inquiry.
Continuing his testimony, the witness, told the court that Maina gave intelligence report to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), about a plan to siphon N35bn from the Head of Service Pension Office.
He said the intelligence led the commission to question the former HoS, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita and five other management committee members.
According to the witness, Maina equally gave intelligence report to the then Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and EFCC in March, 2013, which led to the mop-up of N15billion from Customs, Immigration, Prison Pension Office (CIPO).
Ihuoma said that Maina was the only member of the team that was sacked, even though the running cost of the PRTT was not paid by the Federal Government.
He said that one B. G. Kaigama, who served in the team, is currently a director and second in command in Pension Transition Arrangement Department (PTAD).
“G.T Idris, who represented ICPC, is now at NIPSS undergoing a one-year course leading to his promotion to a rank of full commissioner of police.
“Even Winifred Oyo-Ita, who managed the Head of Service Pension Office as interim management committee became the Head of Service (HoS) of Federation where she used that office to stop Maina’s reinstatement since 2017,” the witness added.
He further told the court that another former EFCC Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Larmode, who was also a member of the team, was promoted to the rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG).
“We stand to say that Maina deserves to be reinstated back as approved by the Federal Civil Service Commission in 2017 and if possible, in line with the recommendations of the House of Representatives to the then President Goodluck Jonathan, be made to return to service and assist in cleaning up the pension matters now that the issue of pension is going haywire again.
“We believe this trial is not in the interest of pension reformed task team which EFCC was a member,” he said.
Trial Justice Okon Abang adjourned further hearing in the matter to today.
Maina is answering to a 12-count money laundering charge the EFCC preferred against him and his firm – Common Input Property and Investment Limited.
The EFCC earlier closed its case against the Defendants after it called a total of nine witnesses, even as the court ordered Maina to open his defence to the charge.
In the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/256/2019, EFCC, alleged that Maina used a bank account that was operated by his firm and laundered funds to the tune of about N2billion, part of which he used to acquire landed properties in Abuja.
It told the court that the 1st Defendant (Maina) used fictitious names to open and operate various bank accounts, as well as recruited his relatives that were bankers to operate fake bank accounts through which illicit funds were channelled.
The Prosecution maintained that the Defendants committed criminal offences punishable under sections 11(2) (a), 15(3), and 16(2) (c) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, and also acted in breach of the Advance Fee Fraud Act.
The Defendants, who were arraigned on October 25, 2019, pleaded not guilty to charge.
TPP Africa Set To Honour Sanwo-Olu, 13 Others
The Peak Performer (TPP) African is set to honour the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu; the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse 111; Chairman, Shoreline Energy Group; Agbaoye Kola Karim; the Publisher/Chairman of ThisDay Newspaper, Prince Nduka Obaigbena; the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution (PHED) Plc, Dr Benson Uwheru; and others, on Thursday, March 23, 2023 at the Muson Centre in Lagos.
The honourees are exceptional leaders on the African continent who are being celebrated for their performance as industry leaders, culture shapers, and game changers in transformational leadership in their respective spheres as peak performers.
According to the organisers, others among the 100 personalities to be honoured from Nigeria are: the Chairman, Shoreline Energy Group, Agbaoye Kola Karim; Group CEO of The Guardian, Lady Maiden Ibru; Ex-Chairman, KPMG Africa, Mr. Kunle Elebute; Founder, Stanbic IBTC Group, Mr. Atedo Peterside; and Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui Okauru.
Others honourees are: the Country Managing Director, Access Bank (Rwanda), Mr. Faustin Byishimo; Managing Director, CLM Africa, Mr. Mbulelo Clive Khoza (South Africa); Ghanaian celebrity blogger, Mr. Ameyaw Debrah; MD/CEO, United Bank of Africa (Sierra Leone), Mr. Mohammed Alhaji Samoura; CEO, MOREM Consulting & Advisory Services Limited, Mr. Mohammed Gillen (The Gambia); and CEO, Enterprise Group, Keli Gadzekpo (Ghana).
The awards covering 14 categories, range from TPP Elite, TPP Hall of Fame, and TPP Legacy to Excellence, across multiple professions and sectors in the African continent.
According to the Editor-in-Chief of TPP, Dr Abiola Salami, “A panel was set up to select the nominees who are captains of industries.
Salami informed that the selection involved a rigorous process of sifting from the 1,683 entries that was received from various leaders and sectors across the continent before the 100 TPP emerged.
He noted that these 100 recipients are being honoured for their commitment to excellence and sterling contributions to greatness in diverse sectors on the African continent.
Abiola noted that having worked with leaders over the past decade, they have discovered that to inspire growth across the continent, the authentic African story should be told by spotlighting credible leaders with admirable skills on the continent.
Therefore, the quest to find credible leaders resulted to the call for the nominations of Peak Performers on the continent late last year, leveraging the 27 skills in Xceptional Leadership TM.
Meanwhile, TPP 100 recognition comes alongside the debut of The Peak Performer (TPP) magazine, a premium African thought-leadership publication that delivers content online and offline.
According to him, The Peak Performer magazine will be available in both print and e-version.
According to the performer strategist, “leadership development and leadership branding are two strategies global leaders leverage to record outstanding results. This is what we are birthing in Africa with The Peak Performer”.
He explained that the magazine features inspiring stories and experiences of leaders in sectors ranging from technology; problem-solving and change; leadership and entrepreneurship; environment, social and governance; personal growth and transformation; people, productivity and synergy, among others.
“All these align with our resolution to build Africa, one mind at a time,” he added.
He explained that Peak Performing Africa started unofficially in 2012 with CHAMP, a full-service consulting firm trusted by high-performing business leaders for providing workforce development, advisory services, and executive coaching for C-level executives.
NDLEA Arrests 2 Members Of Afro-Europe Cartel
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has disrupted the activities of a drug syndicate that operated between Nigeria, East Africa, and Europe, with the arrest of two members of the cartel.
The Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA, Mr Femi Babafemi said this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
Babafemi said that the NDLEA operatives at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA) Ikeja Lagos made the arrest and foiled the attempts to traffic the drugs.
He said that the operatives at the Lagos Airport had on Monday March 13 intercepted a member of the drug syndicate, Ejezie Ifeanyi, during screening of inward passengers on an Ethiopian Airline flight from Malawi via Addis Ababa at the arrival hall.
Babafemi added that a search was conducted on him, saying that it was discovered that one of his two bags had a false bottom concealment.
He said: “During preliminary interview of the suspect, he confessed that a member of the syndicate was waiting at the airport car park to pick him.
According to him, an immediate follow up operation led to the arrest of Franco Chukwu, who was waiting in a grey colour Mercedes Benz C180 coupe, marked EKY 973 GQ to receive the drug consignment.
“After his arrest, a proper search of the bag was conducted before the two suspects leading to the recovery of 3.00 kilograms of heroin.
“Findings revealed that the drug syndicate networks operate between Nigeria, and Malawi, Mozambique in East Africa and Europe.
“Chukwu who lives in Lagos is responsible for the recruitment and coordination of the activities of mules on behalf of other members of the cartel based in Mozambique and Malawi, another set operates from the South-Eastern part of Nigeria, “ Babafemi said.
Sanwo-Olu, Makinde, Buni, Abiodun, AbdulRazaq Win Second Term Election …As INEC Declares PDP’s Eno Governor-Elect in A’Ibom
The Governor of Lagos State and candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has won 18 local government areas out of the 20 LGAs of the state in the just concluded governorship and state House of Assembly elections.
The results were announced on Sunday by the Independent National Electoral Commission at its state collation centre in Yaba, Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu who is seeking re-election is contesting against the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Olajide Adediran popularly known as Jandor, and the candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour.
The incumbent governor polled the highest number of votes in Lagos Island, Epe, Agege, Ibeju-lekki, Surulere, Ikeja, Mushin, Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Apapa, Ifako-Ijaiye, Badagry and Lagos Mainland.
Other LGAs where Sanwo-Olu won include Alimosho, Ojo, Ikorodu, Kosofe and Oshodi-Isolo.
However, his opponent, Rhodes-Vivour, defeated the ruling party in Amuwo-Odofin.
The only result left is from Eti-Osa LGA which is yet to be released due to the election currently being held at the Victoria Garden City polling units.
Also, the Oyo State Governor and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Seyi Makinde, has been declared winner of Saturday’s gubernatorial election in the State.
Makinde won 31 out of 33 Local Government Areas in the state, while his closest rival, Teslim Folarin of the All Progressives Congress (APC) won two local government areas.
Makinde, who was seeking re-election contested against a three-term Senator, Teslim Folarin of the APC and Adebayo Adelabu of the Accord Party, who was former deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Makinde polled 563,617 votes to defeat Folarin who garnered 251,230, and Adelabu who came a distant third with 38,757 votes.
The returning officer for the governorship election and a professor from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Olusola Kehinde, however, declared a 20-minute break before the declaration of the final result.
The announcement of the results was monitored by the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Tella Adeniran, alongside heads of security apparatus in the state.
Meanwhile, the Ogun State Governor and governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Saturday’s election, Dapo Abiodun, has been re-elected for a second term of four years.
The Independent National Electoral Commission declared Abiodun as the winner of the governorship election on yesterday.
Meanwhile, before Abiodun was announced as the winner of the poll, PDP collation agent, Sunkanmi Oyejide, cautioned the electoral umpire declaring the winner for the election.
Oyejide said the INEC should consider a clause in the Electoral Act (amended) that orders the commission to declare a rerun in the case of total rejected votes outnumbered the lead margin.
This was raised shortly after the Sagamu collation officer, Prof. Oluwagboyega Afolabi, presented the scores of the political parties in the council.
Afolabi had said that 15 polling units were canceled as a result of violence during the governorship election on Saturday.
The PDP agent, however, raised an observation against further submission of the copy of the results.
Oyejide said no fewer than 33,750 voters in Sagamu, Ijebu-Ode, Ikenne, Ijebu-North and Ogunwaterside were asking the commission to look into it.
He added that his party has a petition for the commission.
While raising the objection, Oyejide said, “The electoral act 2022, Section 24 Sub-Section three says where an election has commenced and there is reason to believe that there is or has been substantial destruction of election in a polling unit or constituency or it is impossible to continue with the election, occasioned by the threat to peace and security of electoral officials and materials.
“Electoral officials and materials should be underlined in the case of Remo where BVAS did not function and I argued it out. The commission shall suspend the election and appoint another date for the continuation of the election or the process.
“Secondly, if we invoke the principle of lead of margin enshrine in the electoral act 2022, the rejected votes according to results submitted to local government by local government are far higher than the lead of margin.
“This just to inform you when you are through with your final collation and what happened is found to be true that you will know that the election shall be inconclusive and a rerun should be ordered where necessary”.
The petition titled “Petition against deliberate disenfranchisement of a large number of voters in some local governments of Ogun state” dated March 18, 2023, was addressed to INEC National Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu.
The petition reads “We write to remind your authority of the above-mentioned issue.
“You will recall that the Commission is aware of the level of thuggery planned and orchestrated by the All Progressive Congress to unleash mayhem in some polling units across the state to destabilise innocent voters from freely exercising their voting rights as a result of planned and well-executed action.
“We are aware that the principle of margin of lead as established by the Commission in Section 24(3) is in effect, affected by the inability of the population greater than the reflected lead between the assumed winner of the election and the runner-up. Therefore, a re-run in appropriate to address this injustice.
“We, therefore, implore the Commission to evoke this principle and declare this election inconclusive.”
Reacting to the protest, the returning officer, Prof. Kayode Adebowale, said the complaints have already been looked into.
Adebowale said, “I have tried to check our records and I want to say that everything he said is at variance with what we have as records.
“But, if it is found to be incorrect, INEC has seven days to review its decision.”
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has also declared Mr. Umo Eno of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the governorship election held last Saturday in Akwa Ibom State.
The Returning Officer and Vice Chancellor, Nigerian Maritime University, Delta State, Prof. Emmanuel Adigio, announced the results at the collation centre in Uyo yesterday.
Adigio said Eno won in 29 out of 31 local government areas of the state to defeat Senator Bassey Akpan of the Young Progressive Party (YPP).
He said that the PDP candidate scored 354,348 votes, beating his closet rival, Akpan who got 136,262 votes.
He also said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) scored 129,602 votes, the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) garnered 12,509 votes, while the Labour Party (LP) scored 4,746 votes.
The Returning Officer declared: “That the Pastor Umo Eno of the PDP having satisfied the requirements of the law is hereby declared winner of the governorship election in Akwa Ibom State.”
The PDP candidate won in 29 out of 31 local government areas of the state while his opponent in the YPP, Senator Bassey Akpan, won in only two LGAs.
The local government areas won by the PDP candidate include Udung Uko, Uruan, Ini, Esit Eket, Ikot Abasi, Ikot Ekpene, Etim Ekpo and 22 others while his YPP opponent won in Ikono and Ibiono Ibom LGAs respectively.
The PDP agent, Engr. Uwem Okoko, while commending the INEC for the improvement witnessed in the Saturday polls, also thanked Akwa Ibom people for voting for PDP in the state.
However, the YPP party agent, Mr kelvin Umoh rejected the results, alleging widespread violence, and intimidation that led to the alleged killing of his party supporters.
Umoh said, “It will be wrong for me to append my signature to the results sheets because there was widespread violence and intimidation.
In the same vein, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State has been declared the winner of the 2023 governorship election in the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).T
The governor won the poll to serve a second term of another four years in office under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).T
The governor beat the two-third requirement and won in all the 16 local government areas of the state in the election results declared by the INEC Returning Officer for the polls, Professor Isaac Itodo, theV ice Chancellor, University of Markurdi, Benue State.
Abdulrazaq polled 273,424 votes to beat his closest rival, Alhaji Yaman Abdullahi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 155,490 votes in the election.
The INEC had on Saturday night started the announcement of the 2023 governorship election results in the State with only three local government areas of Ekiti, Isin and Offa, with Governor AbdulRazaq winning the three LGAs.
At the resumed announcement of the election results yesterday morning, which lasted till evening, the APC governor also won in additional 13 local government areas.
Meanwhile, the Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, has been re-elected having won in all the 17 local government areas of the state with a total of 317,113 votes.
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Sharif Abdulahi, came a distant second with a total score of 104,259.
Announcing the results, at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Damaturu, the Returning Officer for the Gubernatorial election in the state, Prof. Umar Pate, the VC of the Federal University of Kashere, Gombe state, said accredited voters are 459,492, valid votes 444,567 and total votes cast are 457,781.
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