Category Archives: Politics

BREAKING: Former Minister of Niger Delta, Orubebe acquitted over alleged N1.97bn contract scam

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An Abuja High Court sitting at Apo, on Tuesday, struck out six-count charge the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, preferred against former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe over his alleged complicity in a N1.97billion contract fraud.
Trial Justice Olukayode Adeniyi further discharged and acquitted the defendants, after the charge was withdrawn by the prosecution.
The charge was withdrawn on a day the court earlier gave the anti-graft agency to produce its witnesses to establish that Orubebe, who served under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, diverted funds meant for the compensation of owners of properties on Eket Urban section of the East-West Road in Eket, Akwa Ibom State. Other defendants in the charge were an Assistant Director at the Ministry of Niger-Delta Affairs, Mr. Oludare Davis Alaba, and the Director of Contracts, Gitto Costruzioni Generali Nig. Ltd., Mr. Ephraim Towede Zari.
However, shortly after the defendants were arraigned, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, in a letter to Chairman of the ICPC, with Ref No. DPPA/MNDA/345/16, confirmed that the N1,965,576,153.46, which Orubebe allegedly diverted, “has not been expended, but is awaiting further contract decisions and directives from the Ministry of Niger-Delta Affairs”.
According to the AGF in the letter that was signed by the Director of Public Prosecution and dated December 16, 2016: “In view of the above, the basis for the prosecution of the accused persons for misappropriation does not exist and thus, further prosecution cannot be justified”. Though ICPC counsel, Mr. Ekoi Akpos, applied to withdraw the charge, he however insisted that the decision was not premised on the letter from the AGF.
More details later.

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Senate suspends Ndume for 6 months •Clears Saraki, Melaye

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The Nigerian Senate has suspended Senator Ali Ndume, a former Senate Leader, for 181 legislative days – amounting to six months – having “failed to conduct proper investigation before his allegations” on Senator Dino Melaye’s certificate forgery saga and Senate President Bukola Saraki’s alleged importation of a bullet-proof car.
This followed a deliberation on the report submitted by its Chairman, Committee on Ethics and Privileges, Senator Samuel Anyanwu during Wednesday’s plenary.
The committee’s report indicated that Senator Dino Melaye graduated from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and passed his courses. It said that he graduated in the year 2000, was presented with his results and participated in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
This is contrary to Ndume’s allegation, based on a SaharaReporters’ story, that Melaye did not graduate from ABU.
The committee report also cleared Saraki of Ndume’s allegation. The former Majority Leader could not defend the allegations when he appeared before the committee on Monday.
The suspension starts from today, Match 29, 2017 and would last for 181 Legislative days.

Oshiomole, EFCC and The Corruption War.

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The EFFC choice of former governor of Edo State Adams Oshiomole as a guest speaker at a National Anti-corruption Stakeholders’ Summit shows clearly that the country has a long way to go in the fight against corruption.
The invitation is akin to inviting the “devil to give a talk on holiness and sainthood”.
Adams Oshiomole has over fifteen (15) pending petitions of mass looting of Edo state treasury known to the commission( EFCC). His invitation to the seminar is coming at a time he is reported to have boasted that nothing will come out of the petition because of his personal relationship with Magu and APC federal government. This invitation at this time is indeed very curious!
Edo people and indeed Nigerians are watching this drama with great trepidation. We challenge Oshiomole conscience and moral right to speak at an anti corruption platform of any kind. Oshiomole has till this moment not told Edo people about the $54m he collected from the federal government in December 2014. It is alleged that he pocketed that money. Edo people and Nigerians only got to hear of that money because NNPC books were audited.
How do you explain Oshiomole’s acquired estates valued at over N150 billion from the back drop of his earnings as Secretary General of Tailoring Union, through his time as Labour union President and as Governor of Edo state.

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Until he willingly, or is compelled to return Edo state looted funds he should be cooling his heels in EFCC financial purgatory for Corrupt Public servants.
Concerned Edo Stakeholders have written several petitions on this matter with boxes load of vouchers and documents of how Oshiomole and his gang, now referred to as Ali Baba and the 40 thieves looted Edo state and even pointed EFCC in the direction of some of the proceeds of the loot!
The only good thing that can come out of the just concluded seminar is for Oshiomole to submit himself for full scale investigation or arrested and we will avail the commission with relevant documents to prove the case against him.
There can be no better way to start the anti corruption war than inviting Oshiomole to answer for his financial crime against the state. Watching yesterday’s event reminds us of the story often told about the “Uselu market thief who after hiding his loot joined others with the loudest voice in asking “where is the thief?
We join others to urge EFFC to swing into action. No need for glamorous talk shows of anti-corruption with tainted characters. God help Nigeria.
Signed
Chris Osa Nehikhare
Publicity Secretary
PDP Edo State

DINO MALAYE’S CERTIFICATE SCANDAL DEEPENS

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The qualification scandal that has enveloped the senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District at the upper chamber of the National Assembly, Dino Melaye, has deepened.
Documents obtained exclusively by Saturday PUNCH through painstaking and thorough investigations showed that the embattled senator has a Bachelor of Arts certificate in Geography from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State.
The senator, apart from bagging a third class, also possesses a diploma certificate from the University of Jos.
However, the senator only has a statement of results from ABU. And not only that, checks at the university revealed that it only offers B.Sc. Geography and not B.A. Geography as reflected on Melaye’s statement of results.

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Melaye’s trouble began on Monday, March 20, 2017 when an online news medium, Sahara Reporters, in a tweet alleged that the senator did not graduate from ABU for his first degree, against his claim that he studied Geography in the prestigious institution.
The news medium also alleged that Melaye, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory, bribed his Head of Department, who assisted him to forge his transcript.
In a series of tweets via its Twitter handle, @SaharaReporters, the online news medium said some lecturers in the Geography Department insisted that Melaye did not graduate from the department and that his name was not on the graduation list because he failed five compulsory courses.
Following the report, which gained traction speedily, Melaye dismissed the allegations, daring the news medium to sue him if it had authentic evidence to back its claims.
He took to his twitter handle and wrote, “Sahara Reporters, please sue me and ABU if it is true that I did not graduate from Zaria. Tell Magu (EFCC Chairman) to arrest and prosecute me.”
Melaye also boasted that he was currently a student in ABU pursuing his seventh degree, adding, “Go round all the UNIS (universities) I attended in digging more.”
A day after the news broke, Melaye, while speaking on the floor of the Senate, also addressed himself as an “authentic graduate” of ABU.
Meanwhile, when The PUNCH contacted ABU to verify the conflicting information, the institution’s Information Officer, Adamu Mohammed, promised that the institution would come out with its position on Wednesday, which it failed to do as of the time of filing this report.
Amid the controversy, documents obtained by Saturday PUNCH revealed that the senator had a statement of results with the logo of ABU.
The statement of results read, “This is to certify that Daniel Jonah Melaye having completed an approved course of study and passed the prescribed examinations as, under the authority of the Senate been awarded the Bachelor of Arts (Geography) with Third Class honours.”
The statement, issued by the Office of the Registrar, Academic Office and dated February 3, 2000, was signed by B.B. Mshelthlila.
There are, however, certain discrepancies that beg for more clarifications. For instance, in the statement of results, his name was given as “Daniel Jonah MELAYE.” However, checks by one of our correspondents on https://abu.edu.ng/ revealed that Geography is in the Faculty of Science and not the Faculty of Arts as reflected in the statement of results.
Also, in the senator’s NYSC discharge certificate, which was issued on July 8, 2001, his name read “Melaye Daniel” and not Daniel Jonah as shown in the statement of results.
Also, in the diploma certificate issued to him by the University of Jos on August 3, 2006, his name read “Daniel Dino Melaye.”
He was issued an Advanced Diploma certificate in Law, Security and Conflict Resolution. He finished with ‘Lower Credit’ on August 3, 2006.
However, in his Senior School Certificate in 1992, his name read ‘Melai

Game up for Magu as DSS submits 12 hard Pieces of evidence against him

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The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu time in charge could be over following the security report submitted by the Department of State Services to the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), containing evidence implicating him in shady deals.
The report, which was signed by one Folasade Bello on behalf of the Director-General of the DSS, was in response to a letter sent to the DSS by the AGF dated December 19, 2016 with reference number, HAGF/DSS/2016/Vol 1/7.
The DSS also attached 12 documents as evidence against Magu who was rejected by the Senate last week based on the damning security report.
According to the DSS, Magu while serving on the presidential arms procurement probe panel befriended a fellow member of the panel, Air Commodore Mohammed Umar (rtd.).

Umar was later arrested and charged by the DSS sometimes last year for alleged money laundering and illegal possession of firearms.
According to the DSS, Umar said in his confessional statement that his company furnished Magu’s official residence in upscale Maitama.
It reads in part, “This is a copy of the confessional statement of the confessional statement of Air Commodore Mohammed Umar (retd.), a suspect hitherto detained and currently being prosecuted by the service.
“The statement confirms his ownership of Valcour SA Nigeria Limited, a company awarded the contract of securing and furnishing an official residence for Ibrahim Magu by the FCTA. Investigations revealed that this was facilitated after Magu was earlier shown the residence by one Uche Aleka, a close business associate of Umar who was introduced to Magu by the former.”
The security service said when Umar’s house was searched by operatives, several top secret documents, which emanated from the EFCC were found at his residence, evidence that Magu was providing him with sensitive information.
It added, “This is a copy of progress report with reference number SH/COS/24/A/7277 dated 25th May, 2016 on NNPC/NLG Brass Investments Accounts in Nigeria commercial banks from Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Abba Kyari, to the acting Chairman of the EFCC chairman. The letter is an official/classified document of the EFCC, which was duly received by the commission as indicated by the stamp on the document. However, it was recovered at Umar’s residence.”
The DSS alleged that Magu allegedly used his position to settle personal scores with his perceived opponents.
It concludes, “It has exposed Magu as a fraudulent officer and betrays the high confidence reposed in him by the President.”
All attempts to speak with the EFCC spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, proved abortive as his telephone indicated that it was switched off.
In his response to the AGF last year, however, the EFCC boss denied all the allegations levelled against him by the DSS.
Magu his relationship with Umar was one of “professional acquaintance devoid of issues of conflict of interest” since their paths crossed when they became members of the arms procurement probe panel.
He said, “The claim that EFCC documents, including EFCC letters, addressed to the Vice President and being investigation reports on the activities of Emmanuel Kachikwu and his brother Dumebi Kachikwu, were found in his home during a search by the DSS came to me as a surprise.
“If that is correct, he should be made to disclose how he came by such documents. I never discussed my official duties with him let alone give him documents pertaining to investigations being conducted by the commission.”
Magu further denied allegations that Umar rented the Maitama apartment for him…

DTSG To Abolish Communities’ Illegal Development Levies

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Delta State Governor Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has disclosed that the state government would soon abolish illegal collection of development levies by communities, from oil companies and property developers.
Governor Okowa who was accompanied by his Deputy, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro, Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Monday Igbuya and other top government functionaries disclosed this today [22-03-17] in Ugborhen, Sapele Local Government Area while addressing members of the Community, at the newly commissioned ultra-modern Civic Centre.

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The Governor who had on arrival at the community inspected the Elume-Ugboren road construction project being executed by his administration, also commissioned a 13.6 kilometres township road network, a solar power water project, two blocks of four classrooms with a Science Laboratory at Adaka Grammar School, and a Civic Centre in Ugborhen Community executed by Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc in partnership with the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, NPDC and the Ugborhen Community Development Committee.
The Governor said illegal collection of development levies has hampered the growth of many communities, adding that it had also increased the cost of executing projects by individuals, government and private organisations.
“This community must have given the contractors the enabling environment to carry out the projects, we will soon send a Bill to the House of Assembly to ban all forms of “deve” which has impacted negatively on the cost of projects including government and private projects. I am convinced that very soon Ugborhen will no longer be a village with the kind of projects here.” He said.
He stated that plans were in top gear by his administration to sponsor an Executive Bill to the State Assembly to give legislative backing for the abolition of these levies.
Governor Okowa commended the exemplary partnership between Seplat Petroleum Development Company and Ugborhen community and urged other oil companies to emulate the partnership stressing ” I am glad to see partnership like this between Oil prospecting companies and their host communities, the job of government will be much lighter if oil companies and communities partner in this manner to develop our communities.”
Governor Okowa advised the management of Seplat to harken to the request of the people of the community by providing employment for the youths of the area in line with the constitution.
The Governor thanked the Ugborhen Community for providing a peaceful environment for investors to thrive and called on other oil producing communities to partner with oil companies in the development of their areas.
The Orodje of Okpe Kingdom Orhue I, in his address, thanked Governor Okowa for his developmental strides across the state.
While commending Seplat for the various projects which he acknowledged have transformed the landscape of the community, the traditional ruler called on the oil company to provide employment opportunities for both skilled, semi-skilled members of the community.
Managing Director of Seplat Petroleum Limited Engr. Austin Avuru said the company was proud of the community for being good partners in the last 6years of their operations in the area.

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FIRE FOR FIRE: Senator Melaye’s behaviour clearly shows he did not attend University – Buhari’s aide, Lauretta Onochie

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A Special Assistant on New Media to President Muhammadu Buhari, Lauretta Onochie, has mocked Senator Dino Melaye over allegation that he did not graduate from Ahmedu Bello University, Zaria.
The Presidential aide noted that Melaye’s behaviour in the Senate attested to his alleged lack of certificate.
In a tweet, on Monday, Lauretta also posted a picture of Melaye in tattered cloth after he had a messy fight on the floor of the House of Representatives way back in 2010.
She wrote, “So the claim that Sen. Dino Melaye graduated from Ahmadu Bello University {ABU}, is not true? No wonder!”
She said the allegation probably explained the fight the Senator had on the floor of the lower house of the National Assembly.

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PLATEAU STATE COMMISSIONER SLUMPS, DIES WHILE JOGGING WITH GOV.

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Plateau Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development, Mr Samuel Galadima, slumped and died on Wednesday, while jogging along with Governor Simon Lalong, at the Rwang Pam Stadium, Jos.
Director of Press Affairs, Mr Emmanuel Nanle, confirmed the incident to reporters.
Acording to him, “Yes, the commissioner slumped while jogging and was rushed to the Plateau Specialist Hospital, where he died,” he said.
Nanle said that the official was gasping for breath by the time he arrived the hospital.
“Doctors tried to stabilise him but could not. We have lost him,” he said. (NAN).

Courtesy: Vanguard Newspaper

News Flash: Multiple bomb blasts rock IDP camp in Borno

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Suicide bomb blasts rocked a camp for migrants who have fled Boko Haram insurgents near Maiduguri early Wednesday, officials said.
“There were four explosions inside the camp,” the coordinator of the Muna camp Tijjani Lumani said.
“The bombers struck at different locations around 4:30am. The explosions triggered fires which burned down many tents”, he said, adding that casualties details were not known” according to The Punch.

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Police Parade Asaba DPO’s Killers, 47 Other Suspected Criminals

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The Delta State Police Command, on Tuesday, paraded Suleiman Ibrahim and Yusuf Hamisu, suspected killers of Mr. Valentine Mbalu, Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of C Police Division, Asaba, and 46 other suspected criminals.
Delta State Police Commissioner, Mr. Zanna M. Ibrahim, who paraded the suspects at the Command Headquarters in Asaba, explained that the suspects included seven suspected kidnappers, 11 robbery suspects, 11 murder suspects and 16 suspected cultists.
Items recovered from the suspected criminals by detectives attached to the state Police Command were 10 live cartridges, 13 expended cartridges, two rifles, including a pump action; 147 rounds of ammunition, vehicles and one motorcycle.
Twenty-nine year old Ibrahim (alias Carlos), an indigene of Mayolope in Adamawa State, and Hamisu, 32, an indigene of Benin City, are suspected to be responsible for the kidnap and eventual murder of Mr. Mbalu on his way to Agbor to see his family.
The Police Commissioner added that the command is making efforts to arrest the remaining members of the kidnap gang and recover Mr. Mbalu’s corpse.
According to the Police Commissioner, the two men admitted being part of five-man kidnap gang terrorizing Edo, Kogi, Delta, Enugu and Anambra states.
“The suspects have also unveiled the identities of the gang leader and other gang members.
On further interrogation, the suspects confessed to the kidnap of two civil servants attached to Delta State Government House, the murder of one police officer and one woman along Benin/Lagos by-pass in the month of February,” the Police Commissioner disclosed.
Among the kidnap and armed robbery suspects paraded, said the Police Commissioner, were Gift Ogoni, a 28-year old indigene of Ughelli, who was responsible for the death of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Emmanuel German, and robbery of one Panama Ovuodeyorem of Ughelli.
Narrating how the crime was committed, the Police Commissioner said Ogoni phoned Ovuodeyorem, claiming he had a parcel of land for sale.
Ovuodeyorem went to meet Ogoni, who ordered him to park his vehicle in a desolate part of where they met.
“While the victim was on his way towards the lonely road, he forced the vehicle into a filling station and raised an alarm, which attracted a police patrol team that arrested the suspect and recovered one locally made cut-to-size gun, five live cartridges and two ropes from him.
“On interrogation, the suspect confessed to the crime, adding that he and one Kenneth robbed the complainant of N100,000 and his two phones on November 30, 2016, using the same method,” narrated the Police Commissioner. The suspect was also said to have admitted responsibility for the disappearance and subsequent murder of Mr. Emmanuel German.
“He confessed that his five-man kidnap gang called DSP Emmanuel German on the phone and introduced themselves as building material dealers at Ughelli and ready to supply him building materials on credit.
Based on this phone call, the said DSP went and met with the suppliers at Afeisere Junction between Agbara and Ughelli. On getting to Afeisere Junction, the suspects ordered the DSP into a Jetta car and zoomed off to Agbarho, where he was shot in his head and buried in a shallow grave,” revealed the Police.

Courtesy:
Christian Onwugbolu