Thursday, 23 November 2017

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Items filtered by date: September 2017
Manchester United inflicted a seventh straight Premier League defeat of the season on Crystal Palace with a 4-0 victory at Old Trafford to move top of the table.

United needed just three minutes to break the deadlock, with Juan Mata edging them ahead with a close-range finish after being set up by Marcus Rashford, before Marouane Fellaini met Ashley Young's cross at the far post to make it two after 35 minutes.

Manchester UnitedManchester United
Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace
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Fellaini netted his second and United's third of the afternoon just after the restart, heading home Rashford's free kick into the box to make sure of the result, before Romelu Lukaku made it four four minutes from time, slotting in Anthony Martial's pass.

The victory saw United leapfrog rivals Manchester City, who play Chelsea later on Saturday, while Crystal Palace remain pointless and goalless at the the foot of the table.

Another Harry Kane brace steered Spurs past Huddersfield as they maintained their 100% away record this season.

Harry Kane struck a brace as Tottenham eased to a 4-0 victory over Huddersfield at the John Smith's Stadium to move up to third in the Premier League table.

Kane opened the scoring inside the ninth minute, slotting into the bottom corner after Kieran Trippier had headed into his path, before Ben Davies added a second seven minutes later following a Spurs counterattack.

Huddersfield TownHuddersfield Town
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Kane then made it three for the visitors shortly after, bending a strike into the far corner from the edge of the box, with substitute Moussa Sissoko netting a fourth late on, scrambling the ball home from close range after being teed up by Davies.

English Premier League: Abdoulaye Doucoure (37') West Brom 2-1 Watford

Richarlison salvaged a late point for Watford as they came from behind to draw 2-2 with West Brom and move up to fifth.

West Brom took the lead through Salomon Rondon after 18 minutes, with the striker outmuscling his marker before firing into the back of the net. Jonny Evans then made it two three minutes later with a header from a corner.

West Bromwich AlbionWest Bromwich Albion
WatfordWatford
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Watford pulled one back in the 37th minute as Abdoulaye Doucoure broke free and struck past Fraser Forster, before Richarlison headed into the corner deep into stoppage time to equalise for the visitors.

West Ham and Swansea looked primed for a nil-nil draw at the London stadium, until Diafra Sakho's dramatic late winner.

Diafra Sakho struck in the 90th minute to secure West Ham a 1-0 win over Swansea at the London Stadium and move them out of the drop zone.

West Ham came closest to scoring in the first half with Michail Antonio seeing his volleyed effort from Aaron Cresswell's cross saved by Lukasz Fabianski.

West Ham UnitedWest Ham United
Swansea CitySwansea City
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Andy Carroll hit the crossbar in the 86th minute for the Hammers, before Sakho popped up a few minutes later to finish at the far post to claim the three points for the home side and push Swansea into the relegation zone.

Peter Crouch came off the bench to secure a 2-1 win for Stoke against Southampton.

Peter Crouch netted the winner for Stoke as they defeated Southampton 2-1 at the bet365 Stadium.

Stoke broke the deadlock five minutes before the break with Mame Biram Diouf heading in a Xherdan Shaqiri corner, but they were unable to add a second two minutes later when Saido Berahino saw a penalty saved by Fraser Forster after Diouf was fouled in the box.

Stoke CityStoke City
SouthamptonSouthampton
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Stoke were made to pay for that miss by the visitors 15 minutes from the end as Maya Yoshida struck in off the bar following Shane Long's flick to level proceedings, but Crouch had the final say five minutes from time as he poked home from close range.

Bournemouth dominated the Foxes at the Vitality Stadium but couldn't find a way past them in their Premier League match.

Bournemouth and Leicester played out a goalless draw at the Vitality Stadium.

Jermain Defoe was inches away from putting Bournemouth in front in the first half but struck the bar after being picked out in the box by Joshua King.

AFC BournemouthAFC Bournemouth
Leicester CityLeicester City
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Leicester had a great chance of their own to score in the second half when Jamie Vardy poked the ball back to Shinji Okazaki, but he was unable to find the back of the net from inside the box.

Published in Sports

Cameroon has banned public meetings and travel in a mainly English-speaking region ahead of a protest to demand independence for the area.

The South-West region's border with Nigeria has also been shut to block "infiltration" by people threatening Cameroon's unity, officials said.

Pro-independence marches have been planned for Sunday, the 56th anniversary of Cameroon's unification.

English speakers accuse the Francophone majority of discrimination.

They say they are often excluded from top civil service jobs, and that the French language and legal system have been imposed on them.

The government denies the allegations and insists that it treats all citizens equally.

The divisions in the central African state date back to the post-colonial settlement.

Cameroon was colonised by Germany and then split into British and French areas after World War One.

Map of Cameroon

Following a referendum, British-run Southern Cameroons joined the French-speaking Republic of Cameroon in 1961.

It is now divided into the South-West and North-West regions.

Demands for independence have grown in the two regions in recent years and tension has been escalating ahead of Sunday's planned protests, reports the BBC's Randy Joe Sa'ah from the capital, Yaoundé.

The South-West region's governor, Bernard Okalia Bilai, has called protest organisers "dogs", and has warned them that they will be met by troops if they take to the streets on Sunday, our correspondent adds.

At least six protesters were killed and dozens arrested during protests earlier this year. Access to the internet in the Anglophone regions was also blocked from January to April.

Announcing the new security measures, Mr Bilai said there would be a ban on gatherings of more than four people, and travel between towns, from 20:00 GMT on Friday until 08:00 GMT on Monday.

The region's border with Nigeria would also be closed during this time "following persistent threats of destabilisation" by individuals based outside Cameroon, he added.

In a statement on Thursday, the UN said Secretary-General António Guterres was concerned about tensions ahead of Sunday's protests.

He urged Cameroon's government to address the grievances of its Anglophone population, and to take steps to promote national reconciliation, it said.

"The Secretary-General supports upholding the unity and territorial integrity of Cameroon and urges all parties to refrain from acts that could lead to an escalation of tension and violence," the statement added.

Published in Business and Economy

Harry Kane stole the show as Premier League title challengers Tottenham cruised to a 4-0 win over Huddersfield at the John Smith's Stadium.

Man-of-the-moment Kane buried Tottenham's first chance early on and, after Ben Davies had put them 2-0 up, he struck with a brilliant solo effort to wrap the match up before half-time. Moussa Sissoko added a late fourth.

Spurs have won their last four games in all competitions and extended their winning run on the road to seven matches, while the irrepressible Kane took his goal tally in a productive September to 13 in eight appearances for club and country.

Huddersfield, facing their toughest test since promotion via the playoffs in May, had boasted the Premier League's second best defensive record this season -- but Mauricio Pochettino's side demonstrated the gulf in class.

Tommy Smith forced Hugo Lloris into a decent save in the fifth minute with a well-struck low drive and the Terriers showed they meant business by snapping into their early tackles.

But after Rajiv van La Parra's goalbound shot had been blocked by Eric Dier, Tottenham broke forward and scored with their first chance.

Kane chased Kieran Trippier's header and was allowed a free run on goal after Huddersfield defender Chris Lowe had misjudged the flight of the ball, with the in-form striker applying the usual clinical finish in the ninth minute.

Six minutes later the Londoners doubled their advantage. Dele Alli, back after suspension, Kane and Christian Eriksen all linked seamlessly on the edge of the area and Davies buried his chance at the far post after the ball had been unintentionally diverted into his path by Lowe.

Kane then made it 3-0 with a world class goal in the 24th minute. With his back to goal and surrounded by Huddersfield defenders, the number 10 turned and evaded them all before curling a brilliant left-footed finish inside the near post -- his seventh goal in a productive week.

Kane, the Premier League's Golden Boot winner for the last two seasons, failed to score in August, but followed up his midweek Champions League hat-trick against Apoel in brilliant fashion.

Alli went close to making it 4-0 when his shot after a neat turn inside the area hit a post, before Huddersfield striker Laurent Depoitre gave the home fans some cheer, firing in a shot from the edge of the area that clipped the crossbar.

Alli was booked by referee Neil Swarbrick for diving under goalkeeper Jonas Lossl's challenge on the hour-mark as Huddersfield battled gamely on.

To their credit, David Wagner's side did not capitulate, allowing Tottenham no further scoring chances, while the introduction of Scott Malone and Philip Billing for Lowe and Aaron Mooy gave them some impetus.

Van La Parra combined well with Depoitre in the closing stages, but the former's shot was blocked before Kane left the field to a rousing reception from all stands when replaced by Son Heung-min.

Sissoko, a 75th-minute substitute for Eriksen, sidefooted home his first goal for Spurs in time added on -- via a deflection off Christopher Schindler -- following Davies' cros

Published in Headliners

Reports from Kaduna state in northwestern Nigeria say a deputy police commissioner and his wife have been kidnapped. The officer works in neighbouring Zamfara State but was abducted from his car.

This incident happened as security agencies say they are taking steps to address the security situation in the state.

The Kaduna state police command has yet to confirm the abduction but a security source in the state told the BBC that the deputy commissioner was kidnapped near a forest between Funtua in Katsina state and Birnin Gwari town in Kaduna state.

Recently kidnappings have become commonplace along the Abuja-Kaduna road as well as in other locations around Kaduna.

In November last year former Nigerian foreign minister Bagudu Hirse was kidnapped in Kaduna state.

Published in Business and Economy

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has confirmed the arrest of two key officials of the Ekiti State Government for alleged misuse of bailout funds.

In a statement on Thursday evening, spokesman of the commission, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, identified the officials as the Commissioner for Finance and the Accountant General of the state.

Uwujaren said they were picked up by EFCC operatives “following their refusal to honour previous invitations for interrogation in relation to pending investigation on the misuse of bailout funds by the Gov. Ayodele Fayose administration”.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the arrest came on the day that Gov. Fayose formally declared his intention to run for the President in 2019 election.

Published in Headliners

A 27-year-old trader, Mrs Victoria Amodu, yesterday told an Ikeja High Court, Lagos that an Investigative Police Officer (IPO) at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Ikeja Division, demanded sex to release her from custody.

Amodu, a mother of four, gave the testimony as a defence witness in her trial for alleged conspiracy and armed robbery, before Justice Kudirat Jose.

The defendant, who denied the allegation, was arraigned alongside one Hammed Isiaka on a six-count charge of conspiracy to commit robbery and armed robbery, contrary to Section 295(2)(a) of the Criminal Law No 11 Laws of Lagos State, 2011.

One of the charges reads: “Hammed Isiaka, Victoria Amodu and others now at large, on or about August 12, 2014 while armed with a pistol did rob one Elizabeth Moses of a cash sum of N35, 000 and a cheque of N1.4m.”

However, while being led in evidence by her counsel, Nelson Onyejaka, Amodu told Justice Jose that she was unjustly arrested by the police on August 12, 2014 at Church Bus stop, Badagry, Lagos.

She said she was selling bread at the bus stop when policemen raided the area, arrested her and others and bundled them into their truck, where they met some men who were already tied up.

Narrating the incident, Amodu said: “I was arrested by the police while I was selling bread and taken to the station at SARS, Ikeja. An IPO (name not mentioned) there told me to call someone that would come for my bail. I called a neighbour, a lady that helps me look after my kids. When she arrived, the IPO said a woman could not sign my bail bond, which he put at N400,000.

“I became worried because I didn’t know any man to call since I was no longer living with my husband and I was also new in Lagos. I decided to call my father but he refused coming to the station. He said since I was married he had no hand in anything concerning me.

“I didn’t know what else to do at this time, so I started begging the IPO to let me go and take care of my kids since I didn’t commit any offence. The IPO took me outside the cell to a corner and said that I am a pretty lady and that if I submit myself to him, I would be freed. I got angry and shouted at him, asking why he would make such a statement to me. He immediately, dragged me back to the cell. Some others who were arrested that day were released after they paid money, though I don’t know how much they paid.

“Nights after, the IPO brought out some case files and told me and others in the cell to sign them. He said that when we were done signing, we would be released. I agreed to sign the documents on the condition that he would not touch me. But the other men refused saying they couldn’t sign what they didn’t know.

“The IPO immediately brought out his gun and threatened to shoot them if they didn’t sign and they fearfully signed it.

“After signing the documents, we were all taken to a Magistrates Court and from there, to Kirikiri Prison.”

Amodu pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy and permit her to go home to cater for her children.

During cross-examination by prosecution counsel, Mrs Awosika, Amodu denied knowing the first defendant, Isiaka.

She said she had never seen him before and only met him for the first time in court on the day of arraignment.

Isiaka, a driver, who also testified while being led by his counsel, Mrs Olamide Amore-Akintoye, said he was arrested on his way from Seme border while carrying food items belonging to a customer.

He said his car was impounded and taken to the station where he was locked up after he failed to pay for his release.

Justice José adjourned till November 29 for adoption of final addresses.

Published in News & Stories

A five-year-old Nigerian boy, who was seriously injured when he was run over by Boko Haram militants three years ago, has taken his first steps since.

The Islamist militants drove over Ali Ahmadu's back on a motorbike as he tried to flee with his mother from an attack on their village, Chibok.

Ali is now walking again, after having spinal cord surgery in Dubai.

The operation was funded by a Nigerian charity, which raised about $60,000 (£45,000) for his treatment.

Ali is expected to stay in Dubai for about three months while he undergoes further physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises.

Ali Ahmadu
Ali was only two years old when he was run over by Boko Haram militants

The founder of the charity that arranged his treatment, Nuhuu Kwajafa of the Global Initiative for Peace, Love and Care, told BBC Focus on Africa that Ali had not seen a doctor between the time of his injury and arriving in Dubai.

"He had been lying down with spinal cord injury," said Mr Kwajafa. "He had inactive tuberculosis, so many kinds of infections, and they left him in the village."

Now, following his surgery, "he is marching up and down in the room, talking, making noise. I've never seen him like that before."

Published in Business and Economy

Lawyers, acting on behalf of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, alleged, on Wednesday, that the Biafran agitators’ arrowhead was likely to have been killed by the Nigerian Army.

The legal team, led by Mr. Ifeanyi Ejiofor, therefore, filed an originating motion, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/908/20017, before the Federal High Court in Abuja, praying for an order directing the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, to produce Kanu in court.

Buratai is the sole respondent to the motion.

Part of the 12 grounds of the motion, stated that “rampaging soldiers”, under the Chief of Army Staff’s command, allegedly invaded Kanu’s house  in Afara-Ukwu Ibeku, Umuahia, Abia State, on September 14, 2017, abducted and possibly killed the IPOB leader and his other relatives in the process.

The lawyers claimed that soldiers had a direct contact with Kanu on September 14, when they allegedly invaded the IPOB leader’s house “on a murderous raid, where life and mortar bullets were fired on unarmed and defenceless populace, leaving 28 persons dead and abducting many”.

“The invading soldiers, who had direct contact with the applicant on this fateful day (September 14, 2017), should be in a position to produce the applicant before the court.

“It is either the respondent’s rampaging soldiers abducted the applicant during this raid or must have killed him in the process,” part of the grounds of the motion read.

Apart from Ejiofor, others, whose names appeared on the court paper acting as Kanu’s lawyers, are Maxwell Okpara, Chudi Igwe, Miss Chinwe Umeche, Habila Turshak, P. M. Umegborogu and Augustine Ezeokeke.

The motion is titled ‘In the matter of an application by Nnamdi Kanu for prerogative of writ of Habeas Corpus Ad Subjiciendum to command the Chief of Army Staff to produce him in court’.

The motion was anchored on 12 grounds.

Following recent confrontation between soldiers and IPOB members during ‘Operation Python Dance’ by the Nigerian Army in the South-East region, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), had obtained an order of the Federal High Court in Abuja proscribing the group.

The proscription order has since been published in the Federal Government gazette as ordered by the court.

But IPOB had, through its lawyers, filed a motion on September 22, 2017, asking Justice Abdu Kafarati, who issued the proscription order, to reverse it on ground of alleged defects in the Federal Government’s ex parte application for the order.

In the motion filed on behalf of Kanu on Wednesday, the IPOB leader’s lawyers recalled that Kanu was first arrested on October 14, 2015 and was later arraigned alongside others before the Federal High Court in Abuja on charges bordering on his agitation for secession of a Biafra republic from Nigeria on January 11, 2016.

 

They noted that Kanu was still enjoying the bail granted him by Justice Binta Nyako on April 25, 2017, when on August 25, the prosecution filed an application requesting the court to revoke the bail.

They also noted that hearing in the matter had been slated to hold on October 17, but before the date, soldiers, under Buratai’s command, “violently invaded the applicant’s home in Afara-Ukwu Ibeku, Umuahia, Abia State, where scores of his relatives were brutally wounded and many killed.”

The lawyers stated as part of the grounds of the application, “The applicant, who was in the house during this bloody onslaught by the soldiers, has not been heard from or seen after this bloody attack on his home by the agents of the respondent since September 14, 2017.

“That the invading soldiers, in their desperate bid to ensure that the applicant was caught in the attack, climbed stairs to his bedroom upstairs to shoot him; walls of his bedroom were riddled with bullets.

“The invading soldiers, who had direct contact with the applicant on this fateful day (September 14, 2017), should be in a position to produce the applicant before the court. It is either the respondent’s rampaging soldiers abducted the applicant during this raid or must have killed him in the process.

“Section 40 of the Federal High Court Act empowers this court to order that a Writ of Habeas Corpus ad Subjiciendum; (A Writ directed to someone detaining another person and commanding that the detainee be brought to court) be issued on the respondent, to produce the applicant in court, particularly now his substantive criminal trial is coming up on October 17, 2017.

“The court is vested with inherent powers Under Section 6(6) (a)-(d) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as Amended 2011) to entertain this application and grant reliefs sought herein.”

A supporting affidavit, deposed to by a lawyer in Ejiofor’s law firm, Mr. Mandela Umegborogu, quoted Kanu’s younger brother, Emmanuel Kanu, as saying, “That on September 12, 2017, the soldiers of Nigerian Army, numbering about 200, fully armed to the teeth, invaded the residential home of the applicant (Kanu) in Afara-Uwku-Ibeku Umuahia, in Abia State.”

The affidavit added that Kanu was in his bedroom when soldiers allegedly invaded his house on September 14.

It stated that the soldiers shot sporadically for 40 minutes during the alleged invasion.

“That on September 14, 2017, the Nigerian soldiers invaded the applicant’s home for the second time, unfortunately on a brutal but murderous raid that left 28 persons dead and over 48 arrested and taken away to an unknown destination,” the affidavit stated.

It stated that Kanu “has not been seen or heard from” after the alleged invasion that took place on September 14.

It stated further, “That the search so far conducted by the applicant’s siblings has not yielded any fruit as the applicant is still missing.

“That the palace of (their) aged father, housing the applicant’s apartment, inclusive of the applicant’s building, was shattered with mortar bullets.

“That 28 people were shot in and around the applicant’s compound out of which few dead bodies were left behind by the rampaging soldiers.”

It stated that the whereabouts of Kanu and his father had been unknown since the September 14 “onslaught” by the soldiers.

The document also stated that appeal had been made to the Army to release Kanu “or his body for befitting burial if he was killed” to no avail.

It stated, “That the applicant is billed to return to court for full hearing, scheduled to commence his criminal charge No: FHC/ABJ/383/2015 between F.R.N. VS NNAMDI KANU & 4 ORS, but his fate is still unknown as the soldiers have continued to hold him tenaciously.

“That the applicant has been preparing for his court case, as his pre-trial conference on the matter with his lawyers was concluded in August 2017, preparatory for a full-blown hearing to commence on October 17, 2017.”

IPOB declares Kanu, father, mother missing

Meanwhile, IPOB has formally declared Kanu, his parents, Eze Israel Kanu and Ugoeze Kanu, missing.

In a statement in Awka, the Anambra State capital, on Wednesday by IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, the group urged the international community to prevail on the Federal Government to produce Kanu.

The statement alleged that 28 persons were killed in Kanu’s compound after the alleged military invasion of his Afara-Ukwu home in Umuahia, Abia State.

The group said, “We, the Indigenous People of Biafra worldwide, under the command and leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, wish to demand the urgent attention of the United Nations mission in Nigeria and especially that of the government of the United Kingdom to prevail on the present regime of President Buhari and his henchman, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, to produce our leader or tell the world what has become of him.

“Nnamdi Kanu, who incidentally holds British citizenship, has been missing since a detachment of officers stormed his residence on Thursday, 14 September, 2017.

“Ever since this brutal assault that left 28 dead inside his compound, including two of his cousins, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, along with his parents, has not been seen.

“The video footage of the assault and the extent of destruction wreaked on his family home are in the public domain.

“The assailing soldiers also stole a lot of valuable materials from the palace of which we have corroborative evidence and incontrovertible proof that place the stolen items in the possession of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu; the newly appointed Abia State Commissioner of Police and other Nigerian security personnel.”

In another development, the Chairman, Centrium Initiative For Development And Fundamental Rights Advocacy, Dr. John Danfulani, has berated the Federal Government for declaring IPOB a terrorist organisation.

Danfulani, in statement, made available to our correspondent, said he did not believe that tagging IPOB a terrorist organisation and providing excuses for the deadly Fulani herdsmen were pillared on empirical facts or done in good faith.

He urged the Nigerian judiciary to live up to its billing of being the last hope of the common man by restoring the rights of the non-violent group to continue its agitation.

The statement read in part, “We hold this truth as self-evident that the struggle for self determination via a referendum by IPOB and any other group that so wish is a legitimate quest.

“CEDRA believes that constructive and direct engagement with IPOB remains the best way of solving this quagmire.”

Abaribe denies Senate query on Kanu’s bail bond

In a related development, the Chairman of the South-East Caucus in the Senate, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, has denied being queried by the Senate for signing the bail bond for Nnamdi Kanu.

Abaribe, while raising a point of order at the plenary on Wednesday, faulted the report by a national daily (not The PUNCH) that the Senate queried him for standing as surety for Kanu.

He lamented that issues discussed at the closed-door sessions of the Senate were usually leaked to the media.

He said, “This morning, I was surprised to find ‘IPOB: Senators query Abaribe over Kanu’s bail’. We have always said it on this floor that anything the presiding officer says in the closed-door session, that is the sum total of our discussion. And I remember yesterday that three points were made as a result of our discussion, which was Nigeria’s unity and effort by this Senate to make sure we help in bringing peace to this country.

“The headline that purports to say that this is what happened in our closed-door session, which, of course, did not happen, does not, in any way, advance the cause of peace in this country.

“My constituents have been worried; they have called me and they have been asking me, and I have told them that it is not true and that I will bring it up on the floor and ask the entire Senate to please help us to ask the newspaper to produce whoever gave them this information.

“The Senate does not query any of its members; that is the first place where they failed in casting this headline, because each Senator knows what we discussed and what came out at the end of it.

“I wish to be given the opportunity to lay this newspaper and ask this Senate to please look at the attempt at driving a wedge between the South-East senators and the northern senators, because it was said here that the northern senators made a demand, which the South-East senators reluctantly agreed. Some people are bent on making sure that there is no peace but I know that God will not allow them.”

Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary, referred the matter to the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.

Published in Headliners

A run-away former governor has lost a choice hotel in Singapore to the latter day wife he used to launder his loot.

The ex-governor is currently under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly benefitting from the $2.1billion arms scandal.

Also hanging on his neck is an allegation that he mismanaged N19.8billion public funds while in office.

He has refused to honour EFCC invitation CR: 3000/EFCC/ABJ/ASO/TM5/VOL.5/596.

The Nation gathered that the ex-governor used to frequent Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

But following the recent signing of six agreements by Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), he reportedly left Dubai for Singapore.

A highly placed source familiar with the  ongoing probe of the ex-governor, said the suspect entered into a marriage of convenience with the woman  in Singapore with a view to  protecting the investment of his laundered funds in the  choice hotel.

He reportedly bought the hotel in the name of the ‘wife’.

“But the marriage turned into a scam because the ‘wife’ divorced the ex-governor and took possession of the hotel,” the source said yesterday.

“The suspect has been battling to retrieve the hotel from his ‘wife’. It is however doubtful if he can get it back.”

It was learnt that the ex-governor is now in a serious dilemma.

Investigation revealed that over N600million of the $2.1billion arms scandal fund has so far been traced to the ex-governor.

Another source said EFCC has been on his trail in connection with the alleged mismanagement of N19.8billion state funds between 1999 and 2007.

“Documents showed that he collected N600million illegally from the $2.1billion arms deal cash through the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA),” the source said.

“Initially, the suspect was based in Dubai but following a close up by detectives, he left the UAE for some countries where he has been on a make-shift life.

“We are weighing options on how to extradite him in order to bring him to justice. We will explore all legal options.

Responding to a question, the source added: “The former governor has been giving one excuse or the other for not honouring the invitation of the EFCC.

“At a point, the suspect said he had a heart-related problem but intelligence report confirmed that he was pretending.”

Meanwhile, the acting chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu has asked Nigerian youths to take up the gauntlet and become change agents in the fight against corruption in the country.

Represented by the head of the Benin Zonal office, Mailafia Yakubu, at an event to mark World Peace Day celebration in Benin City, Magu said the biggest challenges facing Nigeria were the “twin evils of corruption and impunity.”

He charged the youths to imbibe the culture of excellence as future leaders of the country and to shun all forms of criminality.

“The corrupt and other economic and financial criminals can no longer hide because the Commission is working hard to bring them to justice,” he added.

Magu said it was disheartening that some youths were involved in advance fee fraud but warned that the prevailing economic challenge was not an excuse to commit crime.

He said:  “I agree that the country is going through a process but it is not an excuse to commit crime, be legitimate in your dealings so you can be the future leaders that you are.”

Published in Headliners

A Senator is in trouble with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for obtaining a N1.2billion loan from the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) to buy electrical equipment but he allegedly  ended up diverting the facility to personal use.

Three years after securing the loan for his firm, he has only paid back about N150million.

Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (Delta North) has been summoned by the EFCC for interrogation through the Clerk to the National Assembly.

Besides the loan, Nwaoboshi is under investigation for collecting N1.580bilion contract to supply some construction equipment and trucks to the Delta State Direct Labour Agency in 2010.

The senator allegedly supplied mostly refurbished trucks as new vehicles. This has been confrmed by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), The Nation learnt.

The senator is among the 18 of the nation’s 109 senators who are either under investigation or trial for over N367.5billion alleged fraud by the EFCC.

Nwaoboshi may face trial for alleged abuse of office in securing the loan, alleged diversion of the facility and contract fraud.

Nwaoboshi is said to have secured the N1.2billion loan, under the Local Industrial Growth Scheme when he was sitting on the Board of Directors of NEXIM Bank.

Although Nwaoboshi excused himself on the day the NEXIM board approved the facility for his company, the anti-graft agency said “the deal signifies of internal abuse”.

An EFCC document said: “The loan, which was approved for the senator when he was a member of the bank’s board of directors, was meant for the purchase of equipment and electrical materials but the senator allegedly diverted part of the funds to acquire properties in Lagos.

“Criminal diversion is a serious offence and NEXIM may have to report him to the Central Bank of Nigeria. As a director of the bank, the circumstance of the award of the loan is one that raises fundamental conflict of interest and corporate governance issues.”

The senator is said to have been defaulting in repayment.

“He has not honoured the invitation of this commission but since he has no immunity, our detectives are on his trail,” an EFCC source said.

The Senator is also under probe for allegedly using one of his companies, ‘Bilderberg Enterprises Ltd’,  to secure a contract from the Direct Labour Agency, Delta State to supply construction equipment at N1,580,000,000.00.

But, instead of supplying the equipment according to the specifications, the company allegedly supplied used equipment, contrary to the Bill of Quantity which specified new ones.

Also  Bilderberg Enterprises Limited (previously known as Bilderberg Enterprises Nigeria Ltd) was alleged to have  secured  contracts from Nine local government areas in Delta State worth over N2billion when the said company was yet to be registered under the Company and Allied Matters Act.

The senator is also under the searchlight of the EFCC for allegedly using a firm, Golden Touch Construction Project Limited, to buy a 12-storey building in Apapa, Lagos belonging to Delta State Government at N805, 000,000.00.

It was learnt that the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) had no record that the senator “declared all the companies and bank accounts he has interest, despite being operational prior to the time he made the declaration.”

A document from the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) confirmed that the senator supplied refurbished trucks to the Delta State Government as new vehicles.

The EFCC’s brief said: “Nwaoboshi, who has failed to respond to the commission’s invitation, is battling to stop the Commission from moving to secure the final forfeiture of his property.

“He has filed two actions before a court in Lagos and a Federal High Court in Asaba, asking that the interim forfeiture order of Justice Abdulaziz Anka be vacated. The Federal High Court Asaba refused the ex-parte application, further hearing is slated for October 3, 4 and 5, 2017.

“A Federal High Court in Lagos in April ordered the temporary forfeiture of a 12-storey building belonging to the senator over an alleged contract scam of N1.5bn.

The said building, which the court ordered Nwaoboshi to forfeit to the Federal Government is at 27, Marine Road, Apapa.

“Justice Anka made the forfeiture order after entertaining an ex parte application brought before him by the EFCC.

“Joined with Nwaoboshi in the application were his two companies – Golden Touch Construction Project Limited, and Bilderberg Enterprises Limited.

“The EFCC told the judge that Nwaoboshi, through his company, Bilderberg Enterprises Limited, got a N1.580bn contract to supply some construction equipment to the Delta State Direct Labour Agency sometime in 2010.

“The senator is also alleged to have forged assets declaration documents before the Code of Conduct Bureau, where he concealed 46 different accounts to which he is a signatory.”

 
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