EFCC’S POLITICAL AGENDA EXPOSED AS COMMISSION DESPERATELY CHARGES YAHAYA BELLO FOR DIVERTING KOGI’S FUNDS MONTHS BEFORE HE ASSUMED OFFICE
.SAYS ROGUES POLITICIANS CONNIVING WITH COMMISSION TO TARNISH COUNTRY’S ANTI-CORRUPTION IMAGE
. INSISTS KOGI’S MONEY WORKING FOR ITS PEOPLE, NOT MISSING
The Kogi State Government has raised the alarm over what it described as a desperate attempt by “criminals masquerading as politicians” to tarnish the image of the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, HE Yahaya Bello, for selfish reasons, through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The state government said, in its desperation, “which would leave Nigerians wondering who exactly is afraid of Yahaya Bello”, the EFCC has, in an amended charge, accused the former Governor of diverting Kogi State Government funds in September 2015, four months before he assumed the position of a Governor.
It said this was not only laughable but portrayed the EFCC as an agency infested with persons whose intents disagree with the noble intention of Mr. President to defeat corruption in Nigeria.
A statement signed by the Commissioner for Information in Kogi State, Kingsley Fanwo, said, “The fact that the EFCC, in charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/550/2022: FRN V. 1. Ali Bello 2. Dauda Suleiman, currently pending before Honorable Justice J.K. Omotosho of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division further amended the ‘Amended Charge’ to include in the count, the name of H.E Yahaya Bello, describing him as being “at large”, is ridiculous, laughable and portrays the EFCC as an agency infested with persons whose intents disagree with the noble intention of Mr. President to defeat corruption in Nigeria.
“Being ‘at large’ of course means that a person is evading arrest or is on the run and cannot be found after an attempt to arrest.
“For the sake of clarity, the original charge is against Ali Bello and Dauda Suleiman, Ali’s associate. The offence which H.E Yahaya Bello is alleged to have committed upon which he has been named in the count is conspiracy to convert the total sum of N80,246,470,089.88 (Eighty Billion, Two Hundred and Forty Six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand, Eighty Nine Naira, Eighty Eight Kobo) which offence is said to have occurred on or about September 2015 in Abuja. His co-conspirators according to the Count are Abdulsalami Hudu (Kogi State Government House Cashier) described as being ‘at large’ too, Ali Bello and Dauda Suleiman.
“In the EFCC’s desperation to nail H.E Yahaya Bello, they forgot their thinking hammer at home.
“The Count of the offence is most laughable as the election that produced H.E Yahaya Bello, CON, as Governor of Kogi was only conducted in November 2015. Indeed, H.E. Captain Idris Wada of the PDP held sway as Governor of Kogi State at the material time until he handed over to H.E Yahaya Bello on the 27th day of January 2016.
“H.E Yahaya Bello could therefore not have as of September 2015 conspired with anyone, including Abdulsalami Hudu, a Kogi Government House Cashier to convert any money belonging to the Kogi State Government. It is to be noted that H.E Yahaya Bello before becoming the Governor of Kogi State had no financial dealings with the Kogi State Government which could have permitted him to convert monies belonging to the Kogi State Government, hence, one’s dismay at the allegation.”
The state government warned political actors to steer clear of Kogi State affairs and desist from their campaign of calumny “as the state government has not said its money is missing, and has been adjudged, both locally and internationally, as top in the area of transparency and accountability.”
The state government asked: “Why should Nigerians trust the leadership of the agency that made such a ridiculous, shameless and indefensible allegation? The Chairman of the Commission should tender unreserved apologies to the Nigerian people for making us a laughing stock in the comity of nations.”
It called on the President to step in to save the integrity of the EFCC from those “pushing the Commission into a fight that should be left to politicians.”
“The Kogi State Government under the leadership of His Excellency Alh. Ahmed Usman Ododo will continue to support the Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr President. We will also continue to promote probity, accountability and transparency and open our books to agencies and institutions constitutionally empowered to look into them. We will continue to win awards in transparency and accountability,” the state government added.
The journey did not begin today, according to Fanwo.
He said, “In 2021, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in a desperate bid to embarrass the Government of Kogi State then under the leadership of His Excellency Alh. Yahaya Bello, came out with a false claim that it had uncovered over N20 billion Naira of the state’s bail out fund in a Fixed Deposit Account in Sterling Bank. Emboldened by its innocence, the Kogi State Government wrote a letter to Sterling Bank for clarifications.
“The Bank came out clean that the State Government had no such account with it, rubbishing the blatant falsehood of the EFCC in a manner that was so embarrassing to the people and Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“But rather than apologize to the Government of Kogi State and the general public, the EFCC chose to harass the officials of Sterling Bank, coercing them to do everything possible to achieve the aim of roping tue Kogi State Government into their ignominy ring. It ended with a conspiratorial exchange between the EFCC and the CBN. Today, Nigerians are not confused about the personae of Bawa and Emefiele.
“The sack of Bawa and the startling revelations that followed threw Nigerians into jubilation. Their hope was that EFCC will birth a new era of separating political vendetta from the actual fight against corruption. But recent happenings have shown that it isn’t war against corruption anymore but a clear manifestation of hired gun approach to hack down political opponents by certain elements within and outside the anti graft agency.
“This betrays the determination of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR to retool the agency and make it more vibrant in preventing and fighting corruption in a genuine and objective manner within the ambit of the rule of law.”
According to him, the current leadership of the EFCC has now continued to tow the path of the leadership of Abdulrasheed Bawa who woke up one day in August 2021, decided in his mind that the Kogi State Government had Twenty Billion Naira in an account, secured ex-parte, an Order of the Federal High Court, Lagos empowering him to direct the Manager of Sterling Bank Plc to freeze Account No. 0073572696 with the name Kogi State Salary Bail Out Account pending the conclusion of investigation or possible prosecution.
“They went on even when Sterling Bank through a letter addressed to the Kogi State Government dated 1st September, 2021 confirmed that ‘the Kogi State Government does not currently operate or maintain a Fixed Deposit Account with Sterling Bank’
‘There is no mandate letter from the Kogi State Government to open account number 0073572696 with Sterling’ and that ‘Sterling Bank account 0073572696’ is an internal (mirror) account operated by the Bank for purposes of managing the Kogi State salary bailout facility,” he said.
The state government added, “While the EFCC’s suit was withdrawn and the Order of Court vacated upon a challenge by the Kogi State Government, the EFCC continued to issue press statements on all its social media platforms, attaching the pictures of H.E Yahaya Bello to those statements and insisting that the factual basis of their claim was genuine. To cover up the falsehood and their shame, the EFCC under Bawa compelled Sterling Bank Plc and the CBN under its embattled Governor Emefiele, to write letters confirming the return of funds belonging to the Kogi State Government to the CBN, when no such funds existed.
“The EFCC has since refused to answer to the suit filed against it since 2021 by the Kogi State Government and its officials challenging the falsehood on the issue of bailout funds. The EFCC has continued to maintain frivolous appeals even when the Court of Appeal had confirmed that the trial Court had the jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
“A similar modus operandi was employed by the EFCC with respect to the former first lady of Kogi State, Rashida Bello. She was named in the counts of offence and described as being at large in Charge No: FHC/ABJ/573/2022: FRN V. (1) ALI BELLO (2) ABBA ADAUDU (3) YAKUBU SIYAKA ADABENEGE (4) IYADI SADAT and was alleged to have conspired to criminally misappropriate over Three Billion Naira, funds allegedly belonging to some Local Government Areas of Kogi State. It is noteworthy that she was never invited by the EFCC or arrested before branding her as being ‘at large’.
“As usual, the EFCC employed rogue ‘news’ platforms who sensationalized the issue, claiming that the then First Lady has been charged to Court and was running from justice!”
The Kogi Government said the current leadership of the EFCC seemed to have picked up the gauntlet from where Bawa left it.
“They have started using their media cronies and other faceless blogs and rogue media handles to spread lies about H.E Yahaya Bello. The purpose of the current amendment of Charge No. 550/2022 is no doubt to allow their irresponsible bloggers gleefully but erroneously claim that Yahaya Bello has been charged to Court for the conversion of over 80 Billion of Kogi money, an offence which was allegedly committed when he was not yet a Governor.
“The unprecedented extent to which the EFCC is ready to go to tarnish the image of the Kogi State Government and also the image of the immediate past Governor, His Excellency Alh Yahaya Bello, has left much to be desired.
“It is in our character to fight in defence of the integrity of the Government and over 5 million Kogites whose common patrimony the Government allocates on their behalf. We are prepared to use the instrumentality of law to defend the integrity of the State Government.
“We urge the people of Kogi State to remain calm and law abiding in the face of relentless provocation by EFCC who is insisting that the money we used to build infrastructure in the state is missing. We will never lose a just battle.”
Signed: Kingsley Femi Fanwo
Hon. Commissioner for Information and Communications
6th February, 2024.
Ogun To Begin Sales Of 100 Trucks Load Of Rice At Cheaper Rate-Abiodun …the poor, elderly, vulnerable to get free allocation
Ogun To Begin Sales Of 100 Trucks Load Of Rice At Cheaper Rate-Abiodun
…the poor, elderly, vulnerable to get free allocation
Ogun State has purchased 100 trucks load of rice to be sold at cheaper rates to residents of the state to cushion the effect of the rise in the prices of goods in the country.
The state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun stated this on Wednesday while speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting in Abeokuta, the state capital.
Prince Abiodun disclosed that the rice would be subsidized and made available at the rate it was before the recent astronomical rise in the prices of the commodities.
He, however, said the poor, the elderly, and the vulnerable would enjoy free allocation.
“We have decided to give our people foodstuffs like rice, garri, beans. I have ordered almost 100 trailers of rice, they will start offloading them tomorrow (today).
“We have decided that the poor, the elderly, and the vulnerable will be given the rice free of charge, while others will have to buy the rice at the price we formally bought it before the dollar rose very high so that it won’t be a one-off and we can continue till the issue of the dollar is settled,” he said.
Governor Abiodun assured the people of Ogun State that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is fully in charge and knows what he is doing.
According to him, the President is on top of the situation, adding that Nigerians will soon start seeing the manifestation of the several policies put in place to curtail the rising inflation
He added that the Central Bank Governor, Mr. Yemi Cardoso, at a meeting he had with him, has assured that the dollar would soon fall.
“Everything we are experiencing at the moment is very transient, it will soon pass away. Let me assure you, the meeting we had yesterday (Tuesday) and today (Wednesday) after I left that meeting this evening, I am convinced that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is fully in charge. He knows what he is doing.
“With the plan that he has begun to implement, you will soon begin to see the change. We must remain very hopeful.
“The last meeting I had was with the CBN Governor. He said I should quote him and tell you that, very soon, the dollar will crash,” he said.
Abiodun noted that his administration in realization of the present hardship facing the country took some steps to cushion the effect, even as he recalled that an intervention worth more than N5 billion was announced by his administration last week.
Tertiary students of Ogun State origin across the country will receive N50,000 each, the governor said.
The secondary and primary school category with about 800,000 students, Prince Abiodun noted, will be done in phases, with the first phase, comprising 100,000 students getting N10,000 each.
Those not captured now would get five exercise books while waiting for the next phase.
The governor said women and the elderly would benefit from free medical care with insurance cards worth N18,000.
Abiodun further noted that his administration would set aside about N500 million monthly to offset the payment of deductions for civil servants in the state public service.
Governor Abiodun urged Nigerians, especially the youths not to allow themselves to be used by unscrupulous elements to disrupt the peace of the country.
“It is now so bad that they have planned to use our youths, give them money to disrupt the peace of the country by staging protests.
“What we going through isn’t what other countries around the world haven’t also experienced. But they were very patriotic, calm because they know the solution is on the way,” he said.
WE HAVE NO ALLEGATION OF FRAUD AGAINST EX- COMMISSIONER, OTHERS, OGUN ASSEMBLY CLARIFIES INVITATION
WE HAVE NO ALLEGATION OF FRAUD AGAINST EX- COMMISSIONER, OTHERS, OGUN ASSEMBLY CLARIFIES INVITATION
Sahara Weekly Reports That Ogun State House of Assembly Committee on Public Accounts and Anti-Corruption, led by Hon. Damilare Bello today continues with its sittings with a clarification that the invitation extended to the former Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Abdul-Waheed Odusile and the SSA to the Governor on Media, Emmanuel Ojo was not an indictment but rather to seek clarifications on the audit report of the Ministry.
Hon. Bello issued the clarification today during the Committee’s meeting with the officials of the State Hospitals Management Board at the Assembly Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
The Committee Chairman in company of other members including Honourables Musefiu Lamidi, Dickson Awolaja, Wahab Haruna, Yusuf Amosun, Folawewo Salami, Lawal Samsideen and Waliu Owode noted that the sitting was not meant to witch- hunt but to put the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government on their toes in the prudent management of government resources.
He recalled that at the last sitting of the Committee, there was a misinformation in some sections of the media insinuating fraudulent practices, cautioning that the Committee had not indicted anyone but merely considering issues raised in the audit reports with a view to addressing them.
He stated, “on Monday at our last sitting, there was a misinformation that this Honourable House has indicted the ex- Commissioner and the SSA (Media), we have not indicted anyone. We have only used the media to invite them for clarification on the Auditor General reports in line with our constitutional responsibilities.
It is important to note that the this House has no reason to witch-hunt anyone. We are only making sure the people see our Governor working alongside with the legislators with the right procedure to achieve all the Government lofty policies and programmes”, he stated.
He urged the public to disregard the scandal rumour, saying not everything found on the media space might be the right picture of things coming from the Assembly.
He called on Heads of MDAs to work together with the Assembly in blocking all leakages and help promote accountability and transparency in the running of government in the State.
TINUBU APPOINTS DCG KEMI NANNA NANDAP AS COMPTROLLER-GENERAL OF THE NIGERIA IMMIGRATION SERVICE
PRESIDENT TINUBU APPOINTS DCG KEMI NANNA NANDAP AS COMPTROLLER-GENERAL OF THE NIGERIA IMMIGRATION SERVICE
President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of DCG Kemi Nanna Nandap to serve as the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), effective from March 1, 2024.
DCG Nandap takes over from Mrs. Caroline Wura-Ola Adepoju, whose term in office expires on February 29, 2024.
Before her appointment as Comptroller-General, Nandap was the Deputy Comptroller-General in charge of the Migration Directorate of the Service.
The President anticipates that the new Comptroller-General will deepen the ongoing reforms in the service and create a robust mechanism for efficient and dedicated service delivery to Nigerians, as well as strengthen the nation’s security through proactive and effective border security and migration management.
Chief Ajuri Ngelale
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
February 21, 2024
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