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Suspended Chairman of the Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Mr. Okoi Ofem Obono-Obla, has escaped to the United Kingdom as he faces investigation by the
the Independent Corrupt Practices and Investigation Commission(ICPC).
According to an ICPC alert which declared him wanted on Tuesday, Obono-Obla, criticised over the overbearing way he chaired the asset recovery panel, left Nigeria on 17 August.
This was two days after the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation formally announced his suspension and asked him to handover to the solicitor-general in the Federal Ministry of Justice.
President Buhari approved his supsension, following a damning report by the ICPC on the official’s certificate forgery, with which he procured a University of Jos law degree and went on to the Nigerian Law School to qualify as a lawyer.
Since 17 August, Obono-Obla has not returned and has repeatedly snubbed invitations by the agency to answer questions bordering on allegations of fraud and corruption.
The ICPC said Obono-Obla is facing series of allegations levelled against him by members of the public on his role as head of the government panel on asset recovery.
The Commission said it is in receipt of petitions accusing him of abuse of office, falsification of admission records, living above his income and collection of gratification from suspects under his investigation.
“The suspended chairman is also facing allegations of working outside the guidelines governing the panel by investigating unauthorized petitions and prosecuting suspects without recourse to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation.
“ICPC had conducted series of investigations on the allegations with preliminary findings showing that some provisions of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and extant laws of Nigeria had been allegedly violated by Mr. Obono-Obla.
“Consequently, ICPC had extended several invitations to him, which he had failed to honour without giving any reason. Attempts to track and make him appear before the Commission also failed leading ICPC to contact other law enforcement agencies for assistance concerning his whereabouts.
“One of such contact has yielded results as records from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) show that Mr. Obono-Obla had travelled out of the country.
“The NIS records revealed that he left the country to an undisclosed location on 17th August, 2019, through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, and has not returned two months after”.
The commission did not indicate whether it has submitted the wanted notice to Interpol for Obono-Obla’s arrest.
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja on October 21, 2019, sentenced and convicted one Ekhator Prince (a.k.a Maxwell), to six months imprisonment on a two-count charge, bordering on cybercrimes and impersonation.
Ekhator Prince was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, after he was busted trying to swindle an American woman, online of $500.000.
He was arraigned on September 9, 2019 in court.
Count one of the charge reads: “That you Ekhator Prince (a.k.a Maxwell) Sometime in 2019 at Abuja FCT within the Jurisdiction of this honorable court, did fraudulently impersonate a United States citizen named Maxwell on Hangout social media application account, with the intent to obtain the sum of 500,000 USD (Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) from one Katie Henderson of United States of America, through the Western Union account of one Paul, and there by committed an offence contrary to Section 22(2) (b) (iv) of the same Act”.
The defendant pleaded guilty to the charge after it was read to him.
However, prosecution counsel, Maryam Hayatudden, told the court that the defendant had on October 18 2019, filed a plea bargain agreement which was signed by both parties and urged the court to adopt the agreement and convict and sentence the defendant accordingly.
Jalal Arabi, right and the DFA in State House Bashir Alkali at the budget presentation
The Permanent Secretary State House, Mr Jalal Arabi, has disclosed that some of the vehicles used for daily operations in the State House were purchased as far back as 1999.
He did not however give the number of such vehicles still in use.
Mr Arabi said there is an urgent need to replace those vehicles as they have become very difficult to maintain.
He spoke on Monday before the House Committee on Special Duties when he led the State House management team to the National Assembly for the defence of the 2020 budget proposals of the State House.
“With the release of funds in 2018, some of the vehicles, especially security vehicles were replaced, spares purchased but we are still nowhere near our optimal level since no vehicles were purchased this year (2019),” Mr Arabi said.
“The proposals are in line with our provisions in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) document, discussed and agreed with the Budget Office of the Federation, and is to be implemented over a three-year period.”
The sum of N6.569billion was proposed for capital expenditure, representing a 5.5 per cent reduction in the capital budget proposal for 2019 expenditure of the seat of government.
The Chairman, House Committee on Special Duties, Samaila Suleiman, while expressing satisfaction with the presentation, assured that the Committee would carefully consider the presentation.
Similarly, the Permanent Secretary defended the State House budget proposals before the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter governmental Affairs.
Former chairman of the Presidential Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina has temporarily lost 23 landed properties linked to him.
Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo of the Federal High Court Abuja, gave the order of temporary forfeiture on Tuesday in a ruling on an ex-parte motion filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The affected properties were listed in a schedule attached to the motion, which EFCC’s lawyer, Mohammed Abubakar argued on Tuesday.
Justice Giwa-Ogunbanjo ordered the EFCC to publish the order in The Nation newspapers to enable interested parties show cause why the properties should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
See a List of the assets below:-
The judge also set Friday for the beginning of Maina’s trial.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has confirmed the arrest of a popular Instagram celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha popularly known as ‘Mompha.’
EFCC’s spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that Mustapha was arrested by the anti-graft agency in the Federal Captial Territory (FCT), but didn’t give further details.
Uwujaren said: “Yes, he has been arrested.”
Mompho is known for advertising his expensive lifestyle on Instagram with many state of the art cars worth over $1.76 million (N634,000,000).
Mompha, who is fondly referred to as the ‘king’ of Nigerian Bureau De Change, is renowned for his luxurious lifestyle which is well portrayed in his flagrant display of expensive cars, wristwatches, and bewildering landscapes and properties on Instagram.
Although there are claims that he fled his base in Dubai to evade arrest from the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), many Nigerians are convinced that the source of the Instagram celebrity’s wealth is questionable.
According to celebrity fact zone, Mompha is the first African to buy the $450,000 Rolls Royce Wraight Eagle Viii.
“He owns a $330,000 2018 Rolls Royce Wraith, a $300,000 Ferrari 488 Spider, a $417,826 2019 Lamborghini Aventador, $265,500 Mclaren 650s and more.
The Cyber Crime Section of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abuja Zonal office, has arrested four suspected internet fraudsters in Abuja.
The suspects are: Chijioke Okwuosah, Emeka Basil, Ayian Chimere and elochukwu Godwill Oguonu.
They were arrested during a sting operation recently at House 34 and 35, 31Road Efab Estate Lokogoma, Abuja, following intelligence reports received by the Commission about their alleged involvement in the criminal activity.
Items recovered from the suspects at the point of arrest include mobile phones, laptops and 2 cars.
The immediate past Senate President, Bukola Saraki says the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, misled Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court, Lagos into granting an order of temporary forfeiture of two of his properties in Ikoyi area to the Federal Government.
The Federal High Court in Ikoyi had on Monday ordered the temporary forfeiture of two properties located in Ikoyi area of Lagos State and belonging to Saraki, to the Federal Government.
However, Saraki, in series of tweets on Monday evening, said his attention had been drawn to an order granted by a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos pursuant to an ex-parte application by the EFCC.
“It is my believe that the Judge was misled into granting this order and was not presented with the full position of the law or the facts.
“It is my believe that the Court was not informed of a pending Order of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja restraining the EFCC from taking any steps regarding the seizure of the property in question pending the determination of a suit filed before that Court,” he said.
Saraki said he also believed that the Court was not made aware that the property in question formed part of the judgment of the Court given on July 6, 2018 where the Supreme Court declared that the source of funds for the purchase of the property was not illicit as claimed by the prosecution.
According to him, “The Supreme Court specifically referred to No 17a McDonald Road, Ikoyi on pages 12, 13 and 26 of its judgment upholding the no-case submission made before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
“I am confident that once these facts and the declaration of the Supreme Court are brought before the Court, this order will be vacated. My lawyers will be approaching the court immediately to achieve this.”
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says he stands by what he said in 2015, that the Boko Haram terrorists have been technically defeated.
The minister stated this on Monday when he paid a working visit to the new corporate headquarters of “The Sun” Newspaper in Lagos.
Fielding questions from the editorial board of the newspaper led by the Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, Mr Onuoha Ukeh the minister said Nigeria is currently facing global terrorism that has no boundary nor frontier.
“I stand by what I said that Boko Haram is technically defeated.
“What we are having today is global terrorism where you have the ISIS, ISWAP, Al-qaeda all working together.
“Terrorism is a global issue. Between 2009 and 2015 we were fighting Boko Haram, but today we are fighting global terrorism where the remnants of the Army in Syria are now joining hands with the ISWAP and others,” he said.
Mohammed said his position in 2015 that Boko Haram had been technically defeated was based on what he saw on ground when he led a team of local and international journalists to the epicentre of insurgency.
“I was on ground in Bama, Konduga and Maiduguri and I know what I saw before I made that claim.
“We are fighting global terrorism and that is why we are appealing to our foreign partners, especially the UN and our neighbours.
“By the time we get more platforms and the new helicopters that are being expected there will be tremendous improvement.”
The minister, who said he was at the newspaper’s headquarter as part of his continuous engagement with the media, enjoined “the Sun” to continue to support the government in fighting fake news and hate speech.
“Fake news and hate speech pose imminent threat to the survival of the nation’s existence.
“The purveyors of siamese twins of evil must be checkmated and government will continue to engage to end the menace.
”We expect you to remain in the vanguard of the efforts to tackle fake news and hate speech.
“We expect you to educate our people on the efforts being made, especially by the government, in this regard. This Administration has no intention of muzzling the media or stifling free speech.
“Our campaign is against fake news and hate speech. And we will not rest until our media space has been rid of fake news and hate speech,” he said.
The minister said that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has delivered on the three mantra of fighting corruption, fighting insurgency and improving on the economy.
He assured Nigerians that the government would continue to work towards delivering on the mandate and lift Nigerians from poverty.
Speaking on the reform in the broadcast industry, Mohammed reiterated that no amount of attacks, would stop the implementation of approved recommendations on reform of broadcasting code.
He, however, assured that in implementing the recommendations, the government would not tamper with the freedom of the press or stifle the rights of people to air their opinions.
Traditionally conservative Northern Ireland is about to legalize both abortion and same-sex marriage, a head-snapping about-face that was imposed on the territory by the British Parliament.
The changes, bitterly resisted by anti-abortion and church groups, were mandated in an amendment to a routine bill on governance of Northern Ireland that Parliament passed in July amid a power vacuum created by the collapse of the regions governing assembly nearly three years ago.
The amendment will go into effect at midnight on Monday, weeks after the High Court in Belfast rebuffed a legal challenge, ruling that Northern Irelands 158-year-old abortion laws are incompatible with the United Kingdoms human rights commitments.
The judgment was a major victory for womens rights activists, who had felt left behind after the Republic of Ireland voted to legalize abortion last year.
Although Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom, and the majority of its people say they would like abortion to be made available, the regional power-sharing government had blocked abortion reform before collapsing in 2017 over sectarian divides.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has conceded he could be out of a job if results do not improve but said he tries not to pay too much attention to speculation over his future.
Spurs have made a poor start to the season with three wins in nine Premier League games so far and head into Tuesdays Champions League match against Red Star Belgrade at the bottom of Group B.
Tottenham began their European campaign with a draw at Olympiacos before being comprehensively beaten 7-2 in London by Bayern Munich. They were also held to a 1-1 draw by bottom-of-the-table Watford in the Premier League at the weekend.
Our performance is not as good as we can deliver, Pochettino told reporters. Of course we need to improve. On the other side there are all of the rumours that happen at any club when you dont win but it doesnt mean theyre true.
I understand this business. Im 47 why do you think I dont have grey hair? Because I dont pay attention to any of this. I only pay attention that we need to improve our performances.
If we dont improve our performance, what is going to be the result? Its always the same in football and you are thinking the same as me.
The Argentine, who is contracted to Tottenham until 2023, has transformed the club since taking over in 2014, turning them into regular Champions League contenders.
He led Spurs to the Champions League final last season, where they lost to Liverpool, but said he was not surprised by his position being called into question after a few poor games.
That is football, Im not surprised. Its normal, Pochettino said. Football is always about winning today and tomorrow. What happens yesterday is gone and we apply this philosophy here.
You need to think about winning today and tomorrow If I think too much ahead and I dont win, then these rumours dont surprise me.