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INVESTIGATION

Bribena, others fingered in fresh plot to blackmail Amnesty Programme boss, Prof. Dokubo

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The Presidential Amnesty Programme is set to graduate no fewer than 137 persons trained in different vocational skills, its Official has said.

The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Co-odinator Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Quaker Dokubo, has alleged that one pastor Miebi Bribena, a contractor with the amnesty office has connived with a director of finance and account in the same office, Mr. Ilem Ukam to blackmail him. Amnesty Prof. Charles Dokubo

Describing as total “blackmail and defamation of his character,” reports against him allegedly sponsored by the duo of Bribena and Ukam, the Amnesty Boss, in a statement through the office of his Special Adviser on Niger Delta, Wednesday, accused Bribena of misappropriating the funds meant for the completion of some contracts including the construction of Oil and Gas Vocational Training Centre, Agadagba and the Maritime Vocational Training institute, Obuama.

 

The statement called on the office of the Presidential Amnesty Programme to call Pastor Bribena to order through constitutional means.

The statement reads thus:

It has come to notice of the office of the Special Adviser on Niger Delta to the President and Co-ordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Quaker Dokubo of the activities of one Pastor Miebi Bribena, a contractor with the amnesty office, who has connived with other persons including the Director of Finance and Accounts in the Amnesty Office, Mr. Ilem Ukam to blackmail the amnesty boss.

It all started when Pastor Miebi Bribena who is also an architect was awarded the contract of the construction of Oil and Gas Vocational Training Centre, Agadagba and the Maritime Vocational Training Institute, Obuama simultaneously by the Kuku-led-Amnesty Office. Pastor was mobilized 98% upfront to execute the jobs. The Agadagba Centre was 60% near completion before it was stopped, but for the timely intervention of Prof. Charles Quaker Dokubo on assumption of office it was completed and commissioned recently. The Obuama Centre was way behind schedule and abandoned with just 20% completion after the release of N2.4 billion naira for a job of such magnitude.

General Boroh, Prof. Dokubo’s predecessor, was tricked into believing that it was the differential in prices, because of the prevailing inflation, that was delaying the job; the balance of funds was released for him to complete the job, Pastor Miebi Bribena did not go to site and diverted the money for his personal use. On assumption of office, Prof. Dokubo called up the Obuama file and was shocked at the discrepancies and numbers that did not add up. Pastor Bribena was invited to clear the air, he was asking for differential in prices again, which was seen as an absurdity. The amount he quoted as differential was equivalent to the original amount quoted for the job, couple with the fact that, he was incoherent and belligerent in his responses. A team was sent to Obuama to evaluate what has been done and was shell-shocked on the state of the structure.

The findings were quite revealing:
1) The foundation of the Obuama Centre was good but the superstructure was an admixture of substandard and standard materials, e. g. blocks, columns were of substandard materials among others.

2) The N2.4 billion naira released for the project was not commensurate with the level of work done.

3) Building materials were diverted for personal use by Bribena

4) Pastor Bribena was busy building houses for some stakeholders in the Niger Delta in order to buy them over in the event of any discovery of shortcomings in the execution of the Obuama project. Those mouths have been sealed since the Obuama project scam came up.

5) The community secondary school Obuama only source of recreation-the football field–was damaged when trucks bearing building materials rode on the field. Pastor Miebi Bribena is yet to take responsibility for this damage.

6) Experts feel the building might collapse under immense pressure of human movement sooner than expected.

7) Hostels and staff quarters have not been built.
8) The jetty for the Maritime institute has not been built among others.

9) The 165 feet deep well for deep sea diving training has not being built among other ancillaries.

9) Accusations of impropriety were also made against Pastor Miebi Bribena by some indigenes of Obuama who did business with him.

Prof. Charles Quaker Dokubo was not comfortable with the findings and other unethical developments and decided to put everything on hold pastor Miebi Bribena’s request for more money.

This was the beginning of Pastor Miebi Bribena’s running battle with the Amnesty office. He enlisted the services of the director of finance and account in the amnesty office, Mr. Ilem Ukam to cause problem in the Niger Delta region with aim of heating up the polity which invariably will lead to the removal of Prof. Dokubo as the amnesty office boss.

Video and audio recordings of Pastor Miebi Bribena verbally insulting Prof. Dokubo were made to go viral. Prior to this time Pastor Miebi Bribena, Mr. Ilem Ukam and a group had orchestrated the looting of Kaiama training where items worth billions of naira were carted away.

To add salt to injury, Bribena has been bragging to all who would listen hear that he single-handedly removed General Boroh, Prof. Charles Dokubo will go in like manner, then a Special Adviser on Niger Delta and coordinator of the amnesty of his choice will be chosen.

The general public should be put on notice that:
i) Pastor Bribena was so privileged to have been given three choice contracts to build three training centres in Ondo, Rivers and Bayelsa respectively; these centres all have issues of non-completion with severe structural defects. The Oil and Gas Vocational Training Centre, Agadagba was remedied by Prof. Charles Dokubo on assumption of office and consequently commissioned to be put to use. The Maritime Vocational Training Centre, Obuama has been abandoned but funds were provided.

ii) The reason Miebi Bribena could not complete these projects, most especially the Maritime Vocational Training Institute, Obuama, Rivers State, was due largely to his insatiable desire for money and power. He diverted the funds for the project to the pursuance of his political career, which failed even before he began the journey.

iii) He lives in faraway Ghana, but delights in fomenting trouble in the Niger Delta as a distraction from the main issue. In the event of any crisis caused by his incendiary comments in the region his family is safe in foreign land, while unsuspecting innocent ones will become casualties.

iv) The youths of the region should hold Miebi Bribena accountable for the non-completion of the Maritime Vocational Training Centre, Obuama in Rivers State. One man has decided to derail the hard-earned peace progress in the region, in order to feed his ego, greed and criminality. His children attend Ivy League schools abroad and the institute that would help transform the children of less-privileged in the region has been abandoned by Pastor Miebi Bribena.

v) It was gathered from the grapevine that he diverted some of the building materials meant for Obuama projects to some of the construction sites of his church (Christ Embassy in Port-Harcourt and Yenagoa respectively) to boost his status symbol as a man of God.

PRAYERS
Without much ado, we call on the office of the Presidential Amnesty Programme to call Pastor Bribena to order through constitutional means. It is either he finishes the project at Obuama or face the wrath of the aggrieved Niger Delta youths. This man is a fraud and must be arrested.

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BUSINESS

Wema Bank, Dana Airline in alleged money laundering scandal

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One of the nation’s topflight banking institutions, Wema Bank and Dana Air, owners of Sri Sai Vandana Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) have been fingered in a money laundering crime and may be prosecuted by the anti-graft agency.

According to a source, the airline’s inflight donation collected between 2014 and 2018 without following due process is the bane of contention.

“The EFCC will take it up. We will investigate and prosecute the crime element once prima facie is established,” the acting spokesperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Tony Orilade said.

Dana started Nigeria’s Sri Sai Vandana Foundation in 1995 and commenced the inflight donation in partnership with the Sickle Cell Foundation of Nigeria. But after the airline suffered a major crash in Lagos in 2012 in which 153 persons died, it ceased the collaboration, ‘re-strategised’, and solely ran the inflight donations.

Reports also reveal how Dana through Sri Sai Vandana Foundation, got the inflight donations between January 2014 and October 2018, raking in millions of naira deposited into the Wema Bank account number 0121291839 without due registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), a prerequisite for complying with the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML) regulations.

The EFCC official stated that the company will be sanctioned and that when there is a vacuum that is when we will lift the veil.

He further explained that by ‘lifting the veil’ he simply means “The company cannot run without humans. So, it is when everyone denies being members of the company that we go after the individuals.”

In line with the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, it is mandatory every Designated Non – Financial Institution, DNFI, to register with SCUML in order to legally operate in Nigeria.

Contravening the SCUML guidelines have some specific penalties, including “suspension or revocation of license, fines or imprisonment or both,” according to Sections 15 to 17 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended).

It stipulates a maximum of 14 years jail term for an individual but, in the case of a corporate organisation, the law says such organisation would pay “a fine of not less than 100 percent of the funds and properties acquired as a result of the offense committed” and would also have its license withdrawn.

Precisely, the law defines the unlawful act listed in subsection (2) of the Act to include “corruption, bribery, fraud, counterfeiting, and piracy of products…or any other criminal act specified in this Act or any other law in Nigeria.”

As such, Wema Bank officials involved in Dana’s account opening process may as well be prosecuted by the anti-graft agency, as soon as SCUML forwards its findings to the EFCC.

Source: ICIR

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INVESTIGATION

Sanwo-Olu’s Chief of Staff, Tayo Ayinde dumps wife, …Marries millionaire’s sister

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Barely one year after the crash of his marriage, popular Lagos politician, Mr. Tayo Akinmade Ayinde has found love again. He is romantically involved with Doyin Ojora, a popular society lady. Ayinde, who presently serves as the Chief of Staff to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state, was the Director-General of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu Independent Campaign Group between 2018 and 2019.

This newspaper gathered that Ayinde ended his marriage to his first wife, Titilola, shortly before Sanwo-Olu’s gubernatorial project kicked off. Sources disclosed that Ayinde decided to end the marriage to Titilola and send her packing, for the flimsiest of excuses, which continue to elude the couple’s close friends. Not satisfied with his decision to call it quit with his first wife, Ayinde, reportedly, denied her access to their children.

Close sources disclosed that Ayinde’s decision to end his marriage with Titilola, has refused to sit well with his close friend. They can’t seem to fathom why he would dump the woman, who started from the scratch and made a lot of sacrifices to make him what he is today.

Sources revealed  that Titilola almost went into a state of depression when all efforts she made to reconcile with her family was frustrated by her estranged husband. Left with little or no option, the 49-year old lady left Nigeria and relocated to the United States, where she currently resides.

Meanwhile, Ayinde has since found love in the bosom of Doyin Ojora, a party-loving society girl. The two have since consummated the affair and now carry on as husband and wife. Doyin is in her late 30’s, and she is the niece of Otunba Adekunle Ojora, the boardroom businessman. She once worked with Ayodeji Joseph, during his tenure as Chairman of Apapa Local Government. Later, she was appointed as a caretaker of Apapa Local Council.

Ayinde, who hails from Ikorodu, Lagos State was born on the 24th of August, 1964 at Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos. He is an alumnus of Havard Business School, Boston, USA and University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. Ayinde is a former security and intelligence personnel. He had previously served as chief security detail to the former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu from 1999 to 2007.

A source close to the chief of staff, however disclosed that he and his estranged wife have been separated for about 3 years and they finally divorced last year. “It was as a result of irreconcilable differences, he’s a good man who has right to live well.

This was one of the issues that counted against him when he contemplated contesting for the governorship, Aswaju told him that “koni yawo nile,( he doesn’t have a wife) so, if he decides to do that now,is it wrong? The source said.

SOURCE: First Weekly Magazine

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INVESTIGATION

Crisis rocks Nigeria Centre for Disease Control as D-G refuses to leave after tenure

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There is apprehension in the Abuja head office of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), as a result of the decision of the Director-General (D-G), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, to remain in office after the expiration of his tenure.

Despite the order from the Permanent Secretary of the federal Ministry of Health, Alhaji Abdullahi, who is the overall boss of the ministry in the absence of a minister, that Ihekweazu should vacate office based on the content of his appointment letter dated August 1, 2016, he has bluntly refused to obey the instruction.

A presidency source, who is in the know of what is going on in the agency, declared that the Permanent Secretary has made an official complaint against the D-G to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.

The presidency source said: “There is a complete loss of confidence in the D-G and the top officials no longer hold meetings with him”.

Aside the fact that this action may affect the integrity of President Muhammadu Buhari, it may also affect the mandate of the agency to effectively respond to the challenges of public health emergencies.

NCDC Memo

The source declared that the Presidency is already shopping for a replacement “and this will be announced soon”.

The top four directors in the agency are Dr. Joshua Obasanya, Mrs. Olubunmi Ojo, Mrs. Nwando Mba and Mr. Y.Y. Abdullahi. Of these four, Obasanya is the most senior.

There are also Deputy Directors such as, Dr. John Oladejo, Mrs. Elsie Ilori, Dr. Priscilla Ibekwe, Dr. Chinwe Ochu and Dr. Olufemi Ayoola “and I can tell you for free that these top officials don’t see eye to eye with the D-G again”.

One of the junior officials in the ministry declared: “Our D-G has vehemently refused to vacate office, despite the instruction from the Permanent Secretary”.

He said Ihekweazu assumed office on August 1, 2016 based on a letter signed by the then SGF, Babachir David Lawal.

With Ref. No. SGF.6/XXI/356 and entitled APPOINTMENT OF NATIONAL COORDINATOR/CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE NIGERIA CENTRE FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (NCDC), the letter reads:
“I am pleased to inform you that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved your appointment as National Coordinator/Chief Executive Officer of the National Office for the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC).

“The appointment took effect from 25th July, 2016 and your emoluments and other conditions of service are as provided under Certain Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders (Salaries and Allowances etc.) (Amendment) Act, 2008.

“I am to add that your tenure terminates at the end of this Administration unless otherwise decided by Mr. President.

“Please accept my congratulations and best wishes on your appointment”.

The source declared that Ihekweazu “pressed all the buttons” to ensure a renewal of his tenure in May and April but a fresh letter was not given to him.

“He should have left office since May 29 but he has been using delay tactics. I can tell you that the morale is down in our office. All our ogas (directors) don’t attend meeting with Dr. Ihekweazu again.

“I remember the last meeting they had with him was about two days after the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari for another term on May 29.

“The D-G should have left office on May 28 but he told them that he would leave office Tuesday of the following week. Twenty four hours to the day, he called them again and announced that he would leave office the following Thursday. All of a sudden, the next thing we saw was a letter from the D-G, informing all directors, heads of departments and members of staff that he would go on one-week leave from June 13 to 21”.

The letter, dated June 11, 2019, reads:
“Dear Colleagues, I will be proceeding on annual leave from the 13th to 21st of June, 2019.

“During this period, Dr. Joshua Obasanya will act in my capacity as Director-General.

“I am very grateful for the hard work and support from you all in the first half of this year. It has been an extremely busy period but with a lot of success and remarkable achievements.

“The prospects of what we can achieve in the next half of the year are very exciting. I look forward to more progress on this journey.

“Once again colleagues, thank you very much for your support.
Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu”

The source said the paragraph ‘The prospects of what we can achieve in the next half of the year are very exciting. I look forward to more progress on this journey’ is already causing ripples in the agency as it is believed that Ihekweazu does not want to vacate office, despite the expiration of his tenure.

The source alleged that the D-G “is still signing cheques and awarding contracts, backdating them to May 27”.

“There is a serious lacuna in our office. The sit-tight syndrome is already affecting our operations here. There is also the allegation of nepotism against the D-G. Since the D-G resumed from the one-week leave, I have not seen our ogas (directors) in his office. Now, we hear all kinds of rumours.

“There is tension everywhere. One of the ogas (directors) told me that they will not have any meeting with him. Honestly, since the Permanent Secretary advised the D-G to leave, I wonder what he is still doing in the office”.

Established in 2011, the core functions of NCDC include prevention, detection and control of diseases of public health importance.

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