A Federal High Court in Lagos has on Thursday threw out a suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), seeking to forfeit to the Federal government of Nigeria, the sum of $5,316.66 USD, domiciled in Skye Bank Plc, and linked to the former first lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan and six others.
The court threw out the suit at the instance of the EFCC, which had applied to the court to strike out the suit.
Other beneficiaries of the ruling are five companies, which were having total sums of N7,418,829,290.94 billion, and one Esther Oba, who is said to be having $429, 381.87 million.
The companies are: Finchley Top Homes Limited, AM-PM Global Network Limited, Aribawa Arura Reachout Foundation, and Pagmat Oil and Gas Limited and Mabel Resort Limited.
The monies were said to be kept in six different commercial banks.
The court, presided by Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, had sometime in December 2016, while granting EFCC’s exparte application filed and argued before the court by counsel to the commission, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, ordered that the account be frozen pending the conclusion of investigation on the money, in a suit marked FHC/L/CS/1342/16, between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Skye Bank Plc along with the companies listed above, and Esther Oba.
The judge had also ordered the EFCC to file an undertaking as to damages if it turned out that the order was not to have been made.
In urging the court to temporarily freeze the account, the EFCC through one of its investigators, Mr. Abdulahi Tukura, in an affidavit, told the court that the former first lady used different companies and individuals to acquired the money.
In the said affidavit, Tukura had averred that Dame Patience Jonathan’s money in Skye bank account number 2110001712 with a current balance of $5,842,316.66 million, is reasonably suspected to be a proceed from corruption.
He stated that all the companies mentioned in the suit have their accounts in four commercial banks where the monies were kept.
Tukura had stated in the affidavit that upon the receipt of intelligent report on the accounts, his commission analyzed it and found it to be worthy of investigation. He, therefore, averred that it will serve the course of Justice to grant his application.
However, at the resumed hearing of the matter, lawyer to other respondents, Mr. Ige Asemudara, told the court that he was duly informed by the EFCC lawyer, Mr. Mohammed idris that the anti-graft agency had signified to discontinue the suit by filing a notice of discontinuance.
Asemudara, therefore, urged the court to strike out the suit. Asemudara’s application was granted, and Justice Olatoregun consequently struck out the suit. (Daily Trust)
$217.7b looted in Nigeria in 38 years – Magu
The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, has revealed the total money stolen in Nigeria between 1970 and 2008 was $217.7 billion.
Magu made this known during annual conference of the Online Publishers Association of Nigeria, held in Abuja.
Represented by the EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, Magu said Nigeria constituted about 30.5 per cent of Africa’s total share of illicit financial outflow.
He said: “In February 2015, a High-level panel on illicit Financial Flows from Africa constituted by the African Union under the chairmanship of the former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, revealed that Nigeria ranked first among 10 African countries by Cumulative Illicit Financial flows between 1970 and 2008.
“The total outflow from Nigeria for the period was $217.7 billion, constituting about 30.5 per cent of Africa’s total share.”
Magu also said the investigation, arrests, prosecution and asset recoveries undertaken by EFCC over the years confirmed that the level of corruption in Nigeria was truly staggering.
He said: “The various investigations, arrests, prosecution and asset recoveries we have been undertaking at the EFCC over the years have confirmed to us that the level of corruption in Nigeria us truly staggering.
“Thus horrible and inhuman crime is being perpetrated by individuals and groups in both the private and public sectors all over the country.
“The latter include serving and defunct state governors, cabinet ministers, high ranking officers, chief executives of parastatals, and top bureaucrats in the state and federal government agencies.
“The alarming rate of corruption committed by these unpatriotic elements can be partly seen in the number of convictions secured by the EFCC from Nigerian courts since I assumed duty as the head of the Commission in 2015.
“The figure stands at 103 in 2015, 195 (2016), 189 (2017) and 312 for the period January to November 2018.
“The total figure for the period January 2015 to 2018 is a mind blowing 799 convictions.
“In the process of such convictions, the EFCC recovered: N794.5 billion, $261 million, £1.1 million, 8.1 million euro and CFA 86,500.
“Other recoveries under my tenure include: Seized 407 mansions, 281 under interim forfeiture and 126 under final forfeiture.
“Confiscated hundreds of filling stations, petroleum products, real estate, heavy machineries and investment shares.
“Seized 87 lands, 56 under interim forfeiture and 42 under final forfeiture.
Acting IG Adamu reverses Idris last-minute postings
Strong indications emerged Tuesday that four out of the seven Deputy Inspectors-General of Police in the Nigeria Police Force may leave the force alongside the former Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, who retired on Tuesday.
It was gathered that the DIGs, who are members of the Police Management Team and senior to the acting IG, Mohammed Adamu, might be forced out of the service to pave the way for him to set up a new management team he could work with.
It was gathered that those that might be affected by the reorganisation include DIG Maigari Dikko in Charge of Department of Finance and Administration; DIG Joshuak Habila, Department of Operations; DIG Emmanuel Inyang, Information and Communications Technology; and DIG Agboola Oshodi-Glover, Logistics and Supply Departments.
Police sources said that DIGs Mohammed Katsina (Research and Planning Department); Sani Mohammed (Training and Development Department); and Peace Madueke -Abdallah (Federal Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department) who were promoted late last year could survive the impending purge of the Police Management Team.
“The three DIGs were on the same rank as Adamu last year. In fact, Abdallah was a Commissioner of Police the same time the acting IG was also a CP, so they were almost on the same level. By virtue of this fact, the new police boss may include them in his management team and save their career from sudden death.”
It was gathered that Abdallah, who has about six years to retire, may be the worst casualty of the purge if Adamu decided to dispense with all the police management team members.
The decision to retain any of the PMT members rested on the acting IG, who is expected to write to the Police Service Commission about his chosen team members.
Meanwhile, the new Police Chief has reportedly reversed some last-minute postings and redeployments carried out by Idris few days before his retirement.
It was gathered that the redeployment of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, by the former IG was overturned while other senior officers who were also posted to new commands and formations had been asked to stay action until further notice.
This development, sources said, meant that the redeployment order by Idris would not be obeyed unless sanctioned by the acting IG.
Shortly after meeting with the DIGs in his office at the force headquarters, Adamu was seen going from floor to floor, meeting officers and familiarising himself with his men.
The acting IG, who was decorated with his new rank at the State House by President Muhammadu Buhari, hailed from Lafia, Nasarawa State, and is a holder of Bachelor of Science degree in Geography.
He enlisted into the Force on February 1, 1986 as Cadet Assistant Superintendent and had attended several Senior Officer Courses on Law Enforcement, Crime Prevention, Control and Management within and outside Nigeria.
Before his appointment as acting IG, he was at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos, Plateau State.
He was also the Commissioner of Police in Ekiti and Enugu states and also Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 5 Police Command Headquarters, Benin, Edo State.
Earlier on Tuesday, the acting IG said the police under his watch would be professional and fair to all parties while providing security for the general elections beginning on February 16.
Adamu stated that there were rules of engagement for the Nigeria Police, adding they would be strictly applied in dealing with security matters. He stressed that the police would not pander to the desires of any groups or interests.
Adamu was decorated by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa. Idris, who was appointed IG in 2016, bowed out on Tuesday as he retired from service at the age of 60 years.
2019 elections: Kwara sets up Joint Security Task Force
The Kwara State Government has established a Joint Security Task Force headed by the Nigerian Army to check political violence before, during and after the general elections in the state.
The State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed disclosed this on Monday at Agbaji Quarter in Ilorin when he led other members of the State Security Council to assess the extent of the damage during Sunday’s political violence in the area.
Governor Ahmed described the incident as unacceptable and a clear case of criminality which shows a complete degeneration of political values the state is known for.
The governor who had earlier presided over the State Security Council meeting promised that all the culprits would be identified and brought to book to forestall reoccurrence.
Dr Ahmed assured the people that the government and security agencies would ensure adequate protection of lives and property during the electioneering period.
The State Security Council meeting was also attended by the Deputy Governor, Elder Peter Kisira, Secretary to the State Governor, Alhaji Isiaka Gold, Emir of Ilorin, His Royal Highness, Dr. Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, Commissioner of Police, State Director, DSS, representative of the Brigade Commander, heads of the Navy, Airforce and Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.