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EFCC gives another Badeh’s forfeited property to NEDC

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has handed over a 13-bedroom, one-storey building and a basement, forfeited by the late Chief of Defence Staff, (CDS) Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, to the management of North East Development Commission (NEDC).

The anti graft agency announced this Thursday.

The property was forfeited on the order of the court, following diligent prosecution of the late Badeh for money laundering and corruption by the EFCC.

Located at No 6, Ogun River Street, Maitama, Abuja, the property was handed over to NEDC management by the EFCC Director of Operations, Muhammed Abbah Umar, who represented the Acting Chairman of the Commission, Ibrahim Magu.

Magu, in his remarks, congratulated NEDC’s staff and management on taking over the “beautiful structure” and urged them to maximize the usage for the benefit of the NEDC’s management and the country.

“I wish to congratulate the management and staff of the NEDC on taking the ownership of this beautiful edifice. I equally want to implore the Commission to put the property into maximum use for the benefit of the staff of the Commission and the country at large,” Magu stated.

The EFCC boss stated that the EFCC was unwaveringly committed to continue to living up to its constitutional mandate of riding the country of corruption, by applying diligence in its investigation and prosecution.

He added that the Commission will not rest on its oars in tracing and recovering of looted funds and properties procured with proceeds of crime.

Responding to the gesture, the Chairman of the Commission, Major-Gen. Paul Tarfa, (Retd), appreciated the gesture and promised to cooperate with the EFCC and the federal government in the fight against corruption.

He expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for considering NEDC the most appropriate agency of government to be allocated the edifice.

“We are grateful to the federal government and EFCC for allowing us to use this place permanently as office or liaison office, here in Abuja. We appreciate this gesture, because we understand that ministries and other departments and agencies have been trying to get this place but because of the importance government attaches to NEDC, we are glad that we have been considered for this.

“So, we thank you because without the cooperation of the EFCC, and the support of the government, other ministries would have gotten it. Please, convey our gratitude to the Chairman of the EFCC,” Tarfa said.

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THE NATION

Sowore: US senator flays FG, says Nigeria has no regards for rule of law

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Robert Menendez, a US senator

Robert Menendez, a US senator from New Jersey and member of the senate foreign relations committee, says the events surrounding the rearrest of Omoyele Sowore shows that Nigeria no longer has regards for the rule of law.

On Friday, operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) rearrested Sowore, convener of #RevolutionNow Movement, and Olawale Bakare, an activist, at the federal high court in Abuja less than 24 hours after they were released on the orders of the court.

There were rearrested less than 24 hours after their release after spending 124 days in detention.

Menendez, who said it seems President Muhammadu Buhari is not aware of what the secret police is “doing in his name”, added that Sowore ought to be celebrated and not incarcerated.

He said the development is unacceptable from a country that practices democracy, pushing for a reassessment of the bilateral relations between Nigeria and US.

“The United States is watching and the world is watching. I fear that the blatant harassment of Mr Omoyele Sowore, an activist and journalist whose only crime appears to be exercising his right to free expression, is becoming symptomatic of increasingly closing political and civic space in Nigeria,” Menendez said.

“The Nigerian court has twice ordered his release on bail. And the state security agencies openly defied the court order each time leaving me to conclude that either Nigeria no longer respects the rule of law or President Buhari is woefully out of touch with what agents of his governments are doing in his name.

“This is unacceptable in a country that calls itself a democracy. Journalists who risk their lives to expose the truth should be celebrated, not incarcerated.

“It is unacceptable to that the husband and father of a US citizen with such blatant cruelty. Today, my office contacted our ambassador in Nigeria in an effort to obtain answers on what actions the United States is taking on the Sowore family’s behalf.

“In the next several days, I’ll continue to engage with the states department in Washington to ascertain the impart of what the arrest of Mr Sowore and other activists and journalists will have on our relationship with Nigeria. My hope is that the bilateral relationship we have with Nigeria will be reassessed in light of these events.”

Last month, the lawmaker had written a letter to Sylvanus Nsofor, Nigeria’s ambassador to US, over the crack down on journalists and activists”.

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THE NATION

Edo Assembly declares 12 seats vacant

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Edo State House of Assembly on Wednesday declared 12 seats in the assembly vacant.

The seats declared vacant are those of members-elect who have refused to present themselves for inauguration into the 7th Assembly and two others who did not meet the mandatory sitting requirement to continue as members of the House.

The Speaker of the House, Mr Francis Okiye, said even if the affected members decided to resume, they would not be able to meet the mandatory 180 sitting days as enshrined in the constitution.

The affected 12 members-elect are Vincent Uwadiae- Ovia North-East 2; Ugiagbe Dumez -Ovia North-East 1; Washington Osifo-Uhunmwode; Victor Edoror-Esan Central; Kingsley Ugabi- Etsako East; and Michael Ohio-Ezomo Owan West.

Others are Sunday Aghedo-Ovia South-West; Chris Okaeben-Oredo West; Crosby Eribo-Egor: Aliyu Oshiomhole-Etsako West 2; Oshomah Ahmed -Etsako Central and Ganiyu Audu-Etsako West 1.

Okiye, while declaring the seats vacant, said the 12 members-elect refused to come forward to process the necessary documentation as part of the condition for their inauguration.

He said, “12 out of the 24 members-elect who completed their screening and documentation process were inaugurated on June 17, 2019 out of which two of them have refused to discharge their legislative duties.

“They have refused to represent their constituents in the House, invariably denying their constituents effective representation.

“At this point, I am declaring the seats of the 12 members-elect vacant in accordance with Section 109 Subsection 1F of the constitution.”

Okiye thereafter called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct by-elections for the affected constituencies within 90 days.

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr Yekini Idiaye, representing Akoko Edo State Constituency I, said the lawmakers arrived at the decision to declare the seats vacant following over 100 petitions and protests from the people of the constituencies who complained of neglect as a result of lack of representation by the members-elect.

But the spokesman of the affected lawmakers-elect, Mr Washington Osifo, said the action of the assembly was laughable.

He said, “It is a laughing matter because the matter is before the court and when a matter is before the court, such action is sub judice.

“We are challenging the illegal inauguration of the House and anything put on nothing cannot stand. So, Okiye is a man that is in search of identity, he is working with the governor in the pursuit of a blind ambition, they have hit the rock.”

He said the House also passed the 2020 Appropriation Bill and affirmed the removal of the suspended Chairman of Etsako East Local Government Area, Alhaji Aramiyau Momoh.

Other matter considered at the sitting, according to him, was the confirmation of the members of the board of the Edo State Internal Revenue Service.

-PUNCH

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THE NATION

FRSC raises alarm over fake vehicle insurance documents

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The Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps Boboye Oyeyemi, says faking of the vehicle insurance documents has become quite rampant.

According to him, the situation deserves closer examination.

He spoke in his office while receiving the Chief Executive Officer, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Mr. Babatunde Irukera. Boboye said most insurance companies took advantage travellers and drivers’ ignorance of the compensation due to them under the third party insurance scheme.

He suggested that the cost of driver’s licence, number plate, among other services be published so that the citizens would not be cheated.

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