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N19.8bn cheques issued in Bauchi hours to handover, says EFCC

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, seeks to freeze the First City Monument Bank, FCMB’s Operational Account of the Bauchi State government to allow for an investigation of a money laundering case in which the account featured prominently.

The EFCC, through its Counsel, Abubakar Aliyu, in an Exparte Order with file number: FHC/ABJ/CS/858/2019, sought the order of the court to freeze the account pending the conclusion of the ongoing investigation by the commission.

According to him, many non-existent companies were used to transfer funds from the account.

These transfers were believed to have been done by the immediate-past governor of the state, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar.

The EFCC’s counsel said: “My Lord, about N19.8 billion cheques were raised on the eve of transferring power to the new government for purportedly non-existent contracts and other grants,” he said.

He told Justice Taiwo that the amount was beyond the N11 billion in the account.

According to him, the Accountant General is still a signatory to the account and they are still trying to access the money.

When the judge asked if freezing the FCMB account would not affect the operation of the state government, Mr Aliyu said the action would not affect the government’s operation because the account was not the one linked to Federal Account Allocation Committee, FAAC.

”They have other accounts and we have tagged this as exhibit 22 and 23,” he said.

Responding to the judge’s question on how long the investigation would take, the counsel said: ”My Lord, investigation is like a pregnant activity. If My Lord will give us 21 days, we will be grateful.”

”I have patiently listened to the counsel’s prayer. I therefore grant the order sought by the applicant as prayed.

”Meanwhile, the parties concern must be put on notice within 21 days of the order of this court,” Justice Taiwo held.

In the suit filed, the EFCC had claimed that the immediate-past government in the state was involved in money laundering for which it deployed the account.

The EFCC stated that it needed to have the account frozen to preserve the funds being held in it.

An official of the EFCC, Yakubu Sani, stated in a supporting affidavit that “it is a fact that between the 24th and 28th day of May 2019, the applicant received intelligence that the then outgoing government in Bauchi State initiated a process at overdrawing to launder the sum of N19,897,809,334.08 property at Bauchi State Government.

”The bank account subject matter of the intelligence is the Bauchi State Government Operational Account number: 0998552074 domiciled at First City Monument Bank.

”The actual amount in the said bank account is N11,500,000 000 00 which was paid to the Bauchi State Government by the Federal Government of Nigeria via the Central Bank.

”The process of laundering employed by the suspects includes the issuance of mandates and cheques rose to the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) for the payments at non-executed contracts and fictitious claims to individuals and contractors.

“The Bauchi State Accountant General is one at the signatory that clears the said cheques and mandate for said suspicious payments and still remains a signatory to the said account under investigation.

”Based on the intelligence received, attempts were being made to activate the withdrawal of such funds while still under investigation by the current Government of Bauchi State.

“The investigation has since commenced and the applicant deems it necessary to cause the said bank account and funds to be frozen pending the determination of the investigation therein.

”Freezing the said bank account and funds will greatly assist the applicant to get to the root of the matter and conclude its investigation timeously.

”Deflating the said funds by way at withdrawal will greatly obstruct the applicant from getting to the root of the matter and conclusion of the investigation timeously.

”The applicant needs to obtain the order of this court to cause the freezing of the said bank account and the funds therein.

“This honourable court has the jurisdiction to grant this order and it is in the best interest at justice to grant this application.”

NAN

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Sylva assumes duty as minister of state for petroleum …As NNPC, others welcome him

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The newly appointed Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has assumed duties with a pledge to reposition and chart a way forward for the Nigerian petroleum sector.

A press release Wednesday by the NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said Chief Sylva pledged to work with the experts at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the other departments and agencies under the Ministry to move the sector forward.

In a welcome ceremony for Chief Sylva at the NNPC Towers in Abuja, the new Minister of State for Petroleum Resources who was accompanied by his wife, Alanyingi Sylva, stated that with the calibre of workforce in the Ministry, he was sure that the nation’s oil and gas sector would move to the next level.

Chief Sylva, who is a former Governor of Bayelsa State brings on the job several years of cognate experience in the petroleum sector.

The new Minister of State contributed profoundly to the institution of the Amnesty programme in the Niger Delta region which, over time, has led to restoration of peace in the oil producing areas of Nigeria.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan, reassured Chief Sylva of the readiness of all members of staff in the Ministry to support him to succeed in the onerous task of transforming the Nigerian oil and gas sector for the good of all stakeholders.

On hand to welcome the Minister at the brief ceremony were the Group Managing director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari; Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Training Development Fund (PTDF), Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau; and the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), Alhaji Ahmed Bobboi, amongst others.

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Police re-arrest suspected Taraba kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Wadume

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The Police have re-arrested a kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Wadume, two weeks after he escaped from the custody of the Intelligence Response Team.

The IRT operatives they came under attack from soldiers attached to Battalion 93, Takum, Taraba State, as they conveyed Wadume from the scene of his arrest.

Three policemen and two civilians were killed during the incident, while five other Police officers were injured.

The Force spokesman, Frank Mba, in a statement confirmed that  Wadume was re-arrested in the late hours of Monday at his hideout at Layin Mai Allo Hotoro area of Kano State.

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Lagos governor, Sanwo-Olu, swears in cabinet members, warns against corruption

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday sworn-in 35 members of his cabinet that will assist him in piloting the affairs of the state in the net four years, urging them to embrace transparency and accountability.

The event held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, was witnessed by thousands of well wishers and dignitaries.

Speaking at the event, Sanwo-Olu said in his inaugural address on 29th May, he declared that his ultimate goal would be to ensure that Lagos State remained one of the top destinations on the African continent to live, work and invest in, saying that this was not just his goal, it was what the people expected from his government and “we cannot afford to disappoint them.”

“Fortunately for us, we have a foundation from which to build from. The Blueprint for a new Lagos and the Development Plan (2012 to 2025) are still relevant as strategic reference materials for a systematic implementation of medium and long-term policies in line with the overall vision for our State.

“However, in this administration, our task must be to accelerate the trajectory of growth and development of Lagos State embarked upon by the administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and built upon by successive administrations. Today, providence has entrusted us with the great responsibility of ensuring that the vision of the blueprint and the Development Plan comes to pass wholly and completely.

 

Below is the list of the commissioners, special advisers and their portfolios:

COMMISSIONERS

Commissioner for Finance -Mr. Rabiu Olowo Onaolapo

Commissioner for Education -Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo

Commissioner for Health -Prof. Akin Abayomi

Commissioner for Fiscal Planning and Urban Development -Dr. Idris Salako

Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment -Mr. Tunji Bello

Commissioner for Information and Strategy -Mr. Gbenga Omotoso

Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, WAPA -Mrs. Bolaji Dada

Commissioner Energy and Natural Resources -Mr. Lere Odusote

Commissioner for Transportation -Dr. Frederic Oladeinde

Commissioner for Agriculture -Mr. Gbolahan Lawal

Commissioner for Housing -Moruf Akinderu Fatai

Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice -Mr. Moyo Onigbanjo (SAN)

Commissioner for Science and Technology -Mr. Hakeem Fahm

Commissioner for Ministry Establishment, Training and Pension -Mrs. Ajibola Ponnle

Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure -Engr. Aramide Adeyoye

Commissioner for Youth and Social Development -Mr. Segun Dawodu

Commissioner for Home Affairs -Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf

Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs -Mrs. Yetunde Arobieke

Commissioner for Commerce and Industry -Mrs. Lola Akande

Commissioner for Tourism Arts and Culture -Mrs. Olufunke Adebolu

Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget -Mr. Sam Egube

Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations -Dr. Wale Ahmed

SPECIAL ADVISERS

Special Adviser for Agriculture -Ms Ruth Bisola Olusanya

Special Adviser, Office of Civic Engagement -Princess Aderemi Adebowale

Special Adviser on Political and Legislative Affairs -Mr. Afolabi Ayantayo

Special Adviser for Housing -Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka

Special Adviser for Drainage and Water Resources -Joe Igbokwe

Special Adviser for Innovation and Technology -Mr. Tubosun Alake

Special Adviser for Urban Development -Architect Kabiru Ahmed Abdullahi

Special Adviser for Central Business Districts, CDB -Anofi Olanrewaju Elegushi

Special Adviser for Arts and Culture -Bonu Solomon Saanu

Special Adviser for Transportation -Mr. Oluwatoyin Fayinka

Special Adviser for Commerce and Industry -Oladele Ajayi

Special Adviser for Education -Mr. Tokunbo Wahab

Special Adviser for Sustainable Development Goals and Lagos Global -Mrs. Solape Hammond

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