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Nigeria: AG Malami, Ex-Sokoto Governor Move To Quash Fraud Probe Of Former Police IG

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The media earlier published a report, along with documents showing the ICPC had invited the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the NPTF, Abba and five others over fraudulent activities, including alleged procurement of substandard equipment by the NPTF for the police.

The invitation for questioning of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (NPTF), Suleiman Abba and five others by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) may soon have a new twist as top government office holders are pushing to have the matter swept under the carpet.

The media earlier published a report, along with documents showing the ICPC had invited the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the NPTF, Abba and five others over fraudulent activities, including alleged procurement of substandard equipment by the NPTF for the police.

Abba is also a former Inspector-General of Police.

The information is contained in a letter dated September 6, 2021, addressed to the Executive Secretary of the NPTF and signed by the Director of Operations of the ICPC, Akeem Lawal.

According to the letter titled, ‘Investigation Activities: Letter of Invitation Pursuant to Section 28(1(A-B) of ICPC Act 2000’, the anti-graft agency is asking the former IGP and others to appear before it between Monday, September 13 and Thursday, September 16, 2021.

A copy of the letter obtained by the media on Saturday revealed that they will be investigated for alleged violation of the provisions of the ICPC Act No. 5 of 2020.

The ICPC has been investigating alleged procurement of substandard equipment by NPTF officials.

In the letter obtained by the media, those invited for questioning are identified as: IGP Suleiman Abba (rtd), Board Chairman; Mrs Victoria Ojogbane, Director, Legal Services; Alhaji Yahaya Mohammed, Director, Planning, Research and Statistics; Mr. Lawal Gunjunju, Director, Finance and Account; Mr. Salihu Abubakar, Special Assistant, Technical; Dr. Fred Femi Akinfala, Director, Human Resources and General Services; Mr. Ben Akabueze, Board Member; and Engr. Mansur Hammed, Board Member.

Akabueze is the Director-General, Budget Office of the Government of Nigeria. He was before now the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning in Lagos State in the administration of Babatunde Fashola.

However, a top source on Sunday told the media that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defence and Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes, Senator Aliyu Wamakko have been making moves to ensure the matter is swept under the carpet because of their relationship with some of the invited persons.

According to the source, as the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes, Senator Wamakko, also a former Governor of Sokoto State, has forged a relationship with the heads of the country’s anti-graft agencies and knows how to lean on them for favours.

“I understand that Senator Wamakko, who was the governor of Sokoto State and the vice chairman of the committee on anti-corruption and financial crimes, which oversees the ICPC and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has promised to kill the matter.

“I also understand that the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) has also spoken to the chairman of the ICPC (Prof Bolaji Owasanoye) to mellow the thing down (soften the commission’s stance on the alleged fraud),” the source said.

It was discovered that some of the equipment the NPTF recently donated to the police was inferior.

The NPTF had recently donated operational vehicles and other equipment worth N11 billion to the police as the NPTF for the training and retraining of police personnel.

Some of the said equipment included 640 bullet proof vests, 120 buffalo vans, and 190 ballistic helmets but the equipment was said to be substandard.

For instance, it was learnt that the bullet proof vests are supposed to have resistant shields in the front and back but they only have protective shields in the front. Therefore, the bullet proofs will fail to effectively protect police personnel during shoot-outs with criminal elements like Boko Haram terrorists, bandits or robbers.

In the letter obtained by the media, the ICPC specifies the different times each of the six invited persons is expected to come in for questioning.

The former IGP, Suleiman is expected to come in for questioning at exactly 1pm on Thursday, September 16, 2021; Ojogbane is expected in by 10am on Monday, September 13, 2021; Mohammed is expected in by 1pm on Monday, September 13, 2021, while Gunjunju is expected in the ICPC office for questioning by 10am on Tuesday, September 14, 2021.

Also, Abubakar is expected in for questioning by 1pm on Tuesday, September 14, 2021; Akinfala is expected in by 10am on Wednesday, September 15, 2021; Akabueze is expected in by 1pm on Wednesday, September 15, 2021 while Hammed is expected in by 10am on Thursday, September 16, 2021.

The letter read, “Similarly, the invited staff is to come with the following documents as applicable to their office and schedule as well as the original copies for sighting:

“Copies of all payment vouchers for overhead, recurrent and capital for year 2020 and 2021, copies of all contract agreement for contracts awarded from the takeoff grant and capital, copies of staff nominal roll, comprehensive list of staff on transfer, posting and secondment. Vote for take-off grant, breakdown of all spending and approvals, print out of ledger vote and spending, all no objection certificate from Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).

“Evidence of BPP clarification on contract award, financial limit and thresholds, procurement methods and threshold of application and expenditure as related to NPTF.

“They are also expected to come with any of the following: a lawyer, Justice of Peace, Staff of the Legal Aid Council or any individual of their choice.

“Accept the assurances of the Commission’s highest regards, please.”

Culled from the Sahara Reporters

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Anambra: Lands Commissioner, Prof. Offornze Amucheazi in Achalla for a working visit – photos

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His Majesty, Igwe Ositadinma Sunny Nwokedi, Eze Oranyelu, Uthoko VI of Achalla, hosted the Anambra State Commissioner for Lands, Prof. Offornze Amucheazi (SAN) who visited  on August 4, 2022, to discuss development opportunities through a strategic partnership with the Achalla community.

While details of this meeting were not available at the press time, Igwe, Eze Oranyelu said,  “It was a very productive visit. We had a good discussion about collaborating with our local individuals for development possibilities – a project that would attract investment to our great Achalla town. This project is still at an early stage, but I would share a comprehensive update as soon as they are available.”

State Commissioner for Lands, Prof. Offornze Amucheazi (SAN)

 

His Majesty, Igwe Ositadinma Sunny Nwokedi, Eze Oranyelu, Uthoko VI of Achalla, and the Anambra State Commissioner for Lands, Prof. Offornze Amucheazi (SAN) flanked by very important meeting participants.

 

Photo left: Hon. John Nwokoye (Onowu), member of the Anambra State House of Assembly; Right: John Ekweozor (Ide Achalla) Uthoko Cabinet Member.

 

 

His Majesty, Igwe Ositadinma Sunny Nwokedi, Eze Oranyelu, Uthoko VI of Achalla

Other prominent persons in the meeting are Hon. John Nwokoye (Onowu), member of the Anambra State House of Assembly, and John Ekweozor (Ide Achalla), Uthoko Cabinet Member.

Located in the south-central part of Anambra State, Achalla is the capital of Awka North Local Government surrounded by towns like Amanuke, Igbariam, Obaefemili, Ukwulu, Urum e.t.c.

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Business

Nigeria’s Buhari grants consent to Seplat’s buy of Exxon Mobil’s Nigeria unit

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Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has granted consent to the acquisition of Exxon Mobil’s Nigerian unit by Seplat Energy, in a $1.28 billion deal announced in February.

Buhari, who doubles as oil minister, granted ministerial approval to the deal, the presidency said in a statement on Monday.

Exxon and Seplat are expected to operate the unit’s oil licenses, supporting Nigeria meet its OPEC production quota in the short term as well as accelerate the development of gas resources in the area.

Seplat said in February its offshore unit had entered an agreement to buy the entire share capital of Exxon’s Nigerian offshore shallow water business for $1.28 billion, plus a further consideration of up to $300 million based on the oil price and the average production of the unit, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, over a five-year period.

Seplat is listed on the London and Nigerian stock exchanges.

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Anthony Obi Ogbo

Houston Nigerian groups, radicalized members, and the lessons of Okwesilieze

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“It may therefore be right to state that the “Okwesilieze Case” has broken that yoke of distinctive prodigality, irrationality, and deceit tormenting Houston Nigerian organizations. I hereby implore other organizations experiencing similar atrocities to follow suit.―Anthony Obi Ogbo

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Houston’s Nigerian community has been a little engaged with forum dialogs after the Texas International Guardian News ran a story update about a prolonged civil lawsuit between the Okwesilieze Women’s Club of Nigeria and a rival group formed by defecting group members “De Okwesilieze International Women’s Club”.

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The story, which was totally based on a court-endorsed mediation and settlement negotiations, emphatically stated that the said lawsuit ended in favor of the founding group, Okwesilieze Women’s Club of Nigeria. Also, the story stated that the defecting group, “De Okwesilieze, and their listed agents avoided what would have been a humiliating verdict and succumbed to mediation and settlement negotiations that completely appeased the plaintiff’s demands”.

But, yesterday, I received a strange phone call from one of the defendants (name withheld) mentioned in the case, violently questioning how there could be a loser or winner in a mediation process. Good argument, but not a smart one because the settlement speaks for itself. A mediation settlement where Plaintiff walks away with 99.9% of the demands in the original petition is indeed a slam-dunk.  That is exactly the dilemma faced by the defecting group. “De Okwesilieze.”

From a legal standpoint, mediation does not take the winner-loser approach but seeks a resolution of the dispute where the parties agree. However, mediation could also be “evaluative”, where the mediator assists the disputing parties in reaching a resolution by pointing out the weaknesses of their cases, and predicting what a judge or jury would be likely to do.

Without lectures about good or bad journalism, and without a logical analysis of the mediation process, the Defendants and their representatives in the Okwesilieze case lost woefully. Out of a long list of demands stipulated in this settlement, the below orders alone are a total humiliating defeat for these breakaways. To mention but a few, the defecting group was ordered to:

  • Immediately cease to use the name “Okwesilieze” as any part of their organization’s name.
  • Immediately cease to use the Plaintiffs team songs and greetings “Kwesi” as part of their Organization songs or greetings.
  • shall return the Plaintiff’s organization items in the procession of the defendants
  • shall pay to Plaintiff Organization the sum of $37,000.00.

So how does one explain a woeful failure? Let me make it clear, that rather than the ongoing social media winner-loser argument, the Houston community must learn from the Okwesilieze Women’s Club of Nigeria and their Founder and Leader Dr/Mrs. Gracie Gboliwe Chukwu. Dr. Chukwu had professionally hired good lawyers to institute legal action to challenge those she believed to have trespassed upon the group’s registered name, absconded with their process, and, worse, took away their funds by conversion.

 

This case should serve as a lesson not only to most Nigerian organizations in Houston but also to radicalized members among them who have a history of facilitating breakups and defecting with funds. This practice has been very common in this community because none of the groups have vigorously gone after these vandals.

It sounds surprising but true that in the past 15 years, organizations in the Nigerian community have lost an unprecedented amount of money to breakaway vandals who  would make the career off of community funds. Community organizations have also spent hundreds of thousands in fruitless litigations against these radicals.

It may therefore be right to state that the “Okwesilieze Case” has broken that yoke of distinctive prodigality, irrationality, and deceit tormenting Houston Nigerian organizations. I hereby implore other organizations experiencing similar atrocities to follow suit.

♦Publisher of the Guardian News, Journalism and RTF Professor, Anthony Obi Ogbo, Ph.D. is on the Editorial Board of the West African Pilot News. He is the author of the Influence of Leadership (2015)  and the Maxims of Political Leadership (2019). Contact: anthony@guardiannews.us

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