Tag Archives: EFCC

Buhari’s candidate ‘confirmed’ EFCC Chairman.

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The EFCC chairman-designate before his confirmation introduced himself and read his biodata to the Senate.

Nigeria Senate on Wednesday confirmed the appointment of Abdulrasheed Bawa as the substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Senate president Ahmad Lawan during the plenary restated President Muhammadu Buhari’s nomination of Bawa as EFCC chairman last week.

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The Presidency said Bawa’s nomination was in accordance with Section 2 (3) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act 2003.

Bawa was in the company of his family members, the Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on National Assembly Matters, Senator Jide Omoworare, the Speaker and Members of the Kebbi State House of Assembly at the National Assembly.

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The EFCC chairman-designate before his confirmation introduced himself and read his biodata to the Senate.

Bawa, a 40-year-old EFCC investigator, said he has vast experience in the investigation and prosecution of advance fee fraud cases, official corruption, bank fraud, money laundering, and other economic crimes.

He holds a B.Sc degree in economics, and masters degree in international affairs and diplomacy.

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With his confirmation, Bawa replaces the suspended former acting EFCC chairman Ibrahim Magu who is undergoing trial on alleged diversion of recovered government’s assets since July 2020.

Bawa said he hopes to make the EFCC a better place when he leaves.

The EFCC chairman said he “intend to work with them closely by sharing information in order to attain our mutual and independent objective.

“We need to repatriate all our stolen assets for the benefit and betterment of all Nigerians.

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“It is a dream of every patriotic Nigerian to see Nigeria growing to a greater height and I hope and pray that if confirmed, I will live to contribute my quota in seeing that this country is taken to a greater height.

“I am going to give the young people a very good representation in the governance of this country so that more young people will be given more responsibility in this country.”

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#Newsworthy

Just in: EFCC exposes internet fraud academy in Abuja.

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They will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.

Operatives of the Abuja Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have uncovered another ‘academy’ for the grooming of internet fraudsters.

EFCC spokesman Wilson Uwujaren said the ‘academy’ located in Arab Contractors Area of Mpape Hills, a suburb of Abuja, was discovered when operatives, acting on intelligence, stormed the base on Thursday February 18, and arrested 27 internet fraud suspects.

The coordinator of the ‘academy’ is said to be 30-year-old Emmanuel Clement, and his ‘students’ are mostly young school leavers, ladies inclusive, within the age range of 18 to 25 years.

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Items recovered from the suspects include a Toyota Venza car, 30 mobile phones and one laptop.

They will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.

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#Newsworthy

EFCC’s hope to inspect money seized from fmr NNPC GMD dismissed.

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Counsel to the anti-graft agency, Mohammed Abubakar, while moving a motion filed on Nov. 17, 2020, also urged the court to conduct proceedings in the premises of the bank during the inspection of the money.

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, refused to grant an application file by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to inspect the money seized from the former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed dismissed the request on the grounds that the application lacked merit.

The judge noted that though it was the duty of the court to visit the scene of an event (locus in quo) where there was controversy to clear the doubt if there was any, such decision was at the discretion of the court.

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“I find the visit to locus in quo as unnecessary, and the application is hereby refused,” he said.

Justice Mohammed adjourned the matter until March 10 for the continuation of cross-examination of the defendant by the prosecution.

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Noble Reporters Media reports that the EFCC had, on Jan. 14, 2020, urged the court to visit the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Kano branch, to inspect the 9, 772, 800 dollars (9.7 million dollars) and 74, 000 pounds allegedly recovered from Yakubu’s residence in Kaduna.

Counsel to the anti-graft agency, Mohammed Abubakar, while moving a motion filed on Nov. 17, 2020, also urged the court to conduct proceedings in the premises of the bank during the inspection of the money.

Abubakar said the money formed the subject of counts three and four in the money laundering charge on which Yabuku is being tried before the court.

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The lawyer said the EFCC kept the money in the custody of the CBN, Kano branch after its operatives allegedly recovered it from Yakubu’s house.

But Ahmed Raji, SAN, counsel to Yakubu, while arguing his counter-affidavit, urged the court to dismiss the EFCC’s request.

Raji averred that the condition of the cash could have been altered by the complainant and that his client would be “prejudiced” if the EFCC application was granted.

He, however, submitted that a visit to the CBN was purely at the discretion of the court.

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NoRM reports that the anti-corruption agency, acting on a tip-off, on Feb. 3, 2017, raided the house of Yakubu in Kaduna State and found 9, 772, 800 dollars (9.7 million dollars) and 74, 000 pounds in a safe.

Yakubu was, on March 16, 2017, arraigned on six counts but was ordered by the Court of Appeal to defend counts three and four which bordered on failure to make full disclosure of assets, receiving cash without going through a financial institution.

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#Newsworthy

Senate receive Buhari’s request to confirm Bawa as new EFCC Chairman.

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Bawa, aged 40, who holds a B.Sc degree in Economics, and Masters in International Affairs and Diplomacy, is presently the Head of Operations of the Commission’s Lagos office.

The Senate on Tuesday received a formal request from President Muhammadu Buhari seeking the confirmation of appointment of Abdulrasheed Bawa as Chairman of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

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The letter which was addressed to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, was read during the start of plenary.

According to President Buhari, the request to screen and confirm Bawa’s appointment as Substantive Chairman of the Commission was “in accordance with paragraph 2 subsection 2 of Part 1 CAP E1 of the EFCC Act 2004.”

Bawa, aged 40, who holds a B.Sc degree in Economics, and Masters in International Affairs and Diplomacy, is presently the Head of Operations of the Commission’s Lagos office.

After his confirmation by the Senate, Bawa is expected to take over from Mohammed Umar Abba, who was appointed as Acting Chairman by President Buhari last year, following the suspension of the immediate past Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu.

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The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, immediately after reading the President’s request, said that the screening of Abdulrasheed Bawa as substantive Chairman of the Anti-graft agency will be carried out during plenary in line with the tradition of the Upper Chamber.

“The screening of the Chairman-designate of the EFCC will be done in plenary, in keeping with our tradition here,” he said.

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#Newsworthy

Abdulrasheed Maina’s son escape bail, fled – EFCC.

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Faisal’s father, Maina is also being prosecuted for separate charges of money laundering at the court.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said on Thursday Faisal Maina, son of Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT), has fled to the United States.

EFCC’s prosecuting counsel Mohammed Abubakar made the disclosure at the Federal High Court in Abuja. Faisal Maina is being prosecuted on three counts of money laundering.

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Abubakar said EFCC got information that Faisal sneaked to the U.S through the Republic of Niger.

The trial judge, Okon Abang, had ordered Faisal’s surety, Sani Dan-Galadima, who is a member of the House of Representatives to forfeit a property used as a bail bond.

File Photo: Abdulrasheed Maina | Noble Reporters Media | Adigun Michael Olamide | NoRM News

Dan-Galadima, who represents Kaura-Namoda Federal Constituency of Zamfara, had entered into a N60 million bail bond on behalf of Faisal.

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Faisal’s father, Maina is also being prosecuted for separate charges of money laundering at the court.

He jumped bail last year but was rearrested in Niger Republic. A court is still hearing his bail application on medical grounds.

Opposing Maina’s bail application, the EFCC had told the court that the defendant has multiple citizenship and was trying to obtain a fresh passport to flee to the United States when he was arrested in Niger Republic.

EFCC is prosecuting Maina for alleged money laundering to the tune of N2billion.

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Maina is facing a 12-count money laundering charge levelled against him and a firm by the EFCC.

EFCC alleged that Maina, as Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, used the account of the firm for money laundering to the tune of about N2 billion, part of which he used to acquire landed properties in Abuja.

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#Newsworthy

EFCC demands Kalu’s tranfer to Lagos Court for trial.

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Kalu asked the court to stop the EFCC from retrying him on the same N7.1 billion money laundering charge.

Ex-gov asks court to prevent his ‘second trial’
Planned re-arraignment of former governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, before Justice I. E. Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, could not proceed following objection raised by the prosecuting Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).

Director (Legal and Prosecution) of EFCC, Chile Okoroma, appearing for the prosecution, informed the court that the anti-graft agency had written to the chief judge of the Federal High Court requesting that the case be transferred to Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, which he argued has jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

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“On January 20, 2021, we wrote a letter to the chief judge of the Federal High Court requesting for the transfer of this case to the Lagos Division of this court.

“My lord, we have also written another letter dated February 2, 2021, which I have served on all parties involved in this matter. We will be asking that this matter be adjourned sine-die, pending the decision of the chief judge.

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“One thing is certain, the case cannot be heard in Abuja,” Okoroma said.

Kalu asked the court to stop the EFCC from retrying him on the same N7.1 billion money laundering charge.

He said having been tried once by EFCC, convicted and sentenced in the same charge, it would amount to double jeopardy for him to go through the same, a second time.

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In an ex-parte motion moved through his counsel, Prof. Awa Kalu (SAN), the former governor pleaded with the court to rescue him from suffering double jeopardy

He further asked that if his application is granted, it should operate as a stay of proceedings until the determination of the application or until the judge otherwise orders.

Justice Ekwo, in a brief ruling, rejected the application of the prosecution to adjourn sine die. Instead, he adjourned proceedings till June 7, 2021 for the prosecution to report on the outcome of its application to the chief judge.

Kalu, alongside his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited, and former Director of Finance in Abia State, Jones Udeogu, are to be docked for fraud to the tune of about N7.1billion.

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The ex-Abia governor and senator representing Abia North at the National Assembly was already serving his 12-year jail term at the Kuje Prison when the Supreme Court nullified his conviction by Justice Idris Mohammed of a Federal High Court, Lagos on technical ground.

The apex court held that the trial judge was no longer a judge of the Federal High Court at the time he delivered the judgment, having been elevated to the Appeal Court.

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#Newsworthy

Court snub EFCC’s petition to revoke FFK’s bail

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Again, the EFCC lawyer said he did not have Fani-Kayode’s phone number to know if his counsel was calling him.

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, refused to grant the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’s application, seeking for revocation of the bail granted to the former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode.

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Justice John Tsoho ruled that the medical report brought by the defence counsel, Wale Balogun, that Fani-Kayode was indisposed was sufficient reason to reject the application by the EFCC’s lawyer, Mohammed Abubakar.

Noble Reporters Media (NoRM) reports that the ex-minister was, on Nov. 10, 2016, admitted to a N50 million bail bond with a surety in the like sum.

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Fani-Kayode is accused by the anti-graft agency of diverting N26 million alleged to have received from the ex-National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.) during former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

At the resumed hearing, Abubakar, who said the matter was for trial continuation, noted that Fani-Kayode was not in court.

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The lawyer stated further that the former minister was equally not in court on two previous occasions, which he argued, amounted to jumping of bail.

Abubakar, thereafter, urged the court to revoke Fani-Kayode’s bail and issue a bench warrant against him.

He also prayed the court to summon his surety to show cause why the bail bond would not be forfeited.

However, lawyer to the former minister Balogun urged the court to dismiss the EFCC’s oral application.

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He argued that such an application should be filed formally.

According to him, the prosecutor has narrated some facts and such facts should be on record by way of an affidavit.

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Balogun further argued that before the commencement of the sitting, he met with Abubakar and gave him two reasons the ex-minister was not in court.

According to him, I told him that the defendant has been indisposed in the last two weeks.

“I showed him the medical report from the Kubwa General Hospital that the defendant should be on bed rest,” he said.

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Balogun said due to his state of health, he could not attend the sister case in Lagos.

Again, the lawyer said he also misinformed Fani-Kayode about the next hearing date.

“We have advised the defendant that the matter was for tomorrow (Thursday).

“It was our error, I mean the lawyers. I even called him (Fani-Kayle) on phone to the knowledge of the prosecutor but he has not picked.

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“I have called him more than 20 times just to tell him that the matter was for today.

“His absence today regrettably is due to our fault, the lawyers’ fault. We apologise.

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“We plead passionately with ur lordship that the defendant will be in court tomorrow,” he said.

Balogun added that his absence in the last two proceedings was not his making.

“The defendant has always been coming to court before now.

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“The last time, it was beyond him because the airspace was shut down,” he said.

Balogun, who said that the reason for bail revocation must be substantial, urged the court not to grant the prosecution’s application.

Abubakar, who responded on points of law to submissions by Balogun, said issues of bench warrant did not require a formal application.

He enjoined the court to take judicial notice of all the reasons adduced for Fani-Kayode’s absence.

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Abubakar argued further that the defence counsel, who announced his appearance after he did, had all the opportunity to tell the court why his client was not in court.

He said whatever information Balogun gave the prosecution on the absence of his client in court “goes to no issue because he is not the court.”

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He also argued that it was the personal responsibility of a defendant on bail, under the law, to know when he should be in court.

“Counsel cannot take responsibility for that,” he said.

Abubakar urged the court to grant his application.

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Justice Tsoho then asked Balogun for a copy of the medical report.

In his ruling, the judge disagreed with Balogun that an application for bail revocation ought to have been made orally, citing the law to back the decision.

He also agreed with Abubakar that the defendant had a personal responsibility to his case.

The judge, however, said that the reasons giving by the defence counsel for the absence of his client on the two previous occasions when the court sat were justifiable.

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Besides, Tsoho, who ruled that the medical report was sufficient to justify the absence of Fani-Kayode in court, declined to grant the EFCC’s application.

He adjourned the matter until Feb. 23 and Feb. 24, 2021, for the continuation of hearing.

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#Newsworthy

Storyline: Court disagrees with EFCC’s exhibit against FMR NNPC GMD, Yakubu

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Mohammed held that the primary evidence of the motion to be tendered was the original copy which is at the custody of the Supreme Court.

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, refused to admit a document sought to be tendered in evidence by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against former Group Managing Director (GMD), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed, in a ruling, held that the motion was inadmissible because the Economics and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was unable to bring to the court its certified true copy.

Former Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu arraigned before a Federal High Court for money laundering and financial fraud in Abuja…yesterday. (Noble Reporters Media / NoRM)

NoRM reports that Counsel to EFCC, Mohammed Abubakar, had, on Nov. 5, tendered a document in which Yakubu, who is the 1st defendant witness (DW1), tendered at the Supreme Court, seeking for an order of stay of execution restraining the Federal Government from taking over the money which the anti-corruption agency took away when its operatives raided his residence.

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Abubakar said that Yakubu had deposed to an affidavit at the apex court that the money was kept at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Kano by the EFCC.

But while being cross examined before Justice Mohammed by the anti-graft lawyer in the last adjourned date and question about the whereabouts of the money was put to the former GMD, said it was from the EFCC he got to know that the confiscated money was in CBN branch in Kano State.

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However, Yakubu’s Lawyer, Ahmed Raji, SAN, urged the court not to admit the document on the premised that Abubakar ought to have come with its certified true copy being a public document.

In his ruling on Monday, Justice Mohammed said though it was not in doubt that the document emanated from the Supreme Court, “subsequently, to tender the document, it ought to have been certified.”

Quoting Section 35 of the Evidence Act 2011, he said “the content of a document may be proved either by primary or secondary evidence.”

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He said for a motion to be tendered as a secondary evidence, it must have been certified, citing previous cases to back the ruling.

The judge, therefore, held that the document sought to be tendered by the EFCC was inadmissible in the law.

“It is hereby rejected and shall be marked: tendered and rejected accordingly,” he ruled.

Justice Mohammed, who also refused to hear the EFCC’s motion, seeking an order to visit the locus in quo (i.e the CBN in Kano) because it was not fixed for the day’s proceeding, adjourned the matter until Jan. 14, 2021, to hear the anti-graft agency’s motion.

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Recall with NoRM that the EFCC, in 2017, raided the house of the former NNPC GMD in Kaduna State and found 9, 772, 800 dollars (9.7 million dollars) and 74, 000 pounds in a safe.

Yakubu was, however, arraigned on March 16, 2017, on six counts but was ordered by the Court of Appeal to defend counts three and four which bordered on failure to make full disclosure of assets, receiving cash without going through a financial institution and intent to avoid a lawful transaction in alleged violation of Section 1(1) of the Money Laundering Act, 2011 and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the Act.

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#Newsworthy

Justice Ayo Salami panel wants Magu, others in EFCC out

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Salami commended the President for the initiative to dispose of all forfeited assets “because of the poor condition of the assets we saw during our physical verification nationwide.”

President Muhammadu Buhari has received the report of the judicial commission of inquiry on the investigation of Ibrahim Magu, the suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), headed by Justice Ayo Salami (retd).

The report recommended that future heads of the agency should not be from the police. Salami also wants the president to consider disengaging, within the next two years, the 970 policemen on secondment to the EFCC which include Magu.

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While presenting the report to the president at the presidential villa, Abuja on Friday, Justice Salami had observed that the four chairmen of EFCC since inception were from the police, recommending that in appointing a new chairman consideration should be given to candidates from other law enforcement or security agencies and a core staff of the EFCC as provided in the EFCC establishment Act of 2004.

He stated: “Your Excellency, permit me to say that four successive chairmen of the EFCC from inception, have been drawn from the police, therefore, in appointing a new chairman of EFCC, consideration should be given to candidates from other law enforcement or security agencies and a qualified core staff of EFCC as provided in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment Act 2004).

“It is also important to point out that at the moment, 970 policemen (114 drivers, 641 mobile policemen and 215 operations), are on secondment in the EFCC, therefore an exit plan for the disengagement of the police and other personnel within two years from now should be considered. This will address the issue of no promotion of core staff for over nine years.

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“Your Excellency, our thinking here is that whoever you are appointing other than a core EFCC staff, should be in the transitional capacity of two years during which period, the arrangement would be made for the appointment of any of the core staff who has been commended by National Crime Agency, UK and other international law enforcement for their professionalism.”

Justice Salami affirmed that the suspended Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, and 113 witnesses appeared and testified before the Commission, adding that 46 petitions and memoranda were presented by individuals and organisations with complaints against the suspended Acting Chairman, EFCC or both.

Justice Salami disclosed that the Commission also embarked on a nationwide physical verification of recovered forfeited assets, comprising real estates, automobiles, vessels and non-cash assets.

Ayo Salami expressed profound gratitude to the President for giving the Commission members a wonderful opportunity to serve the nation.

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Obaseki who joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in June after he was disqualified by the APC, defeated Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the APC in the election results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday.

A Kano based industrialist, Chief Kalu Ogbonnaya, has advised the Federal Government to take necessary steps to stimulate the nation’s economy to prevent a recession post COVID-19.

Ogbonnaya who spoke in an interview with the NoRM‘s known Media on Thursday in Kano, said as a result of the coronavirus raving the world, no business has been moving.


#Newsworthy

My hands are clean – Lagos NASS speaker, Obasa react to EFCC’s charges against him.

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The Lagos assembly speaker was accused of embezzling public funds and abusing his office.

Mudashiru Obasa, speaker of the Lagos state house of assembly, says he has nothing to hide on the corruption allegations against him.

On Thursday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had begun questioning Obasa over the alleged fraudulent activities linked to him.

In a statement after the interrogation by officials of the EFCC in Lagos, Obasa said he decided to honour the invitation of the anti-graft agency as a responsible lawmaker.

“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission invited me today (Thursday). As a responsible citizen and lawmaker, I honoured the invitation. I have nothing to hide,” Obasa said.

“When we are called upon by law-enforcement agents in their investigations, as responsible citizens, it’s our duty to oblige them.”

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Noble Reporters Media known Media had carried out an investigation on the speaker who allegedly owns more than 60 bank accounts.

He was accused of using his office to misappropriate funds and allocate contracts to himself through third party sources, as well as other acquaintances.

The state house of assembly had cleared the speaker of the allegations, saying they are untrue.

However, civil society organisations petitioned the EFCC to carry out a comprehensive investigation on the matter.


#Newsworthy…

Gist+: EFCC presents first witness against Adeherself.

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The Economic and Finanacial Crimes Commission on Wednesday presented one Samuel Orie, a Compliance Officer with Guaranty Trust Bank Plc as its first prosecution witness, against Social media Influencer Adedamola Adewale, also known as Adeherself.

The anti graft body stated that Adeherself was re-arraigned for alleged internet fraud before Justice Sherifat Solebo of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja.


READ


“Adewale, 20, is being prosecuted on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy to obtain by false pretence, attempt to obtain by false pretence and retention of proceeds of a criminal conduct,” EFCC said in statement

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EFCC had on June 16 announced the arrest of Adewale alongside four others for alleged internet fraud.

The commission said Adewale,and her accomplice, Lamina Hamzat Ajibola, were arrested at the Agungi area of Lekki, Lagos State.

EFCC, however, stated that Adewale was charged to court based on evidence found in her possession.

She was eventually released on 24th July after meeting her bail terms


#Newsworthy…

Corruption: Malami denies conspiracy to witch-hunt Magu.

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The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has denied the allegation of conspiring to witch-hunt anyone.

Malami’s Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr Umar Gwandu, faulted the claim in a statement on Monday.

He was reacting to the comments made by a lawyer, Victor Giwa, who claimed that the minister ordered his arrest because he refused to implicate Ibrahim Magu, the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Giwa made the allegation in a statement on Sunday entitled, ‘Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) Is Using Donald Wokoma, My Erstwhile Client Against Me For My Refusal To Testify And Indict Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of EFCC, At The Justice Ayo Salami Panel Investigating The EFCC Boss’.

He explained that he was invited by the Justice Ayo Salami led panel, which is investigating the corruption allegations against the suspended EFCC boss, on August 18 and 19.

The lawyer, among many other claims, said he was asked to testify against Magu through an alleged conspiracy between the AGF and Donald Wokoma, a former special adviser to the Vice President whom he said he represented and secured a judgement in his favour.

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But Gwandu described the allegation against the minister as ‘flimsy’, stressing that they were untrue.

According to him, Malami never met with Giwa and has never discussed any issue with Wokoma, nor asked anybody, personally or by proxy, to engage Giwa to testify against Magu.

The minister’s spokesman insisted that Malami, who did not set up the investigation panel to probe the suspended EFCC boss, was not saddled with any responsibility to procure witnesses for the panel.

“The Attorney-General of the Federation is never a member of the panel nor does it fall within the realm of the AGF’s authority to invite witness(es) for a presidential probe panel.

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“The claim by Victor Giwa, Esq is therefore fictitious, unfounded and a figment of the imagination of mischief-makers who want to create unnecessary attention and tarnish the good image of the Attorney-general of the Federation and Minister of Justice and labouring incessantly these days, to falsely cast aspersion on the AGF’s hard-earned reputation,” Gwandu stated.

He, however, challenged Giwa to come and substantiate his allegation with details of when he met with the AGF on the issue, where they met, and how the meeting went.

Gwandu also asked the lawyer to answer whether the minister met him in person or sent a representative, in what capacity was the representative if there was any, and what the terms of their engagement were.

He asked Giwa to reveal what the purported offer to testify against Magu was, how it was made, as well as to name who the witnesses were.


#Newsworthy…

EFCC arrest four fraudsters in Rivers State.

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested four suspected internet fraudsters also known as ‘Yahoo Boys’ in Rivers State.

EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, who disclosed this in a statement on Thursday said that the suspects were arrested by operatives attached to the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the agency.

He explained that they were apprehended on Thursday during a raid on their hideout on Chibiak Avenue, Elenpranwo, Ada George in Port Harcourt.

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Those arrested include Prince Hyacinth; Rex Emadifie Oghene, Odili Ifeayi and Uduak Samuel Williams.

The suspects, said to be students of the University of Port Harcourt, allegedly defrauded 15 victims of $111,500.

Some of the items recovered from the suspects on August 20, 2020. Crdeit: EFCC

At the point of their arrest, the following items were recovered: one Tecno Spark 4, one Iphone 11 Pro Max, two Infinix Hot, one apple Laptop, one Iphone 7 and two Iphone 11, one iphone 8+, one Acer Laptop and one HP Laptop.

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EFCC explained that preliminary investigation established that the suspects are majorly involved in a romance scam and also act as pickers for organized ring of fraudsters.

Oyewale noted that Prince Hyacinth parades himself as a Spain-based marine engineer to bait his victims, Rex Emadifie Oghene poses as a rig engineer based in the United State.

The two other suspects, Odili Ifeayi and Uduak Samuel Williams were said to have presented themselves as rig/marine engineers to defraud their victims.

He added that they would be charged to court as soon as investigations were concluded.

Follow: Olamide Noble @newsworthywriter


#Newsworthy…

Update: Magu request copies of petitions against him.

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The suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu is not giving up on his request for fair hearing.

Magu through his lawyers has once again written to the Chairman of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry probing him and the affairs of the commission.

In the letter dated August 20, the former EFCC boss requested for the copies of documents so far tendered against him by those who have appeared before the commission.

Magu demanded that he be given the necessary documents by the commission to be able to defend himself in view of the weight of criminal allegations levelled against him and the anti-graft agency.

“Please refer to SECTION 36(6)(A)(B) CFRN 1999 which provides as follows: Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be entitled to be informed promptly in the language that he understands and in details of the nature of the offence,” Shittu wrote.

“Be given adequate time and facility for the preparation of his defence. Based on the foregoing, we request ahead of the defence of our client before this judicial commission of inquiry for the following:

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“Copies of all presentations/petitions against our client tendered in these proceedings; access to all exhibits tendered in these proceedings; access to relevant case files and documents tendered in these proceedings; any other materials that will be relevant for purposes of the defence of our client in these proceedings.

“We humbly request you to note that in view of the timeline stipulated above and the need to clarify the duration of the sittings and whether the appointing authority has extended the period, it is of utmost importance that access to the requested documents is granted to our client and his counsel to ensure seamless proceedings and the guarantee of fair hearing as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the letter read.

In July, the suspended EFCC boss had complained of not being officially received a copy of the allegations against him.

Magu’s travails followed a memo by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation Abubakar Malami, who accused him of selling recovered looted assets to his associates.


#Newsworthy…

$890,000: EFCC probes two Lebanese

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has commenced the probe of two Lebanese who were arrested by officers of the Nigerian Customs Service for attempting to smuggle $890,000 out of the country.

The suspects; Dina Jihad Khali and Chamseddine Waell Mohmmed, were trying to smuggle the money through the Port Harcourt International Airport.

In a statement by the EFCC Head of Media, and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, disclosed that the suspects were arrested on Wednesday, August 12, 2020, and handed over to the Port Harcourt Zonal office of the commission for further investigation.

Speaking while handing over the two suspects, A.B Mohammed Olayinka, Customs Area Controller, disclosed that Khali with Passport
Number LR152975 (Republic of Lebanon) was arrested with $670,000USD (Six Hundred and Seventy Thousand Dollars ) while Mohammed with Passport Number LR0356598 (Republic of Lebanon) had $220,000USD (Two Hundred and Twenty Thousand Dollars).

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“They were both arrested while trying to board a flight to Lebanon”.

He further stated that the money recovered from the suspects, which they failed to declare to Customs, has been deposited with the Central Bank of Nigeria, Rivers State Branch, for safekeeping.

Principal Detective Superintendent Macaulay Olayinka, who received the suspects on behalf of the Zonal Head, thanked officers of the Customs Area Command for the synergy that exist between the Command and the EFCC.

He assured that investigation will commence in earnest, adding that the suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigation is
concluded.


#Newsworthy…

Breaking: EFCC arrest 32 Yahoo Boys in Oyo state, seize 12 cars. [Photos]

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested 32 suspected internet fraudsters also known as ‘Yahoo Boys’ in Oyo State.

EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, disclosed in a statement that the suspects were arrested by operatives attached to the Ibadan Zonal Office of the agency.

He explained that they were apprehended on Tuesday during a raid on their hideout in Ogbomoso, a town in the state.

“Officers of the EFCC swept on the location after diligent analysis of a series of intelligence gathered on their alleged criminal activities.

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“Three of the suspects claimed to be serving members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), 19 were undergraduates of various universities across the country, while the remaining 10 laid claims to sundry vocations,” the statement said.

Those arrested include Oyebamiji Francis, Aremo Jeremiah, Ogbonnaya John, Anuoluwapo Matthew, Oladele Victor, Mumuni Waliyullah, Olawoyin Abiodun, and Okuwatoyin Henry.

Others are Arisekola Shina, Babarinde Solomon, Samson Gideon, Joshua Adebayo, Ajayi Ajibola, Garba Mojeed, Olatunbosun Tobiloba, and Azeez Ridwan.

The EFCC operatives also nabbed Ajala Timilehin, Adebolapo Bakare, Alaba Gideon, Ogunkeye Olumide, Ogunleke Tolu, Olapade Emmanuel, Adegoke Abiodun, and Job Ayantoye.

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The rest are Oyebode Pelumi, Babayanju Toluwani, Oladele Ayobami, Omonaiye Abubakar, Sattong Baking, Abisoye Kehinde, Iwajomo Nathan, and Aniyikaye Tope.

At the point of their arrest, the EFCC operatives recovered 12 exotic cars, several phones, laptops, and some incriminating documents from the suspect.

Oyewale said the suspects were subjected to thorough screening by medical officials of the EFCC, in line with the COVID-19 prevention protocols.

He added that they would be charged to court as soon as investigations were concluded.


#Newsworthy…

Gist+: Yahoo boys to sweep secondary school in Ilorin for 3 months

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Justice Sikiru Oyinloye of Kwara State High Court, Ilorin on Thursday, August 7, 2020 convicted and sentenced the duo of Akinola Opeyemi and Owolabi Olajide to three months of community service for internet fraud.

They are to sweep the Physics Department of the University of Ilorin and the premises of Saint Anthony Secondary School, Ilorin for three months or pay N50,000 option of fine each.

The convicts were prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ilorin Zonal Office on separate one-count charge of cheating and impersonation to which they pleaded guilty.

An operative of the Commission, Olarewaju Lamidi, who reviewed the fact of the case disclosed that trouble started for the convicts when in March 2020, the Ilorin Zonal Office of the Commission placed some areas of the city on surveillance, following intelligence on the activities of internet fraudsters in the municipality, and arrested the defendants and others as a result.

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Analysis of iPhones and laptops recovered from the convicts, yielded fraudulent email addresses and messages, which the convicts confessed to be theirs.

Delivering his judgment, Justice Oyinloye said, “I have carefully considered the evidence before the court, the exhibits tendered and the uncontroverted testimony of the prosecution witness. This honourable court holds that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt, the defendants are hereby convicted as charged.”

In sentencing them to community service, the judge directed the Head of Physics Department, the University of Ilorin and the Principal, Saint Anthony Secondary to issue an assessment letter on the convicts’ compliance with the judgment to the Chief registrar of the Kwara State High Court, at the completion of their community service. Poor level of compliance, the judge stated, would earn the convicts a direct six months imprisonment.

The case was prosecuted by Nnaemeka Omewa.


#Newsworthy…

EFCC: Panel begins investigation on Ibrahim Magu.

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The Justice Salami-led presidential panel investigating the operations of the suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, resumed today.

Mr Magu is been investigated over alleged mismanagement of recovered assets by the EFCC between May 2015 and May 2020, a process triggered by allegations against him by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami

Sources close to the presidential panel told Media (known to Noble Reporters Media) that the panel at today’s proceeding promised to give Mr. Magu fair hearing in the process of investigating the allegations leveled against the embattled anti-graft boss

At today’s hearing, NRM gathered that Mr. Magu requested that the proceeding be documented on video or recorded but it was turned down.

The panel is reported to have told Mr. Magu that the venue of the sitting is temporary and therefore it is impossible to install video recording equipment.

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The panel, however, promised that it will be fair in its approach and conduct of what it says its a fact-finding mission and not a trial.

When Noble Reporters Media sought to find out about the proceedings of today from Mr. Magu’s counsel, Mr Wahab Shittu, he said Magu trusts the long-standing integrity of the chairman of the panel Justice Salami and will count on its promise to be fair in the handling of the investigation.

Mr Magu, who was first arrested a few weeks ago in Abuja by a team of police officers, who dragged him to the statehouse to appear before the Justice Ayo Salami-led presidential investigative committee, had complained about what he termed unfortunate handling of his investigation for alleged corruption, saying he has consequently been paraded like a common criminal.

He has since denied all allegations levelled against him.


#Newsworthy…

NDDC: EFCC gets N827.6M final forfeiture

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) has secured the final forfeiture of N827, 679,098.32 from Flank Power Resources Limited and GMFD Ventures Limited.

Both firms are linked to contractors with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Matthew Edevbie is the Chief Executive Officer of Flank Power Resources Limited.

In a statement by the Head, Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Dele Oyewale, explained that the forfeiture followed the order of Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, sequel to an affidavit deposed to by an EFCC investigator, in which the Commission prayed the court for the forfeiture of the sum to the federal government of Nigeria, being proceeds of unlawful activity, traced to some contractors’ accounts with Zenith Bank.

A breakdown of the recovery shows that N616, 679, 098.32 (six hundred and sixteen million, six hundred and seventy-nine thousand, ninety-eight naira, thirty-two kobo) was recovered from Flank Power Resources Limited, while N211million (two hundred and eleven million naira) was recovered from GMFD Ventures Limited.

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The statement revealed that between 2018 and 2019, Flank Power Resources Limited received the funds from the NDDC, through its account number:1015642852, while GMFD received through account number: 1014657819 both of which are domiciled in Zenith Bank Plc for desilting contracts which aside from being inflated, were not executed but diverted and laundered.

File photo of EFCC logo. (Noble Reporters Media / Adigun Michael Olamide)

“The sum of N616, 679, 098.32 recovered from Flank Power Resources Limited was facilitated through 62 Zenith Bank drafts in favour of the EFCC Recovered Funds Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, while the N211million from GMFD came through 22 Zenith Bank drafts in favour of the same account.

“The EFCC secured the interim forfeiture of the money on June 8, 2020, and its final forfeiture was granted by the court on June 29, 2020”, the statement added.


#Newsworthy…

Money Laundering: I am not guilty – AGF Adoke pleads

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The former Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, has pleaded not guilty to the amended charges of money laundering.

Mr. Adoke is being re-arraigned alongside Aliyu Abubakar who is an Abuja based businessman before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

During sitting on Tuesday, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the 14 count charge filed against them.

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EFCC Files Amended Charges Against Ex- AGF Adoke
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had in June filed an additional seven charges against the former AGF over money laundering allegations involving about N400 million.

Mr Adoke’s trial was expected to begin on Monday (yesterday) but it was stalled due to the amended charges.

The initial charge contained seven counts, with six of them relating to Mr. Adoke.

At the resumed trial, the prosecutor, Bala Sanga, informed the court of an amended charge he filed on July 29 which was served on all the defendants.

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The trial judge, Justice Ekwo who frowned at the late filing of the amended charge adjourned the trial till Tuesday on the ground that he is yet to sight the amended charges.

File Photo of former AGF Adoke during one of his trials. (Noble Reporters Media / Adigun Michael Olamide)

In the former seven counts, the EFCC alleged that the defendants committed the money laundering offences involving over N400 million in Abuja in September 2013.

In the counts relating to Mr Adoke, he was accused of among others, receiving the dollar equivalent of N300 million from Abubakar, paying the dollar equivalent of N367,318,800 to one Usman Mohammed Bello, and allegedly using the sum of N300 million, which was alleged to be part of the proceeds of unlawful activities, all in violations of various provisions of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011.

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The former AGF was also accused of making “structured cash payments, in 22 tranches” amounting to N80 million, another of such structured payments in 13 tranches summing up to N50 million into his Unity Bank account.

The commission alleged that the funds were not only part of the proceeds of unlawful acts but they also exceeded “thresholds outside a financial institution,” and that the payments were done with the intention of concealing the origins of the funds contrary to Section 15(2(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 and punishable under section 15(3) of the same law.

He was granted bail by the Federal High Court in Abuja on February 10, 2020, in the sum of N50m with one surety in like sum.

The court has however fixed August 11, 12, and 13 for the trial of the former AGF and Mr. Abubakar.


#Newsworthy…

Money Laundering: EFCC files amended suit against Adoke

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed additional seven charges against a former Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Mohammed Adoke, over money laundering allegations involving about N400 million.

The trial of the ex-AGF who was re-arraigned alongside an Abuja-based businessman, MrAliyu Abubakar, before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja on June 17, 2020 was expected to begin on Monday, but it was stalled due to the amended charges.

The initial charge contained seven counts, with six of them relating to Mr Adoke.

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At the resumed trial, the prosecutor, Bala Sanga, informed the court of an amended charge he filed on July 29 which was served on all the defendants.

The trial judge, Justice Ekwo who frowned at the late filing of the amended charge adjourned the trial till Tuesday on the ground that he is yet to sight the amended charges.

In the former seven counts, EFCC alleged that the defendants committed the money laundering offences involving over N400 million in Abuja in September 2013.

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In the counts relating to Mr Adoke, he was accused of among others, receiving the dollar equivalent of N300 million from Abubakar, paying the dollar equivalent of N367,318,800 to one Usman Mohammed Bello, and allegedly using the sum of N300 million, which was alleged to be part of the proceeds of unlawful activities, all in violations of various provisions of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011.

A file photo former AGF, Mr Mohammed Adoke. Noble Reporters Media/ Olamide Noble

The former AGF was also accused of making “structured cash payments, in 22 tranches” amounting to N80 million, another of such structured payments in 13 tranches summing up to N50 million into his Unity Bank account.

The commission alleged that the funds were not only part of the proceeds of unlawful acts but they also exceeded “thresholds outside a financial institution,” and that the payments were done with the intention of concealing the origins of the funds contrary to Section 15(2(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 and punishable under section 15(3) of the same law.


#Newsworthy…

Reactions as Mompha visit Adeherself after she regains freedom

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Nigerians have reacted to the viral video of Mompha embracing influencer Adeherself after he visited her at her home earlier today.

The viral video has become a growing sensation after it was first shared on social media space.

watch video here

Recall with Noble Reporters Media that Adeherself, who is a social media influencer, has been locked up at EFCC custody since July 7 for alleged possession of fraudulent documents. She finally regained her freedom on July 24 after meeting her bail terms.

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Mompha who has also been a guest at the EFCC holding cell, went to pay Adeherself a visit and shared the video on his Instatories.

Nigerians are all over social media reacting to the visit.

See the various reactions below.


#Newsworthy…

Breaking: “I’m not guilty” – Magu denies all charges against him

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The suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, has given a detailed response and defense of the petitions and allegations leveled against him.

In his defense document obtained by Channels Television on Thursday, Magu denied all the claims as untrue and a calculated attempt to tarnish his name.

He insisted that not a dime of the recovered funds was fraudulently converted for his personal use and challenged his accusers to produce evidence of such fraudulent conversion.

The suspended EFCC boss also disagreed on the argument of the powers of his office as chairman of the anti-graft agency to initiate criminal prosecution.

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He explained that the power to prosecute cases was not what he could arrogate to himself and before he was appointed acting Chairman of the commission, the agency has constantly exercised its statutory power to institute criminal charges where prima facie evidence was made out without seeking for the consent of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

Magu, who is being investigated by a presidential panel led by Retired Justice Ayo Salami over allegations of gross misconduct in activities of the EFCC under his watch, argued that the various decisions of the Courts of Appeal were to the effect that the agency does not need the fiat of the AGF to institute criminal charges.

A file photo of acting EFCC chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu

He lamented that since his appearance and subsequent detention on July 6, he has repeatedly sought the details of allegations and petitions against him personally and through his lawyers, but the request had not been obliged to date.

THE FULL LETTER FROM THE SUSPENDED EFCC BOSS ADDRESSED TO THE PRESIDENTIAL PANEL (Read here..)

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I Am Innocent
The suspended EFCC boss said while the panel has insisted that he was before it not an accused or a suspect but only as a witness, he has yet to know what the issues or who the persons were.

He specifically responded to the three important issues bordering on the Report of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets (PCARA), Memo of the AGF to the President against him, and the alleged petitions addressed to the AGF which he said were already in the custody of the panel but not served on him.

In his response, Magu stated that no assets were sold and the proceeds thereof converted by the EFCC under his watch.

He also denied threats issued to judicial officers by him or the EFCC in the discharge of their official functions, adding that there was never a lack of transparency in the management of recovered assets under his leadership of the commission.

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According to the suspended EFCC boss, there has been no diversion of proceeds from recovered assets or personal enrichment on his part.

Contrary to reports, he accused the office of the AGF of interference and being less cooperative and supportive of the process of recovery and management of assets.

In conclusion, Magu informed the panel that all his actions were documented and followed the prescribed procedures with necessary approvals.

He insisted that he was innocent and has served his country to the best of his abilities with all sense of responsibility and integrity.


#Newsworthy…