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Alleged gratification: Court grants EFCC leave to arraign Alison-Madueke, Omokore

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NAN

An FCT High Court, Apo on Monday, granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) leave to arraign former petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, and a former Chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling company, Olajide Omokore, on Feb. 25.

Alison-Madueke and Omokore, are to be arraigned on five counts bordering on conspiracy and illegal act of accepting and giving gratifications.

Trial judge, Justice Valentine Ashi, granted the EFCC leave, after the prosecution counsel, Mr Faruk Abdullahi  told the court that while investigations were on going,  the former minister left the country and is currently in the UK.

Justice Ashi, also ordered the EFCC to put its house in order.

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He alleged that AlisonMadueke, refused to honour an invitation by the EFCC to appear at the commission.

The suspects, are to be arraigned for allegedly accepting and giving  gift  of   properties described as penthouse 22,Block B, Admiralty Estate, Ikoyi, and penthouse 21, building 5, block C, Banana Island, Lagos.

The EFCC said the alleged offence,  contravened the provisions of Sections 26(1) and 17 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences  Act, 2000.

The prosecutor, Mr Faruk Abdullahi  told the court that while investigations were on going,  the former minister left the country and is currently in the United Kingdom.

He  also said that on invitation by the EFCC Mrs  Madueke refused to honour the invitation but all process are set in place to ensure she comes back to face trial.

The counsel for the second defendant, Tayo Adeniyo SAN, told the court that his client was not served with the charges and his client was read to clear his name.

NAN reports that on Nov. 11, the EFCC confirmed that the process to bring back a former Minister of Petroleum, Alison-Madueke, from the United Kingdom has begun.

Acting spokesman of the Commission, Mr Tony Orilade, disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.

According to Orilade, EFCC’s Operations Department had made presentation to the Legal Department to commence the process, noting that the process has commenced.

He, however, said that the action had to be processed through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, explaining that it was not something the Commission could commence and conclude on its own.

“It is ongoing. Within the next few weeks, the extent to which we have gone will be made known to the public.

“It is not a fresh case; it is not a fresh petition that is just being looked into; the whole process is a total package.

“This request to have Mrs Alison-Madueke repatriated to Nigeria is just an aspect of Diezani’s investigation and commencement of trial,” he said.

In 2017, a Federal High Court in Lagos ordered the final forfeiture of N7.6bn alleged loot recovered from the former minister to the Federal Government.

Justice Abdulazeez Anka granted an application by the EFCC seeking the final forfeiture of the money to the government.

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Granting the application, the judge had said: “I have read the motion on notice seeking the final forfeiture of the sum of N7.6bn reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity.

“I have also gone through the affidavit in support of the application.

“In the circumstances, I am of the view that the application has merit and is hereby granted as prayed. Parties have a right of appeal.”

In October, 2017, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, had said that Nigeria had no immediate plan to bring Alison-Madueke back home to face trial.

Alison-Madueke, who is being investigated in the UK, had urged the Federal Government to have her repatriated to Nigeria to face corruption charges against her.

The post Alleged gratification: Court grants EFCC leave to arraign Alison-Madueke, Omokore appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

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CATHOLIC WORLD

Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes

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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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NATIONAL NEWS

CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.

Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.

“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?

“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.

“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.

“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”

Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.

“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.

“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.

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NATIONAL NEWS

Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike

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Increasing Fuel and Electricity Prices

Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.

Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.

The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.

Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.

Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).

The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”

On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.

The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.

“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.

The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”

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