EFCC re-arraigns Jumoke Akinjide, 2 PDP chieftains over alleged N650m fraud

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EFCC re-arraigns Jumoke Akinjide, 2 PDP chieftains over alleged N650m fraud

Akinjide

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday re-arraigned a former Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mrs. Jumoke Akinjide, and two other chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State over an alleged N650m.fraud.

The trio of Akinjide, a daughter to a former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation during the second republic, Chief Richard Akinjide and Senator Ayo Adeseun who represented Oyo Central Senatorial District between 2011 and 2015 and Olanrewaju Otiti a chieftain of the PDP in Oyo State were charged with the fraud by the anti-graft agency.

At Wednesday’s proceedings, EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo informed the court of an amended 24-counts charge preferred against the defendants.

Oyedepo urged the court to allow the defendants to be re-arraigned in the amended charges.

Akinjide and her co-defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were re-arraigned.

Subsequently, Cheif Bolaji Ayorinde SAN who is representing Akinjide orally applied that court to allow his client to continue on the existing bail granted to her by the previous court.

Michael Lana and Oladiji Akinola who appeared for Senator Adeseun and Olarewaju Otiti respectively made the same prayer to court and urged the court them continue on the existing bail conditions.

But Rotimi applied that the court should impose fresh bail conditions that will ensure the presence of defendants to stand their trial.

“My Lord the prosecution is worried about how this case has travelled from Ibadan to Lagos.

“My Lord will be the fourth judge that will handle this case at the instance of the defence.

“Our fear is that these defendants are interfering with the quick dispensation of justice in this case and the interest of justice will be better served if the defendants file motion for bail, so that we can respond to it by place the reason why these defendants should not be granted bail and we can only place that fact before my Lord by way of affidavit,” Oyedepo said.

ALSO READ: Alleged N702m fraud: EFCC closes case against Okupe

Justice Chukujekwu Aneke in his short ruling granted the oral application of the defendants to continue on the existing bail earlier granted to them by the former trial judge.

The defendants also informed the court of their motion challenging the constitutionality of the charge.

Justice Aneke adjourned trial in the case to 30th of September and 11th October respectively.

Recall that Akinjide was first arraigned on January 16, 2018, before Justice Sule Hassan alongside Adeseun and Otiti charge bordering on fraud and money laundering.

They, however, pleaded not guilty and were granted bail.

The trial began before Hassan, with witnesses testifying, but midway, the case was transferred to Justice Aneke.

One of the charges read, “that you, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke (still at large), Oloye Jumoke Akinjide, Senator Ayo Ademola Adeseun and Chief Olanrewaju Otiti, on or about the 26th day of March, 2015, in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired amongst yourselves to directly take possession of a N650,000,000, which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) and 4 of the same Act.”

The EFCC claimed that the defendants received money from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, in the build-up to the 2015 general elections.

The money was part of the fund allegedly shared by the PDP stalwarts during the 2015 campaigns.

The money, according to the anti-graft agency, was said to form part of a total sum of 115 million dollars allegedly disbursed by Alison-Madueke to influence the outcome of the 2015 Presidential Election.

EFCC re-arraigns Jumoke Akinjide, 2 PDP chieftains over alleged N650m fraud
Tribune Online

Cocaine Production Hit New Record In 2017 – UN Report

FILE PHOTO USED TO DEPICT THE STORY: This photo released by the Honduran Technical Agency for Criminal Investigation (Agencia Tecnica de Investigacion Criminal, ATIC) shows ATIC members counting packets of cocaine in San Pedro Sula, 180km north of Tegucigalpa, on September 14, 2018. 

 

Global cocaine production reached an all-time high in 2017, breaking the previous year’s record by 25 percent, the UN drugs and crime agency said Wednesday in its annual report, as production soars in post-conflict Colombia.

New remote fields and criminal gangs boosted production in the world’s top supplier, despite efforts to steer rural communities away from coca cultivation following a peace deal with FARC rebels.

“Of course it’s bad news every time. It’s bad news for the producing countries… What is happening in Columbia is worrisome,” said Angela Me, chief of research of the Vienna-based United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The report said the jump in production “was mainly driven by increases in cocaine manufacture in Colombia, which produced an estimated 70 percent of the world’s cocaine”.

In the decade to 2017, there was a 50 percent increase in manufacture, reaching a record 1,976 tons two years ago, according to the report, which bases its figures on national monitoring systems.

Over the same 10-year period, the amount of cocaine seized worldwide rose by 74 percent.

In 2017, authorities across the globe intercepted a record quantity of the drug: in all 1,275 tons were seized, up 13 percent year-on-year.

“This suggests that law enforcement efforts have become more effective and that strengthened international cooperation may be helping to increase interception rates,” the report said.

Almost 90 percent of seizures were in the Americas, with Colombia alone intercepting 38 percent of the global total in 2017.

Cocaine production in some central areas of Colombia dropped following the 2016 peace deal with the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, as farmers were offered alternatives to growing coca bush.

But the report said Colombia has since seen more coca cultivation, with new fields — often far away from major cities — being planted and criminal groups moving into areas previously controlled by the rebels.

– Opioid crisis worsening –

The report gave 2018 figures for global opium production, which had soared to a record in 2017.

It said drought in Afghanistan had helped spur a drop in output by 25 percent to some 7,790 tons in 2018, adding that previous years’ overproduction had likely also knocked prices.

UNODC also sharply hiked its estimates of how many people suffer from drug use disorders and need treatment, after it ran surveys in populous India and Nigeria.

Globally some 35 million people were affected in 2017, some 4.5 million people more than previously estimated, UNODC said.

“A lot more people need treatment than we previously thought… Six out of seven don’t receive the treatment they need,” Me said, adding the organisation could revise its numbers again were it given access to data from China.

North America’s opioid crisis also reached new heights in 2017 with more than 47,000 opioid overdose deaths in the United States, the report said.

UNODC estimates that there were 53.4 million opioid users worldwide in 2017, up 56 percent from the 2016 estimate due to the surveys from India and Nigeria.

While fentanyl and its analogues remained the key problem in North America, tramadol is besetting West, Central and North Africa.

Global seizures of the synthetic opioid surged from less than 10 kilogrammes in 2010 to almost nine tons in 2013 and a record 125 tons in 2017.

Cannabis remains the most widely used drug worldwide with an estimated 188 million people using it, the report said.

BREAKING: Nigeria Defeat Guinea To Reach AFCON Last 16

Nigeria’s defender Kenneth Omeruo celebrates his goal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) football match between Nigeria and Guinea at the Alexandria Stadium on June 26 , 2019.
Giuseppe CACACE / AFP

 

Nigeria’s Super Eagles have defeated Guinea to become the first team to reach the last 16 at the 2019 African Cup of Nations.

The Super Eagles qualified for the next stage after a Kenneth Omeruo strike gave them a 1-0 victory over Guinea, taking their points tally to six in Group B.

 

Nigeria’s defender Kenneth Omeruo (2nd-L) celebrates his goal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) football match between Nigeria and Guinea at the Alexandria Stadium on June 26 , 2019.
Giuseppe CACACE / AFP

 

Guinea’s loss leaves them with a point from two games, while Madagascar who take on Burundi in the second group game has a point.

Burundi are last on the table with no point, thanks to their loss to Nigeria in the group opener.

 

NDLEA secures conviction of 17 drug dealers in Sokoto

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NDLEA secures conviction of 17 drug dealers in Sokoto

NDLEA

The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Command in Sokoto state says it has secured a conviction for 17 out of the 40 suspected drug dealers arrested from January till date in the state.

Malam Misbahu Idris, the state’s Commandant of the agency, disclosed this at the 2019 International Day Against Drugs Abuse and Illicit Trafficking tagged “Health for Justice, Justice for Health” in Sokoto on Wednesday.

Idris said 835.339 kg of illicit drugs were also seized within the period.

ALSO READ: FG restates commitment to fight against inhuman treatment

“The command seized a total of 797.500kg of Cannabis Sativa or Marijuana, 690.644kg of psychotropic substances, 34.593kg of Tramadol, 15.858kg of Cocaine and 1.5gm of cough syrup,” he said.

He said the highest arrests were made during festivities especially Sallah celebration.

Idris added that all the convictions were secured from Federal High Court Sokoto, adding that one of the convicts got eight years imprisonment.

According to him, most suspects arrested are between the ages of 15 and 27.

He said that 22 drug addicts were also counselled and rehabilitated during the period.

He, however, warned residents of the state especially politicians against supporting the consumption of illicit drugs which he described as a serious setback to societal development.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that lectures were delivered by Mrs Rasheeda Muhammad and other experts on legal and health perspective of drugs abuse.

Participants at the event included students, drug clubs, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Civil Society Groups among others.

NDLEA secures conviction of 17 drug dealers in Sokoto
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Stage play on Vaclav Havel’s classic “Audience” premieres in Abuja

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Stage play on Vaclav Havel’s classic “Audience” premieres in Abuja

A theatrical adaptation of multiple award-winning playwrights and first President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel’s classic autobiographical book “Audience”, was presented on Tuesday night in Abuja.

The stage play on the acclaimed memoir was presented by Jos Repertory Theatre, an organization that uses theatre as a tool for confronting and addressing societal issues.

The event was organized by the Embassy of Czech Republic in collaboration with Embassy of Brazil and Consumption by Moonlight as part of series of events to commemorate 30 years of Czech Democracy.

Marie Novotna, Cultural Officer of the Czech Embassy in Abuja, said the presentation was to remember the contributions of Havel towards restoring democratic rule to Czech.

ALSO READ: Big Brother Naija season 4 kicks off June ― Multichoice

“Vaclav Havel was from a very rich family, and was an intellectual who used his works to advocate a free and better society under the communists.”

Theatre lovers, heads of institutions, government functionaries and members of the diplomatic community gathered for the event, acclaimed to be the most popular literary work of Havel.

The plot of “Audience” deals with the travails of Havel’s alter-ego, Ferdinand Vanek, a distinguished intellectual who was forced to work in a brewery because his writings have been banned by Czechoslovak Communist regime.

Vanek was stuck in the bleak office of his boss and foreman of the brewery where he has been forced into menial labour.

His boss, an uneducated drunkard, always calls him to his office for endless repetition of dialogue, amidst consumption of gallons of beer.

The tiresome bureaucracy and constant fear under the communists have driven the foreman to alcoholism as he became prone to stint of rage and despair.

ALSO READ: ‘I was rascally as a youth’

Vanek, however, refuses to compromise his principles and mindset of his colleagues, in spite of the promise of promotion.

The play ends with the same conversation that it began with, ‘it is Vanek who sits in the foreman’s seat’, and vice versa.

Vaclav Havel was the last President of Czechoslovakia from 1989 until its dissolution in 1992, and then as the first President of the Czech Republic from 1993 to 2003.

He was a statesman and former dissident, and as a writer of Czech literature, was known in the literary world for his plays, essays, and memoirs.

His political activities brought him under the surveillance of the secret police and he spent multiple stints in prison, the longest being nearly four years, between 1979 and 1983.

Havel’s plays were banned from the theatre world in his own country, and he was unable to leave Czechoslovakia to see any foreign performance of his works.

Stage play on Vaclav Havel’s classic “Audience” premieres in Abuja
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Finally Landed! BBNaija Winner, Miracle Certified As ‘Instrument Rated’ Pilot

Winner of the 2018 Big Brother Naija ‘Double Wahala’ show, Miracle Ikechukwu has added another feather to his cap by being certified as an Instrument Rated pilot.

Taking to his Twitter page @miracleikechukwu to share the news, Miracle said he was able to achieve the feat despite all the turbulence faced in the journey to attaining the certificate.

READ ALSO: Bill Cosby Appeals Sexual Assault Conviction

“A lot of turbulence while en-route but finally landed. Instrument Rated! It’s only Your Grace Lord. Thank You and to everyone who has supported me thus far, I Appreciate. GOD Bless,” he said.

The TV reality star was in aviation school prior to the BBNaija show and however returned to complete his training immediately after clinching the grand prize.

After emerging the winner of the Season 3 edition of the show, he raked in a total prize comprising a 25 million cash, a Sub-Urban Vehicle (SUV) worth N12 million and a trip for two valued N4.7 million, Television and other electronic items worth N3.3 million.

He had earlier in 2018 announced acquisition of both Private Pilot License (PPL) and Flight Dispatcher License (FDL).

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Bayern Consider Bid For Ousmane Dembele – Report

Ousmane Dembele of Barcelona during the warm-up before the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Levante UD at Camp Nou on April 27, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. Jose Breton/AFP

 

Bayern Munich will consider a move for Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele if they fail to sign Leroy Sane from Manchester City, Bild newspaper reported on Wednesday.

With veteran wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery leaving the club, Bayern had targeted Germany international Sane as they look to bolster their attack ahead of next season.

READ ALSO: United To Sign Wan-Bissaka In £50 Million Deal – Reports

“If the Sane transfer fails, Bayern also have Ousmane Dembele on their list,” wrote Bild.

France international Dembele, 22, was linked to Bayern before joining Borussia Dortmund from Rennes for 15 million euros ($17m) in 2016.

A year later, he became the most expensive outgoing or incoming transfer in Bundesliga history when Dortmund sold him to Barcelona for 125 million euros.

With his current contract set to expire in 2022, questions remain over whether Bayern could afford to sign the French international.

Bayern broke their own transfer record with the 80-million-euro signing of French defender Lucas Hernandez earlier this year, as they look to rejuvenate their squad in what club president Uli Hoeness has called “the biggest investment programme in our history”.

Yet their recruitment drive has stalled in recent weeks, with Hoeness openly admitting that first-choice target Sane may prove to be too expensive.

The Bayern president also insisted last month that the club would not break the 100-million-euro mark for a single player this year.

AFP

Nasarawa govt committed to providing children nutritional needs ― Perm Sec

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Nasarawa govt committed to providing children nutritional needs ― Perm Sec

Children

NASARAWA State Government says it is committed to providing the nutritional needs of children and pregnant women in the state in order to improve their health status.

Mr Emmanuel Alidzi, the Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning, restated the commitment on Wednesday during the state stakeholders meeting on nutrition in Karu.

Alidzi, represented by the ministry’s Director of Planning, Mr Isah Abdul, said that the meeting, among other things, was to discuss 2019 to 2023 multi-sectoral nutritional plan of the state.

He said that the five years the nutritional plan was made to attain optimal nutrition status among the people of the state, especially children under five years and pregnant women.

ALSO READ: NDLEA in Kano intercepts 6,726kg of hard drugs, arrests 725 suspects

According to him, the document would serve as a working tool to also guide local governments and development areas in providing the nutritional needs of the children.

“The meeting is aimed at demonstrating, understanding and recommending the multi-sectoral nutritional strategies of the state.

“It is equally to explain the significance of the document with a view to improving the nutritional needs of children.

“The state government is committed to improving the nutritional needs of children and pregnant women.

“This is to improve on their health status and standard of living because a healthy nation is a wealthy nation,” he said.

Alidzi appreciated the efforts of the players and experts in nutrition for contributing positively to the development of the health sector in the state and called for its sustenance.

The permanent secretary restated the ministry’s commitment to keying into positive policies and programmes that would have a direct bearing on the lives of the people of the state.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the players and experts in nutrition who spoke during the meeting commended the state government for organising the meeting and called for its sustenance.

Nasarawa govt committed to providing children nutritional needs ― Perm Sec
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Hand off fiscal policies, let Naira find its level, ADP tells Emefile

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Hand off fiscal policies, let Naira find its level, ADP tells Emefile

ADP

The Action Democratic Party, (ADP) has called on the Governor of  Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefile to hand off certain fiscal policies to ensure the stability of the Naira.

National chairman of the party, Engineer Yabagi Yusuf Sani in a statement he particularly signed enumerated Anchor  Borrowers Programs and the ban on import items, as some of the fiscal measures.

The ADP chairman further admonished the CBN to jettison its policy of “managed-float exchange rate” and allow Naira to find its level as being espoused by the IMF and other international financial bodies.

ALSO READ: NDLEA in Kano intercepts 6,726kg of hard drugs, arrests 725 suspects

The statement read in part:” The Action Democratic Party, ADP commends the 5-year policy direction plan of the Central Bank of Nigeria. However, ADP admonishes Emefile to hands-off fiscal policies such as Anchor Borrowers Programs, ban on import items, increase in Palm Oil and Cotton production in order to free itself of political influence in its day-to-day operations.

“Rather,  CBN should focus on Monetary Policies as stated in the CBN Act, namely: maintenance of the external reserves of the country, promote monetary stability/sound financial environment, act as a banker of last resort and financial adviser to the federal government while remaining aligned with the nation’s long-term policy goals.

“Furthermore, ADP is of the strong opinion that the CBN should at this point in time jettison its policy of “managed-float exchange rate” and allow Naira to find its level has been espoused by the IMF and other international financial bodies.

” In conclusion CBN should disclose to Nigerians how much the “managed-float exchange rate” as subsidy in support of Naira has cost the nation thus far and the cost benefits of retaining it.”

Hand off fiscal policies, let Naira find its level, ADP tells Emefile
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Nigeria Is Heading Towards Bankruptcy – Sanusi

The Emir of Kano Muhammad Sanusi II says the financial health of Nigeria is at risk and the country is heading towards bankruptcy.

Sanusi disclosed this during the third national treasury workshop held at the Kano State Government House on Wednesday.

He stressed that factors including fuel subsidy, debt servicing, and demurrage among other economic policies which he described as “unfavourable economic policies,” are consuming revenue of the nation.

“In 2011, when I was CBN governor, we spent $8bn importing petroleum and spent another $8.2bn subsidising the product

“100% of what we earn in the oil sector went out to import petrol. You are treasurers, is this sustainable?

“The country will be bankrupted and we are heading to bankruptcy,” the Emir warned.

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Sanusi said further that, “For the Federal Government to place itself in a position where, (in finance you all know this is what we call a naked edge), the price of crude oil and petroleum products goes up, the Federal government pays, exchange rate moves, the Federal Government pays, interest rate moves, the Federal Government pays, demurrage, the Federal Government pays.

“What is so life-threatening about petroleum price that we have to sacrifice education, sacrifice health sector and sacrifice infrastructure for us to have cheap petroleum? And risk the financial health of the country.”

The former CBN boss advised that if truly President Buhari is fighting poverty, he should remove the risk on the national financial sector and stop the subsidy regime.

He said the President must tell Nigerians the facts about the economic situation and act promptly to address it.

Sanusi also lamented over the number of Nigerians living in poverty and expressed worry about the state of public finance in the country.

“So, let us talk about the state of public finance in Nigeria. We have a number of very difficult decisions that we must make, and we should face the reality.

“It is a difficult decision, but if the president really wants to deal with poverty, he has to deal with this first. He has to tell Nigerians, that they have to be ready, if the international price of fuel goes up, people must be ready to pay more. If it goes down, people will benefit. We have to be responsible; this is what happens everywhere in the world.

“His Excellency, the President, said in his inaugural speech that his government would like to lift 100 million people out of poverty. It was a speech that was well received, not only in this country but worldwide.

“The number of people living in abject poverty in Nigeria is frightening. By 2050, 85 percent of those living in extreme poverty in the world will be from the African continent, and Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo will top the list.

“Two days ago, I read that the percentage of government revenue going to debt servicing had risen to 70 percent. These numbers are not lying. They are public numbers. I read them in the newspapers. When you are spending 70 per cent of your revenue on debt services, then you are managing 30 percent.

“And then, you continue subsidising petroleum products and spending N1.5trillion per annum on petroleum subsidy! And then we are subsidising electricity tariff. And maybe, you have to borrow from the capital market or the Central Bank of Nigeria to service the shortfall in the electricity tariff. Where is the money to pay salaries? Where is the money for education and other government projects?”

The Emir advised the Federal Government to look at the components of petroleum price and address the problems identified.

He also advised the Federal Government to stop the payment of fuel subsidy.

“For 30 years we have had this project called petroleum subsidy which is not a subsidy. In Economics, it is a Edge. We don’t call it Edge because we know the implications.

“The first step we must do is stop this Edge and to at least make it a subsidy. Let me try to explain to, when you subsidise something, let’s say cost N100, you say to somebody this cost N100 and I am subsidising to the tune of 30% or 20%, it does not matter what interest rate.

“When you look at the components of petroleum price – the foreign exchange rate, the price, interest rate, demurrage, petroleum equalisation…Nigeria is the only country whose balance sheet does not benefit from an increase in the price of oil. And this did not start with this government it has been on for 20, 30 years.”