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Group Lauds EFCC For Tracking N5.3b To Saraki’s Henchman’s Address

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A social political group Kwara Political Front, KPF, has commended the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for unraveling the sum of N5,318,517,789.48 suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity belonging to a company with a registered address at No. 9. Orioko Ilorin, Kwara State.

According to findings, the property located on the said address belongs to one Ladi Hassan, who was S.A. Domestic to former Governor Abubakar Bukola Saraki between 2003-2005 and SA Inter-governmental Affairs (2005-2007) .

Hasan was also Chief of Staff (2007-2009) to Kwara State Governor;
Hon. Commissioner, Kwara State Ministry of Health (2009-2011). He also served as Member, Board of Directors, Harmony Holdings Ltd (2012) and Chairman, Governing Board, Federal Medical Centre, Jabi-Abuja (2013-2014).

As a prominent member of the Saraki political dynasty, Hassan served as Executive Chairman, SUBEB, Kwara State (2016-2017); Mandate Secretary and lately at FCT Social Development Secretariat (2017-date)

According to a statement by the KPF, it commended EFCC for unraveling these leakages, stating that many unsuspecting aides may have been used as conduit pipes to siphoning the resources of Kwara state in the past.

This commendation is coming against the backdrop of the order of Federal High Court in Lagos for the interim forfeiture of the N5,318,517,789.48 warehoused in a new generation bank to the Federal Government. The order was given by Justice Tijjani Ringim sequel to an ex parte motion filed and argued by counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Rotimi Oyedepo.
Oyedepo linked the sum to a firm, Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd, adding that it was reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity.

He told the court that the money was deposited in three bank accounts in tranches of N1,407,182,797.00, N2,275,525,493.17 and N1,635,809,499.31.

The lawyer prayed the judge to hand over the sum to the Federal Government’s custody for 14 days in the interim and subsequently to be permanently forfeited to the government.

To this end, he applied for an order of court “directing the publication in any national newspaper the interim order…to enable interested party in the property sought to be forfeited to appear before the court to show cause within 14 days why the final order of forfeiture of funds sought to be forfeited should not be made in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Oyedepo backed his application with a four-page affidavit sworn to by an EFCC investigator Adamu Usman Yusuf.

Justice Ringim in a bench ruling granted the application as prayed.

He adjourned till September 29, for report of compliance.

According to the affidavit, Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd was incorporated on November 18, 2010, with a registered address at No. 9. Orioko Ilorin, Kwara State, which this medium reliably gathered is the family house of Ladi Hassan.

Yusuf said: “That there is no business endeavour in the said address. That the Company is not carrying out any legitimate business but rather was primarily procured to retain proceeds of unlawful activities.

“Upon incorporation of the Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd, a corporate account was opened. The account started witnessing huge cash deposits which are not proceeds of a legitimate business but rather represent funds reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.

“We invited the Managing Director of Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd vide a letter dated 3rd August 2021 which letter was acknowledged by one A. Muhamed.

“Till date, we have not received any objection or opposition from Kaiser Strategic Services Ltd to the Commission’s decision proceeding against the funds sought to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria, same having been reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.”

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Buhari Swears in Two INEC National Commissioners

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President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn in two National Commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The swearing-in took place on Monday at the Conference Hall of the First Lady’s office at the State House, Abuja, before the official launch of the eNaira and 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day emblem.

The new National Commissioners are Prof. Muhammad Sani Kallah (Katsina State) and Prof. Kunle Cornelius Ajayi (Ekiti State).

The duo are part of the six INEC commissioners cleared by the Senate in July this year.

President Buhari had on September 15, 2021, sworn in three of the cleared National Commissioners.

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Aggrieved Benue Pensioners Task Ortom On 33 Months Arrears

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Coalition of Aggrieved Pensioners in Benue State has called on the state government to direct the payment of their outstanding pensions and gratuities.

The union made this appeal, yesterday, in a rejoinder signed by its Chairman, Akosu Orban, and Secretary, Mac Mtsur, and made available to The Guardian in Makurdi.

Recently, the pensioners had protested against the non-payment of over 32 and 34 entitlements owed state and local council pensioners, even as they disclosed that they lost over 500 members to economic crunch.

But he state government had said it had agreement with the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) leaders, who are part of the Local Government Joint Account, and had been paying N700 million to pensioners in the state monthly.

Acting Press Secretary to the Governor, Nathaniel Ikyur, said out of this amount, N300 million was paid to the local council pensioners and N400 million to state pensioners.

He added: “This mode of payment has been in effect in the last six months and government intends to continue with it until we are able to stabilise the payment system.”

The aggrieved retirees, in the statement, wondered how N700 million would be released by the state government monthly as claimed by the governor, yet the number of months owed them kept rising.

Chairman of the forum intimated that out of the 33 months pension owed pensioners, only six months was inherited from the previous administration.

RELATEDLY, Ortom has raised the alarm over sharp practices at the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), where a wage bill of primary school teachers is padded.

Ortom, who expressed this at a meeting with local council chairmen, SUBEB among others, yesterday, at the New Banquet Hall of Benue Peoples House Makurdi, said, with the continuous hike in wage bills, the dead seemed to be coming to life to receive salaries.

The governor, who vowed to take decisive steps to end padding of salaries, gave the local council chairmen one month to unmask the cartel behind the padding.

If proper checks are carried out with the involvement of council chairmen, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), leakages and other unwholesome activities would be stopped to give room for more recruitment.

According to him, since the decision to engage 2,000 teachers in primary schools was sacrosanct, his government would do everything possible to block financial leakages in the sector to guarantee expected goal.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Bureau of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Kenneth Achabo, presented a report on audited accounts of the 23 local councils from 2015 to 2019.

Ortom described the report as a novel initiative and stressed the need for those in positions of trust to keep financial records straight, to support auditors with facts and figures to do their job.

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Buhari Departs Abuja For Investment Summit In Riyadh

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President Muhammadu Buhari has departed Abuja for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to participate in the investment conference organised by the Future Investment Initiative Institute.

The presidential aircraft conveying the president and few members of his entourage took-off from the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja at about 4.10 p.m.

A statement issued by Malam Garba Shehu, the president’s spokesman, on Monday said the president would be joined at the 5th edition of the flagship investment event by business executives from Nigeria, bankers, captains of industry and energy experts to discuss issues on the future of investments across the globe.

He said: ”The three-day event, with the theme, Investment in Humanity, which will host global executives and asset managers, will deliberate on progress and prosperity with energy; true final frontiers in investments; science in action; and impact of climate change on communities among others.”

According to Shehu, the president will perform the lesser Hajj in Madinah and Makkah before returning to the country on Friday.

Those accompaning the president on the trip include the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo; Minister of Communications; Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada.

Others are the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva; Director General of National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Rufai, and Managing Director of Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, Uche Orji.

Some of the invitees from the private sector include Alhaji Mohammed Indimi, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Tope Shonubi, Wale Tinubu, Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabiu, Hassan Usman, Omoboyode Olusanya, Abubakar Suleiman, Herbert Wigwe, Leo Stan Ekeh, Alan Seinfield and Alhaji Dahiru Mangal.

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