Man docked fAn Ikeja Special Offences Court on Monday reserved judgement in a case involving one Achie George for alleged conspiracy and forgery until Sept.1. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that George had pleaded not guilty to a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy and forgery of documents.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo adjourned the case till Sept.1 to enable the court review the final written address.
The counsel to the EFCC, Nnemeka Omewa, prayed the court to prosecute the defendant, adding that the defendant presented a fraudulent cheque with the intent to defraud.
He said that though the defendant did not succeed in his attempt to commit the crime, the counsel urged the court to punish the defendant for forgery.
However, the defence counsel, Mr Paul Okon in his allocutus, prayed the court to dismiss the charges against the defendant.
The Director-General, Coalition of Nigeria Youths on Security and Safety Affairs, Amb. Ade -Mario Emmanuel, wants the Federal Government to create an enabling environment for youths to thrive and support themselves.
This is contained in a message signed by the D-G to mark the International Youth Day, on Saturday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that theme for the 2022 Celebration is “Inter-generational Society: Creating a World for All Ages.”He said the theme was a pointer for the the Nigerian government to imbibe an inclusive culture of participation of all ages.
”Also in the sphere of societal influence as the theme highlights ageism and how it affects society,”he added.
Emmanuel advised the Federal Government to review its socio – economic policy framework to create an enabling environment for youths to excel and enhance the nation’s economy.
“At this point, government should enable polices that would engage the youths ,keep them busy and shield them from social ills like the ”get- rich- quick syndrome.
“This may give rise to all forms of ponzi schemes and high level of crime which may worsen the state of insecurity in the country,”he said.
The DG urged the Federal Government to back its promises to the youths with actions and involve all critical stakeholders in a round table discussion.
Emmanuel said,” this would be in order to restore youth confidence in governance; and boast of a more blissful inter-generational society.
”He also urged EFCC to cultivate tactical policies and Youths Empowerment Programs which will go a long way in addressing some thorny issues.
Emmanuel said: “As the World celebrates IYD 2022, the coalition is happy to identify with Federal, States and Local Governments.
” And all stakeholders who spare no effort at forging inter-generational harmony in the best interest of a peaceful and youth friendly Society”.
The celebration of youths across the world was envisaged that to serve to advance advocacy for the World Programme of Action for Youths.
It is also to facilitate more youth development policies at every level of government across the world.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) on Friday launched ‘Crude Theft Monitoring Applications’ to curb oil theft and pipeline vandalism.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the launch held in Abuja on the sideline of the signing of renewed Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) agreements between NNPC and its partners in Oil Mining Leases.
The portal with the address ‘stopcrudetheft.
com’ could also be accessed through a mobile phone.
The portal has application options for reporting incidences, with prompt follow up and responses and another one for crude sales documents validation.
Speaking during the launch, Malam Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), NNPC Ltd. said ”vandals’ actions on pipelines became a difficult thing to deal with, but it engaged partners to ensure that it responded to the situation.
” According to the GCEO, there was involvement of government regulatory bodies, security agencies and host communities while it put up a robust framework to curtail the menace.
“There are still ongoing activities of oil thieves and vandals on our pipelines and assets, very visible in the form of illegal refineries that are continuously put up in some locations and insertions into our pipeline network.
“Arrests have been made and vessels have been arrested by Nigerian Navy, I commend the Armed forces, in the last three months, they have done substantive work and had destroyed some illegal refineries,” he said.
Kyari said international refineries where the stolen crude could be taken to had obligations to ensure they bought Nigerian crude from credible sources which could be validated.
He said, ”if they refused to do that, they would be held responsible as part of the culprits involved.
” He explained that the platforms were created for members of the communities and other Nigerians to report incidences of theft and be rewarded.
Kyari urged that on the international arena, companies must report suspicious sale.
He further said,”every product that left the country must have a unique registration number by the NNPC and validated by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).
“Ahead of this, we are also creating a platform where end-users, particularly refiners and traders can validate the product.
“We cannot do this without international collaboration.
It is impossible for any refinery to take a crude they do not know the source, refineries are designed to process certain specific grade of crude.
“It is their duty to ensure that they validate this, because we have unique number of every crude that leaves this country,” he said.
The GCEO, while stating that it has a total coordination process now, said it had a line of sites around all marine movement in the country and had created a functional platform.
“We have visibility around everyone’s operations and the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) is following everyone related to those transactions.
“Wherever there is massive movement of cash, EFCC will follow the person, we believe that the combination of all these will get us back to normalcy,” he said.
The Federal Government has inaugurated a Presidential Steering Committee to review Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System(IPPIS), the Treasury Single Account(TSA) and Government Integrated Financial Management System( GIFMIS) over irregularities.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, who is also the chairman of committee inaugurated it on Friday in Abuja.
Pantami said that the committee would be supervised by the ministry and other relevant government institutions.
He also said that the systems have technical challenges which needed to be corrected.
Pantami said the committee has been mandated to proffer solutions to the possible leakages inherent in the systems that were exploited by people to divert public funds.
“This technical committee has been mandated by President Muhammadu Buhari, through a letter requesting his approval to review some of the technical processes and systems deployed in government.
“This committee, will serve as a presidential committee with the mandate of ensuring the review of the strengths of these systems and the challenges or weaknesses.
“The committee is to advise the president on how to improve the systems particularly, if there are leakages that are being exploited by evil people.
“The issue came about on the July 19, 2022, when we had a meeting with the president along with other ministries where some technical issues and some challenges were discussed,” he said.
The minister explained that the process of deployment for IPPIS commenced in 2006, that of GISFMIS in 2012, while TSA commenced in 2015 accordingly.
He said that as at the time they were deployed, the provision of NITDA Act 2006 under section A of setting the standardisation of ICT deployment in federal public institutions was not followed.
He, however, said as a result of this, ”these three systems were not subjected to government certification and IT project clearance as encouraged by law and many other government policies.
“However, in spite of that, many achievements had been recorded by their deployment.
“For example, based on the report from the relevant institutions of government, the IPPIS saved the government over N120 billion, while TSA saved over N10 trillion for government.
” Pantami said these records showed that government had recorded some gains, particularly in the recent allegations on the system by people who siphoned money “It is because of this that we must identify where the challenges are if any and see how these systems can be enhanced technically.
“So, that we will be able to consolidate the gains achieved so far and also improve on them to achieve many more successes.
“National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), looking at it’s mandate will serve as the secretariat.
“The approval and the directive has clearly mentioned that all government institutions that manage these three systems must give unlimited access to the committee to ensure very strong recommendations for approval,” he said.
The minister warned that any institution that fails to give access would be reported to President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said, ”a punishment is going to be recommended to the President for implementation.
” Members of the committee are NITDA, Galaxy Backbone, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning as well as Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC).
Others are Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation as well as National Salaries, Wages and Income Commission.
The rest are Bureau of Public Service and Reforms(BPSR) and the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy(FMoDE).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the committee is expected to ‘cleanse’ the systems from the manipulation of some corrupt officials.
A Kwara High Court in Ilorin on Thursday convicted one Christopher Adetuberu, a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member serving in Ogbomosho, Oyo state, for offences bordering on internet fraud.
The Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) secured the conviction.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Ibrahim Yusuf said that Adetuberu, 28, was found guilty of the two counts of cybercrime preferred against him by the Ilorin Zonal Command of EFCC.
Yusuf sentenced the defendant to two years imprisonment with N200,000 as option of fine, adding that his conviction would serve as deterrent to others.
The court also ordered the forfeiture of a 3-Bedroom flat acquired with the proceeds of the illegal activities, a Lexus car, different brands of phones, a laptop, as well as N921, 535.49 found in his bank account to the Federal Government.
Adetuberu, an indigene of Ilesha, Ilesha West Local Government Area of Osun, was arrested at Ogele area of Eyenkorin, Ilorin.
The convict had in the course of investigation, revealed that he ventured into ‘Yahoo Yahoo Business’ in 2016 and had among other things, built a house with the proceeds of the illegal activities.
In a related development, Justice Yusuf sentenced a 30-year old aluminum fabricator, Saheed Olayiwola to six months custodial imprisonment at the Correctional Centre in Ilorin Olayiwola, who hailed from Olorunda Local Government Area, Osogbo, Osun, was sentenced without option of fine for allegedly acting as ‘Loader’ to co-fraudsters.
The court also ordered forfeiture of the Toyota Camry car recovered at the point of his arrest, his phone and a laptop, which were instruments of the illegal activities, to the Federal Government.
Justice Yusuf in his judgment, said the convinct was found guilty of one count charge of possessing funds which he knew to be proceeds of unlawful activities preferred against him by the anti-graft agency.
The judge said there was merit in the prosecution’s case, adding that that the admittance of guilt by the convinct was enough evidence to convict him.
The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, says state governors have no justification to challenge the $418 million deductions from the Paris Club refund paid to consultants they hired.
According to him, the noise making arising from the Governors Forum was not only unjustified, but “a clear case of absence of defense.
” The minister made this position known when he featured on the weekly Ministerial Media Briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team on Thursday in Abuja.
The minister reminded the governors that they created the liability whose payment they had also indemnified.
He affirmed that when the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) made a request for the refund, one of the component was the settlement of the consultants who were engaged by the forum.
Malami, however, said the governors later decided to stop payment while asking for an out of court settlement.
He said this resulted to request to the President to make the payment, a request he said, was then passed on to the Office of the AGF for legal opinion.
The minister said that after being subjected to necessary checks, it was found out that there was no element of fraud involved.
He disclosed that the indemnity of the governors was also sought and received.
“I think you need to be informed first, as to the antecedents, prevailing circumstances and how the liability arose.
”But, one thing I’m happy to state, which I want to reiterate having stated same earlier, is the fact that the Office of the Attorney General and the government of President Muhammadu Buhari had not indeed incurred any major judgment debt for the period of seven years it has been on.
“Now, coming to the antecedents background of the Paris Club. the liability or judgement debts related to Paris Club was indeed a liability created by the governor’s forum in their own right.
“The Governors’ forum comprising of all the governors sat down and commonly agreed on the engagement of consultants to provide certain services for them relating to the recovery of the Paris Club,” he said.
The minister further revealed that it was the Governors’ forum in the first place that engaged the consultants.
He said: “When eventually, successes were recorded associated with the refund, associated with Paris Club, the governors collectively and individually presented a request to the federal government for the fund.
”And among the components of the claim presented for the consideration of the federal government was a component related to the payment of these consultants that are now constituting the subject of contention.
”So, the implication of this is that the governors in their own right recognized the consultants, recognized their claim and presented such claim to the federal government.
” He said when the claims were eventually processed and paid to the governors forum, they on their own, without the intervention of the federal government took steps to make part payments to the consultants.
According to him, this action acknowledges their liability over transaction.
The minister said when eventually they took a decision to stop further payment, the consultants instituted an action in court against the governors forum.
He said: ”They submitted to consent judgment.
They asked and urged the Court to allow them settle out of court.
“The court granted them an opportunity to settle.
They committed terms of settlement in writing, they signed the terms of settlement, agreeing and conceding that such payments be made to the consultant.
“Thereafter, the federal government under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was requested to comply with the judgment and effect payment.
“The president passed all the requests of the governors to the Office of the Attorney General for consideration.
”I suggested to the president on the face value of the judgment and the undertones associated with the consultancy services.
“It was my opinion, the same treatment we meted to P&ID, that let us subject this claim, the consent judgment to investigation by the agencies of the government,” Malami said.
He said the president endorsed the suggestion and directed the EFCC and DSS to look into these claims and report back to the office of the Attorney General.
“And these agencies reported and concluded that there were no problem undertone associated with it.
Now, that was the background.
“But, one other point of interest you may wish to note, is the fact that the new leadership of the governors forum instituted an action.
”This was done even when the federal government was indeed acting on the basis of the judgment of the Supreme Court.
”They now embarked on a fresh legal suit, challenging the payment, challenging the previous agreement, challenging the indemnity and the court dismissed the application.
”Their case was dismissed by the Federal High Court.
So, that is the foundation and I’m happy to report one,” he added.
He stated that the judgment and contention was a judgment that was obtained long before his appointment as minister and ”long before the administration of President Buhari came into office.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, says the ministry has secured no fewer than 1000 convictions on terrorism within 18 months.
Malami disclosed this on Thursday at the 46th session of State House Ministerial Briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team in Abuja.
He said that within the period under review, the ministry had been involved in 312 cases ranging from terrorism to maritime offences, armed robbery, cyber-crime and kidnapping, among others.
The minister said that the justice sector encompassed all institutions of government involved in administration, enforcement and dispensation of justice.
“This sector extends beyond the federal level and cuts across sub-national entities and the three arms of government—the judiciary, the executive and the legislature.
“Effective collaboration and coordination is therefore at the crux of the mandate of the Federal Ministry of Justice.
” Malami said that the briefing highlighted not only the policy initiatives of the ministry, but also extended to critical achievements in the justice sector through policies and initiatives.
”They are targeted at improving legislative policies, the judicial system, correctional system, law enforcement, constitutional guarantees and other critical component of the entire justice sector system.
“All these are fundamental to ensuring access to justice, safety, security and in combating corruption as well economic and financial crimes in Nigeria,’’ he stated.
Malami said that the justice sector, as with every other sector, had continued to witness some challenges which constituted impediments to justice.
Malami said that through the instrumentality of the Office of the Attorney General, all justice sector stakeholders had built consensus.
He added that they had led to the identification of the challenges and resulted in the development and adoption of the first e ever National Justice Policy in 2017. Malami said :“Following this landmark achievement of consensus among the justice sector stakeholders, all justice sector institutions across the country have continued to collaborate.
”They have also provided frameworks for the realisation of the objectives set out in the National Justice Policy.
“It is our firm expectation that the full implementation of the proposals in the national policy on justice sector would lead to greater synergy and shared knowledge among all stakeholders involved in the administration of justice.
“But, whatever successes we are about to unfold under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari are the products of that consensus.
”We are happy to state for the first time in the history of this nation, we are doing wonderfully well arising from the consensus that has been built among these stakeholders in the administration of justice.
’’ He said that his focus was on the criminal prosecution by the ministry on the last 18 months.
Malami said that at a point, the country was confronted with the challenge related to the speedy administration of justice.
He said that the Federal Ministry of Justice, through a consensus building by legislature, the executive and ministries, came up the Administration of Criminal Justice Act and its implementation to speed up prosecution.
“We were confronted further with the challenge that high profile anti-corruption cases.
“Those involved in it were using the proceeds of the crime in question to pose a greater challenge to what we are doing.
”This is arising from their movements, arising from the deployment of such resources, we also came up the Executive Order No 6 which restricts their access to funding,” the minister said.
He said that on the basis of the act and the executive order, the foundation for prosecution was laid.
The minister said that aside collaborative achievements, the ministry had made exclusive landmark achievements.
“So, arising therefrom, for example, by way of criminal prosecution, the Federal Ministry of Justice, exclusively, I am not talking about the entire prosecution because other agencies of government—EFCC, NDLEA, ICPC are equally involved in direct prosecution.
“So, the Federal Ministry of Justice, within the 18 months period, I am talking about, was actively involved in the prosecution of 312 criminal cases.
”These were for various offences including terrorism, maritime offences, armed robbery, cyber-crime and kidnapping, among others.
“We have so far, as a ministry secured over 1000 convictions on terrorism within the period in consideration,’’ he said.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ilorin Zonal Command, has arrested 18 people over alleged cyber crime in Lokoja.
This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC Spokesman, on Tuesday in Ilorin.
The suspects are Bala Caleb Abdulkarim, Ayuba Bala, Adebayo Olubunmi, Yusuf Salawu, Victor Yakubu, Victor Udeh, Abutu Francis, Moses Akeji, Aiyegbe ThankGod and Eniola Adeniji.
Others are Abraham Ayodele, Julius Omowale, Samuel Onojah, Saka Usman Ojo, Isaac Emmanuel, Yusuf Mohammed, Ibrahim Musa and Omaonu Ojochenemi Victor.
Uwujaren said that the arrest was part of efforts to curb the rising internet related fraud otherwise known as ‘Yahoo-Yahoo’.
He said that the EFCC zonal command had extended its dragnet to Kogi, leading to the arrest of 18 suspected ‘Yahoo-Yahoo Boys’ in Lokoja, the state capital.
“This is the second of such operation in the state within the last two months.
”Recall that operatives of the Ilorin zonal command, which covers Kwara, Ekiti and Kogi States, had in June arrested 19 suspected fraudsters at different locations in Lokoja.
“The latest arrest, which was made on Wednesday, August 3, followed actionable intelligence and hours of surveillance by the anti-graft operatives to smoke out the suspected fraudsters off their hideouts,” he said.
The spokesperson said that preliminary investigations had shown that the suspects operated as syndicate to scam unsuspecting victims.
According to him, the suspects have incriminating items in their possession including five different brand of exotic cars, phones and laptops.
He however said that the suspects had volunteered useful statements to the commission and would be charged to court upon conclusion of the ongoing investigations.
Trial of a 23-year-old man, Sedeliu Iziomo, charged with stealing N11.3 million from a new generation bank was on Monday stalled due to absence of his counsel.
Then News Agency of Nigeria reports that Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had, on July 26, arraigned Iziomo on a two-count charge of conspiracy and stealing.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo had remanded the defendant at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre pending determination of his bail application.
On Monday, the EFCC counsel, Mr Nnemeka Omewa, prayed the court for a date for commencement of the trial, following the absence of defence counsel, Mrs Mercy Akabue.
“My lord, the defendant was arraigned at the last date of adjournment and I doubt if the defense had filed bail application before the court.
“In view of no application filed, we shall be asking for a date for the commencement of trial,” Omewa said.
The EFCC had alleged that the defendant conspired with one Jude Alpheous (already charged) on July 12, 2019, to steal the money from the bank.
It also submitted that the defendant had, between July 12, 2019 and July 15, 2019, converted the N11.27 million to his personal use.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge.
NAN reports that the alleged offences contravene Sections 287 and 409 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011. Taiwo adjourned the case until Sept. 20 for hearing of bail application.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ilorin Zonal Command, has arrested three persons at the Ilorin International Airport over alleged cyber crime.
This is contained in a statement signed by the EFCC Spokesperson, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, on Monday in Ilorin.
Uwujaren named the suspects as Olawale Ipadeola, Opeyemi Badmus and Wasiu Babatunde.
He said that the commission found the suspects wanted following its renewed onslaught against corruption and illegal movement of cash through the nation’s airports.
He said that the suspects were arrested on Monday at the airport in Ilorin.
“Two of the suspects (Ipadeola and Badmus flew in from Lagos and landed at the Ilorin airport around 11.56 p.
m. on the waiting hands of the eagle-eyed operatives of EFCC.
“The third suspect, Babatunde, was arrested on Aug. 6, following actionable intelligence,” he said.
The spokesperson said preliminary investigations about their activities showed that the suspects possessed several fraudulent documents on their devices.
He further said that upon interrogation, the suspects confessed to the crime and admitted ownership of different brands of phones and laptops recovered from them at the point of arrest.
He added that the suspects would be charged to court upon conclusion of the ongoing investigations.