N109bn fraud: How suspended accountant-general compromised TSA, IPPIS, for personal gains - EFCC

Sodiq Omolaoye, Gurdian News, Abuja, 10 months ago

Fresh facts have emerged on how former Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris compromised the Treasury Single Account, TSA, Government Integrated Financial Management Information System, GIFMIS, Integrated Payroll and Personnel information system, IPPIS, and carted away billions of naira belonging to the government.Idris and his co-defendants: Godfrey Olusegun Akindele and Mohammed Kudu Usman are standing trial in an N109 billion fraud before Justice A. O. Adeyemi Ajayi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, FCT, Maitama, Abuja.EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, made the revelation in a statement on Friday in Abuja.Uwujaren disclosed that at the resumed trial of the case on Thursday, Chief Investigative Officer of the case and Prosecution Witness One, PW1, Chief Superintendent of the EFCC, CSE Hayatu Sulaiman Ahmed, while being led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs SAN, told the court that the investigations by the EFCC showed that, Idris while in office, compromised key units under his care like the TSA, GIFMIS and IPPIS that led to the loss of funds by the government.He said Idris allegedly used the funds in constructing properties like the Gezawa Exchange Limited, Gezawa Integrated Farms, and Kano City Mall.The EFCC witness said: "We had cause to invite several individuals who had transactions with the Gezawa Commodity and Exchange Limited and found one Baita Ibrahim Kura of B I Kura Ibrahim, a Bureau de Change, BDC, operator based in Kano. We invited him and cautioned him and he voluntarily wrote a statement, claiming he made several payments like N208 million into Gezawa Commodity Market with Jaiz bank".The witness further told the court that Ibrahim also admitted to having paid the sum of N866 million to one Architect Mustapha Mukhtar of Marsc Construction Limited for the construction of Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange limited."My Lord, investigation showed that Ibrahim received United States dollars from the first defendant. We also found out that agitation from the nine oil-producing states, regarding derivation from the excess crude account, was tabled before the Federal Account Allocation Committee, FAAC and the committee came up with a figure of about $2.2 billion as what was due to the nine oil producing states, and these amounts was to be deducted over a 60 months period on a quarterly basis", he added.The witness told the court that 11.5 per cent of this figure amounting to N44.7 billion was put aside as payments to some public officials to facilitate payments to the oil-producing states."After the determination of this committee, my lord, some companies, Akindele and Co, a company owned by the second defendant, Godfrey Olusegun Akindele was presented under the guise of consultancy."My Lord, until recently, the second defendant, Akindele was a staff in the office of the AGF, and Technical Assistant to the first defendant. Investigation revealed that N84.39 billion was paid into Akindele?s bank accounts. According to the witness, another transaction occurred on February 12, 2021, with N 21billion paid into his account.The witness revealed that aside from the payment of money that was made on February 12, 2021, other payments were made on May 6, 2021, and between July 28, 2021, and November 5, 2021, amounting to N94.39 billion.Ahmed further told the court funds were shared to some groups, including the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, represented by one of its Commissioners, Peace Akomas, former Deputy Governor of Abia State, who allegedly collected N18.8 billion. He said the money was withdrawn by Akindele and converted to US dollars and handed over to Akomas."The second group is the AGF group and it got a total sum of N18.01 billion."The third group, the Commissioners of Finance in the nine oil producing states, received N21.4 billion. The money was withdrawn by Akindele, converted to US dollars and handed over to Akomas on behalf of the group."The fourth group is called the Yari group. This group received N17.15 billion. The entirety of the sum was transferred to the account of Fimex Professional Services on the instruction of the representative of this group: Abdulaziz Yari, former Zamfara state governor."The remaining N8.9 billion naira was retained by the second defendant. Furthermore, N4.29 billion was converted to US dollars by Akindele as appreciation for the consultancy contract, and the balance of N4.6 billion was given to Akindele.Ahmed confirmed to the court that all his disclosures were confirmed by the defendants in writing, in their statements admitting to having collected all the monies.Also, properties purchased with the funds by the first and third defendants were traced to various locations in Abuja, Kano, and Minna, Niger state.Earlier, Justice Ajayi admitted the defendants to bail on the terms earlier granted by the EFCC.Uwujaren said one of the bail conditions is that the defendants should not leave the jurisdiction of the court without the court?s permission, and their passports deposited with the court?s registrar and in no circumstance should any of the defendants apply for an alternative passport, as doing so, will revoke the bail terms. They should also depose to an affidavit to adhere to the bail conditions.In the EFCC?s bail conditions, Idris was granted bail in the sum of N18 billion, and two sureties. One of the sureties should be a Permanent Secretary, and the other a Director in the Federal Civil Service with a bond of N100 million each.Akindele was admitted to bail in the sum of N20 billion and two sureties who must be Directors in the Federal Civil Service and Usman was granted bail in the sum of N200 million and two Directors in like sum.The Judge thereafter adjourned the matter to August 10 and 11, 2022 for the continuation of the trial.

2023 poll: APC looking like a "janjaweed" party, says Dogara

Adamu Abuh, Gardian News, Abuja, 10 months ago

As far as the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara is concerned, the ruling All progressive congress (APC) now looks like a "janjaweed" party.Dogara in a speech at a summit organised by APC Northern Christians Leaders Summit with the theme, "Righteousness Exalts A Nation, but sin! A a reproach to any people", held in Abuja, said it is unfortunate that The APC is no longer an inclusive political party.Dogara maintained that the adoption of a Muslim-Muslim Presidential and Vice Presidential ticket by the APC, is capable of leading Nigeria to disintegration like Yugoslavia.Dogara who reiterated his support for the Tinubu-led presidency said the call for a Muslim-Christian ticket in the APC was aimed at entrenching justice, fairness and equity in Nigeria.Recalling how emerged Speaker of the 8th session of the House of Representatives with the support of his Muslim colleagues, he faulted the nations held in certain quarters that christians cannot muster the votes to ensure the victory of Tinubu at the poll.He also described as "hogwash" the argument that the choice of Senator Kashim Shettima ahead of christains of northern extraction was purely based on his antecedents and competence.Said he: "When we talk about a Muslim-Muslim ticket; God forbid that we should be understood to be objecting to Muslims or that we don?t want Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to be president. It is not about Senator Kashim Shettima either, but it about what is right and what is wrong. It is about justice, fairness and equity." It is about Nigeria; it?s diversity and how it can be harnessed in an inclusive manner for the greater good of all of us. Be that as it may, some of us really wanted Asiwaju to be president because he has sacrificed much for our Party, the APC and for what he represents to so many people. So, our position cannot be against Muslims or Islam. That fact cannot be denied in any way."But when it comes to choosing between the love and admiration I have for an individual and what is right and what I believe represents my vision for Nigeria, my choice will clearly be for the latter. After all, my rise to the position of Speaker was never going to be possible without the support of some Muslim members who believe that our diversity must be reflected in national positions for the unity, peace and advancement of our dear country."What gives me more hope about the Nigeria project is that there are many of our Muslim brothers and leaders who did not only warn the APC, but have had to call out the APC for adopting a Muslim-Muslim ticket which resulted into the Party ructions we are witnessing today." In 2015, when we were called "janjeweed party", my response was usually very simple. I could then say that, HE John Oyegun was the chairman of my party and my Vice-Presidential candidate was Pastor Yemi Osinbajo."We don?t enjoy that luxury anymore as the President, Senate President, Speaker and his deputy; Senate and House Leaders; National Chairman and the Deputy National Chairman; Presidential and the Vice-Presidential candidates are all Muslims, leaving the Christians with just the position of VP Osibanjo and Deputy Senate President Omo-Agege at that level in a Country whose population is fairly split between Muslims and Christians."Granted this scenario, can any God-fearing Muslim, Christian nay even the amoral and the atheist say this is fair, just and righteous? Does this represent the act of a just God? This is the real context of objections from the Christian community not just the Presidential ticket and the VP slot."For me, it is a rude awakening and I am so happy it happened sooner than later. The very fact that they said we should not worry about a Muslim-Muslim ticket while a Muslim-Christian ticket gave them sleepless nights should make you worry the more."To worry about a Muslim-Christian ticket while counselling others not to worry about a Muslim-Muslim ticket is the very textbook definition of cognitive dissonance and an attempt at gaslighting gullible Christians. Truth must be told that anyone who is not bringing us together is consciously tearing us apart."The other funny argument in the media is the claim that without a northern Muslim on the ticket, elections cannot be won. The implications of that argument are quite unambiguous; Northern Muslims don?t vote for the South - even if the candidate is a Muslim like them - and, of course, don?t vote for Christians."However, nothing can be further from the truth. If you stretch this argument further, it may lead to questions such as, "if Muslims in the North don?t trust a southern Muslim for any reason(s), why should Christians in Nigeria trust a Muslim from the South and North?" These are the kinds of arguments I hate to engage in and which we must avoid if we hope not to injure the health of our Republic." Other unhelpful framings of the debate by the so-called pundits posits that Christians in the North are so small in number that their votes don?t count. This strange argument seeks to reinforce the satanic agenda of dividing the church in Nigeria into North and South, and also ignores the fact and reality that Nigeria is evenly split on religious lines."These pundits are still not smart enough to tell us what is in the Muslim-Muslim ticket for southern Christians. The argument also ignores the fact that our official policy excludes religious affiliation from census data. There is therefore no scientific basis for these bizarre conclusions. Let us now look at a model for managing diversity."Continuing, he noted: "Why do I consider the decision by the APC to settle for a Muslim-Muslim ticket not a bold but bad decision? There are ample reasons but I will highlight a few for want of time and space." It is a bad decision because it fuels inequality. We must always bear in mind that the liberty we enjoy is as rare as it is fragile. Inequality has a way of upsetting the balance due to the universal law of cause and effect."Throughout history, every revolution has been waged to either consolidate or destroy inequality. Just like all revolutions, they first seem impossible and then improbable until they become inevitable."When you think of revolutions, what comes to your mind? Is it the pictures of savage invasions, crushing battlefield defeats, sacked cities and unlucky rulers put to death or a cascading series of minor, individually unimportant failures which are now replete in our polity?"You may not understand the structure of revolutions until you trace the progression of the Nazis from an unpopular fringe group to the most powerful political party in Germany."Those who are dismissive of those who built conflict generating structures such as the Muslim-Muslim ticket in a pluralistic society always end up as enablers of revolution or violent changes. That was how Nazism was dismissed as a fringe idea that will never make it into the mainstream of civilized Germany until it led to the death of an estimated 40 million people." It is a bad decision because it breads division which is counter-productive to our collective aspirations for a united and prosperous nation. My last check reveals that the word division is a construct of the word "vision" with a prefix "di" which means double in Latin. Just imagine what double vision does to an individual, much more a Nation."Our national creed or motto if you like, is unity and faith, peace and progress. Embedded in this great idea is the fact that unity precedes peace and progress. The question therefore is, how do we unite our disparate peoples in a manner that ensures peace and progress? This is not the only question, it is every question."Of course, our strength is not in numbers but unity. You are not strong because you are many, you are strong because you are united. Nigeria cannot survive if we merely tolerate each other or if the happiness of one group is the unhappiness of the other group. But if we are united, we will be indomitable."And if all of us: Muslims, Christians, atheists, the old, the young, women and men work together and pray together in unity: believe me; we will be invincible. On the corollary, many are the Nations and Empires that could not withstand divisions."

Kano court sentences killers of 5-year-old Hanifa to death by hanging

Linda Ikeji blog, 10 months ago

The Kano State High Court has sentenced the Proprietor of Nobel Kids Academy and North West Preparatory School, Abdulmalik Muhammmad Tanko, the principal suspect who masterminded the kidnap and killing of 5-year-old school girl, Hanifa Abubakar, to death by hanging, on Thursday 28.The Presiding Judge, Justice Usman Na?abba, also convicted Tanko to five years imprisonment for four count charges leveled against him.The Judge, Justice Na?abba also sentenced the second defendant, Hashim Ishyaku to death by hanging and Four years imprisonment (2 years each for conspiracy and concealment). The judge in his ruling held that the convicts conspired and kidnapped the deceased from the Sheik Dahiru Bauchi Islamic foundation, killed and buried her in a shallow grave in Northwest Preparatory school, located at Kwanar Yan Ghana, in Nassarawa LGA, KanoTo prove the case, the prosecution team led by Kano State Attorney General, Musa Abdullahi Lawan called 8 witnesses and tendered 14 exhibits.The witnesses include the mother of the deceased, Murja Suleiman Zubair, DSS Operatives who arrested Abdulmalik, and Police officers who investigated the case.The exhibit tendered includes confessional statements of the convicts, a photograph of the deceased, her hijab, and an Islamic school badge among others.Little Hanifa was kidnapped on December 4, 2021, on her way back from Islamiyya and killed by Tanko who initially demanded N6m ransom from her parents. Tanko had confessed to using N100 rat poison to kill Hanifa.

Insecurity: Nigerian Army reshuffles top brass, appoints new GOCs, others

Linda Ikeji blog, 10 months ago

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya has approved the posting and appointment of some senior officers of the Nigerian Army to command, instructional and staff appointments across formations and units following widespread insecurity.Those affected in the shake-up released included some Principal Staff Officers of the Army Headquarters, General Officers Commanding, Corps Commanders, Commandants of training institutions, Brigade Commanders, Commanding Officers, amongst others.According to the Army Spokesman, Brig General Onyema Nwachukwu, some of the senior officers appointed as General Officers Commanding (GOCs) are Major General UT Musa from Headquarters 81 Division to Headquarters 82 Division and appointed GOC, Major General TA Lagbaja from Headquarters 82 Division to Headquarters 1 Division and appointed GOC, Major General OC Ajunwa from Nigeria Defence Section Brasilia to HQ 81 Division and appointed GOC , while Major General AS Chinade was redeployed from Depot Nigerian Army to Headquarters 2 Division and appointed GOC.The newly appointed Army Headquarters Principal Staff Officers included, Maj General OW Ali, from Headquarters Command Army Records to Army Headquarters Department of Army Administration and appointed Chief of Administration (Army) Maj Gen S Muhammed, from Defence Headquarters to Department of Army Standards and Evaluation and appointed Chief of Army Standards and Evaluation (Army), Major General JA Ataguba from Army Headquarters Department of Army Standards and Evaluation to Defence Headquarters and appointed, Director Peace Keeping Operations, Major General AA Adesope from Headquarters Nigerian Army Finance Corps to Defence Headquarters and appointed Chief of Defence Accounts and Budget, Major General US Mohammed from Army Headquarters Department of Administration to Nigerian Army Resource Centre and appointment Senior Research Fellow.Other senior officers affected in the redeployment are Major General PB Fakrogha, from Defence Headquarters Garrison to Defence Space Agency and appointed Director Policy Plans and Research, Major General MO Enendu, from Nigerian Army College of Logistics to Defence Headquarters and appointed Director Psychological Warfare, Major General AE Attu from Defence Headquarters Department of Defence Training and Operations to Defence Headquarters Garrison and appointed Commander, Major General BE Onyeuko from Defence Headquarters Directorate of Defence Media Operations to Defence Headquarters Department of Logistics and appointed Director Procurement.The newly appointed Corps Commanders are, Major General AM Alabi, from Nigerian Army Ordnance School to Headquarters Nigerian Army Ordinance Corps and appointed Corps Commander Ordinance, Major General A Mohammed, from Nigerian Army Farms and Ranches Limited and to Headquarters Nigerian Army Electrical Mechanical Engineers and appointed Corps Commander Electrical Mechanical Engineers, Major General E Akerejola from Nigerian Army School of Supply and Transport to Headquarters Nigerian Army Corps of Transport and appointed Commander Corps of Supply and Transport, Major General AA Fayemiwo from Nigerian Army Welfare Holdings Limited by Guarantee to Headquarters Finance Corps and appointed Chief of Accounts and Budget (Army).Senior officers newly appointed as Commandants of Nigerian Army Training Institutions are Major General PI Eze, from Defence Headquarters Department of Procurement to Nigerian Army Ordinance School and appointed Commandant, Major General AA Adeyinka from Army Headquarters Department of Army Logistics to Nigerian Army College of Logistics and appointed Commandants, Major General PP Malla from Army Headquarters Department of Army Administration to Depot Nigerian Army and appointed Commandant as well as Brigadier General UT Otaru from Defence Headquarters to Nigerian Army School of Supply and Transport and appointed Acting Commandant.The newly appointed Brigade Commanders are, Brigadier General DH Ndahi, from Nigerian Army Resource Centre to Headquarters 4 Brigade and appointed Commander, Brig Gen FS Etim from Amphibious Training School to Headquarters 6 Brigade and appointed Commander, Brigadier General EA Orakwe from Headquarters 6 Division to Headquarters 19 Brigade and appointed Commander, Brigadier General JO Are from Army Headquarters Department of Army Standards and Evaluation to Headquarters 3 Brigade and appointed Commander, amongst others."The Chief of Army Staff has directed all the newly appointed senior officers to redouble their effort and commitment to duty in tackling the security challenges bedeviling the nation, as they assume their new appointments." General Nwachukwu said