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Salami panel ends Magu’s probe, rejects demand to invite Buhari’s COS, others

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The Justice Ayo Salami-led Presidential panel probing the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu, has rejected a request by Magu to invite the President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari; the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi; and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ibas.

Others expected to appear before the panel are a former Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde; the Director General of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, Modibbo Hamman-Tukur; EFCC’s acting Director, Directorate of Asset Forfeiture and Recovery Management, Mr Aliyu Yusuf; an EFCC lawyer, Bala Sanga; and a former EFCC official, Isa Dongoyaro, according to a report by The Punch.

Magu was detained for 10 days when the panel began sitting but was later released.

He was suspended from office along with over 12 other senior officials of the commission, including the EFCC Secretary, Ola Olukoyede.

The suspended EFCC boss was accused of being unable to account for the interest that accrued to over N500bn in recovered funds.

He was also said to have purchased a house in Dubai for N573m through his pastor, who operates an account with FCMB.

The bank later issued an apology, claiming that the N573m was credited to the bank account of the pastor in error and that the error was not discovered for over four years.

The Salami-led panel had drafted a subpoena addressed to the naval chief, minister and others to appear.

However, it was learnt that the panel made a U-turn and decided not to invite them following the non-appearance of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), at the panel’s sitting.

The Punch quoted a lawyer to Magu, Tosin Ojaomo, as saying the suspended EFCC boss did not have a chance to properly defend himself since the panel rejected his appeal to invite those who would have been able to explain the allegations against him.

Ojaomo said the panel had closed its probe and was putting together its report.

The lawyer said, “Justice Salami refused to subpoena those we asked him to serve. He had drafted subpoenas to the chief of naval staff, minister of defence, chief of staff to the President, the DG NFIU, the AGF and Lamorde.

“I am sure he refused to issue the subpoenas because of the way the AGF refused to come forward. So, we have closed our defence and I am sure the report would be submitted anytime from now.

“Magu was forced to defend himself without any witness of his coming forward. But no one accused Magu of stealing. In fact, those who have pending cases in court only asked that the charges filed against them be withdrawn.”

The panel, which sat for three months, summoned at least 50 persons, including activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN); General Overseer, Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry, Prophet Emmanuel Omale; senior advocate, Godwin Obla; Managing Director of First City Monument Bank, Adam Nuru; as well as several government officials.

Buhari had while inaugurating the seven-man panel on July 3, 2020, given it 45 days to round off its activities and submit its report.

The President listed the seven members of the panel as Salami (North-Central); Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Michael Ogbezi (South-South); a representative of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Muhammad Babadoko (North-Central); and Hassan Abdullahi from the Department of State Services (North-Central).

Others are Muhammad Shamsudeen from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (North-West), Douglas Egweme from the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (South-East) and Kazeem Atitebi (South-West), who serves as the secretary.

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‘Buhari-Must-Go’ protesters block Abuja airport road

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Some anti-Buhari protesters on Monday morning blocked a section of the Umaru Yar’Adua Way, Abuja, as they set fire on the road, preventing free flow of traffic.

This caused commotion along the road leading to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

The protesters chanted ‘Buhari Must Go’ and carried placards with different inscriptions showing their disdain for the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

Motorists were forced to slow down to avoid running into the bonfire which was set up right in the middle of the road.

The last time a similar protest held in the nation’s capital was on June 12 and many of the protesters were arrested.

Convener of #RevolutionNow Protest, Omoyele Sowore, shared videos and pictures of the protesters on social media.

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Kidnappers release pictures of abducted Kebbi teachers, students

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Kidnappers of abducted teachers and students of Federal Government College, Birin Yauri, Kebbi State, have released pict

An unspecified number of students and four staff were kidnapped last Thursday when the gunmen invaded the college and reportedly overpowered security operatives at the school.

The military authorities later said some of the victims were rescued after a gun battle with the attackers.

Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State has assured the parents and family members of the victims of government’s efforts to secure their release.

 

 

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We’re still probing Tinubu, says EFCC chairman

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Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, has said a former governor of Lagos State and national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is under investigation.

He stated this in an interview published by ThisDay, adding that investigation does not end in a day.

He said, “You asked me a question earlier about arresting people before investigation and now you are saying why didn’t we arrest Tinubu? Why didn’t you just say ‘arrest him?’

“Investigation is ongoing. When you are investigating matters like this, they don’t end in a day. Thousands of investigations are going on on a daily basis.

“You understand? You know you are from the media; after, you will say we are doing media trial.”

Bawa was reported to have asked for Tinubu’s assets declaration form when he was the head of Lagos Zonal Office.

Meanwhile, a former Managing Director of Alpha Beta LLP, Mr Dapo Apara, has filed a suit demanding a Lagos State High Court to stop Tinubu from “controlling the finances of Alpha Beta.”

The suit was filed on Wednesday by Apara’s lawyer, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN).

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