Connect with us

News

No one too big to tackle in corruption fight – Buhari

Published

on

  • As Salami panel on Magu submits report

President Muhammadu Buhari has said no one should be too big to tackle in the fight against corruption.

The President, who admitted that corruption existed in all levels of government including high places, said this was why he ordered the suspension of the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu and set up a panel to probe graft allegations against him.

Buhari spoke in Abuja while receiving the report of the Justice Ayo Salami-led Judicial Commission of Inquiry on the Investigation of Magu, according to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

The statement was titled “President Buhari: I want Nigeria to be counted among countries that do not tolerate but fight corruption.”

He said, “Let it be known that in the fight against corruption, no one is too big to tackle, as no individual is bigger than the Nigerian state!”

“Corruption is present in all countries. Some governments treat it with levity. Some fight it all the time. I want Nigeria to be counted among those countries that do not tolerate but fight corruption,” he added.

Even as he noted that corruption walked on all four (legs) in all levels of government and different segments of the society, he explained that the fight against graft would be seen as a mere charade if government failed to act when accusations of corruptions were leveled against agencies set up to help the crusade.

Buhari said, “The sad reality confronting us as a people is that there is corruption almost everywhere; at many levels of government, and nearly every stratum of our society. Mindful of the threat that corruption poses to us as a nation, this administration has specifically focused on the fight against corruption.

“As a government, and in furtherance of our anti-corruption programme, we have since inception engaged in many reforms in removing corruption including but not limited to the enforcement of Treasury Single Account, strict implementation of the Bank Verification Number Policy and signing unto the open government partnership. A lot of efforts have gone into building and development of our anti-corruption institutions.”

He also said, “We have so far kept faith with our promise and shall remain committed until Nigeria triumphs over the evil of corruption, attain a prosperous economic status, and surmounts her security challenges.

“However, the stark reality of widespread corruption becomes poignant when allegations of corruption touch on the leadership of an institution set up by law to coordinate and enforce all economic and financial crimes. It is an abomination that strikes at the root and undermines the Government’s anti-corruption programme.

“It was in response to the serious allegations against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that I set up a Panel headed by the Honourable Justice Isa Ayo Salami, retired President of the Court of Appeal, via an Instrument dated 3rd July 2020 pursuant to the Tribunals of Inquiry Act (Cap T21, LFN, 2004).”

The President said, “We recognise that there are more grounds to cover in the war against corruption, and we are prepared to go out to possess those lands by cutting off any stream that nourishes the seed of corruption and supports its growth.”

Buhari said his desire was to make Nigeria a country with no tolerance for corruption.

He called on all stakeholders and every Nigerian to own the fight against corruption at their respective levels.

The President Buhari thanked members of the Commission for their dedication and commitment to the fight against corruption.

Responding, Justice Salami reportedly said Magu and 113 witnesses appeared and testified before the commission.

He added that 46 petitions and memoranda were presented by individuals and organisations with complaints against the suspended acting Chairman, EFCC, or both.

Salami said the commission also embarked on a nationwide physical verification of recovered forfeited assets, comprising real estates, automobiles, vessels, and non-cash assets.

He commended the President for the initiative, The statement reported the retired Justice of the Court of Appeal as recommending “that in appointing a new chairman, consideration should be given to candidates from other law enforcement or security agencies and a core staff of the EFCC as provided in the EFCC establishment Act of 2004.”

News

400 suspected Boko Haram, bandits’ sponsors arrested

Published

on

Security agents have arrested about 400 businessmen for allegedly funding operations of Boko Haram and bandits in the country.

Daily Trust reported that the businessmen were arrested in an operation coordinated by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), and in collaboration with the Department of State Services (DSS), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

President Muhammadu Buhari was said to have approved the operation in 2020.

The newspaper reported that an initial list of 957 suspects comprising bureau de change (BDC) operators, gold miners and sellers, and other businessmen is being acted upon.

A source told the newspaper that about 400 persons were arrested in Kano, Borno, Abuja, Lagos, Sokoto, Adamawa, Kaduna and Zamfara.

Names of the BDC operators arrested were given as Baba Usaini, Abubakar Yellow (Amfani), Yusuf Ali Yusuf (Babangida), Ibrahim Shani, Auwal Fagge, and Muhammad Lawan Sani, a gold dealer.

Those arrested are reportedly being kept in military and the DSS facilities in Abuja and other places.

“Because this is economic warfare against the insurgents and other militant groups, the president, when approving the operation directed that the NFIU take the lead as the country’s financial intelligence powerhouse,” Daily Trust quoted a source to have said.

The source added that “with the presidential approval, a task team was composed of personally selected senior officers who were deployed under the DIA to carry out the special assignment”.

“The main person coordinating the funding ring for Boko Haram is in our custody, he and his closest ally in the business,” he said.

Another source was quoted to have said about 19 BDCs owned by persons with “direct connection with Boko Haram” were uncovered, while over N300 billion was found to have been used in funding terrorism.

Apart from one person in Borno and another in Zaria, Kaduna state, the source said over N50 billion were traced in funding to the armed groups.

“A number of those arrested have divulged vital information including operational details of bandits and Boko Haram insurgents. But they are being kept to aid further arrests,” the source was quoted to have said.

Family members of those arrested, the newspaper reported, have been calling on the government for their release.

In 2020, six Nigerians were also jailed in the United Arab Emirates for allegedly funding Boko Haram.

Continue Reading

News

Former Ondo deputy governor agrees to return vehicles

Published

on

Former Ondo Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi has finally agreed to return the two vehicles in his possession to the Ondo State Government.

The state government last week said it would embarrass Agboola if he failed to return the four vehicles.

But Agboola, who said he had only two vehicles, insisted they were part of his benefits.

The state government also petitioned the Ondo State Police Command to help recover the vehicles.

In a statement on Sunday, the former deputy governor said he was not the problem of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s administration.

Agboola stated it was in the interest of everybody that Governor Akeredolu demonstrated good governance, transparent policy making and effective change.

He said it was unfortunate some members of the inner circle of Akeredolu have prioritised harassing him on a number of issues most especially the return of vehicles

Agboola said he hoped “these petty interactions would have ceased after the recent inauguration.

“To be clear – if the return of these two vehicles will make the administration focus more on the avalanche of pressing needs, challenges and predicaments facing the state most especially insecurity, the absence of governance and unpaid salaries across the entirety the Ondo public sector – then I’m ready to make the sacrifice and return the two vehicles which they so desperately need.

“I am not the problem of the present administration. I have moved on.”

Continue Reading

News

Pensioners demand payment of N35bn arrears

Published

on

Nigeria pensioners who retired from the electricity sector have urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to come to their aide in order to resolve the lingering issue of their owed N35billion pension arrears.

The pensioners under the aegis of Electricity Sector Retiree Welfare Association (ESREWA), led by its  President, Elder Benjamin Amako, asked President Buhari to save countless dying pensioners whose fate are tied to the delayed payment of their pension arrears.

Rising from its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja, Amako said every Nigerian, including President Buhari, knows the pathetic situation of pensioners in the country.

Amako said: “First we thank God that Mr President returned from his medical trip healthier, stronger and successfully. The news of his return gave us pensioners so much joy because we know  he will not sit quiet and watch more pensioners lose their lives because of humanly inaction. So far, his administration has ensured that pensioners gets their rights and this arrears we are asking for is our right.

“Interestingly, President Buhari had already directed that this same arrears (N35billion) be paid to us, but for over five years ago he issued the directive, the relevant authorities who it is their responsibilities to ensure we get this arrears for our dying members seems to be working contrarily.

“So for the past five years, these arrears have always been part of the National Budget under Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) budget and accordingly transferred to Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD). But sadly, we have not been paid a dime even as I speak, for reasons that are totally and obviously human making.

“So we are pleading with President Buhari, the SGF, Minister of Finance, Chairman Senate Committee on Power, Accountant General of the Federation, PTAD and other relevant authorities to save our lives by paying us this money without further delay.”

Continue Reading

Trending