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Alleged corruption: Court stops EFCC from investigating Dickson over undeclared assets

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Seriake Dickson

A Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa has stopped the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from further investigating the former Governor of Bayelsa State and Senator representing the Bayelsa West Senatorial district, Senator Seriake Dickson, over the allege undeclared assets between 2007 and 2020.

The Presiding Judge, Hon Justice Isah H. Dashien, while ruling on a suit numbered FHC/CS/81/2021, filed against the EFCC by the Registered Trustees of the Seriake Dickson Incorporated and Senator Seriake Dickson, respectively, declared that the assets acquired with loans when the former Governor was a member of House of Representatives should not be investigated any further having been declared before the Code of Conduct Bureau which issued a certificate of verification for them.

DAILY POST recalls that Dickson, was in August invited by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) in Abuja and interrogated over corruption allegations levelled against him including allegations relating to assets declaration and misapplication of intervention funds.

Dickson had approached the Federal High Court in Yenagoa on the 15th of November, 2021 with six prayers including a declarations that the EFCC is bound by the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting at Yenagoa Judicial division in suit numbered FHC/YNG/CS/40/2020: the registered trustees of the Seriake Dickson Trust Incorporated &another vs Seriake Dickson Trust Incorporated vs Attorney-General of the Federation.

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Also sought are “a declaration that by the virtue of the judgement and order of the Federal High Court in suit number FHC/YNG/CS/40/2020, the registered Trustees of the Seriake Dickson Trust Incorporated & another vs Attorney-General of the Federation ,the defendant in this suit, as an investigating and prosecuting agency under the general of the Federation cannot investigate or continue to investigate any matter whatsoever dealing with or relating to any investments made by the first plantiff as covered or affected by the said judgement and orders of the competent court.”

In the fifth prayer, the Registered Trustee of the Dickson Incorporated and Former Governor Dickson sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining the EFCC , its officers, men, agents or privies from inviting or further inviting him as 2nd plaintiff officers and managers or Trustees of the 1st plaintiff over any matter dealing with or relating to any investment made by the 1st plaintiff as covered or affected by the said judgment of the Federal High Court in suit no FHC/YNF/CS/40/2020.

Justice Isah H. Dashien , after hearing from the counsels to the plaintiff and defendants, F.N Nwosu Esq. and C.O. Ugwu Esq. , ordered that “ the suit filed succeeds and judgment is hereby entered for the plaintiffs in terms of all the relief sought”

According to the Court, “That the Registered Trustees of the Seriake Dickson Incorporated and Senator Seriake Dickson, respectively as first and second plaintiff, declared that the EFCC cannot lawfully arrest, investigate and/or prosecute the former Governor who declared the assets in question and for which the verifying authorities, the CCB issued certificates of verification before he became Governor”.

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The Judgment affirmed an earlier verdict of the Federal High Court which stated that the former Governor had complied with all the constitutional requirements of the CCB in asset declaration. Therefore it was contrary to the stipulation of the Law for the EFCC to open investigation into assets that were declared over the years before the relevant body, the CCB, and for which the CCB issued verification certificates.

DAILY POST gathered that the earlier judgement noted that in addition to declaration of assets that the Former Governor while in office subjected himself to the Voluntary Assets and Income declaration scheme of the federal government (VADES) and paid taxes on the affected assets therefore the attorney general and other federal government agencies were perpetually restrained.

Reacting to the ruling, Dickson, commended the judiciary for their intervention and urged Nigerians to support an independent judiciary and Public institutions including the EFCC. He urged operators of these institutions to be dispassionate and fair in carrying out their sensitive responsibilities.

He also said that the agencies are doing a very important job and should be supported, urging those in authority to allow all institutions to do their job without undue pressure and enjoined Nigerians to work towards strengthening them.

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Joseph Wayas, former senate president, is dead

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Joseph Wayas, a former president of the senate in the Second Republic

Joseph Wayas, a former president of the senate in the Second Republic, has died at the age of 80.

According to Christian Ita, special adviser to the Cross River governor on media and publicity, Wayas died in the early hours of Tuesday in a London hospital.

Ben Ayade, Cross River governor, was quoted as saying Wayas’ death is a “monumental loss” to the state and Nigeria.

The governor said Wayas left “indelible footprints on the sands of time”.

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“As a state, Cross River is in pains as we mourn the passing of our illustrious son. He was a rare gem. Dr Wayas’ demise is indeed a monumental loss to our dear state and Nigeria,” Ayade was quoted as saying.

“As Senate President, Dr Wayas contributed to the deepening of Nigeria’s democratic ethos through his robust and vibrant leadership of the upper legislative chamber.

“And since his retirement from active politics, the former Senate President had been playing a fatherly and stabilising role in the politics and affairs of our state.”

The governor condoled with the family of Wayas and said his death is a “collective loss and the pains a shared one”.

“We are with you in this moment of grief. We have you in our hearts and prayers,” he said.

Wayas, born May 21, 1941, served as Nigeria’s senate president between 1979 and 1983.

The Cable

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BREAKING: Tight Security as hoodlums set Senator Barau’s Kano office on fire

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Senator Barau Jibrin

Security has been beefed up in Kano following an arson attack on the campaign office of Senator Barau Jibrin, a 2023 gubernatorial aspirant in Kano.

Jibrin is one of the key member of the Kano APC G-7 led by Senator Ibrahim Shekarau.

The G-7 got a major victory on Tuesday when an FCT High Court recognised executives elected at their ward congress but dissolved those elected by the Governor Abdullahi Ganduje faction.

Hoodlums in their hundreds were said to have attacked the campaign office located on Maiduguri Road in the late hours of Wednesday.

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The affected building is owned by a former Minister of Labour and Productivity, Alhaji Musa Gwadabe.

The factional APC state secretariat is heavily guarded by the police.

When contacted to react about the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer, Abdullahi Haruna Kiyawa, said they are currently in a meeting over the issue.

But the Commissioner of Police Ismaila Dikko, was quoted to have said already his men have taken over the place.

“We are already in control of the situation, and my Men have fully taken over the place we investigating what happens,” he reportedly said.

The development happened hours after one of the lawyers who represented Shekarau’s faction was locked up in his Kano chamber.

, Jibrin, currently represents Kano North at the senate.

Daily Trust

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Heavy casualty as troops pound Boko Haram, ISWAP in Buni Yadi

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The Nigerian Army says the troops of of Sector 2 Operation Hadin Kai have again inflicted heavy casualty on Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists in a fierce battle at Buni Yadi in Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, said this in a statement on Wednesday.

He said the feat was achieved on Tuesday.

Nwachukwu said the terrorists, who frantically attempted to gain access into Buni Yadi, met stiff resistance from troops of 27 Task Force Brigade and Nigerian Army Special Forces School, supported by the Nigerian Air Force component.

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He added that personnel of the Nigerian Police also supported the troops who gallantly fought and overwhelmed the terrorists with superior firepower.

According to him, the ferocious battle forced the criminals to withdraw in different directions having suffered heavy losses.

He said: “Several gun trucks with their occupants were taken out by the troops. Preliminary battle damage assessment revealed the precision with which Air and Land troops engaged the terrorists destroying their gun trucks.

“Exploitation is still ongoing by troops to take out fleeing remnants of the terrorists.”

Nwachukwu said the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, had commended the troops for the operational exploit.

“He also charged them to sustain the current operational tempo to deny the criminals freedom of action,” he said.

The Eagle

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