Court frees ex-Lagos Speaker Ikuforiji, aide of money laundering charge – Newstrends
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Court frees ex-Lagos Speaker Ikuforiji, aide of money laundering charge

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Adeyemi Ikuforiji

Court frees ex-Lagos Speaker Ikuforiji, aide of money laundering charge

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday, discharged and acquitted a former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, over alleged N338.8m money laundering.

Ikuforiji was discharged alongside his former Personal Assistant, Oyebode Atoyebi.

Justice Liman held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission failed to prove its case against the defendants beyond reasonable doubt.

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The defendants were first arraigned on March 1, 2012, before Justice Okechukwu Okeke on 20 counts bordering on misappropriation and money laundering

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Court frees ex-Lagos Speaker Ikuforiji, aide of money laundering charge

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JUST IN: Reps call for suspension of NMDPRA CEO pending investigation

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Chief Executive Officer of the NMDPRA, Mr. Farouk Ahmed

JUST IN: Reps call for suspension of NMDPRA CEO pending investigation

The House of Representatives has called for the suspension of the Chief Executive of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Authority (NMDPRA) pending conclusive investigations into the allegations against the Authority.

This followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance by Hon. Esosa Iyawe on the House’s urgent need to address the outage resulting from what he called unguarded comments from him.

Hon. Iyawe had reminded the House that fuel quality can impact engine hardware, thus ultra-low sulfur diesel is recommended for all types of companies, power plants, storage tanks, industrial facilities, fleets and heavy equipment, and even ships, as high Sulphur content in fuels, causes damage to engines and contributes to air pollution.

He said considering the various risks associated with Sulphur, governments around the world have taken steps to regulate it by setting standards that require maximum reduction of emissions of this chemical compound, which diesel producers are expected to adhere to.

According to the Edo Lawmaker, Sulphur dioxide has dire environmental and health consequences, as it can damage the human respiratory system, compromise lung function and even cause cancer.

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He said the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Authority (NMDPRA) permits local refiners to produce diesel with Sulphur content of up to 650 parts per million (ppm) until January 2025, as approved by the ECOWAS.

He alleged that recently, the Chief Executive of the NMDPRA stated that the diesel produced by the Dangote refinery is inferior to the ones imported into the country and that their fuel had a large content of Sulphur, which he put at between 650 to 1,200ppm.

He said: “In their defence, Dangote called for a test of their products, which was supervised by Members of the House of Representatives, wherein it was revealed that Dangote’s diesel had a Sulphur content of 87.6 ppm (parts per million), whereas the other two samples diesel imported showed Sulphur levels exceeding 1800 ppm and 2000 ppm respectively, thus disproving the allegations made by the NMDPRA boss.

“Allegations have been made that the NMDPRA was giving licences to some traders who regularly import high-Sulphur content diesel into Nigeria, and the use of such products poses grave health risks and huge financial losses for Nigerians.

“The unguarded statements by the Chief Executive of the NMDPRA, which has since been disproved, sparked an outrage from Nigerians who tagged his undermining of local refineries and insistence on the continued importation of fuel an act of economic sabotage, as the imported products have been shown to contain high levels of dangerous compounds.”

He expressed concern that the careless statement by the Chief Executive of the NMDPRA without conducting any prior investigation is not only unprofessional but also unpatriotic, especially in the face of the recent calls for protest against the Federal Government.

JUST IN: Reps call for suspension of NMDPRA CEO pending investigation

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Privacy: Google cancels plan to remove cookies from Chrome browser globally

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Privacy: Google cancels plan to remove cookies from Chrome browser globally

Google is planning to keep third-party cookies in its Chrome browser, it said on Monday, after years of pledging to phase out the tiny packets of code meant to track users on the internet.

The major reversal follows concerns from advertisers – the company’s biggest source of income – saying the loss of cookies in the world’s most popular browser will limit their ability to collect information for personalizing ads, making them dependent on Google’s user databases.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority had also scrutinized Google’s plan over concerns it would impede competition in digital advertising.

“Instead of deprecating third-party cookies, we would introduce a new experience in Chrome that lets people make an informed choice that applies across their web browsing, and they’d be able to adjust that choice at any time,” Anthony Chavez, vice president of the Google-backed Privacy Sandbox initiative, said in a blog post.

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Since 2019, the Alphabet (GOOGL.O), opens new tab unit has been working on the Privacy Sandbox initiative aimed at enhancing online privacy while supporting digital businesses, with a key goal being the phase-out of third-party cookies.

Cookies are packets of information that allow websites and advertisers to identify individual web surfers and track their browsing habits, but they can also be used for unwanted surveillance.

In the European Union, the use of cookies is governed by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which stipulates that publishers secure explicit consent from users to store their cookies. Major browsers also give the option to delete cookies on command.

Chavez said Google was working with regulators such as the UK’s CMA and Information Commissioner’s Office as well as publishers and privacy groups on the new approach, while continuing to invest in the Privacy Sandbox program.

Privacy: Google cancels plan to remove cookies from Chrome browser globally

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JUST IN: Reps amend finance bill, raises 2024 budget to N35.055tn

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JUST IN: Reps amend finance bill, raises 2024 budget to N35.055tn

The House of Representatives on Tuesday, July 23, amended the 2024 appropriation bill to increase the 2024 budget from N28. 777 trillion to N35.055 trillion.

This followed the consideration of the report of the House Committee on Appropriation which considered the request from the President for about N6.2 trillion as supplementary budget.

Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, who presented the report of the committee for consideration, said both the House and the Senate agreed on the increase.

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The House considered the report of the Committee on Appropriations on a Bill for an Act to Amend the Appropriations Act, 2024.

The bill authorises the issuance of N35,055,536,770,218 (thirty-five trillion, fifty-five billion, five hundred and thirty-six million, seven hundred and seventy thousand, two hundred and eighteen Naira) from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation.

Out of this amount, N1.742 trillion is allocated for Statutory Transfers, N8.270 trillion for Debt Service, N11.268 trillion for Recurrent (Non-Debt) Expenditure, and N13.773 trillion for the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure for the year ending December 31, 2024.

JUST IN: Reps amend finance bill, raises 2024 budget to N35.055tn

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