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.
Buhari to present 2023 budget proposal to NASS Friday
President Muhammadu Buhari will present the 2023 Appropriations bill to a joint session of the National Assembly on Friday.
The appropriations bill will contain budget proposals for the 2023 fiscal year.
He made this known in a letter to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, which was read out at the start of plenary on Tuesday.
The formal budget presentation is scheduled for 10am
and it will be the last main budget Buhari will be presenting as he will leave office on 29 May 2023 when his second four year term will end.
The Federal Government is already proposing an aggregate expenditure of N19.76 trillion for the 2023 fiscal year with a budget deficit of about N12.41 trillion.
Some key assumptions in the proposal include an estimated oil benchmark of $70, crude oil production put at 1.69mbpd, exchange rate of N435.57/$ and inflation rate at 17.16 per cent.
The Federal Government pegged growth rate at 3.75 per cent because it believes that “Growth is expected to be moderated to 3.30% in 2024 before picking up to 3.46% in 2025.”
The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, had disclosed that the federal government will borrow over N11 trillion and sell national assets to finance the budget deficit in 2023.
ASUU also corrupt, undermining govt investment – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has said a number of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are involved in corrupt practices.
He said the corruption in the universities and other institutions was undermining government’s funding and investment in education.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14 over increase in lecturers’ allowances and salaries as well as improved funding for the universities.
Buhari has appealed to the union to call off the strike but the lecturers have stood their ground.
The President on Tuesday while declaring open the Fourth National Summit on Diminishing Corruption organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Office of Secretary to Government of the Federation (OSGF) and Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), said ASUU was no less complicit in the corruption in tertiary education.
He said corruption in the education sector had continued to undermine investments, while critics downplayed funding by focusing only on budgetary allocations, urging a more comprehensive re-evaluation of expenditure.
The President said, “This year’s summit will mirror how corruption undermines educational policies, investments and create an unfriendly learning environment for our youths.
“Incessant strikes especially by unions in the tertiary education often imply that government is grossly underfunding education, but I must say that corruption in the education system from basic level to the tertiary level has been undermining our investment in the sector and those who go on prolonged strikes on flimsy reasons are no less complicit.
“The 1999 Constitution places a premium on education by placing it on the Concurrent List, thereby laying the responsibilities of budgeting and underwriting qualitative education on both the Federal and State Governments.
“The total education budget for each year is therefore a reflection of both federal and state budgets and should be viewed as other financial commitments in their totality.
“The allocation to education in the federal budget should not be considered via allocation to the Federal Ministry of Education and also academic institutions alone, but should include allocation to the Universal Basic Education, transfers to TETFUND and refund from the Education Tax Pool Account to TETFUND.
“Corruption in the expenditure of internally generated revenue of tertiary institutions is a matter that has strangely not received the attention of stakeholders in tertiary education, including unions.
“I call on stakeholders to demand accountability in the administration of academic institutions and for unions to interrogate the bloated personnel and recurrent expenditure of their institutions. Let me also implore the Unions to work with the government to put faces and identities to names on the payroll.
“Due to declining resources, the government cannot bear the cost of funding education alone. I task our academics to attract endowments, research and other grants to universities, polytechnics and colleges of education similar to what obtains in other countries.”
Seven police officers dismissed, 10 others demoted
The Police Service Commission (PSC), on Tuesday, dismissed seven senior police officers over gross misconduct.
The commission also announced the demotion of 10 other officers through reduction in rank.
These decisions were taken during the continuation of the 15th plenary meeting of the commission.
The meeting is expected to end on Thursday, October 6, 2022, according to a report by The Trust.
Presided over by its acting chairman, Justice Clara Ogunbiyi, the meeting considered all the Pending Disciplinary Matters (PDM) before the commission.
The PDMs, which totalled 47, also treated some appeals from dismissed police officers.
Addressing newsmen shortly after the meeting in Abuja, the spokesman for the commission, Ikechukwu Ani, said, the dismissed officers include one CSP, one SP and five ASPs.
He said that one SP was retired in public interest, adding that the commission reduced the ranks of one CSP to SP, three SPs to DSP, and two DSPs to ASPs.
The commission further reduced the ranks of four ASPs to Inspectors.
10 senior police officers, including an ACP, a CSP, a SP and two DSPs were given the punishment of severe reprimand.
Five ASPs were also awarded the punishment of severe reprimand.
Thirteen officers received the punishment of reprimand; two are to receive letters of warning while four officers were exonerated.
Ani quoted Justice Ogunbiyi as saying the commission would henceforth give the desired attention to Pending Disciplinary Matters so that those found guilty are punished immediately while those found not guilty are cleared to continue with their career progression.
Justice Ogunbiyi called on police officers to ensure they operate within established rules and avoid taking laws into their hands.
The commission, she said, would continue to work to sustain a professional police force.
Protect the poor from galloping inflation, World Bank advises Nigerian govt, others
Buhari to present 2023 budget proposal to NASS Friday
PDP Housing allowance’s crisis takes new twist
CCECC completes Apapa port link to Lagos-Ibadan railway
Customs: Vehicle tariff reduction to begin next week
Biden, Treasury Secretary say Republicans COVID-19 aid too small
Wizkid trends, releases new single ‘Bad To Me’
American preacher, Creflo Dollar confesses he misled congregants, says tithing not biblical + Video
[UPDATED]Conflicting Reports Over Viral Video Of Soldiers Evacuating ‘Bandits’ In Kaduna + Video
metro1 week ago
How we collected N160m ransom from 2 bankers –Bayelsa kidnap kingpins
Politics6 days ago
APC Plunges Into Major Crisis As Adamu Bombs Tinubu In a Leaked Letter
metro6 days ago
US-Based Nigerian, Dele Ologbosere, ‘Defrauds’ Lagos Car Dealer of $750
metro2 days ago
Updated: NDLEA arrests Autonation Motors chairman, recovers N8bn Tramadol, two SUVs
International2 days ago
Coup: Protesters attack French embassy in Burkina Faso
Railway6 days ago
Train attack: FG loses N531m revenue in five months
Entertainment1 week ago
Nkechi Blessing bashes critics of ‘dildo’ souvenirs at mom’s remembrance
Politics1 week ago
Ayu in fresh trouble over whereabouts of N10bn nomination fees