Salami panel ends Magu’s probe, rejects demand to invite Buhari’s COS, others – Newstrends
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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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Tinubu launches initiative to balance expatriate quota in Nigeria 

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Tinubu launches initiative to balance expatriate quota in Nigeria 

 

President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday launched the Expatriate Employment Levy (EEL), an initiative aimed at facilitating homegrown skill retention and technology domestication.

It is also to balance employment opportunities between Nigerians and expatriates in foreign firms in Nigeria.

Speaking at the launch of the EEL handbook, the President said the aim is to close wage gaps between expatriates and the Nigerian labour force, while increasing employment opportunities for qualified Nigerians in foreign companies operating in the country.

Tinubu, however, warned that the scheme should not be used to discourage foreign investors.

The President said, “We expect improved revenue generation; improved naturalization and indigenization; we anticipate the employment of more qualified Nigerians by foreign companies operating in this country.

“We seek a greater balancing of employment opportunities between Nigerians and expatriates and the closure of the wage gap between expatriates and the Nigerian labour force by making it more attractive to hire Nigerians.

“I declare my support for the Expatriate Employment Levy scheme, and I will continue to encourage the operators, practitioners of immigration matters and expatriate quotas, but I emphasize: do not use it as a bottleneck; do not use it as an obstacle to frustrate potential investors.

“There will be clear lines of implementation and effective acceleration of aims and objectives of this programme.

“Officials in charge of immigration matters, expatriate quotas, and relevant stakeholders have to be effectively guided to make Nigeria the focus of the objective of this EEL.”

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Gov Makinde joins NLC protest, says hardship will be over soon

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Gov Makinde joins NLC protest, says hardship will be over soon

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Tuesday, joined the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress in its peaceful protest.

Makinde assured the protesters that the current hardship would soon be over.

The workers began their protest from the NLC state secretariat, Agodi in Ibadan, the state capital, down to Gate – NTA – Yemetu roundabout where Governor Makinde joined the protesting workers.

The governor said, “I am aware of the hardship in town and the difficulty the people are going through but I will be part of the generation that will fix the country.”

He also told the workers that their letters of protest and complaints would be delivered to President Bola Tinubu.

Earlier, the state NLC Chairman, Kayode Martins, said the cost of living was no longer bearable, especially for the common man.

He said, “The cost of living in Nigeria today is nothing to write home and the people are fed up. So that’s why we are on the street now.”

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Kogi guber Tribunal: Tension as suspected thugs invade Abuja court, abduct 3 witnesses

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Kogi guber Tribunal: Tension as suspected thugs invade Abuja court, abduct 3 witnesses

On Monday, some alleged thugs stormed the National Judicial Institute in Abuja, where the Tribunal was sitting.

They broke into the courtroom during the current Kogi State Governorship Tribunal to kidnap three witnesses.

According to sources, the thugs pretended to be AA supporters who had come to Court in sympathy, only to incite an altercation and break the windscreen of the bus carrying the witnesses before abducting them and rushing them into a waiting vehicle.

The three abducted witnesses have been named as Idris Khadijat, Safiyat Muhammed, and Abdulmalik Muhammed.

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According to available information, the abductees are currently being mistreated, and their family members have been intimidated for daring to testify against Kogi State Governor Ododo Ahmed. As at the time of making this report, the whereabouts of other witnesses remain unknown.

Reports also suggest that vehicles which conveyed the witnesses to the court proceedings were vandalized by the same thugs.

Confirmation revealed that the attack was carried out due to the strength of AA candidate’s petition as evidences being presented are strong enough for the court to unseat Ododo Ahmed, the governor of the state.

Disturbingly, radio stations in the central senatorial district recently broadcasted a warning to the residents, cautioning them against serving as witnesses for any political party other than APC.

Kogi guber Tribunal: Tension as suspected thugs invade Abuja court, abduct 3 witnesses

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