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 appoints new heads for PenCom, ICRC, NPC, 6 others 

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Tinubu appoints new heads for PenCom, ICRC, NPC, 6 others 

President Bola Tinubu has appointed new heads for the National Pension Commission (PENCOM), Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) and the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

Other agencies with new heads are the National Agency for the Great Green Wall, NAGGW, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, NHSA, among others.

According to separate statements released by the presidential spokesman, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, the appointments take immediate effect.

Tinubu appointed Ms Omolola Bridget Oloworaran as the new Director-General of the National Pension Commission, (PenCom).

Ms. Oloworaran is a finance and banking expert with many years of experience and the appointment is subject to the confirmation of the Nigerian Senate.

The statement added that the “President anticipates a goal-oriented leadership to drive efficiency and superlative performance in the National Pension Commission as the prime regulator of the Nigerian Pension Industry.”

President Tinubu also appointed Mr. Jobson Ewalefoh as the new Director-General of the ICRC.

Ewalefoh is a professional with years of experience in government and development organizations, in addition to expertise in public-private partnerships, public policy reform and development.

The appointment is also subject to the confirmation of the Senate and the President expects absolute dedication and probity in the management of the ICRC and in pursuit of its strategic objective of accelerating investment in national infrastructure through the innovative mobilization of private-sector funding.

For NALDA, President Tinubu appointed Mr. Cornelius Oluwasegun Adebayo as the new Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer.

Adebayo is an engineer and also a community and social development expert and the President expects the new Chief Executive Officer of NALDA to deploy his competence and experience in supporting and driving the growth and sustainability of Nigeria’s agricultural sector.

The statement also stated that President Tinubu appointed Dr. Mainasara Umar Kogo as the chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

Dr. Kogo is a seasoned lawyer and analyst in the fields of law, security, economy, politics, and international diplomacy.

“The President anticipates professionalism, integrity, and fidelity to the nation in the discharge of the functions of the Office of the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), it added.

Other appointments made include, Mr. Saleh Abubakar as the new Director-General of the National Agency for the Great Green Wall, NAGGW and Mr. Umar Ibrahim Mohammed as the new Director-General of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, NHSA.

The statement said, “Mr. Abubakar is a highly experienced public administrator with decades of experience across several sectors.

“The President expects diligence and dedication in driving the agency’s mandate of empowering communities to combat land degradation, enhance food security, and build resilience to climate change through sustainable interventions and education.”

For the new DG of NHSA, the statement said, ” Mr. Mohammed is an architect, and also, a construction technology and environment professional.

“The President expects improved outcomes in the agency’s objective of operating and maintaining hydrological stations nationwide, as well as carrying out groundwater exploration and monitoring using various scientific techniques to provide hydrological and hydrogeological data needed for planning, design, execution and management of water resources and allied projects.”

President Tinubu has also approved the appointment of Mrs. Mojisolaoluwa Kehinde Alli-Macaulay as the Executive Director (Operations) of the Fund.

Mrs. Alli-Macaulay is a former lawmaker and former Chairperson of the Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Women Affairs, Poverty Alleviation, and Job Creation.

The President in a statement issued by his spokesman, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, “anticipates a comprehensive re-positioning of the NSITF for enhanced social protection and qualitative service delivery to the Nigerian people

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El-Rufai sues Kaduna lawmaker, Channels TV over N423bn debt probe

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Former Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai

El-Rufai sues Kaduna lawmaker, Channels TV over N423bn debt probe

Former governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, has initiated legal action against Henry Marah, a member of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, and Channels TV over alleged defamatory comments made during an interview about the probe of a N423 billion loan.

In a writ of summons filed before an FCT High Court dated July 11, 2024, El-Rufai, represented by his counsel A.U. Mustapha (SAN), contends that the June 5 “Politics Today” interview on Channels TV titled “Investigation of El-Rufai Administration” was “malicious, unwarranted, without justification, defamatory, and greatly injurious to the reputation of the claimant.”

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El-Rufai is seeking N3 billion in damages, jointly and severally, from Marah and Channels TV for the injury, embarrassment, and distress caused by the alleged defamatory publication, which he claims resulted in a loss of reputation and goodwill.

The interview discussed the ongoing probe into El-Rufai’s alleged borrowing of N423 billion during his tenure as governor from 2015 to 2023. During the interview, Marah accused El-Rufai of borrowing funds without due process and failing to account for the money.

Previously, El-Rufai filed a N1 billion suit against the Kaduna State House of Assembly, arguing that he was denied a fair hearing by the Ad-Hoc Committee on Investigation of Loans, Financial Transactions, Contractual Liabilities, and Other Related Matters. This committee was established on April 16, 2024, to investigate financial activities during El-Rufai’s administration from May 29, 2015, to May 29, 2023.

No date has been set for the hearing of the case.

El-Rufai sues Kaduna lawmaker, Channels TV over N423bn debt probe

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Supreme Court judgement on LG autonomy takes effect immediately – AGF

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Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN

Supreme Court judgement on LG autonomy takes effect immediately – AGF

The attorney general of the federation and minister of justice, Lateef Fagbemi, has said the Supreme Court judgement affirming the autonomy of the local government areas will take effect immediately.

Mr Fagbemi, who stated this while briefing state house correspondents after meeting President Bola Tinubu, urged the governors to comply with the judgement.

While expressing his joy, Mr Fagbemi noted that the judgement has emancipated the local government council.

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He said, “Naturally, one will be happy, should be happy, Nigerians are happy about it.

“I call it local government emancipation judgement because it has really emancipated the local government from the shackles of the past and I hope that local government officials will look at it as an opportunity to develop their various local governments.”

On how to ensure compliance to the part of the judgement that requires state governments to conduct elections for government areas, the AGF said: “The ball is in the court of the governors, let us see what they will come out with, but the judgement is clear as to what they should do, the judgement is clear as to what consequences will be attached to failure or refusal to follow the judgement of the Supreme Court, which takes immediate effect.”.

Supreme Court judgement on LG autonomy takes effect immediately – AGF

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