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PDP questions Buhari over indicted NHIS boss

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of being protective of the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Prof Usman.

Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Prof Usman.

Yakubu, who the party observed has been variously indicted for alleged corrupt practices, including the reported syphoning of over N25 billion from the coffers of the agency
The party said in a statement issued by Kola Ologbondiyan, its National Publicity Secretary, Abuja that with Monday’s forceful overturn of the suspension of the Executive Secretary by the NHIS Governing Council over “humongous” corruption allegation and abuse of office, “it has become clear that the Presidency cabal is directly complicit in the NHIS fraud and is seeking every means to ensure a cover-up.”

The statement added: ”Nigerians can recall that this same Executive Secretary was in July 2017 suspended by the Minister of Health over alleged gross misconduct and corrupt practices, only for President Buhari, upon his return to the country in February, 2018, reinstated him while he was still a guest of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The PDP invited Nigerians to note how the Presidency has continued to provide official cover for accused official even without the slightest investigation on the allegations and sanction by both the minister and the Governing Council.

It further said: “We ask: Why is the Presidency protecting an official of the government openly indicted for corruption? What is the Presidency trying to conceal by ensuring that Prof. Yusuf remains the Executive Secretary after his indictment?

“Furthermore, why is the Presidency vehemently opposed to any form of investigation on the activities of NHIS under Prof. Yakubu? Is it true that there are fears in the Presidency that an investigation will expose the alleged involvement of individuals close to the President in the reported fraud in the scheme?”

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EFCC

Court reduces ex-governor to 10 years

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The Court of Appeal in Abuja has upheld the June 12, 2018 conviction of ex-Plateau State Governor, Joshua Dariye on offences of criminal breach of trust and criminal misappropriation.

Pic. 26. Former Governor of Plateau State, Sen. Joshua Daiyere, during his arraignment at the FCT High Court Gudu,in Abuja on Tuesday (12/6/18). The Court sentence him to 14 year imprisonment for fraud and misappropriation of funds.
03249/12/6/2018/Hogan Bassey/NAN

The court, in a unanimous judgement of a three-man panel, reduced his sentence of 14 years (in respect of criminal breach of trust) to 10 years, while the two years attached to his conviction on criminal misappropriation, was reduced to one.

By the Appeal Court judgement read on Friday morning by Justice Steven Adah, Dariye is now to spend 10 years in jail.

He was convicted, for diverting Plateau State’s ecological funds, among others, to private use, by Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), in Gudu Abuja on June 12, this year.

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Politics

Breaking: DSS reveals names of politicians that bribed Oshiomole

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Report has revealed names of politicians that bribed APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomole during the party’s primaries across the country.

 

According to SaharaReporters, the Department of State Services (DSS) has written to President Muhammadu Buhari, asking him to prosecute Oshiomhole, for allegedly receiving at least $55million in relation to the nationwide primaries of the party.

Asides the presidency, the DSS also forwarded its findings to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“Total $55 million is what Adams is alleged to have received. Some party chieftains claim it is $80 million,” a source aware of the contents of the report had told SaharaReporters.

According to the report, $17 million is what Oshiomhole allegedly received as bribe from Zamfara: $10 million for him, $7 million shared between Farouk Adamu, former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives; Niyi Adebayo, former Governor of Ekiti State; and other party chieftains.

“Adamu was the collection coordinator,” said the source. “Hope Uzodinma, the APC governorship candidate in Imo State, gave $3 million; Rochas Okorocha, Governor of the state, offered $500,000 but it was rejected; Dapo Abiodun, the APC candidate in Ogun State, paid $5 million”.

“The DSS also said some of the money was paid into Oshiomhole’s niece’s account.”

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Politics

EFCC has become a department in APC – Ortom

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Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom yesterday alleged that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had become a department in the All Progressives Congress.

 

The governor also accused the anti-corruption body of being biased in its fight against corruption.

He spoke at the swearing-in ceremony for nine new commissioners who replaced those sacked in August.

Ortom said he would not succumb to any intimidation by the EFCC.

He said: “Despite intimidation from the EFCC that has become a department in APC, we are not going to be intimidated. In the past few months, civil servants working with me are being troubled for no just cause. Once you decamp from APC, EFCC comes after you. Fighting corruption should not be selective.”

He said the EFCC had been on the heels of members of a committee for the burial of the late Tor Tiv following the sum of N120 million used for “the burial and settling of the deceased family.”

The governor said:”if we do anything wrong we are ready to face the law. But we will not succumb to intimidation.”

He also said that his administration could now pay workers’ salaries as and when due because he had detached himself from godfatherism.

Ortom said since he left the APC for the Peoples’ Democratic Party, he had fared well in salary payment as he was no longer under undue “pressure” to satisfy the caprices of certain ‘men’.

“There is no godfatherism again in Benue under my watch. That is why you can see that since I detached myself from godfather, even salary I have been able to pay as at when due. I’m seeking for other ways in offsetting the remaining arrears of salaries.

“Since I left APC, I have been paying salaries. In APC, godfathers will not allow me but now I’m a free man,” he said.

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South South

Abia: Court revokes Orji Kalu’s bail

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Justice Mohammed Idris of a Federal High Court in Lagos, on Monday, revoked the bail of a former governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, following his failure to appear in court for trial as scheduled.

Orji Kalu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Kalu together with his former Commissioner for Finance, Ude Udeogo and a company, Slok Nigeria Ltd on charges of N7.2billion fraud.

EFCC had on October 31, 2016, preferred a 34-count charge bordering on N3.2 billion fraud against the accused.

The charges were, however, subsequently amended to 39 counts.

They had each pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bails.

At the last adjourned date on November 5, Kalu was also absent for his trial and the defence counsel had informed the court that he was away for medical treatment in Germany.

Justice Idris, who is sitting on a fiat to conclude the trial, had then adjourned the case until Monday for continuation of trial and ordered that Kalu returns to the country within seven days from November 5 to stand trial.

The court had said: “In the light of the entirety of this case, and in the interest of justice, I am prepared to grant the first defendant a final adjournment in respect of this matter.”

On Monday, Idris revoked Kalu’s bail following his failure to appear in court for trial as scheduled.

The judge ordered that upon the return of Kalu from his alleged medical trip, he must submit himself to the EFCC, failing which an order will be made for his arrest.

“I am constrained to revoke the bail granted to the first defendant; the first defendant is, however, permitted to continue with his medical treatment abroad, unharrased by law enforcement agencies.

“Upon his return to the country, he must at the point of entry, surrender his international passport and other relevant travelling document to the EFCC; he shall submit himself to the EFCC within 24 hours of his return, failing which he shall be rearrested and detained by the EFCC.

“Let me state that there is no doubt that the first defendant is entitled to and has a right to life, he has a right to seek medical treatment within and outside the shores of Nigeria; this right is further guaranteed by the African Charter on Human and People’s Right.

“In enjoying this right, the first defendant has a duty to follow due process of law; in this case, the first defendant acted outside the purview of the law, and he is expected to be dealt with according to the law.

“This court is a court of equity, but he who seeks equity must do equity; I find no reason why I should depart from the law, this court is an equal dispenser of justice,” the court held.

The court adjourned the case until December 3.

In the charge, the accused were alleged to have committed the offences between August 2001 and October 2005.

Kalu was alleged to have utilised his company to retain in the account of a First Inland bank, now FCMB, the sum of N200 million.

The sum is alleged to have formed part of funds illegally derived from the coffers of the Abia State Government.

In one of the counts, his company (Slok Nig Ltd) and one Emeka Abone, who is said to be at large, were also alleged to have retained in the company’s account the sum of N200 million, on behalf of the first accused.

In counts one to 10, the accused were alleged to have retained about N2.5 billion in different accounts, which funds were said to belong to the Abia State Government.

Cumulatively, in all the counts, the accused were alleged to have diverted over N7.2 billion from the Abia State government’s treasury during Kalu’s tenure as governor.

The offences were said to have contravened the provisions of Sections 15(6), 16, and 21 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2005.

It also contravened the provisions of the Money Laundering Act of 1995 as amended by the Amendment Act No. 9 of 2002 and Section 477 of the Criminal Code Act, Laws of the Federation, 1990.

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