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More Abacha loot: Swiss govt has returned over $1.04b to Nigeria since 1999, says Magu

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SINCE 1999, Swiss Government has returned about $1.040 billion looted by the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha and his family members to Nigeria, it was learnt yesterday.

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Acting Chairman Ibrahim Magu gave the information in a presentation at the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities, (IAACA), in Vienna, Austria where he spoke about the need for an effective international collaboration by law enforcement agencies to combat corruption.

He said the cost of corruption was enormous and needed a broader approach to be tackled.

The excerpts of Magu’s submission were made available to reporters by the EFCC’s Acting Head of Media and Publicity Mr. Tony Orilade.

Magu said: “Successes recorded in recovery of stolen assets have been achieved through Memoranda of Understanding, (MoU) signed between Nigeria and several countries, including Switzerland, the United Kingdom (UK), the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the United States (U.S.) in line with Article 57 paragraph 5 of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, UNCAC.

“The UK government returned stolen funds to Nigeria in the cases of Dariye and Alamieyeseigha, with over five million pounds recovered from the former Bayelsa State governor in 2012.

“In the case of Joshua Dariye, a former Governor of Plateau State in Nigeria, the British government also returned £48,000 to Nigeria in fulfillment of the UK’s commitments under Chapter V of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.

“In 1999, the Swiss authorities, pursuant to a request for mutual legal assistance, returned about $723m to Nigeria.

“A tripartite MoU between the Swiss government, the World Bank and Nigerian government also led to the return of additional $320 million Abacha loot.

“Other classes of recoveries made by the EFCC included whistle blowers cash recoveries, subsidy payment cash recoveries, third party cash recovery for NNPC, FIRS, NPA, AMCON and banks.

“In 2017, EFCC made a total recovery of N473, 065,195,977.50, $142,504,121.12, and most of the recoveries, were non-conviction based asset recovery.”

Magu listed some of them to include, real estates belonging to Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former Petroleum Minister and her associates; $43,449,947, £27,800 and N23,218,000 recovered in an apartment at Osborne Road, Ikoyi, Lagos in 2017; $9,772,800 and £74,000 cash in Kaduna, belonging to Andrew Yakubu, a former Group General Manager of NNPC in 2017.”

Magu called for more international collaboration and synergy on repatriation of stolen wealth.

“Corruption is acknowledged to have been an impediment to sustainable development in Africa, and the cost is so enormous that there is an urgent need for international collaboration for success to be achieved,” he said.

According to him, “though the international community has created legal and institutional frameworks for the prevention and recovery of proceeds of corruption, recovery of stolen assets stashed away in foreign lands still remains a major issue to be tackled.”

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BREAKING: High Court grants El-Zakzaky leave to travel

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Kaduna State High Court has granted leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky leave to travel abroad for medical attention.

Details Shortly…

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“Passage of life pension Bill, a desperate coup against Bayelsa people”—Group

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A group, the Bayelsa Against Eelection Violence Initiative (BAEVI) has kicked against the recent passage by the Bayelsa State House of Assembly of a bill to provide for monthly lifetime pension for its members, describing the action as a desperate coup against the people. 

According to the group, the presentation of same to Governor Henry Seriake Dickson for assent is the height of legislative rascality and desperation and, to say the least, an economic coup against the state.

The group, the Bayelsa Against Eelection Violence Initiative (BAEVI),in a statement issued  yesterday in Yenagoa, said the passage of this repugnant bill at a time when government has consistently screamed blue murder over dwindling state income and rising liabilities,” speaks to a clear lack of moral compass on the part of our reprentatives to put the public good first in all things and ensure the equitable and beneficial use of scarce state resources.”

The group, in the statement, signed by its President, Hon. Preye Johnbull and Secretary, Egba Father,  the doctrine of the fruit of the poisoned tree readily comes to mind here and renders nugatory the veiled, surreptitious attempt to endanger the public interest. If the tree is poisoned, it’s fruit can by no means be sweet but bitter. A good motive for committing a crime doesn’t necessarily absolve the culprit of the guilt and consequences.”

“The truth is that Bayelsa legislators are already comparatively sufficiently provided for under the subsisting remuneration package, and there is no need whatsoever to add a lifetime pension to sweeten the deal and enhance their exit package when the state civil servants are hardly well catered for, unemployment rate is hitting the roof and the lack of critical infrastructure such as power and industrial expansion has stifled development and brought the state practically to its knees. What with the backlog of gratuities of retirees and unpaid salaries of local government workers.”

“If the legislators strongly feel that they deserve to be included in monthly pensions then by the same token they must pass social security laws to enhance the welfare of the unemployed, physically challenged, bursary allowances and scholarships funding for tertiary students, the widows, single parents and all economically disadvantaged segment of the population.”

“The heightened social tension resulting from this melodramatic theatre of the absurd is  steadily building to a deafening crescendo and Governor Seriake Dickson must, without bathing an eyelid, throw this putrefying bill to where it rightly belongs; the stinking dustbin of history.”

“Unless something is done urgently to reverse this mindless rape of our commonwealth, the unsettling equal and opposite reaction could be that Bayelsans could be forced to take to the streets to register their displeasure and deploy every legitimate means to ensure its abrogation.”

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Breaking: NJC Approves Buhari’s Request To Extend Tenure Of Acting CJN Tanko Muhammad

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The National Judicial Council (NJC), has approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to extend the tenure of the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad.

The council in a statement by its Director Information, Soji Oye, stated that the approval followed several deliberations during a meeting which was held last week Thursday.

Mr Oye noted that contrary to reports that the NJC was going to meet next week on the extension of Justice Muhammad’s tenure, the council, however, meet on April 18, 2019, which resolved to the approval of his extension.

“The attention of the National Judicial Council has been drawn to an online newspaper and daily newspaper Report stating that the Council would meet next week to deliberate on the extension of the Acting Appointment of Honourable Dr Justice I. T. Muhammad CFR, as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

“Contrary to the above, the Council actually met on Thursday 18th April 2019 and at the 88thMeeting considered and approved the request of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for the extension of the Appointment of Hon. Dr Justice I. T. Muhammad, CFR, as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria for another three (3) months and Council has since forwarded its approval to the President”.

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