Buhari saraki
Sahara Reporters - A cabal made up of high-level appointees in President Muhammadu Buhari’s office has struck a deal with Senate President Bukola Saraki to cease all forms of prosecution against him if he would agree to block the confirmation of Ibrahim Magu as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mr. Saraki has had a series of legal losses in his bid to stop his multiple prosecutions for false asset declaration and money laundering. The senator’s latest legal misfortune came earlier today when a panel of the Court of Appeal dismissed his effort to stop his trial.

However, Mr. Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura, as well as the Attorney General of the Federal, Abubakar Malami are conspiring to frustrate Mr. Saraki’s prosecution, according to a finding of a lengthy investigation by our correspondent. Since his appointment as the EFCC’s acting chairman, Mr. Magu has faced unusual impediments from Mr. Kyari and other members of the cabal, all of them members of an inner circle within the Presidency. 

Our investigations revealed that Mr. Magu got on the bad side of the president’s Chief of Staff when he refused to drop investigations against Sahara Energy, a company in which Mr. Kyari has a substantial interest. Mr. Magu also incurred the anger of the Chief of Staff when he refused to accept a deal to free Jide Omokore, a businessman with ties to former Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke. 

Our investigative correspondent learned that Mr. Omokore had made efforts to see President Buhari twice with the assistance of the Chief of Staff and offered bribes to Mr. Kyari and his team. Our investigator also learned that Mr. Kyari had also promised Mr. Omokore that he would be off the hook once he paid back a mere N500 million as restitution, even though the businessman accumulated billions of dollars through fraudulent oil swap deals and questionable acquisition of oil assets arranged by former Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Alison-Madueke. 

The EFCC’s Magu scuttled Mr. Kyari’s deal with the oil tycoon when he not only arrested Mr. Omokore but also detained and arraigned him in court for money laundering. 

On his part, Attorney General Malami may have joined the conspiracy to fire Mr. Magu from the EFCC because the AGF is close to interests that see Mr. Magu as a threat. Also, a source close to the AGF told our correspondent that Mr. Malami was upset that the EFCC boss was not taking directives from him regarding issues of who to prosecute or not a decision that made him set up a national protection commission domiciled in his office. For instance, on several occasion when the EFCC played a major role in the arraignment and prosecution of Senator Saraki, the AGF and several members of his team, including the Solicitor-General of the Federation and the Director of Public Prosecution, had put enormous pressure on Rotimi Jacobs, the independent prosecutor in charge of the case.

Soon after Mr. Magu’s appointment, the AGF had written a scathing report addressed to President Buhari stating why he was completely opposed to Mr. Magu’s confirmation as the substantive EFCC chairman. Based on Mr. Malami’s prompting, Chief of Staff Kyari and the DSS Director-General went to work to find dirt on Mr. Magu. It did not take long before they found out that the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, was a strong backer of the EFCC chair. Mr. Kyari and his team also discovered that both Mr. Monguno and Mr. Magu had been close friends with a former Air Force officer and a member of the Presidential Arms Investigation Panel, Air Commodore Umar Mohammed (rtd). 

In June, DSS agents raided Commodore Mohammed’s home and detained him on allegations that he received bribes from some suspects accused of stealing funds budgeted for arms. SaharaReporters learned that, while in DSS detention, Mr. Mohammed was pressured to implicate both Mr. Magu and Mr. Monguno as persons for whom he was collecting bribes from former Nigerian military officers under investigation. However, Mr. Mohammed refused to budge. In retaliation, the DSS refused to release him despite several court orders to do so. Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, one of the judges who gave an order for Commodore Mohammed’s release, himself became a victim of a late-night raid by the DSS two weeks as DSS agents began hunting down judges accused of corruption.

When DSS agents could not get Commodore Mohammed to implicate Mr. Monguno and Mr. Magu, they wrote a report claiming that the detained former officer had been paying the rent for Mr. Magu’s home in Abuja. They also alleged that Mr. Magu once flew to Kano on a private jet owned by the detained air force general. When the DSS eventually charged Commodore Mohammed to court, they made no mention of his being a front for Mr. Monguno and Mr. Magu. Instead, he was accused of being in possession of guns with an expired license and $1million allegedly found at his home.

  SaharaReporters learned that, as part of the internal conspiracy to stall Mr. Magu’s confirmation, the Chief of Staff, Kyari, refused to forward a letter to the Senate requesting for confirmation of the EFCC boss. However, while President Buhari was in the United Kingdom in June 2016 for a short vacation and medical checkup, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo invoked his powers as Acting President to compel the Chief of Staff to send a letter to the Senate asking for Mr. Magu’s confirmation.

A reluctant Mr. Abba Kyari sent the letter. However, as soon as President Buhari returned the Chief of Staff showed him “mountains of security reports,” including some that claimed Mr. Magu was leaking presidential secrets to Saharareporters and other news media. The source also disclosed that Mr. Buhari wanted to know if Mr. Magu owned expensive homes, huge bank accounts or had ever received proceeds of corruption, to which the COS reportedly answered in affirmative.

A source at the Presidency told our correspondent that President Buhari insisted that, since he ceded power to the VP, everything Mr. Osinbajo did while was away could not be reversed. 

 According to one source, President Buhari did not want to use Mr. Magu’s confirmation to bargain with Senator Saraki whom he loathes, hence the president did nothing to lobby the Senate President to confirm the EFCC chair even when Mr. Saraki met with him to ask for directives on what to do with Magu.

Our investigation discovered that Mr. Saraki has been an active player in the plot to stop Mr. Magu. The EFCC chair had offended the senator twice during his political career. During the senator’s tenure as Governor of Kwara State, Mr. Magu was in charge of the dreaded “Governance Team” set up by the Nuhu Ribadu-led EFCC to go after corrupt state governors between 2003 and 2009. Mr. Saraki was investigated and was due for arrest when Mr. Ribadu was kicked out of the EFCC after he managed to arrest former Governor James Ibori of Delta State. Mr. Saraki then shopped for and recommended Farida Waziri as Mr. Ribadu’s replacement. As soon as Mrs. Waziri was firmly planted as the chairperson of the EFCC, she went after Mr. Magu, got him arrested and detained on the flimsy excuse that EFCC documents were found on his laptop in Lagos. Mr. Magu spent weeks in detention in 2008 and was subsequently freed and redeployed to the Nigeria police. 

Also, as soon as Mr. Magu was appointed to head the EFCC, he arrested Mr. Saraki’s wife, Toyin Saraki, and interrogated her for hours. EFCC officials said Mrs. Saraki wilted under the intense interrogation and offered “very helpful information about her husband’s financial misdeeds.” 

SaharaReporters learned that Mr. Magu has made efforts on his own to reach out to Senators to confirm him. However, our investigators learned that some of the top senators demanded that he drop investigations against them or hand over their files to them for destruction before they would back his confirmation. Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, whom Mr. Magu disgraced earlier this year after he was given an award by the EFCC liaison to the National Assembly, reportedly tried to extract apologies from Mr. Magu while secretly filming their encounter. Also, Senator Stella Oduah, a former Aviation Minister, went to meet Mr. Magu in his office in the company of a former Secretary to the Federal Government, Pius Anyim, to pledge her support so long as Mr. Magu was willing to drop investigations relating to her multimillion dollar airport renovation projects during her ministerial tenure under former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Also, former Governor Goodwill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State reportedly asked that Mr. Magu soft-pedals on a myriad of corruption cases against him.

Two EFCC sources told SaharaReporters that Mr. Magu tactically decided to slow down on prosecuting high-profile corruption cases in order to advance his confirmation. However, his confirmation woes appear even more complicated as several targets of EFCC investigations have been pressuring Senators not to confirm him. 

Mr. Saraki is coordinating onslaughts on Mr. Magu while regularly telling lobbyists for the EFCC chairman that new conditions must be met before he would move forward on the confirmation. According to one of our sources, Mr. Saraki is demanding that some seasoned EFCC investigators who handled his case be transferred out of the agency back to the police. He had also required that Mr. Magu forward to him all files relating to high- profile investigations of senators. Our source said the Senate President appeared to want the documents to use them either to control other senators or buy their loyalty.

One source said Attorney General Malami had already fulfilled the first part of the agreement between him and Saraki. Last month, the AGF’s office suddenly withdrew forgery charges against Mr. Saraki and his deputy, Mr. Ekweremadu, claiming that prosecutors did not have a watertight case against the two senators. At the next adjourned date, charges were also dropped against two senior National Assembly staffers who aided the forgery of National Assembly rules that led to the controversial election of Mr. Saraki and Mr. Ekweremadu in 2015.

Our source stated that the next case to suffer would be the assets declaration case against Senator Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal. According to the source, Rotimi Jacobs, the independent lawyer handling the case, was being pressured to withdraw from it to enable more malleable prosecutors to take over. The source said the strategy was to prevail on the judge to conclude the trial without imposing any significant sentence.

Mr. Saraki, who is currently in Geneva, is assuring those lobbying on behalf of Mr. Magu he would get the EFCC chairman “confirmed” as soon as the cabal at the Presidency sabotages all the anti-corruption cases against him and Mr. Magu promises not to go after some persons of interest to him.

The Joint Task Force codenamed Operation Delta Safe (ODS) said 23 human skulls in various stages of decomposition, a complete human skeleton and several other human parts were recovered during its operations in Cross River.

Commander of the Joint Media Campaign Centre (JMCC), Lt. Col Olaolu Dauda said the skulls were discovered during a raid at the militants’ shrines

“The shrines were destroyed as troops continued to search for the perpetrators of these heinous acts against humanity. With the clearance of these shrines, the Bakassi Strike Force has effectively been smoked out from the areas they used to hold sway. It should be noted that the senseless killing of humans for ritual purposes is sacrilegious and will not be tolerated in any form within the joint operation area,” he said.

In another operation the Joint Task Force arrested 44 suspected members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) in Bayelsa State.

The ODS also raided four militant camps of the Bakassi Strike Force in Ikot Ene Idem, Abakpa, Ikang Anam in Bakassi and Akpabuyo local government areas of Cross Rivers State.

Commander of the Joint Media Campaign Centre (JMCC), Lt. Col Olaolu Dauda said the suspected IPOB members were arrested on Lakeview road along Ambition Estate, Okaka, Yenagoa.

According to him, preliminary investigations indicated that they were planning to disrupt the peace by establishing IPOB in the state.

“This group was planning to establish Bayelsa chapter of the banned IPOB and disrupt the peace within the joint operations area of the ODS. They were duly arrested and have been handed over to relevant authorities for further investigations. The unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable and sacrosanct, hence any unlawful gathering that will cause mayhem, threaten the unity and sovereignty of the country will not be condoned,” he said.

Daudu noted that the acting commander of the ODS, Brig.-Gen. Kevin Aligbe commended members of the public for their cooperation and re-assure them and oil companies operating in the area to go about their legitimate business.

SHOCKER: 23 Human Skulls, Full Skelleton DISCOVERED In Cross River Militants Shrine; See Photos

SHOCKER: 23 Human Skulls, Full Skelleton DISCOVERED In Cross River Militants Shrine; See Photos

SHOCKER: 23 Human Skulls, Full Skelleton DISCOVERED In Cross River Militants Shrine; See Photos

Though he might still be immunized to arrest and prosecution by virtue of his position as the Ekiti State Governor, but Mr, Ayodele Peter Fayose may be near jail as officials of Zenith Bank have confessed and revealed how they helped the governor in the laundering process of the N1.2 billion.

Despite Governor Fayose denials, his friend, probably a partner in the crime, Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro, a former Minister had also confessed how he actually made available the said N1.2 billion availabe to the governor.

That Scattered My Relationship For 2years.. Click HERE for Details

When the prosecution opened its case yesterday in the trial of Abiodun Agbele, an aide to Ekiti State, Fayose,  one Mr Sunday Oluseye Alade, a 54 years old banker told the court how he, along with some other officials of a bank and others received N1,219,490,000 cash brought into Akure airport on June 17, 2014 by ex-Minister of State for Defence Musiliu Obanikoro and two others.

According to The Nation Newspaper, the witness, who works in the Akure branch of the bank, gave details of how two aircraft brought the cash on two occasions, same day and how they moved the cash in a bullion van.

Agbele was arraigned before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja on August 3, 2016 on 11 counts of money laundering involving about N4,685,723,000,000, allegedly taken by former National Security Adviser (NSA) from the account of the office of the NSA domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The prosecution alleged that the accused knew the N4,685,723,000,000 formed part of the proceeds of alleged unlawful activities by Dasuki.

The prosecution alleged that on June 17, 2014, Agbele, Obanikoro and other suspects (said to be at large), took N1,219,000,000 from the total N4,685,723,000,000, when they “reasonably ought to have known” that the money was part of proceeds of Dasuki’s unlawful activity.”

Alade, who was led in evidence yesterday by prosecution lawyer Wahab Shittu, also gave details of how Agbele allegedly supervised the lodgment of the cash into different accounts, including those allegedly belonging to Fayose, his company, Spotless Investment and others.

The prosecution also tendered some statements made by the witness on June 2, 2016 and July 4, 2016.

Part of the statement of June 2, 2016 reads: “Sometime in the month of June 2014, I was informed by my colleague in Ibadan,  Lawrence Akande, that a customer of the bank will be bringing cash for lodgment in their account, but since the cash involved may be what he cannot singlehandedly handle and conveniently/safely bring to the branch office, I should arrange for the bank’s bullion van to evacuate the cash from Akure airport.

“To this end, that one Abiodun Agbele had collected my number from him and will call me in respect of the lodgment. Later on that date, nne Mr. Abiodun Agbele called that we should arrange to pick some cash from the Akure airport.

“He then came to meet us in the branch with Toyota Hillux van with some security ‘Army’ personnel. We then drove to the airport. At Akure airport, we waited for sometime before the arrival of a medium sized aircraft.

“After the aircraft had parked, three individuals came down and Mr. Abiodun Agbele walked to meet them.

“They had a brief discussion and two of the three men walked away and entered a waiting Toyota Hillux, one of the two appeared to be Senator Musiliu Obanikoro.

“The remaining individual, together with Abiodun Agbele then invited my team to come to the tarmac with the bullion van. And we off-loaded the cash to the bullion van.

“We then drove to the bank in the town in a convoy with their security team made up of soldiers and Mopol officers. At the branch, we just bundle counted the cash and ascertained it was N724,500,000.

“The person that handed over the cash later introduced himself as Adewale A. O and claimed to be a military aide de camp to Senator Obanikoro. He left us in the bank and went back to the airport in Akure.

“After about three hours, we drove our bullion van and security team back to the airport and waited until when another aircraft came with the second tranche, which was equally off-loaded to our bullion van and taken to the bank branch in Akure for ascertainment in the presence of Abiodun Agbele and one Adewale A. O.

“This second movement was ascertained to be N494,990,000 only. We were then informed by Abiodun Agbele that the cash was to be credited to various accounts,” Alade said.

The witness also gave details of how the money was distributed into the various accounts.

“The account credited and the amount are as follows: N100m was credited to Spotless Investment account: 1010170969 on 17/06/2014; Deprivateer Ltd was credited in account: 1013835889 with N219,490,000 on 18/06/2014 and another N300m on 19/06/2014 and another N200m on 23/06/2014.

“Another account owned by Ayodele Fayose was credited with N137,000,000 on 26/06/1014. This brings the total amount credited to the various accounts to N956,490,000.

“Mr. Abiodun Agbele then eventually took away the cash balance of N263m with their security team to Ado-Ekiti on the same day the cash was delivered in Akure.

“The total amount of cash so delivered amounted to N1,219,490,000. The amount deposited was N724,500,000, cash taken away N956,490,000 and cash balance of N263,000,000 (taken away by Abiodun Agbele).

“The driver that drove the bullion van on that cash pick-up engagement was Olaolu Omotosho. I do not know the registration number of the aircraft, but the colour is metallic grey.

“I was able to recognise Senator Musiliu Obanikoro sine the appearance resembled his picture that I used to see on the television and newspaper, but I cannot recognise the third person that came out of the aircraft with him.

“The cash was packed inside several sacks popularly referred to as Ghana-must-go sack. The aircraft that brought the second tranche of the cash was of a smaller size when compared with the aircraft that brought the first tranche.

“The sacks were many, and as such, I cannot remember the number. Mr. Abiodun Agbele collected a packet of deposit booklet and when we got to the bank with the N724,500,000, he said he would fill the deposit slip for the various amounts,” the witness said.

Excerpts From The Nation Newspaper used in tis article

Eyitayo Jegede and Jimoh Ibrahim

Until the commission released the final list of all the candidates that would contest the election, on Thursday evening, the name of Jegede was put on its website as the candidate of the PDP, report according to Punch Newspaper says

It was gathered that INEC, in a letter sent to the Ondo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Segun Agbaje, the commission described the list as final.

The letter conveying the list was signed by the Secretary to the Commission, Mr. Augusta Ogakwu.

The emergence of Ibrahim came on the heels of a ruling by a Federal High Court in Abuja, which rejected a move by Jegede to appeal against the recognition of Ibrahim as the candidate of the PDP.

Specifically, Justice Okon Abang, on Thursday, dismissed the application by Jegede on the grounds that he lacked the locus standi to file it.

Jegede had by his application sought the leave of the court to appeal against the judgment directing INEC to recognise Ibrahim as the party’s candidate.

The October 14, 2016, judgment of the court which Jegede sought to appeal was for the enforcement of an earlier verdict of the same court delivered on June 29, 2016, and which directed INEC to only accept the list of PDP candidate submitted by the Biyi Poroye-led executive in the state.

But in his ruling on Thursday Justice Abang held that the application lacked merit.

While striking it out, the judge held that Jegede was not mentioned in the substantive matter and, as such, he lacked the locus standi to seek leave to appeal the judgment.

The judge ruled, “He (Jegede) also lacked the right to be joined in the main suit and, as such, he cannot be joined thereafter or have the right to appeal the judgment. He is not entitled to appeal.

“There is nothing from the records of the court leading to the judgment of June 29, showing that the applicant has interest in the matter.”

But a High Court sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, earlier in the day restrained INEC from removing the name of Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) as the candidate of the PDP for the November 26, 2016, governorship election.

Justice William Olamide gave the ruling on Thursday based on an ex-parte motion brought before the court by the Clement Faboyede-led PDP faction in the state.

An Abuja High Court had on October 15 ordered the electoral commission to remove Jegede’s name for the name of Ibrahim.

In his ruling, Justice Olamide said that it would be out of order for INEC to replace Jegede’s name, pending the determination of the motion on notice, saying doing such would contravene the principles of equity, justice and fairness.

Excertps From Punch Newspaper used in the article

Jimoh Ibrahim
The Independent National Electoral Commission has dropped Mr. Eyitayo Jegede and instead named Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the November 26 governorship election in Ondo State.

The commission also named Mr. Alabi Ebenezer Omotayo as his running mate.

A federal High  Court had few days ago ruled that Mr jimoh Ibrahim, the factional candidate of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff is the authentic candidate of the party as against Eyitayo Jegede, who was nominated be the Ahmed Makarfi Faction of the party

Details later

Related Post: REVEALED: Why INEC Actually Dropped Jegede For Jimoh As PDP Ondo Guber Candidate Despite New Court Order

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