EFCC recovers more vehicles, others from ex-Customs boss

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday raided the Kaduna warehouse of the former Comptroller-General of Customs, Abdullahi Dikko-Inde.

The anti-graft agency recovered among others, items including vehicles, tricycles and motorcycles from the ex-Customs boss.

The items recovered from a warehouse believed to be one of the properties of the ex-Customs boss included a 2013 model 32-seater Nissan bus, 42 cargo tricycles, over 500 rug carpets and two fire-proof safes, one tipper truck and 16 motorcycles.

The Zonal Head of the EFCC Kaduna, Bappa Ibrahim while addressing newsmen in Kaduna, said, the recovery was made based on intelligence gathering and tip-off at the disposal of the agency.

He said the items were recovered from a warehouse, off Nnamdi Azikiwe Express Way bypass near the NASFAT village in Igabi Local Government Area of the State.

Ibrahim noted that the operation by the EFCC that led to the recovery was part of the continuation of the commission’s investigation on the former Customs boss.

The two recovered fire-proof safes when opened by operatives of the EFCC in the full glare of reporters contained few documents, an iron stamp, 50 and 20 naira notes, amounting to N1,560 as well as polyethene bags.

But Ibrahim, who declined to comment on recovered documents found in the safes, simply said investigation was ongoing.

He said, “As you can see, we have recovered more items from the former Comptroller-General of Customs, Abdullahi Dikko Inde. The items include 32-seater Nissan bus, 42 cargo tricycles, one tipper truck, 16 motorcycles, over 500 rug carpets and two fire-proof safes.

“The recovery was possible because of tip-off we received and intelligence report. We made the recovery from a warehouse belonging to former Comptroller-General of Customs, Abdullahi Dikko Inde around NASFAT village, off Nnamdi Azikiwe Express Way, here in Kaduna.”

The EFCC chief, then called on general public to always assist the anti-graft agency with useful information, noting that the war on anti-corruption must not left for the commission.


South Africa deports 97 Nigerians

The South African Government has deported 97 Nigerians for committing various offences in the country.
The deportees landed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on Monday night in a chartered aircraft with the registration number GBB710 from Johannesburg.

They are made up of 95 males and two females.

DSP Joseph Alabi, the Spokesman of the Lagos Airport Police Command, confirmed the development.

An immigration source on condition of anonymity said that six of the deportees were returned to the country for drug offences while 10 were arrested and deported for other criminal offences .

The others were said to have committed immigration offences in the Southern African country.

All the deportees were profiled by officials of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) while those deported for drug related offences were handed over to the Police for further investigation.

The Federal Government had also on Monday evacuated 41 Nigerian girls who were trafficked to Mali for sex and labour exploitation.

Six of the suspected human traffickers were also apprehended and brought back to the country for prosecution.

Reps clash over Buhari’s health status

Members of the House of Representatives exchanged words on Tuesday over the health status of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Lawmakers quarrelled over the use of the word “sickness” in referring to Buhari or explaining his reason for being away from the country to the United Kingdom since January 19.

The disagreement was more pronounced among members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, the President’s party.

While some members said Buhari was sick and was away to treat himself, others claimed that he was on “medical vacation.”

It was the House Majority Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, who started the argument when he tried to stop the Chief Whip, Mr. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, from describing the President as a sick man.

Both Gbajabiamila, who is from Lagos State, and Ado-Doguwa, who is from Kano State, are members of the APC.

Ado-Doguwa was contributing and opposing a motion seeking to investigate the alleged harassment of members of ‘Kwankwasia’ followers, a political group loyal to former Kano State Governor, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso.

He had stated that the motion, which was moved by a fellow Kano lawmaker, Mr. Aliyu Madaki, was “basesless” because the Kwankwasia group was known for moving around the state and inciting people against the political leadership.

Ado-Doguwa observed that the country was already under tension owing to the absence of Buhari and could not afford any “partisan” activities that could lead to insecurity.

He added that the group was already campaigning for the 2019 presidential elections in a volatile place like Kano.

“Our beloved President is sick abroad.
“These partisan activities are completely unnecessary and baseless. 

The police must do their work of protecting lives and property anywhere in the country.”

Akwa Ibom loses N180bn revenue

The Akwa Ibom Local Content Compliance Monitoring Committee (LCCMC) has alleged that the state government has lost N180 billion revenue following non-compliance of oil firms with Local Content Act 2010.

The LCCMC Secretary, Mr Eti-mbuk Essien, made this allegation in a letter dated Feb. 10 and addressed to the Managing Director, Total E & P Nigeria Limited.

The letter on Monday in Uyo noted that Total E & P contractors had not complied with the local content law.

Essien said that the state government was dissatisfied with the company’s prime and subcontractors for violating the local content law.

He alleged that Total E &P had successfully operated OFON fields and gas flaring projects from OML 102 without giving any consideration to Akwa Ibom, the host of the fields.

“The Akwa Ibom state government has lost over N180 billion as a consequence of these unholy and ugly practices.

“Such huge amount of money in the coffer of the state government will significantly boost the economy of the state,” Essien said.

Essien called on Total E & P Nigeria Limited to direct all its major and subcontractors to establish functional offices in Akwa Ibom within 30 days from now.

“The uncivilised attitude and the insubordination of your prime and subcontractors is viewed by the state government as an affront and an act of economic sabotage.

“It is the legitimate right of the state indigenes to participate in the business of your prime and subcontractors and the negation is of very serious concern to the state government.

“Please take note that no prime and subcontractors operating within the state territorial water shall be allowed to operate in the state without a functional office,” Essien threatened.

Essien said that the state government would no longer condone the untoward attitude of oil firms and their contractors operating in the state.

He said that the contractors to Total E & P Nigeria Limited were violating sections 25, 26, 27 and 28 (1, 2) of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010.

“These companies have also violated the Oil Companies and Vessels Regulation of Business, Registration and Plying Levy law 2006 of Akwa Ibom State,” Essien said.

He explained that sections 25, 26 and 27 of Nigerian Local Content Act 2010 made provisions for the location of office and engagement of personnel from the project area.

Essien said that Section 28 (1,2) of the law provided for engagement of reasonable number of personnel from areas of significant operations.

He said that the state Law on Oil Companies and Vessels Regulation of Business, Registration and Plying Levy 2006 also required the establishment of a functional office within 30 days of operations.

Kidnapping: Lagos beefs up security in Epe

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday assured farmers in the state, especially in Epe axis, of adequate measures to protect them against incessant kidnappings.

The governor vowed to pursue vigorously and sustain the renewed enforcement of the ban on commercial motorcycles popularly called Okada plying restricted routes.

The State’s Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni who briefed journalists after the monthly Security Council Meeting, chaired by the governor, said Amode also assured residents and investors of commitment to their security and well-being.

Owoseni said the Council reviewed the security situation in the State in the last one month and resolved to redouble efforts where necessary.

He said, “The Council has looked at the security situation in the State in the last one month and the conclusion we reached is that it has been relatively calm here and where we need to do more of interventions with the view to doubling our efforts, we have identified those areas and the commitment from the Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode remain unwavering and that every efforts that would secure Lagos and make business and commercial activities to be carried out without let or hindrance will be done.

“The Council also reviewed the operation on the total enforcement of Okada ban and it was agreed that the renewed efforts toward enforcing the law with regards to the operation of commercial motorcycles and tricycles in the State will be sustained in view of the threat to security that we have witnessed in the past. There is a renewed commitment, we will sustain it and ensure that the State Traffic Law is effectively enforced.”

On kidnapping of farmers in Epe axis, the police boss said though it was impossible to completely eradicate crime, the State Government was working round the clock to ensure the safety of the farmers.

Presidency says economy coming out of recession

Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu, Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters

The Presidency on Tuesday reacted to the review of the economy by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), saying the report indicated that the economy was coming out of recession.

“There are now indications that the Nigerian economy is well on its way out of recession considering the 2016 overall and last quarter Gross Domestic Product reports,’’ the Presidential Adviser on Economic Matters, Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu, said in a statement.

A review of the recent GDP figures released by the NBS shows a contraction of -1.30 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016, translating into an estimated economic growth rate of -1.51 per cent for the full year.

Dipeolu said the Nigerian economy actually performed better overall last year as the growth rate was higher with a contraction at -1.5 per cent than the -1.8 per cent predicted by the IMF.

He said the report had raised the hope that Nigeria was gradually coming out of recession with the improving trends in several key sectors of the economy including agriculture and mining.

The presidential aide said the Buhari administration was also hopeful that with the series of ongoing engagement with the oil-producing communities of the Niger Delta, the increased oil production output would be sustained.

He added that the ongoing implementation of the Social Investment Programmes and significant infrastructural spending of the Federal Government would spur a positive multiplier effect on the Nigerian economy.

He said same effect was expected from the possible early legislative passage of the 2017 budget.

“The Buhari administration will not relent in its determined effort and its comprehensive approach to bring about the full recovery of the Nigerian economy and set it on a solid path of sustainable growth.

“Our work continues and we renew the pledge to do it with diligence, and the firm commitment it deserves,’’ he said.

Prosecution of crime suspects ‘ll be prioritised – IG

The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris has said the Force would henceforth monitor the prosecution of suspects arrested for kidnapping, terrorism, armed robbery and other crimes in the country.

This, he said was necessary to ensure the diligent trial of crime cases and make sure that the suspects were duly punished for their crimes.

Addressing a seminar for state commands’ public relations officers on Tuesday at the Force headquarters, Abuja, Idris said it was not just enough to parade crime suspects before the media and not follow through with their prosecution.

“When you arrest suspects, ensure that you follow up with the trial; People believed that when you arrest and parade them (before the media), that is the end of it, but it is important to follow up the case to the point of conviction. This is necessary to serve as a deterrence to others,” he said.

He admonished the spokespersons to communicate the achievements of the Force to the public and to counter negative narratives against the organization with facts and evidence from relevant departments.

He directed that all petitions to the police must be treated with dispatch in order to gain public trust and confidence.

The IG complained about the poor funding of the police, stating that the government needed to increase the budgetary allocation to the Force if it desired an efficient security agency.

“The police survival depended on National Assembly because they are the one passing the budget; for the police to be efficient, they must be adequately funded,” he added.