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Makinde inaugurates state’s anti-corruption agency

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Oyo state governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde has inaugurated the state’s anti-corruption commission, declaring that his administration’s zero tolerance for corruption remains unshakable.

The governor, who was speaking inside the Executive Council Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Agodi, Ibadan, said that with the inauguration, Oyo State as Pacesetter State, will become a worthy reference for other states across the country.

Speaking on Tuesday  at the swearing-in ceremony of members of the Oyo State Anti-Corruption Agency (OYACA), the governor declared that the commission will have no political bias.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as warning against all forms of corrupt practices, noting that the establishment of the agency was to sanitise the public/civil service and ensure that everyone carries out their responsibilities without corruption.

It will be recalled that the bill for the establishment of the agency was forwarded to the House of Assembly shortly after Makinde assumed office in 2019.

The governor said: “The journey to this inauguration formally started about a year ago with the signing of the Oyo State Anti-Corruption Law 2019. The law is primarily directed at sanitising the public/civil service and ensuring that both public and civil servants at both the state and local government levels carry out their responsibilities without institutionalised corruption.

“When I was campaigning, we knew corruption was an issue and I basically divided corruption into two broad categories. We have the routine one, which the Okada riders, micra drivers, other people too engage in.

“We meet policemen on the road and give them N50 or N100 because we don’t want any trouble. We just want to pay and go or people come into the Secretariat and they want to get tax clearance for their lands, documents, even things that are as simple as validation of their state or local government of origin certificate, they pay some money and go. That is what I call routine corruption.

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“What can kill us and what is killing us is the systemic corruption or the institutionalised corruption.

“What I earn as the salary of a governor is about N600,000 and I am living at a level where I spend on a monthly basis N6,000,000, that is systemic corruption and it is institutionalized. We will be lying to ourselves if we do not acknowledge the endemic corruption in the system.

“With the inauguration of the Oyo State Anti-Corruption Agency, OYACA, we are sending out a clear message here in Oyo State. We have zero tolerance for corruption. So, any person, elected, employed or engaged in any capacity in the public or civil service in Oyo State, who accepts or promises to accept money, fees, donations, loans, gifts, or any other reward for rendering a service to members of the public will be investigated and be made to face the full wrath of the law.

“It will no longer be business as usual. Public/civil servants are called to serve, not to steal. And I trust that the members of OYACA will do all within their powers to ensure that all matters brought to their attention are judiciously handled. There are to be no sacred cows. Anyone who runs afoul of this law will be prosecuted swiftly.”

Governor Makinde equally implored residents of the state to take advantage of the anti-corruption agency to duly report any civil or public officer demanding bribe or any form of gratification to render services.

He described members of the agency as people with high integrity and pedigree, and urged them to continue to maintain their standard of integrity, saying : “I ask that members of this agency continue to maintain the track records for which you were picked individually.

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“The goal should be that Oyo State public/civil service becomes the benchmark for the entire country. Of course, institution such as FRSC started here in Oyo State and it was adopted nationally. So, it is not the first time that we are setting the standard and the pace for the entire country.

“I will always maintain that for us to build the Nigeria we dream of, we must create strong systems and institutions. We must also be willing to work and make sacrifices for those systems to function correctly. This agency is part of the system we are putting in place. Instead of offering a bribe to get ahead of a particular contract or promotion, why not be patient and await your turn?

“Corruption works with a giver and a receiver. One side of it is the side of demand. If there is no demand, there won’t be a supply. So, there is the demand side and there is supply side. I don’t know whether it is elastic but I do know the two exist. So, I urge the good people of Oyo State to refrain from offering bribes and to refuse to give bribe to any public officer even if they insist on it.”

The governor indicated that there are many channels to report misconduct to the agency, urging that residents of the state use the feedback channels already put in place by his government to report any official including himself.

“We have many channels to report such misconduct and there will be more channels on the way. For now, please make use of our feedback channels to make a report against any public officer who is involved in corruption including me.

“Some people may use my name to say His Excellency said we should do this or that. Please, I don’t have any agent or anyone to act on my behalf. So, report me to the agency. I promise I will come and defend myself for any report that comes to you regarding me, so also the rest of the cabinet.

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“Let me also say this, it has nothing to do with politics. It is not PDP or APC and you are not to be used to witch-hunt anybody. Corruption does not know PDP or APC. So, let our people on the other side know that we will ask them to account for their stewardship if there is a need for that. If they go to town to say they are being witch-hunted, they will prove their innocence in the law court but not in front of you,” the governor added.

In her remarks, the chairman of the agency, Retired Justice Eni Esan, former president of the state customary court of appeal, assured that the agency would do its best to fulfil its mandate and assist the state government in sanitising the public service.

Other members of the anti-corruption agency are Barrister Temitope Ayorinde, Prince Oyebade Oyedapo, AS Asaolu, Esther Olapade, Ihindero Lawrence and Ibrahim Tijani, who will act as the secretary of the agency.

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Crime & Court

Osogbo: 32-year-old Man Jailed 14 Months for Defrauding American of N19.6m

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Ibadan zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has secured the conviction of one Oteyowo Akinkunmi Samuel over internet-related fraud.

Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel of the Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo, Osun State pronounced the 32-year-old, who claimed to be a graduate of civil engineering, guilty of a one-count amended charge of criminal impersonation on Monday, and handed him fourteen months custodial sentence.

The crime offends Section 22(2) (b) (ii) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention Etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (2) of the same Act.

He was charged for defrauding one Warren Doht, an American, of a total sum of N19,664,128.50 (Nineteen Million, Six Hundred and Sixty Four Thousand, One Hundred and Twenty Eight Naira, Fifty Kobo).

The convict had, however, approached the Commission for a plea bargain agreement which formed the basis for the amended charge with which he was arraigned and convicted of on Monday.

After pleading guilty to the amended charge, prosecution counsel Murtala Usman urged the court to convict him accordingly.

Apart from the jail term, the court also ordered Oteyowo to restitute the N19,664,128.50 to the victim of his crime.

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Crime & Court

#EndSARS: Oyo judicial panel to begin public sitting next week Tuesday

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The 12-man Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up by Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State to look into petitions of police brutality and victimisation in the state will begin public hearing next week Tuesday.

The Panel, after concluding preliminary analysis of complaints/petitions submitted by victims of police brutality/victimisation, will begin the public hearing on Tuesday, 26 January, 2021 at the House of Chiefs, Oyo State House of Assembly Complex, Secretariat, Ibadan from 9.00 a.m. daily. 

According to a public notice signed by the Secretary to the Panel, Mr. H.T. Salami, all petitioners and respondents had been served with hearing notices and they are expected to appear before the Panel on the date contained in their respective hearing notices.

The panel, which warned members of the public coming to the hearing to adhere strictly to COVID-19 protocols and guidelines, asked members of the public who might have enquiries to direct same to the The Secretary of the Panel through Phone Number 07014868686 or via email address: [email protected]

The notice read: “The general public is hereby informed that His Excellency, the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has graciously approved the constitution of a twelve (12)-man Judicial Panel of Inquiry to look at the petitions submitted by victims of police brutality and victimization in the State.

“The Governor inaugurated the Commission on Tuesday , 10th November, 2020 with the following Terms of Reference: to receive and investigate complaints of Police brutality or related extrajudicial killings; to evaluate evidence presented/other surrounding circumstances and draw conclusions as to the validity of the complaints; to recommend compensation and other remedial measures, where appropriate.

“The Panel has, therefore, concluded the preliminary analysis of the submitted complaints/petitions and the public hearing of the Panel will commence on Tuesday, 26 January, 2021, at the House of Chiefs, Oyo State House of Assembly Complex, Secretariat, Ibadan from 9.00 a.m. daily. 

“All the petitioners and the respondents have been served with hearing notices and are expected to appear before the Panel on the date contained in the respective hearing notices.

“All enquiries are to be directed to the The Secretary of the Panel through Phone Number 07014868686 or via email address: [email protected]

“Please, note that all members of the public coming to the hearing are expected to adhere strictly with the COVID-19 pandemic protocols and guidelines.”

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Crime & Court

Barman in Ibadan gets 8 years jail term for illegal withdrawals from employer’s account

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A 35-year-old bartender, Godwin Job, was on Tuesday sentenced to eight years in prison for illegally withdrawing the sum of N1,079,290 (One million, Seventy Nine Thousand, Two Hundred and Ninety Naira) from a Fidelity Bank account belonging to his boss, Olufemi Joseph Odusanya.

Job was convicted by Justice Bayo Taiwo of the Oyo State High Court in a two-count charge bordering on stealing, filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan zonal office.

Following an investigations into a petition from his estranged boss, the Commission arraigned Job on August 17, 2020 to answer for the criminal allegations against him.

The charges are: “Godwin Job (a.k.a Nifemi) “M’ sometime in August 2019 or there about, at Ibadan, within the jurisdiction of this court did steal an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Card, property of Olufemi Joseph Odusanya, and thereby committed an offence Punishable under Section 390 (9) Criminal Code, Cap 38, Laws of Oyo State 2000.”

“Godwin Job (a.k.a Nifemi) “M’ sometime in August 2019 or there about, at Ibadan, within the jurisdiction of this court did steal the sum of One million, Seventy Nine Thousand, Two Hundred and Ninety Naira (N1,079,290), the property of Olufemi Joseph Odusanya, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 390 (9) Criminal Code, Cap 38 Law of Oyo State 2000.”

The boss had accused Job of stealing his Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card through which he withdrew cash and made Point of Sales (POS) transactions totaling N1,079,290.

In the course of investigation, the Commission discovered that Job made 14 transactions within two hours to evacuate the said amount from the victim’s account.

Though he pleaded not guilty upon arraignment, the judge held that the prosecution was able to convince the court beyond reasonable doubt that the accused indeed committed the unlawful act.

He then found him guilty as charged and sentenced him to four years in prison in each of the charges, which will run concurrently from the day of conviction.

He also ordered that Job refunds the money stolen to his victim.

                                                

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