Senator Godswill Akpabio, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, has denied the news making the rounds in some media outfits that he offered a bribe of $5 million to the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami, to secure the appointment of a sole administrator for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Also, the former governor of Akwa Ibom State has threatened legal action against the purveyors of the news inorder to clear his name and that of the Attorney General from the malicious publication.
The position of the Minister was contained in a statement signed by his media aide, Anietie Ekong, and made available to newsmen.
The statement read, “the attention of the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has been drawn to a piece of fake news which claimed that Senator Akpabio paid $5 million bribe to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and others to secure the appointment of a Sole Administrator for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“We wish to state categorically that this is a piece of malicious concoction manufactured from the pit of hell by mischief -makers. It is a figment of the imagination of the author of the fake news. Senator Akpabio denies the story in its entirety. The authors of the fake news should be ready to back up their claim or face the full wrath of the law.
“The story is a desperate attempt by some unscrupulous bloggers to impugn the integrity of the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and the Honourable Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami as the claim is not only spurious but utterly ridiculous.
“The fact is that in a suit number ABJ/CS/617/2020 filed by a Civil Society Organization, Forum for Accountability and Good Governance, at a Federal High Court in Abuja, Justice Ahmed Mohammed had granted an order restraining the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC from performing the functions of the board and accessing the Commission’s offices and files.
“The Order clearly listed the Managing Director Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, Acting Executive Director of Projects Dr Cairo Ojougboh, Mrs Caroline Nagboh and Cecilia Akintomide as those restrained. The Order also asked that “the most senior civil servant or administrator in the Commission be appointed” to take charge of the Commission.
“It was based on this order that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the elevation of the Acting Executive Director of Finance and Administration, Mr Effiong Akwa, being the most Senior Administrator to take over the headship of the NDDC as an Interim Administrator pending the completion of the Forensic Audit Exercise.
“It is therefore absurd for anyone to even imagine that the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio would bribe the Attorney General before an Order of the Court is complied with as the purveyors of the fake news have stated. The general public should discountenance this piece of trash.
‘It is obvious that some persons who are scared of the ongoing forensic audit of the NDDC as ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari are working tirelessly to scuttle the exercise by blackmailing the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio. Their modus operandi is to churn out fake news in a bid to stop Senator Akpabio from sanitizing the NDDC. Otherwise, how can a responsible news website make such a grievous allegation without any shred of evidence to back up its claim.
“However, we wish to state that no amount of sponsored fake news and blackmail would deter Senator Akpabio from doing the right thing as directed by Mr. President. The Minister has the overwhelming support of the impoverished masses of the Niger Delta who have borne the brunt of underdevelopment of the region over the years”, it concluded.
Oyo: Kidnapped UI student regains freedom
Victim of Monday’s kidnap attack at a poultry farm in Oke Odan, Apete area of Ibadan, Oyo capital, Emmanuel Odetunde has been released.
It will be recalled that Odetunde was abducted around 5 pm on Monday while working at his father’s poultry. The abductors also demanded a ransom of N100m for his release.
Mega Icon Magazine, however learnt that the victim , a student of the University of Ibadan (UI) was released at 7:15pm Thursday .
In a tweet obtained by our reporter, via his Twitter handle @dr_emmay thanked friends, family and well wishers for their prayers.
He also did not disclosed whether any ransom was paid or not.
“I was released at 7:15pm today. I am currently with my family.
“Thanks for the prayers. I appreciate @, Odetunde tweeted.
Insecurity: Bandits kill 18 in Kaduna communities
No fewer than 18 people in Giwa, Chikun and Igabi local government areas of Kaduna State have been reportedly killed by Bandits .
The state’s Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the ugly incident in a statement on Wednesday.
The three Local Government Areas, as learnt have been under incessant attacks by bandits in recent time.
Aruwan, in the statement, explained that the bandits attacked Anaba village in Igabi local government area and killed seven people. He gave their names as Ali Musa, Isa Sharehu, Tijjani Isa, Auwalu Shehu, Hashim Abdullahi, Hassan Saidu and Umar Rilwanu.
According to him, many of the houses in the community were also burnt down by the bandits along with storehouses and barns, while they also rustled 20 cows during the operation.
The bandits, also attacked Barinje village in Chikun local government area killing eight persons, which included Sunday Gwamna, Lawal Jizo, Salha Barau, Sabo Barau, Umaru Barau, Muhammadu Dan Azumi, Zailani Dogara and Jikan Gambo.
The statement added that some residents of the village were also abducted, and cattle rustled during the attack, while an unspecified number of injured victims are currently receiving treatment in hospitals.
The armed bandits, in another operation, attacked the loosely connected communities of Kwarten Rigasa, Kwarten Waziri and Kwarten Shaku in Igabi local government area.
The bandits reportedly emerged from the Buruku area, and raided the villages in a cattle rustling operation and In the process, killed one Danjuma Isa from neighboring Ungwan Kanti village as he made his way on foot to Kwarten Rigasa.
Similarly, armed bandits invaded Sanhu Makera village in Birnin Yero of Igabi local government area and killed one Yakubu Abdullahi, a farmer in the village, while
another person was killed by unknown assailants in unusual circumstances, at the Ministerial Pilot Housing Estate, Millennium City in Chikun local government area.
According to Aruwan, the attacks on soft targets at Anaba and Barinje villages in Igabi and Chikun LGAs respectively, followed the killing of several armed bandits through targeted air operations.
He disclosed that Air platforms had earlier conducted armed reconnaissance around Anaba village during which the crew observed houses on fire and locals migrating to nearby settlements.
He explains further that many bandits on motorcycles were neutralised by troops at Kankomi village and neighbouring communities as well as
Kuyanbana forest while many of them escaped with bullet wound.
The security agencies however appeal to the communities to report anyone found with suspicious bullet wounds to the Security Operations Room.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai has expressed sadness over the incidents and has sent his condolences to the families of all those killed in the attacks, while offering prayers for the repose of their souls. He also wishes the injured a quick recovery.
Senate okays Bawa as new EFCC boss
The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday confirmed Abdulrasheed Bawa as the new chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Bawa’s confirmation comes shortly after he appeared before the red chamber for his screening.
The new EFCC Chief was accompanied into the Senate Chambers by his family members and political associates.
The forty-year-old certified fraud examiner and anti-money laundering expert, as reliably gathered, has worked with the commission for 16 years.
During his screening, he assured the lawmakers of his commitment to repositioning the commission by ensuring that the EFCC is in a better place before his tenure expires.
Bawa disclosed that he will work with strategic partners around the world to see that Nigeria benefits from the repatriation of assets stolen from her coffers.
“The EFCC will achieve its independent objective by sharing information with its partners”, he said.
The EFCC boss also promised that at the end of his tenure, the commission will be a better place than he met it, noting that his training by the FBI and the National Crime Agency of the United States and the United Kingdom respectively will come in handy.
Responding to questions regarding what he will do differently from his predecessors, Mr. Bawa said he will reposition the commission by ensuring that it strengthens its standard operating procedures and improve on them.
He also stated that there will be more transparency and accountability.
While acknowledging that the EFFC has issues with the management of assets, the EFCC boss said he will embark on the digitization of the offices for proper record keeping.
He further noted that the constitution will guide his actions as EFCC Chairman.
He will be taking over from Mohammed Umar, who has been in an acting capacity since July 2020 after the suspension of Ibrahim Magu over allegations of gross misconduct.
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