Saraki Breaks Silence, Says EFCC’s Action Is Abuse Of Court Process - Mega Icon Magazine
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Saraki Breaks Silence, Says EFCC’s Action Is Abuse Of Court Process

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The immediate past Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki has described the application to the Federal High Court, Lagos, for interim forfeiture order on his Ilorin home by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as an abuse of the court process and a violation of a subsisting order of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Saraki, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, also noted that the Federal High Court in Abuja presided by Justice Taiwo Taiwo had given an order “restraining the respondents (Commission) by themselves, their subordinates, agents, servants, or privies howsoever, from seizing, impounding, taking over, confiscating or otherwise forfeiting the Applicant’s (Saraki) right to own and peacefully enjoy any of his assets and properties”.

“The EFCC’s claim that the Ilorin property was built by any proceed of fraud is outrightly false.

“The fact is that the Ilorin property was built partly by the Kwara State Government pursuant to the Third Schedule of the Governor and Deputy Governor (Payment of Pension) Law 2010 while Dr. Saraki personally funded the remaining cost of the building.

“There are existing letters from the Office of the Head of Service of Kwara State notifying the former Governor (Saraki) of the State Government’s compliance with the State Pension for Governor’s law and the one indicating his intention to bear the cost of the additional expenditure that will arise from building the property to his desired taste dated 25th January 2012 and 8th February 2012 respectively,” the statement explained.

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He stressed  that the construction of the building did not commence until the last few weeks of his tenure as Governor and the bulk of his contribution to the funding were made with cheques.

“Where cash was involved, this was mainly in 2012 and 2013, more than a year after he had left office as Governor. So, where is the claim that the money for the construction of the house fraudulent obtained from Kwara State Government coming from? It should also be noted that the land on which the house is built is not a government allocated land.”

Saraki further alleged that the EFCC is playing politics and spreading falsehood in its attempt to witch-hunt and intimidate a perceived enemy.

While disclosing that Saraki will contest the matter in the court, the statement however noted that  EFCC’s penchant for abusing the nation’s judicial institution is the reason why it filed a suit in Lagos on a property situate in Ilorin.

 

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Crime & Court

Siblings Faking To Be EFCC Agents Arraigned In Abeokuta

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The Ibadan zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned two siblings – Olatunji Beyioku (aka Bashorun) and Oluwayomi Oluwafemi Beyioku (aka Ola 1) – for allegedly falsely presenting themselves as agent of the commission to defraud members of the public.

The duo were on Thursday, January 23, dragged before Justice Mohammed Abubakar of the Federal High Court 1, sitting in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, on 18-count charges bordering on conspiracy, impersonation, forgery, money laundering and obtaining money under false pretenses.

According to the charges, the accused persons allegedly laundered over N12,000,000 (Twelve Million Naira) and also defrauded unsuspecting victims of the sum of N404,000,000 (Four Hundred and Four Million Naira).

The facts of the case revealed that the brothers had represented themselves as operatives of the EFCC in order to gain undue advantage of their victims.

The charge also stated that Oluwayomi forged a document to claimed that he bagged a Higher National Diploma (HND) from the Lagos State Polytechnic, and one other that claimed that he participated in the one year mandatory national youth service for degree holders.

The duo were found to have made millions of naira engaging in series of fraudulent activities, using the proceeds to purchase a multi-million naira building, two cars – Honda Accord Crosstour and a Mercedes Benz GLK, different brands of mobile phones and other landed properties worth millions of naira.
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the eighteen-count charges.

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Upon their not-guilty plea, EFCC’s counsel, Festus Ojo prayed the court for a trial date and an order to remand them in correctional custody. However, their counsel, Femi Meyile, prayed the court to admit them to bail.
Justice Abubakar allowed the prayer as he granted them bail in the sum of five million naira with one surety each in like sum. The sureties were also ordered to deposit their international passports with the Chief Registrar of the court.

The case was adjourned to March 9, 2020, for trial while the accused persons are to be remanded in the correctional custody pending the perfection of their bail conditions.

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Crime & Court

EFCC slams Transparency International over poor rating on Nigeria

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has vehemently condemned in strong terms, the 2019 Corruption Perception Index, (CPI) recently released by Transparency International (TI) which ranked Nigeria 146 out of 180 countries analysed. It also restates commitment to corruption fight.

The Commission further faulted the poor rating as baseless, describing it as appalling, the bogus and ambiguous criteria used by Transparency International to arrive at what can best be described as a jaundiced and illogical rating.

EFCC in a tweet said, “We insist that the rating is a far cry from the evident strides and achievements so far accomplished by the anti-graft agency in the fight against corruption, particularly under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The claim and inference that Nigeria ranks the fourth most corrupt country in West Africa is totally unacceptable, as it is evidently not supported by any empirical data, especially when placed side-by-side with the remarkable achievements of the Commission in the past years.

“Moreover, it is quite ironic that the report by TI posits that the index does not show real incidences of corruption, yet it claims that the report is a reliable indication of the perception of Nigerians and the international community about the state of corruption in the country”.

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Libyan militant, Mustafa Al-Imam sentenced to 19 years for terrorist attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi

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A Libyan militant, Mustafa Al-Imam was sentenced on Thursday to more than 19 years in prison by  a federal Judge for  participating in the September 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador.

A jury had last year convicted Mustafa al-Imam  of conspiring to support the extremist militia that launched the fiery assaults on the U.S. compounds but deadlocked on 15 other counts.

The attacks, aimed at killing American personnel, prompted a political fracas in which Republicans accused the Obama administration of a bungled response.

Al-Imam was sentenced to a total of 236 months behind bars. He is the second militant convicted in the attacks that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens, communications specialist Sean Smith and security officers Tyrone Snowden Woods and Glen Anthony Doherty.

According to the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo on Thursday,  Al-Imam’s sentencing sends a strong message to those who would attempt to commit such a heinous crime.

“We express our continued gratitude to the U.S. law enforcement, military, and intelligence communities for their relentless efforts to bring to justice the perpetrators of the attack. We continue to mourn the losses of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith, and Tyrone Woods. Each sacrificed his life promoting American ideals. Their colleagues serving around the world today continue that important work in the same spirit and in their honor”, Pompeo added.

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