The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says conviction of All Progressives Congress (APC) prominent members has vindicated it against accusations of being selective in its fight against graft.
Spokesman of the commission, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, said this in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.
Uwujaren was referring to Jolly Nyame and Joshua Dariye, both former two-term governors of Taraba and Plateau, respectively.
Uwujaren stated that the convictions had “put a lie to the often repeated charge by critics and cynics that the EFCC (the prosecutor) is lukewarm in prosecuting chieftains of the ruling party for corruption’’.
He said, “Both trials had been ongoing for 11 years and towards the end of the proceedings, the two convicts changed their political camps, moving from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party to the ruling APC.
“Dariye, who won election into the Senate on the platform of the PDP, decamped to the ruling APC at a critical phase of his trial, when the prosecution had called all its vital witnesses and conviction appeared imminent.
“Not surprisingly, this fuelled speculation that the gambit was a calculated move to stave off imminent conviction.
“But rather than slow proceedings, his trial accelerated, forcing the defence to close its case, thus setting the stage for the judgment of June12.”
The EFCC spokesman said Mr Mohammed Dakingari, a former Accountant-General of Kebbi and member of the APC was also convicted of corruption and sentenced to 70 years in prison.
He added that former Gov. Orji Kalu of Abia was still undergoing prosecution in court by the EFCC even after crossing to the APC.
The commission, according to him, has closed its case in that matter after calling several witnesses.
“But, rather than open his defence, Kalu elected to file a ‘no case submission’.
“It will be up to the court to determine whether the commission has presented enough evidence to warrant him to enter his defence.
“From these cases, Nigerians can now appreciate the fact that the EFCC is apolitical, blind to the political colours and affiliations of crime suspects.
“It will be foolhardy for any politically-exposed person under prosecution to think that mere change of political affiliation will guarantee immunity from prosecution.
“Rather than entertain idle gossips who thrive on haranguing the EFCC with charges of selectivity, these two recent convictions offer Nigerians the opportunity to better appreciate the efforts and sacrifices of the commission.”
JUST IN: Police Officers Arrested For Extra Judicial Killings
At least four police officers have been arrested for extra judicial killings.
Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.
According to him, the policemen, attached to Iba Division Patrol team were identified as Inspector Fabiyi Omomayara, Sergeant Olaniyi Solomon, Sergeant Solomon Sunday and Corporal Aliyu Mukaila.
The statement further explained that the arrested police officers killed two armed robbery suspects who were already in their custody instead of taking them to the Police Station and allowing the normal process of investigation and prosecution to be initiated as stipulated under procedural laws.
Police Re-arrest Bala Wadume, Notorious Kidnap Kingpin In Kano
The operatives of the Nigeria Police have re-arrested the notorious kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume. He was arrested in the late hours of Monday, in his hideout at Layin Mai Allo Hotoro area of Kano State.
The police disclosed this on Tuesday via its official Twitter handle.
It would be recalled that the Police had been on the massive manhunt for the suspect, Bala Wadume since 6th August, 2019 following the unfortunate incident in Ibi, Taraba State which resulted in the brutal murder of three Police Officers and two civilians and injury to five others.
The suspect, who was appropriately restrained at the time of the incident, was subsequently released by his “rescuers” after they had destroyed the restraining handcuffs.
While commending the Police operatives for their perseverance and painstaking efforts, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, expressed his profound gratitude to all Nigerians for their unparalleled show of love and empathy to the Force, as well as the families of the officers and patriotic civilians who paid the supreme price in the service of their fatherland.
The police boss, however expressed optimism that the re-arrest of the suspect, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume, will no doubt, help in bringing answers to the numerous but hitherto unanswered questions touching on the incident and the larger criminal enterprise of the suspect.
$40m Jewelleries: Diezani Alleges EFCC Of Illegal Entry Into Apartment
The Ex- Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has challenged the seizure of $40m worth of jewelries from her premises by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Contained in an affidavit filed on her behalf by her counsel, Prof Awa Kalu (SAN), Diezani, who is currently in the United Kingdom, alleged that the EFCC violated her fundamental “right to own property and to appropriate them at her discretion,” under sections 43 and 44 of the constitution.
Also, she accused the commission of entering her apartment illegally and taking the items without any court order.
On July 5, 2019, The Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC had secured an order of the court temporarily forfeiting the expensive jewelleries to the Federal Government.
The EFCC Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, in an exparte application, made before Justice Nicholas Oweibo told the court that the expensive jewelries comprising wristwatches, necklaces, bracelets, bangles, earrings, a customized gold phone and more were reasonably suspected to have being acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities of the former Minister.
According to the schedule attached to the application, the jewellery, categorised into 33 sets, include “419 expensive bangles; 315 expensive rings; 304 expensive earrings; 267 expensive necklaces; 189 expensive wristwatches; 174 expensive necklaces and earrings; 78 expensive bracelets; 77 expensive brooches; and 74 expensive pendants.”
Oyedepo said “the respondent’s known and provable lawful income is far less than the properties sought to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
After granting the interim forfeiture order on July 5, the court adjourned proceedings for Diezani or anyone interested in the jewellery and gold iPhone to appear before it to give reasons why the items should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
But in an application filed on her behalf by Kalu (SAN), Diezani, contended that “the court lacked jurisdiction to have granted the interim forfeiture order in the first place as she had not been charged with any crime or served with any summons by the EFCC”.
She added that the entry into her apartment by EFCC operatives was illegal as it was without a court order.
The lawyer added that the temporary forfeiture order was prejudicial to Diezani because she was denied fair hearing.
The application, could however not be argued today as Prof. Kalu was unable to come to court.
A lawyer from his chambers, Chukwuka Obidike, told the court that the SAN was engaged in election petitions, and asked the court to grant an adjournment.
The court has adjourned the case till August 29.
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