he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has accused Hajiya Bola Shagaya, a businesswoman and socialite, of frustrating its efforts to conclude its investigation into a “suspicious” Unity Bank account with a balance of N1,902,673,399.93.
The anti-graft agency said it invited Shagaya but she refused to honour the invitation.
Her refusal to show up made the commission “unable to conclude investigation and file a charge against her”.
Oghare Ogbole, a female operative of the EFCC, stated this in a counter-affidavit which the anti-graft agency filed to oppose a suit filed by Shagaya to challenge the freezing of the Unity Bank account.
The EFCC had placed a ‘No Debit Order’ on the account, following an interim order given by Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court in Lagos on December 29, 2016.
The businesswoman, however, filed an application, urging the judge to lift the freezing order, saying she was not given fair hearing before her account was frozen.
The EFCC opposed her, insisting that the freezing order was lawfully obtained.
The anti-graft agency claimed that the N1.9billion found in the Unity Bank account was the balance of a total of N3,305,150,000, which Shagaya received as “founder fees” on behalf of an organisation, ‘Women for Change’, spearheaded by Patience Jonathan, a former First Lady.
The EFCC claimed that the N3.3billion was realised through Shagaya’s “fraudulent activities in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation,” where she allegedly “influenced the fraudulent allocation of Dual Purpose Kerosene to Index Petrolube Africa Ltd., with the aid of the former First Lady, Mrs Dame Patience Jonathan”.
According to the EFCC, the N3.3billion was paid by Index Petrolube Africa Ltd. and its sister company, Autodex Nigeria Limited. The two companies, it said, belong to one Honourable Ezeani ThankGod, adding that the reason for the N3.3billion payment was to “fraudulently facilitate Dual Purpose Kerosene to ThankGod’s company, Index Petrolube Africa Ltd”.
The anti-graft agency claimed that out of the N3.3billion, Shagaya had “paid a cumulative sum of N1,212,000,000 to the former First Lady, Mrs Dame Patience Jonathan, through her ‘Women for Change Initiative’ account domiciled in Diamond Bank, to which the former First Lady is the sole signatory”.
It said after paying N1.2billion to Mrs. Jonathan, Shagaya kept the balance of N1.9billion for herself by “warehousing” same in her personal bank account in Unity Bank.
The EFCC said it was on this basis that it secured an order by Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court in Lagos on December 29, 2016, to freeze the account.
It said Shagaya would have been charged to court, but she had not honoured its invitation to enable it conclude its investigation.
Nigerian Army Threatens To Deal Decisively With Political Thugs In Niger Delta – Lifestylenaija | Breaking Celebrity Gist | Lifestyle | Entertainments
The Nigerian Army has warned that it would deal decisively with any political thugs that disrupt activities at polling centres during Saturday’s rescheduled general elections in the Niger Delta.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Deputy Director Army Public Relations Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, said the warning follows information made available to the headquarters, 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, of a plan to perpetrate crime in some areas in the Niger Delta region.
Iliyasu said, “Credible intelligence available to Headquarters 6 Division Nigerian Army (NA) has uncovered an unholy plan by some political actors within its Area of Responsibility (AOR) to arm and sponsor miscreants in addition to using military-like fatigue dress for deception to cause pandemonium at polling stations for their political gain.”
According to him, “covert efforts are on-going to track the source of the weapons and the agents involved in conjunction with sister security agencies”.
The army spokesperson further stated that anyone found disrupting the electoral process would be dealt with according to the law.
While assuring the people of adequate security for the people of the Niger Delta region during and after the elections, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division, Maj. Gen Jamil Sarham, thanked the people for what he described as their cooperation and assistance to the Division, particularly in the area of information dissemination.
The warning from the army follows President Muhammadu Buhari’s order to security agencies to “deal ruthlessly” with ballot box snatchers during the general elections.
The order which the President on Monday said he gave, has triggered outrage among Nigerians, especially from the leading opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, which has described the comments as insensitive.
No Commissioner Or Director Was Arrested, Says INEC Boss – Lifestylenaija | Breaking Celebrity Gist | Lifestyle | Entertainments
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied the report that one of its national commissioners was arrested by security operatives.
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, faulted the claim during a briefing on measures put in place by INEC towards conducting credible elections after the polls were shifted.
“No Commissioner of the Commission was picked up by any security agency,” he said in response to a question on the report on Tuesday in Abuja.
“No house of any Commissioner of INEC was raided,” Professor Yakubu added. “No any Commissioner of INEC has been picked up by the security agency.”
The INEC boss disclosed that the commissioner whose name was being circulated in the social media was in his office at the time when he gave the briefing.
He also condemned the report that six directors were picked up by security operatives, stressing that nothing of such happened.
Professor Yakubu further cautioned politicians against speaking in a manner that would overheat the polity and political atmosphere.
Earlier, he offered his regrets over the postponement of the elections and assured Nigerians that the electoral body under his leadership was working towards conducting credible elections.
As part of measures to ensure that the polls were conducted on the rescheduled dates, the INEC boss revealed that all materials including ballot papers and result sheets were already at the expected locations across the country.
He also said Registration Area Centres (RATs) for the elections would be activated by 9:00am on Friday across the nation.
Professor Yakubu, however, warned officials of the commission and ad-hoc staff against going late to their duty posts.
“Personnel and materials should be at the RATs by mid-day on Friday,” he said.
“Personnel and materials must arrive at the polling units latest 7:00am on Saturday 23 February 2019, and the opening of polls nationwide will take place at 8:00 in the morning on Saturday 23 February 2019.”
‘You Have No Role In The Conduct Of Elections’, Atiku Tells Military – Lifestylenaija | Breaking Celebrity Gist | Lifestyle | Entertainments
The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, says the military has no role to play in the conduct of elections.
He said this on Tuesday during the party’s NEC meeting in Abuja, while responding to comments made by President Muhammadu Buhari’s on the snatching of ballot boxes.
Speaking at the APC caucus meeting on Monday, the President had ordered security agencies to “deal ruthlessly” with anyone who attempts to snatch ballot box during the rescheduled general elections.
Atiku, however, believes that the president’s order is a result of his desperation to remain in power.
He, therefore, adviced President Buhari that his ambitions should not be worth the blood of any Nigerian, while also reminding the military that their duty remains to protect the nation.
Atiku said, “You will recall that during the Peace Accord process, I stated in clear terms, quoting form former president Jonathan Goodluck, that my ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian.
“That man is a great man.
“Today I call on President Buhari to make that same commitment to the people whose mandate he holds, while also urging all security agencies to uphold our Constitution with an understanding that voting is a civil activity and civic responsibility.
“The Nigerian military is constitutionally responsible for protecting our territorial integrity and national borders and has no role to play in the conduct of elections.”