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EFCC charges Allison-Madueke, INEC officials with money laundering

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday, charged a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke, and three others with money laundering.

Allison-Madueke, who was described in the charge as “still at large”, is charged alongside, three officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on seven counts of money laundering.

They are: Christian Nwosu, Yisa Olarenwaju and Tijani Bashir.

The charges were read over to the three accused, who were present in court, and Nwosu, pleaded guilty to the charges, while Adedoyin and Bashir pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo then informed the trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, that Nwosu had elected to enter into plea bargain with the EFCC.

Oyedepo added that already Nwosu had made a refund of N5 million and surrendered the title document of a landed property he purchased for N25  millon in Delta State.

Reacting, Nwosu’s lawyer, Mrs Adeku Nbangba, confirmed the position and pleaded with Justice Idris to temper justice with mercy in deciding the fate of the accused.

The judge adjourned till April 7, for sentencing and ordered that Nwosu be remanded at the EFCC custody.

Meanwhile, the judge granted bail in the sum of N50 million each to Adedoyin and Bashir, adding that they should deposit their international passport with the court’s registrar.

The prosecution had alleged that the accused committed the offence on March 27, 2015 by accepting bribe from the ex petroleum minister.

They were also alleged to have conspired to take possession of the sum of about N264 million which sum they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act of gratification.

The accused were also said to have made cash payments of the sum of about N235 million, which sum exceeded the amount authorized by law, without going through a financial Institution.

EFCC further alleged that Bashir (fourth accused) also made a cash payment of about N70.1 million to Adedoyin (third accused) without going through a financial institution and which sum exceeded the amount authorized by law.

The prosecution also alleged that Bashir also directly took possession of the sum of about N165 million which sum he ought reasonably to have known formed part of an unlawful act of gratification.

In count seven, Nwosu (second accused) was alleged to have directly used the sum of N30 million which he ought to have known formed part of an unlawful act of gratification.

The offences are said to have contravened the provisions of sections 15 (3), 16 (2) and 18 (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Amendment Act, 2012.

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Buhari presents 2019 budget to National Assembly next week

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President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed when he will present the 2019 appropriation bill to the National Assembly.

Buhari disclosed that the budget will be presented to the National Assembly on Wednesday next week, barring any last-minute change.

This was contained in a letter transmitted to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and read during Thursday’s plenary.

“May I crave the kind indulgence of the House of Representatives to grant me the slot of 11 hours on Wednesday, 19th December, 2018 to formally present the 2019 appropriation bill in a joint session and lay before the NASS the 2019 budget proposal,” the letter quoted Buhari as saying.

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RE-FG blames NASS over delay in presentation of 2019 Budget

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Senator Udoma Udo Udoma

Senator Udoma Udo Udoma


Going by the headlines in some news media today in respect of the presentation of the 2019 Budget to the National Assembly, it is obvious that some of the reporters misconstrued the response of the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, when he was asked when the budget would be submitted to the Legislature.

The Minister simply said that as is the procedure when the budget is ready, the Executive liaises with the National Assembly for a date which the Budget will be laid before the joint session of the Assembly; and that the process is on already.

The Minister at no time throughout the interaction with the media blamed the National Assembly for the delay in the presentation, nor gave the impression that there was any issue between the two arms of government over the 2019 budget.

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Harassment of opposition members: Frank urges US, UK, EU, UN, others to call President Buhari to order

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari


Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has appealed to the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, United Nations, and other members of the international community to urgently call President Muhammadu Buhari to order over his incessant intimidation and harassment of opposition figures in the country ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Frank specifically condemned in strong terms the plot to arrest the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, over frivolous charges simply because of the Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Peter Obi, was a former chairman of the bank.

He also said apart from the indiscriminate arrest and freezing of bank accounts of many opposition figures, some businessmen suspected to be supporting the presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, are also being harassed by agencies of government on the orders of the presidency.

In a statement in Abuja on Thursday, Frank called on the international power blocs to come to the aid of Nigeria to prevent a revolt against the government by citizens who are now being pushed to the wall.

According to Frank, from all indications the current government is not ready for the general elections in 2019 as evident on its refusal to assent to the Electoral Act amendment bill meant to correct past lapses and ensure free, fair, credible and transparent elections.

He added that since electoral body lifted embargo on open rally, the APC and its presidential candidate have failed to organize political rallies to sell their programmes, hence their resort to intimidate and frustrate opposition members.

The former APC spokesman, who condemned the arrest of Doyin Okupe, the search of Atiku’s son’s residence in Abuja, unlawful freezing of the accounts of some PDP members, arrest of activists and Journalists among others, stated that such anti-people actions were reminiscent of past military dictatorship in the country.

He urged the international community to save Nigeria’s democracy, and said: “The APC’s government should not be allowed to create another monster. If nothing is done to halt this ongoing harassment, it will get to a state where people will begin to defend themselves and by that time the current Boko Haram insurgency will be child’s play.

“In a democracy, how can a President treat his country men and women as less than human? The APC’s government is using state apparatus like the Police and EFCC to intimidate innocent Nigerians, unlawfully. Nigerians are living in fear. Freedom of Speech has been put on hold under President Buhari’s government. Critics of the administration are increasingly being hurled into jail.

“Despite signing the Peace Accord, we believe that President Buhari will not abide by its tenets based on his antecedents. Unless the friends of Nigeria come to its aid, unless this government is put to check, it is not only the 2019 election that is endangered. The continued existence of the country is also in jeopardy.

“So, I urge the international community and all the lovers of democracy all over the world to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop all forms of intimidation and harassment of Nigerian citizens over spurious allegations,” Frank stated.

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