The (EFCC) has charged Kenneth Minimah, a former Chief of Army Staff, with fraud involving alleged misappropriation of N13 billion meant for arms purchase.
Mr Minimah was charged alongside an erstwhile Chief of Accounts and Budget of the Nigerian Army, A. O. Adetayo, a major-general, and the former Director, Finance and Accounts of the Nigerian Army, R. I. Odi, a brigadier-general, at the Federal Capital Territory High in Abuja.
It would be recalled that a former Chief of Air Staff, Alex Badeh, a former Chief of Air Staff, who rose to become the Chief of Defence Staff, was charged with money laundering.
He was on trial until he was killed in an ambush in December 2018.
The EFCC said it had received a report by the Committee on the Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement in the Nigerian Armed Forces from 2007- 2015, chaired by retired Nigerian Air Force officer, Jon Ode.
It said between 2010 and 2015, several billions of naira were received by the Nigerian Army from the Federal Government for procurement of military hard-wares and were discovered to have been misappropriated by Senior Army Officers.
The charges revealed that the sum of Thirteen Billion, Seven Hundred and Ninety Eight Million, Six Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, Three Hundred and Nine Naira (N13,798,619,309) was misappropriated by the following persons: Lt. Gen. KTJ Minimah (rtd), the former Chief of Army Staff, Maj. Gen. A.O Adetayo, one-time Chief of Accounts and Budget, Nigerian Army and then Colonel R.I Odi, former Director, Finance and Accounts, Nigerian Army.
The sums were transferred from various accounts belonging to the Nigerian Army and moved to company accounts of entities that had no business relations with the Nigerian Army.
This caused huge loss to the Nigerian Army and the Federal Government of Nigeria through the unlawful gains made by the aforementioned Officers who converted the monies for their personal use.
The legal advice on the investigation opined that a prima facie case has been sustained against the officers, the charge disclosed, the documents added.
The EFCC said the outcome of its investigation led to the filing of the charges against the three officers named in the alleged fraud
As a result of its findings, the EFCC, said it wrote the Nigerian Army, requesting the three officers to make themselves available for arraignment it said would have taken place since September 15, 2020.
Meanwhile, Mr Minimah and his co-defendants have approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, to challenge the competence of the charges against the.
Mahmud Magaji, a lawyer to the defendants, argued that the audit committee on alleged misappropriation of procurement of military hardware, “only referred the case to the 2nd defendant (EFCC) for further investigation and not to proceed to file criminal charges against the plaintiffs.
The Generals are insisting that they are still subject to service law (the Armed Forces Act). The plaintiffs argued that, “if any military officer under the service law of the Nigerian Army commit an offence, it is reported in form of a charge to the commanding officer of the accused person for investigation and trial if necessary.
That Nigeria Army has its rules and statutory mechanisms for the administration of Criminal Justice.
That military officer under the service law can only be prosecuted in the Court Martial.
That the Court Martial is a special court specifically made for prosecution of persons in the Nigerian Armed forces.
The plaintiffs contended that EFCC does not have powers to arraign them “with respect to offences allegedly committed in the course of their official duties, insisting that the charge against them is unknown to law.
That the 2nd defendant (EFCC) is bent on subjecting the plaintiffs to criminal prosecution regardless of the extant statutory provisions that has stipulated the mode of prosecuting military officers, the plaintiffs added.
The court gave all the parties 21 days to file their pleadings.
The suit was adjourned till December 9 for hearing.
The National Universities Commission (NUC) has handed over operating certificate for the Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe University to the Imo State Government.
The handing over was performed by the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Abubakar Adamu, at a brief event held at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday.
The handover finally puts to rest the tussle over ownership of university between former governor Rochas Okorocha and the Imo State Government.
The Governor Hope Uzodinma administration had seized the university which was previously known as the Eastern Palm University, Ogboko, from Okorocha and renamed it as the Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwa University, Ogboko, Imo State.
With the handover, the NUC has recognized and approved the operational license of Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe University Ogboko, Imo State, as the 42nd state-owned university in Nigeria.
While presenting the certificate, Professor Abubarkar Adamu Rasheed, the Executive Secretary of the Commission, congratulated Governor Uzodimma and assured him of the commission’s readiness to assist the state in her academic strides.
The Imo State House of Assembly had passed a bill establishing the K. O Mbadiwe University in February and renamed it from Eastern Palm University to Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwa University, Ogboko.
By the NUC recognition, all is now set for the institution to offer full academic activities for accredited courses.
The former special assistant to former president Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri has dragged President Buhari, years after after he blamed former president Goodluck Jonathan, saying that Nigerians were being killed due to his incompetency.
According to a tweet he made on his verified twitter handle, the former presidential spokesperson made it known that on January 13, 2015, President Buhari tweeted, stating that insecuriy was claiming the lives of Nigerians due to Jonathan’s “incompetence.
Speaking further, Reno Omokri stated it clearly that today, more Nigerians are dying due to insecurity than under former President Goodluck Jonathan. He ended his tweet by asking to know whose incompetence is to blame for all these deaths.
This is really very sad. This is really not the time to blame anyone, but this is the time for all Nigerians to work together and make sure that these terrorists and killers are defeated, because this country belongs to all of us.
Former Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, has bemoaned the level of insecurity in the country.
He said so many lives had been lost and property destroyed as a result of this monster saying many Nigerians have been driven away from their homes and now living as internally displaced persons or taking refuge outside the shores of the country.
The former INEC boss said this in a lecture he delivered at the Owolabi Afuye Memorial Lecture organised by the NBA Ibadan as one of the events to celebtate its 2021 Law Week.
Jega said while many might argue with those who described Nigeria as a failed state, no person in their right senses would dispute that the country was fast failing.
He said, Specifically, on insecurity, a combination of militancy, insurgency, banditry, farmer-herder conflicts, kidnapping for ransom, and ethno-religious or communal conflicts, with evident lack of competence and capacity to address these challenges, has unleashed generalized individual and collective apprehension, palpable insecurity and fatalistic resignation.
Many citizens have been killed, maimed, raped, displaced, and properties stolen, confiscated and/or destroyed. Hundreds of thousands of citizens have been staying in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps for long, with the future of children compromised by malnutrition, diseases, and prolonged abandonment of schooling.
In some areas of the country, notably North-East and North-West geopolitical zones, famine is imminent, as insurgents and/or bandits have obstructed farming and agrarian food production and destabilized the rural economy, with outright killing of whoever ventures out to their farms, or imposition of heavy taxation on those allowed to farm.
Indeed, things have been so bad for so long that, some scholars are beginning to perceive Nigeria now, perhaps exaggeratedly, as a failed state see Campbell and 2021.
Even if we doubt that Nigeria is now a failed state, nobody in his right senses would dispute that it is a failing state.
He also said some lawyers and judges were engaged in corrupt practices which he said was one of the reasons for the security challenges the country was facing.
He said the NBA and other bodies saddled with responsibilities of maintaining ethics among judicial officers should act urgently to stamp out these corrupt practices from lawyers and judges.
Some senior lawyers have become stupendously wealthy defending corrupt public officials, or handling electoral litigation for governorship and presidential candidates. Similarly, many judges have become notorious for corrupt enrichment for ‘cash and carry’ judgements, especially in election matters generally and in election tribunals more specifically.
Some election tribunal appointments were in the past widely said to have been made to senior judges about to retire, who allegedly ‘sold’ judgements, most likely to the highest bidders, enriched themselves and quickly retired to avoid being sanctioned by the National Judicial Council the NJC.
A well known human rights activist, Aisha Yesufu has dragged Northerners for being silent over the recent killings happening in the northern parts of the country.
According to a recent tweet she made on her verified twitter handle, she made it known that Northerners are currently silent, but when it’s time to insult people and defend the president they will be awake.
Speaking further, the popular human rights activist stated that when it’s time to for religious fight, the are awake, but when it is time to speak up for their people who are being killed by terrorists, they are deaf, dumb and dead.
Recall that about 42 people were killed yesterday by terrorists in Sokoto State, but uptill now some prominent northerners are still silent.
This is really sad and pathetic. With what is presently happening in the northern in the north parts of the country, I don’t think that there is is any reason for someone to come out openly to defend the president or the government. Let’s do the needful so as to take this country to the next level.
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Osun State branch has called the operatives of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to immediately release one of its members, Temitope Oyedipe, who was allegedly arrested in the court on Wednesday.
The association disclosed that Oyedipe was arrested on the Osun State High Court premises in Ile-Ife by some operatives of the EFCC from Lagos.
In a statement signed by the Publicity Secretary of the Association in Osun, Dawood Ajetunmobi, said Oyedipe was whisked away by the operatives of EFCC after the proceedings of a case.
Ajetunmobi further alleged the EFCC was interested in the suit.
While contacted through the Human Rights Committee of the NBA, Osogbo Branch, according to Ajetunmobi, they noted that the EFCC said that the lawyer was arrested when he could not give satisfactory information about the suit in which he appeared.
Mr. Ajetunmobi said, The said substantive counsel and his client in the garnishee proceeding were said to be the targets of the operatives, but the duo were not present in court, and Mr Oyedipe held the lawyer’s brief as agreed between them. So far, the counsel Mr. Temitope Oyedipe is still in the office of the EFCC, Ikoyi Lagos.
The branch has put every mechanism in motion to ensure his release as soon as practicable.
While consultations are ongoing with the leaders of the Association in Nigeria with a view to taking a collective but deterring decision on this condemnable act, the Branch calls on the EFCC to immediately release Mr. Temitope Oyedipe unconditionally.
Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has appealed to the Inspector General of Police Usman Baba Alkali and the Department of State Service (DSS), to search for 5 missing miners who were working at the Onu-Nwenewo; an Ezza village of Effium community in Ohaukwu Local Government Area in Ebonyi State.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement yesterday, said he was not convinced by the explanation given by the Ebonyi State government that the workers were killed.
The missing miners are Nelson Onyemeh (Director and Partner of Nelan Consultants), Stanley Nwazulum, Ernest Edeani, IK Ejiofor and Samuel Aneke were on November 3, 2021 deployed to a road project at Effium in Ebonyi state in continuation of routine supervisory works.
“The release of the bruised and emotionally destabilizing news about the alleged death of the five engineers by the Governor during a security summit organized by Christian Association of Nigeria, Abakiliki chapter has left their families, friends and associates emotionally confused.
“We were in expectation and are still in high expectation that it is the sole and primary responsibility of the government to throw their weight behind the plight the families and friends of these victims so as to unravel the entire circumstances surrounding this unfortunate incident and most importantly rescue them alive and unharmed.
“HURIWA concluded by appealing to the President Muhammadu Buhari to order the Inspector General of Police; Usman Alkali Baba to use his office to order search and rescue of the victims. The President should also instruct the Director General of Department of State Services to activate investigative mechanisms to rescue these missing engineers in Ebonyi State,” Onwubiko said.
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has expressed deep pains over the killing of over 40 passengers in Sokoto State by armed men suspected to be bandits.
According to reports, passengers who were travelling from Sabon Birni Local Government Area of the state to Sokoto Town were ambushed by the armed men who set fire on their vehicle and burnt them alive.
Governor Ortom who sympathized with his Sokoto State counterpart, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal over the incident, expressed sadness over how the assailants operate without fear.
The Governor’s reaction was contained in a statement issued on Wednesday by his Chief Press Secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur.
Ortom recalled with pains how Nigeria has been turned into a killing field by the bandits who are currently terrorising the country, forcing innocent civilians who are looking for their daily needs to live in perpetual fear.
The Governor lamented the unprovoked attacks on various communities, saying it is threatening the unity of the country and weakening the faith of the citizens in their government.
He called on Nigerians to shun partisanship but join hands with government and security agencies to expose the terrorists to save Nigeria from the mindless killings by bloodthirsty aliens.
The Governor repeated his earlier appeals to security agencies not to be deterred by the challenges confronting the nation but should remain steadfast to protect the sovereign integrity of Nigeria by going all out to uproot the terrorists from the shores of Nigeria