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EFCC grills Sheriff for seven hours over Diezani bribe

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EFCC quizzes Ali Modu Sheriff
Ali Modu Sheriff

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday grilled the embattled Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ali Modu Sheriff, from 10am to about 5.30pm.

It was learnt that Sheriff was interrogated at the Maiduguri office of the EFCC for his alleged role in the sharing of the $115m (N23bn) which emanated from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

EFCC quizzes Ali Modu Sheriff
Ali Modu Sheriff

During the build-up to the presidential election, N450m was said to have been sent to Borno State and it was received by a former Minister of Power, Mohammed Wakil.

About N40m was said to have been given to Sheriff through Alhaji Mohammed Kumaila, a PDP chieftain in the state.

An impeccable source at the anti-graft agency told our correspondent that Sheriff, who is a former governor of Borno State, was released on an administrative bail and asked to return at a later date.

“Sheriff honoured the EFCC invitation and arrived around 10am. We released him on an administrative bail at 5.30pm. He has been asked to return at a later date.”

Sheriff is one among several PDP leaders in the state who have been grilled by the anti-graft agency.

Last week, Senator Saidu Kumo, who is the Special Adviser, Political Matters, to Sheriff, returned N2m from his share of the money.

Sheriff’s spokesman, Inuwa Bwala, refused to comment on the case when asked to react to the allegations levelled against his principal.

The embattled PDP chairman is still being investigated for alleged embezzlement of public funds during his eight years as governor of Borno State.

His government was said to have received over N300bn from the Federation Account between 2003 and 2011.

The money was said to have been mismanaged by Sheriff.

Sheriff was subsequently detained from June 3 to June 4, 2015 and released on administrative bail without being charged to court.

Meanwhile, a former governor of Gombe State, Danjuma Goje, illegally awarded a N1bn contract for the supply of dictionaries to secondary schools while he was governor of the state, according to the EFCC.

A prosecution witness, Salisu Abaji, said this before a Federal High Court in Jos where Goje is being tried for alleged fraud, the spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement.

According to the witness, the ex-governor awarded a contract for the supply of dictionaries for over N1bn to Gombe State Universal Basic Education Board without following procurement process.

Furthermore, he was alleged to have paid 85 per cent of the contract sum upfront to the supplier, Real and Integrated Hospitality Company, as against the prescribed 15 per cent as contained in the UBEB guideline when he was the governor.

The prosecution witness, who is a former Secretary to UBEB, gave this testimony against his former boss.

He further submitted that one Aliyu el-Naffty, a former UBEB chairman, also an accused person standing trial along with Goje, awarded the contract the same day and ordered the advance payment based on the directive of the ex-governor.

Another prosecution witness and a former storekeeper at the Gombe State Government House, Mr. Mohammed Aliyu, concluded his testimony by tendering receipts of all payments made to the food contractor to the government during the eight-year administration of Goje from 2003 and 2011.

However, Abaji admitted he played a role in the award and payment of the said amount as upfront to the contractor. This, he did, under cross-examination by the defence counsel, Mr. Adeniyi Akintola.

The trial has been adjourned till October 4 and 5, 2016 by Justice Quadri.

Stephen Keshi’s son breaks silence again (video)

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Stephen junior, the son of late Super Eagles captain and coach Stephen Keshi has finally made a public comment on the demise of his father.

Based in Atlanta Georgia, Stephen Jnr. who is presently in Nigeria to begin preparations for his father’s burial spoke to a group of journalists at the NFF office in Abuja.

“He is everything to me,” he started. “Mentor, teacher and then he is always there for us. He takes God first and family second. He is a big family man, someone I look up to, very courageous, very composed and very loving.”

Keshi junior told Supersport.com earlier that, although it is not easy to lose both parents within a 6-month period, he and his siblings are grateful for all the love, support and condolence from everyone on the loss of his father.

He said: “We’re still mourning our father; we’re still shocked and confused. Words can’t describe our feelings right now, but we want to remain joyful, remain happy, because he was a joyful and happy person. For us what helps is our parents are together now; they were together on earth for 33 years.

“It soothes us that they are together in heaven. He was our loving father, widower, grandfather, brother, friend, pioneer, mentor and hero. Our Father was a joyful person, he hated sadness with a passion, and in fact it was like Kryptonite to him.

“We are grateful for all the love, support and condolence from everyone on the loss of such an iconic African.

“We appreciate all the phone calls, texts, messages and posts on social media. It is not easy to lose both parents within a 6-month period. It is important to know that you have been there for us before and will be there for us going forward. Below is a message from Keshi jnr.

 

Aso Villa guards blast Buhari over unpaid allowance

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Aso Villa guards blast Buhari
National Security Adviser, General Babagana Munguno(rtd)

Security operatives attached to the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, including 95 presidential body guards, are grumbling over non-payment of their 13-month special allowance.

They are officers of the Nigerian Army, the Department of Security Service (DSS), the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), the Federal Fire Service and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).

Aso Villa guards blast Buhari
National Security Adviser, General Babagana Munguno(rtd)

Since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office on May 29, 2015, the State House security staff, numbering about 1,400 say they have not received their special allowance otherwise known as Risk Cautious Allowance (RCA).

The administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan was said to be paying each of the senior security personnel at the Villa N30,000; and the junior ones, N25,000 as monthly special allowance.

Findings, however, revealed that even though Jonathan’s administration had reviewed the special allowance upward, the last time the Villa security staff received it was in March, 2015.

But the officers currently securing the nation’s seat of power said it beat their imagination that they could be owed their RCA under the administration of President Buhari, a retired general.

The security personnel, who craved anonymity, lamented that several months after President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the payment of the allowance, “nothing has been done.”

One of them, a policeman, told our correspondent that he was surprised at the non-payment of the special allowance “especially because the president is from a security background.

The Presidency explained that “clean and lawful” means of paying the special allowance was being devised, as directed by President Buhari.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, told our correspondent that on assumption of office, Buhari’s administration discovered that the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) was paying the special allowance without following due process.

Shehu said: “Under the Muhammadu Buhari administration, you are not going to have the NSA going to the Central Bank or the NNPC to fetch money to share around. That is not going to happen.”

He said the president had, to that extent, directed the incumbent NSA, General Babagana Munguno, “to devise clean and lawful means of paying those allowances as part of the overall effort to clean up that office.”

 

Nobody has spoken to me about my father’s funeral – Keshi’s first son

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NFF GS Sanusi (right) with Stephen Keshi Jnr (middle) and Obinna Nsofor (left)

The first son of late Nigeria captain and coach Stephen Keshi has expressed bewilderment that certain persons have been putting a date forward for his father’s burial rites without the knowledge and consent of his children.

NFF GS Sanusi (right) with Stephen Keshi Jnr (middle) and Obinna Nsofor (left)
NFF GS Sanusi (right) with Stephen Keshi Jnr (middle) and Obinna Nsofor (left)

Stephen Keshi Jnr, 27, arrived at the NFF Secretariat on Wednesday morning and met with the General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi. He was in company with US –based chemist and friend of late Keshi, Victor Ugoh and former Super Eagles’ star Victor Obinna Nsofor.

“I just came into Nigeria on Tuesday night, and we read in the papers today that somebody has fixed a date for the burial. I am shocked like my sisters and my brothers. Since our father died, nobody has spoken to us about how he died, and we have not even seen his corpse. Yet, someone is fixing a date for his burial!”

Thenff.com was reliably informed that Keshi’s daughter, Ifeyinwa and husband, who are based in North Carolina, USA also flew into Nigeria on Tuesday.

Keshi Jnr, an events producer in Atlanta, expressed appreciation to the Federal Government, the National Assembly, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Nigeria Football Federation, the governments of Edo and Delta States, ex –internationals and countless corporate bodies and individuals for all the kind words showered on his father since he passed on.

“I cannot thank everyone enough. We have only heard good and great words about our father since his death. I am going to Benin City now. The family will sit down and come up with a date for the funeral, but we also appreciate that he was a national figure and will harmonize our plans with that of the Government and the NFF.

“Our father was a loving family man and we will miss him greatly. Our joy is that he left a worthy legacy for Nigeria football and for his family.”

Meanwhile, the executive council of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, FCT chapter, on Wednesday paid a condolence visit to the NFF on the deaths of Keshi and Amodu.

Led by the chairman, Mr. Kayode Adeniyi, the body expressed deep grief over the passing of the highly successful coaches, saying this period calls for sober reflection.

In his response, NFF General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi, reflected that Nigeria has lost two great men whose watchwords were hardwork, dedication, diligence and forthrightness.

The Gambia Football Federation, in a letter signed by its president Lamine Kaba Bajo, wrote on the death of Amodu: “This sad incident which came a few days after the passing away of another Nigerian and African football icon and legend, Stephen Keshi has no doubt increased the sorrow and sadness not only in the NFF and Nigeria but African football family as a whole.”

For inviting her to join Ogboni, read what wife did to husband

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A 35-year-old housewife, Tomilola Ogundele, on Wednesday asked an Ikole Customary Court to dissolve her 16-year-old marriage to Olanrewaju Aluko over alleged threats to her life.

She also alleged that her husband was threatening to deal with her by reporting her to the Ogboni cult.

law court_5

Ogundele filed for divorce on the grounds of alleged “threat to her life, no rest of mind, non-payment of her bride price and lack of care for her and the three children of the union.”

She further prayed the court to order the defendant to pay all outstanding maintenance allowances and school fees of the children.

The plaintiff, testifying on Thursday, during the court session, alleged that Aluko had previously accused her of flirting with her ex-boyfriend. She said that he then reported her to the members of the Ogboni cult who summoned her to appear before it in 2012.

“He does not care for my upkeep and that of the children nor responsible for the school fees of the three children which I shouldered alone. He always threatens to use my hair and pants for rituals to make me mad if I ever make attempt to leave him.

“I finally left him because of the continuous threats to my life so as to have peace of mind and cope with my life. “I want the court to dissolve the marriage with the defendant. I also want the custody of the children because the defendant has no one that can help him take care of them,” she said.

The plaintiff further demanded N20,000 as feeding allowance for the children and prayed the court to restrain the plaintiff from further disturbing her in her current residence. The defendant, Olanrewaju Aluko, however, denied the allegations during cross examinations and told the court that he would explain his own side of the story when he opened his defence.

The court’s president, Mrs Yemisi Ojo, adjourned the case to July 11 for continuation of hearing. Ojo, however, warned the parties from harassing or assaulting each other anywhere. “Else, defaulter will be criminally liable. “ She also ordered the plaintiff to ensure all her witnesses were in court on the adjourned date.

New CAN president emerge

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Rev Ayokunle

President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC) and candidate of the Christian Council of Nigeria, CCN, Rev. Samson Olasupo Adeniyi Ayokunle, Tuesday emerged the new president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

Rev Ayokunle
Rev Ayokunle

Rev Ayokunle Ayokunle defeated Elder Joseph Otubu of the Motailatu Church Cherubim and Seraphim Movement (MCCSW) who represented the Organisation of African Instituted Churches, OAIC, with 57 votes to 28.

The outgoing president of the body, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, announced the result of the election at about 2:30 p.m. to a rousing applause of National Executive Council delegates from different parts of the country who had converged at the National Christian Centre in Central Business Centre of Abuja.

By the CAN constitution, Prof. Joseph Otubu who emerged runners-up in the elections automatically becomes the Vice President of the Association for the next three years of the soon to be sworn in administration.

Bodies of 42 fishermen butchered by Boko Haram pulled from Lake Chad

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Boko Haram members
Boko Haram members

The bodies of 42 fishermen, who were killed by the Islamist group, Boko Haram, have been pulled from Lake Chad in Cameroon, the country’s military has announced.

The men had been seized on 8 June from the village of Darak, located near the Nigerian border, by militants who also killed 10 fishermen in nearby Touboun Ali on 6 June and 32 soldiers in Bosso, Niger on 3 June.

Boko Haram members
Boko Haram members

“Cameroonian sailors and villagers… saw several bodies floating on the water and immediately alerted security forces,” Cololenl Nomo Jean Claude told the African news website the Daily Sabah. “We recovered 42 bodies from the water between Saturday and Sunday.

“After identification, we found they were of Cameroonian, Nigerian and Chadian nationality. The bodies were immediately handed over to the families for burial.”

Boko Haram has fought a seven-year battle to form an Islamist caliphate in the region in which around 20,000 people have been killed and 2.7 million people displaced. Around 50,000 have been displaced in south eastern Niger in the last few days due to an onslaught by the group, according to Fox News.

This has prompted a doubling of food aid to southern Niger, the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP) announced on Tuesday (14 June). “Many people have walked from 10 km to 40 kms (6 to 25 miles),” said WFP Niger deputy country director Belkacem Machane in a statement published by Reuters.

“They are arriving in a state of shock, and urgently need food, shelter, water – assistance with their most basic needs. They have now reached the end of their rope.”

Niger, Chad, Benin and Cameroon have all joined an international task-force to fight the insurgents, but often ordinary civilians are the ones who suffer most. BokoHaram has bombed many mosques, transport hubs and even refugee centres, as well as snatching over 200 schoolgirls from Chibok and selling them into slavery.

In March (2016) Cameroon announced the death penalty for 89 members of Boko Haram, a decision dismissed as counter-productive by anti-terrorism experts.

EFCC storms Obanikoro’s house, recovers cars, valuables

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Obanikoro

Officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday, stormed the Ikoyi home of former Minister of State for Defence, Mr Musiliu Obanikoro and allegedly went away with some vehicles and other valuables.

Obanikoro’s media aide, Jonathan Eze, alleged that the officials harassed occupants of the building, among whom was Obanikoro’s wife.

Obanikoro
Obanikoro

Eze in a statement said, “Today (yesterday), EFCC stormed Obanikoro’s house with unnecessary force and harassment of occupants who are mainly kids, teenagers, his wife and daughters in-law, carting away cars, wristwatches and other valuables.

“This is against the backdrop of the fact that the anti-graft agency has never invited him or his son for questioning beyond the allegations they have been propagating in the media.

”We are using this medium to draw the attention of all Nigerians to yet another infringement on the fundamental and inalienable rights of the Obanikoro family.

”Lovers of freedom should not wait until our democracy is put at irreversible damage. The list of human rights violations and political persecution has reached an alarming rate.

“We see this as a further show of shame of this present administration which is hell bent on politically persecuting its perceived opponents in other to stoop them and rubbish their hard earned reputation of untainted public services.

“To our chagrin, the vehicles driven away were cars and trucks bought since 2006 and thereabouts, when Senator Obanikoro served as an Ambassador in Ghana, among others which obviously has no bearing with the purported investigation they are supposedly carrying out.

”Senator Obanikoro has consulted with his Lawyers and is prepared to meet them in court to stop this intrusions and persecution”, Eze stated.

EFCC Spokesperson, Wilson Uwajaren who confirmed the raid, said; “It is true that our men went there today. It is part of the investigation involving Obanikoro and his two sons . But nobody was harassed. Anybody familiar with the EFCC knows that we don’t harass people. Our men went there to do their lawful duty”.

Boko Haram Terrorists Kill Vigilantes While Others Surrender to Military

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Boko Haram kill vigilantes (2)
Captured Boko Haram members

Some elements of Boko Haram terrorists on 6 motorcycles yesterday attacked Kutuva village in which they killed 4 persons and abducted 4 women from the village.

Consequently, the local vigilante in Kaya mobilized immediately to the village and trailed the terrorists up to their suspected hideout located somewhere south of Sabon Garin Bale.

The vigilantes did their best by engaging the terrorists, unfortunately they escaped into the bush.

Boko Haram kill vigilantes (2)
Captured Boko Haram members

But the courageous vigilantes destroyed the terrorists camp and recovered all hoisted Boko Haram terrorists’ flags, 3 Fabrique Nationale (FN) rifle magazines, 2 AK-45 rifle magazines and 24 rounds of 7.62mm (NATO) ammunition.

The vigilantes also rescued an 11 year old girl who stated that she was abducted by the terrorists from Batha village. Sadly however, the vigilante could not trace the terrorists or the abducted women.

However, effort is on going to trace and rescue them.

In a related development, a team of local vigilante in Damboa led by Sarkin Yaki Ali Gwoza intercepted some persons along Njaba road, south of Damboa town while on patrol.

During preliminary interrogation, they confessed that they were Boko Haram terrorists group members that were compelled to join the insurgency against their will and that they were on their way to Damboa to surrender to the military.

They attributed their decision to give up their nefarious activities because continued military onslaught and that life has become hard and unbearable for the terrorists generally.

Further screening has confirmed 17 of them as hardened Boko Haram terrorists trying to escape and infiltrate the society.

Similarly, a combined patrol team of 7 Division Garrison, 101 Special Forces Battalion and 3 Civilian JTF, while on clearance patrol, intercepted a Golf car with registration number BX 508 RBC, suspected to be carrying suppliers of logistics such as spare parts and Improvised Explosives making Devices materials to Boko Haram terrorists along Kayamla general area Tuesday morning.

The suspected suppliers abandoned the vehicle and fled into the bush on sighting the patrol team. The vehicle and its contents has been recovered to nearby military location.