The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has secured the conviction and sentencing of one Efe Egube, a former Bank Manager, to seven years imprisonment before Justice Atinuke Ipaye of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos.
The convict, who was a Branch Manager of the defunct Oceanic Bank, was arraigned alongside his company, Ocean Energy Trading and Services Limited, sometime in 2014 on a 19-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N50, 049,000.00, an offence contrary to Section 1(1) and (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other
Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006.
Egube’s journey to prison began after the Commission received a petition dated February 6, 2013 written by A.A. Malami, SAN & Co. on behalf of Sanusi Kamba, owner of Aminu Gandi Petroleum Limited.
The petitioner alleged that between 2007 and 2008, the defendant used his position as a Branch Manager to facilitate the granting of a credit facility to the petitioner, which was disbursed in tranches.
The defendant was also said to have given the petitioner instruction to make payments into the accounts of some individuals and companies for the purchase of petroleum products to the tune of N50, 049,000.00.
However, the petroleum products were never supplied to the petitioner by the individuals and companies, thereby making it impossible for the petitioner to repay the loan when it became due.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge, thereby setting the stage for his trial. In the course of the trial, the prosecution presented six witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence by the court against the defendant. The defendant, however, testified in his trial.
Delivering her judgment, Justice Ipaye convicted and sentenced Egube to seven years imprisonment on counts 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,10,11,12, 13 and 17.
The sentences are to run concurrently from the day of conviction.
Justice Ipaye also gave a restitution order against the convict and his company “for the repayment forthwith of the total amount obtained by false pretence.”
The task of determining the daily consumption and subsidy on petroleum products has been taken over by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).The development came as statistics show that the government currently pays N2.434billion daily to subsidise petrol. It was gathered that the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) saddled with the responsibility of determining the pricing template of petroleum products in the country had been unable to discharge the responsibility in the last two years.
Indeed, the PPPRA official website which displays the landing cost and other parameters for determining the price of petroleum products has been dormant in the past two years.
The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division (GPAD) of the NNPC, Ndu Nghamadu, confirmed the new responsibility of the PPMC yesterday when The Guardian sought to know if the daily consumption of petrol was still 50million litres as claimed by the NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru last year.
Nghamadu failed to call back to provide information on the current daily consumption. It is not known what parameters PPMC uses to make projections upon which NNPC base its importation regime.
Recall that only NNPC brings in products into the country and also single-handedly determines how the under-recovery is reimbursed. Before now, PPPA was saddled with the responsibility of verifying, while the Federal Ministry of Finance also verifies the veracity of the claims by marketers as well as authorise payment through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Air of uncertainty currently envelops the PPPRA as the NNPC has silently taken over one of its crucial responsibilities and the Executive Secretary of the agency, Abdulkadir Umar Saidu, seems helpless.
As at yesterday, a gallon of petrol costs $2.54 Cent in the United States of America. The Naira equivalent of $2.54 Cent at official rate of N305 to the dollar is N774.7kobo. Therefore, the landing cost of a litre of petrol should be N193.68kobo (excluding freight and other port charges).
At 50million litres daily consumption, Nigeria currently pays N2.434billion per day subsidising petrol. An industry expert told The Guardian under condition of anonymity that it was time for Nigeria to do away with subsidy in order to free money for development purpose. The source said: “It is clear that if Nigeria does not do away with subsidy, the economy would crash in no distant time. How would government implement the new minimum wage?”.
How will government fund education as demanded by the unions in that sector? How would government fund health, which is in shamble? How will government tackle poverty, which is principally fuelled by absence of critical infrastructure that will unleash the innate capacity of the Nigerian people? Why would government not use deregulation as a precondition for the implementation of a living wage that is far beyond the N30, 000 being demanded?” (The Guardian)
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the appointment of Amina Zakari, a niece of President Muhammadu Buhari, as the chairman of the result collation committee for the upcoming general election.
The party at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday noted that by making the appointment, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, was creating a self-succession plan for the president.
Kola Ologbodiyan, the Director of Media and Publicity of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, who addressed the conference, told newsmen that the appointment of Zakari, who is the INEC Commissioner in charge of Health and Welfare, is unacceptable because of the numerous previous allegations against her.
He said the PDP will not allow itself to be rigged out of the election.
The PDP spokesman recalled that the party had raised several alarms on the intention of the All Progressive Congress (APC) to use INEC to manipulate the election but they had fallen on deaf ears.
He said: “You will recall that we have been raising the flag on how the Buhari Presidency, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and some individuals at the echelon of INEC have been seeking ways to compromise our electoral processes and open the way for the allocation of fictitious votes to President Muhammadu Buhari, having realized that he cannot win in a credible, free and fair polls.
“Today, we have been informed that the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, apparently in furtherance of the plots to rig the Presidential election, has appointed Mrs Amina Zakari, a blood relation (niece) of the APC candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, as the Chairperson of INEC Advisory Committee and Presidential election Collation Center Committee.
“The Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organization (PPCO) outrightly, vehemently and unequivocally rejects, in its entirety, the appointment of Mrs. Amina Zakari, President Buhari’s blood relation, as the head of the collation of results, in the same election in which his uncle, President Buhari, as a candidate, has displayed a huge desperation to win.
“The appointment of Mrs. Amina Zakari, who had been openly accused in various quarters as being the link person between INEC and the Buhari Presidency in their schemes to rig the election for President Buhari, constitutes a direct violence against the Presidential election and the PDP will not, in any way, whatsoever, accept it.
“This is the same Amina Zakari, who headed the ICT Department of INEC at the time that department was accused of manipulating the INEC voter register to accommodate fictitious, underage and alien voters, particularly, in remote areas where they plan to allocate and announce conjured votes for President Buhari and the APC.
“It will interest Nigerians to note that this is the same Amina Zakari that was alleged to have played some roles in the 2018 governorship election in Osun state, where the electoral processes were flagrantly abused.
“In appointing Mrs Amina Zakari to head the collation of this Presidential election, Prof. Yakubu has confirmed that he has been compromised and that he has already succumbed to pressure by the Buhari Presidency and APC to open the way for the self-succession of President Buhari.
“The fact remains that there is no way Amina Zakari will not allocate votes to her blood relation, President Buhari, whom Nigerians have indicated clearly that they are not ready to return to office as President.
“With Amina Zakari at the head of results collation, there is no way votes cast by Nigerians will count.
“We, therefore, call on all Nigerians and particularly the National Peace Committee to note that with the appointment of Amina Zakari, as head the collation of Presidential results, the INEC Chairman is setting the stage for a very huge political crisis, which is capable of derailing our democratic process.”
The main opposition party also called on the international community including the United Nations and other global democratic institutions to take copious note of this noxious appointment by the INEC Chairman.
Ologbodiyan further states: “If the INEC Chairman wants a peaceful Presidential election, he should, with the speed of light, reverse himself on this appointment.
“In fact, the PPCO reiterates its position that for us to have a peaceful election, Mrs Amina Zakari should not be seen anywhere near any of the 2019 election processes, not to talk of being involved in the collation of Presidential results
“The PDP remains committed to a peaceful and credible process, but we will never, in any way, allow anybody to use any means, under any guise whatsoever, to rig us out in this election. Not after it is clear that Nigerians have attained a consensus to rally behind our Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, as their next President.
“All we ask for is a free, fair, credible and transparent electoral process in which the votes of Nigerians will not only count but will be seen to have counted.
“Like Mr. President said during his 2019 budget presentation at the National Assembly, the world is watching us.”
The PDP spokesman also alerted that the Kogi State government has denied the party in the state the use of Lokoja stadium for political rallies.
According to him, this is contrary to what obtains in PDP controlled state like Akwa Ibom where the governor, Udom Emmanuel, not only provided the stadium for the APC, but also ensured that the ruling party’s rally was successful.
Former Nigerian leaders including ex-Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan and their Chiefs of Staff are to receive N2.3bn as benefits in 2019.
The sum of N4.5bn was also proposed in the 2019 budget as severance benefits for retired Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries while former heads of government agencies and parastatals would receive N1bn as severance benefits.
This is contained in the budget document recently submitted to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Federal Government also proposed N3bn for outsourced services and N5bn for ‘margin for increased in costs.’
Findings also showed that N65bn was budgeted for re-integration of transformed ex-militants while contingency got N15.8bn.
The counter-insurgency operations in the North-East, Operation Lafiya Dole and other military operations were expected to gulp N75bn.
The Federal Government allocated N20bn for university revitalization and another N20bn for additional support to universities.
The sum of N160bn was voted for public service wage adjustment for ministries, departments and agencies including arrears of promotion and salary increases and severance benefits.
Another N22.7bn was allocated for outstanding terminal benefits of retired Nigeria Airways workers.
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps proposed N514.6m for the construction of public schools and N170.4m for construction of stations/ barracks.
The Nigeria Police Force voted N103m for land acquisition and N4.9bn for police stations/ barracks construction.
Justice ministry gets N1bn for election logistics’ support
Meanwhile, the Federal Ministry of Justice has proposed to spend the sum of N1bn on election logistics support in 2019.
The N1bn planned expense jerked the proposed budget up by about 13.9 per cent over the ministry’s 2018 budget.
According to the budget estimate, the sum of N1bn proposed by the Ministry of Justice to be spent on what is described as “Election – Logistics Support” represents about 13.5 per cent of the ministry’s budget size of N7,431,288,232.
Since the budget proposal is for an election year, it is believed that the item has to do with the forthcoming general elections.
Further strengthening this belief is that the item which surfaced under the miscellaneous expenses of the ministry for the 2019 financial year, was absent in the ministry’s budget for 2018.
A total sum of N1,140,273,822 is proposed for miscellaneous expenses of the ministry for 2019.
Apart from election logistic support, other items under the heading are publicity and advertisements which are to gulp N5,5671,861; postages and courier services, N2,108,280; welfare packages, 93,600,001; sporting activities, N5,000,0004; annual budget expenses and administration, 28,893,676; and monitoring activities and follow-up, N5m.
The sum of N1bn proposed for election logistic support represents 87.7 per cent of the proposed miscellaneous expenses.
In the 2018 budget of the ministry the amount planned to be spent under miscellaneous expenses without the new item of election logistic support was N21,015,931.
If the budget proposal of the Ministry of Justice is approved by the National Assembly, it means the ministry’s budget will increase from N6,526,592,382 in 2018 to N7,431,288,232 in 2019.
The difference of N904, 695, 850 between the 2018 and the proposed 2019 budgets represents about 13.9 per cent increase in the proposed budget.
Also, the Nigerian judiciary has proposed to spend the sum of N110bn in 2019.
The third arm of government had proposed to spend the sum of N100bn in 2018 but the National Assembly passed the sum of N110bn.
Judiciary’s budget covers the consolidated salary of judges, personnel, overheads and capital expenditure for federal courts, judiciary institutions and salary of judges of state High Courts.
The federal courts captured under the judiciary budget comprised the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the Federal High Court, the National Industrial Court, the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, the Sharia Court of Appeal of the FCT, and the Customary Court of the FCT.
The institutions whose budget proposals are also captured under the judiciary’s budget are the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee, Federal Judicial Service Commission, Judicial Service Committee of the FCT, National Judicial Institute, and the Body of Benchers. (Punch)
As part of the strategy to harmonise its global brand and identity, FCMB Group Plc has announced a change of name in the pension management arm of its business. Formerly known as Legacy Pension Managers Limited, the leading financial services holding company’s fund managers firm will now be known as FCMB Pensions Limited.
In a statement released in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, the Group said, following the acquisition of majority shareholding in the company by FCMB Group Plc and the approval of the Board of Directors at its meeting of October 17, 2018, the change of name will positively enhance the company’s marketing and distribution activities.
Reacting to Media inquiries, the Managing Director of FCMB Pensions Limited, (formerly Legacy Pension), Mr. Misbahu Yola, notifying shareholders said, “what has happened is expected and an important alignment of our marketing message. There has been a comprehensive integration of the pensions business into FCMB Group, which is known for its culture of excellence, resilience and customer focus. It is another way of welcoming it to a group that has endured and enjoyed stability and sustainable growth in the last 41years”.
FCMB Group Plc is a leading financial services group with businesses in commercial and retail banking, investment banking and wealth management, across seven subsidiaries that was founded in 1977 and became a public listed company in 2005. FCMB increased its stake in its pensions business between 2017 and 2018 from 28.3% to 91.6% currently. The acquisition is expected to engender sustainable and diversified low-risk growth momentum. The pension firm will also leverage on FCMB’s extensive distribution network, alternate channels, digital innovation, investment research, and rapidly expanding customer base.
Chairman of the Board of FCMB Pensions Limited and the Group Chief Executive of FCMB Group Plc, Mr. Ladi Balogun said, “the change of the company’s name will entrench a single brand identity across our pensions and retail banking businesses. Having distinguished ourselves in consumer finance over the years and gaining greater market share in retail payments solutions and savings accounts, a comprehensive suite of asset and wealth management propositions is a natural addition to our growing base of 5 million customers. The brand harmonisation will enable us create greater marketing synergies and, along with other initiatives, accelerate the growth of our pensions business”.
A national leader of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, and the national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, were conspicuously absent on Thursday afternoon as President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated a campaign team formed and led by Aisha Buhari.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Mrs Buhari, in an unprecedented move, announced the campaign team which will work alongside the official Presidential Campaign Council.
The campaign team is described as women and youth campaign team for the 2019 election.
The inauguration, which is holding at the Banquet Hall of the State House Presidential Villa, Abuja, began some few minutes after 3 p.m.
The team to be inaugurated is chaired by the president’s wife, Aisha, and co-chaired by the wife of the vice president, Dolapo Osinbajo.
Mr Buhari chairs the official APC Presidential Campaign Council. The council is co-chaired by Mr Tinubu and they are assisted by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Mr Oshiomhole.
Mrs Buhari had publicly criticised the APC and Mr Oshiomhole over the handling of the parties primaries across the country.
Lagos State Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Olusegun Banjo, has revealed that the 2019 Budget has been presented before the State House of Assembly.
According to Banjo, a budget of N852.317billion was forwarded to the House by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
The contents of the budget was intended to be read before the house on December 24, 2018 but the session was postponed.
Giving broader details, Banjo said in a statement on Wednesday that the Governor had sent a verbal information to present the budget after the State Executive Council approval on December 19, 2018.
However the presentation was postponed as the House was on recess and thereby could not form a quorum.
He said in order to meet the traditional presentation, a formal letter was sent to the House on Friday, December 28, 2018, forwarding the contents of the budget.
Also, it is expected that when the House reconvenes, the Speaker would inform members of the content of the Budget proposal sent by the Governor and take necessary action.
Amina Zakari, a national commissioner at the Independent and National Electoral Commission (INEC), has been appointed to head the collation centre of the elections.
Zakari was appointed to head the committee on collation centre, one of the two committees for the election which the commission inaugurated on Thursday in Abuja.
Speaking during the inauguration, Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, said the committee shall be responsible for the national collation centre – the International Conference Centre – from where results of the Presidential election will be announced.
“It will serve as the secretariat for collation of results and venue for briefing of international observers and the media,” he said.
The national commissioner was once appointed acting chairman of INEC.
She had been at the commission’s department of health and welfare after being redeployed as the head of electoral operations and logistics.
Her redeployment took place after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) accused her of working for President Muhammadu Buhari and demanded that she be moved.
Kola Ologbondiyan, spokesman of the PDP, had said in a statement: “While Prof. Mahmood Yakubu can no longer be trusted to conduct the 2019 general election, it is public knowledge that Mrs Amina Zakari, the INEC Director in charge of Operations and ICT, is a direct blood relation of Mr President and as such, we believe that she cannot be an impartial arbiter in an election involving her uncle.”
The party had also told the commission not to “bow to pressure” and return Zakari to her former position.The second committee, on electoral logistics, is chaired by Ahmed Mu’azu, national commissioner.
It includes key government institutions and security agencies whose roles according to the chairman are defined in the electoral act.
Operatives of the Lagos State Police Command have arrested an Islamic cleric, Abdulsalam Salaudeen, for allegedly defiling a five-year-old girl in Lagos.
The 43-year-old cleric, who was supposed to be teaching the victim Islamic studies, was said to have been caught having carnal knowledge of her through a video footage.
The Police Public Relations Officer for the state, CSP Chike Oti, said in a statement on Wednesday that Imohimi, who was saddened by the incident, dispatched undercover operatives, who arrested the culprit and handed him over to the gender section for detailed investigation.
Oti said, “On Friday, December 28, 2018, a good Nigerian visited the headquarters of the Lagos State Police Command with a video evidence of an Islamic cleric, aka Alfa, who was having anal s*x with a five-year-old girl that he was supposed to be teaching Islamic studies. The complainant sought audience with the state Commissioner of Police.
“The CP, after watching the heart-rending video, directed the command’s undercover operatives attached to the State Intelligence Bureau to immediately arrest the culprit and hand him over to the gender section for a detailed investigation. The operatives went in search of the cleric and arrested him near a mosque in the Igando area of the state.
“He was taken from there to the gender unit, where the officer-in-charge, ASP Abimbola Williams, confronted him with the video footage of him defiling the child by penetrating her anus and private parts.
Oti said the case would be charged to court as soon as the investigation was concluded, adding that the CP, while commending the courageous act of the informant, warned parents and guardians to keep constant watch over their children and wards as nobody could be trusted.
- Application exclusively available on TEFConnect.com – the largest digital networking platform for African entrepreneurs
- Invitation to join existing 4,470 programme Fellows
- 4th Cycle drew over 150,000 applications from across the African continent
The Tony Elumelu Foundation, the leading African-funded and founded philanthropy committed to empowering African entrepreneurs, is now accepting applications for the 2019 cohort of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.
The Programme is a 10-year, $100 million commitment to identify, train, mentor and fund 10,000 African entrepreneurs. The Programme’s objective is to generate at least 1,000,000 new jobs and create at least $10 billion in new business revenue across Africa. Now in its 5th year, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme has empowered 4,470 entrepreneurs, using a bespoke and robust selection, training and implementation process to create visible and sustainable impact across all 54 African countries.
Outstanding African entrepreneurs running existing start-ups with high growth potential and aspiring business owners with transformative ideas are invited to apply. We are particularly looking to grow representation from French, Arabic and Portuguese speakers, as well as female entrepreneurs.
Inspired by Tony Elumelu’s economic philosophy of Africapitalism and his vision to institutionalise luck and democratise opportunity for a new generation of African entrepreneurs, the Foundation has implemented one of the most ambitious entrepreneurship programmes globally. Selected entrepreneurs from previous years have transformed their businesses and their communities after gaining from the Programme’s 7 pillars: $5,000 in seed capital; business development training; one-on-one mentoring; access to TEFConnect; pan-African meetups; TEF network membership; and participation at the annual TEF Entrepreneurship Forum, the largest convening of the African entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Founder, Tony O. Elumelu, CON, stated: “The private sector must be the core driver of Africa’s economic transformation, but this sector cannot attain its full potential if entrepreneurs are left behind. We call on all stakeholders – policymakers, business leaders and development agencies – to actively commit to creating a better future for our young Africans who have demonstrated intellect, skill, and passion, to empower them to succeed because their success is Africa’s success. The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is by far the most impactful project of my life and represents my commitment to transforming Africa through entrepreneurship”.
Parminder Vir, CEO, Tony Elumelu Foundation, said: “Our entrepreneurs illustrate the Foundation’s commitment to transform the African economy, by building on the intelligence, skills and resourcefulness of Africans. I encourage all ambitious young Africans to take advantage of this unique opportunity”.
The Foundation, which has recently hosted President Macron of France, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana in dynamic interactive sessions with young African entrepreneurs, is committed to supporting the entire entrepreneurship ecosystem – from the entrepreneurs themselves, governments who must provide enabling environments, to capital, advice and most importantly access and networks.
The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is open to citizens and legal residents of all African countries, who run for-profit businesses based in Africa that are no older than three years. The deadline for applications submission is March 1, 2019.
Applications will be judged based on criteria including: feasibility, scalability and potential for growth of the product/service; market opportunity for the idea/business; financial understanding, leadership potential and entrepreneurial skills.
Applicants can apply on TEFConnect – www.tefconnect.com – the largest digital networking platform for African entrepreneurs.