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EFCC presents 7th witness in trial of ex-NIMASA DG, Akpobolokemi for alleged N8.5bn fraud

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Patrick Akpobolokemi

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday presented the seventh witness in the trial of a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi, for alleged N8.5billion fraud at the Federal High Court, Lagos.

The commission arraigned Akpobolokemi and three other persons on an amended 22-count charge of money laundering.

Other defendants are a former Commander of the Joint Military Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield,

Major-Gen. Emmanuel Atewe (retd), and two other staff of the agency – Kime Engozu and Josphine Otuaga.

At the resumed hearing on the matter on Tuesday, the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, presented the seventh prosecution witness, Moses Ngbekan, a compliance officer with Zenith Bank Plc.

READ ALSO: EFCC re-arraigns ex-NIMASA DG, two others for alleged N304.1m fraud

Ngbekan, who was led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, confirmed that the EFCC and Zenith Bank Plc had shared correspondences with on the case.

He identified some exhibits before the court, including the account opening package, statements of account, and the instruments of transaction used to perpetrate the alleged crime, saying the documents emanated from the bank.

Justice Ayokunle Faji adjourned the matter till Wednesday for further hearing.

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HURIWA berates Gov Umahi over alleged death of five engineers in Ebonyi

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dave umahi 1 1

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) on Wednesday berated the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, over what it said, was the premature announcement of the deaths of five missing site engineers in Effium, in the Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state.

It was reported, that a consultant engineering firm, Nelan Consultants, on November 3, 2021, deployed five engineers to a road project at Effium in Ebonyi.

The project was the rehabilitation of the Abakiliki Ring Road project but they went missing in the conflict-torn community.

Consequently, the HURIWA in a statement issued by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, urged the Governor and security agencies to ensure thorough investigations into the whereabouts of the missing engineers rather than declare their deaths before the fact.

The organisation also implored President Muhammadu Buhari to order the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba to use his office to order search and rescue of the victims.

HURIWA‘s statement titled, ‘Alleged killing of site engineers: HURIWA raises objection, demands their immediate release alive by Ebonyi governor’, partly read, “The release of the bruised and emotionally destabilising news about the alleged death of the five engineers by the Governor during a security summit organised by Christian Association of Nigeria, Abakiliki chapter has left their families, friends and associates emotionally confused.

READ ALSO: HURIWA challenges Garba Shehu to travel without security details, after he claimed Buhari doing well on security

“The governor made this so-called revelation without reaching out to the families of the engineers just as the wives of the missing workers told HURIWA in Enugu that the governor did not notify them and till date, he has not demonstrated any believable steps to prove that indeed, their breadwinners are dead because the governor has neither produced the so-called killers nor the alleged burial sites.

“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 of 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.

“Perceiving a reasonable suspicion that the five missing engineers may have been forced to disappear by a yet to be ascertained individual owing to the fact that the governor only declared them dead and buried without consulting the families and yet failed to produce the burial sites, HURIWA demands the immediate release of the victims alive,” the group added.

The organisation also confirmed the identities of the engineers as: Nelson Onyemeh (Director and Partner of Nelan Consultants), Stanley Nwazulum, Ernest Edeani, IK Ejiofor and Samuel Aneke.

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I will not resign over prison breaks, says Aregbesola

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The Paradise Breaking News
Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola 

Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has declared that he won’t resign amid the incessant successful attacks on prison facilities in Nigeria.

Aregbesola disclosed this while addressing State House Correspondents after the meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, on Wednesday.

The minister noted that the attacks did not take place successfully for lack of preparation.

According to Aregbesola: “Imo was in April this year. Kabba was in September. Abologo was in October and Jos was in November. Those captured the attacks.

“When your our best does not suffice, it’s no longer a question of your inability to make preparation or failure for preparation or preparedness.

“It’s just that at that instance, you just couldn’t hold the defense and several factors are responsible.

“As to whether it calls for my resignation, I still don’t see any need for that because it’s not for lack of preparedness that the attacks were successful. No.”

Several Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) have been attacked by unknown gunmen in some states of the country.

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Senate to amend Standing Rules

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Nigerian Senate

The Senate on Wednesday declared its intention to amend the Standing Rules adopted in 2015.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, who disclosed this at the plenary, said the rules would be updated in line with the current realities.

He added that the amendment would allow the Senate to accommodate committees created by the 8th National Assembly and not captured in the standing rules.

Lawan said: “The copies of the proposals will be distributed today (Wednesday) and the idea is for all of us to study them between now and Monday, and on Tuesday we will look into them.

READ ALSO: Buhari transmits Finance Bill to support 2022 budget to Senate

“So, if any of us has any idea of an additional thing or suggestion on what has been introduced by Tuesday we should be able to have our positions.

“It is inevitable that the standing orders as they are today have to be amended for us to be up-to-date in everything that we do here.”

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