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P&ID firm paid $9,969 into director daughter’s account before agreement signing – Witness

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The trial of a former Director, Legal Services of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Grace Taiga, for alleged fraud in the case involving Process and Industrial Development Limited continued on Monday before Justice O. Adeniyi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja.

The fourth prosecution witness, an Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s operative, Aminu Lawal, narrated how Taiga received $9,969 bribe through her daughter’s bank account.

The prosecution had presented a 13-count amended charge which was read to the defendant.

She pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Lawal, led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Mohammed Abbah, told the court that the team received a petition dated June 28, 2018, signed by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, conveying the directive of the President that investigation surrounding the circumstances of the Gas Supply and Processing Agreement be carried out.

“I came to know the defendant when the investigation commenced. I discovered that she witnessed the GSPA. She also drafted the GSPA when she was at the Ministry of Petroleum Resources as Director Legal,” the witness said, according to a statement by the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren.

The witness further told the court that the team discovered discrepancies, including an unsigned agreement between the Ministry of Defence and Khristolm Limited.

He reportedly said, “We discovered one unsigned agreement between the Ministry of Defence and Khristolm Limited, a company owned and controlled by P&ID Limited and the promoters of P&ID are Michael Quinn, Brendan Cahill, James Nolan and Niel Hitchob.

“We wrote a letter of investigation to the Ministry of Defence to give us the details of the contract awarded to the companies that are related to P&ID. Investigation revealed that Marsh Pearl Limited was given the contract in which the defendant witnessed the agreement between the Ministry of Defence and Marsh Pearl Limited sometime in 2005.”

The statement said, “The prosecution witness further stated that the team discovered that, on December 30, 2019, Taiga received $4,969.50 through her daughter, Vera Taiga.

“The money was paid by Marsh Pearl Ltd, through her daughter’s account 11 days before the signing of the GSPA. We discovered that on January 30, 2012, the sum of $5,000 was also paid into her daughter’s account at HSBC Bank, London, located at Canada Street.

“The purpose of the payment on the transaction is commission payment. We obtained her statement based on that,” the witness added.

Documents which included search warrant, the response from the Ministry of Defence, details of transactions and Certificate of Compliance were tendered in evidence and admitted by the court.

The case was adjourned till March 8 and 16, 2022, for cross-examination of the witness.

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Jigawa: Hisbah arrests 92 prostitutes, seizes 1,906 bottles of alcohol

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The Jigawa State Hisbah Command had seized 1,906 bottles of alcohol and arrested 92 persons, including prostitutes, in the state

Commander of the board, Mallam Ibrahim Dahiru, disclosed this to DAILY POST in Dutse, the state capital.

He said the board had seized 1,906 bottles of alcohol in raids carried out by the personnel of the command last year, 2021.

Dahiru said during the operation, the command had also arrested 92 persons on suspicion of various offenses within the last year.

The offenses include gambling, drug abuse, prostitution and other social vices.

He also said that during the period, the Hisbah board had also closed beer parlours and brothels across the state.

Mallam Ibrahim added that the seized bottles of alcohol and suspects were handed over to the police for further investigation.

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Hanifa and Asmau: They killed the parents as well – Peju Akande

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Hanifa Abubakar’s photo is one of a child well cared for.

 

Her skin is fresh, her cheeks full, her face a picture of good health and being an only child, one can imagine the love and attention lavished on her by her parents and the rest of the extended family.

 

What’s not to love about this child?

 

That is why the Proprietor of Nobel Kids Academy and North West Preparatory School, Abdulmalik Tanko decided to poke her parents in the eye by abducting her. He saw her as his ticket to wealth, like most criminals, however, he didn’t think it through.

 

He didn’t calculate the what ifs?

 

He only saw himself swimming in money he didn’t work for.

 

What’s a few millions to parents of a child who will move mountains to have their child back?

 

They won’t even feel the pinch of N3million…N6 million won’t even create a dent in their finances…they have rich friends.

 

These were all he saw…

 

He didn’t see that Hanifa was just a baby who must have innocently blurted that she would tell her parents he held away from them and gave her food she didn’t like. Like most 5 year olds, there would be no guile, no hidden agenda to her words.

 

He must have promised to take her to her parents if she stopped crying and she must have obeyed him, hoping he would, not sensing the danger she was in…she was five years old, a baby, in fact.

 

She must have said things that made Tanko begin to understand the gravity of his actions.

 

 

Hanifa and Asmau: They killed the parents as well - Peju Akande
Hanifa-Kano

 

She morphed from a baby girl to a dangerous weapon against Tanko. So he began to think.

 

This baby girl would tell anyone that asked her how she was taken away; she had seen Tanko’s accomplices, even if she was unable to name them; she would give information that would eventually lead to the arrest and imprisonment of anyone linked in any way to her abduction.

 

Which is why Tanko, after keeping her for a while; decided to kill her by feeding her rat poison even after collecting N3 million ransom!

 

In killing her, Tanko “killed” three people in the process, Hanifa and her parents.

ALSO READ: Christian Ehima: Death of unfortunate kidnap victim feels like double jeopardy – Peju Akande

 

When he murdered Hanifa and cut her up, scattering her remains  in a compound she had once learned from, Tanko becaome every parents’s worsts fear because you see, only a depraved mind can do this to a child!

 

The image of their pretty little girl, cut up into pieces will forever be imprinted in the minds of her parents!

 

Speaking of images, did you see Asmau’photo?

 

Beautiful child.

 

Then imagine her in pain, tears, her fear as she spent days away in the kidnappers den. crying, begging, refusing to eat, scared out of her life and wondering when her parents would come get her.

 

That’s the image Asmau’s parents will be tortured with for years to come.

 

8 year old Asma’u Wa’alamu, kidnapped on the 9th of December, 2021, her abductors, like Hanifa’s, demanded ransom, they were paid and yet, the child was killed. Asmau was sent to buy a recharge card and she never came back home.

 

Her abductors informed her father she’d been killed. The only reason being that she identified her abductors, who have turned out to be their neighbors. One can only hope that these girls weren’t raped before they were killed. Let’s hope they were in no way in pain before death came.

 

I have no idea what the parents of these children are going through but I can guess and it is hell!

 

My son was missing for a few hours and I became a mad woman, I mean, raving mad with horrible pictures of what could possibly have happened or be happening to my kid while I was living and breathing!

 

So I can hazard a guess that, their parents will hear their daughters’ cries for help.(In their heads)

 

Their daughters’ tears and anguish at being left in the dark will fill their ears, live.

 

They will “talk” to their daughters’ and have no answers to their queries:

 

“Why didn’t daddy come get me?”

 

“Where is mummy?”

 

“I’m hungry, I want my mummy…”

 

Not having the right answers will drive them up the wall!

 

I have no idea what will happen to Tanko and his accomplices.

 

I do know, though, that the bulk of the ransom they collected will never be spent; the comfort they hoped for and the life they thought they would enjoy has forever been taken away from them.

 

Though these will never bring any form of comfort to the parents of the girls nor the families of hundreds of children being kidnapped nationwide. I hope someday, some year, they will find closure…

 

May the souls of these little ones find peace.

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NLC suspends nationwide protest over proposed fuel subsidy removal

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has suspended its planned nationwide protest over plan by the Federal Government to remove subsidy and increase price of fuel.

The NLC is supposed to stage a nationwide protest on 27 January to move against fuel hike occasioned by planned subsidy removal.

But the Federal Government on Monday suspended its plan to remove subsidy indefinitely.

NLC’s President, Ayuba Wabba, on Tuesday said the union decided to suspend the protest after its national executive council meeting in Abuja.

He said  following the reversal and re-approach by the government, the National Executive Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress had an emergency virtual meeting on Tuesday morning to consider the new position of the government.

Wabba said after vigorous debates, the NEC decided to suspend the planned nationwide protest scheduled for 27th January, 2022 and the national protest in Abuja scheduled for 2nd February 2022.

According to him, the leadership of the Congress had communicated its decision to its civil society allies who had stood behind Nigerian workers in its quest for social and economic justice for workers and the downtrodden people of our country.

He said going forward, the union would continue to engage with the government on the very critical issues of ensuring local refining of petroleum, creation of sustainable jobs and provision of petrol at an affordable price for Nigerian workers and people.

Wabba commended the Nigerian workers and people, particularly the civil society allies, for their unwavering solidarity and support during this struggle.

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