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“Stop Abdulrasheed Bawa’s Confirmation As EFCC Boss”- Lawyer Osuagwu Ugochukwu Tells Court

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Adulrasheed Bawa

 

 

 

—    Seeks Interpretation of ‘Equivalent of An Assistant Commissioner of Police’ In Relation To Bawa’s Appointment
— As Group Urges Senate Not To Confirm Bawa Over Corruption Allegation

 

The new Chairman-designate of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, who is expected to face Senate screening soon, is beset by a legal hurdle following a controversy surrounding his rank. It was learnt that a lawyer, Osuagwu Ugochukwu, has filed a suit before the Federal High Court in Abuja seeking to stop the Senate confirmation of the chairman-designate.

 

The court document marked FHC/ABJ/CS/196/2021 was received at the Office of the Senate President on Thursday, according to an acknowledgement copy obtained by our correspondent on Friday.

It was learnt that the leadership of the Senate, the Presidency and the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation were holding talks as to how to address the issue in order to avoid a repeat of the last screening exercise where the then nominee, Ibrahim Magu, was rejected twice by the Senate.

Bawa is also believed to be a kinsman of the AGF, Abubakar Malami (SAN). Malami played a major role in the removal of Magu and reportedly recommended Bawa’s appointment to the President, Muhammadu Buhari.

The new nominee, who is a member of the pioneer Course 1 of the EFCC Cadet Officers, is a Level 13 officer. However, the EFCC Act states that in appointing a chairman of the commission, such an appointee must be at least an Assistant Commissioner of Police or equivalent.

The EFCC Act, however, may not have envisaged that a member of the core staff of the EFCC would become chairman and does not state what the equivalent of an Assistant Commissioner of Police would be in the EFCC cadre.

Bawa, who joined the EFCC in 2005, has been in service for 15 years and is believed to be a seasoned detective. However, there has been controversy over what the equivalent of a Level 13 officer in the EFCC would be in the police.

In the originating summons filed by Ugochukwu, it was argued that Section 2 of the EFCC Act states that the EFCC shall have a chairman who shall be the chief executive and accounting officer of the commission; be a serving or retired member of any government security or law enforcement agency “not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police or equivalent; and possess not less than 15 years cognate experience.”

Ugochukwu asked the court to determine whether a Level 13 officer is the equivalent of an ACP.

The plaintiff subsequently sought two reliefs, including “a declaration that the 2nd defendant (Bawa), who is a Grade Level 13 public service officer and not an Assistant Commissioner of Police or its equivalent is not qualified to be the chairman of the EFCC” and “an order of perpetual injunction restraining the first defendant (Senate) from confirming the appointment of the second defendant (Bawa) as chairman of the EFCC.”

Meanwhile, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership has written a letter to the Senate asking the upper legislative chamber not to confirm Bawa as the EFCC chairman.

This is according to a letter titled ‘Don’t Confirm Abdulrasheed Bawa’s Appointment as EFCC Chair until He Clears His Name of Corruption Allegation; Appeal to the Nigerian Senate,’ which was signed by the Executive Director of CACOL, Debo Adeniran.

CACOL said Bawa was alleged to have diverted 224 forfeited trucks while he was the Port Harcourt zonal head of the commission and is also rumoured to be a cousin of the AGF.

The group further argued that Bawa is not up to the level of an ACP and is thus not qualified to be chairman of the EFCC.

“The EFCC law is an Act of the National Assembly, hence the Senate must not overrule itself by breaching a critical provision in the appointment of EFCC Chairman.

“It is against this background that CACOL is appealing to the Senate to please take the pains to dig deep into Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa’s record of overall performance, as well as that of corruption allegations levelled against him.

“Howbeit, if the rumour making waves in some quarters, which has also been confirmed by some sections of the media, is anything to go by, we would say Nigerians’ hope for a corruption-free society has been dashed with the nomination of Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa as the chairman of the EFCC,” the letter read.

Bawa, who was accused of diverting recovered assets, was, however, absolved of any wrongdoing by the EFCC in a statement signed by its spokesman, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, on Tuesday.

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Segun Adewale Aeroland clinches PDP Lagos West Senatorial Primaries Ticket

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… assures all of Victory at the Polls Come 2023

A chieftain in the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, Segun Adewale aka Aeroland, has clinched the ticket in the just concluded primaries to bear the flag of the PDP for the Lagos West Senatorial Seat in the coming elections. The elated philanthropist and politician in his victory and appreciation speech, laid emphasis on the need for all members and well-wishers of the Party to rally round and ensure victory at the general election come 2023.

The speech reads;

Hi, My name is Segun Adewale, people call me ‘Aeroland’. I just won the Lagos West Senatorial District’s Peoples’ Democratic Party primaries.

 

I would like to first and foremost appreciate the National Working Committee of our great party which has selected, recruited and deployed professionals to conduct the just concluded Senatorial Primaries in Lagos State. I would also like to appreciate the delegates for the enormous privilege and honor reposed in me by conducting themselves well and casting their votes diligently, you have my utmost respect.

I’m grateful to the leaders of our Party, who found me worthy to be presented to the delegates after a thorough screening exercise.

We have come a long way in choosing and putting our best foot forward in this race. Our focus has always been people-driven, our goal and objective are to serve with dignity and ensure better living for the common man. These I have always shown in my character and deeds in times past and won’t stop now.

According to Napoleon Hill, ” Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop fighting”. It is a known fact that I have contested the seat of the Senate twice before now and I am doing so again. I have learned my lessons and believe it is high time we win the seat back for the people.

The job has just begun and this time we will do a lot of things differently and by God’s grace at the polls we will obtain victory, not just for me or the Party, but for all residents of Lagos West Senatorial District who yearn for a wind of change daily.

I want all party members to know that this victory at the primaries , is a victory for all. This simply implies that the challenges ahead will be overcome if we continue to stand united.

The battle is half won and there is still a lot of work to be done. Let’s keep up the enthusiasm, encourage more people to get their PVCs and ensure we all come out en mass to support Aeroland and in general, all PDP candidates come year 2023.

No victor… No vanquished

Thank you and God bless.

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SEN EMMANUEL BWACHA’S CAMP IS IN DISARRAY AFTER A LEAKED DOCUMENT INDICATES HIS INVESTIGATION BY FINANCIAL CRIMES AGENCY

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The political camp of Sen Emmanuel Bwacha representing Taraba South at the red chambers is currently witnessing a serious crisis, after a leaked document indicates that his finances are under scrutiny by both anti-graft and financial regulations agencies, after a query-run investigation on his finances by a special squad raised between these agencies to put a searchlight on Politically Exposed Persons (PEP). This special monitoring squad has come to understand that there are transactions of Sen Bwacha, his companies, and his cronies which have crossed the redlines of financial regulations, into hundreds of billions of naira.

This financial investigation bombshell is coming on the heals of a court case already instituted by Sen Bwacha’s former Party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), over the Senator’s decamping to the All Progressives Congress (APC), apparently seeking a gubernatorial nomination in Taraba State. The Suit No. FHC/JAL/CS/9/2022 is instituted in the Federal High Court, Jalingo Judicial Division, with the PDP as Plaintiff, while four others are mentioned as the Defendants. The four defendants are: Sen Emmanuel Bwacha, the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The core of the Suit is that the PDP is seeking the determination of the honourable Court, in the provision of Section 68(1)(g) and (20) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended), whether Sen Emmanual Bwacha should be compelled to vacate his seat, as the Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing Taraba South Senatorial District.

PDP seems to be premising its case on the fact that the courts have recently been deciding these type of cases against the defectors, on the grounds that votes garnered during elections belong to the Party, but not to the contesting individual, thus making it impossible for individuals to cross platforms with their original victories. In the case of Sen Bwacha, his current battle with the courts is seen as a flexing of muscles pushed forward by Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku, of Taraba State, who is running a political struggle with Sen Emmanuel Bwacha. With Gov Darius in the firm grip of the PDP in Taraba State, it is easy to see how and why the PDP is there in Court with the aim of shattering Sen Bwacha’s ambition.

In the same vein, observers are suggesting that it is the same hands of Gov Darius Ishaku which have provided some of the financial transaction information available to the anti-graft and financial regulatory agencies, which are currently on good report to indict Sen Bwacha of financial recklessness and financial crimes. In the leaked investigation document, Sen Bwacha is linked to some eight operating and active bank accounts, in both corporate and individual names. However, an expert conversant with this particular investigation says that the main document contains more than twenty accounts linked to Sen Bwacha. What has been leaked “seems to be a summary” of the actual document.

According to the leak, four bank accounts are largely the operating arena of Sen Bwacha’s irregular and clandestine financial dealings. Two of the accounts are corporate accounts, resident with Zenith Bank. The third and fourth bank accounts are in the individual name of Emmanuel Bwacha, resident in Polaris Bank, with Account No. 1767700993 and 0071772656 respectively. According to this leaked document, on January 25 this year, Bwacha’s PolarisAaccount No. 1767700993 received a large scale funding of N500 million. Beeds Ent Nigeria Ltd, with Account No. 2096715983 at Zenith Bank made the N500 million funding to Sen Bwacha’s Polaris Bank Account. Initially, Polaris Bank recorded this transaction under a Suspense General Ledger account, which authorities view as a diversionary stunt by Polaris Bank to exonerate itself from complicity in any wrongdoing on this transaction.

Then, two days later, on the 27th of January 2022, Sen Bwacha moved the whole of this N500 million, in two tranches of one hundred million Naira (N100,000,000.00), and four hundred million Naira (N400,000,000.00) from this account to “a ghost account” of his in this same Polaris Bank, with Account No. 0071772656, which investigators see as a Savings Account. Investigators have noticed that this seeming savings account “is not queriable at bank counter level”, so they tag the account as “ghost”, or “structured down”. It is noteworthy that “structured down” accounts are not reachable by external auditors and inspectors. Thus, according to a query on this leaked document, Sen Bwacha, with the active connivance of Polaris Bank, has successfully hidden N500 million from prying eyes. It is from this “ghost” account that Sen Bwacha funds his clandestine activities.

The other two corporate accounts are: Eloheem Properties Development Limited, with Account No. 1015365504 at Zenith Bank, and the Eloheem Suites Limited, a hotel business outfit, with Account No. 1013165470, at the same Zenith Bank. Sen Emmanuel Bwacha and his wife, Deborah Bwacha, are found to be signatories to these accounts. In Particular, Deborah Bwacha is seen to be the chief operating officer to the Eloheem Properties Development Limited account. According to the transactions present on these accounts, investigators believe that these accounts are not run by the businesses registered for them.

According to the leaked document, investigators have alerted security agencies to track and follow certain of these transactions as they seem to be pointing towards “terrorism funding”, which is sometimes passed through money laundering. Investigators have noted that both Terrorism Funding” and “Money Laundering” are serious crimes committed with ill wealth gotten from public treasuries. By this flagging of these bank accounts, it is evident that the scrutiny on Bwacha’s money is going to involve a lot of people as one source confides that there are more than twenty bank accounts belonging to Sen Bwacha that are under investigation.

For instance, the leaked document has also indicated the flagging of about seven bank accounts belonging to Sen Bwacha’s friend and ally, Engr Ahmed Yusuf, popularly known as Gamaliya. Three of Engr Ahmad’s flagged accounts, according to the leaked document, are in Zenith Bank, while two each are in Access Bank and Guarantee Trust Bank. Engr Ahmed Yusuf’s flagged accounts in Zenith Bank include account numbers 5070110338, 10001271** and 54500579*. Those in Access Bank include account numbers 07012808* and 07011619*. Those in Guarantee Trust Bank include account numbers 00456765* and 00456765**. Investigators are querying the fact that Engr Ahmed Yusuf has no less than nine individual accounts in Guarantee Trust Bank alone.

Both Sen Bwacha and Engr Ahmed Yusuf have worked under Taraba State Government in the past, which makes it easy for inspectors to obtain information from State government sources.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Culled From Afrobadoo.Com

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Chima Anyaso’s Stumbling Block

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Those who know Chima Anyaso, will tell you he is a man who never gives up on his dreams regardless of the setback or disappointment he witnessed. He is a dogged and calculative fighter. More reasons he has recorded success in his chain of business from hospitality, Oil and gas, and Real estate to mention a few. But since he decided to give politics a shot in his home state, he has witnessed severe baptismal of fire losing the election. Many thought that was going to make him dump politics but he is a man who is focused on achieving anything g he sets out to achieve that’s why he is not relenting on his oars in ensuring he serves his people in Abia state.

 

In 2019, The Chairman of Caades Groups lost his bid to represent the people of Bendel Federal Constituency at the lower arm of the National Assembly under the umbrella of the People’s Democratic Party PDP but he lost to Hon. Benjamin Kalu of the All progressive congress APC. After that defeat, Ofuji Bendel as he is fondly called has since been consulting on the next step politically. Instead of giving the House of Representatives a shot again; The Igbere born politician has changed his game plan to contest as Governor of Abia under the PDP hoping to succeed Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu.

 

Sources say Ayanso is leveraging on his youthful network, finical war chest and also his alliance with former Governor of Abia state, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu who is the current senate Chief Whip.“He has been cleared for the Primaries and his Ofuji Frontlines are sure he would clinch the party’s ticket it’s a matter of time. His only headache is the current Minority Leader of the vocal Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe. Abaribe is more experience and has been in politics for a long time but Chima is relatively a rookie in the game of politics so that’s the only hurdle he would have to face.”

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