A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Femi Falana and the Chairman, Human Environment Development Agenda, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju on Wednesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to apologise to Nigerians for saying in the past that the former Head of State, Late General Sani Abacha did not loot the country. They stated that with facts available and also given that Buhari’s administration has recovered part of the Abacha loot, it was necessary for Buhari to apologise to Nigerians for his statement. They spoke during HEDA’s conference on “Agenda setting for citizens’ interaction with stolen assets recovery: Abacha loot recovery and utilization as a case study,” in Abuja. Falana lamented the looting and alleged mismanagement of huge sums of money belonging to Nigeria, adding that if the monies were recovered, there would be no need for Nigeria to borrow money from abroad. READ ALSO: FG suspends Ruga He stated that western countries, including their banks that colluded with some Nigerians to loot the country, should be made to pay for their unlawful action. Falana said, “Buhari should apologise to the country. Before he assumed power, he had said that the late Gen Sani Abacha never looted the wealth of the country. Now that it has been confirmed, now that his own administration has recovered part of the loot, it is only normal for the president to apologise that he has made a mistake. “The government also is politically weak to take on this contest because at the end of the day, they also take some aids from these countries, so it is difficult for the government to go after them. That is where civil society organisations come in. That is where the Nigerian people who are the victims of corruption need to come in to insist that any country that has colluded with dictators and their friends to loot the treasure of the country be made to account for it.” He added, “We need to have an account of the money recovered so far. It is not only Gen Abacha, there are other recoveries that are being done. We must expand our search. We can not be limited to 1993. Between 1988 and 1992, two dedicated accounts opened in Central Bank recorded $12.4bn at the end of the tenure of Gen Ibrahim, $2.2bn could not be accounted for. And that is the finding of Pius Okigbo panel instituted by the Sani Abacha junta. We need to also investigate that. “I also know a case of $7bn withdrawn from our foreign reserves in 2006. The money was distributed to 14 banks, we have written to the Central Bank repeatedly, and it has been totally silent. Happily, the presidential panel on recovery of Public Property is looking into that. So we must recover the entire looted wealth. “Last week, I filed an action at the Federal High Court, Abuja seeking to compel the Buhari administration to recover $40bn and N481bn which a government auditing agency, NEITTI confirmed. And this huge fund has not been remitted to the Federation Account.” Suraju alleged that over $500m recovered from the Abacha loot was re-looted. He also said Nigerians must insist that former Heads of State and Presidents should be investigated and if found to have looted public fund should be made to repay such looted funds.
Despite AGF’s Directive, DSS Interrogated Sowore For 4 Hours – Falana Raises Alarm
Legal luminary and lawyer to convener of RevolutionNow movement and publisher of Saharareporters, Femi Falana (SAN), has alleged that Department of State Services (DSS) is looking for evidence to ‘nail’ Sowore despite AGF’s directive.
DAMMYLINK recalls that Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), Mr Abubakar Malami had in a letter sent to Yusuf Bichi, Director-General of the Department of State Service(DSS), directed the security agency to promptly forward the case file to his office.
Reacting to the directive, Falana said the development was not a take over because it was the AGF that initially filed a case against Sowore before it was transferred to Hassan Liman, the prosecuting counsel,
The human rights lawyer disclosed that the DSS was aware that it has no solid case against Sowore. Having been advised that Sowore cannot be convicted on the basis of the proof of evidence filed in court, the sss has refused to make the statements of the prosecution witnesess available to the defendants as ordered by the trial court.
“Hence, hearing in the case has been adjourned to February 20, 2020 at the instance of the Prosecution. “Convinced that the pending case would collapse like a pack of cards, the SSS (also called DSS) is currently fishing for evidence to nail Sowore.
In spite of the directive of the AGF to take over the case the SSS subjected Sowore to a 4-hour interrogation yesterday (12/12/19). “The entire interrogation pertained to Sowore’s alleged links with the proscribed Boko Haram sect, IPOB, and IMN which he vehemently denied.
At Sowore’s instance a member of the legal defence team, Abubakar Marshal witnessed the marathon interrogation. “In view of the foregoing we urge the AGF to file a nolle prosequi motion without any further delay to end the macabre dance which has exposed the country to avoidable embarrassment,” Falana said.
APC Rally: Steer Clear Of Edo, Group Warns Oshiomhole
Edo Youth Vanguard, An APC factional group, has warned the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole to steer clear of Edo State on the illegally planned rally scheduled for Friday, December 13, 2019 in the state capital, Benin
It urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call the party’s National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to order over his support for a rally that has the potential of creating crises and breaching the fragile peace in the state.
A faction of the party in the state which has the backing of Oshiomhole has fixed Friday for a rally to receive defectors into the party without the knowledge of the state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and the party’s state chairman, Mr Anselm Ojezua.
Governor Obaseki travelled on Tuesday with President Buhari to Egypt on national assignment and they are expected to return on today.
In a statement issued in Benin by its president, Nosakhare Oseghale and Secreatry General, Edward Ikhide, the EYV questioned the rationale behind the proposed rally, stating that the timing and approach are not only wide off the mark but has sinister motives of eventually fomenting trouble to create an impression of anarchy in the state.
According to Oseghale and Ikhide, issues of public safety are hanging in the balance if the purported rally is allowed to take place, adding that available security reports clearly give credence to the apprehension that the political rally has sinister motives.
He said: “We are amused that some politicians are planning an ill-conceived political rally for Friday and it’s being done without the knowledge of the state’s Chief Security Officer, Governor Godwin Obaseki, who is on a national assignment with President Muhammadu Buhari.
“More curious in the ill-timed proposed rally was the complete and deliberate neglect of the party’s state executive led by its chairman, Mr Anslem Ojezua. So, the question begging for answer is who is the Abuja team organizing the rally for?
“This is the yuletide season and there are already movements within and outside the state, why the desperation to pull down the fragile peace in our state just to prove that a deteriorating influence is still potent?
“For all intents and purposes, this planned rally is provocative and highly susceptible to violence. How can you guarantee the safety of Edo people in a rally where neither the state governor, who is the leader of the APC in Edo State, nor other leaders of the party is aware of the purported declaration rally?”
He urged President Buhari to put a check on the activities of Comrade Oshiomhole, adding that, ‘Edo State is greater than any man or interest.
N362m Trial: Court Jails 2 Men, Orders IGP To Produce Diezani Allison-Madueke
A High Court sitting in Yola, Adamawa State, has sentenced two men to prison over N362m allegedly disbursed by former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke.
Justice Nathan Musa of High Court 1 on Thursday, December 12th in Yola also ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to produce the 3rd defendant, Allison-Madueke before his court.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had charged Ibrahim Mohammed Umar (1st defendant), Sahabo Iya Hamman (2nd defendant) and Allison-Madueke (3rd defendant) to court for allegedly laundering the said N362m.
He said, “The 3rd defendant in her desire to influence election in favour of then President, Goodluck Jonathan, authorised the release of N362m public money through Fidelity bank to the 1st and 2nd defendants to corrupt election officials.”
Considering the evidences as provided by both the prosecuting and defence counsels, Justice Nathan convicted Umar and Hamman on three-count charges. He therefore, sentenced them to seven years on each of the charges.
The judge however, considered a plea of allocotus from the defence counsel and ordered that the sentences will run concurrently
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