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SERAP Asks President Buhari To Publish Details Of N800billion Recovered Loot

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to publish a comprehensive list of names of people from whom N800 billion looted funds have been recovered.

In a statement issued on Sunday by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the group called on the President to direct the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami and the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed to ensure the recovered loot is published.

Using the Freedom of Information Act, SERAP noted that “publishing the details regarding the N800 billion recovered loot and investigating the alleged suspicious payments into personal accounts would be entirely consistent with fundamental principles of due process, and Nigeria’s international anti-corruption commitments.”

The organisation also wants the Federal Government to “direct appropriate anti-corruption agencies to promptly, thoroughly and transparently investigate allegations that payments totalling N51 billion were made into individual accounts in 2019.”

According to Oluwadare, “the information will also reveal the truth of where the money is going and why it is there, and allow Nigerians an opportunity to assess the impacts of any projects carried out with the recovered loot and the alleged payments into individual accounts.”

The letter, copied to Mr Malami and Mrs Ahmed, read in part: “The public has a right to know how recovered N800 billion loot has been spent, and the details and purpose of the alleged payments into individual accounts.”

“As a signatory to the UN Convention against Corruption, the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Nigeria has committed to ensuring transparent management of public resources, and unhindered access to public information. These commitments ought to be fully upheld and respected.

“Transparency over transactions by the government is critical to ensuring public confidence in the integrity of the management of public resources. The authorities are required to set the highest standards of transparency, accountability, and probity in the management of these resources and the programmes that they oversee.

“We would be grateful if the requested information is provided to us within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, the Registered Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions under the Freedom of Information Act to compel you to comply with our request.

“Publishing the details of projects on which the N800 billion recovered loot has been spent and a comprehensive list of names of people from whom they have been recovered, as well as investigating allegations of payment of billions of naira into individual accounts, and the projects for which the payments were made, would also serve the best interests of the general public.”

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ECOWAS Seek To Mediate In Mali Crisis

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Envoys from Mali’s neighbours led by former President Goodluck Jonathan were scheduled to arrive in Bamako on Wednesday in a bid to mediate in an escalating political crisis ahead of new high-risk protests.

Representatives from the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are having to bridge apparently irreconcilable differences between President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and a protest movement that is demanding his resignation.

Fresh protests have been set for Friday, a week after demonstrations that ignited three days of clashes with the security forces, leaving 11 dead and 158 injured, according to an official tally — Mali’s bloodiest toll from political unrest in years.

The so-called June 5 Movement, an alliance of political, social and civil-society leaders gathered around a powerful imam named Mahmoud Dicko, is tapping into deep-seated anger.

Malians are worried and frustrated by an eight-year-old jihadist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives and driven hundreds of thousands from their homes and swept into Niger and Burkina Faso.

Many are also incensed at perceived government corruption and the outcome of long-delayed parliamentary elections in March and April that handed victory to Keita’s party.

A rally on Friday will be a “ceremony of sacrifice and of prayer” for protest victims, opposition leader Mountaga Tall told reporters on Tuesday after opposition figures were released after several days in detention.

“He who asked for us to get killed is no longer our president,” he said.

“We are convinced that President IBK has neither the intellectual nor the physical capacity to lead the country,” he said, referring to the head of state by his initials.

Several barricades were set up in the capital Bamako after he spoke, and some tyres were burned, but otherwise the city was calm on Wednesday.

Keita’s office said that the ECOWAS delegation would include constitutional experts.

One of the potential solutions being explored by the authorities is to appoint new judges to the Constitutional Court, a tribunal that is a major target of protest anger.

The court tossed out about 30 results of the legislative elections in a move that handed seats to members of Keita’s party.

An ECOWAS mission to Mali last month concluded that the court’s decision was “at the root of the tension” and called on the government to review the contested results or stage new elections as soon as possible.

It also called for a “consensus government of national union.”

These recommendations have found a broad echo in the international community.

Keita, for his part, has made several gestures toward the June 5 Movement, including the dissolution of the Constitutional Court to enable a U-turn on the contested seats.

However, the dissolution creates legal as well as political complications, which the expected constitutional experts may be able to resolve.

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IGP Asks Magu To Redirect Bail Application To Presidential Panel

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The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, has asked suspended EFCC boss Ibrahim Magu, to direct his bail application to the presidential panel.

Mr Oluwatosin Ojaomo, Magu’s legal representative, had asked the IGP to grant bail to his client on “self-recognisance” — after the suspended EFCC chief had spent four days in custody.

In a letter dated July 14, 2020, and addressed to Mr Ojaomo, the IGP said the police force is not investigating and detaining Magu, so, it cannot grant the bail request.

It also advised the lawyer to redirect his request to the chairman of the presidential panel for appropriate attention.

The letter read in part: “The Inspector-General of Police directs that your attention be drawn to the fact that the Nigeria Police Force is not investigating CP Ibrahim Magu (your client), and he is accordingly, not being detained by the Police but by the Presidential Panel that is investigating the activities of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“The Inspector-General of Police, therefore, advises that you reconsider directing your request to the Chairman of the Presidential Panel for appropriate attention.”

Mr Magu was arrested on July 6 and whisked to the Presidential Villa in Abuja where he was grilled by the panel headed by Ayo Salami, a retired President of the Appeal court.

He was later moved to Area 10 Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) of the police in Abuja where he has since been detained.

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Nigeria’s Attorney-General, Malami, Hunts Down EFCC Officials Suspected Of Leaking Corruption Files To SaharaReporters

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Though the letter claimed that the suspension of the directors was linked to the probe of Ibrahim Magu by a panel headed by a former judge of the Court of Appeal, Ayo Salami, findings by SaharaReporters on Wednesday revealed that they were removed from office after being suspected of handing out vital information to the online news publication to expose the corruption-fuelled lifestyle of Malami.

ttorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has in response to series of reports exposing his alleged corrupt amassing of unexplained wealth by SaharaReporters turned his fury on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission where a number of staff suspected of being behind the leaking of corruption files on him to the online news medium had been suspended.

Among the 12 directors of the EFCC suspended by the Presidency on Tuesday are four believed to be among those investigating the activities of the AGF.

Malami had on Tuesday sent a letter to Acting EFCC Chairman, Mohammed Umar, informing him of the suspension of the directors.

Though the letter claimed that the suspension of the directors was linked to the probe of Ibrahim Magu by a panel headed by a former judge of the Court of Appeal, Ayo Salami, findings by SaharaReporters on Wednesday revealed that they were removed from office after being suspected of handing out vital information to the online news publication to expose the corruption-fuelled lifestyle of Malami.

A source, who confirmed the issue to SaharaReporters, said, “I just had one of the staff confirming that key staff working on most of the sensitive cases were suspended.

“The likes of Kabir Latona, Muhammed Abba, Ibrahim Buhari, Rotimi Oyedepo and Ola Olukoyede were all removed.

“The system of the Private Secretary of Magu was moved from the office and his telephone collected by the panel since Monday. The panel has constituted its self into a hunting agency.

“One of the affected staff confirmed to SaharaReporters that the Solicitor-General called the newly appointed acting chairman of the commission to confirm a letter of approval from the President confirming the suspension of the affected staff.

“These staff were never interrogated or interviewed until there suspension on Tuesday.”

In a desperate attempt to save face in light of the magnitude of the revelation that had been blown open, a group said to have been sponsored by the AGF staged a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday that made futile efforts to debunk the series of reports by SaharaReporters on Malami.

Apart from that, it was reliably gathered that the AGF had approached the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to arrest SaharaReporters journalists for alleged criminal libel.

 

 

Despite the allegations and evidence of corruption against Malami, Nigeria’s Presidency is yet to issue a statement on the mind-boggling Revelations.

Malami, it was gathered, in order to save his neck attended the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday (today) and sat close to President Muhammadu Buhari to paint a picture that their relationship was very tight when in fact news of his corrupt acts had become the talk of town.

Credit: Sahara Reporters

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