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EFCC dares Senate over alleged diversion of N1trn

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Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has reacted to the allegation of diversion of N1trn, saying it was ready to subject its activities to any scrutiny.

A statement by the commission’s spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said the allegation was a smear campaign aimed at tarnishing the good image of Mr. Ibrahim Larmode.

It would be recalled that a national newspaper had on Monday reported the impending probe of the commission’s boss by the Senate.

Declaring the story as spurious and veil, the commission noted that even if it had not returned a kobo of recovered funds in its 12 years of existence, in addition to the yearly appropriated budget from the federation account, its assets would still be nowhere near the alleged N1trn.

The anti-graft body also faulted the petitioner for not following procedure by the Senate in demanding for the probe.

It said: “More sinister is the discovery that the socalled petition did not follow the procedure for consideration by the Senate. It was sent, not to the Senate but to a member, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, a first term senator from Delta North.

“Under the senate rules, petitions meant for consideration by the red chamber are sent to the senate, not to a member.

“Also, petitions meant for the senate are tabled at the plenary, before they are referred to the relevant committees for further consideration. “In this instance, the senate has been on recess and there is no evidence that the so called petition was considered at plenary and referred to any committee.

“The EFCC as an agency that is founded on transparency is not afraid of any ‘probe’ or request for information regarding its activities by individuals, groups or organs of government; so far as such requests followed due process of law.”

According to the statement, if Larmode had wanted the activities of the commission to be shrouded in secrecy, he would not have hired an international audit firm, KPMG to carry out comprehensive audit of exhibits and forfeited items.

It said the report of the audit, which covers 2003 till date, would be made public as soon as it is read

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Deborah Samuel: Gov Tambuwal relaxes curfew

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Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State government has relaxed the 24-hour curfew he imposed on the state capital following violent protest over the arrest of some youths allegedly involved in the killing Deborah Samuel, a 200-level student.

Tambuwal in a statement issued by his Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Isah Bajini, said the revised curfew will now be from dusk to dawn in Sokoto township.

The statement noted that “Sequel to the briefing by the security heads in the State, the State Governor, Rt Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has ordered the relaxation of the 24-hour curfew in force in Sokoto metropolis

“The revised curfew will now be from dusk to dawn in Sokoto township. This is with a view to affording people the window to pursue their legitimate businesses and other means of livelihood.”

Recall that following the lynching of the 200-level student for allegedly insulting Prophet Mohammed, the State’s police command arrested some persons linked to the incident.

However, a large number of Muslim boys who were angered by the arrest, stormed the streets in the State on Saturday, demanding the release of the suspects.

The development, which triggered tension in several parts of the State, made the Governor to impose the curfew.

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Arsonists burn down LG secretariat, Magistrate Court in Anambra

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Suspected arsonists have burnt down Idemili North Local Government secretariat in Ogidi and a Magistrate Court in the area.

Sources said the arsonists entered the premises on Sunday night to perpetuate the act, burning down all files, properties in the secretariat, including the secretariat building.

Videos and pictures circulating online showed that the entire buildings were reduced to rubbles, while vehicles parked inside the Local Government secretariat were also burnt to ashes.

The State Police Command has also confirmed the development, attributing it to unidentified arsonists.

DSP Toochukwu Ikenga, the spokesperson of the State Police Command said: “Yes, the incident was confirmed, and our men were there to restore normalcy.

“Right now, the fire has been put off, and calm has been restored to the area,” Ikenga said.

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National Assembly transmits amended Electoral Act to Buhari

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Senate

The National Assembly has transmitted the amended Electoral Act 2022 to the Presiden Muhammadu Buhari for assent.

The bill was transmitted to the Presidency on Friday.

Sources in the Presidency and the National Assembly confirmed the transmission.

A source in the Presidency, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as he had not been authorised to announce the development officially, said, “Yes, it has been transmitted. But wait till Monday when it may be announced when the President will sign it.”

Another source in the National Assembly said, “It was transmitted on Friday. I needed to confirm it before saying anything.”

It was further learnt that Buhari would sign the amendment ahead of primaries of political parties beginning next week.

The Senate and the House of Representatives had last week passed an amendment to the Act to recognise statutory delegates at primaries, congresses, and conventions of political parties.

The lawmakers particularly amended Section 84(8) of the Act to provide automatic or statutory delegates, ahead of the forthcoming party primaries, from where candidates would emerge for the 2023 general elections.
In March, the National Assembly had passed the bill for the Act while the President signed it into law.

While political parties are close to conducting primaries to elect candidates for the 2023 general elections, the Act did not allow members elected into public offices and executives of the parties, known as statutory delegates, to participate and vote in the conventions, congresses, or meetings of parties.

The chambers had described the omission as “a fundamental error.”

Without the provision by the law, Buhari; the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN); members of the National Assembly, governors and their deputies, members of the State Houses of Assembly, chairmen of local government areas, councillors, executives of political parties, amongst others, would have been disenfranchised.

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