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N19.2bn Fraud: Sylva knows fate on June 8

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SYMBOL-OF-LAW.jpgTimi-Silva-2

 

Former governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva will on Monday, June 8, know his fate in the N19.2bn fraud case brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).

 

A Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Justice A. Y. Mohammed, on Wednesday, May 27, adjourned the case till the aforementioned date when he will rule on applications and counter-affidavits.

 

Sylva along with Francis Okokwo, Gbenga Balogun, and Samuel Ogbuku, are allegedly to have used three companies – Marlin Maritime Limited, Eat Catering Services Limited, and Haloween-Blue Construction and Logistics Limited to move about N19.2 billion from Bayelsa State coffers between 2009 and 2012, under false pretence of using the withdrawn money to augment salaries of the state government workers.

 

At the resumption of proceedings at the last sitting, the court heard the two pending applications brought before it challenging the case. Counsel to Sylva, L. O. Fagbemi (SAN) had brought an application before the court praying that the charges be quashed, as “there is nothing cogent enough to connect Sylva to the charges.” Counsel to the fourth accused person, Ajayi Olowo, in his own application, challenged the jurisdiction of the court, arguing that since the case involved money belonging to the Bayelsa State government, “it amounts to abuse of court processes for the court to sit on the matter.”

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Responding, Jacobs, told the court that there was indeed a prima facie case against Sylva and his co-accused, adding that because the money involved in the fraud case belonged to the Bayelsa State Government, was not a point to posit that the prosecution was abusing court process.

 

“It is not ownership of the money, in this case Bayelsa, that confers jurisdiction, but where the offences took place, which in this case was Abuja,” he said, adding that there were serious allegations involving the accused persons.

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According to Jacobs, investigations revealed that: “The state’s Accountant General, received instructions from Sylva to withdraw several billions of Naira from the state’s account, which was given to Murtala Bashir who deals in the business of Bureau De Change.”

 

The Bureau De Change operator, Jacobs added, would in turn pay the dollar equivalent to the Accountant General and other aides of the government, who then handed over same to Sylva.

 

“In this process, over N6,781,000,000 was paid into the accounts of Murtala Bashir and his various companies, which were mostly exchanged for dollars and handed over to Sylva,” Jacobs said.

 

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Spick And Span: Obasa Absolved Of Corruption Claim, Owning Multiple Bank Accounts**Official Position Of The Banks Revealed

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Speaker

A patient man with a clear conscience will definitely get his day of absolution.

Indeed, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly,  Mudashiru Obasa, has been severely embarrassed with unfounded claims of corruption.

However, Obasa’s day of glory has since come, as officials of the banks where he is alleged to have multiple accounts have all cleared him.

In a recently held meeting, officials of Ecobank, Wema Bank and Polaris  absolved Obasa of the allegation owning multiple accounts.

Some representatives of the banks spoke before the 9-man House Adhoc Committee on fact finding and investigation on the corruption allegations against Speaker Mudashiru Obasa being circulated on the social media on Friday.

The bank officials stated that it was not possible for an individual to operate multiple accounts with one Bank Verification Number (BVN).

The Committee is headed by Hon. Victor Akande (Ojo Constituency 1).

Present during the meeting were Hon. Rotimi Olowo, Hon. Yinka Ogundimu, Hon. Lukmon Olumoh and Hon. Mojisola Alli-Macaulay.

A Business Development Officer with Wema Bank, Mr. Adekunle Adeleke, said that the BVN server is not reserved with any bank, but the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“Sahara Reporters stated the account number and other details in their reports, but they didn’t state the BVN. What Sahara Reporters wrote is not BVN. There are a lot of errors in their report.

“The BVN and the accounts stated in the story are not correct and they don’t belong to the Speaker of the Assembly.

“It is not possible for a BVN to have two dates of births. If they do so, it would be rejected in another bank, they would have to swear to an affidavit so that it would be the same.

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“If it should be changed, it would be backed up by marriage certificate or sworn affidavit,” he stated.

Adeleke stressed that the companies stated by Sahara Reporters in their reports had no linkage with Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa.

He added that the name, signature and other details in the story has no relationship with Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa.

“You can write Wema Bank to confirm if the accounts mentioned by Sahara Reporters had any relationship with the Speaker.

“The computer system in the bank has a digital footprint that would show any visit to any account. It will show imprint of anyone that checks the account. You can request the details of all the checks, but we will need written request from the owner of the account.

“BVN is a different server, it does not belong to any bank. You cannot punch BVN and get any financial details. It is only the regulator or the anti-corrupion agency that can do so through the CBN,” he said.

Polaris Bank was represented by Mr. Charles Osho and Mr. Rotimi Omotayo, Chief Internal Auditor of the bank.

Mr. Omotayo said that only three of the 64 accounts credited to the Speaker by SaharaReporters were with Polaris Bank.

He revealed that two of the accounts belong to one Mr. Adebayo Adeyemi David, while one belongs to Mr. Ajayi Mudashiru Obasa.

“Mr. Adebayo Adeyemi David is different from Mr. Ajayi Mudashiru Obasa and there is no linkage between the two personalities.

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“Rt. Hon. Ajayi Mudashiru Obasa has one account with our bank and the BVN quoted for Obasa is correct. The other person has a separate BVN for the two accounts.

“It is not possible to check someone’s account without authorisation. There is what we call system log. Whoever accesses an account is logged on the system and we can see whoever does that.

“We know those who access any account at any point in time. We can avail you of the information if you require it,” he said.

General Manager of the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency (PPA), Mr. Onafowote Fatai Idowu, who was also invited by the Committee, revealed that the 40 Toyota Corolla back-up cars bought for the 8th Assembly were with the notice of his office and that the purchase followed the due process.

He said that Certificate of Compliance was issued for the procurement of the vehicles on 30th April, 2019.

“We were communicated and we responded for the process to continue and we approved the purchase of the vehicles.

“The purchase of the vehicles was approved by the Management Committee of the House, led by the Speaker Mudashiru Obasa and the relevant documents were provided.

“Members of the Committee were Hon. Wahab Olumuyiwa Jimoh, Hon. Rotimi Olowo, Hon. Dayo Saka-Fafunmi, and Hon. Setonji David. The purchase was budgeted for and It is in tandem with the appropriate Procurement Law,” he said.

The committee subsequently adjourned sitting to Saturday 6th June, 2020 at 10am.

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LAGOS HAS LOST A COMMITTED PATRIOT’, SANWO-OLU REACTS TO SEN. MUNIR MUSE’S DEATH

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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has described the death of the former lawmaker representing Lagos Central in the National Assembly, Sen. Munir Adekunle Muse, as “broken news” to the nation, saying the State woke up on Tuesday to an “awful reality” of the passing of the elder statesman.

The late Muse, who was a one time chairman of Apapa Local Government Area, passed on in the early hours of Tuesday. He was 81.

Sanwo-Olu, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, said the death of the elder statesman was a huge loss to Lagos for which the octogenarian, the Governor said, committed his time, resources and effort to build during his lifetime.

The Governor extolled the virtues of the late politician, whom he described as “a dedicated democrat with balanced progressive outlook”. Despite his withdrawal from active politics occasioned by his old age, Sanwo-Olu said the deceased was always in touch with leaders across the State to offer valuable contributions towards development.

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The statement reads: “This morning, Lagos State woke up to the awful reality of the demise of a committed Lagosian, youth development enthusiast and elder statesman, Sen. Munir Adekunle Muse. For us, this is a broken news because the late former federal lawmaker passed away at a time his wealth of experience in corporate administration and political leadership was desired to guide our steps towards taking our dear State to another level of development.

“Having served in the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) for more than 30 years, the late Sen. Muse retired to serve Lagos, first as community leader and council chairman in Apapa, then as a respected federal lawmaker. His sterling leadership quality earned him respect across the State and beyond. He was the stabilising factor behind the lasting peace enjoyed by members of the Lagos chapter of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON).

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“A devout Muslim and committed family man, Sen. Muse was gentle to a fault and not known to be cantankerous. Rather than engage in needless complaint, he believed in underground strategy to achieve results. His death is a huge loss to Lagos in particular, and the nation in general.”

“On behalf of my family and the good people of Lagos, I commiserate with the family of the late distinguished man, Senator Munir Muse.”

“I pray that the almighty Allah will admit the deceased into Aljana Firdaus and grant his family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.” Sanwo-Olu said.

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Anniversary: Obasa Congratulates Buhari, Sanwo-Olu

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Speaker

The Speaker, Lagos House of Assembly and Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, has congratulated both President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on their fifth-year and first-year in office respectively.

Obasa in his congratulatory message to mark May 29, 2020, the day President Buhari and Governor Sanwo-Olu were inaugurated to their respective offices for their fifth and first terms, said both have kept faith with the people.

“The President has been able to pull the country back from precipice that it was almost falling in 2015.

“Today, in the areas of insecurity, economy and war against corruption, the country may not be where it should be, but it has certainly left where it was five years ago.

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“Your purposeful leadership in the last five years has steered the country in the right direction,” the Speaker said.

Obasa also used the occasion of the fifth year anniversary of the president to thank him once again for signing the Executive Order 10, which grants financial autonomy to state legislatures and state judiciaries.

“Let me also use this occasion to congratulate our governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu on his first year anniversary in government.

“You have proved to the doubting Thomases that you are actually the man for the job,” he said.

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Obasa said Governor Sanwo-Olu came prepared for the job with his six-point agenda referred to as THEMES, which is an acronym for, Transportation and Traffic Management; Health and Environment; Education and Technology; Making Lagos a 21st century economy and Entertainment and Tourism.

“Mr. Governor’s handling of COVID-19 pandemic which has been applauded both nationally and internationally is also a true testimony your leadership qualities.

“On behalf of members and staff of Lagos House of Assembly, I wish both President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu a resounding success in their remaining years in office,” Obasa said.

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