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Alleged Money Laundering: EFCC Amends Charge Against Fani-Kayode

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday arraigned a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode on an amended 17-count charge of money laundering.

Fani-Kayode is standing trial alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenadi Usman, a former Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Yusuf Danjuma, and a company, Jointrust Dimensions Nigeria Ltd.

The EFCC had earlier preferred a 17-count charge of N4.6 billion money laundering against the defendants before the former trial judge, Justice Mohammed Aikawa.

The defendants had each pleaded not guilty to the counts and were granted bail.

Hearing of the case had begun before Justice Aikawa and witnesses were being led in evidence before the trial judge was transferred out of the Lagos division of the court.

The case was subsequently assigned to a new trial judge, Justice Daniel Osaigor, and the defendants had to start the case from the beginning (de novo).

At Monday’s proceedings, the amended 17-count charge was read over to the defendants and they each pleaded not guilty.

After the plea, the prosecution counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo asked the court for a trial date.

The defence counsel, Ferdinard Orbih (SAN), however, asked the court to allow the defendants to continue on the existing bail conditions granted by the former trial judge.

In a short ruling, the court allowed the defendants to continue on their existing bail conditions. He adjourned the case to March 11, for trial.

In the charge, the defendants were alleged to have committed the offences between January and March 2015 in Lagos.

They were alleged to have at various times, unlawfully retained over N4.6 billion, which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of unlawful acts of stealing and corruption.

In counts 15 to 17, Fani-Kayode and one Olubode Oke, who is said to be at large, were alleged to have made cash payments of about N30 million to one Paste Poster Co (PPC) of No 125 Lewis St., Lagos.

The said payments were alleged to have been made in excess of amounts allowed by law without going through a financial institution.

The offences were said to have contravened the provisions of sections 15 (3) (4), 16 (2) (b), and 16 (5) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.

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Breaking: 2023: Hayatu-Deen Withdraws From PDP Presidential Race

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…Says Primary “Obscenely Monetised”

A former Managing Director and Chief Executive of FSB International Bank, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen has withdrawn from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential race.

PDP National Convention to elect a 2023 Presidential candidate out of the 15 aspirants is slated for today, in Abuja.

The foremost Economist and Banker, in a letter addressed to the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, said interacting with Nigerians from all walks of life had reinforced his resolve that Nigeria must be saved, otherwise the future is doomed.

He lamented that for years he observed with great concern and sorrow the recent rapid deterioration of all aspects of Nigeria’s national life characterised by increasing poverty, religious intolerance, banditry and kidnapping, monumental oil theft, corruption, mismanagement of national assets, communal and religious strifes and near collapse of public services and public institutions.

Hayatu-Deen said he planned to ensure that the great potential that had become the hallmark of Nigeria’s development paradigm should be actualized during his presidency.

He alleged that the primary had been “obscenely monetised”.

The renowned economist said he planned to make Nigeria the continental economic powerhouse, which would guarantee high quality of life to most Nigerians.

The foremost Banker said his ambition was driven by passion and commitment to rescue Nigeria which is on the verge of collapse.

He said “My exposure locally and internationally and contributions to the nation’s economic and political well being positioned me to take up the challenges facing our dear nation and the courage to participate in this gruelling exercise which most of our elites have shunned away from. Regrettably, the political system has proved to be acrimonious, corrupt and self-serving.

“I joined the contest as a democrat, with an open mind to keenly contest and accept the result of a process that is fair, credible and transparent

“We have endeavoured to forge a consensus which would have facilitated a seamless emergence of a candidate which unfortunately could not be achieved.

“I wish to reiterate that I did not join party politics and to contest for the presidency because of personal gains and inordinate ambition, but to serve our country.

“It is, therefore, based on personal principles and with great humility that I have decided after wide consultations to withdraw from this contest which has been obscenely monetized”.

Hayatu-Deen assured that as a very loyal party member and believer in the democratic process, he’ll continue to avail himself and his teeming supporters at all times to ensure the victory of the PDP.

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2023: Peter Obi Blows Hot, Insists He’s Not Desperate To Be President

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…I’m Not A Saint, But Go And Check My Records, Ex-Anambra Gov Blasts Wike Over Integrity ‘Attack’

 

Former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, on Friday said he is not desperate to be President.

Mr Obi made the comment while appearing on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

According to Mr Obi, he left the Peoples Democratic Party for the Labour Party because the former did no longer align with his political values.

“I’m not desperate to be President or anything,” he said. “I’m desperate to see Nigeria work. Especially for the youths of this country.

“I’ve moved to where I think the process might allow me.

He also retorted that no one can question his integrity over management of public funds/office as he did his best and the records show it.

Obi in a statement on Friday submitted that leaving the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) does not bring his integrity into question or disrepute in any form.

Obi made the submission as a response to Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike who had earlier on Thursday during a TV interview stated that Obi’s decision to dump the PDP a few days to the presidential primaries shows a lack of character and integrity.

But replying Wike’s statement, Obi during an interview on Channels Television Politics Today on Friday said his only offence while in office was refusing to mismanage public funds, hence no one can call him out for lack of integrity.

Obi added that even when has was offered some ‘juicy packages’ while in office, he rejected them and opted to live within his means.

According to him, the politics of sharing money has never been a part of him.

“Wike talks about the issue of integrity. He said my leaving the PDP questioned my integrity, I don’t know how that came about. When we talk about integrity, we talk about it in the management of public assets.

“That is what we should be talking about in this country and when such things are mentioned about me, I feel maybe there is something missing somehow. Go and check my record as a governor, I was impeached for three reasons, one, my office had an approved budget for renovation for N298m and I renovated everything with N43,2m.

“My lodge, to renovate where I live, I got a budget of N486m, I did everything with N81m. Number three is that I was saving money without the approval of the House. From day one I said we must save money, for 8 years I was governor, go and ask any contractor that sat with me whether I inflated any contract,” Obi declared.

He added that the evidence of his integrity and character in managing public funds is the N75 billion he left behind when he left office after eight years as Governor.

“When I left office, I left N75bn as at that time because it is public money and I am managing it on public trust. For me when you talk about integrity, it questions your management of public funds and resources.

“Go to Anambra State today, I have no land given to me by the Anambra State Government, My managing director of my housing authority, Mike Nwafor, is still alive, he gave me land and two houses and I rejected them. Nobody has ever seen me in my political life sharing money at any time. I am not saying I am a saint, but I did things which I believe were right,” Obi added.

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JUST IN: APC Postpones Presidential Primaries To June 6-7

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has postponed its presidential primary election to Friday, June 6 and Saturday, 7.

The APC announced the postponement after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday evening bowed to pressure by political parties to extend the dates for the conduct of primary elections.

INEC in a statement on Friday, extended the dates for primaries by six days.



Details later…

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