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Breaking: FG Queries Magu, Keyamo

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The Federal Government has issued a query to the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Festus Keyamo, over the corruption charges filed against the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Danladi Yakubu Umar, in the name of government.

The PRNigeria has obtained the copies of the two separate letters to Magu and Keyamo.

In the query dated February 16, 2018 and with Reference No DPP/ADV:368/15, Magu was ordered to make his response to the query available to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on or before February 20, 2018.

In the query, signed by Dayo Apata, the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary of the of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Magu is to explain what informed the filing of corruption charges against the tribunal chairman having been cleared of corruption allegation two times by the same EFCC.

Titled: “FR VS Danladi Umar (CR/109/18) request for Briefing,” the query reads in part: “The attention of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation was drawn to news report that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has filed charges of corruption against the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Hon. Justice Danladi Umar, before the FCT High Court.

“I am directed by the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation to seek clarification from you as to whether the charges were filed on your instruction or directive and if in the affirmative, what is the compelling basis for doing so. This clarification becomes imperative in view of the following background facts.

“The Commission’s investigation report dated 5th March 2015 addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation stated as follows: “The facts as they are now against Justice Umar raised a mere suspicion and will therefore not be sufficient to successfully prosecute for the defence.

“The Commission’s position in paragraph 2(a) above was also maintained and sustained by the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation while appearing before the House of Representatives’ Investigative Committee sometimes in 2015 to the effect that report of investigations showed that the allegations against Hon. Justice Danladi Umar were based on mere suspicions.

“In view of the foregoing, the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation requests for your prompt briefing as to the existence of new facts which are contrary to the position in your attached investigation report, sufficient evidence or other developments upon which the prosecution of Hon. Justice Danladi can be successfully based.

“Kindly accord this letter top priority while your prompt response within 48 hours from the receipt of same is required in the circumstances.”

In the same vein, a separate letter to Keyamo, who was purportedly engaged as a private lawyer by Magu to prosecute the CCT boss, requested him to confirm who authorised him to file the corruption charge against Umar to Malami.

Like Magu, the senior lawyer was given till February 20, 2018 to furnish the Office of the AGF in writing the details of who engaged or issued him the authority to file the corruption charges.

The letter to Keyamo, with reference No DPP/ADV:369/15, dated February 16, 2018, which was also signed by the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Sectary reads in part: “The attention of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation was drawn to news report that you have filed charges of corruption against the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Hon. Justice Danladi Umar, before the FCT High Court.

“The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation hereby requests that you kindly furnish this office with the details of the instruction or authorization upon which you instituted the case under reference. Kindly accord this letter top priority while your prompt response on or before Tuesday, February 20, 2018 is solicited in this regard.”

The EFCC in two separate letters to the Federal Government through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation had in 2015 and 2016 had cleared Umar of any wrongdoing in the alleged N10 million bribery allegation made against him by a defendant, Rasheed Taiwo Owolabi, standing trial before him on false asset declaration.

Upon receipt of the petition from Owolabi, the EFCC had investigated the petition and sent its report to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, with Reference No EFCC/EC/SGF/03/56, dated March 5, 2015, personally signed by the then Executive Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde, exonerating the CCT boss from the bribery saga.

The EFCC report, received by the office of SGF on March 6, 2015, was categorical that: “The facts as they are against Justice Umar raised a mere suspicion and will therefore not be sufficient to successfully prosecute for the offence.”

Other EFCC documents showed that in 2016, a fresh investigation was conducted into the same N10 million bribery allegation and the same anti-graft agency in its second report absolved Umar of any wrongdoing and that the bribery allegation against him remained a mere suspicion.

The EFCC’s second report, with reference EFCC/P/HRU/688/V30/99, dated April 20, 2016 and submitted to the SGF and signed by the Secretary to the Commission, Emmanuel Adegboyega Aremo, reads in part: “Kindly recall our correspondence of March 5 2015 with Reference EFCC/EC/SGF/03/56 with above subject caption. We will like to reiterate the Commission’s position in regard to this matter as earlier communicated to you and state that the allegation levelled against Justice Umar were merely suspicions and consequently insufficient to prosecute the offence.”

Finding by PRNigeria revealed that the action of Magu in instituting criminal charges against Umar has caused serious confusion and embarrassment to the Federal Government because the EFCC reports had made it clear that the CCT boss had no case to answer.

The AGF was said to have been thoroughly embarrassed with the corruption charges because he had already informed the National Assembly that Umar had no corruption case to answer based on the two reports of EFCC to the Federal Government.
PRNigeria gathered that the Federal Government was infuriated by the action of Magu in engaging Keyamo as a private counsel to prosecute the CCT boss in a purported corruption charge because the same Keyamo is the counsel to Owolabi, who is standing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal and who made the allegation in the course of his trial on the criminal offence.

However, there are indications that the corruption charge against the CCT boss may be dropped so as not to cause further embarrassment to government in its fight against corruption.

A source said the Federal Government has to be consistent in its fight against corruption and that having cleared Umar on two occasions on the same issue, saw no reason for the somersault, hence the need to withdraw the corruption charges.

The EFCC had on February 2, brought a two-count charge against Umar bordering on alleged receipt of N10 million bribe from one Taiwo in the charge signed by Keyamo as a private prosecuting counsel and one Offem Uket, an official of EFCC.

Umar was accused of receiving N1.8 million through his Personal Assistant, Gambo Abdullahi, for a favour to be afterwards shown to the petitioner who was standing trial for a criminal offence before the tribunal.

No date has been fixed for arraignment of the CCT boss at the High Court of FCT, Abuja.

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Woman Arraigned For Assault On A Female Police Officer In Ajah

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The Lagos State Command has arraigned Omorogbe Jennifer Soni after she was caught on camera assaulting a police officer in Ajah.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, disclosed this via his X handle on Tuesday, February 27.

According to Hundeyin, Omorogbe has been remanded to the Kirikiri Female Correctional Centre until the next hearing in March.

He wrote: “The Lagos State Police Command has arraigned one Omorogbe Jennifer Soni ‘f’ aged 26 for serious assault after she was caught on camera assaulting a police officer in Ajah on February 21, 2024.

“Omorogbe was arraigned the following day, February 22, 2024 at the Etiosa Magistrate Court, Ajah and has been remanded to the Kirikiri Female Correctional Centre till the next hearing on March 27, 2024.

“The Lagos State Police Command advices Lagosians to remain law-abiding in their day-to-day activities with all and sundry as anyone found guilty of violating the law would be dealt with in accordance with the law.”

Here are pictures of the assault.

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US Gives Update On Reason Why Herbert Wigwe’s Helicopter Crashed

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The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) on Saturday, February 24 said it received the preliminary report from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) regarding the helicopter crash that claimed the life of Dr Herbert Wigwe, former Group CEO of Access Holdings, his wife, son and two others.

The Director, of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, NSIB, Bimbo Oladeji, made the disclosure in a statement in Lagos.

The tragic incident occurred on February 9, involving an Airbus Helicopter EC130B4 in Halloran Springs, California. Initial findings suggest the helicopter suffered catastrophic damage as it caught fire before the crash due to adverse weather conditions.

Speaking on the NTSB report, Oladeji said: “The preliminary report on the Airbus Helicopter EC130B4, registered as N130CZ and operated by Orbic Air, LLC, under Part 135 regulations for on-demand flights, outlines crucial details surrounding the tragic incident.

“Departing from Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California, the helicopter journeyed to Boulder City Municipal Airport in Nevada via Palm Springs International Airport.

“However, during its flight, adverse weather conditions characterized by rain and a mix of snow were encountered, as reported by witnesses.

“Reports from law enforcement and eyewitnesses also indicated that several individuals travelling along Interstate 15 (I-15) observed a “fireball” in the area, prompting calls to emergency services.

“Subsequently, the wreckage of the helicopter was discovered in the high, mountainous desert and scrub-brush-covered terrain near Halloran Springs, California.”

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Access Bank’s Herbert Wigwe, Wife, Son’s Funeral To Hold March 4 – 10, 2024

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Wigwe and family
Wigwe and family

HERBERT Wigwe, the Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc, and two other members of his family tragically died in a fatal helicopter crash near the California-Nevada border recently.

Plans to honour the lives of Herbert Wigwe (1966 – 2024), his wife and son and span from March 4 to March 10, 2024, as detailed in a schedule.

The somber events include various ceremonies and services to pay tribute to the departed souls.

Monday, March 4, 2024 marks the Bankers Committee’s Celebration of Herbert, followed by a Service of Songs for Chizzy on Tuesday morning, March 5, 2024 and another Service of Songs for the deceased Wigwes in the evening of the same day.

On Wednesday March 6, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, a commemoration event will celebrate Herbert’s impactful contributions in the Social Impact Space, followed by an Evening Service of Songs for Herbert at Redeemed Christian Church, City of David Parish.

Thursday, March 7 is dedicated to a Service of Songs at Herbert’s Dad’s parish, along with the somber tasks of traveling to PH for Chizzy’s funeral service and interment, as well as holding Service of Songs for Herbert and his wife.

According to the schedule, Friday, March 8 is designated for the final farewell, with Funeral services and interments planned for both Herbert & Mrs. Wigwe.

Saturday, March 9 will be a day to receive guests, while Sunday, March 10 will culminate in a Thanksgiving Service to honor the lives and legacies of the departed.

Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe, a revered Nigerian banker and entrepreneur, passed away at the age of 57. As the CEO of Access Holdings Plc and former Group Managing Director/CEO of Access Bank Plc, his leadership transformed a small commercial bank into a global financial institution.

Born on August 15, 1966, to Ikwerre parents from Omueke Isiokpo in Rivers State, Herbert attended St. Gregory’s College in Lagos for his secondary education. He later graduated with a degree in accountancy from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 1987. Herbert Wigwe’s legacy encompasses not only his professional achievements but also his philanthropy and visionary leadership.


Source: Business Day

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