Justice A.R Mohammed of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has adjourned the money laundering trial of a former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam and his co-defendant, Omadachi Okolobia, a former commissioner for finance, Benue State till March 24, 2021 for ruling on the defence objection to the examination of the fourth prosecution witness by counsel to EFCC, and continuation of trial.
At today's sitting, prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, informed the Court that the matter was for continuation of trial and prayed the Court to invite the PW4, Abubakar Umar to the witness box in order to continue the examination.
Nigerian Instagram celebrity Ramon Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi, has been named in another case in the United States, this time with North Korean hackers involved.
The United State Justice Department said Hushpupp conspired with a Canadian-American citizen Ghaleb Alaumary and others to launder funds from a North Korean-perpetrated cyber-enabled heist from a Maltese bank in February 2019.
Newly appointed World Trade Organization (WTO) director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said on Monday she doesn't want to see "business as usual" as she will need to broker international trade talks in the face of U.S.-China conflict, respond to pressure to reform trade rules and counter protectionism heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic
Three months after the Trump administration rejected her, former Nigerian finance minister received unanimous backing on Monday (February 15) to become the first woman and first African director-general of the WTO.
President Muhammadu Buhari has received reports of the brazen attack on Government Science College, Kagara, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, following which a yet to be ascertained number of staff and students have been abducted by gunmen.
Following these reports, the President has directed the Armed Forces and Police, to ensure immediate and safe return of all the captives. The President has also dispatched to Minna, Niger State a team of security chiefs to coordinate the rescue operation and meet with state officials, community leaders, as well as parents and staff of the College.
President MBuhari has asked the Senate to confirm Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa as substantive Chairman of EFCC.
In a letter to President of the Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, the President said he was acting in accordance with Paragraph 2(3) of Part1, CAP E1 of EFCC Act 2004.
Bawa, 40, is a trained EFCC investigator with vast experience in the investigation and prosecution of Advance Fee Fraud cases, official corruption, bank fraud, money laundering, and other economic crimes.
He has undergone several specialized trainings in different parts of the world, and was one of the pioneer EFCC Cadet Officers in 2005.
Bawa holds a degree in Economics, and Masters in International Affairs and Diplomacy.
Rinu Oduala, one of the organisers of the #EndSARS protests, has withdrawn from the Lagos judicial panel on police brutality and human rights abuse.
Oduala was one of the youth representatives on the panel set up in the wake of the #EndSARS protests.
Her statement reads:
“My stand on the reopening on the toll gate remains clear; the state government and the private organisation which operates the toll have not been cleared of collusion with elements allegedly deployed by the federal government to target Nigerian citizens on home soil during a time of peace, without provocation.
BUA Group has corrected the misrepresentation of facts by CaCOVID over the purchase of 1 million AstraZeneca doses of Covid-19 vaccines for Nigeria.
Explaining the circumstances surrounding the donation, BUA Group released a statement, that corrects the narrative by CACOVID, which reads
BUA receives with utter shock, reports allegedly attributed to CACOVID, disowning its earlier payment through CACOVID for 1 million AstraZeneca doses for Nigeria via the AFREXIM vaccine platform.
At the cacovid steering committee meeting held today February 8, 2021 (of which BUA is a member), members were informed by the CBN Governor that CACOVID had been given the opportunity through the Afrexim Platform to access and pay for 1million doses, provided payment was made today or tomorrow – failure which the opportunity to get those doses next week may be lost.
After extensive deliberations, there was no agreement reached and despite members being offered the opportunity to donate funds towards procuring the doses, none offered.
BUA then took it upon itself to offer to pay for the 1million doses at the agreed rate of US$3.45 per dose totaling US$3,450,000,000.00 which translates to 1.311billion Naira.
The Chairman of BUA also requested through the CBN governor that the Naira equivalent be paid to the relevant account with CBN, and that CBN forward the dollar payment to Afrexim on CACOVID’s behalf.
This payment was made immediately after the meeting and BUA transferred the money to the CBN (see payment confirmation attached) in order to meet the deadline.
However, with this development by the CACOVID operations committee, we now have just cause to believe that some members of CACOVID were not happy that BUA took this initiative in the interest of Nigeria and to ensure that the deadline was met to receive the 1 million doses of the vaccine next week.
BUA did this gesture in good faith as it has done with its interventions throughout the pandemic.
We will however like to state clearly that we are aware that a prominent member of CACOVID is not happy that BUA took the initiative to pay for the vaccines – fulfilling our pledge just as we said during the meeting. Now they want to scuttle it by this action because they were unable to take the initiative.
We find this release by CACOVID to be very petty and unbecoming of seemingly serious corporate citizens because it is tantamount to playing politics with the lives of Nigerians.
This is no time for politics. It is time for us to come together to help Nigerians and it does not matter who is helping or paying. We stand ready to keep supporting and despite this petty action, we have decided to let the money remain in the CACOVID Account with the CBN pending when they are ready to utilize the funds for Nigerians to access the vaccines.
The new Youth Province 7 of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) was birthed on Sunday with a special call on pastors to pay special attention to the importance of conscience in the gospel ministry.
The ongoing trial of Petro Union Oil and Gas Company Limited, Abayomi Kukoyi, Prince Kingsley Okpala, Prince Chidi Okpalaeze, and Prince Emmanuel Okpalaeze before Justice A.M. Liman of a Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, on an amended 13-count charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining by false pretence, attempt to steal, and forgery to the tune of £2,556,000,000 (Two Billion Five Hundred and Fifty-Six Million Pounds) continued on February 3, 2021 with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC presenting its seventh witness.
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja on February 4, 2021, ordered the forfeiture, to the Federal Government, of a property belonging to Sani Dan-Galadima, a member of the House of Representatives, representing Kaura-Namoda Federal Constituency of Zamfara, who stood surety to Faisal Maina.
The property was used as bail bond for Faisal, son of Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman, defunct Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT) who is being prosecuted on money laundering charges by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The planned re-arraignment of a former governor of Abia State and senator representing Abia North at the National Assembly, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, before Justice I. E Ekwo of the Federal High Court Abuja on Tuesday February 2, 2020 could not proceed following the objection raised by the prosecuting agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Chile Okoroma, EFCC director, legal and prosecution, appearing for the prosecution informed the Court that the agency had written to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, requesting that the case be transferred to the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, which he said has jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
The Federal government on Tuesday said it has commenced the process of disposing final forfeited assets currently situated in 25 locations across the country. Chairman of the Inter-ministerial committee on the disposal of federal government of Nigeria forfeited assets and Solicitor-General of the Federation, Dayo Apata (SAN), who disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja, stated that the committee had collated and was still updating all forfeited assets to the federal government. While he did not give details of the locations, Apata explained that the team would embark on an on-site verification and auditing of the assets to confirm their existence and current state. According to him, the forfeited assets included landed properties, plants, machinery, motor vehicles, electronics, furniture, water vessels, jewelry, ornaments and clothing materials. Apata, however, emphasised that assets been disposed were those that had been finally fortified to the government. “We are still receiving details and assets from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices (and other related offences) Commission, Navy, and other agencies,” Apata said. “We are still collating these assets and those that have been finally fortified are those the committee can dispose off so that we don’t infringe on rights of individuals who have gone to court contesting the confiscation of their assets.”
Zenith Bank Plc. has again emerged as the Most Valuable Banking
Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2021. For the
fourth consecutive year, Zenith Bank has been ranked as the number one banking
brand in Nigeria with a brand value of $275 million, moving up two places from 392 in 2020 to 390 in the 2021 global
ranking of banks. Notably, Zenith Bank is the only Nigerian bank among the
first 400 banks in the global ranking.
The ranking was published in the February 2021 edition of The
Banker Magazine of the Financial Times Group in conjunction with London-based
Brand Finance. According to the publication, brand value is the licensing rate
that a third-party would need to pay to use the bank’s brand.
Commenting on the latest ranking, the Group Managing
Director/Chief Executive of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu said that:
“this ranking is a further affirmation of the bank's resilience given the very
challenging macroeconomic environment brought about by the Coronavirus
(COVID-19) pandemic". He added that "Zenith Bank remains committed to
sustaining the superior performance which has earned it this recognition as
Nigeria’s Most Valuable Banking Brand, thus building on the legacy of its visionary
Founder and Chairman, Mr. Jim Ovia, CON, whose pioneering and
foundational role in building the structures and laying the foundation ensured
an enduring and very successful institution.
Zenith Bank places a premium on its core business strategy
anchored on People, Technology and Service, to create value for its numerous
clientele. With a team of dedicated professionals, the bank leverages its
robust Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure to provide
cutting-edge solutions and products through its network of branches and
Zenith Bank's emergence as the Most
Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria is coming on the heels of several awards and
recognitions in 2020 for its track record of excellent performance. Zenith Bank
was voted as Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker's Bank of the Year Awards
2020, Best Bank in Nigeria in the Global Finance World's Best Banks Awards 2020
and Best Corporate Governance 'Financial Services' Africa 2020 by the Ethical
Boardroom. Also, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria
in the Banker Magazine "Top 500 Banking Brands 2020" and Number One
Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital in the "2020 Top 1000 World Banks"
Ranking by The Banker Magazine. Similarly, the bank was recognised as Bank of
the Decade (People's Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020, Retail Bank of the
year at the 2020 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI)
Awards, and Best Company in Promotion of Good Health and Well-Being as well as
Best Company in Promotion of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment at the
Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility (SERAS) Awards 2020.