EFCC arraigns ex-Lagos attorney-general on separate money laundering charge; Nigeria, Cameroon inaugurate bridge linking both countries | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • EFCC arraigns ex-Lagos attorney-general on separate money laundering charge
  • Three serving governors, others under pressure over billions stashed – EFCC
  • Nigeria, Cameroon inaugurate bridge linking both countries
  • Ganduje presents N245bn 2023 proposed budget
  • Immigration Service dismisses 8 personnel, redeploys 100 at MMIA

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss:

EFCC arraigns ex-Lagos attorney-general on separate money laundering charge

Olasupo Shasore, SAN, a former attorney general and commissioner for justice in Lagos State, was charged with 14 counts of money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday.

Mr. Shasore appeared before Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court in Abuja for an arraignment on a new charge.

On Thursday, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) had reported that Mr. Shasore would appear in court with Middlesex Investments Ltd.

While Middlesex Investments Ltd., Mr. Shasore, and Bala Sanga are the first and second defendants in the charge with number: FHC/ABJ/CR/386/22 filed on 17 August by the counsel for the EFCC, the complainant is the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Guaranty Trust Bank account number for the business is 0005659394, and Mr. Shasore is allegedly a director and signatory on that account.

However, the former commissioner entered a plea of not guilty to the crimes that were allegedly committed in concert with the business.

After Sanga did not object to the motion, the judge ordered Mr. Shasore to continue to enjoy the conditions of the administrative bail that had previously been granted to him by the EFCC.

As a result, Justice Ekwo postponed the case’s trial date until March 13–17.

Olawale Akoni, counsel to the defendants and attorney for the anti-graft agency, was given the order to put his house in order before the trial dates.

According to NAN, the EFCC claimed in count one that the company and Mr. Shasore failed to notify the agency in writing of a single lodgement transaction between September 3 and September 11, 2014, in which N60 million from Mandivera Global Resources Limited was transferred to Middlesex Investments Limited’s Guaranty Trust Bank account number 0005659394.

Also in count five, the EFCC claimed that the defendants neglected to notify the agency in writing of a single transfer transaction involving the sum of $30,000 from Middlesex Investments Ltd’s GTB account number 0005659435 to Olasupo Shasore’s account between August 26 and September 3, 2019.

This would be in line with Section 10(1)b of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 (as amended) and punished under Section 10(3) of the same act, according to the agency.

The suspects are also charged with failing to submit a declaration of the company’s activities to the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investments as required by Section 5(1)(a)(ii) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011, as amended, which is punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same act, among other things.

According to NAN, Mr. Shasore was charged by the EFCC in front of the Ikeja Special Offenses Court on October 20.

He was charged with two counts of possible money laundering.

Just 24 hours after being charged with four counts of money laundering at the Federal High Court, Lagos division, the former AG of Lagos State was brought before Justice Mojisola Dada.

Three serving governors, others under pressure over billions stashed – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has announced that it is monitoring at least three serving State governors who kept billions of Naira in their homes when the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, decided to redesign certain Naira notes.

The governors intend to pay salary in cash, according to EFCC Chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa, who revealed the revelation in an interview with Daily Trust on Thursday.

In the interview, the EFCC Chairman stated that until the old Naira notes vanish, the commission would continue to raid Bureau De Change businesses.

In order to benefit everyone, he urged Nigerians to support the system, emphasizing that any cash transaction worth more than five million Naira is illegal.

“Already, some State governors that have some of this cash stashed in various houses and the rest are now trying to pay salaries in cash in their State.
“I don’t know how they want to achieve that but we have to stop them from doing that. Well, we are working, they have not paid the salaries in cash yet but it is a very serious thing,” he said.
According to Bawa, the move by the governors to launder stashed money through cash payment of salaries, is against section 2 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act.

payment of salaries, is against section 2 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act.

Nigeria, Cameroon inaugurate bridge linking both countries

In order to facilitate trade and travel between the two nations, Nigeria and Cameroon officially opened a recently built border bridge connecting the two nations as well as a shared border station.

This was said  in a statement made by Anastasia Ogbonna, Deputy Director of Press and Public Relations for the Ministry of Transportation.

President Paul Biya of Cameroon was represented by the Minister of Public Works, Emmanuel Njoumessi, while President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria was represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada.

The 1.5 km Ekok/Mfum Bridge and Joint Border Post (JBP) in Mfun, Cross River, according to Mr. Buhari, would strengthen the socioeconomic and diplomatic ties between the two nations.

He claimed that the project would create genuine synergy and address the numerous security issues plaguing the countries in the area.

“It will also serve as a vital link between the Western and Southern African regions.

”The Federal Republic of Nigeria also expects that this Joint Border Post and bridge will enhance security patrol and facilitate effective cooperation in this part of our border with the Republic of Cameroon.

“It is also our hope that it will complement the efforts of the Governments of Nigeria and Cameroon to combat the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism in our region,” he said.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank, the project’s development partners, were praised by Mr. Buhari for providing the necessary funding.

Ganduje presents N245bn 2023 proposed budget

Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje presented a draft budget for the fiscal year 2023 totaling over N245 billion on Friday.

The budget is referred to as the Consolidation and Prosperity II budget and is about N45 billion greater than the N196 billion budget in 2022.

When presenting the budget to the State House of Assembly, Ganduje stated that the capital spending is N144 billion, or 59%, while the recurring expenditure is above N100 billion, or 41%.

He claimed that the budget’s purpose was to “further consolidate on measures implemented by the government towards economic growth and increasing the well-being of the citizenry.”

The Governor stated that the Education sector receives the lion’s share of the budget, accounting for N62 billion or 27% of the total.

However, according to Ganduje, the second-highest allocation went to the health sector, receiving almost N39.1 billion, followed by works and infrastructure, receiving N35 billion.

Among others, the agriculture sector is worth N19.9 billion, followed by the N15 billion water supply, N12.8 billion in security, law, and justice.

The Speaker, Engineer Hamisu Chidari, pledged on his end to get moving right away in order to pass the budget on schedule and adhere to the January-December budget cycle.

However, Chidari urged the general people, as well as Civil Society Organizations and others, to prepare for the public hearing in order to ensure the budget’s smooth passage.

Immigration Service dismisses 8 personnel, redeploys 100 at MMIA

Eight members of the Nigeria Immigration Service NIS staff have been fired, while 18 others have received sanctions for a variety of offenses, from indiscipline to employment racketeering and other sorts of corrupt behavior.

In addition, a traveler’s charges of bribery against roughly 100 of the officers and employees previously employed at Lagos’ Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) have been investigated.

The decision was made after receiving approval from the Civil Defence, Correctional, Fire and Immigration Services Board (CDCFIB), which noted that “the conducts of the personnel have remained grossly unbecoming and unacceptable as members of the Service,” according to a statement signed by Kenneth Kure, Chief Superintendent of Immigration on behalf of the Comptroller General, Isah Idris Jere.

A total of 35 employees were reportedly previously brought before the Senior Disciplinary Committee (SDC) and Orderly Room Trial (ORT) processes to “determine their level of culpability in the various allegations of offences against discipline ranging from employment racketeering, sharp practices, dishonest conducts, absent from duty without official leave (AWOL) among others, as preferred against them.”

“After thorough deliberations by the committees, eight personnel—two Deputy Superintendents of Immigration (DSI), two Assistant Superintendents of Immigration II (ASI2), one Chief Superintendent of Immigration (CSI), and three rank-and-file employees—were summarily dismissed from the Service,” the statement reads in part.

“Furthermore, one other Chief Superintendent of Immigration was ordered to proceed on compulsory retirement while nine other personnel were demoted in rank. They include one Assistant Superintendent of Immigration II (ASI2) who has been demoted to the rank of Inspector of Immigration, two Inspectors who have been reduced in rank to Assistant Inspectors and six (6) other junior personnel who have been ordered to lose their current ranks.

“Meanwhile, nine other personnel comprising one Assistant Superintendent of Immigration II (ASI2) and eight (8) junior personnel, were issued warning letters just as six personnel were discharged and acquitted from all the allegations brought against them.”

A traveler with the Twitter handle @derby__ described her experience at the Lagos airport in October and accused several agency employees of extortion and bribery.

She stated the officers had lied to her, showing a photo of one of the accused, saying she wouldn’t be permitted into the United Arab Emirates because she wasn’t yet 40.

She claimed that she ultimately paid the officials N10,000 in bribe, but she cautioned aspiring young travelers to be aware of the NIS officers at the airport.

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