Senator Nwaoboshi jailed seven years for Money Laundering; The NDLEA finally nabs notorious drug dealer, Celine Ekeke | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • Senator Nwaoboshi jailed seven years for Money Laundering
  • Nigeria could be redesignated back to US’ religious violators list
  • Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) to hold strike over ASUU strike
  • Bayelsa Assembly refuse Commissioner nominee over disrespect
  • The NDLEA finally nabs notorious drug dealer, Celine Ekeke

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

Senator Nwaoboshi jailed seven years for Money Laundering

The Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal on Friday convicted and sentenced Peter Nwaoboshi, the Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District at the National Assembly, to seven years imprisonment.

The senator was convicted on a two-count charge of fraud and money laundering.

The senator’s two companies, Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd, were also ordered by the court to be closed out in line with the provisions of Section 22 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2021.

This was made known in a statement on Friday by spokesperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Wilson Uwujaren. This statement was also posted on the agency’s Twitter platform.

The Senator in recent years has had several allegations of fraud and misappropriation of funds raised against him with the most recent being the use of 11 companies as fronts to secure for himself a N3.6 billion contract in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). The contract was not executed and the money was not refunded.

In 2018, the lawmaker and his two companies were arraigned before a Lagos Division of the Federal High Court over N322 million fraud and money laundering charges.

The EFCC in suit number FHC/L/117C/18 arraigned the three defendants for acquiring a property named Guinea House, Marine Road, in Apapa, Lagos, for N805 million. The agency said that N322 million of the money was part of the proceeds of fraud. However, in a judgment delivered in June 2021, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke held that the agency failed to prove the elements of the offences for which it charged the senator.

The EFCC appealed the high court’s ruling and was successful at the appellate court, leading to the sentencing of the lawmaker.

Nigeria could be redesignated back to US’ religious violators list

In a letter addressed to the United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, some US senators Marco Rubio and Josh Hawley, and signed by three other Senators; Mike Braun, Tom Cotton and Jim Inhofe, have requested to redesignate Nigeria as a ‘Country of Particular Concern’ over alleged increased cases of religious violence in the country.

Recall that in November 2021, Nigeria had been removed from the list even as Russia, China and a few others were seemingly blacklisted, for being “ Countries of Particular Concern” for allegedly having engaged in or tolerated ‘systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom.”

According to them, the letter follows recent acts of violence targeting Christians, which has in turn underscored the deteriorating state of religious freedom in the country.

Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) to hold strike over ASUU strike

In a meeting held in Abuja on Thursday, on the 30th of June, The Nigeria Labour congress announced that they will be embarking on a one-day national protest from next week, to force the Federal Government to meet the demands of university-based unions.

The NLC noted that reports from a meeting of its Central Working Committee (CWC) showed a lack of progress in the negotiations with the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and National Association of Academic Technologists.

The President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, in a statement said:

“The strike in the education sector is an eyesore. For now, running into four months, the children of the poor have remained at home”

Wabba directed all the affiliate unions of the NLC to issue directives on the planned one-day national protest from next week.

Bayelsa Assembly refuse Commissioner nominee over disrespect

Drama ensued at the Bayelsa State House of Assembly as a result of the rejection of the nomination of a former Commissioner for Transport, Grace Ekiotenne by legislators.

Ekiotene, who was among three nominees on a list forwarded by the governor, Douye Diri to the assembly for screening and confirmation to serve as commissioners and members of the commission was accused of undermining the power of the legislature on several occasions.

She was alleged to have shunned the members of the State Assembly Committee on Transport several times while in office as Commissioner thereby allegedly frustrating their oversight functions.

Other nominees, which include Stanley Braboke and Odudu Awipi were screened and confirmed as Commissioner and member of the Local Government Service Commission respectively.

The leadership of the State House of Assembly however has set up an Ad Hoc committee headed by the Deputy Speaker, Michael Ogbere to look into the reasons behind the refusal to confirm the nomination of Ms. Grace Ekiotene.

The NDLEA finally nabs notorious drug dealer, Celine Ekeke

In a statement released earlier in the week the NDLEA announced that her operatives of in Etche Area Command of Rivers State Command carried out a search operation at Obunku community of Oyigbo LGA in Rivers State and arrested one Celina Ekeke, a notorious drug dealer with 24 sacks of cannabis sativa weighing 231.2kg.

In a statement released by the NDLEA spokesman in Rivers State, Emmanuel Ogbumgbada,, they stated that she had been on the watch list of the agency for some time, as she uses her deformed legs to disguise and sell illicit drugs.

The statement went on to say, “The State Commander, Comdr Ahmed Mamuda, has restated our earlier warning to all drug dealers to desist from it because we will surely fish them out, particularly as the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA Brig. Gen Buba Marwa (retd.) has charged us to go on offensive action against all drug dealers.

“We also want to use this medium to call on the public to give us credible information that will enable us to sanitize the society of hard drugs.

”We call on drug users to seek help now before it is too late.”

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