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EFCC Arraigns Olejeme, Former NSITF Chairman Over Alleged N1bn Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday arraigned the former Board Chairman of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) Dr. Ngozi Olejeme, before Justice Maryam Hassan Aliyu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Jabi Abuja, on a nine-count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of public funds and money laundering.

She allegedly abused her position to obtain over One Billion, Three Hundred and Eighty-four Thousand, Ten Thousand Naira (N1,384,010,000), and Forty-eight Million, Four Hundred and Eighty Thousand, One Hundred and Twenty-seven United State Dollars ($48,485,127.00).

The offence contravened the provisions of Sections 8, 9 (1) (b) (1), punishable under the Corrupt Practice and Other Related Offence Act 2000 and Sections 17, (1) (2), 39 of EFCC (Establishment) Act, 2004 and punishable under the same section.

Count three of the charge reads: “That you Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Olejeme is the former Board Chairman of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF). sometimes between 2012 and 2015 in Abuja within the Jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, while being entrusted with dominion over money belonging to the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) dishonestly received the sum of N350,000,000.00 (Three Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) paid into Able Jes Nigeria Limited GT Bank Account No. 323277283110, a company you have interest and used your position to confer unfair advantage upon the said company by receiving various payments from BDCs; the sum of N20,670,000.00 (Twenty Million, Six Hundred and Seventy Naira) by one Hassan Kano, a BDC Operator on the 26th April, 2013; the sum of N236,350,000.00 (Two Hundred and Thirty Six Million, Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) paid by one Musa Adamu, a BDC Operator on the 21st of April, 2013; the sum of N20,670,000.00 (Twenty Million, Six Hundred and Seventy Thousand Naira) paid by Mansur Abubakar, a BDC Operator on the 30th April, 2013; the sum of N16,160,000.00 (Sixteen Million, One Hundred and Sixty Thousand Naira paid by one Dauda Bullama on the 30th April, 2013; and the sum of N36,570,000.00 (Thirty Six Million, Five Hundred and Seventy Thousand Naira) paid by one Sauki, BDC Operator on the 8th of May, 2013 thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 19 and punishable under the same Section of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offence Act, 2000”.

Count four reads: “That you Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Olejeme being the former Board Chairman of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) sometimes between 2012 and 2015 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, while being entrusted with dominion over money belonging to the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) received benefit to do favour in the discharge of your official duties to (NSITF) by receiving the sum of N505,000,000.00 (Five Hundred and Five Million Naira) from Sir Adebayo Adebowale Aderibigbe which was sourced from the monies paid by (NSTTF) to Fountain Media Consults Ltd and Fountain Legal Services accounts as kickbacks and thereby committed an offence Contrary to Section 8(i) (b) (ii) and punishable under Section 8(D) (i) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000”.

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The defendant pleaded ‘not guilty’ when the charges were read to her.

Upon her plea, counsel to the EFCC, Steve Odiase, asked for a trial date.

The defence counsel, Paul Erokoro (SAN), informed the court of a pending bail application which was filed on October 18, 2021, and urged the court to grant his client bail on self recognisance or in the alternative, in the most liberal terms.

He informed the court that his client was not a flight risk as she voluntarily returned to Nigeria when she heard that the prosecution wanted to question her.

Erokoro further said the bail application was predicated on medical grounds as the defendant has been diabetic and hypertensive for 30 years, and has had four major surgeries in the U.S and South Africa.

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Erokoro said the defendant’s recent medical report from Federal Medical Centre Jabi, states that she requires close medical monitoring as her medical status can lead to a medical emergency.

The prosecuting counsel did not oppose the bail application but urged the court to refuse the grant of bail on self-recognisance as suggested by the defence counsel.

The judge adjourned to Friday, October 22, 2021, for ruling on the bail application and remanded the defendant in the custody of the EFCC.

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Group Calls For Protection Of Journalists In Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi States

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The Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has urged for necessary measures to protect journalists and other media workers during this weekend’s off-cycle elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi States.

The group sent the request to the federal and state governments, as well as law enforcement and security agencies, stressing that the role of journalists in disseminating information about the electoral process is critical to ensuring free, fair, and transparent elections.

In a statement issued ahead of the elections in Lagos and signed by the Communications Officer, Media Rights Agenda, Idowu Adewale, MRA also urged journalists to be cautious and to use its existing hotline (08138755660) to report any threat or attack they may encounter during the process, as well as any obstacle.

Adewale said in the statement: “Given the pattern of heightened attacks on journalists and the media during previous elections, including the recent 2023 general elections, as well as the tense political climate in the three states in the lead-up to the elections, measures must be taken to ensure general security during the elections and provide adequate protection for journalists covering the elections.”

“Access to information allows citizens and other members of the public to have the information they need about political and electoral processes, facilitating effective public participation in elections,” he says.

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“Journalists and the media play an important role in ensuring residents and other members of the public have access to information and may participate in the process.

“As part of efforts to preserve the integrity of the polls, it is also critical that the safety and well-being of these interlocutors be assured and safeguarded.”

Lamenting the increased number of attacks on journalists in the run-up to the off-cycle elections, as well as earlier this year in the run-up to the general elections, he emphasised that “a free and vibrant media is fundamental to a healthy democracy, and journalists must be able to carry out their duties without fear, coercion, or violence.” During this vital phase, MRA stands ready to assist them and assure their safety.”

 

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CRIME

Police Nab Husband, As Mother Of ‘Mummy Be Calming Down’ Boy Takes Own Life

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Men from the Edo State Police Command are said to have detained Mrs. Toluige Olokoobi’s husband after he allegedly murdered her.

Olokoobi was the mother of Oreofeoluwa Lawal-Babalola, the tiny boy whose video went viral in 2020 after he pleaded with his mother, “Mummy be calming down.”

Oreofeoluwa rose to prominence on social media after a video of him crying in an attempt to confidently appeal to his mother, who chastised him, went viral.

The film inspired Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who used it to deliver an Eid-el-Kabir appeal to Muslims and Lagos people in general to remain calm during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Following that, the youngster and his family met with the governor, who praised his bravery and poise.

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While little has been heard about the family in three years, heartbreaking news broke on social media on Tuesday that the boy’s mother had committed suicide.

According to an X user, Olokoobi committed suicide in Benin, the capital of Edo State, for unknown reasons.

The X user, who stated that he was present at the site on Monday afternoon, went on to say that she had refused to disclose her difficulties with anyone before committing herself.

“The woman in the viral Mummy Calm Down video has just committed suicide here in Benin,” he stated in an email.

“She refused to discuss her problems with anyone.” She abandoned three children for her husband, including the well-known Mummy Calm Down boy.”

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Meanwhile, confirming Olokoobi’s death in a chat with BBC Pidgin, the spokesperson of the Edo State police command, Chidi Nwabuzor, said her husband has been arrested and detained for questioning.

Nwabuzor said the husband reported the matter to the police.

The police spokesperson quoted the husband to have said that “he came home from the market when he saw his wife hanging with rope on her neck”.

Nwabuzor said she was rushed to the hospital and then to the mortuary after she was confirmed dead. (Adapted from a Vanguard report).

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Anambra: CP Aderemi Adeoye Decorates Promoted Officers With New Ranks

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The Anambra State Police Command Headquarters Conference Hall was a hive of activity Thursday as CP Aderemi Adeoye took turns decorating around 18 promoted officers of the command with their new titles.

The delight of some of the officers whose wives assisted the CP in decorating their husbands with their new ranks knew no bounds, as their husbands duly saluted their wives and the CP for their new positions and responsibilities.

Obi Innocent, one of the officers elevated to the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), whose wife joined CP Aderemi Adeoye in adorning him with his new rank, said it was wonderful that the Inspector General of Police thought him worthy.

CSP Obi Innocent, the officer in charge of the Legal Department at Zone 13, Police Zonal Headquarters Ukpo, stated that his new rank was a call to service and that he would do his best to uphold the charge given to them by CP Aderemi Adeoye to respect and protect the citizenry’s fundamental rights in the discharge of their new assignments.

Charity Akharame, who was honoured with the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and was the only female officer among the 18 promoted officers decorated with new ranks, said it was not an easy feat but she was grateful to be among those who were decorated with their new ranks.

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DSP Charity Akharame, the officer in charge of stores in the Anambra State Police Command, recalled how she began as a Police Constable and worked her way up to her current position as Deputy Superintendent of Police.

She stated that as a very disciplined police officer, she would follow the Police Commissioner’s directions regarding respect for all and sundry in the fulfillment of her constitutional obligations.

Jane-Frances Obi, one of the spouses of the officers elevated to the level of CSP, stated that being the wife of a police officer was not an easy assignment. As a result, she recommended any lady who is married to a police officer to be patient and understanding because the job is quite demanding.

Jane-Frances Obi, whose husband is Innocent Obi, the officer in charge of the Legal Department at Zone 13 Ukpo, believes the promotion is a reward for years of being patient, understanding, and standing in for them when they are not present.

Meanwhile, Emenike Chinenyenwa, who was decorated with the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) and presented a vote of appreciation, expressed deep gratitude to the IGP and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission for considering them worthy of being adorned in their new ranks.

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ACP Emenike, the officer in charge of Medicals, stated that the elevation comes with increased responsibility and that they will work harder in their new tasks.

CP Aderemi Adeoye praised the current promotion winners in his remarks, noting that two aspects make the police career very interesting and eventful. He stated that one is for promotion and the other is for positions.

CP Adeoye, on the other hand, urged the newly honored officers to develop more empathy, compassion, care, and dedication in the performance of their jobs.

The police chief insisted that newly promoted officers must first recognise that they share the same humanity as others, and as a result, they must treat all people with dignity and protect their fundamental human rights at all times.

CP Aderemi Adeoye stressed that without the enormous roles of spouses, they wouldn’t have been successful in their careers. He therefore congratulated all the promoted and prayed that God gives them good health to enjoy the new ranks and the energy to discharge the responsibilities of their new offices.

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  • Source: Independent

 

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