Malami and Ibrahim Magu, at different times gave separate authorisations for the sale of seized assets.
Fresh facts have emerged on the alleged sale of forfeited assets by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission which pitted the two government institutions against each other.
Investigations by one of our correspondents revealed that the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), and the suspended EFCC Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, at different times gave separate authorisations for the sale of seized assets.
Rather than harmonise the disposal of assets forfeited by alleged looters and other individuals arraigned on charges of financial and cyber crimes, findings indicated that their respective offices had separately invited auctioneers to bid for the sale of luxury homes, cars, trucks, sea vessels, crude oil and other valuables running into billions of naira.
The Ministry of Justice and the EFCC had placed several auction notices in the Federal Tenders Journal and other media inviting the public for auction sales of some seized assets.
In February 2018, for instance, the ministry placed an advertisement inviting auctioneers, marine engineers, valuers and consultants for valuation and disposal of vessels, ships, boats, trucks, vehicles and petroleum products. The notice was placed on a subscription-based online portal, https//:234business.com.
The ministry hinged the move on the decision of the Federal Government to “clear its territorial waters, ports, dockyards, agency offices/stations and highways of obsolete and unauthorised vessels, barges, boats, ships, trucks, vehicles and the cargo in furtherance of National Security of the Federation and recovery of its assets policy.”
On December 19, 2019, the anti-graft agency auctioned 244 trailers and tankers forfeited to the Federal Government by illegal oil dealers. Eleven auctioneers participated in the bid.
The exercise was inaugurated by the commission secretary, Mr Ola Olukoyede, together with a team of senior officers at the EFCC zonal office in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The agency issued a press statement on the exercise. A copy of the notice was also published on its website.
Magu’s plan to auction $40m Dieziani’s jewellery, others without AGF’s approval his undoing – Sources
In November 2019, Magu also announced that his agency would contract international auction houses to sell the jewellery reportedly worth $40m recovered from ex-petroleum minister, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, together with seizures made from Internet fraudsters, having secured a forfeiture order from the Federal High Court on September 10.
Magu stated this during a conference at the Lagos office of the commission, where he briefed the stakeholders on the crusade against cybercrime and fraudsters.
The jewellery includes 419 bangles, 315 rings, 304 earrings, 267 necklaces, 189 wristwatches, 174 earrings, 78 bracelets, 77 brooches and 74 pendants; as well as luxury houses in Nigeria, United States and in the United Kingdom.
Sources said the refusal of Magu to involve the AGF in the disposal of the forfeited assets largely informed the rift between them, which led Malami to write a memo to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in which he reportedly levelled 22 allegations against the embattled EFCC boss, who is a commissioner of police.
Following the development, the President set up a fact-finding panel headed by a retired President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, and six other members, including DIG Mike Ogbizi, Hassan Abdullahi (representing the Department of State Services), Douglas Ekwueme (Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit), Mallam Shamsudeen (OAGF), Mohammed Abubakar (Ministry of Justice) and Kazeem Atilebi (civil society groups).
Magu has been held in police custody since Monday and currently undergoing interrogations over what was said to include the unapproved sale of recovered assets.
The embattled EFCC boss was said to have been accosted on Monday by operatives of the Department of State Services in front of the old EFCC headquarters on Fomella Street, Wuse 2, Abuja, around 12pm and whisked to the venue of the panel sitting.
The panel’s investigation is holding behind closed doors in one of the conference rooms in the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Meanwhile, documents obtained by Saturday PUNCH on Friday indicated that the AGF last year granted approval to some operators in the oil industry to sell five sea vessels holding crude oil and diesel forfeited to the Federal Government.
The vessels valued at millions of naira and laden with tonnes of crude oil and diesel were seized by security agencies from illegal oil bunkering operators during different operations.
In separate documents, the AGF directed Omoh-Jay Nigeria Ltd. to dispose of the crude oil and diesel in four sea vessels through an open bid.
In another approval, the AGF mandated the firm to sell five vessels despite the fact that the firm and its Managing Director, Mr Jerome Itepu, stood trial at the Delta State High Court, Asaba, for allegedly stealing about 12,000 metric tonnes of crude oil loaded in a vessel, MT Akuada a.k.a. MT Kua, valued at N384m in 2009. The auctioneer was to get three per cent of the sale.
The EFCC had in 2015 arraigned four persons on charges of conspiracy, stealing and receiving stolen goods.
The accused included a businessman and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Edo Central Senatorial District, Chief Francis Inegbeneki; Chief Executive Officer of Omoh-Jay Nigeria Ltd., Mr Jerome Itepu; Omoh-Jay Nigeria Ltd. and Ine Oil Ltd. owned by Inegbeneki.
The suit, numbered A/EFCC/1c/2015, was filed on March 24, 2015 by A.J. Arogha, Esq. and U.R. Ewoh, Esq. on behalf of the EFCC.
The accused were charged with “conspiracy, contrary to, and punishable under section 516 of the Criminal Code Law, CAP C21, Laws of Delta State 2006.”
According to the anti-graft commission, the accused, sometime in 2009, at Warri, Delta State, within the jurisdiction of the court, allegedly conspired to “commit a felony, to wit: stealing and, thereby, committed an offence.”
It stated, “They were alleged to have committed the offence of stealing, contrary to section 383 of the Criminal Code Law, CAP C21, Laws of Delta State 2006, which is punishable under section 390(4)(c) of the same law.
“According to the particulars of the offence, they allegedly stole about 12,000 metric tonnes of crude oil loaded in a vessel, MT Akuada a.k.a. MT Kua, valued at N384m in 2009, being the property of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
The third count indicated that the accused also allegedly stole about 4,000 metric tonnes of crude oil, loaded in a vessel, MT Hope, valued at N128m belonging to the Federal Government.
Inegbeneki, the second accused in the charge sheet, was also charged with allegedly receiving stolen goods contrary to, and punishable under section 427 of the Criminal Code Law, CAP C21, Laws of Delta State 2006, “having allegedly received from one Itepu (first accused) and Omoh-Jay (third accused), about 12,000 metric tonnes of crude oil, knowing same to have been stolen.”
However, findings by one of our correspondents indicated that the AGF authorised Omoh-Jay Nigeria Ltd. to auction the forfeited vessels.
In a letter dated April 3, 2019, with reference no. HAGF/ARMU/RMDOVSC/2018/T addressed to the Chief of Naval Staff, Nigerian Navy, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, the AGF said Omoh-Jay Ltd. had been granted approval to conduct an open bid and solicited the cooperation of the navy.
The letter signed by Malami, titled ‘Re: Suit no. FHC/ABS/CS/742/2017 FRN and Anor. vs unknown persons (arrested vessels), was received by the CNS on the day it was signed.
It read, “Please be informed that Omoh-Jay Nigeria Ltd. has been granted approval to conduct an open bid for content only for the following vessels: MT Asteris with crude oil, MV PSV Derby with Automated Gas Oil (diesel), MV Zahra with AGO and MV Long Island with AGO (with leave of court).
“For the purpose of disposal of the products under reference, the Office of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice requests the Chief of Naval Staff to kindly grant access and necessary support as always for the whole process.”
In the second approval, Malami directed Omoh-Jay Nigeria Ltd. to conduct another open bid for five sea vessels, three of which were laden with crude oil and diesel.
The letter addressed to the MD of Omoh-Jay Ltd, dated September 9, 2019, with reference HAGF/ARMU/NSA/2018/1, was also signed by the Justice Minister. It was titled, ‘Re: Report on suit no. FHC/ABS/CS/742/2017 FRN and Anor. v unknown persons (arrested vessels).
It read in part, “Pursuant to your earlier instruction dated September 12, 2018, on the above subject matter, you are hereby instructed further to conduct an open bid sale for the following vessels: MT Asteris with crude oil, MV PSV Derby with Automated Gas Oil, MV Zahra with AGO, MT Peace and MV Anuket Emerald.”
It further directed the firm to revert with offers to the AGF for final approval before the conclusion of the sale.
“Be informed that the success fees remain three per cent of the total value recovered from the auction. You are, therefore, expected to submit acceptance letter within 72 hours of the receipt of this instruction,” Malami directed.
However, our correspondents could not confirm the current status of the case between the EFCC and Omoh-Jay Nigeria Limited as well as other co-defendants as of the time of filing this report on Friday.
Reacting on behalf of the AGF, in respect of the approval to Omoh-Jay Ltd, his media aide, Dr Umar Gwandu, simply asked one of our correspondents to make a formal request.
“You are also encouraged to support the enquiry with evidence of criminal conviction. This will assist investigation and decision in considering them for auction or otherwise in view of constitutional presumption of innocence until otherwise established,” he noted.
On the lack of synergy between the AGF and EFCC on assets disposal, Gwandu argued that recovery agencies were unified by existing regulation in assets recovery put in place to regulate their processes and procedure in recovery and disposal of recovered assets.
He stated, “It is out of place to conclude that there is no collaboration. Failure to work on existing regulation that forced collaboration, transparency, accountability and uniformity can, therefore, at best be adjudged as an act of breach.”
Asked specifically why the AGF and Magu were independently authorising auction of assets, he responded, “Submit your enquiry with documents to back your claim.”
The EFCC spokesman, Dele Oyewale, had yet to respond to inquiries regarding sale of assets without recourse to the AGF as of the time of filing this report.
When contacted on the status of the case involving Omoh-Jay Ltd. and other defendants, an EFCC lawyer, A. Latona, declined comment. “Make your inquiry official, please; I don’t respond to questions on the phone,” he said on Friday night.
Source: Saturday PUNCH
How I Slept With 10 Men While Being Initiated – 19-Year-Old Girl Who Joined Cult Confesses In Edo
Blessing David, a 19-year-old girl and a cult leader known as the Marine Girls, revealed on Thursday that she had slept with 10 men since she joined the group, The PUNCH notes.
The woman, who was initiated along with other girls, said that sleeping with the men was part of the initiation rites.
She said this at the headquarters of the Edo State Police Command in Benin City, when Police Commissioner Johnson Kokumo paraded 15 armed robbery suspects, six cultists, three kidnappers and four murder suspects.
The cultists paraded were three young girls who were said to be Marine Girls.
Blessing told PUNCH Metro that she had joined the party in 2019.
“Blessing David is my word. Last year, I was accepted into the cult. I slept with 10 people as part of the initiation process, “she said.
Another 16-year-old girl, Ada Emeka, said she was sleeping with 10 men as part of the initiation rites.
The CP said two alleged armed robbers had been killed by command operatives in the early hours of Thursday.
“The eight-man robbery gang operating in the Amagba region of Benin City robbed 13 homes, wounding victims with machetes and other weapons during the operation that began about 12 a.m. on Thursday and lasted until 3 a.m. They were engaged in a gun duel by the police and two of them were killed in the process, “Kokumo said.
One of the victims, who gave his name simply as Eghosa, said that he was sleeping with his wife in the bedroom when he unexpectedly saw torch lights pointed at them.
He said, “The thieves removed the window and used blocks to hit the door protector repeatedly before it gave way. They walked into our house, gathered the money available, wounded my mother and my newborn baby with machetes, and smashed my wife’s iPhone on the wall when it became clear they couldn’t make use of the phone.
“When they left my place, they robbed about 13 other houses until the guards and the police called. Once the police arrived, they began to exchange bullets with the robbers. Two of them were killed and one of them was captured. This one was the one who took the iPhone of my wife.
Billionaire, Ned Nwoko Reacts After Journalist Accused Him Of Belonging To A Cult Group
Billionaire businessman and philanthropist, Prince Ned Nwoko has paid N2billion damages for the defamation of a character claim against journalist and online publisher Azuka Jebose Molokwu.
It comes after the reporter accused the businessman of belonging to a cult group.
This is set out in the notice of summons received from the High Court of Effurun, Delta State on behalf of Nwoko by its lawyer, Ikhide Ehighelua and Co, dated 13 July 2020.
Also joined in the suit No. EHC 99 as the second defendant is Prince Chukwunonso Nwoko, who was listed as employer and supporter of the first defendant, Jebose, a native of Onicha-Ugbo, Aniocha North Local Government Area, Delta State, resident in the United States of America.
According to the suit, both defendants made extremely diffamatory publications in a variety of online blogs and other social media outlets “calculated to the the claimant’s calculation” and to damage the public’s credibility.
This alleged that the malicious publications had proceeded unabated against the complainant, despite the warnings from his lawyers to the defendants.
Nwoko ‘s Counsel also argued that the first defendant had publicly declared on the social media that the notices would not dissuade his defamatory publications, triggering legal action.
The plaintiff also demanded in his favor, before the court, “public apology for publication by the defendants in at least two national daily newspapers circulated in Nigeria and on social media sites,” as well as an order of perpetual injunction prohibiting the defendants from making any more diffamatory publications against him.
Face Of Ex-DSS Operative Who Impregnated His 16-year-old Daughter In Rivers (Photo)
The identity of a man who had the carnal knowledge of his underage daughter and impregnated her was exposed.
Former DSS officer Eromosele Mahmud, 47, confessed to the police after he was arrested in Rivers State for allegedly impregnating his 16-year-old daughter after five years of rape.
The defendant, a single parent and the father of three of them from the Esako West Local Government Area of Edo State, but resident in Port Harcourt, admitted to having been raped since she was 12 years old.
Eromosele, who said that he did not know what forced him into the crime, begged that his daughter’s two-month pregnancy should be nurtured before delivery, adding that he had not subscribed to abortion.
He admitted that his daughter had come to enjoy the incestuous affair, and even forced herself on him.
He said, “This is a war I’ve been trying to fight over the years, and it seems to be a lot bigger than me. I do not withhold any evidence or reality as far as this case is concerned. When this is the only way my daughter will be released if I go to jail, then it’s a positive thing. My joy is that even now, when I talk to you, I am relieved.