ONNOGHEN: EFCC boss Magu briefs Buhari

The acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, in a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari has assured him that he will soon be communicated on matters relating to the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen.

He told Buhari that investigations being carried out by the anti-graft agency on the embattled CJN was still ongoing.

He stated this in a letter with reference number EFCC/EC/P/01 and dated January 30, 2019, which was revealed to newsmen on Tuesday by Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) first national spokesperson, Imo Ugochinyere.

The alleged letter was entitled, ‘Interim investigation report: Alleged case of bribery, corruption and money laundering.’

In the letter, the acting EFCC boss based the investigation on an intelligence report which he said alleged that Onnoghen was in possession of huge Naira and foreign currencies that were far above his known legitimate source of income.

He listed the various monies discovered in bank accounts linked to the suspended CJN.

According to Magu, the investigation on Onnoghen was started even before he was appointment as the CJN, adding that following the appointment the investigation was paused because of the commission’s inability to get his Assets Declaration Form from the Code of Conduct Bureau to enable it to conduct further investigation into his assets.

He further claimed that the anti-graft agency’s inability to invite Onnoghen for interview to confront him on the findings also posed a challenge.

Magu added that as a public figure, the commission refrained from making the investigation public and so did not invite other suspects who featured in his statement of account for questioning.

He then demanded for a special investigation team be set up to carry out further investigation into the matter.

Part of Magu’s alleged letter read, “For speedy investigation, a special investigation team which will include lawyers and investigators will be constituted to specifically investigate allegations levelled against the suspect. The investigation is expected to be concluded within a short time frame.

“There is need to get the Asset Declaration Form of the suspect from the Code of Conduct Bureau for further investigation and to determine his net worth.

“Invitation of all individuals seen to have featured in his statements of account as having sent money to his account or received.

“Invitation of other individuals who paid money into the suspect’s Standard Chartered Bank account for interview.

“Determination of the source and mode of payments of the deposits into the SCB investment account held by the suspect with the aim of unraveling the individuals/entities that have given funds to the suspect over the years and expose his other sources of income.

“It is no doubt indicative of the fact that the suspect must have been involved in bribery and corruption as well as using some corporate entities in perpetrating his money laundering activities.

“Your Excellency, investigation is still ongoing and further developments will be communicated.”

The opposition parties had also on Tuesday alleged that the EFCC was planning to arrest Onnoghen this Wednesday and that Buhari’s government plans to force him to “resign at a gunpoint.”

Former APGA Councillors endorse Senator Uche Ekwunife

Former Councillors of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), today adopted the Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party for Senate Anambra Central, Senator Uche Ekwunife as their candidate for the upcoming Anambra Central Senatorial election.

…the former Councillors described Senator Uche Ekwunife as a quintessential politician whose legislative experience and capacity is needed to place Anambra Central Senatorial zone in its pride of place.

They noted that her developmental strides in legislative governance is the best ever experienced in the zone. The former Councillors assured Senator Ekwunife of their unflinching support ahead of the February 16th polls, they expressed confidence that Ekwunife as the PDP flagbearer will live up to the expectations when elected, noting that her antecedents and track records have put her ahead of her opponents as the best candidate of the top job in the Senatorial zone.

Southeast Legislators need synergy to effectively tackle the problems of the region – Ekwunife

The Senatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Party for Senate Anambra Central, Senator Uche Ekwunife has stated the need for synergy between the legislators of Southeast extraction in order achieve solutions to the region’s problems.

Senator Ekwunife said this on Tuesday during the Anambra Media & Political Candidates Forum’ – The Senate Candidates Debate organized by National Light Newspapers, Anambra Broadcasting Service and other media partners in Awka, Anambra State.

Ekwunife, while reacting to questions posed to her at the debate reiterated that based on her experience and track record in legislative governance, she remains the best Candidate to occupy the Senate seat of Anambra Central.

Speaking further, Senator Ekwunife noted that the Southeast legislators must learn to find a common ground to project the problems of the region. According to Ekwunife, no one legislator can turn the fortunes of the region around without the support of his or her colleague Senators, hence the need for synergy between the legislators from the Southeast in order for them to make a sustainable impact on the region in the National Assembly

Describing the work of a legislator as enshrined in Nigeria’s constitution, Senator Ekwunife noted that while a legislator is saddled with the responsibility to make laws for peace, order and good governance of the country, a legislator also serves as a representative of the people and thus is expected to engage in extensive lobbying in order to attract developmental projects for her people and create opportunities that will better the lives of the youths and the people of the constituency.

“The future of any society depends on the youths. This is why I have used my positions in government to facilitate employment for a good number of our youths. But then, beyond the white collar jobs, we must provide platforms where our young people can learn and acquire skills, particularly from the tertiary institutions so that they can have skills to fall back on as the white collar jobs are fast becoming elusive”, Ekwunife said.

Continuing, Senator Ekwunife described restructuring as a workable solution to the marginalization of the Southeast region. She noted that restructuring will return power to the regions and give them the opportunity to run their affairs more efficiently.

She however noted that beyond restructuring, Igbos must learn to use their positions in government more effectively, and support other Igbos who have the capacity to occupy influencial positions – this according to her will ensure that the region is represented at the decision making table of government which will help in achieving most of the things the people of the region clamour for.

Atiku warns NLC, lists dangers of re-electing Buhari

Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, on Tuesday told the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) what will happen to them should President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC) continue in power beyond 2019.

He said that reelecting Buhari will mean more job losses and urged them to support him in the February 16 presidential election to give room for more job creation and not losses.

Atiku stated this when he paid a personal visit to the NLC’s president and delegation at the International Convention Centre (ICC) at the start of NLC’s 12th National Convention.

His special assistant on public communication, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, made this known in a statement he made available to newsmen.

Atiku, who urged the worker’s union to vote out Buhari’s government, said “if Buhari is elected on February 16th for another four years, the NLC will not have many workers left to represent.”

The statement read in part, “As we know all too well, since 2015, our workforce has shrunken by over 14 million. And this is from a President who promised he would create 3 million jobs a year, but with over four years, he should have reduced unemployment by 12 million.

“So, 14 million jobs lost and 12 million net new jobs not created, comes to a deficit of 26 million versus what he promised us in 2015.

“If job losses continue to grow for the next four years at the same rate as the last four, the number of Nigerians without a job will rocket to 55 million.

“That is almost two out of three of our people without a job, without a pay packet and without the means to feed their family.”

He told union members that he was bringing a message of hope, assuring that “if by the Grace of God, the Nigerian people decide to elect him as President, he commits that he will create jobs, grow the economy and get Nigeria working again.”