Lagos court unfreezes Ozekhome’s GTBank account; I have no power to reinstate Ndume – Saraki; $1.1Bn Malabu deal: EFCC wants ex-AGF Adoke arrested; Buhari meets Dogara in Aso Villa; Southeast Govs to Meet FG over Kanu’s detention, Biafra separatist agitations & development . . .
The Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday lifted the order barring Mike Ozekhome SAN, from accessing his GTBank account into which he received N75m legal fee from the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose. The EFCC had on February 7, 2017, obtained an interim order stopping Ozekhome from dissipating the N75m on the grounds that it formed part of proceeds of alleged criminal activities by Fayose. The EFCC claimed that the N75m which Fayose paid to Ozekhome was part of the N2.26bn arms procurement funds, which a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd.), allegedly looted. The agency claimed to have traced N1.22bn out of the N2.26bn, which Dasuki allegedly looted, to Fayose. On that basis, Justice Abdulaziz Anka had on February 7 frozen Ozekhome’s account for 120 days. Ozekhome approached the court to vacate the interim order. In a ruling on Monday, Justice Anka granted Ozekhome’s prayer and dismissed the counter-affidavit filed in opposition by the EFCC.
President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on Monday, said he had no power to reverse the suspension of a former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume. Saraki said this in an interview with State House correspondents after meeting behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. He said he would only convey the message of the Borno State Governor on the matter to the larger house that suspended Ndume. He said “We should try and understand how the parliament works, I wish I had such powers these powers you give me I wish I had them, the President or Speaker is first among equals they are just presiding officers but unfortunately you know the legislative arm is the youngest people don’t understand, people give us this powers that we have, decisions that are taken in plenary is decision of all but I have a role to be able to convey the message. “I will convey the message of the visit of the Governor of Borno and the Senate is one, we are all one family there will be issues like that, there is nothing that is sacrosanct or rigid.” he said.
The EFCC has approached the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, with a request to compel former justice minister, Mohammed Adoke, to attend his ongoing trial for alleged fraud. Premium Times reports that Mr. Adoke and a former minister of petroleum, Dan Etete, and other defendants are currently facing trial for alleged diversion of $1.1 billion, during a controversial transfer of a rich Nigerian oil block, OPL 245 to Malabu, a company linked to Mr. Etete. The counsel representing the EFCC, Johnson Ojogbane, made the application during Monday’s hearing before justice John Tsoho. The judge however said he could not grant the request because other parties to the matter were not in court, and had not been served with the notice of summons for Mr. Ojogbane’s motion. Subsequently, the EFCC’s lawyer requested a long adjournment to allow his client sufficient time to serve the necessary notice of summons to all the defendants. The case was adjourned till June 13.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met behind closed doors with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The meeting may not be unconnected with the 2017 budget and face-off between the Executive and the legislative arms of government. According to The Nation, the grey areas included the summons of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, who was to appear in uniform, the rejection of Ibrahim Magu as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and the extension of tenure of a Permanent Secretary by the President which the House of Representatives is currently kicking against. The Presidency last week set up a committee to meet with the leadership of both Chambers of the National Assembly to reach a compromise on the issues. The committee chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has membership including ex-lawmakers in the cabinet. The President also met with the President of the Senate Dr. Bukola Saraki. (Read the report above)
Governors of the South-east geo-political zone (except Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu) rose from a closed door meeting in Enugu yesterday with a resolve to reach out to the federal government in order to devise amicable ways of resolving the continued detention of the leader of the separatist Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu. Addressing journalists after their meeting at the Government House, Enugu, Chairman of the forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, said they resolved to also meet with appropriate authorities of the federal government so as to address other challenges facing the southeast states. Some of the major issues to be tabled before the federal government, according to them, include agitations by some pro-Biafran groups including MASSOB, IPOB as well as other issues that border on security, ecological disasters, power and dams.