Buhari resumes work in his main office after rodent infestation; Senate probes death of 26 Nigerian women on Spanish warship; Whistleblower on Ikoyi cash stash now a millionaire – EFCC; Court orders interim forfeiture of Ikoyi property which `warehoused’ N200m; Police hunt kidnappers of British missionaries, kill gang leader; Court orders police to unseal Peace Corps headquarters, awards ₦12.5m . . .
President Muhammadu Buhari has resumed work at his main presidential office in the presidential villa after 11 weeks. The president’s main office was reported to be infested by rodents while he was on medical vacation in the United Kingdom. This was revealed by a presidential aide, Bashir Ahmad.
It will be recalled that Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, had in an interview with Arise TV (owned by media mogul, Nduka Obaigbena), stated that President Buhari will not be working from his office for a while because the office was infested by rodents while he was away on medical vacation. According to Bashir, President Buhari on Thursday morning presided over the Armed Forces Council meeting in his main office.
The Senate has launched an investigation into circumstances surrounding the death of 26 Nigerian girls whose bodies were found on a Spanish warship. Following a motion sponsored by Sen. Rose Oko on Thursday the senate mandated three committees to investigate the incident. Bodies of the girls aged 14-18, and believed to have been sexually abused and murdered, were recovered at sea, BBC reported on Monday.
Their bodies were discovered in a Spanish warship, Cantabria, carrying 375 migrants. Italian media reported that the bodies were being kept in a refrigerated section of the warship. Sen. Oko said emergency measures must be used to address the situation. “The Senate is worried that this mass exodus of our children from the relative safety and security of home to the often cold hands of death have arisen and are increasing as a result of the economic hardships at home including the unemployment situation in Nigeria,” she said.
The EFCC says the “young man” who blew the whistle on the massive stash of money recovered from an apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos, is now a millionaire. Acting Chairman of the anti-graft agency, Mr Ibrahim Magu, stated this in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday, spokesman of the EFCC, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement.
Uwujaren said Magu spoke at the ongoing 7th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. On April 7, EFCC operatives broke into a four-bedroom apartment on Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, and pulled out $43 million, £27,800 and ₦23 million stashed in a wardrobe. The EFCC said the discovery followed an operation triggered by a whistleblower’s alert received by its Lagos office. Uwujaren quoted Magu as saying that the whistle blower was already a millionaire by virtue of the percentage he was officially entitled to.
The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos and presided by Justice Saliu Saidu, on Thursday ordered the temporary forfeiture to the Nigerian government of Flat 7B, Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos. The property is said to have housed the sums of $43,000, £27,800 and ₦23 million found in iron cabinets and “Ghana-Must-Go” bags in April.
The judge issued the orders following an ex parte application by the EFCC. The EFCC had mentioned the wife of the sacked Director-General of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mrs Folashade Oke, as the owner of the flat. Mrs Oke was alleged to have made a cash payment of $1.6 million to Fine and Country Ltd for the purchase of the flat between August 25 and September 3, 2015 in the name of a company, Chobe Ventures Ltd, of which she and her son, were directors. Justice Saidu adjourned the case to November 30 for any interested party to appear and show cause why the interim forfeiture should not be a permanent forfeiture.
Three suspected members of the Karowei militant gang that kidnapped four British missionaries and killed Dr. Ian Squire after demanding ransom in the Delta State creeks have been arrested. A police reports said one of his abductors was shot dead during a crossfire with the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), while two others were arrested.
The 57-year-old British optician, Dr. Ian Squire, on health charity work was kidnapped on October 13 in Burutu, Delta State. The British Foreign Office announced his death on Monday. The abductors had released three of their victims, but killed Squire, a man who left his practice in Shepperton Surrey, to offer succor and sight to poor Nigerians. Squire, David Donovan, his wife Shirley and Alanna Carson captured with him were in Nigeria to offer cataract operations and eye check-ups to Delta State people. Two of the gang members were said to have been arrested earlier by the IRT led by ACP Abba Kyari, in Warri, Delta State. The arrested suspects led the police to Sapele, Delta State, where other members of the gang were arrested.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the federal high court sitting in Abuja, on Thursday, ordered the police to pay ₦12.5 million as damages to the Peace Corps for unlawful invasion of its headquarters in Jabi, Abuja and the unsealing of the headquarters of the corps in seven days. In February, a joint raid by operatives of the army, police and DSS stormed the Peace Corps headquarters and arrested Commandant Dickson Akoh and 48 officials.
Six staff of the organisation sustained injuries. The police had said “terrorist affiliates” infiltrated the organisation to destroy the existing peace in the country. Two weeks after the raid, a criminal charge bordering on alleged conversion of ₦1.4 billion derived from extortion was filed against Akoh and the organisation’s trustees. Akoh, who pleaded guilty to the charges, was later granted bail.