‘Boko Haram will take over Africa’: Shekau in new video; Presidency orders investigation on sack of DTCA whistle-blower; Court reverses seizure of oil block from Shell & Eni; N3bn loot: Ex-NNPC boss remanded in Kuje Prison; Delta govt paid N24m into Justice Ajumogobia’s account in 2011 – Witness; 400 Nigerians in South African jails – Dambazau . . .
Boko Haram Leader, Abubakar Shekau has appeared in a new 27-minute video saying that Boko Haram will take over the whole of Africa. He claimed responsibility over the recent bombings in the northeast. Shekau denied reports that most of his members have been killed. Shekau spoke in Hausa and Kanuri, criticizing countries in the Lake Chad region fighting the group under the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF). The Boko Haram leader reportedly described as a lie the claim by Cameroon in a report announced on Wednesday that its soldiers killed about 60 Boko Haram fighters and arrested scores of others, while freeing about 5000 hostages. He insisted that his “caliphate was running smoothly”.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has directed the foreign affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama to look into the sack of the whistle-blower in his ministry. Onyeama, who stated this in Abuja on Friday while fielding questions from newsmen said VP Osinbajo directed him to look into the matter. Onyeama said Mr Ntia Thompson, sacked by the Ministry over whistle blowing, would be reinstated if his appointment was wrongfully terminated.
NAN recalled that Thompson, an assistant director with the Directorate for Technical Cooperation in Africa (DTCA), was sacked for allegedly raising alarm that $229,000 and N800,000 had been diverted by key officials in DTCA, an agency under Foreign Affairs Ministry. Onyeama (photo: right) said he had a comprehensive report on the matter and steps would be taken to ensure that justice is done.
A Nigerian court has set aside its order for the temporary seizure of oil blocks from Shell and Eni. Justice John Tsoho upheld the application filed by Shell and Eni challenging a January court order ceding control of Oil Prospecting License 245 to the government while the EFCC investigates a $1.2 billion corruption scandal. The judge ruled that the forfeiture order was irregularly filed.
Nigeria filed criminal charges of corruption against Shell and Eni over the sale of the oil block. The charges allege the companies paid $801 million to a former oil minister, a former justice minister and a businessman for the block’s license. Nigeria’s government got only $210 million from the deal. Both companies deny wrongdoing.
The Federal High Court Abuja yesterday remanded former GMD of the NNPC (2012-2014), Mr. Andrew Yakubu, who was accused of stashing over N3 billion in his house in Kaduna, in Kuje Prison in the FCT. Justice A. R. Mohammed sent the defendant to prison after the EFCC docked him on a six-count money laundering charge. The defendant, who pleaded not guilty to the charge, had through his lawyer, Mr. Ahmed Raji, SAN, begged the court to rather remand him in EFCC custody pending the ruling, a request Justice Mohammed turned down. Justice Mohammed said: “Mr. Raji, when somebody’s plea is taken, the prosecution no longer has control over such defendant who has become a property of the court. Mr. Yakubu will remain in prison custody till March 21, a date the court fixed to rule on his bail application.
An Ikeja high court heard Friday that Delta State Government twice credited the bank account of Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia who is facing a 30-count charge for alleged bribery and unlawful enrichment in August 2011 to the tune of N24m. A former customer relations officer with Access Bank, Clement Okaranwolu, disclosed this in court before Justice Hakeem Oshodi. He said that Delta state credited the judge’s account with N15m on August 5, 2011 and N9m on August 29, 2011.
Okaranwolu said that N15m was paid into Oceanic Bank while the N9m was lodged with Zenith Bank. The EFCC had accused the judge of receiving a total of $793,800 in several tranches between 2012 and 2015 “so as to have a significant increase in your assets that you cannot reasonably explain the increase in relation to your lawful income.” Justice Oshodi adjourned hearing till April 28, 2017.
Interior Minister retired Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (Rtd.) on Friday said 400 Nigerians are in jail in South Africa. Dambazau made the disclosure at a joint news conference in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the visit of Nigerian delegation to South Africa. Dambazau and his Foreign Affairs counterpart, Geoffrey Onyeama had on Monday led a delegation to South Africa over the incessant xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in that country. He said he had a meeting with his counterpart, the Home Affairs Minister in South Africa and discussed general issues particularly on migration. The minister said they also discussed the thorny issue of Nigerians involved in criminal activities in South Africa. “These are in the minority because equally we have Nigerian professionals who are contributing positively to development of the economy of South Africa . . .” he said.