How Ex-Minister Wakil, others shared N450m 2015 election bribe cash- EFCC witness
A Federal High Court, sitting in Maiduguri, Borno State on Tuesday, March 14, 2023 heard how a former minister of power, Mohammed Wakil and others shared a sum of N450million meant to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election in Borno State.
The Maiduguri Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 re-arraigned Wakil alongside Garba Abacha, Ibrahim Shehu Birma, Dr. Abubakar Ali Kullima and Engr. Muhammad Baba Kachalla.
They are alleged to have received the said sum from the $115 million disbursed by a former minister of petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.
Count one of the charges reads: “That you, Hon. Muhammad Wakil, Garba Abacha, Ibrahim Shehu Birma, Dr. Abubakar Ali Kullima and Engr. Muhammad Baba Kachalla on or about the 26th day of March 2015 at Maiduguri, Borno State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did agree among yourselves to do an illegal act, to wit: conspiracy to commit money laundering and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended).”
They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
At the resumed trial today, counsel for the prosecution, Mukhtar Ali Ahmed led the third prosecution witness, PW3, Dauda Umar, in evidence.
According to Umar, the money was disbursed across the country in which the sum of N450,000,000.00 was signed and collected in cash via Fidelity Bank, Maiduguri Branch, by Wakil and Garba in order to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.
“We commenced investigation by inviting Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) officials who reported.”
Asked whether the first and second defendants were invited, the witness explained that Wakil, when invited by the EFCC, confirmed that he signed and collected in cash the said sum alongside the second defendant, for disbursement according to a template sent to him by PDP in Abuja.
Dauda told the court that the first defendant availed the EFCC with the template sent from the PDP headquarters for the disbursement of the money.
On how the money was shared, Dauda informed the court that the second defendant accompanied his principal, Wakil and witnessed the disbursement of the funds.
“The fourth defendant who was also invited by Wakil signed and collected the sum of N88, 620,000.00 on behalf of Northern Borno, while the fifth defendant signed and collected the sum of N140, 860,000.00 for Borno Central.
“They all signed and collected the said amounts in cash at the residence of Wakil” Dauda stated.
Justice J.K. Dagat adjourned till June 14, 2023 for the continuation of trial.
House of Reps gives NIMASA green light to disburse CVFF –appoints audit firm to coordinate, monitor disbursement
“Rt. Hon. (Barr.) Legor Idagbo – Chairman ii. Hon. Henry Nwawuba – Member iii. | Mrs. Kehinde Bolade Olaiya – Committee Clerk.
President Tinubu appoints Gbajabiamila Chief of Staff
An authoritative source in the Presidency confirmed the development on Thursday.
The source said the president finally made the decision after wide consultations on the contending candidates.
Gbajabiamila has been a member of the House of Representatives since 2012 and has just been re-elected to the House in the last elections.
The choice of Gbajabiamila by the president is not a surprise to many political pundits as he has been a very close ally to the president.
They are part of the brains behind the formation of the All-Progressives Party (APC).
He will now have to forgo his seat in the House of Representatives if he accepts the appointment.
Olufemi Hakeem Gbajabiamila CFR, is a Nigerian lawyer and foundation member of the APC.
He has been a member of the House of Representatives since 2019.
Gbajabiamila was born in Lagos in 1962 and attended Igbobi College for his secondary education and the University of Lagos as part of his education.
He is married to Salamatu Gbajabiamila.
Maritime media, NUJ mourn as Ray Ugochukwu passes on to glory
“The death of Ray came as a big shock to the union.
“We are going to miss his courageous attributes and mentorship.
“He was also one of the pillars of the Lagos Council of NUJ and served the union meritoriously in his capacities as the Chairman of, the Seminar Committee; and as a Member, the Committee on Milestone Recognition of Media Icons In Nigeria.
“He spent most of his life in ensuring the advancement of Maritime Reporting as well as the welfare of Journalists.
“He worked in several media houses.
“Among his giant strides, he was a former President of the Maritime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria (MARAN); President, Maritime Journalists Association of Nigeria (MAJAN); and a former Chairman of the Daily Times Chapel of NUJ.
“The legacies of Ray are indelible and will exist forever.
“May God grant his soul eternal rest” the Lagos NUJ said in a statement signed by Leye Ajayi, the Council Chairman and Tunde Olalere, the Council Secretary.
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