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I wasn’t arrested by EFCC, had no cause to bribe anyone – Akpabio

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The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has reacted to what he called a defamatory article written by an online medium, titled: “How EFCC detained Godswill Akpabio for two hours after attempting to bribe Agency Chairman with $350,000.” He said the report “is false.”

The Minister according to a press statement signed Saturday Anietie Ekong, his Chief Press Secretary, said had no reason to offer bribe to the new Chairman of the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa and never did.

According to the statement, on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, Akpabio, through a telephone call, sought audience with the new Chairman of the EFCC to discuss the transfer of funds belonging to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in respect of the 3% statutory remittances from Oil and Gas Companies in the custody of the EFCC.

President Muhammadu Buhari had since December 2020 approved the transfer of monies earlier paid by International Oil Companies into the CBN/EFCC account now to be transferred to the CBN/NDDC account.

The Chairman, as contained in the statement, granted the request for 10.00am but due to other exigencies, the Minister requested for a change of time to 11.30am whereupon the Chairman amended the request to 12noon due to his busy schedule. The two Senior Officials met and had a robust discussion and the Honourable Minister received very intelligent and useful input from the EFCC Chairman, Abdulrashed Bawa on the ongoing forensic audit of the NDDC.

“However, the discussion was inconclusive since the Minister needed to attend a security meeting with select South-South/South-East leaders and Governors in the Office of the National Security Adviser then slated for 1.30pm of the same day. Both Officials resolved to reconvene same day by 5.00pm to conclude their interactions. The Minister returned to the office of the EFCC Chairman at about 5.45pm and departed thereafter at about 6.20pm after very resourceful deliberations.

The statement has it further: “There was no issue of detention and Senator Akpabio could not have carried $350,000 into the office of the Chairman of the EFCC as he went there without a bag or a container. The EFCC Chairman Bawa gave useful and intelligent advice on the methodology of achieving success in the ongoing forensic audit of the NDDC.

“The Honourable Minister sought the cooperation of the EFCC to actualize recoveries of further 3% levies due to the Commission still being owed by some Oil and Gas Companies.

“The meeting between the duo was not arranged by the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN and for the umpteenth time, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs did not bribe the Honourable Attorney-General with $5 million as alleged to get Mr. Effiong Akwa elevated to the position of the Interim Administrator of the NDDC.

“It could be recalled that the appointment of Mr. Effiong Akwa was duly made by Mr. President in obedience to an exparte order of court in suit number ABJ/CS/616/2020, before the Federal High Court, Abuja which restrained named Members of the Interim Management of the NDDC from carrying out their duties until the application for an order of Mandamus was argued and disposed off.

“In that suit, the Court had ordered that the headship of the NDDC should be handed over to the most Senior Director pending the conclusion of the suit. The most Senior Director at that time happened to be Mr. Effiong Akwa, who, months earlier had replaced the late Executive Director of Finance and Administration, Chief Bassey Etang who passed on in May 2020 after a brief illness, and the originators of the suit did not replace the late Chief Etang with Mr. Akwa as a party in the suit hence his emergence as the Interim Administrator.

“How then does the name of the respected Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN come into the appointment of the Interim Administrator that was clearly a child of circumstance?

“The above explanation is to disabuse the minds of the general public against the falsehood peddled by the authors of the false and malicious publications. The general public is hereby advised to discountenance the said publication as it is propelled by persons whose stock-in-trade is politics of blackmail now occasioned by the very serious progress made in respect of the on-going Forensic Audit of the NDDC.”

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Zulum Cancels Project Commissioning in Honour of Slain General

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Governor Babagana Umara Zulum has postponed his scheduled commissioning of projects across local Government areas in southern Borno.

The postponement is to honour the Commander, 28 Task Force Brigade, Chibok, Brigadier General Dzarma Zirkusu and three soldiers who lost their lives last weekend during a battle with terrorists.

Brig. Gen. Zirkisu
Killed by bandits

The terrorists however failed in their attempt to capture a military base in Askira-Uba local government area.

The tour was scheduled to start on Tuesday (16th November 2021) with dozens of completed Government projects, mostly schools and healthcare centres, lined up for commissioning by the Governor.

Announcing the postponement, Zulum’s spokesman, Malam Isa Gusau, said the Governor will embark on the commissioning tour after visiting the family of late General Zirkisu who lives outside Borno State.

Zulum’s trip is to convey the deepest sympathy of the Government and people of Borno State

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Missing Journalist, Tordue Salem, Found Dead in Abuja

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The missing Vanguard reporter, Mr Tordue Salem has been found dead in Abuja.

This was even as the Police reportedly arrested a man who posed as kidnapper in an attempt to extort money from the late journalist’s family.

Details of recovery of his remains haven’t been released as at Thursday evening.

The late Benue born journalist was covering the lower legislative Chamber of the National Assembly until he was last seen on Wednesday, 13th October, 2021.

After he closed from work, he was said to have left in a public cab for B.J’s garden with a female relative situated close to Total filling station, opposite Force headquarters.

From the garden, he reportedly flagged a cab for the lady who left before him, informing her that he was going to Area 8, Garki. But he was never seen until his remains were recovered on Thursday.

According to Vanguard, the Police Intelligence Response Team, IRT swung into action on 16th October after the matter was reported to it about the mysterious missing of the late Tordue.

It was reported that a suspect, who was identified as Prince Enyenihi, 25 was arrested in an attempt to extort the family and others who were not named immediately.

The suspect identified as Prince Enyenihi, 25, contacted Mrs Salem on October 26, 2021, via a text message with a concealed number, requesting for N100 million ransom, to be paid as ransom for her husband’s release. Part of the text message read: “if you don’t pay, Tordue will be killed in seven days. For more information, call this number.” The text message also contained an account number the money should be paid into.

This was followed by a call with a concealed number to Salem’s wife the next day,. Mrs Salem requested to speak with her husband, to ascertain he was alive before negotiation would begin. But the caller gave the phone to someone who tried to play along.

When she noticed that the voice did not sound like her husband’s, she asked the stranger to mention the name of their daughter and her birth date, a question that met dead silence at the other end.

Same evening, another call with a concealed number was received by Mrs Salem, requesting to know if her husband had been released. The confused woman was said to have requested why the caller had his number concealed.

On October 27, another text came on a bulk text message platform, ordering the family to pay the N100 million ransom before the next day, failure of which they would kill Salem.

The Police swung into action first, by de-encrypting the number that called and traced its owner to a lady in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

However, during interrogation, the lady who owns Joy Skin Care denied culpability, stating rather, that a particular number had been calling her line since October 26, 2021.

Security Operatives upon checks discovered that the number was same with that used to contact Mrs Salem, which Prince Enyenihi was finally arrested on 5th November, 2021.

Preliminary investigation by security operatives indicated that Prince Enyenihi was the next door neighbor to the beautician.

During interrogation, he disclosed that he got information of Vanguard reporter’s disappearance on a flyer that went viral on social media, which had the number of Mrs Salem as the contact person to report to if found.

The suspect further stated that he sent the text messages without the knowledge of his female neighbour, adding that he got his neighbour’s telephone number and account details from her Facebook page.

He said, “I knew the family wouldn’t pay the money. I used the owner of Joy beauty skin care ‘s account details in order to punish her for always talking to me anyhow.

(Additional details by Daily Post)

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POLICE OFFICERS IN EXTORTION VIDEO ARRESTED

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… AS KOGI COMMAND COMMENCES INVESTIGATIONS

The Kogi State Police Command has commenced investigations into a trending video where Police personnel attached to Adogo Division, while on patrol duty along Adogo-Okene road, reportedly extorted the sum of Twenty-Five Thousand Naira (N25,000) from a traveller while another was physically assaulted by one of the men in uniform.

The Commissioner of Police, Kogi State Police Command, CP Idrisu Dauda Dabban, psc (+), fdc, while condemning the incident, noted that the Police officers have been identified and detained at the State Criminal Investigations Department.

A statement by DSP William Ovye Aya, Police Public Relations Officer of the Kogi State Police Command identified the officers as: ASP Isah Barnabas, Inspector Ifediegwu Godwin, Sgt Emmanuel Ochima and CPL Umameh Mathias who physically assaulted one of the travellers.

The Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) has been issued an official query while the three (3) other junior officers are currently undergoing orderly room trial (Police internal disciplinary actions), the statement further said.

“The CP further noted that the Command is doing its best to establish contact with the victims. He enjoined the victims to reach out to the Command thorough 08107899269”.

“He assured that any of the officers found wanting in the investigations would be dealt with accordingly”.

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