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How Diri hid N100billion derivation fund *Shared N21billion council funds to politicians



How come a governor that conducts monthly briefings on the financial status of the state including monetary receipts and expenditures, failed to tell the same people how a whopping N100billion accrued to the state under his watch and instead, went to the bank to borrow money.

This was the major question the All Progressives Congress (APC) is asking to prove the allegation that the money had found itself into the wrong places, including members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as it threatened on Tuesday to get Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri to account for the money to the last kobo, including dragging him before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to do so.

Specifically, the governor is being accused of frittering away N21billion, the local government component of the withheld 13 per cent oil derivation refunds ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari to the oil-producing states, broken down to N3billion for each of the seven councils in the state.

Dennis Otiotio, APC Chairman in the state, told reporters in the state, at a parley with Correspondents’ Forum of the Federated Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bayelsa State Council, in Yenagoa on Tuesday, the disappearance of the money was evidence of the bad governance suffered in the state since the arrival of Diri.

Bewailing what he said was the untold hardship on the people of the state despite the huge monthly revenue allocation from the Federation Account, including the 13 per cent oil derivation funds, in the past three years, Otiotio said the APC was working hard to end the suffering by wresting power from PDP under Diri, who came into power not because of popular votes of the people, but through the courts, which destroyed the overwhelming mandate given to the APC in the 2019 governorship election.

Hear him: “We are told that about N3billion accrued to each of the local government areas of the state from money that was withheld from 13 per cent derivation, but we are aware that as we speak, there are no elected officials manning the local governments in the state because the governor is unable to conduct local government election.

“And since there are no elected officials at the local government councils, how did they manage this N3billion? I hear they are sharing the money with candidates to go and do an election. We are going to write to the EFCC to investigate that money; the money was given to the local governments. They (the state government) should explain to Bayelsans how they spent the money when there are no elected officials at the local governments.

“Coming to the state, they got over N100 billion from that 13 per cent refunds from the record we have seen. Meanwhile, a month after they got the money, the governor went to the state Assembly with a loan request. Why are they collecting loans when they have over N100 billion from the Federal Government?

“It is unfortunate that even the various transparency briefings they have been holding, they have not deemed it necessary to disclose that they have collected over N100billion from the Federation Account. That is the money that PDP led-Federal Government then withheld, but APC led-Federal Government released it to the PDP states and the governors unanimously concealed it, if not the revelation by Governor Nyesom Wike.

“Governor Diri needs to give us a proper account of how the money was spent and stop this shady transparency briefing they are doing because it is clear that this transparency briefing is a farce. If at the time they did the transparency briefing, they did not inform Bayelsans that Federal Government has released the withheld money, but six months after, they came out because there was a revelation.

“We can see that Governor Douye Diri’s administration has brought suffering to the people of Bayelsa State, our resources have been mismanaged, and the people cannot enjoy the dividends of democracy; the essence of governance is to create enabling environment for businesses to strive.”

Diri had on November 22, 2022, while receiving the Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Barry Ndiomu,  on a courtesy visit, told the retired General and his team that the 13 per cent oil derivation funds accruing to the state were being prudently spent, mostly on infrastructure development.

The governor also claimed in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, that his administration had nothing to hide and that the state’s monthly allocations from the Federation Account had always been made public through its monthly transparency briefings.


Panic! Gunmen storm Anambra Assembly, attempt to bundle away lawmaker



Panic-stricken members of the Anambra State House of Assembly, watched in utter horror on Thursday as one of their colleagues was bundled into a waiting vehicle, by four gun-wielding men, preparatory to being whisked away, before mother-luck came calling.

It took the quick reflexes of security guards at the entrance who locked the gate, to prevent the armed men, who later turned out to be operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) from completing the operation.

The target of the operatives was Onyekachukwu Ike, the House of Assembly-elect member for the Nnewi North constituency, who had joined in the valedictory session for outgoing members, though it is not known why the members of the agency were after him.

Eyewitness account, said the operatives arrived the Assembly complex in three vehicles in a commando version, grabbed the member-elect as he emerged from the venue validectory thanksgiving mass for the seventh Assembly and forced him into their waiting vehicle.

However, it took the eagle-eyed members of the security team of the assembly to truncate the attempt to drive the lawmaker away, because they quickly locked the exit gate, thus halting the operation, as it gave people the opportunity to intervene.

Reacting to the incident, Acting Clerk of the Assembly, Esther Aneto, who bemoaned the manner the operatives carried out the operation, said neither the authorities of the assembly, nor the police was informed about it.

It took the intervention of the Speaker, Uche Okafor, and the Deputy Governor, Onyeka Ibezim, who came to represent the Governor at the Valedictory session before the member-elect was released from the vice grips of the DSS operatives, who however, explained that they had a court order to arrest him.


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Judge orders Yahoo-Yahoo student to clean EFCC premises for two weeks



Justice Aliyu Shafa, of the Federal High Court, Gwagwalada, Abuja, on Thursday ordered a student, Istifanus Irmiya, to clean the premises of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for for two weeks, after he was convicted for internet fraud.

Irmiya, who was docked by the EFCC on a two-count charge, boarding on cheating and impersonation, was also ordered to pay a fine of N100,000, while the phone he used in committing the offence was to be destroyed and burnt.

This was after the culprit, pleaded guilty to the charges and begged the court for leniency, which the court accepted, but insisted that he must carry out the punishment of cleaning the EFCC premises from 9 a.m. to 12 noon daily for two weeks, to teach him a lesson.

Frowning at the rate internets fraud were being committed, Shafa, said: “I have carefully listened to the plea of allocutus made by the convict and the defence counsel. The rate of internet fraud through Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, among others in the society is so alarming.

“That he is a first time offender is not an excuse to go scot-free. The rate of Yahoo-Yahoo among youths is alarming. “Many who resort to crime always have ‘I want to get rich quick’ mindset. Sending him to prison might make him more hardened,” the judge ruled.

Irmiya, who pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy, promising that he would not indulge in such acts again, said: “I want to beg the court for mercy. I’m deeply sorry for what I have done. I’m a changed person now knowing fully well the consequences of my offence.”

Chibuike Chima, his lawyer, who echoed his pleas, told the court that Irmiya had no previous conviction record and was also remorseful, saying: “Irmiya is the only son of the family and he is seeking admission into the university. He has spent one month in EFCC custody.
“The convict has shown remorse and genuinely repented over the crime he has committed by way of expressing genuine repentance, he has restituted the proceeds of crime which is the sum of 250 Euros. The convict is a first-time offender. He has not be convicted for any other crime of whatever kind. We urge my lord to tamper justice with mercy. We assure this court that going forward, the convict will be of good behaviour.”

The EFCC Counsel, Taiwo Aromolaran, who told the court that Irmiya had sometime in 2022 within the jurisdiction of the court cheated by personation, said that the convict deceived his victim while pretending to be one mistress Clara a female Caucasian.

She said that the convict carried out an illegal act, making one Alex Lexis, a German, to send him the sum of 250 Euros which he received via PayPal and Nosh Apps before transferring the money to his own account domiciled with Polaris Bank.

She said that the convict sometime in 2022, also had in his possession documents containing false-pretence, where he represented himself as a German on his Facebook and KK accounts, created by him with the intent to induce Alex Lexis to deliver money to him.

She said the offence contravened the provisions of Section 321 of the Penal Code Act of the Federation (Abuja), 1990 and punishable under Section 324 of the same Act, adding that Section 6 in conjunction with Section 8 of the advance-fee fraud and other related offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.

Pleading with the court that the cell phone being the instrument used for the crime should be forfeited, Aromolaran urged the court to take into consideration the increase in the menace of internet frauds in Nigeria.

Bewailing the menace fraudsters had caused to the image of the country and to their victims, she told the court that Irmiya and his group, operated as syndicates, saying: “They believe that merely coming to court and pleading guilty is enough to attract the sympathy of the court.”


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BREAKING: Tinubu, hosts G-5 govs at Villa *Intensifies moves to break PDP



It is becoming obvious that President Bola Tinubu, may be working hard to break the ranks of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as he is currently hosting the five former Governors of the party who former the G-5 Integrity Group, a very powerful bloc in the main opposition party that fought against the ticket of the party.

Nyesom Wike, former Governor of Rivers State, who was the arrowhead of the G-5, comprising Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, Samuel Ortom of Benue, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu and Seyi Makinde of Oyo, was seen leading the other members to the Presidential Villa, for a meeting with Tinubu, on Thursday afternoon.

The group had vehemently opposed the ticket of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2023 presidential election and refused to join the campaigns on the ground that the former Vice President did not support the ouster of Iyorchia Ayu, then National Chairman of the party on the ground that he came from the same North as him.

Incidentally, the meeting is coming few hours after Caleb Mutfwang Governor of Plateau State and Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom, both PDP governors at the same State House Abuja, in what observers are already interpreting as an attempt to woo the top echelon of the opposition party.

The meeting with the G-5 governors, shortly after that of Tinubu with the two PDP governors, is coming as the party and Atiku Abubakar, are trying to prove before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), sitting in Abuja that Tinubu did not win the 2023 presidential election.

Details later…

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