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Malabu Scandal: EFCC Working with Interpol to Arrest Adoke, Etete

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The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Jabi, Abuja on Wednesday, ordered the arrest of the immediate-past Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dan Etete, and four others.

The six are named in the charges filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in relation to the $2.1bn Malabu Oil scam.

Others affected by the court’s arrest warrant issued on Wednesday are: Raph Wezels, Casula Roberto, Pujato Stefeno, Burrato Sebastino and Aliyu Abubakar.

Justice Danladi Senchi issued the arrest warrant against the suspects following an ex parte application by the EFCC.

Moving the application on Wednesday, the commission through its lawyer, Mr Aliyu Yusuf, informed the judge that it needed the arrest warrant to enable it to apprehend the suspects and bring them before the court for arraignment on the charges instituted against them since 2016.

Yusuf noted that apart from the charges pending in court, there were other two sets pending against them before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

According to the EFCC, the charges bordered on fraudulent allocation of the Oil Prospecting Licence 245 and money laundering involving the sum of about $1.2bn, forgery of bank documents, bribery and corruption.

The alleged $1.2bn scam involved the transfer of the OPL 245 purportedly from Malabu Oil and Gas Limited to Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Co. Limited and Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited.

The three companies are defendants in the charges pending before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

An operative of the EFCC, Mr. Ahmed Ibrahim, stated in an affidavit filed along with the anti-graft agency’s ex parte application had stated that the issuance of an arrest warrant against the defendants would enable them to liaise with International Police Organisation to ensure their arrest.

The affidavit stated, “That arraignment of the defendants in this case couldn’t take place because the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th defendants/respondents are at large and have refused to make themselves available.

“That all efforts to apprehend the fleeing defendants/respondents proved abortive.

“That in furtherance of efforts to apprehend the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th defendants/respondents, the EFCC contacted the Nigeria Police to assist in watch-listing them and facilitating their arrest.

“That the Nigeria Police in response requested detailed particulars and necessary process to enable them to liaise with INTERPOL, and other relevant sister organisations have insisted that in addition to having a pending charge before a competent court, there must be warrant of arrest to enable the organisations to apprehend the defendants.

“That granting this application will facilitate the required liaison with INTERPOL and ensure that the defendants/respondents are apprehended and produced before the court for their arraignment on the charges filed against them.”

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PDP National Leaders, Orji Kalu Hold Closed-Door Meeting

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The Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Kalu, on Thursday afternoon received newly elected officials of the People’s Democratic Party in his Aso Rock, Abuja residence.

The team was led by the National Secretary of the PDP, Senator Samuel Anyanwu alongside other newly elected officials of the party.

Anyanwu, a former Senator and other newly elected officials of the PDP arrived at the residence of the Senator representing Abia North Senatorial District at precisely 12.28pm.

Anyanwu who wore a navy blue native attire was welcomed by Kalu’s associates and then led straight with his executives to meet the principal officer of the upper chamber.

On sighting one another, both men engaged in pleasantries and embraced each other then proceeded for an indoor meeting.

As the meeting progressed, other executives of the party arrived in turns at Kalu’s residence to join the meeting.

The visit comes amidst strong talks that the former Abia State governor was being positioned for the 2023 presidency to succeed the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.)

Kalu, a founding member of the PDP, formally joined the ruling All Progressives Congress, In 2016

He contested and won the 2019 Senatorial election.

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Stanbic IBTC Bank Appoints Sola David-Borha As Board Chairman

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The Board of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC (“the Bank”) has announced the appointment of Mrs. Sola David-Borha as Chairman of the Board, effective 26 November 2021.

Sola recently retired as Chief Executive, Standard Bank, Africa Regions. She was previously Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC and prior to that, was also Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC.

Mrs. David-Borha has had an extensive career in the financial services industry which has spanned over three decades. Her executive educational experience includes the Advanced Management Program of Harvard Business School and the Global CEO Program of CEIBS, Wharton and IESE. She is an Honorary Senior Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria and winner of the CNBC African Woman of the Year Award for 2016.

While commenting on the appointment, Mr. Wole Adeniyi, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, stated, “Mrs. David-Borha has held several leadership roles over the years in the group and once again, we are privileged to have her as the Chairman of the Board of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC. The Bank will definitely benefit from her wealth of experience as she brings to bear her decades of experience and wealth of knowledge in the financial services industry”.

Mrs. Sola David-Borha takes over from Mr. Barend Kruger who resigned as Chairman of Stanbic IBTC Bank on 21 October 2021. Kruger, however, remains on the Board of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC as a Non-Executive Director.

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Another Peter: Lauretta Onochie Denies APC Membership Three Times

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The Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday screened President Muhammadu Buhari’s Personal Assistant on Social Media, Ms. Lauretta Onochie, for the position of national commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

However, there was a disagreement among members of the Senate Committee on INEC over the nomination.
Onochie, whose nomination has raised controversy over her alleged partisanship and for being a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), denied her membership of the ruling party three times before the Senate committee.

This was despite the fact that she deposed to an affidavit in an Abuja High court in June 2021 affirming her membership of APC.

The Senate Committee on INEC, headed by Senator Kabiru Gaya, screened Onochie along with five other nominees whose names were sent to the Senate for confirmation on October 12, 2020, by Buhari.

Nominees screened along with Onochie were Prof. Muhammad Kallah (Katsina), Prof. Kunle Ajayi (Ekiti), Mr. Saidu Ahmad (Jigawa), Prof. Sani Adam (North-central) and Dr. Baba Bila (North-east).

Addressing the committee, Onochie initially admitted to being a card-carrying member of APC, adding that she ceased being a member after Buhari was re-elected in 2019.

She said: “I have learned over the years to stand with the constitution and due process but not on partisanship or sentiments. Since 2019, I have not had anything to do with any political organisation, including Buhari support groups. When APC was doing re-validation of party members, I did not take part in that exercise.

“As I’m sitting down here, I’m not a member of any political party in this country. I’ve no partisanship in my blood. I have seen many petitions against my nomination not only from the PDP but also from some APC members. I’m not partisan. They know. It is about the law. No one has any reason to fear for my nomination as INEC commissioner representing Delta.

“As far as I’m concerned, I’m madam due process. That’s why all the attacks. I follow due process; I follow the law.”
However, an affidavit dated 30th June 2021, she swore to at an FCT High Court, attached to one of the petitions against her, contradicted her claims.

She deposed to the affidavit at the court in a case involving her as plaintiff and Emeka Ugwuonye (defendant).
Onochie in her witness statement on oath said: “That I am also engaged in active politics and a member of Neighbourhood Watch and has also contested the local government elections under the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom. I am also a member of the All Progressives Congress and a volunteer at the Buhari Support Organisation.”

Onochie told the committee that Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu, a serving INEC National Commissioner from Delta State is actually representing Cross River on the board of the electoral body.

Senators Ifeanyi Ubah, Seriake Dickson, Istifanus Gyang, and Ike Ekweremadu, in their separate questions, asked Onochie again to confirm her membership of the APC, but three times, she disavowed the ruling party.

However, a suggestion by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (Ekiti Central) that Onochie be placed on oath after she denied her APC membership was supported by Senator Lawal Gumau (Bauchi South).

But two PDP senators, Ekweremadu and Dickson, who objected on the ground that doing so will breach Senate rules that do not allow any nominee to be put on oath during screening.

Gaya upheld their objections, saying Onochie would not be placed on oath so as not to run afoul of the Senate rules.

Gaya subsequently adjourned the proceedings and said the report of his panel would be submitted to the Senate next week.

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