One month to his inauguration, Bauchi State Governor-elect, Senator Bala Mohammed, will be arraigned on Monday (today) by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on fresh six counts bordering on alleged failure to declare his assets and false information, The Punch has learnt.
Mohammed, a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, was declared the winner of the recent Bauchi State governorship election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party after defeating the incumbent Governor of the state, Mohammed Abubakar, of the All Progressives Congress.
According to information sent by court registrar to the EFCC Director of Legal Services and Prosecution, Chile Okoroma, obtained by The Punchon Sunday, Mohammed popularly known as Kaura, will be arraigned in Court 26 at the FCT High Court, Maitama in Abuja.
“He will be arraigned on six counts bordering on false declaration of assets and giving false information to the EFCC. There are some properties he bought which he did not disclose to the EFCC but were discovered. The details will be unveiled when the charges will be read to him. A renowned legal practitioner and the EFCC counsel, Wahab Shittu, has been assigned to prosecute Bala Mohammed, before a new judge,” a source in the commission stated.
Count five of the charges to be read to the accused reads, “That you Bala A. Mohammed on or about October 24, 2016 at the head office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Abuja within the judicial division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory made a false statement to the detective, Ishaya Dauda, investigating officer with the Economic Governance Section of the EFCC, Abuja to wit: that you acquired house situate at No. 2599 and 2600, Cadastal Zone AO4 Asokoro District Abuja through a mortgage facility from Aso Savings & Loan Bank Plc and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 09 (2) (a) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004 and punishable under Section 39(2)(b) of the same Act.”
The accused had in a recent interview with Saturday Punch in Bauchi vowed that he would probe his predecessor, adding that his trial by the EFCC was politically-motivated.
He said, “It is completely politically-motivated but I believe in justice and that was why I went to the court of justice. Definitely! Because of the evidence that we have, he is going to be thoroughly probed because I have not been spared by the Federal Government. I have been under probe by the EFCC and because I believe in accountability and was influential in the government of President Goodluck Jonathan, I chose not to run away.
“I will stand and answer all questions. I have passed the first battle by winning my case against the Federal Government on human rights, for arbitrarily imprisoning me and then calling me names. Of course, N5m has been awarded in my favour and the next one is the other spurious charges against me. I believe in justice and equity.
“And if the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has discovered some documents which shows that over 2,000 ghost workers have been inputted into the salaries and arrears of Bauchi State in the last four years and over N400bn has come to Bauchi and we cannot see anything that has been done for N5bn, if I don’t do it (probe him), then I have abdicated my responsibility.”
Gowon Brought Half of CBN to UK, Nigerian Officials Have Loot Here – British MP
A member of the United Kingdom Parliament, Tom Tugendhat (Tonbridge and Malling) took a swipe at retired General Yakubu Gowon on Monday.
Gowon was Nigeria’s Head of State from 1966 to 1975.
During the debate on a petition on End SARS, Tugendhat accused him and the country’s leaders of corruption.
Decrying the situation in Nigeria, the lawmaker said: “One of the great countries is, sadly, being racked by violence, and violence against young people.
The greatest book in the English Language is Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the great Nigerian writer. The beauty of that book is the way it explains the challenge of changing generations to live together.
“The way it speaks about values falling away and community being eroded by outside pressure. What we’re seeing in Nigeria today is part of that story.
“It’s a tragedy that we are watching, it’s a tragedy that we are all witnessing. The pressure this time is not foreign colonialism, the pressure instead is corruption and violence.
“We need to call out the corruption, we need to use the powers that we have in this country to stop those profiting from the wealth of that great nation and hiding it here.
“Some people will remember when General Gowon left Nigeria with half the Central Bank and moved to London.
“We know that today, even now, in this great city of ours, there are, sadly, some people who have taken from the Nigerian people and hidden their ill-gotten gains here.
“We know that our banks, sadly, have been used for that profit and for that illegal transfer of assets.
“And that means the UK is in enormous unique position in being able to do
actually something to really exert pressure on those who have robbed the Nigerian people.”
MPs including Theresa Villiers (Chipping Barnet), Kate Osamor (Edmonton), Lyn Carol Brown (West Ham), Taiwo Owatemi (Coventry North West) made contributions.
The lawmakers urged the Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, and the UK Foreign Office to engage Nigerian authorities and brief parliament subsequently.
#EndSARS: CNN Calls FG’s Bluff, Releases Second Report on Lekki Shootings
Amid threats of sanction from the Federal Government over its investigative report on the shootings at Lekki toll plaza during the #EndSARS protests, CNN has released a second report on the incident.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had last week described CNN’s report on the Lekki shootings as poor journalism, adding that the network deserved to be sanctioned.
Mohammed also followed up the threat with a letter addressed to the management of CNN in Atlanta.
However, the network on Tuesday did a second report with more damning footage showing soldiers shooting at unarmed protesters on October 20, 2020.
The fresh report also shows the Commander, 81 Division, Brig.Gen Ahmed Taiwo, admitting before the judicial panel in Lagos that his men indeed took live ammunition to the tollgate.
The CNN report also highlights the fact that Brig.Gen Taiwo’s claim is at variance with the minister’s who had claimed last week that the army fired blank bullets.
The fresh report also shows protesters running as soldiers open fire at the tollgate.
The National Broadcasting Commission, which is overseen by the information minister, had last month slammed hefty fines on three Nigerian television stations for daring to use some of the footage which CNN has also used.
The Federal Government has been receiving flak from members of the United Kingdom Parliament and Amnesty International over the killing of protesters.
Buhari’s Letter Seeking Yakubu’s Confirmation as INEC Chairman Read in Senate
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has asked the Senate to confirm the appointment of Professor Mahmood Yakubu, for a second term in office.
Buhari’s official communication to the red chamber was read on the floor during plenary on Tuesday, by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.
He sought the lawmakers’ expeditious consideration of his request for another five-year tenure for Yakubu.