Showing posts with label legal nigeria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label legal nigeria. Show all posts

Thursday, 22 November 2018

 By Ose Binitie. 

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, says Nigeria has lost about N127 billion to cybercrime.He made this known at Nigeria’s first Legislative Stakeholders Conference on ICT and Cyber security on Monday in Abuja.

Saraki, who was represented by Senate Minority Whip Sen. Philip Aduda Saraki did not, however, specify the period within which the nation lost such an amount to cyber crime.

He said the loss was indicative of the hole created in the economy by cyber crime amounting to 0.08 per cent of the Gross Domestic product (GDP.

“It is indeed ironic that while internet penetration in Nigeria is tentative at best, hovering at just over the 90 million people mark, a percentage of 47.7 per cent, internet-facilitated crime seems to be growing.

“Our cyber borders are very porous, indeed,” Saraki said.

He said efforts to revive the economy must necessarily include counter-measures to minimise the losses and shore up the country’s cyber security architecture to better repel attacks.

Saraki further said that cyber attacks had in 2016 reached unprecedented level, globally with no sign of a downward trend.

“In recent times, we have seen the virulent use to which criminals and other shadowy agents have put the cyber space.

“The cyber ecosystem has been weaponised and manipulated to devastating effect to undermine democratic processes, influence voting in elections and whip up tension and divisions between societal groups.

“Over 200,000 cyber attacks were recorded in one single day earlier this year all over the world.

‘’Major international financial institutions have had their systems crippled for up to 48 hours after being targeted by criminals using Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), among other methods.”

He said such attacks threatened economic activities, adding that personal data of millions of people were compromised by cyber criminals, who demanded the payment of ransom before hijacked data could be released.

“Kidnapping, already a scourge in the Nigerian physical space, is also becoming a problem in the virtual realm as ‘cyber-kidnapping’ of encrypted data poses a clear and present danger to our economic viability.

The Senate President described cybercrime as an ever-mutating monster, constantly growing new tentacles and taking on new formations.

“Not so long ago, one web-based Ponzi scheme succeeded in entrapping thousands of Nigerians with promises of quick gains.

“Investors were left counting the costs when the bubble burst, while those responsible moved on to new pastures. There was no accountability anywhere.”

He said that it was in light of all these challenges that the Senate sounded the alarm with a motion in May and resolved to, amongst other things, convene a national conference.

“It is essential that we come up with effective cyber-security management strategies based on existing legislative frameworks, while building on the work already being done by bodies like the Cybercrime Advisory Council.

He noted that “The ‘Stop. Think. Connect’ campaign initiative of the United States Mission was aimed at reducing cybercrime in Nigeria.

According to him, the effort also points to the need to share ideas and collaborate with international partners to reduce the impact of the borderless crimes of cyber-space.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on ICT and Cybercrime, Sen. AbdulFatai Buhari, said the advancement in Information and Communication Technology had accelerated the growth and penetration of mobile telephony and its associated multimedia services.

“It has led to increasing access to the internet and broadband services providing opportunities for finding detailed answers to millions of questions every day.

Buhari said it was estimated that cybercrime would cost businesses in the world over $2 trillion by 2019.

In his address, the Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, said globally, ICT had become a veritable tool for advancing growth and economic diversification.

He said that a World Bank study carried out in 2014 showed that every 10 per cent in ICT investment generated a corresponding 1.38 per cent increase in GDP.”

Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Abdulaziz Abdullahi, the minister said government had put in place new ICT strategic road map to improve the communication sector.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

One of the most widely dreaded areas of law is corporate law practice. A simple questionnaire amongst young, old and even emerging lawyers in various campuses of the Nigerian Law School reveals that corporate law practice is indeed the most terrifying of all. However, this has over the years proven to be a fallacy, as corporate law may not be the easiest, but is most certainly not the most discouraging area of law. This article hopes to simplify an aspect of corporate law practice i.e business name registration, in a bid to douse the fear for corporate law particularly, company secretarial services.

It goes without saying that corporate law is very broad thus, discussing all of its branches may be a herculean task. We shall therefore start with business name registration, an aspect of corporate law which is regulated specifically by the Corporate Affairs Commission “CAC”. A business name can be a sole proprietorship popularly known as “one man business” or a partnership which involves “two or more persons”. A business name does not compulsorily have to be registered with the CAC, but it is important that it is registered to give a ‘legal backing’ to your business.
N.B- A more detailed explanation of what ‘legal backing’ refers to will be given in the subsequent article on company registration.

We shall now highlight the basic steps to a successful business name registration with the CAC:

A. Business Name Reservation:
Go to and create an online account with the CAC.
Log on to your online account and click on name availability search.
Follow the prompts to reserve the two names you have chosen for the business. Option one should be the most preferred name.
Payment for the name reservation is to be made on either at the bank or online following carefully the prompts on the page.
Upon a successful reservation wait for a notice from CAC of approval or denial of your reserved name.
Print the Notice of Approval
N.B- There are various reasons why a name may be denied. These shall be expoused in subsequent articles. However, the notice of approval or denial will be sent to your CAC online account.

B. Filing with the CAC:
Obtain a set of business name forms either by downloading from or by paying on and obtaining same from the nearest CAC office.
Fill the form carefully either using a type writer, by hand or on your computer.
Ensure that the nature of business and passport photographs of the proprietors as well as other relevant information required on the form is well provided. 
Pay for the filing on and submit online on or by hand to the nearest CAC office: the already filed form, notice of approval, evidence of payment and other proficiency requirements (depending on the nature of business)  
Obtain certificate of business name registration.

Carefully following the above steps will guarantee a successful business name registration with the CAC.

 However for further enquiries and clarification call 08082829602, 08180898396 or send a mail to 

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Fed Govt files fresh charges against Ademola

The office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) has accused Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja of accepting an N8million car as gratification from a lawyer, Joe Odey Agi.
Justice Ademola, 63, allegedly accepted “a BMW saloon 320i, valued at N8m” through his son, Ademide Ademola.
He is also accused of attempting to obtain N25m gratification from Sani Shaibu Teidi with a view to showing him favour.
Teidi, a former director, Pension Accounts Office, Head of Civil Service of the Federation, was charged before the judge in 2013 with alleged involvement in a pension scam.
The allegations are contained in a fresh charge filed against Justice Ademola and his wife, Olabowale by the office of the AGF.
The AGF accused the wife of accepting N30m on behalf of her husband from a law firm known as Messrs Joe Agi and Associates.
In the 11-count charge filed on December 1, the couple are accused, in count one, of conspiring, between March 11 and 24, 2015, to receive gratification from Messrs Joe Agi and Associates through their accounts 206/174191/2/0 and 201/110160/1/0 domiciled at GTBank Plc, and committed an offence contrary to Section 26(1)(c) of the Corrupt Practices and other related offences Act 2000.
Mrs. Ademola is accused in counts two, three and four of receiving N10m gratification thrice from Messrs Joe Agi and Associates through her GTBank account on behalf of her husband between March 11 and 24, 2015, an offence contrary to Section 8(1)(a) of Corrupt Practices and other related offences Act 2000.
Justice Ademola is accused in counts five and six of “dealing with property subject matter of an offence” by transferring N85m and N90m on February 24, 2014, through his account 286/174191/2/0 in GTBank to Franco Dan Parker, “which forms the proceeds of an unlawful act and thereby committed an offence contrary to Corrupt Practices and other related offences Act 2000.
The judge is accused in count seven of attempting, on February 21, 2014, to obtain gratification of N25m from Sani Shaibu Teidi “as a motive for showing favour in the exercise of your official functions, contrary to Section 118(b) of the Penal Code Act”.
He is in count eight accused of receiving gratification of “a BMW saloon 320i, valued at N8m from Joe Odey Agi, through your son, Ademide Ademola, an act contrary to Section 8(1)(a) of the Corrupt Practices and other related offences Act, 2000.
In count nine, 10 and 11, the judge is accused of illegally possessing firearms and ammunition (one Avar Magnum 608, Avar Magnum 6284) and 35 rounds of live ammunition (catridges) without valid licences an offence contrary to Section 3 of the Robbery and Firearms (Special provisions) Act 2004.
The planned arraignment of the couple before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama was stalled yesterday, owing to the inability of the prosecution to effect service of the charge on the defendants.
When the case was called, the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation (DPPF), Mohammed Umar, told the court that in exercising his powers under Section 174 of the Constitution, and Section 104 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), the AGF has instructed that a private lawyer, Segun Jegede lead the prosecution of the case.
When he took over, Jegede, a former prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC), told the court  that the court’s bailiff was unable to serve the defendants the charge.
Relying on the provision of Section 382(5) of the ACJA, Jegede sought the court’s permission to serve copies of the charge on the defendants’ lawyer, for onward transfer to them.
He eaqually applied to withdraw an earlier charge filed by the prosecution on November 14, 2016.
Defence lawyer Jeph Njikonye, did not object to the prosecution’s withdrawal of the earlier charge.
He also expressed his readiness to accept copies of the new charge for his clients.
Justice Jude Okeke struck out the charge withdrawn by the prosecution and directed Njikonye to accept copies of the fresh charge for his clients.
Justice Okeke adjourned till Tuesday for arraignment.

Source : The Nation

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

By Kayode P. Agbedejobi

The 15th of November, 2016 couldn’t have been been a more blessed, joyous and remarkable day for the people of Kwara State as the former Court of Appeal President, Honourable Justice (rtd) Mustapha Akanbi witnessed the opening of “The Mustapha Akanbi Library” a beautiful and well equipped contemporary library in his residence, 6, Agba Dam Link Road, off Ahmadu Bello Avenue, G.R.A. The Library building was declared opened by His Royal Higness Alh. (Dr.) Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, CFR, the Emir of Ilorin.

Several dignitaries were in attendance to grace the ceremony likewise members of the community. Some Executive members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja branch were also present. The chairman of the NBA, Ikeja branch, Mr. Adesina Ogunlana and his team were warmly received by retired justice likewise several other lawyers.

Justice Mustapha Akanbi who retired in the year 2012 can be said to be one of the most upright Judges in the history of Nigeria. His simple lifestyle is evinced from the structure of his house which is always available to everyone to freely gain access.

The rtd. Justice is reputed for his war against corruption in the judiciary. It would be recalled that in 2015, he urged president Buhari to put an eye on the judiciary if he was determined to succeed in his anti-corruption war. 

In a chat with the son of the retired Justice who is a professor, a gentle, fine,  courageous man, he was asked what it felt like to be a son of Justice Akanbi, he replied saying “it’s a challenge being his son because, he has lived a legacy with a very high standard which the community expects of him to live up to.” He also added that it might be difficult for the present generation to meet such standard because of the exposure to several forms of temptation which his father has been able to overcome. 

Below are some of the pictures taken during an excursion into the library with some of the executive members of NBA Ikeja, Lagos state branch.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

1. Femi Adebayo

Actor, film producer and a proprietor of a school of art in Ibadan, Femi was born to an actor father, Otunba Adebayo Salami so for him, acting runs in his vein. But Femi did not rise to the peak of his acting career until in the 2000s.
Even though Femi studied law from the University of Ilorin, Kwara and later got Master of Arts (MA) Degree in Theatre Art, he had started acting before he went to the university.
After his graduation, Femi practiced law for some years specializing in estate and property law before acting got a better part of him.
Femi is a toast of movie producers in the Yoruba movie genre.

2. Richard Mofe-Damijo (RMD)

Veteran Nollywood actor popularly referred to as RMD had his first degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Benin.
After making an indelible impact in the make believe industry as an actor, RMD went back to the University of Lagos in 1997 to earn a degree in Law to fulfil his mother’s life long wish for her son to be a Lawyer.

He was subsequently called to the Nigerian Bar.

3. Tara Durotoye

She is the boss of House of Tara, a make-up business
Tara started her make-up business while in the Lagos State University studying Law.

Tara never practiced Law but she has said that her knowledge of Law has helped her to manage her make-up and beauty business.

4. Funke Akindele

For her first tertiary institution course, it was Mass Communication, a course she left after obtaining an Ordinary National Diploma in it from the Moshood Abiola Polytechnics, Ogun state.

She later went to University of Lagos to study Law but before she was done in the university, entertainment became the soul of her passion.

Her first appearance on television drama was in ‘I Need to Know’ as a teenager. After graduation, Funke Akindele didn't bother going to the Law School, instead she followed her heart. Today who doesn't know who Funke Akindele is? 
Her seasonal movie "Jenifa's Diary" is presently the rave of the moment

5. Kelechi Amadi-Obi

Celebrity photographer, Kelechi Amadi-Obi is a qualified Lawyer from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
He was called to bar in 1993 and set up his studio shortly afterwards.

He is the publisher of Mania Magazine.

6. Kemi Adetiba:

Kemi started her romance with the entertainment industry as a Law undergraduate when she was working as an On-Air-Personality on Rythym 93.7.

After discovering her interest in entertainment, TV host and musical video director, Kemi Adetiba, went on to study Film Making in New York Film Academy.

Kemi is the brain behind several great music videos.

7. Ebuka Obi-Uchendu

TV personality, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu has been a force to reckon with in the entertainment industry.

After obtaining a Law degree from the University of Abuja, Ebuka came into public consciousness as contestant on the reality television show Big Brother Nigeria in 2006.

Ebuka has never left the public glare since then. Ebuka does not only have a degree in Law, he also has a Master degree in it.

8. Folake Akindele-Coker

Fashion designer and beautiful daughter of Ibadan billionaire, Chief Akindele, Folake Coker, is a qualified lawyer with a Master degree in Petroleum Law.

Folake Coker, the brains behind Tiffany Amber quickly recognised her passion for fashion and traded her wig and gown for scissors and tapes establishing her luxury line Tiffany Amber as far back as 1998.

9. Lolo 1 of Wazobia FM

Populaly known as Omotunde Adebowale Davies,Lolo 1 is a graduate of Lagos state Univeristy, Ojo where she studied Law.

She practiced the law profession for three years before she left her wig and gown to be an on-air-personality.

She rocks the airwaves as the Lolo1 on popular Pidgin English speaking radio station, Wazobia FM.

10. Lisa Folawiyo

She is the creative Director of Jewel by Lisa and originator of embellished ankara prints. Lisa attended the University of Lagos where she obtained a Law degree.

She established Jewel by Lisa in 2005 and quickly became a force to reckon with as her creative style captured the attention of the international fashion world.

Jewel by Lisa has been rocked by celebrities like Solange Knowles, Kendal Jenner and Catt Sandler of E! etc.

11. Omawumi Megbele

She worked briefly at her brother’s law firm, O.S Megbele and Associates before she contesting for the Idols West Africa in 2007.

Omawumi embraced entertainment through her participating in West African Idols where she emerged as the first runner up and ever since she has embraced music forgetting her wig and gown.

12. Funke Bucknor-Obruthe

Despite having a musician father, Funke Bucknor-Obruthe studied Law in the University of Lagos but knew her heart lay elsewhere.

Funke worked very briefly with St Matthew Daniel and Balogun law firm after her graduation before the pioneer events coordinating company with her Zapphaire Events company.

13. Tosyn Bucknor

On-Air-Personality and sister to Funke Bucknor-Obruthe, Tosyn Bucknor also read Law in the University of Lagos.
Tosyn started her romance with the media as an undergraduate with her weekly column in The Guardian newspaper.

Asides singing, she currently works as an OAP with Top 90.9fm and also has written scripts for shows like Amstel Malta Box-office season 2&3 and The Apprentice Africa.

14. Sasha P

Nigeria female rapper, Sasha P, is a graduate of Law from the University of Lagos.

She has also delved into fashion designing.

She is the most decorated Nigerian female rapper in history.

15. Falz (Folarin Falana)

For somebody like Falz many were taken aback when he abandoned Law which foe entertainment.

This is because Falz, born Folarin Falana is the son of erudite lawyer and social commentator, Femi Falana.
Falz studied Law in the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. After Law school Falz worked in his father’s chambers for a while before following his heart desire.

Today Falzs ings and has spread his entertainment tentacle to acting.

16. Lepacious Bose

Bose Osayemi abandoned the sobriety of the law profession for the excitement of the entertainment industry.
Lepacious Bose is one of the few female comedians in the country.
Her stage name, Lepacious Bose is a contradiction of her stature but it has really worked for her.

Source: 36NG

Friday, 17 June 2016

By Abdulrazaq Magaji
< 234-805-138-0793>
From the quantum of high and not-so-high endorsements he has received so far, it is almost certain that Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama is only waiting to be crowned the next president of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, next month. Within the learned circle of lawyers, the reasoning is that if he could affect the legal profession so positively in his private capacity, Chief J-K Gadzama could be trusted to use the structures of the NBA to do more. The optimism is well-placed.
Arewa Lawyers Forum, ALF. When it took the decision last March, ALF said it was swayed Chief J-K Gadzama’s First to come was a critical endorsement from his base, the antecedents as a lawyer who has worked assiduously to push the frontier of the NBA and his efforts in improving the lot of NBA members. On June 14, the ALF sent a formal letter to that effect to regional NBA fora to notify them of the decision. Insiders say the endorsement flowed from the belief that, with NBA structure, Chief J-K Gadzama could do more for many more for an even greater number of young and not-so-young lawyers.
Similar reasons were cited in endorsing Chief J-K Gadzama by individuals and regional law bodies. Hear Aare Afe Babalola, SAN, eminent jurist, statesman, and founder/chancellor of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti: “ Of all the SAN’s around, none is better qualified to lead the NBA especially at this critical point in time than Chief J-K Gadzama. He has displayed the capacity and commitment to lead. Law is all he knows; he lives it and dreams it. Chief J-K Gadzama is committed to the profession and we trust his presidency will be the beginning of greater things within the NBA family.’’ Aare Babalola’s endorsement came hot in the heels of similar ones by individuals and regional lawyers fora.
Take Adegboyega Solomon Awomolo and Bandele Aiku, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria and like Aare Babalola, prominent members of Egbe Amofin Oodua, a major affiliate of the South West Lawyers Forum. Both legal luminaries were emphatic in their endorsement which they hinged on the belief that the NBA will provide Chief J-K Gadzama with necessary structures to do even more to advance the course of the profession.
At its recent meeting in Abeokuta, Ogun state, and the one preceding it in Ile Ife, Osun state, the South West Lawyers Forum literally rose in unison to pledge their support for the presidential bid of J-K Gadzama. The endorsement by the SWLF, though informal, was predicated on several innovations by the law firm of Chief J-K Gadzama to help lawyers, especially young ones, to hone their skills which several members from the zone say they have benefited from.
It is not for fun that the Otu Oka-Iwu of the South East Lawyers Forum, SELF, refers to J-K Gadzama as ‘friend and ally of Ndigbo’. He is so recognised for the opportunity he gave to numerous young lawyers of Igbo extraction who cut their teeth under his tutelage. Indeed, it takes a detribalized Nigerian in the mould of Chief J-K Gadzama to name an important mentorship programme after Justice Chukwudifu Oputa! Long before he was so recognised by Otu Oka-Owu, Ndigbo had, in 2003, honoured him as Okwulora of Ukpo for being ‘’an authentic and reliable mouthpiece of the people.’’
For the best part of the thirty years he has spent on the bar, Chief J-K Gadzama has carved a niche for himself as a lawyer who has committed himself to the development of the legal profession. With state-of-the-art facilities and a purpose-built moot court for lawyers to practice before they attend court sessions, his ultramodern head office in Abuja has some of the best infrastructure for law practice in Nigeria and compares favourably with some of the best law firms around the world. Little wonder Chief J-K Gadzama was last year listed among the top five hundred lawyers in the world.
J-K Gadzama LLP has one of the largest pool of lawyers in its employment: at present, there are fifty out of which forty are juniors. The firm regularly takes in dozens of youth corps members and, on an annual basis accepts a sizeable number of students from the Nigerian Law School on law office attachment. J-K Gadzama Annual Lectures, already in its ninth year is one big informal training ground for lawyers considering the wealth of ideas exchanged at the sessions. Equally important is the prestigious J-K Gadzama Award for best graduating student which he instituted at his alma mater, University of Maiduguri and the Nigerian law School.
Other innovations that endeared Chief J-K Gadzama to the heart of people within and outside the legal profession is the Honourable Justice Chukwudifu Oputa Mentorship Scheme, a quarterly training and mentorship programme coordinated by Dr. Tahir Mamman, immediate past director general of the Nigerian Law School and senior partner at J-K Gadzama LLP. The Justice Oputa mentorship training session, a quarterly training session aimed at honing the skills of young lawyers debuted last April. It is hardly surprising that these and more formed the basis for the endorsements that keep coming the way of Chief J-K Gadzama.
.Growing up in the late 60’s and early 70’s, Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama followed the mind of his friends and wanted to pursue a career in the military. In fact, teachers and classmates from that era grew up believing it was a done deal that young Gadzama would one day end up as a General in the Nigerian Army. To friends from that that era, gaining admission into the Nigerian Military School, Zaria, in 1975 was like a dream come true.
But this was five years after a better-forgotten civil war. It was also the year of Nigeria’s third military coup, this time a bloodless one that brought late General Murtala Ramat Muhammad to power. But young Gadzama’s mother, like all loving mothers, would have none of this as she was not going to sign away another family member. The elder Gadzama was at the time a high-ranking police officer. His mother had her way
Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama has turned full circle. Today, he is a General of sort, being the deserving recipient of the prestigious Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, at age 37, one of the youngest to be so honoured in 1998. And like any battle-tested General, he is in full control of an equally battle-tested battalion of lawyers at his command post, the octopoid  J-K Gadzama LLP in Garki11 district of Abuja. He holds two national awards:  Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic, OFR, and Member of the order of the Federal Republic, MFR. He is the Sardauna of Uba in Borno state.
Born Tuesday, November 28, 1961 in Mubi, in present day Adamawa state, Chief J-K Gadzama hails from Lassa in Borno state. He was educated in Kaduna, Song and Maiduguri where he took a Second Class Upper division degree in law at the University of Maiduguri in 1985 emerging, in the process, as the best graduating student in Common Law. Chief J-K Gadzama was the first of the nearly 1700 lawyers in the 1986 class of the Nigerian Law School to become a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, in addition to being the pioneer Chairman of the class.
 In 2006, Chief Gadzama took a post graduate diploma in International Commercial Arbitration from the Keble College of the Oxford University in the United Kingdom after which he was admitted into Lincoln’s Inn. In 2013 and, in recognition of his arbitration and dispute resolution skills, Chief J-K Gadzama was named as a member of a high-powered committee set up by the Federal Government to investigate and proffer solutions to the insurgency in north eastern Nigeria. Today, the Sardaunan Uba maintains law chambers in the United States of America and the United Kingdom where he practices law.
Outside his native Lassa, J-K Gadzama’s is a big voice in north eastern Nigeria where he regularly executes people-friendly projects. And the gesture is not lost on appreciating members of the communities who, in appreciation, have continued to recognise him. In December 2007, he was the sole recipient of the Southern Borno Community Merit Award for meritorious service to community and the fatherland.
J-K Gadzama has every reason to expect a positive outing next month. Over the years, he has proved to be one Nigerian who is passionate about the Nigerian project and continues to do his bit in its actualisation. And some of his suggestions to drive the Nigerian project, just as his antidote to the high cost of governance, are as revolutionary as they are realistic. First, he believes Nigeria must get it right through enthroning the ideals of free, fair and transparent elections.
Again, Chief J-K Gadzama believes the nation has no business with the needless religious and ethnic strife. Thirdly, corruption should have no place in the land as it shades competence. What is more, Chief J-K Gadzama believes the nation will achieve quality legislation at low cost if legislative duties and remunerations are on part-time basis or, as is the practice in some emerging democracies, for legislative seats to be reserved for professionals. This, Chief J-K Gadzama believes, will enrich the legislative process and deepen the nation’s democracy.
These and more are possible but it will take a proactive national leadership of the NBA to push them through. The success story of J-K Gadzama LLP attests to the fact that this, precisely, is the kind of leadership that J-K Gadzama will provide when he executes the presidency of the NBA. Besides, the NBA presidency will be a welcome feather to a colourful cap! The individuals and groups that endorsed J-K Gadzama cannot be wrong.
Nigerian lawyers cannot be wrong!
Magaji <> is based in Abuja, Nigeria

Monday, 9 May 2016

EFCC quizzes 16 directors

Some Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials have been summoned to the agency’s Abuja headquarters in connection with the alleged N23.29billion bribe the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is probing.

The EFCC has quizzed 16 top INEC officials, including 10 directors, over the scandal.

Those invited are two Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) and an administrative officer.

The RECs are Gesila Khan and Austen Okojie, who have been under investigation by the EFCC and other security agencies.

On the list too   is an Administrative Secretary in Delta State,  Uluochi Obi Brown.

Khan has been  quizzed for allegedly collecting  N185, 842,000 out of a N681million bribe. Brown allegedly got   N111,500,000.

Okojie’s infractions were unknown as at press time but the INEC management is said to have “a security report” on him.

The officials will appear on Wednesday  before the Senior Staff Disciplinary Committee chaired by a National Commissioner, Mustapha Lecky.

More RECs and INEC officials may face the panel based on EFCC’s investigation.

The indicted officials may be dropped by the Presidency if the allegations against them are established “beyond reasonable doubt”.

The INEC management has stepped into the poll bribery scandal to cleanse the system of corrupt elements.

REC Gesil Khan allegedly collected  N185, 842,000 out of a N681million bribe; Fidelia Omoile( Electoral Officer in Isoko-South Local Government Area of Delta State)—N112,480,000 ; Uluochi Obi Brown( INEC’s Administrative Secretary in Delta State)—N111,500,000; a former Deputy Director  of INEC in Cross River state, Edem Okon Effanga—N241,127,000 and the Head of Voter Education in INEC in Akwa Ibom, Immaculata Asuquo—N214,127,000.

A retired INEC official, Sani Isa,  was grilled for alleged N 406,206,000 bribe, allegedly collected on behalf of the deceased Resident Electoral Commissioner  (REC) in Kano State, Alhaji Mukaila Abdullahi.

A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “Apart from EFCC’s findings, the INEC management is also looking into the scandal which has battered the image of the commission.

“The Secretary of INEC, Mrs. Augusta Ogakwu, has sent a letter of invitation to the affected RECs and Administrative Secretary.

“Apart from the confidential report of the EFCC, I think INEC may revisit the report of a committee sent to Rivers and Akwa Ibom during the 2015 poll when there were issues in the two states.

“So far, EFCC has not accused Okojie of involvement in the bribery but I think he is being invited to face the disciplinary panel on the basis of the report of the committee which looked into issues in Akwa Ibom during the 2015 poll when he was the REC in the state.”

Responding to a question, the source added: “Although the chairman of the disciplinary committee is on a medical trip abroad, the INEC management may find a way out.”

As at press time, the EFCC has quizzed 16 top INEC officials over the scandal.

They include four directors at INEC headquarters, six directors at the state level and six Heads of Operations in the Southwest

Another source said: “Actually, EFCC wrote a letter to INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, seeking permission to interrogate these top officers.

“They were all subsequently released to the anti-graft agency for a comprehensive session.

“The outcome of the interrogation  led to the discovery that a former INEC chairman and two ex-National Commissioners coordinated  the bribery ring which led to the disbursement of the N23.29billion by Fidelity Bank.

“The INEC management is awaiting EFCC’s report on these 14 directors before wielding the big stick if they are found guilty.

“Sensing danger, one of the Administrative Secretaries implicated had offered to resign his appointment. This resignation will still not prevent his arraignment if he has a case to answer.”

There were indications last night that the RECs might be dropped by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari if they are found guilty.

Many directors might be fired too depending on the report of the EFCC and INEC management.

“There is already tension in the system because many INEC officers benefited from the bribe. It was discreetly done but the scam has been uncovered by EFCC.

“Those involved are jittery that their days are numbered because the administration of Buhari will not condone nonsense. In fact, a few directors have been seeking advice on whether or not to quit before being shown the way out.”

A former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke is believed to be central to the huge bribe of poll officials to alter the 2015 presidential election results.

About $115m( N23.29b) was involved in the bribery, with four  oil firms contributing $88.35million.

The Nation

Subscribe to RSS Feed Follow me on Twitter!