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House Of Reps Insists Threats, Blackmail Won’t Stop NDDC Probe

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The House of Representatives said on Tuesday that it will not succumb to any form of threat, intimidation or blackmail in its quest to unravel the mysteries surrounding allegations and counter allegations of corruption rocking the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The House also said it decided to carry out the investigation as part of its legislative function, adding the exercise has not in any way hindered the forensic audit of the commission ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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Reacting to series of allegation, Chairman of Committee on Niger Delta, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, also denied claims by the Executive Director, Project of the IMC, Dr. Cairo Ojuogoh the House was sitting on the Commission’s 2020 budget.

READ ALSO: Grave Diggers With Five Human Heads Arrested In Ondo

The NATION reports that he insisted that the delay by the Commission in submitting its 2019 budget performance was responsible for the delay in passing the 2020 budget.

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He said since threat and intimidation has not succeeded in stopping the National Assembly from carrying out its functions, those involved in the allegations have resorted to blackmail, adding that anyone who has nothing to hide should come forward to defend themselves of the allegations instead of throwing tantrums.

Tunji-Ojo dismissed claims of award of emergency contract not budgeted for by the commission, saying “Obviously, this is sheer blackmail and we expected this from the onset when the investigation process started.

He said, “The bottom line is that we are not going to be deterred. This is coming after threat to life by militants and different text messages which has failed. The next agenda to stop the legislative work is blackmail. I can say it categorically that we are more determined to work for the people of the Niger Delta”

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READ ALSO: Ondo Governor’s Wife, Critic In Verbal War

He said it was it part of budget indiscipline for any body to award a contract for a project that was not budgeted for.

Reacting to allegations that he demanded for payment for an emergency training, which was smuggled into the 2019 budget, the lawmaker said: “I have gone through the 2019 budget as approved and I can tell you that there is no provision for emergency training and so.

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” I don’s know what he is talking about. I have said it before and let me repeat it for emphasis sake that I dont have a single contract in NDDC. It started with a 17 kilometre road which they could not substantiate and now, they have come up with another thing. We are only expecting more.

” I have never had any contract with NDDC, I am not a contractor with NDDC, I have never worked for NDDC and I have never been paid by NDDC for anything.

“I am the chairman of this committee by the grace of God and I know the responsibilities on my shoulders. I know that the Niger Delta is looking up to us for succour, for intervention, for help and for a greater tomorrow. We will not mortgage of the Niger Delta people for sake of our today. That will not happen.

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“I don’t have a contract, and I repeat, I dont have a contract. It is an indictment on their part if they claim that there was an award for none budgeted item. That is a very serious offence which the National Assembly must look into.”

(NATION)

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(PHOTO: File)

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Boko Haram: Another Chibok Schoolgirl Rescued In Borno

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Troops of Operation Hadin Kai on Thursday said they rescued another Chibok girl from the captivity of terrorists.

The victim was rescued around the Bama axis of Borno State.

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Confirming the incident, Theatre Commander Joint Task Force Operation Hadin Kai, Major General Christopher Musa, said profiling of the rescued girl is ongoing.

Recall that the army had earlier rescued Mary Dauda, one of the Chibok schoolgirls abducted in 2014.

READ ALSO: Another Chibok Girl Kidnapped By Boko Haram Found With Baby

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Few weeks ago, the troops also neutralised terrorists of the Islamic State’s West Africa Province in Borno State and intercepted another Chibok girl, Hauwa Joseph, who said she escaped from the Boko Haram camp in Gazuwa during a massive incursion of the troops.

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Tension In Ondo Over Alleged Plan By Bandits To Attack Community

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Tension engulfed communities, towns and cities in Ondo State on Thursday following the rumour that bandits were preparing to attack Ilara-Mokin community in the Ifedore Local Government Area of the state.

The apprehension among residents was hinged on a rumoured letter allegedly sent to Adaba FM, a popular radio station in the state over plans by bandits to launch an attack in the community.

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Following the development, Elizade University, which is situated in the neighborhood, had encouraged parents to dismiss the supposed threat circulating over the alleged planned attack.

The institution claimed that the supposed rumor had been debunked by the appropriate authorities, therefore the university community should disregard the threat.

SP Funmilayo Odulami, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, dismissed the letter as a hoax and said that police operatives as well as undercover agents had been dispatched to the community and around the state.

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Also, in a series of announcements on its airwave and news bulletins, Adaba FM emphasized that it did not receive any letter indicating a planned attack by bandits.

Schools were said to have been empty because many parents prevented their children from going to school after the bogus letter was also rumoured to have been validated by the monarch of the community.

“The attention of the university management has been attracted to the material being shared on social media,” stated Omololu Adegbenro, the registrar of Elizade University, in a statement.

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READ ALSO: Owo Massacre: Ondo Community Invokes ‘God Of Iron’ On Attackers

“The originators of the information claimed that the purported letter was submitted to Adaba FM, Ilara-Mokin. They also claimed that His Royal Majesty, the Alara of Ilara-Mokin, Oba Aderemi Adefehinti was fully aware of the letter, adding that the royal father had disseminated the information to members of the community through his Town Crier.

“As management, it is important to clarify that no threat was issued by Bandits/Fulani Herdsmen to attack the community.

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“This information has been strongly refuted by the management of Adaba FM, which has continued to inform members of the public through its news bulletins that no letter of threat was dispatched to the station.”

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EFCC Laments Dearth Of Whistle-blowers, Despite Huge Rewards

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The Economic Financial Crimes Commission has decried the decline in whistleblowing across the country despite the huge rewards the commission offers to whistleblowers.

The Chairman, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa stated this in Awka, the Anambra State capital, on Thursday, at a one-day town hall meeting.

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The programme facilitated me by the African Centre for Media and Information Literacy, centred on strengthening the capacity of stakeholders on whistleblowing policy.

Bawa was represented by the Zonal Commander, EFCC, Enugu, Oshodi Johnson.

The EFCC chairman pointed out that at the beginning of the whistleblowing policy, the commission received huge information which, according to him, led to the recovery of “humongous” stolen public funds.

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He disclosed that two of the landmark recoveries from whistleblowers’ information were the $9.8m recovered from a former Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Andrew Yakubu, and the $11m recovered at an apartment in Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos.

He wondered why the sudden decline and the reason behind it.

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He listed challenges undermining the policy effectiveness to include ignorance of its legal and administrative frameworks as well as difficulties in navigating the complex bureaucratic processes for claiming the advertised incentives.

He said, “It is also not impossible that the few false informants who were prosecuted for wanting to turn a serious programme to memes, unnerved some other would-be informants.

“Whatever the challenges are, it is imperative that there is a fresh awakening to sustain the flow of critical intelligence to Nigerian law enforcement agencies.

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“Recall almost with some sense of nostalgia, how a few years ago, precisely on December 21, 2016, the Federal Government introduced the Whistle-blower Policy, which offered some incentives to citizens that provide information leading to the recovery of stolen public funds.

“It was heralded by a frenzy of sorts with a deluge of information by informants, some of which led to the recovery of humongous sums of money by the EFCC.

“Two of the landmark recoveries from whistleblowers’ information were the $9.8m recovered from a former managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr Andrew Yakubu, and the $11m recovered at an apartment in Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos.

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READ ALSO:;How EFCC Officials Allegedly Tortured Lagos Clubgoers, Forced Out Naked Couple

“After these landmark recoveries and a few others and notwithstanding the fact that those who came forward with useful information received handsome rewards, enthusiasm for the policy appears to have waned a bit.

“It would seem that the policy is experiencing challenges that tend to undermine its effectiveness. Several factors may be responsible for this. But to my mind, the most obvious is lack of adequate understanding of the legal and administrative frameworks of the policy and the difficulties of navigating the labyrinth of bureaucratic processes for claiming the advertised incentives.”

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Bawa pledged the EFCC’s willingness to partner with critical agencies like AFRICMIL and other community-based organisations in strengthening their capacities to identify and quickly report suspected cases of corruption in their communities.

 

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