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ICPC Arraigns PRODA DG For Alleged Procurement Fraud Of N23.5m

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned the Director-General of Project Development Institute (PRODA) Enugu, Engr. Dr. Charles Agulanna, before Hon. Justice Buba Ibrahim of the Federal High Court sitting in Enugu, for allegedly committing procurement fraud.

A statement signed by Mrs. Azuka Ogugua, spokesperson, ICPC, and made available to newsmen, said Engr Agulanna is facing a one count-charge boardering on procurement fraud.

The statement alleged that the defendant committed procurement fraud by awarding a contract for the revaluation of land belonging to PRODA in the sum of N23,500,037.50 to T.O. Thomas & Co sometime in August, 2017 or thereabout, while being the Director General of

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The ICPC said the company was not a registered surveyor/valuer and did not submit any memorandum of understanding with any registered surveyor/valuer in its tender bid, saying the offence contravened section 58(4)(b) and punishable under section 58(5) of the Public Procurement Act 2007.

When the charge was read to the defendant, Engr. Dr. Agulanna, he pleaded not guilty to the charge.

READ ALSO: Nigerians Urged To Hold Govt Accountable As ICPC Laments Poor Budget Implementation

The defense counsel, G.D. Joshua Esq, who had earlier submitted a written bail application, prayed the court to grant his client bail, stating that his client was a man of credible personality that would not jump bail.

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The ICPC counsel, O.J. Ochigbo did not oppose the bail, but said the court should grant him bail with stringent conditions.

The Presiding Judge, Justice Buba Ibrahim therefore, granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N5m and two reliable sureties in the like sum.

Justice Ibrahim also asked the defendant and his sureties to submit 2 passport photographs each to the court, and thereafter adjourned the matter to the 21st of October 2021 for hearing.

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Exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa, Not Pardons, Foundation Replies Buhari

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The Ken Saro-Wiwa Foundation has said it wants exoneration and not pardonn to be granted to the late environmental activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others executed by the Nigerian military dictator, Sani Abacha.

The Foundation was reacting to a statement attributed to President Muhammadu Buhari saying he was considering granting a state pardon to Saro-Wiwa and others executed at the height of the Ogoni crisis in the 1990s.

A statement signed by Dr Owens Wiwa, brother of Ken Saro-Wiwa, on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Foundation and obtained by SaharaReporters on Sunday, however, said the late activist and the eight others who were murdered by the Abacha regime were not criminals.

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The group, which became known as Ogoni 9, were activists from the Ogoni region who opposed the operating practices of oil companies destroying their area.

They were author and playwright Ken Saro-Wiwa, Saturday Dobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbooko, Paul Levera, Felix Nuate, Baribor Bera, Barinem Kiobel, and John Kpuine.

They were tried by a special military tribunal for allegedly masterminding the murder of Ogoni chiefs at a pro-government meeting, and hanged in 1995 by the military dictatorship of General Abacha.

The statement titled, ‘Exoneration Not Pardon For Ken Saro-Wiwa,’ reads: “The Board of Directors of the Ken Saro-Wiwa Foundation (KSWF) have received and read the statement from Mr (Femi) Adesina, the Special Adviser on Communications to the President of Nigeria, General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd), in which the President conveyed his willingness to grant clemency or pardons to Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight Ogoni activists illegally executed by the Nigerian Military Dictatorship of Sani Abacha on November 10, 1995, after a sham trial.

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“Ken Saro-Wiwa and the other Eight Ogonis were not criminals. They were innocent activists unjustly murdered for fighting for a just cause on behalf of their oppressed community. The path to true peace in the region begins with justice. The cleaning up of the environment for which they campaigned and died for is a first good step.

“The exoneration of Ken Saro-Wiwa and 8 other Ogoni activists, judicially murdered on November 10 1995 is another step towards peace.

READ ALSO: Ogoni 9: Buhari Considers State Pardon For Ken Saro-Wiwa, Others

“The family of Ken Saro-Wiwa have made a request for the exoneration of Ken Saro-Wiwa to the President in the past and are still waiting for a response. We urge the President to again consider this request as a path to justice and peace.”

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The statement added that the “family and the Foundation have not asked any individual to ask for pardon or clemency for Ken Saro-Wiwa on our behalf, nor are we aware of any group of Ogonis making such a request”.

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Drama As Ortom Busts Illegal Revenue Checkpoint In Benue, Arrests Operators [PHOTOS]

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Luck ran out on a gang of illegal checkpoint operators at Abinsi, Guma Local Government Area of Benue State on Sunday, October 24, 2021, when Governor Samuel Ortom busted their operations.

Governor Ortom’s attention was drawn to the activities of the illegal revenue operators when he noticed the harassment of heavy-duty vehicles that were detained at the checkpoint on his way from Kwande Local Government.

He then ordered his convoy to stop to find out why many vehicles were parked at the checkpoint.

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As soon as he alighted from his car, some of the youths at the checkpoint took to their heels.

He discovered, during an interaction with drivers of the vehicles, that the checkpoint operators were collecting money from motorists without issuing them receipts, a development that prompted the Governor to order the arrest of four of the operators who could not run.

The Governor directed that those who fled should also be apprehended and thoroughly investigated alongside the four suspects to unravel benefactors of the proceeds from their illegal collections.

He explained that within a very short time, the checkpoint operators collected more than N20,000 from the commuters without issuing them receipts.

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Governor Ortom lamented that despite the collections, nothing goes to the government as such monies are diverted into private pockets for individual use.

READ ALSO: Ortom Vows To Drag Akume To Court Over Allegations

DAILY POST reports that he vowed to sanction the management of the Board of Internal Revenue Service, BIRS, for failure to supervise and ensure the right thing was done.

Governor Ortom said he will henceforth, personally carry out surprise checks on the activities of checkpoint operators in the state.

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The four suspects were then handed over to the Police for further investigation.

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EFCC Grills Ex-Senate President

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A former Senate President, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, is currently being grilled by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in a case of corruption and diversion of public funds.

Anyim who arrived the headquarters of the anti-graft agency in Jabi, Abuja at about 3pm, is currently being grilled by a team of operatives.

Though details of the specific allegations against the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, were sketchy as of press time, a source familiar with the case informed that, it is tied to the corruption and money laundering case involving former Aviation Minister and serving senator, Senator Stella Oduah.

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Part of the rehabilitation funds to the tune of N780 million were allegedly traced to a company in which Senator Anyim has interest.

READ ALSO: Varsity Graduate Awaiting NYSC Mobilization, Allegedly Raped To Death

When contacted, Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC spokesman said he has not been briefed.

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