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Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu’s Aides In Verbal War Over Alleged N20b Loan

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Special Adviser to the Edo State governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, and Chairman, Edo State APC Media Campaign Council, Mr. John Mayaki, have exchanged tough words over the former’s principal (Obaseki) alleged plan to obtain N20b loan from the nation’s capital market.

Group known as Joint Forces for the Defence of Democracy (JOFDEkS) had Monday, July 14, protested the government plan to obtain N20b (Twenty billion naira) from the Nigeria Capital Market.

The group also alleged that the Godwin Obaseki-led government intends to obtain another $100Million and $150m loan from the World Bank respectively, just as it described the act as ” reckless, irresponsible and ignominious for the Obaseki-led state government to obtain another loan.”

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READ ALSO: N20b Loan: Group Protests, Rolls Out State’s Indebtedness

However, reacting to the allegation, Cruseo alleged that the protesters were sponsored by governorship candidate of the APC, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

He alleged that it was calculated attempt by the APC governorship candidate to distract Edo people from his (Ize-Iyamu) N700m fraud allegation.

“In a bid to distract Edo people from his ongoing trial in court for a N700 million fraud allegation, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has resorted to sponsoring protests over non-existent issues.

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READ ALSO: The Land Of Shameless Leaders (III)

The SSA claimed that there’s no plan by the Obaseki-led government in the state to obtain loan from any quarter.

“There is no such thing as N20 billion debt proposal by the Edo State Government, and Edo people cannot be distracted by such wild claim,” Osagie said.

Responding to Crusoe’s allegation, Chairman, Edo State APC Media Campaign Council, Mr. John Mayaki, said it’s insulting to the people of Edo independence of thought for Crusoe to have attributed their protest and expression of anger to a sponsored one.

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While stating that his principal did not sponsor any protest or any group of person, Mayaki questioned Crusoe if youths of the state have no right to read news, interpret it to their own understanding and react.

READ ALSO: ‘We’re Committed To Relieving Obaseki Of His Office’- Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organisation

“It is ludicrous and insulting to the people of Edo State who are known for their agency and independence of thought, for Crusoe Osagie to suggest that the anger they expressed today on the streets of Benin over the 20 billion naira loan Obaseki is trying to obtain for his collapsing campaign was done at the behest of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

” Is Crusoe suggesting that Edo youths cannot read the news, interpret it, and understand the implications of a failed government seeking loans toward the end of its tenure?.

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” We do not sponsor protest and we do not claim to control the minds of the people. If Obaseki and his aides have such an arrangement through which they channel funds to people to protest on the streets, they should come out and tell the world as that is not part of the APC modus operandi.” Mayaki said.

The Chairman, State APC Campaign Media Council, said for the governor’s aide to have shifted blame rather than attending to the allegation was an attempt to distract Edo people’s attention from the proposed N20b loan.

He noted, ” What’s interesting here and journalists ought to focus on, is Crusoe, and implicitly the Edo State Government, refusing to directly speak to the reports on the loan acquisition. There has been no one to state categorically and on the record that no such plans exist.

READ ALSO: Just In: Buhari Speaks On Magu’s Probe, Suspension (Full Speech)

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” Once again, Crusoe Osagie and the government he serves are trying to deflect attention and distract the people and the press from the real issues. Are you obtaining a loan or not? What is the loan for? Why are you seeking a 20 billion naira loan during the heat of an election you are already guaranteed of losing? Those are the issues that need answers.”

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CBN Sacks 200 Staff Members

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No fewer than 200 officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria were on Friday relieved of their duties.

This is an addition to the long list of ongoing disengagements in the apex bank.

This adds to the list of 117 staff sacked by the bank between March 15 and April 11, 2024.

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The termination of appointments affects directors, deputy directors, assistant directors, principal managers, senior managers and lower-ranking staff.

Impeccable sources who are staff of the bank confirmed the sack to our correspondent on Friday, saying that those sacked are not less than 200.

READ ALSO: DSS Debunks Storming Emir’s Palace

They revealed that affected persons include older directors who were not affected by the last round of retrenchment.

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One of the sources in a 20-second call with our correspondent simply stated, “It is true and confirmed.”

The staff member who could not disclose further details for fear of victimisation added that the move has caused apprehension among staff of every cadre as the management has not specified any criteria for the decisions.

Another source confirmed the information, indicating that additional dismissals are expected in the months ahead, spread out across staggered phases.

The official said, “It is real and is even more than 200 officials but the actual number is unconfirmed yet. The sack is coming in staggered phases and that is why we can’t confirm the number yet. But it is not less than 200.

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“The sacked persons include directors, and other cadres but the ones that are easily known are the directors. Some of the batch of old directors that were not affected during the last round of sacks are now affected.”

READ ALSO: Boko Haram Commander, 5 Fighters Surrender In Borno

The sack letter obtained by our correspondent and issued by the Human Resources Department on May 24, 2024, said the policy was to reorganise the organisation for effective operations.

The letter, lacking a signature read, “The new strategic direction of the bank has been widely publicised. In line with our new mission and vision, the bank is currently undergoing a significant organisational and human capital restructuring process.

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“As a result of this review, I have been directed to notify you that your services will not be required with effect from Friday, 24th May 2024.

“Your final entitlements will be calculated and paid to you in due course. Thank you”

In February, at least 1,500 members of staff of the apex bank of Nigeria were redeployed from the headquarters located at Central Area to its Lagos office.

READ ALSO: Man Arrested For Allegedly Forging Lagos Magistrate’s Stamps, Impersonating Police Officer

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At the time, the CBN said the action was necessitated by several factors, including the need to align the bank’s structure with its functions and objectives and redistribute skills to ensure a more even geographical spread of talent.

It added that it was also in compliance with building regulations, as indicated by repeated warnings from the facility manager, and the findings and recommendations of the Committee on Decongestion of the CBN Head Office.

A memo issued to staff read, “This is to notify all staff members at the CBN Head Office that we have initiated a decongestion action plan designed to optimise the operational environment of the Bank.

“This initiative aims to ensure compliance with building safety standards and enhance the efficient utilisation of our office space”.

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Efforts to get the reaction of the bank’s Director of Corporate Communication, Hakama Sidi Ali, was not successful as she did not pick up her call or respond to the text messages to her line.

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Court Orders Seizure Of $4.7m, N830bn, Mansions, Others Linked To Ex-CBN Gov, Emefiele

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A Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, has ordered the interim forfeiture of $4,719,054, N830,875,611, and several property linked to the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.

The order was issued on Friday, by Justice Yellim Bogoro after an ex-parte motion by EFCC counsel Bilkisu Buhari and C.C. Chineye.

The forfeited funds, held in various banks, were linked to Omoile Anita Joy, Deep Blue Energy Service Limited, Exactquote Bureau De Change Ltd, Lipam Investment Services Limited, Tatler Services Limited, Rosajul Global Resources Ltd, and TIL Communication Nigeria Ltd.

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READ ALSO: Ex-CBN Gov, Emefiele Faces Fresh Charge Over Printing Of Naira Emefiele

Emefiele’s properties forfeited to the federal government include; 94 Units of 11 Storey building under Construction at 2, Otunba Elegushi 2nd Avenue (Formerly Club) Road, iKoyi, Lagos; AM Plaza, 11 Story Office Space, Situate on 1E, Otunba Adedoyin Crescent, Lekki Peninsula Scheme 1, Lagos; Imore Industrial Park 1, Esa Street, Imoore Land purchased with (Deep Bive Industrial Town, Oriade LCDA, Amuwo Odofin LGA, Lagos; Mitrewood and Tatler Warehouse (Furniture Plant at Bogije) near Elemoro Lagos, Owolomi Village, Ibeju-Lekki LGA, Lagos and 2 properties purchased from Chevron Nigeria, Closed PFA Fund, Block B.Lot.Twin Completed Property Lakes Estate. Lekki, Lagos.

Others include; One plot measuring 1,038.069 sqm, at Lekki Foreshore Estate Scheme, Block A, Plot 4, Foreshore Estate, Eti-Osa, LGA; Estate located at 100, Cottonwood Coppel Texas Drive, Coppel, Texas, Owned by Lipam investment Services; a Land at 1, Bunmi Owulude Street, (Maruwa), Lekki Phase 1, Lagos and a Property Situate on 8, Bayo Kuku Road, lkoyi Lagos.

The EFCC had sought an interim forfeiture of the monies and properties under Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, Section 44(2)(b) of the Constitution, and the court’s inherent jurisdiction.

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READ ALSO: Alleged Fraud: Court Admits Bundles Of Documents As Evidence Against Emefiele

Specifically, the anti-graft agency requested “an interim order forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria the funds held in the accounts listed in Schedule ‘A,’ which are reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.”

“An Interim order forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria Properties provided in 2nd Schedule ‘B’ which are proceeds of unlawful activities.

“An Order directing the publication In any National Newspaper, the interim order under reliefs 1-2 above, for anyone who Is interested in the properties and funds sought to be forfeited to appear before this Honourable Court to show cause within 14 days why the final order of forfeiture of the said properties and funds should not be made in favour of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

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READ ALSO: Naira Printing: ‘I’m Not Guilty Of EFCC’s Fresh Charge,’ Emefiele Pleads

In granting the ex-parte motion, Justice Bogoro after he had taken submission of the EFCC’s counsel held; “I have listened to the submission of the applicant’s counsel and also perused the motion just moved, together with the affidavit in support.”

The case was, however, adjourned to July 2, 2024, for the motion for final forfeiture.

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BREAKING: Tribunal Upholds Uzodinma’s Election As Imo Governor

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The Imo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal on Friday upheld the election of Hope Uzodimma of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as Imo State governor.

The tribunal, which gave its ruling in Abuja, also dismissed the petition of the Labour Party, LP, and its governorship candidate, Athan Achonu.

In a unanimous decision delivered by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay, the three-man panel of the tribunal held that Uzodimma’s election as Imo State governor complied substantially with the provisions of the Electoral Act.

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READ ALSO: Hardship: Bauchi Senator Flags Off Skill Acquisition Training For 100 Youth

The tribunal further held that the Labour Party in its petition failed to prove the allegation of over-voting and non-compliance to the Electoral Act.

Details later.

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