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EFCC Chair Magu Names Rivers, Lagos Headquarters Of Money Laundering

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EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, on Tuesday described Rivers and Lagos States as the headquarters of money laundering in Nigeria.

Magu said that though Lagos State was the first in terms of money laundering, the unenviable position was followed by Rivers.

The acting EFCC chairman, who made these remarks while speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt, pointed out that the rate of money laundering in Port Harcourt was high as a result of the oil business going on in the city.

He said, “I think Rivers State is the next to Lagos in terms of crime. This (Rivers) is the headquarters of money laundering because there is a lot of oil money here.

“I think you can rate Port Harcourt the second to maybe Lagos when you talk of people playing with sinking, diving, hiding, maybe because of the large space of oil deals.”

Maintaining that the judgement halting the EFCC from probing Rivers State governors will not stand, Magu explained that the court order obtained by the former governor of the state, Peter Odili, retraining the anti-graft agency from investigating government officials in the state had been overtaken by event.

He added that the commission would ensure that no stone was left unturned in exposing all criminal activities in Nigeria.

Magu pointed out that unfolding events in the past had shown that not even the court would stop the EFCC from performing its function of investigating and prosecuting those alleged to be involved in financial crimes.

He stated, “Nothing is going to stop us; even the issue of the court order allegedly obtained by Peter Odili and co to stop the EFCC from investigation and prosecution has been overtaken by event.

“I am telling you that, that judgement cannot stand; it will only take some time. It cannot hold and we are going to conclude the investigation. There are so many investigations we are doing.

“We will take it before the court; let the court refuse to prosecute their case. I am sure the matter has suffered for about 13 years now. We are going to test it. The matter is in the Supreme Court, we will follow it up.

“That decision that is pending in the Supreme Court does not actually… cannot hold water again. There are subsequent judgements that have discarded it. Clearly, there are other judgements that came up and said nobody, not even the judge, not even the judiciary, not even the court can stop us from investigating and prosecuting.”

He, however recalled that the anti-graft agency had been able to secure the conviction of three former governors, adding that 1,245 convictions were recorded in 2019.

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Air Peace Sacks Over 70 Pilots

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Allen Onyema

Air Peace has sacked over 70 pilots across its fleet types as the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a huge toll on its operations.

The airline said it had to take the “painful but rightful” decision in the face of the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations and financial health.

It said the job erasure for pilots amongst it over 3000 staff became imperative because it could not afford to continue fulfill its financial obligations without carrying out restructuring of its entire operations to survive the times.

Besides, the carrier said the painful decision was to keep its operations afloat after it carried out a raft of measures including cut of zero to 40 per cent in the salaries of staff.

In a statement in Lagos on Monday, the airline management said such move was critical to sustain its operations and survive the times.

The statement reads: “This decision is inevitable under the circumstances we find ourselves. In order to protect the continuity of majority of the existing jobs and the possibility of creating new ones in future, the survival of the airline is of paramount importance. When everything comes back to normal those pilots affected today will have a place to come back to in future if they so wish.

“Anything short of what we have done may lead to the collapse of an airline as could be seen in some places worldwide during this period.

“Therefore, we decided to review the salaries being paid to all staff. The new salaries reflect zero to 40 per cent cut of the former salary depending on the salary grades of every staff.

“Even after the cuts, it was obvious for us to be able to sustain our operations and survive the times, some jobs must inevitably have to go.”

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Army Nabs Mexican Drug Lord ‘El Marro’ After Years On The Run

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One of Mexico’s most wanted drug lords, José Antonio “El Marro” Yépez Ortiz, the leader of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel (CSRL), has been arrested by operatives of the Mexican Army.

El Marro who is the lader of a Mexican criminal organization from the state of Guanajuato was captured on Sunday, August 2, in a village called Franco.

The drug cartel, Yepez, believed to be 40 is accused of fueling crimes in the central state of Guanajuato between rival Jalisco New Generation cartel.

According to report, the rival, Jalisco New Generation is considered one of Mexico’s deadliest cartels and it’s under the control of 54-year-old drugs kingpin Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, nicknamed ‘El Mencho.’ He is Mexico’s, most-wanted man.

Yepez who was on the run for years was captured along with five other suspects holding a kidnapped businesswoman.

During the swoop on two buildings, soldiers freed the kidnapped businesswoman and seized a cache of weapons including a grenade launcher, the Defense Ministry said.

Ortiz will be transferred to the Altiplano penitentiary, a maximum-security prison where drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman was housed before he escaped through a tunnel in 2015. Guzman was recaptured in 2016.

The Guanajuato attorney general released the following statement: “A joint operation of federal forces and local forces achieved the arrest of the leader of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, Jose Antonio Yepez Ortiz alias “El Marro” and the liberation of a businesswoman kidnapped.”

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Shoprite’s Exit Will Help Supermarkets In Nigeria — Shehu Sani

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Shehu Sani, former Kaduna Central Senator, has reacted as South African retail grocery store, Shoprite announced plan to exit Nigeria.

Sani said Shoprite’s exit from Nigeria would help local supermarket in the country to grow.

In a tweet, the former lawmaker wrote: “If Shoprite wants to stay, they can stay; if they want to go, they can go; it will help local supermarkets to grow.”

Shoprite Holdings Limited, a South African company with hundreds of outlets in Nigeria, had said it may discontinue its operations in Nigeria.

The company stated this in its “Operational and Voluntary Trading Update” released on Monday.

According to Shoprite, the decision was due to the effect of the COVID-19 outbreak.

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