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Multibillion-Naira Fraud: EFCC Seizes Ex-Governor TA Orji’s, Sons’ Passports

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has seized the travel documents of a former Abia State Governor Theodore Ahamefula Orji and two of his children as part of its investigation into the probe of alleged multi-billion naira fraud.

Others affected by the seizure are Abia State House of Assembly Speaker Chinendum Orji Enyinnaya and Ogbonna Orji.

Their movement has been restricted to the country to enable detectives conduct a comprehensive investigation.

Ex-Governor Orji, who is the senator representing Abia Central zone allegedly earned N48 billion as security votes in eight years at the rate of N500 million monthly

Also, EFCC investigators have started tracing choice assets in Abuja, Lagos and Abia State, which were allegedly acquired with funds from state treasury when the former governor held sway between 2007 and 2015.

Three of the assets were said to be in the posh Maitama District of Abuja where the sons allegedly equipped every toilet in the mansions with N12 million.

According to an update by the EFCC, the passports of the ex-governor and the sons were impounded as part of the conditions for administrative bail granted them.

A top source, who debriefed The Nation, said: “The multi-dimensional approach to the ongoing investigation necessitated that we should restrict the movement of ex-Governor Orji and his sons to Nigeria. They have a lot to clarify.

“So, in granting them administrative bail, we seized their passports in the interim. They cannot move an inch outside this country without the knowledge of this commission.”

The source said detectives were already tracing some of the suspected assets of the ex-governor and his sons.

The source said apart from the main petition against the ex-governor, more whistle-blowers and informants had been volunteering information which are being sieved.

One of the whistleblowers alleged as follows: “The two boys bought three houses for N250 million each in Maitama District of Abuja.

“They threw away all the furniture and fittings in them and contracted a big construction firm based in Abuja (names withheld) to refurnish the houses.

“One of the staff of the construction company alleged that the boys replaced the bathroom fittings at the cost of N12 million per bathroom.

“Their garages are littered with top of the range automobiles. The EFCC investigators should look into these and other information already provided.”

Concerning about 145 accounts being investigated, the EFCC source said: “We are yet to freeze these accounts but all the affected banks are aware that we are vetting deposits and withdrawals in them.

“We have put measures in place in a manner that those being investigated cannot tamper with the lodgments in these accounts.”

The EFCC had already quizzed ex-Governor Orji and his two sons.

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I’m Ready To Set Aside My Immunity To Testify Against Those Making Rivers Vulnerable To COVID-19 — Wike

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Nyesom Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike on Tuesday declared that he is willing to set aside his immunity to testify against persons who violate the state’s border closure regulations aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus.

Speaking at the office of the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mustapha Dandaura in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, following the arrest of two pilots of Carveton Helicopters who illegally transported expatriates to the State, Governor Wike said that the protection of Rivers people is an important assignment that must be executed with the seriousness it deserves.

He said: “I am willing to drop my immunity as a governor as far this case is concerned . I am ready to be a prosecution witness. ”

He charged the police to prosecute the matter to its logical conclusion to serve as deterrent to those interested in violating the regulations of the state regarding the fight against coronavirus.

He said: “I want to say this is a serious matter to us and police should handle it seriously . That’s why I am here at the state command to show the seriousness of this issue .

“No body says that you can’t go to any state but now we are in a war situation. This Covid 19 is even worse than a conventional war. We want to know who are those people you brought in, so that we have to trace them to know their identity and status. Luckily we have seen the pilot and the Co-pilot. They will assist the police to assist in identifying them.”

Governor Wike reiterated that though the State Government has no power to close airports, it has the right to check those coming into the state in order to ascertain their status.

“I have always said that we need the support of everybody. Nobody knows the status of those coming into Port Harcourt. Nobody knows whether they are positive or negative . I have said before that I don’t have right to close the airport . But I have the right of saying don’t enter my state because we want to know your status,” he said.

He wondered why Carveton Helicopters decided to cut corners when the State Government outlined the procedure for flying expatriates from Lagos into State.

He said: ” The company wrote to us about bringing people which I forwarded to Commissioner of Police to perform security checks and the health officials to perform their duties before allowing them to come on.That is for those performing essential duties. But they decided to violate the regulations.”

Governor Wike said that his administration is duty-bound to protect Rivers people from coronavirus.

He confirmed the second case of coronavirus in the state. He said the person is 62years old and recently returned from United Kingdom and entered the State through Lagos.

Wike also confirmed that the index case of the state has been discharged from the treatment/isolation centre in Eleme .

He said: “The positive index case of the virus we had, by the grace of God has been discharged . What we have now is another case of a 62 years old person who came in from UK and landed in Lagosand then moved to Port Harcourt.”

Rivers State Police Commissioner, Mustapha Dandaura said that the command arrested the pilot and co-pilot of Carveton Helicopters who ferried unknown passengers to the State. He said that the pilots violated the regulations regarding the safety of the state.

He said: “Recall that when this coronavirus issues started , there was ban of local flight from coming into the State. Since that time we have been monitoring the activities of these private airlines.

“To our our surprise, we received an intelligence report that an aircraft has landed at the Airforce base and that it was carrying some passengers. We have apprehended the Pilot and the Co-pilot by the NAF commander that’s why they alerted the chief executive Governor of the state who had given an order that on no account should any aircraft land on Rivers State without clearance.

“We don’t know the people they brought. Whether they are positive or negative of Coronavirus. Where are the heading to and where they came from

He commended Governor Wike for his commitment to the protection of Rivers people .

“To our surprise this morning this aircraft landed without any signal or permission from the authorities. We don’t know their mission here . Maybe they are coming here to sabotage the activities of the state and the security agencies that are putting efforts on ground to ensure that Rivers State enjoy peaceful atmosphere throughout this pandemic period.”

It will be recalled that the Executive Order signed by the Rivers State Governor on March 19, 2020 suspended flights to the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, Air Force Base and Bonny Airstrip beginning Thursday, March 26, 2020.

The Executive Order signed by Governor Wike is titled: “EXECUTIVE ORDER RVSG – 01 2020 PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 2, 4 AND 8 OF QUARANTINE ACT, CAP. Q2 LAWS OF THE FEDERATION OF NIGERIA 2004 AND REGULATION 11 OF THE QUARANTINE (CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) AND OTHER INFECTIOUS DISEASES) REGULATIONS,2020.”

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PDP Demands Investigation Into Accountant-General Office Fire

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded a full-scale investigation into the circumstances surrounding Wednesday’s fire outbreak at the Abuja headquarters of the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.

In a statement on Wednesday by the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said an investigation was imperative given apprehensions in the public space regarding the time and the offices involved in the fire outbreak.

“Our party expresses shock that the fire incident came on the heels of our heightened calls for a forensic audit into the hazy oil subsidy regime of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for which trillions of naira is being claimed to have been spent.

“This is in addition to recent demands for an investigation into allegations of fraud and diversion of COVID-19 intervention funds as well as social investments program of the Buhari government since 2015.”

Already, the National Assembly, riding on the gale of demands by Nigerians and championed by the PDP, has raised queries on spending in respect of social incentives program.

Nigerians are anxious to know those behind this wicked arson because the fire outbreak reportedly occurred on the part of the building which hosts critical offices, including the Treasury Single Account (TSA), Funds, Federation Account Allocation Committee and Revenue Department among others, relevant for the demanded financial inquests,” the PDP said.

The party further stated that investigation was necessary to determine the actual cause of the fire, as well as to ensure that critical documents and data on government revenue and expenditure are immediately retrieved.

The PDP also demanded immediate cordoning off of the building, to enable an uncompromised inquest into the incident.

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Lagos Records Third Death Case From Coronavirus

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Lagos has recorded its third death since the Coronavirus Pandemic.

The state Commissoner of Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, who announced the death, said the deceased is a 66-year-old Briton who travelled from India to Dubai and then to Lagos on March 17th.

“Lagos recorded another #COVID-19 related death: a 66-year-old Briton, who travelled from India via Dubai to Lagos on 17th of March, 2020.

As of 7th of April, 2020, there are 10 new cases of #COVID-19 confirmed. The total of #COVID-19 cases in Lagos rises to 130.

“Another #COVID-19 patient was discharged after full recovery. This brings the number of discharged patients to 32.” he tweeted

A 55-year-old man was the first to die of Coronavirus complications at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba. Thereafter a 36-year-old Nigerian man died of coronavirus on Saturday, April 4 in a private facility in Lagos.

Lagos currently has 130 confirmed cases of the disease.

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