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How banker ‘stole’ N124m – EFCC

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The Ibadan Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned a banker in court over alleged stealing.

The suspect, Mr Adejare Sonde, was on Monday brought before Justice A. A. Akinyemi of the Ogun State High Court sitting in Abeokuta for allegedly stealing N124 million.

A statement issued by Mr Ayo Oyewole, Head, Public Affairs, EFCC Ibadan Zonal Office, said Sonde was arraigned on a 12-count charge bordering on stealing, forgery and ultering.

“Sonde was arraigned following a petition from a Regional Compliance Head of one of the new generation banks.

“It was alleged that Adejare Sonde, while still a staff of the bank and also an account officer of a Microfinance bank, suppressed and diverted the sum of N124,000,000.00, property of the Microfinance bank.

“The petitioner explained that Sonde as account officer allegedly collected cash from the microfinance bank on several occasions totalling N124 million which was not credited into the customer’s account.

“Further investigations revealed that the defendant allegedly doctored emails which he sent to the microfinance bank as monthly statements of account; meanwhile there was no remit in the account,’’ the statement said.

The defendant, according to the statement, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him before Justice Akinyemi.

“In view of his plea, prosecution counsel, Mr Cosmos Ugwu, prayed the court for a trial date and urged the court to remand the defendant in prison custody.

“The defence counsel, Mr E. E. Jacob, told the court that he had already filed a bail application and thereafter prayed the court to allow the defendant remain in EFCC custody pending the hearing of the application.

“The judge granted the defence prayer and ordered that the defendant to be remanded in the custody of the EFCC pending hearing of bail application,” the statement said.

Akinyemi adjourned the case till February 16 for trial and hearing of bail application.

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BREAKING: Peace Corps bill dies as Reps refuse to veto Buhari

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The House of Representatives has dashed any hope of reviving the Peace Corps bill.
The bill seeks to turn the Peace Corps, currently a non-governmental organisation, into a government para-military agency.
The bill, which had been passed by the National Assembly was rejected by President Muhammadu Buhari, who refused to sign it into law.
Some lawmakers had planned to veto the president’s rejection.
However, on Thursday, the bill failed to pass the second reading at the House of Representatives.
The bill was sponsored by Emmanuel Orker-Jev (APC, Benue).
Details later….

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How militants nearly crippled Nigeria – Kachikwu

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Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said government intervention, consultations and dialogues with militants in 2015 forestalled shutdown of Nigeria.
In a podcast yesterday, Kachikwu recalled that at the height of the oil militancy, Nigeria’s oil production dropped to about 800,000 barrels per day (bpd).
He said: “The president was kind enough to appoint me to hold the twin positions of both the GMD of NNPC and the Minister of State for Petroleum. Niger Delta was a burning issue at the time, there was key unrest in the Niger Delta.
“A huge amount of militancy activities going on, there were reductions in production volumes, a consistent loss that led to almost crippling of the oil industry,” said Kachikwu.
“At the lowest point, we were down to 800,000 barrels. All the infrastructure that we had were compromised. The integrity of the infrastructure, vandalism and militancy compelled the integrity of the infrastructure to disappear.
“This sustained attack continued for over a 10-month period. Forcados was breached in February 2016. In May 2016, the Nembe Creek Trunkline was attacked. In November 2016, series and series of attacks.
“The amount of problems we inherited in the Niger Delta meant that literarily if nothing was done, the country was getting crippled. No money for investments, no money for infrastructures or to run the budget.”
The minister explained that when he assumed office, he realised there was no coordinated effort to develop the region and that potential investors shied away from putting their monies there.
“Everybody basically watched out for when the next alarm bell was going to be. We moved in rapidly and dealt with three main fundamentals,” he added.
According to him, the government took up the environmental and security issues in the region, within which it engaged key stakeholders and created the Pan Niger Delta Development Forum (PANDEF) to amplify its efforts.
On efforts in the region, Kachikwu said: “Modular refineries concept was initiated. 10 had been approved, two are on ground constructing and could be ready in the next one year. Eight more are ready for financing.
“A lot of works need to be done. Sustained engagements, active exploration of opportunities to ensure that communities get benefits.

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Nigerian Airport cleaner returns $6,000 found in toilet

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A cleaner at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos State, Charity Bassey, has turned in $6,000 to security officials at the terminal.
The cleaner, an employee of Lakewood Development Company, was on duty at the departure wing of the airport when she picked up the item from the floor.
She recalled that she was standing in front of the toilet when a passenger drew her attention to something inside the toilet.
“I went in and saw the small black nylon on the floor. It looked dirty and rough, you won’t know it is money that was inside it”, Guardian quoted her as saying.
“I picked it, felt some notes inside and took it to the customer care. I was given a glove to bring out the contents and I counted 60 pieces of $100 dollar bills.
“I do my best to do a good job with clear conscience. This is not the first time I am picking up forgotten items like wallets, phones, small bags and even money. I have always returned them to the frontline desk or customer care desk”.
In his reaction, Managing Director of the company, Sam Nchezor, said “some others would have picked the money and walked away, she can’t be traced to it.
“What could only happen is to indict everybody working there, but we thank her for her honesty, for picking up the money and handing it over to the management of ASL.

“We are going to compensate her, give her some money and also increase her salary. It is left for the management of ASL and Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to reward her. We are proud of her”.

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