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Anti-graft Agency, EFCC Arraigns Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello’s Nephew In Abuja For N10billion Fraud



Aliyu Bello, a nephew to the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has been remanded in prison by Justice James Kolawole Omotosho of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja, pending the fulfillment of his bail conditions.

Bello and one Dauda Sulaiman alongside one Abdulsalami Hudu, Cashier of Kogi State House Administration (now at large) were arraigned before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned on a 10-count charge of misappropriation and money laundering amounting to the sum of N10.2 billion.

Bello and Sulaiman were accused of fraudulently withdrawing a sum of N10, 270,556,800 from the Kogi State treasury, which they delivered to a Bureau de Change operator, Rabiu Tafada in Abuja to keep or change to foreign currencies for personal gains.

One of the charges reads: “That you, ALI BELLO, DAUDA SULEIMAN AND ABDULSALAMI HUDU (NOW AT LARGE)between January and December, 2021, in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court procured RABIU USMAN TAFADA to take possession of the total sum of N5,865,756,800 (Five Billion, Eight Hundred and Sixty Five Million, Seven Hundred and Fifty Six Thousand, Eight Hundred Naira), which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of unlawful activity to wit: criminal misappropriation from the treasury of Kogi State and you thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 18 (c), 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act.”

Another count reads: “That you, ALI BELLO, DAUDA SULEIMAN AND ABDULSALAMI HUDU (NOW AT LARGE) between January and December 2021, in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court aided RABIU USMAN TAFADA to retain the total sum of N2,509,650,000.00 (Two Billion Five Hundred and Nine Million, Six Hundred and Fifty Thousand), which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful activity to wit: Criminal Misappropriation from the treasury of Kogi State Government and you thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 18 (a) 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under section 15 (3) of the same Act.”

However, after their charges were read to them, they pleaded “not guilty” to the charges preferred against them by the EFCC.

In view of their pleas, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), asked the court to fix a date for the commencement of trial.

Counsel to the second and third defendants, Abdulwahab Mohammed (SAN), informed the court of his application for the bail of the defendants.

In his decision, Justice Omotosho admitted the defendants to bail in the sum One Billion Naira each and two sureties who are to provide a bond of N2 billion each and have a landed property valued at N500 million. The title of the properties shall be registered with the chief registrar of the Court.

Each of the sureties and the defendants shall submit their bank statements and international passports to the chief registrar of the Court.

The sureties must also produce an affidavit of means and evidence of tax clearance for at least 3 years.

The judge thereafter sent the defendants to Kuje Correctional centre, Abuja pending the fulfillment of their bail conditions and adjourned the matter till February 6, 2023 for hearing.


News and Report

Just In: President Tinubu approves N70,000 minimum wage





President Bola Tinubu has approved N70,000 as the new minimum wage for Nigerian workers with a promise to review the national minimum wage law every three years.


More details later…

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News and Report

Gov. Zulum Clarifies Son’s Purported Killing Of Chinese National At Indian Nightclub




The Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has denied reports alleging that one of the sons has been arrested and sentenced to prison for the murder of some Indian citizens.

Reports has it that there were unverified rumours, especially on social media platforms, alleging that the first son of the governor, Umar Zulum Umara, killed the Chinese national during a fight at an Indian nightclub.

However, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on New Media, Abdurrahman Ahmed Bundi, dismissed the reports in a statement on Wednesday.

According to him, no son of the governor was arrested or charged with any crime.

The statement read, “attention of the Borno State Governor’s Media Unit has been drawn to rumours circulating that the son of the Borno State Governor has been arrested for the alleged murder of some Indian citizens.

“This misinformation was published in an online blog, Nairaland, titled “Son of Borno State Governor Murders Someone In India—Politics.” The blog claimed that the Governor also travelled to India, attempting to use diplomatic status to resolve the matter.

“It is on record that Governor Babagana Zulum was on a one-month vacation in Saudi Arabia for the 2024 Hajj and later travelled to Egypt to attend the annual ASUWAN forum conference in Cairo.

“The Media Unit would like to clarify and set the record straight that Nairaland and other online blogs have mischievously spread defamatory content without any speck of truth.

“We hereby warned Nairaland and all those who have spread the false information to pull down this misinformation from its website and platforms within the next 24 hours and offer an unreserved apology to Governor Zulum, his son, and the entire family, or risk legal action. The Governor shall also not hesitate to take legal action against any media outlet that continues to publicise this defamatory information on its platform.

“We would like to inform the public that none of Governor’s Zulum’s son was either arrested or charged with any crime, or involved in any unlawful activities anywhere.

“We urge the public to exercise caution when consuming and sharing information, particularly when it comes from unverified sources and blogs instead of credible media outlets.

“We enjoin all media organisations to engage in responsible journalism of truth and factual verification while recognising the potential harm and psychological trauma the spread of false information might have caused to the Governor’s family.”


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Over 600,000 Nigerians sought asylum abroad under Buhari – Report




Over 600,000 Nigerians filed for asylum in other countries between 2016 and 2023, which were years under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari was President from 2015 to 2023 and handed over to President Bola Tinubu who was sworn in on May 29, 2023, after winning in the general elections the same year.

According to a report released on Wednesday, July 17, 2024, by Statisense, a data collection organisation, of a total of 664,384 in eight years, 355,792 persons sought asylum between 2016 and 2019 while 308,592 sought asylum between 2020 and 2023.

On a year-by-year basis, 66,862 sought asylum in 2016, 91,924 in 2017, 84,624 (2018), 112,382 (2019), 73,233 (2020), 83,105 (2021), 83,402 (2022), and 68,852 in 2023.

The figures indicate a surge from the past years, as Statisense noted that within 12 years – 2004 to 2015 – only 204,791 Nigerians filed for asylum in other countries.

In total, 869,175 Nigerians filed for asylum in the last 20 years, notably from 2004 to 2023.

The report was posted on the organisation’s handle @StatiSense, citing the United Nations Refugee Agency.

In another report shared by the organisation on Wednesday, it was stated that the Republic of Niger topped countries with the most Nigerian refugees in 2023 with about 200,497 Nigerians and a total of 1,268,464 Nigerian refugees between 2015 and 2023.

Niger, a border country, shares proximity with Nigeria’s north, where residents battle a spate of insecurity in the region ranging from banditry, terrorism and herdsmen-farmers crisis.

Another report also revealed that Nigerians topped the list of African countries who sought asylum in Canada in 2023 with about 10,111 asylum seekers followed by Kenya with 1,345.  It stated that 1,345 Nigerians however sought asylum in the United Kingdom and 5,136 in the United States of America.

Source: The Punch

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