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Buhari, Elumelu, Umunna makes list of 100 most influential Africans in 2015

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ony Elumelu, Chairman, Board of Directors, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has been named among the “100 most influential Africans of 2015.” The list published by pan African magazine “New African” presents Africa’s definitive power list and profiles the continent’s top game changers in eight different fields: Politics (22); Public Office (4); Arts and Culture (21); Business (21); Civil Society (11); Technology(9); Media (7); and Sports (5).

Also on the list are President Mohammadu Buhari and former President Goodluck Jonathan. Both President Buhari and Jonathan made the list for the significant role they played in Nigeria’s 2015 elections which saw the first successful transfer of power from a ruling government to an opposition party in Nigeria. Jonathan’s humility in defeat and Buhari’s magnanimity in victory ensured that Nigeria avoided a post-election crisis.

Other Nigerians recognised include the UN Special Advisor on Post Development Planning, Amina J Mohammed, AfDB’s new President Akinwumi Adesina, and Nigerian Diasporan, UK MP and Labour Party leadership hopeful, Chuka Umunna as well as Arumah Oteh, World Bank Vice President and Treasurer.

Amina Mohammed is Nigeria’s current Minister of Environment. Before her appointment, she was Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning at the United Nations where she contributed to the shaping of the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development across three years of complex negotiations and the most inclusive consultation process in the history of the United Nations, her vision and voice helping to bring people together, enlist new partners to the cause and reach global consensus on the Sustainable Development Goals.

Akinwumi Adesina is Nigeria’s former Minister of Agricultural where he led a drive to curb corruption of the fertilizer distribution scheme and significant improvement in agricultural production that led to a sharp drop in food imports.

Chuka Umunna was recognised for the significant positive recognition he has brought Nigerians in the UK while Arumah Oteh was recognised for her elevation to one of the most significant positions at the World Bank.

Omar Ben Yedder, Group Publisher, of the New African said the list of “100 Most Influential Africans” celebrates the “men, women and organisations that have shaped our beloved continent, the trail blazers, influencers and the rising stars who are redefining Africa’s future in the various spheres in which they operate.”

Explaining the selection of Elumelu as one of the most influential Africans, he said “In this increasingly global and interconnected world, we need champions; those game changers who are making a difference, changing perceptions and shaping our definition of what is possible. This is why it is our honour to recognise you as one “New African’s 100 most influential Africans 2015. We are so proud of everything you have accomplished.”

Elumelu is also the Founder and Chairman of Heirs Holdings, a privately held investment firm, with interests in the power, Oil and Gas, financial services and hospitality sectors across Africa. He is Chairman of Transcorp, Nigeria’s largest listed conglomerate; and Seadrill Nigeria Limited.

In 2010, Mr. Elumelu created the Tony Elumelu Foundation, which champions African entrepreneurship. In January 2015 the foundation launched the $100 million Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme to seed and support 10,000 African entrepreneurs over the next decade. The programme represents Tony’s personal commitment to the economic philosophy of “Africapitalism”, a development model he propagated, that sees the African private sector as the catalyst in ensuring Africa’s sustainable social and economic development.‎

The 2015 cycle of Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP) resulted in the selection of 1,000 entrepreneurs from 51 African countries and territories for business training, active mentoring, networking and seed capital funding for their start-up business ideas. The TEEP entrepreneurs represented a diversity of sectors, ranging from agriculture to education to energy, fashion and ICT, emphasising Africa’s potential. The TEEP initiative has been recognised as one of the most impactful developmental initiatives on the African continent.

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FCMB Manager Arrested For Hoarding New Naira Notes

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A manager of the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) branch in Osogbo, Osun State capital, has been arrested for allegedly preventing Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) loaded with cash from dispensing money to customers.

The spokesperson of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission (ICPC), Azuka Ogugua, in a statement on Friday said the cash bundles were loaded into the ATMs while still wrapped, and as such, could not be dispensed through the machines

“The ICPC Compliance Team in Osogbo has busted an FCMB in Osogbo, Osun State, where some ATMs were loaded with cash with their wrappers un-removed, thus preventing the cash from being dispensed.

“The Team, therefore, directed that the wrappers be removed, and the cash loaded properly’.

Similarly, seven Point of Sale (POS) operators as well as a security guard were arrested during the ongoing exercise in Osun State for charging exorbitant commissions for cash.

Investigations, however, revealed that they got the money from Filling Stations that collect new notes from fuel buyers, but they then resell the cash to the public at exorbitant rates.

The arrested persons are helping the Commission with information to assist investigations and bust any syndicates involved in the hoarding or sales of the redesigned notes.

 

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New naira: ICPC arrests Stanbic IBTC Bank manager over sabotage

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), has arrested an official of Stanbic IBTC Bank in Abuja for alleged sabotage.

The ICPC spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, said the development was in continuation of ICPC’s clampdown on elements frustrating efforts in making the redesigned Naira notes available to members of the public.

The bank official, who is the branch service head of Stanbic IBTC Bank, Deidei Branch in Abuja, was taken into custody for her deliberate refusal to upload cash into the branch’s Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) even when the cash was available and people were queuing at the ATM points.

The statement reads: “When the ICPC monitoring team stormed the bank at about 1:30pm on Friday to ensure compliance, and demanded explanation as to why all the ATMs were not dispensing cash, the team was informed by the branch’s head of operations that the bank just got delivery of the cash.

“However, facts available to the ICPC operatives indicated that the branch took delivery of the cash earlier around 11:58am and either willfully or maliciously refused to feed the ATMs with the cash.

“Against this backdrop, the ICPC team compelled the bank to load the ATMs with the redesigned Naira notes and ensured that they were all dispensing before arresting the culprit.

“The ICPC said investigations were still ongoing and the Commission will take appropriate actions as soon they are concluded.

“Similarly, seven Point of Sale (PoS) operators as well as a security guard were arrested during an ongoing exercise in Osun State for charging exorbitant commissions for cash.

“Investigations, however, revealed that they got the money from Filling Stations that collect new notes from fuel buyers, but they then resell the cash to the public at exorbitant rates.

“The arrested persons were helping the anti-graft commission with information to assist investigations and bust other syndicates involved in the hoarding and sales of the redesigned Naira notes,” the anti-graft agency said.

 

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N24Billion Fraud: Appeal Court Okays Trial Of Ex-Accountant General, Otunla, After Refunding N6.4 Billion To Nigerian Government

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The Court of Appeal in Abuja has set aside the judgment of a lower court barring the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, from initiating either civil or criminal proceedings against former Accountant-General of the Federation, AG-F, Jonah Oguniyi Otunla.

In a judgment, a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal marked: CA/A/657/2021, on Monday, January 30, 2023, held that Otunla failed to prove that there was actually a non-prosecution agreement between him and the EFCC.

The court upheld the arguments of the lawyer for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Sylvanus Tahir, SAN, and resolved the four issues, identified for determination, in favour of the Commission.

 

Justice Danlami Senchi, who read the judgment, noted that Otunla did not provide any written commitment, except his words and that of his lawyer, that such an agreement existed.

Justice Senchi held that Otunla could not halt his prosecution by merely claiming that there was an agreement, which existence he failed to establish with any credible evidence.

 

“In the instant case, there is no evidence to support the pleading of the respondent (Otunla) that he will not be prosecuted; that criminal or civil proceedings should not be instituted or initiated against him.

“There is no plea bargain or any documentary evidence relating to the President Panel for the Recovery of Funds. On the whole, the appeal is meritorious and it is allowed. The judgment of the Federal High Court, in suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/2321/2021 delivered on the 16th day of July 2021 delivered by honourable Justice I. E. Ekwo is hereby set aside,” he said.

 

Other members of the panel – Justices Stephen Adah and Elfreda Williams-Daudu – agreed with the lead judgment.

The EFCC investigated Otunla in relation to two cases: The alleged diversion of about N24 billion meant for disengaged staff of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and the N2 billion allegedly received from the office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA.

 

In July 2021, Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja upheld Otunla’s claim of an existing verbal agreement between him and the then-acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, that he would not be prosecuted if he made a refund to the Federal Government.

Justice Ekwo, in the 2021 judgment on the suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/2321/2021 filed by Otunla, held among others, that, in view of the assurance given to him by Magu, which informed his refund of the money, he could no longer be prosecuted for his actions while in office between 2011 and 2015.

 

Otunla had, in an affidavit, claimed that Magu promised him that he would not be prosecuted should he return funds traced to him and companies linked to him and his associates.

He stated that sometime in 2015, he was invited by a team of EFCC investigators to probe the alleged diversion of funds from the office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, and the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, pension funds. Otunla said he later met with Magu, in the course of the investigation, when the then acting EFCC chair told him in person to “refund the monies linked to your companies and nobody will prosecute you.”

 

He said, based on Magu’s promise, he had a reconciliatory meeting with the team of investigators, where he immediately undertook to make available some funds as refunds.

In line with the agreement, Otunla said one of the companies linked to him – Stellar Vera Development Ltd – refunded N750 million, another company – Damaris Mode Coolture Ltd – refunded N550 million, while the two firms later made an additional joint refund of N2,150,000,000.00 (Two billion, One Hundred and Fifty Million Naira only).

 

He added at a point, he raised several managers’ cheques for N10 million in favour of the EFCC, which he handed to the Economic Governance Section.

Otunla said, in all, he made a refund of N6,392,000,000.00 (Six Billion, Three Hundred and Ninety-Two Million Naira only) to the Federation Account through the EFCC.

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