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HOW EFCC FOUND ₦4.75 BILLION LINKED TO DASUKI BLOOD MONEY IN OBANIKORO SON’S ACCOUNT

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The former Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro who is being investigated by the Task Force investigating the alleged diversion of $2.1bn meant for arms procurement under the immediate past administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has landed in trouble.

 

It was gathered that the team of EFCC investigators had traced the sum of ₦4.75bn to the account of Silva McNamara Limited with Diamond Bank with links to the family of the former minister.

 

A top operative of the commission, who confided in our correspondent, said that the company had two sons of the former minister on its board.

 

The names of the relatives on the company’s board are Gbolahan Obanikoro and Babajide Obanikoro.

 

It was stated that the duo were on the board of the company till 2014 when one Olalekan Ogunseye became the sole signatory to the company’s account.

 

Investigations revealed that the funds were paid into the McNamara account from the Central Bank of Nigeria Imprest Account of the National Security adviser between June 6, 2014 and December, 12, 2015.

 

The breakdown of the lodgements of funds into the account during the six months period revealed that ₦200m was paid into the account on June 6, 2014; ₦2bn on June 16, 2014; ₦60m on July 6, 2014 and ₦7, 000m on July 7, 2014.

 

Other lodgements into the account within the period include the payment of N1bn on July 30, 2014; N160m on August 8, 2014; N225m on August 22, 2014; N200m on November, 14, 2014 and N200m on December, 5, 2014.

 

The source said that the commission was probing the payment of N4.75bn to McNamara because the funds were released without any contractual evidence.

 

It was however stated that Obanikoro’s name was not found in the transactions as he was not on the board of the company.

 

It was stated that efforts are being made to unravel the mystery behind the payment of the large amount of money to the company which has two of his sons as members of the board of directors.

 

Our correspondent could not get the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, to comment on the story as the calls to his mobile telephone line did not connect.

 

In his response, however, a media aide to Obanikoro, Mr. Jonathan Eze, denied allegations that the former minister was involved in any fraud.

 

He said all the allegations were mere speculations and urged members of the public to treat them as such.

He said, “As far as Senator Obanikoro is concerned, these are mere allegations that have not been proven and can never be proved. The former minister insists that his children were never directors at the company and were never signatories.

 

“These allegations are the handiwork of Sahara Reporters and I have taken them to court. Very soon, the truth will be made known but I urge members of the public not to believe these allegations. Senator Obanikoro’s children are victims of cheap politics but the truth will be revealed.”

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Union Bank, WACOT Rice Kick Off Financial Inclusion Drive for Smallholder Farmers in Kebbi

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As part of Union Bank’s commitment to driving financial inclusion in Nigeria, the Bank has partnered with WACOT Rice Limited – a rice processing company, to financially include 6,000 local farmers including youth and women in Kebbi State.
The Kebbi Financial Inclusion Drive (KFID) which will cover four Local Government Areas – Argungu, Augie, Suru, and Dandi – is a critical part of WACOT’s Argungu Outgrower Expansion Project funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) West Africa Trade Hub. This program is set to resolve the overwhelming financial inclusion deficit within rural communities in Kebbi.
The financial inclusion initiative is being implemented with technical support from National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), to help the farmers acquire the relevant documentation and identification required to open bank accounts.
Union Bank will facilitate account opening and expand its agency banking network to cover the areas while supporting its agents on ground with digital banking solutions to enable seamless transacting and account management.
Farouk Gumel, Chairman WACOT and Board Chair, Union Bank was on ground in Kebbi State to kick-off the drive and paid a visit to the Kebbi state Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu to discuss expanding the programme state-wide.
In his recent keynote address at the recently concluded and  Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Conference, Mr. Gumel said:
 “As we work towards achieving financial inclusion to reach the unbanked, we must commit the same resources and investments to rural-local customers as we have done to urban-global clients to help create the growth that will lift us all to collective prosperity.”
WACOT Rice is a subsidiary of TGI Group. TGI Group, through another of its subsidiary Titan Trust Bank, recently acquired Union Bank in a landmark transaction which was announced in 2021.

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FIRSTBANK PARTNERS VERVE INTERNATIONAL, MAKES CUSTOMERS MILLIONAIRES IN THE FIRSTBANK VERVE CARD PROMO

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In partnership with FirstBank – Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider – Verve International, Africa’s leading payment technology and card business, has launched its third National Consumer promo designed to reward users of FirstBank verve card with exciting gifts and cash prizes to appreciate their patronage and use of the card to carry-out their electronic banking transactions.

The ongoing 2-month promo will end on 30 October 2022 as 20 customers (10 customers per month) with the highest transaction count during the promo will be made millionaires, winning the sum of N1 million each. Also, N20,000 will be won by 25 customers monthly.

On the other hand, 2620 FirstBank verve cardholders that double their transactions every week, stand a chance to enjoy 10% cashback capped at N2,000 per customer.

Speaking on the promo Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, FirstBank said “we appreciate our partnership with Verve Card through the years; a partnership of empowerment and opportunities which include growing the economy, supporting new businesses and preventing unemployment. FirstBank verve card holders are encouraged to keep using their cards as it is a card offering that promotes safe, convenient and rewarding digital banking experience with 20 customers standing a chance to be millionaires at the end of the promo.”

Verve card is a secure debit card that allows cardholders to conveniently meet their daily financial needs such as payment for goods and services, airtime recharge, bill payments, funds transfer, etc. Verve card is accepted across all ATMs, POS, Web and Mobile Platforms in Nigeria.

The promo is also opened to new verve cardholders as non-verve cardholders are encouraged to visit the nearest FirstBank branch today to pick up a Verve card and start getting rewarded!

Only recently, FirstBank – in partnership with Verve – rewarded over 2601 FirstBank verve cardholders with various prizes; including N20,000 cash prize, N10,000 cash prize, N10,000 worth of airtime; power generating sets, refrigerator, cooking gas, smart TV and the grand prize of a brand-new car to a lucky winner.

 

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Federal Government Orders University Vice-Chancellors To Reopen Schools, Begin Lectures Amid 7 Months Lecturers’ Strike

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The government issued the directive through the National Universities Commission (NUC), and a letter signed by its Director, Finance and Accounts, Sam Onazi, on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Abubakar Rasheed.

The Nigerian government has directed vice-chancellors to re-open universities and allow students to resume lectures immediately.

The government issued the directive through the National Universities Commission (NUC), and a letter signed by its Director, Finance and Accounts, Sam Onazi, on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Abubakar Rasheed.

 

The letter which The PUNCH obtained on Monday, was reportedly addressed to all vice-chancellors; Pro-Chancellors and chairmen of governing councils of federal universities.

 

“Ensure that ASUU members immediately resume/commence lectures; Restore the daily activities and routines of the various University campuses,” the letter partly reads.

We had reported that the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its ongoing nationwide strike.

 

It reported that the umbrella body of the lecturers in public universities had declared a warning strike on February 14, to force the Nigerian Government to implement agreements it earlier signed with the union.

 

The agreement stipulated how university education would be funded for better improvement.

 

The strike has since rolled over and is now in its seventh month following the government’s failure to implement all the agreements.

 

Several meetings between ASUU and the Federal Government have ended in a deadlock.

 

Consequently, the Federal Government went to court to challenge the strike.

 

The government through its counsel, James Igwe, prayed the court for an interlocutory injunction restraining ASUU from taking further steps as regards the strike, pending the determination of the substantive suit.

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