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Fejiro Oliver: Frustrated anti-progress blackmailer in journalist garb, by Fortune Uduokhai

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When a faceless, jaundiced writer who parades fake name such as Fejiro Oliver clashed with the Niger State Government a couple of months ago, many journalists, especially the upright publishers of the emerging vibrant online media, did not jump into conclusion on the myopic line that ‘Fejiro is their own’ and therefore they must join him in blind fight against his traducer. They treaded cautiously when a dark cloud loomed, bordering on a charge of blackmail and attempt to swindle of a whopping N50 million in order to shield his blackmail sword.
Like a leopard that can never change its colour, before the dust settled on the Niger State-Fejiro saga, the busy finger of this overzealous blackmailing journalist, whose real name is Tega Oghenedoro, and his real place of work is the Nigerian Television Authority, Asaba, Delta State, went again into what he knows how to do best: blackmail, telling obvious lies, mudslinging, combative journalism, showing of sadism and, above all, displaying arrant and shameless ignorance, all of which portrayed him as a street urchin that is not qualified to be called journalist. As is usual with him, he took up his pen and blackmailed responsible publishers, all of who have been editors in various national media establishments before they began to try their hands on the new emerging brand of journalism.
Fejiro disparaged this group of budding publishers in another online called ELOMBAH on November 3 by saying the Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has bought over all the online media, some soft sell magazines and journalists working in Delta State. He gave the details of what he understood to constitute “buy over”. He found it difficult to hide the FACT that publishers of the online media were just beneficiaries of advertisement placement by the governor, which has been on their sites running, except if Fejiro does not see it. This is another form of Fejiro playing out his arrant ignorance on the fact that the online and even media establishments all over the world are run on both social and business platforms and that the two platforms complement each other for the survival of the media and flourishing of modern journalism.
Of course, no one can deny the fact that Governor Uduaghan gave some media outfits advertisement, which has been running in them and that the efforts of the governor in the development of the state are being positively reflected in most of the online media. But the fact that cannot be denied and which the Fejiro of this world wickedly skipped or left out due to myopia is that the same media outfits have been giving the same coverage, positively, to many other state governors who did not place any such advert and who, of course, might not even be aware of the positive publicity. In other words, modern media practice, for those who updated their knowledge from the medieval period, teaches that you create conducive atmosphere under which the government and the people understand the development that has been going on, not precluding in some instances where constructive criticisms are needed to keep the government on its toe.
As a matter of fact, it is on record that the publishers of nearly 80 per cent of the online in Nigeria have made it both in the journalism profession and, to some extent, in terms of resources and have decided to engage in what has now been termed “developmental journalism” and not the archaic system of pull-them-down syndrome or to destroy whoever you imagine in your narrow perception to have underrated or underrating you.
This form of combative, shoot-down journalism, which has long been overtaken by events, presupposes a dangerous inferiority complex. It makes a person, like Fejiro, who is still clinging to it to look like a fish-out-of-water, archaic, stupid and irrelevant. If Fejiro is so lazy that he could not convince Governor Uduaghan to advertise in ELOMBA, he should not rub it on those who are into publishing and stand up to source for means of sustaining the platforms and to remain in business. In any case, so far the only source through which the online media are making money to remain in business is advert.
So, what Fejiro is saying is that if he is selling akara in Ojuelegba Market in Lagos State and someone comes over to buy some balls, he is being bribed? What manner of a man is Fejiro anyway?
With his attack on the publishers who are doing an honest job and earning legitimate, approved form of income to survive and who are working to bring a new vista into the journalism profession, the Niger State Government doesn’t need to talk too much for people who reason beyond ordinary to understand and confirm that Fejiro is a nuisance who happens to have the opportunity of creating “mushroom online platform to blackmail innocent Nigerians”. Such people include the innocent online publishers that are, like any other business people, doing business.

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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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