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Rotimi Akeredolu set to announce first set of appointments

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Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) will soon announce his first set of appointments.

 

Akeredolu, who was sworn in on Friday, February 24, 2017, is expected to do so after his current trip to Abuja.

 

 

On Thursday, Akeredolu attended a meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) which had in attendance members of the National Working Commitee (NWC) and Governors on the platform of the party.

 

At the meeting presided over by APC National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, Akeredolu was formally introduced to other governors.

 

On Friday, we learnt that the Ondo helmsman was almost done with consultations on top appointees and “may make the names public next week.”

 

A source told our correspondent that the governor was taking his time to ensure round pegs in round holes for smooth running of his administration.

 

“Appointments is not a task that should be rushed. But I can say that the first set of appointments will be any moment from now; so lets wait.”

 

Many had expected that Akeredolu would have, in less than a week, announced occupants of at least three positions – Secretary to the State Government, Chief of Staff and Chief Press Secretary.

 

While the names are being expected, some individuals have emerged as top contenders.

 

SSG:

 

 

Prior to Akeredolu’s inauguration, speculations suggested he had settled for a former member of the House of Representatives from Akure, Hon Ifedayo Abegunde (Abena) for the position of SSG.

 

Abena’s name emerged after choice of the current deputy governor, Agboola Ajayi as running mate to Akeredolu.

 

Also on the cards are Barrister Ade Oluwajana, Engr. Tunji Light Ariyomo and Niyi Adegbomire, SAN.

 

Many among the public however expect the position of SSG to naturally go to Akure-born Ariyomo because of his acumen, leadership experience and organizational skills.

 

CoS:

 

For the position of Chief of Staff, there are two people from within the camp of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).

 

They are Hon Solagbade Amodeni, former Chairman of Akoko South East Local Government and ex-Commissioner under ex-governor, Olusegun‎ Mimiko.

 

Also in contention is the APC Deputy State Chairman, Hon. Ade Adetimehin.

 

Adetimehin, it was learnt, stood behind Akeredolu during the governorship primary and may be rewarded with the position.

 

Others on the list are former banker, Timehin Adelegbe, and a retired permanent secretary, Gbenga Ale.

 

Our correspondent gathered that if these persons do not clinch the job, they may get commissioner’s slots.

 

But in the case of Adetimehin, he may be elevated to the positiom of Ondo State APC Chairman if the incumbent Isaac Kekemeke steps down.

 

CPS

 

The position of the main information manager to the Governor, the Chief Press Secretary, may go to Yemi Olowolabi.

 

He has been the head of Akeredolu’s media team for a long time and many expect him to assume the position.

 

However, he may be appointed Commisoner for Information if someone else is appointed the CPS.

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Alleged N1.4bn Fraud: Witness Reveals How Kogi Assembly Candidate, Atumeyi Fraudulently Benefitted N681m from Union Bank Customers’ Accounts

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The first prosecution witness, PW1, Olusegun Falola, in the ongoing trial of Ismaila Yousouf Atumeyi, a Kogi State House of Assembly candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, and two others, on Monday, January 31, 2023, told Justice Tijani Ringim of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos how the sum of N681m (Six Hundred and Eighty-one Million Naira) was paid into Atumeyi’s business account.

Atumeyi is standing trial alongside Ngene Joshua Dominic and Abdulmalik Salau, a former employee of Union Bank Plc, on an 18-count charge bordering on alleged cybercrime and money laundering to the tune of N1.4bn.

Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, Falola, an Internal Auditor and Team Lead, General Investigations, Union Bank Plc, told the court that “sometime in October 2022, during the periodic internal review of accounts of customers, we observed that some accounts that were placed on No-debit were debited.

“In the course of our review, it was observed that the methodology employed in debiting the said accounts was different from the way accounts are being debited in the normal banking activity.

“Based on this, the case was assigned to me for further internal investigation. During the review, I observed that beyond the few accounts that were referred to me for investigation, there were other numerous accounts that were being debited.

“Furthermore, the debits on these accounts were traced to two beneficiaries, Atus Homes Limited account and Fav Oil and Gas Limited.

“These two accounts received the sum of N681m and N1.38bn, respectively from the account of 429 customers.”

He also told the court that further investigations revealed that Atumeyi is the signatory to the Atus Homes Limited account, while the signatories to Fav Oil and Gas are Shuaibu Yusuf and Nurudeen.

According to him, all illicit debits on the customers’ accounts were done via internet banking on one of the bank’s platforms known as Union 360.

Giving further testimony, he said: “As at the time of investigation, over 600m had been withdrawn from the account of Atus Homes Limited and over N800m withdrawn from Fav Oil and Gas.

“We also realized that they were able to make those fraudulent transfers because the bank system was fraudulently manipulated.

“It was this realization that made us know that only a person with privileged information on the bank’s information technology could have carried out such illicit transactions.

“It was based on that knowledge that we reported the matter to the EFCC for further investigation.”

Oyedepo sought to tender the petition written to the EFCC, the correspondences between EFCC and the bank as well as the defendants’ statements of account that had been identified by the PW1.

However, counsel to the third defendant, Babatunde Ogunwo, objected to the admissibility of the attached statement of account on the grounds that the prosecution had not sufficiently complied with Section 84 (2) 2(4) of the Evidence Act.

“I strongly believe that the prosecution has not satisfied the provisions of Section 84 (2) 2(4) of the Evidence Act. All I heard the witness say is questions put to him by the prosecution.

“However Section 84(2) of the Evidence Act gives conditions more than what the witness has stated.

“There are four legs as stated by the Evidence Act and the witness has only answered one. These conditions have to be complied with.

“I humbly submit that the prosecution has not complied with the conditions stated for the admissibility of the statements of account”, Ogunwo argued.

Responding, Oyedepo said that the argument of the defence counsel was misconceived and also missed its target.

He, therefore, urged the court to discountenance the objection of the defence.

He also submitted that the certificate of identification as enshrined in the Section of the Evidence Act “is not a ritual that must be performed in achieving admissibility of computer-generated evidences.”

He further argued that “where the issue is as to the failure to comply with procedural steps towards admissibility, the order the court will make is not to reject the document, but to urge the tendering party to regularize.

“This document is relevant in the determination of this matter and I urge my Lord to so hold.”

In a short ruling, Justice Ringim overruled the objection of the defence and admitted the evidence in exhibit.

Justice Ringim also granted the second defendant, Dominic, bail on the same terms of the 3rd defendant, as granted on January 6, 2023.

The matter was adjourned to February 2, 2023 for continuation of trial.

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Transcorp increases power generation to the National Grid as it commissions rehabilitated GT Unit 20

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TransAfam Power Ltd, a subsidiary of Transcorp Group, has announced the completion of the rehabilitation of its Afam 5 GT unit 20 Gas Turbine power-generating unit located at Okoloma – Afam, Ndoki in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State. The rehabilitated unit, which has been successfully commissioned and synchronized to the national grid, bringing an additional 138MW to its existing capacity.
Engr. Vincent Ozoude, MD/CEO of Transafam Power Limited expressed his delight about the newly rehabilitated unit, which is able to power up to 100,000 homes in a year. “Since the administrative handover of the Afam Power Plant in March 2021, we have been working diligently to realize the full potential of the plant. We are pleased to have successfully completed the rehabilitation of GT20, having been out of service for over 15 years prior to our takeover. We are glad to have achieved this feat, using a combination of our in-house resources and other local technical support, with about 20% of foreign expert support in the rehabilitation project, showing our commitment to local content development,” Ozoude said.
“It is impressive how far we have come from 48MW average generation, when we took over, to raising production to 120 MW generation within the first two months,” Ozoude added, as he expressed appreciation to the company’s host community, Okoloma-Ndoki, and other stakeholders.
Dr. Owen Omogiafo, President and Group CEO of Transcorp, who was accompanied by the members of the Technical Committee of the Board of Directors, expressed delight at the commissioning of the rehabilitated Afam 5 GT 20 power generating unit, stressing its significance to Transcorp Group and their commitment to transforming the power sector in Nigeria.
“Our purpose at Transcorp Group is to Improve Lives and Transform Africa, one investment at time. We are pleased at the progress we are making to expand access to electricity in Nigeria through our investments in the power sector,” Dr. Omogiafo said. “You cannot achieve sustainable economic transformation without reliable power supply. It is that understanding that has led us at Transcorp, under the leadership of our Group Chairman, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu CFR to invest in the power sector. We are happy with the progress we are making in our power plants and strive to continue to optimize our available generation capacity, with improved gas supply, which has become increasingly challenging. We will also continue to build our local capacity by investing in human capital development and positive engagement with our host communities and stakeholders” Omogiafo added.
Transcorp Group had in 2013, through its power subsidiary, Transcorp Power Limited (TPL), acquired the 972MW gas-fired Ughelli Power Plant, which has since been phenomenally transformed. With the acquisition of Afam Power Plc, Transcorp has further cemented its position as a key player in the power sector.

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Banks Will Accept Old Naira Notes After Deadline, Says Emefiele

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Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says banks will continue to accept old naira notes after the stipulated deadline.

Emefiele spoke on Tuesday when he appeared at an interactive session with the house of representatives ad hoc committee on the currency redesign and naira swap policy.

He said the CBN will also accept the old naira from banks after the February 10 deadline.

Emefiele made reference to the CBN act mandates the apex bank to continue to accept old notes after it’s expiration.

Section 20 (3) of the CBN act states: “Notwithstanding sub-sections (1) and (2) of this section, the bank shall have power, if directed to do so by the president and after giving reasonable notice in that behalf, to call in any of its notes or coins on payment of the face value thereof and any note or coin with respect to which a notice has been given under this sub-section, shall, on the expiration of the notice, cease to be legal tender, but, subject to section 22 of this act, shall be redeemed by the bank upon demand”.

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