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N108bn Fraud: EFCC to Seize Akpabio’s Properties

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Obong Godswill Obot Akpabio

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is intensifying investigation on ex-Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Sen. Godswill Akpabio.

The EFCC is investigating allegations that the former governor embezzled N108bn during his tenure between 2007 and 2015.

Already, the anti-graft agency had written to five banks demanding information on Akwa Ibom State finances under Akpabio’s administration.

Similarly, the EFCC is making moves to invite key members of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and serving commissioners, many of whom served during the ex-governor’s administration.

A source at the EFCC said, “We have written to Zenith Bank, Keystone Bank, FCMB, Skye Bank, and UBA demanding information on the state’s accounts. We are also inviting the accountant-general, the auditor-general, the Speaker and the clerk of the House of Assembly. We have traced some houses to the former governor in Lagos and Abuja and it is just a matter of time before we seize them.”

Akpabio was first quizzed by the commission’s detectives last year following series of petitions written against him.

The former governor, now the Senate Minority Leader, was accused of embezzling public funds while he was governor of the oil-rich state.

In March 2013, he was accused of giving N1m each to six chairmen of the Peoples Democratic Party from the South-South geopolitical zone that had converged on Port Harcourt for a party reconciliation session, telling them to use the money to “buy Mr Biggs.”

Few weeks ago, the Akwa Ibom State government had gone to a state High Court to get an interim order barring the EFCC from investigating Akpabio’s administration.

The Justice Ntong Ntong-led court on July 15 granted an interim injunction, restraining the EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, and the Inspector General of Police from investigating the finances of the Akwa Ibom State government.

The suit was filed on behalf of the state government by the state Attorney-General, Uwemedimo Nwoko, who also served under Akpabio and is believed to be loyal to the former governor.

However, following a motion on notice filed by the EFCC, the court on Friday, vacated the order of interim injunction restraining the EFCC from investigating the accounts of state.

The judge then adjourned the matter till October 19 for hearing of the preliminary objection of the EFCC alongside other applications.

In a June 22, 2015 petition to EFCC, an Abuja-based lawyer and activist, Leo Ekpenyong had accused Akpabio of sheer waste in office.

Among several other allegations, the petitioner alleged that between January and December 2014, the trio of Godswill Akpabio, a former aide to the governor and another associate made illegal but substantial withdrawals of cash from a designated state government-owned account with Zenith Bank with account number 101037588, amounting to N22.1bn.

When contacted on the telephone on Saturday, Akpabio’s spokesman, Mr. Aniete Ekong, said he was in a public place and promised to call back. However, he had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

University Of Ibadan (UI) Goes Digital, Releases Timetable for Virtual Academic Session

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University Of Ibadan (UI) Goes Digital, Releases Timetable for Virtual Academic Session

University of Ibadan (UI) on Friday announced it is going ahead with resumption on February 20 despite the second wave of COVID-19.

In a statement released by the school, the First Semester of the 2020/2021 academic session will commence virtually on February 20, 2021.

The virtual academic session will last for 13 straight weeks and end on Friday May 12, 2021, while the matriculation ceremony will hold on Tuesday March 16, 2021.

The University of Ibadan also scheduled one week for the Finalization of Continuous Assessment, to begin from Mon. 17 May and ends Friday 21 May.

The rising number of COVID-19 cases has compelled the Senate to approve the virtual academic session in an effort to ensure the tertiary institution abides by the protocols established by the Federal Government to curb the spread of the pandemic.

“It, therefore, agreed that the 2020/2021 First Semester lectures will be delivered online. In this regard, students will not be accommodated on campus,” a statement from the school said.

“Senate also approved the cancellation of the 2019/2020 session. The next session is, therefore, renamed 2020/2021 Academic Session. Consequently, students who have been admitted for the 2019/2020 session will now be regarded as the 2020/2021 intakes.

“Kindly note that online opening of Registration Portal and Orientation Programme for the 2020/2021 intakes may commence ahead of the Sat 20/02/21 date indicated above,” the statement said.

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House of Representatives Impeached Trump Over Capitol Invasion

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House of Representatives Impeached Trump Over Capitol Invasion

The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for the second time after instigating the US Capitol invasion.

Led by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, 232 representatives, including 10 Republicans, voted to impeach the outgoing president against 197 that voted for him to remain in the office for the next six days when he would handover to the president-elect, Joe Biden.

The ten Republicans were Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s No. 3 leader in the House; Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington; John Katko of New York; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Fred Upton of Michigan; Dan Newhouse of Washington; Peter Meijer of Michigan; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; David Valadao of California; and Tom Rice of South Carolina.

Speaking before the vote, Pelosi said “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the Republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”

“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said, adding later, “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.

Republicans, who unanimously stood behind president Trump in 2019 during his first impeachment, were divided this time over the attack on Capitol.

A Republican representative from California, Kevin McCarthy, said “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” Mr. McCarthy said. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”

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US Congress Declares Joe Biden as The 46th President of The United States After Trump Mob Left

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Joe Biden Economic Impliccations on Nigeria

US Congress Declares Joe Biden as The 46th President of The United States After Trump Mob Left

The joint congress of the United States on Thursday, January 7, 2021 certified Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States following President Trump’s mob action that disrupted the congress joint proceeding on Wednesday.

After ordering his followers to disrupt proceedings on Wednesday, President Trump later announced that there will be an orderly transition on January 20.

Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement issued by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino.

“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!” Trump added.

While the certification was just a mere formality as Biden had secured enough electoral college votes (270) required to clinch the world’s most powerful seat, the refusal of Donald Trump to accept the results of the November 2020 election made the session a keenly watched, especially after Trump mob disrupted a joint session of the Senate.

Also read Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Lock President Trump Out of Their Platforms Following Insurrection

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