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Diezani Forfeits N4.8b Abuja Houses to Govt

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Money laundering

Detectives have been deployed in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, in the ongoing probe of former Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Of interest are five choice houses believed to be Mrs. Alison-Madueke’s.

It is all part of the last leg of the investigation of the ex-minister in collaboration with the National Crime Agency in the United Kingdom.

Amid the Port Harcourt operation, another asset of the ex-Minister in Abuja, allegedly worth over N500million, has been confiscated pending her trial.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had earlier seized a mansion worth N3.58billion from the ex-minister, bringing the haul in Abuja to about N4.08billion of assets believed to be hers.

The EFCC received intelligence report on the property allegedly acquired by Mrs. Alison-Madueke in Port Harcourt.

The tracking of the assets is said to be part of the probe of about $10billion allegedly looted in cash and assets by some former public officers.

The properties under surveillance in Port Harcourt are said to be worth over N3billion

A top source in EFCC, who spoke in confidence, said: “Based on latest intelligence, we have been able to trace more choice assets to Mrs. Alison-Madueke in Port Harcourt. We have drafted more operatives in Rivers State.

“We have identified more than five of such assets but we need to verify the ownership by going through some documents before attaching the properties in line with our mandate.

“In the next one week, our team in Port Harcourt would have completed their assignment. We will then release the value of the assets.

“We are also on the trail of some accomplices who were used for the property deals.”

Responding to a question, the source said: “We are still working in collaboration with NCA in the UK. I think we are getting closer to the final leg of the Mrs. Alison-Madueke probe.”

Another property, which is believed to be worth N500million, has been seized from the ex-minister.

The source said the property is believed to be at Frederick Chiluba Close in Asokoro District in Abuja. The asset is now placed under interim forfeiture until the court decides otherwise,” he added.

Sections 28 and 34 of the EFCC (Establishment Act) 2004 and Section 13(1) of the Federal High Court Act, 2004 empower the anti-graft agency to invoke the Interim Assets Forfeiture Clause.

“Section 28 of the EFCC Act reads: ‘Where a person is arrested for an offence under this Act, the Commission shall immediately trace and attach all the assets and properties of the person acquired as a result of such economic or financial crime and shall thereafter cause to be obtained an interim attachment order from the Court.’

Section 13 of the Federal High Court Act reads in part: “The sourt may grant an injunction or appoint a receiver by an interlocutory order in all cases in which it appears to the Court to be just or convenient so to do.

”Any such order may be made either unconditionally or on such terms and conditions as the Court thinks just.”

The NCA in the UK arrested and quizzed Mrs. Alison-Madueke and four others on October 2, 2015 for alleged bribery and corruption and money laundering.

Also the EFCC has interrogated three to five more suspects since the interrogation of Mrs. Alison-Madueke by the NCA.

The NCA last year obtained permission from a Westminster Magistrate’s Court to seize 27,000 pounds from Mrs. Alison-Madueke and two other women.

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

UK Government Has Approved Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

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The United Kingdom on Wednesday Approved Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

British government on Wednesday became the first country to approve Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use, according to the UK government.

The vaccine will be rolled out from next week and the first dose could be administered as early as December 7th, stated people familiar with the matter.

Last week, the UK government announced it had ordered 40 million doses of Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 and appointed Nadhim Zahawi, the current junior business minister, as the minister responsible for the deployment of the vaccines.

British government on Wednesday morning said, “The Government has today accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use” 

“The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week.”

Matt Hancock, Health Secretary, revealed that the programme would commence early next week.

“It is very good news,” Hancock said.

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Zabarmari Massacre: Buhari to Provide More Resources for the Nigerian Military

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to provide more resources to the military in the aftermath of the Zabarmari massacre.

On Saturday, Boko Haram killed 43 people with around 70 people still missing in Zabarmari, a village in Borno State.

Reacting to the massacre, Buhari, through his official Twitter handle @MBuhari said “Nothing is more important than ensuring the security of lives and property of Nigerians. Everything is secondary when security is at stake. I will ensure that more resources are made available to the military and other security agencies to prosecute the war against terrorism.

“As we mourn all the lives lost in Zabarmari, the Armed Forces have been given the marching order to take the fight to the insurgents, not on a one-off, but on a continuous basis, until we root out the terrorists.

“We will intensify our cooperation with neighbouring countries on bilateral and multilateral levels, to ensure that there is no hiding place for the terrorists.

“As I noted earlier, the massacre by Boko Haram in Zabarmari is nothing short of senseless, barbaric, gruesome and cowardly. It reinforces our resolve to root out all forms of insurgency and insecurity not just in Borno but everywhere across Nigeria.”

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Boko Haram Kills Rice Farmers in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria

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Rice farmers were killed on Saturday morning in the Northeast Nigeria by suspected Islamist militants, Boko Haram, according to a Reuters Report.

The report also noted that 30 of the people killed were beheaded while over a dozen others were still missing.

However, resident of the Zambarmari Village where the attacks took place said a total of 70 people were feared dead.

Another resident and Amnesty International were quoted as saying at least 10 women were among those missing.

In another statement by Edward Kallon, the United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, it was armed men on motorcycles that led the brutal attack on civilians harvesting their fields.

Armed men on motorcycles led a brutal attack on civilian men and women who were harvesting their fields,” Edward Kallon stated.

“At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack,” he added, noting that several women are believed to have been kidnapped.

“The incident is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year. I call for the perpetrators of this heinous and senseless act to be brought to justice,” Kallon said.

On Sunday, Governor Babaganan Umara Zulum of Borno State, who was at the burial told journalists that at least 70 farmers were killed on Saturday.

The Governor, therefore, called on the Federal Government to recruit more Civilian Joint Task Force members, Soldiers and civil defence fighters to protect farmers in the region.

He added that people are facing desperate choices.

In one side, they stay at home they may be killed by hunger and starvation, on the other, they go out to their farmlands and risk getting killed by the insurgents,” he said.

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