The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has seized the passport of the immediate past Governor of Katsina State, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema, as part of investigations into the alleged N76bn fraud perpetrated by Shema.
Shema was detained by the EFCC on Friday after he voluntarily walked into the head office of the EFCC.
However, a source close to the ex-governor said despite meeting the bail conditions, the anti-graft agency refused to release him.
The source said, “You will recall that the EFCC declared Shema wanted even though they knew he was not on the run. They had invited him for questioning in June but when he arrived at their office, he was informed that the detective in charge, Mr. Hyecinth A. Edozie, was out of Abuja, and that a new date, after Sallah, would be communicated.
“However, they never informed him of a new date and then went ahead to declare him wanted. On getting to the EFCC on Friday, the ex-governor presented a stamped document acknowledging that he had honoured the EFCC’s invitation in June.
“After being grilled for several hours, the EFCC gave him bail conditions, including that he tenders his passport and property documents of his sureties which he did. However, the EFCC still refused to grant him bail and said he should wait till Monday.”
The anti-graft agency started investigating Shema following allegations levelled against him by his successor, Governor Bello Masari, who is a former Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Masari had accused Shema of financial impropriety and diversion of billions of naira.
The governor said he had “concrete evidence” to drag his predecessor before the anti-graft agency to recover all stolen funds.
According to Masari, there are some mistakes that can be forgiven, “but N70bn is a huge amount of money that we cannot overlook.”
He alleged that the former governor misappropriated over N76.6bn collected as excess crude oil allocation and diverted over N7.5bn into his private pocket.
Masari also alleged that Shema and other top government officials of the Ministry of Local Government Affairs used fake receipts to divert over N750m earmarked to purchase drugs for local government councils.
Shema, however, accused the EFCC of being used by Masari to persecute him for political reasons.
All attempts to speak with the spokesman for the EFCC, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, proved abortive as his two phones indicated that they were switched off, while text messages were not responded to as of press time.
Central Bank of Nigeria Injects Over $300 Million to Stabilize Naira-Dollar Exchange Rate
In a bid to mitigate the continuous depreciation of the naira against the dollar, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has injected over $300 million into the foreign exchange market.
This move comes amidst concerns over the instability of the naira-dollar exchange rate, which has seen rates soar as high as N1850/$ in recent trading sessions.
The Association of Corporate Treasurers of Nigeria revealed the CBN’s intervention in an advisory memo to its members, highlighting the significant injections made over the past two weeks.
The memo underscores the urgency to address the steep decline in the value of the naira, which has posed challenges to businesses and individuals alike.
The CBN’s proactive measures signal a concerted effort to stabilize the forex market and restore confidence in the domestic currency.
The injection of funds aims to provide liquidity and alleviate pressure on the naira, which has experienced rapid depreciation in recent weeks.
Market analysts anticipate that the CBN’s intervention will help mitigate the volatility of the naira-dollar exchange rate, providing relief to businesses and consumers grappling with the economic uncertainties.
The move reflects the CBN’s commitment to maintaining stability in the forex market and fostering economic growth amidst challenging times.
FBN Holdings Surpasses GTCO, Zenith Bank to Become Nigeria’s Most Valuable Bank
FBN Holdings has emerged as Nigeria’s most valuable bank, surpassing Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) and Zenith Bank in terms of market capitalization.
At the close of trading on Monday, FBN Holdings achieved a market capitalization of N1.22 trillion, solidifying its position at the forefront of the banking sector.
The bank’s market cap is now higher than GTCO’s N1.16 trillion and Zenith Bank’s N1.11 trillion.
The surge in FBN Holdings’ market capitalization represents a 56.68% increase since Femi Otedola assumed the role of chairman on January 31st.
Otedola’s stewardship has been instrumental in driving FBN Holdings’ exponential growth.
Since he was appointed a non-executive director in August 2023 and subsequent ratification by shareholders, his leadership has been characterized by strategic decision-making and investor confidence.
Holdings’ shares have risen from N21.70 to N34 under his chairmanship, representing a significant boost for investors and shareholders.
The market’s positive response to Otedola’s leadership underscores the importance of effective governance and visionary leadership in driving financial performance and investor value.
Minority shareholders have expressed optimism about Otedola’s impact on dividend payments and capital appreciation, highlighting his track record of prioritizing shareholder interests in his previous roles.
FBN Holdings’ ascent to the top spot signals a new era of growth and stability for the bank, setting the stage for continued success in Nigeria’s dynamic financial landscape.
As the banking sector navigates evolving market conditions, FBN Holdings’ position at the pinnacle reflects its resilience and adaptability in driving sustainable value for stakeholders.
Government Revenue Surges to N2.07trn in January 2024, FAAC Discloses
The Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) has revealed a significant surge in government revenue to N2.07 trillion in January 2024.
This substantial increase reflects the buoyancy of Nigeria’s economic activities despite various challenges faced by the nation.
According to FAAC’s communiqué issued after its monthly meeting in Abuja, the N2.07 trillion revenue was distributed to meet the financial needs of the federal, state, and local governments.
N1.15 trillion out of the total revenue was disbursed to the various tiers of government, indicating a robust financial inflow.
The breakdown of the revenue distribution showcased that the Federal Government received N407.267 billion, state governments obtained N379.407 billion while N278.041 billion was disbursed to local governments.
Also, N85.101 billion, equivalent to 13% of mineral revenue, was allocated to the states as derivation revenue.
FAAC also highlighted that the revenue composition included N463.1 billion from distributable statutory revenue, N391.8 billion from distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue, N15.9 billion from Electronic Money Transfer Levy revenue, and N279.03 billion from exchange difference revenue.
Despite the impressive revenue figures, FAAC noted a decrease in VAT collection by N71.7 billion compared to the previous month.
This decrease suggests fluctuations in consumer spending and economic activities, which could be influenced by various factors such as policy changes, economic conditions, and consumer sentiment.
Furthermore, FAAC reported increases in revenue from Companies Income Tax, Import Duty, Petroleum Profit Tax, and Oil and Gas Royalties.
However, revenue from Value Added Tax, Export Duty, Electronic Money Transfer Levy, and CET Levies experienced declines during the period.
FAAC’s disclosure of the January 2024 revenue underscores the importance of prudent financial management and effective allocation of resources to drive sustainable economic growth and development in Nigeria.
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