- Drama as Fayose Forces EFCC to Release Fani-Kayode’s Wife
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday detained Mrs. Precious Fani-Kayode, who is the wife of a former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, in Ado Ekiti for hours.
Precious, who was a guest of Governor Ayodele Fayose, had gone to a branch of Access Bank in Ado Ekiti around 3pm when she was detained by officials of the bank.
Sensing that she was not being promptly attended to, she inquired from officials what the problem was and was told she was being detained on the instructions of the EFCC.
It took the intervention of Fayose, who led scores of supporters to the bank around 7pm to secure her release.
Speaking with our correspondent after the incident, Mrs. Fani-Kayode lamented that she was badly treated by the officials while her baby was denied food.
She stated, “I’m not a politician and that account had been dormant for about five years. I only activated it last month in Port Harcourt.
“I decided to go to Access Bank to make some withdrawals when I was detained on the instructions of the EFCC.
“They told me the account had been frozen and they were asked by the EFCC to arrest me on the spot.
“I have been operating the account since 2005 when I was a student in the university. They had earlier frozen my two bank accounts which they have not opened till today and I have been waiting for them to invite me, but up till today, they have not.
“The balance in the account is just N200,000; so, I don’t know what their interest is. I’m a private person. I have not received any political fund; so, why are they trying to starve my family?
“That account has nothing to do with politics. This is dehumanising. I had to call the governor to inform him of the development.”
Condemning the action of the EFCC and the attitude of the bank officials, Fayose warned the anti-graft agency against becoming lawless and reckless against Nigerians.
He asked the commission to prepare for a stiff resistance if it did not stop “persecuting” him and his friends.
Fayose added, “They can’t try that nonsense in my state. If they try it, there will be a showdown. They are over-stepping their boundary. This is a country that operates a constitution. What kind of molestation is this, taking away the rights of Nigerians because you are investigating?
“Must they terrorise people because they are in opposition? I have demanded an apology from the bank. If it fails to do that, I’m done with them. This is lawlessness.”
In a telephone interview with our correspondent, Femi Fani-Kayode, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, urged the government to leave his family members alone and face him.
Fani-Kayode stated, “This government is sick and cowardly and so is the EFCC. If you have a problem with me, face me and leave my family alone.
“My wife travelled to Ado Ekiti to see my friend and brother, Governor Fayose, and his family. They were on their way out of town when they went to Access Bank in Ado Ekiti to get some money.
“They were illegally detained, brutalised and put under arrest on the orders of the EFCC at a bank in Ado Ekiti today.
“She has never had any business with me; she has never been formally invited by the EFCC or asked any questions about her transactions and neither has it written to her on any issue even though it is always sending letters to my house and sending people there.
“If Buhari wants to deal with me, why doesn’t he face me like a man instead of trying to harm and hurt my eight-month-old son and wife.
“Had it not been for the intervention of Governor Ayo Fayose, they would have taken them away and subjected them to all manner of harm and indignity simply because she is married to me.
“This is Buhari’s Nigeria and we will resist his wickedness and tyranny.”
Fani-Kayode said he intended to sue the bank and the EFCC for this “illegal and wicked action.”
He added, “They have no right to do this. If they want to see my wife, all they need to do is to invite her. We have nothing to fear. They do not need to be so primitive and barbaric to people.
“In an attempt to starve and harass me and my family, all my accounts and wife’s accounts have been frozen.
“Now, they are resorting to arresting people’s wives and children for no just cause.”
In its reaction, the EFCC denied detaining Fani-Kayode’s wife and the son.
In a statement by the commission’s spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, on Monday night, the anti-graft agency said the ex-minister’s wife attempted to withdraw money from an account which the agency had frozen.
The statement read in part, “Contrary to the spin about the purported arrest of mother and child, a certain Chikwendu Sonia today attempted to withdraw money from an Access Bank account that had been placed on ‘Post No Debit’ Category, following the discovery of illicit cash flows into the account.
“She was intercepted by the bank while the commission was notified, but because it was late, the EFCC advised that the suspect be taken to the police station for processing and release on bail.
“They were arranging to take the suspect to the police station when Governor Ayo Fayose stormed the bank with thugs and his personal security and forcefully secured the release of the suspect, with claims that the EFCC had no power to detain anybody in his state. He also vowed to close down the branch of the bank.
“The said account, which had a balance of N2,307,712.82, was flagged following investigation into the PDP Joint Trust Fund when the commission traced N1.1bn to the Zenith Bank account of Fani-Kayode.
“It was discovered that the account had two biometric identification numbers, one for Fani-Kayode and the other (with BVN 2205597283) for Sonia Chikwendu. The same BVN is linked to two other accounts in Diamond Bank and 15 accounts in Guaranty Trust Bank.”
Nigeria Immigration Service Reopens Portal With New Passport Application and Payment Process
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has announced the reopening of its passport application and payment portal.
The assistant comptroller of immigration, Mr Amos Okpu announced in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.
In the statement, Mr Muhammad Babandede, the Comptroller-General of the service, said the portal became effective for new applications from 12 midnight on Tuesday.
Babandede further said that the portal would allow eligible applicants to apply and make payments for the various categories of passports of their choice.
Mr Muhammad Babandede explained that with the reopening of the portal, a new passport application and payment regime had begun.
The statement in full:
“The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (CGI), Muhammad Babandede MFR, has announced the reopening of the Passport application and payment portal effective 8th June 2021 by 12 midnight to allow eligible Passport applicants to apply and make payments for the various categories of Passports of their choice.
The Passport portal was closed following the directives of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on the 17th of May, 2021to afford the Service the opportunity to clear all backlogs of applications that have piled up across Issuing Centres in the past few months.
With the reopening of the portal, a new Passport application and payment regime have commenced. Under the new Passport regime;
Applications and payments for Passport services shall be made through the Service website www.immigration.gov.ng;
- applicants are expected to visit the portal to apply and upload their support documents for vetting and processing;
- a chat room facility to guide applicants through the application and payment process has been provided on the portal;
- upon successful applications, applicants shall make their online booking interview/enrollment appointment on any day, time and location they consider convenient;
- that the new timeline for Passport production and issuance after a successful enrollment at the selected Issuing Centre shall be six weeks for Fresh applications and three weeks for Re-issue (Renewal applications);
- that no applicant who is yet to make an online application and payment shall be allowed into any of the Passport Issuing Centres for Passport processing;
- applicants will be contacted through email and phone number they provided during application when their Passports are ready;
- a helpline with the number 08021819988 has been provided for feedback mechanism on any challenges.
The Comptroller General, Muhammad Babandede MFR wishes to use this medium to call on Nigerians and indeed Passport applicants to avoid patronizing touts as the entire process has been made seamless for effective and efficient service delivery. He warned Passport racketeers to desist from acts capable of undermining the reform efforts to avoid very strict sanctions.
Signed AMOS OKPU MNIPR
ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER OF IMMIGRATION
SERVICE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
For: COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF IMMIGRATION 8TH JUNE, 2021″
INEC To Publish The List Of New Polling Units Next Week
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has pledged to publish a comprehensive list of its new polling units across the nation next week.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja.
Yakubu was speaking at the formal handing over of a new state of the art fire truck, deployed to the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja by the Federal Fire Service (FFS).
He said that details of the locations of its registration centers and the procedure for the commencement of online registration for resumption of nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) would be made available in the second week of May.
He expressed appreciation of the commission to the FFS and all security agencies for the demonstration of their support to protecting INEC facilities
He said that the support was coming on the eve of the resumption of the CVR nationwide in the next three weeks.
“We earlier assured Nigerians that we shall conclude work on the expansion of voter access to polling units and make the new polling units available to citizens ahead of the CVR exercise.
“I am glad to report that we have accomplished this task for the first time in 25 years.
“A comprehensive list of the new polling units will be published next week.
“Similarly, details of the locations of the registration centers and the procedure for the commencement of online registration will also be made available after a series of regular consultative meetings with stakeholders next week,” Yakubu said.
He said that as a member of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) FFS had been as concerned as other security agencies about the recent attacks on our offices across the country.
“This is particularly so because out of the 42 attacks on our facilities nationwide, 18 incidents resulted from arson and three more by a combination of arson and vandalisation.”
Yakubu recalled that concerned by those incidents, the commission convened an emergency meeting of ICCES last week of April, where the security agencies renewed their determination to collaborate more with the commission.
According to him, they pledged to assist the commission address the challenge beyond the routine protection of INEC assets and the security of its officials, voters, observers, the media, candidates and their agents during elections.
“On its part, the Federal Fire Service offered to deploy an additional state-of-the-art fire engine to the INEC headquarters to complement the two existing trucks.
“At the same time, it directed its state offices to take additional protective measures around other INEC facilities nationwide.
“Today’s inauguration of the new fire engine is another affirmation of the support to the commission from the FFS whose personnel, already deployed permanently to the commission
“The personnel will continue to operate and maintain the fire engines and other firefighting equipment installed by INEC,” Yakubu said.
Speaking earlier, the Controller-General (CG) of FFS, Alhaji Liman Ibrahim said the deployment of the firefighting truck was premised on recent fire attacks on INEC offices in different parts of the country.
Ibrahim, represented by the Assistant Controller-General of the service, Mr Samson Karebo, said the deployed truck would serve as fire cover for the premises of INEC headquarters and the entire Maitama vicinity of Abuja.
“The FFS is taking this step as a proactive measure to protect our critical infrastructure and help to protect our economy by forming synergy with all stakeholders in protecting our environments.
“Our center is focused on bringing firefighting operations to every part of the country as part of our statutory duties by having a presence in virtually every state in Nigeria
“The FFS will very soon be moving into all senatorial headquarters in the country. That is how we want to operate for now so that we can touch every corner of this country,” Ibrahim said.
He called for the cooperation of all for the service to better serve the nation by not molesting FFS staff in the line of duty.
In his remarks, the National Security Adviser (NSA) retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, who is also Co-Chair of ICCES, described the deployment of the truck as a demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to sustain Nigeria’s democracy and address insecurity.
Monguno said that the gesture also symbolised commitment to a clear affirmation of Buhari toward protecting institutions of government, toward securing their property, toward fighting acts of irresponsibility, vandalisation and outright criminality.
“The President is determined as much as he can within the confines of legality to suppress any kind of criminality and destruction of public property.
“This is something that he is determined to do regardless of whatever the challenges are.
“He will apply all the resources in his disposal in his capacity as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces to ensure the wider Nigerian society is safe, stable and is allowed to carry out its legitimate undertaking, free from any act of insecurity,” he said
Monguno urged all other security agencies not to relent in ensuring that they continued to protect lives and property.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Usman Baba pledged commitment to security agencies to work with INEC and protect INEC’s facilities, citizens’ life and property.
Also at the occasion was the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, represented by Director of Joint Services, Mr Peter Obodo; as well as the representative of Director-General, Directorate of State Services, Tony Adikweruka.
Recovered Assets: Ad-hoch Committee Gives Emefiele, Others 72 Hours Ultimatum
The House of Representatives ad-hoc committee, investigating recovered assets, has given the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, 72 hours to appear before it.
The committee also issued same ultimatum to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali, and the Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Bashir Jamoh.
The summon was issued on Monday, after Mr Emefiele and the others failed to appear before the committee.
The government officials had sent representatives, but the committee chairman, Adejoro Adeogun (APC, Ondo), said they failed to forward letters to that effect.
He said allowing representatives without a proper letter of introduction would be akin to allowing “impersonators.”
“You are indirectly insulting the House of Representatives. You are undermining the House of Representatives,” an angry Mr Adeogun said.
Moving a motion to give the agencies 72hours to appear before the committee, Ibrahim Isiaka (APC, Ogun), said the agencies created by Acts of the parliament “should not be undermining the parliament”.
The motion was unanimously adopted by the committee.
Mr Isiaka suggested that the House should shut down its activities if the agencies fail to appear before them.
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