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Drama as Fayose Forces EFCC to Release Fani-Kayode’s Wife

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  • 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.

Precious, who had her eight-month-old baby with her at the time, was prevented from leaving the banking hall thereafter.

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.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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FG Declares June 12 Public Holiday for Democracy Day Celebration

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The Federal Government has declared Wednesday, June 12, a public holiday in commemoration of this year’s Democracy Day celebration.

The announcement was made in a statement signed by Aishetu Ndayako, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Interior, on behalf of Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, the Minister of Interior.

The statement urged Nigerians to reflect on the struggles and sacrifices of the nation’s founding fathers and to ensure that Nigeria remains a united, secure, peaceful, and indivisible entity.

“As we mark another Democracy Day in the history of our dear country, let us all reflect on the efforts of our founding fathers and ensure that Nigeria remains a united, secured, peaceful, and indivisible entity,” the statement read.

A Historic Shift

The designation of June 12 as Democracy Day dates back to June 7, 2018, when former President Muhammadu Buhari announced that the day would henceforth be celebrated as Democracy Day.

Prior to this declaration, Democracy Day was observed on May 29, the date marking the inauguration of the Fourth Republic in 1999.

President Buhari’s decision was rooted in the historical significance of June 12, 1993, the day of what is widely regarded as Nigeria’s freest and fairest presidential election.

Despite the election’s annulment by the then-military government, Buhari emphasized that the democratic credentials of the process should be honored.

Honoring a Legacy

To further commemorate the significance of June 12, Buhari posthumously awarded Chief Moshood Abiola, the presumed winner of the annulled 1993 election, with the nation’s highest honor, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR).

The statement from the Ministry of Interior also highlighted President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to implementing positive reforms aimed at reviving Nigeria’s economy and enhancing national security.

A Call for Unity

The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, called on all citizens and friends of Nigeria to appreciate the progress that has been made in the country’s democratic journey and to look forward to a brighter future.

“As we celebrate Democracy Day, we must appreciate the progress that has been made and remain hopeful for a better future for Nigeria’s democracy,” the minister said.

This year’s Democracy Day comes at a crucial time as Nigeria continues to navigate economic challenges and security concerns. The public holiday on June 12 provides an opportunity for Nigerians to reflect on the importance of democracy and the ongoing efforts to strengthen the nation’s democratic institutions.

As the nation prepares to observe the public holiday, there is a sense of anticipation and hope that the values of democracy will continue to guide Nigeria towards a prosperous and harmonious future.

The government’s declaration serves as a reminder of the enduring legacy of June 12 and the importance of upholding democratic principles.

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Guilty on All 34 Counts: Trump Convicted in Hush Money Case

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In a historic and unprecedented legal decision, former President Donald Trump was found guilty on all 34 counts in his “hush money” trial, making him the first former U.S. president to be convicted of a crime.

The verdict was delivered by a jury of 12 New Yorkers on Wednesday, concluding a six-week trial in Manhattan.

The charges against Trump centered around falsifying business records to cover up a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election.

The jury found Trump guilty on all counts, concluding that he authorized a scheme to falsify checks and related documents to keep the alleged affair from becoming public knowledge.

Prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office presented evidence showing that the conspiracy to cover up the payment began during Trump’s 2016 campaign and continued into his first year in the White House.

They argued that Trump, along with his associates, created false records to mislead voters and conceal the payment.

Trump, who has consistently denied having any sexual encounter with Daniels, responded angrily to the verdict. Speaking to reporters outside the courtroom, he called the trial “a disgrace” and accused the judge of bias.

“This was a rigged trial by a conflicted judge who was corrupt,” Trump stated.

He vowed to continue fighting the verdict, saying, “The real verdict is going to be Nov. 5 by the people, and they know what happened here and everybody knows what happened here. We’ll fight to the end.”

The conviction comes at a critical time for Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president in the 2024 election. Despite the conviction, there is no constitutional barrier preventing him from running for office again.

Legal experts note that the Constitution’s requirements for presidential candidates—being at least 35 years old, a natural-born citizen, and a U.S. resident for 14 years—do not include any disqualification for being a convicted felon.

Judge Juan Merchan has scheduled Trump’s sentencing for July 11. The defense has until June 13 to submit any motions, with the prosecution required to respond by June 27.

Trump’s legal team indicated they would prefer a sentencing date in mid to late July.

Trump’s conviction adds to the already intense political climate as the nation prepares for the 2024 elections. The trial has drawn significant media attention and public scrutiny, reflecting deep divisions within American society.

The trial highlighted broader issues regarding campaign finance and the use of hush money in politics. It also raises questions about the integrity of presidential candidates and the lengths to which they might go to protect their public image.

As the legal and political ramifications of this verdict unfold, Trump’s conviction on all 34 counts marks a significant chapter in U.S. history.

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President Tinubu to Inaugurate Newly Paved Roads to Apapa, Tin Can Ports

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President Bola Tinubu is set to inaugurate the newly constructed paved roads leading to the Apapa and Tin Can Island ports in Lagos on Saturday.

This development is anticipated to bring significant relief to port users and operators who have endured years of hardship due to the previously dilapidated roads and severe traffic congestion in the area.

The commissioning of these roads marks a major milestone in the government’s efforts to improve infrastructure and boost economic activities around the nation’s busiest ports.

The newly paved roads are expected to enhance the flow of goods and services, reduce operational costs for businesses, and alleviate the chronic traffic bottlenecks that have plagued the Apapa and Tin Can Island areas.

President Tinubu, who is scheduled to arrive in Lagos on Saturday morning, will perform the inauguration as his first assignment of the day.

The ceremony signifies a commitment to addressing the infrastructural challenges that have long hindered the efficiency of Nigeria’s maritime sector.

Mohammed Koko, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), highlighted the importance of this project earlier this year.

He emphasized the NPA’s “zero tolerance for all forms of impediments to the free flow of traffic” and reiterated the agency’s dedication to improving port operations.

“Our zero tolerance for all forms of impediments to free flow of traffic is no fluke,” Koko said, noting that the rehabilitation efforts are aimed at consolidating gains achieved first in Apapa and now extending to Tin Can.

In January 2024, President Tinubu directed the Federal Ministry of Works to urgently and comprehensively repair the access roads to the Lagos Port Complex and Tin-Can Island Port Complex.

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, echoed the urgency of this directive, pointing out that the poor condition of the port access roads had significantly increased internal logistics costs for importers and exporters.

“The dilapidated port access roads increase the cost of internal logistics for importers and exporters,” Oyetola noted.

The improved road infrastructure is expected to curb the exodus of businesses from the Apapa and Tin Can Island areas, which had been driven away by the severe logistical challenges.

The restoration of these critical routes is also anticipated to enhance Nigeria’s competitiveness in international trade by facilitating smoother and more efficient port operations.

Following the inauguration of the port access roads, President Tinubu is also scheduled to flag off the Lagos to Calabar coastal road project at Victoria Island in Lagos.

Also, he will virtually inaugurate the newly rehabilitated 3rd Mainland Bridge, further underscoring his administration’s commitment to revitalizing Nigeria’s infrastructure.

The series of inaugurations and project launches underscore a broader strategy to enhance connectivity, reduce operational bottlenecks, and stimulate economic growth through improved infrastructure.

The completion of the Apapa and Tin Can Island port roads is a pivotal step in this direction, promising a new era of efficiency and productivity for Nigeria’s maritime sector.

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