- US Blocks $550m Abacha Loot
Prof. Itse Sagay, Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), on Thursday said Nigeria risks losing another $550 million recovered from the Abacha family to the United States.
Sagay disclosed this at a media conference on asset recovery jointly organised by PACAC and the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora.
“Nigeria presently stands to lose another S550 million recovered from the Abacha family to the U.S., contrary to the earlier promise by the U.S. to return same to Nigeria,” he said.
Sagay said the amount represented a separate tranche from the earlier $480 million forfeited to the U.S. following a court judgment in August 2014.
He said that the stringent conditions for repatriation being given by the countries in which some of the nation’s stolen wealth was stashed contradicted the earlier promises made.
He expressed concern at the country’s challenges in the tracing, seizure, forfeiture and return of Nigeria’s assets laundered outside the country.
According to Sagay, the challenges include stringent conditions and other uncooperative attitude of the countries in possession of the stolen funds.
“Out of the Abacha loot for instance, Switzerland seized over $505.5 million between 2004 and 2006. The UK recovered 2.7 million dollars from Alamieyeseigha’s account in London in 2005.
“Alamieyeseigha’s home and other real estate as at 2005 was estimated at over 15 million dollars,’’ Sagay said.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, called for the unconditional return of Nigeria’s looted fund.
Dabiri-Erewa, who said asset recovery was different from asset returning, decried the uncooperative attitude of the countries where the stolen funds were being stashed.
“America has over 400 million dollars that have been officially recovered as stolen funds from Nigeria.
“But America is keeping the funds. They are telling us about technicalities; they are saying we recovered doesn’t mean we can return.
“We want every Nigerian in Diaspora, friends of Nigeria, to join this committee in demanding that every Nigeria’s stolen fund recovered in any part of the world should be returned to Nigeria,” she said.
According to her, the person who steals is just as guilty as the person who keeps stolen funds.
“The person who steals is a criminal; the person who keeps known stolen funds is also liable.
“You can’t give us aid of one billion dollars and keep one billion dollars of funds you have recovered from Nigeria.
“So we will join the committee to embark on an advocacy with Nigerians outside the world to appeal to these nations to do everything possible to return what belongs to Nigeria,”she said.
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.
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.”
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.
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