The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has disclosed that more than 70,000 ghost workers were fraudulently introduced into the Npower Scheme, leading to the diversion of millions of naira.
The anti-graft agency on Tuesday detained music star, Oladapo Oyebanji, popularly known as D’banj, over the alleged diversion of Npower funds in collaboration with some government officials. This is coming when N-power has been struggling to pay its beneficiaries, owing Batch C, Stream 2 up to three-month backlogs.
However, the legal representative of the legendary musician, the LAW CORRIDOR denied the allegations and urged the public not to get carried by the “media trial.
A statement which the Abuja-based law firm released to the media party read, “It is instructive to state foremost that the report concerning the arrest and detention of Mr. Daniel Oladapo Oyebanjo is misconceived, malicious and prejudicial to the justice system anywhere in the world and we would advise that the general public be well guided”.
The statement further stated that the musician has “no contractual or incidental relationship whatsoever with any group or persons within or outside government in relation to the disbursement, operations, access or control of the operation of any government fund through an agency or its subsidiaries”.
Investors King understands that Npower was established in 2016 as a federal government intervention programme to address the issue of youth unemployment. The scheme has a number of categories such as N-Power Teach, N-Power Tech, N-Power Agro, and N-Power Health. Beneficiaries are put on a monthly stipend of N30,000.
Speaking on the ghost N-power beneficiary, an insider source who spoke to Sahara Reporter noted that top government officials have been using the social intervention programmes to shipon public funds.
“70,000 names were infused into N-Power by officials of the Buhari regime in the last four years.
“The fake list costs Nigeria N2.1 billion per year while original N-Power candidates are left unpaid,” the source added.
Controversial Lagos Socialite Sam Larry Arrested in Connection with Mohbad’s Death
The Lagos State Police Command has confirmed the arrest of Balogun Eletu, popularly known as Sam Larry, a prominent Lagos socialite, in connection with the ongoing investigation into the tragic demise of Ilerioluwa Aloba, known as Mohbad, the late singer who passed away under mysterious circumstances.
Sam Larry’s arrest took place at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport on Thursday evening as he arrived from Kenya.
A police source, requesting anonymity due to a lack of authorization to speak on the matter, revealed that Sam Larry was promptly taken to the state police headquarters for questioning.
Sam Larry’s name has been in the spotlight since the demand for justice surrounding Mohbad’s untimely death gained momentum.
The arrest follows the police’s previous invitation of both Sam Larry and Mohbad’s former music label boss, Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, for questioning regarding the singer’s demise.
In a significant development, pathologists have recently completed the autopsy on Mohbad, with the police now awaiting the results.
This development followed the exhumation of Mohbad’s remains, conducted collaboratively by the Nigeria Police Force and health officials.
Also, the nurse who administered the injection to the late singer before his tragic passing on September 12 has also been arrested as part of the ongoing investigation.
As the investigation continues, the Lagos State Police Command is determined to unravel the circumstances surrounding Mohbad’s death and ensure justice is served.
Minister Betta Edu Vows to Overhaul NPower Program and Eradicate Poverty
Nigeria’s Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, has revealed a series of challenges plaguing the NPower program, vowing to overhaul the initiative to ensure it fulfills its mission of alleviating poverty for millions of Nigerians.
During the Arise TV interview, Minister Edu expressed her commitment to transforming the NPower program and addressing its longstanding issues.
She explained that the NPower payment list contains the names of individuals who should not be part of the program, revealing the gravity of the problems that her ministry is actively working to rectify.
“First of all, when we came onboard, we found lots of issues with the NPower program that made us re-engage the entire plan,” Edu stated. “One of the things was that there were persons registered on the NPower beyond the envelope that was provided for the program.”
The revelation of individuals beyond the program’s intended scope raises questions about the program’s effectiveness in targeting those most in need of assistance.
Edu further highlighted financial mismanagement as a critical issue affecting NPower beneficiaries. “Funds were released for payment for people under NPower, and they were not paid in a timely manner by the managers of the funds of the NPower beneficiaries,” she declared.
This mismanagement of funds not only hinders the program’s ability to provide timely support but also undermines the trust of beneficiaries in the system.
Perhaps the most concerning aspect disclosed by the minister is the inclusion of individuals on the payment list who should not be there and those who do not contribute to the program despite receiving payments.
Edu said, “There were also people who were on the payment list who are not supposed to be there, and there are persons who are there but are not providing any services but have been enrolled to have payment.”
Such irregularities in the program’s implementation not only waste resources but also deprive those genuinely in need of the support they require.
Also, Edu acknowledged the issue of individuals who had surpassed their allotted time with the NPower program but still expected to receive payments. She referred to this as an “exit plan,” which has led to continued financial obligations that the program may not be able to sustain.
To address these pressing concerns, Minister Edu disclosed that a committee has been established to scrutinize and provide recommendations for improving the NPower program. The committee, headed by the secretary of the ministry, is expected to propose reforms based on its findings.
Minister Edu’s commitment to reforming the NPower program aligns with the broader goal of President Tinubu’s administration to uplift 133 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030, in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
She declared, “For poverty alleviation, we are targeting at least 133 million Nigerians between now and 2030, which is in line with the SDGs that we signed at the United Nations.”
However, Edu emphasized that the government is not content with maintaining the status quo.
“The difference here is that we are not going to continue doing things the same way and expect different results,” she affirmed.
“There are different plans we are working on, and we believe very strongly that by the next one year, we should be able to say that at least we have removed 20 million Nigerians out of poverty.”
The commitment to addressing the NPower program’s flaws and the ambitious goal of poverty eradication signal a new direction in the fight against poverty in Nigeria, one that aims to be more efficient, transparent, and impactful for the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.
FBI Analysis Reveals Shocking Details in Mompha’s Trial
A Lagos High Court recently admitted into evidence a comprehensive report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during the trial of Ismaila Mustapha, popularly known as Mompha.
This report sheds new light on the alleged fraudulent activities of the accused, including the use of his iPhone in a series of financial transactions.
The FBI report, presented by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as evidence, has revealed a string of suspicious activities carried out through Mompha’s iPhone.
According to the report, Mompha’s phone was used to send account details to a United Arab Emirates telephone number, searched for Swift Codes of a bank, and, shockingly, had a compromised Microsoft 365 account.
The charges against Mompha and his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, include conspiracy to launder funds, retention of proceeds from criminal conduct, money laundering, failure to disclose assets, possession of documents containing false pretense, and the use of property derived from an unlawful act.
The prosecution alleges that they conducted financial transactions amounting to over N5.9 billion with the intent of promoting unlawful activities.
During cross-examination, the witness from the FBI revealed that Mompha’s iPhone was employed in changing payment delivery methods from cheque to wire transfer after two failed attempts, ultimately succeeding on the third attempt.
The defense counsel, Kolawole Salami, initially objected to the admissibility of the FBI report, arguing that it needed certification by the United States Consulate.
However, the objection was overruled by Justice Mojisola Dada, who deemed the documents to be in their original state and not requiring certification.
As the trial progresses, these shocking revelations from the FBI analysis have cast a new light on the case against Mompha.
The courtroom drama continues, with the case adjourned until Wednesday, November 1, leaving both the prosecution and the defense with much to consider in the days ahead.
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