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EFCC Detains Ekweremadu Over 22 Properties

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  • EFCC Detains Ekweremadu Over 22 Properties

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has detained Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, for alleged fraud and failing to explain how he came to own 22 properties in Nigeria, the United States, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.

It was learnt that Ekweremadu honoured the invitation of the EFCC around 9 am on Tuesday but was still in custody as of 9 pm.

A top source at the EFCC told our correspondent that the lawmaker had many questions to answer.

“He came in around 9 am and he is still in our custody. He will be released once we have enough information,” the source said.

When contacted around 9 pm, the Spokesman for the EFCC, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed that Ekweremadu honoured the commission’s invitation on Tuesday. He, however, could not say if the senator was still in custody as of the time of filing this report by 9.30pm.

It was learnt that the Deputy Senate President was under investigation for allegedly owning about 22 properties some of which he failed to declare in his Asset Declaration Form at the Code of Conduct Bureau.

The Federal Government had in March sought an interim order of the Federal High Court, Abuja, to temporarily seize 22 prime properties/assets of Ekweremadu located in London, Dubai, Florida, and Abuja, that were not declared before the CCB.

The motion ex-parte filed by Festus Keyamo (SAN) on behalf of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property was brought before the court pursuant to Section 330 of The Administration Of Criminal Justice Act, 2015; Section 8 Of The Recovery Of Public Property (Special Provisions) Act and Section 44 (2)(K) of the 1999 Constitution.

In an affidavit deposed to in support of the motion ex-parte by Yohanna Shankuk, a litigation clerk in Festus Keyamo Chambers, he stated that from 1999 till date, Ekweremadu had been a public officer and had not earned anything outside his salaries and allowances as a public officer.

He, therefore, wondered where the lawmaker got the money to acquire such properties.

The undeclared assets were identified as: 11 Evans Enwerem Street, Apo Legislative Quarters, Apo, Abuja; Plot 2633 Kyami, Abuja; Housing Estate; Plot 1106 CRD, Cadastral Zone 07-07, Lugbe, Abuja; Plot 2782, Asokoro Extension, Abuja; houses at Citi Park Estate, Gwagwalada, Abuja and Plot 1474, Cadastral Zone BD6, Mabushi, Abuja.

Other properties allegedly undeclared by the senator include Congress Court, Abuja; Flat 1, Block D25, Athletics Street, (24th Street), Games Village, Abuja; and Plot 66, 64 Crescent, Gwarimpa Estate, Abuja.

Properties allegedly owned by Ekweremadu abroad include: Flat 4, Varsity Court, Harmer Street, WIH 4NW, London; 52, Ayleston Avenue, NW6 7AB, London; Room 1903, The Address Hotel, Downtown Dubai; The Address Boulevard, 3901, Dubai; two Flats of Burij Side Boulevard (the signature), Dubai and Emirate Gardens Apartment No. EGG1/1/114, Dubai.

Others are Emirate Gardens Apartment No. EGG1/115, Dubai; apartment DFB/12/B 1204, Park Towers, Dubai; Flat 3604, MAG214, Dubai; Villa No 148, Maeen 1, The Lakes Emirates Hills, Dubai; 4507 Stella Street, Bellavida Estate Kissime, Florida, United States; 2747 Club Cortile Circle, Kissime, Florida, US and 2763 Club Cortile Circle, Kissime, Florida, US.

However, the Peoples Democratic Party had decried the alleged harassment of Ekweremadu, opposition leaders, and voices of dissent, by the Federal Government.

The party accused the government of misusing the anti-graft and security agencies close to the 2019 general elections, stressing that such posed a grave threat to the nation’s democracy.

Reacting to what it described as Senator Ekweremadu’s witch-hunt by the EFCC on Tuesday, the party called on the international community to rein in the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration before it became too late.

In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbodiyan, in Abuja on Tuesday, the party said, “Just a few days after the EFCC and over 200 policemen practically held Senator Ekweremadu hostage to prevent the defection of the All Progressives Congress senators to the PDP, the EFCC has continued to harass Senator Ike Ekweremadu to cover its shame.

“We wish to remind Nigerians and the international community that this is only the newest in the series of attempts to destroy the senator politically in the run-up to the 2019 general elections.

“It is of grave concern to us that while corruption and corrupt persons abound in the APC, the EFCC prefers to chase after innocent members of the opposition.

“While the likes of Babachir Lawal, Abba Kyari, Ayo Oke, Kemi Adeosun, Abdulrasheed Maina and his accomplices, Okoi Obono-Obla, and scores of others in the ruling APC, with corruption and fraud-related charges, walk free, the anti-graft agencies have continued in its reckless desperation to harass and dent leaders of the opposition in the name of an anti-corruption war that Nigerians and the world have come to see for what it is- persecution of the opposition.

“We warn the Buhari-led administration to desist from this act of highhandedness and witch-hunt of the opposition so as not to torpedo our democracy.

“The panicky APC government cannot be allowed to destroy opposition leaders just a few months to the general elections in the name of fighting corruption.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

Edo Election: Governor Obaseki Cries Out, Says ‘They Are Rigging Me Out’

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Governor Obaseki ‘They Are Rigging Me Out’

Godwin Obaseki, the executive governor of Edo State, has cried out that “there is an ongoing deliberate election manipulation in areas where he has strongholds.”

In a statement issued through Crusoe Osagie, the Special Adviser to the Governor, Osagie said “Suddenly, card readers are not working in areas where Governor Godwin Obaseki is very popular.

“Voters are being disenfranchised and we are constrained to say that this is sabotage,” Osagie said in a statement to media on Saturday during the polls.

“Specifically, in Oredo Ward 1, Unit 20 and other places where the Governor is clearly popular, the card readers are not working.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should prove to Edo voters that it can conduct a credible election in Edo State.”

Earlier in the day, after casting his vote at polling unit 19, ward 4, Oredo local government, Governor Obaseki, who spoke to the media present, said “I expected that INEC would have prepared better for this election. I waited for one and half hours on the queue before exercising my franchise, it’s a beat disappointing,” he said.

“Giving that this is a sole day election, I expected a better planning for this election. Card readers were very slow and that’s the situation everywhere.”

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1.7 million People Registered to vote in Edo, Says INEC

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INEC Says 1.7 million Voters Registered to vote in Edo

No fewer than 1.72 million persons are eligible to vote in the September 19, Edo governorship polls while 483,796 eligible voters will not participate.

This is according to a document obtained from the Independent National Electoral Commission titled, ‘Delimitation of Edo State’.

The document shows that the identified ineligible voters in Edo failed to collect their Permanent Voter Cards.

The document further showed that as of August 2018 there are 2,210,534 registered voters in the state,

However, only 1,726,738 collected their PVCs.

It also indicated that the election will hold in 18 Local Government Areas, 192 Wards, and 2,627 polling units.

A further breakdown of the registered voters shows that male accounts for 1,159,325 (representing 52 per cent), while 1,051,209 (48 percent) are female.

Similarly, from the total registered voters, the youth (18 – 35 years) account for 50 per cent (1,105,338); Middle Aged (36 – 50 years), 29.1 per cent (643,551); and Elderly (51 – 70 years) has 15.99 per cent (353,508).

Eligible voters classified as the Old (70 years and above) account for 4.89 per cent (108,137).

According to the number of collected PVCs, Oredo zone has 240,197; Ikpoba-Okha, 214,882; Egor, 158,817; Etsako West, 128,188 and Akoko Edo, 115,343.

Further distribution of registered voters in the three senatorial districts of the state shows that Edo South has the highest figure of 1,281,414; the North with 564,122; and Central senatorial district has 364,998.

Edo South has seven council areas, the North has six, while Central has five Local Government Areas.

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Kenya Partners Private Sector and Development Partners to Outline Roadmap towards Achieving Energy Efficiency Goals

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Barclays Plaza, Kenya

The Kenyan Government through the Ministry of Energy (MOE) today launched the Kenya National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (KNEECS or The Strategy) placing Kenya firmly on track toward sustainable consumption and production including renewable energy generation.

The Strategy was developed in collaboration with key stakeholders including the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) with support from the World Bank and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

To date, Kenya has made significant progress in energy efficiency and conservation. In 2006, MOE and KAM signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a Centre for Energy Efficiency and Conservation (CEEC). Its activities include undertaking energy audits of industries, SMEs and public institutions on behalf of MoE, provision of capacity-building in energy efficiency and conservation, public education and awareness activities and administration of the annual Energy Management Awards (EMA). CEEC has achieved over KES 13 billion (USD 152.8 Million) in energy cost saving equivalent to 2014.8 GWh, translating into a deferment of a 230 MW power plant.

The Strategy now seeks to guide the country further towards achieving its established Energy Efficiency (EE) goals within a defined timeframe. These goals are reducing the national energy intensity by 2.8% per year, and enabling the country achieve a 30 per cent greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2030 relative to Business as Usual (143 MtCO2e) and meet its national targets for Sustainable Development Goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) by 2030.

Through the adoption of The Strategy, the country is expected to use less energy to produce goods and services without compromising on quality and quantity. Further, The Strategy will promote the use of technology that requires minimum energy to perform the same function and adoption of changes in behavior that encourage citizens to use a reduced amount of energy in their daily undertakings.

The Strategy sets targets for five key sectors to achieve its objectives, all of which are to be accomplished within a five-year timeline up to 2025: Households, Power Utilities, Transport, Buildings and Industry & Agriculture. Under the Households Sector, energy efficiency in domestic power consumption is expected to increase by 3%. This will be realized by increasing the number of household appliances such as television sets, subjected to Minimum Energy Performable Standards (MEPS) from the current six to ten and increasing the use of improved efficient biomass cook stoves by 50% of all households currently using biomass cook stoves. In the Utilities Sector, the strategy focuses on reducing transmission and distribution system losses from 23 to 15 % .The Strategy recommends the installation of 1 MW of energy storage facilities, whereby a total KSH. 5 Billion in investments will be required for implementation of energy conservation measures. Further, in the Transport Sector, improvement of fuel economy, increasing the share of electric vehicles to reach five per cent and raising the number of passengers using commuter trains from 116,000 to 150,000 per day are proposes. Similarly, the Building Sector has six targets while the Industry & Agriculture Sector has two.

Alongside these sectoral targets, Kenya aspires to strengthen implementation of energy efficiency and conservation measures. All involved agencies will mobilize resources to improve access to finance for energy efficiency projects and accelerate actualization of the Strategy, particularly the Directorate of Renewable Energy and CEEC. Gender-focused and targeted approaches will be implemented for inclusive participation and benefit. Additionally, awareness creation, citizen engagement, training and capacity-building will be implemented. This Strategy, therefore, calls for private and public sector players to mainstream energy efficiency and conservation in education by establishing a long-term mechanism to achieve a high level of government and public awareness on their importance. This will be accomplished by bolstering relationships and engagements among ministries, inter-ministerial forums, county governments, national governments and climate change units countrywide.

Ultimately, the KNEECS will contribute significantly to the essential areas outlined in the Big Four Agenda of food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and affordable healthcare for all.

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