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N4.7b Arms Cash Scandal: EFCC Detains Obanikoro

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Musiliu Obanikoro
  • N4.7b Arms Cash Scandal: EFCC Detains Obanikoro

An aide to Senator Obanikoro, Mr. Jonathan Eze, in a statement last night said the former minister had been detained by the anti-graft agency.

The statement said: “Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, the immediate past minister of defence and foreign affairs arrived in Abuja this morning (yesterday) and headed straight for the office of the EFCC.

“This is consequent upon an invitation sent to him by the anti-graft body, which was received on June 15, 2016, coincidentally at a time and period he was pursuing academic postgraduate degree in the United States.

“As at now, interrogations have ended and it will continue tomorrow. However, the minister shall remain with the operatives for further questioning tomorrow. (today).

“The officials were impressed with his decision to honour their invitation and so far, there has been mutual cooperation and understanding between the agency and my principal.

“We wish to use this medium to commend the EFCC for the mature way they went about the interrogations. They were truly professional.

“Senator Obanikoro has served this country at every level from local government chairman till his appointments as minister twice and he is proud of his contributions so far. He is not a fugitive as has been erroneously painted in the media and his returning to the country on his own volition is a further testimony to this.”

Former Minister of State for Defence Musiliu Obanikoro yesterday surrendered to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC), which is probing his role in the alleged disbursement of N4.745billion for the Ekiti State 2014 governorship election. The cash is believed to have come from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

The anti-graft commission began the grilling of the ex-Minister at about 2pm.

The EFCC, said a source, was making efforts to secure a court order to keep Obanikoro in detention for the duration of his interrogation.

Also sighted at the EFCC yesterday was a former Ekiti State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Dr. Tope Aluko, who was a witness to how about N1.299billion was flown to the state to influence the governorship poll in 2014.

It was learnt that Aluko may be a star witness against Obanikoro, Governor Ayodele Fayose and Fayose’s associate, Abiodun Agbele (Alias Abbey).

Obanikoro arrived in Abuja at about 10am, but the EFCC team did not start attending to him until about 2pm.

Clad in a white kaftan, Obanikoro, who looked trim, was seen at the EFCC’s office at about 1.40pm in company of the Deputy National Chairman of the Sheriff faction of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Dr. Cairo Ojougboh and five others.

He was smiling and shaking hands with people, including reporters.

The presence of Aluko pointed to a likely encounter with Obanikoro in the interrogation room.

A source in EFCC, who spoke in confidence, said: “While were are preparing to declare him wanted, the ex-minister surrendered to the EFCC for interrogation in respect of the probe of alleged N4.745billion fraud.

“Obviously, Obanikoro is the long-awaited suspect and we believe his coming will assist us in the investigation of how the money was sourced from the $2.1billion meant for arms from the Office of the National Security (ONSA).

“We have grilled him for more than three hours but this may take some days. It is about 90 per cent certain that we are not likely to release him.

“We need to interact also with his sons and daughter, based on the evidence at our disposal.”

Earlier, in a WhatsApp message, Obanikoro said: “I am in Abuja, just wanted to be the one to tell you.”

The EFCC had discovered that Sylvan Mcnamara Limited, a company believed to be owned by Obanikoro and his sons, was used to launder the N4.745billion.

The company, which was incorporated in November 2011, has as its directors an aide of the ex-minister, Ikenna Ezekwe (700,000 shares) of 51 Simpson Street, Ebute-Metta; Idowu Oshodi (299,000 shares) of 8 Prince Tayo Adesanya Street, Park View Estate, Ikoyi; and Elizabeth Adebiyi (1,000 shares) of 3 Adedoyin Street, Ijeshatedo, Surulere.

Ezekwe’s accounts have been de-frozen by the EFCC since the slush funds were not traced to him.

A document on the investigation states: “To set the stage for the use of the company for money laundering, the board of directors on May 7, 2012 passed a resolution that the company should open an account and appointed Mr. Gbolahan Obanikoro, Ikenna Ezekwe, Ms. Theresa Matuluko (Secretary) and Mr. Babajide Obanikoro as signatories to the account.

“The board added that the signing combination be that any of the signatories can sign alone.”

According to the EFCC, when it was time to illegally draw the N4.745billion from ONSA as war chest for Ekiti Governorship poll, ex-Minister Obanikoro made the account of Sylvan Mcnamara Limited available and coordinated the disbursement.”

The breakdown of the disbursement is as follows: N759, 384, 300 changed into dollars through bureau de change firms; N160million spent on cars through Balmoral International Limited; N1, 219, 490,000 ferried by Obanikoro in two flights to Akure for Fayose’s associate, Abiodun; balance of about N2billion allegedly withdrawn by Obanikoro and his two children in cash.

Some of the bureaux de change involved in the transactions and the amounts credited to them are: A.A.G.B.S Oil and Gas (N168,000,000.00); Sylvan Mcnamara Ltd (N167,500,000.00); Northline Ltd (N835,000.00); Northline Ltd (N83,750,000.00); Five Star Ltd N(37,600,000.00); A.B.A Trading Ent (N268,301,500.00); Villagolf Bureau De Change (N1,425,000.00); Ahmad &Omar (N350,000.000); Northline Ltd (N1,680,000.00); Northline Limited A (N2,325,300); Rehoboth Homes (20,000,0000); Northline Ltd (N5,932,500.00); Northline Ltd (N842,500); Northline Ltd (N842,500.00).

The EFCC probe showed how N1.299 billion was flown to Akure Airport on June 12, 2014, to Fayose through Agbele.

A report on the investigation reads: “On June 12, 2014, N1.299 billion was flown from Lagos to Akure Airport by Musiliu Obanikoro through a chartered plane with Registration No: HS125-800 5N-BMT belonging to Gyro Air Limited.

“The N1.299 billion was in two consignments but flown in the same aircraft twice in the morning and in the evening. “From FAAN records, the first cash of N724, 500,000 arrived at Akure Airport at an estimated time of 9.38am and the second was at 17.57hours.

“A bullion van was brought to the tarmac at the airport in Akure to evacuate the cash to Plot 13 Alagbaka Estate, Akure.

“Obanikoro handed over the funds to Fayose’s associate, Abiodun Agbele (alias Abbey).”

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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Obaseki pdp

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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edo-election

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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Government

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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