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Former Executive Director of First Bank testifies against Magu

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A former Executive Director with First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Dauda Lawal, appeared before the Justice Ayo Salami-led presidential panel on Saturday to give evidence against the suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu.

Lawal is currently standing trial before a Federal High Court in Lagos for allegedly receiving $25m out of the $153m loot traced to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

A source close to the panel said the former banker was invited as part of a probe into the investigative deficiencies of the EFCC under Magu.

He said Lawal was asked to testify without prejudice to his ongoing corruption trial.

It was learnt that while the former banker was giving his testimony, Magu walked into the venue at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa around 12pm, three hours before he was scheduled to appear.

A top source said, “Lawal appeared before the panel to clarify some allegations he had made in the past against the EFCC some of which had been reported to the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation. This was without prejudice to his ongoing corruption trial.

“However, Magu strolled in around 12pm even though he was expected to arrive at 3pm. The panel members were initially reluctant to let Magu witness the hearing but he pleaded and was permitted to do so.”

Lawal, however, repeated the allegations he made against the EFCC in a counter-affidavit he filed before Justice Muslim Hassan of a Federal High Court in 2017.

The EFCC had frozen Lawal’s accounts and applied for the permanent forfeiture of his funds which the ex-banker challenged.

In a counter-affidavit he deposed to which formed the basis for his invitation by the panel, Lawal said the EFCC detained him for 11 days in 2016 and promised to release him only on the condition that he return some funds.

On how he received the $25m, Lawal said he received a call from a friend, Stanley Lawson, March 2015 to help collect the money, which he subsequently paid into an account provided for him.

“I had no idea of the origin of the said funds and only acted in the course of normal banking business,” he said.

The former banker said the EFCC allegedly compelled him to provide funds he never received.

Lawal said in the affidavit, “Having been invited and subsequently detained in Lagos for 11 consecutive days and without access to members of my immediate family, the EFCC investigators kept suggesting and insisting that there was a shortfall of $40m, which I had yet to account for.

They were alleging that I had in fact taken $65m as opposed to the $25m, which I stated that I had received. The EFCC investigators interrogating me made it clear that the only way that I could/would leave detention is if I made their suggested shortfall available to them.

“Because I never had this EFCC invented $40m to give, I had to use my personal connections to source for and raise about 50 per cent of the said amount while I was in detention. I managed to borrow some of the money from the bank where I am an executive director and surrendered it to the EFCC through my legal counsel and was eventually released from detention on May 20, 2016.
“Consequently, in a three-week period between May 13 and June 6, 2016, I was made to surrender to the EFCC Recovery Account at the Central Bank of Nigeria the total sum of N9.08bn.

We’ll no longer condone allegations – Magu’s lawyer

Meanwhile, Magu’s lawyer, Mr. Wahab Shittu, says his client will no longer condone allegations levelled against him.

Shittu said this in a statement on Sunday titled, ‘Re: Magu faces questions over assets declaration – Fresh Propaganda Against Our Client Prejudicial to Panel Proceedings’.

The statement was in reaction to media reports that Magu was facing fresh investigation for failing to declare his assets before the Code of Conduct Bureau as required by law.

The lawyer said they were shocked by several false and defamatory imputations not arising from the proceedings of the panel.

He said, “Take notice that our client can no longer fold his hands in the face of these sustained malicious attacks to prejudge him in the public space. Our client will henceforth, point by point reply to all false allegations orchestrated against him in the public space on a daily basis as well as present his comprehensive defence for the world to see.”

It’s absurd for person on trial to testify against Magu – Ex-EFCC boss lawyer

When contacted on the telephone, a lawyer to Magu, Mr. Tosin Ojaomo, said it was immoral and absurd for Lawal who is standing trial, to give evidence before a panel against Magu.

Ojaomo said, “It is absurd that Dauda Lawal who is standing trial and has returned money believed to be proceeds of crime is being used as a witness. This is against the principle of natural justice. This is what we have been complaining about.”

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Court dismisses marriage due to supposed ritual

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Court breaks up 10-year old marriage over marathon sex, affirmed money ritual .

A Mapo Customary Court in Ibadan, on Tuesday, broken down a 10-year-old marriage between one Basirat Adeyoyin and spouse, Adeyoyin Niyi over supposed ritual and marathon sex.

Conveying judgment, the President of the court, Chief Ademola Odunade said that the court would not watch until there was insurgency prior to settling on the correct choice.

Odunade, consequently, disintegrated the relationship among Basirat and Niyi in light of a legitimate concern for harmony and peacefulness.

He granted guardianship of the two kids born to both of them to the offended party and requested the respondent to pay N10, 000 as the kids’ month to month taking care of recompense.

The court additionally requested Niyi to be answerable for their schooling and other government assistance. In her previous record, Basirat, an inhabitant of Olonsogo-Molete, told the court that she was throwing in the towel with her better half since “he was putting forth a urgent attempt to utilize her for money ritual”.

The woman added that she first notification this when her husband didn’t show any empathy after she lost her last pregnancy because of an excessive number of sexual intercourse with him.

Suddenly in 2018, Niyi came home one night and told me that he received a message that he must have seven-day marathon sex with me without a gap of any day. “I read no meaning to it and I allowed him until there was a problem. “I was already carrying a three-month-old pregnancy before that time and on the second day of the marathon sex, I lost the pregnancy.

“I took care of myself in the hospital only for Niyi to come home to start requesting for the continuation of the seven-day marathon sex even when I was still bleeding. “Then, I consulted my parents and relatives and from every indication, we discovered that he was trying to use me for money ritual,” Basirat said.

Consenting to the suit, the respondent didn’t prevent the claim from getting the marathon sex yet decided to raise new issues by and large.

Niyi presented that his wife was excessively inconvenient for him and was an imprudent housewife.

“Even if this court would dissolve my marriage, I pray to be given custody of the two children because Basirat cannot take care of them.

“One of the young boys in our neighbourhood raped our first child and she did not tell me about the incident. “My lord, it was because she often overstays in the market that such a thing could happen,” Niyi added.

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Army admits to firing live rounds at the Lekki toll gate incident

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The Nigerian armed force has conceded that soldiers took live bullets to the Lekki toll gate.

As indicated by The PUNCH, the Commander of 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, Victoria Island, Lagos, Brigadier General Ahmed Taiwo, has clarified that Phase Four of military inner security activity, which was conveyed at the Lekki toll gate on the night October 20, included the utilization of both live and clear ammo.

He said the troopers took live projectiles to the scene with the end goal of self defence .

Taiwo said a segment of the soldiers that worked at the toll gate on that night were to be sure equipped with live shots. He, nonetheless, kept up that lone officers with clear bullets discharged shots into the air. The overall expressed this on Saturday at the continued procedures of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry examining the supposed killing of #EndSARS dissidents at the Lekki toll gate evening of October 20 by soldiers.

Taiwo, who had prior made an introduction before the board with regards to the Nigerian Army on November 14, returned on Saturday for questioning by two guidance for #EndSARS dissenters, Messrs Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika (SAN) and Mr Adesina Ogunlana.

When Olumide-Fusika asked Taiwo if soldiers who went to the tollgate carried guns, Taiwo said, “When you are talking of guns, you are talking about high-calibre guns. They were carrying rifles; not guns.”

On further pressing by Olumide-Fusika, Taiwo added, “Definitely, a portion of the Force will carry live bullets, in case they are attacked.

But the soldiers that formed the firing team, who fired, used blank bullets. And that is why you watched the video and saw exactly what happened.” Also, under cross-examination by Ogunlana, Taiwo explained that in Phase Four military internal security operation “soldiers would be given both live and blank bullets.” He said, “In this particular case, we saw that the peaceful protest had been infiltrated by hoodlums.

They were peaceful protesters, no doubt, but there were also hoodlums who sought to take advantage, that was why they were armed with blank bullets in addition with live bullets.”

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APC considering Jonathan as Buhari’s predecessor

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A report claims legislators in the APC are now attempting to find an appropriate official competitor for the 2023 political race.

It was announced that an ongoing visit by APC to ex-president, Goodluck Jonathan was partially political.

The visit by the APC lead representatives has again started with rumors about a Jonathan administration in 2023.

An arising report has asserted that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is attempting to persuade a previous president, Goodluck Jonathan, to run for president on its foundation in 2023.

The report which was conveyed by This Day asserted that a few heads of the gathering have been constraining the previous president to think about the offer.

The paper expressed that a source who talked secretly said lead representatives on the foundation of the APC who visited Jonathan to congratulate with him on his 63 birthday commemoration, utilized the event to inconspicuously speak to their official proposition to him.

As indicated by the cases, Buhari’s partners accept that Jonathan would be innocuous to their gathering interest and as such the perfect individual to dominate if control somehow happened to move toward the South.

A source in Buhari’s camp who would not like to be recognized was cited to have stated:

“He handed over power peacefully and nursed no bitterness against anyone and therefore will not be a threat to the interest of the north. In any case, Jonathan has in the past denied any interest in challenging for the administration.

The previous president clarified that he was centered around his foundation.

Then, following the tumults by some geo-political zones to create the following leader of Nigeria, the legislative head of Kogi state, Yahaya Bello, has uncovered the characteristics of who might become President Buhari’s replacement.

Bello when speaking Channels TV on Thursday, November 20, said the PDP’s ambition to take back power is a “lofty dream” and ”castles in the air.”

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