The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has revealed details how Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Uche Secondus, allegedly received N250m from the Office of the National Security Adviser under the leadership of the embattled former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.).
According to the report by Punch, Secondus allegedly received the money during the build-up to the 2015 general elections. Secondus, who was the Deputy Chairman (South) of the PDP at the time, allegedly collected the money for ‘special duties.’
The report partly read, “Uche Secondus received N200m in cash from the ONSA with voucher 0244. His Special Adviser, one Chukwurah, signed for the money on his behalf on February 2, 2015. Earlier, he had collected N50m which was personally received by him on November 7, 2014.
“The funds were approved by Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.) for unknown reasons but were merely referred to as ‘special duties.’”
The report also accused Secondus and erstwhile Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, as well as the lawmaker representing Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial District, Senator Bassey Akpan, of receiving vehicles worth about N1.1bn from Babajide Omokore, an oil magnate standing trial before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
According to the report, the vehicles which ranged from Mercedes Benz luxury cars to campaign buses and trucks were bought with the proceeds of fraud.
The report added, “Adamu Mu’azu received vehicles worth N504, 500, 000 including a Benz G63 worth N45m between May and August 2014.
“Secondus received vehicles worth N310m. On June 28, 2013, he received a Benz G63 worth N36m; on April 8, 2014, he received two Toyota Hilux vehicles worth N14m. On July 8, 2014, he received 10 Hiace buses worth N90m while on November 13, 2014, he received 15 Hiace mid-roof buses worth N120m. He also received a N50m Range Rover Biography SUV.”
The report accused Senator Bassey Akpan of receiving vehicles worth N303m from Omokore while he was the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Finance as well as the Chairman of the Inter-ministerial Direct Labour Coordinating Committee whose job was to ensure that government projects were completed using direct labour approach to save some money for the state.
Two of Omokore’s companies – Bay Atlantic Energy and Sahel Energy – were said to have received contracts from the committee headed by Akpan.
The report added, “Senator Bassey Akpan received a BMW X5 BP worth N50m; an Infinity QX56BP worth N45m; a Range Rover worth N40m; three Toyota Hiace buses worth N27m; two Toyota Hiace High-roof buses worth N16m, six Toyota Hilux D cabin vehicles worth N42m as well as other vehicles worth N83m.
“He received the vehicles from Omokore while heading a committee which was giving contracts to the same Omokore.
“He has been invited on several occasions but he has refused to show up. He was supposed to come to the EFCC office on Monday (yesterday) but he refused to come.”
But Secondus has described the claim by the anti-graft agency as a blackmail and a continuation of what he described as media trial.
He said there were plans to blackmail and discredit the main opposition party and its leadership.
He however said the plan would not work.
Secondus, who spoke through his media aide, Mr. Ike Abonyi, asked the agency or anyone with proof of the allegations to come to court.
Abonyi said, “Secondus is already in court on this matter and that is all. It is a continuation of media trial and blackmail.
“He has said he did not collect any money and he had challenged anyone with contrary proof to meet him in court and testify against him.
“There’s no need to be talking about a case pending in court in the newspapers. If the government has anything to say, they should file it before the court as demanded.”
Also speaking, Secondus told one of our correspondents that he knew that the government would not stop at anything to tarnish his image. But he said that the move would fail.
He challenged the government to come out with the vouchers with which he was said to have signed, adding that such signature would also be subjected to forensic analysis.
He said, “I never collected any money from anywhere. I didn’t ask anyone to collect money for me as well and I didn’t sign any voucher to collect any money.
“It is pure blackmail which will never work. I have gone to court and I expect them to challenge me in court and come and testify against me.
“If they are cooking up anything, with the aim of blackmailing me, it will fail. I know that the task of uprooting this non-performing government would be horrendous. But God is always on the side of the people.”
Attempts to speak with Akpan proved abortive as he could not be reached for his reaction to the allegation as his telephone line indicated that it was off when it was called on Monday night. He had yet to reply a text message sent to him as of the time this report was filed.
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Illegal Abortions Responsible For Mysterious Deaths In Bauchi: State Govt
Bauchi State Government has revealed that the mysterious deaths recorded in the State has been as a result of illegal abortions.
An investigation carried out by the Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency has revealed that illegal abortion by unqualified medical practitioners is the cause of mysterious deaths in Azare and other local government areas in the northern part of the state.
According to reports, no fewer than 200 women have died in Bauchi as a result of this and there are projections that the number could be more at the end of the investigation.
The Executive Chairman of the agency, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, disclosed this Friday, May 29, at an interactive session organized by the Bauchi State Public Health Media Network.
Mohammed said the deaths resulted from unwanted and unplanned pregnancies by both married and unmarried women of childbearing ages who, after becoming pregnant, visited quack health workers to terminate the pregnancies.
He said the lack of understanding of the importance of child spacing as well as ignorance of what to do with such pregnancies had become a major problem to family health in the state.
He emphasized the need for adequate sex education for the girl-child by parents, particularly mothers, to reduce unwanted pregnancies, thereby reducing deaths from complications.
Ondo Govt Arraigns Suspected Killers Of Funke Olakunrin
The Ondo State Government has arraigned four men suspected to have killed Mrs Funke Olakunrin, the daughter of the National Leader of Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.
Recall that it was earlier reported that the Nigeria Police Force handed over the suspects to the State Government.
They are Lawal Mazaje from the Felele area of Kogi State, Adamu Adamu from Jada area of Adamawa State, Mohammed Usman from Illela area of Sokoto State, and Auwal Abubakar from Shinkafi area of Zamfara State.
The suspects were arraigned on Friday by the government at a Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Akure.
Lagos Govt To Shutdown Markets Violating Social Distancing Order
The Lagos State Government has threatened to shut down markets in the State violating the social distancing order.
The Corps Marshal, Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC), Gbemisola Akinpelu, gave the warning on Monday at the Command Headquarters in the Oshodi area of the state.
In a statement issued by the Head, Public Affairs Unit of LAGESC, Adebayo Kehinde noted that the order is coming from the State Ministry of Environment.
He reiterated the commitment of the agency to monitor markets across the state to ensure that the directive of the government is being adhered to strictly.
He urged the traders to maintain environmental cleanliness around the markets and stop trading on road setbacks and drainage.
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