The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has urged Nigerians in the United Kingdom (UK) to pressure the UK government to repatriate former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke to face trial over graft charges. EFCC Spokesman, Dele Oyewale disclosed that Magu made the call at a Virtual Town Hall Meeting, an interaction with Nigerians in The Diaspora, anchored in London by the Host/Moderator of the group, Ade Omole.
Magu also asked them to support the anti-graft war and expose foreign assets of corrupt politicians by taking advantage of government’s whistle-blowing policy. “The EFCC needs collaborative engagements with you all,” he said, insisting that Nigerians abroad should assert more pressure on authorities and governments in their countries of residence to prosecute corrupt Nigerians taking refuge in their domains. He expressed displeasure over the continued huddles being faced by the EFCC to try Allison-Madueke, stressing that Nigerians in the UK should form pressure groups to demand her trial without further delay.
“Nigerians in the United Kingdom need to collaborate with the EFCC more and pressure the UK authorities to assist the EFCC in bringing Diezani to trial. Does it not bother Nigerians in that country that Diezani has not been tried for allegations of corruption against her?
“The public ownership of the fight against corruption should not be limited to Nigerians at home. We must all come forward, wherever we are, to insist that corruption must not continue,” he said. He gave accounts of the painstaking works of the EFCC in the conviction and recovery, assuring that the EFCC was on course in the pursuit of its assigned mandate. We are on course. In 2020 alone, in spite of the COVID- 19 pandemic, we have secured 213 convictions, which shows the commitment we are putting into the work,” he stressed.
Magu assured Nigerians in the Diaspora of protection of their businesses at home, stressing that local fraudsters frustrating them from investing in the country would henceforth be dealt with. ‘”The EFCC is aware of the frustrations, uncertainties and risks local fraudsters pose to credible businessmen and women abroad, who wish to invest in the Nigerian economy and the commission is ready to offer intelligence services to anyone seeking genuine business partners in Nigeria,” he added.
Responding, participants at the conference, numbering over 500, who were drawn from Europe, Asia, Africa, South and North America and other parts of the world, commended the EFCC for its fight against economic and financial crimes. Professor Adebisi Adewole of the University of Scotland commended the EFCC for its efforts to rid Nigeria of corruption, urging the commission to continue its commitment to free the country of corruption and economic crimes.
Pro-Obaseki stakeholders reject APC’s direct primaries for Edo polls
Dissenting views by stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State have greeted the direct primaries adopted in the coming gubernatorial election in the state. While Edo APC adopted the indirect mode of primaries, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party insisted on direct primaries. Indirect mode means that delegates alone elect the party’s flag-bearer, while in direct mode, all registered party members participate in the election.
However, Edo APC chairman, Anslem Ojezua, during a meeting with stakeholders, said the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was one of the reasons for the decision to use indirect mode, adding that having 300,000 individuals risking their lives in this period for the sake of primaries was unethical. He said the rebuilt Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium would host the statutory delegates.
According to him, Edo APC lacks a credible register of members, which makes the direct primaries unworkable. The indirect primaries will host about 3,500 delegates next month, according to the chairman. Corroborating the position of the chairman, Special Adviser to Edo State Governor on Political Matters, Chief Osaro Idah, opposed direct governorship primary election in the state.
Members of Edo APC will not allow the direct governorship primary election announced by members of the Adams Oshiomhole-led NWC, he asserted. Idah said forcing direct primary on Edo APC members would be against the decision of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party and the last meeting in 2018, which had not been reviewed, adding that it would not be proper to have a huge crowd at this crucial period of COVID-19.
Insisting that indirect primary must be used to pick the APC governorship candidate on June 22, for the crucial poll on September 19 this year, Idah argued, “It is not possible for the members of NWC to make such declaration (on direct primary), because it is not within their rights.
“The constitution of APC is very clear on who has the right to do so. The party at the state level has the right to determine the mode of primary election it prefers, which is subject to the last meeting (in 2018) of the NEC of APC in Abuja, where the instruction was approved. Since then, NEC has said nothing. So, nothing has changed,” he said.
The pro-Oshiomhole Edo APC faction has written to INEC alleging a sinister plot by Governor Obaseki to scuttle the party’s primaries with inflated cases of COVID-19.