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Ministers Plead To Retain Portfolios After Valedictory Meeting With Buhari

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Some ministers in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari who have been asked to resign due to desire to contest for president in 2023 are making U-turn in order to retain their jobs.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday had a valedictory meeting with his outgoing ministers to express his appreciation for their service.

The president had earlier in the week issued a directive that all political appointees willing to run for elective offices should turn in their resignation letters on or before next Monday.

THE WHISTLER was reliably informed that some of the affected ministers went back to have a private audience with the president and informed him they were withdrawing their interest from the presidential race.

President Buhari receives Outgoing members of the Federal Executive Council in State House on 13th May 2022

“They were taken by surprise by the president’s action, they didn’t expect the president would take the steps he had taken,” said a presidency source.

“Some of them have gone back to plead with the president that they had dropped their political ambition and would like to continue to serve in their current capacities.”

Our correspondent could not confirm whether President Buhari acceded to their request or not, but the source said at least four ministers have withdrawn from the presidential race.

Another source in the presidency who confirmed the development, said President Buhari is not likely to insist they must resign if they drop their presidential ambition.

“The President will allow them to continue in office once they drop their political ambition,” said the source.

Shortly after Buhari’s meeting with the ministers, Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, issued a press statement announcing his withdrawal from the 2023 presidential race.

The ministers affected by Buhari’s quit notice are: Minister of State for Mines and Steel Uche Ogar; Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and the Minister of Women Affairs Pauline Tallen.

Others are the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Goodwill Akpabio; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami and the Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu.

All the listed ministers attended the valedictory session with the President except the former Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, who had resigned on April 28.

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Danish National Sentenced To Death For Killing Nigerian Wife, Daughter

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A Lagos High Court on Friday sentenced a Dane, Peter Nielsen, to death by hanging for killing his Nigerian wife and daughter.

Justice Bolanle Okikiolu-Ighile convicted Nielsen, 54, on two counts of murder brought against him by the Lagos State Government.

The judge sentenced Nielsen to death by hanging on both counts.

The Dane was charged with the death of his wife and singer, Zainab and their three-year-old daughter, Petra.

Lagos State Government accused him of smothering Zainab and Petra to death at 3.45am at No. 4, Flat 17, Bella Vista Tower, Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos State.

Nielsen was arraigned on June 13, 2018.

He pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge of murder contrary to Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

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Okada Ban: June 1 Deadline Won’t Stop Enforcement — Lagos Govt

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The seizure of commercial motorcycles by the Lagos State Task Force will continue, despite the June 1 deadline issued by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for them to leave six Local Government Areas.

The six local governments are: Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, Apapa and Surulere.

The deadline does not invalidate the provisions of the Lagos State Transport Sector Reform Law of 2018, which states that “no persons shall ride, drive or propel a motorcycle or tricycle on a major highway within the State, and any person in contravention of this provision commits an offence” and will be made to face the wrath of the law.

The Lagos State Task Force, led by CSP Shola Jejeloye, has continued to enforce the law. It seized 238 motorcycles in Lekki on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In Iba on Lagos-Badagry Expressway, where it was violently resisted today, the Task Force seized 195 motorcycles.

The riders were operating on highways and bridges in flagrant disobedience of the law because, according to them, they are free to ply unauthorized routes till June 1. This is wrong.

The February 1, 2020 directive has not been reversed. The enforcement was weakened by COVID-19, which affected all areas of life. Now, the action is being reinforced.

The government praises Lagosians who have come out to support the ban on commercial motorcycles in the six local government areas, which Governor Sanwo-Olu has described as the “first phase” of the action triggered by safety and security concerns.

 

Gbenga Omotoso

HC, Information and Strategy

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Inside Multi-Billion Naira Properties Linked To Suspended AGF, Ahmed Idris (PHOTOS)

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has traced not less than 17 properties to Ahmed Idris, the suspended Accountant-General of the Federation, being detained over alleged N80 billion fraud.

Structure linked to Idris

The minister of finance and national planning, Zainab Ahmed, had on Wednesday, suspended Idris after following his arrest by the EFCC.

An official of the EFCC, who wished to remain anonymous, said the properties traced to Idris are located in Kano, Lagos, Abuja, Dubai and London.

Inside the multi-billion naira properties linked to suspended AGF, Ahmed Idris [PHOTOS]

One of the structures linked to Idris

He, however, said preliminary investigations showed that the nation’s chief accountant allegedly used proxies to buy some of these properties. The commission would therefore need to invite some of the proxies of the accountant-general.

Inside the multi-billion naira properties linked to suspended AGF, Ahmed Idris [PHOTOS]

Another building linked to Idris

The detective added that from all indications, these properties were purchased while Idris was in office and did not declare them before the Code of Conduct Bureau as stipulated by law.

“About 17 houses in London, Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Dubai have been traced to him. In Abuja, some of the houses are located in serviced estates,” he said.

Inside the multi-billion naira properties linked to suspended AGF, Ahmed Idris [PHOTOS]

The EFCC had in a statement on Monday announced the arrest of the accountant-general for fraud to the tune of N80bn.

Inside the multi-billion naira properties linked to suspended AGF, Ahmed Idris [PHOTOS]

The statement read in part, “The commission’s verified intelligence showed that the AGF raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates. The funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja.”

Inside the multi-billion naira properties linked to suspended AGF, Ahmed Idris [PHOTOS]

Another house allegedly owned by Idris

It was learnt that Idris came under scrutiny last year following allegations that he offered huge sums of money to a family in order to secure the marriage of their 16-year-old daughter.

This newspaper learnt that Mr Idris was still in EFCC custody as of the time of filing this report on Wednesday.

This newspaper also reliably gathered from sources with direct knowledge of the case that some assets believed to be proceeds of Mr Idris’ alleged unlawful activities have been traced.

The sources, who asked not to be named because they had no permission to speak about the case in the press, provided photographs of a sprawling edifice located in Kano allegedly linked to Mr Idris.

Our reporter gathered that the agency has obtained a court order for the arrest of more suspects linked to the alleged crime.

Operatives refused to reveal the identities of the suspects in order not to jeopardise investigations.

Inside the multi-billion naira properties linked to suspended AGF, Ahmed Idris [PHOTOS]

Structure linked to Idris

An EFCC official said the legal department was already getting an order to remand the accountant-general and get an interim forfeiture on some of his properties pending the completion of investigations.

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