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Publish the reports asking me to return N106 billion awarded in my regime –Former Imo Governor, Okorocha

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Senator Rochas Okorocha representing Imo West Senatorial district and a former governor of the state, yesterday, challenged the Justice Benjamin Iheaka led judicial commission to publish the reports asking him (Okorocha) to return N106 billion.

Okorocha spoke in Owerri through his Special Adviser on Media, Sam Onwuemedo, adding that doing so would enable people to know how they arrived at the N106 billion.

This is coming days after the commission submitted it’s report to Governor Hope Uzodimma, where the Justice Iheaka’s findings based on award of contracts between 2011 to 2019 said it discovered among other things that “There were monumental fraud that were orchestrated by the contractors in the period under review with strong collusion with some civil servants who helped in the fraud which was evidenced in over-pricing of the value of the contracts executed in the state.” However, Okorocha has disagreed with the report saying: “The media had come up with stories, with the referenced caption, following the report of Justice Benjamin Iheaka’s panel of inquiry on contracts from 2011 to 2019.

Former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha

That was the period, Senator Rochas Okorocha had governed the state. And our initial reaction goes this way. “We challenge the government in Imo State, led by Senator Hope Uzodinma to publish the Iheaka report verbatim, so that Imo people in particular and Nigerians in general, could read the report and see how the panel arrived at N106 billion which they said that Senator Okorocha should refund.

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“We have always claimed that Okorocha as governor had more than one thousand projects to his credit and nobody, including the government in Imo has said it is not true or has openly challenged us to publish the projects because they know that the projects exist. And if they exist, how would someone have made away with N106 Billion and still do such befitting projects.”

Okorocha added: “We are also demanding for the publication of the report because we do not believe that the chairman of the panel, a Judge, could go ahead to submit a report on a matter that is pending at a Federal High Court in which the Presiding Judge had ordered for the maintenance of the status quo.

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“Okorocha had gone to court to complain that several panels cannot be probing him on the same issues. The EFCC is probing him too, following petitions from the same government. “No serious panel would have made such recommendation.

And let the government publish the list of contractors who handled contracts under Okorocha, state the contracts they did, how much they were paid respectively, how they were paid and what they should have been paid in the estimation of the panel members.” Probe panel awarded Okorocha regime specific sum —Imo govt Meantime, the Justice Benjamin Iheaka Panel of Inquiry which investigated the award of contracts in Imo State has said it is specific on the administration of former Governor Rochas Okorocha.

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Recall that the Panel submitted its report to Governor Hope Uzodimma on Monday, October 5, indicting the Okorocha regime and saying it uncovered fraudulent contracts worth N106billion which the regime should be made to refund. “The investigation covers the award of contracts during the period of Okorocha’s administration from 2011 to 2019 and not 2006 to 2019 as erroneously reported by some newspapers.

“Consequently, the report by a local newspaper that former Governors Achike Udenwa and Ikedi Ohakim are to refund N106 billion together with Okorocha should be ignored as the probe period did not extend to their regimes. “The mix-up arising from the duration of the probe – 2011 to 2019 – and not -2006 to 2019 – is highly regretted.”

 

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Aliyu Condemns Looting, Destruction Of Billions Naira Medical, Agricultural Equipments In Kogi  

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Following the massive looting and destruction of medical and agricultural equipments, the Federal Capital Territory Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has condemned in strong terms the wanton destruction of medical equipment worth billions of naira at the Central Medical Store and Agricultural Development Project warehouse both situated in Lokoja, the State capital by hoodlums.

In a statement signed and issue on Friday,  by Special Adviser on Media, Austine Elemue, said the Minister described the hoodlums as enemies of the state, also called on the state government especially the Governor not to be deterred by the unfortunate incident, but be focused in repositioning the health sector for efficient service delivery.

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Aliyu, who acknowledged that though the devastation of medical equipment in the state was quite enormous, she however expressed the hope that the state would bounce back better and stronger.

In her words; “My heart blends when I saw the wanton destruction of our essential drugs warehouse by hoodlums. I was particularly pained that these enemies of state and heartless looters came in at a time when the state government is taking steps to equip our health centres in view of the global health challenges.

“Nevertheless, I am convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that this trying period is just a phase, and Kogi state will come out better. Governor Yahaya Bello should not be deterred by this very sad development, but be focused in his health sector recovery efforts”.

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The minister also commended the state police command for the arrest of suspected looters of items at various warehouses in Lokoja, just as she called on the commissioner of police to get rid of criminals masquerading as protesters in the state. The statement added.

 

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FCCPC Signs Tripartite MoU With EFCC, FTC To Strengthening Cooperation, Addressing Mutual Cross-Border Problems

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As parts of ongoing efforts to checkmate excesses in discharge of their official duties effectively and efficiently geared towards achieved set goal of the commission. The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) on Wednesday signed an updated tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and United States foremost competition and consumer protection authority, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and jointly, (the Agencies’).

Barr. Babatunde Irukera

The purpose of the MoU is to strengthen cooperation and collaboration in addressing mutual cross-border consumer protection/fraud concerns and problems.

The updated MoU reaffirms the Agencies’ intention and willingness to deploy their capacities to work together, share information, and assist one another in relevant investigations. It also establishes a Joint Implementation Committee to develop joint training programmes and provide assistance with regards to specific investigations.

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The MOU also affirms the Agencies’ continuing support for econsumer.gov; a joint project of similar agencies from 40 countries for reporting international online scams. The MOU is a framework for voluntary cooperation that does not change existing laws in either country.

Babatunde Irukera, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, FCCPC, Mohammed Umar Abba, Acting Executive Chairman, EFCC and, Joseph Simons, Chairman, FTC all signed the updated MoU on behalf of their respective agencies.

Commenting on the MoU, Babatunde Irukera, EVC/CEO, FCCPC said “this cross-border collaboration is perhaps one of the most vital tools for combating criminal conduct and consumer protection violations which now transcend territories. Indeed, criminals and exploiters specifically create arrangements and devices to exploit consumers globally from remote locations in order to escape justice and retribution. This framework strengthens our joint abilities and efforts to address this”.

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FCCPC discharges its mandate of protection by both preventive and remedial action including complaint resolution, investigations and enforcement action, while the EFCC investigates and prosecutes financial crimes including frauds perpetrated on consumers. The FTC is the United States government’s equivalent of the FCCPC with a mandate to regulate competition and enforce consumer protection laws.

This MoU is consistent with FCCPC’s mandate and strategy to cooperate with counterpart agencies and other regulators to protect consumers and promote market competition in Nigeria.

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Social Media Regulation: Desmond Elliot Broke Down In Tears On Live TV Over Social Media Attack

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Desmond Elliot

A serving house of Assembly member in Lagos State, Desmond Elliot has broken down in tears on Live TV, following the backlash he’s receiving from Nigerians over social media regulation.

Recall that the former actor, at the Lagos State House of Assembly in his submission, pushed for passing if social media regulation bill.

the controversial statement received lots of criticisms, as many Nigerian youths boast him for referring to youths as “children” and for also pushing for the regulation of social media.

Desmond Elliot

Desmond Elliot in a new interview on Arise TV broke down in tears. This came after he apologized for his statement earlier.

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