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NANS President Impeached for Allegedly Diverting Covid-19 Palliatives

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The President of the National body of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Danielson Akpan, has been impeached for financial impropriety, the association has said.

Mr Akpan, who assumed office as NANS president in July 2018, has served beyond his tenure of 12 months, causing officials and other stakeholders to complain over his prolonged stay in office.

The president’s impeachment was part of the resolutions announced at a senate meeting held via video conferencing on Tuesday.

The Gambo Mohammed-led senate had earlier set up a committee to investigate allegations of misappropriation and diversion of student’s COVID-19 palliatives, levied against Mr Akpan.

owever, in a statement issued on Tuesday, the committee indicted the president for financial impropriety, diverting student’s COVID-19 palliatives, and concealing information relevant to help the growth of the organisation and the development of the country.

It added that Mr Akpan “abused his office by doing arbitrary and unlawful acts which are prejudicial to the rights of other members of the NANS all in violation of the Code of Conduct of an official of NANS as enshrined in Schedule 3 of the Constitution and Charter of Demand of NANS.”

“The former NANS President was also indicted for having not been remorseful, despite being exposed that he had received the money as alleged but rather resorted to threatening the lives of members of the committee in an attempt to deter and intimidate them from carrying out their constitutionally mandated function and also threatened the life of the senate president Mr. Gambo Abu Mohammed.”

“This committee recommended to senate that in exercise of the senate powers and functions encapsulated and vividly provided in Article 13 (a) of the constitution and charter of demand of NANS to remove the president, Mr. Danielson Bamidele Akpan from office and expel him from the Organization with immediate effect.”

His actions, according to the committee, had done irreparable damage to NANS and brought it to disrepute, thereby making NANS a laughing stock among reasonable persons in the society.

“It also said the action was to serve as a deterrent to other officials of NANS present and in the future to know that they cannot take the organization and its membership for a ride.”

Mr Akpan was alleged to have received huge sums of money from some government agencies, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for student’s COVID-19 palliatives and diverted the money. The Senate did not disclose the amount of money received

Mr Gambo said Mr Akpan’s impeachment was done in exercise of the powers of the senate as contained in Article 13 of the constitution and charter of demands, the overwhelming votes of the senators and the earlier vote of no confidence passed by the national executive committee.

A former vice-president, Chidi llogede, was immediately sworn in as the president of NANS while all the association’s property and funds in possession of Mr Akpan are to be fully recovered.

Mr Akpan refused to respond to PREMIUM TIMES calls and text messages seeking his reaction to the allegations on Tuesday evening.

Rather than respond to the allegations, Mr Akpan wrote on via his Facebook account; “NANS New Dawn has been a huge success so far. It has not been business as usual. Sorry to all the businessmen who couldn’t trade as always!”

When contacted by PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday, the spokesperson of the NNPC, Gabriel Obateru, said he is not aware of any money given to NANS as COVID-19 palliative.

He stated that the intervention of the oil corporation has been through its partners and was only in the form of projects, like building isolation centres and supply of personal protective equipment and other materials for treatment.

“The NNPC has never interfaced with any association, by giving out money that I am aware of,” he restated.

 

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Senate names Jonathan, Sambo in N665.8bn diversion, demands refund

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Senate has demanded a refund of funds totalling N665.8bn which were allegedly diverted by the Office of Accountant General of the Federation from the Solid Mineral Development Fund and Stabilisation Fund to ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government.

The beneficiaries, according to the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation, included Independent National Electoral Commission, Ministry of Power, Nigerian Army, as well as former President Goodluck Jonathan and ex-Vice President Namadi Sambo, among others.

The Senate Committee on Public Accounts, which is chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide, in its report on the audit queries by the auditor-general, said investigation showed that part of the fund was used as entitlement to Jonathan and Sambo, about N1.5bn paid on June 11, 2015.

It also found that INEC collected about N20bn from Development of Natural Resources Funds, apart from the N17.9bn collected from other sources.

Part of the N30bn released to INEC for the conduct of the 2015 general elections, N10bn was released on July 3, 2014, while N20bn was released on January 12, 2015.

Other beneficiaries of the diverted funds were the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, N3.6bn; N50bn to fund deficit in 2004; Ministry of Works, N2bn; Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, N13bn; Ministry of Sports, N500m; monetisation arrears due to Power Holding Company of Nigeria’s staff, N57.5bn; N70bn to accelerate capital budget in 2010; loan to facilitate the funding of capital budget in 2010, N80bn; loan to facilitate 2013 capital budget, Fourth Quarter, N80.7bn; and loan to Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, N6bn, in 2014.”

Also, N15bn was released to Lucius Nwosu as judgment debt out of N37bn for genocide at Odi; N14bn was released to Ministry of Power for Kasshibilla Hydropower Transmission Projects, among others.

From the Stabilisation Fund, N847m was given to Ghana and Sao Time Pricipe, while INEC also collected N87bn to commence the conduct of fresh voter registration. It paid back N21bn and is yet to balance N66.7bn.

In addition, N32bn was for the completion of Third Quarter and Fourth Quarter of 2013’s capital projects; N2bn for the funding of army operations in 2013; another N3bn loan to INEC for the speed-up of electoral process in 2013; loan to Nigerian Army for recruitment of 9,000 in 2013, N3.5bn, among others.

The auditor-general in the query on depletion of the special funds had said, “Amounts totalling N455bn were withdrawn from Development of Natural Resources as loans to various beneficiaries between 2004 and 2015, contrary to the established objectives of the funds.

“The purpose of the Development of Natural Resources Fund is to provide financial resources to development alternative mineral resources development. The Development of Natural Resources Fund belongs to the Federal Government.

“Also, various amounts totalling N210.3bn were withdrawn from Stabilisation Fund as loans to various beneficiaries between 2004 and 2015, contrary to the established objectives of the funds.

“The purpose of the Stabilisation Fund is to provide for unforeseen contingencies and economic downturn and the beneficiaries are the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. The Stabilisation Fund belongs to three tiers of government.”

The Senate, after consideration and adoption of its Committees on Public Accounts, ordered the Accountant General of the Federation to ensure refund within 60 days.

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American court jails Canada-based Nigerian Morakinyo for cyber fraud, to refund $975,863

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A court in the Western District of Texas on Wednesday sentenced Canada-based Nigerian, Olumide Bankole Morakinyo, to eight years in prison for conspiracy and money laundering.

He is also expected to refund $975,863 to the multiple victims of his crime.

According to the United States Attorney’s office, 38-year-old Morakinyo conspired with one Lukman Aminu to create illegal accounts for participants on the online portal of the Texas Employees Retirement System.

The court document, obtained by our correspondent, revealed that the duo used bank deposit information in the system to re-route pension payments to accounts controlled by Aminu.

With the physical debit cards of those accounts, Aminu withdrew the money and transfered or deposited the cash at Morakinyo’s directions.

“This defendant’s scheme and those like it victimise our most vulnerable citizens and cost taxpayers billions each year.

“Our office will use all of the available legal tools to identify and bring to justice those who commit cyber-enabled fraud and launder the proceeds,” U.S. Attorney Ashley Hoff said

During the hearing, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman also ordered that Morakinyo be supervised for three years upon completion of his jail term.

Aminu, on the other hand, was charged in a separate indictment, and was sentenced to a 51-month jail term on December 18, 2019.

Nigerian national residing in Canada, was sentenced today to eight years in prison and repayment of $975,863 in restitution to multiple victims for conspiracy to commit money laundering.

“This Defendant’s scheme and those like it victimize our most vulnerable citizens and cost taxpayers billions each year,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. “Our office will use all of the available legal tools to identify and bring to justice those who commit cyber-enabled fraud and launder the proceeds.”

“According to court documents, Morakinyo conspired with Lukman Shina Aminu, a resident of New Hampshire, to create unauthorized accounts for participants in the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) internet portal. Personally identifiable information (PII) of various ERS participants was used to make changes to their accounts in the ERS internet portal. Bank deposit information on file in the system was changed to re-route retirement payments to debit cards controlled by Aminu. Aminu, who possessed the physical debit cards, would withdraw money under instructions from Morakinyo and then transfer or deposit that money at Morakinyo’s direction.

“The debit cards were also used for cash withdrawals and to purchase money orders for personal expenses and for buying used vehicles to be shipped overseas to Nigeria and Benin for resale. With these international automobile transactions, Morakinyo and his conspirators laundered the fraud proceeds by concealing the source of the funds and making the money appear to be legitimate income.

 

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Unity Bank shareholders lose N468m as stakeholders rush to take out investment

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A rush by shareholders to cash in on a slight increase in the share value of Unity Bank has caused value of share of the financial institution to dip by N467.57 million.

Last week, shareholders of Unity Bank saw their investment rise by 3.3 percent following renewed investors’ interest in the company’s stock at the capital market.

On July 15, Unity Bank stock was valued at N0.59kobo per share, but the next day, the share price depreciated to N0.54kobo, but recorded an uptick between July 17 to July 23, as it moved from N0.55kobo to N0.61kobo.

Unity Bank’s bull run continued on Monday after a slight increase to hit N0.62kobo. However, the appreciation in share value was short-lived on Tuesday.
Some shareholders moved to protect their profit from last week’s uptick which handed them N233.78 million. The sell off among stakeholders caused Unity Bank market value to crash by 6.45 percent on Tuesday, according to Ripples Nigeria analysis.

Over 1.09 million volume of shares was sold off at the capital market at a reduced cost of N0.58kobo per share, in contrast to the 669,132 shares sold on Monday at N0.62kobo.

The sell off on Tuesday caused a decline in the worth of investments held by the remaining stakeholders as over N467.57 million was lost.

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