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Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, EFCC, set to quiz sacked secret police boss

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Monitored reports say Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is preparing to interrogate the sacked Director General of the Directorate of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura, over an alleged N17bn scam.

Daily Trust learnt Daura, who was sacked by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo following the siege to the National Assembly by DSS operatives, is being interrogated by the police.

EFCC sources told Daily Trust that operatives of the anti-graft agency on Tuesday evening visited the police facility at Guzape Abuja where Daura was being held preparatory to receiving him.

“It is expected that the former DSS boss will be handed [to the EFCC] over by the police for further interrogation to explain how the N17 billion traced to the headquarters of the DSS was utilized,” said one of the sources at the anti-graft agency.

The money, it was further learnt, was left behind by the Daura’s predecessor Ita Ekpeyong. It was alleged that Ekpeyong received N20 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the end of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

Read Also: How a failed plot by Nigeria’s secret police vigorously shook the Buhari Presidency

Ekpeyong, it was also alleged, converted N17 billion into United States of America (USA) dollars, which he left behind when he handed over to Daura.

The funds were reportedly traced by EFCC investigators as a fall out of discoveries after the $43 million linked to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) was found stashed at a private apartment inside Osborne Towers in Ikoyi, Lagos.

EFCC sources said operatives of the commission had been working on the investigation report that indicted the management of the DSS, but that the investigation was frustrated by Daura.

DSS agents, on the orders of Daura, prevented EFCC agents from arresting Ita Ekpeyong and sacked DG of NIA Ayo Oke on November 21, 2017, to prevent the investigation.

“So now is a good time to get Daura to answer questions in connection to the investigation earlier started,” sources said.

Politics

Chadian military leader Idriss Deby announces plan to run for president

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Days after opposition politician, Yaya Dillo, was shot and killed in the capital N’Djamena, Chad’s interim president, Mahamat Idriss Deby, said on Saturday he planned to run in this year’s long-awaited presidential race.

 

In a speech that avoided mentioning Dillo’s murder or his uncle’s arrest, Deby declared his candidature for the May–June election while addressing supporters and state officials.

 

“It is … with a mixture of honour, humility, responsibility and gratitude that I accept this nomination,” he said.

 

Divisions within the political class have been further revealed by Dillo’s death under dubious circumstances, at a politically sensitive moment for the

country as it gets ready for the anticipated return to democratic rule through elections.

 

The government of Chad claims that Dillo was slain in a gunfight with security personnel and charges that members of his party also attacked the internal

 

The European Union’s diplomatic service expressed its deep concern over the recent violence in N’Djamena on Saturday as well, calling for the facts and those responsible to be established in “a credible and independent way”.

 

“These events undermine the efforts needed to ensure a transparent, pluralist, inclusive and peaceful transition,” it said in a statement.

 

Chad is one Central and West African countries under military reigns as pressure continues from local and international stake holders for transition into democratic reign.

 

After his father, who had ruled for a long time, was killed in rebel clashes in 2021, Deby first pledged an 18-month switch to elections. However, later resolutions passed by his government permitted him to run for president and moved elections to 2024.

 

Around 50 civilians were killed when security forces violently put an end to protests that were sparked by the election delay.

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Nigerian govt, bar association begin prosecution of electoral offenders 

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The Nigerian government, in collaboration with the Nigerian Bar Association, has commenced legal proceedings against a number of electoral body—INEC— employees and political party officials who have been charged with various electoral offences related to the general elections of 2023.

 

Following the presidential and National Assembly elections on February 25, 2023, Usman Baba, the immediate past Inspector-General of Police, stated that more than 700 individuals had been arrested by the Nigeria Police for breaking electoral laws.

 

On May 2, 2023, INEC announced that it would prosecute 215 of the 774 people the NPF had detained for a variety of electoral offences during the polls. 196 of the 215 case files that the commission was given involved electoral offences, and the NBA and INEC are handling those cases.

 

Election offences take many forms in Nigeria, including vote buying, thuggery, and rigging, and they frequently end in violence. From the colonial era through the first republic in 1960 until 1999, when Nigerians began to witness an aborted democratic journey in her electoral history, these offences had remained an albatross in the country’s electoral journeys.

 

Habeeb Lawal, the National Publicity Secretary of the NBA, informed our correspondent on Friday that 196 suspects, including INEC officials and political party members, were facing charges related to a variety of electoral offences, including vote-buying, possession of weapons, and other offences during the 2023 election.

 

Lawal mentioned that the Federal Capital Territory, state supreme courts, and magistrate courts were all used for the prosecution.

 

“The offences range from dereliction of duty, criminal conspiracy and disorderly conduct at election venues, unlawful possession of arms on election day, snatching and destroying of INEC materials, electoral malpractices, unlawful possession of election materials, voter inducement and vote-buying, malicious damage and assault, and electoral violence.

 

“Some of the suspects are INEC officials, while others are political party members and people without determinable political affiliations.

 

“The magistrates’ courts and the high courts of the states and the FCT have jurisdiction over electoral offences by virtue of the Electoral Act.

 

“Therefore, the offences are being prosecuted by our members in these different courts all over the country, as there is hardly anyone state of the federation that the prosecution is not ongoing.”

 

The commission through the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi declared that it would not support inappropriate behaviour and that those who engage in it in the future would be held responsible.

 

Oyekanmi said, “By engaging in the commendable collaboration with the Nigerian Bar Association to jointly prosecute electoral offenders, the Independent National Electoral Commission is reinforcing its resolve not to condone bad behaviour.

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