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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

Sierra Leone imprisons 11 military, police officers over coup attempt

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Sierra Leone’s high court has sentenced 11 soldiers and police officers to hefty prison terms for their alleged roles in an attempted military coup last year.

On November 26, gunmen in Sierra Leone freed 2,200 detainees and killed over 20 in military barracks, a jail, and other locations.

After the coup attempt failed, 12 individuals were charged with treason in January. On Monday night, a unanimous jury found 11 guilty of 20 counts, including treason, murder, and military uniform use.

Due to health difficulties, the APC’s Bai Mahmoud Bangura, the twelfth accused, is being tried separately.

Amadu Koita Makalo, a retired army major and former bodyguard of ex-president Ernest Bai Koroma, received consecutive 40-70-year sentences for multiple counts.

Two female police officers were sentenced. Ramatu Kamanda Conteh received 30 years of harbouring Koita.

The government attributed the coup attempt to Koroma’s bodyguards, who were ultimately charged with four offences. However, the government let him leave the country on medical grounds.

Ex-president, Ernest Bai Koroma was accused of participating in a botched military coup attempt in November, and on January 3, was charged with four offences. However, a high court decided on Wednesday that Koroma was free to leave the nation.

His lawyers labelled the coup attempt “trumped up” and a “political vendetta” while Koroma condemned it.

Two decades after a 1991-2002 civil conflict that killed over 50,000 Sierra Leoneans, tensions have risen again.

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Politics

Tanzania’s president fires foreign, information ministers

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Tanzania’s President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, has announced the sack of two top officials, including the foreign minister, in a mini-cabinet reshuffle.

Hassan took steps to rebuild international trust in his economic and political reforms, including relaxing restrictions on opposition parties and media, which had been criticized for failing.

The presidency stated late Sunday that Hassan fired January Makamba, minister of foreign affairs and East Africa cooperation, and Nape Nnauye, minister of information, communication, and IT.

They are influential in Chama cha Mapinduzi, the ruling party.

No explanation was offered for their removal. Makamba and Nnauye responded slowly to calls for comment.

Nnauye was fired a week after a video showed him suggesting election results depended on who counts ballots and announces them.

Nnauye later apologized, saying it was a joke, but activists and social media users argued it harmed Hassan’s democracy efforts.

Muhammad Thabit Kombo became the foreign affairs minister and Jerry Silaa information, communication, and IT minister under Hassan.

While Silaa was minister of lands, housing, and human settlements development, Kombo was Tanzania’s ambassador to Italy. Two more ministers and deputy ministers were appointed, the presidency stated.

Since 2021, Hassan’s government has been lauded for rolling back her predecessor’s opposition and civil rights crackdowns. The arrests of a lawyer and an opposition leader last year have cast doubt on her government’s human rights record.

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