Suspected Herdsmen Set Olu Falae’s Farm Ablaze

Some Suspected herdsmen have set the farm of a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Olu Falae, near Akure, the Ondo State capital, on fire.

Reports from the area said the incident happened on Sunday night.

A report by Channels Television quoted the Spokesperson of the Ondo State Police Command, Femi Joseph, as confirming the incident and disclosing that the police had been trying to put out the fire.

“He, however, said that the police could not immediately confirm whether the act was actually committed by herdsmen as no one has been arrested in connection with it and no one was seen at the scene when policemen got there,” the report said.

Our Correspondent reports that herdsmen had attacked Falae’s farm at least twice in the past, sparking public outcry and raising tensions between the Yorubas and Hausa-Fulanis.

 

N3.1bn Scam: Memo Reportedly Came From Presidential Villa

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) detectives have intercepted a memo for the release of the N3.145billion allegedly given to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign for disbursement to six party chieftains and the Goodluck Support Group (GSG).

A former permanent secretary generated the memo from the Presidential Villa, The Nation learnt yesterday.

But there were conflicting views on whose instructions the unnamed ex-permanent secretary acted.

One of the beneficiaries said the memo was allegedly based on the instructions and approval of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, who is yet to speak on allegations that he authorised many “curious” payments before the 2015 general election.

It was learnt that the some of the beneficiaries ran to the ex-President for help because he reportedly approved the memo. The EFCC is insisting that the cash must be refunded.

According to sources EFCC operatives have cracked how the N3.145billion deal was struck.

A source said: “We have uncovered a memo which was raised by a former Permanent Secretary for the release of the N3.145billion by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“Preliminary findings indicated that the idea to wire money from the CBN actually came from the Presidential Villa.

“We are looking into all clues in order to identify more public officers and PDP chieftains involved in the alleged diversion of public funds from the CBN to the campaign directorate.

“After completing the first stage of investigation, we will then invite some of the suspects for interrogation”.

Responding to a question, the source added: “The CBN also has all relevant records on the N3.145billion, including the approval from the Presidential Villa.

“We will get to the roots and retrieve every kobo. We will certainly quiz more people in the days ahead.”

It was learnt last night that one of the beneficiaries admitted that the memo was sent to the CBN, allegedly based on the instructions and approval of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

Another source said: “The beneficiary claimed that the memo directly showed that the ex-President gave the order to the ex-Permanent Secretary. The idea emanated from the Presidential Villa to shore up campaign funds.

“Some forces in the defunct Campaign Directorate however said Jonathan did not know anything about it. They said they felt betrayed that the process for the release of the funds was not open.

“Some of these directorate officials collected money from other public institutions. The EFCC must look at all angles.

“We want EFCC to unveil those behind the memo. Now that the secret is known, it is convenient to shift all blames on the ex-President. We are suspecting foul play.”

The EFCC discovered that about N3.145b was paid into the accounts of six chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Goodluck Support Group (GSG) in the build-up to the last presidential elections.

The beneficiaries include a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode (N840m); a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Chief Olu Falae(N100m); a former Minister of Finance, Nenadi Usman(N36.9m); a former Imo State Governor, Achike Udenwa and a former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Viola Onwuliri(N350m) and Okey Ezenwa(N100m).

Udenwa acknowledged receipt of some money from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“Yes we received money in Imo State for the presidential campaign.

“It was paid into a joint account that I and the former Minister of Education (state), Prof. Viola Onwuliri, were signatories to.”

Chief Femi Fani-Kayode said: “I served as the director of Publicity and I was told to set up an account for the directorate, which I did. I never received money from the CBN but, like all the other directors, we received money from the director of Finance.

“I was assured that the monies were not public funds but were sourced from private individuals. I never knowingly spent government money all through. The monies were spent specifically on the campaigns. The accounts were audited and we were commended by the President.”

The Ondo State Chapter of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) defended Chief Falae, saying:

“The EFCC at one point said the N100m was from Dasuki, a lie which has now been effectively debunked. Now they are claiming that money was from a company known as Joint Trust Dimension Nigeria Limited, an entity totally unknown to Chief Falae and the SDP.”

The Nation

Fani-Kayode, Falae Fingered In New EFCC Scam Discovery

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has traced N3.145bn transferred to the private accounts of some members of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation.

According to detectives at the EFCC, the money emanated from the account of the Central Bank of Nigeria and was transferred to the account of a company, Joint Dimensions Limited, and then sent to various accounts.

Authorities of the anti-graft commission said out of the money, the Director of Publicity of the organisation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, received N840m.

According to the documents sighted by our correspondent, the money was deposited into Fani-Kayode’s Zenith bank account, Maitama Branch with number 1004735721 on February 19, 2015.

The detectives said a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, Chief Olu Falae, received N100m through a company, Marreco Limited, where he is chairman. The fund was credited into the company’s United Bank for Africa Plc account number 1000627022 on March 25, 2014.

According to the documents, N320m was also paid into the bank account of the Goodluck Support Group, an association which played a major role in Jonathan’s campaign.

A former Governor of Imo State, Achike Udenwa, and a former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Viola Onwuliri, according to the documents, got N350m in two tranches. The first tranche of N150m was paid into their joint account with Zenith bank on January 13, 2015. The second tranche of N200m was credited into their account with Diamond bank.

A source at the anti-graft agency who pleaded not to be named because he is not authorised to speak said, “The money was paid by the Central Bank of Nigeria into the account of the Ministry of External Affairs Library, from where it was moved into the account of Joint Trust Dimension Nigeria Limited.

“It was from the Joint Dimension’s account with Zenith bank that the money was shared to various individuals and organisations for purposes that are not stated.

“Fani-Kayode was the chief beneficiary of the disbursement as he allegedly received a whooping N840m, paid in three tranches into his Zenith bank, Maitama branch account with number 1004735721.

“The first tranche of payment involving N350m hit the account on February 19, 2015. Another N250m was also paid into the account on February19, 2015 while N240m was similarly credited to the account a month later; precisely, March 19, 2015.

“The balance in this account as of December 31, 2015 was N189, 402.72.”

The detectives added that the Director of Finance of the campaign organisation, Nenadi Usman, also got N36.9m through her Zenith bank account with number 1000158311 on 7, Kachia Road, Kaduna.

Presidential Campaign Coordinator of President Goodluck Jonathan in Anambra State, Chief Okey Ezenwa, who is also the brother-in-law to a former Rivers State Governor, Chief Peter Odili, also got N100m, according to the source.

He added, “But as things stand, the fact that most of the payments were made in the weeks preceding the last presidential elections leaves very little to the imagination. Yet, one knotty question that confronts the investigators is the unknown figure behind Joint Trust Dimension Nigeria Limited and the account where the money was warehoused before being wired to sundry beneficiaries. The shadowy figure could help unravel the mystery shrouding the payments, once the veil is lifted.”

However, Fani-Kayode told our correspondent on the telephone that he never received money from the CBN.

Rather, he said the monies that were spent were received from Usman who was the director of finance of the campaign organisation.

The former Minister of Aviation said he never spent government funds but was told by Usman that the monies were sourced from private donations.

He said, “I served as the director of publicity and I was told to set up an account for the directorate, which I did. I never received money from the CBN but like all the other directors, we received money from the director of finance.

“I was assured that the monies were not public funds but were sourced from private individuals. I never knowingly spent government money all through. The monies were spent specifically on the campaigns. The accounts were audited and we were commended by the President.”

All attempts to get Usman proved abortive as her phone indicated that it was switched off.

Similarly, the phone number of Falae indicated that it was switched off when our correspondent attempted to reach him for comment.

However, the former SGF had said he received money to campaign for Jonathan through a former Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih

When contacted on the telephone, Udenwa told our correspondent that he never received any money as he did not even operate a Zenith bank account.

The Punch

Falae Returned As SDP National Chairman

A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae, has been returned unopposed as the National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party during the party’s national convention held in Abuja, with a pledge to provide three square meals for average Nigerians.

While 41 others were returned, four other officers won their seats in a keenly contested election.

In his acceptance speech, Falae called on Nigerians desirous of positive and visible changes in 2019 to “join the SDP and contribute their quota towards our quest to evolve a new Nigeria where free basic education, peace and three square meals shall be assured for an average Nigerian.”

He also said that two former governors and a former minister were set to “formally declare their intention to contest some near future elections on the platform of SDP.”

The convention was peaceful and orderly.

A communiqué issued by the National Publicity Secretary of SDP, Alhaji Alfa Mohammed, said Dr. Abdul Ahmed Isiaq was elected as the new Deputy National Chairman of the party, having polled 264 votes to defeat his opponent, Usman Altine, who scored 77 votes.

Similarly, Alhaji Hussaini Saleh Dass polled 183 votes to defeat the incumbent National Secretary of SDP, Dr. Sadiq Abubakar Umar, who scored 163 votes.

Mohammed won the seat of the National Publicity Secretary, having scored 204 votes to defeat his sole rival, Jack Telly-Gyado, who scored 103.

Another keenly contested position was the office of the North-East Zonal Vice chairman won by Mr. Kelvin Damara from Adamawa State.

Olu Falae Escapes Death Again

Chief Ole Falae, a former presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) has reportedly escaped death by the whiskers again, Vanguard reports.
According to Vanguard, The former Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF), who was on his way to Ile-Ife to meet other members of the pan Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere on a courtesy visit to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, expressed total shock at the turn of events.
The incident, according to him, occurred along Akure-Ilesha Express way as mobile policemen shot at his car at the Ile-Oluji junction.
Falae was also kidnapped in his Akure home last year and detained for several days before being rescued by the security agents said: “When was I kidnapped that they want to kill me now?
“I was coming from Akure approaching Ilesa. I saw some vehicles ahead of me. There was a bullion van in front. The vehicles ahead of us were overtaking the bullion van and we too followed.
“I nearly passed them when I heard a shot and I heard a bang on my car. We stopped and we saw that they have fired at our car.
“They didn’t stop. We stopped at Erin-Ijesa and complained to the police at the check-point that we were fired at by some police following a bullion van at Ile-Oluji juction.”
Narrating his ordeal further, Falae said: “I don’t know why I was kidnapped recently, why I was arrested in 1997 and locked up for two years and now shot.”
The image maker of the Osun state police command, Mrs Folashade Odoro, when contacted, said they were yet to receive official report on the issue.