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Banker petitions IG over human rights abuse, extortion

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Yenagoa—Bayelsa-based cooperative banker, Ebenezer Udoka has petitioned the Insp­ector General of Pol­ice, Usman Baba over an alleged illegal arre­st, human rights vio­lation and extortion by operatives of the Bayelsa State Police Comma­nd.

This is after Udoka approached the state police command to report an alleged case of fraud by one Abubakar Ya­ya, a goat supplier who he said swindled him by not supplying a total of 40 goats worth above N600,000 as ag­reed in December 202­1 meant for 30 members of Deals Exclusive.

It was gathered that men of the Sta­te Criminal Investig­ation Department (SC­ID) failed to investigate the complaints by inviting Abubakar Yaya for questioning, instead, Udoka was arrested and detained on the order of Assista­nt Commissioner of Police, Ibrahim, for allegedly taking cust­ody of six out of the 30 goats at Abubak­ar Yaya stand.

Since then, it was gathered that Udoka has been intimidated and extorted to the sum of N250,000 in bail bonds.

According to the petition, “Abubakar has been supplying us goats in the last three years which they share among members. But la­st year, after colle­cting N600,000 thro­ugh transfer and cash were to supply 40 goats.

“He only suppli­ed sixteen out of fo­rty goats and promis­ed to supply the remaining in few days’ ti­me. They waited endl­essly without supply. They went to the Yahaya goat stand but met only six goats tied. On the accused instruction, six go­ats were handed to them.

“While they were dri­ving away with the goats, one Kabiru Moh­ammed claimed he is the owner of the goa­ts and not Abubakar.

“Kabiru was told to speak with Abubakar which he did in Hausa dialect before let­ting them go with the six goats, Few days later, Kabiru brou­ght police with IPO, Inspector Umaru cla­iming he stole 10 go­ats. A charge he den­ied.

“Since then, he is being extorted var­ious amounts of money for Yahaya phone trac­king and money for transport to arrest him in Port Harcourt where he was claimed to have relocated.”

Udoka in the petition written and signed by his legal counsel, P.J Isaac-Ir­egung Esq, accused the Police of a cover-up of the Abubakar Yaya owing to ethnic sentiment.

“How can they be extorting and harassing the compl­ainant because the perpetrator of the cr­ime is a northerner? The Assistant Commi­ssioner of SCID is a northerner and the goat supplier too.

“Instead of tracking down the goat supplier who is on the run, they are forcibly arm twisting our brot­her for taking into custody the goats he is being owed. They have not even visit­ed the scene or stab­le of the goat selle­r,” the petition partly read.

The petitioner further prayed “the AIG that he is no long­er comfortable with the way his case is being handled by the State Command of Po­lice headed by Commi­ssioner Ben Okolo and subjecting him to double jeopardy.”

“The complain­ant is asking the AIG to use his good of­fice to order that the case files both the present and the former be transferred to his office for discreet investigation of a case of fraud and conspiracy agai­nst Mr. Kabiru Moham­med and Abubakar Yah­aya.”

When contacted on the issue, the Bayelsa Police Command stated that it will investigate the allegations of human rights abuse and extortion against Ebenezer Udoka.

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OPINIONS/OTHER NEWS ARTICLES

NSA Inaugurates Ndiomu as Chairman of panel to probe oil theft

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Abuja—The National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), on Tuesday, inaugurated an 11-man special investigative panel to probe oil theft in the Niger Delta region of the country, Daily Trust reports.

The panel, comprised of retired top military brass and police officers as well as some administrators, has the Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Major General Barry Ndiomu, as its chairman and Mr. David Attah as Secretary.

Inaugurating the panel in Abuja, Monguno said that Nigeria was facing a monumental loss of revenue that ought to have accrued from the sale of crude oil.

He noted that pipeline vandalism and theft of crude oil had led to a significant decline in production.
Read also: Cash withdrawals limits: PoS operators get waiver
The Terms of Reference (ToRs), according to NSA, are to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the illegal insertion into the Trans-Escravos Pipeline (TEP) around Yokri area in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State

On his part, the Permanent Secretary, Special Services, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Aliyu Yerro, said the menace of crude oil theft had greatly impacted the nation’s revenue growth.

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Senate seeks clarifications on new cash withdrawal policy, set to grill CBN chiefs

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Abuja—The Senate will on Friday grill two deputy governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over the cash withdrawal limit policy unveiled by the apex bank on Tuesday, according to the Punch newspaper.

The red chamber planned to seek clarifications on the new directive which restricts over-the-counter cash withdrawal by individuals and organisations to N100,000 and N500,000, respectively, per week.

It also limits cash withdrawals via point-of-sale machines and automated teller machines to N20,000 daily and N100,000 weekly, respectively.

According to a memo signed Tuesday by the CBN’s Director of Banking Supervision, Haruna Mustafa, withdrawals above the thresholds would attract processing fees of five per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, for individuals and corporate entities going forward.

In addition, third-party cheques above N50,000 shall not be eligible for OTC payment while extant limits of N10m on clearing cheques still remain.

The circular also directed banks to load only N200 and lower denominations into their ATMs and restricted withdrawal to N20, 000 per day from ATMs.

The policy which will become effective on January 9, 2023, had generated criticisms but the CBN clarified on Wednesday that PoS operators could apply for waivers.

Deliberating on the policy on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday, senators said there was a need to debate the policy on the floor of the red chamber.

However, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, directed the Senate Committee on Banking to grill the two re-appointed deputy governors of the CBN, Aisha Ahmad, and Edward Adamu, who will be screened on Friday, on the new cash withdrawal policy.

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2022 Flooding: Bayelsa govt directs fresh distribution of items to communities, acknowledges donors

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Yenagoa—Bayelsa State government has acknowledged donations from international agencies, state governments, political parties and their presidential candidates, individuals and corporate organisations in the wake of the 2022 flooding that ravaged the state.

Governor Douye Diri in his opening remarks at the weekly state executive council meeting in Government House, Yenagoa, on Wednesday disclosed that the government received donations in form of cash, foodstuff and other materials from well-meaningful individuals and corporate organisations during and after the floods.

According to a statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, Diri restated his administration’s commitment to transparency and assured the people that they would not be left in the dark as regards the flood donations.

He listed the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, the Akwa Ibom and Lagos state governments, which donated N100m and N50m respectively, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar (N55m), and his counterpart in the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Adewole Adebayo (N10m) as some of the donors.

Other donors are Dr. Azibapu Eruani of the Azikel Group, who he said has started redeeming his pledge of N350million worth of items, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Century Energy Group, Chief Ken Etete (N50m).

The governor also disclosed that the South Korean Ambassador to Nigeria donated $100,000, Access Bank N100m, Zenith Bank N20m, Linkage Assurance N20m, Sterling Oil N15m, Paache Construction N10m and AITEO N50m.

According to Diri, organisations that donated items include the Tompolo Foundation 440 cartons of noodles, 595 bags of 50kg rice, 35 jerrycans of 25kg palm oil, groundnut oil 180 cartons, garri 40 50kg bags, beans 20 100kg bags as well as 500 tubers of yam.

Others are Globus Bank 70 bags of 50kg rice and 100 cartons of noodles, Stanbic Bank 146 4×6’ mattresses, 148 pillows and 150 plastic buckets.

The rest are Julius Berger 100 bags of 50kg rice, Redeemed Christian Church of God 100 bags of 50kg rice, Brass Petrochemical and Fertiliser Company 100 bags of 50kg rice, 100 bags of 50kg garri and 100 bags of 100kg beans.

Diri directed the task force on flood mitigation and management and the Bayelsa State Emergency Management Agency (BYSEMA) to immediately resume distribution of items in the warehouse to all affected communities in the state.

He also assured that the donations will be prudently used and urged people of the state to exercise patience with the process of distributing the relief materials to victims.

He further stated that the process will be devoid of political colouration.

His words: “We never played politics with the flood and the relief items for victims. The whole world saw it. Those who came to play politics, the whole world equally saw them.

“In all that we did, we never discriminated against any political party. And we commend particularly our people that bore the brunt of the flood.

“As a government, we will take decisions in the best interest of our people. Everything should not be politicised.“

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