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Witness narrates how ex-CBN Gov Emefiele approved $6.2m for international election observers

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The first prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of Godwin Emefiele, the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Ogau Onyeka Michael, on Monday, February 12, 2024, told Justice Hamza Muazu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Maitama, Abuja, how the ex-CBN boss approved the payment of $6,230,000 in cash for international election observers in the last 2023 general election.

Michael made the revelation while testifying at the ongoing trial of Emefiele. The former CBN boss is standing trial before Justice Muazu on 20-count amended charges bordering on corrupt advantages, conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, forgery, and obtaining by false pretences to the tune of $6,230,000.

At the resumed trial on Monday, Michael, a former branch controller of the CBN, Abuja branch, was led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, who identified the documents presented to him by the prosecution, adding that he worked on the documents.

According to him, on January 8, 2023, a request for payment of $6,230,000 came to his office, and documents for the disbursement of the money in cash for international election observers were approved by the then-CBN boss.

“My Lord, all requests for payments are usually channelled to the branch controller, and that is my office. And on that day, My Lord, the request to my office was $6,230,000, and my attention was drawn towards it by my office assistant. It came from the Banking Services Department, and the memo carried the signature of the Director, Banking Services, with an instruction to the branch controller to pay the sum of $6,230,000 to a staff of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, bearing the name and identity card of the person,” he said.

Continuing, Michael explained that: “It stated that the payment was for election observance and be paid cash in the naira equivalent of the said amount. It further stated that the money should be refunded in the second quarter of 2023 by the Federal Ministry of Finance. My Lord, the document also stated that ‘find attached the approval of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria for the payment’.

“Also, the memo had an attached approval of the then Secretary to the Government of the Federation and that of the then President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Having gone through the document and satisfied that it met the requirement, I then minuted it to the head of the Banking Services Unit for processing and subsequent payment. Mr. Williams, Head of Banking Services, compiled and made the payment on April 8, 2023, and the payment was in cash. I can identify the document because it also carries my signature.”

Oyedepo, while trying to tender all six documents as exhibits, told the court that two of the documents that had the former SGF and the President’s approval were photocopies and therefore sought to tender the remaining four, which were original, praying that the remaining two be tendered later in the course of the trial. He also asked the court for a 30-minute stand-down to go to the CBN complex and secure the original copies.

Defence counsel, Mathew Bukka, SAN, objected to Oyedepo’s prayers, arguing that since the case was slated for February 12 and 13, he moved that the matter be adjourned till February 13, arguing further that the 30 minutes sought by Oyedepo wouldn’t be enough for the prosecution to secure the original documents from the CBN.

After listening to their arguments, Justice Muazu adjourned the matter until February 13, 2024, for the continuation of the trial.

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Samoa: Sexual Orientation Is A Big Lie, Political Manipulation Of Europe – ECOWAS Commissioner

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By Gloria Ikibah 
 
ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs, Prof. Fatou Sow Sarr, has said that the issue of sexual orientation is a political manipulation of the Europe.
 
Prof. Sarr stated this during an interactive session with ECOWAS Commissioners on the implementation of the programmes of of their departments, at thr ongoing 2024 Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS on Friday in Abuja. 
 
Naijablitznews.com reports that members of Parliament has expressed their concerns and worries about the Samoa Agreement and sexual orientation, and they wanted to know the position of ECOWAS Commission on the subject matter.
 
Responding to the quest, the ECOWAS Commissioner said, “Gender and LGBT is a big lie and is a manipulation for political reasons. Gender is a science but sexual orientation is political.
 
“Masculine and feminine roles are societal construct, for instance you are not born a woman you become a woman”.
 
Giving an example of David Greyman who was born an hermaphrodite and was later turned to a woman, she said  “it is this theories that gives you the sexual theories”.
 
“The issue of ggender is a science and  there is a political agenda today in the world with regards the issues of gender.
 
“In my department nobody will come and tell me about LGBT. No partner will tell me about LGBT, I will not bend my back when it comes to partners”. 
 
On the Issue of funding of ECOWAS Sarr explained  that contrary to the speculations that 70 percent fund is from European partners, it is only 30 percent that comes from partners, while the remaining 70 percent is the contributions from members states.
 
“I am a specialist on gender issues for 30 years. We believe that gender is a science. Imposition of sexual orientation is a political agenda the Europeans wants to impose on us. We should not allow them to succeed”, she added. 
 
 
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Just in: Residents warned as hundreds of terrorists reportedly escape from Niger prison

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

A large number of terrorists have reportedly escaped in a mass breakout at the high-security Koutoukalé prison in Niger Republic.

According to security expert Zagazola Makama, the incident happened on Thursday, resulting in the release of hundreds of terrorists, criminals, and drug traffickers.

The prison, situated near Niamey, the capital city, experienced a violent uprising that overwhelmed the guards, enabling the prisoners to escape with weapons and vehicles.

Witnesses said they heard gunfire and explosions around the afternoon time, which prompted a swift response from security forces.

However, by the time they arrived, the inmates had already taken control of the prison, breaching armored gates, barbed wire, and trenches.

The escape has raised serious questions about the security of the prison, which has previously thwarted two jihadist attempts to free comrades.

An investigation is underway to determine how the inmates were able to procure weapons and overpower their guards.

The Interior Minister has issued a radio message to all governors, confirming the escape and urging village chiefs and religious leaders to report any suspicious individuals.

A curfew has been declared in the Tillabéri region, and the entire River Niger region is on high alert.

The escape is considered a major security breach, and authorities are working to recapture the fleeing inmates.

The public has been warned to be vigilant and report any information that could aid in the recapture of the escaped prisoners.

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See photo of collapsed Saint Academy school in Jos

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

The photo of the collapsed Saint Academy school in Jos, capital of Plateau state has emerged online.

Naijablitznews reports many students reportedly died in the building warehousing several students.

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