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EFCC Invites Saraki, Yar’Adua’s Daughter, Obaigbena

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission yesterday invited wife of Senate President, Toyin Saraki, daughter of former President Umaru Yar’Adua, Zaina Dakingari, and others over alleged money laundering

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday moved against the wife of Senate President, Mrs. Toyin Saraki, over alleged money laundering which she is alleged to have facilitated using firms belonging to her.

Former First lady of Kebbi State and daughter of former President Umaru Yar’ Adua, Zaina Dakingari, was also invited by the anti-graft agency over alleged fraud to the tune of N2billion perpetrated during her husband’s tenure as governor of the state Toyin Saraki was invited for questioning and she is expected to report at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja on July 28, 2015; where she will answer some questions .

The Union learnt that Mrs. Dakingari on the other hand was initially expected to report for questioning at the EFCC headquarters on Wednesday, but rather sent words that she was away to Saudi for Umrah (lesser hajj), and pleaded to be allowed to report on July 27, 2015.

When contacted for comments, the EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, said, “I’m aware that a new set of suspects were recently invited, it is just an invitation”. Also Uwujaren confirmed that the publisher of ThisDay Newspapers, and Chairman of Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigerian (NPAN), Mr. Nduka Obaigbena was invited to the commission. This is just as President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday in the United States vowed that his administration would trace the accounts of individuals who stashed away ill-gotten oil money, freeze and recover the loot and prosecute the culprits.

President Buhari stated this while reacting to questions from members of Nigerians In Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) in the United States and Canada at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington DC on the third day of his visit, the President lamented that “Corruption in Nigeria has virtually developed into a culture where honest people are abused.”

According to him, “250,000 barrels per day of Nigerian crude are being stolen and people sell and put the money into individual accounts”. According to a statement by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, the President revealed that the United States and other developed countries “are helping us to trace such accounts now. “We will ask that such accounts be frozen and prosecute the persons. The amount involved is mind-boggling.

Some former ministers were selling about one million barrels per day. I assure you that we will trace and repatriate such money and use the documents to prosecute them. A lot of damage has been done to the integrity of Nigeria with individuals and institutions already compromised.” Citing the example of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), President Buhari said unlike what obtained during his tenure as Federal Commissioner for Petroleum under military regime when the NNPC had only two traceable accounts before paying oil proceeds into the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), “now everybody is doing anyhow.”

The President, who expressed scepticisms on the existence of oil subsidy, said if subsidy was removed, transport, housing and food prices would go out of control and the average worker would suffer untold hardship. While agreeing that the “economy is in an extremely bad shape,” following 16 years of bad government by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which ran down the oil refineries and had the “treasury in their pockets,” he said the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration would fulfil its three-pronged campaign manifesto of providing security, turning around the economy with a major focus on youth employment and fighting corruption.

According to him, agriculture and mining would receive priority attention as faster job-creation avenues for the teeming unemployed youth, adding that some foreign investors had agreed to take advantage of the immense business opportunities in Nigeria. President Buhari when asked if the Federal Government (FG) would agree to negotiate with the Boko Haram insurgents and terrorist organization to pave way for the release of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls, replied that the FG would only negotiate if genuine and confirmed leaders of the militant sect came forward and convinced the FG of the current conditions of the girls, their location and the sect’s willingness to negotiate.

 -Tony Ailemen and Faith Aghaeze, Abuja

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