Palpable unease is gyrating the camp of Sen Emmanuel Bwacha (Taraba South), after a leaked document indicates that his finances are under scrutiny by both anti-graft and financial regulations agencies, after query-run investigation on his finances by a special squad raised between these agencies to put a searchlight on Politically Exposed Persons (PEP). This special monitoring squad has come to understand that there are transactions of Sen Bwacha, his companies, and his cronies which have crossed the redlines of financial regulations, into hundreds of billions of naira.
This financial investigation bombshell is coming on the heals of a court case already instituted by Sen Bwacha’s former Party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), over the Senator’s decamping to the All Progressives Congress (APC), apparently seeking for a gubernatorial nomination in Taraba State. The Suit No. FHC/JAL/CS/9/2022 is instituted in the Federal High Court, Jalingo Judicial Division, with the PDP as Plaintiff, while four others are mentioned as the Defendants. The four defendants are: Sen Emmanuel Bwacha, the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The core of the Suit is that the PDP is seeking the determination of the honourable Court, in the provision of Section 68(1)(g) and (20) of the Constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended), whether Sen Emmanual Bwacha should be compelled to vacate his seat, as the Senator of the Federal republic of Nigeria, representing Taraba South Senatorial District.
PDP seems to be premising its case on the fact that the courts have recently been deciding these type of cases against the defectors, on the grounds that votes garnered during elections belong to the Party, but not to the contesting individual, thus making it impossible for individuals to cross platforms with their original victories. In the case of Sen Bwacha, his current battle with the courts is seen as a flexing of muscles pushed forward by Gov Darius Dickson Ishaku, of Taraba State, who is running a political battle with Sen Emmanuel Bwacha. With Gov Darius in firm grip of the PDP in Taraba State, it is easy to see how and why the PDP is there in Court with the aim of shattering Sen Bwacha’s ambition.
In the same vein, observers are suggesting that it is the same hands of Gov Darius Ishaku which have provided some of the financial transaction information available to the anti-graft and financial regulation agencies, which are currently on good report to indict Sen Bwacha of financial recklessness and financial crimes. In the leaked investigation document, Sen Bwacha is linked to some eight operating and active bank accounts, in both corporate and individual names. However, an expert conversant with this particular investigation says that the main document contains more than twenty accounts linked to Sen Bwacha. What has been leaked “seems to be a summary” of the actual document.
According to the leak, four bank accounts are largely the operating arena of Sen Bwacha’s irregular and clandestine financial dealings. Two of the accounts are corporate accounts, resident with Zenith Bank. The third and fourth bank accounts are in the individual name of Emmanuel Bwacha, resident in Polaris Bank, with Account No. 1767700993 and 0071772656 respectively. According to this leaked document, on January 25 this year, Bwacha’s PolarisAaccount No. 1767700993 received a large scale funding of N500 million. Beeds Ent Nigeria Ltd, with Account No. 2096715983 at Zenith Bank made the N500 million funding to Sen Bwacha’s Polaris Bank Account. Initially, Polaris Bank recorded this transaction under a Suspense General Ledger account, which authorities view as a diversionary stunt by Polaris Bank to exonerate itself from complicity in any wrong doing on this transaction.
Then, two days later, on 27th of January 2022, Sen Bwacha moved the whole of this N500 million, in two tranches of one hundred million naira (N100,000,000.00), and four hundred million naira (N400,000,000.00) from this account to “a ghost account” of his in this same Polaris Bank, with Account No. 0071772656, which investigators see as a Savings Account. Investigators have noticed that this seemingly savings account “is not queriable at bank counter level”, so they tag the account as “ghost”, or “structured down”. It is noteworthy that “structured down” accounts are not reachable by external auditors and inspectors. Thus, according to a query on this leaked document, Sen Bwacha, with the active connivance of Polaris Bank, has successfully hidden N500 million from prying eyes. It is rom this “ghost” account that Sen Bwacha funds his clandestine activities.
The other two corporate accounts are: Eloheem Properties Development Limited, with Account No. 1015365504 at Zenith Bank, and the Eloheem Suites Limited, a hotel business outfit, with Account No. 1013165470, at the same Zenith Bank. Sen Emmanuel Bwacha and his wife, Deborah Bwacha, are found to be signatories to these accounts. In Particular, Deborah Bwacha is seen to be the chief operating officer to the Eloheem Properties Development Limited account. According to the transactions present on these accounts, investigators believe that these accounts are not run on the businesses registered for them.
According to the leaked document, investigators have alerted security agencies to track and follow certain of these transactions as they seem to be pointing towards “terrorism funding”, which is sometimes passed through money laundering. Investigators have noted that both Terrorism Funding” and “Money Laundering” are serious crimes committed with ill wealth gotten from public treasuries. By this flagging of these bank accounts, it is evident that the scrutiny on Bwacha’s money is going to involve a lot of people as one source confides that there are more than twenty bank accounts belonging to Sen Bwacha that are under investigation.
For instance, the leaked document has also indicated the flagging of about seven bank accounts belonging to Sen Bwacha’s friend and ally, Engr Ahmed Yusuf, popularly known as Gamaliya. Three of Engr Ahmad’s flagged accounts, according to the leaked document, are in Zenith Bank, while two each are in Access Bank and Guarantee Trust Bank. Engr Ahmed Yusuf’s flagged accounts in Zenith Bank include account numbers 5070110338, 10001271** and 54500579**. Those in Access Bank include account numbers 07012808** and 07011619**. Those in Guarantee Trust Bank include account numbers 00456765** and 00456765**. Investigators are querying the fact that Engr Ahmed Yusuf has no less than nine individual accounts in Guarantee Trust Bank alone.
Both Sen Bwacha and Engr Ahmed Yusuf have worked under Taraba State Government in the past, which makes it easy for inspectors to obtain information from State government sources.
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LASG DEPLOYS MORE BODYCAM FOR LASTMA PERSONNEL
To enhance transparency in traffic management and enforcement, the Lagos State Government has deployed more body cameras to the Lagos Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) personnel.
The event which took place at the weekend during the visit of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Hon. Sola Giwa to the LASTMA headquarters at Oshodi, Lagos State had the LASTMA Personnel issued more body cameras with the pledge to keep them working for increased credibility and confidence in the delivering of effective traffic management and enforcement.
Explaining the reason for the redeployment of the gadgets, the Special Adviser stated that the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration has brought lots of technological innovations to address the transport challenges of the State of which the body camera was one, for accurate traffic management among many other benefits.
Expressing his optimism of the bodycam to be able to deliver authentic traffic law violation reports or complaints as the case may be, Giwa further assured that the bodycam will provide accurate validation of any tale rendered by both the Law Enforcement Officers and Motorists, adding that the pictorial evidences will also help in investigating complaints lodged by aggrieved motorists.
On the operation of the camera, the LASTMA General Manager, Mr. Bolaji Oreagba assured that the LASTMA Officers have been duly trained on the usage and so are capable of handling the gadget adding that the camera would have a significant effect on deviant behaviour on the road.
He further explained that the bodycam initiative is a win-win procedure for both the Law Enforcement Officers and Motorists as the regular arguments on traffic laws violation will be put to rest through detailed recordings.
A LASTMA Officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity at the gathering informed that what thrills Officers the most about the gadget is the fact that it provides another layer of security by dissuading would-be attackers from carrying out their heinous crimes knowing they would be captured by the bodycams.
It will be recalled that the Germany made body cameras which was launched in year 2021 by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu have been found to work effectively for 12 hours without a blink, as the battery life span is strong and durable for the use of the Law Enforcement Officers.
While lauding the LASTMA Officers for their renewed commitment at ensuring the State continue to witness tremendous improved traffic management, the Transport Special Adviser thanked the entire LASTMA workforce for a warm welcome he received at the headquarters.
Bolanle Ogunlola (Mrs.)
Deputy Director, Public Affairs.
14th August, 2022.
LASG DISBANDS M.O.T ENFORCEMENT TEAM
The Lagos Ministry of Transportation has placed an indefinite ban on the operations of its enforcement team tagged M.O.T Taskforce.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Mr. Sola Giwa, stated that the decision was reached after a thorough appraisal and review of the enforcement teams operating under the Ministry of Transportation.
Giwa explained that the ban is part of measures initiated to streamline transport enforcement activities in Lagos State to achieve the required effectiveness in line with global best practices, warning that the ban is not an excuse for drivers to disobey the traffic laws of the State.
The Special Adviser averred that Traffic Management and Transportation is a cardinal pillar in the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, stressing that the readjustment of the enforcement strategy was to enhance service delivery to the people of the State.
He, therefore, enjoined the general public to report the activities of any unauthorised enforcement team still operating with the tag M.O.T Taskforce to the Ministry of Transportation for prosecution.
Appealing to Lagosians to cooperate with the State Government in its effort to improve the traffic situation across the metropolis, the Special Adviser gave an assurance that a lot is ongoing behind the scene to bring the much-desired change in the transport sector.
One million compatriots died to keep Nigeria together — Buhari
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja said Nigeria has gone through all troubles from January 15,1966, to date which resulted in the killing of a million of the citizenry in order to keep the country together.
He also urged political leaders to stay focused and uphold the ultimate objective of promoting interest of the country, saying “we are Nigerians, God willing, we remain Nigerians, and Nigeria shall remain one.’’
Speaking when he received former state chairmen of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, at State House, Buhari noted that the passion and zeal to improve the livelihood of Nigerians, which culminated in creation of the political party, had not dwindled, calling for more steadfastness as Nigerians.
He said the self-centeredness that led to the loss of about a million lives between 1967 and1970 must not be allowed to repeat itself.
While noting that the CPC was founded on the bedrock of patriotism and loyalty to the unity of Nigeria, the President said: “Our main objective is the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We are human beings. We have our weaknesses, but I can assure you that the patriotism in us is hard earned.
”We have gone through all the troubles from 15th of January 1966 to date. You know what I mean by this, we have killed a million of ourselves in order to keep this country together.
“I don’t think there can be any practical experience more than that. We are Nigerians, God willing we remain Nigerians and Nigeria will remain one.”
He urged all members of defunct CPC and political leaders to always be mindful of the larger picture by working towards preserving the unity, peace and integrity of the nation.
The President thanked former chairmen of the political party, which was merged to form the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, for always highlighting the achievements of the government, admitting that some areas will surely get more attention.
“I am delighted to welcome the forum of State Chairmen of the former Congress for Progressives’ Change to State House today. I accord great significance to this visit as it demonstrates a determination and commitment to identify with our administration.
“This visit recalls the solidarity with the successes that we have recorded in critical areas of our society. The visit also affords us the opportunity to discuss other issues of interest to the forum.
“I commend members of this forum and all members of the legacy party-CPC, for their continued dedication to the ideals of democratic governance that we all believed in.
“The doggedness with which we pursued our vision and goals that culminated into the success we recorded remain like bright stars in the history of our dear nation,’’ he added.
He said he was particularly grateful for the unalterable belief members of CPC and, by extension, the Nigerian electorate, had and still had in him as demonstrated in their unalloyed support for his electoral struggles which reflected in the results he consistently recorded at the polls over the years.’
Describing the President as the patriarch of the CPC’, the Chairman of Forum of State Chairmen of the defunct CPC and former chairman of the party in Niger State, Umar Shuaibu, said the party had maintained all its structures across the country, assuring President Buhari of their loyalty, especially in the forthcoming elections.
Shuaibu commended the President for providing strong leadership over the years, particularly in remaining balanced, fair and above board on electoral issues.
“Before you, the opposition was arrested and maltreated, but it is no longer so. You did not deny them what they denied you when they were in power,” he said.
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