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9 Celebrities who have spoken out about being photoshopped

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Anti-Graft

NFVCB Boss Adebayo Thomas in a Monumental looting Scandal By Oga Tom Uhia

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is on trail of the Executive Director of the National Film and Video Censors Board, Mr. Adebayo Thomas for allegedly diverting hundreds of millions of naira and converting assets of the organization into his private use.
Dark Clouds hang over the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) following weighty allegations against the Executive Director of the organization of gross financial mismanagement and monumental looting of the board’s assets with reckless abandon.
Concerned staff of the Censors Board had on February 24, 2018 in a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accused Mr. Adebayo Thomas of fraud and the conversion of the board’s assets into his private use.
The 13 point petition stated inter alia:
That Mr. Thomas had on assumption of office as the Executive Director on March 31, 2017, sold two official vehicles belonging to the board at the headquarters in Abuja to himself and converted two buses for field operations in Lagos to his personal use.
According to the petition, Mr. Thomas described by members of staff as the Czar of censors board, illegally forged an official license number plate bearing “PRESIDENCY NFVCB 01A, when the Board is just a Parastatal under the Federal ministry of Information and Culture. As if that is not enough, the NFVCB boss uses siren and amber light pilot vehicle like a governor to crisscross and terrorizing law abiding citizens of Lagos State, a privilege which he is not entitled to;
That Mr. Thomas allegedly forcefully gained entrance into the main store of the Abuja in Lagos, ransacked and carted away television sets, refrigerators, air conditioners and other valuable items;
That he embarked on a massive transfer of Senior members of staff opposed to his impunity, made them redundant and deliberately refused to pay the transfer allowances due to them;
That he allegedly broke the fence of the Lagos office and made away with a turban generator worth millions of naira belonging to the board, a case which is still being investigated by Alagbon close Police station, Ikoyi, as a result of his usage of fake auction papers in selling the 300 KVA generator for 30 million naira to a company in Lagos and paying only N20,000 naira into the account of the board;
That all the internally generated revenue (IGR), overhead and capital funds received last year running into over 150 million naira were siphoned through cronies and fake field operations;
That when the board lost a Toyota bus in its north west zonal office in Kano and claimed the sum of 5 million naira from an insurance company, the Executive Director constituted a fake Parastatals Tenders Board meeting in September 6, 2017, (while he was still abroad) wrote fake minutes where names of directors were captured as present were absent to divert the 5 million released by the Insurance Company without replacing the bus in the Kano Zonal office;
That Mr. Thomas lacks managerial skills, which is why since he assumed office as executive director, he has held only one management meeting and has refused to pay impress to all the departments, thereby crippling the operations and the smooth running of the board; meanwhile, he collects overhead from the government and pockets it, boasting that he handpicked all the new members of the board and submitted same to the minister of Information and culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, whom he claims is in his payroll and does his bidding;
That one serious setback is his inability to read official files and act according as all recommendations documented and forwarded to him by staff and consultants have not been attended to for months;
That Mr. Thomas gives the impression that the directors are not cooperating with him, the reason being that he asked the directors to surrender their legitimate estacode allowance they were entitled to after an official trip to Canada sometime in September 2017 and they refused;
That there is an urgent need to do a psychiatric test on Mr. Thomas to ascertain his medical fitness for the job because once he reaches the office, from the gate he starts yelling at staff at the top of his voice;
That he embarks on official trips alone, hold meetings with stakeholders alone and goes on operations alone as if the board is his private company; and
That his looting habits reached its peak when he converted the sum of 13 million naira approved for a consumer forum in Bauchi from January 29-31, 2018 to his private use releasing only a paltry sum of 4 million naira for the event and pocketing 9 million naira.
Just one year in office, Mr. Thomas has travelled over ten times abroad without carrying any of the supportive staff and Heads of Department along
As at the time of filing this report, Mr. Thomas was abroad and couldn’t be reached.
The concerned staff of the board who were forced to write the petition to the EFCC, appealed to the Chairman Mr. Ibrahim Magu to step in before it is too late.
The petition which was attached with incriminating documents detailing the impunity of Mr. Thomas, according to PowerSteering investigations is not receiving the attention it deserves because it is alleged Mr. Thomas has gracefully greased the palms of the investigators and boasted publicly that nothing will come out of the investigation as he has been able to settle the EFCC investigators and the big Ogas. However, Mr. Thomas is running helter-skelter trying to cover his dirty track. He rebuilt and painted the broken fence, concealed some documents at the headquarters of NFVCB.
Our Correspondent also gathered that on assumption of office Mr. Thomas boasted to bewildered members of staff that he was Burhari’s boy having single handedly delivered Oshodi in particular and Lagos in general to the President during the 2015 presidential election. He was also quoted as saying that his appointment was the reward of the role he played in the election of President Buhari and that no staff can hinder him from doing what he wants.
The Minster of information and Culture, he remarked recently, is in his pocket and does his bidding. He has also boasted of remitting over N5m to Alh. Lai Mohammed monthly.
Whether Mr. Adebayo Thomas, the Czar of the National Film and Video Censors Board would continue to plunder the resources of this very important organ of the information ministry under the watch of Mr. Lai Mohammed remains to be seen in the Buhari-led administration which has anti-corruption as its cardinal agenda.
More details on Mr. Thomas’ fraudulent management of NFVCB in just one and half year in our next edition. Watch out!

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Anti-Graft

Inside a Multi-Million Dollar ‘Defence Contract Fraud’

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By Ogala Emmanuel, Additional reporting by Samuel Ogundipe.

 

On Sunday, March 18, 2018 the Israeli police arrested three senior officials of Israel Shipyard on charges of bribing government officials in Nigeria.
The company’s Vice President for Marketing, Oded Breier, was one of the suspects arrested.
The next day, Samy Katsav, another senior Israeli defence businessman, was questioned by police in connection with the same bribery case.
Both Mr. Kastav and Mr. Breier were later released to house arrest, and parts of Israel Shipyards’ bank accounts frozen, Gold Bond Group, their parent company announced shortly after the event.
The arrests followed investigations by the Israeli police and tax authority as well as other international financial crime-busting organisations into a 2010 contract with the Nigerian government to supply two Shaldags – military boats.
The Israeli police and tax authorities are confident the suspects won the contract after paying bribes to government officials in Nigeria.
As conventional with crimes involving high-ranking government officials, no one has been charged in Nigeria. It is unclear what the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria’s financial crimes unit, is doing about the case.
A source told this newspaper the EFCC was ignored by the Israeli police during the investigation. The EFCC’s efficiency appears to be on the decline, evident in its inability to convict many of the politically exposed suspects it has been prosecuting for years.
Both the commission’s chairman, Ibrahim Magu, and spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, declined to comment on this story.
Experts believe the Shaldag contract is one of the deals that paved the way for a regime of kleptocracy in the Nigerian defence sector and the emergence of a gang that has grown to be one of the most powerful in the country.
The 2010 deal saw the Israeli shipbuilder win a $25 million contract to supply Nigerian Navy with two fast assault boats. Their market value at the time was estimated to be $5 million each.
Nigeria, therefore, lost $15 million in the deal. It is unclear how the $15 million excess was shared between everyone involved, but the Israeli police have established that the middleman, Amit Sade, received $1.47 million in what is now termed brokerage fee.
Mr. Sade is believed to be one of the suspects arrested by the Israeli police. Prolonged efforts by our lead source to track him down for an interview was largely unsuccessful. Calls to a telephone number known to be associated with him failed to connect while he is yet to reply to emails sent to him. He was for a long time resident in Nigeria. But his latest whereabouts remain unknown.
In Nigeria, Mr. Sade remains wanted. Last year, he was recommended for “further investigation” after a committee investigating defence equipment procurements between 2007 and 2015 found a number of irregularities in contracts for which his companies were paid public funds.
Within this period, Mr. Sade’s companies, Doiyatec Comms Ltd and DYI Global Services, won six major defence contracts valued at N6.7 billion. He also brokered many others, including the Shaldags deal.
Illustration of Nigerian defence contracting gang members
The defence contracting gang that emerged in Nigeria in 2007 involved a network of Military Chiefs, Contractors, and Manufacturers

Anatomy of Nigerian Defence Contracting Gang
Insiders say the kleptocratic defence contract gang that emerged in Nigeria in 2007 involves a network of roles grouped into three segments.
The Government Guys make up the first group, our sources say. This gang includes government officials leading various defence units and committees, the defence minister and permanent secretaries, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the National Security Adviser, and the President. This gang makes up the most important node in the network.
In addition to being the source of money flow into the network, they come with authority and protect the entire network from the law. In fact, they are the physical manifestation of law and their involvement keeps the crime largely unaddressed, leaving Nigeria weakened against aggressors like Boko Haram and militants in the Niger Delta.
The Shaldag deal was passed down to former President Goodluck Jonathan from his predecessor, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
The contract was signed with the Nigerian Navy, headed at the time Ishaya Ibrahim. He was succeeded by Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim who later became Chief of Defence Staff in 2012.
The Middlemen: This node is made up of contractors, former and current government officials, politicians, family, and friends of members of the Government Guys gang. They are the link between authority figures and the third group. Within this group, contractors serve as the face of each deal, cloaking each contract with the legality the public is later presented with. While the Government Guys serve as the source of funds, the contractors are the conduit. They receive legal payments and redistribute to every other member of the expanded gang. Others in this node mostly serve as ideators and influencers.
In a typical deal, the contractor receives funds, usually the announced value of the contract, keeps his brokerage fee, returns a chunk to the Government Guys, pays every other participant on his level before paying the actual manufacturer, if needed.
It is still unclear who else joined Mr. Sade in the Shaldag contract from this node.
The Manufacturer: This group is made up of established defence manufacturing factories outside Nigeria. In an ideal situation, the purchasing units of Nigerian government agencies should be dealing directly with the sales departments of manufacturers. However, they outsource sales and marketing to members of the Middlemen gang, considered as “Africa experts” in the industry.
In Israel, the trial of Israeli Shipyard for involvement in the Shaldag bribery continued on March 30. Bribing a foreign official is a crime in Israel, especially after Israel joined the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the United Nations Convention against Corruption in 2008.

Never-ending Crime Cycle
According to a Transparency International report, Nigerian military chiefs, politicians, and contractors worked together to steal $15 billion through arms procurement contracts – including the Shaldags – between 2008 and 2017.
Although President Muhammdu Buhari was elected after he promised to aggressively fight corruption, the government appears to be having hard times securing convictions against members of the defence contracting network.
In July 2016, an investigative committee released a report that indicted 18 senior military officials, 12 retired and serving government officials, as well as 24 CEOs from the Middlemen Gang. The report suggested further investigation and prosecution of the indicted individuals.
The committee did not mention the Shaldag contracts. However, the committee mentioned few others directly handled by Mr. Sade’s companies.
Outstanding contracts in Mr. Sade’s bucket are two he received on October 6, 2008. On that day, Mr. Sade won contracts to deliver “assorted ammunition” at the cost of N2.1 billion and supply “20 units of K-38 twin hull boats” at the cost of N3.1 billion
He was paid 95 per cent for the ammunition. He delivered 63 per cent worth, the committee noted. On the K38 boats, he was paid 80 per cent; he delivered only 40 per cent.
Although the EFCC claims Mr. Sade and others identified by the presidential committee on arms procurement are ”under investigation,” none of the individuals recommended for trial have been convicted.

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Anti-Graft

EFCC Report on Corruption Allegations Against Obasanjo

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By Ben Ezeamalu

As President Muhammadu Buhari and a former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, continue to engage in a war of words, PowerSteering through PREMIUM TIMES has obtained a report by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission regarding corruption allegations against Mr Obasanjo.
The clash between the president and one of his predecessors was triggered when Mr Buhari, while receiving a delegation of the Buhari Support Organisation at the Presidential Villa on May 22, indirectly accused Mr Obasanjo of wasting $16 billion on power projects with nothing to show for it.
Mr Obasanjo immediately fired back at the president describing his claims as ignorant and unsubstantiated.
The report, signed by the then EFCC’s Director of Operations, Ibrahim Lamorde, addressed allegations of conspiracy, fraudulent conversion of funds, abuse of office, foreign exchange conversion and money laundering against the former president.
The petitions
On August 22, 2005, the then governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, submitted a petition alleging corrupt practices against Mr Obasanjo to the EFCC.
A second petition was delivered two years later – in November 2007 – by the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, a nongovernmental organisation headed by Debo Adeniran, a civil society activist.
The two petitions were consolidated into a single 12-point petition which dealt largely on allegations that Mr Obasanjo’s aides and some Senators connived and took huge sums of money in oil and commissions from Defence contracts.
The petition also alleged that the hostels and sports complex at Mr Obasanjo’s Bells Secondary School and University were constructed by Strabag Construction Company with taxpayers’ money, adding that the total assets value of the university – including ongoing constructions at the time – stood at about N40 billion.
It also accused the former president of, as the Petroleum Minister between 1999 and 2006, overseeing “a significant number of fraud” in crude oil sales and accrued commissions in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
Other allegations against Mr Obasanjo include the “evidence” that he owned foreign accounts, including a Platinum Credit Card, with which he siphoned money and made purchases abroad; that a “N6.5 billion proceeds” realised from the appeal fund for the construction of Mr Obasanjo’s Presidential Library were diverted to private use; and that Mr Obasanjo used his presidential powers to approve a licence to Obasanjo Farms, which was in “shambles” while he was in prison, to be sole importer of grant parent stock of chicken.
The petition also included allegations that the federal government under Mr Obasanjo exceeded its spending on Ministries, Departments, and Agencies by about N133 billion in the 2005 budget and that N521 billion was sunk into the now defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, and yet, Nigeria was in darkness.
The petitioners further alleged that the former president, while still in office, allegedly diverted official funds to buy about 200 million units of Transcorp shares; used state funds to pursue his ‘Third term’ agenda; and spent about N300 billion on construction and maintenance of Nigeria’s roads, yet, “there are still no good roads.”
The EFCC said after receiving the petitions, it sent out an investigating team to visit Bells Secondary School and University, Obasanjo Farms in Ota, and also contacted Strabag Construction Company and officials of the Presidential Library.
Furthermore, according to the Commission, a letter was written to Mr Kalu inviting him to meet with the EFCC investigating team and assist the investigation by supplying evidence to help substantiate the allegations he raised.
“This was followed by series of telephone calls to all his houses both in Nigeria and abroad,” the EFCC report stated.
“A final appeal, through publication of the invitation, was made in newspapers. All these spirited efforts were unacknowledged as Chief Kalu declined repeated invitations.
“The second petitioner, the Chairman of CACOL, Mr Debo Adeniran, appeared in the Commission in Lagos and threw more lights on his write-up.”
Contacted on Friday night, Mr Adeniran confirmed to our reporter that he did submit a petition against Mr Obasanjo in November 2007 at the EFCC’s Lagos office.
Mr Adediran said following the petition, the then EFCC chairman, Farida Waziri, set up a five-man panel to look into the allegations.
Chairman of CACOL, Debo Adeniran
“I was only invited to adopt the petition, the panel did not invite us again, even after Mr Obasanjo gave his response, they didn’t invite us to puncture his claims,” Mr Adediran said.

Obasanjo responds
In his response to the allegations against him to the EFCC, Mr Obasanjo denied any wrongdoing or involvement in corrupt acts.
He said his Obasanjo Farms was ‘structurally developed’ between 1979 and 1995 and was making a substantial profit before his detention in 1995 caused the farm to suffer a reversal of fortune.
However, by 1998, Mr Obasanjo, according to the report, said the farm was reorganised “towards a new profitability path that spurred its full rehabilitation and expansion.”
On Bells Schools, Mr Obasanjo said all the construction in the school since inception in 1995 had been done through direct labour which was supervised by himself and other officials.
Main Gate of Bells University of Technology
On the issue of crude oil sales and fraud in the Petroleum Ministry, Mr Obasanjo said the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and the Minister of State for Petroleum, were fully responsible and should be contacted for more information.
The former president said he has never owned a Platinum Credit Card or carried one “all his life.”
He also denied having a foreign account anywhere in the world and called on the EFCC to undertake a global search and of any such account was found, it should be frozen and the proceeds be published and subsequently seized.
Concerning the defence contractor, Mr Obasanjo said the ministers of defence were in a better position to provide the details.

What EFCC found
The EFCC said based on its own investigation, Bells Schools started off in 1991 with two blocks of burnt bricks hostels, one each for boys and girls, as well as a few number of classrooms.
“That by 1998 two additional blocks of hostels were added, again one each for both and girls. Investigations revealed that these blocks of hostels were built by direct labour contrary to the claims in the petition that it was built by Strabag Construction Company Limited,” the report said.
The report noted that Strabag Construction Company never participated in building the sports complex or hostels at any of Mr Obasanjo’s institutions.
On the Defence contracts, the EFCC said investigators showed that the Ministry awarded contracts ranging from military equipment to other related hardware valued at about N6.7 billion, $28 million, €26 million, DM6 million.
“All documents pertaining to importations, bank statements, payments and supplies made by Ministry of Defence were scrutinised and nowhere did it show that any benefit accrued to any individual or group associated or in any way linked to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo,” stated the report.
On the various contracts awarded by the NNPC and the Petroleum Ministry, the investigators also found that contracts valued at over $300 billion and N500, awarded to over 20 different companies, were neither directly nor indirectly linked to Mr Obasanjo.
The report’s findings on the Presidential Library showed that its fundraising launch on May 14, 2007, realised N3.5 billion and $250,000. Of that sum, N1.3 billion was paid to the project contractor, Messrs Gitto Construction Company of Nigeria, as well as the sub-contractors and the project consultants.
On May 26, 1999, three days before he was sworn in as President, Mr Obasanjo entered into a Trust Agreement with Lucky Egede, a lawyer, and Daniel Atsu, whose both addresses were situated at Obasanjo Farms Nigeria Limited, Ota, Ogun State to handle the affairs of the entire farm, according to the report.
The former president’s name was also removed from the list of Directors of the Farms in 1999 when he was going into public office, the report added.
The Trust Agreement with Messrs Egede and Atsu were terminated immediately after Mr Obasanjo left office in 2007.
“That investigation revealed that the Obasanjo Farms had steadily grown its balance sheet over the year (sic) through credits obtained from various banks long before he was president,” stated the report.
“That between 1988 and 1998, over N41 million was borrowed from First Bank, Union Bank, NAL Merchant Bank, Afribank, and UBA and this was used to grow the Farms while proceeds through profits were reinvested into farms. “These loans, it was gathered during investigation, had since been repaid.”
On the Transcorp shares, the EFCC said the blind trust managers of the former president’s businesses approached the UBA for N500 million credit with which they bought 500 million units of Transcorp shares as N1 each.
“It was also revealed that the shares were used as collaterals and when the president was approached on the matter, he opted to yield back the shares to UBA as it became apparent that this has a strong public concern.
“The decision he took was to return it to UBA where it had been warehoused all along.”
The EFCC further stated that between 1999 and 2007, the PHCN received over N273.65 billion and not N521 billion and that the appropriation was for its day to day activities, including generation of electricity, transmission, and distribution.
The various contracts awarded in relation to electricity generation, according to the report, amounted to N22 billion, $445 million, and €29 million.
“All the documents relating to payments have been checked and scrutinised and there was no reference whatsoever to the former president, his relations, or any front benefitted from the contracts.”
The report further stated it could not establish that Mr Obasanjo diverted public funds for the pursuit of his ‘Third term’ agenda even after the Commission “threw public challenges soliciting for evidence from anti-third term forces in the National Assembly.”

National Assembly
“Going by the evidence from the facts assembled during the course of the investigation, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo could not be directly linked with the allegations,” the report concluded.

 

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