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CAC Uncovers 189 Fake Companies in Land Allocation Scandal

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Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has made a startling revelation, uncovering a network of 189 fake companies that exploited fraudulent means to secure land allocations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

This revelation was disclosed by the Registrar General of the commission, Hussaini Magaji, during a press briefing held in Abuja on Tuesday.

The shocking discovery was prompted by a complaint from the Federal Capital Territory Administration, which suspected foul play in the land allocation process. The complaint triggered a thorough investigation by the CAC, revealing the existence of a non-existent company that sought land allocation.

Further probing of this discovery led to the identification of 189 such fake companies. In a significant development, two individuals, including a lawyer, have been apprehended. Moreover, a cartel operating in collaboration with personnel from the Abuja Geographical Information System, lawyers, and the commission itself, has been identified.

In his address, Mr. Magaji stated, “Let me use this opportunity to inform the public that one of the major milestones achieved so far since I assumed office is our ability to bust a cartel or a network of individuals that are causing havoc for the commission.”

The nefarious cartel’s modus operandi involved the creation of counterfeit entities, often with the assistance of lawyers posing as accredited agents of the CAC and in collaboration with staff from the Abuja Geographical Information System.

These entities would then apply for land allocations in the FCT, manipulating their applications to prioritize over legitimate ones. This scheme had been successful until its discovery.

Mr. Magaji commented, “The nature of their crime is they create fake entities through connivance with some lawyers claiming to be accredited agents of the commission and staff of Abuja geographical information system and apply for land at the FCT, maneuvering their ways to a priority application over existing applications in order to take over lands, and they have been quite successful before we discovered it.”

As part of the ongoing investigation, two suspects, including a lawyer, have been apprehended and are currently being interrogated for more information. The CAC, in cooperation with security agencies, intends to apprehend other members of this unscrupulous cartel.

Regarding the CAC’s future direction, the Registrar General pledged to enhance the commission’s revenue base by taking measures to sanction companies that fail to disclose their annual returns, among other penalties. This financial boost will empower the commission to fulfill its objective of becoming a world-class regulatory body.


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Nigerians Pay Some N87m in Bribes to Public, Private Officials In 2023

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At least N87 million bribes were paid to Nigerian public and private officials in 2023, according to data from National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Nigerians Pay Some N87m in Bribes to Public, Private Officials In 2023

NBS data also indicated that of all Nigerian citizens who had at least one contact with a public official in the 12 months prior to the 2023 survey, 27 per cent paid a bribe to a public official.

According to the Bureau, Nigerians’ confidence in the government’s anti-corruption effort has been declining over time and across regions.

“While in 2019, more than half of all citizens thought that the government was effective in fighting corruption, in 2023, the share declined to less than a third of all citizens.

“The downward trend in the citizens’ confidence is observable across the entire country, with all six zones recording reductions of more than 10 percentage points between 2019 and 2023 in terms of the share of citizens who thought the government was effective in fighting corruption,” it stated.


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12 Professors, 15 Others Inducted into Shell Sabbatical, Research Positions

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The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) Joint Venture has significantly expanded its educational initiatives by inducting 27 Nigerian academics and research interns.

12 Professors, 15 Others Inducted into Shell Sabbatical, Research Positions

A cross section of participants in the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Joint Venture’s 2024 sabbatical and research programme in a group photograph with the leadership of SPDC’s Corporate Relations team at the induction ceremony held in Port Harcourt…recently.

This year’s programme, a 35% increase from the previous year, welcomed eight professors, four senior lecturers, and 15 other participants.

Held at the company’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, the induction ceremony marked the beginning of a one-year programme focused on knowledge exchange and skill development.

Drawn from 13 Nigerian universities, these participants will gain valuable industry experience in fields like biodiversity, petroleum engineering, and environmental impact assessment.

“The research and internship programmes are central to our commitment to supporting higher education in Nigeria,” explained Mr. Igo Weli, Shell Nigeria’s Head of Corporate Relations, and SPDC Director.

He described the programme as mutually beneficial nature by offering Shell access to specialised expertise from professors and lecturers, who in turn acquire practical industry knowledge and exposure to cutting-edge technologies.

Despite operational challenges, Mr. Weli reaffirmed Shell’s position as the industry leader in fostering a positive learning environment and empowering people.

Representing Mrs. Bunmi Edith Lawson, NNPC Upstream Investment Management Services, echoed Mr. Weli’s sentiments. She highlighted the programme’s significance in scientific exploration, environmental stewardship, and knowledge advancement.

“This is an investment in the next generation of innovators,” she stated, “and a way for us to give back to our stakeholders.”

The 2024 programme includes participants from a diverse range of universities across Nigeria, including the University of Benin, Rivers State University, University of Ibadan, Niger Delta University, and Ahmadu Bello University.

Others are Bingham University Karu, Federal University Wukari, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo State, Covenant University, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, University of Uyo, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, and Michael Okpara University of Agriculture.

 

 


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Ex Power Minister who Allegedly Stole N33Bn Gets N10Bn Bail

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Saleh Mamman, former minister of Power, who was charged for a N33 billion fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been granted bail.

Ex Power Minister who Allegedly Stole N33Bn Gets N10Bn Bail

During a sitting on Friday, at the Federal High Court in Abuja, Mamman was granted N10 billion billion with two sureties in like sum.

Issuing the verdict, James Omotosho, chief judge, held that the sureties must be owners of landed properties within the Federal Capital Territory with a minimum valuation of N750 million.

The judge stated that the sureties must swear an affidavit of means and submit their three-year tax clearance certificates, adding that certified copies of the defendant and sureties’ bank statements and their most recent passport photograph must also be submitted.

In addition, the judge directed the defendant to turn in his international passport to the court’s registrar, stating that the registrar must confirm every document before the defendant is allowed to leave custody.

The court further ordered that the defendant be held in jail until all bail requirements were fulfilled and that the sureties could provide a bank guarantee or bond of N10 billion. The case has been adjourned until September 25, 2024.

On Thursday, July 11, the judge ordered the remand of the former minister at the Kuje Prison after his not-guilty plea to all the 12-count charges preferred against him. His lawyer, Femi Ate, a senior advocate, however, told the court that a bail application had been filed on behalf of his client.

Although the judge stated the bail application had not yet made it into the court file, the lawyer representing the EFCC, Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, also a senior advocate, admitted that the application had been received.

Meanwhile, the defendant had collapsed outside the courtroom before the hearing on Thursday but was revived with the help of his lawyers and some medical personnel at the court.

 


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