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Corruption: EFCC secures 3,785 convictions in 2022, highest since inception

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…Record 70.5% improvement over 2021 convictions of 2,220

…Record shows 98.93% success rate in  2022 prosecution

…Only 41 cases, representing 1.07% lost within period

…Lagos, Ibadan, Portharcourt Commands lead in conviction records

Campaign against corruption may have paid somewhat for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2022, as the antigraft agency secured no less than 3,785 convictions in the year.

The EFCC on Wednesday said the total 3,785 convictions were recorded across all its Commands in 2022.

According to a statement by EFCC Spokesman Wilson Uwujaren, the figure, which emerged from a review of the commission’s performance in the outgone year, shows a 70.5 per cent improvement over its record for 2021 (2220).

It also represents a 98.93 per cent success rate in prosecution given that the Commission lost only 41 cases, representing 1.07 per cent within the period

As it was in 2021, the Lagos Command of the Agency recorded the most convictions – 765, closely followed by the Ibadan Command with 573 convictions and the Port Harcourt Zonal Command- with 567, while the headquarters recorded 314 convictions.

The conviction secured by the Commission in 2022 is the highest by the EFCC Since inception and sustains an upward trajectory which began shortly after the emergence of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Buhari administration was elected in 2015 on a tripod of promises — anti-corruption, economic recovery and security. In 2015, EFCC recorded a total of 103 convictions. This shot to 195 convictions in 2016, the first full year in office of the Buhari administration. The figure improved to 312 in 2018, and 1,280 in 2019, dropped slightly to 976 convictions in 2020, the year of covid-19, and then moved up to 2,220 in 2021.

The percentile improvement of the EFCC convictions in the seven years of the Buhari administration from 103 to 3,785, is over 3574.8 per cent.

Commenting on the performance, the Executive Chairman of the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, commended the personnel of the Commission for their industry and dedication despite the challenges of criminal prosecution in court.

He assured that the EFCC will continue to motivate all categories of staff for greater efficiency through capacity development and other incentives.

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Power allocation to DisCos rose to 3155MW — TCN

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The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has revealed that power allocation to Distribution companies (DisCos) rose to 3155MW.

The Commission was responding to news making the rounds that power generation on Thursday, April 11, 2024, dropped by 32.31 percent to 2,775MW.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Commission said, “TCN wishes to state unequivocally that such reports are false and misleading as they do not represent the true generation performance data released by the National Electricity System Operator, a subset of the company, on the stated date.

“It is important to state that the lowest generation recorded on Thursday, April 11, 2024, was 3586.11MW at 18:00 hrs, while peak generation was 4122.43MW at 23:59hrs.

“While 2,775MW was allocated to the 11 Distribution Companies (DISCOs) during the Load Allocation review at 17:40hours of Thursday, April 11, 2024, following the tripping of 3 units from the grid, it does not represent the total available generation on the grid.

“Moreover, allocations to the DISCOs rose to 2976MW and 3155MW during the Load Allocation review at 18:43hours and 20:02hours of April 11, 2024, respectively.

“It should be noted that the total available generation on the grid is calculated by adding the sum total of energy delivered to the DISCOs and exempted loads (majorly bilateral contracted load).

“The media are our critical partners in the efforts to improve electricity supply in the nation. We are therefore appealing that clarifications be sought from relevant authorities to guide accurate reports.”

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Nigeria’s inflation hit 33.20%

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…Inflation will come down soon — Bayo Onanuga

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says Nigeria’s headline inflation rate increased to 33.20 percent in March 2024.

The NBS said this in its Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Inflation Report for March, which was released in Abuja on Monday.

According to the report, the figure is 1.50 per cent points higher compared to the 31.70 percent recorded in February 2024.

It said on a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate in March 2024 was 11.16 percent higher than the rate recorded in March 2023 at 22.04 percent.

In addition, the report said, on a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate in March 2024 was 3.02 percent, which was 0.10 percent lower than the rate recorded in February 2024 at 3.12 percent.

“This means that in March 2024, the rate of increase in the average price level is less than the rate of increase in the average price level in February 2024.”

The report attributed the increase in the headline index for March 2024 on a year-on-year basis and month-on-month basis to increase in some goods and services at the divisional level.

It said these increases were observed in food and non-alcoholic beverages, housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuel, clothing and footwear, and transport.

Others, it said, were furnishings, household equipment and maintenance, education, health, miscellaneous goods and services, restaurants and hotels, alcoholic beverage, tobacco and kola, recreation and culture, and communication.

It said the percentage change in the average CPI for the 12 months ending March 2024 over the average of the CPI for the previous corresponding 12-month period was 27.13 percent.

“This indicates a 6.76 percent increase compared to 20.37 percent recorded in March 2023,” it said.

The report said the food inflation rate in March 2024 increased to 40.01 percent on a year-on-year basis, which was 15.56 percent higher compared to the rate recorded in March 2023 at 24.45 percent.

“The rise in food inflation on a year-on-year basis is caused by increases in prices of Garri, Millet, Akpu (uncooked fermented, which are under bread and cereals class), Yam Tuber, and Water Yam.

“Others are Dried Fish Sardine, Mudfish Dried, Palm Oil, Vegetable Oil, Beef Feet, Beef Head, Liver, Coconut, Water Melon, Lipton Tea, Bournvita, and Milo,” NBS said.

It said on a month-on-month basis, the food inflation rate in March was 3.62 percent, which was a 0.17 percent decrease compared to the rate recorded in February 2024 at 3.79 percent.

“The fall in food inflation on a month-on-month basis was caused by a decrease in the average prices of Guinea corn flour, Plantain Flour etc (under Bread and Cereals class); Yam, Irish Potato, and CocoYam.

Others are Titus fish, Mudfish Dried, Lipton, Bournvita, and Ovaltine”, it said.

The report said that “all items less farm produce and energy’’ or core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce and energy, stood at 25.90 percent in March on a year-on-year basis.

“This increased by 6.26 per cent compared to 19.63 percent recorded in March 2023.

“The exclusion of the PMS is due to the deregulation of the commodity by removal of subsidy.”

It said the highest increases were recorded in prices of bus journeys within the city, actual and imputed rentals for housing, consultation fee of a medical doctor, etc.

The NBS said on a month-on-month basis, the core inflation rate was 2.54 percent in March 2024.

“This indicates a 0.37 percent increase compared to what was recorded in February 2024 at 2.17 percent.”

“The average 12-month annual inflation rate was 22.26 percent for the 12 months ending March 2024, this was 5.04 per cent points higher than the 17.22 percent recorded in March 2023,” it said.

The report said on a year-on-year basis in March 2024, the urban inflation rate was 35.18 percent, 12.11 per cent higher compared to the 23.07 percent recorded in March 2023.

The report said on a year-on-year basis in March 2024, the rural inflation rate was 31.45 percent, which was 10.37 percent higher compared to the 21.09 percent recorded in March 2023.

“On a month-on-month basis, the rural inflation rate was 2.87 percent, which decreased by 0.20 percent compared to February 2024 at 3.07 percent,” it said.

On states’ profile analysis, the report showed that in March, all items inflation rate on a year-on-year basis was highest in Kogi at 39.97 percent, followed by Bauchi at 38.34 percent, and Kwara at 38.10 percent.

It, however, said the slowest rise in headline inflation on a year-on-year basis was recorded in Borno at 25.78 percent, followed by Benue and Taraba at 28.12 percent, and Katsina at 28.32 percent.

The report, however, said in March 2024, all items inflation rate on a month-on-month basis was highest in Zamfara at 3.90 percent, followed by Abia at 3.89 percent, and Ondo at 3.75 percent.

“Borno at 1.46 percent, followed by Yobe at 1.84 percent and Adamawa at 1.85 percent recorded the slowest rise in month-on-month inflation,” NBS said.

The report said on a year-on-year basis, food inflation was highest in Kogi at 48.46 percent, followed by Kwara at 46.18 percent, and Akwa Ibom at 45.18 percent.

“Nasarawa at 33.76 percent, followed by Borno at 34.28 percent and Bauchi at 34.38 percent recorded the slowest rise in food inflation on a year-on-year basis,” it said.

The report, however, said on a month-on-month basis, food inflation was highest in Abia at 5.17 percent, followed by Cross River at 5.14 per cent, and Bayelsa at 4.75 percent.

“Cross River stood at 1.59 percent, followed by Yobe at 2.08 percent and Adamawa at 2.12 percent, recording the slowest rise in inflation on a month-on-month basis,” it said.

…Inflation will come down soon — Bayo Onanuga

Meanwhile, the Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga says while inflation still appears untamed, according to the latest report by NBS, indications are that it will slow down as the Naira continues to strengthen in the market.

He said, “NBS reported that in March 2024, the headline inflation rate increased by 1.50 percent to 33.20 percent relative to the February 2024 headline inflation rate which was 31.70 percent .

“On a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate was 11.16 percent points higher compared to the rate recorded in March 2023, which was 22.04 percent .

“What is obvious in the report is that market forces are yet to reflect the strengthening of the Naira in recent weeks against the dollar. The effect will be noticed as old stocks are replaced with new ones bought with a depreciated dollar.

“The Naira had lost 43 percent of its value up till mid-February. But since then it has rallied greatly, becoming the most performing currency among global currencies.

“Governor Olayemi Cardoso of CBN and his team have their job cut for them to find ways of reining in the inflation when they meet May 20-21, about  a week to the Tinubu administration’s first anniversary.”

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Ganduje suspended by APC ward over corruption allegations, as State APC intercedes 

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…Suspends ward leaders for six months for anti-party activities

By Aminu Garko, Kano

The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has been suspended by executives of his ward in Kano State.

The nine executive members of Ganduje ward, in Dawakin-Tofa LGA on Monday announced the suspension of Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje from the party.

Malam Haladu Gwanjo,  legal Advice of the party at Ganduje ward accused the former Governor of gross misconduct and misappropriation of public funds during his administration in Kano.

Gwanjo revealed that members resolved to pass a vote of no confidence in the acting National Chairman of the party due to his inability to clear his name from a wide range of allegations of corruption, particularly the widely celebrated dollar video.

The APC leader at Ganduje ward said he is worried that the party is being subjected to unnecessary embarrassment from the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) over unsubstantiated allegations of corruption levelled against Ganduje’s administration.

Gwanjo emphasised that Ganduje ward leaders deem it fit to suspend the national chairman to enable him concentrate on the litigation and other inquiry where he (Ganduje) would appropriately clear his image and that of his family.

He explained that because of the political commitment demonstrated by President Tinubu in the ongoing fight against corruption the seeming baggage of corruption hanging on Ganduje, is already denting the reputation of the APC led federal government.

“We the leaders of the APC in Ganduje ward, Dawakin Tofa Local Government, engaged in thorough deliberations and subsequently decided to suspend the erstwhile Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, in light of the allegations of bribery involving foreign currency.

“It has come to our attention that Ganduje has been summoned to court to answer for these accusations, a development that we believe could potentially besmirch the reputation of our esteemed political party.

“This resolution was reached collectively on behalf of all executive members of the APC in Ganduje ward, Dawakin Tofa,” he said.

…Kano APC nullifies Ganduje’s suspension, suspends ward leaders for six months for anti-party activities

In a dramatic turn of events yesterday, the Kano Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) through the Kano State Working Committee of the party has called the bluff of the Ganduje Ward party leaders who earlier in the day suspended the national chairman of the party and former governor of the state, Umar Abdullahi Ganduje because of corruption allegations.

The state working committee did not only nullify the suspension but also sanctioned the Ganduje ward party leaders in Dawakin Tofa Local Government who earlier in the day suspended the national chairman of the party only a few hours earlier.

They were accused of anti-party activities and holding meetings with the opposition party government officials.

The APC Dawakin Tofa Local Government chairman, Inusa Dawanau, told newsmen that those behind the suspension of the national chairman were guilty of anti-party activities, as they have been found to be meeting with the opposition party.

According to the state working committee of the party, the ward leaders have been sanctioned for six months, saying that a special investigations panel has been set up to verify several allegations against them.

The Kano APC chairman, Abdullahi Abbas, said the decisions of the LG party leaders have since been adopted.

He said, “We have evidence of meetings between the state government officials and those that suspended the National Chairman. The state working committee has agreed to sanction them for six months and they are now suspended.”

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