Senate Grills NCC, Telecom Operator Over Data Price Hike

The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) Tuesday said that it intervened with an interim price floor for data services to avert a looming price war in the telecommunications sector.

The explanation of the NCC is coming even as the Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, asked Nigerians to face reality.

The regulatory commission said that it feared that the price war could eventually lead to a monopoly in the telecom industry that would force small operators to shut down.

It said that monopoly in the telecom sector could also push the country back to the days of NITEL to the detriment of small operators in the sector.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Professor Umar Dambatta stated this when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Communications.

The committee was mandated to investigate the proposed hike in the price of data tariff said to have been ordered by the NCC.

Vice Chairman of the Committee, Senator Solomon Adeola, who presided, noted that there was a public outcry over the proposed data price increase.

Adeola said that Nigerians were united in their opposition that the proposed increase in the price of data should be stopped.

He said that the position of Nigerians was that the idea of hike in data price was ill- advised especially with the biting economic situation in the country.

Professor Dambatta told the committee that the intervention of the NCC was not designed to undermine the consumers.

He noted that if cheap prices were introduced, they may end up undermining the telecom service operators.

He said that if the situation arose where the operators could no longer cope, the consequences could be better imagined.

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Senate grills NCC, telecom operator over data price hike

EFCC Grills Senior Lawyers Who Allegedly Transferred Huge Sums To Judges

At least three senior Nigerian lawyers reported to the Economic and Financial Crimes’ office on Thursday to answer questions over alleged transfer of huge sums of money into the bank accounts of some judges.

Paul Usoro, Gani Adetola-Kaseem, and Felix Fagbohungbe, all senior advocates of Nigeria, were at the EFCC’s Lagos office at about 9:15 a.m., a source at the Commission said.

“We have discovered that corruption in the judiciary is widespread,” said the source who did not want to be named because he was not authorised to speak on the matter.

“Those we invited were found to have transferred money into the judges’ bank accounts. We want them to come and explain the reason for the transfers. More are still coming, about 20 to 30 of them.

“Some Senior Advocates of Nigeria who have assisted the Commission in handling some of our cases in the past are also involved. Some of these lawyers had assisted us with useful legal opinions on several matters. So, we are in a dilemma.”

The source said the leadership of EFCC may have invited the senior lawyers following accusations that the Commission was planning to cover-up the activities of these senior lawyers to preserve their existing relationship.

The lawyers’ invitation followed last week’s visit to the Commission by some judges including Uwani Abba-Aji, James Agbadu-Fishim, Mohammed Yunusa, Nganjiwa Hyledzira, and Musa Kurya.

The invitations are part of an ongoing investigation into alleged corruption in the Nigerian judiciary.

 Seven top judges were earlier arrested by the State Security Service, SSS.

The EFCC source said another senior lawyer, Niyi Akintola, was also summoned by the anti-graft body but he was unable to report because he had travelled to Abuja to defend a judge before the National Judicial Commission following a petition by a litigant.

Last week, Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, a judge recently sanctioned by the NJC, who was also invited by the EFCC, failed to honour her invitation.

Mrs. Ofili-Ajumogobia, who was barred from further elevation on the bench till her retirement, had yet to respond to the EFCC’s invitation as of Thursday.

“If any judge refuses to honour our summons, the EFCC will have no choice than to employ legal process to make him or her respect the law of the land,” the EFCC source said.

“We have accorded all the judges who came to the EFCC a lot of respect in line with international best practices.”


EFCC Grills Obanikoro’s Daughter Over N800m Transaction, Seizes Her Passport

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Friday grilled Shalewa Obanikoro, the daughter of a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, over a transaction of N800m she allegedly made.

Investigators told our correspondent that Shalewa was grilled at the Lagos office of the EFCC for several hours alongside her mother, Moroophat.

An impeccable source at the anti-graft agency said as part of investigations into the N4.7bn allegedly paid into the company account of Obanikoro’s sons – Babajide and Gbolahan – by the Office of the National Security Adviser, the commission started investigating some other members of the family.

The detective said, “Obanikoro’s wife came to our office on Friday morning as part of investigations into the N4.7bn paid into Sylvan McNamara, a company owned by her sons. During investigation, we stumbled on the account of an oil company. We then discovered that Obanikoro’s daughter was a signatory to the account of the oil company and that millions of naira was paid into the account at different times.

“We then invited the daughter and she came to meet us at the office. During investigations, we found out that the daughter gave a standing order to the bank that N800m should be moved into another account. We wondered why such a young girl would have access to such funds so we started quizzing her.

“This is a whole new dimension to the case and we will continue to investigate to find out if it is related to the arms probe or not.”

Obanikoro and his sons, who are citizens of the United States, have remained in the US for over a year.

However, the EFCC swiftly seized the US passport of Shalewa to prevent her from towing the path of her father and brothers.

The investigator said, “We were told that she was planning on travelling to the US soon so we swiftly seized her passport because she is vital to our investigation. However, we told her to be coming from home.”

Credit: Punch

N1.299b Fraud: EFCC Grills Bullion Van Driver

A bullion van driver has spoken of his role in evacuating N1.299 billion from the Akure airport for Ekiti State Governor Ayo Faose.

Omotoso Olaoluwa told Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) detectives that he got no tip for moving the cash even at night.

Also yesterday, it was learnt Zenith Bank’s management denied that the bank funded Fayose’s election in 2014.

The Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Peter Amangbo said neither himself nor the chairman ever met with Fayose.

 Olaoluwa said: “On 17/6/2014 on the directive of the branch management of Zenith Bank, Akure, I went to Akure Airport to move cash to the bank. The cash could not be moved once for the first time. So we had to go to the airport the second time.

“ Some amount of cash was deposited in the state branch, some amount was moved to the Spotless Hotel in Ado-Ekiti together with Fayose’s aide, Mr., Abiodun Agbele.

“We moved the cash with three vehicles, including one bullion van and two Toyota Hilux vehicles. The two Toyota Hilux were filled with members of the Nigerian Army that provided the security.

“In my bullion van, nobody was with me but Abiodun Agbele was in the Hilux. That was the first time I went to Akure Airport around 12pm.

“But the second time was in the evening, very late but I don’t know the actual amount that we moved to Spotless.

“It was Biodun Oshode that instructed me to move the cash to Spotless Hotel. I mean the Zonal Head (around 7:30pm). We got to Ado-Ekiti Spotless around 7.30pm.

“The key to the vault in the bullion van was with one Mr. Abiodun Agbele. He was the one that later opened the vault. Mr. Biodun did not give me cash and I did not discuss anything with him after the cash was offloaded.

“Mr. Biodun Agbele later returned the key to the vault to me. Before I left the place, I checked everywhere, there was nothing in the van.”

Credit: Nation

DSS Allegedly Grills Boni Haruna After Signing Surety For Dasuki

The Department of Security Services has allegedly grabbed former Governor of Adamawa State, Boni Haruna, moments after he signed surety that fulfilled the court requirements permitting the immediate past National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), to seek medical attention abroad.

A very reliable source claimed that Haruna, was immediately invited by DSS for questioning, after finalizing the processes for the release of Dasuki’s travelling documents yesterday.

It could however not ascertain if the two-time governor of the North Eastern state has been released after the grilling interrogation or detained under DSS custody.

“We learnt Boni Haruna, a two terms governor of Adamawa State and former Minister of Youths was ‘invited’ by security service after signing  as surety for Ex-NSA Sambo Dasuki at the court today.
“He was interrogated on the reason for signing in as surety to Dasuki. I won’t know if he is released now,” the source said.

Recall that Justice Adeniyi Ademola presided Federal High Court (FHC) sitting in Abuja, had earlier on Tuesday, granted the application of the ex-NSA to seek medical check up abroad.

Credit: Thisday

Diezani: EFCC Grills Ex-NNPC Chiefs

Anti-graft investigators with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission are currently interrogating a former managing director of one of the subsidiaries of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and three former executive directors of the oil corporation under ex-Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The four are said to be under investigation by officials of the Subsidy Unit of the EFCC and their counterparts from the National Crime Agency of the United Kingdom in relation to the former minister’s case.

Reports learnt on Sunday provides that the ex-NNPC MD and the three former EDs had already been directed to be reporting to investigators.

The four were said to be “very close” to Alison-Madueke while in office.An EFCC source said the ex-minister might appear in court on Monday (today).

“The man has been sacked now. He has been reporting to the EFCC since. Even three former executive directors are also reporting to the EFCC to tell the agency what they know about the NNPC funds,” a top official of the anti-graft agency said.

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