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Tinubu’s son reportedly Bought $10.8m Mansion under FG Corruption Probe

Seyi, who is the son of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, bought the property for £9 million ($10.8 million) through the company in which he has majority shares in 2017, according to the report.

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Aranda Overseas Corp, a company belonging to Seyi Tinubu, purchased a London mansion which the Nigerian government had tried to seize as property bought with the proceeds of crime, Bloomberg has reported.

Seyi, who is the son of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, bought the property for £9 million ($10.8 million) through the company in which he has majority shares in 2017, according to the report.

The property previously belonged to Mr Kolawole Akanni Aluko whom the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari has accused of billions of naira worth of fraud and of buying the mansion with embezzled funds.

“At the time of the purchase, Nigeria’s government was seeking to arrest the house’s former owner, accusing him of going on the run while owing the country an oil-trading debt worth more than $1.5 billion,” Bloomberg reported.

“The state was also attempting to confiscate the upscale real estate and other assets it suspected had been acquired by the businessman — Kolawole Aluko — with the profits of crime.”

Bloomberg, which based its report on previously unreported company documents, however, said there was no suggestion that President-elect Tinubu was involved in the acquisition of the property.

Both Tinubu’s spokesman and Seyi did not respond to enquiries — phone calls and text messages — by Bloomberg.

Efforts by Channels Television to reach Seyi for comments were unsuccessful, while Tinubu’s spokesman, Tunde Rahman, did not respond to calls, texts and WhatsApp messages.

The Bloomberg report has since been widely shared online, becoming a trending topic on social media.

Aluko, on his part, denied all allegations against him, saying a judgement by a Federal High Court in February this year cleared his name of the $1.6 billion fraud allegation.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which is prosecuting the case is appealing the judgement.

Bloomberg also said a British lawyer listed as Aranda Overseas Corp’s agent in the UK declined to comment based on “confidentiality rules”.

A Premium Times report cited by Bloomberg disclosed that Buhari visited the 7,000-square foot London home in August 2021 while Tinubu was staying there.

Explaining how the mansion was acquired by Seyi, Bloomberg said corporate documents it saw “show for the first time that Tinubu’s 37-year-old son Oluwaseyi is the main shareholder of Aranda Overseas Corp., an offshore company that paid £9 million ($10.8 million) to Deutsche Bank for the property in north London in late 2017.

“The private three-floor residence in St. John’s Wood — a district favored by American bankers — is equipped with an eight-car driveway, two gardens, electric gates and a gym.”

The documents seen by Bloomberg were filed this year in response to new anti-money laundering rules in the UK.

The publication said the documents “show that Tinubu’s son — an entrepreneur active in advertising who played a prominent role in his father’s presidential campaign — has been in control of British Virgin Islands-registered Aranda since June 2011”.

The company registered as an overseas entity in the UK on January 20.

On July 4, 2016 — one year after Buhari took office on an anti-corruption mandate — EFCC charged Mr Jide Omokore and two of his firms, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Ltd and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Ltd, for alleged fraud and money laundering allegations to the tune of $1.6 billion.

With his co-defendants, including Victor Briggs, Abiye Membere, and David Mbanefo, the oil magnate was charged on 15 counts.

Though former Minister of Petroleum Resources Diezani Alison-Madueke and Kolawole Akanni Aluko had been charged alongside Omokore, both were not included on the defendants list.
According to EFCC, Omokore obtained barrels of crude oil from the Federal Government after he made false presentations to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

It alleged that, using his two companies, Omokore induced top officials of both the NPDC and the NNPC to enter into a Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA) with the Federal Government for the operation of four rich oil Wells.

According to the EFCC, contrary to Omokore’s supposedly false representation that he had the technical competence, professional skills and funds to support the petroleum operations of the NPDC in relation to the oil wells, he, however, in connivance with the other defendants, siphoned crude oil and sold same to third-parties.

It told the court that one of the persons involved in the alleged crude oil fraud, Kolawole Akanni Aluko, was at large, adding that the charged officials collected kickbacks in the form of gifts of exotic cars from Omokore.

The prosecution closed its case on December 15, 2022, after having called a total of 17 witnesses that testified before the court.
On their part, the defendants presented four witnesses to establish their innocence.

While all the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge, Omokore admitted that he gave car gifts to the 4th and 5th defendants, but argued that they were a goodwill gesture he made in celebration of his 50th birthday celebration, not kickbacks.

Delivering his judgement on the matter, Justice Dimgba held that the EFCC failed to, by way of credible evidence, establish elements of crime contained in the 15-count charge it preferred against the defendants.

On February 7, 2023, the Federal High Court Abuja discharged and acquitted Omokore of the fraud allegations.

Culled from Channels Television

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Hajj 2024: 18,061 Pilgrims Airlifted to Saudi Arabia – NAHCON

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The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has announced that 18,061 Nigerian pilgrims have been transported to Saudi Arabia for the 2024 Hajj.

NAHCON’s command and control center provided this update on Friday.

According to the center, the pilgrims were flown on 43 flights operated by Flynas, Air Peace, and Max Air.

The commission expects to airlift over 65,000 Nigerian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia this year.

The inaugural flight took off on May 15 from Ahmadu Bello International Airport in Kebbi, carrying pilgrims from Kebbi, Nasarawa, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Thousands of Nigerian pilgrims are anticipated to arrive at the Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madina, where they will spend four days before heading to Makkah for their Hajj and Umrah rites. They will then depart from the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah.

In a press statement, NAHCON spokesperson Fatima Usara confirmed that no flights have been canceled to date.

“So far, no flight cancellations have been recorded, except for a delay that shifted the Kwara inaugural flight from May 20, 2024, to the early hours of Tuesday, May 21,” Usara stated.

She assured that all pilgrims would return to Nigeria following a first-in-first-out (FIFO) policy, ensuring equal duration of stay in Saudi Arabia for everyone.

“Pilgrims are advised to remain calm and understand that the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) follows a First-in-First-Out (FIFO) policy for returning from Saudi Arabia to Nigeria, meaning the return sequence mirrors the departure sequence,” Usara explained. “Thus, all pilgrims are expected to spend the same estimated number of days in the Kingdom based on their departure time.”

Speaking to journalists in Makkah, Aliyu Tanko, NAHCON’s deputy coordinator of Makkah operations, assured that all Nigerian pilgrims would be airlifted before the airports close. He added that flights are proceeding as scheduled, with Saudi authorities cooperating with their Nigerian counterparts.

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Ribadu denies facilitating dethroned Emir’s return to Kano

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Nuhu Ribadu, the national security adviser (NSA), has denied claims of aiding the return of Aminu Bayero, the deposed Emir of Kano, to the state.

Bayero returned to Kano on Saturday morning and took residence in a palace in Nassarawa LGA. Soldiers who previously guarded Bayero accompanied him from the airport to the palace.

Governor Abba Yusuf ordered Bayero’s arrest upon his return, attributing his comeback to the alleged assistance from the NSA.

However, the NSA’s spokesperson, Zakari Mijinyawa, dismissed these allegations as false, asserting that the NSA did not provide air transport for Bayero’s return.

Bayero was replaced by Muhammadu Sanusi as Emir on Friday, following a previous fallout with the then-governor of Kano, Abdullahi Ganduje, in 2020.

The Kano house of assembly repealed the law used to depose Sanusi on Thursday, reinstating the traditional emirate structure with one Emir overseeing all of Kano.

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Kano Emirship tussle : Ado Bayero breaks silence

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Aminu Ado Bayero, the 15th Emir of Kano, has urged the authorities to ensure justice prevails in the state’s emirship dispute.

Bayero was dethroned on Thursday after the Kano State Assembly repealed a 2019 emirate law, which had been used to remove Muhammadu Sanusi in 2020.

Subsequently, Governor Abba Yusuf reinstated Sanusi while Bayero was on an official visit to Ogun State.

Upon returning, Bayero relocated to the Kano emirate’s mini palace in Nassarawa LGA, where he was greeted by his supporters.

The governor also ordered Bayero’s arrest for “creating tension in the state.”

During a meeting with security agents, Bayero stated that he would respect the rule of law, emphasizing that no one is above it.

He called for peace and urged the people of Kano to remain law-abiding as the legal process unfolds.

“I urge everyone to stay calm and law-abiding while awaiting the outcome of the legal proceedings,” Bayero said in Hausa.

“We call on the authorities to ensure justice in this matter. Kano is a significant state in Nigeria; whatever impacts Kano impacts the entire country.

“May peace prevail in Kano. We pray for Allah to bless Kano with responsible and just leaders.

“Justice must be served in every matter. No one is above the law. We will accept the law’s verdict. I appreciate everyone who has expressed concern.

“As I said, justice will be done. We will continue to pray for peace in Kano State. May Allah the Almighty protect us.”

On May 23, a federal high court in Kano ordered the state government not to enforce the Emirate Council Repeal Law 2024.

On Saturday, the Kano State Police Command announced that law enforcement agencies would comply with the court order against Sanusi’s reinstatement.

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Bayern Munich Reaches Agreement with Vincent Kompany

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Burnley manager Vincent Kompany has reached an agreement in principle to become the new head coach of Bayern Munich.

The German club turned to Kompany after facing multiple rejections in their search for a successor to Thomas Tuchel.

Kompany is expected to sign a deal until 2027, with Bayern set to pay Burnley £10.2 million in compensation.

Craig Bellamy, Kompany’s assistant at Burnley, will not join him at the Allianz Arena, but Floribert Ngalula and Bram Geers will be part of his coaching staff.

Bayern had previously targeted Bayer Leverkusen’s Xabi Alonso, former manager Julian Nagelsmann, now leading the German national team, and Austria coach Ralf Rangnick, but all three declined the offer.

Tuchel had discussions with Bayern earlier in May about staying on, but they did not reach an agreement.

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Manchester United beat Man City to Win FA Cup

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Erik ten Hag made a compelling argument to avoid being sacked as Manchester United surprised Manchester City with a 2-1 victory in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

Despite reports that Ten Hag would be dismissed regardless of the outcome at Wembley following a difficult season, United’s leadership may reconsider after his tactical success disrupted City’s historic ambitions.

City were strong favorites to achieve a second consecutive Premier League and FA Cup double. However, Ten Hag effectively countered Pep Guardiola’s team with first-half goals from Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo, putting United on track to win the FA Cup for the first time in eight years.

Jeremy Doku scored in the 87th minute, slipping the ball past Andre Onana’s weak attempt at a save, but it was too late to save City.

Ten Hag’s successful end to a challenging season might prevent his dismissal, evoking memories of Louis van Gaal’s exit from Old Trafford just two days after United’s FA Cup victory in 2016. Ten Hag would prefer his situation to resemble Alex Ferguson’s 1990 FA Cup win, which began a remarkable era after calls for his firing earlier that season. Ferguson, present at the match, witnessed Ten Hag’s unexpected triumph.

United shareholder Jim Ratcliffe and co-owners Joel and Avie Glazer were also in attendance. Despite speculation linking United to Thomas Tuchel, Mauricio Pochettino, and Gareth Southgate, Ratcliffe has much to consider after United’s eighth-place finish in the Premier League — their lowest since 1990 — and their Champions League group stage exit.

Ten Hag attributes the season’s struggles to a lengthy injury list but can highlight his two trophy wins in three cup finals with United as evidence of his potential when the team is fully fit.

After ending United’s six-year trophy drought with the League Cup last year, Ten Hag has now avenged their previous FA Cup final loss to City, despite finishing 31 points behind them in the league.

United will also qualify for the Europa League, avoiding their first season without European competition since 2014-15. They capitalized on an uncharacteristically lackluster performance from City, marking their first domestic defeat since losing to Aston Villa 171 days ago.

City, the first team to win the Premier League four times in a row, appeared fatigued after their recent celebrations. They were frustrated when an early penalty appeal was denied following Lisandro Martinez’s challenge on Erling Haaland. United, defensively solid with all players behind the ball, took advantage of City’s mistakes, with Garnacho and Mainoo scoring in the first half.

City increased their efforts after the break, but Doku’s late goal was insufficient to overturn the result. As the final seconds passed, Ten Hag anxiously awaited the chance to celebrate a dramatic victory that could either secure his position or mark his last achievement with United.

– AFP

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Kano Gov Orders Arrest Of Deposed Emir, Aminu Ado Bayero

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Kano State Governor, Abba Yusuf, has ordered the immediate arrest of the deposed Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero, accusing him of causing unrest in the state.

This order follows Bayero’s deposition by the Governor just two days prior.

A statement released early Saturday by the Governor’s spokesperson, Sanusi Bature, alleged that Bayero was secretly brought into Kano city last night in an attempt to forcibly reclaim the palace.

The statement, issued at 7:00 am on Saturday in Kano, confirmed that the new Emir, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, arrived at the palace with the Governor, his Deputy, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, and other top officials around 1:00 am on Saturday.

The statement stressed the government’s commitment to maintaining peace and order, warning that any actions threatening the state’s stability would be met with strict measures.

Speaking to the media early this morning, Deputy Governor Aminu Gwarzo accused powerful forces from Abuja of instigating the situation and vowed to resist any attempt to impose the deposed Emir on the people.

Currently, the entire nation is watching Kano State closely to see how the situation will develop.

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