National daily newspapers in Nigeria today, December 22, 2016 focused on several reports with most reporting the release of former Delta state governor James Ibori from UK prison after 6 and half years behind bars.
Vanguard is leading with a report that a British High Court, the Royal Court of Justice, Queens Bench Division, Court 1, sitting in London, yesterday, ordered the immediate release of former Delta State governor, Chief James Ibori, from prison, saying the move to hold him after serving out his sentence was illegal.
Ibori breathed the air of freedom at about noon, after the UK court dismissed a detention warrant lodged by the Home Office to keep him in custody, pending the conclusion of the assets confiscation trial arising from the original case launched against him.Ibori had been due for freedom on Tuesday, December 20, 2016, after spending six and half years in prison before the fresh legal moves by the Home Office.
On the front page of Daily Sun is a report that a pickup van on Tuesday ran into an Islamic procession in Malam Sidi, headquarters of Kwami Local Government area of Gombe State, killing 12 children and injuring 19 others.
A mob intercepted the fleeing driver and set him ablaze .The 12 children were part of a procession marking the Maulud, birthday of the holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) before the tragedy.
According to a witness, Abdullahi Musa, the driver was coming from Gombe on high speed when he lost control and ran into the procession staged by hundreds of Islamiya school pupils from the area, adding that over 30 children were injured and taken to the Cottage Hospital in Malam Sidi.
The driver, who attempted to flee from the scene was, however intercepted by an angry mob, burnt him and his vehicle to death, even before the police arrived.
The Guardian leads with a news story that investors in Nigeria’s capital market say N700 billion have been trapped in private placements by firms. They urged industry regulators to wade into the perceived scam.
In response, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned the investing public to steer clear of such private placements, as many of them have not been approved.
Trapped funds in Nigeria’s capital market — especially when it happens in less than transparent manner — is considered a failure of regulation part of which contributed to the market crash eight years ago. Continued scam in Nigeria’s ailing capital market could also erode confidence and deprive the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) of the much-needed recovery in recession time.
Private placement is a common method of raising business capital through offering equity shares. The offer can be done by either private companies wishing to acquire a few select investors or by publicly traded companies as a secondary stock offering.
On the front page of This Day is a report that the Bauchi state governor, Mohammed Abubakar, and his counterparts in Katsina, Aminu Bello Masari, Jigawa, Muhammadu Badaru Abubakar and Osun, Rauf Aregbesola yesterday presented budget proposals to their respective state Houses Assembly for considerations.
While Bauchi State budgeted N145,447,258,160 billion for the 2017 fiscal year, Katsina State budgeted N140,162,092,690, while Jigawa proposed sum of N127.87 billion and Osun State budgeted N138.2billion.
Punch is leading with a report that the Federal Government has began the process to extradict former Delta state governor, James Ibori who has just been released from UK prison to Nigeria
Impeccable sources within the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission told The PUNCH on Wednesday that the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), had directed the EFCC to forward the file containing the 170 charges earlier brought against Ibori in Nigeria.
The EFCC operative told one of our correspondents that the Federal Government would liaise with the British government to ensure that Ibori was extradited to Nigeria.
A source in the EFCC said, “We have started the process of extradition in conjunction with the Office of the AGF. We had started extradition process years ago but stopped it since he was in prison.
“We have now reactivated the process. It is the AGF that will communicate with the British Government, which will then extradite Ibori to Nigeria. The court process will be sent to the UK Government for extradition.”
When asked why all Ibori’s London properties had not yet been forfeited to the Federal Government despite the ample time, the EFCC source explained that the British system was such that asset recovery was done post-conviction.
He added, “So, they are just starting the process and that is why he has been asked not to leave the UK but should be reporting every week.
“The British Government wanted him to remain in custody but the court said he could keep coming from home; so, he will remain in the UK for now. If he does not show up in the police station, then it will be assumed that he has absconded.”
Speaking with one of our correspondents on Thursday, the spokesman for the British High Commission in Nigeria, Mr. Joe Abuku, said the UK government would continue to assist Nigeria with the recovery of properties.