Alleged N570m Fraud: Court Halts Trial Of Former Head Of Service, Oyo-Ita

The immediate past Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, at the Federal High Court in Abuja on March 23, 2020. Channels Television/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

A Federal High Court in Abuja has halted the trial of the former Head of Service of the Federation (HOSF) Winifred Oyo-Ita and others over alleged N570million fraud.

The judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo at the ruling on Wednesday, described the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) act of obtaining an ex-parte order for freezing of bank accounts of the defendants in the matter before another court, as an abuse of court process.

Justice Taiwo said the conduct of the anti-corruption agency was reprehensible and condemnable, noting that it was a contemptuous move that must not be allowed in the interest of justice.

The judge has therefore ordered a stay of proceedings in the trial until the EFCC and its lawyer “do the needful” by withdrawing the application before the other court.

{READ ALSO} Oyo-Ita: Court Defers Ruling On Defendants’ Frozen Accounts Till January 2021

The EFCC had filed an ex-parte motion before justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo for the freezing of the bank accounts of the defendants an alleged N570 million money laundering charge preferred against the former Head of Service and others, while the matter is ongoing before Justice Taiwo.

Oyo-Ita is facing an 18-count charge of official corruption and money laundering to the tune of N570 million, which involves obtaining estacodes and duty travel allowances, (DTA), for journeys either not undertaken or non-existent.

Facing the same fate as she is: Frontline Ace Global Services Limited; Asanaya Projects Limited; Garba Umar and his companies: Slopes International Limited and Gooddeal Investments Limited.

Others are Ubong Okon Effiok and his companies, U&U Global Services Limited and Prince Mega Logistics Limited.

Edo Govt Receives Doses Of AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccines

Edo State is a state in Southern Nigeria.
Edo State is a state in Southern Nigeria.

 

 

The Edo State Government has received doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines for distribution in the state.

In a statement, Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, said doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines are in the custody of the state government, with the government finalising arrangements for its deployment across the state.

Ogie noted that the state is preparing a localised distribution mechanism for the rollout of the vaccines in line with the national plan.

He said, “The Edo State Government is in the custody of doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines received from the Federal Government for distribution in the state.

“We are preparing a local distribution network for rolling out the vaccines in line with the national plan.”

WTT Tournament: Aruna To Challenge Gnanasekaran In Main Draw

File photo of Aruna Quadri

 

 

The World Table Tennis (WTT) Middle East Hub marks the start of an exciting new era for table tennis, with the main draw of the WTT Contender Doha event underway between 3-6 March at the Lusail Sports Arena in Doha, Qatar.

Teen sensation, Tomokazu Harimoto of Japan is expected to spearhead the challenge alongside several other notable names including Brazil’s Hugo Calderano, Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna and Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yun-Ju, dubbed “The Silent Assassin.”

Today, Nigeria’s Aruna challenge India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran in the main draw of the men’s singles of $200,000 prize money World Table Tennis (WTT) Middle East Hub taking place in Doha, Qatar. The Nigerian is ranked 21st in the world while the 28-year-old Indian star is rated 37th while both players will be meeting at this level for the first time with odds favouring the Nigerian.

The only African that progressed to the fourth stage of the preliminary round of the men’s singles, Senegal’s Ibrahima Diaw failed to join Aruna in the main draw as he was beaten by Japan’s Masataka Morizono 3-1 (11-5, 11-6, 7-11, 12-10). Tokyo 2020 Olympic-bound Senegalese fought his way to the fourth stage of the preliminary but the southpaw Japanese was too much for the African.

On Monday, Olajide Omotayo, Egypt’s Omar Assar, Ahmed Saleh, Mohammed El-Beiali and Khaled Assar have all been shown the exit in the first and second stages of the preliminary.

Aruna who is the 2019 Nigeria Open champion believes his best would see him through in the competition. “I am hoping that my best will be enough for me against the best in Qatar. There is no doubt that I am hopeful of a good outing in readiness for the World Olympic Qualification tournaments which takes place after the WTT tournament later this month. There are no minnows in table tennis and I hope my best will see me through the tournament,” Aruna said.

Delivering the first official WTT events, the WTT Contender Series is part of the revamped event structure that WTT, a commercial and events subsidiary of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), has created.

The Hub features two tiers of the new WTT event structure, with players competing in a WTT Contender event before moving on to a WTT Star Contender event the following week between 8-13 March. A total of 298 players, representing 66 countries are taking part at the WTT Middle East Hub.

WTT is poised to bring an unprecedented increase in prize money while giving professional table tennis players the opportunity to compete at the highest level. With the WTT Youth series, also promises to unearth future superstars of the sport.

FEC Observes One Minute Silence For Former Cabinet Member, Mohammed Bakari

FEC members stand to observe one-minute silence for a late council member, Mohammed Bakari

 

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari presides over FEC

The Late Bakari served in the Federal Executive Council from January-August 1993 under General Ibrahim Babangida (Rtd).

He died on Sunday 21st February, at the age of 88.

In attendance physically is the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari.

Ten Ministers are also physically attending the meeting.

They are Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of Federation Abubakar Malami, Minister of Agriculture Sabo Nanono, and Minister of Environment, Mahmood Mohammed.

Others are the Ministers of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Umar, Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Power, Sale Mamman, and Interior, Rauf Aregbesola.

some ministers who attended virtually

The Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan and other Ministers are participating in the weekly cabinet meeting from their various offices in Abuja.

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu is expected to brief the Cabinet on the creation of additional polling units in the country.

 

Reps Call For Measures To Preventing Ebola Virus Resurfacing In Nigeria

Members of the House of Representatives attend a plenary at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja on November 24, 2020.

 

 

The House of Representatives has called for measures to be put in place to prevent the Ebola virus from resurfacing in the country.

The lawmakers are concerned that with other African countries, like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Guinea recording ebola cases, it has become important to create awareness about the disease in the country, as a preventive measure.

The House wants surveillance at the nation’s points of entry, to promptly identify and handle possible cases.

The motion was raised as a matter of urgent public importance by Hon Unyime Idem.

Court Grants BPE DG Benjamin Dikki Bail

Logo of a court gavel

 

An Abuja High Court presided over by Justice Yusuf Halilu has granted bail to a former Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Benjamin Dikki.

Delivering a ruling on the defendant’s bail application, Justice Halilu on Wednesday held that granting bail is an exercise of the discretionary power of judges which must be done judicially and judiciously.

Justice Halilu stated that the offence Mr Dikki was charged with is not treason or one which carries a death sentence if found guilty.

He added that even if the sentence involves death, the court can still grant bail if sufficient materials are placed before it to enable it to exercise its discretion.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had charged Mr Dikki and his company, Kebna Studio and Communications Limited with four counts bordering on corruption and abuse of office.

The trial has been fixed for April 17, 2021.

 

 

 

Four Students Suspended For Cultism In Katsina University

Katsina, usually referred to as Katsina State to distinguish it from the city of Katsina, is a state in North West zone of Nigeria.
Katsina, usually referred to as Katsina State to distinguish it from the city of Katsina, is a state in North West zone of Nigeria.

 

Four students of the Federal University Dutsinma in Katsina State, have been suspended for their involvement in cultism.

The Vice-chancellor of the university, Professor Armaya’u Hamisu Bichi approved their indefinite suspension with immediate effect.

The Vice-Chancellor approval was sequel to the “Security Report” signed by the Acting Chief Security Officer of the University, Tanimu Dari Atiku, and made available to the Directorate of Public Relations and Protocol.

The affected students are; Peter Enajo, M.sc Sociology; Lukman N. Aminu, B.sc Computer Science; Musa Halidu, B.sc Sociology, and Maikasa Victor Lawal, B.sc Sociology.

According to the report approved by the Vice-Chancellor, the aforementioned students who are confirmed members of various cult groups are suspended indefinitely pending the final security investigation.

Professor Bichi strongly warned students at all levels to desist from all forms of cultism and other social vices.

He described cultism as a formidable source of concern to the University Management and all meaning and law-abiding members of the University Community.

He reiterated that the Management will not relent in dealing decisively with any member of the University Community found to be involved in cult activities.

PHOTOS: FEC Observes One Minute Silence For Former Cabinet Member, Mohammed Bakari

FEC members stand to observe one-minute silence for late council member

 

Members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday observed a minute silence for a former Secretary of Commerce and Tourism, Mohammed Inuwa Bakari.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, called on the cabinet to observe a minute silence, shortly before the commencement of the weekly meeting which is being Presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the council chambers.

See Photos Below:

Boko Haram ‘Directly Targeted’ Aid Facilities In Borno, Says UN

A  file photo of United Nations taken on September 5, 2018,  (Photo by HAZEM BADER / AFP)

 

The United Nations on Tuesday said an attack by Boko Haram insurgents on the northeastern Nigerian town of Dikwa in Borno State had “directly targeted” aid facilities.

“The attack started last night and, as information is still coming through, I am outraged to hear the premises of several aid agencies and a hospital were reportedly set ablaze or sustained damage,” the UN’s humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, said in a statement.

“This violent attack will affect the support provided to nearly 100,000 people who are desperately in need of humanitarian assistance and protection,” he said.

The Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) group, which split from mainstream Boko Haram in 2016, is suspected to be behind the attack.

The government and the army have yet to comment.

President Muhammadu Buhari reshuffled the military command this year, raising hopes of a shift in strategy to end a 12-year-old conflict that has killed 36,000 people and forced around two million to flee their homes.

Boko Haram insurgents on Tuesday attacked Dikwa Local Government Area of Borno State and abducted at least seven aid workers.

The insurgents during the attack also burnt the offices of the aid workers, destroyed government facilities, and hospitals belonging to NGOs.

An eyewitness told Channels Television that the insurgents stormed the town at 5:30 pm on Monday evening, and have since been in control of the town.

The eyewitness said troops have been battling to dislodge the town throughout the night.

Fire Outbreak At Army Headquarters In Abuja

Nigeria, Army, Suicide Bombers

 

 

There has been a minor fire outbreak at the Army headquarters complex in Abuja.

The Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, confirmed the incident in a statement on Tuesday.

He said the incident that occurred at about 10:15 am was a result of a minor electrical fault in one of the offices.

According to him, the Army headquarters complex is currently undergoing some renovation involving electrical rework.

He noted that the Nigerian Army Fire Service Department has since put out the fire and no casualty was recorded during the incident.

Yerima added that normalcy has since returned to the complex.

 

COVID-19: Edo Records 38 Cases, Four Deaths

Edo State is a state in Southern Nigeria.
Edo State is a state in Southern Nigeria.

 

 

Edo State has recorded 38 new cases and four more deaths from COVID-19 as the government intensifies efforts to contain the second wave of the pandemic.

The State COVID-19 Incident Manager, Dr. Andrew Obi, disclosed this during the daily virtual meeting of the State COVID-19 Taskforce, chaired by the state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.

Obi disclosed that the government, as part of efforts to curtail the spread of the virus and protect citizens, has ramped up sample collection and testing across all communities in the state.

He noted, “Edo State, in the last 24 hours, recorded 38 new cases, four more deaths from COVID-19. We also recorded 50 more recoveries with 414 active cases that are being managed at various isolation and treatment centres in the state.”

Obi, who urged residents to complement the government’s efforts at containing the pandemic by strictly adhering to all safety and health guidelines, charged citizens with COVID-19 symptoms to contact the Edo Emergency Operation Centre on this toll-free number: 08003625000 for assistance.

He stated: “As the state government intensifies efforts to contain the second wave of the pandemic, we appeal to everyone to support the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration in ensuring the health and safety of all citizens by complying with guidelines against the spread of the virus.

“Wear your facemask when in public, wash your hands regularly under running water, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers and observe social distancing.”

Police Arrest Suspected Armed Robbers, Recover Arms In Nasarawa

A file photo of a police officer displaying the crest of the Nigeria Police Force. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

 

The Police have arrested eight suspected armed robbers and recovered arms in Nasarawa State.

Police Public Relations Officer, Nasarawa State Police Command, ASP Ramhan Nansel, confirmed the arrest in a statement on Tuesday.

He said, “a distress call was received from Cajaah Mass Housing Estate that armed robbers numbering about Eight (8) were operating at the extreme of the Estate, close to a heavily forested area.

“Upon receipt of the information, Police personnel attached to Karshi Division swiftly raced to the scene where a gun duel ensued.

“Consequently, the hoodlums were dislodged through the combined efforts of the Police and the Estate`s security men, where two suspects namely: Zahradeen Mohammed `M` 19years (A tricyclist at old Karshi, and a Katsina State indigene) Dogo `M` of Mararaba whose real name is yet to be known, both with gunshot wounds were arrested and have been rushed to a Government Hospital for medical attention”.

Read Full Statement Below:

On 01/3/2021 at about 0143hrs, a distress call was received from Cajaah Mass Housing Estate that armed robbers numbering about Eight (8) were operating at the extreme of the Estate, close to a heavily forested area.

Upon receipt of the information, Police personnel attached to Karshi Division swiftly raced to the scene where a gun duel ensued.

Consequently, the hoodlums were dislodged through the combined efforts of the Police and the Estate`s security men, where two suspects namely: Zahradeen Mohammed `M` 19years (A tricyclist at old Karshi, and a Katsina State indigene) Dogo `M` of Mararaba whose real name is yet to be known, both with gunshot wounds were arrested and have been rushed to a Government Hospital for medical attention.

Meanwhile, the following exhibits were recovered from them: (I) one Infinix Phone (II) Iron cutter (III) Female jewelry (IV) A Dagger (V) Dangerous charms.
In another development, sequel to a case of armed robbery reported at `A` Division, Lafia on 21/12/2020 in which one Mr. Asom Faga `M` of Tudun Kauri, Lafia was attacked by unknown armed men and some of his properties carted away; on 26/2/2021 at about 1630hrs, Police personnel attached to the Command`s Anti Kidnapping unit led by CSP Cletus Anuforo while working on credible information trailed and arrested three suspects in connection to the case at their hideout in Makurdi, Benue State namely: Musa Umar `M` 26years, Sule Usman `M`23years, and Abdulhadi Sani `M` 25years.

Consequently, two locally fabricated revolver pistols, eleven rounds of 9mm live ammunition, six rounds of 5.65mm live ammunition and three gold-plated wristwatches were recovered from them as an exhibit.

The suspects have confessed to the commission of the crime and investigation is ongoing at State Criminal Investigation Department, Lafia.

The suspects will be charged to court upon the conclusion of the investigation.

The Commissioner of Police, CP Bola Longe psc(+) further reassures members of the public that, the Command will continue to work assiduously until crime in the State is reduced to the barest minimum.

ASP RAMHAN NANSEL
POLICE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
FOR: COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
NASARAWA STATE POLICE COMMAND