The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded a forensic investigation into reports that the United States (US) Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has linked the head of IGP Intelligence Response Team, DCP Abba Kyari, to an international fraudster, Abbas Ramon, popularly known as Hushpuppi.
In a statement by the party’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP was of the opinion that the revelation of the involvement of Kyari, the head of Nigeria’s intelligence response unit, as a receiver of proceeds of international fraud is worrisome, disturbing, and a stain on the integrity of our nation.
“It is indeed disquieting that the integrity of our nation has fallen so abysmally low under the corrupt and fraud-patronizing President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration, to the extent that the head of its police intelligence unit is being charged in connection with international fraud,” the PDP’s communique partly read.
The party demanded that the APC administration should not sweep this matter under the carpet given the manifest rapport between Kyari and some top APC leaders.
“We urge President Buhari not to “ease out” this case of corruption but should immediately restore the integrity and image of our nation by allowing for a forensic investigation of the suspect,” the party stated.
PDP further stated that if Abba Kyari’s matter is not well handled, it will be a permanent stain on the reputation of our police, security system, and our nation at large.
The opposition party, therefore, asked President Buhari to direct the Inspector General of Police to take in Abba Kyari for questioning and if found culpable, he should be handed over to the FBI.
The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, has ordered an “internal review of the allegations” against a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, by a United States Court.
Force spokesman, Frank Mba made this known in a statement on Thursday.
Earlier, the United States District Court for the Central District of California said alleged international fraudster, Ramon Abbas aka Hushpuppi used Kyari to arrest and jail a co-conspirator, Chibuzo Vincent.
According to a communique from the court, the arrest was made after Vincent threatened to expose a $1m fraud committed against a Qatari businessman.
Reaffirming the Force’s commitment to the pursuit of justice and the strengthening of its professional relationship with the FBI and other international partners, the IGP said further developments on the case will be communicated to members of the public accordingly.
An accused hero
Abba Kyari, a deputy commissioner of police who is highly revered by colleagues in the Force and celebrated by members of the general public, was fingered in a bribery scandal involving the involving Ramon Abbas popularly known as Hushpuppi.
A US court on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for the seasoned investigator known for hunting down kidnappers across Nigeria.
The arrest warrant was issued by a U.S magistrate judge, Otis Wright, a spokesperson in the United States Attorney’s Office confirmed to Channels Television.
According to documents unsealed this week in the US, Mr Kyari had arrested and jailed one Chibuzo Vincent, at the behest of Hushpuppi.
Kyari also allegedly sent Hushpuppi bank account details for an account into which Hushpuppi could deposit payment for Vincent’s arrest and imprisonment.
Mr Kyari, in a Facebook post on Thursday, denied the allegations.
On Wednesday, the US Department of Justice announced that Hushpuppi had been involved “in an elaborate scheme to steal more than $1.1 million from a business person attempting to finance the construction of a school for children in Qatar.”
Six persons were indicted in the investigation.
In laundering the proceeds of the Qatar operation, a dispute broke out among members of the conspiracy, courts documents said.
The dispute allegedly prompted Vincent, one of the members, to contact the victim and inform them of the scam operation.
After this contact, Hushpuppi allegedly arranged to have Vincent jailed in Nigeria by Mr Kyari, a top police officer in Nigeria.
Mr Kyari was also alleged to have provided third-party bank accounts to receive payment for the illegal arrest.
In his defence on Thursday, Mr Kyari said Vincent had been arrested only because Hushpuppi claimed that he (Vincent) had seriously threatened to attack his family in Nigeria.
He said Vincent was eventually released on bail after no actual threats were discovered.
“Nobody demanded a kobo from Abbas Hushpuppi,” Mr Kyari said.
“Our focus was to save people’s lives that were purported to have been threatened,” Kyari said.”
Mr Kyari also said Hushpuppi once sent N300,000 to his (Kyari) tailor after the alleged fraudster had admired some of his outfits on social media.
The clothes “were brought to our office and he sent somebody to collect them in our office,” Mr Kyari said.
At the meeting, the two leaders agreed that in a bid to bring the various forms of terrorism to an end, then it is important that the judicial process runs without interference, no matter who was involved.
According to a communique by the President’s special media aide, the two leaders equally discussed how to increase trade between the two countries, develop solar and wind power, the leadership of the Commonwealth going forward, and other matters of mutual interest.
Nigeria’s power needs and efforts which are being made, as well as initiatives geared at achieving food security, were also brought to the table.
The 14-year-old girl who was alleged to have been sexually assaulted by Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju James Omiyinka, popularly known as Baba Ijesa has testified at the Lagos State Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja.
The alleged victim (name withheld), gave her testimony behind closed doors because of the law protecting minors from undue public exposure.
Before she was brought before the court the judge had ordered journalists and other members of the public who were not involved in the case to go out of the courtroom.
Before her testimony, the lead defence counsel, Snr Advocate of Nigeria, Babatunde Ogala cross-examined comedian, Princes Ademola Adekanye who testified as to the first prosecution witness yesterday.
Under cross-examination, Princess told the court that contrary to public perception that the allegation against Baba Ijesha is a set-up, she said she baited him with a “script conference” because she had a plan to confront him.
She also denied that she set up her child to be molested by her colleague.
According to her, she had to change the victim’s school more than three times when she discovered that the minor was not paying attention to her studies after the alleged rape incident.
When asked if she sought professional help for the child, Princess said she sought spiritual help instead.
Princess also testified that the victim was again molested in her house by a neighbour.
At this point, the defence counsel confronted Princess with a report she had made at the police station accusing one of her neighbours Damola Adekola of sexually harassing her daughter.
The defence team also confronted Princess with an allegation she had made against her gateman accusing him of exposing himself indecently to her daughter.
The cross-examination revealed that even though the incident with the neighbour happened in Dec 2020, Princess did not formally report the matter to the police until April 20, 2021.
The trial judge, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo has adjourned the matter to August 11 for the continuation of the trial.
The actor was arraigned before the court by the Lagos State government on a six-count charge of indecent treatment of a child, defilement of a Child, sexual assault by penetration, attempted sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault.
Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has attributed the escalation of banditry and kidnapping in the state to unresolved lingering conflict between herders and farmers by past administrations.
Matawalle also inferred that the failure of some states in the Northwest region to enter into dialogue with the bandits has further led to the degeneration of the menace.
Furthermore, the governor identified the killing of a prominent Fulani leader in Dansadau as another factor responsible for the escalation of banditry in the state, saying that followers of the Slainned Fulani leader in Zamfara, Kebbi, and Sokoto states became aggrieved and started attacking perceived killers of their leader to avenge his death.
This he said, subsequently led to hostilities between the Fulani and Hausa communities, with each group attacking and killing one another.
Speaking through his Commissioner-designate, Ibrahim Dosara during a Security conference in Kaduna State, Governor Matawalle said the herders and farmers’ conflict lingered for too long due to the weakening of the traditional institution and the judiciary in resolving the problem or prosecuting offenders.
He noted that the inability of the government to resolve the conflict consequently made some of the actors involved devise some other means of tackling the problem, which sadly resulted in banditry within Zamfara.
Other contributory factors that escalated banditry in Zamfara state according to the Commissioner, include the proliferation of arms into the Northwest region through the porous borders from some African countries like Mali, Libya, and Chad.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it is appalling that President Muhammadu Buhari could deploy the nation’s resources to travel to London for the Global Education Summit on Financing Global Partnership for Education (GPE) 2021-2025 when the meeting is scheduled to be virtual.
The PDP also berated the Buhari Presidency for “trying to hide his private appointment with his doctors under the virtual meeting apparently in a bid to launder his consistent failure to honour his pre-2015 campaign promise not to embark on medical tourism, if elected President”.
In a communique by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party insisted that President Buhari has no justification to travel to far-away London since the meeting is a virtual meeting or for a medical checkup, which he could have done at home.
While claiming that the present administration has wrecked the nation’s healthcare system, the PDP said the president’s action has confirmed the stand by the majority of Nigerians that “he is wasteful, thinks only about himself and cares less about millions of citizens, who do not have access to foreign medical treatment, but who are dying on a daily basis because the government has crippled our health sector”.
According to the PDP, it is disheartening that while Mr. President is spending taxpayers’ money relishing the expertise of London doctors and the luxury of medical facilities in that country, millions of Nigerians are dying in decrepit medical facilities at home.
“Moreover, is it not atrocious that Mr. President is more interested in going to London for a virtual education summit when hundreds of students, who ought to be beneficiaries of the meeting, are languishing in kidnappers’ dens, with the Buhari administration taking no concrete steps to rescue them and end incessant abduction of students in Nigeria?”‘ the communique read in part.
The PDP was of the opinion that there is no way history will be kind with President Buhari, as he has always wished if he continues in his manner of thinking only about his needs at the expense of the generality of Nigerians.
The party however urged Nigerians not to resign to despondency “in the face of such incompetent, selfish, and insensitive” Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration, but to remain resilient in rallying on the platform of the PDP to rescue the nation from misrule.
The Chief Of Army Staff, Lt Gen Farouk Yahaya has urged troops to be professional and competent in discharging their duties.
General Yahaya who made the call on his visit to the Headquarters 6 Division Nigerian Army on Tuesday, commended them for a job well done, so far.
While addressing the troops at the 29 battalion parade ground Port Harcourt Barracks, the COAS enjoined the troops to learn from their superiors in order to be proficient as he encouraged Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCOs) and Regimented Sergeant Major (RSM) to uphold the professionalism of the Nigerian Army.
“For you to be professional and disciplined, you learn from your superiors”, he said.
Speaking further, the COAS charged the RSMs as custodians of regimentation to endeavour to bring back the glory of the Nigerian Army by being role models to the young ones.
To encourage the RSMs and motivate the troops to work harder, he handed over an official brand new Hilux Vehicle to 6 Division’s RSM AWO Baba Bello to enable him to carry out his duties effectively.
Other activities included were commissioning of fire fighting truck, garbage disposal truck, tractor and grass slasher acquired by the General Officer Commanding 6 Div NA, Major General SG Mohammed and also commissioning of renovated 2 blocks of 12 flats each and foundation laying for the construction of a block of 10 flats for Corporal below quarters.
Among the COAS entourage were, the Chief of Operations Army Maj Gen OT Akinjobi, Provost Marshall, Maj Gen Olumuyiwa Aiyenigba, the Chief of Military Intelligence, Brig-Gen Danladi Salihu, and other Principal Staff Officers of Army Headquarters.
The Kaduna State Government says it is working with the Nasarawa State Government and security agencies from the two states to rescue the paramount Ruler of Jaba Jaba Chiefdom, Gyet Muade, who was kidnapped by gunmen in Nasarawa on Monday.
The 83-year-old monarch was abducted by bandits suspected to be kidnappers while on his farm located at Gitata community of Nasarawa state, which shares a boundary with Jaba in Kaduna state.
Speaking when he led some government and security officials to the palace of the Kpop Ham in Jaba Chiefdom, Governor El-Rufai who was represented by his Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, assured the people of the chiefdom that the government of the two states will do everything possible to ensure the speedy rescue of the first class traditional ruler, especially considering his age and fragile health.
On his part, a leader in the community and a former senator, Zico Azeez, appealed to both the government and security agencies to intensify efforts to ensure the safe return of their chief whose abduction has created a big vacuum in the palace and the entire Jaba local government area.
Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have called on the National Assembly to entrench Electronic transmission of results of elections in the nation’s electoral jurisprudence.
In a communique issued after their meeting in Bauchi, Bauchi State on 26th July 2021, the governors said they will continue to identify with the need for free, fair, and credible elections in the country.
At the meeting where issues on the state of the nation were deliberated upon, the Forum requested the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), “the only body empowered by the Constitution to conduct elections”, to deploy appropriate technologies necessary to ensure that the votes of every Nigerian is counted and made to count.
The meeting further called on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), especially, the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd (NIGCOMSAT), Telephone Companies (Telcos), and all relevant stakeholders to ensure that universal access and service of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are provided especially in rural, un-served and under-served areas of the country before the 2023 General Elections.
While reviewing the deteriorating state of our democracy, the economic and security situation in the country, the opposition governors “condemned the attempt to foist on all political parties, one method of conducting primaries, that is, by DIRECT METHOD ONLY, through the Electoral Act Amendment Bill”.
They noted that the method is prone to massive rigging, as “evidenced by a situation where President Buhari scored about 15 million votes in the 2018 APC Direct Primaries only 1 score 15 million votes from the entire country in the 2019 General Election”.
The governors advised that political parties should be allowed to decide whether to use the direct or indirect methods of conducting primaries as part of internal democracy in political parties.
Reiterating once again the need for accountability, the governors stressed that there is a need for the NNPC and other revenue-generating agencies of government to strictly abide by the Constitution by remitting all their Revenue less cost of Production into the Federation Account as provided for by 5.162 of the Constitution.
The meeting also condemned, once again, what was termed “the use of underhand tactics to arm-twist some PDP Governors and other stakeholders to join the APC”, adding that the ruling political party has wrecked Nigeria’s economy, turned the nation into a killing field, “and has nothing to offer Nigerians but misery and bad governance”.
The Governors condemned Mr. President and APC for “turning the Presidential Villa, which belongs to all Nigerians, into the new APC headquarters, where coerced PDP members are being paraded at intervals”.
On the economy, the meeting admonished the APC-led Federal Government to collaborate more with State Governments to stem the unemployment scourge affecting the youths of Nigeria, through technology and increased production in all fields of endeavour, reiterating that government should stop paying lip service on the Ease of Doing Business, as foreign direct investments which they say have continued to fall partly due to obstacles placed on foreign companies wishing to invest in Nigeria.
“A glaring example is that of FACEBOOK who insisted on investing in Nigeria rather than Ghana and is being frustrated by regulatory authorities,” the governors stated.
Regarding the security of lives and properties, the PDP Governors said it is time to bring the activities of bandits, kidnappers, and terrorists to an end, through increased use of military equipment.
“Traditional means of conflict resolution and technology for surveillance and the development of the political will to flush them out. Kidnapping, banditry, and terrorism ARE NOT BUSINESS VENTURES as claimed by APC but heinous STATE CRIMES, that is destroying the Nigerian economy, the educational and social future of our children and causing significant social upheavals in society,” the governors admonished.
They enjoined all Nigerians of goodwill to take advantage of the ongoing registration of Voters by INEC to register to vote, thereby arming themselves with the necessary tools in the struggle to “RESCUE NIGERIA from the APC maladministration”.
Youths and women were further implored to use the opportunity of the PDP E-REGISTRATION exercise which will kick off soon, to register as PDP members, while PDP Members should update their membership electronically.
In attendance at the meeting were Gov Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu, Gov. Udom Emmanuel, Gov, Sen. Douye Diri, Gov. Samuel Ortom, Gov. Dr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Gov. Nyesom Wike, Gov. Engr. Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde Gov. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, Gov. Godwin Obaieki, Gov. Bala Mohammed, Gov. Arc Darius Ishaku, and others.
The Nigerian judiciary must embrace technology and innovation, not only for the evolution of the profession and national development but also to ensure that the country’s justice delivery mechanism is run on a system of enforceable, discernible laws and efficient institutions, according to Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
Prof. Osinbajo stated this in a pre-recorded speech on Monday as a guest speaker at the 2021 Annual Law Week of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Lagos Branch, themed ‘Disruption, Innovation and The Bar’.
Speaking on how the country’s justice delivery system can support critical investments in today’s very dynamic economy, the VP noted that “questions also need be asked about the readiness of our profession to engage in new markets as presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area. Already Nigerian Banks and financial services are crossing borders in Africa, acquiring banks in several African countries. So, the AfCTA will open new trans-border commercial opportunities, and our profession should pay attention to the rules of engagement for legal services and how they may propel our business.”
According to the Vice President, innovation in Nigeria’s legal profession requires urgency in both thought and action, especially in a world that currently thrives on a knowledge economy, and where some jobs, including legal jobs, are being threatened by digitization and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Citing the example of how continuous improvement in the quality of smartphone cameras disrupted global sales of digital cameras, the VP observed that now “AI is commonly used to perform tasks such as legal research and due diligence, document and contract review, and the prediction of legal outcomes – these are tasks that would have been performed by lawyers.”
“With the continuing progress in technology, it is only a matter of time before the time capsule catches up with us in Nigeria,” he stated while calling for continuous improvement in the institutional capacity of judges, court registries, court staff, and court infrastructure.
He added, “As digitalisation has already disrupted other industries, it is possible to predict that AI will go further and disrupt the business model of the legal industry.
“For example, the AI legal service called ROSS is an AI system that can research and offer legal opinions about questions that may be posed by lawyers. And ROSS is then able to provide an answer; a properly considered legal opinion, taking into account the case laws and statutory authority in order to be able to come to that conclusion… So, providing predictive legal opinion is no longer the exclusive domain of lawyers, and as the years go by, it will become even more so.
“We are part of the global marketplace for investment and legal services. So, the extent to which we can attract business to our country depends in part upon investor perception of the quality of our justice delivery system. If we are seen as inefficient and ineffective, we would lose out to more efficient systems.”
Speaking on the issue of delay in the country’s justice delivery process, Prof. Osinbajo further noted that the country’s judiciary ought to find ways to tackle jurisdictional challenges, particularly delays in court judgments, among others.
“I argued an appeal at the Court of Appeal in 2013, only to learn yesterday as I discussed with former colleagues in the law firm where I worked, that the appeal at the Supreme Court is not even listed to be heard in 2021. As someone said; our problem is not access to justice, it is exiting the justice system with some credible result.
“Should we not be evolving a cost award system that recognizes the court as a finite public resource, and as such delays and other dilatory tactics are visited with deterrent costs?
Noting that the Law week, as well as future engagements, provided an opportunity for some reflections by legal practitioners, the VP raised pertinent issues that would spur innovation and growth in the country’s judiciary.
He said, “For example, our jurisprudence on jurisdiction – does it promote legal certainty or help to cloud the issues even further? Have jurisdictional challenges become a potent weapon that strike blindly in all directions? What is the quality of judicial thinking, is it a mere recourse to formulas, catchphrases, and clichés instead of a rigorous analysis of legislative intent and public interest adding some common sense? Are procedural and adjectival rules a bane or tool for justice and speed?
“How does a system explain to society that the current rule established by our apex court is that the signature of a law firm instead of that of an individual legal practitioner on a court process could negate or extinguish the substance of the rights of individuals and commercial parties to justice in a decade’s old case or even in a case that is much older?
“Or how does justice delayed at the convenience of legal practitioners or the benefit of litigants become justice attained?
Also highlighting the need for innovation in legal training and the necessity of virtual hearings, the VP stated that “change is happening quickly all around us in every sphere of life. A sentimental clutching on to traditions will not serve us well. We have seen already that there is nothing sacrosanct about proceedings taking place in physical courtrooms. Virtual hearings are efficient and speedy.”
He commended States, including Lagos, that have embraced innovation and issued practice directions that permitted virtual proceedings during the pandemic lockdown, which he noted was “in line with the commitment the Chief Justice of Nigeria made recently to a full-scale digital revolution in the judiciary that would guarantee electronic filing of court processes, virtual hearings and delivery of judgments.”
Particularly, the VP highlighted how the Supreme Court delivered some time-bound judgments by Zoom (video platform) during the recent strike by Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) strike.
Suggesting a hybrid approach to legal education in the country, the Vice President urged the Association to consider how innovation in technology would impact on legal education in the future.
He said, “aside from all the issues around moving firmly to clinical legal education and a more problem-solving teaching orientation, we must also decide the question of whether the Nigerian law school needs to be an in-person residential course or mostly online, including taking examinations online.
“Today it is becoming obvious that cramping thousands of students into a classroom for lectures at the law school is a suboptimal teaching and learning environment.”
He added that “even mock trials can be more effectively done online and courtroom processes can be put on videos and re-watched several times by students. Of course, we may still retain court and chamber attachments.”
The Vice President further stated that the legal profession needs to go a step further by institutionalizing these innovations, because “our justice delivery system, practice norms, and service levels must also show a propensity for innovation, for growth and evolution.”
There was palpable pressure in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Monday ahead of Nnamdi Kanu’s trial.
Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) was scheduled to be arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja, following his rearrest on June 27.
The IPOB leader was expected to stand trial on an 11-count charge bordering on “terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms and improper importation of goods, among others.”
Ahead of his appearance in court today, there was a heavy security presence and the atmosphere became more charged as supporters of the embattled IPOB leader staged a protest at the entrance of the Federal High Court headquarters.
For the protesting supporters, the call was simple, all that was requested was to produce Nnamdi Kanu and grant his lawyers and family access to see him.
Their push was not so different from that of the defense who argued that Kanu cannot get a fair trial if he remains in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Kanu’s lawyer also sought an order to grant him access to his medical doctor for the purpose of carrying out a comprehensive independent medical examination on him.
In her verdict, Justice Nyako ordered that the DSS should allow access to Mr. Kanu, although it won’t be a free-for-all. The judge further ordered that the IPOB leader will remain in the custody of the DSS despite a request to transfer him to Kuje correctional centre.
Upon failure of the DSS to produce the Pro-Biafra activist in court today, the judge adjourned the trial to October 21. The DSS said Kanu’s absence in court was due to logistics reasons, an excuse that did not sit well with his supporters.
Below are more photos from the scene of the protest in Abuja where proponents of Kanu asked that the IPOB leader be given a fair trial and granted all rights due to him.
The Registrar/Chief Executive, National Examinations Council (NECO), Professor Ibrahim Dantani Wushishi has promised to reposition NECO to become a credible and internationally acclaimed examination body.
Prof. Wushishi made the promise on Monday while officially taking over the affairs of the Council from the Former Acting Registrar, Mr. Ebikibina John Ogborodi.
He stated that “my desire is to make NECO surpass international standard which other international examination bodies will look onto, that is my mission to NECO”.
According to him, “I am not here to be biased in any way, rather I am here as a Nigerian, I will work with everybody to take NECO to the desired heights”.
The Registrar who acknowledged that there are challenges that needed to be tackled assured that with the support of all staff, the challenges are surmountable.
Prof. Wushishi assured the staff that their rewards and privileges would be given to them as at when due, but stressed that the management under his leadership would not hesitate to punish any staff found wanting in the discharge of their duties.
He solicited for the support of the management and staff to enable him to actualize his vision for the Council.
The Registrar who thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for deeming him fit to be appointed as NECO Registrar, pledged to work closely with the Federal Ministry of Education and NECO Governing Board.
Earlier, the Former Acting Registrar, Mr. Ebikibina John Ogborodi had briefed the Registrar on the progress report on the on-going 2021 Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) as well as another mandate of the Council.
Prof. Wushishi was on 12th July 2021 appointed as the substantive Registrar of NECO by President Muhammadu Buhari.