Anti-graft War: FG Sues Three Supreme Court Officials

Supreme Court, Kogi GovernorshipThe Nigerian government has charged three Supreme Court officials with nine counts, including alleged diversion of 2.2 billion Naira belonging to the court.

The Chief Registrar of the court, Mr Ahmed Saleh, Muhammed Sharif and Rilwanu Lawal are also accused of receiving gratifications totalling 74.4 million Naira from private contractors providing services to the Supreme Court between 2009 and 2016.

Mr Saleh is among persons shortlisted for final consideration by the National Judicial Council to succeed the outgoing Secretary of the council, Mr Danladi Halilu.

The date of their arraignment has not been fixed, but they will be facing nine counts of conspiracy, criminal breach of trust by allegedly diverting 2.2 billion belonging to the apex court and receiving gratification as public officers.

The Attorney General of the Federation filed the charges before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Maitama on Thursday.

According to the charges, they were alleged to have received gratification from Willysdave Limited, Welcon Nigeria Limited, Dean Musa Nigeria Limited, Ababia Ventures Limited and MBR Computers Limited.

The alleged acts are contrary to section 315 of the Penal Code Act and punishable under the same section, by diverting the sum of N2.2bn belonging to the Supreme Court.

The accused persons allegedly deposited same into personal accounts with a Nigerian bank.

They allegedly conspired among themselves contrary to Section 96 of the Penal Code Act 2004 and punishable under Section 97 of the same Act to commit the illegal act of diverting the 2.2 billion Naira belonging to the apex court.

The prosecution alleged in counts three to nine that the accused, between 2009 and 2016, received gratification of 10 million Naira from Willysdave Limited, eight million Naira (in two tranches of six million Naira and two million Naira) from Welcon Nigeria Limited, 2.4 million Naira; 16 million Naira from Dean Musa Nigeria Limited; 19 million Naira from Ababia Ventures Limited and 21 million Naira from MBR Computers.

The offences of taking gratification by public officers are said to be contrary to Section 10 (a) (i) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission Act 2000 and are punishable under the same section of the Act.

Arrest Of Some Judges

The charges filed are coming weeks after the homes of some judges were raided, with some of them arrested by security operatives on allegations of corruption and misconduct.

This came on the same day the National Judicial Council (NJC) barred judges who are under investigation for various offences from sitting until the cases against them are concluded.

The decision of the NJC was contained in a statement on Thursday by its spokesman, Mr Soji Oye.

The Council explained in the statement “that Judicial Officers shall not be standing trial for alleged corruption related offences and be performing judicial functions at the same time”.

The decision, taken at its 79th meeting, appears to be a U-turn from its earlier position on the alleged corruption case against the judges.

Some of the judges are those arrested few weeks ago by operatives of the DSS over allegation of corruption and misconduct.

The NJC had resisted the call for the affected judges to be suspended, saying “that position breaches the 2014 revised judicial discipline regulations formulated by NJC pursuant to section 160 of the 1999 constitution”.

Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) was one of the major groups demanding that the judges under investigation should proceed on compulsory leave until their innocence is fully and completely established or until the conclusion of all judicial or disciplinary proceedings.

African Table Tennis Federation Honours Segun Toriola

Segun Toriola, Olympic Games, Table TennisThe African Table Tennis Federation has honoured the continent’s most decorated player Segun Toriola at the ITTF Africa senior championships in Morocco.

The African table tennis body is recognising Toriola for putting table tennis on the world map as the first athlete in any sport in Africa to attend seven Olympic games.

The ITTF President, Khaled El-Salhy believes Toriola has what it takes to break his own record by making it to Tokyo 2020.

Mr El-Salhy also commended the player for being an inspiration to young players in Africa with his 100% commitment to the sport on and off the court.

Meanwhile, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has confirmed Nigeria’s men’s team have qualified for the 2018 world team championships holding in Sweden.

Egypt and Nigeria qualified based on their performance at the 2016 World Team Championships held in Malaysia in which they finished among the top 36 countries in the world.

Togo also secured its place after finishing second in the fourth division at the World Team Championship in Malaysia.

Others are Algeria, Congo Brazzaville, Tunisia, South Africa and Senegal.

Table Tennis: Egypt Reclaims Men’s Team Dominance

Table Tennis, ITTFEgypt has reclaimed the men’s table tennis team title it lost to Nigeria at the 2015 African Games after beating the West African giant 3-2 in the final of the 2016 ITTF Africa Senior Championship holding in Morocco.

The victory recorded by the Egyptian women team against Tunisia was not as sweet as the win the men’s team had over Aruna Quadri-inspired Nigerian side.

The encounter had the quality expected of it and the players gave the fans something to cheer throughout the match with Aruna Quadri showing his worth against the Omar Assar-led Egyptian side.

The trio of Segun Toriola, Bode Abiodun and Rio Olympic Games quarterfinalist, Aruna Quadri matched their Egyptian counterparts strength-for-strength and it was the same Mohamed El-Beiali that lost the final game at the 2015 African Games to give Nigeria a 3-2 win in Congo Brazzaville that saved the day for the North Africans as he won came from 2-0 down to beat veteran Segun Toriola 3-2 to give throw the Egyptian fans into ecstasy in the 3-2 win.

An excited Ahmed Saleh said: “We knew from the start of the match that Segun Toriola is a dangerous player and we planned that we could take the lead 2-1 and hoping that Omar Assar will defeat Aruna Quadri in the fourth game.

“Unfortunately Omar Assar lost and we were confident that Mohamed El-Beiali will deliver and I am so happy that he did it for us.

“This victory is sweet because that was our main mission in Morocco to reclaim our men’s team title which we lost to Nigeria at the 2015 African Games in Congo Brazzaville.

“I am so happy that I am part of this team and I will cherish this victory for a long time.”