Justice Aisha Kumaliya of Borno State High Court has closed the defence of Aisha Alkali Wakil popularly known as ‘Mama-Boko Haram’ following her refusal to speak in response to questions and issues raised by the court.
According to a statement signed on Friday by Wilson Uwujaren, spokesperson of EFCC, Wakil informed the court through gesticulations on the day she opened her defence that she could not speak directly to the court due to ill-health.
But the prosecution counsel, Muktar Ali Ahmed had told the court that the defendant did not present any medical report to support her claims of inability to speak.
The EFCC closed its case against the defendant on January 1, 2021, after Ahmed presented five witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence as exhibits.
The matter was finally adjourned to June 24, 2021, for ruling after several adjournments due to Wakil’s claims of inability to speak.
“At yesterday’s hearing, Justice Kumaliya, in her ruling stated that Aisha Alkali Wakil did not produce any medical report to show that she cannot speak.
“She has refused to talk and only gesticulates when asked to respond to issues by the court. She has been given opportunities severally to engage a counsel of her choice which she has not complied to and also refused to produce a medical report,” the EFCC statement read in part.
The judge said, “Therefore, I am constrained to say that, Aisha Alkali Wakil has no defense in this case and I hereby foreclose her defence’’.
Wakil is facing a three-count charge of conspiracy and cheating to the tune of N66, 000, 000.00 (Sixty-Six Million Naira)
She was arraigned alongside one Tahiru Saidu Daura, the Programme Manager of her company, Complete Care and Aid Foundation December 4, 2019 by the EFCC.
The petitioner, Ali Tijjani, chief executive of Amtmat Global Ventures alleged that the duo refused to pay him after he executed a contract awarded to him by the 1st defendant, through her company, Complete Care and Aid Foundation to supply processed ‘maize grains’ worth N51million which the 2nd defendant received on behalf of the company.
Count two of the charge reads: “That you Tahiru Saidu Daura, while being a Programme Manager of Complete Care and Aid Foundation and Aisha Wakil, being the CEO of Complete Care and Aid Foundation on the 7th September 2018, at Maiduguri within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, dishonestly induced Ali Tijjani, the CEO and alter ego of AMTMAT Global Ventures to deliver to you processed maize grains (biski), valued at N51,000,000.00 (Fifty-one Million Naira) which you are yet to pay for and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 320(a) and punishable under Section 322 of the Penal Code Cap 102 Laws of Borno State.”
They pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them by the EFCC.
Justice Kumaliya adjourned the matter till July 26, 2021, for the second defendant to open his defence.
The trial of former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, has been adjourned till October 15, 2020.
Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, adjourned the case on Wednesday after listening to arguments from the prosecution and defence lawayers.
This was disclosed in a statement signed on Wednesday by the Head, Media & Publicity, of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren.
Suswam and his then Commissioner of Finance Okolobia Okpanachi are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) on nine counts of money laundering to the tune of N3.1 billion, allegedly being proceeds of sale of shares of Benue State Investment Company.
At Wednesday’s sitting, prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs SAN had asked for adjournment, having stated that he may not be able to go on with the proceedings because all his exhibits have suffered defacement as a result of being tendered from one court to another.
“All the exhibits have been retendered, changed to another exhibit in another court. They have been given a different identity. Some documents changed, were added and some excluded and so we need to meet to reconcile exhibits that were before my lord, before we can decide on the way forward,” he said.
Jacobs also told the court that he intended to amend some aspects of the charge.
On his part, Suswam’s counsel, J P Daudu (SAN) before conceding to the prosecution for adjournment, argued that the court clerk knows what to do “even if the exhibits have been defaced.”
He also noted that it was the prosecution’s right to amend charges at any time so long as such amendment did not conflict with the Administration of Criminal Justice Act ACJA 2015.
Counsel to Okolobia, Audu Anuga also noted that granting of adjournment was at the court’s discretion adding that “the court is enjoined to determine if the granting of the application is judicial or judicious.”
Granting the adjournment, Justice Mohammed stated that although the case had been ordered to be given accelerated hearing, the court, however, will consider the prosecution’s application since the defence has also conceded to an adjournment in the interest of Justice.
Suswam’s trial has been a roller coaster between two different courts.
The trial started in 2015 before Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed who had to recuse himself twice from the matter after four witnesses had been called due to an accusation that he had received bribe from Suswam and would, therefore, give the defendant a slap on the wrist.
Following the development, the case was transferred to Justice Okon Abang’s court and started afresh it progressed to the point where four witnesses were also called before Suswam’s counsel challenged the reassignment of the case to Justice Abang at the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal in its ruling, ordered Justice Abang to withdraw from the case and for it to be returned to Justice Mohammed for continuation of trial.
Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has terminated the appointment of the Secretary to the State Government, Ahmed Tijjani over allegations of fraud.
Mr Tijjani’s sacking was contained in a statement issued by the Permanent Secretary of the State Government House.
The former SSG was indicted by the Nasarawa State House of Assembly for alleged misappropriation of over N200 million out of the one billion naira approved for the renovation and fencing of public secondary schools in the state.
He was alleged to have committed the offence while he was the Commissioner for Education in the state during the previous administration.
Marley, who was arraigned alone on May 20 before Justice Nicholas Oweibo, has pleaded not guilty and following an application by his counsel.
The court granted him bail in the sum of N2 million with two sureties in the like sum.
Earlier in the trial, the head of the forensic department at the Lagos zonal office of the EFCC, Mr Nuru Buhari testified that various stolen credit card information were retrieved from the musicians’ laptop.
Apart from the stolen credit card information, website visit history recovered from the device showed that the top five most visited sites dealt with buying and selling stolen credit card information.
The Federal Government has filed criminal charges against Senator Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah and his company, Capital Oil and Gas Limited.
The charges, filed before the Federal High Court in Lagos, are related to an alleged N135 billion fraud.
Lawyer to the Federal Government, Mr. Korede Adegoke, on Wednesday informed the court of four pending charges pressed against the defendants and urged the court to accept the charges for the purpose of taking their plea.
In the first charge, the prosecution accused Senator Ubah and his company of conspiring together, sometime between 2012 and 2018, “in making false claims in relation to the actual values of certain assets-transferred to Asset Management Corporation _of Nigeria (AMCON) under the Consent Judgment delivered in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/714/2012 on the 1st day of July, 2013 in partial payment of the indebtedness of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited with a view to defeating the realisation of the said judgment debt of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited to AMCON then standing in the sum of 135 billion naira, contrary to Section 54(1)(a) and (d) of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act, 2010 (as amended)”.
The second charge held that the defendants “made false claims in relation to the actual values of certain assets transferred to AMCON” under the consent judgment, contrary to Section 54(1)(a) of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act, 2010 (as amended).
The third charge read, “That you, Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah, and Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited, sometimes between 2012 and 2018 in Nigeria and within the jurisdiction of this honourable Court, being guarantor and debtor respectively, negligently, willfully or recklessly made a statement or gave information knowing it to be false in relation to the actual values of the assets transferred to AMCON under the Consent Judgment delivered in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/714/2012 on the 1St day of July 2013 in partial satisfaction of the outstanding loan of N135 Billion Naira owed to AMCON contrary to Section 54(2) of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act, 2010 (as amended)”.
In the fourth charge, the defendants were accused of obstructing the implementation of the provisions of the AMCON Act “vis-é-vis the realisation of part of your outstanding debt of N135 Billion Naira _by frustrating the sale of the landed property at Banana Island to Dayspring Development Company Limited, which property you both transferred to AMCON by virtue of the Consent Judgement delivered by this honourable court on the 1st day of July 2013, in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/714/2012 and which act is contrary to Section 54(5) of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act, 2010 (as amended)”.
The arraignment of the defendants before Justice Nicolas Oweibo was however stalled, as Ubah’s lawyer, Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), said his client had not been served with the charges.
Agbakoba also informed the court that a mediation move was ongoing to settle the case out of court.
Counsel to the second defendant, Capital Oil and Gas Limited, Ajibola Oluyede, on his part, confirmed that his client had been served.
“That is why we have filed a notice of preliminary objections challenging the competency of this charge,” he told the court.
In response, the prosecution counsel said he would not hesitate to ask the court for a warrant of arrest for Senator Ubah if he was trying to avoid court proceedings.
After listening to lawyers for the parties involved, Justice Oweibo, adjourned the case since the prosecution had failed to produce the defendant in court.
He adjourned the case till February 13, 2020.
Read the full charges below:
That you, Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah, and Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited, sometimes between 2012 and 2018, conspired together in making false claims in relation to the actual values of certain assets-transferred to Asset Management Corporation _of Nigeria (AMCON) under the Consent Judgment delivered in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/714/2012 on the 1St day of July, 2013 in partial payment of the Indebtedness of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited with a view to defeating the realisation of the said judgment debt of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited to AMCON then standing In the sum of 135 Billion Naira contrary to Section 54(1)(a) and (d) of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act, 2010 (as amended).
That you, Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah, and Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited, sometimes between 2012 and 2018, made false claims in relation to the actual values of certain assets transferred to AMCON under the Consent Judgment delivered in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/714/2012 on the 1St day of July, 2013 and which assets were transferred in partial payment of the butstanding indebtedness of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited to AMCON with a view to defeating the realisation of the judgment debt ‘of Capital Oil and Gas Industries lelted to AMCON then standing in the sum of 135 Billion Naira contrary to Section 54(1)(a) of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act, 2010 (as amended).
That you, Ifeanyl Patrick Ubah, and Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited, sometimes between 2012 and 2018 in Nigeria and within the jurisdiction of this honourable Court, being guarantor and debtor respectively, negligently, willfully or recklessly made a statement or gave information knowing it to be false in relation to the actual values of the assets transferred to AMCON under the Consent Judgment delivered in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/714/2012 on the 1St day of July 2013 in partial satisfaction of the outstanding loan of N135 Billion Naira owed to AMCON contrary to Section 54(2) of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act, 2010 (as amended).
That you, Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah, and Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited, sometimes between 2012 and 2018 in Nigeria and within the jurisdiction of this honourable Court, did obstruct the implementation of the provisions of the AMCON Act vis-é-vis the realisation of part of your outstanding debt of N135 Billion Naira _by frustrating the sale of the landed property at Banana Island to Dayspring Development Company Limited, which property you both transferred to AMCON by virtue of the Consent Judgement delivered by this honourable Court on the 1St day of July, 2013 in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/714/2012 and which act is contrary to Section 54(5) of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria Act, 2010 (as amended).
A former Managing Director of the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), Haruna Momoh and his wife Eileen, have said a court was misled into temporarily forfeiting their N2, 417, 037, 404 billion.
It was reported on Monday that a Federal High Court in Abuja had ordered the interim forfeiture of the sum, following an ex-parte application by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC).
The Commission said it had initiated moves to recover the N2.4b permanently, alongside some landed properties linked to Momoh.
But reacting to the ruling through a statement by their counsel, Mr Ade Adedeji (SAN) on Tuesday, the Momohs claimed that the ICPC obtained the order by suppressing facts.
They alleged that the Commission deliberately failed to inform the judge that two other Federal High Courts, in 2017 and July 2019, had ruled that the source of the funds was not illicit.
She said the ICPC had appealed the July judgment, but rather than prosecuting its appeal, it surreptitiously approached another court and misled the judge into forfeiting the funds.
The statement reads: “We have read the publications in the newspapers on Tuesday and we confirm that the order obtained by ICPC, which we have since confirmed through a search of the records of court, is a calculated scheme by ICPC to pervert justice.
“Indeed, we can confirm that on 4th July, 2019, Blaid Group and Mrs. Momoh obtained judgment at the Federal High Court, which judgment permanently settled issues between parties in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/132/2019.
“As it is also the right of parties, ICPC had appealed the judgment through filing of Notice of Appeal, etc. But rather than prosecute their appeal, they surreptitiously approached the FCT High Court and misled the court as if the appeal never existed.
“Without disclosing to the new court that there was judgment of the Federal High Court against them, they moved the court ex-parte to grant an order of temporary forfeiture.
“The act of ICPC, which has become a pattern to score cheap publicity and enhance their deliberate scheme of boosting their image as hard-working and crime busters where there is none, is a shame, a travesty of justice, a gross abuse of process of court and of power granted them under their enabling law which never anticipated it would be used for self-aggrandizement.”
The statement noted that in 2017, the ICPC “approached the FCT High Court, obtained a similar order, went to the press to run down the clients and their businesses.”
However, it said that in the ruling vacating/setting aside the order, the court in Suit No. FCT/HC/M/5388/17 “castigated ICPC for obtaining order fraudulently.”
“We have identified counsel that are often engaged to commit these atrocities and on clients’ instructions are considering the relevant provisions of Legal Practitioners’ Act as it relates to discipline of counsel in such circumstances.”
It said the couple is taking “immediate steps” to vacate the order as well as filing petitions against “Counsel involved in misrepresenting facts to court to obtain ex-parte order which ordinarily would not have been granted.”
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has commenced the trial of a former Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Tuoyo Omatsuli, and three others over an alleged N3.6bn fraud at a Federal High Court in Lagos.
On the 8th of Nov., 2018, the anti-graft agency had arraigned Omatsuli alongside Don Parker Properties Ltd, Francis Momoh and Building Associates Ltd before Justice Saliu Saidu on 45 charges bordering on the alleged offence.
At today’s proceedings, the EFCC called its first witness, Eyo Bassey Francis, a software developer and contractor.
Led in evidence by the EFCC counsel, Ekele Iheanacho, the witness said he had executed contracts for the NDDC as well as Akwa-Ibom, Imo and Abia state governments.
He also said that huge sums of money were transferred to the account of two of his companies by Omatsuli in 2014.
“In 2014, while as a contractor with NDDC, I came in contact with Mr. Tuoyo Omatsuli. In the course of our interaction, I told him that I run an online platform and I do a lot of imports. I also told him that because of my engagement in import, I was able to source for foreign currencies.
“He later called me on phone and told me that some money will be transferred into my account. I got initial sum of N80 million transferred into the Heritage Bank account of one of my companies, Asiladrrin Global Consulting Ltd. I converted the money into dollars as directed by Mr Tuoyo,” he said.
Francis also disclosed that he had an inflow of N340 million in two tranches of N160 million and N180 million into the company’s account within the same period.
He said he also converted the money into dollars and “handed it over to Mr Tuoyo; NDDC’s Executive Director of Finance and Administration as well as the NDDC’s MD”.
Speaking further, the witness said: “Sometimes in January 2015, I also got a call from the 1st defendant (Mr. Tuoyo) telling me that I will be getting a payment from a company known as Building Associate. I later got an inflow of N349, 650, 000 into the Heritage Bank account of my company, College-Pro Synergy Ltd. “I was furnished with an account of a firm, Greenhouse Investment, owned by the Special Assistant on Finance to the then NDDC’s MD to which I transferred N100 million. The balance was converted to dollars as directed by Mr. Tuoyo”.
When asked by the prosecution lawyer, whether he executed any contract for Building Associate Ltd to warrant the transfer of the fund to his company’s account, he said: “I did not execute any contract for Building Associate”
Under cross-examination by Tuoyo’s lawyer, Professor Amuda Kehinde (SAN), the witness said he did not transfer any money to the 1st defendant’s account.
He maintained that his oral testimony was part of the statement he wrote on August 14, 2017, for the EFCC.
Further hearing in the trial continues on April 11, 2019.
The Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos has fixed March 15, to rule on whether to admit in evidence 108 Zenith Bank cheques allegedly recovered by the EFCC during the course of investigating the case against the former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, and three others.
The court fixed the date after entertaining the arguments of lawyers on the admissibility of the documents.
The counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, had sought to tender the 108 cheques through the third prosecution witness, Shuaibu Shehu, an investigator with the Commission.
But the counsel to Mr. Fani-Kayode, Mr. Norrison Quakers resisted the move, asking the court to reject the documents on the basis that they did not comply with Section 379 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and the Practice Direction of the Federal High Court 2013.
After listening to the parties, the court fixed March 15 for its ruling and for continuation of trial.Trial judge, Justice Rilwan Aikawa also granted a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenadi Usman, permission to embark on a trip to the United States.
Justice Aikawa ordered that the former minister’s passport be released to her so she could embark on the trip.
Mrs Usman, Fani-Kayode, Danjuma Yusuf and a company, Joint Trust Dimensions Limited are facing 17 counts bordering on conspiracy, unlawful retention of proceeds of theft and money laundering.
The Federal High Court in Lagos has declared former Governor of Oyo State, Rasheed Ladoja and a former Commissioner for Finance, Waheed Akanbi, not guilty of the N4.7 billion fraud allegations levelled against them by the EFCC.
At the hearing of the case on Friday, Justice Mohammed Idris stated that the prosecution was not consistent with the amount of money missing from the sale of the Oyo State Government’s shares.
The court, thereafter, found them not guilty of all the 11 counts.
Fayose and his company, Spotless, are facing 11 charges of conspiracy and money laundering.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had also accused Fayose of benefitting from the five billion dollars slush funds allocated to the office of National Security Adviser by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun had on October 24, granted bail to the former Governor to the tune of N50 million with two sureties who must issue a N50 million bond in a reputable bank as well as possess three years tax clearance.
She had also directed that the former governor deposits his international passport with the court.
The Court of Appeal in Lagos has fixed February 7, 2019, to hear an appeal filed by a former Abia State Governor, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, challenging the dismissal of his no case submission.
Justice Mohammed Idris of a Federal High Court, Lagos had in July 31, 2018, dismissed the submission by the former governor who claimed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), made no case against him in relation to an alleged N7.6 billion illegally derived from the treasury of the Abia State Government.
Justice Idris had held that Kalu has some explanations to make particularly on certain documents tendered by the EFCC as exhibits in evidence against him.
Dissatisfied, the former governor filed a notice of appeal asking that the lower court’s verdict be overturned.
In the notice of appeal, the former governor contended that it would amount to “miscarriage of justice”, to compel him to defend a matter in which no “prima facie” case has been established against him.