Court Dismisses Ohakim’s No-Case Submission Against EFCC

Ikedi Ohakim, Court, EFCCThe Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a no-case submission filed by a former Imo State Governor, Ikedi Ohakim.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola struck out Ohakim’s suit which was filed through his counsel, Awa Kalu, against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The anti-graft agency made the ruling public on Thursday in a statement by its Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren.

Mr Ohakim is facing trial for allegedly making a cash payment to the tune of $2,290,000.00 (about 270,000,000 Naira) for the purchase of a property in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Ikedi Ohakim, on or about the January 26, 2013 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, while under arrest for an offence under the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Establishment Act, 2004 knowingly failed to make a full disclosure of your assets by not declaring your ownership of the property known and described as Plot No. 1098 Cadastral Zone A04, Asokoro District- it is also known as No.60, Kwame Nkurumah Street, Asokoro, Abuja and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27(3)(c) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Establishment Act, 2004 and punishable under the same section”.

The former governor had pleaded not guilty to the three-count charge when it was read to him.

Consequently, the prosecution presented a number of witnesses and tendered several documents, which were admitted in evidence to prove its case against the defendant before it closed its case.

At the last hearing on June 6, the defence filed a no-case submission against the prosecution.

In his ruling on Thursday, Justice Ademola stated that the prosecution had been able to establish its case against the defendant.

The case has been adjourned till October 10 and 13 for the commencement of the defence.

FG Closes Case Against Orubebe As Court Adjourns Trial Till May 31

OrubebeThe trial of the former Minister for Niger Delta, Godsday Orubebe has been adjourned to May 31 to enable the defendant open his defence.

At the continuation of trial on Tuesday, the prosecutor, Mr Mohammed Diri, told the court that he was closing his case, having called one witness as against three witnesses he earlier mentioned.

The defence counsel, Larry Selekowei, however, informed the Tribunal that he intended to call his first defence witness but was taken by surprise that the prosecutor closed his case.

He added that his witnesses were not in court and sought an adjournment to enable him properly open his defence.

The Tribunal Chairman, Justice Umar Danladi, then adjourned till May 31.

At the last sitting, cross examination of the first prosecution witness, Sam Madojemu, ended as he insisted that the former Minister failed to declare his full asset while in office particularly the alleged property in Asokoro, Abuja.

Mr Orubebe is being charged by the Code of Conduct Bureau for alleged failure to declare the landed property.

In the other counts, he is also facing charges for allegedly accepting bribes totalling 70 million Naira from one Pastor Jonathan Alota for the award of contracts in favour of his company.

FG Withdraws Two-Count Charge Against Orubebe

OrubebeThe Federal Government of Nigeria has filed a fresh one count charge of non-declaration of assets against the former Minister of Niger Delta, Mr Godsdey Orubebe.

The Director of Public Prosecution, Mr Mohammed Diri, withdrew the two-count charge of non-declaration of assets and bribe for contracts to the tune of 70 million Naira.

Mr Diri gave no reason for the withdrawal of the initial charge.

However, with no objection to the new charge by counsel to Mr Orubebe, the Tribunal allowed the switch and struck out the initial charge filed against him on October 8, 2015.

The former minister entered a not-guilty plea when the charge was read to him.

The trial has now been fixed for April 4, 2016.

Mr Orubebe was arraigned before the Code of Conduct Tribunal on four counts of false assets declaration and bribery.

Mr Orubebe was charged by the Code of Conduct Bureau for alleged failure to declare landed property in Kyamu and Asokoro district, both in Abuja, on assumption of office as minister on September 26, 2007.

In the other counts, Mr Orubebe is also facing charges of allegedly accepting bribes totalling 70 million Naira from one Pastor Jonathan Alota for the award of contracts in favour of his company.

The name, Orubebe, became well known in Nigeria after he attempted to stop the 2015 election collation, accusing the electoral body and its boss at that time, Professor Attahiru Jega, of being bias.

Nyanya Blast: Victims Lament Alleged Government’s Neglect

nyanya blastThe Federal Capital Territory’s administration has  debunked claims of government’s neglect by victims of the Nyanya bombing which occurred on April 14 this year.

The Special Adviser on Media to the FCT Minister, Nosike Ogbuenyi says that they have continued to pay medical bills for those who patronize them.

“We have our hospitals, general hospitals  in Wuse, Asokoro, Maitama, Nyanya, we advise people as much as possible, if we have primary care in terms of emergencies outside these hospitals,  once we are stabilized you can come to these hospitals because this is where we have our personnel to get proper treatment”

While some of the victims complained of inadequate facilities in these hospitals and requested for a transfer to another hospital.

The victims of the blast had earlier this month appealed to the federal government to assist them to continue with their medical treatment.

According to them, government’s response to their plights stopped months ago, after the initial response in the first few days of the explosion.

Man Whose Wife Was Victim Of First Nyanya Blast Loses Brother In Second

Bomb-sceneFamilies of victims in the latest explosion in Nyanya on the outskirt of Abuja have besieged hospitals in search of their loved ones.

The bomb, which exploded some metres from the scene of the blast that occurred on April 14, was said to have exploded at about 8:20PM from a white Golf Volkswagen vehicle. Figures given so far revealed that 19 died while 66 were injured.

Those who lost their family members were in grief and despair at the Asokoro and National Hospital in Abuja.

One of those who visited the hospital was a man whose 24 year old daughter was returning from school and died in the explosion.

Another man, whose wife is still recuperating in the hospital for the attack of two weeks ago, lost a brother in the latest explosion.

Yet another man lost his 24-year old daughter who was enroute home from school. His driver watched the girl die.

No group has claimed responsibility for the latest explosion but northern  Islamic militant group, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the huge  explosion carried out two weeks ago which was fifty metres away from the latest one.

The police said that investigation was ongoing to uncover those responsible for the attack.


NHRC to Probe Immigration Recruitment Stampede

National-Human-Right-Commission-NHRC-logosThe National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, has promised to investigate the circumstances that led to the death of some applicants in last weekend’s nationwide recruitment by the Nigeria Immigration Service.

The commission made the pledge after receiving a petition from a civil society group, Citizens’ Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights, CASER, in Abuja.

The Executive Director of Citizen’s Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights, CASER, Frank Tietie, while presenting the petition, said that the Nigeria Immigration Service was wrong to have invited thousands of Nigerians for an aptitude test when they had only 4,500 vacancies.

The Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Professor Bem Angwe, while promising to unravel the cause of the stampede that led to the loss of lives in some the recruitment centers, described the death of the applicants as a sad event that should not be allowed to repeat itself.

The National Human Rights Commission having promised to thoroughly investigate the incident, also promised to recommend punishment for those found culpable in the recruitment exercise.

The expectations of thousands of graduates waiting at the recruitment centres to get employment  into the Nigeria Immigration Service were cut short as a result of a stampede at different venues of the interview.

Seven persons; five women and two men lost their lives during the incident.

Immigration Job Seekers Die In Stampede, Blame Service Authorities

vlcsnap-2014-03-15-22h52m27s142Unconfirmed reports say that 7 persons may have died and several others injured following a stampede at the National Stadium, Abuja.

This was the venue of an aptitude test for the 2013/2014 applicants who had applied to join the Nigerian Immigration Service.

Eye witness account said that over 56,000 graduates had gathered at the National Stadium as early as 7am on Saturday morning to take part in the recruitment exercise conducted by the Nigeria Immigration Service when the incident occurred.

The Public Relations Officer of the National Hospital, Mr Tayo Haastrup gave assurance that those injured were receiving medical care, while a few others had been taken to the Garki and Asokoro General Hospital.

One of the applicants, who spoke to Channels Television, explained the circumstances leading to the stampede, “I was here before 7, and we were begging them to open the gate because the crowd was getting too much but they refused to open the gate. So people who were at the back were pushing us because the crowd was too much and people had to march on others and that pushed the gate down.”

Another witness said, “This is complete leadership failure, and the sooner the people in Government wake up and assist people who are unemployed (the better). I am employed, but the truth is that people are actually dying. We saw people dying here and it is wrong, something must be done.”

The Nigeria Immigration Service recruitment examinations took off in various centres around the country but due to the State of Emergency declared in 3 states of the country, applicants from Borno State were required to take their exams in Gombe, Yobe applicants in Bauchi, while candidates from Adamawa were to write theirs in Taraba State.