EFCC Secures Conviction Of Two Internet Fraudsters

 

 

The Ibadan Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has secured the conviction of two internet fraudsters – Rasak Olayinka Balogun and Ayodeji Oluwaseun Olatona.

The duo was said to have pleaded guilty to a separate one-count charge of criminal impersonation.

This was confirmed by the spokesman for the agency, Dele Oyewale, in a statement issued on Tuesday.

According to the agency, the offence runs contrary to Section 22 (2) (b) (i) of Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc.) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (2) (b) (iv) of the same Act.

“While Balogun was sentenced to seven months jail term by Justice Mohammed Abubakar of the Federal High Court, Abeokuta, Olatona had his date with Justice Patricia Ajoku of the Federal High Court, Ibadan, who sentenced him to six months imprisonment.

“Apart from his jail term, Balogun was ordered to restitute $4,000 to his victim, one Mantonia Duncan, and also forfeit his laptop, Samsung Galaxy S8 phone and iPhone 11 Pro Max to the federal government, while Olatona will restitute $500 to his victim and forfeit his iPhone 7 to the Federal government,” the statement partly read.

Meanwhile, Justice Peter Lifu of the Federal High Court, Osogbo has convicted one Timilehin Awojoodu of criminal impersonation.

The court however reserved his sentence till July 21, 2020.

Besides the conviction, the judge ordered Awojoodu to restitute the sum of $2,500 to his victim and forfeit his iPhone 7 and Infinix Hot 7 phone to the government.

Property Seizure: Ex-Army General Sues Lagos Govt, Demands N8bn Damages

Man Bags 15 Years In Prison For N5.2m Fraud
File photo.

 

A retired Major General of the Nigerian Army, Abdul Tijjani, has dragged the Lagos State government and seven others before a Federal High Court in Abuja, challenging the alleged injustice perpetrated against him by officials of the state.

The plaintiff is specifically challenging the alleged sabotage of the execution of a court judgment which returned his landed property in Lagos State to him after a period of an unlawful seizure.

In a fundamental human rights suit instituted in Abuja, the former army general prayed Justice Inyang Ekwo to order the Lagos State government and its governor to pay him a cumulative compensation of N8 billion as damages for alleged injustice suffered in the hands of the officials.

The plaintiff also asked the judge to compel the National Judicial Council (NJC) to pay another sum of N100 million for alleged misconduct of a Federal High Court judge, Justice Ayokunle Faji, during the hearing of his matter.

He further asked the court for an order compelling the trial of Justice Faji for allegedly perverting the course of justice in his case.

Justice Ekwom, therefore, fixed July 13 for hearing and ordered service of the processes on all the respondents.

The respondents are the NJC, Federal High Court, Nigerian Bar Association, Justice Faji, Kasheem Adeniji, Attorney General of the Federation, as well as Lagos State Government and its governor.

P&ID: VR Advisory Services Moves To Stop Questioning By Nigeria

Man Bags 15 Years In Prison For N5.2m Fraud
File photos.

 

One of the shareholders in Process & Industrial Development (P&ID), the company locked in a legal battle with Nigeria over a failed gas contract, has asked an American court to revoke the summons served it to answer questions on the $9billion compensation awarded P&ID over the failed project.

VR Advisory Services, an asset manager registered in Cayman Islands, is said to possess 25 per cent stake in the capital of P&ID and is trying to avoid being questioned by Nigeria’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

Nigeria had on May 14 secured the right to summon VR and its subsidiaries to appear in court to provide documents concerning its acquisition of P&ID stock.

An arbitration court in London had awarded $9 billion to P&ID as compensation for the failed contract to build the gas facility in Cross River State.

But Nigeria is questioning the authenticity of the failed project, which it insists was a fraud organised with the collaboration of some past Nigerian government officials.

In moving to stop the summons, VR Advisory Group held that Nigeria could make use of the American-Nigerian mutual legal assistance treaty and not ask the American judiciary for access to confidential information.

The company is said to be run by London businessman, Richard Dietz and Americans, Jeffrey Johnson and Ashok Raju who are expected to reply to Malami’s questions and supply the requisite documents.

Senate Receives Buhari’s Request To Confirm 11 Judges For FCT High Court, Others

A file photo of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, during plenary at the upper chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

 

The Senate on Tuesday received a formal request for the confirmation of 11 nominees as Judges of the Federal High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The request was contained in a letter read on the floor during plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.

The letter read: “In accordance to Section 256(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, I have the honour to forward for confirmation by the Senate, the under-listed names of eleven (11) nominees as Judges of the High Court of the FCT, Abuja”.

The nominees are: Abubakar Husseini Musa (Adamawa State); Edward Okpe (Benue State); Babashani Abubakar (Borno State); Emuesiri Francis (Delta State); Jude Ogho (Delta State); Josephine Enobi (Edo State); Christopher Opeyemi Oba (Ekiti State); Mohammed Idris (Kano State); Hassan Maryam Aliyu (Kebbi State); Fashola Akeem Adebowale (Lagos State); and Hamza Muazu (Niger State).

The Minority Whip, Senator Philip Aduda, while relying on Order 43 of the Senate Standing Rules objected to the absence of a nominee from the FCT.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC– Ekiti Central), while coming under the same point of order, explained to the contrary that the FCT already has Judges on the bench of the FCT High Court.

“What is being done by the National Judicial Council at the moment is to fill existing vacancies on the bench of the FCT Judiciary.

“What will become an issue is if you take list of the over 40 Judges of the FCT and any particular state is missing, that is when it becomes an issue.

“A major criterion is to ensure that states that do not have anybody on the bench are given priority. I just wanted to clarify that FCT has Judges on the bench of the FCT”, the lawmaker explained.

In a related development, the President also requested the upper chamber to confirm the appointment of three members of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

“In compliance with the provision of Section 154(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), and pursuant to Section 1(2) and (3) of the Code of Conduct Bureau Act LFN 2004, I write to request for confirmation by the Senate, the following three nominees for appointment as members of the Code of Conduct Bureau. The curriculum vitae of the nominees are attached herewith.

They are: Barr. Ben Umeano (Anambra State – South East); Hon. Johnson Abonaema (Edo State – South South); Olayinka Babatunde Balogun (Ogun State – South West).

Also to be confirmed is the appointment of Umar Garba Danbatta, as Executive Vice Chairman of the Governing Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for a second term of five (5) years.

According to President Buhari, the nominee’s appointment is in accordance with the provision of Section 8(1) of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003.

Meanwhile, the confirmation of the nomination of Idahagbon Williams Omoregie for appointment as Commissioner of the Federal Civil Service Commission was referred by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to the Committee on Establishment and Public Service.

The Senate President also referred the nominations of Usman Mahmud Hassan as Commissioner of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission to the Committee on National Planning and Economic matters; Tella Adeniran Rahmon as Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission to the Committee on INEC; Suleiman Sani as Career Ambassador; and the appointment of 41 Non-Career Ambassadors to the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

The Committees are expected to submit their reports to the Senate in two weeks.

Court To Hear Suit Challenging Conviction Of Funke Akindele, 237 Others

Man Bags 15 Years In Prison For N5.2m Fraud
File photos.

 

 

A Federal High Court in Lagos is set to hear a suit challenging the conviction of popular Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele, her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello, who is popularly known as JJC Skillz, and 236 others.

This comes as Justice Maureen Onyetenu fixes July 10 to hear the suit which was filed by a Lagos lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje.

In the suit, Ogungbeje is seeking a declaration that the law upon which Akindele and others were convicted was inconsistent with the 1999 Constitution.

He also argued that the arrest, arraignment, trial, conviction, and sentencing of Akindele and others lacked a legal backing.

The legal practitioner insisted that the offence for which they were convicted was unknown to the law and could not be grounds for criminal liability.

“I have a duty to protect and defend the sanctity of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from any contravention or infraction,” the lawyer said.

Funke Akindele and others were arrested, tried, and convicted for violating the Lagos State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020.

The actress had hosted a birthday party in early April at her Lagos residence to celebrate her husband’s birthday.

Court Dismisses Suit Against Oshiomhole Over APC Leadership

A file photo of former APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.

 

 

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) presided over by Justice Danlami Senchi has dismissed a suit filed against the immediate past National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, and three others.

Justice Senchi dismissed the suit on Thursday at the request of the applicants during the resumption of the case.

The suit which was instituted by Mustapha Salihu and five others had on March 4 led to the suspension of Oshiomhole from further acting as the national chairman of the ruling party.

Three months later, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja in its judgment delivered on June 16 also upheld the suspension of the former APC national chairman.

Although parties were to return to the High Court of the FCT for determination of the substantive suit, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Oluwole Afolabi, moved a motion to withdraw the case.

Afolabi told the court that the withdrawal of the suit was sequel to the directive by leaders of the APC that all court cases be discontinued in the interest of peace.

However, counsel to Oshiomhole, Ginika Ezeoke, did not oppose the withdrawal of the suit.

In his short ruling, Justice Senchi dismissed the suit and ordered parties to bear their respective costs.

Alleged N127m Fraud: EFCC Arraigns Lagos Ex-Scholarship Board Chief

A file photo of the defendant, Mr Stephen Oshinowo.

 

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned Stephen Oshinowo, a former Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Scholarship Board for an alleged N127 million fraud.

He was arraigned on Thursday on an amended eight-count before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court sitting in the Ikeja area of Lagos.

In one of the counts, Oshinowo was alleged to have converted the sum of N30 million belonging to the Lagos State government.

The count read, “That you, Stephen Osinowo, sometime in 2018, in Lagos and within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, being a civil servant, dishonourably converted to the use of Oshinowo Adenike the total sum of N30 million (Thirty Million Naira), property of Lagos State Board.”

“That you, Stephen Oshinowo, between 8th day of February, 2016 and 30th day of December in Lagos and within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, being the Secretary of Lagos State Scholarship Board, dishonestly converted to your own use, through Julikam International Limited, the sum of N39, 934,919 (Thirty -nine Million Nine Hundred and Thirty-four Thousand Nine Hundred and Nineteen Naira) property of Lagos State Board,” another count read.

The EFFC said its investigation showed that Oshinowo, at various times, allegedly diverted to his personal use the sum of N127,164,066 meant for the board.

The charge was read to the defendant and he pleaded “not guilty”.

In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, Usman Buhari, asked the court for a trial date and prayed that the defendant be remanded.

The defence counsel, Lawal Pedro, on his part, urged the court to grant a short adjournment to enable it hear the bail application of his client.

Justice Taiwo, thereafter, adjourned until Friday for the hearing of the bail application and ordered that the defendant be remanded in the EFCC custody.

Court Dismisses Oshiomhole’s Appeal Challenging His Suspension

A file photo of APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.

 

 

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has dismissed the suit filed a former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, challenging his suspension from the party.

A three-man panel of judges presided over by Justice Uchechukwu Onyemenam unanimously dismissed the appeal on Tuesday at the request of the former APC national chairman.

Oshiomhole had approached the court seeking to challenge his suspension from the party by officials of his ward in Edo State.

Justice Danlami Senchi of an Abuja High Court had given effect to the suspension of Oshiomhole from his ward on the ground that the executives of Ward 10 in Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State acted in line with the constitution of the party.

At the resumed hearing of the suit, the counsel representing the former chairman informed the court of his client’s decision to withdraw the suit which originally sought a stay of execution on the judgment of the court affirming his suspension.

Other members of the three-man panel are Justice Mohammed Mustapha and Justice Muazu Lamido.

This comes after President Muhammadu Buhari appealed to all aggrieved members of the APC to withdraw all pending litigations in the interest of peace.

The National Executive Council (NEC) of the party had also dissolved the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC.

In his reaction, Oshiomhole accepted the decision of the council and pledged his loyalty to the ruling party and the President.

Melaye Loses Bid To Stop Passage Of Infectious Diseases Bill

A file photo of Senator Dino Melaye. Photo: [email protected]_melaye.

 

 

A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed the suit filed by a former lawmaker representing Kogi West district, Senator Dino Melaye, seeking to stop deliberations on the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill currently before the House of Representatives.

Delivering judgment on the suit on Tuesday, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu dismissed the suit on the ground that the court cannot interfere in the legislative proceedings of an arm of government.

According to the court, the Infectious Disease bill remains a bill which does not confer any right and obligation on Senator Melaye or any other Nigerian as it is yet to become an act of the National Assembly.

In a suit filed on May 4, Senator Melaye had asked the court to declare that the provisions of sections 5(3), 6, 8, 13(1&2), 15, 16(6), 17(7), 19, 23, 24, 29 (b), 30, 44, 45 and 47 of the bill were draconian, oppressive and authoritarian.

He also sought an order of the court declaring that they were in breach, and or were likely to breach his fundamental rights, as provided for in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

Senator Melaye prayed for an order of the court declaring the sections as invalid, illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional, null, and void and of no effect whatsoever.

He also requested an order of the court directing the first to fourth respondents to delete the provisions of sections 5(3), 6, 8, 13(1&2), 15, 16(6), 17(7), 19, 23, 24, 29 (b), 30, 44, 45 and 47 of the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill 2020, saying they inconsistent with sections 34,35,37,38,40,41(1) and 44 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

Senator Meale also sought an order of injunction restraining the respondents, whether, by themselves, their committees, their agents, employees, servants, privies and or howsoever called, from further proceeding with, or continuing with further debates, or the law-making processes with respect to sections 5(3), 6, 8, 13(1&2), 15, 16(6), 17(7), 19, 23, 24, 29 (b), 30, 44, 45 and 47 of the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill, 2020.

Court Orders Reinstatement Of Demoted FUO Lecturers

 

The National Industrial Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State has ordered the reinstatement of seven demoted lecturers of the Federal University, Otuoke in Ogbia Local Government Area of the state.

Justice Bashiru Alkali, who gave the order on Tuesday, also awarded the sum of N20 million as damages against the institution, in favour of the lecturers.

He ruled that the claimants be reinstated to their full status while their privileges and entitlements should be paid by the institution.

The presiding judge directed the university to pay each claimant N5 million for defamation and N200,000 for the cost of litigation.

All the litigants were from the diaspora who returned to serve in the University.

They include Leonard Shilgba – Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Professor Steve Nwabuzor – Department of Civil, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, and Dr Sepribo Lawson-Jack – Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering.

Others are Dr Obalade Falade – Department of Banking and Finance, Dr Marcellina Offoha – Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Dr Evans Eze – Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and Dr Felina Nwadike – Department of English and Communication Studies.

 

The Governing Council of the university had made key decisions involving appointments and discipline which led to the re-classification of some academic appointments.

It downgraded seven teaching staff appointments to lower ranks for lack of requisite scholarship, including that of Professor Nwabuzor.

Displeased with the development, Professor Nwabuzor and the others dragged the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Professor Seth Jaja, and the university management before the Industrial Court of Nigeria.

In the suit marked NICN/YEN01/2019, Nwabuzor sought an order of the Court declaring that the regularisation of his appointment as a professor to a pensionable appointment by the institution’s letter of the appointment dated September 1, 2015, and the confirmation of his appointment vide the letter of February 21, 2017, cannot be tampered with except in accordance with the Federal University, Otuoke (Establishment) Act 2015.

He also sought a “declaration that the purported conversion of the claimant’s pensionable appointment to a contract appointment is ultra vires the defendants having regard to the Federal University, Otuoke (Establishment) Act, 2015, the 1999 constitution (as amended) and all known labour practice.”

The don urged the court to declare that the purported reclassification of his appointment from Professor to Lecturer 1 on the grounds that he does not have the requisite scholarship at the point of entry without hearing him was unconstitutional, null and void, and of no effect.

He asked the court to set aside the defendants’ letter of July 5, 2018, converting his statutory appointment to a mere contract of employment.

Court Reserves Judgment In Appeals Challenging Yahaya Bello’s Election

A file photo of Kogi state Governor, Yahaya Bello during an interview on Channels Television's Sunday Politics on April 19, 2020.
A file photo of Kogi state Governor, Yahaya Bello during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics on April 19, 2020.

 

 

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has reserved judgement in the appeals filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate, Musa Wada, as well as Natasha Akpoti of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), challenging the re-election of Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.

At the final hearing on Monday, Wada’s counsel, Jibrin Okutepa, urged the appellate court to upturn the decision of the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.

He insisted that there were overwhelming evidence that the election was marred by electoral malpractices.

On his part, counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Dr Alex Izinyon, asked the court to dismiss the appeals.

Lawyers to Governor Bello and the All Progressives Congress (APC), Joseph Daudu and Ahmed Raji, aligned themselves with the submissions of Dr Izinyon.

After listening to the arguments, the five-man panel of justices led by Justice Adamu Jauro reserved judgement in the appeals.

Wada and the PDP had in December 2019 approached the Tribunal, asking it to order INEC to disqualify Governor Bello from contesting the 2019 governorship election in Kogi State.

In the appeal filed by the SDP and its governorship candidate challenging the governor’s election, the appellants also alleged massive electoral malpractices and falsification of certificates on the part of the deputy governor of the state, Edward Onoja.

The five-man panel of justices also reserved judgement in the appeal filed by the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) to a date that would be communicated to the parties.

Court Awards N15m Against Police Over Killing Of IMN Members

A file photo of policemen dispersing Shiite members during a protest in Abuja on July 22, 2019. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

 

The Abuja Division of the Federal High court has slammed a fine of N15 million on the Nigeria Police Force for the killing of members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).

The IMN members were killed during the protests which turned violent in July 2019 in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo, who awarded the cost against the police on Monday, also ordered the immediate release of the corpses of three members of the Shiite group deposited at the morgue of the National Hospital.

In his judgment, the judge held that the action of the police was both illegal and unlawful as it contravened the provisions of Section 31(1) of the Constitution which bordered on the fundamental rights of the victims.

Lawyers to the police were unavailable throughout the hearing of the suit to counter the submissions of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria with regards to the accounts of what transpired during the protest held on July 22, 2019.

On account of this, Justice Taiwo held that the submission in law that was not countered by another party would, therefore, be admitted as correct.

However, the police lawyer who showed up for the judgment, Simon Lough, claimed that the court had been misled.

On the other hand, the counsel to the applicants, Bala Dakum, commended the judgement, saying justice had been served.