Alleged N978.4m Oil Fraud: Court Remands Nadabo Energy Boss In Prison

 

The Lagos State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Onikan, Lagos, has ordered the remand of the Chairman, Nadabo Energy Limited, Abubakar Ali Peters, in prison for allegedly plotting to evade trial and abscond from the country.

According to a statement by the Head, Media & Publicity of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Wilson Uwujaren, Justice Christopher Balogun gave the order on Wednesday.

Peters is being tried on 27 charges bordering on obtaining by false pretence, forgery and use of forged documents to the tune of N978, 401, 732, 09 brought against him by the EFCC.

The defendant allegedly defrauded the Federal Government of the said sum of money by supplying 6, 505,140. 04 litres of Petroleum Motor Spirit, PMS, instead of 19,488, 992 litres, being the quantity he was contracted to supply.

He also allegedly forged the documents that were used to procure the product in order to conceal the exact amount he paid for it and receive in excess money for the product supplied.

At the resumed sitting today, the defence counsel, Emefo Etudo, sought to withdraw from the case on the grounds that his client was planning to jeopardize the case and abscond from the country.

Etudo, in a sworn affidavit, also told the court he urged his client to pay back the money upon realizing that he had defrauded the Federal Government.
“My Lord, he agreed to pay the money and subsequently made some payments.

“He, however, stopped at some point.

“He also informed me of his plans to abscond from the country without paying back in full the money he obtained under false pretence,” Etudo stated.

The defence counsel, in his further submission, told the court that his client was planning to frustrate a similar case after receiving money from parties involved.

“My Lord, my client forged his signature on the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, documents and gave damaging false information about me and other lawyers involved in the case.

“He is involved in three oil subsidy cases, although the EFCC is only aware of two of them.

“The total money belonging to the Federal Government of Nigeria, which was siphoned abroad, is about N2billion,” he further told the court.

The defence counsel, therefore, urged the court to permit him to withdraw from the case, saying “the defendant is a threat to national security and will abscond if he continues on the bail he was granted by the court.”

The prosecution counsel, Seidu Atteh, did not oppose the request of the defence counsel.

Justice Balogun granted the defence counsel leave to withdraw from the case based on the serious allegations levelled against his client.

The Judge also vacated all the undertakings made on behalf of the defendant by the counsel’s law firm since he could no longer assure the court that he is in a position to produce the defendant at his trial.

Consequently, Justice Balogun remanded the defendant in prison custody and adjourned the case to October 15, 2019, for continuation of hearing.

Court Sentences Beninoise Househelp To Death For Murder Of Boss

Nigerian To Be Executed In Singapore, Clemency Appeal Rejected

 

A Lagos High Court sitting in the Igbosere area has convicted and sentenced to death by hanging, a Béninoise househelp, Christian Hounvenon Yavine, for the murder of a 78-year-old woman, Mariam Atinuke Abiola.

Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye found Yavine, 23, guilty of nearly severing Abiola’s head with a knife while she slept in her daughter’s home in the Ipaja area of Lagos. The offence was committed in July 1, 2014.

The Lagos State Government promptly arraigned The defendant to court on a one count charade of murder to which he pleaded not guilty.

The Prosecuting counsel, Akin George said the incident happened at Block 74, Flat 4, Ipaja Low Cost Housing Estate, Pen Cinema, Lagos, the home of Ajoke Ashiwonyi Abiola, the daughter of the deceased.

The court was also told that on the day of the incident, the daughter was away at a Church Vigil.

In her judgment, Justice Ipaye dismissed Yavine’s claim that he was 14 years’ old at the time of the offence, and could not have committed the offence having been born in the year 2000. The judge noted that there was ample corroborative evidence that falsified his claim.

READ ALSO: Court Sentences Cameroonian Cook To Death By Hanging For Killing Boss

Justice Ipaye also noted that the prosecution’s evidence showed that at the time of the murder, the defendant was seeking admission to a university, and would have registered to sit an entrance exam, but for financial challenges. The judge said that it was unlikely that the defendant was seeking university admission at the age of 14.

The judge also relied on a birth certificate obtained by the Lagos State Government from the Beninoise’s alleged birth hospital in Benin Republic which showed that he was born in 1996.

The defendant had also claimed that the confessional statement tendered by the government against him, was contrived by the police. He had testified that being a French speaker, he could not have made the statement, which was written in English, a language he did not understand.

But the judge observed that there was corroborative evidence to the contrary.
Justice Ipaye noted that the convict lived with the deceased for two weeks before the incident, during which he also went to the market with her.

The judge wondered what language he spoke with her, if he truly did not understand any English.

Furthermore, the judge held that the deceased was also caught by the “Doctrine of last seen”.

The Beniniose househelp was the only one with Abiola while she was alive on the night of June 30 and in the early hours of July 1, when she was found dead. He was thus the last person to see her alive and the first person to see her dead.

The judge noted that the doctrine requires that a person charged with murder who was the last person seen with the deceased, should offer some explanation as to how the deceased met his death. This the convict failed to do.

During trial, he had claimed that the police wrongfully charged him for the offence, because he failed to pay a N200,000 bribe. He also testified through an interpreter that on June 30, 2014, his employer locked him and the deceased in separate rooms before leaving for her vigil.

According to him, there was also one Mr Gbenga, who stayed in the house for about a week.

He said: “That day, my boss said she was going for vigil and that she was going to leave her mother at home with me. Before she left, she locked me inside a room and also locked her mother, who was sleeping, inside the palour. She said when she returned, she would open the door.”

The defendant explained that when his boss arrived the next morning, she began banging on the door of the room where he was, asking him what happened to her mother.

“My boss said that thieves came to attack the house and killed her mother. That morning there was one man that came into the house; I don’t know his name, I also didn’t know who called the police that same morning. Gbenga, who was with us, I couldn’t find him”.

When asked what the deceased was doing in the sitting room, the defendant said she slept in the palour because she and her daughter usually quarrelled if they slept in her daughter’s room.

After a trial which lasted over 3 years, Justice Ipaye resolved all the issues against the defendant and convicted him accordingly. The judge sentenced him to death by hanging.

N1.5bn Fraud: Court Fines Nanle Dariye’s Counsel N200,000 For Inefficiency

 

 

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja has levelled a fine of N200,000 against counsel for Apartment le Paradis, a hotel in which Nanle Dariye, son of a former Plateau State Governor, Joshua Dariye, is a director, for inefficiency.

Nanle was on February 27, 2018 arraigned along with Apartment le Paradis on a six-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N1.5 billion, to which he pleaded “not guilty”.

Shortly after the prosecution closed its case against him, his counsel, Kanu Agabi, SAN, on February 13, 2019 argued his “no-case” submission via an application dated and filed on December 13, 2018.

Ruling on the application on March 7, 2019 the trial judge struck out count one of the charges, which directly affected Nanle, and held that the hotel had a case to answer in the money laundering charge.

READ ALSO: Alleged N104m Fraud: Masari, Ex-SMEDAN DG Gets N30m Bail

Invariably, Justice Ojukwu had adjourned to April 10, 2019 for the second defendant to open its defence.

However, at the resumed sitting, Agabi was absent in court, but instead, sent in a junior lawyer, who rather than continue with the defence, appealed for an adjournment, noting that she was just informed about the case and was not prepared to lead the defence.

She further added that an agreement had been struck with the prosecution as regards the request for adjournment.

But counsel for the EFCC, Ike Okonjo, refuted the claim of any such agreement, stressing that the prosecution had come prepared to continue with the case and was surprised at the position of the defence.

“For the records, we do not have any agreement with the defence, and this is all mischief to delay the course of the law,” Okonjo said.

Expressing displeasure at the rather lackadaisical attitude of the defence, Justice Ojukwu wondered how the defence would come after one month unprepared to continue with the case.

“I have given you ample time to adequately prepare for the defence, you cannot come here one month after to ask for another adjournment,” the trial judge said.

The trial judge, thereafter, adjourned to May 13 to 15, 2019, and ordered the defence to pay N200,000 fine before the next trial date.

Court Sentences Lekan Shonde To Death For Killing Wife

Alleged Kidnap: Judge’s Absence Stalls Evans Trial
A file photo of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja

 

The Lagos State High Court Sitting in the Ikeja areas has sentenced Lekan Shonde to death by hanging, for beating his wife to death.

Justice Josephine Oyefeso found him guilty of the murder of his wife, Ronke.

The 51-year-old Lekan Shonde, was a depot worker in the Apapa area of Lagos State before he was charged with the offence.

He had accused his wife of sleeping with another man.

According to the police, he allegedly beat her to death at their home in the Egbeda-Idimu area of Lagos State.

He was alleged to have also locked the door on the corpse and their two children before the incident was discovered by a housekeeper and later reported to the police.

The couple who had two children aged six and four is said to have a history of violent clashes prior to the murder.

READ ALSO: Alleged $2.1m Fraud: EFCC Re-Arraigns Ex-NHIS Boss, One Other

The Lagos Police Command had in 2016 arrested Mr. Lekan Shonde in the Egbeda area of the state.

According to the spokesperson for the Command, Dolapo Badmos, Mr. Shonde was tracked down to a location in Ikeja before his arrest.

The police said he had been on the run for days before he was finally apprehended.

Shonde was transferred to the state department of criminal investigation for further investigations on the case before he was charged.

Court Nullifies Candidature Of Kano PDP Governorship Candidate

Court Adjourns Proceedings In Belgore’s Trial Till March

 

 

A Federal High Court in Kano on Monday nullified the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidacy for not conducting primaries.

The court presided by Justice Ambrose Lewis Allagoa ruled that the purported nomination of Abba Kabir as governorship candidate of the PDP is null and void.

Counsel to the plantiff, Kabiru Usman says the PDP would have to provide another governorship Candidate before the coming polls.

READ ALSO: Court Dismisses Suit Seeking To Disqualify Bindow From Governorship Polls

In his remarks, Peoples’ Democratic Party Counsel, Bashir Yusuf says the verdict does not affect Abba Kabir as a Candidate but the PDP as a party.

According to him, the PDP will obey court order.Justice Lewis ordered the party to organise another primary within 14 days from the day of this judgement.

A PDP gubernatorial aspirant, Ali Amin-little, had approached the court, challenging the process that led to emergence of Abba Kabir Yusuf as PDP gubernatorial candidate in Kano.

Court Remands Babachir Lawal In EFCC Custody

 

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday ordered that former Secretary-General to the Federation, Mr Babachir Lawal, be remanded in EFCC custody.

Mr Babachir Lawal is to be kept in EFCC custody, pending the ruling of the court on his bail application.

Babachir had earlier pleaded not guilty to a 10 count charge of fraudulent diversion of funds meant for the clearing of evasive plants on the North East.

Lawyers to the former SGF argued his application for bail before Justice Okeke of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The court however fixed the ruling on his bail application for February 13.

Rivers APC Governorship Tussle: Abe, Cole Debate Party’s Mandate

 

The debate over who is the rightful governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Rivers State, has continued, following an Appeal Court’s stay of Execution on judgement excluding the party from the general elections.

Senator Magus Abe, a candidate of the APC in rivers state told Channels Television’s Seun Okinbaloye that the controversy is unnecessary.

Abe who was a guest on Politics Today said the stay of execution as granted by the Appeal Court was in favour of the APC, while the issue of who will bear the flag remains undecided till next Wednesday when it will be determined.

The lawmaker said what is important is to urge the court to treat the matter expediently with “the speed it clearly deserves in view of the fact that elections are too close by”.

He said he has made moves and taken actions to resolve the issues within the Rivers APC, however, all his efforts have proven abortive.

READ ALSO: INEC List: Wike Mocks Rivers APC Candidates, Criticises Buhari

Disagreeing with his counterpart’s take on the issue, Tonye Cole said the stay of execution as granted by the Appeal Court is a ruling in favour of his faction.

He said the court’s order meant a return to the status quo, arguing that the status quo is that his faction receives the mandate.

“The status quo is that we receive the flag, status quo is that INEC had us on the list, status quo is that when INEC removed APC, it was our names that were removed. So what has happened is that we are back and that is why we are jubilating,” Cole argued.

Reacting to the judgement of the High Court, which pulled down the structure that organised the primaries from which he emerged as a flagbearer, Cole said the fundamentals of the case are in his favour.

He said he is confident that he will win if the process continues even unto the Supreme Court.

A Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt on Monday granted a stay of execution of the Federal High Court judgement nullifying all primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State.

Apart from nullifying the primaries, Justice Kolawole Omotosho of the Federal High Court had also restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from fielding the party’s candidates in the forthcoming general elections in the state.

But Justice Ali Gumel, who presided over an appeal filed by a faction of the APC in Rivers, granted a stay of execution on the judgement delivered by Justice Omotosho on January 7.

Metuh Cries In Court As Doctor Explains His Health Condition

Metuh Challenges Court To Examine His Health Status
File photo of the former national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Olisa Metuh

 

The former national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Olisa Metuh was in tears on Monday as his doctor explained to the judge his health condition.

This was during his resumed trial in an Abuja High Court for the alleged diversion of N400 million received from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

The doctor told the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, why Metuh needs to be flown abroad for treatment.

READ ALSO: Olisa Metuh Collapses In Court

After listening to the doctor, Justice Abang said the court would seek the opinion of the Chief Registrar of the court on the recommendations of the doctor.

The judge, however, rebuked Metuh’s counsel, Emeka Etiaba, for his ‘rudeness’ to the court.

According to him, Etiaba’s refusal to answer some questions asked by the court is compounding issues before the court and is rude.

Etiaba had earlier expressed disapproval after the Justice Abang overruled his application for withdrawal of the case.

This was after Metuh collapsed in court trying to make his way to the dock.

Etiaba said he could not go ahead with the trial with his client lying on the floor.

He added that his client is obviously ill and has been confirmed by the medical personnel of the court.

The trial judge, however, continued with the trial even though Metuh was still on the floor. He insisted that Metuh’s counsel call his eleventh witness in the trial and also overruled the application by Metuh’s Counsel.

READ ALSO: If We Obey God, Our Nation Will Change – Osinbajo

According to the trial judge, Etiaba’s application for withdrawal of the case is an attempt to delay the matter.

The case was then adjourned to May 22 for the continuation of trial.

Court Fixes Date To Rule On IPOB’s Application Against Ban

A Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed January 17, 2018, to decide if it will set aside the order of proscription against Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group.

IPOB had earlier asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to reverse its orders proscribing it and labelling it as a terrorist group.

In September 2017, IPOB made the request in a motion filed by its lawyer, Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, before the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdu Kafarati.

The group made this application barely 48 hours after Justice Kafarati had granted an ex-parte application by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, for the proscription of the group and its categorisation as a terrorist group.

IPOB had insisted that it is a non-violent movement, based its motion on 13 grounds one of which was that the court did not have the jurisdiction to proscribe the group as it is “an entity unknown to law.”

Justice Abdul Kafarati during the court sitting today, November 14, fixed the ruling for January 17, 2018, after listening to the counsel to IPOB, Mr Ifeanyi Ejiofor and the Solicitor General of the Federation, Mr Dayo Apata.

Ejiofor told the court that it is speculation and hearsay for the solicitor general to link IPOB to the seized arms at the Lagos port.

The Solicitor general said that prior to the arrival of the arms the IPOB leader had hosted a Turkish visitor and that all actions preceding the proscription pointed to the fact that the group had assumed the posture of a terrorist group.

ANTP Crisis: Baba Wande Sues For Peace Among Stakeholders

Courtesy: babawandetv.blogspot.com.ng

Veteran Yoruba movie actor, Mr Kareem Adepoju, has called for peace among members of the Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP), after a court judgement on the crisis rocking the national body of the association.

Adepoju, who is popularly known as Baba Wande, said the judgement of the High Court sitting in Ejigbo, Osun State on March 28, 2017 that Mr Victor Asaolu should remain in office as the President of ANTP till February 2018, was not a solution to the crisis bedevilling the association.

He called on all stakeholders including the governors and royal fathers in Nigeria’s South-West region to intervene in the matter and save the ANTP, lauding the efforts of the Olowu of Owu kingdom, Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu, in resolving the crisis.

Speaking during an interview with Channels Television at his residence in Osogbo, Baba Wande appealed to all Yoruba film actors and actresses to come together and speak in one voice to develop the industry.

“Some of us feel that the tenure of the President of ANTP, Mr Victor Ashaolu has expired, but the man insisted that he has not finished his tenure and he took the matter to court instead of leaving the office.

“The man has been in the office as the ANTP President since 2010, whereas he was supposed to spend four years. The matter was brought to a court in Osun here and after several years of litigation, the court eventually ruled that Ashaolu’s tenure will end in February next year.

“As law abiding citizens of this country, we must respect the court and obey the judgement, unless anyone is interested in appealing the judgement in the higher court and that cannot be a solution to the problem we are battling with.

“I want to appeal to all Yoruba film-makers, actors and actresses to unite and speak in one voice in the best interest of all of us. This current crisis in the ANTP will not benefit anyone of us and the society.

“I also want to call on all stakeholders, especially the Governors of Osun, Mr Rauf Aregbesola; Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; Lagos State, Mr Akinwumi Ambode; Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose and Ondo State, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu to intervene in the ANTP leadership crisis.

“I’m also appealing to our traditional rulers in Yoruba land, especially the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, and the Awujale of Ijebu Land, Oba Sikiru Adetona, to wade in and help us settle the dispute so that we can be together.

“We are grateful to the Olowu of Owu kingdom, Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu, who has been making frantic efforts to resolve the crisis. We appreciate his efforts so far and we also want him to intensify efforts so that the crisis would be resolved while we unite to make our association great again,” the Yoruba actor said.

Recalled that leading members of the ANTP pulled out from the association and form a parallel association christened Theatre Arts and Movie Practitioners Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN).

Mr Adebayo Salami, also known as ‘Oga Bello’, Prince Jide Kosoko and Mr Dele Odule, who had a running battle with Mr Ashaolu over the leadership tussle in ANTP, formed TAMPAN in Lagos State.

Residents Cry Out Over Demolition Of Settlement In Lagos

Residents Cry Out Over Demolition Of Otodo-Gbame SettlementThe residents of Otodo-Gbame in Lekki area of Lagos State have decried the demolition of houses and destruction of properties in their locality.

Dwellers in the fishing community on Friday alleged that the State Government commenced demolition, while ignoring a subsisting court injunction which had stopped the forceful eviction of residents.

They expressed shock at the process, claiming they were not served notice of demolition by government.

Amnesty International also condemned the eviction which it described as ‘chaotic and dangerous’ for the resident of the community.

The Organisation in a statement alleged that the inhabitants “are being forcibly evicted and their homes destroyed by bulldozers as security services used tear gas and live bullets to clear the area”.

otodo-gbame1

Brutal And Illegal Act

Amnesty International’s Nigeria Researcher, Morayo Adebayo, who said Military and Police personnel were out in full force, stated that there were four bulldozers ripping through the settlement.

“This brutal and illegal act flies in the face of human dignity as well as a High Court ruling that prohibited the eviction taking place and instructed the authorities to instead seek a settlement with the affected communities.

“The Lagos State Government should ensure that the families who have been rendered homeless this morning are given emergency relief including adequate shelter, water, food and any medical care they may require,” Adebayo said.

otodo-gbame

According to Amnesty International, a resident of Otodo-Gbame, Julius Oladele, who witnessed the eviction along with his wife and two children, said: “Almost all the houses in the community have been demolished, the only ones left are those on the water.

“They did not allow anyone to take their properties. They are chasing people away. My own house was destroyed this morning before I could rush back from work”.

The Human Rights body has called for an immediate end to the ongoing eviction and for the authorities to respect the court ruling which prohibits them from carrying out forced evictions in waterfront communities.

The organisation said it has been documenting forced evictions in Lagos State for over 10 years, stating that “these evictions are carried out without adequate prior consultation, adequate notice, and compensation or alternative accommodation”.

Suspected Hoodlums Set Osun High Court Ablaze

Osun State High CourtA section of the Osun State High Court located in Ayeso area of Ilesha  has been set ablaze by some unknown persons.

A witness told Channels Television that the incident occurred in the early hours of Monday, resulting to destruction of valuable documents in Court One.

It was also gathered that the security men on duty were tied up, while one of the guards was injured with a machete by the perpetrators as they tried to gain access into the court premises.

The Osun State Chief Judge, Justice Oyebola Adepele-Ojo, who visited the scene to assess the level of damage done, declined granting interviews on the incident.

burnt-court

However, the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ilesha branch, Ebenezer Ogunfunminiyi, who was on the entourage of the Chief Judge condemned the attack on the court of law.

Mr Ogunfunminiyi stressed that the lawyers would henceforth boycott the court, claiming that it was obvious that their lives were in danger.

He noted that efforts were in top gear to reach Governor Rauf Aregbesola and make him see the need for adequate security of lives of workers in the court.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Folasade Odoro, who confirmed the incident, said that the force has fortified the premises of the court with more security personnel.

She also assured the public that the police had begun investigation to nab the perpetrators of the act.

“The police are fully aware of the incident and when we were called upon, we responded swiftly to the scene of the incident and ensured that the fire did not go beyond where it had destroyed.

“Also, we sent men to the place for adequate security and beef up all entries to the court premises.

“Right now we do not have any suspects but one thing we are certain about is that investigation is ongoing and we will surely get the people who are behind this incident.

“We have many of our men stationed there right now including mobile policemen to beef up the security and as we proceed with hour investigation, we will surely apprehend the culprits,” Odoro stated.