Court Strikes Out Fraud Charges Against Orubebe

Court Strikes Out Fraud Charges Against Orubebe An Abuja High Court has struck out the six-count charge preferred against a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Godsday Orubebe, by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Mr Orubebe, who served under former President Goodluck Jonathan, and three other defendants were accused of alleged complicity in a 1.97 billion Naira contract fraud.

Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, however, discharged and acquitted them on Tuesday, following the withdrawal of the charge by the prosecution.

The court had earlier given the anti-graft agency till April 4, 2017, to produce its witnesses to establish that the defendants diverted the funds meant for the compensation of owners of properties of Eket Urban section of the East-West Road in Eket, Akwa Ibom State.

Court Grants Orubebe Bail In Alleged 2.3b Naira Fraud Case

OrubebeAn Abuja‎ High Court on Wednesday granted a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Godsday Orubebe, bail in the sum of 10 million Naira, having pleaded not guilty to the charge of criminal diversion of funds.

Mr Orubebe was charged by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).

He is standing trial along two others over alleged diversion of 2.3 billion Naira.

The court also granted bail in the sum of 20 million Naira each to Oludare Alaba and Ephraim Zeri, directors of contract in the Ministry of Niger Delta.

Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, in his ruling, ordered Mr Orubebe to produce one surety in like sum, stressing that the surety must be a responsible Nigerian with evidence of three years tax payment and landed property within the Federal Capital Territory.

The court, however, ordered Alaba and Zeri to also produce one surety each in like sum. It said the surety must be an assistant director in the civil service and a land-owner within the court jurisdiction.

Justice Adeniyi also asked the ICPC to hold the defendants until they perfect their bail conditions.

The Trial of the accused persons has been fixed for November 10.

PDP Crisis: Federal High Court Upholds Sheriff’s Leadership

PDP, SheriffA Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has affirmed Mr Ali Modu Sheriff as the authentic national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

According to Justice Okon Abang, only actions and decisions made by the Sheriff-led leadership are lawful and binding.

He, however, said that although he has the powers to nullify the ruling of the Port Harcourt division of the Federal High Court, which recognized the Makarfi-led leadership, he would not do so because there is no application to that effect before him.

Hence he would allow the Court of Appeal to do justice to that.

The court held that the convention held in Port-Harcourt on May 20, was held in violation of the two court orders of the Lagos division of the Federal High Court which barred the PDP and INEC from holding the convention.

Justice Okon Abang, in his ruling barred the Makarfi-led caretaker committee from exercising any authority or taking any decision on behalf of the PDP henceforth on account of been an illegal body.

According to Justice Abang, the Makarfi-led group missed their way to Port Harcourt to obtain a judgement from a division of the Federal High Court which is a court of co-ordinate jurisdiction to that of Lagos to obtain a favorable judgement.

And that the judgment which recognized the Makarfi-led caretaker committee is unlawful, illegal and has no foundation in law to stand.

He held that until the orders made by the Lagos division of the Federal High Court which restrained PDP from holding a convention at the time it did was set aside, anything done in contravention of the two subsisting orders are unlawful, illegal and should not be recognized.

The Ahmed Makarfi-led PDP had approached an FCT High Court challenging the power of Justice Okon Abang to hear the suit filed by Senator Sheriff.

They specifically asked the court to restrain Justice Abang on the grounds that there is a circular from the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court restraining all judges handling PDP leadership tussle cases to stop further action pending the outcome of the appeals before the appellate court.

But the prayers were not granted by Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, who held that the application lacks merit, as the applicant who is listed as PDP is not a natural person as such not entitled to any fundamental human rights.

This was after Mr Ali Modu Sheriff and eight others approached the Federal High Court, Abuja for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the party from conducting the national convention slated for August 17.

He also wanted an order restraining the PDP from presenting anybody or sponsoring any person for election into its offices pending determination of the suit.

He asked for an ancillary order directing the Nigerian Police to enforce the orders of the court until all applications are disposed of.

Sheriff Files Suit To Restrain PDP From Conducting National Convention

PDP, SheriffSacked factional chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and eight others have approached the Federal High Court, Abuja for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the party from conducting the national convention slated for August 17.

He also wants an order restraining the PDP from presenting anybody or sponsoring any person for election into its offices pending determination of the suit.

He asked for an ancillary order directing the Nigerian Police to enforce the orders of the court until all applications are disposed of.

While this was going on, the Ahmed Makarfi-led PDP approached an FCT High Court challenging the power of Justice Okon Abang to hear the suit filed by Senator Sheriff.

They specifically asked the court to restrain Justice Abang on the grounds that there is a circular from the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court restraining all judges handling PDP leadership tussle cases to stop further action pending the outcome of the appeals before the appellate court .

But the prayers were not granted by Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, who held that the application lacks merit, as the applicant who is listed as PDP is not a natural person as such not entitled to any fundamental human rights.

The Chief Justice of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta had on the July 8 directed all judges of the Federal High Court to stay clear of any matter concerning the PDP crisis pending the determination of appeals before the appellate court.

It is not clear if Justice Okon Abang, who is in procession of the case filed by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff will hear the case.