Alleged Fraud: Court Remands Army General, Others In Prison

Court, Army, EFCCA Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the remand of a former Commander of the Joint Task Force, Major General Emmanuel Atewe, and two other accused persons, Kime Engozu and Josphine Otuaga, in prison.

The court’s remand order was made on Friday after their arraignment alongside a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr Patrick Akpolobokemi.

The accused face an 11-count charge of conspiracy, fraud, stealing and conversion of the sum of 19.7 billion Naira to personal use.

The accused persons all pleaded not guilty while their lawyers asked Justice Saliu Saidu to grant them bail.

However, their application was denied and the matter adjourned till June 24 for commencement of trial.

Electricity Tariff Suit: Court To Rule May 31

Electricity The Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos has fixed May 31 to rule on the preliminary objections filed by the Eko Electricity Distribution Company, The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission and the Attorney General of the Federation.

They are all listed as defendants in a suit filed by some aggrieved residents of Itire, Ijesa and Ikate communities in Surulere area of Lagos State.

The resident staged a peaceful protest in court on Monday to condemn the high electricity tariffs which they say does not match supply.

Justice Saliu Saidu has listened to the objections of the defendants who have challenged the jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit.

Counsel to the plaintiffs, however, said that the Federal Government needs to review the privatization process.

Woman Docked For Allegedly Peddling 4.5Kg of Cocaine

cocaineThe National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Monday arraigned a 38-year-old woman before a Federal High Court in Lagos for drug trafficking.

The accused, Alake Abdulrazaq, is standing trial on a one-count charge bordering on the offence. She, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The prosecutor, Mr Abu Ibrahim, told the court that the accused committed the offence on October 12.

He said that she was arrested at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja, during the outward clearance of passengers on-board an Ethiopian Airline flight to India.

Ibrahim said that about 4. 5kg of Cocaine was recovered from the accused, which she concealed in a neat wrap.

The offence is said to have contravened the provisions of Section 11 (a) of the NDLEA Act, Cap N30 Laws of the Federation, 2004.

The offence of drug trafficking can attract as much as life imprisonment.

Justice Saliu Saidu, following an application for bail by defence counsel, Mrs Lilian Omotunde, granted the accused bail in the sum of N10 million with two sureties in like sum.

He adjourned the case to February 2, 2016, for trial.

Court Stops Jonathan From Signing Amended Oil & Gas Bill

Court JusticeA Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has restrained President Goodluck Jonathan, from assenting to the bill for an Act to amend the Oil and Gas Export Free Zone.

The court, presided over by Justice Saliu Saidu, also restrained the National Assembly, the Clerk of the National Assembly from forwarding the Bill to Amend the Oil and Gas Export Free Zone Authority Act. Cap. 05 to President Jonathan for his assent.

The order was sequel to a motion ex-parte, in a suit filed before the court on behalf of Nigerdock Nigeria Plc, SIMCO Free Zone Company and Nigerdock Nigeria Plc-FZE, who are plaintiffs in the suit.

Justice Saliu Saidu also restrained the National Assembly, the Clerk of the National Assembly, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, the Honourable Minister of Transport, and the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) from prohibiting the usage of the plaintiffs’ facilities at Snake Island Integrated Free Zone for Oil and Gas cargoes destined for use in the free zone.

The plaintiffs had claimed that the Snake Island Integrated Free Trade Zone was approved as a privately owned and managed Free Zone by Presidential declaration in January 2005. It was duly licensed by the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), in April 2005.

The plaintiffs, however argue that in November 2014, they became aware of a Bill for An Act to Amend the Oil and Gas Export Free Zone Authority Act, Cap. 05, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, adding that the bill was presented to the Senate and a public hearing was conducted without the knowledge of the plaintiffs who claim that the amendment will negatively undermine and violate their constitutional rights.

Justice Saliu Saidu has adjourned till May 26, 2015, for further hearing of the suit.


EFCC Re-arraigns 8 Suspected Oil Thieves

EFCC_NewThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday August 28, 2014, re-arraigned Adedamola Ogungbayibi, Olaniran Olabode, Suraju Gasali, Moses Emmanuel, Wilson Bonsi, Padoun Kayode Jacob, Okparaodi Omaka Uche and Onyeogo Happy before Justice O.E. Abang of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on a 5-count charge bordering on conspiracy and illegal dealing in petroleum product.

They were originally arraigned before Justice Saliu Saidu of the same court on June 16, 2014.

The defendants got into trouble on February 19, 2014, when they were arrested by men of the Nigerian Navy who were on routine patrol.

The Nigeria Navy Ship, ANDONI, intercepted MT Good Success and its 16 member crew, along the Lagos waters. At the time of arrest, it was discovered that while MT Good Success had authority to carry 350 metric tons of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), it was loaded with 1,459 metric tons of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

Officers of the Nigeria Navy then handed over the vessel, its contents and crew members to the EFCC for further investigations.

Count one of the charge reads “that you MT Good Success, Hepa Global Energy Limited, Adedamola Ogungbayibi, Olaniran Olabode, Suraju Gasali, Moses Emmanuel, Wilson Bonsi, Padonu Kayode Jacob, Okparaodi Omaka Uche and Onyeogo Happy on or about the 19th day of February, 2014 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court conspired amongst yourselves to commit an offence to wit: dealing in Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) without lawful authority or appropriate license and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 19(6) and punishable under Section 17 of the Miscellaneous offences Act, Cap M17, Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004”.

The accused pleaded not guilty.

Justice Abang admitted the accused persons to bail on terms previously offered by court and adjourned the case to August 29, 2014, for continuation of trial.

Lagos Court Sets Aside Lekki-Ikoyi Toll Appeal

Lekki-Ikoyi Toll GateAttempts by the Lagos State Attorney General, and Commissioner of Justice, Mr Ade Ipaye to persuade the Federal High Court Lagos to hear an application seeking a stay of execution of the judgment which declared tolling on the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge as unconstitutional has suffered a setback.

Presiding Justice Saliu Saidu refused to hear the application insisting that it was not yet ripe for hearing.

The judge noted that from the file before him, there was no evidence that the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the National Inland Waterways Agency (NIWA) were served with the application.

The Lagos State Attorney General had, however, urged the court to proceed with the application on the ground that the main party affected by the application, Mr  Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa was in court.

In his response, Mr Adegboruwa said the Lagos State Government ought to have taken steps to ensure service of the application on the other parties.

Justice Saidu has, however, fixed April 14, 2014 for hearing of the application.

No Law Backing Tolling

On the 27th of March, Justice Saidu, had held that from the totality of the evidence before him, it was clear that there was no law backing tolling on the bridge, and that the government was wrong to have turned the bridge into a business venture.

The judge had given this judgment in a suit filed by Mr Adegboruwa, who challenged the power of the Lagos State government to collect tolls on the bridge.

Dissatisfied with the judgment, the Lagos State government, through its attorney general filed a motion urging the court to stay execution of the judgment which declared tolling on the bridge illegal, pending the determination of an appeal filed at the court of appeal in Lagos.      

But Mr Adegboruwa, in his counter-affidavit, is insisting that the state government lacked the right to apply for a stay of execution of the judgment having failed to comply with it for just one second.

In the counter-affidavit, Mr Adegboruwa recalled that the state government was represented in court on the day of the verdict by the Attorney General.

Mr Adegboruwa, who is also a Lagos based lawyer, had noted that after the verdict, he proceeded to use the bridge, but was not allowed to pass through the barrier placed on the bridge by officers of the state government without paying the toll.

He added that the officers of State government together with armed policemen were on hand to compel motorists to pay the toll fee before they could be allowed access through the toll plaza.

He has therefore, urged the court to refuse the motion for a stay of execution of the judgment.



Federal Court Declares Toll Collection On Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge Illegal

lekki bridgeThe Federal High Court in Lagos has declared  the collection of toll, on the Lekki-Ikoyi bridge, illegal.

Justice Saliu Saidu, who delivered the judgment on Thursday, held that there was no law in Lagos State authorising the collection of toll on the bridge.

A human rights lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, had filed a suit challenging the power of Lagos State to collect toll on the bridge.

In his judgment, Justice Saidu said that the power to control the Lekki Lagoon and other Federal Navigable Waterway lies with the Federal Government, adding that, although the Federal Government had given some authority to the state to construct the bridge, there was no law authorising or permitting the collection of toll on it.

He also insisted that the bridge is not a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiative for which the collection of toll can be allowed.

Addressing journalists after the judgment was delivered, Adegboruwa said that he would challenge any law the state may make to validate toll collection on the bridge.

“For now, everybody in Lagos State should be free to pass through that bridge without paying any money,” he said, maintaining that the bridge was built with tax payers’ money hence “we cannot pay tax to build a bridge and pay another money to use it.”






Court Remands Ex-FCMB Staff In SFU Over N30 Million Fraud

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Thursday ordered the remand at the Special Fraud Unit (SFU), of Rosemary Usifor, former branch Manager, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), charged with N30 million fraud.

The accused, a former manager at Okerin branch of defunct Finbank (now FCMB), was arraigned on a one-count charge of fraudulently obtaining the sum of N30 million from a fixed deposit account, belonging to a customer of the bank.

She however pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The trial Judge, Justice Saliu Saidu, however, ordered the accused to be remanded in the SFU, pending the hearing of a bail application filed by her counsel, Mr Osa Isibor.

He adjourned the case to Jan. 7 for hearing the bail application of the accused.

In the charge, the prosecutor, Mr Effiong Asuquo, alleged that the accused committed the offence in 2011.

He said that the accused had forged a letter, with which she fraudulently obtained the sum of N30 million from the fixed deposit account of one DIG Archibong Nkanga (Rtd).

According to Asuquo, the accused who has been at large since the perpetuation of the crime in 2011, was eventually arrested by the police, in November.

He said the alleged offence contravenes the provisions of sections 1(2) (a), (c), and sections 3 (1) (2) of the Miscellanous Offences Act, Cap. M17, Laws of the Federation, 2004.