Alleged Money Laundering: Court Strikes Out Charge Against Jumoke Akinjide, Two Others

A file photo of a signpost of the Federal High Court in the Ikoyi area of Lagos State.

 

The Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos has struck out the charge against a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Jumoke Akinjide and 2 others on allegations of fraud and money laundering to the tune of N650m.

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke struck out the charge for being incompetent.

The former minister was standing trial alongside a former Senator who represented Oyo Central Senatorial District between 2011 and 2015, Senator Ayo Adeseun and a PDP Chieftain, Mrs Olanrewaju Otiti.

They were alleged to have received monies from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, in the build-up to the 2015 general elections.

The money was said to be part of the $115 million allegedly disbursed by Alison-Madueke, to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election

They had all pleaded not guilty to the charge after which trial commenced in the matter.

The defendants chalk Ed the trial and asked that the case be struck out. They also insisted that they could only be tried in the division where the offences allegedly took place.

In his ruling on the application, Justice Aneke held that pursuant to Section 45 of the Federal High Court Act, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court has the overriding powers to transfer any matter from one judge to another, within the jurisdiction of the court.

The judge also held that the charge was vague and defective as it did not specifically mention where the offences were allegedly committed.

The defendants were first arraigned on Jan. 16, 2018, before Muslim Hassan on a 24-count charge to which they pleaded not guilty.

They were granted bail and trial began before Justice Hassan with witnesses testifying, but midway into the case, the defendants alleged bias against the judge and the case was then transferred to Justice Aneke.

One of the counts reads, “That you, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke (still at large), Oloye Jumoke Akinjide, Senator Ayo Ademola Adeseun and Chief Olanrewaju Otiti, on or about the 26th day of March, 2015, in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired amongst yourselves to directly take possession of a N650,000,000, which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of  proceeds of an unlawful act and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) and 4 of the same Act.”

#EndSARS: Lagos Panel To Hear Petitions Against Military Despite Their Absence

File photo of members of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution at a sitting in Lekki.

 

The Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution for victims of SARS and other related matters on Saturday said petitions against the Nigerian Army will go on despite their absence yet again.

Counsel to some victims of #EndSARS protests, Yinka Olumide-Fusika (SAN) told the panel that he has an application to bring some witnesses to testify before the panel.

The witnesses will counter the testimony of the army personnel, Brigadier-General Ahmed Ibrahim Taiwo, the Commander of 81 Military Intelligence Brigade in Victoria Island, Lagos who had earlier testified before the panel before the military stopped attending the proceedings.

The panel has adjourned till March 20 to hear the testimony of the witnesses.

The panel then moved on to listen to the testimony of a petitioner, Lucky Philemon who said he was shot at the Lekki toll gate protest on the night of October 20, 2020.

READ ALSO: Insecurity: DSS Arrests Ganduje’s Aide Yakasai

His cross-examination by counsel to the state government was stalled when the panel realised that the medical records of the petitioner were not in evidence before the panel.

The panel then adjourned all cases involving all Lekki toll gate victims who got treatments at various hospitals to a date to be communicated to their counsel. The panel did this so it could access the medical records from Reddington and other hospitals.

Chairman of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi said the hospitals will be contacted and their medical records subpoenaed. After this, all cases connected to the hospitals were adjourned.

Police Brutality: Lagos Panel Summons IGP Over Petition By 76-Year-Old Bedridden Victim

The Lagos Judicial Panel on Police Brutality holds a session in Lekki on February 23, 2021.

 

The Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution for victims of SARS and other related matters has summoned the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and the Commissioner of police in charge of Legal Dept, Abuja, the AIG Co-Operative Police College, Ikeja and the Surveyor-General of Lagos State.

Justice Doris Okuwobi summoned the four persons on Tuesday in relation to a petition involving a bed-ridden 76-year-old petitioner, Prince Adewale Adewuyi who appeared before the panel.

The petitioner alleged police brutality, aggravated assault after his 26 acres of land in Age-Mowo village Badagry was forcefully taken over by the police in December 2013. The land is said to be worth over ₦800m.

His lawyer, Debo Adeleke told the panel that the police has continued to frustrate the efforts of the petitioner to retrieve his land despite the alternative dispute recommendations made by the Citizens Mediation Center (CMC) of the Lagos High Court.

READ ALSO: Alleged Money Laundering: Court Fixes April 20 To Hear Kalu’s Suit Against EFCC

Mr. Adeleke urged the panel to summon the IGP and the other Police officers to appear before it at the next adjourned date to explain why the Police continue to disobey the resolutions as reached by the CMC.

The Chairman of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi granted the request and ordered the petitioner, to serve the IGP, AIG Co-operative, COP Legal Dept, and Surveyor-General of Lagos State within seven days to state their own side of the story.

The panel has adjourned to March 30 for a report of settlement.

 

Alleged N69.4bn Debt: Court Upholds Order Seizing Jimoh Ibrahim’s Assets

A file photo of a signpost of the Federal High Court in the Ikoyi area of Lagos State.

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has upheld an interim order granted to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) for the seizure of properties belonging to businessman, Jimoh Ibrahim, for an alleged N69.4billion debt.

In a ruling which lasted nearly two hours on Tuesday, Justice Rilwan Aikawa, upheld the argument of AMCON’s lawyer, Kemi Pinheiro (SAN) that AMCON made “full and substantial disclosure of all material facts” at the time of obtaining the orders on November 4, 2020.

The judge ruled that the order subsists.

The businessman, Mr Ibrahim, who is also a legal practitioner was in court and fully robed for the proceedings.

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Alongside NICON Investment Ltd and Global Fleet Oil and Gas Ltd, Mr Ibrahim had asked the court to set aside the order for “non-disclosure and misrepresentation of material facts”.

He also asked the court to order AMCON to pay N50billion indemnity for alleged failure to conduct due diligence before obtaining the said order and for misrepresentation and concealment of fact.

But Justice Aikawa ruled against him.

On November 4, the court had granted the interim order and on November 18, AMCON announced that it had effectively taken over 12 properties belonging to the businessman and his firms.

The properties include the NICON Investment Ltd building, Plot 242, Muhammadu Buhari Way, Central Business District, Abuja; NICON Hotels Ltd building at Plot 557, Port-Harcourt Crescent, off Gimbiya Street, Abuja and the building of NICON Lekki Ltd also at No. 5, Customs Street, Lagos.

FG Pledges To Support, Boost More Investments In Lagos

President Muhammadu Buhari presided over a Virtual Ground Breaking Ceremony of the Kano-Katsina-Jibya-Maradi with a branch line to Dutse Railway Project in State House on February 9. 2021.
File Photo: President Muhammadu Buhari

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday pledged that the Federal Government will support more massive investments in Lagos State to boost its economic potential as one of the world’s fastest-growing megacities.

The President spoke in a video goodwill message to the Ehingbeti Lagos Economic Summit, themed ‘‘For a Greater Lagos: Setting the Tone for the Next Decade.’’

President Buhari said his administration recognises Lagos as central to the economic fortunes of Nigeria and has in the last few years demonstrated commitment to supporting it unleashes its full socio-economic potential.

”One of the significant ways in which our support has manifested to Lagos State is in the special federal funding that we approved in 2020 in acknowledgement of the State being an epicentre of the Coronavirus pandemic.

”The challenges of Lagos must therefore be very clearly seen as part of the challenges of Nigeria, and the Federal Government will support Lagos to overcome its challenges and to thrive socially and economically.

”The Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) is investing in the reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, while the Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki Expressway is a flagship project of our Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme, also known as Executive Order 7 of 2019.

”It was also this administration which granted approval to the Lagos State Government to rebuild the International Airport Road, a major road that links the busiest airport in Sub-Saharan Africa to the continent’s fifth-largest economy.

”The Federal Government is today completing the Standard Gauge Railway Line that will link Lagos to Ibadan in the first instance, and from there connect to Abuja and Kano, and bring ease and efficiency to what is Nigeria’s busiest transportation corridor.

”Just last month, this new Rail Line achieved a milestone extension into the Port Complex in Apapa, setting the stage for a long-overdue decongestion in that area,” he said.

On the investment plan to revamp the National Theatre, the President told the 8th Economic Summit that his government had granted approval for the temporary transfer of the iconic federal asset on the Lagos landscape, to the Bankers Committee, which will invest in upgrading it and developing it into a world-class creative hub.

President Buhari expressed confidence that enterprising young people in Lagos will be the biggest beneficiaries of the National Theatre when fully upgraded into a world-class hub.

”Speaking of young people, we are aware of just how central they are to the Lagos economy, and to Nigeria as a whole.

”In the creative arts, culture and technology sectors, we are determined to continue to open up opportunities by which they can achieve their dreams and aspirations; as well as thrive in a safe, secure and increasingly prosperous country,” he said.

The President highlighted various other initiatives of the Federal Government being implemented in Lagos, including the National Social Investment Programme, the Energizing Economies Programme, the Economic Sustainability Plan, among others.

Commending the Lagos State Government for its partnership and collaboration with the Federal Government on the human development programmes, President Buhari stressed the importance of understanding between national and subnational governments.

”Let me also acknowledge and salute the fact that we have a forward-looking administration in Lagos that is focused on infrastructure and improving the ease of doing business and the overall quality of life of Lagosians.

”The theme of this year’s Lagos Economic Summit invites us all to share our aspirations for a Megacity that boldly occupies its place in the global standing of Megacities.

”A Lagos that can keep up with its growing population in terms of housing, education, healthcare, security and jobs. A Lagos that is innovative and productive, and that ensures that its economic prosperity leaves no one behind.

”I enjoin all speakers and participants to go all out in the course of the next few days to think and contribute along these lines, and to come up with a practical masterplan for achieving this Lagos of our dreams,” he said.

Lekki Protest: Buhari’s Aide Commends Nigeria Police For ‘Professional’ Conduct

File Photo of the Special Assistant to the President on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie

 

An aide to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, has commended the Nigeria Police Force over what she described as the professional conduct of its operatives on Saturday.

In a series of tweets on Sunday, Onochie said nobody was hurt during the #OccupyLekkiTollGate protest in Lagos yesterday.

“Kudos to the @PoliceNG for the professional manner it operated at Lekki yesterday. Nobody was hurt,” she tweeted.

“Best of all, no police officer was killed nor roasted and eaten. We must applaud you for doing well so that you can take our criticisms of your shortcomings in good faith. Thank you.”

 

The protest was in reaction to the decision of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution to return control of the Lekki Toll Gate plaza to its owners, the Lekki Concession Company (LCC).

READ ALSO: Popular Comedian, Mr Macaroni, Arrested At Lekki Toll Gate Protest

The toll gate had been one of the major converging points for the protesters in Lagos last year and was also the location for the infamous #LekkiShootings, masterminded by security operatives particularly men of the Nigerian Army.

However, the Lagos State Police Command arrested a popular comedian, activist, Debo Adebayo, popularly known as Mr Macaroni and other protesters who had converged in Lekki against the government’s directives not to hold any demonstration.

The comedian kicked against the clampdown, wondering if Nigeria is practising the military regime.

“Na military regime?” Mr. Macaroni said after his arrest, on an Instagram Live while in a police van. “If na military, make we know sey na military, so make everybody dey hide.”

His phone and that of other protesters were later seized by the police, ending his Instagram Live session.

Later on Saturday, a video clip surfaced on social media, of Mr. Macaroni half-naked and sweating in a bus choked with other arrested protesters.

Lagos Seals Over 14 Event Centres, Night Clubs Others For Violating COVID-19 Protocol

The Lagos State Government has sealed over 14 facilities including event centres, night clubs among others for violating a curfew imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the government through its Safety Commission and the State Police Command sealed the affected buildings on Saturday night for “non-compliance with Covid -19 Health Protection Regulations of the State and Federal Government.”

The enforcement exercise saw event centers such as FM, Triple C, Molobi etc sealed for none compliance with the Event Safety Clearance that was issued to them by the Safety Commission.

READ ALSO: Shasha Violence: Do Not Take Laws Into Your Hands, Akeredolu Tells Ibadan Residents

Also, the clubs sealed in the state include the DNA NightClub, Pluto Club, Sailors Lounge, Club G12, Tiger Bar, Bayrock, Jadasport, Club Ibiza, Dynasty Sports Bar and Lounge, and 10/10 Bar.

Some of the sealed facilities on February 13, 2021.

 

On his part, the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, said the police will continue to monitor compliance across the state.

While warning that COVID-19 violators and perpetrators will be arrested and charged to court, the police boss asked Lagos residents to protect themselves and others by following the laid down regulations by the State and Federal Government.

Third Mainland Bridge: FG Backtracks On February 15 Reopening Date

 

The Federal Government has said the Third Mainland Bridge would no longer be reopened on Monday as planned.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, had said the Third Mainland Bridge would be reopened by February 15 during the inspection of construction work on major roads and bridges in Lagos State in January.

Fashola had blamed the initial extension of the completion date on the EndSARS protest which held in October 2020.

But speaking on Sunday, the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Olukayode Popoola, said the bridge would experience one more total closure from February 19 to 21 before completion of the project.

“The 3rd Mainland bridge will no longer be opened on the 15th of February 2021 as announced earlier on,” he said.

READ ALSO: Third Mainland Bridge To Be Fully Reopened February 15 – Fashola

“The reasons are The #EndSARS protest that delayed the work for two weeks. In order not to create untold hardship for the motoring public using the 3rd Mainland Bridge for their daily activities, the contractor is not allowed to close the 3rd Mainland bridge during the week to cast concrete.

“Lane markings on the completed section must be completed. The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing regret the inconveniences the extra days may have caused the Lagosians.”

Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, which was going through a series of repairs, had to be partially shut on July 24 for another round of rehabilitation works.

Traffic was partially diverted on a stretch of 3.5km where construction is ongoing between Adeniji Adeniji Ramp and Ebute Meta, while different time belts were allotted for traffic diversions on the bridge.

The 11.8km bridge is the longest of the three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the Mainland.

Lagos Govt Auctions 83 Forfeited Vehicles For Violating Law

The Coordinator of Special Offences Mobile Court, Arinola Ogbara, speaks duing the auctioning of 83 forfeited cars in Ikeja on February 8, 2021. Credit: Lagos State Government

 

The Lagos State Government has auctioned 83 forfeited vehicles for violating the state’s Transport Sector Reform Law 2018.

In a statement issued on Monday by the Director of Public Affairs in the Ministry of Justice, Kayode Oyekanmi, the move is sequel to the orders of the Special Offences Mobile Court set up by the state government.

Driving against traffic (one way) has caused a huge number of accidents and untold losses to property and human lives,” the Coordinator of Special Offences Mobile Court, Arinola Ogbara, was quoted as saying.

“There is a lot of processes and transparency to the public auction. Moreso, some of the people whose cars were seized have been told to pay a fine without their cars being forfeited based on the strength of evidence they presented at the Mobile Court.”

Also speaking, the Chairman of the State Taskforce, Shola Jejeloye, said the auction exercise was not meant to punish but to correct.

READ ALSO: Dead Patient’s Relatives Beat Nurse In Ondo Federal Medical Centre

“I do not see what we have come to do today as an auction but as a correction and deterrent for some Lagosian. The Lagos Commissioner of Police has instructed us to go out there as policemen and do our best to ensure the free flow of traffic,” he said.

The auctioned vehicles were earlier impounded in different areas of the state with the auction exercise conducted by a licensed Auctioneer, Mr Ade Onanuga, of CR Limited Auction House.

654 Suspected Criminals Arrested In Lagos

 

 

The Lagos State Police Command has arrested no fewer than 654 suspected criminals for armed robbery, arson, cultism, and other vices, while 557 of the suspects have already been arraigned in a law court to answer for their crimes.

This disclosure was contained in the monthly Police Activity Report for January 2021, issued by the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu.

The report disclosed that the Police foiled 13 armed robbery incidents and recovered 30 arms, while 119 vehicles and 670 motorcycles were impounded for violating the State traffic laws across the Lagos metropolis.

It also revealed that some hoodlums suspected to be armed robbers were arrested at NASFAT Area of Isawo, Ikorodu based on intelligence gathering, leading to the mobilisation of a team of policemen to dislodge criminals at the location

Two of the hoodlums were apprehended and one locally made pistol, five unexpended cartridges, and the suspects’ operational vehicle was impounded.

Two suspected armed robbers, according to the report, were also arrested at Eleko Beach, and one locally made pistol, two unexpended cartridges, and some charms were recovered from the suspects.

READ ALSO: Police Bust Fake CBN Investment Scheme

Another set of hoodlums suspected to be cultists holding a meeting at Mashalashi Street, Sari Iganmu were dislodged. Two of the cultists were arrested while others escaped. A locally-made pistol and some weeds suspected to be Indian hemp were recovered from them.

The report listed other areas where cultists operated and were subsequently arrested to include Seme Border, Owode-Elede area of Mile 12, Weigh Bridge, and Owode Onirin area among others.

It also stated that one Seun Agbakin was taken into custody for allegedly stabbing a 36-year old man residing at Adewale Okediran Street, Iba, to death during an altercation.

According to the police communique, officers who responded to the distress call tried their possible best to save the life of the victim by rushing him to the hospital but he had lost so much blood that he died during treatment.

Also contained in the report was the case of a four-year-old girl, who was allegedly defiled by one Sunday Zanu on Thursday, January 7, 2021, inside a bathroom at Sogunro, Pedro, Iwaya.

However, the police team dispatched to the scene were able to rescue the victim before taking her to a hospital for medical examination while the suspect was arrested.

In the contravention of the traffic law, 173 motorcycles were impounded for plying prohibited routes at the Owode Elede Area of Mile 12, Ikorodu Road, two vehicles were confiscated for driving against traffic and 31 for obstructing the free-flow of traffic.

Third Mainland Bridge: Lagos Govt To Close Oworonshoki Lane On Saturday

A file photo of signposts in road closure and diversion in Lagos State.

 

The Lagos State government has announced plans to close the Oworonshoki bound lane of the Third Mainland Bridge totally to vehicular movement by midnight on Saturday, February 6.

It noted that the closure would remain in force until 7pm on Sunday, February 7, for the removal of the last expansion joint on the Oworonshoki bound lane.

The government made the announcement in a statement on Wednesday by the Ministry of Transportation.

It explained that the closure was important to enable the contractors to move their equipment to the Oworonshoki bound lane within the given period without any interruption by vehicular movement on the bridge.

The Commissioner for Transportation in Lagos, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, who made the announcement on behalf of the governor, stated that the rehabilitation process was being enhanced to ensure that set deadlines were met.

He gave an assurance that traffic management personnel would be deployed along the alternative routes to minimise and address any traffic impediment during the closure.

Oladeinde also appealed for cooperation from residents, saying the ongoing repair work on the bridge was for the safety of all and sundry.

He added that the Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration would not relent in ensuring the safety of residents on roads in the state.

During the closure, the government urged motorists from Ogudu, Alapere, and Gbagada are advised to use Ikorodu Road, Jibowu, and Yaba as alternative routes.

Those from Lagos Island, Iddo, Oyingbo, Adekunle, and Yaba attempting to go through Iyana Oworosoki were asked to use Herbert Macaulay Way, Jibowu, and Ikorodu Road as alternative routes.

Read the tweets from the government below:

Court Dismisses Suit Against Restriction Of Motorcycles, Tricycles In Lagos

A photo taken on December 21, 2020, shows some of the motorcycles seized by the Lagos State Task Force.

 

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has dismissed a fundamental rights application filed by a legal practitioner, Olukoya Ogungbeje against the Lagos state government’s executive order restricting commercial motorcycles and tricycles in some LGAs in the state.

Justice Mohammed Liman held that the application lacks merit.

The applicant claimed his fundamental right had been violated during the enforcement of the regulation, but the court held that he failed to show or substantiate how the executive order had infringed in his rights.

The judge also noted that the suit was filed in an individual and not in a representative capacity.

Through the Attorney General of the State, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, the Lagos State Government had argued that the Executive Order restricting the use of Motorcycles and Tricycles is in accordance with the Law.

The AG who appeared for the State Government had filed a notice of preliminary objection and counter affidavit. He also filed a written address in opposition to the originating summons of the applicant.

READ ALSO: Three Police Officers Die, 10 Injured In Ebonyi Road Accident

The Attorney-General had asked the court to dismiss the originating summons, saying that the restriction of Motorcycles and Tricycles on major roads in the State is in line with the provisions of the Transport Sector Reform Law, 2018.

On the issue of jurisdiction Justice Liman held that the state and federal high courts have the jurisdiction to hear fundamental human rights violation cases.