Alleged N4.9b Fraud: Trial Of Fani-Kayode Stalled

Fani-KayodeThe trial of former Aviation Minister, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode over a 4.9 bilion naira fraud charge could not proceed at the Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday.

This is because he is still in Kuje prison trying to perfect the conditions for his bail granted by a Federal High Court in Abuja on five-count charge of diversion of 26 million naira.

His counsel, Mr Wale Balogun, told the court that he has been in Kuje prisons because he is yet to meet the bail conditions granted him by an Abuja court.

“My lord, the second accused (Fani-Kayode) was kept in custody of the prosecution for 21 days without any word, and finally, arraigned on November 10 before your learned brother, Justice John Tsoho in Abuja, on a five-count charge bordering on N26million.

“He was subsequently remanded at the Kuje prisons, and in view of this, we are helpless, as his bail conditions have not been perfected in spite of frantic efforts by family and friends,” Balogun said.

Mr Fani-Kayode had been facing a 17-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N4.9 billion before he was re-arrested on Friday, October 21 by operatives of the anti-graft agency.

He has been re-arraigned on fresh charges bordering on corruption, criminal breach of trust and diversion of funds by the EFCC.

Fani-Kayode, who was also spokesman for the Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign, has pleaded not guilty to the five-count charge.

Court Grants Fani-Kayode Bail

Fani-KayodeA Federal High Court in Abuja has granted bail to former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, in the sum of 50 million naira and one surety in like sum.

The court says that the surety must be resident in Abuja and own a landed property in the capital city.

The former minister is to submit his passport and other travel documents to the court.

The presiding judge, Justice John Tsoho, has directed that Mr. Fani-Kayode be remanded in Kuje Prison until he meets the conditions of his bail application.

Mr. Fani-Kayode was arrested on Friday, October 21 by operatives of the anti-graft agency, as he left the Federal High Court premises in Lagos.

His arrest is connected to the recent 17-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N4.9 billion filed by the EFCC in Abuja against him.

He has been arraigned on fresh charges bordering on corruption, criminal breach of trust and diversion of funds by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Fani-Kayode, who was also spokesman for the Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign, has pleaded not guilty to the five-count charge.

The former Aviation Minister has described his arrests as efforts to silence him.

Speaking to newsmen while being taken away by operatives of the EFCC as he left the Federal High Court premises in Lagos on Friday, he said: “They will not take my life, I am not scared, I’m not intimidated (and) I will not be silenced.

“I am very proud of the fact that the Nigerian people are beginning to understand what is going on in this country.

“They can re-arrest me a thousand times, torture me, lock me up, beat me, deprive me of food and my phones; they can do anything to me, I will never change.”

Fani-Kayode To Be Arraigned Nov 10   

Fani-KayodeA former Minister of Aviation and Spokesman for the Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode who is being detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is to be arraigned in Abuja on November 10.

According to a source within the anti-graft agency, Mr Fani-Kayode is to be arraigned on fresh charges bordering on criminal diversion of funds.

The EFCC source added that a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed who was arrested on Sunday and former presidential spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati are still undergoing interrogation and will be arraigned in court as soon as investigations on them are concluded.

Mr. Fani-Kayode was arrested on Friday, October 21 by operatives of the anti-graft agency, as he left the Federal High Court premises in Lagos.

His arrest is connected to the recent 17-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N4.9 billion filed by the EFCC in Abuja against him.

The Federal High Court in Lagos had fixed a new date for the trial of Mr. Fani-Kayode and Nenadi Usman, who were accused of money laundering by the EFCC.

‘I Will Not Be Silenced’

Meanwhile, the former Aviation Minister has said that he will not be intimidated by efforts to silence him after he was re-arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Speaking to newsmen while being taken away by operatives of the EFCC as he left the Federal High Court premises in Lagos on Friday, he said: “They will not take my life, I am not scared, I’m not intimidated (and) I will not be silenced.

“I am very proud of the fact that the Nigerian people are beginning to understand what is going on in this country.

“They can re-arrest me a thousand times, torture me, lock me up, beat me, deprive me of food and my phones; they can do anything to me, I will never change.”

EFCC Invites Fani-Kayode

On May 9, 2016, the former Aviation Minister, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode honoured the invitation of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He arrived at the headquarters of the anti-graft agency in Abuja in a police convoy.

The EFCC operatives had laid a siege to Mr Fani-Kayode’s residence but later withdrew after almost six hours.

Officers of the EFCC had visited his Maitama home inviting him for questioning on May 9, only to return at midday with armed men, seeking his arrest.

Mr Fani-Kayode said he was surprised at the turn of events after he had promised to show up with his lawyer.

He was the Director of Publicity for former President Goodluck Jonathan and PDP’s campaign Organisation before the general election of 2015.

Mr Fani-Kayode Released

On July 15, 2016, Mr Fani-Kayode was released from EFCC custody after meeting his bail conditions.

He was released after over two months in detention.

The former Aviation Minister, shortly after his release told Channels Television, “I give thanks to God that I am free after 67 days in detention.

“This was the worst experience of my life but God was with me all the way. I suffered immeasurably but I count it all as joy.

“I am innocent of all charges and I look forward to defending myself vigorously in court. These charges are politically motivated and I have been severely punished for my political views and criticisms of the government.”

Mr Fani-Kayode was arrested by the anti-graft agency over alleged 1.5 billion Naira fraud and has been charged alongside a former Minister of Finance, Nenadi Usman; a firm, Joint Trust Dimensions Limited; and one Jimoh Yusuf.

The Federal High Court in Lagos granted bail in the sum of 250 million Naira each, to Mr Fani-Kayode, Nenadi Usman and Danjuma Yusuf who are being tried by the EFCC for allegedly stealing and laundering about 4.9 billion Naira.

‘I Will Never Change’, Fani-Kayode Vows After EFCC Arrest

Fani-KayodeThe former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, says he will not be intimidated by efforts to silence him after he was re-arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mr. Fani-Kayode was arrested on Friday by operatives of the anti-graft agency, as he left the Federal High Court premises in Lagos.

Speaking to newsmen while being taken away, he said: “They will not take my life, I am not scared, I’m not intimidated (and) I will not be silenced.

“I am very proud of the fact that the Nigerian people are beginning to understand what is going on in this country.

“They can re-arrest me a thousand times, torture me, lock me up, beat me, deprive me of food and my phones; they can do anything to me, I will never change.”

Fani-Kayode, EFCC Arrests

Fani-Kayode’s arrest is connected to the latest 17-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N4.9 billion filed by the EFCC in Abuja against him.

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday fixed a new date for the trial of Mr. Fani-Kayode and Nenadi Usman, who were accused of money laundering by the EFCC.

EFCC Invites Fani-Kayode

On May 9, 2016, the former Aviation Minister, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode honoured the invitation of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He arrived at the headquarters of the anti-graft agency in Abuja in a police convoy.

The EFCC operatives had laid a siege to Mr Fani-Kayode’s residence but later withdrew after almost six hours.

Officers of the EFCC had visited his Maitama home inviting him for questioning on May 9, only to return at midday with armed men, seeking his arrest.

Mr Fani-Kayode said he was surprised at the turn of events after he had promised to show up with his lawyer.

He was the Director of Publicity for former President Goodluck Jonathan and PDP’s campaign Organisation before the general election of 2015.

Mr Fani-Kayode Released

On July 15, 2016, Mr Fani-Kayode was released from EFCC custody after meeting his bail conditions.

He was released after over two months in detention.

The former Aviation Minister, shortly after his release told Channels Television, “I give thanks to God that I am free after 67 days in detention.

“This was the worst experience of my life but God was with me all the way. I suffered immeasurably but I count it all as joy.

“I am innocent of all charges and I look forward to defending myself vigorously in court. These charges are politically motivated and I have been severely punished for my political views and criticisms of the government.”

Mr Fani-Kayode was arrested by the anti-graft agency over alleged 1.5 billion Naira fraud and has been charged alongside a former Minister of Finance, Nenadi Usman; a firm, Joint Trust Dimensions Limited; and one Jimoh Yusuf.

The Federal High Court in Lagos granted bail in the sum of 250 million Naira each, to Mr Fani-Kayode, Nenadi Usman and Danjuma Yusuf who are being tried by the EFCC for allegedly stealing and laundering about 4.9 billion Naira.

Ayade Seeks Legislation To Protect Street Hawkers

Cross River, Ben AyadeSome residents in Calabar, the Cross River State capital have commended the move by the state government to legalise street hawking in the state.

The state government is proposing a bill seeking to protect the rights of street hawkers in the state, for them to carry out their hawking activities without any form of intimidation.

The Hawkers Protection Bill, when passed into law will allow only adults from 18 years and above in reflective vest to hawk at designated time and locations.

The act of hawking has been a long standing African tradition that dates back centuries and allows for both children and adults moving about with their wares for sales.

Many have opined that hawking most times constitutes a menace in traffic and many hoodlums hide under its cover to perpetuate crime thereby, discouraging the act of hawking.

Different circumstances have led people into this most popular form of trading.

To some, they can’t afford to rent shops, to others, their only means of survival is this form of business and are happy with government’s proposed bill.

The Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade is seeking to propose a bill to protect the rights of street hawkers in the state.

Colombia And FARC Rebels Sign Historic Peace Agreement

cuba bbc newsAfter four years of dialogue, the Colombian government and the FARC rebel group have signed a historic peace accord, putting an end to more than five decades of conflict.

This announcement was made at the Cuban capital, Havana, where peace talks were launched in November 2012.

Both sides have agreed to work together to address social exclusion, deliver justice to the victims of the conflict and build a stable and enduring peace.

“Today I can say – from the bottom of my heart – that I have fulfilled the mandate that you gave me,” President of Juan Manuel Santos told Reuters.

“Colombians: the decision is in your hands. Never before have our citizens had within their reach the key to their future,” he said.

The conflict has killed an estimated 220,000 people and displaced millions.

Meanwhile, the United States President, Barack Obama on a phone call congratulated his Colombian counterpart, Juan Santos, on the deal.

“The president recognised this historic day as a critical juncture in what will be a long process to fully implement a just and lasting peace agreement, that can advance security and prosperity for the Colombian people,” said the White House in a statement.

Earthquake Leaves At Least 21 Dead In Central Italy

earthquakeAt least 21 people including children have died in Central Italy after a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck 76 kilometre, Southeast of the city of Perugia.

In Rome, reports say some buildings shook for 20 seconds and a family of four were found under rubble in the town of Accumoli. Several people remain trapped under the rubble.

“One person was pulled out of the rubble during the night,” said Mayor of Accumoli, Stefano Petrucci.
“There is a family of four under a collapsed house and sadly there are two small children among them.”

Some of the worst damage was in the town of Amatrice, where several people died and rescue efforts were under way to find survivors.

“The roads in and out of town are cut off. Half the town is gone. There are people under the rubble. There’s been a landslide and a bridge might collapse,” Mayor of Amatruice, Sergio Perozzi told BBC.

Italy’s civil protection has described the earthquake as “severe” and the united states geological survey also predicted that the damage could be significant, based on data from previous quakes.

In 2009, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake in the Aquila region, which was also felt in the Italian capital, left more than 300 dead.

Capacity Constraints Hindering Policy Implementation In Nigeria – Anyim-Ude

Nnanna-Anyium-UdeA Consultant with the Infrastructure Policy Commission of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Nnanna Anyim-Ude, has stressed the need for the government to address its capacity constraints to improve policy implementation in Nigeria.

Identifying Nigeria’s challenges in the area of policy implementation, he told Channels Television that “political office holders come up with different mandate and change in nomenclature of ministries because the framework in governance is weak”.

Pushing further his claims, he said: “You do not create a ministry without going through a congress. All ministries are established by Acts of Congress, but in Nigeria a President will be elected and he will create his own ministries after four years another President will come and create his own ministries.

“Check the advanced economies, they don’t do that”.

The Consultant further stated that all the changes had an effect on policy implementation.

Speaking as a guest on Sunrise Daily, Mr Ude identified two other issues affecting implementation of policies – poor governance framework and financing.

He said that the Summit Group was looking at ways of assisting the government in the area of implementation of policy and governance framework.

NDLEA Arrests 74 Drug Suspects In Kwara

NDLEAThe Kwara State command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has arrested a total of 74 suspects carrying 391.26 kilogramme of hard drugs between January and July 2016.

Speaking with journalists in Ilorin, the State Commander of the agency, Mr Apeh Reuben, said that sixty-two of the suspects were male, while twelve others were female.

The NDLEA boss, who said that 14 people had been convicted by the state High Court, in Ilorin on offences involving possession and smoking of hard drugs, added that their sentences ranged from 12 months to eight years imprisonment.

He also said that five suspected drug users were arrested in an uncompleted building around Baboko area of Ilorin metropolis on August 4, “with functionally sophisticated locally made pistols ready for operation.

“The drug situation in the state has taken a different dimension because they are very expensive,” the

Mr Reuben further stated that the addicts no longer afford the drug at their reach as usual. Therefore, they engage in pilfering and armed robbery in order to meet up with the cost of maintaining their habit.

“This of course reveals that all drug users or consumers are potential armed robbers. Their inability to afford the cost of drug could make them armed robbers”, Mr Reuben said.

While lamenting over high rate of hard drug users in the state, Mr Reuben said that most of the arrested persons were smokers between ages of 19 and 50 years.

He said that many of them had been counseled, with 30 among them rehabilitated and released to their family.

He also urge parents to be more responsible to upbringing of their children, stressing the need for them to know the company their children keep.

Normal Activities In Yobe Despite NLC Strike

NLC strike, Kano, Rivers, NLCAs the strike enters day two today, normal activities are progressing without any breach in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital despite directives by union leaders that residents should join the strike.

A visit to banks and other financial institutions within the town reveals that normal banking operations were going on uninterrupted as banks were opened for routine transactions.

The situation was not different in schools, hospitals and government ministries and boards as civil servants were seen doing the daily civil service work.

When contacted on the strike situation in the state, the Yobe State Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Lawan Bukar, said that the strike was in force, stressing that a monitoring team had been dispatched across town to ensure compliance by all civil servants.

He warned members to comply with the national directive to kick against the decision of the federal government, as the price of the petrol as stated by the current administration is above the reach of the common man.

While calling on members to support the strike, the NLC Chairman said that the current security situation in the state would not allow the union to stage a rally but urged members to ‘sit at home’ in protest of the decision of the federal government.

On observation that normal activities were going on across the state despite the directive, the Chairman said that a monitoring team had been deployed to ensure compliance across the state, stressing that the decision of the national body would be strictly adhered to.

JTF In Kano Arrests General Shuwa’s Killers

Mamman Shuwa-General Shuwa-Army
The late war General, Mamman Shuwa

The Nigerian Army on Monday announced that it has grabbed a man believed to be behind the murder of a retired General, Mannan Shuwa in Maiduguri, Borno State.

The Spokesman for the Army, Colonel Sani Usman, told reporters that the man would soon be paraded before the media and prosecuted before the court.

This is sequel to the arrest of three suspects in connection with the killing of the elder statesman by the Military Joint Task Force (JTF) in Maiduguri in 2013.

Boko Haram
Muhammad Sani Nafiu (in white) said to have facilitated and aided the killing of late Shuwa; Ali Muhammad a.k.a Amir (in black), Boko Haram preacher in Baga since 2009

A statement issued by spokesman of the JTF, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, listed the names of the suspects as: Mustapha Umar, Goni Modu Lawan and Goni Ali.

The statement also said that the suspects, who confessed to being members of the Boko Haram sect under Gwange cell with one Abdul Kareem, said that they had carried out various attacks on both the military and civilians.

The Commander of the 3rd Brigade in Kano, Brigadier General Hamisu Hassan, also told newsmen that Muhammad Nafiu confessed to have participated in the killing of late Shuwa and many other Boko Haram operations in the northwest and east respectively.

General Hamisu said that the other suspect, Ali Amir confessed to have been a preacher of the group since 2009 but later disappeared after the killing of Boko Haram leader, Muhammad Yusuf.

Boko-Haram-Shuwa-killers

The retired general was shot dead in front of his house on November 2, 2012 at the lower Gwange Area in Borno State, northeast Nigeria.

The dreaded sect, Boko Haram, had immediately denied killing the General and an associate of a former Borno State Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff, his orderly and a guest in his Maiduguri home.

Major General Mannan Shuwa was the pioneer General Officer Commanding of the Nigerian Army’s 1st Division, who commanded the Army’s division during the Civil War.

Arik Suspends Domestic Operations

ArikThe Aviation Union in the industry have grounded the operations of Nigeria’s carrier, Arik Air over what they described as a large debt of N12.5billion to Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.

The unions shutdown the airline’s operations on Wednesday after a yearlong negotiations failed.

Passengers are the most hit following the dispute as hundreds of them could not embark on their journey.

Meanwhile Arik Air has confirmed the situation, in a press statement issued by its management, the airline said the action by the workers’ union is connected with the long-standing and unsubstantiated claim by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) of high indebtedness to the agency which is now before a Federal High Court in Lagos at the instance of FAAN.

Arik said this is not the first time that FAAN workers’ union will be taking laws into their hands by disrupting its operations and that the airline is compelled to suspend all domestic operations for today, and this will remain in force until the unfortunate situation is resolved.