Alleged 800m Naira Fraud: Ogunlewe Questions Court’s Jurisdiction

Court Dismisses Appeal Against Market Association In AbujaA former Minister of Works, Mr Adeseye Ogunlewe, is questioning the jurisdiction of an Ogun State High Court to hear a case bordering on financial misappropriation brought against him.

The lead counsel to the first accused, Wale Adesokan, had filed the application, saying it was made to put an end to the trial at the court.

He asked the court to quash the case brought against his client.

The former Minister, who is the Chairman Governing Council of the University of Agriculture in Abeokuta,  was charged to the court in Abeokuta alongside the Vice-Chancellor, Babatunde Oyewole and Moses Ilesanmi (bursar) over the alleged fraud.

However, the lead counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Ben Ubi, kicked against the application, insisting that Mr Ogunlewe and others have a case to answer.

He said the anti-graft agency would further study the application before commencement of hearing in court.

”We are opposing the application. They have case to answer and the accused should face the trial, rather than dancing round.

“We have acted strictly based on the law and we have not offended the law,” he said

After hearing the argument from both parties, the judge, Olatokunbo Majekodunmi, said there was need to progress on the case and adjourned hearing on the application brought by the first accused person to January 27, February 9 and 10, 2017.

Retired Soldier Gets Life Imprisonment For Raping Step-Daughter

retired soldier gets life imprisonment for raping step-daughterAn Ogun State High Court sitting in Isabo, Abeokuta, has sentenced a retired soldier, Alabi Ibrahim, to life imprisonment for raping his 10-year-old stepdaughter and infecting her with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

The convict was alleged to have committed the crime in 2012 and was subsequently arrested and tried following intervention from the Ogun State Chapter of Child Protection Network (CPN), an umbrella body of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) that fight for the rights of children.

A medical report presented in the court from the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, established that the convict had sexually assaulted the girl and also infected her with HIV.

The report tendered by a medical practitioner, Dr. Seyi Adejobi, says that after the defilement, medical investigation revealed that the girl had been penetrated, and blood investigation also showed that she had HIV.

The blood sample of the convict also tested positive for the virus.

However, Counsel to the convict, Adebola Okudoro, told the court that the allegation against him was hearsay, thereby appealing to the court to temper justice with mercy in seeing that his client was not sentenced.

He pleaded, “My Lord, the accused person is a first offender. The health of the accused should be put into consideration. He is infected with HIV and will need access to medical attention, which is very expensive, and there is no such facilities in prisons custody.

“The accused person is the breadwinner of the family. He has several dependants. We pray the court to temper justice with mercy,” he pleaded.

In his judgement, however, the presiding judge, Justice Abiodun Akinyemi, said that the accused faced a one-count charge of having sexual intercourse with the child; offence said to be contrary to section 3 of Child Rights Law, noting that the court was convinced with the allegation against the accused after several court sittings.

Akinyemi further added that the victim’s testimony during cross examination showed that she was telling the truth and not being tutored, as there were concrete evidence that the victim was sexually assaulted, having also lost count on number of times the convict assaulted her.

“The court is convinced about the girl’s evidences. She is intelligent, she remained consistent during cross examination and she does not seem to have been tutored.

“I find her evidence credible. Evidence of her mother corroborated her own,” the judge stated.

The presiding judge also made reference to the medical report which stated that the accused infected the girl with HIV, stressing that the convict’s action has brought a permanent stigma on the innocent girl.

“I am fully convinced that the accused had repeatedly had sex with the girl. I found the accused guilty as charged. I find it not in my mind to show any mercy.

“The man is shameless, sleeping with mother and child, what an abomination.

“People like him need not to be in the society. I therefore sentence him to life imprisonment. He should, however, be given access to reasonable treatment,” the judgement declared.

House Help Gets Death Sentence For Killing Former Boss

death-sentence-hangingAn Ogun State High Court has sentenced a 21-year old house help to death by hanging for killing his former boss, a retired Chief Magistrate in March last year.

The court, sitting in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State, found David Ndah, 21, guilty of killing Funmilayo Timehin, 65, at her Laderin Estate Residence in Abeokuta.

David, an Igede indigene from Benue State, was a former house help of late
Madam Timehin but was sacked based on an allegation of stealing of mobile
phones and jewelleries.

Delivering his judgement, Justice Abiodun Akinyemi said “the accused is guilty as charged” and sentenced him to death by hanging

David Ndah was arraigned in court on a one count charge of murder, an offence contrary to section 316 and punishable under section 319 of the criminal code laws of Ogun State of Nigeria 2006.

Amosun, APC Ask Tribunal To Strike Out MPPP Petition

AmosunOgun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) have filed a motion of notice before the Ogun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, challenging a petition brought before it by Mega Progressive Peoples Party (MPPP).

The three-member tribunal, headed by Justice Henry Olusiyi, began its sitting at the premises of the Ogun State High Court, Isabo, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital on Tuesday.

The MPPP, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the last election, Gboyega N. Isiaka, had filled separate petitions challenging the outcome of the last governorship election which returned Governor Amosun elected.

While the MPPP in its petition asked the court to cancel the whole election, alleging that its candidate’s name and party were omitted from the ballot paper, the PDP and Isiaka said Governor Amosun did not win lawful votes to have returned him elected.

The PDP and Isiaka’s petition could not begin, after the counsel to the 3rd to 128th respondents, Olushina Sofola, told the tribunal that his clients had not filled their responses because they were still within 21 days recognised by law, within which to file their responses.

Mr Sofola said his clients were served on the May 5 and had until the close of work on Monday, to file their responses.

Application seeking the extension of time for the respondents to file their responses was, however, struck out by the tribunal.

Although, the tribunal has not fixed a date for the hearing of the petitions, the lead counsels to Amosun and APC, Fagbemi Lateef and George Oyeniyi, told the tribunal that a motion on notice, requesting the tribunal to strike out the petition of MPPP had been filled.

According to the motion signed by one Azeez Soboyejo, dated May 13, a copy of which was obtained by Channels Television’s correspondent, the petitioner sought for an order dismissing and/or striking out the petition for being statute barred, having been filed outside the mandatory statutory period of 21 days after the declaration of the election result.

This, according to the motion, was contrary to section 134(1) Electoral Act No 64, 2010 (as amended) and section 285(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

Citing grounds for the application, both APC and Governor Amosun said the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to entertain and determine the petition, as the court had failed to disclose any reasonable cause for action.

The application also stated that the petition was filed in gross violation of the provisions of section 134(1) of the, Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

It however, asked the tribunal to dismiss the petition “for reasons that same is frivolous, speculative, gold-digging, and unmeritorious, with substantial cost”.

Court Hands 266-Year Jail Sentence To Woman Over N8m Theft

courtA female staff of a popular eatery has been charged and sentenced to 266 years imprisonment by an Ogun State High Court on Wednesday.

A statement signed by the Head, Media & Publicity of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Wilson Uwujaren, said the court found the convict guilty on all the 34 count charges as was convicted.

The Chief Judge of the High Court sitting in Abeokuta, the state capital, Justice A.A Akinyemi, sentenced the employee, identified as Oluremi Olayinka, for stealing a sum of N8million belonging to her employer.

The Judge stated that “the offence is contrary to sections 390 (6) (7) (8), 467 and 468 respectively of the Criminal Code Law Cap 29,” Laws of Ogun State.

According to the statement, “she was sentenced to seven years on each of 30 counts and 14 years on the remaining four charges. The sentences are to run concurrently”.

Additionally, Justice Akinyemi ordered the return of the stolen money in restitution to her victim.

Olayinka was charged before Justice Akinyemi on May 13, 2014 following a petition, alleging that she stole the sum of N8m which she received on behalf of her employer.

When she was confronted with the allegation, she admitted the crime, only to dramatically plead not guilty upon arraignment.

The EFCC however, presented four witnesses and tendered sixteen exhibits to prove the case against the her.

EFCC vs. Gbenga Daniel: Case Fixed For April 3 And 4

The Ogun State High Court has fixed April 3 and 4 for the commencement  of trial of the case brought against the former governor of the state, Gbenga Daniel by the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over allegations of financial impropriety.

This decision, according to the presiding judge, Justice Olanrewaju Mabekoje, is to allow parties in the case to prepare for the commencement of trial after a long lull, occasioned by the defendant going to the appellate court sitting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital to seek for the quashing of count 1 to 13 of the 28 count charge preferred against him.

It will be recalled that the Appeal Court sitting in Ibadan has ruled over the 13 count charge bothering on illegal conversion of some state landed property by the former governor, saying he had a case to answer.

The case was adjourned in November 2013, when counsel to Daniel, Mrs Titilola Akinlawon, pleaded for an adjournment to a date exceeding January 28, 2014, when the judgment would have been given in respect of the appeal.

Absence of EFCC counsel stalls Gbenga Daniel’s trial

The absence of the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),  Rotimi Jacobs  in court on Monday stalled the resumption of the trial of the former governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel.

The former governor is currently standing trial before Justice Olanrewaju Mabekoje of an Ogun State High Court on a 38-count of alleged stealing, false declaration of assets and fraudulent conversion of lands leveled against him by the EFCC.

Justice Mabekoje had on June 29, 2012, adjourned the case to today for continuation of hearing following the inability of the EFCC to produce two other witnesses.

At the resumed trial, Tayo Olukotun, one of the prosecution counsels informed the court that Mr Jacobs was “unavoidably absent”.

He  told the court that the defense counsel had a prior knowledge of the development.

Olukotun therefore prayed the court to adjourn the case till Thursday, 12 July 2012.

Mrs. Titilola Akinlawon (SAN), a defense counsel, confirmed foreknowledge of Rotimi’s absence, explaining that it was on personal and professional ground.

Akinlawon who did not oppose the adjournment, however, opined that the prosecution ought to have informed the court before today in line with best legal practices.

The presiding judge thereafter adjourned the case till July 12th 2012 for commencement of hearing on the case.

Witness tenders evidence against Gbenga Daniel

The first prosecution witness, a business development manager, Mr Babatunde Adeluola testifying against former governor of Ogun state, Gbenga Daniel completed his testimony on Friday.

The former governor is facing a 38 count charge of financial impropriety levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

At the resumed hearing of the case at the Ogun state High Court, the witness told the presiding judge, Justice Olanrewaju Mabekoje that his failure to appear in court at the last sitting was due to illness.

When counsel to the former governor Prof Taiwo Osipitan(SAN), tried to cross examine the witness on alleged threats to his life, an allegation made by the EFCC at the last sitting, counsel to the anti-graft agency, Mr Rotimi Jacobs vigorously opposed the line of questioning.

Justice Mabekoje had to intervene by ordering that a formal complaint should be made at the Ibara police station in Abeokuta and after investigations, the police were to make their findings available to the court.

While answering further questions on the two statements of accounts of Blue Chapel LTD, a company owned by the former governor, the witness agreed with the defence counsel that there were ambiguities in the transactions listed in the two exhibits before the court.

He however clarified after the court’s ruling that there were some pages missing in one of the exhibits while the other was a fuller compilation of the transactions of the company.

The witness was discharged and Justice Mabekoje adjourned to the 9th of July after the EFCC informed the court that the next sets of witnesses were not in court to testify.

EFCC calls first witness to Gbenga Daniel’s trial

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday presented evidence that the former governor of Ogun state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, used personal accounts to divert funds from the coffers of the state.

The Ogun state High Court sitting in Abeokuta, the state capital, on Monday listened to the testimony of the first prosecution witness, Babatunde Adeluola,  a business development manager with Skye bank.

The witness told the court that he manages several accounts for the bank, one of which is opened in the name of Blue Chapel Company, with the sole signatory being former governor Gbenga Daniel.

A copy of the company’s statement of account was tendered by the anti-graft agency and admitted as exhibit by the court.

The former governor is standing trial for a 38 count charge of financial misappropriation while serving his two term as the state’s governor.

The witness reeled out a list of transactions on the accounts which was operated by cheques and cash deposits made in millions.

Under cross examination however, the witness admitted that he joined the bank in 2007 and had no knowledge of the deposits and proceeds of account which had been made between 2004 when the account was opened & 2006, the periods which the statement covered.

The witness also admitted that he could not confirm the accuracy of the figures posted in to the account.

After looking through the documents, he told the court that there was no cash or cheque deposit made by the former governor into the account but admitted that the deposits could have been made by the companies’ clients.

A controversy however ensued when the defence team sought to tender in evidence a copy of the same statement of account extracted from the proof of evidence before the court which showed parallels in the figures reeled out by the witness.

The statement of account was certified by the witness to be genuine.

This controversy led the presiding judge Justice Olanrewaju Mabekoje to adjourn till the 5th of June when he will rule on the admissibility of the document in question.