Sun Newspaper Distances Self From Legal Battle Between EFCC And Orji Kalu

 

The management of the Sun newspaper has condemned the actions of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), who on Saturday marked the publication’s corporate headquarters in Lagos linked to former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu.

The EFCC said the marking was to ensure that the properties were not dissipated, following the December 5, 2019 order of Justice Muhammed Idris sitting at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, that Kalu’s company, Slok Nigeria Limited, be wound up and all assets forfeited to the Federal Government.

RELATED: EFCC Marks Orji Kalu’s Properties For Seizure

The newspaper, in a statement, distanced itself from the legal battle between Mr. Kalu and the EFCC, stressing that a Notice of Appeal and Motion for Stay of Execution were duly served on EFCC by the bailiffs of the court.

Read the full statement below:

“PRESS STATEMENT

EFCC VISIT TO THE SUN OFFICE WITH ARMED POLICEMEN: OUR STAND

Three officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with four heavily armed policemen on Saturday, December 14, 2019, at about 10.00 am, arrived the corporate headquarters of The Sun Publishing Limited at 2, Coscharis Street, Kirikiri Industrial Layout, Apapa, Lagos and put up a notice for staff and the general public to keep off the premises. The EFCC officials, who   came in a white Toyota bus with registration number, ABUJA BWR-644GA, wrote on The Sun’s fence, “EFCC, keep off.”  They also advised our staff to collect their personal belongings from the office as they will come back to seal the premises completely.

We do not understand the legal basis for this EFCC action. It is on record that there is a pending appeal at the Supreme Court with Suit No: SC/546/2018 wherein The Sun Publishing Limited appealed against the Judgement delivered by the Court of Appeal on the interim forfeiture order made against it by a Federal High Court in 2007 based on ex parte proceeding. The Notice of Appeal and Motion for Stay of Execution were duly served on EFCC by the bailiffs of the Court.

It is also pertinent to state that EFCC vide a letter written by Counsel to The Sun Publishing Limited, dated 22nd May 2018 and duly received by one Caleb Peter on behalf of Rotimi Jacobs & Co. was further put on notice of the pending appeal at the Supreme Court and advised to stay action in the matter pending the hearing of the Motion for Stay of execution and the appeal.

Again,  it is instructive to state that The Sun Publishing Limited was not a party to the case of EFCC vs. Orji Uzor Kalu & 2 Others, so we do not see why the Judgment, in that case, should lead to attempt to seal The Sun Publishing Limited premises.

Furthermore, we are aware that both Senator Orji Uzor Kalu and Slok Nig Limited have since appealed the Judgment delivered by Justice Mohammed Idris and a hearing date given.

We wish to reiterate that The Sun Publishing Limited is an ongoing corporate limited liability company and its shares are owned by various individuals distinct from Senator Orji Uzor Kalu. Therefore, the recent Judgment against Senator Orji Uzor Kalu should not be used to disturb the operations of the company and the proprietary rights of its innocent shareholders until the matters are dispensed with at the Supreme Court.

In view of the foregoing, we call and appeal to the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice to urgently intervene and advise EFCC appropriately on the legal consequences of its actions.

Management,

The Sun Publishing Limited

December 14, 2019″

 

Abia: Court Adjourns Governor’s Son’s Case Against Popular Newspaper

EkitiAbia State High Court in Ohafia has adjourned  preliminary hearings on a suit filed by Chinedum Orji, son of Abia State Governor, against Sun Newspapers and Ebere Wabara to the 15th of December 2014.

Chinedum Orji had on the 8th of April, 2014 filed a suit against the publishing company and one Ebere Wabara, for libel, claiming the sum of N5 billion as damages for libel, as well as an unreserved apology to be published in the same newspaper and an order restraining the defendants and their agents from further writing, printing and publishing the said libelous matter or a similar one against his person.

The trial Judge, Justice Amanze Chikwendu ruling on the request by the counsel to the claimant for an adjournment, which unanimously was agreed by the defense counsel, obliged their request and adjourned the hearing of preliminary till December.

Addressing journalists after the court proceedings, counsel to the claimant, Livy Uzoukwu (SAN) and the defence counsel Charles Enwelunta took different stands on the matter on hand, especially concerning if the choice of words used by the writer and publishing company in describing the claimant were in order.

Meanwhile, the court threw away an application for the award of N200,000.00 presented by the defense counsel for cost accrued due to adjournment of the case because of inability of the claimant to respond which the former said was also due to inability of defense counsel to file an application when expected.

Nigeria’s Sports Minister Asked To Intervene In NFF Crisis

George Aluo.The Minister of Sports in Nigeria, Tammy Danagogo, has been asked to intervene in the Nigeria Football Federation’s crisis and avert possible sanction by the world football governing body, FIFA.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has seen series of leadership tussles, in the last few months.

Emphasising the need for the Minister to wade into the crisis, a sports editor with the Sun Newspaper, George Aluo, on Tuesday, said that a timely intervention would save Nigeria’s football and give needed morale to the Super Eagles in their remaining 2015 African Nations Cup qualifier matches.

He attributed Nigeria’s present struggle to qualify to the crisis and further urged those involved to seek nation’s interest rather than their selfish interest.

Many thought the crisis had ended when the Amaju Pinnick led board was put in place, but the Chris Giwa faction of the NFF went to court and secured an order removing Pinnick from office.

The world football governing body sees the issue as an interference in the administration of football in Nigeria and had warned that it would ban Nigeria from international games if the issue was not resolved.

A Family Case

In a telephone conversation with Channels Television, Giwa said that the case in the Plateau State High Court, which ordered the Mr Pinnick to vacate office, had nothing to do with FIFA.

“There are issues on ground and I don’t want us to cover it up. The case we have in Nigerian court has nothing to do with FIFA. It is a family case. We have an issue and we decided to go to a court in Nigeria. We have two cases. The one that involves FIFA is the one in Switzerland and the case that involves we Nigeria is the one in court in Jos. It has nothing to do with the rules of the game,” he claimed.

But Aluo insisted that any issue that involves football administration is not supposed to be taken to a conventional court and urged Giwa to withdraw the case.

“It is against FIFA rules to take cases that are supposed to be treated in a court set up by the governing body for such issues.

“Thank God the harmer from FIFA has not come.

“FIFA is not happy in banning anybody. Because it will not derive any joy in seeing Nigeria not being part of its family. What FIFA is saying is that we should do the needful and respect the statutes of football.

“We are not doing that at the moment. I don’t think that we are doing the right thing.

“The way the stakeholders are going about it in this country, they are not telling themselves the truth. They are deceiving themselves and at the end of the day, it is the country that will suffer if we are banned. The earlier we do the needful the better for us.

“The Sports Minister should know a few things. Whether he is in or out of sports. You don’t need to be involved in football to know that football matter is not taken to the conventional court.

“If it is taken to the conventional court, it affects the administration,” he said.

To resolve the issue, the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, had scheduled a meeting with the NFF President and Mr Aluo believes President Jonathan’s intervention would lay the crisis to rest once and for all.

NPFL:Faceoff Between Club Owners And League Mgt. Committee

On Sports Tonite, Masters of analysis on the sports programme; Toyin Ibitoye, Tunde Koiki and Onyewabuchi who is also a sports editor of Suns newspaper had to compare the league structure of the NPFL with that of other major leagues in the world,with the hope that club owners,league management committee will check themselves in their way of operating the NPFL.

Watch the rest of the interview for more details.

AFCON 2013: Defence Is Super Eagles Biggest Challenge – Analyst

A sport analyst and roving sport editor of the Sun Newspaper, George Aluo on Monday said though the has been a significant improvement in the Super Eagles of Nigeria’s performance, the team still has to work on it defence.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said being a defender himself, the Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi should know how to organise his defence.

“The biggest Challenge in that team at the moment is our defence. We’ve always known it that the Eagles defence is very, very vulnerable and I think the earlier Keshi does something about it the better for us,” he said.

We Have Players That Can Win AFCON – Sport Editor

A Sport Editor with the Sun Newspaper, George Aluo on Monday said Nigeria has the right set of players that can win the ongoing African Cup of Nation (AFCON) competition.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Aluo said it is not true that the Coach of the Nigerian side, Stephen Keshi was rebuilding a new Super Eagles team.

“Those who are telling us that the team was hurriedly assembled and that we are rebuilding are telling not the truth,” he said.

Mr Aluo said whoever is saying that the Super Eagles Coach rebuilt a new team is ‘hiding under the canopy that we might not win’ the competition.

He said, “Nigerians should be looking at this team winning the Nations Cup for the third time, we got the players.”

Sun Newspaper editor, Steve Nwosu shot by bandits

Armed bandits today in Lagos shot a newspaper editor, Steve Nwosu. Sources disclosed that Mr.Nwosu,the editor of Sun Newspapers in Nigeria was shot while coming from Zenith Bank in Maza Maza area in Lagos.

It was gathered that the bandits robbed him of the money he went to withdraw from the bank this afternoon. The criminals operated on motorcycle and vanished within minutes.

Latest reports show that Nwosu survived the gun shots as he was immediately rushed to the hospital for prompt medical attention after the unfortunate incident. Nwosu has been working with The Sun for many years now.

He writes an incisive column on social and political matters. He has also won several awards for his media work.