Alleged N6.2bn Fraud: EFCC Closes Case Against Ex-Governor Jang

Jang Replies EFCC, Denies Ownership Of Kaduna Property
(File) Former governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday closed its case in the alleged N6.2 billion fraud against the former governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang.

Jang and Yusuf Pam, a former cashier in the Office of the Secretary to the State Government (OSSG), are being prosecuted before Justice C. L. Dabup of Plateau State High Court sitting in Jos.

They are facing trial for alleged criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of Plateau State funds to the tune of N6.2 billion.

At the last sitting, the EFCC had presented its fourteenth witness (PW14), a Chief Superintendent of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offence Commission (ICPC),  Taiwo Oloronyomi, who testified against the defendants.

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While tendering the statement in evidence, the second defendant’s counsel, S. Olawale, raised an objection, arguing that the statement of his client to the ICPC was not voluntary as he was subjected to physical and psychological torture by one Hajiya Fatima Mohammed of the ICPC. This prompted the court to order a trial within trial.

Ruling on the trial within a trial on Tuesday, Justice Dabup admitted in evidence the statement that the second defendant made on November 17, 2016, to the ICPC. The crux of the statement pertained to the withdrawal of monies through cheques approved by the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Secretary to the State government, which was taken to the first defendant (Jang).

The judge, however,  rejected the statement made on November 23, 2016, saying that the mandatory cautionary word was not taken before the second defendant volunteered to write his statement.

After the prosecution closed its case, the defendants were expected to open their defence on  June 1, 2022. However, their counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and S. Olewale informed the court of their decision not to do so.

“We humbly intend to rely on the case of the prosecution because we believe and submit it is irredeemable, battered and drained of existential blood. We do not need to open any case for evidence in order not to waste the precious time of this honourable court,” Ozekhome said.

Citing section 301(3) of the Plateau State Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2018, he said: “If we are not providing any evidence, the law says that the prosecution has fourteen (14) days to address the court, and ten( 10) days for the defence to reply, and another five (5 days)  for the prosecution to reply on point of law”.

Thereafter, the judge adjourned the matter to July 1 for the adoption of final written addresses.

‘How To Murder Your Husband’ Writer On Trial For Murder Of Husband

A writer who penned a piece titled “How To Murder Your Husband” is on trial in the United States for…killing her husband.

 

 

 

A writer who penned a piece titled “How To Murder Your Husband” is on trial in the United States for…killing her husband.

It is a case that has all the hallmarks of classic detective fiction — a huge insurance payout, an impecunious suspect who claims to have amnesia, a missing weapon, and surveillance footage that seems to have caught the culprit red-handed.

But for novelist Nancy Crampton Brophy, it’s not the plot of her latest book; it’s real life in an Oregon court room.

Crampton Brophy, whose “Wrong Never Felt So Right” series of novels include “The Wrong Husband” and “The Wrong Lover,” stands accused of shooting Daniel Brophy, using a gun whose now-missing barrel she bought on eBay.

Prosecutors say the 71-year-old writer was struggling to make payments on her mortgage, but kept up multiple life assurance policies that would pay out a total of $1.4 million in the event of her husband’s demise.

“I do better with Dan alive financially than I do with Dan dead,” she said as she took the stand in Portland this week, The Oregonian newspaper reported.

“Where is the motivation I would ask you? An editor would laugh and say, ‘I think you need to work harder on this story, you have a big hole in it.’”

Prosecutor Shawn Overstreet said security camera footage had captured Crampton Brophy’s minivan outside the Oregon Culinary Institute on June 2, 2018 at almost exactly the time her chef husband was killed in one of the school’s classrooms.

“You were there at the same time that someone happens to be shooting your husband….with the exact type of gun that you own and which is now mysteriously missing,” he said.

Crampton Brophy told the court she has no memory of being there, though acknowledges she must have been, insisting the CCTV images show her in the area because she was driving around getting inspiration for a story.

“This is not a man I would have shot because I had a memory issue. It seems to me if I had shot him, I would know every detail.”

Daniel Brophy, 63, was found dead that morning by students readying for a class. He had been shot twice.

Investigators say the barrel from the Glock handgun used in the slaying was purchased by the suspect on eBay.

That barrel — which would contain damning forensic clues — has never been recovered, despite an exhaustive police search.

Crampton Brophy admits having bought a Glock pistol, which she says was for her husband to protect himself when he went mushroom hunting in the woods, but says the missing barrel was purchased as part of research for an unfinished novel.

“There was a big separation between what was for writing and what was for protection,” she told the court, The Oregonian reported.

Prosecutors say Crampton Brophy, whose “How To Murder Your Husband” remains accessible online and whose books can be bought on Amazon, was facing financial ruin before her husband’s death, but continued to pay into 10 separate life insurance policies.

The blog on murdering a husband discusses methods and motivations for dispatching an unwanted spouse.

These include financial gain and the use of a firearm, although it notes guns are “loud, messy, require some skill.”

“But the thing I know about murder is that every one of us have it in him/her when pushed far enough,” the essay says.

The trial, which began in early April, is ongoing.

Usifo Ataga: Correctional Officers Harass Journalists, Bar Filming Of Chidinma Ojukwu

This combination photo shows Chidinma, court gavel, and Usifo Ataga

 

Some overzealous correctional officers harassed journalists in court on Tuesday when they tried to cover proceedings in the trial of Chidinma Ojukwu, the 300-level Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos.

Chidinma is standing trial alongside one Adedapo Quadri at the Lagos High Court, Tafawa Balewa Square for the alleged murder of the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, Usifo Ataga.

While she was being led away from the court after the proceedings, the officers numbering about eight, in an unusual manner formed a ring around the defendant in an effort to shield her from public glare.

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Four other fully armed officers, in a dangerous manner, pushed and harassed journalists, and covered their camera lenses all in a bid to prevent them from filming and recording.

The incident led to a shouting match between the officers, journalists, some lawyers and other litigants present but the correctional officers ignored everyone as they swiftly led the defendants away to their waiting vehicle.

Earlier during proceedings, the Lagos State’s Deputy Director of Public Prosecution, Adenike Oluwafemi called the representative of Access Bank to the witness box to tender the statement of accounts of the late Usifo Ataga.

The witness, Taofeek Lawal, an account officer told Justice Yetunde Adesanya that the bank got a subpoena from the court requesting it to present the statement of account as well as a certificate of identification of the deceased.

The prosecution then sought to tender the documents presented by the witness. With no objections from the defence team, the court admitted the documents in evidence.

Chidinma’s counsel, Onwuka Egwu then sought to cross examine the witness. This move was resisted by the prosecutor who argued that the witness was in court based on a “subpoena duces tecum” and could not be made cross examined.

“The bank official is in court to produce the statement of account of the deceased in court.

There was a need to do this because the investigating police officers as part of their investigations had come across the deceased’s statement of account and being a computer generated document, there was a need for it to be presented by the bank on whose system it was generated from”.

“That’s the main reason why the bank had to send a representative to present the document in open court based on subpoena duces tecum”.

“A subpoena duces tecum is a court summons which requires the witness to produce a document in court”.

“It is trite that the subpoena is simply for the witness to present the document in court for it to be admitted as evidence for the purpose of the trial. Such person need not speak to the document. He is not placed on oath and there’s no examination in chief and therefore cross examination would be baseless and not have any foundation”,  said Mrs Oluwafemi

The defence counsel however countered by arguing that the witness as the account officer of the bank was in a position to give evidence in relation to the account.

He said, “It is trite that every legislation is subordinate to the constitution and one of the cardinal principle is fair hearing as provided for Under Section 36 of the constitution. Where the defendant raises the issue of fair hearing, he is entitled to be heard”.

In her ruling, Justice Adesanya held that “by the combined reading of Section 218 and 219 of the Evidence Act, a person summoned to produce a document does not become a witness just because he is summoned to produce same.

“A subpoena duces tecum issued to deliver a document can be done either in person or through a representative who is discharged afterwards.

“The officer of Access bank is done at the point the document was produced in court. Adhering to the provisions of the Evidence Act will not breach the provisions of a fair hearing.

“If the defence counsel wants to cross-examine the witness, he can bring him back to court by serving him a subpoena ad testificandum which allows him to give oral testimony. In the absence of that, the witness cannot be cross-examined.” the judge ruled.

The court also admitted another computer-generated statement of account of the late Usifo Ataga from a representative of GT Bank.

Further proceedings in the matter were then adjourned to April 28th for the continuation of the trial.

Chidinma Ojukwu and Adedapo Quadri were arraigned by the Lagos State Government alongside a third defendant, Chidinma’s sister, Chioma Egbuchu on a 9 count charge bordering on conspiracy, murder, forgery, stealing and being possession of the stolen property.

They had all pleaded not guilty.

Johnny Depp Testifies In Defamation Trial Against Ex-Wife

US actor Johnny Depp testifies during his defamation trial in the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, on April 19, 2022.  JIM WATSON / POOL / AFP

 

“Pirates of the Caribbean” star Johnny Depp denied ever physically abusing Amber Heard as he took the witness stand on Tuesday at the defamation trial against his former wife.

“There were arguments and things of that nature but never did I myself reach the point of striking Miss Heard in any way,” Depp told the jury hearing the case at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia.

“Nor have I ever struck any woman in my life,” he said.

The 58-year-old Depp, his hair slicked back in a ponytail and wearing a black suit, black shirt and floral pattern tie, took the stand on the fifth day of the blockbuster defamation trial.

Depp filed the defamation suit after Heard, who turns 36 on Friday, wrote a column for The Washington Post in December 2018 in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”

The actress never named Depp, whom she met in 2009 on the set of the film “The Rum Diary,” but he sued her for implying he was a domestic abuser and is seeking $50 million in damages.

Heard, who was married to Depp from 2015 to 2017, countersued, asking for $100 million and claiming she suffered “rampant physical violence and abuse” at his hands.

Depp accuses Heard of seeking to “generate positive publicity for herself” ahead of the release of the film “Aquaman,” in which she had a starring role.

Depp filed the defamation complaint against Heard in the United States after losing a separate libel case in London in November 2020 that he brought against the tabloid The Sun for calling him a “wife-beater.”

In opening arguments, Heard’s lawyers alleged that Depp became a “monster” during drug- and alcohol-fueled benders and physically and sexually abused Heard.

Depp’s attorneys rejected the allegations as untrue and said they have had a “devastating” impact on the actor’s Hollywood career.

He left his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise and was asked to step down from the “Fantastic Beasts” series based on the book by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

‘Never seen Johnny abuse anybody’

Depp took the witness stand following testimony from a member of his security detail, Sean Bett, and Keenan Wyatt, who worked as a sound engineer on many of his movies.

Both men testified that they had never seen Depp be violent in any way.

“I’ve never seen Johnny abuse anybody ever,” Wyatt said.

Bett said he had witnessed Heard though once throw a “water bottle or a plastic cup” at Depp.

Depp filed his case in Virginia since the Post is printed there but he is not suing the newspaper itself.

Virginia also has defamation laws considered to be more favorable to plaintiffs than those in California, where the two actors live.

In 2016, Heard sought a restraining order against Depp amid abuse allegations. Their divorce was finalized in 2017.

AFP

Zuma To Miss Graft Trial On Health Grounds – Lawyer

South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma

 

 

South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma will miss the resumption on Monday of his trial for alleged corruption on the grounds of ill health, his lawyer said.

“There was a medical emergency which took place in the past few hours,” his lawyer Dali Mpofu announced in court, giving no further details.

Zuma, who turns 80 on Tuesday, is accused of taking bribes from French defence giant Thales.

He faces 16 counts of fraud, graft and racketeering over the purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and equipment from five European arms firms.

Thales has also been charged with corruption and money laundering. Both the French firm and Zuma deny any wrongdoing.

The closely-followed trial started in May 2021 after repeated postponements as Zuma’s legal team battled to have the charges dropped.

It was set to resume on Monday with witness testimony after Zuma failed in a fresh bid to derail proceedings.

In October, he sought to have lead prosecutor Billy Downer dropped from the case, accusing him of bias. He contended Downer leaked confidential documents to the media.

But the Supreme Court of Appeal last month ruled against him, saying his petition had “no reasonable prospect of success.”

Zuma was president from 2009 to 2018, but was forced to step down by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) as graft scandals surrounding his government brewed into a political storm.

Last year he was given a 15-month jail sentence for contempt of court after refusing to testify before a panel probing financial sleaze and cronyism that proliferated under his presidency.

His jailing sparked riots that descended into looting and left more than 350 dead in the worst violence since the advent of South Africa’s democracy.

He was released on health grounds two months into the term.

Sylvester Oromoni: House Teacher Testifies, Says No Cult In Dowen College

A combination of file photos of a court gavel and late Sylvester Oromoni.

 

The coroners inquest into the controversial death of late Dowen College student, Sylvester Oromoni resumed on Monday with the testimony of one of the school’s teachers, Hammed Ayomo.

Ayomo who is also one of the housemasters told Magistrate Mikhail Kadiri that there is no secret cult in the school.

The deceased father had alleged that his child was threatened to join a cult group and forced to drink a substance that led to his death

But the school denied the claim, alleging instead that he sustained injuries while playing football with his mates.

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The teacher who is testifying as the ninth witness in the proceedings says he has been employed by the school for 13 years. He also served as guardian to the late Sylvester Oromoni Jnr.

While answering questions from counsel to the Oromoni family, Andrew Efole, the witness was confronted with a statement he made to the police to the effect that the deceased had complained that some students were begging him for his provisions. The late Sylvester had then opted to keep the provisions with the housemaster.

The witness also testified that the deceased requested to change his room at some point as a result of his personal effects going missing.

He, however said that the issue of stolen items are not peculiar to the deceased but noted that he helped him to search for it.

“We searched for it everywhere,” he said. “He was my boy, he was like other students,” he added.

When asked about allegations of bullying, the teacher said he wasn’t aware that the deceased was beaten.

The parents said he was dragged down, beaten with a belt, is this possible? One of the lawyers asked.

“It is impossible,” the teacher replied.

“As a houseparent, can you tell the court when the principal became aware that the boy was sick?”

The teacher’s reply was “On November 27, 2021, I called the mom to ask after Sylvester, she said they were in church and that the healing hands of God were upon him,” he said.

On November 28, I called the principal and told him one of our boys was at home and is staying too long and she asked for his mom’s number then called but no response.

“I called the mom and she picked and I connected the two of them then we heard him screaming in the background. She asked why he was screaming, the mom said they were massaging his body and the principal prayed for him.”

The coroner, Magistrate Mikhail Kadiri also had some questions for the witness. He asked if there was a standard practice the school follows on the discipline of students. Mr Ayomo replied in the affirmative.

“Are you aware of the issue of the sister’s private parts? the coroner asked”

“Yes,” the teacher replied.

“To you, was that a minor or major case,” asked the coroner

“Major,” the teacher replied.

“Are you surprised the school didn’t take any measure against the boys mentioned?

The Assistant Director of the hostel, Mr Valentine punished the student but I am not aware if the management as a whole took any disciplinary action against him” the teacher said

“As a father how would you feel about this?Would you still have confidence in the school? the coroner asked.

“I won’t be happy, but I will still have confidence in the school”, the teacher replied.

Counsel to the Nig Bar Association, Bernard Onigah then sought to know what advice the teacher had on the whole incident.

Ayomo disclosed that the school has begun the installation of CCTV cameras. He also disclosed that teachers/housemasters would now be assigned to live on each floor of the school hostel so as to properly monitor the activities of the students.

Magistrate Mikhail has fixed further proceedings in the inquest for tomorrow, Tuesday, March 1 when the school’s principal is expected to testify.

Sylvester Oromoni: Dowen School Doctor Testifies

A combination of file photos of a court gavel and late Sylvester Oromoni.

 

A medical doctor employed at the Dowen College, Lagos, Mojisola Bisiriyu on Tuesday testified that the late Sylvester Oromoni complained of a hip and not leg injury when he presented himself at the school’s sickbay on November 21, 2021.

The doctor was testifying as the 8th witness in the coroner’s inquest to unravel the circumstances behind the controversial death of the 12-year-old student.

The deceased’s father had alleged that his child was beaten by some senior students and forced to drink a liquid which killed him.

But the school denied the claim, alleging instead that he sustained injuries while playing football with his mates.

In her testimony before Magistrate Mikhail Kadiri, and while answering questions from counsel to the Oromoni family, Femi Falana, the doctor said that she didn’t notice any visible leg injury and the deceased didn’t complain of any.

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“As the school Doctor, my duty is to take care of students in the school and for whatever we see that demands attention, we usually call the parents,” Bisiriyu said.

“I saw the deceased on November 22, 2021, he came in with pain on his right side and that was what I saw him for. He came in with a limp and no other complaints.

“I spoke with the deceased’s mother, Mrs Oromoni about his health status and she said his guardian will be coming to pick him up the next day. I didn’t refer him to our partner hospital, Lifeline Children’s Hospital in Lekki because his case was not considered an emergency.

“He told me he fell down while trying to pick his Bible and it was an injury to his hip. It was after much cajoling that he said he played football. We applied pain relief and massaged the part he complained about.”

The doctor who said she works on weekdays from 8 am to 3 pm also clarified that when her shift was over, the student was treated by the resident nurse, nurse Omobola Kayode.

When Mr Falana asked if she was aware that the deceased could barely walk and was “carried” to the car by his guardian on November 23, the doctor said, “He was assisted out of the sickbay,” adding that she also advised his guardian to take him to the hospital.

When Mr Falana asked if she gave the guardian a referral letter to a hospital, the school’s lawyer, Anthony Kpokpo objected.

He said that the issue of a referral note should not arise because the doctor does not work in a hospital.

Mr Falana also asked, “By your assessment, does the deceased’s health status warrant you taking him to the hospital?” The doctor said no.

“But it warrants you asking the parents to take him to the hospital?” Mr Falana asked. To which the doctor answered, Yes.

Referring to the pathologist who had earlier testified in the matter, Mr Falana asked “A medical expert, Dr Soyemi told the coroner that all the deceased needed was a dose of antibiotics which would have prevented the unfortunate incident? Do you agree?”

“I cannot answer the question,” the doctor said.

Why didn’t you apply antibiotics? The lawyer asked.

The doctor replied, “There was no fever, nothing. You don’t just admit antibiotics. We are not a hospital or a lab. We did not run tests. The complaint was pain in the hip”.

“Do you know whether he was suffering from any disease?” Falana also asked.

“None that I’m aware of,” the doctor replied.

“Are you aware that the deceased was taken home over a twisted tongue in March?” Mr Falana asked.

The doctor said she was not aware.

She also testified that even though the deceased still had pains, his lips were not scalding or peeling at the time he was taken away from the school.

Before the school doctor testified, the police investigator, CSP Bamidele Olusegun concluded his testimony under cross-examination from the previous day (Monday).

While answering questions from the counsel representing Dowen College, Anthony Kpokpo, the policeman reiterated his testimony from the previous day that he found nothing in his investigation which suggested that the student died as a result of bullying.

He added that though the three house masters were negligent, passive and failed to take action when cases of inappropriate behavior of some students were reported to them, all of those cases referred to previous cases and not the Oromoni case.

The Coroner also had a few questions for the witness. He asked the policeman if he conducted a comprehensive investigation to which the witness answered in the affirmative.

When asked if he investigated claims that the deceased was beaten and given a poisonous substance to drink, the police officer confirmed he did but found no proof of this.

The coroner also asked if he invited the students the deceased played football with as well as his roommates and even students in adjoining rooms.

The police officer said, “The deceased’s room had four bunkers for 8 students including Oromoni. Of the remaining 7 students, I was able to speak to only 4 out of the 7.

“I invited all the deceased roommates and even some in other rooms but only 4 room mates showed up. The school had been closed down at the time and some we invited did not show up because their parents said they were going through trauma.”

“You have informed the court that you queried 4 roommates and that the occupants are eight (Including the deceased), having not been able to interview the other 3 roommates, can it be said or suggested that your investigation into the allegations of being beaten, dragged down from the bed and being given a substance to drink, is not comprehensive?” the coroner asked?

“It is not my Lord,” the police said.

The coroner has adjourned further proceedings till February 28.

Certificate Forgery: Prosecution Witness Tenders Three Petitions Against Ex-FIIRO Boss

A file photo of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO).

 

The trial of the former Director-General of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Chima Igwe resumed on Monday with the first prosecution witness, Vera Esidene tendering in evidence, three petitions calling for his probe.

The witness, who is an Investigator with the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), tendered the petitions while testifying in the probe of alleged Certificate fraud before a Lagos State Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja.

While being led in evidence by a member of the ICPC prosecuting team, Kehinde Adetoye, Esidene said that in 2019, the three petitions were written to call for the investigation of his PhD certificate.

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“The first was titled ‘Forged PhD Certificate by Chima Igwe,’ the second was titled ‘Call to Probe the PhD Certificate’ and the third petition was titled ‘Demand for Immediate Probe and Request for the PhD Certificate’,” she said.

The ICPC investigator said that upon receiving the petitions, the commission assigned the case to her team which swung into action immediately.

“Part of our strategy was to write letters to the defendant, to FIIRO, invite some of the staff, we also wrote letters requesting some documents from the staff precisely the defendant’s letter of approval to enable him seek for his PhD.

“We requested for the letter he submitted after he claimed to have completed the program. We also requested for his promotion letter and an extract of the board meeting minutes held at FIIRO,” she said.

During her testimony, Adetoye requested that the three petitions that were written against Igwe be tendered into evidence.

Defence counsel, Victor Opara (SAN) however objected to the submission of the prosecutor on the grounds the copies of three documents (petitions) were not original copies and as a result, fell short of the requirements of Section 86 of the Evidence Act.

“Where the original is not presented, a reason must be given to your lordship. There is no foundation as to where the original is.

“The makers of this document were not brought, and the witness is not the maker. I refer your lordship to Section 83(1)(b) of the Evidence Act. As a result, this document remains ‘documentary hearsay’,” he said.

Responding, the lead prosecutor of the ICPC team, Henry Emore said that the copies of petitions are public documents.

“The documents are from private citizens but were addressed to the Chairman, ICPC. Immediately these documents were received by the ICPC, they became public documents.

“The witness has presented the documents in their proper form and we have met all requirements for certification of the documents under Section 104 of the Evidence Act,” he said.

Justice Sherifat Solebo admitted the petitions into evidence and held that there was no need to bring the authors of the petitions to court for the petitions to be admissible as evidence.

“The petitions are fundamental to this trial. The Certified True Copies of any public document is admissible in evidence not the original.

“There is nothing proscribing the admissibility of these three documents. I hereby admit them as Exhibits A1, A2 and A3,” Solebo said.

The case has been adjourned until Feb. 22 for continuation of trial.

Umoren’s Murder: Prime Suspect Claims He Was Tortured To Sign Confessional Statement

A photo combination showing the late Umoren and Akpan.

 

Uduak Akpan, the first accused person in the murder of Iniubong Umoren, a graduate of Philosophy from the University of Uyo, has told an Akwa Ibom State High Court presided over by Justice Bassey Nkanang that he was tortured to sign a statement given to him at the Department of State Services (DSS).

At the resumed hearing on trial in Uyo, the state capital, the suspected murderer said he signed the statement to avoid more slaps and beatings from DSS officers.

The trial judge, Justice Bassey Nkanang, had adjourned the case, for a mini-trial to be conducted, in order to determine the voluntariness of that statement.

READ ALSO: DSS Explains Why Nnamdi Kanu Is Not Allowed To Change His Clothes

Counsel to Uduak Akpan, Barr. Sampson Adula, had, last week, objected to its admissibility on grounds that it was not made voluntarily.

Speaking while being cross-examined during the mini-trial, Uduak Akpan, who is facing a two-count charge of rape and murder admitted that he was the person speaking in the video CD played in the court but stated that the DSS officers gave him the answers and the questions to rehearse before the video recording.

He said, “They said I should practice those questions and answers and they also said when they start recording that I should give them the answers according to what I practiced”.

The first accused had also disowned the statements that two police officers, the IPO and ASP, had testified that he made to them in the course of their investigation in the matter.

However, when cross-examined in the trial-within-trial, the DSS investigator, Ama Okeke (PW10) told the court that the allegation that the first accused made the statement the prosecuting counsel sought to tender in evidence involuntarily was not correct.

The prosecution witness testified that the DSS has a standard interrogation room with electronic gadgets, cameras, recorder, pen, tables, chairs, etc, where a suspect could relax to write or make his or her statement voluntarily.

“And when the first accused person was in this room, he was asked if he knows why he was in the DSS? My Lord, he had voluntarily told my team that it is because he killed Iniubong Ephraim Umoren”, Okeke also testified.

The witness further testified that it was not also correct that the video recording of the first accused which was played in the court was as a result of questions and answers as alleged by the first accused person, noting that his team only asked Uduak Akpan to narrate what happened that led to the death of Iniubong Umoren.

The court admitted the video Compact Disc (Video CD) that was played in court in evidence, marked as exhibit two in trial-within-trial.

Justice Bassey Nkanang adjourned the case till February 24, for ruling on the trial-within trial and also for the conclusion of the evidence of PW10.

Alleged N5bn Fraud: Ex-JAMB Registrar, Ojerinde Seeks Plea Bargain With ICPC

JAMB
Former JAMB Registrar, Professor Adedibu Ojerinde, is standing trial over an alleged N5 billion fraud.

 

The former Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Adedibu Ojerinde, who is standing trial in an alleged N5 billion fraud, has opted for a plea bargain with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) in order to get a soft landing.

At the Federal High Court in Abuja where his trial was scheduled to commence, Ojerinde pleaded with the trial Judge, Justice Obiora Egwuatu to give him 24 hours to settle himself with ICPC through plea bargain instead of a formal trial.

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His new lead counsel, Ibrahim Ishyaku (SAN), told the court that his client prefers an out-of-court settlement known as a plea bargain to resolve the matter.

The senior lawyer informed the Judge that the trial could commence if, after 24 hours, the matter could not be resolved.

Counsel to the ICPC, Mister Ebenezer Sogunle did not object to the request but insisted that the trial would proceed in case the plea bargain fails.

ICPC had on July 8, 2021 arraigned the former JAMB Registrar on an 18-count charge bordering on diversion of public funds to the tune of over N5 billion

He was said to have committed the offence during his tenure as Registrar of the National Examination Council (NECO) and JAMB.

Justice Egwuatu subsequently fixed February 9 for report of the plea bargain.

Alleged N52bn Fraud: Court Adjourns Case Between IGP And Katsina Whistleblower

A file photo of a court gavel.
A file photo of a court gavel.

 

The Kano Division of the Federal High Court presided over by Justice Abdullahi Liman has adjourned the trial between the office of the Inspector General of Police and an activist, Mahadi Shehu, until February 28 and March 1, for the continuation of hearing.

The adjournment was requested by the prosecution counsel to enable it to tender some important documents to justify more evidence and submissions provided by one of the witnesses who is also the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Mustapha Muhammad Inuwa.

The lead, Defense Counsel, Mustapha Abubakar (SAN) in an interview with reporters explained that although the trial was scheduled to have commenced on Monday, it could no longer continue because of the adjournment.

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He revealed that the prosecution counsel had hitherto called its first witness who had started giving evidence against the defendant.

Meanwhile, the Katsina State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Ahmad Usman El-marzuq, noted that he was satisfied with all the evidence given before the court by the first witness, adding that the prosecution counsel is ready to produce another set of five additional witnesses to prove the case upon the continuation of the trial.

Mahadi Shehu had reportedly made a series of allegations against the Katsina State Government and some of its top-ranking officials for financial mismanagement and fraud to the tune of over N52 billion.

Earlier during the proceedings, the first witness, Dr. Inuwa, however, described all the allegations leveled against the state government and some of its officials as false, baseless, and one capable of tarnishing the image of the government.

He said there was no such thing as the amount of money claimed to have been squandered by the government.

Gambia Commission Recommends Prosecution Of Ex-President Yahya Jammeh

Families Of Jammeh's Victims In Gambia Demand 'Truth'
Former Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh

 

A truth and reconciliation commission in The Gambia on Friday recommended that ex-leader Yahya Jammeh be brought before an international tribunal for crimes allegedly committed during his 22-year dictatorship.

The commission recommended “prosecuting Yahya Jammeh and his co-perpetrators in an international tribunal” in West Africa outside of The Gambia, under the auspices of either the African Union or the ECOWAS regional grouping, it said in a statement.

“Over a period of 22 years, starting from July 22, 1994, Yahya Jammeh and… co-perpetrators committed very serious crimes against the people of The Gambia,” it said.

The Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission was set up in January 2017 by President Adama Barrow, whose election in 2016 put an end to more than two decades of dictatorship.

The commission, which heard from nearly 400 witnesses, presented its findings to Barrow on November 25 and urged the government to pursue criminal charges, but neither the report nor the names of officials it deemed responsible were made public until Friday.

Jammeh seized power in 1994, and for 22 years, he oversaw a regime accused of committing abuses such as state-sanctioned murder, torture and rape.

He went into exile in Equatorial Guinea in 2017 after Barrow’s election victory but retains considerable support in the country.

AFP