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Police release 121 passengers intercepted in Lagos

The Lagos State Police command said it has released 121 men arrested in Agege area just at they arrived from the North based on an alarm raised by residents.

The Police in a statement issued on Saturday said the men had been profiled and found to be seeking a better life and were subsequently released.

Below is the full statement:

On 30th August, 2019 at about 1200hours, a team of police men attached to Lagos State Taskforce on Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences, Oshodi while on traffic enforcement duty, along Moshalashi Rd, Agege intercepted a truck, with Registration Number JIGAWA HJA-680-XA, loaded with One Hundred and Twenty One (121) male, between ages 16 and 35 and forty eight (48) Motorcycles.

The Vehicle and Passengers were searched but nothing incriminating was found. They were profiled with a view to ascertaining who they are, where they come from, their background and their mission in Lagos.

They all came from Jigawa State, North West Region of Nigeria and are mostly artisans, commercial motorcyclists and traders. Some of them are already based in Lagos with their families while others are coming for the first time.

They are in the state in pursuit of greener pasture.

The Police being satisfied with their legitimate mission in the State has allowed them to proceed to their various destinations.
The Command will not relent on its efforts to protect the lives and properties of the good people of Lagos State.

DSP Bala Elkana
Police Public Relations Officer,
Lagos State.

Two UNILAG scholars attract £1.2m research grants

Two scholars from the University of Lagos (UNILAG) have attracted a total of €1,200,000 (N540 million) for research.
The grants were from the United Kingdom Research and Innovation Global Challenges Research Fund.

The scholars are Dr Sunday Adebisi, Director, African Research Universities Alliance ARUA Centre of Excellence in Unemployment and Skills Development, and  Prof. Timothy Nubi, Director, Centre for Urbanisation and Habitable Cities.

Adebisi secured the grant for Partnership, Research and Capacity Building for Youth Unemployment Solutions in Africa while Nubi got  the grant  for African Research Network for Urbanisation and Habitable Cities.

The duration of the research projects is 36 months –   from September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2022.

The grants are for the development of integrated solutions that will maximise employment opportunities and enhance the future of work in Africa.

They are  also to provide a strategic platform for developing research capacities in African institutions to address Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), using a hub and spoke models that will increase collaboration among African teams from diverse disciplines.

They are also to be used to fund themed capacity building workshops, PhD Colloquia in conferences and researcher exchange programmes that will promote mentoring as well as carry out scooping studies in research areas, specific to Africa’s urbanisation challenges.

Adebisi said on Saturday in Lagos  that a major aim of the grant was to tackle the challenges of youth unemployment, using a stakeholder network approach involving academic research institutes and non academic institutions with shared vision, interest, goals and objectives.

According to him, this will build significant research capacity across African universities as well as  promote youth employment and skills development in African countries starting with universities in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt and South Africa.

He added that it would enhance the realisation of the SDGs.

“It will also provide sponsorship for academic training for seven doctoral students, six post doctoral fellows as well as 15 faculty members distributed across African universities for capacity building in carrying out research on skills development for reducing youth unemployment in Africa.

“This grant will also be used to create a one-high performing hub that has the capacity to raise external funds, firm partnerships, explore entrepreneurial activities as well as attract excellent mentors worldwide and anchor research network across African universities toward youth skills development, in a bid to achieve the SDGs.

“We will also strive to hold international conferences, workshops and trainings that will be attended by not less than two hundred participants every year for the duration of the project”, he said.

Adebisi said that the activities,  under the ARUA  Centre of Excellence, would be in collaboration with universities such as Coventry, Lancaster, University of Derby, University of Cape Town and universities of Ghana and Nairobi.

Action Alliance Party National Chairman kidnapped in Abuja

The national chairman of Action Alliance Kenneth Udeze, has been kidnapped by armed attackers.

According to reports, Mr Udeze was kidnapped Friday morning outside a Zenith Bank branch in Dutse Alhaji, Abuja, his wife, Genevieve, told newsmen.

Mrs Udeze said her husband woke up Friday morning and found several text messages indicating heavy withdrawals from his bank accounts that were not authorised.

“After suspecting his account had been hacked, he rushed to the bank to find out what happened,”

Mrs Udeze said. “He was with his driver when he was kidnapped outside the Zenith Bank.”

The abductors took Mr Udeze away in a black SUV, his wife said. She added that she was on her way to the police station to report the incident.

Nigeria finishes second in 2019 All African Games

After 15 days of intensive competition, the curtain will fall on the 12th African Games tonight in Rabat.

Team Nigeria was conveniently occupying the second spot on the medals table at the close of events on Friday night.

Only two events are yet to be completed.

The position will certainly not change, but there would be additional medals for events not concluded.

Team Nigeria ended Day 15 of the ongoing African Games on a high as its medal haul increased to 126 (46 gold, 33 silver and 47 bronze medals) at the end of proceedings.

Egypt occupied first spot with 102 old medals while South Africa was third with 36 gold medals.

Sade Olatoye was Nigeria’s only individual gold medalist on the last day in athletics as she emerged victorious in the women’s Shot Put. Her first-round attempt of 16.61m was good enough for the gold. It was Olatoye’s second medal of the Games, having won bronze in the Hammer Throw.

In men’s Javelin, Nnamdi Chinecherem won bronze, throwing a distance of 73.24m.

On the track, Divine Oduduru failed to meet the expectations once more as the sprinter once again finished 2nd with a 20.54s clocking in the men’s 200m final.

Nigeria’s other representative, Ogho-Oghene Egwero, was 6th in 21.00s. Zambia’s Sidney Siame won the race with 20.34s.

Nigeria’s only athlete listed to run in the women’s 200m final, Rosemary Chukwuma, did not take part in her race.

In the women’s 400m Hurdles, Abasiono Akpan rallied her way back into contention as she was able to claim bronze for her efforts. She clocked 57.66s.

Nnamdi Chinecherem won bronze in men’s Javelin, throwing a distance of 73.24m. It is his first senior medal, having won gold at the African junior championship in April.

Nigeria women’s 4x400m made up of the quartet of Patience Okon-Geroge, Blessing Oladoye, Kemi Francis and Favour Ofili combined to run a time of 3:30.32s which fetched them gold.

MEDALS  TABLE

For the men, they settled for bronze in 3:03.42s.

After her earlier heroics, Ayomide Bello showed how good she is in the C1 200m Women Final of Canoeing. She returned a time of 50.51s to win the event. She also teamed up with her compatriot Foloki to win the doubles in the event.

Nigeria on the last day of action in weightlifting got more medals. Obeyi Joseph was the first to clinch the medal as she settled for bronze in the women’s +87kg (245kg), Snatch (105kg) and Clean-Jerk (130kg) classification. In the same vein, Olawale Barde won bronze in the men’s 102kg (343kg), Snatch (158kg) and Clean-Jerk (185kg).

Also, Tijani Abdul secured bronze in the men’s +109kg (323kg), Snatch (180kg) and Clean-Jerk (143kg).

Finally, Nigeria scooped two gold and two silver medals in weightlifting. Daniel Amaas proved too strong for The Gambia’s Mbal Cumba as he edged him 3-1 to win gold in the men’s Freestyle 65kg Finals. Also, Emmanuel John pipped Sami Mustapha 3-1 to claim gold in the men’s Freestyle 74kg final.

Soso Tamurau lost to Egypt’s Hosam Meghany 3-1 to win the men’s Freestyle 97kg final, while Ebikewemimo Wilson was overpowered by Algeria’s Abdelhak Khebache in the men’s Freestyle 57kg final.

On a rather dissaponting note, Nigeria’s wait for a first gold medal since 1973 in the men’s football event continues as the Flying Eagles, who represented the country, lost to Burkina Faso 2-0 in the final.

Nigeria also finished second at the last edition of African Games in Congo Brazzaville albeit with 47 gold medals.

AMCON Debt: Court orders takeover of SEPLAT Petroleum chairman’s assets

The Federal High Court in Abuja has granted the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) application to take over the assets of the Chairman of SEPLAT Petroleum Development Company, Ambrosie Orjiako.

The court also ordered the take over of the assets of two of Mr Orjiako’s affiliate companies, Shebah Exploration & Production Company Limited and Allenne Limited.

SEPLAT Petroleum is a Nigerian independent oil and gas company operating a portfolio of oil and gas assets in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.

According to a report by Premium Times,  the court order, issued on August 15, was accompanied with the letters to the Managing Directors of 29 commercial and merchant banks in the country where Mr Orjiako and his allies have accounts.

The order followed an application by Mojisola Owoseni of Lexavier Partners, legal practitioners, legal counsel to AMCON in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/945/19 against ABC Orjiako, Shebah Exploration & Production Company Limited, with RC No 499348, and Allenne Limited.

In the application, AMCON asked the court to grant Francis Chuka, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, right to exercise its function as Receiver/Manager of Mr Orjiako’s assets in Nigeria and abroad, including Shebah Exploration & Production Company Limited.

Mr Chuka was appointed by AMCON as Receiver/Manager on July 30, 2019, with the mandate to “take possession of and preserve all its assets and undertakings” by Mr Orjiako.

The assets and undertakings included his personal properties at Nos. 10C and 25A Lugard Avenue, Ikoyi, Lagos; an oil vessel, MT Trinity Spirit, used as a floating, Production, Storage, and Offloading (FPSO) facility in Ukpokiti Oil Field belonging to Shebah Exploration & Production Company Limited.

Also affected are all movable and immovable assets of Shebah Exploration & Production Company Limited in and outside Nigeria, including the oil production facilities and other assets belonging to Shebah Exploration & Production Company Limited and located in and around Ukpokiti Oil Field.

In granting AMCON’s application, the FCT Federal High Court presided by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, gave the Receiver/Manager judicial protection to take over and manage Shebah Exploration & Production Company Limited till the full determination of the case.

The court also permitted the Receive/Manager to take over all shares belonging to Mr Orjiako and his affiliate companies, Shebah Exploration & Production Company Limited, and Allenne Limited, which they own directly or through proxies.

Their equity holdings are in registered corporate entities like Seplat Petroleum Development Company Limited, Platform Petroleum (Joint Ventures) Limited, Abbeycourt Trading Company Limited, Helko Nigeria Limited, Shebah Petroleum Development Company Limited BVI, Plumage Management Limited, Sinclair Commercials Limited BVI and Allenne Limited BVI.

The order also authorized the Receiver/Manager to take over Mr Ojiako’s property in Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos, and Maryland in the United States as well as London, United Kingdom.

By the order, counsel to AMCON said the Receiver/Manager was also ordered to take steps to take over the assets of Shebah Exploration and Production Company Limited for the purpose of liquidating its outstanding indebtedness to AMCON.

Mr Orjiako and other directors of the Shebah Petroleum Development Company Limited was ordered to desist from harassing the Receiver/Manager from doing his job.

In the letter to the 29 banks that Mr Orjiako and his affiliates had accounts, the managers were all directed to prevent all further withdrawals of funds and other debit transactions from the accounts.

The court also granted a request for an order restraining Mr Orjiako and his allies from interfering with or removing from the court’s jurisdiction in respect of the oil firm’s funds in the banks and financial institutions in and outside the country without the consent of the AMCON.

The legal firm urged the banks to furnish the Receiver/Manager within seven days the comprehensive statement of each account showing the outstanding balances of the defendants.

It is not clear as at press time if the banks complied with the court’s order to make available those details. Some of the banks contacted on Friday promised to cross-check the information and revert. None did.

The firm threatened to initiate contempt proceeding against any bank and its officials that flout the court order.

The banks AMCON wrote to included Access Bank, Citi Bank Nigeria Limited, Ecobank Nigeria, Fidelity Bank, First Bank of Nigeria, First City Monument Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Heritage Bank Limited, Keystone Bank Limited, Mainstream Bank Limited, Polaris Bank Limited Providus Bank Limited, Stanbic IBTC, Standard Chartered Bank, Sterling Bank, Suntrust Bank, Union Bank and United Bank for Africa, all in Lagos.

Other banks include Unity Bank, Wema Bank, Zenith International Bank, Titan Trust Bank, Globus Bank Limited, Coronation Merchant Bank FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited, FSDH Merchant Bank Limited, Rand Merchant Bank Limited, and Nova Merchant Bank Limited in the Lagos as well as the African Export-Import Bank in Abuja.

Mr Orjiako has been having a running battle over a multi-billion debt AMCON has been battling to recover.

Although AMCON was not forthcoming with the exact figure of the debt, pressures for a recovery compelled Mr Orjiako early this month to offload about 3.5 million units of the equity he controlled in SEPLAT Petroleum to enable him to defray part of the obligation.

After the sale, Mr Orjiako now holds a direct interest in 16,151,325 ordinary shares and indirect interest in 26,300,000 ordinary shares of the company totalling 42,451,325 shares which equates to a voting interest of 7.21 per cent.

The transaction took place in London and a notice of the transaction was sent to the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE).

In the notice, the Chief Financial Officer of SEPLAT, Roger Brown, said the shares sold at an average price of 114.5 pence per share.

Mr Brown said the shares were “registered in the name of Vitol Energy Limited held for the benefit of Shebah Petroleum Development Company Limited, which is an entity controlled by Dr. A.B.C. Orjiako and members of his family”.

SEPLAT Petroleum Development Company is a Nigerian independent oil and gas company which operates a portfolio of assets in the Niger Delta region. It is a leading supplier of processed gas to the domestic market.

SEPLAT was formed in June 2009 through the partnership of Shebah Petroleum Development Company Limited and Platform Petroleum Joint Ventures Limited.

Neymar’s picture in new Barca kit leaked

Neymar’s wish to return to Barcelona looks to have been granted after one of the Brazilian star’s sponsor put a photo of him on social media in the Catalan side’s new shirt.

While the post, uploaded to Instagram by watchmaker Gaga Milano who boast Neymar as a brand ambassador, was deleted minutes after going live, it appears to all but confirm an agreement has been reached for him to leave Paris Saint-Germain.

Neymar left Barcelona for £198million in 2017 but has grown unhappy in Paris in recent months and has made no secret of his desire to return to La Liga.

While the move is seemingly close to completion, Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde admits he will be glad to see the transfer window close on September 2.

Speaking to Sport, Valverde said, “I am looking forward to Monday. We can all take a break (from transfer talk) then.

“He’s a PSG player and we respect our rivals, but I will repeat we’re looking forward to this all coming to an end.”

Neymar is yet to play for PSG this season as his future remains unresolved but he has appeared in good spirits during training at the club’s base.

Despite winning four major titles across two seasons in France, Neymar has reportedly been keen on a departure and the post by Gaga Milano looks to suggest his time in Paris is over.

If the deal does go through he will also team up with fellow Barcelona new-boy Antoine Griezmann who completed a £108m move from Atletico Madrid during the summer.

He will also reunite with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, the three attackers having formed a lethal combination together at the Nou Camp.

Together they won two La Liga titles, in 2015 and 2016, as well as the 2015 Champions League.

The 27-year-old spent four seasons in Spain, scoring 101 goals in 185 games, before leaving for the Ligue 1 champions.

Yahaya Bello clinches APC guber ticket

Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi state, has emerged flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the November 16 governorship election.

A total of 3,596 delegates were accredited in the primary which held in Lokoja, the state capital.

The governor secured 3,127 votes.

The aspirants who contested against Bello are Hadiza Ibrahim, Yahaya Audu, Danlami Mohammed, Yakubu Mohammed, Sani Abdullahi and Babatunde Irukera.

The primary committee set up by the national working committee (NWC) of the ruling party had disqualified some aspirants.

This will be the first major contest of Bello in a gubernatorial election as he was not the candidate of the APC in 2015.

Abubakar Audu, who defeated Bello in the primary election, died while collation of results was ongoing.

The leadership of the APC later picked Bello as the party’s candidate in the supplementary election.

He had defeated Idris Wada, then the incumbent governor who contested under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

EFCC arrests two suspected FBI-linked internet linked fraudsters

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port Harcourt Zonal Office have arrested two suspected internet fraudsters linked to the on- going collaborative investigations between the EFCC and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI.

The suspects were separately arrested in Port Harcourt, Rivers State and Owerri, Imo State. One of them, Ogbonnah Atoukaritou, a leader of a loose syndicate of fraudsters allegedly engaged in Business Email Compromise, BEC, was arrested in Port Harcourt while the other suspect, Alpha Chidi Egbeonu, suspected to be involved in defrauding a US- based victim, Goldberg Segalla LLP and other yet to be identified victims, was arrested in Owerri.

Atoukaritou Ogbonah
Atoukaritou Ogbonah

Items recovered from the suspects include laptops, android phones, land documents, hard disks, Central Processing Unit, warehouse and a recently built house, now attached by the EFCC.

The suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.

Two die in Zamfara gov’s convoy accident

An accident involving the convoy of Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has claimed the lives of two police personnel attached to him.

Dead are Police Inspector, Aminu Usman and Sgt. Nura Mohammed.

Yusuf Idris, the Director-General on Press Affairs to the governor said in Gusau, the State capital that the accident occurred on the Funtua/Gusau road at about 6pm on Thursday.

Idris said that the deceased had escorted the governor to Abuja on a five day official trip, stating that while they were returning with the governor, one of the vehicles in the convoy broke down in Zaria, Kaduna State.

He said: “The two policemen were among the seven persons left behind to oversee the repairs of the broken down vehicle before coming to Gusau.

“About two hours later, however, the sad news was brought to the governor that those left behind were involved in the crash while driving in a heavy downpour and that the two policemen had died.

“Amidst tears, the governor directed the evacuation of the wounded persons from Funtua General Hospital where they were receiving treatment to a referral hospital for better care under the supervision of the governor’s personal physician.

“The doctor was also directed to update the governor on the progress of the treatment.”

He further explained that while one of the victims escaped the accident unhurt, the remaining four sustained varying degree of injuries.

Idris said the governor had condoled with the families of the deceased and said the state government would pay all medical bill of those hospitalized.

 

 

123 ‘suspicious-looking’ men from Jigawa detained in Lagos

The Lagos State Environment Sanitation and Special Offenses Taskforce on Friday intercepted a truck laden with 48 motorcycles and “suspicious-looking” 123 men coming from Jigawa state.

Yinka Egbeyemi, chairman of the task force, said the truck was seized following a tip off by members of the public who raised security concern about the manner with which its occupants “conducted themselves”.

There is yet no proof that they were preparing to commit any crime and this may lead to accusation of ethnic profiling.

He said after the interception, the truck and its occupants were moved to the office of the task force in Oshodi for interrogation.

After his team got a security alert from the public, he said, they seized of the truck and its occupants at Agege area of Lagos.

“While my team was on operation, we got information from the public that some people had entered into Lagos in trailer loaded with over 300 people. We swiftly responded to the alert and trailed the truck from Berger area to Agege. We eventually intercepted the truck which carried no few than 123 men and 48 motorcycles,” he said.

“We have interrogated most of the truck’s occupants; from the information we gathered, some of them said they were coming from Jigawa State, with 48 of them claiming to own seized motorcycles. The rest of them said they came to Lagos in search of greener pasture.”

Some of the seized motorcycles

Egbeyemi said the Lagos police command had directed that a fact-finding panel be constituted to profile the detained occupants of the truck, but he added that nothing incriminating was found on them apart from the motorcycles.

One of the detained occupants, Shuaibu Haruna, said he left Jigawa to work in Lagos with his motorcycle. He claimed to have a wife and a son, but said he needed to double his income to cater for his family.

Haruna said he intended to stay in Isolo area to which he had already paid N7,000 as accommodation fee.

Another occupant, Mohammed Ibrahim, said he left his base in the northern part of the country to keep himself busy after finishing his farm work.

He said he was going to Badagry to join his brother.

In 2014, troops arrested suspected Boko Haram members along the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway. The suspects, aged between 16 and 24, were being conveyed in 33 buses when they were stopped at the road between Aro-Ngwa and Imo Gate along the expressway.

Some of the buses conveying more persons were said to have sped off and escaped arrest.

The suspects reportedly claimed to have come from different parts of the north and were searching for jobs.

The arrests created tension up north because of the apparent ethnic profiling and they were eventually released without any charges.

 

Tribunal sacks Dambazau’s son as Rep

The election petition tribunal in Kano state has sacked Shamsudeen Dambazau, son of the former minister of interior, as member representing Sumaila/Takai federal constituency of Kano in the lower chamber of the National Assembly.

Dambazau, who did not contest the election but came second in the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary election, was sworn into the house of representatives after a federal high court in Kano disqualified Kawu Sumaila, a former presidential aide.

But in its ruling on Friday, the tribunal ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue certificate of return to Surajo Kanawa, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election.

In the ruling, the three-man panel led by Onyekan Abdullahi upheld the decision of the supreme court on the matter, which disqualified Sumaila on the grounds that he did not participate in all the preliminary stages of the election processes.

“We hold that, if a tribunal or court found out that a candidate did not participate in any stage of the election process, the tribunal has no option other than to declare the next candidate with the highest number of votes, as the winner in the election,” the judge held.

“Consequently, Suraj Idris Kanawa, being the next candidate with the highest number of lawful votes cast is the right candidate to be declared the winner in the Takai/Sumail Federal House of Representatives election, held on March 23, 2019.

“Notice is hereby given to INEC to declare the First Petitioner, as the winner and issue a certificate of return to him.

“Suraj Idris Kanawa is, therefore, the winner of Takai/Sumaila Federal House of Representatives election, which the Tribunal has upheld.”

In his reaction, Nasir Aliyu, counsel to Sumaila, said as a law-abiding citizen, his client has accepted the ruling of the court.

Aliyu said his client has no plans to appeal the judgment.

TICAD7: Buhari departs Japan

President Muhammadu Buhari has departed Japan after participating in the seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development in the country.

According to his New Media aide, Bashir Ahmad, Buhari departed Yokohama, Japan for Abuja on Saturday.

He tweeted, “After the successful participation in the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (#TICAD7) President @MBuhari has departed Yokohama, Japan for Abuja.”

Buhari travelled to Japan last Sunday for the TICAD7, themed, “Africa and Yokohama, Sharing Passion for the Future.”

Fayose: Some people nearly broke my head in Ekiti

Ayo Fayose, former governor of Ekiti state, says he was trailed by some unidentified people who nearly broke his head while he was on his way from the state house of assembly on Friday.

Speaking with journalists, Fayose said he answered the invitation of the state assembly, which is probing his administration for alleged financial impropriety, because his ”conscience is clear” and he ”fears no accusation”.

“It was on our way from the assembly that some people trailed us in a pick-up purposely to attack us. We managed to escape. In short, one of them nearly broke my head,” he said.

“When I got to the assembly, they said they were not ready and that they would inform me when they were ready. As a matter of fact, since they accused me of financial misappropriation, they were supposed to be ready.

“I got this by noon yesterday and I called the speaker to confirm whether it was true and he confirmed it. You know my style. When the EFCC wanted me, I told them ‘I’m here’.

“So, I have come to the house of assembly to tell them I’m available for their questions. I drove down from Lagos to tell them that there was no hiding place for some of us, so, I am here and ready to give an account of my stewardship.”

The former governor said he will not join other people to sin by defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC). He also said he will not join the party so as to get a ‘’soft-landing’’ in his trial.

Fayose is facing charges of money laundering to the tune of N1.3 billion brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

While he was governor, he was a strong critic of the Buhari administration but he has since toned down his criticisms.

“I will not follow the multitude to sin. I want to believe that selective justice will not help our country,” he said.

“I have condemned anyone who says that in Nigeria, when you come to the All Progressives Congress, then you become a saint. I am telling you, I will never become a member of the APC, I will never defect.

“If I wanted a soft landing against my party, against my candidate, that would have happened in the past, I stood my ground during the elections. So, that is impossible.”

N1.6bn Fraud: EFCC appeals acquittal of Dudafa, Iwejuo

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has filed a notice of appeal against the ruling of Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos which on August 29, 2019 discharged and acquitted Dudafa Warripamo-Owei, a former Special Adviser to a former president, Goodluck Jonathan, and Joseph Iwejuo, a banker, who were both being prosecuted by the EFCC for money laundering charges to the tube of N1.6billion.

The were alleged to have conspired to launder the fund through the accounts of A.B. Wise Resources Limited, Seagate Property Development and Investment Limited, Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited, Rotato Interlink Service Limited, Pluto Property and Services Limited and De-jakes fast food and Restaurant Limited.

However, despite tendering several documents and presenting several witnesses the trial judge dismissed the charges ruling that the EFCC did not prove the charges against them.

But the in the notice of appeal, filed by counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, the anti-graft agency is challenging the decision to discharge the defendants of the 22-count charge brought against them, on nine grounds, arguing that the trial judge erred in his decision to absolve them of the charges

The EFCC citing Mumuni Vs State (1975) argued that the judge “failed to take to account that in proving conspiracy, evidence of the mere agreement of the parties expressed or implied is sufficient for conviction”.

Furthermore, the EFCC argued that the “trial court did not consider the admission of Dudafa in his extrajudicial statement to the effects that the money was proceeds of gifts he received from former president Goodluck Jonathan and his friend who came to visit him”, arguing further that “the documentary evidence, the admission of the respondents in their extrajudicial statements and the evidence elicited by the appellant from the respondents under cross-examination, the prosecution needs not call Sompre Omiebi, Col. Sambo Dasuki, CBN governor, Director of Finance as held by the learned trial judge “.

The EFCC noting the grave miscarriage of justice, held strongly that the trial judge “erred in law and occasioned serious miscarriage of justice by discharging and acquitting the 2nd defendant on counts 14-15” and “failed to evaluate the evidence presented by the Appellant before the Court”.

The Commission equally described as a miscarriage of justice the failure of the trial court to properly evaluate the evidence brought before the Court against Dudafa convict the defendants as charged and overrule the decision of the lower court.

Invariably, the EFCC asked the Court of Appeal to convict the defendants as charged as prescribed by the Money Laundering Act 2011 (as amended) and to overrule the lower court.

Airtel overtakes Globacom to become Nigeria’s second largest network

Airtel Nigeria is now the second-largest telecommunications service provider in the country.

According to the July subscriber data released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Airtel gained a total of 906,400 customers in July to become second.

Airtel currently has 123,327 subscribers more than Globacom that has occupied the position for years.

In total, there are now 174,668,626 active GSM lines in the country.

In the month under review, MTN gained 1,379 new subscribers with another 118,442 subscribers from Visafone, a CDMA network it acquired.

Globacom gained 118,087 new subscribers to reach a total of 46,713,068 GSM users while 9mobile was the only operator that lost subscribers.

It lost 225,283 subscribers, dropping to 15,739,967 mobile users.

In terms of market share, MTN retains the largest share of the market at 37.43% with Airtel at 26.81%.

Globacom holds 26.74% share of the market while 9mobile holds 9.01%.

The total number of subscribers on the two Voice over Internet Protocol networks (VoIP) increased from 165,333 users in June to 172,111 active users in July.

Smile Communications network added 6,543 users to stand at 167,555 customers while Ntel added 235 users to stand at 4,556 subscribers.

Lagos is the world’s most dangerous city – Report

A newly released report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has ranked Lagos as the world’s most dangerous city.

The report, named Safe Cities Index, ranked 60 cities across the world based on digital security, health, infrastructure and personal security.

Tokyo, Japan’s capital city, was ranked the world’s safest city. Singapore, Osaka, Amsterdam and Sydney occupy the second to fifth spots on the ranking.

“Urban management will play a fundamental role in defining the quality of life of most human beings in the coming years. A key element of this will be the ability of cities to provide security for their residents, businesses and visitors,” the report read.

“A look at the top five cities in each pillar—digital, health, infrastructure and personal security—yields a similar message. In each area, leading cities got the basics right, be it easy access to high-quality healthcare, dedicated cyber-security teams, community-based police patrolling or disaster continuity planning.”

Lagos occupied the 56th spot on the digital security ranking and placed 58th on the infrastructure security ranking.

Nigeria’s most populous city ranked the least on the health and personal security tables.

Some of the items which cities were ranked on are:

Digital security: Privacy policy, citizen awareness of digital threats, public-private partnerships, level of technology employed, dedicated cyber-security teams, percentage of computers infected, percentage with internet access.

Infrastructure security: Enforcement of transport safety, pedestrian friendliness, disaster management/business continuity plan, road network, power network, rail network, the percentage living in slums, air transport facilities.

Health security: Environmental policies, access to healthcare, number of beds per 1,000 population, number of doctors per 1,000 population, access to safe and quality food, quality of health services, air quality, water quality, emergency services in the city.

Personal security: Level of police engagement, community-based patrolling, available street-level crime data, use of data-driven techniques for crime, the prevalence of petty crime, gender safety (female homicide), level of corruption, rate of drug use.

The cities who did not factor in disaster risk in their city-level urban plan were listed as Cairo, Riyadh, Lagos, Bogota, Caracas, Baku.

The report also estimated that more than half of Lagos’ population live in slums; a development that Alioune Badiane, president of the Urban-Think Tank Africa (TUTTA), says is due to poor or insufficient planning.

“The main driver of insecurity is the extent of informal settlements. This arises not from a growing population per se, he adds, but poor or insufficient planning. It is not acceptable,” he said.

“We have a lot to do, but the number one priority is improved urban planning and better city management.”

This is the first time Lagos is featuring on the index.

Assault: Ihedioha orders arrest of Okorocha, seizure of 20 govt vehicles, allegedly hidden in ex-governor’s residence

Governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State, on Thursday, ordered the arrest his predecessor, Senator Rochas Okorocha, over alleged assault on a government official, Mr Jasper Ndubuaku.

The Secretary to State Government (SSG), Mr Uche Onyeaguocha, confirmed the order after Ndubuaku, the Chairman of the Recovery of Government Properties, was allegedly assaulted at Okorocha’s residence.

Onyeaguocha said that the state had also placed Okorocha on security watch and urged Imo citizens to arrest him and alert the government whenever they found him in the state.

A video trending online, on Thursday, captured some thugs beating Ndubuaku at Okorocha’s residence on Spibatt Avenue, Owerri.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Rabiu Ladodo, and SSG confirmed the incident to newsmen at a joint news briefing in Owerri.

They announced that a citizen’s arrest had been declared on Okorocha over the incident.

They claimed that Okorocha hired thugs to attack Ndubuaku, who doubles as Special Adviser to Ihedioha on Security Matters.

They said that the Senator representing Imo West would be arrested and prosecuted anytime he entered the state.
The incident was happening barely 24 hours after traditional rulers in the state issued a stern warning to Okorocha against disrupting the activities of the recovery team.

The commissioner of police said that police would investigate the senator’s involvement in the matter.

Narrating his ordeal, Ndubuaku alleged that he was beaten at Okorocha’s residence and thrown into a gutter by some thugs.

He further alleged that he was first held hostage for some hours by the thugs in the presence of security men attached to Okorocha’s residence.

He said that the recovery team obtained a court order to search Okorocha’s house.
“We got a court order to recover stolen properties kept in Okorocha’s house and when we got to his house on Thursday, armed thugs attacked us.

“There are 20 government vehicles in his house, four Speed Boats, one movable Crain and generator sets, which we went to recover before the incident.
“We will not give up the battle, we will go back to his house because the property belongs to Imo State Government,” Ndubuaku said.

Reacting to the arrest order, Mr Sam Onwuemeodo, the Special Assistant on Media to Okorocha, said the recovery committee was attacked by the former governor’s sympathisers and passersby.

He said that the recovery team went to Okorocha’s house without a court order, adding that they invaded Okorocha’s residence with no fewer than 50 thugs.

Families secured release of three ABU students after N5.5m ransom payment

 

Contrary to a statement by the police, the three abducted students of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, were not rescued but released by their abductors after the payment of hefty ransom.

Quoting family sources Premium Times reported that the relatives of the three students came together to negotiate with their abductors, who agreed to a N5 million deal.

Maryam Bello, Fatima Jalingo and Umar Sagir, all final year Law students of the university were abducted along with other travellers on their way from Abuja to Zaria.

“The Command wishes to state that, on the said date, August 26, at about 18:50hrs, armed men in military uniform intercepted some commuters near Masari Village along Kaduna-Abuja Expressway, opened fire on the vehicles, in the process kidnapped six persons,” a police statement stated.

The Kaduna State police spokesperson, Yakubu Sabo, who issued a press statement on Wednesday in Kaduna, said the police reunited the victims with their families.

But the account of the incident by family members and graphic evidence show that the police had no hand in the release of the victims and their reunion with their families.

When the claim first came out, as shared by an aide of President Muhammadu Buhari, a member of one of the families, Sagir Ango, debunked it

Bashir Ahmad, Mr Buhari’s personal assistant on New Media shared a story of the police claim by The Nation newspaper Wednesday evening.

But Mr Ango replied promptly, to deny the involvement of the police.

“Lies…It took us 48 long hours of negotiation with the kidnappers to secure the release of our sister to us, NOT the police. Ransom was paid in full and negotiated with the three families involved,” he tweeted.

One of the abducted students, Ms Bello, also took to Twitter to disclaim the hands of the police in the rescue effort.

Later, Mr Ahmad took down the tweet with an apology, explaining that his earlier tweet was reliant on reports in the media from the police statement.

“I have taken down the tweet. Relatives and one of the victims confirmed that there’s no police involvement in the process that lead to their release,” he tweeted Thursday morning.

While apologising for the error, the presidential aide said it was “too bad” for the police to claim credit for the effort.

The paper gathered that the abductors contacted the respective families and negotiated ransom on each of the three students.

After hours of negotiations between the kidnappers and the families, the kidnappers agreed to collect N5.5 million in total, charging N1 million, N2 million and N2.5 million from the respective families.

The money was paid at Rijana.

A member of one of the families who volunteered to pick up the kidnapped victims from the kidnappers’ den said he was picked up by one of them at an appointed spot near Rijana, on Abuja-Kaduna Road.

He said they crossed three streams before reaching the camp, deep in the forest.

It was understood that the kidnappers were circumspect and careful in ensuring that there was no attempt to set them up.

After the contact person had emerged with the victims to the roadside, police on patrol attempted to take them to the police station but they declined, opting to drive themselves to Kaduna.

The three victims and their guide arrived Kaduna late in the night, passing the night before going to their respective families.

Videos seen by a reporter show the fatigued victims reuniting with members of the family in both Kaduna and Abuja. There was no presence of security personnel in any of the videos.

Security: Lagos impounds 125 motorcycles

The Lagos State Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences Agency (Task Force) says it has impounded 125 motorcycles from operators for flouting traffic regulations and for security reasons.

The Chairman of the agency, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi, said on Thursday in Lagos that the motorcycles were impounded around Ejigbo and Cele Bus Stops on Wednesday.

Egbeyemi said that the agency had commenced a clampdown on illegal commercial motorcycle operators plying restricted routes, including all inner streets across Lagos for security reasons.

He said that the agency was compelled to embark on the crackdown, sequel to a series of complaints received on a daily basis from innocent members of the public.

According to him, members of the public have complained about criminal activities perpetrated by the illegal commercial motorcycle operators early in the morning and late at night.

”We are going to ensure that there is total compliance with the Lagos Traffic Regulations by all commercial motorcycle operators across Lagos.

“These include motorcycle operators in all our local governments and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), as well as by those operating within inner streets.

”In accordance with the Traffic Laws, every motorcycle operator must wear crash helmets, be above 18 years and not ride on kerb/median/road-setbacks.

”Motorcycle operators must avoid restricted routes, not carry more than one passenger, pregnant woman, adult with baby and child below 12 years.

”The operator must not install any musical gadgets, must wear an apron, not operate beyond 10.00p.m, operate with a rider’s permit and have their motorcycles registered with the state government,’’ he said.

Egbeyemi said research conducted by the state government revealed that most riders of the illegal commercial motorcycles were not from Nigeria, but from neighbouring countries.

The agency chairman said that some of them were also involved in criminal activities in the state.

(NAN)

$9.6bn UK judgement: I didn’t see contract papers, says Ex-AGF Aondoaka

Former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Chief Michael Aondoakaa said he is in total support of efforts by President Muhammadu Buhari and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami to probe the $9.6bn United Kingdom (UK) judgement debt against the country.

In a telephone interview with The Nation, Chief Aondoakaa, who was the AGF between July, 2007 and February 2010 stated that throughout his tenure no such contract was brought to Federal Executive Council ( FEC) for deliberation.

He said: As the then Chief Law Officer of the federation and a member of the FEC, I can tell you that no such contract was brought for deliberation to the best of my knowledge”.

According Aondoakaa with such a huge contract sum involved, the best practice was after due process might have been certified alongside tenders board, the contract with Process and Industrial Development limited ( P&ID) should have been forwarded to FEC for deliberation and final approval before Ministry of Petroleum resources would go ahead with the award of the contract of such nature because of the involvement of another country. But I can tell you without fear of contradictions that I saw nothing like that before FEC”.

“I did not see such contract and since the news broke out I’m wondering how this could have been possible,” said the former AGF.

He dismissed media reports of his alleged involvement in the contract and called for a thoroughly probe by the federal government to unravel those behind the mystery contract.