An Upper Shari’a Court sitting at Hausawa Quarters in Kano has sentenced a 22-year old singer Yahaya Aminu Sharif to death by hanging for blasphemy against Prophet of Muhammad.
In his ruling on Monday, the Shari’a court Khadi, Aliyu Muhammad Kani, found Sharif guilty of the one-count charge bordering on derogatory comment contained in one of his songs.
Sharif, a resident of Sharifai quarters in Kano municipal, was accused of committing blasphemy against the prophet in a song he circulated via WhatsApp in March 2020.
Sharif’s action came to public knowledge on 4th of March, 2020, when hundreds of angry youths stormed the Kano Hisbah board headquarters in protest against what they considered an uncomplimentary assault on prophet Muhammad.
The youths accused government and security agencies of undue protection and failure to act appropriately against Sharif.
The irate youths had earlier razed down the family house of the singer after his disappearance when they invaded the resident.
The police have arrested a man said to be the founder and general overseer of the Church of the Lord at Olomore in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
In a statement on Sunday, the police explained that the suspect, Prophet Ebenezer Ajigbotoluwa, was apprehended by men of the Ogun State Command for defiling and impregnating two underage sisters.
His arrest followed a report by the mother of the victims who reported at the police station Lafenwa that she fell sick sometimes in 2018 and was taken to the suspect’s church for spiritual healing.
The victims’ mother said the pastor took advantage of her sickness and asked her entire family of six to move into the church premises to avoid being afflicted with the same sickness.
The prophet was said to be having sex with the girls who were 16 and 13 years, unknown to their mother.
“The pastor impregnated the two underage girls and went on to procure abortion for them in a private clinic.
“Aside from this, the prophet also defrauded the family of N2 million cash which he took for what he called spiritual cleansing,” said the statement signed by the command’s spokesman, Abimbola Oyeyemi.
It added, “Upon the report, the DPO Lafenwa division, CSP Muraina Ayilara, led his men to the church but the place has been deserted. The CP then directed that the suspect be hunted for and brought to book.”
According to the statement, the DPO and his men embarked on intelligence and technical-based investigation which led to the arrest of the prophet at about 5am on Thursday last week while some dangerous charms were said to have been recovered from his home.
On interrogation, the suspect confessed to have committed most of the allegations levelled against him, the police said.
Ajigbotoluwa reportedly explained that it was the reason why he ran away when he heard that police were on his trail.
Following his arrest, the Commissioner of Police in Ogun, Edward Ajogun, directed that the suspect be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for discreet investigation.
He also warned those hiding under the umbrella of religion to perpetrate evils to desist from it or get ready to meet their waterloo.
The police commissioner also called on residents to be wary of those he described as wolves in sheepskin masquerading as men of God.
Such persons, according to him, are out to milk their victims dry before destroying their lives.
The Oyo State Government has commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a student at the University of Ibadan, Richard Gbadebo.
This was disclosed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Dr Bashir Olanrewaju when he led a state government delegation on a condolence visit to the residence of the bereaved family in Ibadan.
According to him, the state government has begun a safety audit of the factory and would ensure that necessary sanctions are meted out on the company upon completion of investigations.
While assuring that compensation will be given to the bereaved family, Olanrewaju said the current administration under Governor Seyi Makinde remains committed to ensuring that no resident of the state suffers injustice or undue exploitation irrespective of social status.
“We are here to condole with the parents of the deceased and to inform the family that measures are being taken by the government to ascertain the cause of Richard’s death.
“The administration of Seyi Makinde will ensure that justice is served so as to prevent the recurrence of an event like this in the future.
“So, the government will get to the roots of this gruesome incident and give due compensation to the family of the deceased,” he said.
On his part, the father of the late Richard, Mr Shola Gbadebo demanded the CCTV footage of the scenes where his son died, noting that a thorough investigation must be conducted in order to truly ascertain the cause of his death.
Mr Gbadebo insisted that before any attempt to initiate talks with the family by the management of the soap factory, the family must be assured that there was no foul play or conspiracy in his death.
“What I want to say is, the issue of compensation does not arise now. My son could become Governor or President in future if he is alive. So, I don’t care about what they will offer me.
“My appeal is that the government should assist me to pressurize the company to show its CCTV footage so that the whole world will see how my son died,” Gbadebo said.
The 21-year-old Gbadebo who was a 300-level student of the Department of European Studies, Faculty of Arts at UI died in the factory’s soap-making machine last month.
The police in Katsina State have killed eight bandits in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State.
In a statement issued by the Police Public Relations Officer, Gambo Isah on Saturday, personnel of the Force swooped on the bandits after receiving information on their activities in the area.
According to him, the hoodlums numbering over 40 attacked Zamfarawa village, killed two persons – one Shafi’i Suleiman and Yakubu Idris and rustled an unspecified number of cows.
While one of the bandits died on the spot, the other seven were said to have been killed from gunshot wounds during the exchanged of fire between the police and the hoodlums.
“The team succeeded and recovered thirty cows stolen from the village by the bandits. Subsequently, on 7/08/2020 search parties led by the DPO and members of the community led by the village head of Zamfarawa recovered additional seven more corpses of the bandits at Barankada village, Batsari LGA of Katsina State,” Isah said.
The police spokesman said items recovered from the dead bodies and the scene respectively during search include, 13 empty shells and two live ammunition of 7.62mm, charms, keys, a pair of slippers and N22,300.
Meanwhile, the state government has commended the efforts of the military and other security forces in the restoration of gradual peace in the front line LGAs worse affected.
Speaking during a press conference today, the Special Advisor to Governor Aminu Masari on Security, Ibrahim Ahmad, said the government is optimistic that banditry will soon be a thing of the past in the state.
“As you can observe, in spite of the pockets of challenges to the security operations, most of the affected communities have gradually gone back to farms and going about their normal activities.
“They are very few. They should not be allowed to hibernate and disturb our peace and security,” Ahmad said.
He, however, asked the people of the state to continue to volunteer information to security agencies so that all criminals are defeated collectively.
This comes three days after the state governor; Aminu Masari had a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The meeting comes amid the security challenges, especially banditry, in the state and the entire North West.
Also, the Nigeria Army launched another military operation codenamed, Operation Sahel Sanity, to tackle banditry and other crimes in Katsina, Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto and Niger states.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai who flagged off the military operation in Faskari on July 7 said the exercise, as well as other ongoing military operations, were meant to comprehensively tackle banditry and other crimes in the North-West and parts of North-Central to restore peace in the affected states and in Nigeria.
He noted that the Army will be conducting the operation with the support of other sister security agencies, including the police, the Department of State Services and the authorities of the affected states.
A Kaduna State High Court sitting in Kaduna has fixed September 29, 2020, to rule on the no-case-submission filed by the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
The IMN leader is asking the court to quash the state government’s case against him for lack of evidence.
Counsel to the defendant, Abubakar Marshall who held briefs for the lead Counsel, Mr Femi Falana, asked the court to quash the charges preferred against El-Zakzaky by the government for not “disclosing an offence known to law contrary to section 36 sub (8) and (12) of the 1999 constitution as amended”.
The prosecution counsel, Dari Bayero adopted his final arguments in the matter.
The IMN leader and his wife, Zinat are standing trial on allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disruption of the public peace, among other charges.
Justice Sikiru Oyinloye of Kwara State High Court, Ilorin on Thursday, August 7, 2020 convicted and sentenced the duo of Akinola Opeyemi and Owolabi Olajide to three months of community service for internet fraud.
They are to sweep the Physics Department of the University of Ilorin and the premises of Saint Anthony Secondary School, Ilorin for three months or pay N50,000 option of fine each.
The convicts were prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ilorin Zonal Office on separate one-count charge of cheating and impersonation to which they pleaded guilty.
An operative of the Commission, Olarewaju Lamidi, who reviewed the fact of the case disclosed that trouble started for the convicts when in March 2020, the Ilorin Zonal Office of the Commission placed some areas of the city on surveillance, following intelligence on the activities of internet fraudsters in the municipality, and arrested the defendants and others as a result.
Analysis of iPhones and laptops recovered from the convicts, yielded fraudulent email addresses and messages, which the convicts confessed to be theirs.
Delivering his judgment, Justice Oyinloye said, “I have carefully considered the evidence before the court, the exhibits tendered and the uncontroverted testimony of the prosecution witness. This honourable court holds that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt, the defendants are hereby convicted as charged.”
In sentencing them to community service, the judge directed the Head of Physics Department, the University of Ilorin and the Principal, Saint Anthony Secondary to issue an assessment letter on the convicts’ compliance with the judgment to the Chief registrar of the Kwara State High Court, at the completion of their community service. Poor level of compliance, the judge stated, would earn the convicts a direct six months imprisonment.
China sentenced another Canadian to death on drugs charges Friday, the second in two days to be handed the punishment, as tensions soar between Beijing and Ottawa.
The Foshan Intermediate People’s Court in the country’s southern Guangdong province said Ye Jianhui had been sentenced for trafficking and manufacturing drugs, and would have all his assets confiscated.
According to the state-run Global Times, authorities seized more than 217 kilogrammes of white crystals containing MDMA from Ye and five others in 2016.
The rest of the group were also sentenced on Friday and one other death sentence was issued, while the others were given lesser penalties.
It comes a day after a court in the provincial capital Guangzhou handed a death sentence to Canadian national Xu Weihong on a charge of making drugs.
Last year, China also sentenced two other Canadians to death on drug trafficking charges as ties sour between the two countries on a number of fronts including the arrest of top Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.
Canadian pleas for clemency for the pair, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg and Fan Wei, have so far not been successful.
When asked about the latest case Friday, China’s foreign ministry said its “judicial organs handle cases independently in strict accordance with the law”.
“We urge Canada to take immediate and effective measures to correct its mistakes and make concrete efforts to bring bilateral relations back on track,” said spokesman Wang Wenbin at a regular press briefing.
A Chinese court sentenced a Canadian national to death on Thursday in a ruling that could further inflame tensions between China and Canada.
The Guangzhou Intermediate Court said in a statement it had handed Xu Weihong a death sentence for manufacturing drugs, and said all his personal property would be confiscated.
According to China’s state-run Global Times, Xu had bought raw materials and tools for drug production in October 2016 and worked with an accomplice, Wen Guanxiong, to make ketamine.
The drugs were made in Wen’s home and stored in Xu’s residence in Guangzhou, with public security officers seizing over 120 kilogrammes of ketamine from the pair, the report added.
The ruling comes after China sentenced two other Canadians to death on drug trafficking charges last year, and as tensions soar between the two countries on a number of fronts including the arrest of top Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.
Beijing has also detained two Canadian nationals, including a former diplomat, on spying charges, in a move widely considered retaliation for Meng’s arrest in Canada.
The United States wants Meng extradited to face trial on charges related to the Chinese telecom equipment maker’s alleged violations of US sanctions against Iran.
On Thursday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular briefing that “Chinese judicial organs handle all criminals of different nationalities according to law”.
Referring to the latest case involving Xu, Wang added: “I don’t think this should have any impact on China-Canada relations.”
Diplomatic tensions Diplomatic relations between Canada and China have deteriorated over China’s arrests and Meng’s case, damaging trade between both countries.
Canadian pleas for clemency for its citizens previously sentenced on drug charges, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg and Fan Wei, have so far not been successful.
Meanwhile, in June Beijing formally charged the other pair of detained Canadians — ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor — for spying, in a move that came just weeks after a key ruling in the Meng case.
A Canadian judge had ruled that proceedings to extradite her to the United States will go ahead.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed disappointment with the formal charges in June, renewing calls for their release.
Monthly consular visits for Kovrig and Spavor have been suspended since the coronavirus outbreak started in China as well, sparking concerns over their health.
Although China’s foreign ministry insisted the pair were in good health, people familiar with the matter have told AFP they endured hours of interrogation and in the first six months of detention were forced to sleep with the lights on.
China keeps data secret about the number of death sentences it carries out every year.
But according to Amnesty International, China is the world’s top executioner, with thousands believed to be killed each year.
The Katsina State Council of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives has on Wednesday disowned and described the two suspected female nurses arrested by the police in the state as fake and imposters.
Identified as Misira Tijjani and Grace Ejigu of the Okmos Clinic in Kofar Kaura quarters, Katsina state, the two suspected female nurses were arrested on Monday by officers of the Katsina Police Command for alleged involvement and attempt to sale a newborn baby girl to one Eucharia Onyema.
The chairman of the Katsina state council of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Haruna Mamman disclosed this on Wednesday in a press conference held at the State Secretariat of the state council.
Mamman told reporters that the association swung into action immediately to authenticate the identity, membership, and qualifications of the two suspects.
“We visited the hospital and interviewed both the proprietor of the hospital, Dr. E.E Eze. The two imposters in question and our findings revealed that they are fake and imposters
“The proprietor of the hospital and the two imposters, even admitted that they were not trained and qualified nurses.
“We complained to the Deputy Commissioner of Police in whose office and before everyone present, they confessed that they were not Nurses, whereas a day before, they told the police authority that they were nurses.
“We will pursue this matter to its logical conclusion, they will be prosecuted for impersonation and defamation of character,” Mamman added.
It would be recalled that the two suspected female nurses were arrested on Monday by the police in Katsina state for alleged trafficking of a newly born baby girl.
Arrested on July 28th 2020 based on a tip off, the two nurses have been identified as one Misira Tijjani, aged 35 years of Filin Canada quarters, Katsina and Grace Ejigu, aged 43 years of Shagari Low Cost, Katsina who have conspired and sold the child to one Eucharia Onyema, aged 45 years of Sabuwar Kasuwa quarters, Katsina.
In a press briefing held at the police headquarters, Katsina, the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Gambo Isah told reporters that “On July 25th 2020 at about 10:00hrs, one Shamsiyya Sani, aged 25 years of Dandagoro quarters, Katsina was delivered of a baby girl at Okomos Clinic, Kofar Kaura, Katsina. She later abandoned the child at the hospital with a handwritten note stating that it was born out of wedlock hence the abandonment”
According to Isah, “namesis caught up with them when they were arrested on their way from the hospital to their houses with the child through the help of a Keke Napep rider who suspected them of stealing of the child. Investigation is ongoing”.
The Justice Salami-led presidential panel investigating the operations of the suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, resumed today.
Mr Magu is been investigated over alleged mismanagement of recovered assets by the EFCC between May 2015 and May 2020, a process triggered by allegations against him by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami
Sources close to the presidential panel told Media (known to Noble Reporters Media) that the panel at today’s proceeding promised to give Mr. Magu fair hearing in the process of investigating the allegations leveled against the embattled anti-graft boss
At today’s hearing, NRM gathered that Mr. Magu requested that the proceeding be documented on video or recorded but it was turned down.
The panel is reported to have told Mr. Magu that the venue of the sitting is temporary and therefore it is impossible to install video recording equipment.
The panel, however, promised that it will be fair in its approach and conduct of what it says its a fact-finding mission and not a trial.
When Noble Reporters Media sought to find out about the proceedings of today from Mr. Magu’s counsel, Mr Wahab Shittu, he said Magu trusts the long-standing integrity of the chairman of the panel Justice Salami and will count on its promise to be fair in the handling of the investigation.
Mr Magu, who was first arrested a few weeks ago in Abuja by a team of police officers, who dragged him to the statehouse to appear before the Justice Ayo Salami-led presidential investigative committee, had complained about what he termed unfortunate handling of his investigation for alleged corruption, saying he has consequently been paraded like a common criminal.
He has since denied all allegations levelled against him.
The Nigerian Police Force on Tuesday condemned a report accusing the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, of illegal activity.
On Monday, an online publication, Sahara Reporters, published a report with the heading: ‘Exclusive: How Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police, Adamu, Illegally Raised Millions of Naira for Construction of Training School in Nasarawa’.
In a statement, police spokesman, Frank Mba said the report was “published in the tradition of Sahara Reporters to blackmail and impugn the credibility of strategic leaders of the country in an apparent attempt to advance their ignoble and unpatriotic intentions.”
Mba said the training school in Nasarawa had been built with the support of the State Government and several corporate partners.
“Also, the insinuation that the IGP sited the facility ‘in his hometown of Endehu in Nasarawa State’, is also utterly misleading,” Mba said.
“For the avoidance of doubts, Endehu is not the hometown of IGP Adamu. He is, on the contrary, from Lafia.”
Mba added that the police have “instructed its legal team to initiate legal actions against” the online publication over what it sees as “the defamatory and libelous components of the report.”
Below is the full police statement:
HOW SAHARA REPORTERS MALICIOUSLY MALIGNED THE NIGERIAN INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE
The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to a misleading report published on the Sahara Reporters online platform on August 03, 2020 under the heading ‘Exclusive: How Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police, Adamu, Illegally Raised Millions of Naira for Construction of Training School in Nasarawa’. In the report, spurious allegations were made to the effect that the Inspector General of Police, IGP M.A. Adamu was ‘involved in a multi-billion Naira fraudulent scheme’. The publication which referenced several unnamed and unverifiable sources alleged, essentially, that the IGP ‘used his office to unlawfully compel and in fact threaten Mobile Police Commanders into generating millions of Naira monthly through illegal means for the purpose of establishment of a MOPOL Training School in his home town of Endehu in Nasarawa State’.
The Force wishes to state unequivocally that the publication in its entirety is false and baseless. It was published in the tradition of Sahara Reporters to blackmail and impugn the credibility of strategic leaders of the country in an apparent attempt to advance their ignoble and unpatriotic intentions.
While being conscious of the need not to glorify the falsehood contained in the reportage, it is considered expedient and in national security interest to put the facts straight. In this regard, it is to be clarified as follows:
i. The establishment of the Police Mobile Training School in Endehu, Nasarawa State, North Central Geopolitical Zone of Nigeria was informed by overriding national security consideration on the need to strengthen the operational capacity of the special forces of the Nigeria Police Force. ii. Also, the insinuation that the IGP sited the facility ‘in his hometown of Endehu in Nasarawa State’, is also utterly misleading. For the avoidance of doubts, Endehu is not the hometown of IGP Adamu. He is, in the contrary, from Lafia. iii. The allegations that the IGP used his office to threaten Mobile Police Commanders into generating Millions of naira monthly through illegal means for the establishment of the institution is also totally false. It is on record that the parcel of land where the institution was sited was donated to the Police with the full complement of the Certificate of Occupancy which the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State publicly presented to the Nigeria Police. The acquisition of the land was, therefore, without any financial commitment by the Police. iv. Furthermore, the construction of the facility was achieved with the support of the Nasarawa State Government and well-meaning corporate bodies within the context of their Corporate Social responsibility (CSR). In all instances, all the support so extended were not in cash but in form of donation of materials. The only involvement of some Squadron Commanders was to ensure the delivery of some of the construction materials so donated by the corporate bodies. Hence, the allegation that the IGP ‘had each Squadron Commander cough out nothing less than N500,000 monthly for the purpose of erecting different structures in the training school’ is a preposterous and feeble attempt to discredit the innovative reasoning that engendered the successful implementation of the critical national security asset that the facility represents.
The construction of the project through corporate intervention is a demonstration of the commitment of the Force leadership to meet its obligation to citizens in terms of their safety and security and in furtherance to the Reform agenda of the Nigeria Police Force. It was not established as a personal asset of the IGP. Rather, it is a national security legacy project. It is worth mentioning that this is not the first time that corporate organisations and governments at all levels are assisting the police to bridge operational and infrastructural gaps. Dangote Foundation, the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Bankers’ Forum, State Governments, Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC), and well-meaning individuals among others have in the past donated fleets of vehicles and have rendered other supports to the Police.
The attempt by Sahara Reporters to malign the Force leadership shall not in any manner impact on the firm determination of the Nigeria Police Force to advance its strategic plan and to continue to adopt innovative reasoning in changing the policing narratives in Nigeria towards stabilizing the internal security order. While members of the public are called upon to discountenance the content of the publication in its entirety, it is to be noted that the Nigeria Police Force has instructed its legal team to initiate legal actions against Sahara Reporters to address the defamatory and libellous components of the report.
DCP FRANK MBA FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER FORCE HEADQUARTERS ABUJA
The Court of Appeal in Abuja has dismissed the appeal filed by a former member of the House of Representatives from Kano State, Farouk Lawan seeking to terminate the $3million bribery charges brought against him by the Federal Government.
The appellate court in a unanimous decision held that a prima facie case was well established against Lawan that warranted him to enter his defence in the three counts charge brought against him since 2013.
Delivering the judgment in the appeal filed against the ruling of an Abuja High Court which held that Lawan had a case to answer; Justice Olabisi Ige held that the decision of the lower court was well-founded.
Justice Ige said that contrary to Lawal’s argument, the prosecution evidence at the High Court was not in any way discredited, hence the rejection of his no-case submission.
The appellate court also held that the language of the trial judge, Justice Angela Otaluka which Lawan complained about did not place him in any disadvantage position or was in any way inimical to his trial.
Justice Ige who quoted copiously from the records of proceedings of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, especially the testimonies of the five witnesses called by the Federal Government, upheld the findings of Justice Otaluka that there were sufficient evidence linking Mister Lawan to the offences.
Justice Otaluka had in 2019 dismissed the no-case-submission filed by Mister Lawan who was then the Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Oil and Gas in his alleged $3million bribery trial.
The 80-year-old father of the Chairman of Sagbama Local Government Area in Bayelsa State has regained his freedom.
Noble Reporters Media learnt Pa. Napoleon Alale was released in the early hours of Tuesday at Otuokpoti, Ogbia Local Government Area of the state.
Confirming the development, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mike Okolo said the release was a result of efforts made by the police to restructure the security strategy of the Command and to reduce crime to the barest minimum in the state.
Although security operatives arrested one Commander Mummy Reuben alleged to be the mastermind of the kidnap, efforts are ongoing to track down the other fleeing suspects.
According to the police authorities, the suspect confessed to have conspired with others to carry out the abduction.
The victim was kidnapped on May 8 at Agbere Community, in the Sagbama area of the state.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) has secured the final forfeiture of N827, 679,098.32 from Flank Power Resources Limited and GMFD Ventures Limited.
Both firms are linked to contractors with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Matthew Edevbie is the Chief Executive Officer of Flank Power Resources Limited.
In a statement by the Head, Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Dele Oyewale, explained that the forfeiture followed the order of Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, sequel to an affidavit deposed to by an EFCC investigator, in which the Commission prayed the court for the forfeiture of the sum to the federal government of Nigeria, being proceeds of unlawful activity, traced to some contractors’ accounts with Zenith Bank.
A breakdown of the recovery shows that N616, 679, 098.32 (six hundred and sixteen million, six hundred and seventy-nine thousand, ninety-eight naira, thirty-two kobo) was recovered from Flank Power Resources Limited, while N211million (two hundred and eleven million naira) was recovered from GMFD Ventures Limited.
The statement revealed that between 2018 and 2019, Flank Power Resources Limited received the funds from the NDDC, through its account number:1015642852, while GMFD received through account number: 1014657819 both of which are domiciled in Zenith Bank Plc for desilting contracts which aside from being inflated, were not executed but diverted and laundered.
“The sum of N616, 679, 098.32 recovered from Flank Power Resources Limited was facilitated through 62 Zenith Bank drafts in favour of the EFCC Recovered Funds Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, while the N211million from GMFD came through 22 Zenith Bank drafts in favour of the same account.
“The EFCC secured the interim forfeiture of the money on June 8, 2020, and its final forfeiture was granted by the court on June 29, 2020”, the statement added.
The former Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, has pleaded not guilty to the amended charges of money laundering.
Mr. Adoke is being re-arraigned alongside Aliyu Abubakar who is an Abuja based businessman before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
During sitting on Tuesday, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the 14 count charge filed against them.
EFCC Files Amended Charges Against Ex- AGF Adoke The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had in June filed an additional seven charges against the former AGF over money laundering allegations involving about N400 million.
Mr Adoke’s trial was expected to begin on Monday (yesterday) but it was stalled due to the amended charges.
The initial charge contained seven counts, with six of them relating to Mr. Adoke.
At the resumed trial, the prosecutor, Bala Sanga, informed the court of an amended charge he filed on July 29 which was served on all the defendants.
The trial judge, Justice Ekwo who frowned at the late filing of the amended charge adjourned the trial till Tuesday on the ground that he is yet to sight the amended charges.
In the former seven counts, the EFCC alleged that the defendants committed the money laundering offences involving over N400 million in Abuja in September 2013.
In the counts relating to Mr Adoke, he was accused of among others, receiving the dollar equivalent of N300 million from Abubakar, paying the dollar equivalent of N367,318,800 to one Usman Mohammed Bello, and allegedly using the sum of N300 million, which was alleged to be part of the proceeds of unlawful activities, all in violations of various provisions of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011.
The former AGF was also accused of making “structured cash payments, in 22 tranches” amounting to N80 million, another of such structured payments in 13 tranches summing up to N50 million into his Unity Bank account.
The commission alleged that the funds were not only part of the proceeds of unlawful acts but they also exceeded “thresholds outside a financial institution,” and that the payments were done with the intention of concealing the origins of the funds contrary to Section 15(2(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 and punishable under section 15(3) of the same law.
He was granted bail by the Federal High Court in Abuja on February 10, 2020, in the sum of N50m with one surety in like sum.
The court has however fixed August 11, 12, and 13 for the trial of the former AGF and Mr. Abubakar.
The police have arrested seven suspects involved in the robbery attack on a bullion van and the killing of four policemen in Ebonyi State.
According to a report obtained by Noble Reporters Media on Tuesday, the arrests were made barely five days after the incident.
Among those apprehended for the attack were two soldiers – one in active service and the other dismissed.
Noble Reporters Media had reported that the bullion van was being escorted by policemen to one of the first-generation banks along Ogoja Road in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital on Wednesday last week before it came under attack.
Following the incident, the police launched a ‘serious manhunt’ of the assailants which led to their arrest in less than one week.
The operation was carried out by police detectives attached to the Intelligence Response Team (IRT), with support from the Technical Intelligence Unit (TIU).
While on the operation, the police team arrested one Alfred Robinson on Saturday last week in Asaba, the Delta State capital.
The 45-year-old suspect is said to be a native of Gelegele town in Ovia North Local Government Area of Edo State.
Upon his arrest, the police recovered a Toyota 4 Runner SUV said to have been snatched alongside others for the purpose of the attack.
Also recovered from Robinson included a GPMG rifle with 153 rounds of live ammunition, five AK 47 rifles with 1,402 rounds of live ammunition, a K2 rifle with loaded magazine, and 51 AK 47 magazines.
An intensive follow up operation by the police team also led to the arrest of six more suspected members of the robbery gang within 24 hours.
Those arrested include Sergeant Ayeni Samuel, 43, who is a serving soldier attached to the Command Day Secondary School at the Nigerian Army Cantonment in Ikeja, Lagos and Corporal Emeka Harrison, 33, a dismissed soldier who until his dismissal was attached to 7 Division Garrison in Maiduguri, Borno State.
Others are Sunday Soyemu, 46, and a native of Alegnene in Ekeremor LGA of Bayelsa State; Emeka Illo, 37, and a native of Igwachi community in Orji River LGA of Enugu State; Abuchi Elijah, 27, and a native of Nsalangwa in Nsalangwa LGA of Abia State; and Ibanifiroi Ekiene, 38, and a native of Tombia community in Degema LGA of Rivers State.
According to the police, the six suspects arrested on Sunday came from various parts of the South-South and South-East.
They were said to be perfecting a planned intended bank robbery in Asaba this week before they were apprehended.
A Lexus 350 SUV containing various arms and ammunition were recovered from them.
The items include 136 rounds of K2 ammunition, five K2 magazines, 12 locally made bomb (unexploded), a KPT power tool 230MM angle grinder, and assorted charms, among others.
“All suspects, upon interrogation, confessed to the bullion van robbery in Ebonyi State where four policemen were killed, with many other armed robberies/kidnappings across the South-East and South-South.
“Suspects also confessed that four out of the rifles recovered belong to the policemen they killed during the bullion van robbery in Ebonyi State. Suspects are assisting police to arrest their remaining gang members,” the report said.
Pastor Joseph Anthony of the Living Faith Church in Njaba, Imo State, has been arrested for ALLEGEDLY raping one Favour Chikanma, the 11-year-old daughter of his fellow pastor, one Pastor Chukwuma Okoronkwo.
The spokesperson of the state police command, SP Orlando Ikeokwu, said that Pastor Okoronkwo had accommodated Pastor Anthony in his house but took advantage of the fact that he was home alone with the victim.
On the rape allegation, Pastor Joseph Anthony denied complicity but admitted that he was tempted to commit the act.
According to him, he had just been transferred to the Njaba chapter of Winners Chapel and was waiting to be assigned his personal residential apartment before another Pastor Okoronkwo offered to harbour him till he secured his own accommodation.
The family of Mr. Emperor Ogbonna, an Aba based lawyer has lamented his continued detention by the Department of State Security (DSS) in Abuja despite the order of a federal high court, Umuahia, which directed the agency to release him.
The lawyer was alleged to have made an online publication stating that the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu allegedly visited a shrine outside the country where he was said to have sworn an oath of allegiance and secrecy to the former Governor of the State. The online publication was alleged to have been made on the Facebook page of Ogbonna.
Ogbonna was subsequently arrested by the officers of the Nigerian Police Force and charged before the Federal High Court, Umuahia with the offence of terrorism, but he denied being the originator of the post, saying he only re-shared it.
A Federal High Court in Umuahia eventually granted him bail on the condition that he be released to a lawyer of not less than 20 years at the bar. He was taken back to Umuahia Prisons, while planning to perfect his bail, but Prison authorities allegedly released him to the DSS officials on ‘order from above’.
Following this development, his lawyers returned to the court and filed an action challenging his continuous detention. Respondents in the suit marked FHC/UM/CS/40/2020 are director general of SSS, the SSS, Abia state director of SSS, I.J Ibrahim and A.C.B Agbazuere.
Delivering judgment June 29, 2020, Justice D. E Osiagor held: “I therefore hold that neither investigation nor widening scope of investigation can justify the arrest and detention of the applicant from April 28, 2020 until now. The arrest and continued detention of the applicant from April 28 by the first to third respondents is unlawful and a violation of the applicants fundamental right as the arrest and continued detention for the past two months run contrary to sections 35and 36 of the 1999 Constitution.
“The first to third respondents are hereby ordered to immediately release the applicant unconditionally or charge him only to a court of competent jurisdiction. For the past two months, the first to third respondents have hosted the applicant contrary to the dictates of his will. He has not been charged nor tried in any court of law in Nigeria contrary to sections 35(4) of the 1999 constitution with respect to these facts, thus evoking the constitutional mandate to order a conditional or unconditional release of the applicant.” The judge further awarded N1.5 million damages against the respondents for holding him without charge.
His younger brother, James Ogbonna lamented that the lawyer has been kept incommunicado ever since and that his family, including his wife who was delivered of a baby through caesarian process in his absence have been traumatised by his continuous detention.
The national publicity secretary of the NBA, Mr. Kunle Edun in a statement, urged the DSS to release him. He said: “The Nigerian Bar Association, therefore, demands that the State Security Service (DSS) and the Abia State Government immediately release Emperor Ogbonna to face his charge before the Federal High Court, for which plea has already been taken and the matter adjourned for hearing.
“The NBA trusts that the Abia State Government and DSS would not give the impression that they are above the law of the land and do not have confidence in the credibility of their complaint before the Federal High Court. The NBA refuses to accept popular opinion that the harassment of Ogbonna could be a subtle attempt to intimidate him to kowtow to any untoward compromise; if it is true, then it amounts to interference with the judicial processes by State officials who should know better, and this would be highly frowned at.”