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Queen’s Counsel, Fidelis Oditah, Beneficiary Of $1.3 billion Malabu Oil Deal, Testifies in Milan

20 May 2019 - 11:45am

Fidelis Oditah, a Queen’s Counsel and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), whose company- Indigo Drilling drilled the Eaton field- one of the two fields been developed in the Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 245 block, on Wednesday testified in the Milan court in Italy, as a consultant for Eni, one of the two companies standing corruption charges for the unwholesome sale of the block in 2011.

Indigo, which is jointly owned by Oditah Ibeneche, is part of the Transocean group of companies. 

Transocean says that Indigo,"is jointly owned by Transocean and its local Nigerian partners, Chima Ibeneche and Fidelis Oditah, SAN. According to the company which managed the Deep water Horizon rig that spilled 210 million barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico in 2011, ‘Indigo operates Transocean's rigs in Nigeria. 

Transocean's Deepwater Pathfinder drill vessel, drilled Etan-1X in OPL 245 to a Total Depth of 4,574 m in 1,720 m of water.

The well was said to have logged 120 m of hydrocarbon-bearing sands. Oditah did not declare to the Milan court that he has interest in the block before taking the stand to give his summation on the 2011 six-party agreement reached between the Federal Government of Nigeria, Malabu oil and Gas, Eni, Royal Dutch Shell (RDS), Eni and its Nigerian subsidiary Nigeria Agip Exploration (NAE).

“Mr President to sum up, I believe that the challenge to the 2011 Resolution Agreement of Shell and ENI is just politically motivated by the FGN under pressure by international NGOs". 

Oditah made this conclusion, despite overwhelming evidence showing a webbed trail of kickbacks and sleazy deals that mandated the Milan prosecutor to begin trial after four years of investigation.

Connection to Kola Aluko
As a lawyer with expertise in solvency and corporate structures, Fidelis Oditah is no stranger to the corrupt entrails of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.

Septa, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to Seven Energy International- a company Oditah served as non-executive Board member to between 2012 and 2016, received at least $26 million in loans from a firm called Arcadia. According to civil organizations- Global Witness, Corner House, and Re:common who have been providing evidence to the Milan prosecutor, says Arcadia collected $4 million from Rocky Top, one of the companies used to move proceeds of the payments made to Malabu Oil and Gas to the accounts of persons within and outside Nigeria.

The said $4 million remittance made to Arcadia by Rocky Top, was done on behalf of Septa. This same fund, was used to repay a loan to Ark, a company controlled by Kola Aluko- a former Deputy CEO of Septa). 

Aluko is under investigation in Nigeria and the UK for money laundering on behalf of Alison Madueke-Nigeria’s Minister of petroleum Resources under Goodluck Jonathan.

Septa has since repaid loans worth $9 million to Arcadia for funds borrowed by Aluko. Aluko has been accused of using Seven Energy and Atlantic Energy to launder funds- a claim all parties deny. Oditah’s involvement with illicit monies predate’s Kola Aluko.

According to an online source, Professor Oditah received N5.7 million from a Zenith Bank Asaba branch account set-up by Ibori. The money was paid to him in three installments. 

Oditah is also the Director of Vetiva, the financial service company that served as joint financial advisor and joint stockbroker for Notore Chemicals during the latter’s float on the Nigeria Stock Exchange. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the London Metropolitan Police have labelled Notore as a front for James Ibori. 

Surprisingly, naught of this was mentioned on the prospectus for the firm’s listing on the stock exchange. Contrastingly, the allegation of Seven Energy’s involvement with Kola Aluko was stated on its bond issue.

In April, Dayo Ayoade, a lecturer in the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, had iformed the Milan court that the Resolution Agreement that saw OPL 245 trasnfered to Shell and Eni, was an illegal deal. 

He was followed by Stephen Rogers An expert from British firm Arthur D. Little, who observed that the valuation of the block itself as at April 29 2011 was far higher than the $1.3 billion officially paid for the block but siphoned into private pockets. Rogers said the value of the block was in the region of $3.5 billion.

The registration date of Indigo Drilling on the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) website, is given as 2011-08-05, which is shortly after the April date of the resolution agreement.

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'Lagos/Badagry Road Still Gateway Of Pain, Anguish After Spending N460bn On Its Rehabilitation', Says Odumakin

20 May 2019 - 11:43am

Protesters Bearing Placards

Dr. Odumakin addressing protesters


Women under the aegis of 'Women Arise For Change Initiative' and members of the Campaign for Democracy (CD), a civil society organisation, on Monday, thronged the major roads in Badagry to protest the total neglect of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway by both the Federal and State Governments.

The two groups were joined by the residents of Badagry and motorists who regularly 'ply' the roads.

The protest match started from Badagry roundabout at about 8am on Monday.The protesters filed out peacefully on the highway to Igbo-elerin.

They held aloft placards with various inscriptions, such as "FIX BADAGRY EXPRESS ROAD", "Enough Is Enough", "We Are Also Tax Payers", "No Retreat, No Surrender", "We Give You 100 Days"
Addressing the protesters, Dr Joe Odunmakin said the protest was to draw attention of President Muhammadu Buhari and Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos State Governor-elect, to the plights of residents, motorists and other road users, over the neglect and abandonment of the road.

Protesters Bearing Placards Twitter

Odumakin said the road had become a death trap and a huge hindrance to business and economic growth in Badagry and its environs.

She said, “As we speak, we will find out that Badagry has been a gateway of pain and anguish. A lot of people are dying on the road, tourism has almost collapsed, this is a place that over 460 billion naira has been spent to rehabilitate the roads.

"There’s a nexus between infrastructures in terms of roads and the economy, and the economy here is almost coming to stagnation, and this is why is support this just cause."

She urged the government to rise up to the occasion by fixing  the road because of the location of the road and the crucial purpose of  linking Nigeria to other West African countries served by the road; claiming that the road is not just an eyesore but a nation shame.

“Government must rise up and within 100 days, and ensure that something urgently is done. Again, state of emergency has to be beamed on this road, and finally I think that we must understand that if roads are not fixed, then almost everything will collapse.

Dr. Odumakin addressing protesters Sahara Reporters Media

“This is a West African road, and this has become a national shame,” She concluded.

Some residents and students along this axis while speaking with Sahara Reporters said the road had claimed many lives , caused miscarriages, made lots of people to lose their jobs and made a lot of student to fail their exams, and lots more.

The distraught residents said the time-taken to cover the distance from Mile 2- Badagry was equivalent to the time-taken to cover the distance  from Enugu to Lagos.

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LIVE: Staff Of Tai Solarin College Of Education Cry Out Over 54 Months Unpaid Salary

20 May 2019 - 11:34am

Video of LIVE: Staff Of Tai Solarin College Of Education Cry Out Over 54 Months Unpaid Salary LIVE: Staff Of Tai Solarin College Of Education Cry Out Over 54 Months Unpaid Salary LIVE: Staff Of Tai Solarin College Of Education Cry Out Over 54 Months Unpaid Salary

The Coalition of Tai Solarin College of Education Staff has berated Ibikunle Amosun, Governor of Ogun State, for not paying salary and allowances to them for 54 months.

They also accused the Provost of the institution for embezzling funds meant for the development of the school.

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'Shut Down Operations And Vacate Nigeria', Niger Delta Republic Fighters Warn Oil Companies

20 May 2019 - 11:19am

A group called Niger Delta Republic Fighters has ordered all oil companies and multi-nationals operating in the Niger Delta to vacate the region from May 29, 2019.

The group said it will declare the Niger Delta Republic on the 1st of June, 2019.

The NDRF revealed what is to to befall the region in a press statement signed by Maj. Gen. Maxwell Dan and seen by SaharaReporters on Monday.

Maxwell Dan said: "After several months of consultations within and outside the shores of Nigeria on the collective wellbeing of the Niger Delta people in the Nigerian state, coupled with cruel persecution and selective maltreatment of the Niger Delta sons and daughters by Nigerian government over the years especially by the present administration of Muhamadu Buhari and his agents despite the huge contribution of the Niger Delta people to the sustenance of Nigeria. 

"We therefore take solace in the word of our patriarch – Isaac Boro, which states “…Today is a great day, not only in your lives but also in the history of the Niger Delta. Perhaps, it will be the greatest day for a very long time. 

"This is not because we are going to bring the heavens down, but because we are going to demonstrate to the world what and how we feel about oppression. Remember your 70-year-old grandmother who still farms before she eats; remember also your poverty-stricken people; remember, too, your petroleum which is being pumped out daily from your veins; and then fight for your freedom." It is quite unfortunate that the story has not change till today, and we are standing on that declaration, we are standing on the declaration of the sovereign state of Niger Delta and we will declare ‘NIGER DELTA REPUBLIC’ on June 1st, 2019.

"It is a common fact that Nigeria has completely derailed from the path of peace, justice and progress as proclaimed by its founding fathers. 

"The selective maltreatment of the Niger Delta people became more clearer when President Buhari ordered police to ransack the house of Chief E. K. Clark in order to have blackmail the aged Niger Delta Leader and force him from agitating for the Niger Delta people. 

"As that could not pay off, the scavenger removed a Niger Delta son Mr. Mathew Seiyeifa the most qualified Director of DSS without any due process. Not satisfied with his cruel and selective onslaught against the Niger Delta people, the scavengers plotted again and remove our son – Justice Walter Onoghen from office on frivolous allegations without following due process neither was he given opportunity of fair hearing. 

"It is also unfortunate that after four years of this administration, there is no single viable project executed by the federal government in the Niger Delta despite the billions of Naira accrued to the government from the resources of the Niger Delta as a result of the cease fire in the region. 

"Most surprising is the unfounded allegations and counter allegations trailing the controversial 2019 Presidential elections, after committing such a day robbery fraud against the people, the central government of Nigeria could not manage the outcome but continue to blackmail decent characters in order to incarcerate them. It so unfortunate that Nigerians have witness the worse government since independence and the criminals derive joy in telling lies and deceiving populace while the streets of the cities and towns are flooded with innocent blood on daily basis. 

"The blood of innocent citizens is becoming alarming and it is clear that the government cannot protect the citizens, instead they continue to make unguarded statements without recourse to the safety of the people, it is a common fact the country is in siege and we cannot allow it to consume us.

"In the light of the above injustices, we therefore use this medium to warn and order all the multinational oil companies operating in the Niger Delta to shut down their operation and vacate the region from May 29, 2019 to avoid avoidable circumstances as we will declare the Niger Delta Republic on 1st June 2019. 

"All operations by Oil Companies in the Niger Delta is hereby ordered to stop from 29 May 2019, anyone we see in the oil platform, both onshore and offshore shall be treated as criminal. We therefore call on International Community to withdraw their citizens from the Niger Delta region on or before 1st June 2019 as their safety cannot be guaranteed neither are we ready to compromise our freedom any longer. 

"We have already recruited, trained and equip our freedom fighters for this purpose. Arms and other war materials has been bought and brought to Nigeria, immediately we commence action, Port Harcourt Airport would be shut down only our fighter jets would be permit to use the facility. 

"This war would consume them in Abuja and Lagos, there is no going back on this, we therefore call on all the Niger Delta citizens to return home as their safety is guarantee at home than anywhere else. 

"We are tired of being second class citizens in our land, the injustice has reach its peak. While we admonish our Elders and Leaders, particularly PANDEF to remain calm as we shall make further declarations and directive soon; however, our position on this issue cannot be compromised as injustice to one is injustice to all. To be forewarned is to be forearmed."

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Air Peace De-board Passenger For Asking Attendant To Translate Safety Instructions To Igbo Because 'He Does Not Speak English'

20 May 2019 - 10:09am

A passenger with Air Peace was today de-boarded by the airline over claims that he could not communicate in English during safety briefing.

The passenger identified as Mr. Christopher Aniagboso told the cabin crew to translate the safety briefing for passengers in the over-wing exit seats in Igbo language and not English as is the standard.

The airline in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Chris Iwarah, said that other passengers around him offered to translate what was being said in English to him, but he insisted that the crew must brief him in Igbo language.

Besides, Iwarah said that efforts to relocate the unruly passenger from his seat to the other proved abortive despite the intervention of the cockpit crew.

He, however, said that the passenger who had earlier on May 12, 2019 missed his morning Lagos-Owerri flight was communicating to its ground staff in fluent English, but later showed up for the afternoon flight in good time and was issued an over-wing exit seat on request .

He insisted that his antics of not being able to communicate in English were meant to delay the flight.

Iwarah declared that his de-boarding was necessary in a bid to guarantee the safety of its crew and customers and said it would not tolerate an act that would jeopardise safety on any of its flights.

He said: “When all efforts to have Mr. Aniagboso cooperate with the crew failed, the crew advised him to change his seat as the flight was already running late. He declined the advice to change his seat.

“The captain of the flight, who was eventually briefed on the development, also did everything to secure Mr. Aniagboso's cooperation to no avail. At this point, our crew members were left with no other alternative than to advise Mr. Aniagboso to disembark to enable the flight depart.

“Only those who were able to clearly understand and express their willingness to perform their safety responsibility are allowed by aviation regulations to sit in the exit row. It is also clearly stated in the safety cards that only those who can speak English are allowed to sit in the exit row.

“All through Mr. Aniagboso interaction with our ground staff, he communicated in fluent English. So, his claim of not being able to communicate in English at the point of the safety briefing was meant to disrupt and delay the flight.

“Air Peace takes pride in promoting the use of all local languages on board our flights without discrimination. We encourage our crew to speak the local language whenever it is possible to do so. But we do not allow passengers with ill motive to disrupt our flights and endanger the safety of our esteemed customers and crew.

“Conducts with the potential of jeopardising the safety of our esteemed customers and crew are not welcome on any of our flights,” he added.

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INEC Withdraws Certificate Of Return Of 25 Election Winners

20 May 2019 - 9:50am

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), following a court order, has withdrawn 25 Certificates of Returns from some winners at the last conducted general elections.

This was revealed by Festus Okoye, Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee while speaking at the 'Forum on Media Coverage of 2019 General Elections' held in Enugu today.

Okoye lauded the coverage of the 2019 elections by the media. He also tasked the media to constantly keep the people abreast of every amendment done to the Electoral Act of the country.

He said that INEC had completed the retrieval and issuance of the 25 certificates of return on Friday, May 17, 2019.

Giving a breakdown of the certificate withdrawn, Okoye said 22 of the 25 certificates withdrawn were as a result of intra-party lawsuit.

“20 of the 25 certificates-of-return were withdrawn from All Progressive Congress (APC) members to other APC members; while two from People Democratic Party (PDP) members were withdrawn and issued to other PDP members. 

“The other three were withdrawn from APC and PDP and given to other political parties.”

Commending the media, the INEC Information and Voter Education Committee Chairman said the media has become a platform for the explanation of INEC political and electoral decisions.

“The media and its practitioners to dig deep into the Electoral Act to ensure that the import of the recently amended sections is made known to the public.

“The media should also centre on the aspect of using Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to resolve electoral issues especially at the party levels instead of going to the court.”

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My Wife Denies Me Sex Because Of My Small Penis, Pastor Tells Court

20 May 2019 - 9:28am


Pastor Samson Farounbi has told an Idi-Ogungun Customary Court, Agodi, in Ibadan, that the small size of his manhood made his estranged wife to deny him sex for a long period.

Farounbi disclosed this on Monday when testifying before the court on a case of divorce he instituted against Tope Farounbi.

He had requested the court to end their 19-year union on the grounds of lack rest of mind, threat to life and lack of respect for his family.

Narrating his ordeals, Farounbi said his wife, who was a fruit seller, used to return home at late hours every day and refused to have sex with him.

“There was a day I challenged her why she always returned late and denying me sex.

“She confessed that the small size of my penis was responsible for keeping late outside and for refusing to have sex with me.

“She suggested to buy local herb for the treatment of my micro penis, which cost N5,000, but I priced it down to N4,000.

“I got myself treated with the Agbo (local herb), but she still felt reluctant to allow me have access to her body,” he narrated.

The pastor further alleged that the defendant maltreated his mother when she was living with him and that the ill treatment forced his aged mother to relocate to Ilesha, where she died a few months later.

He told the court that Tope used to curse every member of his family and always cursed his blood brothers whenever they visited him.

“My lord, she is a devil, always fighting people, especially females that come to my church for prayer, accusing me of flirting with them.

“We have never stayed beyond two years in every house I rented since we married 19 years ago due to her stubbornness and troublesome character.

“The five children of our union lack home training and always cursing me whenever I tried to correct any of the kids for doing wrong things.

“In fact, our first child has run away from home now and I cannot even locate his whereabouts.

“I urge the court to separate us so that I can have peace of mind to do my pastoral work,” he pleaded.

In her defence, Tope denied all the allegations but urged the court to dissolve the marriage as requested by the plaintiff.

She accused her husband of womanising, saying he never cared for her welfare but was in the habit of drinking alcohol.

President of the court, Mr. Mukaila Balogun and the two court assessors — Messrs Wahab Popoola and Alao Ganiyu — in their unanimous decision dissolved the marriage.

Balogun said the court was handicapped to settle the dispute between the parties because the couple had agreed to end the marriage.

He ordered that three kids that are males, including the first born that ran away, should be in the custody of the plaintiff; while the remaining two daughters should remain with the defendant.

He further directed the plaintiff to pay N8,000 monthly allowance for the upkeep of the two kids in the defendant’s custody.

He admonished the parties to refrain from fomenting trouble or disturbing public peace.


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Tribunal Rejects APC’s Plea To Recount Governorship Election Ballot Papers

20 May 2019 - 8:30am

The Oyo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has struck out an application by Adebayo Adelabu, Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, at the just concluded governorship election in the state to recount ballot papers used in the election.

Mr. Titus Asaolu (SAN) had filed an application praying the court to order the Independent National Electoral Commission to recount ballot papers used in the March 9 election but the judge refused to grant the plea.

Delivering the ruling, Justice Sirajo Mohammed, who led the three-man panel stated that the request "would jeopardise the respondents right to fair hearing.”

He also said the petitioners are only challenging the result of few local and recounting ballot papers of all local government would be against their charges.

Mohammed added that Adelabu would have to amend his charges to cover the request but noted that the window for amending pleas has closed.

He then dismissed the application and fixed June 10 for the commencement of the hearing.

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EXCLUSIVE: Naira Marley Still In Jail Contrary To Reports He Was Granted Bail

20 May 2019 - 8:25am

Naira Marley In Court Surrounded By Heavy Security

Naira Marley In Court Surrounded By Heavy Security

Contrary to a video circulating online which show Azeez Fashola better known as Naira Marley going into a private car and captions suggesting that he has been released, he is to be remanded in prison SaharaReporters can confirm.

A top source in the EFCC who spoke to SaharaReporters said the video was mere propaganda by friends of the musician who are desperate to launder his image.

At the court, SaharaReporters saw some friends of Naira Marley talking to journalists to write their story of the arraignment in favor of the musician.

The Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos on Monday ordered that Nigeria singer be remanded in prison until May 30th when the hearing of his bail application will take place.

Justice Nicholas Oweibo presided over the arraignment. 

Naira Marley was charged to court at the behest of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on 11 count charge bordering on cybercrime, possession of counterfeit cards and conspiracy to obtain gain.

Video of WATCH: EFCC Hands Over Naira Marley To Prison Officials WATCH: EFCC Hands Over Naira Marley To Prison Officials

After the 11 charges were read to him, he pleaded 'not guilty'.


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Nigeria's Internet Users Hit 115.9 Million

20 May 2019 - 8:04am

The Nigerian Communications Commission has said that the Internet users in Nigeria increased marginally to 115,938,255 million in March 2019.

The disclosure was made on Monday by NCC in its Monthly Internet Subscribers Data for February posted on its website.

The data showed that overall internet users increased to 115,938,225  in March from 114,725,357  recorded in February showing an increase of  1,212,868  new subscribers.

According to the data, Airtel, MTN and Globacom gained more internet subscribers during the month under review, while 9mobile was the biggest loser.

The breakdown revealed that Globacom gained the most with  950,115 new internet users, increasing its subscription in March to 28, 436,386 from 27,486,271 recorded in February.

Airtel  came second  with 351,657  new users in the month under review, increasing its subscription to 31,243,185  in March  as against 30,891,518 recorded in February

MTN also gained 13,522 new internet users in March, increasing its subscription to 46,552,185  as against 46, 538,633 in February.

The NCC data further showed that 9Mobile lost 166,542 internet users in March with 9,642,393 as against 9,808,935 recorded in February.

The data revealed that Visafone recorded 64,076 in March, but had nothing recorded in February

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Judge Disqualifies Himself From Rape Trial Of Ex-Bayelsa Gov's Aide Over Petition To NJC

20 May 2019 - 7:58am

Justice Iniekadi Eradiri, of the Bayelsa State High Court on Monday disqualified himself from the trial of Chief Richard Kpodo, a former aide to ex-Gov. Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State.

Kpodo who is standing trial for the alleged rape of a 26-year female cashier, appealed Justice  Eradiri’s ruling declining to disqualify himself from hearing the case.

He then petitioned the National Judicial Council (NJC) accusing the judge of bias.

Kpodo’s counsel, Julius Iyekoroghe, had on Dec. 21, 2018, approached Eradiri with a motion on notice, urging him to disqualify himself.

Eradiri however, referred the application to Chief Judge of Bayelsa.

Justice Kate Abiri, Chief Judge of Bayelsa, subsequently declined an application to hand the rape trial to another judge.

The defence counsel alleged that the judge showed bias in the case by refusing to grant bail to the defendant.

Ruling on the petition on Monday, Eradiri, said that he was constrained to hand off the case to pave the way for the investigation by the NJC.

"I feel strongly that I should no longer continue with the case , since the petition against me before the National Judicial Council is being investigated.

"I will therefore hand over the case file to the Honourable Chief Judge," Eradiri said.

It will be recalled that Kpodo, who was earlier denied bail by Eradiri appealed the decision at the Appeal Court and was released from prison custody at Okaka Prisons Yenagoa, where he was held from July 2018 till April 2019 having met the bail conditions.

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18 Oil Thieves Forfeit N3.5m To The Federal Government, Bag 3 Years Jail Term

20 May 2019 - 7:52am

A gang of illegal automotive gas oil dealers were last week arraigned at the federal high court in Lagos before Justice Rilwan Aikawa for illegal dealings in petroleum products without licence.

The gang of 19 men who pleaded gulity to the charge include, Ayeah John, Emmanuel Tosin, Ayetiniyi Ademola Agbayo Lawrence Adelia Thomas, Idowu Surprise, Benjamin ThankGod and others.

One of the defendants, Elaamah Augustine, pleaded not guilty.

The defendants were intercepted at about 4:00 pm on the 30th of August 2018 by the Nigerian ship, Beecroft while on patrol on Atlas Golf Island with 2 fibre boats loaded with 21,840L of Automotive Gas Oil.

Subsequently, in the course of investigations, 10 other crew members were arrested and it was revealed that the source of the product was from one Mama Elizabeth.

Also, the sum of N3.5m was recovered from one of the defendants in this matter which was said to be part of the proceeds of the illegal dealings. Two locally made guns were also recovered from the 19th defendant.

The EFCC counsel Mohammed Idriss told the court that the Nigerian Navy later transferred the matter to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the defendants were confronted with the findings of the investigations and they volunteered for a plea bargain which the commission accepted.

Mohammed further tendered pieces of evidence to support their findings such as a letter from the Nigerian Navy dated 13th of December, 2018 addressed to the acting chairman of the EFCC, Nigerian Navy Ship Beecroft letter dated 25th, January 2019, the statements volunteered by the arresting officers, M.A Yakubu and Aminu Ahmed as well as the statements of the 18 defendants who pleaded guilty.

Also in evidence were documents from the exhibit keeper for the 2 locally manufactured guns and the N3.5m.

The prosecuting Counsel further urged the court to convict the defendants.

Justice Aikawa after taking a critical look at the pieces of evidence tendered by the prosecution as well as having pleaded guilty for the charges against them, found them guilty as charged.

The court after considering the plea bargain, voluntarily entered by the defendants and granted them each, 1-year imprisonment on each of the count charges to run concurrently beginning from the day of arrest.

The court further stipulated that the defendants upon release must enter into a bond with the EFCC to be of good behaviour and never to be involved in any illegality again.

In the ruling, the court forfeited the sum of N3.5m to the federal government of Nigeria and instructed that the 21,840L of automotive gas oil be sold by the EFCC in collaboration with appropriate government body or private organisation and the proceeds realised be remitted into the federation account.

And finally that the 2 locally made guns be forfeited to the the federal government and handed over to the Nigerian police force for destruction.

The other defendant, Augustine who pleaded not guilty is yet to get his bail pending trial.

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FULL STORY: Court Remands Naira Marley In 'Prison' Custody

20 May 2019 - 7:09am

Naira Marley's Mother In Tears As Lawyers Explain The Situation To Her

Naira Marley In Court Surrounded By Heavy Security


Naira Marley In Court Surrounded By Heavy Security

The Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos on Monday ordered that Nigeria singer, Azeez Fashola, better known as Naira Marley, be remanded in prison until May 30th when the hearing of his bail application will take place.

Justice Nicholas Oweibo presided over the arraignment. 

Naira Marley was charged to court at the behest of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on 11 count charge bordering on cybercrime, possession of counterfeit cards and conspiracy to obtain gain.

After the 11 charges were read to him, he pleaded 'not guilty'.

The arraignment which was scheduled to start by 9:00am was delayed for some minutes due to the late arrival of Naira Marley and bad weather.

Upon arrival at the court premises at 9:46, the proceedings could not start due to the absence of the lead defense counsel, Olalekan Ojo (SAN).

Video of WATCH: Naira Marley Arrives Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Looking Subdued As Mother Bursts Into Tears WATCH: Naira Marley Arrives Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Looking Subdued As Mother Bursts Into Tears WATCH: Naira Marley Arrives Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Looking Subdued As Mother Bursts Into Tears

The prosecuting counsel led by Rotimi Oyedepo prayed that the musician be remanded in prison custody pending the hearing of bail application.

Following this proceeding, the defense counsel represented by Taiwo Oreagba, passed on an application for a bail and a need for the defendant to remain in EFCC custody.

After hearing from both sides, the Justice Oweibo concluded that the application for bail will be looked into on the 30th of May, 2019.

Video of WATCH: EFCC Hands Over Naira Marley To Prison Officials WATCH: EFCC Hands Over Naira Marley To Prison Officials

Mild Drama 
A visibly shaken woman which SaharaReporters confirm to be Naira Marley's mother burst into tears on sighting her son when he arrived in company of the EFCC.

After the proceedings, she again became teary, shivering as the EFCC handed him over to Prison Officials to be detained until the 30th of May, 2019.

Naira Marley's Mother In Tears As Lawyers Explain The Situation To Her Sahara Reporters Media

Back Story

On the 10th of May, in an early morning raid, the EFCC arrested musician, Naira Marley, Zlatan Ibile and three other over their alleged connection to advanvce fee fraud.

READ BREAKING: EFCC Arrests Musician Naira Marley

Few days after their arrest and intense grilling, Zlatan Ibile and two others regained their freedom with inside sources confirming to SaharaReporters that they were freed on administrative bail and will report to the EFCC office every morning.

READ UPDATE: Zlatan Ibile, Two Others Walk Free As EFCC Hangs On To Naira Marley

Zlatan Ibile on the 19th of May, released a single titled '4 Days In Okotie Eboh' in which he called out 'fake friends' who turned their backs on him after he was arrested.

READ Days After Release From EFCC Custody, Zlatan Ibile Drops Single '4 Days In Okotie Eboh'



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Police In Kaduna Open Fire On Mob To Prevent 'Jungle Justice', Kill One, Injure Three Others

20 May 2019 - 6:30am

At least one person has died and three people have sustained gunshot wounds when the Nigeria Police Force attempted to disperse an angry mob in Kawo, Kaduna State.

The crowd was allegedly lynching one of three-suspected kidnappers who came into their community to abduct some people.

However, the Police got wind of the action of the mob and moved into Kawo. They then shot sporadically to disperse the crowd and four people were hit in the process.

A resident of Kawo who narrated the incident said that the youths in the community blocked roads leading in and out of the community, chased the kidnappers and caught one of them who was immediately set ablaze.

The matter escalated when the Police came in and in an attempt to disperse the crowd, killed one of the people.

“The Police officers started shooting once they got here, to scare away people and they shot four innocent people. One person is dead and the remaining three are being treated in Kawo General Hospital,” a resident said.

The residents, angered by the action of the Police stormed the police station demanding that the other kidnappers be released unto them.

DSP Yakubu Sabo, Kaduna State Police Command spokesman, was unreachable when contacted on the matter.

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PARTING GIFT: Lagos Awards N10m Contract To Design Ambode's 'Retirement House'

20 May 2019 - 5:22am

The Lagos State Government has awarded N10m contract for the production of architectural drawing for the proposed “retirement house” of Akinwunmi Ambode, the outgoing Governor of the state.

The contract awarded by the state Ministry of Works and Infrastructure in March this year would be handled by Studio 3 Architects.

The proposed house is part of the retirement benefits of the governor under the state Governor and Deputy Governor Pension Law.

According to a document released to journalists, the house, which is expected to be a magnificent architectural spectacle, is to be located in the sprawling suburb of Ikoyi precisely at No. 18 Glover Road.

The outgoing Governor could not secure a second term ticket as he would be succeeded by Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu on May 29.

Though details of the proposed building is not yet in the public domain, it was gathered that the N10m is also for consultancy services for the architects.

An architect who spoke with a dailytrust correspondent on Sunday said the N10m for the design was not too outrageous.

The architect said, “The N10m is for consultancy service and I don’t think it is too outrageous. Don’t forget the N10m is for the consultants who may likely lead the design team comprising the builders, bricklayers and others who would work on the building. 

“The thinking of some people is that what would an architect do that the builders or the civil engineers cannot do? But if you have an architect supervising a building, you cannot compare the project with the one undertaken by a builder or civil engineers."




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BREAKING: President Buhari Sacks FAAN Boss, Dunoma, Appoints Hamisu Yadudu As Replacement

20 May 2019 - 5:19am

Barely two years after his confirmation of his five-year tenure as the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Engr. Saleh Dunoma has been sacked.

The sack of Dunoma came to many as a rude shock.

Dunoma had been touring the airports with the Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika for commissioning of some airport projects.

The duo with other chief executive officers were together in Lagos on Friday and Saturday for commissioning of projects, while they also travelled together on the same day to Ibadan and Benin for the continuation of the commissioning of some projects at the airports.

A statement by the Deputy Director Press and Public Affairs, Ministry of Transportation (Aviation), Mr. James Odaudu stated that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the removal of Dunoma.

In his replacement, the government has approved the appointment of Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu, the current Director of Airport Operations in the same agency.

Odaudu said that the appointment of Yadudu takes immediate effect.

Dunoma who was the Director of Business Management in FAAN was appointed in 2014, during the tenure of former President Goodluck Jonathan as an acting Managing Director.

In 2017, his appointment was confirmed by Buhari.

With the confirmation, his tenure was supposed to end in 2022, but he was sacked barely two years into his tenure.

Though, a source close to the ministry told SaharaReporters that there had been deep enmity between Dunoma and Sirika in recent time.

Also, it was learnt that Dunoma had been battling some health challenges in recent time.

Dunoma with his position as the Managing Director of FAAN was the President of Airport Council International – Africa (ACI-A) in Nigeria, but with his removal Nigeria may lose that position.

Oduadu stated that Yadudu is an International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Airport Council International (ACI) accredited international airport professional.

He also holds professional certifications in Avionics, Airport Safety Management Systems, Airport Security Management and Air Transport Systems Management amongst others.

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Fire Breaks Out At Trans-Forcados Pipeline In Delta State

20 May 2019 - 5:11am

Fire is currently ravaging Trans-Forcados Pipeline operated by Heritage Energy Operational Services in Delta State.

Sources around Yeye community close to Chanomi creek, say the fire resulted from excessive heat from a pumping machine which was being used to transfer crude oil fro the barge site into a barge.

The Chairman of Yeye community, Mr. Philip Fianka, told the News Agency of Nigeria that outbreak happened at about 11:00am on May 19.

He called on relevant authorities to intervene and put the fire out.

Similar Outbreak

A similar event occured in Oju-Imole, Ilaje Local Government of Ondo State on the 25th of April 2019, when a seven-day blaze at Oju-Imole Field operated by Chevron at Okorigho ravaged the community.

According to the residents, despite bringing the inferno the attention of Chevron, the operator of the oil field, the blaze continued consuming a large expanse of land and destroyed marine/wildlife while constituting heavy pollution without intervention from the authorities or Chevron.

Video of 'Crops Destroyed, Ground Vibrating' — Chevron's Oil Field In Ondo On Fire For More Than Seven Days 'Crops Destroyed, Ground Vibrating' — Chevron's Oil Field In Ondo On Fire For More Than Seven Days

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Governor Al-Makura Refuses To Respond To FoI On Security Vote, Says 7 Days Too Short

20 May 2019 - 5:10am

Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, Governor of Nasarawa State, has refused to respond to a freedom of Information request by the Socio-Economic Right And Accountability Project (SERAP) on how he spent security votes he received as Governor of the State from 2011 to 2019.

The outgoing governor, responding after a month of receiving the FoI request, said that the stipulated seven days to respond is too short while requesting for more time to compile and provide details on the spending of the security votes.

A letter sent to the SERAP with reference number NS/MOJ/ADM/108/VOL1/65 reads, “I refer to your letter dated 12th April 2019 requesting information on the spending of security votes by Nasarawa State between 2011 to date. I am directed to draw your attention to the fact that the information being requested covers a period of eight years and will require more than 7 days to process. We shall revert to you as soon as the information is ready.”

In response to the Governor, SERAP gave Al-Makura an extension of seven days to respond with details of the spending of Nasarawa state security votes.

It added that failure to respond would necessitate a legal proceeding to force it to comply with the FoI act.

“Thank you for your letter and expressed commitment to disclose details of security votes spending by your State

"We urge you to fast-track the process to ensure that the information is sent to us before the expiration of your term on 29th May 2019. This would be a perfect parting gift to the people of Nasarawa, and show the way for 35 other state governors and the federal government that have failed, so far, to respond to the FOI requests on security votes spending.

“In light of Gov. Al-Makura's request, SERAP is happy to extend the period within which to provide the requested information.

“We would be grateful if the information is now provided to us within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this response, failing which SERAP shall take all appropriate legal action to compel Nasarawa state to comply with our request,” the letter reads.

SERAP had in April 2019 sent a letter to all 35 state governor and President Muhammadu Buhari, asking them to provide information on specific details of spending of appropriated public funds as security votes between 2011 and 2019, given the current security realities in the country. 

The organization also said it is interested to know if public funds meant to provide security and ensure respect and protection of the rights to life, physical integrity, and liberty of Nigerians have been spent for this purpose. 

It added that rather than serving the citizens, the appropriation of public funds as security votes over the years seem to serve high-ranking government officials at both federal and state levels.

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Nigerian Government Urged To Prosecute All Corrupt Officials In Malabu Oil Scandal

20 May 2019 - 4:40am

The Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA) and its global partners have asked President Muhammadu Buhari, in line with his anti-corruption fight, to continue with the prosecution of all corrupt officials associated with the Malabu oil scandal deal.

Olanrewaju Suraju, Chairman of HEDA, in a statement issued on Sunday commended the Nigerian Government for the fresh legal case instituted in a United Kingdom court noting that it shows “a clear admission that local officials were hands-deep in fraudulent deals running into billions of dollars.”

“We are pleased with the new filings by the Federal Government in the UK court. Contrary to this latest acceptance, the Attorney General of the Federation had written to the president, demanding EFCC’s discontinuation of the trial of the people and companies involved claiming there is no sufficient evidence to prosecute the case. 

“We reject the AGF for his flip-flop and insufficient support or even disbelieve in the anti-corruption efforts of the agencies,” Mr Suraju added.

HEDA said though it is pleased that the AGF has now agreed with the EFCC that there are criminal elements in the case and that it is disadvantageous to the interest of Nigeria, but that the AGF needs to go further and back up with practical actions. 

Mr Suraju said the Malabu scandal was a huge opportunity for the Nigerian government to show to the international community that it is truly committed to its fight against corruption by ensuring all involved in the scandal are convicted. 

“We cannot talk of development without being serious about the fight against corruption. We cannot talk of foreign investment in an environment riddled with corruption. 

“We can never command global respect when the international community see us as crooks and dishonest people. The Malabu trial is a golden opportunity for Nigeria to prove to the world that the country is ready to do business with dignity and honour,” Suraju said.

HEDA, together with its partners, presented a report in November 2018 revealing some of the government officials involved in the Malabu deal.

In the report, several Nigerian officials including former President Goodluck Jonathan, former Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete, Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu and many oil subsidiary companies were named in the scandal, which has been the subject of litigation in Milan, Italy. 

Other top Nigerians listed are Emeka Obi of EVP, son of former Nigerian Senator and defendant. He was convicted in the Italian criminal proceedings to have provided a link between Etete and Eni. The following were also named Mohammed Bello Adoke, Attorney General of the Federation, (2010 to April 29, 2015), Diezeni Alison Madueke, Minister of Petroleum, April 6 2010, to May 28, 2015, and Umar Bature, a former House of Representative member.

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UPDATE: Naira Marley's Mother Cries, Shivers As EFCC Hands Him Over To Nigerian Prison Officials

20 May 2019 - 3:46am

Naira Marley's Mother In Tears As Lawyers Explain The Situation To Her

Naira Marley's Mother In Tears As Lawyers Explain The Situation To Her Sahara Reporters Media

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has handed over Azeez Fashola better know as Naira Marley to men of the Nigerian Prison Service for detention. 

He pleaded not guilty to 11 count charge preferred against him by the anti-graft agency.

READ ALSO BREAKING: Naira Marley Pleads 'Not Guilty', To Be Remanded In EFCC Custody Until May 30

Until his arraignment at the Federal High Court in Ikoyi on Monday morning, he was in the detention facility of the EFCC.

Naira Marley's mother who was at the court to witness her son's arraignment is currently in tears.

Her agony was intensified when she witnessed the EFCC hand him over to the Nigerian Prison Service for detention until May 30, 2019.

More to come.

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