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Court Restrains INEC From Issuing Certificate Of Return To Okorocha

Sahara Reporters - 25 May 2019 - 10:01am


 

The Federal  High  Court  sitting in Owerri has ordered that the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) should not issue a Certificate of Return to Rochas Okorocha as a senator-elect for Imo West.
The court, in a suit filed by  Hon. Jones Onyeriri, the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) Senatorial  candidate for Imo West, ordered that the status quo be maintained until the hearing and determination of the Motion on NoticeThe presiding judge, Justice E.F. Njemanze, adjourned the case till June 5 2019, for hearing.
INEC had declined to issue Certificate of Return to Okorocha who was the senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, after the returning officer alleged that he was forced to declare him winner under duress.

 

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Lawyer Wins Nigerian Government, Fashola In Court On Quick Rehabilitation Of Badagry Road.

Sahara Reporters - 25 May 2019 - 9:25am



    

A Federal High Court Ikoyi, in Lagos has ordered that the Nigerian Government to fix Lagos Badagry expressway with immidiate effect .
 
Justice Saliu Saidu made the order on Friday, sequel to a motion on notice filed and agued by Julius Ajibulu, legal practitioner.

 Ajibulu had filed a lawsuit in 2017 against  the federal government of Nigeria, joining the Attorney General of the Federation, Ministry of Works, Lagos State government as well as the Attorney general of Lagos state  over the reckless abandonment of the Lagos-Badagry Trunk, a federal highway from Iyana Iba axis.

Appearing before Justice Saliu Saidu of the Federal High court for the respondents in the suit  were Musa Abudul Esq. for the 1st  and 2nd respondents, I. A Modibbo Esq. for the 3rd and Abiola Adeyinka Esq. for the 4th and 5th respondents.

Barrister Julius who stood in person as the applicant in the suit as well as his own legal representative made it clear in his originating motion of 21st  December 2017 that the abandonment is unlawful and unconstitutional and therefore is a clear violation and infringement of his, and that of Nigerians, as well as obstruction to freedom of movement as guaranteed and preserved under the provisions of Article 12 of the African Charter on human and people’s rights.

The plaintiff declared that these authorities owe him and the Badagry people  the duty and responsibility to rehabilitate and reconstruct the Lagos Badagry roads quickly and timeously.

Still in his affidavit dated 21st, October 2017, he urged the court to compell the respondents to rehabilitate and reconstruct the Iyana-Iba axis road leading to Badagry.

He went on to inform the court that the Badagry road is in comatose due to the  neglect and sheer abandonment and as a result has caused avoidable loss of lives and properties of Nigerians who ply the highway.

Barrister Julius Ajibulu said there are lots of cravings on the road due to the washing away of bitumen, granite and sharp sand from the roads due to the abandonment.

He pointed out clearly that the first respondent, the Federal government is saddled with the duty and responsibility of executing projects under the items contained in the exclusive legislative list of constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended of which road network now included and equally to manage the affairs of Nigeria and Nigerians which it failed in the case of Badagry roads.

He also outlined that the 2nd and 5th respondents, the Attorney general of the federation and minister of justice and the Attorney general of Lagos state are meant to shoulder the duty and responsibility of handling and managing the legal affairs and litigation of the Federal government of Nigeria and Nigerians.

He pin-pointed that the 3rd and 4th respondents, the Minister of Works and the Lagos state government are saddled with various duties and responsibilities, one of which is the construction and rehabilitation of all federal highways in Nigeria including the Lagos-Badagry Trunk.

The young and agile Barrister maintained that the Lagos Badagry express way is a major trans-national and trans- boundary road that links and connects the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Republic of Benin and other West Africa countries and  due to the geographical position of the road network, it is suppose to serve the purpose of  border movement of traders in the West African sub region which is not the case due to the bad state of the road.

Barrister Julius Ajibulu went as far as recounting his own personal experience on the unplyable road. He told the court that he was compelled to pay a cost of failure of appearance and attendance for a day’s proceeding in a criminal matter after his car got into a big ditch at the center of the road between Iyana -Iba axis and Badagry as a result of the cravings on the road as such, he couldn’t make way forward and missed the court sitting.

The promising lawyer told the court that the bad portions of the roads have caused him and other road users, emotional and bodily pain, torture and psychological trauma, lost of trans boundary and trans national clients from Benin Republic and even several loss of lives.

This is evident in the demonstration that took place on Monday, the protests in the Badagry area of Lagos as students and residents plying the Lagos-Badagry expressway staged a mass protest calling on the Federal Government to fix the now deplorable road.

The protesters defied the heavy rains and marched from Badagry town towards LASU-Iba axis of the road lamenting the hardship they experience.They called on all politicians representing Badagry at the State and Federal levels to raise their voices and ensure that the road is fixed as soon as possible.

The 1st and 2nd respondents in a counter affidavit argued that the applicant seeking the court for the enforcement of his fundamental rights has not in any way shown to the court how the non construction and rehabilitation of the Badagry road network has infringed his fundamental rights as provided in section 36 of the constitution.

The respondents also stated that it is not enough for the applicant to say his fundamental rights have been breached but has to go the extra mile to adduce evidence to that effect and advised the court not to open sores to litigants to approach the court.

They therefore urged the court to dismiss the suit.

The Lagos state government and Attorney General of Lagos State also filed a counter affidavit stating that the applicant again failed to establish how they violated his fundamental human rights and that there is no substance to the claims but mere speculations.

They further aligned that the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the roads is for the benefit of the people and  they cannot force anyone to do their duties which they claimed is already being done and urged the court to also dismiss the suit.

The 3rd respondent, Minister of Works also argued same saying the court should dismiss the suit as there is no case since there are alternative roads leading to Badagry.

In response to this counter affidavit, the applicant, Barrister Ajibulu told the court that no defence has been put forward by the respondents and that the facts he judiciously outlined in his affidavit have neither been controverted.

He also reminded the court that respondents also failed to respond to the rights of freedom of movement raised in his affidavit.

After a due consideration of the arguments, and a critical analysis of the affidavits and counter affidavits, the court granted it’s ruling saying, “It is argued by the 3rd respondent that there are alternative roads that Nigerians can use to access Badagry road, no mention of such road was made before the court” the court said.

“The respondents have not controverted the deplorable nature of the road and as such is in admission” the court stated.

“The applicant’s right and other Nigerians rights have been infringed by the respondents and I hereby grant as follows” Justice Saliu Saidu continued

“That the reckless abandonment of the Lagos-Badagry Trunk, a federal highway from Iyana-Iba axis to Badagry road network by the respondents is unlawful and unconstitutional and therefore amounts to a clear violation and infringement of the applicant and Nigerians fundamental rights to freedom of movement as guaranteed and preserved by the provisions of Article 12 of the African Charter on Human and People’s right (rehabilitation and enforcement) Act  and Section 41 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended”, he further stated.

“That the respondents owe the applicant and Nigerians the duty and responsibility to rehabilitate and construct the Lagos-Badagry Trunk, a federal highway from Iyana-Iba axis to Badagry road network quickly and timeously” the court concluded.

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Breaking : INEC Complies With Supreme Court Verdict, Declares PDP Winner Of Zamfara Polls

Sahara Reporters - 25 May 2019 - 8:49am


The Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC ) has declared the Candidate of Peoples Democratic Party  ( PDP ) , Mohammed Mattawale
  as the winner of Governorship election in Zamfara State  .

The commission also declared all the candidates of the party winners of all the senatorial and federal constituencies seats . The Chairman of the commission, Mahmoud Yakubu said that certificate of return will be issued to the Goveror-elect , senators elect  and members House of Representatives on Monday 27th May 2019 at the commission's office in Abuja.

He added that   members elect House of Assembly will receive the certificate from the Resident Electoral Commissioner of the state on 31st May 2019.

He disclosed this in Abuja at the end of the marathon meeting of the commission to deliberated and reviewed the judgement of the supreme court which voided all the votes cast for the All Progressives Congress  ( APC ) in the state. 


Yakubu  said that properly conducted  party primaries are cardinal for the proper internal functioning of the political parties and electoral process .

According to him " Therefore political parties must take seriously the conduct of the primaries according to all external  rules including the monitoring processes for INEC to avoid the repeat  of the Zamfara experience. 

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Psquare: Peter Threatens To Sue Show Promoter Over Flyers Of Him And His Brother

Sahara Reporters - 25 May 2019 - 5:59am



 

For a brief moment, fans of Nigerian music twin sensation Psquare thought the singers were back together when they saw pictures of them together on a flyer for a show in Angola.

 

The flyer for the show themed “Feast Beach” which showed Peter and his brother Paul dressed in native attires was organised by an Angola events company named PubFourevents.

 

Peter Okoye,however, took to his Instagram handle today to distance himself from the show which set to hold in Angola on the 26th of May and even threatened to sue organises of the show.

 

Findings by Sahara Reporters show  that Paul was the one contracted to perform at the said event as a post on his Instagram handle showed him arriving in Angola some few hours ago. 

 

Alongside a picture of the flyer and that of Paul arriving in Angola, Peter wrote on: “Na Wa o! So they needed my image to sell their show Angola. @pubfoureventos you’ll be hearing from my lawyers soon. #UnaDonFindMyTrouble.”

 

It will be recalled that the group Psguare went separate ways in September 2017 after several efforts by top entertainers in the music industry to find amicable settlement to  the continuous disagreement between the singing duo hit a brick wall.

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Three FRSC Officials Beat Up Man For Refusing To Pay Illegal Fine Of N3,000

Sahara Reporters - 25 May 2019 - 5:57am



Three personnel of the Federal Road Safety Commission harassed one Osho Oladotun Johnson for refusing to pay N3,000 illegal fine.

The FRSC officials identified as A.C Achigili; Olatunji with tag number M10468; and Badeniyi with tag number M1411, stopped Johnson at Ozumba Mbadiwe, Lagos Island, as he was going for a meeting today.

Narrating the incident, Johnson said he was flagged down as he was heading to Admiralty Way for an official meeting as he ended up being beaten by the road safety officials.

“I was stopped by the FRSC officials after which they requested for my driver’s license and I gave it to them.

“They also requested for my vehicle license, I mistakenly gave them a wrong one at first and they said it had expired. I checked my car again, gave them the valid one, and apologized to them for giving them the old vehicle license,” Johnson recounted.

He, however, said the officials were not pleased with him giving them the valid vehicle license as they went ahead to present him a ticket fine of N3,000.

He said, “They insisted I must pay the fine of N3,000 because they had already issued me the ticket. I was explaining to their team lead, Achigili and told him my driver and vehicle license are up to date. While I was doing that, Olatunji and Badeniyi started taking pictures of my car and me.

“I brought out my phone and did same, as they noticed what I was doing, and they descended on me, they smashed my phone on the floor and started beating me.

“They also smashed the windscreen of my car. The three of them beat me up seriously and they went away with my driver’s license.”

Johnson labelled the act of the FRSC personnel as undemocratic and lawless.

“What kind of country are we in, a country where democracy no longer rules. It is so terrible and it pains me to see that we are in a lawless society that even FRSC officials can harass and beat up drivers whenever they feel like.”

Video of FRSC Officials Beat Up Man For Refusing To Pay Illegal Fine Of N3,000 FRSC Officials Beat Up Man For Refusing To Pay Illegal Fine Of N3,000

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Emefiele Files Defamation Suit Against Uboh, Refuses To Answer Pending Suit On Misappropriation

Sahara Reporters - 25 May 2019 - 4:55am



Godwin Emefiele,  governor of the Central Bank Of Nigeria(CBN), has filed  a defamation suit  against George  Uboh, the chairman of George Uboh Whistleblowers Network (GUWN).

 The suit is coming on the heels of the bail granted George Uboh on Friday by the Chief  Magistrate of the Upper Area Court sitting in Zuba, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The bail did not materialize, however, because no sooner had he been granted bail as regards the Ned Nwoko allegations than the police prosecution pressed another charge, brought by Emefiele, against him. Consequently, Uboh was not set free  and he has since been remanded in Suleja prison. 

Meanwhile, Uboh was the first to file a suit against Emefiele. In a case with the  Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/419/2019 which has Uboh as the sole plaintiff and  Godwin Emefiele, The Senate President, The Senate, Federal Republic of Nigeria and The President Federal Republic of Nigeria as Defendants. Through the suit, filed at the Federal High Court , Abuja,  Uboh had asked the court to restrain the Senate from  exercising its ' confirmational' powers in regard to the re-appointment of 1st Defendant(Emefiele) by the fourth Defendant (the president of Nigeria). 

Despite obtaining exparte order  for the case against Emiefiele, the apex bank governor has yet to answer to the pending lawsuit and the Senate eventually confirmed Emefiele for a second term in office.

In the  lawsuit filed against Emefiele by Uboh, a copy of which was sent to SaharaReporters,  Uboh  had alleged that the CBN under the watch of Mr Emefiele conspired with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) to divert  Two billion, Five Hundred and Sixty-four Million United States Dollars($2,564000000 USD in 2015), money he claimed was expected to be shared through  Federal Account Allocation Committee(FAAC) in January 2016 to the three tiers of government.

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He also alleged that the apex bank boss in 2017 alone, under his watch under-declared and under-remitted $760,000,000:00 USD exchange gains which accrued from Bureaux De Change (BDCs) to Federation account through Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Awka.
He further accused the governor of shunning  Treasury Single Account(TSA) policy as rolled out by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.

He added that they (Whistle-blowers) are interested in how funds generated by Federal Government are being expended on Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs pursuant to the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.


“We are a Non-Governmental and Civil Society Organization interested in the way and manner Federal Government funds are being expended at MDAs pursuant to the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.

“We are calling on Nigerians on the homeland and in the Diaspora to ask Emefiele to account for and return $2.5 Billion USD to Treasury Single Account in line with President Buhari’s TSA policy rolled out in 2015, and security agencies to arrest Emefiele within 72 hrs,” he said.
 Uboh disclosed that he had written to Emefiele several times to explain and disclose to public how the money disappeared but failed to act, saying he did that in the interest of the public and whistleblowers within and beyond the CBN who have furnished his organisation germane  information on the financial malfeasance perpetrated in the apex bank under the watch of Emefiele.
According to him, the CBN under Emefiele’s watch in collusion with NNPC denied the three tiers of government revenue from crude oil and gas from May 2015 to June 2016 (14 months), but diverted over $1.78 billion USD through fake accounts.

He explained further, “On Wednesday, April 3, 2019, I, Dr. George Uboh, the undersigned, in my capacity as Chairman George Uboh Whistleblowers Network (hereinafter GUWN), wrote Godwin Emefiele a letter with reference no. GUWN/CBNEMEFIELE/030419/01, captioned: “REQUEST TO REMIT OVER $2,564,000,000FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FUNDS MISSING UNDER YOUR WATCH TO TSA”.

“The aggregate of the above funds missing under your watch in a fraudulent manner is over $2,564,000,000 USD.” I asked Emefiele to remit the funds to TSA in 7 days.”

However, rather than answering to the pending suit against him which Ugoh had gotten  exparte order to serve; Emefiele, via  substituted service, constituted malicious prosecution aided by Tony Michael, DIG of police investigation.
Uboh was later arrested by The Force Criminal Investigations Department(FCID)  earlier this month for SaharaReporters released full transcript of audio conversation between Emefiele and other top officials of the  Central Bank of Nigeria frantically exploring means to cover up N500billion fraud.

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Suspected Herdsmen Attack, Inflict Wounds On Pastor In Ondo

Sahara Reporters - 25 May 2019 - 3:31am


Femi Ajayi, a Pastor with The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Akure, Ondo state, has been attacked by suspected fulani herdsmen leaving him with deep matchete-inflicted injuries.
. Ajayi was attacked, at his residence of Abusoro in Odudun axis of Akure South Local Government Area, after a failed kidnapping attempt by the rampaging fulani herdsmen. 

The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG)  Pastor was given a gash on his forehead and another deep cut on his right hand.

The attack came barely few weeks after a resident in the neighborhood was attacked and kidnapped by the suspected fulani invaders but was released after parting with ransom.
Speaking to Sahara Reporter shortly after returning from the hospital on Friday, Pastor Ajayi 
said the fulani invaders have a single-minded aim of killing and maiming innocent residents.

He took time to explain how the invaders jumped into his compund with the plan of abducting him for ransom.

The Pastor said: "It was in broad daylight that the three of them (fulani herdmen) with big guns and cutlasses invaded my building. 

"They jumped the fence into my compound, and came in through the poultry area with the  attempt to kidnap me for ransom.

"The three of them (herdsmen) had already blocked the entrance to my house and i did not even know therewas another one outside the building. 

"Immediately i saw them, i shouted for help in the street and they began running after me but i really don't know how i escaped from them", he explained. 

Pastor Ajayi noted that he escaped miraculously with some wounds - in his forehead and hand as a result of  cut inflicted on him by his assailants  while struggling with him 

"It was in the process of me trying to escaped from the herdsmen that
they subdued and matcheted me, at least you can see the cuts on both my head and right hand.

"I just returned from the hospital to treat myself and have been placed on medication. I will also be visiting the hospital again for treatments.

"The attack on me by these fulani, is the second one in the axis because a week to this my own experince, my neighbour was kidnapped at the front of his house around 8 pm. 

"He was lucky to have been freed in the next day after paying a ransome of N300, 000 to the kidnappers and he came back hom thanking God".

According to Ajayi, the residents in the neighbourhood are now living in great fear stressing that many have abadoned their home over cases of attack and kidnapping by the fulani invaders. 

"As i speak, many have abadoned the area because it is like a new site while some don't even sleep in their houses again at night due to fear. 

"So, it shows we are no longer safe and seem the Yoruba land is heavily invaded by these strangers (fulani herdsmen) as the situation is now becoming worrisome and alarming.

"You can imagine if these fulani herdsmen have been blocking road and abadoned that by now coming down to your house to kidnap you, definately there is a progression in their act and we have to becareful.

"My prayers are that it would not go beyond this in the Yourba land and as a race we just have to buckle up and also defend our territories". 

He later decried the type of security apparatus put in place in the state saying that there is need to protect the territories against invaders who have now found businesses in the attack and kidnapping for ransom.

 

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I wish I Had Been In Politics 20 Years Ago, Says Ajimobi

Sahara Reporters - 25 May 2019 - 12:56am


Abiola Ajimobi, the outgoing Governor of Oyo State, has said he wish he had been in politics 20 years ago

The lame duck governor said this on Friday while addressing state house correspondents in Abuja.

He said he regrets spending 8 years in office because the impatience of the people inhibited him from executing all his plans.

However, he did not give details of the things or projects that he wanted to do but couldn’t because the people did not show enough understanding.

He said: “I think I regret the fact that I have not been able to do everything I wanted to do. I wish our people could be more understanding, could be more patient, but they feel that any time you try to make a change, people resist change even if it is good for them.

“I wish I had been in politics 20 years ago.”

On why he came to thank Buhari, the governor replied that due to the President’s several financial interventions in form of bailouts, he would exit office without leaving behind any unpaid salaries.

He also admitted that the bailouts helped his administration to complete a number of projects and made the state a lot more peaceful.

Ajimobi said, “I want to thank President Buhari for the support he has given all the states, particularly during the period of scarcity of funds to execute our projects, to pay salaries, to meet the socio-economic development demands.

“I am going to Umrah to thank God. When I came in, I pleaded with God to give me the opportunity to serve peacefully and that He did.

“I also want to thank the people of Oyo State for allowing me to be the first governor to do two terms of eight years; it has never happened in Oyo State.’’

As of February, the Federal Government disclosed that the total bailouts it gave to the 36 states and Paris Club Refund since 2015, stood at N1.19tn.

The governor also said that  Oyo State became more peaceful under him.

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Lawyer Slams CJN For Dinning With ‘President Who Shows Disdain For Rule Of Law’

Sahara Reporters - 25 May 2019 - 12:54am


Inibehe Effiong, a Lagos based human rights lawyer, has condemned Tanko Muhammad, the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), and other judicial officers for attending a private dinner with Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari at the Villa on Thursday.

Effiong said on social media that the act was in contravention of the Code of Conduct for judicial officers.

He said it was not morally right for Buhari to host judges to social events when an election petition is pending against him.

He also berated the judges for associating with “President who has publicly asserted his disdain for the rule of law”.

According to Inibehi, Rule 1 of the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2016 states that judges must avoid gatherings that could appear to the public that they have been compromised.

He said”  “Rule 1.4 states: ‘The Judge must be sensitive to the need to avoid contacts that may lead people to speculate that there is a special relationship between him and someone who the judge may be tempted to favour in some way in the course of his judicial duties’.

“1.5 states: ‘A judicial officer must avoid social relationships that are improper or may give rise to an appearance of impropriety or that may cast doubt on the ability of a judicial officer to decide cases impartially.’”

Effiong said propriety and the appearance of propriety, both professional and personal, were essential elements of a judge’s life as  the public expects a high standard of conduct from them.

He said whenever a judge was invited to a gathering, they must ask: “How might this look in the eyes of the public?”

The lawyer said Justice Muhammad, who will most likely handle the election petition against Buhari, must not leave room for doubts.

Effiong added, “It is in Nigeria that intellectuals defend the madness and impropriety of politicians with so much passion.

“When you have the head of the judicial arm, dining with a President who has publicly asserted his disdain for the rule of law, a President who has a petition challenging his election before the courts, at a time that the judiciary is plagued by a crisis of confidence, and you still come here and insult me over my harmless observation, is there hope for the future of Nigeria?’’

“I have said it before and it bears repeating, it’s more about public perception and appearance of impropriety. Judges, unlike lawyers, are not allowed to associate or mingle with  society they live in. The fact that a judicial officer is also the head of the judicial arm of government does not change this ethical standard.”

He  recalled that President Donald Trump of the United States was berated across party lines for being too friendly with the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey, when the former was under probe.

He also  recalled how the Chief Justice of the US, John Roberts, publicly disagreed with Trump on how the judiciary should be run.

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Nigeria’s Government Seeks Final Forfeiture Of Patience Jonathan’s $5.7million, N2.4billion

Sahara Reporters - 25 May 2019 - 12:44am


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has told the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos to order the final forfeiture of $5.7million and N2.4billion belonging to former First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan.

It said the money is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.

Moving an application for the final forfeiture, EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, said Mrs. Jonathan did not earn the money legitimately.

But, Mrs. Jonathan, through her lawyer, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), said the money was not stolen.

He said it was part of gifts from friends, adding that nobody complained that their money was stolen.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun on April 26, 2017 ordered the money’s temporary forfeiture based on an ex-parte application by the EFCC.

Mrs Jonathan appealed, but the Court of Appeal last January 12 upheld the temporary forfeiture.

The Supreme Court on March 15 affirmed the Court of Appeal judgment.

It directed the appellant to return to before Justice Olatoregun to show cause why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

In an affidavit in support of the ex-parte originating summons, an EFCC operative, Musbahu Yahaha Abubakar, said Mrs Jonathan opened a Skye Bank account on February 7, 2013.

“One Dudafa Waripamo Owei, who was the Senior Special Assistant to the former President, was one of the frequent depositors in the account.

“Another frequent cash depositor of funds reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities into the account is one Festus Iyoha, a steward at the State House, Abuja,” the deponent said.

The EFCC investigator said Iyoha made deposits with fictitious names.

Abubakar said between February 8, 2013 and January 30, 2015, $6,791,599.64 suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities was deposited into the account in cash.

He said Mrs Jonathan dissipated part of the funds, leaving a balance of $5,731,173.55.

 “If this funds are not forfeited in the interim, the operator of the account, Mrs Dame Patience Jonathan, will fully dissipate it,” the investigator said.

The commission said the N2.4billion was found in an Ecobank Nigeria Ltd account numbered 2022000760 in the name of La Wari Furniture and Baths Ltd.

The EFCC said the “purported” signatory to the account was one Ada Ifegbu, with a telephone number belonging to one Esther Oba.

 

The EFCC operative said the N2.4billion “was substantially the naira equivalent of the United States dollars given to one Chima Nwafor John of Ecobank Nigeria Ltd by one Esther Oba at the Aso Rock Villa.”

He said it was John who contracted bureau de change operators to convert the money to naira and deposit it to La Wari Furniture and Baths’s account.

The company is the second respondent.

Urging the court to order the final forfeiture, Oyedepo said: “The $5million was not the first respondent’s legitimate earning.

“She was a public servant and a salary earner. The sums cannot be her legitimate income. We urge the court to agree with us and forfeit the sum to the Federal Government.”

On the N2.4billion, Oyedepo said the opening of the account where the money is domiciled is “shrouded in mystery and fraud”.

He added that a director of La Wari Furniture and Baths, Mrs Oyewole Yemisi, when questioned by EFCC, claimed not to know anything about the company and that her signature was forged.

“She denied being part of the resolution that authorised the opening of the account in which the funds were warehoused. She said she was not part of the company,” Oyedepo said.

Besides, he said those who paid money into the accounts did not buy any goods from the firm.

“The money was not the proceeds of sale of any goods. We urge my Lord to hold that the money is proceeds of crime,” Oyedepo said.

But, Chief Adedipe said there was no evidence that the money sought to be forfeited is proceeds of crime.

He said Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud, which EFCC relied on, is targeted at fraudsters and anticipates “unlawful conduct”.

“It is not the law that if the EFCC finds money in an account and it doesn’t like the owner’s face, it comes to court and says ‘forfeit it’.

“The government is at liberty to apply for forfeiture, but the offence must be stated.

“The first respondent is the wife of a former deputy governor, governor, vice president and president. Even the current occupier of the office of the First Lady wants to build a university.

“In this country, First Ladies enjoy a lot of goodwill. She (Mrs Jonathan) stated that governors gave her money. Nobody wrote that she stole their money,” the SAN said.

Besides, Adedipe added that the anti-graft agency did not provide any evidence that her client stole money from government or any individual.

“All EFCC said is that they saw money in her account and assumed it was stolen. They didn’t say from whom. You don’t pick on your political opponents.

“We urge your Lordship to hold that the money is not proceeds of unlawful act. It’s not a crime to be given money,” Adedipe said.

La Wari Furniture and Baths’ counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), said the company is an ongoing business concern involved in the import and export of furniture and antiques.

“It is settled law that suspicion no matter how grave can never amount to legal evidence to prove the guilt or culpability of anyone either in criminal or civil proceedings.

“They have not brought anybody to complain that money is missing. It is not a crime that La Wari Furniture and Baths had made money.

“EFCC has not shown any predicate offence committed by La Wari Furniture and Baths. They threw a wide net into the sea looking to catch a fish.

“We urge your Lordship to refuse this application,” Ozekhome prayed.

Justice Olatoregun adjourned until June 24 for judgment.

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Man Allegedly Kills Wife, Son, Then Hangs Self Over Infidelity

Sahara Reporters - 25 May 2019 - 12:43am


Charles Enifa, a commercial motorcyclist, allegedly stabbed his wife and son to death, then proceeded to hang himself over allegation of infidelity.

The incident happened on Thursday, at 12, Obafemi Eruja Street, off Agbola Awojobi Street, in Aga Ikorodu, Lagos State.

Their bodies were discovered around 5am, after their  older children, Success, 12, and Favour, 10, opened the door and alerted neighbors.

Other tenants at the residence fled their apartments following the incidents.

Although it is not clear what exactly happened but people familiar with the family said the man has always disputed the paternity of the killed son.

Jamiu Odukoya, son to the deceased’s landlord, disclosed, that, the couple had been enmeshed in fights and disagreement in the past two years, and the man always claimed he was not the young boy’s father.

He said: “I do not live here. I was called this morning (Friday) that something has happened and I rushed down to the house…I came here around 10am. Before I got here, I went to the police station but I was told that the police were already at the scene. When I came here, I met alot of security people and emergency workers.

“What I heard was that one of the tenants killed his wife and son over infidelity. They had been having issues. I know that when my father was alive, he tried talking to them and even advised the man to let the woman go if he thinks the boy was not his son.”

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Gunmen Kidnap Filmmaker, Demand N10 Million Ransom

Sahara Reporters - 25 May 2019 - 12:41am


Gunmen

  Gunmen

Salisu Muazu, a popular northern filmmaker, has been kidnapped by gunmen who are now demanding N10 million ransom.

Mauzu was kidnapped on Thursday evening on Kaduna-Jos express way.

Sani Muazu, The victim’s elder brother, said they were traveling together with two other persons at the time of the incident.

“We were returning from a conference in Kaduna when we were stopped and robbed by some armed men around Jengre village,” he said.

 “They robbed us and I was able to escape, yet they went away with my younger brother Salisu and two other guys we gave a ride.

“They got in touch this morning  (yesterday) seeking a N10m ransom to process their release.”

Muazu appealed to Nigerians to offer prayers for the safe return of his brother and the other victims.

Both Sani and Salisu are based in Jos.

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Individuals, Organizations No Longer Benefiting From Nigeria’s Importation Hurl Insults At me, Says Emefiele

Sahara Reporters - 25 May 2019 - 12:40am


Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says individuals, organizations and representative of countries, both in Nigeria and abroad, who no longer benefits from Nigeria’s importation now hurl insults and abuses at him.

He said this on Friday during the Distinguished Leadership Programme Lecture of the School of Economics, University of Ibadan, held in Ibadan, Oyo State.

The CBN governor said he has developed unconventional methods to curtail the problem of excessive importation, and that this has earned him great enemies.

Emefiele, who has just been reappointed for a second term of five years by President Mohammadu Buhari, disclosed that insults and abuses are hurled at him at home and abroad by individuals, organisations and representative of countries who are no longer benefitting from the new policies that help reduce importation, grow local industries and farming and ultimately create more jobs for Nigerians.

He added that the efforts also helped reduce pressure on foreign exchange, increased foreign reserve and generally improved the country’s economy.

 

With the improvement, Emefiele disclosed that the current foreign reserve is able to finance a nine-month import bill.

The CBN governor explained that tackling Nigerian multiple economic problems in the face of dwindled crude oil prices, smuggling and dumping of foreign goods requires extraordinary measures which cannot afford to be conventional as may be advised by the Breton Woods institutions.

According to him, the economic recession of 2014 presented a daunting challenge to the apex bank. To exit the economic downturn, Emefiele revealed that the bank was forced to embrace some hard, unconventional methods in the overall interest of the country.

He listed the methods to include raising Monetary Policy Rate from 12 to 14 per cent in order to “rein in expected inflationary pressures that may result from exchange rate,” introduction of demand management approaches to foreign exchange in order to conserve foreign reserve and support domestic production, opening of different foreign exchange windows to take care of the interests of investors, exporters and other critical sector participants as well as introduction of risk-based supervision which include monitoring compliance of supervised institutions and assessment of the risk profile and governance management practices of banks.

One major idea, he said, was the development finance intervention which is the increase of lending to the agriculture and industrial sectors through targeted interventions schemes such as the Anchor Borrowers Programme, Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme and the Rural Sector Support Facility.

“In particular, we sought to improve domestic supply of four commodities (rice, fish, sugar and wheat) which consume about N1.3 trillion annually in our nation’s import bill,” he said.

He explained that the interventions have yielded results as many more farmers now grow higher quantity of food for local consumption which has largely reduced importation, reduced pressure in foreign exchange, created jobs and empowered more citizens economically.

The CBN governor further explained that the bank did not hand over cash to beneficiaries. Rather, they were given improved seedlings, herbicides, and so on, to prevent diversion of funds.

Similar approaches were adopted for the players in the manufacturing sector.

He further revealed that a sum of N30 billion has been set aside to support the creative industry in Nigeria.

While the interventions were introduced, Emefiele said he was being insulted, abused and criticised by adherents of conventional methods and those who would not benefit from the new innovations which he described as unconventional.

For restricting 41 (now 43) items from access to FOREX, Emefiele said the policy was faulted by critics, but pointed out that the unconventional policies helped Nigeria exit recession and have helped improved the economy at large.

He said: “In the view of some critics, for instance, our FX policies constitute exchange restrictions, rationing of FX, discretionary allocation based on priority categories, and multiple currency practice.

“Many are also unaccepting of our 41 items restriction and its recent increase to 43 items, regardless of its apparent successes.

“While there is sufficient evidence of significant reductions in our annual import bill, increased non-oil output and exports, and a robust BOP position, these critics assert that we are restricting trade and creating unfair competition.

“To our critics, who are against the imposition of the FX restrictions, conventional Monetary Policy requires that to encourage domestic production, we should impose higher tariffs and levies. However, our experience in Nigeria has shown that this practice has never worked due to certain inefficiencies in attaining these objectives”

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Nigeria Is The Future Of Mankind, Says German Ambassador

Sahara Reporters - 25 May 2019 - 12:40am


Bernhard Schlagheck, the German Ambassador to Nigeria, says Nigeria as the future if Africa is the future of world of mankind.

Schlagheck said this on Friday during delegation meeting of Follow the Money and Connected Development (CODE), a Non-Government Organization that focuses on governance and accountability, in Abuja.

The german ambassador said Germany and Nigeria shared similarities in diverse areas, adding that Nigerians could contribute towards growth of their country through tracking governance processes to ensure accountability.

Schlagheck said: “There are developments in every society that must be tracked. To achieve that, there is need for distinction of people to do such.

“Nigeria as the future of Africa is the future of the world of mankind that we can ask many important questions and of course this is also applicable in places like Germany, in Europe.

“Although there are obstacles in development processes, Nigerians should strive to focus on cross-fertilisation of good ideas to bring about meaningful growth in future.”

He commended the delegation for their effort in tracking expenditure of public funds to promote accountability and transparency in governance process in the country.

According to him, “this is something that can change things positively. I am quite happy to see many young activists willing to do so”.

Earlier, Mr Hamzat Lawal, Founder, Follow the Money and Chief Executive Officer of CODE, said that they were at the German Embassy to appreciate Schlagheck for his support to the organisation.

He noted that the support by Schlagheck had helped young people learn best practices on modern methods to track public fund spending.

He said they were in Germany this year and won the SDGs awards under mobilise-category, despite the fact that we applied for our papers late.

“Europe and US are struggling with illegal migration because people from other parts of the world are tired of how governments are not ensuring that the services delivered are efficient.”

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Unreturning Lawmakers 'Evacuate' Personal Belongings From National Assembly As Staff Mock Them

Sahara Reporters - 24 May 2019 - 8:48pm




It was a sober reflection on the premises of National Assembly complex Abuja on friday as lawmakers who lost elections in their various constituencies evacuated their personal belongings from their offices .

Some of the aides to the lawmakers were  seeing removing property from their offices  into the waiting trucks . Some of the items include: refrigerators, plasma TV, water dispensers, printers , portraits photographs, rugs, flags and many other things .

Many have stealthily and surreptitiously moved their luggage shortly after the election results were announced to avoid disgrace and embarrassment.

Some of the staff were seen in group  discussing the inglorious exit of the senators and members of House of Representatives while others were making jest of them and gloating over their  misfortune.

When Saharareporters prodded the staff to  disclose the reason behind their excitement.  Many of them described the exit of the lawmakers as lesson of life adding that power is transient . 

One of the staff who pleaded not to be named said many of them were so much intoxicated with power, while it lasted, in such a way that they saw themselves as tin-gods with the positions they occupied.  He added that many of them did not deserve re-election judging by their hostile and aggressive treatment of Nigerians particularly those from their constituencies. 

He admonished the new lawmakers not to be carried away with  the allure of power or trappings of public office but to put citizens who elected them into the position of authority first. 

Recall that many federal lawmakers including senate President, Bukola Saraki  lost their seats during the Presidential and National Assembly election on 23rd February 2019. 

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Over 20,000 Youths Want Cleaning Job In Enugu

Sahara Reporters - 24 May 2019 - 1:17pm


At  least  20,000 youth in Enugu State have applied for the state Cleaning and Beautification job which is an initiative of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
Rev. Fr. Michael Ogbu, the coordinator of Enugu Clean Team Project (ECTP), , told newsmen in Enugu on Friday that the application was for the additional 1,000 workers approved by Gov. Ugwuanyi to  create more slots for interested youth in tghe state.

“After our announcement for recruitment of additional 1,000 staff, more than 20,000 persons applied with at least a school certificate.

“I can recall vividly that when we started the Enugu Clean Team Project, young people were reluctant to come for employment for the initial 1,000 workers in the project but now the story has changed,’’ Ogbu said.


 
According to him, apart from the procurement of new equipment to cover Enugu, Nsukka, 9th Mile Corner, Awgu and Oji River axis of the state, the employment of additional 1,000 staff will enhance the operational capacity of the project.
Ogbu also re-affirmed his commitment to fulfil the purpose  for which the initiative was  thought up which is to make the coal city the cleanest city in Nigeria
“ECTP management has put machinery in motion to ensure that Enugu State and Enugu city becomes the cleanest state and city in the country within the shortest possible time.

“I believe the governor and the state executive council are impressed with our performance and that is why we were graciously granted request to increase our staff strength with an additional 1,000 staff,’’ he said.
 He urged driver motoristsagainst reckless driving as some of the staff of the 'project' who on duty in the early hours of the day; he also pleaded with residents to make the job easier for the  these workers by desisting from indiscriminate  disposal of refuse

Ogbu explained that part of the reasons why the governor established the organization was to provide employment to young people and discourage them from going into crime in addition to keeping the environment clean.

The ECTP Project covers road and street sweeping, drainage clearing and de-silting, green verge areas and trees trimming as well as maintenance of ornamental flowers and parks within the state

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Flying Eagles Maul Qatar 4-0 In Fifa U-20 World Cup Opener

Sahara Reporters - 24 May 2019 - 11:42am


Flying Eagles of Nigeria started their World cup campaign on a high as they thrashed Qatar 4-0 in the opening match of the Group D match of the FIFA U20 World Cup in Poland.

The Nigerian team which is participating in the tournament for the first time mauled the Asian representatives at the Stadion Miejski in Tychy.

Maxwell Effiom got the first goal for the Paul Aigbogun's side on 12 minutes before Sweden based Henry Offia doubled the lead on 24 minutes with both assists from Captain Ikouwem Utin.

Manchester City’s Tom Dele-Bashiru got the third goal after the break on 68 minutes before Defender Aliyu Salawudeen completed the rout on 74 minutes.

The Eagles next play the USA on Monday and then face Ukraine on Thursday at the Bielsko-Bahalia stadium.

Earlier in the competition, West African neighbors Senegal thrashed Tahiti 3-0 to go top of Group A while Colombia dealt a huge blow to hosts Poland debut at the competition with a 2-0 thumping.

In Group B, Italy pipped Mexico 2-1 in a keenly contested match to go top of Group B, Ecuador also beat Japan by the same margin in the second encounter.

The tournament will run from May 23rd to June 15th, 2019.

 

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Masari Approves Death Penalty For Cattle Rustlers, Kidnappers In Katsina

Sahara Reporters - 24 May 2019 - 11:02am


 

Aminu Bello Masari, the governor of Katsina State, has signed into law that anyone convicted of cattle rustling or kidnapping in the state should be executed.
The former speaker of the House of Representatives also approved life imprisonment  in addition to a fine and compensation to victim for  anyone convicted of rape.
The governor  endorsed these punitive measures following spate of attacks in the State, the latest being the attack on three communities in Dan Musa, Faskari and Batsari local government areas which claimed  26 lives
In reaction to the killings President Muhammadu Buhari had summoned Governor Masari and ordered the Security Chiefs to investigate the killings.
The President also directed, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu ,  Acting Inspector General of Police, General AbayomiGabriel Olonisakin Chief of Defence Staff Abayomi to constitute an assessment team to intervene immediately the killings in the state and bring feedback.
The President instructed them to be meticulous in their assessment and find out how the  method of operations of criminals and put safety measures in place to forestall recurrence.

 

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Fulani Herdsmen Have Turned Ondo Into Unsafe Place As They Kidnap, Rape Us, Ondo Women Lament

Sahara Reporters - 24 May 2019 - 10:31am



Worried by the insecurity in Ondo state, some aggrieved women have protested the rising cases of attacks, rituals and kidnapping by suspected fulani herdsmen. 

The women, who marched on  the street of Akure on Thursday through the Deji of Akure's palace and armed with leaves, said that enough is enough about the criminal activities of hoodlums who have taken over the state. 
They noted that Ondo state was no longer safe again as the hoodlums masquerading as "fulani herdsmen" have all  surrounded the forests and bushes  in the sunshine star
The protesters argued that the fulani herdsmen, who are always armed with  all kinds  of  weapons, would molest, maim, rape and even destroy their farmlands and livestock
One of the protesting women, Mrs. Uche Daodu who spoke to Sahara Reporters in Akure said they're worried about the rising case of kidnapping and attacks - most especially on the women in the state. 
Daodu noted that law enforcement agencies in the state have not been doing well enough to tackle the ugly activities of the fulani herdsmen. 
She vehemently complained that  the lives of the innocent residents in the state are in perpetual danger as the fulani herdsmen have found means to execute  their sinister activities.
"If you have noticed that the rates of kidnapping in Ondo State is now becoming too alarming including the cases of ritualists in the state.

"Already, we have learned that these set of people who are kidnapping and causing all these issues are the fulani herdsmen.

"These evil dowers (fulani herdmen) after perpetrating the act would run away into the bushes within the state where they currently stay and sleep.
"Also, almost everyday we are now hearing cases of kidnapping in fact blood shared is just too much in the state and the rate of raping cases is just too high. 
"Many that want to travel are scared because of the cases of kidnapping by fulani herdsmen on our road and due to the rampant case of missing persons just imagine the cases of missing underwares too.
"We have the belief that we cannot continue like this as Ondo state is known as a very peaceful state. So, when did all of a sudden this ugly situation started rearing its head" she queried. 

According to her, Ondo State which is  known as  a peaceful  state could become a hotbed of violence  if the authorities did not immediately face the security challenges posed by activities of the fulani herdsmen.
Daudo explained that women group have come out to sensitize females in  Ondo state to be very wary of the ‘criminals’ who target female folks for rituals.
While suggesting some ways out of the doldrums, Mrs. Daudo said that there was need for concerted effort by all security agencies in state to combat the dastardly activities of the criminal elements. 
"We are crying out now for justices and we want our traditional leaders to urgently do something about this as their evil acts are becoming too rampants in our dear state (Ondo).
"Because these people surrounded the forest in the state with terribble ammunition and we are now asking what is the law enforcement agency doing about it.
"We want more collaborations and proper synergies between the law enforcement and security agencies in the state - like the Police, NSCDC, Army, FRSC and NDLEA officials.
"We believe their collaborations will help stop all these evil machination that is currently going on in Ondo State becuase we the woman can't enter the village markets again as a result of attack and rape on us".

 

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Pro-Biafra Agitators Attacked Us With Sticks, Stones Say Police

Sahara Reporters - 24 May 2019 - 9:51am



The Anambra State Police Command has accused members of the Indigenous People of Biafra of attacking its officers on duty in various parts of the state.

Haruna Mohammed, Police Public Relations Officer in Awka on Friday said the men were deployed to dismantle the flags and other insignias of the secessionist group against the May 30 sit-home-order.

He added that the Police was able to subdue the IPOB members. 

Mohammed said: "There was a report that the Indigenous People of Biafra came out in large number moving around with dangerous weapons and at the same time hoisting flags of the proscribed group on poles and billboards.

“Following the report, police operatives rushed to the scene in order to prevent them from mounting the flags but they engaged the police with catapults and stones.

“However, 12 suspects were arrested and over 50 flags with different inscriptions of IPOB/MASSOB and Biafran Independent movements recovered as exhibits.

“There was another intelligence report that some misguided elements suspected to be IPOB Members were sighted at various locations mounting Biafra flags along Ekwulobia -Uga Road in Aguata LGA of Anambra State.

“Police patrol teams pursued them and arrested 12 suspects while others escaped,  72 Biafran flags and items with Biafra inscriptions were recovered.”
 

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