Wednesday, 20 September 2017
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News & Stories (1578)

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday dismissed an application by a former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, asking for an order to stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the police from arresting her with respect to the ongoing investigation into corruption allegation against her.

Oduah had filed the fundamental rights enforcement suit, asking the court to prohibit the Attorney-General of the Federation’s office, the EFCC, and the police from “inviting, arresting, investigating or prosecuting” her over the purchase of two armoured BMW vehicles at the cost of N255m by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority under her watch as the aviation minister in 2013.

Justice Abdu Kafarati in his judgment on Wednesday upheld the objection raised by the respondents, to the effect that the court lacked the requisite jurisdiction to hear the case.

 He held that that no court had the power to stop security agencies from carrying out their duty of investigation.

He said, “It is not grantable by this court because the court cannot stop security agencies from carrying out their duties.  There is no way a person can be investigated without being invited by the body charged with the responsibility of investigation.

“In most cases, the invitation is even in the interest of the invitee because he or she will have the opportunity of giving his or her side of the story.

“I therefore hold that the application seeking to stop security agencies from inviting, investigating, arresting and/or prosecuting any person suspected to have committed an offence does not constitute a fundamental right action.”

Oduah had in the suit urged the court to declare illegal the alleged plot by the respondents to arrest, investigate and prosecute her in relation to her activities while in office, particularly the controversial two armoured vehicles purchased.

The purchase of the armoured vehicles by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority while Oduah was in office attracted public criticism over allegation that the prices were inflated.

Oduah had argued that the criminal allegations leveled against her as minister had been investigated by the EFCC and the House of Representatives’ Committee on Aviation, which both absolved her of any wrong doing.

She had maintained that the investigation was going to be used as tool for political persecution against her.

She had urged the court to declare that, having earlier been exonerated, any further investigation, arrest, harassment and prosecution of her person in relation to the same issue, amounted to the invasion of her fundamental right to personal liberty, freedom of movement and to be presumed innocent until proved guilty.

Posted On Thursday, 06 October 2016 00:45 Written by

The Police Command in Kaduna State on Tuesday confirmed the kidnap of the immediate past Minister of Environment, Mrs Laurentia Mallam and her husband, Mr Pius.

The Command’s spokesman, ASP Aliyu Usman, disclosed that the two were abducted along Bwari/Jere axis on Kaduna-Abuja highway on Monday evening.

Usman said that the abductors took away the former minister and her husband, but spared their driver unharmed.

He assured that the Police was tracking down the perpetrators and would ensure the release of the victims unharmed.

Sources indicated that the abductors had reached out to the minister’s family demanding for ransom.

The command’s spokesman, however, said the police was not aware of any demand by the abductors.

“All what we are doing is to see that the victims are freed from captivity and returned to their home unhurt,” Usman said.

Posted On Tuesday, 04 October 2016 23:46 Written by

The governorship election in Edo has recorded an impressive turnout with voters arriving at polling stations in large numbers across the state.

As early as 7.30 a.m., voters were seen in large numbers eager to cast their vote in all the polling centres visited.

It was also observed that the exercise in all the polling stations monitored was peaceful and orderly.

Adequate security personnel were deployed to ensure orderliness at the polling stations.

Officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, also arrived early with election materials and were getting set to commence the conduct of the exercise.

At Fabiyi Akpata Primary School, Benin, many voters were present, while INEC officials and security agents were seen manning the units and maintaining order.

ACP, PDP, APC and ACPN agents in the six units said they were impressed by the conduct of the election and expressed hope that the exercise would be successful.

Mrs Angella Akenzua, 68, said she was impressed by the orderliness in the conduct of the exercise, particularly the early arrival of officials and election materials.

At Uhonmora Ora in Owan West Local Government Area, election materials arrived at Ward 2, Units 10-13 as early as 7.39 a.m. and security agents and INEC officials were also ground.

Accreditation and voting commenced at Afuze 1, unit 11, Owan East at 8.30 a.m. with many voters checking their names on the voter register pasted on the wall.

At Iguododo Primary School, Evboehighae, Iwoba Ward and Evbokabua, all in Orhiomwon Local Government Area, accreditation and voting were peaceful.

The situation was the same in Oredo Ward 7, New Era Secondary School, as INEC officials and materials arrived at 7 a.m., while armed security personnel were monitoring the proceedings.

But the card readers in the Oredo ward 7 were not functioning well, so also in Ward 2, Unit 6 and Ward 3 Unit 10 in Uromi Essan North-East Local Government Area.

The same situation was observed in Etsako West Local Government Area.

Voting and accreditation had commenced at Apena ward 10, unit 11 and unit 13, and at Iyamho Primary School.

Posted On Thursday, 29 September 2016 00:35 Written by

A former Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mr Etim Nyang, has died in Lagos at the age of 85.

His son, Nyang Etim-Nyang, said in a statement that the former I-G died on Monday at Reddington Hospital, Lagos.

”We write to formally announce the call to glory of our father, Obong (Sir) Etim Okon Inyang, Inspector General of Police (retd).

”The sad event occurred at the Reddington Hospital, Lagos on Sept. 26, 2016 at the age of 85,” the family said in the statement.

Inyang joined the Nigeria Police Force on Oct. 1, 1949 and rose through the ranks to become Nigeria’s top cop until his retirement in October 1986.

He was at various times Commissioner of Police in Kano and old Bendel States and was also appointed Vice Chairman of the Constitution Review Committee in 1987.

A recipient of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON), Inyang is survived by his wife, Mary, and five children.

Posted On Wednesday, 28 September 2016 23:47 Written by

The Lagos State Police Command has arrested a 47-year-old trader, Uchena Elumadu, for allegedly raping his 15-year-old daughter in the Agege area of the state.

SUNDAY PUNCH learnt that each time the Imo State indigene slept with the victim, he would drug her to prevent her from being pregnant.

He was, however, caught by his wife, who raised the alarm which drew the attention of neighbours and residents of Martins Street, New Oko Oba, Agege, where the incident happened.

The suspect, upon his arrest, allegedly admitted to sleeping with his daughter three times.

A police source said immediately the incest was discovered by the girl’s mother on Monday, September 19, the suspect fled the house.

He said, “The man has three children, two girls and one boy. The victim is the first child and she is in JSS 3. He had been sleeping with her for a long time. He started sleeping with her in 2015.

“It was easy for him because his wife is a casual worker at the airport and she is most times on night duty and does not sleep at home. What he does is to sneak into the room at midnight while the other children are asleep. He will wake the girl up, rape her and give her drugs to prevent pregnancy.

“But on September 19, his wife was around. He woke up and went to the room to wake up the girl, not knowing that his wife was awake and observing everything.

“The woman caught him in the act and shouted. She reported the case directly to the Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni.”

The source said the matter was immediately referred to the Gender Unit of the Lagos State Police Command headquarters, Ikeja, where a manhunt was launched for the suspect.

The source, who stated that Elumadu was arrested at his house on Friday after the police got a tip-off that he was around, added that the suspect thought that the case had died down.

The state’s Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmos, who confirmed the incident, said the victim had been admitted to Police College Hospital, Ikeja.

She said, “Preliminary investigation reveals that the suspect had on different occasions raped the daughter, after which he administered drugs to her to prevent her from getting pregnant.

“The 15-year-old girl told the police that the father on countless occasions woke her up in the middle of the night to rape her mostly when the mother was on night duty.

“The mother caught the suspect having intercourse with the victim. The father admitted to raping her on three occasions, blaming the act on the devil. The victim is currently admitted to Police College Hospital, where she is receiving treatment. This is in partnership with Mirabel Centre and the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, where medical examination will be carried out on her.”

Badmos, a Superintendent of Police, said the CP had ordered that the suspect be charged to court at the end of investigations.

She added that the command had no tolerance for sexual abuse and domestic violence.

Posted On Sunday, 25 September 2016 12:01 Written by


The four companies charged alongside a former Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Waripamo Dudafa, and two others with money laundering have pleaded guilty to the offence. 

The four companies pleaded guilty to conspiring with Dudafa and the two others to launder a sum of $15,591,700 before a Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday.

The companies are Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited; Seagate Property Development & Investment Co. Limited; Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited and Development Company Limited and Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had since frozen the $15.6m found in the four companies’ accounts in Skye Bank.

But wife of ex-President Jonathan, Patience, has sued the EFCC and Skye Bank, laying claim to the money. She said the money was for her medical treatment.

Posted On Friday, 16 September 2016 00:52 Written by

Dame Patience Jonathan, the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, said she was using her $15m, which was frozen in four companies’ accounts, to settle medical bills while she was out of the country.

She, therefore, urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Skye Bank to lift the restriction on the accounts.

Patience said this in a letter with reference number GA/Abibo/00226/2016, written by her lawyers, Granville Abibo (SAN) and Co, which was addressed to the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu.

The PUNCH had reported that the four accounts belonged to the following companies: Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited, Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Limited, Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited and Globus Integrated Service Limited.

A houseboy, a driver and other domestic workers of a former Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to Jonathan, Waripamowei Dudafa, were named as directors, but Patience’s $15m was lodged in the accounts and she was given a platinum card and exclusive access to the accounts.

The letter read in part, “It is noteworthy to emphasise that the said accounts, which were in US dollar denomination, were card-based accounts and our client is the sole signatory to these accounts.

“However, our client has been operating the said accounts using the cards for her medical bill payments and purchases for her private purposes without any let or hindrance.

“Our client was therefore surprised when the said cards stop functioning on July 7, 2016, or thereabout. Our client immediately, thereupon, contacted Skye Bank Plc through our solicitors.

‘‘It was only then that the bank officials informed our client that the said accounts were placed on a ‘No Debit Order’ following investigations and instruction from your commission and this is without notice to our client by either the bank or the commission.

“It is in the light of the foregoing that we urge you to use your good offices to vacate the ‘No Debit/Freezing Order’ placed on the said accounts.”

Patience, who described herself as a law-abiding citizen, said despite all the explanations she offered to the Lagos Zonal Office of the EFCC, the detectives in charge refused to heed her request.

She, therefore, urged Magu to intervene immediately.

She added, “Despite the foregoing, our client, who is a law-abiding citizen, has watched with surprise how efforts are being made surreptitiously to indirectly harass or harangue her and short-change her of her personal funds in breach of her fundamental human rights.

“We urge you sir, to kindly intervene to stop the untoward and wrongful actions of your officials to embarrass, inconvenience and short-change our client.”

However, a detective in the EFCC said, “We got a relevant court order to freeze those accounts and we have evidence which we will present in court on Friday.

“We did not know that the accounts belonged to Patience Jonathan at the time we froze them. The accounts do not bear her name neither do they carry her BVN (Bank Verification Number). So, how can she accuse us of harassment?

“She has a separate account in Skye Bank with the title ‘Patience Jonathan’, which has a balance of $5m. If she claims she needs money for medical treatment, then the $5m should be alright.”

In a thanksgiving service held at the State House chapel in Abuja on February 18, 2013, Patience had said she underwent seven surgical operations within one month in Germany, adding that the doctors had given up hope on her survival.

She had stated, “I remember when Chief  Obasanjo was the President of the country, I was close to his late wife, Stella. We worshiped together in this chapel. It was a painful moment for me that time when she (Stella) died and her corpse was brought here.

“That was how my corpse would have been brought here.

‘‘It was not an easy experience for me. I actually died, I passed out for more than a week. My intestine and tummy were opened.

 “I am not Lazarus but my experience was similar to his. My doctors said all hope was lost.’’

Posted On Wednesday, 14 September 2016 00:27 Written by

A Special Court Martial of the Nigerian Army has demoted the Director, 68 Reference Hospital, Yaba, in Lagos State, Major General Patrick Falola, to the rank of Brigadier General.

The demotion follows the conviction of the Major General who was accused of unlawfully admitting students for clinical training without due clearance from the army headquarters.

Channels TV reports that Falola was said to have admitted international students from Espan Formation University, Cotonou in Benin Republic between July and September, 2016.

President of the Special Court Martial, Air Vice Marshal James Gbum, said the accused was found guilty of the first count

Delivering judgment in the case against Falola, who is also a Commander of the Armed Forces Hospital in Kano, Gbum sentenced the accused officer to a reduction in rank from Major General to Brigadier General on count one of the charge.

He was, however, discharged and acquitted of the second count of fraudulent misapplication of the hospital’s property.

Lawyer to Falola, Wing Commander Enokela Onyilo-Uloko [Retd], however, criticised the conviction, saying it was a premeditated attempt to taint the unblemished record of his client whom he described as a distinguished medical officer with outstanding records.

Onyilo-Uloko said the judgment of the Special Court Martial has no legal backing

“On hearing of this kind of conviction, we know that it is based on nothing. There is no law, no instruction put on the ground by the armed forces that the senior officer needs to take permission from the higher authority before allowing such training.

“No such law or instruction was tendered in evidence, but they are saying that he should use his initiative.

“When there is no law criminalising an act, when that act is done, it does not amount to criminal offence,” the lawyer said.

He further vowed to appeal the judgment of the Special Court Martial.

However, the judgement of the Army Court Martial is subject to confirmation by the Nigerian Army Council.

Posted On Saturday, 10 September 2016 11:15 Written by

Sango-ota—A 30-year-old trader has been arrested by the police in Ogun state for naming his pet dog ‘Buhari. The trader, Joe Fortemose Chinakwe, of No 10, Omikunle Street, Sango-Ota, Ogun State, was reportedly arrested last weekend, after one of his neighbours of Northern extraction complained bitterly that he named his dog after his father, Alhaji Buhari. Vanguard learned that the complainant reported the case at Sango Police Station, last Saturday, after which the trader was arrested and detained. However, it was gathered that efforts by the police to recover the dog, which they intended using as evidence failed following a clever move by the suspect.

The trader, said to be trading in female wears at a popular market in Sango, allegedly directed his friends secretly to kill the dog and possibly eat the meat in order to avoid being implicated. It was gathered that consistent appeals by his friends and relations for the police to grant him bail failed as the complainant and his kinsmen reportedly threatened to kill the trader if he was released on bail.

Trader denied bail 
The case, however, took a different dimension two days later when Chinakwe’s relatives went to Sango police station to further plead for his bail only to be informed that the case file and the suspect have been transferred to Ogun State Police Command headquarters at Eleweran. A relation to the suspect, who simply identified himself as Chiedozie, told Vanguard that his brother was being persecuted for no just cause and expressed fears that he may either be poisoned inside police cell or thrown into jail. Chiedozie said: “Chinakwe is a lover of dogs and he names them after things that tickle him. He bought this dog a year ago and named it Buhari. Unfortunately, some Northerners, who dominate the vicinity where he resides misconstrued his intention and connived to take him up. The complainant then claimed it was derogatory because his father answers Buhari.” Police sources, however, told Vanguard that the actions of the suspect “were very provocative.” The source said: “he not only named the dog Buhari but boldly wrote it on the body of both sides of the dog and was seen parading the neighbourhood dominated by Northerners with it.” As at press time, relations to the suspect were still making frantic efforts to effect his bail while his accusers are insisting that he must be prosecuted.

Police confirms arrest 
When contacted around 8pm yesterday, the acting Police spokesman in Ogun State, Abimbola Oyeyemi, ASP, said he was still trying to get the Divisional Police Officer in-charge of Sango for details. Oyeyemi later called, stating that: “I have made enquiries. The man bought a dog and inscribed Buhari on both sides of its body. One Mallam lodged a complaint and when our men got there, we found out that it was true. You know such thing can cause serious breach of the peace and ethnic or religious unrest. We are charging him to court for conduct likely to cause a breach of peace.”

Continuing, he said: “He was arrested last Saturday and we are taking him to court later today (Tuesday) or tomorrow morning (today). You know an average Northerner will feel bad over such a thing. It can cause serious ethnic crisis or religious confrontation because when you are relegating such a name to a certain person, you are indirectly insulting him.” When asked about the whereabouts of the dog that will be used as evidence against the suspect, the police spokesman said: “The dog cannot follow anybody except the owner. We will use him as our evidence because he did not deny it.”

Posted On Thursday, 18 August 2016 00:54 Written by

 

Kidnapped girls in another video released by Boko Haram

Kidnapped girls in another video released by Boko Haram

Following the release of a fresh video by the Boko Haram insurgents showing the abducted Chibok schoolgirls, the Nigerian Army on Sunday declared the Nigerian journalist who revealed the fresh video, Ahmad Salkida, wanted.

 

Two other persons, including a woman, were also declared wanted in connection with the over 200 missing girls abducted by Boko Haram since 2014.

They are Ambassador. Ahmed U. Bolori and Aisha Wakil.

A statement issued by the Acting Director Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, said the wanted persons have information on the conditions and the exact location of those girls.‬

“Therefore, the Nigerian Army hereby declares the two gentlemen and the lady wanted for interrogation.

Ahmad Salkida

Ahmad Salkida

“We are relying on the relevant laws of the land, and in particular the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 (as amended) where Nigerians could be punished for failure to disclose information about terrorists or terrorists” activities.

‬‪”This becomes necessary as a result of their link with the last two videos released by Boko Haram terrorists and other findings of our preliminary investigations.

“There is no doubt that these individuals have links with Boko Haram terrorists and have contacts with them.

“They must therefore come forward and tell us where the group is keeping the Chibok girls and other abducted persons to enable us rescue them,” Usman said.

He called on Nigerians and other peace-loving people to give useful information on the whereabouts of the suspects.

“We are also liaising with other security agencies for their arrest if they fail to turn up,” he said.

Posted On Monday, 15 August 2016 00:09 Written by
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