Local News

Akeem ReachnaijaMay 25, 2018
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5min260

Chairman of Innoson Motors Nigeria Ltd, Innocent Chukwuma has reacted to the decision by Justice Mojisola Dada of the special offences court sitting in Lagos to declare him wanted as ‘an attempt to mbarrass his personality, defame and malign his character’.

 

Chukwuma had previously failed to make an appearance in court for his arraignment on Jan. 17, Feb. 9, March 14 and April 25.

 

Read his full statement below….

 

I have been briefed by my lawyers that Justice Mojisola Dada of Lagos State High Court Ikeja granted the oral plea of counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to declare me wanted because of my failure to appear before the court today. I have expressly stated before that I am not afraid of arraignment but must be arraigned through due process of the law.

It must be noted that I, through my legal counsel, challenged the jurisdiction of the Lagos State High Court to hear the forgery charge filed against me by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on ground of, inter alia, the charge being an abuse of process. I filed an application before the court that this present charge is an abuse of process because a similar charge on the same subject matter, transactions and issues is ongoing at the Federal High Court Lagos Division between the same parties, in charge no FHC/l/565c/2015. The last hearing of the charge at the Federal High Court was this week, May 22nd 2018.

Furthermore, my legal counsel had at the last court hearing on April 25th 2018 notified the court that I had challenged the Jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit at the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division and that the prosecuting counsels which are the EFCC has equally filed their brief at the Appellate Court. The judge subsequently adjourned the hearing to today, May 24th 2018.

At the court hearing today, my defense team, also, notified the judge that both parties have filed and exchanged their briefs at the Court of Appeal and a date has been fixed for hearing of the substantive appeal and prayed the Honourable Judge to defer to the Court of Appeal to decide the appeal which is on the jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit. Again, my legal team notified the trial court that I had appealed against the order of bench warrant of 9th February 2018 to the Court of Appeal and as well filed a motion for stay of execution of the order of bench warrant.

However, the judge failed to grant the prayers of my legal counsel and quickly granted the plea of the prosecuting counsel to declare me wanted without recourse to due process of the law or listen to the submissions of my counsel on why an order declaring me wanted should not be made.

Declaring me wanted was done in bad faith and is simply to embarrass my personality, defame me and malign my character aimed to distract me from my daily activities in ensuring that Innoson Vehicles continues to produce durable made in Nigeria vehicles.

Recall also that the same Judge had issued a bench warrant against me, while I had challenged the jurisdiction of her court to hear the suit and I also wrote a petition to the National Judicial Council to investigate the circumstance leading to issuing a bench warrant against me and ordering my arrest. In the course of this case, I had filed a motion that the judge recuse or disqualify herself from further conduct of the proceedings which she failed to hear and insisted I must be brought to court against laid down judicial authorities.

Finally I want to expressly state that I am not afraid of arraignment but must be arraigned through the due process of the law. This Trumped Up Charge against me is being instigated by Guaranty Trust Bank, who as at today is indebted to me above N22 Billion Naira, but I know Justice will prevail at the end of the day. Meanwhile, I have also appealed against the order declaring me wanted and as well filed a motion for the stay of its execution.


Akeem ReachnaijaMay 25, 2018
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3min150

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has asked state governors to think and plan like countries so they can be financially viable and stop depending solely on the funds allocated to them from the Federation account.

 

Osinbajo said this when he spoke at the Leadership awards which took place in Abuja yesterday May 24th.

“This conversation about creating financially viable states should therefore be viewed through the lens of the medium to the long term. There will always be the temptation to prioritize raising Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) at all costs. If this is done in a manner that stifles today’s entrepreneurs and investors, then clearly there will be a great price to pay down the line. So, it is clear that Governors have to think beyond four or eight year cycles. There must be a commitment to laying a foundation that our successors will build on, and for successors to be ready to build on foundations laid. One of the challenges with governance in Nigeria today is that penchant for dismantling or dismissing everything inherited. President Buhari insisted when we assumed office that we must ensure the completion of projects started but abandoned or uncompleted by previous governments before starting new ones. Our problem, of course, in our country, is not in new ideas or starting projects, it is the lack of rigour and discipline to complete projects and to maintain them.

Our States must think plan and act as countries, and why not? Ten of Nigeria’s States with the highest GDPs have higher GDPs than over 15 African countries. In fact, I was saying the other day, that if you look at Rwanda, which is a country that is celebrated in Africa, the GDP of Lagos State is almost four times the size of Rwanda’s GDP.

Thinking like a country means planning like one. And I think that one of the most important things for states to do is to begin to think and plan like countries do. And we cannot wait for constitutional reforms that may be required for further devolution to the states. We must act whether or not there is this reform. In many cases, states have control of some of the resources that can make a tremendous difference in the way that they operate” VP Yemi Osinbajo says


Akeem ReachnaijaMay 25, 2018
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3min220

Monica Osagie, the victim of the sex-for-mark scandal rocking the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, says the accused lecturer, Professor Richard Akindele, was her mentor.

In a recent interview with CNN, Monica said she and the accused lecturer started a good student-lecturer relationship when she helped him edit his book but later started to ask her out. She, however, said their relationship went sour after he made sexual advances towards her.

“We actually edited the book together. Then, the next thing he told me was, ‘Can you date me?’ I was like, ‘No.’ He was like, ‘Why?’ I said, ‘One, I don’t date lecturers, and secondly, you are more matured than I am. He kept calling me to ask if I was ready to accept his proposal. So, I decided to record our next conversation.”she said

Monica says she has suffered a lot of backlash since her audio conversation with the lecturer surfaced online.

“A guy came up to me at the bank and said, ‘Is this not the girl who harassed a lecturer?’ and he called me a prostitute. The security guard then had to push me away to go withdraw my money inside the bank.”

Osage, however, said rather than bow to intimidation, she is happy that she voiced out her experience.

“There is no work or education that is worth your dignity, I will keep saying that. I am actually happy I came out. I am helping many ladies that have gone through the same thing I have gone through, and most of them can’t talk about it. They are scared of coming out in public. But I know it happens everywhere, not just in Nigeria. For me, speaking up will bring more women to speak and eradicate what is happening around young women and older men.”she said

The school authority is at the moment investigating the allegation.  The father of three daughters is an Anglican priest.


Akeem ReachnaijaMay 25, 2018
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1min200

According to Lauretta Onochie, many young Nigerians are running after President Buhari because he is their hope for a better Nigeria

”The more they are spiteful of his age, the more young people run after him. He’s their hope for a better Nigeria. At least, they know he will never steal from them, Instead, he insists that tuition fees must be abolished. He’s in politics to protect the future of our youth” he wrote


Akeem ReachnaijaMay 25, 2018
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3min190

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC yesterday arraigned Pastor Osagie Ize -Iyamu, PDP governorship candidate in Edo State; Lucky Imasuen, former deputy governor of Edo State, Chief Dan Orbih, PDP Chairman in Edo State; Tony Aziegbemi and Efe Erimuoghae before Justice P.I.Ajoku of the Federal High Court, Benin City, Edo State on an eight count chargebordering on money laundering.

 

The defendants were alleged to have sometime in March 2015 in Benin City, directly taken possession of the sum of seven hundred million ( N700,000,000) without any contract award which sum was allegedly part of proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: fraud and corruption.

The five defendants pleaded not guilty to all the counts when they were read to them.

 

In view of their plea, the prosecution counsel, Aso Larry Peters asked the court to fix a date for trial and to remand the defendants in prison custody .

However, counsel to the 1st defendant, Charles. U. Edosuwan (SAN) informed the court that the first defendant has filed a bail application before the court.

He pleaded with the court to grant his client bail on self recognition, adding that his client submitted himself voluntary to the Commission when he heard they wanted to see him.

The same argument was canvassed by Counsels to the second , third ,fourth and fifth defendants, O.G. Izevbuwa(Dr) , Kehinde Oguwunmiju (SAN) Ferdinard O.Orbih (SAN) Jim Akhere( Professor) asking the court to grant their client bail. They all align their submission with that of counsel to the first defendant in asking the court to grant their client bail.
The prosecution counsel vehemently opposed the bail application saying he had filed a 12 paragraph counter affividavit motion.

The prosecution counsel, however, argued that though bail is at the discretion of the court, if the court must grant them bail, it should come with a stringent conditions, considering the amount involved and that they should have their data captured in the criminal record registry.
Justice P.I.Ajoko after listening all counsels submission granted bail to the defendants in the sum of 10 million naira each with two sureties in like sum. The sureties must not be below grade level 16 and be resident in Edo State.

The sureties must have a landed property in Edo State and must depost their passport with the court which will be verify by both the court and the EFCC. The case was adjourned to July 4, 2018 for trial.

The court ordered that the defendant’s be remanded in prison custody until they perfect their bail conditions.


Akeem ReachnaijaMay 25, 2018
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2min120

A federal high court in Abuja has declared the suspension of Abdulmumin Jibrin, lawmaker representing Bebeji/Kiru constituency in Kano state, by the house of representatives, as illegal and has asked that the house pay him all his allowances during his suspension.

In 2017, the house suspended Jibrin for 180 legislative days after he accused the leadership of the house of padding the 2016 budget. Jibrin, who has since resumed his legislative duties, had taken the house to court over his suspension.

 

Delivering judgement in the suit filed by the lawmaker, Justice Tsoho, declared that the suspension. was “unconstitutional”. He also ordered the lower legislative chamber to pay him all the salaries due to him for the period he was suspended.

“The suspension was an interruption of his earning which will be automatically restored especially when it has been decided that the action was a nullity by virtue of granting prayers 1 and 3 of the originating summons. When an action is declared nullity it is deemed that it never happened.

There is no better conclusion that the plaintiff was carrying out the mandate imposed on members by chapter 7 (7.5) of the Code of Conduct for honourable members adopted on November 4, 2004,” the judge said


Akeem ReachnaijaMay 25, 2018
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3min140

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has condemned the Federal Government over its incapability to arrest the spate of killing in the country, saying that the govt has demonstrated an act of irresponsibility towards its constitutional responsibility.

 

The union maintained that a government that allowed her people to be murdered daily wwas totally irresponsible and has failed to fulfill the social contract of protecting lives and properties. Conveying this position to the public, the ASUU Chairman of the University of Ibadan, UI, Dr Deji Omole, in an interview with newsmen shortly after the congress of the union in Ibadan demanded adequate security of lives and properties of Nigerians from the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

The Union also called for the de-politicization of security by heads of security agencies, saying loyalty must be to Nigeria and not to Aso Rock residents.  Omole, who noted that Nigerians who were already battling with poor economic conditions were now afraid that their lives could be terminated anyhow, pointing out that the Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government had been issuing ineffective condemnation speeches.

 

According to Omole, it was a sign of irresponsibility for the government to fold its arms while people were being killed only to approve N10 billion for rebuilding affected communities, saying “a serious government would have prevented destruction from happening but the government allowed the carnage to happen.”

 

The ASUU boss noted that while land transportation was hellish for Nigerians, it was now more deadly to travel since criminals had positioned themselves on major roads, kidnapping, raping, dispossessing and killing people at will. Omole said food production was now threatened because communities affected were farming communities while those displaced were farmers who were supposed to be farming during raining season but that the herdsmen had allegedly taken over their lands.

 

He said, “every day you open newspaper and what you read is news of killing and some people will sit inside air conditioner offices in Abuja and issue condemnation speeches which have not done anything in the last three years since they came to power. If Nigerians are already denied quality health facilities, quality education, quality social services, they must not be denied right to life. This is the worst form of treating the governed by a government that promised  hope to the masses but which the rich have continued to benefit from. We demand security of lives and properties from the Muhammadu Buhari government. Only the living can demand for other rights. It is sad that one state claimed to have lost about 500 persons to herdsmen terrorism and nobody has been prosecuted for this”.


Akeem ReachnaijaMay 25, 2018
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2min130

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has said that the National Assembly will transmit the passed budget 2018 to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent tomorrow.

Mr Saraki stated this Thursday evening at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, shortly after Mr Buhari hosted the leadership of the Assembly to a breaking of Ramadan fast.

“I think that (sending budget to president) should have been done. We had to harmonise. It’s just a slight difference. It has been passed yesterday. It was in the rules and proceedings of today, so I am sure by tomorrow Friday, we will transmit it to the presidency,” he said.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, had on Wednesday told State House correspondents that Mr Buhari was yet to receive the copy of the budget one week after it was passed by the two chambers of the National Assembly.

Both chambers of the Assembly had on May 16, approved the budget estimates submitted by Mr Buhari on November 7, 2017.

The lawmakers also raised the total figure from N8.6 trillion to N9.1 trillion, six months after it was presented.


Akeem ReachnaijaMay 25, 2018
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2min220

There was commotion at the Kano state office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as supporters of a former Kano state governor Ibrahim Shekarau attempted to block his rescheduled visit to the office.

A witness told PREMIUM TIMES that hundreds of supporters of the former Education Minister thronged the Hajj Camp Road offices of the anti-graft agency to protest what they called “persecution” by the agency.

Mr Shekarau arrived the area around 4p.m, as scheduled, but was however blocked from gaining entrance into the commission’s premises.

The overwhelming crowd almost overpowered security personnel on duty, who had to call for reinforcement from sister security organisations.

“The police had to use teargas and fire some shots in the air to disperse the crowd,” a witness, Abba Yunusa, said.

As at the time of publishing this report, Mr Shekarau was still being detained at the commission’s offices.

The former governor and the co-defendants are expected to be arraigned on Thursday before the federal high court in Kano on charges of money laundering.

On Tuesday, Mr Shekarau’s media assistant, Sule Sule, alleged that the former governor was being persecuted by the agency for his criticism of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The EFCC in a statement Wednesday said it had concluded arrangement to arraign Mr Shekarau alongside three others before a Federal High Court in Kano on Thursday.

Mr Shekarau will be charged alongside, Aminu Wali and Mansur Ahmed for allegedly conniving to collect N950 million part of the $115 million allegedly distributed by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deizani Madueke, ahead of the 2015 general election, EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said in the statement.

“It is further alleged that the defendants distributed the money without going through a financial institution in clear violation of provisions of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act.

“The defendants are currently being detained at the Commission‘s Kano Zonal Office awaiting their arraignment tomorrow,” he said.