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Alleged Money Laundering: EFCC rearraigns ex-AGF Adoke

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Alleged Money Laundering: EFCC rearraigns ex-AGF Adoke

…As Appeal Court dismisses Farouk Lawan’s no-case -submission, over alleged $3m bribe***

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) on Tuesday,  re-arraigned a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), in a Federal High Court, Abuja.

Adoke was re-arraigned alongside a businessman, Aliyu Abubakar, on amended 14 -count charge bordering on money laundering.

The anti-graft agency is prosecuting Adoke in connection with the controversial OPL 245 transaction, also known as the Malabu Oil deal.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr Bala Sanga,  said that the re-arraignment became necessary following an increase of charges from seven to 14.

Sanga also said that the amount involved in the new charge had increased from the previous N400 million.

In the previous charges, six of the seven counts related to Adoke while only one related to Abubakar.

But with the amended charges, each of the defendants is to answer to seven charges.

Also read:  EFCC has not dropped charges against Adoke -Spokesman

The trial judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo adjourned the case until  Aug. 11 for commencement of trial.

One of the charges read: “That you Mohammed Adoke, sometime in Aug. 2013 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this court, accepted a cash payment of a sum of United States Dollars, equivalent to N300,000,000.00 (Three hundred million Naira), from Aliyu Abubakar and you thereby committed an offence contrary to the combined effect of Section 16 (1) (d) and of Section 1(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act.

“That you Mohammed  Adoke, sometime in Sept. 2013 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this court, made a cash payment of the sum of $2,267,400.00 (Two million, two hundred and sixty-seven thousand, four hundred United States Dollars) to one Rislanudeen Muhammed and you thereby committed an offence contrary to the combined effect of Section 16 (1) (d) and of Section 1(a) of the Money Prohibition Act.”

Adoke and Abubakar were first arraigned before Justice Binta Nyako in February 2020 and then Justice Ekwo on June 17, 2020 on a seven-count criminal charge.

Although Justice Ekwo had, in June while admitting the defendants to bail, fixed Aug. 3 for the trial, however,, the trial could not begin on that day following the amendment of the former charge.

In another development, the Court of Appeal on Tuesday in Abuja court has dismissed the application filed by former lawmaker, Farouk Lawan seeking to terminate the $3 million bribery charges filed by the Federal Government.

Lawan was the Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy in 2012.

Lawan had approached the appellate court to set aside the decision of Justice  Angela Otaluka of an Abuja High Court and free him from the charges.

Delivering judgment in the appeal filed against the ruling of Otaluka which held that Lawan had a case to answer,Justice Olabisi Ige who headed the panel held that the decision of the lower court was well-founded.

The appellate court in a unanimous decision held that a prima facie case was well established against Lawan that warranted him to enter his defence in the three counts charge filed against him in 2013.

Justice Ige held that contrary to the argument of Lawan, the prosecution evidence at the lower court was not in anyway discredited, hence the rejection of his no-case submission.

The appellate court also held that the language of the trial judge, Justice Otaluka which Lawan complained about, did not place the defendant in any disadvantaged position or was in anyway inimical to his trial.

The judge, who quoted the records of proceedings of the FCTHigh Court, especially the testimonies of the five witnesses called by the federal government.

The panel upheld the findings of Justice Otaluka that there were sufficient evidence linking Lawan to the offences.

“I am of the firm view and I have no doubt that the oral and documentary evidence presented by the prosecution sufficiently linked the appellant to the charges against him and to warrant his being called upon to make his defense.

“Prosecution evidence was not slanted in favour of the prosecution. In all, all the four issues raised in this appeal are hereby resolved against the appellant. His appeal, being un-meritorios is hereby dismissed”, he held .

Justice Otaluka had sometimes last year dismissed the no-case-submission filed by Lawan who was then Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Oil and Gas in his alleged three million dollars bribery trial.

The prosecution closed its case after calling five witnesses, Lawan, through his counsel, Mike Ozekhome SAN, had filed a no-case submission on the grounds that the evidence and testimonies did not link Lawan to the crime.

Ozekhome said the prosecution’s witnesses gave conflicting statements about the amount Lawan was alleged to have collected from the fifth prosecution witness, Mr Femi Otedola, who offered the alleged bribe to Lawan.

Ozekhome in addition argued that the video evidence showing how Lawan collected bribe from Otedola was blurry and does not necessarily prove that the content of the envelope Otedola gave to Lawan was money but could have been anything else.

He further submitted that if the Department of State Services (DSS) had any evidence they would have arrested Lawan immediately at the scene of the bribery which they claimed they set up.

Responding, prosecution lawyer, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, urged the court to dismiss the no-case submission and ordered the defendant to enter his defense.

He added that, because the prosecution had established sufficient evidence through video and oral testimonies which linked Lawan to the alleged offences.

Justice Otaluka agreed with the submission of Awomolo and ordered Lawan to open his defense.

 

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Governors’ Forum Welcomes LG Autonomy – Gov. AbdulRahman

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Governors’ Forum Welcomes LG Autonomy – Gov. AbdulRahman

AbdulRazaq AbdulRahman, Governor of Kwara and Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), said the forum welcomed the Supreme Court ruling granting autonomy to local government areas. They have no options, anyway.

AbdulRahman remarked while addressing State House correspondents after a meeting with President Bola Tinubu on Friday.

He was accompanied by Gov. Hope Uzodimma, Chairman, All Progressives Party (APC) Governors Forum and Dr Bala Mohammed, Chairman, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum.

“Compliance is a given and our Attorney General has applied for the enrollment order, which we’ll study carefully.

“But by and large governors are happy with the devolution of power regarding local government autonomy. It relieves the burden on governors.

“Our people really don’t know how much states expense in bailing out local governments, and that’s the issue there,” he said.

He said in his state Kwara, the government had never tampered with local government funds.

“What the local governments have to do is to manage themselves, especially with the incoming minimum wage, to manage their affairs and make sure salaries are paid, traditional rulers get their five per cent and those are the main issues,” he said.

On states where local government elections are yet to be conducted, he said the forum would meet next Wednesday to look at the issue wholly and then come up with a resolution.

He also said the discussion on minimum wage was ongoing, and that the tripartite committee had met and submitted its report.

“Yes, a movement of figures is the prerogative of the president which he will also transmit to the National Assembly for robust debate before it’s adopted,” said AbdulRahman. 

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Kanwan Katsina Lauds Efforts of Successive Katsina Governors, on Ketare

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Kanwan Katsina Lauds Efforts of Successive Katsina Governors, on Ketare

… Credits Shehu Yar’ Adua for Government Day Secondary School; Gov. Shema for construction of Gora-Ketare-Kankara and, Ketare-Mashigi-Malumfashi Roads

The Kanwan Katsina District Head of Ketare, Alhaji Usman Bello Kankara has commended successive governments of Katsina State for executing various developmental projects in Ketare District.

Alhaji Usman Bello gave the commendation when he received the leadership of Ketare District Youth Mobilization KDYM in his palace who paid him Sallah’s homage and congratulated him for the successful Sallah Durbar in Katsina.

The Monarch explained that all the modest achievements recorded in his 24 years as District Head of Ketare were made possible with the assistance of the successive Governors of Katsina State.

The Kanwan Katsina explained that the Late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua when he was the Governor of Katsina State in 1999  and was his Teacher at Katsina College of Art and Science and Technology in 1975 was responsible for the construction of the Government Day Secondary School, Ketare; while Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema who was the Kanwan Katsina School mate at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, constructed Gora-Ketare-Kankara Road and Ketare-Mashigi-Malumfashi Road.

Similarly, Governor Aminu Bello Masari constructed Dayi-Gangule-Gundawa-Wawal Kaza Roads and a comprehensive Primary Healthcare Center in Ketare, in the same vein, the current Katsina State Governor Malam Dikko Umaru Radda in a bid to enhance the security of lives and properties which are his topmost priority establish the Katsina Community Watch Corp where Ketare Youth were engaged in combating bandits and kidnappers.

Alhaji Usman Bello Kankara mni also expressed gratitude to the management of the Community and Social Development  Project CSDP under the leadership of Dikko Mohammed for collaborating with communities of Ketare District to construct all the Community Day Secondary schools.

Therefore, The Kanwan Katsina assured the youth organization that he will not relent in partnering with the Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies to bring in the much-needed development in Ketare District.

Earlier in his address, the interim Chairman of the Association Malam Bishir Umar Girbobo said they were at the palace of the Kanwan Katsina District Head of Ketare Alhaji Usman Bello Kankara to pay Sallah homage and to appreciate all the developmental projects and policies initiated by or facilitated by him such in the areas of education, computers training for the Youths ICT, Health, Agriculture,  Road Construction, issuance of National ID Card and INEC Voters’ Cards, among others.

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HOAX: NNPP Writes Senate, Debunks Letter To Akpabio Alleging ‘Siege’ By FG On Kano

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HOAX: NNPP Writes Senate, Debunks Letter To Akpabio Alleging 'Siege' By FG On Kano

…Calls writer an impersonator who should be arrested!

The New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) says the letter to the Senate, accusing the Federal Government of laying siege on Kano State did not emanate from the party.

This is contained in a statement by the NNPP National Chairman, Dr Agbo Major on Thursday in Abuja.

The party was reacting to a letter written to the Senate, through its President, Godswill Akpabio by Dr Ajuji Ahmed on June 24. 

The letter was titled: Need for NNPP Federal Lawmakers to Make Urgent and Concerted Efforts to End Immediately the Siege on Kano State by Agents of the Federal Government.”

According to Major Agbo, the letter written by Dr Ajuji Ahmed was without the mandate and authorization of the leadership of  NNPP.

“Dr Boniface Aniebonam is the founder of  NNPP, holder of the registration certificate of the party,  chairman,  board of trustees and a life member of the board while  Dr Agbo Major is the national chairman and Comrade Oginni Olaposi Sunday is the National Secretary etc. 

He described Ahmed as an impersonator who should be arrested by the senate. 

“The NNPP stand remains that the Kano Emirate leadership crisis is an internal matter of Kano state indigenes under culture and tradition.

HOAX: NNPP Writes Senate, Debunks Letter To Akpabio Alleging 'Siege' By FG On Kano

“Political party involvement under the circumstances is wrong. The principle of our party remains focused on the peace of the society, development and well-being of the greater numbers of Nigerians.

“That the matter is currently before competent courts of law and jurisdiction and any interference by the National Assembly shall further complicate the situation.

“The avoidable tension generated as a result of the actions of the state government in Kano necessitates the need for vigilance and enhanced security in the state to avoid breakdown of law and order. 

“It is trite for Gov. Abba Kabir Yusuf, Sen  Rabiu Kwankwaso and Elder Buba Galadima to understand that every court order must be obeyed before the complaint. The rules of engagement to vacate orders of the court are very clear and unambiguous”

He said it was, therefore,  necessary for the National Assembly to align with the position that would guarantee the protection of the lives and property of citizens in  Kano state.

” ⁠The NNPP as a registered political party in Nigeria is not interested in engaging in any controversy with the Federal Government and its agencies,  particularly security institutions.

“We should be responsible partners and law-abiding citizens for the peace and development of Nigeria. The letter and any form of representation by the said Ahmed should be disregarded forthwith 

“In an ideal situation,  it shall be the responsibility of the NNPP lawmakers to raise the matter on the floor of the national assembly.

“As we said, the matter is in court and they should go to court, after all, the Kano state governor is in power today via the court.

NNPP  have no role to play because Gov ABBA Yusuf is the governor of Kano state and not the party.”

Major Agbo noted that Elders of Kano state and elites, come together and resolve the internal Chieftaincy crises, then approach the court for consent judgment or be patient with the court for final judgment.

“This is better, civilised and brotherly than the avoidable propaganda and blackmail of the Federal Government and its security institutions carrying on with their statutory duties to maintain peace and order of the society.

“We, therefore,  wish to state that Gov ABBA Yusuf should concentrate on providing quality leadership in Kano and distance himself from all the avoidable tensions in the state. 

“We also appeal to the senate to disregard the illegal and inappropriate letter of the expelled members of the NNPP led by Ahmed.

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