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Alleged N107.7m fraud: EX-SMEDAN DG transferred N9m into my account for 3 lawmakers- witness alleges



TRAFFIC OFFENCES: Court orders permanent forfeiture of 31 vehicles to Lagos govt

…As Ajudua’s lawyer probes source of Bamaiyi’s money over, alleged $8.4m fraud***

A witness told a Federal High Court in Abuja that former Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Bature Masari, transferred N9m to his bank account for three lawmakers.

Testifying as fourth witness on Wednesday, Mr Habu Ozigi, Principal Partner of Kike Engineering Services, and staff of SMEDAN alleged that Masari transferred the amount on Nov. 28, 2014.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alleged that Masari misappropriated N9million constituency project funds.

The EFCC is accusing Masari of being involved in a N104.7 million money laundering and proceeds of gratification.

Masari was arraigned by the EFCC on an amended 22 count charge bordering on alleged money laundering before Justice Okon Abang, after he was earlier arraigned on April 10, on 17 counts.

Ozigi alleged that Masari requested him to transfer N3million each to three lawmakers.

“I did as directed and transferred three million each to two of the lawmakers.

“As I was about to transfer the last N3 million to the third lawmaker, I received a phone call from the former director general not to do so.

“He then directed me to transfer the remaining money back to his account and I promptly did on Dec.2, 2014.

“I know the lawmakers. They have been to my former boss’s visited his office just like other National Assembly members in respect to their constituency projects,” he alleged.

After listening to the testimony, trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, adjourned the matter until Nov. 4 for further cross examination and continuation of trial.

Meanwhile, the Defence Counsel to Fred Ajudua, a Lagos socialite accused of defrauding a former Chief of Army Staff, retired Lt.-Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi, on Wednesday raised probing questions on the source of the $8.4million that Ajudua allegedly collected from Bamaiyi.

Addressing an Ikeja High Court, Ajudua’s lawyer, Mr Olalekan Ojo (SAN), disputed Bamaiyi’s claims on the source of the money.

Citing available documents, Ojo argued that the sale of some of the property in question occurred in 1994, 10 years before the fraud.

The former chief of army staff had at previous court proceedings claimed that the source of the $8.4 million was from sale of some of his property and sales from his farm produce.

He also named other sources of the money as donations from friends, colleagues, relations and well-wishers, who had pleaded with him not to identify them because some of them held positions in government.

But responding to Ojo, Bamaiyi said that his properties were sold and that the proceeds from the sale were kept by his brother until when he needed to handover some money to Ajudua while he was in prison.

“I was in service when these properties were sold and my brother Barrister Danladi Bamaiyi was a witness as a solicitor when the lease agreements were signed.

“When the properties were to be sold, I invited him from Sokoto where he was practicing and I called Mr Yakoe Chai, the Managing Director of HFP, the construction firm and I told him my brother was going to get the payment for the sale.

“I gave my brother a note, it was my brother that collected the money from HFP on my instruction. I instructed my brother to change the money into U.S. dollars which he did until this case came up while I was in prison.

“My brother then moved from Sokoto to Abuja for legal practice when the issue of changing my counsel came up and I called my brother to send us the money which was to be given to Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) as professional fees.

Also read: Alleged $8.4m fraud: Absence of defence counsel stalls Ajudua’s trial

“I sent my wife Inuade to Abuja and she collected $400,000 from my brother Danladi and on Nov. 30, 2004, she brought the money to the Kirikiri Maximum Prison,” Bamaiyi said.

Probing Bamaiyi further, Ojo said: “did you sell the property in either 2003, 2004 or 2005. Were the proceeds of the sale kept in a bank account, in the ground or at the graveyard?

“Why did you not send the hand-written note where you wrote the instructions to your brother to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Did you not fill asset declaration forms while you were in service?

“The farm you referred to in your evidence-in-chief, is it operating through a business name or a limited liability company?”

Responding, Bamaiyi said: “The properties were all sold in 1994 and the proceeds were kept by my brother. How he kept it I do not know, so far as he knew what he was doing.

“I gave him a hand-written note and that was sufficient, the notes were loosely written by me.

“I did not register my farm as a limited liability company. It was after my service and after I had been discharged and acquitted by the court that I registered it as Wadtare Farms but it had been in operation since 1984.

“The farm was run in my name and it has accounts in First Bank of Nigeria at Zuru in my village. The account I have in my village is the same account the farm was using for their transactions.

“I completed my asset declaration form when I was in service and I only registered my farm after service.”

Justice Josephine Oyefeso, however, adjourned the case until Nov. 8 for continuation of trial.

According to prosecution proceedings, Ajudua was incarcerated at the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons over alleged fraud while Bamaiyi was incarcerated over alleged involvement in the attempted murder of Mr Alex Ibru, the Publisher of The Guardian Newspapers.

The prosecution alleges that Ajudua had alongside some accomplices, approached Bamaiyi in prison in 2004 and fleeced him of the amount.

Ajudua had allegedly convinced Bamaiyi that he could hire the legal services of Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) to help secure his freedom from Kirikiri Prisons with Ajudua fraudulently receiving $8.4 million as legal fee.

When the fraud came to light, the law chambers of Afe Babalola and Co. issued a disclaimer disassociating itself from the case.

Health and Safety

Clean Naija Campaign: Showcasing The Impact Of Dr Moyinoluwa Oladoye



…In collaboration with Reckitt, Slum and Rural Health Initiative (SRHIN) and the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA)

Dr. Moyinoluwa Oladoye, a young visionary leader and healthcare social entrepreneur has radically influenced sanitation and hygiene practices in Nigeria.

 In collaboration with Reckitt, Slum and Rural Health Initiative (SRHIN), and the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA), he plays a leadership role as the Senior Programme Officer at SRHIN in a transformative initiative to improve the practice of handwashing, hygiene, and sanitation, to about 6 million Nigerians between 2019 and 2025. 

*Dr. Oladoye with representatives from Reckitt Nigeria and the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA).

With over 5 years of experience as a public health professional, Dr Oladoye has played a pivotal role in the Dettol Quest Hygiene Program that has reached hundreds of schools, health facilities and communities across 3 states in Nigeria since 2019. 

The Dettol Quest Hygiene Program, provides hygiene kits, materials, and structured education, which has led to a notable improvement in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours associated with sanitation and hygiene practices in Nigeria.

*Group photo with some of the project beneficiaries (students) at the Dettol Quest Hygiene Program closeout event in Lagos, Nigeria. 

The most recent rigorous impact assessment conducted in 2023 led by Dr Oladoye spanned through students, community members, and mothers/ pregnant women via pre-implementation (baseline) and post-implementation (endline) surveys. The results showed remarkable improvement in the knowledge, attitude and practice of the project’s beneficiaries.

Following former President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration for the Open Defecation-Free Nigeria by 2025 Order, Dr Oladoye is one of Nigeria’s leading Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) advocates whose projects on WASH have been presented at several state and national stakeholders meetings on WASH.

*Dr. Oladoye during the impact assessment presentation at the closeout event in Lagos, Nigeria. 

This includes the recent closeout event that held in Lagos, drawing a distinguished gathering of stakeholders, including Reckitt Nigeria, The Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA), Slum and Rural Health Initiative (SRHIN), the Federal Ministry of Education, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), and other pivotal figures in the fields of public health and education.

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Health and Safety

NDLEA Arrests 92 Suspects, Seizes 217kg Illicit Substances In Kaduna



NDLEA arrests India-bound businessman with 9.40kg heroin in Lagos

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Kaduna State Command, has arrested 92 suspects and seized 217.02kg of illicit substances since the beginning of 2024.

The state Commander of NDLEA, Mr Samaila Danmalam, disclosed in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Kaduna.

According to him,  the suspects comprise 88 males and four females.

He added that the seized substances included Indian hemp, cocaine, heroin, tramadol and methamphetamine.

The commander said that NDLEA operatives raided 19 illicit drugs in the state during the period.

He said that the command secured the conviction of 24 suspects and charged  25 to court during the period.

“ln its drug demand reduction efforts, 29 drug users were counselled while seven drug addicts were successfully rehabilitated.

“In a bid to dissuade members of the public from illicit drug use and trafficking, enlightenment campaigns were carried out at various locations targeting 6,956 participants.

The commander called on members of the public to provide useful and timely information to the command, saying the fight against drug abuse and trafficking requires the support of all Nigerians.

  • NAN
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Health and Safety

Enugu Hospital Detains Nnewi Woman, Her Triplets Over N352,350 Delivery Bill



Gov. Soludo appoints CPS, MD/CEOs, others

A private hospital, Praise and Grace Hospital and Maternity, Enugu, has detained Mrs Joan Orajiobi and her triplets over the family’s inability to pay the delivery bill of N352,350.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Orajiobi, a native of Nnewi in Anambra, gave birth to two girls and a boy in the hospital in Enugu on New Year’s Day.

Speaking to NAN from the hospital on Friday, Orajiobi, who lives at Ologo Quarters, Uwani Enugu, said she had been discharged on Jan. 8 but held by the hospital due to their inability to complete the hospital bill.

She said the hospital billed them a total of N482,350, but that her husband was only able to pay N130,000, the remaining balance of N352,350.

“The bill amounted to that because I gave birth through Caesarian Section (CS).
“I am a hairdresser. I had two girls already before this pregnancy came in May, but I never knew I was pregnant with triplets until the scan which showed that l was carrying twins.

Gov. Soludo appoints CPS, MD/CEOs, others
*Gov. Soludo of Anambra State

“I am pleading to Nigerians, organisations especially the governors of Enugu and Anambra States, to come to my rescue and assist us with financial support. I want to go home and take care my children.

“Anybody that is touched by our condition can reach and assist us through my husband’s Access Account Number 0043854232, Account Name: Nchekwube Orajiobi C. and his WhatsApp 08065846537,’’ she pleaded.

She added that she was always touched seeing other patients who came after them leaving the hospital while they were held because they could not pay.

The husband, Mr Cornelius Orajiobi, a trader, said they both hailed from Obiofia in Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra State.

He said he was excited to have triplets but regretted that it would be difficult for him and his wife to take care of the babies in terms of feeding.

“Nigerians should please assist us because this gift is bigger than what we can cater for alone.

“The N130,000 I deposited came from friends and well-wishers while I borrowed some.
“Apart from the medical bill, I need what I will use to bring up these kids,’’ he pleaded.

When contacted, the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Shedrack Emeribe, told NAN that he operated on Orajiobi without a deposit from the family.

He added that it was after four days of the operation that her husband deposited N60,000 before making it up to N130,000.
He explained that all the things they were requested for the delivery were not provided, stressing that the hospital provided it for them.

“I told the husband to make an initial deposit of N150,000 but he never paid a dime till a few days after CS. But I have to save those lives,” he said.

He said that the bill of N482,350 included surgery, theatre, drug fees, and Hospital Services. 

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