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Alleged N321bn fraud: Court stops Bauchi State Govt from prosecuting 2 ex-governors



A Federal High Court, Abuja has restrained the Bauchi Government from prosecuting two former governors over alleged misappropriation of the state’s funds and assets.

They are Malam Isa Yuguda and Mohammed Abubakar Delivering judgment, Justice Inyang Ekwo, also nullified the indictment of Yuguda and Abubakar by the state Assets and Funds Recovery Committee set up by Gov. Bala Mohammed to probe his two predecessors.

Justice Ekwo, who declared the committee as unlawful, restrained the state from acting on the panel’s report to prosecute them.

The newsmen report that the committee had indicted the two immediate-past governors of misappropriating the state’s assets and funds to the tune of N321.5 billion.

Yuguda and Abubakar had filed the suit to challenge the government’s report in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/460/2020.

Other defendants in the suit include the Department of State Services (DSS), the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)‎.

They claimed, among others, that not only was the committee set up by the incumbent governor under a repealed law but it was also intended to rubbish their reputation.

They added that the committee sat and conducted its businesses, without hearing from them, thereby denying the right to a fair hearing, guaranteed under Section 36(1) of the Constitution.

The plaintiffs contended that the Bauchi State Public Property and Funds Recovery Tribunal Law (2017) under which the committee was set up, has since been repealed by the state’s House of Assembly.

They stated that the committee, in its report, allegedly indicted them “of sundry forms of spurious financial fraud, public breach of trust, misappropriation and embezzlement of public funds of Bauchi State,” among others.

In his judgment, the judge held that Bauchi State could not prove that its committee was validly set up.

The judge noted that despite being invited to submit the executive instrument with which it constituted the committee, the Bauchi State Attorney General failed to honour the subpoena and also did not tender any instrument upon which the state acted.

The judge declared that the Bauchi government and security agencies named in the case lacked the “power or authority to initiate or cause to be instituted any investigation against the plaintiffs or their past administrations as governors based on the committee’s report when they were neither heard nor afforded an opportunity to be heard by the committee.

Ekwo also declared the entire proceedings and the purported report of the committee as unconstitutional, null and void on the grounds that they violated the plaintiffs’ right to a fair hearing.

He then issued an order of perpetual injunction restraining the state government and other defendants in the case from initiating or causing to be initiated, an investigation, inquiry against the plaintiffs or their past administrations as governors of the state, or prosecuting/arraigning them on the basis of the committee report.(



Alleged BVN fraud: Investigation outcome’ll determine fate of ex-agitators -PAP



Alleged BVN fraud: Investigation outcome’ll determine fate of ex-agitators -PAP

 The Office of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) says findings from the ongoing investigation into multiple accounts of ex-agitators linked to one BVN will determine the fate of protesting beneficiaries.

This is contained in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja by Mr. Freston Akpor, Media Aide to the PAP Interim Administrator.

Akpor disclosed that the names of all those involved in the alleged BVN fraud had been forwarded to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) for investigation.

He said that the Amnesty Office also blamed bank officials for colluding with the ex-agitators to aid the “financial crime”.

“So, investigation is ongoing, I must tell you there is nothing the PAP can do now over this matter until the investigation is concluded and then the ONSA will take a decision on what to do.

“This is a financial crime which is why the ONSA is investigating the matter.

“The policy is one name, one BVN. But in a situation where you have more than 30 names linked to one BVN, it becomes an issue.

“We discovered that 513 names were linked to 1370 accounts. And these are the people who have cases to answer.

“As it stands, those who are protesting are the people who fall within those who have multiple accounts linked to their BVN,” Akpor explained.

On the purported “gentleman agreement” with leaders of the ex-agitators to receive monies in bulk to pay the boys, Akpor said

“it is these same boys, that also complained that when the money is collected by these so-called leaders, the money doesn’t trickle down to them”.

A handful of ex-agitators on Tuesday gathered at the premises of the National Assembly to express anger over the stoppage of their monthly N65,000 stipends.

The PAP office had explained that the stoppage of payment was necessitated by the issues surrounding the BVNs of beneficiaries.

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Lawyer bags 7-year imprisonment for alleged N1.1bn fraud



Lawyer bags 7-year imprisonment for alleged N1.1bn fraud

 … To pay N100m fine; and another N100m as compensation to victims of crime***

 A Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday sentenced Umar Hussaini, a private lawyer, to seven years imprisonment with an option of fine.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, in a judgment, found Hussaini guilty of the two-count charge preferred against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).

The charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/74/2020 and filed by the ICPC on behalf of the Federal Government, Hussaini, who was the sole defendant, was charged with laundering Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) funds to the tune of N1.1 billion.

After Justice Ojukwu convicted Hussaini, two witnesses, one of whom was a legal practitioner, Mr. Amobi Nzelu, testified about Hussaini’s good character, while praying to the court for leniency.

They begged the court to give the sentencing with an option of fine.

The convict, who was said to have four wives with children and aging parents, was said to be the breadwinner of the family.

He also begged the court to temper justice with mercy and sentence him with an option of fine.

He said he had never cheated anyone or committed any crime before and that the responsibility of discipline and catering for the children was on him.

Naziru Umar, the convict’s lawyer, broke into tears while pleading on behalf of his client for mercy.

Umar prayed that the sentencing should be with an option of fine in accordance with the provisions of Section 6(c)(1)(2) of the FHC Corruption and Other Related Offences Sentencing Guidelines and Practice Direction, 2015.

 ICPC Lawyer, Olubunmi Ikupolati, who drew the attention of the court to Section 11 of the AFF Act, 2006, urged the court to convict him with restitution of the funds stolen.

But Umar urged the court to discountenance Ikupolati’s application, saying such a request would amount to double jeopardy since his client was also facing a civil matter before the FCT High Court.

Ikupolati urged the court to uphold his argument. He said the issue of double jeopardy did not arise here since there was no existing judgment on the matter.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Ojukwu handed down a seven-year jail term on each count of the charge with an option of fine of N50 million each on each of the two counts.

The judge, however, ordered that the sentencing would run concurrently.

Ojukwu equally ordered Hussaini to pay the sum of N100 million as compensation to the victims of the crime, Mr. Yemi Obadeyi and the company, Cambial Limited.

She ordered the convict to be remanded in prison pending the fulfillment of the terms of the fine.

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Court Sentences Ogunlana Drive Domestic Staff to Death, for Killing Employer, Daughter



Court Sentences Ogunlana Drive Domestic Staff to Death, for Killing Employer, Daughter

An Ikeja High Court on Monday sentenced a domestic staff, Joseph Ogbu to death by hanging for killing his employer, an 89-year-old woman Ajoke John and her daughter, Oreoluwa in Lagos.

 Justice Modupe Nicole-Clay held that the prosecution had sufficiently proven the three-count charge bordering on armed robbery and murder against the convict.

Nicole-Clay held that the defendant confessed to the crime as he admitted to living with the deceased and he was the only witness of the incident.

“He killed Adejoke by strangling her and  Oreoluwa by stabbing her to death as the defence did not raise an objection to the admissibility of the confessional statement, there is no doubt that the defendant confessed to the crimes.

“I have considered the evidence of the security guard, an Okada man, one Yahya Ibrahim, the house help and a police Inspector.

“The defendant could not give an explanation as to what he was doing with all the stolen items he was found with as at about 2 a.m on the date he was arrested.

“The court is satisfied with the total evidence to establish the guilt of the defendant.

“This court has found Joseph Ogbu guilty of these heinous crimes and you are hereby sentenced to death by hanging. May God have mercy on your soul,”

The convict, while gesticulating, pleaded for mercy and prayed the court for mercy.

The convict said in pidgin English, “the mama no die for my presence. I beg for mercy,”

The defence counsel, Mr Moses Enema, in his allocution,  prayed the court to have mercy on the convict

“The defendant is a first-time offender, a son to a young widow who is largely dependent on this son.

“In the course of the trial, my lord, the defendant was very remorseful, it is an indication that he is willing to turn a new leave. We do pray the court to temper justice with mercy,” Enema said.

The state counsel, Mr Olarewaju Daud, however, urged the court to convict the defendant as charged.

Daud told the court that the convict committed the offences at 9.30 p.m. on Ogunlana Drive, Surulere Lagos.

The prosecution submitted that the defendant killed Oreoluwa by stabbing her to death, and robbed the deceased of her car, phones and Plasma TV while armed with a knife.

He also said the convict, while armed with a knife, robbed the octagenarian of her Toyota Camry Saloon car, with Registration No. FST 104 CW, LG plasma TV, motorway handset, one Gionee handset, one Nokia phone, one i-Tel Phone and one power bank.

The offence, the prosecutor said, contravened the provisions of sections 222 and 297 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, (2015).

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