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Olejeme: Court remands ex-chairman NSITF in EFCC custody, over Alleged public funds diversion

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2 in court for alleged unlawful possession of hemp

An FCT High Court sitting in Jabi on Thursday ordered that the former board chairman of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Ngozi Olejeme, be remanded in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s ( EFCC) custody, until Friday.

The judge, Justice Maryam Hassan gave the order after listening to both counsel submissions on the defendant’s bail application.

She, therefore, directed that the defendant should be in the EFCC’s custody pending the ruling on the application for bail on Friday.

Olejeme is standing trial over an alleged case of criminal conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of public funds and money laundering.

The offence it was alleged she committed between 2012 and 2015 when she was the board chairman of the NSITF.

The few-count charge bordering on mismanagement, giving false statements, taking a kickback from contracts and diversion of NSITF funds into personal accounts and companies she had an interest in, formed the basis for the defendant’s arraignment.

One of the charges alleged that the funds were diverted through the award of suspicious contracts to proxy companies.

The offence according to prosecution contravened the provisions of sections 8,19 (1) (b) (1), punishable under the Corrupt Practice & other Related Offence Act 2000 and Section 17, (1) (2), 39 of EFCC (Establishment) Act, 2004 and punishable under the same section.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against her.

With the defendant pleading not guilty, the prosecution counsel, Steve Odiase prayed for a date for hearing to enable the prosecution to prove her case against the defendant.

The defendant counsel, Paul Erokoro, SAN, therefore, informed the court of the bail application dated and filed on Oct.18 before it.

Erokoro submitted that the application was supported by a 20-paragraphs affidavit attached with six Exhibits.

He also informed the court that his client was not a flight risk, as she voluntarily returned to Nigeria when she heard that the prosecution wanted to question her.

Erokoro further stated that his client had been reporting to the Commission’s office as she was questioned and released on bail in 2017.

The counsel equally urged the court to grant his client bail on self-recognisance or in the alternative, in the most liberal terms.

He said the bail application was predicated on medical grounds as the defendant has been diabetic and hypertensive for 30 years.

In addition, the counsel said that the defendant has had four major surgeries in the U.S and South Africa.

He further stated that the defendant four months ago suffered a heart failure and got infected with Covid-19 virus in Sept.

He submitted in addition that the defendant had been scheduled for another follow-up surgery for Nov. in South Africa.

Erokoro said the defendant’s recent medical report from a medical facility stated that she required close medical monitoring as her medical status can lead to a medical emergency.

Odiase, on his part, responded that he was not opposing the bail application, but however, opposed to the granting of bail on self-recognizance as submitted by the defence counsel.

He said that there was no consideration for bail on self-recognizance in Section 165 (1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act ( ACJA),2015.

He urged the court to grant the defendant bail with reasonable surety.

The court, therefore, adjourned until Friday to rule on the bail application.

 

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Adamawa Violent Crimes: Police arrest 208 suspects in January, Recover AK47 riffles, locally fabricated guns

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Adamawa Violent Crimes: Police arrest 208 suspects in January, Recover AK47 riffles, locally fabricated guns

The Police Command in Adamawa says it has arrested 208 suspects in connection with various crimes in the state.

The Commissioner of Police (CP) Sikiru Akande, disclosed this at a news conference in Yola on Thursday.

Akande disclosed that 108 of the suspects had already been charged in court.

He disclosed that the suspects were arrested in connection with suspected Kidnapping, armed robbery, cattle rustling and other violent crimes.

According to him, seven AK47 riffles, seven locally fabricated guns, generators, and televisions among other exhibits, were recovered.

“Early this year the command renewed its commitment and designed a security template to deliver on the mandate of the IGP Usman Alkali Baba to leave a deepened legacy of Democratic system and credible electoral process in the country.

“From Jan. 1st to date, the command operatives carried out tactical and intelligence-driven patrols, raiding of criminal hideouts, rescue operations, stop and search operations, community policing, and engagement of stakeholders among others.

“These operations yielded positive results and a total of 208 suspects were arrested in connection with kidnapping, armed robbery, cattle rustling and other violent crimes, out of which 108 suspects were charged to court.”

Akande commended the government and people of Adamawa for the support and cooperation rendered to the command that yielded the success recorded.

He gave assurance that all the suspects would be diligently prosecuted upon completion of investigation.

“Those at large will equally be traced and made to face the wrath of the law,” he said.

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EDITOR’S PICK: Ayojimi, son of Popular Musician, Docked over alleged Wife Battery

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 Ayojimi Balogun, 33, son of popular “Juju” Musician, Queen Ayo Balogun, was on Thursday brought before a family court in Ikeja for allegedly beating his wife.

…Ayojimi pleads not guilty as wife appears in court with neck guard!***

 Ayojimi Balogun, 33, son of popular “Juju” Musician, Queen Ayo Balogun, was on Thursday brought before a family court in Ikeja for allegedly beating his wife.

Balogun, who resides at Oniru Estate, Victoria Island, Lagos State is charged with assaulting his wife by beating her.

Ayojimi pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Prosecutor, Insp. Ajayi Emmanuel told the court that the defendant committed the offence on Dec. 30, 2022.

Emmanuel said the defendant allegedly assaulted his wife, Jennifer Balogun, 27, by beating her.

He said the offence was contrary to Section 170 and punishable under Section 172 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2015.

Defence counsel Semilore Oluwataye urged the court to grant his client bail in the most liberal terms and promised that his client would be present at all the court proceedings.

The Magistrate, Mrs I.O. Raji admitted the defendant to a bail in the sum of N50,000 and two sureties, who must be residents of Lagos State.

Raji adjourned the case until Feb. 16 for mention.

The complainant, brought by the staff of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency, appeared in court with a neck guard.

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Alleged N23.338bn fraud: Court adjourns until March 6 for ex-minister Yuguda’s counsel to cross-examine EFCC witness

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An FCT High Court on Thursday adjourned until March 6 for counsel to former Finance Minister of State, Bashir Yuguda to cross-examine Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) witness.

An FCT High Court on Thursday adjourned until March 6 for counsel to former Finance Minister of State, Bashir Yuguda to cross-examine Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) witness.

Yuguda, ex-National Security Adviser (NSA), Rtd Col. Sambo Dasuki, and three others are charged with 25 counts bordering on alleged N23.3 billion fraud by the EFCC.

Others charged are former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, his son, Sagir, and their company, Dalhatu Investment Limited

Justice Yusuf Halilu fixed the date with the consensus of all the counsel in the matter after the prosecuting counsel Mr. Oluwaleke Atolegbe. prayed the court for an adjournment because his witness, Mr. Aliyu Mukadas a staff member of the Central Bank was not in court.

Mukadas who is the first EFCC witness (PW1) testified on Nov. 17.

He said that the witness was to be cross-examined by the defendant’s counsel.

There were no objections from counsel in the matter.

The witness in his testimony on that day told the court how N4.6 billion in the account of the office of the ONSA was moved to Dalhatu Investment.

EFCC had arraigned the defendants first before Justice Peter Affen, now of the Court of Appeal, on Dec. 24, 2015.

The matter was later transferred to Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf, now the FCT Chief Judge in October 2016.

The case could not take off since it was first brought to court largely due to the detention of the former NSA by the Department of State Service (DSS).

On May 24, 2022, the defendants were re-arraigned before Justice Yusuf Halilu on an amended 25-count -charge bordering on misappropriation, criminal breach of trust and receiving stolen property.

They all, however, pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them. 

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