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Exam Malpractices: Buhari’s Gov’t Brings Charges Against Adeleke, 4 Others |RN

The Federal Government has charged Senator Ademola Adeleke (Osun West) and four others before the Federal High Court, Abuja, for allegedly engaging in examination malpractices.

Adeleke and others were accused in a four-count charge filed in the name of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) of fraudulently, through personation, registering as students of Ojo-Aro Community Grammar School, Ojo-Aro, Osun State to enable them sit for the National Examination Council (NECO) examination of June/July 2017.

Named with Adeleke, in the charge marked: FHC/ ABJ/CR/156/2018, are: Sikiru Adeleke, Alhaji Aregbesola Mufutau (the school principal), Gbadamosi Thomas Ojo (school Registrar) and Dare Samuel Olutope (teacher).

They will be arraigned before Justice I. E. Ekwo on October 31. Four weeks ago, the police declared Adeleke wanted over the offence and had asked him to report in the office of the Special Investigation Panel for prosecution.

President Muhammadu Buhari overruled the police because it was few days to the governorship election on September 22.

The police had earlier stated that on July 21, 2017, Osun State Police Intelligence Bureau (SIB) received and acted on an actionable intelligence about an ongoing examination malpractice involving senator Ademola Adeleke and Sikiru Adeleke at OJO/Aro Community Grammar School in Osun state. “When the police operative arrived at the school, only Sikiru Adeleke was found seated for the examination while senator Ademola Adeleke’s seat was vacant and was suspected to have escaped before the arrival of the Police operatives.

“Further investigation revealed that both senator Ademola Adeleke and his brother, Sikiru, registered and were sitting for the NECO 2017 as internal candidates impersonating students of the school, at the ages of 57 and 42, respectively. This crime was facilitated by the principal of the school, and two other members of staff of the school for which they are under investigation and being charged to court.  (The Sun)

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PDP Bigwigs Behind Oil Subsidy Scam, Says Keyamo |The Republican News

Director of the Buhari Campaign Organisation Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN) has alleged that most bigwigs in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) were involved in the oil subsidy scam which dogged former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
He said this on a Lagos-based national television programme, yesterday.

Keyamo also disclosed President Muhammadu Buhari is not paying oil subsidy as it was with past administrations.

He did admit, though, that the Buhari-led government is only paying “premium.

“What happened under the PDP government was that they were paying for products that did not land at all. That was the scam that was happening. It was fraud, the greatest stealing in the history of this country happened under them.

“All the PDP bigwigs were all involved in this subsidy scam. Then, you saw that many of them refunded money. As I said, they were paying for products that did not land at all, they will tell you they have brought product and you have to pay subsidy on those products.

“The NNPC officials knew, everybody knew that the products did not come at all. What did Buhari do when he came? He said he wanted to cleanse that industry, he said NNPC should take complete charge of importation.

“The government wanted to eliminate subsidy at that time, but, as the price of crude went up, the price of production went up, the price of the by-products also went up; its normal.”

He said at the point when oil was $28 to $30, government was not paying subsidy, but “the difference occurred when oil prices went beyond $43 per barrel, because that was the benchmark. As it rose beyond $43, the delta started, not subsidy. We started to pull away from N145.

“So, the landing cost came to N203/N205 and we are still selling for N145 and the president said you cannot suffer the masses. Now, how do they cover it? Not subsidy.

 

“The NNPC Act allows the NNPC to make refunds to the Federation Account. In other words, they can spend money and return the balance to the federation account, by law.”

Keyamo also described Nigeria as the best-performing economy in Africa.

“I need to remind Nigerians about the Gross Domestic Product growth. Of the 11 countries that went into recession around the world, Nigeria has exceeded all of them, in terms of GDP growth. None of them has crossed 1.4 to 1.5 percent, Nigeria is doing close to two percent GDP growth right now.

“Let us get that one clear. Forbes Africa has rated Nigeria as the best-performing economy in Africa. The results came out two-three weeks ago; we are the best-performing economy in Africa,” he reiterated.

But, the PDP fired back.

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, accused Keyamo of defending acts of corruption.

Ologbondiyan told Daily Sun that rather than the PDP, leaders of the opposition party are actually responsible for fuel subsidy scam.

“If, indeed, he said that, Festus Keyamo is speaking off the charge. Is it PDP leaders that put N58 tax on Nigerians for a litre of PMS? How much were we buying PMS before and how much is it sold now? So, it is totally off the charge to say that PDP leaders are responsible for subsidy scam.

“Didn’t they tell Nigerians that there was no subsidy in 2014?

“How much have they paid on subsidy; between 2015 and this year. And, how many did they claim are the number of vehicles using PMS, today, in Nigeria?

“The government that Festus Keyamo has come to defend, apart from being inept, is totally and absolutely corrupt and, as such, he is defending acts of corruption.”            (The Sun)

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Travel Ban Will Cause Capital Flight, Push Economy Into Recession, Says Atiku |RN

  Former Vice-President Atiku abubakar, President Muhammadu Buhari

Niyi  Odebode, Olusola Fabiyi, Eniola Akinkuotu, Ade Adesomoju and Oladimeji Ramon

 

President Muhammadu Buhari’s travel ban on 50 Nigerians over the Executive Order 6, on Sunday attracted more condemnations.

The Peoples Democratic Party and the Coalition of United Political Parties had on Sunday slammed Buhari for the executive order, saying it was meant to cow opposition members.

But more Nigerians and groups including the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, a human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), the Coalition for Nigeria Movement led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and a civil society group, Access to Justice, on Sunday lambasted the President, describing his action as draconian, clearly arbitrary, repressive and illegal.

Executive order’ll lead to capital flight, recession  – Atiku

Atiku, in a statement by his media office in Abuja, warned that the Executive Order which was recently signed by Buhari would lead to capital flight and another recession.

He also said that the statement by the Presidency banning 50 unnamed Nigerians from travelling out of the country, purportedly on the strength of Executive Order 6, was undemocratic.

He described the travel ban as another form of intimidation ahead of the 2019 elections. Atiku said he abhorred  any act of criminality, either financially or otherwise.

The presidential candidate, however,  warned that the rule of law must be the guide at all times or society would descend into anarchy.

He said it was wrong for the President to act under a mere suspicion that the suspects were  believed to have property overseas and were involved in tax dodging or other alleged financial infractions.

The statement partly read, “We must be unequivocal in saying that we abhor any act of criminality, financially or otherwise, but the rule of law must be our guide at all times or society will descend into anarchy.

“Thus, we find it most undemocratic that in a nation governed by the rule of law, a President who swore an oath to abide by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, does this.

“If past events are to be the judge, these 50 individuals will conveniently be critics and opponents of the Buhari administration.

“This is nothing short of intimidation ahead of the 2019 elections. This is what the Buhari administration did in Osun where they froze the accounts of the Adeleke family and then illegally and clandestinely paid N16.7bn to the Osun State Government to facilitate the daylight electoral robbery.”

The former Vice-President said “the Nigerian constitution guarantees every Nigerian citizen freedom of movement and freedom of association.”

This constitutional right, he added, could not be taken away except by a court order.

Atiku said, “If the Buhari administration wants to curtail the rights of Nigerians, then it must go to court and obtain a court order. Anything short of this is unconstitutional and extrajudicial.

“This sudden dictatorial act brings to mind President Buhari’s comments for which he was condemned by the international community and by the generality of Nigerians.

“While delivering an address at the annual general conference of the Nigerian Bar Association on August 26, 2018, President Buhari has said ‘where national security and public interest are threatened or there is a likelihood of their being threatened, the individual rights of those allegedly responsible must take second place, in favour of the greater good of society.’

“That was not only a faulty interpretation of the constitution, the statement also betrays the dictatorial and authoritarian mindset of President Buhari because only he gets to decide who and what threatens national security.”

Atiku recalled Buhari’s Decree Number Two of 1984, which he said, criminalised truth telling if it did not please the President.

He said that the recent action of the President merely showed that “dictators can grow old, but they can’t grow into democrats.”

Atiku said, “Under the Buhari administration, Nigeria has witnessed an unprecedented capital flight out of the nation to the extent that we are not even listed amongst the top 10 recipients of Foreign Direct Investment in Africa in the latest ranking by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

“It is salient to note that we were number one under the last Peoples Democratic Party administration.

“Funnily enough, the Buhari administration was unable to stop Abdulrasheed Maina, their financier, from leaving the country after he was illegally brought back by them and reinstated to the federal service with double promotion.

“It is precisely this type of draconian orders that have chased investors away from Nigeria and it is precisely why Nigerians will chase this recession-friendly government away from power on February 16, 2019, so we can begin the job of Getting Nigeria Working Again.”

Executive order targeted at opposition – Obasanjo coalition

On its part, the Coalition for Nigeria Movement led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo lambasted the Buhari-led Federal Government for imposing a travel ban on 50 politically-exposed persons.

The CNM said this in a statement by its Director, Strategic communications, Akin Osuntokun, on Sunday.

According to the coalition, the ban, which was done in line with Executive Order 6, was a subversion of the rule of law, reminiscent of military decrees.

The CNM also described the new executive order as an attempt to muzzle the opposition.

The CNM said Buhari had been planning to use security agencies to achieve a hidden agenda hence his decision to compromise the nation’s security architecture.

The statement read in part, “Recall that journalists were jailed on account of a similar decree that criminalised any reporting that embarrassed his government. Against this background, what the Executive Order 6 portends is a significant step towards the creation of a police state.

“It is also against this background that the personalisation of the national security architecture makes sense. Otherwise, there would have been no need to continue to reinforce the lopsided and parochial subversion and subordination of the security agencies to a personality cult agenda, at every available opportunity.”

It’s counterproductive to FG’s anti-graft war – SERAP

Also, an anti-corruption advocacy group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, also condemned the travel ban, warning that it would be counterproductive to the government’s anti-corruption campaign.

The group, in a statement by its Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale, contended that the ban was “clearly arbitrary, repressive and illegal,” demanding that the Federal Government should lift it immediately.

This was as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Mike Ozekhome, argued that the travel ban was a usurpation of the power of the judiciary by the executive.

Ozekhome, who argued that the ban was targeted at the members of opposition political parties and voices critical of the Federal Government, described it as “an extreme panicky measure of desperation” by President Buhari ahead of the next year’s general elections.

SERAP, in its statement, argued that the travel ban violated both domestic and international laws that protect citizens’ human rights.

SERAP said, “The order banning 50 alleged high-profile corrupt Nigerians from travelling abroad without any legal basis and a judicial authorisation is clearly arbitrary, repressive and illegal, as it breaches constitutional rights and the country’s international obligations, which protect the rights to freedom of movement, to leave one’s country, to privacy, and to due process of law.

“Rather than performing its declared objective of preventing dissipation of stolen assets, the travel ban would seriously undermine the government’s expressed commitment to combat grand corruption and violate the country’s international human rights obligations.

“The travel ban will play right into the hands of high-profile corrupt officials by feeding into the narrative that the fight against corruption is targeted only at political opponents.”

On his own part, Ozekhome said the ban was a violation of the principle of separation of powers.

Falana, AJ ask Buhari to lift travel ban on 50 VIPs

Also,  a human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), and a civil society group, Access to Justice, faulted the travel ban.

Falana in a statement asked the President to immediately withdraw the travel ban, but Access to Justice called for the total cancellation of the entire PEO6, which it argued “is unquestionably anti-democratic and a veiled snare for citizens’ rights.”

“The PEO is also a gratuitous piece of dangerous precedent that opens the door to an uncontrollable dictatorship; it can be used arbitrarily and vindictively to fight and muzzle political opposition, and promote wholly politically-partisan objectives,” the Director of Access to Justice, Mr. Joseph Otteh, added in a statement on Sunday.

In separate statements on Sunday, Falana and Access to Justice, said the executive order could not be the basis for preventing suspects from travelling.

Falana described the travel ban as “superfluous” because either the court or the various anti-corruption agencies had already seized the passports of the affected persons.

He added that it was an “ingenious design to expose the Buhari administration to ridicule.”

He said, “If the Federal Government had done some background check it would have discovered that the names of the 50 VIPs have long been placed on security watch list while their passports have been impounded by the anti-graft agencies or the courts as one of the conditions for admitting them to bail.

“It is public knowledge that whenever the defendants wish to travel abroad for medical treatment they usually apply for the interim release of their passports. Since the courts have taken judicial notice of the perilous state of medical facilities in the country such applications are usually granted.”

He called on President Buhari to immediately withdraw the ban.

He said, “For the umpteenth time, I am compelled to caution the Buhari administration to wage the war against the menace of corruption within the ambit of the rule of law.”

On its part, the Access to Justice, in rejecting the travel ban, called for the reversal of the PEO6 which it said could be vindictively used to fight and muzzle political opponents, and promote wholly politically-partisan objectives.

Otteh said in the statement that the judgment on which the Federal Government anchored the decision for the issuance of the travel ban, made it clear that the Attorney General of the Federation who is the coordinator of the implementation of the PEO6 could not deny owners access to their assets without a court order.

Its director said in a statement, “It is also legally warrantless; the government claims the judgment of Hon. Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu on the case involving PEO 6, gives it authority to bar the named persons.

“This is so very untrue: the judgment clearly required the government to implement PEO 6 in a way that is consistent with the rule of law; the court ruled that the government (Attorney General) could not block, freeze or confiscate any funds or assets without an order of court! If the government cannot take property without an order of court, how could it legitimately bar persons (presumed innocent by the law), from exercising their rights to liberty and movement without an order of court?

“Access to Justice requests the Federal Government to immediately rescind this obnoxious Executive Order.

“In its stead, we ask for Presidential Executive Orders that mandate all persons and authorities, in line with the constitution, to obey all orders and judgments of courts immediately, release all persons ordered by courts to be set free, as well as pay reasonable living (minimum) wages to all workers!”

Why I don’t care about my travel ban – Fani-Kayode

However, a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, says he is not moved by the decision of the  Buhari-led government to bar him from travelling.

Fani-Kayode said in a statement that his passport had been with the courts and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission since 2008 thereby making it impossible for him to travel.

The ex-minister, however, said he pitied those who needed medical attention but had also been placed on the list of 50 persons not allowed to travel.

He said, “I could not give a damn that my name is on the list of 50 members of the opposition and prominent Nigerians that have been placed on a travel ban because nothing that Buhari does surprises me.

“I have not left Nigeria since 2008 because my passport has been with the EFCC and the courts for the last 10 years and they have refused to give it to me and allow me to travel. Those on the travel-ban list that need to travel abroad for medical attention or to see their loved ones are the ones I feel sorry for.

“For me, travel ban or no travel ban, I have no intention of leaving Nigeria anytime soon because I am one of those that will be on the forefront in the struggle to liberate our country and  ensure that we get Buhari out of power in the next few months.”

Fani-Kayode said Buhari had shown repeatedly that he was a despot and would do anything to muzzle the opposition in order to retain power.    (Punch)

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Obi Of Onitsha Wants Osu Caste Culture Abolished |The Republican News

                                      Obi of Onitsha

Tony Okafor, Awka

 

The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, has said the time has come for the Osu caste system to be abolished in Igboland.

Describing the practice as antiquated, unlawful and obnoxious, Achebe called for a concerted war against the act.

The Osu caste system, our correspondent learnt, is a practice in Igbo land that discourages social interaction and marriages with a group of persons regarded as slaves. The stigma is transferable to even children yet unborn.

Speaking at a workshop on Thursday in Awka, Anambra State, organised by the Initiative for the Eradication of Traditional and Cultural Stigmatisation in Our Society,  a non-governmental organisation, Achebe said the practice had no place in a 21st century.

He urged traditional rulers in Igbo land to stamp out the practice in their domains, while hailing the body (IFETACSIOS) for its initiative in that regard.

He said, “There is the need for people from all parts of Igbo land to come together and agree that this obnoxious cultural practice, which our fore fathers introduced, no longer have effect on us and our children.

“We are happy with the coming of IFETACSIOS group on this project and we are going to collaborate with them to ensure we end this bad culture that has held our people backward for many years now”

The President of IFETACSIOS, Oge Maduagwu, in her address, sought the help of the traditional rulers in the area in the abolition of the Osu caste system.

Maduagwu said abolishing the system would restore the dignity of human beings, promote peaceful relationship and reduce communal conflicts.

She said the Osu caste system had wreaked havoc on the socio-cultural, economic and political lives of the Igbo.

She said, “In Igbo land, it is very sad to note that a young man and young lady might be courting, but the moment either of the two discovers that the other is an osu, he or she will opt out of the relationship.”

According to her, the group has extended the advocacy on the abolition of the harmful practice to Imo and Enugu states.

Maduagwu disclosed that they would visit Ebonyi and Abia before the end of 2018, saying, “The big dream of IFETACSIOS is the coming together of all the eastern states of Imo, Ebonyi, Anambra, Enugu and Abia to sign an accord on the abolition of Osu caste system one day.”

She said apart from meeting with the leadership of the traditional rulers, the group had engaged various community leaders to tackle peculiar challenges faced by communities with a view to ensuring total eradication of the system.  (Punch)

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Executive Order 6: Court Backs Buhari On Seizure Of Looters’ Assets |RN

                                            President Muhammadu Buhari

Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

 

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday validated the Presidential Executive Order 6 of 2018 which provides for the interim seizure of assets linked to ongoing criminal trials and investigations.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on July 5, 2018, issued the Presidential Executive Order, but two lawyers, Ikenga Ugochinyere and Mr Keneth Udeze, instituted a suit before the court to challenge its constitutionality.

Delivering judgment on Thursday, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu dismissed the lawyers’ suit for lacking in merit and affirmed that the President had the constitutional powers to issue the PEO as long as it did not encroach into the principles of separation of powers.

She ruled that the PEO was issued as a policy directive for the implementation of provisions of existing laws, adding that it also recognised the right of every citizen to approach the court for redress if aggrieved by the enforcement of the PEO.

The plaintiffs had on July 13, 2018, filed the suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/740/2018, arguing that the PEO contravened constitutional provisions.

They argued that by virtue of the combined effect of sections 5, 36 and 43 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the President lacked the power to issue the PEO.

They maintained that the President’s act or conduct in issuing the PEO interfered with or encroached into the ownership of assets or properties of any person who had not been found guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.

The plaintiffs had through their lawyer, Mr Obed Agu, joined President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, as the defendants.

But dismissing the suit on Thursday, Justice Ojukwu agreed with the defendants’ lawyer, Mr Tijani Gazali, that the PEO could only be enforced in line with the provisions of the law and did not amount to an infringement of the rights of the affected person, who also had the right to approach the court to seek redress.

She ruled that contrary to the plaintiffs’ contention, the Executive Order 6 did not violate the rights of citizens to fair hearing and to own property under sections 35 and 43 of the 1999 Constitution, but was informed by the President’s willingness to preserve suspected property from being dissipated while an investigation or criminal trial linked to it was ongoing.

“What the President has demonstrated by the Executive Order in question is his willingness to ensure the prevention of the dissipation of assets and funds connected with the commission of the offence of corruption and other related offences, until the determination of any corruption-related matter against the person or firm,” the judge held.

However, the judge made a little modification to the PEO which she noted seemed to give the AGF the discretion on when to seek the court’s permission to seize any property suspiciously linked to corruption or other criminal activities.

The judge, in modifying the order, directed that the AGF, who is assigned the coordinating role by the PEO, must, at all times, obtain a court order before seizing any asset.

While reiterating that the PEO must be implemented in accordance to the principles of the rule of law, she added that the coordinating role imposed on the AGF by the PEO was subject to Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution and must be predicated on the existence of facts.

The judge ruled, “It is pertinent that the honourable Attorney General of the Federation, as the overseer of the activities of all the law enforcement authorities listed in the 2nd Schedule to the Executive Order, should ensure due process and uniformity of purpose.

“It is the further opinion of this court that the honourable Attorney General of the Federation first obtains an order of the court in all circumstances before blocking or freezing or confiscating such funds or assets pending the conclusion of an investigation or legal action.

“An application may be made ex parte and if the court is satisfied with the averment and information contained in the application, the order may be granted.

“It is, however, recommended that an order of the court in that regard include a period of investigation or subsequent date. Where the court is of the opinion that the party to be affected by the order should be put on notice, the court should make that determination.”

Affirming the constitutionality of the PEO and the need to implement it in line with the rule of law, the judge ruled, “In the final analysis, what this court has to say is as follows:

“The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has powers under sections 5 and 315 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to issue Executive Orders on routine administrative matters, to state’s policies, especially for the internal operations of state’s agencies insofar as it does not step on the toes of legislative and judicial powers under the constitution.”  (Punch)

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Marafa Backs INEC, Says APC Has No Candidate In Zamfara |The Republican News

                                          Senator Kabiru Marafa

Leke Baiyewu, Abuja

 

The lawmaker representing Zamfara-Central Senatorial District, Senator Kabiru Marafa, has expressed his support for the position of the Independent National Electoral Commission that his party, the All Progressives Congress, does not have candidates for the 2019 general election in Zamfara State.

Marafa, who is a governorship aspirant on the platform of the APC, stated that no primary was held and there was no consensus arrangement reached among the party’s aspirants in the state.

Fielding questions from journalists in Abuja on Thursday, Marafa said, “I read the letter from INEC where they quoted sections of the law that influenced their position. I also read the response made by the APC National Chairman (Adams Oshiomhole). I want to believe the chairman has been misled by the APC’s electoral committee that went to Zamfara. But as a stakeholder who was present and witnessed the whole process that happened, there was no election in Zamfara on Saturday, October 7, 2018.

“Also, there was no consensus from anybody or by anybody. So, the election committee reported in the contrary. I think that was absolutely wrong. I always stand by the side of the truth. I want to say the truth even if it is against me.”

Marafa, whose running battle with Governor Abdulaziz Yari led to the polarisation of the APC in Zamfara, stated that he was still a member of the ruling party but that if the party did anything wrong, he would not hesitate to point it out.

He said, “I’m an APC member to the core, and I’m still with the APC, notwithstanding that the chances are becoming bleak, maybe for me as a politician. But I believe in the party. If the party does anything wrong, I should have the courage to say this thing is wrong. If the party has any way within the law to fill in any candidate, I will be happy, but not when the issues are based on a wrong foundation. So, let us address the issues the way they are.

“We are going into elections and the desire of every party is to win and win without any litigation, divert attention and waste resources. I would not want to see one happening to me. So, by and large, the only thing I saw wrong in the letter is the assertion that there was a consensus.  There was no consensus. We are governorship aspirants but some people stepped down.

“For the remaining five aspirants, there was no consensus till the end of the exercise. The truth of the matter is that the APC electoral committee tried to achieve a consensus among the aspirants for the governorship and senatorial aspirants, but the two factions of the party could not agree.

“If you force any consensus or you claim there was one, there is going to be a revolt that there was no consensus, and anybody and some have the right to go to court. But if under the law, the APC has the right to field candidates, they can go ahead to do it without recourse to either election or consensus. Let us get one thing clear and correct. That there was no election, no consensus.”  (Punch)

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EFCC Vows To Arrest Innoson Chief, Chukwuma |The Republican News

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has vowed to arrest the Chairman, Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited, Innocent Chukwuma, in order to face fraud charges in court.

The EFCC spokesman, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, said this in a statement on Wednesday shortly after Justice Olusola Williams of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, struck out the case of fraud it instituted against Chukwuma.

The court struck out the case after the anti-graft agency failed to produce Chukwuma in court to face trial.

Chukwuma and his company, Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited, were to be arraigned on four counts of conspiracy to obtain by false pretences, obtaining by false pretences, stealing and forgery.

The defendants allegedly committed the offences between 2009 and July 2011 in Lagos.

The defendants were alleged to have conspired to obtain, by false pretences, containers of motorcycles, spare parts and raw materials, the property of Guaranty Trust Bank, from Mitsui OSK Lines Limited, Apapa, Lagos.

They were also alleged to have fraudulently induced staff of Mitsui OSK and Maersk Line to deliver to them, via their clearing agents, the goods that were imported from China in the name of GTB by pretending that they were authorised by the bank to clear the goods.

The defendants were said to have forged a bill of lading numbered 598286020 of Maersk Line Limited and 11007950841 of Mussui O.S.K. Line by knowingly putting a false GTB stamp and signature of the bank employee.

However, since the suit was instituted, first before Justice Mojisola Dada of the same court, the defendant had refused to appear in court to face his trial.

In a short ruling on Wednesday, Justice Williams held that it was the responsibility of the EFCC to produce him in court.

“This court is not an investigator or a prosecutor. This court cannot waste precious judicial time prosecuting a matter that is going nowhere.

“This is a criminal matter that can be instituted anytime the prosecution is ready.  The court hereby strikes out the matter,” the judge held.  (Punch)

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