They were charged in a fraud case before Justice Ayokunle Faji.
The Police charged them with an alleged N2.4billion shipping fraud, but the Attorney-General of the Federation later took over the case.
Others named in the charge are Charles Chukwuma, Maximian Chukwura, Mitsui Osk Lines and Anajekwu Sunny.
The prosecution is praying the court to order the arrest of Innoson Motors Chairman and his staff for failing to turn up to take their plea in the criminal charge.
Yesterday, Chukwuma and his staff were absent.
Prosecuting Counsel Mr. Julius Ajakaiye moved an application urging the court to order the absent defendants’ arrest.
He said the charge was served on them through a court-ordered February 8, 2016 substituted service following the AGF’s take-over of the case.
Ajakaiye said since then, the third and fourth defendants had been coming to court, while the first, second and fifth defendants “have refused, failed and neglected to appear in court till date”.
Consequently, he said the defendants were yet to take their plea and should therefore be compelled to appear.
He added that an April 12, 2016 amended charge could not be served on the absent defendants.
Ajakaiye urged the court to grant his application by ordering their arrest.
But defence counsel Chief George Uwechue (SAN) Prof. C. Mbadugha prayed the court to dismiss the application.
They argued that the court lacked jurisdiction to issue the warrant against the defendants “because they were not properly before the court”.
They said the application offends Order 6 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules, adding that there was no proper service on their clients.
The prosecution accused the defendants of conspiring to unlawfully falsify shipping clearance documents.
They were accused of “uttering” (presenting) the allegedly falsified shipping documents as collateral to Guaranty Trust Bank Plc to allegedly obtain a loan of N2.4billion.
The Federal Government claimed that the defendants committed the offence at Apapa wharf on October 10, 2013.
The alleged offence is contrary to sections 1(2) (c) and 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation 2004.
Justice Faji adjourned until July 3 for ruling.
Following the alleged killing of one Godwin Onoja by operatives of the Federal Operations Unit, (FOU) A of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), on Sunday in Ogun State, the service has detained four of its officers over the incident.
In a press statement obtained by our correspondent, the national Public Relations Officer of the command, DC Joseph Attah, said the service was in touch with the bereaved family of the deceased.
According to Attah, the Comptroller General of the service, Hameed Ali (rtd), has set up a panel led by the Zonal Coordinator, to investigate the killing and vowed that any officer implicated in the killing would be dealt with accordingly.
Recall that a Customs officer, ASCI Destiny Onebamho, on Sunday shot dead a Customs friend in a heated argument with members of a passenger bus in an attempt to intercept bales of used clothing.
However, the Customs spokesman said: “Following the unfortunate incident on Sunday February 17, 2019, at Sagamu Interchange involving Operatives of the Federal Operations Unit Zone A, which led to the death of a fellow citizen, Mr. Godwin Agada Onoja, the Nigeria Customs Service has continued to maintain close contact with the bereaved family.
“We are pained by this sad development and share the grief of losing a fellow compatriot in a seemingly avoidable circumstance. We are and will continue to take every necessary step that will cushion the pain associated with losing a dear one. Consequently, the Comptroller-General of Customs Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd), has directed a thorough investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the incident with the view to ensuring that justice is served.”
The PRO who assured that the outcome of the panel would be made public for all Nigerians, further stated that the officers whose rifle discharged would also face the panel as soon as he was fit.
“In line with this directive, the investigation panel headed by the Zonal Coordinator Zone A, ACG Kaycee Ekekezie, has interrogated and detained four members of the patrol team.
“The panel could not immediately conclude the investigation because the actual officer (ASCI Destiny Onebamho) whose riffle discharged is presently receiving medical attention as a result of attack following the unfortunate incident. He will face the panel as soon as he is fit to do so, to enable the panel to conclude investigations and recommend appropriate action(s).
“NCS is a reputable organisation known for integrity and responsibility. In line with our corporate values, we will not shield any operative found wanting in this ongoing investigation. The service appreciates the public concern and strong emotions drawn from the viral video with narratives that created various opinions.”
Nigerians will recall that in 2017, the service made public its investigation and dismissal of five officers implicated in the illegal release of the 661-pump action rifles from Apapa Port. The dismissed officers were immediately handed over for prosecution alongside the importer and agent. A prosecution is ongoing at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi Lagos. (The Sun)
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The Nigeria Customs Service said it recorded its highest ever monthly revenue of N140.4 billion in August 2018.
The Customs Public Relations Officer, Mr Joseph Attah revealed this on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to Attah, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd) said the improvement was as a result of the dogged pursuit of several reform programmes.
Ali highlighted some of the reforms to include strategic deployment of manpower and upgrade on the electronic systems from Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System to NICIS II which had succeeded in blocking leakages.
He also said the increase in revenue was as a result of strict enforcement of extant guidelines by the NCS Tariff and Trade Department and robust stakeholder engagements resulting in higher compliance.
The NCS boss said the increased disposition of officers and men to change their way of doing things for the better had impacted positively on the organisation’s productivity.
“The implementation of the three-pronged Presidential mandate of ‘Restructure, Reform and Raise revenue’ in NCS has continued to strengthen the service as a crucial contributor to national economy and Security.
“The service has effectively seized 156,090 bags of smuggled rice, 15,632 sets of military wears, 489,000 ammunition and other items.
“This is in addition to the highest monthly revenue collection of over N140 billion in August 2018.
“This positive harvest in the areas of anti-smuggling and revenue generation is a clear testimony of what can be achieved under a selflessly focused leadership,” Ali said in a statement.
The NCS boss called on Nigerians to support the Service by providing credible information that would help nip smuggling in the bud and generate the needed revenue for national development.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that in the month of July, the NCS declared N556.7 billion as revenue generated from January to June, 2018.
…says only lazy Nigerians now complain of hunger
Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) yesterday stressed that but for the love of country; President Muhammadu Buhari has no reason to remain in Aso Rock, in his current age of over 70 years.
The Customs boss, who stated this when he led the Buhari Support Organization to meet with the President, said Buhari has made a great sacrifice by choosing to abandon his comfort zone in order to serve Nigeria and improve the lives of the citizens.
“I have said it and I will repeat it here, Mr President, with all due respect, at 70 plus, with a good retirement benefit and with your house in Daura, if I were you, I will see no reason to be in this arena.
“But why are you here? It is because you love this great country. You left your comfort to serve Nigeria and that is why for those of us who love you for who you are, said we must follow you and ensure that your second term in this country becomes a reality,” he said.
Buhari had told a gathering of Nigerian citizens resident in South Africa in June 2015, a month after he was sworn in, that there was a limit to what he could do given that age was no longer on his side.
“I wish I became Head of State when I was a governor, just a few years as a young man. Now at 72, there is a limit to what I can do,” Buhari told his audience on the sidelines of the 25th assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Johannesburg, South Africa.
While speaking yesterday, Ali explained that the three years of the Buhari-led government has changed Nigeria for the better.
He said: “Today is 2018. Way back in 2014, for those who did not know when you talked about your integrity, your achievements as a governor, as a minister, those that have gone are the ones who will understand what we are talking. Those of us who have experienced these past years know exactly what it was.
“But today, 2018, those of us here know that your being president has changed this country. Three years into your tenure, the tremendous achievements that have been made, we have laid the foundation, we have started building roads, but Mr President, we must complete the building.
“What do we need to do? We must, as your loyalists and people who believe in this country, tell you that we are with you shoulder to shoulder and ensure that you are re-elected. And then the building will be completed so that never again will there because to destroy Nigeria,” he added.
Ali continued that: “For me, you have been my mentor in service and out of service and I have been fortunate enough to have worked very closely with you. And so when I say some of these things I am saying, it from the bottom of my heart because I know you, I know your commitment and your respect to this great nation.
“Mr President, it is always politics, and when politicians speak, they speak with two sides of the mouth. Some of us from the North-East were not praying in the mosques, some of us from the North-East had moved from our places of abode to settle somewhere else. And Mr President, here in the city, the seat of government, there were booms going off every day.
“Today, we can sleep with eyes closed, today I drive at midnight, today we can breathe the air and most importantly, those of us who are Muslims can pray in the mosques during Ramadan. That would never have happened. I remember as far as Kaduna is from the North-East, we could hardly sleep at night because of insecurity. Today, we have that security. What else are we looking for?
Ali said that with the achievement recorded by the government, only lazy people who chose not to work, are presently lazy.
“What more can we say in terms of growth of wealth? People say we are hungry; of course, the lazy must be hungry because if you do not work hard, Manna doesn’t fall from heaven.
“So when people say we are hungry, there was never a time in Nigeria that food is dropped in the mouth of the people and they can never be. I can go on and on and enumerate what you have done in just three years of your administration,” Ali said. (New Telegraph)
The Nigeria Customs Service, Tin Can Island Command, on Tuesday, intercepted a container laden with 440 arms and ammunition of various sizes and designs.
Speaking about the seizure, the zonal commander, Tin Can Island command, Monday Abue, who represented the Comptroller-General, NCS, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.), said that the cargo was shipped from Turkey.
He said that the consignment was declared as Plaster of Paris by the importer.
Abue explained that the container with registration number PONU 210024/1, was picked up based on intelligence report, adding that investigations were ongoing to unmask the importer.
According to him, the pump-action rifles were manufactured in the United States of America and Italy.
He said, “They are pump-action rifles of various designs and also the single-barrelled devices that you are familiar with.
“We discovered that they used POP to conceal the importation. We have arrested one defendant but due to security reasons, we don’t want to make it public for now because such information could hamper investigations which are still ongoing.”
According to Abue, the nation had been saved from another round of problem that the rifles would have caused.
The PRO of the command, Uche Eiesieme, in a statement issued after the press briefing, listed the rifles seized as 100 pieces of Black Tornado single-barrelled rifles, 75 pieces of Silver Magnum single-barrelled rifles, 50 pieces of Altar pump-action rifles, 215 pieces of Black single-barrelled rifles, among other accessories.
The development is coming after a similar seizure of 661 pump-action rifles early in the year by the NCS, Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’, Ikeja, along the Mile Two-Apapa Road in Lagos.
The rifles, according to the Comptroller-General of the NCS, were imported from Turkey and routed through the Apapa port.
Meanwhile, Sifax Group, owners of Ports and Cargoes Handling Services limited, has refuted the report carried by several online news media that the seizure was made inside the ports and cargo terminal.
The rebuttal was communicated to our correspondent on the telephone by the Corporate Affairs Manager, Sifax Group, Olumuyiwa Akande, on Tuesday. (Punchng.com)