Thursday, 21 October 2021

Alleged 3bn fraud: EFCC arraigns ex-NSITF boss, Ngozi Olejeme

The federal government on Thursday arraigned a former Chairman of the Board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Ngozi Olejeme, on a nine-count charge of abuse of office and fraud to the tune of N3 billion.

Olejeme who was arraigned before Justice Maryam Aliyu of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Jabi, Abuja pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had earlier declared Olejeme as a wanted person in relation to the said offences.

The anti-graft agency, in the nine-count charge, specifically accused Olejeme of abusing her office and position as then boss of NSITF. She was also accused of receiving bribe and awarding contracts without due process, among others.

However, following her not-guilty plea, the counsel to the EFCC, Steve Odiase, requested a date for the commencement of trial as well as the remand of the defendant pending trial.

Responding, Olejeme’s lawyer, Paul Erokoro (SAN), informed the court about his client’s bail application, which he urged should be granted either on self recognisance or on liberal terms.

Erokoro said the defendant returned to the country in 2017 on her own volition on hearing that she was declared wanted for questioning by the EFCC.

He said she reported to the EFCC, questioned and was granted bail, adding that she has been reporting to the EFCC since then.

Erokoro assured the judge that since the defendant has remained faithful to the bail granted her by the EFCC, she will be available for trial.

He added that the bail application was based on medical grounds, which include that she has been diabetic and hypertensiive for 30 years; she, in recent time, had four surgeries in the United States and South Africa.

Erokoro told the court that the defendant suffered heart failure four months ago and also contracted COVID-19, but is currently recovering from it.

He said the defendant is scheduled for one follow-up surgery next month in South Africa, and that his client would apply for permission to travel for that purpose.

However, Odiase while not opposing the bail application, argued that she be ordered to produce a surety pending the conclusion of the trial.

In a short ruling, Justice Aliyu adjourned till Friday for ruling on the bail application and ordered that the defendant be kept in the custody of the EFCC.

In one of the counts, Olejeme was alleged to have “dishonestly received the sum of N22,200,000.00” from a contractor with NSITF into her personal account No. 32327505058110 at GT Bank.

Olejeme was also accused of receiving $48,485,127.00, which was dollars equivalent of some funds received from contractors as “kickback”.

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Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Alleged N5bn fraud: Former aviation minister, Sen. Stella Oduah for arraignment November 22

Agency Report

AFederal High Court, Abuja on Wednesday fixed Nov. 22 for the arraignment of ex-Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah, over allegations bordering on fraud while she served in the office.

Although Oduah, who currently represents Anambra North Senatorial District at the National Assembly, was scheduled for arraignment before Justice Inyang Ekwo on Tuesday, the proceeding could not take place due to a public holiday.

However, a check at the court on Wednesday by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) revealed that the matter, though not on the cause list, had been fixed for Nov. 22 and Nov 23 for trial.

NAN reports that Justice Ekwo had, on July 12, threatened to issue a warrant of arrest against the former minister if she failed to appear in court by the next adjourned date (October 19).

The judge had given the warning after Dr Hassan Liman, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the alleged N5 billion trial against Oduah and eight others told the court that Oduah and one other defendant were not in court to take their plea.

The news agency also reports that the court had earlier fixed Feb. 9 for the arraignment of the former minister.

But due to the fact that she was not served with the court processes then, the arraignment could not go on.

The court also fixed April 19 for the arraignment but due to the strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), the matter could not hold.

The lawmaker is facing a fraud charge alongside others in a suit with number: FHC/ABJ/CR/316/20.

The anti-corruption agency is alleging that Oduah misappropriated public funds to the tune of N5 billion while serving as minister of aviation.

When the matter was called in the last adjourned date, Liman, who informed that the case was scheduled for arraignment, said the anti-corruption agency had carried out the court order made on February 9.

“On February 22, 2020, my lord made an order of substituted service on the 5th and 6th defendants in the trial.

“We have carried out the order my lord,” he had said.

NEWS: Details: How Fred Ajudua defrauded former Army Chief $8.4m in Kirikiri Prison

Soludo’s ‘Imo Is Not Anambra’ Claim enrages Imolites

Charles Chukwuma Soludo, the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for the November 6, 2021, Anambra Election has drawn the anger of the people of Imos state.

The 61year old over the weekend cast an unflattering light on Imo state.

While courting supports for his ambition with the presentation of his 72-page Campaign Agenda to the Anambra people in Lagos, Soludo claimed that “those who want to write result are causing violence to create the impression of insecurity so as postpone or hijack the election. We want to tell them: It is not possible. The election must be held because Anambra is not Imo.”

Soludo, who left the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for APGA in 2013 made the assertions while commenting on the spates of violence rocking Anambra state ahead of the election.

Emerging details have it that, stakeholders in Imo state find the comments credited to Soludo offensive and a desperate attempt at seeking support for his ambition.

The claim interpreted as portraying elections in Imo state as “fraudulent” is attracting massive condemnation for Soludo.

There are said to be ongoing moves by different groups to properly respond to the “unguarded” statement by the economist turned politician.

Further details revealed that it didn’t help the cause of the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) who lost the February 2010 Anambra State gubernatorial election as the candidate of the PDP that he was poorly received at Alaba Market, a stronghold of Igbo traders in Lagos State when he visited.

He was to have been shown little interest in his attempt to engage traders at the popular market

NEWS: Details: How Fred Ajudua defrauded former Army Chief $8.4m in Kirikiri Prison.

Release Nnamdi Kanu, de-proscribe IPOB, Igbo traditional rulers urges Buhari

 The Igbo traditional rulers from the South East Region of Nigeria have called for a de-escalation of conflict in the South-East between federal government forces and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), proposing terms of settlement for both sides for peace to reign.

Denouncing the incessant gruesome killings and destruction of property in the zone, the South-East Council of Traditional Rulers have asked President Buhari to de-proscribe IPOB and release the group’s leader Nnamdi Kanu from detention.

The proposition is contained in a statement co-signed by Eze Joseph Nwabeke, (Abia); Obi Nnaemeka Achebe, (Anambra); Igwe L.O. Agubuzu, (Enugu) and Eze E.C. Okeke (Imo), and made available to journalists on Tuesday in Owerri, Imo state.

“We believe that the dire situation in the country today calls for statesmanship, open and sincere dialogue in the search for compromises, not growing militarisation which may ultimately threaten the very existence of the country,” the statement reads.

The council called on all disaffected individuals and groups in the zone to sheath their swords and rally for mutual forgiveness and healing to end the internal strife.

“Cutting our nose to spite our face does not help our present situation; it is senseless to destroy our homeland, or be an accessory to its destruction, in order to prove our marginalisation,” the traditional rulers said.

They said the appeal became necessary to restore peace and normalcy, and end the “general atmosphere of fear and progressive militarisation in the geo-political zone.”

They urged IPOB and its affiliate units to immediately stop all provocative rhetoric and actions that promote violence, fear and lawlessness.

“As part of creating the enabling environment for reconciliation and peace building, the ongoing sit-at-home on Mondays or any other day in the South-East should end forthwith,” the council pleaded.


Details: How Fred Ajudua defrauded former Army Chief $8.4m in Kirikiri Prison

The trial of Fred Ajudua for allegedly obtaining money to the tune of $8.4m could not go on to yesterday, Monday, October 18, 2021, as his lawyer, Olalekan Ojo, SAN, sought an adjournment before Justice Josephine Oyefeso of the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ajah, Lagos.

This was informed yesterday by the Head, Media & Publicity of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren.

Ajudua allegedly defrauded a former Chief of Army Staff, Ishaya Bamaiyi, of $8.4m, while they both were in Kirikiri Prison, Lagos in 2004 for different offences.

Ajudua, alongside his accomplices, had allegedly approached Bamaiyi and convinced him that he could hire the legal services of Chief Afe Babalola, SAN, at the cost of $8.4m to help secure his release.

At the resumed sitting today, the prosecution counsel, S.K. Atteh, told the court that the prosecution received a letter from the defence counsel,Ojo,  stating that he would not be present in court and also sought an adjournment of the trial.
“In the letter, he also requested three days in December,” Atteh added.

He also told the court that after the case was filed in 2013, it suffered a series of preliminary objections till November 6, 2018 when the trial commenced.

“From the records of the court, it appears the defence counsel has little or no time for this case. The first prosecution witness has been in the witness box since November 6, 2018; and up until now, he hasn’t finished giving his evidence.

“We acknowledge that the defendant has the constitutional right to engage any counsel of his choice, but the counsel also has to have time for the case.

“It is not proper that the defence counsel has to be the one fixing dates for this case”, he further submitted.

Atteh, therefore, asked the court for a date in November.

He also submitted that “the defendant can engage another lawyer, if his lawyer is unavailable so as not to waste the time of the court.”

Justice Oyefeso, in a short ruling, held  that “I have noted the concerns of the prosecution, and the SAN must devote time for this criminal charge.

“We must ensure that the case is completed expeditiously and without further excuses.”

The matter was adjourned to November 15 and December 6, 2021 for continuation of trial.

NEWS: 16 army generals sacked despite NASS, AGF, Court orders



Sunday, 17 October 2021

Olota of Otta felicitates with Ooni Ogunwusi at 47

 By Lukman Omikunle

The Olota of Otta, Oba Adeyemi Obalanlege, Lanlege Ekun II on Sunday felicitated with the Arole Oduduwa Olofin Adimula, His ImperialMajesty, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi on his 47th birthday.

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Ogunwusi clocks 47 years of age on 17th October, 2021.

The Awori monarch, through the Olota Palace Secretary, Prince Adeyemi Sulaiman Olusesi, congratulated the Ooni on his birthday praying he lives long in good health and peaceful reign.

The birthday greetings as posted on Facebook by Olusesi read;

“Celebrating an Icon of African Royalty!

“Our most Revered Royal Father, the Arole Iganmode-Olofin, Olota of Otta, Awori Kingdom, His Majesty, Professor Adeyemi Obalanlege Ph.D (Lanlege Ekun II) felicitates with the Arole Oduduwa Olofin Adimula, His ImperialMajesty, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Babatunde Ogunwusi on the occasion marking his 47th birthday today 17th October, 2021.

“Happy Birthday Baba!

“…ę li ku leewe, afa’gba


NEWS: 2Baba’s marriage crisis: Pero breaks silence, says, the truth will come out soon

2Baba’s marriage crisis: Pero breaks silence, says, the truth will come out soon

“Very soon, the truth will be out for all to see clearly, without a doubt, no one is invincible, so please continue to enjoy the lies for anyway,”

Pero Adeniyi, the mother of Nigerian superstar singer, Innocent Idibia’s first child and two other children, has finally spoken on the allegation of her involvement in the lingering issues of the popular singer’s marriage crisis and family feud.

Annie Idibia, the wife of 2Face had in September took to Instagram to call out her husband for alleged infidelity involving Pero.

Annie Idibia in a now-deleted post, wrote, “What kind of man takes his kids to Disney and spends nights in the same apartment with his kids and their mother!

“How many times have you gone to see your kids with Pero and she stays with you and the kids under the same roof for nights?”

Mrs Idibia’s posts led to a reply from the singer’s brother that further broke into a war of words between her family, and her in-laws.

Pero in her reaction on Saturday, however, took to Instagram on Saturday to break her silence on the matter.

Pero, a US-based make-up artiste, who recently flew back to Nigeria, said she had decided to keep silent so as to guard her own version of the truth.

“You are asking me to speak, if I told you my truth, would you believe? Would you not poke holes in it? My truth is special to me, those that know me know the truth, that is all that matters.

“I will continue to guard it. Even the liar that started this madness knows the truth but needs the lie for relevance.

“Very soon, the truth will be out for all to see clearly, without a doubt, no one is invincible, so please continue to enjoy the lies for anyway,” Pero said.

Pero, who had three children for 2Face, also said she will continue to remain unbothered even with the constant insults and dragging.

“Insults and dragging are yet to kill a person, no be today Una don dey comment una rubbish, continue to drag like small gen, when hand pain una, Una go stop. #unbothered,” she wrote on her page.

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