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Ex-Accountant General’s missing statement stalls trial in alleged N109bn fraud

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Ex-Accountant General

The trial of former Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris on alleged N109 billion corruption charges was on Wednesday stalled at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) over the disappearance of one of the statements he made to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) during investigations.

The statement dated July 5, 2022, could not be located by EFCC in its own file, that of the High Court as well as that of the defence team.

At Wednesday’s proceedings, the anti-graft agency through its counsel, Mr Oluwaleke Atolagbe had kick-started the trial within trial, following the denial by the ex-Accountant General that some of the statements he made to EFCC in respect of the N109 billion alleged fraud were made voluntary.

Idris, who was re-arraigned last October had persistently alleged that the key statements proposed by the EFCC to be used against him in the alleged corruption charges were made under duress.

Following the allegation, Justice Halilu Yusuf ordered a trial within trial to authenticate the claim. Although the EFCC had presented its witness, Mr Hayatudeen Suleiman for examination on 13 different statements obtained from Idris, trouble however arose when it was discovered that a statement dated July 5, 2022, and said to be vital to the trial could not be found in the bundles of documents uploaded to the court by EFCC.

Trouble worsened when EFCC seeking to examine the witness on the disputed statement could not find the statement in its own case file.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chris Uche leading the legal team of the former Accountant General also told the court that the statement was not part of those supplied to him by EFCC.

Uche said the anti-graft agency for reasons best known to it, had suppressed some documents and that the missing statement of the defendant may be one of the suppressed documents.

“We came fully prepared for this case to be substantially dealt with but unfortunately, EFCC appears to be dragging us back by not putting its house in order. If it were a civil matter, I would have asked for a cost of N5 million for our precious time wasted by the prosecution”.

Efforts by Justice Halilu Yusuf to salvage the situation were unsuccessful as the statement could also not be found in the court’s record. At this point, the EFCC lawyer who insisted that the statement is vital to his case, applied to Justice Yusuf to grant him an adjournment to enable him search for the missing statement and serve on the defendant as required by law.

After consultations among lawyers Justice Yusuf fixed May 11, for the continuation of trial within trial. The court made it clear that the adjournment was at the instance of the EFCC. EFCC had on October 27, 2022, re-arraigned Idris on a 13-count charge bordering on alleged misappropriation of the sum of N109 billion.

Others arraigned alongside are Olusegun Akindele, Mohammed Usman and Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited. They were first arraigned on July 22, 2022, before a vacation judge, Adeyemi Ajayi.

The EFCC alleged that between February and December 2021 Idris accepted from Akindele, a gratification of N15. 1 billion, which sum was a motive for accelerating the payment of 13 per cent derivation to the nine oil-producing states in the Federation, through the office of the Accountant General of the Federation.

The anti-graft agency also alleged that N84. 3bn from the Federal Government’s account was converted by the first and second defendants between February and November. 2021. The EFCC said the offence contravened sections 155 and 315 of the Penal Code Act Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990.

Source: dailypost

Nigeria Breaking News

Bad leaders making life of Nigerians miserable – Pastor Giwa

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Adewale Giwa

The senior pastor of Awaiting The Second Coming Of Christ Ministry, Adewale Giwa, on Sunday, lamented that the economic situation in Nigeria has gone from bad to worse under President Bola Tinubu. The clergyman noted that bad leaders were intentionally making life miserable for Nigerians.

Speaking with DAILY POST, Giwa said Buhari’s utterances that Nigerians will appreciate his administration when he’s gone is being fulfilled under Tinubu’s government. According to Giwa: “Nigerians found themselves in the hands of bad leaders having passed through the worst experience under former President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The success of a nation is determined by the kind of leaders you have. When the biblical Jeroboam became leader of Israel he led people to sin and we all know what happened.

“What Nigerians are presently going through makes me remember what Buhari said that ‘Nigerians will appreciate his government after his tenure’.

“If Buhari, the worst leader in history, could say Nigerians would appreciate his government then what should we say is currently happening in Nigeria under Tinubu? I wonder why in Nigeria, a leader will take over power and situations will get worse. Is it not better if we don’t have a nation called Nigeria or have a nation where the citizens continue to wallow in abject poverty and penury?

“For now, Tinubu’s government has fared worse than Buhari’s government because under Buhari there was nothing like subsidy removal. We all know how much a litre of petrol was during Buhari’s administration. We can now see how much it is under Tinubu, so I can’t say Tinubu’s government is better than Buhari’s government. In all fairness and coupled with the present events, the present political leaders are intentionally making the lives of Nigerians miserable.

Source: Dailypost

In other news – Police vow to tackle vandalization of public facilities in Akwa Ibom

The Police in Eket, Akwa Ibom, have assured that public facility vandalism would be completely tackled in the town and its environs. The Divisional Police Officer, SP Felix Ekpoudom, stated this shortly after visiting a vandalised water fountain at Udom Emmanuel Boulevard in Atabong, Eket town.

Police

Ekpoudom said that the police became aware of the incident after the visit of Governor Umo Eno to Eket on May 3.The Police in Eket, Akwa Ibom, have assured that public facility vandalism would be completely tackled in the town and its environs. Read more

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Nigeria Breaking News

Police vow to tackle vandalization of public facilities in Akwa Ibom

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Police

The Police in Eket, Akwa Ibom, have assured that public facility vandalism would be completely tackled in the town and its environs. The Divisional Police Officer, SP Felix Ekpoudom, stated this shortly after visiting a vandalised water fountain at Udom Emmanuel Boulevard in Atabong, Eket town.

Ekpoudom said that the police became aware of the incident after the visit of Governor Umo Eno to Eket on May 3.The Police in Eket, Akwa Ibom, have assured that public facility vandalism would be completely tackled in the town and its environs.

The Divisional Police Officer, SP Felix Ekpoudom, stated this shortly after visiting a vandalised water fountain at Udom Emmanuel Boulevard in Atabong, Eket town. Ekpoudom said that the police became aware of the incident after the visit of Governor Umo Eno to Eket on May 3.

The DPO said that it was wrong to steal or vandalise public facilities, saying,” Those who do so are agents of underdevelopment”. We have observed that acts of vandalism are happening in some areas in Eket. We have begun our surveillance, we shall get hold of them,” he said. Ekpoudom urged residents of Eket to support the support with credible information to tackle the ugly menace.

”We need the cooperation of the community, you have to work with the police to tackle this challenge. We are committed towards tackling vandalism and other unlawful activities in the area. We shall apprehend them,” he added.

Earlier, the community Youth Leader, Mr Willie Mbong, described the issue of public facility vandalism in the area as worrisome. That water fountain is adding to the aesthetic beauty of the town. It is a bad thing to vandalise and steal some of its components.

”We shall take this issue seriously by reporting it to the appropriate authorities. Those behind this act must be unmasked.” He assured that the community would do everything possible to support the Police towards apprehending those involved in the act.

Source: Dailypost

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Nigeria Breaking News

Court Fixes May 27 to Hear Applications on Ganduje’s Suspension

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Abdullahi Umar Ganduje

A Kano State High Court has set May 27, 2024, for the commencement of hearing in the case of the alleged suspension of the National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.  The court, presided over by Justice Usman Malam Na’abba, will hear three applications: a preliminary objection, a joinder application, and an application challenging the court’s jurisdiction.

The applicants, Haladu Gwanjo and Laminu Sani Barguma, are seeking an order of interim injunction on Ganduje’s suspension from the APC.Counsel for the applicant, Ibrahim Sa’ad, requested a new date to respond to the counter affidavit filed by the respondents. Counsel for the respondents did not object to the request.

Counsel for the fourth respondent, Lydia Oyewo, informed the court that her client was not served with the court processes. Parties seeking to be joined in the case also informed the court of their position.

Justice Na’abba fixed May 27 for the hearing to allow all parties to serve their processes and respond to the applications.

Source: sunnewsonline

In other news – Military forcefully took away suspected oil bunkerers from police custody – IGP tells court

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP, has told a Federal High Court in Abuja that the military forcefully took away some suspects allegedly involved in oil bunkering from police custody.

Military

 

Counsel to the IGP, Idris Mohammed, revealed this to Justice James Omotosho when the matter was called for the alleged oil bunkerers to take their plea in a five-count criminal charge filed against them. The IGP had, in an earlier charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/60/2024, listed 19 alleged oil bunkerers for prosecution. Read more

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