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Dikko appeals for peaceful elections in Bwari Area Council on Saturday

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Dikko appeals for peaceful elections in Bwari Area Council on Saturday

Appeal

Mr Musa Dikko, Chairman, Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has appealed to the electorate to ensure peaceful elections on Saturday.

Dikko made the appeal while answering questions from newsmen on Thursday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) scheduled the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly, as well as FCT Area Councils’ elections for Saturday, March 9.

The chairman said the council and other government agencies were committed to ensuring that Saturday’s polls were peaceful, fair and credible.

‘‘For Saturday’s elections, my appeal is that the elections must be peaceful, Nigerians must be allowed to go out and decide who their leaders would be.

‘‘We are committed to ensuring that the polls should be free, credible and the results be acceptable by all of us, I urge Nigerians to go out and cast their votes wisely.

‘‘Certainly, INEC and the security agents did their best at the Presidential and National Assembly elections, we are expecting more of their best on Saturday also,’’ he said.

Dikko, who is re-contesting on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), also spoke on some of his administration’s achievements.

He said his administration completed some projects like the ultra-modern markets within the council.

He promised to work harder if re-elected.

He said, ‘‘We are expecting about three more markets to be inaugurated soonest.

‘‘We have the Dawaki Electronic Market, the Kukaba Motor Park and the Mpape Modern Market, all completed and would be inaugurated very soon.’’

NNN recalls that the FCT Administration on Tuesday, commissioned the Maitama Ultra Modern Market in Kubwa in the council area.

The market, with 1,500 shops, located at the old Kubwa market was redesigned, upgraded.

 

Judiciary

You’re not serious in the trial of ex-Customs boss, Dikko, court tells ICPC

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A Federal High Court in Abuja, on Monday, frowned at the manner the

Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) was prosecuting the trial of 

former Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), 

Abdullahi Dikko,

 

on alleged corruption charges.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu told the ICPC counsel, Ebenezer Shogunle, that the commission was not serious in the handling of the matter.

 

Nigeria News Agency reports that Ojukwu had, on Feb. 17, 

issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the former NCS boss over his continued failure to appear in court in respect of the case instituted against him and two others.

The development followed the inability of Solomon Akuma, counsel to Dikko, to produce his client in court in spite of undertaking to ensure that he appeared for his trial in the last adjourned date, only to present a medical report, claiming that Dikko was critically ill and on admission in London.

 

The judge, however, noted that should the prosecution, in executing the bench warrant discover that Dikko was actually on admission in a London hospital, “the execution shall be suspended.”

She held that if otherwise, the prosecution should arrest Dikko and produce him in court on March 16 which was the next adjourned date for arraignment.

NAN reports that Dikko, along side Garba Makarfi, 

a former NCS Assistant Comptroller-General in charge of Finance, Administration and Technical Services, and Umar Hussaini, a lawyer and owner of Capital Law firm were defendants in the case. 

 

Dikko, Makarfi and Hussaini were, among others, accused of inducing the Managing Director of Cambial Limited, Yemi Obadeyi, to pay N1.1 billion (N1,100, 952,380.96) into the account of Capital Law Office as a refundable “completion security deposit” for the purchase of 120 units of duplexes as residential accommodation for NCS officers.

Hussaini was said to have distributed the money into various other bank accounts and for his part in the deal, he was rewarded with the sum of 3 million dollars.

However, at the arraignment on Monday, only Makarfi and Hussaini were at the dock with their counsel, Wilson Okion and Amaobi Nzelu respectively.

Though Dikko did not appear in court, his lawyer, Akuma, was in court.

Counsel to ICPC, Shogunle, reminded that at the last adjourned date, the court issued a bench warrant against Dikko (1st defendant) and directed that the prosecution should verify his location.

“My lord, we confirmed that the first defendant left Nigeria on Feb. 14, three days before the sitting of this honourable court and his destination was Dubai.

“Currently, the first defendant is reported to be in London,” he said.

 

Shogunle said in the circumstances, “we will be applying that the lordship extend the duration of the bench warrant such that any time he returns to Nigeria, the warrant will be executed and he will be prosecuted in court.”

 

He urged the court to adjourn the trial, pending

 Dikko’s return to the country.

 

Justice Ojukwu, however, turned down Shogunle’s request, saying “I am not going to adjourn this natter for this reason.”

According to her, my duty is not to keep a charge that has no timeline in my docket.

“If you don’t want to go on with this matter, I will strike out this charge.

“Whenever you are ready to produce the first defendant (Dikko), then you re-arraign him,” she said.

But the prosecution counsel told the judge that he was determined to follow up the matter going by his presence in court.

He further prayed the court not to strike out his application, adding that the International Police (Interpol) had already been contacted over Dikko.

“We had sought the assistance of the Interpol but the reason they gave was that they needed valid charges against him.

“My lord, we ask for a new date, and if we are unable to present the first defendant, then you can strike it out,” he added.

Justice Ojukwu then asked Shogunle to provide the evidence of his claim about Interpol, but the prosecution said he was not with it.

“I can only work with evidence,” the judge responded.

Ojukwu, therefore, said that what she wanted was for Shogunle to verify from the hospital where Dikko claimed to be receiving medical attention based on the last ruling and not coming up with INTERPOL’s report.

The lawyer, however, told the court that Dikko was in Nigeria when the ruling on the bench warrant was given.

Ojukwu further asked him to provide the evidence that Dikko was in the country when she gave the ruling, but the counsel said he was not with it in court.

The prosecution counsel then told the judge to give him one week to either produce his evidence or withdraw the charge.

But Dikko’s lawyer, Akuma, objected and told the judge to dismiss his plea on the grounds that the prosecution had disobeyed the directive of the court.

“At least, the prosecution has confirmed that the first defendant was in London, but he has not confirmed whether he is at the hospital.

“The prosecution has failed to do a thorough investigation as per the earlier ruling you gave,” he said.

Akuma also said that the issue of Interpol was strange to him.

“In a nutshell, we object to the extension of the bench warrant,” he said.

The judge asked Akuma if he knew when Dikko would be available for arraignment, but he said he could not give a date  except when he found out from Dikko’s physician regarding the state of his health.

Akuma told the court that if the prosecution could not investigate the veracity of the medical report of his client within one week, he should withdraw the charge and allow them to move their motion.

According to him, our motion dated 29 November, 2019, is praying the court to set aside ICPC’s charge or strike it out.

He said the prosecution had also responded through counter affidavit.

Ojukwu then asked the prosecution if he had applied for the bench warrant she earlier issued against Dikko and Shogunle said he applied through the court registry but was not in court with the copy.

“I don’t think you are serious. I have endorsed your warrant but you have never come for it,” the judge told Shogunle.

The judge then adjourned till May 6 for hearing of the applications filed by both parties.

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Judiciary

Alleged N1.1bn fraud: Court rebukes ICPC over shoddy prosecution of ex-Customs boss, Dikko

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A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday, frowned at the manner the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) was prosecuting the former Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Abdullahi Dikko.

The ICPC had dragged Dikko and two others before the court on a N1.1 billion corruption charges.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu told the ICPC Counsel, Ebenezer Shogunle, that the commission was not serious in handling of the matter.

Dikko, alongside Garba Makarfi, a former Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs, in charge of Finance, Administration and Technical Services, Umar Hussaini, a lawyer and owner of Capital Law firm are defendants in the case.

Dikko, Makarfi and Hussaini are among others, accused of inducing the Managing Director of Cambial Limited, Yemi Obadeyi, to pay N1.1 billion (N1,100, 952,380.96) into the account of Capital Law Office.

The money is alleged to be a refundable “completion security deposit” for the purchase of 120 units of duplexes as residential accommodation for officers of the NCS.

Edited By: Johnson Eyiangho/Sadiya Hamza
(NAN)

Details later ….

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Judiciary

Court turns down lawyer’s plea, orders arrest of ex-Customs boss,  Dikko

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The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, ordered the arrest of Abdullahi Dikko, former Comptroller General (CG) of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) 

over his continued failure to appear in court in an alleged corruption and bribery trial.

 

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, who

 issued the arrest warrant at the sitting, refused to accept his lawyer’s explanation that the defendant was ill and on admission in London.

 Nigeria News Agency reports that Dikko and two others are being charged by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) before the court on corruption allegation.

 

Dikko’s lawyer, Solomon Akuma, SAN, who had previously undertaken to produce him in court, only presented a medical report before the court, in a bid to justify his absence from court on Monday.

 

The judge said the medical report bearing the address, N6 Ahmed Musa Crescent, Jabi, Abuja, contradicted Akuma’s claim that the defendant was on admission in London.

 

She, therefore, ordered the prosecution to arrest and produce Dikko in court at the next sitting on March 16, 2020.

 

The judge, however, added that if the prosecution, in its bid to execute the arrest warrant, discovered that the defendant was on admission in London, the arrest warrant would be set aside.

She adjourned the matter till March 16 for arraignment.

 

NAN reports that the ICPC had, in 2019, charged Dikko and two others with inducing the Managing Director of Cambial Limited, Yemi Obadeyi, to pay the sum of N1,100, 952,380.96 into the account of Capital Law Office.

 

The fund was described as a refundable “completion security deposit” for the purchase of 120 units of duplexes as residential accommodation for officers of the NCS.

 

Dikko, a former Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs in charge of Finance, Administration and Technical Services, Garba Makarfi and a lawyer and promoter of Capital Law firm,  Umar Hussaini, are the co-defendants in the criminal case.

 

+=

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza

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Judiciary

Absence of Barau Dikko hospital’s CMD stalls hearing in suspect’s death

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The absence of nthe Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Barau Dikko Hospital, Kaduna, on Friday stalled hearing in case in the alleged death of a suspect, Nanpon Sambo, in  Federal High Court in Jos.

Justice Dorcas Agishi, in December ordered the CMD to appear before her to explain the cause of the alleged death of Sambo while in police custody.

Agishi ordered the CMD to give details on what killed Sambo.

When the case came up for hearing on Friday, the CMD was not in Court as ordered by the Judge in December.

Sambo’s Counsel, D.G. Dashe, had told the court that the business for the day was for the CMD of Barau Dikko Hospital, Kaduna, to explain to the court with medical reports on how Sambo died.”

“Unfortunately, from all indication, it appears the CMD or any of his representative in here in court today in compliance to your Lordship’s order made in December, ” Dashe lamented.

At that point, the Court Register, M. A. Denis, stood up and informed the Court of an earlier phone call he received from one Ibrahim Inusa, on behalf of the CMD informing him of the inability to come around as ordered.

“Inusa said that they were served with the court order on Jan. 20 but needed some time to prepare the report and print it out before coming.

“He also said that because of the Lassa Fever out break across the country, the CMD has been summoned by the Kaduna State Governor toward checkmating the spread of the disease and so his isn’t dispose to come, ” Denis explained.

Dashe, in response, said since an attempt has been made by CMD, he wasn’t going to oppose it but has to apply for an adjournment to enable the CMD come before the Court.

“My Lord, since an attempt has been made through the court registrar, we are going to oppose it but rather apply for another date for the CMD come properly to explain to us the cause of Sambo’s death.

“In the circumstance, I hereby apply for an adjournment for the hearing of report of Sambo’s cause (s) of death as alleged by the police, ” Dashe solicited.

Mrs Keturah Saliyuk, the Prosecution Counsel from the Ministry of Justice, did not oppose the application.

But Ayanna, Counsel to the Police, who also did not oppose the application told the court that he has a motion which he would like to move on the Court’s order of contempt against Inspector General of Police (IG-P) and Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari, in charge of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT).

But Dashe and Saliyuk objected to the application on the ground that business of the day was on the medical report being expected from the CMD.

The Judge the adjourned the case to Feb. 19 for hearing of the hospital’s medical report through the CMD and Ayanna’s motion.

Nigeria News Agency reports that on Oct. 29, 2019, the police counsel, Mr Joshua Ayanna, told the court that the suspect,  Sambo, fell ill and died while in custody.

The police had claimed that Sambo, who is charged with illegal possession of fire arm, took ill and was rushed to the hospital in Kaduna, where he died. 

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza

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Health

Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital explains privatization of laboratories

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The authorities of Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital, Kaduna, said that the privatization of its laboratories was meant to boost efficiency and service delivery.

Dr Silas-Tokan Baduku, Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee of the hospital stated this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency (NAN ) on Tuesday in Kaduna.

The chairman said that the chemical pathology/hematology and blood transfusion laboratories were privatized to boost efficiency in service delivery.

According to him, the management’s decision to privatize two, out of the four laboratories in the hospital was done in good conscience and in line with current realities.

Baduku said that the laboratories which had been fully equipped with the assistance of partners required to be put into productive use.

“We have privatized two out of the four laboratories in the hospital, they are well equipped, the essence is to boost service delivery.

“With this step, our services can no longer be compared to what they were two years ago, this to us is a good leap,” he said..

Baduku further stated that the hospital had upgraded most of its other facilities in order to ensure high standards.

“We have also acquired a mammography machine, it shall be installed soon, patients will no longer go to Zaria when it comes on stream,” he said.

Edited by: Azubuike Okeh/Maharazu Ahmed

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Judiciary

Alleged N9.7bn fraud: Prosecution closes case against former AVM, Dikko

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) on Thursday closed its case in the ongoing trial of former Chief of AVM Umar Dikko in the Federal High Court Abuja over alleged N9.7 billion fraud.

EFCC charged  is Dikko  with seven counts of laundering and procurement fraud to the tune of N9.7 bn.

The anti graft agency alleged that the amount accrued when Dikko allegedly converted money from the N1.2 billion monthly from allocations belonging to the Nigerian Air Force to his personal use.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr Sylvanus Tahir, closed the commission’s case after the defence counsel, Mr Onyechi Ikpeazu cross-examined the 12th and final prosecution witness.

Dikko was first arraigned on May 11, 2016 before Justice Binta Nyako for allegedly laundering money belonging to the Nigeria Air force.

Ikpeazu had asked the court for time for the defense team to examine the records in the matter before deciding on the next step to take

The trial judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, adjourned the matter until Jan.28, 2020 for continuation for defence to open its case.

Speaking to a NAN correspondent after closing the case, Tahir expressed confidence that the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.

“Going by the evidence we have tendered, monies were wired from the account of the Nigeria Air Force to Bureau de Change operators and converted into dollars and was taken to him.

” From the N1.2 billion monthly allocation of the Nigeria Air Force, after paying salaries, whatever was left was converted to dollars, some used for aircraft maintenance and staff training but the bulk of that money was converted into dollars and handed to him monthly.

“The former Director of Finance of the Nigeria Air Force gave evidence in this case so with evidence coming directly from people who worked under him, our case is solid,”he said.

NAN reports that Dikko was Chief of Air Staff from 2010 to 2012.

Edited & Vetted By: Sadiya Hamza
(NAN)

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Judiciary

Court stops EFCC from prosecuting ex-NCS C-G, Dikko

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The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, restrained the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from prosecuting the former Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba delivered the judgment on the suit instituted by Dikko.

The judge stated that the non-prosecution agreement entered into between the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, and the plaintiff was binding on EFCC.

The Nigeria News Agency recalls that the agreement between Dikko and the AGF was based on the return of N1.5 billion proceeds of alleged crimes the ex-NCS boss committed while in office to the coffers of Federal Government.

Justice Dimgba held that by virtue of the provisions of Section 174 of the Constitution, the AGF, being the chief law officer of the federation, was imbued with wide powers and discretion on prosecution matters.

The judge said that the claim by the anti-graft agency that it acted on an anonymous petition to commence its investigations “cannot override the discretionary powers conferred on the Attorney-Genreral of the Federation by virtue of Section 174 of the Constitution.”

Justice Dimgba also noted that since Malami did not oppose the suit, the AGF had subscribed to Dikko’s case.

Reflecting on the conflicting positions of the AGF and the EFCC on the Dikko’s case, the judge admonished government agencies joined as defendants in the suit on the need to speak with one voice.

“There is a need for government to speak with one voice and not in different tunes that appear to be discordant,” he remarked.

NAN reports that while Dikko was the plaintiff, the AGF, the Department of State Services (DSS), the EFCC and its chairman were the defendants in the suit.

Edited & Vetted By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Ali Baba-Inuwa
(NAN)

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Defence/Security

ICPC may arraign NFF Pinnick, Dikko over alleged fraud

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) may arraign the President, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr Amaju Pinnick and Shehu Dikko for alleged fraud.

Pinnick and Dikko, 2nd Vice President NFF, are presently being investigated by the commission over alleged FIFA grant misappropriation.

ICPC spokesperson, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa said this in an interview with Nigeria News Agency in Abuja on Sunday.

reports that the commission had on its twitter handle, posted that “ICPC places under investigation, mansion belonging to Amaju Pinnick, President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) located in Park View Estate, Lagos.

“The Commission has also placed a mansion in Maitama, belonging to Dikko under investigation.”

Okoduwa explained that the commission so far has reasonable suspicion that the emoluments that have been earned by the NFF officials could not have bought those houses.

“Investigating around assets probably acquired through proceeds of crime is one of the first steps in corruption investigation,” she said.

While noting that the commission was proceeding with the investigation, Okoduwa said that when completed, the press would be briefed on the details.

“Our official have proceeded with the investigation, when they are ready, they will let me know and I will tell you people.

“We want to keep things under wraps for now so that we don’t expose too much information that will jeopardise the investigation.

“There is something about investigation, when you let out information, if for example we say this is what we are investigating against some people, those people can go and tamper with documents relating to the matter.

“In that case, the investigation will not be concluded, or take much longer to be concluded,” Okoduwa said.

On possible arraignment of the NFF officials, Okoduwa said that “they can only be arraigned after the investigation.

“Arraignment is when we are ready to go to court and we have all the facts, and if the investigation points to the direction of arraignment and they are indicted, they are real suspects, then we take them for arraignment.

“If after the investigation, they were able to prove to us that they got the houses legitimately and they are cleared of other allegations, then we don’t arraign,” Okoduwa said.
NNL/OYE/IS

Edited by Celine-Damilola Oyewole/Ismail Abdulaziz

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Agriculture

Dikko promises more dividends of democracy if re-elected Bwari Area Council chairman

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Dikko promises more dividends of democracy if re-elected Bwari Area Council chairman

Promise

The Chairman, Bwari Area Council, Malam Musa Dikko, has promised to provide more critical infrastructure if re-elected the council chairman on March 9.
Dikko, who is contesting on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for the March FCT councils’ poll, spoke on Thursday during his campaign tour around Bwari town.
He said that his administration recorded tremendous achievements in less than three years that he assumed office, adding that he would do more if re-elected.

Dikko appealed to the electorate to vote for all the candidates of the party in order to ensure sustenance of the provision of democracy dividends in the council area.

“Vote for me and I promise to change the face of this district.
“Senators and members of House of Representatives cannot come down here to develop our communities for us, you need me, and you need our councillors to do it for you.
‘’This will be facilitated with the assistance of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister who will be appointed by the president.
“We have put some of the roads in order and still working to complete some ongoing projects like the modern markets.

‘’No one will do it better than all of us, so, I urge you to come out and vote massively for all the candidates of the APC,’’ he said.

Dikko also assured the people of prudent management of the council’s resources, adding that he was able to pay the huge debts owed by previous administration with meagre allocation.
The chairman congratulated the people for their peaceful conduct during Saturday’s elections and called for repeat during the March 9 election. (NNN)
DVK/YI/OU

Edited by Yahaya Isah/Obike Ukoh

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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