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EFCC arraigns businessman over illegal petroleum products deal

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday arraigned a businessman, James Miracle, in a Federal High Court in Lagos over alleged illegal oil deal.

The defendant was charged before Justice Maureen Oyetenu, alongside a vessel, MT OMUS, on two counts.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

After his plea, the prosecution counsel, U.U. Buhari, urged the court to give a date for commencement of trial of the defendant

But defence counsel, Mr Ikechukwu Ukadike, informed the court of a pending bail application of the defendant.

Defence urged the court to grant the defendant bail in the most liberal terms as the offence was bailable.

Consequently, Justice Oyetenu, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N10 million with one surety in like sum.

She ordered that the surety must be a civil servant not be below grade level 14, and must have a verifiable address within the court’s jurisdiction

In addition, she ordered that the surety is to present a three-years tax clearance, which will be verified by the court’s registry.

The court ordered the defendant to remain in the EFCC custody pending his remand at the Nigerian Correctional Service.

She adjourned the case until July 13. for trial .

According to the charge, the defendant was said to have committed the offence sometime in February, within the jurisdiction of the court.

He was alleged to have dealt in 800 metric tonnes of petroleum product without appropriate license,

The offences contravenes the provisions of Section 1(17) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap. M17, Laws of the Federation 2004.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

Umeh Sandra: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Politics

Abdulrazaq invites EFCC to probe Kwara LG funds

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Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara has invited the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to conduct an independent probe into funds so far received and disbursed to the 16 local government councils in  the state from May 2019 till date.

The governor made this known in a statement on Tuesday in Ilorin by his Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye.

Ajakaye said a panel of inquiry comprising members from various backgrounds would also be set up to look into the local government funds.

“For the sake of accountability and transparency, the governor is hereby calling on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to conduct urgent probe into funds so far received as allocations and spent by the 16 local governments between May 29 and now.

“Separately, the governor will also be setting up a panel of inquiry in the immediate to look into the same issues. Members of the panel and its terms of reference would be announced soon.

“This probe is borne out of the fact that this administration has not touched a kobo of money belonging to the local governments.

” It has nothing to hide.

“But for abundance of caution, the governor will be tasking not just the EFCC, but also a panel of inquiry with members drawn from various backgrounds to investigate the LG funds, how they have been spent, and expose any mismanagement or diversion of the funds (if any).

“The call becomes necessary in view of the outrageous claims by some persons that money to the tune of N300 million was diverted monthly from LG accounts,” Ajakaye said.

Ajakaye said the administration was of the view that council funds should be probed and laid to rest because governance was about public trust.

“Similarly, His Excellency appeals to the House of Assembly which comprises the elected representatives of the people with oversight powers to hold a public hearing on the said matter.

“The governor restated that he would not be found mismanaging or siphoning public funds.

“He maintains his stand, which dated back to his days in the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), that the local governments should be allowed to manage their own funds with minimal or no supervision by the state as the law may allow.

“He insists that any official found to have diverted or mismanaged public funds under him would be made to account for same as prescribed under the law,” Ajakaye added.

(
Edited By: Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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Alleged N700m EFCC fraud: APC guber candidate appears in court, case adjourned

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The Federal High Court sitting in Benin on Tuesday adjourned the trial of the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Sept. 19 Edo Governorship Election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and four others until Oct 15,

Justice Mohammed Umar adjourned the case to enable the counsels to file reply to the pending motions challenging the jurisdiction of the court to try the case.

The other defendants in the case include Chief Dan Orbih, estwhile State chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the state Chairman of the party, Tony Aziegbemi, former Deputy Governor of Edo, Mr Lucky Imasuen, and Efe Erimuoghae-Anthony.

The defendants are being tried on charges bordering on alleged N700 million money laundering case filed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Although Justice Umar had,  on Thursday, June 18, validated the corruption charges against the defendants whose case had suffered setback on July 7 following the inability of  Ize-Iyamu to appear in court because of his ill health.

At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, Ize-Iyamu arrived the court as early as 8:30 am., while his lawyer, Mr Charles Edosomwan (SAN), objected to the EFCC’s  Counsel, Mr Ahmed Imoovba’s request to continue with the case when the pending motions before the court were yet to be heard.

Edosomwan prayed the court to grant the defendants seven day’s extension of time to react to the EFCC’s motion on point of law in line with the rules of the court.

Imoovba and counsels to the other defendants did not oppose Edosomwan’s application challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the suit.

Similarly, Imoovba, in his own separate motion, sought for extension of time to file his reply to Edosomwan’s objection.

Justice Umar, after listening  to the submissions of both counsels, ruled that he had given all the parties seven days within which to file all relevant documents to court before commencement of its vacation on July 27.

Justice Umar adjourned the case until Oct. 15 for further hearing.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the EFCC, in Suit No. 21C/ 2016, had filed an eight-count charge against the defendants over alleged illegal receipt of public funds to the tune of N700 million for the purpose of the 2015 general election.

The EFCC further accused the defendants of conspiring among themselves to commit the offence in March 2015, alleging that they took possession and control of the funds without any contract awarded.

IMEL/ Á

Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Tajudeen Atitebi (NAN)

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How Magu turned EFCC to `glorified police station’ for selfish motives – Report

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The suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has allegedly been accused of turning EFCC into `glorified police station’ for alleged selfish motives.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the accusation was contained in a report submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari by one of the investigative committees set up to look into the activities of the EFCC under Magu.

According to the report, Magu has continued seconding police officers to the EFCC in spite the massive recruitment of officers and men carried out by the commission in recent years.

“The blatant display of arrogance and acquisition of illicit wealth has turned the EFCC into a glorified police station.

“Despite massive recruitment of officers and men in recent years by the (suspended) acting chairman at the EFCC, he is still seconding police officers to the EFCC because he is comfortable with his fellow officers to carry out his illicit activities.

“He does not have any exit strategy for the police even though the EFCC officers are more experienced in the investigation of economic and financial crimes,’’ the report further noted.

NAN reports that the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, had on Friday ordered the withdrawal of mobile policemen attached to Magu, who is being held at Area 10 Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), Abuja.

Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, had on July 11 explained that Magu was being investigated as a result of series of documented allegations made against him.

He added that detailed investigations were being carried out following a preliminary review of the allegations leveled against Magu and several other members of staff of the EFCC..

“Hence, an investigative panel was constituted in compliance with the extant laws governing the convening of such a body.

“As is the proper procedure, when allegations are made against the Chief Executive of an institution, and in this case an institution that ought to be seen as beyond reproach, the Chief Executive has to step down from his post and allow for a transparent and unhindered investigation,’’ he said.

Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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EFCC: Magu failed to account for 332 recovered property worth billions

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The suspended Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),Mr Ibrahim Magu, has again been accused of allegedly failing to give proper account of missing 332 out of the 836 recovered real estate property in March, 2018.

A report by the Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets (PCARA) made available to the News Agency of Nigeria confirmed the development, indicating that the unaccounted property was worth billions of naira.

The report also noted massive wastage and deterioration of physical assets (including landed property, cars and vessels recovered by the EFCC due to poor management.

It also noted with concern the failure to preserve and realise the economic value of the recovered assets, noting that some of the assets were recovered over 15 years ago and left fallow.

“A disturbing example is the two vessels that allegedly sunk at NNS Beecroft Naval BASE, Lagos and NNS Pathfinder Naval Base in Port Harcourt without trace under the watch of the acting Chairman of EFCC.

“The vessels named MT GOOD SUCCESS, MV PSV DERBY and MV THAMES were allowed to sink in spite of several warnings from the Navy on the need to evacuate the petroleum products in the vessels.

“The total value of the assets lost due to the negligence runs into millions of US bollars

“The (suspended) acting Chairman is yet to provide a report on what happened to these vessels,’’ the report said.

NAN reports that Magu, who is currently facing charges of mismanagement and lack of transparency in managing recovered assets as well as flagrant disobedience to directives and to court orders, would be expected to provide answers to the conflicting figures.

The PCARA report also noted that the few consultants hired by EFCC were not managing a substantial number of the recovered assets and that the EFCC has no capacity to manage the entire assets on its own.

The committee, therefore, alerted the nation on the economic and environmental implications of this negligent of duty by the commission.

It equally observed that EFCC made conflicting submissions or returns to it in respect of the non-cash assets which substantially affected the committee’s assignment.

The report read in part: “For instance, EFCC stated 836 as the number of Recovered Real Estate in the Original Returns it made to the President on 07/04/2017.

“However, in its 1st Returns to PCARA on 13/12/2017, EFCC short changed the system and gave the figure of 339 thereby failing to account for 497 property.

“It is interesting to note that when the Acting Chairman was further queried on this lapse, he made further contradictory 2nd return of 504 on 09/03/2018 thereby bridging the gap to 332 property.’’

The committee identified lack of internal control mechanisms/ systems within EFCC and Lack of adequate returns by EFCC Departments and Zonal Offices as reasons for these discrepancies and inconsistencies by the commission.

The suspended EFCC boss was also alleged to have neglected and refused to comply with the Regulations on the Management of Recovered Assets, 2019 as he embarked on disposing some of the property without regard to extant law.

“These Regulations was issued in line with international best practices and to ensure that all the anti-corruption agencies report all their recovered assets in a database provided by the Federal Government.

’’It is important to note that the (suspended) Acting Chairman in apparent disregard of the regulation is disposing of these properties without regard to extant laws, and Regulations and without reference to the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and in effect, there is no way to have an audit of the property.

“This is also a clear sign that there is a deliberate attempt to hide the exact figures of recoveries, which is an indication of fraudulent intent.

“These actions of the (suspended) Ag. Chairman in refusing the Regulation is a clear case of refusal to follow lawful instructions and directives contrary to the provisions of the Act that establish the EFCC,’’ a separate report on the matter, addressed to the president, further noted.

According to the fresh report obtained by NAN, Magu and some top officials of EFCC were allegedly using these recovered assets to corruptly enrich themselves.

The report also listed the number of the affected properties suspected to have been illegally acquired as well as the bank accounts of those individuals serving as fronts for Magu and the affected EFCC officials.

“Most of the recovered assets are allegedly sold without anyone knowing and without proper records and without recourse to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing that has the mandate to undertake evaluation of such property.

“Some of the assets have been taken over by EFCC officials while some are sold at a giveaway prices to friends and cronies of the Acting Chairman.

“It is also on record that the (suspended) acting chairman is maintaining different accounts, including using proxies who return the benefit of the sold assets to him.

“These funds are then used to procure property and lands in the names of some of his proxies,’’

the report further stated.

Edited By: Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

 

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EFCC: More troubles for Magu as new facts on re-looting of recovered funds, bribery emerge

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The suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, may be facing fresh cases of alleged re-looting of funds recovered by the commission as well as bribery.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Magu is currently being interrogated by a presidential probe panel headed by retired Justice Ayo Salami over allegations of mismanagement and lack of transparency in managing recovered assets by the EFCC.

A final Report of the Presidential Investigation Committee on the EFCC Federal Government Recovered Assets and Finances from May, 2015, to May 2020, obtained by NAN had seriously indicted and implicated Magu on various allegations leveled against him.

The investigative committee terms of reference were to:

1. investigate, verify and review the recommendations of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets as it relates to the EFCC, with a view to ascertaining the complicity or otherwise of the Ag. Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, in the mismanagement of the assets recovered by the Commission;

2. Identify Avenues through which the recovered assets are dissipated and seized, recovered, forfeited (Interim and Final) assets are valued, managed, disposed and/or mismanaged with a view to ascertain compliance or otherwise with extant laws, regulations, processes and procedures.

3. Review the existing procedures on the Management of the seized, recovered and Forfeited assets (interim and final) and proffer Standard Operational Procedures for the management of seized, recovered and forfeited assets.

4. Determine whether assets recovered during his tenure, whether locally in Nigeria or abroad, are being kept safely in a manner as to preserve their original value and determine:-

Whether all the assets could be properly accounted for by the Ag. Chairman.

To confirm if any of the assets has been diverted to the benefit of the Ag. Chairman, his family, relation, friends or favoured staff.

To recover any such diverted assets and return back to the EFCC or appropriate government agency.

The committee was also to investigate and report on corruption and money laundering allegations involving Magu and Bureau De Change operators, as well as some of his associates; as per the intelligence reports and petitions.

It was to audit the Assets and Finances of the EFCC as a legal entity from 2015-2020, with a view to establish compliance or otherwise with procurement procedures of the EFCC in line with the provisions of the Procurement Act.

However, new facts have emerged on how interest rates accruing from N550 billion recovered by the EFCC in the period under review were allegedly re-looted.

Magu is now expected to disclose the whereabouts of the missing interest funds running into millions of naira.

NAN also observed that the Final Report of Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets  (PCARA) that covered the period of May 29, 2015, to Nov. 22, 2018, had also confirmed the concerns of the public about contradictory recovery figures emanating from Magu.

“It is quite disturbing that conflicting figures are being circulated in the public space by EFCC as the amount of recovered funds

“For Foreign currency recoveries, EFCC reported a total naira equivalent of N46,038,882,509.87, while the naira equivalent of the foreign currency lodgments were N37,533,764,195.66, representing a shortfall of N8,505,118,314.21.

“These inconsistencies cast a serious doubt on the accuracy of figures submitted by the EFCC. It is the committee’s view that the EFCC cannot be said to have fully accounted for cash recoveries made by it.

“While EFCC reported total Naira recoveries of N504,154,184,744.04, the actual bank lodgments were N543,511,792,863.47. These discrepancies mean that EFCC’s actual lodgment exceeded its reported recoveries by N39,357,608,119.43.

“It must be pointed out that the discrepancy of more than thirty nine billion naira does not include interest accrued in this account since it was opened.

“It therefore cast serious doubt on the credibility of the figures and means that substantial amount of money has not been accurately accounted for.

“Failure to report on the interest on actual lodgments clearly establishes that interest element of over N550 billion has been re-looted relating to the period under review.

“This is an apparent case of manipulation of data in a very brazen and unprofessional manner and this has greatly eroded the public confidence in the anti-corruption efforts,’’ the report stated in part.

NAN also reports that the PCARA revealed how the investigative reports on EFCC’s activities by the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) exposed acts of corruption and money laundering against some EFCC officials, including Magu.

“The NFIU reports established that the Acting Chairman has been using different sources to siphon money from the EFCC, and in some cases collecting bribes from suspects.

“The report has shown that a particular Bureau de Change, owned by Ahmed Ibrahim Shanono linked to the Acting Chairman based in Kaduna has more than 158 accounts and has been receiving huge sums of funds.

“The link to Magu was also established by the payment of N28 million to FALANA who is a close associate and ally of the Acting Chairman,’’ the PCARA report further revealed.

NAN reports that the Salami probe panel is expected to continue sitting on Monday while Magu’s lawyer, Mr Oluwatosin Ojaomo, had on Friday applied for an administrative bail for his client, who is facing corruption and other charges before the panel.

 

Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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EFCC arraigns 10 over alleged unlawful deal in 100 metric tonnes of fuel

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EFCC arraigns 10 over alleged unlawful deal in 100 metric tonnes of fuel

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arranged 10 men before a Federal High Court in Lagos, over alleged illegal deal in petroleum products.

The defendants were arraigned on Thursday alongside a vessel, MV CX Fleet, before Justice Nicholas Oweibo.on a three-count charge bordering on illegal deal in petroleum products to the tune of 100 metric tonnes of Automative Gas Oil (AGO).

The defendants are: Christopher Ewgeregor, Emeka Chidiebere, Erekedomene Lawrence, Collins Okorie, Julius Makingbene, Ededeni Bassey, James Joshua, Kingsley Tamumobelema, Iyobasogie Victor and Ajenu Michael

They were arrested alongside the vessel by the Nigeria Navy and handed over to the EFCC for prosecution.

According to the charge, they were arrested on Feb. 3, within the court’s jurisdiction.

The commission accused the defendants of conspiring to deal in 100 metric tonnes of AGO without an appropriate licence.

It said that the offences contravene the provisions of Section 1(17) and 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act of 2004.

Each of the defendants, however, pleaded not guilty.

The prosecutor, Mr Mohammed Idris, asked the court for a trial date and urged that the defendants be remanded in a correctional centre pending trial.

Defence counsel, Messrs Malizu Iwudoh and Earnest Usiwoma, respectively, moved bail applications on behalf of the defendants and urged the court to grant them bail on liberal terms.

Justice Oweibo consequently granted the defendants bail in the sum of N2 million each, with four sureties in like sum.

He said that the sureties must be civil servants of not less than grade level 10 and must reside within the court’s jurisdiction.

The court also ordered the defendants to perfect their bail conditions within 10 days or remain in custody.

He adjourned the case until Oct. 8, for trial.

Edited By: Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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Alleged N29bn fraud: EFCC prays court to order ex- governor Nyako, son to open defence

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By Wandoo Sombo

Abuja, July 9, 2020(NAN) The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) on Thursday prayed the Federal High Court Abuja to order former Adamawa  governor,  Murtala Nyako and his son, Sen. Abdullaziz, to enter their defence in the fraud charge levelled against them.

The EFCC is prosecuting the former governor, his son,  two companies, Sebore Farms and Extension Ltd and Pagado Fortunes Ltd, over money laundering charges.

Mr Oluwaleke Atolagbe, counsel to the EFCC made the request while responding to  the no-case-submission  filed by Nyako and his co-defendants.

Atolagbe argued that counts one to 14 of the charge preferred against the defendants bordered on the offence of conversion, punishable under Section 15 of the Money Laundering Act.

The second category of the charge, according to the EFCC counsel, which relates to counts 15, 16, 17, 18,  22, 23, 34, 35, “borders on disguising the genuine origin of proceeds of crime under the same section of the act.”

Atolagbe said that  the 3rd category, which related to counts 19, 20, 21, 30, 31, 32, and 33 of the charge bordered on “collaborating in disguising the genuine origin of proceeds of fraud.

The prosecuting counsel told the court that counts 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29, fell under the 4th category of the charge, which bordered  on obtaining money under false pretence, under Section 1(1) and (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud Act and other related offences.

“The 5th category of the offences that the defendants were charged is conspiracy to launder funds which relates to count 36, and they were charged under Section 15(10) and (18) of the Money Laundering Act.”

According to Atolagbe,  the 6th category of the charge is conspiracy to obtain money by false pretence, and relates to count 37.

The EFCC lawyer maintained that he had been able to prove his case against the defendants.

The counsel further said that other details in respect of the charge and the offences, were contained in his written address and he  referred the court to the relevant pages.

“Finally,  the only thing my lord will actually refer to is the evidence before the court and see whether there is a prima facie case established against all the defendants.

For his part, counsel to all the defendants told the court that they needed a short adjournment to enable them reply on points of law to the oral arguments canvassed by the prosecuting counsel.

The trial judge, Justice Okon Abang adjourned the matter until July 16 and July 17.

Other defendants in the matter are Zulkifik Abba, Abubakar Aliyu, Blue Opal Ltd, Tower Assets Management Ltd and Crust Energy Ltd.

The EFCC had arraigned the defendants on a 37-count charge of criminal conspiracy, stealing, abuse of office and money laundering.(NAN)

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Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Alleged financial infractions: Court refuses to grant Okorocha’s plea to stop EFCC, Imo panel from probing him

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The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, refused to grant Rochas Okorocha, immediate-past Governor of Imo’s request, for an order restraining the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the state probe panel from investigating him on alleged financial infractions.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed made this known shortly after Counsel to Okorocha, Oba Maduabuchi, SAN, informed the court that since the defence counsel asked for an adjournment to respond to processes served on them, the court should make an order stopping the parties in the suit from going ahead with the probe pending the determination of the matter.

Though counsel to the 1st defendant (EFCC) was not in court, Counsel to 2nd to 48th defendants, J.M. Madu, quickly interjected that the probe panel had not commenced sitting.

 

Madu also assured that he would inform the Attorney-General of Imo about the court development and would urge them to respect the court not to begin sitting until the suit was determined.

Justice Mohammed then held that it would be of no use to grant a restraining order since Madu had undertaken to tell the parties not to go ahead with the probe pending when the matter would be determined.

Besides, the judge held that since the EFCC was not represented in court to hear its side of the story, it would be unfair to grant the request in the interest of justice.

In a suit marked /558/2020 filed on May 28, Okorocha, Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District, specifically wants the EFCC to end or suspend its investigation including all the petitions submitted to it by the Imo Government until the panel on contract set up by the same state government had concluded its probe on his government between 2011 and 2019.

Other defendants in the suit are the Attorney General of Imo;  members of the Judicial Commission on Lands and Related Matters, members of the panel to investigate the activities of ISOPADEC; members of the panel to investigate the status of the newly established Tertiary institutions; members of the investigative committee for financial transactions in Imo State; Committee for the Review of appointments recruitments and related matters from 2015 till date and the Committee for the investigation of LGA, etc.

 Maduabuchi told the court that even though the EFCC was duly served, it was not represent in court.

 

He said the matter was for the originating motion to be heard and that all the defendants had been served with all processes, including the originally motion.

 

“I am prepared to move the motion

“We have the motion (interlocutory injunction motion) dated May 28, restraining the respondents from probing or continue to probe the activities of Imo Government between 2011 and 2019,” he said.

On hid part, Madu, who represented 2nd to 48th defendants, said he was not ready, pointing out that his clients only briefed him on the matter the previous day.

“Upon the review of the originating process and the plaintiff’s motion for injunction, we intend to file our responses to the said originating process and the motion.

“In view of this my lord and in the interest of fair hearing, we will apply for a short date my lord to file our responses,” he said.

Madu also hinted the court that he had another application pursuant to the directive of the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, that all matters be transfered to where the cause of action aroused.

“In the review of the originating motion of the plaintiff, we are humbly applying that this matter be transfered to Owerri Division of this court where the subject matter or cause of action aroused,” he said.

Countering Madu’s position, Maduabuchi said the defendants cannot choose where the matter should be heard, “this is because the basic law as it relates to venue is that a suit can be filed where any of the defendant is resident.

“The EFCC’s head office is here in Abuja.”

He argued that the same chief judge, who made the circular which he had not sighted and who had the constitutional power of assigning cases, was the person that assigned the case to the court.

The lawyer stated that Justice Tsoho, who Madu said issued the circular, was aware of the circular before he assigned the matter.

“I urge my lord to dismiss that application,” he said.

Justice Mohammed, after taking their arguments, said Madu should filed a formal application for the case transfer.

According to him, I cannot leave the 1st defendant in taking the decision; there should be fair hearing on this matter.

Okorocha’s lawyer told the court that it was unfortunate that despite serving the defendants with all the processes on July 11, Madu said he was only briefed on the matter the previous day (on Tuesday).

“They ignored the court and the processes and continue taking proceedings in defiance of this motion,” Maduabuchi said.

He remarked that inspite of the motion for injunction, their sole aim was to foist on the court a situation of complete helplessness by rushing and completing their probe sitting and later told the court that the deed had already been done.

“It is instructive to note that my friend said it was only yesterday they were briefed since June 11 they were served.

“My lord, this court is a court of law and they must be given the opportunity to present their own case.

“Once you proceed on vacation my lord and the court resumed in September, there will be nothing to adjudicate on because the panel would have rounded up.

“I urge you to make an interim order that all the defendants should stop their ongoing activities pending when this motion is heard and disposed of,” he said.

However, Madu explained that the panel was yet to sit.

Justice Mohammed then adjourned the matter until July 14 for hearing.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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EFCC re-arraigns member, Presidential Arms Probe Panel over alleged money laundering, illegal arms possession

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The EFCC on Wednesday re-arraigned a member of the Presidential Committee on procurement of arms and equipment in the Armed Forces, Air Commodore Umar Mohammed (Rtd) in a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Mohammed was rearraigned with his company, Easy Jet Integrated Services Limited before Justice Inyang Ekwo.

They were rearraigned on an amended five-count charge bordering on money laundering, illegal possession of firearms and possession of official documents without lawful authority.

Mohammed pleaded not guilty to all counts just as a not guilty plea was entered for his company.

Following the not guilty plea,  prosecuting counsel, Mr Sanusi Dakat prayed the court for a date to commence trial.

Dakat also told the court that he would call seven witnesses who were all within the jurisdiction of the court to prove his case.

Counsel to the defendant, Mr Y.D. Dangana prayed the court to re-admit Mohammed to bail on the conditions earlier granted by the previous judges he was arraigned before.

In his ruling, the trial judge, justice Inyang Ekwo admitted Mohammed to bail on the terms earlier granted and adjourned the matter until Oct. 12 to 15 for trial.

Mohammed and his company had been previously arraigned before Justices Nnamdi Dimgba and John Tsoho of the same court and were admitted to bail.

Mohammed’s rearraignment was informed by the transfer of the case to another judge and the amendment of the earlier charge by the prosecution.

Mohammed and his company are accused of conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering, illegal possession of firearms and secret act violation.

The Department of State Service (DSS) arrested Umar in June 2016 for allegedly fronting for other members of the Presidential Arms Panel in receiving large sums of money from certain individuals and companies in order to evade prosecution.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Manchester City aren’t the only big spenders  —- Guardiola Wigan thrash struggling Hull 8-0, West Brom draw with Fulham Atalanta whip Brescia 6-2 to go second in Serie A No roars as Tiger makes return to sounds of silence Chelsea win to boost UEFA Champions League chances 7 persons suspected to operate illegal employment agencies arrested Former nurse admits killing 7 United States military retirees Abia doctors lament poor infrastructure, exposure to diseases WASCE: Nigeria’s non-participation will cause irreparable damage – Afe Babalola Illegal refining: NSCDC arrests 6 suspects as facility catches fire in Oregun, Lagos Delta Govt to begin property enumeration to raise IGR — Commissioner Lawyers back Supreme Court judgment on virtual court proceedings Sports Minister congratulates UFC Champion, Usman OPEC launches Annual Statistics Bulletin CBN unveils non-interest guidelines for AGSMEIS, MSMEDF, others  Retirees’ benefits: NLC commends FG’s decision to release N7.45 billion Oyo SWAN mourns ex-3SC boss Buhari won’t fail Nigerians on anti-graft war, says Presidency United States bows to pressure, rescinds policy targeting foreign students Police recover 2 anti-aircraft guns, others in Borno Election: APC ‘ll reclaim Edo, says Sylva Lagos SWAN mourns former Vice Chairman, Ukaigwe Rape: Don urges states to domesticate sexual, gender-based violence laws Tambuwal urges Northern stakeholders to inject more resources, capacity to rescue education Illicit oil storage causes fire outbreak at Oregun – LASEMA boss Enugu airport runway for completion Aug. 30 – aviation minister 2020 MSMEs awards hold virtually on July 16 – Presidency Coronavirus: FRSC cautions commercial drivers in Nasarawa against non-use of passengers’ manifest Trump to hold news conference on Tuesday: White House Supreme Court judgment: Gov. Diri dedicates victory to God FG evacuates 590 Nigerians from UK, 305 from Dubai Coronavirus: NCD Alliance gets grants to help non-communicable disease patients Google hit with 600,000 Euro Belgian privacy fine Okowa congratulates Diri on Supreme Court victory Enugu airport reopens Aug. 30 – Sirika FirstBank rewards its Verve Card holders with free fuel Pompeo hails UK ban of Huawei from 5G networks APC youths leaders laud Gov Akeredolu’s feat in Ondo Strike: NMA warns LASG against escalating impasse with medical doctors Lagos gov’t pays N8.7bn to retirees in 6 months China’s Wanda Film warn a loss 2 executed in Iran after bomb attack Masks, cameras, action! Film production restarts in Californiaho Imbibe spirit of engagement, negotiation for uninterrupted healthcare delivery- Doctors DR Congo police fire tear gas to disperse protests over election chief Kogi Govt. approves construction, reticulation of Osara Water Scheme Ogun assesses business outfits ahead of post Coronavirus operations NiMet predicts cloudiness, rains Wednesday to Friday Death toll rises in Azerbaijan-Armenia border clashes Pastor, 59, allegedly defiles girl, 10 in Ogun