A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dele Belgore, on Wednesday told a Federal High Court, Lagos that Kwara stakeholders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) authorised the sharing of the N450million campaign fund.
Belgore was testifying under cross examination, in a Money laundering charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
EFCC charged Belgore and a former Minister of National Planning, Abubakar Sulaiman, on a nine-count charge bordering on the alleged offences.
They had, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge and were granted bail.
Belgore, who is a former campaign coordinator of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State, had concluded his testimony in defence of the charge on April 12, while the court had adjourned for cross examination.
At the last adjourned date on May 6, a second defence counsel, Mr Tayo Oyetibo had comcluded his cross examination of Belgore.
When trial resumed on Wednesday, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, appeared for the prosecution, while Mr Ebun Shofunde (SAN) appeared for Belgore.
Under cross examination by the prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, the defendant told the court that the stakeholders also authorised the formula with which the disbursement was made.
According to him, the decision to disburse the campaign funds and the list of recipients was made at a meeting of the state’s PDP stakeholders.
Querried further by Oyedepo, he also said that he did not give any written instructions to share the money to the stakeholders, contending that the instructions came from his party.
He told the court that he did not have a copy of that instruction.
The defendant denied that N80mIllion was apportioned to the campaign coordinator or his office, contending that funds allocated was on the instructions of the stakeholders.
He told the court that the stakeholders’ meeting was to allocate funds to Local Governments and their Chairmen and that the funds were to be given to the Chairmen and representatives, adding that he was not aware if it was changed.
The defendant confirmed that at the stakeholders’ meeting, people were nominated to collect monies, but denied knowledge about collection of the said monies as he was not there.
Justice Rilwan Aikawa had adjourned until June 17 for continuation of cross examination by the prosecution, at 10 a.m.
In the nine count charge, the EFCC alleged that Diezani (said to be at large) conspired with Belgore and Sulaiman on or about March 27, 2015, to directly take possession of the sum of N450 million, which they reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of an unlawful act.
They were also alleged to have taken the said funds in cash, which exceeded the amount authorised by law, without going through the financial institutions.
Court remands labourer in prison over alleged murder
A Kaduna Magistrates’ Court, on Tuesday ordered the remand of a 30-year-old labourer, Inuwa Yunusa, for alleged murder.
The Magistrate, Umar Ibrahim, who did not take the plea of the defendant, ordered that he be remanded pending legal advice from the Kaduna State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Ibrahim adjourned the case until Jan. 14, 2020, for further mention.
Yunusa who resides in Kauru Local Government Area of Kaduna State, is standing trial for criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide.
The Prosecutor, Insp. Chidi Leo, told the court that the case was transferred from Kauru Divisional Headquarters of the state, to the Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (CIID), on Nov. 12.
Leo said on the same date, at about 2:00 p.m., the defendant and two others now at large, had a misunderstanding with one Adamu Dogo, which led to a physical brawl.
The prosecutor stated that during the fight the defendant and his friends used a log of wood and hit Dogo on his head and he slumped.
Leo added that when the victim slumped, the defendant and his friends took to their heels before he was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The prosecutor said the offences contravened sections 59 and 190 of Kaduna State Penal Code, 2017.
Edited by: Ejike Obeta/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore
Man docked for refusal to pay N75,000 stake for lotto, stealing N175,000
A 25-year-old man, Joshua Ayomide, was on Tuesday docked at an Okitipupa Chief Magistrates’ Court in Ondo State for allegedly refusing to pay N75.000 as the stake fee for Bet9ja lotto.
The defendant whose address and occupation were not disclosed is facing charges bordering on a breach of the peace and stealing.
The prosecutor, Insp. Ayodeji Omoyeigha, told the court that the defendant on Sept. 3 at 12:30p.m., conducted himself in an unruly manner at a Bet9ja shop along Aye-Ore Road in Okitipupa Magisterial District.
The prosecutor added that the defendant also conducted himself in a manner likely to have caused a breach of the peace by not paying the sum he staked in a lottery.
He said that the defendant also stole N175,000 belonging to one Oluwaseun Enikanolaye, the owner of the lotto shop.
Omoyeigha said that the offences contravened Sections 249(d) and 390(9), Criminal Code, Cap.37, Vol.1, Laws of Ondo State, 2006.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against him.
The chief magistrate, Mr Dickson Ogunfuyi, admitted the defendant to a bail of N50,000 and a surety in like sum.
He said that the surety must provide evidence of a year’s tax clearance paid to the state government.
He adjourned the case until Dec. 23 for further hearing.
Edited by: Emmanuel Nwoye/Peter Dada
Businessman, 65, in court over alleged N9.2m land fraud
A 65-year-old businessman, Salisu Dauda, on Tuesday appeared in a Kaduna Magistrates’ Court, over alleged N9.2 million land fraud.
The Prosecutor, Insp. Chidi Leo, told the court that the defendant committed the offences with one Habu Abubakar, now at large in 2011 at Kaduna.
Leo said that Mr Musa Shehu of Malali, in Kaduna, reported the case at the Police State Command on Nov. 30.
He said the defendant collected the N9.2milliom for two plots of land located at Igabi Local Government Trade Fair Layout, at the rate of N5.2million and N4million.
He said that the complainant was, however, denied taking possession of the land by someone who claimed to be the real owner of the land.
The prosecutor said all efforts made by the complainant to get a refund of his money or another landed property from the defendant proved abortive.
Leo said the offences contravened Sections 297 and 307 of the Kaduna State Criminal Law, 2017.
The Magistrate, Mr Umar Ibrahim admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N200, 000, with two sureties in like sum.
Ibrahim said that the sureties must reside within the court’s jurisdiction, with evidence of tax payments to Kaduna Government.
He adjourned the case until Jan. 14, 2020 for further mention.
Edited by: Edith Bolokor/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore
Court sentences carpenter to 2 months in prison for cheating
A Grade I Area Court, Mpape, Abuja, on Tuesday sentenced a carpenter, Wisdom Umar to two months in prison for cheating and absconding.
The Judge, Salihu Ibrahim, sentenced Umar after he pleaded guilty to defrauding Ms Talatu Ussani of the sum of N6, 700 and absconding.
Ibrahim, however, gave the convict an option to pay a fine of N5, 000.
Earlier, the Prosecution Counsel, M.M. Austin, told the court that the case was reported at Mpape Police Station by Ussaini, who lives in Crushed Rock Area of Mpape on Nov. 24.
Austin said the convict went to the complainant’s drinking joint with friends and bought drinks and sauced meat worth N6, 700 and absconded after that.
The prosecutor said the offence contravened the provisions of Section 322 of the Penal Code.
Edited by: Ejike Obeta/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore
Man docked over alleged N190,000 fraud
Lateef, whose address was not provided, is facing a two-count charge of fraud and stealing, to which he pleaded not guilty.
The Prosecutor, Insp. Emmanuel Abdullahi, told the court that the defendant committed the offences on Sept. 30 in Ondo Road, Ile-Ife.
Abdullahi said that the defendant borrowed N190,000 from the complainant, Mr Alake Ayigun, and that he would pay him back on Oct. 30, a representation he knew was false.
All efforts made by the complainant to recover his money proved abortive,” the prosecutor said.
According to him, the offences contravene Sections 390 and 419 of the Criminal Code, Law of Osun, 2002.
Defence Counsel, Mr Babawale Omodogbe, urged the court to grant his client bail in the most liberal terms, promising that he would not jump bail
The Magistrate, Mr Muhibah Olatunji, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N200,000, with two sureties in like sum.
Olatunji ordered that the sureties must reside within the court’s jurisdiction and should show evidence of tax payments to Osun Government.
He adjourned the case till Jan 13, 2020, for mention.
Edited by: Okisor Angela and
4 neighbours defiled me for 7 years, woman tells court
A 20-year-old fashion designer (name withheld) on Monday narrated before an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court how she was allegedly sexually abused and defiled by four neighbours on different occasions over a seven-year period.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that two of the neighbours – a driver, Taofeeq Alabi, and dry cleaner, Igwe Andrew, aged 49 and 31, respectively – are facing trial for defilement.
The other two – Babatunde Green and Babatunde Andrew – are currently at large.
Led in evidence by Mrs Arinola Momoh-Ayokanbi, prosecution counsel, the complainant, who is the first prosecution witness, narrated how each of the two defendants allegedly defiled her.
The wife of Taofeeq Alabi, the first defendant, is a fashion designer and I usually go to their apartment upstairs to learn while she sews clothes for clients.
One day, her husband asked me to come to the apartment, that he wanted to send me on an errand.
When I got into the apartment, he gave me a powder to lick and told me that he had put something (black magic) in my body and that even though I got married, it would still be there.
I became very scared, he removed my clothes and had sexual intercourse with me.
I did not tell anyone about what happened because of fear and I was also afraid of how my parents might react if I told them,’’ she said.
Narrating how Andrew, the second defendant allegedly defiled her, she said he committed the offence in her bedroom.
I was fast asleep in my bedroom and forgot to lock the door. Andrew came into my bedroom and lay on top of me.
When I woke up and asked why he was in my room, he asked me to shut up.
He told me that he wanted to have sexual intercourse with me,” she said.
The witness said that she tried unsuccessfully to push him away and he forcefully defiled her.
After it happened, my younger brother came into the bedroom, saw him and beat him with a stick, telling him to get out of the room.
The next day, he approached me and told me he wanted me to do something for him.
When I asked what it was, he proceeded to show me a blue film (pornography) on his phone.
I ignored him and since that day, I avoided him,’’ she said.
The complainant said both defendants defiled her when she was a 14-year-old Senior Secondary One (SS1) student.
She said the other neighbours (Green and Babatunde) started defiling her when she was in primary school.
She said she never told her parents about the defilement because she was scared of them but it all came to light when the caretaker of their property informed her father that she was being defiled by the neighbours.
My father reported the defilement at the Ladipo Police Station, where we made a statement and I was referred to the Mirabel Centre for medical examination,’’ she said.
After the evidence, defence counsel, Mr K. U. Ani, requested for an adjournment of the cross-examination of the witness on the grounds of his ill-health.
Justice Abiola Soladoye adjourned the case until Feb. 2, 2020, for cross-examination of the alleged victim.
According to the prosecution, the defendants committed the offences from 2010 to 2017 at the Papa Ajao area of Mushin, Lagos.
The defendants, who have been remanded at a correctional facility, defiled the complainant, who is their neighbour, by having unlawful sexual intercourse with her when she was 14 years old.
“The offence contravenes Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2015, which prescribes up to life sentence for anyone convicted of defilement of a child,’’ Momoh-Ayokanbi said.
Edited by: Abdulfatah Babatunde/Ijeoma Popoola
Alleged P&ID scam: Court dismisses Briton’s plea for bail variation
The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, thrown out the application for bail variation filed by the British national, James Nolan.
Justice Okon Abang, who dismissed the prayer, said the application lacked merit.
The judge wondered why Nolan could not respond to the serious allegations leveled against him by the Economic and Crimes that he forged resident permit and that if granted bail he might jump bail.
According to Justice Abang, I took a risk in admitting the 3rd defendant (Nolan) to bail.
Justice Abang said he was surprised that no attempt was made by the defendant to fulfill the bail conditions.
He was skeptical at the speed the Briton applied for bail variation, following the court’s decision to grant his initial bail application.
Abang said Nolan, in his statements in Paragraph 9, Sub-paragraph 11 to 13 of his affidavit in support of his application, told the court that he had lived in Nigeria for over 20 years and had been part of Nigerian community and had invested in human and infrastructural development in different communities in Nigeria through his companies.
He said he constructed a primary school block and a modern access bridge in Bauchi State.
He even exhibited the photographs of the primary school block and the access bridge constructed by the application in Bauchi State and marked Exhibit JRA4, Exhibit JRA5 respectively,” he said.
According to the judge, having constructed a school and modern bridge in Bauchi State, the defendant ought to have approached at least a senator representing that area.
He said there was no evidence before the court to show that Nolan reached out to a senator to stand as a surety and the senator turned down his request.
According to Abang, this would have made the court to believe in the defendant that he has made effort to secure a senator as his surety and it was not possible, and therefore the need for the court to vary the bail conditions.
It is not impossible to secure a senator as surety but the defendant made no effort in this regard,” he held.
The judge said a person who had invested so much in human and infrastructural development cannot claim that no senator is prepared to stand a surety for him.
In fact, I even took a risk in admitting defendant to bail, having regards to what the constitution placed before the court and having regards to the peculiar facts of the case.
The prosecution stated that the defendant is a foreigner who forged resident permit and the prosecution informed the court in a letter from Immigration Service to this effect.
The defendant did not react to this serious allegation and I do not have to wait till prosecution proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.
The judge said he had to consider the chances of the defendant standing trial, following the allegation that the defendant might jump bail if granted.
He therefore said he could only release Nolan to a surety that has a major stake in the affairs of the county, who could produce him in court whenever he is needed for trial.
He expressed concern that if Nolan jumped bail, the court could not guarantee where he would run to.
It was also alleged that Nolan and his collaborators induced Nigerian officers into fraudulent contract which led to an award of 9.6 billion dollars against Nigeria in UK, that the 3rd defendant is at the heart of this companies, in fact, one of the direction minds of those companies; Process Industrial Development Ltd and Process Industrial Development Nigeria Ltd, involved in the alleged fraudulent contract.
It was also alleged that the 3rd defendant has foreign collaborators that are currently abroad, pursuing the enforcement of the foreign judgment debt of 9.6 billion dollars against Nigeria in United Kingdom,” Justice Abang held.
The judge noted that if the judgment was enforced on Nigeria, “the 3rd defendant would have no incentive, in my view, to remain in Nigeria.”
The judge, therefore, ruled that: “The defendant having failed to provide materials to enable the court vary the bail conditions, the application lacks merit and it is accordingly dismissed.”
Justice Abang, then, adjourned till Dec. 10 for trial continuation.
Nigeria News Agency reports that Justice Abang had, on Nov. 7, admitted Nolan to a bail in the sum of N500 million.
The judge, who granted the bail in an application filed by Nolan, ordered that the applicant must produce a surety in like sum, who must be a Nigerian and a serving senator not standing any criminal trial in any court in Nigeria.
Besides, he held that the proposed surety must submit a three years tax clearance certificate and sign an undertaking to always be present in court with the defendant throughout the duration of the trial.
The senator must have a landed property fully developed in Maitama District of Abuja and fully certified by the FCDA.
”The surety must submit two passport photographs,” Abang had ruled.
Likewise, the court ordered the defendant to surrender all his international passports, even as it mandated the Nigerian Immigration Service to confirm how many passports that were issued to him within the past 20 years.
Process and Industrial Development (P&ID), an Irish engineering company, had secured the award against Nigeria following the non-execution of a 20-year gas and supply processing agreement (GSPA) the company had with the Federal Government.
The arraignment of the two British nationals is coming weeks after two P&ID directors were convicted over the deal.
The defendants, both directors of Goidel Resources Limited, a Designated Non-Financial Institution and ICIL Limited, were arraigned on a 16-count charge bordering on alleged money laundering. .
Edited by: Sadiya Hamza
Man, 32, docked over alleged N185,000 fraud
A 32-year-old man, Innocent Eze, was, on Monday, arraigned before an Ado-Ekiti Chief Magistrates’ Court over alleged N185,000 fraud.
Eze, whose address was not provided, is facing a charge of fraud before the court.
He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The Prosecutor, Insp. Oriyomi Akinwale, told the court that the defendant committed the offence with some other persons, still at large in April 2018, at Oke-Age Street in Ado-Ekiti.
Akinwale said that the defendant collected N185,000 from the complainant, Mr Chukwuemeka Reuben, under the pretext of getting a shop for him, which he failed to do.
Akinwale said that the offence contravened Section 419 of the Criminal Law of Ekiti State, 2012.
He urged the court to adjourn the case to enable him study the case file and assemble his witnesses.
The Defence Counsel, Mr Timi Omotosho, urged the court to grant his client bail, promising that he would not jump bail.
The Chief Magistrate, Mr Adesoji Adegboye, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N200,000, with two sureties in like sum.
Adegboye adjourned the case till Feb. 3, 2020 for mention.
Edited by: Edith Bolokor and
Banker remanded over alleged N50m fraud in Ibadan
Ajoku ordered Agbabiaka to be remanded after he had pleaded not guilty to the 34 count-charge leveled against him.
She adjourned the case till Feb. 6, 2020 for commencement of trial as well as hearing of bail application.
Counsel to the Economic and Crimes , Mr S. Bashir, had earlier told the court that the accused was arraigned on 34 count-count bordering on forgery, unlawful conversion and stealing of N50 million belonging to one Mrs Justina Okoye.
According to Bashir, Agbabiaka committed the crime on different dates between Janurary and August while he was attending to Okoye as a customer of Fidelity Bank of Nigeria.
The prosecutor further stated that Agbabiaka, an account officer of Fidelity Bank, at various times forged the signature of the complainant to withdraw the N50 million.
Bashir said that the offence contravened Section 1 (2) and (C ) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act M17 Laws of 2007. (NAN
(Edited by: Ejike Obeta/Mufutau Ojo)
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