An Ado Ekiti Chief Magistrates’ Court on Friday remanded a 20-year-old man, Kehinde Oke, in a correctional centre for allegedly robbing one Prof. Micheal Ige of his valuables in his residence.
Oke, whose address was not provided, pleaded not guilty to a two-count charge of rape and armed robbery.
The Prosecutor, Insp. Caleb Leramo, told the court that the accused committed the offences on or at about Dec. 22, 2019 at Emure-Ekiti.
He alleged that the accused went to the residence of Prof. Ige at night; stole his laptop, phones and vandalised his cars, all valued N1million.
“After the robbery, the accused went ahead to rape a 55-year-old woman in the building of the professor.
“The accused was recently arrested for another case of armed robbery and some of the belongings of the professor were found in his custody during investigations,’’ the prosecutor said.
The prosecutor said that the offences contravened Section 2(1)(a);and (b) of the Robbery and Fire Arms (Special Provision) Act Cap 2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and Section 2(2) of the Ekiti State Gender Based Violence (Prohibition) amended Law 2019.
The Magistrate, Mr Lawal Abdulhamid, ordered that the defendant be remanded in a correctional centre pending his receipt of legal advice from the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPPs).
The court adjourned the case until July 30 for mention.
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Peter Dada (NAN)
APC UK optimistic of Diezani’s prosecution by British Government
The All Progressives Congress (APC), UK chapter, says it has received favourable response from the British Government to prosecute former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke and other Nigerians suspected of fraud, bribery and corruption offences, living in the United Kingdom.
According to a statement signed by Mr Jacob Ogunseye, the APC UK Publicity Secretary, issued on Tuesday in Abuja, the assurance was given by British Minister of State for Security, James Brokenshire.
In the statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria , the British government also promised to help Nigeria fight corruption to a standstill.
It said Brokenshire’s promise followed a petition initiated by the APC UK legal department to the British government on the need to prosecute the former petroleum minister and other Nigerians suspected of fraud, bribery and corruption.
The statement said the petition was sequel to a plea by Ibrahim Magu, former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at a virtual meeting before his suspension.
It said that Magu had appealed to Nigerians in Diaspora to assist the commission in putting pressure on the British government to repatriate the former minister to Nigeria to answer charges against her.
It said the APC UK legal department took up Magu’s challenge by initiating a legal process reminding the British government of Alison-Madueke’s arrest on October 2, 2015 by its National Crime Agency (NCA) in London.
It recalled that Alison-Madueke was arrested along side four other persons on suspicion of bribery and corruption offences, but was released on bail.
The statement said the department also demanded for a speedy trial of the former petroleum minister in the UK or in the alternative, facilitate her immediate repatriation to Nigeria to face graft charges.
The statement quoted Mr Ade Omole, leader of the chapter, as saying that a fair trial as enshrined in Article 6 of the Human Rights Act would be followed if Madueke was repatriated to Nigeria to face trial.
“APC UK supported the legal process with petitions through Members of Parliament and Peers in the House of Lords, the British Government was left with no choice but respond promptly to the issues raised.
“The British government responding through its Minister of State for Security, Rt. Hon. James Brokenshire, promised to work with the Federal Republic of Nigeria in ensuring that corruption is fought to a standstill and persons involved in criminal acts are duly prosecuted,” Omole said.
He added that the response from the British government was a strong indication of good things to come regarding suspects hibernating in the UK.
He stressed that the APC in UK had a good strategy and dedicated legal team that would ensure that looters did not commit crime in Nigeria and run to the United Kingdom to hide.
He said Nigerians should expect some traction on the near comatose criminal case involving the former petroleum minister going forward.
The statement quoted Brokenshire, as saying that: “The UK is continuing to lead international efforts to combat corruption, as evidenced by the commitments in the UK’s Anti-Corruption Strategy and the Economic Crime plan.”
He said the UK was determined to ensure that its society and economy remained hostile to illicit financial flows.
“As you will know, in 2018 the Financial Action Task Force assessed the UK as having the strongest controls of any country assessed to date.
“I am acutely aware of the negative impacts of grand corruption, including on developing countries.
“The International Anti-Corruption Coordination Centre, hosted by the NCA, is working to recover stolen assets, share intelligence across jurisdictions, and build capacity to support grand corruption cases in developing countries,” he said.
He added that the centre had supported a number of high profile arrests involving politicians and public officials across the world.
“We are working closely with the government of Nigeria to prevent corruption, including providing support in-country.
“The NCA runs a number of multi-agency projects in Nigeria which target corruption as one of the threats to the UK,” Brokenshire said.
According to him, these projects provided specialist training, equipment, buildings and infrastructure.
He said it also provided UK-based mentors and intelligence to fight corruption at all levels, adding that the Department for International Development funds programmes to tackle corruption in the Nigerian public sector and oil industry.
Brokenshire assured the APC UK of UK’s commitment to combating corruption in Nigeria and other African countries.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
Revival of ailing industries will strengthen currency -Expert
Mr Promise Amahah, an economic expert says revamping ailing industries and economic diversification in the country will help to strengthen the value of the Naira among world currencies.
He advised the Federal Government to also sustain the tempo in its diversification drive in different sectors of the economic to further boost the economy.
“The fall of the Naira did not just happen overnight. When Naira was stronger was when we had Peugeot Automobile Nigeria, Volkswagen Nigeria, Dunlop Nigeria Ltd, Michelin Nigeria, Bata and Lennards.
“Our Naira had value when we had Nigerian Airways, Steel Rolling Mills; Osogbo Steel Rolling Mill, Ajaokuta steel, Arewa Textile Mill, BEREC Batteries, General Motors and Kingsway among others,” he said.
Amahah, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Strategy Worth and Technology (SWAT), lauded Federal Government for its move to revive Ajaokuta Steel Company.
The expert said the commitment by the Central Bank of Nigeria to revive Nigerian Cotton Textile and Garment industries was the right step in the right direction.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)
COVID-19: Nigeria records 288 new cases, total now 44,129, with 896 deaths
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Monday.
The agency said that eight new deaths were reported, bringing the total number of fatalities to 896 across the country.
The NCDC said that the new infections were recorded in Lagos, the Federal Capital Territory and 13 states.
It stated that Lagos topped the list with 88 new cases, while the FCT reported 25 fresh infections.
Among others were Kwara, 33, Osun, 27, Enugu, 25, Abia, 20, Kaduna, 17, Plateau and Rivers, 13 each, Delta, 10, and Gombe, 8.
The agency stressed that states with fewer cases include Ogun, 4, Oyo, 3, Katsina, 1 and Bauchi, 1.
According to it, till date, 44,129 cases have been confirmed, 20,663 cases discharged and 896 deaths recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
Meanwhile, the health agency added that washing of hands frequently with soap under running water was one of the best ways to stop the transmission of diseases like COVID-19 from person to person or after touching contaminated surfaces.
“#TakeResponsibility to keep yourself and loved ones safe and healthy.
“This election period, #TakeResponsibility by adhering to guidelines to protect ourselves and loved ones from COVID-19, including Physical distancing, Use of hand sanitisers and Use of face mask,” it advised.
“In Nigeria, use of hydroxychloroquine is only limited to clinical trials.
“Please #TakeResponsibility and avoid self-medication,” it stressed.
The agency warned that a high percentage of those infected with COVID-19 did not show any symptom of the disease.
“So, to protect yourself and everyone around you, wear a face mask, maintain physical distancing, wash your hands frequently and follow all guidelines from the NCDC website,” it said.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
COVID-19: SON, committee review safety guidelines for tourism sector resumption
Mrs Chika Balogun, Committee Chairperson and Director-General, National Institute for Hotels and Tourism, said via a webinar meeting on Monday in Abuja that the draft standards would help revive the tourism sector.
According to her, it will help the sector to pick up when the lockdown ends.
”The online meeting by the committee’s Working Group on Tourism and Related Services is aimed at mitigating harrowing effect of COVID-19 on the industry.
”It will find a common ground for post-COVID-19 way forward in reviving the industry.
”The draft standards on Health and Safety Measures for Tourism and Hospitality Establishments-Post Pandemic (COVID-19) Resumption Guidelines specified resumption requirements to comply with lives protection and business sustainability.
”The guidelines apply to Hotels, Restaurants, Fast Foods, Conferences, Meetings, Event Centres, Tour Operatives, Travel Agents, Tourist Information Centres, Airlines and Beaches, among others,” she said.
Balogun said at a difficult period like this, tourism stakeholders needed to put all hands-on deck to pull out of the pandemic challenges.
Balogun thanked the committee members for their commitment and dedication towards making Nigerian tourism sector at par with its counterparts on the global scene.
The Director, Standards Development, SON, Mrs Chinyere Egwuonwu, said tourism sector had been adversely affected by the pandemic within and outside Nigeria.
“National Mirror Committee is expected to oversee a comeback by the sector through deliberations on the draft standards and the eventual implementation,” she said.
Represented by SON Group Head, Service Standards, Mr Ayoola Ololade, Egwuonwu stated that SON was ready to work with stakeholders to revamp the sector to ensure that activities pick at the end of the lockdown.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)