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N3bn Recovered Fund: Former NNPC Boss Has Case to Answer – Court

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N3bn Recovered Fund: Former NNPC Boss Has Case to Answer – Court
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The Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday, 15th May 2019 ruled that a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation,  NNPC Mr. Andrew Yakubu, had a case to answer in respect of the charges of money laundering and non-declaration of assets instituted against him.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had charged Yakubu with six counts bordering on the sums of $9,772, 800 and £74,000.

00, recovered from his home in Kaduna, Kaduna State, on February 3, 2017.

The operatives of the anti-graft agency, on a tip-off, had raided Yakubu’s house, located on Chikun Road, Sabon Tasha area of Kaduna South Local Government Area of Kaduna State, from where the funds translating to about N3bn were allegedly recovered.

Ruling on the no-case submission which Yakubu after the prosecution closed its case, Justice Ahmed Mohammed struck out two of the six counts but ruled that the defendant had a case to answer in respect of the four remaining counts.

The judge said he agreed with Yakubu’s lawyer, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), that the prosecution had failed to prove the essential ingredients of Counts 5 and 6.

He went to discharge the defendant on the two counts.

But ruling in respect of the remaining four counts, Justice Mohammed held, “Even though I am tempted to discharge the defendant on counts one to four, I am however constrained to ask the defendant to explain how he came about the monies recovered from his house.

“Fortified with my position, the defendant is hereby ordered to enter his defence in respect of counts one to four.”
The judge fixed July 3, 2019 for the accused to open his defence.

Yakubu had, through his lawyer, filed his no-case submission on December 5, 2018, arguing that the evidence led by the prosecution’s seven witnesses did not establish a case against him, and so the charges should be dismissed.

In response, EFCC’s prosecuting counsel, M.S. Abubakar, filed a reply dated January 15, 2019, arguing that a prima facie case had been established against Yakubu, and that there were grounds to proceed with his trial.

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Rivers Assembly Screens, Confirms Eight Commissioner Designates

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The Victor Oko-Jumbo-led faction of the Rivers State House of Assembly, on Tuesday screened and confirmed eight nominees for possible appointment as commissioners in the state.

Reports says that the screening took place at the temporary legislative chambers located within the state Government House.

The Oko-Jumbo-led three-member legislature is loyal to the state Governor, Siminalayi Fubara.

The commissioner designates are to fill some of the vacancies created by the recent resignation of nine commissioners loyal to the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Chief Nyesom Wike.

During the sitting, Oko-Jumbo read the correspondence from the governor, requesting the screening and confirmation of the nominees.

He expressed the assembly’s commitment towards supporting the governor to provide democracy dividends to Rivers people.

The factional speaker said that the screening was part of the assembly’s responsibility in the governance of the state

Responding, the House Leader, Mr Sokari Good-boy and Deputy Speaker, Adolphus Timothy, unanimously adopted the request.

They said that most of the nominees had previously served the state at various capacities without blemish.

The commissioner designates include, Mr Charles Bakee, Mr Collins Onunwo, Dr Peter Medee and Mr Elloka Amadi,

Others are, Mr Basoene Benibo, Mr Sydney Gbara, Dr Ovy Chukwuma and Mr Solomon Eke.(NAN)

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Police Arrest Suspect for Allegedly Defrauding Thai Citizen of $216,000, N30m

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Police in Lagos State have arrested a suspect, Chimereze Chinedu, for allegedly defrauding a citizen of Thailand of $216,000 (₦317,725,271) and N30 million.

Police spokesman in the state, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the arrest in a post he shared on his X (formerly Twitter) handle @benHundeyin on Tuesday.

He said that the suspect was arrested by detectives of the State Criminal Investigative Department (SCID).

“Chinedu defrauded his victim under the pretense of selling 37 tricycles to her.

“He further expanded his fraudulent activity by forging letters of SCID, Lagos, showing that the tricycles were seized by the police and further extorted N30 million from the victim to purportedly secure the release of the tricycles,” he said.

The image maker said that the suspect was arrested on May 10 in Enugu State following weeks of diligent investigation and technical support from the International Criminal Police Organization, (INTERPOL)

The spokesman said that the suspect was currently in detention, as investigations continued to uncover details towards identifying and apprehending his accomplices.

According to Hundeyin, the Lagos State Command remains steadfast in its commitment to combating internet fraud and ensuring that perpetrators are brought to justice. (NAN)

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Death Penalty for Drug Traffickers not Proven Effective, Says UNODC

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The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has said that the move by the Nigerian Senate to impose death penalty for drug trafficking offenders would not yield the desired result.

UNODC Country Representative, Oliver Stolpe, said this at a two-day Media Personnel Training organised in collaboration with NDLEA and other partners on Tuesday in Abuja.

Reports says that the training is centered on Anti -Corruption, Police Accountability, Wildlife Crime and Sensitisation on Drugs Prevention, Treatment and Care, (DPTC).

“Our stance as UN is clear on the death penalty we are principally and categorically against it. And from a very practical viewpoint, I have to say, it doesn’t make sense,” he said.

Stolpe maintained that the UN had always advocated for clear distinction between crimes of drug trafficking as opposed to the issue of drug use.

He said that it was always considered primarily to be a health issue saying that it should be dealt with as such.

According to him, addiction is a health condition, it is not a choice.”

On the need for an updated drug data for Nigerians, Stolpe observed that the current national drug survey for Nigeria was last done six years ago, (2018), and therefore does not reflect the current situation for Nigeria.

He said “the drug use survey of 2018 remains as far as I can tell the most cited study in the media.

“This data is outdated and I think a very critical question that media could ask at that point is really well, how can we still refer to 2018 data to describe today’s levels of drug use?

Stolpe enjoined the media to keep the good work while ensuring that information were disseminated efficiently and effectively. NAN)

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