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JUDICIARY

NBA Chairman, Magistrate Bag Three-Year Jail Term in Adamawa

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A Federal High Court in Yola on Thursday, sentenced a former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chairman, Binanu Esthon and Magistrate, Shehu Mustapha, to three years in prison each for fraud.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged  Esthon and  Mustapha with seven counts bordering on fraud committed before 2015.

Delivering judgment, Justice Bilkisu  Aliyu, held that the convicts were sentenced for stealing and defrauding 502 retired staff of the Stirling Civil Engineering Nigeria limited in Adamawa  in 2007 of N67 million.

She held that Mustapha stole money belonging to  502 retired workers of the debtor company.

“The convicts stole from workers who retired and were not paid any  benefit over years.“The second convict as a judicial officer who was in the position of authority to give the retired workers  justice and reprieve, failed to do so. Rather, caused untold hardship on them.“ Mustaoha has done a great disservice to the administration of justice in general and his conduct is highly condemned,” she held.On Esthon, she said, as counsel for the complainants,  he failed in his sacred duty to uphold the rule of law and ensure justice was upheld always as a lawyer.

Aliyu held that Esthon participated in causing more harm to his clients whose interest he ought to protect.She held that the  three year –  sentence was  the maximum punishment provided for the offence of criminal conversion by Section 390 of the Criminal Code Act Cap. C38 LFN 2004 and called for an amendment.

She ordered the EFCC to take urgent steps to recover the money for on ward payment to the retired workers.

Reacting to the judgment, EFCC counsel, Mr Ahmad Muntaka, said justice has taken its course in the trial. (NAN)

JUDICIARY

Surety Faces N500,000 Bail Bond Forfeiture Charge

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A 47-year-old man, Ogbonna Anoka, who allegedly stood surety for a church member, but failed to produce him in court as required, on Tuesday appeared before a Sabo-Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos.

Anoka, whose house address was not given, entered a ‘not-guilty’ plea to a charge of perversion of justice.

The Prosecutor, Insp.

Magaji Haruna, told the court that Anoka committed the offence on Jan.
26, at the State Criminal Investigation Department, M.A.K Smith St., Panti, Yaba, Lagos.

Haruna alleged that the defendant conspired with one other person to obstruct and pervert the course of justice.

“The defendant stood as a surety for one Nonso Onyekwelu, a church member, who was involved in a case of conspiracy and receiving stolen property reported at the station.

“Onyekwelu was granted bail and released to the defendant, who promised to produce him at the station until the case is finally disposed off.

“The accused is hereby called upon to show cause why the sum of N500,000 bond executed by him should not be forfeited,” the prosecutor said.

The offence, Haruna said, contravenes Section 97 (3) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

Reports says that the Section 97 provides seven years imprisonment for perversion of justice, while sub section (3) provides two years imprisonment.

The Magistrate, Mrs O. Y. Adefope, granted bail to the accused in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum.

The case was adjourned until Feb. 21 for mention (NAN)

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JUDICIARY

Court Discharges Sowore, Bakare, Orders DSS to Release Seized Items

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A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, discharged Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare of alleged treasonable felony charge by the Attorney-General.of the Federation (AGF), Mr Lateef Fagbemi, SAN.

Justice Emeka Nwite, in a ruling after counsel for the AGF, A.R. Tahir, withdrew the charge, struck out the matter.

Justice Nwite also ordered the Department of State Service (DSS) to immediately release three phones and the sum of N10, 000 seized from Sowore during his arrest.

The judge also ordered the DSS to release a phone belonging to Bakare and the sum of N1, 500 confiscated from him during his arrest.

Justice Nwite equally ordered that Sowore’s international passport be released.

The orders followed an application by lawyer to Sowore and Bakare, Mr Femi Falana, SAN, to tye effect.

Reports says that Sowore and Bakare were earlier arraigned before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu in 2019 before the matter was reassigned to Nwite.(NAN)

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JUDICIARY

3 Docked over Alleged Theft of Maggi Seasoning Worth N50m

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Court Sentences Applicant to 6 Months in Prison for Stealing Cell Phone
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Three men were on Monday arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, for allegedly stealing 3,000 cartons of maggi seasoning valued N50 million.

The accused Emmanuel Akpan, 38; Tasiu Aliu, 27; and Usman Hassan, 48, are being charged with conspiracy and stealing.

The Prosecutor, Insp.

Innocent Odugbo, told the court that the defendants committed the offences on Dec.
15, 2023 at Engineering Close, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Odugbo said Akpan, a logistics agent, contacted a truck to convey 3,000 cartons of Terra Maggi seasoning belonging to TGI Distribution Company to Kaduna State.

The prosecutor added that Aliu, a driver and Hassan his motorboy, brought the truck for the conveyance of the goods.

”After their departure, all calls made to track their location failed, their cell phones were switched off .

”The goods were neither delivered to the agreed destination nor returned to the company,” he said.

He said the offences contravened Sections 287 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Magistrate, Mrs M. O Popoola, granted the defendants bail in the sum of N5 million each with two sureties in like sum.

Popoola adjourned the case until March 20 for trial.(NAN)

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