Okorocha, Wife, Others to Forfeit Assets to EFCC
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has obtained orders for the interim forfeiture of assets traced to a former Imo governor, Rochas Okorocha, and his wife.
The Head, Enugu Zonal Office of the commission, Mr Usman Imam, disclosed this on Wednesday in Enugu while briefing newsmen on the activities of the commission in the last eight months.
Imam said that the commission also obtained similar order on a property traced to a former aide to Okorocha, Mr Paschal Obi, and the former governor’s daughter.
He said that the commission had established prima facie cases against the suspects which they would answer to.
Imam said that the commission would like to know how the Rochas Foundation and other accomplices acquired and or converted some of the property for personal use.
He listed some of the property to include a 16-block cum 96 flats and an eight-bungalow multimillion naira estate, hotel, two schools, shopping plaza, supermarket, hospital and four vehicles.
The EFCC chief said that while the hospital was traced to Obi, the remaining property were traced to the former governor and his family, including his wife and daughter.
“We hope to get permanent forfeiture orders on the property in order to return them to the people of the state,” he said.
Imam said that all the facilities, including the schools, would remain functional as the commission would not like to shut them down for the sake of the students and other users.
“Other recoveries were made and are awaiting forfeiture, but for the court vacation. They include a twin three-storey building with a three bedroom bungalow and a duplex, both in Enugu.
“The property were recovered from cyber fraudsters,” he said.
Imam said that the commission, within the period, recovered N213.85 million and 10, 600 US dollars.
“In one of such recoveries, one Augustine Ejimokor, who defrauded his victim of the sum of 5,000 US dollars and used it to acquire a Mercedez Benz C300 was ordered to forfeit the vehicle.
“So far, the zone has arrested 88 suspected fraudsters since 2015, with 70 of them in 2019. This underscores the efforts of the present zonal head in conformity with the acting chairman’s directives,” he said.
Imam said that the zone also obtained 59 convictions out of whom were the 51 arrested and prosecuted in 2019. (NAN)
PDP Makes U- turn, Lifts Suspension on Ortom, Fayose, Anyim, Shema, Others
By Johnson Eyiangho, Gom Mirian (Abuja) & David Torough, Makurdi
Two days after the sack of Dr. Iyorchia Ayu as its National Chairman, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday reversed the suspension of five members, former Governors – Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti State), Ibrahim Schema (Katsina State), Senator Ayim Pius Ayim (Ebonyi State), Prof.Dennis Ityavyar (Benue State) and Dr. Aslam Aliyu (Zamfara State).
The PDP NWC also reversed the referral of Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue to the party’s national disciplinary committee.
In a statement issued yesterday, Debo Ologunagba, PDP spokesperson, said the decision was taken after the NWC “extensively discussed recent developments” in the party.
“The NWC recognised the imperativeness of a total reconciliation among party leaders and critical stakeholders for a more cohesive party in the overall interest of our teeming members and Nigerians in general,” the statement reads.
“This decision is without prejudice to the powers of the NWC to take necessary disciplinary action against any member of the party at any time pursuant to the provisions of the constitution of the PDP.”
The PDP asked all members and leaders to be guided by the party’s constitution and the “new spirit and necessity of reconciliation, unity and harmony in our party at this critical time”.
Last week, the PDP NWC suspended Shema, Anyim, Ityavyar, and Aliyu over alleged anti-party activities.
However, the members protested their suspension, saying they were not given a fair hearing.
The decision of the PDP NWC to lift the suspension of the members comes days after Iyorchia Ayu was removed as the party’s national chairman and Iliya Damagum was appointed as the acting leader.
Ayu was suspended by his ward in Gboko LGA, Benue state.
A day after his suspension, a high granted an ex parte order restraining Ayu from parading himself as the party’s national chairman.
Benue PDP Suspends Ward Exco over Ayu’s Ordeal
The Benue State Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has suspended the Kashi Philip-led Igyorov ward exco in the Gboko Local Government Area of the state over the crisis that led to the suspension of the party’s former National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu.
The acting Chairman of the PDP in Benue, Isaac Mffo at a press briefing in Makurdi on Thursday, said the Igyorov ward executive is suspended for one month to allow for peace to be restored.
He also said the state working committee will henceforth take charge of the political affairs of the party in Igyorov ward where Ayu hails from.
On Tuesday, the national body of the PDP appointed Umar Damagum as the acting National Chairman of the party to replace Ayu.
“The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at an emergency meeting today, Tuesday, March 28, 2023, acknowledge the Order of the Benue State High Court, dated March 27, 2023, with regards to the Chairmanship position of our great Party,” the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, had said in a statement on Tuesday.
After careful consideration of the Court Order and in line with Section 45 (2) of the Constitution of the PDP (as amended in 2017), the NWC resolved that the Deputy National Chairman (North) His Excellency, Amb. Umar Ililya Damagum assumes the National Chairmanship of our Party in an acting capacity with effect from today, Tuesday, March 28, 2023.”
Ayu was initially suspended by his ward in Benue for anti-party activities. The court thereafter restrained him from parading as the chairman of the party pending the determination of the substantive suit which has been adjourned to April 17, 2023, for a hearing.
CCB Begins Atiku’s Investigation, Invites Keyamo
The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) may have started investigation of the petition filed by the Spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council, Festus Keyamo, requesting the probe of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
It was gathered that the Bureau invited the petitioner, Festus Keyamo to its office over the matter.
Keyamo had accused Atiku of diverting public funds through special purpose vehicles while he was Nigeria’s vice-president.
The minister of state for labour and employment had given the CCB a 72-hour ultimatum to “arrest, invite, interrogate and prosecute” Atiku for the alleged offences.
The CCB, in a letter dated March 28, invited Keyamo to the bureau’s office in Abuja to adopt his petition.
“This invitation is to enable you adopt the aforementioned petition and to provide any additional information that may be material to this investigation,” the letter reads.
“You are requested to come along with one Michael Achimugu, to assist with enquiries regarding the attachments to your petition.”
Keyamo has also instituted a suit against the former vice-president before an Abuja federal high court.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/84/2023, Keyamo is seeking to compel law enforcement agencies to prosecute Atiku over the same offences.
Keyamo is praying the court for an order compelling the PDP standard bearer “to submit himself to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and the Conduct of Conduct Bureau (CCB) for thorough investigation”.
The minister’s suit is premised on an audio recording released by Achimugu, Atiku’s former aide.
Woman, 33, Arraigned for Impersonating Police Officer
A 33-year-old woman, Damilola Odutola, who allegedly impersonated a police officer in an attempt to invade a house, on Thursday appeared before a Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court, Lagos.
Odutola, whose address was not provided, is facing a two- count charge of impersonation and breach of peace.
She, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The prosecutor, ASP Rita Momah, told the court that the defendant committed the offences on March 10, 2021, at No 35a, Chief Collins Street, Uchediuno Leeki Phase 1, Lagos.
Momah alleged that Odutola entered the house of the complainant, Mrs Bimpe Daramola, dressed as a police officer.
She stated that Odutola intentionally acted in a disorderly manner, when she forced her way into the house of the complainant.
Momah said the offences contravened Section 168 (d) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Adeola Olatubosun, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum.
Olatubosun ordered that the sureties must show evidence of three years tax payment to the Lagos State Government.
She adjourned the case until April 17 for mention. (NAN)
Court Remands 9 Persons for Allegedly Robbing, killing a Police Inspector
A Makurdi Chief Magistrates’ Court in Benue on Thursday, ordered the remand of nIne persons in a correction centre for allegedly robbing and killing one Insp Peter Ilonye.
The police charged the defendants, who live at various addresses in Gwer-East Local Government Area of Benue with criminal conspiracy, armed robbery, illegal possession of firearms and culpable homicide.
However, the Magistrate, Mrs Roseline Iyorshe, did not take their plea for want in jurisdiction.
Iyorshe adjourned the matter until May 15, 2023 for further mention.
Earlier, the Prosecution Counsel, Insp Godwin Ato,told the court that the case was received at the State CID, Makurdi on March 1, 2023 from Operation Zenda Joint Task Force Headquarters, Makurdi via signal dated same March 1.
Ato said the signal stated that one Insp Terna Moughga attached to Operation Zenda JTF, Aliade Sector reported at the Operation Zenda JTF, Headquarters, Makurdi on March 1 that Insp Ilonye who was also attached to Operation Zenda JTF, Aliade Sector had been killed by a group of armed robbers.
Moughga stated that the deceased was riding on his motorcycle from Taraku to Aliade town when he ran into the gang of armed robbers who had blocked the road at Jiwunde village and were robbing motorists of their belongings.
Moughga stated that upon sighting Ilonye, they shot him on his stomach and carted away his service AK-47 rifle with breech number NH347439 loaded with 30 rounds of ammunition.
He said Ilonye was later confirmed dead as a result of the gunshot.
Prosecutor said the defendants, Alam Timothy, Ushahemba Tarveem, Ternenge Zafefa, Aondonenge Tyozenda, Zakpe Alfred, James Akange, Terdoo Ikpur, Aondohemba Torto and Jennifer Terna were arrested during police investigation for committing the offences.
He said some others are still at large.
Ato said two AK-47 rifles, four locally made pistols, seven single barrel guns, 67 rounds of 7.62×39 mm live ammunition and three magazines were recovered from the hoodlums.
Also recovered were four expended cartridges, 21 live cartridges, four pairs of Military camouflage and a pair of Mobile Police uniform were recovered from the defendants.
Prosecutor said their offenses contravened sections 6(b), 1(1)(2)(a)(b), 3(1) of the robbery and firearms act, 2004 and 222 of the penal code laws of Benue, 2004.(NAN)
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