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BREAKING: Court terminates charges against Alex Badeh

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An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Monday terminated the charges filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the late former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh.

Badeh was killed by gunmen last year when returning from his farm in Nasarawa State.
The court presided over by Okon Abang in its judgement found Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, the company which is standing trial with Mr Badeh, guilty of the charges.

It ordered that all properties of the company in line with the 10-count amended charge be forfeited to the federal government through the EFCC.

He also ordered that the Corporate Affairs Commission should be notified of the ruling.

“Having regard to the plea bargain and plea duly taken, I hereby find the defendant Iyalikam Nigeria limited guilty.

“The defendant is hereby wound up and this judgement shall be served on the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) for necessary action.

“All properties in line with the 10-count charge are hereby forfeited to the Federal Republic of Nigeria through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC).

“In view of the fact that the first defendant in the original charge is reported dead, all charges against the first defendant are hereby terminated,” Abang said.

During the court session on Monday, the prosecution counsel, O A. Atolagbe, told the court that the matter was adjourned for the hearing of defence of the second defendant (Iyalikam Nig Ltd).

“This case was adjourned to today for the continuation of hearing, in particular to defence of the 2nd def, since the 1st def is deceased.

“However, there is a development, the 2nd defendant and the prosecution have met and they have been able to reach an agreement and we have filed a further amended charge dated March 1 and filed March 4.

“We also filed a plea bargain agreement dated March 4 pursuant to section 279 of ACJA, 2015.

According to  Atolagbe, “In view of the two processes, we urge my lord to make an order of amendment of the charge before the court stating further that there is a provision under ACJA section 216 which deals with amendment but section 218(2) which deals with the process if amendment and we have provided the note specified by section 218(2)at the end of the amended charge.”

The first defendant’s counsel, Akin Olujimi, and second defendant’s counsel, Samuel Ologunorisa, did not object to the application of the prosecution.

Abang, then said, “Since there has not been objection to the prosecution application, the further amendment charge filed today is deemed properly filed and served.”

Following the short ruling, Atolagbe said, “I further urge My Lord allow the charge to be read and plea bargain entered as in the plea bargain agreement.”

Responding, Olujimi said, “It is most unnecessary to go over the reading of charges again, there is before the court a plea bargain agreement executed by the prosecution. It would have been a different situation if there was no plea bargain.”

Ologunorisa told the court he shared the same view with Olujimi.

Again, the prosecution reiterated that the amended 10-count charge be read to the court.

“I humbly urge the court to let the charge be read in the open court by the registrar.”

When the judge asked if there is a section that supports that, Atolagbe said: “Section 478 of ACJA, 2015 states that there must be a call to plea hence, what is left is for the charge to be read and a plea entered by the court.”

In his ruling, Abang said, “Having heard the learned senior counsel representing the defendant and the prosecution counsel, it is hereby ordered as prayed that the further amended charge be read in open court and a plea entered.”

The amended 10-count charge was read and the plea was accordingly taken.

After that Atolagbe told the court that, “In view of the plea of guilty entered by the court, I urge my lord to enter judgement based on the content of plea bargain agreement for the avoidance of doubt, I particularly urge my lord to order as part of the sentence the final forfeiture of all the properties affected by count 1 to 10 in the further amended charge, the defendant convicted and wound up base on the plea bargain agreement and section 19 of the money laundering Act.”

In his response, Olujimi said, “I don’t think I can be heard again on this amended charge but will only urge your lordship to make an order terminating the proceedings against the first defendant, who is now deceased.”

“On the part of the second defendant, we abide by the plea bargain agreement duly executed by the parties,” Ologunorisa said.

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EFCC docks Sokoto Councillor, Director for alleged diversion of  N980,000 workers salaries

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Sokoto Zonal Office, Thursday arraigned Tukur Lando Yabo, Director Works, a councillor of Tureta Local Government Area; Hon. Abubakar Nasarawa Maigishiri for alleged conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and diversion of N980,000 meant for payment of workers salary.

Other alleged complices are Sambo Abdullahi, Cashier, Ministry for Local Government and Chieftancy Affairs; Danjuma Ibrahim, Cashier, Ministry of Social Welfare and Abubakar Salihu Tureta.

The suspects were made to appear before Justice Bello Duwale of the Sokoto State High Court.

EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren said this in a statement to TIMELY POST in Abuja.

Uwujaren further explained, “Their troubles started when the Commission received a petition from one Umar Shehu, alleging that some employees of Sokoto Marshal Corps/ Neighborhood Watch of Tureta Local Government were not paid their salaries for April, May and June, respectively.

“He further alleged that the defendants refused to pay their salaries and diverted the money for their personal use”.

Count one of the charge reads: “That you Abubakar Salihu Tureta, Tukur Lando and Abubakar Nasarawa sometime in June, 2019 at Sokoto within the Judicial Division of the High Court of Justice, Sokoto State being entrusted with property, to wit One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira only (N150,000.00k) belonging to Fifteen (15) Staff of Neighbourhood Watch Operatives in Tureta L.G.A, dishonestly converted the said property to your use and thereby committed Criminal Breach of Trust, an offence punishable under Section 301 of the Sokoto State Penal Code Law, 2019.”

But the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to them.

It was on this basis that the prosecution counsel, Buhari Muhammad Balarabe asked the court to fix a date for the commencement of trial.

However, counsel to the defendant, Anayo Illo told the court that he had filed a bail application for his clients at the court registry and, urged the court to give him a short date for bail hearing.

In his ruling, Justice Duwale adjourned the case to November 18, for bail hearing and December 5, for trial.

He further ordered that the defendants are to be remanded in EFCC custody pending the determination of their bail application.

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BREAKING: Bayelsa guber: Court sacks APC gov’ship candidate, Lyon

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A Federal High Court in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on Thursday declared that the All Progressives Congress, APC, has no governorship candidate in the November 16 election in the State.

The court presided over by Justice Jane Inyang gave the ruling in a case filed by Heineken Lokpobiri, one of the APC governorship aspirants.

A former Minister of State for Agriculture, Lokpobiri, had approached the court, seeking a declaration, that he, and not David Lyon is the authentic candidate of the APC.

The court on Thursday pronounced that “the governorship primary conducted by the APC in Bayelsa state was not done in compliance with the guidelines and the constitution of the party, and, therefore, the party has no candidate.”

This was disclosed to journalists by Lokpobiri’s lawyer, Fitzgerald Olorogun, immediately after the court ruling.

The lawyer, who expressed shock at the court ruling, said the court declaration was not part of their prayers, adding that “It’s strange.”

Asked what was the next option for his client, Olorogun said “We’ll do the needful. But for now, the pronouncement of the court is that APC has no candidate.”

There was heavy police presence within and outside the court premises. The main highway way leading to the court was barricaded by the police. Visitors, including journalists, were frisked before they were allowed to enter the court building.

Lokpobiri, before now, has been urging the people of Bayelsa to vote for the APC in the November 16 election, despite his court case against Lyon and the party.

“I’m a very strong member of APC and I came today to formally tell our chairman and speak to Nigerians, in particular, the electorate in Bayelsa that all of them should vote for APC regardless of what happens in the court case in which judgment is slated for Nov. 14, 2019,” the former minister said in Abuja after a courtesy visit on the national chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole.

“I told my supporters even before I came here that no matter what happened, I will remain in APC having served as a minister under this administration.

“There is no way the outcome of the governorship primaries will make me leave APC. We are working and campaigning at different levels.

“I always advise that anybody that is grieved, the only place to go is the court.

“So, whatever happens in the matter that is pending in court will not be an infraction on any part of our party’s constitution,” he said.

TIMELY POST had earlier reported that a Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday disqualified Lyon’s running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, from participating in the Saturday’s election on the grounds that he provided conflicting information on the documents he presented to INEC.

The case against Degi-Eremienyo was filed by the PDP.

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National dailies: 10 things to know this Friday morning

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Good Morning! Here is today’s TIMELY POST bulletin from Nigerian Newspapers

  1. Several persons were reported dead and many others injured in a clash that ensued between supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ogbolomabiri community in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State during a governorship rally organised by the ruling party.

The attackers, it was also learnt, opened fire on the protocol bus of the Bayelsa State Government House along the junction between Bassambiri and Ogbolomabiri communities.

2. The Executive Council of the Edo State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has ratified the suspension of the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, from the party in the state.

The decision was reached at an enlarged meeting of the council and other party chieftains with the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, in Benin City, on Wednesday. At the meeting, the leaders said the suspension of Comrade Oshiomhole became necessary because the national chairman has been deploying divisive tactics to cause disharmony in the party in collaboration with the proscribed group, Edo Peoples Movement (EPM).

3. The Department of State Services (DSS) has explained why it is yet to release Omoyele Sowore, convener of RevolutionNow Movement.

The Service in a statement by its spokesman, Peter Afunanya, reiterated its avowed readiness to release Sowore once the processes are concluded, adding that the appropriate persons have still not turned up to take delivery of Sowore.

4. The Court of Appeal sitting in Calabar on Wednesday affirmed the victory of Governor Udom Emmanuel of the PDP in the March 9 gubernatorial elections in Akwa Ibom State. The Appeal was filed against the judgement of the tribunal delivered on September 5, 2019 at Uyo, which dismissed Mr Ekere’s petition for wanting in merit. Delivering judgement in the Appeal filed by Mr Nsima Ekere, the Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging the re-election of His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel in the March 9, 2019 Gubernatorial Elections, the five-man panel gave her judgement on all the issues set out by parties in the appeal.

5. The gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 9th 2019 gubernatorial election in Oyo State, Mr. Adebayo Adelabu, has declared that he is approaching the Supreme Court in order to validate his victory at the poll.

Adelabu in a statement he personally signed on Wednesday, alleged that some agents of darkness perfected the plan to steal his mandate, this according to him, necessitated his resolve to approach the judiciary to reclaim his mandate.

6. The Senate on Wednesday approved the refund of N10.069 billion to Kogi State government ahead of governorship election slated for Saturday.

The approval followed a report by the Senate Committee Chairman on Local debts and Foreign Loans, Senator Clifford Akhimienmona Ordia.

7. The Court of Appeal sitting in Makurdi on Wednesday affirmed the election of the Speaker of Benue State Assembly, Titus Uba, representing Kyan state constituency.

Justice E. J. Ekanem, in his lead panel judgment held that the appeal brought against the speaker by the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s Gwaza Ujamatyu, lacked merit.

8. The House of Representatives has urged the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to extend the use of compulsory National Identification Number (NIN) in the conduct of examinations till 2021.

This followed a motion moved by Rep. Zainab Gimba (APC-Borno) under Matters of Urgent Public Importance at plenary presided over by the Speaker of the House, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila on Wednesday. The House said the extension would allow more time to better sensitise prospective candidates to the NIN.

9. An Ikeja Special Offences Court on Wednesday sentenced to death, three men who kidnapped a Lagos monarch and killed his palace guard.

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo sentenced Duba Fureso, Reuben Anthony and Yerin Fresh, who kidnapped the Oniba of Iba, Oba Oseni Goriola, murdered his 72-year-old palace guard, Mr Sunday Okanlawon, and attempted to murder the monarch’s wife, Bosede.

10. Nigeria began their quest to be at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, with a narrow 2-1 win over Benin Republic on Wednesday.

The Super Eagles had to fight from a goal down, as the Squirrels opened scoring at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo.

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