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Diezani: Court approves final forfeiture of $40million jewelries

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The Federal High Court in Lagos, Tuesday granted an application for final forfeiture to the government of jewellery reportedly worth $40 million seized from the premises of a former minister for petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The trial judge, Nicholas Oweibo, said Mrs Alison-Madueke had failed to prove that the properties sought to be forfeited were not acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities.

“The respondent filed affidavit to set aside instead of showing cause. In showing cause, the respondent ought to place before the court sufficient evidence that the property is not a proceed of unlawful activities,” he said.

“I am of the view that the respondent failed to show cause why the property should not be forfeited therefore I am granting the application.”

Awa Kalu, the counsel representing Mrs Alison-Madueke had argued that “there is no professional evaluation to determine the true value of the property, there is no proof that it was acquired when she was a minister, no proof they were purchased using proceeds of fraud.”

Addressing journalists after the ruling, Nnamdi Kalu, a lawyer representing Awa Kalu said the judgment was delivered on the basis of technicalities and not facts.

“The judge gave the ruling based on the fact that we had not approached the matter the way he felt we should have. It’s not as if we didn’t show cause but it’s all on our approach. I am yet to brief my superiors or our clients, but I can assure you that the judgment was based on technicalities only.”

Last month, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) secured an interim forfeiture of several pieces of jewellery valued at $40 million allegedly belonging to Mrs Alison-Madueke.

The jewellery, comprising bangles, earrings, and wristwatches were recovered from houses traced to the former minister.

The EFCC said the items are “reasonably suspected to have been acquired with and or represent proceeds of the respondent’s unlawful activities.”

Mrs Alison-Madueke is facing multiple charges of money laundering before federal courts in Lagos and Abuja.

She is believed to be in the United Kingdom where she is also being investigated for money laundering.

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I sympathise with Nigerians over cashless policy – Emefiele

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Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Friday apologised to bank customers for the inconveniences the newly introduced cashless policy will cause.

Governor of Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele made the apology at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja.

He stated this when he was asked of his reaction to the push back from Nigerians over the return of charges on deposits and withdrawals beyond certain thresholds.

He said, “I sympathize and regret inconvenience cashless policy will cause bank customers.”

Emefiele, who also spoke on the controversial judgement debt of $9.6 billion awarded to P&ID, maintained that “by the grace of God there is no threat to the reserves…..and we have received presidential approval that those indicted should be prosecuted.”

At the end of the meeting, the MPC retained interest rates at 13.5% as well as other parameters.

Despite the apology, the CBN boss maintained that the policy will progress as announced.

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Auto crash kills five, ten sustain injuries in Lagos-Ibadan expressway

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Five persons were on Friday killed in a road crash, and 10 others sustained injuries along Ibadan –Lagos Expressway when the commercial bus conveying them burst into flames.

The Ogun State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Clement Oladele said the crash occurred at about 8.49a.m. around Onigari, a town on the border of Ogun State and Oyo State.

He said the crash involved a commercial bus, which was travelling from Sokoto but stopped briefly in Ibadan to pick passengers heading towards Lagos.

The bus lost control due to excessive speed, and collided with the concrete curb in the middle of the road and burst into flames.

The commander said the crash involved 18 passengers comprising 17 male adults and one female adult.

He explained that a total of 10 male adults sustained injuries from the crash, while five of the passengers comprising four male adults and one female adult died.

Oladele said the vehicle is a white-coloured Mazda bus with registration number WWD 302CB.

He advised members of the public whose relatives travelled to contact the commission at KM27 Ibadan – Lagos Expressway at Ogunmakin or the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH) , Sagamu, where the injured victims are receiving treatment.

He said the bodies of those who died in the crash have been deposited at the hospital’s mortuary.

Oladele advised the public to drive cautiously on the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway, stressing that the Expressway is still undergoing rehabilitation.

He said the recommended speed at construction area is 50 kilometers per hour, and also reminded passengers to caution drivers driving recklessly.

He said passengers can call the commission on the toll free number 122 to report recalcitrant drivers.

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PortHarcourt: Arrested serial killer also notorious cult member – Police reveals

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Rivers State police command has arrested a suspected serial killer of young women, Mr. Gracious David West, who allegedly lures his victims to low budget hotels in Port-Harcourt, the state capital.

Police alleged also that the serial killer was also a notorious cult group called Degbam.

It was gathered that the suspect was caught on camera a few days ago leaving a hotel after strangling a yet-to-be identified lady following sex romp with her.

TIMELY POST recalls that the police had said David West’s victims since July are no fewer than eight ladies.

However, a statement on Thursday night by the Nigeria Police Public Relations Officer, ACP Frank Mba, said the alleged serial killer, who is also a cultist, was nabbed on his way to Uyo, Akwa Ibom from Port-Harcourt.

The statement reads, “The notorious serial killer, Gracious David West was today September 19, 2019, arrested by the Police in Rivers.

“The 26-year old killer from Buguma LGA of Rivers State, who is also a member of the Degbam cult group was arrested along East-West Road enroute to Uyo from Port Harcourt.

“He has since made useful statements to the Police. Investigation is on with a view to ascertaining his motives and possible accomplices.”

Mba added that the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, CP Mustapha Dandaura, will be briefing the media on the breakthrough on Friday September 20, 2019.

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