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Onnoghen: CCT summons standard chartered bank account officer for grilling

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Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, Danladi Umar, Monday summoned the standard chartered bank account officer, Ifeoma Okagbue, to the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen for questioning.

The account officer, according to the chairman would appear on the adjournment date scheduled for Thursday March 21.

This development followed the objection raised by the defence counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, saying the prosecution Witness, PW1, James Akpalla was not the right person for cross examination on the bank documents tendered before the tribunal.

Awomolo affirmed that Akpalla was neither the maker or signatory to the bank documents and, therefore not qualified to be cross examined but the account officer.

However, Awomolo cross examined Akpalla on other contentious issues bordering on dates of the petition, lists of Witness, exhibits, charges, completion of investigations and summon by the tribunal to Onnoghen.

Under cross examination, Akpalla admitted that the separate list of witnesses, exhibits and six-count charges preferred against Onnoghen were all dated January 10.

Also, it was admitted that investigation was completed on January 11, the same day CCB investigation team obtained Onnoghen’s statement from his office at the Supreme court of Nigeria, Abuja.

It was on this premise that Awomolo asked the Witness, ” Are you not surprised that within 24 hours, you completed investigation, obtained defendant’s statement and six-count charges were simultaneously filed against him at the tribunal.

“When you were obtaining statement from the defendant, you didn’t tell him that charges have already been framed?

But in his response, Akpalla said, “The investigation team had no idea”.

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Alleged P&ID Scam: Briton asks court vary bail conditions

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A British citizen, James Nolan, standing trial over his alleged link with now grounded Irish firm, Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) on Wednesday, applied for variation of his bail at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Nolan was on October 21, arraigned alongside another Briton, Adam Quinn (at large), over their alleged complicity in the activities of P&ID, which recently won a $9.6 billion judgment against Nigeria.

A British Commercial Court had awarded judgment in favour P&ID, who had dragged Nigeria to the International Court of Arbitration over alleged non-execution of a 20-year gas and supply processing agreement (GSPA).

The arraignment of the two British nationals is coming weeks after two P&ID directors were convicted over the deal.

The defendants, both directors of Goidel Resources Limited, a Designated Non-Financial Institution (DNFI) and ICIL Limited, were arraigned on a 16-count charge bordering on money laundering.

Justice Okon Abang had, on Nov. 7, admitted Nolan to a bail in the sum of N500m.

Justice Abang, who granted the bail in an application filed by Nolan, ordered that the applicant must produce “a surety in like sum, who must be a Nigerian and a serving senator not standing any criminal trial in any court in Nigeria.

At the resumed trial on Wednesday, Counsel to the defendant, Paul Erokoro, SAN, prayed the court to favourably grant their application for bail variation.

The lawyer also told the court that he was not prepare for the commencement of trial due to inability to have adequate access to his client.

The EFCC, through his lawyer, had informed the court that he was ready to commence the trial earlier slated for today.

However in a short ruling, Justice Abang agreed with the prosecution that the court at its last sitting adjourned to commence trial today.

The Court held that the defendant who is yet to meet the conditions of his bail granted last month has been given enough time to prepare for his defense.

Justice Abang said that the commencement of trial of defendant can not be adjourned based on oral application or on the grounds that he had filed an application for the variation of bail condition.

The judge however ordered officials of the Correctional Centre where Nolan is being remanded to grant access to his lawyer to visit and to received brief from defendant.

He subsequently ordered the prosecution to call its first witness, an official of Guaranteed Trust Bank.

Testifying, Adewale Akinseye an account officer with the GTB bank Abuja said that Nolan’s two companies namely; Goidel limited and ICIL ltd operate six separate accounts with the bank.

Led in evidence by prosecution counsel, Iheanacho Ekele, the witness said both companies were registered with Corporate Affairs Commission but he was not sure whether the operator of the companies provide evidence of Special Control Against Money laundering (SCUAML) at the time the company was opened.

Akinseye said that the bank received a request in August from EFCC to provide account documents in respect of the companies.

The court admitted as exhibits the companies opening bank accounts and EFCC letter to GTb dated September 26, in respect of the investigation activities.

The witness said that James
Nolan and Isaac Ebubuotu are signatories to both accounts and either of them can sign.

According to transactions in the bank statement in one of the Account with number: 0154696733, the sum of $127,000 was credited in February 1 ,2018.

On May 2, 2019 thesum of $47,975 was paid into the account from Industrial Consultant International.

He said on Account with number: 01728629, the sum of N50m was transferred on December 15 , 2015 from Box design to Goidel ltd while on Nov 6, 2016 the sum of N6m was transferd into the same account.

Another sum of N11m from lurgi consult ltd was said to have been transferred to Goidel ltd on May 6, 2016.

Other transactions according to akinseye, include the sum of N10m in February 1, 2018 from Eclate Plethora ltd to Goidel ltd.

On Account with Number: 0024024414-, the witness said the sum of $350,000 was paid on September 1 2014 from Basale enterprises while the sum of $80,000 was paid to Ahmed Usman in September 4, 2014.

Also on September 4 ,2014 the sum of $40,000 was paid to Neil and Elizabeth while on September 8, the sum of $700 was paid to one Ahmed Usman.

Under cross examination by the defendant lawyer Pau Erokoro (SAN), the witness said that Goidel’s account was open on May 20, 2014/while ICIL account was opened November 2006.

He said the companies operate corporate account and met the requirements for operating the accounts .

Cross examination continues tomorrow.

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What Atiku said about Goodluck Jonathan @62

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The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last general election, Atiku Abubakar, has congratulated ex-President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, as he marks his 62nd birthday on Wednesday.

In a Twitter post he personally signed, Atiku hailed Jonathan as “as an evergreen face of democracy, peace and freedom”.

He wrote: “Happy 62nd birthday, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, @GEJonathan – an evergreen face of democracy, peace and freedom.

“I wish you continued good health and wisdom.”

This comes amid accusations that Jonathan was used by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) against the PDP, in the just concluded governorship elections in Bayelsa state, where he hails from.

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Policemen who allegedly disrupted voting in Bayelsa, Kogi elections exposed – IGP

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The Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, has identified suspected policemen recorded while disrupting voting in Bayelsa and Kogi elections.

Adam, after the meeting of the National Security Council, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, on Tuesday, said those caught on tape were “fake” officers.

He said that all security personnel, who worked during the elections were given “special identification tags”, adding that anyone without the tags was on illegal duty.

“Before the elections, there was threats assessment of the two states and we realised that there was going to be violence in two states”, NAN quoted him as saying.

“Because, during the campaigns, we saw how the opponents were fighting themselves, so we prepared so much for that. During one of the stakeholders meeting, I went to Kogi with the chairman of INEC and I also went to Bayelsa.

“Even at the point of signing the peace accord to conduct the election without any problems, after signing a peace accord in Kogi, within the hall there was problem by the parties.

“So we knew that it was not going to be easy and so we had to prepare heavily for the elections.

“During the elections, anybody you saw either in police uniform or military uniform that does not carry the tag that has been given for the election, that person is not genuine police officer or military officer or that he was not on official duty.

“We were aware of the fact that some politicians were going to sew police and military uniforms, so we devised some other means of identifying those that were on election duty. We gave them tags,’’ he said.

On why the Police allowed violence during the elections even with security reports before the exercise, he said: “You see, it depends on the way you choose to interpret.

“We did our assessment, we knew these things will happen but what we needed to do was plan to prevent it, or if it happens, to arrest. That explains why the number of policemen we sent to those states were so massive.

“Now, when you get the information and you did your assessment and you did your plan, the bad guys are also planning, and the people we are dealing with here are politicians. So, for us to be able to distinguish the bad from the good, one of the strategies was to create a situation that will enable us to identify the good ones, genuine personnel.

“Then anyone without identification tag, is a bad guy and then we pick him. They came out as they planned but then, we made some arrests on the spot where we saw them, those that escaped through information and intelligence we also picked them.”

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