A Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed June 28, for re-arraignment of the former Governor of Ekiti, Ayodele Fayose, facing charges of N6.9billion fraud.
Fayose was arraigned on Oct. 22. 2018, before Justice Mojisola Olatotegun, alongside a company, Spotless Investment Ltd, on 11 counts bordering on fraud and money laundering offences.
He is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He had pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted bail on Oct. 24, 2018, in the sum of N50 million with sureties in like sum.
The prosecution had opened the trial on Nov. 19, 2018, and had so far called 13 witnesses out of the15 listed.
However, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justice Adamu Abdu-kafarati had transferred the case from Olatoregun to a new judge. Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, following a petition by the EFCC seeking a transfer of the case.
A new date of June 28 has now been foxed for re-arraignment of Fayose before Aneke.
The CJ’s letter of transfer had read as follows:
“I refer to the petition of EFCC on this case and your Lordship’s comments thereto.
“It is apparent that the prosecution has lost confidence in the judge trying this case and justice must not only be done but must be seen to have been done, I hereby transfer this case to Hon. Justice C. J. Aneke for hearing,”
Recall that on March 20, a drama had ensued in court midway into the trial, between the trial judge, (Olatotegun) and EFCC counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN).
The judge had raised concerns on the manner of prosecution by counsel and had noted that the prosecutor, was not doing a good job, adding that he was not competent to evaluate the court’s ruling.
On his part, the prosecutor (Jacobs) had expressed displeasure at the rebuke from the court, on the grounds that hr had always dispensed his duties diligently, and had never been so derogated by any court.
Meanwhile, during the last proceedings of May 10, a 13th prosecution witness, Mr Adewale Aladegbola, a former driver of a billion van, had given evidences which the prosecutor described as being contrary to his extra judicial statement to the commission.
Flowing from that premise, the prosecutor had then informed the court that his witness appeared “hostile” and had then urged the court to adjourn the case to enable him to make the necessary application on the situation.
But, before the trial could resume before Olatotegun, the transfer of the case had already been communicated to the court.
During the trial before Olatoregun. the prosecution had called witnesses, from Zenith Bank, Diamond Bank, as well as a former Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro.
According to the charge, on June 17, 2014, Fayose and Agbele were said to have taken possession of the sum of N1.2 billion, for purposes of funding his gubernatorial election campaign in Ekiti State, which sum they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.
Fayose was alleged to have received a cash payment of the sum of five million dollars, (about N1.8 billion) from the then Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, without going through any financial institution and which sum exceeded the amount allowed by law.
He was also alleged to have retained the sum of N300 million in his bank account and took control of the aggregate sums of about N622 million which sum he ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.
Fayose was alleged to have procured De Privateer Ltd and Still Earth Ltd, to retain in their bank accounts, the aggregate sums of N851 million which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.
Besides, the accused was alleged to have used the aggregate sums of about N1.6 billion to acquire properties in Lagos and Abuja, which sums he reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.
The accused was also alleged to have used the sum of N200 million, to acquire a property in Abuja, in the name of his elder sister Moji Oladeji, which sum he ought to know also forms crime proceeds.
The offence, the EFCC said contravened the provisions of sections 15(1), 15 (2), 15 (3), 16(2)(b), 16 (d), and 18 (c) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.
NDLEA secures the conviction of two notorious drug addicts in Anambra
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Anambra state command has secured the conviction of two notorious drug lords from Umota-Obosi in Idemili North local government area of the state.
The accused, Nonso Chukwulobe, aka jp (56) was arrested with 17.6 grms of heroin, while Ikechukwu Ifekandu (45) was arrested with 170 grms of cannabis sativa.
Chukwulobe and Ifekandu were sentenced to 12 and 5 years imprisonments respectively by Justice Mohammed Abubakar who delivered the judgment at the federal high court sitting in Awka, the state capital.
The NDLEA commander in the state, Sule Momodu, in a chat with newsmen, advised drug peddlers to relocate from the state or had themselves to blame.
“The agency under my watch will not relent in its efforts in ridding the state off drug addicts. Those concerned should better quit drug peddling or be severely dealt with,” he stressed.
15 police officers arrested for extortion
The leadership of the Abia State Police Command says it has arrested 15 police personnel under its command for allegedly extorting money from motorists and other members of the public.
The police officers, it was learnt are standing orderly room trial at the command’s Headquarters in Umuahia, the state capital.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Ene Okon who disclosed this in Aba said that the command would not shield any corrupt person within its workforce that is trying to tarnish its good image.
The CP who was reacting to the calls made by some traditional rulers during a Town Hall Meeting in Aba, asking him to call some of his extortionist officers to order, assured that the Nigeria Police does not shield anyone with criminal behaviour.
Okon pointed out that the command is determined to get rid of bad eggs among its personnel, stressing that it was why it declared one Sergeant Collins Akpugo wanted for killing Mr. Christian Onuoha in Umuahia.
He further disclosed that a reward of N500, 000 will be given to whoever has information on his way about.
Okon who maintained that bail is free, however, urged the members of the public to resist the urge of giving money to any officers who tried to extort them, stressing that every citizen ought to know his right and stand on it.
“We are the only organization that when you err, we punish. All of you must have heard about a policeman that shot somebody and killed on the 4th of June in Afara Umuahia?
“After killing, he ran away and disappeared. We have declared him wanted and we have placed N500,000 on his head. Anybody that will give us Information on his arrest collects N500,000 cash from me,” the CP said.
Speaking on bribery and extortion by police officers, Okon said “It takes two to tangle. If you don’t give the police will not take. It starts with you. If you know that you’ve not done anything wrong, if you know that you’re operating your joint according to rules, if a policeman comes, you prove to him that you know you’re right.
“I don’t know that policeman that will not be afraid to even tell you to bring knowing that you know your right. Insist that you know your right. Let me be very frank to you, I am not supporting police collecting any money.
“As I’m talking to you, I have 15 policemen in my cell. 7 were arrested here at Opobo Junction when I heard the information that they were collecting money. I sent out my monitoring unit and my monitoring unit went there and met them in the act and arrested them.
“I subjected them to investigation and we have completed investigation and they’re undergoing ‘orderly room trials’. Let God be with them if they’ll escape. At the end of the day, they’ll turn to civilians and be giving money too and see how painful it is.
“I have monitoring unit. We are not sleeping on it. I don’t like it, but you too must stop giving. If you don’t give, they’ll not take. Insist on your right. My phone number is here, call me, give me the information and see what will happen.”
Seven charged for attacking policemen, burning four cars
The police on Thursday arraigned seven men in a Wuse Zone 6 Magistrates’ Court, Abuja, for allegedly attacking policemen on duty and burning four vehicles worth N3.7 million.
The police charged Shuaibu Iliyasu, Abdulmajid Ibrahim, Abdulrahman Lawali, Nasiru Alhassan, Abdulkadir Sanusi, Sanusi Suleiman, and Muktari Musa with three counts of criminal conspiracy, obstruction of a public servant while discharging their lawful duty and mischief by fire.
The Prosecution Counsel, Mr Dominic Abba, told the court that the defendants on May 23, attacked Insp. Joseph Ogeodo and two others, who were trying to clear an accident scene on the Abuja–Niger Highway.
He alleged that the defendants, due to the incident, mobilised, conspired among themselves and attacked the policemen on duty and burnt down a Toyota Camry with registration number KUJ 862 NZ, valued at N900, 000; a Chevrolet with registration number ABJ 270 XN, valued at N1.5 million which were impounded by the Federal Road Safety Corps.
He also said that the defendants burnt down a Nissan Almera, valued at N480,000 and a Mazda valued at N800, 000.
Abba said the offence contravened the provisions of Sections 97, 148 and 336 of the Penal Code.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The Magistrate, Mr Ibrahim Muhammed, admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N1 million each, with one surety each in like sum.
Muhammed ordered that the sureties must be reasonable, reliable and must be a civil servant living within the court’s jurisdiction.
He adjourned the case until July 9 for hearing.