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Alleged Forgery: Court orders arrest of Chukwuma

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Alleged Forgery: Court orders arrest of Chukwuma

…over alleged N2.4bn forgery

 

Justice Ayokunle Faji of a Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the arrest of the Chairman of Innoson Group, Dr. Innocent Chukwuma, over his refusal to show up in court to answer to a criminal charge filed against him by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP).
Others affected by the order are: Charles Chukwu and Anajekwu Sunny.
The IGP, through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, had, sometimes in December 2015, slammed a four-count charge of alleged conspiracy, forgery and fraud to the tune of N2.4 billion on the trio alongside Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited and a shipping company, Mitsui Osk Lines.
However, since the filing of the charge, only the shipping company had shown up in court while the Innoson boss and others have never appeared.
A motion for issuance of bench warrant was subsequently filed and argued by a Deputy Director in the Ministry of Justice, Julius Ajakaiye.
The motion was filed pursuant to Sections 113, 114 and 395 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015.
While both the charge and the motion for the arrest warrant were pending at the Federal High Court, the Innoson boss and other defendants filed two appeals at the Court of Appeal challenging filing of the charge and motion.
The appellate court, while discharging Innoson Motors of the charge, dismissed Innocent Chukwuma, Charles Chukwu, and Anajekwu Sunny’s appeals, consequently giving room for the lower court to rule on the motion for the arrest warrant.
In a ruling on the motion for the arrest warrant, Justice Faji declared that the prosecution’s motion has merit.
“The issues raised by the defendants can only come up after their pleas have been taken. The prosecution application has merit.
“Consequently, warrant of arrest is hereby ordered to be issued against the first defendant, Innocent Chukwuma, second defendant, Charles Chukwu and the third defendant, Anajekwu Sunny,” the judge held.
After the ruling, the prosecution sought for a date to arraign the defendants considering the length of time that the charge has been filed.
Following the request, Justice Faji fixed Friday for the defendants’ arraignment.
In the four-count amended charge marked FHC/L/565C/2015, it was alleged that Innocent Chukwuma and others have, between January 2010 and April 2011, at Apapa Wharf, criminally conspired amongst themselves to wit, falsification of shipping documents which they deposited with Mitsui Osk Lines Lagos, which was used as collateral for the purpose of clearance of raw materials – polyinlchloride (PVC) – for the production of roof ceiling and other imported items.
They were also alleged to have, without lawful authority and with intent to defraud, alter the shipping clearance documents to the shipping Line Mitsui Osk Lines, which was used as collateral for the purpose of obtaining a loan of N2.4 billion from Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. for the purpose of clearing raw materials – Polyvinylchloride – for the production of roof ceiling and other imported items.
The prosecution also accused the defendants of falsely and fraudulently represented as genuine, the altered shipping documents and presented same to Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. to obtain a loan of N2.4 billion.

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Dasuki, El-Zakzaky, Sowore chose to be kept in our custody – DSS

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Dasuki, El-Zakzaky, Sowore chose to be kept in our custody – DSS

…denies violating court orders

The Department of State Services (DSS), has rebuffed claims that it was holding a former National Security Adviser Col. Sambo Dasuku (rtd), as well as leader of the proscribed Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, illegally.
The secret service said Dasuku and El-Zakzaky had, during separate court rulings, pleaded to be left in its custody, rather than being remanded in correctional centres (prisons).
In a statement Friday by its Public Relations Officer, Dr. Peter Afunanya, the DSS also cited the case of the detained convener of #Revolution Now, Mr. Omoyele Sowore who, it said, had chosen a similar path.
The position came few days after a group of protesters demanding the release of Sowore from detention, were dispersed by personnel.
According to Afunanya, the decisions by the trio to be held in the intelligence agency’s custody, was eloquent testimony to the claim that the “Service’s holding facilities are good and within acceptable international standards”.
To buttress the position, Afunanya said the service allowed them access to their families, choice of foods, telephone calls among others.
“There has been outcry about alleged illegal detention of some notable persons undergoing trials at the courts and disobedience to court orders by the Service. To put the records straight, the Service wishes to avert public attention to the circumstances that warranted the custody of Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.) and Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky in its facility.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the duo had appealed to the courts to be left in the custody of the Service instead of being taken to the Correctional Centres. Well meaning Nigerians are equally witnesses to the case of Omoleye Sowore, who, on a similar order of the court, was to be remanded at the Kuje or Suleja Centre, but preferred to be kept at the DSS.
“Everyone, also, saw what eventually played out with El-Zakzaky, when he opted to be returned to the custody of the Service even as the court had granted him leave to seek medical care in India. These were choices these personalities made on their own volition.
“Since their stay, the Service has continued to extend the best courtesies to them.They are allowed access to people and use of other facilities like telephones, gymnasium, TV, newspapers and medical facilities.
“Among others, their families and trusted persons bring them food of their choices on daily basis.  There could not have been better treatments than these,” Afunabya said.

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’28m Nigerians living with Hepatitis virus’

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’28m Nigerians living with Hepatitis virus’

At least 28 million Nigerians are living with the Hepatitis B virus, with more than half of the number unaware of their medical condition.
A Professor of Gastroentorology/Hepatology at the Bayero University, Kano,
Adamu Alhaji Samaila, made the frightening revelation Friday, at an awareness lecture and screening excercise for Hepatitis B virus, which held at the headquarters of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in Abuja. It was organised by the medical branch of the Service.
The lecture was approved by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, as part of measures to ensure that Hepatitis and other similar diseases do not pose a challenge to the NAF’s operational readiness.
In his presentation, the guest lecturer said: “About 28 million Nigerians are suffering from Hepatitis B.
“Over 2 billion (global figure) individuals have evidence of previous and present infection. 240 million chronic carriers. 1 million deaths annually.”
Accordingly, Samaila called for screening and testing, saying doing so will facilitate early detection and treatment, where necessary.
In his opening remarks, the CAS maintained that, beyond the deployment of platforms for battles, there was the compelling need personnel to be mentally and physically fit.

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Kogi, Bayelsa polls: EU urges security agencies to be neutral

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Kogi, Bayelsa polls: EU urges security agencies to be neutral

European Union has urged security agencies to be neutral in the discharge of their duty within the framework of the electoral law in light of the elections taking place on Saturday in Kogi and Bayelsa state.

Speaking on Friday during a press conference in Lokoja, the capital of Kogi State, the Head of Delegation, European Union Delegation to Nigeria and to the Economic Community of West African States, Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, said they are in Kogi and Bayelsa states to support the consolation of democracy in Nigeria and not there in support of any political party and candidate.

The European Union team, which comprises many foreign officials from the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland and Austrian embassies, also implored the citizens of Kogi and Bayelsa to come out and vote for the candidates of their choice, noting that “the beauty of democracy is for people to come out and vote candidates they believe will help improve their socio-economic conditions.”

The EU, while discouraging the electorate from vote buying, noted that: “In any democracy, elections should be about a competition of ideas and serving the people. Therefore, vote buying is illegal and should not be encouraged. We hope that tomorrow’s elections reflect this.”

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Kogi guber: Makinde, Wada escape abduction

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Kogi guber: Makinde, Wada escape abduction

The Chairman Campaign Council of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Kogi State election and Oyo State Governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde alongside the party’s gubernatorial candidate, Engineer Musa Wada, Friday afternoon escaped possible abduction by men wearing police uniforms in Lokoja, Kogi State.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Operation, Kabiru Gworzo, who confirmed the incident, said they have already swung into action to apprehend the suspects.

According to reports, about 40 men wearing hoods were said to have invaded the Suitorial Hotel where the Oyo State governor, the PDP candidate, including the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, and other chieftains were lodging.

Some of the men were said to have jumped the hotel fence and started heading towards the apartment were the PDP chieftains were lodging.

It took the intervention of the heavily armed security personnel attached to Makinde to repel the attackers.

Reacting to the incident, Ologbondiyan described the attack as shameful and last kick of a dying man.

Ologbondiyan, who urged the Police to quickly investigate the matter, claimed that the gunmen were fake policemen doing the bidding of government.

“We have been raising the alarm long before now that the APC government in the state has been importing security hardware to the state, to legitimise their thugs. What happened today was a clear evidence of all the complaints we have laid.

“They were almost 50 in number, some of them jumped through the fence, while others surrounded our hotel. A real policeman should not be wearing hood to carry out operation, but because these men are fake that was why they wore hoods. We are very lucky that the security men attached to the Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde rose to the occasion and chased away,” he added.

Meanwhile, a businessman and PDP chieftain,  Dr Alex Ayodele Delex, who is also the proprietor of the Suitorial Hotel, was on Thursday abducted by unknown gunmen.

Delex is a philanthropist from Mopamuro Local Government Area of Kogi West and a strong supporter of the PDP in the state.

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Kogi guber: Court adjourns suit challenging Yahaya Bello’s eligibility till Nov 21

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Kogi guber: Court adjourns suit challenging Yahaya Bello’s eligibility till Nov 21

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, adjourned continuation of hearing on the suit challenging whether Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi, is fit to contest in Saturday’s governorship election till November 21.

The presiding judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, who adjourned the case, said the decision was to afford Bello, who sought to be joined in the matter, a fair hearing.

Justice Ekwo said all preliminary objections in the suit would be taken in the adjourned date and any party absent on the day would be deemed to have adopted them.

NAN reports that Bello had, through his lawyer, Mike Enahoro, filed a motion to be joined in the case on Friday.

Counsel to the plaintiff, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), who acknowledged receipt of the motion this morning, hinted that the motion sought to stop court’s proceeding on the matter.

He, however, argued that the motion be thrown out considering that the election is Saturday.

On his part, Counsel to the APC, Abdulwahab Mohammed, said he would need more time to study the motion.

However, Counsel to INEC, Alhassan Umar (SAN), said he had no objection to the motion.

NAN reports that the suit dated October 10 and marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1221/2019, filed by Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, on Akpoti’s behalf, sought the court’s determination on the eligibility of Governor Bello in the Saturday election, having allegedly involved in double registration as a voter.

Akpoti said: “That by his wilful act of making double registration as a voter, Yahaya Bello, candidate of the 1st defendant is not a fit and proper person to be allowed by the 2nd defendant to vote or be voted for in the forthcoming Kogi state governorship election, having committed act of electoral fraud.

“That Mr Yahaya Bella. the candidate of the 1st Defendant. was initially registered as a voter sometime in 2011 in Abuja, by the 2nd defendant.

“That Bello. the candidate of the 1st defendant again fraudulently procured from the 2nd defendant. a second registration as a voter on May 23, 2017, at Government House, Lokoja, while his 2011 first registration as a voter in Abuja was still live, extant and subsisting.

“That the said Yahaya Bello, the candidate of the 1st defendant carried out the double registration with the 2nd defendant so as to scuttle due electoral process.

“That such a person is not a fit and proper person to vote for in any election, let alone for the high office of the governor of a state.”

Justice Ekwo had, on Tuesday, delivered judgment, disqualifying the APC Deputy Governorship Candidate in Bayelsa, Sen. Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, over false information given in his CF0001 Form submitted to INEC for the Saturday’s poll.

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Buhari mourns Alex Akinyele, condoles with govt, people of Ondo

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Buhari mourns Alex Akinyele, condoles with govt, people of Ondo

President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with family of former Minister of Information, Chief Alex Akinyele, who passed away on Thursday night.

The President’s condolence message is conveyed through a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Friday.

President Buhari also commiserated with the government and people of Ondo State, friends and professional colleagues of the departed, urging them to take solace in the lasting legacies of the former colourful minister.

President Buhari affirmed that Akinyele’s scrupulousness, discipline and diligence were always obvious to those who worked closely with him, and his love for the nation, which was zealously demonstrated through providing exemplary leadership.

The President prayed that the Almighty God will grant the soul of the former minister eternal rest, and comfort all members of his family.

Akinyele, who died at the age of 81, was a trained teacher and Public Relations Specialist, and had also served as Chairman of National Sports Commission and Chairman of National Reconciliation Committee.

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Kogi poll: Court begins hearing on suit challenging Yahaya Bello’s eligibility

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Kogi poll: Court begins hearing on suit challenging Yahaya Bello’s eligibility

The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, commenced hearing on the suit challenging whether Governor Yahaya Bello, is fit to contest in Saturday’s Kogi Governorship election.

The presiding judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, however, stood down the case for 30 minutes in order to study a motion filed by Bello, who is seeking to be joined in the suit.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while the Social Democratic Party (SDP)’s Candidate in the Saturday’s poll, Natasha Akpoti, is the plaintiff; the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are 1st and 2nd defendants respectively.

At the hearing on Friday, Bello’s lawyer, Mike Enahoro, who filed a motion of a party seeking to be joined in the matter, said he filed the application this morning because they got wind of the case yesterday.

Counsel to the plaintiff, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), who acknowledged receipt of the motion this morning, hinted that the motion sought to stop court’s proceeding on the matter.

He, however, argued that the motion be thrown out considering that the election is Saturday.

On his part, Counsel to the APC, Abdulwahab Mohammed, said he would need more time to study the motion.

However, Counsel to INEC, Alhassan Umar (SAN), said he had no objection to the motion.

The suit, dated October 10 and marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1221/2019, filed by Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), on Akpoti’s behalf, sought the court’s determination on the eligibility of Governor Bello in the Saturday election, having allegedly involved in double registration as a voter.

Akpoti said “that by his wilful act of making double registration as a voter, Yahaya Bello, candidate of the 1st defendant is not a fit and proper person to be allowed by the 2nd defendant to vote or be voted for in the forthcoming Kogi state governorship election, having committed act of electoral fraud.

“That Mr. Yahaya Bella. the candidate of the 1st Defendant. was initially registered as a voter sometime in 2011 in Abuja, by the 2nd defendant.

“That Bello. the candidate of the 1st defendant again fraudulently procured from the 2nd defendant. A second registration as a voter on 23rd May,. 2017, at Government House, Lokoja, while his 2011 first registration as a voter in Abuja was still live, extant and subsisting.

“That the said Yahaya Bello, the candidate of the 1st defendant carried out the double registration with the 2nd defendant so as to scuttle due electoral process.

“That such a person is not a fit and proper person to vote for in any election, let alone for the high office of the governor of a state.”

NAN reports that Justice Ekwo had, on Tuesday, delivered judgment, disqualifying the APC Deputy Governorship Candidate in Bayelsa, Sen. Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, over false information given in his CF0001 Form submitted to INEC for the Saturday’s poll.

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Lightning strikes kill 27 in Pakistan

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Lightning strikes kill 27 in Pakistan

Officials said separate incidents of lightening killed at least 27 people and injured over two dozens of others in different areas of Pakistan’s southern Sindh province during the last 24 hours, local media reported Friday morning.

Saeed Ghani, the provincial government spoke man said that local authorities declared an emergency and rushed rescuers to the Thar Desert in the province of Sindh after the overnight tragedy.

He added that several dozen people including women and children were being treated at the hospitals, reports dp.

They sustained injuries caused by lightning and falling structures due to the rain.

Aslam Chandio, the local rescue official said that three districts including Tharparkar, Mirpurkhas and Sukkur were hit by heavy rains from Thursday evening that continued into Friday.

Anwar Kazimi the spokesperson for Edhi Charity that works in the region equally added that the death toll might increase as information were pouring in from remote villages still inaccessible for rescuers.

Flash floods, land erosion, cloudbursts, droughts and smog resulting in low air quality have been on the rise in Pakistan in recent years.

Climate expert Chaudhry Qamar Zaman also said that sandwiched between highly industrialized China and India, Pakistan would have to bear the brunt of the global warming.

Zaman added that both the state and people will have to realise the gravity of the problem and act swiftly.

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IGP appoints new CPs for Lagos, Ogun,5 other states

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IGP appoints new CPs for Lagos, Ogun,5 other states

Emmanuel Onani, Abuja

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the postings of new Commissioners of Police (CPs) to Lagos, Ogun, Akwa Ibom and Cross River states.

Also affected in the posting/redeployment are Bauchi, Kano and Edo states.

A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, late Thursday night, listed the new CPs and their commands as follows: Nkereuwem A. Akpan (Cross River); Kenneth Ebrimson (Akwa Ibom); Imohimi D. Edgal (Ogun); Sani Ahmadu (Kano); Lawal Jimeta (Edo); Philip Sule Maku (Bauchi); and Odumosu H. Olusegun, who is acting CP, Lagos.

Adamu charged the new command CPs to build upon the operational gains of their predecessors, while striving hard to implement the community-based policing initiative.

“The Inspector General of Police charges the newly posted officers to ensure the consolidation and improvement on the gains of their predecessors in the areas of public safety and crime fighting.

“He also directs the new Commissioners of Police to work with relevant stakeholders in adopting aggressive, proactive and community based crime prevention strategies to combat crime in their Areas of Responsibility.

“In addition, the Inspector General of Police enjoins the citizens of the affected states to accord the Commissioners of Police maximum cooperation to ensure they succeed in the realization of their mandate,” Mba said.

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Man dies in Hong Kong protests as Chinese President calls for end to unrest

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Man dies in Hong Kong protests as Chinese President calls for end to unrest

Another person in Hong Kong has died in protests that have convulsed the financial hub since June, a tragedy that comes just after China’s leader issued his most direct rebuke of the unrest yet.

A 70-year-old cleaner who was believed to have been hit in the head during a skirmish between protesters and residents died Thursday evening, the Hospital Authority confirmed.

According to a government statement, the man was on his lunch break Wednesday when he was struck by “hard objects hurled by masked rioters.”

His death follows less than a week after a student protester sustained a fatal injury after falling from a parking garage during demonstrations, reports time.com.

While the circumstances leading to the student’s fall remain unclear, many supporters of the protest movement see him as a martyr, and his death galvanized a fresh round of strikes and protests that have roiled the city for five consecutive days.

Traffic continued to be snarled and train services disrupted Friday as protesters occupy major thoroughfares and parts of the railway tracks. Schools and universities remain shuttered, and many businesses encouraged employees to stay home.

Speaking from a summit in Brazil, Chinese President Xi Jinping said “continuous radical violent activities in Hong Kong seriously trample [on] rule of law and the social order, [and] seriously disturb Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability.”

Beijing firmly supports Hong Kong’s leader, the police and the courts “in severely punishing the violent criminals,” he said in rare comments on the situation.

According to Chinese state media, Xi called ending the turmoil Hong Kong’s most pressing task.

But with no end to the protests in sight, Asia’s financial capital is struggling. The territory of 7.5 million has fallen into a recession as tourists stay away and high-end shopping malls are transformed into battlegrounds between riot police and protesters.

After clashes with police moved from the streets to the outskirts of academic institutions earlier this week, unleashing some of the fiercest battles in six months of unrest, student demonstrators barricaded themselves inside their university campuses.

Behind the walls of the fortress-like campuses, students have stockpiled Molotov cocktails, swords and arrows as they seek to safeguard their academic sanctuaries.

Several universities have suspended classes for the duration of the semester, and allowed an exodus of international students.

In the city’s Central business district, lunchtime flash mobs have brought white collar workers out to the streets to erect roadblocks and face off with police, even as the clashes have become increasingly violent.

In the face of a deepening crisis, Hong Kong’s embattled Chief Executive Carrie Lam has doubled down on her insistence that there will be no capitulating to the protesters’ demands. Earlier this week, she called it “wishful thinking” that the government would yield to the “escalating violence.”

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