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N700m Diezani Cash: EFCC Re-arraigns ex-Governor, Others

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on November 21, 2022 re-arraigned a former governor of Kaduna State, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero before Justice R.M Aikawa of the Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna on an eight count amended charges bordering on money laundering.

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The re-arraignment is sequel to the transfer of the former trial judge, Justice M.G Umar, from the State.

Yero is being prosecuted by the EFCC alongside Nuhu Somo Wya (a former minister), Ishaq Hamsa (a former Secretary to Kaduna State Government) and Abubakar Gaiya Haruna (a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state) for their alleged involvement in the receipt and disbursement of the sum of N700 million paid to them by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.

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At today’s sitting, the prosecution counsel, Nasiru Salele, told the Court that the case was for re-arraignment of the defendants and urged the court to ask them to take their pleas.

The charges were read to the defendants and they all pleaded ‘not guilty’.

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One of the amended counts reads: “That you, Muktar Ramalan Yero (while being the Executive Governor of Kaduna state), Nuhu Somo Wya (whilst being a former minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) and Abubakar Gaiya Haruna ( whilst being the chairman people’s Democratic Party (PDP), Kaduna State Chapter, sometimes in 2015 in Kaduna within the jurisdiction of the Honourable Court (Federal High Court) did conspire among yourselves to commit a felony to wit: indirectly taking possession of the sum of N700,000,000.00 ( Seven Hundred Million Naira) which you ought to have known forms part of unlawful activity to wit; bribery and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering ( Prohibition Act 2011 (as amended) in 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act”.

Another count reads: “That you Mukhtar Ramalan Yero ( whilst being the Executive Governor of Kaduna state), Nuhu Somo Wya (whilst being a former minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria), Ishaq Hamza (whilst being the secretary to the Kaduna state government), and Abubakar Gaiya Haruna (whilst being the chairman people’s Democratic Party (PDP), Kaduna State Chapter, sometimes in 2015 in Kaduna within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court (Federal High Court) did indirectly take possession of the aggregate sum of N700,000,000.00 ( Seven Hundred Million Naira),which you reasonably ought to have known forms parts of the proceeds of unlawful activity to wit: bribery and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011( as amended) in 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act”.

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Following their pleas, the defence counsel, Yunus Ustaz Usman urged the court to extend to the defendants, the terms of the bail earlier granted them by the former judge.

The prosecution counsel, Nasiru Salele, appearing with M.E Eimonye and P.C Onyeneho, did not object to the application.

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Justice Umar granted bail to the defendants on the same terms earlier offered them by the court.

The case was adjourned till 16th, 17th and 18th January, 2023, for trial.

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BREAKING! Gunmen assassinate Labour Party women leader in Kaduna

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By Francesca Iwambe

The women leader of the Labour Party in the Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Mrs Victoria Chimtex has been assassinated by unknown gunmen.

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She was said to have been killed on Monday night by the gunmen who invaded her residence at about 8pm and shot at her.

The victim’s husband was also said to have been shot also and was rushed to the hospital.

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Although the police authorities were yet to confirm the incident, however, the Chairman of the Labour Party in Kaduna, Peter Hassan confirmed that the victim was a very hard working and very ‘Obidient’ women leader of the party in the Kaura Local Government Area.

Hassan disclosed that the gunmen shot the victim several times on her leg and spinal cord which led to her immediate death.

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He also explained that the gunmen rejected the monetary offer made by the husband of the victim for them to spare her life.

On November 18, 2019, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) women leader, Salome Abuh was shot and set ablaze at her residence in the Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi State.

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The Labour Party is gaining mileage among the youths who are majorly rooting for the party’s presidential candidate Peter Obi.

A High Court sitting in Idah, Kogi State in March 2021 subsequently convicted one of the suspects, Ocholi Edicha, to 12 years and six months in prison for culpable homicide.

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Nigeria, Benin Rep embark on sensitisation campaign to foster unity and tackle insecurity +Photos

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The National Boundary Commission, NBC and its Beninese counterpart has embarked on a joint sensitisation campaign geared towards cementing the historical bond that existed between both countries prior to the colonial rule.

The campaign which took place at Kosu Bosu, Baruten Local Government of the Kwara State sector of the Nigeria-Benin International Boundary featured socio-cultural activities such as sporting activities as part of its efforts to promote peaceful co-existence between the dwellers along the international boundary of the two countries.

Director-General of the NBC, Surv. Adamu Adaji noted during the exercise that the lack of a clear-cut demarcation of the boundary between Nigeria and the Republic of Benin has largely contributed to the issues arising from the claims and counter claims by the border communities of both countries.

Adaji posited that the lack of demarcation of the international boundary between Nigeria and the Republic of Benin has led to the problem of insecurity along the border corridors as bad elements have capitalized on the non-clarity of the boundary to perpetuate criminal activities in the communities.

“The height of insecurity in these communities is very worrisome as the problem has become a hydra-headed monster which has proven difficult for the security agents of both countries to intervene because of the fear of crossing into the other’s sovereign territory”

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He also said that this ugly situation has significantly disrupted genuine economic activities amongst the border dwellers adding that the high level of insecurity has caused both countries enormous human and material resources which are the bedrock of sustainable development.

“It is therefore pertinent that both Nigeria and Benin Republic must join hands and rise up to the challenges posed by these criminal elements that threaten the economy, peace, security and stability of both countries”.

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He asserted that to achieve this goal there is the need to need to swiftly address the issue of the recognized boundary that constitute the administrative limits of the two sister nations.

Adaji assured that both the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Benin Republic were not resting on their oars but working assiduously to resolve the issue of the non-clarity of the boundary in order to determine where in lies the administrative limit.

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The Director-General noted that despite the separation of kith and kins in Nigeria and Benin Republic by administrative boundaries done by the colonial masters that the people have continued to relate and interact well through inter-marriages and other social economic activities stressing that we must strive to maintain this cordiality and not allow the inherited boundaries to create barriers amongst our people.

He further maintained that African countries must seek closer ties and cooperation in order to increase opportunity for trade and development as well as form alliance capable of mitigating the negative influence of globalization insisting that African must reduce the weight of its borders. He added that the border communities are considered as gatekeepers to the nation and constitute the building blocks for cooperation.

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The Director-General enjoined the communities to continue to play pivotal roles in ensuring the welfare and protection of the border communities adding “the responsibility of delivering peace and security in our borderlands in not only the responsibility of the Federal agencies but also the local authorities and traditional rulers as well as the youths, women and community leaders.

His counterpart Director-General ABeGIEF, Marcel Baglo said that the artificial boundaries created by the Europeans are traps that has caused setbacks at the border communities.

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Baglo urged the border communities to overlook these traps and be involved in the process of ensuring safety stressing that security is everyone business, and everyone should play a part in alerting the security official when necessary.

He commented the NBC on its continuous efforts in fostering peace and unity between both countries.

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The Emir of Okuta Alhaji Abubakar Idris lauded the initiative of the use of culture and sporting activities to strengthen the bond between Nigeria and Benin Republic.

He said that the two border communities speak the same language, have the same culture and tradition he therefore canvassed that the sensitization programme be extended to the provision of basic amenities and infrastructural development of the communities.

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The Emir stated that border insecurities has threatened both sides of the border and he had severally had to intervene to ensure peace amongst the communities.

The Chairman Baruten Local Government, Hon. Abdurasheed lafia applauded the several interventions of the National Boundary Commission even as he encouraged them not to relent in its efforts until they attain full restoration of peace in the area.

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Just In: Court sends IGP Usman Baba to three months jail

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Kayode Sanni Arewa

The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has been sentenced to three months improsonment by the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

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The court presided over by Justice M. O. Olajuwon gave the sentence on Tuesday, November 29, after Baba was found guilty of disobeying a valid court order.

NaijaBlitzNews.com reports that the court held that the IGP should be committed to prison and detained in custody for a period of three months, or until he obeys an order it made since October 21, 2011.

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“If at the end of the three months, the contemnor remains recalcitrant and still refuses to purge his contempt, he shall be committed for another period and until he purges his contempt”, the court held.

The IGP’s committal followed a suit that was filed by a police officer, Mr. Patrick Okoli, who was unlawfully and compulsorily retired from the Nigerian Police Force.

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Justice Olajuwon noted that though the Police Service Commission, PSC, recommended Okoli’s reinstatement into the Police, a decision that was affirmed by the court, the IGP, refused to comply with the order.

The court had also ordered the payment of N10million to the Applicant, being special and general [email protected] for the unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional denial of his rights and privileges as a Senior Officer of the Nigeria Police Force from 1993 till date.

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