Court Orders Forfeiture Of Patience Jonathan’s N9.2bn, $8.4m

Court Orders Forfeiture Of Patience Jonathan’s N9.2bn, $8.4m

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday ordered the permanent forfeiture of the sums of N9.2bn and $8.4m recovered from wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun ordered that the funds should be forfeited to the Federal Government.

The judgment followed an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which said the funds were proceeds of crime.

Though Patience, through her lawyers, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) and Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), opposed the application and insisted that the funds were legitimately her own, the judge held that she had “no doubts, at all, that these monies are proceeds of unlawful activities.”

Justice Olatoregun said the respondents “failed to dispel the suspicion created by the movement of the monies within the meaning and contemplation of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related offences Act, coupled with the various extrajudicial statements of the Bureau De Change agents which were not controverted by the respondents.”

 “In all of this, taking into consideration the overwhelming evidence provided by the applicant, the mode, the circumstances and the manner involved, using fictitious names, etcetera, to lodge monies in her name by named and unnamed individuals and BDCs, I cannot come to a conclusion by any sense of responsibility that these monies are proceeds of lawful activities within the meaning and contemplation of of the provisions of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related offences Act 2006; the Money Laundering Act 2004 and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act 2004 and other laws enforceable under the EFCC Act 2004.”

The judge said the respondents “failed to show cause why the monies should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

Apart from Patience, other respondents in the application taken before the judge by the EFCC were Globus Integrated Services Ltd, Finchley Top Homes Ltd., Am-Pm Global Network Ltd, Pagmat Oil and Gas Ltd, Magel Resort Ltd and Esther Oba.

The EFCC said the respondents were not into “any legitimate income-yielding business venture” as to earn such amounts.

It alleged that the firms were incorporated for the purpose of warehousing proceeds of unlawful activities for Patience.

“The depositors into these accounts are domestic staff of State House, Abuja, who were procured by the Dudafa Waripamo-Owei (Jonathan’s Special Assistant on Domestic and Household Matters) to deposit the funds sought to be forfeited in a bid to conceal the true origin of the funds,” the EFCC said in the application filed by its lawyer, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo.

But opposing the application, Patience’s lawyer, Adedipe, had contended that it was wrong for the EFCC to tag the money as proceeds of crime, when Patience had not been charged with any crime and when nobody complained that their money was missing.

The SAN said, contrary to the claim by the EFCC, the funds were cash gifts, which Patience received when her husband was in office.
Adedipe said such gifts were normal, pointing out that even the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha, was seeking to build a university.

The lawyer contended that Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud, which EFCC relied upon to seize Patience’s funds, was only applicable to fraudsters.

“It is not the law that if the EFCC finds money in an account and it doesn’t like the owner’s face, it comes to court and says ‘forfeit it’.

“The government is at liberty to apply for forfeiture but the offence must be stated.

“The first respondent is a wife to a former deputy governor, governor, Vice President, and President.

“Even the current occupier of the office of the First Lady wants to build a university.

“In this country, First Ladies enjoy a lot of goodwill. She (Patience) stated that governors gave her money. Nobody wrote that she stole their money,” the SAN said.

Adedipe said there was no justification for the money to be forfeited to the Federal Government, as the EFCC had not proved that Patience stole money from the government or any individual.

“All that the EFCC said was that they saw money in her account and assumed it was stolen. They didn’t say from whom.

“You don’t pick on your political opponents. We urge Your Lordship to hold that the money is not proceeds of an unlawful act. It’s not a crime to be given money,” Adedipe said.

Also, Ozekhome, who appeared for La Wari Furniture and Baths, said the money found in his clients’ accounts was legitimate.
Ozekhome said La Wari Furniture was into the import and export of furniture and antique.

“It is settled law that suspicion, no matter how grave, can never amount to legal evidence to prove the guilt or culpability of anyone either in criminal or civil proceedings.

“They have not brought anybody to complain that money is missing. It is not a crime that La Wari Furniture and Baths had made money.

“The EFCC has not shown any predicate office committed by La Wari Furniture and Baths. They threw a wide net into the sea looking to catch any fish.

“We urge your Lordship to refuse this application,” Ozekhome prayed.

However, Justice Olatoregun, in her judgment, disagreed with the SAN and granted the application by the EFCC.

Source: Punch

Buhari’s Aide Urges Police To Investigate Biodun Fatoyinbo

Buhari’s Aide Urges Police To Investigate Biodun Fatoyinbo

President Muhammadu Buhari’s Aide on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, has charged the Nigeria Police Force to investigate the Senior Pastor of COZA Church, Biodun Fatoyinbo.

News Agency of Nigeria reports this comes after Busola Dakolo, photographer and wife of singer; Timi Dakolo accused Fatoyinbo of allegedly raping her as a teenager.

Onochie commented on the issues through her twitter account @laurestar

She spoke after the peaceful protests urging Fatoyinbo to step down held in Lagos and Abuja on Sunday.

“What I don’t understand is why Nigerians are calling on the alleged rapist, Biodun Fatoyibo to step down as a Pastor.

“Pastors are above board & above suspicion. He was never a Pastor. What we should be doing, is calling on the @PoliceNG to invite him for questioning,” she said.

NAN reports that amidst the trending issue and callouts, Fatoyinbo cancelled the upcoming events at the church and fixed a weeklong prayer meeting instead.

The pastor had earlier officially denied the rape allegations with corroboration of his wife, Modele.

Meanwhile, the tag #PastorStepDown continues to trend on Twitter, Instagram and other media platforms.


Military, DSS arrest 14 suspects for Alex Badeh’s murder

Military, DSS arrest 14 suspects for Alex Badeh’s murder

The Nigerian military and the Department of State Services have arrested 14 suspects for alleged involvement in the killing of a former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh.

The suspects were arrested by a Joint Investigative Panel, which was set up by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, and coordinated from the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.

The suspects were to be brought to the Mogadishu Cantonment, Abuja on Tuesday, where they would be paraded before newsmen. The parade was later postponed, according to the DHQ due to “some hitches.”

The Nigeria Police Force had in December 2018 paraded five suspects for the murder, including one 25-year-old Shuaibu Rabo, who said the former CDS, was killed while they were trying to rob him of money meant for the purchase of a new farmland.

One of Badeh’s family members, however, refuted the claim saying there was no money with Badeh at the time of his murder.

Our correspondent learnt that the police’s parade did not stop the military and DSS’ discreet investigations ordered by Olonisakin into the murder.

Badeh was the Chief of Defence Staff between January 2014 and July 2015, after he earlier served as the Chief of  Air Staff between October 2012 and January 2014.

He was shot dead by gunmen in the evening of December 18, 2018, while returning from his farm along the Abuja-Keffi Expressway in Nasarawa State.

A top military source, however, told our correspondent on Tuesday that the suspects were 14, adding that some of them were in military custody while others were in the DSS custody.

“They were arrested in connection with the murder of a former CDS, Alex Badeh. Some of them were arrested by us, others by DSS and the police. It was a joint investigation,” he said.

Source: Punch

Police Arraign Man For Allegedly Stealing Bible, Phone From Church

Police Arraign Man For Allegedly Stealing Bible, Phone From Church

The police on Wednesday arraigned a 22-year-old man, Eniola Kareem, in an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court for allegedly stealing a Bible and phone worth N2,500 from Word Life Bible Church, Ayobo, Lagos.

Kareem, who resides at No. 22, Ijesha St., Ayobo in Lagos, is charged with theft.  

The Prosecution Counsel, Sgt. Samuel Mishozumu, told the court that Kareem committed the offence on May 19.

Mishozumu said the defendant unlawfully entered the church at Amule Ayobo in Lagos, and stole a Bible and a Nokia phone valued N2,500 property of Ms Fatima Adeyibo.

He told the court that Kareem was caught by members of the Church, who handed him over to the police.

Mishozumu said the offence contravened the provisions of Section 287 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.

If convicted, he is liable to three years in prison.

After the charge was read to him, he pleaded not guilty.

Magistrate O.D. Njoku, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N20,000 with two sureties in like sum.

Njoku adjourned the case until July 16, for further hearing.

Source: Vanguard

NDLEA In Kano State Intercepts 6,726kg Of Hard Drugs, Arrests 725 Suspects

NDLEA In Kano State Intercepts 6,726kg Of Hard Drugs, Arrests 725 Suspects

Dr Ibrahim Abdul, the Commander, National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Kano State says the command seized a total of 6,726,012 kilogrammes of hard drugs from June 2018 till date.

The commander made the disclosure at a news conference on Tuesday in Kano as part of events to mark International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking, celebrated annually on June 26.

The day was set aside by UN to bring to the fore, challenges encountered by countries and individuals through illicit drugs sale and consumption, as well as step up campaigns on its ills.

Abdul said that within the period under review, the command intercepted 3,201,155 kilogrammes of cannabis sativa, popularly known as Indian hemp.

He added that the command also seized 3,370,911 kilogrammes of psychotropic substance and 150.007 kilogrammes of khat, a marijuana-like leaf imported from South Africa.

He further revealed that 3.190 kilogrammes of cocaine had also been intercepted by the command within the one year.

The NDLEA boss also disclosed that the agency had within the period under review, seized 29.3 kilogrammes of heroin.

Giving a further breakdown of the success achieved, Abdul said the command arrested 725 suspects, out of whom, 620 males and 105 females.

“This is an unprecedented success that has never been achieved within a short period of time since the establishment of this command,” he said

The commander further disclosed that the command had secured the conviction of 47 suspects, nabbed with cocaine and heroin.

He further revealed that the command arrested suspected notorious members of a drug syndicate enroute Saudi Arabia with 2.92 kilogrammes of cocaine.

“The statistics recorded shows a decline in the demand and supply of some substances such as tramadol and codeine, as a result of constant operations by officers of the Kano State command,” said the commander

He, however, added that the lack of adequate manpower, shortage of logistics, the lack of enough facilities to accommodate addicts that required counselling and rehabilitation were some of the command’s major challenges.

”Also, the lack of cooperation by some communities is affecting our work,” Abdul said.

Source: The Guardian

Man, 45, Hangs Self In Bayelsa State

Man, 45, Hangs Self In Bayelsa State

A middle-aged man said to hail from Enugu State has committed suicide in Etegwe-Epie, a suburb of Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital.

The 45-years-old man identified as Oliver Osieme, hanged himself inside his room.

IT was stated that the deceased, a truck driver, committed the act in an apartment owned by a lady who he is cohabiting with. It was further reported that earlier, the victim with the lady and a teenage girl staying with them had morning devotion together before the woman left for her business at Tombia roundabout while the teenager left for school.

Neighbours said it was the teenage girl who raised the alarm of her aunt’s husband death after she came back from school and met the house locked.

In her effort to enter the house, she discovered from the window that the victim has used a dark cloth to hang himself.

The neighbours further revealed that the wife said when she left the house they never had any disagreement that could lead to the victim taking his life. They also said they have never seen or heard them quarrel since the man started living with the wife in the apartment.

The teenager, however, revealed that the deceased has not been on the road for sometime because the truck used for business had been bad.

A close relation, who did want to be named, said: “It is a sad experience; nobody would have thought such a thing would have been planned by him. The police had just taken his body away, if you had came earlier, you would have seen it, a young man that was full of life.”

The whole community was in mourning mood yesterday as people took turns to commiserate with the wife, while others gathered around to discuss the incident in hushed tones.

The Police Public Relations Officer in Bayelsa State, SP Asinim Butswat, who confirmed the report, said the police are investigating the incident leading to the man’s death.

Source: The Guardian