- As Trial Begins Tomorrow
A prosecution witness, Mr Patrick Ogo, on Friday told an Ikeja Special Offences Court that Kayode Odukoya, Managing Director, FirstNation Airways, secured a N1.7 billion loan from Skye Bank with a forged document.
Ogo, a Legal Officer with Polaris Bank, formerly Skye Bank, testified at the beginning of the trial of Odukoya over alleged N1.7 billion theft.
He was led in evidence by Mr Anselm Ozioko, lead counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), prosecuting the case.
The legal officer, who is the first prosecution witness, said that Odukoya, the alter ego of Bellview Airlines and FirstNation Airline (the second and third defendants) had, from 2007 to 2012, obtained various loan facilities from the bank.
He said: “As at December 2016, he obtained facilities accumulating to about N3.4 billion and 2.4 million dollars.
“At the point of the first application for these facilities, the defendant undertook to avail the bank of some collateral.
“The collateral include properties at 29 and 30 Oduduwa Way, Ikeja, and 35 Ladipo Bateye St, Ikeja, which the first defendant alleged belonged to him.
“On the basis that the property belonged to him, the bank disbursed the loan facilities to the defendants.
“When the bank commenced mortgage of these properties with particular reference to the property at No. 29, Oduduwa Way, Ikeja, with registration No. 33 on page 33 volume 1011 at the Lagos State Land Registry, Alausa, it was discovered to be false.
“Relying on same, the bank wrote to the Land Registry to confirm the registered number as furnished by the defendant and the bank received a response that the referred number does not exist in the record to the referred property.”
The prosecution witness said that the bank, upon receiving feedback from the Land Registry, contacted Odukoya who provided a memorandum of loss, a sworn affidavit, police extract and a March 8, 2013 publication of National Mirror newspaper.
Ogo informed the court that page 50 of the newspaper publication declared that the title document of the property was missing, stating that whoever found the document would be rewarded handsomely.
He said that further investigations by Polaris (Skye) bank revealed that the registration number of the property was fake and that Odukoya had used the same property as collateral for another loan from another bank.
“The bank’s internal investigation in respect of that property showed that the registration number of that property was Page 5, Vol. 5 of 1011, which the first defendant had used as collateral.
“The bank thereafter instructed its external solicitor to petition the EFCC as regards the act of the defendant.
“The instructed solicitor also wrote to the defendant referring to the converted sums of the bank which were earlier stated as N3.4 billion and 2.4 million dollars.
“The defendant responded that the referred amount was not involved but rather it was N1.7 billion.
“Subsequently another petition was written by our lawyer to the EFCC to carry out investigation on the fraudulent act of the defendant of obtaining the bank’s money by false representation of facts.
“Investigations were carried out which consequently made me to make statements to the EFCC in respect of the suit,” Ogo said.
The witness said that the loans were granted to Odukoya because his application inferred some urgency for the funds to run the operations of FirstNation Airways and Bellview Airlines.
“My lord, when Bellview Airlines Ltd. was in operation, it started banking with Skye Bank Plc in 2006/2007.
“FirstNation Airways came onboard with the same alter ego of the first defendant, and upon the application of Skye Bank, there was a memorandum of understanding wherein First Nation Airways took over the outstanding indebtedness of Bellview Airline.
“The money has not been returned to the bank, my lord, till today. This money is about N1.7 billion according to the defendant,” the Polaris Bank representative said.
The EFCC is alleging that Odukoya committed forgery, use of false document and perjury on March 21, 2013, in Lagos.
According to the prosecution, the defendant forged the memorandum of loss of Lagos State Certificate of Occupancy registered as No. 33 at page 33 volume 1011 at the Lagos State Land Registry, Alausa, Lagos, in order that the document be acted upon as genuine.
The forged document was alleged to be in respect of a property located at No. 29, Oduduwa St., Ikeja, GRA, Lagos.
Odukoya is also alleged by the EFCC to have used the false document, and also gave false information on oath, concerning the loss of the certificate of occupancy at the Lagos State Land Registry.
The anti-graft commission also alleged that on Oct. 7, 2016, Odukoya stole and dishonestly converted to his own use, N1.7 billion belonging to Skye Bank Plc.
The alleged offences violate Sections 85, 86(1) 278(1)(b), 285, 361(1),(a) (b), 363 and 364(1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
However, the defendant, who was arraigned on March 15, 2018, pleaded not guilty to the four-count charge of forgery, use of false documents, perjury and stealing.
Justice Mojisola Dada adjourned the case until June 24 for continuation of trial.
Apparently irked by the widespread speculation that APC national leader is behind Senator Ahmed Lawan aspiration of becoming Senate president, a civil society Civil Society for Better Political Practice (CSBPP) has debunked the insinuation terming it as unfounded.
The organisation insists that Senator Lawan is a man of his own mind who is a detribalised Nigerian has the capacity to work with every Senators across the country.
According to them, Asiwaju Tinubu’s pretence to support Senator Lawan is a clandestine decoy for Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila whom he prefered as house of assembly speaker.
The civil Society group argued in it’s press release signed by Comrade Salisu Shuaib that Tinubu has never supported Lawan neither has he lobbied for his aspiration, rather he’s been busy campaigning for Hon. Gbajabiamila.
Shuaib explained that all senators need to support Lawan for equity and justice because the senator has the experience and the acumen to take the 9th Assembly to the next level.
‘Nigeria belongs to us all and we must work very hard to ensure that somebody who is urbane, exposed and nationalistic should be made the Senate president and Sen. Lawan is an appropriate person’ the statement said.
He concluded that Senator Lawan is the man that fit the job and must be supported to become the next Senate president.
Bukola Saraki, senate president, has tackled the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), over the seizure of some of his residential houses located in the Ikoyi area of Lagos.
The seizure is coming less than a week after the anti-graft agency launched a fresh probe against the senate president over allegations of money laundering.
The EFCC is investigating Saraki’s earnings during his time as governor of Kwara state. Saraki governed the state between 2003 and 2011 before proceeding to the senate.
But the senate president has maintained that the action of the EFCC was a witch-hunt and “only reinforced our earlier stated position that their current investigation is mischievous.”
A statement by Yusuph Olaniyonu, special adviser (media and publicity) to the senate president, read: “Our attention has been drawn to the fact that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has marked certain property belonging to Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, obviously under the claim that they are subject of investigation.
“The action of the EFCC only reinforced our earlier stated position that their current investigation is mischievous, contrary to the tenets of the rule of law and only aimed at settling scores. This position is founded on the fact that these same buildings were the subject of earlier investigations by the EFCC as well as the case initiated by the Federal Government at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
“Also, the case went all the way to the highest court in our country, the Supreme Court of Nigeria. In that case, Saraki was discharged and acquitted because the courts believe the government has no case.”
According to PUNCH, the anti-corruption agency seized some houses, located at 15a, 15b and 17 MacDonald road, Ikoyi, Lagos, allegedly purchased by Saraki.
Saraki’s relative was also quoted to have said that the houses were seized last Friday so as to keep the senate president “under strict surveillance ahead of May 29, 2019 when they may invite him.”
“The EFCC had been making inquiries into the finances and assets of Saraki for quite some time. They came to inscribe ‘EFCC, Under Investigation’ in red on the walls and the fences. The irony is that even houses that don’t belong to Saraki were marked,” the relative said.
Olaniyonu had previously accused the commission of intimidating Saraki with its probe of his tenure as governor of Kwara state.
In its response, the anti-corruption agency told the senate president that he ought not to be afraid if he has nothing to hide.
Former Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Oceanic Bank, Cecilia Ibru has said all her friends who used to flock her house and company deserted her during her trial and travails.
Ibru was sentenced in 2010 to six months in prison for fraud and ordered to hand over $1.2bn (£786m) in cash and assets after she pleaded guilty to three of 25 counts of fraud and mismanagement.
In an interview with the PUNCH, Ibru said she had learnt a great lesson that “you never know who your enemies are until you have a problem. That underscores the prayer that God should show us our enemies so we could do what is necessary before it is late. Also, I found that you are on your own when you have problems. I was deserted.
“Remember I said my compound and even outside the premises used to be filled with vehicles when I was in office. I mean people who needed all kinds of favour. One of the foremost banks in Nigeria today got the N3bn loan they used to start at that time from our bank. They came to me one day; I was even travelling that day, so I told them we should reschedule, but they insisted they had to see me that day.
“They told me they needed N3bn loan for the bank and I told them to let us meet in the office to do the paperwork and go through the process. But when the problem arose, God showed me that He’s the only one you can depend on. The only person you can depend on in this world is God, and maybe a few people who are committed to you.”
On the death of her husband, Michael Ibru in 2016, she said she was yet to get over it, saying that it was a great shock to her.
“His death was a great shock to me. I had just come back from a trip abroad and the previous night everything seemed to be alright. He had been sick for a long time, but we felt he was getting better, so we continued to be hopeful believing that he would totally recover over time. I travelled that night and I got home that same night and then I went to bed, but somehow it wasn’t a restful night. I couldn’t tie it to anything anyway. That morning, around 7 am, my daughter called. I asked after my husband and she said she didn’t know what was happening.
“I asked what she meant by that; she wasn’t so plain about it. So I said, what step have you taken, she said she had called an ambulance and I said, so what are they doing about it, she said they had been resuscitating him. I said how do you mean resuscitating him? This was the same person who looked alright the previous night when I was with him. The most painful part was when my daughter called again and broke the news to me. She told me those resuscitating him said they had to take him to the mortuary. Unknown to me, he passed on while we were talking. It was a shocker and a very difficult moment. It was very painful because we were expecting him to get better, not for him to die, but God knows all things.
“I’ve yet to recover from his death. Someone who was consoling me then said I should try and forget it and I said how? How do you just forget somebody you lived with for over 50 years? Till today, I still go to his office to redecorate the place the way he would have loved it. Perhaps, one thing that has helped to deal with it is the university which we established two years before he died. We were already preoccupied with running the school even before he died. However, when you withdraw into the room and you are alone, what you are missing dawns on you afresh. We adopted a boy six and a half years ago, and if not for him it would have been worse.
“My husband would be two years gone in September. Taking care of the boy has been of help. He’s still small, so there are times he would do something naughty. That keeps you busy and distracted. Before you know it the day is gone. I miss my husband a lot. He was very analytical and anyone would love him. Even though he’s left us, when taking decisions, I still look at things the way he would have. So, I really miss him,” she stated.
Ibru also disclosed that she got married before 20, saying that “I think I was 18-plus then because I had my first son in January before my 20th birthday. When I clocked 70, my first son was 50. So, I was 18-plus.”
When asked why she had been absent from the social scene all this while, said she had been retooling and reinventing herself by taking on new challenges.
“I’m in the education sector now, which I think is worth going into, because everything about development revolves around education. If done properly, our nation will not be complaining too much because human capital would have been well developed. So, that is where I am now and it’s like an experiment for me. My late husband (Michael Ibru) and I started with nursery, kindergarten, primary, secondary and now a university.
“We are trying to raise talents in a way that it would produce excellence because education across the world is not commensurate with the speed at which we are growing here. We cannot expect people to become champions overnight without being nurtured and trained, even if they have the right talents. That informed part of what we are doing with the Michael and Cecilia Ibru University.”
The Special Presidential Investigation Panel For The Recovery Of Public Property (SPIP) has netted in the sums of one billion, three hundred and sixty million, seven hundred and thirty six thousand, eight hundred and sixty five Naira, (N1,360,736,865.00) and ten million, two hundred and eighty six thousand, three hundred and sixty eight dollars, ten cents ($10,286,368.10), from Heritage Bank Plc, for NEXIM Bank.
The over ten million dollars is part refund of funds illegally placed in fixed deposit by the previous management of NEXIM Bank with Heritage Bank.
Upon maturity of the fixed deposit term however, Heritage Bank failed to return both the capital and accrued interest which cumulatively stands at over twenty two million dollars to NEXIM Bank.
The over one billion, three hundred million Naira on the other hand, is a refund Heritage Bank is making on behalf of Paytech Technology Limited, for which the bank had provided crystallized bank guarantee, on a loan Paytech had taken from NEXIM Bank and failed to pay back.
These figures are cumulative refunds Heritage Bank has been making to NEXIM Bank since 2017 following the intervention and investigation by the Presidential Panel. Then Panel found the bank culpable and caused it to refund its indebtedness to NEXIM Bank.
All recoveries so far made by the SPIP have been remitted to NEXIM Bank. More are expected.
DISCIPLINARY action will be taken against the policemen who whisked away the Chief Priest of Okhuaihe shrine at Evbokhoi, Uhunmwode Local Government Area of Edo State , Chief Osarodion Usuanlele, the Ohen N’ Ukoni Neyedo to the Police headquarters in Benin for questioning, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. DanMallam Mohammed, has assured.
Going by age-long tradition which has been on since the times of Oba Ewuare the Great in the 15th century, the Ohen N’ UKoni is forbidden from setting his feet in Benin, the abode of the Oba as it is said to amount to a desecration.
￼To appease the gods, three dogs were said to have been slaughtered as sacrifices near the police headquarters before the chief priest was released last week.
Dan Mallam, who confirmed the arrest, however insisted that the arrest and transfer of the high chief by operatives of the Anti-Cultism Unit to Benin was based on a petition by one John “Atekha” Elvis, an ex-official of the banned Community Development Association (CDA) in the state.
Acting on the allegation by the local, who the police boss emphasised ought to know better, the Edo Police boss said that the police invited him to Benin for interrogation.
￼The commissioner however blamed the policemen for insisting on transferring the suspect to Benin despite his strident protest that moving him to the Edo State capital will amount to a desecration of Bini culture.
DanMallam said: “The issue could have been resolved over there at the local police station without moving him to Benin. The police must respect the culture and tradition of the people in areas where they operate. We are not taking the matter lightly and will deal with our men who are involved in the incident. They ought to have listened to the complaint of the chief and deal with the matter at the nearest police station instead of bringing him to Benin.”
￼He denied receiving a list of items from the chief priest to cleanse the land, noting that the locals bought the items and did the sacrifice themselves.
The items reportedly included 14 native cows, tortoise, sheep, goats, cocks, among others.
As part of coronation rites of the Benin monarch, the chief priest engages in a symbolic wrestle with the prince of Benin, after which both men go opposite ways, never to see each other again, once the prince becomes the Oba.
The Secretary of Evbiekoi community, Chief Paul Ajayi lamented: “The policemen shot sporadically and insisted on taking the chief priest, Usunalele to Benin City, despite pleas that the man does not enter Benin or he would die.
“A strange and mysterious downpour, accompanied by violent wind, thunder and lightning, were part of the signs of desecration.
“The Oba got the signs of desecration and presence of Ohen N’ UKoni, and sent emissaries to the Police Commissioner, Danmallam Abubakar, after confirming that the Chief Priest was in Benin.”
The Vice-Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections, Mr. Peter Obi, has advised Nigerians, especially the rich, to engage in genuine philanthropy and assistance to the poor for them to enjoy genuine peace of mind and happiness.
Obi said this on Friday when, as part of his Easter Programme, he visited the Aguata Anglican Diocesan Hospital at Umunze.
Explaining, Obi said: “Spending for the right cause, rather than wasting money on champagne and epicurean indulgence brings genuine peace and satisfaction to the soul. And there are many ways to do so, some of which are support for education, health, youth empowerment and community development.”
Obi, who donated N1 million to the hospital to assist them in what he called “caring for the sick”, thanked the church for their continued efforts towards education, health care delivery, youth development and other areas they complement the efforts of the Government.
Speaking during the event, the Anglican Bishop of Aguata, Rt. Rev. Samuel Ezeofor, represented by Ven. Dr. Kamto Obi, thanked Obi for recognising the position of the Church and partnering with her in the service of the people. He called on those in government who are genuinely interested in service to see the Church as partners in progress.
It would be recalled that Obi, as part of his 2019 Easter celebration, decided to visit 50 hospitals across the country. He was accompanied on Friday by his former Commissioner for Information, Prof. Chinyere Stella Okunna.
A single mom revealed that she sold her baby girl for N600,000 and used the money to buy a phone, wrapper and slippers in Imo state. She also stated that she planned using the remaining money to start a business.
According to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Imo State Police Command, a 27-year old single mom, Nneka Donatus allegedly sold her day old baby girl and used the money to buy a phone, wrapper and slippers for herself.
The woman, who spoke in her native dialect, said, “I sold my baby girl for N600,000 and used N15,000 from the money to buy a phone, wrapper and slippers and transported myself back home.
I asked Nneoma Onwusereaka and her husband, who had the balance to use it to start a business for me. I have five children already and I am separated from my former husband.”
A civil servant, who was arrested in connection with the crime, said she was rewarded with N10,000 for connecting the buyer with the seller.
Nneka was arrested alongside a level 12 civil servant at the state Ministry of Women Affairs, Ujunwa Udechukwu, 40; and Nneoma Onwusereaka, 37; who allegedly conspired with the single mother to sell the baby to a couple.
The mother of the woman who sold her baby is said to have reported the case to SARS operatives after the lady; her daughter came home without the newborn baby.
Nigerian Afro Hip hop star, Olamide Adedeji (Olamide) has released a new single ‘Oil and Gas’ from the anticipated album, `Oil & Gas’
The 30-year-old Bariga-born rapper took to his Instagram handle @baddoneh to announce the release of the song.
“ #Oilandgas.’’ He added a sign of fuel pump facility at an oil station.
This new song is catchy because it contains the trending slang “Enu gbe” (mouth dry).
In the song, the YBNL boss in Yoruba dialect calls on the major Oil and Gas dealers, Philanthropies and Godfathers in the country to spend money where it is due.
The song was produced by Pheelz.
The release of Oil & Gas came barely three weeks after he released the song `Spirit’.
While his fans await the official release of the album `Oil & Gas’, they could enjoy the released singles from the album.
Olamide’s albums include Rapsodi (2011), Yahoo Boy No Laptop (YBNL-2012), Baddest Guy Ever Liveth (2013) and Street OT (2014).
Others are 2 Kings, Eyan Mayweather (2015), The Glory (2016), Lagos Nawa (2017), and Madia Family (2018).
He has collaborated with talented artist like Phyno, Lil Kesh, D’banj, Davido, Wale, Reminisce and many more.
Oil and Gas would make it the 10th studio album of the multi award winning singer, song writer and label boss.