The Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), on Friday, took over the case of alleged N25 billion fraud filed against former Gombe State Governor, Danjuma Goje, from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
For almost eight years, the EFCC had been prosecuting the former governor in Jos, Plateau State until Friday.
The case, which is before Justice Babatunde Quadiri of Jos Federal High Court II, has even gone to the Jos Court of Appeal over the remaining two count charge out of 21 filed against him by EFCC.
The Appellate Court is yet to fix a date for the hearing of the appeal.
When the case came up for an emergency hearing before Justice Quadiri, the EFCC counsel, Mr Wahab Shittu, told court that the agency was withdrawing from the case and handing it over the office of the Attorney-General for continuation.
“My Lord, this case was earlier adjourned for June 20 for continuation of hearing, but then we are here today on the latest development on the matter.
“We, as EFCC counsel, are withdrawing from the matter and handing it over to the office of the Attorney-General for continuation with the prosecution.
“As you can see, in Court today is a State Counsel from the AGF’s office to formally take over this case from us, “ Shittu declared.
Responding, Mr Paul Erokoro (SAN) did not object to the EFCC withdrawal and handing over of the case to the Attorney-General.
“My Lord, we are not objecting to the anti-graft withdrawal and handing over the prosecution to the AGF’s office, “ Erokoro said.
Mr Pius Asika, counsel from the office of the Attorney General, however, announced his appearance for the case.
Asika then applied for an adjournment to enable him prepare for the case proper “having come into the matter today” (Friday).
Justice Quadiri then adjourned the case to June 21 for continuation of hearing.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, says governing the state is not an easy task, as he has lost weight in just one week of assuming office.
Sanwo-Olu spoke with State House correspondents after a private meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, shortly after the expanded security council meeting on Friday, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to him, governing Lagos is not a tea party, as the experience and challenges are real.
“It is not a tea party; you don’t sleep and wake up and the traffic has gone down; you don’t sleep and wake up and there is no rain or say that you have resolved Apapa gridlock; it’s real.
“So, it is something that one has psychologically prepared for; the best thing you can do is to make sure that you are not about looking for what the other person did.
“It is for Lagosians to see you do what you promised to do for them.
“And if you don’t do it from your office; you have to do it on the road; you have to do it where the issues are, so that people will truly know that you mean business.
“In one week, I will say I have lost weight; I will probably still lose a bit more, but I think it is worth the job.
“It is also important to ensure that you have the right team; people that will also support you; so, when as a leader you can show that leadership support, then the message itself trickles down and trickles very well,” he said.
He said that clearing of the Apapa gridlock was work in progress, as efforts were being made to solve the problem.
Sanwo-Olu said that the concern of his government was to ensure that, what was done concerning the gridlock was sustained as sustainability was critical.
He further said that his administration was engaging all the stakeholders in the conversation around port utility –Shippers’ Council, shipping lines and Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA) and others, in order to achieve a sustained resolution.
On security in Lagos State, the governor said it was something he attached much importance.
He said that security was everybody’s business but as a governor, he had a major responsibility of protecting lives and property of Lagosians.
“So, it is a work in progress and for me in particular, it is something that I take so seriously.
“We are not just mouthing it; we will ensure that we put resources and strategies that can help in place,
“We have been talking about domesticating; the security trust fund that we have done is part of the initiative
“We will continue to engage and identify what are the sources; what are the underlying issues that bring about insecurity.
“Are they economic or more than that? So, we can also attack the root cause.
“For us, as a government that is looking for investors, we certainly must continue to be in a position where we can give confidence to all our investors that Lagos State is a safe haven to come,’’ he said.
He said that the security council meeting was paramount and thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for convening it.
A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja has quashed the earlier summons by an Area Court in Karshi, Abuja asking an aspirant for the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to appear before it on June 10, 2019.
The court has also ordered the Area Court to stay action in whatsoever manner on any case involving Gbajabiamila.
The Area Court judge, Hon. Anas Isah Mohammed, has also been ordered by the High Court to transmit certified record of proceedings of the lower court within seven days.
Justice Othman Musa of the FCT High Court, Bwari gave the order following an ex-parte motion filed by Gbajabiamila.
The House leader had sued the African Peoples Party (APP) and the Area Court judge, Anas Isah Mohammed, seeking two reliefs.
The reliefs are:
· An order of this Honorable Court granting leave to the Applicant to apply for judicial review for an order of certiorari to remove into this Honorable Court for the purpose of its being quashed, the proceedings, decisions, criminal charge and Order of His Worship, Honorable Anas Isah Mohammed of Grade 1 Area Court, Karshi, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, made on 30th May 2019 in Charge No: CR/349/2019 and Motion No. M/19/2019, between African Peoples Party (APP) Vs. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamiia (AKA Femi Gbaja).
An order of this Honourable Courtstaying all proceedings and hearing of the Criminal Charges, actions and decisions of His Worship, Hon. Anas Isah Mohammed of the Grade 1 Area Court, Karshi, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, made on the 30th day of May, 2019, in Charge No.: CR/349/2019 and Motion No. M/19/2019, between African Peoples Party (APP) Vs. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila (AKA Femi Gbaja), which affects the subject-matter of this application pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice for an Order of Certiorari filed by the Applicant herein.
In his ruling, Justice Othman Musa granted the ex-parte prayers of the applicant
He said: “Where at any stage of proceedings before final judgement in any cause or matter in an Area Court a person alleges that he is not subject to the jurisdiction of Area Court, the proceedings shall, on the application of that person to the High Court, be transferred to the High Court, which shall inquire into and determine the truth of the person’s allegation. ‘
“It is for the reasons advanced above that I proceed to grant the application as follows:
“ Leave is hereby granted to the Applicant to apply for judicial review for the issuance of an Order of Certiorari to remove the whole proceedings, orders, pending applications and the entire record of Hon. Anas Isah Mohammad in Grade 1 Area Court of the FCT, Holden in Karshi in charge number: CR/349/2019 and Motion No: M/19/2019 between African Peoples Party (APP) Vs. Hon Femi Gbajabiamila (AKA Femi Gbaja) into this court for the purposes of being quashed by way of judicial review.
“ It is further ordered by virtue of Section 12(1) of the Federal Capital Territory Area Court Act and Order 44 Rule 3(6)(a) that the leave so granted above shall operate as a stay of further action or proceedings by the respondents; particularly the proceedings in Grade 1 Area Court (Coram Hon. A.I Mohammed) the 2″‘1 Respondents in this application, in CR/349/2019 is hereby stayed
“ It is ordered that the 2nd Respondent(the Area Court judge) either by himself or the registrar of the Lower Area Court is to transmit a certified record of proceedings of the lower court into this court or make same available to the applicant upon payment of the required fee within seven days from the service of this order.”
The case was adjourned to June 20 for definite hearing of the motion on Notice of the Originating Summons.
A Federal High Court in Abuja, on Fiday, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a Certificate of Return to Rochas Okorocha, as Senator-elect for Imo West Senatorial Constituency.
Delivering his ruling, Justice Okon Abang held that only the Returning Officer of INEC has the constitutional authority to declare winner of the February 23 Imo West Senatorial election.
The electoral body had said it refused to give Okorocha Certificate of Return after the returning officer for Imo West senatorial district said he was compelled to declare Okorocha winner.
Justice Abang held that INEC had no reason not to issue him Certificate of Return.
He described INEC’s decision as “lawless and a complete nullity.”
Earlier, Abang held that the Federal High Court had exclusive jurisdiction to decide on the matter.
The Judge, however, overruled the submission by candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Jones Onyeriri, and All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Osita Izunaso, that the matter ought to be taken to the election petitions tribunal, since it was a post-election matter.
The judge held that petitions to the election tribunal under Section 133 of the Electoral Act should be made by the losers, and not the person declared winner and not a person that was declared winner whether under duress or not.
“The reliefs sought by the plaintiff (Okorocha) does not relate to the validity of the election to warrant him filing petitions at the election tribunal.
“The tribunal has no jurisdiction to answer questions as to the validity of INEC’s action, the action by INEC not to issue Certificate of Return is unknown to the Constitution and the Electoral Act,” the Judge said.
The Judge also awarded the cost of N100, 000 each against all the respondents in the suit.
Meanwhile, Onyeriri said he had already filed a petition relating to this matter before the election petitions tribunal.
According Onyeriri, he is confident of victory at the tribunal.
Speaking outside the court, Mr Kingdom Okere, counsel to the candidate of the United Progressive Party (UPP), Mr Precious Nwadike, vowed to appeal against the judgement of Justice Abang.
He described the judgement as ”empowerment of illegality to recognise candidates who use thugs during elections”.
According to Okere, such a judgement is capable of holding electoral officials to ransom to win election.
Respondents queried the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit filed by Okorocha on the ground that it was a post election matter.
They maintained that it was a post-election matter and it robbed the court of jurisdiction under sections 285, 251(1) of the 1999 Constitution.
Real Madrid has reportedly agreed to double Eden Hazard‘s Chelsea salary’ to a staggering £400,000 per week when he finalises his £130million move.
According to the Evening Standard, Madrid have agreed on terms with Hazard to double his current wages from £200,000 to £400,000 per week.
His imminent big-money transfer to the Bernabeu is expected to be announced within the next 24 hours after an agreement was reached this week between the two clubs, with Madrid agreeing to pay an initial £88m, which will still rise to £130m dependent on various bonuses and incentives for the former Lille player.
The deal will make Hazard is the most expensive signing in their history, ahead of both Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. It will also be the second-largest Premier League transfer ever, after Philippe Coutinho‘s £145m move from Liverpool to Real’s arch-rivals Barcelona in January 2018.
Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja, has ordered the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission, NBC, to re-open the African Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power FM.
The broadcasting regulatory body on Thursday June 6th, suspended indefinitely the license of the two stations owned by Raymond Dokpesi for violating its guidelines. NBC said both stations failed to heed to the several warnings given to them.
In a bid to prevent the NBC from sanctioning it, DAAR Communications on Friday May 31st, filed a suit before the court. In the court paper filed through its counsel Mike Ozekhome, the media company asked the court for an order “restraining the defendants from blocking, jamming, stopping removing from air and/or interfering with the air waves of the plaintiff/applicant (Daar Plc) in any way and manner howsoever called from invading the premises of the plaintiff/applicant (Daar Plc) or closing down, viet armis, the said premises, its operations or broadcast services, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed along with this application.”
Delivering judgement in the case today June 7th, the presiding judge, Justice Ekwo, ruled that the NBC and the stations must maintain status quo as of May 31 when the suit was filed.
He adjourned the case till Thursday June 13th, expecting the NBC to come forward and show cause why the motion on notice challenging the licence withdrawal should not be granted.
The final match of the inaugural edition of the UEFA Nations League Final between hosts Portugal and the Netherlands, as well as is the third-place playoff between Switzerland and England will be broadcast live this weekend on DStv and GOtv.
Both games, which kick off at 2pm for the Third-place and 7:45pm for the Final on Sunday, will be broadcast exclusively on SuperSport 3 to DStv Premium and SuperSport Select 4 to GOtv Max subscribers.
Portugal defeated Italy and Poland at home and away respectively, and drew the reverse fixtures to get through to the semi-final. Coach Fernando Santos’ side breezed into the final of the competition after their talisman and captain, Cristiano Ronaldo, netted a hattrick in their 3-1 win over Switzerland in the first semi-final game at the Estadio Drago on Wednesday.
In addition to the in-form Ronaldo, A Seleção will also bank on the likes of Bernardo Silva, veteran Joao Moutinho and more importantly, their supporters as their 12th man to win the trophy and add to continental triumph of Euro 2016.
The Netherlands, on the other hand, began their competition on a stumbling note after they lost away to World Cup champions, France. They, however, bounced back in remarkable fashion, defeating Germany and France at home, before finishing their League A campaign with a draw against Germany away. Ronald Koeman’s men marched into the final after a commanding 3-1 victory against England at Guimaraes in Portugal. The Oranje will depend on their youthful attackers such as Memphis Depay and Frenkie de Jong to deliver the goals, while relying on teenage sensation Matthijs de Ligt and experienced defender and captain, Virgil van Dijk to provide the needed steel at the back.
Both teams have met 13 times, with the Iberian side winning seven wins compared to two for the Dutch. Their most recent meeting was a friendly in Geneva in March last year in which the Netherlands won 3-0, thanks to goals from Depay, van Dijk and Ryan Babel.
For the Third-place game, the English Three Lions will hope better their record in the losers’ final after they lost to Belgium at this same stage during the 2018 World Cup. But Switzerland, experiencing a resurgence under coach Vladimir Petkovic, will want to use the game to continue their strong showing at recent international competitions.
For more information on the unmatched football on DStv and GOtv, as well as the upcoming fixtures, visit www.supersport.com.
Immediate past Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa has been returned as speaker of the 9th Assembly.
He was returned unopposed on Friday by his colleagues as he remained the only nominated candidate at the close of nomination.
Obasa was nominated by Hon. Olanrewaju Oshun, Lagos Mainland 2 constituency, seconded by Hon. Oluyinka Ogundimu Agege 1 constituency.
The Bayero University, Kano, is set to honour philanthropist and entrepreneur, Tony Elumelu, for his immense contributions to human development at the university’s forthcoming 35th convocation.
According to the institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Muhammad Bello, the honour is in recognition of Mr Elumelu’s contribution to the country as an economist, an entrepreneur, and a philanthropist.
“Your philanthropic activities through the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) have reached every nook and corner of our nation and have impacted positively on many lives.
“Your efforts in the area of entrepreneurship are making immense contributions to the economy,” the VC said.
The award will be conferred on Mr Elumelu at a grand ceremony scheduled for Saturday, June 15, at the university’s convocation arena.
Tony Elumelu is an investor and philanthropist, who, in 2011, conceived the term Africapitalism, which has catalysed the African entrepreneurial landscape, positioning the private sector as the engine for growth and empowerment, and prioritizing social and economic wealth creation.
He came into the limelight in 1997 when, according to Forbes magazine, he led a small group of investors to take over a small, floundering commercial bank in Lagos (Standard Trust Bank) which he later, in 2005, merged with the United Bank for Africa.
The 56-year-old entrepreneur serves as the Chairman of the UBA Group, now present in 20 African countries, Paris, London, and New York, and the only African bank with a deposit-taking presence in the United States.
Mr Elumelu also owns extensive real estate across Nigeria and a minority stake in mobile telecom firm MTN Nigeria, among other assets.
In 2010, he created The Tony Elumelu Foundation, the leading philanthropic organization empowering African entrepreneurs and promoting entrepreneurship in Africa.
The foundation empowers African entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurship ecosystem across 54 African countries.
Mr Elumelu sits on a number of public and social sector boards, including the international advisory board of the Washington DC-based think tank, the Wilson Center, and on the board of UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited.
He also serves on the Global Advisory Council of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Centre for Public Leadership.
He is a member of the World Economic Forum Community of Chairmen.