A former banker, Chukwuemeka Ekwunife, who was billed to continue his evidence on how a businesswoman and oil marketer, one Mrs Ngozi Ekeoma used him to steal millions of Naira from the Federal government of Nigeria using subsidy scheme, was on Friday abducted.
Ekwunife was allegedly abducted by plain clothed gunmen a few metres away from an Ikeja Special Offences Court, Lagos where he was billed to give evidence in a criminal matter against him.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had arraigned Ekwunife and Structured Energy Limited for stealing a total sum of N168.5m from several companies on an 8 count charge.
The anti graft agency had alleged that the defendant stole the money in tranches of N19m, N9m, N85m, N25m and N6.5m sometimes in August, October and November, 2014 from the complaint, Nepal Oil and Gas limited.
But at Friday hearing, the defendant was whisked away by gunmen while attempting to photocopy documents he had intended to tender before the court as evidence against Mrs Ekeoma, The managing Director of Nepal oil and Gas.
However, when the case was called yesterday, the Defence Counsel, Mr Eubena Amedie told the court that the defendant has been abducted by gunmen, who later identified themselves as police officers at the Intelligence Response Team.
Amedie, who appeared worried, told Justice Sherifat Solebo that his client was earlier present in court to continue his trial and tender some vital documents for his defence.
The Defence lawyer said, “My lord, some of the documents from Liberia which we had promised to tender before the court today arrived on Wednesday and the rest came in late on Thursday evening.
“We came with some original certificates too but on our way to this court, the defendant was abducted by gunmen, on plain clothes, who later identified themselves as police men from Intelligence Response Team.
“I came to the court with the defendant today so we could tender these documents but he was abducted at GRA Ikeja, Opposite Diamond Bank, where we had gone to make photocopies.
“I then pleaded with them to bring him to court to complete his evidence and after the proceedings, they could take him back but the refused. So as it stands now, the defendant is absent and today’s proceedings has been frustrated as a result of this action”.
Justice Solebo thereafter ordered that the EFCC lawyers should go with the Defence Counsel to the station where the defendant is being held and confirm the report.
“Go and verify if the defendant is there and find out why he was taken away. I want us to verify the facts so I can put it on record. This matter is hereby stood down,” the judge ordered.
The matter was stood down for more than thirty minutes to enable the EFCC lawyers verify the facts.
When hearing on the matter resumed, the EFCC lawyers confirmed that the facts were true but the Defence Counsel told the court that the police officers refused showing the alleged petition that led to his arrest.
Amedie said, “At least the prosecuting Counsel has confirmed my clients abduction. The police men even refused showing the petition that warranted his arrest. And the only person who could have written a petition against him is Nepal oil and Gas.”
The judge, however, blamed the EFCC for allowing Nepal oil and Gas to petition a defendant who is standing trial and already giving evidence in defence before the court.
Justice Solebo also humorously advised the Defence Counsel to be careful before he also gets abducted since he is still holding the original copies of the documents to be tendered.
Meanwhile, earlier in his defence, Ekwunife had informed the court of his intentions to bring supporting documents to prove how Mrs. Ngozi Ekeoma, owner of Nepal Oil and Gas Limited, used him to facilitate false documentations in Liberia in order to obtain money from the FG through subsidy scheme.
Ekwunife, while led in evidence by his lawyer, said that he helped Mrs Ekeoma register several companies in Liberia to enable her carry out various importation of petroleum products particularly Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), under the petroleum scheme fund (subsidy scheme) with the FG.
The former banker, who was formerly a Credit Relationship Manager of Sterling Bank, said he resigned from the bank in 2014 after Mrs Ekeoma pleaded with him to join her business and help her provide credit facilities for her companies.
He said: “I met the Managing Director of Nepal Oil and Gas limited, Ngozi Ekeoma in 2010 while i was working with Sterling Bank as a Credit Relationship Manager. Mrs Ekeoma was a customer of the bank and so she came to me to help her provide credit facilities to various companies that she introduced to the bank.
“She introduced companies as Nepal Oil and Gas Limited, Dell Energy Limited, Carnival Energy Oil and Gas Limited.
“So I provided credit facilities for these companies that enabled her carry out various importations of PMS through subsidy scheme with the FG.
“This relationship lasted for four years. And in 2014, I voluntarily resigned from Sterling Bank after she pleaded earnestly with me to join her business.
“So I left my job in the bank to work for her in a contractor/staff arrangement.
“I helped her setup various companies like Structured Energy Resources Limited, Dexter Oil Limited, Ritrak Supply and Trading Limited, Gulf Trading and Shipping Limited – all registered in Liberia.
“These companies were used at various times to carry out trading and documentations related to subsidy by the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We produced supporting documents like Bill of Laden, the recertification of products, the certificate of quality and certificate of Origin.
“These documentation were done outside the shores of Nigeria and used for trades that never happened in Nigeria. The documentation were done in Liberia for trades that were not live (feasible).
“For instance, Mrs Ekeoma, in her stock of trade, would arrange documentations to convert dual purpose kerosene to aviation fuel.
“What I mean is that where dual purpose kerosene was supposed to be sold to households, Mrs Ekeoma would instruct us (Myself, Ugochukwu Onwuegbunam, Alexander Uwaezuoke to facilitate and get documentations that the products are jet fuel.
“We would facilitate the documentation and sell the product as Jet fuel to aviation airlines.
“We used these documentations to carry out fraudulent activities by using documents formulated outside the country to perform trade in Nigeria that were not suppose to happen,” he said.
The judge, however, adjourned the matter till 21 and 22 October for continuation of trial.
Nominees for 2019 Ghana Event Awards have successfully been announced at a ceremony at the Silver Star Towers, Accra.
This year’s event had the likes of 3 Music Awards, Vodafone Ghana Music Awards, EMY Awards among others gained nominations. Bloggers such as Zionfelix, Attractive Mustapha and others were also given nominations for their roles in event organization in the country.
The biggest event awards show has officially been launched at the Silver Star towers in Accra. The main event will be held at SilverStar Towers on 30th August, 7pm sharp.
The stars-studded event was full of glitz and glamour, as the occasion also saw the release of nominations for voting to commence.
Main Sponsors for the 2019 Ghana Event Awards include XO Travels and Rackus Productions. Official Sponsors include Silverstar Towers, Alomo bitters and CD BEER.
With support from Honora’s perfumes Pinkberry, Hillbill shoes, Nii Photographer, Wonder wings, Silverbird Cinemas, Asantewaa Modeling Agency, Multiple Quest and Mr Candy.
Check the full list of nominees below.
Setup Of the year
. Emy Awards
. Vodafone Ghana Music Awards
. Ghana Meets Naija
. 3music Awards
. Glitz Style Awards
. Girl Talk Concert
. Greater Works
. Women In Worship
Corporate Event of the year
. Ghana Information Technology & Telecom Awards
. Oil and Gas Awards
. CIMG Awards
. 40 under 40 awards
. Stanbic Jazz Festival
. Ghana Club 100 Awards
. Ghana Ceos Summit
. Ghana Beverages Awards
Regional Event of the year
. Volta Music Awards – Volta Region
. Eastern Music Awards – Eastern Region
. Central Music Awards – Central Region
. Western Music Awards – Western Region
. Edemfest – Volta Region
. Made In Taadi – Western Region
. Bliss On The Hills Music Festival – Eastern Region
. Lil Win Live In Concert – Ashanti Region
. Miss Upper East – Upper East
. Ghana Lifestyle Awards – Northern Region
. DI Asa
Event Photographer of the year
. Swag of Africa
. Rob Photography
. Ace Photography
. Phylx Photography
. Manuel Photography
. Okyere Photography
Event Mc of the year – Male
. Giovanni Caleb
. Abeiku Santana
. Nathaniel Attoh
. Bernard Avle
. Kabute de Mc
. Kojo Manuel
. Lexis Bill
. Kwadwo Wiafe
. Jonny Hughes
Event Mc of the year – Female
. Berla Mundi
. Aj Sarpong
. Nana Aba Anamoah
. Gloria Sarfo
. Joselyn Dumas
. Anita Erskine
. Patience Quao (Mc too cute)
Event Dj of the year
. Dj Kcrakk
. Dj Sleek
. Dj Lord
. Dj Nyce
. IPhone Dj
. Dj Vyrusky
. Dj Pho
. Dj Mic Smith
Ghana’s Favorite Event
. S Concert
. Ashaiman to the world concert
. Reign Concert
. Tidal Rave
. Yfm Area Code
. 30minitz Sallah Carnival
. VVIP Sallahfest
. Greater Works
CSR Event Of The Year
. MTN Heroes Of Change
. Kenkey for the Needy
. Despite Group Health Fair
. One Man One Breast, Breast Cancer Awareness
. The Post Pregnancy Bouije Express
. Celebrity Workout
. Corporate Run & Walk
. Joy Prime Race 4 Heart
International Event of the year
. Detty Rave – Ghana
. Party in the park – UK
. Guba Awards – UK
. Ghana Entertainment Awards – USA
. Ghana Party In the park – Italy
Event Company of the year
. Event Factory
. Charter house
. Empire Entertainment
. Echo House
. Global Media Alliance
. Wildout Entertainment
Event Sponsor Of the year
. MTN Ghana
. Kasapreko Company Ltd
. Vodafone Ghana
. Electroland Ghana
. First National Bank
. McDan Shipping
Emerging Event of the year
. Maccasio total Shutdown concert
. BF Suma Concert
. Bliss on the Hill Music Festival
. Zylofon Fanbase Gala
. Achimota to the world
. Dj Sly Unstoppable Concert
. Shay Concert
. 3music Awards
. WatsUp TV legon hall concert
Event Entertainer of the year
. Kuami Eugene
. Wendy Shay
. Joe Mettle
Youth Event Of the year
. Tidal Rave
. Ghana Tertiary Awards
. Cbaze Awards
. Republic Hall Week
. WatsUp TV legon hall Concert
. Pent hall Week
. Roll Kall
. KTU SRC Awards
. Social Media Week
Event Influencer Of the year
. Attractive Mustapha
. Pep Junior
. Ronnie Is Everywhere
. Yemi Baba
. Gh KWAKU
. Gh Hyper
Event of the year
. Ghana Meets Naija
. Vodafone Ghana Music Awards
. EMY Awards
. Roverman Festival of Plays
. African Legends Nights
. Easter Comedy Show
. Girl Talk Concert
. 3Music Awards
. Golden Movie Awards
To Vote text 713714# or visit: www.ghanaeventawards.org/vote
Ghanaian emerging urban gospel duo, TheWord releases their much anticipated tune dubbed Jesus Dey Bee which they features award winning act, Lil Zig. Production credit goes to Gomez. Update your playlist.
Follow them on twitter and instagram @thewordmusic1633
Listen up, download and share.
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The Ogun State Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service has generated in over N6. 735billion revenue from January to June this year.
This was against the N2.6 billion generated in the same period in 2018.
The Customs Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Michael Agbara, disclosed this on Tuesday at the Idiroko border office of the command.
Comptroller Agbara said the revenue was generated from activities of suppression of smuggling, facilitation of trade and protection of the society in January to June 2019.
He said that while in the area of anti-smuggling during the period under review, the Command made 549 seizures comprising of 197 units of vehicles, 29, 905 (50 kg each) and 15 (25 kg each) of bags of foreign rice, 1, 466 kegs of vegetable oil (25liters each), 17 units of motorcycles, 9, 407 new and 1,042 pairs used , 3 jumbo, 69 sacks and 1 small sack of foot wears.
“427 cartons of Frozen poultry products, 25 bales, 29 sacks of secondhand clothing, 12 sacks of Ankara rapper, 4 sacks of yards materials and 5 wraps of lining materials, 51 Pcs of used handbags, 583 Pcs of used tyres, 1,181 kegs of PMS (Petrol) of 25 litres each, 3 bags of sugar (50 kg each), 143 book size, 21 coconut size and 11 sacks of Cannabis Sativa, 897 pcs of used tyres, 18 sacks of water proof, 1 sack of snuff powder, 110 sacks of soap chemicals, 3 sacks of Alligator pepper, 40 x 142, 60 x 200 & 40 x 41 android cartons of Itel Phone, and 1 set of Television”
Comptroller Agbara, “The seizure of over 29, 905 bags of rice in the first half year of 2019 is indeed a landmark among numerous successes recorded as compared to 15, 976 bags of rice seized during the corresponding period of the year 2018.
“The aforementioned was achieved due to strategic enforcement measures put in place in line with the Federal Government Policy targeted at boosting Agricultural Development within the country.
“Also, within the period of 1st to 30th June, 2019, the Command generated total revenue of N1, 196, 146, 835.60. While in the area of anti-smuggling the command made a total of 83 seizures with the DPV of N310, 555, 588.00. The items seized include: 30 units of vehicles, 7, 095 bags of foreign rice (50 kg each), 258 kegs of vegetable oil (25liters each), 10 units of motorcycles, 7, 572 pairs of new, used and rubber foot wears, 3 bales of secondhand clothing, 28 Pcs of used handbags, 392 cartons of frozen poultry products, 200 kegs of PMS (Petrol) of 25 litres each, 3 sacks of Cannabis Sativa, 40 x 142, 60 x 200 & 40 x 41 android cartons of Itel Phone, and 1 set of Television.
“However, the above activities were entangled with series of clashes between Officers of the Command and some daredevil smugglers/accomplices leading to loss of lives and properties. The Command will continue to dialogue, engage, sensitize and educate the public on social, security, health and economic implication of smuggling, while on the other hand, the statutory functions of enforcing compliance with strict adherence to the law will be rigorously sustained.
“Finally, I wish to commend the sister agencies, opinion leaders, head of traditional institutions, eminent personalities, fourth realm of the estate (the Media) and other law abiding members of the public on the esteem cooperation and support we are receiving in properly implementing Federal Government Policies”, he said.
The police on Monday arraigned a senator, Elisha Abbo, in a Zuba Chief Magistrates’ Court, Abuja, for allegedly assaulting a nursing mother.
Abbo, who represents Adamawa North Senatorial District, however, pleaded not guilty to a two-count charge of criminal force and assault levelled against him.
The police prosecution counsel, James Idachaba, told the court that the matter was reported by one Mrs Warmate Osimibibra of plot 426 Adebayo Adodeji Street Utako, at the Maitama Police Station Abuja on May 14.
Idachaba said that matter was later transferred to criminal investigation and intelligence department FCT Police Command for discreet investigation.
He alleged that the Senator committed the offence on May 11 at Pleasure Chest Shop FA 45 Located at Bannex Plaze Aminu Kano Crescent Wuse II Abuja.
The prosecutor also alleged that Abbo used criminal force and assaulted the complainant by slapping her severally on her face and forcefully dragging her shirt without provocation.
Idachaba said the offence contravened the provisions of Sections 262 and 263 of the Penal Code.
Mr Adegbite Adeniyi, counsel to the Senator, made an oral application for the bail of the defendant, citing Section 36 (5) of the 1999 Constitution.
Adeniyi also cited Sections 158 and 163 of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act 2015.
Abbo counsel also told the court to grant the defendant bail on self-recognition, adding that he will not jump bail nor intimidate any evidence or further investigation in the case.
He added that the defendant is a family man and has been on police administrative bail.
The prosecutor, however, opposed the application of the defendant counsel on granting the defendant bail on self-recognition.
Idachaba also did not oppose other bail applications made by the defendant counsel but prayed the court to grant him date to open his case against the senator.
The Magistrate, Abdullahi Ilelah, said that the court has evaluated the applications and it is convinced that admitting the defendant on bail would not in any way hurt the prosecution.
However, Ilelah admitted Abbo to bail in the sum of N5 million, with two reliable sureties in like sum.
Ilelah ordered that the sureties must present valid means of identification and must reside within the court jurisdiction and adjourned the case until July 22 for hearing.
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says an Assistant Superintendent of Customs, Nura Dahiru, who appeared in the office wearing the rank of a Deputy Comptroller- General (DCG) on Monday was not in the right frame of mind.
The Public Relations Officer of NCS, Mr Joseph Attah, said this in Abuja on Monday.
Attah was reacting to the incident where one of the officers of the service declared himself as Comptroller-General and wanted to take over on Monday at the Headquarters.
Dahiru walked in on Monday morning wearing the new rank, and went into the office of Hameed Ali, the Comptroller-General, saying he was there to take over from him.
Attah dismissed the report on social media that the officer wanted to assume duty as comptroller-general, adding that there was nothing like attempting to take over, rather a case of mental challenge.
“Nothing like attempting to takeover office. What happened was that an Assistant Superintendent of Customs came to the office wearing the rank of a Deputy Comptroller-General.
“From questions and answers that followed, it was obvious that he was not in the right frame of mind, so a doctor was immediately invited.
“He is presently under going medical examination at the medical unit of the service.
“His picture is unfortunately going viral in the social media with a wrong narrative that he came to takeover office from the CGC. This is not correct as it is just a pure medical case,” he said.
A semi-final spot at the ongoing 2019 Africa Cup of Nations is up for grabs when the Super Eagles of Nigeria take on the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in one of the tournament’s quarter-final games on Wednesday.
The match between two past winners of the African Cup of Nations, billed for Cairo International Stadium, will be broadcast live at 8pm on SuperSport 7 and 10 on all DStv packages, and SuperSport Select 2 and 4 on GOtv Max and Plus packages.
The Super Eagles, who posted two underwhelming victories and lost 0 – 2 to minnows, Madagascar booked their place in the quarter-final after a hard-fought 3 – 2 victory over continental powerhouse and defending champions, Cameroon, on Saturday.
South Africa, on the other hand, qualified for the knockout stage as one of the third-best placed teams. They advanced to the quarter-final with an impressive performance against hosts and one of the pre-tournament favourites, Egypt, in front of 80,000 fans at the Cairo International Stadium.
Both teams have met 13 times, with six Nigerian victories against South Africa’s two, the most recent being the 2 – 0 away victory over the Super Eagles in a 2019 AFCON Group E qualifier played in June 2017. The return leg last November in Johannesburg ended 1 – 1.
Coach Gernot Rohr will once again look to Odion Ighalo for inspiration, with the China-based striker seeming to have rediscovered his scoring touch. The Super Eagles coach will also hope that his side’s defence, which has proved a source of worry, will enjoy better protection by hard-working midfielders, Wilfred Ndidi and Oghenekaro Etebo. The Super Eagles can also count on midfielders Alex Iwobi and defender Ola Aina to provide attacking spark.
The Bafana Bafana look very capable of ending the Super Eagles’ dream of adding to their three AFCON victories. The 1996 winners will take inspiration from the staggering counter-attacking performance against Egypt and their main offensive weapons, Percy Tau and Thembinkosi Lorch, the 2018/2019 ABSA Premiership Best Player. Both players showed how much menace they are capable of against the Pharaohs of Egypt.
Coach Stuart Baxter can also depend on Lebo Mothiba, who has been a source of irritation to defenders since the tournament began, the creativity of Bongani Zungu and the reliability of Dean Furman in midfield.
All the matches of AFCON 2019 are available to DStv subscribers on Premium, Compact Plus, Compact and Family packages, while selected matches will be available to DStv Access subscribers. On GOtv, the matches are available to subscribers on GOtv Max and GOtv Plus packages.
7th July 2019, Accra. Fresh off her win for Best Female Vocalist of the Year in the 2019 VGMA Awards in Accra, Singer/Songwriter Efya has just released a video for her follow up to her first single “Kingston Child”, to build the anticipation for her soon to be released EP.
The video, directed by filmmaker Gene Adu who previously directed the short film visual for Cina Soul’s “Ojorley”, is an homage to the classic 1983 Ghanaian romance drama “Kukurantumi” directed by Ghanaian film pioneer King Ampaw.
Produced by Daremamebeat, “Ankwadobi” was written and performed by Efya featuring AMG signed rapper Medikal as a high life infused record with stunning period piece themes and costumes and will serve as the second official single of her upcoming, untitled EP following this year’s “Kingston Child”.
Click the link below to watch Ankwadobi Ft. Medikal
For further information about booking or Interviewing Efya, please contact her at
Tel: +233263330075, +447500221783
Fidelity Bank won the ‘Best Digital Networking Bank For Entrepreneurs, Africa 2019’ at 2019 PWM Wealth Tech Awards held in London, United Kingdom (UK) recently.
Organized by Professional Wealth Management (PWM), a Financial Times Publication, the awards celebrate excellence in wealth management technology.
According to the organizers, technology and service delivery were key components in the criteria considered by the independent panel that selected the award winners. The month long period involved gathering series of detailed information on KPIs, portfolio management, asset allocation, due diligence, risk management, growth strategies, customer service, innovation and ethical practices.
The award presented at an elaborate ceremony in London, was received on behalf of the bank by the Chief Operations and Information Officer (COIO), Fidelity Bank, Mr. Gbolahan Joshua and Divisional Head, Private Banking, Mrs. Chioma Nwankwo.
Commenting on the development, Fidelity Bank CEO, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo said it was gratifying to see that Private Banking Division of the bank, set up over two decades ago, has remained the leading provider of financial services to HNIs in the country.
In line with the bank’s digitisation program, he said Fidelity Bank has continued to seek better, easier and more convenient ways of providing financial services, with the aid of technology, to its teeming customers. “Our resolve to continue to offer innovative solutions to all customers, including those of our Private Banking Division, is further strengthened by this award and recognition” he stated.
Fidelity Private Banking was set up in 1996. Over the years it has grown reputation for high service standards, providing financial and wealth management services and solutions for a select clientele, with a view to building strong and enduring foundations for their future generations.
“PWM among other things, reviewed our tech investments, growth strategy, digital customer service, client communications, virtual assistant and portfolio management processes in arriving at the result. “We are delighted that the bank’s investments in ensuring high level of process automation and provision web-based wealth management solutions to our customers, is paying off,” said Mrs Nwankwo.
Super Eagles captain, Mikel Obi has vowed to make his last Africa Cup of Nations one to remember for Nigeria and believes his presence in the squad could be a crucial factor in their bid for success.
The midfielder, 32, concedes this will certainly be his last appearance on the continental showpiece event and possibly for his country. “It’s been an amazing ride for me in the national team,” Mikel told BBC Sport.”Obviously winning the Nations Cup in South Africa was the high point, that’s why I want to help this young team to hopefully achieve their dreams. Thirteen years I think is enough. I’ve won trophies, I’ve had a lot of amazing time.
I think it’s time for these young guys to carry on. I’m mostly here in Egypt to support the young guys and make sure they’re on the right track. I think my presence is always important for them, hopefully I can finish with the trophy.”
Mike has won a total of 89 caps for Nigeria, playing for them in the past two World Cups and helping the Super Eagles win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. He also helped Nigeria finish third at the 2006 and 2010 Nations Cups. He has made two appearances for his country at the ongoing tournament in Egypt, but missed their last-16 tie through injury as Nigeria secured a quarter-final date against South Africa with a 3-2 win over bitter rivals Cameroon.
Now Mikel is determined to play a part in Nigeria’s quest for a fourth continental title. “If I’m fit, I’d love to play in the quarterfinal, but no need to rush. Hopefully if we can make it to the semi-finals I’ll probably be ready then and help the team if I’m needed. A finalist with the youth side at the under-20 World Cup in 2005, the former Chelsea player believes he has had a successful run for the West African nation.
Obviously winning the Nations Cup in South Africa was the high point, that’s why I want to help this young team to hopefully achieve their dreams. If we are able to win it here, I’ll be proud and they’ll be proud, then they can carry on from here” he added.
He was also one of Nigeria’s three over-age players as the African side won a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.