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Alleged Fraud: EFCC opens new case against Emefiele



EFCC brings arrested Emefiele to court

The trial of suspended Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele for procurement fraud charges commenced on Monday with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) presenting its case in an FCT High Court in Abuja.

Emefiele faces amended charges, totaling 20 counts, which include criminal conspiracy, conferring undue advantage, breach of trust, among others. He had previously denied the charges on Friday.

The initial charges against Emefiele consisted of six counts, and he was first arraigned on November 28, 2023. However, the EFCC subsequently filed amended charges, leading to a re-arraignment.

During the proceedings, Emefiele maintained his plea of not guilty to the charges as they were read to him in court.

The EFCC’s First Witness (PW 1) Onyeka Ogbu , a deputy director in CBN , branch operations, while led in evidence by EFCC lawyer, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, sais 6.2 million dollars was kept aside for international election observers.

“On Jan.8, 2023 request for payment of 6.2 million dollars was brought to my attention by the Banking services department.

” Ours is to make payment, we don’t have power to approve.

” Having gone through the documents and satisfied, I minuted on it and sent it for processing and disbursement which was complied to. ” he said.

He prayed for the matter to be stood down to enable him get more documents.

But the former CBN governor’s lawyer, Matthew Burkaa, a SAN, refused the prayer of the prosecution.

He said an adjournment would be better for the prosecution to get all the Certified true copies and also for the witness to be cross-examined.

After listening to their submissions, Justice Hamza Muazu, adjourned the matter until Tuesday for continuation of trial.

In some of the amended charges EFCC, alleged that Emefiele, in Janaury 2023, forged a document titled: “RE: PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE ON FOREIGN ELECTION OBSERVER MISSIONS,” dated 26 January 2023 with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/201.

The EFCC said Emefiele made the claim despite knowing that it was false “and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(1) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006, and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act.”

According to the amended charge marked CR/577/2023, Emefiele, on February 8, 2023, connived with one Odoh Ocheme, who is now on the run, to obtain $6.2m from the CBN, claiming that it was requested by the SGF “vide a letter dated 26th January 2023 with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/201.”

The anti-graft agency alleged that the contract for the renovation of the CBN Governor’s lodge, located at No. 2 Glover Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, was awarded to a company named Messrs. Architekon Nigeria Limited, “wherein the duo are directors and majority shareholders.”

The offence, according to EFCC, contravened the provisions of sections 17, 19 of the corrupt practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, also, sections 315, 363 and 364 of the penal code.

The anti-graft agency had in August, first charged Emefiele and Mrs Sa’adatu Yaro and a company, April 1616 Investment Limited, purported to belonged to Yaro, on alleged breach of the procurement Act in respect of the purchase of some vehicles.


Channels TV Reporter regains freedom from kidnappers in Rivers State



Channels TV Reporter regains freedom from kidnappers in Rivers State

The kidnapped Channels Television reporter, Joshua Rogers, has been released.

SaharaReporters reported on Friday that Rogers was abducted by some gunmen on Thursday night in the vicinity of his residence at Rumuosi in Port Harcourt.

Meanwhile, the management of Channels in a statement has confirmed his release.

According to the report, he was released around 10pm on Friday unharmed.

His colleague, Charles Oporum, also confirmed his release. “Yes, he has been released about an hour ago, and has reunited with his family,” he told journalists.

In a brief statement the management of the television station said: “Channels Television reporter, Joshua Rogers, who was abducted last night in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has been freed. We thank our viewers and all those who expressed concern over the unfortunate incident.”

A video was also sighted showing Mr Rogers celebrating with his family after he regained his freedom.

However, it is unknown whether he was rescued by security forces or if ransom was paid before his release.

The police and the Department of State Services launched rescue efforts during his abduction.

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Abia committed to growing businesses, says Otti



Abia committed to growing businesses, says Otti

Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, says his administration has in the last 10 months worked towards growing businesses and attracting new ones into the state.
Otti described Abia as an investment-friendly state, saying that it is his desire to see businesses operating in the state grow.

The governor stated this when he met with the Managing Director and management team of the Inner Galaxy Steel Company Limited, a Chinese conglomerate operating in the Ukwa-West axis of Abia State, who visited him.

“It is our policy to support the industry. Some of the things we are doing are geared towards supporting existing industries and attracting new ones.

“I encourage you to continue to do business in Abia State because we are investment-friendly. We have just set up the Abia Industrial Innovation Park (AIIP) in Owaza.

“If there are some collaborations, since you are already in Ukwa West, we will tell the Managing Director of the AIIP to engage with you, ” Otti told the visiting Chinese team, adding that, it is only when investments grow that businesses can employ the teeming unemployed Abia youths.

He charged the company on fair labour practices as a way of attracting the government’s continued support, while allaying their fears of clamping down on them following allegations of not providing a conducive working environment for their workers.

The governor encouraged the company to collaborate with the management of the Abia Industrial Innovation Park so as to take advantage of the opportunities provided in the area.

Earlier, the Managing Director of the company, Mr. Lin Shanbiao, explained that Inner Galaxy is a conglomerate of four companies that are into steel production, trailer parts assembly, battery production for automobiles, and recycling of used bottles.

He said their visit was to inform the governor about their activities and to see how to partner with the state government in various ways.

He said the company was facing labour shortages and encouraged interested Abia youths to come forward and take up jobs in the organisation.


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Body of Third Mainland Bridge accident victim recovered from lagoon



Body of Third Mainland Bridge accident victim recovered from lagoon

The remains of an adult male suspected to be one of the victims involved in an accident that occurred on the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos State on Wednesday have been recovered.

PUNCH Online reported that two passengers reportedly fell into the lagoon after a commercial bus crashed on the bridge.

It was learnt that other occupants of the vehicle sustained varying degrees of injuries in the accident.

Lagos Territorial Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency, Ibrahim Farinloye, in a statement, noted that the driver of the 18-seater bus, who was on speed, swerved off the road and hit the bridge rails.

He stated that the impact of the crash forcefully pushed the two passengers off the bus into the lagoon, adding that the victims, an adult male and female, were being searched by the Marine Police.

Giving an update on Friday, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency said the body was found floating around the Ebute-Ero end of the lagoon.

In a terse statement, the Permanent Secretary of LASEMA, Damilola Oke-Osanyitolu, noted that the recovery operation was carried out in conjunction with the Lagos State Waterways Authority.

“The LRT and LASWA in recovery operation found an adult male body floating around Ebute-Ero. He is suspected to be one of the victims of Wednesday’s accident where two adult males were flung into the sea on the impact of the accident. Operations are ongoing,” he stated.


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‘Dispatch rider’ tells court how he collected $3m cash for Emefiele



A Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) employee, Mr Monday Osazuwa, on Friday told an Ikeja Special Offences Court how Godwin Emefiele,

A Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) employee, Mr Monday Osazuwa, on Friday told an Ikeja Special Offences Court how the former apex bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, on different occasions, directed him to collect three million dollars cash in tranches.

Osasuwa, while being led in evidence by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), said he was a dispatch rider in Zenith Bank in 2001 before he joined the CBN in 2014.

Osasuwa said he joined the apex bank as a senior supervisor in 2014.

He said Emefiele was the Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc while he was working as a dispatch rider in the bank.

The witness said he knew Emefiele, who was his boss, while in Zenith Bank and that he later joined him at the CBN.

The witness said he was later appointed as a senior supervisor (full time) in recording and filing of documents while working in the CBN governor’s office in Lagos.

“I was still working in the CBN governor’s office while I was appointed as a full staff member and we usually communicated through Whatsapp and email.

“I function as a senior supervisor, recording and filing with other official roles.

“I recall that in 2020, when he was outside Lagos, he called me that he would give me a number that a man had something I should collect from him and that the man would give me the number of another person.

“When I got to the man’s office, I was given an envelope. I counted the money and the man said I should give it to my boss,” he said.

The witness further told the court that the first defendant used to collect money by himself anytime he was in Lagos but anytime the defendant was not around, he would tell him to give the money to the second defendant.

Osazuwa added that Emefiele sent him to MINL Ltd. when he was with Zenith Bank.

“This company is situated at Isolo, the first defendant did send me to collect cheques from the company from Mr Monday and when I collected the cheque from Mr Monday, I would give it back to Emefiele and he would lodge the money into Dumies Oil and Gas.

According to him, Emefiele’s co-defendant, Henry Isioma-Omoile, lived in the residence of the former CBN governor.

He stated that when he collected money for his boss, he would take it to his residence at Iru Close, Ikoyi.

“Whenever I received the money and take it to my boss’s residence, Mr Emefiele would tell me to give it to the second defendant whenever he was not at home.

“I did not keep a record of transactions because the instruction he gave me was that I should collect the money and bring the money to his house.

“The highest amount I collected was one million dollars all in cash and some weeks later, the businessman also called me to collect $850,000, $750,000 and $400,000 cash in tranches.

“I have never been rewarded, paid or given anything because I am doing it out of faithfulness and he knows it but he has never for once said, ‘take this’,” he said.

Under cross-examination by the defence counsel, Mr Abdulakeem Labi-Lawal, the witness confirmed to the court that he had been working with the defendant since 2002.

According to the witness, Emefiele passed instructions to him through the second defendant and that he had been collecting cheques for Dumies Oil and Gas.

He, however, told the court when he was made to confront the second defendant during investigation but the second defendant failed to admit it.

“I started collecting cheques for Dumies Oil and Gas when I was in Zenith Bank.

“I cannot calculate the exact year I have been collecting the cheques but it all started when the first defendant was the Managing Director at Zenith Bank and I was working at Zenith Bank,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the EFCC on April 8 arraigned Emefiele on 23 counts bordering on abuse of office, accepting gratifications, corrupt demand, receiving property fraudulently obtained and conferring corrupt advantage.

Emefiele’s co-defendant was arraigned on three counts bordering on acceptance of gift by agents.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Earlier, Oshodi had declined the oral application for adjournment moved twice by the defence counsel.

The judge adjourned the case until April 29 for trial and hearing of application for closed-session.



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Finally, Olakulehin becomes 43rd Olubadan



The Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin has been nominated as the 43rd Olubadan of Ibadanland. Olakulehin was nominated

The Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin has been nominated as the 43rd Olubadan of Ibadanland.

Olakulehin was nominated on Friday, April 12, by the Osi Balogun, Oba Lateef Adebimpe at the Olubadan-in-council meeting held at Olubadan Palace, Oja’ba, Ibadan.

Those at the meeting included the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja; the Osi Olubadan, Oba Eddy Oyewole; the Ashipa Olubadan, Oba Abiodun Kola-Daisi; the Ekerin Olubadan, Oba Hamidu Ajibade; the Ekarun Olubadan, Oba Adebayo Akande; the Osi Balogun, Oba Lateef Adebimpe; the Ashipa Balogun, Oba Kola Adegbola; Ekerin Balogun, Oba Dada Isioye and the Ekarun Balogun, Oba Abiodun Azeez.

The stool of Olubadan of Ibadanland became vacant following the death of the 42nd Olubadan, Oba Lekan Balogun who died at University College Hospital (UCH) at the age of 81.

Addressing newsmen after a closed-door meeting of the Olubadan-in-council, the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland and former governor of the state, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja said with the meeting, the appointment of the new Olubadan of Ibadanland has been concluded subject to the consent of the governor of the state.

He stated that a letter would be prepared by the local government and sent to the governor as soon as possible, adding that they hoped the governor would give consent to the letter as soon as possible.

Ladoja said: “As soon as the governor gives consent to the letter, a date for coronation will be picked.”

Recall that the Otun Balogun of Ibadanland, Oba Tajudeen Ajibola last week said the Olubadan designate, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, who is also his immediate senior in the military line of the Olubadan system is not fit to become monarch now.

Ajibola added that the Olubadan-designate be given time to be healthy before he is pronounced and that the seat should remain vacant for now.

However, Ladoja while speaking with newsmen on Wednesday at his Bodija, Ibadan residence stated that Ajibola cannot determine the health status of Olakulehin, saying Olakulehin is an elderly person and not expect to act like a youth.


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‘I’m a man,’ Bobrisky confesses in court



Controversial crossdresser, Idris Okuneye, popularly known as Bobrisky, has admitted to being a male during his appearance at the Federal

Controversial crossdresser, Idris Okuneye, popularly known as Bobrisky, has admitted to being a male during his appearance at the Federal High Court in Lagos State, on Friday.

Justice Abimbola Awogboro sentenced him to six months imprisonment without the option of a fine for abusing the naira.

Before the sentence, the judge asked about his gender, and he quickly replied that he was a man.

When the judge asked, “Are you a man or a woman?” Bobrisky responded, “I am a man.”

Awogboro said the judgment would be a deterrent to others who are found abusing and mutilating the naira.

The judge ruled that the jail term commenced on March 24, 2024, the day of his arrest.

On April 5, the court had convicted Bobrisky after he pleaded guilty to the charge of abusing the naira filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The judge therefore postponed the sentencing to Tuesday, April 9, 2024.

However, the day was declared a public holiday by the Federal Government for the Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

Bobrisky had last Friday, after his conviction, pleaded with the court to give him a lesser punishment as he was not aware of the law of abusing the naira.

In his allocutus, he begged the court that he was not aware of the law of abusing the naira.

He said that he is a social media influencer with over five million followers.

The judge then told him that ignorance of the law was not an excuse.

He said, “I know, My Lord. My Lord, I wish that you could give me a second chance to use my platform to inform and educate my followers about spraying money.

“I would do a video on my page, and I would educate people about spraying money.

” I will not repeat it, My Lord. I regret my actions, My Lord.”


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