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N3.2bn Fraud: More Trouble For Ex-Abia Governor, Kalu As Court Hears Defence On Friday

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Orji Kalu: xclusive9ja.com

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday said it would on Friday hear the defence of a former Governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, in the case of N3. 2billion fraud preferred against him.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Kalu together with his former Commissioner for Finance, Ude Udeogo, and a Company, Slok Nigeria Ltd in a 34-count charge, bordering on N3.2 billion fraud.
They had each pleaded not guilty to the charge, and were granted bail.

At Thursday’s proceedings, the defence counsel had urged the court for a stay of proceedings, pending the determination of appeals filed at the Court of Appeal, on jurisdictional issues.

Defence argued that the grounds of appeal question the jurisdiction of the trial court, to continue with the hearing of the case, following the elevation of the trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, to the Court of Appeal.

The defence argued that Order 4 Rules 10 and 11 of the Court of Appeal Rules is superior to the provisions of Section 396 (7) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, which permits the judge to still sit as a High Court judge.
The defence, therefore, urged the court to stay proceedings.

Orji Kalu

Responding, EFCC’s lawyer, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), expressed opposition to defence’s request for a stay of proceedings in the matter.

Jacobs argued that the points raised by defence lawyers were no longer live issues, as they had been overtaken by the advent of ACJA.

He said that Section 306 of the ACJA frowns at any application for stay of proceedings in criminal matters and urged the court to refuse the application as it is no longer permissible under the law.
In a Bench ruling, Justice Idris declined the request to stay further proceedings in the case, on the grounds that it is in conflict with the provisions of the law.

“The application is in conflict with the law; trial is being conducted under the ACJA, which requires day-to-day proceedings.
He said that learned counsel could proceed to the Appellate Court for hearing of their application for stay, but ordered the accused to begin their defence.

Idris, thus adjourned the case until Sept. 21, for continuation of trial.

In the charge, the accused were alleged to have committed the offence between August 2001 and October 2005.
Kalu was alleged to have utilised his company to retain in the account of a First Inland Bank, now FCMB, the sum of N200 million.

The sum is alleged to have formed part of funds illegally derived from the coffers of the Abia Government.
In one of the counts, his company (Slok Nig. Ltd) and one Emeka Abone, said to be at large, were also alleged to have retained in the company’s account N200 million, on behalf of the first accused.

In counts one to 10, the accused were alleged to have retained about N2.5 billion in different accounts, which funds were said to belong to the Abia Government.

Cumulatively, in all the counts, the accused were alleged to have diverted over N3.2 billion from the state government’s treasury, during Kalu’s tenure as governor.

The offence is said to have contravened the provisions of Sections 15(6), 16, and 21 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2005.

It also contravenes the provisions of the Money Laundering Act of 1995, as amended by the amendment Act No.9 of 2002, and Section 477 of the Criminal Code Act, Laws of the Federation, 1990.

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Photos: EFCC Releases Pictures Of Properties Owned By Fayose, While He Is Still In Custody

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fayose
Fayose: xclusive9ja.com

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has released photos showing properties allegedly owned by the immediate past governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose.

Spokesman for the Commission, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, sent copies of the pictures to OkayNG.com on Wednesday.According to him, the properties were uncovered while the anti-graft agency was investigating the allegations of corruption against the former governor.

He alleged that Mr Fayose purchased the property with the money he purportedly received from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki.

“In the course of investigating corruption allegations against ex-governor Ayodele Fayose, especially the N1.3billion which he collected from the office of the National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki, the Commission unearthed evidence that he laundered the funds into the acquisition of properties in choice locations in Abuja and Lagos,” Mr Wilson alleged.

The EFCC released the pictures a day after the former governor arrived at its head office in Abuja, in company with Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and a former minister, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, among other well-wishers.

See photos below;

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LOCAL NEWS

Finally, INEC Declares APC’s Oyetola Gboyega The Winner Of Osun Governorship Election

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Isiaka Oyetola
Isiaka Oyetola: Xclusive9ja.com

The APC has just been officially declared winner in the just concluded Osun Gubernatorial Election by INEC. The APC polled a total of 255,505, while the PDP polled a total of 255,023.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Isiaka Oyetola, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), winner of the Osun State governorship election.

Joseph Afuwape, IENC’s Returning Officer, made the declaration on Thursday night after the results of the rerun were declared at the secretariat of the commission in Osogbo, capital of the state.

Coming into the rerun, Ademola Adeleke, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had a slight lead, having polled 254,699 votes while Oyetola polled 254,345 votes in the initial election held on Saturday, September 22.

However, in the rerun, Adeleke polled 325 votes to Oyetola’s 1160. Consequently, according to INEC, Oyetola polled a total of 255,505 votes overall to defeat Adeleke, who recorded a cumulative 255,023 votes.

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BREAKING: SDP Disowns Omisore’s Alliance With APC

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Iyiola-Omisore
Iyiola Omisore and APC leaders: xclusive9ja.com

“The Social Democratic Party (SDP) would like to make it categorically clear that the National Leadership of the party was not part of the recent developments involving our party’s gubernatorial candidate, Senator Iyiola Omisore of Osun State, and the conclusions arrived at,” read the statement.
In a terse statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Alfa Mohammed, SDP said it was not part of the conclusions reached Omisore and the APC.

“The Social Democratic Party (SDP) would like to make it categorically clear that the National Leadership of the party was not part of the recent developments involving our party’s gubernatorial candidate, Senator Iyiola Omisore of Osun State, and the conclusions arrived at,” read the statement.

“We remain irrevocably committed to serving the Nigerian people on the basis of the vision, principles and goals of social democracy which underlie the philosophy of our great party, the SDP.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Omisore had announced his readiness to work with the APC ahead of the rerun, saying the decision was made “after due consultations with the party leadership and members in all the 30 local government areas of Osun State”.
He said APC had agreed to adopt SDP’s manifestos in “forming a coalition government with SDP in Osun State”.

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