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.
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.
If My Brother, Family Break The Law, Don’t Spare Him – Sanwo-Olu To LASTMA
Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of of Lagos state, says his administration will not condone any act of indiscipline.
Speaking when he visited the head office of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) in Oshodi on Friday, Sanwo-Olu charged the agency to deal with traffic violators.
He said even if it is his brother who is on the wrong side of the law, he should not be spared.
“If anyone breaks the law and he says he is a brother to the governor, tell him to call the governor to pay for the offence,” he said.
He told the traffic officials not to listen to anyone from his cabinet who might want to use his position to get someone arrested off the hook.
Sanwo-Olu also warned LASTMA officials to shun corruption and also show respect while on duty.
Sex Scandal: Ekiti State University Lecturer Caught Attempting To Have Sex With His Female Student
A lecturer in the Accounting Department of the Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Dr O.O Aduwo, was yesterday disgraced after he was allegedly caught pants down while attempting to have sex with one of his female students simply identified as Nike who he had invited to his home.
According to reports by the students of the Institution who reached out to LIB, Dr Aduwo is allegedly well known for pestering his female students for sex. Yesterday, Nike alongside her boyfriend and some of her other friends, planned that she should go and see the randy lecturer as he demanded. While in his home, Nike’s boyfriend and her friends who were laying siege outside the house, barged into the room and caught him on tape stark naked.
In a video made available to LIB, the lecturer who was visibly shaken after he was apprehended, could be heard appealing for a private meeting with those who caught him.
According to students of the Institution, Nike allegedly shared the video on her Whatsapp stories.
How Man Who Went To Separate A Fight Was Killed In Lagos
An Ebute Meta Magistrates’ Court in Lagos on Friday ordered the remand of a 27-year-old man, Ibrahim Abu, accused of stabbing a man to death with a broken bottle who played the role of ‘Good Samaritan’ by separating a street fight. The presiding Magistrate, Tolu Agbona ordered that Abu should be remanded in Ikoyi Prison pending legal advice from the State Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP). He, thereafter, adjourned the matter till July 15. Earlier, the Prosecutor, Insp Cousin Adams, told the court that the defendant committed the offence on May 30, at Satellite Town.
He alleged that the defendant had used a broken bottles to stab Azuka Ogobi, 32, to death.
“The deceased did not like the fact that the defendant was separating two street fighters, he approached him and asked that he should not meddle and should leave them to fight.
“The duo consequently had gotten into a fight and stabbed each other, but Ogobi died two days later from the wound sustained,” the prosecutor said. The offence, Adams said, contravened the provisions of Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015. Section 223 stipulates death sentence for offenders.
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- Sex Scandal: Ekiti State University Lecturer Caught Attempting To Have Sex With His Female Student June 15, 2019
- How Man Who Went To Separate A Fight Was Killed In Lagos June 15, 2019
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