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How herdsmen killed two Civil Defence officers in Benue

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The authorities of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps,  NSCDC yesterday confirmed the killing of two of its officers in Wanger Village in Kasseyo council ward of Guma Local Government Area of Benue State.

The corp, in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Corps, ASCI, Adakole John Peter, a copy made available to New Telegraph in Makurdi said, the officers were killed last Sunday during an exchange of gunfire with Fulani herdsmen that came to attack the village.

Mr. Adakole gave the names of the officers as Adams Godwin and Abah Patrick.

He stated that the late Adams joined the Corps on 14th July, 2010 with the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Corps, ASCII, and was later promoted to the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Corps, ASCl on the 1st January, 2014, and gained another promotion to the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Corps, DSC, on 1st January, 2017.

The NSCDC spokesman disclosed that Patrick who was recruited into the corps on the 26th October 2007 as a Lance Corporal and later promoted to the rank of Senior Corps Assistant on 1st January, 2014,  had written his promotion examination on the 23rd December 2017 and was awaiting the result of the examination before his demise.

He stated that the deceased officers were not recruited in 2017 as reported in some sections of the media.

“It should be noted that NSCDC never recruited in 2016 or in 2017 and that the two (2) officers killed were never in this category”, the statement read.

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Ambode adopts LASU’s best graduate, awards him N5m cash prize

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Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has adopted as his son the best graduating student at the 22nd convocation ceremony of the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, Master Fuad Ogunsanya, promising to grant whatever request he may make in his quest to further his education anywhere in the world.

This was even as the governor has rewarded Ogunsanya with a N5 million cash prize, saying his story of difficult start, sickness and failed surgeries, were very compelling and resonates with his personal story.

Ambode, who was responding to Ogunsanya’s request for support for his postgraduate programme in the United Kingdom, said he was impressed by his determination and doggedness.

Ogunsanya, who graduated from the Department of Business Administration, had scored Cumulative Gradient Point Average (CGPA) of 4.78 out of the possible 5 points.

He was one of the 26 First Class graduate out of the total figure of 29,710 graduating students, who were awarded diplomas, certificates and degrees at the various departments and faculties in the university.

Ogunsaya, who had suffered chronic cataract disease in his childhood, also suffered failed surgical operations before a successful one after he had recorded woeful performance in his SSCE results.

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Alleged N450m fraud: Court dismisses Belgore’s motion over ‘hidden’ statement

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Dele Belgore

Justice Mohammed Aikawa of a Federal High Court in Lagos has dismissed a motion filed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mohammed Dele Belgore, seeking to compel the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to produce a statement written by him on December 28, 2016, which he claimed is being withheld by the commission.

Arguing the motion, Belgore’s lawyer, L. O. Akangbe, accused the EFCC of suppression of evidence. He alleged that part of the statements written by Belgore is still with the EFCC, saying the production of the document is vital to his client’s defence.

However, arguing the counter-affidavit to Belgore’s motion, EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo disclosed that the accused person has the sole burden of establishing the existence of other statement he allegedly made that was not part of the proceedings.

He said: “The issue of the statement was also raised in the no-case submission and we joined issues with the defendant in our response. The court has considered the submissions of all parties and dismissed the no-case submission. The motion is coming through the back door to re-litigate what has been decided by the court.

“This motion is an attempt by the defence to delay this matter. It was filed on January 16, 2018 and left in the court’s record. It was exhumed on April 13, 2018, after the no-case submission was dismissed”.

In his ruling on the motion, Justice Aikawa upheld the EFCC’s argument that the issue of the statement was also raised by Belgore’s lawyer while arguing his no-case submission.

The judge held that though there was no specific pronouncement on the issue of the statement, it had been taken care of by the court’s verdict on the no-case submission.

“As it were, I would uphold the arguments of the prosecution that the motion qualifies as an abuse of court’s process. The first defendant need to further persuade the court that the prosecution is withholding his statement from him. He has the burden to do more on the issue in convincing the court by probably coming up with the names of the EFCC’s officers who took his statement on the said date and under what circumstances it was taken.

“He has nothing to lose as he still has another opportunity to pour out his mind concerning the contents of the said statement when he opens his defence. In these circumstances, I find the motion lacking in merit and it is hereby dismissed”, Justice Aikawa held.

Belgore’s co-accused, Professor Abubakar Sulaiman, had earlier informed the court that he had changed his lawyer.

He made the assertion while replying to an enquiry from the judge on why there was no legal representation for him at Wednesday’s proceedings.

However, there was no letter from his former lawyer, Olatunji Ayanlaja (SAN), to either the court or parties in the matter indicating he has been disengaged.

Further hearing in the matter has been adjourned to June 25 by 10.30am.

Belgore and Sulaiman are currently standing trial before the court over alleged N450 million fraud.

The duo were on November 28, 2017, re-arraigned before the court by the anti-graft agency on an amended 9-count charge bordering on the alleged offence.

They, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to them.

In the 9-count amended charge, the EFCC alleged that a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke (said to be at large) conspired with Belgore and Sulaiman on or about March 27, 2015, to directly take possession of the sum of N450 million, which they reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful act.

The trio were also alleged to have taken the said funds in cash, which exceeded the amount authorized by law, without going through the financial institutions.

Belgore, Sulaiman and Madueke were also alleged to have paid the sum of N50 million to one, Sheriff Shagaya, without going through the banks.

They were equally accused of paying the sum of N10 million to one, Dr. Emmanuel Onucheyo, Resident Electoral Commissioners, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Kwara State, without going through any financial institution.

The EFCC also alleged that the trio paid N10 million to CP Garba Salihu, in violation of Sections 1(a), 16 (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act 2012 and punishable under Section 16 (2) (b) of the same Act.

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Ex-NIMASA DG, Baba Jauro, admits acquiring property with agency’s fund

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A former Acting Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Haruna Baba Jauro, admitted before a Federal High Court in Lagos of using the agency’s fund to acquire a property in Abuja.

He told Justice Mojisola Olatoregun that the N20 million earmarked for intelligence gathering by the NIMASA’s committee for intelligence formed part of the money he used in acquiring the property.

The money was paid by the committee into the account of a firm, Thlumbau Enterprises Limited, solely for the purpose of gathering intelligence for NIMASA.

The firm and one, Dr. Dauda Bistrus Bawa, were named as Baba Jauro’s co-defendants in a 19-count charge of alleged N314.4 million filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

While being examined by EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, the former NIMASA boss, said the N20 million paid into the firm’s account in a bank was not used for the intended purpose.

“The sum of N20 million was paid to the third defendant (Thlumbau Enterprises Limited) account for an intelligence gathering activities on July 10, 2014, by the committee for intelligence but no intelligence gathering activity was performed for NIMASA”, Baba Jauro said.

Upon further interrogation, the Ex-NIMASA boss told the court that apart from the N20 million, there were other cash inflows into the account which shore up the fund in it to about N55.6 million.

“From the money, I asked the second defendant (Dr. Bawa) to transfer N52 million to one, Helen Mbonu, on September 25, 2014. It was part of the money that was used to acquire my property in Abuja which was situated at No. 4, Alexandra Crescent, Wuse.

“The property was acquired in my name in the sum of N65 million and I also took a loan of N30 million from a bank to fund it”, he said.

Baba Jauro further told the court that though he is not the promoter of Thlumbau Enterprises Limited, all his children were directors at the firm.

He said one of his children, Samuel Haruna Baba Jauro was alloted 500,000 ordinary shares of the firm. He added that another two of his children were also alloted 250,000 ordinary shares of the firm each.

He had earlier informed the court while being examined by his lawyer, Olalekan Ojo, that some of the fund in the firm’s account were cash gift from his predecessor, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi.

He said he received the gifts while he was the Executive Director, Finance and Administration at NIMASA.

Responding to a question on why he was collecting cash gifts from Akpobolokemi, Baba Jauro said: “At the time, I needed money, I went to the DG and asked him if he can borrow me N3 million. He was surprised that I don’t have N3 million. He later called me after some days and promise to help me from time to time. He also told me the N3 million he initially gave me was a gift. The gifts I received from the DG were above his emoluments”.

Further hearing in the matter continues today.

In a charge marked, FHC/L/149C/16 consisting of 19 counts filed before the court by the EFCC, Baba Jauro, Dr. Bawa and Thlumbau Enterprises Limited, were said to have between January 6, 2014 and May 30, 2015, conspired together to convert the sum of N314,418,000 property of NIMASA to personal use.

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