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Innoson shuns court again, petitions NJC over judge



The Chairman of Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited,Innocent Chukwuma, has again failed to appear in court for his arraignment at an Ikeja Special Offences Court.

Instead, he has petitioned against the judge trying the case.

Justice Mojisola Dada had on February 9 issued a bench warrant for Innoson’s arrest following his failure to appear in court on January 17 and February 9 to take his plea for an alleged fraud.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had taken Innoson to court for alleged conspiracy and fraud.

During Wednesday’s proceedings, Dada said Innoson had filed a petition against her to the National Judicial Commission.

Dada said she would not take further steps in the hearing of the case until she responded to the undisclosed grounds in the petition against her.

“I have no personal interest in this case, in fact, I will be relieved if this case is taken from me as it will be a reduction of my workload.”

Earlier, Mr George Uwechue (SAN), Counsel to Innoson Motors Nigeria Limited, told the court that he had filed four applications concerning the case.

Uwechue said the applications should be heard by the court first before the automobile boss could be arraigned.

He argued that the EFCC had just served the defence with an amended charge despite a pending appeal in the higher court over the charges.

“We have just been served with the amended charge by the EFCC, My Lord, there is a Notice of Appeal filed against the order of this Honourable Court.

“There is also at the Court of Appeal a Notice to Stay Proceedings of this matter, we were not given adequate time to study the charge.

“The charge is an abuse of court processes, there is a charge pending at the Federal High Court filed against the first defendant by the Federal Government,” he said.

In his response, Mr A. B. C Ozioko, the lead prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, asked that the arraignment should go as scheduled.

Ozioko submitted that the applications filed by the defence was a ploy to delay proceedings.

He said, “The defence running to the NJC is immaterial, this case should not be treated as special, it is like any other case. I hear the first defendant may be in court.

“The defence filed five applications not four as alleged by the senior advocate.

“On January 15, they filed an application challenging the jurisdiction of this court; on January 18, they asked for a mandatory injunction that the EFCC not be heard in any of the application.

“On February 5, they filed another application that Your Lordship disqualifies herself, on February 9, they filed an application requesting for the stay of execution of the order of the bench warrant.

“And on February 12, they asked My Lordship to dismiss the bench warrant. Professor J. N Mbadugha, the counsel to the second defendant, has abused court processes, it is not meant to harass and intimidate the court.”

Ozioko noted that EFCC had responded to the five applications and was ready to proceed with the case despite evading of arrest by Innoson by the EFCC.

“The presence of the SAN cannot change the fact that the defendants must be physically present in court, that is the law.

“We made efforts to approach the second defendant by going to Enugu, Nnewi, Abuja, and going through the back gate of the Senate and now we are here.”

NAN reports that Chukwuma and his company, Innoson Motors Nigeria Ltd., are to be arraigned on a four-count of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretenses, obtaining property by false pretenses, stealing and forgery.

According to the charge sheet, the defendants committed the offences between 2009 and July 2011 in Lagos.

The EFCC alleged that defendants with intent to defraud, conspired to obtain by false pretenses containers of motorcycle, spare parts, and raw materials, property of Guaranty Trust Bank from Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd, Apapa, Lagos.

They are alleged to have fraudulently induced staff of Mitsui OSK and Maersk Line to deliver to them via their clearing agents the goods which were imported from China in the name of GTB by falsely pretending that they were authorised by the bank to clear the goods.

The prosecution claimed that the defendants in order to facilitate the fraud forged a bill of lading numbered 598286020 of Maersk Line Limited and 11007950841 of Mutsui O.S.K Lines by knowingly putting a false GTB stamp and signature of the bank staff.

The alleged forgery was in order that the forged documents be used or acted upon as genuine to the prejudice of any person within Lagos or elsewhere.

The offences contravened Sections 1(1)(b), 1(3), and 8(a) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2016 and Sections 309(9), 388, 465 and 467(1)(j) of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State 2003.

The case was adjourned until April 25 for arraignment of Innoson.


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Nigerian Navy trains officers to combat emerging security threats



The Nigerian Navy has recently raised the bar of training of its personnel owing to “security issues currently facing the country.” The Navy made this remark after concluding the two-day seminar tagged; “Consolidating Professional Training in the Nigerian Navy”, held recently at the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Quorra auditorium, Apapa, Lagos.

The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC), Rear Admiral, Obi Ofodile, reiterated that, “the purpose of training is to meet the current challenges, we are witnessing, because when we train well, then you can operate well, if you do not train well, you cannot operate well, because security issues and challenges we are facing today are a little bit more than what it used to be.

What we witness here in Nigeria is more of asymmetrical warfare, the enemy is not defined; we don’t even know where it is, so efforts to confront them are not conventional efforts.” He further reacted to security threats that linger, “it is ever changing and we want to further our training and close the gaps that have been created by the unimagined security challenges. So, basically decisions reached and recommendations made were religiously implemented. There are certain security challenges that we were not witnessing in 2016 like kidnapping that is not part of our job, we came in when the police couldn’t handle it.”

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Cholera, Lassa Fever kill 14 in Bauchi



Nine people have been have confirmed dead following the outbreak of Cholera in Bauchi State. Briefing newsmen yesterday, Commissioner for Health, Dr Zuwaira Hassan, said five people also died of Lassa fever in the state. She however revealed that 324 cases of cholera were recorded while 26 patients are on admission at the isolated centre of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital Bauchi.

According to her, a female student of College of Education, Kangere, was among the nine victims of cholera outbreak saying “the causes of the outbreak in the institution were as a result of sewage evacuation. Dr. Zuwaira also attributed the causes of cholera outbreak in the state to open defecation by residents.

“It’s unfortunate that our people defecate outside and the faeces pass through their drinking water while they don’t practice personal hygiene”. “In order to prevent more outbreaks, community volunteers have been going round to educate and sensitise the people and the Ministry of Health has chlorinate their water,” She added.

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…reactions trail apex court judgement



Different reactions yesterday trailed the Supreme Court verdict that nullified the appeal of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN over the primary that produced him as candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for last year’s election.

While the State chapter of APC and the government described the verdict as no issue, the camp of the runner-up in the election, Dr Segun Abraham described the verdict as victory for democracy. Abraham is challenging the September 3, 2016, governorship primary that produced Akeredolu as the candidate of the party. But Akeredolu through his lawyer challenged the processes of service of the court papers to him.

The Supreme Court has however dismissed the objection and remitted the case to Federal High Court for adjudication. While the camp of Abraham was jubilating after the verdict, Akeredolu in his reaction, assured the people of the state that there is no cause for alarm over the Supreme Court ruling which dismissed the appeal filed by him. But the Olusegun Abraham campaign organisation said it received the judgement with utmost respect for judiciary in Nigeria saying the judgement which is celebrated all over the world is a victory for democracy.

A statement by the Director General of his Campaign Organisation, Mr Eko Davies said “we urge the people of Ondo State to remain calm, collected and continue to hope in God through the judiciary for the expected judgement in the case between Dr Olusegun Abraham and Mr Rotimi Akeredolu to determine the authentic flag bearer of the APC in the 2017 Ondo governorship election.

“We also want to correct the falsehood being peddled by the Akeredolu organisation that there is no case in the matter. The judgement by Supreme Court today shows that we have a good case. “Mr Rotimi Akeredolu should toe the line of the noble and resign honourably.

The perpetrated fraud that attended the party governorship primary is open and fresh in the memory of all and sundry. Once again we felicitate with the good people of ondo state and lovers of truth all over the world in an assured victory through the court.”

However, the state chapter of APC said Akeredolu remained the governor despite the judgment being celebrated by Abraham’s camp saying the apex court’s verdict is a sheer approval to commence hearing of a case that has not begun.

The spokesperson of the party, Mr Steve Otaloro said “It has come to our notice that some political almajiris and confusionists have started misinterpreting the apex court’s verdict as outright removal of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu from office and to be replaced with the applicant, Abraham.

“It’s unfortunate that this group of people decided to confuse members of our party and the good people of Ondo State in favour of their leader. Without prejudice to the judgement handed down by the Supreme Court, every member of APC is convinced that the primary was free, fair and transparent.”

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