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EFCC seeks court order for final forfeiture of $899, 600 linked to  EX-Bauchi SSG

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has prayed a Federal High Court in Abuja to order final forfeiture of 899, 600 dollars linked to former Bauchi State Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Ibrahim Ahmed Dandija.

Counsel to the EFCC, Ekele Iheanacho urged Justice Zainab Abubakar to make the order, following his application for final forfeiture of the funds to the Federal Government.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while the EFCC is the applicant, Abdallah Suleiman, Ahmed Ibrahim Dandija and Sigma Apartments Ltd. are 1st to 3rd respondents respectively in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1986/19.

Although the matter was formerly before Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbanjo, the case was reassigned to Justice Abubakar following Giwa-Ogunbanjo’s transfer to another division.

Justice Giwa-Ogunbanjo had, on Oct. 31, 2019, granted an interim forfeiture application in respect of the funds brought by the EFCC’s lawyer, Iheanacho, through an ex-parte motion.

The money, the lawyer averred, was established to be proceeds of fraudulent activities.

He said that the commission received intelligence bordering on money laundering  regarding illicit funds  stashed at Sigma Apartment Ltd. located at Wuse, Abuja.

Iheanacho said that based on the intelligence, the house was searched and a safe was found that contained the money.

He told the court that investigations revealed that the apartment was secured by a former SSG to the Bauchi State Government, Dandija, to store his valuables but that all efforts to get him were unsuccessful as he had refused to honour the invitation to explain his connection to the money.

The lawyer further revealed that one Abdallah Suleiman later came forth to claim the money, stating that “he engages in chartering of aircrafts through his company Montes Auri Ltd and that the money was received on behalf of a company.”

The EFCC counsel, however, said that investigations at the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) by the anti-graft agency failed to establish Suleiman’s claim.

Justice Giwa-Ogunbanjo, then, granted the prayer sought by the EFCC and directed that the order be published in a national newspaper for persons with interest in the funds sought to be forfeited to appear before the court to show cause why the final order of the forfeiture of the funds should not be made in favour of the Federal Government.

Meanwhile, when the matter was called before the current presiding judge, Justice Abubakar, Iheanacho told the court that he had an application for “final forfeiture to the Federal Government of $899, 600 found by the anti-corruption commission and which funds are reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.”

He said he was ready to proceed with the application subject to court’s convenience.

The judge then inquired from lawyers to the respondents if they had been served with the motion on notice and they confirmed, adding that they had also responded too.

Counsel to the 1st respondent (Abdallah Suleiman), Blessing Anazodo, said a preliminary objection and also application seeking leave to regularise the said preliminary objection had been filed.

Justice Abubakar then granted leave to Iheanacho to move the motion.

Moving the motion, the the lawyer informed the court that he filed motion on notice dated and filed on Dec. 2, 2019, seeking for final forfeiture of the money.

He said the motion was supported by 37-paragraph affidavit.

He urged the court to grant the commission’s plea for a final forfeiture order of the funds to the Federal Government.

But Anazodo, after moving the application to regularise the processes, asked the court to set aside aside the earlier interim order granted for the forfriture of the funds.

The lawyer also prayed the court to compel the EFCC to return the money to the respondent.

Responding, the EFCC lawyer argued that a counter affidavit had been filed to oppose the 1st respondent’s preliminary objection.

He urged the court to dismiss the application.

However, counsel to 2nd respondent, A. O Usman, and lawyer to the 3rd respondent, Ademola Adeleye, informed the court that though they filed counter affidavits, they were not opposing to the reliefs being sought by the EFCC.

Justice Abubakar adjourned the matter until Jan. 31 for judgment.(NAN)

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Judiciary

Appeal Court Declines Oyetola’s Request To Move Tribunal To Abuja

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Osun State Governor Gboyega Oyetola
Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola
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The Appeal Court in Abuja has rejected Governor Gboyega Oyetola’s request to relocate the sitting of the tribunal to Abuja.

The Chief Registrar Court of Appeal, Bangari Umar, in a letter titled: RE: PETITION NO, EPT/OS/GOV/01/2022, ADEGBOYEGA ISIAKA OYETOLA & ANOR V. INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION & 2 ORS, on Friday rejected the proposal of Oyetola, the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s candidate in the July 16 governorship election.

According to the note, Oyetola on August 23, wrote to the President of the Court, Justice M.B Dongban Mensem, on the subject matter.

The Court of Appeal noted that after due consultation on, and consideration of Oyetola’s request, the President of the Court was unable to accede to the proposal as the security agencies in the state have assured the Court of their cooperation and support in enhancing the security of the Tribunal and its sittings.

The letter read: “Kindly refer to your letter to the Hon. President of the Court of Appeal, dated 23rd August 2022 on the above subject matter.

“I am directed by the Honourable President, Hon. Justice M.B Dongban Mensem to inform you that after due consultation on, and consideration of your request to move the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal currently sitting in Osogbo to Abuja, the Hon. President is unable to accede to your request as the security agencies in the State have assured the Court of their co-operation and support in enhancing the security of the Tribunal and its sittings.”

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Judiciary

Appeal Court Sets Aside N20bn Damages Awarded to Sunday Igboho

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The Appeal Court in Ibadan on Tuesday has set aside N20 billion damages awarded to Sunday Igboho last year after the violent invasion of his residence in Ibadan.

Adeyemo had gone to court challenging the action which led to the death of some of his aides.

In its sitting, the Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan nullified the judgement of an Oyo State High Court which awarded N20 billion damages to the Yoruba self-determination activist, popularly known as Igboho.

Delivering the judgement in an appeal filed by the Attorney General of the Federation, State Security Service and Director, State Security Service in Oyo State, Justice Muslim Hassan held that Justice Ladiran Akintola, who delivered the judgement on September 17, 2021, acted on the wrong principles of law in awarding the cost to Igboho.

He said that Justice Akintola can’t assess damages claimed by Igboho using his own conceived parameters.

Justice Hassan thereby set aside the earlier judgment which declared the attack on the house of Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo illegal.

The court also nullified the N20 billion exemplary and aggravated damages awarded against the Department of State Security (DSS) for the attack, describing it as outrageous.

Justice Hassan held that the Oyo High Court ignored the merit of the case while assuming jurisdiction, adding that the judge should not have awarded damages based on his personal parameters.

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Judiciary

Court Denies Abba Kyari Bail for the second time, Fixes October 19 For Trial

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The Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed October 19, 20 and 21 as the trial dates for the embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari and four others.

Justice Emeka Nwite fixed the trial dates in his ruling on Tuesday in Abuja.

He equally declined to grant bail to suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari and four others.

They are being prosecuted by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on allegations bordering on a cocaine deal.

Kyari was arraigned alongside four suspended police officers including ACP Sunday Ubia, ASP James, Inspector Simon Agirigba and Inspector John Nuhu as 2nd to 5th defendants respectively.

Ruling on the bail application, Justice Emeka Nwite said the applicants failed to present sufficient materials and evidence to warrant the granting of the fresh application.

Justice Nwite, therefore, reaffirmed his earlier ruling of March 28, 2022, ordering an accelerated hearing.

According to the judge, Kyari and his other co-applicants did not show exceptional circumstances to warrant them being granted bail.

This is the second time the court would reject Kyari and others’ bail applications, having earlier turned down a similar request in April this year.

Meanwhile, the suspects are to be remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja, pending the commencement of their trial in October.

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