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Appeal Court Judge denies assaulting RCCG pastors, accuses church of bullying

Justice Folayemi Omoleye of the Court of Appeal, Akure Division, has denied claims that she assaulted Pastors and worshippers of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Glory Tabernacle Parish, Ijapo-Estate, Akure.

In a statement by Justice Omoleye’s lawyer, Okedinachi Nelson, she accused the church of “campaign of calumny against her with attempt to bully her.”

Recall that the church had accused the judge of allegedly disrupting its mid-week service, “Divine Encounter” on Wednesday after she was said to have slapped a 68-year-old Assistant Pastor, Mrs Felicia Akindurojoye and another parish Pastor, Felix Solomon.

According to the statement, Justice Omoleye emphasized that, it was members of the church who assaulted her when she decided to take pictures of wares displayed for sale on her property.

She maintained that several steps had been taken towards cautioning the noise pollution usually caused by the church, adding that the church is illegally built on a canal right beside her residence

The statement read in part, “The church in question is illegally built on a canal right beside the residence of the Honourable Justice where she has been living since 1984 before the foundation of the church was laid. Ever since the emergence of the said Redeemed Church in Ijapo Estate, which is largely a residential estate, it has constituted unabated nuisance to the annoyance of the entire neighbourhood.

“The honourable Justice through her solicitors in a letter dated 22nd of May, 2019 and addressed to the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, complained about the noise and environmental nuisance constituted by the church.

“The said letter unequivocally stated that such noise amounted to a breach of the honourable Justice’s right to quiet possession/ enjoyment of her property. The said judge, who is a widow of almost 30 years, has had continued engagements with the church (which is situated on an illegally acquired plot beside her property) in relation to the constant disturbance of peace both during the daytime and at nighttime every day of the week. Despite various attempts to mediate peace terms with the church, the church failed severally to keep its side of agreements made.

“The Justice’s lawyer informed the church of the court action initiated against them on the public disturbance issue, and hence the church Pastorate and Members have been jittery.

“In response to the her Lordship’s Solicitors letter, Pastor Dele Oyesola, Pastor-in-Charge of the RCCG, Ondo Province wrote a letter delivered on 6th of June, 2019 at the office of His Lordship’s Solicitors requested for date, time and venue for a meeting between the Church and the said Solicitors in respect of the acts of nuisance complained of. It is pertinent to note that in the letter written on behalf of the church, no reference was made to any of the allegations contained in the fake news being circulated by the church.

“On the day in question, the Honourable Justice intended to have a peaceful stay at home but the usual nuisance and uncontrolled noise from the church would not allow her. On the instruction of her lawyer and in furtherance of her intention to gather evidence to present to Pastor Dele Oyesola, Pastor-in-Charge of the RCCG, Ondo Province at the meeting he proposed, the Honourable Justice, decided to take pictures of wares displayed for sale along and on her property , suddenly, one of the church members attacked her from behind, punched her and broke her phone. It took the intervention of her orderly to prevent them from injuring her. The other members came out in their troops cursing her and threatening to attack her.

“It is unfortunate that a renowned church like the RCCG would go to extent to sponsor fake news against a sitting Justice of the Court of Appeal who has done nothing wrong but to ask that she be allowed to live in peace. We are all not oblivious of the nuisance that churches and other places of worship constitute in residential areas. This fake story gained traction simply because the church is all out to harass and bully her.

“Rather than continue in this campaign of calumny against her, the RCCG should purge itself of the unabated nuisance particularly because the entire Ijapo Estate residents are tired.”

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Assets declaration: CCB threatens seven ex-commissioners, five SAs in Enugu with prosecution

About seven ex-commissioners in the last administration in Enugu State have been threatened with prosecution if they failed to regularise their assets declaration with the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) by July ending.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Mrs Lucy Ijetta, the State Director of the CCB, disclosed this in an interview on Wednesday in Enugu.

Ijetta also said that five Special Advisers in the state between 2015 and 2019 will face prosecution by the end of next month for the same offence.

She explained that the affected former commissioners had till the end of July to either regularise their assets declarations having ended their stewardship with the State Government or risk prosecution.

The State Director said that 24 commissioners and 15 special advisers served in the last dispensation in the state but only 17 former commissioners and 10 special advisers had complied with the regularisation rule.

“Among the 24 former commissioners, 17 have ended their tenures with us while 10 of the former special advisers had also done the same thing.

“The defaulters have until the end of July to do so failing of which I will list their names as defaulters and forward to our head office for onward transmission to the CCB Tribunal,” she said.

On the level of compliance with assets declaration by political office holders and civil servants in the state, Ijetta said there was substantial compliance.

She said that Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and the Speaker of the State Assembly, Chief Edward Ubosi, who were returned for a second term in office, had declared their assets.

The state director said that most members of the state assembly in the last and the current dispensations had also complied.

She also said that there were civil servants in the state that had failed to comply with the assets declaration rule.

“Every civil servant is expected to declare his/her assets every four years while political office holders declare theirs at the beginning and the end of their tenures,” Ijetta said.

On whether asset declaration forms of the political officers could be sighted and scrutinised, Ijetta said that it was not within her powers to release them.

She said that the forms had been sent to the CCB headquarters in Abuja, adding that such requests were granted at the headquarters.

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EFCC gets court order to seize N60m cash traced to ex-Zamfara SSG

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Sokoto zonal office, on Tuesday secured the interim forfeiture of N60 million cash linked to a former Secretary to the Zamfara State Government, Prof. Abdullahi Muhammad Shinkafi and Murtala Muhammad Shinkafi.

Justice Fadima Murtala of the Federal High Court, sitting in Gusau, Zamfara State, granted the order for the interim forfeiture of the said sum.

The money was recovered in four ‘Ghana-must-go’ bags found inside a Black Land Cruiser Prado Jeep with registration No: DKA 67 PX (Kaduna), at No.145 Igala Housing Estate, off By-pass Road Gusau.

The order was pursuant to a motion ex-parte dated June 13, 2019, brought by the EFCC.

Justice Fadima held that: “An interim forfeiture order of this honourable court is hereby granted, forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria the money sum of N60,000,000.00 (Sixty Million Naira) and a Black Land Cruiser Prado Jeep which are reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity.”

The court granted the prayers in line with section 17(1)(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related offences Act, 2006; Section 44(2) (K) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999; Section 29 of the EFCC Establishment Act, 2004, and the provisions of Order 6 (5) (C) and 8 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules, 2009.

The order is pending the conclusion of investigations into the alleged money laundering offence.

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Fayose’s former aide sentenced to prison

Taye Fasuba, a former Aide to the immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has been sentenced to jail by an Ado Ekiti Chief Magistrate’s Court.

Fasuba, a former Assistant to Fayose on Union Matters was sentenced to six months imprisonment over unlawful entry into a land and malicious damage to a property.

Omolola Akosile, the Senior Magistrate, in a ruling delivered on Monday sentenced Fasuba to six months imprisonment with an option of N20, 000 fine on each of the two counts.

Fasuba was found guilty of the two of the three-count charges.

The Police Prosecutor, Insp. Monica Ikebuilo, told the court that Fasuba, committed the offence on January 14, 2018 at Moferere area, Ado Ekiti, in the Ado Ekiti Magisterial District

According to Ikebuilo the defendants unlawfully entered into the land and maliciously damaged fence wall properties of one Catherine Ashowo valued at N350, 000.

The prosecutor pointed out that the offences committed contravene and punishable under Sections 81 and 451 of Criminal Code Cap C 16 Vol 1 Law of Ekiti State of Nigeria 2012.

The former Governor’s aide was also charged with the offence of conducting himself “in a manner likely to cause breach of peace in public place and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 249(d) of Criminal Code C 16 Vol 1 Law of Ekiti State of Nigeria 2012.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The judge held that the defendant had run contrary to the principle of law by entering into the land in possession of the complainant and pulling down her fence.

The Magistrate Akosile declared, “On count 1, the defendant is found guilty as charged; he is hereby sentenced to six months imprisonment with an option of N20, 000 fine. On count 2, the defendant is found guilty as charged, he is hereby sentenced to six months imprisonment with an option of N20, 000 fine” as he was discharged and acquitted of the third count.

“The prison term is to run concurrently while the fine is cumulative,” the chief magistrate said.

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