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Court orders EFCC, two banks to pay Benue Govt N100m

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A Federal High Court sitting in Makurdi, Tuesday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, United Bank of Africa, UBA and Fidelity Bank to jointly pay the sum of N100 million to the Benue State government for freezing its accounts last year.

Delivering judgement in the suit number FHC/MKD/CS/46/2018
filed by the Benue State Government challenging the legality of the EFCC freezing its accounts, Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon, ordered the anti-graft commission to pay the Benue State Government the sum of N50 million as damages, while UBA and Fidelity are to each pay the sum of N25 million.

Justice Olajuwon stated that the Benue State government accounts that were frozen do not fall within the classes or categories of accounts liable to be frozen by the EFCC.

She declared the action of the EFCC as illegal, null and void, saying that the order issued by EFCC to the affected Banks to freeze Benue State accounts was not obtained from a Federal High Court before.

The Judge, thereafter, granted an order of perpetual injunction restraining EFCC from further freezing Benue State Government accounts domiciled in financial institutions.

In a reaction, the Benue State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Michael Gusa described the judgement as sound, adding that the the Ortom administration believes in the rule of law and due process, and would not fail to challenge any act of illegality on the State.

It will be recalled that a few days after Governor Samuel Ortom defected from the All Progressives Congress, APC to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, EFCC ordered the freezing of the accounts of Benue State Government in UBA and Fidelity Bank on the premise that the Governor’s security vote was being investigated.

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Law

Sen. Abbo’s trial: What happened in court on Tuesday

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The trial of a Senator, Elisha Abbo, who allegedly assaulted a nursing mother, was on Tuesday stalled in a Zuba Chief Magistrates’ Court in Abuja.

At the resumed hearing, the police prosecution counsel, Mr James Idachaba told the court that the defendant was not in court.

Idachaba told the court that he was ready to open his case against the defendant and all his witnesses were in court.

However, Mr Adegbite Adeniyi, counsel to Abbo, told the court that his client was sick.

”My Lord my client is suffering from Acute Febrile (medical term used to describe a sudden fever or elevation in body temperature)”, he said.

Adeniyi, who presented a medical report to the court, added that Abbo was on admission at a hospital in Yola, Adamawa State.

He, however, told the court that his client’s surety was in court.

He explained that the prosecution served him with the proof of evidence in the morning in court.

Adeniyi prayed the court to grant him an adjournment to put his house in other.

However, the prosecution did not oppose the oral application made by Abbo’s counsel.

The Magistrate, Abdullahi Ilelah adjourned the case until Sept. 24 for hearing.

NAN reports that Abbo, who represents Adamawa North senatorial zone, was arraigned on July 8 for allegedly assaulting a nursing mother, Mrs Warmate Osimibibra.

The prosecution alleged that the Senator committed the offence on May 11 at Pleasure Chest Shop FA 45 Located at Bannex Plaza Aminu Kano Crescent Wuse II Abuja.

He also alleged that Abbo slapped the complainant severally on her face and forcefully dragged her shirt without provocation.

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Rivers Governorship Tribunal: Appeal Court dismisses Awara’s suit

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The Election Petition Appeal Court panel sitting in Port Harcourt has dismissed an appeal by the Governorship Candidate of the African Action Congress, Biokpomabo Awara against the ruling of the tribunal on the issue of legal representation.

Awara through his counsel Tawo E. Tawo, SAN, had approached the Appeal Court to challenge the ruling of tribunal, which empowered Henry Bello to represent the AAC for the governorship election petition in Rivers State.

But the five man panel of the Appeal Court, led by Justice J.O Bada in a unanimous ruling dismissed the appeal, stating that the AAC had right to change its counsel based on the judgement of Federal High Court which recognized Leonard Nzenwa as the National Chairman of the party.

DAILY POST reports that the Election Petition Appeal Court panel also awarded the sum of fifty thousand naira in favour of counsel to AAC, Henry Bello.

Speaking to newsmen outside the court, one of the counsels to AAC governorship candidate, David Adebe said they will study the ruling and decide on the next line of action.

“The Court just decided our application in CA/PH/356/2019 which in their opinion said they do not agree with our view.

“We will go back and consult with our clients to decide on the way forward because we feel very strongly that the 4th Alteration of the Electoral Act has actually taken care of the major ground upon which the matter was said to be dismissed which is that Leave is no longer a requirement before you can Appeal in an Election petition Tribunal,” he said.

On their part, one of the legal representatives of AAC, Henry Aleruchi and counsel representing Rivers State Governor, Mark Agwu described the ruling as a welcome development.

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Dasukigate: What happened in court on Monday

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The Federal High Court Abuja, on Monday, ordered that Mrs Isabella Mimie Oshodin should remain in the EFCC’s custody until Aug 21 pending the determination of the suit brought before it.

Oshodin was arraigned alongside the furniture company, Bob Oshodin Organisation Limited, for unlawfully receiving N22.9 billion from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki.

Counsel to Oshodin, Osahon Idemudia, in a suit number: CR/114/19, had asked Justice Taiwo Taiwo for a bail application who she said had been in the commission’s detention for about 70 days.

Justice Taiwo, who adjourned the matter till Aug. 21, ordered that Oshodin should remain in the EFCC’s detention.

Recall that a Federal High Court, Abuja had also approved the withdrawal of Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, from further representing former spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Olisa Metuh.

Metuh is standing trial on a seven-count charge preferred against him by the EFCC for allegedly receiving N400 million from former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col Sambo Dasuki(rtd).

Also, Ikpeazu on the last adjournment had filed a motion to withdraw from the matter alleging immense pressure and threats to his life.

In an affidavit in support of the motion on notice, Ikpeazu averred that he had received numerous threats to his life from diverse sources through telephone calls with disguised numbers.

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