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EFCC vs Doyin Okupe: What happened in court on Tuesday

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Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, adjourned the trial of a former Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Doyin Okupe, to June 26, 2019, after cross examination of the fifth witness, Mr. Remigus Ugor, a Compliance Officer with Zenith Bank PLC.

Okupe is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a 59-count charge bordering on money laundering, criminal diversion of funds to the tune of N702, 000,000 (Seven Hundred and Two Million Naira) only.

At the resumed hearing, Remigus Ugor, while being cross examined by Okupe’s Counsel, Akinlabi Akinbade, told the court that Okupe is a signatory to the two accounts he tendered as evidence but that he cannot tell, if the defendant has other bank accounts.

While being cross examined by the defense Counsel to Value Trust Investment Ltd, Ugor told the court that he does not know the purpose for which the payment was made or what it was paid for, adding that it’s only the bank customers that know the reason for the deposits made to the banks.

The witness also released different payments made from Value Trust Investment Ltd; to various individuals and companies, which included a cheque of N3million to Gbenga Arulegba of ‘Focus Nigeria’ a programme ran on African Independent Television, AIT, on June 18, 2013, and another N2,200,000 to Aruleba on August 6, 2012.

According to Ugor, there was a payment of N500, 000, sometime in 2013, to one Suleiman Aledeh, another N12million transfer to Channels Incorporated Ltd on November 4, 2014, and another sum of N2, 150,000 payments to one Charles Iorhemba of Nigeria Television Authority, NTA.

Ugor also told the court that the bank can open a company account without a SCUML’s certificate depending on the nature of the company. While being cross-examined by the defense counsel to Abrahams telecoms Ltd, Ezenwa Ifegbulam, on whether the deposit of N35, 050,000, on October 2014, made to Abraham Telecoms was a suspicious or fraudulent transactions, Ugor told the court that he cannot say if it was fraudulent or not, adding that he knows the bank reports transactions above N10million to supervisory bodies.

The judge adjourned the case to June 26 and 28, 2019 for continuation of trial.

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Crime

Save Lagos From Child Cultism, African Action Congress Tells Sanwo-Olu

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The Lagos State Chapter of the African Action Congress has called on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to immediately address child cultism and insecurity in Lagos.

The party stated that the terror of child cultism was rapidly growing in the state, estimating that ‘six out of every ten children’ in Lagos are cultists.

The party said, “a 72-hour mass violence of child cultism with different names like “Omo Kesari” , “Awawa” “One Million Boys,” Seven Street Boys in Oshodi; Judas Iscariot Boys in Ejigbo; and others in Idimu, Ikotun and other areas vindicate the reports that Lagos is one of the most underdeveloped states in Nigeria, given the wealth owned by the state and the fact that its debt is second only to the Federal Government.”

Kunle Wizeman Ajayi, Acting State Chair of AAC, heaped the blame of child cultism on the low quality of education in the state, adding that the political leaders further impoverished the people by taking over all local trade places in the state.

“The reign of child cultism today can be attributed to the general collapse of public education in Lagos as well as the mass unemployment in the state. Private schools are times three of public schools.

“It is also appalling that most of the trading power of our poor people like markets, mechanic villages, and sports arenas have all been destroyed, seized.

“Then what kind of government is ignoring the night economy? This is a lucrative economy that can even resolve unemployment as well as reduce child cultism,” Wizeman said.

He stressed that the Lagos State government must put measures in place to equip and ensure all children have access to free education.

He also urged the state governor to desist from the indiscriminate arrest of innocent citizens through the machinery of the state government.

“Child cultists can be trained to become the greats of the future with democratic, pro-people standards!

“Governor Sanwo-Olu must also not resort to setting the Lagos Task Force loose to arrest traders, innocent citizens, and Okada riders. Face the real issues and tackle the problems headlong.

“Even if a government wants to prevent trade littering the streets, is it not much more correct to create alternative spaces for these traders instead of violent repression.

“Lagos AAC calls on Lagos towns to immediately build independent community Vigilance Teams. Then we all need to demand that Lagos is truly made working at all levels through free functional and compulsory education.

“Massive industrialisation and creative development of the night economy are needed to cater for employment and reducing poverty,” Wizeman stated.

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Arewa

Boko Haram Kills Aid Worker In Borno, Three Others Missing

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Boko Haram militants have killed a member of the Action Against Hunger, Grace Taku, as well as a driver while three health workers are missing.

The incident happened when a convoy of the aid agency was heading to Damasak in Borno State.

The attack is coming a day after an army commander, colonel and some soldiers were ambushed in Yobe State by Boko Haram terrorists.

A statement by Action Against Hunger reads, “One of the drivers was killed, while one Action Against Hunger staff member, two of the drivers and three health workers are missing.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident as these are colleagues dedicated to providing life-saving assistance to individuals and families affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the northeast of Nigeria. We are very concerned and want to ensure that they are safe and can be reunited with their families.

“Action Against Hunger strives to ensure that millions of people in need of humanitarian assistance in northeast Nigeria receive the essential services required for their survival, especially women and children.”

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Arewa

Nigerian Passport Scam: EFCC Arrests Immigration Officer, 14 Others

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Lagos Zonal office, has arrested a Nigeria Immigration Service officer, Mr Adebimpe Kehinde, for his alleged involvement in passport racketeering.

Mr Tony Orilade, EFCC acting spokesperson, who disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday. Orilade said that Mr Kehinde is an immigration assistant.

According to Orilade, Kehinde was arrested alongside 14 other suspected passport racketeers following intelligence reports received by the commission.

The suspects are Nnadika Timothy, Oyeyiga Samuel, Sunday Adekunle, Lola Kadoso, Adebayo Damilola, Adeola Oluwafikayomi Ajiboshin, Abubakri Adebayo.


Others are Uka Ifeanyi, Raph Emeka Ibuaku, Henry Onyebuchi, Christy Odey, Aba-Peter Blessing, Ogunmefun Oluwanishola and Busayo Balogun.

Orilade stated that the suspects conspired to extort money from unsuspecting members of the public applying for international passports.

According to him, items recovered from the suspects at the point of arrest include five laptops, mobile telephones and “official documents”.

“They will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded,” he stated.

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