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EFCC vs Doyin Okupe: What happened in court on Tuesday

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

Armed men storm Rivers community, kill 15

At least, 15 persons have been killed and some beheaded by suspected cultists in Kono Bo-ue community in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State in a fresh cult clash in the area.

Rampaging armed cultists invaded the community, raiding the home of rival cult members, killing at random.

A source in the community, who confirmed the killing, said the community have been witnessing cult related attacks as result of supremacy battle among rival gangs.

The source, who is a youth leader in the community identified as, Ana Hyacinth, said the incident has forced inhabitants to desert the community.

He called on government at all levels to urgently intervene in the situation to rescue the people.

“We woke up to a very gory situation in Kono Bo-ue Community to the fact that over 15 fifteen people were shot and killed by an armed cult group.

“It is unfortunate that despite moves by the governor to put an end to these killings, cultists have continued to Carey out attacks,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Rivers State police command has been contacted and were yet to react to the killing in Kono Bo-ue community in Khana Local Government Area at the time of this report.

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Arewa

Kaduna: ECWA pastor, daughter, 16 others kidnapped

A senior Pastor of Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Dankade, in Igabi local government area of Kaduna State, Rev. Zakariah Ido has been kidnapped.

The Nation reports that the Pastor and 16 others, among whom were his daughter and son of the pastor of Assemblies of God Church, were seized by gunmen within the church premises during service on Sunday.

Zaria DCC Secretary of the church, Rev Nath Waziri said “It is sad to inform you that one of our pastors, his daughter and 15 other members of ECWA Church Dankade were kidnapped in the early hours of today.

“The church hosted a combined choir fellowship Saturday night to early hours of today. Then, this morning (Sunday), kidnappers stormed the church, when the gunmen came, they asked everyone in the church to surrender his or her phones and demanded the whereabouts of the pastor.

“After threatening the choristers they became afraid and showed them the pastor’s home. They took him away and his daughter with 15 others, including the son of the pastor of Assemblies of God Church.”

He added that as at 10 p.m. on Sunday, no contact has been established with the kidnappers.

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Arewa

Nigerian newspapers: 10 things you need to know this Monday morning

Good morning! Here is today’s summary from Nigerian Newspapers:

1. A former Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has urged former President Olusegun Obasanjo to say more things he knows about Boko Haram, killer herdsmen and the alleged plot to Islamise Nigeria. He said Obasanjo remains the only politically active southern and Middle Belt leader that understands what is really going on, the grave danger Nigeria is in and what lies ahead. He also attacked former Jigawa governor, Sule Lamido, for attacking Obasanjo and defending President Muhammadu Buhari.

2. The Ohanaeze Youth Council, OYC, on Sunday, slammed the minister of transport, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi over his declaration that Ndigbo should forget 2023. In a statement by its National Secretary, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, the OYC said Amaechi was now the chief promoter of injustice. Okwu said it was an insult of the highest order for Amaechi to arrogate to himself the powers he does not have.

3. Former Governor of Jigawa state and Peoples Democratic party chieftain in the country, Sule Lamido has tackle former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo over his recent statements on insecurity in the country. Lamido while responding to the statement said Obasanjo was becoming a bigot due to his disappointment against the sitting president.

4. Staff and students of Kwara State Polytechnic have threatened to stage a peaceful protest over the appointment of a new Rector by the outgoing administration in the state. Mr. Kayode Rafiu, the leader of the students, said this in a statement issued in Ilorin on Sunday. Rafiu said the protest would commence on Tuesday, May 21. He said the protest became necessary due to the alleged “shabby process in the appointment of a new rector for the institution by the outgoing administration.’’

5. Nigeria international striker, Asisat Oshoala has become the first African to score in a UEFA Women’s Champion League final. The Super Falcons attacker came in as an 87th-minute substitute in Saturday’s final. With Lluis Cortes’ side trailing 4-0, the 25-year-old scored in the 89th minute. Her goal was, however, not enough to inspire her team’s fight back.

6. The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Sunday reacted to claim by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed that its 2019 presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar was plotting to overthrow the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government. However, spokesperson of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan said the claim was a sign of desperation by the All Progressives Congress, APC, to hold onto power. Ologbondiyan alleged that APC was plotting to fabricate security accusations against the PDP and Atiku.

7. A senior Pastor of Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Dankade, in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Rev. Zakariah Ido has been kidnapped. Reports claim that the Pastor and 16 others among whom were his daughter and son of the pastor of Assemblies of God Church, were seized by gunmen within the church premises during service on Sunday.

8. At least, fifteen persons have been allegedly killed and some beheaded by suspected cultists in Kono Bo-ue community in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State in a fresh cult clash in the area. Rampaging armed cultists invaded the community, raiding the home of rival cult members, and killing at random.

9. The Edo Commissioner of Police, Mr Mohammed DanMallam, on Sunday confirmed the killing of a lecturer with the Igbinedion University, Okada, near Benin, by suspected kidnappers. DanMallam said the lecturer, Kelvin Izebeokhai, was killed in an attempt to escape when the victims were being marched into the forest by the kidnappers.

10. Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State has assured that the additional four Emirates have come to stay, insisting that, they were created in good faith without any disdainful treatment to anybody or group of individuals. He said this on Sunday while insisting that the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi is no longer the only first-class monarch in the state.

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