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Posts tagged ‘Defendant’

UAE Sentences American to 1 Year in Jail for Youth Parody Video.


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — An American man detained for months in the United Arab Emirates and seven co-defendants were fined and sentenced to jail Monday after being convicted in connection to a satirical video about youth culture in Dubai.

The case, which has drawn the attention of international human rights advocates, centers around a mockumentary uploaded to the Internet.

Officials charged that the film spoofing would-be Dubai “gangstas” ran afoul of a 2012 cybercrimes law that tightened penalties for challenging authorities, according to supporters of one of the filmmakers, Shezanne Cassim.

Cassim, 29, is a U.S. citizen from Woodbury, Minn., who was born in Sri Lanka and moved to Dubai for work after graduating from the University of Minnesota in 2006. He became the public face of the defendants after his family launched an effort to publicize his months-long incarceration following his arrest in April.

He was sentenced Monday to a year in prison followed by deportation and a 10,000 dirham ($2,725) fine, according to family spokeswoman Jennifer Gore.

American consular officials have been following the case closely and attended Monday’s hearing at the State Security Court in the federal capital, Abu Dhabi.

The U.S. Embassy had no official comment following the verdict. State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf last week said American officials were troubled by Cassim’s “prolonged incarceration” and called for “a fair and expedient trial and judgment.”

Two Indian defendants received similar sentences, while two Emirati brothers were sentenced to eight months behind bars and received 5,000 dirham fines, according to state-owned newspaper The National. A third brother was pardoned.

The paper said the defendants had been accused of “defaming the UAE society’s image abroad.”

Three other defendants, a Canadian, Briton, and an American, were convicted and sentenced in absentia to the penalties given to their other foreigners. They have never been detained by authorities and so are unlikely to serve their sentences.

The paper identified the defendants only by their initials, which is common in the Emirati media.

Gulf Arab authorities have been cracking down on social media use over the past two years, with dozens of people arrested across the region for Twitter posts deemed offensive to leaders or for social media campaigns urging more political openness.

The video, called “Ultimate Combat System: The Deadly Satwa Gs,” is set in the Satwa district of Dubai. It is a documentary style clip that pokes fun at Dubai youth who style themselves “gangstas” but are not particularly thuggish, and shows fictional “combat” training that includes throwing a sandal and using a mobile phone to call for help.

It opens with text saying the video is fictional and is not meant to offend.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: Newsmax.com

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FOI: SERAP Drags FG To Court Over N700bn Expenditure.


Accountant-General of Nigeria, Jonah Otunla
By Adetokunbo Mumuni

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has dragged the Federal Government to the Federal High Court, Ikoyi over failure to provide information on the spending of the N700bn borrowed between December 31, 2012 and April 30, 2013, and details of projects on which this money was spent.

The Suit Number FHC/L/CS/978/13 was filed last week following a request made under the FOI Act by the organization.

Joined as Defendants in the suit are the Accountant-General, Jonah Ogunniyi Otunla and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Muhammed Adoke. The suit is seeking the following reliefs:

A DECLARATION that by virtue of the provisions of Section 4 (a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, the 1st Defendant is under a binding legal obligation to provide the Plaintiff with up to date information on the spending of N700bn borrowed between December 31, 2012 and April 30, 2013 and details of projects on which the money was spent.

A DECLARATION that the failure of 1st Defendant to provide the Plaintiff with the information requested is a breach of section 4(a) of the Freedom of Information 2011.

AN ORDER OF MANDAMUS directing and/or compelling the 1st Defendant to provide the Plaintiff with up to date information as requested.

According to the organization, “by the clear provisions of section 2(3)(d)(V) of the FOI Act, documents containing information relating to the receipt or expenditure of public or other funds of a public institution constitute part of the information which a public institution is obligated to publish, disseminate and make available to members of the public.”

The organization also argued that the 1st Defendant “is legally mandated by the provisions of section 4(a) of the FOI Act to comply with a request for access to public information except where the FOI Act exempts a public official from so disclosing.”

The organization further argued that the 1st Defendant “has no legally justifiable reason for refusing to provide the Plaintiff with the information requested” and urged the court “to compel it to comply with the provisions of the Act by providing the Plaintiff with the information requested.”

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the application.

Signed
Adetokunbo Mumuni
SERAP Executive Director
21/7/2013
Lagos Nigeria
www.serap-nigeria.org
IN THE FEDERAL HIGH COURT
HOLDEN AT IKOYI

SUIT NO:

IN THE MATTER OF APPLICATION FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW

BETWEEN

THE REGISTERED TRUSTEES OF THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC
RIGHTS AND ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT (SERAP)        PLAINTIFF

AND

THE ACCOUNTANT GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION
THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION         DEFENDANTS

ORIGINATING SUMMONS
LET THE DEFENDANTS, Accountant General of the Federation and Attorney-General of the Federation at C/O Attorney–General of the Federation and Minister of Justice–Federal Ministry of Justice, Federal Secretariat, Abuja, within 30 days after the service of this summons on them inclusive of the day of such service cause an appearance to be entered for them to this summons on the application of the Plaintiff for the determination of the following question:

(a)    Whether by virtue of the provision of section 4(a) of the freedom of information act 2011, the 1st defendant is under an obligation to provide the plaintiff with the information requested for.

AND THE PLAINTIFF CLAIMS AGAINST THE DEFENDANTS AS FOLLOWS:

A DECLARATION that by virtue of the provisions of Section 4 (a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, the 1st Defendant is under a binding legal obligation to provide the Plaintiff with up to date information relating to information on the spending of N700bn borrowed between December 31, 2012 and April 30, 2013 and details of projects on which the money was spent.

A DECLARATION that the failure of 1st Defendant to provide Plaintiff with the information requested is a breach of section 4(a) of the Freedom of Information 2011.

AN ORDER OF MANDAMUS directing and/or compelling the 1st Defendant to provide the Plaintiff with up to date information requested including information on:

1.     The amount that has been spent from the N700bn borrowed between December 31, 2012 and April 30, 2013.
2.    Details of project on which this money was spent.

THIS SUMMONS was taken out by CHINYERE NWAFOR for the above – named Plaintiff.

The Defendants may appear hereto by entering appearance personally or by legal practitioner either by handing in the appropriate forms duly completed, at the Federal High Court Registry, or by sending them to that office by post.

Note:
If the Defendants do not enter appearance within the time and at the place above mentioned, such orders will be made and proceedings may be taken as the Judge may think just and expedient.

Dated this………………day of ……………….2013.

CHINYERE NWAFOR
SOCIO-ECONOMIC RIGHTS AND ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT (SERAP),
4 AKINTOYE STREET IKEJA, LAGOS.
TEL: 08160537202
EMAIL: info@serap-nigeria.org
SOLICITORS TO THE PLAINTIFF
FOR SERVICE ON:

THE 1ST DEFENDANT
THE ACCOUNTANT-GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION
TREASURY HOUSE,
LADOKE AKINTOLA BOULEVARD
5 ZARIA STREET
GARKI
ABUJA

THE 2ND DEFENDANT
C/O ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE
FEDERAL SECRETARIAT,
FEDERAL MINISTRY OF JUSTICE,
ABUJA.
IN THE FEDERAL HIGH COURT
HOLDEN AT IKOYI

SUIT NO:

IN THE MATTER OF APPLICATION FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW

BETWEEN

THE REGISTERED TRUSTEES OF THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC
RIGHTS AND ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT (SERAP)        PLAINTIFF

AND

THE ACCOUNTANT-GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION
THE ATTORNEY- GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION        DEFENDANTS
AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF ORIGINATING SUMMONS

I, ADETOLA ADELEKE, male, Nigerian, Christian and litigation clerk of Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) of 4 Akintoye Shogunle Street, Off John Olugbo Street, Off Awolowo Way, Ikeja,  Lagos do hereby MAKE OATH   and STATE as follows:

1.    That I am a Litigation Clerk of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), the Plaintiff in this suit.

2.    That I have the consent and authority of the Plaintiff herein to depose to this affidavit.

3.    That by virtue of my position and the fact stated in paragraph 2 hereof, I am conversant with the facts of this case and with the facts deposed to herein.

4.    That the Plaintiff is a human rights non-governmental organization established in Nigeria and incorporated under Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Decree, 1990. A copy of the Certificate of Incorporation of SERAP is attached herewith as EXHIBIT 1.

5.    That the Plaintiff seeks to promote transparency and accountability in government through human rights. A copy of the Constitution of the Plaintiff is hereby attached as EXHIBIT 2.

6.    That the Federal Government of Nigeria has enacted the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.

7.    That in the pursuit of its mandate and pursuant to the right of access to information guaranteed by the Freedom of Information Act 2011, the Plaintiff, by letter dated 27 May 2013, requested the 1st Defendant to provide it with up to date information relating to the spending of N700bn borrowed between December 31, 2012 and April 30, 2013 and details of projects on which the money was spent.

8.    But since the receipt of the request/application letter, and up till the filing of this suit, the 1st Defendant has so far failed, refused and/ or neglected to provide the Plaintiff with the details of the information requested for. Now produced, shown to me and marked EXHIBITS A and B are copies of the letter sent to the 1st Defendant and the evidence of receipt of the letter by the 1st Defendant.

9.    I was informed by Counsel to the Plaintiff and I verily believe him as follows:

(i)    By virtue of Section 1 (1) of the FOI Act 2011, the Plaintiff is entitled as of right to request for or gain access to information which is in the custody or possession of any public official, agency or institution.

(ii)    By the provisions of Section 2(7) and 31 of the FOI Act 2011, the 1st Defendant is a public institution.

(iii)    By virtue of Section 4 (a) of the FOI Act when a person makes a request for information from a public official, institution or agency, the public official, institution or agency to whom the application is directed is under a binding legal obligation to provide the plaintiff with the information requested for, except as otherwise provided by the Act, within 7 days after the application is received.

(iv)    The information requested for by the Plaintiff relates to the information on the N700bn borrowed between December 31, 2012 and April 30, 2013 and details of projects on which this money was spent.

(v)    By Sections 2(3)(d)(i-vi), (e)(i-iii) & (4) of the FOI Act, a public institution is under a binding legal duty to ensure that documents containing information relating to policies, factual reports, expenditure of public funds, names, salaries of officers and employees, and the receipt or expenditure of public or other funds by such an institution are widely disseminated and made readily available to members of the public through various means.

(vi)    The information requested for by the Plaintiff does not come within the purview of the types of information exempted from disclosure by the provisions of the FOI Act.

(vii)    Up till the time of filing this action the 1st Defendant has failed, neglected and refused to make available the information requested by the Plaintiff. The particulars of facts of the failure, negligence and refusal are contained in the verifying affidavit in support of this application and shall be relied upon at the hearing of this application.

(viii)    The 1st Defendant has no reason whatsoever to deny the Plaintiff access to the information sought for.

(ix)    The information requested for, apart from not being exempted from disclosure under the FOI Act, bothers on an issue of National interest, public concern, social justice, good governance, transparency and accountability.

10.    That the information the Plaintiff requested for do not form part of      records compiled by the 1st Defendant for law enforcement purposes.

11.    That the 1st Defendant will not suffer any injury or prejudice if the information is released to the Plaintiff.

12.    That the information the Plaintiff requested for is not privileged in any way or manner.

13.    That the information the Plaintiff requested for do not concern any research material.

14.    That the information the Plaintiff requested for is not in respect of a scientific material, or matter kept in the National Museum or the National Library.

15.    That it is in the interest of the public that the information be released.

16.    That I was informed by Counsel to the Plaintiff and I verily believed him that in views of the above actions by the 1st Defendant, the Plaintiff has been denied access to the information requested for

17.    That unless the reliefs sought herein are granted, the 1st Defendant will continue to be in breach of the Freedom of Information Act, and other statutory responsibilities

18.    That it is in the interest of justice to grant this application as the 1st Defendant have nothing to lose if the application is granted.

19.    That I make this declaration in good faith.
……………
DEPONENT

SWORN TO at the Federal
High Court Registry, Ikoyi
This………….day of …………………. 2013
BEFORE ME

COMMISSIONER FOR OATHS

IN THE FEDERAL HIGH COURT
HOLDEN AT IKOYI

SUIT NO:

IN THE MATTER OF APPLICATION FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW

BETWEEN

THE REGISTERED TRUSTEES OF THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC
RIGHTS AND ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT (SERAP)        PLAINTIFF

AND

THE ACCOUNTANT-GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION
THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION         DEFENDANTS

WRITTEN ADDRESS IN SUPPORT OF ORIGINATING SUMMONS

1.0    INTRODUCTION
1.1.    This Written Address is filed on behalf of the Plaintiff and in support of this application.

1.2.    The main issue or thrust of this case touches on or concerns the binding-ness of the provisions of the FOI Act 2011 on the Defendants.

2.0    BACKGROUND FACTS

2.1.    The background facts in respect of this Application are well set out in the supporting affidavit of Adetola Adeleke. I humbly refer your Lordship to the said affidavit.

2.2             In the Application, the Plaintiff is seeking the following reliefs:

A DECLARATION that by virtue of the provisions of Section 4 (a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, the 1st Defendant is under a binding legal obligation to provide the Plaintiff with up to date information relating to information on the spending of N700bn borrowed between December 31, 2012 and April 30, 2013 and details of projects on which the money was spent.

A DECLARATION that the failure of 1st Defendant to provide Plaintiff with the information requested is a breach of section 4(a) of the Freedom of Information 2011.

AN ORDER OF MANDAMUS directing and/or compelling the 1st Defendant to provide the Plaintiff with up to date information requested including information on:

1.     The amount that has been spent from the N700bn borrowed between December 31, 2012 and April 30, 2013.

2.    Details of project on which this money was spent.

3.0 ARGUMENT OF THE SOLE ISSUE WHETHER BY VIRTUE OF THE PROVISION OF SECTION 4(a) OF THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2011, THE 1ST DEFENDANT IS UNDER AN OBLIGATION TO PROVIDE THE PLAINTIFF WITH THE INFORMATION REQUESTED

3.1     Sections 1(3) and 2(6) of the FOI Act 2011 confer upon an individual, who has a right of access to information under the Act, the right to institute proceedings in a court to compel any public institution to comply with the provisions of the Act when such an institution has failed, refused and or neglected to comply with the provisions of the Act by refusing or declining to give access to a record or information requested for.

3.2     In the case at hand, the Plaintiff through its letter dated 27th May, 2013 requested information as contained in the letter. Exhibit A has been received by the 1st Defendant, and Exhibit B is the acknowledgement of receipt of Exhibit A by the Defendant. However, the 1st Defendant has since the receipt of the request letter failed, refused and or neglected to provide the Plaintiff with the information it requested for.

3.4    By Section 4 of the FOI Act 2011, a public institution, to whom an application for access to information is made, is under an obligation to either supply the information requested for within 7 days of receipt of the application or communicate its notice of denial within 7 days of receipt of the application if it considers that the application should be denied.

3.5   Furthermore, Section 7(4) of the FOI Act provides that where the government or public institution to whom an application for access to information is made fails to give the plaintiff access to the information requested for within the time limit specified by the Act, the institution shall be deemed to have refused to give access.

3.6    By the provisions of Sections 2(7) and 31 of the FOI Act, the definition of a public institution includes the 1st Defendant. The 1st Defendant is a public institution within the meaning of the FOI Act and is bound to comply with the provision of Section 4 of the FOI Act.

3.7    By the provision of Section 20 of the FOI, the Plaintiff is entitled to apply to this Honorable Court for a judicial review of the matter within 30 days after the public institution denies or is deemed to have denied the request for information.

3.8    Since the 1st Defendant has failed to provide the information requested by the Plaintiff, within the time limit stipulated by the FOI Act, it is therefore deemed that he has, by that very fact, refused to give the Plaintiff access to the information requested for.

3.9    It is further submitted that the power or discretion to refuse to give access to information requested for cannot be exercised in vacuo. Such a power or discretion must be provided for by the FOI Act itself. This means, therefore, that a request for information can only be denied or turned down if the information requested is one which is exempted from disclosure under the provisions of the FOI Act.

3.10    In the case at hand, the information requested for by the plaintiff   relates strictly to the spending of N700bn borrowed between December 31, 2012 and April 30 2013.

3.11    By the clear provisions of Section 2(3)(d)(V) of the FOI Act 2011, documents containing information relating to the receipt or expenditure of public or other funds of a public institution constitute part of the information which a public institution is obligated to publish, disseminate and make available to members of the public. It is therefore, submitted that since the 1st Defendant has no legally justifiable reason for refusing to provide the Plaintiff with the information requested for, this court ought to compel it to comply with the provisions of the Act as he is not above the law.
3.12    It is further submitted that the creation of a right of access to information by Section 1(1) of the FOI Act has imposed on the 1st Defendant and other public officials, institutions and agencies alike, a corresponding duty to give or provide any applicant, access to any public record or information in their custody when applied for by the latter. Therefore, the 1st Defendant must conform to the legally binding obligation imposed on him by Section 4(a) of the FOI Act.

3.13    It is submitted that Section 4(a) of the FOI Act 2011 is a mandatory and absolute provision which imposes a binding legal duty or obligation on a public official, agency or institution to comply with a request for access to public information or records except where the FOI Act expressly permits an exemption or derogation from the duty to disclose. The courts have consistently held that the use of mandatory words such as “must” and “shall” in a statute is naturally prima facie imperative and admits of no discretion. See ANIBI V. SHOTIMEHIN (1993) 3 NWLR (PT. 282) 461 @ 472 – 473. It is submitted that the use of the word “shall” in Section 4 of the FOI Act connotes that the provision is mandatory and must be complied with to the extent provided by the Act.

3.14    In GOVERNOR OF EBONYI STATE & ORS V. HON. JUSTICEISUAMA (2003) FWLR [PT. 169] 1210 @ 1227-1228, the Court of Appeal while stressing the need for public officials to obey rules of law held as follows:

“Obedience to the rule of law by all citizens but more particularly those who publicly took oath of office to protect and preserve the constitution is a desideratum to good governance and respect for the rule of law. In a democratic society, this is meant to be a norm; it is an apostasy for government to ignore the provisions of the law and the necessary rules made to regulate matters”.
3.15    In the light of the exposition of the Court of Appeal above highlighted, it is submit that this honorable court ought to make an order compelling the 1st Defendant to comply with the provisions of the FOI Act by providing the Plaintiff with the information requested for by the latter.
4.0  CONCLUSION

4.1     In conclusion I most respectfully urge this court to grant leave to the Plaintiff to seek the reliefs claimed on the basis of the arguments advanced above, and the Application.

Dated this ………………… day of …………….. 2013

CHINYERE NWAFOR
SOCIO-ECONOMIC RIGHTS AND ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT (SERAP),
4 AKINTOYE STREET IKEJA, LAGOS.
TEL: 08160537202
EMAIL: info@serap-nigeria.org
SOLICITORS TO THE PLAINTIFF
FOR SERVICE ON:

THE 1ST DEFENDANT
THE ACCOUNTANT-GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION
TREASURY HOUSE,
LADOKE AKINTOLA BOULEVARD
5 ZARIA STREET
GARKI
ABUJA

THE 2ND DEFENDANT
C/O ATTORNEY-GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE
FEDERAL SECRETARIAT,
FEDERAL MINISTRY OF JUSTICE,
ABUJA.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Court Awards N5.5 Million Against Oladipo Diya for Unlawful Assault, Battery.


General Oladipo Diya (rtd)
By SaharaReporters, New York

A Lagos State High Court yesterday awarded N5.5 million in damages against General Oladipo Diya in a suit filed by one Oluwatosin Onamade alleging assault and battery by Mr. Diya, who was once the second-in-command during the military dictatorship of the late General Sani Abacha.

In a ruling that took more than two hours to deliver, Justice Opeyemi Oke ruled that Mr. Diya was guilty of assault and unlawful seizure of the claimant’s property. The assault took place in 2008 while the claimant, Mr. Onamade, who was at the time the funeral director at LOTAD Mortuary Services owned by Mr. Diya, was in a contract renegotiation process with the former military honcho. Mr. Onamade told the court that Mr. Diya and other defendants brutalized him. Apart from Mr. Diya, other defendants in the lawsuit included Dele Obakoya, Emmanuel Ilori and Dele Oyesanya, all accomplices in the assault.

In 2010, Mr. Onomade had also accused Mr. Diya of trading in human parts through his LOTAD Mortuary firm.

Mr. Diya did not appear in court for once throughout the proceedings. But ruling on the assault case yesterday, Justice Oke described the arbitrary beating of Mr. Onamade by the hounds as “condemnable.” He noted that signed medical reports tendered before the court and supported by photographic evidence showed clearly that the claimant was severely battered.

“The claimant has alleged that he was assaulted by the defendants. The medical reports dated 14/10/2008 and signed by Dr. Somoye have confirmed the injury to the claimant in forehead and left hand,” said the judge. He added: “This was also backed up with photographs clearly showing that the claimant was assaulted. The defendants took [the] law into their hands and did the work of policemen. This action is condemnable and it is arbitrary use of powers.”

Although the judge conceded that the defendants had a claim of financial misappropriation against the claimant, he found that they had displayed intoxication and arbitrary use of power. He stated that the defendants could have called in the police instead of resorting to self-help.

“The alleged misappropriation could have been a subject of litigation,” said the judge, instead of the defendants assuming the role of law officers.

The judge also ordered the immediate release of all personal belongings seized from the claimant during his torture. The items include a Mercedes Benz 190 model with its key, an HP laptop DV 6000, a wedding ring, a Rolex wrist watch, Reltel Nokia mobile phone, two wooden caskets, and bags containing N72, 000 in cash as well as credentials.

N25.7 Billion Bank Fraud: Atuche and Wife Seek Acquittal as EFCC Insists Couple is Culpable.


 

Atuche
By SaharaReporters, New York

Francis Atuche, the sacked Managing Director of Bank PHB (now Keystone Bank), and his wife, Elizabeth Atuche, today asked Justice Lateefat Okunnu to quash fraud charges instituted against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The anti-corruption agency filed a suitaccusing the couple of siphoning N25.7 billion from the bank.

 

Anthony Idigbe, counsel to the Atuches, told the court that the couple has “no case to answer.” He argued that the prosecution has no evidences linking his clients to the fraud. Even though Mr. Idigbe conceded that Ms. Atuche owns substantial shares in Gasali Yakubu Nigeria Limited, a client of the bank to which account much of the stolen funds was believed to have been diverted, he still contended that there was insufficient “prima facie” evidence linking the woman to the fraud.

Urging the court to acquit the defendants, Mr. Idigbe sought to discredit testimonies by the prosecution’s key witnesses,pointing to what he argued were significant discrepancies in the accounts of the different witnesses.

A similar application to dismiss was moved by counsel to the third defendant, Ugo Anyanwu, a former Chief Financial Officer of the bank. His counsel, Sylva Ogwuemor, told the court that Mr. Anyanwu only signed documents as dutifully required of him but did not receive any share of the stolen money.

In responding to the applications, however, EFCC counsel,Kemi Pinheiro, asserted that the evidence the commission presented before the court was “potent, cogent and very forensic,” adding that the evidence clearly linked the defendants to the alleged crime.

Mr. Pinheiro told Justice Okunnu that counsel to the couple was merely using the “no-case” submission to raise a cloud of doubt. He added that the prosecution had placed enough evidence before the court which the defense must prepare to answer.

In insisting that the Atuches have a case to answer, Mr. Pinheiro said the troubled couple has to explain how the huge amount disappeared from the bank.

“We have also demonstrated before the court that the first defendant was the sole beneficiary of this huge fraud in Bank PHB. The defendant in his statement stated that PW2 and PW3 (Elizabeth Ebi and Desmond Uji respectively) had admitted that they had oral agreement with the bank MD,” the EFCC counsel said.

“The second defendant must explain how N2.8 billion was transferred out of the bank. This was the same defendant who was asked: what was your business? She said she deals in Christmas decorations. Afco Associates will explain better being[the] recipient of stolen N1.9b to N5.7b which was done through abuse of government policy,” Mr. Pinheiro continued.

Justice Okunnu adjourned ruling on the dismissal applications to July 1, 2013.

EFCC Press Release: EFCC Arraigns Folake Kowo For N156m Fraud.


By Wilson Uwujaren

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Friday May 31, 2013, arraigned, Folake Idayat Kowo before Justice Lateefat Okunnu of a Lagos High Court sitting in  Ikeja, on 7- count charge bordering on stealing and issuance of dud cheques.

She allegedly collected consignment of various brands of frozen fish worth N156million (one hundred and fifty six million naira) from Premium Sea Foods Limited to be sold in her cold-rooms in various locations in Lagos but converted the proceeds to her use.

She pleaded not guilty to all the charges when they were read to her.

One of the charges read, “That you Folake Idayat Kowo and Victor Aina Kowo (at Large) between June 2011 and January 2012, in Ikeja, within the Ikeja Judicial Division with intent to defraud, stole and fraudulently converted to your own use the sum of N63, 000,000.00 (sixty-three million naira only) being proceeds of sale of 150 cartoons of frozen fish property of Time Unicorn Limited entrusted with you to sell.

Another count reads, “That you Folake Idayat Kowo and Victor Aina Kowo between the month of June 2011 and January 2013, in Ikeja, within the Ikeja Judicial Division, with intent to defraud stole and fraudulently converted to your own use the sum of N73, 000,000.00 (seventy-three million naira only) being proceeds of sale of 200 cartoons of frozen fish property of Stallion Nigeria Limited entrusted with you to sell”.

In view of her plea, the prosecuting counsel, Oyedepo Rotimi prayed the court to fix a date for trial and remand the accused person in prison custody.  However, defence counsel, Olu Falana quickly informed the court that he had earlier filed an application for bail and served same to the prosecuting counsel. He claimed that the defendant had some medical issues but did not place any proof before the court.

Oyedepo objected to the claims of health challenges made by the defendant. He alleged that the defendant is a fraudster having issues of dual identity with the Nigerian Immigration Service. According to him, the Service found out that the defendant has two Nigerian E-passports bearing different names, but with the photograph of the defendant embossed on both.

The case was adjourned to June 10, 2013, for hearing on the bail application, while the accused person was remanded in Ikoyi prison.

Wilson Uwujaren

Ag. Head, Media & Publicity

31st May, 2013

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

EFCC Press Release- Okey Nwosu: FinBank Didn’t Approve Nwosu’s Purchase of Shares with Depositors’ Fund – Witness.


Photo: Premium Times
By Wilson Uwujaren

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, February 28, 2013, told a Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, that the former managing director of the defunct FinBank Plc, Okey Nwosu and three of his former directors standing trial for an alleged N20 billion scam used the bank’s depositors’ funds to purchase shares without the consent of the board of directors of the bank.  The other directors are Dayo Famoroti, Danjuma Ocholi and Agnes Ebubedike.

 

EFCC’s witness, Mr. Usman Zakari told the court that the shares were purchased using seven different company names which, according to him, were neither incorporated by the bank nor authorized to carry out the transactions.

EFCC counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, also presented a documented proof of the board’s resolution on the said shares’ acquisition. The document did not contain any approval for the purchase of the shares.

Counsel to the first defendant, Nnamdi Oragwu objected to the admittance of the document as an exhibit before the court.

According to him “the defence is surprised at this document and is seeing it for the first time”. Counsel to the third defendant, Kunle Ogunlesi, SAN also argued that the author of the document should have been in court to tender the document and not the witness. While counsels to the second and fourth defendants; Seyi Sowemimo, SAN, and I. A. Adedipe, SAN respectively, aligned with the submissions of Oragwu and Ogunlesi.  They all prayed the court to discountenance the document.

Justice Okunnu, however, overruled the defence counsel and asked them to proceed with the cross examination of the witness. She also admitted the document as an exhibit.

Justice Okunnu adjourned the case to March 27, 2013.

Wilson Uwujaren

Ag. Head, Media & Publicity

28th February, 2013

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Admitted Ohio bomb plotter appeals prison sentence.


AKRON, Ohio (AP) — One of the four men who pleaded guilty in a failed plot to bomb a highway bridge in Ohio is appealing his nearly 10-year sentence.

The attorney for 21-year-old Brandon Baxter of Lakewood filed the appeal Monday with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

The other two defendants sentenced last week in Akron also plan to appeal. Their attorneys say the men deserve leniency because they were entrapped by an FBI informant who provided a dud bomb device.

A fourth defendant is considering withdrawing his guilty plea if he doesn’t get the lenient sentence offered in return for his cooperation. A fifth defendant is undergoing a psychiatric exam.

Prosecutors have described the defendants as self-proclaimed anarchists who acted out of anger against corporate America and the government.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

Associated Press

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