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N2. 475B fraud: Court remands Ogun Speaker in EFCC cell with N300m bail

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The Ogun State House of Assembly Speaker, Olakunle Oluomo and two others were on Tuesday remanded in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s custody by a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos State over alleged N2.475 billion money laundering.

Justice Daniel Osiagor ordered that they should be remanded for one week in the EFCC’s custody, adding that if they failed to meet up with the bail condition, they would be remanded at the Nigerian Correctional Service.

The EFCC on Tuesday arraigned the Speaker over alleged N2.475bn money laundering. Oluomo was arraigned alongside three others who are Oladayo Samuel, Adeyemo Adedeji Taiwo and Adeyanju Amoke (now at large) on 11 counts of conspiracy, forgery, stealing and money laundering preferred against them by the EFCC.

EFCC prosecuting counsel Rotimi Oyedepo told the court that the defendants committed the alleged offences between 2019 and 2022. He said the incident took place in Ogun State. Oyedepo told the court that they allegedly stole the sum of N2.475bn from the treasury of Ogun State House of Assembly.

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When the charge was read to the defendants, they pleaded not guilty. When the matter came up for arraignment on Tuesday, Mr Kehinde Ogunwunmiju, SAN, appeared for the first defendant, Akinyemi Aremu, for the second defendant and Oluwole Aladedoye for the third defendant. On September 1, the EFFC’s Lagos Head of Legal Monitoring Unit, Rotimi Oyedepo, filed the charge at the Federal High Court, in Abeokuta, Ogun State. The Commission said it intended to call at least 10 witnesses to testify and tender documents and exhibits.

The list of the witnesses includes Adamu Usman Yusuf, Otitoju Moses Kolawale, Yazid Ahmad Bawa, Anyanwu Bright, Adekunbi Mojibola, Munkaila Huzaifa and Idowu Oluseyi Olarenwaju. Others are representatives of Ashkash Nigeria limited, representatives of Obasanjo Holdings limited(managers of the NNPC Mega Station) and representatives of Gateway Bank limited.

The Ogun State High Court had on Monday granted the application of the Commission for the case to be heard at the Federal High Court in Lagos by the vacation judge. EFCC had earlier released the Speaker on bail. He, however, returned back to the Lagos office of the commission on Monday with other officials of the State House of Assembly, especially the clerk and accountant for further questioning.

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The first defendant’s counsel, Ogunwunmiju SAN, informed the court that he had filed a bail application but was yet to be before the court. While moving their applications for bail for the defendants, the first defendant’s counsel Igunwumiju (SAN), urged the court to grant the first defendant bail in liberal terms, adding that Oluomo voluntarily returned to the EFCC office in Lagos on Monday, after he was granted administrative bail last Friday.

Justice Osiagor, while ruling on the bail application, admitted the first defendant to bail in the sum of N300 million, with two sureties in like sum; one of whom must not be less than level 16 civil servant in the federal civil service. The second and third defendants were granted bail in the sum of N100 million each with two sureties each in like sum, one of whom must not be less than level 14 in the civil service.

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He said all the sureties must possess landed property within the court’s jurisdiction and Title documents were to be deposited with the court’s register. The sureties must also possess three-year tax clearance certificates and swear to an affidavit of means.

However, the Judge ordered that the defendants be remanded at the EFCC custody for a maximum of one week and must perfect all their bail conditions by then or they would be transferred to the Nigerian Correctional facility in Abeokuta.

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Ooni’s new wife adds colour to Olojo festival

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The new wife of Ooni of Ife, Mariam Ajibola, on Saturday stepped out with her husband, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, for the first since she got married to the royal father on Saturday as the annual Olojo Festival got underway in Ile-Ife, Osun State.

Mariam, who attended the event with her husband, and other dignitaries that included; Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola and Osun state Deputy governor, Benedict Alabi, among others, was dressed in all white attire, and was seen speaking with the royal father as different groups paid homage to the Ooni during the ceremony.

The new Yeyeluwa of Ife is attending Olojo, a major cultural celebration in Ile-Ife, during which Ooni will adorn ‘Are crown,’ for the first time as Ooni’s wife.

The new queen was ushered into Ile Oodua Palace in Ile-Ife at 8pm on Tuesday, September 6 by her mother and other members of her family from Kogi and Kwara states and since then, she had not attended any public outing.

READ  Obi visits Wike amidst defection rumour

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Keyamo: Why Osinbajo was not included in Tinubu’s campaign council

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The campaign council of the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, has cleared the air surrounding the absence of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo from the list of patrons.

In a statement released on Saturday by Festus Keyamo, spokesperson of the council, the APC camp said Osinbajo was left out of the lineup to allow him “concentrate on governance of the country and administration of government.”

On Friday, the APC presidential campaign council released a list containing 422 names of its members.

Osinbajo was absent from the list alongside Yakubu Dogara, former speaker of the house of representatives, Babachir Lawal, former secretary to the government of the federation, and Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, former minister of state for education.

 

The vice-president had contested the APC presidential ticket with Tinubu, and it appeared to have severed the relationship between the duo.

The absence of Osinbajo’s name from the campaign council further fuels the suspicion of an awry turn in their relationship.

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Addressing the situation, the campaign team said President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the omission of the vice-president and Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation, from the list.

The statement:

“Our attention has been drawn to some stories making the rounds that there may be something amiss within the family of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the name of our own revered and respected Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, is not included in the list of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council,” the statement read.

“Nothing can be farther from the facts. For the avoidance of doubt, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, is the chairman of the campaign council. As a result, Mr President has SPECIFICALLY directed that the Vice-President and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, should be left out of the Campaign Council to concentrate on the governance of the country and administration of government.

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“As a responsible party and government, all the key functionaries of government cannot abandon their positions for electioneering campaigns. The APC has the mandate of the Nigerian people to administer the country on their behalf at least till May 29, 2023, and this we intend to do with all sense of responsibility.

“Our candidates and the leadership of the APC have also indicated that the list is not sacrosanct as there may be periodic review of it as circumstances dictate.

“We will not toe the path of those who governed the country in an irresponsible manner before us, and our Party is not in total disarray like those who wish to ‘rescue’ the country but cannot simply manage their own internal affairs.”

 

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Shock as PDP senator, Chimaroke Nnamani, makes APC presidential campaign council list

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Chimaroke Nnamani, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and senator representing Enugu east senatorial district, has been listed a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council.

In a 422-man committee released by James Faleke, secretary, APC presidential campaign council, on Friday, Nnamani is the 350th on the list as a member.

Prior to his announcement, Nnamani did not announce his exit from the PDP.

But in August, Nnamani, in a long-thread tweet, said he is in opposition to the “shameless campaigns and parodies” aimed at the health of Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the APC.

Nnamani, a medical doctor, said he is appalled by the “extreme and unprofessional” forms of attacks directed at the former Lagos state governor over his health.

“I vigorously oppose, protest and detest the shameless campaigns and parodies targeting Tinubu’s health,” he wrote.

“As a health worker, I am amazed by ignorance, foolishness, wickedness and callousness of these idiotic operators. I believe they are unwarranted, extremely unprofessional, and have no place in our polity.

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Nnamani also cited Tinubu’s works in the criminal justice sector, education, and health, adding that he left a “lasting legacy of hard work in Lagos infrastructure”.

He did not answer or return calls and SMS sent to his mobile phone.

But Felix Morka, APC national publicity secretary, said he would respond later.

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