Friday, 25 October 2013

Ibori’s $15 million bribe to Ribadu should go to Nigeria, court rules

Delta State had demanded the money.
A Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday ruled that the $15 million a former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, allegedly used to bribe an anti-corruption chief be handed over to the Federal Government.

The judge, Gabriel Kolawole, berated the Delta State Government for demanding that the money be returned to the state without providing evidence that Mr. Ibori did steal the money from the state.
“With utmost sense of responsibility as a judicial officer, to view the stiff resistance mounted by the Delta state government and its official as one which border on the state’s acquiesce in the looting of its own fund or at best, as that of collaborators with its erstwhile governor on issue of $15 million allegedly offered to former EFCC chairman, Nuhu Ribadu as bribe,” Mr. Kolawole said
Mr. Kolawole ordered that the money be immediately paid to the coffers of the appropriate authority of the Federal Government of Nigeria where earnings such as this are kept in the ordinary course of official business.

He also said that the forfeited money be captured in the federal government’s 2012 – 2013 earnings to address specific needs of the Nigerian people.

“The applicant’s application to make a final forfeiture order succeeds and the said sum of $15 million dollars is hereby forfeited to the first applicant that is the federal government who shall take steps to capture in its earnings of the Federal Government of Nigeria in its 2012/2013 fiscal year and shall administer the funds to address specific needs that will be beneficial to a greater number of the citizenry,” he said.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had in July 2012 requested that the court give a final order forfeiting the $15 million Ibori bribe, which had been lying in the vaults of the Central Bank of Nigeria for more than five years, to the Federal Government as unclaimed proceed of bribe offered to Nuhu Ribadu, then chairman of EFCC, by Mr. Ibori to enable him escape investigation by the commission.

The Delta State Government challenged the application as the state government laid claim to the said amount.

The money was deposited at the Central Bank by Mr. Ribadu who wanted to use it as evidence against Mr. Ibori, then governor, during his corruption trial after he leaves office.

The counsel to the prosecutor, Rotimi Jacobs, had also told the court that it was too late for the Delta State Government to lay claim to the money because of the actions which the state government instituted against the EFCC on the ground that the governor should not be investigated.

Mr. Ibori is currently serving a jail term in the U.K. for money laundering, although he is yet to be convicted by any Nigerian court for corruption.

The former Delta governor (1999-2007), who wielded a lot of influence in Nigeria during the late Umaru Yar’Adua presidency, evaded arrest when the EFCC tried to re-arrest him to face trial in Delta State.

A judge, Mercel Awokulehin, had freed Mr. Ibori when the EFCC first filed corruption charges against him after he left office and lost his constitutionally guaranteed immunity as governor in 2007.
U.K. authorities are also seeking to make the former governor forfeit property worth tens of millions of dollars in the U.K., described as proceeds of corruption.

Source: premiumtimes

Thursday, 24 October 2013

$620,000 bribe scam: Court adjourns, awaits Lawan’s appeal

An Abuja High Court on Wednesday adjourned the trial of a former Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee on Monitoring of the Fuel Subsidy Regime, Farouk Lawan, to await the report of an appeal filed by the lawmaker.

Lawan and his co-accused person, Boniface Emenalo, are facing trial over a seven-count criminal charge bordering on allegations that they demanded and received the sum of $620,000 as bribe from a businessman, Femi Otedola.

The accused persons had approached the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, to challenge the dismissal of an application in which they sought to quash the charges brought against them by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission.

Following the appeal, their counsel, Rickey Tarfa, SAN, applied for a stay of proceedings in the trial, pending the determination of the appeal.

The motion for stay of proceedings was initially dismissed on July 10, but at the resumption of hearing in the matter on Wednesday, the defence counsel again asked the court to stay action in the suit.

Prosecuting counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, opposed the request.

“The prayer asking for a stay of proceedings is not appropriate, a further adjournment may be for another three weeks, to enable us know the fate of the appeal.

“It will not be right to stay proceedings, as if that is granting the application before the Court of Appeal,” he said.

In a brief ruling, Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi adjourned the matter to enable the court receive a report on the appeal.

Source: Punch

Robbers on power bikes attack bullion van

Onlookers around Marine Bridge.

Commercial activities at Ijora Badia, in the Apapa area of Lagos State, came to a halt on Wednesday when policemen and robbers engaged in a gun duel.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the robbers, who had arrived Marine Bridge on several power bikes, dislodged a bullion van laden conveying a huge amount of money from its escort vehicle by opening fire at them.
It was said that the robbers started shooting sporadically into the air to scare motorists and residents, and attempted to escape with the bullion van. Their progress was said to have been slowed down by heavy traffic.
Our correspondent learnt that the Divisional Police Officer, Apapa, Usman Ndanbabo, and policemen from the Area B Command arrived at the scene after being alerted by the sound of gunfire. The robbers reportedly disembarked from the bullion van and engaged the police in a shootout.
Other police divisions within the area command were said to have also blocked all the escape routes and dispatched anti-robbery teams to assist the Apapa Division.

In the gun duel which lasted for several minutes, a member of the Nigerian Navy and two other civilians were said to have sustained injuries.

However, one of the robbers was reportedly shot dead while another was arrested.

It was learnt that the Navy personnel and the others, who were injured were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment. As of press time, the condition of the injured could not be ascertained.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos Police Command, Ngozi Braide, told our correspondent on the telephone that the remaining suspects escaped with bullet wounds.

Braide said, “The DPO of Apapa Division was informed of the gunfire around Ijora Badia Bridge and dispatched a team of anti-robbery policemen. The robbers opened fire on the policemen and our men retaliated. One of the robbers was killed, another arrested, while the others escaped with bullet wounds.

“A yellow unregistered power bike, with the inscription, Apache Hipar, was recovered from the robbers as well as two Ak-47 rifles with double magazine each loaded with 30 rounds of ammunition.

“Meanwhile, investigations are ongoing to arrest the fleeing suspects but normalcy has returned to the area.”

PUNCH Metro had reported on October 9, 2013, that some gunmen, on a bike, shot and killed three policemen in a patrol van in Ijora Olopa area of the state.

Police sources told our correspondent that they were working on the theory that it was the same gang of robbers that operated on Wednesday.

 A policeman from Area ‘C’ Police Command, Surulere, Lagos, who pleaded for anonymity, identified the dead robber as one of the culprits.

 “You may recall that two weeks ago, five policemen on patrol were shot and three of them died while two survived after the robbers on a bike opened fire on their vehicle. One of the surviving policemen gave us information and from what we put together, it is highly possible that it is the same gang,” he said.

Source: Punch

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

FRSC returns N880,000 found at accident scene

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), on Tuesday in Ore, Ondo State, returned N881, 790 to the family of a deceased accident victim, one Alexander Ajayi.

The money, which was in different denominations, was recovered at the scene of an accident involving Ajayi.

Handing over the money to the deceased’s family at the FRSC office in Ore, Mike Arinzeagu, the Unit Commander in Ore, said that the accident occurred at 7:15 p.m., on October 16 on the Ore–Ondo road.

He said that the accident involved a Peugeot 504 station wagon and a Ford Focus car.

Arinzeagu said that only Ajayi died in the accident, which involved two commercial motorcycles.
The commander urged motorists to always exercise patience while driving and to watch their speedometers to know when they are exceeding the speed limit.

Emmanuel Ajayi, the deceased’s brother, who represented the family, said that Nigeria would have become a better place if all Nigerians acted like the FRSC.

He said that although money could not be commensurate to the soul, the “Good Samaritan’’ spirit which the FRSC had exhibited was commendable.

“In spite of the heavy heart, I still thank the FRSC for their demonstration as good citizens of the country worthy of emulation,” he said.

Temidayo Akinnibosun, one of the three survivors in the accident, said that the accident was a mystery to him and he could not recount how it happened.

“It is unfortunate that I lost my brother, Ajayi, but I thank God for sparing my life and the FRSC rescue team who quickly rushed us to the hospital,” Akinnibosun said.


Monday, 21 October 2013

Maritime Workers Accuse Jtf, Police Of Extortion

The Maritime Workers’ Union in Bayelsa State has accused the men of the Joint Military Task Force, code-named Operation Pulo Shield, and other Marine components of the Nigerian Police of alleged extortion from speed boat operators along the water ways of the state.

 The maritime workers alleged that the security agents is making life unbearable for the indigenes of the coastal communities with the alleged extortion of between N5,000 and N6,000 from local boat operators.

 The chairman of the union, Comrade Lyod Sese, said the rising cases of extortion from boat operators by security personnel along the waterways of Southern Ijaw, Nembe,Ogbia and Brass local government area was alarming.

“If the boat operators refuse to pay,the boats are subtly delayed until compliance is effected,” he said.
 The union identified Ogboibiri checkpoint in Southern Ijaw, Agip Oil Flow Station at Brass and Nembe checkpoints manned by soldiers as the places where the illegal act was worst.
“The duty of the soldiers is to protect oil facilities and installations but they have resorted to extorting money from boat operators along Apoi/Bassan and Yenagoa routes,” he lamented.

 He claimed that the soldiers and Marine Policemen extort boat operators of charges ranging between non-compliance with availability of first  aid boxes, fire extinguishers and operation permits.
 Contacted on the development, the media coordinator of the JTF, Lt. Col. Onyemma Nwachukwu, dismissed the claims of the Maritime Workers Union as “misplaced” and “lacking in merit” as they have failed to utilise the open door policy of the Joint Military Task Force on the reportage of cases of indiscipline among men of the Task Force.

 “We have given the leadership of the State Maritime Union the needed cooperation and we have informed them that if they have a case on alleged indiscipline of a soldier, they should come forward with the name of the officer and allege misconduct.We don’t tolerate indiscipline.Why should they attribute the extortion to soldiers? I don’t believe our men are involved,” he said.

Monday, 14 October 2013

NCAA Broke, Inspectors Accept Bribe

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, is broke, and aircraft inspectors are not being paid allowances on time, a report alleged on Monday.

The report quoted an aircraft inspector as saying that safety is compromised because of the inability of the NCAA to pay inspectors their allowances as at when due.

Training has also dwindled in recent time, the inspector said.

The revelation comes less than two weeks after a faulty Associated Airline plane crashed in Lagos, southwestern Nigeria, killing 15 people.

It also comes only a day after an IRS plane loaded with 89 passengers was involved in an emergency landing at the Kaduna airport on Sunday.

Passengers had to disembark on the runway as firefighters and other emergency teams surrounded the airport.

“Aircraft inspectors’ allowances are not being paid as at when due, leaving us to the open temptations of bribe and compromise from corrupt and desperate airline operators who want their planes to fly at all costs,” the inspector was quoted as saying.

The anonymous source was not allowed to speak to the press.

The report also quoted a source as saying that the NCAA is broke and is struggling to procure its basic needs. This, the source claimed, could seriously affect safety.

“Some of us that are due for training overseas are asked to fund our training and come back for a refund after the training. This is absurd and they keep saying they are broke,” the source said.
Fola Akinkuotu, NCAA Director General and its spokesperson, Fan Ndubuoke, did not answer requests from our reporter. The text messages sent to them were ignored.
—Simon Ateba

Source: PM News

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Police quiz cop caught demanding N10,000 bribe

The Anambra State Police Command on Wednesday said it had begun questioning the policeman attached to one of its divisions in Onitsha, caught on video demanding a bribe of N10,000 from a motorist.

The state conmmand’s Police Public Relations Officer, Emeka Chukwuemeka, who spoke with our correspondent on the telephone, said the outcome of the investigation would be made public as soon as it was concluded.

Chukwuemeka, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said the manner the video was shot made it easy for the authorities to identify the policeman in question.

The police spokesman, who assured members of the public that the policeman would be made to face the full wrath of the law if found guilty, said the police would not condone any acts of corruption.

He said, “His identity was clearly revealed in the video that went viral on the Internet. An in-house investigation has since started and when we conclude, we will make the outcome public. It is noteworthy that the Nigeria Police Force remains one of the few organisations in this country that punishes one of its own whenever they err.

“Corruption is bad and anybody caught in the web of corrupt practices will be punished in accordance with our statute books. All acts of corruption are condemnable and we will never condone it. Corruption is evil. We appeal that nobody condones it.”

When asked for the name and rank of the policeman, Chukwuemeka declined to provide the information and directed our correspondent to check for it online.

In the three-minute 18-second video which has since become an Internet sensation, the man in uniform was seen seated in the front seat with the driver demanding the N10,000 bribe after he had observed some discrepancies between the vehicle particulars and its chassis number.

Several appeals by the driver who was coming from Akure, Ondo State, to Umuahia, Abia State, before he was stopped in Onitsha, fell on deaf ears.

The drivers had explained that the mix-up was unintended, adding that the vehicle was not a stolen one. He even offered to pray for the policeman.


Wednesday, 2 October 2013

AIG cautions officers against extortion, arbitrary detention

MAKURDI— Assistant Inspector-General of Police,  Zone ‘4’ Makurdi, Mr. Mike Zuokumor, has cautioned officers and men of the force against extortion, arbitrary arrests and detention without recourse to laid down laws, warning that such acts would not be tolerated.

The AIG sounded the warning, weekend, when he visited and addressed men and officers of Benue State Police Command in Makurdi, the state capital.

He said: “We are all aware that our responsibility includes the protection of lives and property of the citizenry and we must discharge that responsibility in line with the provisions of the law.

“Our duties must be carried out in line with the reforms introduced by the Inspector-General of Police, which is centered on respect for the fundamental rights of the people, at all times.”