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Court remands Emefiele in EFCC custody

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Justice R.A. Oshodi of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos has remanded a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The former CBN Governor was arraigned by the EFCC for an alleged $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion fraud.

Emefiele was arraigned alongside one Henry Omoile on an amended 26-count charge.

The former CBN Governor was specifically mentioned in counts one to four as well as  counts eight to 26 bordering on alleged abuse of office, contrary and punishable under Section 73 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2011; accepting gratification, contrary and punishable under Section 8 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000; corrupt demand, contrary and punishable under Section 10 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000; receiving property fraudulently obtained, contrary to and punishable under Section 328 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2011; and conferring corrupt advantage, contrary to Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

Omoile was mentioned in counts five, six and seven bordering on acceptance of gifts by agents, contrary to Section 65 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.

Count one: “That you, Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, between 2022 and 2023 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court, directed to be done in abuse of the authority of your office as the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, an arbitrary act, to wit: allocating foreign exchange in the aggregate sum of $2,136,391,737.33 without bids, which act is prejudicial to the rights of Nigerians.”

Count two: “That you, Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, between 2020 and 2021 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court, directed to be done in abuse of the authority of your office as the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, an arbitrary act, to wit: allocating foreign exchange in the aggregate sum of $291,945,785.59 without bids, which act is prejudicial to the rights of Nigerians.”

Count five: “That you, Henry Isioma Omoile, on or about the 17th of November 2020, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, whilst acting as an agent, accepted from Raja Punjab through Moday Osazuwa the total sum of $110,000 for Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, gifts as reward for allocating foreign exchange by the Central Bank of Nigeria in favour of Raja Punjab’s employer.”

They pleaded “not guilty” to all the charges when they were read to them.

In view of this,  prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, said: “ By their plea, they have given themselves up for trial. We pray the court to grant accelerated hearing and for us to call our witnesses to prove our case.”

Counsel representing the defendants, A. Labi-Lawal, informed the court of the bail

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Rivers: Court outlaws LGA chairmen tenure extension

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By Barth Ndubuwah, Port Harcourt

A High Court sitting in Rivers State has ruled against the recent extension of Local Government Chairmen’s tenures, declaring exercise by the ousted 27 lawmakers of the State House of Assembly as invalid.

 The case, Hon. Enyiada Cookey-Gam & 6 Others vs The Governor of Rivers State & Others (Suit No. PHC/1320/CS/2024), was presided over by Hon. Justice D.G. Kio  in Port Harcourt.

Justice Kio declared that Local Government Law No. 2 of 2024, which sought to extend the Chairmen’s terms by six months, conflicts with the 1999 Constitution and Section 9(1) of Rivers State Local Government Law No. 5 of 2018.

The court affirmed that the lawful tenure for Local Government Chairmen and Councillors remains three years, as stipulated by the 2018 law.

The judge emphasised that the attempt to extend the tenure was not only unlawful but also violated the officials’ oath of office.

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Emir of Kano to visit Awujale of Ijebuland today

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The Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, and President, Ijebu Traditional Council, Oba Dr. Sikiru Kayode Adetona CFR, GCON, JP, Ogbagba II, will today play host to the revered traditional ruler, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, on a royal visit along with eight officials of the Kano Emirate.

In a letter titled Notification of Our Visit to Ijebu Ode Kingdom, dated 19th May 2024, with reference number KEC/HH/CORR/OOW/VOL.I/768 and personally signed by the Emir of Kano, the purpose of the visit is to pay “respect to His Majesty with intention to strengthen the cordial relationship that has been in existence for several years between Awujale of ljebu-land and our father, the late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, of blessed memory.

The letter read, “I humbly write to notify His Royal Majesty the Awujale of ljebu-land of our resolve to pay a Royal Visit to ljebu Ode Kingdom, Ogun State, on Wednesday, 22nd May, 2024 with an entourage of 8 officials of Kano Emirate.

“The purpose of our visit is to pay our respect to His Majesty with intention to strengthen the cordial relationship that has been in existence for several years between Awujale of ljebu-land and our father, the late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero of blessed memory.

“At the same time, we will seize the opportunity to felicitate with His Majesty for attaining the age of 90 years, as well as been on the throne for 64 years.

“While we pray and hope the trip will be successful, and we meet Your Majesty in good health, please accept the assurance of our esteem regards.

 ”Allah Ya kare mutuncin mu da addinin mu. Allah Ya bamu lafiya da zaman lafiya (May God protect our honour and our religion. May God grant us health and peace).”

The visit will hold at the GRA Ijebu Ode residence of Kabiyesi Awujale between 12.00 noon and 2.00pm

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Domestic violence: Speak out, don’t suffer in silence — Lagos Commissioner tells women

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By Sodiq Adelakun

The Lagos State Government has urged women experiencing violation of rights to speak out as they can only receive help when they do so.

This was disclosed by the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), Mrs. Cecilia Dada, at a ministerial news conference in Ikeja, Lagos on Tuesday.

“Speak up, speak out on domestic violence, there’s help! Come to the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation. If you cannot come, call 767. 767 is a number to call if you need help,” Dada said.

Also, she revealed that a total of 662 domestic violence cases were reported in the last one year, with 592 women and 70 men affected.

According to the commissioner, 592 women reported battering and violence against them by their husbands, while 70 men reported being beaten or battered by their wives within the same period.

She said the cases were reported directly to the WAPA ministry or through its toll-free line 767/112.

Further breakdown showed that 27 men and 247 women reported domestic violence directly to the ministry, while 43 men and 345 women reported spousal violence through the toll-free line.

In response to the growing concern, she revealed that Lagos State Government is constructing a Domestic Violence Survivors Shelter at Agidingbi, Ikeja, which will provide a safe and secure refuge for survivors of domestic violence.

Meanwhile, Dada added that the domestic violence unit created in 2015 in order to handle gender based violence cases that occur among intimate partners, relations, neighbors, among others had done a lot.

She said the domestic violence unit is saddled with the responsibilities of ensuring zero tolerance to gender based violence in the state.

The commissioner stated that the unit had been able to offer social intervention which involved advocacy (sensitisation and awareness creation programs on GBV), counseling, mediation, rescue, social investigation, empowerment, referral, medical assistance, collaboration, psychosocial services and follow up.

“The Ministry also partners with MDAs, International organisations and other relevant stakeholders to curb cases Of gender based violence in the State,” she said.

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