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N450m fraud: You have case to answer, Court tells former Minister, Abdul Bulama, four others

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Justice Fadima Aminu of the Federal High Court sitting in Damaturu, Yobe State, ordered former Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Abdul Bulama and four others to enter their defence in the N450 million fraud charge preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Ruling on a no-case submission by the defendants, Justice Aminu held that, “based on the testimonies of witnesses and exhibits tendered before the court,” the prosecution had established a prima facie case against the defendant to warrant them to enter their defence.

The court consequently adjourned till October 19-20, 2023 for the defendant to open their defence.

The Maiduguri Zonal Command of the EFCC is prosecuting Bulama on a seven-count charge of criminal conspiracy and money laundering to the tune of N450 million (Four Hundred and Fifty Million Naira).

Bulama was re-arraigned on Monday, November 8, 2021 alongside Hon. Mohammed Kadai, a former Commissioner for Integrated and Rural Development in Yobe State, Abba Gana Tata, Muhammad Mamu and Hassan Ibn Jaks.

The ex-minister served as the Coordinator of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 re-election Campaign Committee in Yobe State, while Kadai was his Deputy, with the other three defendants as members. They were alleged to have received the said sum in order to influence the outcome of the 2015 Presidential election.

Count one of the charges reads, “That you, DR. ABDU BULAMA, HON. MOHAMMED KADAI, ABBAs GANA TATA, MUHAMMAD MAMU AND HASSAN IBN JAKS on or about the 27th day of March, 2015 at Damaturu, Yobe State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did agree among yourselves to do illegal act, to wit: conspiracy to commit money laundering and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended.”

Upon re-arraignment, the defendants pleaded not guilty to all the counts and the matter proceeded to trial. In the course of trial, counsel for the prosecution, Mukhtar Ali Ahmed presented five witnesses and tendered several documents in evidence before the court before closing its case.

Rather than open their defence the defendants opted for a no case submission, arguing that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against them.

Crime

Don’t take luggage you don’t know its content, NDLEA warns travellers

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has warned travellers against taking any luggage that they don’t know its content from anyone while travelling.

The agency’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, shared this information via his X account on Sunday.

Justifying his advice, he disclosed that two students, including a PhD student, ran into trouble when bottles of codeine syrup were discovered in luggage they were carrying for a female friend studying abroad.

The statement read, “A PhD student and another student studying abroad got into custody because bottles of codeine syrup were found in the luggage they picked for their female friend abroad.

“They would have been jailed if #ndlea_nigeria had not worked hard to ensure the owner was put on the next flight home….

“Reason why we warn you not to take any luggage you don’t know its content from anyone.

“Video shows how bags of opioids were concealed among spare parts coming from Onitsha heading to Mubi in Adamawa.”

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Crime

8 nabbed for allegedly vandalising railway sleepers, petroleum pipeline in Bauchi

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Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (), Bauchi Command, has arrested eight suspects for allegedly vandalising railway slippers, petroleum pipelines in the state.

NSCDC Commandant in the state, Mr Ileboye Olajide, who disclosed this while parading the suspects on Thursday in Bauchi, said that the suspects were also arrested for allegedly being in possession of fake currency notes.

Olajide said that the suspects were of three categories of offenders apprehended in one week.

“We got information from our people on the field that some people were vandalising railway sleepers at Dangubi village, along Gombe road.

“We immediately moved to the area and caught them with the 33 already removed sleepers. The suspects involved were actually four; two were arrested while two are at large,” he said.

The NSCDC commandant said five of the suspects were involved in vandalism of a petroleum pipeline at Kangere village on Gombe road in Bauchi Local Government Area, saying that they were handed over to the command by the Nigerian Army artillery unit.

He listed the items recovered from them to include: four motorcycles, various 25-litre cans of petrol and about 10 empty cans.

Olajide said that the suspects were caught while siphoning petroleum products, adding that they had confessed to the act.

The commandant added that another suspect was arrested for being in possession of fake 2,000 dollars in his house.

“Information provided by a woman he previously gave fake 100 dollars led to his arrest,” he said.
According to him, all the suspects will be handed over to relevant agencies after the conclusion of investigation for possible prosecution.

Olajide, however, warned that those nursing the idea of vandalising national infrastructure in the state to think twice, as they would not go scot free under his watch.

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Five suspects remanded for armed robbery in Ibadan

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Five men were remanded in a detention facility by the Iyaganku Magistrates’ Court in Ibadan on Tuesday over allegations of armed robbery.

The suspects identified as Abiodun Solomon (24), Abdulahi Alejolowo (26), Emmanuel Ayobami (31), Kazeem Saka (37), and Taofeek Lawal (35), with undisclosed addresses, are accused of conspiracy and armed robbery.

According to the prosecutor, Insp Olalekan Adegbite, the defendants allegedly committed the offense around 2 a.m. on January 8 in the Olode neighborhood of Ibadan. Adegbite stated that the defendants assaulted individuals in the neighborhood using weapons and proceeded to rob them of their cell phones, jewelry, electrical gadgets, cash, and other valuables.

The prosecutor said that these actions contravened Sections 6(B) and 1(2) of Nigeria’s Robbery and Firearms Laws of 2004.

However, Magistrate Oluwabusayo Osho declined to accept the defendants’ plea due to jurisdictional limitations and instructed that the case file be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions for legal guidance. The matter was adjourned until April 29 for mention.

This incident follows a similar case reported  last Friday, where the Iyaganku Magistrates’ Court remanded three men – Jiya Adams (44), Joseph Abidoye (39), and Femi Adetunji (40) – on allegations of kidnapping. The accused individuals, also without disclosed addresses, faced charges of conspiracy, armed robbery, and abduction.

Magistrate Olaolu Olanipekun adjoined the case till May 13 for further hearing after directing the prosecution to duplicate the case file and send it to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advice.

The prosecution counsel, ASP Anthony Igori, alleged that the defendants, along with others, attacked an expatriate and proprietor of Saco Nigeria Ltd., Mr. Mohammed Il-Saheed, stole his Samsung cell phone valued at N800,000, and abducted him, collecting a N35 million ransom before releasing him after six days in captivity.

These incidents underscore the ongoing efforts by law enforcement to address criminal activities in Ibadan and uphold the rule of law.

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