Publisher in court over alleged N4m fraud



A 42-year-old publisher, Benjamin Adedoyin, on Friday appeared in a Kubwa Magistrates’ court, Abuja, over alleged fraud involving  N4 million.

The police charged Adedoyin, who lives in Dutse, Abuja, with criminal breach of trust, cheating  and intimidation.

The Prosecutor, ASP Ejike Peters, told the court that the complainant, Stanislaus Ntekop, in April  gave the defendant N4 million to use as down payment for a N6.4 million contract for the supply of books to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Peters alleged that when the defendant completed the job, he refused to pay the complainant his money back.

He said when the complainant called to demand for his money, the defendant threatened to kidnap or kill him.

Peters said the case was reported by Ntekop on April 10.

He said the offence contravened  the provisions of sections 312, 322 and 397 of the Penal Code.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Magistrate, Muinat Oyekan admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N100,000, with one reasonable surety in like sum.

Oyekan adjourned the case until Dec. 4, for continuation of hearing.

edited by Sadiya Hamza



Alleged Fraud: Court orders interim forfeiture of businessman’s N827m to FG



Justice Aneke gave the order, following an ex parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Aneke directed the EFCC to publish the order in any national daily for any interested party to appear before the court within 14 days and show cause why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal government.

The court fixed June 29 for parties to show cause.

The EFCC through its counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, had told the court that Edevbie owned a firm, Flank Power Ltd.

He said that the forfeited sum, comprising N616.6million and N211 million was deposited in Flank Power Ltd’s bank account between February 11 and 19.

According to the commission, the sum is ‘reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud related offences Act, 2006 and Section 44(2)b of the 1999 Constitution.

EFCC said that if the application ‘was not heard and determined expeditiously, the monies housed in the said bank account sought to be temporarily forfeited will be dissipated.’

The commission tendered an affidavit of urgency in support of the motion ex parte sworn to by an EFCC Investigating Officer, Mr Chidi Nweke.

Nweke identified himself as one ‘of the operatives of the EFCC assigned to investigate the intelligence report received’ against Edevbie.

He said: ‘The said intelligence was investigated, traced to and recovered from Edevbie, who is the owner of Flank Power Resources.

‘We traced some of these monies to the bank account of Flank Power Resources Ltd containing monies sought to be forfeited to the Federal Government,”he said.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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General news

COVID-19: Publisher lauds FG planned stimulus package for media, creative industry



A leading Online Publisher, Mr Femi Soneye, has commended Federal Government for the stimulus package being initiated to cushion effects of COVID-19 on Nigerian media and the creative industry.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, also received a pat on the back for the expected intervention.

Soneye, Publisher and CEO of Persecondnews.com, gave the commendation in Abeokuta on Monday while presenting COVID-19 palliatives to Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ogun State Council at Press Centre -“Iwe Irohin House’’.

“A recent bold step to give a stimulus package to the media and creative industry by the Hon. Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, is cheery news and a timely intervention amid COVID-19 pandemic.

“We urge the minister to pursue this agenda to a logical conclusion,’’ said Soneye, who was represented by Mr Ayodele Akinsola, Persecondnews Managing Editor.

Describing the media as one of the tripod stands on which the nation’s democracy rests, thrives and flourishes, he urged journalists not to spare any effort in holding public officials accountable to the people.

He, however, pointed out that only accurate and factual reports could hold public officials accountable to the citizens.

“Journalists, as members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm after the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, are empowered by Section 22 of Chapter two of the 1999 Constitution.

“Without free press and free speech democracy is endangered. I recall with nostalgia our efforts and struggles on a heroic scale to fight the military to a standstill and return the country to constitutional democracy in 1999 have not been adequately rewarded and reciprocated by the political class with some of them scandalously harassing, brutalizing and  clamping down on the media,’’ Soneye said.

Still expounding the role of the media, the publisher said: “The media, in spite of its imperfections like democracy, are indispensable to the nation’s fledgling democracy of about 21 years and to the Nigeria Project.’’

On the state of the Nigerian media, Soneye noted that the parlous state of the economy had caused thousands of journalists to lose their jobs due to permanent shutdown of their organizations while others are being owed one or two years salaries.

“I wish, therefore, to make a passionate appeal to those in authority at all levels – federal, state and local government – to patronize the media – newspapers, magazines, online publications, radio and television stations – to stay afloat.’’

On the COVID-19 pandemic, Soneye commended the media for their excellent coverage of the health crisis across the country in spite of the attendant risks to the lives and urged them to continue to join forces with the government to rout the virus.

“As experts and WHO have said, it is unlikely for the virus to go away soon. There is, therefore, the need for us as journalists to be COVID-19 protocol-compliant — stay safe, play safe, observe physical distancing, use your face mask, wash your hands and use sanitizers.’’

He also challenged journalists to report research findings and investigations on COVID-19 therapeutics, especially the local cure – herbal or orthodox –, to defeat the virus.

Mr Wale Oluokun, Secretary, Ogun NUJ Caretaker Committee, who received the items on behalf of the chairperson, Mrs Omolola Adeyinka, thanked Persecondnews for the gesture which he described as first of its kind.

“It is quite novel and welcoming that journalists can look back and give back to the profession; it is equally commendable.

“Apart from the gifts, a strong message has been passed to us to take the fight against coronavirus seriously,’’ he said.

 Among the officers present at the presentation were Mr Lekan Yinusa (Sweet FM) and Mr Bidemi Bello (Channels TV), Anthony Gandonu and Bunmi Adigun.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Fraud: Court sentences ex-Adamawa Pilgrims Welfare boss to 5 years imprisonment



The Adamawa High Court sitting in Yola has sentenced a former executive secretary, Adamawa State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Bishop Jingi Mayo, to five years imprisonment.

Mr Bello Bakori, Adamawa Commissioner, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), confirmed the development in a statement made available to the Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday in Yola.

Bakori said that Jingi was the executive secretary of the board between 2016 and 2017, and was sentenced to correctional facility on March 23, 2020, without option of fine.

He said the defendant was charged on a 3-count charge filed on the Jan. 30, 2019, for violating the provisions of Sections 16, 19 and 25(1)(a) of ICPC Act.

The charges, according to the commissioner, are punishable under Sections 16, 19 and 25(1)(b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

“The convict was charged to Court on Jan. 30, 2019, for diverting and furnishing of false return in respect of the sum of N69,198,600.00 (Sixty Nine million, One Hundred and Ninety Eight Thousand and Six Hundred Naira).

“The amount after thorough investigations was discovered meant for the operation committees of the 2016 Christian Pilgrims operation to Israel and fraudulently the convict diverted the amount for personal use.

“The convict was sentenced to five years imprisonment by Adamawa High Court presided by Justice Nathan Musa, for diverting government money and making  false statement to the officer of the Commission,” the statement read in part.

Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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Alleged Fraud: Court admits Oyo-Ita to N100m bail, releases her to counsel



Alleged Fraud: Court admits Oyo-Ita to N100m bail, releases her to counsel: A Federal High Court, Abuja on Monday admitted Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, former Head of Service to bail in the sum N100 million   and two sureties in like sum.

Two other defendants, Garba Umar and Ubong Effiok were also granted bail in the sum of N50 million each and two sureties in like sum.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo admitted them to bail and released them to their counsels citing the Coronavirus pandemic as the reason for releasing them to their counsel.

The judge said that in view of the pandemic, he could not endanger the lives of the defendants by remanding them in EFCC custody.

He, however, warned that the defendants must report to the EFCC office everyday between 10AM and 12 Noon for seven days pending when they would perfect their bail conditions.

According to the judge, if the bail conditions are not perfected after seven days, they will be remanded in EFCC custody.

Other conditions of the bail include that one of the sureties must be a civil servant on Grade Level 17 in and Federal Government ministry, parastatal or agency.

“The Surety must be resident in Abuja and own property worth N100 million.

“The other surety where not a civil servant must be gainfully employed and depose to an affidavit of means.”

For Umar and Effiok, one of their surety must be resident in Abuja and own property worth N50 million.

The defendants are all expected to deposit their international passports with the registrar of the court.

Oyo-Ita  and eight others were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) on an 18-count charge bordering on money laundering and breach of public trust.

She was arraigned alongside Frontline Ace Global Services Limited; Asanaya Projects Limited; Garba Umar ;Slopes International Limited; Gooddeal Investments Limited; Ubong  Effiok; U & U Global Services Limited and Prince Mega Logistics Limited.

They all pleaded not guilty to the charges while a “not guilty” plea was entered for the companies.

They were arraigned for fraud in relation to Duty Tour Allowances, (DTA), Estacodes, conference fees fraud and receiving kick-backs on contracts.

The EFCC particularly accused the former head of service of colluding with Effiok and one Titus Tomsin to make bogus claims of fictitious DTA, estacodes and conference fees which were paid by government to their accounts.

Mr Paul Erokoro (SAN), counsel to Oyo-Ita informed the court that he had filed an application for bail and pleaded with the court to hear the application even though he had only just served the prosecution.

“In view of the situation in the  world today where there is a clear and present danger of threat to life under congested conditions, I wish to plead that we take the application today or that I be allowed to make an oral application for bail,” Erokoro pleaded.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr Mohammed Abubakar confirmed that he had been served with the applications for bail.

Abubakar said that even though he appreciated the fact that the country was going through a trying period, measures such as social distancing had been put in place to check it.

He, however, acknowledged that bail was at the discretion of the court but urged that should the court be mindful to grant bail, it should impose stringent measures.

Earlier, the judge announced that in view of the Coronavirus pandemic, the court would entertain only cases dealing with applications for bail and breech of fundamental rights where the defendants were incarcerated.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza

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