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Court Orders DSS, EFCC, Police To Arrest Diezani Alison-Madueke Within 72 Hours

Peter Okunoren

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A Federal High Court Judge on Tuesday gave the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Police 72 hours, to arrest Diezani Alison-Madueke, former petroleum minister.

Diezani is currently in London.

Justice Valentine Ashi of a Federal Capital Territory High Court, sitting in Apo, Abuja, made the order following a motion ex parte moved by counsel to the EFCC, Msuur Denga, praying for an order of the court, to issue a warrant of arrest against Madueke, to enable the Commission apprehend and arraign her for alleged financial crimes in Nigeria.

The EFCC investigated the former minister along with Jide Omokore, a former Chairman, Atlantic Energy Drilling Company, following a petition dated October 2, 2013, from Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, bordering on money laundering and official corruption.

According to CACOL, Madueke as supervising minister of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), engaged in illicit and monumental fraudulent dealings in oil transactions, which she entered into on behalf of the Federal Government.

Madueke and Omokore, are also alleged to have accepted and given gifts in properties located at Penthouse 22, Block B, Admiralty Estate, Ikoyi, and Penthouse 21, Building 5, Block C, Banana Island, Lagos.

They are to be arraigned on February 25, 2019, on a five-count charge for the offenses, which are contrary to Sections 26(1) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

When the matter came up on December 3, 2018, the Commission filed an application for the warrant of arrest, a condition precedent for Deziani’s extradition protocol to bring her back home to face trial.

The prosecution told the court that Diezani, who is currently in the United Kingdom, jetted out of the country while investigations into the alleged fraudulent acts were ongoing.

The court today, granted the ex parte motion and ordered the security agencies to provide Madueke within 72 hours, for her to face the charge preferred against her.

“The Inspector General of Police, the Chairman of the EFCC, the Attorney General, the Department of State Services, are hereby ordered in the name of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria to apprehend and arrest the first defendant and produce her before this court for further directives within 72 hours”, the judge held.

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‘Your Fall Is Near, Stop Inciting Violence’ — Ohanaeze Youth Tackles Nnamdi Kanu

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The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council has cautioned Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), against inciting violence in the south-eastern region.

Kanu was reported to have asked #EndSARS protesters in the region to destroy the properties belonging to the Yoruba — an allegation he has denied.

The youth council, in a statement by Okwu Nnabuike, its secretary-general, said Kanu has deviated from “the peaceful approach of non- violent struggle, traditionally adopted by Biafra agitators”.

“Nnamdi Kanu’s craftiness, bogus claims, lack of respect for Igbo elders and hatred for other ethnic groups in Nigeria, had endangered the lives and properties of Ndigbo in Lagos and Northern Nigeria,” the group said in the statement.

“Now, Ndigbo has seen clearly that IPOB had confirmed the reason why the once peaceful organization was proscribed and labeled a terrorist group. In the last few weeks, private and public properties, as well as lives, have wasted across Igbo with people carrying Biafra flags under the banner of EndSARS protests.

“From Aba to Awka, Onitsha, Owerri to Obigbo and Igbo towns, it has been tales of destruction and woes from the same people who are yet to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 lockdown. What kind of leader will make a video calling his followers to get weapons, kill policemen, and burn police stations? Meanwhile, the so-called leader or freedom fighter is safe and away with his family in the white man’s country, London while his indoctrinated followers inflict death and destruction of the same people he purportedly seeks to liberate.

“EndSARS Protests is a Purely Nigerian Youth Movement aimed towards addressing the abnormalities in Nigeria, attempts by Omoyele Sowore to infiltrate the Lekki Protesters was resisted by the Yoruba Youths. The recent vituperative attacks of Adesinya Grandson on Ndigbos had been dismissed and disowned by Afenifere and Yoruba Youths. The fall of Nnamdi Kanu is near, he should retreat now, and apologize to Ndigbos for endangering their lives in the North and South West, by inciting violence in Aba and Obigbo while his father’s house and Afara community is safe. A day of reckoning is fast approaching and inevitably near when Nnamdi Kanu will no longer influence the Youths for his fame and wealth seeking games under the guise of ill-thought-out Biafra agitation

The group cautioned IPOB members to shelve their planned rally in the southern region, alleging that it is being sponsored “to create confusion and tension perhaps frighten Igbo governors with presidential ambitions to drop it”.

“OYC urges Igbo Youths to leave the streets. We Commend the Southeast Governors Forum for the maturity exhibited by allowing Endsars protesters to freely exhaust their activities against police brutality without molestation. Igbo Youths will further resist attempts by IPOB to venture into the Nigerian project through the backdoor and create a breeding ground for the State of Emergency to be declared in the South East and South-South,” it said.

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Lagos To Prosecute 229 Suspects For Arson, Murder, Looting, Other Crimes

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The Lagos State Government has said it will be prosecuting all suspected hoodlums arrested in connection with the mayhem unleashed on the state between Tuesday and Wednesday in the aftermath of the Lekki toll gate shooting by soldiers.

The state Ministry of Justice said on Saturday that the police had arrested 229 suspected hoodlums and their case files were being evaluated preparatory to prosecution on charges of arson, murder, stealing, malicious damage of properties, assault, etc.

A statement by the Director, Public Affairs, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Mr Kayode Oyekanmi, said the state’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs Olayinka Adeyemi, had gone round relevant police formations with her team “to evaluate files of those arrested by the police with a view to determining those that have prima facie case made against them.”

The statement read in part, “Two hundred and twenty-nine (229) suspects were arrested by the police for various criminal offenses, ranging from arson, murder, stealing, malicious damage of properties and assault before and after the state-wide curfew imposed by Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to restore law and order.

“After the evaluation exercise, those that have cases to answer will be arraigned before the courts on Monday, while the release of those that have no case to answer will be ensured.

“Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) while calling on Lagosians to maintain peace, law, and order in their respective communities, pledged the commitment of the state government to uphold the rule of law at all times.”

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Falana Writes Lagos Government, Says Unclaimed Corpses Marked ‘Unknown’ In Mortuaries

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Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has written a letter to the Attorney General of Lagos State, Moyo Onigbanjo (SAN), drawing the attention of the state government to the existence of some unclaimed corpses in government mortuaries following the shooting of protesters by soldiers at the Lekki toll plaza on October 20, 2020.

The letter, which was obtained by PUNCH Newspaper on Saturday is titled, ‘Request for Coroner’s Inquest Into the Brutal Killing of Unarmed Protesters at Lekki Toll Gate on Tuesday, October 20, 2020’.

It read in part, “ASCAB requests the Lagos State Government to check the mortuaries in the Lagos State hospitals and at Lagos University Teaching Hospital with a view to confirming the actual number of protesters that were killed by the soldiers at the venue of the protest or those who lost their lives as a result of fatal injuries.

“The investigation ought to be carried out as some of the dead bodies dumped in the mortuaries have been marked ‘unknown’.”

The ASCAB interim chairman also demanded a coroner’s inquest into the incident since the state government had confirmed that at least two people died in the incident.

Falana said the group had confirmed that soldiers from a particular military barracks on Victoria Island, Lagos invaded the venue of the peaceful protest at the Lekki toll gate on Tuesday and fired live rounds at the protesters under the cover of darkness.

The ASCAB interim chairman recalled that before perpetrating the dastardly act the soldiers caused the light to be switched off while the CCTV cameras at the toll gate were reportedly cut out.

The statement further read, “From the information at our disposal, two of the protesters have since lost their lives while some survivors are still receiving treatment in two hospitals in Lagos State. Others who have been discharged from the hospitals are recuperating in their homes.

“In view of the denial of the Nigerian Army in the brutal attack of the unarmed protesters, ASCAB is compelled to request the Lagos State Government to conduct an inquest into the cause and circumstances of the unnatural death of the deceased pursuant to the provisions of the Lagos State Coroner’s Inquest Law.”

 

PUNCH

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