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Court Remands Ex-INEC Chairman, Maurice Iwu In EFCC Custody Over N1.2bn Fraud

Peter Okunoren

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The Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday, ordered for the remand of former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof. Maurice Iwu, in custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), till Friday, when his bail application would be heard and decided.

Iwu was docked before Justice Chuka Obiozor by EFCC on a four-count charge bordering on money laundering, yesterday.

Among the offense preferred against the ex-INEC boss was alleged aiding and concealment of a total sum of N1.203 billion, which was said to proceed of an unlawful act.

He was alleged to have between December 2015 and March 27, 2015, used his company, Bioresources Institute of Nigeria (BION) Limited, whose account with number 1018603119 domiciled in Untied Bank of Africa (UBA) Plc.

The EFCC also alleged that Iwu and a lawyer, Victor Chukwuani retained the sum of N407 million, said to be proceeds of an unlawful act, in Bioresources Institute of Nigeria (BION) Limited’s Account No. 1018603119 domiciled in the United Bank for Africa Plc,

The offenses according to the prosecution, are contrary to Sections 18(a),15(2) (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15 ( 3) of the same Act.

Upon the reading of the charge to the former INEC boss, he pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

Following his not guilty plea, the prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo asked the court for a trial date, while also urged the court to remand the defendant in prison custody, pending the hearing of his bail application.

Responding, Iwu’s lawyer, Ahmed Raji (SAN), informed the court that he has two applications, one challenging the court jurisdiction and another one for the bail application of the accused.

Raji, however, withdrew the application challenging court’s jurisdiction on the ground of his client’s freedom. And urged the court to hear the bail application.

Upon his withdrawal of application challenging court’s jurisdiction, Justice Obiozor, instantly struck it out.

Following the striking of the application challenging court’s jurisdiction, Raji (SAN) informed the court that bail application had been served on the prosecution but yet to be responded to.

He urged the court either to let his client be with the prosecution till tomorrow, Friday, or be released to him, as he undertook to personally produce him in court.

He informed the court that ever since his client had been admitted to administrative bail, he has never defaulted.

However, the prosecutor, Oyedepo, told the court that the appropriate place to remand a defendant after the plea was taken is a prison.

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BREAKING: Boko Haram Terrorists Execute Abducted Adamawa CAN Chairman

Peter Okunoren

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The Chairman of the Adamawa State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. Lawan Andimi, has been executed by Boko Haram.

The news of the execution was broken by a seasoned journalist with close contact with Boko Haram, Ahmad Salkida, on Tuesday.

Salkida tweeted on his Twitter page: “To break some news items can traumatize. I’m battling with one of such. Reverend Andimi, abducted by #BokoHaram was executed yesterday. Rev. Andimi was a church leader, a father to his children and the community he served. My condolences go to his family.”

Rev. Andimi was taken hostage by the Boko Haram terrorists on January 3, 2020, during an attack on a major town in Adamawa State, Michika.

He was thereafter on January 6, 2020, shown in a video by the Islamic terrorist group pleading for his release.

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Documentary On Oshiomhole’s ‘Dark Side’ Out January 30 —- Edo Ex-Speaker

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The immediate past speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Alhaji Kabiru Adjoto, says he is set to release a three-hour documentary, “exposing Mr. Adams Oshiomhole’s dark waters.”

But the Oshiomhole camp says the former Edo governor has done no wrong.

Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Monday, Adjoto said the documentary would be shown to the public on Jan. 30 in Abuja.

Adjoto, who described Oshiomhole as his long-time political confidant, said the documentary would expose Oshiomhole’s “dirty malfeasance in his days as governor of Edo State.

He said that the documentary was part of his planned nationwide campaign against Oshiomhole, who is currently the national chairman of the ruling APC.

Adjoto disclosed that the three-hour documentary highlighted some shady deals allegedly carried out by Oshiomhole in Edo’s Central Hospital contract and the N30 billion Benin Storm Water project.

The former speaker named other questionable projects executed during the Oshiomhole era as the airport road contract and some other transactions, handled by Oshiomhole at the tail end of his administration.

“The problem I have with Oshiomhole is not personal but a disagreement over the reversal of initially professed democratic principles.

“Every atom of principle he preached and benefited from is a sharp contrast to what he is championing today.”

Adjoto claimed that he had the backing of critical APC stakeholders, including seven governors, whom he said, had thrown their weight behind the ‘Oshiomhole must-go-campaign, which he said, would hit the streets soon.

Commenting on the forthcoming Edo APC governorship primaries, the APC chieftain reiterated that any team sent by Oshiomhole to conduct the primaries would be vehemently rejected.

He said that the rejection of Oshiomhole was because the APC national chairman had been suspended from the party and that he lacked constitutional powers to preside over any affair of the party.

“Oshiomhole should be ready for a Zamfara showdown in Edo State if he makes an attempt to spearhead the primary process because he is behind the crisis bedeviling the party in Edo State.’’

He said that Oshiomhole’s suspension from the party had been ratified in his ward, local government and the state’s executive committee of the party.

The former lawmaker noted that the incumbent, governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, must enjoy the right of first refusal during the primaries, otherwise the process would be enmeshed in catastrophe.

He disclosed further that he would be meeting with notable traditional rulers in Oshiomhole’s senatorial zone, including the Otaru of Auchi, to inform them of the looming consequences that would face the “suspended national chairman of the party if he failed to retrace his steps.

“Without mincing words, the next few weeks will be very interesting.

“After the release of the Oshiomhole documentary, Nigerians would judge if he’s qualified to lead a party, whose principal trademark is fighting corruption,” Adjoto added.

He advised the four APC governorship aspirants against falling into what he called “Oshiomhole’s crafty political web’’.

Adjoto said he would meet with the aspirants to make them see the reason to queue behind Obaseki for the common good of Edo people.

But reacting to allegations of fraud against Oshiomhole, a member of the Oshiomhole camp, Mr Henry Idahagbon, said that Obaseki and the current Secretary to the Edo Government, Mr Osarodion Ogie, should also be included in any fraud charge against Oshiomhole.

Idahagbon, who was Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice during Oshiomhole’s administration said that every project executed during Oshiomhole’s era was approved by Obaseki as the chairman of the administration’s economic team.

He said that the contracts cited by Adjoto were over 90 percent completed by Oshiomhole before he left office, dismissing accusations against the APC national chairman as unfounded.

Edo State is set for governorship elections in August this year.

(NAN)

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Supreme Court Affirms Tambuwal’s Victory

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The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the election of Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State as the validly elected governor of the state.

In a unanimous judgment, a seven-member panel of the court dismissed the appeal filed by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ahmed Aliyu, for lacking in merit.

In the lead judgment, Justice Uwani Abba Aji held that the appellant grossly failed to prove that Tambuwal’s election was fraught with irregularities.

The court held that the appellant simply dumped documents on the court

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