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Court Refuses To Order Diezani’s Arrest In UK, Demands AGF’s Extradition Evidence

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The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Wednesday, rejected the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s request to issue a warrant of arrest against a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, who is believed to be residing in the United Kingdom.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu rejected the EFCC’s request for an arrest warrant citing the commission’s failure to enforce the earlier criminal summons which the court issued on the former minister as far back as July 24, 2020.

The commission had in requesting the criminal summons in July claimed that it was required to facilitate the ex-minister’s extradition to Nigeria.

Faced with the failure of the ex-minister to honour the summons on Wednesday, the EFCC, through its lawyer, Mr Farouk Abdullah, urged Justice Ojukwu to issue a warrant of arrest against her

Ruling on the request by EFCC, Justice Ojukwu rejected it as she noted that the criminal summons which the court issued on Diezani in the ruling of July 24, 2019, ought to be sufficient for the commission to process her extradition to Nigeria to face her trial.

The judge who expressed willingness to give the extradition bid a chance to survive, however, demanded an affidavit with evidence from the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (the office with exclusive power to facilitate extradition), to prove that there was a need for the arrest warrant to have Diezani extradited.

She ruled, “It is my view that the summons should have assisted in the extradition of the defendant by the Office of the AGF.

“Today, the defendant is not in court and no reason was given.

“I am being informed that the defendant is believed to be in the United Kingdom.

“The learned counsel also informed the court that the extradition process has failed as a result of the absence of the warrant of arrest.

“But if that is the case, learned counsel shall file an affidavit to that effect supported by evidence from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation.
“I hereby give you time to put your house in order.”

The judge adjourned till December 3 for the report and possible arraignment of the defendant.

The EFCC had alleged that Diezani escaped from the country shortly after her tenure as the Minister of Petroleum Resources end and got wind of the plan to charge her with various offenses.

The commission on November 11, 2018, filed the 13 counts of money laundering to justify the bid to have her extradited to Nigeria.

Diezani was accused of among others in the charges that she unlawfully took into her possession, the sums of $39.7m and N3.32bn when she reasonably ought to have known that the money formed part of the proceeds of unlawful activities.

She was said to have purchased choice landed assets with the money using different fronts as the owners.d Street, Yaba, Lagos, with N937m.

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JUST IN: Drama As DSS, Police ‘Operation Burst’ Attempt To Arrest Sunday Igboho [VIDEO]

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There was pandemonium along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Friday when a joint team of policemen and the Department of State Services attempted to arrest Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo, better known as Sunday Igboho.

According to a viral video, Igboho, who is topless, is seen with his men daring the security operatives to “do their worst” before they drove off.

According to a statement signed by a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, Igboho was on his way to meet with 93-year-old Afenifere Chieftain, Ayo Adebanjo, when the incident occurred.

The statement read in part, “I just spoke to my brother Sunday Igboho. He told me there was a violent attempt to arrest him this afternoon by a joint team of soldiers, DSS operatives, and policemen numbering about 40 on the Ibadan/Lagos Expressway whilst he was on his way to see Baba Ayo Adebanjo in Lagos.

“I condemn this attempt to ambush and abduct him. It is not only reckless but also very dangerous. If the security agencies want to see him all they need to do is to invite him to their office. I am not aware of any crime that he has committed and I urge restraint on all sides.

“Let me also send a warning to the Federal Government that Sunday Igboho is a hero to millions of Yoruba and either killing him or detaining him unlawfully would be the biggest mistake they could make. Building bridges, dialogue, and the pursuit of peace is better than intimidation, threats, violence, and war. A word is enough for the wise.”

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#EndSARS: Lawyer Who Filed Complaint Against Sam Adeyemi, Adeyanju, Falz, 47 Others Alleged To Be Fake

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A lawyer, Kenechukwu Okeke, who filed a criminal complaint before an Abuja Magistrates’ Court over the actions of 50 artists, celebrities and pastor during the October 2020 #EndSARS struggle has been alleged to be fake, going by his conduct in court.

Our correspondent learnt that the Director-General of the Nigerian Law School and the Nigerian Bar Association had been contacted to authenticate Okeke’s legal status.

Activist, Deji Adeyanju, on behalf of the 50 persons in Okeke’s suit, had filed a case at the High Court and when the case was called for hearing today, it was stalled as the court held that Okeke should be ascertained with evidence if he was a lawyer.

At the hearing of the matter on Thursday, the case was called up and there were introductions by the applicant lead counsel, Samuel Ihenseksien and Okeke, who appeared as the first defendant, and as a counsel to himself.

The NBA Bwari Chairman, Bwari branch, Chukwuemeka Clement, also appeared in this case as amicus curiae (a friend of the court).

It was learnt that the NBA chairman and applicant’s counsel then applied for the court to inquire about the status of Okeke as a lawyer, after which all hell allegedly broke loose.

“He was visibly shaken as he was caught unawares. His right leg was moving uncontrollably as the judge ordered for further findings and for the NBA to formally join the matter and submit their enquiry to court,” a source said.

The case was adjourned to March 8, 2021, at which point Kenechukwu took off and wouldn’t grant an interview as he had promised.

The lawyer representing Deji Adeyanju and the 49 others, Samuel Ihenseksein, explained how Okeke was believed to be fake and why a verification letter was written to the law school and the NBA to confirm his status as a lawyer.

The defence counsel said, “The matter was adjourned to today for continuation of hearing and I was present in court and the NBA Chairman also put in an appearance because something of note came up. In a nutshell, we have had reasons before now to actually suspect that Okeke in different sessions and at different sessions held himself to be a lawyer.

“He has actually challenged so many celebrities and of note, he challenged Peter Okoye and so, we have had reasons to look at this critically. We know that there is a particular behaviour and his recent character which made us to verify if he was truly a lawyer.

“The court actually took it in good faith and ordered an inquiry. He was actually shaking and moving about and we now have a strong suspicion that he was not a lawyer. To confirm our fears, we have actually written to the Chief Registrar of the court. The one I have is the letter to the DG, Law School, to verify his status.”

Credit: Saharaporters

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Only 54 Students ‘Not’ Taken Away By Gunmen; Security Operatives, Vigilantes In Pursuit of Abductors —Zamfara Govt

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The Zamfara State Government has confirmed the abduction of female students of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in the Talata-Mafara Local Government Area of the state.

The confirmation was made by the Commissioner of Security and Home Affairs, Alhaji Abubakar Dauran in a brief interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Gusau on Friday.

The abductors in their hundreds invaded the town and took away the students at about 2 am.

“I can confirm to you now that we have sadly received the report on the abduction of the students of GGSS Jangebe and right now, I am on my way to the school.

“At this moment, l cannot say how many students were taken away by the gunmen until l get there, but we have already mobilized security men and members of the vigilantè who are now in pursuit of the abductors,” the commissioner stated.

A staff of the school who spoke to NAN on condition of anonymity said, “The gunmen in their hundreds invaded the town around 2 am on Friday, shot sporadically in the air to scare the residents before coming into the school.

“After taking away most of the students, we rounded up those that escaped or hid from the bandits and conducted a census where we counted 54 students and we are still searching to see if we can get more.”

Also, a resident who gave his name as Haliru Jangebe said the local vigilantes had tried to repel the invaders but were overpowered.

“The bandits were too many and they all seemed to be carrying heavy arms as we heard gunshots from all parts of the town and when the shots stopped, we heard that the students had been taken away.”

(NAN)

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