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Court Orders IGP, Others To Arrest Two Italians Over Alleged $119m Fraud

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The Inspector-General of Police and other security services have been instructed to arrest two Italian citizens, Giandomenico Zingali and Davide Anelli, for refusing to appear in court to face criminal accusations in a $119 million USD Power Plant fraud.

The order was issued by Justice Okogbule Gbasam, who invoked Section 120 of the Rivers State Administration of Criminal Justice (ACJA) to order the arrest and directed the IGP, CP, and other security agents to produce the Italians in court to face trial in connection with the Rivers State government’s 16-count criminal charge against them.

On Friday in Abuja, a certified true copy of the Rivers State High Court ruling was received through Rivers State’s counsel, Chief Godwin Obla (SAN), who brought the motion for the issuing of the bench warrant.

Giandomenico Zingali and Davide Anelli are among the seven defendants scheduled for arraignment before Justice Gbasam in connection with the $119 million power plant scam.

The first to seventh defendants are Saipem SPA, an Italian company, Saipem Contracting Nigeria Ltd, Walter Peviani, Kelechi Sinteh Chinakwe, Giandomenico Zingali, Vitto Testaguzza, and Davide Anelli.

Saipem SPA, Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited, its Managing Director, Walter Peviani and 4 others are accused of conspiracy, fraud, obtaining credit of N7 billion naira by false pretences and cheating.

Details of the charges are: conspiracy contrary to Section 518 (6) and (7) and punishable under Section 518; obtaining credit of $130 million USD by false pretences or other fraud contrary to Section 419A and punishable under Section 419 (A) (1) (b)

The offences are also said to be contrary to sections 518 (6) and (7), 419 (A) (1) (b), section 421 of the Criminal Code Law of Rivers State, Cap 37 Vol. 2 Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria 1999.

Saipem and its top management staff are to be prosecuted based on fiat issued to Chief Godwin Obla (SAN), George Adeyemi, Esq and John Eche Okpe, Esq both of OBLA & Co, Abuja by Rivers State government.

Their arraignment on the 16 count charge marked PHC/3106/CR/2021 has been put off several times by Justice Gbasam due to the failure of some of the defendants to be in court.

The enrolled copy of the order reads in part “Upon this matter coming up for plea today before His lordship, Hon. Justice Dr O. Gbasam, sitting at High Court Port Harcourt; and after hearing the oral application for the activation of the application for the issuance of a bench warrant on the 5th and 7th defendants made by Chief Godwin Obla, SAN, with D.G. Adeyerni, Esq., appearing for the State, on the last adjourned date 14/12/2021 which this court kept In abeyance till today.

“And after hearing the oral response of the opposing counsel, H. Odeiln Ajumogobia, SAN, with Patrick Osu, Esq., Akinola Akinyoju, Esq., and Shekina Wokoma of counsel for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 6th defendants, and. A, Akinwole, Esq., with O. Nwogu, Esq., and R.C. Kanu, Esq., for the 4th defendant

“It is hereby ordered that as follows: That order of bench warrant be and is hereby issued by virtue of Section120 of the Rivers State Administration of Criminal Justice Law, 2015 directing the Inspector General of Police, the Commissioner of Police and other security agencies to arrest the 5th and 7th defendants – Giandomenico Zingali and Davide Anelli wherever they are and can be found and produce them before this honourable court to face their trial as per the 16-count charge contained in the amended information dated 19/11/2021.

“The charges are summarised as follows: Conspiracy contrary to Section 518(6) & (7) and punishable under Section 518 of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol. 2, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999;

“Obtaining credit by false pretences or other fraud contrary to Section 419(A) and punishable under Section 419 (A) (1)(8) of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol. 2, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999;

“Attempt to cheat contrary to Section 508 and punishable under Section 509 of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol. 2, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999; Conspiracy to receive credit by false pretence contrary to S. 518(6) and punishable under S. 518 of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol. 2, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999;

“Cheating contrary to Section 421 and punishable under Section 421 of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol. 2, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999;

“False statements by officials Company contrary to Section 436(B) and punishable under Section 436(B) of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol 2, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999;

“It is further ordered that the Inspector General of Police, the Commissioner of Police and other security agencies are hereby vested with the legal authority to enter any premises where the 5th and 7th defendants – Giandomenico Zingali and Davide Anelli – are and can be found for the purpose of executing this bench warrant,” it stated.

Meanwhile, Justice Gbasam has adjourned the matter till February 2, 3, and 4, 2022.

BIG STORY

JUST IN: Amaechi Resigns As Minister Of Transportation

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Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, a presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, on Monday, officially resigned his position in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari as the Minister of Transportation.

In a press statement issued by the Amaechi Presidential Media Committee (APMC) signed by Kingsley Wali, in Abuja, Amaechi in his resignation letter expressed profound gratitude to the President for considering him fit to serve in his administration.

He equally thanked Buhari for the enormous support given him, which he said, was responsible for the tremendous record of achievements he made in the Ministry of Transportation over the last seven years.

The statement quoted Amaechi as saying in his resignation letter: “It is with mixed feelings that I tender my resignation as the Minister of Transportation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to contest for the Presidential ticket of our great party, the All Progressives Congress.

“Your Excellency, it has been a great honor and privilege serving as a member of your cabinet following your historic victory at the polls in 2015. Under your administration, the Ministry of Transportation has recorded significant achievements, made possible by your visionary support and commitment to ensuring that we deliver on our mandate.

“As I embark on the next phase of our mission to work towards a better Nigeria for ALL NIGERIANS, I humbly seek Your Excellency’s prayers, and blessings, and look towards your continuous support and guidance.

“Your Excellency, whilst humbly seeking your kind consideration of my request please accept the assurances of my highest esteem.”

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BREAKING: EFCC Arrests Accountant-General Of The Federation, Ahmed Idris, Over Diversion Of N80bn

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Nigeria’s Accountant-General, Ahmed Idris, has been arrested over alleged money laundering and diversion of public funds.

Those familiar with the development said Mr. Idris was intercepted in Kano by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday evening and is being flown to Abuja, the nation’s capital, for interrogation.

Report has it that the EFCC has for some time been investigating a case of diversion of at least N80 billion in public funds which were allegedly laundered through some bogus contracts.

The companies used in laundering the funds have allegedly been linked to family members and associates of the accountant-general, investigators said.

Our sources further said after progress was made in the investigation, Mr. Idris was summoned repeatedly for interrogation but he failed to honor the invitations.

“We kept inviting him but he kept dodging us,” one of our sources said. “We were left with no choice but to keep him under watch and arrest him.”

The spokesperson for the EFCC could not be reached to comment on his story. One of his subordinates said he is traveling in the United Kingdom at this time.

However, a top EFCC official confirmed the development but asked not to be named because he had no permission to discuss the matter with the media.

President Muhammed Buhari appointed Mr. Idris’s accountant-general on June 25, 2015.

The position became vacant at the time after the former Accountant General, Jonah Otunla, left office on June 12, 2015.

President Buhari reappointed Mr. Idris for a second four-year term in June 2019, amid criticisms from labor groups who said the accountant-general should retire after turning 60.

Mr. Idris, a native of Kano State, North-west Nigeria, was born on November 25, 1960, and was until his appointment in 2015 the Director of Finance and Accounts, Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.

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BREAKING: Embattled Ex-EFCC Chair, Ibrahim Magu, Promoted To AIG

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The Police Service Commission has promoted Ibrahim Magu, suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to the rank of an Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), along with five others.

AIG Magu Ibrahim who is proceeding on retirement is the most senior in the CP cadre and missed the last two promotions after returning to the Police from the EFCC.

It was gathered that the decision to promote Magu follows the recommendation of the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba. The PSC had last July declined to promote Magu during the promotion of 24 CPs and other officers.

This is just as the PSC confirmed the promotion of Mr. John Ogbonnaya Amadi as a Deputy Inspector General of Police, to take over from late DIG Joseph Egbunike who represented South East in the Police Management team. Also promoted DIG is Zana Bala Senchi.

The other Commissioners of Police promoted to AIG are CP Abraham Egong Ayim; Okunlola Kola Kamaldeen; Andrew Amieengheme; Akeera Mohammed Younous; Celestine Amechi Elumelu; Ngozi Vivian Onadeko and Danladi Bitrus Lalas (Airwing).

A statement by Ikechukwu Ani, Head of Press and Public Relations said 23 Deputy Commissioners of Police were promoted to Commissioners of Police

The new 23 Commissioners of Police are; Taiwo Olusola Jesubiyi, former DC, Admin and Finance, Akwa Ibom State Command; Kolawole Olajide former DC, Force CID Annex, Alagbon, Lagos; Julius Alawari Okoro, former DC, Maritime, Lagos; Adelesi Ebunoluwa Oluwarotimi, former DC DFA, Kwara State Command; George Chijioke Chuku, former DC Ops Ebonyi State Command; Paul Alifa Omata, former DC Ops, Kwara State Command; and Effiong Dominic Edem, former DC Ops, Zone 2 Lagos. Others are Yusuf Adesina Akeem, presently at the National Defence College; Mary Gbemudu George, former DC, Anti Human Trafficking Abuja; Etim Aqua Efiom, former DC Ops FHQ, Abuja; Mohammed Yakubu, former DC SCID Anambra Command; Ganiyu Alhaji Salami, former DC ZCID Zone11 Osogbo; Magaji Kontagora Ahmed, former, DC Ops, Lagos State Command; and Kolo Yusufu, presently O/c IGP Special Tactical Squad & TIU.

Also promoted CPs are Bzigu Yakaba Kwazhi Dali, presently on secondment to ECOWAS Commission, Guinea, Bissau; Ahmed Ammani, presently at the National Defence College; Afolabi Babatola Adeniyi, former DC, Ops Yobe State Command; Njoku Henry Eronini, former DC, JTF, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State; Abiodun Oladimeji Asabi; Dankwara Adamu Mohammed, former DC, SPU FHQ, Abuja; Mohammed Usaini Gumel, former DC TIU FHQ, Abuja; Ogundele Ayodeji, former DC Central Intelligence, Force CID Annex, Lagos and Idris Nagoya, former 2i/c Force Animal branch.

The Commission also approved the promotion of 23 Deputy Commissioners to the next rank of Commissioners of Police; 31 Assistant Commissioners to Deputy Commissioners of Police.

Magu’s ordeal began in July 2020 when he was suspended from office as acting EFCC chairman by President Muhammadu Buhari, over Malami’s allegations against him and he consequently appeared before a presidential panel headed by retired Justice Ayo Salami set up to probe him for alleged graft and insubordination.

More to come…

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