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Wike Drags Amaechi, Tonye Cole, Sahara Energy, Others To Court

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Nyesom Wike, the River State Governor, has filed nine-count charges of stealing, cheating, and conspiracy against former governor and immediate past Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.

In the suit marked PHC/1818/CR/2022, filed on June 7, the State also listed the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Tonye Cole, Dr. Chamberlain Peterside, Sir Augustine Wokocha, Sahara Energy Resources Limited, NG Power-HpS Limited and Cenpropsaroten Management Limited as Amaechi’s co-defendants.

The offenses allegedly committed by Amaechi and his co-defendants were spelled out in the charge sheet.

In the statement of offense, count one, the State said Amaechi and his co-defendants “sometime between 2011 and 2012 at Port Harcourt within the Port Harcourt Division of the High Court of Rivers State did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to steal the sum of $274,563,599.59USD”.

The document said the money was a proceed from the sale of 70 percent equity held by the Rivers State Government in the power generation asset at Omoku Gas Turbine, Eleme Gas Turbine, and Afam Gas Turbine Phase 1 to NG Powers-HPS Limited.

In count two, the State alleged that Amaechi and his co-defendants within the same period “stole the same amount of money being proceeds from the sale of 70 percent equity belonging to her in the power generation assets at Omoku, Trans-Amadi, Eleme and Afam Gas turbines.

The State in count three said Sahara Energy Resources Limited, NG-Powers-HPS Limited within the same period with intent to cheat agreed to purchase from Rivers Government 70 percent equity held by the state in the power generation assets in the four turbines in the sum of $302,960,000USD.

The State said the companies took possession, management, and control of said power generation assets upon payment of the initial sum of $274,563,599.59USD, but refused to pay the outstanding balance of $28,400,000USD due to the state.

In the next count, the State alleged that Amaechi and his co-defendants between 2011 and 2012 conspired by fraudulent means to affect the market price of the four power generation assets of Rivers.

She said the defendants offered the assets for sale exclusively to Sahara Energy Resources Limited, NG Power-HpS Limited (a subsidiary of Sahara Energy Resources Limited), and Tonye Cole (Director) instead of by means of open competitive bidding prescribed under section 52 (3) of Rivers State public procurement law number 4 of 2008.

The State further in count five alleged that Amaechi, Sahara Energy, Cenpropsaroten Hotel Management Limited, and Cole within the same period “did conspire by fraudulent means to affect the market price of Olympia Hotel Port Harcourt by offering the said Olympia Hotel Port Harcourt for concession exclusively to Sahara Energy Resources Limited and Cenpropsaroten Hotel Management Limited (a subsidiary of Sahara Energy) and Cole (Director) instead of by means of open competitive bidding prescribed under section 60 (1) of Rivers State Public Private Participation in Infrastructure Development Law, number 5 of 2009”.

Rivers also in count 6 accused Amaechi, Sahara Energy, Cenpropsaroten, and Cole conspired among themselves to commit a felony by stealing $ 1 million being concession fee the defending companies paid to the Rivers State Government for the concession of the Olympia Hotel for 40 years.

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The State, in count eight, alleged that Amaechi and Sahara Energy about December 1, 2014, conspired among themselves to commit a felony by stealing the sum of $53,095,602.05USD from Rivers Government USD account number 0064809429 with Access Bank, Bank Road Branch, Port Harcourt.

The offenses were said to be contrary to sections 421, 422, 516A, and 383 of the Criminal Code Law, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999.

The charge sheet was signed by C.F. Amadi, the Director of Public Prosecutions for the Attorney-General of Rivers State.

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Ekweremadu Narrates How David, “Kidney Donor” Refused To Return To Nigeria

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The former deputy senate president, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has explained that David Ukpo Nwamini, the would-be kidney donor of his daughter, Sonia refused to return to Nigeria after it was discovered that his kidney was not compatible with his daughter’s.

The Enugu-born federal lawmaker gave the details in a suit filed along with his wife, Beatrice, against the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) over the controversy surrounding the real age of Nwamini.

Ike Ekweremadu and his wife were recently arrested for allegedly bringing a minor to the UK to harvest his organ. They were subsequently remanded in custody till July 7.

However, Ekweremadu had written to the UK high commission to support the visa application of a “kidney donor” for his daughter Sonia.

Although the UK police said the donor was 15, he was listed as 21 years old on his international passport and the Bank Verification Number (BVN) portal.

In a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/984/2022 and filed on June 27 by Adegboyega Awomolo, counsel to the senator and his wife, before Inyang Ekwo, justice of a federal high court in Abuja, the Ekweremadus prayed the court for an order directing the NIMC to supply them with the certified true copy (CTC) of Ukpo’s biodata, The Cable reported.

They also sought an order directing the NIS comptroller-general to supply the applicants with Ukpo’s documents and application form presented for the issuance of his international passport.

The suit is also seeking an order directing Stanbic IBTC Bank and UBA to supply the applicants with the certified true copy of the “mandate card and account opening package of Ukpo’s bank accounts”.

Awomolo, who gave 20 grounds why the prayers should be granted, said Ukpo offered to donate one of his kidneys to the daughter of the applicants if his kidney was compatible.

He said Ukpo informed the applicants that he was 21 years old, after which Ekweremadu supported his visa application to the United Kingdom with a letter to the British high commission in Nigeria, explaining the purpose of the visit.

“After conducting various medical tests, the Royal Free Hospital in London decided that the said David Nwamini Ukpo was not a suitable donor because his kidney is not compatible with that of Sonia Ekweremadu,” he said.

According to Awomolo, Ukpo was then asked to return to Nigeria but rather than do so, he approached the authorities in the UK, claiming he was 15 years old.

“The applicants require documents from the respondents to assist in the fair criminal investigation and as facts in their defense to establish their innocence of the allegation in the charge and to prove that David Nwamini Ukpo is not a minor and indeed consented to the medical examination in the United Kingdom,” he said.

Ekwo fixed July 1 for a hearing of the matter.

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JUST IN: Court Dismisses Kanu’s Application For Revocation Of Bail

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The Abuja division of the Federal High Court has dismissed an application by Nnamdi Kanu, the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), seeking an order discharging the earlier order revoking his bail.

Justice Binta Nyako in her ruling on Tuesday ruled that Kanu has not provided sufficient reasons to warrant the court to set aside its order.

She accordingly dismissed the application for being an abuse of the court process.

In the dismissed application which was filed by his lead counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, Kanu also prayed for an order setting aside the order made on March 28, 2019, directing for his arrest and continuation of his trial in absentia.

Justice Nyako had, on March 28, 2019, revoked the bail Kanu, ordered his arrest, and directed that his trial should continue in his absence.

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CJN Resignation: Public Confidence In Judiciary System At All-Time Low – Olumide Akpata

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Olumide Akpata, president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has reacted to the resignation of Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad as CJN, saying public confidence in the judiciary is currently at “an all-time low”.

In the statement, Akpata thanked the retired CJN for his service to the nation and prayed for his quick recovery.

“In the course of previous publications and communications, I have consistently appreciated the outgone chief justice of Nigeria for the cordial working relationship between the bar and the bench under our respective administrations. I must do so again today as he bows out,” the statement read.

“It is however impossible, to consider his lordship’s retirement in isolation of the recent unprecedented developments at the supreme court where 14 justices of the court censured the outgone chief justice of Nigeria over his lordship’s handling of their welfare and related issues.

“Beyond this, there is near-universal agreement that public confidence in the judiciary and indeed the legal profession is at an all-time low.”

The NBA chairman added that “there is now more than ever the need for urgent reforms in the judiciary and to rebuild the almost dissipated confidence that Nigerians have in the judiciary and the wider legal profession in Nigeria”.

“These should form the immediate first tasks for honorable Mr. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, who is expected to now take over as the acting chief justice of Nigeria,” he said.

“The NBA welcomes the appointment of honorable Mr. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola and pledges its readiness to work together with his lordship and the judiciary in cleansing the Augean Stable and addressing the ills that have continued to plague not just the Judiciary but the entire legal profession.”

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