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Court Admits Suspended Accountant General, Two Others to Bail in Alleged N109bn Fraud

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Justice Jadesola Adeyemi-Ajayi of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama, Abuja, yesterday granted bail to the former Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris and two others arraigned before her on an alleged N109 billion fraud.
The bail was granted in line with the same terms and conditions of the earlier administrative bail granted the defendants by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).

Idris alongside Mr. Godfrey Akindele, Mr. Mohammed Usman and Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited were last week arraigned before the court on a 14- count criminal charge bordering on alleged stealing and breach of trust and money laundering to the tune of over N109 billion.
However, following their plea of not guilty, the court had ordered their remand at the Kuje Correctional Center, Abuja pending the hearing and determination of their bail application and subsequent trial.

Ruling in the bail applications argued by Chief Chris Uche, Mr. Peter Abalaka and Mr. Mohammed Ndayako for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively, the court held that the offenses charged against the defendants were bailable and that the court was inclined to admit them to bail.
“In line with the due process and supremacy of the law, the defendants are still entitled to bail, irrespective of the enormity of the allegations against them”, the court held.

The judge further observed that the EFCC did not in any of its processes, stated that the defendants misbehaved while on administrative bail.
Conditions attached to the bail was that the defendants must remain within the FCT, Abuja, and must seek consent of the court before travelling out.
Defendants are also to depose to an affidavit of assurance to abide by all their bail conditions.

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The court held that the defendants must deposit their passports with the Court’s Registrar and also give assurance that they would not procure alternate passports during the pendency of the case.

Meanwhile, the judge ordered that the defendants should remain in custody at the Kuje Correctional Center until they are able to perfect their bail conditions.
Part of the 14-count charge against the defendants read: “That you, Ahmed Idris between February and December, 2021 at Abuja in the Abuja Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, being a public servant by virtue of your position as the Accountant General of the Federation accepted from Olusegun Akindele, a gratification in the aggregate sum of N15.1 billion which sum was converted to the United States Dollars by the said Olusegun Akindele and which sum did not form part of your lawful remuneration but as a motive for accelerating the payment of 13 per cent derivation to the nine oil-producing states in the Federation, through the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 155 of the Penal Code Act Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 and punishable under the same section.
“That you, Ahmed Idris while being the Accountant General of the Federation and Godfrey Olusegun Akindele while being the Technical Assistant to the Accountant General of the Federation between February and November, 2021, at Abuja in the Abuja Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, in such capacity, entrusted with certain property, to wit: N84.390 billion committed criminal breach of trust in respect of the said property, when you dishonestly received the said sum from the Federal Government of Nigeria through Godfrey Olusegun Akindele trading under the name and style of Olusegun Akindele & Co., and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 315 of the Penal Code Act Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990.”
Meanwhile, the EFCC earlier disclosed that a Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Finance, Aliyu Ahmed, whose name was originally included in count-11 of the charge, would appear as one of its witnesses in the matter.
Besides the Permanent Secretary’s testimony, the agency, said it was in possession of confessional statements that were made by both the former AGF and his co-defendants.

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It said the extra-judicial statements were made in the presence of lawyers representing the defendants, adding that some of the witnesses, among whom are contractors, admitted that huge sums of money were paid to them by the former AGF, for contracts they never executed.
President Muhammadu Buhari had appointed Idris as AGF on June 25, 2015.
He was subsequently re-appointed for a second four-year term in June 2019, amid criticisms from labour groups, who had argued that he ought to have been retired after clocking 60 years.

The ex-AGF was arrested on May 16 by the EFCC over allegation that he diverted and laundered over N80 billion from the public coffers.
The EFCC said its investigations revealed that the ex-AGF raked off the funds through bogus consultancies, non-existent contracts and other illegal activities, using proxies, family members and close associates.

It alleged that the funds were also laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja.
Idris was arrested in Kano, following his alleged refusal to honour invitations of the EFCC for questioning.

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Singer Brymo tackles Peter Okoye over the way he drags Seun Kuti and the Kuti’s family

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Popular Nigerian singer, Brymo in a recent post on social media tackle his colleague, Peter Okoye over the way he drags Seun Kuti as well as the Kuti’s family.

It all started Seun Kuti stated that it takes the effort of dedicated Nigerians to save Nigeria, not an opportunist like Peter Obi.

Reacting to this, Singer Peter Okoye who is Peter Obi die hard supporter slams Seun Kuti for calling Peter Obi an opportunist and by extension attacks Seun Kuti’s paternal figure.

Dragging Seun Kuti further, Peter Okoye disclosed that if not because of his father no one knows Seun Kuti as he couldn’t point out a song he sang successfully.

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Bragging about his achievement, Peter Okoye said that his late father was nobody, but now everyone knows the “Okoye” and by extension dares Seun Kuti to remove “kUTI” from his surname and see if anyone would recognize him.

He wrote, “My late Father was a nobody but today everyon knows the OKOYES! Dude try removing “KUTI” from you name make I know weda anybody sabi you! Remain in that your Local SHRINE while people like us and others continue excelling Globally! YOU CANT SHAME THE SHAMELESS!”

Reacting to the statement, singer Brymo who is a supporter of Tinubu advised Peter Okoye to delete the post as he accused him of being egoistic in nature by claiming he is self made.

Brymo wrote, “Bros .. you never delete ?..you go keep this post wey trifle your pops, just cause it reads like you are self-made and he inherited fame ?..that’s your point right ?.. this belittles yours.. this is quite self serving, I doubt you own your successes, you belong to your sponsors ?”

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Outrage as Ezendigbo of Ibadanland confers chieftaincy title on Olubadan

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There has been an uproar as a self-titled Ezendigbo of Ibadan land and Oyo state, Alex Anozie, conferred an Igbo chieftaincy title of Ezi ogo ukwu Ndigbo on the Olubadan of Ibadan land, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Senator Lekan Balogun.

Anozie, who conferred the award recently in Ibadan, explained that Ndigbo on January 29, 2023 made history by gathering together to launch their almanac besides using the opportunity to honour their beloved great in-law, His Imperial Majesty, Kabiyesi Olubadan, with an Igbo title, which means a very good and great in-law of Ndigbo.

He recalled that on December 4,2022 during their Igbo day celebration at Liberty stadium, Ibadan, Ndigbo conferred on their daughter, Her Imperial Majesty, Joyce Balogun with an Igbo Chieftaincy title of Ada Oma Ndigbo nala Ibadan and Oyo state.

Anozie observed that Kabiyesi Olubadan is married to one of their beautiful daughters of Igbo origin from Onitsha adding that the marriage is wonderfully blessed with beautiful children while the couple are living together peacefully all these years as husband and wife.

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“With the authority conferred on me by my people Ndigbo in Ibadan and Oyo state since the year 1997, I hereby confer this title on our dear Imperial majesty, Oba Lekan Balogun”, he declared, “Everything we can do to keep moving on with the peaceful and progressive manner Ndigbo and Ibadan people and indeed Yoruba have been living together in Nigeria, we shall continue to do and encourage.”

However, this didn’t not sit well with Yoruba scholars and elders as such title was seen as an insult on the throne of Olubadan and the Yoruba race in general. Many were of the opinion that the self acclaimed Igbo king, a guest in Ibadan, overstepped his boundary by giving a title to the Olubadan kingdom, his host.

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“Àyà gbàngbà nílé onílé, hábà . Àlejò conferring a title on the King on his own land! This shows how stupid we appear to have become! A mà wá r’ógo o. They are playing politics here but it is rude and we have to separate issues and disallow our revered Oba being disrespected. Ọba kii joyè n’ilẹ̀ tiwa. Nobody can confer Chieftaincy title on any of our Ọbas no matter how tiny his town his. This lady should be scolded and made to publicly denounce this nonsense and apologise to Kábíyèsí,” one wrote.

“Abomination. Even a prince don’t take chieftancy title from other king,” wrote another.

“One “Anozie confers chieftaincy title on Olubadan.” Meaning an Anozie (whoever he may be & wherever he may be from) conferred a chieftaincy title on the paramount ruler of Ibadan! Other than the audacity, it is even procedurally and ethically unheard of, for a paramount ruler (equivalent to a King) to now be subjected to the indignity of being regarded as a lesser Chief of whoever! Abomination buruku niyen now! That’s the height of indignity that can be visited on a King! Abi after King, wetin remain?! Conferring our Olubadan with another minor chieftaincy title is akin to subjugation. The “conferer” has essentially assumed authority over the “conferee”. It’s simple!

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“That someone would even think of doing it is one thing, that the person now actually has the gut and effrontery to actualise it is quite galling. Arinfin gba niyen! It is the worst of slight and an affront to the Stool.

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“How do you demote a paramount ruler (King) like Olubadan and now call him one of your chiefs?!

“There was and is nothing noble behind that intention! It was a deliberate act of mischief calculated to ridicule the symbol of the people of Ibadan. Plain and simple!

“Where else have you heard of such ridiculous conferment?! What is bad is bad please.

“If the Olubadan can’t run the culprit out of Ibadan, let him at least reject such brazen insult with extreme prejudice! Arrant Nonsense!” a lawyer submitted.

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“Èèmọ̀!” wrote one indignantly.

While response is being awaited from the Olubadan palace over the development, the Yoruba people are concerned about the implication of allowing such action to go unpunished.

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Standard Chartered executives visit Wema Bank (Photo)

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From left to right: MD/CEO, Wema Bank Plc, Moruf Oseni, Executive Director, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, Olukorede Adenowo and Deputy Managing Director, Wema Bank Plc, Wole Akinleye, during a courtesy visit, to discuss business opportunities between both financial institutions, at the Wema Bank Towers this week.

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