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Defiant Sowore Speaks From DSS Detention, Assures Supporters Of Safety

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Human rights crusader and convener of RevolutionNow movement, Omoyele Sowore, has spoken for the first time since his arrest in a Lagos hotel by operatives of the Department of State Services on Saturday morning.

The activist, who urged Nigerians to pour out to the streets to protest against bad governance in the country, was picked up and detained so as to scuttle the planned March in 21 states of the federation.

But further angered by the arrest of their leader, members of the movement mobilised aggrieved individuals and took to the streets of major cities despite heavy security presence aimed at stopping them.

During a visit by members of the Take It Back Movement to the DSS facility he is being held, Sowore, who had refused to eat meals given to him all along by the secret police, thanked Nigerians and the international community for their support, assuring everyone that he was in good health and has so far been treated fairly in detention.

He said, “I would like to assure everyone that I am being treated well and in very good health.

“I am pleased that the peaceful #RevolutionNow protests went ahead. 

“However, knowledge of the sheer number of innocent Nigerians being arrested for exercising their civil rights bothers me. 

“I join others in demanding for the immediate and unconditional release of all those arrested by the police on Monday.”

Confirming that Sowore was in high spirits and happy that the planned protest went ahead despite his detention in DSS cell, Rachel Onamusi-Kpiasi, Director, Media and Communication of the movement, gave a detailed account of the meeting in a statement on Monday evening.

The statement said, “At 6pm today, 5th August, 2019, members of the Take it Back Movement were allowed to visit with our convener, Omoyele Sowore, for the first time since his armed abduction in the early hours last Saturday, August 3.

“We met him in high spirits, unmoved by the events of the last few days. 

“The officers allowed us to present him with food as Sowore had refused all meals since his capture. 

“We are also happy to confirm that Take it Back members will be allowed to bring him food daily as per his wishes.

“The freedom fighter was quick to ask about the movement and supporters as he is aware that there will be a lot of worry about his wellbeing.

“Indeed, the silver lining in today’s unrest lies in the knowledge that truly, you cannot stop an idea whose time has come.

“The Take it Back Movement will continue to agitate for his release as well as that of comrades whose voices this oppressive regime has tried to silence.

“This visit was a small win; but we will not rest until we are free and free indeed.”

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Malabu Oil Deal Fraud: Adoke Hit With Fresh 42-Count Charge

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The Federal Government, on Monday, filed fresh charges against former Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke.

He is being charged with 42-count of alleged fraud in the $1.1 billion Malabu oil deal, alongside Rasky Gbinigie, A. Abubakar, Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, Shell Ultra Deep Limited and Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Limited.

According to the suit which was signed by Bala Sanga on behalf of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu, one of the accused persons, Rasky Gbinigie conspired with Munamuna Seidougha (at large), Amaran Joseph (at large) and Dauzia Loya Etete (at large), sometime in 2013, in Abuja, dishonestly used as genuine the forged form CAC 7 and Board Resolution of Malabu Oil and Gas Limited and the letter of resignation of one Mohammed Sani to open a Bank Account No. 2018288005 with First Bank of Nigeria Plc to receive the sum of $401. 5 million.

The suit read further: “The accused persons committed an offence contrary to section 366 of the Penal Code and punishable under the same section of the Penal Code.

“That you, Mohammed Bello Adoke, being a public servant at the material time, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice of the Government of Nigeria, sometime in August 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court was in possession and custody of the sum of N300m reasonably suspected to have been unlawfully obtained and thereby committed an offence an offence under section 319A of the Penal Code and punishable under the same section of the Penal Code.

“That you, Mohammed Bello Adoke, being a public servant at the material time, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice of the Government of Nigeria, sometime in 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, accepted for yourself without consideration, the sum of N300m to broker the negotiation and signing of the Block 245 Resolution Agreement with Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited, Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited and thereby committed an offence under section 119 of the Penal Code and Punishable under the same section of the Penal Code.”

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Crime

Ex professor charged for allegedly blowing $200K grant on strippers, bars

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A former Philadelphia professor who allegedly blew grant money on strippers has now been charged with theft in connection to the nearly $200,000 used for adult entertainment and other personal expenses, prosecutors said.

Chikaodinaka Nwankpa — the one-time head of Drexel University’s electrical engineering department — was charged last week on felony counts of unlawful taking and theft by deception, according to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.

The 57-year-old former professor allegedly abused grant money from the Navy, the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation over a period of 10 years, prosecutors said.

He squandered around $96,000 in federal grant funds at adult entertainment venues and sports bars between 2010 and 2017, officials allege. He also blew threw another $89,000 on iTunes purchases and meals.

The university revealed the alleged fraud last October, claiming it had only discovered the spending spree during a 2017 audit.

Nwankpa allegedly admitted to the unauthorized expenses when confronted by school officials and resigned from the college. He also gave around $53,00 to the university, which paid $189,000 to resolve potential civil liability in the case.

He was arrested by university police last week and released on $25,000 bail. If convicted, he faces up to 14 years in prison.

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Kwara Matters

EFCC Forfieture: Saraki Urges Court To Vacate Order

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Former Senate President and two-term Kwara State Governor, Dr Bukola Saraki, has urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to dismiss a suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) praying for the permanent forfeiture of his Ilorin houses.

Saraki described the suit as an abuse of court processes and a move to scandalise him.

He argued that it was a ploy by the EFCC to review the July 6, 2018 decision of the Supreme Court “discharging the applicant from culpability arising from the same money and houses which are the subject matter of this action.”

The EFCC had, in the suit filed before Justice Rilwan Aikawa, claimed that the houses – Plots No. 10 and No. 11 Abdulkadir Road, GRA, Ilorin, Kwara State – were acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities allegedly perpetrated by Saraki, while he was Kwara State Governor between 2003 and 2011.

Justice Aikawa had on December 2, 2019 ordered the temporary forfeiture of the houses to the Federal Government.

The judge adjourned for Saraki to appear before him to give reasons the houses should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

In response, Saraki, through his lawyer, Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN), filed a preliminary objection, challenging the territorial jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit.

Ogunwumiju said that the new suit by the EFCC was an abuse of court processes because it was filed at a time when a suit on the same subject matter was still pending at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

According to him, in the Abuja suit, Justice Taiwo Taiwo had on May 14, 2019 made an order for parties to stay action on the subject matter pending the determination of an originating motion on notice.

“Despite the pendency of the above-captioned suit, service of the originating processes and the subsistence of the aforesaid order of this court, the respondent surreptitiously commenced Suit No. FHC/L/CS/1867/2019 between the EFCC v Dr Bukola Saraki on 14th October 2019 in this court where it seeks orders aimed at neutralising the order of the Abuja Division of this court,” he said.

The ex-Kwara governor said that the new EFCC’s suit was meant to “irritate, annoy and scandalise” him and urged Justice Aikawa to dismiss it.

The judge, on Tuesday, adjourned the matter till February 5 to take arguments on Saraki’s objection.

The EFCC, in the suit, told the court that it received “a damning intelligence report, showing monumental fraud perpetrated in the treasury of the Kwara State Government between 2003 and 2011,” when Saraki was the governor of the state.

An operative of the EFCC, Olamide Sadiq said, “Whilst investigation was ongoing several fraudulent transactions were discovered.

“I know for a fact and verily believe that our investigation has revealed the following mind-boggling findings, among others:

“That between 2003 and 2011, Dr Olubukola Abubakar Saraki was the Executive Governor of Kwara State.

“That whilst he held the aforementioned position, the common pattern was that after payment of monthly allocation by the Federal Government to the Kwara State Government, a cumulative sum of not less than N100m will be deposited into the Kwara Government House account.

“That upon the payment of the said N100m, same will, in turn, be withdrawn in cash by one Mr Afeez Yusuf from the Kwara State Government House, Ilorin’s account in bits and brought to the Government House.”

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