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Ochanya: Court Remands Mrs Ogbuja in Prison Custody

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The Federal High Court sitting in Makurdi, has remanded Mrs Felicia Ochiga-Ogbuja at the Federal Prisons, Makurdi, for negligence over the alleged rape and death of 13-year-old Ochanya Ogbanje.

The trial judge, Justice M. O. Olajuwon handed down the remand on Tuesday, April 9, 2019.

Felicia, Ochanya’s aunty, is wife and mother to Mr Andrew Ogbuja and Victor Ogbuja, respectively, who committed the heinous crime.

Recall that Ochanya died in October 2018 as a result of complications from the alleged sexual molestation she suffered in the hands of Mr Ogbuja and his son.

Mrs Ogbuja, 43, was arraigned by the Federal Government through the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, on a two-count charge in a suit which was marked FHC/MKD/CR/12/209.

Mrs Ogbuja until her arraignment was also a staff of the Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo. The charges against her are:

That, you, Felicia Ochiga-Ogbuja (Female) 43 years of Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo, Benue State, sometime between 2014 and 2018, in Ugbokolo, Benue State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did omit to take action against the sexual exploitation of one Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbanje (Female) 13 years by your husband, Andrew Ogbuja and your son, Victor Ogbuja, thereby committing an offence contrary to section 13 (4) (b) of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.

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“That you, Felicia Ochiga-Ogbuja (Female) 43 years of Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo, Benue State, did keep, detain or harbour one Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbanje (Female) 13 years, knowing that she is likely to be sexually exploited by your husband, Andrew Ogbuja and your son, Victor Ogbuja, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 15 (b) of the Trafficking in Persons Prohibition Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.”

Mrs Ogbuja pleaded not guilty to the charges after they were read to her.

Consequently, the prosecuting counsel, Mr Swanta Bossan, urged the court to remand her in prison pending the commencement of her trial.

However, counsel to the defendant, Mr David Ojile, prayed the court to admit his client to bail arguing that the offences for which she was being tried were bailable and further drew the attention of the court to his client’s bail application dated and filed on April 5, 2019.

Justice M. O. Olajuwon after listening to the submission of counsel remanded Mrs Ogbuja in Makurdi Medium prison pending when she would provide N2million bail bond.

“The defendant is admitted to bail in the sum of N2 million with sureties in like sum. The sureties must be civil servants not less than grade-level 12. They must own properties within the jurisdiction of this court. The sureties must submit letters of introduction from their Head of Department to the Court Registrar. They must submit the Certificates of Occupancy of their properties, which must be verified by the Court Registrar.

“The defendant will be remanded in the Federal Prison, Makurdi, pending when she fulfils her bail conditions,” Justice Olajuwon held and subsequently adjourned the case till May 10, 2019, for trial.

Our correspondent reports that while Mr and Mrs Ogbuja have been remanded at the Makurdi prison, their son, Victor is reportedly still at large.

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N1bn Debt: AMCON Takes Over Ex- Minister, Demola Seriki’s Assets

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The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) on Monday said it carried out the order of the Federal High Court, Lagos, to take over two choice properties belonging to Ademola Seriki.

Mr Seriki is a former Minister of State for Defence as well as a former Supervising Minister for Mines and Steel Development.

The dispute between Mr Seriki and AMCON had lingered for some time over debt valued at almost N1 billion before the matter was brought the court for settlement.

Mr Seriki’s non-performing loans obligation was sold to the AMCON by the defunct Oceanic and Skye Banks.

Several attempts by the corporation to explore a peaceful resolution of the outstanding obligation failed.

But the case was eventually brought before the court for settlement.

“When all efforts to amicably resolve the loan was frustrated by the former minister and a prominent member of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), the corporation was left with no other choice than to defer the matter to court.

“Having looked at the case over time, the court ordered AMCON to take over the assets of the APC chieftain,” AMCON said in a statement by its spokesperson, Jude Nwauzor.

After a review of the claims and counter-claims by the legal counsels representing all the parties, the court presided by Justice Chuka Austine Obiozor ordered AMCON to take over the two properties located in Lagos and Abuja.

Pursuant to the court order, the AMCON, through Oak Partners, who works for the corporation as one of its Asset Management Partners (AMPs) said on Monday it took custody of the two properties.

AMCON said it also received protective orders from the court to take possession of the properties.

The corporation said the two properties include those located at No. 1A & 1B, Jalupon Close, Surulere, Lagos, and the other at No. 4, Djibouti Crescent, a high-brow area of Wuse 2, Abuja.

Mr Nwauzor confirmed the taking over of the two properties pursuant to its mandate as directed by the Federal High Court.

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Society News

Police Find Corpse Of Ex-Senate President’s Brother, Killers Still On The Run

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The police has found the corpse of Hashimu Mantu, younger brother to former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu. 

Although the killers are yet to be found, the police said the body of the deceased was discovered in Chanso Village.

Mantu was kidnapped in his hometown three days ago, according to family members.

The Plateau State Police Command said the victim’s phone was found beside his corpse that has now been released to the family for burial. 

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Entertainment

AFRIFF 2019: Edem Dotse wins Best Student Short Film

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The Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) 2019 came to an end yesterday as Linger by Edem Dotse wins the Best Student Short Film category award.

At the beginning of the eight edition of the popular festival, TECNO Mobile — as part of its commitment to developing and encouraging mobile cinematography and storytelling in Nigeria — partnered with Kiki Mordi and Nora Awolowo to deliver a masterclass on the use of smartphone for film making & storytelling.

The grand finale was the Awards Night, a colorful ceremony that was attended by A-list movie personalities from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. The ceremony played host to a number of big names in Nollywood, including Rita Dominic, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Ini Edo, Uche Jombo, among others.

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Cross-section of dignitaries and celebrities at the AFRIFF 2019 Awards Night

Apart from the lecture series, TECNO also sponsored and presented the best Student Short Film category award, won by Edem Dotse’s Linger, at the glamorous AFRIFF Globe Awards.

Mr. Chidi-General Manager Transsion holdings Presenting the cheque to the winner of the Best Student Short Film Category in AFRIFF 2019

As the theme of this year’s award is Sheroes, the organizers and their partners are using this edition to celebrate the extraordinary women in the film industry, those stellar personalities who enable us to dream and celebrate storytelling, thus, impacting the society.

The Awards Night also included the recognition of The Ghost & The House of Truth as the Best Nigerian Film, with the Best Director won by Akin Omotoso for the same movie.  The Best Documentary award went to In Search by Beryl Magoko, while the Best Actress category award was won by Kate Henshaw, who acted Officer Stainless in The Ghost & House of Truth.

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On that high note, this year’s edition of AFRIFF 2019 came to an end, bringing to a conclusion an event full of fun, glitz and glamor.

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