Court admits 3 exhibits in Ozigbu’s N10bn property fraud trial
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Monday admitted the finger signature impression of a witness Chief Karina Ikata in the ongoing trial of Chief Paul Ozigbu for alleged N10bn property fraud
Justice Donatus Okorowo admitted also a Power of attorney presented to the court by the witness and Ozigbu Engineering Board resolution 2021 in the continuous of the trial.
The judge however over ruled the prayer of the prosecution counsel to send the finger signature for forensic analysis in order to have an expert opinion comparing the finger signature with the signature on the power of attorney.
Justice Okorowo ruled that the court has power to compare finger signature impression with the signature in the power of attorney.
Lead in evidence by defence counsel C.Menjikiti the witness, Chief Akata had told the court that late Nze Ike Ozigbu whose property is in centre of the dispute between the defendant and his three other siblings, that his uncle the decease was his confidant.
He claimed that when the forgery case was reported at the police station ,he was not invited and did not make any statement in regards to the power of attorney late Ozigbu gave him.
He said that one of the properties listed in the power of attorney is number 16 Aba – Port Harcourt Express high way but under cross examination by the prosecution counsel Dr.Joseph Nwadike, the witness said it is an address of a company.
Under further cross examination the witness said that late Ozigbu gave him the power of attorney on the property and he signed it. That the late chief Ozigbu invited him to his house where he signed the document after studying it.
But counsel doubted the signature and the document and applied under section 101 sub sections (1) and (2)of the evidence Act for the witness’ finger signature to be sent for forensic analysis. The prayer was refused and the finger signature was admitted and marked as exhibit E.
Still under cross examination the witness Chief Akata said that he hailed from same village with late Chief Ozigbu who had four children as follows in seniority: Paul Ozigbu, Peter Ozigbu,Mrs Stella Oga and Uche Ozigbu.
The defendant, Paul Ozigbu also yesterday began his testimony as he claimed he did not forged Ozigbu Engineering Company documents nor the signature of Hon Dr Ifeyinwa.
He said that Ozigbu Engineering Company Board resolution 2021 that made his wife Mrs Ngozi Ozigbu and son directors of the company was not registered with the CAC.
The trial continues on Tuesday, May 16.2023.
G5 members lobby Tinubu for Post
President Bola Tinubu on Thursday met with a group of aggrieved politicians within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) known as the G5 or the Integrity Group who are lobbying for post in his government.
The group whose actions one way or the other helped to secure Tinubu election victory during the February 25, 3023 general election are desperate to secure appointments for those who lost out at the election.
In attendance at the meeting at the Aso Rock are one serving governor and four former governors within the party. They are Governor Seyi Makinde (Oyo) as well as former Govenors Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu).
The current governor of Enugu State, Peter Mbah was also present.
G5 Long Battle With Atiku, Ayu
The G5, who were all two-term governors before four of them handed over on May 29, 2023, formed an alliance after the party’s presidential primary in May 2022 to demand that the then PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu step down for a southern replacement as a precondition to support the presidential ambition of the party’s flag bearer, Atiku Abubakar in the February 25 poll. Both Atiku and Ayu called the then governors’ bluff and did not succumb to their demands in the just-concluded elections.
Interestingly, Ortom, Ikpeazu, and Ugwuanyi attempted to cross over to the Senate which has been described as a ‘retirement home’ for former governors but the trio lost their senatorial bid in the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections. Only Makinde won an election among G5 members.
For a number of times, Tinubu met with Wike and Makinde before the elections.
For the presidential election, Atiku lost in all the G5 states while Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi won Enugu and Abia, Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) raked in Oyo, Benue and Rivers.
Tinubu, 70, came out tops in 12 of Nigeria’s 36 states, and secured significant numbers in several other states to claim the highest number of votes — 8,794,726, almost two million votes more than his closest rival, Atiku.
Atiku, 76, who has now run for president six times, got 6,984,520 votes, while Obi, who, in less than a year, galvanised young voters in a manner some have described as unprecedented finished the race with 6,101,533.
Katsina Deputy Accountant General, Sani arraigned for N289m fraud
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arraigned the duo of Saadu Maiwada and Sani Lawal BK before Justice Musa Danladi of the Katsina State High Court on a five count charge of conspiracy and criminal breach of trust.
The defendants, in their capacity as then Sub Treasurer and Deputy Sub Treasurer in the office of Accountant General of Katsina State, allegedly conspired and converted the sum of N289,000,000 (Two Hundred and Eighty Nine Million Naira) from the coffers of Katsina State.
Investigation revealed that the defendants laundered the stolen funds through the account of Integrated Gas Services Limited, a company where the first defendant (Maiwada) is a Director.
The sum of N49, 000,000 was also allegedly transferred from the account of Integrated Gas Services Limited to the personal account of the second defendant (Lawal BK) who is now the Deputy Accountant General of the state.
One of the charges reads, “That you, Saadu Miawada and Sani Lawal BK sometime in 2017 at Katsina within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court while being entrusted with dominion over money belonging to Katsina State Government dishonestly converted to your own use the sum of N120,790,942.86
The sum was transferred from Katsina State Government Sub -Treasury Expenditure Account number 1012424374 domiciled in United Bank for Africa (UBA) PLC to Integrated Gas Services Company Limited’s Fidelity Bank account no 4010693761 (CO1717299)
That by the act he “committed an offence punishable under Section 297 of the Penal Code Law of Katsina State 2021”.
Both defendants pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.
In view of their pleas, counsel for the prosecution, Aisha Tahar Habib prayed the court for a trial date.
Counsel for the defendants, J B Israel made an oral bail application on behalf of his clients but the prosecution objected, demanding for a formal application as the court is a court of record.
Justice Danladi, however, admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N5, 000,000 (Five Million Naira) each. The court ordered that each defendant must provide a surety with a landed property within Katsina and present letters of introduction from a traditional ruler.
The matter has being adjourned to July 24, 2023 for trial.
Bandits release three abducted Women in Niger State
Three women who were abducted by bandits in Kafin Koro and other adjourning communities in Paikoro Local Government Area of Niger State have regained freedom. Recall that bandits stormed the communities in large numbers last month and abducted over 50 persons. It was gathered that some of the victims earlier regained freedom after paying various sums as ransom, while the remaining ones are still in captivity. A member of the community, Umar Farouq Akike, confirmed the release of the three women in a Facebook post on Tuesday, June 6, 2023.
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