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Court Refuses to Unfreeze Patience Jonathan’s $15m Account

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  • Court Refuses to Unfreeze Patience Jonathan’s $15m Account

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday refused the request by former First Lady, Patience Jonathan, seeking to unfreeze her accounts with about $15.5 million.

Justice Mohammed Idris ordered parties to file pleadings since issues had been joined as to the ownership of the money.

The judge held that all the defendants formulated different issues from those formulated by the plaintiff (EFCC) in the originating summons, saying it was unacceptable.

“The issues formulated by all the defendants are baseless. They amount to no issue and will be ignored by the court.

“I hold that this court lacks the competence to determine the issues raised by the defendants in their written addresses, having abandoned the specific issues formulated by the plaintiff in the originating summons.

“It is unfortunate. I say this because the issues raised by the defendants appear on the face of it, are good and deserving to be considered on their merit.

“But as I understand it to be the law, sentiment has no basis in the adjudicatory system.”

Justice Idris said where processes were not properly prepared, any defect would render the proceeding fatal as the court cannot “re-formulate” the issues for determination.

He held that there was a contention as to issues and facts in relation to the ownership of the money.

“In respect of this issue, the contention appears divided and there is clearly an air of friction in the proceedings.”

According to him, all the counter-affidavits filed by the defendants contain disputed facts that cannot be decided without oral evidence.

“In the light of the above affidavit evidence, it cannot in my view be rightly contended that there are no disputed facts or substance as to the ownership of the said funds and the law.

“The issues of fact raised by the defendants herein are not spurious or irrelevant. The affidavit of the plaintiff is also not conjectural.

“In my view, the facts are contentious and oral evidence needs to be led by the parties herein. “In the light of the above facts, this case is generally not suitable for an originating summons procedure.

“In the circumstances, the court hereby orders that the parties herein file pleadings in accordance with the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rules 2009.

“Trial shall then proceed accordingly. This is the order of the court,” Justice Idris held.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Mrs. Jonathan had prayed the court to order the EFCC to unfreeze her Skye Bank accounts to enable her access the money.

She joined as respondents: EFCC, Skye Bank Plc, Mr. Jonathan’s former aide, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, Pluto Property and Investment Company Ltd., and Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Ltd.

Also joined are Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Ltd. and Avalon Global Property Development Ltd. as respondents.

On September 15, 2016, when they were arraigned, the companies, had through their representatives, pleaded guilty before Justice Babs Kuweumi, to laundering the money.

They were charged along with Dudafa, Amajuoyi Briggs and a banker, Adedamola Bolodeoku, for laundering the money.

Unlike the companies, Messrs. Dudafa, Briggs and Bolodeoku pleaded not guilty to the 17-count charge.

In a supporting affidavit to Mrs. Jonathan’s suit, deposed to by one Sammie Somiari, he said that Dudafa helped the former first lady to open the accounts.

He said Dudafa on March 22, 2010, brought two Skye Bank officers, Demola Bolodeoku and Dipo Oshodi, to meet Mrs. Jonathan.

The deponent had claimed that Mrs. Jonathan was the sole signatory to the accounts and that she had no relationship with the companies.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Oyo State Budgets N330M Monthly To Support Community Policing In LGAs

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Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State

Oyo State Governor, Seye Makinde has said that the state has set aside a monthly budget of N330 million to be spent on security across the 33 local governments in the state.

The governor who disclosed this in Ibadan said each local government in the state is expected to spend N10 million to support the security of lives and property in their domain.

He said part of the measures was the instruction to local government chairmen to involve traditional rulers as well as other voluntary residents in policing their areas.

Each local government is to spend N10 million monthly on this security arrangement.

Makinde explained that the initiative amounts to spending N330 million in the 33 local government areas, besides other efforts the state government had put in place to tighten security.

“We said each local government should set up a security committee, which should include traditional rulers and voluntary people willing to police their areas.

“I encouraged them to budget N10 million to service the committee every month. For the entire state, that’s N330 million per month by all local governments, excluding what we are doing generally at the state level,” the governor told a group on a visit to him during the recent Muslim festival.

“On security, most of the data in the past months shows that things are now improving. The Igangan incident, some days ago, was only falsified by some people who were saying that Fulani herdsmen had invaded Igangan again. The truth is actually about the NCS and smugglers. They know each other.

“Customs officials were accused to have entered Igangan, which is not a border town. But we are working with Federal authorities and they have arrested most of them.

“The gun that was collected is still with us. I said I won’t release it until I get the attention of the Federal authorities.

“In the Constitution of Nigeria, Oyo State is a federating unit. We are not saying Federal agencies should not carry out their operations here. But they must tell us; they must inform us. They may not disclose the details of the operation to us, but we must know about it.

“If we had known about the operation, we would have pre-informed the security detail in the town and those who died could have been alive. The Amotekun Coordinator that died in Igboora would have still been alive today.

“How can you go operating in an unidentified vehicle in a town where the security tactics have been heightened? As they wanted to enter the town, they were confronted because we have heightened security in all of those places.

“So, we will keep appealing to them and to our people that false information won’t help anybody. Nobody will profit politically from the security issues we are faced with. It is our collective responsibility. The people will play their part and the government will play its own part,” Makinde said.

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Security Operatives Arrest Sunday Igboho in Cotonou, Benin Republic

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The security operatives in Cotonou, Benin Republic have arrested Yoruba freedom fighter, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho.

An anonymous source privy to the arrest disclosed on Tuesday morning.

According to the source, Sunday Igboho was arrested in Cotonou while trying to travel to Germany from the West African nation.

President Buhari-led administration is now working with the Benin government to repatriate him to Nigeria.

The source said, “Sunday Igboho has been arrested in Cotonou. He was arrested about an hour ago.

“He was supposed to travel to Germany through Cotonou this night. He wanted to leave Africa through Cotonou. He was arrested by security operatives in Cotonou.

“They are planning to bring him back to Nigeria.”

It would be recalled that the Department of State Services had declared Igboho wanted after its operatives carried out a bloody midnight raid on his residence in the Soka area of Ibadan, Oyo State.

DSS Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunnaya, had advised Igboho to turn himself in to the nearest security.

“Those cheering and eulogizing him may appeal to or advice him to do the needful,” Afunnaya said. “He should surrender himself to the appropriate authorities. He or anyone can never be above the law.”

Pelumi Olajengbesi, one of the lawyers representing Igboho and others arrested in his House, told SaharaReporters he had not confirmed the news of Igboho’s arrest in Cotonou.

“I will contact Yomi Aliu (SAN) to verify the news,” he said.

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IOM Ethiopia Appeals for USD 40 Million to Assist Additional 1.6 Million People in Northern Ethiopia

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Northern Ethiopia - Investors King

Nearly two million people affected by the crisis in northern Ethiopia desperately need life-saving assistance, including water, medicine and shelter, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said today as it issued an urgent appeal for USD 40 million to help internally displaced men, women and children, including newborn babies. 

Since the outbreak of the conflict eight months ago in Ethiopia’s Tigray Regional State, millions of people are enduring unimaginable suffering, including forced displacement, hunger, death, and destruction of private and public property.

In Tigray, IOM has been providing support to more than half a million people, including displaced children, women, men, and vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and persons with disabilities. This includes shelter and provision of essential items such as food, water, clothing, medicine and supplies for babies, as well as sanitation and hygiene services.

IOM has also been supporting camp coordination and management efforts, providing mental health care to those in need, and producing Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) reports to shed light on the evolving situation.

Nearly USD 70 million (USD 69.3M) is needed to respond to the needs of internally displaced populations in northern Ethiopia but only USD 28.7 million has been received this year. IOM needs an extra USD 40.6 million for the remainder of 2021 to be able to continue and further expand its response to help the displaced.

“The nearly two million people displaced by this crisis continue to live in inhumane and undignified conditions and require critical and urgent support,” said Maureen Achieng, IOM Chief of Mission to Ethiopia and Representative to the African Union and UNECA. “IOM Director General António Vitorino said it before, and we say it again: we must act without delay to meet the needs of people in the region.”

The situation in Tigray remains volatile. In partnership and coordination with other UN agencies, IOM is committed to delivering life-saving humanitarian assistance, to continue reaching people in need. IOM is planning to significantly scale up response programming and increase the deployment of senior IOM staff in the region despite the severe shortage of funding.

IOM’s response is aligned with the Inter-Cluster Coordination Group’s (ICCG) – a cooperative effort among sectors and the Humanitarian Country Team to improve the national response – Northern Ethiopia Response Plan, which estimates that 5.2 million people are in dire need in the worst-case scenario of this escalating humanitarian crisis.

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