A Court has revoked the bail granted ex-Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, for failure to appear for proceedings, News Agency of Nigeria reports.
Hearing in the trial of Kalu for an alleged fraud of N7.65bn was stalled last Monday due to the absence of the ex-governor from court.
Kalu’s lawyer, Prof. Awa Kalu (SAN), told Justice Mohammed Idris at the Federal High Court in Lagos that his client was away in Germany for a surgical operation.
He added that the ex-governor had been advised by his doctors to remain in Germany for some time to recuperate.
The defence counsel said counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), was aware of the development and urged Justice Idris to further adjourn the case.
But the EFCC prosecutor, Jacobs, said he was surprised at Kalu’s absence from court, adding that he did not know if or when the ex-governor obtained the court’s permission to travel out.
Jacobs noted that having submitted his passport to the court as part of his bail conditions, Kalu must always apply to the court for the passport whenever he wished to travel.
Describing the ex-governor’s absence from court as an attempt to frustrate the case, Jacobs urged Justice Idris to interpret Kalu’s absence to mean that he had jumped bail.
“I am not aware when the 1st defendant wanted to travel. We only got to know that the 1st defendant travelled abroad for medical treatment through his media aide, one Kunle Oyewunmi.
“Things must be done in accordance with the law. In my own view, what happened is that the 1st defendant has jumped bail. This is an attempt to further frustrate this trial because no application was made to the court to travel.
“I urge Your Lordship to treat the absence of the 1st defendant as that he has jumped bail,” Jacobs said.
Responding, however, the defence counsel urged Justice Idris to discountenance Jacob’s argument, saying as of when Kalu travelled out, the court had adjourned the case sine die (indefinitely).
Ruling on the lawyers’ submissions, Justice Idris noted that it was true that the matter was adjourned sine die on September 27, 2018 but Kalu was on November 2 served with a hearing notice that the case had been scheduled for Monday.
The judge also noted that the court received a mail confirming Kalu’s treatment arrangement, but he said the defence counsel failed to attach any medical report to guide the court as to Kalu’s post-surgery treatment.
Justice Idris said in the circumstance, he would, in the interest of justice, adjourn the case for the last time, stressing that Kalu must return from Germany within seven days and appear before the court.
The judge ruled, “I have always stated that every citizen of this country is entitled to and has the right to seek medical treatment abroad. This right is guaranteed by the constitution, the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is an inalienable right.
“However, this right has exceptions; therefore, in exercising this right due regard must be had for the law and due process.
“Apart from the mail confirming the treatment arrangement of the 1st defendant, the defence counsel should have obtained a medical report on the condition of the 1st defendant post-surgery. This would have properly guided the court in the proceedings of today.
“However, in the light of the entirety of this case and in the interest of justice, I am prepared to grant to the 1st defendant a final adjournment in respect of this matter.
“In the light of the provisions of the ACJA, I shall not adjourn for more than seven days from today. It is, therefore, hereby directed that the 1st defendant shall return to the country within seven days from today’s date for the hearing of this matter.”
The matter was adjourned till Monday, November 12, 2018 for continuation of trial; but as Kalu failed to appear, his bail was revoked. – NAN.
Bauchi govt to launch agricultural policy document
Bauchi State Government is set to launch an Agricultural Policy Document to ensure smooth agricultural production in the state.
The State Governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed disclosed this on Saturday at the official launching of the 2019 farming season and sales of Fertilizer held at Zaki Local Government Area of the state.
Governor Mohammed who announced the sales of the fertilizer at a cost of Five thousand, five hundred naira per bag, noted that funds has been released to Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources to provide six thousand metric tons of the fertilizer.
He said in order to meet the fertilizer demand of farmers, the Ministry of Agriculture and BASAC was been directed to ensure the availability of the commodities across the 20 local government areas.
The Governor said the sales of the fertilizer was part of the determination of his administration towards the provision of agricultural inputs to farmers in line with his campaign promises.
According to him, agricultural sector has remained a vibrant sector which has the potentials of providing raw materials to industries and empowerment opportunities to unemployed youth.
Governor Mohammed applauded the peaceful coexistence among farmers and herdsmen in the state and assured of his support to them.
In a key note address, the Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dr Bala Lukshi said significant improvement in agricultural productivity and efficiency would no doubt address unemployment and assist towards poverty reduction in the state.
The Permanent Secretary while disclosing some of the agricultural intervention programmes introduced by the Ministry, observed that agriculture remained the mainstay of economy and major employer of labor.
Dr Bala Lukshi therefore appealed for the immediate government action on the outbreaks of qualia birds, army worms and stem borer in the crop sector in order to address the challenges affecting the sector.
James Hope College student wins Cambridge scholarship
James Hope College (JHC) has reaffirmed its impressive stance on academic excellence with its recent award for the Cambridge Immerse Scholarship. Just a few months after the College published its outstanding IGCSE result, recording 100% score in 14 subjects (A* – C), one of JHC’s students, Akajiugo Amucheazi won the highly sought-after 2019 Cambridge Immerse Scholarship, following his qualification through the rigorous nomination round.
Akajiugo will be joining other award winners worldwide in Cambridge, from August 11 to August 24, 2019 for their intensive course. This Scholars Programme is an excellent accolade for any high-performing student interested in pursuing further studies at a leading university.
Immerse Education, the award provider of the Cambridge Immerse Scholarship, is an award-winning academic programme in the United Kingdom. Its unique academic enrichment programmes provide an unparalleled glimpse into university-level education. All programmes are designed by expert, experienced tutors, which include some of the brightest minds from some of the world’s leading universities. Visit here for more details.
James Hope College is one of the educational initiatives of the Jim Ovia Foundation, which offers its students world-class education at a subsidized rate. James Hope College is supported by an endowment fund and currently has 40% of its students on full scholarship. It is located in the serene environment of Agbor, Delta Stat
N3.4bn: Emir Sanusi lied, says Kano agency
The Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission has described the claim by the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, that he was not the accounting officer of the Kano Emirate Council as a misrepresentation of facts.
The agency debunked this in a preliminary report on the investigation being carried out in respect of the alleged misappropriation of over N3.4 billion by the Kano Emirate Council between 2014 and 2017.
The report was signed by the commission’s Chairman, Mr Muhuyi Magaji, a copy of which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano on Thursday.
The report dated June 11, 2019, was addressed to the Secretary to the State Government.
It read: “In furtherance to the Commission’s earlier communication No. PCAC/GEN/6/V.I, dated 31st May, 2019, on the above subject matter and the unfolding events, the Commission deemed it necessary to make some clarifications as follows:-
“It is imperative to state categorically that, the Commission’s investigation is on alleged misappropriation and questionable expenditures but not on the funds left behind by the Late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, and we still maintain our stance.
“In the cause of investigation we undertook an analysis of the main Account belonging to Kano Emirate Council domiciled at First Bank with Account No. 2005888452 starting from the era of the Late Emir to enable the Commission have an idea of how the money is being managed.”
According to the report, there were 783 withdrawals or transfers and placements from Jan. 2, 2013, to June 6, 2014, during the time of the late Emir.
“As from 2nd January 2013 to 13th April, 2017, the opening balance was N432,338,412.98. Total credit made in the account during this period was N6,784,146,335.73 while the total debit during the period under review is N7,209,035,163.09.”
However, it added that, “the closing balance as at April, 2017, was N7,449,585.62″.
It further revealed that on Feb. 13, 2014, and Feb. 26, 2014, payments were made to Philko Ltd, the company said to have undertaken the construction of Ado Bayero Royal City via Inter Bank transfers of the sum of N776,159,519.50.
“There were transfers of N388,079,759.75, N338,079,759.75 and N50,000,000.00 made on Feb. 13, 2014, and Feb. 26, 2014, respectively; making the total quoted figures for Philko Ltd.”
The report also alleged that during the period, fixed deposit placements were made to the tune of N581,884,729.54 (placement and rollovers) while net withdrawals on some engagements both cash and withdrawal stood at N1,056,533,728.31.
“In summary, the total withdrawal made from the Account under the Late Emir was N2,414,577,977.35, subtracting this amount from total debit on the account which is N7,209,035,163.09.
“It is evidently clear that the current Emir is responsible for the expenditures to the total sum of N4,794,457,185.74 from the Emirate Council Account domiciled in First Bank Plc,” it said.
Similarly, it alleged that all the expenditures made by the Emirate Council were either based on the approval or instructions of Emir Sanusi.
The commission attached copy of a payment voucher in respect of one of the withdrawals to buttress its claim, which read “Being payment to the above named in respect of making special prayers for peace as directed by H.H. Emir of Kano respectively“.
“Therefore, any claim that the Emir is not the accounting officer of the Kano Emirate Council is a deception and a misrepresentation of facts.
“Specifically, the reason of our recommendation for the suspension apart from obstruction of investigation which formed the basis, investigation further reveals that Rufa’i Buhari (Senior Accountant) usually made cash withdrawals directly from the account and changed it to Dollars on behalf of the Emir.
“Sometimes direct transfers from the account are made to a Bureau De Change belonging to one Jazuli Sani who was said to have died.
“The Commission still maintains the allegation on unappropriated, seemingly personal expenditures, making the total sum of questionable expenditures uncovered by this investigation to the tune of N3,432,090,797.94 only,” the report emphasised.
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