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Produce ‘two prominent and reliable persons’ as sureties – Kaduna court tells El-Zakzaky

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The Kaduna State Government has ordered leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky; and his wife, Zeenat, to produce “two prominent and reliable persons” as sureties, being one of the conditions the couple must fulfill before they would be allowed to leave the state for overseas treatment.

“One of the sureties must be a first class chief or emir of national repute and the other a prominent person within Kaduna State, who shall undertake to produce the defendants whenever they are needed,” the News Agency of Nigeria quoted the government as saying.

The Kaduna Government also said it respects the court’s ruling granting permission to the couple to travel to India for treatment.

Commissioner, Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, disclosed this in a statement in Kaduna on Wednesday, NAN said.

Quoting the statement, NAN wrote: “An appeal will be lodged on the matter, but a stay of execution will not be sought as the state government believes that a person may choose to travel abroad for any medical condition at his own cost.”

He said the government respects the right of anyone to seek treatment anywhere in the world, “even for malaria or common cold, so long as they are paying for it.

“But in the case of persons facing trial for serious offences, necessary safeguards are required to ensure that such persons do not become fugitives from justice or frustrate trial by claiming asylum or the status of political prisoner in the host country.”

According to him, in compliance with the court ruling, the state government has filed at the Kaduna High Court, terms for strict supervision of the medical leave granted El-Zakzaky.

Under the terms, the state government wants the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to confirm the appointments of the applicants with the Medanta Hospital, India.

It also asked the ministry to undertake all necessary diplomatic arrangements and protocols to ensure compliance with the conditions of the medical leave.

The statement also said each of the applicants should be made to make an undertaking to return to Nigeria to continue their trial as soon as they are discharged from the hospital.

The government also wants El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, to be responsible for the cost of their travel, treatment and living expenses while on their medical leave.

“Each of the defendants/applicants shall produce two prominent and reliable persons as sureties, one being a first class chief or emir of national repute and the other a prominent person within Kaduna State, who shall undertake to produce the defendants whenever they are needed.

“The sureties must also produce evidence of landed property within Kaduna State.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria shall obtain from the Government of India an irrevocable guarantee that it will not entertain any application by the defendants/applicants.

“Or any third party seeking asylum under any guise or conferring the status of political prisoners or any other status aside from being medical patients on the defendants/applicants and shall also restrain the defendants/applicants from any act inimical to the corporate existence of Nigeria.”

News Agency of Nigeria recalls that a Kaduna High Court, on Aug. 5, granted El-Zakzaky and his wife, leave to travel out of Nigeria for urgent medical treatment at Medanta Hospital, India

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Legal

Court refuses to release Sowore

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A Federal High Court in Lagos has declined to order the release of SaharaReporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore and other persons in connection with the August 5 Revolution Now protest.

Vacation judge, Justice Nicholas Oweibo, said he needed to first hear from the Federal Government, Department of State Services (DSS) and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP).
He ordered the DSS and IGP to appear before him on September 4 to show cause why Sowore and other protesters in detention should not be immediately released.

The judge also ordered Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Olukoya Ogungbeje, who filed the ex-parte application seeking the detainees’ release, to put the IGP and DSS on notice.

Ogungbeje, who said he participated in the #RevolutionNow protest but was not arrested, filed the application on behalf of himself and other participants.

He prayed the court to declare as “unconstitutional and illegal police clampdown of the protesters and the arrest of Sowore by the DSS.”

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EFCC

Diezani drags EFCC to court over jewelries

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A former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, has urged the court to order the return of her 2,149 pieces of jewellery and a customised gold iPhone, valued at $40million, which were seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Diezani, who is currently in the United Kingdom, accused the EFCC of entering her apartment illegally and taking the items without any court order.
She said the anti-graft agency violated her fundamental “right to own property and to appropriate them at her discretion,” under sections 43 and 44 of the Constitution.

She urged the court to reject the prayer by the EFCC to permanently forfeit the jewellery and the gold iPhone to the federal government.

These were contained in an application filed on her behalf by Prof. Awa Kalu (SAN), before the Federal High Court in Lagos.

The EFCC had, on July 5, 2019, secured an order of the court temporarily forfeiting the jewellery and the gold iPhone to the Federal Government.

The anti-graft agency told the court that it found and recovered the jewellery and the customised gold iPhone “on the premises of the respondent;” adding that it reasonably suspected that the former minister acquired them with “proceeds of unlawful activities.”

According to the schedule attached to the application, the jewellery, categorised into 33 sets, include “419 expensive bangles; 315 expensive rings; 304 expensive earrings; 267 expensive necklaces; 189 expensive wristwatches; 174 expensive necklaces and earrings; 78 expensive bracelets; 77 expensive brooches; and 74 expensive pendants.”

The EFCC asserted “the respondent’s known and provable lawful income is far less than the property sought to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

After granting the interim forfeiture order on July 5, the court adjourned till August 19 (yesterday) for Diezani or anyone interested in the jewellery and gold iPhone to appear before it to give reasons why the items should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

But in the application filed on her behalf by Kalu (SAN), Diezani contended that the court lacked jurisdiction to have granted the interim forfeiture order in the first place, as she had not been charged with any crime or served with any summons by the EFCC.

She stressed that the entry into her apartment by EFCC operatives was illegal as it was without a court order.

The lawyer added that the temporary forfeiture order was prejudicial to Diezani because she was denied fair hearing.

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Politics

BREAKING: EFCC raids Ambode’s residence

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Tuesday morning raided the residence of former Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, located at Oloja Estate, Papa, Epe, Lagos over alleged N9.92 billion fraud.

Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi-Ambode

tlt.ng checks revealed that the operatives of the anti-graft agency entered into Ambode’s residence at about 9:00 a.m. in connection with three accounts of the Lagos State Government the agency froze a fortnight ago.

The spokesman of the EFCC, Mr. Tony Orilade, confirmed that the anti-graft operatives were in Ambode’s residence this morning as part of the on-going investigation into his administration.

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EFCC

HOS Oyo-Ita forced to retire over corruption allegations

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Embattled Head of Service of the Federation (HoS), Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, who is being investigated for alleged corrupt practices and might soon be put on trial, has sent in her notice of retirement, according to very authoritative presidential sources.


It was gathered that President Muhammadu Buhari was already set to approve her suspension to enable the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to file charges against her for alleged misconduct and corruption, having established a prima facie case against her.

She was last week interrogated by the EFCC over an alleged N3 billion traced to her account, which she could not convincingly explain how the money hit her bank account and the accounts of companies linked to her aides and cronies.

Some of the contractors identified were arrested and interrogated while others were still undergoing interrogation.
The agency had also swooped on some of the contractors handling some projects in different ministries and agencies, who had allegedly given her large sums of money as a bribe.
Following the discoveries, EFCC had frozen her bank accounts and the accounts of some of the contractors and cronies where the N3 billion was domiciled.

The agency was working towards applying for the interim forfeiture of the cash found in her account and the others since she could not offer a convincing explanation on the source of the funds.
Her investigation was called off when she took ill during interrogation. She has since been admitted to a private hospital in Abuja.
It was gathered that the anti-graft agency has already established a prima facie case against her and has concluded plans to file charges against her.

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