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Order EFCC To Release My 2,149 Jewelleries, Diezani Urges Court

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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 $40m, which were seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

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 properties 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 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.

The application, which was scheduled to be argued on Monday (today), was, however, stalled as Kalu was unable to come to court.

A lawyer from his chambers, Chukwuka Obidike, told the court that the SAN was engaged in election petitions, and prayed for an adjournment.

Order EFCC to release my $40m jewellery, Diezani prays courtJustice Nichola Oweibo adjourned the case till August 29.

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Tribunal Affirms Ihedioha’s Election As Imo Governor

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The Imo State Election Tribunal has affirmed the election of Emeka Ihedioha as governor of the state.

The chairman of the tribunal, Justice Umar Dogondaji, in his ruling on Saturday, dismissed the petition of Senator Hope Uzodinma because he did not discharge the burden of proof of the allegation that his results were excluded from the final results of the election.

He also dismissed the petition of the All Progressives Grand Alliance and its governorship candidate Senator Ifeanyi Arareume for lacking in merit as well as that of the candidate of the Action Alliance Party, Mr. Uche Nwosu, for incompetence.

The witnesses were discredited under cross-examination.

They all confirmed that there was no signature of the presiding officers on the documents they tendered as the results of the election in the various units in the state.

The judgment was delivered at the FCT High Court in Jabi, Abuja after a briefing in Owerri, the Imo State capital, where it had received and entertained several petitions.

The governorship candidates of the Action Alliance, All Progressives Congress, (APC) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), had filed petitions at the tribunal asking it to nullify the election of Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on the ground that he was unlawfully declared as the governor of the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

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Ten Wedding Guests Died In Ekiti Road Crash

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An accident involving wedding guest in Ekiti has occurred along Ado-Ikere road of the state which left many dead and several injured

At least 10 wedding guests have died in a motor accident on the Ikere-Ado Road in Ekiti State.

Several others also sustained injuries in the accident. 
The accident involved an 18 seater bus with registration number Ekiti LG 05 MUE.

Eyewitnesses confirmed that the victims were returning from a wedding reception when the tragedy occured.

One witness, Abiodun, told Dammylink that the driver lost control of the vehicle’s wheel. 

He said, “The vehicle was speeding and summasulted several times immediately the driver lost control of the wheel. 

“I counted at least 10 bodies on the road before the arrival of officials of Federal Road Safety Corps.

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Government Grants Amnesty To 13 Armed Bandits

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Niger State Government has granted amnesty to 13 suspected armed bandits that were arrested by security operatives along Kontonkoro axis in Magama Local Government Area of the state.

Gov. Abubakar Bello disclosed this while delivering a keynote address at the 2nd General Abdulsalami Abubakar Foundation Annual Peace Lecture on Saturday in Minna.

He said the bandits were released based on the dialogue and peace deal as well as agreement reached by the government and the bandits from the area in August.

The governor said the peace accord reached had led to a gradual reduction in activities of armed bandits
and kidnappings in the area.

“After hearing them on why they decided to engage themselves in such activities, we had to go into a peace agreement with them in the interest of peace and for them to help us with useful information to tackle spate of insecurity in the state,” he said.

The governor noted that they have been cooperating and helping security agencies with useful information on how to identify unrepentant bandits who were still terrorising the state.

He said the repentant suspects have been engaged into various trade and skill acquisition programmes, adding that the same approach would be applied with bandits in Pandogari, Allawa and Erena areas of the state, NAN reports.

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