Connect with us

Society

Alleged $6 billion Fraud: AGF did not give EFCC fiat to prosecute me, says ex-minister Agunloye

Published

on

Former Power Minister Olu Agunloye on Thursday told the Apo Division of the FCT High Court that the attorney general of the federation did not give the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) the fiat to prosecute him.

EFCC is prosecuting Mr Agunloye, who served as a minister in the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on infractions regarding the Mambilla power plant.

The suit, marked FCT/HC/CR/617/22, is before Justice Jude Onwuegbuzie of the Mapo Division of the FCT High Court, Abuja.

The former minister was charged with a seven-count charge bordering on forgery, disobedience of presidential order and corruption.

He was alleged to have, among others, on May 22, 2003, awarded a contract titled “Construction of 3,960-megawatt Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Station on build, operate and transfer basis to Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited without any budgetary provision, approval and cash backing.”

The prosecution also alleged that it traced some suspicious payments from Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited to the former minister’s accounts. The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him.

At the resumed hearing of the case, he moved his motion seeking the leave of the court to allow some legal luminaries to participate in the hearing of his preliminary objection against the EFCC.

The former minister, through his counsel, Adeola Adedipe SAN, told the court that, contrary to constitutional provisions, the AGF did not give the EFCC the fiat to investigate and institute proceedings in the case against him.

Mr Adedipe cited section 174 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). He told the court that instead of getting such fiat from the AGF, EFCC got it from the solicitor-general of the federation.

He urged the court to take judicial notice under section 124 of the Evidence Act.

Mr Adedipe informed the court that the current AGF, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, was sworn in on August 21, 2023, while the prosecution filed the charge against Mr Agunloye on September 7, 2023.

“The AGF did not give the EFCC fiat for the investigation. It was the solicitor-general of the federation who gave the EFCC fiat when he did not have such power under section 174 of the constitution (as amended); it is the exclusive reserve of the AGF (to do so).

“Granting the application to allow amici curiae (friends of the court), including the AGF; the president, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Yakubu Maikyau SAN; a former Minister of Justice, Chief Kanu Agabi SAN and a former NBA president, Joseph Daudu SAN to participate in the hearing of the said preliminary objection would not prejudice the court or EFCC,” he said.

It was curious, he said, that the commission did not want its principal, the AGF, to give support to the court in the application of justice.

He added that the reason for this was very clear since the anti-graft agency did not get his (AGF) fiat.

He told the court that since assuming office, the AGF had been giving directives that all corruption-related cases against public officers should be investigated by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Mr Adedipe said this was in line with the decision of the Supreme Court in Nwobike vs FRN that delimits the power of EFCC to financial crimes alone.

Therefore, he urged the court to grant the application, saying that the prosecution was aware that the court had the power to grant it, which was why it did not want the court to grant it.

Responding, the prosecution counsel, Abba Mohammed, said the Supreme Court decided in FRN vs Osahor and others that the AGF’s power under section 174 of the constitution is not exclusive to him.

According to him, this implies that other authorities can initiate criminal proceedings in court. He added that in the instance case, the AGF did not complain that the EFCC usurped his power.

Mr Mohammed added that the Appeal Court had decided in Audu vs FRN that EFCC can prosecute offenders under the ICPC Act.

He urged the court to take judicial notice that the solicitor-general of the federation, who signed the fiat to prosecute the defendant, was the acting AGF as of August 8, 2023, as there was no substantive AGF then.

He said that at the last sitting in the case, the court did not raise any doubt that it could determine the defendant’s preliminary objection and, as such, did not express any need to invite any amici curiae.

The prosecution counsel urged the court to decline to grant the application as prayed by the defendant.

He submitted that the Supreme Court had clearly stated the situations under which the court can exercise its discretion in allowing amici curiae, which he said was only when the court was in doubt.

After listening to the parties’ submissions, Justice Jude Onwuegbuzie adjourned until April 15 to rule on the application.

(NAN)

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Society

WHY IS ODUNMBAKU BABA ETO’S NAME ON EVERY LIP? 

Published

on

By

 

By Sesan Lamuye – A Political Analyst

 

Cardinal James Omolaja Odunmbaku, the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) cleric and political engineer, is one of a kind who stands in a unique class of his own.

 

His types don’t happen too commonly. Infact, in our clime, he is a rarity, to have one person clothed in celestial and terrestial robes so fittingly.

Only few of his peers can honestly say they don’t envy his sartorial elegance whenever he appears in his ecumenical garments. And when he sheds that, to adorn the political regalia, he’s also a people’s delight.

 

Few of his type readily come to mind anywhere – in Africa or in any continent. I think of Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and, elegantly speaking, Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus who ruled from both the pulpit and the polity in his life time.

 

Odunmbaku, better known as “Baba Eto”, is a mortal, but given the extraordinary gift of the garb and demonstrable style that is uniquely his own, he’s fast assuming the status of an indispensable human specie.

 

His type acquire larger than life status that is bound to attract positivity and negativity.

Those who are enamoured of him present to the world a cult-like image of him. To them, he can do no wrong. One such person, before the satanic instinct in man, reared its ugly head in him, was so fanatical of the man, Eto, he registered some of his personal vehicles “Aremo”, for which he used to tell those who cared to know, that he was “heir-apparent” to Eto. Today, that person is singing new tunes, as if his new listeners cannot decipher sychophancy and crass opportunism in his new drumbeats.

 

Another was said to have appeared at a political interview panel where, when asked what credentials she had to seek a position, she matter-of-factly told the panelists “Eto”. And when repeatedly asked what qualifications did she have to think she was fit for the job, she retorted: ” Eto ! Eto !! Eto !!!

That secured the job for her !

 

Such a person is bound to attract envy, jealousy and disdain, dislike, or even hatred to himself. That is the fate of Baba Eto !

 

There must be something extra going for the “priestly-politico” that the talent-discoverer, otherwise known as Bola Ahmed Tinubu, identified him to drive his gubernatorial campaign in Lagos State; and has ever since held on to him so fanatically that he has solely led the campaign of other guber candidates like Babatunde Raji Fashola, Akunwunmi Ambode and Babajide Sanwoolu to roaring successes.

 

If beneficiaries of Baba Eto’s gifts turn round to paint scurrilous pictures of the man, such people can only be consigned to the dustbin in which immortal Chief Obafemi Awolowo put those he described as ingrates of his large-ness of heart. As the late sage declared: ” There’s no escape for those who deny benefits”

 

Let the person without any blemish come out and cast the first stone. If we put aside belly-aching, jealousy and such-like vices, you cannot encounter Odunmbaku, Baba Eto, on the pulpit or the political rostrum and not doff your hats for this quintessential orator, mobiliser and professor of political mobilisation.

 

If some see him negatively from the positive binoculars with which Tinubu and many more view Baba Eto, then such minority must be wearing blurry blinkers in their faces.

Continue Reading

Society

Just In: Bobrisky Sentenced To 6-Month Jail Term Without Option Of Fine Over Naira Abuse

Published

on

By

 

Instagram crossdresser, Idris Okuneye popularly know as Bobrisky has been sentenced to 6-month jail term by Justice A.O Awogboro of the Federal high court, Ikoyi.

 

It was earlier reported that Bobrisky was Arraigned and charged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for abuse of the Naira note.

 

 

 

More details to come …..

Continue Reading

Society

Oando Boss Wale Tinubu Showers Encomium on Dangote @67

Published

on

By

‘Celebrate true friends. They are a part of you that always sparkle’  – Amy Leigh Mercree

The English-born actress may have had the boss of Oando Group, Jubril Adewale Tinubu in mind when she made this quote.

Truly, the trained lawyer never forgets to celebrate and appreciate his good friends whenever it is necessary. In fact, he is one gentleman who values and understands the definition of true friendship.

This played out yesterday, Wednesday, April 10, 2024, when he showered praises on his friend of many years, Africa’s richest man  and Chairman of Aliko Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, when he clocked 67.

In celebration of Dangote, the oil and gas top player wrote:

“Happy Birthday to a visionary and accomplished entrepreneur whose impact continues to reverberate across Africa and beyond.

I hope your day has been filled with joy, laughter, and limitless blessings. May the world continue to recognise and applaud your remarkable achievements.

As you enter a new year, my prayer is that your commitment to building Africa never waivers but now and again you stop to appreciate the phenomenal difference you have made to the capacity of indigenous entrepreneurship on the global stage.

Wish you many more years in good health.

Dangote, a name that means so many things to many people. But what no one can deny is the fact that the name is essentially synonymous with success.

Since he made his mark in the nation’s business sector, many years ago, he has risen to become a glittering star in the business firmament.

Continue Reading

Trending