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Alleged N1.4bn Fraud: How NBA President, Paul Usoro Was Paid N700m – Witness

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Udom Idongesit, a prosecution witness in the case of an alleged N1.4 billion money laundering involving Paul Usoro, President, Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, on Wednesday, December 4, 2019, told Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos how a sum of N700 million was paid into Usoro’s account on the instruction of Linus Nkan, a former Accountant-General, Akwa Ibom State.

Usoro was first arraigned before Justice Muslim Hassan of the same court on December 18, 2018.He was later re-arraigned on Friday, March 1, 2019 before Justice Aikawa on a 10- count charge.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Paul Usoro, SAN, Emmanuel Udom (currently constitutionally immune against criminal prosecution), Uwemedimo Thomas Nwoko (still at large), Nsikan Linus Nkan, Commissioner of Finance, Akwa Ibom State (still at large), Mfon Jacobson Udomah, Accountant-General, Akwa Ibom State (still at large) and Margaret Thompson Ukpe (still at large) sometime in 2015 in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court, conspired amongst yourselves to commit an offence, to wit: conversion of the sum of N1. 410, 000, 000, 000.00 (One Billion, Four Hundred and Ten Million Naira), property of the Government of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful activity to wit: criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.”

At today’s sitting, Idongesit, a Relations Manager at the Aka Road branch of Zenith Bank in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, told the court that the bank, on March 10, 2016, was given a withdrawal instrument of N700m on the imprest account of the Akwa Ibom State payable to Usoro’s Zenith Bank account.

Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, the witness further said she made moves to get Usoro to open an account with the bank so that the money could be paid to him.

The witness also told the court that she opened an account for the defendant due to the fact he never had an account with the bank prior to that transaction.

She said she got Usoro’s contact from the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, on March 14, 2016 and later put a call through to him to inform him about the payment.

Giving further testimony, Idongesit said: “Mr. Paul Usoro instructed me to work with two of his colleagues.

“When I confirmed the exact names registered on the form, I sought the approval of my Zonal Head to open the account and also made the deposit while waiting for documentation.

“I filled the deposit slip; and the depositor’s name that I filled was Paul Usoro.”

Idongesit further told the court that a sum of N300 million was first credited to the account on March 14, 2016 in cash and that more funds were subsequently credited to the account to the tune of N400 million.

The transactions, according to her, were carried out on the instructions of the defendant.

Idongesit, in her evidence, also told the court that monies were transferred to individuals and companies from the defendant’s account on his instructions.

“On March 22, 2016, Mr. Paul Usoro instructed me to transfer the sum of N2.5 million to one Assam Ekanem; N7.5 million to Taiwo Oyetibo & Co; N7.5 million to Oyechi Ipeaza; N5 million to Uzuegbu Nelson Aju; N30 million to OEB Offiong and N7.5 million to DD Dodo & Co.

“A transfer of N3million was also made to one Reginald Nwobbi; N2 million to Sevanne Chambers and N20 million to Theophilus Oyesanya,” she also stated.

The witness said there were emails to show and reflect the instructions given to her by the defendant regarding all the transactions.

The emails, instruments of payment, account opening package, certification of identification and statements of account were tendered by the prosecution counsel, Oyedepo, and admitted in evidence by the court.

Justice Aikawa adjourned the case till January 13 and February 11 and 12, 2020 for continuation of trial.

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Police Deploy More Personnel To Seaports In Lagos Over Nigerian Students, NANS’ Protest

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Following the ASUU strike that has kept university students across the nation at home for over seven months, NANS declared “Occupy The Airport” nationwide protest.

The Nigeria Police Force has announced that it has deployed personnel to adequately secure seaports across the nation following a threat by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) to shut down commercial activities at the nation’s busiest seaports ¬¬¬¬¬¬- the Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports in protest over the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Following the ASUU strike that has kept university students across the nation at home for over seven months, NANS declared “Occupy The Airport” nationwide protest.
The aggrieved students who protested on Monday at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport also reportedly threatened to ground commercial activities at the Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports in Lagos State.
Disclosing the security beef up to Daily Trust, the Commissioner of Police in charge of Western Port Authority Command, Jonathan Towuru, said security was tightened around the Western Ports to avoid any breakdown of law and order although the student body did not show up as threatened.
The commissioner said, “People went about their businesses while operations at the terminals went on seamlessly, without any hindrance. But if the students eventually turn up, we will engage them in discussions. I must say that they conducted themselves well on Monday at the airport even though you still saw police monitoring the protest.”

 

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Evans The Billionaire Kidnapper Bags 21 Year Imprisonment

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Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Ikeja Special Offences Court on Monday sentenced kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, also known as Evans, and his co-defendant, Victor Aduba, to 21 years imprisonment for kidnapping one Sylvanus Hafia.

They were accused of conspiring and kidnapping Sylvanus Ahanonu Hafia at about 5:30 pm on June 23, 2014, at Kara Street, Amuwo Odofin in Lagos and were alleged to have captured and detained Hafia and demanded a ransom of $2m.

But they pleaded not guilty to the four charges.

The judge held that the sentence would serve as a deterrent to other aspiring kidnappers

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Poverty, Hunger in the Country, Okowa Blames APC

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…says Delta healthcare will curb medical tourism

Delta State Governor and Vice-Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ifeanyi Okowa, weekend, said that poor management of the nation’s economy by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) caused the rising hunger and poverty in the country.

He stated this at an empowerment programme for the people of Ika Federal Constituency at Boji-Boji Owa, Ika North Council by the member representing the constituency at the House of Representatives, Mr. Victor Nwokolo.

The governor, who commended Nwokolo for his gesture, described the event as “empowerment programme with a difference. He said Nigeria was troubled because people were hungry and out of job due to mismanagement of the nation’s economy.

He added that even students were having lots of challenges because their parents could not meet their needs owing to the level of poverty resulting from ineptitude of the APC-led Federal Government.

He, therefore, urged Nigerians to support the PDP, saying it was the only party with clear understanding of the nation’s challenges and had clear solution to rescue the nation.

Earlier, Nwokolo said his motive for the empowerment was to restore hope to the hopeless amid rising hunger and poverty in the land.

MEANWHILE, Okowa, also at the different forum, said the huge investment being made by his administration in the health sector was to improve healthcare delivery and reduce medical tourism in the country.

He disclosed this in an interview with journalists shortly after inspecting facilities at the Advanced Diagnostic Medical Centre and Mother and Child Hospital, Owa-Alero in Ika Council of the state.

He said the twin medical facilities would, on completion, reduce medical tourism as it would provide first-class medical services to people who would have sought medical treatment abroad.

“I am glad we have gotten to this stage. I had high hopes that by today, we would have inaugurated these projects.

“The equipment are fully on site and we are trying to get things fully sorted out and I am sure that in the next one month, it should be ready and opened to the public for use.

“The two projects are obviously very important. The Mother and Child, as it is so stated, is supposed to take care of every illness concerning our women and children,” he said.

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