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Court to rule on Justice Ademola, Wife Olabowale’s no-case-submission April 5

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Justice Jude Okeke of the Federal Capital Territory High Court has fixed April 5, for ruling on the no-case-submission filed by the Federal High Court Judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola and two others.

Justice Ademola, his wife, Olabowale and Joe Agi (SAN), are standing trial over allegation of conspiracy, receipt of gratification and illegal possession of fire arms.

At the close of case by the prosecution on February 21, the defendants had filed a no-case-submission, stressing that there was no need to enter defense.

Thus, at the resumed hearing yesterday, counsel to the first defendant (Justice Ademola), Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), told the court that since the prosecution has failed to establish a primae facie evidence to warrant the first defendant to enter his defense, the court should uphold the no-case-submission and strike out the case accordingly.

Taking the charges for which his client is being tried one after the other, Ikpeazu maintained that there was no evidence to further sustain the case.

On the count of acceptance of gratification, the counsel argued that the evidence of Prosecution Witness 16 – Babatunde Adepoju, an operative of State Security Service (SSS), had adequately proved otherwise.

Ikpeazu noted that he was the witness that carried out investigation on the defendants, and he had told the court that he could not link the alleged gratification with any case handled by Justice Ademola.

In his argument, counsel to Mrs. Ademola, Chief Robert Clerk (SAN), noted that his client was charged with conspiracy, an offense that was not recognised under the Penal Code.

On the statement that she fraudulently enriched the first defendant, the counsel expressed surprise that the word ‘conspiracy’ could be attached to a man, who was alleged to have committed an offense.

He added that the prosecution should establish the case or cases for which the money was allegedly paid as inducement. According to him, no single witness had testified to have given the amount as bribe, neither did any of them point to any monetary transfer from the accounts of second or third defendants to that of the first defendant.

Counsel to the third defendant (Agi), Jeph Ejinkonye, urged the court to take another look at the account of prosecution witnesses to see if there was any need for his client to enter defense.

The PW 16, Adepoju, had admitted that it would be mere speculation to say that the gift given to the first defendant by President Muhammadu Buhari’s lawyer was a bribe.

Based on the above statement by PW 16, Ejinkonye urged the court to uphold the no-case-submission and strike out the case.But the prosecution counsel, Segun Jegede, opposed the no-case-submission, insisting that the defendants have enough case to answer.

He believed that the witnesses actually established enough primae facie that money was paid by the third defendant into the account of the second defendant in March 2015. The judge adjourned till April 5.

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Union Bank, WACOT Rice Kick Off Financial Inclusion Drive for Smallholder Farmers in Kebbi

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As part of Union Bank’s commitment to driving financial inclusion in Nigeria, the Bank has partnered with WACOT Rice Limited – a rice processing company, to financially include 6,000 local farmers including youth and women in Kebbi State.
The Kebbi Financial Inclusion Drive (KFID) which will cover four Local Government Areas – Argungu, Augie, Suru, and Dandi – is a critical part of WACOT’s Argungu Outgrower Expansion Project funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) West Africa Trade Hub. This program is set to resolve the overwhelming financial inclusion deficit within rural communities in Kebbi.
The financial inclusion initiative is being implemented with technical support from National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), to help the farmers acquire the relevant documentation and identification required to open bank accounts.
Union Bank will facilitate account opening and expand its agency banking network to cover the areas while supporting its agents on ground with digital banking solutions to enable seamless transacting and account management.
Farouk Gumel, Chairman WACOT and Board Chair, Union Bank was on ground in Kebbi State to kick-off the drive and paid a visit to the Kebbi state Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu to discuss expanding the programme state-wide.
In his recent keynote address at the recently concluded and  Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Conference, Mr. Gumel said:
 “As we work towards achieving financial inclusion to reach the unbanked, we must commit the same resources and investments to rural-local customers as we have done to urban-global clients to help create the growth that will lift us all to collective prosperity.”
WACOT Rice is a subsidiary of TGI Group. TGI Group, through another of its subsidiary Titan Trust Bank, recently acquired Union Bank in a landmark transaction which was announced in 2021.

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FIRSTBANK PARTNERS VERVE INTERNATIONAL, MAKES CUSTOMERS MILLIONAIRES IN THE FIRSTBANK VERVE CARD PROMO

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In partnership with FirstBank – Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider – Verve International, Africa’s leading payment technology and card business, has launched its third National Consumer promo designed to reward users of FirstBank verve card with exciting gifts and cash prizes to appreciate their patronage and use of the card to carry-out their electronic banking transactions.

The ongoing 2-month promo will end on 30 October 2022 as 20 customers (10 customers per month) with the highest transaction count during the promo will be made millionaires, winning the sum of N1 million each. Also, N20,000 will be won by 25 customers monthly.

On the other hand, 2620 FirstBank verve cardholders that double their transactions every week, stand a chance to enjoy 10% cashback capped at N2,000 per customer.

Speaking on the promo Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, FirstBank said “we appreciate our partnership with Verve Card through the years; a partnership of empowerment and opportunities which include growing the economy, supporting new businesses and preventing unemployment. FirstBank verve card holders are encouraged to keep using their cards as it is a card offering that promotes safe, convenient and rewarding digital banking experience with 20 customers standing a chance to be millionaires at the end of the promo.”

Verve card is a secure debit card that allows cardholders to conveniently meet their daily financial needs such as payment for goods and services, airtime recharge, bill payments, funds transfer, etc. Verve card is accepted across all ATMs, POS, Web and Mobile Platforms in Nigeria.

The promo is also opened to new verve cardholders as non-verve cardholders are encouraged to visit the nearest FirstBank branch today to pick up a Verve card and start getting rewarded!

Only recently, FirstBank – in partnership with Verve – rewarded over 2601 FirstBank verve cardholders with various prizes; including N20,000 cash prize, N10,000 cash prize, N10,000 worth of airtime; power generating sets, refrigerator, cooking gas, smart TV and the grand prize of a brand-new car to a lucky winner.

 

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Federal Government Orders University Vice-Chancellors To Reopen Schools, Begin Lectures Amid 7 Months Lecturers’ Strike

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The government issued the directive through the National Universities Commission (NUC), and a letter signed by its Director, Finance and Accounts, Sam Onazi, on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Abubakar Rasheed.

The Nigerian government has directed vice-chancellors to re-open universities and allow students to resume lectures immediately.

The government issued the directive through the National Universities Commission (NUC), and a letter signed by its Director, Finance and Accounts, Sam Onazi, on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Abubakar Rasheed.

 

The letter which The PUNCH obtained on Monday, was reportedly addressed to all vice-chancellors; Pro-Chancellors and chairmen of governing councils of federal universities.

 

“Ensure that ASUU members immediately resume/commence lectures; Restore the daily activities and routines of the various University campuses,” the letter partly reads.

We had reported that the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its ongoing nationwide strike.

 

It reported that the umbrella body of the lecturers in public universities had declared a warning strike on February 14, to force the Nigerian Government to implement agreements it earlier signed with the union.

 

The agreement stipulated how university education would be funded for better improvement.

 

The strike has since rolled over and is now in its seventh month following the government’s failure to implement all the agreements.

 

Several meetings between ASUU and the Federal Government have ended in a deadlock.

 

Consequently, the Federal Government went to court to challenge the strike.

 

The government through its counsel, James Igwe, prayed the court for an interlocutory injunction restraining ASUU from taking further steps as regards the strike, pending the determination of the substantive suit.

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