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Illegal Coronation: Ojoto Community Sues Dennis Okafor, Suspended President General

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Angered by the recent attempt by some individuals to illegally and unconstitutionally install an Igwe-elect for Ojoto town, the Ojoto community in Idemili South Local Council of Anambra State has sued Dennis Adindu Okafor, as well as the suspended president General of Ojoto Akanasato Union, Engr Edwin I. C. Umeghalu, over the illegal declaration of a purported Igwe-elect.

The suit numbered HID/139/17 before the High court in Ogidi, taken out by Arthur Obi Okafor (SAN) & Co, one of the pool of law firms retained by Ojoto community to prosecute the matter, has as plaintiffs the Regent of Ojoto community, Chief Gerald Mbamalu, (suing on behalf of Ojoto Community), Chiefs Jude Orakposim Mbamalu, Patrick Igboanugo, Jude Ezeoba and Gab Akanuno, (suing on behalf of Enugo Village), which has the resident right to select a candidate for the vacant Igwe Ojoto stool.

It would be recalled that Dennis Adindu Okafor had challenged the process of selection of Igweship candidate in Ojoto in court in suit number HID/111/17 on April 27, 2017. However, while this suit was slated to come up on 12/6/17 at High court Ogidi, the said Dennis Okafor reportedly connived with suspended Engr Umeghalu and some jobbers to install himself as purported Igwe-elect on May 13, 2017. This act of bravado elicited condemnation from Anambra State Government, which promptly denounced the installation as of no effect.

In a letter addressed to suspended Engr Umeghalu by the Special Adviser to Governor Obiano on Chieftaincy and Town Union Matters, Barr Ikechukwu Onyeabo, the State Government reminded Engr. Umeghalu of the decision suspending processes aimed at selecting or presenting a traditional ruler/Igwe of Ojoto community. As stated in the letter, “It is in this wise that the attempt by a section of the community to embark on the process on April 29, 2017, was stopped. It is in the light of the foregoing that the State Government views with concern the news that some people in Ojoto led by you (Edwin Umeghalu) purported to have surreptitiously selected a traditional ruler/Igwe on Saturday May 13, 2017”.

“The State Government hereby states that peace in Ojoto community, as in other communities in the state, remains its top priority and will not tolerate any attempt to derail same. The purported selection of a traditional ruler/Igwe in Ojoto on May 13, 2017 is therefore denounced as being of no effect. You are therefore directed to comply with the State Government’s decision on this matter,” the letter reads.

The Ojoto community seeks the following prayers from the court in the fresh suit: “That the Enugo Village, being the quarter, which turn it is to select an Igwe of Ojoto Town is the only body that can present a selected Igweship candidate to its sectional unit, the Ojoto South Development Union for the screening. *Declaration that the 1st Defendant, having not been presented by Enugo village, the 3rd Defendant has no right to pronounce him the Igwe-elect of Ojoto Town.”

The suit is also seeking an order setting aside the purported installation of the 1st Defendant as the Igwe-elect of Ojoto by the 3rd Defendant,while suit No HID/111/2017, supra, is still pending. It’s also seeking for an order restraining 1st Defendant from parading himself or allowing himself to be presented, holding himself out as the Igwe-elect or using the paraphernalia of Igwe elect or Igwe Ojoto.

Through the suit, the community wants the court to restrain the Defendants, either by themselves, their agents, servants or cohorts from selecting, presenting or cause the 1st Defendant to be presented and/or in whatever manner present 1st Defendanbt as the Igwe elect or Igwe of Ojoto Town either to Idemili Local Council of Anambra State Government of Nigeria respectively. A hearing date is yet to be fixed for this suit.

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Between Gov. Hope Uzodimma And Imo Hoteliers…….

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Governor Hope Uzodimma has prevented the proposed strike by the Imo Hoteliers Association.

The strike was scheduled to commence on Tuesday but the Chairman of the association, Mr. Chima Chukwunyere announced in Owerri that the strike has been suspended.

Chukwunyere said that the proposed strike was suspended after due consultations with Gov. Uzodimma.

According to him, Uzodimma promised to personally intervene to solve all the outstanding issues raised by the association.

“The governor condemned the actions of sealing and looting of the hotels illegally and directed that no ministry should use consultants in revenue collection.

” He promised to convene a meeting of the executives of the Imo Internal Revenue Service and those of the Nigeria Hotel Association, Imo chapter, to harmonize the demand notice issued to the hoteliers.“

Chukwunyere said that the governor also advised members to pay taxes to enable the Imo government to function and serve the state better.

The association on Sept. 10 threatened to embark on strike over alleged multiple taxations, illegal sealing of hotels, and unprofessional conduct of revenue collectors.

 

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Despite his “expulsion”, ADC presidential candidate, Kachikwu, makes INEC list

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Mr Kachikwu was expelled from the party last Friday by the Ralph Nwosu-led NWC.

The embattled presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Dumebi Kachikwu, has been named among candidates validly nominated by political parties for the 2023 presidential election despite his “expulsion” from the party.

Mr Kachikwu was among the 18 presidential candidates approved by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday.

The Ralph Nwosu-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the party announced the expulsion of Mr Kachikwu from the party last Friday for alleged anti-party activities.

He was expelled along with seven other key party leaders following the recommendation of a seven-member disciplinary committee earlier set up by the ADC NWC. The NWC had earlier on 2 September placed the presidential candidate on suspension.

Mr Nwosu, in a statement issued late Friday, said the disciplinary committee found Mr Kachikwu guilty of allegations of gross misconduct, and gross violations of its constitution, among others.

But in its reaction the following day, the interim leadership of the ADC dismissed Mr Kachikwu’s purported expulsion.

The interim National Chairman of the Party, Patricia Akwashiki, in a statement, described the action of the erstwhile chairman, Mr Nwosu, as the antics of a sinking man clutching at straws.

The crisis rocking the ADC has its genesis in the call for the resignation of the national chairman by 27 state chairmen of the party, having spent 17 years in the office.

At the time of filing this report, we could not confirm if the party’s leadership had made formal or legal requests to the commission to remove the candidate from the list.

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Stella Obasanjo’s brother, John Abebe, arraigned for fraud

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Dr. John Abebe, the younger brother of a former First Lady, Stella Obasanjo, was on Monday arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday before the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja over allegations of fraud.

Abebe was arraigned alongside a former Head of Firstbank Plc, United Kingdom Correspondent Office, Kamoru Alade Oladimeji, before Justice Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe on six charges of conspiracy, stealing, and obtaining money under pretence.

Part of the counts against the defendants read: “That you, Dr. John Abebe and Kamoru Alade Oladimeji, on or about the 4th day of June 2013 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit; stealing the sum of N120 million worth of property of Arsenal Technologies Limited.”

“That you, Dr. John Abebe and Kamoru Alade Oladimeji, on or about the 4th day of June 2013, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit; obtaining by false pretence the sum of N120 million property of Arsenal Technologies Limited under the pretence that your property lying being and situate at 9, Magbon Close, Ikoyi-Lagos State, which you pledged as the security to the Arsenal Technologies Limited was unencumbered, which representation you knew to be false.”

“That you Dr. John Abebe and Inducon Nigeria Limited, on or about the 4th day of June 2013, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud and to gain for yourself the sum of $1,000,000.00 or its Naira equivalent from Arsenal Technologies Limited by false pretence to procure the execution of valuable security to wit; a deed of assignment between Inducon Nigeria Limited and Arsenal Technologies Limited, wherein you falsely claimed that the property lying being and situate at No. 9, Magbon Close, Ikoyi-Lagos was unencumbered and that you have full powers to assign and transfer the said property to the assignor; Arsenal Technologies Limited.

According to EFCC, the offences committed are contrary to Sections 280(1), (12), 8 (7), 285(1) and 278(1)(b) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Following their plea, the prosecutor, Sulaimon urged the court to fix a trial date and to remand the defendants in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services until the hearing and determination of the charge.

However, the defense counsel, Anthony Popo and Sam Etaifo urged the court to grant their clients bail in the most liberal terms.

While moving the bail application on behalf of Abebe, Popo told the judge that the matter before her is a commercial transaction between the first defendant and the nominal complainant, which he is ready to settle out of court.

He also claimed that Abebe had paid back the sums of $100,000 and N30 million to the complainant and had also deposited the title document of 26 acres of land and the documents of a property in London to show his seriousness to resolve the matter.

The lawyer further submitted that the defendant would not jump bail since he never violated the terms of the administrative bail granted to him by the EFCC.

The prosecutor did not oppose the application but urged the court to impose stringent terms that will ensure the defendant’s appearance in court for their trial.

In her ruling, Justice Abike-Fadipe granted the first defendant bail in the sum of N20 million with one surety in like sum.

She directed that the surety must be a resident of Lagos and must deposit the title document of a land property whose value must not be less than N20m

The judge also admitted the second defendant to bail in the sum of N10m with one surety in like sum, who must be a resident of the state.

Justice Abike-Fadipe further ordered that the defendant shall continue to enjoy the administrative bail earlier granted to them by the EFCC but if they failed after seven days to perfect the terms of the bail she granted them, they shall be arrested and remanded in prison.

She adjourned the case to December 6 for commencement of trial.

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