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Rivers govt files criminal charges against ex-governor Amaechi, Tonye Cole, Sahara Energy, others



The River State government has filed nine-count charges of stealing, cheating, conspiracy against for governor and immediate past Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.

In the suit marked PHC/1818/CR/2022, filed on June 7, the State also listed the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Tonye Cole, Dr Chamberlain Peterside, Sir Augustine Wokocha, Sahara Energy Resources Limited, NG Power-HpS Limited and Cenpropsaroten Management Limited as Amaechi’s co-defendants.

The offences allegedly committed by Amaechi and his co-defendants were clearly spelt out in charge sheet.

In the statement of offence, count one, the State said Amaechi and his co-defendants “sometime between 2011 and 2012 at Port Harcourt within the Port Harcourt Division of the High Court of Rivers State did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to stealing the sum of $274,563,599.59USD”.

The document said the money was a proceed from the sale of 70 per cent equity held by the Rivers State Government in the power generation asset at Omoku Gas Turbine, Eleme Gas Turbine and Afam Gas Turbine Phase 1 to NG Powers-HPS Limited.

In count two, the State alleged that Amaechi and his co-defendants within the same period “stole the same amount of money being proceeds from the sale of 70 per cent equity belonging to her in the power generation assets at Omoku, Trans-Amadi, Eleme and Afam Gas turbines.

The State in count three said Sahara Energy Resources Limited, NG-Powers-HPS Limited within the same period with intent to cheat agreed to purchase from Rivers Government 70 per cent equity held by the state in the power generation assets in the four turbines in the sum of $302,960,000USD.

The State said the companies actually took possession, management and control of said power generation assets upon payment of the initial sum of $274,563,599.59USD, but refused to pay the outstanding balance of $28,400,000USD due to the state.

In the next count, the State alleged that Amaechi and his co-defendants within 2011 and 2012 conspired by fraudulent means to affect the market price of the four power generation assets of Rivers.

She said the defendants offered the assets for sale exclusively to Sahara Energy Resources Limited, NG Power-HpS Limited (subsidiary of Sahara Energy Resources Limited) and Tonye Cole (Director) instead of by means of open competitive bidding prescribed under section 52 (3) of Rivers State public procurement law number 4 of 2008.

The State further in count five alleged that Amaechi, Sahara Energy, Cenpropsaroten Hotel Management Limited and Cole within the same period “did conspire by fraudulent means to affect the market price of Olympia Hotel Port Harcourt by offering the said Olympia Hotel Port Harcourt for concession exclusively to Sahara Energy Resources Limited and Cenpropsaroten Hotel Management Limited (subsidiary of Sahara Energy) and Cole (Director) instead of by means of open competitive bidding prescribed under section 60 (1) of Rivers State Public Private Participation in Infrastructure Development Law, number 5 of 2009”.

Rivers also in count 6 accused Amaechi, Sahara Energy, Cenpropsaroten and Cole conspired among themselves to commit felony by stealing $1million being concession fee the defending companies paid to the Rivers State Government for the concession of the Olympia Hotel for a period of 40 years.

The State, in count eight, alleged that Amaechi and Sahara Energy about December 1, 2014 conspired among themselves to commit felony by stealing the sum of $53,095,602.05USD from Rivers Government USD account number 0064809429 with Access Bank, Bank Road Branch, Port Harcourt.

The offences were said to be contrary to sections 421, 422, 516A, and 383 of the Criminal Code Law, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999.

The charge sheet was signed by C.F. Amadi, the Director of Public Prosecutions for the Attorney-General of Rivers State.

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Contempt: Again, court commits EFCC boss, Abdulrasheed Bawa, to prison



The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, has been committed to prison for allegedly disobeying court order.

The court also directed the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to effect Bawa’s arrest and remand him in Kuje prison for the next 14 days until he purges himself of the contempt.

Justice R.O. Ayoola of the Kogi State High Court, in his judgement on Monday, granted the application for committal to prison of the EFCC chairman for disobeying a court ruling delivered on November 30, 2022, wherein the EFCC chairman was directed to produce the applicant in the case, Ali Bello.

Ali Bello had dragged Bawa to court for arresting and detaining him illegally, with the court ruling in his favour, only for the EFCC to arraign him for alleged money laundering three days after the ruling.

The EFCC’s applications for setting aside and stay of execution of the ruling were refused for want of merit.

The Court had, in Form 49, Order IX, Rule 13, marked, “HCL/697M/2022” and titled, “Notice to Show Cause Why Order of Committal Should not be Made,” asked the EFCC Chairman to appear before it on January 18, 2022 to explain why he should not be jailed for flouting the order given on December 12, 2022 in a case filed by Ali Bello against the EFCC and Bawa, as the 1st and 2nd respondents, respectively.

The court ordered that the EFCC and Bawa be served the motion of notice together with Form 49 by substituted means.

The court had declared the arrest and detention of the applicant in the face of a subsisting court order made by a court of competent jurisdiction and without a warrant of arrest “or being informed of the offence for which he was arrested” as unlawful, unconstitutional, and in contravention of the personal liberty and dignity of human person guaranteed under Chapter IV of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

The court had also ordered the respondents to tender an apology to the applicant in a national newspaper and awarded N10 million compensation for him.

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Court Jails Fidelity Bank MD, Onyeali-Ikpe, Bank’s Secretary.. (CTC documents attached)




A Chief Magistrate Court at Ogba, Lagos on Monday morning sentenced the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Nneka Chinwe Onyeali-Ikpe to six weeks imprisonment over disobedience of a garnishee order of court restraining the bank from allowing a judgment debtor access to his account.


Joined with the Managing Director to serve the imprisonment is the Company Secretary of the bank, Ezinwa Unuigboje.


Magistrate Lateef Owolabi gave the sentence sequel to a garnishee order he gave on December 6, 2022 asking 16 banks not to allow a judgment debtor, Prince Enabulele Ozaze access to his bank accounts pending the payment of N2.8 million judgment debt in suit involving the sale of a Toyota Corolla car.



In the main suit, Magistrate Owolabi had given judgment on October 13, 2022 in favour of the plaintiff, Jibrin Ahmed who sued the defendant over the payment of N2.8 million he made to the defendant for the purchase of a Toyota Corolla car. Magistrate Owolabi in the judgment said that the claim before the court is summons used in action for debt or liquidated money demand with or without interest. Liquidated demand, according to him, is one ascertainable as a matter of arithmetic precision without further investigation.

He then said: “I have examined the whole process filed by the claimant and hold that the claimant is entitled to judgment not necessarily because the defendant is absent, but because the claimant has made a case worthy of being entitled to judgment. The totalities of evidence presented are relevant and reliable”.


There magistrate thereafter entered judgment against the defendant in the sum of N2.8 million which is due to the claimant over the transaction that took place in July 2022.


In order to reap the fruit of the judgment, the claimant’s lawyer, Alayo Akanbi filed a garnishe proceeding before the court and attached 17 banks, and asked the court to stop the banks from allowing the defendant to draw money from his accounts with them pending the liquidation of the debt. The garnishe order was granted on December 6, 2022.


However, on January 25, 2023, the claimant, now judgment creditor deposed to an affidavit before the court where he showed that the garnishe order have been flouted by Fidelity bank. He showed instances of how the judgment debtor had been withdrawing funds from his account to the extent that he had depleted the funds in his account with Fidelity bank. He claimed that the judgment debtor has N3, 165, 759.05k in his account with Fidelity bank as at January 12, 2023 when the garnishe order was served on the bank.


By January 15, three days after service, the judgment debtor had withdrawn N725,547.80k from the account. The following day, January 16, 2023, another N251,305.90 was transferred out of the bank. On January 17, the legal officer of the bank Obianuju Nwosu confirmed service on the bank as at December 22, 2022 and further apologized for the transactions on the account.


On January 18, 2023, the court ordered that ordered that the Managing Director, and Company Secretary to appear in person before the court to explain why they should not be committed to prison for allowing the judgment debtor to dissipate the funds in his account after the service of the garnishe order nisi.


At proceeding on Monday February 6, the Managing Director and Company were not in court as ordered. Lawyer to the judgment creditor told the court how the two had disobeyed the garnishe order of the court.


Magistrate Owolabi in his ruling sentenced the Managing Director and Company Secretary to six weeks imprisonment each. He further ordered Lagos State Commissioner of Police and any officer under his command to arrest the duo, bring them to court for onward transfer to the appropriate correctional center.


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Petition signatures to Emefiele over new naira hit 1653..



Petition signatures to Emefiele over new naira hit 1653


Following the crisis over the non-availability of the redesigned N100, N200, N500 and N1000, over 1653 Nigerians have petitioned the Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, to end what they termed ‘hardship’ on the citizens.


The petition, hoisted on the global change website,, which was started on Friday, garnered over 1653 signatures on Saturday.


As of the time of filing this report, many bank customers have yet to access the new notes as many automated teller machines are either not dispensing cash or completely shut down because of the crowd.


Protests have erupted over the situation in some parts of the country and some banks vandalised by hoodlums, demanding access to their money lodged in several accounts.




There have also been controversial videos showing bank officials sabotaging the process by hiding the new notes behind old ones in vaults.


The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has requested seven days from Nigerians to fix the mess.


Part of the petition stated, “The recent shortage of physical cash in Nigeria has caused major untold hardship to Nigerians. People are spending hours in long lines at banks just to withdraw cash, and many are forced to rely more on digital transactions which tend to be unreliable due to poor bank networks.


POS operators also charge outrageous amounts; as much as N1000 for a N10,000 withdrawal. The Central Bank of Nigeria has stated that the shortage is temporary, but it is causing serious disruption to the daily lives of many Nigerians.


“We call on the government, stakeholders, law enforcement agencies and the CBN to take urgent action to address the cash shortage crisis in Nigeria. We demand that the CBN increase the distribution of physical cash to meet the demand, and also any POS operator found charging outrageous amounts for withdrawal should be arrested.’’


Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students has expressed displeasure over the issue, noting that the process was not only ill-timed but also not well thought out.


Speaking to Sunday PUNCH during a telephone interview on Friday, National Vice President (External Affairs), Akinteye Afeez-Babatunde, said, “The whole situation is crazy. We are tired. Students are crying and complaining. They can’t get cash. The leaders have confirmed to us that they don’t care for the people. The policy is fine but the process to get it done is to the detriment of our own lives as Nigerians. Our day-to-day activities have been disrupted. Nigerians are suffering.’


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