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Court says no bail for Abdurasheed Maina

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An Abuja-based Federal High Court on Thursday refused to grant bail to Abdulrasheed Maina, a former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Taskforce Team.

Justice Okon Abang in his ruling held that Maina’s application for bail lacked merit.

He said though it was at the court discretion to grant bail, the ex-pension reformed boss did not deserve a bail after jumping the first bail. The judge said that Maina did not place sufficient materials before the court to convince the court that he deserves the second bail.

He said the medical report brought from the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital showed that Maina was not under any medical emergency.

The judge said Maina was not only a flight risk but a proving risk, having fled to the Republic of Niger and Chad in violation of the court order. “He has disappointed the court,” he ruled. Justice Abang, who refused to grant Maina’s application for an order directing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to release his confiscated property, including a BMW car, also dismissed his request for an order to set aside the November 18 and December 4, 2020 orders.

The court on November 18, 2020 had ordered the trial of Maina in absentia after he jumped bail.

It also on Dec. 4, 2020 ordered Maina to be remanded in prison custody pending the hearing and final determination of his matter. But Maina, who jumped bail last year and fled to the Republic of Niger before his re-arrest, had on December 24, 2020, applied for another bail.

Maina, through his lawyer Anayo Adibe, approached Justice Abang in a motion on notice.

He argued that the application became necessary over his worsening health condition. In the motion, the ex-pension boss told the court that he had reasonable and responsible sureties who were willing to act as sureties if granted bail.

Debunking the argument that he had jumped bail, Maina said he fled to the Republic of Niger to have a knee surgery.

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19-year-old student arrested for faking cancer to get huge donations

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Madison Russo

A 19-year-old has been arrested and charged in Iowa for a charity scam after faking cancer to get donations.

The Eldridge Police Department booked Madison Russo on a first-degree theft charge this week, which carries a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

She was arrested on Jan. 23, but has since bonded out. She is due back in court on March 2.

The 19-year-old lied on TikTok and GoFundMe to get donations that ran into tens of thousands.

Cops allege Russo lied about 3 different diagnoses that she’d publicly been touting for at least a year, including leukemia, pancreatic cancer and a tumor “the size of a football.”

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Throughout much of 2022, Russo had gone viral on TikTok while documenting her health journey, which the authorities are now saying was completely made up,  and which entered criminal territory after she raised upwards of $37k on GoFundMe from 439 donors.

On social media, she was often seen adorned in hospital-like paraphernalia: IV bags, tubes that ran through her nose and medical tape/gauze, suggesting she was undergoing treatment.

However, Eldridge PD said all of that was just an act.

Court documents reportedly lay out what police say they found at Russo’s apartment. In addition to some of the medical supplies listed above, they allege they discovered a wig, pills for nausea in a relative’s name and more.

In addition, Eldridge PD says they subpoenaed Russo’s medical records and allege she’d never been diagnosed with cancer at any nearby hospitals. The cops say she got on their radar after people wrote in saying some of what they saw on social media seemed fishy.

Organisations that Russo had allegedly affiliated with during this time when she was presenting herself as poster child for cancer awareness are now distancing themselves. Lindaikeji

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Pastor remanded for posting own obituary to avoid payment of debt

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Ondo State Magistrate Court has remanded a 43-year-old Pastor, Paul Oyewole, for allegedly publishing his obituary on social media to evade the N3 million debt payment he owed one of his church members.

Oyewole reportedly obtained the sum of N3m from Emmanuel Boyede, alleging that he would pay back the money within seven days.

Police Prosecutor, Moremi Akao, told the court that the accused falsely published and posted his obituary on WhatsApp after sending a fake bank alert to his creditor. And alleged to have threatened the creditor on the phone.’

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”He committed the offence between the 25th of November, 2021, and the 7th of May, 2022, in the Valentino area of Ondo town, punishable under Sections 419, 86, and 125A(1) of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Volume 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006,” Akao said.

The cleric pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to him.

The defendant’s counsel, Arokoyo Queen, applied for the cleric bail in the most liberal terms, promising he would not jump bail.

However, the presiding Magistrate Mosunmola Ikujuni granted the defendant N1 million bail with two sureties each in like sum. Stating that one of the sureties must be residing within the jurisdiction, a house owner, attached with the identification card.

Presiding Magistrate, thereafter, adjourned the case till the 13th of February 2023 for hearing.

Daily Post/platinumpost

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False Information: FG files additional evidence against three accused Abuja-based legal practitioners

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The Federal Government has filed additional evidence against three Abuja-based legal practitioners over allegations bordering on impersonation.

The Lawyers are facing trial on a four-count criminal charge bordering on false information with intent to mislead the Court of Appeal into entering a consent judgment of N52 million in their favour.

They are:  Maxwell Opara, Gold Nwankwo and Jubilate Obasikene, who are all practising in the law firm of Maxwell Opara and Associates.

The Federal Government FG, through the prosecution agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had equally filed a list of additional witnesses it shall call in the prosecution of the case.

Upon resumed hearing Wednesday, the EFCC’s counsel, Ibrahim Buba, informed Justice Hamza Muazu of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja about the new development.

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Buba said the list of additional evidence as well as the list of additional witnesses had already been served on the defendants.

Although the lawyer expressed his readiness to proceed with the trial, the defence counsel who confirmed that the documents were served on them, prayed for a short adjournment to enable them study the documents.

Counsel to Maxwell Okpara (1st defendant), K.C Muemeka, told the court that the said documents were just served on them in court.

Responding, Buba, who consented to the request for an adjournment agreed that indeed, the defence team needed more time to study the additional evidence.

Consequently, Justice Muazu adjourned the case to February 13 and 14 for trial.

The charged, marked CR/444/2022, followed a petition by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the Chairman of the EFCC, accusing the lawyers of fraudulent representation and impersonation.

They were alleged to have fraudulently entered appearances for the CBN and Unity Bank Plc, without the consent and authorisation of the banks in an appeal marked: CA/A/18M/2017 in respect of a garnishee proceedings involving the sum of N52 million at the Court of Appeal, Abuja.

The offence, according to EFCC, is contrary to Sections 96 and 140 of the Penal Code Law of the Northern Nigeria as applicable in the FCT, Abuja. Eagle

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