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Defilement: Police say no plans to release Baba Ijesha

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The police command in Lagos State has reacted to rumours of plans to release Nollywood actor, Baba Ijesha, who was arrested for alleged defilement, saying it is far from the truth.

Nollywood actress Iyabo Ojo and comedian Princess, among others, had stormed the SCID Panti on Thursday to protest alleged plans to release Baba Ijesha by the police.   The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Lagos, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, told journalists that there were no plans to release the suspect.

He added that the Commissioner Police in Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, had ordered the detention of the suspect pending the receipt of legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPPs).   “The CP had already said that the suspect would remain in police custody and would not be released.

“His case file has been sent to the DPP for advice. After the DPP’s advice, we will know what to do,” he said.

The 48-year-old Baba Ijesha was arrested on April 22 for allegedly defiling a minor.   Adejobi had said in a statement that preliminary findings revealed that the suspect started assaulting the victim sexually since she was seven.

There was an uproar following a report that a directive had been given for the release of the Nollywood acto from custody.

The report was that the suspect could be released as he could not be detained indefinitely due to the ongoing strike by members of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).

A video of the suspect confessing to the crime and begging for forgiveness had gone viral following the rumour that investigation revealed that Baba Ijesha did not defile the victim.

 

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Court sentenced Fidelity bank secretary, MD to six weeks in prison

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Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe

A chief magistrate’s court in Ogba, Lagos, has sentenced Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, to six weeks in prison.

The court, presided over by Magistrate Lateef Owolabi, extended the same sentence to Ezinwa Unuigboje, the bank’s secretary, after finding both guilty of disobeying a garnishee order of court restraining the bank from allowing a judgment debtor access to his account.

FIJ learned that Owolabi had on December 6, 2022, issued the garnishee order for 17 banks to not grant Enabulele Ozaze, a judgement debtor, access to his bank accounts until he paid a judgement debt of N2.8 million.

Ozaze was on October 13, 2022, ordered to refund one Jibrin Ahmed the sum of N2.8 million. This sum was money Ahmed had earlier paid to Ozaze for the purchase of a Toyota Corolla car.

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Two months after Ozaze failed to refund, Owolabi ordered 16 banks to not allow him transact on any account.

On January 25, 2023, Ahmed told the court, via an affidavit, that Fidelity Bank had flouted the garnishee order.

He showed the court how Ozaze had been withdrawing funds from his account. He claimed that Ozaze had N3,165,759.05k in his account with Fidelity Bank as of January 12, 2023, when the garnishee order was served.

Three days after the order was served, Ozaze withdrew N725,547.80k from the account. The following day, he transferred another N251,305.90 out of the bank.

On January 17, Obianuju Nwosu, Zenith Bank’s legal officer, confirmed they received the garnishee order on December 22, 2022, and apologised to the court for the transactions on the account.

On January 18, the court ordered that the managing director and the bank’s secretary to appear before it to explain why they should not be sentenced to prison.

Both were absent on Monday. Owolabi ordered their immediate remand and instructed the Lagos State Commissioner of Police to effect their arrest.

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BREAKING: NAF maritime patrol platform crash lands in Lagos

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The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), on Monday, said, its maritime patrol aircraft, a Cessna Citation CJ3 on a routine flight, lost its tyres on touch and go flight in Ilorin and had to carry out a controlled belly land at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Wap Maigida, announced the air mishap in a statement in Abuja.

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He noted that there were no fatalities or injuries to any crew member and persons on the ground.‬

The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, has directed the immediate constitution of a Board of Inquiry to determine the cause(s) of the accident.

The NAF continues to solicit the understanding and support of the public as it daily strives to ensure the security of Nigeria and Nigerians.

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Kaduna, Kogi, Zamfara govts drag FG to Supreme Court over naira scarcity

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Worried by the effects the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s naira redesign policy is having on the residents of their states, the governments of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara have dragged the Federal government before the Supreme Court, seeking a restraining order to stop the full implementation of the policy.

In a motion ex-parte filed on their behalf by their lawyer, AbdulHakeem Uthman Mustapha (SAN), the three northern states are urging the apex court to grant them an interim injunction stopping the Federal Government either by itself or acting through the CBN, the commercial banks or its agents from carrying out its plan of ending the timeframe within which the now older versions of the 200, 500 and 1000 denominations of the Naira may no longer be legal tender on February 10, 2023.

The Plaintiffs in the suit are the three Attorneys-General and Commissioners of Justice of the three states, while the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), is the sole Respondent.

The Plaintiffs said that since the announcement of the new naira note policy, there has been an acute shortage in the supply of the new naira notes in Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara States and that citizens who have dutifully deposited their old naira notes have increasingly found it difficult and sometimes next to impossible to access new naira notes to go about their daily activities.

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They also cited the inadequacy of the notice coupled with the haphazard manner in which the exercise is being carried out and the attendant hardship same is wrecking on Nigerians, which has been well acknowledged even by the Federal Government of Nigeria itself.

The Plaintiffs further maintained that the ten-day extension by the Federal Government is still insufficient to address the challenges bedeviling the policy.

Recall that over the weekend, the CBN Governor at a press conference held in Lagos insisted that that the apex bank will not extend the deadline for swapping old naira notes with the newly redesigned ones.

In the suit filed at the apex court, the Plaintiffs have also filed a motion on notice to abridge the time within which the Respondent may file and serve his Counter-Affidavit to this Suit and an order for an accelerated hearing of this matter.

The states are seeking a declaration that the Demonetization Policy of the Federation being currently carried out by the Central Bank of Nigeria under the directive of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not in compliance with the extant provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007 and actual laws on the subject.

They are also asking the court to make a declaration that the three-month notice given by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Central Bank of Nigeria under the directive of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the expiration of which will render the old Banknotes inadmissible as legal tender, is in gross violation of the provisions of Section 20(3) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 which specifies that Reasonable Notice must be given before such a policy.

The Plaintiffs are also urging the court for a declaration that given the express provisions of Section 20(3) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007, the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Central Bank of Nigeria, has no powers to issue a timeline for the acceptance and redeeming of banknotes issued by the Bank, except as limited by Section 22(1) of the CBN Act 2007. The Central Bank shall at all times redeem its bank notes.

The Plaintiffs further want the court to direct the immediate suspension of the demonetisation of the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Central Bank of Nigeria under the directive of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria until it complies with the relevant provisions of the law.

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In an affidavit filed in support of the suit and sworn to by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Kaduna State, Aisha Dikko, she averred that although the naira redesign policy was introduced to encourage the cashless policy of the Federal government, it is not all transactions that can be conveniently carried out through electronic means.

She maintained that several transactions still require cash in exchange for goods and services hence the need for the Federal Government to have sufficient money available in circulation for the smooth running of the economy.

Dikko also pointed out that the Federal Government has embarked on the policy within a narrow and unworkable time frame, and this has adversely affected Nigerian citizens within Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara States as well as their Governments, especially as the newly redesigned naira notes are not available for use by the people as well as the State Governments.

“That the majority of the indigenes of the Plaintiffs’ states who reside in the rural areas have been unable to exchange or deposit their old naira notes as there are no banks in the rural areas where the majority of the population of the states reside.

“Most people in rural areas of the Plaintiffs’ states do not have bank accounts and have so far been unable to deposit their life savings which are still in the old naira notes.

“There is restiveness amongst the people in the various states because of the hardship being suffered by the people, and the situation will sooner than later degenerate into the breakdown of law and order.

“The Plaintiff State Governments cannot stand by as they are duty-bound to protect citizens in their states and prevent the breakdown of law and order.

“I know that if the Federal Government of Nigeria had given sufficient and reasonable time for the naira redesign policy, all the current hardship and loss being experienced by the Plaintiffs’ State Governments as well as people in the various states would have been avoided.

“I know that the 10-day extension by the Federal Government is still insufficient to address the challenges bedevilling the policy. I also understand that the Federal Government cannot bar Nigerians from redeeming their old naira notes at any time, even though the senior notes are no longer legal tender.

“Unless this Honourable Court intervenes, the Government and people of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara State will continue to go through a lot of hardship and would ultimately suffer great loss as a result of the insufficient and unreasonable time within which the Federal Government is embarking on the ongoing currency redesign policy,” she stated.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

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