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N1.59bn Pension Scam: Court Rules On June 20

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An Ibadan Chief  Magistrates’ Court will on June 20 rule on an  application to  withdraw the charges against 10  persons accused of  defrauding the Oyo State Government of N1.59 billion pension fund.

Those accused are  Alhaji Hakeem Muili, Alhaja Iyabo Giwa, Adeduntan Johnson, Oguntayo Banji and Adesina Jimoh.

Others are Johnson Bosede, Adebiyi Olasumbo, Kareem Rasheed, Muili  Adedamola and Salewa Adedeji.

The prosecutor and Principal State Counsel, Ademola Ojekunle, told  the court that the state’s  Attorney General, Mr Adebayo Ojo, had  instructed him to withdraw the charges against the accused persons.

Ojekunle said  that the withdrawal of the charges would aid further investigation and prosecution of  the matter at the state High Court.

But the defence counsel, Adeyinka Okunade,  opposed the application for withdrawal.

Okunade argued that the prosecution could  continue its  investigation and present the outcome while the case remained at the court.

He also said that it would not be in the interest of justice if the application for withdrawal was  granted.

The defence counsel added that there was the likelihood that the accused persons could  be re-arrested, describing  this as an abuse of court  process.

The prosecutor, however, cited  section 75 of the Criminal Code of  Oyo State of Nigeria, 2000 empowering  the Attorney General  to withdraw the matter.

Ojekunle also urged the court not to act on the speculation that the accused may  be arrested.

Chief Magistrate Kehinde Durosaro-Tijani adjourned the case to June 20 for ruling on the matter.

It would be recalled that the 10  officials of the pension board were arraigned on February  25  for  alleged fraud of N1.59 billion.

Our correspondent reports that they were arraigned on  a three-count charge of conspiracy, abuse of office and stealing.

The prosecution had told the court  that Muili and Giwa  abused the authority of their office.

Giwa was the former Executive Secretary of the Pension Board.

The duo of  Muili and Giwa were said to have conspired with others and issued cheques and signed  in the names of the staff of the pension board to collect pensioner’s money from different banks.

The prosecution  said that the incident happened between September 2010 and January 2011 at Agodi Secretariat.

It further said  the offences contravened section 516,104 and 390(5) of the Criminal Code Cap 38 Vol. II Laws of Oyo state of Nigeria, 2000.

The accused  had pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail.

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Residents Nab Man Dumping Fresh Corpse In PH

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A middle-aged man has been caught dumping the fresh corpse of a male with suspected machete cuts on it.
The suspect identified as Israel Israel, who claimed to be a native of Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, was apprehended, last Friday, while carting away a truck used in dumping a fresh male body on the Cherubim Road Bridge, Mile 3, Diobu axis in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area of the state.
A local security personnel in the area, Richman Jogwe, said the suspect was apprehended with the truck used in dumping the dead body.
Jogwe said: “This truck was used in dumping a dead body with machete cuts in the face, head, leg and hands. So, in early hours of today, this man came to take the truck, and we got him arrested.”
He further disclosed that the suspect had been handed over to the Nkpolu Divisional Police Headquarters, Mile 3, Diobu, for interrogation.
In his reaction, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Nnamdi Omoni, said he was aware of the incident, but insisted he had no detailed information.
Omoni was quoted as saying: “I am aware that the man who brought the truck has been arrested. When I get the full details, I will let you know.”

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Wike, Real Madrid Sign Cooperation Ratification Pact

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Real Madrid and the Rivers State Government have signed a cooperation ratification agreement for promotion of sports amongst children and youths at the Real Madrid Academy, Port Harcourt.
The signing of the ratification of the framework for cooperation agreement between the international football club and the Rivers State Government took place over the weekend at the Auditorium of Real Madrid Sport City, Fuerzas Armadas Avenue, 402, Madrid, Spain.
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, on behalf of the Rivers State Government; the Executive Vice President of the Real Madrid Foundation, Mr. Enrique Sanchez; and President of Interact Sports, Mr. Jihad Saade; jointly signed the agreement.
Speaking at the event, Wike commended the Real Madrid Foundation and the Interact Sports for the opportunity given to the Rivers State Government to partner with the Real Madrid Football Club in order to encourage Rivers’ youths to develop their talents and skill through sport.
He said the state government was pleased to ratify the agreement with the Real Madrid Foundation, and assured that everything has been done to fully kick-start the Real Madrid Academy in Port Harcourt.
Wike, who was accompanied by the Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, and the Rivers State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor (SAN), explained that the initial intention was to admit only boys as students into the Real Madrid Academy, but following the huge application received from prospective female students, the state government had to reconsider the policy.
“We had to stop to include the girls. We are very ready to kick-start the school, and we believe that this is a very good opportunity for our people. We are honoured to be identified with the Real Madrid; it is a good brand for us.”
Wike reaffirmed his belief that sport was an important factor in social integration and in the promotion of ethical values such as solidarity, participation, team spirit, respect for one’s opponent and non-discrimination.
The Real Madrid Foundation maintained its resolve to continue to promote sports amongst children and youths in the understanding that sports contributes to the comprehensive development of a young person’s personality, offering positive alternatives to situations of risk and fostering healthy habits and ways of life amongst children and youths.
On his part, the President of Interact Sports, Jihad Saade, said that Interact Sports has been an active contributor to the dynamic transformation of Nigeria, moving forward with modernity without forgetting Nigeria’s rich culture and heritage.
All the parties mutually acknowledged that they have the necessary legal capacity and authorisation to execute and subscribe to the protocol.
The Real Madrid Foundation is the instrument by which Real Madrid uses to promote, both in Spain as well as abroad, the values inherent in sports, and the latter’s role as an educational tool capable of contributing to the comprehensive development of the personality of those who practice it.

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…Omehia Hails Wike On Feat

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Former governor of Rivers State, Sir Celestine Omehia, has said that The Sun Man of the Year 2020 Award conferred on Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, was very fitting and timely.
Omehia also expressed gratitude to The Sun Publishing Limited, publishers of Daily Sun, Saturday Sun, Sunday Sun and Sporting Sun for recognising the achievements of Wike for the third consecutive time.
In a statement, yesterday, Omehia said that Wike was deserving of the award considering the giant developmental strides he has recorded in Rivers State.
He described Wike as an astute administrator and a distinguished politician who listens to the needs of the people of Rivers State and implements them accordingly.
Omehia said that Wike has during his over six years’ stint as governor of Rivers, performed excellently in the different facets of the lives of the Rivers people.
He maintained that as someone who has had the opportunity of occupying the coveted office, he can bear testimony to the fact that the Nyesom Wike-led administration has done excellently well.
According to Omehia, “his records in infrastructural development, security, urban and rural development, human resources development, including his political prowess, are unrivalled.
“Governor Wike has deployed the resources of the state to the benefit of the people, justifying the mandate massively and duly given to him by the people of Rivers State.”
Omehia also called on the opposition political parties in the state to emulate the leadership qualities of Wike, and join hands with the performing governor to move the state forward.
While noting that in unity, the state stands to gain in all ramifications, Omehia stated that division would do no one any good, irrespective of his status or political affiliation.
He further said he was not regretting his performance during his short stay in Government House, Port Harcourt as governor of the state, saying that he left significant landmarks for residents of the state.

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