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N254m Bribery: Court Dismisses EFCC’s Suit Against A’ Ibom Senator

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An Ikeja Special Offences Court last Wednesday dismissed a N254 million bribery suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Albert Bassey, the senator representing Akwa-Ibom North-East.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo in a ruling, dismissed the suit due to lack of jurisdiction and advised the anti-graft commission to file the suit in Akwa-Ibom State where the alleged bribe took place.
“The issue of jurisdiction is a fundamental one. In the instant case, the prosecution had failed to give reasons why the suit should be heard within this jurisdiction.
“This court lacks jurisdiction to adjudicate on this matter. I hereby strike out this suit for lack of jurisdiction.
“The prosecution should file the charges in Akwa-Ibom where the alleged fraud took place,” Justice Taiwo said.
Mr Bassey, 46, is faced with corruption charges preffered against him by the EFCC for receiving alleged bribes of 12 cars worth N254m from an oil marketer, Olajide Omokore, during his tenure (2010-2014) as the Akwa-Ibom Commissioner for Finance.
The anti-graft commission claimed that the car gifts were given to Mr Bassey by Mr Omokore in exchange for contracts from the Akwa-Ibom State Government.
The senator was to face a 14-count corruption charge alongside Mr Omokore at an Ikeja Special Offences Court.
Mr Bassey was to specifically face seven-counts of corruption by a public officer and a public officer inviting bribes as a result of his own action.
Mr Omokore was to face a seven-count charge of offering gratification to a public officer and giving bribe on account of the action of a public officer.
Counsels to the defendant, Solomon Umoh (SAN) and Olatunde Adejuyigbe (SAN), had respectively filed applications contending that the court had no power to hear the substantive case.

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Niger Delta

Four Decades After, Jonathan Hosts Class’81 UNIPORT Alumni …Recommits To United Nigeria, Visits Oloibiri Oil Well One

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Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, recently played host to Class ‘1981’ Alumni Association of the University of Port Harcourt Alumni
Jonathan, who is an alumnus and a member of the pioneer graduate class of 1981 of the federal institution alongside other of his former school mates, participated in reunion activities which commenced 25th November and ended on Saturday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
A statement made available to newsmen from the media office of the ex-President notes that activities earlier lined up for the programme include a lecture, an excursion and a dinner and award night, respectively.
The statement added that the reunion programme is part of activities of the alumni aimed at fostering bond among old classmates and a platform to deliberate on issues affecting their alma mater and give back to the school and society in general.
The Tide which monitored the reunion learnt that the Pioneer Students-graduants of the Port Harcourt situated University also paid a reunion courtesy visit to the pioneer Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Ebiegberi Alagoa in his Nembe-Ogbolabiri country home, Nembe council area of the oil rich Niger Delta state.
Dignitaries who graced the occasion were King Alfred Diete-Spiff, former Governor of Old River State and Amanyanabo of Twon Brass who was the Royal Father of the event
The Tide gathered that the University of Port Harcourt was established in 1975 as University College, but was upgraded to a full-fledged university in 1977. The school popularly called Uniport has over the years groomed many illustrious leaders and trailblazers of international repute and the reunion was meant to encourage young and upcoming generations on the power of education.
Meanwhile, former president has again harped on the need for a United Nigeria, describing the country as blessed with both human and natural endowment, saying Leaders should focus more on building a United nation where no one society or tribe should be more valued than the other.
“Leaders should focus more on uniting Nigerians, if one society or group of people or tribe is more valued than the other then there’s be disunity and disenchantment from those who feel not being a accorded their rightful respect and value”, he said.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells,Yenagoa

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A’Ibom Delegation In South Korea To Drive Seaport Realisation

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A delegation from Akwa Ibom State, comprising members of the Ibom Deep Seaport Committee is currently in, Seoul, South Korea to drive Governor Udom Emmanuel’s vision for the rapid realisation of the seaport.
Among members of the delegation are Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport, Mr Akan Okon, and Chairman of the Implementation Technical Committee, Mrs Mfon Usoroh.
They are among the Nigerian contingent to the Maritime Sector and Harbour Development programme in Seoul, South Korea.
The Nigerian contingent is under the leadership of the Nigerian Ambassador to South Korea, Ambassador Ali M. Magashi.
Opening up on the essence of the visit, Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport said it was to help offer inputs for the development of lbom Deep Seaport.
According to Commissioner Akan Okon, the visit will also enable Akwa Ibom State tap into the broadening bilateral relationship between Nigeria and South Korea, especially in the areas of maritime security and economic development.
“Having invested so much in the Ibom Deep Seaport, the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel will continue to seek ways that would ensure the Ibom Deep Seaport is optimally beneficial to Akwa Ibom people, when it is finally established.”
Mr Akan Okon assured that, “on our part, we’ll continue to work tirelessly to drive Governor Udom Emmanuel’s lofty vision for Akwa Ibom State.”

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Gunmen Kidnap DPO, Demand N50m Ransom

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The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Fugar Division in Etsako Central Local Government Area identified as Ibrahim Ishaq has been reported kidnapped near Ise river along the Auchi – Ekperi-Agenebode road.
It was gathered that the police officer was travelling with his orderly last Friday when they were attacked by the kidnappers.
A source close to the police said: “He was coming from Agenebode to Fugar and he passed through Ekperi Road and they were attacked. He was kidnapped but his orderly escaped and the kidnappers have made contact this morning and they are demanding N50million. The incident happened around 6:30 pm on Friday.”
As at the time of filing this report, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Edo State was yet to respond to a text message sent to him.
But it was gathered that the Commissioner of Police, Philip Ogbadu has ordered immediate deployment of men of the Anti-Kidnapping and Cyber Crime unit, men of the Tactical and Srike teams of the state Police Command to move to the area to rescue the DPO unhurt.
Fear has enveloped the community, with members debating the incident and arguing that “if a DPO can be abducted, who is safe?”.

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