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N43.5m Embezzlement: Absence of Lawyer to NOGASA Boss Frustrates Trial



The absence of Olanrewaju Ajanaku, counsel to the Chairman of the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA), Fatuyi Yemi Philips, today, frustrated the NOGASA Chairman’s trial before Justice Mojisola Dada of an Ikeja Special Offences Court.

Philips is answering questions to a two-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N43,502,000.00 as slammed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The anti-graft agency had, after presenting its fifth and last witness on March 30, 2023, closed its case and the same was adjourned until today for defence.

The NOGASA helmsman, who was first arraigned on April 7, 2022, is standing trial alongside Oceanview Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited.

Count one reads: “Fatuyi Yemi Philips and Oceanview Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited, on or about the 28th day of September 2016 at Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, obtained the aggregate sum of N43, 502,000.00 from Elochukwu Okoye and Elebana Unique Ventures Nigeria Limited on behalf of WAPCIL Nigeria Limited under the false representation that you would sell to WAPCIL Nigeria Limited $98,870.00, a representation you knew to be false”.

Count two reads: “Fatuyi Yemi Philips and Oceanview Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited, on or about the 28th day of September 2016 at Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, stole the sum of N43, 502,000.00, property of WAPCIL Nigeria Limited”.

But he pleaded not guilty to the charge.

While being led in evidence by counsel for the EFCC, M.S. Owede, the prosecution’s last witness, who is a Bureau De Change operator, Musa Mohammed, narrated how he got to know the defendant and the business transaction that they engaged in.

The witness had particularly informed the court as to how sometime in September 2016, the defendant met him and gave him $40,000 cash to help him change.

However, during the day’s proceeding on the matter, there was no representation for the defendant, as the counsel for the prosecution informed the court that his attention was called to a letter sent by the defence counsel, O. Ajanaku as to the prior notification that he would not be present in court.

According to Owede, “This morning, my attention was drawn to a letter from the defence counsel that he would not be in court, today”.

The anti-graft agency’s lawyer, however, observed that he saw the defence counsel fully robed in the court on Monday, “yet he claimed that he has not been to the office this week”.

Owede added, “My lord, to further amplify his mischief, he refused to suggest a date and the reason is not far-fetched, it is so that when we take a date, he’ll say oh it’s not convenient, but we’ll reluctantly oblige him”.

Justice Dada has adjourned the case until June 16, 2023, for defence.


Arik Air removes CRJ 1000 from fleet, aircraft to be torn down




Arik Air says it has removed the CRJ 1000 aircraft from its fleet.

The CRJ 1000 is a twin-engined regional airliner with a capacity of 100 passengers.

In a statement issued on Friday, the airline said the development is due to the decision of JEM Leasing Limited, the owners of the CRJ 1000, and its financiers to sell the aircraft.

The airline said the buyer of the affected aircraft had also decided to tear it down.

Arik Air explained that as the lessee of the aircraft since 2014, it operated the aeroplane under a lease agreement with JEM Leasing Limited.

The airline, however, said that it had discontinued the operations of the CRJ aircraft in its fleet since 2019.

“Arik Air, Nigeria’s leading airline, wishes to notify the public of the decision of JEM Leasing Limited owners of the CRJ 1000 registered as 5N-JEE and its financiers Export Development Canada (EDC) to sell the airplane. We equally wish to notify on the decision of the buyer to tear down the plane,” the statement reads.

“Arik Air, as the lessee since 2014, operated the Aircraft pursuant to a lease agreement with JEM Leasing Limited. Arik discontinued operations of the CRJ fleet since 2019.

“Arik Air would like to assure all stakeholders, including passengers, partners, and the general public, that the decision by the owner and financier of the Aircraft will not impact Arik’s operations or compromise its commitment to providing safe, reliable, and convenient air travel services.”

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‘I went on my own to address allegations’ — Pauline Tallen speaks on EFCC quizzing




Pauline Tallen, former minister of women affairs, has opened up on her interrogation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged corrupt enrichment.

BODEX BLOG reported that the ex-minister was at the zonal command of the anti-graft agency in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Tallen was being questioned for allegedly misappropriating N2 billion from the African First Lady Peace Mission Project (AFLPM).

Reacting to the news in a statement issued on Saturday morning, Tallen said she was at the EFCC office on her “own accord” and wasn’t invited or arrested.

The former minister said she went to the office of the anti-graft agency to “address the very false allegations” recently made against her.

However, she did not provide details of the allegation.

“Owing to the respect for my former principal — Former President Muhammadu Buhari and his good office, I did not previously address the open allegation, however, it has now become necessary to do so,” the statement reads.

“Firstly, the decent & appropriate action, should this have been a genuine enquiry, would be to write to the Ministry for Women Affairs, to enquire about any funds sent to the Ministry.

“To immediately jump to the open without any proper formal correspondence is highly unprofessional, portrays a lack of respect for the Ministry of Women Affairs and is injurious to my person and character.

“Furthermore, I will like to state that there was no formal invitation from the anti-graft agency neither was I arrested.”

Tallen said “economic and political infrastructure” should be used to serve the nation and “not to be used as a tool for bias or intimidation”.

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EFCC grills ex-minister Pauline Tallen over diversion of N2bn




The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has grilled Pauline Tallen, former minister of women affairs, over alleged corrupt enrichment.

Tallen was questioned at the Abuja zonal command for allegedly misappropriating N2 billion.

Although details of the case against the ex-minister are still unclear, a source familiar with the probe said it involves funds from the African First Lady Peace Mission Project (AFLPM).

The initiative, conceived by Maryam Abacha, former first lady, is centred on promoting peace and harmony in Africa.

Newsmen could not immediately reach Wilson Uwujaren, spokesperson of the EFCC, for details of the probe.

Shortly before May 29, the EFCC had said it intends to go after then-outgoing governors and other public officials

On Thursday, the anti-graft agency invited Kayode Fayemi, former governor of Ekiti, over allegations of N4 billion misappropriation.

The probe is said to be connected to the handling of funds during his tenure.

Fayemi however said he was grilled on “a frivolous petition from a faceless group, the so-called Ekiti Patriotic Coalition”, adding that he “stands ready to cooperate fully”.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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