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N4.8bn fraud: Court issues arrest warrant against Cletus Ibeto

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A state high court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, has issued a warrant of arrest against Cletus Ibeto, a businessman, over his failure to appear before the court for trial.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had filed a 10-count charge against Ibeto, Ibeto Energy Development Company and Odoh Holdings.

The charge borders on obtaining by false pretense, fraudulent conversion of property, criminal breach of trust, forgery and deception.

On October 5, the trial was adjourned till November 3 over the failure of Ibeto, chief executive officer of Ibeto Energy Development Company, to attend the court sitting.

FRIDAY’S COURT PROCEEDINGS

During the proceedings on Friday, Rotimi Jacobs, the prosecution counsel, told the court that the businessman was scheduled for arraignment.

Jacobs said the defendant had been absent at previous sittings on September 28, and October 5, 2023.

“Your lordship will recall that on the 28th of September 2023, this matter came up for arraignment and my friend, Okoko, SAN appeared for the defendants and pleaded with my lord for adjournment till 5th of October 2023 to enable him produce the defendant,” Jacobs said.

“Your lordship graciously granted the request. On the 5th of October, my learned brother silk, Ikpeazu, SAN, came and represented the defendants and also pleaded with your lordship for adjournment on the grounds that he wanted to talk to the prosecution to do a plea bargain.

“Your lordship insisted that the defendant, whatever step to be taken, must be present in court.

“Today, the learned senior advocate did not appear. They now brought another counsel to again say that he is not in court.”

Responding, Dada Awosika, counsel to the defendant, apologised for the absence of his client, adding that the businessman is battling an underlying ailment.

Awosika urged the court to allow the defence team to move an application challenging the jurisdiction of the court on the matter.

Displeased with the proposed application, the EFCC counsel said the court should not take any application until the court assumes jurisdiction first and sees that the arraignment takes place.

Jacobs asked the court to issue a bench warrant for the arrest of the businessman.

But Awosika disagreed, saying the defendant is old and that there is no basis for the bench warrant.

I.O. Ijelu, the trial judge, ruled that there is no cogent reason before the court for the continuous absence of the defendant.

“The application for a bench warrant succeeds,” Ijelu said.

The case was adjourned till November 25.

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Tinubu appoints Didi Esther Walson-Jack as head of service

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President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Didi Esther Walson-Jack, as head of the civil service (HoS) of the federation.

Ajuri Ngelale, the presidential spokesperson, said in a statement on Wednesday that Walson-Jack’s appointment will take effect on August 14.

Ngelale said Folasade Yemi-Esan, the outgoing HoS, is set to retire from the civil service on August 13.

“Mrs Walson-Jack was appointed as Federal Permanent Secretary in 2017 and has served in several ministries,” the statement reads.

“The new appointee will take over from the incumbent Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, CFR, who is due to retire on August 13, 2024.

“President Tinubu, while thanking the outgoing Head of Service for her stewardship, tasks the incoming Head of Service to discharge her duties with innovative flair, integrity, and stringent adherence to the extant rules and regulations of the Civil Service of the Federation.”

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Court orders arrest of Nigeria Prison medical doctor over Binance executive, Gambaryan’s health

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Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Abuja has ordered a bench (arrest) warrant on a medical doctor at the health facility of Kuje Correctional Centre, Abraham Ehizojie for failing to produce the medical report of Binance executive, Tygran Gambaryan or show up in court.

BODEX BLOG reports that the Nigerian government had accused Binance and its executives, Tygran Gambaryan and the fleeing Nadeem Anjarwalla, of allegedly conspiring amongst themselves to conceal the origin of the financial proceeds of their alleged unlawful activities in Nigeria, including $35,400, 000.

The Nigerian authorities said they committed an offense contrary to Section 21 (a) and punishable under Section 18(3) of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022.

Nairametrics previously reported that Justice Nwite had ordered that the Nigerian Correctional Service doctor to produce the medical reports of the Tigran Gambaryan, warning the correctional service against non-compliance to the court’s directives.

He added that the medical practitioner at the prison service will have to appear in court if the medical report is not produced.

At the proceedings on Tuesday, Gambaryan’s lawyer, Mark Mordi said in open court that the judge’s order had not been complied with.

The judge then asked a prison official who brought the Binance executive to court about the development.

The prison official said he got the court order and delivered the order to the doctor last week Tuesday, adding “He is not here and I expected him to be here.”

The EFCC counsel, Ekene Iheanacho told the judge that he thought that the medical officer will be in court today.

Mordi then said the court should issue a bench warrant against the medical officer of the prison service and that his client be remanded in a hospital immediately so that he can be diagnosed to see what his true state of health is.

“My client came in here in a wheelchair. He has been complaining of back pain.

“We need to be careful of the life in our hands,” Mordi said.

Iheanacho said he does not dispute the fact that the defendant should be given adequate treatment but he has issues with being remanded in hospital custody.

After hearing from the lawyers, Nwite said it is unfortunate that a government institutions will be treating his orders with levity.

“I hereby make an order of bench warrant on the medical doctor at the Kuje Correctional Service, Abraham to appear before this court.

He also ordered that Gambaryan be taken to the Nizamiye hospital for a medical checkup for 24 hours, at any time of his choice but under full security.

The case was then adjourned to 11 October 2024 for continuation of trial.

Earlier, Dr. Olubukola Akinwunmi, Head, of Payment Policy and Regulation Division at the CBN, had told Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Abuja that the Binance platform was not authorized to conduct banking services in Nigeria.

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Kano state government reinstates Gaya Emir, names two others for Karaye, Rano

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Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano State has approved the appointment of three second-class Emirs of Rano, Gaya, and Karaye with immediate effect.

According to a statement issued by the governor’s spokesperson, Sanusi Tofa, a copy of which was made available to PUNCH Online on Wednesday, the new emirates are to serve as second with Kano as first-class emirate.

Yusuf named the newly appointed Alhaji Muhammad Karaye as the Emir of Karaye. He was the District Head of Rogo before his latest appointment.

Alhaji Muhammad Umar was named the Emir of Rano. He was the District Head of Bunkure before the latest appointment.

The governor also named Alhaji Aliyu Abdulkadir Gaya as the Emir of Gaya. He was the emir of the defunct Gaya emirate, who was dethroned among others recently.

The statement added, “While congratulating the newly appointed Emirs, Governor Abba Yusuf enjoined them to be custodians of culture, peace, and unity of the people in their respective emirates.”

Yusuf had on Tuesday signed into law three second-class emirates in the state, with Rano covering only Rano, Kibiya, and Bunkure Local Government areas.

Gaya covers only Gaya, Ajingi, and Albasu Local Government Areas, while Karaye covers only Karaye and Rogo Local Government Areas.

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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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