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Yahaya Bello loses contempt case against EFCC boss in Appeal Court

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The Court of Appeal, Abuja, has set aside contempt proceedings initiated by the former Governor of Kogi, Yahaya Bello, against the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Justice Joseph Oyewole set aside the proceedings in a unanimous judgment on Thursday while overruling the respondent’s preliminary objection, citing technicalities.

The Appeal Court said the trial judge failed to extend the orders of February 9 in its final Judgment of April 17.

He said the second issue raised by the respondent on the interim order had become an academic exercise.

The court awarded N1 million cost against the respondent.

The appellate court had granted an ex-parte motion for a stay of contempt proceedings filed against the EFCC’s Chairman, Ola Olukoyede, by ex-Governor Bello.

The Court of Appeal presided over by Justice Oyewole, granted the EFCC’s application to serve the processes in the appeal by substituted means on the former governor.

The court consequently adjourned the hearing of the motion on notice to May 20.

It would be recalled that the EFCC boss was summoned to appear before the Kogi State High Court in May to show cause why he should not be committed to prison for disobeying its orders.

But he had appealed the ruling of the trial court and sought a stay of the proceedings of the court.

The Kogi High Court based its ruling on the premise that the EFCC chair carried out “some acts upon which they (the EFCC) have been restrained” by the court on Feb. 9, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive originating motion.

It would be recalled that Justice I. A. Jamil, in a ruling on Suit No: HCL/68M/2024 and Motion No: HCL/190M/2024, ordered that “the said act was carried out by the respondent (EFCC) in violation of the order, which was valid and subsisting when they carried out the act.”

The judge held that the EFCC’s act amounted to contempt.

EFCC operatives had laid siege on the residence of the former governor, as early as 8 am on April 17, with a bid to arrest him despite a court order restraining them from taking such action, pending the determination of the originating motion.

Justice Jamil’s order was based on a motion ex-parte filed by Bello, through his lawyer, M.S. Yusuf, where he prayed to the court for an order to issue and serve the respondent (EFCC chairman) with Form 49 Notice to show cause why the order of committal should not be made on him.

The lead judgment at the Appeal Court on Thursday was delivered by Justice Oyewole, while Justices A.M. Talba and D. Z. Senchi agreed.

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8 steps you must follow to get your e-Central Motor Registry

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Recently, the Nigerian Police Force announced that it will begin enforcing the digitalised Central Motor Registry (e-CMR) on July 29.

In a statement released on Saturday in Abuja, the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, urged vehicle owners to comply with the new registration requirements.

Adejobi explained that the e-CMR initiative aims to improve the security of lives and property while modernising and digitising the motor vehicle registration system. This measure is part of improving the country’s safety and security infrastructure.

He highlighted that the e-CMR is an advanced, real-time online database of motor vehicle information. It is designed to assist police investigations, support operational activities, and combat vehicle-related crimes such as terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, and armed robbery.

The police spokesperson also noted that transitioning to this digital system will simplify the documentation and verification processes for vehicle ownership and related transactions.

Below are the eight (8) steps required to get your e-Central Motor Registry:

Step 1 – Visit https://cmris.npf.gov.ng./ and click on the apply icon.

Step 2: Create a profile using NIN, Driver’s Licence, or TIN.

Step 3: Log in using your access credentials if a profile exists.

Step 4: Select the CMR request, then select a sub-request.

Step 5: Provide vehicle details and click Next.

Step 6: Check the box to confirm the accuracy of vehicle details and click on Proceed.

Step 7: View the invoice and click Make Payment using any payment method.

Step 8: Details of the request will be sent to the registered phone number and email address.

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Scammers hacked phone number of governor Adeleke, says aide

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Olawale Rasheed, spokesperson of Ademola Adeleke, Osun governor, says one of the phone numbers of his principal has been hacked.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Rasheed asked the public to ignore any calls or messages from +234 803 365 7555.

The spokesperson said appropriate action has been taken to remedy the situation.

“This is to alert the general public that one of the telephone numbers of his Excellency, Governor Ademola Adeleke has been hacked,” the statement reads.

“Please ignore any solicitation from +234 803 365 7555.

“Appropriate action is ongoing to remedy the situation.”

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Kano state government files fresh charge against Ganduje over N240m fraud

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The Kano state government has filed a fresh charge against Abdullahi Ganduje, former governor of the state.

Ganduje was charged on four counts alongside Musa Lawan, former attorney-general of the state.

The offences border on criminal conspiracy, abuse of office and misappropriation, contrary to Section 308 and punishable under Section 309 of the Penal Code (as amended) CAP 105, Vol. 2, the Laws of Kano State of Nigeria.

The duo were alleged to have misappropriated, diverted and converted the sum of N240 million belonging to the state.

In the charge sheet, the state government said it intends to present four witnesses.

No date has been fixed for the arraignment.

In April, the Kano government filed an eight-count charge bordering on bribery, misappropriation, and diversion of public funds against Ganduje; Hafsat, his wife; Umar Abdullahi Umar, his son; and five others.

Other defendants in the case are Abubakar Bawuro, Jibrilla Muhammad, Lamash Properties Limited, Safari Textiles Limited, and Lasage General Enterprises Limited.

On July 11, the defendants were arraigned in absentia and the court entered a plea of not guilty on their behalf.

BACKGROUND

In 2018, the Daily Nigerian, an online newspaper, published a video of Ganduje allegedly receiving bundles of dollars from contractors, which he stuffed into his ‘babanriga’, a traditional outfit.

The APC national chairman was the governor of Kano from 2015 to 2023.

The newspaper said Ganduje requested $5 million as kickback from the contractors who recorded the video.

In 2023, the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission (PCACC) invited Ganduje for questioning over the video.

The former governor did not honour the invitation and instead instituted a suit against the agency.

In March, a federal high court in Kano stopped the agency from inviting or questioning Ganduje over the bribery allegation.

The court ruled that the agency lacks the power to invite or investigate Ganduje.

Abdullahi Liman, the presiding judge, said the alleged infraction is a federal offence that cannot be prosecuted by the state anti-graft agency.

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