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Court remands former Nigerian Central Bank Governor in prison over alleged N6.5bn fraud

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Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has been remanded in the Kuje Prison in Abuja on the orders of a Federal High Court after he was arraigned on a 20-count fraud charge to the tune of N6.5 billion.

The former CBN Governor, who was one of the most powerful men in the administration of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari, has been standing trial on an alleged procurement fraud after he was arrested following his suspension by President Bola Tinubu in June.

At his arraignment on Friday, on an amended six-count charge to the tune of N1.6 billion, Emefiele pleaded not guilty and applied for a bail which the presiding Justice Hamza Muazu rejected and ordered that he be remanded in prison till the next adjourned date.

According to the charges preferred against Emefiele, the Federal Government alleged that the disgraced former CBN Governor had illegally procured 43 vehicles between 2018 and 2020 worth N1.2 billion. He was also accused of awarding a contract for the procurement of 37 Toyota Hilux Vehicles valued at N854 million.

Count one of the charge read:

“That you, Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, male, adult, sometime in 2018 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did use your position as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria to confer a corrupt advantage on Sa’adatu Ramallan Yaro, a staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria by awarding a contract for the supply of 37 Toyota Hilux Vehicles at the cost of N854,700,000 only to April1616 Investment Ltd, a company in which the said Sa’adatu Ramallan Yaro is a director and thereby committed an offence.”

The second count reads that Emefiele had used his position as the CBN head to corruptly confer an advantage on Yaro, a staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria, by awarding a contract for the supply of one Toyota Avalon at the cost of N99,900,000, to April1616 Investment Ltd, a company in which the said Sa’adatu Ramallan Yaro was a Director, and thereby committed an offence.

In the third count, Emefiele was also accused of conferring corrupt advantage contrary to Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 by awarding a contract for the supply of one Toyota Landcruiser V8 to April1616 Investment Ltd in 2019 at the cost of N73 million.

The fourth count said he also awarded an illegal contract to purchase a Toyota Landcruiser V8 valued N73,800,000 to the same April1616 Investment Ltd.

In the fifth count, the government accused Emefiele of also awarding a contract to Yaro for the supply of two Toyota Hilux Shell Specification Vehicles at the cost of N44,200,000 in 2020.

In his ruling, Justice Muazu ordered that Emefiele be kept in prison till November 22 for ruling on his bail application, and fixed November 28 for the commencement of trial.

Metro

Zambian govt rejects ‘light’ sentence of PF chieftain, Kambwili, appeals for two-year term

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The Zambian Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Gilbert Phiri, has rejected what he described as the light prison sentence of five months given to a stalwart of the Patriotic Front (PF), Chishimba Kambwili.

Kambwili, a former Foreign Affairs Minister, was last week convicted by a Kasama Resident Magistrate, Samson Mumba, after he was found guilty of hate speech against the Tonga people of Southern Province, and committed to the Milima Prison in Kasama District.

While delivering the judgement, Mumba said Kambwili was guilty of the offence of expressing hatred and ridicule for persons because of tribe and place of origin.

The former Minister of Information and Publicity was said to have issued anti-Tonga tribal remarks during the 2021 elections when he featured on a live radio programme.

He was later suspended for a month by the Electoral Commission of Zambia ( ECZ) over the said remarks.

But Phiri has rejected the five months jail term and is insisting that the offence should have carried a maximum of two years sentence.

The DPP, which filed an appeal at the Lusaka High Court, raised two grounds in the notice, arguing that Mumba had “erred in law when he sentenced the convict to a term of five months imprisonment with hard labour for the offence of hate speech which carries maximum sentence of two years.”

Phiri also argued that the trial “erred in law when it misapplied the principals of sentencing in relation to the gravity and nature of the offence committed.”

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Metro

Tinubu talks tough, vows punishment for anyone culpable in deadly bombing of civilians

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Nigeria has vowed that any individual found culpable in the bombing of Tudun Biri village in Kaduna State, North-West Nigeria, where over 120 civilians were killed last Sunday, will not go unpunished.

Tinubu, who made the vow on Thursday, also assured that all the injured victims would be well taken care of by the government under the Folako Initiative which would commence later this month, while the affected communities would be rebuilt under the new intiative.

Tinubu, who was represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, embarked on a visit alongside a high-powered government delegation to wounded victims at Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital, Kaduna. He explained that the government would do everything possible to ensure that such an unfortunate incident dod not occur again.

“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu sent us to commensurate with the people of Kaduna over the tragic incident,” Shettima said.

“The calibre of people that are here with me is a testimony on how deeply touched the president was by the incident.

“The President was deeply touched by what happened. We will like to assure the people and government of Kaduna State that the government will take measures to protect and preserve the interest of our nation.

“The victims will be well taken care of under the Fulako Initiative which will commence by this month and this community will be the first to be rebuilt in north west zone.

“All measures will be taken to ensure that future occurrence is averted. Government will get to the root of the issue and anyone found culpable will be punished accordingly,” Shettima added.

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