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Arms Fraud: EFCC Institute charges Against ex Army chief, Kenneth Minimah

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has instituted criminal charge against the former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah, retd, over alleged diversion of about fourteen billion naira meant for procurement of arms.

Others listed as Defendants in the charge before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, are a one-time Chief of Accounts and Budget of the Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. A. O. Adetayo, as well as the former Director, Finance and Accounts of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier Gen. R. I. Odi.

EFCC, in processes filed in court, said it had on August 15, 2016, received a report by the Committee on the Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement in the Nigerian Armed Forces (CADEP) from 2007- 2015, chaired by AVM Jon Ode (rtd).

It said the report, alleged that between 2010 and 2015, several billions of Naira were received by the Nigerian Army from the Federal Government for procurement of Military hard-wares and were discovered to have been misappropriated by Senior Army Officers.

The anti-graft agency told the court that in the course of investigation conducted, it was revealed that the sum of Thirteen Billion, Seven Hundred and Ninety Eight Million, Six Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, Three Hundred and Nine Naira (N13,798,619,309) was misappropriated by the following persons: Lt. Gen. KTJ Minimah (rtd), the former Chief of Army Staff, Maj. Gen. A.O Adetayo, one-time Chief of Accounts and Budget, Nigerian Army and then Colonel R.I Odi, former Director, Finance and Accounts, Nigerian Army”.

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“The sums were transferred from various accounts belonging to the Nigerian Army and moved to company accounts of entities that had no business relations with the Nigerian Army.

“This caused huge loss to the Nigerian Army and the Federal Government of Nigeria through the unlawful gains made by the aforementioned Officers who converted the monies for their personal use.

“The legal advice on the investigation opined that a prima facie case has been sustained against the officers,” EFCC added.

It said the outcome of the investigation led to the filing of charges against the three officers fingered in the alleged fraud.

Consequently, EFCC, said it wrote the Nigerian Army, requesting the three officers to make themselves available for arraignment it said would have taken place since September 15, 2020.

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Meanwhile, the Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed December 9, to hear a suit the three Defendants filed to challenge the legal propriety of the charge against them.

The Defendants, through their team of lawyers led by Mr. Mahmud Magaji, SAN, are praying the court to determine;

“Whether in view of Sections 6(3), (5) (a), 240 and 318 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), and Sections 113, 114 (1), (2) 8(3), 123, 124, 126(1), (2) 8. (4) and 270 of the Armed Forces Act, Cap A20 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, the Plaintiffs are not subject to be charged arraigned and /or prosecuted only by a Court Martial as a Court of first instance, to the exclusion of any other trial Court, viz: the Federal High Court, High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, and High Court of States, in respect of any offence committed by them.

“Whether in view of Section 270 of the Armed Forces Act, Cap A20, laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (the 2nd Defendant) or any other prosecuting agency can Iawfully investigate, charge, arraign and/or prosecute the Plaintiffs.

“Whether by virtue of Sections 123, 124(1) 8(3) and 126(1), (2) 8. (4) of the Armed Forces Act, Cap A20, laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, the Plaintiffs are not to be reported in the form of a charge to their commanding officer after the investigation of any allegation against them.

“Whether in view of Sections 113, 114 (1), (2) 8(3), 124(3), and 126(1), (2) and (4) of the Armed Forces Act, Cap A20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, the Plaintiffs can validly be charged arraigned and/or prosecuted under any other law other than the Arm Forces Act, Cap.A20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

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“Whether by virtue of Sections 6(3) 8(5) (a) 240 and 318 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Section 129 of the Armed Forces Act, Cap A20, laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, the Plaintiffs are not subjected to Court Martial in respect of offences (if any) committed by them.

“Whether in view of Sections 113, 114 (1), (2) 8. (3), 123, 124, 126(1), (2) 8(4) and 270 of the Armed Forces Act, Cap A20 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, any Court other than Court Martial can entertain any charge against any of the Plaintiffs”.

They bemoaned that EFCC, for concluding that there is a prima facie case against them.

The embattled Generals argued that the Audit Committee on alleged misappropriation of procurement of Military hardwares, only referred the case to the 2nd Defendant (EFCC) for further investigation and not to proceed to file criminal charges against the Plaintiffs.

Insisting that they are still subject to service law (the Armed Forces Act), the Plaintiffs, argued that, if any military officer under the service law of the Nigerian Army commit an offence, it is reported in form of a charge to the commanding officer of the accused person for investigation and trial if necessary.

“That Nigeria Army has its rules and statutory mechanisms for the administration of Criminal Justice.

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Top Court News is a product of a dedicated Journalist, owner of I-Wahab Media The Publisher started his Journalism career with Murhi International TV, MiTV in 2003 before working with Radio Nigeria, Lagos Operation, as a Judicial Correspondent. He is presently the Chairman of the National Association of Judicial Correspondent, NAJUC, Ikeja Branch and he is the Vice Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalist, NUJ, Radio Nigeria Chapel. topcourtnewsng.com is out to serve you with informative and educative News in the Judiciary sector. To put an end to the under reported activities of the sector among the three arms of government

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CRIME

Police Arraigns Herbalist Over Stealing of Human Parts

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A herbalist, Kolawole Sikiru, has been arraigned before a Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court for allegedly breaking into a cemetery and cutting up body parts.

The accused who resides in the Ikorodu area of Lagos is facing a three count charges of forcible entry, misconduct with regards to the corpse, and receiving fraudulently obtained property.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The Police prosecutor, Insp. Modupe Olaluwoye, told the court that the defendant committed the offence at 12.30 a.m. on Dec. 4, 2021, at Sabo Cemetery, Ikorodu Road, Lagos.

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She said that the defendant snuck into the cemetery and cut out human parts from a freshly buried corpse.

Insp. Olaluwoye said the defendant was apprehended with a locally made wooden knife and a nylon bag containing two human hands, a piece of human flesh and human heart parts.

The police said that it was the cemetery security guard that caught the defendant when he was climbing out of the cemetery through a fence with the human parts in his possession.

She said the alleged offences contravened Sections 52, 165 (a) (b) (c) and 328 (1) (2) {a} {b} of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 (Revised).

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The Chief Magistrate, Mrs L.Y. Balogun, granted the defendant bail in the sum of two million naira with two sureties in like sum.

Balogun said that the sureties must be gainfully employed, reside within the court jurisdiction and must produce evidence of three years’ tax payment to the Lagos State Government.

She added that the sureties must have their addresses verified by the court and show national proof of identification.

She adjourned the case until Feb. 9, for mention.

NAN

 

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CRIME

Babalawo Gets Life Imprisonment Over Defilement Conviction

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A traditional healer, (Babalawo) Prince Tom has been sentenced to two life sentences by an Ikeja Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Court for abducting and defiling the 15-year-old daughter of his patient.

Justice Abiola Soladoye sentenced Tom after finding him guilty of a two-count charge of defilement and kidnapping.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Soladoye said that the evidence of the first prosecution witness (the survivor) was consistent and remain unshaken during cross-examination.

The judge noted the evidence of the second prosecution witness (survivor’s mother) and other witnesses also corroborated key facts of the survivor’s evidence.

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“The defendant is toxic in character, he used the name of God to deceive his victims, he is mean and callous.
His attitude even while in the dock is wicked, deadly and nonchalant.

“The defendant extorted the mother of the victim and brainwashed the family that he will heal their sick breadwinner.

“A note of warning to parents not to entrust their wards to strangers. This is a case of mans inhumanity to man.

“The prosecution has proven it’s case beyond reasonable doubt. In view of all evidence presented in court, I am convinced that the accused is guilty of these two- counts.

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“The defendant is hereby sentenced to life imprisonment for count one (defilement) and life imprisonment for count two (kidnapping). The sentences are to run concurrently,”
the judge said.

Testifying on June 22, 2021 the survivor told the court that she met Tom for the first time when he came to her family to treat her father who had suffered a stroke.

She said he was introduced to the family through a member of her mother’s church.

She said the convict had charged N25,000 as part of the fee to treat her father and she was instructed by her mother to go with Tom to a Point of Sale (POS) to withdraw the funds.

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She said she was abducted by the convict who thereafter called her mother to demand “transport money” for her to return to her family and her mother sent N10,000 (N5,000 in two tranches) to meet Tom’s demands.

The witness narrated that Tom took her to Osmak Hotel, Mushin Lagos where he defiled her at gunpoint. He fell asleep after the defilement leaving the room key on the bed.

The teenager said that using the key, she escaped from the hotel room and alerted hotel staff to her ordeal.

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CRIME

Alleged N6.5bn Fraud: Court To Rule on Mompha Bail January 18

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Justice Mojisola Dada of a Lagos Special Offence Court in Ikeja has ordered remand of social media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha known as Mompha in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) custody pending hearing of his bail application.

The judge ordered his remand after he was arraigned on an eight count charges which borders on aiding internet fraud and being in possession of fraudulent documents.

However, when the charges were read to him, he pleaded not guilty to all the allegations.

The prosecutor counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo asked court for a trial date.

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The defendant counsel, Gboyega Oyewole, SAN, who led Ademola Adefolaju and Kolawole Salami
informed the court that they have filed a bail application and same has been served on the prosecutor.

Responding to the bail application, Mr. Oyedepo asked for time to respond to the application.

After entertaining submission of counsel’s, Justice Dada adjourned till January 18, 2021 to hear and rule on the bail application.

Mompha had earlier been charged before Justice Liman of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos vide charge No FHC/L/413C/19 by the EFCC and was subsequently admitted to bail .

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