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Fake Army Trial: Bolarinwa Mother Accuses EFCC of Illegal Forceful Eviction

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An octogenarian and mother of convicted fake Army General, Bolarinwa Abiodun, Mrs Adetona Funke Adebowale, has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, of forcefully taken possession of her family house jointly owned with her husband.

She said the house in question was never known to the judgement convicted her son.

She stated that the address affected by the judgment is 1A, Joke Ayo Street, Riverside not her house at 1b, Adeuke Longoss Cr, Riverview Estate, Suberuoje Community.

According to Mrs. Adebowale, EFCC takes laws to it’s hands by taken over her property, at a time when lawyer to her son had filed a stay of execution of the judgement.

The EFCC, following the conviction of Abiodun by Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of a Lagos Special Offences Court, took possession of a property on 1A, Joke Ayo Street, Riverside Estate, Alagbado, Lagos.

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The anti graft agency also take possession of other assets in the property, including a Range Rover Sport Utility Vehicle, SUV, a black BMW car, a black Toyota Land cruiser car, and a white Toyota Hilux and handed the same property over to the victim, Mr. Bamidele Safiriyu Olusegun.

Justice Taiwo had on July 8 2022 convicted and sentenced Abiodun to seven years imprisonment and ordered him to forfeit all the proceeds of the crime.

EFCC Lagos Zonal Commander, Ahmed Ghali, while handing over the keys to the property and vehicles at the EFCC’s Lagos Command, described the development as a milestone in the fight against corruption. Ghali said Abiodun had posed as an Army General to defraud Olusegun for the sum of N266,500,000.

Describing her experience with the EFCC officials, Mrs Adebowale said she is still traumatised from the experience, explaining that the anti-graft agents forced their way into the premises like armed robbers.

“When they came, a boy went to check who was banging the gate. They kept on banging the gate and at the same time shouting on the boy to open the gate. But the boy out of fear responded that he was not with the keys to the gate. When their threats persisted, the boy asked me to come and attend to them.

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“I picked the keys to the gate and went straight for the gate. I first opened the small window area of the gate and asked them what they wanted, but they didn’t answer my question, rather they insisted I open the gate. Later they said they only wanted to take a video of the house and that there’s nothing more.

“I asked why would they want to video the house, they then told me they are from the EFCC, and that they wanted to video the house. I then tried to explain to them that the house belongs to my husband and I, and not my son that was in their custody, ” she said.

Mrs Adebowale noted that she later opened the gate for the EFCC officials, after persistent threats and banging of the gate.

Her words: “There was this man wearing a white dress. He was the one carrying the camera. But as they entered they started packing our belongings, so I reminded them that they only said they wanted to video the house and the premises before I allowed them inside. They then told me that all our personal effects in the house now belong to them.

“I protested telling them to go and ask the person in their custody, where his own house his. I tried to explain to them that the house belongs to my husband and I, but they shouted at me saying they are not interested in the nonsense I wanted to tell them.

Read Also: EFCC Arraigns Ogun State Speaker Over Money Laundering

“They later asked me for the keys to my son’s room and his office, I told them I don’t have them. The room I was using before, which was then occupied by our visitors, was later ransacked while one of them was trying to break into the other rooms I told them I wasn’t with the keys. When I challenged the man trying to break the doors, he told me that even the property in the house is not enough to pay the debt owned by my son,” she explained.

The Octogenarian said all the doors that she couldn’t find the keys were eventually forcefully broken into by the EFCC agents.

“There’s nothing they didn’t move from the rooms. Even the ram that my brother’s son bought for me for the Salah celebration, was taken away along with my domestic goats. My live turkeys in the compound were also taken as well as my dog. All the split air-conditioners in the house were removed and carted away. Only the bed without foams were left and they warned me that if they come back and meet me in the house, they won’t consider my age.”

Mrs Adebowale further noted that the EFCC officials left with her money, running into over N12million, gold necklaces, wristwatches and other expensive jewelries that worth several millions of naira.

“They virtually turned the entire house into an empty space. They even went away with the plastic basin we use in washing clothes. The total cash they carted away from the house was about 12million, 30 thousand naira. The money cannot even be compared to the other expensive things, like gold chains or necklaces, wristwatches and jewelries that my daughter recently sent to me from abroad. In fact, an entire white-color jewelry box was taken away from the house.

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“They also carried the deep freezer and a large size fridge in the house. As I speak to you now there’s nothing left in the house. I was even asking them what they wanted to do with the plastic basins, gas cylinders and the iron pots that they took.”

She also named of some of the anti-graft personnels, who carried out the raid to include Rotimi Oyedepo, Alfa Suleiman and one Kobi, she accused the officials of attempting to plant drugs in the house during the raid.

“As they were about leaving after they had packed everything, one of them suddenly called me, and asked that I should come and see something. When I got to him, he showed me a whitish substance on the table that looks like a powder and said my son was also into drug.

“I told him immediately that my son had never smoked cigarette before let alone hard drug, and insisted that it was obvious that they brought and planted it there. I also insisted that they must carry their property. One of them now said they don’t intend to prosecute him over the drug. But I insisted that, that was why they were chased me away while they were r and raiding the house, “she added.

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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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N72.5m Theft: Peter Onoja Remand in Prison Pending Bail Application

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An Ikeja Special Offences Court, has remanded a former member of the National Union of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE), Peter Onoja, in a correctional centre for allegedly stealing the sum of N72.5 million from the union.

Onoja is facing a six-count charge bordering on stealing, contrary to Section 287 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.

Justice Mojisola Dada ordered that the defendant be remanded in any correctional facility of his choice pending the filing and hearing of his bail application.

Subsequently the judge adjourned the case until Jan. 24 for the commencement of trial and hearing of bail application.

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, counsel, Mrs Anita Imo, alleged that the defendant fraudulently converted the sum of N72.5million, property of NUFBTE to his personal use.

Imo told the court that the defendant committed the offences between February 2015 and August 2020 in Lagos.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Following his not guilty plea, the prosecution urged the court to remand the defendant in a correctional centre pending the commencement of trial.

Read Also: Oil Marketer, Adeleke Fayose, Remanded in Prison Over Alleged N66.5m Fraud

“In view of the not guilty plea of the defendant, we shall be asking for a trial date and we urge the court that the defendant be remanded, my lord’’, the prosecutor said.

The defence counsel, Mr Paul Okwoi, however, informed the court that the defence counsel could not file his bail application due to an error in it.

He, however, prayed to the court that two dates be granted in December for the defence counsel to file his bail application.

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Dr. Olaleye Remanded in Prison Over Sexual Assault Allegations

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Lagos State Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court sitting in Ikeja, has ordered the remand of a Medical Director of of Optimal Cancer Care Foundation, Dr Femi Olaleye, in Ikoyi Correctional Centre pending the fulfillment of his bail conditions.

Dr. Olaleye was charged before the court with a two-count charge of defilement and sexual assault by penetration of his 16 year-old wife’s niece.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him.

His lead counsel, Mr Babatunde Ogala, (SAN), while moving his bail application dated Nov. 24 and filed on 25, prayed to the court to grant the defendant bail on liberal terms.

Mr. Ogala argued that the defendant had cancer patients who looked up to him for his service and would not be productive if remanded in prison.

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He  also urged the court to use its discretion to grant the defendant bail adding that he appeared voluntarily in court after he had been served.

The prosecution team, led by the Director of the Public Prosecution (DPP,) Dr. Babajide Martins, in his counter affidavit dated Nov. 28, argued that the nature of the charge was serious enough  because it attracted life imprisonment.

Dr Martins argued that the complainant was the first wife of the defendant while the nominal complainant was the niece of the wife.

Justice Ramon Oshodi admitted the defendant to fifty million naira bail with two sureties in like sum, following the adoption of bail application by defense and counter affidavits by prosecution.

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The judge ruled that the sureties must have landed properties in Lagos and the original documents of the properties must be submitted to the chief registrar of the court.

He also said that the defendant must submit his British, Nigerian and other international passports in his possession to the chief registrar of the court.

The judge further ordered the court audile to verify the residential addresses of the sureties.

Subsequently, the matter was adjourned till December 19, for commencement of trial.

 

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Justice Sherifat Solebo Exits Judicial Service With Glowing Tributes

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Leading and prominent figures in the legal circle across the country have continued to pay glowing tributes to Justice Sherifat Solebo, a Senior Lagos State High Court Judge, who retired after 20years of meritorious judicial service to the state and the county at large.

The tribute session, which was part of events marking her retirement from service at Ikeja, Lagos, was led by the State Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba, followed by the State Attorney-General, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN; Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SANs; members of the Nigerian Bar Association, as well as Senior Court Officials and traditional rulers.

In his tribute, Justice Alogba said on behalf of the state government he was pleased to join his accolade to the many tributes of his colleagues, while acknowledging, Justice Solebo’s many achievements.

The Chief Judge noted that Justice Solebo had dealt with and had ruled on many difficult and complex cases in areas of law, including, criminal law, land disputes, family and child’s care actions, as well as constitutional law.

On his part, the State Attorney-General, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, described the journey of Justice Solebo, as depicting what can be achieved with perseverance, dedication and faith in God.

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The SAN emphasised that Justice Solebo being a Muslim has been forthright and fearless in discharging her duties as a Judge, knowing fully well that all her deeds on earth would be accounted for before the Almighty Allah.

Also contributing, the Coordinator, West African Regional Center for Law and Religious Studies, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, Unilag, Prof Akin Ibidapo-Obe, noted that the Judge unheralded intellectual interventions on various fora such as the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA; the Universities, the Civil Society Organization has made her leadership reputation as an incisive.

Prof. Ibidapo-Obe stressed that her outstanding contributions to Law and Religious Studies led to her induction as a member of the West African Judicial Expert Group on Law and Religious Studies, WAJEX – an elite body of Jurists across the West African region.

Delivering a sermon at the event, an Islamic scholar and legal practitioner, Basheer Shittu enjoined all faithfuls to make gratitudes the fulcrum of their supplications to increase their blessings from Allah as well as admittance to Jannat Adnin.

Hon. Justice Sherifat Solebo graduated from the University of Lagos with LL.B in 1995 and was thereafter called to the Nigerian Bar in 1996. She later returned to the University of Lagos for her LL.M.

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She went into private practice under the tutelage of Kunle Tuyo Esq. before joining the Lagos State Judiciary as a Magistrate in 1999 and rose through the ranks to the position of the Chief Magistrate/Deputy Chief Registrar (Special Duties) before her appointment as a Judge in 2017.

During her magisterial career, Hon. Justice Solebo served meritoriously in different capacities.

ln 2002, Hon. Justice Sherifat Solebo was appointed into the UNICEF Advocacy Group and was appointed as a Local Land Expert by the World Bank from 2008 to 2009. She was the Coroner for Mushin District between 2012 and 2014 and served as a member of the Local Government Election Petitions Tribunal in 2012.

Hon. Justice Solebo is a Fellow of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute, Canada. She has been privileged to attend several trainings, courses, workshops, conferences and seminars at the National Judicial Institute (Abuja), National Judicial College (Reno, Nevada, United States of America), Royal Institute of Public Administration (London, United Kingdom), the 36th and 39th Symposia on Economic & Financial Crimes at Jesus College, University of Cambridge (Cambridge, United Kingdom).

Click To Read: Justice of Supreme Court Task Judicial Officers To Be Upright

She had over the years been trained by UNICEF on Children’s Rights and Protection and by other similar organisations like National Conference on Juvenile Justice In Las Vegas, where she is also a member.

She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Mediators and Conciliators, and an active member of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Agency. She was a member of various committees, such as, (i) the 2019 High Court of Lagos state (Civil Procedure Rules) Review Committee; (ii) the Probate Review Committee; and (iii) the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State Review Committee. Additionally, up until 2021, she has contributed to the World Bank’s research on ‘Doing Business in Nigeria’ with a particular focus on the business environment in Lagos State. She worked with Prof. Carolyn Hamilton on the 2019 Family Court (Civil Procedure) Rules.

Hon. Justice Solebo has amassed over 20years experience in presiding over Civil, Criminal, Land and Family disputes in Court.

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