Justice Daniel Osiagor of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Wednesday awarded a N200, 000.00 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) fine against a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani Kayode, for his absence in court to take his plea in an alleged N4.6 billion fraud.
Fani-Kayode, also the Chairman of the 2015 Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign Organisation , is standing trial alongside Nenadi Usman, a former Minister of Finance, a former National Chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria, ALGON, Danjuma Yusuf, and a limited liability company, Jointrust Dimentions Nigeria Limited.
The trial of the defendants had first commenced in 2016 before Justice Muslim S.Hassan.
However, midway into the trial before Justice Hassan, who has since been elevated to the Court of Appeal, the case file was transferred to Justice Rilwan Aikawa.
While the matter was pending before Justice Aikawa, the defendants’ pleas were taken.
As a result, the case file was transferred to the new Judge, Justice Osiagor for the matter to start afresh.
However, Fani-Kayode, who is the second defendant, was not in court to take his plea.
Buhari, therefore, urged the court to revoke his bail.
In his response, Fani-Kayode’s lawyer, F. B. Ajudua, pleaded with the court not to revoke his client’s bail.
According to him, “ A letter has been written on his behalf. He is currently on bed rest at Kubwa General Hospital, Abuja.”
He further told the court that “He has been attending his trial since the matter commenced in 2016.
He, therefore, prayed the court not to revoke Fani-Kayode’s bail, while also asking for a short adjournment.
The Judge, after going through the Court’s records, discovered that Fani-Kayode had been absent from court five times.
His absence, according to the Judge, had “stalled the smooth hearing of the charge.”
Ajudua opted for the option of a N200,000 fine.
Consequently, Justice Osiagor ordered Fani-Kayode to a fine of N200, 000, 00, which must be paid before the next adjourned date.
The matter was adjourned till November 30, 2021, for the re-arraignment of the defendants.
NIMASA set to open Lokoja office to harness waterways resources
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has disclosed that the Agency is set to reopen the Lokoja office, as part of efforts towards harnessing the Blue Economy, enhancing collaboration, while also promoting Research and Development.
The DG, who made this known when he played host to the Executive Secretary of the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency (KADSEMA), Mal. Usman Hayatu Mazadu at the head office of the Agency in Lagos, noted that investment in research would play a major role in ensuring the harnessing of Nigeria’s maritime potentials.
“The key cardinal principle of opening the NIMASA Lokoja office is to improve on Research and Development.
He said, “Now, the Blue Economy has come to stay and very soon you will see the impact of what we have; in terms of the gains and benefits to grow our Gross Domestic Product while improving the well-being of our own Economy”.
Earlier in his remarks, Mallam Usman of KADSEMA lauded the Agency for the feat achieved so far, which cuts across the entire Nigeria.
Prince Nwokeabia rallies support for Comptroller Ukpanah, CAC Enugu/Anambra/Ebonyi\command, as she assumes office
She took over from Comptroller AM Adegbite who was re-deployed to Edo/Delta Area Command.
Customs, UN agency collaborate to fight smuggling
“On behalf of the entire Management Team of the Nigeria Customs Service, I wish to inform you that we will partner with you in this campaign, and we will grant you all forms of support you may need to carry out this campaign — and I want to assign one of our amiable DCGs, Abba Kura, to work with you closely.”
He appreciated how they traveled from afar to inform the Nigeria Customs Service of their campaign against smuggling, which, according to him, the Nigeria Customs Service has already started yielding positive results in suppressing the menace of smuggling.
The CGC also welcomed Dr Raymond’s offer to engage officers and men of the Service in capacity—building to enhance their understanding of digital literacy skills, adding that the Service has already started embracing technology to advance its work by introducing related courses to officers.
The CGC appreciated the collaborative effort between the Nigeria Customs Service and UN—Habitat and believes that the collaboration signifies a commitment to tackling smuggling and enhancing trade facilitation in the nation, setting the stage for a more prosperous future.
He also appreciated their pledge to train officers and men of the Service in digital literacy skills, assuring that the Service will continue to prioritize proficiency in the fight against smuggling through a technological approach.
He underscored the importance of digital skills, promising that the relevant Service department will enhance trade facilitation.
On his part, the Director of UN—Habitat, Dr. Raymond Edoh, appreciated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for reposing the responsibility of heading the Nigeria Customs Service on the Acting Comptroller-General, describing him as “a competent Customs officer who knows the terrain and masters the job.”
According to him, they decided to visit the Ag. CGC at the Customs Headquarters to express their interest in partnering with the Service.
He appreciated the Service for being a “gatekeeper of the country” that protects citizens against border threats, stressing that his organization will collaborate with NCS to mitigate the smuggling of illicit goods and train officers and men of Customs on digital literacy skills and certification.
UN-Habitat is the United Nations entity responsible for developing urban policies and translating them into action to create sustainable cities and promote viable urban development and adequate shelter for all.
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