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Court adjourns Fani-Kayode’s trial till Jan. 24, Naira Marley’s trial Till Feb.16

Femi Fani- Kayode
Owolola Adebola
Justice Daniel Osaigor of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Tuesday, November 30, 2021, adjourned till January 24, 2022 further hearing in the alleged N4.6bn fraud involving a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode and others.Fani-Kayode is standing trial alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenadi Usman, a former Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, (ALGON), Yusuf Danjuma, and a company, Join-Trust Dimensions Nigeria Ltd. on a 17-count charge bordering money laundering to the tune of N4.6billion.

The defendants had pleaded “not guilty” to all the charges preferred against them.

Though counsel to the first defendant, Chief Ferdinard Orbih, was absent at today’s sitting, following a letter notifying the Court in advance,  other defence counsels, including Norrison Quakers, SAN and Clement Onwuenwunor, were present.

The prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, raised no objection to the letter sent in by the defence.

He, however, told the Court that the prosecution’s investigation of the several letters that Fani-Kayode claimed to have obtained from Kubwa General Hospital and presented to court at previous sittings as an excuse for his absence showed that they were all fake.

He further added that the EFCC was “currently working on the report and will do the needful.” The matter was, thereafter, adjourned till January 24, 2022 for continuation of trial.At the last sitting on October 13, 2021, F.B. Ajudua had told the court that his client, Fani-Kayode, was “currently on bed rest at Kubwa General Hospital, Abuja”.

Similarly, Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos has adjourned the trial of Azeez Fashola, also known as Naira Marley, till February 16, 2022.

Marley is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC)on an 11-count charge bordering on conspiracy and credit card fraud.

He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges when he was arraigned on May 20, 2019.

At the last sitting on October 27, 2021, Augustine Anosike, a forensic analyst testifying as to the second prosecution witness, had concluded his examination-in-chief. The court subsequently adjourned till November 30, 2021, for cross-examination.

At Tuesday proceeding, however, the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that the witness was absent in court on “compassionate grounds”.

“I only got information as to the absence of the witness at about 9.30  while still in the parking lot of the court this morning,” he said, stressing that it was not in his character to waste the court’s time.

Defence counsel, Olalekan Ojo, SAN, however, lamented the delay.

“It is rather unfortunate that the matter could not proceed today.

“ The prosecution ought to have given sufficient notice of the witness’ absence,” he said.

Subsequently, Justice Oweibo adjourned till February 16 and 17, 2022 for the continuation of trial.

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Freight Monitor

President Buhari to commission multi-billion naira Dala Inland dry port Monday –Ahmad Rabiu

The Eyewitness reporter
All is set for the commissioning of the Dala International inland dry port on Monday 31st January 2023 by President Muhammad Buhari at Zawachiki in Kumbotso local government area of Kano state.
The Managing Director of the international inland dry port Ahmad Rabiu, stated this while addressing newsmen on the preparation for the inauguration of the port at its headquarters in Kano.
Ahmad Rabiu, who was joined by the chairman of the inland dry port, Alhaji Abubakar Sahabu Bawuro, said its the first international inland dry port where cargoes will go anywhere in the world from Kano state without follow up to any sea ports across Nigeria.
Ahmad Rabiu told newsmen that the federal government under President Muhammad Buhari has given all the support required for the take-up, noting that they have met the requirement on infrastructure and other critical amenities.
The MD said the stacking area has the capacity of containing 20 thousand units of containers before moving anywhere at any time, noting that the area covers six hectares of land and the management is willing to add more.
According to Ahmad Rabiu, all the requirements needed for clearance by businessmen, and customs duty will be done right from Kano without follow-up to any seaport in Nigeria.
On his part, the chairman of Dala Inland Dry Port, Alhaji Abubakar Sahabu Bawuro said the management of the port is prepared technically, and physically with interested partners and is going to boost businesses in Kano, Nigeria and Africa in general and urged members of the press to partner with the management in ensuring efficiency, emphasizing that the place is not a monument but a business venture.
The chairman said Dala Inland Dry Port is now a solution to the problems brought about by the seaports and they will introduce cargo tracking and door-to-door delivery of goods and services.
He said the success of the inland dry port is a joint venture between the state government, the business community, regulatory agencies and the Federal Government of Nigeria and to make business in Kano and its neighborhood more competitive.
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Freight Monitor

CRFFN rejects re-appointment bid of ousted Sam Nwakohu

Ousted CRFFN Registrar, Nwakohu
— appoints Uromta as Acting Registrar
—-shops for substantive Registrar.
The Eyewitness reporter
The Council for the Registration of Freight forwarding Practice in Nigeria (CRFFN) has thrown out the re-election bid of the outgoing Registrar of the Council, Sam Nwakohu.
In an emergency meeting of the council Thursday at its Abuja liaison office, the Council appointed Mrs. Chinyere Uromta, the Director of Regulations and Enforcement, as an acting Registrar pending the time a substantive registrar will be appointed.
The decision of the council to reject the reelection bid of the ousted Registrar was based on the recommendations of its ad hoc committee to look into the request of Nwakohu for a second term tenure.
The outgoing registrar, last year, at the December meeting of the council, submitted a letter, requesting to be considered for a second term shot at the lucrative position.
Consequently, the Chairman of the Council, Alhaji Abubakar Tsanni set up an ad-hoc committee, headed by Efeanyi Isikaku, to look into the request of Nwakohu and submit its report in two weeks.
“Following the completion of its assignment and submission of its report, the council, therefore, convened today (Thursday)in Abuja to deliberate on the next line of action to be taken in respect of the committee’s recommendations.
” The AdHoc committee made important recommendations with reference to the provisions of Public Service Rules as well as the council’s Act.
“The committee however, recommended that in order to avoid a vacuum after the expiration of the Registrar’s tenure, the council shall start making arrangements for a handover of the Registrar’s office to the most senior management staff of the council.
“Similarly, the committee also recommended that the Appointment Promotion and Discipline committee of the council be directed to start making preparations for reappointment or appointment of substantive Registrar”  Muftahu Ya’u, the chairman Committee on Media and Publicity of the governing council,  declared in a statement he sent to our reporter.
 “Finally, the council’s chairman soon after the adoption, approval, and ratification of the committee’s recommendations by members of the council directed the followings:
that arrangement for the Registrar’s handover to Mrs. Chinyere Uromta  Director, Regulations and Enforcement on 31st of January 2023.
“That committee on Appointment Promotion and Discipline go ahead to start preparations for reappointment/appointment of a new Registrar” the head of media and publicity of the council concluded.
It could be recalled that soon after Nwakohu made his ambition known to succeed himself as the Registrar of the council, he went on a lobbying spree, trying to woo the council members to buy into his ambition.
But sources close to the council whispered to our reporter that the second term bid of Nwakohu was dead on arrival due to lots of baggage he carries.
“There was no way he could have succeeded in his obnoxious bid to succeed himself.
Firstly, it was a general consensus among the freight forwarding confraternity that Nwakohu failed woefully as the registrar.
“He is incompetent, arrogant and someone not ready to learn,” a highly placed source said.
“Also, several allegations of financial sleaze against him have not been cleared.
“Similarly, the council members were not happy at the way Nwakohu handled the purchase of the CRFFN Abuja liaison office which cost they felt was inflated.
“All these and other uncharitable behavior of the outgoing registrar are enough reasons not to reappoint him as the Council registrar” the source claimed.
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Headlines

Transportation ministry inaugurates project committee for Ondo, Benin seaports

 

The Eyewitness reporter
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transportation, Dr Magdalene Ajani, has inaugurated
a Project Steering Committee for the proposed Ondo Deep & Benin Seaports.
Dr. Magdalene Ajani, while inaugurating the Committee on behalf of the Nigerian government at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja Wednesday,  stated that the Committee is saddled with providing guidance and direction on the projects.
She also charged the members of the committee to also facilitate necessary permits, clearance & approvals for the projects.
The permanent secretary said it is also the responsibility of the committee to prepare the transaction for the Hon. Minister of Transportation, Alhaji Muazu Sambo, to obtain the approval of tte Federal Executive Council.
She charged them to hit the ground running immediately.
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