Court remands lawyer over alleged N10m scam in Uyo
The Uyo Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC,)on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 arraigned one Barrister Utibe Hanson Inem before Justice Bassey Nkanang of the State High Court, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on a two-count charge bordering on the issuance of dud cheque and stealing by fraudulent conversion to the tune of N10, 000.00 (Ten Million Naira).
One of the counts reads: “Utibe Hanson Inem “M” sometime in April 2021 in Uyo, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, fraudulently converted to your own use the sum of Ten Million Naira (N10, 000,000.00) belonging to one Uduak Akpan Jacob, being the said Uduak Akpan Jacob’s share, from proceeds from the sale of 3 bedroom bungalow located at Osongama Estate”.
The offence is contrary to Section 392 (1) and punishable under Section 399 of the Criminal Code CAP 38 Vol. II Laws of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria 2000.
He pleaded “not guilty” when the charge was read to him. In view of his plea, Adanna Nnamani, counsel to the EFCC prayed the court for a trial date and for the defendant to be remanded at the Uyo Correctional facility.
The defence counsel, C. N. Nweke Junior, informed the court about his client’s application for bail which was filed on January 17, 2023, and urged the court to admit the defendant bail in the most liberal terms.
The court granted the defendant bail in the sum of Three Million Naira with a surety in like sum. The surety shall deposit in Court any documented proof of the ownership of a landed property within Uyo.
The Court thereafter adjourned the matter till April 4, 2023, for commencement of trial while the defendant was remanded in Uyo Correctional facility.
Trouble started for Barrister Inem when the Commission received a petition from one Uduak Jacob who alleged that the defendant connived with his ex-wife to sell his landed property. Upon learning about the transaction, the defendant issued him a 10 Million cheque as his share of the proceeds and convinced him to sign the Power of Attorney for the sale of the property.
The cheque, when presented in the bank, was returned unpaid as the account was not funded.
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“The Authority wishes to solicit the understanding and cooperation of all stakeholders as we continue to support measures to mitigate the temporary disruptions, the NPA pleaded.
NIMASA collaborates with NCC to regulate submarine cable operation for enhanced navigational safety on Nigerian waters
The eyewitness reporter
Apparently alarmed by the indiscriminate laying of communication cables and pipelines underneath the Nigerian waters by telecommunications operators and other allied professionals which has the potential of harming the safe navigation of ships, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA) has engaged the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in a strategic discussion to forge a formidable synergy with other relevant stakeholders with a view to developing a regulatory framework to provide operational guidelines for submarine Cable and Pipeline Operators in Nigeria.
Officials of both organs of Government in Lagos reached this agreement at a pre Audit meeting on submarine cable regulation.
The Director General of NIMASA Dr. Bashir Jamoh, who chaired the meeting, which also had the Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) Mr. Dasuki Arabi in attendance, noted that the Agency is committed to the Ease of Doing Business while implementing International Conventions which Nigeria has ratified and domesticated.
He noted that with Nigeria now a destination for global communication players, the time has come to prevent unregulated underwater cable laying, which might become hazardous to shipping.
According to him, “It is worthy to note that marine cable laying has been ongoing for over two decades in Nigerian waters.
“Our focus is to ensure the safety of navigation of shipping in Nigerian waters with all these underwater cables being laid.
“NIMASA is actually developing the guidelines to regulate submarine cable operators in line with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, UNCLOS; which we have ratified and NIMASA is the Agency of Government in Nigeria responsible for its implementation.
“Collaboration is a key component of ease of doing business in the best interest of the country and we will work closely with the NCC to achieve this”.
On his part, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, who was represented by the Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Efosa Idehen, noted that the stakeholders’ dialogue strategy adopted by NIMASA in developing the guidelines would ensure a win-win situation, urging NIMASA management to include the Ministry of Justice, a request NIMASA DG immediately granted.
Also speaking at the meeting was the Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms Mr. Dasuki Arabi, who commended NIMASA and NCC for adopting effective Inter-Agency collaboration to avert a potential challenge for the country in the future.
NIMASA had notified submarine and cable operators in Nigeria of a soon-to-be-implemented regulatory guideline for submarine cables and pipelines in Nigeria, in line with the provisions of UNCLOS.
NIMASA and the NCC agreed to identify and resolve areas of likely regulatory overlaps, ensuring a regulatory framework based on consultation to engender the attainment of Nigeria’s digital economy transformation.
Officials of the Federal Ministry of Environment and representatives of Submarine Cable operators in Nigeria were also at the meeting.
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