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Court Convicts Ponzi Scheme Operator in Kano, Orders Return of N110m to Victims

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Justice Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court, Kano on March 2, 2021 convicted one Maryam Abu Shinga on one count amended charge of retention of proceeds of crime. She was also ordered to pay the sum of N110, 000,000 in restitution to victims

The convict was said to have lured her victims into a phony gold mining investment where she represented that the investor stands to earn 300% profit. She claimed that when an investor invests N500, 000, such investor could earn N1, 500,000 (One Million Five Hundred Thousand Naira Only) as returns on investment over a period of 4 weeks.

Investigation, however, revealed that the convict was never into gold mining or any such investment. It was also discovered that even though Shinga was able to pay some early investors with funds taken from later investors, she allegedly diverted N394,541,910 (Three Hundred and Ninety-four Million, Five Hundred and Forty-one Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ten Naira) belonging to several other investors.

Upon arraignment, Shinga pleaded ‘not guilty’ thereby setting the stage for trial.

During the trial which commenced on January 23, 2020, the prosecution called five witnesses and tendered several documents in evidence. However, before the prosecution could close its case, the convict opted for a plea bargain.

In his judgment on Tuesday, March 2, Justice Allagoa accepted the terms of a plea bargain agreement, convicted and sentenced the defendant to restitute the complainants in the sum of N110, 000,000.

Wilson Uwujaren

Head, Media & Publicity

3 March, 2021
[3/3, 2:53 PM] Precious Anyakwe Rhythm 2: Oil Thief Bags Three Years in Port Harcourt

Justice M.L. Abubarkar of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has convicted and sentenced Bukar Ali to three years imprisonment, for dealing in petroleum products without a requisite license.

He was convicted on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 after pleading “guilty” to one count amended charge that borders on conspiracy and illegal dealing in petroleum products, contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) and punishable under Section 1 (17) (a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, CAP M17 of the Reverse Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007.

The charge read:, “That you Bukar Ali on or about the 20th day of January, 2020, along Eleme in Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court without appropriate license dealt in petroleum products to wit: 40,000 litres Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) conveyed in a multi- coloured, red headed Iveco Truck with registration number: AGL 157 XF and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (1) (a) and punishable under Section 1 (17) (a) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, CAP M17 of the Reverse Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007”.

Based on Ali’s “guilty” plea, prosecution counsel M.I. Iko prayed the court to convict and sentence him accordingly. However, defence counsel, M.M. Suleiman sued for leniency as the defendant is a first time offender who has become remorseful and did not waste the time of the court.

Justice Abubarkar found Ali guilty as charged and sentenced him to three years imprisonment, with an option of fine of Five Hundred Thousand Naira only ( N5000.000.00)

He also ordered that the 40, 000 litres AGO be sold and the proceeds paid into the Federal Government’s TSA Account. The Judge however ordered that the Tanker be released to the owner.

Ali was arrested by the anti- bunkering team of the 6 Division Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, Rivers State on January 20, 2020 along Eleme Road, Port Harcourt with an Iveco Tanker with registration number: AGL 157 XF loaded with products suspected to be adulterated Automotive Gas Oil (AGO).

Investigations showed that the Truck was not accompanied with necessary documents such as a Waybill, loading Meter Tracker, evidence of purchase, among others.

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2023: Why Nigerians are bashing FFK over endorsement of Yahaya Bello’s presidential bid

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2023: Why Nigerians are bashing FFK over endorsement of Yahaya Bello's presidential bid

Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani Kayode, is no doubt a newsmaker. His recent tweet endorsing the presidential ambition of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State is creating a storm of sorts.

His tweet reads:

“The idea that Gov. Yahaya Bello should not run for the Presidency & that the NC zone, which has never produced a democratically elected President, ought to settle for another position is absurd. Nigeria needs strong & decisive leadership, a generational change & a bridge-builder.”

FFK’s twitter post follows an earlier statement from a support group within the ruling All Progressives Congress APC has asking Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State to drop his presidential ambition and support calls to zone the national chairmanship of the party to the North Central geopolitical zone.

The former Minister’s Twitter post has continued to generate a hail of harsh criticism as Nigerians recall that only three years ago, FFK had reacted to Bello’s open pledge of loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari by saying that the mental faculties of the Governor of Kogi State are not functional.

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Why Gov El Rufai Insists that Bandits must be wiped out, not negotiated with

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Why Gov El Rufai Insists that Bandits must be wiped out not negotiated with

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has said again expressed his zero tolerance for bandits terrorising Nigeria.

Speaking during a town hall meeting on national security organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture held in Kaduna, with theme, “Setting Benchmark for Enhanced and National Unity in Nigeria”, Governor El Rufai stated that bandits have lost their rights to life under the constitution and must be wiped out. He also said a situation where security agencies only responded to incidents of banditry was unacceptable.

El Rufai said:  “The bandits are at war with Nigeria and there is no other way to approach the current insurgency but for security forces to take the war to the bandits and recover forests where they are occupying.

“The security agencies mostly react to cases of banditry and abduction, we are in a war with these terrorist challenging the sovereignty of the Nigerian state.

“Our security forces must collaborate to take the war to the bandits and terrorist, recover and restore the forest to enable our law-abiding citizens to engage in legitimate farming and livestock production,’’ .

El-Rufai stated that no one in a position of responsibility could deny the need for sustained action against criminals, adding that security operations that were more proactive would cripple the outlaws and reassure ordinary citizens.

He said government must identify and deal with non state-actors and others challenging the existence of the country. The governor advised that security forces should be increased and be well equipped to deal with insurgency, adding that judiciary must also be decentralised to serve justice.

“To address the banditry problem, we must implement the National Livestock Transformation Plan, NLTP, already produced four years ago to enable accelerated investment in modern animal husbandry on operating rapid decentralization of herders in known locations,” he said.

Governor El-Rufai also stressed the need for security agencies to be proactive in the fight against banditry and other violent crime, saying a situation where they only responded to incidents of banditry was unacceptable.

He said security agencies must collaborate and take the fight to bandits and kidnappers because the country was at war with them. “The situation in which the security agencies mostly only react to cases of banditry and abduction is unacceptable.

“We are in a war with these terrorists who are challenging the sovereignty and monopoly of the instruments of coercion of the Nigerian state and its territory.

“Our security forces must collaborate to take the war to them, recover and restore the un-governed forests these terrorists occupy, and enable our law-abiding citizens to engage in their legitimate pursuits,’’ the governor said.

He reiterated his position that bandits must be “wiped out” because they had lost their right to life, by virtue of the constitution.

He said: “These bandits have lost their right to life under our constitution and must be wiped out in their entirety. There is no other way to approach the current insurgency situation today as far as governmental action is concerned.’’

According to him, the country has found itself in near-anarchy because there are too many carrots without sticks.

“Notions of a common humanity, not to talk of a common citizenship are not as widely or deeply shared as it would appear. Identity politics holds sway. This reflects the absence of an elite consensus about who we are and how we should live together,” he said.

The governor said more responsibilities should be given to states so that the federal government would not blamed for everything that goes wrong.

“Centralised policing in a federation is not only a contradiction in terms.  The state governments today bear most of the burden of the running costs of the federal police anyway, so why not the sub-nationals of the state police now. So I repeat my persistent call for state police as soon as possible.

“To address the banditry prevalent in the north-west and north-central, we must implement the national livestock transformation plan already produced four years ago,’’ Governor El-Rufai said.

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