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Court Remands Ex- INEC Boss, Iwu In EFCC Custody

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A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered that the former INEC boss, Professor Maurice Iwu be remanded in custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), till Friday when his application for bail will be heard.

Prior to the remand order, the EFCC had arraigned Prof Iwu  before Justice Chuka Obiozor on a four count charge of concealment, fraud and money laundering of N1.2billion.

In the charge filed against the former INEC Chairman, the EFCC alleged that Professor Iwu aided the concealment of the sum of N1, 203,000,000 between December 2014 and March 2015.

The sum was said to be in the bank account of Bioresources Institute of Nigeria Limited and domiciled in the United Bank for Africa, UBA Plc.

Professor Iwu pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The money is believed to be part of the N23.29b slush fund allegedly shared by former petroleum minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke, to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential elections.

 

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Police  Re-arrest  Bala Wadume, Notorious Kidnap Kingpin In Kano

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The operatives of the Nigeria Police  have re-arrested the notorious kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume. He was arrested in the late hours of Monday, in his hideout at Layin Mai Allo Hotoro area of Kano State.

The police disclosed this on Tuesday via its official Twitter handle.

It would be recalled that  the Police had been on the massive manhunt for the suspect,  Bala Wadume since 6th August, 2019 following the unfortunate incident in Ibi, Taraba State which resulted in the brutal murder of three  Police Officers and two civilians and injury to five others.

The suspect, who was appropriately restrained at the time of the incident, was subsequently released by his “rescuers” after they had destroyed the restraining handcuffs.

While commending the Police operatives for their perseverance and painstaking efforts, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed   Adamu, expressed his profound gratitude to all Nigerians for their unparalleled show of love and empathy to the Force, as well as the families of the officers and patriotic civilians who paid the supreme price in the service of their fatherland.

The police boss, however expressed optimism that the re-arrest of the suspect, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume, will no doubt, help in bringing answers to the numerous but hitherto unanswered questions touching on the incident and the larger criminal enterprise of the suspect.

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$40m Jewelleries: Diezani Alleges EFCC Of Illegal Entry Into Apartment

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The Ex-  Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has challenged the seizure of $40m worth of jewelries from her premises by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Contained in an affidavit filed on her behalf by her counsel, Prof Awa Kalu (SAN), Diezani, who is currently in the United Kingdom, alleged that the EFCC violated her fundamental “right to own property and to appropriate them at her discretion,” under sections 43 and 44 of the constitution.

Also, she  accused the commission of entering her apartment illegally and taking the items without any court order.

On July 5, 2019, The Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC had secured an order of the court temporarily forfeiting the expensive jewelleries to the Federal Government.

The EFCC Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, in an exparte application, made before Justice Nicholas Oweibo told the court that the expensive jewelries comprising wristwatches, necklaces, bracelets, bangles, earrings, a customized gold phone and more were reasonably suspected to have being acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities of the former Minister.

According to the schedule attached to the application, the jewellery, categorised into 33 sets, include “419 expensive bangles; 315 expensive rings; 304 expensive earrings; 267 expensive necklaces; 189 expensive wristwatches; 174 expensive necklaces and earrings; 78 expensive bracelets; 77 expensive brooches; and 74 expensive pendants.”

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Oyedepo said “the respondent’s known and provable lawful income is far less than the properties sought to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

After granting the interim forfeiture order on July 5, the court adjourned proceedings for Diezani or anyone interested in the jewellery and gold iPhone to appear before it to give reasons why the items should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

But in an application filed on her behalf by Kalu (SAN), Diezani, contended that “the court lacked jurisdiction to have granted the interim forfeiture order in the first place as she had not been charged with any crime or served with any summons by the EFCC”.

She added  that the entry into her apartment by EFCC operatives was illegal as it was without a court order.

The lawyer added that the temporary forfeiture order was prejudicial to Diezani because she was denied fair hearing.

The application, could however not be argued today as Prof. Kalu was unable to come to court.

A lawyer from his chambers, Chukwuka Obidike, told the court that the SAN was engaged in election petitions, and asked the court to grant an adjournment.

The court has adjourned the case till August 29.

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US Customs Seize Four Tons Of Marijuana Worth $2.3m Hidden Among Peppers

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US Customs officers have seized nearly four tons of marijuana worth $2.3 million hidden in a consignment of jalapeno peppers.

Customs and Border Protection disclosed that a  sniffer dog alerted officers to a trailer with a shipment of peppers in San Diego on the border with Mexico on Thursday.

The CBP statement explained “a 37-year-old male Mexican citizen entered the port of entry driving a tractor pulling a trailer with cargo manifested as jalapeno peppers.”

Officers at Otay Mesa cargo facility found 314 packages of marijuana weighing 7,560 pounds (3.4 tonnes) mixed among the jalapeno peppers.

“I am proud of the officers for seizing this significant marijuana load,” said Otay Mesa Port director Rosa Hernandez.

The acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Mark Morgan also shared image of the seized marijuana on his verified Twitter handle.

He hailed the officers for a job well done.

It was the second large haul of marijuana at the facility in days.

Officers seized 10,642 pounds of the drug in a shipment of plastic auto parts at Otay Mesa on Tuesday.

CBP has seized 113 tons (103 tonnes) of marijuana so far this year, along with 41 tons of cocaine and 27 tons of methamphetamine.

In July authorities seized nearly 20 tons of cocaine with an estimated street value of more than $1 billion from a ship at the port of Philadelphia in one of the largest drug busts in US history.

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