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Former AGF Adoke Pleads Not Guilty To Money Laundering Charges

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The former Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, has pleaded not guilty to the amended charges of money laundering.

Mr. Adoke is being re-arraigned alongside Aliyu Abubakar who is an Abuja based businessman before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

During sitting on Tuesday, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the 14 count charge filed against them.

Amended Charges Against Adoke
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had in June filed an additional seven charges against the former AGF over money laundering allegations involving about N400 million.

Mr Adoke’s trial was expected to begin on Monday (yesterday) but it was stalled due to the amended charges.

The initial charge contained seven counts, with six of them relating to Mr. Adoke.

At the resumed trial, the prosecutor, Bala Sanga, informed the court of an amended charge he filed on July 29 which was served on all the defendants.

The trial judge, Justice Ekwo who frowned at the late filing of the amended charge adjourned the trial till Tuesday on the ground that he is yet to sight the amended charges.

In the former seven counts, the EFCC alleged that the defendants committed the money laundering offences involving over N400 million in Abuja in September 2013.

In the counts relating to Mr Adoke, he was accused of among others, receiving the dollar equivalent of N300 million from Abubakar, paying the dollar equivalent of N367,318,800 to one Usman Mohammed Bello, and allegedly using the sum of N300 million, which was alleged to be part of the proceeds of unlawful activities, all in violations of various provisions of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011.

The former AGF was also accused of making “structured cash payments, in 22 tranches” amounting to N80 million, another of such structured payments in 13 tranches summing up to N50 million into his Unity Bank account.

The commission alleged that the funds were not only part of the proceeds of unlawful acts but they also exceeded “thresholds outside a financial institution,” and that the payments were done with the intention of concealing the origins of the funds contrary to Section 15(2(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 and punishable under section 15(3) of the same law.

He was granted bail by the Federal High Court in Abuja on February 10, 2020, in the sum of N50m with one surety in like sum.

The court has however fixed August 11, 12, and 13 for the trial of the former AGF and Mr. Abubakar.

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Court News

Judiciary Workers Suspend Strike, After More Than Two Months

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The Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) has suspended its industrial action after over two months.

The union had embarked on the strike on April 6, shutting down all courts nationwide, to demand financial autonomy for the judiciary in states.

JUSUN’s suspension of the strike followed a meeting of its national executive council (NEC) held in Abuja on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, the National Judicial Council (NJC) and members of JUSUN met with a view to finding a lasting solution to the lingering strike.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad, and other stakeholders during the interface, lamented that the strike had affected the Judiciary in particular and the nation at large and therefore sought a way to resolve the lingering issue.

 JUSUN Deputy President, Emmanuel Abiri who briefed the Council on behalf of the executive members of the association, explained that the grouse of the union was that despite the Constitutional Provision of Sections 81 (3), 121 (3), 162 (9) and the judgement delivered since 2015 in favour of JUSUN, the Executive Order 10 of 2020 and the agreement reached between the union, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, the governors have refused to yield financial autonomy to the State Judiciary.

Abiri that the union’s other grievances include; non-payment of peculiar allowance for judiciary staff; the attempt by the Kaduna State Governor to place the State judiciary under its civil service and scheming for a State Judicial Council.

He posited that the Nigeria Governors’ Forum was merely playing politics with the Constitution and had also failed to remit the one-month payment agreed on at the end of May as a demonstration of their good faith.

Mr. Abiri noted that if the Forum could renege in fulfilling its promise at the end of the month of May, there was no guarantee that it would not in June. He, therefore, requested that the Accountant-General of the Federation be directed to deduct from source the amount meant for the Judiciary before the Union could call off the strike.

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Lawyer Who Filed Suit Against 50 EndSars Protesters In Court For Impersonation

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A supposed legal practitioner, Mr Kenechukwu Okeke, who filed a criminal suit against 50 persons during the EndSars protest in October 2020, has been arraigned before the Magistrate court in Abuja.
Recall that Mr Kenechukwu Okeke has at October 2020 filed a suit against about 50 persons who supported the EndSars protest.
Among these persons are top celebrities and prolific personalities like Davido, Falz, Aisha Yeshufu among others.
Following this the Nigerian Bar Association has revealed that Mr Kenechukwu Okeke is not a lawyer and was never called to the Nigerian Bar.
According to the NBA, Kenechukwu Okeke’s name is not on the list of directory of lawyers in Nigeria. The NBA reported him through an official letter to the High Court, at the Federal Capital Territory Abuja.
At the hearing of the case in court on Monday, the NBA counsel told the court that the first defendant in the case, Mr Kenechukwu Okeke, has been appearing court all over Nigeria, presenting himself as a Lawyer which he is not.
The NBA produced some evidences to back up their submissions which include anauthentication from NBA website that Okeke is not a lawyer.
The NBA has therefore promised to prosecute Kenechukwu Okeke for impersonation and presenting himself to be what he is not.

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Court To Hear Suit Challenging Lagos Ban Of Motorcycles, Tricycles On Dec 15

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The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has fixed December 15 to hear a suit seeking the reversal of the ban placed by the Lagos State Government on the operations of commercial motorcycles and tricycles, popularly known as Okada and Keke Marwa.

A Lagos-based lawyer, Julius Ajibulu, who filed the suit said the ban on okada and keke Marwa, without a replacement or an alternative means of transportation, had subjected Lagosians to untold hardship and taken away the source of livelihood of the operators.

The lawyer claimed that the ban had led to massive unemployment and an escalation in the rate of crime and insecurity in the state due to loss of jobs.

He said the ban further violated his fundamental rights and those of other Lagosians under sections 33, 34, 36, 38, 41 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution.

Ajibulu is asking the court to order “the immediate resumption of commercial operations and activities of tricyles (Keke NAPEP/ Marwa) and motorcycles (okada) of 50cc-200cc capacity engine on the above stated highways and expressways through the aforesaid bridges in 15 local government and local development council areas of Lagos State.”

He is also seeking damages in the sum of N1bn as well as a public apology in newspapers.

The suit is the second lawsuit seeking the reversal of the Lagos State Government’s ban on okada and Keke Marwa.

Another lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, had earlier filed a suit before the same court on the same issue.

In his suit before Justice Mohammed Liman, Ogungbeje is seeking a declaration that “the forceful impounding, seizure or confiscation of motorcycles and tricycles” by agents of the Lagos State Government amounted to an infringement on the right of residents to own property under sections 43 and 44 of the Constitution.”

The Lagos State Government had in February proscribed both motorcycles and tricycles in six local governments and nine local council development areas of the state.

In a statement issued on January, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotosho, said that the riders must not ply 10 major highways and 40 bridges and flyovers across the state.

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