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Money Laundering: Trial Of Ex-AGF Stalled, Adjourned Till August 13

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The trial of the former Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke has been stalled.

Mr. Adoke’s trial was stalled due to the failure of the prosecutor to serve the defendants with the proof of evidence and statement of the witness.

The former AGF was arraigned today alongside Aliyu Abubakar who is an Abuja based businessman, before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court.

Adoke Pleads Not Guilty
During the last sitting, the defendants pleaded not guilty to a 14-count charge filed against them bordering on money laundering.

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 last week 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 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.

He 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.

The former AGF 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 case has been adjourned till August 13, 2020.

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Three Soldiers Injured as Troops Kill ISWAP Terrorists in Borno

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Troops of the Nigerian Army under the Operation Hadin Kai have killed several ISWAP Terrorists in Dikwa town, Borno State.

According to a statement issued on Wednesday by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, the gallant troops decisively dealt with the terrorists who were attempting to infiltrate the town on Tuesday.

The terrorist elements were said to have mounted five gun trucks, others mounted motorcycles, while others moved by foot.

They were, however, met with superior fire power by troops in conjunction with air bombardment by Air Task Force.

“The marauding terrorists were thoroughly vanquished forcing them to withdraw in high state of confusion abandoning their truck, guns and ammunition,” the statement read.

“During the encounter, six members of the terrorists groups were neutralized, several others were severely injured while the survivors withdrew in total disarray leaving behind their deceased colleagues”.

Three soldiers, however, sustained various degrees of injuries but have now been stabilised.

Items recovered during the encounter included one gun truck, eight AK 47 rifles, 40 rounds of 7.62mm Special, 39 special ammo, three motorcycles and six magazines.

To mop up the area, troops conducted exploitation in the early hours of Wednesday in conjunction with the Civilian Joint Task Force and hunters along the terrorists’ withdrawal routes and recovered 90 rounds of 7.62 mm x 54 on links belonging to the fleeing terrorists.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Faruk Yahaya, has commended the gallant troops over the feat and charged them to remain resolute and steadfast.

He urged them to maintain the tempo in order to ensure total obliteration of terrorist groups within the North East region.

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Onion Marketers Threaten to Stop Supply to Southern Nigeria

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The Onion Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria has threatened to stop the supply of onions down to the South from June 7, 2021.

The group said it would carry out the threat if the government fails to compensate its members who have suffered losses in recent times following attacks in some parts of the country.

President of the association, Aliyu Umar, made this known to journalists at a press briefing on Sunday in Sokoto State.

He explained that the government under a committee led by the Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello had promised to compensate their members, many of whom suffered huge losses in Abia, Imo and Oyo States during the #EndSARS and Shasha market crisis.

However, according to him, the promise has not been kept and the members have reportedly lost over 4 billion naira.

“We are calling on the state and Federal Government to restore law and order in the state, and we are calling on the good people of the southern part of Nigeria to live with the Hausa community in peace as we are only there for our lawful businesses,” Umar said.

“We also call on state governments to collaborate with fed govt to set up a committee to investigate the incident that led to the loss of lives and property of the Onion Association members.

“Furthermore, if the government fails to adhere to what we are saying, we are shutting the supply of onion to the entire south by Monday the 7th of June 2021”.

In recent times, the price of Onions skyrocketed from just about ₦20,000 to nearly a hundred thousand, in less than a year – a situation which quickly gave it the reputation of ‘new gold’.

While the price hike could not be understood by many, some traders have attributed the increment to seasonal fluctuations, a general increase in prices of fertilizers among other items, strike actions as well as insecurity arising from the #EndSARS protests.

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20 Killed In Car Crash Along Kaduna-Kano Highway

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No fewer than 20 people have lost their lives in an accident along the Kaduna-Kano road.

The State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, confirmed this in a statement issued on Sunday.

He said the fatal accident which involved a Hummer Bus belonging to Kano Line and a private Toyota Rav4 SUV, occurred on Saturday afternoon around the Kauran Wali axis.

According to Aruwan, the bus was Kano-bound, while the SUV was headed for Zaria.

Eye-witness reports also confirmed that the crash was a head-on collision between the two vehicles, due to bad driving at a diversion point on the highway.

Ten persons were said to have died on the spot while the other 10 died later at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Shika.

Several others sustained injuries.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai who was saddened by the incident prayed for the repose of the souls of the deceased and also wished the injured quick recovery.

While thanking officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) for their swift response in evacuating the casualties after the crash, the governor, however, appealed to drivers to maintain caution and observe speed limits on all roads to avoid such tragic occurrences.

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