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Court Bars Govt From Retrying Kalu Over N7.1b Money Laundering Charge

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Govt Asks Appeal Court To Order Retrial Of Kalu Over Alleged N7.1b Fraud

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja has barred the Federal Government from retrying former Abia State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu over a N7.1billion money laundering charge by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The court held that the Supreme Court did not in the verdict it gave on May 8, 2020, order the retrial of either Kalu or his his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited.

Justice Ekwo held that the Supreme Court only ordered the retrial of former Director of Finance in Abia State, Jones Udeogu, who was the appellant before it.

Consequently, he upheld a suit Kalu filed to challenge the legal propriety of his planned re-arraingment by the EFCC.

Kalu had in the application he filed through his team of lawyers led by Chief Awa Kalu, SAN, argued that allowing the EFCC to try him afresh on the charge and same facts upon which he was earlier convicted and sentenced on December 5, 2019, would occasion him to suffer a “double jeopardy”.

According to him, “The unassailable position of the law is that no person who shows that he has been tried by any court of competent jurisdiction or tribunal for a criminal offence and either convicted or acquitted, shall again be tried for that offence having the same ingredients as that offence, save upon the order or a competent court.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Kill Husband Of Dora Akunyili

“The trial of the applicant having been pronounced a nullity by the Supreme Court in its judgment dated the 8th day of May, 2020 and without more, cannot entitle the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to institute the same charge against the applicant”.

Canvassing reasons why his trial should not commence de-novo (afresh), Kalu, said he was convicted and sentenced by Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos with respect to the extant charge against him.

“That following the conviction and sentence of the applicant, the applicant was incarcerated at the Kuje Correctional Centre where he served part of his term having spent a few days in the Ikoyi Correctional Centre.”

He noted that the Supreme Court had in the judgement it delivered on May 8, 2020, on Appeal No: SC.62C/2019, which was filed by his co-Defendant, Udeogu, held that the trial of the appellant at the trial court was conducted without jurisdiction.

He argued that the apex court thereafter, only ordered the retrial of the appellant (Udeogu), without reference to himself (Kalu).

“That there is no extant ruling or judgment of a competent court in Nigeria ordering the retrial of the applicant having regard to the fact that the Supreme Court excluded the applicant from the explicit order for retrial arising from Charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/56/07 F. R. N. VS. Orji Uzor Kalu & 2 Ors”, Kalu argued.

Consequently, he prayed the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining FG, through the EFCC or its agents, from further trying, harassing and intimidating him with respect to the charge or any other charge based on the same facts “as the applicant need not suffer double jeopardy.”

 

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Why Millions Of COVID-19 Vaccines Expired – Govt

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Why Millions Of COVID-19 Vaccines Expired - Govt

The Federal Government has explained why some COVID-19 vaccines in the country have expired and they were not used.

The Federal Ministry of Health said on Wednesday that some of the vaccine doses which were given by donors had residual shelf lives.

The ministry made this clarification following a report published by Reuters, which stated that over one million doses of coronavirus vaccines were expired in the country last month.

However, the country’s health ministry in a statement by the minister in charge, Osagie Ehanire, explained that the vaccines which were received in form of donations through COVAX and AVATT facility had residual shelf lives leaving the country with a limited period to facilitate distribution and usage.

READ ALSO: One Million COVID-19 Vaccines Expire In Nigeria

The statement partly read : “The attention of the Federal Ministry of Health has been drawn to reports circulating in the media to the effect that some COVID-19 vaccines had expired in Nigeria.

“This press statement is to properly brief the public and set records right. Nigeria has, of late, enjoyed the generosity of several, mainly European countries, who have offered us doses of COVID-19 vaccines out of their stockpiles, free of charge, through COVAX or AVAT facility.

“These donations are always acknowledged and thankfully received. However, some of them had residual shelf lives of only a few months that left us a very short time – some just weeks – to use them, after deduction of time to transport, clear, distribute and deliver to users. If such vaccines arrive back-to-back or are many, logistic bottlenecks occasionally arise.

“We appreciate the kind gesture of donors, but also communicated the challenge of short shelf lives, whereupon some manufacturers offered to extend the vaccine shelf life after the fact, by three months; a practice that, though accepted by experts, is declined by the Federal Ministry of Health, because it is not accommodated in our standards.”

The ministry stated that the dilemma is not typical to Nigeria, but a situation in which many low- and medium-income countries find themselves.

It said: “Donors also recognise a need to give away unused vaccines, before they expire in their own stock, but they need to begin the process early enough and create a well-oiled pathway for prompt shipment and distribution through the COVAX and AVAT facilities, to reduce risk of expiration. With better coordination, vaccines need not expire in the stock of donors or recipients.

“Nigeria has utilized most of the over 10m short-shelf-life doses of Covid-19 vaccines so far supplied to us, in good time, and saved N16.4B or more than $40m in foreign exchange. The vaccines that expired had been withdrawn before then and will be destroyed accordingly by NAFDAC.

“The Ministry of Health shares its experience with partners regularly and now politely declines all vaccine donations with short shelf life or those that cannot be delivered in time.

“The long-term measure to prevent such incident is for Nigeria to produce its own vaccines so that vaccines produced to have at least 12 months to expiration. This is why the Federal Ministry of Health is collaborating with stakeholders to fast-track the establishment of indigenous vaccine manufacturing capacity. This is a goal we are pursuing with dedication.”

 

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Police Arrest Three Housemasters, Five Pupils Of Dowen College Over Dead Pupil

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Police Arrest Three Housemasters, Five Pupils Of Dowen College Over Dead Pupil

The police have stepped up their efforts to find the killers of Sylvester Oromoni Jnr. as they have arrested three
housemasters and five pupils of Dowen College, Lagos.

Three pupils of the school were earlier arrested on Tuesday by homicide detectives from the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti Street, Yaba.

Sylvester Oromoni allegedly died as a result of the injuries he sustained when he was beaten up by some pupils of Dowen for refusing to join their secret cult gang.

Shedding light on the extent of the investigation carried out so far, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Adekunle Ajisebutu, said that the five pupils mentioned by the late Sylvester Oromoni Jnr. before he died as being responsible for bullying him and three housemasters of Dowen College Lekki were in his custody.

He said nobody was above the law, noting that the case would be thoroughly investigated with a view to getting to the root of the matter.

He said four of the pupils were mentioned by the parents of the victim to be directly involved in the crime while the fifth pupil is assisting the police in their investigation.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Three Suspects Over Dowen College Pupil’s Death, Two On The Run

The police added that: “The pupils whose names were mentioned are in police custody and investigation is on.

“Equally too, I have gotten in touch with my colleague in Delta State.

“Yesterday, I spoke with the mother of the deceased. I got them invited, so once they come now, we will be able to get the full facts of the case.

“The school has told us their own version of the case and the parents too, we will get their own version of the story.

“The four groups involved in the investigation now are the police, the bereaved family, the Dowen school authorities and the governments of Lagos and Delta State.

“So now, the four groups will come together to witness the post-mortem that will be conducted on Sylvester’s corpse in order to achieve an objective result. So, that is the latest situation.”

 

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Terrorists Burn To Death 30 Bus Passengers In Sokoto

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Terrorists Burn To Death 30 Bus Passengers In Sokoto

Terrorists have burnt to death between 24 and 30 bus passengers in Sokoto State .

The terrorists, known locally as bandits, have in the past year carried out violent attacks targeting villagers and commuters travelling on highways and kidnapped hundreds of school children for ransom in the north of the country.

Sanusi Abubakar, spokesman for the Sokoto Police Command, said the bus was carrying 24 passengers when it was on Monday set alight by armed men and that seven people had escaped with injuries and were taken to hospital.

But two residents who reached the scene and helped retrieve bodies said that the bus was overloaded and the bodies were burnt beyond recognition.

According to reports, the bandits first fired at the bus, before setting it ablaze.

They counted body parts of at least 30 people, including women and children.

READ ALSO: Gumi Protests As Court Declares Bandits As Terrorists

The residents said the villagers were ambushed on a road linking the Sabon Birni local government area and the village of Gidan Bawa.

The terrorists move around on motor-bikes and are known to hide in forests, where they often keep kidnapped victims while awaiting ransom payment.

One of the hospitalised survivors of the attack related his ordeal to Rundunar Adalci, a human rights group.

“I’m from Rumbukawa. We were attacked by bandits yesterday before we reached Bayin Gidan Bawa.

“They shot several people that tried to escape and burnt down the vehicle. I don’t know what happened to my co-passengers but two of us miraculously escaped death,” he said.

Basharu Guyawa, coordinator of Rundunar Adalci told newsmen that they took the passengers to the hospital.

“They were 24 people including men and women on the bus. There were several infants and children in the vehicle.

“For now, we have eight people with several degrees of injuries that have been taken to the General Hospital in Isa town. The chairman of Isa town has settled the medical bills,” he said.

Mr Guyawa said five of the passengers died in the hospital. He said they were three women, a girl and a man.

 

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