Judge Threatens To Strike Out N2.9b Money Laundering Charges Against Okorocha
Due to the failure of the Federal Government to bring charges against former Imo State Governor Rochas, an Abuja court on Monday threatened to strike out a case of corruption against him.
Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday threatened to strike out N2.9 billion money laundering criminal charges brought against him.
For the second time, the Federal Government through its counsel, Mr Cosmos Ugwu, told Justice Ekwo that he has not been able to see Okorocha and serve him with the charges.
The cousel informed the court that he would continue to make efforts until he succeeds in serving the former Imo State governor with the court papers.
He subsequently applied for another adjournment to enable him do everything within his power to serve the court papers in line with the provisions of the law.
However, his excuse for not serving charges on Okorocha did not go down well with the judge who reminded him that same story was played out on February 22 when the defendant ought to have taken his plea.
Justice Ekwo said categorically that he was not going to continue to take flimsy excuses from the lawyer and would not help him to do his job.
READ ALSO: Okorocha’s Absence Stalls Trial Over N2.9b Corruption Charges
In a short ruling, the judge granted the request for the second adjournment and warned the government’s lawyer to demonstrate seriousness or else, the case would be struck out.
“Let me place on record, that this is the second time this flimsy excuse is being made to justify the absence of the 1st defendant (Okorocha) in court to take his plea.
“As the prosecutor, you must demonstrate seriousness in the discharge of your duties. This is the last adjournment I shall grant in this matter.
” If on the adjourned date, you come up with the same flimsy excuses, I shall have no option than to strike out the charges,” the Judge warned.
Justice Ekwo subsequently fixed May 30 for the prosecution to put his house in order.
The Federal Government’s charges against Okorocha dated January 24, 2022, was signed by one A.O Ikota on behalf of the EFCC.
Okorocha, who is currently a Senator representing Imo West in the National Assembly, is to face trial alongside six others in the N2.9 billion money laundering criminal charges.
The senator is being put on trial by the Federal Government on 17-count charges involving criminal diversion of public funds and property.
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BREAKING: PDP Suspends Anyim, Fayose
Former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose; former president of the Senate, Pius Anyim; Prof Dennis Ityavyar and Aslam Aliyu were on Thursday suspended from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
The PDP made the suspension on Thursday after an extensive review of the affairs of the party, pursuant to the provisions of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017).
The PDP also referred the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, to the National Disciplinary Committee over his reported involvement in anti-party activities.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba.
“The PDP urges all leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of our party across the country to remain united and focused at this critical time,” the statement added.
BREAKING: Ekweremadu, Wife Found Guilty Of Organ-trafficking In UK
A United Kingdom court has found former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, 60, his wife Beatrice, 56, and Dr Obinna Obeta, 50, guilty of an organ-trafficking plot, which saw them bring a 21-year-old man to the UK
They were convicted of conspiring to exploit the man from Lagos for his kidney, reports the BBC.
Prosecutors told the Old Bailey the organ was to be removed and given to the couple’s daughter, Sonia, aged 25.
She was cleared of the same charge.
The victim, a street trader from Lagos, was brought to the UK last year to provide a kidney in an £80,000 private transplant at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
They were later arrested at the airport while trying to leave the UK.
NLC Orders Workers To Shut CBN Offices Nationwide Over Naira Scarcity
Worried about the continued scarcity of naira, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has officially declared a nationwide . The national president of the union, Joe Ajaero, gave the directive during a media briefing in Abuja.
Ajaero also directed that affiliate unions constituting the NLC should be on standby for picketing exercises across all branches of the Central Bank of Nigeria nationwide.
The NLC earlier issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to end the petrol and cash scarcity being experienced in the country.
Ajaero told journalists on Wednesday that the industrial action became the last resort of the NLC following the expiration of the ultimatum.
He said the decision to picket the CBN branches became necessary as the federal government and the CBN had failed to show any commitment to addressing the situation.
Ajaero lamented that despite the Supreme Court order that the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes remain legal tender until December 31, 2023, the situation kept getting worse.
He said workers could not access cash to pay fares to work.
He also criticised the pricing irregularities in the petroleum sector.
“Last week, we gave an ultimatum for the review of the cash crunch bedevilling the country, but we have discovered to our dismay that as at this moment not much effort has been made to ameliorate the situation. Government is still foot-dragging on these issues we raised,” Ajaero said.
“Based on this, we met again this morning to review our position and resolved that by Wednesday next week all CBN branches will be picketed. Workers are directed to stay at home too because people cannot eat, workers can no longer go to the office, we have been pushed to the wall.
“We have decided to take our destiny in our hands, we have mobilised our workers on this exercise.”
The NLC has no fewer than 43 affiliate unions which include, but not limited to, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, and the National Union of Road Transport Workers.
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