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Banditry has dented Nigeria’s image, says Farida Waziri

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A former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Farida Waziri, on Tuesday raised concerns over the declining values in the country which, she said, has heightened banditry.

According to her, such developments have, in turn, dented the image of the country in the comity of nations.

Waziri spoke in Abuja during the public presentation of four books written by Nigeria’s former Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire, Denis Ukume.

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She said that declining values occasioned by corruption and greed were exacerbating banditry.

The ex-EFCC boss therefore called on Nigerians to return to the era when there were values and every Nigerian was each other’s brothers’ keeper.

He said, “We never knew this (banditry) in those days, we were our brothers’ keepers and we helped each other. People left their compounds open and nobody stole from them. Now we hate each other, there are hate speeches, people kill each other without provocation.

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“Do you believe that nobody has invaded Nigeria, and Nigerians are killing themselves? Nigeria will outlive all of us. You are in school, they kidnap you, they take you in the forest for ages, your parents are, maybe, carpenters, they don’t even eat three square meals a day and they say they should pay.

“Where do they get the money to pay? They rape women, they kill and how do you want people to rate Nigeria? It is about image and image is perception. If I perceive you like a bad man I will keep away from you. If it is a country, I wouldn’t want to go there. So we have destroyed our country and it is about greed, corruption and every vice and that is why I said we should go back to where we used to be.”

Waziri also expressed worry over a situation whereby people want to stay in office forever because of spoils of office.

She said that people do not want to work hard and earn their money, but just want to steal government money.

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She said, “It’s about government money. They want to live big with government money. The rich, do they build factories in their villages to employ the youth, do they build clinics? No, it is outside the country, the safe havens that they hide their money.”

Meanwhile, Ukume advised those agitating for succession to join hands with the FG to build a strong united Nigeria.

Speaking on one of his books, “I Believe”, he said, it has an exclusive chapter on Odumegwu Ojukwu.

“When the late President Shehu Shagari won election, he called me and said ‘Denis, I am sending you Côte d’Ivoire as ambassador extra-ordinary.’ Ojukwu has expressed the desire to come back but there are certain Igbo elements that don’t want Ojukwu to come back and be part of the reconciliation programme.

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“I want you to go to Côte d’Ivoire and establish if Ojukwu is remorseful enough, recommend to me and I will grant him amnesty.”

He also said that when he went there and found that Ojukwu was extremely remorseful, he recommended amnesty for him.

“He (Ojukwu) wept on my shoulders, he wept on the shoulders of Dr. Ali Baba, the Minister of External Affairs. He wept on the shoulders of the late Umaru Shinkafi, the Director General of National Security Organisation.

“I came back, met with Shehu Shagari and gave him all the details and he graciously granted him amnesty. But today, people are still agitating for succession, they want the Biafran state and so on and so forth. I encourage them to read my book and know how remorseful Ojukwu, who started it all, was.”

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Nigeria Newspapers

Court orders arrest of two Italians over alleged $119m power plant fraud

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A Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt has ordered the arrest of two Italian nationals, Giandomenico Zingali and Davide Anelli, over their refusal to attend court to answer criminal charges against them in an alleged $119 million dollars power plant fraud.

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The court ordered the Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Police and other security operatives to effect their arrest wherever they are and can be found.

Justice Okogbule Gbasam invoked section 120 of Rivers State Administration of Criminal Justice ACJA to order the arrest and directed the IGP, CP and other security agents to produce the Italians in court to face trial in respect of the 16-count criminal charge filed against them by the Rivers State government.

A certified true copy of the order of arrest was obtained on Friday in Abuja by DAILY POST correspondent through Chief Godwin Obla SAN who stood for Rivers State in the matter and moved the motion for the issuance of the bench warrant.

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Giandomenico Zingali and Davide Anelli are part of the seven defendants billed for arraignment before Justice Gbasam over their alleged complicity in the $119 million dollars power plant scam.

The defendants are Saipem SPA, an Italian Company, Saipem Contracting Nigeria Ltd, Walter Peviani, Kelechi Sinteh Chinakwe, Giandomenico Zingali, Vitto Testaguzza and Davide Anelli who are 1st to 7th defendants respectively.

Saipem SPA, Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited, its Managing Director, Walter Peviani and 4 others are accused of conspiracy, fraud, obtaining credit of N7 billion naira by false pretences and cheating.

Details of the charges are: conspiracy contrary to Section 518 (6) and (7) and punishable under Section 518; obtaining credit of $130 million USD by false pretences or other fraud contrary to Section 419A and punishable under Section 419 (A) (1) (b)

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The offences are also said to be contrary to sections 518 (6) and (7), 419 (A) (1) (b), section 421 of the Criminal Code Law of Rivers State, Cap 37 Vol. 2 Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria 1999.

Saipem and its top management staff are being prosecuted based on fiat issued to Chief Godwin Obla SAN, George Adeyemi, Esq and John Eche Okpe, Esq both of OBLA & Co, Abuja by Rivers State government.

Their arraignment on the 16 count charge marked PHC/3106/CR/2021 has been put off several times by Justice Gbasam due to failure of some of the defendants to be in court.

The enrolled copy of the order reads in part “Upon this matter coming up for plea today before His lordship, Hon. Justice Dr. O. Gbasam, sitting at High Court Port Harcourt; and after hearing the oral application for the activation of the application for the issuance of a bench warrant on the 5th and 7th defendants made by Chief Godwin Obla, SAN, with D.G. Adeyerni, Esq., appearing for the State, on the last adjourned date 14/12/2021 which this court kept In abeyance till today;

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“And after hearing the oral response of the opposing counsel, H. Odeiln Ajumogobia, SAN, with Patrick Osu, Esq., Akinola Akinyoju, Esq., and Shekina Wokoma of counsel for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 6th defendants, and. A, Akinwole, Esq., with O. Nwogu, Esq., and R.C. Kanu, Esq., for the 4th defendant,

‘It is hereby ordered that as follows:
*That an order of bench warrant be and is hereby issued by virtue of Section120 of the Rivers State Administration of Criminal Justice Law, 2015 directing the Inspector General of Police, the Commissioner of Police and other security agencies to arrest the 5th and 7th defendants – Giandomenico Zingali and Davide Anelli wherever they are and can be found and produce them before this honourable court to face their trial as per the 16-count charge contained in the amended information dated 19/11/2021.

“The charges are summarised as follows:
Conspiracy contrary to Section 518(6) & (7) and punishable under Section 518 of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol. 2, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999;

“Obtaining credit by false pretences or other fraud contrary to Section 419(A) and punishable under Section 419 (A) (1)(8) of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol. 2, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999;

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“Attempt to cheat contrary to Section 508 and punishable under Section 509 of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol. 2,.Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999;

“Conspiracy to receive credit by false pretence contrary to S. 518(6) and punishable under S. 518 of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol. 2, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999;

“Cheating contrary to Section 421 and punishable under Section 421 of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol. 2, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999;

“False statements by officials Company contrary to Section 436(B) and punishable under Section 436(B) of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol 2, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999;

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“It is further ordered that the Inspector General of Police, the Commissioner of Police and other security agencies are hereby vested with the legal authority to enter any premises where the 5th and 7th defendants – GiandomeniCo Zingali and Davide Anelli – are and can be found for the purpose of executing this bench warrant;

Meanwhile, Justice Gbasam has adjourned the matter till February 2, 3, and 4, 2022.

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Police nab two suspected rapists in Ekiti

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The police in Ekiti State have arrested two men for alleged rape and blackmail.

The suspects, 40-year-old Anthony Adedokun and 44-year-old Ayoola Ayodele, were arrested following report to the police by a 20-year-old female victim who alleged that she was raped and videotaped for blackmail by the duo.

Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti State Command, Sunday Abutu, who made the disclosure while parading them in Ado Ekiti on Friday, said “the suspects would be charged to court as soon as possible for prosecution”.

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Abutu, while giving details about the matter, said that Adedokun forcibly had carnal knowledge of the victim in his apartment alongside Ayodele, a timber contractor.

He said, “Police investigation revealed that the victim and Adedokun met through Facebook and started a relationship since sometime in 2021. Adedokun, presented himself to her as a police officer who could assist her to join the Nigeria Police Force.

“In the process, the victim solicited for a financial help of N10,000 from Adedokun, who obliged, but insisted that the lady must come to his house in Ado Ekiti to get the money. The victim decided to visit Adedokun in his house on January 17, 2022, and the suspect took her to Ayodele’s house where he had carnal knowledge of her against her wish.

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“Surprisingly, Ayodele videotaped them and used the video to blackmail the victim to have sex with him also, which happened in the same room and on the same bed.

“Furthermore, the two suspects forcibly booked an appointment with the victim to come back on January 21 for another round of sex or risk sending her sex video to the internet for the world to see.”

Abutu noted that during interrogation, the two suspects confessed to the commission of the crime and as well many others, adding that they had, through similar trick, slept with many unsuspecting ladies.

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