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Judge threatens to dismiss Yar’Adua daughter’s FCT land suit over delay

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There was drama at a High Court of theFederal Capital Territory in Abuja, on Thursday, when Justice Olukayode Adeniyithreatened to strike out a suit filed by Zainab, the daughter of ex-PresidentUmaru Yar’Adua in which Itban Global Resources Limited, Haliru Malami, the Ministerof the FCT and the Federal Capital Development Authority were respondents.

Zainab had gone to court over the ownershipof Plot 506, Zone B 09, Kado District of Abuja.

The judge issued the threat following thepersistent delay in the hearing at the instance of Zainab.

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During Thursday’s proceedings, Zainab wasnot in court and did not file her defence to the counterclaim on the land becauseof her trip outside the country.

Her lawyer, Matthew Adebara, created a scenewhen he told Justice Adeniyi that his client was not in court.

According to him, Abdullahi Bello, theManaging Director and Chief Executive Officer of Zainab’s Company, MarumzaEstate Development, who was to serve as a witness, had travelled out of Nigeriafor months and got held up by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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He subsequently asked the court to adjournthe matter till the time his client and the witness would be back in Nigeria.

Counsel for Itban Global Resources Limited,Dr Remi Olatubora (SAN), told Justice Adeniyi that the lead counsel for Zainab,Chief Sebastian Hon (SAN), called to inform him that Zainab travelled toEngland for holiday, hence, she was not available to sign documents to be usedto file her defence in the counterclaim to the land.

Nigeria Newspapers

John Abebe’s forgery trial adjourned

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The trial of John Warimeme Abebe before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos has been adjourned till April 13, 2022 for the adoption of written addresses.

Justice Mojisola Dada gave the new date at the continuation of trial on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, with the defence closing its case.

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Abebe, ex- President Obasanjo’s in-law was first arraigned on July 26, 2018 on a four-count charge bordering on forgery, fabricating evidence, using fabricated evidence and attempt to pervert the course of justice by the Economic and Financial Crimes, EFCC.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Dr. John Warimeme Abebe, on or about the 22nd day of June, 2010 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, knowingly forged BP Exploration Nigeria Limited’s letter dated 30th November, 1995 to Inducon (Nigeria) Limited by inserting in page 2 of the said letter the following words: “Also note that the ‘Buy-Out Option’ only applies to the pre-production stage of the NPIA. The $4m buy-out is thus irrelevant from production of oil in any of our fields” and purported same to have been issued by BP Exploration Nigeria Limited and committed an offence contrary to Section 467 of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.”

Another count reads: “That you, Dr. John Warimeme Abebe, on or about the 22nd day of June, 2010 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, knowingly used a fabricated evidence in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/224/2010 between Dr. John Abebe, Inducon Nigeria Limited and Statoil Nigeria Limited, before the Federal High Court, which evidence was admitted and marked exhibit BB in the said suit and committed an offence contrary to Section 120 (2) of the Criminal Code Cap C17, Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.”

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Abebe pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.

Led in evidence by his counsel, E.D. Onyeke, the defendant had taken to the dock to defend himself.

He was also cross-examined by the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, who confronted him with several documents.

At today’s sitting, Onyeke told the Court that the defence was closing its case.

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“We will be asking the Court for a date to file our written address,” he said.

Thereafter, Justice Dada adjourned till April 13, 2022 for “definitive adoption of written addresses”.

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Nigeria Newspapers

Bandits killed 300 persons, kidnapped 200 in Niger January attacks – Gov

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In the first two weeks of this month, Niger State communities were attacked by bandits at least 50 times, with over 300 persons killed and 200 kidnapped, including security personnel.

Governor Abubakar Bello disclosed this to State House correspondents on Tuesday after he met with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, to brief him on the development.

The governor, who enumerated the series of attacks and their consequences on lives, blamed the low response time to the attacks on the lack of access roads to the affected communities.

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He, however, expressed optimism that with the new measures being put in place, the security situation in the state would improve soon, adding that contiguous states must work together to stop terrorists from moving from one region to another.

Bello stated, “This afternoon, I came to visit Mr President to give him an update on the security situation in Niger State concerning banditry activities, kidnapping and cattle rustling, among others. We were able to review some of the invasions in the state. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you all.

“In the last few days, there have been a lot of activities in Niger State. Hopefully, in the next few weeks, we will see some relief with regard to banditry. I also gave a highlight on some of the challenges. Of course, our size is a disadvantage, almost nine million hectares. We lost some forests.

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“In January this year alone, we suffered not less than 50 reported attacks and loss of lives between January 1 and 17. Within the same period, no fewer than 300 communities were invaded by bandits. The number of people kidnapped is 200, including three Chinese nationals.”

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