From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The United Kingdom (UK) has suspended temporarily, its flexi appointment (walk-in) service.
The British High Commission, Abuja, in a message on its Facebook page, said the decision was taken to protect the safety of customers waiting outside of its Visa Application Centres (VAC).
“You will not be able to book one of these appointments online or by turning up at the VAC. If you have already paid for this service (before 10 January) then you can still benefit from this.
“You should not attend the VAC until it is your allocated appointment time, or you have been contacted by TLS to collect your passport. Visa customers who turn up at the VAC significantly before their appointment will be asked to leave and return at the correct date and time.
“Where there are extremely compassionate or compelling circumstances (for example, a medical emergency), UKVI may consider expediting specific cases. However, the bar for this is high and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. If your request is exceptionally urgent you can contact UK Visas and Immigration for help. Please note that this is a chargeable service for overseas customers. https:www.gov.uk contactukvi-inside-outside-uk,” the British High Commission said.
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The British High Commission further said if you have not yet been contacted by TLS, it means your application is still being processed by the UKVI team and the VAC will not be able to assist you.
“The staff in the VACs are not involved in the processing of UK visa decisions and are unable to provide updates on your application,” the British High Commission also said.
On students applications, the British High Commission stated that it was aware that large numbers of prospective students are queuing outside of the Visa Application Centre (VAC) to try and secure a visa appointment.
It added that student applications were being processed within the customer service standard of 15 working days.
“To help meet this demand, we are working hard with TLS to offer additional VAC appointments. More information will follow on this shortly. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause,” the British High Commission further said.
Court orders arrest of two Italians over alleged $119m power plant fraud
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.
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.
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)
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;
“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;
“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;
“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.
Police nab two suspected rapists in Ekiti
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”.
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.
“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.