BY Robert Egbe / THE NATION
A Lagos State High Court in Ikeja has frozen assets and funds put at N19,178,253,050 allegedly kept in 24 banks by a convicted former bank Managing Director Francis Atuche.
Justice Lateefat Okunnu made the order, following an August 17 application by counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), in a suit between the Federal Government on the one hand, and Atuche and Ugo Anyanwu as first and second defendants.
Anyanwu, a former Chief Financial Officer of the bank, is serving time in jail, following his conviction and sentencing to six years imprisonment last June 16 for N25.7 billion fraud alongside Atuche.
Justice Okunnu, while sentencing the duo last June, ordered that they should make restitution of the N25.7 billion to the Federal Government to replace the funds they stole from the public to bail out the bank.
The judge, ruling on Pinheiro’s August 17 motion which The Nation sighted yesterday, granted the commission’s 12 prayers pursuant to sections 6(d), 20, 24, 26(1), 30 and 34(1) of the EFCC Act and sections 290, 294 and 297 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2015, filed by Pinheiro.
Justice Okunnu held: “An order is made restraining the first defendant (Atuche) whether by himself or acting through the persons or entities listed or such other persons, including but not limited to his family members or agents, from removing, alienating, disposing of, dealing with or diminishing the value of assets, proceeds of economic and financial crimes or otherwise in the name of the first defendant…”
The judge averred that the assets or funds included those held indirectly by or for Atuche’s benefit, whether solely or jointly held, that is located in Nigeria or worldwide.
She also froze any bank account being run and operated by Atuche “personally or jointly, whether in his personal name or otherwise or with the Bank Verification Number (BVN) 22295357230 in any of the respondent banks to the tune of N19,178,253,050.00 only, pursuant to the restitution order made by this honourable court on June 16, 2021”.
Justice Okunnu also barred Atuche and his privies – including his lawyers – from presenting to the respondent banks any mandate or instruction for the withdrawal of any money and/or funds standing to the credit of any of their accounts to the tune of N19,178,253.050.
In another order, the judge restrained the banks from honouring any such instruction from Atuche and his proxies.
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has won the governorship election held in Ekiti State on Saturday.
According to the results of the poll announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Fayemi won in 12 of the 16 local governments, leaving only four LGs for Prof. Kolapo Olusola of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
In the final result Fayemi of the APC polled 197,545 to defeat Olusola of the PDP, who polled 178,130 votes. With this, Fayemi is now Ekiti governor-elect and will take over from the incumbent governor, Ayodele Fayose.
Below are the results from each LG as announced by INEC:
1. Ilejemeje LGA
APC – 4,153
PDP – 3,937
2. Irepodun/Ifelodun LGA
APC – 13,869
PDP – 11,456
3. Ido-Osi LGA
APC – 12,342
PDP – 11,145
4. Oye LGA
APC – 14,995
PDP – 11,271
5. Efon LGA
APC – 5,082
PDP – 5,192
6. Moba LGA
APC – 11,837
PDP – 8,520
7. Ijero LGA
APC – 14,192
PDP – 11,077
8. Gboyin LGA
APC – 11,489
PDP – 8,027
9. Emure LGA
APC – 7,084
PDP – 7,121
10. Ikere LGA
APC – 11,515
PDP – 17,183
11. Ekiti West LGA
APC – 12,648
PDP – 10,137
12. Ikole LGA
APC – 14,522
PDP – 13,961
13. Ise Orun LGA
APC – 11,908
PDP – 6,297
14. Ekiti East LGA
APC – 12,778
PDP – 11,564
15. Ekiti South West LGA
APC – 11,015
PDP – 8,432
16. Ado-Ekiti LGA
APC – 28,111
PDP – 32,810
Belgium have claimed top spot in World Cup Group G with a 1-0 win against England in Kaliningrad this evening, courtesy of a Adnan Januzaj strike early in the second half.
The former Manchester United and Sunderland man produced the game’s only real moment of quality, working the ball onto his left and sending it past Jordan Pickford for the decisive moment.
England would have finished at the summit had they held on for a draw, but they now face a last-16 tie against Japan, where as Belgium face Japan.
However, the Red Devils are on course to face Brazil in the quarter-finals, while the Three Lions will have a more favourable last-eight tie against Switzerland or Sweden if they make it that far.
Rashford squandered a glorious chance to level with an hour played, being denied by the fingertips of Thibaut Courtois – one of only two survivors for Belgium from their last outing – when played clean through on goal.
Not until the final quarter of the match did the two managers start turning to their bench, with Vincent Kompany given a first run-out in a month after sustaining an injury in the build-up to the competition.
Rashford dipped a free kick over the crossbar and Fellaini’s block flew past the upright as England chased an equaliser, but it was Belgium who came closest to a second as Pickford parried a long-range drive from substitute Dries Mertens.
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed an appeal by Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for lacking in merit.
Akeredolu had, by the appeal, challenged a July 20017 judgment of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, which upheld an order by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of Federal High Court in Abuja, granting permission to Olusegun Abraham to serve Akeredolu through substituted means, court documents in relation to the suit he (Abraham) filed.
Abraham’s suit is challenging the outcome of the primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which produced Akeredolu as the party’s candidate for the last governorship election in Ondo State.
In a unanimous judgment on the appeal marked: SC/698?2017, a five-man panel of the Supreme Court held that Akeredolu’s appeal was without merit.
Akeredolu has however described the court’s decision as a none-issue.
Justice John Okoro, in the lead judgment, but read by Justice Paul Galinje, upheld the earlier decision of the Court of Appeal and awarded N500,000 cost against Akeredolu, in favour of Abraham.
Justice Galinje said: “the appellant went to the Federal High Court to challenge serve of originating summons and other process on him. His challenge was dismissed. At the appeal to the Court of Appeal, his appeal was also dismissed.
“He further appealed to this place and filed six grounds of appeal and formulated four issues for determination of the appeal. My leaned brother considered all the issues submitted for the determination of this appeal and came to the conclusion that the appeal lacks merit and ought to be dismissed.
“The appeal is accordingly dismissed. Cost of N500,000 is awarded against the appellant and against the 1st respondent. “
Justices Ibrahim Tanko, Olukayode Ariwoola, Kumai Akaahs and and Galinje, who were also members of the panel, agreed with the lead judgment.
In a recation to the judgment, Akeredolu, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Segun Ajiboye, assured the people of the state that there is no cause for alarm over the supreme
“Court ruling which dismissed the appeal filed by him. He describes the ruling as a non-issue.
The governor asks the peace-loving people to dismiss the ruling, adding that it is nothing to worry about and advised them to continue to support his administration in its determination to develop the state.
“What the Supreme Court ruled on was whether the service of the Originating Process on the APC secretariat in Abuja, instead of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, was right or not.
“At best, the ruling only succeeded in correcting Abraham to serve Akeredolu through substituted means in relation to the suit he (Abraham) filed.
Governor Akeredolu, therefore, wants to state equivocally that there is no cause for alarm over the ruling delivered by the Supreme Court,” Ajiboye said.
KANO— THE factional chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, in Kano State, Hussaini Mairiga, yesterdaty came down hard on President Muhammadu Buhari, describing him as a total failure.
Mairiga, who spoke with journalists in Kano, said “from the looks of things, President Buhari has betrayed the confidence of the Nigerian masses who voted for him massively into power.”
The factional chairman said it was not an exaggeration that members of many families in the country go to bed without at least one square meal, while others had fled their homes because they could no longer provide the basic needs of life for their loved ones. Mairiga, who is known for his bluntness, expressed worry that after one year of the Buhari administration in power, there was nothing to show while poverty in the country had reached an unprecedented level. He lamented that while a bag of rice now sold for N16, 000, prices of other essentials commodities had tripled. Mairiga noted with dismay that prices of goods were rising at a time the ordinary man did not have money to make a living.
Another disturbing scenario, according to the factional APC chairman, was that those around the president, including his ministers, had refused to tell him the truth and advice on the reality on ground. He reminded Buhari of his campaign promises, stating that he did not like the way the masses were allowed to wallow in destitution and penury. He said Nigerians were in the worst condition that needed urgent attention.
The APC chairman advised the President to stop deceiving Nigerians that the nation had no money whereas on monthly basis, the federal and states governments continued to enjoy a boost in their allocations.