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Fayose’s Trial: Legal fireworks as defendants oppose EFCC move to replace witness who contradicted himself

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The trial of former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose,
continued today,  before a Federal High Court in Lagos, with exchange
of legal fireworks between prosecuting counsel and counsel to the
defendants over move by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
(EFCC) to introduce a new witness, Mr. Johnson Abidakun, in place of
Adewale Aladegbola, who gave evidences contrary to the claims by the
EFCC during the aborted trial before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun.

EFCC had introduced Johnson Abidakun as Prosecution Witness 5 during
the trial on October 25, 2019, but counsel to the defendants opposed
it, contending that the prosecution did not have the liberty to change
a witness just because such a witness failed to give evidence
favourable to them.

Ola Olanipekun (SAN)  and Olalekan  Ojo (SAN), who cited provisions of
the Administration of Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 and the Evidence Act,
described the attempt to substitute Aladegbola with Abidakun as an
abuse of prosecutorial power by the EFCC, notifying the court of their
intention to file a written application,  seeking to prevent him
(Abidakun) from giving evidence.

At the trial today, Olalekan Ojo who moved the application flied on
December 3, 2019, said the defendants, formulated a sole issue for
determination.

He said issue for determination is; “whether the honourable court
ought to allow the prosecution to call Mr. Johnson Abidakun to give
evidence in charge number FHC/L/353c/18 considering that same would be
tantamount to oppressive, unfair and unconscionable conduct or act on
the part of the prosecution in the course of establishing their case
against the defendants.

Ojo,  who also stood in for Ola Olanipekun (SAN), counsel to the first
defendant,  prayed the court for an order  excluding the evidence of
Mr. Johnson Abidakun, already sworn as (PW5) on the ground that, “the
prosecution having just procured the said withness after a woeful and
failed attempt to force Adewale Aladegbola to testify that he drove a
bullion van to convey money from Afao Ekiti, the residence of the
defendant when in actual fact he categorically testified on oath that
the bullion van with which the the prosecution alleged to have used to
convey the sum of N200 million was faulty and grounded.”

It should be recalled  that Adewale Aladegbola Clement,  a former
driver to Zenith Bank Ado -Ekiti branch, gave evidence contrary to his
extra judicial statement while testifying before Justice Olatoregun.

After Aladegbola had told the court that he was told to lie by the
bank Cash Officer, Okemute Oputu and that on April 16, 2015, the
Zenith Bank bullion van was grounded and there was no operations, he
was reportedly arrested by the EFCC and detained for hours.

Responding to the defendants application seeking to prevent Johnson
Abidakun from giving evidence in place of Aladegbola, EFCC counsel, Mr
Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), canvassed that the application was strange and
that bringing Abidakun as withness in a case starting afresh was not
an abuse of Court process moreso that Aladegbola could no longer be
found as contained in paragraph 4(h) of the prosecution
Counter-affidavit.

He urge the court to dismiss the Application with substantial cost.

However,  in his counter reaction, Ojo punctured the 5-paragraph
affidavit deposed to by one Akintunde Olasunkanmi, a clerk/litigation
officer in the law firm of the Prospecting Counsel.

Ojo told the court that all the deposition by the clerk was in the
realm of hearsay evidence as “all the facts he deposed to was what
Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) told him in chambers whereas, the Prosecution
Counsel is not in anyway an employer or one of the agents but a
professional, hence can not assume the position of the EFCC, the
complainant in the circumstance.”

He therefore urged the court to determine the application in the
defendants’ favour, saying; “facts and statues are in the defendants
favour.”

Justice C. J. Anekei consequently adjourned the matter till February
17, 2020 for ruling and continuation of trial.

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Abuja School Refutes Oath Of Secrecy Claim Over Death Of Student

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The management of the Premiere Academy in Lugbe area of Abuja, on Sunday, faulted the claims by the Coalition of Gender Based Violence Responders that its students had sworn to an oath of secrecy on many issues, including the death of a 14-year-old SS1 student, Keren-Happuch Akpagher.

 

 

The institution also picked holes in the allegation that it was one of the schools engaged in sexual harassment, which culminated in Keren-Happuch’s Death

 

 

The acting Principal of the school, Chris Akinsowon, was responding to allegations by the leader of the coalition, Lemmy Ughegbe, during a press conference held in Abuja on Thursday and attended by Keren-Happuch’s mother, Vivien Akpagher.

 

 

Ughegbe had alleged that a preliminary report of the autopsy conducted on the deceased by the doctor appointed by the police, Dr Desmond Okonkwo of the Maitama General Hospital, revealed that she was raped.

 

 

The activist had challenged the school management to a media dialogue to discuss the alleged rape and death of Keren-Happuch and other cases of sexual molestation, which he claimed the organisation had the records of and which the school was allegedly covering up instead of handing paedophiles over to the police.

 

 

But Akinsowon said in the event that any form of sexual assault happened to the deceased in the school and leading to her death, the management would join hands with all relevant security agencies to prosecute such a person in line with the laws of the land.

 

 

He maintained that the autopsy result had yet to come out, stressing that it was part of the investigation the school insisted must be done, adding that Premiere Academy was earnestly awaiting the result.

 

“The autopsy result is not out yet. It is a part of the investigation process the school insists must be allowed to take its course. We earnestly await the result and plead that nothing should be said to pre-empt whatever the outcome may be,” he stated.

 

 

Speaking about the staff member of the school, who was allegedly sent on an indefinite suspension and later dismissed, Akinsowon said it was “based on careless talk with a student as part of our commitment to making the school safe for our students and earning the confidence of our parents.”

 

 

He described reports that the students had sworn to an oath of secrecy as very disturbing, stating, “How can secondary students take an oath of secrecy? This is nothing but blackmail and an attempt to divert the minds of the public from the truth

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Come After Me If You Can, Bakare Dares Top FG Official

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BAKARE

Serving Overseer of Citadel Global Community Church, formerly called The Latter Rain Assembly Lagos, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has dared an unidentified official of the Federal Government to come after him based on his recent public pronouncements.

Speaking on Sunday during a sermon in his church, Bakare said: “I dare you to come after me since that is the usual style now. You might have done it to others; you are about to learn a lesson if you touch me.”

He added: “If you know what I have done in secret, bring it to the open. I dare you to come after me if you can. I worked with you; I worked for you; I supported you to get there (where you are). When I talk now, I now have a smelly mouth.

 

“I’m not interested in meeting you any longer; no more visits. Now, it is war, because Nigeria must be set free.”

 

He also berated the Federal Government for clamping down on leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu and Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho.

 

Rather than work towards justice, he accused the Federal Government of using intimidation and brutality.

 

 

Bakare, who was running mate to President Muhammadu Buhari on the platform of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in 2011, recalled how he backed the unnamed top official to his current position.

 

 

Addressing the official, Bakare added: “Have you forgotten that you vowed never to contest again. I said ‘not so’. I showed you how you can win the next election and you agreed to run and you won. I was not considering myself but concerned about how Nigeria can become great.

 

 

“Winning an election is a different thing; doing the right thing is another. No one must behave as if Nigeria is a personal property. Nigeria must be set free and any obstruction along the way must be removed; it must get out of the way.”

 

 

He told Nigerians to be prepared for baton of change, recalling how he pronounced the late Gen Sani Abacha’s days numbered during his fist rule.

 

“I don’t support any act of violence, taking up arms against the country and killing people. Those are in the realm of criminality and anybody doing that must be brought to book,” Bakare stated to a rousing round of prayers and declarations.

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BREAKING: Buhari Departs To London For Medical Check, Summit

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Buhari

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), will leave Abuja today for London to see his doctors and participate in the Global Education Summit on Financing Global Partnership for Education 2021-2025.

 

 

This was contained in a statement by the president’s media adviser, Femi Adesina.

 

 

He is expected to be back by the second week of August 2021.

 

 

The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari will today Monday July 26, 2021, travel to the United Kingdom to participate in the Global Education Summit on Financing Global Partnership for Education (GPE) 2021-2025.

 

 

 

“The Summit, which will be co-hosted by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, and the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, will bring together Heads of State and Government as well as stakeholders and youth leaders, and provide a platform for partners to chart a way forward towards transforming education systems in partner countries, through exchange of best practices.

 

 

“It will also offer the opportunity for leaders to make 5-year pledges to support GPE’s work to help transform education systems in up to 90 countries and territories.

 

 

“Deliberations at the Summit will focus on: The Power of Education –A Conversation between Global Champions; Transforming Education for Girls; Financing for Impact and Recovery and; What Now? Priorities for Transforming Education in the Coming Five Years, among others.

 

“President Buhari will also hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
After the Summit, the President will spend a few days for an earlier scheduled medical check-up. He is due back by second week of August, 2021.

 

 

“The President will be accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of State Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd) and Director General of National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.”

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