The Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday rejected ex-Governor Uzor Kalu’s request to have his case adjourned so as to enable him to go for a surgical procedure.
The court also dismissed the no-case submission filed by a former governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, in response to the N7.6bn fraud charges pressed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Justice Mohammed Idris, in his ruling, said Kalu had some explanations to make, particularly on certain documents tendered by the EFCC as exhibits in evidence against him.
The same fate befell similar no-case submissions filed by Kalu’s co-defendants.
The ex-governor is facing 39 counts alongside his company, Slok Nigeria Limited; and Ude Udeogu, who served under him as the Director of Finance and Accounts at the Abia State Government House.
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The EFCC first arraigned them before Justice Idris on October 31, 2016.
They pleaded not guilty to the charges, following which the EFCC opened its case, calling 19 witnesses and tendering a load of exhibits.
At the conclusion of the prosecution’s case, however, the defendants filed a no-case submission, arguing that the EFCC failed to link them to any crime.
They urged Justice Idris to dismiss the charges and set them free.
The judge, however, disagreed with them in his Tuesday ruling, holding that they have explanations to make as to the fraud allegations pressed against them.
The judge called on the defendants to open their defence, reminding the parties that he had September ending deadline to finish the case.
Kalu’s lawyer, Mr. Gordy Uche (SAN), however, pleaded with the judge for a six-week adjournment to enable Kalu to go for a surgical procedure.
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Nigeria Football Federation boss Amaju Pinnick under fresh corruption probe
Several properties belonging to top officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), including its president Amaju Pinnick, have been seized in a fresh corruption probe.
The latest investigation and seizures are being carried out by the country’s Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission’s (ICPC).
The ICPC has published a newspaper advertisement about the properties seized – half of which belong to Pinnick.
According to the statement published in the Nigerian papers one of Pinnick’s properties is in London.
It comes amidst wide-ranging claims over how money meant for football development allegedly disappeared.
“We can’t go into further details beyond the fact that many officials of the NFF are under investigation,” ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa said.
“It’s basically because what they have is in excess of what they have earned.”
The ICPC has also taken control of properties belonging to the NFF second vice-president Shehu Dikko and the general secretary Muhamed Sanusi among others.
Rwanda ban Burundi,s music star ahead of annual festival
Burundian musician Jean Pierre Nimbona, popularly known as Kidum, has told the BBC he is confused by Rwanda’s decision to ban him from playing at the upcoming Kigali Jazz Fusion festival.
Kidum is one of Burundi’s biggest music stars and has performed in Rwanda for the past 16 years.
But a police official phoned the musician’s manager to warn that he would only be allowed to make private visits to Rwanda.
“[My manager was told] Kidum is not supposed to perform, tell him to leave. If he comes for private visits fine, but no performances,” the musician told BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.
The mayor of Rwanda’s capital said that in this instance permission had not been sought from the authorities for him to perform at the festival in Kigali.
Kidum was a leading peace activist during Burundi’s civil war between 1993 and 2003 and used his songs to call for reconciliation.
The 44-year-old musician said he had never had problems with Rwandan authorities until recently when three of his shows were cancelled at the last minute – including one in December 2018.
That month Burundi had banned Meddy, a musician who is half-Burundian, half-Rwandan, from performing in the main city of Bujumbura.
Kidum said he was unsure if the diplomatic tensions between Burundi and Rwanda had influenced his ban.
“I don’t know, I don’t have any evidence about that. And if there was politics, I’m not a player in politics, I’m just a freelance musician based in Nairobi,” he said.
He said he would not challenge the ban: “There’s nothing I can do, I just wait until maybe the decision is changed some day.
“It’s similar to a family house and you are denied entry… so you just have to wait maybe until the head of the family decides otherwise.”
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