Connect with us

Metro

BREAKING: Supreme Court Affirms Conviction Of Ex-Bank PHB MD

Published

on

After about 13 years of trial, the Supreme Court, on Friday morning upheld the conviction of the former Managing Director of the defunct Bank PHB Plc, Mr Francis Atuche.

In the unanimous judgment read by Justice Moore Adumein, the Supreme Court held that the appellant, Francis Atuche, did not attempt to dislodge the finding of the trial court and the Court of Appeal on his credibility.

The court in relying on its previous decisions to the effect that where the decision of a trial court on the demeanor of a party or witness is supported by the documentary evidence tendered, an appellate court has no business in tampering with the decision of the court.

Advertisement

In conclusion, the court held that the appellant had not given it any reason to tamper with the concurrent finding of the two lower courts.

Mr. Atuche, his wife, Elizabeth and one Mr. Ugo Anyanwu had been arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2011 before Justice Lateefat Okunnu of the Lagos High Court in a prosecution that was handled by Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dr. Kemi Pinheiro on behalf of the EFCC.

The trio were arraigned on a 27 count amended information over a N25.7 billion fraud.

On June 16, 2021, Justice Okunnu in a judgment that lasted about 12 hours, convicted Atuche alongside a former Chief Financial Officer of the bank, Ugo Anyanwu.

Advertisement

The court convicted the duo on 21 of the 27-count amended charge of conspiracy to commit felony and stealing brought against them by the EFCC.

Justice Okunnu held that the EFCC successful proved its case against the convicts beyond reasonable doubt.

Atuche and Anyanwu were sentenced 12 years and and 10 years respectively by the High Court.

However, it was reduced by the Court of Appeal, with Atuche getting six years while Anyanwu got eight years.

Advertisement

She freed Atuche’s wife, Elizabeth on the grounds that the EFCC failed to link her to the crime. The court insisted that suspicion no matter how strong cannot take the place of fact.

The judge held that it was not proven that she was aware of the source of the funds she received into her account from her husband and she had no powers to take any decision to influence the transaction.

The convicts were to serve their jail terms at the Kirikiri Maximum Correctional Facility in Lagos.

Dissatisfied with the judgment, the convicts approached the appeal court and on the 23rd of June, 2022, the Court of Appeal affirmed the conviction of both men.

Advertisement

The appellate court also clarified that Atuche’s jail term, as handed down by the lower court, is six years concurrently, rather than 12 years.

The Justices, however, reduced Anyanwu’s sentence from 10 years to eight years.

READ ALSO::Tinubu Orders Disbursement Of N155bn For Foodstuff Purchase Nationwide

They also upheld the discharge and acquittal of Atuche’s wife, Elizabeth.

Advertisement

On further appeal to the Supreme Court, the apex court earlier this year heard Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Wole Olanipekun leading Chief Anthony Idigbe and Prof. Fidelis Oditah in the appeal which was initiated by Mr. Atuche against his conviction, while Dr. Kemi Pinheiro who held the fiat of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation led the team of lawyers representing the State including Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Sebastine Hon.

The unanimous decision of the Supreme Court this morning brings to finality this criminal charge after over thirteen years.

Advertisement

Metro

JUST IN: Heavy Gunshots Erupt At Benin Airport As Shaibu Arrives

Published

on

There were heavy gunshots at Benin Airport today, Thursday 18, 2024 as political thugs took over the place.

It was the occasion of the arrival of the reinstated Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu in Benin, and the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate, Senator Monday Okpebholo.

The duo were leaving the Airport on arrival when the shooting occurred.

Advertisement

The gunmen had stationed themselves at the exit gate of the Airport in a Sienna vehicle and opened fire targeted at Shaibu and Okpebholo’s convoys.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Reps Slash Salaries By 50% Over Nationwide Hunger

Shaibu was said to have arrived at the Airport alongside the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September 21st election.

The gun fire targeted at Okpebholo and Shaibu resulted a reprisal gunshot by armed security details attached to the APC candidate and Deputy governor Phillip Shaibu.

Advertisement

Some unidentified persons were seriously injured, one person was feared dead.

READ ALSO: Final Year Student Of Bayelsa Varsity Allegedly Killed Over N150

The shots, audible inside the Airport Arrival Hall and along Airport Road, near the Miracle Centre of the Church of God Mission, caused widespread panic.

Businesses closed, and drivers abandoned their vehicles in a rush to escape.

Advertisement

It took the intervention of the Mobile Squad of the Nigeria Police to bring the situation under control.

Meanwhile, several officers continued shooting to disperse the said attackers as they fled in a Toyota Sienna bus.

The shooting occurred just one day after a Federal Court ordered the Inspector General of Police to restore the security detail of Philip Shaibu as Deputy Governor of Edo State, following the nullification of his impeachment.

 

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Metro

BREAKING: NASU, SSANU Protest Four-month Withheld Salaries

Published

on

The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) have commenced a one day nationwide protest over their four-month withheld salaries.

Their protest has led to disruption in administrative work in universities and inter – university Centres.

As early as 7:30am, the union members converged on the popular Unity Fountain, Abuja from where they would march on the Federal Ministries of Education and Labour and Employment.

Advertisement

General Secretary of NASU, Peters Adeyemi said letters would be presented to both ministries.

READ ALSO: Top 10 Richest People In Asia In 2024

The workers are asking the Federal Government to pay “us what you owe us.”

The unions said meetings with the government over the withheld salaries have not yielded positive results.

Advertisement

Former Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen Chris Ngige invoked the ‘No work, no pay’ policy when the four university based unions embarked on a prolonged strike in 2022.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Protest Rocks University Of Ibadan Over Fee Hike

Salaries of members of the university-based unions who participated in the strike were withheld by the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

But President Bola Tinubu in October 2023 granted amnesty to the university workers and directed that four months of the withheld salaries be paid to them.

Advertisement

Details Shortly…

Continue Reading

Metro

APC Destroyed Nigerian Economy, All Institutions Built For 16 Years – PDP Governors

Published

on

Governor elected on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PPD, have accused the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, of running down the nation’s economy and inflicting untold hardship on Nigerians.

The governors, under the umbrella body of PDP Governors, expressed dismay and grave concern over what they called “unprecedented hardship faced by the majority of Nigerians as a result of the dismal performance of the APC-led federal government”.

They frowned at the long delay in the minimum wage negotiations.

Advertisement

Rising from a meeting hosted by Enugu State Governor, Peter Mbah, the governors welcomed the autonomy granted Local Government Councils, and said that they believe in the efficacy of the Local Government system which ensures that governance is taken closer to the people as enshrined in the constitution.

The Forum also frowned at what it called the destruction of good institutions and developments put in place by the party when it was in power at the federal level by the ruling APC.

READ ALSO: Tinubu Appoints New MD, Board Chairman For NPA

The Forum expressed strong support for the Governor of Rivers State in his political battle and said that a political solution that would bring peace to the state would be initiated.

Advertisement

A communique from the meeting read by the Forum’s Chairman, Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State said:
“The meeting deliberated on a wide range of issues bordering on critical national interest. The unprecedented hardship faced by the majority of Nigerians as a result of the dismal performance of the APC led federal government, the minimum wage negotiations and the recurring issue of intergovernmental relations with special reference to local government autonomy and funding.

Following an exhaustive discussion and consultations with all the organs of the party as you can see here, the national Working committee of the party.

Upcoming congresses

“In the spirit of the founding fathers of our great party who adopted internal democracy as a fundamental principle on which our party was built, the congresses leading to the elections of the party leaders at the various tiers must be all-inclusive, transparent, fair and in compliance with the constitution of our party. To ensure the successful conduct of the congresses of the 36 states of the federation and the federal capital territory”.

Advertisement

READ ALSO: Japa: 7 Mistakes To Avoid When Applying For A Schengen Visa In 2024

Off-season election.

“Of the off-season elections in Edo and Ondo, the Forum admonishes all parties in the election to ensure that campaigns are issue-based, violence-free and in strict compliance with the provision of the electoral act. The forum urges the Independent Electoral Commission INEC to provide a level playing field that guarantees transparent, fair and peaceful elections as any act of bias will be resisted. The forum urges the president to show leadership as a true democrat by refraining from making any statement suggesting political interference in the entire process”.

The economy

Advertisement

“The Forum notes with dismay and grave concern the mismanagement of the economy by the APC led federal government”.

The Minimum wage

“The Minimum wage negotiations are becoming unduly protracted in the face of the attendant unprecedented hardship and impoverishment of the people. The forum resolves as follows: The Labour’s demand for a substantial salary raise is eminently justified and therefore commands total support of the forum. While the forum supports Labour’s demand, agreement must take into consideration the ability to pay by the sub-nationals, the federal government and the third tier of government.

“While negotiations are ongoing, we appeal for restraint in both utterances and actions that could lead to a complete breakdown of law and order and ultimately the collapse of the economy”.

Advertisement

Supreme court ruling on LG autonomy

“The forum believes in the efficacy of the local government system which ensures that governance comes closer to the people as provided in the constitution. The forum will also support the autonomy of the local government as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Japa: New Zealand Simplifies Work Visa Rules For Spouses Of Foreign Students

Restoring the Nation’s Past Glory

Advertisement

“The forum regrets that the 16 years of the tremendous development of the PDP-led federal government during which the country with single-digit inflation, the establishment of the existing anti-corruption institutions and higher standard of living by the majority of Nigerians has been eroded during the lifespan of the lacklustre APC led federal government.

“The forum identifies with the Nigerian populace in these troubling times and promises to bring back those good old days of low inflation rates, affordable food, fuel and transportation, steady FDI influx resulting in high Naira value and great quality of human life that was recorded.

“In that regard, the meeting commended the Governors of the PDP-controlled states for their innovative approach to governance in many fields, especially infrastructure, education, health, women and youth initiatives and the timely delivery of developmental projects across the country.

“The forum notes the crisis in Rivers State of the party and commits to supporting the governor of Rivers State and also resolved that the issue could be done through the political solution that will be required and other measures that all the leaders of the organs of the party will be committed so that we can go together and resolve this issue with minimal friction, division or rancour.

Advertisement

READ ALSO: JUST IN: ECOWAS Heads Meeting Starts In Abuja As Tinubu’s Tenure Ends

“The forum therefore calls on all Nigerians to refrain from any anarchy as we all march towards the return of the PDP to power in 2027”.

Earlier the chairman of the Forum described the meeting as “an extraordinary meeting of the PDP Governors Forum and some of our major stakeholders, including our National Working Committee and various organs of the party. This meeting is very unique and auspicious because we are here to showcase our history as a party. We have been leading in this country as a party. We have all the structures established before the commencement of the APC administration”.

The governors in attendance were Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo, Umo Eno of Akwa-Ibom, Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta, Godwin Obaseki of Edo, Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau, Agbu Kefas of Taraba, Dauda Lawal of Zamfara, and Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa, Douye Diri of Bayelsa, and the host governor, Peter Mbah.

Advertisement

Also in attendance were the Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Senator Adolphus Wabara and the Acting National Chairman of the party, represented by the Deputy National Chairman, South, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, former governor of Kaduna State and former Acting National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, and former governor of Niger State, Dr Babangida Aliyu.

 

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending