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Just In: Court Acquits Tompolo, Others Of N34bn Fraud

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The Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday dismissed the entire 40 counts bordering on alleged N34bn fraud filed by the Federal Government against Global West Vessel Specialist Limited, a company linked to a former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo.

The other defendants in the case were a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpolokemi, Kime Engozu, Rex Elem, Gregory Mbonu and Warredi Enisuoh.

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Three other firms – Odimiri Electrical Limited; Boloboere Property and Estate Limited; and Destre Consult Limited – were also defendants in the criminal case filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in 2015.

READ ALSO: Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu’s Aides In Verbal War Over Alleged N20b Loan

Tompolo was initially joined as the first defendant in the case, but following his refusal to answer repeated court summonses, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN), who handled the case for the EFCC, had to apply to the court that Tompolo’s name be removed from the charge sheet.

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In a ruling on Wednesday on the defendants’ no-case submission, Justice Ibrahim Buba, pronounced that the prosecution “failed to establish a prima facie case” against the defendants.

He, therefore, dismissed the entire 40 counts filed against the defendants by the EFCC, through Keyamo, and set them free.

READ ALSO: N20b Loan: Group Protests, Rolls Out State’s Indebtedness

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In the charges, the EFCC had accused the defendants of conspiring among themselves to divert various sums running into over N34bn, belonging to NIMASA to their personal use.

The EFCC said they acted contrary to Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and were liable to punishment under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

The first count of the amended 40 counts read, “That you, Government Ekpemupolo (alias Tompolo), Patrick Akpobolokemi and Global West Vessel Specialist Limited in 2012, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did conspire amongst yourselves to commit an offence, to wit: conversion of the sum of N601, 516.13 and $1,766,428.62, property of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, knowing that the said sums were proceeds of stealing and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.”

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READ ALSO: The Land Of Shameless Leaders (III)

The defendants had, during their arraignment four years ago, al

(PUNCH)

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(PHOTO: File)

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FG Extends Kaduna-Abuja Train Resumption

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The Ministry of Transportation, on Sunday, in Kaduna, extended the resumption date for the Kaduna-Abuja train Service

Recall that the train service was suspended in March 2022, after bandits attacked its passengers, killed 25, wounded several others and Kidnapped over 50 passengers.

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However, early this month, the federal government had promised that the Kaduna-Abuja train service would resume before the end of November.

But the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, while on inspection tour to examine its readiness for operation before the commencement of operations, said certain things needed to be in place before resumption.

READ ALSO: Abuja-Kaduna Train Attack: Group Blasts FG For Failure To Protect Citizens

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He said the FG has introduced a new system of purchasing tickets, which he said is the beginning of security checks that would assist the government to know who boards the train at every point in time.

Although he declined speaking on the actual resumption date, but assured the public that it wouldn’t be far from now.

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Dangote Plans Fresh 300,000 Jobs For Nigerians

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Africa’s foremost industrialist, Aliko Dangote, is optimistic that the new multibillion naira investment in the sugar sub-sector would help provide no fewer than 300,000 jobs in Nigeria.

A statement from the Corporate Communication Department of the company quoted the Group’s President Aliko Dangote as saying that the company was providing fresh funds and thus expanding its operations in the sugar sub-sector.

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Mr Dangote, who was speaking at the Flagg off Ceremony of the 2022/2023 Crushing Season and Outgrower Scheme Awards in Numan, Adamawa State, said the opportunities would include both direct and indirect jobs.

READ ALSO: Controversy Trails Unveiling Of New Currency Redesign

Dangote, who is Africa’s top philanthropist, expressed optimism that the massive investment will create over 300,000 jobs for Nigerians.

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He said, “We are making a massive investment in Adamawa State through expansion of DSR Numan’s sugar refining capacity from 3000tcd to 6000tcd, 9800tcd, and to 15,000tcd. DSR will be able to create about three hundred thousand jobs, direct and indirect, with positive multiplier effects on the economy nationwide.”

The Dangote Group is the biggest employer of labour in Nigeria outside the government.

Dangote was appointed Chairman, National Job Creation Committee in 2010 to assist the Federal Government in providing more employment opportunities for Nigerians.

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The Dangote President had also announced that his company was doubling its spending on CSR schemes in host communities in Adamawa State, the location of its 32,000 hectares integrated sugar complex.

Speaking in Numan, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, described the Dangote Sugar Refinery as the biggest contributor to the development of the sugar development effort of the Federal Government.

READ ALSO: Police React To Viral Video Of Alleged Terrorists In Lagos

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The Minister also commended Mr Dangote for the massive support through his Corporate Social Responsibility scheme.

In the same vein, the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemicals is expected to create some 250,000 job opportunities when completed next year.

Already, Dangote Cement Plc is one of Africa’s biggest job providers in the manufacturing sector.

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Igbos Inaugurate Biafra House In US, Give Reasons

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Igbos residing in the United States, US, have inaugurated the Biafra House in Oxon Hill in Maryland, Washington DC.

It was gathered that the Biafra House was inaugurated to serve people who believe in Biafra and friends of the nation.

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This was authoritatively disclosed to DAILY POST by a source.

The source, who pleaded anonymity, said: “The Biafra House is officially opened for business to the public, including Government Administrative Matters, Diplomatic Protocol, International Relations, and Security, amongst others.”

The Biafra House was formed to help Igbos in the US and Diaspora interact with the international community.

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READ ALSO: Controversy Trails Unveiling Of New Currency Redesign

According to the source: “The Biafra House will be interacting and providing services to local, as well as governments and the International community through partnerships, pending when the United Nations and other world bodies may compel the government of Nigeria to effect a plebiscite for Biafran people.

“Biafra House is where Biafrans in the United States and the World can seek Diplomatic and Consular services, as it’s open for five business days a week and within the New York time zone.”

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“Again, The Biafra House will be interacting and providing services to local, as well as governments and the International community through partnerships, pending when the United Nations and other world bodies may compel the Fulani government of Nigeria to effect a plebiscite for Biafran people.”

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