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S’Court Upholds Jail Term For Ex-BPE DG, Okoh

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The Supreme Court on Friday affirmed the decisions of the lower courts which imprisoned the immediate-past Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, Alexander Okoh, for contempt of court.

In addition, the apex court slammed a fine of N10m on Okoh who was sacked by President Bola Tinubu on January 8, 2024.

The BPE and Okoh appealed to the highest court to overturn the lower court’s decisions that led to his imprisonment for refusing to grant ownership of the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria to BFIG Group Corporation.

In 2004, the BPE advertised an application of interest for bidders for the privatisation of the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria.

At the end of the exercise, BFIG won the bid and BPE notified the company with a letter dated June 17, 2006.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Supreme. Court Affirms 5-year Jail Term For Lawan Over $3m Bribery Saga

Nevertheless, the BPE nullified the bid result, which led to a long legal dispute.

BFIG’s case was dismissed at the lower courts but the Supreme Court allowed the appeal in 2012.

The apex court ordered the BPE to rescind its decision to cancel the bid and hand over the company to BFIG but the BPE refused.

In April 2019, BFIG initiated contempt proceedings against the BPE and Okoh.

The court then ordered that Okoh be remanded in prison for at least 30 days until he purged himself of the continued disobedience of the court and further contemptuous conduct.

READ ALSO: Court Sends Suspended UNICAL Professor, Lawyer To Kuje Prison

In December 2019, BPE prayed for a stay of execution of the committal order against Okoh, the Appeal Court in a unanimous ruling affirmed the Abuja Federal High Court order.

Not satisfied with the judgment, the BPE approached the apex court for redress.

Reading the lead judgment on Friday, Justice Tijani Abubakar resolved all the issues against the appellants.

Abubakar tongue-lashed the BPE and Okoh for disobeying several orders issued on the matter, describing their actions as “scandalously shameful and disgraceful.”

READ ALSO: US Court Fines Nigerian Blogger $50,000 For Defaming MFM G.O.

He said, “The above application leaves no one in doubt that the appellant disobeyed the other of this court, especially the order that restrained the appellants or their agents from reselling, negotiating, or transferring the company. This is a flagrant disobedience to the order of this court.

“Court orders are meant to be obeyed and must be obeyed. The appellants treated the order of this court with total disdain and disrespect. The conduct of the appellants is scandalously shameful and disgraceful.

“Agencies of government must respect the law. Nobody in this country is above the law. The appellants are not to choose the order of the court to obey or not. For this reason, I resolve the issues against the appellants.

“This appeal deserves to be dismissed and it is thereby dismissed. The judgment of the appeal court is affirmed. The cost of N10m is awarded against the appellants. The cost is to be paid personally by the second appellant (Okoh) in addition to going to prison.”

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300 Level Nursing Student Commits Suicide In Ogun

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A 300-level student of Basic Medical Science of Havarde College of Science, Business and Management Studies, Obada-Oko, Abeokuta, simply identified as Ajoke has reportedly committed suicide on Monday evening.

The deceased, was said to have drank a poisonous substance, suspected to be sniper.

Her lifeless body, believed to be pregnant, was discovered in her off-campus hostel room.

Unconfirmed report has it that the depressed lady killed herself as soon as she found out that she was expecting a child.

READ ALSO: University Student Commits Suicide

One of the deceased colleagues, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said the deceased’s condition was worsened after finding out that the school had failed to meet up with the accreditation requirements of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria and could not be accredited for nursing, despite spending three years studying the course.

“For more than four months now, she (deceased) had been depressed because of the fact that the course she was studying was not accredited.

“She used to think and complain because she claimed her parents used all the money they have to send her to the school.

“Things now got worse when she discovered she was pregnant and she could not even have a certificate for the course she had done for years”, the source said.

READ ALSO: How I Killed Our Domestic Staff Who Prevented Me From Committing Suicide — Kano Housewife

Meanwhile, the he Ogun State government has sealed the Nursing Department of the institution, for offering a degree programme in Nursing Sciences without accreditation from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN).

An enforcement team comprising of officials from the State Ministry of Health and members of the State Nursing and Midwifery Committee (SNMC), carried out the operation on Tuesday.

Speaking during the enforcement exercise, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Kayode Oladehinde, said such unauthorised programmes contributed to quackery in the profession, which posed a threat to the health of the populace, maintaining that the Nursing Department of the institution would remain closed until fully accredited.

READ ALSO: How Driver Saves Passenger From Committing Suicide In Calabar

Dr. Oladehinde, who was represented by the Acting Director of Nursing Services, Mrs. Serifat Aminu, described a degree in Nursing obtained from Harvarde College and similar institutions without NMCN accreditation as worthless, explaining that graduates from such schools would be denied license to practice in Nigeria and other parts of the world.

We have discovered that many institutions, including Harvarde College, offer Nursing degrees to unsuspecting students. Our mission is to clamp down on such institutions because they end up producing quacks in the Nursing profession. This is dangerous for society. Unfortunately, most students are unaware that their time is being wasted”, he said.

The Permanent Secretary warned parents and candidates desiring to pursue Nursing or related programmes to be wary of institutions making false claims by checking the NMCN website for an updated list of accredited institutions, assuring that government would continue to checkmate quackery in the nursing profession.

 

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Gunmen Claim Six Lives, Destroy Houses, Vehicles In Katsina

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Gunmen suspected to be terrorists unleashed a wave of violence that claimed the lives of six individuals and left 10 others injured in Nasarawa village, Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State.

Confirming the tragic event, ASP Abubakar Aliyu, the State Police Public Relations Officer, revealed that the assailants, armed with sophisticated weapons including AK-47 rifles, descended upon the village on Monday night. In a relentless spree, “They shot and killed six (6) persons, injured about ten (10), and set ablaze three (3) houses and about ten (10) motor vehicles.” ASP Abubakar Aliyu stated.”

Amid the sorrow, a resident of Nasarawa village shared a chilling account of the horrors witnessed.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Abduct Nine Kogi Travellers, Demand N2.6m Ransom

He recounted how the terrorists killed a mad man and set ablaze another victim in the area.

He went on to reveal the grim aftermath, stating, “The bandits also killed two people in our neighbouring Madogara community.” The relentless brutality did not stop there; scores of residents were abducted, staple grain stores were looted, and motorcycles were burnt beyond recognition, leaving the community in a state of profound grief.

To restore normalcy back to the area, the Commissioner of Police, CP Musa Aliyu, has reportedly deployed tactical operational intelligence to the scene. The hope is to bring those responsible to justice and provide some solace to the shattered community.

 

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EFCC Grills Former Kwara Gov AbdulFatah Ahmed For Second Day Over ₦10bn

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Former Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji AbdulFatah Ahmed on Tuesday remained in the Custody of the Ilorin zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Ilorin, the state capital, making about forty-eight hours he’s been under intense interrogation.

Meanwhile his former CPS, Abdulwahab Oba has lamented the frustration they were passing through in securing the bail conditions of his Principal, who he said had also been denied access to his doctors.

Vanguard Correspondent reliably gathered that the former governor who was being interrogated by the Antigraft agency on a N10BILLION projects executed during his tenure as the governor of the state was spending his second day at the office of the Commission.

READ ALSO: Obasanjo Advocates Law To Curb Organ Trafficking

The former Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed who was reportedly invited at the weekend presented himself to the agency at about 9am on Monday and had remained in the office as at 7pm on Tuesday according to a source close to the Command.

When asked about the projects which the ex-governor was being grilled on, a source who craved anonymity said that he didn’t know the projects that he was invited to clarify at the office but added that “what I can tell you is that Ex-governor Ahmed is still with the EFCC and has not been released as at 7pm.”

Meanwhile, the Chief Press Secretary to the former governor, Alhaji AbdulWahab Oba who eventually broke his silence on Tuesday on the development, confirmed the presence of his Principal in the custody of EFCC and complained about the delay in meeting his bail conditions.

READ ALSO: EFCC Raids Abuja Bureau De Change Operators, Arrest 50

According to him: “Yes, he is still with the EFCC and we are now at a dilemma over the issue because they keep changing the goal post during the match. The case is taking a new dimension which we don’t really understand for now.

“Initially they said they wanted him to produce two sureties who are federal directors. The sureties came and were asked to provide landed properties in Abuja. We see this as a contradiction.

“The case was initially handled by the EFCC office in Abuja before it was transferred to Ilọrin over the issue of jurisdiction. Additionally, he has been denied access to his doctors, medication and direct access to his cook”, Oba said.

He charged the EFCC to follow due process and be seen to be transparent in their handling of the case as the former Governor has never defaulted in all previous invitations extended to him by the commission.

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