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Kalu’s lawyer explains absence as court revokes bail



Kalu’s lawyer explains absence as court revokes bail


Despite the submissions of the two lawyers, Justice Idris faulted Kalu’s leaving for Germany without court clearance and ordered the revocation of the bail.

Lukman Olabiyi

Counsel to former Abia State Governor Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, Mr. S. E. Eleme (SAN), yesterday told Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court, Lagos reason his client failed to appear before the court to stand trial.

This is coming on the heels of the revocation of bail Kalu is enjoying by Justice Idris.

Kalu, Udeh Jones Udeogu and Slok Nigeria Limited are standing trial before the court over alleged fraud charge slammed on them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Explaining why Kalu was absent in court, Eleme told Justice Idris that the former governor underwent a surgical operation at a German hospital and that he will require between 10 and 12 weeks to fully recover.

READ ALSO: Kalu undergoes surgery in Germany, not in coma says wife

He later sought for a long adjournment to enable the former governor complete his medical examination.

Said he: “We have obtained a comprehensive medical report dated 5th November 2018, which
we forwarded to the court. Indeed, we filed it in the registry on 7th November 2018, for it to come through the normal process.

“The first defendant has shown exemplary commitment to his trial over a period of 11 years until his health, over which he has no control, became an issue.

“In the light of the foregoing, we most respectively urge the court to grant an adjournment for a period of time that is adequate to enable the first defendant complete his medical examination.”

Responding to criticisms by EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), over Kalu’s failure to seek the court’s nod before embarking on the trip, Eleme said: “On the 27th of September 2018, the matter was adjourned indefinitely and the case file was returned to the Chief Judge.

“We then pleaded with the prosecution’s lawyer to tarry a while before reapplying for the fiat to allow my lord continue with the matter. This is to afford the first defendant opportunity to attend to his health needs.

“The prosecution lawyer actually gave us his words that he will tarry a while but we never heard from him again up till the time he reapplied for the fiat and hearing date was fixed.”

Responding to a question from the judge on why Kalu’s bail should not be revoked for travelling out of the country without court’s leave, Mr. Eleme said the former governor actually travelled in a state of medical emergency wherein his right to life had to be protected.

He said: “The revocation of the first defendant’s bail will be an extreme step and an equivalent of death sentence when he had not been convicted tried or convicted of a particular offence.”

Responding, EFCC’s Jacobs told the court that he actually learnt from the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu that Kalu wrote the commission about his intention to travel.

Despite the submissions of the two lawyers, Justice Idris faulted Kalu’s action in leaving for Germany without court’s clearance and ordered the revocation of the bail.

“The first defendant has breached the term of his bail condition and I am constrained to revoke his bail. However, he shall be allowed to fully recuperate abroad without being harassed by law enforcement agencies.

“On his return to Nigeria, he must, within 24 hours, report to the EFCC, failing which he will be arrested,” he declared.

Further hearing in the matter has been adjourned to January 23, 2019.

READ ALSO: 2019: Ex-EFCC boss, Waziri cautions politicians on hate speech, violence

The post Kalu’s lawyer explains absence as court revokes bail appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.


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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes



Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers



CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.

Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.

“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?

“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.

“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.

“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”

Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.

“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.

“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.

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Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike



Increasing Fuel and Electricity Prices

Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.

Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.

The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.

Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.

Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).

The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”

On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.

The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.

“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.

The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”

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