Court Dismisses Application Of 419 Kingpin, Fred Ajudua, To Quash Charges Against Him

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Court Dismisses Application Of 419 Kingpin, Fred Ajudua, To Quash Charges Against Him
June 25, 2013

By SaharaReporters, New York
The Lagos High Court in Ikeja today dismissed the application of fraud kingpin, Fred Ajudua, to quash charges he defrauded two Dutch Businessmen, Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen, of about US$1.69 million (N262 million).
In an application argued before Justice Oyewole yesterday, Ajudua’s lawyer, Allens Agbaka, requested the court to throw out the case against his notorious client on two grounds. First, Mr. Agbaka claimed there was a directive from the Attorney General that the court should discontinue the charge against Ajudua. The lawyer went on to state that Mr. Cina, one of the duped persons who is also enlisted by the prosecution as a witness, had indicated his interest in May 2011 not to pursue the trial any further.
In his ruling, Justice Oyewole said he had not received any such directive from the Attorney General of the Federation. Oyewole also held that Mr. Cina must appear before him, as failure to testify would cause him severe legal punishment.
Throwing out Ajudua’s application Mr. Oyewole described it as ‘strange’, stating that it amounted to an abuse of the court process after the prosecution had already led some witnesses in evidence since the arraignment of the suspect 10 years ago.
Ajudua was arraigned in 2003 for defrauding the two Dutch businessmen between July 1999 and September 2000 and impersonating the Auditor-General of Nigeria, Isa Audu, in the process. After his arraignment in 2003, Ajudua’s trial for fraud became inconsistent. He was granted medical bail in 2006, following which he had disappeared and failed to appear for trial.
In his first appearance this month, Ajudua’s lawyer requested the court to suspend the trial on health grounds, a routine ploy used by privileged suspects of financial crime in Nigeria aimed at prolonging a case or making it disappear in the mists of time.
In an objection to Ajudua’s claim of health problems prosecution lawyer, Wemimo Oyewole (SAN) argued yesterday that a mere claim without evidence was not acceptable.
Following that, in a desperate attempt to back up the claim this morning, Mr. Agbaka presented a report from the Lagos University Teaching Hospital [LUTH], stating that Ajudua had issues with his health and presenting a referral letter from LUTH to an Indian hospital.
But Mr. Ogunde responded that an acceptable letter would be one from the ‘Indian Hospital’ where he is purported to be receiving the treatment and not a referral letter from LUTH.
It may be recalled that in 2006, Mr. Ajudua told the court that he was receiving treatment at Grant Medical Foundation, Pane, India and had been granted medical bail.  Thereafter, and for eight years, he simply disappeared.
An X-ray scan report presented before the court in the renewed argument indicated that Mr. Ajudua was in LUTH in December last year.  But Justice Oyewole said in his ruling that it was curious that Mr. Ajudua, despite visiting LUTH, did not appear in court for his trial even though both the hospital and the court are located in same city.
On the claim of the AGF’s directive to stop the trial, Justice Oyewole said he had received no such directive, and that no evidence was presented by the defendant to corroborate his claim.
Ajudua’s application for another bail on the same grounds of health was adjourned to Thursday, June 27, for ruling.

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Adoke vs Dino Melaye: 10 SANs, 87 lawyers to defend activist free of charge in N10.2 billion libel suit

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Adoke vs Dino Melaye: 10 SANs, 87 lawyers to defend activist free of charge in N10.2 billion libel suit

By News Express

The N10.2 billion libel suit slammed on the Anti-Corruption Network led by a former member of the House of Representatives, Otunba Dino Melaye, by Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), will most likely be a grand legal battle.

While Adoke, who sued Melaye before an Abuja High Court in the Nigerian capital city, has raised an 11-man legal team to fight his cause, Adoke’s worries have become reduced following the offer by 10 Senior Advocates (SANs) and 87 other lawyers to defend pro bono.

This is even as Melaye told journalists that neither himself nor his group has been served the court notice. He described the offer of free legal services as a justification of the alleged abuse of office by the AGF.

Hear the radical ex-lawmaker: “It shows that those in the legal profession have recognized the abuse of office and flagrant disregard for the rule of law by the AGF. Many of the lawyers complained of the conduct of the AGF and have vowed to furnish this case with additional information and obvious cases of abuse of office by Adoke.

“The bastardisation, monetisation and commercialisation of the legal profession must stop. Conflict of interest must become history. Public interest must be placed above selfish or personal interest in the discharge of official responsibilities in the office of the AGF. The battle to salvage our country from all forms of abuse of office is a battle of no retreat, no surrender.”

The Anti-Corruption Network (ACN) had in a petition to President Goodluck Jonathan dated April 11, 2013 detailed alleged graft and “outrageous use of powers against public interest” and for which the Presidency ordered investigation.

Adoke however insisted that rather than the Presidency, it was he that ordered his investigation.

The outcome of the investigation was contained in a letter from the Office of the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, signed by Ali Amodu, a Commissioner of Police in charge of X Squad, to the Executive Secretary of ACN (Melaye).

Speaking Friday with journalists at Melaye’s Abuja office, a lawyer who described himself as one of the disciples of late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Mr. Sikiru Akinrele, said he would defend Melaye pro bono provided he has his facts.

His words: “The justice system should encourage free legal services. If Dino (Melaye) has his facts, I will defend him in court or advise him accordingly. I want to encourage him to do what is right, even if he is standing alone; he will know that some people appreciate him.

“Melaye should be heard on the merit without being hampered with finance. Remember that Nigerians (lawyers and Judges inclusive) rallied round Chief Gani Fawehinmi when his chambers was to be sold for a judgment debt that the whole world decried.

“Dino Melaye is exceptionally courageous. He reminds me of my late boss, Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN); if he has good grounds for his remarks and lack the funds to tackle the retinue of eminent lawyers lined up against him, then I am ready to tow the line of the doctrine laid down by Sapara Williams (the first Nigerian lawyer) and give him the benefit of my calling free without charge.”

Source News Express

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N10bn libel suit: We released only 10% evidence of your abuse of office – Melaye tells AGF

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Executive Secretary of Anti-Corruption Network,ACN, Dino Melaye, has declared his readiness to face the Attorney General of the Federation,AGF, and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, in court to prove allegations of alleged abuse of office he made against the minister.

Melaye, a former member of House of Representatives on Wednesday in Abuja, said his group would resist any form of intimidation in its fight against corruption.

Adoke had filed a N10 billion libel suit against the ACN, on the grounds that the group falsely accused him of wrongdoing through publication of defamatory stories.

The AGF, in the suit, is also seeking a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their agents or privies from further publishing libelous stories about him.

Reacting, Melaye said that he and his group were yet to receive any court summon.

He however described Adoke’s legal action as a welcome development, saying that he and his group had only released 10 per cent of evidence in its possession against abuse of office by the Minister

“Neither the Anti-Corruption Network nor my humble self as the administrative head of the organisation has been served any summon or proceeding,” he said.
“We are waiting for him to serve us; and I want to say without fear or favour that I, Otunba Dino Melaye, Executive Secretary of Anti-Corruption Network, and the Network, we stand by everything we have published on Mohammed Bello Adoke word for word, full stop for full stop, semi-colon for semi-colon, comma for comma; everything we have published about him as abuse of office and flagrant disregard for legal rules and regulations and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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Fresh Twist in Dino Melaye, Adoke Face-off as Ex-lawmaker Protests Police Summon

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A fresh twist has been added to the invitation by the police to the former House of Representatives member, Honourable Dino Melaye, over his allegations against the Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke, with the former asking the minister to step aside before he could yield himself to police interrogation.

Melaye was invited for interrogation via a letter from the Office of the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, signed by Ali Amodu, a Commissioner of Police in charge of X Squad.

The letter hinted that the force was investigating the allegations of corruption, abuse of office and incompetence levelled against the minister by Melaye’s Anti-Corruption Network, following a letter to the Presidency with reference No: ACN/NEC. /CORRP. /VOL. 1/00.1 and dated April 11.

However, before the ex-lawmaker could honour the police invitation, the minister, through his counsel, said he, and not the presidency, requested the Inspector General of Police to carry out the investigation of all the allegations levelled against him.

To that effect, the former lawmaker, through his lawyer, Mr Denen Ikya, argued that it was only trite that Adoke stepped aside or better still, resigned his position to ensure an investigation that was devoid of any undue influence.

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Anti-Corruption Network Writes Barack Obama Asking For Visa Ban On Jonathan Ministers Diezani, Adoke, And Orubebe

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Anti-Corruption Network Writes Barack Obama Asking For Visa Ban On Jonathan Ministers Diezani, Adoke, And Orubebe [FULL TEXT]

MAY 16
Posted by NaijaOBSERver

Full text of the letter:

ACN/NEC/CORRP./VOL 1/004      

16th May, 2013

His Excellency

Mr. Barack Obama 

The President United States of America (U.S.A)White House Washington D.C.U.S.A

Through,His Excellency

The Ambassador
Embassy of the United States of America
Diplomatic Zone
Abuja, Nigeria.

 Your Excellency,

CORRUPTION WITH IMPUNITY AND INSECURITY IN NIGERIA

It is with absolute sense of responsibility duty and patriotism that we in the Anti-Corruption Network have deemed it necessary to draw your Excellency’s attention to the practices of Corruption with impunity that is ongoing in Nigeria under the present Administration.

We are deeply concerned that if this gravity of corrupt practices goes on unchecked unpunished and unabated, it will definitely worsen the unpalatable security situation and challenges we are already facing which its root course could also be traceable to destructive impact of corruption.

We are conscious of the fact that in todays globalized world, insecurity in one part of the world is insecurity to the whole, economic quagmire in one part will also affect the whole, particularly in the case of Nigeria as the most populous black Nation in the world and as the greatest influence among Africa nations.

It is in the light of the foregoing and taking into consideration. During Obasanjo’s era, Joshua Dariye of Plateau State, was impeached with less than the required number of Legislators, since then Plateau State has never been the same.Now the same sage is happening in Rivers State, where the Police escorted only five Members of the House to perform similar act.

Ameachi’s offence is that he is speaking out against injustices, oppression in the ruling class.To further carry out the act Members of Rivers State House of Assembly are being lured with oil blocks. We have also refused to be used by those in Government to carry out mass protest against the Governor based on fictitious documents to implicate the Governor of corruption. We are also determined to protect any progressive Governor or citizens of Nigeria who is been intimidated by the Presidency for standing for the masses, including the media house. 

The U.S.A huge investment in Nigeria and those of other Western Countries and others that we are calling on the U.S.A Government to use their good influence to call on our present political leadership to truthfully, sincerely and constructively fight Corruption, punish Corrupt officials and serve deterrence.

EXAMPLES OF THE CASES OF CORRUPTION WITH IMPUNITY

1)   Mrs Daziani Allison Madueke: the Honorable Minister of Petroleum Resources, she has been indicted by five different investigative panel Committees reports at different time, yet she confidently remains in charge of the Ministry unperturbed.

2)   The KPMG Report: Indicted the NNPC, PPPRA and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources of massive Corruption and lack of transparency.

3)   The Farouk Lawal Report of the House of Representative Investigative Committee: Spoke elaborately of unprecedented Corruption between bureaucracy and the marketers of petroleum products. It is commonsensical as well as logical to observe that the marketers can not dip their hands into Government coffers to pay themselves without approval from NNPC, PPPRA, Minister of Petroleum, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) AND OF COURSE Minister of Finance. Unfortunately till date no Government Official in these Ministries and Agencies has been invited by the Anti-Graft Agencies or Police on these outrageous subsidy scandals.

4)   Aig Imoukede  Report: This report recommended refunds to the Government and indeed some refunds have been made, yet the Honorable Minister of Finance, Mrs Okonjo Iweala one year after refunds has refused to tell Nigerians who refunded what and out of what as demanded by best practices in good governance and transparency. Ideally, this nature of refund means indictment, yet no prosecution is ongoing talk less of jail.

5)   Nuhu Ribadu Report: The Nuhu Ribadu report also spoke about unprecedented and scandalous Corruption in the petroleum Ministry and its Affiliated Agencies and parastatal.

6)   NEITI Report:  Revealed that the NNPC is yet to remit #1.3 trillion Naira to the Federation account under the Chairmanship of Mrs. Deziani Alison Maduekwe. It further revealed that 600 million U.S dollars was withdrawn from the Joint Ventures Account with Chase Bank and squandered on an inexplicable reason till date.

It also revealed that 2.3 billion dollars was collected from Joint Ventures account and transferred to the NNPC headquarters for security reasons in the Niger Delta region. We all know that the Ministry of Petroleum has no relationship whatsoever with defense issues, as all the security Agencies including the police are funded by Appropriation Act.

We recalled with great pain that in the year 2011 about 280 billion Naira was budgeted and appropriated for oil subsidy, however, the Government of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan ended up spending over 2.3 trillion Naira, over 2 trillion Naira above appropriation and of course half of Nigeria total appropriation.

This is unprecedented in Nigeria history and against the extant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. All of these took place under Mrs. Deziani Alision Maduekwe supervision as the Minister of Petroleum.

(2) We have chronicled and reported cases of Corruption in the Ministry of Niger Delta Headed by Elder Godsday Orubebe.

(3) Corruption in the Ministry of Power

(4) Corruption by Honorable Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke.

THE POSITION OF THE PUBLIC POLICY TRADITION

The Public Policy Tradition recommends Suspension for any Government official indicted in cases of Corruption. We are deeply disturbed under the present Administration headed by President GoodLuck Ebele Jonathan, this act has not been applied afore mentioned glaring cases of Corruption.

Undoubtedly, the administration is rather encouraging, shielding and promoting corrupt practices.

THE PUBLIC POLICY TRADITION APPLICATION IN THE PAST

1)   Chief Sunday Afolabi, former Minister of Internal Affairs during the President Obasanjo regime was removed over the National Identity card scam

2)   Professor Fabian Osuji, former Minister of Education was also removed over allegation of Corruption.

3)   Chief Adolphus Wabara, former President of the Senate, Federal Republic of Nigeria was removed over bribery allegation

4)   Professor Grange and Architect Gabriel Aduka, former Minister of Health and Minister of State for Health respectively were both removed from office on allegation of Corruption, to mention but few.

The Corruption cases against these mentioned Minister and the Senate President combined are nothing to be compared to the mountain of Corruption against Dezaini Alison Maduekwe alone (Minister of Petroleum) not to talk of others yet the Jonathan administration have turned a blind eyes to all cases of corruptions under him, instead President Jonathan went ahead to grant pardon to Mr. D.S.P. Alamesiagha who is carrying an international Warrant of Arrest for money laundry and escape from United Kingdom in a move that certainly boost Corruption with impunity.

Major Magaji a man who committed Sodomy had sex with four men and was sentence to jail by the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court in her judgment described the act by Major Magaji as brazen bizzare and barbaric, yet he got President Pardon.

Our Appeal:

1)   We want to seriously appeal to the Government of the United State and President Barack Obama to use his good office and diplomatic influence to impress it upon the Nigerian Government and President Goodluck Jonathan to stand firm against Corruption.

2)   We recommend that all indicted Corrupt Government officers visas and members of their immediate families be withdraw particularly for the following officers;

v Deziani Alison Maduekwe – Minister of Petroleum Resources.

v Mohammend Bello Adoke – Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation.

v Elder Godsday Orubebe – Minister of Niger Delta.

v Alhaji Ibrahim Idris – Former Governor of Kogi State.

v Cecilia Ibru – Former M.D. Oceanic Bank PLC.

v Justice Abubakar Talba – Judge of the Abuja High Court.

We sincerely appreciate the great sacrifice you will have to make in reading through this lengthy letter of ours and the attached evidences of Corruption documents.

We however hope that will deserving attention in the common interest of peace, political stability and security of our two countries.

Accept please the assurances of our high esteem.

Yours Sincerely, 

Otunba Dino Melaye
Executive Secretary