The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC secured another victory Friday in its campaign against grand corruption in public service as Justice T.G Ringin of a Federal High Court sitting in Owerri, ordered the final forfeiture of a hospital linked to former governor Rochas Okorocha.
Dews of Hope Hospital, located in the heart of Imo capital of Owerri Dews of Hope Hospital is a N1.5 Billion state-of-the-art 200-bed hospital, whose ownership was denied by a former aide to Okorocha.
The forfeiture came a day after the commission secured the conviction and sentencing of former governor Orji Uzor Kalu of Abia State (1999-2007) for money laundering and corruption.
The Commission had on August 22, 2019 secured the interim forfeiture of the Owerri hospital from a vacation Judge, Justice A. T Mohammed of Federal High Court, Port Harcourt.
The application for interim forfeiture was triggered by evidence that the facility may have been acquired through proceeds of illicit activities, as funds from Government House, Owerri were traced to the hospital.
The Commission’s investigation revealed that Dr. Paschal Obi, former Permanent Secretary and Principal Secretary to then Governor Okorocha, now a serving member of the House of Representatives, was a signatory to the accounts.
However, Obi, like members of the board of the hospital, vehemently denied ownership of the medical facility.
The managing director of the hospital on invitation, could not also explain how the hospital was funded.
These developments led the Commission to file for the forfeiture of the property on July 25, 2019 under Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud,and Other Related Offences Act 2006.
In granting the request for the interim forfeiture of the property, the court ordered the anti-graft agency to publish the Order in a national newspaper, which was accordingly complied with in the Nation Newspaper of August 30, 2019 and Leadership Newspaper of September 3,2019 respectively, asking interested parties to show cause why the property should not be forfeited to the federal government within fourteen days from the dates of the publications.
Upon the expiration of the fourteen day notice and with no one showing interest in the hospital, the Commission filed for the final forfeiture of the facility.
The hospital located at the heart of Owerri metropolis, had an adjourning staff and doctor’s quarters.
Femi Adesina Calls Out Fake Prophet
Femi Adesina, special adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari has called out a certain fake prophet who gave some prophecies that never came to pass.
In a tweet he posted on Twitter, Femi Adesina wrote that the unnamed cleric made a prophecy on President Buhari and Kaduna state governor Nasir El-Rufai, but it never materialized.
He claims to be prophet. He said whoever won 2015 presidential poll would not rule. He said El-Rufai won’t win in Kaduna. Later, he said the man would die within a time. El-Rufai is well and alive. Is that one a prophet? Fake. It’s not me that says so, it’s the Holy Bible.
It was however speculated by some social media users that he was referring to Apostle Johnson Suleman.
Herdsmen Kill Farmer, Policeman In Edo
Suspected herdsmen have killed a farmer and a policeman in Owan community, Ovia North East local government area.
It was gathered that the farmer whose identity was yet to be ascertained was killed last Saturday by herdsmen.
The community called in the police to help retrieve the body but the herdsmen were said to have fired at the police and killed one of them in the process.
A brother to the farmer was also said to be hit by bullets fired by the herdsmen.
The killing made the community members block the Bénin-Akure highway to protest the killings and sought government attention to the crisis.
Motorists plying the road were stranded for several hours that the protest lasted.
One of the protesters who gave his name as Moses, said herdsmen in the bush have been killing and raping women in their community.
Moses said their crops have been destroyed by the herdsmen.
“They killed our person in the bush. We called in the police so that we can retrieve the body but they attacked again and killed a policeman. The government should come to our aid.
“Herdsmen are terrorising us. We need help so that we can go to our farms.”
When contacted for comments, Edo police spokesman, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, said the policeman did not die.
He said the policeman and other injured persons are receiving treatment in the hospital and said that investigations have commenced.
Farmers at Igbanke community in Orhionmwon local government also protested destruction of the crops by herdsmen.
The farmers who protested to Bénin City said they could no longer enter their farms.
They alleged that yams, cassava and other crops were used to feed cows after which the farmlands are set ablaze by the herdsmen to enable fresh grass to grow.
An elder of Iganke, Mr. James Iguando, said, “We are afraid. We cannot take laws into our hands. We don’t have plantain, yams and others again. We are now hungry. Herdsmen take their cows to eat our produce.
DSP Nwabuzor said the police have received petition on the issue and was working on the matter.
Membership Of Political Parties Should Not Deny Nigeria Development — Wike
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has stated that being members of different political parties should not deny the country the much needed development.
He said under no circumstances should the country drift towards a one-party state because all political parties need to exist for the people to explore all alternatives.
He spoke on Tuesday during a Courtesy Visit by the new leadership of KAGOTE, an elite socio-cultural organization for the Ogoni Ethnic Nationality at the Government House Port Harcourt.
He said: “Party is a vehicle to a political position. When you get to that destination, you alight and work towards development. It should not stop us from seeking the development of our communities, irrespective of our political affiliations.
“We will not support a one-party State under any guise. Though people belong to different political parties, we should work together for development. There is no law that says everyone must belong to one political party. ”
The Governor called on KAGOTE to work towards ensuring peace in Ogoni communities to create environment for peace.
“We should work for peace in Ogoni communities. The situation where there is insecurity in some communities is affecting development .
“I urge you to use your good offices to ensure that there is peace in Ogoniland. We must not allow criminals to speak on behalf of communities “, he said.
Wike assured KAGOTE that the Rivers State Security Council will work hard to resolve the security issues in Bodo City and its environs.
He said: “I will take up the issue of Bodo City with the State Commissioner of Police. We will work to bring peace to Bodo City.”
The Governor assured Ogoni people that his administration will ensure the completion of all ongoing projects in Ogoniland.
He expressed happiness with the calibre of persons who are members of the new Executive Council of KAGOTE.
“I am quite impressed with the calibre of persons who are members of the KAGOTE leadership. These are men and women who crave development for their area.
“We are ready to partner with any organisation that is committed to development. There is no need fighting ourselves, as we need to work for development “, he said.
Earlier, President of KAGOTE, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Deeyah offered the support of the organisation to the Wike Administration for the development of Rivers State.
He said: “We have come to offer support to your administration to better the lots of our people. We wish to join you in a fruitful partnership in your efforts to bring to our people and indeed all Rivers men and women of goodwill, good governance, improved security , infrastructural as well as human capacity development. ”
The KAGOTE President commended Governor Wike for the projects sited in Ogoniland and other parts of the State.
He said: “We would like to commend you for the numerous projects sited in our area and all around the state. We implore you to do more. We want to place on record our sincere appreciation of your support and assistance to our sons and daughters who contested for various offices in Government at all levels. ”
He stated that KAGOTE will remain a back Channel of support, communication and linkages for the administration, as has been the tradition.
The New KAGOTE Executive was elected on December 29, 2019 to run the affairs of the organisation for three years.