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Nigeria’s first indigenous vehicle-manufacturing company, Innoson Group has said that there is presently no application by the Inspector General of Police for an issuance of a bench warrant against its Chairman, Chief Innocent Chukwuma. The company made this disclosure through a statement signed by Mr Cornel Osigwe, Head of Corporate Communications. “Our attention has been drawn to a false publication on some news mediums purporting that the Nigeria Police applied for a bench warrant to arrest the boss of Innoson Motors, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, and we, as a result, deem it proper to respond and put the records straight. “First, a bench warrant can only be applied for and, if the necessary conditions are met, be issued by the Court in a pending charge. As it is, there is no charge pending against Innoson Motors Boss – Chief Innocent Chukwuma, his company, Charles Chukwu, Maximian Chukwura, Mistsui Osk Lines and Anajekwu Sunny. Although, in December 2015, the Inspector General of Police initiated Charge No: FHC/L/565C/2015 against Chief Innocent Chukwuma and 5 others, the Police through its instrument duly initialed and filed in the Court, in the same charge, on 17th February 2016 withdrew the charge to enable it conclude investigation of the allegation leading to the charge. Stating the genesis of the withdrawn trumped-up charge, the statement further said: “At all material time Innoson Nigeria Ltd. was a customer of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. Sometime in 2012 Innoson discovered that GTB imposed and debited its current account with over N700Million excess and unlawful charges. GTB failed and refused to refund the N700Million to Innoson. Consequently, Innoson commenced Suit No:FHC/AWK/CS/139/2012 against GTB and thereat the Court rendered judgment in the sum of N4.7Billionwith 22% interest on the judgment debt until satisfaction of the judgment debt in favour of Innoson against GTB. “GTB appealed to the Court of Appeal, Enugu Division against the judgment in Appeal No: CA/E/288/2013. However, on 9th December 2014, the Court of Appeal ordered GTB to pay the judgment debt, which then stood at over N6Billion, into an interest-yielding account in the name of the court. “Also, in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/603/2006, the Federal High Court, Ibadan Division ordered GTB, in a garnishee order absolute made on 29th day of July 2011, to pay N2.4Billion to Innoson. Also, The Court of Appeal Ibadan Division in its judgment of 6th February 2014in Appeal No: CA/I/258/2011 affirmed the decision of the Federal High Court and ordered GTB to pay the N2.4Billionto Innoson. “As at 2013/2014 the outstanding indebtedness of GTB to Innoson by reason of the judgment debts was over N8.5Billion. In its various affidavits, particularly at the Court of Appeal in Appeal No: CA/E/288/2013, GTB deposed that if it pays the outstanding judgment debt of N6Billion, let alone the N8.5Billion, it will collapse and be out of business. “Consequently, in order to save itself from paying the outstanding judgment debts to Innoson, it resorted to a fictitious petition and, in a characteristic manner, the trumped-up charge – Charge No: FHC/L/565C/2015 – which was properly and competently withdrawn by the police on 17th February 2016. “Now turning to the allegation of falsification of shipping documents and representing them as genuine to obtain a loan ofN2.4Billionfrom GTB: GTB did not at any time grant any loan of N2.4Billionto Innoson and there was no such thing as Innoson obtaining any loan from GTB with shipping documents. “Innoson obtained, and had repaid same, a loan of N1.3Billion from GTB and secured same with a legal mortgage of its properties worthing over N1.4Billion. For emphasis, shipping documents, vide: Bills of Lading, are issued when goods covered by them are already loaded onto the carrying vessel, and no manufacturer would release its goods for shipment unless it is paid or its payment guaranteed. In this circumstance, if GTB is saying that Innoson used bills of lading to obtain loan from it, does it mean that it didn’t investigate the genuineness of the bills of lading before granting the loan – this is not an attribute of a seasoned bank except that of an unethical and a careless bank; secondly, it means that for Innoson to have the bills of lading the goods were already paid for and as such it does not need any loan from GTB in that regard. This shows that no loan was obtained with shipping documents – bills of lading. “Again, GTB paid the duties for all the goods Innoson imported with the facility it granted to it before Innoson cleared the goods covered by the Bills of Lading. As at the time of payment of the duties GTB knew or ought to know that the goods covered by the Bills of Lading and its facility were to be cleared. Again, after clearing the goods Innoson returned to GTB the relevant exchange copies/documents for transmission to Central Bank of Nigeria and accordingly GTB transmitted them to the Central Bank of Nigeria. “Innoson never did anything hidden, fraudulent or criminal in all its dealings with GTB. GTB is only looking for means to blackmail, hoodwink and force Innoson to forego its monetary judgment against it. This judgment debt as at today stood at overN10Billion. “GTB’s strategy in this regard knows no limit. Recently, in a ploy to get the Supreme Court of Nigeria set aside theN2.4Billion judgment debt against it, it alleged through a motion in Appeal No: SC/694/2014 that Innoson obtained the judgment in Appeal No: CA/I/258/2011 by fraud but the Supreme Court in its wisdom, and rightly, dismissed that in May 2017. As a result, Innoson commenced a N400Billion suit against GTB in Suit No: FCT/HC/CV/2448/2017 at the High Court Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. “There is pending at the Court of Appeal an appeal on whether there is any charge at the Federal High Court, given the police withdrawal of the charge. Though the motion for stay of further proceedings was dismissed by the Court of Appeal while the substantive appeal is still pending, Innoson has appealed against that decision to the Supreme Court of Nigeria, thusSC:839/2017. At the Supreme Court, Innoson filed motions for stay of further proceedings in Charge No: FHC/L/565C/2015 and stay of execution of the directive of the Court of Appeal that proceedings should continue. Innoson has given the Federal High Court Notice of these two motions pending at the Supreme Court. “Justice Faji did not adjourn, on 10th October 2017, to 21st November 2017 for hearing of the application for issuance of bench warrant but rather to study the ruling of the Court of Appeal and to hear Innoson’s and others’ preliminary objection. There was no application for issuance of bench warrant pending before Honourable Justice Faji on 10th October 2017.”

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), organisers of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), has banned the use of wrist watches and pens during the conduct of its 2018 test. The board’s Registrar, Prof. Is’haq Oloyede disclosed this to newsmen on the sideline of a one-day sensitisation workshop for Computer Based Test (CBT) centre owners on Wednesday in Lagos. According to him, the essence of the workshop is to appraise the registration and conduct of the 2017 examination. “What we are doing here today is to appraise the registration and conduct of our past examination and we have taken some lessons from our experience. “To this end therefore we have introduced some measures that will further add to the integrity of the registration process as well as the conduct of the examination proper. “For instance, we discovered during the conduct of the last examination that some electronic devices such as pens, wristwatches and other devices were used to perpetrate examination malpractice. “So, for next year, we have banned the use of wristwatches and pens by candidates and other persons in the examination hall. “We are also going to introduce some detection devices to ensure that those who plan to cheat in the examination hall are frustrated, as we will also jam (communication network) of the centres,” he said. Oloyede noted that the sale of the registration document for the 2018 UTME would commence before the end of November. “We are planning to meet with all stakeholders on Nov. 15 and the sale of the registration document will definitely commence before the end of this month. “But before that, we expect candidates to go and download our app, go to our website and download the syllabus and brochure, so that they can now study the process. “This is in order to minimise the errors that usually occurs during the registration process,” he said. The JAMB boss added that not less than 617 centres have been accredited nationwide for the exercise. “We are still considering about 60 more centres as we have their applications waiting for consideration. “However, a total of 72 centres nationwide have earlier been delisted owing to their involvement in some infractions and they remain delisted.” On the board’s plan to construct mega CBT centres for its examinations, Oloyede said: “The mega centre plan is still on, we said that last year. “But the process of planning will take sometime. “There will be design, there will be contact with private operators, just as there will be advertisements and also due process will be followed,” he said. Earlier, Oloyede called for the support of the CBT centre owners in checking anti-examination activities capable of compromising the examination. “While thanking you for your deligence during the 2017 examination, we want to seize this opportunity to inform you of the flagging off of the 2018 excercise. “We will like to also assure you that we will make use of the best CBT centres in the coming examination. “You will be culpable if you do not expose any CBT centre that is doing what is evil because they will attract condemnation from all of us. “It is on this premise that we are appealing that you assist us in identifying the bad eggs among you and ensuring that they do not participate in our activities,” he said. According to him, monitoring starts from the time of arrival of the centre owners to the workshop. He added that during the 2018 UTME examination, the board would include some other requirements for CBT centres. “We are not going to accept wireless CCTV cameras. Any examination conducted in any CBT centre that we cannot monitor from Abuja will not be paid for. “The onus is on you to ensure that your CCTV are working and must be on and no CBT centre is allowed to sell any kind of materials under the guise of past questions. “We will also not tolerate candidates leaving the centre to go out to use the toilet. It is expected that all accredited CBT centres have an in-house convenience,” Oloyede said.

A violent protest rocked the nation’s capital Abuja on Wednesday following the alleged killing of a taxi driver inside Wuse Market. Majority of the protesters who are traders accused soldiers attached to the task force of killing the taxi driver unjustly. The traders prevented vehicles and traders from going into the market. As at the time of filing this report the protest has spread to Berger and other parts of the nation’s capital. Meanwhile, the Wuse Market has been shut.

A pro-democracy and Non-governmental organization – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has tasked President Muhammadu Buhari and the hierarchy of the National Assembly to put practical measures in place to effectively combat the hydra headed monsters of kidnappings for ransom (KFR) and terrorism. The Rights also charged the Hpuses of Assemblies of the 36 states to brace up to the challenge of the 21st century dynamics of sophisticated and organised crimes of kidnappings for ransom and terrorism which require both sophisticated technology and legal mechanisms to stamp out with a view to creating political stability and security of lives of the citizens which remains the irreducible minimum duty of government under the constitution. The Rights group says the twin evils of kidnappings for ransom (KFR) and Islamic terrorism which have assumed larger-than-life dimensions across the country are directly responsible for the extraordinarily high rate of irregular migrations by young Nigerians and the concomitant deaths on the Mediterranean Sea. "The high mortality rate in the Mediterranean sea of youngsters from Nigeria constitutes both global opprobrium and deny Nigeria of the scare human talents to turn around the global mess that contemporary Nigeria has become". HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) made the observations against the backdrops of the recent spike in armed kidnappings for ransom including the killing of a British missionary in the Niger Delta and also the reported deaths of 26 Nigerian women in the Mediterranean Sea which case is currently a subject of a legal inquisition by the Italian government. But the Rights group said the central government alongside the 36 state governments and the National Assembly have prevaricated on the urgent need to enforce law – based mechanisms for combating two of the greatest social afflictions of contemporary times which are kidnapping for ransom by well-armed hoodlums and the resurgence of Islamic terrorism threatening the peace and stability of North East of Nigeria – a geographical area that is wider than France. HURIWA believes that the involvement of hundreds -of- thousands of disaffected youngsters who are fleeing Nigeria could be checked if effective steps are adopted by all relevant agencies of government at both the national and sub-national levels to put to good use effective mechanisms to stamp out the two evils of terrorism and kidnappings. HURIWA dismissed the straight jacketed perception that irregular migrations are fueled by tge collapsing national economy as intellectually lazy and challenged governmental think-tanks to come up with fresh ideas on how to encourage and motivate Nigerian youngsters to pursue their aspirations within the framework of regular and legal migration if they must export their special talents to generate the much needed foreign denominated currencies or stay back in a liberated and crime reduced Nigeria to realise those dreams without embarking on social and organised crimes.. “The National Assembly alongside the states’ Assemblies of the 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory should meet as soon as possible to implement quick fix measures to amend relevant statutory provisions including the ambiguous anti-terrorism Act to include punitive provisions such as capital punishment for the offences of terrorism and kidnappings for ransom which are one and the same and which have constituted grave threats to national security of Nigeria and creating room for mass exodus of young Nigerians who are not confident in the capacity of existing law enforcement mechanisms to efficiently tackle and combat these social afflictions.” The Rights group said police reforms are urgent and critical to have a national policing institutions with the required capacities and resources to combat these sophisticated crime driving up the rates of irregular but dangerous migrations. "Too much of lips' service are paid to these two most dangerous factors causing large number of irregular but dangerous migrations". The Rights group blamed the Federal administration and the states mostly in the North East of Nigeria for doing practically nothing to quickly bring suspected terrorists to decisive trials and conviction but instead have chosen the politically suicidal measures of progressive releases of these hardened members of the boko haram terror network in the guise of rehabilitating and reintegrating them. Also, on the rising cases of kidnappings, HURIWA said the central government must demonstrate good enough political will to galvanize the justice sector agencies of the 36 states so as to come up with uniform but effective judicial sanctions and to create fastrack justice administration system and the rebuilding of the prison system to effectively embark on widespread vigourous pursuits of armed kidnappers and terrorists. HURIWA regretted that hundreds -of- young Nigerians fleeing from insecurity and instability in many parts of Nigeria have chosen the devil’s alternative of irregular but dangerous migration through Libya and lamentably, many of such young vulnerable Nigerians have fallen into the hands of human trafficking gangs in Libya who would end up wasting the lives of these Nigerians on the High seas. "The lucky few who have been flown back to Lagos from captivity in Libya courtesy of the efforts of the United Nations office on international Migrations do often find their ways back to Libya to keep trying their lucks hoping to sail successfully into Eutopr through the roughs and tumbles of Mediterranean sea". “Let the presidency set up a department to fashion out implementable policies to economically empower young but desperate Nigerians so they are not exposed to the vulnerability and tempting deceptions churned out by internationally sophisticated human trafficking gangs.” “Sadly, the Foreign Affairs ministry is too preoccupied with banal politics rather than realistically embark on time -tested and trusted strategic engagements with young Nigerians to try to dissuade many of them from adopting irregular and dangerous migration. The anti-irregular migration advocacy campaigns are not being waged by the relevant Foreign Affairs ministers but they are deeply involved in local politics of 2019 polls.” The Rights group said the Federal Ministry of Foreign affairs must partner credible civil society groups to drive the process of waging effective advocacy media campaigns to check the rising ugly trends of irregular but dangerous migrations in Nigeria. HURIWA recalled that three weeks after being kidnapped by Niger Delta militants in Delta State, a British national, identified as lan Squire, died in captivity. However, three other Britons, who were taken along with the dead one, were freed and returned to Britain, the British High Commission confirmed in a mail to newsmen. HURIWA recalled that records showed that lan Squire was one of four Britons forcefully taken at about 2am on October 13, prompting the Nigerian Government and the British High Commission to launch a spirited bid to free them. Conversely, HURIWA recalled that Italian prosecutors are investigating the deaths of 26 Nigerian women – most of them teenagers – whose bodies were recovered at sea. HURIWA which cited a report by BBC, disclosed that there are suspicions that they may have been sexually abused and murdered as they attempted to cross the Mediterranean. Five migrants are being questioned in the southern port of Salerno, Italy. The Rights group has therefore charged the presidency and the National Assembly to urgently organize national summits on the twin evils of terrorism and kidnappings for ransom with a view to resolving them and to implement enforceable measures to check the trends quickly and decisively

A middle aged man, Olaniyan Isaiah has been sentenced to five years imprisonment for biting off his neighbour's ear over suspicion of having an illicit affair with his wife. Olaniyan, who was arraigned before Justice Raheem Siyanbola of Osun State High Court on the 10th of October, 2016 faced three count charge of attempt murder, grievous harm and unlawful injury. The offence, according to the prosecution, was contrary to and punishable under sections 320(1), 335, and 338(1), of the criminal Code, Cap 34, Volume II, Laws of Osun State of Nigeria, 2002. The prosecution Counsel from Ministry of Justice, Barrister Bamidele Salawu, had earlier informed the court that the convict committed the crime on 27th of July, 2015, at No1 Bolaji Olufunmi Street, Ipetumodu, Osun State. According to the prosecution, the convict forced his way into a room rented by one Alonge Emmanuel (the victim), assaulted him with an iron rod, on suspicion of probably, having an illicit affair with his wife, Esther Egunyemi, who packed out of the convict's room since 23rd July, 2015. Olaniyan was also said to have pursed the victim to another house, where he bit off his ear. Justice Siyanbola in his judgement, ruled that prosecution counsel had proofed his case beyond reasonable doubt and thereby convicted Isaiah. Counsel to the convict, Barrister Lawal Olatunji, however prayed the court to be lenient in sentencing her client. The judge, however sentenced the convict to five years imprisonment with hard labour.

Two women and four men were on Tuesday arraigned in an Ikorodu Magistrates’ Court in Lagos for allegedly battering a Divisional Police Officer (DPO) who was on his way to perform his official duty. The accused, who are all residing at Ikorodu, near Lagos are: Kehinde Alimot, 40; Bukola Ahmed, 32; Ifeanyi Kanu, 22; Owolabi Ibrahim, 39; Aikulola Olamiji, 54, and Jamiu Yussuf, 39. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the accused people were arraigned before Magistrate A.B. Adelabu-Olagbegi on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy, unlawful assault and causing a breach of peace. However, they all pleaded not guilty to the charges. The magistrate, thereafter, granted them bail in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties in like sum. The sureties, according to the magistrate, must also be house owners within the magisterial district and must also show evidence of three years tax payment. She adjourned the case until Dec. 14 for trial. Earlier, the Police Prosecutor, Sgt. Mary Ajiteru, had said that the accused committed the offences on Oct. 26 along Agunfoye Road, Igbogbo in Ikorodu at about 12.45 a.m. According to Ajiteru, the accused, including a nursing mother, battered their victim, one Supol Issah Lawal, a DPO attached to the Igbogbo Police Station. “On sighting the DPO, who was on his way to work, he was battered seriously while in his police uniform,” she said. Ajiteru said the offences contravened Sections 411, 168 (d), 174(b) of the Lagos State Criminal Code Laws, 2015.

The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN)’s unit (ASCSN-ECN Unit) has declared a 3-day warning strike. ASCSN-ECN Unit’s Chairman, Mr Promise Chukwu, who announced the strike on Tuesday in Abuja, said it was necessitated by ECN’s management failure to implement earlier agreements. Chukwu said that ECN’s management had also consistently disregarded directives from superior authorities. “Up tenth time, the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation issued clarification against the misleading and ignorant stand of ECN management on the `Non Research Institute’ status of the commission. “Up to this moment, the Prof. Eli Bala led management has continued to retain some staff who had passed the statutory retirement age of 60 or 35 years of service in ECN. “The questionable transfer of the ministerial supervision of ECN to Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST) from the Presidency and Federal Ministry of Energy, then (Petroleum and Power) is worrisome. “The mandate of ECN is so peculiar that it can only be implemented with the condition and scheme of service that will address those needs; however 28 years after, the commission lacks comprehensive condition and scheme of service.’’ He said that the mandatory career progression training of staff had become a no go area as the management had turned blind eye to the skill gap and manpower of ECN. The chairman said that the implementation of earlier agreements with the management was the only pre-condition for ensuring industrial harmony in the commission. Chukwu listed some of the demands of the association in order to ensure stability in the commission: “Investigate all the financial transactions in ECN especially the one in ECN Project Account; the association is ready to assist EFCC with supporting documents. “Immediate reversal of controversial supervisory role of ECN from FMST to Presidency or at least, to one of the ministries where their function is directly related to energy such as Federal Ministry of Petroleum. “Immediate reconstitution of the committee on conditions and scheme of service for ECN to address the peculiarity of the commission. “Immediate implementation of recommendations of the Managing Committee on skipping of CONRAISS 10 salary grade; that is abolition of the post of Senior Officer 1 and 11 cadre and review the promotion issues connected therewith. “Immediately release of promotion letters of staff that are due for promotion effective Jan. 1 and fast track promotion exercise of staff due for promotion effective Jan. 1, 2018.’’ He said. He added that the management should immediately constitute a committee to look into staff welfare and liaise with the National Salaries Income and Wages commission to secure energy sector standard remuneration for ECN. Chukwu called on President Muhammadu Buhari and relevant stakeholders to intervene and save the commission. According to him, the industrial disharmony will continue until Bala is relieved of his appointment by the president. Meanwhile, Bala did not pick several calls put across to him for his reaction neither did he respond to the test message sent to him as at the time of filing this report.

Two men, Olarinde Bukunmi aged 19 and Kareem aged 22 and were on Monday, arraigned before a Magistrate Court in Osogbo, Osun State, for allegedly stealing a hand bag of one Adeleke Taiwo. Prosecutor Duro Adekunle told the court that the duo committed the offence on the 30th of November, 2017 at Aanu Oluwapo community in Osogbo. He said that the duo also stole one Nokia phone valued N25,000, one Techno phone valued N19,000, Gold necklace, Wristwatch and earrings valued N200,000, driving licence, Voters card and other documents. Duro added that the duo committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 516, 383(1), 390(9) of the criminal code, cap 34, vol.11 laws of Osun State of Nigeria 2002. The accused persons however, pleaded not guilty to the two count charge preferred against them and their counsel, Barrister Akinwumi Babatunde, prayed the court to grant his clients bail in the most liberal terms. In her ruling, Magistrate Fatima sodamade granted the accused persons bail of N500,000 each and adjourned the case till December 18 2017.

International evangelist, Reinhard Bonnke has arrived Lagos for the Farewell Gospel Crusade which kicks off on Wednesday. The German evangelist addressed a news conference at the Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island on Monday and promised a mighty revival and outpouring of God power. Bonnke, 77, said he was glad to be back in Nigeria for his last crusade in Africa, describing Nigeria as his favourite nation. He said he had no regrets for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ in Africa for 50 years now. The man of God said Nigeria was about to witness a mighty outpouring of the move of God on Wednesday when the crusade kicks off. “God’s words will be preached, miracles will be full and the Holy Spirit will come down. The ripple effects of this crusade will be felt all over the world. “No man has invented water but no one can live without water. We can’t live without the gospel, the gospel is eternal and can never be invalid. The gospel is true today Because it was true at the beginning,” Bonnke said. Bonnke added that he chose Nigeria because of its huge population, saying that he could smell harvest of souls beginning from Wednesday. Chairman, Central Working Committee of the Bonnke Farewell Crusade, Apostle Alexander Bamgbola said the nation was glad that Bonnke chose Nigeria for his last crusade in Africa. “We believe that if there is any darkness still remaining in Africa, after this crusade, such darkness will vanish. Bonnke arrived on Sunday and we can feel the mighty presence of God in this land. We believe that millions of people will receive Christ,” he said. The crusade kicks off on Wednesday behind Sparklight Estate, opposite OPIC, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and end on Sunday.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has swept the 14 chairmanship election results released by the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) in Saturday’s local government election. Enugu state has 17 local governments and 261 political wards in the state. The party also swept all ward councillorship positions in 11 Local Government Areas also announced by the commission. The Chairman of ENSIEC, Dr Mike Ajogwu, announced the results at ENSIEC headquarters in Enugu on Sunday. Ajogwu, who is also the Chief Returning Officer for the poll, said that the results of three council areas had not been collated because they arrived late. He noted that the council areas the results of which were yet to be concluded were: Enugu North, Awgu and Udi Local Government Areas, adding that the results of six local government areas councilorship had not arrived. “So far, so good, the election had been credible, free and fair from ENSIEC assessment. “I want to thank the media, security agencies and Enugu State residents for making it a huge success,” he said.

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