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An Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) witness, Mr. Romanus Madu, today , told a Federal High Court,sitting in Lagos,south west  Nigeria how his name and other ficticious names were used to syphon several millions of Naira from Government House, Umuahia, Abia State, during the tenor of Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, as the Governor of the state.

Madu, a fourth prosecution witness, who is currently a Permanent Secretary in the Government House, Umuahia, Abia State, stated this while being led-in-evidence by the EFCC prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), during the continued trial of Dr. Kalu, his company, Slok Nigeria Limited, and his former Finance Commissioner, Mr. Udeh Jones Udeogu, who are standing trial of alleged N3.2 billion fraud.
At the resumed trial of the former Governor and his former commissioner for finance, Madu told the court presided over that while he was a cashier and later an Assistant Chief Accountant of the Government state House, Umuahia, Abia State between 2003 and 2007, he was only in-charge of payment of approved bills, cheques and other works assigned to him by the second defendant, who was then Director of Finance, Government House.
He also told the court that during his tenure as Cashier, the Government House then  operates three accounts which was domiciled at Mammy Bank, Citizen Bank and Standard Trust Bank (STB), now UBA Plc, adding that the only signatories to the accounts were the Chief of Staff to Governor Kalu Orji, and the Director of Finance (the second defendant).
Madu also told the court that as a cashier in the Government House, he only keep funds called imprest, which he said is used for office maintanace, while the bulk of funds received are being kept by the then Director of Finance, and he does no know what the bulk funds are used for.
He also told the court that each time he received a cheque of magnitude amount, he always handed it over to the then Director of Finance, (UdehJones Udeogu), and that each time he handed over such cheques, the Director of Finance does not make any acknowledgement.
He further told the court that he only came to know about some applications made to bank for drafts, when he was invited by the EFCC for questioning on the financial activities of the Government House.
He said; “there was a time we were invited by the EFCC, and we were asked to write statement, and some papers, cheques,and applications made in my name were shown to me,  for issuance of bank drafts from fidelity bank”.
The prosecutor tendered a bulk of documents from the bank, and it was admitted as ‘Exhibit E69.
Continuing with his evidence, the witness, stated that from Exhibit E14, bankdrafts of N104.3 million were purchased in the tranches of N26 million, N21.5 million, N21.3 million, N21.5 million and N15 million respectively, when in Exhibit E1, 18 and 25, bank drafts of the sum of N70 million were purchased in two tranches of N31 million and N39 million.
He told the court that when questioned by the EFCC of his role in the transaction, he said he told the Commission that he was not one that applied for the bankdrafts, as both the handwritings and signatures were not his own.
When asked by the prosecutor if he knows other names used in purchasing the bankdrafts, such as Ozor Owugwe, Obasi John, and Ogbonna J.
The witness responded that such names are not existing in the Government House.
In the exhibits shown to the witness, Ogbonna J. was said to have applied for a bankdraft of N19 million, while one R. I. Madu was said to have applied for bankdrafts of N31 million and N30.8 million, respectively.
Upon showing the witness applications written to the bank for the purchase of the bankdrafts, the witness said both the handwriting and the signatures in the applications are not his, neither other names used in purchasing the bankdrafts exist in the Government House Umuahia, Abia State.
However, attempt by the prosecution to let the witness compare the handwriting on the applications was opposed by the defendants’ counsels.
In opposing the application, counsels to the defendants, Mr. Awa Kalu, Chief K. C. Nwofo both Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), said the witness having said that the handwriting was not his, he cannot make any comparisons on it, especially, since he is not a forensic expert.
They also argued that the prosecutor was asking the witness a leading questions on the applications.
The defence team cited Section 72 of Evidence Act to support their submissions, while urging the court not to grant the application for the comparison of the handwriting on the applications used in purchasing the bankdrafts.
However, the prosecutor, Mr.Jacobs (SAN), while urging the court to discountenance the defence opposition, saying that the same Section 72 empowered him to ask the witness questions on the applications, since he has been able to identify that both the handwriting and the signatures are not his own, and other name used are unknown in the Government House.
He also cited a case of Alake and the State from the 1992, 3 Nigeria Weekly Law Report (NWLR) Part 265, to support his submission. While adding that the questions he asked the witness are not a leading one.
He therefore urged the court to discountenance the defence opposition and grant his application by allowing the witness to do the comparison of handwriting in the applications.
Upon the submissions of both parties, the presiding judge, Justice Muhammad Idris, adjourned the matter till tomorrow for ruling and continuation of trial.
Kalu alongside his former aide, Udeh Udeogu, and his company, Slok Nigeria Limited, are being tried by the EFCC before the court on an amended 34 count-charge of alleged N3.2 billion fraud.
In the amended charge marked FHC/L/56C/08, Dr. Kalu and other accused persons were alleged to have allegedly diverted about N3.2 billions from Abia State Government’s treasury between 2001 and 2005.
They were also alleged to have used the following banks to perpetrate the alleged fraud, Manny Bank, Spring Bank Plc,( now Heritage Bank), the defunct Standard Trust Bank, now United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) and Fin Land Bank, now First City Monument Bank (FCMB).

The alleged offences according to the EFCC are contrary to sections 17(c) 16, 14(1)(b)17(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2003, and sections 427 of the same Accounts which domiciled with Mammy Bank, Citizen Bank and Standard Trust Bank (STB) now UBA Plc, adding that the signatories to the accounts were the Director of Finance and Chief of Staff.

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Adron Homes Begins Massive Giveaway for Customers in ‘Sallah Repete’

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Nigeria’s leading real estate firm, Adron Homes and Properties Limited has unveiled its annual promo and discount sales in celebration of the Ileya season tagged: 2023 ‘Sallah Repete’.

 

In the 2023 ‘Sallah Repete’, customers will be given discounted prices for land purchased alongside mouthwatering prices and a flexible payment plan.

 

According to the company, it launched the promo to encourage all and sundry, and not just Islamic faithful, to key into the festive season to become land and homeowners.

 

In the promo, customers will be given 30%, 40% and 50% discounts on all land purchased, with the balance spread for 30 months for premium estates littered across the country, including Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, Niger, Nasarawa and Abuja.

 

The company, in a statement signed by its Director-General of Sales and Marketing, Olubunmi Akinfe, said the annual Ileya Sallah Repete promo is a yearly sales promo carried out to open more windows for existing and prospective customers who are willing to become homeowners at significantly discounted prices with flexible payment plans and also give them a massive reward with jaw-dropping prizes.

 

“For the Sallah Repete Promo, we have lots of prizes in stock for our customers who purchase lands in any of our estates across the country”, Akinfe said.

 

Continuing, the DG sales and marketing added: “We will be giving out prizes like rams, goats, rechargeable fans, home theatres, water dispensers, electric kettles, refrigerators, food processors, vacuum cleaners, bags of rice, cooking oil, gas burners, mini food packs, washing machines, deep freezers, smart TVs, generators and a whole lots of prizes.

 

“Customers will be gifted these prizes in the spirit of Ileya celebration for the 2023 Sallah Repete across our offices”, Akinfe said.

 

The promo, according to Adron Homes and Properties, will run between now and August 2023, and is open to both its existing and new customers, as they smile home with various gift items from the real estate company.

 

Akinfe further added that the purpose of the gift sharing is to appreciate the support and commitment of existing and prospective customers and urge them to do more and tell their family and friends to also key into the ongoing promo, adding that “at Adron Homes, the more, the merrier.”

 

She added: “Customers have started picking up their gifts from our offices. Scores of people are already subscribing to our plans. We are extending it beyond the Sallah period to allow as many who want to be homeowners to key into this opportunity by purchasing land at our estates at the most affordable prices with seamless payment plans”.

 

It will be recalled that Adron Homes and Properties, which recently clocked 11 years in the real estate business, has over the years bridged the gap in affordable housing for Nigerians by developing state-of-the-art estates with modern facilities like; concrete drainage and roads, recreation parks, massive gatehouse, security, street light, Grocery stores and a host of other interesting developments, making the estates habitable and comfortable for residents.

 

At the 11th anniversary celebration, the company reiterated its commitment to continually change the status of more low-income earners across the country from tenants to landlords by opening more estates across the country and sticking to its mission statement which is creating affordable housing.

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“I Killed Him And Used His Blood To Make Money Rituals (Oshole) for Yahoo Boys” – 22-year Old Ritual Killer Confesses

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A 22 year old suspected ritual killer, Idowu Talabi from Ikenne-Remo has been arrested by the Ogun State police command for killing a tenant, Tobi Yisua, who lives in his maternal grandfather’s house.

 

During interrogation by a reporter of Alaroye, a dedicated Yoruba news platform, Idowu Talabi confessed to committing the crime.

 

He said, “he (Tobi Yisua) is a lotto operator (Baba Ijebu). Whenever he keeps money at home and they steal the money, he will accuse me of stealing his money.

 

One day, he was sleeping on the bed in his room, he did not lock the door, he only locked the net outside. When I wanted to enter, I used knife to cut the net and I unlocked it.

 

When I entered his room, I saw him sleeping naked on the bed lying face down and I landed the cutlass I was holding at the back this neck. When I saw that he was trying make noise, I used pillow to cover his mouth and used the cutlass on him again.

 

After killing him, I took part of his blood and mixed it to prepare “Osole”, money ritual charm. I made the charm to sell it to customers who will be interested in it, I did not do it for myself.”

 

Asked how he knew how to make the charm? He said he saw it in his father’s account.

 

On how he was exposed? he said, “the second day, when the wife of the deceased came from church, she found the dead body of her husband on the bed. She then came to me in the backyard, locked my shirt and accused me of killing her husband. When I got to the police station, I confessed to the police that I was the one that killed her husband.”

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