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UK moves to seize $39 million from Ibori’s lawyer over role in former Governor’s case

The lawyer who was convicted alongside Ibori may lose his financial asset to the British government.

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British prosecutors have moved to seize about $39.3 million (30.8 million pounds) from a London lawyer, who helped former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, in looting and laundering illegal funds from the oil-rich state.

The British lawyer, Bhadresh Gohil, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, following his conviction in 2010 on 13 counts of money-laundering, and other offenses, over his role in the fraud and money laundering case of James Ibori, who was the former governor of Delta State, from 1999 to 2007.

It can be recalled that the former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, was extradited to the United Kingdom from the United Arab Emirates in 2011, and subsequently got convicted on 10 counts of fraud and money laundering. He was handed a 13-year jail term.

Gohil, who was then a partner at a firm in the London district of Mayfair, helped Ibori siphon these stolen funds, through shell companies and offshore accounts. He bought assets such as an English country house and a $20 million private jet. However, the police authorities caught up with the men before the jet was delivered.

The lawyer was also said to have masterminded a fraud, in which $37 million in fake consultancy fees was stolen from two Nigerian states, in connection with the sale of their stakes in a telecoms company in the country.

The outcome of the case was hailed in Britain and described as a victory for the fight against corruption, while also pledging to return stolen funds to the Nigerian government.

However, the confiscation proceedings against the two culprits have dragged on for almost 10 years, and repeatedly delayed by appeals and complications.

In Ibori’s case, the hearing took place at London’s Southwark Crown Court in January, and prosecutors asked the court to make a confiscation order of 117.7 million pounds against Ibori. The judge has yet to hand down his decision.

A hearing on Gohil’s case is ongoing at the same court. Lead prosecution counsel, Jonathan Kinnear, on Thursday began setting out the details of what he said was Gohil’s criminal benefit. He will have a chance later in the hearing to call witnesses, and give evidence to dispute the prosecution case.

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FG will not succumb to blackmail by bandits who target innocent school students – Buhari

The President has warned hostage-taking bandits that his government will not succumb to blackmail.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the Federal Government will not succumb to blackmail by bandits who target innocent school students in the expectation of huge ransom payments.

The President disclosed this in a social media statement on Friday evening, in reaction to the kidnap of students in Zamfara.

“Our primary objective is to get all the school hostages safe, alive and unharmed,” Buhari said.

He added that the FG had the capacity to deploy massive force against the bandits in the villages where they operated; however, the Army was limited by the possibility of heavy casualties of innocent villagers and hostages who might be used as human shields by the bandits.

A hostage crisis is a complex situation that requires maximum patience in order to protect the victims from physical harm or even brutal death at the hands of their captors,” he said.

The President said bandits and terrorists should not entertain the illusion that they were more powerful than the government.

“They shouldn’t mistake our restraint for the humanitarian goals of protecting innocent lives as a weakness or a sign of fear or resolution.


“We will not succumb to blackmail by bandits and criminals who target innocent school students in the expectation of huge ransom payments,” he added.

What you should know 

  • It was reported that armed bandits kidnapped 317 female students at the Girls Secondary School, Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Friday.
  • The Commissioner of Police in Zamfara, Abutu Yaro, said, “We are doing our best along with all sister security agencies, members of the vigilantè group and the state government to get to the bottom of this matter.”

 

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Kidnapped Kagara schoolboys and staff have been released

The abducted students and staff of Government Science Secondary School Kagara, in Niger State, have been released.

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The kidnapped school students and staff of Government Science Secondary School Kagara, in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, have been released according to sources.

This was disclosed in an exclusive report by Channels TV on Saturday morning.

According to the report, the release of the abductees was confirmed by a government official.

What you should know

  • The students were abducted by the bandits dressed in military uniforms on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.
  • A total of 27 students, three staff members, and 12 members of their family were abducted after the attack on the Kagara school in the early hours of Wednesday.
  • President Muhammadu Buhari said that the Federal Government will not succumb to blackmail by bandits who target innocent school students in the expectation of huge ransom payments.
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Imo State Governor says no life was lost during recent military operations in Orlu

The Imo State Governor has stated that no life was lost in the cause of the recent military operations in Orlu.

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The Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma, has said that no life has been lost in the cause of the recent military operations in Orlu.

This is as the governor, justified the recent invasion of Orlu town by the military, saying that the situation had gone beyond the local arrangement with the police being overwhelmed as sporadic shooting and killings persisted.

This disclosure was made by the Governor, while addressing reporters after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday, February 24, 2021.

He said that he had no choice but to alert the President on the need to send the military to help stop the mayhem and avoid a total breakdown of law and order in Orlu.

The Governor while addressing the press said, ‘’It was on my invitation that the military came and I did that because I know that the situation was beyond the local arrangement. We needed help and help were given to us. Those that came, through their intelligence, identified where those people were and I can tell you, all the people arrested, all the rifles recovered are intact. The people are under interrogation. Not even one soldier or one of those militants died in the process.’

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that the Imo State Government called for the intervention of the military over the criminal activities being perpetrated by suspected members of the Eastern Security Network.
  • They are accused of using weapons stolen from police stations during the #EndSARS crisis to destroy Orlu, kill policemen and 4 Moslems doing their business in Orlu, all under the pretext that they are looking for herdsmen.

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