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N7.1bn fraud retrial: Ex-Abia Gov, Orji Kalu knows fate Sept 20

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A former Abia State Governor, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, will on Monday, September 20, 2021, know his fate in his fresh suit seeking to stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, from subjecting him to retrial in an alleged N7.1bn fraud charges brought against him.

Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja, is expected to deliver a make or mar judgment in the suit.

The Judge had on July 2 fixed the date after Kalu and EFCC adopted all processes filed for and against the suit.

Daily Post learnt on Sunday September 19 that notice for delivery of judgment has been issued and served on both EFCC and Senator Kalu through their respective lawyers by the court bailiff.

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The former governor, who is now a Senator representing Abia North Senatorial district in the senate, is seeking to stop his retrial in the N7.1bn money laundering charges on the ground that he had been tried, convicted and imprisoned on the strength of the same charges.

Professor Awa Kalu SAN, counsel to the former governor, while adopting his processes, had informed the court that senator Kalu stood for trial for 12 years and got a judgment that convicted and jailed him for 10 years.

The senior counsel cited section 36 (9) of the 1999 constitution which stipulates that no Nigerian shall be subjected to double jeopardy to support his arguments

Awa Kalu insisted that the former governor, having served a period of jail term, would be made to suffer double jeopardy if allowed by the court to be put on trial for the second time by the federal government.

Professor Kalu had produced and read the Supreme Court judgment upon which the ex governor was released after five months in prison adding that there was nowhere in the judgment where the apex court made order for his client’s trial.

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He had challenged the EFCC to point out to court where order for retrial was made against the former governor

The senior lawyer had then urged the court to prohibit EFCC from going ahead with the planned retrial.

However in a vehement opposition to the suit., EFCC through its counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs SAN, asked the court to dismiss the suit with anger.

He submitted that the judgment which led to the release of Kalu has been declared a nullity by the Supreme Court which also ordered retrial of the appellant in the matter, Mr Udeh Jones who stood trial along with Kalu in the same charges.

EFCC had argued that since the Supreme Court order benefitted Kalu, he must bear the burden that arose from the apex court verdict.

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Jacobs described Kalu’s suit as approbating and reprobating at the same time, frivolous, irritating and sought for it’s dismissal with order on Kalu to face retrial.

In a short ruling that followed, Justice Ekwo fixed September 20 for judgment in the matter.

Specifically, Kalu is seeking an order of court prohibiting the federal government, through the EFCC, its officers, servants, others, agents, privies and any other person or bodies deriving authority from the Federal Republic of Nigeria, from retrying him on charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/56/2007 between FRN vs Orji Kalu & 2 ors, or any other charge based on the same facts de novo, there being no extant judgment and ruling of a competent court in Nigeria mandating same.

The ex governor had also applied for order prohibiting the Federal Republic of Nigeria, through the EFCC (her agent), her officers, servants, others, agents, privies and any other person or bodies deriving authority from the Federal Republic of Nigeria, from retrying, harassing and intimidating him with respect to the charge as concerns charge No: FHC/ABJ/CR/56/2007 between FRN vs Orji Kalu & 2 ors or any other charge based on same facts as he need not suffer double jeopardy.

Also Kalu is asking the federal high court to restrain the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from retrying him on the same alleged N7.1b money laundering charges against him.

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He contended that having been tried once by EFCC, convicted and sentenced in the same charges FHC/ABJ/CR/56/ 2007, it will amount to double jeopardy for him if he is allowed to be subjected to a fresh trial on the same charge.

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NAIJA NEWS

German Nazi war crimes suspect, 96, goes on trial

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Irmgard Furchner, a 96-year-old German woman who was caught shortly after going on the run ahead of a court hearing last month on charges of committing war crimes during World War Two appeared before a judge on Tuesday in the northern town of Itzehoe.

Irmgard Furchner, accused of having contributed as an 18-year-old to the murder of 11,412 people when she was a typist at the Stutthof concentration camp between 1943 and 1945, was taken into the sparse courtroom in a wheelchair.

Her face was barely visible behind a white mask and scarf pulled low over her eyes.

Security was heavy as the judge and legal staff made their way into the court.

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Between 1939 and 1945 some 65,000 people died of starvation and disease or in the gas chamber at the concentration camp near Gdansk, in today’s Poland.

They included prisoners of war and Jews caught up in the Nazis’ extermination campaign.

The trial was postponed after Furchner left her home early on Sept. 30 and went on the run for several hours before being detained later that day.

Charges could not be read until Furchner, who faces trial in an adolescent court because of her young age at the time of the alleged crimes, was present in court.

She is the latest nonagenarian to have been charged with Holocaust crimes in what is seen as a rush by prosecutors to seize the final opportunity to enact justice for the victims of some of the worst mass killings in history.

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Although prosecutors convicted major perpetrators – those who issued orders or pulled triggers – in the 1960s “Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials”, the practice until the 2000s was to leave lower-level suspects alone. (Reuters/NAN)

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NAIJA NEWS

Tech entrepreneur, Favour Ori breaks record in Rwanda

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Payday, a Pan-African Fintech startup, founded by Nigerian entrepreneur, Favour Ori has become the first Rwandan company to join the prestigious Techstars Toronto Accelerator program.

Techstars is an operational investment company that assists founders and early-stage entrepreneurs scale their vision into a thriving business, beginning with the Demo Day at the end of the program where selected startups will be able to pitch to a carefully curated group of investors.

The 3-month accelerator program’s goal is to provide entrepreneurs with invaluable skills, resources, and connections to a large pool of global talent and investors.

CEO, Favour Ori said, “Joining Techstars will be a game-changer for us. This is an opportunity to work with and learn from outstanding mentors, as well as to leverage their experience, skills, and network to create a platform where all Africans, regardless of location, can enjoy financial inclusion.”

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Rwanda represents one of the best turnaround stories the world has seen in a generation. The word that best describes the founders and team behind Payday is “resilient”.


“Moreover, Payday has engineered a financial product that Africans need across the continent, and the recent traction they are seeing makes us believe that this is the start of something massive” says Sunil Sharma, Managing Director of Techstars Toronto.

“We are thrilled to be able to co-invest with some of the best early-stage fintech and e-commerce investors in Africa” says Sharma.

The inclusion of Payday in this program represents an endorsement from one of the world’s most reputable investor communities, emphasizing the potential of the company’s business model and its commitment to developing innovative payment solutions that will simplify how Africans move money around the world.

Techstars has 15 unicorns under its umbrella. Some of the notable ones include; SalesLoft, SendGrid, ZipLine, Chainalysis, and DataRobot, etc. We are sure going to be the NEXT!

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NAIJA NEWS

War in Nigeria’s advertising industry as associations split over practice guidelines

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The Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) has rejected the implementation of the new Advertising Industry Standard of Practice (AISOP) guidelines.

On Monday, Heads of Ad agencies announced the new regulations in a joint statement.

The signatories include the President, Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), Steve Babaeko; President, Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN), Femi Adelusi.

Others were President, Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN), Emmanuel Ajufo and President, Experiential Marketers Association of Nigeria (EXMAN), Tunji Adeyinka.

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The bodies said the effective date for AISOP implementing is October 6, the date of pronouncement by the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON).

But ADVAN said it makes an unconstitutional attempt to infringe on the rights of private entities to determine their contractual terms.

In a statement on Tuesday, ADVAN Acting President, Bunmi Adeniba said ADVAN is supportive of the plan to create a Standard of Practice.

Adeniba, however, noted that the Supreme Court had, in many decisions, pronounced that the rationale for freedom of contract is founded on public policy.

This means parties of full age and competent understanding are deemed to have the utmost liberty of contracting, and that their contracts when entered freely and voluntarily must be held sacred and be enforced by courts of law.

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Adeniba said as principal benefactors of advertising services, ADVAN’s input in AISOP was yet to be fully onboarded.

“The guidelines are void of critical elements that protect the rights and interest of the ADVAN community”, she declared.

Adeniba insisted that the guidelines do not serve collective interest, but rather permits unfair authority of certain parties over others and creates an unfriendly business framework.

“It portrays a clear indication of discriminatory standards where the AISOP document in section 5 sub section b (Discounts and Commissions) states that:“No party will unilaterally dictate or impose rates on another party except as may be mutually agreed by upon by the parties.

“However, in the summary submitted to the press,there is a clause that states: “Media rates may be increased at any time provided that at least 30 days’ notice is given prior to implementation”.

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“Latter of which was not included on original documents, further portraying an inconsistency in expectation.

“ADVAN requests that in all instances, the condition of a mutually agreed terms by both parties be upheld and not only as it applies to expectations from Advertisers.”

The statement said the government has a specific and critical role in supporting industry development by providing fair and enabling legislation and guidelines for ethical business practices.

The association demanded that the involvement should not overrule the constitutional rights of business entities to conduct legitimate business activities.

“The perception of a discriminatory regulatory system will be counterproductive to the collective objective of creating a conducive business environment”, Adeniba added.

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