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EFCC Seeks Military’s Help to Arrest Fleeing Ex-Gov Bello

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Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court Abuja, on Thursday, adjourned to April 23, the suit instituted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Mr. Yahaya Bello.

The adjournment is for substituted service and possible arraignment of Bello for alleged N84billion money laundering.

At the sitting, counsel for the EFCC, Kemi Phinro, told the court that Bello was absent from court for his arraignment because he was being protected by someone with immunity.

Phinro complained that the former governor was whisked out of his Abuja residence by the same person with immunity.

Phinro said the anti-graft agency might seek the help of the military to fish him out to come face his arraignment.

Responding to this submission, Yahaya Bello through his counsel, Abdulwahab Muhammad, told the court that there is an order of the court restraining the EFCC from arresting or arraigning him.

Muhammad said a Kogi State High Court had on February 9, 2024 restrained the EFCC from arresting or arraigning the former governor.

He added that the EFCC has appealed the ruling and the Court of Appeal was yet to decide on the matter.

He pointed out that the action of the EFCC was unconstitutional and the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain any charge from the EFCC.

Counsel for the EFCC, however, disagreed with the submission of the counsel to Bello.

The EFCC counsel held that the ruling in the substantive matter on the suit was delivered on March 17, 2024 by the Kogi State High Court.

He cleared the air that the court in its ruling held that for the former governor to be arrested or arraigned, the EFCC must first seek leave from the court to do so.

He said it was in line with that judgment that the EFCC, through an exparte application, filed for the order seeking the arrest of the former governor which was granted by the court.

Counsel for Yahaya Bello, however, insisted before the court that the order for the ex-governor’s arrest was made out of jurisdiction. He said the former governor is not a fugitive, but relying on the order of the Kogi State High Court to take protection.

On Wednesday, EFCC operatives stormed Bello’s residence in the Wuse area of Abuja and spent most part of the day attempting to arrest the former governor whom the Commission later confirmed was whisked away by his successor.

The EFCC subsequently warned members of the public that it is a criminal offence to obstruct officers of the Commission from carrying out their lawful duties.

The Commission’s spokesperson said that Section 38(2)(a)(b) of the EFCC Establishment Act makes it an offence to prevent officers of the Commission from carrying out their lawful duties.

According to him, culprits risk a jail term of not less than five years.

“On several occasions, operatives of the Commission have had to exercise utmost restraint in the face of such provocation to avoid a breakdown of law and order.

“Regrettably, such disposition is being construed as a sign of weakness.

“The Commission, therefore, warns that it will henceforth not tolerate any attempt by any person or organisation to obstruct its operation as such will be met with appropriate punitive actions,” the statement added.

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Why We’re Charging Helicopter Landing Fee – Aviation Ministry

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The Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development on Monday said the introduction of helicopter landing levies was in line with global best practices and cost recovery measures.

This is contained in a statement by Odutayo Oluseyi, Head, Press and Public Affairs of the ministry in Lagos.

According to Mr Oluseyi, the ministry recognises the importance of helicopter operations in Nigeria’s aviation industry and is committed to implementing international best practices in helicopter operations.

He said that helicopter landing levies were commonplace in countries such as the US, the United Kingdom, India and various other regions worldwide.

He maintained that Tallahassee International Airport in Florida began implementing helicopter landing levies under Vector Airport Systems, since 1 October 2022.

Mr Oluseyi said helicopter landing levies were common across airfields in the United Kingdom, ranging from major commercial ones, to small general aviation fields.

He added that, typically, helicopter levies matched or exceeded those for fixed-wing aircraft, and varied based on factors like location and services provided.

“The federal government has granted NAEBI Dynamic Concepts Ltd exclusive rights to collect helicopter landing levies in line with the MoU between NAEBI Concept and NAMA (focal Agency), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

“It is instructive to note that NAMA, under the Act as amended in 2022, is empowered to collect aeronautical revenues in both the upper and lower airspace to support her self-sustainability.

“However, over the years, NAMA has predominantly relied on the upper airspace for her revenue generation.

“Government in her wisdom, having discovered a lacuna on the lower airspace where helicopter operations is dominant, directed NAMA to live up to its responsibilities, to enable them generate enough resources, to sustain their aeronautical architecture, enhance security and surveillance and improve the overall quality of helicopter operations in Nigeria,” he said.

According to Mr Oluseyi, the government is confident that the move will improve capacity, efficiency, safety, security and attract more investments in the aviation industry.

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Fubara Vows to Probe Previous Rivers Administrations

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Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, has said he will set up a panel of inquiry to look into the affairs of governance in the state.

Fubara disclosed this during the swearing-in and administration of the oath of office on Dagogo Iboroma, SAN, as the Attorney General of the state and Commissioner for Justice.

The governor criticised recent comments by the former Attorney-General of the State and Justice Commissioner, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor, SAN, who resigned from his cabinet over a fortnight ago and urged the new Attorney-General to defend the state.

Fubara stated, “It is not the one that while you were here… the only thing you do is to sabotage the government.

“Instead of you to close your mouth, you publicly claim that you’re a learned person to tell people that you’re the Chief Law Officer. Chief Law Officer, you were here and went to stand before a Magistrate Court.

“At that time you didn’t remember that you’re a Chief Law Officer going against the ethics of your job.”

Addressing the new AG, the governor said, “You have a big task. As it is today in the local parlance, they say the jungle has matured. We will be setting a panel of inquiry to investigate the affair of governance.”

The governor further said there was a deliberate attempt to sabotage his administration, saying, “If we disagree, no matter how bad it is, it should be resolved.

“But it has become very clear that this disagreement there is no headway to it, and for many reasons, there is very visible evidence that there is sabotage, a deliberate attempt to sabotage this administration.

“Maybe where they are, they are telling them nothing will happen, it is happening here live, we have our own legislators that are performing their duties according to the Constitution. So that record is threatened.”

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Tobi Amusan Again! Sets New World-Leading Record

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The world record-holder in the women’s 100m hurdles, Tobi Amusan, was the fastest over the barriers, setting a world-leading time of 12.40 (0.9m/s).

Danielle Williams, a two-time world champion, was ahead for most of the race but lost her rhythm over the final two hurdles and finished second with 12.46.

“This is the healthiest I’ve been. It’s a pain-free season compared to other years,” World Athletics website quoted Amusan to have said.

“I told myself: ‘I’m not getting a DQ today’. I’m not the best of starters, but looking at how I executed today, it could have been better, but I am thankful for the win.”

Nigeria’s Minister of Sports, John Enoh, took to his X handle to congratulate the Nigerian athletics queen for her latest feat.

“Take your flowers Tobi Amusan, you stormed to an emphatic win in the women’s 100m hurdles at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational, clocking a time of 12.40s (0.9), a World Lead time!

“You defeated World Champion Danielle Williams, who came 2nd in 12.46s, while Christina Clemons was 3rd in 12.54s.

“Tobi, you keep making our country proud. Paris Olympics is around the corner, your performance gives us hope just like others that Nigeria is set to break a jinx. Keep soaring, we are proud of you,” Enoh wrote.

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