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Appeal court upholds eight-year jail term for Maina



The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Friday upheld the eight-year sentence imposed on the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, following his conviction on a 12-count money laundering charge.

In a unanimous decision by a three-member panel, the court said it found no reason to set aside the judgement of the Federal High Court in Abuja which found him guilty.

The court further held that there was no evidence to establish that the trial court had denied the former pension boss a fair hearing.

In the lead judgement delivered by Justice Elfreda Williams-Daudu, the appellate court resolved all the issues Maina raised before it, against him and held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.

Justice Williams-Daudu also affirmed the various interlocutory rulings delivered in the course of the trial at the Federal High Court, which Maina appealed against.

Following this, the court dismissed the appeal as lacking in merit.

Earlier on November 8, 2021, the high court had convicted and sentenced Maina over his complicity in money laundering brought against him by the Economic Financial Crimes Commission.

In the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/256/2019, the anti-graft agency alleged that Maina used a bank account that was operated by his firm to launder funds and acquire landed properties in Abuja.

They serve, they steal, they get away

It told the court that the 1st defendant (Maina) used fictitious names to open and operate various bank accounts, as well as recruited his relatives who were bankers to operate fake bank accounts through which illicit funds were channelled.

The EFCC further alleged that Maina induced staff of both the United Bank of Africa, UBA, and Fidelity Bank Plc, to open accounts for him, without conducting the requisite due diligence to verify the identity of the beneficial owner.

The court found Maina and his firm, Common Input Property and Investment Limited, guilty of the crime.

Trial Justice Okon Abang held that the sentence would run concurrently with effect from October 25, 2019, which was the day the defendants were arraigned.

The justice ordered Maina and his firm to forfeit about N2.1 billion that was traced to their bank accounts, as well as other monies to the Federal Government payable within 90 days.

He then directed that the company should be wound up.

Likewise, it ordered the forfeiture of Maina’s properties at Lifecamp and Jabi districts of Abuja to the government. It also auctioned a bulletproof car and a BMW 5 Series exotic car that was found in the premises of the convict.

Justice Abang said although the law made provision for a maximum sentence of 14 years for the offence that was committed by the defendants, he was moved by Maina’s plea for mercy

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President Bola Tinubu Suspend Godwin Emefiele as CBN Governor



President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has suspended the Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, CFR, from office with immediate effect,” the Director of Information, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Willie Bassey said in a Friday statement.

“This is sequel to the ongoing investigation of his office and the planned reforms in the financial sector of the economy.

“Mr Emefiele has been directed to immediately hand over the affairs of his office to the Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate), who will act as the Central Bank Governor pending the conclusion of the investigation and the reforms.”

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Outrage As Hilda Baci Reportedly Charges People N25,000 To Meet Her In Abuja



Nigerian chef, Hilda Baci has sparked outrage on social media as reports suggest she is charging a fee of N25,000 for individuals to meet her in Abuja.

On May 15, 2023, Hilda Baci achieved a remarkable feat by surpassing the previous Guinness World Record for the longest cooking time held by Chef Lata Tondon from Rewa, India in 2019.

The Akwa Ibom chef, not only broke Tondon’s record of 87 hours and 45 minutes but went on to cook for an astounding 100 hours and 40 minutes, making her the first individual in the world to spend such an extended duration of time cooking.

Although the Guinness World Record is yet to officially confirm Hilda Baci as the new record holder for the longest cooking marathon, the Nigerian chef has engaged in controversial acts that have triggered widespread criticism and debate within the country.

On Thursday night, reports emerged that Hilda is charging a substantial fee for personal meet-ups in Abuja. It is alleged that individuals are required to pay N25,000 to have a brief encounter with her on June 24, 2023.

While Hilda Baci has not publicly addressed the allegations, the reported fee has ignited public outrage on social media platforms with many Nigerians expressing their disappointment and concern over what they perceive as an exorbitant charge to meet a chef.

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Messi Won’t Find Life Easy In MLS –Rooney



Former Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has warned Lionel Messi that he should braze up for tough time in Major League Soccer (MLS).

Recall that Messi confirmed this week that he is joining Inter Miami as a free agent.

Rooney, who is currently in charge of DC United, is hoping that the 35-year-old’s MLS debut could come against his side.

Inter Miami are due to face DC United in Washington on July 8.

Rooney told reporters: “It’d be nice if we were his first opponents for D.C. fans to see him up close and for us to challenge ourselves against him.

“One thing I will say is that it’s not going to be easy for him. The league’s a difficult league, and I don’t think he’s going to come over here and absolutely tear it up immediately.

“He’ll have to adapt because it’s a bit different; it won’t be an easy ride for him.”

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