Justice Bello Duwale of the Sokoto State High Court has remanded a Sterling Bank Plc worker, Olanrewaju Yusuf, in prison custody for cheating to the tune of N36 million and issuing of dud cheques.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission arraigned Yusuf, who is the Chief Executive Officer, Viclibo Ventures, on five counts bordering on the issuance of dud cheque, criminal breach of trust and cheating.
A complainant, Tunde Akinola, had alleged that sometime in January 2018, Yusuf, who worked with the Sokoto branch of the bank requested a N30 million loan for the establishment of a biscuit and juice production factory with a pledge to pay back the money with 10 per cent interest.
Akinola stated that he rallied round friends and colleagues to raise the money, which he gave to the accused via his United Bank for Africa account on condition that the loan should be paid back by March 2018.
Pursuant to the agreement, Yusuf allegedly issued three post-dated Diamond Bank cheques of N10m each and another for N6m, all of which were dishonoured by the bank on presentation.
Yusuf pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charges.
Counsel for EFCC, S.H. Sa’ad, urged the court to fix a date for commencement of trial and asked that the defendant be remanded in prison custody, but the defence counsel, Ferdinard Okotete, prayed the court to grant his client bail.
Justice Bello, however, ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison custody and fixed April 25, 2019 for hearing of bail application.
The trial judge further granted an interim forfeiture order in respect of the defendant’s property, pursuant to a motion ex parte filed by the EFCC.
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South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has been sworn into office on Saturday in Pretoria, and vowed to bring about “hope and renewal”.
The African National Congress (ANC) leader vowed to tackle corruption and rejuvenate the struggling economy.
He was elected earlier this month with a majority of 57.5%, the smallest since the party came to power 25 years ago.
Mr Ramaphosa initially took over from Jacob Zuma in 2018 after Mr Zuma was accused of corruption.
Mr Ramaphosa is the country’s fifth democratically elected president since apartheid ended in 1994.
Kenya’s High Court Upholds Ban on Gay Sex
In a blow to the LGBTQI movement in Africa, Kenya’s High Court ruled Friday that a colonial-era law banning same-sex relations should remain in place.
Same-sex relations have been banned since the British colonized Kenya in the late 19th century. Kenya’s penal code criminalizes “carnal knowledge against the order of nature.” Anyone found engaging in same-sex relationships could face up to 14 years in prison.
In declining to decriminalize same-sex relations, the Kenya High Court said there was not enough evidence of discrimination against the LGBTQI community and therefore it upheld the ban.
LGBTQI campaigners in the country have been fighting to have the law struck out but have faced a long wait after several postponements by the courts since the case was first brought in 2016 to repeal sections of the Kenyan penal code.
The decision was not unexpected.
Before the ruling, Waruguru Gaitho, a human rights lawyer at the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC), had said: “We are prepared for it to be a protracted struggle. We are well aware that the court process is very long and we are well aware that this is a heavily contested issue. Allows multiple appeals. So we will continue to make our case for equality. ”
Thirty-eight out of 55 African countries have enacted laws that make it illegal to be gay. In Somalia and South Sudan it is punishable by death. In Nigeria, it carries a 14-year prison term, and 30 years in Tanzania.
Despite this, activists on the continent are recording small wins.
In several African countries, such as Namibia, Botswana, Kenya, Uganda and Cameroon, the courts have ruled positively in favor of LGBTQI people, and more cases are planned or are currently being reviewed.
Angola’s parliament adopted a new penal code on January 23 for the first time since it gained independence from Portugal in 1975. That paved the way for lawmakers to remove the provision characterizing same-sex relationships as “vices against nature,” according to Human Rights Watch.
“In casting aside this archaic and insidious relic of the colonial past, Angola has eschewed discrimination and embraced equality,” the agency said.
Neighboring Mozambique removed anti-gay laws in 2015, while São Tomé and Cape Verde have also abolished laws criminalizing gay relationships.
And in Botswana, for the first time in the country’s history, a transgender man was legally recognized as male.
After a lengthy 10-year battle, the High Court demanded the government change the gender on his identity card from female to male.
The court stated that the Botswana’s Registrar of National Registration had violated the man’s basic human rights. A few months later, another landmark case in Botswana saw the gender of a transgender woman legally recognized.
While Kenya is still largely a deeply conservative and religious society, its courts has shown some independence in recent years regarding LGBTQI matters.
Last year, an appeals court in Mombasa ruled that forced anal exams on people who are suspected of same-sex activity are unconstitutional,following the arrest and forced anal exams of two men in 2015. The decision reversed a 2016 court ruling.
Later that year, a Kenyan court temporarily lifted a ban on the controversial film “Rafiki,” which told the story of a romantic lesbian relationship.
The ban was imposed by the Kenya Film Classification Board, which said the film was “restricted due to its homosexual theme and clear intent to promote lesbianism in Kenya, contrary to the law.”
In allowing the film to be screened to willing adults, the judge said that Kenya is not a weak society whose morals would be weakened by watching a gay-themed movie.
But Kenyan society has not been as eager to embrace same-sex relationships.
“Life in Kenya as an LGBTQ person is most often lived in the closet, and when one comes out then the reality is often facing discrimination, violence, marginalization, and sometimes there are even more severe incidents, such as loss of life,” Gaitho said.
Phelix Kasanda says he endures harassment from landlords who constantly evict him and faces discrimination at public health care facilities and even physical assaults.
Kasanda says he chooses not to seek help from police, as it could mean arrest, possible prosecution and up to 14 years in prison.
“If government doesn’t protect you then everybody will turn against you,” Kasanda said. “Because they know that there is nowhere you are going to take them. You can’t report them anywhere. I cannot go to a police station to say I am being harassed because of my sexuality.”
In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour last year, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said LGBTQ rights was “of no major importance” to Kenyans.
“It is not human rights issue as you would want to put it, this is an issue of of society; our own culture as a people irregardless of which community you come from,” he said. “This is not acceptable, this is not agreeable…”
“It is not a question of the government accepting or not accepting,” he told Amanpour.
Religion is a driving factor behind the lack of acceptance.
Reverend Tom Otieno of the Lavington United Church is adamant that same-sex relationships will not be accepted in the country.
“We are not about to accept homosexuality and we will not accept it. even if the courts try to tinker with it, we will go back to court,” he said.
“This idea, this push is certainly alien to this country. I will not deny that they have convinced certain Kenyans of the persuasion that that is what they want. Those Kenyans are free to feel that way, but they are not at liberty to impose that on us.”
Caleb University: Police shoot two protesting Students
Two students of Caleb University, Imota in Ikorodu, Lagos state, who were among many others protesting some new set of rules in the school have been reportedly shot by men of the police force engaged to bring peace in the school.
The students were protesting a section of the school rules, which prohibited any student, especially male and female students, from being outside their hostels after 7pm, when some of the policemen shot at them, with others sustaining injuries.
The students took to protest after two final year students allegedly flouted the University’s new rule.
According to claims by the students on social media, the rules stipulated that, “Being found with the opposite sex after 7pm and before 8am is an offence.” It said,
“The students (Suspended students) who are the co-presidents of the College of social and management Sciences (COSMAS) were outside their hostel on May 6, a day to the cultural day of the Faculty’s annual social week. They were in the company of a decorator hired for the event.
“Apparently the school has no guest house where guests that are spending the night in the school can sleep over, so they were trying to arrange a place at the MAsters students hostel for the decorator to sleepover.
“This was the reason why they were outside their hostel till 8:40pm against the 8:30 stipulated by the University’s new rule.
“The security came out to harass them and sent them back to the hostel, as the students were trying to explain themselves to the security, their green cards were seized and taken to the gate.
“They filed a report against them and they had to face the students’ disciplinary committee (SDC) on Thursday 23rd May.
“The students were summoned today (Friday) before 6am and were told to leave the campus because they have been suspended for eight weeks.”
Angered by the suspension given to the students who, it was said, are supposed to be defending their final year projects in two weeks time, the students of the school took to protest.
A viral video shows some of the students in a riotous mode as gunshots are head being released by the policemen called to quell the riot.
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