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Super TV CEO’s Murder: How Chidinma Allegedly Used American And Private Numbers To Negotiate For Apartment : Witness Tells Court

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The hearing in the murder case of Super TV CEO, Usifo Ataga, continued today November 11 at the Lagos State High Court, sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square TBS, with Nkechi Mogbo, owner of the short-let apartment at 19, Adewale Oshin Street, Lekki Phase 1, where the body of late Ataga was found, narrating how different leads pointed to the fact that Chidinma Ojukwu as the prime suspect in the case.

Giving an account before the court, Mogbo said she advertised her apartment on property websites like Airbnb for a short stay and had agents on the market that advertised for her.

“On June 13, it was on a Sunday, I was at home. About 4pm, I got a phone call from a private number, the first I ignored and the second I picked up. Then there was a lady who said she saw the apartment online and enquired as to whether we have the necessary facilities, which I responded yes.

She said she would like to have a look at it and I said she could. She sent a message on WhatsApp with the picture of the apartment obviously indicating where she got it from. I sent her the address and she confirmed she would be on her way to the place.”she said

Mogbo told the court that she further put a call through to the security, Abubakar, explaining that the lady would be coming to see the place. Upon checking, the lady, who identified herself with the name ‘Jewel’, said she would take the apartment for three days.

“She asked for payment details, which I forwarded across to her, within a couple of minutes, she sent the proof of payment of N125,000. It contained the initiator of the payment, Michael Usifo, from a GTB account, the time and date of the transaction, and my name as the recipient,” she said

She told the court that following the payment, the security man handed her female client the key to the apartment on the same day.

“Two days after, at about 5:30pm. – June 15, she was due to check out on June 16, I got a message from the lady that her friend would like to extend for three more days, and that he would be making the payment the next day, which would be on the 16th.”

She said at 10 am. on June 16, she received a credit notification from the same account, confirming payment of N50,000 for two additional days by the same Michael Usifo.

“Hours later, I put a call across to my security man on a different issue, upon which he made a remark that they had noticed a body on the ground of the said apartment.”

Mogbo told the court she immediately started panicking but asked the whereabouts of the lady because the security man confirmed the deceased was a guy.

“He said she left the night before at about 7:30pm to 8pm and didn’t return. I got off the phone and tried to reach the lady. I put a call across to her but she cut the call. She then sent a message saying she was in a meeting. I didn’t want to alert her as to what I was aware of.
I carried on, saying the payment which she sent in the morning, unfortunately, wasn’t credited. I told her, so can you make the payment again because I made a mistake to acknowledge receipt? She said she would reach her friend for him to make the payment. Couple of minutes after, I got another initiation of payment for the same sum of N50,000 from the same initiator, the person of Mr Michael. When she made the payment, I was already on my way to the property to get a proper understanding of what had happened, after which I went straight to the police station,” she narrated

Mogbo added that she sent a message to the lady that she had received the initial N50,000 which she (the owner) claimed she didn’t receive, and that she had given the security man the cash of the extra N50,000, so she should pick it from him.

“I devised the means to lure her to come to the property after the security had confirmed she left the day before. She sent a message that she would like to use the N50,000 for another two days.”

Mogbo further narrated that she filed a report at the Maroko police station, and police officers followed her back to the apartment to get photographs and a better understanding of what happened. She told the court that she wrote a statement and the police arranged for the body to be taken out to the morgue and took his personal items including the car as evidence.
She said she reported back to the police station the next morning, and they went to state CID, Yaba, where she met with the Deputy Commissioner of Police.

“I was made to write more statements and was detained for seven days, to assist with the case. During this time, I was interviewed, they collected different evidence. On the sixth night, I was called by the DCP to his office; there was a young lady present, two older ladies, and a couple of officers. He asked me if I could recognise the young lady and I said no.”Mogbo said

She said it was at that point she remembered she had a picture saved on her phone, and that she pulled out her phone and asked the lady if it was her, to which she confirmed yes.

“The security man, whom she was in contact with and always calling to put on the generator or pump the water said one day, she mistakenly called him with her number around 2:30am, after which she hung up and called with a private number telling the security man to turn on the generator.

During the investigation, the security man passed the phone number as a possible lead. He saved the number and was able to get the photograph used as the profile picture.

”During the police investigation, when my phone record was printed, the same number also matched my incoming call number on Sunday 13th June, which the caller tried to hide, but couldn’t hide from the network providers,” she narrated.

Mogbo further told the court that the suspect, now identified as Ojukwu, avoided calling with her phone number as the Whatsapp chat history between them was with a foreign phone number, registered as an American number. She told the court that she provided all the chats between them and sent to the police by email and also printed a copy while in custody.

Adeyemi, who led her in evidence, requested to tender the WhatsApp records as evidence in the matter. This was, however, met with objections from the lawyers to the defendants.

Onwuka Egwu, the lawyer to Ojukwu, opposed the admissibility of the document as evidence in the matter.

“The document offends Section 102 subsection B of the Evidence Act. In her evidence, she went to the police to complain and during the investigation, records were printed from her phone. This document has traversed from Maroko to Panti, to the DPP, by virtue of that movement, it has become a public document. It is not coming from her, it came from the custody. It is a document subject to certification for admissibility purpose,” he said, citing the case of FRN vs Danladi.

The lawyer to the second defendant, Babatunde Busari, also aligned himself to the position of the first defendant’s counsel. He said the document flouted section 84, subsection 2 of the Evidence Act as there was “no endorsement from the Commissioner for oath.”

The lawyer to the third defendant, A.O Odunsanya, said he had no objection to the documents being admitted as evidence.

Adesanya, from the DPP, further argued that the documents are relevant to the case and original to the witness because she printed the documents herself from her phone using the printer of the police.

In her ruling, the judge, Yetunde Adesanya, said the objections of the lawyers to the defendants failed and are accordingly overruled. Adesanya said the Evidence Act was clear as to what a public document is and the documents before the court are owned by the witness, who was tendering them and not the police or the DPP. She admitted the documents as exhibits E1.

The lawyer to the first defendant sought an adjournment to cross-examine the witness, saying Ojukwu has not had the opportunity of look at the documents as they received them on Tuesday in the open court. The lawyers to the second and third defendants said they have no cross-examination for the witness, as the totality of the evidence does not touch on their clients.

Adesanya adjourned the matter till November 15 for further hearing.

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Poor Nations Rejected More Than 100 Million Covid-19 Vaccines Over Short Shelf-Life : UNICEF

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Poor nations rejected more than 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines distributed by the global programme COVAX in December 2021, mainly due to their rapid expiry date, UNICEF has disclosed .

Despite growing supplies of shots, the world is still a long way off being vaccinated, with COVAX getting closer to delivering one billion doses to a total of nearly 150 countries, a UN official stressed.

“More than a 100 million have been rejected just in December alone,” Reuters quoted the Director of Supply Division at UN agency, UNICEF, Etleva Kadilli, to have told lawmakers at the European UnionParliament.

The main reason for rejection was the delivery of doses with a short shelf-life, she said.

The UNICEF official revealed how in Nigeria, the federal government destroyed expired AstraZeneca COVID-19 injections totalling 1,066,214 doses. Addressing journalists shortly before setting out to destroy the vaccines at the Idu Dump site in the Federal Capital Territory, the Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) Dr. Faisal Shuaib, explained that the government took the action to destroy the expired vaccines not only to safeguard the health of Nigerians, but to also engender trust in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

Also, Kadilli disclosed that poorer nations have also been forced to delay supplies because they have insufficient storage facilities, including a lack of fridges for vaccines.

The official also stressed that many countries also face high levels of vaccine hesitancy and have overburdened healthcare systems.

UNICEF’s data on supplies and use of delivered vaccines showed that 681 million shipped doses are currently stored in about 90 poorer nations, according to CARE, a charity, which extracted the figures from a public database.

“We have countries that are pushing doses that are currently available towards quarter two of 2022,” Kadilli said.

“Of the 15 million doses from the EU that have been refused, three-quarters were AstraZeneca shots with a shelf life of less than 10 weeks upon arrival”

More than 30 poorer nations, including big states such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria, have used fewer than half of the doses they received, CARE said.

A spokesperson for Gavi, a vaccine alliance which co-manages COVAX, said that the high storage level was due to a surge in deliveries in the last quarter, especially in December.

In January, 67 per cent of the population in richer nations had been fully vaccinated, whereas only eight per cent in poorer nations have received their first dose, WHO figures show. Increased supply caught many receiving countries unprepared.

Wealthy countries donating vaccines with a relatively short shelf life had been a “major problem” for COVAX, a WHO senior official said last month.

In another development, Africa’s top public health body has said it is in talks with Pfizer about securing supplies of its antiviral COVID-19 pills for the continent, the Paxlovid medication which is nearly 90 per cent effective in preventing hospitalisations and deaths.

“We are in really close discussions with Pfizer to see what can be done to make the drugs available on the continent and accessible on the continent, that is, the Paxlovid drugs,” said the Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, John Nkengasong.

“The only way to relieve that will be if we have drugs like Paxlovid where people can take that drug and stay home and get relief, and that way the burden and the constraints on the health system will be limited,” Nkengasong told an online news briefing.

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Litre Of Fuel To Hit GHC7 : IES

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Institute of Energy security says the prices of fuel at local pumps in Ghana saw a 3 percent increase in petroleum products with prices per litre rising from Gh6.50 peswas to Gh6.70 peswas in 2021.

Now, the institute is projecting a 7.42 and 9.46 percent increase in brent and gasoline prices respectively.

Following the positive global shift in prices, consumers should expect an increase in local fuel prices moving forward. Ghanaians should expect fuel prices this year to rise from 6.70 pesawas to 7 cedis per litre at the pumps.

The projected increase besides the rise of fuel prices in the global market will be as a result of the depreciation of the cedi against the dollar.

In the last quarter of 2021, fuel prices in Ghana went from 6.64 cedis to 7.07 cedis in December. Earlier on in December, upon an industrial action by Ghana private road transport union, the government directed oil marketing companies to lower fuel prices.

For a brief window, Ghanaians enjoyed relief at the pump as Goil and other OMCs lowered fuel prices by 15 pesawas bringing the price to 6.70 cedis from 6.85 cedi.

This quickly changed as global fuel prices began recording an upward trajectory this January. As of January 1st, to January 3rd of 2022, the price of brent was at 78.9 dollars. Quickly, from the 4th to 10th, the price ranged between 80.8 dollars to 81.99 dollars.

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Produce Name Of Judge Who Said We’re Afraid Of Anas : Court Orders Ken Agyepong

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The High Court in Accra has ordered the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central Kennedy Ohene Agyapong to furnish the court with the name of the judge who he claims confided in him that judges are afraid of investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.

Ken Agyepong, who is the subject matter of a GHc25 million defamation suit from Anas Aremeyaw Anas had told the Court in Accra that, due to intimidation from Anas, judges fear him.

Under further cross-examination from lawyers of Anas, led by Odei Kow, the MP said two judges confided in him including one who was on the panel who investigated Anas’ Judicial Service expose’ and later rose to the Supreme Court.

The said Supreme Court judge according to Ken Agyepong has since passed on to eternity and cannot mention his name.

But for the other judge, according to Ken Agyepong who presides at a court at Ejisu/Efigyase, came to his TV station to confide in him.

The order of the Court came after Ken Agyepong had said, he does not have the name of the said judge in his memory but when given time he can produce the name to the court.

Lawyers of Anas as part of their Cross-Examination of Ken Agyepong asked him if he still maintains his accusation against Anas (plaintiff) of intimidating judges.

While responding in the affirmative, Ken Agyepong explained that “I have a judge who came to me at my TV station” and another who admitted that he was part of the panel that investigated the judges.

He added that “because of his (Anas) investigations, some judges…were sacked and this made many of the judges panic.”

Asked to tell the court who the names of these judges he alluded to were, he said the second judge was dead but the first was at Ejisu/Efigyase.

“My lord, if my memory serves me right, I think Ejisu/Afigyase. He came to my TV station and I have the video and he was a judge and the second one who regretted and died rose to the Supreme Court. He was among the panel that investigated the judges so I can’t mention his name,” he said.

While clarifying whether these two judges all came to his TV station to tell him, he answered in the negative.

He added that “the one presiding at Ejusi/Afigyase was the one who came to my TV station so my lord, is not the one who rose to the Supreme Court, he never came to my station.”

When asked if, a judge who he claimed he cannot mention his name came to confide in him, the Respondent said, “Because of his position as a Supreme Court judge, that, is why I didn’t want to mention his name.”

When it was suggested to him by counsel for plaintiff that, he was unable to mention the name of the said Supreme Court judge because his allegations were untrue, Ken Agyepong disagreed.

“I said two judges why is he (Counsel) narrowing it down to the Supreme Court judge because the other one is still alive,” he noted.

He said if the court could give him five minutes, “I can call my office for them to get me the name” when counsel asked to tell the court the name of the said judge who was at his station.

At this point, counsel for Plaintiff indicated his further line of questions will require the Respondent to make available the name of the judge.

The court presided over by Justice Eric Baah, a Justice of the Court of Appeal sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court judge, ordered Ken Agyepong to furnish the court with the name of the said judge at the next court sitting.

Intimidation and setup

When it was further put to him, if he maintains, that, as a result of the alleged intimation and fear from Anas, judges decline to hear matters involving the plaintiff, Ken Agyepong said, “they (Judges) are afraid of Anas but I didn’t use decline.”

He explained further that, “they are afraid of Anas because of his intimidation and setup,”

“I have spoken to several judges who lost their jobs because of the plaintiff’s investigation which clearly shows it is a setup,” he told the court.

To buttress his point, Ken Agyepong said, “Looking at the videos in the hotel room in Dubai, (where Anas allegedly up some NDC boys) it shows clearly he was setting people up and not investigating.”

When it was further put to him that deep undercover journalism involving taking on the identity of another person to expose wrongdoing is not the same as setting people up, Ken Agyepong disagreed.

He explained that “because the plaintiff under a pretext that he was investigating, will rather give people money as a gift and later show the video to the whole world that the person has taken a bribe.”

He pointed to the Anas #Number expose’ which implicated former Ghana Football Association president lawyer Kwasi Nyantakyi.

The case has been adjourned to January 27, for continuation.

Background

Sometime in 2018, the ace international investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas dragged the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Mr Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, to court for defaming him.

Anas was asking the High Court to award aggravated damages to the tune of GH¢25 million arising from defamatory materials published by the MP.

He said, the MP had been publishing materials in his bid to discredit the investigative journalist, who has released an explosive piece on the rot in Ghana football.

Displeased with the MP’s actions, Anas has, through his lawyer, Mr Kissi Agyebeng, sued Mr Agyapong for the award of general damages for defamation in the defendant’s publications.

A journalist, Mr Listowell Yesu Bukarson, has been granted the lawful attorney to stand in for Anas.

Publications

The publication complained of are a May 29, 2018 live programme in Twi on Adom TV, where Mr Agyapong categorically stated that Anas was a blackmailer, corrupt, an extortionist and evil.

According to the statement of claim, the defendant, in a similar manner, published defamatory words on May 31, 2018 via Oman FM, a private radio station owned by the defendant.

The statement of claim also stated that the defendant published more defamatory materials against the plaintiff via other platforms to the extent of releasing pictures purported to be those of the investigative journalist in his bid to blow the latter’s cover.

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