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Court renews arrest warrant against Nollywood actress Monalisa Chinda

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A Lagos High Court in Igbosere on Monday renewed a bench warrant for the arrest of actress and producer, Monalisa Chinda Coker, over a tax evasion charge.

Justice Adedayo Akintoye renewed the order for Coker’s arrest following her failure to appear in court for trial, allegedly since 2017.

She adjourned further proceedings till June 5.

When the case was called Monday, neither Coker nor her lawyer was present.

Prosecution counsel Babatunde Sumonu told the judge that the bench warrant had yet to be effected.

“The bench warrant is to continue,” Justice Akintoye held.

The judge made the original order for Coker’s arrest last January 21, following an application by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice.

The state alleged that Coker repeatedly failed to honour a court summons.

The application for her arrest flowed from a two-count charge accusing Coker of failure to file annual tax returns and pay income tax in respect of her company, Monalisa Code Productions, for six years.

Monalisa Code Productions carries on its business from Lekki in Lagos.

On January 21, prosecution counsel, Y. A. Pitan told Justice Akintoye that Coker had not appeared in court since 2017 when the charge was filed against her.

“The defendant has been served with hearing notice. The proof of service is in the court’s file,” Pitan said while making an application for the bench warrant.

Granting the application, Justice Akintoye adjourned further proceedings till February 2.

But on February 2, the court heard that the bench warrant had yet to be effected.

It ordered that the warrant should continue and adjourned till Monday.

Count one of the charges, marked LD/5712c/2017, reads in part: “Failure to furnish and file annual tax returns for the purpose of personal income taxation with the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) contrary to Section 94(1) of the Personal Income Tax Act 2004 (as amended).”

The particulars of the count stated that Coker “of Monalisa Code Productions, being a taxable person in Nigeria and carrying on business at… Lekki… failed to furnish and file tax returns on your personal income for the years 2011 to 2016.
Count two reads: “Failure to pay income tax contrary to Section 56 of the Lagos State Revenue Administration Law of 2006.”

-TheNation

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Billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein found dead in jail cell

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The FBI and the Inspector General are investigating after billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his jail cell after apparrently taking his own life.

The New York Post reports that a gurney carrying Epstein was wheeled out of the Manhattan Correctional Centre around 7:30am (9:30 AEST) and headed to New York Downtown Hospital.

Paramedics tried to revive Epstein as they wheeled him into the hospital but were unsuccessful.

The medical examiner’s office in Manhattan confirmed Epstein’s death.

 

A call for a reported cardiac arrest came in at 6:38am, Fire Department sources said.

Two weeks ago, Epstein, 66, was placed on suicide watch after he was found nearly unconscious in his cell with injuries to his neck.

However, The New York Times reports that he was taken off suicide watch at the time of his death.

The billionaire financier was being held without bail pending his trial on child sex-trafficking charges.

 

Some reports suggest cameras inside the Manhattan Correctional Centre malfunctioned around the time of his suicide.

The MCC has some of the tightest security in the US and has housed notorious criminals including Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, mob boss John Gotti, the World Trade Center bombers and Ponzi scheme mastermind Bernie Madoff.

 

~ More at The Daily Telegraph

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At least 62 killed after fuel tanker explodes in Tanzania

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…Incidents of people being killed in explosions while stealing fuel from incapacitated tankers are common in East Africa.

A damaged fuel tanker truck exploded in eastern Tanzania Saturday as people were trying to siphon fuel out of it, killing at least 62, in one of the worst incidents of its kind in the East African country.

Citing police figures, state broadcaster KBC said a further at least 70 people were injured in the incident early Saturday in the town of Morogoro. Regional police commissioner Steven Kabwe told the local Azam TV that many suffered serious burns.

Tanzanian government spokesman Hassan Abbasi said on Twitter that news of the deaths was “received with sadness.”

“We send our condolences to the families, relatives, and friends,” he said.

Witnesses in Morogoro, which lies about 120 miles from Tanzania’s economic hub of Dar es Salaam, told The Associated Pres

s that scores of people had gathered around the fuel tanker after it was involved in an accident early on Saturday. They said people were trying to siphon away fuel when the tanker burst into flames.

Incidents of people being killed in explosions while stealing fuel from incapacitated tankers are common in East Africa. Those who steal the fuel usually hope to be able to sell it cheaply to motorists.

In 2013, a similarly deadly incident killed at least 29 people on the outskirts of the Ugandan capital, Kampala, as scores swarmed around the scene of an accident.

There is limited awareness among many people about the danger from explosions of damaged fuel tankers, said Henry Bantu, a road safety expert who runs the Tanzania-based Safe Speed Foundation. Local leaders need to do more to educate people on the risks, he said.

-AP, NBC

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