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Labour party to accuse five ex-staff members of leaking antisemitism report

Labour party

Labour party to accuse five ex-staff members of leaking antisemitism report

Labour party is set to accuse five former party staff, including Seumas Milne and Karie Murphy, of leaking a controversial internal report on antisemitism, prompting them to hire lawyers to defend themselves against the claims.

Labour has lodged papers at the high court seeking to place responsibility for the leak on Milne, Murphy, Georgie Robertson, Laura Murray and Harry Hayball, according to lawyers for the five. Carter-Ruck said they would “vigorously defend themselves” in legal proceedings and seek full reimbursement for their costs.

The report, titled The work of the Labour party’s governance and legal unit in relation to antisemitism, 2014–2019, was leaked in April 2020 with damaging consequences.

The document, which was intended for, but never submitted to, an investigation by the equalities watchdog, alleged that staff had worked to undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and sent a number of abusive messages about senior figures. Critics of the report said it was leaked in an attempt to “smear whistleblowers” who had exposed antisemitism.

On becoming Labour leader, Keir Starmer launched an independent inquiry into the report and a second one by Martin Forde QC. Since then, the party has become mired in legal action, with Labour facing a claim against it by some of the staff named in the report.

Emilie Oldknow, one of those taking legal action against the party, unsuccessfully tried to force Labour to disclose the names of those it believed were involved in the leak earlier this year.

It is not clear why Labour is now naming the five in legal documents, and the party on Monday declined to comment on ongoing legal action. Milne, a former Guardian journalist, worked as Jeremy Corbyn’s head of communications, while Murphy was his chief of staff.

Carter-Ruck said in a press release that the party was trying to deflect blame for the leak on to the five former staff in an attempt to avoid legal costs.

“To the extent that the Labour party has explained its proposed action, it is clear that it will be naming the individuals in an attempt to deflect on to them its own liability in claims brought by a group of claimants who are suing the party over the leak as well as the party bringing a related claim direct against the five,” the law firm said.

A spokesperson for the former Labour party employees said: “The individuals entirely reject these baseless claims. They did not leak the report. They fully cooperated with the party’s investigation by an independent external investigator, and with the inquiry led by Martin Forde QC.

“They understand that neither of those investigations concluded that they were responsible. The party has already acknowledged in court that it cannot be certain who leaked the report and that its ‘case’ against them is circumstantial.

“But it is now trying to make them foot the bill for legal action brought against it. The party should be focusing on the deeply troubling evidence contained with the leaked report, rather than trying to wrongly scapegoat and victimise former staff who documented it, and who have not been accused by either of the independent investigations.”

Last month a senior party official revealed that Labour was now spending more than £2m a year on legal fees. Johanna Baxter, a member of the ruling national executive committee from the party’s pro-Starmer wing, said costs used to be 10% of that figure, about £200,000 a year.

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Court grants Adoke bail, trial resumes Jan 11

OPL 245: I’ve been vindicated again, says ex-AGF Adoke

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday granted permission to former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, to travel to the United Arab Emirates to meet with his family.

Adoke is currently standing trial alongside Aliyu Abubakar, a property developer, over allegations of money laundering amounting to N300m.

The EFCC alleged that Adoke made a cash payment of $2,267,400 to Unity Bank in 2013 in contravention of money laundering laws.

Adoke, through his lawyer, Kanu Agabi, SAN, prayed the court to invoke sections 36 and 37 of the 1999 Constitution to allow him to travel to see his family.

He noted that since the trial of Adoke in money laundering charges brought against him by the FG commenced, he had not been with his family members based in the UAE. Agabi said the former AGF needed to spend time with his family to maintain his physical and mental health, urging the court to grant his request.

He added that since his client was admitted to bail, he had been religiously and consistently attending the trial and had never behaved in any manner suggestive of intention to jump bail.

In his ruling, Justice Inyang Ekwo agreed that Adoke had been attending the trial and had never attempted to jump bail, adding that he was persuaded to grant the request.

The judge thereafter ordered that Adoke’s passport deposited with the Registry of the Court be released to him to travel to the UAE.

Justice Ekwo ordered that the former AGF must return to Nigeria before January 11, 2024, for continuation of his trial in the charges against him.

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Nigerian Man Defrauds 34 victims in 13 countries of $592,000

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Thursday, secured the conviction and sentencing of Eze Harrisson Arinze before Justice J.K Omotosho of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja for defrauding 34 victims in 13 countries of $592,000(Five Hundred and Ninety Two Thousand United States Dollars).

Arinze was re-arraigned on one count charge bordering on impersonation and obtaining under false pretence.

The amended count charge reads:

That you, EZE HARRISON ARINZE alias Charlotte Brain, sometime between April, 2021 and December, 2022 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, did fraudulently impersonate one Charlotte Brain a purported owner of digitrades.netxxxxxxxxxxxxxx investment platforms on telegram and in that assumed character obtained cryptocurrency worth $592,000.00 (Five Hundred and Ninety Two US Dollars) from Coinbase exchange users, through your bitcoin address -333AgHuT8wAhowRBQZ2ASxxxxxxxx domiciled with Coinbase, a Virtual Asset Service Provider and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22(3)(b) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (4) of the same Act.

The defendant pleaded guilty to the charge when it was read to him.

In view of the plea, prosecution counsel, Christopher Mshelia, urged the court to convict and sentence the defendant as charged.

Earlier, Ogunjobi Olalekan, a prosecuting witness and a detective of EFCC, while concluding his testimony-in-chief, told the court that the evidence gotten in the course of investigation was based on the printout from the defendant`s email, other digital currency platforms, his telegram page code named `Digi-trade, including response from banks which was in a cumulative sum of $592,000 worth of cryptocurrency as at December 4, 2023.
He added that the defendant was afterwards invited to make statements under words of caution.

Justice Omotosho convicted and sentenced Arinze to three years imprisonment, with an option of N3,000,000.00( Three Million Naira only) fine. He added that 11.07 Bitcoins valued at $461,280.70 as at December 4, 2023 be restituted to the 34 victims from 13 countries as identified.

Furthermore, the judge ordered that a total sum of N37,977,108 domiciled in his bank accounts be forfeited to the Federal Government, including a plot of land located at plot No. 34 Anioma Layout, Umuchigbo Iji-nike in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State measuring approximately 1380.609 Squares meters.

Arinze’s journey to the Correctional Centre started when he impersonated one Charlotte Brain, and created a fictitious investment platform, digitrades.netxxxxxxxxxxxxxx on telegram and in that assumed character, obtained cryptocurrency worth $592,000.00 (Five Hundred and Ninety Two US Dollars) from Coinbase exchange users, through his bitcoin address.
His victims are from Burundi, Cameroun, Costa Rica, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, India, Rwanda, Singapore, South Africa, Uganda, United States of America and Zimbabwe.

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Abdulfatai Adeyemi, son of late Alaafin, dies few hours to his 47th birthday

Prince Abdulfatai Adebayo Adeyemi, one of the sons of the immediate past Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Atanda Olayiwola Adeyemi, is dead.

The Prince, popularly known as D-Gov, died in the early hours of Friday at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan after battling diabetes.

His father died in April, 2022.
The Oyo prince, who was the immediate past Chairman of Oyo State Local Government Pension Board, died a few hours to his 47th birthday.

Abdulfatai was the House of Representatives candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections.

The election was won by his younger brother, Prince Akeem Adeyemi (Skimeh), who contested on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

A family member in Oyo said on Friday: “Yes. He is dead. People are there now. They are preparing the grave”.

The Public Relations Officer of UCH, Mrs Funmilayo Adetuyibi, confirmed the death of the late Alaafin’s son, saying that he died at the hospital on Friday morning.

Adetuyibi said that AbdulFatai was brought to the hospital around 12.05 a.m. on Friday and died at exactly 3:50 a.m.

She, however, declined when asked about the disease that the late Oyo prince was suffering from which eventually resulted in his death.

“I can’t disclose his diagnosis or what killed him because it is against our professional ethics,” the UCH spokesperson said.
Another source from UCH also spoke about the death of the late Alaafin’s son.

“Fatai Bayo Adeyemi, one-time Secretary of Atiba Local Government, died this morning (Friday). He was married with children. He was reported very ill sometime last year but survived,” the source said.

AbdulFatai’s death, it was gathered, has thrown the family of the late Oba Adeyemi and the ancient town of Oyo into mourning.

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