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Court Finds ex-Minister Gbagi Guilty In ‘Stripping Of Staff Scandal’, Slammed Him N1m Fine

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The presiding judge, Justice Vera Agbodje, gave the order in a judgment on Monday in Warri.

The Claimant, an employee of Gbagi, had alleged that between Sept. 17 and 18, 2020, Gbagi used the Mobile policemen attached to him to forcefully strip him naked and dumped him inside the booth of his car and drove to his community.

Ephraim said that while under the unlawful custody of the Respondent, he was tortured and dehumanised alongside three other female staff of the hotel.

He said that the female staff were also stripped naked and paraded publicly on the allegation that they failed to remit money paid by a hotel guest.

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The Claimant also stated that Gbagi collected their ATM cards and transferred all the money in their bank accounts to the hotel’s account.

Delivering judgment, Justice Agbodje held that the stories presented by Gbagi were false, concocted and not believable.

The judge noted that Gbagi took laws into his own hands by torturing his ex staff and consequently awarded the sum of One million Naira against him and his hotel in favour of Ephraim.

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Responding to the judgment, Gbagi in a statement, said the judgment was a ploy by Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa’s led government to demarket him.

“As a law abiding citizen, the expenditure of Okowa’s government to demarket me is a fruitless venture, waste of time and resources.

“We have entered an appeal to set aside the “paid junk judgment” for a competent Court and the National Judicial Council to do justice to the procedure.

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“I urge my teeming growing supporters to ignore this Okowa’s paid judgment. You can not demarket what God has marketed,” Gbagi said.

In the gbagistatement, Gbagi wrote; “My attention has been drawn to a Judgment of Delta State High Court IV, Warri, finding me guilty falsely.

“Strangely, three matters were filed by the same set of plaintiffs, all with forged documentation and false proof as arranged by Okowa, his wife and Peter Mrakpor who was given the contract to demarket me because I was too powerful and popular.

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“All three cases were concluded by Justice Dolor and judgment was delivered on two before pressure came on Justice Dolor. Both from Okowa and Peter Mrakpor with so much blood money as bribe to give Judgment against me.

“Justice Dolor from information is a pastor and God-fearing man. He Refused all the pressure and opted for the safety of his life by transferring the already concluded matter as demanded.

“The locus of this matter is Effurun Judicial Division. The matter later found itself surreptitiously into the hand of Justice Veronica Agboje from Agbor who was Staff of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

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“As a law-abiding citizen, the expenditure of Okowa’s government to demarket me is a fruitless venture, waste of time and resources.

“What God has said about anybody must come to pass. The joy is that I have not looted any treasury in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“My only regret is that I had a wind that Justice Agboje is on a paid mission. The lawyer should request her from doing the matter.

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“We have entered an appeal to set aside the paid Junk judgment for a competent court and the National Judicial Council, NJC to do justice to this procedure.

“There were three Judgement, two from Delta State high Court and one from the Federal High Court Abuja.

“Judges must be seen to be doing Justice for the public in oder for them to be respected.

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“I urge my teeming growing supporters to Ignore this Okowa’s Paid Judgement. You cannot demarket What God has marketed”, he said.

Recall that earlier the Delta State #EndSARS Panel had awarded the sum of N15m each in favour of Mr Victor Ephraim and the other female ex-staff of Signatious Hotel for the violations of their fundamental rights by armed policemen attached to Chief Kenneth Gbagi.

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