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Substandard tyres: Absence of interpreter stalls trial of Chinese, Nigerian

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Substandard tyres: Absence of interpreter stalls trial of Chinese, Nigerian

A Federal High Court in Lagos, on Monday, fixed July 5 for continuation of trial of two Chinese nationals, Tao Shen and Jing Yau, charged with importation of sub-standard tyres.

Shen, 36, and Yau, 22, are charged alongside a Nigerian, Chinedu Madubuike and two companies, Sino Nig. Import and Export Ltd. and Nedeca International Ltd.

The accused are standing trial on four counts bordering on importation of substandard products.

They were arraigned on March 20, and had each pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The court had granted them bail in the sum of N10million each, with two sureties each in like sum, and ordered the companies to submit a bond in the sum of N10million.

On Monday, the trial could not proceed due to the absence of an interpreter for the accused.

Consequently, the judge,  Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, fixed July 5 for continuation of trial.

In the charge, the accused are said to have committed the offences in February 2017 by conspiring to import tyres which did not meet the relevant Nigerian industrial standard.

They are alleged to have stuffed various sizes of tyres into one, knowing same to be in a dangerous state, or being injurious to human life.

The accused are said to have imported the tyres which did not comply with the mandatory Nigerian standard, on account of their stuffing different sizes into one.

According to the prosecution, this made the tyres to be unfit for their purpose.

The tyres are said to have failed to meet the relevant Nigerian industrial standard and likely to endanger human lives.

The accused are also alleged to have failed to furnish returns on the conditions of the imported tyres as required by law.

The offences are said to have contravened the provisions of sections 320 and 510 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38, Laws of the Federation, 2004.

They are also said to have contravened the provisions of sections 26 and 32 of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria Act, No 14, Laws of the Federation, 2004.

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Four youths, fleeing police arrest, drown in Lagos lagoon

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Four youths, fleeing police arrest, drown in Lagos lagoon

Residents of Iga-Onitolo, Elegbata community on the Lagos Island, have been plunged into mourning following the drowning of four youths in the lagoon.

The residents said the death of the four boys was caused by operatives of the Anti-Cultism Unit, Lagos State Police Command. The incident occurred on Wednesday last week.

Our correspondent, who went to the grieving community, was told that 10 youths jumped into the lagoon to escape policemen chasing them. Four of the boys died, while six survived. Among the four, only two bodies have been retrieved, while two are still missing.  The six survivors were fished out of the lagoon by fishermen.

On that fateful October 9, residents were rudely awakened from their sleep by sounds of gunshots. The time was 1a.m. Witnesses claimed that 20 of the armed policemen wore uniform, while four men with them were in mufti. Residents insisted that the policemen stormed the community at that ungodly hour in order to raid some youths.

One of the survivors, Toheeb Jumat, recollected that when the policemen came, he and other youths were sleeping. He said it was a normal scene on the Lagos Island for youths to start running after sighting policemen.

He said: “Immediately we sighted the policemen coming towards where we were sleeping, we all ran in different directions. Ten of us went towards the lagoon, with the hope that they wouldn’t follow us. Unfortunately, they followed us. When we got to the bank of the lagoon, some of us hid near an abandoned Marine Police speedboat, hoping that they wouldn’t come after us. But shockingly, the boys in mufti who followed the policemen came after us. That was how we started jumping into the lagoon to evade arrest.

“We held the bar of the bridge, so that the current wouldn’t carry us away. While we were holding the bar, those in mufti brought out scissors and started stabbing us. They meant to kill us. When the policemen reached the water, they started shooting directly into the water. Thank God I survived. It was some fishermen, who were going for a fishing expedition that rescued six of us after the policemen had gone. Unfortunately, four of our friends didn’t survive.”

The story of another survivor, Mr. Happy Peter, was similar to what Jumat said.

He said: “We were chased into the lagoon.  We’re not criminals. We’re law-abiding citizens of Nigeria. I don’t know why they wanted to kill us. While trying to hide from the policemen near the river, one of the policemen came to where I was hiding and dragged me out. He then pushed me into the lagoon. Before I knew what was happening, he started shooting in my direction. I quickly swam away from the spot he focused his shots. The police mission was to kill all of us. But they succeeded in killing four of us.

“After the policemen had left, I tried to come out of the lagoon, but one of the civilian boys that came with them, hit me with an object immediately I placed my hands on the bridge railing. I fell back into the lagoon.

“When one of the bodies was brought out of the lagoon, there were marks on his neck and his head, indicating that he was stabbed. We went through a lot. It was when we were calling for help that the fishermen, who were going for fishing, came to rescue us.”

Other survivors are Samuel, Damola Wale, Yinka, and Fuad.  The two men brought out dead were identified as Femi and David.

A 75-year-old resident, who identified himself simply as Freeman, said he was sleeping outside the compound when the policemen arrived.

He added: “Before I knew what was happening, they started shooting. Immediately I heard the gunshots, I stood up from where I was sleeping to find out what was happening. It was then I saw the policemen and four other civilians who accompanied them. The policemen were not familiar with our area. We believe that the four civilians led the policemen to our community.

“When the policemen saw me, two of them came to where I was standing. They demanded to know what I was doing. I told them that I came outside when I heard the gunshots. I believe it was because of my age that they ordered me to return to my room.

“Unfortunately, a 15 year-old-boy, Samuel, who was sleeping beside me, was whisked away. Five other boys were also picked from their apartments where they were sleeping. The boys were bundled into the police van. The harassment from the police is becoming unbearable. Even if they want to arrest the hoodlums, I don’t see the reason for chasing them into the lagoon.”

It was also learnt that in an attempt to arrest another youth, two policemen scaled a fence to gain access into his apartment. Unfortunately, the person they were looking for was not at home.

The lucky boy’s mother, who gave her name simply as Iya Bose, explained that she was sleeping with her physically-challenged son when the policemen scaled the fence and landed in her compound. They then forced their way into her apartment.

She recalled: “Immediately the two policemen entered my apartment, they started shouting the name of my son. They shouted that he should come out from wherever he was hiding. It was when I came out that I saw Azeez, who lives at Onala; he was directing and instructing the policemen on what to do. When they eventually saw my physically-challenged son, the policemen thought it was the one they were looking. Without asking questions, they pounced and started beating him. I screamed and begged them to leave him. I told them that he was not the person they were looking for. Before I realised what was happening, they had injured him. When Azeez realised that the policemen were beating the wrong person, he urged them to leave.”

The woman said that like other residents, she was also tired of constant harassments from policemen.

She added: “My son is not a member of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW). What I heard the following day was that the policemen came to our community on the instructions of a member of the NURTW on the Island.  I want the Lagos State Commissioner of Police to come to our aid. We’re suffering in the hands of policemen on this island.”

A trader in the community, Mr. Ademola Adetunji, described the death of the four youths as unfortunate. He said that most youths in the community were gainfully employed. This is even as he stressed that the youth were not members of the NURTW.

He said: “I just don’t know what the policemen want the parents of the dead boys to do now. We’re still waiting for the remaining two bodies to be washed up so that we can give them befitting burials. The deceased were sleeping after the day’s work when the policemen stormed the community. About 25 youths were arrested.

“We also heard that they were charged to Yaba Magistrates’ Court on Monday. This is an injustice. We’re all Nigerians. I don’t understand why they are maltreating us as if we are second class citizens. We know what to do, but we didn’t want to take the law into our hands.

Adetunji said at a time some bad boys, selling Indian hemp, infiltrated the community residents partnered with the police and chased them out away.

He said: “We did that to prevent break down of law and order in our community. Most of the youth in Elegbata are gainfully employed. Whenever we noticed strangers among the youth, we call the person. We tell him the dos and don’ts of our community.

“Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu should come to our rescue. The policemen have turned us to Automated Teller Machine (ATM). Whenever they arrest someone, they demand between N100,000 and N200,000 for bail. We want peace on the Island, especially in Elegbata. We are not trouble-makers. We mind our businesses. Police should stop disturbing us.”

One of the youth in the community, Shamsideen Owolayo, said they had been subjected to a series of harassment because they didn’t support a member of the NURTW at Onala area of Idumota.

He said: “This member vied for the state chairmanship of the union in the last election.”

Owolayo added that the civilians who accompanied the policemen to the community were working for the NURTW branch chairman.

Owolayo explained that last Sunday, before the Wednesday invasion by the policemen, one of their friends, Bayo, was shot dead by the Onala boys in Idumota.  After the incident, they were warned not to take laws into their hands.

He added: “If truly the policemen were sent by their boss, I expected them to report to the nearest police station or area commander, alerting them that they want to carry out an operation. Unfortunately, they didn’t make any formal report to any of the police stations near here. It shows that someone sent them. It was like war on that fateful day. Those who were sleeping in their vehicles were also arrested.

“Some of our friends were chased into the lagoon by the police. The boys were running to evade arrest even though they didn’t commit any crime. Some of them were stabbed with scissors in different parts of their bodies while inside the lagoon. Even the two corpses that were brought out of the river had deep cuts on their bodies. That shows that the policemen came with a mission, not only to arrest, but to kill.”

Another youth in the community, Mr. Hafeez Adio, said that the policemen came with a plan. He noted that it was suspicious that the policemen allowed everyone to be in bed before storming the community at an ungodly hour.

While in the community, our correspondent learnt that on September 1, a boy called Junior was hacked to death by boys from Onala area of Idumota, on a football pitch at Ebute-Ero area. Also, on September 15, another person was killed at the entrance of Elegbata. Adio disclosed that all those killed were from Elegbata, but those of them at Elegbata refused to take laws into their hands. They didn’t retaliate. 

He said: “Unfortunately, those who were chased into the lagoon were sleeping outside when the policemen came. Immediately they saw the policemen, the boys took off. The policemen, instead of allowing them to go, went after them. The policemen pursued the youth until they jumped into the lagoon and four drowned. Before the policemen came to Elegbata, they had already been to Balogun area to carry out raids. When the policemen got to the Balogun area, they also scaled a fence and got into the compound of a woman. It was after they left Balogun that they came to Elegbata to continue their raid.

“The raid by the police led to the death of our friends. We have being living in fear since then. Some of our colleagues, who escaped the police arrest, have relocated from the community. Those of us who stayed back, stayed because of our goods. If we leave our goods, the police will loot them. The majority of us depended on loan to do our businesses. We want the Lagos State government to call the policemen to order.”

Another resident of Elegbata, who identified himself simply as Taofeek, said that even before the latest invasion, the police had always come on a daily basis to extort them.

“I don’t know what our offences are,” said Taofeek mournfully.

A son of the Oba of the community, Chief Isiaka Olumegbon, said that the police came to raid following a minor clash between two youths from Elegbata and Onala, in the Idumota area of the Island.

He said: “Two persons were killed in Elegbata area and one person was also killed in retaliation by the Elegbata boys. Had it been elders from the two communities had risen to settle the issue, it wouldn’t have escalated to the extent that policemen would invade the community, leading to the death of four boys.

“I was told that it was the Onala boys that first attacked Elegbata boys. It was later that the issue of NURTW came into the matter. The Onala boys also came sometimes in October to rob Alhaja Owoniran of her bag, which contained dollars and phones. In order to fight Elegbata boys, the Onala boys went to Ijora to hire more boys to assist them. Unfortunately, on September 10, one boy was shot to death during masquerade festival. After killing the boy, his assailants smashed his head. It was as a result of the killing that Ofin boys decided to support the Elegbata boys to the fight against the Onala boys. That was how the clash escalated.”

Olumegbon also spoke on the recent invasion of the community by the police.

He said: “The policemen came about 1a.m. on September 9. When they stormed the community, they started shooting sporadically. When I heard the gunshots, I came out to check where the gunshots were coming from. It was then I saw the policemen. I approached them to find out their mission. The policemen were about 20 and had four civilians with them. The civilians were armed with sticks. One of them told me that they came on an operation. After I spoke with the policemen, I left and went inside the palace to sleep.

“It was after I had entered the palace that the policemen picked my sister’s son, Samuel. Immediately I was informed, I came outside, but the policemen had already left. I believe it was after they left the palace that they went to chase the 10 youth that ran into the lagoon.

“The boy that led the policemen into our community is residing on Elegbata before he went to join the Onala boys.  Whenever the Onala boys want to talk, they would say the Elegbata boys are dealing in drugs and cocaine.  I abhor such a thing in the palace. I don’t want people to discredit the palace because it’s a sacred place.

“The boy that led the policemen to arrest our youths in Elegbata has escaped from the Island. Even his parents also called him on the phone to come and explain what he knows about the incident, he denied partaking in it. On Saturday last week, when the corpses of the deceased were evacuated from the lagoon, the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) from Lion Building, Bode Ojajuni, was on ground. He promised to get to the root of the matter. What we’re demanding is peace on the Island.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Bala Elkana, neither picked his calls nor responded to a text message sent to his phone line to confirm the incident.

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Man in court for withdrawing N800,000 from victim’s account

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Man in court for withdrawing N800,000 from victim’s account

man, Akintunde Ogunrinde, has been arraigned before a Federal High Court, Makurdi, Benue State, for allegedly withdrawing money from the account of another man, Mr. Ademola Adewuyi, without the latter’s permission.

Ogunrinde, popularly known as Kekere, was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Makurdi zonal office, before Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon on a one-count charge of intent to defraud.

The EFCC Zonal Head of Public Affairs Department, Nwanyimma Okeanu, said in a statement that Ogunrinde allegedly used a United Bank for Africa (UBA) Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card belonging to Adewuyi to obtain N800,000 from his account.

“The office of the zonal head, EFCC Makurdi had received a petition from a complainant against Akintunde Ogunrinde (aka Kekere) alleging that Akintunde and Alhaji Baba (aka White) now at large used an ATM card belonging to the victim to obtain unauthorised money from his account.

The charge reads: “That you, Akintunde Ogunrinde (aka Kekere) sometime in 2019 in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court with intent to defraud, used an UBA ATM card belonging to Ademola Adewuyi to obtain N800,000 only and you thereby committed an offence, contrary to Section 33 (1) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention ETC) Act, 2015 and punishable under section 33 (2) of the same Act.”

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Anambra explosion: Market shut as traders count losses

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Anambra explosion: Market shut as traders count losses

Twenty-four hours after a fuel tanker, which exploded and killed about 15 people, traders at the Ochanja Market, Onitsha, Anambra State, yesterday bemoaned their loss.

Ochanja Market, which is the second largest market in the commercial city of Onitsha, was shut yesterday for business.

Our correspondent who visited the market, reports that traders affected by the inferno were clearing the debris.

Also, sympathisers thronged Iweka Road, Ziks Avenue and Ozomagala Street.

One of the affected traders, Chief Godswell Anyanwu, a former chief security officer (CSO) of the market, told our correspondent that he lost goods worth over N12 million.

Anyanwu, who deals on electronics, said it was painful that no fire fighting vehicle was seen from 1p.m., when the incident occurred, till 9p.m.

He also said that the state government had provided fire fighting vehicles to markets in the commercial city but none was seen throughout the period the fire raged.

Anyanwu said it was the private water tanker drivers who helped to provide assistance which reduced the spread of the fire. He appealed to Governor Willie Obiano to come to their aid.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Anambra State Amalgamated Traders’ Association (ASMATA), Chief Ikechukwu Ekwegbalu, said he did not order for the closure of the Ochanja market, instead he said the market was open and business was going on as usual.

The ASMATA boss said the governor had earlier visited the market to sympathise with the traders and had also set up a panel of inquiry to ascertain the immediate and remote causes of the incident.

Anyanwu said he was hopeful that Obiano would compensate the victims of the inferno.

He, however, condemned the attitude of some miscreants who threw stones and pebbles at government officials and agents when they visited the market.

The ASMATA chairman said the culprits were not traders at the market but criminals.

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Gunmen kill one, abduct teacher, four others in Kaduna

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Gunmen kill one, abduct teacher, four others in Kaduna

At least one person was killed while four others including a head teacher have been abducted in Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

This is as the community called on the Federal Government and the Kaduna State government to come to their aid before they were consumed by bandits.

The Chairman, Birnin-Gwari Vanguards for Security and Good Governance, Malam Ibrahim Abubakar Nagwari, said in a statement the that the Head Teacher of Dangamji, Primary School, AbdulHafiz Abdullahi, and two others were abducted at Doka filing station, while two others were shot.

According to him, bandits have been kidnapping and killing people in the area in the past few weeks.

He said: “Bandits have abducted the Head Teacher of Dangamji, Primary School, AbdulHafiz Abdullahi, and two others at Doka filing station, while two others were shot.

“Earlier on Wednesday morning, about 8.30a.m., heavily armed bandits, opened fire on vehicles around Polwaya and abducted a bread vendor, about 10 kilometres from Birnin-Gwari.

“Similarly, the bandits struck again on Wednesday near Gayam village, wounded three vigilante and abducted people from vehicles.

“The notorious Unguwar Yako, Kwanan Mahaukaciya and indeed entire Birnin-Gwari-Kaduna highway have been overtaken by bandits terrorising and abducting innocent people especially women and children.

“In the last three weeks, bandits have launched a major onslaught against innocent civilians and motorists across the length and breadth of Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

“On a daily basis, the bandits carry their nefarious act along Birnin-Gwari-Kaduna Highway in broad daylight without any challenge from the security personnel that are stationed in Birnin-Gwari. The strategic Birnin-Gwari-Funtua Road has been deserted, while the entire eastern part of Birnin-Gwari, bordering Zamfara and Katsina states, is now surrounded by bandits.

“It is apparent to state categorically, that Birnin-Gwari is once again under siege by bandits and the handful of security personnel and state officials are paying lip-service to the plight of general insecurity of lives and property.

“We have noticed with dismay, the way our people are subjected to horrified and traumatised situation by the bandits that prey on human beings every day on various communities, villages and settlements in Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area.

“While we appreciate previous efforts by the security personnel against banditry in Birnin-Gwari, we hope the government of Malam Nasiru el-Rufai, will not treat our people as prodigal sons.

“With the current tension, fear and inability of peasant farmers to go to their respective farms because of activities of bandits, we strongly call on the Federal Government, Kaduna State government and the security agents to act decisively on the bandits and their collaborators before we are consumed by the bandits. Enough is enough.”

The Kaduna State Police Command is yet to react to the latest incident.

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Lagos marks 100 buildings for demolition in Magodo

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Lagos marks 100 buildings for demolition in Magodo

Worried by the tragic loss of lives and the rate of distressed buildings in the area, the

Lagos State government said that it had marked over 100 buildings for demolition in Magodo.

This came on the heels of upsurge in loss of lives resulting from collapsed buildings.

The General Manager (GM), the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Abiola Kosegbe, who disclosed the planned demolition, warned property owners with endangered structures to do the right thing or lose their houses.

A woman, her two children and her sister were killed when a house built on a hill collapsed on another at the Otun Araromi area of Magodo-Isheri.

It was learnt that the tragic development forced the state government to begin a thorough inspection of endangered buildings to avert recurrence of the tragedy.

Kosegbe, who led officials of LASBCA to Magodo area to monitor illegal development there, said the removal of the marked buildings was crucial to avert another collapse.

In the area, residents were seen paddling canoes to get to their destination as flood had taken over the road and hundreds of properties. 

“We are just here to take an inventory of everything going on. We are 100 per cent sure that the majority of properties here don’t have a development permit. We are going to take inventory of properties here and we have already served most of them. We will come back and then they need to bring all their documents.

“Definitely, this is a flood-prone area and is susceptible to flooding. Before people can build here, there is supposed to be an engineering feat that needs to be done here. We will be back here, properties that don’t have a permit; we will ensure they vacate their properties,” Kosegbe said.

She noted that notices had been given by the commissioner to residents of the area that they needed to vacate, as the area was not safe for habitation.

Kosegbe added: “This is a disaster waiting to happen. The health hazards of living in this condition are serious. For properties up the hill, we are equally going to serve them because we need to see their foundation design and their slope stabilisation method. For every single property, they will show us their development permits and details as to how they managed to build on those hills to prevent any slide, mudslide or whatever.”

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Lover, who killed MTN female official, to die by hanging

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Lover, who killed MTN female official, to die by hanging

Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin yesterday sentenced a man, Mr. David Ogundele, to death by hanging for killing an MTN worker, Abiola Tosin Ashinwo.

Justice Adebayo Yusuf convicted Ogundele on a two-count charge after over three years of legal battle.

For the first count, the convict committed an illegal act by stabbing Ashinwo with the intention of causing her death thereby committing offence of culpable homicide punishable with death under Section 229 of the Penal Code Law.

He was also convicted for committing culpable homicide for causing the death of Ashinwo by stabbing her with a knife and thereby committed offence punishable under Section 221 of the Penal Code Law.

The judge held that the prosecution had been able to prove the case of culpable homicide against Ogundele.

For the first offence, the convict is to serve 25 years jail term while he was sentenced to death by hanging for the second charge.

In proving the case before the court, the prosecutor, Abdulmumini Adebimpe Jimoh, had called four witnesses – Inspector Yusuf Daudu, Corporal Bunmi Adegboye, Abiola Ashinwo and ASP Gbadebo Adeyemi.

The exhibit tendered by the prosecutor include a Toyota Camry, sharp knife, a pair of rubber slippers, photographs of the deceased, and statement of the convict, among others.

Confession of the convict quoted by the prosecutor stated that: “On the 25th April, 2016, I woke up and prepared for work. But to my surprise I never knew how I found myself in Ilorin; I can never explain how it happened because I really prepared to go to work. Since I’m now in Ilorin, I called my legal wife on the phone that she should get dressed that I will take her to Omu-Aran that morning…. I got to Tosin’s house, since her mum was around, I felt like saying hello to her.

“I got there that morning. We exchanged pleasantries. Her mum said she was happy to see me and we discussed for a few minutes. Suddenly, the atmosphere changed and an argument began and before I knew it, I have stabbed her (Tosin) and her mum. Then, I came to myself; it was like a scale fell off my eyes…”

The prosecutor had posited that the convict, through his confessional statement, convicted himself.

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Benue: Police discover sergeant’s wife’s decomposing body

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Benue: Police discover sergeant’s wife’s decomposing body

Policemen attached to Operation Zenda in Benue State yesterday recovered decomposing body of Sergeant Abraham Ihom’s wife, Mrs. Bridget Ihom.

Bridget was gruesomely murdered alongside her husband, a policeman serving in Katsina-Ala Division.

Officer in charge of the operation, SP Justin Gberindyer, told journalists that Abraham and wife were killed and buried by gunmen in Zaki-Biam in Ukum Local Government Area of the state when he visited home.

Sources said it took the men of Operation Zenda relentless efforts to arrest some of the killers to get to the site where Abraham’s wife was buried.

However, the men were yet to recover the body of the sergeant at press time.

Abraham’s family members were said to have expressed appreciation to Gberindyer, his team, Police Force and Governor Samuel Ortom for intensifying the war against criminality in the state.

The same men of Operation Zenda recently uncovered a mass grave in Ushongo Local Government Area and arrested some suspected criminals.

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Notorious kidnapper, 16 others arrested in Plateau

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Notorious kidnapper, 16 others arrested in Plateau

Police in Plateau State yesterday paraded a suspected notorious kidnapper and 16 others who were arrested for different heinous crimes such as car snatching, armed robbery, cultism and culpable homicide, among others.

The notorious kidnapper was identified as Ibrahim Ali Kuru, who hails from Bauchi State, was said to have been terrorising the southern part of the state with his gang.

The state Commissioner of Police, Isaac Akinmoyede, who briefed journalists at the police headquarters, Jos, said his men arrested the 17 suspects and recovered arms, ammunition as well as assorted charms from them.

He said: “On 17th August, 2019, bout 9p.m., the police arrested Ibrahim Ali Kuru of Lare village in Bogoro Local Government Area of Bauchi State together with seven others for breaking into the house of Laben Fidelis Danladi of Ungwan Rina village in Shendam Local Government Area of Plateau State. They kidnapped Danladi and took him to an unknown destination and demanded a ransom of N2 million only.”

The commissioner said a ransom of N1.2 million was paid before the kidnappers released the victim on August 20, 2019.

He said the intelligence received led to the arrest of Kuru who the victim identified as the leader of the gang that kidnapped him.

The police also paraded members of a five-man gang who specialised in snatching cars and robbing POS operators in Jos and its environs as well as two suspects who used tricycle to rob innocent people.

Akinmoyede said the police command and other security agencies in the state were able to sustain the security for the annual trade fair for the past three years.

He said: “This is a clear manifestation of peace and security in Jos and by extension the entire state.

“The command is doing everything possible to ensure the success of Operation Puff Adder in order to keep Plateau State safe and secure for law-abiding citizens to carry out their lawful duties without any iota of fear.”

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Five die in Ondo auto crash

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Five die in Ondo auto crash

Five passengers yesterday lost their lives in an auto accident which occurred at Ipele in Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State.

The victims were burnt to death following a head-on collision between a fully loaded 18-seater passenger bus heading to Markurdi from Lagos and a J5 bus going through Ondo State to Osun State.

The Toyota bus with registration number MKD 341 XA and J5 bus marked BDG 330 AP reportedly collided while overtaking wrongly.

Witnesses said the accident occurred at Oyoyo Camp area of Ipele in Owo Local Government Area while the two vehicles went up in flames.

The Head of Operations, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Ondo Sector, Olusegun Ogungbemide, confirmed the accident.

He said: “Toyota bus with 18 passengers was coming from Lagos and was heading to Markurdi in Benue State while the J5 bus was coming from Benin and was heading towards Owena in Osun State.

“On getting to Oyoyo Camp, the two vehicles had head-on collision. As a result, the two vehicles were burnt beyond recognition.

“The names and addresses of the two drivers are yet unknown while 14 victims have been taken to Federal Medical Centre, Owo, for treatment. About five victims were burnt to ashes while the burnt vehicles have been removed from the highway to allow free flow traffic.”

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FBI suspect, Oyediran, jailed one year

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FBI suspect, Oyediran, jailed one year

Justice Mahmood Abdulgafar of the Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin yesterday convicted and sentenced an internet fraudster, Joseph Oyediran, to one year imprisonment.

Oyediran, one of those declared wanted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

He was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ilorin Zonal Office.

The Commission had earlier arraigned the convict on five count charge to which he pleaded not guilty. Earlier, the convict had reached a plea bargain agreement with the EFCC which made the prosecution to amend the charge.

He then pleaded guilty to the one-count amended charge.

Count one of the amended charge reads:  “That you, Joseph Oyediran (alias Joe MG Graves), between April 2015 and June 2015, in Ilorin, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did cheat by impersonation when you pretended to be Joe MG, a white male, with gmail account gravesmjoe@gmail.com, and fraudulently deceived Andrea Smith,  an American citizen, to send N2,392, 105 after you made her believe you were in love with her and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 321 of the Penal Code and punishable under Section 324 of the same Penal Code.”

During the trial, the prosecution called the head of Advance Fee Fraud section of the EFCC in Ilorin, a Principal Detective Superintendent, Olamide Sadiq, who gave account of investigations carried out by his team on the matter.

He said: “My lord, on the 24th of July 2019, the commission received a petition from the Federal Bureau of Investigation against the defendant.  The FBI alleged that Oyediran was involved in business email compromise, romance scam and other fraud related offences. Based on investigations, the suspect was arrested and confessed to the crime.”

Delivering judgement, Justice Abdulgafar said the testimonies of the prosecution witness, the pleas of the defendant and documents presented were enough to conclude that the prosecution was able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

He said: “The convict is hereby sentenced to one year imprisonment while his one plot of land located at Wara, behind Ilorin West Local Government Secretariat and the sum of N800,000 recovered from him should be forfeited to the Federal Government.”

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