…says ‘I need to care for my nine children’
Mrs. Christiana Odo was 14-year-old when her family married her off to Romanus through proxy.
Christiana married the absent groom without knowing him from Adam. In fact, it was Romanus’ mother who approached Christiana’s family and asked for her hand in marriage.
The woman carried out the necessary marriage rites and paid the bride price, and Christiana soon moved in with her in their village, in Ebonyi State.
Romanus first met his wife, when he came to the village to carry out his conjugal duties. Christiana had two children for him right in his mother’s house.
The husband was only going to the village to sleep with her, and then he would return to Lagos. This was how the first two children were born. After the birth of the two children, Romanus stopped going to the village.
He didn’t make any move to take Christiana and the children to Lagos with him. His mother took care of young Christiana and the two children.
Christiana said: “The last time he came to the village was after the birth of our second child. Even when his mother died, he didn’t come to the village. My father said that I should remarry. I decided to trace him down to Lagos. I came to Lagos by myself, with my two children. I didn’t know anywhere. The bus we boarded dropped us at Ojota.
“My brother came to the park to pick us. He took us to Romanus’ house. When I got there, I discovered that he was living with another woman. The woman is from Cross Rivers. I didn’t fight, I didn’t complain.
“I asked the woman if Romanus has paid her bride price, she said yes. I said it was alright. I was not angry because in my village, a man is free to marry two wives. My father married 12 wives. The woman started fighting Romanus that he had a wife and children at the village, and lied to her that he had not married. She left him. It was when I started living with him, that he started beating me. The beating was so much that landlords keep giving us quit notices. I can’t remember the number of houses we had moved out from because of quarrel and beatings. The major problem was that Romanus had a drinking problem.”
Despite the beatings and hardship which were Christiana’s lot in that marriage, she ended up having nine children for Romanus.
To ensure they didn’t die of starvation, Christiana started hawking rice with pepper soup. She would leave her community at Ikorodu area of Lagos, and move to Jibowu with one of her children to hawk rice and pepper soup.
In 2016, everything went wrong; the domestic violence escalated, leading to Romanus’ death. Christiana was accused of killing him and ended in prison.
Christiana said that Romanus’ family members had withdrawn from the case, stating that they preferred her to be freed from prison, so that she could return home to take care of the nine children. The family allegedly claimed that there was no sense in losing father and mother, when there are nine children to care for. Romanus, before his death, hawked hoes in traffic.
Christiana’s lawyer, Mr. Kingsley Oseghale of Greystone Solicitors, who is also a human rights activist, said that he met the woman through one of his clients in prison.
Oseghale explained that after he was connected to Christiana, he interviewed her in an attempt to get the fact of the case and not base his conclusion on social media information.
The lawyer said he learnt that during a quarrel, Romanus picked a knife and started chasing Christiana with it.
He said: “They live on the top floor of their apartment, a one-bedroom apartment. She was running away from the man, so that he wouldn’t injure her. She was used to his beatings. If you see her, you’ll see several marks on her body, which the man had inflicted on her. Even now, when you see her, she still has a broken tooth, which she got through him.
“The man ran after her with the knife, he missed a step on the staircase and landed on the knife. People saw him bleeding. He was already dead. Everyone ran from the scene, including children. The only child that came over, was Chidera Ado, he was playing soccer with his friends when the incident happened. He ran home to see people gathered in their compound. He heard people shouting, ‘she has killed her husband.’ And then he saw his mother weeping. He was the only child that stood beside his mum and his dad, as the man lay dead on the ground.
“Everyone was accusing her; that she killed her husband. They didn’t know what happened. The landlord’s brother ran straight to police station to report that a woman has killed her husband. He didn’t witness how the man died. There was no evidence that she killed her husband. The police arrested and handcuffed her; they took her to the police station. They also took Chidera to the station.
“When she got to the station, the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) tortured her and told her what to write. He told her to write that she killed her husband, she wrote it. He asked her to write that she held a knife and used it to stab him, she wrote it. He then asked Christiana’s son, who was just 11-year-old to write his own statement. He told the police that he was not there when it happened; he argued with them. But he was also forced to write that his mother killed his father.”
Asked why the case had not been struck out since Romanus relatives said they didn’t want to make a case with his wife, Oseghale said: “When the relatives came to Lagos, she had already been arrested and taken to court. Romanus’ relatives came to demand his corpse. They said they didn’t want a case; that it was a family issue, but the case was already a government case. There was nothing they could do. It was not a family issue anymore, but a case between her and the government. There was nothing anyone could have done. They took Romanus’ corpse and left. There is no medical report of what actually caused the death of the man. No autopsy was conducted. No murder weapon was retrieved. The police didn’t interview any other person.
“Christiana went to court yesterday (Monday) and the witnesses were also brought to court. Are you aware that one out of her nine children is missing? We have not been able to locate that child. The child, a female, went missing after the incident. Today, she should be nine years old. Nobody knows her whereabouts.
“But on Monday, Chidera was brought to court. He stopped schooling after the incident. He said he had to stop, after his mother was arrested. He said that people were avoiding him in school and he couldn’t go through the trauma, coupled with his mother being in prison. He left and went to start working as a bus conductor for commercial drivers at Obalende. He was meant to be present in court for the case, but his siblings didn’t know where he was. It was when we started looking for him, that we tracked him down to Obalende. We found him under the bridge, sleeping.
“When he came to court yesterday, he didn’t want to remember what happened that day. He said it was a sad day and all the statements that he wrote were what police asked him to write. He didn’t see his mum kill his dad. The IPO and the policeman that arrested her also came to court. They were also asked if they saw the woman killed her husband, they said no. They said they heard people saying it. There was a picture of her kneeling down with the husband dead on the floor. The policeman that handcuffed her was also asked in court if he witnessed the woman stabbing her husband, he said no. He said that he met her kneeling beside her dead husband. There was no evidence. The case was adjourned till October since there was no evidence.”
Christiana’s first daughter, Blessing (23), said that her mother didn’t kill their father. She described her father as a, “troublemaker,” whom everyone knew.
She said: “When he was alive, and before he died, he was always talking about death. It was as if he knew he was going to die. He usually starts his trouble whenever he drinks. We would all start running away from him. My dad’s family members want the case to be settled within our family, but then my mother was already in Kirikiri Prison.
“I took over my mum’s business in order to take care of my siblings. I sell pepper soup and rice in Ikorodu.”
Blessing recalled a day she was dressing her siblings for school; she bought them gala, but her dad snatched the gala from the children.
She recounted: “I asked him to return the gala to the children; he said that I should come and kill him. He said that he wanted to die and that it wouldn’t be beyond that day. I told him that I wouldn’t kill him, that he would kill himself. I left with the children; on our way, he met us on the road and returned the gala. Every time he wanted to start trouble, he would say he would die or that somebody would kill him. I don’t know what happened that particularly day, because I was not at home.”
Blessing added that on the fateful her dad died, her mother, about 5a.m., left with one of her siblings to the market.
She said: “I later got a call that something was happening. My dad first called me, asking where I was. I told him that I just got to the place I went to.
“I asked him what happened, he said that I should not worry and disconnected the line. Some minutes after he called me, someone called me that my father was dead. I was shocked. When I got home, they said they had taken him to the general hospital mortuary.
“I was confused; I couldn’t believe it until when they went to bury him. It was then it dawned on me that my dad was truly dead. He was a troublemaker and had been praying for death. Everyone in our community confirmed that it wasn’t my mother that killed him. Even the Baale knows.”
Blessing said that the information she got was that Romanus was found dead in the compound, with bloodstains on his body. There was a small mark on his body.
She said: “Even the landlord confirmed it when he went to court. When my father’s relatives heard about his death and the circumstances, they said they didn’t want to make any case. They insisted that the matter should be closed, but before they came from the village, my mother had been charged to court and then remanded in Kirikiri. They should please release her. We need her.”
Remembering how she landed in prison, Christiana said: “It happened on December 25, 2016. On that fateful day, I returned from market about 2p.m. I wanted to bathe; I carried a bucket of water into the bathroom. It was at that point that my husband returned. He was drunk. He had been drinking since December 23.
“I went into the room to pick toiletries that was how he called me, asking me how many men I had had sex with that day at Jibowu. I sell at Jibowu. I sell rice with pepper soup. My sons used to go and hawk with me. We used to hawk from Ikorodu to Yaba, Jibowu and Sabo. That was how my children and I used to struggle. When we returned home, Romanus wouldn’t allow me to rest. It’s everyday beating.
“So on that day, as he was asking me the number of men I had slept with, I didn’t respond. I told him to allow me to go and bathe. I knew he was drunk. I knew he wouldn’t allow me to sleep in the house that day. My children were around, but none in the yard.”
Romanus also didn’t like her to greet male neighbours, let alone to have any meaningful discussion with them, he would allegedly become enraged, accusing the men of having sex with her, while accusing the women of trying to hook her up with lovers.
She said: “I pay the rent, but when he starts his trouble, he wouldn’t allow me to sleep in that same house. In fact, before that day, the landlord had already given us quit notice to leave that compound. The landlord and I no longer speak with each other. Any man that spoke with me, would be accused of sleeping with me.
“When he started asking me the number of men that had sex with me that day, I knew he wanted to start trouble. I begged him to leave me that I wanted to go and bathe. He called me back; he said that he heard I had gone to rent a house.
“He said that I wanted to live in the house I just rented with my children; that we wanted to run away from him. I told him that every one of us, including him, would be moving to the new apartment. I told him that when we get to the new place, he would have to behave himself because the landlord lives in that house. I told him that he shouldn’t go about accusing the landlord that he was sleeping with his wife.”
Christiana claimed that after speaking with Romanus, she entered her room to pick soap, and then heard children shouting. She came out, saw her husband armed and she bolted.
She said: “I ran. Everybody shouted that I should run. I ran to the main road. A boy came to tell me that my husband was dead. He said that people were looking for me. I ran to the yard; when I got there, I saw people asking me what happened. I told everyone that I didn’t know what happened. I didn’t fight Romanus. He used to beat me up, but I never fought him. It was not even up to two months after he punched my mouth that he knocked out my teeth. Police entered and said that I was the one that killed my husband and ran away. I didn’t kill my husband; I have nine children for him. What will I gain if I kill him? I was taken to police station and then to the State Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department (SCIID). It was from Panti, they took me to court and then prison.”
Asked if she stabbed Romanus, Christiana said, “God forbid!”
She added: “Even when my landlord went to call police, they asked him if he saw any injury, he said there was a small injury on my husband’s body. My landlord had told me repeatedly to go and report my husband to the police because of the way he used to beat me, but I refused. It’s an abomination to take my husband to police station.”
Asked if autopsy was done on Romanus, Christiana said that she was not sure.
SHI’ITES’ BLOODY PROTEST: DCP, 11 civilians killed as Shi’ites’ protest turns bloody
- Channels reporter hit by stray bullet, dies
- Two NEMA emergency response vehicles burnt
A Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, DCP Usman Umar, was among those killed yesterday in Abuja during a violent protest by Shi’ites.
A journalist with the Channels Television, Precious Owolabi, who was shot during the protest was later confirmed dead at the hospital.
Eleven members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) otherwise called Shi’ites were reportedly killed while 30 others were wounded in the bloody encounter.
The Shi’ites were protesting the continued incarceration of their leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
Umar was shot while trying to prevent the protesters from their mass action of destruction of property within the vicinity of the protest.
The DCP was immediately rushed to the hospital, but died moments later while receiving treatment.
Also, two Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs) sustained serious injuries and are currently receiving treatment.
The fracas, which lasted for about two hours, witnessed sporadic shootings, forcing motorists to make quick detours and passers-by to scamper for safety. The incident paralysed business activities within the Federal Secretariat Complex as well as across the Three Arms Zone of the capital city.
In the ensuing melee, some vehicles stationed at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) emergency outpost overlooking the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were set ablaze. There were also reports of sporadic gunshots around the Bolingo Hotel and Area 10 axis of the capital city.
The fracas occurred barely two weeks after a similar encounter left many policemen injured, after the adamant Shi’ites breached security barricades and invaded the National Assembly.
El-Zakzaky and his wife have been in “protective custody” since December 2015 despite court rulings ordering their release.
The Inspector-General of Police (IG), Mohammed Adamu, condemned the protest and warned that the Force would no longer tolerate the activities of the group, declaring ‘enough is enough’.
Adamu, who commiserated with the family of the murdered police officer, warned that Nigeria would not continue to suffer losses on account of reckless and lawless persons and groups in the society.
The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Frank Mba, disclosed in a statement that yesterday’s protest involved over 3,000 IMN members, who stormed the streets at about 12:30p.m.
The FPRO said the “heavily armed protesters defied all sense of decency and violently attacked” innocent citizens and police personnel on duty along the route.
He said: “In the process, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, FCT Command, DCP Usman A. K. Umar, was shot and fatally injured by the protesters. The officer, who was immediately rushed to the hospital, died moments later while receiving treatment. Also, two Assistant Superintendents of Police and a journalist with the Channels Television sustained serious injuries and are currently receiving treatment.
“The violent protesters also razed down a NEMA Response Post close to the Federal Secretariat, Abuja and two vehicles.”
Mba confirmed that the police had arrested 54 suspects in connection with the incidents, adding that the suspects were undergoing interrogation and would be arraigned as soon as possible.
Similarly, NEMA has accused IMN members of burning down two vehicles at its Emergency Response and Ambulance Bays (ERABs) in Abuja.
Head of Media and Public Relations of NEMA, Malam Sani Datti, made this known in a statement in Abuja.
He said: “This is to confirm that ERABs of the NEMA located on Ahmadu Bello Way beside the Federal Secretariat was attacked today (yesterday) with two vehicles burnt down.
“The attack was carried out by members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria commonly known as Shi’ites.”
Datti explained that the affected vehicles were the Mobile Intensive Care Unit, which was a life support ambulance, and a multi-purpose Response Intervention van.
He said the ERABs were situated at the location for timely response to emergencies and disasters to reduce loss of lives and property.
The NEMA Director-General (DG), Alhaji Mustapha Maihaja, had while inspecting the damage, noted that the burnt equipment were very expensive and would cost taxpayers a lot of money to replace.
However, the spokesperson of the Shi’ites, Ibrahim Musa, who confirmed the clash in a phone interview with one of our correspondents, alleged that six of their members were killed by security operatives while a truckload of those injured were taken away by the police to an unknown destination.
But in a statement later, Musa said 11 IMN members were killed.
According to Musa, trouble started for his group while they were on their routine daily procession to demand the release of their leader and other detained members.
He said the procession, which commenced at the popular NICON Junction, Maitama District, Abuja was headed towards the Central Business District when security operatives confronted them at NITEL Junction, Wuse 2.
Musa also denied that their members attacked the police with arms and also burnt the NEMA facilities.
He, however, vowed that not even the killing of their members by security agencies would stop the protest and demand of the release of El-Zakzaky, his wife and other members who were still being held by the state.
He said: “The procession, attended by several thousands of persons, including very young children, the aged, women and the physically-challenged, met with an extreme rage indicative of deep seated animosity the Nigerian authorities bear for the movement.
“What actually happened was that the protesters started the procession from NITEL junction and on getting to Federal Secretariat, the police cordoned off the road and started firing at them.
“A lot of people have been shot but for now we can only confirm 11 deaths, but several are injured, the figure for now stood at 30. Though we are aware of the fact that the security agents have been going around taking off those they killed from the streets.
“Even some seriously injured persons that were taken to Abuja University Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada; the police went there and took away about 11 people they shot during the protest.
“We strongly dispute the claim by the police that the protesters shot at them because throughout our processions we have not been carrying any arms right from 2015 to date.
“It was also the police who shot at the reporter of Channels TV, another indication that many innocent people were shot at by the police, including some of their own.
“In this era of social media, the brutality displayed by the police today has been captured with some pictures showing the police setting up the bonfires and there are videos that captured the police carting away their victims.”
Meanwhile, Channels Television announced the death of its reporter, Precious Owolabi, shot during the protest.
In its news bulletin, Tonight at 10, the station said Owolabi was hit by a stray bullet during the protest.
COZA: IG orders immediate takeover of investigations
Inspector-General of Police (IG), Mohammed Adamu, yesterday ordered the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG) in charge of the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), Mr. Michael Ogbizi, to immediately take over investigations into the case of rape reported by Mrs Busola Dakolo against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA).
This order followed the outrage which greeted police invitation to Busola and her husband, Timi, a music star.
On Saturday, the couple received a police invitation to appear at the Force Headquarters, Abuja. The couple were accused of “criminal conspiracy, falsehood, mischief and threat to life.”
Timi disclosed that the police had earlier drilled him and his wife for six hours a few weeks ago. According to him, he didn’t understand the reason for the second police invitation.
Timi said that he and his wife had earlier written a petition to the police without any response.
The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Frank Mba, in a statement yesterday, said the IG was demanding a speedy, thorough, fair and impartial investigation into the rape allegation saga.
He said: “The DIG is also expected to take over the investigation of the complaint made by Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo against the Dakolos in addition to providing a personal supervision to all facets of the investigation to ensure justice and fair-hearing to all the parties, with each case being treated purely on its merit.
“In the same vein, the IG has directed that the procedure which the police operatives adopted in serving invitation letters on Timi and Busola Dakolo on Saturday, 20th July, 2019, be subjected to rigorous and discreet scrutiny to ascertain its conformity with police standard operating procedure and international best practices. While enjoining the general public and the parties involved in the cases to remain calm and patient, the IG assures Nigerians of unalloyed police professionalism in the matter.”
Detainee killed after vandalising 16 vehicles at police station
Policemen at Sango Police Station were yesterday accused of arresting a young man for sporting tattoo and later shooting him to death.
The incident occurred after witnesses, who were allegedly at the scene of the shooting, uploaded videos they recorded.
According to social media, the 26-year-old suspect was arrested for sporting tattoo and later shot for damaging 16 vehicles.
Another version of the story insists that the suspect, a cultist, broke the handcuff on his wrists and smashed at least 16 out of the vehicles parked at the station with an axe.
It was learnt that the suspect was arrested on Friday on allegation of assaulting a woman.
He was alleged to have vandalised the 16 vehicles parked at the station after escaping from police detention. He was said to have been shot on the leg and later died.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Abimbola Oyeyemi, denied the claim that the victim was shot because of the tattoo on his body.
According to him, the deceased was a cultist, who confessed to his membership of Eiye Confraternity.
Oyeyemi, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, disclosed that the suspected cult member went berserk and was shot while attempting to attack officers at the Sango Police Station with an axe. He explained that the suspect was arrested and taken to the station following an allegation of assault levelled against him.
The PPRO stated that the axe was among the exhibits recovered by the police from some suspected cult members that were previously arrested.
He said: “It is mischievous to say that the suspect was killed because of the tattoo on his body. This was a cult member. He was arrested for a case of assault.
“He assaulted somebody and he was arrested. On getting to the station, he just took up an axe and was pursuing all the policemen. He destroyed 17 vehicles at the station; he broke their windscreens and side screens.”
All the policemen and suspects at the station had to run for their lives. But when he wanted to harm a policeman that was armed; in the process, that policeman shot him in the leg. Should they have waited till he (suspect) killed everybody? There is a complainant who complained against him. The suspect is a confessed member of Eiye Confraternity. At the station, he suddenly jumped up and drew the axe. He destroyed 17 vehicles; you can confirm from those present at the scene, including civilians.”
Why I don’t trust any clearing agent to do my clearing – Ogbonna, auto dealer
Ikechukwu Darry Ogbonna,the Chief Executive Officer of IVD Autos Limited, has established himself as an astute businessman of many trades; a few of which are automobile, property and entertainment businesses. With more than a decade’s wealth of experience in the business of importing automobiles to Nigeria, Ogbonna has proven himself to be a young and passionate business man determined to carve a niche for himself.
Unlike many who just dabble into a business without passion, foresight or commitment, just because they were advised to, or for the profit, Ogbonna ventured into the automobile business with passion, focus and set goals.
“I’ve been into this business for more than 14 years. It’s a good business and I have passion for it. I’ve always looked forward to being in the auto mobile industry and I really don’t have any regrets. Thank God I’ve gone far and things are going as planned.”
“It’s been God all the way and all I’ve ever wanted is working for me. I’ve had challenges with the Nigeria Customs Service. There was a day they came for their routine search and there was a car they found that wasn’t properly cleared and didn’t have genuine papers and so, it was taken away. I never knew that one of my agents didn’t complete the duties and used fake papers. So I was forced to pay additional charges on the vehicle in order to get it back. So far, that has been the only major challenge I’ve had”, he said during an interview withNew Telegraph
Rather than allowing his experience with the Nigeria Customs Service have a negative effect on his business, instead he exploited it to improve how he runs his automobile business.
“I only learnt that I should not trust any agent to do my clearing for me. Whenever my cars arrive at the port and go through the clearing process, I still confirm the process to be sure it has been done and mistakes don’t repeat themselves. The Customs is doing their job as they are supposed to, because if not for the investigation they did, I wouldn’t have known that the agent played on me after taking a huge amount of money from me for the clearing. I was impressed at the way they carried out their job,” he noted.
For someone, who has made a respectable fortune from the automobile business, Ogbonna was quick to assert that the business is worth emptying one’s account to invest in.
“It is a very lucrative business. I’ve made a lot of money from it. I’ll advise anyone to invest in the automobile business, so long as they have passion for it. If you don’t have passion for it, don’t start it because if it flops or doesn’t turn out the way you want, you might end up with regrets,” he said.
Based on his wealth of experience in the business, he blamed the importation of low quality automobiles on customer’s demand.
“I’ll say that it depends on what the customer wants. Some might say they want cheaper cars and they will give you their budget. Some might even ask you to buy from auction. So it depends. Yes, customers are partly responsible for the importation of low quality automobiles because they sometimes come with low budgets,” he explained.
He, however, was of the opinion that the onus lies on automobile dealers to advise prospective customers on the importance of ordering high standard automobiles.
“Our role as automobile dealers is to advise our customers to get good quality automobiles and for safety they should go for wheel balancing, alignment and equally take other precautionary steps by following safety tips and things like that.”
Two dead, one injured in Ibadan quarry accident
Tragedy struck in Ibadan on Monday when two site workers were killed when quarry sand submerged them at Ologuneru, along Eleyele-Eruwa Road on the outskirts of the metropolis.
The Oyo State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corp, Corps (FRSC) Commander, Chukwurah Uche, confirmed the news, saying that “our officials were alerted by the residents of the area around 3pm that a quarry had caved-in and two people lost their lives.
“We evacuated their corpses to a mortuary while the third person who sustained injuries was taken to the University College Hospital (UCH)”, Uche said.
The accident, which happened at Carpenter Bus stop, Ologuneru, attracted scores of sympathisers who thronged the scene discussing the unfortunate incident.
According to an eye witness, three men were at the site packing sand into a truck when the heap of sand which was about two-storey building high, suddenly caved in and covered the three men below.
Eyewitness said aside FRSC, officials of the Nigerian Police and National Emergency Management Agency also stormed the area to help in rescue operations.
Teacher docked for allegedly raping teenage student
A 28-year-old teacher, Idowu Daniel, was on Monday remanded in prison by an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court for allegedly raping a 17-year-old secondary school student.
The Chief Magistrate, Olufunke Sule-Amzat, who did not take the plea of the defendant, ordered that he should be remanded in Kirikiri Prisons.
Mrs Sule-Amzat ordered the police to send the case file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for advice.
The defendant, who lives at Abule-Egba area of Lagos, is facing a charge of defilement.
Earlier, the prosecutor, Benson Emuerhi, told the court that the defendant on June 27 at 9.25 a.m. unlawfully had carnal knowledge of his student in the Biology Laboratory at Anastasia Comprehensive College, Abule-Egba, Ikeja.
“The teacher lured the student into the school’s Biology lab and forcefully had sexual intercourse with her, ‘’ the prosecutor said.
According to him, the offence contravenes the provisions of Section 137 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2015.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Section 137 prescribes 14 years imprisonment for rape if found guilty.
She adjourned the case until October 21.
Gunmen abduct four Turkish expatriates in Kwara
Gunmen have kidnapped four Turkish expatriates at a local drinking joint at Gbale village in Edu Local Government Area of Kwara State.
The incident, according to sources, occurred about 10p.m. on Saturday while the men were having fun at the joint.
The expatriates, identified as Yasin Colak (33), Senerapal (40), Ergun Yurdakul (35) and Seyit Keklik (25), are said to be working with Instabul Concrete Limited, Gbale.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Ajayi Okasanmi, confirmed the abduction.
Okasanmi said the state Commissioner of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, had dispatched policemen attached to ‘Operation Puff Adder’ to the area to rescue the expatriates as well as arrest the hoodlums.
He added that the effort of the police was beginning to yield positive result.
However, the PPRO did not say if any arrest had been made.
COZA: Our lives at risk, says Dakolo
…warns against treating rape victims as criminals
Popular musician, Timi Dakolo and his wife, Busola, yesterday raised the alarm over threat to their lives the rape allegations levelled against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA).
The couple also condemned the way the police were handling case.
Timi, who addressed a press conference in Lagos, said he didn’t expect that his residential address would be released to the public.
The singer also called on Nigerians to stop treating rape victims like criminals for speaking the truth.
This came as former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, condemned the invitation letter served on Timi and Busola, by the police.
The action by the police came a month after the singer’s wife made allegations that Fatoyinbo raped her twice as a teenager in Ilorin about 20 years ago.
At the conference held at Ikeja, Timi wondered why the police stormed his home to invite him and his wife to Abuja from Lagos State, while the police had allegedly refused to invite Fatoyinbo, who allegedly raped his wife 20 years ago.
He added that last month, he and his wife wrote a petition to the police, and they were questioned for six hours by the police. Timi said he didn’t understand why police were inviting them for another round of questioning.
He said: “On June 27, my wife, through her legal representative, wrote a petition on rape against Mr. Biodun Fatoyinbo. The petition was filed at the Office of the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Alagbon, Ikoyi. We had four meetings and about six hours at the police station. The IG personally assigned the file and immediately asked for an action on the case but we deliberately decided not to publicise it because we believed the law would be followed through.
“We had filed the petition before the release of the interview that had been recorded three weeks before. The interview was published on June 28. We have on several occasions met with the police in the course of investigation. We were therefore shocked by the invitation to Abuja when no visible action was taken to interview Mr. Fatoyinbo.”
According to him, since the entire saga began, his life as well as the lives of his wife, Busola, and his three children have been at risk.
The singer alleged that things got worse when the police made their residential address in Lagos public thereby making them susceptible to attacks.
He said: “I didn’t expect that our residential address, where my children live, would be released to the public and since then, we have noticed how my life, my wife’s life and the lives of my children have been put at risk to strange faces around the house. We have been followed home, people are watching our home; we have not been able to do our work. We now have to tell our children why they cannot step outside.”
Timi said his wife had informed him of the alleged rape since last year and it took a while before they both decided to make the matter public. Timi added that the allegation was not targeted at the church, but Fatoyinbo and the matter should thus be treated as a crime and not a campaign against the body of Christ.
He said: “I have never attended COZA in my life. I have never been in the same room with Fatoyinbo in my life, neither have I been a music director.”
Taking to Twitter, Ezekwesili said the operation by the police on the matter “appeared extremely intimidating,” urging the police hierarchy to offer an explanation.
She said: “Just catching up on this and seeing those pictures of the Dakolo’s report of your ‘invitation’ makes this your statement quite curious @PoliceNG. Did not seem your officers executed a regular police invitation.”
The former chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, mocked the police for summoning the Dakolos to answer to cases of criminal conspiracy, falsehood and mischief.
Odinkalu tweeted: “So all of a sudden @policeNG has case of “falsehood, mischief…” non-existent crimes, against @timidakolo?”
Timi had on Saturday revealed through Instagram that he and his wife had been summoned to Abuja by the police over rape allegations made against Fatoyinbo, who was forced to announce a leave of absence as a result of the outrage that greeted the allegations against him.
In an invitation letter dated Thursday, July 18 which the singer posted on Instagram, the police say they are investigating a case of criminal conspiracy, falsehood and mischief, prompting many Nigerians reacting on social media to sense an attempt to turn the case against them.
According to Timi, he and his family will not succumb to bullying on the issue no matter where it is coming from.
Earlier on Saturday, the Bayelsa State-born musician had claimed that some strange men who came in a van with registration number BR 932 KSF, attempted to invade his residence with guns before later assuring fans of the safety of his family members while revealing the police summon.
The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Frank Mba, said that the invitation was not synonymous with a ‘Warrant of Arrest’ and must not be misconstrued to be one.
He said: “Rather, it is a polite investigative tool used in eliciting information voluntarily from parties to aid police investigations.”
The letter of invitation said to have been released by Dakolo, showed that the couple were to report in Abuja tomorrow.
Also, a columnist with The PUNCH, Abimbola Adelakun, was on Sunday questioned by security men at COZA, in Abuja.
Adelakun, who said she was at the church on Sunday in furtherance of her research on Pentecostal churches, said she was pulled out of the church by the church’s security men, who recognised her, and made her to stay in “one place where they were keeping everybody that they suspected.”
The columnist said her demand to be allowed to leave was refused by the security men. She said the matter had been taken to a police station in Abuja.
On her Twitter handle, @Adunnibaby, the columnist wrote, “I’m aware of the info about my arrest at COZA today. I wasn’t arrested. Earlier, I sent out an image because I was concerned when pulled aside by the protocol department for questioning. Thanks to everyone who has been concerned about me. I am sorry for all the misinformation out there.”
First Lady seeks justice for violated blind students
Nigeria’s First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, has called for justice for the female blind students alleged to have been sexually molested by their teachers.
The President’s wife, who described the action as sad and disheartening, also commended the Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Mr. Christian Ohaa, who had last week, swiftly stepped into the matter and indefinitely suspending the accused teachers.
Buhari, who tweeted through her official Twitter handle with hash-tag message “#Say No To Rape,” condemned the action in its totality.
She said: “This is disheartening. Justice must be served, thanks to Perm. Sec FCT for swinging into action; rape shouldn’t be taken lightly.”
The alleged sexual molestation of the female blind students of a special school for the blind in Abuja started trending on the social media after the permanent secretary, alongside other FCTA management staff, paid an unscheduled visit to the school last week.
Some of the blind female students alleged that the teachers were always fiddling their breasts and other sensitive private parts, as well as raping them.
The fact-finding mission resulted into immediate suspension for Mr. Ilo Chukwuma and Ebenezer Olateju, the accused teachers.
The Permanent Secretary, Ohaa, who noted that the suspension would last till when the investigation was concluded, also directed that Chukwuma, who was accommodated in the school residential quarters, vacate the school within the week, stressing that both teachers should stay clear of the school premises as investigations continue.
Ohaa also asked the Director of Department State Services (DSS) in the FCTA, Mr. Adamu Gwary, to ensure full compliance and implementation of the directive.
Had said: “While we are working round the clock to give every physically challenged student the best of education we cannot have incidents such as this to mar our progress and achievements.
“But let me assure parents that anyone found culpable in any of these incidences, not only in this school, will be dismissed and prosecuted. Our teachers, like Caesars’ wife must be above board.”
Otedola: Why I took over Sadiq Daba’s medical bill
Businessman and former chairman of Forte Oil PLC, Femi Otedola, has explained why he undertook to pay medical bill of veteran broadcaster and actor, Sadiq Daba.
Otedola said he heard about Daba’s health condition when it was brought to his attention through an online news story he read a few days ago.
The philanthropist said he was saddened to hear that Daba had taken ill again after overcoming his challenges from prostate cancer two years ago.
He said: “From the news report, I gathered that he was rushed to the Emergency Unit of LUTH after being diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
“I must say that even though I don’t know Mr. Daba personally, he is a face I am familiar with through the old TV drama production ‘Cock Crow at Dawn’ which I used to watch while growing up.
“I was moved by a sense of nostalgia and concern when I read of his medical situation recently and decided to take over his medical bills. He has been visited and arrangements are being made to support him.”
Otedola said that in other climes, the likes of Daba and other such actors who more or less paved the way for the entertainment industry and the Nollywood industry in Nigeria, touted as the third largest movie industry in the world, would be celebrated as icons and due recognition would be accorded to them.
He added: “For me, taking care of Sadiq’s medical expenses is my little way of showing appreciation and gratitude for the good memories he created for me and others in the past.”
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